Sunday, 30 November 2014

Skirts And Scarfs In Autumn And Winter

Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs

Two years ago I bought a lovely autumn/winter skirt from Miss Selfridge. The problem I always had was how to wear and style it. When I went to London earlier this month, I found a cosy woolly loop scarf in Topshop which has a similar pattern as my skirt. I combined them and I think they go really well together. What do you think?

Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs style post
Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs ootd
Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs
Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs
Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs close up skirt
Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs
Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs
Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs
Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs
Autumn fashion skirts and scarfs

I've had the Aztec-styled skirt for a while and I love in particular the colourways. Burgundy, grey, mustard shades and sandy tones are the go-to colours for Autumn - so you may think with such a diversity of colours, it might be easy to find a great combination. Forget it! I've been experimenting but nothing seemed to have worked. 

Luckily I never throw anything away, so when another item from the Miss Selfridge collection landed in my wardrobe, an end to the problem had arrived. Miss Selfridge have now and again these super sexy bodysuits. Mine is made of a light fabric and has an eye-catching mesh out detail at the front. Super sexy in combination with the skirt, but also a tiny bit too cold for this chilly weather. So what to do? Go to Topshop, find loop scarf with a similar Aztec-pattern and add to the outfit. Tan boots and cute bracelets and we're good to go!


Here's What I’m Wearing:

Loop Scarf: Topshop (current winter season 2014, £18)
Cognac Leather Boots: Clarks (winter season 2008/2009 £100)
Aztec Skirt: Miss Selfridge (season 2012, £25)
Cognac Blanket Wrap with Belt: Stradivarius (current season 2014, £15.99)
Black Body: Miss Selfridge (season 2012, £18)
Bracelets: Schmuckrausch (current season 3.50 € each*)

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

*PR sample
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Monday, 24 November 2014

Smiggle Stationery Flagship Opening In Birmingham

Smiggle Opening Birmingham

I've been very busy recently planning my move but I've managed to get some time off last Thursday to make my way over to the Bullring in Birmingham for Smiggle’s new flagship opening. I was kindly invited by the stationery brand to celebrate the opening along with other bloggers and to find out about their Christmas range.

Smiggle store Birmingham opening stationery

About Smiggle


Australian brand Smiggle has made people ‘smile’ and ‘giggle’ since 2003. It is owned by Just Group, a fashion and apparel retailer, and sells colourful, fashionable and fun stationery. Alisa, a regional manager who looks after the UK roll-out, told me that there are 170 stores across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The brand decided to approach the European market before America, as there is more potential to be established.

2014 has been Smiggle's year to conquer Europe with the opening of 16 stores in the UK. Bristol and Solihull were opened in the last six weeks and there are two more to come to Derby and London before Christmas, plus the expansion plan expects 200 stores within the next two years.

Smiggle scented pencils
Smiggle stationery

The Christmas Range


Smiggle Advent calendar

The Christmas range consists of novelty stuff in addition to the usual range, which includes e.g. pencils, cases, diaries and bags. Plain pencil cases, for example, have been jazzed up to hard bubble top cases (£10) or usual pencils smell like cookies and chocolate (£4) to become the best sellers for Christmas.

The signature piece is, however, the impressive advent calendar, priced £20. Shaped as a triangular, which looks like an abstract silhouette of a Christmas tree, 25 Smiggle goodies are waiting behind each door. It’s a brilliant idea as children won’t be given chocolate and sweets, but they can actually take their calendar goodies into school and grown-ups can brighten up their desks at college or work with the happy stationery.

Smiggle macarron eraser
Smiggle pencils and milk pencil case

The Smiggle Experience


I’ve seen the Smiggle store in Bristol, so I kind of knew what to expect, but when I arrived at the store at 6 pm I was totally overwhelmed by the colours and happy, smiling faces all around. So was food and lifestyle blogger Emma from Birmingham. She really liked the vibrant colours when she came into the store and didn't know where to look first. Fellow beauty blogger Vanessa adds ‘this is fantastic. It’s a bit of a throwback at childhood. In school, I was always the kid with a new pencil case and I also really like the scented gel pens which bring back memories.’

