17.01.2018- Most Wanted: New Season Marks and Spencer

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Whilst I've never really bought into all of the 'New Year, New You' hype which accompanies the start of the year (seriously, it's January, you'll be lucky if you can extricate me from underneath the duvet), the promise of a fresh twelve months in prospect does bring with it a certain sense of optimism, which I suppose is best capitalised on early doors. With that in mind, over the last couple of weeks I've tackled a batch of tidying up in an attempt to be a little bit more organised during the year to come, and have also been on the lookout for some fresh style staples to bridge the gap between winter and spring in my wardrobe- and have been bowled over by what Marks and Spencer have on offer at the moment: 

Striped Round Neck Jumper, £35/Floral Print Long Sleeve Shirt, £35/Striped Trousers, £27.50/Wool Rich Peacoat, £159/Leather Block Heel Brogues, £49.50/Round Sunglasses, £15/Printed Cross Body Bag, £27.50, all Marks and Spencer. 

This round neck knit offers the perfect splash of colour for any transitional wardrobe, and is a style which is an instant classic- as ideal for spring as it is for the autumn. Another spring essential comes in the shape of this printed shirt, which I think would be great for layering under knits over the next couple of weeks, and then teaming with jeans for a more relaxed spring look as the weather warms up a little bit. 

In an effort to stay away from jeans during the week as much as possible, recently I've been on the lookout for some smarter trousers for my work wardrobe. This navy striped pair are just the sort of style I've been looking for for a while now, and at under £30 I'm sure that I'll be snapping them up after payday- especially as they'd work really well for a casual weekend look too. With smart staples on the brain, how glorious is this pea coat? Regular readers will know that anything navy gets a massive thumbs up from me, and this style is really elegant- classic whilst still modern at the same time- definitely one to save the pennies for. 

It's rare that I reach for anything other than trainers as far as footwear is concerned, but I'm hoping that this year I'll be able to find some smarter shoes which don't come with blisters as standard! These brogues look like they could be quite promising, and the silver shade makes them ideal for pairing with lots of my existing wardrobe staples. With a (hopefully) bright spring in prospect, these sunglasses are a great option for updating your old favourites- much like this lovely floral print cross body bag. Fingers crossed spring arrives swiftly!

What's on your new season shopping list?

(Image credit: Marks and Spencer.)

15.01.2018- On My Bookshelf #3

Monday, 15 January 2018

If one of your resolutions for the year ahead is to read more, then we are most definitely on the same page. There are few things I enjoy more than picking up a book, but sadly it's one of those hobbies which tends to fall a little bit by the wayside during the week, especially as I'm guilty of being quite glued to my phone on the daily commute, and am usually too tired to attune my eyes to the pages by the time I get to bed. Having said that, I'm very much determined that this is the year that I'm going to become a little bit better read- and if you're setting yourself the same challenge, then here's a peek at my current bookshelf buys: 

Get Your Sh*T Together by Sarah Knight- This book was a lovely Christmas present from Jessie and is something which I can't wait to get started on. I adored Knight's The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck when I read it about eighteen months ago, so am beyond keen to delve into more pages of sage, sassy advice. If you're as skeptical about self help as I am, and are looking for a laugh-out-loud read to kick start the year as you mean to go on, then I can't recommend Sarah Knight's writing enough. 

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig- I picked this up as a treat to myself at the start of the autumn, and had read it cover to cover in the space of about a week. There's something wonderful about discovering a book by an author who is completely new to you (I've subsequently picked up Reasons to Stay Alive), and getting completely lost in the world which they've so painstakingly created. Following protagonist Tom Hazard, the narrative seamlessly straddles timelines as it flits from Elizabethan England, to 1920s Paris and right up to a current London classroom. The story is enthralling from start to finish, and in Hazard Haig has crafted a wonderfully engaging hero, with whom we empathise and understand from the off.  And any story which has a cameo appearance from William Shakespeare is always going to get a huge thumbs up from me! I've also been listening to the Radio 4 serialisation of How to Stop Time which aired over Christmas- well worth catching up on.

Finally, not pictured here is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, which I downloaded as a spur of the moment buy when I was on the train to Birmingham back in November, and which I barely looked up from the whole way there! This is Honeyman's debut book- and what a book it is. Packed with pathos and humour, she presents in Eleanor Oliphant one of the most endearing characters I've come across in a long time- someone who completely comes to life on the page. Settling down to read more of Eleanor felt almost like chatting to an old friend, and her often acerbic observations about modern life were instantly recognisable, as well as being utterly hilarious, which makes unravelling the mystery of her past even more chilling. Definitely one to add to your 2018 reading list if you haven't ploughed through it already. 

What are your new year reads?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

12.01.2018- Beauty Buys: Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette

Friday, 12 January 2018

Now that Christmas is over and done with for another year, I've found the time to sift through all of the lovely gifts which was lucky enough to receive (including multiple pairs of socks, need I say more!), and share a new beauty favourite with you. I'm a huge fan of Charlotte Tilbury's cosmetics, and under the tree on Christmas morning I was beyond excited to discover her Instant Eye Palette- a one stop shop for easy eye makeup, offering a veritable wardrobe of different looks to kick the year off in style with:

Regular readers will be no strangers to the fact that I'm a big fan of eye shadow palettes in lots of different shapes and sizes (as anyone who remembers the release of Urban Decay's original Naked collection probably is!), but this is a selection in a league of its own altogether. I've adored the Charlotte Tilbury shadows which I've had in the past because their staying power is tip top, and this selection of twelve shades is no exception, lasting from first thing in the morning right through to last thing at night with little or no sign of shifting at all. With four different combinations (Day, Desk, Date and Disco), it's a one-stop shop for an array of different looks, and I've really enjoyed switching the shades up too. All of the colours are beautifully buildable, with matte and shimmering shades sitting alongside each other, and lots of options for accentuating the eye too. It's only the start of the year, and I think I might have found my 2018 beauty favourite!

Have you discovered any new beauty essentials recently?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)
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