What Olivia Did in 2012...

Monday, 31 December 2012

2012
(From the bottom: Snow, my first ever internship at Company, my first fashion week with Cosmo, taking a tourist bus around the capital, meeting the Queen!, first business cards, meeting LIDYA, filimg the Dahlia summer film with some amazing ladies, Field day with my best lady, turning 19 and afternoon tea, appearing in Company, Lounge on the Farm fest, Jazmine's surprise birthday, Paris with Joe, appaearing on the DP and Miss Selfridge home pages (wtf?!), interviewing Miss Healey, Olympics excitement, endless Whistles fun, taking my brother to his first Reading festival, trips to Leeds, PPQ at LFW, Festival number 6, assisting on shoots, winning my second Cosmo award <3, trips with my main blogging bffls, out-takes lols, speaking at Cambridge, meeting my childhood sweetheart, my Lionheart pages, seeing Bon Iver, raising dollar for an amazing tash cause, big purchase of the year (first pay cheque!), my big things for 2013, interviewing Lucy Rose, visiting Laura Ashley archives, becoming obsessed with burgers, hanging out with Miss Cohen in Liverpool, a real byline, decorating my room, family Christmas and festive fun!)

If anything, a yearly review is the perfect excuse to indulge in the fact my blog is called What Olivia Did- as, well I can tell you what exactly I got up to all in the name of my blog- AMAZING right?! Okay, maybe not. But it's a nice chance to reflect on a pretty busy year and get all gushy on you guys. Correct.

2012 has been a year filled with more experiences than I could have possibly imagined, it's had it's highs, and certainly it's lows- but I've come out the other end feeling stronger and more appreciative of everything around me. This year has taught me how important in life it is to appreciate what we have, and the people that are genuinely important. I spend a huge percentage of my life aiming to be a people-pleaser, worrying about things that are frightfully daft, but this year I've realised not everyone will always like you- and that's fine. I know not to focus on the people that aren't important, and count my lucky stars that I have people in my life who do care, a friendship group that's out of this world, and this Christmas meant I've never been so grateful to have the people I do have around.

One thing, that has bought me more adventures with some of the most incredible people has been my little blog, something I don't thank my followers enough for.Thanks to you, the people that read this crazy little hangout- I have been able to go further with my blog than I'd ever have hoped. This year bought trips to Wales and Lounge on the Farm festival, the theatre, writing for Cosmopolitan at LFW, the Cosmopolitan and Company blog awards (where I swooped another gong - or something like that- YOU GUYS), it took me to London Fashion week for a second season (but this time on my own), it forced me to buck up a bloomin' large amount of confidence to talk at Cambridge University (nope, still can't believe that one...), interview some of my favourite ladies across both music and television and helped me secure a year of interning, and now a position as a grown up freelancer. Jeepers. I certainly need to start saying thank you more- and this is definitely a start. SO THANK YOU. I really really couldn't have done it without you -sending a million cyber hugs to you all-! I honestly appreciate every single comment, click, tweet, like- what have you and am continuously humbled by your support and kindness. T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U and have a crackin' New Year, like you deserve (going on Nessa on you...)
2012
(Some of my fave get-ups from this year...)

Here's to another year of fully fledged blogging, being grateful and grabbing life by the metaphorical horns and having an amazing time(and maybe a tattoo at that...sorry nan!) Below I've plonked in a couple of go get 'em quotes I hope to abide by in the New Year! Have a great one!

quotes
(Sources: 1. Skinnysticks.tumblr.com 2. AmandaCatherine Designs 3. Spirituallythinking.blogspot.com 4. Unknown)


x

Ladies behind the sidebar: December 2012

Saturday, 29 December 2012

rosen
Lauren, of Rose and Whimsy is not only one of the sweetest ladies you will ever have the pleasure of meeting, but she is also the brains behind this blog's lovely layout- something I'd never be capable of creating myself. Not only is Lauren a HTML wizard (those scalloped borders didn't create themselves) but her blog is the perfect combination of stunning heart warming photography, little pleasures, beautiful words, outfits and her adventures in the big wide world.

moddolly
Founded by the incredibly talented Amy He in 2010, Mod Dolly was born for modern girls who 'like to be a little playful in their everyday styling'. Inspired by eras gone by, the pieces channel a modern twist on classic looks, each item carefully handmade and designed to be worn with love. With beautiful, trend led pieces ranging from 60s inspired leopard capes, check tartan pinafores, and the most awesome paisley quilted skirt (watch out J dubs) along with hair accessory pioneers Crown & Glory and playful Me & Zena pieces, it's simply too good to miss out on!

lauraaa
Inspired by fashion, photography, interiors and people, Lauras gorgeous blog brings up to date listings of the most covetable pieces, beautiful visits around the globe (if you didn't want to visit Paris before reading you will now) and in the capital (want to know where the best burgers lie- Laura's your girl), easy to follow recipes (peanut butter cookies anyone), some seriously striking laid back luxe outfit pictures, photographic updates of her daily Brighton based adventures and some amazing hints and tips as to the best places to eat and see across the country. Having met the lady herself, I can confirm her as lovely as her blog presents- go go go!

