Monday, 7 March 2011


I've known this for a few weeks now, but was sworn to secrecy until today!

I'm going to be an auntie! :)

My older brother's fiance is due on 17th September and they had their first scan today! This is the first baby in my family so everyone is very, very excited!! My mum is knitting constantly!

Currently writing a post for today then I'm back to Glasgow for a week, not taking my laptop so posting might be a bit lacking (unless I steal my sister's laptop at home). It is said brother's engagement part on Saturday and I have 100 cupcakes to bake, so will post lots of photos when I get back. Outfit is still undecided as I've been so busy teaching I've hardly had a chance to look for a dress.

Definitely need to sort out my blogging, I'm just sooo tired! Being in school 7.30am-6.45pm really starts to take it's toll.

Hope everyone is well, although I'm not posting I'm still reading all your blogs!


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

As predicted...

... teaching has begun to take over my life! Have a few posts planned for this week but will just need to see how much I manage to get done, annoying, but can't be helped.

If you remember a few posts back I was talking about letter writing (which I've been doing so much of lately living away from my friends and family) and since then I discovered the lovely Gem at Fat Frocks has set up a pen-pal exchange which has been hugely successful, so thanks to her (though it's now closed to new members, sorry!). I'm really excited about having someone new to write to. If anyone else would like to just exchange letters with myself, drop me an e-mail, I'm always looking to get to know new people!

The next post is going to be about my fantastic experience in a delightful little cake shop in London V a truly rubbish dinner in a well known pub chain. I also have a ton of outfits to post that are still on my camera and which I've decided to save for one single '7 days of outfits' post at the end of the week.

Hope everyone's week is going well, I'm trying to catch up with as many of your blogs as I can!

(now back to Y5 planning, yay!)


Monday, 28 February 2011

Livia Firth's GREEN Oscar dress and other red carpet tales...

Sitting here waiting on a call back from my teaching agency and just checked out last night's Oscar shennanigans...

The main girl of this post, Livia Firth, wife of Colin, King of the Oscars. Livia choose to go as green as possible at this years awards ceremonies - no, not wearing head to toe in the colour green, but good for the environment, eco-friendly green - and I must say she looked fabulous!
  image from

Her dress, by Gary Harvey, was the reclaimed product of 11 dresses from the very period that The King's Speech was set (what a lovely idea), though it certainly did not look out of place at the 83rd Academy Awards. I think in a society where were are increadibly materialistic (I'll be the first to admit to coveting beautiful possessions) it's nice to see a bit of thriftiness and thought going into to an outfit which, as with most red carpet creations, will more than likely only be worn once (although I'm sure Livia could well have other green plans for this dress, post-Vanity Fair party). What I love most of all about this idea, and indeed the dress itself, are the stories woven into the fabric, the sense of history in every stitch. It's one thing wearing a 'vintage' dress (the V-word is oh-so-fashionable nowadays, isn't it) but to actually create something new, from something old, gives it a whole new life and purpose, a sort of continuation of all the stories. I know many of you might be thinking, simmer down Mrs, it's just a dress, but I am a self-confessed 'oldie', and I love the memories, stories and secrets that old things hold. You could say I'm a bit of a romantic, and you'd probably be right. I loved this dress though, and moreso, the whole concept of ethical and eco-friendly fashion which Livia so expertly advocates. Now, with the huge and well deserved success of her husband, she has been given a platform from which to continue this promotion of green clothing, and maybe even start a trend.

What are your thoughts on Livia's dress, and on the idea of 'green' clothing?

Other Oscar dresses I LOVED, purely for their prettiness:

Natalie Portman (winner of Best Actresss) (Rodarte) looked radiant in this gorgeous purple number...

Amy Adams (L'Wren Scott) sparkled in a navy blue number, with gorgeous Hollywood styled hair.

Halle Berry (Marchesa), keeping with the nude trend with added tulle and sparkle, looked stunning and carried off the long train that featured a lot on this year's red carpet.

Cate Blanchett (Givenchy) was brave enough to inject a modern twist with her structured pastel number, yet still having an elegant and feminine red carpet look.

And still looking fabulous, the lovely Dame Helen Mirren (Vivienne Westwood) in Cappuchino silk.

images from

This year there was also a lot of RED and black, which I wasn't as keen on (strange for me as these used to be staples in my wardrobe!).

What did you think?


