Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Win a £20 New Look gift voucher

New Look has always been my first stop for shoes on a budget and a place where I update my wardrobe with the new trends at the best possible price so I'm very happy to offer one of you the chance to win a £20 New Look gift voucher. All the items below are available for £20 or under so you will be able to treat yourself to something nice if you win the voucher.

PicMonkey Collage

Black polka dot dress - £17.99
Velvet dress - £19.99
Crochet collar dress - £14.99
Tapestry boots - £19.99
Fedora - £14.99
Tartan skirt - £17.99


To be in with a chance just fill in the rafflecopter form below and I will contact the winner when the giveaway ends an 12am on the 6th of November. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gemma
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Monday, 28 October 2013

Fat Frocks Favourite Spots in South Wales

I'm going to try and do my best to make you come and visit South Wales. It's half term this week so if you've got a week off, want to take your kids somewhere fun or you've got a uni reading week coming up there's plenty to entertain you right here in Cardiff and the surrounding areas.

I've always lived in South Wales and only moved a few miles to Cardiff from the Valleys for university. I absolutely adore it here and really couldn't imagine myself settling down anywhere else when the time comes to buy a house. I'm blessed to be close to a city, the sea and the countryside. With big green spaces that are perfect for walking and mountain biking, the Valleys also have a unique history. We’re the heart and soul of Wales – and we have some cracking museums. For a taste of our industrial heritage, head for Big Pit, a visitor attraction in a real coal mine in World Heritage listed Blaenavon. And in Caerphilly, you can explore the largest castle in Wales. For a more exhaustive list of what to do check out this site but read on to find out my favourite spots to visit in South Wales.

Dr Who Experience

One of my favourite places to spend the afternoon is Cardiff Bay. Cardiff Bay played a major part in Cardiff’s development by exporting coal from the South Wales Valleys to the rest of the world, helping to power the industrial age. Much has changed since that time and Cardiff Bay has had a make over and is now a great place to eat out, catch a show in the Millennium Centre or visit the Doctor Who Experience.

Cardiff is the home of Doctor Who since its 2005 relaunch and is filmed here and lots of beautiful scenery is used on screen (check them out here). At the experience you start with and interactive journey stepping through a crack in time which leads to an adventure before exploring the world's most extensive collection of original Doctor Who props. Exciting stuff. You can see lots of photos from my trip to the experience here.

Once you've had enough Doctor Who fun for one day you could head to Cadwaladers for a ice cream or talk a walk around the barrage.

nash point

Nash Point has only been a recent discovery for me but it's right up there with my favourite places I've been to locally. Nash Point Lighthouse was the last manned lighthouse in Wales and is a great place to talk a walk and enjoy the impressive views over the treacherous waters of the Bristol Channel. Head to this BBC page for a walking guide which takes you from Llantwit Major to Nash Point.

pettigrew tea rooms

The tea rooms are a fairly recent addition to Cardiff and are in the refurbished West Lodge in Bute park, next to Cardiff Castle. David the owner blogged about the refurbishment and opening of this new business over on I Want to Bake Free. The tea rooms are very traditional with lovely wooden furniture and the original Victorian floor tiles. I highly recommend the Angel Peach tea and the brie and chutney sandwiches as part of the afternoon tea which is £13.95 for one of £24.95 for two.All the bread and cakes are freshly baked on site and if the weather is nice you can sit outside and look out over Bute Park.

Brecon


Waterfall Country is a stunning region of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Waterfalls Centre is a great spot to start exploring this area. I love the Blaen y Glyn walk waterfall walk. It's relatively simple and great if you are less agile or have kids in tow. I don't have proper walking boots or any kind of walking gear and I found this walk pretty easy. There are some lovely picnic spots along the way too. For more dramatic waterfalls head to Sgwd Y Eira.

I hope I've sold it to you. Have you been to Wales?

