Monday, 24 November 2008

Sophie Hulme

OH! Why oh why am i on this annoying shopping ban! What have i done to deserve it? :o( I only started my new job in London a week ago so i miss out on the November pay day, therefore making me extremely poor and living off my beautiful precious savings :o( Which means no....Sophie...Hulme...Coat....whhhhhhyyyyy!!!!! Oh how i yearn to buy several items of clothing and accessories from Sophie Hulme. Sophie if you're listening, i NEED the purple/blue sequined coat, the silver sequined army bag and one of your lovely lovely rope necklaces!!! PLEASE?!?!


I don't know if its just because i'm bitter about spending all my savings to make up for lack of wages or maybe i'm suffering from mild seasonal affective disorder but i do know i am in desperate need of some serious sparkle...and not any old sparkle...we're talking PROPER sparkle. And only a Hulme will do! Her clothes are sharp and well cut, with really clever quirks, but are so so simple and timeless. I'm really getting sick of the gimmicky trends (harlequin anybody?) and yearn for more simplicity...although don't me too seriously, im probably just feeling 'the ban' a bit and getting annoyed at everything! But Sophie's clothes are exactly what i need right now....ooh! Particularly the shirt-style playsuit...oh how i yearn...


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Strange...

For anyone thats interested, i am officially in london, in my house for the very first night! Im sat in bed, which currently consists of a sleeping bag because my stuffs being delivered tomorrow and i'm all alone because the poor boyfriend has work tomorrow back home...wait, what am i talking about - this is home now! Scary! Naturally i've been going through the motions! When the boyfriend and i arrived it was nearly 9.30pm...(we left at 6pm!!), the boy then unloaded the car - full to the brim with my essentials for the next two nights while i'm here - and showed me how to turn the heating and the hot water on (since when did you have to turn the heating on!!) clearly i've lived a sheltered life in my parents old house where the hot water just comes out the tap and you dont need to do anything to get it going...so then at 9.50pm the boyf said he had better get going, since he has to drive back 85miles and get up for work at 7am...well that was it then...tears came flooding out of my eyes!!! As soon as he left i was angry at myself for moving! So after a while, speaking to my sister, the boyfs brother and anyone else i could call or text, going on the internet and getting the bed ready, i suddenly felt much better. Im supposed to be some 'independant woman' as the boyfriend calls me as he does his (somewhat exaggerated) impression of me strutting around, bossing him about, clicking my fingers saying 'girlfriend!!!' in an American accent...but here i was wallowing because i've moved into a fabulous 3 bedroom house with a garden in SE1...i dont get me either... All i know is, this is it!!! EEEEEEK!!!!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

What the....

Woah, the Internet is working!!! It hasnt worked for AGES on this computer...how strange! I thought i had better make the most of it and give another mini-update of the relocation...

I have got the busiest week ever coming up, in 5 days i have got to go to London twice for interviews and make it back home in time to work where i am at the moment, i've also got to pack and on Thursday i'm moving! woooooooooo! Right....so...pack, pack, interview, work, pack, interview, move stuff into house, work, work, work, move me and boyfriend into house, get food, unpack, have boyfriends aunty up, unpack some more...the list is endless and its back and forth from here to London...but, as i keep telling myself, its one week of mayhem...thats all! Then the real mayhem will begin, if what i've heard about living in London is right!

Speaking of which, i had to go to London twice last week to sign contracts, pay more money (for the house) than i've ever paid before...I always thought that any receipt that said they had taken nearly £4000 out of my account would at least say 'prada' at the top...!!! At least only half of that was mine...mwaha! Poor boyfriend!

Actually i dont know why i'm saying poor boyfriend, he made us get a 'mocha' i.e brown sofa the other day! Now theres nothing wrong with brown, in fact the sofa is big and plush and comfy (as much as i'd like to inform you that i got it from some fabulous independent furniture designer, the reality is that its from DFS) but its really nice...i actually picked it, the problem lies only in the colour! I wanted plum!!! dammit! The boyfriend and I stood in DFS, extremely tired from a very long day of being at work, having to go to London and being stuck in a car for 4 and a half hours due to an accident on the only main road into town...which meant i was STUCK and couldn't even get back home, and we very irritably 'discussed' the colour. I tried to persuade him that the plum will tie in perfectly with the truffle, teal and deep raspberry that i had already decided we were having...but he had none of it. And in the end, the compromise was that i could have plum/raspberry cushions and a statement chair of my choice (providing he doesnt hate it).

Its amazing what you can argue about...sorry, not argue...'discuss'! So the 'fun' of relocating will be over in the next week, but until then i have a list as long as my arm to do! Im really missing blogging, i keep a list of things i want to write about in my Filofax and its getting quite long, so as soon as i've settled in, let the backlog begin! Note to self: write about tomato red over the knee suede boots, the girl on the tube wearing Christopher Kane and the joys of picking colour schemes - cant beat it!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Hi!

Again, just a quickie to let you all know that I havent given up on my beloved blog or died, i'm just in the middle of the big relocation. So by the end of the month i promise FBF will be back to normal. We have officially got the best place ever. We managed to get our hands on a 3 bed house, with a garden and a private parking space in Southwark so i am 'super-stoked', as one would say! hehe....we went from looking at bedsits that were being passed off as '1 bed flats' to this amazing house, it was such luck, and it was way more expensive but so worth it. The littlest room is officially my walk in wardrobe (BEAM!!!!) and the second room is a spare/studio room...the boyfriend was feeling generous, since he has two sheds!!! in our new garden. Also we get to keep our car (yay!) and we've just been given a 1 year old Vespa, which the boyfriends brother is no longer in need of, to pop around London on (how hilarious!!!) and both the boyfriend and i have motorbike licenses so we dont need nasty old L plates! YAY! Im very in love with my new life already and i havent even moved yet - a couple of weeks to go...ahhhh!!! Sounds all too perfect huh?...

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Oh the fun to come...

