In The Hidden Gardens

Stripes & Daisies

[Top: SoulCal | Skirt: Topshop | Shoes: ASOS | Bag: Zara]

YAY, its Bank Holiday weekend, three days out of the office instead of the regular two.. that really is cause for celebration isn't it. The sun is out (yay), I have an extra day for a lie-in (yay) - the only thing that's spoilt it? the fact this skirt is about 4inches too short, why do bad things happen to good people, eh?! The skirt used to be fine (here's the blog post from when I first bought it!) on me but either the fairies have been out in the last year and I've miraculously grown more or my housewife skills aren't up to scratch and I've shrunk it.. Anyway, its safe to say, I was making very sure at the fact it didn't stretch too far up or bend over in any way.. another day, another reason why being tall can be the biggest pain in the arse ever!!!

An Evening at a Summer Wedding..

[Top: Zara | Skirt: Ted Baker | Heels: Next (similar)]
 Aaaah Weddings, who doesn't love lovely summer weddings. All the prosecco, sunshine and beautiful dresses... despite me only attending the evening reception, its always a great feeling to get all dressed up and feel a million dollars, even if only for a few hours. As I had dolled up, I thought what better thing to do then take some photos and blog about it.. would I really be a true blogger if I didn't picture most of my weekend! I'll admit, it absolutely chucked it down on Saturday but luckily stopped raining for enough time for me to take these photos. As you can see the wind was out in full force and despite it playing havoc with my hair, my skirt was blowing about all over the place, which made for some great photos! - I had my very own Marilyn Monroe moment right in my own garden..

Why Its OK to Cry Sometimes..

~Why Its OK To Cry Sometimes..~
Yes, I'm going to be honest - I'm a crier. I cry when something goods happened, I cry when something bad has happened - I especially cry when something's soppy, beautiful or just genuinely a nice gesture. I seem to cry all.the.time. I'm not trying to make out I'm a sad person and I'm literally just a girl who cannot handle their emotions at the best of times... now I've set the scene, can you imagine how I've been over the last two weeks of the Olympics - Team GB going above and beyond expectation.. ab.sol.ute WRECK.


[Dress: Olive | Bag: Olive | Shoes: Zara (old but gold - similar)]
 Whilst hymning the tune to pink panther, I can't help but genuinely being so happy with these photos. Not being vein or anything (because I'm certainly no oil painting) but the dress and the strange setting on my camera have made for a great set of photos. In this weeks outfit post, I'm finally going to talk about a brand I have been lusting over a good year now, finally I found my dress of dreams, finally I pressed the 'checkout' button and gave my hard-earned cash to Olive; The Instagram-swoon-worthy brand I have been dying to own item from.. rejoice, its finally the time..

A Few Weeks in August..

~ A Few Weeks In August. ~

Sometimes, its nice to round things up isn't it. Over the past few weeks I haven't been monstrously busy but I've done things here and there I'd like to share. Blogging is basically a electronic diary of shorts, so here's diary entry #231.. (wow I really cannot believe I'm up in the two thousands in posts, craaaay)

Lipstick.. As mentioned in my 'TOP 5: Cruelty Free Beauty' post, the genius collaboration between the kings of cotton undies and uh-mazing meal deals, Marks & Spencer and the goddess herself Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Their cruelty-free make up seriously kicks ass, with the 'Model Kiss' matte lipstick being a serious fav. The matte coral shade hasn't really left my lips and lasts forever and ever - thumbs up from me.

Up In My Air Balloon

[Blouse: Zara | Jeans: Topshop | Shoes: Next | Bag: Lulu Guinness]
~ Up In My Air Balloon, Air Balloon, Huh..~
So as soon as I put this blouse on I thought of Lily Allen.. ok hear me out.. You know the song, Air Balloon, right? Well there are doodles of hot air balloons all over this blouse so I'm not being a weirdo again.. capeesh?  

