Monday, 29 July 2013


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Yeah, so Manchester does have great high street shops, and like every city, a chain coffee shop on most corners. But what if you like to get away from the hustle and bustle? Fancy a more bohemian, free spirited city experience?

I've lived here for two full years now and I love Manchester so much. We've had our ups and downs - like any relationship I suppose - but now I can honestly say I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I've found my own watering holes, eateries, and secret places to find individual little pieces of jewellery and clothing; and now I'm going to share it with you for Free People, who have recently launched in the UK. Not so secret any more, but it's hard to keep great things secret for long..

I love the Northern Quarter. If I sound like a cliché, I don't care, because it really is the best part of Manchester. As a visitor or tourist in Manchester I'd always recommend shunning the busy main street (you can shop on the high street anywhere, surely) and heading for the mish-mash of independent shops, bars, and cafes just up the road from Piccadilly Gardens, plus the area needs all the support it can get since recently there were three separate fires in the area destroying buildings, businesses - and, consequently, people's livelihoods.

You can get lost in the vast vintage stores of the NQ - though some of them require more patience than others, you can still get the Free People hippy vibe if you have the time to pick out the paisley, crochet, and velvet pieces amongst the plethora of polyester. You can also pick up your favourite fashion bibles and hip indie CDs, and have delicious coffees in chintzy, shabby-chic cafés, tucked in back streets, only known to those willing to get off the beaten path.

A final tip of mine, whichever city you are in: don't forget to look all around. You see some awesome things way above eyeline, whether it's colourful shoes hanging out on a wire, beautiful lampshades, or heartbreaking building damage caused by fire. It'd be a shame to miss out because you're shoegazing.

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Disclaimer: All photos and drawings my own for Free People; and it was raining on the day we took these photos, but contrary to popular belief it doesn't always rain in Manchester. Just most of the time.

Saturday, 27 July 2013


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Did someone get out on the wrong side of the bed this morning? No, but someone did forget to take their laptop charger to work and had to go home to get it. Problems of a forgetful girl.. I guess I'll just blame it on being (bottle) blonde.

Although I look pretty grumpy here I promise I'm not! I'm a little glum that the weather doesn't seem to know what to do with itself right now - give me super hot again, I never complained - but still cheerful tends to be my default mood. That or overly excited. Bit like a Labrador puppy in that respect.

I'm wearing:
Vintage trilby
Chelsea Girl crochet skirt
Office shoes
Vintage/market/ChloBo/Kenneth Jay Lane jewellery

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013


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As you are well aware - through my incessant mithering on here, Twitter, and in the Real World - I did Manchester's first Color Run on Sunday. It's a 5K run with a paint station every kilometre, complete with volunteers throwing powdered paint at you! I felt like I was absolutely covered in colour (including my teeth, because I was laughing as I went through the orange station and got a face full of colour) but when I got back I found I wasn't quite as bright as I thought! Wah. It was so good running through the clouds of paint though and it definitely gave you a kick of energy, urging you on when you thought the tank was empty; you can see the yellow station behind me in the picture above and the blue one below with clouds of colour billowing up. My aim was to run it in half an hour but adrenaline kicked in and I did it in 25 minutes - so that is probably why I wasn't caked in colour! You can see the (seriously unattractive) photos from my sprint finish HERE.

I'd love to do it again next year but my next aim is a 10K in October. If you enjoy these pictures (and those finish pictures alone must be worth a donation) don't forget you can donate to Macmillan Cancer Support, who I did the run for, using my JustGiving page - though if you don't have any pennies right now don't worry, this is an ongoing project for the charity!. A big thanks to those who have kindly donated already:

Maria, Tara, Aurora, Josie, Gill, Jordan & Adam, Karis, Sara and her custom denimClare, Tom & Lianne, Jan-Marie, plus all of my parents' friends including car dealer Nick Tomlin and the generous gang at Weaver Vale Housing Trust!

I haven't finished adding up the real-world donations yet but it should come to £300+.. eeek! If you're a company or a brand who would like a link in exchange for adding to my total for Macmillan drop me an email.
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

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Saturday, 20 July 2013


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Just takin' a quick teabreak in the Ette garden. I so love how I wear whatever I want to go work there, and I'm constantly surrounded by quirky, bohemian fashion - whether it's being worn by Lucie and Grace, store stock, or an image I'm updating the Tumblr with. My brain is definitely a style sponge, soaking up whatever it's immersed in, and I find myself reaching for slouchier fits, vintage prints, and cowboy boots right now. And still with the black and white stripes.. they perfectly go/don't go with everything.

I'm finding the "I don't know what to wear" moments are coming less and less at the moment; it makes it easier that whether I want to sit in the studio in a ballgown or a bikini, Ette wouldn't bat an eyelid. I don't even know where my style is right now but I like it.

I'm wearing:
Hacked up Oasis t-shirt
Minkpink Distant Traveller trousers
Topshop moccasins via charity shop
eBay sunglasses
Vintage necklace
Vintage, eBay, Kenneth Jay Lane & Chlobo bracelets
BCBG, Dixi, Topshop & Bohemian Collective rings

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Wednesday, 17 July 2013


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Minkpink are by far one of my favourite brands, and every season I find myself lusting after (and ultimately buying) far more than is healthy for my bank balance. Sara Waiste and I have said to each other that Minkpink's stuff is what you dream of finding when you're out charity shopping - cheesecloth, clashing prints, smock dresses, crochet, and cute vintage detailing.

While their product seems to be moving away from that, and becoming younger - catering to the brightly coloured and printed blogger "twosie" trend - I still absolutely loved the colour, vibrancy and dynamism in this campaign (mind you, I'm pretty into the crystal/dolphin t shirt you can just see in one of the shots). I would love to visit Venice Beach; it's just so typically Californian, with rollerbladers in lycra, the meatheads on Muscle Beach, and snake charmers after your dimes. Plus the amazing Chloe Norgaard is the star, along with her real-life best buddy Daveigh. Chloe is best known for her rainbow hair, though I've been following her travels on Instagram for a little while now and she seems like a downright cool dude who I'd love to hang out with. She loves doing everything from going to music festivals to meditating on tropical beaches.. along with working as a model, that's the dream life right there.

The whole shoot is basically a treat for the eyes. Take a look at the full lookbook on the (newly made over!) Minkpink website.

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Monday, 15 July 2013


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Um.. hello? Is this thing on? I have to check, you see, as last week the light on my laptop screen broke and I couldn't tell whether I was on Pinterest or porn. Actually I don't go on either of those sites but they're alliterative so it works.

I've been working hard with helping to launch Thriftette's rebrand this week (check out Ette!) and coming home to sit on a computer has been pretty unappealing anyway, especially in this weather. But it was a most welcome relief when I got a new laptop (THANKS DAD & MUM you da best), I really didn't know how much my work life depended on it. Honestly though you should've seen it, the screen had been hanging off by a thread and it's a miracle it lasted so long. Tragic was not the word.

Here are some pictures from a time when I left the house on a sunny day with Chris and we both inadvertently wore paisley shorts. I'd suggest we did it more but the fly broke on my shorts (classy) so perhaps not. We sat in the Manchester International Festival garden drinking cider and it was more like Madrid than Manchester; incidentally a bunch of my friends are in the former city right now, and I keep getting Snapchats saying "jealous???" but when the weather is like this there's nowhere I'd rather be than the latter city.

I'm wearing:
Urban Outfitters tee
Minkpink shorts & bag
Wildfox sunglasses
Topshop hat & sandals

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