Friday, 30 March 2012

Nine to Five.

I can't get over the fact it's still March. I'm sorry I should turn my blog into a weather blog. That's all I seem to yap on about.

Anyway, as you know I've been going for interviews for jobs. (Yet to be employed but still trying my damned hardest) I have two outfits that are my go to, a white shirt buttoned up and a pencil skirt for very formal interviews, and this outfit for less formal. I like to feel comfortable when I'm at my most nervous and apprehensive and having go to outfits that I feel good in are the safest bets.

I showed you this George @ ASDA dress not too long ago and this is what it looks like on. I was so surprised at how smart it actually looked on in the end. And I love the bright colour of the dress and the 50's collar and style that it has, including an A-line skirt which you can't see in this photo. The poppy print is also lovely for summer and this dress would be lovely to go out for drinks in the sun with bare legs and pumps. It is a little bit longer than these photos are letting on too, so its just about my knees.
I popped this jumper over the top and belted it in to create an hourglass figure. Channeling my inner Christina Hendricks (sexiest woman I ever did see). 

As always, red nail varnish and the headband/necklace of dreams for good luck. I popped my hair in a low bun and I also wore the red floral ring which almost matches the print on the dress. Loveeely.

This was a scheduled post by the way, trying to up my outfit posts to make my blog a bit more reliable and personable. Back from visiting my friend, some outfit posts on the way from the two days I spent in Leeds with ma friendz, soaking up the rays. Yes I do have them, shockingly. 

Dress - George @ASDA
Jumper - H&M
Rings - Pia, vintage, charity shop
Necklace - DP
Tights - Tesco
Boots - DP

Gem xo

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Here Comes The Sun

Look a change of scenery, I bet you thought I never leave my room! 

Taking full on advantage of this sun. I'm even writing this post sat in the garden. And boy do I need it! I'm as white as the waistcoat. Oh dear me. I do like being pale, and I don't really have a love of tanning, but after seeing these photos I do need some Vitamin D I think. I'm just wearing a big hat or a tea towel over my face to stop it burning as my face burnt reduces people to tears from laughing so hard. My shoulders burn quite badly too, to the point of blistering/prickly heat. So I threw this lace cover up on. I've been taking full advantage of the sun, going out to the waterside in to sit and eat food and drink pints in the sun, sitting in the garden, and visiting my friend in Leeds tonight for eats and drinks in the sunshine! I don't usually have a social life at all.

Anyway, you've seen this dress before about a year ago I'd say. It's an old maxi dress but I do love how flattering it is. It makes me look longer and statuesque (and like my legs go up to my tits!!) The print is all paisley and I love how tiny the pattern is. I reckon it'd look great in tribal print. I'm also not a huge lover of green but don't mind this dark green, always trying to incorporate colour into my wardrobe It's the comfiest maxi dress I own, and when I wear it out I don't have to check how I look every twenty minutes because I know its still fitting me just right.
I dressed it up with this gold collar and a chunky gold bangle. Which makes the outfit a little bit more interesting, and also gives it a tribal edge. Which is one of the trends I love in summer.

Have you gotten back into the maxi dresses yet?

Dress - old DP
Cover up - old DP
Necklace - Charity shop
Bangle - vintage mums.
Sunglasses - Primark.

Gem xo

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Tassle On.


I just wanted to show you this outfit before it got lost in the depths of my camera memory. Where all good photos go to die. This top will probably come up a lot more in summer. I absolutely love it. It was from Primark, I'm pretty sure it was exactly a year ago, and it was worth the mere pounds I spent on it. I bought it again and cut the tassles off, for a different kind of crop top. It's my favourite way to cover up the tops of my arms when I'm not having a flabulous kind of day. 

Here I've just popped it over a black simple outfit, black skinnies and chunky boots, so that it is the main focus, but it looks just as amazing over a bright maxi dress or a floral top too. Planning ahead, I think it will make a brilliant piece for the festival and park circuit if this glorious weather keeps up. I have all my maxis, midis, leggings and bright tee's out already to iron and go. Tempting fate but I just want to test run all my summer gear to see if it can handle beer gardens, burger sauce and sweating underarms! 
I popped my hair into a messy top knot and accessorised with that headband/necklace I'm always going on about. I love that I can do whatever I want with this thing, best pound I ever spent. Although I do say that about a lot of things I bought for a pound, so I wouldn't trust me! 

