31 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Soda Pop Dress from ModCloth

I love this pretty dress. The deeply pleated full skirt is so girly, and the boning in the bodice means that any wobbly bits would be nicely contained. I do suspect though that I'd have to wear a fairly heavy duty strapless bra to keep the girls in check. And possibly avoid raising my arms above shoulder height in case they decided to pop out!

Doesn't it just scream Spring? And the aqua and grey colour combination is a total winner.

The Soda Pop dress is US$74.99 from ModCloth.

Today's nails: Eyeko Vampira Polish

Today being Halloween, Eyeko's Vampira Polish seemed the perfect choice for my nails. And folks, this one is a stunner - a black jelly base with ruby coloured shimmer that for me is the perfect vampy colour - dark and sexy and glowing from within:

Because these are not my normal nails-plus-bottle swatch shots (I took them in the car this afternoon while waiting for a bunch of teenage girl zombies - true story), here's a bottle shot from the Eyeko site:

The Eyeko bottles are cute, and a huge improvement over their old bottles which were lovely but had stumpy little caps which were so difficult to work with. The only complaint I have about the bottles is that the brush wands are longer than your standard brush wand, making them just a little more difficult to control during application. The formula on Vampira however was a dream to apply, flowing on to the nail nicely. The first coat was super sheer, but by two coats it was pretty much opaque. I ended up doing three coats simply because when I held my hand up to the light I could still see a little visible nail line.

Like many jelly-based glitters the finish on Vampira, although gorgeously glossy, is a bit bumpy looking. This is easily solved with a good top coat though.

All in all I absolutely love this colour. I know there are many others out there of this ilk, notably China Glaze Lubu Heels which I also have, but have yet to wear. I think I'll be trying it soon though!

And finally, a picture of my front door decorated for Halloween. I made the spider web with dental floss - a minty-fresh spider web!

30 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Hey, Mr Blue Sky tee by Threadless

I just love the whimsical illustration on this tee:

Here's a close-up look:

Of course if I was that little girl I would be revealing not a fluffy cloud laden blue sky but shoes. Lots and lots of pretty shoes. If anybody wants to make me a tshirt of that I'll be one very happy girl!

The "Hey! Mr Blue Sky" tshirt is US$18.00 from Threadless.

29 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Spider Ceramic Necklace on Etsy

With Halloween coming up in a couple of days creepy spider jewellery seems appropriate. This particular piece of spider jewellery, however, is not in the slightest bit creepy:

Look at the little cutie, with his big googly eyes. Not even the most spider-phobic of you could possibly find that little guy creepy now, could you?

The totally non-creepy Spider Ceramic Necklace is US$10.00 from artisansagogo on Etsy.

28 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Bedroom Antics shoes by Office

It amuses me that Office have named these shoes 'Bedroom Antics'. I don't know whose bedroom they are referring to, but if they were named after the antics in my bedroom then wearing them would result in dogs bouncing all over you with muddy paws, 11 Year Old Boys bugging you constantly to tell you they can't sleep, cats sitting by your head and licking themselves noisily, neighbours playing loud hip hop music on their car stereos and Eccentric English Boyfriends waking you with an elbow jab to inform you that you're snoring.

Yep, we really get up to some antics in my bedroom, I tell ya. Still ... they're very pretty:

Actually, come to think of it a swift kick with these would make EEB think twice about jabbing me with those elbows!

The Bedroom Antics shoes are £72.00 on sale from Office.

27 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Floral Loveliness Necklace from Maggie Angus

Apologies for being absent the past few days my pretties, I have had The Worstest Cold Ever. It's effect seems to be waning today though, I am at the very least upright rather than lying in bed disappearing under a mountain of tissues and complaining loudly to anyone who comes near me. In between sneezes.

As is always the way of these things, my body decided that a holiday weekend of beautiful warm Spring weather was the perfect time for a cold. Way to go, body - you've outdone yourself, because I'd obviously much rather be in bed feeling miserable, and sneezing, than outside enjoying the sun.

Anyway, this necklace is perfect for Spring days - even Spring days spent lying in bed with The Worstest Cold Ever feeling sorry for myself. In fact, particularly those days!

