Monday, January 31, 2011

Grey Area

Monday. To say I wasn't feeling my most enthused when the alarm started screeching this morning would be an understatement. You know those morning where you look in the mirror and realise that no amount of concealer is going to eradicate the bags, your hair really isn't going to behave itself and you just know your mascara is going to end up smeared all over your contact lens? Yeah, it was one of those mornings.

So how glad was I that I didn't have to face my wardrobe?! Organised little me had foreseen the above issues and tried to alleviate the pain in some way by laying out some clothes the night before.

Now, I wear a lot of black, I also wear a lot of grey. I frequently wear grey and black together. I think they look quite nice together so this ensemble was a bit of a no brainer for me...

Martha Jeans, Topshop
Grey Sweatshirt, £9.99 H&M
Scarf, Malaga

So I was a little taken aback when someone in my class this morning thought it was ok to say that grey and black really don't go together. Now first up, I often see this girl around campus and wonder if she got dressed in the dark, but each to their own and if she wants to wear Rainbow striped wrist warmers with a fluorescent yellow vest top, that's her shout. I would never dream of telling her I thought they looked awful together though.

Secondly, I think grey and black are very complementary. I like grey because it's not as harsh as white, tend to be more versatile with the colours I wear most, and has the added benefit of being able to be washed with either the pale or the dark load depending on which has more space.

All in all I was a bit miffed. I think it's really rude to tell someone you think they're clothes don't go together or that that they don't look that good. Maybe between close friends, but even then, there are lines! I also draw the line at being told which colours do and do not go when the person doing the telling is wearing a green and white striped t-shirt with a pink and black tie-dye hoodie.

So I'm putting it to you guys. Grey and black- good, bad, really bloody awful? Let's hear it!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Contotionist's Handbook

Book reviews are not something I've ever posted here before, that's not to say I don't write them with fair frequency, it's just that usually they're about a book I've been instructed to read, have a minimum 1000 word wordcount and in one of my other languages.

But this book, this one is just too good not to share. I LOVE it. Written by Craig Cleavenger, the Contortionist's Handbook is a novel following a man who is a contortionist of  a different type. Relying on his knowledge of the mental health systems in place, and his ability to make himself into who ever he chooses to be, Johnny gives you the ride of a life time through a psychiatric interview. Sound weird? Well it is a little bit, but Johnny gives you a glimpse into a life that has the potential to be highly desirable and certainly one that's a whole lot more exciting- if more complex than my own.

I first came across this book in my local library about 6 years ago. The title grabbed me, and it wouldn't let me go. I wanted to re-read it over the Christmas period, but unfortunately couldn't find it in the library. Then the light bulb moment happened and I hopped to the Kindle store. I may have done a little jig when I found it there.

If you're looking for major intellectual stimulation, leave now, but if you fancy a thrill, a kick, a interesting story and that wonderful moment where you catch yourself wondering how many people are really doing this and living the life, READ NOW.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Never Never Land

When I saw this in the shop, a lot of thing went through my little head- pretty much in this order
2. Hmm high neck, probably not good
3. BUT it's green
4. Peter Pan collar- do I dare?
5. Can I think of a blogger who doesn't own this/similar

So I tried it on, and was pleasantly surprised. It is in fact (just about, and only with leggings) long enough to be a short dress, but the shape when worn as such isn't that flattering for me. Tucked into something, is however a whole different ball game.

Tunic, Topshop
Martha Jeans, Topshop
Scarf (in hair), Berlin

In other news, HOW is it Friday again? The time seems to be zipping past, and for me that means finals are getting ever closer. Although it's only week one, students in our dept are already starting to develop those tell-tale nervous twitches and stressed clutching of books and papers. This really is the final countdown....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


There are lots of things in life that are very much love or hate. Marmite is a classic example, skinny jeans on guys, Twitter, Cheryl Cole, Converse, and I'm quite sure that you could all add at least another 20 to the list.

Personally, I've just found another thing to add. And for me, they're a big no. Hoodies. Sound odd? Well anyone who's a student, take a look around next time you're in a lecture or on campus. If you're on a bus, a train or a tram, start counting. How many people can you clock wearing a hoodie?

Now I'm aware this might seem an odd thing to loathe, and I've got to confess to owning 2 hoodies from my University, but upon returning last week to crack into my final semester, I suddenly noticed the sheer volume of students wearing our university hoodies. Not in the gym, as part of sports teams, or lounging in flats, but in public, with "proper clothes", loud and proud. I'm beginning to think of them as a uniform. To be a proper student I must: be wearing a brightly (and unflattering) coloured hooded sweatshirt with university's crest, my name and something semi-witty embroidered onto. Admittance to the college strictly forbidden to those out of uniform. Alterations and abuse of uniform shall be punished.