Yesterday, I also signed up to Island Girl Insight's International Blog Love Swap. If you want to meet new bloggers and get more involved in the blogging community, as I do, I think it'd be a great way to get into it. You can have a look here. And sign up! Her blog is lovely by the way, very pretty indeed.

So, whats your favourite summer wardrobe item!? I have a couple more outfits this week, so please stay reading. Again, sorry to gush but I really appreciate your comments and time :)

Jeans - ASOS
T-shirt - H&M
Tassle Top - Primark
Headband - DP
Boots - Office

Gem xo

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Recent Buys.


I mentioned earlier this week that I'd popped into Manchester and picked up some bits and bobs. Everything here was bought from a charity shop, or Primark, and whilst I don't like to brag it came in under £20! 

The dress is from Primark, for a tenner, I've seen it on quite a few blogs, and thought why not give it a try? There are similar ones at Dorothy Perkins, Topshop, and H&M. But this one is just as good and alot cheaper. I was quite surprised with how opaque and the quality of the material as usually Primark dresses can be quite thin but this had a lovely feel to it. I can't wait to wear it when it gets really warm! 

The collar was from a charity shop for £1! I did see one in Primark that was so similar for £4 but I'm glad a waited now.  I'm pretty sure its the same one but I'm not complaining, as in the same shop I picked up the two pictures or Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles for 50p each. I think they add a little bit more personality to my cream/boring room.

The bag was from a charity shop as well for £4. I quite like the idea of sticking the strap inside and wearing it as a clutch with a cream and black maxi dress I have and with tan wedges. Or is matching shoes and bag still a no-no?

Anyway, I hope you like my bargains! Have you got any bargains recently? I'm off for an afternoon stroll with the dog, covered in mosquito spray. 

Gem xo

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Wants of the Week #7

Afternoon everyone :)

Isn't it lovely in the UK!? I walked my dog this morning (wait for it) without a coat! Oh the excitement. Seriously though, it is so pretty and it just reminds me of Spring. I've had a bit of a spring clean this morning moving everything in my room around. I've moved my mahoossive dolls house out of my room, for the first time since I was little. It's now in the front room. I've had it ever since I was about 6/7, and my Grandad made it for me, so it is very special to me. In my outfit posts you'll see the corner poking out. I haven't played with it in days years, but it really is cluttering my room. When I move out, I'm sure my parents will have it right back in. 

I went off on a tangent there, but what the departure of the dolls house means is now I have a clear wall to take outfit posts against. 

Onto what I want this week (except my childhood back, apparently)

1. Sheer Striped top - New Look £19.99
I really like this top, but I think its too much like a winter tee, but I love the sheer stripes, I just wish it was brighter coloured. So I will refrain from buying it, but I do have my eye on the skull print top on the website. I feel like sizing it up a couple sizes, wearing it as a dress with leggins. 

2. Hi-top Pumps - Converse from £38 
I need to get out of my black heeled boot rut that I have unexpectedly fallen into. I think for spring/summer these white pumps will help me make the transition. Plus I find converse, so comfy. When I used to run up and down stairs in my last job they took the pressure off of my joints so I wasn't aching when I got home. I think the Grandma in me wrote that last sentence, but what a funky Grandma! Young 'uns still say 'funky', right?

3. L'emperatrice Perfume - D&G 100ml from £35
As you'll have seen from the Valentina scent I listed not long ago, I like lighter fragrances. This one (I won't try to spell it again) is lovely and fresh, having notes of kiwi, the perfume lady told me. It did last on me too all day when I tried it in store, which I is another selling point for me.

4. 8 Hour Cream - Elizabeth Arden from £10
I've priced this in lots of places as I have dry patches on my skin. The cheapest I've found it is in TK Maxx: 50ml for £14.99! But I've seen the 30ml for a tenner. On Cheap smells it's even cheaper so I reckon I'll get it from there. I use it on the dry patches, and nowhere else on my face and they usually clear up in a day or two. It really is a great moisturiser.

