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Posts tagged ‘Fashion’

Rainy day purchase: Orla Kiely Acorn Cup Notebook

There is no avoiding it, it is definitely autumn now. So in the spirit of embracing the season, I did my favourite wet weather thing. I went to hang out in a local bookshop. Shopping always cheers me up, but I have no desire to be changing in and out of rain-soaked clothes on a dull and dismal day. The local bookshop I visited is a Waterstones – we have no independent bookstores left in our area – but I like it just the same. The staff are lovely and chatty, and it’s a small intimate store in a historic building in a historic pedestrianised yard. With some smaller Waterstones’ stores disappearing, my mum had told me that she’d been worried when she’d visited recently and everything had been in disarray. However, it turns out the store had been doing so well they’d be granted a refurbishment!

On my wet weather day visit, the new layout was set, the shelves were up and almost all the stock was in place. And, to my delight, they had a new stationery section. (Woo!) To celebrate, I bought a Moleskine Passions Style Journal, an incredibly soft and lovely notebook (review to follow) and an Orla Kiely Acorn Cup A4 Notebook. The Orla Kiely Notebook is my new favourite thing. I was instantly gratified in my choice at the till, where the sales assistant told me she’d ordered one herself. It’s always good when the person looking at books and notebooks all day likes something you’ve purchased.

At £14.99, it’s not a bargain buy, but is cheaper than buying it direct from the Orla Kiely website (£3.01 cheaper, in case you were wondering). The cover is cardboard and light coloured, so it’s not one for being thrown about or carried in your bag unless you like the slightly worn look. I’ve barely moved mine about at all and I’ve already rolled one of the corners a little.

The paper inside is a really nice quality, features a tiny Orla Kiely logo at the bottom of each page and each sheet is perforated – great if you like to tear out, hole punch and file notes from a day of lectures or meetings. It is worth bearing in mind that the pages do not come ready hole punched. It would ruin the overall aesthetics if it did and this way you can keep it as a whole notebook if you wish, but it might be a deal breaker for some. The whole notebook is held closed with an elastic strap in a brown that compliments the autumnal acorn design. When the notebook is closed the outer edges of the pages are a bright orange, which I really like.

Inside the front and back covers the paper is squared. These are separated from the main lined pages by a tracing-paper type page featuring a large Orla Kiely logo. I assume this has just been included for design purposes and it does make the notebook feel a bit more high-end than your average A4 notepad.

Overall, it’s the nicest A4 pad I’ve bought in a while and it represents autumn nicely with its colours and acorn pattern. I shall be using it for blog and freelance planning this winter.

Orla Kiely makes everything from clothes to bags to body lotion to garden trowels. Check out the website here.

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Temperley for Filofax

On occasion, I find an item that I feel I can’t continue my life without. This is, of course, completely irrational. I know that. However, I don’t want this Temperley for Filofax Violet Compact, I need it!

Whereas some of the other Temperley designs wouldn’t fit into my every day style (for example, The Guinea and The Affair), the Violet Compact is practically perfect in every way, and comes with special Temperley inserts, including dress size measurements, birthday pages and illustrated star sign pages.

At £165 it isn’t cheap, but you can pick up the pocket version for just £135. And when you consider The Guinea and The Affair retail at nearly £400 each, it’s practically a steal. Right? RIGHT?!

Joules Catazine (45 #oneaday)

Over the weekend I received my Joules ‘Catazine’ which, as you may have guessed from the name, is a combination of a catalogue and a magazine. The catazine is sent out quarterly instead of a catalogue, and involves articles throughout. I love the concept of the catazine and I loved the clothes. I could have quite happily worn everything in there.

So, in the spirit of ‘I loved everything’ I thought I would choose a few of my favourites.

Joules dress


Joules jacket


See the full range of their products on the Joules Clothing website. They also sell accessories, footwear, men’s and children’s clothing, as well as some homeware items.

And if you sign up to their catazine you might learn why you should join the WI and how to bring up chickens. Although it is a lot of paper, remember to recycle. 🙂

An apology to ANTM contestants (43 #oneaday)

I watch America’s Next Top Model, and on occasion Canada’s Next Top Model and Britain’s Next Top Model. I yell at the TV. I tell them to stop their whinging. I don’t care if it’s cold, they’re models who need to get over it. Equally I don’t care if their shoes are too big, or the clothes are the wrong size. I want to reach into the TV and shake them when they even start to look uncertain. Their makeup isn’t perfect, and they feel uncomfortable, or the sun is in their eyes. I don’t care. My list of things I am intolerant of is long. I feel like posting them a letter and telling them that they are going to get kicked out BECAUSE Tyra sees and knows all. And whinging is not allowed. EVER.

Today I did some modeling as a stand-in at work, and I am eating my judgemental words. It is hard. It’s difficult to stand in front of those people watching you and your every move and project confidence right into the lens. It is hard to model in clothes you feel uncomfortable wearing and to walk in shoes that aren’t your size, and yet still look graceful and at ease. It was hard.

And so, with that in mind, I would like to apologise to all the America’s/ Canada’s/ Britain’s Top Model wannabes past. I totally get it. It is hard to smile and keep your eyes open and show the clothes appropriately when you are facing the sun. It was cold and I shook. It was hard, and I am sorry.

However, that said, i’m not applying to compete am I?

(Hopefully noone will be seeing my beautiful youtube catwalk footage)

Lily Allen and The Daily Mail (22 #oneaday)

I like Lily Allen. I also love this article over at Bitchbuzz by @CupCate exploring the disappointment of Lily becoming neo-luddite and disappearing from the spotlight to ‘play house’ with her new man. What I don’t like is The Daily Mail. Seriously, what is their problem?

Earlier on the radio, I heard news that Lily sees ‘Michelle McManus’ when she looks in the mirror. First reaction: YAY Lily is BACK. Second reaction: She actually used Michelle’s name. That’s pretty mean. Third reaction: I know exactly what she means. That’s the great thing about Lily; she is a real, accessible person women can identify with. She likes some people, she doesn’t like others. She is insecure and isn’t afraid to talk about it.

I came home, I did a quick online search, I found this. This article by from the Daily Mail online, tells the story of Lily feeling like she is fat due to the pressures of the industry she is part of. In an interview with Love magazine, Lily states: “Ask me, ‘What do you see when you look in the mirror in the morning’? and I’ll be like, ‘Someone who is more overweight than I actually am’ ”

The story is fairly sympathetic, even referring to a picture as ‘a slightly heavier Lily’. Actually now I think about it I don’t think that is all that sympathetic.

What really angers me about this however, is how hypercritical The Daily Mail is. Don’t be all nice about her here when in this earlier article you refer to Lily’s “ballooning weight”. The story is actually based around her return to Twitter. One of her first updates was:

“For now though, I’m off to the gym. Went to India over xmas,and the clarified butter has made its way from my tummy to my thighs. eeuuggh.”

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t see Lily mentioning how her weight is ‘ballooning’. The pictures accompanying the article show Lily on her recent trip to  Australia “spilling out of her bikini”. No wonder she has body dsymorphic disorder! I think I would have too.

Back off Daily Mail. We just got Lily back and we like her. Don’t chase her off by being exactly what she has been trying to escape from, and absolutely do not feed her negative body image. And maybe get someone with some empathy to edit your picture captions, then I won’t be so angry. Thanks.

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