BEAUTY: Soap & Glory Micellar Water

When it comes to Micellar water, I'm a fan - I real big fan. Gone are the days of baby wipes and morning panda eyes, now I have not an inch of make up left on... oh and it moisturizes like a dream. I have to be honest though, micellar water? I hadn't even heard of it up until about 2 years ago, ah this blogging community is full of enablers. I had started off trying the Garnier Micellar water, now that stuff is great but its just the tiny detail of it being tested on animal.. now that's a real no no. Then I was onto a Superdrug own brand, but that had a big detail of majorly stinging your eyes when you use it.. so again, big no no.
So out pops Soap & Glory's version. I started, by searching the internet for a cruelty-free option, I actually had no idea Soap & Glory had one out and to my surprise it was only £6.00 in Boots. It states on the bottle it has 'natural cucumber juice' now that I can believe, its so fresh smelling which just makes for a great experience.
Only a few drops onto a cotton pad and a little rubbing and your makeup comes off so easily... plus its so gentle around the eyes. I really does remove all the grubby makeup and oils that builds up, your skin seriously feels so refreshed afterwards. Even once you've applied it all, the cucumber-y smell lasts for awhile, what more do you need, eh?
Anyway, if you're looking for an affordable, fresh-smelling and fabulous Micellar Water, this 'Drama Clean' Water is the one for you.. plus its Cruelty-Free.. that really is fabulous isn't it!

Fashion Faux Pas

~ Fashion Faux Pas ~
After my 'Listen, 15 year old Lisa..' post from last week, it got me thinking. As well as over doing it with the eyeliner and seriously hating on myself because of my acne, I have made so terrible fashion choices over the years. Ok ok,  I know you're not supposed to be a global fashionista by the ripe old age of 12, but that aside, I've made some terrible choice.. you'll so see what I mean now HA..
Neon, Pink Neon eeeeverywhere
If I could find this specific photo I would be showing it right now because I cannot truly express how much I used to love and wear neon pink. I have a photo my mum took of me probably around 13 years old, with a neon pink; top, shorts, River Island bag and sunglasses, plimsolls, hoop earrings and bangles - oh how I wish I was joking! Back in 2009 it was probably all in but I took that colour and brought it to a whole new level. God, that faze in my life was embarrassing.  
Yeti Boots & Ponchos
This trend is going way back to when I was in about year 4/5 of primary school. Who remembers the actually absurdity of yeti boots (I had the pink pair) and knitted ponchos together.. to be honest I'm not sure which one is worse haha..
Jeggings and Plimsolls
So this combination was actually a trend, I vividly remember my best friends older sister wearing them together and desperately wanting to be like her. It was the fashion.. but not the way I wore them. Jeggings were baggy on me because I had yet to develop a figure (yes at one point in my life I used to resemble a stick insect, mainly because I never used to gain weight haha) and my white pumps were always as bright as the sun. Just think 13 year old Lisa went to Radio 1's Big Weekend in 2010 when it was in Bangor, wearing white wash baggy jeggings and bright white, shapeless plimsolls #STYLE. I got that festival look down to a T, Vanessa Hudgens was quaking in her boots.
Anyone else used to have the attitude of 'the more bangles the better', I remember going to watch one of my cousins in a football match yeeears ago and I vividly can recall having at least 10 beaded bangles on one arm - bloody hell. There'd be beads in black, gold, silver, neon pink, neon yellow, charms, simply metal bands. I'd put on as many as I could until they were basically up nearly to my shoulders!
... oh you know what, they really were simpler times back then...!!!

The Year Two Thousand

 [Dress: Misguided (v old) | Shoes: C/O Boohoo | Denim: Next (similar)]
So here's a look I like to call 'would have looked better on Paris Hilton at the 2003 VMA's' - Its the pattern of the dress, isn't it?!
Anyway, despite the fact I should have a tiny leather bag up my shoulder and pointy kitten heel shoes, I decided on Saturday I was braving a dress. I'll admit, all I did was go get my nails done but its the weekend and all I wanted to do was dress in something other than a boring polo shirt and black trousers, oh aren't work uniforms fabulous!
I decided, because I was in the mood for a dress I'd dig out this hand-me-down dress from Misguided. I got it off my mums friend from work who has a daughter who's about 1-2 years older than me - I've never met the girl before, but thank you nice girl, I am now wearing your old dress haha

STYLING: 90's Denim

LOOK 1: Blouse: Zara | Jeans: Zara (similar) | Sunglasses: Prada | Boots: Zara (similar)
I can often find that baggy clothes look a bit, well, frumpy on me. I do not have the best figure but I do prefer more fitted clothes.. Topshop Leigh Jeans being my absolute fav. But, there are a few tricks I have to styling the more baggy of clothes. In this post I've (tried) to style some baggy, three quarter jeans, the white-wash-nineties styled type... here goes.

