Monday, 30 September 2013

New Season: My Choice of A/W13 Winter Boots

Hi guys,
It's that time of the year again and one of my favourite things to hit the shops for: It's winter boot shopping time! This year I have been seriously greedy because I've decided that I want three new pairs of boots. I've already got two pairs, so there's just one pair left to find. As usual I hit my virtual shoe shop of choice, and headed to Sarenza:
 photo winterboots3_zpsabe7b48f.jpg  photo winterboots4_zps56019835.jpg I went for the Vagabond Grace heeled ankle boots (£79.99) for my slightly smarter boots that I can pair with skirts and dresses. Although they're simple, these are by far the best boots I have ever owned and I love the way they look. The fact that it's like walking on a cushion helps too! They have a great slightly grungy '90s feel that really appealed to me. I'm already dreading the day I wear these boots through: I may have to buy a spare pair just in case anything ever happens to these ones!
 photo winterboots1_zpsee46541a.jpg  photo winterboots2_zps71c7deed.jpg For my throwing on and wearing with jeans daytime boots, I went for the Melvin and Hamilton Susan boots in black (£119.90). I was attracted to these because of their rainbow elastic and because of their slightly masculine feel. These boots look incredible with skinny jeans but if I'm being realistic they don't really look good with anything else: they are definitely not dress boots! I am also on the look out for a rich tan pair of ankle boots (yes, more ankle boots. I'm nothing if not consistent) but haven't spotted my dream pair quite yet: there's still time!

Have you been shopping for your winter boots yet? And what style have you gone for? I'd love to hear all about your choices!

Love Tor x

*I am a Sarenza brand ambassador 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Vogue's Fashion Night Out Moves to Manchester

Hi guys,
I have been attending Vogue's Fashion Night Out for years: hitting the shops of Bond Street and fingering clothes I couldn't afford whilst dancing to trendy DJs. Eating candyfloss in River Island. Drinking endless delicious free cocktails: it's a great night out for fashion addicts, and a great time to go shopping if you're looking to make some new purchases and want to bag some decent discounts. But until this year it was an event that always held it's UK night out in London: not this year though. This year Vogue's Fashion Night Out is moving to Manchester!
 photo fashionnightout_zpsbd0261eb.png
So what's happening in Manchester on Fashion Night Out this year? Well, more than 160 city centre shops, bars, galleries and restaurants have signed-up and will be open late into the night, offering exclusive trend parties, designer personal appearances, customisations, fashion shows, celebrity appearances and much more. I would've liked to head up and check it out myself, but I am going to be on holiday.  photo fashionnightout2_zps072fabd4.png
So if you're heading up and looking for bargains/freebies what will you find? Cath Kidston is hosting a 20th birthday cocktail tea party with a free tea leaf reading with every purchase, while Whistles will be offering clutch bag monogramming. Guests can enjoy exfoliating hand and arm massages at Molton Brown. ‘Wreck My Dress’ will also be positioned at Molton Brown’s St. Ann’s store to take snapshots of guests at a mini photo shoot.

There will be a live pop-up photo shoot in store at H&M, as well as a high street A/W fashion show and super-sized digital tweet wall within Manchester Arndale. Keep a look out around the city for a Selfridges host giving out gift cards loaded with a mystery amount from £5-£50. Oh, and my favourite standard London event will be making the move, as M&S offer their free proscecco bar. Yummy!

Will you be at Vogue's Fashion Night Out this year? And what do you think about the move 'up north'?

Love Tor x

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Shoes: Irregular Choice don't know the meaning of subtlety!

Hi guys,
I love Irregular Choice shoes (I have a small handful of them) but they really aren't a brand that know the definition of subtle, are they? I've definitely never heard anyone talk about getting a sensible pair of black shoes for the office from them, anyway!
 photo irregularchoicebrigues_zps360ea66d.png
These crazy brogues have got so much going on: leopard print leather, brogue detailing, pink ribbon laces and all topped off with a gold glittery heel. They could almost be too much, but because they're flats I think I'd get away with it: I imagine these worn with skinny ankle grazing jeans and a black satin vest or even a sequinned black jacket for an informal night out.