SECRET
Created by the gorgeous Laura (with a red glossy barnet certainly worth envying) Secret Diary of a Fashion Journalist exhibits only the most covetable of pieces and being a complete beauty novice myself; supplies simple, honest reviews that are perfect in order to find that perfect product. This lovely lady also treats us to some hot-to-trot lust-haves, along with recipes that will see you hot footing it to your kitchen cupboards- perfect! Plus, she's a super regular poster so you'll never be bored for reading.

everoutss
Ever Ours are an online boutique, sourcing 'beautiful, exciting, unusual designs, all hand picked from around the world,' that I will never tire of loving. With new clothing, shoes and accessories in weekly, this little boutique run by the gorgeous Kim always has the most up-to date and well priced selection of kitsch, cute and equally as edgy jewellery- as well as some beautiful collared blouses and jumpers (most of which are now £10 in the sale), scalloped dresses and printed kitty knits (plus some pretty cool designer-inspired pieces ssh! -cough- MIU MIU -cough-) an online dream all for under £30!

tentative
If you're ever in need of a sparkly and reasonable (yet indulgent) jewellery fix; Tentative Decisions should be your first internet stop. There's not many places you can buy beautiful hand crafted raw crystal jewellery online all for under £50- so this is certainly one to be adding to your favourites. With handmade crystal jewellery coming in dozens of beautiful rainbow colours and styles (from jewelled collar necklaces to rings), this treasure trove (or online twinkling cave) has all the rocks you could ever want; and being crafted by hand has the beauty of sentiment too- see you at the checkout!

curlycutie
Emily's blog- Curly Cutie is the perfect dose of girlie night-in fun I look to in a blog- from make up, to books, films and fashion (and her musings with MIC boiz). With her down to earth and friendly blog and Youtube channel being the perfect source for digestible and honest beauty reviews, her 'Emilys Adventure' posts being the perfect catch up into her day to day outings- Emily's is a brilliant new blog you should be all checking out.

itsaldnthign
One of my complete faves comes from, 'It's a LDN thing' by (far) too cool for school and completely gorgeous Millie Cotton. This girl could wear Nikes with a bin bag and look bloody cool. Writing about all things fashion, lifestyle, beauty and music- its' not hard to see how this lady picked up Highly Commended Best New Fashion Blog at this years Cosmo awards. Additionally, Millie has some of the most enviably simple yet incredibly well crafted style out there (Cara D in blogger form maybe?); and has a serious knack for everything worth seeing in the capital; making hers a blog worth adding to your reader ASAP.

bowtie
Bowtie Diarycomes straight from beautiful 18 year old Estonian Piia. With a passion for all things fashion based, Piia brings a wonderful selection of stunning outfits (all with a beautiful snowy backdrop- dreamy right?) an intricate eye for detail, an enviably cool selection of accessories and a real love for food and cooking. If her smile isn't enough to keep you reading, her ladylike style will be- and you won't be disappointed.

littlenell
Back with a new look and new direction, and selling a selection of completely handmade jewellery, Little Nell stocks some of the most gorgeous accessories. Created using unique charms, stunning gem stones, and quality chains, the shop stocks everything from pendants to earrings- all for under £20. From beautiful gold charm necklaces ranging from moons to antlers- all made to order, Little Nell is more than worth a cheeky peek...

olive
Founded by the lovely Chloe, Olive and Frank 'like their wardrobe to be fun, inspiring and unique'- which is pretty clear by the amazing range available on their site. From pearl collared shift dresses with girlie embellishment, scalloped shorts, blouses with the most wonderful collars around- plus more jewellery than you could waggle a treasure chest at, there is something for all trend-savvy ladies here- and with prices like these, you can afford to be going back for more!

craft
Run by two friends living in London, Craft Patch is a gorgeous online shop, filled with beautiful interior furnishings in the shape of handmade cushions and home accessories. With every fabric and shape hand selected, pieces range from gorgeous (and adorable) Scottie dog cushions, cuddly owls and elephants- and cool 'tash cushies- and after becoming infatuated with Kirsties Vintage home- it'd be rude to not head on over...

