Monday, 23 December 2013

The ASOS Sale has Started: On Your Marks!

Hi guys,
Just a little post to say that the ASOS sale has started: and I've already ordered my first 'January sales' frocks! Long gone are the days when you had to wait for Christmas day to pass before the sale shopping could begin: in fact, if you're really savvy you could even wait until the last minute for the sales to start before you do your Christmas shopping! Here are a few picks of some of the things I've got my eye on from the sale (and a couple of the things I've already ordered!) After Christmas itself, shopping the January sales is one of my favourite times of the year:
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Floral smock dress, was £36 now £14.
Sheer black dress, was £35 now £17.50.
Check skater dress, was £42 now £21.
Angel midi bodycon dress, was £100 now £50.
Full skirted embroidered dress, was £325 now £195.
Floral maxi dress, was £65 now £39.

If you don't have your New Year's Eve outfit organised yet, then it's definitely worth checking out: there's still time to order now for NYE delivery!

I've got just one more post to share with you (full of Wilbur in all of his Santa-y glory) before Christmas!'Tis the season and it's very nearly the big day: I'm already home at my parents and indulging in a host of festive treats!

Love Tor x

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas Gifts from (Secret) Santa and M&S!

Hi guys,
Last week, when I shared some great Christmas stocking filler ideas from M&S, I mentioned that I was taking part in a Blogger's Secret Santa event with them too. Well, my present has arrived (like a naughty elf, I opened it early) and I have to say I am delighted with what I received! My lady-Santa has helped me to kit out my new office with stationary and a super-handy family planner, and I love the subtle pastel colours of the stationary she chose. Here it is, being demonstrated by Wilbur: the chief present-opener in our house!
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What do you think? Is stationary on your Christmas stocking filler wish list? I'm absolutely delighted with mine! Massive thanks to my secret Santa, and of course, massive thanks to Marks and Spencer too: don't forget that they're open right up until Christmas eve if you still need to grab any presents! And if you have left things to the last minute you're in luck: they currently have 50% off selected Christmas gifts!

Love Tor x

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Objects of Lust: Beautiful Boots by Sol Sana

Hi guys,
One of the things I like most about working with Sarenza is that the site almost constantly introduces me to brands I haven't heard of before, and immediately fall in love with. One of those brands is Sol Sana, who's boots I am newly obsessed with. In fact, I ordered these feline print Sol Sana Jessie boots last month, and have been wearing them near-constantly since they arrived:
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They look incredible teamed with skinny jeans and boxy blouses, but I've also worn them out to dinner with black tights and a little black dress.They are a really gorgeous statement boot that get positive attention whenever I wear them. But they aren't the only incredible boots from the Sol Sana brand. Here are my picks of some other Sol Sana boots that have got my pulse racing:
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Sol Sana Jessie boot in black, £145.70
Sol Sana Jai boot in khaki, £159.90
Sol Sana Larry boot in black, £132.00

Sol Sana Nic boot in wine, £145.70

My feline print Jessie boots are so comfortable and stylish (and get so many nice comments every time I wear them!) that I just ordered myself the Nic boots in the wine colour too: I have a wine coloured Vivienne Westwood scarf they will match with perfectly, and these statement boots are the perfect way to wear eye-catching shoes without having to wear heels. I'll be sporting a pair of these boots all Christmas long!

Love Tor x

*I am a Sarenza brand ambassador

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Sponsored Video: Simply Being Myself

Hi guys,
It's not often I see a video for an advertising campaign and really relate to it, so I was surprised to really relate to the latest video from Simply Be. Its honest and heart warming, and its message to be true to who you are is both real and sincere:

Being true to yourself is what the Simply Be brand is all about, and it gives me the perfect opportunity to get all schmaltzy and sentimental about who I am, and how the people I love got me here. When I'm down or having a bad day it is being all these things to all these people that gets me through it:

I am a mum. I'm a dress size bigger and my tummy is significantly more wobbly, but having Wilbur is the best decision I ever made. Loving him is a whole different kind of love, unlike any other, and there's no bad day he can't immediately fix simply by smiling at me, or giving me one of his sloppy kisses which are at least 90% spit!
I am a wife. What can I say about my handsome husband? He drives me crazier and makes me happier than anyone else in the world (usually at the same time). He's a great dad, and a great man, and I'm phenomenally lucky to have him, and lucky that he loves me unconditionally: even on the days when I forget to brush my hair!
I am a daughter. I have hands down the best parents in the world, bar none. There's not a problem they can't fix, a hole they can't mend, a disaster they can't rectify. They're almost superhumanly amazing: it's awe inspiring (especially now I'm a parent myself). Their love and their patience never ends.
I am a sister. I am so lucky to have two sisters that I talk to every single day and that are like my best friends. They make me howl with laughter, and (occasional) want to give them a good slap. I don't know how I'd cope without them. I was doubly blessed when Amie ended up having the same dress and shoe size as me so I can borrow here stuff whenever I like!
I am a friend. Moving cities when we were pregnant was a massive upheaval but it has helped us discover who our good friends (new and old) really are and to cherish them all the more.

