Fashion

Sunday is for Snuggling and Pyjama Loving

The clocks have been set back an hour which means Autumn/Winter is upon us. My favourite time of year to snuggle in pyjamas all day on a lazy Sunday.

Stylish stripes, classic festive check and pretty floral prints are my kind of gorgeousness. I love nothing more than a new pair of pyjamas to cosy up in on a Sunday with my husband, Downton Abbey and Ben & Jerry’s. Most girls get excited about a new dress, I get butterflies from cosy nightwear.

These are my favourite full length trouser pyjama sets currently on the market:

ASOS Mono Stripe Pyjama Bottoms £20 and Pyjama Top £18

ASOS Mono Stripe Pyjama Bottoms £20 and Pyjama Top £18

Monochrome striped pyjamas are so chic. Although these are made from polyester, it is a lightweight chiffon fabric with a relaxed fit. I am obsessed with these and need them in my life.

Victoria Secret Afterhours Satin Pyjamas

Victoria Secret Afterhours Satin Pyjamas

The satin pink and white striped pyjamas from Victoria Secret add a little glamour to nightwear; feminine and a little romantic.

 

Matalan Penguin Spot Pyjamas £10

Matalan Penguin Spot Pyjamas £10

These pyjamas are super cute and only a bargain £10! The bottoms are  fleecy and 100% cotton with an adorable polka dot design.

John Lewis Red Tartan Pyjama & Socks Gift Set £39

John Lewis Red Tartan Pyjama & Socks Gift Set £39

Classic tartan check print in red combined with 100% cosy cotton comfort; the perfect Christmas present for her. This set comes complete with toasty knitted socks, wrapped up in ribbon and a gift bag.

H&M Black Satin Pyjamas £24.99

H&M Black Satin Pyjamas £24.99

There is something about satin PJ’s that make me want to curl up with a glass of wine. The black satin set from H&M is  simple yet stylish.

The White Company Piped Silk Alabaster Pyjama Set £120

The White Company Piped Silk Alabaster Pyjama Set £120

The White Company is the epitome of luxurious nightwear and the wonderful piped silk alabaster pyjamas are classic and elegant. The perfect set for snuggling on the sofa with Jo Malone candles and a good book.

ASOS Pink Spot Floral Pyjama Trousers £25 and Cami Top £16

ASOS Pink Spot Floral Pyjama Trousers £25 and Cami Top £16

ASOS always have a good selection of pyjamas. I love the bright colours, polka dots and floral print on these, great to wear for a pamper evening!

The Intimate Collection By Britney Spears Draped Jersey Camisole Top £24 and Jersey Harem Lounge Pant £39

The Intimate Collection By Britney Spears Draped Jersey Camisole Top £24 and Jersey Harem Lounge Pant £39 from ASOS

I am quite surprised that the above set is from the Britney Spears collection as stereotypically, I would normally associate quite loud and girlie designs with Britney Spears. Nonetheless, the harem pants and cami top certainly look comfortable and the ideal loungewear solution.

Next Slogan Grey T-shirt and Floral Cuff Pyjamas £28

Next Slogan Grey T-shirt and Floral Cuff Pyjamas £28

Slogan pyjamas are fun and teamed with a fabulous bright floral print, they are the ultimate slumber party style!

Hush Vintage Rose Pyjamas £49.50

Hush Vintage Rose Pyjamas £49.50

I am kind of obsessed with this pair. Pink and white vintage floral print pyjamas made from 100% cotton and designed for comfort with a relaxed fit. What’s not to love?

Next Button Through Grey Check Pyjamas £22

Next Button Through Grey Check Pyjamas £22

Grey check print reminds me of a snowy, Winters day. Let’s face it isn’t likely to snow in England any time soon but the button through grey check pyjamas from Next will keep you warm and snug this season!

New Look White Butterfly PJ Set £19.99 from ASOS

New Look White Butterfly PJ Set £19.99 from ASOS

I love the charming butterfly print on this pair and it’s good to see trouser legs that aren’t so wide. Wide legs are comfy but sometimes make my quite small legs look non-existent!