It's back to school time for University students up and down the country at the minute and Norwich is full of fresh-faced freshers. Irregular Choice shoes always make me think of university, because I got my first pair when I was a fresh-faced fresher over ten years ago, and I've been in love with the brand ever since. (Gosh, writing that down makes me feel old!) I still have that very first pair in a box in my office: they make me feel so nostalgic!

Want to start an Irregular Choice shoe collection of your own? Heading back to school and known just how you'd style these babies for that special Freshers Week event? You can pick up a pair from here for £71.99.

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Luggage: My new Lulu Guinness Suitcase

Hi guys,
I actually got this suitcase when I last went to Bicester Village (which was for our wedding anniversary weekend back in July) and I even took the photos then too, but totally forgot to write it up! The bonus of that though is that I've used a suitcase several times since then, so when I tell you how brilliant it is I really and truly mean it!
 photo luluguinnesssuitcase1_zps3dd80ca7.jpg
So what do I like about this suitcase? Well I'm no luggage expert, but the fact it has four wheels rather than two means that it's so much easier to push: all of the wheels also spin at 360 degrees, so it will go where ever you want it to go with ease. I also love the black and cream striped lining of the case, and it comes with three black and cream matching drawstring bags which are perfect for using to contain your toiletries and your pants! I've had hard shell suitcases before and they've always felt bulky and heavy, but this one is surprisingly light: I can lift it with ease, even when it's full of my stuff. And finally I love the gorgeous lip print on the front: of course I do, it's the main reason I bought it! And it get looks of admiration whenever I take it out, which is always nice too.
 photo luluguinnesssuitcase2_zpsf87542b5.jpg
 photo luluguinnesssuitcase3_zpsa38d879c.jpg
My suitcase is in the black cherry colour. The range also comes in vibrant lipstick red and glossy black. As I said before, I got my suitcase (which is the medium size) from the Lulu Guinness outlet at Bicester Village (where it cost £120) but I've also seen them in John Lewis and House of Fraser stores (where the prices start at £195, depending on what size you're looking for).

The reason I'm telling you about my suitcase? Because I'm about to start packing it, ready to take Wilbur on his first holiday! More on that tomorrow.

Love Tor x

Monday, 23 September 2013

TKMaxx launch jewellery: Soon we won't need to shop anywhere else!

Hi guys,
I have a bit of an on-off relationship with TKMaxx, and that usually depends on which store I've visited most recently. Sometimes some stores tend to be a little untidy and disorganised. Other stores are a sanctuary of clutter-free discounted shopping. But the one thing I'm always impressed by is the value for money and the discounts available. I often stop by the TKMaxx website, because of their regular flash sales and the shopping ease (they had a great baby flash sale last week, and my bank account took a serious bashing!) and because their baby offering in almost all of my local stores is so good I often joke that if they started selling groceries, I wouldn't need to shop anywhere else! Now they've branched out again: as of this week, 15 TKMaxx stores are now having dedicated jewellery departments with a team of expertly trained, dedicated jewellery experts.  photo tkmaxxjewellery_zps78bf6e6f.png Rope and diamante necklace, £19.99
Ribbon and diamante necklace, £14.99
Lace cuff, £24.99

Gold cuff, £9.99
Gold plated earrings, £16.99


The jewellery department will have the usual TK Maxx discounts of up to 60% off the RRP (as you can see from some of the examples above) but with the added bonus of having fully trained staff to assist you every step of the way. The staff in each jewellery department will have received a diploma in jewellery retail qualification developed by the Holts Academy.