It makes me feel all Christmassy and good-cheer-y to remember how lucky I am to have all these awesome people, who all help to make me me! And when I have to buy a new party frock (because last year's is a little too snug) or I'm up all night and so tired I can't think straight I know that these are the wonderful people that will get me through. Let's face it: What better Christmas present could you want than that?

What blessings will you be counting this Christmas?

Love Tor x

*This is a sponsored post for Simply Be

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Stocking Filler Ideas From Marks and Spencer

Hi guys,
Another day, another post about Christmas! We're now exactly two weeks away from Christmas day, so if you haven't started your Christmas shopping yet then you really should get a wriggle on! I've been on the Marks and Spencer website for the past hour or so, checking out all the great stocking filler presents they offer: and all for less than £20. Here are my picks of the best of them:
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1.Conran house print cushion, £19.50
2. Limited edition diamante earrings, £15
3. Chatsworth stag candle, £19.50
4. Limited collection 12 days of Christmas mini nail polishes, £15
5. Butterfly keyring, £7.50
6. Three pack of santa socks, £5
7. Winter robin mugs, £8

The reason I've been scouring the M&S website? I'm taking part in the Marks and Spencer Christmas Blogger's secret Santa challenge, and I chose the House print Conran cushion above as my present for my secret Santa.

Want to know which blogger I brought my Secret Santa present for? Well sadly I'm not allowed to tell you. But here are a few clues that might help you to reveal her identity:
1. She loves sewing and craft.
2. She has long red hair
3. She's an incredibly talented illustrator
4. I chose this particular gift for her because she's recently moved in with her boyfriend and I think it would look great in her living room!

Does anyone know who it is? If you think you can guess then pop your ideas in the comments box. And happy Christmas shopping!

Love Tor x

Shoes: Glitzy Pretty Ballerinas

Hi guys,
I love a ballerina pump as much as the next girl: they're pretty, easy to wear, practical, and they go with just about everything. But when I saw these stunning glittery pumps from Pretty Ballerinas my tummy flipped over a little. Ok, so they're a little girly: but it's Christmas! When else can you wear ballet pumps covered in glitter and topped off with a big pink bow?
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Pretty Ballerinas have a great selection of pumps including a pair of leopard print ones topped with a big black cord bow, which normally would be my first choice. But as it's the season of glitter (and as I'm planning on avoiding wearing heels as much as possible this Christmas) it's these little girl-style pink ones that are calling my name.

If you want to get your hands on a pair of these in time for the holiday season then they can be yours for the princely sum of £87.19 (they currently have 20% off in the Spartoo pre-Christmas sale).

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Christmas Gift Idea: Jord Wooden Watches

Hi guys,
Christmas Eve (and the last shopping day before Christmas) is just two weeks away. I've been ploughing through my Christmas shopping, and only have two people left to buy presents for! But if you're still looking for Christmas gift ideas then I am going to spend this week bringing you some inspiration. First up are a range of wooden watches from Jord: No, you didn't read that wrong. These are watches made of wood, which makes them incredibly lightweight and easy to wear. And I like them so much I'm recommending them to you guys!
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When I first read about the idea of wooden watches I was sceptical. As a watch addict (and owner of nearly a dozen high quality watches) I wasn't sure a watch made of wood would stand up to the test of time: to the daily battering I seem to give my watches when I'm baking, painting with the baby or banging about doing DIY, for example. But actually I was wrong, as this watch is incredibly hardy. It also looks much sleeker than I had expected: it's smooth and sleek rather than coarse and textured, though of course you can see immediately that its made of wood. And I love the coarser more textured wood used in the watch face: it really drives the 'wooden watch' message home without chaffing your arm whilst you wear it!
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Another thing that impressed me about this watch was the speed at which it was delivered (important for last minute Christmas shopping). This watch was shipped all the way from America, and yet it arrived in just four days: that's faster than the Amazon order I placed at the same time!

So who am I recommending these watches as Christmas gifts for? Well I think they would make a great unusual gift for the man in your life (I know my husband and my dad would both love these) and perfect presents for any eco-conscious, environmentally friendly family members too.

There are lots of different styles, colours and models available: so whether you want something streamlined or chunky you'll find your pick. I opted for the Fieldcrest model in Black. You can get your own for $120 right here.

Love Tor x

*I received a watch for the purpose of this review but all thoughts are my own

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Sponsored Video: Prepping for the Perfect Party!

Hi guys,
The Christmas party season is well and truly underway. But for me, there is a more significant party taking place before Christmas begins: Wilbur turns one on Saturday! We are having two parties on Saturday: one for his little pals at a play centre and one for family and close friends at home. I'm currently knee deep in party decorations, baking cakes, and menu plans. Then as soon as the birthday is over, I have two more parties at home to plan for: we always like to get our friends round at Christmas, so it's a month of baking and party planning for me!

As I have so much entertaining and partying to do this month (and as I'm still breastfeeding so I can't really drink anyway) I'm loving the idea of J20's new glittberry drink, as promoted by Harry the Party Pug. It has a slightly spiced flavour and would make a great mixer, but tastes just as great on its own, meaning it's perfect for designated drivers, new mummies, or just folks that don't want to feel foggy headed the following morning. What's not to love about a drink that tastes yummy and has glitter in it: it's perfect for parties! I'm definitely going to be getting some in for when my mummy pals come over to exchange Christmas presents next week.

