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Latest Purchases #84 – Summer Sales

It’s almost the summer holidays! This is a funny time of year as I try to cram the last few things into the end of term (prom tomorrow!) and start to get ready for our American adventure, plus a weekend in London with friends on the cards…busy but good busy!

I have been picking up a few bits and bobs in various sales over the past few weeks and thought I would bundle all of the items together into a blog post.

First up, Forever 21. We don’t have one of these in Bath but we popped into a store in the Trafford Centre and I came out with one of the least summery offerings available; a pair of chunky boots!

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Despite not really needing them at the moment, I couldn’t leave these gold-plated beauties on the shelf. I love the colour (not brown or black like my other boots), the gold hardware and the straps across the front. They also have cut-out side panels which I really like and means I can start wearing them as soon as summer is on its way out as they aren’t solely winter boots.

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Whilst I was in Forever 21, I also picked up a basic black cardigan, these pretty gold and white earrings and this cute polka dot makeup bag which I will probably take with me to America.

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I needed a few boring bits from Primark recently but I defy anyone to pop in there and not pick up something new! I spotted this dark grey tshirt with an embellished neckline and bought it a few sizes bigger than my normal size as I wanted a looser fit.

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Next an ebay impulse purchase after I decided I wanted something embroidered in my wardrobe! I found this navy dress and really like the coral pink of the flowers. This is a loose, flowing smock-style dress which looks good with bare legs or over leggings.

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I also bought this shirt from H&M on a whim but have worn it loads already. I like the print and I also really like the fact that the hem is slightly longer at the back.

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ASOS did their usual thing of tempting me with some sale emails so I caved in and bought a few items; a pair of black, slim-leg trousers for work, some funky patterned trousers and a white top from Mango that I meant to photograph but is still sitting on my ironing pile!

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A duo next from TKMaxx and Superdrug which work perfectly together. I had wanted a new powder brush for a while so thought ‘why not try out a new powder too?’ This ecotools brush is my first from the brand but is soooooo soft! It’s quite chunky so maybe not great for travelling but it is lovely to use and is perfect for applying powder or bronzer evenly across the face. The Bourgois Healthy Balance Powder is a blogger’s favourite and I can see why.

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Finally, I popped into Accesorize and picked up some earrings. Both the orange and lime green pairs remind me of something you could pick up in a Mexican market and feel very summery.

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However, my favourite purchase was this gorgeous ear cuff which just about fits my tiny ears!

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Right, I’m off to binge on the new series of Veep! x

Latest Purchases #76 – A Summery ASOS Haul

I may have been a tiny bit excited at being able to be outside without a coat on so I made a little ASOS order for some summery items. I am holding off buying too much for our holiday this summer as a) I have loads b) I am trying to lose a few pounds before we go and c) I plan on doing a lot of shopping when we are in the States too!

ASOS had a mini sale on their dresses and playsuits so I decided it would be a good time to invest.

First up a dress

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Pretty standard for me – I wear a dress to work every day and I like the light material and the print of this although Ian told me it is bordering on slightly gangsta/ bandana material but I think I can pull it off?!

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It is smock-style so not quite as flattering as my usual skater-style dresses but it is so light and floaty that I think it works.

Next, a bit of a daring buy for me…my first ever playsuit!

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Now I have never even tried on a playsuit yet I am now a convert. I thought these would only suit super skinny girls but it turns out that certain styles are really flattering on hourglass shapes i.e. those of us with boobs, a bum and a waist! I love the print on this playsuit and it is made from a really light, floaty, silky material. There are lots of nice details such as capped sleeves, pockets, a tie-waist and pretty wooden buttons. It is really flattering on and will be a perfect summer outfit…the only thing I’m slightly worried about is having to unbutton everything when I need the loo but I’m sure it’ll be fine!

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The final items are footwear. I had been after some of the Chanel-style espadrilles (plain white with a navy leather ‘cap’ on the toes) but whilst perusing ASOS I saw this double pack and thought I would get so much wear out of them.

This two-pack of espadrilles come in a pale denim and anchor print and a dark denim bleached-effect. It goes without saying that they are super comfortable and you know I can’t resist an anchor-print item.