Goodness me! What a time i've been having...for a start, i have been rushed off my feet SO much that there was just no time for blogging which makes me feel really guilty when i check my stats and see all the people that have clicked on and there has been nothing new to read, so for that i am sorry, however, i have some exciting news (exciting for me anyway!)...as of Monday i hand in my notice to my current employer and in 4 weeks time i am moving to LONDON!!!! woohoo! (hopefully if we can find a flat anyway - otherwise i'll be sca-rewed!!!)

Its all very exciting for me and the boyf at the moment. Hes been offered this amazing job in the city (im just going to temp probably, until i hopefully get into CSM again - theres a lot of work to be done in the next 3 months) but luckily we've been EXTREMELY good and responsible and have made ourselves as financially stable as we can, and we have literally bought everything one needs for their home. The only things we need to get are a table and a microwave and thats IT!

Its a really strange time for me at the moment...i've planned to move to London most of my life...when i got into CSM last year, i cried nearly everyday in excitement before realising that the responsible thing would be to defer and save up, in which time my boyfriend and i decided to move in together and everything has been put on hold again. I have promised myself that i wont give up my dreams for anybody and that if i want to follow them i should do what i can to make things happen. Most days somebody asks why i havent moved yet and then i have to go all through the reasons i'm not starting at CSM this year...blah blah blah...and i dont really like having to explain myself to people...it took me two years before i would even go to college so another 2 years out before uni is nothing i cant handle. People always say 'oh you'll change as you get older, you wont want to go to uni...', i hate that!

I have changed ALOT over the years, i'm not a teenager anymore (however much i act like one) and yes i do have quite a responsible job, but ultimately my passions have not changed...i still adore sewing and painting, maybe nowadays i don't do it as much BECAUSE i work full time...that is a sad fact, but all the more reason to get into CSM again! Gimme days of sewing and painting, researching and lazing around, give me long mornings at home and time to throw on an outfit with slightly more effort and excitement...and to actually have time to have breakfast and plait my hair! That will beat working anyday!

I cant wait for people to come up to visit us, and for us to be able to try as many different restaurants as humanly possible! I cant wait to spend my very first Crimbo in London, and most importantly i cannot wait to have my amazing 2 and a half year old nephew up...he will LOVE IT!!! Thats the only thing that is a bit of a sensitive subject though...my family :oS i'm only moving about 85 miles away but for some reason it feels more like I'm emigrating. I'm the very first person in my whole huge family to ever move to a different city too! The boyf has a tiny family (mum, dad, 1 brother, 2 aunties and 3 cousins) whereas i have this HUGE family (made up of mum, dad, 3 sisters, a brother in law, a nephew, countless aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents...) theres loads of us, so i'm always surrounded by people and all of a sudden i'm realising how much i'm going to miss everybody! :o( cue sad face! AND i have recently been realising that i have NEVER used a washing machine in my life?!?! Nope not ever! My mum has always done it for me! She wakes up at 4am and starts work at 7am so everything is always done before i wake up, even the days i have to wake up at 5am. There ya go, thats the boyfriends first chore then - to teach me how to do the washing! Although i've seen him doing his and even i can tell he's not doing it properly...even i know (from washing powder adverts) that you're meant to wash darks and lights separately!! I don't trust him with my delicates thats for sure!! And i dont really know how to hoover because we have wooden floors, which we swiffer! Oh the fun to come...! I can see alot of my favorite things being ruined over the next couple of months...perhaps i'll locate the nearest dry-cleaners before we actually move in!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

What can ya do...?

So there you have it…my first designer buy. A momentous occasion in my life (albeit one of slightly lesser importance than most momentous occasions) but still momentous to me. The next day at work I told everybody about my new Rick Owens Lilies top, everyone gasped in shock at the price (these are mostly people that have never been exposed to designer goods), and I beamed joyously at the forthcoming delivery. I sat there busying myself, convincing myself it would arrive today so not to expect it to (my tactic to avoid disappointment - always think of the worst scenario, so you’ll never be disappointed) ….and then….there it was…the DHL van!! I leaped for joy and was even more excited to be able to share the moment with the only colleague who understands ‘proper’ fashion (what a hideous term but you get what I mean) as she just happened to be there at the time. We all stood grinning as the delivery man had me sign and as soon as he was gone I fought through the packaging to find my top. At first I was slightly overwhelmed and tried to figure out where the arm holes are and how to put it on. After I figured it out I put it on immediately and everybody looked…and no one said anything…you could take this as a sign of adoration of said new top, but unfortunately it wasn’t so. The top was not, I repeat NOT worth the money I spent on it, and I could see that in every bodies eyes. I ignored their obvious disappointment and stuck up for my purchase, informing them that the actual design is what im paying for. But nope, that didn’t last long…the more I inspected it the more I found faults….seams running really wonky, loose threads…even the actual label wasn’t sewn on properly - it was all wrong! So back its going…. :o(

On the up-hand, I did go straight into town after work to drown my sorrows (in mounds of clothes) and spent equally what I spent on the Rick Owens top. I came back loaded up with bags and got some of the most divine items of clothing I have ever bought ever! What luck that was! Not only did I get a gorgeous jumper and a stunning little cardigan but I also bought THE most beautiful thin black drapey jumper from Kookai. Honestly its perfect, more perfect than the Rick Owens one, more perfect than anything I own. Infact its so lovely that I’m actually returning about 3 other jumper/tops that I bought last week because compared they just aren’t up to scratch! So that makes the Kookai jumper practically free! (in my mind anyway!)… plus as I was leaving the Kookai store, I suddenly noticed they had the same top in rich emerald green (i LOVE green!!! I’m pale, very blonde and have green eyes so green is a good colour on me - unlike brown!) So I fully intend on purchasing the green one too - a girls gotta have some variety after all! And how often do you get really gorgeous bright knitwear! Kookai never lets me down when it comes to knitwear…infact I can honestly say that over the years I have bought a lot from there, and have never bought anything other than knitwear!

All this is all down to the working wardrobe dilemma…I say I don’t like it but then I find something gorgeous for work and suddenly I love work wear…then I get something that looks awful and it’s the most difficult thing in the whole world ever! For instance…I bought this top below from Topshop for £28 after eyeing it up for a long time, and I worked loads of other outfit combinations around it and bought skirts to go with it etc…only to actually get it through the post and discover it looks hideous on me…! So now I’ve got about £70 worth of random things to return due to discovering disappointment and hatred towards them!


