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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Vintage Glamour

...inspired by Grace Kelly

The sun peeped it's head out today, so it was a great day to venture around our new surroundings. The building behind me is Stoneyhurst College a famous private school close by. It has educated many famous writers, actors, politicians, even prime ministers. I would love for Scarlett to go one day, but as you can imagine it is not cheap!

With the new Nicole Kidman film, Grace of Monaco,based on the life of Grace Kelly,  premiering in Cannes this month, I was inspired to go vintage. I wore my new fifties style Emily and Fin Isobel ice-cream dress with Dune sandals and a stunning classic A stunning classic vintage hair comb c/o Glitzy secrets, a fab online website with an amazing selection of very bling jewellery and hair accessories.

For anyone who doesn't know (shame on you!) Grace Kelly was a famous Hollywood actress who married the prince of Monaco, hence becoming Princess Grace of Monaco. Nicole Kidman's film is about to be released showing her life story through to her tragic death in 1982. Her look is timeless. She oozes sophistication, elegance and beauty. I love her feminine, girly look with a heavy splash of glamour.

I am not normally one for spending time on my hair, but I just couldn't let this amazing hair comb be lost in my hair. I looked into Grace Kelly classic look and attempted to create it.

Ophs, think my back caught the sun! Nice sun marks


vintage sparkle hair comb 
This glamorous, glitzy comb shimmered in the sunshine. It would be a fantastic hair accessory for a bride. Grab a second and take a nosey through the Glitzy secrets website. It is a bride's dream. A massive selection of statement hair pieces and jewellery. The prices are more than reasonable, many bridal shops take full advantage of the fact you are getting married and charge crazy prices! I really loved the selection of head bands, they super girly and fun.

My pert boobs c/o Bye Bra

I decided against wearing a bra and opted for something totally new for me. It is  called "bra tape" by a Dutch company called Bye Bra. The idea is not only that you can avoid the dis comfort of wearing a bra and having to deal with straps and lines, but it very cleverly lifts and shapes your breast. Almost like a cheating DIY boob lift! It is made of a self adhesive foil which you apply over the breast and literally lift your boob up. It's not uncomfortable, in fact you can't feel it at all. You get around 8 in a packet and you throw each one away after use, although I think you could get a couple of goes.

Isobel dress

How much am I in love with this dress? it is by my new brand obsession Emily and Fin a vintage inspired brand with an epic range of fifties style, glamour dresses. I just adore this A-line dress. It is so flattering with a nipped waist band it creates a real hour glass shape. The ice-cream print just makes that tweeny bit more delicious! This is a must for summer, it is ideal for any party, wedding, christening. It is so bright and floaty you simply cannot fall in love with it.

My best friend

I can't wait to see the film. Hollywood glamour, Monaco, royalty...sounds like my kind of film!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

My night in with Frank

 Frank Body

No I haven't started a mad love affair with a bloke called Frank, quite the opposite, Ian, Scarlett and I have been moving ourselves into our new pad. It has been an exhausting few days, but finally we are in. It is starting to feel like home, but we are still amongst the boxes and have lists and lists of "jobs to do". Scarlett seems to be loving her new abode, although she has been particularly clingy and a bit whiny all week, I guess it's a big change for a 2 year old. Her most favourite thing of all is her new sand pit, which we have enjoyed hours and hours of fun in. 

My bath time buddy

I will pencil in a full post on the new place and you can have a nosey around, I just need to un-pack a bit more first!

With the move and a very stressful time at work, my marathon training plan has been put on the back burner. It is very frustrating not having the time to run, but also I have hurt my knee and have really bad sciatica, I have been eating crap, so all in all, I feel sluggish, flabby and tired! I was have a brief glance through a beauty blogger's post the other day and came across a review for this Australian branded body scrub made of coffee, named "Frank". I am a beauty whore. A marketing persons dream, so I went online and bought myself and my mum some of this coffee body scrub to try. There were a couple of types to choose from; original, which was sweet almond and orange or coconut and grape seed.  I decided to try the coconut and grape seed. I have to say the write up of the product on their website impressed me, it claimed to help with cellulite, stretch marks, psoriasis, varicose veins and eczema! If it could do anything with my cellulite I am more than willing to go it a go. It had arrived a couple of weeks ago and I thought that opening a packet of coffee mid move may be a messy. So, a couple of days after the move, Scarlett and I had a bath together and thought it would be a great idea to tear open this beauty magic wonder bag.

