Sunday, 27 April 2014

Day to Night with Duo Boots

When I worked at my old job, I always wore heels to work. Well, that's not strictly true. I always wore heels at work. I came to work in flats/boots/Uggs (it happened) and then changed into the trusty pair of heels I kept under my desk when I got to work. I'm not sure what happened, but when I started at AO, I stopped wearing heels for work. Part of this is that leaving my old job also coincided with the acceptance that my old faithful heels were in fact falling to pieces. But other than that I'm not sure why. Maybe it's that I work on the 2nd floor at work and spend a lot more time running up and down stairs than I did at my old job, or maybe it's because a lot of the girls don't really wear heels for work at AO and that our dress code is a little bit more relaxed, or maybe it's because the walk to the train station is just about doable in heels but still much more appealing in flats. Anyway, when I got these boots from Duo boots, they asked me to do a little day-to-night feature wearing them. Initially I was just going to wear them with a normal daytime outfit, but the reality is, I don't really wear heels at the weekend either! So because I spend most of my "day" time at work, I decided to pair them with an outfit I wear a lot for work. You might recognise this dress as the same as this one, but in blue. I also have it in orange. I've developed a real habit lately of buying the same thing in multiple colours. Hey, if you like something, why not?
dress- Topshop
blazer- Zara
necklace- Topshop
boots- c/o Duo Boots
And speaking of buying things in multiple colours... yes it's my beloved Jones and Jones Audrey dress. You might known I have it in red, black, white and yellow. I also got it in pink for my birthday! These dresses are my go-to for going out (and I've just seen they've got it in blue now, urgh, want) so I thought I would show you a real night outfit that I wear regularly! I quite like a girly dress with boots and a leather jacket and I think these boots will be much better for the cobbles of Manchester than stilettos! I also added my new favourite red lipstick. I copied Carrie and ordered this Sephora lip stain online. It does need a few touch ups throughout the day but it's definitely the longest-lasting lip colour I've tried!
dress- c/o Jones and Jones
leather jacket- Boohoo
On Friday I had the wedding of my oldest friend, Katy. Her Mum is my Godmother so we grew up together and it was lovely but so weird to see her getting married! Little Katy getting married! It was such a great day though. I always love a good wedding and because we are family friends we knew loads of people there. Plus Phil came in the evening so I got to introduce him to people and we had a dance and a laugh. And of course, we got the obligatory wedding photo:
And of course the "fun in the photobooth" photo:
It was so much fun and Katy looked beautiful. I'm really excited for her future with Jonny! On Saturday I had an unexpected lie-in and went for a long(ish!) run. I've got the Great Manchester Run in a few weeks (the first race I ever signed up for before I'd even started running!) which I'm like semi-training for but also just hoping to have a good time and enjoy the atmosphere. After this, no more racing til September! I need some time to really enjoy running for pleasure again. Last night I went out with two of the girls from work (actually my manger and my former manager!) and we went bowling, had some cocktails and went for tapas. It was a lovely evening! Today has been quiet. I made Phil and I shakshouka for the first time for brunch, and then we watched the Liverpool v Chelsea game through our fingers (Phil is a big Liverpool fan and I've really enjoyed following them lately cause I'm a Stockport County fan through and through, but we've been so shocking in recent years it's been nice to watch good football!) and then I left him alone to sulk afterwards! I've just had a delicious chickpea and peach curry for dinner, make African Sweet Potato stew for my lunches at work for the week and popped some Nutella protein bars in the fridge so I call that a successful Sunday! Now for pajamas and my book!

Hope you've had a great weekend!

