What Olivia Did in 2011...

Saturday, 31 December 2011

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Without a doubt this year has been one of the busiest years I've ever experienced. It held some amazing moments, achievements I'm hugely proud of, trips to new places, and although it certainly held some not-so-good moments, I've come out stronger than I could ever imagine and hugely grateful and blessed for all the things I have in my life. All in a year I've managed to interview one of my favourite bands, pass my A Levels, fall in love with Kate Middleton and become an undeniable Royalist, hold a surprise party, get an internship, travel to New York, go to Benicassim, move to Liverpool, go to university, leave university, move home again, go to a blog event and surprisingly win an award for my little blog. I'm extremely pleased (and pretty tired at the thought) but it's really made me appreciate everything I have in life, and the amazing family and friends I've been blessed with.

These things, and some personal events this year, have also taught me to make the most of every passing day and, pardon the term, 'grab life by the balls' when you get the opportunity. Life is far too short to dwell on things you aren't happy with, and I'd like to think that we're all capable of achieving our ultimate goals if you set your heart to them and put in the time and effort- it won't necessarily be an easy ride, but it'll sure be worth it.

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(some of my favourite outfits from this year)

This year has also seen the grow of my little blog, which I'm still stunned to say helped it blag the 'Best New Fashion Blog' at the Cosmopolitan blog awards this year. I can't believe how much it's grown and the amazing readers I have. I know most bloggers say this but I really am so so grateful for all the lovely, thoughtful and downright kind comments I get on my blog and Twitter, they really mean so much and I appreciate and read every single one. I don't know where my blog would be without the awesome people that read it, and it means a lot that people are still interested in my ramblings and awkward poses -gushing over-.

Anyway, before I go off on a tangent and start as if I'm accepting a bloomin' Grammy, I'd like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and safe New Year! Happy New Year all!

x

I could drink a case of you darling, and I would still be on my feet

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

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(Blazer: River Island, Top: A.P.C, Jeans: Topshop, Boots: Topshop, Hat: Topshop, Bag: Mulberry)

One day I will find a spot that is perfect for my outfits, whimsical countrysides and exciting cityscapes galore and have some sort of background consistency- but until then the Family P residence will have to suffice! Nonetheless, this was a little bit of a last minute outfit but I thought I'd showcase my new t-shirt, kindly gifted to me by the best gal pal this Christmas! I've wanted it for such a long time (see here) and seen so many people in it, that I was pretty thrilled to finally receive it!

I also thought I'd show a little peek of the hat I mentioned in my last post. I feel a little bit 'Johnny Depp' in this hat, and feel with a pair of lilac tinted sunnies and a little goatee it would have really completed the look, so I guess you could say this is my best attempt at male actor chic. However, saying that I am really in love with it, and can't wait to showcase it as an alternative for my traditional Russian style Cossack hat!

Anyway, I have so many posts to schedule before we reach the new year including my dorky 'Albums of 2011' and a more personal summary post about this year and the blog! All juggled in with work, watching Submarine and trying to suppress my post-Christmas need for excessive Quality Street and selection box biscuits.

x

Now I want to put a ring on it, and who's faults that?

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(Dress: Topshop, Shoes: Topshop, Awkward Finger/Leg: Models Own... Unfortunately)

As you can see, today the beehive made another appearance. I'm pretty certain I'd be far too frightened to ever dare to leave the house like it, but with the new dress I bought today, I felt in all it's lacy and Kate Middleton-ness it really needed something more regal than my usual messy 'do. Additionally, I was also doing a spot of cooking (carrot cake FYI) and went full out 'Gizzi Erskine' to feel the full chef part!

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The dress is a new addition to my wardrobe from today. I attempted to brave the sales, but as per usual, tended to spend more money on full price than anything else, I have the patience of a small child! However, I did manage to pick up a gorgeous burgundy fedora which matches my blazer perfectly and some lovely undies for a steal- so all faith was not completely lost- I also picked up a super trendy sharpener, I hear they are very in for next Spring.