The Floral Loveliness Necklace is on sale for £7.50 from Maggie Angus, who ship internationally.


21 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Armwarmers from Zen and Coffee Designs on Etsy

15 Year Old Daughter has a wonderful individual sense of style that I really admire. She takes elements from subcultures like goth, punk, retro, gothic lolita and whatever else she fancies on the day, mixes them up and creates a look that is distinctively her. I wish I'd been that brave about my style when I was her age. Although, in hindsight one could argue that it takes a certain amount of bravery to wear neon socks, tightly permed hair and frosted blue eyeshadow. Cringe.

One of 15 Year Old Daughter's favourite items to add character to an outfit is a pair of fingerless gloves. So I'm pretty sure she's going to faint when I show her Zen and Coffee Designs on Etsy. And then once she's regained consciousness she's going to be hogging the computer and exclaiming "OMG Mum I want these ones. And those ones. And Mum LOOK! Can I have those? And those are so pretty! And I NEED those ones Mum!".

Actually, on second thoughts maybe I won't tell her.

I'm quite partial to these ones:

While I think these will be right up 15 Year Old Daughter's alley:

19 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Rockabilly Western "Stompin" Dress from Babygirl Boutique

So, my pretties, we've been together for a while now and I feel that we're at the stage of our relationship where I can share a deep dark secret with you and you won't judge me for it. You won't judge me, will you?

Ok. You see, when it comes to music my taste tends towards the heavier stuff: some metal, some rock, a bit of goth. But I also love me a bit of country music. Not the jangling guitar "my dog done died, my girlfriend left me, my crops ain't growing and I can't get the ketchup stain out of my favourite jeans" type of country music. Think more along the lines of Sweet Home Alabama and Copperhead Road. That sort of country/rock music.

And Achey Breaky Heart.

Yep, when Billy Ray starts singing about that ole achey breaky heart of his I want to leap up, don some cowboy boots, hook my thumbs into my belt and linedance my wee socks off.

And this dress would be perfect:

So cute, my total ineptitude at anything requiring rhythm might not even be noticed!

The Rockabilly Western "Stompin" dress by Lucky 13 is US$68.00 from Babygirl Boutique.

18 October 2010

Today's nails: Beauty UK Lilac Girl

Today's polish is another I picked up in England. Beauty UK is a reasonably priced drugstore brand which is either available in Superdrug or Boots (there were a lot of nail polish purchases, I can't remember where I got them all!).

Lilac doesn't always look the best on my skin tone, but Lilac Girl has enough blue that I like it on me. Lovely application in two coats, this is perfect for spring.

Your daily dose of pretty: Topshop 60s Sequin A-Line Skirt

The beading and sequin detail on this skirt is so pretty. I love that the large disc sequins are all different.

I could never own a cream skirt though. I can guarantee that within minutes of me putting it on it would be covered in dog hair, muddy paw prints, sauces of various indeterminate origin (and startlingly bright colour), chocolate (even though I don't eat it any more), zombie blood and ectoplasm. And let me tell you, ectoplasm is the very devil to get out!

If you're not as disaster-prone as me, the 60s Sequin A-Line Skirt is available from the Topshop website for £35.00, or of course if you're in Auckland you could always check out Topshop at The Department Store to see if they're stocking it.

17 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Iron Fist Sweet Skull O Mine Boots from Kates Clothing

It was the buckles, platform, and sky high stiletto that attracted me to these boots at first glance. It was only when I looked closer that I realised what I first thought was a paisley print is in fact skulls. Scary looking, flower-decorated, silver stud-bedecked skulls. Awesome!

The Sweet Skull O Mine boots by Iron Fist are £80.99 from UK site Kate's Clothing (who ship internationally), and are also available on the Iron Fist website, who are US-based and also ship internationally.

16 October 2010

Today's nails: M.A.C Jade Dragon

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet my new favourite green:

M.A.C Jade Dragon is part of the 2010 Jin Soon Collection currently in M.A.C stores. I fell in love with this after seeing swatches of it on other blogs, but in real life it is so much better than that even. A gorgeous dark green jelly shot through with blue shimmer, it had me exclaiming out loud as I applied it.

