Friday, 29 March 2013

Speccy Four Eyes

I started needed glasses when I was ten. I used to sit at the back of the classroom (badass, right?) and kept finding the swiggly writing on the board more and more difficult to read. I used to go up to the front of the class with my workbook to copy notes from the board at the end of a lesson. I didn't want to admit that I needed glasses. In fact, I struggled through until high school before I realised I really did need glasses. I know a lot of people who say, oh I always wanted to wear glasses as a kid. I was not one of those people. I hated the idea of wearing glasses. For four years I would carry them around in a little glasses case and just get them out when I needed them; in class, waiting for the bus, watching tv. I ended up having this little glasses case in my hard a lot of the time. I would never, ever wear them all the time. My option had told me I couldn't have contact lenses until I was 16, but I knew lots of people at school who had them. I was persistent. So at 15, I finally, finally got contacts. And I never looked back. I hated the way I looked with glasses, and they were reserved only for the end of the day and early morning before I had my contacts in. For a long time the only people who saw me in glasses were people who had stayed over at my house or lived with me. Even when I went to the expense of hours in the opticians picking the right pair, I still refused to wear them. It actually wasn't until about 2 years ago that I found a pair that I felt comfortable wearing. I also think part of it is to do with the fact that glasses have become "cool" in recent years (thanks, hipsters). Now I wear my glasses a couple of times a week, but I'm still fussy. I only wear them when my hair is a certain way and with certain makeup, but I've definitely come to enjoy wearing glasses more. One thing that I do love is the fact that you can have multiple pairs for different outfits and occasions. Until I was approached by Firmoo for a new pair of glasses I'd only ever bought them from the opticians. I'd never taken advantage of buying glasses online. I was always too scared of them not being right. These babies, however, are awesome. I rung my opticians for a copy of my prescription, chose my glasses and they were here within 2 days! I chose this pair because of the tortoise shell/leopardy style. My love for leopard print is no secret! It's nice to have a change from my usual glasses.
trousersNew Look
necklaceForever 21
heelsMarks and Spencers
glasses- c/o Firmoo
I apologise for the lack of updates this week. I had a chilled out Monday because I'd finished my photography course, Tuesday I went for a meal with my friend Eve as an early birthday treat (I had a voucher for a free meal!), Wednesday I worked late because I had so much to do, and last night I went out for a meal (another freebie!) after work with my work friends and then we went for a drink. I have so much to sort out today though-thank god it's a bank holiday! I have my last session of 6 Week 6 Pack to do today (review soon!), an article for Duluth Superior Magazine to write, packing for Amsterdam tomorrow and then we're going out for a nice lunch (with cake!) as an early birthday treat. I can't believe it's finally my birthday slash Amsterdam day tomorrow! I'm so excited! Neither myself nor Ellen have been to Amsterdam before so we can't wait to go explore. I'm going to have a lot of blogging to catch up with when I get back; 6 week 6 pack review, birthday post, Amsterdam post and a load of other posts I need to fit in! I'm hoping going away will give me some time to get away and relax though so I can come back feeling refreshed. I've definitely felt the opposite of refreshed lately!
Please send any more Amsterdam recommendations my way and I'll see you when I get back (and when I'm 23, whee!)

Charlotte x

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Embracing the Cold

I'm sorry but how good is my bun in these photos? I never get it that neat! Unfortunately after literally 30 seconds outside later in the day the wind absolutely destroyed it!
About a month ago I decided it was Spring. I decided to give up on buying anything for the winter season and focus my attentions on floral dresses and pastels. Items it clearly isn't warm enough to be wearing yet. It came to a head with the idea of a mint leather jacket. I decided I needed one. But in a chilly March with snow still on the ground mint leather jackets are few and far between. The only one I managed to find was a size large and when it arrived it was way, way too big. It looked silly. But I really really wanted it. But I've been here before. Every year I find myself getting prematurely excited about the new season and buying a load of things in my excitement which I then find cheaper or nicer elsewhere a few months later. I know there will be other mint leather jackets, ones that fit me better and make me feel good (god this is becoming a metaphor for my life!) but I just haven't found it yet. But there will be one in the future. I just have to wait. (Who knew you could compare your love life to a mint leather jacket? It's a skill).
jeans- Topshop
tartan shirt- Motel via ebay
jumper-  New Look
necklace- c/o Adorning Ava
boots- New Look
Anyway, to make me feel better (marginally!) about the weather, I decided to embrace the last few weeks (hopefully!) of winter. Remember this post? Yeah well I reread that and decided to embrace winter. Okay, that's a little strong, but I decided to try to enjoy wearing my favourite wintery pieces for the next few weeks. Because the truth is I do miss winter wear when it gets warmer. I miss tights and knits and tartan and leather and furry jackets. So for the next few weeks I'm going to try try to enjoy wearing my wintery pieces for another few weeks and restrain myself from getting too excited about summery pieces! 
Let's hope this horrible weather is over soon! I think I'm going to be packing thermals for Amsterdam next weekend!

