Exciting news everyone....I've got a new job!!  After 11 years working in education, I'm moving into something new and going back to law.  It was law that I got my degree in but unfortunately never pursued as a career, so I can't wait to get stuck back in.

With a new job comes a new wardrobe, so when The Oracle invited Leanne and I to come down and experience their 'Your 5' personal shopping experience I knew I'd be keeping my eyes peeled for workwear choices.  The concept was simple - a session with a personal stylist looking at the latest trends, focusing on five key pieces: the shirt, the cropped trouser, the sneaker, the jacket and the silk.  I was shown the various curated items, with the stylist taking a picture of each piece once I'd picked my favourite before emailing me the five so I could hunt them down in the shops or order online later.  A real life/virtual shopping hybrid, if you like!

Armed with our new trend-led insight, we hit the shops and I attempted to take what I'd learnt and apply it to my new, formal workwear requirements.  The wishlist you see above is a mixture of things I've already bought alongside other bits I'd still like to add to my wardrobe.  Here are the links if you'd like to shop the post:
// Shirt
// Blazer

As you can see, there's a definite colour palette here...muted pinks and soft greys, grounded by classic black.  It's the first time I've ever had to wear anything other than my everyday wardrobe to work, and whilst I'm loving the excitement that challenge brings I'd definitely love some advice when it comes to dressing for an office environment.  If you have any tips, please leave them below!

The Workwear Edit

10.5.16


Exciting news everyone....I've got a new job!!  After 11 years working in education, I'm moving into something new and going back to law.  It was law that I got my degree in but unfortunately never pursued as a career, so I can't wait to get stuck back in.

With a new job comes a new wardrobe, so when The Oracle invited Leanne and I to come down and experience their 'Your 5' personal shopping experience I knew I'd be keeping my eyes peeled for workwear choices.  The concept was simple - a session with a personal stylist looking at the latest trends, focusing on five key pieces: the shirt, the cropped trouser, the sneaker, the jacket and the silk.  I was shown the various curated items, with the stylist taking a picture of each piece once I'd picked my favourite before emailing me the five so I could hunt them down in the shops or order online later.  A real life/virtual shopping hybrid, if you like!

Armed with our new trend-led insight, we hit the shops and I attempted to take what I'd learnt and apply it to my new, formal workwear requirements.  The wishlist you see above is a mixture of things I've already bought alongside other bits I'd still like to add to my wardrobe.  Here are the links if you'd like to shop the post:
// Shirt
// Blazer

As you can see, there's a definite colour palette here...muted pinks and soft greys, grounded by classic black.  It's the first time I've ever had to wear anything other than my everyday wardrobe to work, and whilst I'm loving the excitement that challenge brings I'd definitely love some advice when it comes to dressing for an office environment.  If you have any tips, please leave them below!

#19 - BROOKLYN // Colm Toibin

Lizzie bought me this for our Christmas book swap with the promise that it was a book she'd read and really enjoyed.  And I agree!  It's a quiet story, telling of Ellis Lacey's life after emigrating to New York.  She struggles to find her footing at first and just as her new life starts to settle into place, she gets called home to Ireland.  The narration felt authentic and it was easy to see the world through teenage Ellis' eyes; books written by men as women often don't sit quite right with me, but Colm Toibin got this spot on.  My only irritation came from Ellis' slightly fickle nature and I had to remind myself on a few occasions that she was only young and her naivety could be forgiven! 
Rating: 4/5

#20 - THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER // Stephen Chbosky

My second read of the month was a book club choice and another I really enjoyed.  It's a coming of age novel with awkward protagonist Charlie writing to an unknown character, which reminded me slightly of Wonder.  The setting felt believable, although I struggled to see the appeal of the friendship with Charlie from Patrick's (older) perspective.  Easy to get immersed in, I started and finished this in a day although somehow managed to miss a fairly big reveal towards the end...perhaps because of how easy it was to get caught up with racing through the pages.  Despite enjoying this, I think I'm perhaps a little *too* old for it to really resonate with me.
Rating: 4/5

#21 -  ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY // Charlie Jane Anders

A new release this year, All The Birds In The Sky had quite a bit of hype online when it hit the shelves so I was eager to get started with it.  The blurb made it sound like a magical realism or fantasy book, but I found it led far more towards science fiction for my liking.  Magically gifted witch Patricia and engineering genius Laurence went to school together before drifting apart as young teenagers....and now that the world is falling apart around them, powers unknown are working to bring them back together in an attempt to save the planet.  The characters were fun and appealing, but the plot line was not.  The scientific theme was strong and it felt like a lot of the story went above my head.  This one really didn't live up to my expectations.
Rating 2/5

