Rest in peace, Peaches

The media frenzy surrounding Peaches Geldof’s untimely and heartbreaking death has prompted me to write my own feelings on the matter.  Even though I didn’t know Peaches – her death upset me and I couldn’t help but pour over the news articles in the days after her passing, keen to learn how this harrowing story would unfold. Perhaps it was because of the tragedy she had endured during her short life. I couldn’t possibly imagine the feeling of losing a parent and having to deal with it so publicly.

I find it so upsetting to read scathing comments about her drug use. In my eyes, it makes no difference how she died. She lost her life too young. Her poor family and husband have lost their Peaches and her sons will grow up without their Mother. I think its awful that people have such little regard, understanding and sympathy surrounding her death since it emerged that heroin was found in her system and is likely to have played a part in her death. Of course it’s not an ideal scenario for a Mother to be using heroin – or anyone for that matter. However, people do not know to what extent she had been using drugs prior to her death and what led her to do so. No one knows what was going through her poor mind in the time leading to her death. I’m sure that no one makes the decision to take a deadly drug like heroin lightly – especially when her own Mother died from an accidental overdose.

Peaches was a complete stranger to me but it was apparent she was troubled, she spoke candidly in interviews of feeling lost and chaotic before her children were born. Personally, I think her dramatic weight loss and extremely thin frame were a sure sign that she was not happy. She was beautiful but looked like a different person entirely in recent years. I simply don’t understand how people can shift their sympathy surrounding the loss of life depending on the circumstances. I’m not condoning drug use and certainly wouldn’t advocate the use of heroin. But I simply can’t understand how people can feel less sad or have less sympathy over her death because it may have been drug-related, than if it were because of an eating disorder for example. This also reinforces that heroin is a major problem throughout society – it’s not class specific. Plenty of rich and clever people take it too. Unfortunately it claims lives.

What matters is that a beautiful, talented and young woman died. I just can’t understand why people would write horrible comments across social media especially when so little is known. The inquest has not concluded, yet people are quick to jump to conclusions about her and attack her character. Just imagine if that was your sister, daughter, husband, mother or friend – how would you feel reading these things about your loved one? I hope her family, husband and two sons can be allowed time to now grieve privately. May your poor soul rest in peace, Peaches.

MAC Ruby Woo Review

Red Lipstick lovers should take note of the amazing Ruby Woo shade by MAC – it’s simply stunning.  I thought I had found my number one red lipstick last summer, when I discovered MACs Lady Danger.  But then I found Ruby Woo and thought ‘woo hoo’ – now I have two favourite red lipstick shades.

(Photo Credit - MAC Cosmetics)

(Photo Credit – MAC Cosmetics)

 

Ruby Woo is a deep red, plum-like hue.  It’s a cool, blue-based red that is screaming with sophistication.  This shade is best for those with cool or neutral colouring.    Like with any other red lipstick – I need to wear a good base to get away with this shade.  Red lipstick as well as other bright shades, tend to highlight skin imperfections on my face.  So its essential to have a good base of concealer and foundation on to hide it all!  I love wearing this shade with smudged dark brown kohl on my upper lids with lashings of black mascara and some pink blush on my cheeks.   It’s a simple and classic look that never dates – perfect for winter.

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Personally, I think MAC do it best when it comes to lipstick.  Not only do they offer a range of amazing and vibrant colours, they also offer a range of different textures and finishes.  I prefer a matte finish when it comes to red lips – I think the colour last longer.  The only disadvantage I find with matte lipstick is that it can dry your lips out so be mindful to look after your lips with regular scrubs and balm to keep them in luscious condition and looking lovely!

A Survival Guide for Wedding Dress Shopping

I’m writing this post to try to help others in their quest to find their perfect wedding dress and to make this process as painless as possible!  I had no idea where to begin when I started considering dresses and quickly learned it’s not the same as it looks in the movies.   I’ve never been one of those girls that have fantasized about their wedding day – I really didn’t give wedding dresses any thought until many months after our engagement. I decided it would be best to start my hunt online – test the waters and get a feel for what is out there.  This gave me great insight into the key wedding dress designers in the market and the different styles available.  Nevertheless, I found it really difficult to imagine myself in the variety of styles that I liked – the pictures are too small, you can’t see the true colour, you can’t tell what the sizing is like and more often than not, the pictures don’t show the real level of detail and work that goes into a wedding dress.  Price information is also rarely provided – unless you buy ready-to-wear, a sample dress, second-hand, or direct from a dodgy website which claims to make your wedding dress in the style of the hottest designers’ bestsellers’.

In my experience of wedding dress shopping, I found that dress sizes were generally smaller than high-street sizes. I’m normally a UK size 8-10 but my wedding dress is a size 12. I must admit I felt a twang of pain when Anne said she was ordering my dress in a 12 – until she reassured me that it’s the same for everyone. Bridal sizing is based on traditional sizing specifications which are considered by many to be outdated and inconsistent with current body-shapes. Some would argue that bridal-wear reflects true sizing – high street clothes are now sized smaller thus feeding into the vanity and ego of today’s consumers. I accept people have generally become bigger over the years but I do think that shapes have changed so much, that these specs are most probably incompatible with the shape of women today. I tried on dresses which ranged from a UK size 6 to a 12 by different designers and quickly realised it doesn’t matter what size the label says – what matters is how it fits. Bear in mind that whatever size you buy your dress in, it will then be altered to fit your body shape perfectly and will rarely be a standard size.

