Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Outfit: rockabilly western (+ WIN A DRESS from Happy Yellow Dress)

So I finally ticked something off my Ultimate Photoshoot Locations list - a corn field! Luckily for me, we have a popular annual summer 'maize maze' in the area - and even more fortunately, the weather stopped raining for five seconds so we could go check it out.

I knew exactly what dress was crying out to be snapped here, this adorable shirt dress from Happy Yellow Dress. This brand, based in Canada, has been going for six years and is the brainchild of designer and owner Debbie, who is also a super lovely lady. I love seeing vintage-inspired designs that are a little bit different to the standard retro fare and that's exactly what Happy Yellow Dress offers. I really love the Cry to Me/Hula Love co-ord set and this stunning Viola dress from the range, along with this one I'm featuring today.

This Rockabilly Gal dress is a lot of fun to wear. I love the western-style piping and the cute sleeves. You'll all spot it has pockets too! The size guide is pretty accurate for this one, but if you're between sizes or busty you'll need to size up so you don't have gaping buttons. This dress was the perfect companion for my little red cowboy boots (that I bought off Porcelina's thrifty husband!), matching brooch and my new favourite thing - my ponytail extension! If you're thinking I suddenly look like I have a lot more hair, it's all fakery. I never thought I'd find clip-in fake hair in my colour, but the day has come!

So, let's show you those photos and I'll tell you how you can win your very own Happy Yellow Dress! 

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress

Red ankle cowboy boots

Rockabilly Gal dress by Happy Yellow Dress - 50s style polka dot shirt dress
Ponytail extension: Hershesons
Hair scarf: eBay
Bag: eBay (old)
Shoes: thrifted


If you like Debbie's designs as much as I do, now's your chance to win one of your own! And who doesn't want a pretty new dress?! The rules are simple below (T&Cs are listed in the widget) and the prize is subject to current stock availability (check www.happyyellowdress.com). This giveaway will run for a week and then I'll be back to tell you who's won the prize. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

EDIT: If you didn't win, you can still benefit from 20% off items on www.happyyellowdress.com with the code CICI20 :)



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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Outfit: last of the summer flowers

Well, that's a kind of morose title isn't it? I do get a little down at this time of year though, when the summer is coming to an end and the flowers disappear in my little garden. Summer is my favourite season and I'm always sad to see it go. In true UK fashion, after a fabulous start, the rest of the summer has been diabolical and once again I feel totally cheated of the sunshine days. I'm refusing to let go of my summer wardrobe though and will take any opportunity to wear a pretty summer dress like this one - which this blog is very good at providing! 

I was really pleased to be asked to review this dress because it's by a brand I hadn't tried before but had been seeing a lot about online - Wax Poetic. I love finding new brands to stalk! And this one is worth your time because the dresses are so pretty. I really love the Aphrodite dress too (I think it's coming back into stock soon), although that one probably wouldn't be as friendly on the petite as today's style is.

So let's introduce you to the Bed of Roses dress! A pretty authentic looking vintage floral pattern combined with a gorgeous shape, what's not to love? You know, it has pockets too... Now, if you only wear midi length skirts and you're above average height, this might not be the dress for you, I'm not going to lie. I'll remind you I'm 5'1", although I'll add to that that I seem to lack the most length in my lower leg and torso, and I don't think it's going to be a mini-skirt unless you're super tall for that reason. This dress fit me like a glove - and I've talked many times about how unusual that is; I alter a lot of the pieces I feature on this blog (even if it's just rolling sleeves up!). Part of the perfect fit I think was due to the immaculate construction of this dress and how true it was to the size guide. Check out that beautiful v-shaped dart at the front!

This dress totally won me over and I hope I get a lot more wear out of it... although I might be looking at next summer now!

Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress

Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress

Alternate Normality white waterfall hair flower comb

Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress

Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress

Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress

Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress

Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress

Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress



Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress

Bed of Roses dress by Wax Poetic review, 50s style vintage floral dress
Hair flowers: Alternate Normality
Bag: Ollie & Nic (old)


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Sunday, 20 August 2017

My vintage seaside wedding: the decor & details

Vintage seaside wedding decor and details - treasure chest ring box, bucket & spade confetti, beach hut table name cards, origami crab namecards, fudge favours, postcard guestbook, seaside wedding cake, retro arcade machines, homemade vintage selfie booth & vintage wedding playlist

So you've seen the outfits (part 1, part 2) and you're going to know by now that my wedding had a theme, which is pretty obvious from the title of all of these posts! Firstly, I wanted it to nod to my mid-century vintage preferences and ideally James's love of the 80s too, secondly our venue was in the middle of the sea, so it would have been silly to ignore that in the look of the day! I know that having a 'theme' is seen as a bit passé these days, but because I'm a contrarian it was sort of another reason I wanted to do it. What an ideal way to co-ordinate and bring a unique touch and personality to the day, is all I could think. It also makes life a lot easier to be able to rule things out because they don't fit your theme - you're not short of options with weddings!

Loosely speaking, here's how we embraced our 'vintage seaside' theme in the details and decor of our venues! This is a long post - if you don't want to know how we did things, just look at the pictures ;)

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Dirty Works skincare - reviewing the 'miracle cream' and more

Dirty Works retro style skincare review

I don't do many skincare reviews because, well, frankly, this isn't a skincare blog! Most of you are here for the fashion and it's my first love too, so that's fine by me. But now and then, I do like to mix it up so I hope you'll indulge me this post about Dirty Works, a UK-based beauty brand.

I'm no different to the thousands of women who search for miracle products that can banish fine lines, brighten dark circles, prevent pimples and anything else that helps my temperamental skin to fall in line. But I don't buy a lot of them, to be honest, because I'd rather buy makeup that I know for sure will cover these issues up - whereas prevention doesn't seem so guaranteed. Still, when Dirty Works asked if I'd like to try some things from their range I was game - not least because the packaging is so darn adorable! There's a lot of similarities to Soap N Glory here, but hey, no bad thing.

So I'm going to run through the items I've tried and what I thought, but as it was near impossible to capture any differences in photographs I gave up that fool's errand - you'll have to take my word for it :) This range is available in Sainsbury's in the UK, and can be bought directly internationally too for a reasonable flat rate fee of £5.95 (excluding fragrances, which I'm not reviewing here). It's very reasonably priced so if you find something that works for you it's worth it!

Dirty Works Miracle Cream daily moisturiser review


This is probably best described as a day-time moisturiser, because that's how I found it worked best. When I wear a moisturiser (which isn't often, because a lot of products encourage my oily skin and it for sure needs no encouragement), I want it to sink in rapidly, smell nice, not make me even greasier than I already am, not break me out and for my make-up to apply nicely on top. This cream ticks all of those boxes probably the best of any I've tried! Particularly the sinking in and no-shine part - which are the ones I struggle most with usually. Miracle cream though? I didn't really notice many of the effects the box says above, but I also probably haven't been trying it consistently enough to make any kind of big change. I also fundamentally don't believe many products can do all of that, to be pretty frank. And hence why I'm not a skincare blogger...

Re-purchase? This is really quite a good moisturiser for me that didn't cause my oil production to go into over-drive or any spots! I've been using it as a sort of primer and it seems to work about as good as any of those do, so this might just be the first day moisturiser I ever re-purchase!


This was my first ever sheet mask! I wasn't sure what to expect from it therefore, so I asked my friend who micro-blogs about Asian skincare (@thewayofthesnail) how she'd review something like this? She said a good mask will have immediate effects when you remove it; they can reduce redness and plump up fine lines visibly. Wow, skincare with instant results; who knew?! I was excited! I had a giant spot on my chin that was cruisin' for a reducin'. This mask claims it hydrates and reduces lines and wrinkles, and while it doesn't say anything about redness, I was still hopeful. However, I really didn't like this product. It was incredibly messy and the fit of the mask was really bad on my face. I couldn't see or move my mouth because the holes were all in the wrong place and I couldn't get it to sit comfortably. I persevered and removed after the suggested time to find... no difference. My spot was still angry and my skin looked and felt precisely the same as it did before. Maybe me and sheet masks just aren't meant to be... I have no idea if they're all this messy!

