Monday, 31 August 2015

The Sunday (bank holiday Monday) natter: the 5 stages of a night in heels

As it's bank holiday Monday, I thought it would be a great time to share with you the infographic I've been working on with Stylefruits (plus it makes up for my laziness of failing to prepare a Sunday natter yesterday). It's the last bank holiday of the year which means, to the dismay of those unsociable individuals like myself, people will be making the most of it by going out, celebrating a day off and using it as an excuse to part-ayyy (yep even in the rain, us Brits are used to it now). 

I think we've all felt the pain of wearing those swanky yet extremely high heels on a night on the town. Unfortunately fashionable beauty comes with a price, and that price is feet pronounced wholly dead after the enduring of enjoyment. It's quite sad that we have to make the choice of being comfortable or feeling utterly stumpy without those lengthening leg savers. Usually, if possible, I take both pairs out with me, heels for looking as good as can get, and flats for the end of the night when nobody will see me limping home in the dark - BUT that's not often the case and I want to take you through the 5 stages of thoughts, feelings and emotions running through your head from start to finish and how it plays out from walking out of that door to returning home. 

1) Checking your reflection | strutting past a window or double checking yourself in the mirror always confirms the inner confidence which bobs out to say hello every time you wear your favourite pair of heels. Think your legs look super long and slimmer than usual? Of course, that's the power of heels. Rock that foxy catwalk pose, girrrrl!

2) Walking to the club | the image of those perfect pins is still embedded in your mind so of course you're trying your best to walk in sync to highlight your obvious sexiness, until you come across a load of stairs! All is well if you have the sequence intact, complete with the famous hair flick (you just have to inwardly repeat and advise your brain "try not to fall over or stumble!" over and over again).

3) Dancing | as the night goes on and the heels gradually become less comfortable and more a burden on your definite wrong choice, it suddenly grains on you that your feet are pained. Unfortunately, as the realisation hits, it's too late to reverse the decision so dancing is the only cure. It will increase the aches but at least you're enjoying yourself (and burning the calories of all alcoholic drinks consumed, right?!)

4) Sitting down/drinking | ahhh, a rest at last. It feels like utter bliss once you follow your friends' guide to sit down and give your feet time to recover. If ever there's a time you realise how much hard work it is to be a woman and to look and feel good, it's when you've felt the tingling, throbbing and burning suffering of your feet on a night in high heels. 

5) Going home | the walk home is always a risk; too much alcohol, stilettos and extremely wobbly legs don't mix well but look at this way, your armoured heels can protect you from any danger in an imagined scenario. It's so tempting to whip your shoes off, all you can think about is removing them, it's lodged into your brain, but nothing beats the moment you've been looking forward to for hours. The relief of flipping off those heels as you fall back onto the bed makes it so worth it!

With the help of some other fashionistas, here's what Stylefruits came up with:
5 Stages of a Night Out in Heels

Do these actions sound familiar? I'd love to know your 5 stages!

Bridie x

Friday, 28 August 2015

Life: food menu tasting at Mojo

Being a blogger has its perks, and one of the biggest perks is being exclusively invited to menu tasting events (even if my dodgy sensitive stomach does say otherwise). A good few weeks ago now I headed down to Mojo, a famous Leeds debut that shockingly (due to my lack of drink-sociable lifestyle), I've never visited before. From word of mouth, it's known as the hidden gem you go to dance on tables at 4am so adding food to their seriously cool dive bar vibe can only mean one thing - even more fun!

With the bar solemnly based around music; framed artwork, portraits, vintage tickets and a huge Beatles feature gracing the walls, it was totally up my street (apart from the fact good ol' Paul McCartney's eyes were strangely and creepily pierced out). The small but quaint room also has an American vibe to it, the seating areas being face to face diner booths, the wooden interior and the bar being brightly lit with all drinks on view. I was ashamed I'd never set foot in there before!