I’m lucky that I’m fairly small in size – all of the samples I tried were a close fit if not too big.  It must be really disheartening for girls who are not my size to go and try wedding dresses that simply don’t fit.  It’s hard to visualise how you look in a dress if it’s too big or too small.  The staff in shops always do their best to pin the dress according to your shape to give you an idea, but it’s not the same as trying on a dress that actually fits.  It would be great if bridal boutiques stocked a range of sizes, so people who are not a size 10 can try on dresses and not feel bad in the process.

The pricing of dresses is rarely featured on the actual designers or retailing stockists websites.  This really frustrated me – I’m on a budget and appreciate many of you will be too.  For that reason, I did some research to establish what designers I could afford and what boutiques would accommodate my budget before making appointments to try on dresses. Nevertheless, I wanted to experience one of the more ‘upmarket’ boutiques and so I made my first appointment for Eleganza Sposa – stockists of Suzanne Neville amongst a range of other collections.  I have to say I was no more impressed by Eleganza Sposa’s range of gowns or their customer service in comparison to any of the smaller boutiques I visited.

I read a number of wedding blogs and wedding forums which were helpful in identifying what I could reasonably afford with my £1000 budget.  I then called some boutiques to check which designers they stocked and directly enquired about their dress price range.  It’s absolutely fine to do this – don’t feel embarrassed.  It’s best to check you can actually afford the dresses you are going to try on, or else you will leave feeling bitterly disappointed. You don’t have to spend thousands on a dress for it to be beautiful. There are a number of designers out there with reasonable price tags that won’t break the bank – check out Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, Perfection Bridal, Mori Lee, Jesus Piero, Ronald Joyce and Alfred Angelo.

You should also ask the boutiques what sample dresses they have on sale. You never know, you could snap up an amazing bargain on a beautiful dress.  The only drawbacks here are fit and potential damage to the dress.  Some sample dresses I tried on were in a real mess with beading missing, tears and all sorts.  But all of these things can be fixed – just make sure you get a fair deal as the dress is likely to require alterations, dry-cleaning and corrective work.

You can also look out for trunk shows… although I hear this is a bit like a cattle market.  It would drive me nuts so I decided to stay clear.

I ordered my dress a couple of weeks back.  Its beautiful and it is priced within my budget.  I am having it customised to include a few extra bits here and there.  I love how I’ve been able to do this – it reflects my style well and is individual.  I ordered my dress from Elegance Bridal (previously known as Perfection Bridal) in Glasgow’s Merchant City.  They stock an amazing rage of beautiful dresses including; the Perfection Collection, Intuzuri (some beautiful lace gowns in this range), Nicola Anne of England and Donna Lee to accommodate a range of budgets and tastes.  The staff were so friendly and helpful.  They immediately made me feel at ease and I didn’t feel embarrassed telling them what my budget was either.  I picked my dress and ordered it on my first visit to the store – I would highly recommend it to others.  They stock a great range of bridal accessories and bridesmaids dresses too.

I also really liked Anais Bridal Couture in Milngavie which had some beautiful gowns available and the boutique itself is very pretty. The owner Karen was so polite and helpful.  I found a gorgeous dress by Jesus Piero in here but sadly it was just a bit too expensive for me. Anais Bridal is also a stockist of Dessy Bridesmaids Dresses – I fell in love with this gown (style LR182) from the Lela Rose collection but it’s sadly too expensive for my budget. If your bridesmaids budget is not as restricted as mine, this dress is so beautiful and looks amazing on.

I’d also recommend Juliette’s Bridalwear and Kilt Hire in Paisley.  The ower was great – clearly knew what she was doing and was very competitive in terms of pricing.  By no means is this a fancy boutique but she stocks a good range of designers and styles to suit a variety of budgets.

Sites such as Preloved and Oxfam can be great for finding a second-hand dress on a budget. Preloved is especially good for grabbing a second-hand designer dress that you have set your heart on but can’t pay full price. There are regularly gowns featured by the likes of Jenny Packham for example.

I’d recommend you give yourself at least 10 months to find your dress and make sure you do some research before you visit the boutiques. You should get an idea of which designers are within your price range and you should refer to specific designers and styles you like when you visit the boutiques, so that the staff can help you find something suitable for you. I didn’t really know what I wanted and so I enjoyed trying on lots of different styles to figure out what I did and didn’t like. Although it turned out I loved loads of different styles, I chose one which reflected my original ideas. You should bear in mind that it can take at least five or six months for your dress to be made and delivered. You then have to factor in any alterations which need to be made to ensure it fits perfectly.

