Sunday, 14 December 2014

12 Days Of Christmas Must Haves: Day 7 The Winter Coat

Ah the winter coat. I'm still dithering around it. I've not committed to a winter coat yet this year, I know welcome to my shopping list. I've narrowed it down to two which for me is a big deal I normally mull over it for months and then it's summer and there's no point any more. So my picks for the winter coats are one of these two beauts.

Ah the Collectif Pearl Coat, I've actually been dribbling over this online for ages but every time I cave and go to buy it it's out of stock. So I'm not sure if it's a sign or just a seriously popular coat.

Second up is the purple furry duffle from Marks and Spencers, I tried this on in store and took some pictures to try and work out if it was a good'un. I think so. These are my favourites anyway.
Tell me your favourite and also have you picked your winter coat yet?

Much Love and Furriness

Thursday, 11 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 6 Molly's Pick

One of the fun things about the 12 Days of Christmas Must Haves is that I don't just get to pick my favourites, I get to pick the favourites for the whole house. This one is Molly's.
Pure dehydrated dog food, it's totally dehydrated good edible food, that if you wanted you could eat. Molly's favourite is the chicken dinner, it has carrots, potato, chicken and green beans in it. You rehydrate it with some warm water then you have 10-15 really painful minutes to wait.

I say painful because Molly totally loses her mind, and cries inconsolably whilst simultaneously paw punching the cupboard her bowl is above. It has resulted in a broken cupboard but also me and himself trying to be really sneaky when we make it, waiting till her back is turned and trying to distract her with teddies. The mournful cries would make you think we were being mean to her but no, just trying to feed her.

 Best thing about it, is a little box goes a long way. One scoop is added to one scoop of water and that's dinner. So in our house this goes down very well, it also helps with your pup's digestion so in all it's very good and very lovely but I warn you it may make your barky babe go a bit mad.

Thats all from me guys, gals and pups!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 5 The Perfect Infallible Liner

Lets face it girls, any vintage lovers out there will know the importance of a non budging ultra black liquid liner to do cat flicks. I seem to have the worst eyes for eyeliner, all these non smudging liners just turn to messes on my eyes. You name it and I've spent a fortune trying it. You can bet it will be blotted above my eye in a mess by the end of the day. 24 hour liner? Nah more like 24 minutes before it's a disaster. It actually made me stop wearing my winged liner because I just couldn't rely on it not to be all over my face during the day. It is one of the reasons I don't wear lipstick, because the constant maintenance doesn't appeal, I'm not a girl who takes a make up bag out with me, mostly it is just lip glosses bumping around my bag.

So when I was in Sephora in Las Vegas on a whim I decided to buy a pen liner from Stila, it came in a huge amount of colours and I thought it looked interesting. So I bought it, and I'm very glad I did.
It's called Stila, Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner!

It comes in 15 Shades and it has a lovely felt tip edge that makes it dead easy to apply. There's nothing worse than an overly rigid liner tip as it makes life harder. This one has a lovely flexible tip that means you can swoop down onto the lash line from the flick. Dead easy and dead quick!

There's also the added benefit of having fifteen different colours, so you can get liners in every colour you want!

I'm bulk buying these, moss green and absolute black are my favourites!

Best liquid eyeliner around!

Much Love

Friday, 5 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 4 The Ghost In The Detail

Day 4 and we're talking detail, more specifically detail on your Christmas dresses. Christmas is the time where you can get away with anything, and you really should enjoy that but for a lot of people they're running from work to a party or they're having to get party ready at work. 
I wanted to show you this dress by Ghost as it is totally vintage inspired multi-purpose.
 Inspired by the 1940's the dress is a cross between tea dress, wrap dress and multi-purpose`dress.

The back is utterly stunning though. 

This is the Ghost Allison dress, you can get away with wearing it to work with a blazer or cardigan, then take it off in the evening to show off the back detailing and the sheer front detailed panels and the pulled in waist. Swap out your office shoes and tights for heels with colour and bare legs, and you're done.

It was shorter on me than I would normally wear, but I am 5'11 so adjust accordingly. I'd say on most girls it will be knee length. 

The front sheer panels echo the back but the neckline is a V shaped faux wrap style.

Super versatile little dress, make sure you have a black dress that is versatile for the upcoming party season!

