26 February 2013

365 Day Challenge: Week Eight

Week eight was a big week for me. I won't bore you with all the deets in this little intro - feast your eyes on what I got up to...

Day Fifty: Ho-Burn I went to meet my good friend J in Holborn for a good catch-up. We ended up in Soho for dinner at La Bodega Negra (not the sex shop one on Old Compton Street but the normal one on Moor Street). The food was pretty good but, after insisting that I didn't want Italian, I ended up getting the quaesadilla rustica which turned out to be pretty much a Mexican pizza. We shared a bottle of vino and had a good natter. I did take some photos of the restaurant but they didn't work very well in black and white. 

Day Fifty One: Eat 17 My dear old mum came up to see my new pad so the boyf and I took her out to dinner. Despite setting up camp in Walthamstow we haven;t really explored the area all that much. What we do know is that the best (and pretty much only) restaurants in the area sit in the village. So off we trudged in the freezing cold weather (what has happened to the Sun that I was raving about last week?) to Eat 17. I opted for the fish and chips and got the biggest bit of fish I've ever seen. It was good. Not amazing but enough to make me go back. 

Day Fifty Two: Well Hello Kitty Went to Stratford with the mum and boyf today. Was out looking for home things which is quite stressful as it makes you realise that all the tat you have collected over the years won't help you cook and that you actually need to buy pots, pans, cutlery, kettles, oh and maybe an actual kitchen. Best way to de-stress? Go to Primark and buy a Hello Kitty Pez dispenser. Obvs.

Day Fifty Three: Nails, Nails, Nails Yes I know, stop with the nails! Today was about lining up some blog posts for you lovely lot so that I can keep on top of posting when I return to work on Weds (oh my - that's tomorrow!). Lining up blog posts usually means changing my nail varnish about fifty times whilst taking pics before the natural light fades. Oh and plenty of tea. Always tea. 

Day Fifty Four: Key Time I got the keys to our new house today. Yaaaaay!!! We are officially home-owners. I feel old. But I also feel super excited. Let the nesting begin. 

Day Fifty Five: Another Lazy Sunday More pyjama shots. Not much else happens on Sundays to be honest so it's the best you're gonna get. I actually usually do a lot in Sundays if I'm not working but I keep thinking I need to relax as much as possible before I go back to work. I wore some nice clashing pjs this week which I don't think are technically nightwear but, hey!, that's how I roll. 

Day Fifty Six: Homies I put two shots for this day as it was such a monumental one for the boyf and I. We went to check out things and freaked ourselves out by the amount of work there is to do but I am still overly excited about the whole thing. The boyf got a heart sticker stuck to his shoe which I thought was quite cute. I only managed to see it because, rather than relaxing and celebrating our new home, he was off crawling around the place looking for things to fix. I suppose it's a boy thing. 

So I suppose week eight has been quite a big one for me. Buying a house and a Hello Kitty Pez dispenser in one week - I need to slow down! I think I need to impose a spending ban for March as I really need to plough my money into the new house. No more stopping off in H&M on the way home *super sad face*. 

25 February 2013

Check Mate

One of my favourite shows for Spring/Summer '13 came from the wonderful mind that is Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. Boy does MJ know how to put on a good show. This time it was twin models walking two-by-two down the catwalk in an array of chessboard checks. A simple palette of lemon yellow, pastel green, nude, black and white adorned the beautiful models. It's a colour combination that I haven't really seen before but works well to give the perfect mix of classic and fresh. I am in love. 

If there is one thing I hate in life it's a kitten heel. While these Vuitton ones are quite cute I don't think this is a look I will be rocking this year. The 60's make up and beehive dos though are totally on my 'must try' list for 2013. 

If I had the money I would most definitely buy this nude checked playsuit. I love it. I don't know how much I would need to buy it  though as all of the mags are listing it as 'price on request' which, in my language, means 'fucking expensive'. 

