Thursday, 30 May 2013

Shopping: Cooler bags that look cool!

Hi guys,
Summer finally made an appearance this weekend. To celebrate the appearance of Mr. Sunshine, we went for a family day out and picnic. With all things vintage and retro becoming increasingly fashionable, so too is the humble picnic having a revival. I love dining al fresco, and there's nothing nicer than eating little summer treats (mini quiche, sausage rolls, homemade salads) whilst feeling grass between your toes.

In order to picnic properly you need one of two things (preferably both!) A picnic hamper filled with plates, glassware and cutlery. And a cooler bag to make sure your drinks and sandwiches aren't sticky and warm! Here's mine, which was a birthday present that my parents brought back from America for me:  photo coolbag2_zps72b0ce84.jpg  photo coolbag3_zpsba6bf4b1.jpg I'm slightly in love with it! It's Betsey Johnson, it's the most vibrant pink colour, and I love the fish bone and fish head design. Unfortunately, I can't find anywhere that you can buy mine in the UK. But here are a selection of other cool looking cooler bags that would be perfect for taking pride of place at your summer picnic:  photo coolbag1_zpsa49b0021.png Anorak seagulls cooler bag, £37.50 (available here)
Menu grey and lime cooler bag, £44.00 (available here)
Red polka dot picnic cooler bag, £7.99 (available here)
Pelican pattern picnic cooler bag, £11.99 (available here)
Cath Kidston drinks flask, £12.00 (available here)

Do you like to picnic? And what are your favourite picnic foods? I'm currently obsessed with the new M&S picnic selection: It's expensive but it tastes so delicious, it's worth every penny!!

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Beauty: In love with everything Chanel

Hi guys,
Last week I used the Christening as an excuse to do a little make up shopping. I headed straight to the Chanel make up counter in Debenhams, and felt like a kid in a sweet shop. I had a faceful of Chanel make up on my wedding day, and when I can afford it, it's my preferred premium make up brand. But that doesn't mean this post is biased - I promise!

This time I replaced my foundation, and had a new lipstick and lipliner,and tried a sample of their newest mascara too. Before I go onto the product names and details, here are the pictures:
 photo chanel3_zps3b9d8782.jpg  photo chanel1_zpsf6f0d4bb.jpg  photo chanel2_zps8a23178b.jpg The Perfection Lumiere foundation is the replacement for the Matt Lumiere foundation I used to wear.  (This is shade 020 - Beige) It has the same light coverage but more sheen, meaning that it gives my skin a really healthy glow. It feels rich and light when you apply it, and it blends quickly and easily.

The lipstick and lipliner were an impulse buy whilst I was at the counter (I only went for a new foundation!) but once I'd tried them I liked them so much I knew I'd be taking them home with me. The lipstick is the Rouge Allure Velvet and it is a perfectly matt creamy lipstick. I don't like a glossy/shiny lipstick so this one was perfect for me: it has no sheen at all. In fact, I've never tried such a matt lipstick and I'm now completely in love with it!

Finally, although I didn't buy it (I'd already spent enough money on make up for one day!) I tried a sample of the newest product in the Chanel make up range: the Le Volume de Chanel mascara in shade 001: Black. I usually swear by the DiorShow mascara as the most volumising on the market, but this one was just as good! My lashes were long, thick, fully covered, and it stayed on all day.

You can buy a full range of Chanel make up at here.

Also whilst we're talking about beauty, I'd like to heartily recommend Cerys at Stands on Drayton Road to anyone in Norwich looking to get their hair colour done. She did mine last week, and it's the happiest I've been with my colour for a very long time. Two thumbs up from me!

Have you made any changes to your beauty routine lately? And have you discovered any new products you'd like to share?

Love Tor x

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Monday, 27 May 2013

Dailywear: A nice day for a white Christening!