Much Love

Thursday, 4 December 2014

12 Days Of Christmas Must Haves: Day 3 Vintage Kiko Hinge Frame

Day 3 of the Must Haves and we are into homewares, one of my favourite things. As you all know Inanity Towers is in the process of being decorated so I like things that are a little unusual and special. 
Today it's these really fabulous Kiko zinc frames from Rose and Grey

I really liked these because of how unique they are, they open up on glass hinges surrounded by zinc hardware it means that you can sandwich pictures and keepsakes between the glass. From photos, to flowers and ticket stubs you can make whole time capsules in these frames.

They're really perfect for gifts as you can create scrapbooks of sorts inside them. One of the things that drew me to them was their updated take on the classic vintage Edwardian hanging frame. One of the ways this is done is with the material hangers.

The material by Kiko is actually strung with a recycled sari tie, meaning that your frame has had a life of its own at one point. They are perfect for shabby chic decor, but because of their clarity and the zinc surrounds you can get away with them in most rooms. Mine are going in my bedroom, I'm going to buy a selection of different sizes and create little capsules, from our honeymoon tickets, to our wedding menus, the tickets of the movie from our first date. Paintings I've done and paintings we love will all be up there. They're a lovely addition. Check them out!

Much Love

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

12 Days Of Christmas Must Haves: Day Two Soho's Alternative Christmas Wear

It's day two and we're talking clothing! If you missed yesterday you can check it out here. Today though I'm all about Christmas fashion. There has been a crazy upsurge in the last few years for ugly Christmas jumpers, in fact the uglier the better. Last year I sported a rather pretty little black pug Christmas jumper but that has been the closest I've got to the trend. 

 Due to this, I wanted to put together two little looks which you can wear at Christmas as a really simple pretty alternative to the festive horror that is the Christmas jumper.

I selected these pieces for your Christmas Day from the fabulous alternative store Sohos who stock these fabulous retro inspired looks. I seem to bulk buy my Hellbunny dresses from them as they always have the new lines immediately when they come out so the popular sizes and colours aren't gone, if I told you my many tales of woe where I had wished for the foresight to bulk buy dresses I love before they disappear, but I digress. Back to the clothing.

The dress is by Voodoo Vixen, it's the Susie Meow Dress in red. 
The plaid style polka dots and wide collar are really festive, I've teamed it with the Banned Faux Fur Collar Green Cardigan, to really bring the Christmas into the look. The Susie Meow dress is a woollen material and the XL that I'm wearing is a UK 12. There is no give to the material at all, so if you're in doubt size up as it is very true to size. Sohos have size charts below their items anyway so you can check your measurements against the fit.

The cardigan has a detachable faux fur leopard print collar which is totally adorable. I took it off to style this dress as the Susie Meow has it's own wide retro collar.

As for the accessories, you guys all know I am obsessed with polka dots. I had to show you this, I'm wearing two different hair accessories, the red glitter bow was a gift from Claire from French for Cupcake, the black polka dot hair band is from Banned apparel and it's wired so that your little ties will stay jaunty. Anyone who wants to do the Brigette Bardot look, or wants an elaborate vintage updo with a band needs one of these. 

My second choice was the rather fabulous Whispering Ivy Sleeveless Keyhole Dress. You're gonna love this one for a variety of reasons but the main Christmas themed reason you're going to love it is because it STRETCHES. So when you've had that second helping of pudding, this dress will still be your friend. See I knew you would like that.

There's a little keyhole tie at the top, which can we just say right now is adorable and a little cheeky.

I asked my husband to take a picture of the body of the dress and got this, well he did take a picture of the dress I suppose. One of the benefits of the stretchy fabric is that it doesn't restrict any of your assets but if you're gifted in the chest region be aware of this especially if you like a little control in the chest. Adjust underwear accordingly.

So girls those are my two adorably alternative Christmas outfits, one is warm and plaid for carol singing, the other is stretchy and a little saucy for a big dinner and some drinks and of course you have your cute cardigan to keep you cosy. Perfect and retro themed. 

You can check out the guys at Sohos here if you want to pick up your vintage goodies.