Sunday, 27 February 2011

What I loved and loathed about LFW (extremely image heavy)

There was a lot of buzz and excitement around London last weekend as LFW hit the town. I actually spent the weekend in Glasgow and so didn't get the chance to experience the atmosphere (not that I would have got near any the top shows anyway!) but I managed to catch up with most of it online and in newspapers. As much as I love fashion though, I prefer to see how real people, wear real clothes, to go about their real lives. Stalking the progress of LFW online everyday wasn't quite the same thing. Yes, some shows amazed me, some of the colours were bold and exciting, and I saw a lot things I would love to be able to afford, but I'm still High St loyal I'm afraid. Nevertheless, I was very impressed by this little lot from days 1-3 (have yet to check back on the rest as I've been unwell so will post about that later, if I'm impressed)

House of Holland

Betty Jackson


Vivienne Westwood

Matthew Williamson


Temperley London

Issa London

Maria Grachvogel 


Paul Costelloe
By far my most favourite collection was Paul Costello. I was drawn to the rich, earthly palette of brown, green and Burgundy (being a typical Taurus) and think this collection basically summed up Autumn for me. The textures were luxurious and tactile and it was nice to see velvet making an appearance yet again after falling in love with it this Winter. The magpie in me was also drawn to the shimmering fabrics which would brighten up any cold morning and the array of tartan did tug at my Scottish heartstrings. However, what I loved most of all was the hair! I've been a red-head since early last Autumn (after recalling my brief red-stint when I was 15) and if I could style my hair like this I'd be a very happy girl.

That is what I loved: colour, pattern, fabrics, imagination, movement and shapes. What I loathed was this:
This is all I've seen so far from the second half of LFW, and one of the reasons I chose to take a break and check back later in the week to view the rest of the collections. How anyone attending this show could focus on the clothes amazes me, when this model looks far from healthy. I'm a girl who has sadly seen two sides of this coin: the unhealthy, mind-controlling side that says this is attainable and a form of perfection and, thankfully, the side that tells me this is dangerously thin, unnatural and a sign of an industry that is ignorant of normal woman all over the world. This was also something touched on by the lovely Izzy at  Belle of the Blush  in this post! What worried me most of all, is that I saw this image and thought it was 'out of place', and that Yasmin Le Bon was 'bigger' than everyone else. 

I have now chastised myself though, and assured myself that she is in fact normal, and it's the rest of the images that were wrong. I'm not for a moment saying that these sorts of images cause eating disorders among young women, and men. However, they do nothing to help reassure those who are struggling to contend with these damaging thoughts, and if anything, serve as a dark reminder of negative thinking and behaviours that are best left behind. I would ask the question, when will the fashion industry learn and change? but that would be a waste of time I fear, as I doubt anyone will ever have the guts to, and indeed, whether they even want to.

The reason I love the blogging community is that I am able to see how real women wear clothes, women like you and I, unique and healthy. I will continue to tune in to fashion shows for the reasons that I love, but will proceed with caution for the reasons I loathe. 

Stay healthy :)


Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Taste for Twinings

Finally I am able to share my love for Twinings with you all.

I'm not sure how many of you reading this will be 'tea-lovers', but I'm pretty sure that most British readers will be responsible for at least one of the 165 million cups of tea consumed in Britain each day.  According to the United Kingdom Tea Council (yes such a thing does indeed exist and can be found at Britain is the second largest per capita tea drinking nation, pipped to the post by the Republic of Ireland ("would you like a cup of tea Father?"). Considering the fact tea is not actually produced in Britain, this is pretty good going. We've also come such a long way in the varieties of tea available to us compared to the very first cup of tea (legend tells it) made by the Chinese emperor Shen Nung in 2737 BC, quite by accident when a leaf fell from the humble Camellia sinensis tree into his cup of boiling water. Now, before you nod off, or indeed, click off, I'm not here to give you a long and boring history of tea (you can look all that up for yourself if you feel the need). What I'm really here to show you is that there is a tea out there to suit any taste and mood, and it's just a case of finding the right one.

I'm proud to say I've been an avid Tea-Jenny since I was 5 years old and we had tea and toast before bed (somehow this was deemed by my parents to be the age when one is 'ready' to consume a healthy cuppa) and since then I've been on a voyage of discovery, seeking out new and exciting flavours. The thing with most tea drinkers I know is that the vast majority of them stick to a combination of milks and sugars, all centred around the humble Tetley teabag. Whilst this was the tea I grew up with, I quickly got bored of drinking the same flavour all the time. I think this was mainly because I can't take milk in my tea (cue lots on sickness if I do) and therefore I tend to taste the tea more. Now, I rarely drink 'normal' tea and find it can be a bit harsh compared to the more delicate concoctions I have now come across.

