Sunday, 28 February 2010

Groovy Baby

I'm feeling peace and love today in this latest buy from Ebay. I've always loved this sort of print with it's free flowing lines and bold swirls of colour. It's just taken me this long to actually own and wear it!

I've added a vest top underneath for today's trip to Sainsburys but I'm sure in the summer (when showing a bit of flesh isn't going to be so shocking) I could get away without.
I did consider wearing jeggings underneath it as I wasn't really sure if it was that teeny bit short to be worn as a dress, but my hubby reassured me that it was OK, and after giving him a demo he declared my bum acceptable to be seen should a gust of wind expose all, gotta love him!
Excuse the mismatched PJs on Dylan, he chose them, and who am I to argue with such a tempermental eccentric!

This necklace was thrifted from my Mum, I don't wear it much as it's quite unusual but I do love the design.
I did have arms full of wooden, gold and creamy toned bangles but removed them while making Mexican Bean Burgers with Dylan and forgot to put them back on.

I'd have loved to get all funky with my hair, maybe crimp a bit up, or section the front with some braids and backcomb at the crown but I didn't want anyone asking if I was going to a fancy dress party. Maybe next time I'll be that bit braver...

Friday, 26 February 2010

Red Alert

Today is apparently "National Wear Something Red day" not that I really need any excuse to totally red it up!

The tunic has lovely floaty pockets and a zip at the back. I decided to belt it to give it more shape.
This cardi was an absolute steal at £5 in the Tesco sale. It washes beautifully and even better, doesn't need ironing!
Grey tights - £2 Primark. I thought this was quite pricey but they are so soft and thick I wish I'd bought a second pair.
The hat was £3 from Primark and I love the button detail to the side.

I've bundled on as many bangles as I thought I could carry and a multi string of pearly beads.

My new red Topshop wedges completed the look!

I felt really happy today in my bright outfit and high heels despite the cold windy weather I was glowing on the inside.

What brightened up your day?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Happy Feet

Day 7 - Jeggings challenge - Completed!!!

I made it! One whole week without wearing my jeggings. As a reward, and to help prevent me slipping back into old habits I bought some brand spanking new tights:

The burgundy and purple were 50p and the grey relatively extortionate at £2 (Primark)

I also carried out a mystery shop, same as yesterday but a different town. I bought these gorgeous babies, they were in the sale and were originally £60 but I paid £10.

There's something about a red shiny shoe that makes me smile!

It would have been rude not to buy this necklace £1 and set of bangles £2, so I did.

The outfit today is a Darimeya dress that I've blogged before, this time layered over the hot pink nightie I bought last week from Tesco (£1.50). My tights are bright pink with thin black tights over the top to give a subtle flash of colour and I couldn't resist changing into my new shoes!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Mysterious Girl

Day 6 - Jeggings Challenge
I'm doing well, I think. Almost there, the end is in sight now!

I'm quite getting into the tights thing, I do feel more feminine, but also more vulnerable. I've had to be really careful about ladders and I've just come to the conclusion that tights and Velcro shoe wearing toddlers do not mix, well not on a daily basis anyway.

I'm certainly going to give other options a more consideration before I slip on my jeggings but I think they'll still feature heavily in my life.

Today's outfit is (another) ebay dress, this one originates from Warehouse. It's not the most flattering on me, but I'm sure that by the summer it will be fine. The photos don't show it very well but I'm wearing bottle green tights layered over black opaques. The butterfly belt was an impulse purchase from USC. I love it but as I've lost weight it keeps slipping down so may end up on ebay soon.

This second dress was bought today from a well know high street store which I mystery
shopped. It was in the sale and is a size 10, I tried on the only 12 and the zip was bust so I bought the smaller size instead. I'll take it back, it's too small and I only bought it as it was a requirement of the visit to make a purchase. I thought it was too cute not to photograph first though!
I'd have never thought the tulip skirt would work for me, I'd always favoured the A-line but I was surprised that this showed off my curves in a good way.
Have you found anything surprisingly flattering lately?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Look no hands!

