Summer So Sneaky

Isn’t summer sneaky?  One minute you’re sitting in your onesie with candles and a cup of tea then next minute … BAM, it’s 23 degrees, you have to shave your legs and pimms is on offer everywhere.  Sneaky eh?  To round off a beautiful and summerful weekend, we headed out for dinner at a lovely local restaurant.  Here’s what I wore:

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Necklace – Ideal Home Show

Overlay Lace Top – New Look

Underlay Boob Tube – New Look

Jeggings – Topshop

Sandals – Nine West

Bag – Topshop

Now off you pop to enjoy a beaut of a summer evening!

 

 

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Moving House and The Ideal Home Show 2014

Its that time of year again!  Where I drop everything, take the day off and saunter off to Earls Court to take in a whirlwind day of interiors, food, drink, make-up and nick nacks.  You’ve guessed it, it’s the Ideal Home Show.  One of the reasons it was so important for me to head to the Ideal Home this year is because I’m moving house!  Therefore, it was absolutely essential to pick up some great interior ideas.  (And now – I’ve lived with boyfriend for 10 months and he’s finally come round to my taste!  No more tartan!)

Being quite the regular (you can see a post on a previous visit here:

https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/)

I know what I like, where to go and most importantly when to go.  I.e., you must lightly jog to the show homes at 10.02am to avoid 3 hour queues.  Here’s some snaps of the day:

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The amazing entrance!

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I absolutely loved this two tone wallpaper, almost dip-dye style.  I think its a design that would like great on a feature wall (I’m maybe thinking of this for my bathroom in a red), because it gives you that colour without being too bold or overpowering.

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We’ve got a lovely little alcove wall like these in our new living room, so we’ve decided to fill it with some feature wallpaper to make it really stand out.  I love this library look, but not the entire ensemble of the pictured room.  Whilst I like some elements of Scandi design, the whole wood, burning fire place and off greys is a bit much for me.  But hey, that’s my taste!

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I really like the idea of having that shelving above the bed.  I’ve invested in an incredible 5 foot head board that will really draw the eye to the bed, which is of course, the main focus of the bedroom.  We’ve expecting storage to be a slight issue in our new abode, so a shelf across the top of the bed could really help.  You can display treasured items like in this picture (which I’m sure I’ll have a few of!) or have it as more functional storage, with pretty and colourful boxes perhaps.  A great idea.

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This is just incredible, I love it.  Its by an artist called JJ Adams, and I’m seriously considering purchasing it.  We’ve got a great wall space in our kitchen where we could really do with some amazing art.  And well this, this pretty much fits that bill!

So there you have it!  I’m moving house (so apologies in advance if I’m a bit AWOL with internet problems etc.) and the Ideal Home Show!  Ta-ta.

 

2013 – An AMAZING Year.

It comes to that time of year again of reflection, reflecting about the past 12 months and what you’ve achieved, whether it’s been a good year, a great year, or whether January 1st just can’t come quick enough.  I did a similar post this time last year (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/gonna-party-like-its-2012/), I do just find it so amazing seeing how far you come.  It’s only when you really sit and think about it, that you realise it.  Here’s what I’ve done this year:

January

  • Celebrated New Year in Bruges, Belgium, one hour ahead of London!
  • Created the term #SNOLO (Holla, snow day, anyone?!)

February

  • Appeared on national television, on the hit BBC1 show ‘Pointless’.
  • Had a lovely getaway to Portsmouth to celebrate V Day.
  • Partook in the ‘Pure Dance’ dance show in front of hundreds of people with my university street dance competition team.

March

  • Competed at one of the biggest university dance competitions in Loughborough with my street dance competition team.
  • Celebrated my birthday (ever so slightly early!) with a murder mystery party.
  • Once again, attended the amazing Ideal Home Show and at ate at Greg Wallace’s restaurant.
  • Attended my first ever baby shower for a great friend.

April

  • Celebrated my 21st birthday with a getaway to beautiful hotel in Bath.

May

  • Sat (and passed!) my university final exams.

