Monday, 31 December 2012

LBD Christmas and New Year Party Dress

I've needed a classic little LBD for a while now, and I became obsessed with wrap dresses. I loved how sexy they looked but whilst being understated and simple. Which is something I'm always looking for. I was searching for it for a Christmas party and I was really excited when this showed up on the ASOS curve website. It has gold cuffs which meant I didn't need to look for jewelry to go with it. A plunging wrap neck line and creates a great hourglass figure . I wore a long chain necklace which kept the dress looking casual and belted it to pull me in at the waist. I went with messy hair and black platform heels to keep the look simple and classic. I also picked up a really pretty bra, one I didn't mind if it showed a little bit, from Ann Summers. They go up to a 42 G have great support and a lovely pair of pants. I think this is the closest you'll get to seeing my underwear on this blog, but I really do recommend them. Anyway this is the perfect party dress for this season. I am off to Leeds tonight for New Years to see a few of my best friends. I'm taking this to wear but I always change my mind. But hopefully I'll get another wear out of it. It is a great New Years Eve dress really! I can't see this one on the website but they have a really similar one in the sale with jewelled cuffs which is just as pretty and simple! You can see other sale finds in my post from Friday. Anyway I hope everyone has a lovely lovely new year! And maybe gets a new years kiss! 
Dress- ASOS Curve
Tights - Tesco
Shoes - New Look
Rings - Pia, vintage market
Necklace - Topshop (old)

Gem xo

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Spoilt Brat

This is a quick post to show my Christmas presents. I was well and truly spoiled this year. But I did return the favour and spoiled my parents and brother too. We had a lovely day together, my parents, grandparents and auntie and uncle all had a lovely day watching films, eating good food and playing games. Thats the best thing about Christmas, how happy everyone is! But my favourite present definitely had to be the Michael Kors watch. I didn't know what I wanted and it was between a camera and a watch, but I chose the watch. It's something I'll definitely look after, I've barely taken it out of the box. I got some great box sets including Abfab, and books by Dawn French an Cecelia Ahern as well as a cookery book. My mother knows me well. I got some lovely perfume and make up bits too for the beauty lover in side of me. I received some clothes too which will be featuring in a outfit post soon if I can pull my finger out. Anyway despite getting struck down with the lurgy I've had a lovely Christmas period this year and spent loadsa time with friends and family and although I've had to work I've felt relaxed this Christmas. It was definitely an up on last year when my mum put her hand through a glass plate and sliced her hand open! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and had lots of laughs. Now for New Year Celebrations. Woohoooo.

Gem xo

Friday, 28 December 2012

Top Christmas Sales!

Just thought I'd share a sneak preview of my last outfit of the year! It sure is a special outfit, I must say. I wanted to share my favourite online sales that you should all check out. I had a great Christmas and will show my favourite presents over the weekend and some photos I took which you might have seen on Instagram. Anyway onto the sales! I started sale shopping pretty early this year and logged on on Christmas Day afternoon. I'm glad I did because I picked up a cheeky Mulberry bag. Anyway other websites I've been so tempted by but I've managed to hold myself back are:

This sale is a fair bit pricey. But it's my go to site for plus size buys. It's on trend and easy to use and has a lot of choice. My favourite pick is this bow print shirt, perfect for the office or dress down with jeans and boots.

2. Evans
Another pricey website for plus size fashion. But it has great discount in the sale. Especially on the Clements Ribiero selection. This black peplum dress has over half price off! 

3. Boots
Boots always offer a great little pick me up. So after a day of sale shopping why not pop here for a nice little set. They have loads of sets for under a tenner. They're great presents too, so I'm thinking of picking some up for friends and family for up coming birthdays. 

I think New Look offer the best value for money. And they are offering great discounts too. Go now if you need a quick New Years Dress. I blogged about this one a few weeks ago and everyone loved it. It's now in the sale so go get it while you can.

Another website offering some cheap items. There is lots on here as well from electricals to womens clothes. So this is a good all rounder website really. This bright dress is lovely for summer. They offer lots of other clothes though, from going up to large sizes. I've had a trawl through this website quite a few times now!