5. Moustache Ring - River Island £6
I can never get enough of rings as you probably know, and this morning I found a box I thought I'd left in London/Brighton and it has ones that have been bought as presents. I nearly wept with relief when I saw the box! Anyway this would be a fun addition to my ring collection. There are some even funner ones on Etsy too!

6. Stripe Dress - ASOS Curve £35
Love this dress from ASOS, it would look great with the converse and a light cardigan in the day or wedges/black heeled boots for night time. I'm always looking for simple timeless pieces. I think the stripes on this are lovely.

Anyway, hope everyone has a sunny weekend. I have a recent buys post on the way tomorrow with some goodies I mentioned earlier in the week, if you're interested. I'm off to do more spring cleaning and see if I can find anything else I thought I'd lost. Fingers crossed, I lose a lot of things unfortunately!

Gem xo

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Through the Dark.

Not the most inspiring outfits this week by any standards! I didn't wear this to do anything particularly interesting anyway, so I suppose no love lost there. 

This khaki dress is years old now. It's made of jersey and is really comfortable. It has a simple empire line, cut just under the bust and then flairs out underneath. I'm not a huge fan of khaki colours, they remind me of All Saints and nineties girlbands wearing combats. But I do like the military feel of this dress, with the gold buttons. This cardigan is one of my favourite slouchy items to wear as well. It just adds to the comfiness of this outfit even more. I'm not sure of how flattering it is, because I do actually have a waist which is not shown in these photos!

I also wanted to show you this dress to show I'm not a hater of feminine dresses, which is what I was moaning about in my last outfit post! I do have lots of them, I just want to get a nice pair of black, slim tuxedo pants. Is that so much to ask!? I'll spare you my moaning hah.
I accessorised with red nails and gold accessories such as the headband/necklace I've shown you recently, and the cross necklace. As well as gold rings. I know people think gold rings look tacky, but I love 'em, especially in summer. 

Anyway, sorry I have nothing interesting to tell you about! If that changes and I'm suddenly jet setting off to all different places I shall let you know.

Dress - Primark
Cardigan - Dorothy Perkins
Necklace - Market 
Rings - vintage, pia, topshop.
Boots - Dorothy Perkins
Tights - Tesco

Gem xo

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Doing it Right.


Just a quick one!

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who reads my blog. I really appreciate it. I noticed I hit 80 on GFC today, I know people don't think 80 is a lot, but to me it is! I also wanted to thank Tesco for featuring me on there LifeStyled blog. (Bit of self promo, but hey ho I have no dignity whatsoever) You can find it here. The post was lovely, and really boosted my confidence in posting on the blog. 

I'm really enjoying blogging at the moment, my favourite thing about it is the people. I love meeting new people. So, it also meant a lot to me when I was tagged in a little blogger award over on Lisa Philbin's blog which you can see here. I won't bore you by answering the questions as I'm not as interesting as Lisa. Her blog is a lovely mixture of beauty and style tips for plus sized ladies too! 

Anyway, I just wanted to say big thank you very much for following me, and reading. I am indebted to you all! 

Here's to me keeping it up this time. Drink to that. 

Gem xo

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Just Ordinary.

Well hello there!

A fairly subdued outfit to start this week. I popped out by myself yesterday into Manchester to have a window browse, nosied in Afflecks Palace and have a look at charity shops. I did buy some things, very cheaply and I quite like them and I'll do a recent buys post at the end of this week to show you one or two goodies for summer I have bought. 

I'm still championing the shirts and jumpers style. I showed you this jumper recently in a buys post and I love it. The wool finish is amazing, it's cut very flatteringly, and l love simplicity in items of clothes, this definitely is that. Paired with a white shirt, and blue jeans I don't really know how simple I can get. My trusty boots, which I still love, from Dorothy Perkins also go along with the non-complex nature of the outfit. Especially for summer I don't like a lot of fuss on my outfits. I do love the masculine trend that dominated A/W 2011, a lot of clean lines and cuts. There I am waffling on about it, thinking I am a proper journo.

