Sunday, 23 November 2014

Frances Cassandra Turns 3!

Happy Blogger-versary to me (well, actually it was yesterday but I was super busy so I couldn't write this post until today)!
Three years ago on the 22nd of November, I was wrapped up in a duvet in the flat I was living in at University, probably avoiding writing an essay on how digital media has changed the world (or something like that) whilst reading an old school Fleur De Force or LLYMLRS blog post and pondering over whether anybody would be interested in reading my rambles, should I start writing them down in my own little corner of the internet. Alas, as I designed my own tacky leopard print header (cringe) and took photos perched on the window ledge of my flat as that was my only source of decent lighting, never did I think that three years later my blog would have over 2,000 subscribers and 750,000 clicks.
Since birthdays only happen once a year, I am dubbing it perfectly acceptable to make this blog post sickeningly cliché and say that blogging has impacted my life immensely. When I was nineteen, I was terribly shy, preferred the comforts of home and familiarity; not to mention the fact that my idea of "style" was my jeggings, converse and whichever t-shirt was clean and falling off it's hanger in my wardrobe. Now, one of my favourite things to do is meet new people at blogger events, and I have been forced to adopt two new rails in my bedroom to accommodate the abundance of clothes I own thanks to the many amazing brands that I have had the opportunity to work with and my fellow bloggers who influence my ever-changing style and urge to go out and buy another garment that I don't really need. I've also developed quite a taste for travel and rushes of adrenaline after blog opportunities have granted me the chance to tackle two of my biggest fears; travelling to another country alone and also jumping out of an airplane from 14,000 feet.

It hasn't always been thrills; there have been a few personal hurdles in my life over the past few years that have temporarily dimmed my passion for doing the things I enjoy, but it's the above things plus a plethora of other pros that have made me realize that keeping my chin up and carrying on writing is the best thing that I can do for myself. And I will be starting to make YouTube videos soon, either just before or after the New Year... It's a promise this time. ;)

Now, everyone likes to drag their birthday celebrations on for as long as possible, which is why I have prepared four days of giveaways to say thank you to you lovely lot for reading my blog; whether it be for the past three years or the past three days, Frances Cassandra wouldn't exist without your support.
So thank you very much, my lovelies and I hope that I can continue producing content that you all enjoy reading- keep an eye on my blog over the next few days for the chance to win some fabulous prizes!

Here's to another amazing year in the blogosphere!

Frances x
Friday, 21 November 2014

Wishlist: Christmas Novelties.

Jumper: Topshop, £42
Christmas Pug Socks: ASOS, £3
Reindeer Antler Beanie: ASOS, £10
Christmas Briefs: ASOS, £12.99
Reindeer Onesie: ASOS, £24
Christmas is coming and that means it's okay to be seen in public wearing the tackiest jumper you own, right? I already have my fair share of over-the-top Christmas jumpers from previous years and whilst ASOS has got some winning designs in stock (I love this one and this one), I do love the simplicity and quirkiness of this Topshop number, and who knows if someone will need reminding of the date on Christmas day?!
I would just like to make it clear that I don't plan on adding the Xmas briefs to my underwear drawer any time soon ever, but I couldn't help but add them to this wishlist purely for comedy value; I'm not sure what occasion these are suitable for?! There's no hiding that VPL. I do, however, think I will be adding some antlers to my beanie hat collection, and a Christmas edition to my ever-growing collection of pug socks (which is currently 13 pairs strong. I'm not sure I was supposed to admit that).  Oh, and I'd like a boyfriend just so that I can dress him up as a reindeer. Or maybe I just need to find a reindeer onesie for myself!
Do you have your Christmas jumper ready?
Frances x
Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Outfit: Blue Vanilla

Photo credit: Dad. Thaaaanks!
Cape: C/O Blue Vanilla* | Leggings: Topshop | Shoes: C/O Chi Chi* | Scarf: ZARA | Bag: C/O Wicker Wings* | Hat: Primark

One of my favourite things about Autumn/Winter is being able to layer up, and I think my outerwear collection says it all. I own more pieces of outerwear than any girl needs, whether they are winter coats, leather jackets or blazers, but this is the first cape in my collection and possibly the start of a new obsession. I love the way capes can be styled as a classy cover-up with an evening outfit or teamed with a pair of boots and a cosy blanket scarf in the day time for a more bohemian finish.

I am definitely not the kind of girl who struts around town in sky scraper heels on a casual day out, but I didn't know when else I would get the opportunity to show you these beauties from Chi Chi. Definitely not for the faint-of-heart (or those who are exceptionally accident-prome), but my- they are killer.

What are your favourite Winter wardrobe pieces?