This is my favourite sale thats going on. I can never ever afford a big leather mulberry bag but if I could have a slice of the iconic brand that would be amazing! I didn't pick this back up but another one in a similar style. It looks like its come back into stock too so go pick up one now. There are also purses and belts if you're after something else!

So they're my Christmas Sale picks. If you have found any great ones do let me know! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas! And got what you wanted. I'm off to relax as I'm full of a stinking cold, and I want to be better for New Years. Happy weekend. 

Gem xo

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Party Dress

It's taken my a while to get round to posting this outfit, I've left most of my Christmas bits and bobs until the last minute so blogging has been put a bit on the back burner unfortunately but I thought I'd share my story on how I survived the Christmas office party! It was the office Christmas party last week in Manchester, and I was struggling to find something to wear. I wanted to be dressy but not overly so as we were going straight from work and would be walking about a fair bit around Manchester fairly early. I've also read a few articles where red seems to be a good colour to wear on a night out, and has been popular this year. So when I saw this LRD on ASOS Curve website I knew I had to pick it up.  it has a cute button down design and a little peter pan collar. It fit really well and I really love the shade of red. Despite red being my favourite colour I've never gotten a dress in the colour so this was a great addition to my wardrobe. I accessorised my outfit with chunky boots I can wear all night, gold rings, and a slick of red lipstick. Anyway we went to TGI Fridays in Manchester and I had lots of drinks bought for me so when we got to the main party at Missoula I was suitably pissed already, but then there was a free bar, but I was proud and left with most of my dignity in tact. The photo above was from later on in the night and I'm still looking fairly okay! I had a really good night and survived my first Christmas office party and lived to tell the tale. What did you all get up to for your Christmas party? I hope you got suitably drunk and merry as well!
Dress - ASOS Curve
Tights - Tesco
Boots - ASOS
Leather Jacket - Very (old)

Gem xo

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Jumper Day

This may be the tackiest post I ever produce. But I had to show you my favourite (only) christmas jumper. On Friday it was Christmas Jumper day, the idea is you wear your christmas jumper to work and donate money to charity, all for a bit of fun. As Friday was the Christmas do, everyone was looking quite glam in work so they did it on Thursday. I ordered a suitably tacky, cheerful and cheap jumper from eBay over a week ago, with the promise it would arrive for the Thursday. It never did come in time. But I'm not out of pocket too much because I made this one for free. In my disappointment I wanted to make the best Christmas jumper to shame them all. I had some battery operated lights, a jumper and some christmassy gold bows, and a needle and thread. I could do this. I made this Christmas monstrosity. It was a talking piece and I enjoyed 'flashing' people throughout the days with my lights. I actually never thought wearing a Christmas Jumper could be so much fun, but it was, so much so me and my colleagues got an email telling us to calm down and stop being so noisy. Bah humbug! I hope everyone else got to wear a suitably Christmas jumper at some point over the festive period! The lights do definitely say Merry Christmas in case you wear wondering!

Edit: Sorry just mentioning, this is my 200th post! I think it's been celebrated in style!

Jumper - Made by me.

Gem xo

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Gift Ideas For Him & Her

It's nearly Christmas and if you're anything like me you've left some of your christmas shopping until the last minute. I've been celebrating Christmas a lot this week with nights out with friends, Secret Santa and the works night out on Friday. As well as a hungover Saturday watching Christmas films I thought it was about time I posted some gift ideas. So I hope this helps you if you're stuck for some presents!

Perfume and Make-up will always be a Christmas winner, so with the Flowerbomb gift set and the Mac lipstick you can't go wrong. This KitchenAid is what my mum is after. I'm trying to rope people in the family to giving money to me so we can get it her but it's proving hard as everyone has their own gift ideas for her. It's the perfect present for that baker in the family. I love a good diary for Christmas, I'm always scribbling stuff down so a paper diary is perfect. Paperchase always provide the prettiest designs, like this clock one for 2013. I love this mulberry bracelet as a gift for your best friend. It's nice to give someone a taste of the designer they love, but for a small percent of the usual Mulberry Prices! Another designer jewellery piece is this Michael Kors watch. The most popular watch with bloggers galore, but his designs are timeless, this rose gold one is super pretty.

