Wednesday, 30 January 2013



Shopping online nowadays is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack: type in "women's clothes" on Google and there are "about 160,000,000 results".. add in the rest that aren't indexed for whatever reason, plus eBay and other auction sites, you've got a whole load of hay to dig through.

I'm guilty of using the same three or so websites to shop, and when I do I immediately click through to the "brands" page to look at all of my favourites, to sort the wheat from the chaff if you like. When Avenue 32 got in touch to ask me to compile a wishlist, I was initially a little panicked when their Designers A-Z contained only a handful of brands I'd even heard of. I didn't know where to start.

I took the plunge and clicked one.. and man, did I ever strike lucky. Tim Ryan's fringed knitwear is like Stevie Nicks on acid which I can definitely see both on a certain crazy-chic Italian magazine editor and bloggers like Helena, Jen and Sheree. Next up was Wunderkind. Although I was aware of this guy I wouldn't have been able to pick any of his pieces out of a line-up, now I'm obsessed with his use of colour and texture  to create an off-beat, transcendent collection.

Topped off with Prism sunglasses I think I've nailed the perfect LFW look, with some new favourite brands.. all by clicking a chance.

Watch me go, Anna Dello Russo..!


I've never published a sponsored post before but I felt this one fit my blog perfectly. The words, opinions, and dreadful Photoshopping are all my own.

Monday, 28 January 2013



 this grungy little shop in Affleck's Arcade. Beginning life as a vintage store, the Thrifty ladies now stock handmade tie-dye tees (AND SOCKS..!), velvet circle skirts and holographic crop tops. I also  the ladies that run the shop too, you can check out Lucie's blog here; a healthy dose of white hair, Evil Twin and Jeffrey Campbell Coltranes are totally on point for the Thriftette brand.

On a busy Saturday Chris and I popped in to pick up a Yin Yang tee and play a game of Mario Kart on the Ettes' Nintendo 64. I was Princess Peach, he was Yoshi. He won, this time at least. We'll be back in soon for a rematch.. and also to pick up a special request of men's tie dye socks!

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Sunday, 27 January 2013



This weekend was the first in ages I'd had off work, so I was looking forward to a messy Friday in Mancri-la-la's pubs, followed by a nice lie-in on Saturday morning.

Of course, life never runs to plan. My first mistake on Friday was to have a delicious lunch of mushroom soup at home. I washed the can, put that in the recycling, threw the lid in the bin. The second mistake was doing a Big Tidy of the flat. I had a lot of rubbish, and couldn't be bothered to empty the bin. I pushed it down to fit in more crap, and felt a sharp feeling on my finger.

It took me moment to figure out I'd managed to slice my finger with the lid of the mushroom soup can. I'm a First Aider, so I knew to apply some pressure. After 15 minutes and no sign of the bleeding stopping, I put a pressure bandage on. An hour later, I took the bandage off.. to find it still bleeding. Great. Off to Trafford General I go. Two hours later, I was home, with a glued up finger and instructions to not use it strenuously and to keep it dry for three days.

You'd be surprised how hard life is without the use of your index finger on your dominant hand. So far I've had difficulty washing my face, applying foundation, and drawing on my eyebrows. One could argue these are unnecessary, vain activities, but remember this is my weekend off work and I haven't had to tackle anything more necessary to my existence on the shop floor as of yet.

All that is now visible of what was quite a dramatic occurrence (to me) is a pathetic waterproof plaster. 

What an idiot.

I still treated myself to a Saturday lie-in, mind you, followed by a lovely cuppa at Manchester Coffee Co with a very lovely friend.

I'm wearing:
H&M coat
Topshop skirt
Forever 21 bag

Penguins on Hulme Hall Rd, Manchester

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Wednesday, 23 January 2013



It's felt weird, not updating my blog over the past few days (even my mum noticed: "oh, it's 'Ban the Bomb', still") but despite being skeptical of Blue Monday it's quickly turned into a Blue Week for me. I've felt drained every night and the weather has been so cold and rubbish all I want to do is sit on the sofa, covered in fleece blankets.

I recognised that my week wasn't going to get any better by just laying about, so last night I got in bed and made a list of stuff to inspire me, complete with coloured pencils and shiny stickers. I've begun my list by reading some Romeo & Juliet: I thought beginning with a story I knew would help ease me into the language. I was right, Mercutio has just been killed and I'm just about getting the hang of it though I do really have to concentrate, which has had the desired effect of getting my brain into gear!

I've not exactly managed to get off Twitter yet... baby steps, baby steps.