Love, The PJ Geek x

Beauty Advent Calendars 2014 – Liberty, Selfridges, Benefit, Elemis, L’Occitane

Last year I blogged about 2013 Beauty Advent Calendars and it proved to be one of my most popular posts. It is so much fun searching for these little beauties that I am doing it all again. In September, I hear you say? Yes, apparently so.

You see, companies are really starting to pick up on this whole concept of beauty calendars and this relatively new market is growing quite rapidly. Each year a new beauty calendar emerges, a little bit more special and far more chic than the rest. And the top beauty calendars sell out fast.

My top picks for beauty calendars in 2014: Enchanted Spells Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

The Enchanted Spells Beauty Advent Calendar from Selfridges is a must-have with 24 luxurious miniature treats including a selection of fragrances, makeup and skincare from some of the world’s best beauty brands including Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl’s, Victor & Rolf and more.

Last year it was a bestseller and sold out pretty quickly, so register your interest on the Selfridges website today to be one of the first to know when the calendar becomes available.

Cost: £85 Benefit Candy-Coated Countdown Beauty Advent Calendar 2014 Debenhams Benefit Website Benefit Cosmetics Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

The theme of the Benefit Advent Calendar for 2014 is Candy-Coated Countdown. So cute! I love this calendar as it’s filled with miniature-sized samples of Benefit’s bestsellers – ideal to keep in your handbag over the festive season!

Buy Benefit’s Candy-Coated Countdown from October 16 from Debenhams and www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk. You can also reserve a calendar by visiting a Benefit counter at your local Debenhams. 

Cost: £60

Elemis 12 days of Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

Elemis Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

12 Days of Beauty is the focus of this luxurious beauty advent calendar from Elemis, filled with indulgent skincare surprises that are sure to delight ladies of all ages:

  • Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm 20g
  • Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 15ml
  • Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream 15ml
  • Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm 7ml
  • Papaya Enzyme Peel 15ml
  • Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules 14 caps
  • Revitalising Babassu Facial Wipes 4 sachets
  • Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream 50ml
  • Frangipani Monoi Body Oil 35ml
  • Skin Nourishing Shower Cream 50ml
  • Pro-Radiance Hand & Nail Cream 20ml
  • Treat Your Feet Foot Cream 20ml

Available to buy online now at www.timetospa.co.uk/elemis/elemis-12-days-of-beauty-gift-set/.

Cost: £59.50

Liberty Advent Beauty Calendar 2014 Luxury

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

A design based on a replica of the iconic store combined with the quintessential Liberty print makes this a beauty calendar like no other. Packed full of luxurious beauty products from Laura Mercier and NARS to Diptyque and Eve Lom, this is a highly-coveted calendar that will look super chic sitting on your kitchen side at home!

Available in store and at www.liberty.co.uk from November. 

Cost: £125

L'Occitane 13 Pampering Treats from Provence Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

L’Occitane Beauty Advent Calendar 2014

Let’s stop a minute to fully appreciate this L’Occitane Advent Calendar, packed with 13 Pampering Treats from Provence. It may not be the standard 24 products but there is a special reason for this – in Provence, it is a holiday tradition to have 13 deserts on the festival table. A collection of luxurious L’Occitane fragrance, skincare and body beauty treats to delve into over Christmas, what’s not to love?

Available to buy from November 3 at uk.loccitane.com.

Cost: £45

You Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar 2014You Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar 2014

Worth over £240, the You Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar is bursting with a host of premium products and it is available to non-members and members. This beauty calendar will give you more than what you pay for, packed full of products from sought-after brands including Laura Mercier, Sisley and Glam Glow, James Read and my favourite tan, Vita Liberata.

You can purchase the calendar now online at www.youbeautydiscovery.co.uk/luxury-boxes/adventcalendar

Cost: £49.95

Other Beauty Advent Calendars available:

No7 25 Days of Beauty Secrets, £35, available at Boots from October 29

Ciaté’s Mini Mani Manor, £45, available at Selfridges, John Lewis, ASOS and ciate.co.uk

Sample Wedding Dresses

Your wedding dress will most certainly take up a large chunk of the wedding budget. But that doesn’t mean to say you must purchase from a bridal boutique if you are on a tight budget. If you look in the right places, you could find your wedding dress online, brand new, for 50% less than the RRP.

