Sunday, 26 January 2014

Lindy Bop Cassy Dress

Can you believe this is my first outfit post of the year? All the rain and dark days mean I've found it hard to snap what I'm wearing but there were a few rays of light in my garden today so I managed to take a handful of photos. There have also been a lot less posts on Fat Frocks as I'm trying to be more frugal and spend more time in the great outdoors which means less pretty dresses *sob*
I’m trying my best to save for a house and being very strict with myself. No more impulse purchases or buying coffee on my way to work in the morning. It sucks a little but it will be worth it in the end when I can settle down and have my own lovely home.

I've been buying far more functional clothes recently like skater skirts and jersey tops which I can wear to work and layer up but I fancied wearing something a little frivolous and fancy today so I popped this Lindy Bop number on which has been sitting in my wardrobe since before Christmas. 

This is a picture of a red Lindy Bop Cassy dress

Dress: Lindy Bop
Shoes: New Look (old)
Necklace: mynamenecklace.co.uk
Ring: Daisy

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The skirt is already very full but I'm planning on wearing this with my net underskirt for a more dramatic look next time. I'm also planning on getting some Melissa shoes that are black with red hearts on to go with this dress, adding a few smart accessories like a beautiful Tissot watch that I found on watches-of-switzerland.co.uk and doing something creative with my hair like trying out some victory rolls to complete my Valentine's day look.Do any of you know which YouTubers are best for retro hair and make up tutorials?

You can get these in lots of different colours and Lindy bop sell lots of these retro style dresses for under £30. I love this dress and feel very feminine whilst wearing it. The fact that it has sleeves is a bonus so I don't have to cover most of the dress in a cardigan. I might have to purchase it in another colour...

Lindy Bop also sell some lovely wiggle dresses and I know I will be purchasing from them again. If you’re going to order I suggest taking a look at the sizing chart as the dresses come up a little small and can be tight in the arm. I sized up for this dress. You have to pay to return so it’s best to make sure it’s right before you buy.



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Even though I'm posting a little less on here at the moment I'm using instagram a lot more and post lots of photos of my dog, dresses and Buttons the bunny over on there. If you want to see those updates head over here. You can never post too many photos of your shoes and dog right?



P.S. Don't forget to enter my £100 ASOS gift card giveaway, there's still a week left to enter
and it only takes a few clicks. Good luck!

Gemma
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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Pen y Fan - Brecon

Pen y Fan is 886 metres high – the highest point in southern Britain and the Brecon Beacons National Park. The prospect of walking up was a little scary because I'm so unfit. The last time I walked up here was a as a child on a school trip so I was looking forward to heading up again. My boyfriend is being supportive of me trying to be more active and healthy so suggested this as an activity we could do together.

If you want to walk this route take a look at this National Trust route for detailed instructions, this is the route I took and I think it is a little easier than the one which starts at the Storey Arms. It's around 4 miles long and will take you about 2.5 hours to complete.

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The weather looked lovely as we headed off but as soon as we got a little way up the mountain it took a turn for the worse. It was misty and icy cold so don't head up without being prepared. You need supportive footwear, I have a pair of Hi-Tec hiking shoes with ankle support which are great for this kind of walk. You also need lots of light layers and a waterproof jacket because the weather can be so changeable.

As you can see we had a little snow and mist on the way up but it was rather beautiful, the first snow I've seen in months.

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There were points on the way to the top where I wished I was back in my cosy bed drinking tea but when we reached the summit I was so glad I pushed myself.

It was so windy up there, I thought my hat was going to blow off! The cairn on the summit which you can see behind me was a Bronze Age burial chamber apparently.

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Martyn doing a bit of a 'I'm the King of the world' type pose at the top. Cute :)

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Feeling pretty pleased with myself.

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The views from the top are spectacular when it's less misty, we could only see to the one side of the mountain. To the north you can see the town of Brecon. Looking east you can just make out the Sugar Loaf in the far distance too. 

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Climbing Pen y Fan was the perfect way to spend my Sunday afternoon and it was nice to do something a little different with my boyfriend and explore South Wales more.

Have you ever climbed Pen y Fan? Which peak should I tackle next?

p.s. don't forget to enter my £100 ASOS gift card giveaway


Gemma
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Monday, 20 January 2014

Brit Pack £100 ASOS gift card giveaway


Today I'm happy to be co hosting an-amazing 'bloggers give back' give-away hosted 
by myself Gemma and what we are affectionately calling ourselves...
The Brit Pack...

