31 May 2015

M&S- dressing for a summer occasion

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Dress, shoes & bag- M&S
Jacket- Bank
Necklace- Forever 21
Sunglasses- Primark
To celebrate the launch of their ultimate dress guide and new summer womenswear collection, M&S asked me if I would like to style up an outfit for an upcoming occasion or event.
My diary for the summer is currently a sorry state of affairs and with no festivals or holidays planned and no weddings on the horizon I had to think outside the box. Working full time in the city means I get invited to a lot of events through my job so I decided to style up an outfit for a 'corporate summer drinks party'.
I have never been a huge fan of florals or girly embellishments - growing up I was always a bit of a tomboy - so this charcoal grey shirt dress really caught my eye on the website.  I am not sure if the utility trend is still 'in' but I am always late to the party when it comes to fashion so why change a habit of a lifetime!
The dress is quite smart so perfect for a business environment but I wanted to add a fun (slightly feminine) element to the outfit with these incredible lace up heels. I can't believe how comfy they are too. Whenever I go out I always have a pair of flat shoes in my bag - definitely a sign of getting older - but I don't need to with these, even though they look pretty lethal.
The bag is a really nice contrast in terms of colour and is the perfect size for all you need throughout the day - it's definitely big enough for a laptop too.
I added the jacket because, well, it is Britain after all.
I can't remember the last time I shopped in Marks & Spencer - perhaps for a school blazer once upon a time - but they have certainly moved on in terms of their target market. I have to say I was spoilt for choice, especially in the accessories department.  

17 May 2015

Review: Revolution (Parsonage Gardens, Manchester)

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Vodka Revs: home to cheap cocktails, sticky floors and student nights! At least that is how I remember it!
Last week I was invited down to the Parsonage Gardens branch in Manchester to try their new menu and I was intrigued to say the least. I had heard through a few people that the chain had had a complete facelift so I was keen to try it out for myself.
The venue
I have only a very vague memory of the Parsonage Gardens Revolution but I was still pleasantly surprised when I first walked in. Like many of the bars in Manchester, they have gone for the 'I am cool without trying too hard' kind of vibe. I am all for a bit of exposed brick and copper fixtures. I especially loved the wall of framed prints.
After being seated, I was presented with a rather extensive cocktail menu but due to my irrational fear of vodka - I will save the story for another time - I settled for a bramble, a really nice one at that. I also appreciated the glass it came in, there is something about a nice looking glass that makes your drink taste nicer - just me?
The food
I was feeling boring at the time so to start I ordered garlic bread. Totally unoriginal I know but I fancied something simple and it is one of my all time faves. This one got some major thumbs up on the garlic scale - nothing worse than garlic bread with a stingy layer of the good stuff!
For mains I ordered the 'Brooklyn Chicken' burger'. Not going to lie, the thought of it sent me into a carb coma but it was recommended to me by the waiter and I felt I was in good hands. I did order the fried pickles on the side as opposed to on the burger (I am team 'Anti Gherkin') but I was prepared to give them a go - all fruit deserve a chance. Side note: I had no idea a gherkin was a fruit until this very moment!!
My burger was exactly what I thought it would be: stodgy - but boy did it taste good. It could have come with slightly more chipotle mayo but that is just me being pedantic.
The chips came with a dusting of Cajun spice which was a really nice addition. I also enjoyed the coleslaw; It tasted homemade and came with big chunks of apple in it - delicious. I even surprised myself by enjoying a fried pickle or two!
My partner in crime opted for the 'Bourbon Bad Boy' burger; just looking at it made me sweat but he seemed to enjoy it. I had a try of the bourbon chipotle sauce that accompanied it and it was mega.
Because I obviously hadn't had enough stodge in my previous 2 courses, I then went on to order a 'banofee fluffwich - mainly because I was intrigued by the concept.
The combination of Soft dough, caramel, marshmallow fluff, banana & sweet batter was nothing short of delicious albeit very filling. I wasn't so sure about the strawberry dip, it definitely should have come with ice cream. Sorry.
All in all I was pretty impressed with the new Revs. If you aren't partial to a full crab fest like me, then there are also plenty of other options to satisfy a variety of needs. On a Monday they offer 50% off too  - pretty generous hey! 
Have any of your tried Revolution's new menu?  

