Sunday, 29 November 2015

Winter Warmers

I love nothing more than a long walk on a crisp winter day, taking my dog Sookie out with me where she inevitably gets covered in mud or decided to jump in the river on the coldest day of the year. The best part of it all is returning home and snuggling up in front of a good movie (sadly I don't have a log burning fire) with a hot drink and some shortbread biscuits. Perfection!

I've rounded up some of my favourite picks that are ideal for creating a cosy winter experience. 

1. First up and pretty essential is a warm coat to keep out the cold. I've got my eye on a maroon parka from M and M Direct. It's got a hood to make sure my hair doesn't end up in a mess in the wind and rain and pockets for dog walking essentials like dog treats (and poop bags, ha!|) 

2. My next pick is a ultra soft and over sized scarf from Joules. It is so big it can double up as a shawl, belted in at the waist.

3. I have ALWAYS wanted a Welsh Wool blanket and I love this modern navy and white one which you can pick up from Melin Tregwynt who have been making them for over 100 years. 

4. Whittards Mulled Wine tea is a merry medley of fruit and festive spices, blending blackberry leaves for sweetness, apple for bite and essence of cloves for a fragrance. Perfect for that mulled wine taste without the alcohol content. 

5. You're going to need a mug for your mulled wine tea or hot chocolate with marshmallows and this cute Cathryn Weatherhead one is super cute and is hand printed in Cardiff.

6. TK Maxx is a great place to pick up a candle and I love the sound of this one with a wooden wick that crackles as it burns with a festive spruce scent. 

What are your essentials for a cosy night in or a winter walk? 

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Monday, 23 November 2015

1 dress, 3 ways - #WorkIt with Kaleidoscope

Dress: c/o Kaleidoscope - Boots: Primark - Scarf: charity shop 
Jacket: Topshop - Bag c/o Kaleidoscope

Coat: New Look - Shoes: Clarks

I don't believe in keeping clothes 'for best' or buying things that can only be worn in limited situations. I like to have an interchangeable wardrobe filled with items that I can mix and match and wear for work, a night out or on the weekend. 

This black dress I'm wearing is from the Kaleidoscope workwear  section but I've been wearing it in a variety of ways. It's a great dress for this time of year when you're going out straight after work for Christmas parties or drinks. You really can't go wrong with a 'little black dress' and this one has got a little added interest in the form of the mesh bands running along the hem and neckline which mean it is work appropriate but also fun and eye catching. 

Accessories are the key to wearing a dress in more than one way. I like to keep my outfits mostly black for work with some smart pumps and add colour in the evening with a statement necklace or a bold bag at weekends. 

Do you have a section of your wardrobe exclusively worn just to work or do you like to mix things up?

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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Outfit Post -That 70s Show

photo of a 1970s inspired outfit

Coat: New Look (c/o St David's) - Dress: New Look - Bag: Vivienne Westwood 
Shoes: Primark - Necklace: New Look

picture of a 1970s outfit 2015 UK blogger

I shared a post this time last week on A/W trends and my top picks that are available on the high street at the moment. Browsing all these lovely items online and sharing them on this blog inspired me to take on the trends myself and I combined the 70s and furry trends that seem to be everywhere at the moment. I definitely wasn't going to brave high waisted trousers or a polo neck jumper and suede skirts and boots are no good in South Wales because of all the rain so I chose 70s outerwear for a more subtle and wearable take on this trend. 

I picked up all of my items from St David's in Cardiff (you can read their blog here) and the majority of them came from the New Look Inspire section. I never wear hats and most of my coats are black, waterproof and very practical so I felt like my 70s outfit was a big departure from my normal style. Despite feeling like I stuck out like a sore thumb walking around Newport I also felt very chic and friends a family complimented my new outfit. What do you think?

I've been pretty active on Pinterest recently and created a board with some of my favourite items that fit in with the key fashion trends which you can check out here if you fancy it. There's also lots of homeware pinning going on at the moment because I'm house hunting. Very exciting but also a little draining. Wish me luck!

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Monday, 9 November 2015

Newport Wetlands - Jord Fieldcrest Maple Watch

Dress: Fat Face - Jumper: Fat Face: Watch: c/o Jord - Boots: Spartoo

Jord focus on creating timepieces that are modelled after a modern lifestyle. They value sustainability and efficiency and make their watches for people who don't just have somewhere to be, they have somewhere to go. This ethos prompted me to get up and go and explore my local area, connect with the outdoors and make the most of my day off instead of staying in and watching junk TV.

