Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Electric Meadows

We've had our heat wave, bikinis have been into and gone from the shops already, the sales are drawing to a close and on Thursday it will be August, before you know it, we'll be back in jackets and thick tights. That's all fine and good, but actually, I have a holiday booked (Tenerife) in September, and it's going to be hot (YIPEEE).

When Surfdome.com very generously offered to let me loose on their store, I noted very quickly that they had lots of awesome summer goodies going on, and a pretty awesome sale. Surfdome sell all manner of fab clothing and shoes, including lots of brand as Hunter, Quicksilver and French Connection (which you can admire here)

With my holiday (and the recent warmer weather we've been having) in mind, this is what the rather lovely people at Surfdome sent me....

French Connection Printed Summer Dress Red Blue Yellow

Vivid printed French Connection dress, available at Surfdome - Sandals, Primark - Belt, F21 - Cardigan (below), American Apparel

French Connection Summer Dress & American Apparel shawl cardigan

Isn't it gorgeous? I saw the print on this awesome cotton summer dress, and knew immediately it would be perfect against a tan for my holiday, and a great dress for a sunny Saturday wandering about London.

French Connection Dress Red and Blue print

I like the adjustable nature of this dress too, the tie shoulder straps and elasticated waist mean I can wear it loosely, and with a seafood induced food baby, which I fully intend to indulge in September (about 6 weeks to go!), but it does work for with a belt and it still covers everything I need it too. Not bad considering it's a bit of a sale steal at present with 40% off it's £45.99 price tag. 

I'd highly recommend taking a good look at the Surfdome sale if, like me you're headed away on an early autumn sunshine holiday, they have some great swimwear at a really good price point. They also have a dedicated section of their website for holiday and travel (check it out HERE) which is perfect if you're on the hunt for some decent sunglasses to go with your swimwear or some new luggage because your enormous suitcase was vastly overfilled last time you used it, so bashing the caster against the edge of a train step broke it clean off (just me.... ok). 

Have you used Surfdome before? I hadn't, but they are the latest addition to my bookmarks, because they have some great brands, and plenty of great products. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Conscious Collection

This dress has appeared on my Instagram and in a couple of Recently I'm Wearing posts, but considering how much I wear it, it was a bit of a surprise when I realised I'd never actually showed it off to it's full potential.

H&M sizing is a bit of a nightmare, so this dress is a full 3 sizes larger than my usual, but I still love it. The dress is from the H&M Conscious Collection, which is made from materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyamide and other sustainable sources. I'll be honest and say this is an added bonus for me, since it was the print that caught my eye in the first place.

H&M Conscious Collection Printed Shft & Clarks Henderson Flats

H&M Tropical Print Shift dress

Dress, H&M - Shoes, Clarks via Spartoo

It's a pretty perfect easy to wear work dress, Pull on, leave house, and the best bit- the print, at first glance (to me, in any case) looks really loud and in your face, but I always feel totally comfortable in it, and it always feels interesting without being obnoxious.

The shift style of this has the potential to be a little sack-esque, but the length seems to balance everything out. I often pull a jacket over this dress if I have to be in meetings or out and about too, which really pulls it in at the waist

Not bad for a £20 impulse buy.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Neäl & Wølf

My hair is something people often notice about me, not that it's anything special, but it's long, and my friends and family often find it in..... unexpected places (food I didn't prepare...). Long hair is one of those things, that if you don't look after it, can start to look a bit rough round the edges.

I try and combat this by having my hair cut regularly (every 12 weeks) but it doesn't always work out that way (ahem February was my last cut.... and I'm in the chair for the first time since as this goes live...) and I use my hairdryer/straighteners sparingly (2-3 times a month). But it's currently looking a bit lacklustre, so when the lovely people from Neäl & Wølf offered me a little chance to try some of their products, it frankly, couldn't be better timing.

I opted to try out their Harmony intensive care treatment and the Glow super shine spray. They landed with me last week, and here's what I thought.

Neal and Wolf GLOW & HARMONY

First up, this package smelled amazing. It arrived in my office, and the girls and I could smell the goodies before I even opened it up. The same can be said for the products themselves, they are a lot more girly and more heavily perfumed than I would usually purchase, but the scent is just amazing. T also couldn't keep his nose out when I saw him recently.

I loved both these products, but I wanted to start with my very favouritest. Glow. What first drew me to this product, is that it can be used on dry hair. I've come across loads of hair products that sound great until I read the back of the package and it advises use on damp hair before drying. This is all good, if you use a hairdryer regularly and wash your hair in the mornings. I do neither.

