Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Pinterest roundup

1 - 2 - 3
4 - 5 - 6
7 - 8 - 9

Happy Wednesday all! 
Time for another round-up of my favourite pins recently, with a slight Halloween theme...I don't usually go all out for Halloween, instead preferring to incorporate small touches in honour of the day. I'm working and dogsitting this weekend so I'm not likely to be dressing up, although I do fancy a little play with make up!

1. It's not exactly breaking news that I'm a huge fan of rose gold! I love this Nars nail varnish, I'm thinking it could be an option for my bridal nails... watch this space.

2. H&M Home are absolutely killing it at the moment, I love all the copper and gold pieces they've brought out. If I wasn't on such a strict budget I'd be buying ALL the things!

3. How beautiful are these glam pumpkins? I'm rather cackhanded when it comes to carving a pumpkin and usually leave it to my more talented other half, but I reckon I could just about pull off this DIY! 

4. You know how sometimes you spot something on another blogger and you're instantly smitten? Well I saw these H&M boots on Milly and promptly obsessed over them for about two weeks before caving in and buying them after selling a few bits on eBay. They did feature slightly in my last outfit post but I'm planning on doing another one with better photographs soon! 

5. Okay, so I couldn't do a Pinterest post without mentioning more wedding decor... Jon is very keen to incorporate books into the wedding somehow (and I fully support this, of course!) and I found this cute initial idea. Now all I need to do is get past the fear of chopping up a book...

6. Leighton Meester is one of my idols - I adored her in Gossip Girl and have kept up with her career ever since it ended (xoxo!). This is one of my favourite perfume ad campaigns for Vera Wang, it's just so dreamy (and the perfume is pretty fab too!). Can I have her hair please?

7. This is my work-desk-buddy Becky's rather excellently styled bar cart. I can't lie, I want one too! Even though I rarely drink (and when I do it's always something neon pink like Passoa instead of a nice sophisticated G&T).

8. I studied pop art and Lichtenstein at school (for a while I was a massive history of art geek - now you know!) and always obsessed over the cartoon style, I think I even had a bag with it on at one point! So this tutorial by Keiko Lynn caught my eye instantly. I may try and recreate it at home, I'll let you know if I'm successful!

9. Finally, I've been trying to be more inventive in the kitchen (and baked my first successful batch of brownies the other week, let's just say I won't be entering GBBO any time soon) and I really want to try these amazing cookie butters featured on A Beautiful Mess. The only thing stopping me is the inevitable fact that I will end up eating them out of the jar instead of cooking dinner. You know it's going to happen.

So these are my pins for the week! As always if you fancy a gander at my boards click here; it's a bit eclectic (and rather wedding-tastic at the moment, but there's only another 10 months to go). Oh, and remember to leave your links below for me!

Love Dani

Monday, 27 October 2014

What I Wore #114

Cape - H&M / Boots - H&M / Jumper - Primark (similar here) / Dress - ASOS (similar here)

Hi lovelies,
How are we all on this beautiful sunny morning? I am of course endlessly jealous of anyone on half term at the moment, but if I do have to rouse myself and go to work on a Monday it always helps if the weather cooperates!
You'd be forgiven for thinking this outfit is rather too familiar - it's very similar to my last post but I can't help it, I'm just so in love with my cape and it seems to lend itself well to a bit of layering. The ASOS collar dress is one of my A/W staples - somewhat sheer when worn alone, it works extremely well when covered with a nice bit of knitwear - today's jumper is by Primark of all places and is just beautiful! I'm tempted to buy another as a back up just in case.
Another new acquisition are these delightful H&M over-knee boots - not shown to their full potential here! They are so cosy and don't necessitate me hoisting them up every other minute. I'm still trying to build up to wearing them with bare legs, I have a bit of a way to go before my confidence reaches that point unfortunately! They're perfectly comfortable though and were excellently suited a day out of pretending to be a tourist in London with my sister who was visiting for the weekend. These photos were snapped outside the Houses of Parliament in one of the emptier areas (near the statue of Richard I) - I say this all the time but it really is fun being a tourist in your own city sometimes! I just have to learn to shake off my commuter walking pace...

