I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Seventies Inspired Look H&M Blouse American Apparel Shorts Seventies Inspired Look H&M Blouse American Apparel Shorts What Olivia Did American Apparel Shorts Rings
(Hat: ASOS, Shirt: H&M (similar here), Shorts: American Apparel (similar here), Boots: c/o Boden, Bag: Lulu Guinness, Rings: Mainly Miss Selfridge)

Without even realising when I put this outfit together, this certainly seems to be a nod to one of my favourite fashion bloggers; Lucy Williams (although, that lady can certainly rock denim shorts better than yours truly). I'm often in awe of the way she can piece beautiful basics together- such as beautiful embroidered blouses, denim cut offs and a trusty fedora, and make it look entirely effortless (and I've certainly spotted similar things on Pinterest which I've been noting for these special #barelegdays).

Anyway- I paired this get up with these awesome Boden leopard print dicker style boots, which make me feel about ten times cooler than I am (it's amazing what some animal print can do to your feet, ain't it) and I'm looking forward to pairing them with some pretty dresses and attempting the whole 'Chung' thang- because, hey- if Chung can do it I'll certainly give it a go!

Fence and Tree Seventies Inspired Look H&M Blouse American Apparel Shorts Seventies Inspired Look H&M Blouse American Apparel Shorts Boden Leopard Print Boots



Monday, 21 July 2014

Reformation Dress London Style What Olivia Did Reformation Dress London Style What Olivia Did Reformation Dress London Style What Olivia Did London
(Hat: ASOS, Dress: Reformation, Shoes: Charlotte Olympia)

I mentioned in my last outfit post a little about being a bit less frivolous with my buying- and I think this dress was one of the first steps I took in doing so (by, ahem, buying something). Okay, so that might sound a little weird on paper, but by not buying a mini haul of random high street items, I opted for saving my pennies and buying a staple basic, from new favourite shop- Reformation.

Now, if you know me- you'll know I have enough striped clothing items to open a shop dedicated to them (it's be a small minimal boutique style shop, but nonetheless I have a fair few). But in the same breath, they're the one thing I wear again and again and again- my absolute go-to, and in short- I bloody love a stripe, so this dress seemed like a wise move. But that's not the only reason I love it. Inspired by Jane Birkin (their words not mine), Reformation are the coolest online boutique ever, plus- they're really into saving the planet.

In short- they source eco friendly materials, rework vintage pieces, make sure they 'incorporate green practices throughout their supply chains' and make sure all of their pieces are made in downtown LA- which, for a brand with such cool pieces- is pretty blooming rare to come by- and certainly makes me happy to spend a little more on a gorgeous piece- especially when it's striped ; )

Reformation Dress London Style What Olivia Did Reformation Dress London Style What Olivia Did London Reformation Dress London Style What Olivia Did Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats
Nope, this post isn't sponsored, I just blooming love 'em


What Olivia Cooked: English Breakfast Muffins

Saturday, 19 July 2014

English Muffin Recipe English Muffin Recipe Based on a recipe from Paul Hollywood (those eyes though), these muffins make for the perfect breakfast (or lunch) time meal, plus are so delicious toasted with jam and butter- I even converted Joe to them! Although they take a little while to make (if you factor in all the proofing and leaving), they're perfect to make the night before and have as a morning after snack- and will definitely get you on the good side of any housemates or family you have living with you!

You will need:
- A shallow cooking pan (to cook the muffins)
- A baking sheet or tray
- 300g bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fast action-dried yeast
- 15g caster sugar
- 15g salted butter, in small cubes
- 1 beaten egg
- 170ml milk at room temperature
- 15g polenta

Let's get going!

English Muffins Recipe
1. Pop the flour in a mixing bowl, with the yeast in one side of the bowl, and salt on the other. Add the sugar, beaten egg and milk in too. Mix everything together to make a soft dough!

2. Sprinkle your clean worktop with a little flour and knead you dough for about 15 minutes until soft. Pop the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until it has doubled in size (this works best if your dough is left in a warm room).
English Muffins Recipe
3. Roll your dough on your surface until it is about 1.5cm thick and leave to relax for 15 minutes to avoid them shrinking in size.

4. Sprinkle half of your polenta on to your baking sheet, and using a cutter (or, like me, a mug) stamp out your muffins. Pop them on the baking tray and sprinkle the rest of your polenta on top of your muffins and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
English Muffins Recipe
5. Pop your pan onto a low heat, and once heated pop your muffins on to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes on each side (until the colour has changed and reached about halfway up each muffin) and they look well toasted (but not burnt).

6. Leave to cool and toast with jam and butter for a tasty breakfast treat!

English Muffins Recipe English Muffin Recipe
If you give these a go yourself don't forget to use the hashtag #bakewithliv so I can see! Also, let me know if there's any recipes you'd like to see! I have a baking giveaway coming up too, so keep your eyes peeled!


On not graduating from university...

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Desk Space At the moment my Facebook timeline is awash with people in pointy mortar board hats (I especially learnt their name just for this post) and graduation statuses, which means two things- one- I have a group of very intelligent friends on social media (and I'm ruddy proud of them too) and two, this week would have been the week that I graduated from university- which is pretty surreal to say the least.

Sometimes when your bed doubles up as your office, it's hard to measure, or feel like you're really going places (apart from the kitchen to fix up on more pitta bread and Earl Grey) but it definitely feels like a lot has changed since I was sat in my room in Liverpool, when this blog was a sole outlet for all rambles and the occasional and rushed outfit photograph taken by whoever I could rope in, and who didn't mind enduring 10 minutes of my awkward posing...