Upon arrival, I was taken into the bar with welcoming guidance, an offering of some drinks and some seriously tasty coated popcorn snacks. Although there were some serious funky cocktails on hand, I stuck to my boring roots and settled for just a glass of water (which proved to be the sensible idea for the flavoured food about to make its way forward). After spotting some local (and not to mention my favourite) fellow bloggers, I took my seat at the crowded (and eagerly hungry) table with my camera in hand and a few friendly casual chats later, Mal, the food creator himself introduced the starters. We were handed trays filled with a choice of mac and cheese balls, beer battered pickles, quesadillas, and chipotle mayo and tequila sauce on the side. All three were nothing like I'd had before but I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed them all. The pickles were surprisingly nice and as a non-beer lover, can confirm they weren't too strong. The quesadillas had a mixture of vegetables which were ever so flavoursome BUT the mac & cheese balls were certainly my favourite, the added jalapeno gave them just the right amount of delicious juiciness. 

More or less straight after, the anticipated stand out mains were brought to our stupidly excited selves. The feast included two burgers; The Achiote which was a mexican pork burger, and The Veggie which was made up of a beetroot and bean burger, complete with a ravishing garlic mushroom, three lots of assorted chicken wings, and just to balance out the high amount of unhealthiness (and to somehow make us feel less guilty), some celery sticks with a blue cheese dip. As I'm so fussy with cheese, the dip was a little too sour for me but it didn't stop me from getting stuck in to the rest on offer. 

I'm not a huge burger eater, it's not something I'd choose to have at home but the amount of brilliant burgers I've encountered as Leeds have expanded their range of servings has built up my love for appreciating a good double whopper. These two were definitely that. The only meat I usually eat is chicken, I don't like pork and I did hesitate before I took a bite but it turned out this pork was something else. The jalapenos and squeezed lime sitting in with the soft, tender meat amounted to a great spice tasting - and the bearable, not the 'my mouth is on fire, someone please hose me down' kind. I'm not a vegetarian as such but I am a picky meat eater so the veggie burger was perfect! It wasn't too bland and the succulent layered mushroom completed the warmth. Combining with Mojo's signature hot sauce gave the burgers the WOW factor and really brought the distinctive flavours together. 

For the chicken wings there was the Mojo Louisana No.1; a crispy serving, Mojo Luisana No.2 which were once again coated with the ever so delectable and tangy secret hot sauce and finally, the weirdest, most abstract but so unique it works, PBJ which stands for peanut butter jelly/strawberry jam (yes, you heard right). I'm not the biggest fan of chicken wings as I think they're sparse and not as tasty as a breast of chicken so I was a tad apprehensive but these were amazing and I savoured all three despite their differences. The seasoning of them was obviously cleverly thought through and they didn't fail in meeting my tastebud needs; especially the ones I turned my nose up to begin with. The peanut butter wings were oh so very nutty and oh so very yummy. I'd definitely recommend! 

Whilst we were enjoying our meals, we were also able to sample some drinks. I'm not too keen on classic ale and the Camden Pale confirmed my dislike. However, the pinot wine was lovely and sweet. I just loved how Mojo made it far from ordinary, they mixed things up and made it appropriate for everybody!

Although I was so full I could burst, I did the traditional gesture of raising an eyebrow when the mention of dessert happened. The rum and ginger chocolate brownie and ice cream, and The Barrel Aged Shake - a bourbon with maple syrup, vanilla and ice cream may or may not have stole the show. The brownie was gorgeous - just the right amount of dense and moisture and the zest of ginger made it more devouring. The milkshake was extremely rich but addictive, I'm now all for alcoholic milkshakes! Despite being in a heavy food coma, the finishers of the day - Mojo's own chocolate truffles - made a successful and scrummy ending.

The whole evening was fabulous. The atmosphere was so laid back and friendly; the service was flawless, the staff were seriously passionate about producing the best and were genuinely ensuring we had a great time. The amount of incredible food they cooked up for us was so generous and the setting was so right; from the small details such as the Mojo voodoo dolls on top of the burgers and their signature slogan printed on the hand wipes, they really make it their own scene.

