I Found My Choo (ish)

For as long as I can remember shoes have really been my 'thing'. The thing I can't stop loving, the thing I can almost always justify, the thing that, even on a horrible day, can cheer me up. I don't dare count the number of pairs I own (although, ironically, I'm going to have to soon as I'm creating a shoe area in my new dressing room...) but, unlike some people who can buy and forget I think I give the majority of mine good airing; taking them for walks regularly and socialising them in local bars and restaurants.

But the pair I'm about to show you are not for just any outing. These are for only the best outings. And although I knew when I bought them that they're a twice-a-year kinda pair I still couldn't resist, having spent weeks looking for them.

Six weeks ago, during LFW, Topshop sent Instagram (and their website) into a frenzy by posting this phenomenal picture:

Of course within minutes they were nowhere to be found. The fashion elite had seen them, bought them and were already wearing them before I'd even had a chance to track them down.

Although I could see they were sold out I checked again and again for days in case of a restock online but alas, it was not to be.

Then this happened...

One of my favourite fashion bloggers to follow (Emma Hill) posted this on her Instagram account a week ago.

Game back on.

I can't explain why I love marabou fur stilettos so much but I do. It may hark back to days of staring, dreamy-eyed at Disney princesses but I have a stronger suspicion that Carrie Bradshaw had my heart when she cried out those immortal words, "I LOST MY CHOO!"

Although the pale blush pink were the colour I was initially drawn to it has to be said the black are, by a millimetre, the more practical colour to opt for. I said the colour was practical...not the shoe.

So onward I pushed to Missguided and found my soul mates.

And yesterday they arrived.

They're a complete steal at only £29.99 (Topshop's were £58) so even if I wear them only a handful of times a year the price-per-wear will be through the floor in no time. You can get yours in black here and in blush here.

Now I just need to find the perfect dress to wear with them for the party season.

Should be simple enough, right?


(Farrow &) Ballin'

So it's happened. I am officially a house bore. I realised that the full transformation had taken place this weekend when, at 9.30pm on Saturday evening, I was in bed researching floor paints.

But not any old floor paints. Farrow & Ball floor paints. I have long been a fan of their range but never had any need to employ their beautiful products. However, all that has changed now I have my very own money pit* (*read: house)

This weekend's particular focus was on the floors of my dressing room and our master bedroom. We hired a set of industrial sanding machines and I spent hour upon hour battling with them until I was left with, actually, not too shabby a job (if I do say so myself). The floor boards are the originals from when the house was built in 1907 and they're in amazing condition so I wanted to use them where I could.

A quick couple of before and after sanding pictures:

That last picture isn't actually after it was fully finished but I forgot (as ever) to take more 'in progress' shots so it's the best I have.

Then came the joy of deciding on what colours we wanted in each room.

I know there is a huge attraction towards natural or white boards but neither myself or OH have ever really loved them. So after many hours on Pinterest I optioned grey to OH.

He nodded.

It was enough for me!

I never take much encouragement to get excited about grey as a colour so after a few tester pots had been purchased and some swatches had been painted we decided on these two:

Mole's Breath - Dressing Room

Manor House Gray - Master Bedroom
As with most house DIY projects the success is all in the preparation and after I'd finished sanding I spent several hours meticulously painting the sealant undercoat on the floors ready for first coats this evening.

Farrow & Ball sell a specific undercoat designed to sit with their paints - of course I was suckered into it. I just felt that if I ignored it and bought a cheaper one I may live to regret it when the paint chips or what have you. I've probably spent far too much and could have done it cheaper but after the hours of back-breaking prep I wasn't willing to risk it so handed my bank card over very willingly.

Currently they look like this - but not for long:
Right - best be off - they aren't going to paint themselves! Happy Monday!


Hats Off To You, Whistles.

So apparently we've not only had the driest September on record; we're about to have the mildest October too. While most people rejoice at this I find myself accepting this with a slightly heavy heart. My poor wardrobe is practically bursting at the hinges with beautiful, boardering on delectable, Autumn/Winter wonders and they are just not able to come out and play yet.

Most people have an affection for a time of year and link this to when their clothes are going to look most fabulous. Mine is Autumn. I love the cold weather allowing me to layer up in beautiful knits, leathers, scarves and all manner of brilliant overcoats. My personal favourite is my bargain Aquascutum but we'll come back to him one day.

However, the lack of colder weather hasn't stopped me craving beautiful things in preparation for it so this week I took advantage of a ridiculously good offer from Grazia and Whistles. 25% off at Whistles *if you bought last week's copy of Grazia. (*don't fret if you didn't get it - the offer is now online with the code you need etc. and on until 06.10.14)

I knew what I wanted as soon as I heard about the offer. Something I've ooh-ed and aah-ed over. Something I've almost-nearly-pratically purchased about five times already. Something that's completely useless for the weather as it stands now but when it does get cold (and it'd better) I will be ready and, probably, just a little-over excited to don this beauty from them.

Ladies and gentlemen...The Winter Hat.

Grey and I are currently in the midsts of a heady love affair and have been for some years now. I don't see it ending anytime soon either.

It's just a brilliant colour/tone/shade - whatever you class it as, I love it! And I know it's not as if I don't already own an array of wool hats but I don't have a grey one. So, you see, it was a complete necessity.

Just look at those fibres!

It would appear that several hundred other Whisltes fans had the same idea as me as, unfortunately, this colour is now sold out online but it is available in Navy and Black and the and the Grey is still available in selected stores. (I got mine from the Manchester City Centre store - you can find your closest store here.)
A funny thing has happened recently in my office and suddenly hats have started making an appearance on lots of people. We work in fashion so what we can wear into the office is pretty flexible which is brilliant. And a couple of weeks ago we had about 72 hours of genuine Autumn so the first thing I did was whip this old faithful out.

I don't even remember where I got it from - H&M maybe... Who knows. But it's done it's job, and very well. I'm not retiring any of my existing hats - merely adding to the tribe.
So, to badly mis-quote Bridget's Jones' Diary: "Come the f*ck on, Autumn!"