Meet:
L-R Frills And SpillsWhat Peggy SaidKimi And MePolkadot Pink and Being Erica


10 Fabulous British Bloggers have all rounded up together to give one lucky winner a spending spree at ASOS with a £100 gift voucher. Its our way of starting the 2014 off with a bang, and also as a big THANK YOU to all of you who read and follow and comment on our blogs week after week.

The Brit Pack are some of Britain's finest bloggers. Every single one is worth getting to know! So in good old fashioned Blighty style, grab a cup of tea and take a moment to check out their links, find some new favourites, and enter away!

GOOD LUCK!!!

The competition will run for 10 days and is open internationally. Winner will be emailed an asos gift voucher with an e-code worth £100 (approx $160 at current exchange rate) and announced on the rafflecopter widget.


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gemma
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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Grenoble day 2 & Lyon

After climbing loads of steps on my first day in Grenoble I took a more leisurely approach to day two. I headed to a few museums including a very interesting one about the French Resistance in that area which was rather somber but well worth a visit. I also headed to a few more churches and museums while taking in all the sights.

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I had the most wonderful Italian salad in Pain et Cie

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I headed back to my friends flat for an early night because the next day we were getting up bright and early to head to the nearby city of Lyon. We started our day in the city by heading up to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière on a very vertical tram which was pretty scary.

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The basilica was particularly beautiful. The Fourvière is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who saved the city of Lyon from a cholera epidemic sweeping Europe in 1823 and apparently during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1), Prussian forces halted and retreated due to the Virgin Mary.

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There were amazing views of the city from the basilica which were the highlight of my trip.

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We wandered around the city taking a look in many of the cute shops and bakeries along the way before heading to the park complete with it's own zoo and botanical gardens.

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The park was beautiful and I imagine it's even nicer in the summer. You could spend the whole day there and there's plenty to see including some lions and a red panda which was so adorable.

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Lyon is the capital of silk weaving in France and you will discover the “Traboules” (passageways) winding down the hill of the Croix-Rousse where 30.000 silk weavers used to live in the 19th century. There are loads of lovely shops and bars in this area and you could come here in the morning, have a wander around, have lunch and make your way to the Basilica later on. We ended up here in the evening and had some wine before going home but I wish I had a lot more time to explore the city. There were so many places left to visit and so much nice food to sample, such a shame I was only here for the day.

I recommend you get a City Card if you visit Lyon. The card pays for itself quickly as the average price of museum admission is € 7 and a guided tour is10 €. I didn't get one but if you are there for a weekend it would be really handy and public transport is included.

I'm really sad that my little French adventure is over but I'm now counting down the days until I return to Dorset. Only 44 sleeps :)

.

Gemma
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Friday, 10 January 2014

Grenoble - Day 1

I'm currently enjoying a bit of downtime in my friends apartment in Grenoble before heading out to Lyon later today so I thought I would share some photos from my first day in France. My friend Meg is currently living and working here so I'm visiting with another friend Emma. I'm very lucky to have friends all over the UK and the rest of the world which means I get to visit a lot of exciting places.

We initially set out to hitch a rid on the pods to the top of the Bastille to take in the views of Grenoble and the alps but they were out of order. We had to clamber up 3km of steep steps and ramps to get to the top but I think you will agree the views were worth it.

a picture of Grenoble

a picture of Grenoble and the Alps

We have some lovely mountains in Wales but these are a rather special. Can't wait to head up on Saturday and frolic in the snow.

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Grenoble looking particularly beautiful. 

a picture of Grenoble

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On the way back down from the Bastille we discovered the church of St. Laurent. It's a Romanesque church of the twelfth century. It has a sixth century crypt which makes it a unique archaeological site in France. It was also a Benedictine monastery at one point which was of huge interest to me as my dissertation was about monastic life.

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a picture of a stained glass window

After a day of walking we headed to La Fondue for a cheesy treat in the evening. I  ate soooo much cheese. I don't want to see cheese again for a month.

a picture of cheese fondue

I'm off to enjoy the rest of my trip now.


