Friday, 29 April 2011

When Kate and Will Got Married




What I Thought

The dress was absolutely perfect (even if it wasn't Erdem), well done to Sarah for an amazing creation. Very Kate, but I also immediately thought Grace Kelly. I loved the long arms, the delicate lace, the skirt with just the right amount of flare and the simple veil and her very natural hair and make up. So pretty and incredibly elegant. They both looked very happy.

Grace Kelly's Wedding Dress

The guests - by far those that stood out for me were Tara PT, Victoria Beckham,Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, the Queen in fabulous yellow and Princess Anne in lilac and lime green floral. I also though Pippa Middleton looked stunning. I was really surprised at how many people were not wearing hats most noticeably Samantha Cameron. If I had been invited I would definitely make the most of the opportunity to wear a fab hat by Phillip Treacy or Victoria Grant.

I can't help remembering my own wedding (nearly 12 years ago) and what a special day that was for me. My aunt was one of the first graduates from the London College of Fashion. She made my dress for me, an ivory silk dress with boned, beaded and lace embellished bodice and full skirt. OK no where near such a big event as the royal wedding but I definitely felt like a princess.


A slightly blurry photo of my wedding photo

What I Wore


If I had my way I would have got really dressed up as if I was actually going to the royal wedding. As everyone else was doing casual I decided to go for in between with a red, white and blue royal wedding themed outfit.

What I Did
This morning was dedicated to sitting in front of the TV watching the royal wedding (of course).This afternoon, a little work (blogging about the royal wedding ) followed by a street party in the afternoon.

What I Ate




We drunk champagne and ate pain au chocolate, scones and jam whilst watching the royal wedding. I will be following with beer, barbeque and bacon sandwiches at the street party this afternoon.

A big congratulations to the happy couple, I wish them a lifetime of happiness together.

Hope you are having a lovely day

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

FBFF - Fitness and Fashion


Todays Fashion and Beauty Friends Friday is about fitness and fashion, two topics very close to my heart. Unfortunately todays post is a little rushed as it is of course royal wedding day and I will soon be going to glue myself to the TV to check out everyone's outfits. So here goes.

1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why?
Yes I do two to three excercise classes per week plus a 2-3 mile run. It is really important to me to keep fit for a number of reasons. I want  to keep healthy and try and prevent illness in later life but also alot of it is about how I look. If I am more toned my clothes fit and hang better and a wider variety of clothes seem to suit me. I also find excercise makes me feel good and helps me relax, it is my time when I am free from family, work, household demands. I think I am also slightly addicted to excercise, if I don't get to go to my classes I start to feel lethargic and fed up.

2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that nature, helped with your own perception of body image?
I am not training for a marathon but I started excercising again after the brith of my second child to get back into shape. I don't think it has changed my perception of body image, it has changed my body shape. I like my body this way better, my clothes look better and I feel more confident in some ways.

3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion?
Both. I tend to go for very basic black gym wear. I have three sets all from Nike. I try and wear something that is flattering but as I am only wearing it for a short part of the day, I don't really want to spend lots of money on the latest fashion. if money was no object, I would probbaly buy all my fitness clothes from Sweaty Betty. Most important for me is that it is comfortable and doesn't hamper my work out eg a top that rides up, doesn't cling in the wrong places and doesn't show sweat marks (definitely not a good look) which is why I stick to black.

4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be doing for your own physical fitness?
I am not sure. Perhaps there is some sort of a perception that those who are not physically fit are lazy and that everyone is reponsible for their own physical fitness.
5. Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal.
Ideally I would like to lose a little more weight but for me fitness is not really goal driven, it is more about regular excercise and feeling good.

So over to you, what do you do to keep fit and what do you wear? You can read the rest of the posts on this topic over at Modly Chic.