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An easy way to rock the double-denim look too!

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So there you have it – a nice mini haul with a nod towards sunnier days. I am off into Bath today to get my hair cut and coloured then have coffee and cake with my bro in the sunshine x

Latest Purchases #63 – Sales Haul

Hello! Ian had to go back to work today so after having family to stay over Christmas and being away for a few days, it was today’s mission to pack away the Christmas decorations for another year, tidy up, put my presents away and make a huge pie to use up the last of our Christmas ham.

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I always feel a bit sad taking down the decorations that have made our home look so cosy and festive for the last month but it is nice to get things back to normal again and the pie is currently in the oven and smelling delicious!

Today I wanted to share a few bits I got in the sales. I have to say that I didn’t think they were that great this year and I generally feel a bit guilty about sales shopping so close to Christmas as I always receive so many lovely presents. But, I couldn’t resist a little peek.

On Boxing Day, I am usually still in my post-Christmas dinner coma and not a fan of elbowing my way through the bargains. However, my email inbox was pinging constantly with offers from different shops so I did a bit of online perusing with my old friend ASOS.

I always keep my eyes peeled for the ASOS skater dresses in the sales – I must have about 5 already but they wash well and are the perfect length and fit to wear for work. This bright pink one is a little different to any I already own and was a bargain.

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I am seriously in love with this jumper. I do have a lot of stripes in my wardrobe but I fell for these gorgeous heart elbow patches.

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Some jewellery next…this pearl ring has a vintage look to it (although I struggled to get a decent photo!)

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I like these gold and black drop earrings and the little black chains swing nicely when you wear them.

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If I wear a statement necklace, I often wear stud earrings and this set of three are just my style.

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I definitely do not need any more scarves but this chunky black snakeskin one was calling out to me.

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Finally, I did find five minutes to pop to the shops this week for some essentials (black tights!) and found a few more must-have items.

This bright red coat is a classic design and you will definitely be able to spot me in a crowd!

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A little luxe item next. Faux fur is everywhere at the moment and this burgundy item (I’m not sure if it’s a scarf, a stole or just a wrap!) feels really luxurious and glamorous when worn and adds an instant fur collar to any coat.

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I love nightshirts for bed and this fleecy checked shirt is so snuggly and cosy. I will be pairing this with a pair of knee-high chunky socks until it gets warmer.

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Last of all a gorgeous thick bobble hat which kept my head and ears warm on a very windy walk on New Year’s Day.

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Before I go, I had to share my New Year pie fresh out the oven…yum!

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Have you bought anything in the sales this year? x

Latest Purchases #61 – An Autumnal Haul

There is a little bit of everything in this post – some of the pieces are not particularly autumnal but I was struggling for a title! These are basically the bits and pieces I have bought over the past few weeks along with some Christmas gifts too.

First up an ASOS order. Yes, I was tempted by their 70% off email and managed to get some end of summer bargains to put away for next year.

First up, a flower-print dress because lord knows I need another one! I like these ASOS skater dresses and have a few different prints. I really like the fact that the arms on this are a little longer than a normal short-sleeved dress. I plan on wearing this with tights and boots this winter (it’s November so I am officially using the ‘w’ word)

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Next, a rather painful entry as I had to send this one back for being too big and they don’t have a smaller size! I really like the brand Pull&Bear and this pretty lace dress was reduced to £6.50 from almost £25. Although it is lace, it isn’t a light, floaty summery dress but rather a thick, brocade-style lace detail which would have been lovely to wear over the festive period. I’m keeping my eyes peeled just in case they restock my size!

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A new brand for me now and a total bargain. This beautiful pale pink scarf adorned with peace symbols is from cool Danish label Becksondergaard and was reduced from £33 to £4. It’s a gorgeous soft, lightweight cotton material and is the perfect length and size.

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Something I plan to put away for next summer is this straw hat, reduced to a fiver. My current straw hat is looking a bit battered so I have upgraded. This is simple, has a pretty plaited tie around the base of the hat and is perfect for keeping the sun off my head.