And hey, if it's approved by the party pug, how can I argue with that! I love Christmas and I love Christmas parties: the season just passes far too quickly for my liking. Are you throwing any parties this festive season?

Love Tor x

*This is a sponsored video from J20, but all other content and thoughts are my own. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas Wishlist: Who's That Girl?

Hi guys,
Christmas is coming, the geese are fattening up, and I am starting to think about what I'll be finding in my Christmas stocking.

The new series of New Girl is starting soon, so the complete second series on DVD is going to be one of the gifts on my wishlist. And because it's been 12 months since I've been to the cinema there are a dozen other DVDs I'd be glad to unwrap on the big day too. Mostly though, I'll be asking for things for our new house and fashion-y things for myself. Now to decide exactly what bits and bobs I'll be asking Santa Claus to pop under my tree. To give him a helping hand I've created my perfect Christmas wishlist from the Zalando website: I've covered a range of price points from stocking filler to 'wow that's expensive'.
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1.Ted Baker classic blue wool coat, £245
2. Pad purple cushion cover, £21
3. Michael Kors brown and leopard print boots, £190
4. StyleR by Post turquoise necklace, £38
5. Vivienne Westwood purse, £80
6. Set of two stag decorations, £14
7. Rosantica ring, £130

What do you think of my picks? And what will you be asking Santa for? I'll be making gift guides and wishlists from lots of other stores over the next couple of weeks: here's hoping Santa is watching!

Love Tor x

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Sponsored Video: The Bra that tweets. Yes, really!

Hi guys,
Do you ever sometimes read a PR story and think it's such an incredible idea you wish you'd thought of it yourself? That's exactly how I felt when I read about the bra that tweets! No: you didn't read that wrong! In order to build awareness about breast cancer awareness and remind us of the importance of checking our breasts every month, a bra has been invented that will send a tweet every time Greek celebrity Maria Bacodimou unclasps it. This video will explain the concept much better than I can:

Breast Cancer awareness is a cause that's close to my heart, and I think anything that raises awareness and reminds women to check themselves regularly can only be a good thing. I know how it feels to be busy and not have time for something that seems so unimportant like checking your boobs: heck, I know how it feels to be covered in baby snot and feel like having the chance just to shower is a treat! But I also know first-hand how breast cancer can devastate young families. And actually, it really is important to make the time for a self-exam: it only takes a few minutes, and it could save your life!

Want to follow the tweeting bra and get regular updates to remind yourself to check your breasts on a monthly basis? Then you'll find the twitter account here.

Love Tor x

*Sponsored post from Nestle Fitness 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Underneath the LBD with Ann Summers

Hi guys,
I read about the Ann Summers 'underneath the LBD' competition over on Jen's blog and had the same initial thought that she did: Ann Summers? Do they do nice lingerie? Well, it turns out the answer is yes! And even more excitedly, from my point of view, they also stock a pretty good selection in G and H cups which is a rare treat for me! Its nice to find fuller cupped bras at affordable prices. So what would I put under my LBD from Ann Summers? Well here are my picks:
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Klaudia bra, Ann Summers, £32
Klaudia suspender belt, Ann Summers, £20
Temperley dress, Net-a-Porter, £795
Turkish delight earrings, ASOS, £18

Metallic bobble framed clutch, Oasis, £25
Patricia Blanchet heels, Sarenza, £127

I went for a dress with a plunging neckline to show off the 'assets' and a push up bra to help maximize the effect of that. And because sexy underwear can help put a spring in your step I paired the bra with it's matching suspender belt. I'm slightly in love with this (out of my budget) Temperley dress, and I accessorised everything in my usual evening style: lots of vintage-inspired gold and a pair of fabulous heels: Oh and I made sure the earrings matched the lingerie, so they'd look just as good without the little black dress on too (ahem!).

What do you think of my festive LBD look? Want to take part in the competition yourself? Here's the link!

Love Tor x

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Home: The hunt for the perfect desk!

Hi guys,
Despite the fact that we moved into our house back in April, it was only last weekend that we unpacked the final box! Unpacking those last boxes means that the 'box room' (also known as my office) is finally cleared and I am able to put the room together and start working in it: at the minute I'm working from a corner of our bedroom! Working for yourself requires piles of discipline (particularly when you're also trying to juggle looking after a demanding baby too) and I am so excited to get my office set up and finally be able to have my own dedicated work zone: and somewhere to put my mountain of filing too!
 photo aprileating_zpseac9bff5.png I have an office chair, shelving unit and even a lovely sofa in my office. But what I don't have is a desk. So right now that's my current obsession. I want something slightly unusual that will fit in with the quirky design of the room, but still usable and with plenty of room for all this paperwork. I really like this Z shaped desk from Furniture Plus Online, because of its unusual shape and its build in filing cabinet. The ultimate style I want from the room is relaxed and vintage inspired and something that feels really me. If I could end up with something that looked like either of these rooms I would be a really happy bunny:  photo officeidea2_zpsa0e03e7a.png
Do you have a home office? How have you decorated it? I'd love it if you could share links to your office inspiration: it's my current obsession! And of course, I'll be sharing the pictures with you as soon as I've finally finished mine!

