why i love notonthehighstreet - part one


monaco u small necklace by caroline mcgrath c/o notonthehighstreet

if you're anything like me there is nothing better than searching the internet looking for quirky bits and bobs. eBay and etsy have always been great places to find independent sellers which allow me to buy great gifts for either myself or others that are personal and can't just be found if you popped into a shop on the highstreet. of course that might be the easier, more simpler option but who wants to always be ordinary? i want to find products that show how well you know the people you’re buying for. taking me to another website where it's URL tells you exactly what you're looking at; products that are 'not on the high street'. unlike etsy or eBay, notonthehighstreet.com supports british creative sellers allowing us brits to keep to spending our money close to home and helping small businesses grow. what is great about notonthehighstreet.com is that they don’t sell one particular style. they choose sellers who offer great design and the best quality products, many of which can be customised to suit you. it’s easy to find (or create) the look or style that works for you. by doing so it means if you were to buy a gift for someone else, they would be able to see how thought had gone into it. which means a whole lot more than just some money in a card.

i've already bought from notonthehighstreet.com before (the range of cards have always been so great) but when i was asked if i wanted to collaborate i jumped at the chance. as the title suggests this won't be the only post, there is another to follow. i was able to chose a couple of products to feature on my blog and i thought the first one would be in keeping with the theme of my blog. i absolutely love this necklace as it's a clean, classic style meaning it will go with everything. the extra touch of crystals inside the ring just sets it off. this is the first out of collection of three styles and i definitely want the other two now. stayed tuned for my next post as it's a more personal item which would be amazing as a gift. i can wait to put it down and wait for some water to boil. can you guess what it might be?

poison ivy


notonthehighstreet monaco u necklace*
primark fluffy oversized cardigan
H&M pork pie hat (only £7.99!)
choies buckle ankle boots*
vintage bag

*note to self* this is why you don't attempt to smile on photos, because you look like a squirrel storing nuts. anyway as you can see i got my hands on the dress that quite a few people went a bit mental for after seeing it posted on ASOS' instagram page. just for future reference for people who like an item posted on their instagram but have trouble finding it on the website, if you look above the picture they usually write the product code. just pop that into the search bar and voilá you will find your item. even though it is part of the petite section, as i have bought a small amount (haha) of smock dresses from ASOS before i know that they can come up quite long in length so if anything i actually prefer it more this length. i got this dress in a size 6; always buy one or two sizes smaller with a smock if you don't want it too oversized. this way it was still baggy but not like i'd popped a bin liner over my head. i paired it with my choies boots which i'd totally forgot i owned (if that isn't the sign of a compulsive spender i don't know what is) and my new fluffy cardigan from primark which everyone on the blogosphere seems to have. who cares though as it's amazing and seriously the warmest thing ever, can't recommend enough for only £12. i just think this dress is a great way of introducing neon into your wardrobe if you are a little nervous of going all out there with it. hope you like.  

amazing prices on designer sunglasses


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all sunglasses are from smartbuysunglasses

the sun is back out and that means we are all have our sunglasses at the ready. everyone wants to own a pair of designer sunglasses. whether that may be ray-ban, persol or D&G at smartbuysunglasses there will be a variety of products so you are able to find what's best for you. my personal preference are cat-eye shaped sunglasses as i think they are just so flattering on. the best thing i find is that if you can get your hands on a classic colour such as brown or black, they can be worn with pretty much everything. if you have a high budget and fancy splurging, brands such as serengeti provide a range of stylish polarized sunglasses. i already own a pair of polarized sunglasses and the difference in the level of eye protection compared to normal sunglasses you can buy on the high street is on another level; even if it does feel like you have 3D glasses on when you're trying to go on your phone which makes my head go a little fuzzy. that being said when i finally get a pair of ray-ban sunglasses i think my life will be complete, i'm definitely starting to save up.

burnt orange


what i'm wearing:
h&m crop top

lets clear this up, i'll be the first to admit i have neither height nor slender legs to pull off midi/bodycon style garments. that being said when i saw this on offer for £7.99 i had to double take, especially with topshop and other places selling the same thing with an additional £10 added to the price tag. although maybe i should have re-considered as my normally lovely other half decided to tell me in my full length shot that i looked pregnant. thanks liam love you too.  i've said it many times in other blog posts but this year i've realised how much i love wearing the colour orange. i don't know whether its because it suits my complexion as i'm blonde or maybe i just actually like the colour and it doesn't suit me at all, who cares? when i'm buying things now i always try to see if i can wear them in the upcoming colder months and this skirt is definitely a piece i can see layering up with a thick knit jumper and chunky boots! can you tell i'm an autumn girl? i honestly can't wait for scarfs and knits to become a regular thing.