Gemma
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Sunday, 5 January 2014

ghd air - Hair tutorial & review

I bought my old hair dryer because it was cheap and I liked the colour which resulted in me spending forever trying to dry my hair and ending up with a slightly frizzy result. I've got naturally wavy, thick and coarse hair so I was looking forward to trying out the ghd air which promises 'gorgeous hair in half the time' 

a picture of GHD Air hairdryer

The ghd air boasts a 'powerful 2,100W professional-strength motor and patented removable air filter deliver high pressure air flow for super-fast drying, while advanced ionic technology reduces frizz and flyaways to give a smooth salon-style finish in half the time' sounds good, right? The ghd air certainly cut down the time it takes to dry my hair and by using exactly the same products as normal I achieved a slicker result. The variable power and temperature controls and choice of nozzles allows you to achieve a variety if looks and the cool shot button helps to lock the finished style and add shine. 
Another bonus for me is a 3m long power cable that means I can do my hair in front of the mirror and move around as I use it. 

The ghd website has plenty of hair style inspiration if you're looking for a party hairstyle or something for a special occasion like a wedding or prom. I tried out the side sweeper look using my hair dryer and this is how I created the look:

a picture of GHD Air hairdryer hair tutorial waves

  1. The first step is to spray your towel dried hair with heat protector spray
  2. Roughly dry hair until it's about 70% dry
  3. Blow dry hair with brush
  4. Pin top section of hair up and curl the bottom with either straighteners or a wand styler. If you're using straighteners take a small section of hair and place the straighteners towards the root of your hair. With your other hand, wrap the section of hair once around the iron and slowly drag the iron through your hair.
  5. Continue to curl all of your hair from the bottom to the stop
  6. Run your fingers through the curls to break them up for a more natural look and apply plenty of hairspray so the curls don't drop. 
I'm going to practice my blow drying with my new hairdryer but if you want to get that perfect bouncy blow dry look then take a look at this ghd video:



*The hairdryer was provided by ghd and the styler kit currently retails for £95

Gemma
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Friday, 3 January 2014

♥ My 2013 - Part 2 ♥

I had great fun compiling Part 1 a few days ago and even more fun compiling Part 2. I'm amazed at how much I've crammed in since starting a full time job in January this year. Even though I'm a little exhausted at times I think all my train journeys and hours on the road are worth it. I've had such a fantastic time this year and I've already booked a few trips for 2014 so it's shaping up to be another good year.

July

In July I headed up to Warwick to stay at Sarah's lovely home with a few of my best blogging pals and visited the very pretty Warwick Castle and had a picnic at the Proms. I would love some of my blogging friends to come to Cardiff this year, would love to show them around my town and have a girly sleepover in a hotel together. Blogger meet-ups always involve a fair amount or travel for me and most of my blogging pals are based in the Midlands or London so I'm hoping to plan plenty of Cardiff events. I also did a bit of a makeover on my shed and won a competition in the process, can't wait to spend the evening in there this summer.

August

My birthday month is always a little manic and I managed to fit in a trip to Blackpool to see Alice and Danielle. We headed to the sea front to take in the sights and enjoy some tradition seaside fun and had a sleepover with lots of chat and snacks. I went to the Doctor Who Experience for the first time and loved seeing lots of costumes and props from my favourite show. Finally, I attended the wonderful leaving party for my friend Oonagh who moved to Amsterdam to study. It was a night filled with good food, mead and the best company.

September

September was another busy month as I headed to Bestival for the second time  and saw Elton John, Franz Ferdinand and many more play that weekend. I spent the day exploring Brecon and the waterfalls with my boyfriend Martyn and saw my favourite band the Manic Street Preachers play in Newport. 

October

October saw me visit a few cities in the UK. I went to Birmingham to see Suede with Claire which I thoroughly enjoyed as they are one of my favourite bands. I went to the AX Paris party in London and a trip to the Wallace Collection. I also stayed a little closer to home and took some time off to look after Sookie when my mum was on holiday and took her for lots of walks in the surrounding countryside.

November

I spent a lot of November with my boyfriend and we headed to Dorset on our first trip away together. We loved staying at the Stone Barn so much we have booked a holiday there in March but for seven nights instead of two. We explored a lot of the Jurassic coast, enjoyed lots of my home cooking and relaxed at the barn. Very idyllic. I also spent a Sunday at Oxjam in Cardiff and saw my boyfriends band play.

December

I spent December with blogging friends at the Bath meet up, the Clothes Show and Christmas meals with all friends from home. The festive period was spent with my family and Martyn took me on a trip to the Brecon Mountain Railway. New Years Eve was spent with new friends, I've been lucky to meet some lovely people through my boyfriend and I loved sharing New Years Eve with them.
 

I would have to say the highlights of my year were my trip to Norbury, a long weekend in Amsterdam and meeting Martyn (I know, so gross and soppy). I hope you all had a lovely 2013 but I hope 2014 is even better!

Gemma
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