There is also the option of having your dress made. This way you get exactly what you want and ensures originality. I was really tempted to have my dress made but I think I left it a bit late – I’m too much of a worrier and I was concerned it would be too rushed. But if you have time and are set on what you want, having your dress made can be a cheaper alternative to buying a designer dress. I’ve heard great reports about Flossy and Dossy in Glasgow as well as Mee Mee Couture. You should check them out if you are thinking of having your dress made.

I hope my wedding dress shopping survival guide helps to make your experience that bit easier. Happy shopping brides 😉

Resevoir Reflections

Resevoir Reflections

I captured this image whilst walking Milo with my friends Jill and Jennifer on Saturday at Milngavie Resevoir. It was the perfect photo moment and I just had to grab it. Taken at dusk; I love how there is a near perfect reflection of the landscape on the waters. The colours are amazing, ranging from pink, to greys and black. I think it’s a really calming image, if not a bit eerie and haunting.

Topshop Gold Foil Velvet Leggings

I was lucky enough to snap up a pair of these beauties from Topshop last week before they sold out! At only £28.00, they are very reasonably priced and a major statement piece.

I love how they have a velvet feel and a metallic foil look. I’m saving them to wear for my Christmas day outfit but they keep catching my eye, glistening in my wardrobe whenever I open it, tempting me to wear them. They are so funky and sparkly. I must admit, its taking lots of self-control to save them for Christmas Day.

I think these are a fabulous alternative to a dress or skirt and top combination for the festive season. Despite being rather glitzy, they can also be dressed down with a chunky jumper, oversize t-shirt or tunic.

I’ll be wearing these with a cream chunky jumper and my new Christmas boots for my Christmas day outfit. What will you be wearing this Christmas?

Gold Foil Leggings - Topshop. Photo Credit: Topshsop

Gold Foil Leggings – Topshop. Photo Credit: Topshsop

Photo Credit - Topshop

Photo Credit – Topshop

Christmas came early…

You may have gathered from my last post that I am really excited about Christmas this year.  Well, I could hardly contain myself when Jamie suggested buying me a Puppy for Christmas.  Resembling a dog after a bone myself, I was pouring over the internet trying desperately to secure my Puppy before Christmas.  To my surprise we found the gorgeous Milo.  We found Milo for sale on Gumtree of all places and went to collect him on Saturday morning.  I fell in love with him instantly and as far as I can tell, the feeling is entirely mutual.  He’s nine and a half months old and is a cross between a Collie and a Husky.  He’s such a handsome wee guy and I look forward to many happy years to come with him.  I’ve not been able to stop smiling since we met him on Saturday.  He’s even had me up out of bed before 7am for walks along the canal. Apparently people who have dogs are happier too, so here’s hoping my SAD symptoms disappear for good. Theres also the added fitness benefits of owning a dog, so I’m cancelling my gym membership. Sorry Virgin.  

 

 

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Christmas is coming

Christmas and the new seasons fashions are the only elements of winter I enjoy. Fact. I honestly believe that I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There is such a difference in my mood between summer and winter its frightening.

I’m so excited for Christmas this year. I’ve always loved Christmas but this year I’ve been acting like an over zealous child. I think my over-excitement is largely to do with the fact I’ve been home-working since mid-November and feeling that I’ve ‘missed out’ on Glasgow’s seasonal cheer.

I put my Christmas tree up in the last week of November. Now I know this is ridiculously early and some people are no doubt recoiling in disgust at the very thought. But it was important for me to inject a bit of Christmas spirit into my own surroundings when I’ve been spending so much time at home.

Christmas is such an exciting, magical experience and even though it’s usually miserable outside there’s a common sense of joy. I love to see Glasgow embrace the Christmas spirit with the lights, ice skating and festivities at George Square and the Christmas Markets in Argyll Street.

For me, Christmas brings about a fond nostalgia – memories of going to see the lights at George Square, Christmas shopping, singing Christmas songs, going to Christmas eve pantomimes with my Gran, Christmas parties and of course the party outfit. But there’s nothing quite like the feeling of Christmas day, when the world bunkers down to spend time with loved ones, exchanging gifts and eating and drinking so much you could burst. It’s also the one day of the year that its acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast and not feel like a guzzle beast for doing so.

It’s funny how Christmas feels different as you age. When I was young it was all about Santa, presents and playing! When I was a teenager and twenty-something it was all about drunken Christmas Eve parties. Now, I love nothing more than decorating the tree, choosing gifts, wrapping presents and spending time with loved ones.

I’m especially proud of my tree this year. Its beautiful, if I dare say so myself. I’d describe my home Christmas style this year as a mix between heritage and scandi-cool. I’ve got an interesting collection of cute Christmas decorations in shades of red and gold, with loads of multi-coloured lights. Here’s a picture of my tree and other festive decorations below. Can you see my trendy tartan bows and red-breasted robins?

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Love these sparkly thistles from M&S!

Love these sparkly thistles from M&S!

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I must admit, I do feel a sense of anti-climax when its time for the decorations to come down. The tree and decorations make my home come to life. I think it would be lovely if we embraced decorated trees throughout the year; changing the style dependent on the season. What do you think?