I hope you've all had a lovely festive break and even managed to pick up some lovely bits in the sale- has anyone found anything amazing? I hear the Urban Outfitters one is quite something! I'm trying to save as much as I can! I begin my internship at Company next week and need a lunch and travel fund the carry me through it, how very suave! I've also spotted a gorgeous leather jacket at work, but that's one for another time...

x

P.S If you'd be interested in advertising on my blog for Jan, please let me know asap- I have a few spots left :)

And the bells were ringing out for Christmas day

Sunday, 25 December 2011

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(Top: Zara, Shorts: Topshop, Blazer: River Island, Boots: Topshop)

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you've all been having the loveliest day with loved ones and indulging in silly amounts of turkey and chocolate as well as the obligatory post dinner nap (definitely just woken up from mine...). I've been so busy in the past week, so unfortunately the blog has taken a back seat, so I'm definitely taking advantage of my few days off and will reply to any tweets and emails asap I promise! I have so many posts that need getting out before the end of the year including my top albums of the year, my favourite dorky past time!

Anyway, I've had such a lovely day so far! Despite probably eating a little too much and falling asleep minutes into an after dinner film (like that doesn't happen on any other occasion anyway) I've endured an extremely competitive and funny game of Articulate, opened some amazing presents and felt like a very spoilt and lucky girl (blazer, shirt and boots all C/O of Santa- he's got style!) and most importantly spent the day with my favourite people, which makes me a very happy girl.

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(The dinner table, amazing presents, a super tasty dinner cooked by the amazing Mumma P!, Papa P's artistic skills at their finest, dinner in preparation!)

Anyway, Ab Fab and crumpets call! Have a lovely Christmas and Boxing Day, stay safe and have an amazing time!

x

He's not a boy that you can change, nor should you want to

Saturday, 17 December 2011

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(Dress: Whistles,Brogues: Office)


Firstly, sorry for the brief hiatus! I've had suck a busy week, with visiting Nottingham and work everyday (esp. during Sale time!)- it's been tough to find the time to squeeze in any posts, or outfits- especially with it being dark so early! But fear not, I'm back with an armful of posts to keep you all busy- so I hope that compensates! Including recipes, outfits, and an interview with one of my favourite creative people at the moment!

Anyway, despite this being an arguably basic outfit, this is one of my current favourite dresses from work and it's safe to say it's fast becoming my go to outfit! I adore it's shift shape, colour block and statement collar and it's one of the easiest dresses to wear- not to mention perfect for next Spring/Summer. To be honest, I'd like to think that I'm in an uber cool sixties girl group when I wear it (a girl can dream) and if I had the time/skill I'd probably wear it with a beehive- probably a little OTT in this circumstance, but I tried it below, and although quite not up to Carrie standard, I think I like it.

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I hope you're all feeling festive and filling yourself with mince pies, quality street and hot chocolate galore! I'll try and throw in a good few festive themed posts this week for good measure- ONE WEEK!

x

P.S Sorry if this post looks a little messy- I've had to teach myself the ultimate basics of HTML in order to make this work as Blogger didn't seem to want to give me any easy options- shows I definitely should have listened more in ICT lessons...

the street lights, tail lights, moon lights and disco

Friday, 9 December 2011

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(Jumper: COS, Dress: H&M, Tights: House of Holland, Shoes: New Look, Belt: Vintage)

If you've followed my blog in a while you'll know, in my opinion, I'm a pretty conservative dresser- and this, for me, is a relatively extreme use of pattern - even I am slightly bowled over. Mixing spots with Big Ben is unheard of in my books! However, I found it fun stepping ever so slightly out of my comfort zone, so maybe that'll encourage me to be a little more ballsy with my dressing in future! I absolutely adore of the House of Holland tights, but always struggle with styling them. Have any of you styled his tights before? If so, what do you team them with?
Anyway, this is all in aid of a special post I'm doing for the gorgeous Carla over at Messy Carla whilst she's away in the U S of A, so do keep checking over at her blog for some awesome guest posts!

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed yesterday's gift post. I had so much fun making it, and even realised I have a real penchant for gadgets (maybe magnets...) and toys so if any of you have any more requests will be happy to have a hunt around! I've got a pretty busy weekend coming up, filled with work and a trip to see the boyfriend early next week, but will try to keep posting regularly. I know I have a couple of outfits I'm excited to post about including a special swap post with the beaut that is Vicki at The Magpie girl- so stay tuned! Have lovely weekends! Are any of you doing anything awesome?

x

The What Olivia Did Gift Guide Post!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Gift Guide #1: The boy that has everything (yes, even socks):

I'm a sucker for a novelty gift, but each year I seem to struggle for an imaginative gift for a all the men in my life. With socks, mugs and chocolates becoming the 'go to' striving for something interesting and unique can become quite the challenge. So if you're having trouble thinking of what to get a guy for Christmas, you'd be surprised how entertaining a weird gadget can actually be, and you can almost guarantee they won't already have it. These gifts work well alone or as and 'add on' to a t-shirt/gig ticket/teamed together if you want something a little extra. Additionally, according to my dad, 'blokes just love magnets', so I've thrown one of them in for good measure.