I always find men hard to buy for, and unfortunately I had a guy for my secret santa at work. Luckily, he loves to cook posh food so when I saw a Tagine set I picked that up for him, which he guessed after just seeing the package and loved thankfully! But I would be struggling usually, so I've chosen quite easy things that I think will be a winner. This oatmeal jumper is a perfect, chic alternative to the garish Christmas jumper for Christmas day. I can image if this was your boyfriends, you'd want to steal it and snuggle into it. Sadly I have no boyfriend, so I may just buy this for myself! These cool USB sticks are amazing, great for the secret geek. I've linked to a selection at Amazon for your geeky guy friend needs. I love these retro Casio watches, a great casual watch, I've got this for my brother. I also picked up is favourite aftershave, this is quite a cheap aftershave, and with my brother he uses it like water so cheap is always the best way with him! Another cute clothing piece you'll want to steal is this wooly maroon hat, perfect for winter days. Finally for the man who can't put books down, but loves his gadgets, much like my Dad, this Kindle Fire is perfect, has a connection to the internet and is a great alternative to the very very expensive iPad.

I hope you enjoyed this little gift guide, if you want to buy the gifts, just click on the name and it's all linked. I know some of the presents are cliche, but sometimes they're the best presents, useful and thoughtful too. In other gift news, my giveaway ended last night and the winner was Gail T! So well done to her and she'll be getting her gift soon. Thank you so much to everyone who followed and entered. I have lots of outfit posts from the last week that I haven't got round to posting. So I promise promise I will put them up, including my Christmas jumper I made myself! 

Gem xo

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Words Are All We Have

Another week close to Christmas, agh. I had a day off today and went Christmas Shopping all by myself, I got a few bits and bobs. Including my secret santa present, which is for a boy and was boring to buy but I did it, and some presents for my family. And a few things for myself which I'll include in a little winter clothing haul near the end of this week. I've been updating my wardrobe with winter essentials but don't really show my accessories on here much as I take indoor photos, so I'm looking forward to sharing my recent winter accessory buys! I wanted to be comfy and simple and not worrying about what I was wearing with it being busy in the shops. So I threw this dress on that I picked up from ASOS curve last week. It's a really easy dress to wear with it being navy blue, so it looks nice with black, but the cute Peter Pan collar is a lovely addition. I bought my regular size in this, and its actually supposed to be a swing dress, but it's massive, and I've had to belt it so it wasn't down to my calfs, so I would recommend sizing down in this dress. I did wear some chunky boots because of the weather but the dress looks prettier with ballet slippers as above. In other news, last night I went to see Mumford & Sons. They were amazing! I couldn't get any amazing photos of them as we were far back and I was too busy singing along, but I'll share my gig outfit later on in the week too. I would recommend Mumford &Sons live to anyone who wants to go to a wintery gig. Their first album always reminds me of Christmas. 

In other Christmas news, go enter my giveaway if you would like another present under your Christmas tree. Just scroll down and enter to win a Benefit make-up set!
Dress - ASOS Curve
Tights - Tesco
Shoes - ASDA
Belt - Dorothy Perkins
Rings - Vintage, Pia, and Markets

Gem xo

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Happy Blogmas!

Hello! And Happy Blogmas! I've been talking about this for a little while now, and I've finally got round to hosting my first giveaway on my blog! I'm doing this to say thank you to the ladies who read this blog as a little Christmas Treat. I've got a lot out of blogging including a lot of confidence and insight into great fashion and beauty products and I think it's about time I put something back in to the community! Benefit are one of my favourite beauty brands, so I thought it's only right to choose them for my first giveaway. This little set is part of their Christmas Range, and has some full size products and some samples for you to pop into your handbag. It has my favourite highlighter and mascara in, both that I'd really recommend. I'd really love it if you could all enter! The set includes:

  • Full size high beam
  • Full size sugarbomb
  • the POREfessional deluxe mini
  • they're real! deluxe mini

The giveaway is a week long, ending on the 16th December at 12 am. All you need to do to enter is follow my blog on GFC as this is a giveaway for followers and for an extra entry just tweet about my giveaway but that's optional. It's open to all countries. I hope it will get to the winner before Christmas, but I've left it late, as per usual! Edit: Sorry! But could you leave a comment and how many times you've entered below please as well.