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A bit of bling next. Las Vegas will always hold a place in my heart and what better way to remember our wedding there than a Vegas necklace?! I love charm necklaces and I will get a lot of wear out of this.

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Finally, I always have a quick look at the Beauty pages on ASOS and I was pleased to see several Apocalips lip glosses reduced. I love this release from Rimmel and opted for Across the Universe, a deep red which is very wearable at this time of year.

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I also nipped into Primark when I was in Bath recently with the sole aim of picking up a few more tops. First of all, I found this floral and striped number. It is made from a sheer material but looks great layered up and is a bit different from my usual Breton-style tops.

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Next, I picked up another colour of their ‘distressed’ t-shirt. I have a few shades of this style and they are the perfect length – I love wearing mine for my Pilates class. I’m not usually a pink girl but I think the bleached, distressed look hardens it slightly.

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Finally, some more colour in the form of this mint green lace t-shirt. I also have this in white (are you sensing a theme here?!) and wear it a lot so this green one will be a nice alternative.

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Last up, I bought some beauty bits from Marks and Spencer. Have you perused this section of Marks ‘n’ Sparks lately?! They have some pretty awesome stuff in there and a great selection of brands. This time however I stuck to their own brands and picked up a blusher and two eyeshadows.

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The blusher is from Limited Collection in the shade Apricot. This is a pinky matte blusher in some very pretty animal print packaging. If I was being really picky then I would say that the formula is ever so slightly chalky but as long as you don’t get too much product on your blush and blend it in well then you’d never know.

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From the Autograph range, I bought two eyeshadows in Peach and Olive. These two satin shades have a lovely shimmer and are very blendable. I am so used to using eyeshadow palettes that it feels a real treat to buy individual shades!

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The pinky shade is a perfect everyday nude for me that I would tend to wear as a base colour. The golden shade is beautiful once applied to the eyes; a real antique gold.

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Both single shadows come with a mirror and applicator although I prefer to apply these with brushes so I can blend them in easier.

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I don’t have much from M&S but after seeing the range in their beauty hall, I will definitely be back for more.

Latest Purchases #57 – Back to School Buys (An ASOS and Primark Haul)

Today’s haul is a nice mixture of fashion and beauty buys. I have called it my ‘Back to School Buys’ but really it was more a case of me getting myself organised before work kicks in again and I find myself with much less free time than I have been used to this holiday!

First up, my ASOS goodies. My ‘uniform’ so to speak for work tends to be a dress with tights, boots and a cardigan in the winter and leggings and sandals in the summer. Therefore, when I buy a dress, I usually try to make sure it will look good the year round with either of these combinations.

I LOVE this floral skater dress from Oasis. I like that it has three-quarter length sleeves and the darker colours with a pop of neon mean I can wear it to work or dress it up with heels for a night out.

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I also bought this floral and striped dress with a Peter Pan collar from River Island. I think it is the perfect colour for Autumn although unfortunately the sizing is huge so I am returning this for a smaller size…never a bad thing!

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Obviously now is a great time to pick up summery items for next year as the shops begin to promote their Autumn/ Winter range and this little black strapless sundress will be great for holidays worn over a bikini. At £7 it was a bargain too!

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As well as the dresses, I also picked up a few beauty items.

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Top of my list was a bottle of Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap, another product that beauty bloggers seem to rave about! These 18-in-1 formulas claim to wash everything from your hair to your sink but I wanted it as a make-up brush cleaner and when I saw there was a rose version I had to have it.

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I also decided to try a shade from the Rimmel Apocalips in Aurora. There was so much hype when these were released that I wasn’t sure it would live up to it. However, I was pleasantly surprised! Aurora is a reddish-coral shade which I wore out to dinner earlier this week. The colour pay-off is great and it applies with a great glossy finish before it dries to a creamy matte. I found it lasted well too so would be great for those times when you don’t want to be constantly reapplying your lippy. I think I will be picking up a few more shades in this range!

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I spotted two Barry M nail varnished in the sale too. Surprisingly, I don’t really have that many glitters or nail toppers and these two looked like they were packed full of glitter.