Hi guys,
Yesterday was Wilbur's Christening. Which of course meant that I had spent weeks choosing an outfit to wear for the occasion. I wanted to look smart (but not too smart). Conservative (but not too conservative). Feel fashionable, and be comfortable. Here's what I went for:  photo wilburchristening3_zps2069a003.jpg  photo wilburchristening4_zpsdf414f7b.jpg  photo wilburchristening5_zps2d5dcd05.jpg  photo wilburchristening2_zps56129812.jpg The dress is from French Connection. I managed to get it in the sale for just £30. The shoes are Steve Madden via Sarenza. And although they're high, they were surprisingly comfortable (unfortunately, because it's been so long since I wore heels though, I did have a little wobble!) The suede handbag is from Hotter. I have no idea where I got the belt from! And believe it all not (because I don't think you can tell!) the jacket is from Primark: We were lucky with the weather, and it was so warm I took it off as soon as we left the Church.

And as for the white Christening mentioned in the header? Well here is my little man (now officially Wilbur George) wearing the Christening gown that I also wore to my Christening 29 years ago. And he wears it adorably!
 photo wilburchristening1_zps8a7882c3.png What have you been doing with your bank holiday? Have you been up to anything exciting? After all the running around yesterday, we're planning on spending today on the beach with a picnic, doing very little!

Love Tor x

Friday, 24 May 2013

Hitting the gym in Adidas by Stella McCartney

Hi guys,
Now that Wilbur is creeping up to six months old, I've decided that it's time to reclaim my body and do something about this wobbly mummy tummy. So yesterday I joined the gym. I already swim there once a week, so it wasn't too big a leap to make the commitment to hit the gym and some classes as well. But it feels like I'm doing something positive (one small step, and all that) and I have my induction next Thursday.

Wanting to wear a bikini on the beach this summer without my tummy wobbling over the top of it is my main motivation. And to further motivate myself, I've decided I need a brand new gym bag full of brand new kit. Enter a spot of virtual shopping. Because everyone knows there is no greater motivator than hitting the shops. And when I think of fashionable gym wear, I immediately think of the Stella McCartney range for Adidas. Here is my current lust-list from the brand:  photo stellaadidas_zps2c9c7be8.png Diorite trainers, £140
Magic yellow studio performance tank, £65
Ready-to-dance bag, £90
Three quarter printed tights, £52
Essentials zip hoodie, £95

I'm not in the market for a new pair of trainers (I have a Reebok pair that I have hardly worn) but if I were, I would definitely have those neon ones: perfectly on trend! I also love that peach and grey marl hoodie: a combination of my two favourite colours (apart from black, of course!)

What do you wear when you work out? And do you have any work out clothes that you'd recommend? I'd love to hear your recommendations!!

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Object of Lust: Wooden tusk necklace from Black Lily

Hi guys,
Black Lily is a Danish accessories brand. I'm becoming more and more obsessed with Scandinavian style lately, both in terms of fashion for myself and for my house. The brand was founded in 2007 by Inge Kindberg and June Marie Stevn.

When the two first met, they knew that they could create something exciting together. With their creations ranging from luxurious scarves, spectacular bags and beautiful jewellery, Black Lily plays with contrast, creating imaginative designs.

I stumbled across the brand when I was looking for a necklace to wear with my French Connection dress for Wilbur's Christening on Sunday. I wanted a necklace that was brown and gold (to go with the new gold and brown Marc Jacobs dress watch my parents got me for my birthday) and this one definitely fitted the bill:
 photo blacklily1_zpsdf4d6120.jpg  photo blacklily2_zps9726907d.jpg  photo blacklily3_zpsa44055b5.jpg
I picked up my necklace from Zalando and it was a bargain: reduced from £34 to £19. Zalando is well worth checking out if you want pick up some reduced pieces from Black Lily: they have bags, purses and scarves from the brand (as well as my lovely necklace!) all with discounts of between 10%-46%.

Do you have anything from Black Lily? Have you tried or seen anything from the brand, and what do you think of it? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Love Tor x

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Monday, 20 May 2013

Shoes: Be a Lady in Red (Heels)

Hi guys,
When it comes to heels, I think if you're going to wear them they should make a statement. And nothing makes a statement more than red shoes. Dorothy (of Wizard of Oz) fame knew it, and I know it too!