It's a combination of emotions, and essentially the ruling of 'what if'- that naughty old saying. Being self employed, especially writing a blog and essentially documenting your life on the internet, can often feel like you're not really doing much at all. It started off as a hobby after all, so essentially doing something you once did in your spare time can be a little hard to get used to, especially as a career- and one that you never planned to land yourself in. Being your own boss can be one of the trickiest things to get used to (especially where self discipline is required) (I recently wrote a little more about that here, if you fancy taking a look).

This isn't me complaining in any stretch of the imagination either, don't get me wrong. I know how lucky I am to be able to write this little piece of the internet every day, and fortunately still living at home- have the support, patience and consistent Instagram likes of my parents to do so (thanks Mama and Papa P). Maybe I'm a bit hard on myself, and I know that comparing oneself to another is never a good idea (but boy am I good at it)- and perhaps its weeks like this one where I need to give myself a little pat on the back for the past few years, especially as everyone else (deservedly) is. In my time, I managed to intern for a year and a half, work in a good retail job (and meet some amazing people there), wait a few tables (and realise I'm far too weak to ever hold more than two plates), do a bit of travelling (Viva Las Vegas!)- and ultimately now get to call What Olivia Did my full time job, which at the end of the day should be the biggest reward of them all, right?

Perhaps it a slight tinge of envy, that I'll never have to pick a graduation dress (plus will always be @livpurvis over Liv Purvis BSc) and maybe what Olivia didn't do (hohoho) was get a degree, but I've certainly taken a different route round, and I'm (hoping), I mean, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't change a thing (except for the fact I'm sure my postman thinks I sit in my pyjamas for a living, which isn't strictly true)!


Manchester Square

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Topshop Military Shirt New Look Lace Dress Alexa Chung Inspired Look Topshop Military Shirt New Look Lace Dress Alexa Chung Inspired Look What Olivia Did Military Pretty Dress Outfit Topshop Military Shirt New Look Lace Dress Alexa Chung Inspired Look
(Shirt: Topshop, Dress: C/O New Look, Shoes: C/O Dune, Bag: Lulu Guinness, Sunglasses: C/O New Look)

For my birthday I was lucky enough to receive the book 'Jane & Serge: A Family Album', something I've long been after (after missing her book launch last year due to #tubeprobs)- and a book which I've subsequently spent a pretty long time flicking through (thanks Gem)! For as long as I can remember, I've been hugely taken by Jane Birkin's style (so much so I've numerously considered impulsively cutting a fringe), but it's only lately that I've really started taking style notes from the lady, and putting her spin on some of my go to outfits (nope, I'm not talking always going bra-less either, cheeky). After spotting some snaps of her in a boyish army inspired shirt (and low-and-behold spotting one on the Topshop shop front display- AS IF IT KNEW), this was little nod to the lady herself. I also paired the shirt with some gorgeous crochet espadrilles (taking a nod from Ms Chung) and an embroidered New Look dress which are both pretty perfect for sunny days.

This is probably for another post, but this has also made me think a bit about style evolutions, and how my style has changed since I began blogging- and even since last year. I'm not sure if anyone would be interested in reading more of my rambles on this, but I feel I've ever so slightly grown up in the way I dress lately (that's not to say peter pan collars and macaron print is shut out of my wardrobe ; ) but I've been far more fond of beautiful basics, and quality- opposed to quantity and new things all of the time. I shan't encourage you to scroll through my archives and evaluate all my sartorial mishaps (there's been a few) but if anyone would be interested, maybe that'll be some food for post-thought!

New Look Pastel Sunglasses Topshop Military Shirt New Look Lace Dress Alexa Chung Inspired Look London Manchester Square Topshop Military Shirt New Look Lace Dress Alexa Chung Inspired Look Dune Black Espadrilles London Manchester Square
and here's what I wore...


Seaside Carousel

Monday, 14 July 2014

Dahlia White Dress What Olivia Did Style Dahlia White Dress What Olivia Did Style Dahlia Olivia Dress Dahlia White Dress What Olivia Did Style Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats
(Dress: Dahlia, Bag: Charlotte Olympia, Shoes: Charlotte Olympia)

Taken a couple of weeks ago on a sunny Sunday trip to the seaside, Joe and I took these snaps whilst visiting Suzie and Luce on a whistle-stop visit to my favourite seaside town. With Nutella filled crepes and a spot of vintage shopping on the agenda (who can resist that Beyond Retro?) we hopped on an early morning train (along with lots of other beach and sun worshippers) for an afternoon of paddling and braving the stoney beach (this is the UK after all)!

Anyway, dressing almost totally weather appropriately for once- I opted for this Dahlia dress (which is also called the 'Olivia' dress- coincidence? I think not), my favourite flats and a bag which was the result of a naughty half an hour on Net-A-Porter and a bit of saving (can you blame me when it's this cool?) I know it's a novelty piece, but having already taken it on several trips to town, it certainly fits all my essentials in- which I'm pretty sure means it ticks all of the boxes! Huzzah!

Punch and Judy Brighton Beach Dahlia White Dress What Olivia Did Style Charlotte Olympia Jukebox Clutch Dahlia White Dress What Olivia Did Style Fish and Chips Brighton Beach What Olivia Did Bonjour Luce Hello October Brighton Beach What Olivia Did Brighton Beach

Also! Joe has also kindly agreed to help me do a little bit of filming this week for a potential video- so I'd love to hear if you guys have any suggestions for videos you'd like to see? I have a beehive tutorial firmly on the list- so anything else would be truly wonderful! Thanks!

All photographs on this blog were taken by me (unless otherwise stated), please don't pinch them without asking and crediting to my blog