Before I go into town with my mound of returns from online and from not trying anything on before purchasing it, im waiting for one last thing. I bought this skirt from Topshop for £32 (surprise surprise) and it’s a bit of a ‘wild card’ type of thing. Its something I’d like to wear but is not within my ‘safe for work’ radar.

Im seeing this with either my new gorgeous black jumper from Kookai or a lovely roll neck jumper (covering the slightly corseted detail at the top due to possibly inappropriate-for-work-ness) and really thick black tights and super high black heels…and of course I will have enough time in the morning to give myself great huge Roisin Murphy hair a la ‘You know me better’ and I will need nothing more than a smart black baby clutch for my phone, card and tube pass and of course a skinny latte….yeah right!!

Besides the fact that I never do my hair, I also am a total bag lady and cant live without my life in a sak that i sling over my shoulder everyday, but I also hate coffee - so lets make that a hot chocolate (with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder - a shot of hazelnut…it will be winter after all!)

Right, rant over! If anybody does have sound officewear advice, please let me in on it. Infact really i'm just having trouble deciding whether things are smart and appropriate enough to wear in an office environment in London...after all, working in forensic phsyicatrics in the middle of nowhere has wharped my sense of 'appropriate'...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

It's finally happened!

Yep thats right....i'm no longer a designer virgin! I know it may be shocking to know, but i have never actually bought a proper piece of designer clothing...please, stop pelting me with rocks! Theres a good reason!! Where i live there are no designer shops...the most designer you get here is John lewis...yeah...no joke. And although anyone could say i coulda bought something online and returned it, i just couldn't be bothered with it. For a start it wasnt until my new manager started (who has just as much of a shopping habit as i do) that i was able to order parcels to be delivered to my workplace and therefore returning goods that don't fit or i dont like was SUCH a pa lava!!!!! Seriously! But for many MANY years i have adored online sites, but i just needed that first piece of 'investment' designer wear. I thought perhaps a coat....nah...a dress...nah...shoes?!...nah...i am still holding out for my first pair of designer heels...they need to be PERFECT...like really perfect...and then it hit me! Something demure, something small, something i can wear to work, to play, to slouch...something i can wear every friggin day if i want to...and there it was...the Rick Owens 'Lilies' jersey top. It was so beautiful when i first saw it that i actually gasped 'its perfect...' and was just as beautiful when i purchased it today (to be delivered to my office either tomorrow or friday).

Now i know it may not be overly exciting to all you guys...it's hardly a Valentino gown or a pair of McQueen heels...heck its not even a Westwood skirt BUT it is perfect for me. It'll fit into my life like chocolate does - very easily! I will wear it to work...and more importantly to my interview(s), i will wear it with casual jeans and flats, dressed up jeans and heels, i can wear it with a dress when its a bit nippy and i can wear it at home lounging around (although perhaps that is just going a bit too far...i mean, it was £161 including shipping, reduced from £220 - not LOADS of money i know, but when you're in the process of relocating to London and actually care what your flat looks like and the furniture that goes in it and save as much money as possible, then it is alot!).

Now lets face it...we may as well be honest: the boyf doesn't know. And long shall that remain how it is...after all...well...he'd kill me...or WORST, make me take it back!! Yes, ladies this has happened before...only once in coming up 5 years so it must have been for a reason! I bought a pair of heels that were not only expensive but absolutely hideously ridiculous. Looking back, I'm glad he made me return them...although i wish he hadnt actually marched me back to the store and stood at the door of the shop with his arms cross watching me to make sure i returned them...haha! Oh memories...see thats what happens when you actually show you're boyfriend your purchases...i have learned to just not show him...unless ofcourse they were bargainous and he cant say anything. But i know he will think this cardigan is the biggest waste of money ever and i know my theory on the cost per use just wont cut it with him...so this one will have to remain a secret. I'm thinking of slipping it into conversation in a few months time when he's due to buy textile motorbike gear which will cost around the same as the top. Sure the gear is serving more of a purpose than my cardi but different folks and all that...PLUS i will never let him forget the fact that he bought an £8000 motorbike, £1000 Alpine Stars leathers and a £500 Arai helmet...now...whos the shopaholic now huh?!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Hello All!

Right, this has to be a quickie for various reasons, but i thought i would explain my blog-neglect recently, obviously besides the holiday. Since i got back its all gone wrong, my phone (which is primarily my camera) has broken, my laptop needs new security stuff (McAfee/Norton etc) but im having trouble with it (i have paid for it but its not working so i cant use my computer and im not, i repeat NOT, buying it again! Thats a pair of shoes!!!), my work now doesn't allow blogging sites to be accessed (fair enough), and i am having the most difficult time moving to London. The whole process is not the fairy tale i have dreamed of. For a start, i have decided not to do my foundation year at Central Saint Martins, simply because i studied A -level Fine art, Textiles, Photography and Media and therefore apparently don't 'need' to do a foundation year because i already have a varied portfolio so i am moving to London anyway, getting a job and applying straight for the degree in January...i'm quite sad about it but its so much money to do the foundation and if i'm not going to benefit from it as my sources have said then there's no point struggling to do it...phew!

So thats that out the way...now for the job...how hard is it getting a job in London!? My god! I think its probably not so hard, its just me being awkward and unwilling. For you see, i genuinely like my job and dont really want to leave it (this probably makes it worst for my manager who keeps trying to convince me not to go and then trying to convince me that i can commute...i really cant) and theres also the fact that i'm quite clearly going to end up doing financial administration like i used to...boring? yes! Ofcourse its boring and no matter how hard you try, there is just no real way of squeezing fab clothes into that environment...from my experience anyway! Lord knows i'll try though!! I've already picked out the most boring/smart heels i own for my meeting in the financial district on monday, which i have to tell you are so appropriately named after my boyfriend haha!! No lie - the box says 'James' on them haha!