Re-purchase? Nope, really didn't get on with this one. 


I might not buy a lot of skincare but I'm not a stranger to eye creams. The first sign of ageing on my face was dark circles and thinning skin that my veins now show through (lovely). I've got some fine lines now that particularly appear at the end of the day (which is weird, I never know where they are when I wake up). I've been using a Boots No7 cream that I really like for how it applies and does seem to brighten the area a little, but I wouldn't call it a wonder product. So how did this one compare? It was really similar, actually. In that it seemed to marginally brighten the area (perhaps not as much), sunk in nicely and didn't tamper with my concealer. More profound effects than that though? Maybe I just can't see them, but nothing noticeable here either. But as with the Miracle Cream, I haven't been testing this for weeks which I'd probably need to do to see a difference.

Re-purchase? I think I still prefer the brightening of the Boots cream, but I'm on the fence as this one's a lot cheaper and the differences are barely visible, so I may go this way next time...

Dirty Works Sheet Mask, Eye Cream, Face Scrub and Miracle Cream review


I looooove me a scrub. The one skincare product I can always get behind, because pretty much any scrub worth its gritty salt will instantly make skin feel softer. Particularly if you have problem skin like mine that is forever spotty. I've not allowed myself to buy any products with micro-beads because of how bad they are for the environment, so I've been on the look out for a good new facial scrub. Could this be the one? Well, it could be! I really like this; it was very gentle - so gentle I didn't know if it was doing anything scrub-like, but when it was washed off I could feel it definitely had exfoliated the skin (you know when you can just feel it's a new layer?). It was also very menthol-y which was really refreshing and as I use scrubs in the shower first thing, perfect for waking me up.

Re-purchase? Yes, did exactly as advertised and didn't irritate my skin whatsoever.

So that's all of the skincare products taken care of, but I also got sent a shower cap and a 'rough skin shaver' to tackle my feet (it looks hardcore so I'm quite excited about it). Gross, but necessary. I'm yet to try these but don't worry, I won't be back to talk about how many layers of skin I removed ;) 



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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Outfit: pina colada

The moment the wedding planning was over I became all about the honeymoon, which we decided to stagger so that we weren't trying to pay off everything in one whack, mostly (and also, no thank you school holiday prices!). For those of you that don't know, I'm off to Mauritius next month and I couldn't be more eager for my first truly tropical holiday! Sure, I've been to beaches in Europe before, but I've never been to a beach like the ones I'm promised in Mauritius...

Usually, when I plan my packing for a holiday it takes ages and I agonise over how to tie everything in together so that I don't over-pack on shoes and accessories. Because when you're me, this is actually a genuine problem in your life that consumes your thoughts for days and weeks. (Well, Instagram isn't going to update itself now, is it?!) Anyway, my packing list for this holiday - the longest I've taken in my adult life by a week - took about... half an hour. 

You see, if you're going to a tropical island, it figures you want tropical colours and prints, right? Turns out, that's apparently all I've been buying for myself in the last few years because my wardrobe is full of these pieces. Seriously, where do I think I live?? Clearly not in the UK. Hence it took me no time to realise I have a tonne of stuff to pack, some of which I'd never had the opportunity to wear before like this dress.

So, I thought I'd take the chance to show you a honeymoon outfit a little ahead of schedule. While I imagine I will be posting some looks from the honeymoon (I've certainly got plenty to choose from!), I don't want to go too overboard with it because I'll make myself sick, let alone anyone else. A cure for the level of holiday hangover I'm anticipating here certainly isn't going to be editing hundreds of pictures of myself frolicking in paradise (probably while wearing two jumpers with the heating on going on what the weather's like at the moment). 

As luck would have it, we found some fab tropical plants at nearby Oasis Nursery, who kindly let us snap some pictures for this post. Anyone in the UK will know these photos weren't taken within the last couple of weeks - oh, for the sun to smile on us again...

