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Style inspiration: Clarissa Explains It All

Who else remembers this show? I used to watch Clarissa Explains It All on Nickelodeon back in the day, and I completely idolised Melissa Joan Hart. Even then I loved what she wore. I insisted that I wanted to wear stripy tights under shorts with a big floppy velvet hat to non-school uniform day, and my ever wonderful mum let me as well! The other day I had a search on YouTube for old episodes and was so excited to find some.

I had no idea that I would still find Clarissa's wardrobe iconic and inspirational, even 20 years later! Excuse the dodgy screen grabs, but these are some of my favourites from my recent trip down memory lane.

Check out that shirt! Native American influenced patterns with embroidered collar. Awesome.

Denim dress with braces? Clarissa might as well be the face of ASOS right now.

I love me a patterned white jumper and with a full skirt Clarissa looks ace once again. A big chunky gold watch makes me wish I was this 12 year old.

A band tee and plaid shirt is essentially what every fashion magazine is telling me I should be wearing this Autumn. But I think I'm more interested in those AMAZING leggings. 
With all the 90s chic and grunge influence in high fashion and on the high street right now, Clarissa explains it all when it comes to being on trend. Time to settle down with some more episodes on YouTube!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

I was brought up on a healthy diet of Roald Dahl stories, and even as an adult I still revisit the quirky and bizarre fantasy world created by him for a quick read. Aside from The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was my favourite and when I saw this afternoon tea announced I was so excited. Hosted at One Aldwych, it's to celebrate the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical in London and the menu is enough to make your mouth water. Get ready to be jealous!

The menu had cute drawings of different characters from the book. I had the Gloop family which was pretty fitting considering how much I was about to wolf down.

We sat in beautiful high backed chairs and I tried to look as much like a golden ticket as possible in my favourite vintage skirt. I even did some Willy Wonka themed nail art, what do you think?!

But no-one cares about that, it's all about the food here. We started with a selection of sandwiches (no crusts of course), an amazing tomato tart and awesome mini leek and stilton quiches, all washed down with caramel tea which was surprisingly delicious.

And so to the sweets. Oh my god. There was chocolate caramel milk, candy floss, chocolate golden egg with vanilla cheesecake and mango filling and mini eton mess. That was one side. Then we moved on to scones with clotted cream and berry jam, blueberry brioche (my favourite from the day) and cocoa bean financiers - that's a really good brownie to you and me.

The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea is at One Aldwych until 31st December and is £29.50 per person. Book your reservation online here. You won't regret it!

What I Bought from Kiehl's

When Kiehl's set up a 20% discount pop-up in your office for one day only it would be rude not to buy anything, right? I've never tried anything from Kiehl's before but I've heard great things about their face masks. It turns out I happened to be in the market for a new facial wash and eye cream so this seemed as good an opportunity as any to try something new.

After a couple of days I can confidently say that I lovelovelove the Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser. It has an iridescent look to it and has a creamy consistency. Unlike other cream facial washes I've used, it doesn't just turn to foam it stays creamy without being slippery. When I rinse it off it actually makes my face squeak because it's that clean, and it feels so soft. It helps keep my skin matte which is really needed at the moment as I'm trying to air out my skin by not wearing foundation. 

I'm not going to lie here; the words 'Younger looking eyes by morning' on the front of the Midnight Recovery Eye cream made it mighty tempting to buy. I've been using The Body Shop's Aloe Vera Eye Defence for the last few weeks but it is quite light and doesn't really feel like it's sinking in. This one from Kiehl's is much thicker and I don't feel like I have to use as much, but at the same time it doesn't feel like it's too heavy. It says it's fragrance free but I think it has a faint lavender smell which is quite pleasant. It's too early to tell if it's getting rid of my dark circles but I've got my fingers crossed!

Have you tried anything from Kiehl's? 

Check out what else is on my beauty wishlist on Pinterest

Running Shoes

In January I did the opposite of what everyone else was doing and quit my gym as I never had  time to go and £50 a month? Uh, no thanks. 

I'm still trying to do some exercise when I can though, it's just, I hate it. I'm lazy, I enjoy sitting down. I wouldn't class myself as a runner; I don't do it that often and I'm not that good at it, but I'm trying to rectify both of those things. I started off with a baggy tshirt and Converse but it was really uncomfortable and my knees and ankles pretty much hated me. At the same time I didn't want to invest in pricey sportswear when there's a high possibility of me giving up to continue my busy work of sitting down. 

After a bit of searching, I found eBay store Peach Sports which sells branded sportswear at a lower cost. I got these Adidas trainers for £27 and they arrived really quickly and actually don't look too bad! They're also the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn in my life which actually makes running a lot less painful than usual (although, let's be honest, it still bloody hurts). 