We had a school uniform like the majority of British schools. It was pretty inoffensive as they go- navy blazer, pale blue shirt and school tie. I never had a problem with wearing a uniform at school, it put everybody onto an equal level and reminded me that I was in a system, I was there to obey the rules and get on. But 4 years on, aged 21, in an environment where I'm supposed to be fully responsible for my own well being, security, studies and thinking, I object.

I've never had a burning desire to be "different". Sometimes it's good to go unnoticed- you pick up all sorts, and frankly, there is such a thing as bad publicity. If people want to talk about me and what I'm wearing, it needs to be because it looks good on me, and accentuates the positive. Thing is, there's a distinct difference between being relatively camouflaged within society and being uniform.

And this lead me to the conclusion, I hate them. Well in the public domain anyway. My hoodies remain strictly relegated to gym trips and over my PJ's in the flat. I am not 16 years old. I am not uniform. For me, uniform is not appropriate, and I refuse to be made uniform by my peers.

There is an irony here. I'm hoping to join one of our armed forces when I finish university and I will be proud to wear the uniform of a group of people who serve our country. Thankfully, last time I checked hoodies were not a part of military uniform of any type. There's hope yet.

Anybody else feeling vengeful towards an item of clothing right now? Disagree? Got a uniform of your own that you love or love to hate?


Monday, January 24, 2011

In The Swing

T-Shirt, Zara- £9.99
Skirt, my own
Tights, Primark
Cardigan, H&M

First official day back at uni today, and the trusty body con skirt/t-shirt is becoming a firm favourite. Simple but effective. Our tutor for German Critical Thinking obviously had similar ideas as it turns out we're going to be talking predominantly about euthanasia for the next 10 weeks. Simple, yes. Effective, in making a class full of final year languages students more depressed than looming finals already had, yes.

It's been a very quiet weekend chez Fashion Junkie, which has given me lots of time to think and to read things on my Kindle. The result of which is that I'm considering changing the name of the blog. I feel that what I post has out-grown the title Fashion Junkie and is now a lot more about life in general and yours truly with some outfits pitched in the mix. I haven't gotten much further than thinking about changing the name, so I'm not really sure what to move to, or whether I'll end up changing it at all, but I thought I'd throw it out there for some input.

And now, time to make sure I'm up to speed with the translation I'm going to be working with in tomorrows Spanish class. Oh the glamour, oh the excitement.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Junkie Lust #4

Who says fashion should just be about what we wear? I don't. I was lucky enough to be given an Amazon Kindle for Christmas, it's the ideal present for me as I'm on the move a lot and I LOVE to read and it was also featured on my Christmas Wishlist. I have a zip around case which is quite solid so that when I'm throwing it into the bottom of a hand luggage bag or it's going in with my laptop, half a ton of academic books and bottle of water it doesn't end up completely wrecked but what about the rest of the time? What about when it's laying on my bedside table, looking sad and dowdy? What about when it's in my handbag with me and looks out of place with the pretty lining and my girly make-up bag? For this there is a solution...

Kindle Cover, £50.99

Stylish, check. Leather, check. Amazing colour, check. Covers Kindle, check. Doesn't look like a Kindle, check. Included book light (because Kindles are not back lit), check!

For now it's Junkie Lust rather than Junkie acquisition because at £50.99 I feel it's a little steep. Although it is a good looking case that's specifically designed for Kindle and it has the inbuilt light, I'm not entirely sold that it's worth over £50. However I am fortunate enough to receive a bursary in March because apparently nobody likes to study languages and I feel a purchase coming along.

Is anybody else lusting something that they feel is over priced?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Back to Reality

I'm back, and I can tell I'm back because I had an exam today. Back to it after almost a month off, but even though I wasn't feeling very friendly towards my pasty skin and non-cooperative legs today this t-shirt did make me smile. I bought it on the trip to Manchester that I mentioned on Monday.

Zara hasn't been rated very well for customer service in the new Mary Portas show on C4, but if you are prepared to have a rummage on those scary looking tables, there's a bargain to be had, and I have developed a new love for Zara. Despite living in Spain I never really got the "Zara Thing" but since discovering they're online in the UK and knowing the Manchester store fairly well now, I think I might be with it.