There are quite a few websites that focus primarily on sample dresses. These are dresses where designers or bridal shops have perhaps over-ordered or are from end-of-season collections. For instance, I once found a ‘used dress’ website full of brand new dresses from a bridal store – all because they were moving premises and had far too much stock.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be careful, on the contrary. Unless you are able to travel and try the dress on before you buy, the first time you see it is likely to be after you have paid for it.

There are ways around this.

Try dresses on in shops first to see what styles you like and more importantly, what size you will need for each of the different designers. Once you have that in mind, you can start searching online. However, if you have fell in love with a dress online but can’t find it in any of the stores, most bridal shops will order in the dress directly from the designer. If you buy the dress from the shop, this is deducted from the total price. If you buy elsewhere, you are charged around £15-30 – which, let’s face it, is still cost-effective if you find the same dress online, brand new, for 50% less.

A few factors to consider:

  • Don’t pay for a dress unless you are sure that the person selling it is genuine. Perhaps pay via Paypal where you can track the payment.
  • Ask to see the dress over Skype.
  • Request receipts (original and an additional one for your purchase).
  • Check if you would be applicable for any customs charges, if coming from overseas. And request the shipping, postage and packaging cost upfront.
  • Remember that US sizes are different so take this into consideration when searching US sites.
  • Ask to see as many photos as you require to ensure the dress is authentic and not a copy. Look at the seams, embroidery, detailing and zips – these will provide an indicator on the quality of workmanship.
  • Dresses are uploaded regularly so don’t feel disheartened if you don’t find your dream dress on your first try.
  • Ask the seller if there are any imperfections on the dress – particularly as it is a sample.
  • Dresses can be altered to fit you if they are 1 or 2 sizes too big (depending on the style) but a smaller dress can not be made larger. If you go down this route, request a quote from a seamstress before you purchase the dress.
  • Look at the seller credentials – are they a bridal boutique or an individual? Do they have any testimonials? Have they sold any other sample dresses online?

Before I found a dressmaker for my own wedding dress, I had been searching the below websites for my dream dress. My top two are PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com and StillWhite.co.uk:

PreOwnedWeddingDresses.Com
From the name of this website you would assume that they only sell pre-owned wedding dresses but this is not the case. They also have the option for you to select ‘sample’ dresses or ‘new with tags/unaltered’ in the search tab. If you are superstitious and don’t want to buy a dress that someone else originally bought, perhaps stick to the sample dresses.

Having just had a quick look, there are a few Pronovias sample dresses for as little as $499 USD.

StillWhite.co.uk
As StillWhite.co.uk is a UK website, you could potentially ask the seller if it possible to view and try the dress on before you purchase (if you live in the UK). Once again, select ‘sample’ in the ‘Condition’ search tab, along with your size and the maximum price you wish to spend. There are currently some lovely dresses on there, like the long-sleeve Ellis Bridal 11350 dress in a size 14, priced at £750 (original dress is £1,540).

Other websites that allow you to search for ‘sample’ dresses by refining the search criteria, include:

Israeli Wedding Dress Designers – Galia Lahav, Yaki Ravid & Inbal Dror

Israeli fashion houses are by far my favourite wedding dress designers in the world. Although I wouldn’t say no to a Marchesa gown either.

Galia Lahav, Yaki Ravid and Inbal Dror design couture wedding dresses for the modern day princess. They are romantic, elegant and have that vintage, hollywood glamour feel of a bygone era.

Think luxurious silks, intricate beading and classic lace combined with the most beautiful figure-hugging and daring backless wedding dresses that you won’t find hanging in a high street bridal shop.

You will probably have liked or pinned these designs on Instagram and Pinterest – they are breathtakingly beautiful. What’s more, if you are quite petite but with large hips (like me), I believe that these dresses will fit you like a dream.

I requested prices for a few dresses and they were priced on average £5,000 – £10,000. Which is far too costly for the normal bride-to-be.