I headed to the RSBP Wetlands in Newport and I think my watch blended in with the surroundings beautifully. Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. There are spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

I love the understated design of my watch and this looks great with a casual outfit or can be a focal point with a simple and modern outfit. The watch I'm wearing is the Jord Fieldcrest made from a soft coloured Maple. It's surprising light for a watch that is made from wood and makes a real statement, I've had lots of compliments whenever I wear it as it's so unusual and unique. It also makes a beautiful alternative to the severe black band of the Daniel Wellington watch I wear on most days or my more dainty watches. I like the idea that all the watches are unique and the grain of the wood will be slightly different on each watch. 

Are you a watch wearer? Let me know what you think about my Jord watch in the comments below.
Mens Wooden Watches

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Monday, 2 November 2015

The St David's AW15 Trend Report

AW15 is set to be a season to remember, and I've teamed up with the guys at St David’s Shopping Centre in Cardiff which is my usual shopping haunt to give you a breakdown of the top trends and how you can achieve the look.

Bohemia is back! The fashion week catwalks, and now the rails, are teaming with fringes, A-line miniskirts, suede and a range of folksy prints.
Get the look: purchase some key pieces that will work with your existing wardrobe. A suede skirt is a great place to start.
Dress: M&S £49.50 - Skirt: New Look £49.99 - Cardigan: Primark £14 - Boots: Dune £169
A hint of gothic style will win you extra trend points this season! Bow collars, lace and a deep berry lipstick should do the trick.
Get the look: drama is key for this look, so by choosing a statement piece, such as a jacket or laced blouse, paired with a strong lip, the look can easily be achieved.

Dress: Debenhams £rk  - Lipstick: M&S £10- Blouse: Primakr £10- Dress: M&S £65
Crimson, Scarlet, Pillar-box. Whatever shade you choose, red is in abundance this season. A head to toe red ensemble will ensure you stand out from the crowd
Get the look: remember to keep it simple. Choose a key item for your wardrobe, such as a dress or coat, and wear it with pride.

Jumpsuit: Wallis £45 - Boots: New Look £44.99 - Dress: John Lewis £69 - Skirt: Primark £8
It’s all about the textures this season. Wherever you turn, your AW outerwear will be adorned with faux fur and other tactile fabrics.
Get the look: pick a gorgeous jacket or coat that will take you through the colder months. Fur, sheepskin and shearling textures will keep you warm and chic!
Coat: M&S £95 - Scarf: Accessorize £32- Gilet: New Look £24.99 - Boots: Primark £15

It's definitely time to get the 100 denier tights out and swap the coral lipstick for a deep berry tone. What A/W items have you treated yourself to? I've dug out a trusty old black lace dress and my winter boots but I desparately need a smart new winter coat.

I'm excited to be taking over the St David's Instagram account this week so please head over there and say hello so it's a bit less scary for me. I've not done anything like this before, eeeek!

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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Autumn Recipe - Dorset Apple Cake

I love to taking my baking into work. There's only myself and Martyn at home and if I bake I end up eating cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner before it goes stale. By taking it into work I get all the fun of baking but without eating cake until I'm about to burst. My boss knows I love to bake and had a glut of apples in his garden this year and tasked me with finding a way to use them in a bake. I didn't want to make a crumble or a pie so I delved into some of my recipe books and came across a recipe for Dorset Apple Cake. It is so perfectly Autumnal and fills the house with the most amazing spiced smell.


225g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
225g Bramley or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
100g sultanas
115g unsalted butter, diced and chilled, plus extra for greasing
115g light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
6-8 tbsp milk
2 tbsp demerara sugar


Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

Mix the flour and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour using your fingers, until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the light brown sugar. Beat in the egg followed by 6 - 8 tbsp of milk until you get a smooth, thick batter.

Add the apples and sultanas and mix to combine. Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and gently level out. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool further.

Best served still warm with a little custard. (I like a lot of custard, so thick you can slice it)

This cake is typically baked in a deep round tin but I didn't have one of those, I'm one for breaking the rules anyway... Let me know if you try baking this cake yourself. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

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