Charlotte x

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Floral Shirt Mark Two

Remember how I said you were going to get sick of seeing this shirt? Yep, here it is again. This was actually the first time I wore it and I definitely have loads of other ideas for it. Got to keep getting the cost per wear down, right? I can't wait to wear it in the Spring. Speaking of which, SPRING WHERE ARE YOU? I am getting so sick of wearing my coat all the time and I know it wasn't this cold last year (I have photos of last year's outfits as proof!). I've already starting buying pretty floral dresses and pastel pieces for the new season- I just wish I could wear them!
floral shirt- Monsoon
grey leather jacket- c/o New Look
jeans- Topshop
flats- H&M
necklace- Forever 21
Life is super busy at the moment so I have to be honest and say I don't have an awful lot to say! I'm trying to grab as much time to focus on myself as possible. Lots of Jillian Michaels, lots of reading (I finally finished War and Peace!) and lots of time with friends. I can't believe it's my birthday in less than two weeks! And I go to Amsterdam on my birthday for 4 days. I can't wait!
Have a lovely evening!

Charlotte x

Thursday, 14 March 2013

An Investment

I estimate that the majority of the items in my wardrobe cost around £30. Maybe even less. Truth is, I'm a cheapskate and I'm all about quantity over quality. Yeah I know you're not supposed to say that but it's true. I'd rather have ten £20 dresses than one £200 dress, or a cheaper shirt in three different colours than one more expensive one. I love Primark, H&M and anywhere else where I know I can get a new dress with change for £40. I probably have about ten items in my wardrobe that cost me over £50; a couple of Zara blazers, some of my coats and my Jones and Jones dresses, but usually if I look at the price tag of something and it's over £40, it's not going to happen. Which is where this blouse comes in.
shirt- Monsoon
skirt- Boohoo
blazer- H&M
heels- Marks and Spencers
necklace- Forever 21
It all started a few weeks ago. I'd popped into Accessorize at Piccadilly and the girl in the shop was wearing this shirt. As I paid for my earring I asked her where it was from, and it was of course from Monsoon. So off I popped over to Monsoon where I found the shirt. And it's £48 price tag. No chance. So a few weeks went by and I thought about it from time to time, but it wasn't until my friend Eve came round for our tea party a few weeks ago wearing a similar blue floral shirt that I really considered it. It ticked a lot of boxes- blue (good colour for the new season), light enough for spring (I'm starting to avoid wintery pieces now), perfect for with jeans at the weekend, and most importantly, could be wprn for work. I started to plan a variety of outfits; with a light blue skirt for spring, over blue or black jeans, with leather shorts and a blazer, with maroon trousers, with coral jeans, with trousers and a blazer for work... I knew it would be something I would wear over and over again. So I caved. I've already worn it three times so expect to be seeing this shirt a lot. I'm considering it an investment.
What are your investment pieces?

Charlotte xxx

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea. A great British tradition. Any excuse to drink lots of tea and eat cake as a meal. And tiny little sandwiches with the crusts cut off. And in our case, a glass or so of wine and good company. Bloody lovely. 
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably already met Sian, my blogging best friend. And her Dad, Mr Thomas, is a baker! So when she offered me some lovely baked treats from her Dad's bakery, I couldn't exactly say no, could I? When the box arrived it was like Christmas in our house, with all of us gathered around oohing and ahhing as each thing was unwrapped. The box contained a Yorkshire brack, a lemon drizzle cake (my favourite!), some flapjack (my Dad's favourite!) some strawberry preserve, jammy biscuits and some millionaire's shortbread. But how to make the most of the box of treats? I didn't want to just leave them around the house because they wouldn't last long with my Dad around (sorry Dad!) and we wanted to do something special, so my Mum suggested afternoon tea. We invited my friend Eve over, baked some scones (for the jam!), made some cute little sandwiches and had an afternoon of sugar overload and fun. 
Everything we had was absolutely lovely. My favourite were the jammy biscuits and the jam! I had to scrape the chocolate off my millionaire's shortbread as you can see above because I gave chocolate up for lent! After we'd finished eating we played a bit of a game. Thomas the Bakers are now selling online so we played a little guessing game. We all had a piece of paper and we all had to guess the prices of each of the items we had. Surprisingly, everything was actually cheaper than we expected. Plus we had loads! My Dad had supplies for the next few days, Eve took some things home and I was definitely in the good books at work on Monday morning!
If you want to sample some of the wonderful things Thomas the Bakers have online, you can get a 10% discount online using the code BLOGGER10  until the 17th March. Afternoon tea was a great way to hang out with my friends and family instead of the usual meals out or cinema trips, and an excuse to get out my Nan's fancy china!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Black, White and Spotty all over