With this, I have designed my own wedding dress based on a few different bridal gowns from these designers and having it custom-made with the same chantilly lace fabric – for a tiny fraction of the price.

Galia Lahav

Helena Galia Lahav The St-Tropez Cruise Collection 2014

HELENA from the St Tropez Cruise Collection: This beautiful dress has a dotted tulle corset and skirt, pearl embellished lace trim and peplum with pleated ruffles. Made from silk and tulle, it has a low V-neck and back with French crochet details on the collar and sleeves, a tulle belt and pearls.

Nicole and Angelina Galia Lahav Backless Wedding Dresses St Tropez Cruise Collection

NICOLE & ANGELINA from the St Tropez Cruise Collection: The Nicole is an ivory silk, body-hugging dress with a bare back, flesh coloured tulle top and sleeves. The front and back has embroidered feathers, embellished with crystals, beads and pearls. The sleeves and train are decorated with pearl drops. The ANGELINA dress is silk satin with a sheer back and crystal and pearl embroidered motifs.

Diamond Galia Lahav Mermaid Wedding Dress Homage to the Sizzling 1920sDIAMOND from the Homage to the sizzling 1920’s Collection: A mermaid fitted gown with beautiful assorted  appliqués.

Yaki Ravid

YAKI RAVID WEDDING DRESS LACE SLEEVESYaki Ravid Thigh Split Wedding DressYaki RavidInbal Dror

Inbal Dror Lace Sleeve Wedding Dress

Inbal Dror Lace Sleeve Wedding DressInbal Dror Wedding Dress

Kate Spade New York Gramercy Mother of Pearl Silver Watch – UK

I had been coveting a few Kate Spade watch designs for most of 2013 and Santa kindly listened to my wish. The designs are beautiful and offer something a little different to the Michael Kors watch that everyone who is anyone seems to be wearing.

I wanted a pretty but functional watch. A style that could go from the office to the evening and right through the weekend. So I went with the Kate Spade New York Gramercy watch in silver.

Kate Spade New York NY Silver Gramercy Watch Mother of Pearl from the UK

I am so in love with the mother of pearl dial, it looks feminine and pretty but still stylish. The perfect arm candy for Spring/Summer.Kate spade gramercy silver watch mother of pearl dial

What’s more, Kate Spade is relatively new to the UK with only a few stores selling these watches. I bought mine from America for a little less than they sell in the UK… however, customs soon made the price cheaper to buy here!

Kate Spade NY New York Gramercy Watch Mother of Pearl Dial Silver England UK

The back of the dial reads: Live Colorfully.

Love that.

This beauty will stay on my wrist until I buy another Kate Spade watch – there are a few that I have my eye on!

Channeling Cher Horowitz – Fluffy Crop Top and Zara SS14 Skirt

As an 80’s baby and growing up in the 90’s, Cher from Clueless was my style icon. And she still is. I love 90’s pop socks, crop tops, twin set suits… you get the picture… and Cher epitomises that whole era.

Zara SS14 Stripe Monochrome Skirt Fluffy Primark Crop Top 90s FashionFirstly, excuse the poor lighting – there are also remnants of my friends feather dress on the floor!

So, this weekend I wore a fluffy crop top from Primark with a monochrome striped pencil skirt from Zara’s SS14 collection. I’ve seen so many bloggers go on about the Primark fluffy crop top, so I just had to have one. I actually bought mine a few sizes too big so that it fits a little baggy rather than tight around the waist.

The skirt from Zara is something I’ll wear again. I hate white skirts that have the inevitable VPL showing through but the fabric is just thick enough to stop that. It’s also the right length to sit high waisted and actually fit.

I teamed the outfit with a statement necklace from Dorothy Perkin’s and some black, block heels from Zara.

Zara Monochrome Pencil/Tube Skirt – Link

Dorothy Perkins #TweetItWinIt – Christmas Party Sparkle

You know when you enter a competition but never expect to win? Well, for once, I did actually win.

A few weeks ago I entered Dorothy Perkin’s #TweetItWinIt competition where Tweeters were asked to design a party outfit. And I won! I put together an outfit that I would wear to a party over the festive period with sparkle, sequins and faux fur!