Unfortunately, for curvy girls including myself, awful prints and oversized, long,fussy dresses are forced upon us to take the attention away from our weight. But I like simple cuts, and plain t-shirts and slim fit pants, I feel comfortable in them, rather than being the massive frumpy doll that Evans (and other plus size lines, I'm not just picking on them) expect us to be. Don't get me wrong, I love a floral skater dress as much as the next person, but if I like a trend, I want to be able to wear it rather than be told what trend suits me. That's why I do love H&M, they're simple, and have finally!! introduced even bigger size ranges into their main lines, which is where my jumper is from.
This necklace was a steal at a pond from DP, its another headband/ necklace but looks so pretty underneath buttoned up collars like this one. I just paired it with this pearly silver ring, which I love but the pearls have all fallen out :( Do you know where I can buy little ones?

What do you think of the masculine trend? Do you like H&M's new items that go up to a size 22/24?

Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Boots - Dorothy Perkins
Shirt - Peacocks
Jumper - H&M
Necklace - Dorothy Perkins
Rings - Pia, vintages, market.

Gem xo

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Not So Little Bakery - Mothers Day Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Hello again! Hope everyone's had a lovely weekend, and a lazy Sunday. Or a hectic one running around for your Mothers, if you're celebrating Mothers Day. Anyway I don't think the baking thing was well received, but I'm still gonna post it on my blog, someone might use the recipes and I enjoy writing about it. I'll probably do it once a month or whenever I'm baking something new. 

As its Mothers day, the whole family came round for a Sunday dinner (which I made! I cook a mean buttery roast chicken I tell you!) And I made this cake to celebrate it. Lemon cake is a favourite of my Grandmas so I tried to beat her favourite Marks and Spencers one. She said it was very tasty! High praise indeed. This is how I did it:
What you will need:
225g Butter
225g Caster Sugar
3 Zests of Organic unwaxed lemons
3 Juices of lemons.
4 Eggs
1tsp of Cream of Tartar
30g Ground Almond
Icing Sugar

What to do:
1. To start off with, grease a twenty inch bake tin or line it with greaseproof paper, and preheat your oven to 190 degrees celsius. 

2. In a large, metal bowl, with a hand whisk cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth in consistency. This just makes the cake light and fluffy and creates an even mixture.

3. Next, add the of the three lemons. I just use a bog standard grater with a zester but I'm sure you can buy better ones where the zest doesn't get stuck and you don't have to try and get it out with a knife. Just make sure you don't get the white of the lemon in, the pith, it will make the cake taste bitter.

4. After the zest is all in, whisk in the eggs gradually one at a time. If the mixture curdles add a spoonful of sifted flour. Then sift in the rest of the flour, including the Cream of Tartar. Make sure the Tartar is all sifted through too if there are any lumps it'll cause an unpleasant taste in the cake at the end. A bit fizzy. Like lemonade drizzle cake! Oh the jokes keep on coming. Fold everything together with a large metal spoon.

5. Then, add a lemons worth of juice to the mixture. Making sure, again its evenly mixed. Following this add the ground almonds. The almonds add another texture and sweeten the lemon juice a little more subtly than caster sugar. 

6. Pop the mixture into the cake tin that you prepared earlier and then put in the preheated oven. As the cake is quite a wet mixture it should take 1hr to cook. But keep checking regularly, you can test by popping a skewer in to see if it is cooked all the way through (the knife should be clean!)
7. Whilst the cake is baking, you can make the drizzle. With the rest of the lemon juice mix in as much icing sugar until the mixture is thick but still runny. 

8. When the cake comes out of the oven, leave it to cool down for twenty minutes and then take out of the cake tin. When the cake feels cool to the touch then you can add the drizzle. But before I do that I poke holes in the cake with a tiny, thin skewer, it means the drizzle goes into the cake and makes it extra tasty inside.