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I bought Yellow Topaz Glitter from their Jewel range, a formula packed with gold hexes and tiny holographic pieces. I also got Pink Sapphire Glitter, with pinky-purple hexes and silver bars.

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After a dentist appointment earlier in the week, I decided to pop in to Primark for a few bits to cheer myself up. I went at about 9am and it was lovely and quiet – much nicer than the usual crowds!

My main aim was to buy a few more sporty/ work-out items for Pilates and PE lessons. I tend to associate work-out gear with comfort and can sometimes end up wearing slouchy jogging bottoms and loose-fitting t-shirts which can look a little scruffy. While comfort and practicality are still my top considerations, I thought I could do with smartening up my sporting attire!

First up are these jogging bottoms. Slightly fitted so not too baggy, these have a cool leopard print design but aren’t too loud either – exactly what I had in mind!

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To pair with these, I bought a loose-fitting t-shirt. I will probably wear this with jeans too as I love the details such as the folded sleeves, slightly sheer material and distressed effect on the fabric.

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I also picked up a gorgeous white, glittery jumper to wear before it’s time to pull on the thick woolly tops. This looks great over jeans and will be ideal to layer up as it gets colder.

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Finally, a pair of cute slippers to replace my flip flops around the house.

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I was surprised at how much the Primark beauty stands have grown in recent years. They now have a whole make-up line as well as stocking various bath and beauty products from other brands. I also love looking at their false nail designs although I’m not really a fan of wearing them so it’s purely for some nail art inspiration!

I picked up a few things from this section:

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Some cute nail files with a floral and owl print

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Hair ties

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And Primark’s version of the Beauty Blender. I usually apply or blend my foundation with a brush but I have heard so many bloggers rave about these egg-shaped applicators that I thought I would give it a trial.

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Finally, I picked up some jewellery. I love the look of layering up several more delicate bracelets and these black and gold ones will look great together. There are some really pretty pieces in this set and for £2 you just can’t go wrong!

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Looking back on this post, I ended up buying more than I thought…isn’t that always the way?!

The sun is shining today so I am going to pull on my running shoes and head out before undoing my hard work with some cupcakes I plan on baking later on! x

Holiday Wardrobe

Ahhhhh that first night in your own bed after you have been away is always so good!

It’s amazing what a holiday can do for the soul. I am not normally a morning person but I was up and dressed super early today and really keen to work my way through my to-do list to get some cooking, baking and tidying done before my friend Lucie arrives for the weekend later on today.
Over the past few weeks, I have really enjoyed seeing the ‘What’s in my bag’/ Holiday Lookbook posts from other bloggers so thought I would share my compact holiday packing. I say compact as we shared a suitcase this time *side eye at Easyjet for charging £50 per bag* and let’s just say Ian doesn’t exactly pack light which meant I had to!
I realise that most people could still have cut down to about 2 or 3 dresses and just changed their look with accessories but bear in mind that a) I would usually take double this amount and b) I manage to spill something down myself with alarming regularity!
First up, the dresses. I decided to take 6 dresses to wear for the 6 evenings we were away and tried to choose a variety of styles and colours:

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1) Kimono-Style dress from ASOShol17
2) China-Print maxi dress from Primarkhol18
3) Neon and lace dress from Matalanhol19
4) Scallop-edged blue dress from New Lookhol20
5) Gold and cream dress from Matalanhol11
6) Orange sequin dress from M&Shol12
Next up shoes. 2 pairs of flip flops for around the pool (Blue Havaianas and Black Marc Jacobs) and 2 pairs of sandals (ebay Anchor sandals and gold and tan Steven Maddens) to wear in the evening:hol2

Then I took a jumper in case it was chilly (Red cable-knit from ASOS)hol13
A couple of T-shirts (Black lace from H&M, grey from Mango)hol14 hol15
Some vest tops (both from GAP)hol6
Bras and Pantshol7
1 swimming costume and 1 bikini (Debenhams)hol9
3 little dresses to wear around the pool (Zara, H&M and Primark)hol10
A pashmina for the plane (I always get cold on flights)hol4
And finally, 2 bags; 1 clutch bag for the evenings (Guess) and 1 tote bag for around the pool (Oliver Bonas)hol3
I am quite proud of my packing this time around and I actually managed to wear everything I took with me!hol1
Now, if only I could be a bit more ruthless with my jewellery…hol5

Latest Purchases #50 – Another ASOS Haul

Ahhhhhh – I’m on holiday!!!

