Tuesday, 31 July 2012

July 2012, according to my iPhone

Hi guys,
As you guys read this I will be busy sight seeing and sunning myself in Venice. But as it's the end of the month, I thought I would show you what else I've been up to this month, apart from planning for my trip, of course!
-When we moved into our new house, the grass in the garden was so long it came over my knee, so we've made it our mission to tackle it as soon as the weather perked up. Whilst Mike's been tackling the lawn (the big job!) I've been dealing with the much more fun job of potting some plants and injecting some colour. These are some hydrangeas and phlox that I planted, and a gorgeous herb garden my parents created for us.

- We had our 20 week scan. All is well with mini baby Hampton and it's a.....BOY! Very exciting news, and not too long to go now!

- Great weather means only one thing - ice lollies! I got this cute bunny-shaped ice lolly making tray from Debenhams for £6 and set about creating home made ice lollies. So far we've made them with orange juice, lemonade, and white grape and elderflower juice. Making boozy ones would be great for BBQs too!

- We went to see The Darkness in Thetford Forest: a blast from the past! I was (and still am) a huge fan of them when I was at university, and went to see them last year too. They were great, and played loads of tracks from their upcoming new album. They're going to be Lady Gaga's support act later in the year, so I'm predicting a Darkness revival!
-My perfect summer boots! I ordered these Georgia Rose boots, with their flash of neon, from Sarenza, because the weather was too rubbish for sandals and flip flops. Then (and not that I' complaining!) the weather has perked right up so I've only had the chance to wear them once. But when Autumn approaches these boots are going to be perfect!

- I've been hunting for the perfect headband for a casual wedding we're going to next month. Slightly obsessed with this flower and spike one from Topshop, which is in the sale for just £4.50!

- Sometimes the most ridiculous things can really make you laugh. I bought this pepper mill solely because that was my reaction to its name: Sergeant Pepper!

- Finally, this is a picture of my newest obsession: swimming in the local pool. I've started going three times a week, and I just can't get enough of it. I think if I could turn into a hippo and live wallowing in the water then, right now, I would!

How have you spent your July? And do you have any exciting plans for August? 

Love Tor xx

Monday, 30 July 2012

Feel free with Free People

Hi guys,
I am a huge advocate of British Style: when I think of all my favourite stylish celebs and trends, they're all the very best of British. But I also think there's alot to be said for the current uber-cool, laid back American style. And the brand that most personifies that for me is making its way to the UK!

American womenswear brand Free People is launching in the UK in October. The launch will include a new UK e-commerce website and distribution in leading department stores and fashion boutiques.Karlie Kloss and Aline Weber have both modelled for the brand, and I have to say, I love it! 

It's eclectic, not too try hard, doesn't make me think of sorority girls, and there are at least a dozen pieces I want to get my hands on: 

Love the looks and can't wait to get your hands on it too? For those that want to get ahead of the game prior to the UK launch, Free People is currently offering significantly lower shipping costs to the UK from the .com website – was $35 now $7.95! Visit the Free People website to take advantage now!

What do you think? Is Free People a brand you're interested in? Do you like these looks, and are you looking forward to the UK launch?

Love Tor x

Friday, 27 July 2012

Competition: Style Havaianas sandals and win!

Hi guys,

It's here, it's finally here! I've seen sunshine this week, I've worn sleeveless dresses, and I'm feeling excited! Tomorrow I head off on my summer holidays - could life be better?! I haven't stopped wearing sandals all week, I've packed two pairs in my suitcase, and the sandals I'm wearing are my new Haviainas.

Flash, Freedom and Grace are the three new sandals from Haviainas, and they aren't like the usual flip flops you would expect from what is arguably the nations favourite flip flop brand. Frankly, they are very very cool. They come in pastels, metallic reflections, comfortable soles and exquisite straps. And they're all available from the Havaianas store.

Haviainas sent me three pairs from the new collections (one in each style) to try out for myself, and I really haven't taken them off since they arrived. They're so damn comfortable and they go with almost everything! To prove it, I created a video for Haviainas showing me styling my favourite pair of my new shoes:

Which leads me very nicely to the competition portion of today's post. Because it's competition time! You could win three pairs of Haviainas sandals of your choice from the espadrilles, sandals, and flip flops collection.

To enter all you have to do is send a photo or mood board showing how you would style a pair of Haviainas sandals to me (tor@fabfrocksworld.co.uk) by Wednesday 8th August. You could style them for the office, a shopping trip, or a casual summer BBQ. The choice is yours! The contest will be judged by me and the Haviainas jury, and  the winners will be announced on Friday 10th August.