Without aiming to repeat myself, I'm not an extraordinary experimental food lover and always stick to the same options back home but dining at Mojo's changed my mind, allowed me to push myself to challenge and try something I'd normally back away from, and it transformed my opinion. Huge thank you to both Mojo and SLB PR for the invite, for the complimentary hot sauce and voodoo dust (which I can't wait to try out) and compliments to the chefs for boosting my mojo (pun definitely intended). I'll certainly be heading back there sometime soon!

Have you eaten in Mojo before? If you're based in Leeds and are looking for somewhere to go for this last bank holiday of the year, Mojo is part of the Merrion Street Festival. With live music, entertainment and fantastic food and drink, I'd definitely urge you to check it out! 

Bridie x

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Wednesday wishlist: lusting over River Island


Yesterday I made the mistake of having a 'quick browse' in my local River Island, only to discover that my heart eyes were out in full force. I haven't been in for a while so it was a pleasant surprise to see so many beautiful autumn pieces all ready for me to swoon over. I don't know about anyone else but I can't go round a shop without making note of what I've seen. If I've spotted something I will more than likely (going against the little voice telling me to save money) be buying at a later date, then I snap a quick picture to search for the item online thus allowing me to create a wishlist just like this one...

There seems to be a reoccurring pattern in the themes once Autumn/Winter strikes. I get so excited for a season change and am prepared to over purchase allll the coats and boots. The 70s trend still seems to be carrying through to next season and I'm loving it. Stripes, rust colours, bell sleeves, suede, woven tapestry prints and of course my trusty polo necks. Give me everything!

Have you been loving a particular shop lately?

Bridie x

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Sunday Natter: I should care... but I don't

In today's internet and fame obsessed society, it means you have constant access to all the latest hypes and hysteria. Logging in to check my social media like the daily paper often results in drastic eye rolling and exiting out of there as soon as possible and that leaves me questioning whether I'm a total bore, or just not 'in touch' with the cliches. I've always felt like I don't belong in this generation as I plod along in my own little bubble and the disinterest in the latest influences and tastes of the general public confirm that. The typical (and often overrated) trends are dangled in my face daily and pretending to care actually proves to be more difficult than first imagined. This leads to me swiftly avoiding the pop culture and collecting in my mind as to WHY people are so obsessed, not only with non-crucial subjects but with pointless expressions and those inanimate objects that are deemed the 'cool' thing. Here's just a few of what I mean...

Minions | whether it's on unrelated Facebook quotes, or its own section of Primark, those round yellow creatures are like an infestation of annoyance. That gibbering laugh and those creepy goggled eyes staring out your destroyed soul is inevitable. The fetish is almost becoming quite concerning and I feel we need a prayer circle for all those wishing to oppress every single one of the little shits but grinning and bearing for the sake of innocent, joyous and 'blind to the evil minion spell' children (and adults, yikes!).

Cats | having a pet cat no longer means you are blessed with an animal companionship. No, having a pet cat is now like a competition on who is considered the craziest cat lady. If you have cats, you are immediately accepted but if like me, you are animal free and not even particularly fond of the fur balls, you are left in the lurch wondering when they ever became so universal. 

Pizza | now, if anyone loves a great pizza, then that someone is me but updating everyone on your life of indulging in pizza just seems unnecessary. I feel as though I have impeded in an eating routine whilst browsing the internet. Being informed of the time, date, size, toppings chosen, amount of cheese, and whether your grandma managed to eat it all is quite bizarre. I can't say I agree with the term 'pizza is life', although I enjoy a food splurge now and again, I fail to see the connection between pizza and being in with the crowd.

Pretty Little Liars | I don't know who A is, nor am I particularly bothered (please don't kill me). However, it seems the entire world thinks differently and instead went into meltdown earlier this month. Sometimes I feel like I'm stood alone being the odd one out in the middle of a fiasco when a certain episode of that damn programme is on and I don't know whether I'm definitely missing out on a brilliant TV show or if my assumption of it being over glorified would be correct if I was to watch it (or maybe I'm just afraid of getting hooked on the square eye kinda entertainment...)