Jeans, H&M
Cardigan, Primark
T-Shirt, Zara £15.99 reduced to £5.99
Scarf, Malaga Airport

I'm not sure exactly what is supposed to be depicted on the t-shirt, nor am I sure what the animals are supposed to be but I am sure that it's a gorgeous colour, it was a great little bargain and that I love it.

I have a few other bargains to share in due course, but now back to scheduling my semesters assessments. Saving Grace- it's my very last semester!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Office #5

Finally, Day 5. I've had a few problems posting to Blogger over the weekend but I've done it, so here's what I wore.

Skirt, my own
T-shirt, H&M
Cardigan, Primark
Scarf, Malaga
Tights Primark

You can't see them in these pictures- yes the photography still needs some work, but I'm actually wearing shoes. Not boots. I also managed to get these shots at lunch time when I came home for lunch. It was really nice not to have to shoot these under the low energy light bulbs for a change.

This concludes my week in The Office and Fashion Junkie to Work posts. I'll be headed back to uni this week, so not much time in the office left. I'm also headed to Manchester today to do a little shopping. I'm in desperate need of some new jeans and there is a favourite Chinese restaurant that my friends Kris and I make a point of going to when we're in the city.

Here's hoping for normal service now, happy Monday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Office #4

Day number four in the office has proved to be another techie challenge. Today has been spent switching between desks- generally anybody's that was free for more than 5 minutes.

I couldn't resist putting this blouse on again. I'm in love with it, as it's so easy to wear and I get to pull an extra layer on underneath as it's quite see- through. I don't have a pale vest here at home so it had to be a black one.

Blouse, Tesco
Skirt, By my own fair hand
Tights, Primark
T-Shirt (underneath), H&M
Cardigan, ASOS

Another half price bargain for me. This cardigan comes in Camel, which is still full price at £30 (I can't say I wasn't tempted) but the black is half price, and I can confirm it's cosy as anything and was great given I had some very drafty seats today.

Onwards and upwards, hopefully my technical issues are set and tomorrow will be a last push to get finished on a high before a weekend off. They Guy is also off this weekend and we're both looking forward to a relaxing, film-filled and wine-filled weekend!

Almost there...

The Office #3

That this post didn't go live as scheduled last night is quite a good sum up of my day. I was plagued by technical problems and I had been hoping to take the afternoon off, but it wasn't to be.

Looking on the bright side, I was really pleased with this shirt, it was 50% off in the Clothing at Tesco sale and I LOVE it!

Blouse, Tesco
Trousers, H&M
T-Shirt (underneath), H&M

So better late than never. I think I may have a new favourite shirt...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Office #2

Day 2 in the office. Tuesday is a super busy day for me, so this morning was all about reaching for something super comfy and with the nasty cold weather something warm.

Dress, ASOS,
Jacket, H&M
Leggings, Primark
Boots, Steve Madden

The surprising thing about this, is that I think I've finally broken away from my addiction to my favourite black cardigan, that said I have just as much of an obsession with H&M Jacket.

I'm also back to wearing boots most of the time. I hate hate hate having wet and/or cold feet and with the weather taking a turn for the worse again here, the suggestion I wear anything else on my feet would be met with utmost disgust and point blank refusal.

So day 2- anybody else having winter blues and feeling tuck between the need to stay warm and wanting to pull on summery clothes once more?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Office #1

Here we go with my week in the office. And what a way to start the week. It's been a hectic day and unfortunately a wet and cold one too. I didn't manage to get and shots in daylight, so it's maybe not the best start. I did try to inject a bit of summer into my life with today's dress which I bought when living in Valencia in the spring and summer.

Dress, Stradivarius
T-Shirt, La Redoute
Cardigan, H&M
Leggings, Primark
Boots, Steve Madden

Now, is it just me or does anybody else pull on clothes for the day, take a look out of the window, and then edit to incorporate "comfort" clothing that will make you feel loved and comfy, no matter what it might be? For me those items are my well worn black boyfriend cardigan and my black pashmina which I wear as a scarf. So I actually end up looking like this...

Dress, Stradivarius
T-Shirt, La Redoute
Leggings, Primark
Boots, Steve Madden
Cardigan, Primark
Scarf, Malaga Airport

The wind, rain and cold might not have been the best start to my week, but at least it was a good day in the office. And more importantly- rate or slate? What do you think to my work outfit? I enjoyed have a little bit of summer in my life via my dress, even if it did need a t-shirt and leggings for warmth.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Nose to the Grindstone

I've hinted a couple of times, that I had something coming up. A week long special. Well IT'S HERE! Fashion Junkie goes to work.

