Monday, 29 December 2014

Dear December

You've been good to me. I mean you've been a little, actually a lot, cold, but I'll forgive you there. Seriously, they were right when they said the south feels like the tropics compared to the north. You've kept me busy ever since coming home, which has been lovely. Yet again, that's come with it's own woes, namely to my purse. Everyone is doing well, or at least they've said they're doing well, so no one to worry and stress about thus far.

Then Christmas. How could we forget about Christmas? Having Christmas Eve with friends was super special, that was a good idea. Christmas has always been a little lonely, hasn't it? Just the three of us, but having more there just upped spirits. Mummy knocked it out of the park with beautiful food as usual; she kept your friends absolutely stuffed. I should say thank you to mummy more, and goodness knows I should help her more. Yes, I ought to be a lot more selfless. Christmas itself was an absolute treat. Minus the rain on Boxing day, no one likes rain. There was a brief promise of snow then though. You ought to try and forget shouting 'it's snowing' at your dad in the street, only for it to stop with the few scattered flakes and then pour down. 

Decemeber, you've been a thoughtful time. Plenty of time for reflection. In particular, this ought to be another letter to that lady who started talking to me at the bus stop. Why did I want to shrug her off? What is this city mentality? After I smiled politely and looked away I stopped before I whipped my phone out. I couldn't help but think: come on, you love talking, you are you suddenly so quiet now? I'll admit the conversation was conceived a little oddly. She approached me and told me she was taking this bus to the opticians, because her glasses had broken. You don't need to venture into any speech about meeting people in unusual ways, I've watched enough crime shows to know I'm not befriending randomers at bus stops. But if someone just harmlessly begins conversation, calm down. I need to calm down. They're not going to bite, hopefully.

Let's remember what got you through December. A blessing to yourself and anyone who might venture to read this. There was 'Quiet' from the Matilda soundtrack. I still haven't gotten over this beauty. The lyrics and composition of this music still gives me goosebumps, not that I have reason to be able to rate the 'composition' of a musical. Pure amateur over here. Then there was 'Uptown Funk', and December really was a blessing in this department. It's unscheduled early release meant that nights out were more promising as my friends were able to see my 'choreographed in my bedroom' dance moves- that's not been embarrassing at all.  Then there's the blessing on youtube that has been Harry Hitchens. I could not adore him more. There was his 'Just stop, for a second.' video and his 'Thoughts on the future and friendship' which even managed to make their way onto my liked videos list. That's a special place to be, I'll tell you. Hitchens better keep being wonderful. 

Remember it all. This one's briefer than it probably should have been, because unfortunately reflecting on December is overshadowed by reflections on 2014 itself. But we'll get to that later. December, you still definitely deserved to be addressed  on your own, because you've been lovely. You deserve some you time. 

Thank you for being charming.

Kisses, Belle

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Spotlight: TK Maxx Christmas goodies

TK Maxx is my haven. There is no shop I adore more than TK Maxx. It's not because of their USP really, the whole big brands, small prices thing (though, that is quite nice too). No, it's because of the sheer breadth of selection the shop offers. A fan of charity shops, TK Maxx offers the same kind of deal. What's there is there, and when it's gone, it's really gone. A lot of people hate that concept, but it personally works for me. There's no time for indecisiveness, instead I treat every product I fall in love with like it's destiny- price permitting. My branch recently extended and now has a homeware department, and oh my, it's Christmas goodies galore! I've had to warn friends off shopping there, for fear they might buy something they're already getting for Christmas. I really did buy that much. TK Maxx really needs a loyalty card... just for me.

Despite having a 'brand image' with a font I despise (yes, I really am that pedantic) Caroline Gardner has some pretty cool products. There are a range of 2015 calendars available still on her specific website which have really charm and character. However, I love this one in particular because of the cheeky format of each page featuring a short letter, usually to and from an inanimate object. They're witty and sharp, without being cliche. I managed to find this specific calendar still available on ebay.

I usually nick Christmas cards from my mother's cupboard, but I just couldn't resist these. Aren't they absolutely gorgeous? Again, Caroline Gardner does charming well. The bizarre thing is I found nothing like these ones on her website. They're lovely, don't get me wrong, but they're just not as, well, charming, as these ones. For starters, the font on this Christmas card is absolutely beautiful; it's absolutely nothing like her standard fonts! It's good to see some deviation.

I really love Betsey Johnson's prints. They're a sort of punk princess. I'm all for pretty lace princess dresses, but I also love brand which redefine what's feminine. The vivid pink on the print of this rose design against the crossed background is an utter delight. Made out of flannel these PJ pants from her intimates range are also particularly warm, and they're available in a variety of other patterns. I personally love the satin detail on these PJ pants, they make them just that tiny bit more luxurious.

These mock book boxes are everywhere nowadays. I first found them clever, but have recently found them increasingly unimaginative if not extremely unconvincing. I fell in love with this one because of it's gorgeous Art Nouveau print. It's also a convincing size. Too frequently these mock book boxes are extraordinarily large. Unless it's some weirdly fat atlas, I don't know what it's pretending to be. Or maybe I just don't have these snazzily large books other people must own. I feel at loss.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Don't be so blue


'Hat', my friend shouted. 'Yes', I said. Then she nodded. Hats seem to have a strange mystical quality to encourage people to point out the obvious. Wearing a hat is like wearing a dress to a normal day of university, people seem weary of your motives. Funnily enough, I usually just fancy wearing a hat, because I like hats? Sorry to be boring. Another strange thing about hats is most people's sudden desire to put it on their own head when you take it off, especially when it's this eye-catching shade of blue. We clearly just love playing dress up. I nabbed this particular beauty for a tenner during a Miss Selfridge sale, much to the dismay of mummy. Apparently blue fedoras aren't in the slightest bit useful for tackling the winter cold. 

I just adore blue for the winter months. It looks stylish and season appropriate. Black and blue is my go to colour pairing, especially with a skin tone like mine. I was so happy when I picked up this jumper in TK Maxx. The branch near me seems to recently have had an influx of & Other Stories products recently, and they're all just so so beautiful. Beautiful colours and silhouettes, but all at a price I usually just can't quite afford unfortunately.