Ascot 2014

This weekend marks the King George Weekend (A Modern British Classic) at the Ascot Racecourse near Windsor.  It also marks just over a month since I graced Ladies Day at Ascot with my beautiful girlfriends (from left to right: Georgie, Chaz, Myself, Shona and Becky).  Here’s what happened:

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After a bright and early start we all met at Georgie’s house for the 30 minute taxi journey to Ascot.  As we were in the Silver Ring, we were allowed to take 1 bottle of sparkling wine/champagne/cava per person as well as a picnic taken in a cool bag or hamper. I settled on a bottle of Prosecco and a ladylike burger from a stand inside.  Here’s a snap of us before we all went in.  I’m the short one in the middle.  Whilst I contemplated wearing heels, I also figured there would be a lot of walking involved on the day, to and from the betting stations and the bar (of course).  So I bit the bullet and went for my fancy Dune sandals of 4 summers ago, and I’m so glad I did!  Sparkly feet and no foot pain whatsoever, winning.  Whilst I can’t remember where all the girls outfits are from (but if you’re interested, comment below and I’ll find out for you :)) my #OOTD is as follows:

Fascinator – British Heart Foundation Charity Shop

Dress – Planet at Debenhams

Watch – Vintage

Clutch – Florence and Fred

Sandals – Dune

Cheers!

Cheers!

After we found ourselves a patch of grass amongst the throng, we sat down to toast the day and drink our bubbles.

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We’re all such busy ladies, so it was lovely to catch some sun, chill, chat, drink and giggle catching up.  People watching was beaut too!  (Also can we please acknowledge Georgie’s gorgeous hair?!)

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As you can see, it was utterly crowded in the Silver Ring, but it was great because it added to the atmosphere in so many ways.  It was lovely seeing everyone dressed up and having a good time.  Just before the races started the Queen popped on by in her carriage, we didn’t see her, but had this pretty good view of the big screen!

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Next the races started.  There were 6 in all, between 2.30pm and around 6pm with about 30/40 minutes between each, enough time to pop to the ladies, the bar, or make your bets.  We all got involved in the betting.  Whilst my Dad had very methodically selected 6 horses with the aid of the Racing Post, we all picked the horses we liked the names of!  I came away £25 up!  #Winning

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After an AMAZING day we got our taxi home where we descended on Yates’ in all our finery to watch the England game, and we all know how that turned out!  Nevertheless we had a fantastic time, it was a great experience, and I’d really recommend Ascot to all!

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March Verbs

A little late in the game here (well, only 9 days but you get the point!).  I’ve moved house!  March has officially been moving month, which I can safely say has completely and utterly taken over my life.  But not in a bad way, I hasten to add.  I have absolutely loved every second, sofa shopping, interiors buying, packing, life in boxes, Ikea flat pack (not so much) .. the list goes on.  It’s definitely the biggest and most exciting thing boyfriend and I have ever done, a new chapter!  And we couldn’t be happier.  Here’s what I got up to in March:

Watching: Kirstie’s Best of Both Worlds

I absolutely love Kirstie Alsopp.  I giggle at her and Phil Spencer, lust after her ladylike elegant dresses and aspire to have her home and property knowledge, which is all rather funny, because boyfriend cannot STAND her.  Anyway, she’s got this great new show on 4od which involves couples searching for the best of both worlds between urban and rural. Being a homeowner and all (squee!), property is another interest added to my list.  This show takes you all around the country, seeing different properties, prices and ideas – a great watch.

The lovely lady herself.

The lovely lady herself.

Reading: Debenhams Catalogue

Not particularly literary genius, I know.  Since beginning on my quest for my ideal home, I have found Debenhams homewares to be absolutely excellent.  I think they have the best variety of quirky and colourful designers (right up my street) at reasonably affordable prices (but make sure to wait for the sale!).  The catalogue allows me to peruse at my leisure and pin point bits and bobs I might save up for, all to make our lovely flat a little more lovely.

My March Must-Read

My March Must-Read

Listening To: Moving House Playlist

Oh yes, we made a playlist.  Since we were without the internet for a while, we reverted back to grand old reliable Itunes to make a moving playlist.  We were so lucky to have all our friends and family rallying round helping us, so it had to be something everyone would like (and not get sick of!).  It mainly included the likes of Bastille, Simon and Garfunkel and Katy Perry.

Bastille made regular appearances in our move.

Bastille made regular appearances in our move.

Wearing on my body: BDG Bad Boys – Comfort Edition

Long term readers may remember a post I did last year about my FAVOURITE ever pair of jeans (which you can read about here:https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/bdg-bad-boys/ ).  BDG has since become a favourite brand of mine in the jean stakes, and I haven’t been out of this pair this month.  They are really ill fitting Mum, Helen Hunt style jeans, but are comfy as anything.  They are 90s high rise straight leg, but look good with anything and have been a life saver in the moving house department.