I remember the first non-Tetley teabag I tried and the sensation of this new flavour on my palate. I had read in a magazine that drinking peppermint tea could help ease painful periods and at first thought, what on earth was this. I come from quite a normal, working class Glasgow family, who drink Tetley, with milk and 2 sugars (except the strange sibling who doesn't take milk) and 'herbal stuff' wasn't ever in our cupboards. However, I found a box of this funny tea in Asda when I was 11 and have never looked back since! There are so many advantages to drinking tea (as well as the flavour) and many fruit and herbal teas are caffeine free, so no messing with your beauty sleep! Tea is full of antioxidants (which soak up all those nasty free radicals) and there is a ton of medical research backing up the benefits of a healthy cuppa. Tea also seems to be the old folks cure to all ills, particularly in my family. After any traumatic event or bereavement, the first statement is usually, I'll go put the kettle on, or I'll get us all a nice cup of tea. Tea and sympathy can solve all manner of problems.

I have a shelf full of different varieties of tea back home on Glasgow, mostly Twinings blends, but also loose leaf tea bought from Brewhaha (if you are ever in Glasgow shopping you must visit their tearoom!). I constantly seem to be drinking tea, I think because Glasgow is always cold, and I love the comforting feeling of drinking something warm and holding a hot cuppa in your hands. It also gives me a great excuse to collect tea sets, delicate china teacups and other tea making paraphernalia, much to my mother's dismay! One day I actually want to open my own little tearoom and serve up afternoon tea, my style - a girl can dream!

I want to leave you though with some of my favourite teas and a lovely little offer to help you kick start your tea journey!

Morning Detox is what I drink every morning before I even attempt to eat breakfast. It's a lovely refreshing start to the day, with honey and lemon, and also Milk Thistle which is your liver's best friend :) I'm not sure if it has any 'magic detox powers' , but I find that since drinking this tea on a daily basis I have felt more refreshed and ready in the morning, particularly as I'd often struggle to stomach breakfast and often reached for coffee in stead to give me a boost. This is definitely one to try!

This tea is quite similar to Morning Detox, containing that liver-loving milk thistle, but this also acts as a hangover cure for me, somehow managing to cure a fuzzy head and stop my stomach churning.

This is my newest favourite and I'm pretty gutted I've left a whole new box of this in Glasgow. If you love cherries this is the tea for you! White tea isn't anything scary or strange, but it is a more expensive tea and I think you can definitely taste a difference in quality with this one. There's less of a tea taste, but in a nice way. It just tastes lovely though and if perfect for an afternoon, chilling out with a magazine (and some cherries).

And now for my essential Twinings - you can buy boxes in most supermarkets that have 25 teabags, 5x 5 different types of teas. I think these are perfect for ensuring you don't get fed up of the same type of tea all the time, and also great for trying new flavours without having to buy 5 different boxes of teas. My two favourite boxes to buy are A Moment of Calm (being a teacher you definitely have moment in your day when you need to take a break and relax, and these I find are a perfect way to rest and restock) and Fresh & Fruity (these are perfect for a refreshment during the day, and lovely in summer).

And now to the whole point of this post: Twinnings are inviting you to try two new teas absolutely free with their 'Love a Different Cup' promotion. You basically go on the Twinings website and choose two teas you want to try and they'll post them out to you. Mine arrived yesterday morning and I'm looking forward to trying both tomorrow.

And the best bit? Once you've tried your tea they've kindly given you a 50p off voucher so that you can go off and purchase it :) Lovely people they are...

I hope you all enjoy exploring the world of tea :)


ps. thanks for your messages yesterday, I'm still not feeling great, but glad it's the weekend!

Have a nice weekend everyone :)

Friday, 25 February 2011

curse you germs!

I am a sick little puppy :(

I'm quite annoyed as I have so many posts I want to write and just have no energy to do so. I caught some horrible cold/throat infection and now mother nature has decided to spring her monthly visit on me - cue lots of pain, sickness, coughing, sneezing and a lack of energy or voice. Delightful!

I'll leave you with some outfits from the days before illness turned me into a shambles... (as you can see the cardigan is a bit of a fave!)


I am in the process of writing a post on LFW and Twinings Tea, which should come to you at some point before the weekend :)