My favourite items from the collection are these 'delicious' macaron erasers (and I hope my macaroons will turn out as nicely as these one's next time) and the milkshake/carton pencil cases in the second picture below.

Smiggle macarons
Smiggle pencil case

Fun Is In The Detail


I briefly spoke to Georgie, the lovely PR lady who invited me and Haley, the store manager. Both were overwhelmed by the phenomenal response and positive feedback of customers. Haley told me she appreciates the interaction and creativity that the stationery triggers. Kids can have a play with the colourful items in-store and I even caught the staff having a good time joking around.


Smiggle staff in Birmingham

The event was on for 2h which went far too quickly. Afterwards, my blogger friend Becky and I went for a Costa's and spent another 2h chatting about films, blogging and our next event which will be tonight's Bloggers Love hub in London.

I had a fantastic time at the event and would like to thank Smiggle for having me and the generous goodies I received. You'll find the Smiggle flagship store at the Bullring on the ground floor next to Thomas Sabo and Costas (Selfridges side). Let me know if you've been to the store (leave me your blog post links!) and what's your favourite piece from their collection!

Have you heard about the stationery brand before? What do you think of the concept?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin
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Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Cosy Autumn OOTD In London. Style Post

Autumn River Island London Fashion post

Hey, hey, how are you? Here's another London OOTD fashion autumn post. My friend Izas took the pictures with her DSLR camera and the shoot was super early in the morning so please excuse my messy hair and the slight sleepy face. We shot in The Streets just outside Westfield in Stratford, London. Hope you'll enjoy.

Autumn River Island London Fashion post Westfield London
Autumn River Island London Fashion post cardigan
Autumn River Island London Fashion post westfield stratford
Autumn River Island London Fashion post ootd
Autumn River Island London Fashion styling post
Autumn River Island London Fashion post cardigan woolly
Autumn River Island London Fashion post mini handbag
Autumn River Island London Fashion post close up fashion

So let's break the outfit down, shall we? I've snapped up this cute polka-dotted jumpsuit from Miss Selfridges in the summer when it went on sale. It was sold out everywhere but I found my luck in the Debenhams store in Cardiff where they had one last jumpsuit waiting for me. It has a nice fit and unlike other jumpsuits, you don't have to be acrobatic to unzip the back in case you need, you know, the bathroom. 

I bought a chunky waterfall cardigan from River Island and I love the combination of the rough wool against the soft fabric of a summer item such as the jumpsuit. To be honest, I find it difficult to find anything in River Island. I was surprised when I saw the cardigan as I have never been River Island's target group nor found anything suitable in their stores. So this is kind of a world premiere: my first ever item from River Island - yeeeeaaaahh!!!

I've added my sleek riding boots from Jones Bootmaker to keep the sleek and chic look of black. However, this is slightly distorted by the yellow mini bag, which you may remember from my AW 14 accessories post. It adds the perfect amount of colour to the outfit for a little eye-catching, don't you think? 

The outfit was shot in the streets of Westfield's in Stratford/London. We went super early hence why my hair is a bit rough and my face looks sleepy. It's a lovely area though, so chilled and perfect to enjoy your morning hot chocolate - but enough now I guess you can't wait to find out where all the items are from. 

Here Is What I’m Wearing:

Waterfall Cardigan: River Island (current season 2014, £45)
Polka Dot Jumpsuit: Miss Selfridge (current season 2014, sale £17)
Boots: Jones Bootmaker (current season 2014, £99)
Pendant Necklace: Accessorize (current season 2014, £8, sale £5)
Bag: Stradivarius (current season 2014, £20)

If you like today's Autumn outfit, you may like my Cosy Autumn Outfit for when it's getting colder or my Skirts & Scarfs in Autumn post, too! 

Thanks so much for reading and till next time, 
Carolin
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Monday, 10 November 2014

The Maze Runner. Book vs Film

The Maze Runner book vs film

Most films this year have been average and rather disappointing. To me, there were only a handful of films that really stood out: The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, Begin Again and The Maze Runner, the dramatic adaptation of bestselling author James Dashner YA novel. The latest really thrilled me and got my attention during every second.

