Sunday, 23 July 2017

Festival Place Fashion Event 2017

Back at the end of April, before I went into hospital, I was invited along to the Festival Place Fashion Event in Basingstoke. I’ve been to it for the last couple of years, and it’s always a brilliant occasion with lots of opportunities to check out some new outfits, as well as beauty products. So, on Saturday 29th April, my Mum and I headed over to Basingstoke to enjoy the show!

The main part of the fashion event is a huge catwalk in the middle of the shopping centre. The models walked for different brands throughout the day, showing off the new season’s greatest picks. Stylist JP was the brains behind the outfits, picking some lovely SS17 trends to show off on the catwalk. First up was Debenhams, who had some gorgeous summer clothes and accessories. They included bright and colourful floral pieces, straw accessories and tropical prints. For the men, there were bright colour-block shorts paired with loud Hawaiian style shirts. Perfect for the summer ahead.

Next up were some outfits from Select, a store I’ve never really looked in before to be honest. These ensembles had a sporty vibe to them, with black, grey, white and red being the main colours. I thought they all looked great on the models, although I wasn’t sure about the socks and sandals! It’s probably not a fashion choice I will make.

The male models then followed, sporting some rather sexy suits from Moss Bros. This time, I wasn’t keen on the no socks look, but apart from that I thought they looked very dapper. These would be perfect for a summer wedding or a day at Ascot, especially with the slightly softer colours of navy and grey, rather than black.

After the men showed off their smart suits, it was the ladies turn to showcase their wedding ready looks, this time from Oasis. I’ve always loved the clothes that Oasis makes – they’re really good quality, look beautiful but are on the higher end of the affordable high street price range. The three models were wearing delicate floral dresses with the most awesome yellow flowery shoes. They really caught my eye and were a fun addition to the outfits.

The last brand on catwalk show number one was family favourite Next. It has always been one of my go-to shops for just about any occasion. Whether you’re looking for adorable baby clothes, cute outfits for children, smart pieces for work or more casual and comfy garments for those lazy days, Next pretty much has something for everyone. The theme of this part of the show was a sort of khaki jungle vibe with dark greens, beige, brown and white. I loved the lightweight green jacket and the two children looked fab in their nearly matching outfits.

As well as the catwalk, there was also a beauty lounge, where brands from Festival Place demonstrated their different products perfect for the approaching summer days. I was lucky enough to have a bit of a makeover from one of the lovely ladies from Clarins. I’ve heard a lot about Clarins over the years, but haven’t really tried out many of their products for some reason. So it was good to try some of their make-up products out, and I was particularly excited to wear one of their Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils. Oh my goodness do they smell (and taste!) amazing!

After my makeover with Clarins, my Mum and I went for a little wander around Festival Place to do some shopping and grab some lunch. We decided to go somewhere a bit different from our usual Costa/Starbucks, so went to CafĂ© Giardino for a sandwich (my Mum) and a jacket potato (me). Although it was pretty busy, the service was good and the food was nice, so I think it’s somewhere I would go again. We then had a look round some of the shops before going back to the Fashion Event for more fun.

By this time, Clarins had left and had been replaced by The Body Shop, who were displaying their new facemasks and some of their most popular skincare items. I was really excited to find out more about their new range of facemasks, which include a British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask and an Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask. They smell amazing and sound like they’re packed full of goodness to make your skin feel refreshed and renewed. The lovely lady from The Body Shop then showed me their liquid peel range, which I’d heard about but had never experienced myself. There were three different ranges – Drops of Youth, Drops of Light and Vitamin C. I got to try one out on the back of my hand and I can honestly say it made my skin feel amazing. Lastly, I had a look at a couple of their body creams from their Spa of the World range. The scents definitely reminded me of that fresh and relaxing spa smell and the indulgent texture was so thick and creamy; it just sunk into my skin.

Another catwalk was about to start, so we went back round to the seating area to see some more outfits styled by JP. I think the first brand in this show was River Island but I’m not 100%, so I apologise if I’m wrong. For this show, JP had styled the models with denim and complementary pieces. The young girl wore some adorable dungaree shorts, which I think would look awesome in adult sizes too! And the male models paired their jeans with blue shirts and clean white trainers.

