Thursday, 28 May 2015

My Approach on Interview Wear

I had the fear last week. The actual fear of 'I don't have anything to wear'. 

Now, we all know that is a lie, as we've seen my wardrobe!! But, readers, I genuinely didn't have anything to wear for a job interview. 

I have super smart things, but unfortunately, due to a client visit, I'd recently worn them in the office, and as such, didn't hold that 'dressing for a special occasion' feel that I was hoping my interview outfit would afford me. 

I'd worn this black grid dress (no longer available) just the previous week, otherwise it would have been an ideal choice (worn here with my Voodoo Vixen Glasses Cardigan):

And in a brief lunch time meeting, I'd worn my Simply Be Check Dress, meaning that was also out of the picture (again with my Voodoo Vixen Cardigan)

So when I remembered the Look Magazine for Simply Be dress, in cobalt, was hanging in my wardrobe (having snapped it up on the Crazy Clearance website a couple of weeks before), my 'I have nothing to wear' crisis was over. 

Instead it was replaced by the blazer question - do I wear a blazer? Or stick with my trademark cardigan?

Now, this is where my interview dress philosophy really comes into play - don't try to be someone else in an interview. You want to be as comfortable (but smart) as possible. And so, no blazer, but I treated myself to a new cardigan from M&S instead:

Teamed with my reliable Clarks (mens) brogues, and I was set. 

My interview was in the morning (all morning), and I actually enjoyed it. By mid afternoon I had my feedback. 

Readers, I got the job! 

It's for the same company, but a greater challenge, and in a different account. I am super duper excited. 

And I'm sure being relaxed and comfortable in the interview played it's own part in my success. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Revolution Bars without the Vodka Twist

Sometimes, certain events conspire to happen at the most perfect of timings. When I was contacted by the lovely team at Revolution in Newcastle, to review their revised food menu, I was excited, but I had a decision to make - whether to use the 'free main dish' as a tentative date suggestion, or for a meet up with the lovely @arteyeficial, who was up in Newcastle from London. 

A mate date with Kirsty was a ding-ding-ding WINNER!

We were due to meet at 7:30pm, and I was, most unlike me, running late. 

A quick suggestion to anyone thinking of reviewing food on their blog - don't have a meal beforehand. I accidently had a lovely chicken lemon risotto out of politeness!! Thankfully, Kirsty fully understood my predicament and in some respects, it meant I ordered my food with my head, not my stomach!

Once we'd been escorted to our booth, and I cooed over this little touch! 

In fact, I was taken by a lot of the little touches, which I can't say I've paid that much attention to in my previous visits to Revolution.

My favourite brand of tea, on the wall in our own booth! A lovely Newcastle touch added to this (easy forget it's a chain) chain!

After a few false starts with the wait staff (due to our inability to decide! I mean, look at the menu!), Kirsty and I eventually ordered, opting for an Asian Spritzer (refreshing, but with a bit of heat. Ginger beer with elderflower, apple and lime).

My 'Smoking Dog', was perfect. A Bockwurst sausage, smoked cheddar, fire pit beans, BBQ fried onions, with smokinnaise on the sweetest bread bun was a creat combination of smoke and heat. 

Due to my 'I've eaten by accident', status, I opted to leave the bread, and instead enjoyed the 'dog' in all it's smokeyness without the cooling (filling) effect of the bread!

Kirsty opted for the Bourbon Bad Boy, a double beef burger, bourbon chipotle sauce, streaky bacon, smoked cheddar, vine tomatoes, onion rings, cajun dusted fries.

Enough to say that her plate was empty (having not indulged in a pre meal meal!)!

We put the world to rights, in the most beautiful room. It's hard to notice the stunning ceiling when you're queuing at the bar, trying to make eye contact with someone behind the bar who will take your money! And that's where Revolution becomes a bar with two identities - the restaurant, and the cocktail bar. 

I'm glad I finally sampled the restaurant, and boy, was it good

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

(This main meal was paid for by Revolution, but the views and photos are my own)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Coffee With a Twist

To be honest, after my last visit to a Joe Bloggers event, I was surprised to be invited back! And to one that involved alcohol! I mean, the last event left me (mildly) burnt and bloody! And the challenge I did for them muttered the now infamous line 'WHAT ABOUT THE MINT!', of which I'm reminded often!

