29 May 2015

Vintage Tiki inspired Home Decor from....Walt Disney World!

I haven't mentioned this on my blog yet somehow which is surprising but I AM GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! 

Yes, in October 2016 I will be heading state side with Amy, little Liv and Hayley to experience some Disney magic, hopefully with a bit of Harry Potter thrown in too.  It hasn't really sunk in properly just yet, but I am still really excited and I am pretty much going to be insufferable next year.

Now I have a holiday to pay for I have been trying to cut down on my spending as I have a lot of saving to do but god damn it's hard!  Especially when you follow bloggers that show you amazing clothes and great deals at every opportunity, so much temptation!  I know I shouldn't look, but I just can't help it.... While I was doing a bit of online window shopping I thought I'd start to look at the US Disney Store web site, which unlike the UK store that only sells Disneyland Paris merchandise, sells items directly from Disney World!  Admittedly the stock is very limited and nowhere near the amount of stuff you can pick up from visiting, but I did notice some stuff that caught my eye in an instant.

Now if you know anything about Disneyland/World at all you will know they have a famous attraction called The Enchanted Tiki Room.  Word of warning, I say the words 'Enchanted Tiki Room' a lot on this post!  I can't say it is one of my personal favourites, but I still enjoy going to watch the show nonetheless.  Because of this there is currently some really amazing Tiki inspired home decor for sale on their website and some of it doesn't look Disney-fied at all if that's not your thing.  Tiki was big in the 50's and I do love the style, especially in the Summer months. Here are my favorite items.

Now, you've got to love some Tiki style signage, and WDW has a couple of options here.  One thing I love about Disney merch is you can be as obvious or as subtle as you like.  Sure it's great to have stuff with Mickey Mouse splashed on it but sometimes it's good to have stuff that only those in the know will understand.  Call me a Walt Disney World hipster if you like.  So if you want to be subtle about things you can play it safe with this Aloha Isle Refreshments Wall Sign. To most people it's just a cool looking Tiki sign, but to those Disnerds in the group it will leave you dying for a Dole Whip (or three).  Of course if you want to blow all question out of the water you can just go straight for The Enchanted Tiki Room Wall Sign and really tell people what's up - I think both of these would look fab in a kitchen.

The Enchanted Tiki Room Cushion is another little piece that can spice up a room without being too Disney-fied.  The Enchanted Tiki Room Ceramic Bowl, Ceramic Tumbler and Mini Glass Set aren't presented as a set but they definitely all go together, you could have your meals in style playing a little nod to Disney with people none the wiser.  There is also a salt and pepper pot set I didn't include in these images that look pretty identical to the Mini Glass Set.

While we are on glassware these Adventureland Glass Tumbler's come in Olive and Amber (I think amber has to be my favourite), I love the almost tribal design and the twisted glass!  The Enchanted Tiki Room Tall Glass Tumbler's are a bit more of a traditional tourist item, still keeping the Tiki elements and showing off the famous birds.

We all need some decorative plates in our lives right?  No?  Well, I have to admit I hadn't thought about it before but just take a look at these!  The Adventureland Bamboo Plate is so pretty and I love the colours and design.  The Jungle Cruise and Splash Mountain plates are both based on Disney's attractions - the 'Everything is Satisfactual' one being a bit more subtle.  To me, it's instantly obvious what it refers to but I like that not everyone would know.  Lastly, this Enchanted Tiki Room Appetiser Tray and Bowl Set is great for having nibbles out of while you show your friends around your amazing Tiki inspired home!

I know this mixture of Tiki and Disney isn't for everyone, but I love it.  It's also not the cheapest (especially if you count in shipping and import tax), so I am just going to have to hope they are still around when I visit in 18 months time!  What do you think?  Nice or too Disney-fied?

26 May 2015

Trim Tuesday: The One With The Brake Through

 So this week something amazing happened, my parents went away Wednesday so I had a bit more control over what I ate. I decided to try and cut out all added sugar and guess what: I ACTUALLY LOST WEIGHT!!  

That's right, I finally actually lost some weight, in fact in the 6 days since they have left I have actually lost 4 pounds!  I am actually really happy with this, I think it's pretty good going.  I have never really tried calorie counting, I have always been a Slimming World girl when I have been trying to diet and although it is much more challenging on the whole, it's actually much better for doing things such as eating when I am away from home (which I tend to be a lot).

