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What I Wore to... SW4

Dress - H&M
Necklace - Urban Outfitters
Leather jacket - Zara
Hoodie - H&M
Wellies - Roxy
Ring - Vintage
I went to the Saturday of SW4 Festival in Clapham at the weekend. What this outfit doesn't show is the sensible inclusion of a mac-in-a-bag that I clipped to my handbag, which was a stroke of genius as it completely tipped it down while we were there. In the end I resigned myself to being wet as the hood of my mac didn't seem to do much, but at least I wasn't wearing jeans which would've just stuck to me!

Explore: Notting Hill Carnival

This was my first visit to Notting Hill Carnival, and it was really amazing. I hate to use a cliched phrase, but the atmosphere was electric - everyone wanted to dance, sing and eat, and the whole Notting Hill area was absolutely packed with families and friends. 

We went on the Sunday (family day) as I've been told the Monday can be a bit rough, and as it was our first time we didn't want to take any risks. The crowds were unbelievable, I've never seen so many people packed onto the streets. It was verging on scary at times as I don't like closed in spaces, and the music on some streets was so loud it was a bit disorientating! But dancing in the parade was brilliant fun - with a rum punch in hand and dodging all of the official parade dancers who were covered head to toe in chocolate! 

There was a great sense of community, and as somebody who is half-Jamaican, I found it really fascinating to see part of the culture of the country that I descend from. I'll definitely be going again next year - it's definitely something everybody should experience while living in London.

What I Wore to... Notting Hill Carnival

Bed jacket - River Island
High-waisted shorts - River Island
Vest top - Topshop Boutique
Sunglasses - New Look
It was beautiful weather for Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday, and I finally got to wear this kimono I picked up in the River Island sale ages ago. I've been scared of the whole pattern clashing trend, but this is a really easy way to embrace it, by wearing it over plain items! The shorts are also from River Island and are high-waisted to hide any sins. The basics were a vest top from Topshop Boutique and sunglasses from New Look. High street heaven! Look out for my post on the fun of the carnival tomorrow.

Fashion: What do you think of outfit posts?

I'd never pretend to be a massively fashionable trend setter or anything, but I do love clothes shopping and trying out new outfits with the limited funds I have. I read a lot of fashion blogs for inspiration and also out of curiosity, and have been toying with the idea of putting the odd outfit post up on here for a while. It's not something I'd do every day as most of the time I wear basic jeans/top combo to work, unless I'm going out to lunch or something. So here's my first attempt (excuse the mess as I've just moved house, and also excuse me looking a bit cross-eyed!) - if it looks like people seem interested in this then I'll keep posting them on the odd occasion! 

Necklace and shirt - vintage
 Bandeau top - Matalan
 High-waisted jeans - Miss Selfridge
 Wedges - Urban Outfitters

Life: Goodbye Chiswick

It's been a number of days since I last wrote a post. Everything is full blast at the moment: my job is crazily busy, I have a 5000 word essay to write for my part-time course, and tomorrow I'm moving house. 

After a year of living in beautiful Chiswick, I'm moving to north London. This last year I've seen redundancy, burglary and bloody awful housemates, but that doesn't mean I don't have a soft spot for good old W4. It's residential and leafy, and doesn't feel like living in London at all in that it's not full of high-rise buildings and sirens (for the most part). I'll miss the place, but I'm so excited about moving now that I don't really mind!

I won't have the internet immediately at my new place, but I'll try and write some new posts when I can!

Purse Palpitations Week #4

Some festival fashion lusts and general needs this week.

I desperately want this to be my Summer to Autumn coat this year. £50 from River Island

I frickin' love Aztec print. After seeing these bags on Pink Julep I've completely fallen in love.  £40 from Aldo.

I've wanted this for long. I really should just suck it up and bloody buy it. £19 from Me & Zena.
Floral dip hem skirt. What's not to like? £19.99 from Bershka.

Life: What I've Learnt From House Sharing

I've lived away from home for nearly 5 years (with a brief return to the parents' after uni in between), and for all of that time I've been a house share of some sort.  House sharing is a cheap way to live, especially when you move in with strangers in a large house. 