I was craving for information in every minute of the film and needed to know answers to what was going on. The 2h running time went by so fast and though the story was somehow closed in itself, it left room for some interpretation and you could tell that there will be a second film following.

Of course, I'm an impatient Germ, so when I got back home after seeing the film, I ordered the first book straight away. It took me a while to finish it, as the narrative and writing style is a bit different to the film and there are some deviations to the adaptation.

Can you really compare a book to its adaptation? Yes you can, though I appreciate both mediums as individual art forms and know that it is possible to bring a literary template to life successfully. Coraline or Perfume are excellent role models to prove, that it is possible to create a visual execution that complements a great piece of literature. The same applies to The Maze Runner.

Characters


I found Alby in the film much more charming than in the book. Film Alby is the leader of the camp and is very friendly towards Thomas. He shows him around and has a strong presence to keep people calm and be in full control of the situation. I found the book character much more aggressive and hostile as he went through the changing. Book Alby is scared of the outer world because he’s seen the flare and catastrophe which awaits the Gladers once they’ve solved the Maze. It is his fear to go back to an apocalyptic world that hinders him to support Newt and Thomas in their search for an exit.

Pretty much all the characteristics of book Alby have been taken over into film Gally. Gally, embodied by Will Pouter, is also more cocky and arrogant towards Thomas. He turns mad towards the end, which is similar to the book version. Gally in the book is pretty much mad right from the beginning as he has been stung and went through the changing such as Alby. The ending in both, film and book, made me wonder if Gally was a spy for WICKED. It is also not clear, what’s happening to the book character at the ending which was made very clear in the film.

Will Pouter as Gally in The Maze Runner Snickers Advert

Then there’s Thomas, whom I like more in the film. He’s more confident, eager and passionate than the book Thomas, who cries and whines most of the time. Film Thomas is a character who acts fearlessly and is ambitious. He realises very quickly he doesn’t belong to the Glade and he needs to find a way out of it. All features which I missed in the book character. Thomas is mostly scared and whimsy. He has little impulse to take actions nor to leave the Glade. Instead, he makes a lot of wasted effort to blend into the hierarchy and wants to impress Newt and Alby. I found him extremely annoying and passive in the first half of the book. He’s not a leader in my opinion and Newt had to talk some confidence into him, which the film Thomas already had and Newt supported him in his ambitions to solve the Maze.

Plot


Certain events in the film are told differently than in the book. The team spirit is much more comprehensive and feasible in the film. People work together and Thomas is accepted as a part of the Gladers quickly. The film pushes the plot constantly forward, so there’s never a boring minute and the Gladers are consistently confronted with the Maze and their desperate wish to solve it.

A major point which gets lost in the book numerous times. In the book, the Gladers are mostly pissed, aggressive, tired of involving people and to act as a team. The book focuses a lot on the Glader’s language and hierarchy. This becomes tiresome and boring as there’s little action in comparison to the film. It took the Gladers ages to find a solution for the Maze, some sequences been wasted on elaborate talks about nothing, the complicated slang and the cooking skills of a character. I do understand that book adaptations will always differ in some ways and work differently, as books and films are two independent art forms. However, in terms of action and plot, I found the film version rounder than the book, which loses it's tempo and slows down every so often.

The solution to the Maze is told differently in the book and in the film, and I found both versions work well for the respective medium. In the book, Minho and his team created daily maps of the sections in the Maze. Once they've been compared to each other, they revealed a word pattern which turned out to be the code for the Maze’s exit in the Griever's hole.

In the film, an easier version to tell the complicated code system has been used. Thomas kills a Griever which contains a key. This makes sense as it explains how the Griever got in and out of the Maze in the first place. Also, the interchanging sections that revealed the cypher code to leave the Maze work for the film.

