Sunday, 29 September 2013

Pandora

This is definitely one of my favourite dresses at the moment, it makes me feel like Wednesday Addams and Gizzi Erskine at the same time. I wore this for afternoon tea on Saturday and felt rather ladylike and sophisticated. It makes a nice change from the skater skirt and converse combination I've been wearing most of the month.

I must note that the following photo was taken pre cream tea on Saturday because post cream tea I was stuffed and had a definite belly protruding through the dress. Two scones with clotted cream and tea mmm. Me, greedy? Never!

Wednesday Addams

Dress: ASOS
Brooch: Accessorize
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood by Melissa
Bracelet: Pandora c/o John Greed Jewellery

I was asked if I would like to review something from the new Pandora collection to try out and my initial reaction was that the brand wasn't for me. I always associated it with the glass bead charms and chunky silver bracelets and that's not my style at all. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the adorable eiffel tower charm which reminded me of my trips there and my friends across the channel. I've been wearing this bracelet to work, gigs and nights out since it arrived and it's got lots of compliments. 

IMG_3517

IMG_3511

IMG_3503

I can honestly say I'm a Pandora convert now. I'm already planning which charm to get next and the ones below are at the top of my list. Pandora charms are the perfect way to mark something special and celebrate unique travel experiences. I really like the lighthouse charm which will remind me of a romantic trip to a lighthouse and I'm going to treat myself to the boat charm on payday to remind me of the wonderful time I had at Bestival this year with a HMS Bestival theme.

pandora charms

Are you a Pandora fan or sceptic? 

Gemma
facebook / instagram / bloglovin / twitter / tumblr / pinterest

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Lemurs, stalking boys in bands and To the Lighthouse...

September has rushed past me and I can't believe it's nearly over. Where does the time disappear? It's been a non stop month for me with a trip to the Isle of Wight for Bestival, a weekend with my boyfriend in Brecon
and an insane weekend celebrating my friend Emma's birthday in Newport in Bristol. Can I have a few days off work to sleep please?

I love using my blog to reflect on all the things I've done so here are some of my photos from September:

IMG_3365

I went to see possibly one of my all time favourite bands play a couple of weeks ago, the Manic Street Preachers. We grew up in the same town (Blackwood, South Wales), studied similar things at university and I feel like a lot of the themes in their songs reflect me and where I come from. I would hope that if I was ever in a band we have a lot in common with the Manics. They've been releasing music for over 21 years now and I was a little worried about the more acoustic direction the new tracks were going in but I didn't need to worry. The set was filled with classic tracks, they played Revol instead of Faster for a home crowd and everyone there seemed to be a die hard fan. The highlight of the evening was hearing the new track, Rewind the Film live and Richard Hawley made an appearance for this. Perfection!

The next day (after a few too many gins at the gig and pub after) I headed to Bristol for my friend Emma's birthday for a lovely day at the zoo.

IMG_3392

The lemurs were definitely my favourite, loved how they all leaned on each other and held their arms out too catch the warmth from the sun.

IMG_3390

If you are travelling to Bristol by train, keep your ticket. First Great Western users get 2 for 1 on zoo entry if they take their train ticket and print off a voucher. Saved myself £7 there. 
 
IMG_3371

We went to see Jimmy Eat World in the evening who were fantastic but the venue was awful which was such a shame. Jimmy Eat World are one of Emma's favourite bands and they played the song she really loved so it was a lovely way to finish off her birthday weekend. Hearing them play 'The Middle' took me back to being 14/15 and wearing hideous baggy jeans and band t-shirts. I thought I was so cool back then... We got to meet Jim form the band after the gig which was a pretty cool birthday present for Emma.

IMG_3394

My trip to Nash Point one day after work was definitely one of my September highlights. It's on the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan coastline in South Wales. Nash Point is no longer manned, it was the last light in Wales to be automated and the second last in the UK to be de-manned. You can book tours, stay in the cottages here and even get married in the lighthouse.
 
IMG_3430

Watching the sun set with some coffee. Going to be sad to pack away my favourite All Stars for winter, I've been wearing them all summer but they aren't a practical colour and canvas gets a little soggy in the rain. Time to dig out the winter boots.

IMG_3438

You can't make it out too well in this photo but my boyfriend has a lighthouse tattoo on his leg which reminds me of the lovely one Rosie has.