Warehouse were the next brand to show some outfits and they followed on with the blue theme perfectly. I loved the light blue shirtdress, which looked effortlessly cool and would be spot on for a warm summer’s day. The white sliders would also be really easy to dress down for the beach or dress up for going out in the evening.

Next up was New Look with some rugged and rock chick offerings for the audience. Ripped jeans, leather jackets, animal t-shirts, fishnet socks and floral embroidery probably doesn’t sound like a combination that would go together, but somehow JP managed to make them look good. I’m not sure I could pull off these outfits, but some of the individual pieces I would definitely pop in my basket. I particularly loved the embroidered denim jacked, the black and white rucksack and the green tinted sunglasses.

Superdry came next with their typical comfortable numbers. I’ve only ever really bought t-shirts, hoodies and coats from Superdry before, so it was nice to see how a whole outfit could by styled from there. The outfits for both men and women were simple yet stylish, with jeans in different forms (skirts, jeans and shorts), crisp white trainers and figure hugging tops for the ladies and branded t-shirts and jumpers for the men.

USC is a shop I’ve only ever really been into to look at trainers, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw they were showing outfits in the event. They stock a lot of sporty clothes, so all the outfits JP put together followed the sports-luxe theme. I was a big fan of the paint splatter Puma range, but unfortunately when we went to look in store they didn’t have any of the leggings from the range, which is what I was really looking for. Still, all the bright colours, tracksuits and comfy-ness were right up my street (although again, I wasn’t feeling the socks and sandals!)

Overall, my Mum and I had a really good day thanks to Festival Place and yet another great event. I would really recommend keeping an eye on their social media channels, as they’re always putting on fun events for all the family throughout the year and I’ve never been to a bad one yet! I really enjoyed seeing all the different outfits and getting some inspiration for my summer wardrobe, and it was lovely to speak to the ladies from Clarins and The Body Shop to find out more about their new products.

Did you go to the Festival Place Fashion Event? If not, what do you think of the idea? And which outfit is your favourite?

your photo name

Sunday, 16 July 2017

March Happiness Project Round-Up

If you’ve seen my last few posts like this, you will know that this year I decided to give my own Happiness Project another go after failing a bit with the last one I tried. If you’ve never heard of The Happiness Project before, you can check out my introduction to it here. I made a sort of bucket list for each month of things I would like to do and also national days I could celebrate. Some I came up with myself, and some I found on Pinterest. But I made sure not to put any pressure on myself to do them all because that would just take away from the whole idea of it being a project to increase my happiness! I said in that post that I would share my project with you over the year, so today I thought I would go through the things I did throughout March. I’m afraid I’m a bit behind with my posts (and videos) for this, but I’m gradually catching up!

First on my March list was to buy a pastel floral arrangement. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, something I have tried to include every month on my list is to buy some fresh flowers for my bedroom. So, each month I have specified the type of flowers to look out for – usually it’s something that fits with the time of year, and it gives me a reason to perhaps buy flowers I wouldn’t normally go for. I’m a big lover of pastel colours anyway, especially during the spring months, so this bouquet it definitely something I would pick out. I thought this mixed bunch of tulips from Waitrose were absolutely beautiful. I love that they have two different colours in each flower – I thought they were a bit more unusual than some of the others they had on the stand.

I have a ridiculous number of candles – in fact, I have a whole drawer dedicated to my candle collection (oops!) So I decided to set the goal of lighting spring candles for this month. I had a good look through my collection and picked out this Yankee Candle in Fresh Cut Roses, which just reminds me of a spring garden with all the flowers starting to bloom. Plus it’s pink, which obviously helps matters! It has quite a subtle scent when you burn it, but it’s enough to make you feel like spring is on the way. And it lingers even once you’ve blown out the flame, which I really like.