Much Love

Monday, 1 December 2014

12 Days Of Christmas Must Haves: Day 1 MixPixie

The 12 Days of Christmas Must Haves is back! Every year we bring you my favourite stores, items and vintage orientated gifts for Christmas. This year is no different, and we're starting with the fabulous MixPixie and their retrofabulous mixtape mp3 players. I loved this as a stocking filler for the guys and so in that vein I've asked Himself to review this, as he's a writer I figured he shouldn't be too put out! 

I stood on the Ballymoney to Belfast platform looking down at my left hand.  Contact Support, Error 5, Contactez le support technique.  It was Friday 30th September 2013 and my 120GB Microsoft Zune had packed in while in the middle of Dennis Wilson’s Farewell which, despite the tragic loss, was not without a degree of irony.
Farewell my friend
My beautiful friend
This meant that I had to listen to train noises… damn.  Since then I’ve flirted with several different MP3 players without ever really committing.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an Apple hater.  I own an iPhone… 6 Plus don’t you know!  But at the time of purchasing my first Zune (32GB) the iPod was fat, clunky and worked in the same way a payphone in classical Noir did.  The Zune offered something different and then it was gone.  Dead. 

It was another Friday when the missus presented me with the tiniest little cassette tape I ever did see.  One branded “Himself’s Mix”, I assumed it was for me and thanked her accordingly.  I’m a slightly OCD kinda guy so when considering how to go about loading, listening and reviewing I opted for keeping it loyal to the era of the quirky yet antiquated appearance – which is my round the houses way of saying everything that went upon its little frame was once available on cassette.  Hello classic rock!  My other beautiful friend.
What Mix Pixie do really well with this little MP3 player is compress much into little.  The cassette tape is barely 2.5cms wide, smaller than the smallest Nano, but delivers an easy to use, easy to store music archive.  Once fully charged (it may take two hours) the Mix Tape will commence playing your beats immediately.  Those of you who remember The Breakfast Club un-nostalgically will be more than familiar with the functionality adorning the front of the cassette.  Stop – back – pause/play – forward.  Unsurprisingly this user interface throws up a couple of “problems” that Generation Duckface will find impossible to comprehend; these being the user’s inability to programme playlists or simply browse through tracks without playing Name That Tune… which is a reference they won’t get either.
For me this wasn’t necessarily an issue that I couldn’t get over.  I’m not only a lover of all the music I would put on my MP3 player but also (mentioned above) a lil bit OCD so if I were, for example, loading up my Mix Tape with “the hottest band in the world” KISS!  It would be their discography, likewise ACDC, Blue Oyster Cult or Motorhead.  I’m in it for a good time and a long time (not to mention will name that turn in three, Lionel).  

The actual biggest issue is the battery life, which is understandable really when you’re used to hitting play as you leave the house in the morning and only dare tap stop when you’re back through the door having clocked up another day/another dollar (minus tax, National Insurance and pension contributions).  The three hour battery life is impressive for its size but the fact that you can’t charge and play is a little bit of a tearjerker and leads to much silence on an eight hour day.  Don’t confuse this issue with a bad review, or bad product - I am impressed by the little gem.  One thing that really bowled me over was the consideration the design team gave to memory.  The Mix Pixie MP3 player comes with a 2GB Micro SD card which is enough for 12 KISS albums, not massive I know but if you were to invest less than a tenner on a 32GB Micro SD card you’d suddenly be rivalling iPods valued in the high three figures (for capacity, if not battery life).
If there’s someone who is a little technologically impaired (I’m not by the way) or a little rough with their tech (my younger brother was known as Iron Hands from the age of 3 to 22) this is a great little gift for them.  
Low in sticker price, high in potential with more than a waft of memories of an era when Laserdisc, Mini Disc and Zune hadn’t even been thought of, let alone sneered at with derision.  A fantastic, fun music player and the perfect little companion for getting from A to De-troit Rock City!

Well folks that's all for day one of the Must Haves! Come back again for Day two tomorrow!

Much Love

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Read All About It: Inanity and the Girl Hits Vintage Life

I've been a big fan of Vintage Life for a long time now, mainly because it's a totally vintage orientated magazine full of clothing, style, tutorials, baking, crafts, make up and general gorgeousness. One of the best things is that there's no body loathing to common in women's magazines, just loads of amazing vintage loving girls celebrating their style and their talents.

So as you can imagine I'm delighted to be featured in their December issue as their Blogger of the Month.

