2013 in outfits

This year I've been leaning towards lots of trousers - something I'm still learning to feel comfortable in. I don't quite think I've pulled off the effortless look I see on so many American blogs. One day, one day. Maybe I'll wake up and be Blair. Wishful thinking.

I feel most at home in a midi length skirt or dress and love a retro style. I'm hoping 2014 will bring a lot more dresses to my wardrobe and am going to try and embrace a vintage style look everyday. I will master that perfect beehive! I've finally embraced lipstick after running scared for years -as my collection would confirm - and become a lot more adventurous in my make up so you may see that smokey eye making an appearance on the blog soon.

2013 has been a good year but I'm eager to see what the next year will bring. I set myself a New Years resolution of travelling more and think I've done a very good job of implementing it. I can't wait to see even more of the world next year. It's once again been confirmed that blogging is the best thing I've ever done and I really do pinch myself when I think about the amazing opportunities I've been handed. How did I become so lucky?! Being taken to Paris was an amazing highlight and one that I'm forever grateful for. My 'internet friends' have more or less shed that tag and become real life friends who are simply the best. Many a time they have made me seen sense and pushed me along to make that all important materialistic purchase. I can't wait to see more of them in 2014. The next year sees me starting to save for that scary house deposit after the holiday of a lifetime to New York. Eeeeek! I suppose it will have to be the year I become an adult but I couldn't think of a better boy to take that plunge with.

Goodbye 2013, you've been a blast!

My heart stops when you look at me

Black off the shoulder jersey top - Asos
Silver statement necklace - Mum's bedroom (similar)
Silver taffeta midi full skirt - Topshop
Black leather heeled ankle boots - Topshop (similar)

I decided I needed to treat myself to a little early Christmas present in the form of this beautiful skirt. Yes it was very overpriced and maybe just a little impractical (ironing?!) but something about it just called my name. I thought it was absolutely perfect to wear for all the festivities over Christmas and  can be dressed up or down depending on where I'm heading. But let's face it, you can never be too overdressed eh?

Christmas is now over for yet another year and I've spent it in a haze of too much food and drink as I usually do. I'm starting to resemble a slab of Wensleydale and cranberry cheese but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't wait to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon though as my bum and double chin are getting far too big for my liking! Got to make the most of it as it only comes round once a year! I've had a wonderful few days and yet again it's reinstated that if Calsberg ever made familes, it would make mine.


This week i'm loving - Barry M Natural Glow Palette

Barry M was one of the first make up brands I ever spent my pocket money on. Dazzles Pots anyone? I still think they offer the best value for money nail polishes out of all the drug store brands. The colour range is amazing! They're always trying new formulas too and seem to be at the top of their game. It's safe to say I was pretty excited when I heard they were going to bring out eyeshadow palettes. At only £6.49 too. Bargain!

When I was given the opportunity to try one out for myself I opted for the neutrals. I'm a neutrals girl through and through. I feel it suits my skin tone down to a tee and can work perfect from day to night. You just opt for a slightly darker colour if you're going out on the town! The Natural Glow Palette features 6 different eyeshadows and one blusher alongside two double siders applicators.

My personal favourite combination is the brown shimmer the third in from the right with a dab of the white shadow blended on the corners to brighten it up. It doesn't have the most amazing pigmentation but I actually prefer this as it's a lot easier to build up to get your preferred shade. The first shadow on the left is perfect for everyday use with a slick of eyeliner. The eyeshadows glide on fairly easily but I do find they need to be slightly topped up if you're going from day to night. This may just be because I wear glasses and need to my eyeshadow to be more prominent as it's easily lost! The Glamourpuss Palette would be ideal to create a smokey eye for an evening out on the town.

Have you ever tried the palettes?

Santa Claus is coming to town

Glass bauble, ceramic white snowflake, winter wonderland scene in a jam jar, silver pot pourri, star crackers, mini gem tree decorations, glitter tealights, silver tear drops baubles, wooden tree and star bunting.

Christmas has officially arrived with a bang in the Warner household thanks to a generous voucher from Marks and Spencer. They're not just any Christmas decorations, they're M&S decorations! This year we've gone for a winter wonderland theme with lots of silver, glitter and glass. I don't think anything beats a real Christmas tree at the festive season, there's just something about it. My dad has always been in charge of making sure the Christmas tree looks pretty. My mum and I aren't as artistic and it'll look like we've just chucked everything on. Not quite as talented as the man of the house! I've been trying very hard not to peak at the presents underneath - just look at them all!