Final Word


To sum up, I think the film is a great adaption of the book. Events are told slightly differently but they are better connected. The book has the major advantage to explain more complex ideas, e.g. the coding, Teresa's character and the changing, which make it more in-depth than the film. I really like the series and I’m hungry to know more what’s going to happen to Thomas, Teresa and Newt in upcoming parts of the series. My Maze Runner Scorch Trials review is up on Style Lingua, too.

Did you see or read The Maze Runner? Which one did you like more, book or film?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin
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Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Bloggers Love Hub Event In London. Part 1

Bloggers Love Blogging Event

How are you doing? I hope you had a great week so far and are looking forward to the weekend. My week started brilliantly as I was invited to attend the Bloggers Love Hub in London. Every Monday in November, Bloggers Love will hold a blogging event where you can network with other bloggers and meet interesting fashion and beauty brands. The event took place at the Mahiki bar and nightclub in Dover Street (yes, the Victoria Beckham store is just down the road!).

Bloggers Love Hub At Mahiki Night Club


Bloggers Love regularly organise blogging events and this one was my first ever event to attend. At each event, there will be a different mix of fashion and beauty brands. Some events will include a fashion show or a gifting lounge and several brands will be there which will give you the chance to speak directly to the founders or brand representatives and learn about their unusual products.

The event on Monday started at 4 pm and there was a great atmosphere when I arrived. The Mahiki nightclub was decorated nicely in a tropical theme, bloggers were welcomed with goody bags, delicious cupcakes were waiting for you and people just had a good time chatting, laughing and meeting the brands.

Bloggers Love Blogging Event cupcakes
Bloggers Love Blogging Event Mahiki London
Bloggers Love Blogging Event London

Jewellery, Jewellery, Jewellery


One of the main reasons why I particularly wanted to attend the first meeting in November was the great selection of jewellery brands that came to the gifting lounge and showcased their products. I always like to discover unusual jewellery that you can't get on the High Street but is sold at affordable prices. During my two hour stay at the event, two jewellery brands really stood out to me and I think they have a lot of potential to be established on the fashion market namely Glowbeads and D_Jewelsus.

I was lucky to speak to both brands and learnt about their interesting products. Katherine the founder of Glowbeads, showcased her incredible bracelets, which reveal a dramatic glowing effect when light hits the beads. The material used is reflective and the same as in road cats eyes. So wherever you are, the colourful accessories will turn heads and catch eyes. Kathrine's collection includes bracelets and necklaces for different occasions and there's a kids collection, too.

The Glowbeads bracelets come around £12 and I was kindly gifted one at the event. I decided on a multi-coloured bracelet, which looks so much fun and I will show it to you very soon.

Bloggers Love Blogging Event Glow Beads jewellery
Bloggers Love Blogging Event glowbeads

The second brand I'd like to tell you about is D_Jewelsus. The London-based brand is quite new on the market and they have specialised in jewellery made out of fabrics. The collection features individual and unique pieces inspired by geometric forms which give the items an 80's touch. Most necklaces were made from leather. So you have a statement necklace but without the heavyweight. All fabrics used are natural and made from real leather. I was very intrigued by one of their statement pieces, a collar, which was made from a soft cowhide. The combination which met cold metal squares and then went over in a furry sort of pony hair material felt incredible.

Sorry, I've only got one picture of the collection as the lighting at the venue wasn't the best for shooting pictures. Keep your eyes open for one of my upcoming ootd posts and you might spot an item from the range.

Bloggers Love Blogging Event D_Jewesus jewellery

I also chatted to the lovely Emily, who gave photography advice to bloggers and revealed some tricks on how to boost your blog pictures. I spoke to Byron, managing director of The Blogger Programme, a network which is currently booming. I had a great time at the event and would like to thank Bloggers Love again for organising and hosting such a fantastic opportunity for us beauty and fashion bloggers. The venue was nice with lovely staff, but the lighting wasn't ideal for photography and I wished there would have been more seats available to sit down with blogging friends and have a relaxed chat or at least a cloakroom to drop of coats and bags. But these are minor issues and I'll be visiting the last event on 24th November for which I am very excited for.