But no, another exciting email landed in my inbox, inviting me to have Coffee with Currys (does coffee even go with Tikka Masala though?!)

Off I toddled to Revolution Vodka bar in Newcastle, having dropped the car at home - allowing me to fully enjoy the cocktails on offer!

I opted for my lush Lady Voluptuous Lyra dress, and Black Heart Creatives 'Miss Kathryn' necklace. I teamed the teal dress with MAC lipstick in matte Heroine, which I've not talked about on here, but I LOVE that it is long wearing and not shiny!

I was SET!

I had hoped to meet up with my awesome NE Bloggers pals (Rachel, Lou, Lucy, Libby, and Alice) beforehand, but ended up dashing straight to Revolution from the metro and being met by the super friendly Joe Bloggers team and escorted to our VIP area!

It is always great to be welcomed into the NE Bloggers fold - they really are an accepting lot! 

Photo courtesy of @thecuriosityfox

After sampling a Salted Caramel Latte cocktail (with added Vodka), in our cocktail half hour, we then got to the gritty of the event - the COCKTAIL MAKING!

We were ushered round to the other side of the bar, and in teams of 5, set about creating some cocktail masterpieces and messes!

I was with the delightful Rory, who patiently talked us through how to make the Honey Fee, a coffee based Cocktail with Honey Jack Daniels as the base. 

I was super impressed by the willingness from the bar staff to make allowances for coffee, gluten, milk intolerances, cleaning equipment in between times, and really making the girls feel at ease. 

After quaffing back 2 cocktails, and maybe stealing some of other peoples (see the below image with the lovely Alice), and having a shot, before any food, meant I was a little merry, as I chatted away about politics (it was election night!), body positivity and general awesome chat!

After the business of making and drinking cocktails was done, the food was arranged lovingly, and was swiftly demolished before anyone could even think of taking a photo! 

It then got onto the exciting stuff! Who was going to win the prize for best tweet and best photo?!

Erm prize? Sorry, did I not mention there was a prize?!

A thoroughly enjoyable evening, with thoroughly awesome people! 

It was great to see such a mix of bloggers, from foodie bloggers, to fashion and beauty bloggers, to male bloggers, and to see just how awesome and welcoming we all are!

A big thank you to Joe Bloggers for putting the event together, and to our mixologist coaches, Rory and Josh! Oh and Revolution Newcastle for being an awesome host!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Money and Spending Bans

This is a frightfully hard thing to admit to, or even think of putting in a blog post, but wanted to explain a few things and off load: my spending ban wasn't a gimmick. It was something I needed to do to sort my finances out. 

I was my own worst enemy. I lived with my parents until I was 28, so had that disposable income which meant home owning had a whole other level of stress that I'd not really appreciated before: money management.

I often joke that I bought my house by accident - I mean, really, unless it was at an auction and I accidentally sneezed or something! Just not possible! Yet it sums up perfectly my floundering finances that followed.

More and more I found myself buying the latest must have dress - on credit. I would give myself a strong telling off when the payment was due, and I was barely paying off the interest. I started buying presents on credit too, to keep up the pretence that I was a fully functioning adult. 

Every couple of months I would give myself a telling, and promise not to buy anything, but then I would be stressed about how to make ends meet, and end up shopping to calm myself down. And I didn't see an end to the cycle. 

My parents had grown tired of the various excuses as to why I wasn't doing things, like shopping with my Mam, or replacing tattered shoes. I eventually sat down with my Dad and came clean on the severity of it all. 

Whilst I was able to resolve things in the short term without my parents help, and I'm still repaying them now, it didn't solve the issue - I was living beyond my means. I tried to cut back by myself, but really struggled with the idea that because the money was in my account, I couldn't spend it. 

Something had to be done. 

So the spending ban was signed up for. Instead of saying 'I can't afford this amazing dress', I just had to say that I was still in my spending ban. It made it more palatable, and meant I was able to save face. 

The ban has made me more considerate when it comes to what to buy, asking 'Do I need this' or 'Is it worth it'. But it also taught me that if I cut out all the unnecessary spending, I just made it to the end of the month with in the black. 

