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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

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Latest Purchases #79 – A Summery Primark Haul

Happy Bank Holiday Monday! We were back at the Apple shop this morning to fix my smashed iPhone screen which was slight deja-vu having tried to sort it yesterday, but we headed to Bills for brunch so it was well worth the trip!

I went on a little trip to Primark recently and picked up some bits and bobs for summer: footwear, pjs, homeware, jewellery…a little bit of everything.

First up the shoes. I have to admit that I went a little bit mad here (5 pairs!) but I am operating a strict one-in-one-out policy in my shoe collection and I know I will definitely get good wear out of all of them.

Although we don’t have too strict a dress code at work, I do like to wear shoes as opposed to flip flops or sandals so I picked up a couple of pairs of Primark’s slipper-style ballet pumps in black and leopard print.

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I also bought pair of cream crochet pumps which I think are just a little bit smarter than espadrilles.

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I love these black laser-cut sandals which are flat but I think look a bit dressier than usual.

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Finally, I had been after a pair of sliders after seeing them everywhere this season and found these snakeskin-effect ones. They are so comfortable and I think they look very on-trend and much more expensive than they were.

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A few homeware pieces next. I had been after some grey and pink accessories to finish off the look of our newly-decorated guest bedroom and found this grey-striped and pretty pink one. I had been looking at similar striped ones from John Lewis so these were a bargain in comparison.

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Sticking with the pink theme, I got this Red Berry and Jasmine candle. I’m not sure how good Primark candles are but I mainly bought this for the colour.

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I went a bit mad on candle holders too and bought a set of these purple geometric ones and some white ones. I remember reading on an interiors blog that these things always look better in threes so there was a reason for buying so many! My only niggle is that the price stickers on them are so sticky they leave a really horrible patch when you try to peel them off…I hate it when products do that!

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Onto the clothes now and these bleached jeans. I wanted a pair of pale jeans that weren’t white and these fit the bill perfectly. The acid-wash look is very cool and they are light and summery.

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My bargain of the day was this pineapple t-shirt which was reduced to £1! I bought it a couple of sizes bigger and plan to wear it as a pyjama top.

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Talking of pyjamas, I picked up these trousers in the ‘loungewear’ section. I love the print on them and I don’t think they look too pyjama-esque. I have an essay to write this week and I can see myself wearing these as I procrastinate write.

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Finally, a baggy waterfall cardigan in a cool Aztec print. I actually bought this in an XS size as I wanted it to be loose but not swamp me. This is the perfect jacket to throw on in this transitional period where it isn’t quite warm enough to leave the house without a jacket but you don’t want to be weighed down by a big winter coat.

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On to the accessories now and it wouldn’t be a blogger’s summer haul without a flower crown! I jest, but I did pick up this small crown with the intention of wearing it to a summer BBQ – I think these are so pretty.

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Some bracelets next – I like this mix of gold, silver and rose gold.

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This may be TMI but I had to show you these cute pants…they have sausage dogs on them!

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A boring buy next but necessary to keep your feet smelling fresh – some ‘footies’.

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And finally, a new handbag and another item that looks so much more expensive than it is. I love the shape of this bag and the detailing in the design. It isn’t huge but that means I won’t overpack it with stuff I don’t need and I like that I can wear this on the shoulder or across the body.

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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 #55 – A Summer Haul

As you know, I have spent this week redecorating my bedroom with my Mum. We have stripped wallpaper, glossed, sanded, painted, moved furniture and cleaned up the mess I seem to leave in my wake whenever I use a paintbrush! The bedroom is pretty much finished and now comes the fun part of shopping for bedding, art and accessories to perfect the look. After living in a room with three different colours on the walls for almost two years, it is so refreshing and calming to wake up in an all-white room but I am looking forward to adding pops of colour over the next few weeks before I share some pics with you.

My Mum and I worked really hard throughout the day this week and we rewarded ourselves in the afternoon/ evenings with a little trip either to the shops or to the pub for a well-deserved drink. Ian and I are toying with the idea of booking a super last-minute holiday next week so I had a few pieces I wanted to pick up to wear on holiday or during the rest of the summer.

First up was a kimono. I saw these in various shops this summer and love how cool they look thrown over a little dress or with skinny jeans. However, lots of them seem to come with long tassels or really garish designs and I wanted something a little more practical and subtle. I love this pastel blue one from Matalan. The print reminds me of blue and white china and the shape is so flattering and it’s flowing yet still quite structured.

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Whilst in Matalan, I also picked up this white laser-cut handbag. I know white handbags aren’t the most practical item but if we do go away next week, it would be a perfect holiday bag and I will just have to try my best not to spill anything on it!