Here are the 15 stores where you can find a TKMaxx jewellery department: Thurrock, Manchester, Nottingham Trinity, Croydon, Leeds, Lewisham, Cardiff, Hammersmith, Liverpool, Kingston, Silverburn (Glasgow), High Street Kensington, Swindon, Charring Cross, and Blanchardstown (Ireland).

Do you live near a store that is offering a dedicated TKMaxx jewellery department and have you checked it out yet? If so, what did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts, as I haven't seen one yet, but I think the idea sounds great. Let me know!

Love Tor x


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Make Up: Could this be the best Foundation in the World?

Hi guys,
Since my wedding two years ago (when I dicovered the merits of Chanel make up) I have been loyal to Chanel Perfection Lumiere as my everyday foundation: until now. Whilst I still have a bottle of the Chanel in my make up bag, there is a new foundation I am turning to. It's creamy and easy to apply, it's not too thick but it offers full coverage, and it blends perfectly and evenly into my skin. I bought it as an emergency measure when I went away for the weekend and forgot to take my make up bag - but didn't want to spend a fortune on new Chanel foundation when I had an almost full bottle at home. But now I prefer this one....And it's less than half the price!  photo foundation1_zps36ad8400.png  photo foundation2_zpscc504af1.png No. 7's Stay Perfect foundation does exactly what it says on the bottle: It gives a flawless finish and it lasts all day. You can get a bottle for just £14: and because No 7 make up is so frequently on Boot's 3 for 2 offer it quite often works out even cheaper than that, if you have other make up you need/want to buy too. I used to always wear a dusting of powder over my Chanel foundation to set it, but I don't even bother with that since switching to the No 7 one: which makes my make up routine quicker and easier too. It's a win-win. I really have been surprised and impressed by this accidental discovery.

What foundation are you using at the moment? Do you swear by a great brand that you'd definitely recommend?

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Shoes: Lusting after Minnetonka Boots

Hi guys,
Every celebrity that you can think have that has ever been associated with the word 'boho' has worn Minnetonka boots; Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie. They've been around for ages and I've never really had a hankering after them, but since wearing my pair of Chocolat Schubar Minnetonka-style boots for the past two weeks I've got a new found interest in getting a pair!  photo minnetonkaboots_zps84f54dc2.png Apparently they're so comfortable they're like slippers, and I can't deny that they do look good teamed with skinny jeans. I always call them Pocahontas boots, because of the fringing and the rough undone feel of the suede! I know it's a trend that's over ten years old but I do still love all things boho: it's relaxed, it's flattering, it's seriously comfortable.

Every pair of Minnetonka boots comes with a soft soul (meaning you can feel the ground beneath your feet as you walk) and has been hand stitched, hence the visible external stitching that is the trade mark of the brand. This pair are available here and they can be yours for £74.99.

What do you think of the Minnetonka boots? Are they a little too 'back in the year 2000' or are you hankering after a pair of your own too?

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Accessories: Well Hello Holly!

Hi guys,
One of the things you can predict every year about London Fashion Week is that so many brands jump on the fashion week bandwagon and rush to promote designers/collaborate with designers/offer fashion week related competitions to show that they're on the pulse, ahead of the curve, just still relevant. I saw a shocking example of this on the New Look Facebook page, where they had posted images in an album entitled 'London Fashion Week street style' and the images were of such poor quality it was clear they had been taken by someone with a fairly abysmal camera without the confidence to approach anyone and ask to take their picture. Sometimes it's better not to have any LFW content than it is to have content of such poor quality: really, what does that say about your brand?
 photo holly1_zps79594c99.png
One designer/retailer pairing that I am a big fan of though is the Holly Fulton for eBay capsule collection. The exclusive edit is only available for a limited period and includes a mix of great pieces either exclusively produced or drawn from AW13, including two sweaters with screen-printed motifs and art deco necklaces embellished with Swarovski crystals.The collection is fixed price, not an auction, and the pieces range from £70-£120. I really like the art deco necklaces, and I love the way they have been styled with button up shirts for the promo images:
 photo holly2_zpsc3b5e080.png
This is a collaboration that makes sense because ebay are sponsoring the BFC's Fashion Forward initiative, so it is a London Fashion Week offering that has substance, that makes sense, and the products are actually wearable and covetable. There are only another 24 hours to shop this, so if you're interested, head over and check it out now! 