Above is my first look, I find that if the bottom half is baggy, then baggy at the top balances it all out. So I've worn a loose fitted stripped shirt from Zara, Its quite fitted around the shoulders but loose around the bottom. Tucking it in the front so it displays the jeans a little more and turning them up at the very bottom adds to the look. To keep it light and airy, I added some light tan boots - this look is something I would honestly wear throughout summer, even adding a leather jacket to bring it into Autumn in a few weeks..

LOOK 2: Coat: Dorothy Perkins (similar) | Jeans: Zara (similar) | Heels: Matalan (similar)
 For more of a smart look, I've paired the jeans with a fitted coat and some heels. This coat was actually stolen from my mums wardrobe.. well she said she didn't like it anymore and I'm always open to charity. Although you can't see in the photo, I did wear a white blouse that finished just above the waist line. I feel light denim for more of an occasion, looks lovely alongside nude tones, the heels in the photo are extremely old but very well loved - pointy nude heels never go out of fashion...
LOOK 3: Top: Next (similar) | Jeans: Zara (similar) | Sandals: Primark (similar) | Sunglasses: Prada
 Finally is a more casual, slouchy summer look. I've paired the jeans with some strappy brown sandals and a crochet style top. This look would be woren more for some shopping or light errands on a summers day.. Its all loose fitted and comfortable fashion, something that is needed for me on those lazy Sundays were things need to be done, but you can't be bothered dressing up properly..
 I hope you liked my styling of 90's denim!




So what happens when you go to do a blog post for the next day, realise you hate the photos and have no time to re-shoot?... scrap the post, doodle something on a piece of A4, find a Tag from 2014 and hope for the best!

As I franticly searched Google for a blog post idea, I came across the 'Girl Power' tag, something that seemed to have done the rounds in mid-2014, Seventeen magazine even had YouTube videos on it. So being the huge Spice Girls fanatic I am and loving the questions, I just had to answer to it.. here goes!

What does Girl Power mean to you?

If you say Girl Power to me I instantly think Spice Girls, the two finger pose, the fashion, the fact that they made women strong, it all means girl power. I think, what the Spice Girls seemed to have done was glamourize power for girls everywhere. Although me personally, I was only a baby when they were huge, I've still watch Spiceworld too many times, it seems they were marketed on the term Girl Power, it seemed to give girls everywhere the confidence that they are enough.   

What is the best advice you can give to girls who want to be powerful?

Just bloody go for it, don't let any stupid man drag you down. There are a lots of asshole men out there who still live in the 1950's and think men, and men only, deserve power. So ignore every single one of these types of men and become the greatest you can be. Apply that red lipstick, wear those Louboutin's and take over the world.

If you could have any super power, what would it be and how would you use it?

To be honest, I would have the super power of stopping girls from ever having periods ever again. I would simply wave my magic wand and ever women in all the land would never have to have the painfully experience of belly cramps, feeling shitty, wanting all the sugar and occasionally bursting out crying for the smallest reason of 'we've ran out of chocolate buttons in the fridge'
What would my superhero name be, I hear you ask?! - The Red River Concluder... lol that's a rubbish superhero name, any suggestions for a better one? hahaha

Show us your best girl power pose (picture).
 I've picked this photo because I'm a strong believer that if you give a girl the right amount of confidence, she can honestly achieve great things. I gain confidence if I feel comfortable in what I'm wearing and if my hair is playing ball. I really loved this look from a few weeks ago and felt liberated wearing it all, so for me, this is Girl Power!

What beauty product makes you feel powerful?
Red Lipstick, always. Need I say anymore more than that?

Why is it important to have powerful girls as role models?