Have a great week everyone,

Love Dani

Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Berry Autumn Make Up Look

It's always the days when I have nowhere to go that I tend to make the most effort with my make up. Isn't that the way? When I'm in a rush to get out somewhere and meet people I always fling on whatever products are closest to me and hope for the best. When I have hours to kill and no one to see, I spend a good forty minutes blending and buffing and testing out new things... only to wash it all off a couple of hours later when I decide the only course of action is to change into pyjamas and watch countless episodes of Teen Wolf.
The reason I am rambling is because this is exactly what happened on Saturday. After a lazy morning watching Youtube videos and contemplating the sheer amount of washing that needed to be done, I put together this quick look, loosely inspired by Lily Pebbles's recent berry tutorial. I even popped on a berry-coloured lace top to match, oh my.

Can I take a moment to praise this Rimmel lipstick? After spotting it on my friend Geo last week I subsequently visited three different Boots branches to track it down, such was my need to possess it. In real life it is darker than these photos would suggest, perfect for swiping on and providing instant autumn moodiness. Yes. I haven't edited any of these photos but I can assure you it is a beautiful dark berry red in real life!
Alongside the lipstick I also had a mini splurge at the Seventeen stand in Boots after work on Friday. I needed a new primer so selected their Stay Time offering and the Miracle Matte primer, which I'm wearing in the photos. It seems to mattify really nicely, I'll report back on the longevity though. I also bought the Instant Glow shimmer brick as I've been after a decent powder highlighter. Although the light in the photos isn't quite enough to pick it up, it adds a lovely shimmer to the skin - I dusted it along the tops of my cheeks and under my brows.
I also decided to forgo my usual cat eye in favour of a softer shadow look. I'm useless at applying eyeshadow without getting it halfway down my face, so just used a gentle combination of Burnout and Nooner from my Naked 3 palette and finished it off with heaps of mascara (still my beloved Rimmel, I'm on my second tube!)

And after applying all this? I had an extremely productive day of washing up, reapplying nail varnish and listening to Spotify...

Products used:
Seventeen Miracle Matte Primer
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish foundation in Cool Beige
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Extra Light Bisque
Clarins Instant Concealer in 01
Beauty UK Baked Blush in Rose Rouge
Seventeen Shimmer Brick Instant Glow in Pink Bronze
Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe 
Urban Decay Naked 3 palette
Rimmel Volume FlashX10 Waterproof mascara
Rimmel Kate Moss Matte lipstick in 107

Love Dani

Friday, 17 October 2014

Wedding - the countdown begins!

images from my Instagram
Hello loves,

As I've mentioned a few times recently our wedding planning has finally kicked off in a big way. I am so relieved and excited although it is quite nerve-wracking as our date is only 10 months away! It's taken us a fairly long time to get our plans off the ground but it all seems to be going really quickly now and I'm certain the next few months will fly by.

There are so many reasons why it has taken so long - readers from the very, very early days may recall when Jon proposed to me while on holiday on the Cote d'Azur back in 2010, just before the final year of my degree. I also posted about my fabulous diamond cluster ring (with a very dodgy photo here, and a much better photo here!) but other than that, things have been rather silent on the wedding front. Almost straight after leaving university we bought a flat so there just hasn't been the budget to put into a wedding, although we started looking at venues a couple of years ago just to gather ideas. After hours of countless Google searches, frustrated phone calls, wedding fair after wedding fair, tears, strops, arguments... we have finally set the date, finalised the registrars and most importantly of all, agreed on a venue.

It feels as though it has been a long hard slog to get to where we are now - our initial visions of fairytale castle grandeur (Jon) and French chateau elegance (me) have slowly been whittled down to a relaxed, family-style garden party with a restored barn, rolling lawns and the sweetest Monet-inspired bridge. It's not what either of us imagined at all, but the moment we visited our venue we just knew it was the perfect place to say our vows.