Love Tor x

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Sponsored Video: Just Cavalli Video Game App!

Hi guys,
The number of perfumes on the market just seems to be getting bigger and bigger: it really is a saturated environment, and it's must be hard to think of something to make your perfume and brand stand out. Especially when you consider the number or so-called celebrities who are releasing perfumes every day. Which is why I think it's such a clever idea for Just Cavalli to launch a mildly addictive video game to coincide with the launch of their latest perfume, and they're enlisted models Georgia May Jagger and Marlon Teixeira to advertise it:
The game is called Just a Bite and you can find the game on Facebook and in the App store. I played it on Facebook and did indeed find it slightly addictive. The premise is that you've woken up blurry-headed on the morning after the night before, and you have to collect badges and retrace your steps to work out what happened...and why you have an unusual bite on your hand! I'm not a big gamer, but who knew you could enjoy wasting five minutes of your life trying to find a fictional pair of keys or riding a motorbike you don't actually own through an unidentified city?! I won't ruin it by telling you the conclusion of the game - you'll have to try it yourself.

Do you enjoy playing computer games? If so, this one is definitely worth a look! Oh yes...And the perfume it's promoting is worth a sniff next time you're out shopping too!

Love Tor x

*This post has been sponsored by Just Cavalli, but all thoughts are my own

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Yes, it's Time! I'm going to mention the 'C' Word!

Hi guys,
When I was out shopping today I popped into Primark, where I was confronted with a stand full of Christmas jumpers. Then I went into Mamas and Papas, where the stand closest to the door is covered in tiny Santa costumes. And every card shop on the high street has festive wrapping paper in the window. It may only be September, but the X Factor is on the TV, there are Quality Street in the supermarket, and it's time to count down to Christmas.

So thanks to all of this and a timely email from Duo, unveiling their new Christmas collections, I've decided it's time to show you my dream Christmas party outfit. I already have a couple of Christmas parties booked in for this December, and hubby and little man's birthday's both fall in that month too. So having a couple of Christmas party outfits in my armoury is essential: and the sooner the better!  photo christmasoutfit_zps7186ac58.png 1. French Connection Daisy Maze Dress, £150
2. Phase Eight clutch bag, £44 
3. Angelica black suede shoes, Duo, £125
4. River Island brown vintage shrug/jacket,£30
5. Marni gold plated cocktail ring, £120
6. HervĂ© Van der Straeten gold earrings, £130

I love anything with a vintage feel, so this slouchy dusty pink dress caught my eye as soon as I saw it. It would be perfect for hiding my mummy tummy and showing off my legs (which will look much longer thanks to those killer heels) instead. I kept the jewellery simple (for me anyway) and rejected my trademark bangles and lockets because of all the sequins on the dress: a simple pair of earrings and a cocktail ring seemed like enough accessories. And because I'm far too old to queue outside a night club without a jacket on in the middle of winter, I've added a little vintage shrug into the mix to keep me toasty and warm.

Have you started thinking about your Christmas party looks yet? And what trends do you think you'll be channelling? Believe me, this is just the first of plenty of Christmas posts you've got coming your way over the next couple of months!