I think having powerful girls as role models is needed more and more each day. Everyone has someone they look up to and it can all be for different reasons, whether that be the career they've create for themselves, their personality or simply their style. A woman can be influential for the smallest things. Recently, I feel women are seriously taking over the world, not being too dramatic, but I genuinely feel proud at how the world is shaping out at present. All politics aside, I'm in awe at the fact the two most powerful people in Britain at present are women. We have Theresa May as PM and Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister of Scotland (see her tweet, for reference for what I'm trying to say, here) Also, Hilary Clinton seems to be on the cusp of history. Michelle Obama recent did a speech at political conference in the US (watch here), it really was on of the most inspiring, making me on the verge of crying when I watched it. So, why is it important to have powerful girls? because women have been oppressed for far too long, women are just as powerful as men. We should be treated as equal and not second best, besides, without women, there would be no men in the world...

What young up and comer do you think is powerful and why?

The first girl I think comes to mind is Lorde, she seems to really take on the world, with her quirky ways and strong personality (and voice) she really does seem to be killing it. Like come on, she was what, 17 years old winning a Grammy for 'Royals' - a song she wrote herself at such a young age. If that doesn't scream powerful then what does?!

If you'd like to answer this tag, then be my guest! - for all I know though, this tag was well and truly out done 2 years ago.. oh well I've always been a pro at being late to the party...


Sunshine and Butterflies

[Dress: Zara | Shoes: Valentino | Watch: Olivia Burton]

What is this? An outfit that actually resembles summer? REALLY? wow.
Yes that's right, I actually braved the nude-tights-and-dress-combo, the sun actually shone and I didn't freeze. Actually, a side note before I start, I am aware that some of these photos are different shades, but the sun was constantly in and out, what can a girl do eh? - some are more white, some are yellow-y, sorry about that.
Anyway, I braved a dress and tights, yes I did wear a coat for some of the day (I played taxi to my mum who was at a wedding down not too far away, then had lunch with my grandma) but the majority was spent in a short dress not feeling too self-conscious.
I bought this dress as a cover up for my then very burnt shoulders, when in Ibiza a few weeks ago - what can I say, Ibiza Town had a Zara, it was meant to be, I tell you!

The dress itself is a cream colour with embroidery details around the top and shoulders, It can be worn on or off the shoulders - I chose off the shoulders because that seems to be all the rage right now #ontrend (haha) The thin straps you can see is actually the bralette I wore underneath the dress. I'm not sure if you can see, but on the dress the cleavage gap, part is actually quite low, so you can either clearly see your bra, or if no bra is worn, your boobs are a tiny bit on show haha. So I have a cream lace bralette/ top type thing, it worked perfectly underneath because the lace looks so much better showing through ever so slightly. Sometimes, clothes just haven't been thought through to well by their designers have they?!!

Besides that, what better shoe choice than my Valentinos - not even going to apologies for this being about the 8th outfit post with me wearing them. I'm just getting my monies worth haha, besides their gorgeous so is very much allowed!!

Hope everyone is having a good week so far!



~ What Summer means to me.. ~
It seems at this moment in time, summer has already been and gone. We've had that three days of hot weather, now its just the intervals of sun and rain most days... Ah Britain.
The one good thing though is the fact it does stay light much much longer, going on for 8 before it even starts to darken, this really is a luxury for me with last winter feeling like a constant routine of getting up in darkness, going to work and coming home in darkness.. its never fun. But, low and behold its currently that time of the year we call summer and as I have done for most of the seasons (I think I missed out 'My Spring' if I'm right) I'm going to do a little post about what summer means to me..
The most prominent is definitely the colours, the oranges, the yellows, I've always loved to dress colourful so summer is the perfect time to act upon it. I love nothing more than have bright orange nails throughout the warmer months, it brightens up even the cloudiest of days and gives my hands/ arms that hint of looking more tanned then I am...
I've also really being loving donning the fake tan, I never am too daring but just going that couple of shades darker really makes me feel good, I'll be forever paranoid that I have streaky lines or I smell of biscuits but hey ho, I feel great!
Nude tights and sandals, obviously not together (well not if the sandals are open toe!) are another great great luxury of this time, I can feel I tad self conscious going out bare legged, but when the sun is shining, I love to whip out the nude tights and waltz about with no care... Sandals as well, there's just nothing better than having a little bit of breathing space, yes boots and socks are comfy and practical, but sandals are just that like bit more special!
What are your favourite things about summer?