They asked me questions about blogging, vintage style and my best and worst vintage buys! 
You guys know how much I hate having my photo taken so it has been a really big push for me to actually put photos of myself out there, actually to stand and have them taken was tough enough.
I am really chuffed to be in the magazine though, I have been quickly flipping past my pages because I can't look too long at pictures BUT I'm delighted! It's a really big jump for me.

Thanks to the guys at Vintage Life for having me this month, and do check out the magazine because it is terrific especially for vintage lovers 

Much Love

Calling Dr Love: Dr Martens Opens in Belfast's Cornmarket

Wall art in Dr Martens store by Visual Waste

You only have to say Dr Martens to instantly have a mass of references to rich historical punk culture. Anarchy in the UK, skinheads, safety pins, Sex Pistols, youth culture are all evoked by the iconic sole and yellow stitching. 

As a vintage loving blogger I've been aware of the brand for a long time, I had my own pair of shoes when I was about 12, but never quite got past the initial breaking in point. That's the thing, Dr Martens are an investment, they're an evolving narrative on your feet. They have to be nurtured like a sourdough starter when you first get them, broken in, after all no pain no gain. The shoes will change, the leather will mold to you, the soles will start to bear the imprints of your steps and they will last for years. Bearing in mind how many I have seen in vintage stores, I'm lead to believe, like tortoises they might live for 100 years.

An actual (shock horror ) picture of me! I'm trying to get over my camera aversion!
Madden dress from Hellbunny

I was invited to the opening of the brand spanking new Dr Martens store in Belfast's Corn Market. The brand Dr Martens and Belfast do seem like a natural fit, both with origins in industry, manual work and of course Belfast's massive youth population. It was great to see the brand in an arena that was synergistic for it. 

Classic and new styles, studded bags, brogues from A/W 14 collection

The store opening was a fantastic event, gorgeous food by Love and Death Inc, little cups of fish and chips, burgers, ribs, had I a couple of extra hands I would have tackled them all. Farmageddon took charge of the beers with their own brew, which like the boots in question had a fabulous kick.

One of the things visitors to the store may be previously unaware of is the range of items Dr Martens have.

The tartan punk aesthetic is still strong, embroidered boots, my favourite saddle bag and the introductory chat at Dr Martens 

There is a considerable amount of clothes interspersed in store with the classic and contemporary boots and shoes. Dresses, bomber jackets, shirts and bags are all represented to create a really strong aesthetic for the brand. The launch was really in tune with Belfast culture, the wall design which runs up two floors, was done by Visual Waste, with punk rock legend Terri Hooley in pride of place.

Terri Hooley with Claire from French for Cupcake and the outside of the new Dr Martens store

Terri Hooley is a Belfast legend of the music scene, for those of you who are unaware of him, he is a punk legend. He ran the record store and label Good Vibrations which is also the name of the 2012 film about him. So it was quite a big deal for me and many others to be standing in the store which oozed punk vibrancy sipping on a beer and watching Terri Hooley play The Undertones' Teenage Kicks as part of his DJ set. Terri's face is also emblazoned on a fabulous pair of 1490 original boots which are in a glass case at the cash desk for anyone who wishes to get some punk boots.

I was asked to select a pair of Dr Martens and decided to style them. I wasn't sure what to go for, should I go for the brogue style, or the heeled Mary-Janes or go back to basics? In the end I went about as classic as possible, with the black 1460 8 eyelet boots. I wanted to style them with my usual tea-dress, and enjoy the full impact of the cultural statement the boots make. I do think they add a grunge element to pretty dresses and I love that.

Molly of course photobombs very ably, she's probably just so shocked that I'm actually in a picture. 

Dr Martens launch with Terri Hooley on the decks, the fabulous Beano boots and my outfit for the night. Pink tights and skulls were my nod to Vivienne Westwood's version of punk.

Dr Martens have launched a campaign asking all their wearers to tell them what they stand for. You can join in their #STANDFORSOMETHING campaign by taking a picture of you in your DMs and telling us what you stand for.

On the night of the launch the question was asked 'what does Belfast stand for?' The best answer was DEFIANCE, this was then added to the mural on the walls of the store.

In writing about the launch I had to think about what I stood for, I narrowed it down to three things:

Tell me what you stand for on twitter if you aren't all collapsed in shock that I've actually appeared in pictures!

Much Love


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