9. Then decorate as you wish!! I used ready made writing paste and ready made sugar flowers. As you can see below! 
It looks quite pretty in the end. Although looks like a massive pork pie underneath all the icing. You can definitely rolls a cake in glitter girls! and boys of course!

Gem xo

Friday, 16 March 2012

Wants of the Week #6

This weekend its mothering sunday in the UK. I've chosen some items that my mother would like, or she is getting, despite not wanting it. (Disclaimer: she has left sly comments that she wants all of these items)

1. Bridesmaids DVD - £7 (on offer @ ASDA)
My mums been wanting to watch this film for ages, she missed it at the cinema and I was raving about it. It's a really funny film and my mum shares a similar sense of humour to me so I reckon we can have a girly night watching this.

2. Dove Bracelet - £75 Links of London.
This pretty bracelet is a lovely gift. I always think jewelry is personal, and this is just what my mum likes: simple and pretty and silver. 

3. Emeli Sande 'Our Version of Events' - £7.97 Amazon
I love love love Emeli Sande and after getting my mum to watch her on Lorraine Kelly the other morning my mum loves her music too. I think this would be a great present (not because I want to steal it or anything!!)

4. Ghost Gift Set - £20 Boots
This is my mums favourite perfume. Again scent is so personal to a person and this smell always reminds me of her. She already has a large bottle of this, but I still think its a nice present idea.

5. & 6. Print T. Shirts - £8 George @ ASDA
I'm so impressed with the great print t shirts that ASDA have at the moment. My mum has pointed out the chain print one, but if your mum's a bit more colourful I reckon she would like the smudge print one. I've also bookmarked an animal print tunic for myself!

7. Flowers - Any price, in any shop.
My mum loves flowers, we always have a bouquet in the house. I have my eye on a lovely pink, white and lilac bouquet from Marks and Spencers for £25. It has roses, lillies and daisys in it. It's quite similar to this one. I'm getting up super early tomorrow to get it, I left it until the last day to get the freshest flowers so they last longer. Nothing says thank you and I love you, more than flowers. 

Of course I am not forgetting chocolate!! She has chosen her own, a slab of chocolate from Thorntons. Its her favourite after all.

Anyway hope everyone and their mothers and grandmothers have a lovely day on Sunday!

Gem xo

Thursday, 15 March 2012


Wearing the last of my winter going out outfits! It's officially becoming the weather for floral dresses, maxi skirts and light weight tee's. But before I jump the gun I wanted to show you this evening outfit. I wore this recently when I went out with some folks from an old place of work in Liverpool. Oh how I have missed some of the clubs in Liverpool, all the Motown places, Seel st. mainly. And I miss being able to walk everywhere, or having the option to! 

Anyway, I showed you this shirt last week. I'm not a massive fan of 'bling' but I think the sequins are very understated on this. Paired with all black items, I think it makes the button strip stand out a lot more. I put it with this pleather skirt from Primark, the skirt that everyone wanted or blogged about. But it is very versatile. It can be worn during the day, or on evening like this, and the texture adds another dimension to the outfit. Over the top I slipped on my trusty biker jacket, but as I think about it now I can't help but think of that song 'Leatherrr on leattheeerr' and think I overdid the leather/pleather, and rightly so I was asked 'Where have ya left ya harley?' when wearing the skirt and jacket together. Who do I think I am, Meatloaf!? I do need to invest in a new jacket for evening wear. Can you suggest anything??
Again I wore silver rings with the shirt, and red lipstick to match the red suede shoes. Overdoing the rouge? I think not! I do think I'm Marilyn Monroe sometimes, despite SO many obvious differences. Sorry about my bra there by the way! Ooh cheeky!

Anyway, since I missed Liverpool so much I've been pining for city life. Is there any place you miss, or are pining after at the moment!? 
Skirt - Primark
Shirt - DP
Tights - Tesco
Shoes - New Look
Rings - Vintage, Pia, Market stalls.

Gem xo

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Next To Me.


I've been having a few interviews for jobs recently. And wanted to get an idea for the type of clothes I would have to wear for the jobs. This is a bit too informal, the skirt is too short, and the top is not fitted enough. 