Gemma
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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Halloween Treats

I've been in bed for most of my Sunday so far (the best way to spend a Sunday) watching some of my favourite Halloween/witch themed movies. Hocus Pocus and Bedknobs and Broomsticks have been on so far then I'm hoping to move on to the really scary stuff when it gets dark and we hopefully have the super storm that has been promised tonight. I'm missing out on fancy dress party fun this year because I'm going for a weekend away but it's one of my favourite times of year and I still want to celebrate. I will be indulging in all things spooky and it's a good excuse to get some sweet treats in right?

I've put together a little list of Halloween goodies to get you in the mood:

halloween

The kitsch personalised necklace comes from Heidi Seeker who also stock some other cute vampire and skull themed glittery Halloween treats which are a perfect way to subtly celebrate All Hallows' eve.

If you head over to the Original Attire Facebook page you can be in with the chance to win a £100 voucher to spend on the Heart by Nana Judy range which is where the skull jumper above is from.

I will be travelling up to Birmingham on Halloween to watch Suede so I will be getting a copy of Frankenstein for free to read on my Kindle to pass the time on the journey and get into the spirit of things. Many books, especially classics like Frankenstein, are available under public domain licensing and have been converted into e-books for your reading pleasure. Have a look on Project Gutenburg for free titles. You can also buy the rather lovely hard copy in the picture above from the Clothbound Classics range.

If you want to join in with some Halloween fun but aren't a fan of dressing up Zara and Forever 21 have some great bat themed accessories.

We love to decorate the house here at Chez Southgate, we carve pumpkins and my brother gets his impressive Nightmare Before Christmas collection down from the attic. This year we treated ourselves to Witches Brew and Candy Corn Yankee candles.

I love these cute slipper style shoes from ASOS, 16 year old goth me would have been obsessed with them too. Very Beetlejuice.


I hope you have a lovely Halloween, if you went to a party this weekend leave me some links to your fancy dress costumes as I would love to check them out. Loving all the Breaking Bad themed ones this year.



Gemma
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Thursday, 24 October 2013

'I have the simplest tastes, I am always satisfied with the best' - Outift post featuring Fred Perry & Orphan's Arms

oscar wilde

This is an outfit I've been wearing to work recently, we don't really have a dress code so I'm free to be pretty casual and wear what I like. This New Look skater skirt is the perfect length for work, most skater skirts just about skim your rear which is never a pretty sight. When did everything get so short?

Skirt: New Look
T-Shirt: Orphan's Arms
Boots: c/o Shoe Zone
Cardigan: Fred Perry

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Wearing this t-shirt always makes me check out some Oscar Wilde quotes and boy does he have some good ones. The t-shirt is from one of my favourite brands Orphan's Arms and you can get this print on a jumper too.

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I picked up my new cardigan in the Fred Perry sale after #cardiffmeet on the weekend. It's very thick and cosy and is going to be a staple in my workwear wardrobe this winter. Looking forward to pairing this with a white shirt buttoned all the way up, a black skirt and Dr Martens.

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My boots have barely left my feet the past few weeks. I've worn them to work, gigs, when walking my dog and around on the weekend. They are the perfect pair of studded black boots and there's plenty of room in them so you can pop a pair of socks on to stay warm without any rubbing. They are from Shoe Zone who also stock some lovely creeper style shoes, flats and Dr Marten style lace up shoes.

I'm currently on my way to London to wander around some museums, grab some lunch and head to the #AxParty. Wish me luck because I'm probably going to get lost in the Big Smoke..

Gemma
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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Wagamama New A/W 2013 Menu Preview

I had the pleasure of sampling the new Winter menu courtesy of Wagamama at the Cardiff Library branch a couple of weeks ago. I'm always pleased to see new additions to the menu as I dine there pretty frequently and like to try new things. The super spicy 'Firecracker' was my favourite addition last time and I was hoping to find a new dish to compete with this. Lots of my favourite local bloggers were there too like Lou, SJ and Kacie.

