Thursday 30 October 2014

Celebration of Style: #COStyle, Liverpool, November 13-15, 2014.

Last Friday I was invited down to the Boodles store in Liverpool for a brunch with a few other local bloggers. I was greeted on arrival with a glass of Bucks Fizz, an amazing breakfast food aroma and a table laden with cutlery, cupcakes and some of Boodles best jewels. Feeling a little underdressed for the occasion, I took a seat opposite a couple of £10,000 diamond rings, but all intimidation was banished when I got to try on one of Boodle's diamond sparklers ;).

But, we weren't just invited for brunch to stuff our faces, drool over jewellery that we can't afford and chat about our plans for the weekend in Boodle's beautiful function area (although plenty of that did take place), we were here to learn more about Celebration of Style, a three-day spectrum of events taking place in Liverpool from November 13-15. We were joined by Justine Mills, the owner of designer boutique Cricket, who together with SK Events has put all of her passion for Liverpool and style in to creating an event that showcases the city's flair for fashion, art, photography and architecture.
Over miniature sausage sandwiches and a very delicious eggs benedict (fave), we learned all about the jam-packed event that Justine has put her heart and soul in to for the past year, which will bring together some of the UK's greatest style influencers including but not limited to top fashion designer, Matthew Williamson and Liverpool's very own award-winning hairdresser, Andrew Collinge, to show the world of fashion and style just what Liverpool is made of. The line up of events will consist of fashion shows, art exhibitions, in-store events in some of the high street's top stores such as Matalan, Oasis and The Body Shop, plus beauty bars and demonstrations by Benefit and Illamasqua. Not only this, but Justine and SK Events have managed to book some of Liverpool's most iconic venues for these events to take place in, including the Rum Warehouse, Titanic Hotel and the Liver Building.
Now that you're all itching to be a part of it, here's the best bit. Celebration of Style have offered me the opportunity to give away a pair of tickets to one of my readers, which will grant you and a friend access to the Influence of Style event on Friday, November 14th, a day filled with panels of industry experts including spokespeople from Manchester Metropolitan University, top makeup artist, Cassie Lomas and renowned photographer, Tim Bret Day, to give budding fashionistas, makeup artists and photographers an insight to working for the industries.
To enter, all you have to do is fill in the rafflecopter form below (you must be 16 years or older to attend the event). The winner will be announced in a week's time, on Thursday, November 6.
I am super excited for Celebration of Style to take place- it is wonderful to see a city that means so much to me come together to celebrate the style, beauty and architecture that it is so well-known for. Move over, London; Liverpool is stealing the limelight.
If you would like to see the full line-up of events, you can visit the Celebration of Style website here.
Frances x
Tuesday 28 October 2014

Outfit: Wrap Me In Your Ribbons.

Photo credit: Thanks, dad!
Dress: C/O Poppy Lux (buy here)* | Jacket: Vintage | Boots: Primark | Bag: Mango C/O House of Fraser (old)* | Watch: Michael Kors (buy here) | Cross ring: Dorothy Perkins (old) | Other rings: Rare London (buy here)
Okay, so it seems I wear these boots and my trusty fedora so often that you would probably think that they are permanently attached to me- but that's what Autumn staples are all about, right? However, I promise that neither of them will be featured in my next outfit post! 
Anyway, this post isn't about my boots or the hat, so please avert your attention to this lovely bow print number from Poppy Lux. As usual, Sugarhill Boutique's sister brand hasn't failed to provide me with yet another cutesy print to add to my wardrobe, and this dress is fast becoming one of my go-to pieces to throw on with a pair of boots and a jacket on those mornings that require looking somewhat put together with minimal effort.
For the past two years I have insisted that the midi-length trend just wasn't for short-legged girls like me, but the ever-growing popularity of midi circle skirts and culottes this season seems to have coaxed me away from my fashion phobia and I find myself wanting more and more!
Are you in to the midi trend?
Frances x
*DISCLOSURE: Starred items are PR samples.

Monday 27 October 2014

Food: Kate's Cakes.