IMG_3455

Looking rather windswept.

IMG_3461

The lighthouse was rather eerie at night and you could hear the bells ringing on the buoys out at sea. Can't wait to return here in winter and take my dog for a walk or bring a picnic in the summer.

What have you been up to this month?

Gemma
facebook / instagram / bloglovin / twitter / tumblr / pinterest

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

CDF BLOG CLUB

We enjoy hosting our bigger events from time to time but we all thought it would be nice to have a smaller, more regular meetup for people to attend and so, we present to you…The Cdfblogs Blog Club!
Excited yet?! Chill people. Calm yourselves.
Every month we’ll hold a meetup somewhere in Cardiff where you, the bloggers of Cardiff, can sit down together and work on your blogs, exchange some ideas and generally get to know each other a bit better while still, and this is the important thing, being productive!
We all have those days, weeks and even months where we just can’t get motivated or we’re just not inspired or we just can’t find the time. Our blogs bear the brunt of it and they sit there, looking lonely and neglected, as we struggle to get some words out or figure out exactly what we want to say.
This is where Blog Club hopes to help.
By gathering a small group of you together in the same space – from new bloggers to the more experienced and established among us – we hope to give you the kick in the ass to get things moving again. With other people around you working on their blogs you’ll hopefully be inspired to get things going on yours again or their productivity might rub off on you as you sit near them.
Our first Blog Club meetup will be on Sunday 29th September 2013 at Chapter Arts Centre in Canton and a handful of our team will be there from 2pm to 5pm (of course you can stay as long as you like). You can come along for the full 3 hours, if you’ve got the time to spare, or you can just drop in for an hour anytime throughout the afternoon.
We’ve created an Eventbrite so we can get an idea of how many people are likely to come along during the session. If you’re coming for all or part of it then sign up so we can make sure we can plan enough space for this and future meetups.
Interested? Hopefully we’ll see you there! And remember, the first rule of Blog Club is… I jest! I jest! There aren’t any rules. Except for the ‘You must bring cake for the organisers’ rule ;)
BlogClubLogo2

*This post was written by a follow cdfblogs team member Tzevai, and originally appeared here.

Gemma
facebook / instagram / bloglovin / twitter / tumblr / pinterest

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The White Company - Cardiff

Luxury clothing and homeware brand The White Company opened its first store in Wales at St David’s, the Cardiff shopping centre a couple of weeks ago. The retailer is another high end addition to the Cardiff after both Vivienne Westwood and Armani have joined us here.

I attended the launch night with my mate Sam, lots of lovely local bloggers, press and even some Olympic athletes.

04/09/2013  Pics (C) Huw John Photography, Cardiff. MANDATORY BYLINE - HUW JOHN..Launch of The White Company store Cardiff..3 Towy Road, Llanishen, Cardiff CF14 0NS.VAT: 535 102680 - pictures@huwjohn.com.

THE WHITE COMPANY, CARDIFF, 3/9/13

I got a chance to browse the collections, showcasing all that The White Company is famous for - crisp white bedlinen, the softest towels, home accessories, womenswear, fragrances for home & body (wild mint was my favourite) plus an adorable children's range. Look at all the white and grey, so chic.

THE WHITE COMPANY, CARDIFF, 3/9/13

THE WHITE COMPANY, CARDIFF, 3/9/13

Wearing my Jaeger dress, felt like i should have worn something a little more neutral as I stood out in this bold colour amongst the natural palette. 

THE WHITE COMPANY, CARDIFF, 3/9/13

We were treated so some tasty nibbles from Jamie's Italian and a string quartet. Rather swish!

THE WHITE COMPANY, CARDIFF, 3/9/13

I got the change to meet the CEO and store manager who told me a little more about the ethos of the brand and that a lot of the products are made here in the UK and are of the highest quality. 

I'm tempted to pop back and get some toiletries and a candle in the gorgeous wild mint scent, one of the  best things I've ever smelt. You can never have too many candles, right?

Gemma
facebook / instagram / bloglovin / twitter / tumblr / pinterest

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

All aboard the HMS Bestival

September means the end of festival season here in the UK and Bestival is one of the last major festivals of the year.  Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank and his wife Josie curated a wonderful line up this year to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Bestival. Some festivals concentrate on just the musical line up but Josie works hard on creating a beautiful site and a full experience. I had the most wonderful time at Bestival last year with lots of blogging chums and couldn't wait to return.