They look a bit like this.

They look a bit like this.

Wearing on my face: Maybelline Baby Skin

Having big pores, the same as my Mother and my Grandmother, I have found the recent pore minimising beauty products a life saver.  After a year of shelling out £20+ for Benefit’s ‘Porefessional’ version, when Maybelline launched Baby Skin at just £7.99 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  Whilst the quality and coverage isn’t quite as good as Benefit, Maybelline’s product still acts as a great pore minimiser and primer for foundation (just make sure you let it set!).

Baby Skin

Baby Skin

Eating: Pizza

Anyone who knows me will know how much I like (okay, love) my pizza.  Our new flat is a stone’s throw from a Pizza Hut, so pizza became a well loved, easy, cheesy comfy favourite in the dinner department.  But April is now here and I’m a year older so I’m trying to only have pizza once a month now.

Too much?!

Too much?!

Drinking: Leffe

As a thank you present to all our friends and family for helping us move, it was only fair we stocked our brand new Whirlpool fridge with ice cold beer for the hot and sticky weekends.  We go to Belgium most years, and this beer has become a firm favourite.  Leffe Blonde is the version we’ve mostly been drinking and is very light and refreshing.

Blondes are clearly the best.

Blondes are clearly the best.

What did you get up to this March?

February Verbs

What a month!  I’ve been so bogged down by assignments I’ve barely had a moment to check my emails let alone blog!  How are we all?  This month I’ve mainly been working, but my load has freed up a bit now so I can sit down with a cuppa and say ‘Ahhh’.  Here’s what I’ve been up to this month:

Watching: Jonathan Creek

Or J Creek as I’ve affectionately nicknamed it.  This utter beauty appeared to me on Netflix in a moment of pure genius, and I haven’t looked back.  I’ve watched every episode since 1997, and am almost squealing with excitement at the return to our screens tomorrow night (FYI BBC1 at 9pm, Friday 28th February 2014).  Alan Davies makes me all giddy, I love the format, it makes me giggle and it’s so ridiculous it’s just excellent.

J Creek

J Creek

Reading: Ideal Home Magazine

I’m in the process of collecting different colours and patterns to create a decopauge of a very plain and boring wooden mirror.  So instead of cutting up my monthly mag and popping it into my scrapbook, the vast array of wallpaper samples, paints and cushion covers will be appearing via decopauge on my new mirror.  I’ll let you see the outcome soon!

Ideal Home Magazine

Ideal Home Magazine

Listening To: Clean Bandit

Everyone’s heard ‘Rather Be’, but not everyone has heard their full Spotify set list.  Well I encourage you to, now!  It’s no secret I love a bit of classical music, and this album combines classical with the electronic genre to create something quite wonderful.  Most definitely worth a listen.

Clean Bandit

Clean Bandit

Wearing on my body: New Henry Holland coat

I bought my new Henry Holland beauty in the Debenhams sale and absolutely love it!  It’s the perfect coat to see me through this in between weather, when it’s too warm for a winter coat, but too cold for a jacket.  I love the different detailing and its waist clinching abilities work well for my figure.

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Wearing on my face: Estee Lauder Mascara

I got this mascara as part of my Boxing Day present (an amazing box of Estee Lauder make up goodies).  It’s taken me a few months to get used to it because it’s so different to any other mascara I’ve used.  The wand is much larger than average meaning it can form clumps quicker and faster, which you have to work through with the wand.  Meaning it’s a bit of extra faf, but the finished result is amazing with long, clean and separated lashes.

Estee Lauder Mascara

Estee Lauder Mascara

Eating: Soup

I first received a ‘Soup’ recipe book for my birthday last year, but its only in the last few months I’ve really got into it.  I make it fresh with stock and any veg I’ve got, buy it fresh from the supermarket, or have tins at least once a day, every day.  Whilst some people hate pureed food, I find soup is tasty, eases digestion and is a great healthy and filling meal, perfect for lunch time.

The Soup Book

The Soup Book

Drinking: Wine

After my January stint, my favourite poison of white wine has reappeared as a firm favourite in the liquid stakes.  I’ve had some glorious ladies lunches with white wine, some beautiful food or a quiet evening in.  The perfect accompaniment to my February!

White Wine

White Wine

What have you been doing this February?

 

Winter Wishlist

First off, apologies for the hasty formatting.  I’m in a terrible rush as I’m desperate to hit the shops to buy all the beautiful things listed I can’t afford.  Sigh.  