Charlotte x

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Unco-ordinated

I love co-ords, I really do. I love the look of a gorgeous little cropped tshirt with a matching pencil skirt, and the fact that you're basically adding three new items to your wardrobe- a skirt, a top and the dress-combo. The problem is co-ords really don't love me. I mean really don't love me. In the last two weeks I have purchased two sets of co-ords. Turns out, they look bloody hideous on me. Maybe it was the co-ords that I chose (both of the pencil skirts I chose were stupidly long and unflattering, and the tops were too long so any shape I had was hidden), but I feel like I've got them out of my system a bit. Well except for the tops. Both of which I kept. See I don't really have a lot of tops. I have a lot of blouses, but when it comes to tops I basically have tshirts or my well-loved black and white striped Primark tee. So I ended up with two separate pieces, just no separates. But while the skirt that matched this top was awful, the top itself is absolutely gorgeous. 
top- Oasis
skirt- Boohoo
shoes- Topshop
necklace- Topshop
lipstick- MAC Impassioned
Another new addition to my wardrobe is this skirt. I now have it in black, blue, pink and green. If I like something, I tend to buy it in multiple different colours. And especially when it's £8. This is actually the outfit I wore on Easter Sunday. I had a completely blissful Easter weekend where I really, totally and utterly relaxed. So much so that at work today when people asked me what I did this weekend I completely blanked. There has been a lot of running (I'm finally enjoying it again and getting my speed back up to where it was before my half marathon training, plus I LOVE my new trainers!), lots of yummy food (Phil and I went to Pieminister on Saturday. Ah-mazing) and a lot of napping! I also went to see The Amazing Spiderman 2 yesterday with Phil's parents, which I highly recommend!
Other than that, life is quiet, in a good way. Work is keeping me busy, but good busy. I absolutely love working in social media. Plus I have Katy's wedding on Friday-I can't wait!

Hope your Tuesday has been wonderful, especially when you've realised it's not Monday!

Charlotte x

Friday, 18 April 2014

Holiday Essentials with Marks and Spencers: Part 2

So I'm back from Amsterdam! I had a lovely, but very busy weekend. A trip with 28 other women was always going to be a bit of a challenge! Now, the first thing to mention is that my capsule wardrobe didn't quite go to plan! What I didn't mention in my last post (because I thought the bride might be reading!) was that in true Hen Party style, we all had tshirts! We ended up wearing these all day Friday and most of Saturday, so I didn't get a chance to snap my lovely summery dress until Sunday.
One thing I enjoyed most about my trip was that I managed to do a few things I didn't get to do when I was last there. With any city you can't do everything in a few days and although Ellen and I did a lot when we went last year, there were a couple of things I wanted to cross off my list. On Saturday we went on a canal cruise, which as it was sub zero when we went last year, wasn't really an option. And on Saturday night we went to a cocktail making class at the House of Bols which was ridiculously good fun! First we did a self-guided tour of the building and learned about the different tastes and scents in cocktails, and then chose a drink for the bartenders to make us, then our group was taken upstairs to the cocktail making class. It was a huge room with a dozen little bar areas set out and we all got to watch the bartender make a drink and then we each got to make it and drink it! We got to make three in total- the first one was a mixed drink, second was a muddled drink and third was a shaken drink. It was so much fun!
On Sunday, nobody really had any collective plans. On the plane out we had been sat next to a Dutch gentleman, who pointed out the tulip fields as we came into land in Schiphol. Now last time I went to Amsterdam it was a really brutally cold winter, and none of the tulips were out, and I had always been disappointed that I missed them. So we decided if we got any free time on Sunday before our flight we would try to go see them. So while everyone else was still in bed, we got up bright and early, suitcases in tow, to get a metro, then a train, then a bus to the Keukenhof (fortunately I am always chief navigator on trips so I got it sorted out!). And this was where we decided to take photos of my beautiful Marks and Spencers dress... (edit: Majorly photo heavy, sorry not sorry. TULIPS!)
Oh it's pretty much impossible to get a full-length photo without getting a dozen tourists in the background
I've decided to leave most of my flower pictures unedited because they were already so beautiful

denim jacket- New Look
necklace- Topshop
sunglasses- H&M
lipstick- MAC Russian Red
As I said in my last post, I wore this Marks and Spencer's dress with these Marks and Spencer's shoes. I was a little bit cold (I did have tights on!) but I think this dress will be so perfect for the summer. I am also a little bit obsessed with orange at the moment! I would love to wear this with white converse for day and nude shoes for the evening with a little orange cardigan. It's also a perfect fit. I was a little worried because the dress I wanted was no longer available, so I asked for this one, but I was concerned because it is a petite. At 5'4" I'm a little bit too tall for most petite ranges and I didn't want this to be indecent. However it is a great length! I find most M&S dresses are a little longer anyway so I might start browsing their petite range more often. Also, I love M&S shoes because they do half sizes! I'm normally a 6 but my shoes are always too big, so a 5.5 is perfect. I also wore my M&S beauty products on my trip. While I didn't love the mascara (it was fine with a few layers of They're Real over the top but it wasn't standout on its own, although it is waterproof), I really liked the mattifying primer and it held my makeup well most of the day and my face didn't go shiny. I'm always on the lookout for new primers so I might repurchase this when I run out of Smashbox.
Well it's four day weekend time so let me get back to my busy schedule of doing nothing!
Have a great one!