Hope you enjoy the royal wedding. I am keeping my fingers crossed for an Erdem wedding dress.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

My Birthday on the Bus

Whilst I was away camping on the weekend, it was my birthday. I had a fantastic day which included drinking fizzy wine at lunchtime! Then out for a Japanese meal in the evening which was delicious. My Mum and Dad came to stay in a nearby hotel and I didn't even have to do any washing up or cooking which was fab. I still look foward to my birthday as much as I did when I was a child as I get completely spoilt and I love getting pressies. This year was no different, my friends and family obviously know me well and bought me perfect gifts.

A Scarf


clothes!

Jewellery

The Bluetit necklace was by Kate Garey and from Urban Outfitters the raw cute crystal amethyst ring from Margie Hearts Vintage Both were from my girls (although I gave them a few ideas),  You can't see the ring too well here and for some reason my camera won't focus on it. You can find a better picture here.

Bath goodies

Notebooks - I love writing lists and making notes

I got lots of cards but this was my favourite. I love the Graffiti style and the delicate fairy. It is by Ge Feng.

I also got some money which I have already spent on some new clothes. I am just waiting for them to arrive. I can't wait to share as long as they all fit and I decide to keep them.
Top- charity shop
scarf - present
skirt- ASOS Africa
Shoes - Geox
Today's outfit featuring my birthday pressie scarf. This skirt and top seemed like the obvious combination, well to me anyway.
With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Bus Life and Campsite Style - Easter Weekend

I spend Easter weekend and a few extra days camping with our old VW camper van near Weston Super Mare. We were blessed with the most amazing weather for Easter (although it was still really cold at night). Looking stylish whilst camping can be a bit of a challenge but I was determined to make a bit of an effort and not just resort to a hoody and jeans although and I did invest in a hoody just in case and wore it a few times in the evening.

Top - Ben De Lisi at Debenhams
Cropped Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - Pikiolinos (at Spartoo)
scarf- Alternative Fashion Week market (last year)



For the coldest of evenings thick hot chocolate with marsh mallows is the perfect way to keep warm.

Cutoff jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Top - Sainsburys (really old)
Bag - Accessorize


Tunic - Next
Cropped Leggings - Next

Cropped Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Striped Top- Charity Shop
Green bolero jacket - Marks and Spencers
Wellies - Spartoo
Bib necklace - People Tree


Dress - Oasis
Leggings - People Tree
Shoes - Pikolinos
Flower- Dorothy Perkins

As above plus
Denim jacket - swapped on Posh Swaps
bag - Accessorize


If you have never been camping before, it is great fun. I am hoping to feature more campsite style posts over the summer and also try and add a few tips for anyone who is going camping for the first time or camping at a festival.

My tips from this trip are:

  1. Get to the showers as early as possible in the morning. I hot foot it over there as soon as I wake up. This usually means that less people have used them so they are much cleaner and you don't have to queue and can take ages, you are also more likely to get a hot shower.
  2. Invest in a pair of flip flops for the showers, trust me, it is well worth the few pounds you will spend.
  3. Take a few treats with you. This time I took a small bottle of Cowshed Knackered Cow body lotion which I got free with a magazine. Stuff like this just makes you feel a bit more human.
  4. Don't underestimate how cold,wet or sunny it will be. Always go prepared for any eventuality with layers, waterproofs, wellies, sunhat and sun cream.
Are you camping or going to any festivals this summer? do you have any good tips?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

 

Sunday, 24 April 2011

People Tree Bib Necklace and A Red Dress

I have had this red dress for ages but have always felt that it was lacking something. I got this beaded flower bib necklace from People Tree as an early present from my Mum and Dad and had planned to wear it with a black top or dress but somehow when I tried it on this just didn't seem to do it justice. Then suddenly it dawned on me the dress and the necklace would look great together. The bright colours really make the necklace stand out with its black border and the necklace just makes the dress look a bit more interesting.