Whilst I love the checks over at Vuitton I haven't really found anything similar that I am head over heels about on the high street. Therefore I am sticking to a little nail trend update with some simple checks. The weird lip smudge on the right-hand pic was supposed to indicate that I would wear monochrome checks with a red lip - obvs! 

What do you think of Vuitton's checks?

*pics taken of Grazia and Elle Collections

24 February 2013

My Top Ten iPhone Photography Apps

It seems as though you can't look anywhere online at the mo without seeing someone's filtered photos. As a lover of lomography there is a side to me that wishes we could all go back to ye olde film where you never know what you're going to get until you can be bothered/remember to get the roll developed. However, I bloody love my camera pics and what I can do with them at the touch of a button. I love that vintage feel without the hassle of getting prints. I use my iPhone a lot more than I should to snap the world around me. I know the quality isn't as good as when I use my DSLR but I just love the character you get from a good filter and a bit of tilt shifting. 

To demonstrate each app I used the same photo which I took a little while ago at the V&A. So here are my top ten photography apps for the iPhone (some are probably also available for android phones too):

1. Snapseed

This app was recommended by a photography pro and, although it cost a little more than other apps (I think it was about £3.99), I am really happy I splashed out. Once you get used to using Snapseed you can make your photos look incredible. The tilt shift and centre focus functions are the ones I use the most. The only thing I do not like is the lack of interesting frames but you can always add these afterwards in a different app. 

2. PictureShow

I really like the frames on this app as they are different to most others. The one I have chosen here probably isn't the best one to illustrate this actually - sorry! There are so many different facets to this app that I don't think I have even scratched the surface of what you can do with it. There are plenty of fun filters to choose from and some technical bits so that you can make each shot really individual.  

3. Lo-Mob

Lo-Mob is potentially my favourite iPhone app. This is mainly because I love Polaroid frames and this app has plenty. The filters are all pretty vintage-y; some are a bit too much but you can turn off the filter and keep the frame if you prefer. Despite it being one of my real faves I don't actually use Lo-Mob all that much but I just love the old-school quality it gives my pics. 

4. Picfx

There are so many filters on this app it is a bit ridiculous. What I love about Picfx though is that you can layer the filters so that your pics can look unique. There is literally any filter you can think of on this app so there isn't much you can't create. The only negative is you can't adjust the focus. 

5. Vintage Cam

Vintage Cam is probably my most used iPhone app. It is so easy to work, I am on it all the time. There isn't a huge range of filters and you can't actually adjust anything but the filters it does have are really diverse and the frames are cool. Not much else to say about this one really!

6. Pixlromatic+

Pixlromatic+ was the first app that I really started using when I got my iPhone. To be honest, I actually use this more on my PC to alter my "proper" photos. There are sooooo many filters, frames, and light leaks that it can take a while to choose the ones that you want to use. Not practical for out and about snapping but great for playing around on a lazy Sunday. I would definitely recommend downloading on your PC. 

7. BeFunky

I hate the name of this app. However, I enjoy using it to edit my snaps so I am willing to let the name thing slide. There are a smattering of filters to choose from and some interesting frames. You can also sharpen, brighten, increase/decrease contrast etc. I used this app a lot on my holiday to Cyprus last year (see here for more pics). A good app to choose if you want unusual filter/frame options with a bit extra. 

8. insta...e Free

I only really use this app for putting multiple pics together like in my last blog post (Cheeky Secret).  Other than that I don't really use it. You can use it to edit pics with Instagram style filters but I prefer to do this in other apps. 

9. Hipstamatic 
No photo to illustrate this one as you can't use pics from your existing camera roll. I love this app because it is like using a real camera. There is a plethora of films to buy so that your pics can have almost any effect. It is really quite random what your photos will end up looking like and, like I said, you can't edit them once they have been taken. Great for somebody who loves Diana+ style photography. 

10. Disposable
Again, no photo to display here as you can't add pics from your camera roll. What I love about this is that you can't look at your photos until you have used the entire roll of 'film' (approx 24 snaps). If, like me, you forget to use it for a while this brings up some surprises when you finally 'develop' your camera. I have even been known to take photos of really random stuff to use up the film (seat belts, car parks) like I used to do with real disposable cameras.