I'm really excited to see your entries: Good luck!!!

Love Tor x

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Obligatory Olympics fashion post - they're here!

Hi guys,
Tomorrow I fly off to Venice and will therefore be completely missing the first week of the Olympics. But that doesn't mean that, like nearly everyone else in the country, I am not very excited to see the Opening Ceremony tonight. Because I am!

But the Olympics isn't just the greatest sports event on earth; it's also a great big fashion spectacle. Stella McCartney has designed the Team GB kit. Ralph Lauren waved the flag for the American teams. And Giorgio Armani created the Italian teams uniforms. But what about us? Of course you can buy the Stella McCartney pieces, but if you're not really the sport type there have to be some options for showing your patriotism during the Olympics, and looking stylish at the same time. Well, here are some of the ideas I've come up with:
Union jack lips clutch, Lulu Guinness, £475 
London soldiers print skirt, Cath Kidston, £35
Union jack holdall, Accessorize, £40
Union jack teacup keyring, Accessorize, £5
Ashish I love Sports sweater, Topshop, £50
Union Jack floral top, Next, £16
Union Jack dessert boots, Clarks, £53
Vivienne Westwood armour ring, Asos, £185

Am you excited about the approaching Olympics? Will you be flying the flag and donning your red, white, and blue? Or are you a little bit fed up of all the hype? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Love Tor x

Monday, 23 July 2012

River Island sale shoes: Check them out now!

Hi guys,
The summer sales are starting to wind down. When I went to check out the notorious Next sale today there was almost nothing left! But one department of my favourite sale, the sale I always make a beeline for, is definitely going strong. I have never seen so many pairs of amazing shoes as there are currently in the River Island sale!

There were leather sandals and flip flops for £10-£15. An amazing selection of heels and wedges for around £20. And three pairs of the most stunning flatforms I have ever seen: River Island have the best high summer shoes I've seen on the high street this year, and they're a damn bargain!
The bottom pair are beyond and above my favourites: and they're just £15! How can you possibly argue with a price like that?

If you don't live near a River Island store there is still a pretty good selection available on the website too. Check them out now: believe me, they're definitely worth a look!

PS - River Island also has a great selection of winter accessories in their sale at the moment too: I think it's left over stock from last year. But if you're looking for fur or knit hats or scarves then you can pick them up for under £5 in their sale right now: a bargain if you like to plan ahead!

Love Tor x

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Today I wish I looked like Sophie Dahl

Hi guys,
OK so her cookery programme was irritating. And I'm not a big fan of her diminutive husband.But today, the celebrity I most wish I looked like is Sophie Dahl. That's because she's just been unveiled as the face of classic British brand Aubin & Wills. And she is looking fresh faced and frankly, amazing!

How gorgeous are these shots? They make me wish I could perfect this understated and laid back cool look!
Photobucket Photobucket

I confess that I never shop in Aubin & Wills (nor have I ever visited the younger sister store, Jack Wills) but I do think they have a knack for choosing amazing celebs to front their campaigns: previous stars have included Rosie Huntington-Whitely and my imaginary-husband, Carl Barat.

The collection launched in store and online last week (19th July). I have been looking for the perfect Camel coat to add to my growing collection of classic-pieces-to-last-forever for an age. I think I might have to pop in and try on the one being modelled by Sophie here: it looks great!

Where do you stand on the classics versus trends debate? Do you tend to buy classic pieces, or do you prefer your wardrobe to be more trend-led?

Love Tor xx 

Friday, 20 July 2012

What to pack for a holiday to Venice (Or any other city break!)

Hi guys,

Finally, holiday time has arrived! This time next week I leave dreary rainy old England and head off with my husband for five days in Venice. We're staying in one of only two 5* hotels in Venice that have an outdoor pool, so hopefully as well as soaking up some culture I will also be able to soak up some sun!

The main question now though is what to pack? Holiday packing is difficult enough as it is, but even more so when you're going somewhere as well known for its love of fashion as Italy. There are so many boxes to tick: you want to look good, be comfortable for sight seeing, and blend in without standing out as a tourist (unless of course you like having your camera stolen!)

