Friday, 30 May 2014

Summer and winter and something in between

cardigan - H&M
vest - Topshop
skirt - M&S
loafers - M&S
I think I've only managed to go out with bare legs a couple of times this year - and it's almost June!  Come on weather, heat up already, I've got cute dresses and skirts to wear before it gets cold again!  Seriously though, it's getting a bit confusing in the old wardrobe department at the moment.  Am I dressing for wet or dry weather?  Will it be warmer than it looks outside?  Is the wind going to make everything much colder than it should be?  (Yes, always yes, where wind is concerned...)   So I've been braving bare feet but keeping a cardigan handy.  I've also been making the most of the trousers/jeans section of my wardrobe, they work in most weather.

I got this cardigan in the H&M sale a few months ago.  Lately I've been steering away from patterns but the sleeves won me over - look how long!  I've been buying cardigans in their men's section this year too, the sleeve length is always gloriously generous, perfect for my long arms.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Constructing a practical summer wardrobe...

I finally got a chance to catch up on some shopping the other day when I was off - mostly I just needed some vests and some boring things like toiletries and food, but obviously it turned into a proper, all morning outing.  As usual I made the mistake of going into H&M, where buying two vests turned into trying on half the shop and buying various tops and trousers for work.  Enough now Elise, enough.  I got the red vest for £1 in the sale though!  I suspect it might be a PJ top since the fabric is quite soft and prone to stretching as the day goes on, but it'll be good for layering up.  The heart print jeggings were on sale for £7 and the trousers reminded me of my favourite striped ones, so they had to come home with me too.  Luckily I can wear whatever I like to work, but with my office prone to being a bit cold I've mostly been sticking to trousers and jeans (for some reason I feel a bit ridiculous wearing black tights when it's meant to be summer...).
These colours pretty much sum up my entire wardrobe - lots of neutrals with the odd deep red or purple thrown in.
Also from the H&M sale was thing.  I love it on but it's a little shorter than my black slip so I think I'll fuss about a bit with it and see what will go.  It's shorter than I'd wear with bare legs anyway so I'll have a few months to figure it out.  The Wallis blouse and Monsoon dress were from the charity shop - both are three sizes bigger than I'd normally wear, the joy of random charity finds!  I had some good luck with the Monsoon dress - another girl had it at the counter but was swithering about buying it, so when she put it down and left I circled round and grabbed it.  
Here's the boring part - I finally got some new running clothes!  My last two pairs of leggings got binned at the end of last summer after a good few years of use, so it was off to TK Maxx for some new ones.  Trying to find the right length is always a pain for me but I managed to get a pair of long leggings and two short pairs, plus a top for under £50.  I even persuaded myself to try a (kind of) patterned pair...
More bargains!  I was on the lookout for a plain scarf and one I could tie round my hair when we go camping, to hide the fact that we haven't been near the showers in a while...  I scored on both items, and even discovered when I got home that the red one is a wool/silk mix from Jigsaw.  50p well spent!  And my last bargains - a guide to Britain filled with maps and interesting places to visit, and a book I'd been about to order in the library.  I definitely had good karma that day!


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

My tiny bookshop

One of the huge benefits to living where I do is that the library is a mere five minutes walk away.  One of the downfalls to this is that I completely ignore the books on my own shelves.  While I rarely buy books these days, if I see one I like the look of when I'm out and about (and it's super cheap) I'll pick it up anyway.  I've been using the library more often lately since I have a couple of hours each day on the train to read, but it means the books I actually own get pushed to the side.  My brain seems to realise that there's no time limit on when I have to read these books so I never get around to them!  Now, it's time to make a start.

One of my favourite books is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, so when I saw It Ends with Revelations in The Works for £1, I snapped it up.  I have no idea what it'll be like but it looks like a quick read anyway.  Jurassic Park I've had for aaaages - I bought it purely because I love the film and was curious about how all the action would work in book form (or indeed if there was really that much excitement or if it was all added for the screen).  Alys Always was recommended on a podcast I was listening to at work and it seems like another quick read - my favourite thing after some of the bigger books I've been reading lately! (I'm reading Emma by Jane Austen at the moment and it's taking longer than a Game of Thrones book, how?!)  And the Mr Selfridge one I found in a charity shop in Aberfeldy, which I bought because again, I want to see how true to the book/life the TV show was.

Has anyone read these?  Are they worth the time?!


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A trip to Linlithgow Palace

Continuing on with our Historic Scotland adventures, Linlithgow Palace was next on the list.  This was somewhere I'd been dying to get a look at inside for ages, since we've walked Parsnip around the loch a few times but never went in until now.  It was a pretty amazing sight inside and out - the interiors were mostly burned out in the 1700s when a visiting army accidentally set fire to one of the rooms and just...left it to burn.  Lovely.  Remind me never to show hospitality to the militia when Tam and I move into our castle!  (Oh yeah, we're gonna have a castle.  Or a cottage.  Not decided yet.)  There were still burn marks on some of the walls, that was pretty cool to see.  

We climbed up to the tower and got a great view down to the loch, marvelled over the weird figures in the courtyard fountain and found a fireplace taller than Tam.  I'll definitely be going back for more pictures soon.


Monday, 26 May 2014

Summer clothes and a scarf

Working full times is HARD guys.  Who knew?  Working every week day then hanging out with Tam at the weekend has vastly cut into my faffing about time.  Knitting progress is still going steady and I'm getting loads more reading time with all the train travel, but any craft or activity that isn't do-able on public transport or in an hour after work has pretty much stopped.  It's sad.  And frustrating.  BUT... I work flexi time, which is possibly the most awesome thing ever invented.  Last week I had built up enough hours to take Wednesday off and I was so productive.  I went shopping, had fab charity shop luck and (mostly) cleared my alterations pile.  And I made two scarves!  