Im trying my best to stay positive but at the moment i feel like i'm making very little progress whereas the boyfriend is onto his 3rd interview and we've only been back a week! Atleast theres the aspect of having to go shopping for interview/work clothes (my place is very smart casual so theres a definite need for new clothes) but even this is more of a chore than an enjoyment...because lets face it...there's nothing worst than boring clothes...

...oh...and not to put even more of a downer on this post (whoops! sorry it wasnt my intention!) but i also have...a wisdom tooth coming through...yep just to top it all off i have a wisdom tooth and i'm not currently with a dentist...great! Another thing to add to the list...you gotta laugh right! Could be much worst! :o) I promise i'll be back soon - I've got so much to talk about!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The foundation issue...

So now that the tan is here...well...was here, i have been thinking about the issue of foundation shades. I usually have issues with this anyway...When i go to the cosmetics counters to get a foundation they ALWAYS! ALWAYS!!!!?!?!? (sorry, i must calm down)....they always try to give me the wrong shade 'to warm up your skin tone a bit'...GRR! WHY!?

This is why so many unsuspecting girls are strolling around looking orange-faced...because the girls at the cosmetics counters have fooled them into thinking that the shade of' 'Burnt biscuit' is better than just admitting that you're a 'Pale beige' or an 'Ivory'....I don't mean to rant, but i cant tell you how many times i went to cosmetics counters and good ones at that - Clinique for example - and am told to get a certain shade, only to get home, use it and take it straight off. Fling it in my drawer and head to ASDA round the road. to quickly buy a Rimmel or Maybelline foundation in Ivory...what a waste of 20 quid on the Clinique one.

And its not just Clinique (i love Clinique products!), its No7, Benefit...you name it i've tried it! I should've listened to the warning bells in my head sooner, and for the first time last year i finally managed to stand up to the cosmetics lady. Along i went (with my big sister for support) and told myself i was to ask for my actual skin tone. So off i went, confident and sure of myself, i hovered a bit at first while the lady helped somebody else and thought i might just be able to do it myself, unfortunately all the boxes of products at Clinique are the same and you'd need a map to figure out which is which! So i waited for the lady and i took my seat, told her what i wanted and she grabbed a couple of samples and i soon relaxed...but as soon as i saw the squirts of tan-ornage foundation on her hand i practically fell off my chair i backed up so hard! And as firmly as i could i told her i wanted a foundation that matched my skintone perfectly, that would be the perfect bare-faced looking base for everyday...and what did she say?...'oh well you want a slightly darker tone to warm up your complexion a bit'.....NOOO!!!!!

Luckily for me i seemed to have a very firm grasp on the situation and absolutely insisted on having a perfectly matching shade. After about 15 minutes and 30 different products and shades, she finally found a shade that matched! Hallelujah! So ofcourse i purchased it! Only problem with these people is she then added...yes, added...a pore minimiser and an exfoliating scrub to my 'order' if you will. Can you believe it! When i questioned her, she simply said 'oh...well it would definitely be worth it'...yes thats fair enough, maybe my pores did need slightly minimising and in conversation i had asked her how to use an exfoliation scrub but that didn't mean i asked to buy them! PFF!....

So atleast after that experience i had the PERFECT foundation ever! I wore it everyday and it made the hugest difference to my complexion! Only problem now is, i have a slight tan - what some would call 'sunkissed' and my freckles are out of control! Which i LOVE! my dad says i look about 5 and my boyfriends mum looked like she wanted to eat my cheeks as she said how cute my freckles are...but what does one do with freckles? Tinted mousturiser? But which colour?

I'm not my usual shade '02' now so what does a girl do? I've heard about those liquids that you add to your usual foundation when you tan but do they really work? hmmm....and how long does a tan last? Is it worth waiting rather than investing in a shade that you'll only use for 2 weeks? All these questions over something so trivial ay? And suddenly after all that dreaming of having a healthy glow and having a bit of colour...i realise i miss my pale skin! I may even celebrate the return of my natural shade by trying out a bit of Dainty Doll by Jelly Pong Pong and Nicola Roberts in 'Ivory'...what a great idea that was! I often wondered what truly pale people do about foundation. There are girls in this world who have flaming orange hair and the whitest skin ever, and now they have a foundation to match their skintone too...aptly named 'white'! I must admit, i am a bit of a red-head obsessive. I would love to have flaming red hair and porcelain skin! I think its beautiful.

I'm back!

So did you missed me blog? I certainly missed you! Well ok, i kinda missed you...i wanted to miss you, but when you're lazing in the sun, you almost forget you have a life at home. As i'm sure i made everybody aware, i went on my long-awaited trip to Jamaica with the boy...heaven? Yes! It was more than heaven...


As i lay on the beach looking out over the crystal sea and into the clear blue sky, i realised i could've stayed there forever. It's a strange thing. I havent been away for years and i'm certainly not a sun worshipper...i couldn't be one even if i wanted to. Im as pale as pale gets for someone who isn't albino or a red-head and i accepted it a long time ago, and i embrace it! I couldn't bleach my hair like i do if i had even the slightest tan - otherwise i'd look like a playboy bunny (especially with my hooters! Good gracious!), so it was strange to lie in the sun enjoying it.

I spent most of my time in the sea, but when i laid on that sunbed, with the sea calmly washing over me every now and then, the sun beating on me and the Caribbean breeze blowing ever so slightly...well...i think that says it all. And before anyone thinks i'm trying to rub in the fact that i've just gotten back from a tropical holiday...well don't worry...it didn't stay like that for long...one word: Gustav!

Yes, hurricane Gustav...The first week was heaven and then suddenly the sea got choppy, the clouds appeared and then promptly turned grey and black, the wind began blowing quite harshly and there was a notice board up informing us of the predicted route of the Hurricane. Well, i thought, we're ok, its going over Cuba, but we have to watch out as its passing close by. Pfff..what now? So we watched American TV in our room, read 9 books between us, read magazines, played cards which resulted in several pillow fights and generally spent time relaxing (just not in the sun)...then it happened...the board was updated and showed Gustav totally change course and head straight for us. We had another day until it would pass over us but we had heard it had already caused alot of devastation...


"Hurricane Gustav was the seventh tropical cyclone, third hurricane and second major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. Gustav caused serious damage and casualties in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and the United States.