Two coats, lovely application. M.A.C have knocked it out of the park with this one!

Your daily dose of pretty: Office Kitsch Hook Boot

There's definitely a look of the 90s in these boots, with their shape and multiple antique gold eyelets. Which is fine by me, there aren't many looks from the 90s I'd want to re-visit, but boots like this are still are favourite of mine.

The Kitsch Hook Boots are £85.00 from Office.

15 October 2010

Today's nails: Boots 17 True Blue

Boots 17 is a great range of budget-priced cosmetics by Boots, with some great polish colours in the range. And of course I picked up a few when we were in England.

This is True Blue, and it's gorgeous. I mean it's a no-brainer that I'm going to love a dark blue - it's probably my favourite nail polish shade - but this one is truly stunning.

Apologies for the horrific state of my cuticles - I'd just done housework! Anyway, isn't she a beauty? I have so many blues now that I figure I'd better start learning to tell the different shades apart, so after referring to the Wikipedia Shades of Blue page I think I would describe this as 'Dark Blue'. Yeah, I needed a web page to tell me that. Or maybe 'Ultramarine' - it depends on the lighting. Whatever, I love this blue cream!

Lovely application in two coats - I would call this a must-have if you're a blue polish lover.

Your daily dose of pretty: Caribbean Blue Cloisonne Earrings on Etsy

According to Wikipedia, cloisonne is "an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials".

I love cloisonne, despite the fact that I have no idea how to pronounce it. I used to have a couple of pieces of cloisonne jewellery, and when people would ask about them I'd reply: "yes it's c... it's cl... it's clwah... it's pretty isn't it?".

The bright colours in these cloisonne earrings are beautiful:

The Caribbean Blue Cloisonne Earrings are US$16.00 from Mindielee on Etsy.

14 October 2010

Today's nails: Eyeko Coral polish

Now I'm not a big fan of coral polishes. They're often just a little on the 'nana' side for me. Eyeko's Coral Polish isn't bad though, not bad at all:

I don't love it, but I do like it. 15 Year Old Daughter loves it! Coral is very vibrant, and at the redder end of the coral spectrum. Two coats, the only problem I had was that the formula was very runny - so much so that I had to wipe the brush down carefully or it would drip off the brush onto the couch. And my arm. And the carpet. And the dog.

All in all, I think if you're a lover of coral polishes this would be one you'd want to have in your collection.

Your daily dose of pretty: Eye of the Nebula Storm glass pendant by Steam Punk Glass

As a sci-fi fanatic I am totally entranced by this pendant:

It reminds me of the stunning images from the Hubble Space Telescope, which I could happily spend hours staring at.

The Eye of the Nebula Storm Focal Handmade Glass Pendant is £12.50 from Steam Punk Glass on Folksy.

13 October 2010

Today's nails: My birthday mani

I have the Awesomest Kids Ever. Seriously. Apologies to anybody who thinks their kids are the awesomest, but mine bought me nail polish and shoes for my birthday. I repeat: Awesomest. Kids. Ever!

In my imagination, the conversation went something like this:

11YO Son: "Oh sister dearest, what shall we buy our wonderful mother for her birthday?"

15YO Daughter: "Well, brother dearest, she is truly the most wonderful mother, so we must buy her something that she will love and that will express our devotion to her."

11YO Son: "She loves nail polish."

15YO Daughter: "And shoes."

Together: "Let's buy her nail polish AND shoes!"

Apparently in my imagination I have borne Children of the Corn. Great.

So here is the nail polish they bought me. L'Oreal Resist & Shine Titanium No 733.

(I'm still messing around with the macro settings on the camera I got for my birthday and I haven't yet quite perfected it yet so apologies. The camera is awesome, its operator needs some lessons!)

I love the L'Oreal Resist & Shine Titanium polishes - especially this series of black-based colours which come in the bottles with the black lids. 733 is a stunning shimmer that I think I would describe as a black-based plum (I'm not always the best at colour descriptions). This has a beautiful glow to it, and the plum colour is apparent in all lights.

The best part of all: this is ONE coat. Brilliant! The formula was a little tricky to work with - a little on the thick side which meant it was hard to get a nice line at the edges but still - ONE coat!