Red dress and beaded necklace

bib necklaces

People tree beaded necklace

Dress - Jackpot (really old)
Necklace - People Tree
Shoes - Bronx from Spartoo

What are you wearing today? I hope you are having a lovely Easter weekend.

with warmest wishes

Ceri X

Friday, 22 April 2011

FBFF - Inspiration

Mary Katrantzou AW11

Erdem SS11

Dolce and Gabbana SS11

Some of the catwalk looks that are inspiring me at the moment - images from elleuk.com

Although I have only been participating in Fashion and Beauty Friend Friday for a short time, it has been going for one year now. I have been reading and enjoying the posts for much longer than I have actually been joining in and am delighted to be able to mark this milestone with a post about inspiration using the same questions that were answered by the group a year ago.

1. Which celebrity (celebrities) do you look to for fashion inspiration?

I don't think that I really look to any celebrities in particular more real people through blogs and street style images. I find these looks are usually much more interesting and wearable. I do however quite like Katy Perry's, Jessie J and Dita Von Teese's style but would never copy them completely as it just wouldn't suit me and I much prefer to try and be unique.

2. When it comes to your own personal style, what inspires you?

I mainly get inspiration from clothes that I see others wearing on blogs but also designer collections and sometimes anything and everything I look at from flowers to posters, art and interior decor. I love contrast, patterns, prints and bright colours. You can see the blogs that I regularly read, I am inspired to different degrees by all of these blogs.

3. How do you hope to inspire your readers?

I hope to inspire my readers with fashion and style that is also has a minimal impact on the environment. I don't want to be constantly preaching to people what they should and shouldn't buy or wear (especially as I am by no means perfect) but I hope that I can introduce new eco brands and show looks made from second hand or old clothes that might show people an alternative to fast fashion.
I also realise that style is a really personal thing and not everyone will like all of my outfits but there might be some elements of them that they like or be inspired by.

4. Outside the realm of fashion who/what inspires you?

For business Saffia Minney the founder of People tree provides lots of inspiration on how you can run a business and still remain ethical and true to your values. My children also inspire me no end, hard to explain how but they do.
5. And since Idol is ending… Which songs inspire you?

Lenny Kravitz - Are you gonna go my way? and anything by Black Eyed Peas, Bob Marley No Woman, No Cry. I am sure there are loads more but I just can't think of them at the moment.

Where do you get your inspiration? Have a lovely Easter weekend

With warmest wishes


Ceri X

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Links A La Mode -Tech

 

Blogging: So Much More Than What Meets The Eye

Edited by Maggie Battles
Modern fashion mavens use technology in a variety of ways that might not seem so obvious to some. We use photography to showcase our style & search for new tips on how to improve our technique. We use gadgets for optimizing our own blogs and more gadgets for reading other blogs. What goes on in our blogging world is not always what meets the readers eyes, and this week we have a collection of tips for how to make our own sites better. Each week of Links A La Mode: Tech is what you might call a "Show & Tell" of what information has proven useful to us. This is a fantastic opportunity to seek help, trade info and hopefully make our blogging lives a little bit easier. Thanks to everyone who participated this week and I can’t wait to see what you all bring to the table next time!

LINKS À LA MODE: TECH – April 19th

  • IFB: How are you getting your blog noticed?
  • Mimosas In Bed: Top Five Reasons Why Fashion Bloggers Should Have A Tumblr
  • Miss Viki: Science Fashion: Posing in Outer Space
  • Pens & Lens: Let's Get Technical: Blogging Using A Netbook
  • Relatively Chic: Pretty as a Picture: Blog Photos Made Easy
  • Style Eyes: Optimising Your Blogger Fashion Blog - A Beginners Guide
  • Styling You: How Do You Follow Other Blogs?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Melissa Shoes

I have been spotting the Melissa shoe brand just about every where recently. At first I was a little unsure about the idea of plastic shoes but they are really starting to grow on me. Whilst they are made from plastic the shoes are actually eco friendly as they are recyclable and part recycled from old shoes. They offer an alternative to leather for vegans. They are also made in Brazil in a socially and environmentally responsible factory, where waste and water is recycled as much as possible.