Messy, was a bit of an under statement. In hindsight, this is more of a shower product. I cringed as it went all over my new bath room and new towels. Scarlett on the other hand thought that it was amazing and enthusiastically gathered handfuls and helped scrub my body. It said to leave it on my body for around 5 minutes which was a little tough, but I stuck to the instructions. As you can imagine I looked slightly scary.

As I washed it off there was no doubt that my skin felt soft. Not sure about the cellulite as I don't have any full size mirrors up yet, but I think it would take more than a packet to solve that problem! My bum was super smooth though and my skin felt soft to touch. 
The clear up session was quite epic, but I guess it added a fun element to it, and the lovely smell of coffee kind of made it feel like a very natural product.

Would I use this product again? Yes, I think I would. At 15 USD it is by no means expensive, it did cross my mind that I would probably be able to do a DIY version, but I'd never get around to it is a messy product, so if you choose to try it, give yourself a bit of time both for the operation and the post clear up. I'd like to see a few more products added to the Frank range, it is fun and fresh and I adore the quirky marketing style.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

OOTD- Sugarhill navy Doris dress

I have a confession to make; I am in love with this dress. You know when you have a find and you just seem to be able to wear it for every occasion? Well this is one of those dresses. I have been wearing it to death in the office on warm days and worn with a smart blazer it is great for formal meetings. Today I wore it for a friend's BBQ. It is quite loose fitting with a dropped waist which is great when it's warm, the last thing you want is something sticking to you. This dress is called navy Doris dress by Sugarhill. I'm not sure where the name came from, but in my mind it is a Doris Day dress.

Doris dress

The sweet little flower prints are oh so cute! I felt so damn girly:-) It was also a great excuse to "borrow" Ian's Wayfarers:-)

Sunday, 18 May 2014

OOTD-House of Fraser maxi dress

Mela loves London Paisley print maxi dress from House of Fraser

With such a beautiful sunny weekend I could not resist doing an OOTD post. I can't say I have seen much of the sun as we have been packing all weekend, the house is un-recognisable. It looks so cold and empty. We finally move next Friday, I am looking forward to moving to a bigger place, and mainly have a big garden for Scarlett to play in, but I can't say I'm not a little sad to be leaving our home. We moved in a few months after we got married and brought Scarlett home here, so it has some lovely memories. Oh well, looking forward to making some more in our new house!
So after a day of packing Ian and I headed to the pub to watch the FA cup final. This was an epic game for me as I am from Hull and have followed "the Tigers"from being a wee girl. I excitedly watch City 2 nil up against Arsenal, only to loose 3-2. Gutted.
Anyway, with the sun shining and perfect beer garden weather I decided to wear this Mela loves maxi dress from House of Fraser. I adore maxi dresses in summer. They are fab to throw on for every occasion and look great teamed up with a cropped denim jacket when it cools off.

I hadn't shopped at House of Fraser for some time, I'm not sure why, I guess I always think of it as a place to go for "dressy" clothes, for weddings and "posh dos", so I was actually quite shocked at the pages and pages online of every day more affordable clothes and a massive range of brands. I had no idea that they stocked this many brands. A good place to look for small, relatively un-knowns. There seemed alot around for the summer season.

Mela loves London Paisley print maxi dress c/o House of Fraser
I think this dress will be making quite a few appearances this summer. I love the fact it is super long and has a real boho feel about it. If I were into festivals it would be a firm favourite.
Fingers crossed that the weather will stay and I get plenty of opportunities to get this little beaut out.

Friday, 16 May 2014

My coral crush

I am all about the colours at the minute. For my lips I have a major coral crush. I am loving coral lip glosses in particular. At the time of year when hopefully you have a bit of a tan, coral is a lush colour to give an exotic look. Create a sexy summer look with statement coral lips.
To make your lips really stand out, keep the rest of your make-up to a minimum and with a bronzed glow you shouldn't need much more than a highlighter, a few coats of your fav mascara and a crayon eyeliner.