GBBO | another TV programme people seem to worship whilst I'm over here trying to resist the fattening contents by committing myself to non stop salads (definitely as dull as you'd think). The naughty food in the house is bad enough to avoid, never mind having mouth watering contents (especially freshly baked bread) plonked there for sheer encouragement. I do like the sound of tons of baking, but the completion side just doesn't do it for me.

Reality TV shows | TOWIE, Made In Chelsea, Love Island, Ex On The Beach, the list goes on. I can't think of anything worse than settling down on a relaxing evening to watch the trash they dig up and show on TV with no real meaning or message. I can't even distinguish one from another, all I know is there's one monotone storyline; boy meets girl, 1 month relationship ends, boy meets another girl, and another, and another, eventually gets back with ex and the same happens again. 

Kylie Jenner | the profound fascination and idolisation of this rich for absolutely no reasonable talent whatsoever teenager (and her family) completely baffles me. There are so many courageous women to look up to out there but people still insist which rumoured plastic surgery, new car and famous fella is next around the corner is more important. Not to forget the plumped up lips and nude lippy which prompts people to copy this obviously misleading image. I just don't get it?! 

Zoella (and many other overly successful YouTubers) | I used to adore the likes of Zoella but now those channels have become so mainstream I can hardly bear it. Everyone has followed suite and it just doesn't have the same effect anymore/has become too predictable. Preach to the achievers, and those successful Youtuber's who are now living their dream career but the mania surrounding them means I've had to slowly but surely move on to the less known vloggers who put in just as much (if not more) work.

Bae | my hatred for this ridiculously stupid word is intolerable. I don't know where it appeared from, why it moved on from the definition 'before anyone else' to the definition 'I will use this to describe any liked possession whilst removing any grammatically correct words' but it did and it makes me cringe so bad whenever I hear it being genuinely used by anyone above the age of 16 (only because young teens jumping on the latest bandwagon is forgivable - we all went there!).

Goals | I have goals but those goals do not imply or involve any kind of celebrity, unfamiliar couple or friendship group. A picture speaks a thousand words but it's not always truthful. That squad you admire probably fall out more than that one loyal friend, and that makeup goal is most likely photo-shopped. There's more to aim for than desiring to be as in love as a tumblr relationship or creating a family like the Kardashians. I don't feel the need to want to be anyone else and I just think it's such an overused and dull word.

Snapchat | I've not even bothered to delve into the world of this almost life or death app. Since it's release, all I've heard about is the length of stories, how Android users are a downgrade, and even more cringeworthy 'street' statements. I try and force myself to see what all the fuss is about but actually, it just seems to be another confusing burden I could do without. I aren't particularly bothered about the recording of partying, holidays and food updates and I can't even illustrate whether this is because my life is way too boring or because I'd be straight wishing I was on a beach island or eating cake. There's enough of the persuasive documenting on Instagram!

Taylor Swift | I don't hate the girl, but I fail to identify why there's so much of a 'I bow down to thee' obsession. Her songs are over played, her relationships are so overly hyped, and there's always some kind of drama going on. I'm not denying she's done some lovely things but for once I'd just like to switch on the radio and not hear about every inch of detail of her life (the same goes for Zayn bloody Malik!).

Netflix | the concept of Netflix is actually extremely positive. Being able to stream any film you fancy watching is great, however I've never felt myself drawn to it. 'Netflix and chill' is another phrase I can't stand when brought up in conversation. It's probably because I'm single and alone and can't really connect with the not so amusing jokes and memes made out of the expression but truthfully, I think even if this was the case, you wouldn't suppress as much as a giggle out of me!

Pointed nails | whatever happened to naturally shaped nails? I can't help but feel anything more than extreme is oh so tacky. These witch-like claws plastered all over beauty related pages look as though they're sharp enough to gauge out someone's eyeball. The connection between my clumsiness and wearing contact lenses wouldn't work well if I was to have them. I often question how people go about their daily activities with those weighing down your hands and getting in your way. Edward Scissorhands springs to mind...