Thanks for entering and good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gem xo

Thursday, 6 December 2012

So Cold in This House

Since the snow and hail has arrived in the country I thought I better get out my new winter coat. And show you of course. I was lusting after the Zara version of this coat, but out of my price range and way out of my size range I had to look elsewhere. Then I saw Franceta or Frantic Dreams wearing an amazing coat. So I bought it. I love my leather biker jacket and this is a great transition piece. I still wear my old charity shop camel coat, but this is just a classic coat, that I hope will stay in my wardrobe for years to come. I love the pu leather sleeves and the collar, it adds an extra bit to that classic black woollen coat. I've been wearing it to work a lot as it's quite smart. And it does smarten up casual outfits like this one. It isn't the warmest coat I have but with a cardigan or jumper underneath and a big chunky knit scarf over the top it keeps me warm enough. So that is my winter coat. I've been wearing this collar necklace for a bit as well, but only ever wearing it with plain tops and dresses as it can get a bit much. It's a primark bargain. Anyway, I'm off to sort my room out, hope everyone has had a good week so far.
Coat - Simply Be
Top - Primark
Jeans - ASOS Curve
Boots - ASOS
Necklace - Primark

Gem xo

Monday, 3 December 2012

Hopes and Promises

I've been eying up the black skater skirt on ASOS for a while but I didn't really want to pay for something that I could have a go at making myself. But when I was out shopping in Chester last weekend I popped into a charity shop and found an old skater skirt. Woop, I paid £2 for something and my lazy side won and I didn't have to make it. Winner. I've seen lots of bloggers looking great in the skater skirt style including Mel and Gem. I didn't go too far from their style, opting to tuck my skirt in. Which pulls me in at the waist a bit more. I'm thinking of trying to get away with wearing this for work with the pussy bow blouse which is a smart take on the look. I wore it with my chunky black chelsea boots. These have been coming out more as with the wet weather they seem to be keeping my feet a lot dryer than my little flats. I know I keep harping on about it, and I'm very sorry but I definitely have a giveaway coming up. I've found the perfect gift and I'm sad I have to send it out to be honest! Keep your eyes peeled for the giveaway! Hope everyone has a lovely week anyway!
Skirt - Charity Shop 
Shirt - Primark
Tights - Primark
Shoes - ASOS

Gem xo

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Lost in Paradise

This is a bit of a quickie post today. I've gotten back into snapping my outfits just before I leave for the day. I wonder how long that will last me! I actually wore this skirt to the Simply Be store opening and I really enjoyed wearing it. For this outfit, as it is so so so freezing this week I threw on this black sweater. I really love the pencil skirt and jumper combination at the moment. It's a really comfy outfit, but it still looks quite chic and polished. The print on this skirt and the colour is amazing. It's like an aztec print and is very bright. But the rest of the black outfit tones it down and makes the skirt a lot more wearable. Especially for me, who never strays too far from a black outfit.  I managed to wear a bright necklace which had the same pinky colour in it, but that is as far as a strayed from the black. I wore my chunky chelsea boots which look great with tights and pencil skirts. My skin looks quite sheeny in the top photo, this is because I went to Space NK and did a little haul and bought some great skin and make up bits and bobs, which I will post about soon! These amazing beauty vloggers on Youtube will bankrupt me! In other bankruptcy news, I have a new car! It's my mum's old car which I've bought off of them, and I'm really excited to have a bit more freedom and to not rely on my parents too much anymore. Anyway, sorry for the bitty post, I'm a bit busy at the moment. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and is making the most of the colder weather to wear lots of layers and clothes! 

Tights - Tesco
Skirt - ASOS Curve
Boots - ASOS
Necklace - Primark
Jumper - H&M

Gem xo

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Mud Chocolate Pie

This pie is one of my favourite things to make. It's a very rare treat as it's very indulgent and rich. But it's so so easy to make! This is a Gordon Ramsay recipe (he is a sexy man, sexy men and chocolate go together so well!) with a few variations thrown into make it a bit easy for simple minds like myself.