If you have never been to Wagamama before here's a little background information:The wagamama story began in 1992 when their first restaurant opened in London’s Bloomsbury. inspired by traditional Japanese ramen bars and Asian flavours. today, wagamama is an award-winning series of restaurants, spanning 17 countries with over 99 restaurants in the UK alone. The cook super fresh food and (in my opinion) offer a modern dining experience at an affordable price.

Enough about the company, lets take a look at the food!

I got to sample a mixture of curry, noodle and side dishes along with some drinks and a dessert. First up and my favourite of the evening was:

Grilled Duck Ramen


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This dish was my ideal Wagamama dish. I normally opt for the chilli chicken ramen as I like a bit of a kick but the duck was really succulent so I know what I will be eating next time I visit the restaurant. It's noodles in a vegetable soup topped with tender boneless duck leg and pea shoots. Garnished with coriander,
chillies, spring onions and a citrus ponzu sauce. YUM!

Mushroom Ramen

 

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This contained noodles in a vegetable soup with thai basil topped with a variety of exotic mushrooms; including oyster, chestnut and shiitake with asparagus. Garnished with silken tofu and a chilli, garlic, sesame and soy sauce. My ramen contained six different types of mushrooms and was very hearty, a great winter warmer. If I hadn't tasted the duck ramen before this I would have liked it more but I missed the chilli from the previous dish.

Me looking a little merry after a few glasses of wine...

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Mahi Mahi Curry

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I loved this new fish dish which contained grilled mahi mahi (Hawiian/Pacific fish) in a spicy curry sauce with sweet potato, red and green peppers and mushrooms. Served with rice and garnished with coriander cress. I thought all the flavours worked well together and I loved the used of mahi mahi which isn't really used much here in the UK despite being quite delicate and almost sweet.

Wok-fried Greens

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This was a simple combination of long steamed broccoli teamed with pak choi, stir fried with plenty of garlic and soy sauce which would make a great side order to any dish.

Another new side dish was the pulled pork gyoza The steamed dumplings are filled with slow cooked pulled pork, served with spiced black vinegar and ginger sauce. My guest for the evening (my boyfriend) loved this dish but for around £5 I would share this side dish to keep costs down.

Kare Lomen

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Fans of  Wagamama and the kare lomen will be thrilled with this dish’s return to the wagamama menu. There was a bit of a campaign to get this re-added to the menu after it was removed to make way for new dishes and I can see why. Piled high with either grilled chicken or prawns, the kare lomen is full of flavour. The creamy coconut and lemon grass soup is mixed with a bowlful of ramen noodles, bean sprouts, cucumber and garnished with coriander and lime

There really was sooo much food but I got to sample a few drinks to help wash it down. First up was the Root Juice which contained beetroot, carrot and orange juice. This was a little earthy for my tastes and I would have preferred this with a little more fruit juice or maybe some ginger and lime but if you are a fan of vegetable juices the flavours in this would work well with all the meals I sampled.

Wagamama is also exclusively introducing iki beer to their menu, the only restaurant in the UK to offer this.  The beer is contains a green tea and yuzu mix, I really enjoyed this and it tasted like a refreshing Dutch beer.


Half Moon Pancakes

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There's always room for dessert right? I loved the hot pancaked filled with with a date and orange sauce accompanied with a scoop of cinnamon ice-cream which certainly gave it a festive flair.

I had a lovely evening and nearly needed to be wheeled out of the restaurant by the end after sampling so many dishes. I don't think I would make a very good food blogger as I can't pace myself and eating out all the time would spell disaster for my waistline ;)

The new menu is launched across the UK today (22nd October) and if you want to give it a try you can find your nearest restaurant here.

Gemma
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Monday, 21 October 2013

❤ Tartan Dress ❤

I had seen people posting photos of this dress on instagram for the past few weeks and I knew it had to be mine despite not really being very flattering or fitting very well on the top half (might try and alter it). I love tartan, peter pan collars and bows, if only this dress had a skater style skirt then I would be in heaven.