June

  • Spent an incredible 3 and a half weeks in Sydney and the Gold Coast, Australia.

July

  • Moved into my first ever grown-up flat with Boyfriend.
  • Went to the Cricket for the first time.
  • Graduated from university with a BA Geography 2:1 (Hons)

August

  • Spent a fabulous two weeks in Cyprus.

September

  • Had a lovely few and relaxing days in the Isle of Man.
  • Learnt to like red wine (this is a big one!).
  • Went Glamping for the first time.
  • Rejoined my local dance school, that I have attended since I was 11!
  • Began a Masters course in London.
  • Joined the gym.
  • Went on my first ever London night out.

October

  • Saw Jessie J perform live at the O2.

November

  • Joined a church Gospel Choir.

December

  • Celebrated 3 years with Boyfriend with a weekend city break to Barcelona.
  • Performed with the church Gospel Choir in a Christmas carol concert.

To Do:

  • Celebrate Christmas with a wonderful few days away in the Isle of Man.

Wow, when you write it all down like that, it really does seem like a lot.  Whilst Bella’s Bits is a place for me to chat to you all about clothes and make-up, it’s also a place where I share some of the bigger, more important things in my life, like my take on political or ethical issues, for example.  It’s also my little diary like slice of the internet where I can think about what I’ve achieved, and looking at 2013, I’m proud!  I really have done so much this year and am so proud and happy with what I’ve achieved.  I feel so blessed with the life and opportunities I’ve been given.  You know, I can’t really do it justice here, there aren’t any words!

I would really encourage you to do as I have, go through your year, and really think about what you’ve achieved.  Think about your friends, your dreams, your family, your hopes, your travels, anything that inspires you to wake up the next day and keep going.

Fall in love with life in 2014, I dare you.

(FYI – I’m taking a bloggy break over the holidays, so have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2014.  Toodaloo!)

Winter Denim Tabard Time

So as I mentioned here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/denim-tabard-time/, this dress is a classic piece that can be taken effortlessly from summer to winter.  Here’s my winter take on it:

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Top – Rokit Vintage

Necklace – Ideal Home Show

Dress – Urban Outfitters

Tights – Florence and Fred

Boots – Nine West

Voila!  And stay tuned for my giveaway!

Interiors on a Budget

So as I mentioned in ‘I’m Back!’ (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/im-back/), I’ve only gone and got myself a flat!  I know, it’s terribly exciting.  I feel oh-so domesticated and grownup.  It was completely unfurnished so I’ve taken the whole contents of my life from University and from my Mum and Dad’s house (combined with Boyfriend’s bits and bobs) and plonked it into our open plan one bedroom apartment of loveliness.  After two weeks, it’s finally feeling  homely and I’m loving spending time here.  To jazz up the flat and furniture, we felt we needed to go interior shopping, but being fresh from Uni .. we’re pretty broke!  The whole place has been decked head to toe in the thriftiest of fashions, and I felt it would be cruel not to share.  (N.B.: I’ve made the decision not to photograph my flat in order to maintain privacy, so photos are just interior furnishings etc.)

Sofa

Say hello to our sofa!  We picked up our 2 seater couch as ‘Manager’s Special of the Week’ for £40 at our local Hospice Furniture Shop, and it was Manager’s Special for a reason!  On first glance, the cushion covers were stained, the whole thing smelt a bit musty and the brown arms were scratched up.  My instant reaction was: ‘No, Bella, you can do so much better at sofa shopping!’ Perhaps I could, but my wallet couldn’t, that was for sure.  So two washes for the cushion covers, three hoovers and 132 (or thereabouts) cans of  febreeze, the sofa feels brand new!  Plus, it feels great having supported a charity.

As our budget shopping meant we didn’t have any choice over the colour of our sofa; throws and pillows had to jazz this up.  I was eyeing up purple and leopard print, for my swish new luxury apartment.  But, nope, we had to get a fabric/colour/pattern that we both agreed on, and that turned out to be .. well, tartan.  If I’m honest, I’m still not over the moon about it.  It’s growing on me, but, well ..?  Anyway, we picked up the throw for £6 in Primark, and the three cushions came to £9 in Primark also .. so budget central!