Each year Bestival has a theme and this year's was HMS Bestival. People dressed up all weekend as sailors, mermaids, pirates and various sea creatures and there was a spectacular new stage that was a giant ship and 40ft giant anchor on the main stage.

There are loads of photos in this post and some were taken by my friends Harri, Emma or Laura.

1233484_10100271633383557_329074455_n

1186015_10100271633333657_783037043_n

This year’s line-up was a very eletronic as always but there were still plenty of bands and things to keep this soul girl interested. I managed to see Bastille, The Strypes, Snoop Dogg and The Polyphonic Spree do the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Bestival really is a place where you get to see some more unusual acts and you find yourself singing along to all sorts. I also danced in front of a huge shipwreck whilst Annie Mac was on the decks with lasers floating above the crowd and dancers twirled from huge cranes. Bestival definitely opens me up to listening to different types of music and to experience acts I would never see at home. 

Bestival 3

A few things dominate my festival experience each year and they include glitter, vodka, frolicking and obviously the music. It's over a week since I arrived home from Bestival and there are still a few specks of glitter lingering on my belongings.

1185045_10153222998970114_1841607040_n

I wore my lovely Crown and Glory custom fascinator for the fancy dress day.

1239583_10100271639341617_194013086_n

I got to try out some fantastic Fickle tattoos with a very fitting nautical theme. If you're anything like me and way too scared to get permanently inked then these are a fun way to try it out without the pain. They were easy to apply and lasted without any wear for about two days. The 'Ship Happens' design was definitely my favourite and got lots of comments from other festival goers.

bestival fickle tattoos

1240592_10100271636182947_297706497_n

A little merry on the Saturday watching Franz Ferdinand.

1173713_10201072968720990_689061668_n

The forecast for the weekend was pretty grim so I took my waxed jacket with me, plenty of waterproofs and some sensible footwear to deal with the mud but we really only had a few showers so we were very lucky. I had visions of knee high mud and freezing temperatures. I think I'm probably going to take more jumpers and a pair of lighter Dr Martens next year as my wellies got a little heavy after 4 days wear. 
1234982_10100271635878557_1302163179_n

My musical highlights of the weekend wwre Johnny Marr playing some of my favourite Smiths songs and seeing the rapper Angel Haze for the first time. The Sunday night headliner is always a bit special and this year's was no exception. Elton John hadn’t headlined a UK festival since 1969 and he played his hits from six decades for over two hours. There was one point during the set where he looked close to tears and said he would never forget his Bestival performance which for a diva like him was pretty touching. 

Bestival

The weekend drew to a close with a spectacular 10th birthday firework display.

999208_10100271641187917_1366259990_n

If you don’t manage to get Glastonbury tickets next year you should go to Bestival. If you do get tickets, go to Bestival anyway! Happy birthday Bestival, hope you're around for another 10 years.

Gemma
facebook / instagram / bloglovin / twitter / tumblr / pinterest

Monday, 16 September 2013

Introducing Pink Clove

Meet Pink Clove, the new online store for plus-size fashion. Buying fashionable clothing in bigger sizes can prove to be expensive but prices are amazing, ranging from £12-£40. Styles are available in sizes 16-32 and I love that the range is designed and manufactured in the UK. They have something to suit all tastes like on trend tartan items and more basic things like pencil skirts and wrap dresses. It's nice to have a new brand on the plus size scene.

Here is my pick of the best pieces:


This Tartan dress is only £22, bargain! This would be great this winter with a biker jacket or some boots and leggings. You can also get this print in a skirt.


This jersey jacket is only £15 and would look chic for work with some slim fit trousers or a pencil skirt.


This studded midi dress is another bargain at just £18. I love how it's styled here for a night out but this would look equally as nice in the day with some tights and a one of those big fluffy black cardigans that are around at the moment.

Have you got you eye on anything from Pink Clove?

Gemma
facebook / instagram / bloglovin / twitter / tumblr / pinterest

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Barrowman, Burgers & Brecon

Last weekend was packed with loads of fun excursions and plenty of good food and for once I was in Cardiff/ South Wales all weekend which makes a nice change from getting three hour trains across the country.