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Ankle Boot Obsession from Jones the Bootmaker

Hi guys,
Although knee high boots have their place (more about that later in the week) I've always been in the ankle boot obsessive camp. I love my ankle boots, and they look just as great with skirts and dresses as they do with skinny jeans. I also love quality boots: you wear your boots day in and day out all winter long, so I think it's important to pick a pair that are good quality, made of soft and supple leather, and ultimately, so comfortable you can wear them all day. Enter Jones the Bootmaker, and some frankly delicious ankle boots! Jones have a deserved reputation for making quality and well made boots that will last you forever. The selection of ladies boots on offer left my mouth watering. Here are some of my picks:  photo jonesthebootmaker_zpscdb7b6b0.png 1.Jones the Bootmaker Olso Boots £89 (Was £110)
2. Betsey Johnson Sadie Boots £49 (Was £100)
3. Jones the Bootmaker Overton Boots £79 (was £99)

The best thing about buying new boots at this time of year is that (as shown from my selection) some of the best pairs have just been reduced and can be found in the sales. So if you've been making do with last years boots and are feeling a little bit fed up with them, now's the perfect time to go and get a new pair instead!

I'm giving serious consideration to buying those studded riding style boots (despite the fact that I really don't need any more winter shoes)! Which ones have you got your eye on?

Love Tor x

*This is a PR collaboration 

Daily Wear: Pretty in Pink

Hi guys,
Another cold day in Norwich, another opportunity to wear my new favourite coat: I've worn this bubblegum pink one everyday since I got it! I mentioned that I would show you the fruits of my labour from my Westfield London shopping spree, and this is the main thing I bought: a pink Topshop coat for £98.
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I've teamed it with my new favourite jumper, which is (believe it or not) from George at Asda. Badgers, Owls, and Bumblebees: could there be a more perfect jumper for an animal lover like me? It's new in store at the minute, and cost just £16. The jeans and boots are also from Topshop (both sales purchases from last January) and the handbag is vintage.

I've never really been a girly girly girl, and I've certainly never been the kind of girl that wants to own everything in pink. But this season's pink trend has really grown on me, and I really do love this coat.

Have you got a new winter coat this year? And what colour did you choose?

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Shoes: Click your heel three times!

Hi guys,
When I saw these Shelly's shoes my immediate thought was of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I'm a complete sucker for anything with a little bit of sparkle, especially with the festive season approaching, so these are definitely on my wish list!
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I'm a bit of a dedicated jeans addict nowadays (it just fits in with my lifestyle so much more) and these would look incredible with skinny jeans and a simple blouse for over the festive period, when you want to look a tad fancy but without getting too dressed up. On Christmas day I don't get out of my pajamas (it's a family tradition) but I think these gorgeous courts could even glam up my house suit!

If you want a pair of these beauties of your own you can buy them here for just £43.99.

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Shop the Sarenza Mid-season Sale!

Hi guys,
Exciting news - the Sarenza mid-season sale has started! I need very little excuse to get excited about shoe shopping, but a sale at this time of year gets me doubly excited. I am definitely a winter girl, and I much prefer shopping for boots to sandals.

Christmas is also a great reason to get excited about shoes, as far as I'm concerned. Not only do you get to shop frivolously for heels (with the excuse of Christmas parties) but I also think shoes make fabulous Christmas presents: I've got shoes for both of my sisters this year, and I think they're going to be delighted with my choices! I've also got a pair of shoes (and a handbag or two) on my own Christmas wishlist.
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The Sarenza mid season sale has discounts of up to 50% and is running until 24th November, giving you plenty of time for virtual browsing and wish list creation! Here's the link.

Are there any sale shoes you've got your eye on? And will you be putting any shoes on your Christmas wishlist? Hubby asked me to compile my Christmas wishlist this morning, so I spent a very pleasant hour looking at all sorts of lovely and almost completely pointless trinkets! If you'd told me 18 months ago that cheese knifes with rabbit shaped handles would be one of my hearts desires I would've laughed at you. Completely pointless! But isn't that what Christmas is for?!

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Going Out: Book Your Christmas Trips Now!

Hi guys,
Christmas really is fast approaching, and if you like to get out and about to join in the festivities (or even buy theatre tickets for your Christmas gifts) then now is the time to start thinking about it and start shopping! We've already booked our Christmas trip to the theatre and a visit for Wilbur to go and have breakfast with Santa. The English National Ballet are performing the Nutcracker again (we just can't decide if the little man will be quite old enough) And now I'm thinking about what tickets I want to add to my Christmas list.
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I love the opera, and the English National Opera in particular. It's such a beautiful building in the heart of London, and you feel this incredible atmosphere when you enter the place, before the performance has even began. The first time I ever went to the opera was to see a modern interpretation of Les Liasons Dangereueses (which also happens to be one of my favourite books) and I sobbed pretty much for the full hour after the interval. I've been hooked ever since! The ENO are putting on a performance of Rigoletto (The run is starting in February) that i've already started hearing good things about, so tickets to that will definitely be making their way on my Christmas list. And their production of Mada Butterfly returns for another run (that starts on Friday) so if you're looking for something to do this weekend I can heartily personally recommend it: I just wish I was still living in London so I could pop out and see it myself!

