Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The festive season always brings plenty of parties. Whether it's dinner, drinks and dancing all night with friends, formal do or work events, they all bring the inevitable stress of party outfit planning. And of course, since it's that time of year, everything in the shops starts to look as though it's had glitter and sequins vomited all over it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a bit of sparkle but since my birthday falls just before Christmas, I always feel like I need to go out of my way to find something that isn't too Christmassy.. but that I can also potentially recycle for Christmas and/or New Year.
This season Warehouse have been really catching my eye with their collection of chic, simple dresses, that are impeccably cut and not overly embellished. And (very) luckily for me, they got in touch to find out if I'd like to take one of their party dresses for a spin! After pouring over the site though, I ended up falling for this navy bead collar playsuit. It's made from a gorgeous brocade and the black sequin and beaded collar give it just the right amount of glitz for this time of year. It feels like one of those outfits that doesn't need much else adding so I opted for simple accessories: a pair of ankle strap heels, a classic black clutch and a simple but elegant bracelet. Makeup-wise I tried not to overcomplicate things and teamed it with a swipe of Mac Snob and flick of liquid eyeliner. Definitely a look I'll be recycling soon.. probably for my Christmas party at work!
playsuit: Warehouse, clutch: Commes des Garcon, heels: Kurt Geiger, bracelet: Tiffany's, lipstick: Mac Snob, eyeliner and mascara: Alexa Chung for Eyeko
Monday, December 09, 2013
Amidst all the chaos, it's the perfect season for a little bit of self indulgence.
One thing I love to indulge in over the holiday season is my nails. Going for manicures and afternoon tea is a mini festive tradition that I started with my mam. And right now, I'm obsessed with Shellac manicures. I first tried out gel or shellac polish, a couple of times last year, but found the Jessica ones peeled up after about 10 days. For years I've been in the habit of biting and picking at my nails so as soon as there were gaps showing underneath the gel, I couldn't resist pulling them off. And of course, tearing half my nail with it. (Note, you should definitely not peel gel nails off yourself.. no matter how tempting it seems at the time). So when I was invited along to the Clarins Spa at Fenwick to try out their gel manicure, I was a little sceptical about how long they would actually last. But who doesn't love a bit of pampering?
Sunday, December 08, 2013
First of all, welcome to the new Raspberry Kitsch! After a little planning, a lot of help from a few of my talented pals, a few font rendering issues and photoshop lessons for dummies, my brand new blog design is finally ready to be unveiled. I've held off blogging for the last couple of weeks while I got the redesign right. Now things are the way I want them to be, I'm ready to get back into the swing of things... just in time for the festive season.
As the weather has been getting colder, I've become obsessed with buying new coats. The usual suspects have left their dents on my bank balance, (Zara being the biggest offender), but the biggest surprise was M&S. Like a lot of bloggers and anyone with a remote interest in fashion, I can't help but notice that M&S are NAILING it at the moment with their coats. By September/October they were already selling out their mannish coats in sugary pastels and bright magentas and purples. The other day, my mam came in with this boucle number complete with pleather sleeves and piping. It's so warm and cosy and its cocoon shape means that it's big enough to fit a nice thick jumper under. Good job for me, she doesn't mind sharing!
coat: M&S, dress: Urban Outfitters, scarf: TK Maxx, boots: Nine West
Sunday, November 24, 2013
A couple of weeks back, Cata mentioned visiting a recently opened Brazilian restaurant in town, Escobars. They'd started life in the Metrocentre a while ago before recently deciding to relocate to town, and she RAVED about the food. On the whole there's not that many South American places in the North East so I thought I should go along with Sarah and seeing what all the fuss was about.
When we first got into the restaurant, we were introduced to the manager, Edwin. He led us around, explaining what we needed to do and where to grab plates from. Escobars is a rodizio restaurant, so the premise is that you help yourself to a selection of salad, rice and potatoes and the guys come along with different kinds of meat, cutting you off as much as you like. There's rice with vegetables, meat that's been slow cooked til it's falling off the bone, spicy refried beans, salted potatoes, pasta and fresh salad. And it's all you can eat!