Tattoos | it seems nearly everyone on the planet loves tattoos, apart from me. Everyone's entitled to do what the hell they want with their body and I'd never criticise anyone who makes the decision of tattooing their every limb but I also don't believe you can't be attractive without any tattoos or interest in them. Ink can be real deep but I don't think it has to define you as a person! 

If I'm honest, this post just proved how out of the loop I am. It's laughable how so many of the popular terms don't appeal to me. None of it particularly makes sense, maybe there's a part of my brain which switches off at every new fashion accessory or maybe that's just me. I just ride with it anyway!

Is there anything you should but really don't care about?

Bridie x

P.S. This isn't a dig at anyone who actually chooses to interpret these things so please don't be offended. My intentions were far from offending and more pointing out how I'm the boring one in the corner/finding out if anyone else feels the same! 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Style: ten festival inspired outfits

As August comes to a near end, festival season heightens. With V Fest this weekend, Leeds Fest and Fusion Fest next weekend, and Sundown the week after that, I thought it was only natural for me to prepare another festival fashion inspired post. I did a very similar post last year and reading back, nothing has changed. I still don't think I could bear being in a swamped field surrounded by overly drunken people whilst I hide in my tent with a cuppa and pretend I'm not pining for a shower, warmth and clean bed sheets BUT what proves to be true is I love revisiting the typical (and sometimes not so typical) festival style, even if that does mean I can dress up and prance around but then only venture out into my back garden. Last year I picked out five outfits, but this year I've upped my game and collected ten. Now, if only there were hundreds of tents, burger vans and a stage behind me...

Although not always ideal for the tussle of the portaloo's, I think a pair of dungarees with an on trend blouse underneath sets off a simple selection.
Dungarees - Zara | Blouse - Missguided | Shoes - Forever 21

I reflected on my admiration for a-line button down skirts in a previous wishlist post and I still stick to it. Throw in some boho and fringing detail and a pair of sandals and you're a fine line between casual yet chic dressing.
Skirt - Stradivarius | Top - Forever 21 | Lace Up Sandals - Primark | Hat - Primark | Bag - H&M

You can't ever have a festival trip without some beloved crochet. A basic dress topped with accessories (and an extremely handy belt pouch) is a great on the spot 'what should I wear' decision.
Dress - Miss Selfridge  | Belt Bag - Primark | Boots - Primark | Hat - Primark 

Let's be fair, who doesn't wear denim at a festival? Not only that, a full on denim dress means you're head to toe on trend and don't have to worry about putting too much effort in when all you wanna do is dance.
Dress - Forever 21 | Bag - Primark | Hat - Primark | Boots - Primark

Whether it's a kimono, a blazer or a bulkier jacket, a statement piece with an optional neck scarf thrown into the mix makes it appropriate for the guaranteed rainy weather, ensures comfort and makes you stand out from the rest.
Jacket - Boohoo | Top - H&M | Shorts - Stradivarius | Shoes - Zara | Skinny Scarf - ASOS | Hat - Primark | Bag - Vintage

Stripes, stripes, stripes. All day everyday, if it was acceptable, it's all I'd wear. You can never go wrong with the styling of stripes no matter the position, the shape and the cut. A bardot swing dress like this allows you to show off your shoulders and stay nice and lightweight (in more than one way). 
Dress - Boohoo | Boots - eBay | Skinny Belt - ASOS | Hat - Primark | Camera Bag - Primark

The combination of a bold printed dress and an over layer of some kind will always be my favourite. Sleeveless jackets just add that extra depth to an outfit, especially if the colours clash like this gorgeous burgundy and black. 
Dress - Ark | Sleeveless Jacket - Boohoo | Boots - Primark | Hat - Primark | Shoes - Primark | Bag - H&M

Keeping it minimal with an oversized shirt and denim shorts is a job well done at a festival. You'll be cool, comfy and have plenty of room for the fun adventures. It's nice to change up the usual denim to white denim, plus it still hopes for some more summer.
Shirt - Forever 21 | Shorts - Topshop via Depop | Sandals - Primark | Hat - Primark | Bag - Primark