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Current Obsession: Vagabond Ankle Boots

Hi guys,
Every so often I stumble across a new brand that have a style I just can't get enough of: and when I was shopping for my new autumn/winter ankle boots this afternoon I discovered Vagabond. Here's the blurb: "The Vagabond shoe label was launched at the end of the 1960s, a time of total freedom where nothing seemed impossible. Based in Italy, the brand offered a collection of shoes for men. In 1994, Vagabond set itself up in Sweden, manufacturing designs from prototypes. This new approach allowed the brand to intervene at all stages of production, from design right through to sale — a real innovation in the shoe industry at the time. Today, Vagabond offers ranges for both men and women and sells over 2 million shoes per year in more than 30 countries. "

All I need to know about them though, is they make some seriously stylish and on-trend ankle boots. Making it hard to decide which pair to choose:
 photo vagabondankleboots1_zps14b22d81.png  photo vagabondankleboots3_zps582f2699.png  photo vagabondankleboots2_zps573c6352.png
Vagabond Grace 3628-001, £79.99
Vagabond Palma Low, £89.99
Vagabond Grace 3628-450, £79.99

Yes, I know that these three boots look pretty similar. But they have subtle differences that means it took me almost an hour (and that is no exaggeration) to decide which ones to pick. They're all such classic and versatile boots that they'll go with everything in my wardrobe. In the end I went for the Grace model (the first pair shown above) and I can't wait for them to arrive! It's cold, wet and rainy here today: the perfect day to be thinking about your new autumn boots. What do you think - did I choose wisely? And which pair would you have chosen?

Love Tor x

*I am a Sarenza brand ambassador

Sponsored Video: Very.co.uk's new Definitions range launches

Hi guys,
Another day another new collection: Very.co.uk have a reputation for offering trend-led fashions at affordable prices, and for working with a range of stylish and accessible celebs too. But now they have launched a new womenswear brand called Very Definitions. Unlike some of the other Very collections (I'm thinking Diana Vickers), this one is aimed at a slightly older audience: sophisticated trend focused women looking for clothes they can wear to work and then out for cocktails afterwards. Otherwise known as me, twelve months ago, before my life was taken over by the baby and comfy jeans! But now that I am starting to wear dresses and throw myself into work again, there are definitely pieces in this collection that I'm very interested in. Check out the video to launch the collection, which you probably saw during XFactor on Saturday night (I know I did!):

I really like the loose fitting monochrome leopard print dress, and although it's a little smarter than I would normally wear for work, the short red chiffon dress is really gorgeous too. These are the kind of dresses you would wear to work if you knew you had a date afterwards and no time to change!

The collection has already launched and is available to shop right now. It's come at the perfect time too: this miserable weather is making me crave something to liven up my days! And what's not to like about a good fashion TV ad?! To find out more you'll find Very.co.uk on both Facebook and Twitter. 

What do you think of the new Definitions collection? Are their pieces you'd wear, and do you think the concept is a good one? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Love Tor x

*This post has been sponsored by very.co.uk but all thoughts are my own

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Shoes: Kiss me, Baby!

Hi guys,
When I got my last pair of Vivienne Westwood Melissa's it was love at first sight: they look great, they feel great, and believe it or not, they even smell great! Admittedly, the fact that they are a fairly vibrant green colour means that I don't wear them as often as I would like, but I would still rank them as amongst my favourite shoes. Now though, the high class take on the jelly shoes have had another revamp. And if possible, I like this design even better:
 photo melissas_zps2db09319.pngSlightly sheer and with a vibrant red lip motif on the front, frankly, what's not to like? These shoes are seriously sexy! The colours aren't too bright that they wouldn't go with just about everything though (unlike my other, fairly difficult to match pair!) I do love a good lip print, so even the lining of these shoes are appealing to me. They're glamorous, they're shiny, the heel is low enough that you can walk in it all day. And if you don't like the black sheer variety they also come in a high gloss baby pink too. Have I sold these to you yet?!

If you want a pair of your own you can pick them up for £183.99. You'll find them here. Wouldn't they be perfect for over the festive period? They'd certainly be a conversation piece at a Christmas party!

What do you think? Do you like these Melissa's with their smooch appeal? Or has another design already stolen your heart - and if so, which one? I'd love to know!