Can I just tell you how much I love this dress? My Mum bought it first and I really, really liked it, but I needed a different size. I umm-ed and ahh-ed over it for ages. I mean, did we really need the same dress in two slightly different sizes in the same house? But then one of the girls on my training course was wearing it with a blazer and heels and it just looked so nice and so smart that I caved. It's great for when I have plans after work because I feel professional but nice. These photos are from a couple of weeks ago when I met Oli for dinner after work. He's currently doing his Masters at Manchester University so I met him in town after a day in the library for him and a day at work for me. We went to Luck Lust Liquor and Burn in the Northern Quarter which was fab, so if you're looking for great mexican food in Manchester I'd definitely recommend it!

polka dot dress- Next
blazer- Zara
heels- Marks and Spencers
necklace- Forever 21

I've had a really quiet few days and even though I've got a million and one things to be getting on with, I hate being bored! You know when you have a really busy week and you think "God, I need a break" so you keep the following week free? Yeah well I did that, but it's only Wednesday and I'm already bored out of my mind. So, I called my friend Eve at 6pm after a long day at work and asked her to come round later, and I also made plans with my friend Shaunagh for Friday. I still have War and Peace to finish, a load of blog posts to get written up, emails to sort out and a project for my photography class, but I find I get so much more done when I'm busy. I miss being at uni when you always had a friend in the house to hang out with, but saying that, Eve has practically been living at my house lately. I call her "my other boyfriend." 
I've got a blog post about the afternoon tea party I had on Sunday to go up tomorrow, so I'll see you then!

Charlotte x

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Like a rolling stone

girl next door fashion outfit
Yes I am wearing purple panda socks. Definitely forgot to change into black ones!
girl next door fashion outfit
girl next door fashion outfit
I'm being really, really naughty posting these today. I have a grand total of three other outfits photographed, edited and ready to go up, dating back from about 3 weeks ago. And a makeup post. And two other posts. But I thought just once, for a change, I would blog something I'm actually wearing as I type. Plus, I love this outfit and couldn't wait to share.
girl next door fashion outfit
girl next door fashion outfit
First of all, let's talk about the shoes. THE SHOES. Hang on, back up. Let's just take another look at those babies...
girl next door fashion outfit
It all started on my lunch break on Thursday. I was reading blogs and fell in love with this coat on Carrie's blog. I emailed the link to my Mum and she said she thought the fit on the ASOS model looked baggy, so I started a one-woman hunt for the perfect little red coat. Anyway, I found this one from Boohoo and also loved the shoes the model was wearing. Big, fat chunky lace up boots. So before I knew it the coat, boots and a necklace were on there way to me, thanks to the magic of Next Day Delivery. When I came home from work yesterday my package had arrived, but unfortunately I didn't love the coat or the necklace. The boots however! I was about 15 minutes away from being picked up for dinner by my boyfriend so I put them on right away and decided that no matter what, these boots would be part of my outfit. And they are amazing. They are super duper high (5 inches I believe), but believe me, you don't feel that. In fact the only way I knew I'd grown to 5'9 was when the world had a much better view and I didn't have to stand on my tiptoes to kiss Oli! Last night I just paired them with a floral dress, tights and a leather jacket (I need more dresses to throw on after work for dinner dates!) but this outfit came to me last night. It's proper 80s punk throw back but I love that about it. When I came up with it I also thought, "this is such a typical front-page-of-Lookbook-outfit." Except I don't have the token bandy legs that don't meet at the top that seem to be a prerequisite to Lookbook success. And my boots are Boohoo, not Jeffry Campbell.
girl next door fashion outfit
girl next door fashion outfit 
blazer- ebay
rolling stones tshirt- Walmart (circa 2007!)
jeans- Topshop (Leigh)
boots- Boohoo
all jewellery- ASOS
lipstick- Revlon Matte Really Red
girl next door fashion outfit 
I apologise for the massive differences in location and lighting in these photos. I thought this outfit was too edgy for standard garden photos but I wanted to take advantage of being able to take photos outfit, not just against the wall which is all I have time for in the morning. The problem is I don't really have anywhere to go at home that's private. Long time readers might remember my spot outfit my apartment in Duluth, my brick wall opposite my flat in Birmingham and my wall in New Jersey. Back home, I don't have anywhere private within walking distance, so I started taking photos outfit my house. However, within ten minutes, four of my neighbours came outside and I got all self conscious and stopped. So I took all my detail shots inside. The lighting is also all messed up too because I was trying to do it quickly so I didn't adjust my camera setting properly. That was even more frustrating because some of the stuff I needed to do with these I actually learned this week at my photography class and I wanted to use it! I could have waited until later on, but I like to take my outfits photos as soon as I am dressed (which comes with a whole host of problems at weekends when I don't finish getting ready til about 11 and the lighting is the worst!), mainly because by the time I get back from doing things I've usually gotten bored and licked all my lipstick of and wrecked my hair!
girl next door fashion outfit
What're you up to this weekend? I've got a quiet one planned after last weekend. I hit my targets at work again yesterday so I had a great day, and then Oli and I went for dinner and came home and watched Breaking Bad. Today I've just been getting bits of stuff done and I think it will be a film and an early night tonight. Sometimes after a busy week at work I just need a quiet one!
Have a lovely Saturday!

Charlotte x