Neal and Wolf GLOW

Glow is a shine spray, which excited me too, because my hair rarely looks shiny, unless I apply heat. This spray does everything it promises- spray evenly and brush through for shine without grease or weight. And for addictively good smelling hair. Go forth, and have shiny hair.


Neal and Wolf GLOW before


Neal and Wolf GLOW after

Harmony was a bonus extra, I wasn't expecting to receive both products, and this was my second choice.

Neal and Wolf HARMONY

Harmony smells even better than Glow. This stuff is like sensory overload crack. So, more importantly, does it work? Well, yes. Apply to wet hair, leave for 3-4 mins, and rinse. I tend to rub a generous handful of Harmony through the ends of my hair, then I have the rest of my shower before rinsing. It leaves my hair feeling so soft, and it's helped the ends look a little less ruined before their much needed trim. I often experience breakage with my hair, even though I try to use a good quality hair brush and to be gentle. One thing I've noticed has lessened since using Harmony, is breakage I should add, I've been using Harmony with every wash, but I try to wash my hair only every 3 days. If you wash your hair more regularly, this might be better as a weekly treat.

Neal and Wolf HARMONY product

Another consideration for me, with all products both hair and skin, is how my skin is affected. My skin is very sensitive and heavily coloured or scented products, or hair products that leave a residue when rinsed are particularly problematic. One of the joys of the Neäl & Wølf goodies, is that I didn't experience any residues, or any adverse affect on my skin. Although Harmony in particular I would have expected to be heavy on my hair, and it totally isn't, but there's no compromise on the luxury effect. 

All in all, an awesome experience. I think the Glow spray is set to last me a goodly while, since I wouldn't use this every day, but maybe once or twice a week, the Harmony conditioning treatment is going to remain in the shower, and I intend to purchase another before too long, since it's basically love.

Check out the Neäl & Wølf website for all their products, you might be interested to know that they also sell larger sizes and duo packs of some of their goodies too, for a good value option.

**Products in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All views and opinions are my own**

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chloe Likes To Eat

Just lately, I think I've been living on reduced to clear salad. Sounds dull, but my local Tesco Express forever has bagged salads and pre-prepped fruit in their reduced to clear section, and that's great for me whilst I'm alone because it makes easy, healthy meals for one. This particular variation is my favourite.

Chloe Likes To Eat Salad

Take 1 reduced to clear (25p) bag of salad, and elegantly dump on plate....

Chloe Likes To Eat Lemon Chilli Prawns

Add one portion of cooked king prawns (lightly warmed in a ton of lemon juice, a quick shake of chilli flakes and shake of ginger)

Chloe Likes To Eat Chilli Lemon Prawn Salad

Dump elegantly on plate

Chloe Likes To Eat Close Up Chilli Lemon Prawn Salad

Garnish delicately with black pepper and more lemon juice. 


Fresh, check. Protein, check. Sugar free, check (lemons have pretty much the lowest sugar content of all fruits). Super tasty, check. Quick, damn straight. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pocket Dog

I've had this dress a while, I pull out it out, wear it lots, then it gets shoved to the back of the wardrobe for another few months. It's pretty perfect for sunbathing at lunch the summer months being sleeveless and lightweight. I also totally forgot I had this jacket, it remains mostly in its plastic wrapping so as not to get marked, but this combo was perfect for a meeting last week...

Dog Print Dress & Cream Jacket 2

Dress, Primark - Jacket, Topshop - Belt, Primark - Shoes, Mel c/o Spartoo

The little dogs have red/coral coloured parts to the print, which gives me a great opportunity to keep wearing these slipper style flats from Mel, the only downside is that I ended up with super distinctive tan lines... oops. They are so comfy though, and and despite the wintery feel they could have, I thought these red flats worked really well for summer too. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kinda Magic

Sometimes, I have flashes of moments, days or events in my life that reflect true happiness, and it feels magical. Today was one of these days, and rather than share it, I'm just going to show you what I wore, because sometimes, days like this, they're best lived, enjoyed and kept for special memory.

Denim Dress & Sneakers 1

Denim Dress, eBay available HERE - Sneakers, Primark - Belt, F21 -  Handbag, Nica c/o Spartoo

After my Chambray Dress being so obscenely short, I set a hunt for for something a bit more wearable. Thank you eBay, we have a winner. A bit slow to arrive from China, but worth it nonetheless. The sizing on this dress is a bit more generous than some of my other purchases from oriental sellers, but I was glad of that on a warm day. This is also super light weight denim, so it's not overly hot for summer days. 

Also meet my new handbag. I've been looking for a new midsize handbag for a while, as I knew my studded Primark number wouldn't last too long, and it bit the dust a couple of weeks back. 