Red is a very on trend colour at the moment, with celebs galore wearing tailored red suits, and Holly Wiloughby wearing a truly stunning red dress to the BAFTA's last week. Red is a colour that packs a punch and takes no prisoners: it's eye-catching, sexy, and definitely not for the fainthearted. Which is why I'm looking to add a pair of red shoes to my shoe wardrobe, and I think I've found the perfect ones:
 photo redheels1_zps3abcbb9d.png These Charles Jourdan red court shoes are just gorgeous, and with their glossy curves they remind me of a sports car! They come in patent leather and have a foot-lengthening pointy toe. The heel is made of a super-shiny lacquer and the insole and lining is made of goatskin: I can only imagine how soft and comfortable that will make them.
 photo redheels2_zps0d309340.png These would look perfect teamed with a simple black cocktail dress for a girly night out. But I'm also excited about seeing them teamed with distressed skinny jeans and a simple chiffon blouse. Elegant evening style at its finest - all I need is somewhere to give the outfit a try!

The heels cost £278.99 (so not cheap, but you can tell that just by looking at them. They look like expensive shoes) And if you fancy getting a pair of your own, they are available here.

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a new partnership with Spartoo shoes

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Clements Ribeiro SS13 Swan Collection for Evans

Hi guys,
I've just seen some of the images from the latest Swan Collaboration between Clements Ribeiro and Evans. I was impressed with the first drop from this collab, and now there are several pieces from this new one that I really love too! To help promote the collection Evans and Clements Ribeiro enlisted the most stylish and influential personalities within the plus-size blogosphere. UK bloggers Georgina Horne, Bethany Rutter and Callie Thorpe have been photographed alongside Nicolette Mason and Marie Denee from the US, to showcase the clothes on differing shapes, provide powerful inspiration and give a statement of the relevance of plus size voices in the world of fashion.

I thought it was a smart move by Evans to have plus sized fashion bloggers model the collection: plus sized blogs are the newest popular 'fad' in fashion blogging (about time too!) and the resulting images look fantastic!  photo evans1_zps11d64045.png  photo evans2_zps7030ec9c.png  photo evans3_zpsa73736ae.png  photo evans4_zps71198c71.png  photo evans5_zps7b7cc559.png  photo evans6_zps61976367.png So what was the inspiration for the collection? Well, designer Inacio Ribeiro said: "After three collections in which we tried to create smart capsule wardrobes, including some serious eveningwear, we decided to come with a surprise turn by creating a holiday range that is playful and easy. "The shapes are very casual and straightforward and the prints are full of wit. It is infused with the urban energy the bloggers inspired us with, but also ready for a week of fun in Rio."

What do you think of the collection? I really like the lobster printed jersey dress, whereas the other graphic prints aren't really to my tastes. But that lobster dress has my name all over it - as does the domino clutch bag!

The collection is available in store and online now, and prices start from £35.

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Home: Our house. In the middle of our street.

Hi guys,
Lots of people have asked if we're in our new house yet (I know I've done nothing but talk about it for a month). And the answer is yes! We moved in last week, and we've already unpacked most of the boxes, and started decorating and making our mark on the place.

Here's a quick shot of the palace I'll now be calling home, and our very first meal in the new living room. Enjoyed from Tupperware tubs and eaten whilst sat on the baby's play mat, but it still counts!
 photo newhouse1_zpsfaed15df.jpg  photo newhouse5_zpsf80069f9.jpg
The last week has been a whirl of boxes, phone calls to utility companies, and furniture deliveries: hence my radio silence for much of last week. Our internet wasn't reconnected until last Thursday. But now normal blogging service has resumed, and I'm back with a vengeance!

I've posted lots more 'before' pictures of the house over on the Fabfrocks at Home blog. And I'll be updating it regularly with our DIY/Home decorating and shopping progress. So if you want to follow our journey, that's where to go!

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

SS13: Mellow Yellow from ASOS AFRICA

Hi guys,
I've fallen slightly in love with the latest collection from ASOS Africa. ASOS Africa is produced in collaboration with SOKO Kenya, allowing communities to establish sustainable business through local craftsmanship. It's the perfect combination of stylish glamorous fashion, and doing something for the greater good. And with its bold yellow and green motifs, it's just perfect for summer:
 photo asosafrica2_zps30cec360.png  photo asosafrica3_zpsca52ef9b.png  photo asosafrica1_zpsf74a4133.png Traditional African lace is given a very modern update in this new collection.  Soft silhouettes are given a sporty edge with chevron jersey binding, dolphin hems and cropped layers over longer lengths. Traditional Kenyan kanga fabric is used as an all-over print on trousers and crop tops or inserted on a tailored quilted jacket.