Dorothy Perkins Christmas Outfit #TweetItWinIt Twitter Competition

I am obsessed with this grey tipped faux fur coat. It’s super warm and cosy but adds that little bit of glamour to a wintery party outfit. Dorothy Perkins have sold out online in this style but they have a good selection of faux fur coats, perfect for wrapping up in style!

A girl can never have too much faux fur hanging in her wardrobe.

I am also a little bit in love with the sparkly booties. They are black shoe boots with a concealed platform (making them really easy to walk in) and a gorgeous gold glitter design at the heel – so sparkly and perfect for Christmas!

I will definitely get quite a lot of wear out of these.

Black Gold Sparkly Sparkle Glitter Shoe Boots Dorothy Perkins

The sequin clutch bag is glittery and super cute! It is also a great affordable accessory to add some sparkle to a simple outfit!

Glitter Sparkly Clutch Bag Dorothy Perkins

Lastly, the white embellished tunic is absolutely gorgeous! The material is quite fine in an off-white knit with a beautiful gold embellished neck and a cute ribbon bow at the back.

It’s long enough to wear as a dress with opaque tights or as a tunic over leggings. What’s more, the fit is very flattering so it won’t cling to your body. Either way, it is the ideal Christmas day outfit!

*I have to say a huge thank you to Lauren from Dotty P’s. Thank you for your effort and patience in finding my lost parcel- it is greatly appreciated. You are a star!

Le P’tit Troquet Review – Bistro Restaurant close to the Eiffel Tower, Paris

Foie-grois, duck confit and creme brûlée are just a few of the highlights on the menu at Le P’tit Troquet. If you are looking for a cosy, traditional restaurant close to the Eiffel Tower (10 minutes walk) with authentic French cuisine, then I highly recommend this bistro.

Le P’tit Troquet is a very small bistro restaurant situated on a side street, close to the Eiffel Tower. It is not a restaurant you would walk past and think to go in which is probably worthwhile as you must book a reservation. Quite a few people were turned away while we ate.

Le P'tit Troquet Paris Restaurant near Eiffel Tower

We were seated at a table by the window by a waitress who spoke better English than my French! We went for the 33 Euro menu, which had a good variety of choices for a three course meal.

Le P'tit Troquet Review Romantic Paris Restaurant Bistro near Eiffel Tower

Jon went for the Salmon Tarter with Apple and crispy Fennel as a starter. It was beautifully presented and he loved it. I skipped the starter and settled for a glass of red wine, Sancerre, my fave.

Le P'tit Troquet Romantic Bistro Restaurant near Eiffel Tower Paris

For the main, I went for the Roasted Lamb Shank with Rosemary. It was beautiful. The lamb fell of the bone and the mashed potato was delicious. Whenever we eat mashed potato, Jon and I always remember a dinner we had at a place called KiKi’s in El Gouna, Egypt, in 2005. We still talk about that mash and this one was just as good. I am a fussy mashed potato eater. As you can probably tell!

Le P'tit Troquet Romantic Bistro Restaurant Paris Close to Eiffel Tower

Le P'tit Troquet Romantic Bistro Restaurant Paris Close to Eiffel Tower

For dessert I had the Very Mellow Chocolate Cake with Pistachio Cream Sauce. How amazing does this look? The cake was lovely and the pistachio sauce complemented it perfectly.

Le P'tit Troquet Romantic Bistro Restaurant Paris Close to Eiffel Tower

Jon went for the Pear and Almond Tartlet served with Almond Oil Ice Cream and once again, the presentation was impeccable.

We had a wonderfully romantic dinner at Le P’tit Troquet. The food was incredible yet quite simple and not fussy at all.

Jon proposed that night, so this restaurant holds special memories in my heart. We will certainly return.

London OOTD

For my afternoon in London today I kept my outfit casual and comfy. Which really means my staple of ankle boots, leggings and a hat.

I think the cute frilly bow socks peeking out of my boots make it a little more interesting, no?

Now, the hat. I seem to be wearing hats a lot recently and as much as I would love to say it’s a style choice, it’s more laziness with my hair.