It was yesterday, a typical lazy (and hazy) Sunday when I got so chilly I had to turn the heating on.  It got me thinking of all the clothes I could do with that you can really snuggle into.  You know what I mean when I say that, right?  Clothes you can wrap around you, covering your face, rub your cheek against and feel super warm and cosy in.  Ahh.  Here’s my pick of the bunch for Winter 2013:

Image1)  Natural Chunky Knit Wrap – The Collection at Debenhams – £45.00

2)  Wildfox Gothic Crosses Cardigan – Wildfox at ASOS – £299.00

3)  Barts Grande Scarf – Barts at ASOS – £49.99

4)  Free People Aurora Tie-Dye Sport Top – Free People at Urban Outfitters – £58.00

5)  Knitted Hat – H and M – £6.99

6)  Beckside Crew – Jack Wills – £59.50

7)  Free People Hendrix Kimono Cardigan With Applique Detail and Tassell Trim – Free People at ASOS – £240.00

8)  Phase Eight Britney Dress, Multi – Phase Eight at John Lewis – £68.00

And FYI, here’s my pick of the bunch from 2012:

https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/winter-lust-list/

https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/winter-wine-lust-list/

Have a great week!

 

 

My Perfect Bedroom

Whenever I have a spare moment or five, no longer do I endlessly and hopelessly browse Topshop and Urban Outfitters online.  My interests have changed.  Now, it’s all about the interiors.  As I wrote about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/interiors-scrapbook/, I’m getting pretty into all my homewares and furnishings.  

For my 21st birthday, we went and stayed in the most beautiful luxury B and B (quite possibly ever) and it’s well and truly got my creative cogs whirring for my dream bedroom.  Here’s my pick of what I would choose (with money being no object, obviously!)

Image1)  Epsilon Upholstered Mink Velvet Double Bed Frame – Argos – £549.99

2)  Parisian Mirrored Four Draw Chest – Dunelm Mill – Was £349.99 Now £279.99

3)  Antique Style Venetian Mirrored Grand Chest of Drawers – Nicky Cornell Furniture Boutique – £649.00

4)  Rosalind Dove Grey Dressing Table – Laura Ashley – Was £1000.00 Now £450.00

5)  Purple ‘Antoinette’ Bed Linen – Star by Julien Macdonald at Debenhams – Was £22.00 – £88.00 Now £22.40 – £70.40

6)  Inspire Crackle Mirror Finish Table Lamp Silver – Argos – Was £24.99 Now £18.74

7)  Designer Purple French Bulldog Cushion – Abigail Ahern at Debenhams – £25.00

8)  Natural Embroidered Heart Cushion – Debenhams – £25.00

9)  Plum ‘Miramar’ Chaise with Dark Feet – Debenhams – Was £1000.00 – £1050.00 Now £720.00 – £756.00

I’ve gone for a silver/white/purple look with the ultimate priority being texture.  Obviously these are just ideas, a mood board if you like, but if someone gave me £5000 today for a bedroom, these picks would be a definite starting point!  What’s your perfect bedroom?

 

Christmas Gifts for Him – Under £10

Now, it has to be said that I found the task of finding good quality, nice gifts for men much harder than I did for the ladies.  But anyway, I’ve done my best and here are a few of my favourites.

Image1)  Exspect Leather Kindle Touch Hard Back Shell Case – Argos – £9.99

2)  The Only Recipes You’ll Ever Need: 4 Ways to Cook Almost Everything – Amazon – £9.17

3)  Wheelie Bin Desk Tidy – I Want One of Those – £5.99

4)  BBC London Olympic Games 2012 DVD – John Lewis – £9.99

5)  Linea Wool Nepp Flatcap – House of Fraser – £10.00

6)  Sesame Street Cookie Monster Apron – MenKind – £9.99

7)  Jasper Conran Tan Card Holder – Debenhams – £9.00

8)  Woodspice for Men Giftset – Marks and Spencers – £9.50

My top Christmas gifts for men for under a tenner.  Get shopping to save those pennies!

 

Christmas Gifts for Her – Under £10

I’m not bonkers, just organised.  I love to plan, and I also love a good bargain.  So, despite it being August and still sunny, I’ve started to plan my Christmas Gift ideas, for Her, all under £10.  Here’s my pick off the bunch whilst the summer sales are still hot.

Image1) Bead Strand Necklace – East – £9.00

2)  Christmas Cookie Small Jar Candle – Yankee Candle – £8.39

3)  Cocktails for a Crowd Book – Urban Outfitters – £8.00

4)  Make Up Brush Set – Topshop – £7.00

5)  Mojito Cocktail Chocolate Truffles – Hotel Chocolat – £10.00

6)  Personalised Typewriter Notebook – Not on the High Street – £9.00

7)  Red Herring Pink Contrast Fringed Scarf – Debenhams – £7.50

8)  Inspire Love and Home Photo Frames – Argos – £9.99

So there you have it!  My top picks of Christmas Gifts for Her for Under £10.  Stay tuned for ‘For Him’ in the next few days.