Nica Saddle Bag style handbag

Nica Handbag lining

I like the simple styling of it, kinda saddle-bag style by Nica, and it fits my camera, phone, keys, purse etc etc etc but isn't the vast size I favour for work. Happy days. It zips up, underneath the front flap, good for security in London, and cross body is always a win for keeping me hands free. Oh and did I mention it was a total steal in the Spartoo sale for just £38.99. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer Sandals

It seems the phrase 'heatwave' has been latched upon, but personally, I call this summer. I love the warmer weather, and my only regret presently, is that I got rid of my tired old Primark sandals last year when they fell apart, and haven't bothered to replace them. Good news though, not only is the warmer weather set to continue, but I'm off away on a sunshine break in September, so I've been a browsing for shiny, new, strappy sandals and shoes. Here's my front runners currently:

Rodi Roccia Sandals Spartoo
I like the grown up take on summer sandals these with the tan and snake skin effect. They are pefect neutral colours to go with all sorts of colours. But these particular Alberto Gozzi sandals do need to be versatile. These are my most pricey choice at £130.34, in the sale. Eeek.
Cristofoli Silver Flower Sandals Spartoo
These fabric embellished sandals are my second favourite on my hitlist. I love the subtlety of the flowers and the metallic would take these Cristofoli sandals from shorts and shirt in the day time to dress and bronzer in the evening for a girly shoe with a bit of an edge, how am I supposed to say no to 50% off in the sale?

Esska Heeled Wedge Suede Sandals Grey and Red Spartoo

I'm usually a fan of a flat sandal, but from time to time, a heel is useful, and as summer heels go, these are perfect. A good, stable wedge, perfect for afternoons with one (hic) too many Pimms, and work friendly in neutral tones but with an interesting flash of colour. I think these Esska shoes will be insanely comfortable, and, oh, look, more 50% off sale prices.... shame.

Apepaza Multi Coloured Bright Sandals

And the best to last. These are my absolute favourite of the bunch, and are sitting in my basket as a payday treat. Love the flashes of colour, which are varied enough that they will work with most of my wardrobe, love the jewelled front, love the strap around the heel for supper and love the streamlined, glamour of these Apepazza sandals. Come to mama

It's kinda scary to think that the new AW stock will be coming around before too many weeks, I've barely bothered with buying summer clothes and shoes this year, since I can't wear strappy sun dresses to work, and I didn't think I'd be getting a sunshine holiday. I did manage to dig out a few essentials that remained in storage at my parents' house last week though, and I'm definitely on the look out for dresses now, that I can wear comfortably with bare legs and no cardigan now, but that see me into the cooler autumnal months with tights and jackets. Hit me with any suggestions!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blemish Defences

My skin has been hating on me the last couple of weeks, so last time I found myself in a Boots store, I had a bit of a poke about to see if they had anything that might ease things a little. My skin has long been problematic- excess oil, blemishes, and general irritability, I don't expect cures from skincare, just a bit of easing up.

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Blemish Defence

Since the skincare was on 3 for 2, and I needed moisturiser anyway, I went to town and bought both of these products I was looking at. I know how to live, right?

Beautiful Skin Deep Pore Purifier head Boots No7

This first product is designed to deep cleanse in those areas prone to black heads, for me that's my nose and chin. The spines are soft plastic which don't hurt and aren't abrasive the way an exfoliant is, but it definitely get right into those bits that need an extra bit of scrubbing attention. I liked this product a lot, and found that it worked really well the day after using a hot cloth cleanser (which often draws a lot of nasties out of my skin). 

This probably isn't a great product for those with dry skin since the formula is a gel-like and I imagine may be drying if you don't have skin which can be oily or prone to. I liked it though, and would repurchase. 

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Deep Pore Purifier

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Blemish Defence Serum

I also liked the serum a lot. It was smooth without feeling at all oily, and it was clean without feeling sticky or drying. This is not a thick and luxurious skin care product, but I liked it all the more for that. It's recommended for best results to let it full absorb before applying moisturiser, which concerned me, since I didn't want to be waiting hours before I could crack on with my skincare routine, but it soon sank into my skin without any nasty residues or stickiness. 

The serum definitely helped my skin in being less angry, but I'm not sure it made much more difference than that. I've been using the serum for 3 weeks, and will definitely finish the tub (which FYI seems to be going on forever, no bad thing) but I'm still undecided as to whether I'd buy it again. It will have to do something drastic to impress between now and the end of the bottle. 