Frances x

*DISCLOSURE: Starred items are PR samples.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Event: #SouthBeachMovieDay

Pictured above with the lovely Ellie (Your Daily Dose of Style) and Tasha (HELLOTASHA) :)

Yesterday, I was rollin' with my homies down to the Cornerhouse cinema in Manchester for a special screening of any 90s kid's favourite movie, Clueless, in celebration of South Beach's new collections. We were shown to our own private viewing screen to enjoy an hour and a half of checkered print two-pieces, over-exaggerated Californian accents and lots of cringe-inducing laughs before being taken upstairs in Manchester's contemporary visual arts and independent film centre and treated to an abundant amount of pizza (no complaints!), candy floss and a table of pick-n-mix, where I took a classic sweetshop pink-and-white striped paper bag and the opportunity to stock up on my personal favourites; flumps, gummy bears and chocolate nonpareils (which I am currently devouring as I type up this post).

It had been a little while since I last browsed the South Beach website (back in March prior to my holiday in Singapore to be exact, when I purchased two lovely pieces of swimwear from them), but I found myself clicking on to their freshly made-over homepage as soon as I got home yesterday, after falling in love with a couple of pieces from their new fitness range (which haven't made it online yet, my bank account will be relieved to hear). I was also impressed with their super affordable range of swimwear as always, particularly their structured two-pieces reminiscent of Triangl's most sought-after Milly bikinis, but for a fraction of the price at only £28. I also believe that South Beach's fleece hooded robes are a must-have for the cold seasons after having the opportunity to feel how soft the are- Definitely snuggle material!

Thank you to South Beach for the 90's throwback and for my quickly-approaching sugar coma!

Is anyone lucky enough to be jetting away over the winter?

Frances x

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Event: #FDXMasParty, Fragrance Direct.

Last night marked the beginning of all the Christmas festivities in the Blogosphere, with Fragrance Direct's Christmas Party at All Star Lanes in Manchester Deansgate. With Christmas decorations, Christmas crackers containing little surprise samples from Fragrance Direct's range and lots of amazing cocktails and food (including mini burgers, corndogs and breaded parcels of macaroni cheese- yes, you read that right), it was everything that a Christmas party should be; not to mention the strong waft of perfume we were greeted with when we entered the room, from the display table of Fragrance Direct's featured perfumes for the festive period. After a spritz of a few bottles it was decided that YSL's Black Opium, Valentina by Valentino and Lola by Marc Jacobs (mainly because of that beautiful bottle) were the firm favourites. As the event took place in All Star Lanes, of course we had a couple of lanes booked to show off our bowling skills, which seemed to progressively get worse as each glass of prosecco was consumed (though it was already established a long time ago that I am shockingly bad at bowling anyway, nor do I look good in those sexy silver bowling shoes).

Not only do Fragrance Direct stock perfumes, but they have also branched out into makeup, haircare and bath & body products, and us lucky bloggers were sent home from the event with a Christmas goodie bag filled with treats from the likes of Ciate, Fashionista, Essie and Schwarzkopf to name a few. Thanks for an amazing evening, Fragrance Direct! :)

Do you have any perfumes on your Christmas wishlist this year?

Frances x
Sunday, 9 November 2014

Wishlist: Beauty.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks in Bond Girl & Glastonberry: £23 each
MAC Lipsticks in Brave, Twig & Velvet Teddy: £15.50 each

Considering that first started out as a beauty blog, I'm not a makeup obsessive at all. I only wear a full face of makeup when I know that I am going to be out and about for the entire day, and I like to stick to what I know which is usually my wallet-friendly Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer and Maybelline gel eyeliner. I rarely blow my budget experimenting with new brands or splurging on the latest product hypes, however, I am a sucker for having a bit of luxury in my makeup drawer every once in a while and Christmas is usually my opportunity to get my hands on one or two pieces from the high-end Christmas releases.

On the top of my list is the Virtual Domination Cheek Palette from NARS. After missing out on the highly-sought-after Guy Bourdin release last year, I have been keeping my eye on SpaceNK like a hawk and I'm glad to see that they have brought out a palette that is equally as beautiful this year. I have also been lusting over Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution lipsticks since they were released a couple of months ago, but even in all their rose gold glory, their £23 price tag hasn't been justifiable.
I haven't been impressed by any of MAC's festive collections this year (how many shades of red and berry does a girl need?!), but Christmas is always a great time to stock up on a few of the trusty favourites. I am also admittedly probably one of the only girls who doesn't own one of the three Urban Decay Naked Palettes; I did own the second release but I sold it on after it sat unloved amongst my other eyeshadow palettes for the best part of a year, but I do think that Naked 3 has the most wearable selection of shades amongst the three.

Do you have any beauty products in your Christmas wishlist this year?

Frances x