Day 5 - Jeggings Challenge

So I finally worked out a few features on the camera and have got my head around the self timer!
My outfit today is based around my nail colour which I mixed using a dark burgundy and a baby pink. I was hoping for a nude beige but I liked this all the same even if it is a bit liveresque.

This dress was an ebay bargain, it was just listed as "dress" so didn't attract any attention. I love the cute cats, clocks and rainbows. It's such a versatile piece as I can mix and match with all the different colours.
I've added a purple long sleeve T-shirt underneath for warmth and black tights.
My studded Primark boots are making another appearance. I'm getting a bit bored of this cold weather and am itching to slip on some sandals instead.

Lastly I thought I'd show you the fruits of my labour. Thanks to Vix from "Vintage Vixen" for this suggestion.

I used 1 metre of ribbon to make this pretty brooch, I sew a long running stitch along on side and gathered, I then stitched the scruchie round on itself to make a flower, then finished with this cute anchor button on the front and a brooch pin on the back. Total cost about 80p.

I can't wait to wear it!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Rubber Chicken

As today's outfit is a repeat (the floral/nautical tunic) I though I'd do a cooking post.
Frugal ways with Leftovers: Part 1 - The Rubber Chicken

Saturday - Lemon Roast Chicken

I was aiming to achieve a Mediterranean style chicken with the lemon doing most of the talking!

I rubbed a little olive oil onto the chicken to keep it moist and to help with the flavours in the bottom of the pan during cooking. I sprinkled some turmeric over the breast to give a yellow colour.
The slices of lemon on top are partially for aesthetics but also I hoped the acidity in the lemon might tenderise the meat. In the bottom of the dish I added a roughly chopped onion, some celery tops, a few cloves of garlic (whole in the skins) and some sprigs of rosemary.
I squeezed the two halves of lemon over the top and the stuffed them inside the cavity to add flavour and moisture from the inside.

I popped it all in the oven and roasted as usual. When it was cooked I added the vegetable water from cooking to the dish, squeezed the garlic cloves to release the soft roasted pulp and mixed it all up into a delicious gravy.

The flavours all worked well together and it was a lighter fresher alternative to a Sunday Roast. The lemons in particular gave a really aromatic sweet and sour quality to the dish.

I served this with new potatoes and mangetout.

Sunday - Chicken, Bacon and Tomato Pasta

This was an easy quick fix, by the time the pasta was cooked, dinner was ready.

I chopped up the remaining breast keeping it chunky. In a small pan I fried up some roughly chopped bacon and garlic. I then added some fresh chopped tomatoes, rosemary and the chicken. I also added a little of the cooking water from the pasta to give a richer sauce. A little salt and a lot of pasta and it was done.

Monday and beyond - Oriental Chicken Soup

This was going to also feature noodles but I didn't have time to soak them for 1/2 hour before adding to the soup.

I heated a little olive oil in a huge pan, then added roughly chopped onion, celery, carrots and whole cloves of garlic. I let these colour a little and then popped in the chicken carcass and any remaining meat. I added a good glug of lemon juice (I would have ideally liked to throw in a stick of lemongrass but didn't have any) and also a fair bit of soy sauce and some ground ginger (fresh would have been better I think). Then I topped the pan up with water. Once it was up to the boil I put it on a very low simmer and left for for 2 hours.

I sieved the soup and also picked out any decent bits of chicken which I added back into the soup.

I added some salt to my portion and some chili flakes. Dylan ate his without.

This made enough for about 6 servings so I'll reduce the rest down and freeze in ice cubes trays which can then be tipped into a bag. When I defrost I'll add back some water.

It was really tasty and warming on this cold miserable day.

Does Rubber Chicken already feature in your repertoire? I'd love to know how you s-t-r-e-t-c-h yours!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Lazy Sunday

Day 3 - Jeggings Challenge

So far so good, at just under half way into the challenge I've not had the shakes yet.

Again this morning was a classic example of when jeggings would have been the natural choice. I was going to a Boot Sale and the weather was wet. Instead I wore a pair of skinny jeans, lots of layers and welly to complete the "look" I threw on a big khaki parker coat with fluffy hood.

Unfortunately it wasn't to be - I couldn't find the damn thing! Never mind I am determined to track down the elusive Boot Sale next Sunday!