Charlotte x

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Holiday Essentials with Marks and Spencers: Part 1

A few weeks ago Marks and Spencer's got in touch asking me if I would like to get involved in their Holiday Essentials Campaign, and asked if I was going on holiday in March/April time. Now usually by this time of the year I have my holidays all planned out (I had four last year!) but this year, with the exception of a trip to Ireland with my parents and Whitby with Phil's parents, I don't have any real holidays planned at all. I was about to give up when I remembered that I'm off to a hen do in Amsterdam this weekend! As some of you might remember I went to Amsterdam last year for my birthday, so I'm really excited to go back. Plus I think it might be little different from my trip last year when Ellen and I did the Anne Frank house, the Van Gough exhibit and were home in bed every night by 9.30pm.

Now with it only being a weekend trip, we're only taking hand luggage, so I needed to create a little capsule wardrobe for my trip. I decided to choose this pretty orange and white dress and orange ballet flats from Marks and Spencer's and build the rest of my wardrobe around an orange and white colour scheme. I've also added a leopard print dress and black heels as the theme for Saturday night is leopard print!


My Capsule Wardrobe
I always try not to bring too much when I go away, and my rule for this trip was no more than two pairs of shoes! I don't need more than two pairs for 3 days! I'm also not entirely sure if two jackets and two knits is excessive. I've added in a few of my beauty essentials but obviously I'll be bringing all my other beauty and hair stuff (I hope there's enough room in my suitcase!). To demonstrate how my capsule wardrobe is going to work, I've put together all the individual outfits that I'm planning to wear each day...

Day One: Travelling and First Night
Our flight isn't til nearly 6pm on Friday, so I'm planning just to wear jeans, a cardigan and my trench coat for the trip. I'm always a bit chilly on the plane! The evening is going to be a pretty chilled one with just a few drinks and snacks, so I'm just going to swap my flats for heels and throw on my leather jacket.

Saturday Daytime: Exploring the city
On Saturday we're going to be exploring the city so I'm going for a pretty summery dress and of course, flat shoes. My coat and cardigan might accompany me too, just in case! With a long day out, I'm also hoping that Marks and Spencer's Autograph primer keeps my makeup looking great all day!
Saturday Night: Cocktail making!
As I said, the theme for Saturday night is leopard print, which is no problem for me! I'll be wearing a leopard dress (not this exact one, but a similar one!), black heels and my trusty leather jacket. I'll also be using my favourite Urban Decay palette, the Smoked palette, and Autograph Waterproof Mascara. We're going to a cocktail making class before a night on the town which sounds a lot of fun!
Sunday: Coming home
Yep it's a real whistlestop tour! We're coming back home on Sunday, so I've just swapped the simple orange cardigan for a snuggly jumper which I think will be ideal for a sleepy Sunday. I'm sticking with flats again too cause in Amsterdam you never know which direction a bike or a tram might come at you!

Stay tuned for photos of my outfits when I get back from my trip!

Charlotte x
Edit: All other items from my Polyvore sets can be found here!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Singin' in the Rain

striped top- Primark
leather jacket- Boohoo
necklace- Topshop
skirt- c/o Rare London
wellies- Hunter
Do you know when you have a really great idea for blog photos and they just don't really work? That's kind of what happened here. I wasn't initially planning on wearing my wellies but it was raining outside so I popped them on to walk to the shops and quite liked how they looked. And then I decided if I was going to take photos with my wellies on I should really be outside. But that I would need my umbrella. Which looks like the kind of umbrella you might find accompanied by a ten year old girl. So all in all, I'm not totally sure about these photos. I do quite like this outfit though. I love a bright floral print and I love me some mixed prints. However it wasn't very wet for the rest of the day so I felt a bit daft in wellies. They're also super heavy and walking in them can be a bit of a challenge!
Thank you for all your birthday wishes. I've had a lovely, but busy week. Thankfully, this weekend has been fairly quiet. I had my first run since my race yesterday (it wasn't great! My body was like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WE RAN 13 MILES TWO WEEKS AGO!") and then had my hair cut and coloured and had a much-needed night in with Phil. Today we went shopping for new trainers for me as my lovely £18 Reeboks have done over 400 miles now and were in desperate need of replacing. I went to have my gait analysis at Sweatshop and chose a bright pink New Balance pair. I've been out in them today and it's been a bit weird running in new trainers, but Sweatshop have a 30 days guarantee which is great if they're not right. Definitely recommend going to get a fitting- buying new trainers is so intimidating!
Hope your weekend has been lovely!