Prices start at £25 for a crop top and range to £50 for the full-printed maxi dress. But it is the loose kimono and the fitted jacket that I am most excited about: both are perfect for teaming with a white cotton tee for effortless casual summer dressing.

What do you guys think of the new ASOS AFRICA collection? Are there any pieces you're dying to get your hands on? 

Love Tor x

Monday, 13 May 2013

Shoes: Comfort soles for the soul!

Hi guys,
When it comes to weddings, parties, and anything that involves drinking cocktails, I am definitely a heel girl. But when it comes to everyday summer days I prefer foot comfort! Summer to me means picnics in the park, strolls along the beach, and walking everywhere: why drive when you can feel the sun on your shoulders?

With that in mind I want sandals that look good but are so comfortable that I'm not thinking about my feet whilst I'm enjoying the rare British summer. Enter my latest picks from Sarenza: these comfort sole 'soft sole' Clarks sandals with their stud detailing.  photo clarkssarenza1_zps5f46d4e4.jpg  photo clarkssarenza2_zps43ef33e0.jpg I always associate comfort sole shoes with old ladies on buses wearing pleated skirts and pulling shopping trolleys. But these aren't those shoes.

Yes, they're so comfortable you can walk in them forever without any rubbing or blisters. But they also look great: the on trend stud detailing is perfect with the black leather and metallic gold combo. And because of my obsession with gold jewellery they go with everything in my wardrobe, making them the perfect shoes!
 photo clarkssarenza3_zps2a808631.jpg  photo clarkssarenza4_zps6c99b9d1.jpg
Have you bought your new summer sandals yet? And have you gone for style, comfort, or a little bit of both?

Love Tor xx

*I am a Sarenza brand ambassador

Friday, 10 May 2013

Daily Wear: Spring wedding style from Matalan

Hi guys,
Last month Matalan got in touch and asked if I wanted to take part in a style challenge: to create an outfit for a Spring Wedding from their new collections for just £50. Obviously I said yes, and armed with my gift voucher I hit the store looking for the perfect outfit.

It was much harder than I thought: not because there wasn't a great selection (there was!) but because the budget was so tight: I had to forgo something to get a dress, shoes, and accessories: in the end I opted for a necklace and shawl and left the clutch and headpiece in the shop! Here's the outfit I put together:
 photo matalanwedding3_zps5faee0c6.jpg  photo matalanwedding2_zpscaa701c7.jpg  photo matalanwedding1_zpsc69414bc.jpg
Blue lace dress, £20. Gold peep toe heels, £14. Gold necklace, £12. Cream shawl, £5. Total - £51. See, even missing out some vital wedding kit I had to cheat and go slightly over budget!

Breastfeeding means that realistically I'm far too top heavy to be wearing dresses right now. But it seems like such a social faux pas to wear trousers to a wedding: or at least, if you do it has to be a trouser suit which can look so aging! Unless you're Bianca Jagger. Which I am not.

My favourite piece from the outfit is the necklace, which I will definitely be wearing again and again. And the classic peep toe shoes have a very low heel making them super-comfortable: I have a couple of weddings coming up this summer, and these will definitely be making an appearance!

This outfit is part of a style challenge created for Matalan. You can see my outfit, and that of the other bloggers taking part in the challenge, over on the Matalan blog: why not head over and check them all out?

Love Tor x

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Celebrate Lost Sock Memorial day!

Hi guys,
Sometimes I get a press release that makes me laugh so much I just have to share. And this one from Happy Socks was one such press release: Apparently today (9th May) is Lost Sock Memorial Day!

"Lost Sock Memorial Day is always a sombre affair. Even though we shall always miss those lonely socks of ours that have mysteriously and sadly left our lives, there is still a light at the end of that sock shaped tunnel." This made me laugh because missing socks is a serious problem in our house. There isn't a morning that passes when Mike isn't stomping around the house asking where all his socks have gone. So much so that we have a print honouring the missing socks in our dining room:
 photo johan3.jpg
I got this picture by Johan Potma from Berlin when I was there the December before last. And I know that when it comes to the difficulty in finding that elusive sock to make a pair, I'm not alone!