My only quibble is with the packaging: the chunky, curved bottle design is lovely to look at, and the lid pulls off to reveal a smaller brush handle which is meant to be easier to hold for applying polish (shown below), but it is actually a little bit too small - especially length-wise - so it's a bit fiddly to control. But like I said, that's a small quibble for such a gorgeous one-coater!

Your daily dose of pretty: Vintage Flower Socks from Tabio

These are some of the sweetest socks I've ever seen. I love the loose fitting cuff, the contrast stripe and the tiny wee bow at the back.

The Vintage Flower Socks are £14.00 from Tabio.

Note: Although the website states that they do not ship internationally, I've been in contact with their lovely and very helpful customer service person who assures me that they do in fact accept international orders. Simply email them at info@tabio.co.uk for an order form which you can fill out and email back, or they also accept phone orders.

12 October 2010

Today's nails: Barry M Dusky Mauve

In a stunning display of bad timing, Barry M released two new polishes just weeks after we returned from our UK visit. It's obviously a cunning ploy to get me to buy more stuff, because when I'm buying online I'm not going to pay for delivery to New Zealand just for a couple of nail polishes am I? Of course not. At the very least I'm going to add some eyeliner and lipstick to my order.

Dusky Mauve is one of the two new polishes, and it is a stunner.

These purple/greys are everywhere at the moment, and with its lovely pink shimmer Dusky Mauve may well be a dupe for the much-coveted (and considerably more expensive) Chanel Paradoxal. I don't have Paradoxal, so I'll point you to rijaH, who has some great comparison pics.

I love, love, love this unusual colour. These photos are from a couple of days ago, as far as I can remember this was a two-coater. Certainly it had the usual excellent Barry M application. And for only £2.95 from Barry M compared to whatever the cardiac-inducing price of the Chanel is, it's a great buy!

Your daily dose of pretty: M.A.C Venomous Villains Maleficent Collection

If you're a beauty addict M.A.C's Venomous Villains collection will already be on your radar. Unless you've been living under a rock. And why anybody would want to live under a rock is beyond me. There's probably slugs under there you know.

Venomous Villains comprises four collections, each based around famous evil characters from Disney: Maleficent, Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil and Dr Facilier. Each collection has a variety of eye/face/lip and nail products with packaging featuring the eponymous villain.

There are products in each collection I'm lusting after but I particularly love Maleficent, not just because it's my favourite in terms of the packaging but also because those polishes look gorgeous:

 Picture: maccosmetics.com

Venomous Villains was released in New Zealand on October 4, and in the interests of having money for our soon-to-be-started-if-the-council-ever-gives-us-planning-consent renovations I think it's best if I avoid going anywhere near a M.A.C store for the forseeable future!

Check out the rest of Venomous Villains on the M.A.C website.

11 October 2010

Today's nails: Eyeko Rain Polish

Rain is perfectly named - this gorgeous grey/blue with a very subtle shimmer is so reminiscent of drizzly skies. In a good way!:

The photo's not the best sorry - I got an awesome new camera for my birthday (yes, today I'm one year away from being 40), and I'm still playing with it.

Without having seen a side-by-side comparison Rain looks very similar to Essie's Sag Harbour, albeit with considerably better application. This was two coats, and although the formula was a wee bit on the thick side and it didn't completely settle to a smooth finish a top coat of Seche Vite smoothed it out beautifully. Absolutely love it.

Your daily dose of pretty: Dangle Ghost Porcelain Earrings on Etsy

Halloween is only a couple of weeks away, which means that Halloween themed items are showing up all over the place, and children are planning their scariest possible outfit.

The least scary outfit ever - especially when worn by a small child - has to be the white-sheet-with-eyeholes ghost. It's just too gosh-darned cute to be scary. And the more they wave their little arms around and make "woooooooooooooooooo" noises the cuter they are.

These earrings are a perfect example of the cuteness of this look:

See? No amount of arm waving and "wooooooo"-ing is going to stop me from wanting to tickle these wee dudes' tummies!

The Dangle Ghost Porcelain Earrings are US$12.00 from HolidayDesigns on Etsy.