It formed on the morning of August 25, 2008, about 260 miles (420 km) southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and rapidly strengthened into a tropical storm that afternoon and into a hurricane early on August 26. Later that day it made landfall near the Haitian town of Jacmel. It inundated Jamaica and ravaged Western Cuba and then steadily moved across the Gulf of Mexico.
On August 31, the NHC predicted with 81% probability that Gustav would remain at Category 3 or above on September 1, but on September 1 at 9:30 a.m. CDT (1430 UTC the center of Gustav made landfall in the United States along the Louisiana coast near Cocodrie as a strong Category 2 hurricane (1 mph below Category 3), and dropped to Category 1 four hours later, and to a tropical depression the following day. Gustav continued moving northwest through Louisiana, before slowing down significantly as it moved through Arkansas on September 3.

As of September 3, 120 deaths had been attributed to Gustav in the U.S. and Caribbean. A first estimate of the damage in all countries is US$20 billion." - Wikipedia

When it actually passed over us, it was about 4am and it was terrifying. Somebody said to me, on my return to England, 'oh its just a bit of wind and rain'...clearly that person had never been in a tropical hurricane! My most prominent memory was the power going on, off, on, off....the TV going and then a sudden crash and an explosion right outside our room. It was apparently a transformer exploding when a palm tree fell on something or other...

So there you have it...the usual holiday experience? No...but besides those 4 days when the hurricane passed over, it was absolute bliss and i'd recommend anybody to go! I have to admit though, as we were packing up and getting ready, i was suddenly desperate to go home and yearned for England. Not once during the holiday did i buy anything remotely fashion related and i didn't have the urge to blog once due to lack of inspiration. But now that i'm back, my heads a buzz with ideas, inspiration and most importantly...the move to London. ahhh....home sweet home!

Monday, 11 August 2008

YES!!!

Just a quick post to say that, FINALLY i've got them. Yep, you guessed it, another pair of Topshop heels (i'm not working for them i swear! - although i was offered a job but thats a different story!). Its a pair that i've been admiring for a very long time and i'm surprised they even have any left after all this time. You guessed it, the 'sporty strap sandal' by Unique in white (although the blue was EXTREMELY tempting)....ahhh! Relief! This is one of those pairs, that you really want and really like, but are not your usual style, therefore you put them to the back of your mind and try to forget about them and focus on your more average pair of heels...for me, its a platform and round toe...and always leather (me and polyurethane shoes don't mesh well). So as you may be aware, i'm not a sandal kinda gal. I don't like flimsy looking shoes and i don't really like the idea of exposing my feet...not because there's anything wrong with them at all and i don't have one of those fears of feet (like my dad does) but i just don't like the idea of my tootsies being exposed to the possibility of being stepped on, or cold. But these babies are right up my street. For a start they look sturdy and the leather straps look tough. My only gripe would be that the little tiny skinny heels look 'wood-stacked' and a bit cheap...i may have to carefully spray or paint them another colour or jewell-encrust them or something!...hmm! We'll see, when they arrive tomorrow. I just hope they fit. Another reason i have issues with open toes, is because i have short but wide feet...i'm a 5/38 length but 6/39 width so sometimes there about a centimetre of space left where my toes end and i HATE it...we'll see. If they're just all wrong i may have to return them...but oh well, all i know is, they weren't worth 85 quid to me....but £40...that i can deal with! And i'm definitely thinking that they will go well with my Stella-esque 3 quarter length, sleeveless, grey, French Connection playsuit! yay!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Vroom vroom!

As the summer comes to an end, after barely even beginning, unfortunately for some of us, it is time to hang up our sun dresses, put on proper shoes and prepare for the cold months ahead…! Yesterday it rained…and rained…and rained even harder. Today it isn’t raining but it is very overcast and its not particularly warm either. But it’s not just us fashion lovers who suffer…there is a whole group of people out there who are suffering far more…bikers. My dad is a biker, I have a bike license (but no bike, which is annoying) but most importantly is my boyfriend. He is a biker through and through. He has been since he was 16 and will be for the rest of his life. As of today, due to the weather just not being good enough, the fact that we’re going away and then moving to London where he wont be able to use it in the winter, he is parting ways with his dearly beloved Kawasaki ZX6R…his Ninja. It is to him, what my shoes are to me…it is his baby. It’s all just material I know, but sometimes you can really really adore something inanimate. And this will be the first time in 6 years he wont have a bike. All hope is not lost however; as he will be purchasing a new bike come spring time and is off to Italy for two weeks of riding with his friend…jealous? Me?…yes! Who wouldn’t be, but I’m not going to pull an Eve McGregor and totally cut in on a boys bike trip a la Long way Down! So farewell Ninja, I was very fond of you. If it weren’t for you I’d never have known what 140mph feels like…and for anyone interested, it feels…well…fast!
I am actually quite sad to see the green machine going, it made the boyfriend very happy indeed and now when he moans at me about my shoe collection I can’t say ‘sorry?….how much was your new bike again?’ DARNIT!!!! But in keeping with the bike theme, and the fact that the boyfriend is hanging up his leathers for the winter, I may have to un-hang my leathers in the form of a Belstaff trench. My dad wears Belstaff gear, (the boyfriend wears Alpine Stars - naturally), but I didn’t realise for a long time that they have actual collections. Where was I? It wasn’t until I was reading Vogue that I saw the advertisement for it, which I liked the striking simplicity of.
Now I’m pretty sure that wearing a leather trench on a super sports bike is never going to be a good idea, so when I get my own bike and/or go on the back of the boyfriends, I may have to stick with my girl-cut textile gear (it’s got stars embroidered on it! Visit GirlsBike2.com). But I still am incredibly interested in the beautiful centrepiece to the autumn/winter collection. This season Belstaff's senior creative director, Manuele Malenotti created pieces inspired by Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly a plane across the Atlantic. I am definitely seeing the influence, although I wish that beautiful leather flying hats, scarves and goggles could have also been included in the collection. It was have made the influence way obvious but I would have been totally sold on the idea! The collection in it’s entirety is very simplistic with clean lines and neat tailoring and the odd biker-esque leather jacket. But this trench, tightly belted at the waist has definitely caught my attention! It is stunning!