Since me and Sarah aren't the biggest eaters, we were pretty cautious on filling up on side dishes before we'd got to try any of the meat. So we decided to make up a couple of plates between us to accompany the meat. With a rodizio place, everyone gets a little card - one side is green and the other is red. When you're ready to start, you flip the card to the green side, if you need a rest or you're finished eating, then (you guessed it), you turn your card over to reveal the red side. So after we'd grabbed plates of side dishes, we flipped our cards over to green and waited for the meat parade to begin. Once you're ready, the guys start filing out of the kitchen with chunks of meat in bowls or on skewers. They pause at your table and let you decide whether or not you'd like some and how big a portion you want.
What I loved about Escobars is that no one was trying to rush you in or out. You enjoy the food at your leisure, pausing for rest when you need to (and without anyone judging you for doing so). As we sipped on our Cuban beers, we enjoyed a range of spiced chorizo, chunks of peppered perfectly pink fillet steak, slabs of salty gammon, chicken, beef and black pudding. After spending around two hours (mainly talking), we finally had to admit defeat and let them know we couldn't manage another bite!
The food was beautifully cooked and absolutely delicious. And it's perfect if like me, you like to try a bit of everything. From chunks of steak, garlic infused beef, spicy sausages and gammon to hot chicken drumsticks, there was literally something for everyone's tastes. Unless your a veggie, in which case your options are a little limited.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Winter has finally arrived. The little taster of snowfall we had earlier just seemed to confirm it. All of a sudden it's time for big coats, thick knits and wrapping up warm. Now I'm left wondering where all my warm clothes are. And trying to think of alternative footwear options to chelsea boots, ballet pumps and loafers. Are there any other options? Probably not. I can't lie though, it's my favourite time of year. It's my birthday next week, Christmas feels like it's just around the corner, and I kinda love the cold, dark nights. To be honest, I've been looking forward to big coat weather ever since I was sent this gorgeous burnt orange wool coat.
The only down side? It's dark when I leave the house, and dark when I get home from work... not so great for blog photos.
But I'm working on it.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
When I was procrastinating the other day, I stumbled on this gorgeous illustration by Cindy Josephina, (aka Mangmini), on HelloGiggles. It's got such a cute doodle-like feel and is the kind of illustration that makes me wish I could draw. Not to mention the fact I love the concept behind it.
I'm a big fan of Alexa Chung's style, and it's funny to think how accurately you can sum up a person's look in less than 20 items. I wish my wardrobe could be broken down as easily. Although after having a clear out the other week, I realised a lot of these pieces are the staples of my own wardrobe, if you substitute kitty flats for ballet pumps.. And minus the classic Chanel handbags..
I'm still working on that one!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
"Our objective, is to establish Cotton Love as a label which offers functional, easy to wear clothing with a refinement of detailing, honesty of construction and distinguished identity. The Cotton Love style is about clean lines, confident proportions and considered detailing. A sensibility inspired by 90s minimalism, eastern silhouettes and antique workwear."
You know that rare moment when you come across a brand whose aesthetic and ethos you instantly find yourself falling in love with? That.
If you've been reading my blog for a long time, and you've got a good memory, then the name Cotton Love may ring a bell. For the last couple years they've been one of the best sources for high quality, beautiful vintage clothing, and now they're relaunching themselves as an independent fashion studio.
With its clean lines and sharp cuts, I'm obsessed with their first collection. It has the feel of a high end brand, and is confidently understated. The garments are all designed to work together or form the basis of an entirely new outfits. I'm in love with the crisp grey and white shirts and wool flannel trousers with their asymmetric hems.
It's so inspiring to come across new businesses launching when everyone is still all doom and gloom about the economy. Not to mention of course that Ruth and Nigel, the duo behind it are lovely and two of the most fashionable people I've ever met! To launch their inaugural collection, the pair have set up a kickstarter through which you can buy pieces from their first collection. I'm determined to invest in a piece, but it's just deciding which one that's proving difficult now!