Bloggers Love Blogging Event jewellery brands

There's still time to sign up with Bloggers Love to attend one of the last remaining three events. All you need to do is to register (it's free) and attend the free event in London. You can also bring a plus one, you know, the more the merrier :)

I also went to the last event on the 24th November, you can find my Bloggers Love Hub Blogger Event Part 2 here.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin
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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

New Binky AW 14/15 Nail Polish Collection Review

Binky Nail Varnish AW 14 collection

There are so many nice colours available on the High Street at the moment that I couldn't resist when the lovely PR ladies over at Binky London reached out to me last week and asked me if I fancy to check out their new AW 14/15 collection.

Mocha Gel Binky Nail Polish

So Here's What I Thought...


Having used and reviewed Binky’s sparkly Gold Rush* in three top colours for summer post, and being very pleased with it, I had high expectations for this one. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed. I was very delighted when I received a bottle of Mocha Gel* from the brands' new collection which is officially out tomorrow. The collection features dark colours and I particularly like the cobalt blue and the Mocha one, which I’m going to review.

The colour in the bottle looks different to when you actually apply it to your nails. It looks very nice on the nails and I would describe the tone as a milk chocolate one.

Mocha Geld Binky autumn nail varnish

The polish has a creamy texture. It is easy to apply and the brush runs smoothly over the nail. One to two coats are enough to cover it evenly and it takes less than 10 minutes for the polish to dry. It has a super glossy finish and my nails remind me of shiny Smarties.

Mocha Gel Binky Autumn collection

The Mocha Gel nail polish looks very sophisticated and mature. I applied it a few days ago and it hasn’t chipped at all which is a big plus as I had a disappointing experience lately, when I tried and tested Nails Inc varnish which chipped after just one day.

You can grab the entire Binky London AW 14/15 collection at your local superstore for £2.95 per bottle from tomorrow, Wednesday 5th November.

Thanks for reading and till next time,
Carolin 

*PR Sample
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Saturday, 1 November 2014

It's Getting Colder. An Autumn OOTD Style Post

cosy knitwear autumn fashion post in the forest of dean

How are you doing after this crazy Halloween night? Today's post is just a very quick OOTD. It's getting slowly but surely colder each day so I snuggled up in my cosy Stradivarius jumper and teamed it up with a colourful bangle from Lyla Loves.

During my visit to London, I went to the Stradivarius store in Westfield/Stratford. Zara's sister brand has this incredible collection of boho-themed clothes and I feel in love with this super cosy white jumper. The knitwear is casual and comfortable to wear, perfect for when you want to snuggle up and just want a relaxed outfit to feel comfortable in. I've teamed it up with a pair of Aztec printed leggings from New Look. They are made of a cotton blend and keep me warm even in this weather. If you're struggling, just wear a black pair of tights underneath.

Tan boots are my absolute must-have for Autumn. These were a great investment from Clarks in 2009. At first, I struggled walking in them as I wasn't used to wearing heeled shoes, but now, they are completely broken in and I can't imagine my life without them. In combination with the basic colours of white and black, the tan stands out with its warm shade and applies that special Autumn touch.

Lyla Loves kindly send me a colourful bangle the other day and I thought to add a bit of fun and colour to the outfit, plus the bangles' beads pick up the Aztec print from the leggings nicely, I'll include it into today's outfit of the day. Now I'm ready to go on a walk with Jarvis into the Forest of Dean and look forward to returning later to the fireplace.

Hope you'll enjoy and let me know what you think about the outfit :)

close up of cosy knitwear fashion post

Here's What I’m Wearing:

Cosy Knittwear: Stradivarius (current season 2014, £23)
Bangle: Lyla Loves (current season 2014*)
Black Aztec Leggings: New Look (summer season 2012, £15)
Boots: Clarks (winter season 2008, £100)

If you've enjoyed today's casual Autumn look, you may also like my Skirts & Scarfs for Autumn or Autumn Fashion in the Cotswolds post. 

Thanks so much for reading and till next time, 
Carolin

*PR Sample
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