What you will need:

One Large Sweet Pastry Case (or you can make and bake your own if you're not lazy)
100g milk chocolate
50g any chocolate of your choice to decorate
200g dark
100ml milk
200ml double cream
2 eggs
2 tbsp Caster sugar

What you need to do:

1. Turn the oven on to a temperature of 150C and leave to warm up.

2. Melt together the 100g milk and 200g dark chocolate over a bain marie. Ensure it is all mixed together and smooth. Maybe taste it to make sure this has been done to a good standard, and taste a few more times. Just you know, to check...

3. In another pan on the hob, slowly bring the milk and cream to the boil, make sure you don't burn it. When this is boiled, slowly add to the chocolate, mixing with a large wooden spoon or spatular until it's all creamy and mixed.

4. Then whisk in the eggs and caster sugar to make the mixture a little less dense.

5. Pour through a sieve to make sure there are no lumps and bumps. And then add the mixture to the empty, ready made pastry case. 

6. Pop the pie in the oven!

7. Whilst the pie is cooking, this is time to create the decorations for your lovely pie. For mine I made flakes of chocolate (failed curls). I'm sure there are some great instructions for curling the chocolate somewhere on the internet but I could not get the hang of it. I ended up making my flakes with grated chocolate!

8. Take the pie out of the oven after 35 - 40 or until the mixture is firm but wobbly. Allow to cool, which, I know, is very very hard. But the flakes will melt otherwise. When it is cool,decorate with your own little decorations and serve!

As I said before, this is super super easy to make and quite relaxing really to make. Good luck and enjoy eating it too! 

Gem xo

Monday, 26 November 2012

We Can't Get Back Yesterday

Hello, and Happy Monday! I've had such a lovely four day weekend. I booked it off a couple weeks ago as something to look forward too. I didn't really arrange anything too stressful as I needed to relax and sleep really. I've had like two days off since I started in May. And whilst I am so so grateful for this job, especially at the moment, it was nice to just chill and not worry for a weekend. I went to Trafford Centre on Friday and Chester on Saturday and I have a few christmas presents sorted, woohoo! Anyway, this outfit has crept back into my wardrobe. Black skinny jeans, black shirt and any colourful jumper I can find thats clean! I'm a big fan of the preppy, masculine look, and wore it a lot at the beginning of this year. And I'm glad to see the style still featuring on quite a few street style blogs. All I need now to complete the look is the pork pie hat from yesterdays post and long wavy bohemian hair! I'm loving this lipstick at the moment too, I'm quite pink in the face with the awful rosy cheeks I get but I think this pinky, red colour flatters the tones in my cheeks quite nicely. This is the Revlon Just Bitten Stain I picked up a couple weeks ago, and I would highly recommend it, might need to devote a whole post to my favourite winter lip products. Hope everyone has a lovely week anyway, and remember only 29 sleeps until Christmas!

Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Shirt - New Look
Jumper - H&M
Necklace - Primark
Boots - ASOS

Gem xo

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Wants of the Week #31

I've not been the best blogger recently. Been a bit lacking on the post front. But I've got a few things planned including a giveaway and a cookery post which I did today! So fingers crossed I can get back into it.

1. Dress - ASOS Curve £25
I love these simple swing dresses that ASOS do. I've been waiting for one with sleeves for a while. They look super comfy and are a great price too. I like this grey colour but I'd love them to bring it out in a maroon or dark purple. They look like a lovely winter wardrobe staples.

2. Pork Pie Hat - Topshop £25
I've mentioned the khaki version of this before on my blog but the black is so much more versatile. I tried this on in Topshop on Friday in Trafford Centre with my friend Lauren, and we were both very surprised when it fit!! I have a rather large head and Topshop are smaller fittings, but it did fit me! I'm hinting very strongly at my mum now for a christmas present!

3.Blusher in Taupe - Nyx £5.50
I'm not really much of a bronzer person. I prefer pale and interesting. But my face still needs contouring. I saw this on Meg's blog at Lipsofacto, and it looks really natural and like a lovely dark blush.

4. Shoes - Zara £59.99
These studded pumps are beautiful. Maybe not the best or most suitable shoes for all the horrible, wet weather we've been having recently. But they're amazing. 