A chunky shirt thrown over some basics is a perfect match and just screams out festival wear. That one shirt that goes with pretty much everything means you can once again keep it simple with stripes and denim. Plus it gives you the option of adapting to the weather! Too warm? Take it off. Freezing later on? Pop it back on and embrace the snugness.
Top - Zara | Shorts - Topshop | Shirt - H&M | Sandals - Mango | Hat - H&M

Tan and camel colours are my top picks whatever the occasion. I think browns just work so well together, and with suede being the in thing at the moment, a focus skirt is the answer. The double layered button ups on this outfit completes the contrast and by placing a crop top over a long sleeved top, you get the two in one effect.
Skirt - ASOS | Bell Sleeve Blouse - ASOS | Crop Top - Ark | Bag - H&M | Hat - H&M

Have you been to any festivals this year? What's your go to, first choice outfit?

Bridie x

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Wednesday wishlist: paisley love

I remember a couple of years ago when my clothing possession consisted of nothing but paisley print (and mostly the unflattering kind). I was more into daring prints when I hadn't really found my style curve but as the trends move forward, I'm finding myself latching on to the bold and clashing designs again. One pattern big on the horizon this season is paisley; following on from this thriving 70s trend that's growing more popular by the minute. I think having a paisley patterned shirt in your wardrobe is a must have, and the rest is history! There's some really lovely pieces out there, all in different colours, shapes, and styles, After seeing Megan rock this ASOS beaut on her extremely influential (and envy worthy) Instagram, I've decided I need to make a new paisley purchase, and soon!

What trends are you loving lately?

Bridie x

P.S. Due to being given the job of photographing my auntie's wedding at the weekend and having to edit 200+ photos, blog stuff has been delayed this week but not to worry, I still have so many posts planned and all shall be resumed shortly!

Friday, 14 August 2015

The holiday lookbook: daywear week 1

For me, a holiday abroad takes a lot of preparation clothes wise. It's 100% guaranteed to be boiling hot every day so it's necessary to pack the lightweight pieces but a demand for style also comes hand in hand. Without a doubt, I am an over packer, especially now I'm well and truly hooked to fashion blogging so this year I ended up taking way too many outfits to try and squeeze into the 17 days I was in Spain but I did it (yay!) and have finally got round to creating my first lookbook out of four.

There's always two kinds of outfits prepped for a relaxation break: 1) The casual, comfortable chosen look for throughout the day, and 2) The more dolled up, free from sweating cobs (what even is cobs?!) and smart but chic look for an evening meal and a night exploring the bars. This starter post concentrates on number one! A day in the life of my daytime activities consists of lounging round the pool, making the most of the beach, trips to the shops, walks around the familiar streets and the occasional typical tourist exploration so for that, I need to keep it cool. In honesty, no real effort and overthinking goes into my day wear - I strip it back, dare to go makeup free (notice the sunglasses and ooze of confidence where I'm in a setting not having to worry if I'll see anyone I know and scare them half to death!) and most of the time, I end up switching round my shoes and accessories and even changing my outfit twice in the same day (to squeeze in everything I brought with me of course). Depending on my energy levels, I'll either laze around in a bikini or go for a stroll with a fan and a bottle of water in hand and as you'll see, my mood reflects my decision making; read: hair scrunched up in a ponytail = definitely getting annoyed with the failed mix of heat and long hair. 

DAY 1 - 
I stepped into my girly side with my first look, pairing a pretty crop top with some beloved crochet.
*Crop top - C/O DressLink | Shorts - Topshop | Sandals - Forever 21 | Hat - Primark | Sunglasses - River Island

DAY 2 - 
Along with a statement necklace, a vibrant top half and a patterned bottom creates the perfect contrast.
Cami Top - H&M | Shorts - H&M | Necklace - H&M | Rose Gold Sliders - Primark | Sunglasses - Primark

DAY 3 -
Simple fringing is ideal for both festivals and holidays. Black teamed with browns is a combo I love.
Fringed Top - H&M | Shorts - Forever 21 | Shoes - Primark | Hat - H&M | Sunglasses - Primark