10 October 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

I'm normally completely hopeless at doing tag posts that do the rounds - someone will tag me and I'll make a mental note to write the post and then completely forget about it. Come to think of it this doesn't just apply to tag posts - pretty much my whole life is spent in a state of "ooh I must remember to do that later".

However today I'm feeling all efficient - I even made a fish curry for freezing earlier and hung two loads of washing on the line instead of shoving them in the drier. Efficient and domestic. This is unusual and unsettling behaviour. It is entirely possible that I am being inhabited by an efficiently domestic alien life force who is using me in its evil plans for world domination. Although how efficient domesticity is the route to world domination I don't know. I'm not going to question my alien life force inhabitor - it may decide to make my brain explode.

Anyway, the lovely Polish Insomniac tagged me for the Versatile Blogger award.

The Rules: Tell us seven things about you then tag 12 other blogs for this award.

So, seven things about myself:

1: I have a ridiculously over-active imagination. But the efficiently-domestic alien world domination story was probably a dead giveaway, right?

2: I am addicted to Phineas & Ferb. I know most episodes off by heart, and the Perry the Platypus theme song from the show is my ring tone. Which was actually kind of embarrassing when it went off in the middle of the book store yesterday.

3: Since I read my first Arthur C Clarke book at 11 I've been a science fiction nut. My taste in literature is reasonably varied, but 80% of what I read is science fiction.

4: The first music gig I ever went to was Donnie & Marie Osmond when I was about 12. I kid you not.

5: My best celebrity encounter was when Eccentric English Boyfriend and I went to London in 2007. EEB treated us to a stay in a 5 star hotel (yep, he's awesome), and one afternoon we were sitting in the lounge room overlooking the garden when PIERCE *SWOON* BROSNAN came through the door from the garden and walked through the lounge. After he'd gone (and I'd regained the power of speech) I excitedly squeaked to EEB "That. Was. Pierce. Brosnan!". EEB was sitting opposite me with his nose buried in a book. He looked up, failed to see Pierce Brosnan, snorted "you must be imagining it, I didn't see him" and returned to his book.

Not too much later we were in reception, about to head out, when who should walk right past me again but PIERCE *SWOON* BROSNAN. I literally could have reached out and touched him, he passed so close by. Except I couldn't have, because I'd lost the ability to move. And talk. In fact the only ability I retained was the ability to grin inanely. And possibly drool. By the time my faculties had returned Pierce was gone. EEB, who had been chatting to the Concierge the whole time, joined me and I spluttered "Pierce. Brosnan. Walked. Past. Me. AGAIN!". EEB looked around, failed yet again to see Pierce Brosnan, and replied "Nope, you're still imagining things". "Are you kidding?" I said. "If I was going to imagine Pierce Brosnan I'd at least imagine myself shagging him!"

Also, Pierce Brosnan is damn hot in real life.

6: A distant relative of mine on my mum's side was quite famous in Auckland in the 1940's for painting herself gold and dancing naked. She was also witness to a murder. As family history goes, that's pretty awesome. (Her name was Freda Stark, Wikipedia entry here.)

7: I'm also descended, on my mum's side again, from Portugese convicts. If I remember the story right they jumped ship in New Zealand. Despite this I have no criminal tendencies. And for that matter no desire to paint myself gold and dance naked.

Alright, I can't narrow down a list of bloggers to tag, so I'm going to tag some Kiwi bloggers:

...different... (15 Year Old Daughter)
Anyone Can Do It
Hannah's Ramblings
Nail Juice
Pretty Pretty Pretty

along with anybody else who wants to do it!

Your daily dose of pretty: Ribbon Point pumps from atseoul

Yesterday I used the "brown shoes are totally a wardrobe staple" excuse, today it's the "pale pink shoes may not be a wardrobe staple but they totally should" excuse.

I love the off-centre bow, and the stitching detail.

I can't actually use the Pale Pink Shoes Justification though. Because remember those pale pink New Look shoes I blogged about a while ago? Well I bought them. Oh and also, remember how I described them as "vertiginously high"? Turns out that was a bit of an understatement. They're actually more like "Holy-Cow-I-Can-See-the-Curvature-of-the-Earth High".