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Gift Guide #2: The lovely ladies you just can't buy for:

It's undeniable, women are the hardest types of people to buy for. Okay, well, men are tough. But ladies are far harder to please in my opinion. Most know exactly what they like, and on occasion the risk of buying them something without a gift receipt is just one not worth taking. I'm compiled my favourite (pretty much) all under £20 gift buys for the ladies in your life, that you either don't know entirely well or those who are particularly testing in the 'ol gift department.

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(1: Book, 2: Lush Goodies, 3: Manicure Gift Set, 4: Diary, 5: Mug (too cute to resist!), 6: Liz Earle Gift Set, 7: White Company Candle, 8: Notebook)

I hope you find these partially inspiring for getting some gifts this year, let me know if there's any other people you'd like guides for! Happy shopping!

x

What Olivia Cooked: Cupcakes ft. Chocoholly

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

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So, when I was contacted by the lovely people at Brighton chocolatier, Chocoholly, offering me some of their amazing handmade chocolate how could I say no? Being a huge chocolate fan, I wanted to really use it wisely, savour the unique flavours (including strawberry and chilli and chilli and coconut!) and make them into something special, something I love. What better to try them in one of my favourite Hummingbird bakery recipes then? Using my fail safe vanilla cupcake recipe, I incorporated the (absolutely delicious) coconut and chilli chocolate into the icing, making for a real sweet treat!

They were so straight forward to make (I managed them in half an hour-record for tortoise chef Liv) and despite the icing being a little bit make-shift turned out well! Here's how to do it...

You Will Need:

For the Cake:
-120g plain flour
- 140g caster sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 40g unsalted butter
- 120ml whole milk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Icing- (this is only what I used and was very much estimating!)
- 4oz unsalted butter
- 200g icing sugar
- a splash of milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 40/50g Chocoholly Coconut and chilli chocolate

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1. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and whisk until it makes a sandy consistency with everything combined. Pour in half of the milk and beat until just incorporated.

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2. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl and then pour into the flour mixture, and mix until smooth but do not overmix!

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3. Spoon the mixture into your cases until about two thirds full (do not overfill, they will increase in size dramatically!) and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden. Leave the cupcakes to cool, and make the icing whilst doing so.

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(i recommend shutting the oven door!)
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4. For the icing, add the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until incorporated (a spalsh of milk can be used here to help mixing!)

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5. Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and mix until a thick creamy mixture mmm!

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6. When cool ice your cakes with your fabulous icing and enjoy! Voila! Bon Appetit!

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You can buy Chocoholly here and follow her on Twitter here!

x

And you can leave off my lid, and I won't even loose my fizz

Sunday, 4 December 2011

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(Coat: ASOS, Jumper: Whistles, Jeans: Topshop, Bag: Mulberry: Shoes: Mumma P's!)

Hello! I'm sorry my posting has been a little sparse over the past few days. I've just started work again and probably underestimated how much time it would take out of my day! The hours taken commuting up to London really do add up, but I really enjoy it so I guess that's all that matters. Anyway, enough of that. Yesterday we celebrated my mum's birthday which was so so lovely. It was lovely to have a Sunday off in what feels like forever, and it was amazing seeing all of my family together. We went to a pub not far from home for a slap up meal (I opted for a Sunday Roast naturally!) and had such a lovely time, and undeniably left feeling incredibly full.

However, despite feeling full to the brim with Yorkshire pudding, a selection of 'rustic breads' (how very pastoral!) and birthday cake my favourite new jumper managed to disguise it perfectly! I bought it on my uniform at work from Whistles, and it is literally the thickest softest thing ever, I cannot say a bad word about their knitwear, bar the fact you probably won't want to wear anything else haha! I also teamed it with some amazing shoes I found in my mum's wardrobe, they even managed to make my chunky ankles look remotely ladylike hooray!


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(The restaraunt, cute table decs, amazing birthday cake and me, my mum and nan!)

I hope you've all been having a lovely week, I've got some tasty recipes coming up in the next few days as well as some outfit posts so stay tuned!

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

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