Again, that question: why am I telling you all this? If spending ban is more palatable, I'll continue to use it. But at least now you know what I mean when I say I'm on a spending ban - it means I need to rein in my spending instead of admitting that I'm rubbish with money.

Much love my lovelies, 

K x 

Monday, 20 April 2015

ModCloth Get Up and Bow dress from Hell Bunny

When placing my order for my 'Stylish Surprise', I made a number of silly errors, one of which was checking out  so quickly I didn't realise that this dress was already in my basket! 

However, clearly it was meant to be because:

Not that you can tell from my face mind!!

This dress fits like a dream and is a real 'throw on and leave the house' dress - no styling required! I'm wearing it in the office right now, with my Clarks mens Brogues for that extra wartime feel!

I followed the advice in the review section and sized up to a 4x and while it felt a little more tight than I'm used to, I'm getting used to it! 

This may well become 'The Dress I bought by accident'!

Much love, my lovelies,

ModCloth Stylish Surprise

There is little more that gets me hot under the collar than having a scout of the ModCloth website. Add to that the idea of not knowing what you're getting and I was on that website super quick fast! 

The idea is you pay a set rate, select your size, and then wait. $20 for a dress, $15 for top / bottom, and $10 for shoes. I thought I'd chance my luck with 2 dresses and an 'apparel' piece, not realising I already had a dress in my basket from my aforementioned regular scouting trips! Safe to say I got hit with a customs charge, but it was worth it!

Out of my 3 Surprise items, I'm keeping one (edit: okay, maybe 2 of them!) of them, and selling the other two - again, it's the gamble that you take, especially with ModCloth sizing being as it is, that the items will fit when they arrive. 

My 'keeper' dress isn't on the website any more, but it is a wine coloured version of this dress:

Which is made of a very heavy material, so more a winter / spring dress - watch this space to see if I actually get around to wearing it!

My apparel item was this cute skirt, which unfortunately had no stretch in it whatsoever:

Which means it will have to go on the sell pile.

And this dress, which is cute as, but the neckline / strap position means I'm not really likely to wear it:

Although, should there be an unexpected event, or wedding, one good strapless bra might save the day. I may keep this for a wee while to see if I have an occasion to wear it to!

There were a couple of other bloggers who were as taken by the idea of clothes as surprises, so make sure you check out their spoils here:

Sarah (link to be added)
Mookie (link to be added)

Much love, my lovelies, 

K x

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Falling for Lady Voluptuous

Back in February, right at the start of my spending ban, the fantastic plus size range for Lady Vintage London launched, aptly called Lady Voluptuous

In their own words: Lady Voluptuous is the UK's first dedicated Plus Size Vintage Clothing label and is proud to be Made in London, England. Lady Voluptuous was created in collaboration with Georgina Horne, from the blog Fuller Figure Fuller Bust.

I've been a supporter of Lady Vintage London since they first launched, and rocked their swing dresses for all I was worth! I remember talking Georgina through what style of dress to order, and pointing her in the direction of the Hepburn. The rest is history, and I can't think of a better pairing of Lady V and Georgina, and if Lady Voluptuous is their first borne, I can't wait to see what they produce together next!

I digress!

Lady Voluptuous is now synonymous with the beauts that are Debz and Lucia:


Why Debz and Lucia? Because they represent what makes Lady Voluptuous extra special - that they go up to a size 32. Not only that, but the sizes at the top end of the spectrum were the ones that sold out first! Showing that if you build it (or sew it, in this case), they will come!

When I finally got round to placing an order, I knew the Lyra would be the dress for me - not only because the His Dark Materials trilogy is one of my favs - but because the tea dress is a classic shape missing from my wardrobe! I've got body con, skater, but no tea dresses! 

I opted for the 22-24, and it is a perfect fit, hugging my waist (with the tie pulled as tight as I can get it), and skimming everything else.

It is also one of the only wrap dresses where I don't think I'll need to pin / sew it shut. It is a perfect fit for my 36JJ bust.

The Lyra comes in an assortment of colours, and I opted for the jade to start with, but I was tempted by the navy, which may well be my next purchase, but to be honest, I want one in every colour:

This dress may seem a wardrobe staple, but it's a dress I've been hunting for - and that Lady Voluptuous have been the first to deliver!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x