These are only a portion of the apps that I use. I have recently got into Instagram in a big way and have just downloaded another app called Wood Camera. I also use the picture booth style apps to create loads of stupid mug shots of myself but I think these snaps are best not shared. What photography apps would you guys recommend? 

23 February 2013

Cheeky Secret

What a name for a lipstick. I always seem to pick lipsticks with dud names. The girls in my office recently introduced one of the few lads to lipstick names which started a convo about what ours were called. N's was very aptly called 'Dragon Girl', K's new lippie was called 'Manhunter', then came my turn. 'Plum'. That's right, 'Plum'. Great. Thanks Revlon for the innovative name for your plum coloured lipstick. 

Cheeky Secret. I really don't know how they come up with these names. Anyhoo, I bought Cheeky Secret because I wanted an orange lipstick. If, like me, you are seeking an orange colour, I wouldn't really go for this; it is extremely sheer and looks more like a nude gloss than an orange lipstick. It looks good on, it's quite peachy and, like I said, glossy but it is very natural and not the bold, bright range that I was after. It also doesn't last very long on, probably down to the fact that it is quite balmy. The best part is the nifty little mirror - super handy for out and about application. 

So I am still on the look out for a bright orange lipstick. If any of you have found one, please let me know. Oh, and I am still on the hunt for a new nickname. Cheeky Secret? No thanks, I'll stick with Plum. 

22 February 2013

Primark Accessories Haul

My usual trip to Primark is an unplanned mess where I end up with a million items I don't need spilling out of my arms as I queue up for twenty minutes trying desperately to leave before I do my purse some real damage. This time around I actually planned to go as I wanted some things for DIY projects that I have in the pipe line. I strategically decided not to look at the clothes and bee-lined straight for the accessories. I was looking for sunglasses and charms (I had remembered seeing some little charms in another branch) but got a little side tracked by everything else. I ended up with some jewellery, some sunglasses, some nail polish, some hair clips, a Hello Kitty Pez and no charms. 

So.....feast your eyes on the jewellery that I had no intention of buying. I couldn't resist. There's quite a lot of religious looking stuff thrown in there which is odd as I am not religious at all. I do love a good bit of kitsch though like those plastic bracelets adorned with the faces of random kids with a bit of Jesus and Mary thrown in for good measure. My favourite item is the triangle necklace. I just know that someone will ask where I got it and I will relish in seeing their shocked face when I say Primark. It was the last one in the Stratford branch but you can probably pick one up in another store. For £3.00 it's a bargain and will look great in summer. 

In the words of that wise fellow The Mask, somebody stop me! I picked these nail goodies up on my way to the till. A caviar nail polish kit for £2.50? That's just ridiculous. Of course I was going to buy one (or two). I will give you a little peek once I've tried them out. I also got some nail art pens for £2.00. Last time I bought this kind of nail art pen I paid £6.00 for two so I felt like this was a good deal. Again, I'll let you know how they fare. If they are crap they obviously won't be worth the cheaper price tag.  

Finally what I actually went into Primark for. I wanted some black sunglasses for an upcoming DIY project. At £1.00 a pair I don't mind if the project goes tits up. These aren't the specific kind that I was looking for but hopefully they will do. Not sure why I picked up these hair clips - they just looked cute and girly which is as good a reason as any I suppose (not really but have to justify it somehow). 

And lastly - the Hello Kitty Pez dispenser. I defy anybody to resist picking this up on the way out. 

So there you have it, my most recent Primark haul. I picked up all these lovelies for a mere £22.50. Bargain. I have a real love/hate relationship with this shop. It is fabbielous for fast fashion - all those trend based items that you know you will only wear for this season - swimsuits, and accessories but if it's atmosphere, quality, and service you're after it may be best to steer clear. 

Have you guys picked up anything good on the high street recently?