Kate's Cakes, Lemon Drizzle Cake* & Chocolate Fudge Cake*: £2.00 for a box of five, Tesco.  
For me, there's nothing more comforting than sitting back with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, and on a busy Monday afternoon, my tired soul was replenished by Tesco's new girl in town, Kate, and her new range of individually wrapped cakes (and a cuppa with milk, no sugars, in the mugs provided for me- thanks, Kate!).
Available in Lemon Drizzle and Chocolate Fudge variations, these little squares of heaven are extremely moist and have that homemade decadence that supermarket brands often lack, and each small slice is easily enough to satisfy a sweet tooth (unless you're my dad... maybe these aren't man-sized portions). I'm partial to a bit of chocolate when I'm faced with the option (what girl isn't?!), so naturally the chocolate fudge cake was my favourite with its rich buttercream and chocolate curl toppings, but the zesty lemon sponges were also finished with just the right amount of lemon juice and sugar pearls to create a perfect balance between tart and sweet.
Brand new to Tesco, these cake squares come individually wrapped for freshness in boxes of five for £2.00, making them great fix for a lazy girl's afternoon tea (ahem...) or to throw in your work bag for a lunch time pick-me-up. All of Kate's Cakes are baked using free-range eggs and GM-free ingredients, and each one is lovingly finished by hand. For more details or nutritional information, you can visit the Kate's Cakes website here.
Have you spotted Kate's Cakes in Tesco?
Frances x
*DISCLOSURE: PR sample. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.
Sunday 26 October 2014

Review: Debenhams Thank You Flowers.

Beautiful Day bouquet: Debenhams Flowers, £24.99*

There isn't a lot that I'd rather have to brighten up my bedroom and cheer me up after a stressful week than a vase of vibrant flowers on my desk. My loves over at Debenhams Flowers let me choose a little pick-me-up from their range of Thank You Flowers and I decided on their Beautiful Day bouquet, filled with a few of my favourites; white avalanche roses, scented pink lilies and violet antique carnations.
My bouquet arrived promptly the day after it was ordered, packaged in a sturdy purple box which keeps the flowers from getting squashed, but means that it is best to attend to them as quickly as possible to avoid any drooping. Including a packet of plant food to add to your vase of water and a card with care instructions (and a personalized message to your recipent) to help you get the most out of your flowers, Debenhams Flowers guarantee the freshness of your blooms for at least seven days. My bouquet has been standing strong on its little podium on my desk for just over a week now, and apart from a few browning petals here and there that just need pulling away, it still looks beautiful, and the last couple of lily buds are still yet to open (note: this particular bouquet looks very small when it arrives, but remember that lilies open up in to huge blooms!).
Debenhams Flower Delivery offers very affordable bouquets (with free standard delivery) for a great array of occasions (I keep eyeing up their Autumn range, the colours look stunning!) and you can check out a few of my past reviews below. They have also been so generous to provide my readers with an amazing 40% off their lovely bouquets with the code DFBLOG40 (excludes the Flowers By Post range), so why not treat yourself or brighten up that special someone's day with a beautiful bouquet of flowers? :)
What are your favourite flowers?
Frances xx
*DISCLOSURE: PR sample. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.
Past Debenhams Flowers reviews:
Friday 24 October 2014

Outfit: Gridlock.

Photo credit: Denivev
Dress: C/O Oh Polly* (buy here) | Coat: Lavish Alice C/O BANK Fashion* (buy here) | Boots: Primark | Bag: Mango C/O House of Fraser* (old) | Hat: Primark | Sunglasses: Primark | Scarf: Zara (old) | Watch: Tommy Hilfiger C/O Shadestation (buy here)*
Those of my regular visitors with a keen eye may recognize this grid print beauty from my wishlist a couple of weeks ago. Well fate called and it turns out it was meant to be, the coat of my dreams made its way in to my life thanks to the lovely ladies over at BANK Fashion. Duster coats are my top choice of outerwear for this season; they are tailored enough to make you look like you mean business but oversized and boyish enough to give you an effortlessly cool vibe. Not to mention that when teamed with an on-trend grid pattern and contrasting sleeves, they can be quite a statement piece! Put together with my beloved Zara scarf and my rekindled love for white lace via Oh Polly, I think we have a go-to monochrome outfit; my favourite colour palette for fall!
Are you a fan of duster jackets?
Frances x
*DISCLOSURE: Starred items are PR samples.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Wishlist: Chic Style on a Budget.