#22 - GIRL IN THE DARK // Anna Lyndsey

Anna has a unique and extreme form of photosensitivity, whereby any level of light above a dim glow (flourescent, natural or otherwise) creates a burning sensation and leaves her confined to a dark room.  At the point of purchase I didn't realise this was a true story, but Anna led a normal life with a normal job and happy new relationship until her disease took hold.  As the story develops we watch as Anna's symptoms get progressively worse and she searches to find a cure whilst also accepting her circumstances and trying to live with them.  Another one I read in a day, it was easy to get through and written both lyrically and appealingly.  But as much as I hate to say it, I didn't like Anna.  Undeniably she's been dealt an incredibly tough hand and I can't even begin to consider how I'd cope in her shoes, but it's her long-suffering partner, Pete, who I felt more sorry for.  Anna at times came across as self-indulgent, controlling and petulant and as much as I don't like to admit it, it tainted the book for me.
 Rating: 3/5

#23 - BRIDGET JONES: MAD ABOUT THE BOY // Helen Fielding

I was a teenager when I first read the original Bridget Jones, yet somehow I still related to her.  In Mad About The Boy, Bridget is a 50-something mother of 2 and the result was it felt more like reading a book from my mum's perspective with us 10 or so years ago.  I'm reluctant to discuss the storyline too much for fear of giving away any spoilers, but I will say that although I enjoyed the book overall I don't feel it was a necessary or worthwhile addition to the series.  Bridget's situation has changed drastically, so much so as to make her unrelatable and unrecognisable from the original singleton we all grew to love.  It's still very much written with Bridget's distinct tone and featured typically funny/embarassing moments but it felt like a re-write of the original concept rather than anything new.
Rating: 4/5

 

Read in 2016: April

5.5.16

#19 - BROOKLYN // Colm Toibin

Lizzie bought me this for our Christmas book swap with the promise that it was a book she'd read and really enjoyed.  And I agree!  It's a quiet story, telling of Ellis Lacey's life after emigrating to New York.  She struggles to find her footing at first and just as her new life starts to settle into place, she gets called home to Ireland.  The narration felt authentic and it was easy to see the world through teenage Ellis' eyes; books written by men as women often don't sit quite right with me, but Colm Toibin got this spot on.  My only irritation came from Ellis' slightly fickle nature and I had to remind myself on a few occasions that she was only young and her naivety could be forgiven! 
Rating: 4/5

#20 - THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER // Stephen Chbosky

My second read of the month was a book club choice and another I really enjoyed.  It's a coming of age novel with awkward protagonist Charlie writing to an unknown character, which reminded me slightly of Wonder.  The setting felt believable, although I struggled to see the appeal of the friendship with Charlie from Patrick's (older) perspective.  Easy to get immersed in, I started and finished this in a day although somehow managed to miss a fairly big reveal towards the end...perhaps because of how easy it was to get caught up with racing through the pages.  Despite enjoying this, I think I'm perhaps a little *too* old for it to really resonate with me.
Rating: 4/5

#21 -  ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY // Charlie Jane Anders

A new release this year, All The Birds In The Sky had quite a bit of hype online when it hit the shelves so I was eager to get started with it.  The blurb made it sound like a magical realism or fantasy book, but I found it led far more towards science fiction for my liking.  Magically gifted witch Patricia and engineering genius Laurence went to school together before drifting apart as young teenagers....and now that the world is falling apart around them, powers unknown are working to bring them back together in an attempt to save the planet.  The characters were fun and appealing, but the plot line was not.  The scientific theme was strong and it felt like a lot of the story went above my head.  This one really didn't live up to my expectations.
Rating 2/5

#22 - GIRL IN THE DARK // Anna Lyndsey

Anna has a unique and extreme form of photosensitivity, whereby any level of light above a dim glow (flourescent, natural or otherwise) creates a burning sensation and leaves her confined to a dark room.  At the point of purchase I didn't realise this was a true story, but Anna led a normal life with a normal job and happy new relationship until her disease took hold.  As the story develops we watch as Anna's symptoms get progressively worse and she searches to find a cure whilst also accepting her circumstances and trying to live with them.  Another one I read in a day, it was easy to get through and written both lyrically and appealingly.  But as much as I hate to say it, I didn't like Anna.  Undeniably she's been dealt an incredibly tough hand and I can't even begin to consider how I'd cope in her shoes, but it's her long-suffering partner, Pete, who I felt more sorry for.  Anna at times came across as self-indulgent, controlling and petulant and as much as I don't like to admit it, it tainted the book for me.
 Rating: 3/5