Are you getting in the Christmas spirit?

I'm a fire and I'll burn burn burn tonight

Faux fur collarless leopard print coat - Next (similar)
Cream long sleeved sheer crochet trimmed blouse - Asos via Leather Lane Market (similar)
Faux leather midi skirt - c/o Pretty little Thing (similar)
Cream and black court shoes - Primark (similar)

So I've been commuting to Colchester for a week and my body is slowly getting used to the nearly 5 hour daily journey. I'm having to be very strict at having early nights during the week. My kindle is going to become my best friend! Colchester is actually a very pretty and quaint town, it dates back to the Roman times don't you know? It's a lot quieter than London and my bank account is very happy at not having to spend nearly £8 on lunch. I love you Pret but you skint me! It's very nice having a brand new office to work in, it's very swish! I'm looking forward to the Christmas break though to recharge my batteries and to catch up with friends. The longer commute means I've become a bit of a recluse during the week. Not good for my social life.

This time next week it'll be Boxing Day and all these Christmas presents will be handed out! Just where does the year go?


Review: Fleet River Bakery

Tucked away behind Holborn station just off Lincoln Inn Fields, sits the Fleet River Bakery. It's a welcome change from the endless chain coffee shops that scatter the streets. It's always got a queue around the block so I'd recommend taking lunch a little earlier so you beat the rush. Don't make the same mistake as me and go around 3pm as you'll miss out on the goats cheese sandwich. I've heard wonderful things!

The delicious looking food is all on display so you can have a good mooch around before you make your decision. It's the perfect place to settle down for an hour and catch up on your favourite book. You don't feel rushed by the staff to scoff your food down and it's full of sharing tables so it feels a little cosy. I'd pick up the cutlery and napkins at the counter as you won't find any on the tables. It's a lovely little gem hidden away from the hustle and bustle.

I opted for a tasty pesto, brie, tomato and basil ciabatta with a generous slice of carrot cake to finish. To be fair the portions for so huge I could have done with one or the other but you know a Friday is always a pretty special day. I'd love to go back and sample the hot food.

Do you have any recommendations for independent coffee shops in London?

Got me looking so crazy right now

Black prom mesh midi dress - Asos
Red faux suede court shoes - Primark (similar)
Giant red envelope clutch bag - Primark (similar)
Cropped swing leopard print faux fur jacket - New Look (similar)

Oh Asos you reel me in yet again with your discount codes and reduced dresses. I used the excuse of needing a new dress for NYE so I could justify treating myself to this beauty. I'm going as Audrey Hepburn and thought the 50's silhouette worked a treat. The underskirt I've found will hopefully make the outfit come together. The dress will also come in handy for the many festive evenings I've got planned so really it would have been a crime to not buy it. Yes I know, I'm the queen of excuses when it comes to shopping.

I can't believe how fast this month is flying by, it really won't be long until the big day. I'm having a lovely month so far with lots of fun activities although my bank account is having a heart attack. I spent this weekend getting my London fix with the dream team blogger babes having our Christmas festivities. Sarah very kindly brought us all homemade rocky road as a little treat. It went down very nicely indeed! We also managed to squeeze in a little trip to Aisling and Elodie's pad to exchange our secret Santa presents. Well and truly in the Christmas spirit now. Especially as I got some candy canes in my present from Sarah - she makes the perfect Santa!


November empties

Soap and Glory Righteous Butter - c/o Elodie Russo
One of the perks of having blogger friends is when they pass along their unwanted beauty products to you. Obviously I never have enough... I've gone through numerous tubs of this body butter and it's one I come back to time and time again. It's the perfect thickness so it feel luxurious and sinks in fairly quickly which is a god send in the morning when you're in a rush to get dressed. The shea butter ingredient works wonders on dry winter skin.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray c/o
Review here.

Batiste original Dry Shampoo
Review here.

Charles Worthington Front-row Rough and Tousled Salt Spray
Although I'm not as much of a fan as this as I am off the Bumble surf spray I do still think it does an ok job. I find it works better on bone dry hair, Pop it up in a topknot while you get ready and by the time you're ready to go out, you should have beachy waves. It works the best on hair with layers cut in.

Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado
This was brought on a recommendation from Michelle and I feel like it's made a hell of a lot of difference. I pop it on twice a day, once before bed time when I've removed my make up and then in the morning once I've moisturised. A little goes a long way! I find gently dabbing it works best. It takes a little while to sink in before you can put your make up on top. Now I just need a eye brightening cream to get rid of these dark circles. Any ideas?

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Medium
Review here.

George Lash X Trend Mascara c/o
I got this in a goodie bag from an Asda event a little while ago. I wasn't holding out much hope at first as the brush isn't my favourite - I like them to be big and busy rather than plastic as it hurts my eyes. Apart from being a little wet to apply I thought this mascara was a good budget buy. Complete bargain at £3.50!  It improved my lashes and didn't give me spider eyes which is one of my pet hates!

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser Normal/Combination c/o
I am a sucker for Liz Earle. It's one of my favourite beauty brands and one that I can imagine staying loyal to the brand for a very long time. I'm already about to buy my third pot of this. Thanks to the thickness it doesn't feel greasy once it's applied and it sinks in almost straight away which is always a winner in the morning! My skin hardly ever breaks out anymore and doesn't feel as dry around my nose. The only thing that can improve the cream would be to add an spf in the formula. I'm getting worried about aging!

What to buy for: The Men in Your Life

Burgundy Grey Gingham Long Sleeved shirt £30, New Era Batman Bobble hat £18, ASOS Watch With map Print £22, Nike Blazer Mid Suede Trainers £70,

Jelly Belly Selection Hamper £30, Men's Society Moustache Print Stainless Steel Hip Flask £17.50, Tweet and Status Updates book £6, Asos leather Wash bag £25

I'm sure you'll agree that men can be extremely hard to buy for. Most things they fancy they buy themselves! Or in my experience, they can be very fussy indeed. Socks and pants can get very boring year after year.

I personally don't think you can go wrong with a snazzy new pair of trainers - you'd be very impressed with my boyfriends collection. He's mad on them! Food will always go down a treat with your brother while a watch is a lovely thoughtful gift for your boyfriend. A old-fashioned hip flask with a quirky slogan is a lovely thoughtful gift for your dad - fill it up with his favourite tipple to get some extra brownie points. Likewise, giving a posh washbag filled with lots of toiletries is great for a personalised gift. A tech-mad guy will love the chance to read about all the different tweets and status updates he can impress his friends with.

Have you got a gift for the man in your life sorted yet?

Southbank Christmas Market

Last weekend I decided to get into the Christmas spirit and made a special visit to the Southbank Christmas Market. After visiting Winter Wonderland numerous times before, I thought it'd be only fair to see another one in the city. I actually think I prefer the Southbank, It's one of my favourite places to have a stroll anyway and it's even better all decked out for the festive season. It just feels less touristy and less tacky as there's no blaring rides. It's still quite busy but it doesn't feel too closed in. You can buy lots of Christmas goodies such a decorations, gingerbread, marshmallows, roasted chestnuts and traditional presents. It's not the cheapest of places to eat but hey Christmas only comes round once a year!
A word of advice if you visit, opt for the bacon and cheese sausage. It's a good 'un!

Well if I had another chance I'd do it differently now


Pink full midi skirt - H&M (similar)
Black wool roll neck jumper - Primark (similar)
Black faux-leather ankle boots - c/o Just Fab (similar)

The last picture made me laugh as I was directly my friend to take a picture of my shoes! I think she's done a pretty good job of these photos don't you? Are you around next week Jay?!

I said goodbye to London yesterday for a little while as my office is moving to Colchester the middle of next week. It was very sad as London is pretty much the centre of my universe, anyone who knows me will tell you I don't stop singing it's praises! I don't think anywhere else even comes close to it's charm. I love constant goings ons, the busy and noisy roads, the amazing foodie scene, the beautiful buildings and even the grubby backstreets that you find after hours of wandering around. I'm going to make much more of an effort to drink in all the sights over the weekends. I'll certainly miss my monthly travel card and think a pay as you go oyster will give me a bit of a shock. But saying that I'm ready to embrace the Essex move with open arms and looking forward to getting to know the area. I've never really ventured that far in Essex before so there will be lots of new places to explore. I'll have to get reacquainted with the countryside. After 18 months in the city I've forgotten what greenery looks like!

Tonight i'm having our annual Christmas get together with my friends and we're off to a Chinese with Karaoke! It will be so much fun and I'm practicing the spice girls songs to belt out. We decided to go with something a little different this year as you eat so much turkey over the festive period before you turn into one!


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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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