Although I'm finishing up with my degree I also work in recruitment. It's something I've done for a couple of years and it works really well as the company I work for is a niche independant recruiter and thankfully it's reasonably relaxed in the office. No jeans, nothing too revealing and so long as it's semi-smart, it goes. This has been great as it means my work clothes have always had some crossover with the rest of my wardrobe.

Unfortunately I've never done much work during the winter, and our office is COLD, so none of my usual summer dresses, and packing to come home had to be fairly sparse. This got my little cogs a turning. What am I going to wear for work, can I do it without buying anything new specifically for it?

So here it goes- I'm back in the office almost full time this week, and everyday I'll be posting my outfit for work for you to rate or slate. Every outfit will be clothes I already own, none of them pre-purchased for work. Think I'm too safe? Too casual? Too smart? I want to know.

And a sneak preview- this is what I wore on Friday when it was cold, sleety and dark.

 Sweater Dress, H&M
Cardigan and Leggings, Primark
Boots, Steve Madden
Pashmina (as scarf), Malaga Airport

Silver Ring, Local Jeweller
Gold Ring with green stone, Antique and a gift from my Grandmother.

Matryoshka Necklace (under scarf), ASOS


Friday, January 7, 2011

Magic Numbers

Today I was thrilled (and I admit I did a little jig in my seat) to see that there are now 10 lovely people who are following Fashion Junkie via Google Connect. Thank you for following, I'm quite honoured that you choose to read about a girl who likes to talk, take pictures, shop and who has an obsession with spiky rings and matryoskas.

Finding I have 10 followers ties very nicely with something else rather lovely. Messy Carla is running a Pay It Forward challenge on her blog right at the moment. The idea is really very simple- the first 10 people to comment on the post will receive something hand made from Carla, and they must in turn make something for 10 people. The original idea was just 5 people, but Carla has upped her game to 10 and I thought I would too, to tie in with reaching 10 followers.

by Rai at Blargle Fargle

A lovely idea don't you think? As mentioned, I'll be doing this for 10 of you lovely people, although Rai's lovely graphic says 5.So would you like to receive something hand made from me? Then all you need to do is leave me a comment below with your e-mail address for me to contact you, and a link to your blog if you have one.

1. Melrod
2.Meg from Bargainista on a Hunt
3. Ivonne from I Just Nod
4. Connie from Connie in Wonderland
5. Jen from Jen Hemming and Hawing Again

I'm really excited for this little challenge, I think it's going to be great fun, and I'm also super excited to receive something too. Let's go...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hello World

It's been a whole week since I last left the house. Unfortunately I was struck down by a horrible cold/cough/chest infection thing over the New Year period and although I'm still hacking well, I once again feel (almost) human. My treat outing? The dentist and the opticians.

Not exciting, I know but I thought I'd make a bit of an effort to look well and presentable to the human race and the end result...

Martha Jeans, Topshop
Black T-shirt, La Redoute
Jacket, H&M
Shoes, H&M


This necklace was a 21st birthday present from my mum and dad, which is one of the many reasons I love it.
Necklace, DKNY

This was another 21st birthday present of sorts, as I bought it using money given to me by family. It's earned it's place as my very favourite.
Ring, Shaun Leane

I had a bit of a poke around in the shops whilst in town, but nothing sprung out at me. I am in the throes of planning a proper shopping day trip before heading away again as the choice of shops here is a little limited and there are a few things I could do with looking for.

Is anyone else bored of sales stock? Anybody eyeing up a new season item? Planning any special purchases in January?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Onwards and Upwards

We're now well and truly into 2011, today being January 5th. Lots of you have been posting resolutions for the year or focusing on what you'd like to do better and I've found it interesting, touching and fascinating to read them.

I'm not really into New Years Resolutions, making changes should not be limited to or caused only by a new year beginning and there are some many things I'd like to do better I'd be ashamed to publish them all, but I do have some very important aims for 2011 that I'd like to share.

My biggie is Graduation. I'm in my fourth and final year of a BA Hons triple major in French, German and Spanish. It's been a roller coaster ride over the last 3 and a bit years. I've lived in 7 flats, with 43 flatmates across 4 countries. I've attended 3 foreign universities. I've tried all sorts of things I might never have done otherwise, and experienced several whole new worlds I'd never have had access to.
All in all, it's been a good experience but I'm looking forward to moving on and starting work. I've always worked around school and my studies and I find studying quite self-indulgent. I'm looking forward to using what I've learned and hopefully learning more in an environment that can contribute in some way.