My top coral picks;
Illamasqua intense lipgloss in Maiden £16.50
Laura Mercier lip glaze in Bonbon
Barry M lip paint 53

Are you convinced yet?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The things that make me happy

So much is going in my life right now, I just don't have a minute. Our house is literally up side down, boxes every where, toys on the floor. Walking into every room fills me with anxiety. I hate living like this, I know it's not long, we move next Friday, so just another 10 days, but it puts me on edge and out of control. I feel like I can't concentrate on my work as there is so much clutter around me. I am training for my marathon. I am only on week four of my 16 week training plan, so it is still pretty easy going at the moment, but I am running 4 to 5 times per week and still have my trainer every week. It is kind of taking it out on my body, my muscles are a little tired and I feel a general fatigue. This is not helped by the fact Scarlett has reverted to new born habits in the night. She wakes pretty much every two hours. I am just exhausted in the morning, but still have to get my butt to work. On top of this I have a full time job. I do feel tired, but I thought to myself this morning as I was doing an out door boxing session with Simone before breakfast, stop being a whiny pain in the arse. I loathe whining constantly and I have started to do it! STOP! I looked up at the beautiful sunshine this morning and thought; I am the luckiest person in the world. I have no major issues, my "problems" are all superficial and generally brought on by my annoying habit of wanted to do everything. So, this has inspired me to write my top 5 things that make me happy!
  • This little lady is clearly top of my list! She drives me crazy, she has aged me, she can be so naughty, but the happiness she brings me is un-like any other. She is now two and a half. You can really see her personality coming through and she is growing up to be such a sweet little girl. She loves looking after people and is so gentle and caring, she makes my heart melt and makes me feel like the proudest mummy in the world. I include in this point, my lovely husband, who still gives me butterflies, my amazing mum and dad, who are there for me no matter what. Having a loving family I truly feel is the most important part of life and gives you more happiness that anything else.

  • This is a really sad geeky one, but work makes me happy. Don't get me wrong on a dark, rainy Monday morning I am not not jumping out of bed, desperate to get in the office. However, work gives me satisfaction. I have my every day job and my online clothes store they both fill me with energy and it is such an amazing feeling to create something and every bit of success is like a little reward.
  • Ofcourse blogging has to come into it. I like to blog about fashion, it excites me, but I have found the longer I do it, the more I am finding that I really enjoy life blogging aswell. It's nice to talk about how I am feeling rather than just what I am wearing. I guess it's like an online diary that you can really say anything that you want.
  • My friends. After I got divorced 6 years ago. I really learnt alot about my real friends. I was shocked how many people were not there for me when I really needed them and some people that I would never have thought really stepped up to the mark. Since having Scarlett I have a new set of friends "mummy friends". They are not how I envisaged mummys to be. I thought that they all be Daily Mail readers with an opinion on everything and very small minded. Don't get me wrong I have come across quite a few of these people over the past few years, but my close friends are just lovely. They are also open minded and caring. We all support each other and it is so nice knowing that you have this help and friendship close by.
  • Aspirations is my final point. It makes me happy having aspirations for the future. I am constantly planning new things, new adventures and planning for the future. I have a massive bucket list. It makes me happy when I get excited about a new venture or idea. 
There are of course a million other things that make me happy, but I would be here all day!
So if you are feeling stressed or a bit glum, make a "happy list" you may just feel a little brighter!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

You don't have to be a bitch to have a sucessful career

Why is it all women bosses are deemed as power crazed, egotistical, money obsessed bitches? 

I loathe this stereotypical idea that any woman that wants to get on in the work place you have to be a power obsessed, back stabbing, heartless bitch. It simply is not true and in my experience quite the opposite. I think women makes the best bosses.
I work in a very male driven industry. I rarely have meetings with women, most of the shows I attend are 99% men. However, on the rare occasion I do have the pleasure to work with a woman it is always by far a more pleasant experience. 
I have found that men generally have bigger egos. When I meet a new make buyer, 50% is business, 50% how wonderful they are, how powerful they and how much they have achieved in their career. You simply never have this with women. In fact quite the opposite. I think women don't like to come across too full of themselves and instead like to get to know the person on a personal note. Women talk about family, children. Business is straight to the point without the inevitable guns at dawn stand off.
Reading this back to myself I sound like a feminist. I'm not at all. I think men and women have different skills and excel in different areas.
In the work place there are good bosses and bad bosses. Black and white, it is not about the sex. There are women who do abuse their position as there are men who do the same. It annoys me that because a woman wants to be successful and wants a career than she has to be put into a "ball busting" bracket. 
In my job I would consider myself to be "middle management", I have a small team of three that I manage. I personally feel that being a women gives me better people skills to manage people and situations. 
It's time that men and women stop giving women bosses a bad name. It is possible to be a nice person and have a successful career, they are not mutually exclusive!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Beautiful butterfly print dress by Yumi-OOTD