Do you go on any special trips (to the theatre, the opera, or anywhere else) for Christmas? And are there any show tickets on your Christmas list? I'd love to hear all about it!

Love Tor x

*This is a sponsored post

Friday, 1 November 2013

Accessories: Holly Fulton for Radley

Hi guys,
Radley isn't usually a brand you'd find me writing about. Whilst I have nothing against that cute little scotty dog, it's not a brand a particularly like either. I find their designs to be fairly traditional and, well, a little bit dull. But that's all about to change for me! Because Holly Fulton (a designer I really love, and often write about) has created a collaborative collection with Radley. And I love it!
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Suddenly that scotty dog is looking appealing to me! But it's the graphic patterns on the tan leather that I really love. I'm not usually one for glitz when it comes to my handbags. I like simple, good quality leather, so these would be the perfect clutch bags for the party season in my mind.

Love it as much as I do? Shop the collection here. 

Love Tor x

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Shopping: Happy 5th Birthday, Westfield London!

Hi guys,
Yesterday Westfield London turned five! I can't believe how fast the time has gone: I was there when it opened, and it feels like yesterday! In honour of the occasion I headed down to London for the celebration, and of course, for a spot of shopping. I took my best friend with me as my travelling companion: my mum!
 photo westfieldis53_zpsc92b60da.jpg Yesterday evening many of the stores were throwing their own birthday parties and offering free cupcakes, glasses of champagne (or cava) and music and entertainment in stores. House of Fraser threw quite a party! As you arrived at the shopping centre, birthday girls were handing out booklets listing all of the great deals you could get as your very own birthday present (some of the stores were offering discounts of up to 25%!). There's also a lovely little pop up shop in the heart of the mall where you will find lots of different designers offering an exclusive fifth birthday sweatshirt collection, all priced at £65 each.

We went to Square Pie for lunch where we enjoyed some free champagne as we ate: I know you can't call pie and mash fine dining, but they're the best pies in London, and you can't get them in Norwich so I always make a beeline for it when I'm in Westfield!
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Mine was steak and cheese: nom,nom, nom! Once we'd filled our bellies it was time for the serious business: the shopping, and making the most of all of those birthday celebration discounts! Here's a quick list of some of the best discounts you could receive whilst the birthday celebration is happening from 30 October to 3 November (That's this Sunday).

30% of at - Ecco, and Mamas and Papas.
20% off at  - Coast, Calvin Klein Jeans, DKNY Jeans, Armani Exchange, LK Bennett, and Zatchels.
15% off at - Juicy Couture, Aspinals of London, and the White Company and Little White Company.
10% off at - Laura Ashley, Models Own,and Schuh.

Loads of the stores are also offering special offers such as free gifts when you make a purchase, or free cupcakes or prosecco in store all weekend.
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Of course whilst we were there I managed to buy a small mountain of shopping, including a new pink coat (well, if everyone else is doing it!), jumpers and accessories perfect for winter. And a couple of treats for Wilbur too, of course: I just can't resist popping into those baby clothes shops! I'll be writing about my shopping and showing of my purchases in separate posts. 

All of these great discounts make it the perfect time to make a start on your Christmas shopping! Will you be heading down to Westfield London to join in the birthday party celebrations?

Love Tor x

PS - Happy Halloween everyone!

*I haven't been compensated to write this post, but I did receive a gift card for my shopping trip. 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Shoes: Shining with Sam Edelman

Hi guys,
I am slightly in love with slipper shoes because they are as comfortable as, well, wearing slippers. I have white ones and black ones and leopard print ones. But I have never explored the option of evening ones before. Until now. These embellished slipper shoes are just perfect for wearing over the holiday season if you want to look a little more informal, keep your feet comfortable or, like me, simply can't wear heels and crawl around after a mischief maker at the same time!
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I love the embellishment and the way the detailing still manages to have a delicate, embriodery-style feel. If you want a pair of these Sam Edelman beauties for yourself they are available right now for £157.99.

Have you given much thought to your festive shoe options yet? Or do you roll your eyes every time I mention the 'C' word?

Love Tor

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Daily Wear: Stealing styling tips from my dad

Hi guys,
I know we're supposed to call it masculine tailoring or something, but whenever I see someone wearing a button up shirt with a knitted jumper over it I think of my dad: It's his trademark look! Today I'm stealing his style and wearing that exact same outfit for myself:  photo dadstyle1_zpsf93b3ac4.jpg  photo dadstyle3_zpsc261ad4e.jpg  photo dadstyle4_zpsc0208f1b.jpg These are Leigh jeans from Topshop, teamed with a heart print blouse from Asda (aren't you surprised I didn't say Burberry? Ha!) and my jumper is from Asda too. The big leather bag was a bargain in the River Island sale back in January. And I'm disproportionately pleased that I managed to paint my nails last night; it's the first time I've been able to do them for ages!
 photo dadstyle2_zps23818eb5.jpg Instead of wearing boots, which was my first instinct, I opted for my Minna Parikka bunny shoes, and put rolls in my jeans instead. When I first found out that Sarenza would be stocking Minna Parikka shoes I wrote a lengthy post here about why I loved the brand so much. All of those reasons still stand: it is by far one of my favourite shoe brands both because of the quality, comfort, and the quirkiness. Since I got them I've worn these shoes to death!

