Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Sunglasses: Vintage style from Maui Jim

Hi guys,
I've had these sunglasses for two weeks and I've been waiting impatiently for a sunny day so I can show them off to you guys. However, as it hasn't stopped raining here in Norfolk since the day they arrived, I'm admitting defeat and showing you them indoors instead! I was sent these specs from the lovely folks at Maui Jim, and the quality is just as amazing as I expected: they manage to walk that tricky line between being sturdy and durable and feeling lightweight at the same time. They also have the added bonus of being seriously cool shades:
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Kolohe Sunglasses c/o Maui Jim, £214. Pick up your own pair here. 

I'm disappointed you can't see these in their full glory (yup, full glory is what I'm referring to them as when they're on my face!) because they really do look fantastic on. I love their retro style and actually, the style of these sunglasses are taken from an original Maui Jim design: so they really are vintage-inspired!
 photo ff6a6f03-4ed5-4170-acd2-8cf05aa6732c_zps8d8a5d68.jpg
 photo 70ea4d18-39cc-40c5-b00a-847765837d97_zpse90cd784.jpgMaui Jim sunglasses are well known for the quality of their lens, which do more than I thought it was possible for a simple lens to do: they have special filters to eliminate visual noise, and they feature a patented colour enhancing technology too. If you don't care about lens but it's celeb style you're interested in, they're also the favourite brands of celebs like Anna Friel, Reese Witherspoon and Zac Effron.

You will be seeing these beauties in an outfit post very soon: just as soon as we see a glimpse of the sunshine again! Then you'll see them in outfit posts again and again all summer long: these have been ceremoniously inserted in my handbag, and are my new go-to shades!

Have you bought new sunglasses for the summer yet? What style will you be looking for? 

Love Tor x

PS - As a little bonus shot, this is what happens when you try to take photos of things whilst the baby is in the house and feeling curious- carnage. You'll also note that the lens are covered in his finger prints because he just couldn't stop touching them: maybe Wilbur is a fan too?!
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Monday, 27 January 2014

Lady-like for Spring from M&S

Hi guys,
Do you ever sometimes see an outfit that you like so much you immediately want to go out and buy every single piece? That's how I felt when I saw this grown up and lady like outfit from Marks and Spencer, which has got me all excited for the arrival of Spring.

It's much more grown up and chic than my usual everyday look (which consists mostly of jeans and blouses) but it would be just perfect for popping to meetings or even for when I take myself off for a days shopping. Let's face it, it isn't an outfit I would ever wear around the baby and his sticky fingers, which if anything only adds to its appeal!
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Per Una Speziale Coat £149, Per Una Speziale Top £69, Per Una Speziale Skirt £69, Bag £129

I love the colour of that lightweight cocoon coat, and the oversized bag looks so buttery soft. I love oversized slouchy bags like this, which are perfect for just about any occasion as well as really practical. If I can only have just one piece though, I would make it that white pencil skirt with the sheer panels. Teamed with T shirts and chiffon vests in a wide variety of colours and a pair of boxy heeled sandals and I would wear this all summer long.

All of the pieces shown above aren't available on the M&S website yet: roll on Spring so that the new collections start landing online!

What do you think? Have you seen any outfits that have got you longing for Spring already? I ordered a pair of new Spring sandals yesterday - I must be getting desperate for a little sun on my toes!

Love Tor x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Accessories: Pretty in on-trend pastel pink!

Hi guys,
I am a gal that likes her accessories to match. If I'm carrying a black bag then I'm wearing black boots. If I'm wearing red heels then I'm clutching a red get the idea! So when my parents bought me this cute-as-ten-buttons pastel pink Betsey Johnson bag for Christmas, I knew I had to find the right pair of shoes to go with it. I couldn't just carry around a pink bag teamed with black boots! Enter these pink suede loafers by Georgia Rose:
Fashion is having a love affair with pastel pink at the moment (it's set to last through Spring too, so pink pieces are definitely worth picking up at sale prices). At first I wasn't sure about it, but i've really come round, and now have a wardrobe full of pastel pink. Even my long winter coat is a marshmallow pink confection! It's a massive contrast to all the black I usually wear. I love the childlike nature of these shoes, which I chose from Sarenza.
They're like the grown up version of something a five year old girl would pick if she was let loose in a shoe shop. But the fact that they're suede and so clearly such well made shoes (they're really great quality) lends them a grown up feel too. The other thing I love about this shoe/handbag combo? The hardware on both is gold (my preferred colour) which means even the detailing matches. I won't be wearing these shoes now, as it's prime boot season, but I can see myself wearing them alot when spring rolls round: teamed with my delicious pink handbag of course!

What do you think about pink for Spring? Have you come around to the pink trend?