The thermo moulded plastic allows for fun, creative and colourful designs of shoes which just keep on catching my eye and make them very different to other eco shoes on the marlet. The shoes even have a sweet candy like smell.

The brands logo is 'plastic dreams' and for me they have almost managed to glamorise a material which for me has previously signified something unattractive with a high environmental impact. Of particular interest to me is the brands collaborations with designers most importantly Vivienne Westwood but also Patrick Cox, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Alexandre Hercovitch and Judy Blame. The fact that their latest collection is modelled by Katy Perry in a fabulous rainbow coloured photo shoot kind of helps too.

Here are my faves:


melissa lady dragon westwood shoes


melissa ultra girl westwood shoes


 melissa eco shoes


What do you think of the Melissa brand? and which shoes do you prefer?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Optimising Your Blogger Fashion Blog - A Beginners Guide


I have noticed a growing interest amongst fashion bloggers in ways to improve their blog and get more traffic. This post is aimed at those with a fashion blogger on blogger who want to grow their traffic but are not sure how.Optimisation is just one way that you can do this. There are plenty more ideas and tips on other ways on IFB.

Whilst for those who are setting up blogs for serious business purposes Wordpress is probably the platform of choice, there are quite a lot of others who chosen to have fashion blogs or are going to choose to have fashion blogs on blogger. I use both for various different blogs that I have worked on but think for a beginner Blogger is the quickest, most cost effective and easy to use. That said, there are a few annoying little things about it especially when it comes to optimising for the search engines.

Why optimise your fashion blog?
This is a question that have pondered over and over for some time with regard to Style Eyes my personal fashion blog. Whilst optimisation will help you to rank higher on Google for certain search terms bringing more traffic to your site, which without a doubt makes sense for commercial organisations, I have at times struggled with the point of this for my fashion blog. I sway between deciding to optimise my blog and trying to get more traffic through referrals and social networks instead as I tend to think these people are more likely to want to read a personal fashion blog than more general search engine traffoc. The referrals and social networking does however have a double benefits as not only will you get the referrals but it will also help to optimise your site on Google and other search engines.

I guess whether you bother to optimise your site is a personal choice. SEO can be hard work and sometimes feel a bit pointless but it can also increase traffic for your site which will in turn increase revenue through both advertising and affiliate marketing. One thing I would say though is that when you choose your keywords try and make them as relevant as possible to your blog as then your visitors are more likely to stick around.

Do blogger blogs rank better on Google?

Apparently not as even Google employee Matt Cutts uses Wordpress. It seems that content and the choice of keywords and onsite and offsite optimisation strategy are what is really important regardless of which platform you are using.

What are the issues with blogger and how can you fix them?

Generally speaking the setup of Wordpress lends itself to optimisation much better than blogger it is more easy to change the setup and there are lots of plugins available to help. With a  few techie tweaks though, it is possible to make your blogger blog much more search engine friendly.


1. Adding blog title tags - a title tag is what tells a search engine what a blog is about. Consequently have a particular word in your title tag can help your blog rank higher for this term. You can add a title tag for your blog by going to settings and inputting the chosen words which should start with your blog title and be no more than 6 words.

BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES TO THE CODE OF YOUR BLOG ALWAYS BACKUP YOUR BLOGGER TEMPLATE FIRST


2. Adding individual post title tags - Blogger does not automatically add a title tag to your blog posts. With a slight change to the code you can get it to automatically generate a title tag using the title of the blog post. The benefit of this is that each of your blog posts will be individually optimised for different keywords (vital if you want to get lots of search engine traffic). You can find simple instructions on how to do this in this post on Lead Inspectors blog.

3. Duplicate metatag descriptions - a metatag description is the short description that comes up on search engines and explains what your blog is all about. I am guessing that most people like me do not write individual descriptions for each of their posts and so Blogger will automatically use the general metatag description that you have (hopefully) written for your blog in the settings. If the same metatag description is used for every post Google will consider it duplicate content (even though it is not) which is not good for optimisation. You can find out how to fix this in this post on Blogger Stop.