What are you wearing today? And are you wearing your coat yet? I'm going without mine today: I hope I don't regret it!

Love Tor xx

Hair: My current hair inspiration

Hi guys,
My hair has been through many incarnations over the years. First the fringe, then the battle to grow it out. The bob, the long bob, and my current length. White blonde, dark blonde, dip dyed pink. I'm always wanting to try new styles, but am reluctant to try anything too dramatic incase I don't like it. Right now I am considering getting it all chopped off, but the idea of saying goodbye to all this hair that has taken me such a long time to grow worries me!  photo alexachunghairinspiration_zps701a6790.png Alexa Chung is my current hair inspiration - I would love her hair style but I'm just not brave enough to give it a go! Because my hair has a natural wave it would be really easy for me to manage, and I love the idea of growing out the blonde into a low-maintenance dip dye effect too.

Nowadays I suppose cutting off all your hair isn't as scary as it used to be. After all, if Jessie J and Lady Gaga have taught us anything its that you can buy fabulous long wigs in an outstanding variety of styles and colours and what your real hair looks like doesn't even matter! And if the fake Gaga look isn't for you you can even buy great human hair wigs from Pauls Hair World. I've never worn a wig before, but it is reassuring to know that if I get the chop and I hate it, I can always hide the evidence!

What's your attitude to changing your hair style? And do you think Alexa's hair is as lust-worthy as I do? I'd love to hear your thoughts on all things hair!

Love Tor x 

*This is a sponsored post 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Guest Post: Top Tips for Sensitive Skin

Did you know that sensitive skin is not only caused by your lifestyle and diet but the ingredients found in your skincare products too? If you suffer from sensitive skin, it can be difficult finding the best products to keep your skin healthy and flare-up free.

We’ve put together our top tips to combat skin-irritation and help you select the best beauty essentials for your skin type.
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Testing a product before using it on your skin is extremely important, particularly if your skin is prone to reactions. When using a new product or brand it is advisable to carry out a patch test, this is where you apply a small amount of product onto your skin and monitor the area for 48 hours to see if it causes irritation. Testing is also essential when visiting a beauty salon, whether you’re treating yourself to a facial or changing your hair colour, asking for a patch test will help avoid any unwanted reactions.

Always read the label
If your skin has been affected by certain products and brands in the past, take a look at the ingredients label, you may notice reoccurring ingredients which could be causing the reaction. There are a number of hypoallergenic products on the market which have been specially formulated without harsh ingredients for sensitive skin types.

Mineralcosmetics are a popular choice for those who suffer with sensitive skin, as the natural mineral combination is much gentler on the skin. Many brands specialise in mineral makeup and foundations that work in harmony with your natural skin tone, avoiding harsh chemicals and future irritation.

Cleaning and Cleansing
Thoroughly removing your makeup is important to keep your skin looking great. Always remove your makeup before sleeping but try to avoid rough scrubs and harsh makeup removers to do so. We recommend using mild make-up remover face wipes, which will gently remove your makeup, whilst cleansing and moisturising your skin.

Food and Lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle play a big part in keeping your skin radiant and healthy. Drinking lots of water and incorporating regular exercise into your routine are both proven to have a great effect of your skin. Ensuring your diet is full of fruits, vegetables and essential Vitamins such as C and E will help to keep redness and irritation at bay. 

*This is a guest post. The content has been written for the site with my approval. 

Accessories: You know you're a mum when....

Hi guys,
You know you're a mum when your iPhone cover image stops being something sleek and stylish, and becomes a big old close up of your baby's squishy face instead!  photo phonecase1_zps10efdf3c.jpg  photo phonecase2_zpsb41997e5.jpg My iPhone case was sent for me to review by who sell all manner of phone covers, cases, and skins. They have a great range of really quite fashionable and stylish pre-designed cases too, but I just couldn't resist the idea of having Wilbur smiling at me from the back of my phone.

I'm really pleased with this, and am going to order one for Mike too. It will make a great filler for his Christmas stocking - yes, I am thinking about Christmas stockings already!

What do you have to protect your mobile phone? Something personalised, something stylish, or do you simply leave it cover-free?

Love Tor x

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Looking for cheap cosmetics and perfumes this Christmas? Let me tell you a secret....

Hi guys,
When I was living in London and my sister in Bedfordshire, we used to always do our Christmas shopping together: and we'd meet halfway between both our homes in Watford! We hit the shops, gossiped, ate a Christmas dinner, and then went home laden with bags.