I wore this dress on Saturday when I headed to Cardiff for a meet up, shopping then a show in the evening. I spent far too much money in the Fred Perry shop, ate out for lunch and treated my mum to a meal before the show. I think I need a big win on online bingo to try and recuperate the money I hemorrhaged on that day. Oh well, I had fun and that's what counts right?

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Dress: Primark
Brooch: Topshop
Shoes: c/o Hotter Shoes

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I met all the girls for #cardiffmeet at Cosy Club and had some lovely berry pancakes for lunch. It was great to catch up with some local bloggers and meet new ones, such a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
I want to say a big thank you to Georgina and Helen who organised it and it was lovely to see Leanne, Linda, Laura & Mia, Nina and Elle.

weekend

I took my mum to see Russell Brand at the Millennium Centre in the evening after making time for a good catch up and a huge burger. It was nice to spend time with my mum as she works evenings and I'm away most weekends so we don't get to see each other often. Not sure Russell Brand was the best choice as his content isn't the most comfortable when you're sitting next to a relative but we both loved it. Bring back the radio show, pin pin! Does anyone else miss Matt Morgan? Loved that show...

Saturday well and truly tired me out so I spent Sunday at the gym and at home relaxing and catching up on Strictly. Can I have another two days off to get over this weekend? Can barely keep my eyes open.

*Collaborative post

Gemma
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Friday, 18 October 2013

Time for tea

This outfit is probably my favourite thing to wear at the moment. I love my pretty girly shoes and feel like a school girl in them, I had a Clarks pair nearly identical to these as a kid. I lusted after this Zatchels bag for ages and finally took the plunge when they had a sale earlier this year and have used it pretty much every week since getting it.

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Bag: Zatchels
Shoes: Shellys April bow shoes c/o Spartoo

PicMonkey Collage

My new tea pot and tea cup print dress is my ideal dress, I'm so happy with it. It's got sleeves so I don't need to bare my arms or over heat in a cardigan, it's not too short so I can wear it to work and it's has such a fun print. Smitten. I know Sarah has this dress too so if you pop over to her blog you can see how she styled it. It's not very roomy on the bust and waist so if you're blessed in that department you might want to size up.

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I've just entered a competition on facebook to win two dresses from the Little Mistress Paper Dolls collection, if you're interested (who wouldn't be?) you can enter here.

I'm currently on the lookout for a dress for my trip to London next week but I'm on a budget, I need something I can wear all day but look fairly glamorous in the evening. Any ideas?

*post written in collaboration with brand

Gemma
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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

These boots are made for walkin'...

I took a few days off last week to look after my lovely Labrador Sookie and spend some time with my boyfriend while my mum was on holiday. I don't get to spend as much time with her as I would like because I work full time and I'm away a lot on weekends so I really enjoyed my time with her even though she was pining after my mum and being very needy. I suppose it must be difficult for a dog when their owner goes away so I tried my best to lavish her with attention and took her for a walk in my favourite spot close to my house.

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Martyn and I tried to tire Sookie out as much as possible with a long walk and  by playing plenty of catch. She doesn't really understand the concept of catch and wants you to chase her for the ball initially but soon drops the ball when she realises that I wont be running after her.

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I wrapped up warm (have you noticed the sudden drop in temperature?) and tried out my new boots from Fashion World. This is about as outdoors as I get, I have no practical clothing at all which isn't very good for a dog owner.

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Dress: AX Paris
Boots: c/o Fashion World
Coat: Barbour
Hat: ASOS
Bag: Zatchels

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These boots are going to be very handy this winter. They can be worn as both short boots and knee high boots. You just have to zip on the knee high part over the short boots and tie the buckle up, such a simple idea but very clever. I'm wearing them short here but I love them higher with a pair of knee high socks for evening walks to keep out the winter chill.

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Look at my baby, isn't she adorable?!