4. Keywords in permalink - Blogger will only iuse the first 40 characters of your blogger title to create a permalink. This is the url for the individual blog post and the keywords contained in it are important for search engine ranking. This is a really simple one to fix, either just make sure you get your keywords at the beginning of the title. If you want you canfirst publish with them at the beginning then go back and change the title to what you want and republish your blog eg first publish with title as 'red maxi dresses' then change to 'my top ten all time favourite red maxi dresses'


Other Tips

Tag your images - as most fashion blogs have lots of images, you can utilise these to help optimise your blog by adding alt tags. Basically these tags should describe the image but this should also in some way contain a few keywords. You can find out how to do this in this post on Web Training Wheels.

Usability - It doesn't matter how much you optimise your site if people don't like what they see when they arrive on your site. There are some simple things that you can do to make your blogger blog more attractive and  I think Where's Harriet's eight steps to a better blogger blog has some great tips.

Choosing keywords - before you do any of the above, you need to decide on which keywords to have for your blog. As a general rule your keywords should be as relevant as possible so perhaps a list of clothing items or trends or brands that you particularly love. The Google keyword tool is great for analysing keywords and generally you should look for keywords that strike a balance between search volume and competition. You can read more about choosing keywords for fashion sites on my online fashion marketing blog.

For those interested in fashion, this post will probably seem really long, technical and boring. However putting some time into this side of your blog will help to bring in the traffic, allowing you to monetise your blog and justify all that time that you sepnd writing about fashion.

Any ideas, suggestions or thoughts? please leave a comment

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Thursday, 14 April 2011

OMG I Have Found Floral Dress Heaven

I make no secret of the fact that I love a floral dress or two. In fact it has gone a bit beyond that to becoming a full scale addiction where I constantly trawl the shops and internet in search of that holly grail of floral dresses. So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled across the most amazing collection of floral dresses that I have seen for this summer (OMG!) in the most unexpected of places.

I will have to admit that I don't think I have ever bought a single piece of clothing in Warehouse in my whole life. Not sure why but I had always kind of assumed it was a shop for tall people (no idea what led me to such a conclusion) but consequently, as I am only 5ft 2, I never really paid it much attention.

Then.... I spotted the summer 2011 collection which left me completely flabbergasted by the full on amazing selection of floral dresses.














I know this kind of overtly floral stuff won't be to everyone's taste but I am truly smitten. With my birthday only weeks and most people tending to give money rather than pressies these days, I am seriously considering investing in one maybe even two of these lovelies. The difficulty being making up my mind in which. The shift and tea style dresses tend to suit my body shape best and at the moment I am leaning towards the first two as favourites.

Which do you like? Have you ever bough anything from Warehouse, I would be interested to hear your feedback on quality and fit.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X
ps. this post contains affiliate links but the items were selected purely on my love for them

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Florals, checks, lace and more..

Today the weather was much more characteristic for the time of year than it has been for a while so I opted for another outfit with tights. I have a feeling I am going to need to invest in a few more pairs of patterned tights until the spring and summer properly arrive.

The weather also seems to effect my choice of colours, for colder weather I tend to pick richer and  deeper colours whilst warmer weather is definitely more for lighter and brighter colours. This is one of those outfits that has a lot going on with patterns colours and textures. It combines checks (tights) lace and florals (top), hand woven skirt and a cable knit cape.

It took me ages to make my mind up what to wear this morning and I tried out quite a few combinations before I managed to settle on this one. I bought the cape from Oxfam for the winter but it wasn't warm enough to wear out on its own and wouldn't fit under my coat so is perhaps much better for spring or autumn. 

Hoping that warm weather comes back again soon as I have so many summer dresses I want to wear!



Skirt - People Tree Sale
Top - ASOS
Cape - Oxfam (originally NEXT)
Tights - Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - Poetic Licence
necklace - a present

Do you take ages to decide what to wear in the morning or can you make an instant decision?
Hope that you are having a fabulous week.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X