A bit of reading, a bit of good news (finally) and Africa on the TV tonight are not exactly going to turn this Blue Week into a Super Rainbow Week, but it's a start; lots of little things make up the bigger picture, after all.

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Friday, 18 January 2013



So as you may be aware it's pretty cold in the UK right now. I prefer cold and dry to mild and wet (and cold and wet is the absolute pits) not least because I can wear my favourite winter things, like velvet boots and faux furs. It's so cold I've taken to wearing a faux fur jacket underneath my faux fur coat (yo dawg, I heard you like faux fur, etc). This one in particular was a purchase from the Retro Rehab £1 rail (YES it's back!) and was only bought to make up the minimum for my friend's card purchase. Now I'm so glad I didn't leave it behind.. even though I'm pretty sure it's made for kids really!

Being a shoe lady I only have about four bags, my choice depending on whether I want to take my camera out with me, and not because it fits my outfit. I'm way impressed with this digitally printed Daisy Thomas bag as it is deceivingly large - big enough for my DSLR - whilst also being a cool little pouch I can just throw over my shoulder.

Definitely taking print mix to the max today anyway. My mum took these photos.. and despite there being some initial creative differences, I'm way impressed with these, too!

I'm wearing:
Accessorize hat
Vintage jacket
Charity shop skirt
Topshop boots, tights & necklace
Daisy Thomas bag courtesy of Sharon's giveaway

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This has turned into a complete crazy cat lady blog, sorry (NOT SORRY) but I couldn't resist posting this picture of my parents' new cats spooning. They're both about 10 years old but look like kittens, and love to sleep snuggling each other!


Wednesday, 16 January 2013



We may have only just passed the mid-point of Joyless January but I am already sure of my aesthetic for summer (a pastel rainbow with holographic highlights) and I'm busy daydreaming of a chilled-out holiday in warmer climes, sipping a cocktail, wearing a swimsuit made out of carpet.

Hold up a moment. A swimsuit made out of carpet?! You'll be thinking you've made some strange fashion choices Dotty, but this one takes the biscuit.. but no, bear with me! I've found a swimwear brand that ticks all the right boxes for summer - Auria boasts a dreamy colour palette and imaginative prints; plus is ethically produced using recycled polyamide, from stuff like discarded fishing nets, and indeed carpet.

I find the collection so pleasing to look at, and the shapes are perfect too: fed up of ruffles to amend and cut-outs to enhance, I'm craving simple one-piece suits, like you wore to do your 100m badge in school lessons. This will be designer Diana Auria's first collection and is a collaboration with illustrator Margot Bowman (you may remember the latter's work with the Topshop blog and the Town Hall Hotel) and I will be keeping a close eye on the website, waiting for the collection to drop.

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Monday, 14 January 2013



When I like something, I really like it. Like, really really like it. No... in fact I get obsessed. There have been so many obsessions in my life: My Little Ponies, horses, Boyzone, to name just a few. It's not cool, it's obsession to the point of being a dweeb.

That's why I'm cringing slightly as I type up the list of what I'm wearing. Double Minkpink. I am beyond obsessed with this brand, but in my defense this time my addiction was totally fed by others. The paisley dress, a gift from my mum and dad, definitely not prompted by me* (*as soon as it appeared on ASOS I emailed the link and said "if you don't get it me for Christmas I'll buy it myself".. they then struggled to put the transaction through so I bought it and had it sent to them), the furry jacket the result of winning a £100 spend at the brand new store and social network from A Daisy Chain Dream. Thanks to the lovely Laura I now own this super soft faux fur, with its beautiful gradient of blues and retro statement shoulders. I first fell in love after seeing it at Eternal Envy and now it's aaaall mine. I think it will work better with a t-shirt and skinny jeans, in a Balmain-esque silhouette, but I wasn't going to miss a chance to while away a Sunday immersed in my favourite brand.

I'm wearing:
Waiste beanie
Matalan bag
Wonderhaus necklace

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Friday, 11 January 2013



From my first foray into make-up (Boots' 17 white liquid eyeliner, blue mascara & orange eyeshadow, FYI.. worn together) until very recently I never had favourite make-up: that is, items I'd buy again and again. I never liked anything enough to not try something new the next time, just in case. Beauty blogger I am not, but now I am so happy about my make-up routine that I feel the need to shout about it!