just wanted to slip in a picture of product i've been absolutely loving at the moment, which is the NARS 'at first sight' palette. it was my first ever NARS product, sent to me by the lovely people at HQ hair a few weeks back and now i totally understand the hype. it contains four eye shades, a blush and bronzer and they are all super high pigmented and perfect for everyday use. for the past two weeks it's been my go to product for creating both looks for work (with the lighter neutral shades) or evening (a smokey brown eye look) and of course the blush and bronzer can always be used. can't recommend enough.

party like a rockstar


when is it not party season? even if the weather doesn’t seem to be that great, i’m keen to get all my friends together and have a great time, and going out is pretty expensive these days. i’ve been thinking about what kind of a party i could throw, and thought it would be great to share some tips and ideas on how to throw a good get togehter.

depending on how many people you’ll want to invite, the more creative the better! i'd suggest making a party planning checklist, because when things get disorganised it can be pretty stressful. plus if you're anything like me making lists is actually quite fun... my bad.

the checklist

tell the neighbours – for a little party, you’ll only need to host it at home or in your flat. you ought to let your neighbours know that there’s going to be noise and, depending on what your friends are like, some drunken mishap. standard.
put away any valuable items – even if there’s only going to be people there who you know, when people have had a little bit to drink things can get broken. heaven forbid you're expensive glass bottle of YSL perfume got knocked over and smashed! i think i'd have a coronary. 
invitations – it’s easy enough to invite everyone on facebook or with evite, and doing so can give you a good idea of the amount of people who are going to come.
(most importantly) food – if you're anything like me and my friends, food is the main focus of any catch up. if you're on a budget some goodies bought from the supermarket to nibble on or whack in the oven are suffice or if you fancy going all out it's time to dial a takeaway. mmmm pizza.

think of a theme – i doubt it’ll be anywhere nearly as extravagant as a blogger event we go to from time to time, but it’s a good idea if you fancy being creative and deciding if you'll have a strict ghoulish theme or just let people decide what to come in as long as they're not naked.
stay safe – it’s always great to have a party, but don’t aim on getting too drunk. nobody likes to look after their drunken friend – it’s hard, and it can be very embarrassing. not to mention messy!
make a party playlist – this can take some real thinking. at the start of the night, you need to get everyone in a good mood but make a good atmosphere for talking, so something from the charts is usually good enough. When the party gets started you can start getting the party anthems on!

are you planning to throw a party at all this halloween and have any additional tips to share?

*this is a PR publication*

quilt and leather


what i'm wearing:
h&m white t-shirt
h&m quilted jacket
topshop leather trousers (last year)
cliphair 15" hair extensions*

does it look like my hair may have had a magical growth spurt since my last outfit post? it's because i've had my prayers answered and got some extensions in! don't get me wrong the whole OTT fake hair look just isn't my thing, but like i said my length was getting me down and luckily cliphair were running a twitter competition and i won, hurray. i only chose the 15" length as i wanted them as close I my normal hair as possible and thankfully they were. out of a whole pack i've only put in two strands with the three clips. meaning i've used probably a quarter of all the extensions i was sent. i feel 100% more confident with them in and my hair looks more like my old hair (although i know its still shorter) which makes me very happy. as i do delivery as work i always see the new stuff that comes in before it goes on the shop floor and i finally got paid on friday so i thought it was about time to treat myself to a couple of things. £30 might sound expensive for this jacket but its super thick and you can tell its high quality; which i think is better to go for than a knit cardigan. paired with my super old but trusty pair of leather trousers and my new heels (which i absolutely adore) this is one of my favourite transitional outfits for autumn.

spending sunday wishlist



every fortnight on a friday when i get paid from work my mind goes into total chaos. this is because i do know there is money in my bank and i just want to spend it all. that being said after a few comments that have been made i've decided to go on a spending ban; not that i really need to, just to prove that i don't always have to spend my money. i just have some spare after i've paid my bills and have nothing to save for so why shouldn't i be allowed to spend it on what i want? but that's a whole different ball game. i need a fluffy cardigan for winter, fact. i know that primark do a nude and black one so hopefully my local still has them stocked so i can swipe them up. otherwise i may have to fork out £55 at a later date for this warehouse one. i'm a sucker for packaging which is why this lip balm is in my wishlist. marie antoinette style with the "let then eat cake" is right up my street. finally, a couple of topshop items always find their way into things i'm lusting after. i have these leather treggings from last year but its time to get a new pair, obviously. the tartan bag i almost purchased in manchester the other day, but by the skin of my teeth walked out and ever since i've been majorly regretting it! need it, not a bad price either for £30. what things are you lusting after?