Gemma
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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Hotter Shoes - Cardiff

Hotter shoes invited me to their Cardiff store a couple of weeks ago to take a look around and get correctly fitted for a pair of shoes. I have to admit I only had a limited knowledge of the store before taking a look around.So if you are in the dark like I was here's a little background information on Hotter Shoes:

The company was set up in 1959 and identified a niche in the market for stylish shoes with comfort built in. The shoes are made here in the UK in their Lancashire factory. Every single pair of shoes are hand polished before they are meticulously wrapped in tissue and then placed in their box. Sounds great, right?

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I had my feet measured by Emma and found out that I needed a E fitting because my feet are a little wide. Hotter shoes have a standard D/E fitting but also offer EE-EEE fitting in selected styles and colours for those who need a little extra room.  Also my one foot is a 7.5 and the other is an 8 which I never knew before getting measured.

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Hotter Shoes cater for all tastes which I wasn't really aware of before popping into the store. I know they made wide fitting shoes but they have a selection of stylish brogues, loafers and pumps which are all great for work and walking boots in different fittings. The perfect shop to head to for comfortable shoes.

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I took home a pair of smart brogues (after they were sprayed by protector). My details were logged which means I can go back and get replacement laces and insoles if needed which would prolong the life of the shoes. The shoes are light, comfortable and I hope you agree, pretty cute.These shoes haven't needed wearing in at all and the leather is so soft. My wide feet mean that I normally get a lot pain when breaking in shoes but it was a pleasant surprise not to experience this with the Somerley brogues.

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The very lovely Simon and Emma were absolutely wonderful and gave very friendly service in store. They made me feel very welcome and were knowledgeable about the products.

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If you want to visit Hotter shoes in Cardiff they are located at 17 Cathedral Walk in the St David's Centre.

Gemma
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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Move Over Darling

I wore this outfit for my trip to Birmingham last weekend. the jersey dress was perfect for a long train journey because it's comfy and doesn't crease. I had my eye on this dress for a while and treated myself on payday and got this along with a baseball top, beanie hat and a belt... I got a little carried away.

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Dress: ASOS
Bag: c/o Darling
Necklace: MyNameNecklace.co.uk
Studded Boots: Blink

I've been waiting to use my new bag for a few weeks now and my trip last weekend was the perfect excuse to get it out. It's a great size for weekend away essentials and the lace overlay is really rather pretty. It's far more chic than the backpack I normally take away with me and I can fit a lot more in this. My very comfy boots are from Blink and I know I will be wearing them all winter.

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I loved my time in Birmingham and it was nice to see some of my favourite faces: Emma and Sarah who joined us for some shopping and burgers in the day and Claire, Rebecca and Maria who stayed up until the early hours dancing to indie tunes in Snobs. I do enjoy dancing to Maximo Park in grotty club, when can I do it again?!

Birmingham
Rebecca's photo



Gemma
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Friday, 11 October 2013

M&S Collection - Best of British

I don't know about you but I always like to try and buy British. The new Marks & Spencer collection celebrates British design, craftsmanship and manufacture so I'm pretty excited about the launch and can't wait to see it in stores. Best of British, has both womenswear and menswear lines, combining a rich heritage of traditionally made fabrics with chic, modern styling.

Here is a preview of some of the items in the range and a Q&A with the Head of Womenswear Design:
best of British M&S
marks and spencer best of british

Best of British

Q&A with Head of Womenswear Design, Neil Hendy


Q: What is the Best of British Collection?
A: It’s a 34 piece collection celebrating the best in British design and manufacture. It’s made up of an edited selection of premium wardrobe classics and investment pieces inspired by our heritage but modern in both design and cut.
The clothing is complemented by a select edit of key accessories including brogues and Chelsea boots handcrafted by traditional British shoemakers, and oversized wool wraps made in soft, warm lambswool and finished in heritage checks.