21 February 2013

Style Mouth: Book Club

I am a bit of a book worm and have been keeping a book diary for the past couple of years to record things I have read. I started another blog, Tube Reader, to write up some of my book reviews but found that I wasn't really updating it as I was preoccupied with this wee page here so the other day I merged the two. Now I have all of my interests housed under one roof. 

Tube Reader is now located on a page of this blog as Style Mouth: Book Club. I will be trying to update this regularly with book reviews, books to buy, books I'm in the process of reading, basically everything geeky and book wormish that comes to mind. So if any of you are avid readers like myself, please nip by and give me any recommendations or feedback that you can think of. The more input from you the better. 

I have lots of reviews lined up I just need to take the pics to go with them. I read all sorts of everything and am always open to suggestion for new genres. Do not think any recommendation will be too low-brow, I will read trash and probably love it. Saying that, I do love a good classic. 

The book section will still be relatively separate from the main Style Mouth page so if you aren't a book fan, you can steer clear. The main reason for merging the two blogs was quite selfish really; I wanted all of my efforts focused on the one page but I also wanted to have Style Mouth as a good depiction of who I am and I am a super nerdy book freak at heart. 

Let me know if you are book friend or fiend. 

19 February 2013

365 Day Challenge: Week Seven

My challenge is still going well. The only annoying thing is that I still seem to be using the trusty iPhone rather than a proper camera. It's just so much easier to take a quick snap with the phone. This is definitely something for me to work on. This week was all about Valentine's day. For someone that doesn't really go in for all that smushy love stuff I got quite caught up in it. 

Day Forty Three: Inspector Gadget Only went and gots me a new phone didn't I? My life has been revolutionised. I have joined Instagram, I can blog on the go (although I tried this and it fucked up so maybe this isn't such a good example), I can play Candy Crush! Oh yeah people, I am connected. In case you are wondering, I had a Blackberry before which was the bane of my life. The camera quality was shit and, other than the keyboard, we had a hate/hate relationship. IPhone all the way. 

Day Forty Four: Valentine's Soup for Two The boyf and I had a cute night in on Weds eating home-made butternut squash soup and drinking squash. As I am on a no-carb kinda thing we went for a healthy Valentine's meal for the Weds as we knew we were going for lunch on Friday.   

Day Forty Five: Romance Lives Thanks to the boyf for getting me this super romantic Valentine's card. It is funnier for me than most as it brings back memories of a conversation in which this saying made me quite hysterical. I may have been tipsy at the time but this turn of phrase still cracks me up. I think more so because it makes me think of my own ones (example: you make me wetter than a eel's anklet). Fun but dumb.

Day Forty Six: Walk with Me Valentine The boyf and I went for lunch at Jamie's Italian. It was super yummy but a bit under seasoned. After eating so much food we decided to take a stroll along the Thames. We walked from Liverpool Street to Leicester Square. It was the first day of London Fashion Week but I resisted the urge to take a peek as I was with the boyf and I don't think he would have got the hype. I always discover something new along this walk, I can't get enough of it. 

Day Forty Seven: Omelette Queen This no carbs thing is tough. The actual not eating heavy carbs like bread and pasta is fine, they make me bloated and tired anyway. It's coming up with meals that is the hard part. It is made even harder by the fact that I don't eat meat. Omelette for one. 

Day Forty Eight: Lazy Sunday OMG! The boyf and I had the laziest Sunday EVER! We didn't get out of bed until about 3pm and didn't get out of pyjamas all day. Then we ordered Dominos (what no carb diet?) and went back to bed. 

Day Forty Nine: London Sunset I will never get bored of seeing the sun set over my beautiful city. Even in black and white. 

What have you been up to this week?

17 February 2013

Leopard Nails

Here are the supplies I used for my leopard nails. I used a buffer as my nails were a bit ridged. I have used better buffers than this Miss Manicure one but it did an OK job. Ridges weren't completely eradicated but I got a smoother effect overall. I took this look from my Wah Nail Art book. If you are a nail art fiend I suggest you get a copy; it's fun and informative. 