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Perfect Way to Say Thank You!

Hi guys,
Christmas is the perfect time of year for giving and generosity: the spirit of the season means that people are more likely to do favours for each other and help each other out. Because of that, January is the perfect time of year to say thank you, especially to the people that showed you kindness and helped you over Christmas!
This month I've chosen to say thank you to my mum and dad. We spent Christmas with them this year and were treated like queens (and kings!) whilst we were there. Incredible dinners every day for a week without having to lift a finger, and they even babysat Wilbur so that Mike and I could have a very rare and very enjoyable night out. It was an amazing Christmas, and it was all thanks to them!

Now if you ask me there is only one way to say thank you: Champagne and cake! So when we popped by for a visit this weekend we took a bottle of delicious Waitrose champagne, a zesty rich tart au citron (which happens to be my favourite cake: saying thank you doesn't have to be completely selfless!), and some ridiculously decadent chocolate eclairs as well!

Want to say thank you to someone special in your life, or just enjoy a little luxurious treat yourself in this gloomiest of months? Waitrose launched a new ‘thank you’ campaign for its online customers with a complimentary bottle of champagne for orders placed throughout January. All you have to do is have your Waitrose order delivered before 31st January and they'll bring you a bottle of champagne with your order.

Not only that, they've also created a special champagne hub, where you can find tons of celebration inspiration and even recipes for meals you can cook with champagne and foods that go well with champagne (I'm guessing lemon tart isn't one of them, but the heart wants what it wants!)

What will you do with your free champagne? Will you have a little treat on your own or use it to say thank you to someone special?

Love Tor x

*I received a bottle of delicious Waitrose champagne to help me write this piece. 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Primark SS14: The First Images are in!

Hi guys,
Yes it's that time of the season once more: we're all freezing and bundled up in our coats, so it's time to start thinking about what we'll be wearing when Spring arrives. When it starts snowing i'll know it's time for me to buy my summer sandals! As we're in the process of booking our early-summer holiday (in May) I for one am particularly interested to see what spring/summer wear Primark have to offer. And their press images never fail to disappoint, even if they aren't always to my tastes.

There are a couple of looks in this initial that I suspect will look pretty cheap in the flesh, even if they photograph well. And when you can buy a whole outfit for under £20, what can you expect I suppose! But despite this, there are also a couple of outfits I definitely have my eye on:
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Image 1: Coat £25, top £6, jeans £13, sandals £12, earrings £1.50
Image 2: Dress £20, earrings £1.
Image 3: Top £8, skirt £6, bag £1.50, earring £1
Image 4: Top £6, skirt £12, bag, shoes £13, hat £1.50
Image 5: Dress £20, shoe £12, sunglasses £3
Image 6: Top £8, skirt £8, bracelet £2, earrings £1.50

The drop dates for the selection above range from January to May, so if it's summer goodies you're looking for then it's safe to say you can start hunting now! I won't be running for the doors at opening time to get my hands on any of this particular range, but I do like the white dress with the white overlay: I think the fit would be really flattering!

Is there anything you've got your eyes on? Or are you hoping the next drop will be a little more inspiring, like me?

Love Tor x

Meadham Kirchhoff for Topshop hits the sale!

Hi guys,
If you lusted after the Meadham Kirchhoff for Topshop collaboration when it launched back in November, but just couldn't afford the prices then you're in luck! Bargain hunters get excited, because there are pieces from the collection in the Topshop sale.

The bold '80s-style collection was really well received by the great and the good of the fashion world, so I was surprised to see any pieces left in the sale. Having said that, with my wardrobe full of black, I'm living proof that just because you like something in theory doesn't mean you'd wear it yourself!
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Red PVC Frill shorts, reduced from £100 to £60. 
Tiger Print Jumper, reduced from £90 to £30. 

I love those PVC shorts, which would look fantastic as the focal point of a much more pared down outfit: team with a simple fitted black tee, black tights and ankle boots. Or if you just can't help being the centre of attention then why not really commit to the Kirchhoff look and layer them with even more colour? It's a look that's far too bold for me, but I'd love to see you guys pulling it off!!

Love Tor x

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Daily Wear: A Walk in The Park

Hi guys,
Don't you just love weekends? Yesterday we hit the shops, took Wilbur to see the animals at the farm, and then had a scrummy dinner in Carluccios. Today we've been vegging on the sofa watching some of the DVDs we got for Christmas, and then we went for a walk in the park.

