Saturday, 31 May 2014

Collaboration: Ashish x Topshop (Again!)

Hi guys,
It is a little known fact that the first ever LFW show I ever went to was an Ashish show, meaning that I will always have a soft spot for the brand. And because their Topshop collaborations make the brands price point so accessible to me, it is also one of my favourite recurring Topshop collabs! I love the wearable sports-luxe finishes and the tongue in cheek slogans.
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 photo ashish2_zps1df973ae.pngBeach, please! sweater, £50. My name is... tee, £40. Dirty beach towel, £45.
Son of a beach towel, £45. Not now eye mask, £30. Black contrast sunglasses, £35.
Please follow me tee, £40.

The collection is very much summer driven (with 'beach' themed word play the order of they day) and I know that those beach towels will be adorning sunbeds across Europe this summer. I also love the same monochrome and grey marl colour palette, which is a refreshing change for a summer collection and a break from the saturated colours we are seeing everywhere else at the moment.

The new Ashish x Topshop Collaboration launched instore and online yesterday and you can shop it now. That Beach, Please! sweater has got my name all over it!

Love Tor x

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Trends: Saying Hello to Summer With Dorothy Perkins

Hi guys,
I have a huge soft spot for Dorothy Perkins (or Dotty P's, as we call it in my neck of the woods!) Its just as trend led as some of the other Arcadia brands, but the styles are more wearable, the cuts are more forgiving. Basically, Dorothy Perkins is where the Topshop addicts turns when she has a baby: or at least, where this Topshop addict turned once she'd had her baby, and I can't get enough of it!

I love the changing seasons for so many reasons, but the main one is that it gives us the chance to hit the shops for our new season wardrobes. Here are my picks of the very best of summer from Dorothy Perkins, most of them new obsessions after seeing them in their promo video:

 photo dorothyperkins_zpsf50a9b3e.png1. 1. Banana leaf print jumpsuit, from £35 to £24.50
2. Floral double strap dress, from £20 to £14. 
3.Pink and White Floral Maxi Dress, from £30 to £27.
4. Floral neoprene dress, £28 to £22.50

I know everything I've picked is floral. I'm having something of a floral moment this summer: from ditzy florals to big blousy blooms they're all I want to wear. Luckily, Dorothy Perkins is the perfect highstreet store to scratch that flower-covered itch this season. There are so many different floral frocks on offer you're literally spoilt for choice! In fact, Dorothy Perkins is always my go to store for florals; they just always seem to get their prints spot on. (I can't be the only one that is still wearing pieces from their 2011 Floradita range!). They're on trend but always wearable, and they always seem to use colours that are flattering to my skin tone. It's like magic!

If you're a floral addict like me then do check out the video: there is a floral swimsuit and a floral bikini in it that I am lusting over so hard: I really wish I'd seen them before my holiday earlier in the month.

Need an extra incentive to check out the new summer ranges from Dotty Ps? You can now get up to 30% Off Everything at Dorothy Perkins in their huge May event: just don't leave it too late, as the promotion ends on the 1st of June (that's this Sunday).

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Collaboration: ASOS x Minnie Mouse

Hi guys,
If you've got ears, say cheers! Mickey and Minnie Mouse are massively popular in our house: Wilbur and I watch The Mickey Mouse Club House every day, whilst playing with his Clubhouse figures and cuddling his Clubhouse teddies. Mike pointed out just last week that he and I have been to Disneyland Paris together every year for the past four years without really realising, so I have to confess to being a bit of a Disney addict too. Disney doesn't just provide inspiration for my holidays or TV viewing either: Mickey and Minnie Mouse are both massive style icons in the great wide world of fashion.

Minnie Mouse has acted as a muse for several huge designers, including Marc Jacobs, Giles Deacon, Lulu Guinness and Richard Nichol. There are also Minnie-branded Disney ranges in almost every high street store you can think of: I've bought Disney tees from Topshop, Primark and H&M over the years. But now ASOS have taken things one step further by launching a range of adult Minnie Mouse ears headbands in collaboration with Disney. The brand are hoping the headbands will be perfect for summer fun and festivals:
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The range launches at ASOS on Friday with prices starting from £10. I am going to (and organising) my sister's Disney themed hen 'do later this year, so I think I'll have to have the blossom ears for the occasion! And, of course, the studded ears would blend into my everyday wardrobe so perfectly I'm almost trying to convince myself I could get away with wearing them on a day to day basis; you know, like you do to the park or the farm!

What do you think? Will you be putting on your ears and saying cheers?

Love Tor x

Friday, 23 May 2014

Festival Fun From Primark

Hi guys,
I'm not going to any festivals the year (unless a day trip to Lollibop Festival, the music festival for under 5s, counts!) but if I did then I would be styling it in head to toe Primark!