I got home and changed into something marginally more blogworthy. I wore my red primark long sleeved T-shirt and navy leggings with slouchy grey boots and a navy and grey striped cardi again from Primark. I added the knotted necklace I made yesterday and some pearls. Not very exciting but I was feeling fed up and lazy.

To cheer myself up I headed to Tesco home to have a rummage through the final sale. I was pleasantly surprised and I came away with this satiny navy dress with beautiful fluted sleeves £4, the snakeskin look belt (£1.50) and a cerise pink nightie with lace trim (£1.50) which I'll use under dresses.

I'm not entirely sure about the leggings and boots I'm wearing it with here. I was thinking grey tights and cream or bronze shoes but since I don't have any of those items (yet) this will have to do for now.

What would you wear with it?

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Feeling Really Tealy

Day 2 - Jeggings Challenge

It was a tricky one today. I could have so easily pulled on my jeggings, they would have been so practical for the day I had planned.

Instead I opted for this dress from ebay, I will forgive you for thinking I've blogged it before, this is a navy version and is not a Darimeya, so some detailing like the lace is different, but what the hell, I like it and at 99p I was more than happy!
I've picked out the teal leaves with the top underneath (£2.50 - Primark) and the tights.
As the dress is sheer I've added a navy slip underneath. This is actually a cheap sexy nightie from Asda £1.50 in the sale, it's never going to make it into the bedroom, but is perfect for under dresses.
The orangy brown in the print matched nicely with both my long boots and my new wedges (£7.50 in Debenhams sale) is a gorgeous day and the sun was out but I'm glad I chose the former as there was a bit of a chill in the air.

I was thrilled with the goodies I found on the haberdashery stall at the market, This little lot cost me £1.90 and I should be able to make some cute little accessories to enhance my wardrobe.
I've already made this necklace based on one I spotted in Asda last week. I almost bought it but it was quite thick and I like the smaller subtle version I made. The bottom is tied in a Reef Knot and ends are secured with a tiny bit of sticky tape. Total cost 90p.

Now what to do with the ribbon? - Any ideas welcome!

Friday, 19 February 2010

The Art of Distraction

Day 1 - Jilt the Jeggings

So I have been challenged! My trusty jeggings have been banished to the back of my wardrobe for a whole week.

How will I cope? Do I own enough dresses and tights to muddle through without my staple item? Um...there's only one way to find out!

As for the distraction?

I have the Mother of all Cold Sores residing on my bottom lip (which has also maybe trebbled in size). My first reaction was to not leave the house until I return to my usual lovely lipped self, but after one day indoors I was starting to get cabin fever.

OK so being house bound is not an option, if I'm going out I'll blend in. I had planned to wear something simple, plain and quite frankly boring...but then I spoke to the lovely Laura from "A Daisy Chain Dream" who suggested I divert everyone's eyes from the offending area and play up my eye make up. Ohhh I thought, there's an idea!

Inspired by this flash of genius, I used the concept of distraction and pulled on a pair of bright pink tights that I had been saving for a day I felt confident enough to wear them. This cute mushroom and cat print jumper dress (Tsega via ebay) was disappointingly too small when I bought it last year, but now I've slimmed down a little I can just about carry it off (as long as I'm careful about my posture) I threw on my Primark cardi which tied in the red and pink perfectly and my slouchy grey boots and dashed out the door, just in time to be fashionably late!

P.S. And I felt fabulous!

How do you cope when you're facing a beauty crisis?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Little Miss Nautical

Ahoy there shipmates!

I'm so in love with anything nautical at the moment, and today I was in the mood for this stripey batwing jumper from Tesco. I also wore a short red mac when I went out this morning which really set the outfit off.

I have been resisting temptation to indulge in any more Asda jewellery, I'm wearing the swallow earrings *again* and the bow necklace from Valentine's Day, but I think I may have to pay the haberdashery stall in town a visit to pick up some buttons and ribbon for a spot of customising.
Taking inspiration from rope knots I added this fun braid to my hair. It's a simple three strand plait, but I held one strand and slid the other two up to bunch it up a little, then secured it under the rest of my hair with a couple of grips.
I couldn't let pancake day go by without posting a few shots of Dylan in the kitchen, so here he is demostrating how to make Chocolate, Blueberry and Yoghurt pancakes. Yummy!