The other good things about weekends is that I have a little longer to get myself dressed: and so even if we're only going to the park I can scrub up to do it Basically, that's just a fancy way of saying I sometimes get to wear dresses instead of jeans! Bearing that in mind, here's what I'm wearing today:
 photo furcollar4_zps6e73f12a.jpg photo furcollar2_zps009b3819.jpg photo furcollar1_zps4acea65a.jpgCoat from Clothing at Tesco, dress from George at Asda, Monogrammed satchel from The Cambridge Satchel Co, boots from Sol Sana at Sarenza

It's also given me a chance to show off my new coat. This F&F Limited Edition faux fur collar cocoon coat is from Clothing at Tesco, and is still available on the website for £60. I've been wearing it constantly since I got it and I'm obsessed with its vintage feel and it's unusual blue colour (so much more exciting than the usual black and it goes better with jeans). I love it's oversized boxy shape and another bonus is that it matches perfectly with the new Cambridge Satchel Company satchel Mike got me for Christmas: given I ordered the coat before Christmas, how lucky is that?!

Underneath I'm wearing this long sleeved dress which has a lace Peter Pan collar, thick thermal tights (Primark's finest!) and I've added my favourite Sol Sana boots on my feet: these are another online order that arrived just before Christmas and that I've been wearing pretty much constantly since.

What have you been doing with your weekend and, more importantly, what have you been wearing to do it? Have you been wrapping up against the cold or snuggling up inside instead?

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

2014 Trends From Achica: My New Obsession

Hi guys,
One of my main resolutions for 2014 (certainly my main shopping resolution) is to finally get to work on our house. We have so much decoration and renovation to do, and I have a vision for how I want the place to look: we're just not there yet!

We've christened 2014 the year of the house. And so all of my shopping focus is on shopping for things I need to get the place kitted out and looking perfect. That's why Achica is my newest obsession: it's like BrandAlley, but for incredible home furnishings! They sent me over their 2014 trend report this week, and I genuinely went weak at the knees with excitement. If my house could look like their catalogue then I would be one very happy bunny:
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The geometric-style light fitting is on my immediate hunt and find list! I've bought an incredible chandelier for above my dining table, but don't want to get an electrician in to fit it until I have one for the living room too, so it's a matter of urgency. I also love the pastel room, and am going to use that picture as the basis for my office decoration!

So far, the only rooms we've completed are our bedroom (which we've done in various shades of grey with a vaguely Parisian feel) and Wilbur's nursery (which has a full-blown circus theme). My next project is the bathroom, which we are decking out in a water coloured blue and accessorising with Cath Kidston's rubber duck print. Then it's time to tackle the living room - gulp! We have Sanderson's dandelion clocks wallpaper for the feature wall and then need to get to work with the sander on all the fixtures and fittings. It's going to be the mother of all jobs, but we're looking forward to getting stuck in!

Do you have any interiors resolutions for 2014? And are you using the new year as an excuse to have a proper spring clean? Or are your resolutions far more fashion than home based? I'd love to hear all about them!

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

New Year, New You: Time to Get Fit?

Hi guys,
I don't know anyone that doesn't make some kind of health or fitness resolution for the new year. Whether it's to lose weight or to get fit or even just to feel a little more healthy, it's the time of year where people start looking at what in their lives they can improve. As Wilbur gets more active (he runs faster than I do!) I've realised I want to be a little fitter so that I can keep up with him: I want to be fun-mum chasing after the ball in the park without needing a sit down! My favourite kind of exercise is swimming and Wilbur and I go every week. My second favourite is cycling: which will be the subject of this post!
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At The Dinosaur Park (which is in Norfolk, and for which we are season ticket holders) you can ride trikes around a cycle trek. We were doing just that yesterday and decided that when Wilbur is a little older we ought to get bikes and enjoy long rides together. Mike was also toying with getting a bike to cycle to work (as parking in the city is a damn nightmare, so he usually gets the bus) and that's why I was so interested when I heard about the Cycle to Work scheme.

Emma at The Good Mother Project details what exactly the Cycle to Work scheme is so much more concisely than I could. But basically, within the Government’s Green Transport Plan, there’s a tax exemption which allows employers to provide cycles and safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. In layman's terms that means that your employer buys you a bike, you hire it from your employer and then you buy it at the end of the loan term for a fair amount: all at tax-free prices (meaning ultimately your bike is cheaper for you to own). You can get any kind of bike you want (it doesn't have to be some ugly 'government approved' model) and you can choose your bike from a range of cycle scheme shops. Me? I want something pretty and vintage-inspired like the model above!

Getting involved in the scheme seems like kind of a win-win deal to me. You get a discounted bike, you get to get fit and healthy, and you can avoid sniffing someone elses sweaty armpit during your daily public transport commute.

Do you cycle to work, and is it something you'd consider as part of a new year fitness regime?

Love Tor x

Monday, 6 January 2014

Shoes: Green With Envy?