I'd love to know what you've all been trying out, or if there's anything I'm missing out on in my skin care regime. Hit me with your suggestions. 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chloe Likes To Drink

If I do Chloe Likes To Eat, I feel it's only fair to have a Chloe Likes To Drink to match...

I am a bit of a fruit bat. My mother used to joke about the difficulty in keeping a fruit bowl full, and I'm even more of a guts with summer fruits. Just lately, I've been eating lots of blueberries since they've been a good price in my local Lidl- I regularly kid myself that I'll just have a few... 10 mins later the punnet is empty.

Staying at my parents' house lately was an even bigger treat, I have family with an allotment and the strawberries that have been coming from it are the sweetest I've had in my short life. I can, and have eaten several punnets, in a sitting each. I like them as they are, but this was an inspired idea, if I do say so myself....

Strawberries in glass


Elderflower Champagne and Strawberries

Plus homemade Elderflower Champagne

Strawberries and Elderflower Champagne 3

Equals...Happy Summers Day

A cool, refreshing treat on a super warm Sunday spent glued to my Kindle in the sun. Highly recommended.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Recently I'm Wearing

Aside the dressing down I've been doing lately, I have been wearing some proper clothes! See here....

Jamie Jeans, Topshop - Check Shirt, H&M - Mel Flat Shoes c/o Spartoo Shoes

Top, Primark

Breton T-shirt, Primark - Necklace, eBay - Satchel (green strap), Zatchels
White Oxford style shirt, eBay available HERE - Trousers, Primark - Belt, F21 - Shoes, Clarks

Work out stuff, assorted - Sweaty face, model's own - Sneakers, Primark

Dress, eBay (as featured HERE) - Quinn bag, Marc B - Betty London flat shoes, c/o Spartoo Shoes
Palm print skirt, George at Asda - Shoes as above

Nigerian Printed Dress

And just one last one for thought- This dress I bought from a very tiny, very hot shop in central Lagos, Nigeria last year. Today is exactly 1 year since I flew back from trip where I spent a week lecturing and speaking with law students at Nigeria's UNILAG. It was an awesome trip, I learned way more than I taught, and it was a privileged to work with such interested and welcoming students. 

I'm back to normal ish tomorrow, since I go back to my 'proper' job after a week business sitting. I'm relieved to be getting back, it's been a good reminder to come at my job with fresh energy. I'm also settling myself after a visit from T. He was released for a weekend, and I'm left wondering if I would have found it easier had I not seen him until his passing out ceremony on August 3rd, coming home to our hole of a flat alone has been a tough one. Although it has reminded me that I definitely need to be making some choices with regard to my dress for the ceremony. If you didn't catch it, you can see my current line of thinking in my post HERE

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Good Dressing Down

Old news, I know but it really has been beautifully warm and mostly sunny in East Anglia, I like this a lot. I think I've made a sufficient start on my holiday tan and I'm quite enjoying only requiring the one layer (or less by preference).

I'm also quite enjoying the office dress down thing going on, . As you can see, I have had a long and arduous commute to consider...

I have such a log an arduous commute to work this morning.

It's a hard life...

Aztec dress & Converse 1

Aztec Dress & Converse 3

Dress, Clothing at Tesco - Belt, F21 - Converse Dainty Ox Sneakers, c/o Spartoo - Glasses, Prada

I realised when I pulled this dress on, that I had been desperate for an opportunity to retake the pictures ever since I first showed this dress on Chloe Likes To Talk, not long after I had my camera, and it took me a little bit of practice. But here it is, in it's full glory, and I get a feeling my new shoes will be omni present for a while yet too. 

FYI- the Spartoo sale is hot stuff at the moment, not just their shoes either. I just sorted myself out this Nica black handbag with a 35% discount, and some of the shoe discounts are even better. Well worth a look. 

My office for my proper job is mostly pretty relaxed, I don't have to wear a suit, but I am expected to show up looking smart, and this would not be acceptable work wear. This week, nobody has seen me to tell me what is or isn't acceptable, great, isn't it. No clients, no colleagues, just me. And the phones. This dress also has the benefit of being super comfy, since it's jersey, and although at first I was going to exchange it for a smaller size, since it's a touch on the loose side, I'm glad I kept a larger size, because it has lots of movement room and the length is awesome- am I the only not-that-tall person who is finding everything obscenely short lately (as evidenced HERE)? 