What did you have on yours?

Sunday, 14 February 2010

A Slight Whiff of Cheese

(Balloon still going from last Saturday's Babylove event!)

xxx Happy Valentines Day xxx

I hope you are all having a day full of love and kisses. I know it's generally considered a bit naff, but sometimes you just need that date in the diary where you drop everything, stop what you were doing and take some time to celebrate your loved ones. My darling hubby isn't the most romantic of souls so it's good to have one day where it's OK to be slushy!

My outfit today mirrored my romantic mood and features pretty pinks and a flirty floral print. I put a navy slip underneath to make this tunic dress hang better. I'm wearing this gorgeous bow necklace and charm bracelet (full of wonderful memories) that my lovely Mr. gave me.

We had this beautiful heart shaped pasta for lunch and to go with it, I rustled up a creamy cheese and spinach sauce flavoured with lots of nutmeg and pepper.

Dylan got creative this afternoon but as his prefered style of pointillism didn't really resemble much. I cut out some splodges and assembled them to resemble the petals of a rose. A few green ones and I had enough flowers to make a pretty card for his little sweetheart a few doors down the road. I could have cried with pride when he walked up to her, gave her the card and wished her a Happy Valentine's Day.

Dinner this evening is a joint effort. I'm in charge of the starter and dessert and hubby is taking care of the main course.

I've wrapped the asparagus in parma ham, drizzled with some rosemary flavoured olive oil and grilled and accompanied with some olives and crusty bread. I've put some Hollandaise sauce in the centre to dip into.
Simply divine!
I admit to cheating and bought the dessert which is Hot Chocolate Soufflé. Oooh I can't wait...

So my cooperative son is in bed, my Valentine is in the kitchen, I'm about to wrap this up and crack open a bottle of chilled bubbly.
How did you spend your Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

When I was Slummy

I thought to add some balance and to properly document my journey, I would share some of the "slummy" photos. These photos were taken in Summer 2008 and Summer 2009. I lived in hoodies, baggy jeans and unflattering T-shirts but didn't have the confidence to try anything different.

It was totally nervewracking stepping out in my new clothes and the complements I got embarressed me. I still find it hard to accept them but it's getting easier as I have more confidence in my outfits and style.

I have been tagged and I think I should give some facts about myself so here goes:

1. I am addicted to pickled chillis, I will eat a jar of jalepenos in one sitting given half the chance.
2. We have been in the same house for 3 years, but it is the 5th one that I have owned.
3. I'm a qualified SCUBA diver and hold a PADI advanced certification.

4. I had major cosmetic surgery at 16 to correct a severe underbite.

5. I had my nipple pierced (twice) but took it out when I got pregnant.

I hope that is enough to be going on with!

I'll leave you with the outfit that I wore this evening to go out for a curry:
The dress is by Darimeya and from ebay, Primark long sleeved top, Sainsburys jeggings and Primark studded boots. I'm wearing two necklaces, one is purple, the other pearl and bronze beads. Lots and lots of brightly coloured bracelets and I was ready to eat!

Excuse the washing on the stairs, I WILL sort that out tomorrow (maybe).

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Ruby Tuesday

...Well red anyway. Today I really wanted that amazing pick me up that red gives me.

The red top is Tesco, the pockets are drapy and there is a zip at the back at only £5 I was sold! This was a purchase made on my first "Yummy" shopping trip; A pre-meditated attempt at becoming stylish. I was armed with some clubcard vouchers to "double up" and I purchased some daring new items for my wardrobe.

I'm wearing a Primark cardi which I don't wear often simply because my cats moult too much and black shows up the hairs horribly - I promise I gave it a good going over with the de-fluffer first. I'm keeping things simple with grey leggings and my trusty Primark boots.

This brooch was part of a Boujours gift set bought in the Superdrug sale last January and this is the first wear.
I'm trying out some different poses today, and you'll be pleased to know my Hubby worked out the timer on the camera for me so I should be able to have proper pictures soon!

I've had such a busy day today but I will put more thought into the next blog entry.

Vicki x