It's a shoe thing...

Hmmm….square-toed….square-toed….Why haven’t I given this more thought, instead of constantly heading straight for round toed. Heels play on my mind a lot. You see I’m not a fan of pointed ‘Essex-girl’ stilettos, except when Kylie wore a fluro pair with combats for her 'Love at first sight' video. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always been a Louboutin fan rather than a manolo lover. Shoes are a fickle thing…with love comes hate. I hate bad shoes…but who decides what’s good and bad…me I guess! I am the consumer after all.

I prefer Louboutins over the typical Manolo because of the style of toe and heel, the same reason why I prefer Louboutins over the Choos…because I’m not a jewelled sandal kinda gal. At least not yet anyway. I have definite shoe prejudice. I assume all Manolo’s are mid-heeled with very long pointed toes and assume all Choos are jewelled sandals. Out of the shoe biggies (the ‘big 3’ as I like to call them) I’m always probably going to go for a round-toed ‘Very Prive’ black, platform stiletto by Monsieur Louboutin….I’m just stuck on that style. But all of a sudden, with the idea of having some extra cash lying about after I move and the decision that I will be investing in my first pair of designer heels, I have to ask myself what I really want. Anyone who knows me, would say that my heart yearns for the red sole.

In my head I think about London and my boyfriend who works in investments. Is it really how people say it is in that world? Will I, at some point, in my boyfriends career have to go to some sort of corporate event and be expected to be a piece of immaculate arm candy. The boyfriend has nothing to worry about. He’s tall, handsome, strapping and looks amazing in a suit…but me…I’m short (5 foot) and curvy and tailoring can look good and bad on me. So lets work from the feet upwards. I decided a long time ago that I must invest in a good, solid pair of designer heels for such an occasion, but I need a pair that will see me through any kind of event…so naturally I decided black would be appropriate and safe. But what kind?? Louboutins? Kirkwood’s? McQueen? Dior? Marni? If I’m going to make an investment surely I should pick something exciting and note-worthy…the kind that people will see and think ’ooh they’re nice’…perhaps they could even be a conversation starting pair…’oh I love your shoes…where did you get them from?’… but saying that, is label important? And is black the best way to go? Nude will surely allow more flexibility and I don’t necessarily want to go with an LBD…I may want to breeze wearing some fantastic Pugh creation (in my dreams…ahhh) But what makes a good-quality pair of heels? I know Manolo Blahnik is renowned for making beautiful, sturdy heels that are supposed to last, but does that mean I should trawl through racks of heels in styles I don’t like or…should I just go to Topshop?! But then am I also expecting too much from the big smoke…is it really all it’s cracked up to be…all I know is, these McQueen’s, but more importantly, that metal toe…has got my heart racing…see this is what happens when you live in a designer-shoe deprived area of England…you just can’t rely on internet alone…I can’t wait to move, and I cant wait to get myself into one of those department stores (Liberty, Harrods, Selfridges…) and actually try on pair after pair until I find my true sole-mate! (Heels by Alexander McQueen at Net-a-porter.com on sale now for £476 from £680)

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Cats eyes

Blast from the past or what? I don’t know about you, but when you were 14, was there something that you relied on everyday. A comfort thing? A particular hair band, a particular scarf. Your favourite lip-gloss? For one of my best friends it was and still is blusher. Mine, well, I don’t really have anything now. I go to work bare-faced at least 4 out of 5 days…some may think of that as shocking but I’m definitely appreciating the fact that I’m young enough to go to work fresh faced and look…well…fresh! Not tired, no bags under the eyes - yet! I think it’s the mix of blonde hair and pale freckly skin that does it, its all very ‘surfy‘ and when you live in the South, that‘s totally acceptable. Although a nude face requires perfect, strong eyebrows and Vaseline on the lips. Plus I have uber sensitive skin and makeup makes me break out so I’m having a transitional period with make-up. I’m trying to figure out my new regime and am thinking of investing in better quality basics…I knew I’d go crawling back to Clinique!

But back to the point…when I was 14, everyday I relied on heavy black kohl, I practically ate the stuff! I applied it before school, reapplied when I got to school and throughout the day too. It was my trademark and the lines went from corner to corner with little flicks (it wasn‘t as hideous as Amy Winehouse‘s eye makeup I swear). When I was feeling awake enough I always added little points by my nose too…this was my favourite. Nowadays I only ever do black kohl when I’m going out and I don’t really do such dramatic corner to corner lines. Its a more sophisticated and cleaner look nowadays, but I did and still do love the kohl look…so you can imagine my shock when I saw the makeup for Jean Paul Gaultier autumn/winter 08-09.…exactly the same as my trademark look. I was flabbergasted! It has definitely spiked a little pulse in my heart and I may have to look into doing this again, although I think I’ll wait until my EXTREMELY belated birthday night out…yes, my birthday was end of July, Im away soon and don’t get back til September, so I have to wait until September pay day. But I’m seeing bouffant hair, LBD’s, super high heels and lashingss of eyeliner!

Ooh and after much digging I have actually managed to find an old pic of me at 14 years old. It’s quite out of focus but you can definitely see the eyeliner! Urgh my hair is such an awful blonde and my roots are awful!! Thank god I’m in my 20’s, that’s all I say! Nowadays I take the shade of my hair far more seriously! ooh! Please also excuse the bull ring and the lip stud, they are real, but i don't wear them now....although most of the time i think i'd like to! I remember thinking i was very cool when i was 14.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Wedding bells...and feathers...