My other biggie ties naturally in with graduation. I'm currently pursuing a couple of things on the career front and so far the feedback I'm getting from both potential employers and from colleagues has been good so I'm hopeful and enthused for moving forward this year.

In 2011 I hope Fashion Junkie can continue along the same trends as 2010. I've seen a steady rise in the lovely comments received and I've been lucky to connect with some of you more personally via Twitter. Thank you for all the support whether you've visited, commented, followed or connected. I hope you'll stick around to see what I can do in the coming 12 months.
I've got a couple of features in mind- Junkie Lust received a warm welcome in December so we'll see how it goes into this year and stay tuned for a week long special coming VERY soon- more info to follow...

To everybody, I wish you all the very best for all of your hopes and plans this year. Here we go 2011.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Junkie Lust #3

Being as it's a new year, I thought I'd do a Junkie Lust Special- a few things I'm lusting after before I head back to the grindstone and to take me into 2011 in style...

Animal Love PJ's £28
I have a mega soft spot for Topshop pyjamas, they're soft, comfy and 100% cotton. Oh and didn't I mention they're pretty damn gorgeous. Why should style be restricted to just the waking hours?

Next up Handbags.
I'm after a new black handbag at the moment. My first Junkie Lust was the Marc Jacobs Natasha bag, but unfortunately the budget doesn't stretch that far. I do have a bit of liking for Nica though. My favourite handbag is by Nica, but looking a bit battered. I love the soft leather, they're well made and if you're like me and have everything except the kitchen sink with you on a regular basis, the larger bags are a reasonable size.

So now the biggest problem is which one next?  quite like the look of the Dixie and of Nabi. All suggestions and advice welcome!

And last on my new year edition, it had to be really. Shoes.
These caught my eye in the Aldo sale, I feel some shopping coming on...

Ellenbecker Shoes, £13.99

Today was supposed to be shopping with a friend of mine, but unfortunately I'm so full of lurgy I had to give it a miss. Hopefully I should be able to get out and about later in the week or maybe next week, so stand by for Junkie Lust becoming Junkie Purchases.

What are you lusting for this year? Anything really special? Maybe something small but significant? I want to know.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

First off, Happy New Year 2011. I wish everybody all the very best, here's to all the things you're hoping to achieve in the next 12 months.

Unfortunately I've managed to get myself a really nasty cough and spent most of the last 2 days hacking and wheezing and rattling, but there was no way I was going to let some nasty little germs stop me enjoying New Year celebrations, as One Thousand And One Arabian Nights was sure to be a good one!

The Menu- We couldn't resist a bit of humour, cheesy or not...

Friends, Family and a fair amount of wine- the recipe for a good evening I do believe

We spent a really pleasant evening around our dining table, lots of food was consumed and lots of wine seemed to slip down. I have decided that wine is an acceptable and successful substitute for cough medicine.

I thought you might like to see some of the foodie things we had going on, unfortunately there aren't pictures of everything, the pastries- beef filled Boreks and spinach and ricotta fill pastries are absent, as are the Falafels and spiced meatballs, but some of the other dips and goodies include....

Baba Ganoush (Smoked Aubergine), Hummus (Chickpea) and Tszatziki (Yoghurt) dips and home made Pitta Breads

Home made Pitta Breads- they came out a little more puffy than we expected, but I thought they looked pretty impressive!
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Our desert- Orange and Mint Jelly, Ginger Ice Cream and Spiced Mince Meat Parcels all produced by Dad's fair hands and the chocolate dipped physalis fruit as dipped by Mum.

Monty appearing, ever hopeful something may drop in his direction. Chance would be a fine thing....

We did things a little backward and started our evening with Champagne- it so wasn't going to taste as good after all our savoury and spiced food. We also managed to procure some Lebanese wine to go with the Tagine that was our first course. It's quite difficult to find, but was well worth it.

Overall, a good night was had by everybody. The food went down well as it was something a little different and between the 9 of us there was some interesting conversation to be had- a chef, a builder, a PhD Philosophy Student, a hairdresser, a business studies teacher, a Signage business owner, a kitchen designer and all round super woman (my mum) and a languages student around one table. 

I hope everybody else had a great night and there aren't too many sore heads this morning. Here's to 2011...