Frilly Bow Socks Boots Fall Autumn Fashion 2013 London

Around this time of year I always debate having a fringe cut in. Most of the time I just go for it, love it for a few months and then get tired of growing it out, or I stay sensible and remember how much I hated it before!

My hair is boring me though and it really needs a change. From going blonde last year it is still in really poor condition so a drastic colour change is out of the question. I tried ombre years ago and kind of liked that. But not for too long.

I’m stuck in a hair rut and hats seem to be the only answer. For now.

 

Beauty Advent Calendars 2013 – Lancôme, Selfridges, Ciaté, Benefit, Boots

Last Christmas beauty advent calendars seemed to be the new must-have item, highly coveted by all beauty fans, bloggers and vloggers. Unfortunately by the time I realised how much I needed wanted one, the majority had sold out.

So this year I have my Miss Organised hat on and have found the best on the market.

Beauty Advent Calendars are fun, exciting and great for trying out new products. They are also perfect for that VIP Christmas gift; To Me, From Me.

You may think it’s too early to use the *C* word (Christmas) but these Beauty Advent Calendars sell out fast, and I mean fast, so make sure you order yours early!

Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar 

Lancôme beauty advent calendar 2013 selfridges

Brand: Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar
What: The Selfridges calendar is the crème de la crème of the lot and highly coveted. With a selection of 24 miniature luxurious fragrance, makeup and skincare treats, it is one of the most popular on the market stocking brands from YSL and Lancome to Victor & Rolf.
Where: Sold exclusively at Selfridges.
Price: £84
Date: Available now
Like or Love: A little on the expensive side but the quality of products mean you are getting a lot for your money. It’s also great for those who don’t normally buy higher-end brands and want to try beforehand. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Ciaté Mini Mani Advent Calendar – Selfridges

Ciaté Mini Mani Advent Calendar - Selfridges

Brand: Ciaté Mini Mani Advent Calendar
What: This beauty calendar features seventeen mini Paint Pots, four mini Caviar blends and three exclusive Paint Pot glitter shades – perfect for experimenting with new colours over the festive period.
Where: Sold exclusively at Selfridges.
Price: £42
Date: Available now
Like or Love: A fun beauty calendar full of nail goodies for the girl who loves to flirt with different nail colours. LOVE.

BOOTS ’24 Days of Beauty Treats’

BOOTS '24 Days of Beauty Treats' Advent Calendar Christmas 2013

Brand: BOOTS
What: The Boots ’24 days of beauty treats’ calendar is their very first and a must-have item for Christmas 2013! Filled with miniature and full-sized products from a range of brands including Soap & Glory, Nails Inc, Paco Rabanne, Juicy Couture, Rimmel, Mavala and Umberto Giannini – this is a limited edition calendar that will definitely sell out fast.
Where: Boots Stores and online
Price: £30
Date: Available now
Like or Love: The most affordable of the range, full of much-loved brands like Soap & Glory and some of the products are full-sized – what’s not to love? Perfect for pampering princesses! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Benefit – Countdown to Love

Benefit - Countdown to Love Beauty Advent Calendar Christmas 2013

Brand: Benefit – Countdown to Love
What: Benefit’s first Beauty Advent Calendar will contain travel-sized products, including top sellers High Beam and BADgal Lash mascara. It will also come in a fun pop art style box!
Where: Benefit and Debenhams.
Price: £50
Date: November 3rd
Like or Love: This is probably my favourite beauty calendar! The range of products are amazing and ideal for putting in your purse to touch up your makeup over the festive period! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

YOU beauty advent calendar 2013

Brand: YOU Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar
What: The limited edition YOU beauty calendar is lovingly packed with 24 premium beauty and skincare products.
Where: www.youbeautydiscovery.co.uk
Price: £49.95
Date: Available now
Like or Love: A lovely beauty calendar with products worth over £240, including hero products from well-known beauty brands Dermalogica, Sisley and Stila.

I have also been in contact with Latest in Beauty who have not yet released information on their 2013 calendar but as soon as they do, I will update the blog post – along with any other calendars!

Sam xx