DAY 4 -
Although the air is extremely hot, a layered kimono gives that ordinary outfit a boost.
Top - Zara (sale) | Shorts - Zara (sale) | Lace Up Sandals - Mango | Kimono - Primark | Sunnies - Primark | Hat - Primark

DAY 5 -
It was instant love with this white sheer lace tunic and instead of using it as a cover up, I paired it with basic denim.
*Tunic Top - C/O DressLink | Shorts - River Island (old) | Sandals - Forever 21 | Sunnies - River Island

DAY 6 -
I can't go away without a Missguided piece, this cute little halterneck gem makes summer styling easy as pie. 
Playsuit - Missguided | Bag - H&M | Shoes - Primark | Hat - H&M | Sunglasses - River Island

DAY 7 -
Playsuits are definitely my go to, especially when it's in stripe form with added detail.
Playsuit - Mango | Hat - (a Spanish own) | Shoes - Forever 21 | Sunnies - Stradivarius

DAY 8 -
I do praise a good supermarket find! I found out dark denim works really well with a growing tan.
Denim Playsuit - George at Asda | Shoes - Primark | Bag - H&M | Necklace - Zara (sale) | Sunnies - Primark

DAY 9 -
I don't know what's best; an off the shoulder co-ord or discovering huge cacti in the middle of an open space!
Top - ASOS | Shorts - ASOS | Sandals - Mango | Hat - H&M | Sunnies - River Island

DAY 10 -
A day well spent is a day in nothing but a bikini and an airy over lace layer.
Bikini 1: Bikini Set - New Look | Kimono - Primark | Hat - H&M
Bikini 2: Bikini Set - River Island | Lace Top - H&M | Sunglasses - Primark | Hat - H&M | Bag - Primark

Starting out with the palest shade and ending with an obvious subtle glow is almost amusing (and highly satisfying). At the end of week one I was already developing a pretty decent tan and I still had plenty of time to work on it. Aside from flaunting my new found colour, another enjoyable part of my holiday was finding the photogenic backgrounds suitable for coordinating blogger style. Last year I stuck to the same old patio backdrop but I really did get to work on finding the locations and think I must have mentally marked down every place I passed. Talk about scouting Spain!

Hope you enjoyed having a browse through my first lot of outfits and keep an eye out for the next round!

Bridie x


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: the a-line button down skirt edit

There are so many trends I'm digging right now, but the on going a-line button front skirt trend is a firm favourite. Strong repetition of suede, corduroy, denim and camel tones seem to be everywhere and are showing no signs of disappearing as we approach the end of the year (yikes!). The 60s, 70s and 90s trend all mixed together seems to be well adopted in my wardrobe and I feel like I'm able to transport back to being a little girl without any questioning. It's always great when a well loved style is 'in' again and the older generation never fail to inform you they had an item "just like that" (with many familiar following statements such as 'I wish I'd have kept it now', 'I can't believe they're back in fashion again').

That one classic statement skirt makes such a versatile piece and with the sharp cut, is flattering however you decide to style it. I think you can wear it in so many different ways; with a pair of ankle boots and bell sleeve top, a baseball tee and trainers, or even a more formal dress up of a heels and cami combination. This high street hysteria has definitely got me hooked. Are you as obsessed as me?

Bridie x


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Life: Paul Mitchell's Ultimate Big Night Out

It seems like years ago since I attended my second Paul Mitchell event when actually it was only the beginning of last month. The evening of tips, tricks, tutorials and tasteful treats took place in the same venue; a cosy little suite in the swanky Quebecs Hotel. As it was two days before my holiday, I was mega stressed, panicky and had a dozen errands but knowing this was another joint Paul Mitchell/New CID Cosmetics event - and with how much I enjoyed myself last time - I just couldn't possibly say no and managed to squeeze in an hour of so of hair and beauty chatter and experimentation before I had to dash off.