I went to see a musical called Stalking John Barrowman at the Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff. Stalking John Barrowman is a new musical by Naomi Chiffi, Jude Garner and Patrick Steed which was full of laughs and for a Barrowman and Doctor Who fan like myself was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Its story is about two unlucky-in-life characters that meet through their love of John Barrowman. The cast were all fantastic and a lot of them were locals and I even went to school with one of them. I hope this travels across the UK because it was full of laughs and deserves to be seen by a big audience.

IMG_3144

I spent Saturday evening with my boyfriend having a bit of an American themed night. I made chilli cheese fries, burgers and root beer floats and we staying in watching Always Sunny in Philadelphia which is my new favourite show. I like to go a bit overboard when it comes to food so I even got some burger papers and trays so the food looked like it had come from an American diner and not Cardiff M&S. I wish I could eat like this all week, ice cream floats are the best.

IMG_3148

IMG_3151

I got up bright and early on Sunday morning and headed to Talybont in Brecon to explore the waterfalls there and to walk off some of the burger calories from the night before. There are more dramatic waterfalls in the UK but I don't think there any as closely located as these.

IMG_3167

IMG_3204

IMG_3153

Brecon

If you're going to do this walk in the winter it could get very slippery so I wouldn't attempt it in All Star shoes like I did (was scrambling all over the rocks), you would be better prepared if you wore some practical walking boots. This Topshop jersey dress is the most casual thing I own, really need to invest in some outdoors type clothing... I would say this is a fairly easy walk and most people could attempt it with little difficulty.

IMG_3178

The views were really spectacular and its a shame that I don't get out and explore Wales more, I tend to spend most weekends over the border or going to gigs and plays. I think I will be making trips like this a more frequent occurrence.

Gemma
facebook / instagram / bloglovin / twitter / tumblr / pinterest

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Cotswold Company - Giveaway

I've got a lovely giveaway here on Fat Frocks for you from The Cotswold Company but if you haven't heard of them before here is a little background information on the company:

The Cotswold Company team have spent the past 16 years supplying country inspired furniture made from the finest materials. They have all sorts ranging from storage solutions and accessories to suit both traditional and contemporary tastes. The aim to be honest, fair and trustworthy and deliver quality and style to their customers.

Here are a few items from The Cotswold Company that I would love in my own home:

The Cotswold CompanyPicMonkey Collage

I have one very lovely Bathurst weathered pine, hand finished mirror to give away from The Cotswold Company to one lucky winner (UK only sorry) It's dimensions are (H)99cm x (W)132cm x (D)6.5cm and it would look lovely in a hallway or over a fireplace. 
For your change to win this ace prize just fill in the form below, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gemma
facebook / instagram / bloglovin / twitter / tumblr / pinterest

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Sea Within A Sea

When all the students go home for Summer the library gets pretty quiet and I get to take my leave. I like to spend some days with my dog Sookie and having a long lie in but the past few weeks I've been trying to get into the outdoors a bit more and explore Wales a little. I went to Monmouthshire a few weeks ago, Brecon this weekend and here to Rest Bay earlier this week.

I tried to be a little nautical for my trip to the seaside so I wore the latest addition to my Fred Perry collection, this stripy t-shirt.

  IMG_3129

Skirt: New Look
Shoes: Champion cvo basic Keds c/o Spartoo
T-shirt: Fred Perry
Sunglasses: River Island
Necklace: Primark

IMG_3138

I played some Frisbee on the beach (I was awful) and went for a paddle in the freezing Welsh waters and had a lovely, relaxing day. Note to self, white shoes and tights are not ideal when playing Frisbee on a beach, really should wear some more practical flip flops next time... I always forget that I'm so close to the coast and really need to make the effort to come here more often. Rest Bay is a rather nice Blue Flag beach and it's pretty good for surfing apparently and I really want to have some surf lessons next Summer. I really need to invest in some swimming and surf gear, I went swimming in the sea in my school swimming costume that is over 10 years old and a baggy t-shirt this year...

IMG_3130

I enlisted my mate to take some photos who found it all very funny and told me to do my tea pot blog pose, cheeky.

IMG_3132

The title of this post was inspired by this Horrors song which I first heard on 95bFM in New Zealand, overlooking Bucklands Beach.


Have you got any recommendations for places in the South West and Wales for me to explore?

Gemma
facebook / instagram / bloglovin / twitter / tumblr / pinterest