what i'm wearing:
french connection checked dress*
NARS 'at first sight' palette* (on cheeks and eyes)
delilah dust feather necklace*
h&m nude court heels
initial disc necklace
pandora ring

i'm going to apologise now for the next couple of outfit posts i'm probably going to put up. like i said in my last post, i got my hair done (finally) and although i am super happy with my colour i never get more than an inch cut off at a time just because i know it's a pain in the arse for it to grow back. plus nine times out of ten, i'm actually happy with how my hair looks. but this time i agreed to getting a shorter layer in and now i'm really regretting it and struggling to get used to it. to others people might be looking and thinking 'what on earth is she going on about', but to me before i'd got it cut, it was the longest it had ever been and i was so happy how it looked when i curled it; which is the only way i only ever style it. so now i've lost all my length and i feel exposed and just can't figure out how to make it look nice. this is just a hair rant so please ignore me if this has all gone over your head. i honestly think i'm going to get a packet dye for my clip in extensions* and pop them in as it took me almost an hour to get the main photo for this post because every photo i looked at all i could think was 'i hate my hair!'. all i know now is that i probably won't let anyone with scissors anywhere near my hair for about a year now. *hands together* please grow back soon.

anyway... back to the actual post. today was a minging day hence why the quality of my photos are pants (thank you lack of sun) but i really wanted to show my new dress from french connection. a lovely fitted style and a lovely material too i love that because the skirt is tuliped (?) it means i don't have to worry about my stomach overflowing when i sit down. super pretty and i only wish i'd put on my trusty red lipstick!

p.s my body is covered in a magnitude of bruises/cuts from the wonderful place i call work so that's why this post make look a little ott when it comes to the blurring.

brandboudoir bargain buys


not all of us have ever expanding bank balances and are able afford expensive designer items at the click of the finger. that's why it's important that there are websites like brandboudoir that allow us to get our hands on designer brands for a fraction of the price. a couple of things i've always wanted are a michael kors purse and also in office a while ago i spotted sam edelman spiked loafers which i was totally in love with but couldn't justify the £100+ price tag. in brandboudoir's sale at the moment though i could get the purse for £80 (38% savings) or the loafers for only £83 (41%) savings. which is obviously a lot more affordable for the normal working gal, like myself. obviously there are more brands than what i have just named; such as see by chloe, juicy couture, by zoe and ash. just to name a few. but they also provide for men's and kids too so don't think it's just limited to us females.

do i wanna know?


what i'm wearing:
urban outfitters paisley shirt
h&m super-stretch trousers
choies snakeskin print shoes*
pandora ring
MK watch

thank god for a day off, right? wrong. i've had the most stressful week; with a couple of personal dramas mixed with trying to get everything sorted for manchester on thursday but now i think i now have everything sorted. this is my only day to organise everything as i'm in for a whole day tomorrow and then we set off early on thursday morning. isn't it the worst when you have your heart on buying something and then when you finally do get round to buying it it's then sold out? this happened to me on motel rocks earlier in the week and i was already stressed from having a really unsuccessful shopping trip to the metro so i almost cried (lame-o). i just decided to get it in a different colour instead so fingers crossed it's nice. after weeks of moaning i finally managed to get my hair done on thursday too, thank god my roots are gone! i keep getting sad looking at these photos though because my hair feels so short now, just trying to get used to it.

what's in my bag?


products featured:

dkny saffiano leather purse* - a few weeks ago i received this beautiful purse c/o harrods. i now finally understand that you really do get what you pay for if you chose to pay a little extra for a purse. it's still in perfect condition and i don't see it getting ruined any time soon. i love the little extra zip at the back as it's great to store things when you need to quickly get into your purse; i always put my key card so when i get on the bus i'm not fumbling about.

urban decay naked flushed palette* - it's a great compact size and i always use the mirror.

lipsticks MAC vegas volt, ruby woo and chili & lipstick queen in saint peachy nude* - because who doesn't need four lipsticks in there bag... right?

MAC mineralized skin finish powder in medium plus & real techniques powder brush - i don't want to carry my whole make up bag with me so this is perfect for keeping up coverage during the day.

nivea essential care lip balm & garnier instacool deodrant - keep my lips hydrated and myself smelling fresh, basically haha.

H&M lanyard - as i'm forever at work.

my keys (keyring from manchester, can you guess?) - because without them i'd be locked outside.

a scratch card - i didn't win, boo.

tail-comb, chewing gum and a spare bobble - what else can i say really, just random bits and bobs at the bottom.

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