Friday, 24 January 2014

Nice nails: a naughty strawberry

I can confirm that one of my resolutions has at least been stuck to so far... and that's been to look after and generally tend to my horrible nails. I've so far had them painted on every day of 2014 - what an achievement 24 in! They're thriving under the new care and attention and some have even grown longer than 1mm. Bless them.

I thought I'd share one of the easy styles that L and I created armed with L's Nail Candy book and her nifty set of new brushes and dotting tools. We gave my classic red nails a sneaky little strawberry, just because.

First some leaves painted on with a fine-tipped nail brush...
Then some seeds courtesy of a dotting tool (tip: these are really useful instruments - the only way I know of to create small, perfectly formed circles with nail varnish)...
And voila, my classic nails are one strawberry short of a picnic (not really true, I just wanted to say that).

L and I have since tried some other, more difficult, styles from her book and I speak from experience when I say this was a nice way to get hang of the tools before trying something more advanced. I really recommend investing in what are relatively inexpensive nail tool kits if you're bored of the same old block colours...

This isn't the last you've heard on this!

CiCi x

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Outfit: winter pastels

Well, well, well, here we are again - first outfit post of 2014. It's unfortunate that it directly breaks my resolution to expand my wardrobe beyond pencil skirts... eh-hem. But I think it's ok because it's not new! All I'm trying to do is find a way to wear my summer clothes in the cold because I'm pretty broke... and also, wearing light colours in the cold cheers me up just a tiny little bit. I am not a winter person.

Skirt: Collectif (old)
Top: Topshop
Cardigan: H&M (old)
Socks: Topshop (in store)
Shoes: Clarks (old)

The good news is that I haven't yet broken a few of my other resolutions... and indeed, although you can't see them here I have very exciting nails that I will share with you soon :)

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Saturday, 11 January 2014

New year, new ways...

I don't often bother much with new year resolutions, but this year some of them have been partly or directly inspired by this very blog. So they are all clearly going to be very important and not at all superficial... Well, either I tell you about my actual important but very boring resolutions e.g. sort my pension out (it's that dull) - or I share the fun ones.

So, in the spirit of #5 in particular, here's the good ones...

1. Improve my photography skills

A new bridge camera in 2013, but a DSLR for 2014 please!

I've never had much of an interest in photography in its more artistic sense. I like taking photos but I'd been happy to be the person who steals everyone else's for my own albums, never having had a decent camera or the nerve to ask anyone to pose, much less pose myself. All that has had to change with this blog and I'm getting there... but the next step is to invest in my first DSLR and learn how to use it. I want to think more carefully about putting together the most pretty images for this blog too, to make it worthy of everyone's visual attention :) I've made an effort on this post to start as I mean to go on...

2. Give my nails a chance!

Starting 2014 with very good nails indeed

This resolution is much needed because my hands are in a permanent state of distress, while the rest of me gets attention and styling. My fingernails bear the brunt of every worry and are therefore never longer than a millimetre at best (I worry a. lot.). This year, I do, at the least, want to make an effort to stop destroying them and generally make them look prettier by polishing them more than once a quarter. This is perhaps made easier by my current part-time job as guinea pig for L who has a new nail art book and brush kit (can you tell?).

3. Look beyond the pencil skirt

Pencil skirts - how many is too many..?

I love pencil skirts, of course I do, but they've become a bit of a uniform. I've got every colour and pattern combination going (well, almost) and I'm just a bit, well, bored of them. So this year, I am going to look to smart trousers for work and flared skirts for play.

4. Finish getting my teeth fixed

Left is before, right is now, but still a long way to go on the bottom teeth!

Oh, the story of my teeth straightening is a long and sorry tale indeed and one I've kept far away from this blog for the sake of all of our sanity. Cutting it short, after years of hating my wonky teeth I bought braces from a crook orthodontist who has significantly delayed my treatment, which should be practically done by now. I'm currently halfway through to perfection and battling to get it finished. Fingers crossed... And I'll of course let you all know when it's done ;) (that should be 'if'...)

5. Get personal

My book of 2013 memories - an anniversary present from B, pictured

I've always thought it would be more useful for this blog to be a kind of style guide than more of a diary... but I find as I go along more autobiography is creeping in (like my last post). And for reasons that baffle me (unless they are simple, innocent nosiness!), you all seem to like it! So 2014 is about being a little braver and sharing a little more, starting with this post.

A belated Happy New Year!

CiCi x

Monday, 6 January 2014

Something to celebrate

When it's this cold and miserable outside and you're staring a fresh year of work in the face, it's nice to have a little warm, happy something to celebrate (mushy post alert, apologies!)

This - rare - couple photo is concrete proof of why so few of these exist. One of us is always not looking, gurning, blinking, talking... In one photo I'm even smacking him in the mouth. In this shot we've got a double whammy of not looking and talking, but no mouth-smacking, so that's good.

And in the end, it makes me smile so I have to like it.

Happy anniversary B :) x