I always use this Barry M base coat. It dries really quickly and doesn't make my nails peel off like so many other base coats I have tried. For my leopard background I went for Gone Fishing by Topshop and for the top coat I used Chanel's Extreme Shine Nail Lacquer. I used the Chanel top coat because it is super shiny. 

The Wah Nail Art Book gives great step by step instructions for each of their looks. They made creating this leopard print look super easy. I went for the mint green as I loved the way it looked in their photos but you could literally use any colour. If you have different colour nail pains as well you can switch up the actual leopard markings. 

Et voila! Mint green leopard nails to take out on the town.

If any of you create your own leopard combos leave a link in the comments so that I can see and be inspired. 

16 February 2013

February Wish List

The weather is on the turn and I am dreaming of warmer climes when I can go coatless. As such I have been perusing the magazines for things to wear come spring time which, fingers crossed, is just around the corner. Time to get out the brighter colours and short shorts (maybe). Here's my top ten for February:

1. Embroidered Bomber, Zara, £119 I will still be needing a jacket this spring. Let's face it, I am in London, the ground is going to take a few months to warm through. I am loving the Japanese inspired prints around at the moment and this bomber from Zara with its ornate bird is especially beautiful. Perfect for spring days. 

2. Hot Pink Heels,Christian Louboutin, £465 Not usually a fan of strappy shoes but that pink? With a red sole? Don't mind if I do. 

3. Mint Green Clutch, Marie Turnor, £143 I love the colour of this bag. I like the paper-bag shape of this clutch too, simple but effective! It looks as though it could hold all my bits and bobs for some spring shopping. 

4. Leaf Necklace, Alex Monroe for Evans, £20 Twenty squid for an Alex Monroe necklace? Yes please! I have long been admiring Alex Monroe's collections and to hear that he has designed some lovelies for Evans is very exciting. 

5. Short Shorts, Denim &Supply Ralph Lauren, £130 These shorts may be a bit short for spring. It might be better to store them away for summer as I'm not sure how great they would look with tights. Not sure if you can tell from this pic but they are made from a gorgeous Broderie Anglaise style fabric. 

6. Beetlejuice Bag, Oasis, £30 Monochrome stripes are everywhere at the mo thanks to the likes of Marc Jacobs and Sportmax. I'm not sure that I can rock the trousers. I do have a shirt that I picked up in Primark last year which I may bring out but I think it will be safer to inject the trend with some cute accessories like this box clutch.

7. Cotton Top, Carven, £160 Lime green is not a colour I wear very often but the ladylike shape of this Carven top is making me reconsider. 

8. Nude Nails, Butter London & Revlon, £7.99 - £12 Nude nails are all the rage. Butter London and Revlon are introducing all-nude ranges with colours to suit every skin tone. LOVE!

9. Lipstick in 600, Armani, £25 I have been looking for a purple lippie like this for a while now. I have yet to find a cheaper alternative so may have to go for one like this Armani shade. I have seen one in Mac that I may make a beeline for too. With all of the monochrome and muted pastel shades you need a bright lipstick. Standard. 

10. Rings, From £50 each, Davina Combe Thin rings make your hands look really elegant. I am a gold/rose-gold kind of gal so would probably mix and match a selection of these. 

15 February 2013

Valentine's Day Dates

I was lucky enough to be wined and dined by two lovely gents this Valentine's day: my dad and my boyf. As the boyf was working on V-Day my dad did the honours of wining and dining me yesterday. J stepped in today and took me for a lovely lunch at Jamie's Italian

The Sun has got his hat on...

Valentine's flowers at Conran's
Furniture shopping at Harrods

Bus wankers!

A quick browse at Waterstones

Valentine's bliss with Tarantino

The god of Love drowning in a sea of tourists

Liverpool Street

Mmm... Jamie's Italian

Papping the pap

Obligatory shoe shot

Who's that gull? La la la la la lala la la la.

London sunset

I love this City! Happy Valentine's day London

Thank you to the two men in my life for making me feel very special this Valentine's Day.