starw
In between wondering why I'm not the third strawberry sister and envying their adventures with the gents of Chelsea, I'm often found reading Emily and Beth's blog- The Strawberry Sisters. Written by two gorgeous red headed sisters with a penchant for fashion, food and fabulous cocktails- this is one of my favourite reads. With food photography and recipes gorgeous enough to make your tummy rumble (and recommendations of where to find it), gorgeous DIY's to get under your belt and shopping trips and dresses to make your heart skip a beat these girls are seriously in the know, are funny and check out their modelling endeavours too- no fair!

charles
Not only is this girl one of the sweetest ladies I've met- she has a blog I adore, a style I completely envy and her dreamy photographs of trips to tea rooms and the British seaside always have me coming back for more (especially if I can invite myself along). With a fashion sense gorgeous enough to rival that of Leith Clark (yes, that gorgeous), photography to make you book that train to Falmouth (or London, depending where she is), and storybook writing skills- Charlie's blog is one of my absolute faves, go go go!

simplesophie
Whether it's seasonally appropriate recipes you like (Christmas cake, to meatballs to scrummy hot-pots), laid back girlie style you love- or just the honest and friendly insights to one's adventures in the north- Leeds based student Sophie's blog is probably one for you. A beautiful new lifestyle blog by a girl who loves photography, writing and cats (my kinda girl) this is a totally heart warming blog and one where you can click for hours, see you there!

lovehearts
Having only recently discovered Love Hearts and Crosses, I am now wondering where on earth I have been buying my jewellery all this time! With few pieces ranging above £30, and styles ranging from kitsch embellished collars (completely beautiful) to stunning charm necklaces, friendship bracelets, brooches and collar tips- this site has EVERYTHING (no exaggeration). If you're looking for the perfect outfit finishing touch, there's no other place to head- and having appeared in all manor of magazines, you'll be wondering why you didn't discover them sooner too.

lovecloth
Kim, Kim, Kim. One of those blogs you come across and then think 'WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN READING YOU SINCE DAY ONE' (capitals totally necessary). A girl whose style is completely spot on, outfit posts completely beautiful and smile (usually red lipped) completely infectious. Whether she's sporting another fantastic collar with another fantastic dress, updating us all with a charming Instagram post or merely posting 140 characters on her twitter (usually wit filled)- Love Cloth is one to follow- you'd be daft not to.

I'm taking a little break from blog advertising throughout January, and working on a new ad package in time for February! If you'd be interested in hearing more stay tuned or email me over at whatoliviadid@hotmail.co.uk- where I shall email you when all is ready! Thank you so much to all my amazing sponsors in the past year, you have been amazing.

x

A very merry Christmas, and a happy new year

Friday, 28 December 2012

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(Blouse: MINKPINK, Playsuit: Topshop, Shoes: Melissa @ Sarenza, Lipstick: Kate Moss for Rimmel 01)

A belated Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had the most lovely day possible, and indulged in lots of good food, watched hours of cheesy films (we opted with Grease and Trading Places) and had many a giggle (or quibble) over a lengthy board game. Although I didn't snap my Christmas day dress (you can see it here) I managed to grab a picture of what I wore to extended festivities on Boxing Day, and felt pretty comfortable in the gorgeous Topshop playsuit Santa bought (until post lunch food baby kicked in, and I had to opt for something more roomy)! Below I've added in some of my favourite snapshots of the past few days, which I like to think give a pretty honest insight of a typical Purvis Christmas (masks and all!)
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Overall, I had a completely lovely Christmas, and was very fortunate to spend it with my closest loved ones, and additionally had the pleasure of some gorgeous gifts- Santa always gets it right! I've also been thinking a lot about the new year, setting resolutions and goals- and thinking of new post ideas (so, please let me know if you have anything you'd like to see!) Have a wonderful weekend!

x

A real famous cat all dressed up in red

Thursday, 27 December 2012

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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the MSM bloggers Secret Santa on my blog, a project I was really excited to be participating in, and something I put a lot of thought into when choosing my gift (hope you like it, Lily!) So, when it came to opening my gift from my partner, I was very excited!
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After waiting patiently, and having Lily's beautifully wrapped gifts curled up under my tree for just over a week- I was thrilled to be able to (delicately) tear off the paper and see what Lily had decided upon (put it this way, I wasn't disappointed). After learning of my new job (and general blogging busy-ness) Lily based her gift on keeping organised and opted with some beautiful stationary- and if you know me, you'll know how much I love stationary. LOVE. She selected some lovely bits from Cath Kidston- one of my favourite brands and additionally, I was treated to two stunning postcards (one being of my favourite Audrey) which I simply can't wait to get framed for my bedroom! Thank you so much Lily and Money Supermarket on a brilliant project- see you next year?

