Friday, 17 January 2014

Pretty, cheery, sparkly, lovely things of late.

January. Blergh. 

It’s just such a blergh month, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but my mood is ridiculously weather dependent which is partly why I wasn’t surprised at my result from this ‘Which city should you actually live in’ quiz: Los Angeles.

But alas, LA shall have to wait.

Yesterday, I had a down day. Very unlike me not to feel chirpy, bright and happy, I know, but maybe once every two months, I do have one of those days. Usually for no particular reason.

Thankfully, today I am back to my usual optimistic self, feeling cheery and sunny (even if the weather is not reflecting my mood.) It’s one of those days where I just appreciate the beauty of everything around me a little more than usual. Don’t you love those days? (It may also help that this morning I did the longest gym sesh OF MY LIFE and am enjoying the post-workout endorphin rush as a result…) WOOOOOOO LIFE!

The thing is, it’s pretty easy to get a bit S.A.D at this time of year, which is why I think we all need a few new pretty things in our lives to cheer us up. You’re probably on a health kick, so instead of devouring a family-sized bag of Maltesers as an attempted pick-me-up, why not treat yourself to a spot of retail therapy!? It’s good for your waistline! Ahem.

Sure, you might call me superficial or materialistic, and I know, I know, money can't buy you happiness, but I'm not the first to say it can make your misery more bearable! Here are some of the pretty things I’ve been enjoying lately…

1. I am LOVING my new boots! They're from Jones the Bootmakers, were in the sale, and as there'd been a problem with a pair I got a couple of years ago, I was able to exchange the old ones for these new beauties. How lucky was I!?

They're beautifully made (oh, the smell!) and a lovely design: narrow enough round the ankle, a buckle round the heel, two stretchy panels running the length of the boot at the back, and a nice high front. With high-heeled patent boots, you have to be careful to avoid the prostitute look (you know it's true!), but the Parker boot, with it's riding-boot style, steers you well and truly in the other direction. And I love a good patent boot, don't you?

Whether with tights and a skirt or tucked into skinny trousers, they add a touch of chic to whatever you're wearing. (I hope.)

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2. When sale-shopping in Oxford Street Topshop a few weeks ago, I got myself the above gorgeous little necklace. And no, I had not planned to co-ordinate it with my heart-print shirt and heart earrings, that just happened. But I rolled with it. Styled it out. Ya know.

I love a pretty delicate chain, and sometimes I don't want a pendant, so this lovely little necklace was perf. It's one of those pieces I'll just wear all the time...

3. Alas, the same probably cannot be said for these AMAZING earrings I took home along with my delicate, subtle, little necklace. Neither subtle nor little, this is statement jewellery at its finest. At £28 full price, I wouldn't have bought them. However, half price in the Topshop sale (and still available online here, folks!) plus my student discount, I obviously couldn't say no, could I?

I am a BIG fan of BIG earrings, and these certainly fit the bill. Sadly, I haven't actually worm them yet, but I think they might just be a bit much for teaching at school here in Germany at the mo. That said, I'm not planning on saving them for swanky dressy evening occasions, and am totally going to rock them in the daytime. Why not, eh?

4. Continuing my love of all things sparkly (sparkles are for life, not just for Christmas), I may have let my inner magpie out with this new shirt, also in the Topshop sale (£25 whoop!) - I got it in the vintage bit on the bottom floor of the Oxford Street store - but it's actually by Goldie London. I'm having a bit of a thing for shirts and blouses at the mo.

When I showed Mama she said, 'Ooh that'll look lovely with black trousers for evening!' And while she's right, you know I've been wearing mine over skinny jeans in the day. However, I think if worn together with the above earrings of wonder, it might even be a tad too much for me... (Or not.)

5. Can you read that? Good. I'll give you a second to do so. 

Great words, eh? This is a print by Key Manifesto, a new company which has recently come to my attention. Despite the fact that I am a mahoosive squash-drinker, I am a big fan. Key Manifesto say they want to 'remind people about the bigger picture of life. To take a step back from the day-to-day grind and just have a quick think about why you are actually here.' And they do that through stylish home products. I love nice interior bits and bobs, especially when they're so cheery.

As one of those annoyingly perpetually optimistic people, I am loving what I'm seeing. The Key Manifesto proclaim to love: Vast amounts of optimism, daydreaming, penguins, alliteration, hearing new quotes, spell check, go-getters, lists, good karma and fresh ideas. And d'you know what? SO DO I! I'm so happy they've offered to send me a print of my own - it'll be great when I have one of my (super rare) down days again like yesterday.

Check them out here.

6. Yes, I bought into the hype. I am a sheep. After seeing adverts for Maybelline Baby Lips EVERYWHERE, I succumbed to the pressure and bought one. But to be fair, I did need a new lip balm, and a girl can't go around with chapped lips in winter now, can she?

Although there are about a million different ones, I chose the Baby Lips that tastes like cherry and has a subtle hint of pinky-red colour. And I'm seriously loving it. Sometimes it amazes me how something as simple as a slick of lipbalm can suddenly make you look all glossy and polished. 

And oh ma days! Would you look at that. As I come to the end of this blog post, the grey sky has cleared and I'm looking out of my window at a pretty pinky blue sunset. How wonderful. See, there are pretty, lovely things all around (even though it never hurts to buy your own every once in a while...)

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