The best think about shopping for a summer holiday now is that because we've had such a terrible summer here in the UK, the seasonal sales have started early: Everything on my wishlist is in the sale!  
Black zigzag straw hat, River Island, £2
Full gold jacquard skirt, Topshop, £10

Cross body bag, Peter Jensen @ ASOS, £135
Black cowl front dress, River Island, £15
Oversized sunglasses, Pieces, £7 

Black sandals, Chocolate Shubar @ Sarenza, £33.40
Snake print bikini, Clothing at Tesco, Bottoms £3.50, Top £5 

Black and white striped shorts, River Island, £7

Here are my tips and ideas for city break packing:

 -If your hotel has a pool, make sure you pack your swimsuit! You might be planning to spend all your time sight seeing, but if you get tourism burnout having your suit handy means you can take a break by the pool. 

-Carry a small over-body handbag. This will deter pick pockets and won't be too bulky or cumbersome to be comfortable carrying around all day. Backpacks are a major no-no: aside from the fact they're frankly ugly, they're also too big to carry into narrow shops or around narrow galleries and cafes.

-Stick to one colour palette when you're packing. That way you can pack light, knowing that all of your clothes can be mixed and matched with each other. I like to stick to a simple black and white base and then throw in one accent colour. This time I've gone for gold, but you could pick almost any bright summery colour!

-Take care of your skin: there's nothing uglier than sunburn and wrinkles caused by sun exposure! When you're going on a city break, its easy to forget you don't need the same supplies as you do for a beach holiday. But remember the sun screen, and a wide hat and sunglasses to protect your face!

- Pack one versatile dress. I always make sure I pack something (in crease free jersey!) that I can wear to dinner, the pool, or out and about for the day. Dresses like this are hard to find: if you find it, buy two and keep them forever!!

-Finally, shoes are heavy: don't take too many pairs! For a 4 or 5 night break if possible try to pack only two. Make sure both are really comfortable. I am opting for one pair of sandals and one pair of well worn pumps.

Are you going away on holiday this year? And have you packed for yours yet?

 Love Tor xx

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Primark's A/W Campaign: I'm stocking up!

Hi guys,
I know August hasn't even arrived yet, and the height of summer is yet to come (if the hype is to be believed) but after falling in love with the Autumn/Winter collection from River Island last week, I just couldn't resist a peak at what Primark has in store for us.

No matter how much I try to focus on buying high quality items which will have longevity in my wardrobe, I just can't resist a rummage in Primark! They always manage to pick up on the hottest seasons trends but at the cheapest prices possible. If I want to experiment with something different I always look in Primark before I look in Topshop because I want to make sure I'm going to like a new look before I invest in it: new looks on a budget! What's not to like?!

Here are the outfits I'm coveting right now. And as soon as they hit the stores, I'll be stocking up:
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
The trend I am most loving from Primark from A/W is the boyish, casual 1960s trend. The sixties are by far my favourite style decade - and although I don't have the coltish figure of Eddie Segwick or Twiggy, I love nothing more than teaming flats with minis and oversized boyish coats. This is the drop I am most looking forward to in Primark, and I imagine I will spend a small fortune!

I also really want to get my hands on that khaki parka jacket with the leather sleeves. It's just £25, and apparently it should land in-store at the end of July. 

Do you shop in Primark? And what do you think of the new season collection?

Love Tor xx

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Welcome to the Converse family!

Hi guys,
When Sarenza posted a picture of their new baby Converse range on their Facebook wall, I immediately knew I had a have a pair for the bump. Then, when I started looking at all of the Converse available on the website (and there really are loads!) I decided, hell, why not get a pair for every member of the family?!

Mike is a fairly casual kind of chap, so buying him trainers isn't a hard task. Instead of standard Converse, I opted for a wider and softer pair that looked similar to the Vans he usually sports. The Verdict: He really likes them and he's wearing them loads, which is testimony enough! 

Finding a pair I really liked for myself was a little more difficult, because I already have a silver pair of Converse that fill my casual shoe needs. So I decided to stick with my shiny space man Converse, and get myself a pair of summer boots (to be showcased in a later post) instead! 

Here's the final selections: 

Baby Converse, Sarenza
Womens Converse my own: there is this similar pair from Sarenza
Mens Converse, Star Player in Olive, Sarenza

The baby shoes come in a beautful little box, so if you're looking for a gift for a new mum/baby that's a little more fashionable than a standard teddy bear, these would be my first pick. That I'm a shoe addict is a well-documented fact, but I really am a sucker for teeny tiny little shoes! I predict that the bump is going to end up having a bigger shoe collection than me - and that's saying something.

Sarenza shoes for everyone, and we're officially a family of Converse fans!