The new Primark 'life is a festival' edit is gorgeous and just looking at it is enough to make me wish I had tickets to rock out at a festival or two this summer. Think boho styling in wide legged cotton trousers, cute-as-a-button playsuits, and gorgeous loose fitting midi dresses that will be flattering on everyone. I think sometimes I forget that I'm a chubby 30 year old mum, because I want to dress like the pre-pubescent teens in this campaign:
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Image 1: Bikini top £6, trousers £12, sandals £12, sunglasses £3. 
Image 2: Playsuit £5, hat £8, rings from £3. 
Image 3: Playsuit £7, hat £8, sunglasses £3.
Image 4: Bag £14, Shorts £10. 
Image 5: Dress £12, bag £4, boots £15, headband £3, sunglasses £3

I love the Aztec prints, the focus on monchrome, and the beautiful ethereal use of white too. The collection has a very nineties feel, whilst also having overtones of the very first boho wave from the early noughties too. It's youthful, carefree, grungy. The embellished bags are gorgeous as well as being completely practical, and would look great outside of the festival environment: I want that backpack for hands free trips to the beach this summer! Fashion-wise, summer is actually my least favourite time of the year. But some of these pieces are almost enough to persuade me to embrace summer dressing and flash a little flesh.

Are you going to any festivals this summer? And have you given any thought to what you'll be wearing yet?

Love Tor x

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Holiday Guide: The Blue Lagoon Village in Kefalos, Kos

Hi guys,
As you know, we just got back from a week at The Blue Lagoon Village in Kos. Normally when I review my holidays and write my holiday guides it is the place itself I review. However we didn't really spend much time outside of the resort in wider Kos, so this is just a quick review on the beautiful hotel instead:
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Firstly, I was really impressed with the room which was massive, and much more like a self contained apartment: all that was missing was a kitchen! We had two double bedrooms (one for us and one for Wilbur and his travel cot), a massive entry hall with a full length mirror and double wardrobe, and a sofa so comfortable you sank straight into it.  It also had a huge bathroom with a power shower and seriously deep bathtub. The highlight though was the double balcony with a huge table and deep chairs where we could relax and watch the world go by. The photo above is the view from our balcony. It was so amazing to wake up to views like this every morning.
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The facilities on the resort were very good. They had to be: the resort was so self contained it was hard to leave! Several large swimming pools, a purpose built water park with 4 thrill slides, a lazy river and a pirate ship for kids to romp all over. There was also an indoor pool for when the weather was a little cooler. And the beach was only a 3 minute walk from our room. The shops sold literally everything (seriously), the spa looked incredible and there were two big playgrounds I spent what felt like hours running around with the little man. Although it might not be to everyone's taste, Wilbur loved the kids disco and the chance to meet Thompson the dog every night, then after the kids shows there was also a passable entertainment team singing and dancing to a variety of pop and show tunes every night.

For me, the highlight of the week was the food. With eight restaurants to choose from on our seven night stay, we could eat somewhere different every night. So we did: we cooked our own BBQ on a grill under the stars, enjoyed authentic greek food, not so authentic Chinese food, and tried the world buffet where we ate a little bit of everything. There was child friendly food in every restaurant, and the main restaurant opened early each night for kids too. I'm pretty sure I've gained a full stone due to eating baklava every day but I don't regret it. I wish I could eat it again as I type! We ate freshly made crepes by the pool every day, and the Italian restaurant was so delicious we had lunch there four times:
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It's an all inclusive resort, which usually means you have to pay a supplement for anything really delicious looking: particularly when it comes to drinks. But I was drinking some yummy cocktails from 10am - 10pm every night without having to spend a penny. This is one of those rare occasions where all inclusive really did mean all inclusive.

Our holiday was booked through Thomson, which is the only UK supplier to this hotel. It is classed as a family friendly resort and that's exactly what it is: perfect for kids of all ages, whilst still having enough luxury features to keep the grown ups happy too. Whilst I don't think I would go back to Kos again (there just wasn't really enough to do, and we like to be active on holiday) I would recommend this hotel heartily to any family looking for a high quality, relaxing,  luxury break.

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Jewellery: Streamlining For Summer

Hi guys,
So summer has finally arrived! This week I have been out and about in jumpsuits, summer frocks, and lots of different sandals. When the weather hots up one of the first things I do is streamline the jewellery I wear. The layered jewellery style I love just doesn't work during the summer: instead I tend to wear just one necklace and a watch. If your watch is the only thing you're wearing around your wrist then you need to make sure it's a good one: bold, glamorous, and gorgeous enough to make a real statement. Enter my new watch from the new Citizen DRIVE collection - a derivative of the Eco Drive range:
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I chose this watch from the range because I just love a chunky gold watch. Gold is brilliant for helping to show off a tan and it also makes any outfit your wearing look immediately more expensive. There are a couple of really gorgeous gold watches in the collection (and this watch also comes with a champagne face) but this one caught my eye because of its distinctive deep blue face. Once I'd had a link taken out this watch fit like a dream, and it's so comfortable and easy to wear. I've had a couple of compliments when I've been wearing it too, which is always a massive plus point!
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The DRIVE collection only launched at the beginning of the month and i've already seen three more watches I'd like to buy from the range: You can make this stunning watch your own for £199. The other watches in the collection range from £139-£219 and if my gold watch obsession isn't for you then you'll be pleased to know the range also contains pieces in leather and in a variety of different colours and finishes. Each watch comes with a five year Citizen guarantee which is good news, because I know I'll be wearing this summer after summer for years to come.