x

Make my wish come true, all I want for Christmas is you

Monday, 24 December 2012

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If there's one thing to get you in the festive mood, then in my opinion- it's a good 'ol kitchen sesh. Baking gingerbread houses especially (or cheating and just decorating one, but you know...) If you me want to get all Nigella on you, than the fragrances of the ginger and cinnamon are certainly one thing to get you excited (and then pretending the icing sugar is snow is another...) but this is certainly a Christmas cracker. So, if you fancy making a tasty treat that looks equally aesthetically amazing then look no further (recipe taken from Baking Mad's Christmas baking recipes here)

You will need-
- 350g Plain white flour
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
- 2 tsp Ground ginger
- 125g Butter
- 175g Light Muscovado Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 4 tbsp Golden syrup
- 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
- Cut out template from the recipe here
- A cup of chai tea to assist your baking!

To decorate-
- 1/2 Egg Whites
- 500g Icing Sugar
- A dash of lemon juice
- Various jellies/sprinkles/fun for decorating

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/ 350°F, Gas 4. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

IMG_6365p 1. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl. Rub in the butter and then stir in the sugar. Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, and then add to the flour and mix to make a dough. Leave to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. IMG_6369p 2. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the gingerbread to ½ cm thick. Cut out the sections using the templates, and pop gingerbread onto the baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool! IMG_6370p 3. Put the egg whites in a large bowl, and sift in the icing sugar. Put in some elbow grease and stir to make a thick, smooth icing and add lemon juice for added stickiness. Spoon some of the icing into a piping bag. IMG_6372p 4. Pipe generous lines of icing along the wall edges (or spoon), and join the walls together! IMG_6373p 5. Once dry, repeat the icing with the roof sections and allow to dry for half an hour or so! IMG_6374p 6. Decorate your house with lots of colourful sweets, sprinkles, jellies (and maybe cute fairytale people) to make it look like a real Christmassy North Pole house! IMG_6390p 7. Team the gingerbread with some cosy Christmas tea- Will Ferrell and Hugh Grant entirely optional.
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Wishing you all the most wonderful Christmas tomorrow, I hope your day is filled with love, laughter, family, and good food!

x

P.S Check out Baking mad for cupcake recipes, festive and new years nibbles and much more!

Just you stood there only in your underwear

Saturday, 22 December 2012

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(Undies: Rosie for Autograph C/O Marks and Spencer))

I guess you could say underwear is a little taboo on some blogs- but hey, we all wear it right, and if it's not in outfit post form (bit cheeky for here) then surely there's no real problem? Just an extra pretty dignity-preserving layer- especially when it's designed by a certain Huntington-Whitely.

So, when I was recently contacted by my favourite Marks and Sparks (not just tasty shortbread y'all) asking if I fancied reviewing some of their lingerie and putting together some festive undie shopping tips, of course- I obliged and opted for this super gorgeous set from the Rosie for Autograph collection; something I'd been lusting after for far too long. After taking the set for a spin, I can happily confirm, like all of Marks's underwear it lives up to their incredibly high standard, fits comfortably and makes me feel a little like RHW (okay, not really- but it's very pretty).

Now, when it comes to underwear shopping, especially during the festive season- it's pretty important to get it right- no pressure folks. Ladies are difficult species to buy for, so if you're branching in to underwear territory here are my three top tips (if you're still struggling- just ask the lovely shop assistants, they don't bite)...

SIZING- Whether you're asking her pals, mother or having a rummage in her drawers- get the sizing right. If you really can't get it, and know her clothes size then just treat her to some festive, cosy or even slightly slinky pjs- the next best thing.
BE SUBTLE- If you're opening in front to the family, or aren't certain for her taste, go subtle. Demure underwear is some of the nicest- so avoid lots of strappiness, sauciness and lack-of-material-ness.
SOMETHING DIFFERENT- Although underwear is a necessity and is the basis of a feel good outfit- it's not something we often treat ourselves too- so go for something they wouldn't normally indulge in. The Rosie for Autograph collection is a good example of this- it's a successful collaboration, luxurious, tasteful and darn beautiful- you can't go wrong!

So happy shopping and have a very Merry Christmas!

x

P.S Thanks for the lyrics, Jarvis.
 
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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