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Current Lust List: New Season from French Connection

Hi guys,
Despite the fact that it's 30 degrees outside today (and I'm wearing a floral sun dress) my mind is now firmly fixed on autumn/winter fashions, and all the sunny days the weather gods throw at us won't be distracting me! Autumn/Winter is my favourite fashion season by far, and I would start shopping for it in July if I could! I want to look at new season shoes, new season coats, pretty party dresses (yes, Christmas party season is nearly here!) and fabulous jumpers I can slouch about in as part of my skinny jeans/nice top new uniform! As usual, I will be checking out the best of all the new season collections from all of my favourite stores. Let's start with French Connection, where I've never seen a party dress I didn't like,. To mix things up a little, this year I will pick my favourite three pieces from any given store, which means I will have to edit all my favourites much more strictly and will give you an easy overview of what the new season collections have to offer:
 photo frenchconnection_zps56e61452.png 1. London Texture Front Jumper, £59. I love, love, love this leather fronted jumper. In fact, it is my favourite piece on the whole site, and I plan on making a beeline to my local French Connection store to pick it up immediately. It will look fantastic worn casually with skinny jeans and studded boots. But could be dressed up paired with opaque tights and a vibrant coloured pencil skirt. You could even add a metallic sequinned mini skirt and have a too cool for school party look. I love this versatile jumper: get in my wardrobe!

2.Hedgerow bottom tunic dress, £120. Digitally printed for an intense ombre effect, this floral tunic dress is another versatile little number. Add heels and a glitzy clutch for the evening, or high gloss flat pumps and a fitted black blazer for a super-stylish office look. I've been a fan of digital prints since the very first Matthew Williamson digital rose print hit the runway, so I always have a soft spot in my heart for dresses like this. And I love this loose undone shape too: dresses like these were made for new mums like me!

3.Belle boucle wool coat, £220. Finally, how could I write about a winter season collection without mentioning my very favourite winter piece of all: the coat! I have over thirty coats in my wardrobe but I don't have an orange one, meaning I have the perfect excuse to add this to my collection. I enjoy the oversized and masculine proportions of this boucle coat, as well as it's glorious and bright tangerine shade. I would wear this open over a chiffon blouse and team it with leather leggings: this fabric would look fab contrasted with the mixed textures of the leather and the chiffon. Winter heaven!

What do you think of the latest collections from French Connection? And what do you think of my picks? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Love Tor x

*This post is sponsored by Spreaditfast

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Primark AW13: Could this be the best season for years?

Hi guys,
Yesterday I popped into Primark to pick up some tights for a wedding I am going to this weekend. I ended up coming out with a coat, skirt, two blouses as well as my usual array of tights and socks. I was seriously impressed with all of the new autumn/winter wear in store this week (it wasn't there last week so it must be brand new) and actually my haul was quite restrained: there was so much more I could have bought. And having looked through the images of what's to come instore over the next few weeks, there's so much more I'm going to want too! Here are some of the pieces I picked up, and some of the other lovely bits I spotted yesterday:
 photo primarkawproduct_zps9c632e39.png Contrast collar shirt, £10, in store 14.08.13
Pleather skater skirt, £8, In store: 20.08.13
Metal tip tassel boots, £20, In store 13.08.13
Animal print sweatshirt, £10, In store 28.08.13
Pug medallion jumper, £14
Bug bracelet cuff, £3, 17.07.13

I picked up the pleather skirt and the animal print sweatshirt: I can't wait for the weather to cool down a little so I can wear them both!! They didn't have the pug sweatshirt or the bug cuff in the Norwich store, but both are definitely on my 'must have' list. Luckily, I'm in London on Saturday so I can pop and pick them up.

Autumn/winter is definitely in full swing on the highstreet: even the sale rails full of left over summer stock have disappeared! So if you're hitting the shops too this weekend then now is the perfect time to start searching for your perfect winter boots and your dream new season winter coat. The hunt is on!

Love Tor x