5. Stella Perfume - Stella McCartney £50 for 50ml
I know this is an older perfume but it's such a lovely scent for winter. It is quiet heavy and very floral, with a lot of rose notes. I'd definitely say try before you buy. But I received a sample not long ago and wore it and I really liked it, plus everyone kept asking what perfume I was wearing and saying it suited me. It also lasts which is good for me. Plus there are some really pretty bottles for winter!

Gem xo

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Winter Nail Colour

All through summer I've been a fan of pastel colours for my nails. But as soon as the temperature dropped I reached for the dark, moody colours again. I'm a massive fan of dark, deep reds in particular. This red looks almost black. And I can't get enough of it. I'm really not using any other colours on my nails at the moment, apart from the occasional navy or turquoise. It goes with everything in my wardrobe which to be honest is dark this season anyway, and it looks quite classy too. I found this nail varnish in Boots. It's by L'oreal and the nail varnishes go on really well. It only took one coat for this colour, dried quickly and I find it doesn't really chip at all for me. I'd really recommend the L'oreal Colour Riche Nail colour for anyone. Finally, I like to accessorise my nails with gold jewellery for a pretty finish! What's your favourite nail colour for the winter months?

Scarlett Vamp Colour - L'oreal Colour Riche.

Gem xo

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Cross Over and Come Inside

Okay, I promise I am not a sponsored Simply Be blogger and I have bought all the clothes myself. But at the moment I cannot get enough of their clothes! This is the third post in a row featuring one of their items and they just keep winning in the war of my wardrobe. I grabbed this simple grey cross tee when I picked up the peplum top a couple weeks ago in Bury. I bought it because you can never have too many simple t-shirts to just throw on. And I love the slightly slouchy grey t-shirt look at the moment. I like to wear my t-shirts with pencil skirts to smarten them up a little bit, and threw on this grey cheap primark one. It looks black in these photos but its a really dark grey marl.I love this necklace too at the moment it's really easy to wear and is a real centre piece for a simple outfit like this one. I wore this to a family do on Saturday night for a casual look. And there were children there, and now I really want a kid. Not to steal one or anything, just so we're clear. I'm feeling very broody this week. Maybe it just shows I'm getting older which is very very scary indeed. Anyway, I'm going to try and put an outfit together that does not feature Simple Be. BUT. I won't lie to you girls. It's going to be hard. Hope everyone as had a nice start to their week!
T-Shirt - Simply Be 
Necklace - Primark
Skirt - Primark
Boots - ASOS
Tights - Tesco

Gem xo

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Fly By

Happy Weekend! This weeks been a bit of a long sad one really. So I'm happy it's over. My weekend started last night with a bang at an Anne Summers party. I've been to one before, when I was a lot younger, and I didn't really appreciate it. I went to one last night with some friends, and our mothers/ future mothers in law were there as well. Now you may think this is a recipe for cringing, and I'm not gonna lie, it really was, but that made it all the more funny. I really would recommend it to anyone if they want an alternative to a night out. The lady was telling us they have a sale in January where they sell all the older items, so there's a tip. There is some beautiful lingerie, in large sizes too. In most of the bras and pants set, they go to a size 42 G and 24. I may have treated myself to some! Today I have a wine hangover, but its an excuse to relax! Anyway, onto this outfit. I managed to get a quick snap before I changed and headed out last night. This is another Simply Be buy, I bought it at the Arndale Store opening and I think it's one of my favourite shirts, I own. I haven't really known when to wear it, so I wore it to dress down Friday at work, but I reckon I could dress it up with a pencil skirt for more formal work days, now I've tested it out. It's a satiny material, but there is a lot of stretch in it too, which means its really really comfy. I love the navy colour and think it's a great winter buy. I paired it was dark blue skinnies and black boots to keep it looking casual and comfy. I have also found my favourite nail varnish. This is a pale lilac in the Barry M Gelly nail varnishes. They are really nice and easy to apply. This colour is particularly pretty. It brought out the lilac colour in the shirt.
Shirt - Simply Be
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Boots - ASOS
Rings - Market Stall and Past Times

Gem xo