How does your jewellery style change when summer arrives? Do you streamline the jewellery you wear, or do you wear just as much jewellery as always?

Love Tor xx

*I received a watch to review for the purpose of this post

Monday, 19 May 2014

Sponsored Video: Face the summer with Nivea Powder Touch

Hi guys,
It's not a particularly glamorous thing to talk about but, let's face it, women sweat. I know we're supposed to say 'perspire' or 'glow' but the result is the same: if you don't have the right anti perspirant then the result is icky, stinky, sweat! Summer is prime time for the problem to arise, and summer holidays in particular: I went through two full deodorants in Kos last week! Luckily, Nivea have created a brand new quick dry deodorant that's stronger than ever whilst still being soft on the skin to help to tackle the problem once and for all: Nivea Powder Touch.
 photo ballet_zps7b6dc58d.png OK so the subject matter isn't that exciting (despite being neccessary) but the video to promote the new product really is: particularly if you're a ballet geek like me! Nivea teamed up with the English National Ballet to produce this video and demonstrate that anti perspirants, just like people, can be strong and sensitive at the same time:
It's a lovely video, right? You can follow the ballerina story on Twitter and Facebook too. In another world, in another life, I would love to have been blessed with the skill and the poise of a prima ballerina. If wearing Nivea Powder Touch can make you dance like that then I'm going to head out and buy myself a dozen bottles immediately! At the very least, I now feel the need to go out and buy myself a tutu and a leotard and join a beginners ballet class! Are there any ballerinas amongst you?

Love Tor x

*This post has been sponsored by Nivea Powder Touch but all thoughts are my own

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Gift Idea: Father's Day Phone Fun

Hi guys,
We're officially 1 month away from Father's day (it's on Sunday 15th June this year - don't forget!) which means it's time to start thinking about gifts, home cooked lunches, and other treats to make them feel special. This year I have two very special Father's day presents to buy: one for my own daddy, and one for Wilbur to give to Mike. If you're looking for a personalised and sentimental present (which both Mike and my dad are absolute suckers for) then I really like these phone cases that you can personalise with your own photos:
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No, that isn't just a random array of babies: that's all of my nieces and nephews (and the perfect present for my Dad!) There are lots of different types of phone cases to choose from: Mike and I prefer the hard cases whilst my dad likes the extra protection of a full leather case. It's funny what parenthood does to you isn't it? My lovely Marc Jacobs phone case was replaced by a big photo of Wilbur almost instantly!

Want a phone case of your own, either for yourself or to gift that special chap in your life? (You don't have to use baby photos of course)You can get a 10% discount on a Mr Nutcase phonecase when you enter the code 'Thanku10' at the checkout right now: my Father's Day gift to all of you!

Have you started thinking about your Father's day gifts yet? What will you be doing for your dad?

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Daily Wear: Oh those summer nights!

Hi guys,
We got back from our holiday to Kos on Sunday and we had a great time. Swimming and splashing with Wilbur for most of the day, and overindulging with food and cocktails every evening. I've come home tan and happy, despite the fact that my nose is a full five shades darker than the rest of my face (If anyone has any tips for fixing this embarrassing sun bathing disaster I would be eternally grateful!) I've also come home craving some more British summer sun, so that I can wear my new favourite maxi dress:
 photo holidaydress2_zps28acc7de.jpg
So much of my holiday wardrobe came from H&M, who just seem to have gotten tropical beachwear 100% right this season. This dress was a bargain at just £19.99 and I wore it a couple of evenings during our stay because it was so lightweight and easy to wear, whilst providing enough cover from the cooler evening breezes. I loved the gold detail at the neck, which meant that I didn't have to worry about adding any jewellery: it was a great throw-on dress for when I only had a few minutes to get ready:
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I teamed the dress with the Steve Madden sunglasses my parents gave me for my birthday, my tan Pucci saddle bag (c/o TKMaxx) which was the only handbag I took with me for the week, because it went with everything, and simple studded tan flip flops I picked up from Spartoo.

I will definitely be wearing this dress again, teaming it with heels and a skinny gold belt for summery nights out. How do you feel about maxi dresses? Do you have any favourites you keep coming back to year after year? I suspect that's what will happen with this one!