Q: What were the inspirations behind the designs?
A: British heritage is very evident throughout the womenswear collection from the cloths used down to the pieces themselves. There’s also a distinct androgynous feel, with several pieces very much influenced by masculine styling. We were also inspired by quintessentially British pieces like the Peacoat, the Trenchcoat and the Chelsea boot and have created new takes on these wardrobe classics.

Q: How does this range differ in style and composition to M&S’ other ranges?
A: This collection is at the more premium end of our offering which has enabled us to use luxury fabrics and trims on our garments. The collection also has a very defined colour palette of neutral tones, monochrome with pops of hot pink which sets it apart from our other M&S collections.

Q: Tell me a bit about the manufacturers you used?
A: As we have so much home grown talent in Britain, we feel strongly about continuing to support and champion these manufacturers to ensure they will still be creating great clothing in the years to come. We have worked 6 British companies for the womenswear collection including Manchester based Cooper & Stollbrand, known for their quality of their hand crafted outerwear and painstaking attention to detail and NPS Shoes Ltd who have manufactured the brogues and Chelsea boots in the Best of British collection.

Q: Which are your favourite pieces and why?
A: Particular favourites of mine include the iconic tweed suit as I love the contrast between the rich, heritage fabric and the super slim, modern cut and the pink check cocoon coat which is the perfect statement winter coat.

Q: What’s the price range of the collection?
A: Prices range from £45 for a wool wrap and £349 for the pea coat and sizes range from 8 – 18.

Q: When is the collection available to buy?
A: It will be available in selected stores and online at marksandspencer.com from October 10th

Gemma
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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Kindle Fire HD Review

Books are personal. You can make notes in the margin, fold the pages, get them signed by the author and then there's that book smell... nothing beats it. I work in a library with books all day, buy records and write letters. I'm pretty traditional and only recently got a smart phone so I wasn't sure if a Kindle was going to be for me.

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I was rather surprised when my Kindle Fire HD arrived. Not only could read on it, I could also watch TV on it and use social media apps. It's far more than just a reader and I have been using this tablet on my commute and trips away for the past two weeks now and I have to admit, I'm a bit smitten. My 40 minute train journey to work in the morning has flown by and I read three books in a week which is more than I read for the whole of last month. 


The Kindle also came in handy on the weekend when I popped to Birmingham to hang out with some blogger pals. Normally the prospect of a two hour journey fills me with dread but I read (a rather uncool John Green) book there and back which certainly helped me to relax and not focus on the screaming children on my carriage and someone talking loudly on their phone. 

I find the screen easy to read from and the device has a battery life of up to 10 hours depending on usage which is more than enough for a weekend away. 

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Kindle Fire HD 7 Inch Tablet - 16GB - c/o Argos Online - RRP £159 now £119.99
 

As much as I love reading it's the apps that have made me fall in love with the Kindle. I can sit on my sofa at night and catch up on blog reading, reply to emails and tweet along to the Great British Bake Off without a laptop weighing me down. I can now reply to emails and catch up with blogging on my lunch break and I've even managed to catch up on some TV using the iPlayer app.
The only drawback I can find with this device is that you can't access all the apps like you can with an android device so I can't use WhatsApp or SnapChat but I have those on my phone so it isn't a huge issue. 
This is a great device for the price, iPad's are over double the price and only have a few extra features. This would make a good introduction to the world of tablets for someone who isn't very techy. 

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The Kindle Fire HD has all the right qualities: a bright 7 inch screen, a usb port, it's nice and light at under 400g and has built in speakers and a camera for all your gaming, video and Skype needs.

I'm still not totally sure what all the features are on the Kindle and what apps I should get, do you have any top tips for me?

*This post was written in collaboration with Argos Online



Gemma
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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Cardiff Event - Outfit 1st Birthday Party

outfit cardiff

There are loads of student lock-ins at the moment and I'm a little envious because my student ID expired in 2008. Where are my discounts and free goody bags? Well non students (and students) can rejoice because Outfit in Cardiff are having a 1st birthday bash this week and everyone is invited.

Pop along to the store in the Capitol Shopping Park in Leckwith from 7pm for what looks like a very enjoyable evening. There's going to be a nail bar, DJs and most important 10% off all purchases.

Are you going to attend? I've got my eye on a few Topshop tea dresses at the moment and might stock up on a couple of Burton shirts for my brother for Christmas.

Gemma
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Saturday, 5 October 2013

Singing in the Rain - Seasalt Raincoat Review

Seasalt have been on my radar for a while now. I live in wet Wales and I'm always on the lookout for practical yet stylish coats for the winter and Seasalt really fit the bill. The business started in 1981 in Penzance and all their clothing and coats have a very British seaside feel and are something I could see Rosie wearing when she takes little Bodhi out for a walk but would also work well in the city.

I've been wearing this knee length coat from the Seasalt Rain collection to work for the past week in the sun, showers and heavy rain is it practical for pretty much all weather. I would advise sizing up if you want to wear this in the winter because it's lightweight and you will want to layer some jumpers underneath which might mean a tight squeeze if you get your regular size.

 seasalt rain coat
Coat: c/o Seasalt | Rubber shoes: Vivienne Westwood by Melissa

The Original Raincoat is made from organic cotton with a Tin Cloth coating which keeps it waterproof. It comes in navy or poppy with a hood, button up front, sleeves and pockets, and contrast stitch detail. I have to admit I feel rather sophisticated walking around in this instead of my usual biker jacket or demin jacket and I've stayed considerably drier when wearing this in the rain. 

seasalt red coat hood

Tin Cloth fabric is unique to Seasalt coats and is their own interpretation of a traditional oil skin. Waterproofs used to be made by coating heavy canvas with linseed oil but Seasalt have gone a little more hi-tec which means the fabric is both waterproof and breathable.

Have you got your winter coat yet?

Gemma
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Thursday, 3 October 2013

A/W 13 Wishlist

I ADORE autumn and winter clothing and spend more on clothes in October and November than I do in all of the spring/summer months put together. Pastels and summer dresses just don't do it for me. I love leopard print, leather, lace, glitter and tartan and you get all these things in abundance on the high street at this time of year. I normally rush out and buy loads of party dresses and impractical things like a faux fur coat which end up matted and damp in the winter rain so this year I'm planning ahead.

What do I actually need? Some warm clothing, sensible shoes and something glamorous for a night out or Christmas party. I've come up with a few looks that will last me throughout the winter and chosen the key items to complete them.

aw look 1

Jeans - J Brand Jeans | Jacket - Fred Perry | Dr Martens - Shuperb

I know I'm a dress girl through and through but I have to admit I've been on the lookout for a pair of skinny jeans that I can get over my behind for the past few weeks. I've been buying nothing buy t-shirts all summer (mainly geeky ones on teefury) and I'm a little bored of pairing them with a skater skirt so the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans is on. The Fred Perry parka has been on my wishlist for a while now, I'm just waiting for some discount codes because not only does Fred Perry come with a lot of heritage it also comes with a hefty price tag.The Dr Martens are a classic but also hard wearing and great for jumping in puddles, perfect A/W shoes.
aw look 2

Boots - Topshop Argo boots | Skirt - Asos | Jacket - River Island

This is definitely going to be a go-to look for me on weekends. Biker jacket and a tartan skirt paired with one of my many band t-shirts and some on trend cut out boots will be functional and fairly sassy.

aw look 3

Dress - ASOS | Bag - Biba | Shoes - New Look

I've been looking for a new green lace dress since I had to sell my beloved Dotty P one after losing weight and I think I've found the perfect one. This ASOS number is the perfect price and I know it will get plenty of wear over the festive period. Paired with some classy strappy heels and a classy clutch I think this will be my trusty outfit for a night out.

Have you splurged on A/W clothes or are you a student holding out for a store lock in and 20% off?

*collaborative post

Gemma
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