 I keep flicking through my pile of wedding magazines (the A4 size ones are all stored in a fancy magazine rack I picked up at Sainsbury's) and nervously poring through the checklists, but it honestly feels like the big things are all sorted now. We have a date, a time, a ceremony and reception venue, even a photographer... and my dress! I have individual posts planned for these topics and will keep you updated on our progress as I'm bound to become more and more consumed by wedding planning. We are forgoing a lot of the expected traditions - I'm not a fan of being told what to do! - but the basics will likely be the same as weddings across the board so hopefully my experiences will be helpful to someone.

I will leave links to some of my wedding Pinterest boards below if anyone is interested:

My next post will be all about my dress hunt - it's a bit of an essay so be warned!

Love Dani

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

2014: personal goals

I do like a good list.

I make them quite frequently, sometimes just for the satisfaction of ticking things off, but also to help keep focus. Although I'm not a New Year's resolution person I do set myself small goals each year because I'm a big believer in self-motivation. I (with the help of others admittedly!) have managed to reach a couple of targets already this year and as 2014 starts to wind down I thought I'd make a little list to keep me going!

Before I begin a new list, I always like to boost my confidence by going through things I've done - it gets me all fired up and ready to tackle something new! So, this year I have achieved the following:

book the wedding
This was a big big one that has been in the making for about two years. After many tears, tantrums and moments of despair Jon and I have not only set a date but also found a venue that will provide the perfect backdrop for our wedding. Ten months from now I will be Mrs Dunne and am very excited! I'm plotting a series of posts about our planning as I love reading them on other blogs, so keep an eye out if that's something that interests you!

work full-time in London
This June I finally fulfilled a career goal by moving into a completely new department and fab office full of lovely ladies in Hatton Garden. I'm finally back to working in my favourite city in the world and genuinely enjoy going to work every day. It's surprising how much such a small adjustment affects your mood but we do spend most of our lives at work so it's only natural that if you're unhappy there it will spread out to the rest of your life, and I'm definitely feeling more settled and comfortable these days. It helps having Leather Lane market just outside our doors as well!

clean out the make up collection
It's very cathartic going through a big clear-out and this summer I threw away several carrier bags of old make up. I'm still whittling it down but all the old Barry M lipsticks have gone, as have several foundations I just couldn't get to work on me! I'm now restraining myself from buying any more until next year and trying to maintain the practice of only purchasing something new when something old runs out. Any tips for shopping the stash, anyone?

Before we bid farewell to 2014, I want to have achieved the following:

finish my reading list 
I have a pile of books next to my bed and on our coffee table waiting to be read. I'm going to devote a few Sunday afternoons to curling up with a tea and clear the pile! First up is The Bone Season by David Mitchell, a favourite author of mine and a tome I've been coveting since its' release. Jon bought it for me as a little surprise last week when he went away to Belgium! I'm also experiencing my yearly yearning to re-read the Harry Potter series...

visit my sister in York
Slightly hampered by my inability to drive, but my sister has just begun university and I am intent on visiting her before the year is out. I've never ventured further north than Birmingham, to my shame. Apparently parts of Harry Potter were filmed there (The Shambles were used for Diagon Alley) so it's high time for a visit!

beauty resolutions
I have heaps but the major ones are: grow out my eyebrows, maintain my pared-back skin care routine, drink more water (always an issue when it gets colder!) and shift a few more pounds! I'm not doing a full on wedding diet as my current figure really suits my dress, but I would like to tone my arms and stomach before the big day. I'm making a conscious effort to eat healthily during the week and strip back the treats at weekends, although I can't quite give up my weekly Starbucks just yet. Oh and I also really, really need to get over my fear of hairdressers as my locks are crying out for a chop!

With two and a half months left of the year I think I should be able to complete these - here's hoping!

Are you a list-maker? How do you keep focus when it comes to personal goals?

