Thursday, 26 June 2014

Lust List from the ASOS sale

Hi guys,
Following their devastating warehouse fire that saw them lose a whopping 20% of their stock last week, no one expected ASOS to brush themselves down and carry on quite so quickly: But that's exactly what they did when they launched their mid season 50% off sale at the beginning of the week. Thay also released a press release announcing that they will be donating all of their unsaleable smoke damaged stock to charity: bravo ASOS, on turning what could have been a total disaster into a positive PR opportunity!

That ASOS is the nations favourite online store is clear, and it makes perfect sense: not only is there own brand fashion forward and affordable, you can also buy thousands of other hot brands through their website too. Which is why my current lust list features everything I want from the ASOS sale:
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ASOS firestorm leather sandals, £16
ASOS leather jewelled flower clutch, £28
ASOS Peacock print skater dress, £14 
ASOS Premium denim smock dress, £27 
ASOS reclaimed vintage 50s shirt dress, £30
ASOS Leather Chelsea boots, £22 

Because age is obviously making me far too sensible, everything I've picked could be worn right now, but also all the way through Autumn/Winter as well. I love dresses with sleeves, and these loose smock-type dresses look amazing with fitted leather jackets and lovely thick tights. Winter really is my favourite season to dress for!

Have you picked up any bargains from the ASOS sale so far? And how are you finding the mid-season sales in general- is there any shop (online or off) that has left you particularly impressed so far?

Love Tor x

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Brand Love: A Little Bit Country With Barbour

Hi guys,
I don't think there is a brand more suited to busy mums that care about fashion (ie women like me) than Barbour. When you spending your weekends marching around farms, zoos, duck ponds, dinosaur parks or chasing across the beach no matter what the weather, you need clothes that are practical above all else. But damn it, that doesn't mean you can't look good! And along with my Hunter wellies and my GAP skinny jeans, I think a Barbour jacket is the ultimate statement piece of mum-on-duty cool kit.
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Of course, Barbour isn't just a brand for hip young mums like me (Yes, I did just call myself both hip and young. Please keep the laughter to a dull roar). Clothes horse Alexa Chung wears hers to every festival going, and uber model Kate Moss wouldn't dream of indulging in outdoor pursuits without her favourite jacket on. Barbour is the chosen brand of city girls heading to the country for the weekend and the best thing is, a Barbour jacket will never go out of style and if you invest in a waxed one it will last forever. Tempted to give one a try? Here are a few of the best:
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Brompton Jacket, £205.
Union Jack Utility Wax Jacket, £250
Spring Matlock Quilted Jacket, £170

All of the jackets in the selection above are available from Barbour at Harrods: one of Britain's favourite heritage brands stocked in Britain's favourite heritage department store!The waxed one in the middle actually has a pretty incredible Union Jack print lining: as I'm watching England lose the football whilst I type this, it's making me feel all patriotic.That is definitely my top pick, and the long lasting waxed jackets are also my style preference.

Barbour are actually celebrating their 120th Birthday this year, truly cementing their heritage brand status. The funny thing is, I imagined they were an even older brand than that. My dad had a green Barbour jacket when I was a kid and in my head, it's simply something people (and dads!) have worn for generations: especially because, growing up in the countryside, almost everyone had one. Barbour was founded in the port of South Shields by John Barbour, a Scotsman who saw a need for waterproof, reliable, hardwearing outerwear amongst working communities of the North East. They've certainly widened their target market away from simply workwear today, haven't they?!

Do you have a Barbour jacket? How much wear do you get out of yours? Share your waxed jacket stories with the world!

Love Tor x

*This post is part of a collaboration project 

My New Skincare Routine: In Love With Clarins

Hi guys,
I've always been blessed with having pretty youthful looks (in fact, most people would say I was 'baby faced'). But since I turned 30 I have become fairly obsessed with looking after my skin as much as possible, in order to ensure the ravages of time don't strike whilst I'm being distracted by something else! So when Clarins asked if I'd like to sample some of their products, I was genuinely delighted: more fuel to the fire of my new skin care addiction? Yes please! And I have to say, now that I've tried some of their products (particularly the Water Comfort Cleanser with Peach and the famous Beauty Flash Balm) I won't be using anything else!
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First up in the cleanser: this product smells incredible, which is an instant win. But it did so much more than that too. It also left my skin feeling fresh and smooth and incredibly soft. I actually look forward to cleansing my skin each morning and even the usually oblivious Mike has mentioned how soft my skin is. This softness is no doubt helped by the Beauty Flash Balm, which is the best moisturiser I have ever used (since I got it my usual Clinique Moisture Surge hasn't had a look in) It makes my skin look smoother, brighter, and it is an incredible base for wearing under make up.
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I am yet to try a Clarins skincare product I don't like. The Moisture Replenishing Lip balm is also another essential (replacing my Bert's Bees) and my lips really haven't ever been so soft. I suffer with really chapped lips, so this has been a revelation. The rose oil it contains also smells incredible, and when I'm wearing it I have to stop myself from smacking my lips together!  I also have to give a special mention to the summertime specific products which smell better than any other sun protection lotions I have tried, and don't leave my skin feeling oily at all. Can you tell that I'm completely smitten?

As an extra added bonus, it seems I've picked just the right time to write this post: The Clarins 30% off beauty sale has just started! Result!