Love Tor x

Monday, 12 May 2014

Happy Birthday to....Me!

Hi guys,
Just a quick and very self indulgent post because today I turned the grand age of 30. I was expecting to feel old. Or at least older. But 30 doesn't feel any different at all. I wonder if that's a good sign that my life is on the right track and I'm exactly where I wanted to be before my latest milestone birthday?
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Birthdays definitely make you reflect on your life, particularly significant ones like 30, and I'm glad to say that I don't find mine lacking at all. I have a wonderful life: a crazy husband, the most amazing son, an incredible family, a house that I love (despite parts of it falling solidly into 'fixer upper' territory) fabulous friends and a job that (whilst it won't ever make me a millionaire) I actually love doing. Today, of all days, I feel truly blessed.

Bring it on 30, I'm ready for you! Because I think this year is going to be a good one!

Love Tor x

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Holiday Guide: Fabfrocks Does Disneyland Paris

Hi guys,
I went to Disneyland Paris for the fourth time last October, and I just realised that I had so much going on when I got back that I didn't write my holiday review for the trip! This particular trip to Disneyland Paris was also our first holiday with Wilbur, so it was very different from when we went on our own (all care free!) but it is truly a magical place to take a holiday. This review will be very child-centric, but lots of the tips will be the same no matter who you're travelling with!
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We stayed at the Explorers Hotel, which is a Disney Partner hotel, but isn't owned by Disney. The only real con of this is that you don't get 'extra magic hours' in the park before it opens for general admission, but we were really happy with the place. It had a huge swimming pool complete with water slides and a working pirate ship, a soft play area, a nice Continental-style breakfast offering and a free shuttle bus to the parks that only took around 5 minutes! The parks is where we spent most of our time: that's why you go to Disneyland! And it's no lie that they really are the happiest place in the world:
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Make sure you grab a park guide as you arrive and check the timings of everything in it carefully. I'm a super-organised person anyway, but it really pays to be on a trip like this. For example, we really wanted Wilbur to meet Duffy bear, and I noticed on the guide that he was doing a meet and greet from 10am to 11.30am. We turned up at 9.58 (because I plan with military precision!) and we were the very first in the queue: it was lovely to be the first people to see him as he arrived, and we didn't have to worry about Wilbur fussing during a long queue:
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The parades are fantastic and definitely worth catching. Depending on the time of year your visiting, you may have to queue for up to an hour to get a front row spot and a decent view (essential if you want a child in a buggy to see everything). At the beginning of October we found that we got a really great view by arriving on the parade route around 10 minutes before the parade started, but there were people arriving once the parade had already started that still seemed happy with what they could see:
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If you really want to meet as many characters as possible with the least amount of queuing and waiting then I heartily recommend paying for Disney character dining. We went to the Inventions restaurant in the Disneyland Hotel, and whilst it is one of the most expensive Disney dining options, it really was worth it. The food was surprisingly delicious, but more importantly, we got loads of one to one time with the characters. They were wonderfully attentive, they kept coming back to our table for photos and to interact with Wilbur, and I would say that meal was one of the highlights of our holiday:
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Finally, make sure you ride the Buzz Lightyear space raider spin ride! It's one of the best rides in the park, and it's suitable for everyone. If you're competitive (like Mike and I) then you may find yourself riding it over and over again competing to get the highest score!We had a wonderful time, and I would highly recommend this trip if you do have little ones. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we've booked to go back again for a week at the beginning of Septmber! I'll write another review then, because it will be interesting to see how different the experience will be now that Wilbur can walk and talk and generally has a mind of his own!

Check out my previous holiday guides here:
Holiday Guide: Fabfrocks does Venice 
Holiday Guide: Beautiful Berlin

Love Tor x

Friday, 2 May 2014

Shoes: Perfect Colour Pop Sandals

Hi guys,
As I go off on my holidays tomorrow, this months 'shoe lust' post could only be sandals! I've just packed two pairs in my suitcase, and I've got my espadrilles on my feet. But now I've spent a little time dream-shoe shopping online, I wish I'd bought and packed these gorgeous turquoise colour pop sandals from Betty London instead:
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I'd never heard of Betty London before, but they could well be a new favourite! At just £34.99, they're amazing value, but you're still getting a leather shoe with a leather sole for your money. I don't wear pleather shoes anyway, but I certainly wouldn't in the summer: it doesn't have the give or the breathability of real leather, meaning you'll end up with sweaty, sore, blistered feet: not a good look!

How great would these beauties look teamed with a long white sun dress and lovely bright red toenails? I love turquoise, and I seem to buy a new piece of turquoise jewellery on every holiday I go on. These shoes would be perfect for pairing with it and showing it off to its full potential.

Have you picked your summer sandals yet? What style have you chosen?

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes