Saturday, 25 March 2017

5 years later

CiCi Marie

I had no idea when this blog began on March 25 2012 that five years later I would be sitting here, still very much at it. I've never really stuck to any activity in my life besides eating a lot of chocolate daily and internet shopping, neither of which can be considered much of an achievement. This blog, though? This blog I consider a big achievement. It's quite the irony that it's ended up being such an important part of my life, seeing as I was talked into doing it in the first place (in case you're a newer reader, this blog had a co-author in the early days!). But in that way, I like to think of it as blogging found me.

In an ideal world, I would have marked this momentous occasion with something special, because I'm a big believer in celebrating life's milestones. However, as you no doubt know I'm two months away from my wedding and working full-time in my day job alongside a fair few blog collaborations for the wonderful spring collections releasing right now, so it just didn't happen. But, while my dream of a big giveaway or balloon-filled photoshoot hasn't come to be, I still wanted to say something because what is life without celebrating the things that we're proud of?

Blogging has changed my life so much for the better. It gets a bit of a bad rep these days, as a dying platform and a place for trolls to breed, but there is still so much good in what it can do. When I started this blog, I was very lonely. I had come out of unsuccessful relationships and recently taken up a new job and moved to a city where I didn't know a soul. It was not a good time and I'm not someone who makes friends quickly or easily. But hold back those tiny violins because this blog came along and changed all that. It was and still is the vehicle to connect with so many of you who share common interests and goals and I'm so very grateful for it.

So, that's what I wanted to say and I didn't want the occasion to pass without saying it! Thank you to all of you who have been following along - some of you from almost the very start. And a huge thank you to everyone who takes the time to comment. I may not reply to every single one but I certainly do my best to and I hope I always will. It means the world.

Here's to another 5 years because I hope that me and my little corner of the internet aren't going anywhere just yet! (Even if I do ponder it every time I'm taking a photo set in freezing conditions ;) )

CiCi Marie

PS I'll be back with another spring outfit collaboration post on Tuesday!


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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Outfit: everyday princess

I tried to resist that most cliche of fashion blogger cliches, I really did... but it happened in the end. I got a tulle skirt.

I hope you don't think less of me now... I promise, I still have original ideas! Or at least, more original than this one. What can I say, I too have that little girl inside me that just wants to wear a big princess dress all day. I haven't met many women who don't have this inner child - although I think for many it lays dormant until we one day shop for our wedding dress and BAM gimme ALL the skirt! I know very many people who've gone shopping for a sleek, chic wedding dress and came out of the shop seeming bewildered that they had bought the biggest dress in the shop. I totally get it. It's hard to find a time to wear a huge dress and for it to be appropriate outside of the most dressed up day of your life. That, to me, is the underlying reason why so many women love the tulle skirt - lots of us secretly love the girly girl drama and it's a way to work it into your day-to-day look.

So that's exactly what I've tried to do with this Lindybop skirt. And no, it's not original and it's not clever, to wear one with a stripey top, but... so what. Cliches are often cliches for a reason - it looks good. This skirt is three layers of tulle over a satin-y underskirt and it's pretty good for the everyday, actually, because it's not too big. I've got my canvas underskirt on here, but the satin lining is quite closely fitted so I'm not sure it added much volume, if any, in the end. This is not a ballerina-esque tulle skirt like you sometimes see, it is just quite a good one for the daytime, if you like that kind of thing. I'm wearing a 10 here because the size guide indicated the 8 would have been too small - it probably would have been although the 10's a bit too big. I'd say follow the waist size on the guide for this one. I haven't altered the length, and do bear in mind if you're taller than my 5'1" it's going to be closer to the knee on you.

Lindy Bop black tulle skirt review with striped Banned top

Banned Modern Love top in black white stripe

Lindy Bop black tulle skirt review with striped Banned top

Lindy Bop black tulle skirt review with striped Banned top

Banned Modern Love striped top

Lindy Bop dogtooth houndstooth bow heels

Lindy Bop black tulle skirt review with striped Banned top

Banned Modern Love stripe top

Lindy Bop black tulle skirt review with striped Banned top

Lindy Bop black tulle skirt review with striped Banned top
Headscarf: eBay
Earrings: bridesmaid gift!
Skirt: c/o Lindybop
Belt: Collectif
Bag: Ollie & Nic (old)
Shoes: Lindybop (all available colours)



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Friday, 17 March 2017

Outfit: snuggly leopard

I'm jumping around the seasons a bit at the moment, but I thought it seems a good time to wave goodbye to winter now as the weather seems to, fingers crossed, be moving into spring (yeah, I've just cursed us all back to cold hell, sorry in advance). These photos were captured several weeks ago now, when it was cold and windy and pretty typical of the English winter.

I do a lot of outfit posts where I'm showing you what's underneath my coats and jackets, so you'd be forgiven for thinking I don't own very many (or that I spend my life freezing my behind off). That's pretty far from the truth though, as the coat rack that fell off the wall (tearing a nice set of holes into the plaster) at Christmas would suggest. And it didn't even have most of my coats on - over half were in a separate wardrobe just for coats that lives in our garage. You're probably getting the truer picture now... I'm an outerwear hoarder. The truth is I just don't feel like much of it is all that exciting. But that's not the case for this jacket, which I really should have shown you before now! (Like, when it was still in stock, d'oh!)

This furry friend (faux, of course) is my go-to as a throw on when the rest of my outfit is simple and it's particularly brutal out because it adds some immediate glamour and warmth. It's also become a bit of an unintended signature - friends have said they knew it was me from a distance because it's so typical of my look. I think by that they probably meant it stands out and has that rockabilly edge, not that I dress like Bet Lynch from Corrie days (that's a very British reference - Google 'Bet Lynch Coronation Street' if you want to see what I mean) - at least, I hope not.

We all know the best thing about leopard print, though, is how it has the ability to be both a pattern and a neutral, which makes it quite easy to dress. I thought I'd show you a typical casual yet put together look you might see me wandering about in when it's cold where this jacket is the feature!

Faux fur leopard print jacket for a casual retro wintry look

Faux fur leopard print jacket for a casual retro wintry look

Faux fur leopard print jacket for a casual retro wintry look

Faux fur leopard print jacket for a casual retro wintry look

Faux fur leopard print jacket for a casual retro wintry look

Faux fur leopard print jacket for a casual retro wintry look

Faux fur leopard print jacket for a casual retro wintry look

Faux fur leopard print jacket for a casual retro wintry look
Beret: Primark (old)
Top: New Look (old)
Jacket: Missguided (but last year's :( )
Belt: New Look (old)
Bag: eBay (available here)
Skirt: Peacocks (similar)
Gloves: Ugg
Boots: B.A.I.T. Footwear (available colours)


This location is quite special to us - it's in the grounds of the hotel we'll be staying in after the wedding. We were in fact staying there to have some meetings earlier in the year and to test it out - we even had a sneak peak at the room we've booked for the wedding night while we were there. It had the most amazing freestanding bath that I'm sure we won't have a spare minute to use or appreciate!


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Sunday, 12 March 2017

The perfect petticoat from Honeypie Boutique

'Gone are the days I take outfit photos in my bedroom!' she thought... Er, or not. But I'm not about to go wandering outside in a petticoat just for your viewing pleasure, my friends - it's underwear, after all! It's also still winter, so... nope. But review this petticoat I shall! Thankfully, since moving house the bedroom option has become a little more attractive. This house is full of natural light and our spare room has got a definite air of my handiwork about it... I mean, we say it's spare, but I think we both know it's actually my dressing room, heh. So, cue some posing in a giant ball of floof to show you this beautiful net petticoat.

It's made by the lovely people at Honeypie Boutique, which if you haven't planned a vintage style wedding before perhaps you'll never have heard of. If you have, there's a good chance you'll know they're a UK company who make a range of customisable 50s style, tea-length wedding dresses for incredibly reasonable prices (in fact, I featured one of their dresses in my short wedding dress round-up). They were definitely an option I was considering before I found my dress. Something else they make that I think less people know about is custom petticoats. You can order an absolutely ginormous range of colours and pick the length and number of layers you need for the fullness you require.

I knew I needed something that would take a heavy skirt and I knew the length wasn't a standard one so I couldn't buy off the peg, but the world of custom-made petticoats was a new one to me. I emailed one company who simply never replied to me (nice!), but then I realised Honeypie made them and I shot a message to their Facebook page. And then I bombarded them with about a million questions (I'm the worst kind of customer) to make sure I got exactly what I needed and to their credit, they were both lightning fast at responding, incredibly helpful and didn't even seem annoyed. The result is that this petticoat is exactly what I needed (and not the width of a house, as I originally wrongly thought I needed 6 layers!) and my search is over. It's well made and soft - you don't need to worry about that scratchy feeling with this beauty. The waist band also doesn't dig in, which I'm always pleased about (I love my Pinup Girl Couture canvas underskirt, but that thing's going to give me a hernia one day, mark my words).

You can probably tell I'm extremely pleased with it and I strongly suggest you check them out if you want a very particular underskirt too.

Honeypie Boutique 4 layer ivory custom made 28" net wedding dress petticoat review

Honeypie Boutique 4 layer ivory custom made 28" net wedding dress petticoat review

Honeypie Boutique 4 layer ivory custom made 28" net wedding dress petticoat review

Honeypie Boutique 4 layer ivory custom made 28" net wedding dress petticoat review

Honeypie Boutique 4 layer ivory custom made 28" net wedding dress petticoat review
Hair flowers: Alternate Normality (watch out for it coming back into stock next week!)
Top: Topshop (old)


Disclaimer: I was given a discount in exchange for this review, but I promise you it's an excellent petticoat I would have raved about regardless!



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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Outfit: lighthouse lovely

So, a side effect of planning a wedding at the seaside is that all I can think about is... the seaside. And red, white and blue. And beach huts and life rings and anchors... You get the idea, I'm nautically-minded right now. So if you don't like the nautical trend, er... We probably can't be friends anymore because it's actually now My Life.

It wasn't a conscious decision, I just keep finding myself drawn to the things I'm thinking about on a near constant basis thanks to the wedding. It's made me realise that despite several trips to the coast a year, I didn't actually have all that much with a seaside theme in my wardrobe. Er, I do now... and I think the star of them all, despite how much I like the anchor print dress I just showed you, is this skirt. I just love the print - I love that it uses cream (not white!) and light blue as well as red and navy and I love the little lighthouses. It also hangs so nicely thanks to the pleats (I do have a light petticoat on here too) and - everyone's favourite - it has pockets. For me, this pattern is the star of Hell Bunny's spring/summer 2017 releases and it was hard work choosing between the skirt and the dress (which is worth waiting for if you prefer them), but you all know I love my separates (reminder: you can get any of the new range or otherwise for 20% off - see my code at the bottom of this post!).

It was very kind of the North Norfolk coastline to oblige with matching beachhuts. Actually, do you know how many times we've tried to shoot at these huts? They've been top of my seaside hitlist for at least two years. We visit them all the time as they just so happen to be in the very place we're getting married! The weather has just never obliged in the past. It's basically at the open sea, so it's pretty windy along here some days, when it's not raining. But this day was different, it was like it was waiting for this skirt. We'd just finished a meeting with our venue and the morning's rain had just cleared (you can see the puddles below!), lifting some of the grey clouds until we got this hazy sky you can see in the photos aka a blogger's dream. Now if it could just do that again for my wedding day photos, I'd be really quite happy...

Hell Bunny lighthouse skirt and bardot top review

Hell Bunny lighthouse skirt and bardot top review

Hell Bunny lighthouse skirt and bardot top review

Erstwilder swimmer necklace and Hell Bunny bardot top

Hell Bunny lighthouse skirt and bardot top review

Erstwilder Sabrina swimmer necklace

Erstwilder swimmer necklace and Hell Bunny bardot top

Hell Bunny lighthouse skirt and bardot top review

Hell Bunny lighthouse skirt and bardot top review

Joanie Clothing red patent frame bag

Hell Bunny lighthouse skirt and bardot top review
Necklace: 'Synchronised Sabrina' c/o Erstwilder (available at Top Vintage)

Reminder: you can get 20% off anything from hellbunny.com, including this skirt and top, with the code cicim20!%


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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Outfit: take me to the river

This outfit has been a long time coming. You see, several months ago now eShakti asked me if I'd like to review a custom made item of theirs? Er, yes!! Custom made clothing is the answer to all of my short girl problems, after all. And then I found out they don't ship to the UK... Heartbroken. I did wonder why I was being contacted, but hey, let's just say it's not the first time I've been contacted about promoting something I wasn't the intended audience for (men's boxer shorts, anyone?). I saved that email though and my wish came true when an excited and fellow eShakti-lover Amy told me that finally, FINALLY, they were shipping to the UK! Could this be the answer to every short girl's dress-buying problems?

Yes. Yes, it probably is. See, the genius of eShakti is that they make every item to order and will, free of charge, adjust to your height as standard. But it goes further than that - you can give really very detailed measurements and also make edits to the design you're buying too for a flat and very reasonable fee. Don't suit mid-calf length dresses? That's fine, just change it to below knee instead. Don't like cap sleeves that end on the squishiest part of your arm? Make them bracelet length. Hate high necks? Make it a scoop instead. Most items have numerous ways you can switch them up to make them perfect for you and I just love that. What a darn good idea. And you know what, it's nice to be able to order an elbow length that actually does stop at my elbows.

So that's exactly what I did! Here is how this dress originally looked. I've changed the sleeves to elbow length (stick with it, there are pictures where I braved taking my cardigan off below) - which is the length I find generally most flattering on me. I actually didn't change the length on this dress because it was already designed to be at my favourite below-knee length. But, my friends, behold - it actually is below the knee and not calf length like usual! The genius of customisation... The only thing I can't really tell you is how close the rest of my alterations were. The length was spot on for my skirt and sleeves, but the waist of this dress is elasticated (and then covered with a separate sash) and the bust is blouson style and could have easily accommodated one x5 the size of mine. I'm also not sure why the sleeves were a big looser than I was expecting (see below), but I think it's because the material has no stretch. What I will say though is that the proof is probably in the pudding - this dress looks super cute on. It's also insanely comfortable thanks to that elasticated waist. And hey, if you like this 'blouson' style as they call it, they do it in a tonne of colours - this one is my favourite.

I also need to mention these shoes - the Juliette from the spring/summer Lulu Hun range. I love yellow shoes, but I hadn't found a second pair for my collection until now. I adore these, they're cute and comfy and fit me darn well. I have the size 4 here - I'm a 4.5 but in peep toes I downsize as I have narrow feet. These fit perfectly as a result, but anyone of average width will want to stick to their true size. I will definitely be reaching for these as a pair of mid-heel shoes to spend the day in. It helps that they perfectly match my new Erstwilder brooch too. I'm really excited to see what's in store for Lulu Hun, as it feels like we've finally got a British answer to B.A.I.T. Footwear!

eShakti custom made blouson dress review with Lulu Hun Juliette heels

eShakti custom made blouson dress review


eShakti custom made blouson dress review with Lulu Hun Juliette heels

Lulu Hun from Collectif Juliette heels review

eShakti custom made blouson dress with Erstwilder Seaside Manor brooch

eShakti custom made blouson dress review with Lulu Hun Juliette heels

eShakti custom made blouson dress review with Lulu Hun Juliette heels

eShakti custom made blouson dress in anchor print

eShakti custom made blouson dress

Polka dot headscarf with cute retro updo

eShakti custom made blouson dress review with Lulu Hun Juliette heels
Headscarf: Primark (old)
Cardigan: 'Paloma' Hell Bunny (available colours)
Bag: c/o Chronically Vintage
Shoes:  'Juliette' c/o Lulu Hun (Collectif)


So, I'm basically now stalking the eShakti website and wishing I had more spare money to spend on all the dresses. How about you?


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