My next goal on my list was to do some spring-cleaning. Now, I did do a bit of this, but couldn’t really work out how to represent it in a photo, so you’ll have to trust me on this one! To be honest I clean, sort and tidy all year round, as I don’t like the idea of just leaving it until the spring. However, I think this time of year gives you the opportunity to perhaps do a bit more of a deep clean, so giving the house a blitz by vacuuming, mopping, dusting and turning out. Unfortunately I didn’t do as much as I would have liked, as my health and Uni got in the way, but the important thing was that I did something and that made me feel like I’d achieved something.

One of the things I was most excited to do from my list was to go and see some baby animals. There’s nothing cuter than tiny animals and the best time to see them is in the spring. So, I did a bit of research and found Finkley Down Farm, which isn’t too far away from where I live. I invited along my Mum, brother (David) and sister-in-law (Emma) and thankfully we chose a nice sunny March Saturday to head over. The whole farm was pretty easy to get around in my wheelchair and we saw so many gorgeous baby animals. I bottle fed a lamb, which was awesome, and we saw piglets, baby goats, chicks and ducklings – so cute! After our morning at the farm, we went for a little drive and found a lovely pub to have some lunch at.

Now we move onto the national days I managed to observe/celebrate in March. The 2nd of March was ‘World Book Day’ and the only thing I could really think to do was to read a book! I’ve been finding it hard to find the motivation or time to read over the last few months, so I made sure to go up to bed a bit earlier than I usually would so I could just relax a read a couple of chapters of this Cecelia Ahern book. It’s something I really want to make more of an effort to do because I absolutely love to read – it helps me to calm down in an evening. Plus I have a bookshelf absolutely jam packed full of books I’ve bought and not read yet!

Then, on the 24th of March came ‘Red Nose Day’. I didn’t do anything specifically for it – it kind of feels like once I stopped going to school I seemed to stop dressing up or doing silly things to raise money. Maybe I need to push myself to do something another year, although I do already do things to raise money and awareness for other charities. I was actually in hospital for day surgery on that Friday, but I did watch some of the programme on TV when I came home, and also caught up on some of the bits I missed (like James Cordon’s Car Pool Karaoke and the remake of Love Actually!) on my iPad.

Last but not least, on the 26th of March it was Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, because I’d only had my day surgery a couple of days before, I wasn’t really well enough to treat my Mum to lunch out or anything like that. I spent most of the day sleeping – not how I would choose to pamper my Mum on her special day! I had ordered her some flowers to be delivered though, which she seemed to really love, and I also gave her a card. Richard and Lisa came over for dinner in the evening, which was really nice even if I did have to keep resting. So hopefully I can treat my Mum to something a bit more special at another opportunity to make up for a bit of a quiet day.

So that was everything I managed to do in March. I feel like I didn’t manage much of my list, but like I said at the beginning of my post, this isn’t meant to be about doing everything, it’s a way to hopefully help me find happiness in the little things. So there were a few more things on my list that I didn’t get to do – I thought I would share them with you too, just in case you’re looking for ideas for your own list. I’m going to hold onto all these ideas and either fit them in as the year goes on, or do the project again next year! I’d love to hear your ideas of how you would celebrate this month’s list of ideas – maybe you’ll give me an idea for my next project. The goals I didn’t manage this month were:

·      Mint manicure and pedicure (I really need to start painting my nails!!)
·      Try a new salad recipe
·      Take a spring break (I wish!)
·      Sip Spring drinks
·      Feed the ducks
·      Visit a Farmer’s Market
·      National Bed Month (to be fair, I spent a lot of time in my bed, but I didn’t feel it really counted!)
·      Time for a Cuppa (Dementia) – 1st
·      British Pie Week – 6th
·      Spring Forward – 8th
·      Women’s Day – 8th
·      Barbie Day – 9th
·      Disabled Access Day – 10th
·      St Patrick’s Day – 17th
·      Macaron Day – 20th (I wish I’d had some to eat!)
·      International Day of Happiness – 20th
·      International Day of Forests – 21st

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing how I got on with my March Happiness Project. I’d love to hear your comments and it you’ve done/are doing a similar project I would love to hear all about it too! Keep an eye on my YouTube channel too for the video version of this post.

Have you done a Happiness Project before? What do you think of the idea?

post signature

your photo name