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This chair has been in my family since before I was born.  Literally, my Mum bought it when she was pregnant with me to have something comfortable to sit on just for her and the baby (cheers Ma).  21 years on it’s followed me from bedroom to bedroom and now sits pride of place in the corner of our living area.  To match, of course, the tartan throw is again £6 from Primark, and the cushion was £4.  Honestly, my first place, who would have thought I would end up with tartan and pugs?!  NOT ME, that’s for sure.

Poof

Oh my poof, my poof, I’m so desperately in love with my poof!  I picked up this gorgeous colourful poof of wonderment at the Ideal Home Show (which you can read about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/)  for just £12, I know, £12!  Of course, I spent the entire day carrying it around looking like a poof (see what I did there?!) but it was so worth it and I think it is beautiful.  It sits on an Argos rug we picked up for just £9 in their mega clearance.

Room of Bath

When we moved in the shower curtain was just a bit grotty and stained, so we decided to replace it, again, with a colour we both agreed on.  So, this turned out to be monochrome, a fitting look for a bathroom I feel.  The shower curtain was £5 in Primark, and the bathmat was just £3 from Primark also.

It’s all so very new and exciting still, having my own place, and because of our current financial circumstances, decorating on a budget was essential.  No £500 leather corner sofas or £20 satin pillows here, no sur-ee.  Instead, we’ve gone with colours, patterns and fabrics we’ve picked together which feels special and homely to us, because its our home.  It all comes down to personal taste (hey, it’s okay if you don’t like it, I’m still not sold on the tartan yet either!!) which as we all know is subjective.  Here’s how we’ve done it for our budget, any interiors tips or tricks you fancy sharing?

Australian Lookbook

So as I briefly mentioned, I headed to Australia for three and a half weeks!  We were mainly based in Sydney, but had a few trips to the Blue Mountains, Newcastle and the Gold Coast.  My mind couldn’t have been further from blogging this trip, so I didn’t pose for many photos at all regarding ‘What I’m Wearing’ but here’s what I scraped together from the 942 photos from the trip (don’t worry, there aren’t that many!)!

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This photo was taken at a beautiful lookout spot over Sydney.  I thought this outfit was perfect for a bit of tourist sightseeing.  The dress is Dorothy Perkins.  The waistcoat is Primark.  The necklace is Accessorize.  The trainers are Converse.  It was really comfortable, summary in the gorgeous weather and blended well with Sydney City Chic.

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I had about 10 minutes to get ready for this night out in Sydney so I threw this together!  The body is Topshop.  The shorts (trusty favourites!) are Urban Outfitters.  The cardigan is Hollister.  The watch is Swatch.  The tights are Tesco.  The shoes are Office.  The hangbag is Nica.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I just love wearing shorts on nights out where dancing is involved!  I find it so much more comfortable and you can be more relaxed about accidentally flashing your undies.

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Not so much an outfit, but this is what I wore to the British and Irish Lions Rugby match in Newcastle!  Boyfriend’s a huge rugby fan and truth be told, the rugby was one of the reasons we went to Australia.  The shirt is .. a Lions rugby shirt!  The top underneath is from H and M.  The jeans are my beauts from Urban Outfitters, which you can read about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/bdg-bad-boys/

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This is me performing karaoke.  I loved this outfit and couldn’t find a better picture of my outfit during the night, so this action shot will have to do! I think I’m attempting some sort of air guitar..?!  This was taken on a night out in the Gold Coast celebrating a family friend’s 21st.  I know you can’t see particularly well but this outfit is a favourite go-to of mine.  The shirt is Mink Pink at Urban Outfitters.  The necklace is from a market at the Ideal Home Show. (You can read about the Ideal Home Show here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/)  The leggings are BDG at Urban Outfitters (another favourite find!).

So there’s just a few looks from my Australian wardrobe.  Hope you enjoyed!