Hi guys,
I love a good shoe sale: it means you get so much more shoe for your money! The Spartoo sale has started with discounts of up to 50% off, which means these incredible green wedges from Terry de Havilland are just £159.50 (reduced from £318.99!)
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I love the unusual green colour of these: because I wear so much black, I like introducing colour with statement accessories.I'm a big fan of Terry de Havilland shoes, but they're always slightly out of my budget, so being able to afford them at 50% off is fantastic (and just what you need to brighten up a gloomy January!)

Have you had any sale bargains so far this year? I'd love to hear all about them! I've managed to spend around £400 on all the sale bits and bobs I wanted for Wilbur, and got Mike a new coat, but I haven't actually bought myself a single thing so far!

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Year in Review: My Favourite Shoes of 2013!

Hi guys,
The New Year is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the previous twelve months- so expect a couple of these Year in Review posts!! In 2013 I made some sartorial decisions I was proud of. I also made some decidedly dodgy choices too. It has definitely been the first year I've worn jeans more than I've worn dresses, and flats more than heels. Shoes will always be my first love though (whether they have a heel or not) and here are some of my favourite shoe purchases of 2013:

1. Minna Parrika Bunny Shoes 
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I was delighted when Minna Parrika came to Sarenza, and immediately ordered a pair of the sensible but super-cute bunny shoes. On reflection, these are hands down my favourite shoes of 2013 and they get a hell of a lot of wear. Because they're black they go with almost everything, and I've even worn them with opaques and a little floral dress to a low-key wedding!

(The heeled version of these have gone into the sale, and currently have 20% off)

2. Topshop Studded Boots
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These were my first shoe and sale purchase of 2013, and a bargain at just £20 from the Topshop sale. Until I got my Sol Sana boots recently, they are the shoes I have worn most in 2013. I love the stud detailing, and they make the most simple outfits (like jeans and blouses-my staple) look a little more interesting.

3. Jonak Summer Sandals
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How tan do my feet look in these sandals?! It's enough to make me long for summer (as I stare at my currently very pasty white skin!) I love feeling the air between my toes, so sandal season is a great one for me: and these were my favourite pair from this summer, combining both leopard print and pony skin: two of my favourite things. They were also endlessly comfortable, meaning I wore them all day without so much as a twinge in my feet. Result!

4. Heart Cut Out Detailings
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Mike calls these suede Mellow Yellow shoes my hippy shoes! I suppose they do have a slightly 'crunchy' feel: they remind me of the school shoes I used to wear in the nineties! I'm a big fan of Mellow Yellow shoes, which cleverly combine sensible shoes with unusual detailing: and the shoes are always great quality too.

5. And Finally, A Sneaky Pair of Heels!
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Finally, I had to throw these in, because they are the only pair of heels that have had any wear in 2013! These Steve Madden heels surprisingly comfortable, and I have worn them to Wilbur's and both of my neice's Christenings. Because they are built up so much at the front it doesn't feel like you are teetering on heels: and I have such happy memories of wearing these shoes!

Could you pick your favourite shoes from 2013? And if you could, which shoes would you pick? I'd love to hear your choices!

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year: December 2013 according to my iPhone

Hi guys,
Happy New Year! I'm hoping 2014 is going to be a good one, and I've already made a couple of New Year's Resolutions: I won't be divulging what they all are though, in case I fail like I do every year! But one of them is to make more effort to post here more frequently: that's one I think I will keep! If 2013 is anything like 2014, it won't be a bad year at all! But what did the end of 2013 bring? Here's my obligatory round up of the month:

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We spent Christmas at my parents, and it was one of the best so far! The kids saw Mrs Claus and Santa came to the house (or, as I call him, Dad!) And Mike and I took Wilbur on a Christmas light safari looking for some of the best decorated houses in Norfolk: we weren't disappointed. December was pretty much the month of Christmas: we did something Christmassy every weekend, and Wilbur and I did loads of fun Christmas crafts and activities.  photo christmas20132_zpsa8166406.png

Wilbur's Birthday
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As I think I've already mentioned, Wilbur turned one at the beginning of the month. To celebrate we threw a Very Hungry Caterpillar party for our families and all of his little friends at a local soft play centre (then I did a lunch at home). It was a massive success and the little man had a great day. And I was really impressed with my first attempt at a two tiered cake too!

Other Fun! 
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December is an especially busy month in our house! Mike also had a birthday, we had a couple of fun nights out, and endless trips to farms, parks, and other fun stuff with Wilbur. Finally, we spent New Year drinking champagne and playing cards with my in-laws. Did you have fun celebrating the new year last night? And are you expecting exciting things from 2014?

Love Tor x