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I had some vouchers to spend in Paperchase (one of my favourite shops!) so picked up a new phone case and a weekly planner. I love the nautical design on the phone case and it is made of a really soft rubbery plastic that makes it really easy to grip.

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Continuing with the nautical theme, this weekly desk planner will live on my desk at home and hopefully help me plan some blog posts out as I have been rather slack lately. I never want to put pressure on myself to post daily or have set content on specific days but sometimes I look through my photos and find a great recipe that I completely forgot to share s hopefully this planner will get me slightly more organised.

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When Mum and I were in Bath this week, we popped along to check out the new Primark that has recently opened. It is a really nice store actually and I didn’t see the usual disorganised piles of tops that can drive you crazy when you are trying to find the right size! I did want a lovely Fleetwood Mac t-shirt that a few girls on Instagram have been wearing recently but the girl I asked had never even heard of the band, let alone seen the t-shirt I had in mind!

Nonetheless, I did find a rather awesome replacement in this Jurassic Park top! I’m not really one for slogan or logo t-shirts but I love this film franchise so made an exception.

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I also picked up this lovely white lace t-shirt which will go with so many of the jeans and patterned trousers I own.

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With a holiday in mind, I wanted a new sun hat and saw this black one. It is 100% wool and I think it has a boho vibe to it. I think I quite suit hats but always find I’m a bit self-conscious wearing them for the first time. I wore this for dinner in Bath and didn’t feel too out of place!

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I love browsing the jewellery section in Primark and I bought two necklaces, both completely different. The first is a pretty horse shoe necklace made from little pale purple beads and I also got a statement ‘bib’ necklace in navy and gold – two colours I wear a lot. I love the bigger necklace as I have been after one for a while and this quite a statement piece without being too OTT.

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Despite it still being August, my mind is wandering to September and my ‘Back to School’ wardrobe so I picked up a few Autumnal items. Firstly, this navy striped dress. It’s flattering and has Breton stripes…need I say more?!

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I also found these gorgeous cut out tan ankle boots. I have a similar black pair and wore them to death last season so I know I will get a lot of wear out of these too.

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I recently threw out an old pair of black skinny jeans so decided to give Primark’s ‘Super Skinny’ jeans a try after a recommendation from my friend who lived in them! They fit really nicely and are a true black – such a bargain for £11 too!

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Finally – and I apologise for the overshare – I could not resist these pants after our camping trip last weekend!

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Mum and I also found time to pop over to IKEA for dinner and some shopping last night and I think I was quite constrained considering how much lovely stuff I saw as we walked around.

I came away with some lanterns, a vase, lampshade, candles (of course!), a frame for Ian’s new print, some succulents and Orla Kiely-style vases and a very Pinterest-worthy faux fur throw!

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Phew…a few rewards for a week of decorating which still works out cheaper than hiring somebody to do it professionally!

After watching the return of the Bake Off this week I have been bitten by the baking bug so am going to spend this evening perusing my recipe books to find something tasty to make tomorrow whilst looking for a last minute holiday bargain…have a great Saturday night! x

Latest Purchases #52 – A Few New Bits

Not the catchiest title but a little round-up of some new items that have found their way into my wardrobe over the past few weeks.

First up some new dresses, none of which I really needed but they weren’t too pricy so easily justified!

I recently sent four maxi dresses to the charity shop which were made of that stretchy and slightly clingy material. I have come to accept that this material is just not flattering on me – I much prefer a floatier style and this one ticks the boxes. I love the blue and white china print, which is on trend this season, and the top section of the dress hides a multitude of sins! This was £13 from Primark.

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Next, a bargain I found in Primark. This nude-pink lace dress is really flattering and the low back on it will look great with a tan. I picked this up for a fiver!

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A treat next from one of my favourite interior stores, Oliver Bonas. I usually just shop for homeware here but recently discovered they have a lovely little range of clothing too. This dress was originally £60 but I picked it up half price…love a bargain!

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Trousers now…I bought a couple of pairs from H&M and I could have bought more as I am loving this shop at the moment! I live in my skinny jeans in various shades of denim blue so these dark green ones are a nice change and so comfortable. I noticed these also came in a cute polka dot design too so I may have to invest in those!

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My love for patterned trousers continues with these beauties. They are by far the comfiest thing to wear and these ones are just about smart enough to be able to wear to work with a plain top.

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Finally, my not-too-sure-about-them purchase. I really like the pattern on these leggings but am not completely sure what to wear them with. I have a couple of longer tops that should work but I think it may require a bit of trial and error!

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It was my first day back at work today after half term and to say it was a shock to the system getting up early is an understatement! I even made Ian make me a double espresso to get me through the morning…

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However, it feels good to be getting back in to my work routine, starting with my weekly Pilates class tonight to stretch away all of my back-to-work stresses! x