I woke up today feeling so relaxed knowing that I have some time off work. I didn’t even get that grumpy when my drunken husband rolled into bed at 3am and left the light on!

I am in full on list-making mode today as there are so many things I want to do with these two weeks off as well as slightly more relaxing things like trying out some new recipes and picking up a few new books to enjoy with an afternoon cuppa.

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One of the rooms we are currently working on is our bedroom. I haven’t quite decided on the final colour scheme but we have both done a severe clear-out of our wardrobes in preparation for our new furniture arriving next week. I was quite looking forward to having a streamlined wardrobe on hand but I seem to be quickly filling up all that spare room I made with new clothes! Ooops!

I am trying to stick to the ‘one in, one out’ rule but I cannot resist a bargain and I ran in to my classic dilemma of finding the same item of clothing in more than one colour, not being able to pick between the two so ordering both!

The below items are actually two separate orders from the last few weeks that I decided to combine for this post. The sheer tops and dress are making me long for warm summer evenings and it also seems I have somewhat of an anchor obsession!

Purple and gold drop earrings (£8 down to £4.80)

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I love these dangly earrings and I have had lots of compliments wearing them this week. They are simple enough to wear to work but dressy enough to also wear them out for dinner.

Sheer black shirt (£32 down to £11)

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I ended up buying this shirt in both black and cream as I just loved the style. The pictures don’t really do the sheer material justice but these style tops are my go-to pieces to wear with skinny jeans for a night out. I love the scalloped collar and delicate folds down the front but I’m not quite daring enough to wear this without a little top underneath!

Sheer cream shirt (£32 down to £7)

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A slightly more summery option, I couldn’t resist buying this colour too!

Knitted dress (£25 down to £7.50)

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Not really suited for this time of year, but I love jumper dresses when it’s cold so I plan on putting this away for a few months. It has a lovely knitted pattern and will be great with coloured tights and boots.

Anchor print dress (£25 down to £14)

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My new favourite dress! I love the print on this piece and it’s a bright pinky-red shade which will be lovely to wear this summer.

Grey Mango t-shirt (£7.99 down to £2.50)

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A handy basic tee, this is made of a lovely sheer material with cool unfinished sleeves and hem. Such a bargain too!

Pull and Bear white top (£9.99 down to £5.50)

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I discovered this shop when I lived in Spain and have a few pieces from here that have lasted years and still look good. Despite being rather clumsy and constantly dropping food, I have started wearing more and more white lately so couldn’t resist this top. it is made of a lovely silky material but has a jersey style hem which I think gives it a casual edge.

Red cable knit jumper (£18 down to £9)

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I really like cable knit tops and love wearing red so thought this would be a great lightweight knit to have while its still not warm enough to go bare-armed.

Red jeans (£18 down to £8)

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My love of red continues! Whilst they are bright, I find red a really wearable colour and it goes so well with white and navy for a nautical look. These are feeling quite snug at the moment which is a good motivation for me to pull on my running shoes and shed a few pounds this half term!

Navy striped cardigan (£14.99 down to £7)

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I recently ruined a similar navy GAP cardigan so this is a bit of a replacement purchase. I love Breton stripes so this will fit nicely into my wardrobe.

Anchor patch striped jumper (£22 down to £15)

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I’ve saved the best for last here. I think this jumper is so cool and I plan on wearing it to the pub tonight! It is a classic striped top (which I don’t really need!) with two gorgeous red anchors on the elbows. Ian wears a lot of jumpers with elbow patches and I think this is a nice way to wear them. I plan on pairing this top with my new red jeans too.

Phew…quite the haul! However, they were all from the sale which eases my guilt somewhat, hehe!

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Latest Purchases #46 – ASOS Sale Haul

I was very restrained in the sales this year. It may have something to do with the fact that I received so many lovely things for Christmas that I just didn’t feel the need, or maybe because my wardrobe is at near capacity! Either way, I decided that I had to really love the things I bought rather than just buying ‘filler’ – you know, another dress in the same style you already own.