I'm homeward bound tomorrow and back to my proper job on Monday, which I seriously cannot wait for. Anyone who has seen my Twitter feed this week will have realised I've had a lot of chef-related ARGH moments. At least in my real job, most of my clients are technically deceased, they're generally a lot less hassle.... 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chambray Queen

Working from home is as much a pain in the behind as it is a joy, but one of the joys is wearing whatever the hell you like, including indecently short dresses....
Chambray Denim Shirt Dress & Converse 1

Chambray Denim Shirt Dress & Converse 2

Dress & Belt, Primark -  Converse c/o Spartoo

I've been dying to try out this dress & sneakers combo for ages, and my new Converse have just arrived (love pulling on new shoes so soon as I get them, please tell me it's not just me?) so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I did warn you the dress was indecent, but at least I get to show off the tan I'm getting from utilising the garden space I've had at my disposal this weekend. Shame. Most of the time though, I've been splodging about, chained to the phones, like this. I'm not even ashamed any more...

#todayimwearing new work wear. Good things about working from home....

I'm also stuck in glasses at the moment due to some eye drama with my lenses. In short nobody seems to be able to supply my prescription in lenses, even though my new prescription is better than my old one. So irritating. I also have to find new glasses in the next couple of months, since I need new lenses anyhow, and these ones feel a little wobbly. I'm slightly horrified at the thought of having to go and select since 5 years have passed since I last bought any.... eeek

On a much more pleasant purchase note- look what I got

Bohemian Collective Rose Gold above knuckle ring

Bohemian Collective above knuckle rings 1

These rings are both from The Bohemian Collective, and I bought them after I lost my silver wishbone above knuckle ring. I have no idea where it actually went, it seemingly disappeared into thin air shortly after I received it in the #axcircus goodie bag. 

Above knuckle rings are a bit of a 'du jour' thing, but I really like them, since they don't make my fingers looking slightly less pudgy, and the Rose Gold replacement of the original silver wishbone ring is just perfection, since I do love a bit of Rose Gold. The simple silver band was almost an after thought, but I love the simplicity of that too. I thought both rings were a super good price being £26 for the wishbone in Rose Gold and £12 for the simple above knuckle in silver



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chloe Likes To Eat

One of my favourite Italian dishes is Parmigiana Melanzane. Basically, it's grilled aubergine layered with tomato sauce and can be topped with a little cheese. I love it, and it's a super easy dinner.

Cooked Parmigiana Melanzane Cooked

I make my tomato sauce by browning off onions and garlic, then adding pasata and tomato purée, a shake salt, pepper and oregano. Slice the aubergines into 1-1.5cm slices, grill them until just browned, then layer in an oven proof dish or in my case, an oh so elegant roasting tin, sprinkle with a little cheese- parmesan would be the traditional choice, but grano, a little cheddar, whatever floats your boat. Shove it in the oven on medium heat for 40 mins, then scoff.

Parmigiana Melanzane Construction

Parmigina Melanzane Before Cooking

Quick, easy, as healthy as you want it to be, cheap when your aubergines come from Sainsbury's for £1 for a bag, and pretty damned tasty.

FYI this is quite filling, I never serve this with pasta, only occasionally with garlic bread, and mostly with salad or as it comes.

Psst.... If you like this outfit, I'd really appreciate a one-click vote for it HERE

Palm Print Skirt & French Connection Blouse 1

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Passing Out

You might already know that T is passing out in August following a stint at Sandhurst. I'm looking forward to having him home, but I do have to go to the ceremony, and it's a bugger to dress for. Having put some serious effort into trying to shift a couple of Kilos, and knowing I don't have any similar events to go to in the near future, I decided hiring something might be better than buying something, and since Girl Meets Dress has built a solid reputation just lately, I thought I'd have a browse.

Erdem Dress and Clarks Shoes
This Erdem number is a bit more floral and girly than my usual style, but I think that's why I like it. It's a good modest length, and it'll definitely be better if it's a cooler day since it has a full sleeve.

McQ Dress and Clarks Shoes

McQ is a brand I love for a bit of fire and feist. This is my personal favourite of the three, since it makes an impact, and is a bit of a knock out in terms of giving a hint of sex appeal without showing too much flesh
Alice and Oliva Dress and Clarks Shoes

My last choice, by Alice & Olivia is the most risqué. I love the cut-out detail on the waist, and it would be awesome with the tan I'm presently working on, but I think it might be a touch too much for the Army. That's not to say it isn't still on my bookmarked list.... 

The heeled shoes are Clarks Chorus Voice from Spartoo, I've managed to find three different dresses to go with the shoes, since they're pretty pricey, I know they'll be insanely comfortable, which is necessary, as it's likely to be a long day, but I think they justify their cost when you start to look at just how much they go with....

Pst... If you liked this outfit, I'd really appreciate a one-click vote for it HERE

Palm Print Skirt & French Connection Blouse 1