Ok, so it’s something that pretty much every little girl dreams about right?…her wedding day? I know I certainly did, I know I dressed as a bride using a table cloth, I know I sketched different dresses when I was 8, and I know I spend my pre-teens and teens and post-teens having lengthy discussions about it with my friends and sisters…but I think nowadays it’s a totally different concept, nowadays a wedding doesn‘t really mean ‘ooh lovely, I have a husband to take care of and I can become a housewife/mum‘ (not that theres anything wrong with that), but it’s a far classier affair nowadays - or it can be anyway! A wedding is basically a holiday, you get dressed up, celebrate the fact you love your partner, have a party and go on holiday, only to then return to your life, exactly how you left it (minus a loaf of bread and a pint of milk in the fridge). Its a WAG eat WAG world out there and people will get into life-ruining debt for things like wedding days. Me? I’ve got specific ideas about what I’d like my wedding day to be like (despite the boyfriend of 4 and a half years assuring me, it’s never gonna happen - he’s shy…you can imagine my face…) anyway, back to ignoring the boyfriends wedding ‘joke‘, on my wedding day I don’t want any of this meringue, floor length gown business, none of this hideous bridesmaid business…I don’t want a church, I don’t want a reception full of family members I’ve never even met, I don’t want horrible favours ruining the composition of the table design, I don’t want tacky plastic horseshoes…in fact, from the sounds of it, you’re probably thinking I want a simple 10 minute, civil ceremony…well, you’re kinda right…but you see, I just don’t want to spend thousands on all of the above junk, because I would rather get myself into terrible debt/not buy anything for 2 years in order to get married in…a McQueen…yes…I don’t want a horse and carriage…I want a McQueen! Not just any McQueen…this McQueen…
This McQueen in white. Maybe with the ends of the feathers dipped in another colour or even with Swarovski crystals glued to the ends of the feathers, but definitely white…not only that, but I want the highest platform heels and the most extravagant headdress I can find, and its going to be DRIPPING with crystals and lace tulle…maybe even feathers hehe! Feathers, crystals and tulle...could it be any more of a little girls fantasy...oh I get so excited thinking about it! EEEEEEEK!!! Maybe this is why the boyfriend is terrified of marriage - who knows. All I know is we’re only 21 and 22 and we’ve still got a couple of months until we even move in together for the first time so he’s got plenty of time to further adjust to my insanity :oD I’ve always known, if the opportunity came that I would marry in London, have a ‘city wedding’ and I would wear something shorter than floor length in order to run through a crowd of pigeons in central London…that’s my dream day anyway, and I’d try very hard to make it as unconventional and fun as possible. And I know that the boyfriends lovely mother reads the blog sometimes so Karen: You have been warned! :oD

Ashleigh hearts William Sharp!

Ever get days where everything’s the same even when its different and you find it difficult to feel excited about anything? Well today was a bit of a strange day, I’m not entirely sure why, I think its because I am literally just holding on to my sanity because its 12 days until I go away…yeah I know I mention it a lot, but when you work for the NHS…well, you know! Haha! So I spent the morning at home, something very odd for me, and I was totally alone because my sister got herself a job as of yesterday and my parents were at work anyway…boring! I had until 2pm, when I started work, to entertain myself and I just didn’t know what to do. I’m never at home, I’ve always got something scheduled in. So I watched This Morning and ate Golden nugget cereal and vegged out…bad move! By the time I got to work, I was exhausted from doing nothing and have remained that way until now. I’ve been generally lulling about the office for the past 4 hours and finally decided to do something constructive - so I read Elle magazine. Again, although I love Elle mag to bits, I just couldn’t get excited…until I saw this William Sharp hat!

EEK! Its so lovely and the shape is so exaggerated yet still subtle and wearable. I actually adore it! It’s Swarovski crystals and cashmere (may I just say…YUM!) It has definitely woken me up from my boredom coma…that, and the fact that our lovely Thai chef has made me possibly THE most delicious lemon and strawberry parfe, to lift my spirits while I work the Friday night shift! Mmmmm….its SO SO deliciously creamy and full fat and I‘m not sure what parfe is supposed to have in it, but I swear this one has tiny bits of meringue …its perfect! I’m sure I could have done with a smaller bowl of it, since I’m not even half way through and I’m struggling, but either way, its amazing! But back to the hat, according to Net-a-porter “London-based designer William Sharp trained as a milliner at Kensington and Chelsea College before setting up his label in 2000. Hand-finished cashmere accessories are his signature and fall’s gray or cream Swarovski-embellished scarves, hats and gloves are the height of cozy-chic” hmmmm! Sounds promising I’m sure you’ll agree. The hat featured in Elle isn’t actually available on Net-a-porter, but the price is £570...unreasonable?…not necessarily! Can I afford one….abso-friggin-lutely not!!! There are fairly reasonably priced pieces online, around the £100 mark, including Swarovski ear muffs, but none of them excite me enough to invest and I’d rather have the one I fell in love with. It’s definitely the ear flaps that have got me…so I guess I had better get my rhinestones and fabric glue out pronto! Oh my goodness…this should absolutely be the end of the post, but I’ve just been on his official site, due to some last minute curiosity and I could have died….look at this hat….AHHH!
Now I’m definitely in love…Ashleigh hearts William Sharp! It almost rhymes!!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Stay calm...

ahhhh!! So last night, i was driving to the boyfriends at about 10pm after i finished work, when sudden flashes of light lit up the sky over the motorway. Needless to say i was terrified, but not because i thought i was going to be abducted by aliens (even i'm not THAT stupid!) but because i'm scared of lightning. Goodness knows why! Its just one of those things...like wasps...yesterday at work there was a wasp and i practically dissolved in fear until i got our maintenance guy to get rid of the darn thing (humanely). Now the thing is, i'm not a total scaredy cat, but there are some things that i just cannot make myself ok with - like wasps and lightning! If you look at the facts, wasps sting and lightning can electrocute you...but its unlikely, even in my mind, that either will happen - so why so scared! WHO KNOWS! All i know is by the time i got home after seeing the boyfriend, it was really flashy! And as i lay in bed, i just became more awake and aware of it...so out came the computer. Yep, the only thing to take my mind off the lightning...fashion. Good old fashion. So in the spirit of my freaking out i searched for lightning related fashion and the most impressive concept i came up with were these Dsquared shoes with immense lightning bolt heels! I had admired them a while ago, but totally forgot about them!
After having stared at these for quite some time, i finally relaxed enough to go to sleep and dream of all the amazing ensembles i could create around these...imagine total contrast by wearing with a floaty chiffon mini dress! EEK! I love mean looking shoes and these are top of the list - up there with Louboutin for Rodarte! I've even gone so far as to convince myself that these are an important pair of investment heels and that one day, if i have a daughter, these will be one of those pairs of heels that will change her life forever...now i dont think thats dramatic. Actually, come to think of it...if i had a daughter and she wasn't a shoe size 6, or a 5 sometimes....who would i give my mammoth collection to?! Ah well...thats another story altogether! I'm not done with them yet!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

It never usually bothers me but...