If you're in the market for pale pink shoes and prefer your horizon to remain un-curved, the Ribbon Point shoes are available from atseoul for $50.97 (I'm pretty sure their currency is in US dollars, but you might want to double-check before purchasing).

And they're also available in navy.

Which is totally a wardrobe staple.

Except I already have a pair of navy shoes.


09 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Twinkle Tush shoes from Office

I had great intentions of paying a visit to Office when we were in England but you know what? I totally didn't. I'm pretty sure Eccentric English Boyfriend is enormously relieved about this - apparently he nearly had a cardiac when he saw the credit card bill after our return. I'm glad that he didn't, obviously, because he's all cute and stuff.

Plus he hasn't taken out life insurance yet.

Did I say that out loud?

Anyway, I really regret not visiting Office. Look:

So pretty - they make me want to do The Charleston! Plus they're brown, and I don't have any brown shoes. What shoe wardrobe is complete without brown shoes, I ask you?

The Twinkle Tush (I literally "teehee" every time I read that name) shoes are £65.00 from Office.

Shhhh! Did you hear that sound? That was the sound of EEB looking at the credit card bill!

08 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Pre Columbian Figure Earrings on Etsy

I love the wee figures on these earrings:

Typically for me (because seriously if there was a gold medal for over-active imaginations I'd win it) I'm convinced these are totally Mystical Pre Columbian Figures who would exact some sort of Mystical Pre Columbian Hoodoo on anybody who wears these earrings.

I don't know exactly what Mystical Pre Columbian Hoodoo is, but I'm pretty sure it's painful and / or messy.

If you don't have as overactive an imagination as I, or you're brave (or stupid) enough to incur the wrath of Mystical Pre Columbian Hoodoo Exacting Figures, these are available from PutumayoDesign on Etsy.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

07 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Cream Ruffle Sleeve Top from Dorothy Perkins

I love the delicate, floaty ruffle sleeve on this top:

Plus, Dorothy Perkins have 20% off online at the moment, so instead of its normal price of £22.00 it is currently £17.60. 

I actually had to add it to my cart to work out the discount for you. Purely to work out the discount, you understand - not to buy it. And to prove that I'm now going to remove it from my cart ...

While I'm doing that you can buy it here.

Still trying to remove it from my cart, seem to be having some difficulty getting my mouse clickey finger to work. Must. Click. Mouse. Must. Not. Buy.

05 October 2010

Your daily dose of pretty: Steam Cream Vinyl

Steam Cream has a bit of a cult following. I hear the cream itself is pretty good, but it's the retro style tins with their limited edition designs which really draw me in.

Their latest release is Vinyl by Josh Miller, which was the winner of their annual design competition.

Reminds me of when 11 Year Old Boy was about 6 years old, sitting on his dad's knee watching him go through his old albums. When dad pulled one out of its sleeve to show him, the dear wee lad exclaimed "wow, Daddy, that's a Really Big CD".

Yup. Kids. Nothing like 'em for making you feel old.

The Limited Edition Steam Cream Vinyl is £8.51 from Steam Cream.

03 October 2010

A quick update post

Hello there my pretties - I have been absent for a while and I apologise. It has been a really rough couple of weeks - my darling Grandpa was admitted to a Hospice a couple of weeks ago, and passed away peacefully this past Monday morning. Poor Grandpa had Alzheimers and was becoming increasingly frustrated that his mind and his body were letting him down. I think in the end he decided it was just his time to go. It was heartbreaking for us, as we all loved him dearly, but at the same time I know that he'd found the last couple of years so difficult after having lived a very active life - old age didn't sit well with him. We gave him a lovely send-off, with much laughter and telling of funny stories, and I even managed to get up and speak!

On the same day Grandpa left us we had to make the heartbreaking decision to have our gorgeous wee dog Fred put down - he had a slipped disc and although it was operable it would have meant a lot of post-op pain and a long and uncomfortable recovery period during which he would have had to be confined to a cage. We couldn't bear to put our stoic wee boy through all of that. Our house isn't the same without him - he was such a character of a dog, and our big dog Jessie misses her best mate so very much.

So I hope you will all forgive me for my absence, life is returning to normal and I will be back very soon with the pretties!

Selina xx