Charlotte x

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Twenty Four.

It was my twenty fourth Birthday on Sunday. Yay birthdays! Despite having had twenty four of them now, I still get very, very excited about my birthday- my friend Kris says I'm the only person she knows over the age of 18 who still gets super excited about their birthday. I blame being an only child. And the daughter of an only child (my Mum is just as bad). This year, with my birthday being on a Sunday, I ended up having a kind-of birthday weekend. Not that I'm complaining! Here's what I got up to...

Friday
I went for breakfast at work on Friday morning and when I got back I was greeted with party poppers and the entire marketing department clapping and cheering. Oh and my desk looked like this! I brought treats for the marketing department as a thank you.
Then, in the afternoon, we went out for lunch and I was surprised with a bowl of ice cream with a candle in (with everybody singing Happy Birthday!) and my card and presents! My team got me a little ducky for my desk and an Um Bongo jumper! I'd only mentioned the afternoon before that I'd always wanted an Um Bongo tshirt so god knows how they got it so fast!
Not brilliant photos, but on Friday night Phil and I went out for dinner so I could use my Las Iguanas free birthday meal. We ended up getting a LOT of food (mmm guacamole) and I got a free birthday cocktail!

Saturday
On Saturday Phil and I went to Alton Towers. It was the best day ever. We went on The Smiler twice, front row both times (fast passes are so worth it!), Sonic Spinball, Hex, Oblivion, Rita and Thirteen. We couldn't resist buying these pictures. The Rita picture is Phil's keyring and I bought the Smiler picture for my room. 



Sunday (Birthday day!)
Now the rubbish thing about my birthday was that I was actually kind of poorly all day. I had started to feel sick when we arrived at Alton Towers on Saturday and had a terrible night's sleep Saturday night. I ended up feeling horribly nauseated all through my birthday and well into Monday and even today. It did put a dampener on the day a little bit, but I'd planned on a quiet day anyway. I started the day giving my Mum her Mother's Day presents while we waited for my Dad to get back from playing golf (I wasn't allowed to open presents until he got back). I did very well this year! Here's what I got!
I'd asked for Insanity and the books, but the dress, soup maker and kindle case were a surprise (mine broke a few days ago so my Mum bought me the exact same one because I love it!). The Picture of Dorian Gray is my favourite book so I really wanted the leatherbound, hardback copy. It's beautiful. I can't wait to get through my 125 Weekends in Europe book too. I spent most of the day resting and feeling rubbish while drinking a tonne of hot water with lemon, ginger and honey while some of the family came to visit. Phil came round in the evening after he'd watched the Liverpool game (he's a huge Liverpool fan so he was over the moon at the result!) and brought my presents! 
The big print is made up of the entirety of The Picture of Dorian Gray. It is absolutely stunning. I asked him to get me this but he got it framed for me. It's beautiful. He also got me this Breaking Bad print. I love these prints- I first shared them with Phil after reading about them on Buzzfeed. They're done by a Hungarian artist and he has created a print based around every episode of Breaking Bad. Phil says it took him ages to choose but he eventually went for this one, season 1, episode 4.
He also got me Twister, to continue our tradition of buying each other a board game for every birthday and Christmas, and this Arrested Development necklace.
I had booked a table at my favourite restaurant for dinner weeks before, but as I felt so rubbish I wasn't sure if I would be okay to go. In the end, after all my ginger and honey drinks, I was feeling well enough to go. I managed to enjoy some bread and vinegar, along with this delicious prawn skewer. They also brought me out a pudding with a candle in, but I couldn't eat it because I gave up chocolate for lent, but I ate the ice cream and my family and Phil enjoyed helping with the pudding!
All in all, despite being ill, I had a lovely lovely birthday. I am really excited for twenty four. Twenty three was one of my favourite ages yet. Leaving a job I didn't love, finding my dream job, meeting Phil, starting to run, completing a half marathon. Let's see what 24 brings.

Charlotte x