#23 - BRIDGET JONES: MAD ABOUT THE BOY // Helen Fielding

I was a teenager when I first read the original Bridget Jones, yet somehow I still related to her.  In Mad About The Boy, Bridget is a 50-something mother of 2 and the result was it felt more like reading a book from my mum's perspective with us 10 or so years ago.  I'm reluctant to discuss the storyline too much for fear of giving away any spoilers, but I will say that although I enjoyed the book overall I don't feel it was a necessary or worthwhile addition to the series.  Bridget's situation has changed drastically, so much so as to make her unrelatable and unrecognisable from the original singleton we all grew to love.  It's still very much written with Bridget's distinct tone and featured typically funny/embarassing moments but it felt like a re-write of the original concept rather than anything new.
Rating: 4/5

 


#1 - BEAUTY MASTERCLASS
April kicked off with Leanne and I hosting a beauty masterclass in collaboration with House of Fraser at our local store.  It was my first experience of public speaking (with a microphone!) and despite our extreme nerves it turned out to be a lot of fun and not nearly as scary as we thought.  Our bank balances took a serious hit afterwards when we bought all of the make up....you can see what I bought here!

#2 - EASTER HOLIDAYS
Out of all the time I get off work, I think Easter is my favourite.  Christmas is too hectic, summer can sometimes drag....2 weeks at Easter is just right.  Mine was filled with days out, shopping trips, relatively good weather and plenty of time for reading.  Perfection.

#3 - A DAY IN LONDON
One of my favourite things over the holidays was a day in London with Mum and my sister.  Unlike most of our trips we didn't have anything specific in mind so spent the day exploring Covent Garden, wandering through Leicester Square, visiting Oxford Street and just generally going wherever we fancied.  It was slightly more relaxed than our usual jaunts and was a really nice way to spend the day together.

#4 - THE RETURN OF GAME OF THRONES
Nick and I don't tend to watch a lot of television together, but Game of Thrones is a series we both enjoy and get fully swept up in.  So it's return was a big deal in our house!  There was only one episode at the end of April, but we are fully ready for Mondays to become Game of Thrones night (I can't stay up till 2am to watch as it airs!), snuggled up on the sofa with me regularly asking him to remind me who each of the characters is again.

#5 - NEW BEGINNINGS
The month ended with an exciting opportunity which I'm not quite ready to share yet.  I will say it's a new adventure which has been a long time coming....it's scary, but change always is!  I'll update you once the dust has settled.

5 Happy Things in April

3.5.16


#1 - BEAUTY MASTERCLASS
April kicked off with Leanne and I hosting a beauty masterclass in collaboration with House of Fraser at our local store.  It was my first experience of public speaking (with a microphone!) and despite our extreme nerves it turned out to be a lot of fun and not nearly as scary as we thought.  Our bank balances took a serious hit afterwards when we bought all of the make up....you can see what I bought here!

#2 - EASTER HOLIDAYS
Out of all the time I get off work, I think Easter is my favourite.  Christmas is too hectic, summer can sometimes drag....2 weeks at Easter is just right.  Mine was filled with days out, shopping trips, relatively good weather and plenty of time for reading.  Perfection.

#3 - A DAY IN LONDON
One of my favourite things over the holidays was a day in London with Mum and my sister.  Unlike most of our trips we didn't have anything specific in mind so spent the day exploring Covent Garden, wandering through Leicester Square, visiting Oxford Street and just generally going wherever we fancied.  It was slightly more relaxed than our usual jaunts and was a really nice way to spend the day together.

#4 - THE RETURN OF GAME OF THRONES
Nick and I don't tend to watch a lot of television together, but Game of Thrones is a series we both enjoy and get fully swept up in.  So it's return was a big deal in our house!  There was only one episode at the end of April, but we are fully ready for Mondays to become Game of Thrones night (I can't stay up till 2am to watch as it airs!), snuggled up on the sofa with me regularly asking him to remind me who each of the characters is again.

#5 - NEW BEGINNINGS
The month ended with an exciting opportunity which I'm not quite ready to share yet.  I will say it's a new adventure which has been a long time coming....it's scary, but change always is!  I'll update you once the dust has settled.

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