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Sale Time at Dorothy Perkins

Hi guys,
The summer sale season is upon us, with the first sales of the sales season starting today: first I'm going to look at Dorothy Perkins, where all sale items are currently up to 50% offHere are some of the highlights:
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If pastels, ladylike lace, conservative fitting blouses and pencil skirts and plenty of jewel embellishment are all things on your summer wish list then there really isn't anywhere better than the Dorothy Perkins sale right now. If you like to plan ahead and are already thinking about your autumn/winter wardrobe then you will also find some lovely pastel teddy bear jumpers, and even a coat or two at amazing prices. Shop the Dorothy Perkins mid season sale with up to 50% off, and find out for yourself. You can shop online and get an extra 10% off if you sign up to the Dotty P's newsletter too.

Other sales that started today are GAP and Topman: I suspect the rest of the Arcadia group will be following suit shortly. And for Londoners the Selfridges sale starts tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the Next home sale (I need a new light fitting for my lounge, and am clearly showing my age!)  It's the summer sale season, and I can't wait to hit the shops!

Have you got any sales on your hit list that you've been waiting for?

Love Tor x

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Love by Julien Macdonald at Matalan

Hi guys,
Could Julien Macdonald be the king of high street collaborations? Not content with having womenswear, kidswear, homeware and beauty collections at Debenhams, the dancing designer has now launched a swimwear collection with dear old Matalan. The new collection is inspired by Julien’s favourite holiday destinations with two beautiful trends ‘Tough Luxe’ and ‘Floral Fusion’, both designed with real women in mind. And the price points are incredible! Here is a behind the scenes video, and some of my favourite pieces:

The collection really does stick to Julien's signature style: lots of bold colours, leopard and zebra print, and glamorous dresses. The shoes are inspired by the ones from his mainline collection and, as standard, there is lots of shimmer, diamante, and assorted other bling! If you like the over the top Julien Macdonald style of dressing then you'll love this collection.
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Prices range from £8 for a pair of bikini bottoms to £35 for a pair of embellished sandal boots. Shop the new collection here, it launched today. What do you think? Will you be getting bling-tastic in the new range for a little pool side glamour?

Love Tor x

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Hello summer, Hello ASOS. Break out the summer dresses!

Hi guys,
I can't be the only one that thinks they have summer sorted, until summer actually arrives. The sunshine and high temperatures today saw me break from wearing my jeans and reach for a summer frock instead, only to find that they're all either too short, too low cut, need too much accessorising or, for whatever reason, just aren't fit for purpose. I think the idea of dressing for summer is much more exciting and easy to romanticise than the reality, which calls for something simple and low key. That's why I've found myself browsing ASOS late at night in my PJs with a fan blowing in my face. And there is so much to love:
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This is what I'm looking for! Simple dresses that speak for themselves: just add sandals and go! I think because I love to layer, I tend to favour simple clothes in simple cuts and fabrics, but without the layering potential these pieces simply don't work in the summer months. Time to go back to the drawing board, back to the wardrobe, and do a little more shopping: I currently have windows for ASOS, Boohoo and Dorothy Perkins open in my browser!

How do you handle high temperature dressing? Any hints and tips for looking chic and keeping cool at the same time? I'd love to hear them!

Love Tor x

PS - If you're frantically looking to update your summer wardrobe at short notice then you may like to know that Dorothy Perkins are currently offering 20% off when you spend £50. Excludes sale and selected brands.Just enter the code SUMMER20 at the checkout. The offer ends on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Life lately, according to my iPhone: May 2014

Hi guys,
I missed last month's 'life lately' post, but last month and this month have been very similar. Lots of visits to the farm, the dinosaur park, and sitting in parks and beaches on sunny days. Of course I also turned 30 this month (which was lots of fun) and went on our first holiday of the year, but I've already shared photos of that here. This post celebrates the mundane, everyday moments that seem so important you just have to take a photo: I love these kinds of photos and these kinds of memories. They're what makes everydays so special!
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Our first picnic in the park, Wilbur going down the biggest slide in the park, acting like a tourist in the Oxford Street Disney store and eating pulled pork in Bodeans: Yum! 
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Emptying the contents of my purse with his 'I didn't do it' face, making my own sunblushed tomatoes, dressed up for a night out, and the beautiful blue skies in Yarmouth on my surprise birthday picnic. 
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Fun with paints, our first BBQ of the year, trying to have a bath whilst Wilbur insisted I play with all his toys, The chocolate fudge cake I made for my dads birthday. 

What have you been up to this month? Has the warm weather lead to BBQs, outdoor pursuits and other exciting activities for you? And what everyday activities do you want to celebrate?

Love Tor x

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Shoes: My New Chunky Black Sandals

Hi guys,
I've made a slightly biased choice for this month's pick of the shoes, because I've actually already been and bought these gorgeous chunky Jonak sandals, and I'm delighted with them! Yes, I know they're ugly. But ugly shoes are a key trend for this summer: the chunkier the sole the better. In fact, these remind me a little of the chunky buckled sandal/shoes on the catwalk at Proenza Schouler. I'm not sure I'll be going the whole nine yards and wearing these with a girly frock, but I do think there's a time and a place for an ugly shoe, and these are mine:
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I've had a couple of pairs of Jonak shoes before so I knew they'd be comfortable, and they definitely haven't disappointed so far. Although, word of warning: the black leather stained the back of my feet and it took days to get it off!

Dirty feet aside, these are my new go-to shoes for throwing on with my rolled up jeans and sheer chiffon blouses. Want to get your hands on a pair of your own? You can pick them up for £74.99. When you think about that on a cost-per-wear basis, I'm pretty sure I'm now only paying around 10p every time I put them on my feet!

Are you on board with the chunky, ugly shoe trend? What will you have on your feet this summer?

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of an ongoing partnership with Spartoo shoes