Love Tor xx 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Daily wear: The striped dress and the anniversary

Hi guys,
I don't usually wear stripes. The ever-present Spring/summer nautical trend is of course on my radar, but not in my wardrobe. This is one of very few nautical dresses I own: a recent acquisition. I love it and it was perfect for my anniversary day out yesterday: we went boating on the Norfolk Broads.

I seem to have acquired the sunglasses almost by accident.  I was clearing out my desk on Friday afternoon when I found an unopened ASOS bag, buried under a mountain of press releases, catelogues and ahem, crisp packets. Obviously I opened it, and these sunglasses were inside: I must've ordered them last summer, never opened them, and forgotten all about it. I don't even remember doing it!
Photobucket Photobucket
Dress: Blooming Marvellous, Leggings: Mamalicious, Sunglasses: ASOS, Glitter pumps c/o Sarenza, Handbag: BCBG MaxAzria from TKMaxx.

Can you believe its been 12 months since I was boring you all silly talking about our wedding?! The time really does seem to have flown by.

If you feel the need to get back to nature and want a fun and relaxing day out, I can really recommend taking a boat out on the Norfolk Broads. We hired ours from Wroxham, and took a picnic: heavenly! The best part of the day wasn't the beautiful surroundings or the swans and ducklings (which I loved). It was seeing this:
Photobucket Yes! That is an ice cream van boat! If you wave him over as you motor past him, he'll pull along side you and serve up delicious ice cream. Something I've never seen before, and the unexpected highlight of the day!

What did you get up to this weekend? Did you do any unexpectedly fun activities?

Love Tor xx

Thursday, 12 July 2012

George at Asda: In which I forgot to buy any potatoes.....

Hi guys,
Yesterday I popped to Asda to buy some bits and pieces for dinner (I was planning on making a Shepherds pie- glamourous life!) when I got so distracted by all of the 'New In' George range, that I forgot to buy the potatoes: an essential Shepherds pie ingrediant! Their high summer collection has just arrived, and it's made me think about summer holidays, and the warm weather that hasn't quite arrived yet.

Although I always admire the George collection at their press days, I almost never shop there (as that isn't where I do my supermarket shop) and was interested to see if they had the same gorgeous stuff in store as they do when they showcase the collection to the press. Here are my picks of what I saw yesterday:
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
The verdict? George is definitely still a great place to shop, and there are some real gems in their collection. Pretty patterned bras for £8? What's not to like! And aside from Primark, perhaps, where else can you get fashionable swimwear for your summer holidays at such low prices! A lot of the fashion is really lovely too: I liked the beige and silver jumper so much that I snapped it up straight away!

The not-so-good? Maybe it's a sign of my age, but the G21 range (shown in pictures 3) which I used to admire for being so fashion-forward, now strikes me as garish and unappealing. Lots of very bright colours and obviously cheap fabrics. And why embellish everything?! I, for one, very see teenage girls covered in that many sequins: they have more taste!

Nonetheless, I will definitely be checking out George again next time I pop into Asda to forget to do my shopping!

Love Tor xx

Monday, 9 July 2012

Going dotty for my new Hotter pumps

Hi guys,
We probably all know of Hotter shoes: their uninspiring TV adverts show middle aged women beaming delightedly whilst wearing chunky, slightly unattractive shoes. But actually, there's a new side to the Hotter Comfort Concept: and it's one I can definitely get behind!
I was sent a pair of their new Mabel canvas lace up pumps. And they're so comfortable, I don't know if I'll ever be able to bring myself to take them off! They look seriously cool (I've worn them with leggings and jeans and they look cool with both) which is the key factor when I'm choosing shoes, but they also feel fantastic. Despite the fact the shoes are made of canvas, they have a cushioned, breathable sole which means you can walk around in them all day without any rubbing or pain - and that's tried and tested!!
The tan leather tabs are a nice touch too: little detail touches like this always get my attention, and they're a sign of a quality and well-made shoe. The pumps come in a variety of different patterns, including a nautical pinstripe and a Cath Kidston-esque ditzy floral. If you're not into patterns, they also come in a plain denim and a plain white. 

The final verdict? For £45 these pumps are obviously more expensive than the similar styles you can pick up from Topshop or even Primark. I have a similar white primark pair I picked up for £4 in fact. But when it comes to comfort, there really in no comparision. And the way my feet feel at the end of the day (like I've been walking on cushions!) means that in my opinion, they're worth every penny.

Love Tor x

Disclosure: I was sent these shoes by Hotter for the purpose of this review. 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Thanks M&S! I'm already longing for winter...

