Squirrelled Away

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sohomode dress

 Dress: Sohomode

Tights: Big W

Shoes: Miz Mooz

Happy Easter, everyone. I hope you’re all enjoying your weekends, long or otherwise, and you’ve been able to spend it with those you love, and/or plenty of chocolate.

I’m three days into a four day weekend myself (yay!) but have unfortunately spent two of them incapacitated with a migraine (boo!). They’re usually brought on by stress, so instead of attending to my Great Big List of Things To Do I prescribed myself a few days of Lilli-time and spent a lovely day today catching up with friends for leisurely meals and a movie.

This year (I can’t believe we’re already knocking at May’s door) is passing at terrifying speed and it just occurred to me that I have a birthday coming up in less than a month. It’s hard not to feel apprehensive about it; the last few have been anticlimactic for various reasons, and this one will obviously be particularly poignant. I’m not anywhere close to where I thought I’d be at this time in my life. In fact I’m further away than I’ve ever been from achieving my personal life goals, and it’s hard not to feel frightened that they’ll remain out of my reach forever.

Still, if The Year of Sheer Awfulness taught me anything, it’s that a LOT can change in a few short months, and I’m still hopeful that the next path I choose to take will finally be the one that leads me towards the future that I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember.

Meanwhile, this year’s birthday couldn’t possibly be as bad as the last one, when (in keeping with the spirit of the year) I gave myself a spectacular black eye. I feel like I’m on solid ground for the first time in a long while. My sister is well, my family is strong. I have my incredible friends around me, a home that I love, and a job that I’m valued in. Plus I just got voted into the Kidspot Voices of 2014, so things are looking up.

And look! I’m showing my knees! Sort of. In tights. It still counts.

This cute little shift dress was a gift from the most wonderful Louise at Sohomode (whose generosity and warm welcomes were always a highlight of my visits to NYC). It’s a much more versatile and modern cut that her traditional 50′s-style tea-dresses, but still has all the elements that I love about her range: Carefully curated vintage cotton fabrics, beautiful finishing, and pockets (pockets!).

I love it with tights and boots in winter. It can be layered over skinny jeans or under a long cardigan for added warmth as the days turn cooler. In summer it’s light enough to wear with cropped leggings, or (if you’re less knee-shy than I) bare-legged.

She picked this one out especially for me, on account of the little squirrel mascot who sits on my hip.

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Around my neck I’m wearing a necklace that my mum and I spotted a few months ago when we were trawling through a craft market together. It caught my eye, and the jeweller promised me was the “key to my future happiness”.

Whilst I don’t believe that happiness can come from external forces, I’m happy to wear a symbol that reminds me that I alone can unlock it in my heart.

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Twinkle Twinkle

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Dress: Monsoon

Shoes: Shoe Buy

It was a very dear friend’s O-birthday a short while ago, and the theme was “formal”.

After moving so many times in the Year Of Sheer Awfulness (as 2013 shall henceforth be named) I culled my wardrobe down to essentials (sort of, anyway) and all of my “formal” type dresses were deemed “non-essential” and got donated or re-sold.

SO! Never one to pass up the opportunity to indulge in something I’ve had my eye on for a while, I decided to try and track down the Skylark sequin dress that I’d seen on Monsoon a couple of years ago, but never bought on account of not wanting to look like a giant mirror ball.

There’s probably not a lot of opportunities to wear an all-over sequin dress, even if the sequins are of a flattering matte silvery-gold type variety, rater than the blingy mirror-shine variety. I figured a “formal” dress code was probably my best bet.

Fortunately there’s still quite a few of these kicking around on eBay for a steal, so I snapped up one in what I was optimistically hoping would be my size.

Unfortunately the top half appeared to be about three sizes bigger than the bottom half, and though it fit perfectly at the waist and hips my – not insubstantial – bosoms failed to fill out the billowing bodice.

I don’t know if it’s a Monsoon fit issue (I’ve never had this problem with them before, but it’s been years since I bought from them) or an attempt to get some draping action going, but I decided I needed to have it taken it by a professional tailor.

When it came back I decided I quite loved it, and with the addition of some spangly jewellery and high heels I fit right in at the birthday party. In fact, the birthday girl and I inadvertently matched in a sequinned dresses (hers in an absolutely outstanding blue) and side buns.

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The earrings that I wore were some cheapies from Colette Dinnigan’s collaboration with  Lovisa. Sort of deco-esque, and the subdued bling suited the dress perfectly.

I pulled the rhinestone bracelets that I’d bought for – well, you know – out of storage as well and stacked them up. I love the look of several worn at once, and more is more right? They definitely won’t be going back into their boxes any time soon, they’re so gorgeous they deserve to see the light.

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