I haven't been able to run in such hot weather, but fully intend to start back up again when it's cooled down a bit. Any motivational tips would be greatly appreciated!

Purse Palpitations Week #14

Ding ding ding! The Celia Birtwell for Uniqlo collection is all in the sale and this great printed tee is currently a steal
T-shirt £7.90 Uniqlo

Camis seem to be the basic to own at the moment, with everyone and their mother owning the Topshop ones. River Island actually have a great selection too and they're cheaper.
Cami £15 River Island

H&M Sportswear is my favourite on the high street and they keep bringing out new pieces that maintain that status. This sports bra is a new must-have.
Sports bra £12.99 H&M

These T-Bar Points are such a fabulous shape and the pastel shade is perfect to see out Summer with some boyfriend jeans
Heels £68 Topshop

Mesh Inserts

The peek-a-boo style of mesh inserts is all over the high street right now, showing a tiny bit of skin all wrapped up in a monochrome palette. It's tasteful with a mix of punk and would fit right in with a flash of tartan or some strategically placed safety pins. Here's my pick of the best on the high street right now, and one far too pretty designer item that just couldn't be missed out.

Bralet, River Island - £10

Midi skirt, New Look - £14.99

T-shirt, Tophop - £20
Dress, House of Liza at Farfetch, £420

Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray

Oh, hot weather! We all want it to come and then when it does there's nothing but complaining. I love it when the sun is out, but there are two things I struggle with: over heating and make-up slipping.

I bought this small 50ml size of Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray on Escentuals for just £2.80. I got it mainly to use as a setting agent for make-up, something I've never used before. It is great for fixing my powder based foundation, but I forgot the first time to let my mascara dry before spraying it, giving myself pretty impressive panda eyes! 

I took this on holiday to Spain with me and kept it in my beach bag throughout our time there. It was the most cooling and refreshing thing to use when even a parasol gave no respite for the heat. Just a light most of it over my face was enough. 

The best thing I've used this product for though is sunburn. I've never had sunburn before and my god I hope I never get it again. I never knew that showering could hurt! When I was lying in bed, the thin sheet I slept under was enough to irritate the sunburn. In desperation I tried the spray and it was a revelation! I cannot recommend it enough for irritated and sore skin and it's definitely going to be a must-have beauty product to take on any holiday from now on. 

Gig Planning #1

I'm constantly planning which gigs I want to go to. There is always a band I love announcing tour dates, and there's very little that I enjoy more than experiencing live music. Here are the gigs I'm planning for and don't forget you can see what I'm listening to on Spotify here:

XOYO, 23rd Aug

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I can't remember where I first heard SebastiAn's 'Love In Motion' but it's a staple in any Favourites playlist I put together.
Buy tickets here.

Bitter RuinThe Garage, 7th Sept
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From them playing in my living room at university, down to the announcement that they're new manager is comedian Matt Lucas, I've been a long time supporter of the beautiful gothic duo Bitter Ruin. Make sure you check out 'Soundproof Box'.
Buy tickets here.

Au Revoir Simone
XOYO, 17th Sept
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I think the picture says it all about Au Revoir Simone. They're twee and cute, with a harpsichord and softly spoken vocals. My favourite is 'Sad Song'.
Buy tickets here.

Giant Drag
The Borderline, 17th Sept
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So so annoyed that Giant Drag are playing on the same night as Au Revoir Simone. I'm going to have to flip a coin. Typical indie at its best before it went off on a load of sub-genres. I love 'This Isn't It', but their cover of 'Wicked Game' is also ace.
Buy tickets here

Life: July, 2013

July was great. I got some much needed sun and managed to escape London for a fair chunk of the month. Life should be all about good food, good company and good booze in the sun!
The view of our hotel from the clifftop walk to dinner
My new perspex clutch looking good!
Beer and sunglasses
My view for a whole week

And after coming back from holiday I obviously had to comfort eat to cheer myself up. Lots of new discoveries and some baking fun happened this month. The summer berry loaf is a new favourite!
Monty Python ale?! Couldn't resist and strangely delicious
I don't like peanuts but these Walkers Sensations are amazing
Homemade summer berry loaf. Recipe from Domestic Sluttery
Yummy eggs benedict at Aubaine, Dover Street
 I also got out and about around the UK this month, with a trip to my university town of York and a few gigs including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Lots of fun things planned for August so keep eyes peeled right here!
The famous graffiti of York Uni (famous to any students anyway!)
I booked my ticket to Future Cinema's Dirty Dancing - so excited!
The clock at Somerset House ticks down to Edward Sharpe coming on stage
The beautiful and majestic York Minster
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review