Collectif Renie pineapple print gypsy dress for tropical 50s outfit


Tropical pin-up look

Tropical pin-up look

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Bow & Crossbones large bamboo hoop tiki earrings with orange hair flower

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Erstwilder pina colada cocktail brooch

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress
Hair flower: Sophisticated Ladies
Dress: Collectif (last year's)
Belt: Dorothy Perkins (old)
Bangles: vintage (gift)
Bag: vintage
Shoes: Leigh-Ann, Crocs (no, really!)


Do I need to expand on the fact I'm wearing Crocs here? I mean, these aren't going to win any beauty awards, but they're not you're typical rubber clog either. I've mentioned before that now and then they actually have some styles that aren't horrendously ugly and the best thing about them is that they're REALLY comfortable. I mean, that's the point of Crocs and I wouldn't be wearing them if that wasn't the case. So this pair are coming on honeymoon with me, as are my trusty cream Crocs flats - sightseeing around the island is going to be no problem for this girl!



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Sunday, 6 August 2017

My vintage seaside wedding - the outfits part 2: the bridal party

Vintage seaside wedding bridal party outfits

Are you all ready for part 2?? Recap: part 1 covered my wedding dress and other bits and pieces of my bridal style, so do go catch up with that for some of the details I don't mention in this post.

Part 2 is going to talk about my bridesmaids and our matching accessories, the groom and groomsmen's outfits and a little bit about what our mum and dads wore, as they all scrubbed up pretty nicely and, more than that, matched the theme too ;)

As before, all photos © Summer Love Photography - and she did some fantastic work with the group shots in particular, that I'm pleased to be able to show you today!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Outfit: vintage beauty with Retruly

If you've been following this blog for any length of time you'll probably have noticed I don't wear a lot of true vintage. I've always preferred reproduction, largely for convenience and cost, and also a few other reasons I once cared to explain. My feelings a few years later on vintage remain largely the same, but I feel more open-minded about it now. If I ever saw a vintage piece in good condition, I might make the leap to invest in it (because it probably would be pricey), whereas before I likely would have moved on without a second thought.

What I find difficult about vintage shopping though is finding these wonderful pieces to fall in love with. I prefer to do my clothes shopping online so vintage/charity shops are out for me, but I'm not really a fan of Etsy - I mean, I love how much choice there is, but I find the search functionality a bit of a headache. Every time you run a search now you get plagued by adverts in your results, always pushing some over-priced item that may or may not be related to what you were looking for - but more times than not it's out of left field. And then you see those same ads on every single result page until you get so annoyed you give up. This is something that was probably on the minds of the people behind new website Retruly, who have taken great pains to set up their own online marketplace for vintage pieces, helping independent sellers to have another platform to display their wares so that people can actually find them!

It was so easy using the site to find the dress I'm wearing in this post because there's tonnes of ways to search for pieces. I tend to find that my waist measurement is the most crucial to whether or not something is going to fit, so I used the taxonomy to search for it specifically. I then narrowed it down even further by ticking boxes for the eras I was interested in. It was very straightforward and this dress presented itself to me in no time at all! I'm rather impressed by the range the site already has, despite not being on the scene for long. Lots of sellers seem to be signing up for it (one of which I recognised from having browsed their own site) - mostly in Europe from what I can gather, but you can tick a 'country' box if you want to see what's around closer to you, which is good to see.

Back to the dress I picked - how could I resist this beautiful print? I'm pretty sure this 50s dress was handmade and expertly done too. There's a seam down the middle of the skirt, and the maker had painstakingly matched up the print - the only way I think you'll see it is in the close up below. Really quite wonderful! I love a square neckline and thick straps and it's just my luck that the previous owner was probably petite themselves, as I didn't have to adjust them. The gorgeous colours of the pattern could only have been paired with my favourite strawberry bag!

I hope you'll all check Retruly out because I really want this site to succeed and keep on growing!

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Sunhat from TU at Sainsbury's

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Straw sunhat from TU at Sainsbury's

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly
Hat: TU by Sainsbury's (check stores)
Dress: vintage c/o Retruly
Bag: Collectif (available here)
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens (no longer available)


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