Left dress: £28, George @ ASDA
Right dress: £28, George @ ASDA
Choker Necklace: £8, ASOS
Pink Patent Court Shoes: £19.99, New Look
Black Fedora Hat: £14.99, New Look
With the good old favourites like ASOS, Missguided and Topshop, it's easy to forget that our supermarket brands have stepped up their affordable-and-stylish fashion game in recent years (I still shudder at the memory of George's Mary-Kate and Ashley range which I must have owned around 75% of when I was ten years old) and every now and then I catch myself browsing on the George and F&F websites as a last resort, only to be pleasantly surprised by hidden gems like the two above from George's hefty and versatile range of dresses.
I love the rock and roll pleather and sleek designs of these numbers with their fun pop of pink, and teamed with a few chic and colourful accessories from our go-to high street shops, I think these dresses are more than worthy of a date night, a fancy meal out or a night on the town (inspired by Disney's Villains, these two dresses from George's Graduate Fashion week range could also be a quick fix for Halloween paired with some dark makeup, no?)... and the best part? They're under £30!
Do you ever shop at George?
Frances x
*In collaboration with George at Asda
Tuesday 21 October 2014

Outfit: All Black Everything.

Photo credit: Shane Murray
Dress: Topshop (old) | Kimono: C/O Quiz* (buy here) | Boots: Primark | Fur Collar: Get The Label (old) | Hat: Primark | Necklace: Primark (old)
After a Summer filled with pastel colours, bright patterns and white on white, I do enjoy welcoming the cold, dark seasons by channeling my inner goth with an all black ensemble. I received this kimono from Quiz Clothing a few weeks ago and the floral paisley design and crushed velvet do a brilliant job of adding a bit of flavour to a rather plain, monochrome outfit.
My fur collar has been coming everywhere with me lately too, only to be whipped off and placed in my bag half way through the day due to the couple-of-months-too-late Indian summer weather that we have been experiencing recently. I'm all for a bit of sun when the moment is right, but I am so ready for frosty mornings, warming my hands up with a Starbucks PSL and dusting off my beloved fur jackets!
Who else is ready for Autumn/Winter to come at full swing?
Frances x
*DISCLOSURE: Starred items are PR samples.

Sunday 19 October 2014

Outfit: Gunmetal.

Photo credit: Shane Murray
Dress: C/O Hybrid Fashion* (Buy here) | Coat: Primark (old) | Shoes: C/O Nelly* (old) | Necklace: Primark | Bag: Marla London (old)
My wardrobe has seen a fair amount of black dresses over the past few years, but I hadn't found one quite worthy of being deemed my holy grail 'LBD' until this badass number from Hybrid popped in to my life. Now on special occasions when I'm having one of those, "I have nothing to wear!" moments whilst I'm digging through my desperately over-flowing wardrobe (you know the one), I think this dress and I are going to be the best of friends.
I love how the sheer mesh sleeves and knee-length style add a conservative touch, whilst the armour-like faux leather gunmetal panels create a sexy, curve-enhancing silhouette without taking away from the classic look that makes a little black dress what it is. I have also found that whilst this dress still looks fab with gold jewellery, the gunmetal detailing really pops when paired with silver accents.
What do you think of this take on the classic LBD?
Frances x
*DISCLOSURE: Starred items are PR samples.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Event: BANK Fashion Warrington Relaunch #itsagirlthing

It isn't often that Warrington is pinned on the map as a location for events; in fact, it was pretty unheard of until yesterday, when BANK Fashion opened their second ever women's only store (after the Liverpool store, which I blogged about here) in my understated home town. It was a breath of fresh air not having to catch a train to another city for a change!
As usual, BANK were celebrating the relaunch of their store in style, with stunning super blogger and model, Nada Adelle, cutting the ribbon and introducing the ladies of Warrington to a brand new shopping experience filled with cake pops, champagne, a DJ and the option to take a rest from their shopping with a complimentary manicure.
Cake pop in one hand and champagne in the other (and my camera slung around my neck in true blogger style), I re-familiarised myself with the store, which looks bigger, brighter and a lot more organised inside following its refresh. BANK is one of those retailers that I think has really improved over the years- Back in my high school and college days I never stepped foot in the store except for when Paul's Boutique handbags were all the rage (cringe), but now I even find myself regularly visiting their website for a browse through their many stylish brands, including Blonde & Blonde (those fringed loafers though), John Zack and Pink Soda, amongst many others. Also, how much have Ellesse stepped up their game recently? I love their take on pastels with their tennis print sweater!
Do you shop at BANK? What are you favourite brands?
Frances x