Enter Happy Socks. Happy Socks are guaranteed to lift your mood. Available in packs of two and with designs this bold, they are also perfect to mix and match one pair with another, so never let your socks be lonely again. Shop the Happy Socks collection at as well as at ASOS, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Oi Polloi and selected stores worldwide. Sock ranges available for men, women and children. Prices from £8.  photo happysocks_zps2fdf65c4.png  photo happysocks2_zpsc20a3ad2.png
I like the idea of socks that look just as good mismatched as they do as part of a pair. And some of these designs are seriously funky. Admittedly I don't tend to wear socks at this time of the year (it's sandal time) but when Autumn rolls around again and I'm looking for cool socks to team with my boots, I'll definitely be checking out the Happy Socks website.

Will you be celebrating Lost Sock Memorial day? And what will you be doing? I think I'm going to go bare foot, and have a day off from the sock hunt!

Love Tor x

Friday, 3 May 2013

Shoes: Lusting after chunky shoes from Shelly's

Hi guys,
Spring has sprung which means it's time for thoughts to turn to pretty sandals and floaty summer dresses: and when I saw these chunky block heels from Shelly's I knew they'd be just perfect for clomping along the sea front in, ice cream in hand, whilst wearing a floral tea dress.

Of course in reality, I'll be spending the bank holiday weekend in jeans and flip flops with a pot of paint and pureed carrot in hand. But a girl can dream! And right now my dream is of bottle green heeled shoes.
 photo shellysspartoo1_zps3d7058f4.png  photo shellysspartoo2_zpsdeb803cc.png I have a couple of pairs of Shelly's shoes already, so despite their height I can vouch for their comfort: the inner sole is leather, which means any rubbing or pain is minimal. It was the colour of these that grabbed my attention first, followed by the chunky wooden block heel. I love chunky heels because they help make your legs look slimmer: and when the sun comes out and the leggings come off I need all the leg-lengthening help I can get!

These shoes have a very retro '70s feel which is the perfect antidote to the paired back, minimalist shoes that are so in vogue at the minute. I'm really not a fan of minimalism: my motto is that over-the-top is so much more fun!

These beauties come in at £110.99 and you can buy them here. What do you think?

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a new partnership with Spartoo shoes

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Stunning swimwear from Rigby and Peller

Hi guys,
Think Rigby and Pellar and you immediately think 'Underwear provider to the Queen'. And given the Queen is in her 80s, that evokes images of matronly sensible underwear with limited fashion credentials. But actually, you'd be wrong!

Rigby and Pellar's SS13 swimwear collection has been inspired by Miami's South Beach. Split into two ranges, named Ocean Drive and South Beach, the collection references the bright azure of sea with shades of navy, turquoise and aqua contrasting with vibrant pops of pink and purple. It oozes glamour and sex appeal. And the best thing? The swimwear collection fits back sizes 30 – 36 and cup sizes C to H, so it's perfect for bigger busted gals like me!  photo rigbyandpeller1_zps1e062234.png  photo rigbyandpeller2_zps6735c7ef.png The collection features retro sculpted swimming costumes and bikinis with multi way straps in bright contrast colours. With glamorous mix and match options to choose from including a halter neck, bandeau or front cross over, combined with a selection of tie-side, roll-top and adjustable hipster shorts there will be a style to suit you whatever you're body shape, or you could buy one perfect top then mix and match your bikini bottoms to keep things interesting.

It's definitely not Primark cheap (The swimsuit above comes in at £150) but as I've said before, when it comes to swimwear for fuller busted gals you get what you pay for! This underwired suit will give you the lift and support you need for your boobs, and the construction of the swimsuit cleverly draws the eye to the narrowest part of the waist. For the beach confidence that comes with having high boobs and a narrow waist, I think £150 is probably a small price to pay!

Have you chosen your new summer swimsuit yet? And what do you think of the Rigby and Peller ones: worth the money, or just too expensive?

Love Tor x