Hi guys,
Apologies in advance for any mentions in this post of the dreaded 'C' word, but it really can't be helped! Today I went to the Marks and Spencer Christmas in July press show, and it's really got me thinking about winter: log fires, snow, and Christmas.

Despite the fact we haven't really had much of a summer yet, it's shows like this that make me think a long winter of wrapping up in knits and faux fur arriving so soon might not actually be too bad!
The jewel collared print dress in the first photograph, and the cream faux fur stole it's been teamed with, have both been immediately added to my wish list. I also really like the burnt orange fair isle jumper in the bottom picture, which will be perfect for wearing on our New Year's trip to Scotland.

To make matters worse, and despite the gloriously sunny weather outside, I also got a taste and a smell of Christmas. Perfectly roasted turkeys, smoked salmon, rich chocolates and even a stodgy fruit cake. Who can have a BBQ after sampling all of that?! No. I'm ready for a Christmas dinner!

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Fabfrocks at Home: Visit the creepy circus

Hi guys,
Having moved house (and city!) less than a month ago, we are currently busying ourselves with painting, decorating, and themeing all of the rooms in our new pad. I love a themed room, as much as I love a themed wedding, outfit, or party! It's the theatre of it that appeals, as well as knowing exactly what to expect when you open a door. It means you can create some sense of order from the vintage junk yard my rooms tend to look like by the time I've finished with them.

Once of the rooms in the house (which one will be revealed later once it's finished) is going to be circus themed. That means I've been trawling all of my favourite haunts (Ebay, Etsy, Car boot sales and junk shops basically) looking for as much vintage-inspired circus paraphernalia as possible.
My first stop was eBay, where I have been picking up old repro Barnham and Bailey circus prints and postcards for less than £2 each (I got the set of six postcards for £2.50). I've put them in RIBA photoframes from IKEA in the sale, which were reduced to £7.20, from approx £14.99.  I have two more frames, and am trawling the listings daily waiting for two more perfect posters to pop up.

For the soft furnishings my mum and I are making a lot of them ourselves, but I just couldn't resist the following options from Etsy:
Barnum and Bailey cushion cover, Spooky Shades, £22.37
Victoriana Animal cushion cover, StevieBhandmade, £30

And there's more! Not on the high street is also a cavern of wonder when it comes to finding old-school circus treasure. There is literally circus stuff everywhere I turn at the moment!
These wooden blocks from Chippernelly would make great paper weights, and they're only £10.95 And I can't work out what I want to do with these carnival/fair tickets, but for just £3 a roll I'm sure I can think of something! Use it to trim paper bunting perhaps?!

The best thing about this room theme is that it will and can work for literally every room in the house. Imagine how much more fun it would be to work in the circus themed office? Or eat in a circus themed dining room? Hell if you found the perfect red and white striped wall paper you could even make this work for a seriously cool bathroom! The possibilities are endless!

Do you theme your rooms/interior decor, either intentionally or unintentionally? And what do you think of the circus theme? Is it something you'd be tempted to try?

Love Tor xx

Monday, 2 July 2012

Ernest Jones: Jewellery lust

Hi guys,
I quite often walk straight past high street jewellers. Well, that's not true: I always look in any window where I see chunky watches, I'm a complete sucker for them! But when it comes to things like rings, necklaces, and other pieces I like to wear oversized and vintage, I turn to cheap thrill stores like Topshop, or independent jewellers from Etsy.

I think bigger jewellers are starting to realise that people are looking for more unusual jewellery rather than diamond solitaires, and that they need to and are upping their games: Particularly the Ernest Jones rings departmentNow admittedly the pieces tend to be over the average costume jewellery budget, but sometimes it's worth buying one or two pieces of good quality jewellery to supplement the rest of your cheaper stock. 

Here are my picks from the Ernest Jones collection, made all the more lovely because they're all in the sale: 
Ted Baker yellow lemon ring, was £55 now £45 
Tri-shaped Swaroski ring, was £80 now £55 
9 ct gold multi stone ring, was £299 now £225 
Silver hematite ring, was £125 now £85
Emporio Armani circle stripe ring now £89
Silver and diamond wave ring, was £350 now £175

I love rings. I always think a good statement ring is a sign of a fashionable person, and even if I'm just running out wearing jeans and a tee, I always slip on a ring as i'm scurrying out of the door. What's the one piece of jewellery you couldn't live without? Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear every day?

Love Tor x

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