One thing I did have my eye on in the sales was a new pair of black leather boots and I found a great deal on ASOS. Of course, I couldn’t help myself perusing the dresses too!

First up the boots.

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A simple black pair of riding-style boots that will hopefully last me a couple of years. I love this style and I think for a key item of clothing it is always best to go for a classic option rather than something very on-trend that will date easily.

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These feel really comfortable and there is a little bit of stretch around the top of the boots so they don’t feel too tight on my calves! These were £37.50, reduced from £75 – a total bargain and they look great with a dress and tights or with skinny jeans tucked in to them.

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Next, the dresses.

I love skater style dresses. They are flattering on an hourglass figure, emphasizing a slim waist and skimming over the curvier parts. I found two lovely floral dresses in this style, both in the sale.

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First up, a bright, floral print. I like the slightly bleached-out effect of the colours and think they sit well against the black background. I can see myself wearing these with black tights and my new boots for work. This was £15, reduced from £25.

Next, a more summery option. The chunky stripes of colour contrast against the black and makes it different to anything else I have seen.

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I really like how the floral design looks like an old painting and I will save this for the summer. This was only £10, reduced from £25.

Finally, I was slightly unsure about whether to buy this next one but I am so glad I did!

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This gorgeous kimono-style dress is not my usual style but I love it. The print is beautiful and unusual and it has such great little features like buttons on the shoulders and sleeves and pleating across the back.

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The only slight downside is that when I tried it on, it went a bit static and clingy but I have had a quick look online for some things to remedy this so I will give them a go. This dress was £16.50, reduced from £45 and I think I will wear it out with Ian on our anniversary dinner next week.

So, there is my mini haul – a few classic ‘me’ items and something to push me out of my comfort zone.

Did you manage to get hold of any bargains in the sales? x

Latest Purchases #38 – Leather Casio Watch

Hello! It’s been a miserable, grey day today and I have spent my afternoon on a Maths course so Ian and I are heading out for dinner tonight to brighten up the day. We will however be rushing home to watch ‘Educating Yorkshire’ which I think is rather brilliant and I love discussing it at school the next day!

Today’s post is not strictly speaking a ‘purchase’ but a lovely present that Ian surprised me with last weekend. He is a fan of the old-school, retro Casio watches and has them in various colours. I spotted the ladies version in gold in Urban Outfitters a while ago but my skin reacts to anything that isn’t gold or silver (what can I say…expensive taste!) so I have been admiring it from afar.

However, whilst browsing on ASOS the other day, I noticed this little beauty and sent Ian the link. I thought £40 was a bit much, especially as they are usually around the £20 mark, but I suppose it is something you wear every day and is obviously extremely useful too!

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I love how the thin leather strap makes it quite girly and delicate yet the recognisable watch-face gives it that cool, vintage vibe.

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I tend to wear a lot of gold jewellery so this accessory has fitted in nicely to my wrist wear and I suppose I need to treat my husband to dinner tonight to say thank you for it! X

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Latest Purchases #37 – Midi Rings

Looking back on my blogs from previous Septembers, I always go a bit quiet and sporadic with my posts at this time of year as I am still adapting to the new school year and just how much work I need to try and fit in to stay on top of everything! I know things will settle down soon but it currently feels like a bit of balancing act to do everything I have to do and those things I want to do.

One thing I have managed to find time for is online shopping! Ian and I both seem to have ASOS boxes arriving on a weekly basis at the moment as we have treated ourselves to a few new things for the colder weather.

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I have been on the look-out for some midi rings for what feels like ages. They are those funny little rings that sit high up on your finger between the first and second knuckle and I think they look lovely!

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I found a set of three thin gold bands, with a little curve in them, on ASOS for a fiver. I like the fact they aren’t a plain circular band and they look great worn on any of the three middle fingers.

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These rings have been everywhere this summer but I don’t feel like they are too trendy to not be able to wear them again and they are small and dainty enough to go with most outfits and nail varnish colour.

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