Love Dani

Sunday, 12 October 2014

What I Wore #113

 cape - H&M / dress - Dorothy Perkins (similar here)
jumper - eBay (similar here)
bag - Accessorize (similar here)/ shoes - New Look (similar here)

 Hi loves,

So it's been a while since I last posted an outfit because in all honesty, I've just been picking comfy options recently and not really putting a lot of effort into combining pieces. I've also been holding back from buying new pieces due to the Great Wedding Fund but I made the fatal error of clicking on to this post on Scarphelia the other day and as soon as I spotted the cape, I was lost.

Here's the thing. I have always wanted a cape. All throughout my uni years I debated and weighed up the big cape decision, but chances were missed, stock sold out, my tiny budget could not stretch to it... so I let the dream slide. Uber-sophisticated Pinterest images tried to sway me but I remained resolute. It wasn't practical. I'm a homeowner and a grown-up now, I need to put aside all swishy thoughts of striding around like an extra in Harry Potter and turn to useful options like duffle coats and hoods and pockets. Really I should start doing tax returns and visiting garden centres for fun.
The truth is, I'm 26 years old and I still like to walk around in a swishy cape and pretend I'm stalking the halls of Hogwarts. I can't lie. Practical it is not but boy is it enjoyable!
I teamed my beloved acquisition with a host of old autumn favourites - a cream lace dress, a sparkly jumper off eBay, battered old brogues (as in they are literally 4 years old and on their last legs) and a bag I picked up in the Accessorize sale in the days when I thought £10 was too much to spend on a handbag (it was £9, if I remember rightly).

So in a way I feel like this outfit is the culmination of my 22-year-old self's style aspirations, pairing my old university staples with the cape of dreams. I felt wonderfully autumnal as we pranced along the streets of Bloomsbury and visited the British Museum for their Witches & Wicked Bodies exhibition, which again evoked countless memories of my studies as a lot of the prints feature characters from Faust and Macbeth. I so wished we were there researching an essay or gathering ideas for a dissertation as the whole portrayal of magic and gender through the years is really fascinating, in my opinion. We left the museum heavy with nostalgia and ended up walking it off with a pumpkin spice latte and a golden sunlight stroll. Many props to Geo for taking these photos, I am so thrilled with them!

Is there an item you've coveted for years and finally got your hands on? Please tell me I'm not alone in this!

Love Dani

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pinterest roundup

source: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5- 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

So I'm back with another installment of my favourite pins in the last week (or thereabouts!). This is what has been inspiring me recently...

1. I have long been a fan of glittery Converse - I lived in Converse during my teens and they're still my go-to shoe option for comfy days. I am going to attempt this DIY with pink or gold glitter for my wedding shoes as I'm not a big heel-wearer -  comfort is key and why deviate from the habit of a lifetime?

2. Recently I've started pinning a number of wedding photos I love, to create a bit of a moodboard for our photographer - I adore this twist on the usual confetti shot.

3. A/W hair always suggests some form of braid to me, to combat any frizz or unexpected wave disasters. I really want to try this on my hair, if only I wasn't so useless at styling it.

4. I love the colours in this outfit, what's better than a selection of autumn pastels? Also I like to think the Starbucks cup contains the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice latte...

5. Halloween is practically just around the corner and I am determined to pay homage to my literary hero with this fab Harry Potter pumpkin! I actually would like a full-on Harry Potter Halloween this space.

6. How amazing is this eyeliner? Maybe not for everyday use but I definitely want to give it a try.

7. Crushing on the colours and chevron pattern on this watch!

8. More wedding inspo... I envision masses of glitter and pinks and greens on our day, so if it ends up a little like this then I will be ecstatic! Loving the tablecloth and the way they have threaded the pink cloth through the chair. I'm not a fan of chair covers so this is a fab alternative.

9. A nail combo I am desperate to try out, just need to find the perfect pink! I've found my ideal glitter in this GOSH offering, it's matte but practically opaque in one coat.

Not a pin as such but while I'm here, I thought I would share this amazing instrumental version of "Let It Go" from Frozen, by the Piano Guys - they've mixed it with extracts of Vivaldi's Winter from the Four Seasons and it is utterly delightful!

Hope you've enjoyed this post - remember to leave me your Pinterest links if you have one and I'll go check out your page!

Love Dani