My 1st ever house share at university

2nd house share

The lovely people in my final uni flat share
And there's been 2 more since then. But I'm finally at the end of my tether and can't wait to move on to the next phase of living with a good friend instead! These are the main things I've learnt since moving out. They may be slightly biased based on the last year of my house sharing life...

1) NEVER buy anything that is of good quality for the shared areas (especially the kitchen). Just use the cheap crap everyone else doesn't care about.

2) Invest in some good earplugs. Whether it's creaky floorboards, parties, or an over-enthusiastic housemate with her new boyfriend, you will need these.

3) There will always be somebody who cannot flush the toilet/wipe down surfaces/manage basic personal hygiene. It's confusing to somebody who can tidy up their own bodily functions, but that's just the way it is.

4) By the end of your time there, there will definitely be at least one person you cannot stand the sight of. The feeling will be mutual.

5) Somebody will always think they can get away with 'borrowing' aka stealing your washing powder/toothpaste/orange juice. Name it, hide it, spit in it. They'll learn.

6) Have your social life away from your house. You'll soon realise the value of being somewhere other than your small over-priced room.

7) Pretty up your room. It makes the whole thing so much more bearable!

8) Have something that catches/zaps bugs. When your stepdad isn't around to catch that moth, you can't just sleep in the hallway.

9) Cook your week's worth of meals over the weekend. Then freeze it and cook when necessary. It's time-saving, cheap and means nobody will try and nick it.

10) Have your own TV. If you end up living with people who watch god-awful faux historical dramas on the SyFy channel all the time, you get a bit annoyed. 

Good luck to any of you moving house soon!

Fashion: Laser Cut Leather

I've recently realised that not only do I have too many shoes, but that actually a lot of them are now very old and falling apart. The few days of sunshine have brought out my limited pairs of sandals, and frankly, I'm bored of them. These laser cut leather pretties are perfect for unpredictable weather. Obviously they're not waterproof, what with all the holes, but that's good excuse to have a pop of neon nail polish peeking from underneath!

Buy them from ASOS, reduced from £30 to £15.

Tech: Flash and Snap

I'm always so envious of people who have the tech (and skill) to take great photos. I'm fed up of spending money of crappy digital cameras that don't focus properly, can't deal with poor light and break at the drop of a hat. I'm too scared (and poor) to get a proper SLR, but felt it was time to upgrade to something a bit fancier so that whoever is reading this blog (I'm sure you're out there somewhere!) can have some higher quality pics to look at when you visit my little site. 

This is a Canon Powershot SX150 IS and is down to half price at Argos at the moment. I'm really amazed at this bargain, and my photographer guru Ms O has said it is well worth the money, so I'm trusting her professional opinion. The obvious irony of taking a photo of my new camera is that I've had to use my iPhone camera! If anyone has any tips for taking great photos out and about I'd love to know.

Beauty: Nail Art #2

I still haven't got around to buying any nail wraps to have some of the amazing nails I keep seeing on Pinterest and Instagram, but I'm getting OK at painting some simple designs by myself. This is my latest attempt and below is how to achieve the look yourself in a handy step-by-step guide. Let me know if you give it a go!

Pick your lightest colour as your base coat. Make sure this is fully dry before you continue.

Using your palest colour, paint one thin line about 3/4 of the length of the nail.

Paint a second line about 3/4 the length of the original line.

Paint a third line about 3/4 the length of the second line, leaving a bit of the original base colour showing next to it.

Using your darkest colour, repeat the process on top of the pale colour. Ta-dah!

I used Avon Nailwear Pro+ in Coral Reef, Topshop Nails in Jewel in the Crown, and Topshop Nails in Gone Fishing.

Purse Palpitations: Week 3

Verging on sheer obsession with all of these things this week.

The colour, the pleats, the buttons. Oh god! And only £16 from Matalan!
I am mega stud, hear me roar! £15 from ASOS.
I need this for Bestival with some denim cut offs. Need. £24 from Olive.
I think I can finally embrace the floral trousers trend with these. It's taken a while. £48 from Motel.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review