10 May 2015

Halfway to Boho

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Top & Bag- Primark
Jeans- Topshop
Boots- Boohoo
My mum said something to me this morning which was mildly offensive/amusing. It went a little bit like this: 'Laura....you have so many clothes, yet I only ever see you in ripped jeans & creased shirts. You always look so nice on your blog'.
The thing is, she is so right!!
I have a wardrobe - and a bedroom floor - full of clothes, but for some reason I never know what to wear. I always end up in the same fail safe (& creased) combinations because riffling through my floordrobe is so unappealing of a morning. I also can't quite be bothered to put my thinking cap on and come up with different ways to wear certain things - this jacket is a perfect example.
It has been sat gathering dust in my wardrobe - avec label - for months now because I had no idea what to wear it with - until now.
I wanted to add some layering to this outfit without detracting the attention from the cute boho sleeves. That's when I realised that I had this sleeveless jacket stashed away and I think it goes perfectly.
Lesson learnt: if I actually put my mind to it, I can actually manage to dress myself half decently!!
Hope you all had a nice weekend. Tomorrow, I will be into my final week at my job EEK. Change is a-coming.

4 May 2015

My April faves

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April was a really good month. I discovered new things, I unexpectedly got an exciting new job and I spent lots of time with my most favourite people.

I don't tend to do 'monthly favourites' posts all that often because quite frankly, I never really buy that much stuff. I must have felt spendy in April as I had quite a few things I wanted to share- so here they are:

James Bay // I can play that buttery voice on loop all day and never tire! I am still kicking myself for not buying tickets to see him when they were only £14- such a fool!

Reading // If I think right back to my early teens, my nose was forever in the middle of a Jacqueline Wilson paperback (or something similar). Fast forward to my late twenties and the only thing I would ever read was a magazine or the oven instructions on the back of a pizza box.
Having felt somewhat overwhelmed by the online world recently; I thought it was time to indulge myself in someone else's words. I picked up a few books from Tesco and I am absolutely loving reading again.

TK Maxx stationery// I have no idea why, but lately I have been obsessed with writing things down. Perhaps it has something to do with the lovely 'blogging' notebook my bf bought me for my birthday back in Feb.
As I am starting my new job- in the creative industry- in a few weeks, I wanted to get myself something nice to write all my ideas in. TK Maxx have the most amazing selection of note books in stock at the moment; this white and gold one reminds me of something Kate Spade would sell.

Clinique chubby stick for eyes// Being somewhat of a high-end make up virgin, I wasn't sure whether I would get along with this product. I can confirm however, that it is such a gorgeous nude for everyday wear and is great for throwing on quickly before work.

Victoria Secret perfume// After receiving a beautiful bottle of Jo Malone perfume at Christmas, my VS bottles got pushed to the back of the cupboard. I am now in short supply of my woodsage & seasalt *cries* and my Armani is down to the last dregs so I have recently been using the VS scents again. I absolutely love how unique they are and best of all, each bottle is just over a tenna.

Collection's fast stroke liquid liner// OH MY GOD.....this has to be the best buy of 2015 so far. I will openly admit that I am not the world's best at make up so it's a given that I am crap at doing winged eyeliner- or was!

I have tried and failed with several different types of liners in the past: gel ones, pens, kohl. Name the brand and it is sat drying up at the bottom of my make up bag! Collection however, have revolutionised the cat eye flick for me- ALLELUJAH. 
It is so easy to apply and doesn't go cakey, which is a massive pet hate of mine. Granted, at £2,99 a bottle, it isn't going to last you through a torrential downpour (or a night watching the Notebook), but I am ok with that - as long as it lasts me through a day in work I am happy.
Barry M's 'pit stop (quick dry)// I don't really need to ramble on too much about this. We all know that Barry M nail polish is da bomb, the fact that it dries fast and is a gorgeous shade of grey, well, even better.
Essence lipstick in 'cool nude' // After being tortured by MAC and their desperate shortage of the well-loved 'velvet teddy' lipstick, I went on a hunt for an alternative. After doing a quick google search I saw that Essence sold some pretty good dupes. Although this one is a lot darker than velvet teddy, it is still a really nice dark nude. I am pretty sure it was only a pound too!

So there you have it, all the things I have loved in the month of April.