One of the shops we always visited was a shop called TJHughes. TJ's (as we called it) is one of those shops that sells a little bit of everything. But we always made a beeline for the Christmas gift sets, the ridiculously cheap cosmetics, and the crazily affordable perfumes. You can find a great range of cheap perfumes from TJHughes. And everything always has a huge discount off the RRP: I once went in and found Urban Decay eyeshadows for £1.50 each! TJ Hughes used to be my Christmas time secret weapon, because it meant I could get my friends and family so much more cosmetic-based presents for my money! And now I'm sharing that secret with you!  photo tjhughes_zpsb9152146.png Maybelline lash stiletto mascara, 99p (rrp £2.99)
Elizabeth Arden Flawless finish, £12.99 (rrp £20)

Paul Smith Woman, £19.99 (rrp £50.04)
Boujois nail varnish set, £9.99
Kenzo flowers £22.99 (rrp £29)

If you don't live near Watford (but all the best people do!) you can also shop online at I didn't even know they had a website until last week. I've added some of the best deals available on the website right now, so that you get an idea of the kinds of bargains available.

This year, the Christmas shopping trip is being replanned, as halfway between both our homes now is Cambridge. And this year we'll both have our babies with us. But it's still one of the festive days out I most look forward to!

Love Tor x

*This is a sponsored post 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Shoes: Give me metallic detailed boots!

Hi guys,
If you're looking for winter boots that will really make a statement then I have found the statement boots for you: especially if you're a fan of anything gold and shiny like me! These Antik Batik knee high boots are quite the show stoppers. I really like Antik Batik: their collections always have a really ethnic and bohemian feel, and these boots are no exception.  photo antikbatikboots_zps55aca2d7.png
I just love these shoes: because they're so detailed you wouldn't have to do too much with the rest of your outfit to stand out: jeans and a simple fine knit sweater, or tights and a classic tea dress. And because they're flat you could wear them all day without any problems too. I don't currently own any knee high boots (I tend to be more of an ankle boots fan) but I think I would definitely be prepared to make an exception for these!

Want a pair of these beauties of your own? You can add them to your shoe collection for £255.99. And they are available here.

Love Tor x

  *Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes

Exercise: Fixing my Post-baby body!

Hi guys,
This week I paid the balance of Wilbur's first birthday party venue, and made the scary realisation that time really does fly: In six short weeks, I will be mum to a one year old. That got me thinking about me, and about the battlefield that is my post-baby body. I have saggy stretched boobs from my extended period of breastfeeding (we're still going strong!) and my tummy looks like a wrinkly partially deflated balloon - complete with stretch marks. Yup, I'm a looker! Which means it's time to do something about it and attempt to get back to something vaguely resembling a passable form!
 photo swimming_zpsc3c8a816.jpgSince I was pregnant I have been swimming twice a week: it's the only time I leave Wilbur and it gives me a chance to clear my mind and relax as I swim. It's also had the added benefit of meaning my legs (previously the part of my body I would say were my worst) look better than they ever have: If you want to tone your legs then I would heartily recommend swimming!

If you do decide to swim I can also recommend the swimming supplies from Zoggs: that's what they stock in my local pool, so my goggles and swim cap are both by them. They also have a range of gorgeous swimming costumes for women. And once a week I take Wilbur swimming too: he's going to grow into a water baby! Wilbur is wearing one of the Zoggs bodywarmers in the picture above, and it's brilliant for keeping him warm and toasty when we're in the pool together.They have a great range of children's swimwear and you know what you're getting is good quality.

I love my swimming sessions and wouldn't give them up for the world. And my arms and legs are thankful for them too! But they aren't doing much for my middle section sadly. Which means it's time to try something else: I'll be documenting all my diet/exercise attempts to lose my 'mummy bits' here over the next couple of months and let you know what works and what doesn't - for me at least! I'm determined it's time to do something about it, although whether abstaining from food is a good idea over the Christmas period is yet to be seen.

Do you have any diet and exercise tips to share? Anything that might kick start my new regime - or even something new I can try in the pool that might work out that pesky tummy area? All tips and ideas will be gratefully received!

Love Tor x

*This is a sponsored post

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Fashion Lessons We Can Learn From Disney Princesses

Hi guys,
Whilst I was watching the Princesses on parade at Disneyland Paris last week, and marvelling at how well presented they always are, I came up with this fun idea for a post: fashion lessons we can learn from Disney Princesses. It also gave me a great excuse to share some of my princess parade photos!
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1. The most fashionable women think outside the box. All you need is a little imagination: anything can become part of your outfit if you use your initiative. Just ask Ariel and her use of seashells. Or Giselle and her frocks fashioned from curtains!

2. Cropped tops really are the next hottest trend. Especially if you've got a fabulous figure like Princess Jasmine in Aladdin. And whilst we're talking about Princess Jasmine, detailed harem pants are a great on-trend alternative to a dress for evening wear too!

3. Don't have time to blow dry your hair? Why not use the Colours of the Wind as a low-cost and environmentally friendly alternative: it worked for Pocahontas!
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4. Don't underestimate the effect putting on a really really great dress will have on you - and, apparently, you're level of attractiveness to handsome princes. The list of down-on-their-luck wannabe princesses this has worked for is too long to list!