My fabric came from the sewing meet I attended in February - I think it originally belonged to Helen.  I spotted it in the pile of swap goodies and it reminded me of my friends scarf collection, all bright and Accessorize-y, so I took it with the idea to make her something.  There was so much of it that I managed to make myself a twin too.  I just cut the fabric in half length wise, turned the edges under and sewed along them.  I haven't given my friend her scarf yet but I wore mine all weekend, so it was a great (and free) (and quick) make!

tshirt - H&M
trousers - H&M
loafers - M&S
Here's the rest of my outfit - I strayed into H&M when I went shopping and couldn't resist buying another tshirt - their basics are my favourite right now, so slouchy and comfy, perfect for work without making me look like a total scruff.


Friday, 23 May 2014

Wishful thinking...

Earlier this week, I decided it was time to do a switch over of the summer and winter clothes, time to tuck away all the chunky knits and get the sandals out, time to wear lighter colours and fewer pairs of tights (it's not just me that doubles them up, right?)  This plan was pretty excellent - until it turned cold again.  Cause obviously.  In surveying the contents of the 'summer' section of the wardrobe I discovered that A - I have so many more pairs of summer shoes than a Scottish summer really requires, B - some of my clothes seem to have developed odd marks in the box/before I put them away last year without checking if anything needed washed, and C - I get to wear my favourite polka dotty dress again! (which I thought I'd posted a pic of but I can't find one...must remedy that immediately!)(edit: found it!)
My favourite white summer blouse is one of the 'mysterious mark' items, as was the robot top.  Boo.
Not sure how much use the shorts or bikinis will get, but I live in hope...
The shoe collection!  I love them all... (clockwise from top left - Topshop, M&S, M&S, Minnetonka, Converse, M&S)  In fact I love last years cream loafers so much that I also bought them in navy and red in an M&S outlet a few months ago.  I'm certain they'll get worn come rain or shine anyway...


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Recent awesomeness...

 ...we went to visit the Kelpies now that they're properly open.  Unfortunately half of Falkirk seemed to have the same idea!  They were really cool if you ignored the crowds though.
 ...I finally got new running shoes!  The old ones were starting to rub my feet so I gave in and got fitted for another pair.  The brand is Saucony, which I'd never heard of before, but they're nice and comfortable and not unlike my old Adidas ones.  Now I just need some new gear to go with them...  I decided I needed to try all the black and white things in my wardrobe with my new jacket.  This shirt is one of my favourite combos.  And Saturday night was whisky night where I am :)
 ...we took the Cubs kayaking last weekend and the outdoor centre had been pompom bombed - these creatures were my favourite but there were tons of fun things hanging everywhere.
 ...I found another fab vintage tin at work - this one was full of 8mm films (the really small reels!).  My latest read - Emma is going rather quicker than my usual progress on a classic novel.  Possibly because I just watched the Romola Garai version and I'm excited to get to the end!
More horses - we found these in a field before we visited the Kelpies - the two bigger ones kept grabbing all the grass we offered them and wouldn't let the wee guy near, such bullies!


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A trip to Castle Campbell

My first treat when I got my new job was to get me and Tam Historic Scotland passes.  We spend enough time exploring everywhere else, it seemed like it was time to start snooping around official places.  I got a super deal where we get fifteen months for the price of twelve, plus at £6.65 a month for both of us it was a bargain, especially considering how much we've used it in the first month alone.  Our first trip was up to Castle Campbell at Dollar a few weeks ago.  We parked at the bottom of the hill and walked up through the woods to the castle.  Fun fact - it used to be called Castle Glume, it has a stream running through the grounds called the Burn of Sorrow and...we saw a wedding there.  Interesting choice of venue!  It was a rather misty, damp day but it was great for exploring, especially up in the tower with the amazing views.  We followed it up with lunch at a great cafe nearby, where I got to indulge my latest obsession - goats cheese on toast, yum.

Has anyone been?  


Saturday, 3 May 2014

Summer Stripes

Jacket - Long Tall Sally
Tshirt - Long Tall Sally
Jeans - Long Tall Sally
Shoes - Old Navy
Scarf - charity shop
Bag - M&S
If you know anything about me, you'll know that I'm a big fan of Long Tall Sally.  The somewhat limited Tall range on the high street (or the internet really, since more and more stores now only stock their Tall products on their websites) makes me despair a bit - Petite, Maternity and Plus are all covered in a variety of stores, why not Tall?  Then there's the faff of working out which stores work with your measurements - that seems to rule out at least half in my case.  In the past year or so, I've been turning to Long Tall Sally first every time I'm looking for something new to wear.  Just before Christmas, I discovered the Hoxton jeans and became obsessed.  After buying them in black, Mother got me the indigo pair because I hardly took them off!  I'm just waiting for them to appear in more colours...hopefully...

A few weeks ago, Long Tall Sally got in touch with me and asked if I'd like to pick something from their summer collection to review.  Let's just say there was lots of squealing on my end, followed by a definite 'Yes!' in reply.  I picked the Jersey Stripe Jacket - there's a definite lack of light jackets in my wardrobe so I think this will come in handy.  It's a nice hip length, although the sleeves are crazy long!  Never thought I'd say that...  (I've tucked them under at the hem on the first pic and left them down on the second for comparison)  I tried the jacket on with a bunch of things this morning and it's definitely versatile, perfect for work and walks!  The fabric is thick enough to keep the wind out but good for layering up when the cold pops back...
grey dress - H&M
Converse - outlet
necklaces - Topshop
dress - Monsoon
heels - M&S
*I was sent this jacket to review but all opinions are my own*
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