Flutter of Fancy dress

I realised that I haven't done an OOTD for a while, so I thought I'd do a bit of modelling for you!
I just don't seem to have any time any more and although you may think taking a few pictures just takes minutes, it really doesn't. By the time I weigh up whether I've got time, I'm already late and rushing to drop Scarlett at nursery and get to work in time. I don't think that I have actually been on time for work since Scarlett has been born. It is just impossible leaving the house. It was difficult as a baby, but as she is getting older it is actually harder than it was before. She is on her way to be potty trained, but that results in needing a wee approximately every 3 minutes, which is a nightmare when you are out. She is also such an independent little miss that she insists on doing everything herself. Don't get me wrong this is great, but a two year old dressing herself, putting her shoes on and cleaning her own teeth takes some time, and when you are running late it is the cause if major anxiety!

Life is busy in general at the moment, we are moving house in two weeks, the business is busy and we have lots of over seas trips coming up and on top of this we are on with our training plan for our up coming marathon. I love being busy, I really do, but sometimes I just feel like 5 minutes, just to sit and breathe. 

Anyway, I managed to find 5 minutes and took a few pics of one of my new Yumi dresses. It a fab dress for this time of year. Summery, but not bare. As it's still a little chilly, I teamed it up with black has to be very hot for me to get my tree trunks out! This shift dress is loose fitting and a very relaxed shape which make a it easy and comfortable to wear.

Flutter of fancy dress

Flutter of Fancy dress       
 I just love the colour, bold and bright. The print quirky, pretty and makes you feel like spring. Scarlett loves to count the number of butterflies, but she hasn't got enough fingers.

I used to always wear plain clothing, but as I am getting older I am getting more daring with prints. There are so many around this season I am spoilt for choice.

Is it a yey or a nay?

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Choosing AW collection already

Sugarhill Boutique collection AW14

One of the great part of my job is choosing next season's collections. I can never get my head around how early it needs to be picked, we are barely into spring and already autumn/winter is already selected.

Each collection is chosen differently, but the Sugarhill Boutique collection has to go through an agent, this particular one is based in the Northern Quarter in Manchester, where the majority of wholesalers are based.

The agent has a wonderful loft in the city which to the majority of women is like walking into Willie Wonker's factory as a child. Rail after rail of amazing clothing.

It can be tricky picking. Firstly, the vast choice, you have to know when to stop, secondly, generally you always pick what you like and what you would wear, but sometimes you have to be careful and not get too personal in your style and finally you have to try and  do a bit of research ahead of going to see what is going to be the next big thing the following season. The agent tends to be good and tell you what is popular, but I will ignore him if I really dislike a piece. I simply cannot buy it.

Sugarhill Boutique is one of my favourite collections and AW14 did not fail to impress!

I think my favourite had to be the dress in picture two. It is a simple shift dress with a fab forest image. These type of dresses always do well, they are just so unique.

Shift dresses are so in this autumn/winter. It is all about the shift dress! This season we saw skater shape dresses being very popular. Very girly, feminine styles. Winter gets more sophisticated and the shapes simple. The great thing with shift dresses in winter is that you can team it up with thick tights or leggings and they always look amazing with chunky boots. Get yours ready for next season!

Sugarhill stuck with their signature quirky prints, but introduced new animals, new patterns and new shapes along with the traditional cutesy animal Christmas jumper.

Unfortunately, we have a few more months before we see any of these on our website, but the spring/summer collection is still just coming through with another drop off mid summer.

I'm also looking at adding a few more lines. I particularly like Emily and Fin and also a new make called Wal G I would love to know what you think of them and if there are any special pieces that you think I should invest in!
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