The introduction of BB creams were the turning point in face make-up for me. I don't like foundation as I find it too thick, so I was using a tinted moisturiser which wasn't quite enough, but a BB cream is ideal for twenty-somethings' skin as it provides light, dewy coverage. I'm on my third Garnier BB cream in Light now and I'm pleased to report the under-eye rollerball is just as good! I went off wearing pink blusher for a while in favour of Benefit's Coralista, but when that ran out I had this Body Shop blush on emergency back-up. I'm glad I started using it now as it's the ideal colour for adding a slight winter flush to my cheeks.

For my eyes, every day I wear Yves Saint Laurent liquid eyeliner - having tried many different application types, a brush is my favourite - and the 17 shadow trio in Nude. I wear the taupe every day, with the oyster as a highlight and the dark brown as a shade. I still haven't found my ideal mascara so I'm open to suggestions here!

My Illamasqua brow cake is now too dark for me since I went blonde, though the brush application was a revolution for me. I'd heard good things about Sleek's eyebrow palette and I can confirm it is pretty great. I use the powder with a bit of wax for everyday, and the wax for going out, when I know I'll be dancing (and potentially glowing. Or perspiring. Or just out and out sweating). I even prefer the tiny brush to my Illamasqua one - it picks up more product and is much quicker to apply.

The finishing touch for me is Topshop's Inhibition lipstick. Their lipsticks are hit-and-miss for me: the colours are bright and highly pigmented, but they dry my lips and settle into fine lines. This one is great though, lasts for ages and doesn't dry your lips. I think I'll be trying Depth next.

So that's my make-up routine. Simple, and the same every day. Leaves much more time to decide which bonkers outfit to wear!

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Wednesday, 9 January 2013



Yesterday my dad had an operation, so in-between visiting times my mum and I went to Crewe centre, the town where the hospital is, to keep ourselves (and our minds, particularly) occupied. Honestly, there's really not much in Crewe. It's one of the high streets hit particularly by the recession, and is now mainly full of pound shops and empty spaces.

However it does have a plethora of charity shops. I find charity shopping nowadays you will mainly find bobbled, mis-shapen Primark, as thanks to Trinny & Susannah and then Gok so many people did huge wardrobe clearouts, meaning all the really good vintage and retro stuff went years ago. People now just get rid of naff stuff that was bought for one wear then disposed of. For some reason the people of Crewe were never a part of this, and are still trickle-donating their 1990s cast-offs. Thanks to my questionable taste this is great for me, and I always get a good run here; yesterday was about quality not quantity and I got three pieces I can see myself getting good use out of in spring!

I love this weird stretchy blouse thing - it reminds me of autumn/winter 2012 Prada - and sadly enough I can remember these tops being in places like New Look the first time round. Or rather second, as they are 1970s throwbacks. Same goes for the stripey cardigan.. does anyone remember The Sweater Shop? I had a variety of their jumpers I mainly wore for best, for dinners with aunties and friends' birthday parties. Seriously.. who has kept these things for so long? Feasibly I can only imagine fashion people wearing these ironically. The velvet burnout shirt is an enormous Laura Ashley number, but I thought it would look great as a kimono worn over tees and shorts in the summer.

If you're thinking of a trip to Crewe then my favourite charity shops are the PDSA, Oxfam and Arthritis Research UK! Henning is particularly pleased by the PDSA, as you can see. As I type my dad is sat waiting in the discharge room, and everything went okay yesterday. He does have another procedure next week mind, so I may well be hitting these chazzas again soon enough...

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Sunday, 6 January 2013


... And perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.

Alright, whose bright idea was it to have a fairground in Manchester city centre?! Because - despite the thumping, loud dance music, influx of teenagers (argh, teenagers!) and fatty smells of mini doughnuts being deep fried - it was actually a pretty good one. There's few man-made things as visually stimulating as a fun fair, with its neon signs, clashing pastels, and oversize stuffed toys, strung up like prize cuts of meat.

Walking around the fair this evening brought back memories of high school: when you simply had to make the annual pilgrimage to Knutsford fair else you may as well be dead you were that uncool; when Northwich fair came to town and you went on the Hearts & Diamonds ride even though you were terrified, just to try impress the boys; and when you went to Winsford fair with your mate Kerry and she was sick all over the Waltzers seat, the liquid slowly inching itself towards you as the ride span.

I'm sure these experiences aren't unique, neither are the tender feelings that go along with the memories. But I am now more than happy to be a casual observer of those teens on the rides, because I never really liked the nervous stomach churning before the ride, the dizzy headache after, nor the feeling that I was doing this for the wrong reasons.. for the other kids in school, and to try and fit in. I'm glad I just do things for me now, whether I fit in or not.

I'm wearing:
H&M coat
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