NOW it does! Im talking underwear here people! I have big boobs - there's just no other way to describe them. They're not mammoth but they are 'plus size' i guess...they're 34E's (lets get that out the way)...don't worry - this post isn't a rant about my knockers, there is a purpose. Highstreet don't really sell E's, or atleast not in H&M, River Island, Miss Selfridge and more importantly...Topshop. Topshop, actually do the best underwear if you're wanting something extremely affordable and really stylish and a bit different. Unfortunately for the Breast-ically challenged, they do not cater for us. It's frustrating because i don't think they're an abnormal size so i find it almost weird that they don't go up to that size...i guess its like when shops don't stock sizes 6 and 16 - it just doesn't seem right (my older sisters a size 6 so its frustrating when i see something she'd love). Like they're totally refusing to cater for a massive audience! Now usually the underwear thing doesn't bother me too much...yeah sometimes, especially in Topshop i do get a little 'ohhhhhh!!!!!!' because there are some really cute things in there.
But at the end of the day, its just underwear and although i do see underwear as an integral part of the outfit, it's only you and maybe one other person thats going to see it anyway. Plus there are plenty of other places to get bras (even though they cost a fortune) and i can still buy pants and socks in Topshop! But all that positivity changed dramatically when i saw these...

...'OHHHHHHH!!!!' i WANT them - i NEED them! And the set is only £19!! Why don't they just make them one size bigger, just one cup size AHHHHHHHH!!!!! Is it too much to ask...huff! So there we have it. Until these go out of stock and off the website they are going to taunt me. What makes matters worst is that i really love the lipstick kiss print dress, that is yet to become available online and this underwear set would just be so much more practical, cheaper and more wearable than the lipstick print prom dress and would give me that bit of lipstick print satisfaction i crave...and yet i'm forced....yes, FORCED to purchase the less practical, more expensive and less likely to be worn dress (when its in store or online) all because they don't stock 34E's...so there we have it. I tried to be good with my money and purchases but they wont let me...so bring on the dress!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Doesn't it make you wonder...

So the other day, as i said in the previous post, i shopped for 7 hours straight for holiday stuff, during which i - naturally - took a few moment here and there to scan the shop for non-holiday-related bargains when i came across this entirely beaded shift from French Connection reduced from £160 to £25!
Can you imagine being one of the people who bought it for full price, only to now see it for less than you'd get a 'nice' (term used loosely) dress from New Look - shocking! I had a mini moment in there when i saw a dress i had bought for £75 reduced to £25 but thats still only a £50 loss compared to a £135 loss - shocking! It really makes me re-evaluate how much i spend on highstreet clothing. In a way, i guess its totally fair to say that £160 is a bit overpriced for a highstreet dress but this particular dress was entirely beaded, therefore making it worth the money if you really want it.

Its funny what the sales do to your mind. I like the colours of this dress (grey and yellow) and it also comes in black and white but what i liked about the black and white one was that it had a negative effect where the details were in white on a black background. But i still didnt want the dress...that is until i saw it for £25 and all of a sudden my eyes gleamed with 'oh my god, i could have a £160 dress for £25'...what? Why! I dont even want the dress but all of a sudden it became so appealing. Then i firmly reminded myself that i have a £25 topshop voucher and for the £25 i would have spent on the dress i could buy a £50 pair of heels from toppers! So there we have it, job done. I just had to bring shoes into the equation to bring a stop to the mad sale rage! phew! exhausting!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

PHEW!

Goodness me, it's good to be back blogging after the past few days I've had. Thursday was my 21st birthday and i was very impressed by, not only the quality of the gifts given this year (usually opening the gifts is not the most pleasant moment) but also by the announcement in the newspaper. It was the most fabulous little square with a picture of me looking a little too in love with myself and the caption read 'Happy 21st...good luck in London, have fun in Jamaica'...which naturally made me sound like the biggest spoiled brat in the world...which is why i love it! haha!

Besides that I had Mexican for lunch which was to die for, went shopping, saw a film, bought a laptop (my very first computer!) and my boyfriend helped me set it all up with one of those dongle mobile Internet thinga-mi-jiggys to i can blog from bed - woohoo! Finally i own a computer! No more relying on being at work and not being busy! Then we had a party at my house with the family, complete with a pink shoebox cake and wheelbarrow races (it was the sisters and boyfriends/husbands against one another - yep, classy we are!). We like to pretend it was for the amusement of my 2 year old nephew, (who at the time was sat in a bucket expecting it to fly)....but it just wasnt! So after all of that, the next day i met up with a friend and together we set off on the challenge that was 'The Holiday List'...yep! Getting everything on the list! We shopped from 9am until 4am, i spent £10 on parking, we had to rest 3 times, had to fill our car boots up with shopping twice during the day because we couldnt carry any more bags and i spent...ALOT! Worth it though, after all it's been years since i've been away - i just don't own more than one bikini...so another 3 were on the cards, and thats just the starting point...but we did it! By god we did it, and during the challenge i also managed to get my sister some new work clothes (3 outfits for £14 in the sales...unbelievable!) and the boyfriend some new trainers (£8 in the sales...again...unbelievable!) i was chuffed, they were chuffed - every bodies happy!

After such a day there was no time to just sit and gather my thoughts or blog...but goodness knows i tried...i practically had to crawl to the laptop...but failed and decided it was best just left until Sunday, since Saturday i was a wedding photographer. Needless to say, there was no blogging after 12 hours of photography - i was pooped! But the photos are gorgeous, the bride was gorgeous and i'm extremely pleased with myself and my photography partner! Now there's just the challenge of filtering through over 1000 photos...yikes!