Arriving in a cosy lit room (and avoiding the rain by literally a second, yay!), I was greeted with some familiar friendly faces, delicious canapes, a gifted glass of prosecco, and then the lovely Sarah briefed us on what the evening will bring. Unfortunately, the stylist was taken sick at the last minute so there were only one singular pair of hands to create some simple hairdo's but that didn't bother me as 1) I wouldn't be around for long (sad face) and 2) any pampering to the hair with more professional and long lasting equipment is a job well done in my eyes.

I couldn't help but admire how neatly set out the tables were, which makes a blogger's task much more easy (we all know that re-arranging to suit our camera angles problem!). With everything popped into place, the new hair range on show for us to appreciate and some pretty flowers to decorate the room some more, it really set the scene on what was to be a brilliant night. 

As previously mentioned, New CID Cosmetics made an appearance to the ultimate girly night and all kinds of makeup was further displayed on the centre table. I'm only familiar with this brand as I learnt so much about (and fell in love) with the products they had to offer from the last event but this time my warmth increased! There was everything, from the famous light up lipglosses, baked blushes, bronzers, highlighters, their own super gorgeous makeup brushes, and even some new releases. 

This time, there was an extremely talented makeup artist ready to get down to action and trial the products up, close and personal. The fabulous James (who is part of the New CID team) has 10 years experience and with his informative knowledge, helpful advice, and deep passion for his job, the radiance shone through. He knew what he was doing and wasn't afraid to show it! Listening carefully (and being seriously enthralled) to what he had to say taught me some handy insider beauty secrets. Demonstrating his guidance step by step - James spoke about everything from swatching, to skin tones, to skincare routines, and even took the time out to kindly answer any hesitant questions we had. I was particularly fond of his expert advice on colour matching foundation to your chest instead of the usual back of the hand/jawline combination to ensure the pigmentation of colour from face to body are friends and not enemies! He also went into depth about SPF in base products and how to avoid them for occasions where photography is key. With a family wedding coming up this weekend, I've held on to the thought greatly! Nobody wants a white, shiny face; especially not me and my over oily skin.  

After a quickfire round up of his insanely interesting beauty background, James was eager to give an insight into his skills to one volunteer who so happened to be Kariss from Shy Strange Magic. During the process, he explained the benefits to each product as he went along and pointed out certain areas of the face and specific highlight points. He also gave us the chance to pass each product round and have a feel, a smell and a look. By the end of the 'makeover', Kariss looked like a glowy goddess. The i-perfection foundation was flawless and along with the soft toned cheek colours, really boosted her complexion. 

Before I left, I was all ears for Sarah who introduced and talked us through the main concept of the night; the fresh, new hair care range Ultimate Color Repair which has now slowly but surely become my favourite luxurious treatment everrr. We all know how over-colouring your hair can form damage, brittle ends and cause dullness so I have a feeling this is going to be a saviour for many women. Both the shampoo and conditioner contain the power of quinoa which is said to lock in hair colour, restore luster and reverse the signs of damage. You can't argue with the statistics - '8% less breakage, 9 weeks vibrant colour, 59% and 86% less thermal damage' and from first usage I can confirm it's a total miracle worker. 

Upon leaving, I was generously given my very own Paul Mitchell goodie bag packed with a miniature version of the Ultimate Color range containing shampoo, conditioner and a triple rescue spray, topped with a beautiful rose gold hair brush and another mirrored lipgloss to add to my collection. With my holiday being right around the corner, the travel pack was perfect for me and as both Sarah and I concluded, couldn't have arrived at a better time. The harshness of the heat and the sun can wash away colour and cause breakage to those precious strands but this really does bring it alive and make your locks more manageable. On the couple of times I used it whilst I was away, I have never felt my hair that soft and bouncy (almost mermaid representative). It not only looked shiny and naturally refreshed, but it smelt absolutely divine and now I'm pining for the full sized products.

My short but sweet night at Quebecs was packed with so much educated fun and I had the best time. Thank you so much to Sarah for my invite. Despite how busy I was, I'm so glad I didn't miss out!

Have you ever attended a Paul Mitchell event or tried any of their amazing products?

Bridie x
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