But I'm trying to get into the mind frame of dressing smarter. 

The skirt is the pencil one from ASOS I have worn before under another blouse. I could pull this skirt down to make it more formal and smarter, but it wouldn't be too fussed up. I love the colour of this shirt. It goes with everything. It looks great under jumpers too, most prominently my black one from H&M. Will I ever get sick of those jumpers!?

I wore the black chelsea boots from office, like I've said before, when I put these on I can't actually believe they're such a high heel. They're very comfy, and unlike a lot of Office shoes (I don't just grumble because I used to work for their competitor Schuh) they're wide too, which means even I squoze(is it even a word!?) my feet into them!
To finish off I wore this statement necklace that adds to an otherwise plain outfit, and this big ring. Gold, burnt orange and black, might be my favourite colour combination yet!

I just wanted to point out at that Jilly BeansTALK has done a similar item over there, if you're looking for further (and better, may I add!?) advice about what to wear for interviews! 

What do you wear to job interviews?

Shirt - Dorothy Perkins
Skirt - ASOS
Tights - Tesco
Boots - Office
Necklace & Ring - New Look
Other rings - Pia,vintage.

Gem xo

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Not So Little Bakery Open for Business! - Coconut Macaroons.


I'm trying to diversify my blog a little as I feel it is a bit samey. Besides my love of clothes, one of my other loves is baking. Every Sunday I bake a treat for the family, and I wanted to share that with my readers too. Everyone loves a bit of cake, and I think baking is very therapeutic too, as I love the organisation of it all. Yes, you read correctly, I said I love organisation, I don't have much else in my life that gives me pleasure, right, so don't judge me.

Anyway, if you could, I would appreciate if you left feedback and think it's a good addition to the blog or you think I should just stick to clothes.

The first thing that I am making for this segment of my blog is Coconut Macaroons. The french style, or 'macaron's' are very popular at the moment. But these are much easier to make, a bit more of a cake (also known as coconut cakes), and just as tasty.

What You Will Need:

Grease proof paper
3 large egg whites.
115g caster sugar. 
300g desiccated or shredded coconut. 
25g ground almond (optional). 
2 tsp vanilla extract. 
1tsp lemon juice.
3 tbsp chocolate spread, melted.

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius/Gas Mark 3, and line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper. I'd always advise using grease proof paper over butter to stop your macaroons from sticking, as there is no chance you're leaving anything sticking by chance.

2. In a large, clean, metal bowl whisk the 3 egg whites together until foamy. Like this photo here. I should have moved the electric whisk and made you think I had muscles of steel. Russell Hobbs hand whisk you ruin my image of a hardcore baker but create a such smooth, sweet mixtures. Oh, you torment me.

3. Start to add the sugar slowly, still whisking until the mixture is stiff and stands on its own. If it is not going really stiff, don't worry just make sure it is smooth, shiny and a thick mixture.

4. Next, add the coconut, I used desiccated here, but apparently shredded works better as it isn't as dry as desiccated. Fold the coconut in, and add the secret ingredients, lemon juice and vanilla extract. They just add an edge to the coconut, and make the macaroons so tasty.

5. When all mixed together evenly, use an ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture onto the baking tray. The scoop gives you that lovely rounded top that makes them look neater. Then pop them into the oven in the middle. Try not to place them too near the top or they'll just burn.

6. After 15 - 20 minutes, or when they are a light, even brown colour, bring them out of the oven. My mother likes them a bit crispy so I left them in a few minutes longer to crisp up. (If you were thinking 'they look burnt' I never burn anything, I just add flavour by making them a bit smokey, or crisping it up.) Leave them to cool on the trays, so they can form their shape. Then when they're cooled to touch, take them off of the trays and leave to cool further.

7. Melt your chocolate spread in the microwave for thirty seconds, add a dash of milk, so it's easy to drizzle. And decorate as you like! 

And there we go! 

I hope I made that easy to understand, and like I said at the beginning, please leave your thoughts and feedback. I loved everyone backing me up on sneaking alcohol into hotels/clubs it made me feel like less of a reprobate! 

Gem xo