5. No matter what you're wearing, it pays to make sure you're always wearing fabulous shoes. After all, the handsome prince wouldn't have gone chasing after Cinderella if she'd left Crocs behind!
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And the lessons I've learnt from the Disney villains? Well, fur always looks fabulous, darling (just ask Cruella de Ville). Black is the most flattering colour for fuller figure gals (just ask Ursula the Sea Witch) and if you go to a party where someone is looking much 'fairer' than you either pretend they don't exist or eliminate them (well, if it works for the evil queen from Snow White....)

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Sponsored Post: I'm adding a compact camera to my Christmas list

Hi guys,
We got back from our trip to Disneyland Paris on Friday evening, and whilst we were there I managed to take 300 photos, spend hundreds of pounds on Disney toys for my little man, and give him the best holiday ever. I'll be writing a full review of tackling the park with a ten month old baby on my family blog later. But it's the photos I will always treasure.

On the way home, Mike said to me that photos are memories noone can ever take away; which in turn made me think about how glad I am to have my camera and be able to capture everything. BUT (isn't there always a but!) my DSLR camera is bulky and massive, which means I always have it when I'm on holiday, or for big events, but never seem to have it for capturing those little spur of the moment things, or taking outfit posts on those rare occasions when I think "hey, this outfit looks good today!". Which is why I've added a Compact system camera small enough to fit in my handbag to my Christmas list! Need some reasons why? Here are several:

Infographic Source

If I could pick any compact system camera, it would have to be one from the Sony NEX range: because although they're small, they have all the functionality I would look for in a camera (let's face it, why get a low quality point and shoot, when your iphone already has that quality of camera built in). And they look great too: because I'm far too vain to put anything that isn't sleek and great-looking in my handbag!

What do you think about the merits of choosing a compact camera, or will you still be carrying your DSLR around with you everywhere? And have you started thinking about what you'll be putting on your Christmas list yet? It's closer than you think: and it won't be long 'til I'm posting near-constant suggestions for Christmas gift ideas. So if you don't have any ideas now, you will soon!

Love Tor x

*This is a Sponsored Post

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Holidays: Packing for Paris in the Autumn

Hi guys,
I know this is a pretty niche post, but I really struggled to decide what to pack for our trip to Paris last week. Some forecasts said it would be warm, some that it would be cold and rainy. In the end, it was both! The weather was really changeable. So what did I pack for Paris in the Autumn? And what pieces would I recommend?

When I'm in Paris I always like to be as comfortable as possible (we walk a lot, rather than take the Metro when possible because that way you see so much more) and I also try to blend in with the locals rather than stand out as a tourist (It decreases the likelihood of having your purse stolen!) so I keep things muted and (dare I say it) chic. Lots of neutral colours, sensible but stylish boots (these are my Vagabond ankle boots from Sarenza) and a comfortable pair of jeans are what I would consider essentials.
 photo paris1_zps0c437648.png We've been to Paris in October a couple of times before and the weather is different every time, so I try to prepare for every eventuality which means only one thing: lots of layers! I also packed vests, chiffon blouses, a heavy cardigan, my leather jacket, and a couple of scarves for extra warmth (if needed) and style. Of course, I also slipped in a Mickey Mouse tee too, for when we had our photos taken with the big man himself!
 photo paris2_zpsdae988d2.png My suitcase came with lovely matching cotton bags, which I've used to pack my toiletries and my underwear separately. I always pack much more underwear than I need, because changing your pants and socks is an easy way to freshen up before you go out for the evening without having to fill your suitcase with lots of extra outfits!

Other Parisian essentials? My sunglasses, a couple of necklaces (to take black chiffon blouses from day to night) and of course my slimmed down make up bag, which contains my foundation and powder, a mascara, and a lovely bright red lipstick. It's worth noting that (because we travelled with the baby) we didn't doing any fancy evening dining: if you are heading to Paris and you will be enjoying evening activities, you will need to pack something other than jeans, in my experience. Leather trousers or a slim-fitting pencil skirt would be my first choices!

What do you pack when you travel to Europe at this time of year? Do you have any hints or tips to share?

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Lust: Feel Grown-up in Preen from Debenhams Edition

Hi guys,
I really love the Edition Designers at Debenhams. Of all the high street designer diffusion ranges, it is the best quality with the closest similarities to the designer's mainline collections. By far my favourite of the Edition designers collections though is Preen: I love the sharp shapes, the clean lines and the overall grown-up feel of the collection. These are the clothes that would take you from work to play effortlessly.

I had a winter coat from the collection two years ago, and it is still one of my favourites: the styles are timeless but fashion-forward at the same time. Here are some of the pieces you can currently pick up in Debenhams right now:
 photo preen1_zps76da0bc4.png  photo preen2_zpse02fd3d5.png  photo preen3_zpsba6dfdd9.png  photo preen4_zps1c54dac6.png
I want that prim and proper buttoned up white blouse, the statement red trousers, and the black top with the dainty daisy embellishments on it. All are pieces that would slip in perfectly to almost anyone's wardrobe, and classic enough that they would last you forever!

I'm probably showing my age, but I just lust after the classics: I want a wardrobe that will take me anywhere without having to really think about it! What do you think of the Preen at Debenhams range? Are there any pieces you covet?

 Love Tor x