The not eating sugar part has been easier than I thought. Basically, I have been trying to not have any sugar at all except for fruit, which considering I don't really like fruit has meant I've not really eaten any at all.  I am a 100% sugar addict so I am really surprised at how often I have been checking packets and turning away from my favourite treats.  I actually was doing really well until this evening when my boyfriend made me an Eton Mess.  Woops, oh well I am hoping to carry on cutting back on sugar this week and see if I can try and stop my dependency on it.  It hasn't made me as emotional as I thought it would but it has made me sort of feel 'blah' about everything, no ups and downs, just completely level.  I hope this is something that will readjust when my body has reset itself.

This week I also tried the Swimming Pool at DW Fitness for the first time and  have to say it's pretty nice.  The layout is really good and it wasn't busy, I just wish there was some music on to keep me going as doing laps does get boring after a while.  They also have a steam room so I treated myself to some time in there afterwards, it was a good way to start the weekend.

I also wore my Weirdfish dress out of the house for the first time after my confidence boost from the weight loss.  It still shows off a bit too much of my tummy and hips at the moment but hopefully I will stay on the path and it will fit me perfectly by the end.  The dress is so, so soft, I don't know what they do to the material but it feels amazing.

Here's to hoping I have another good loss this week!


25 May 2015

Style Inspiration: 'Bad' Sandy

"Tell me about it, stud."

I don't know exactly when my love of all thinks retro started, but I do remember being fascinated with the fashions in Grease when I was young.  I thought all the kids were so rebellious and of course I found Sandy's dramatic change fascinating, especially to my 'goodie two-shoes' self.  Hey, maybe one day I could suddenly transform and be cool like her, I thought (you wouldn't have caught me smoking though - I was far too well behaved for that). 

 These days I find the concept of completely changing yourself to get the attention of a guy you're obsessing over a little problematic to say the least, but I still love the styles from this film.  Normally I am definitely more of a 'Hopelessly Devoted to You' Sandy then a 'You're the One That I Want' Sandy clothes-wise, but I thought I would push myself out of my comfort zone and see if I could harness my inner bad girl!

Going left to right the first thing you have to think about is the infamous jacket, sure she doesn't wear it for long, but tell me you wouldn't feel badass with it hanging over your shoulder!  I picked this Black Cross Stitch Biker Jacket by New Look because of the similar cut and also because of that collar.  If you want to feel really cool just pop it on and show some sass!

The 'off the shoulder' top is a staple of all 50's wardrobes and there are plenty of places you can pick them up. In particular I really like this Dolores Top in black by Collectif.  It's stretchy so it gives the perfect figure hugging effect and the buttons are a cute touch that bring the eyes upwards.  I am not a fan of gold jewellery, but these Gold Plated Twist Hoops by Clare's prove you can finish a look off while staying easily on budget.

Now onto the most important part of this look, Olivia Newton John famously had to be sewn into her trousers for this scene, now I am not suggesting you go that far, but these J Brand real leather Skinny's in Black* will bring you very close to that famous and incredibly sexy look.  Pull them on and wear them with pride, the high shine effect will really emphasise your assets.  

Now when it comes to shoes I think these Swedish Hasbeens Strap Sandal in red are really very close to those on the film.  They add a sexy pop of colour to the very dark outfit and add glamour while also being wearable so you're not going to trip up while attempting to strut your stuff.  Lastly, what is any retro inspired outfit without a belt of some kind?  This Black Belt by Avenue Memphis pulls you in at the waist and defines your figure and the detail in the centre draws the eye to the right place.

Would you get a hickey from Kenickie?

22 May 2015

The Anita Dress by Whispering Ivy

Hat: vintage 1950's, eBay
Necklace: charity shop
Dress: Anita Dress by Whispering Ivy £44.99*
Bag: Primark, old 
Sunglasses: Primark, last season
Shoes: Marks and Spencers

I spotted this dress when I was at London Edge back in February on the Whispering Ivy stall as part of their upcoming summer season.  I was lucky enough to see the first sample before it was released to the public and this dress particularly stood out to me because of the neckline.  I love a sweetheart neckline and this has a slightly altered version of that style that is higher and more square.  It's a style that is often seen on genuine vintage but rarely found these days even in reproduction vintage clothing, so I was really excited when I saw this.  

Now normally I am not a fan of overly floral dresses, a few years ago I wouldn't have been seen in one, but in the summer they are practically an essential.  I really like the floral design on this dress because of the colours and I think the flowers actually look really exotic. I don't know anything about flowers, but I want to say they look Hawaiian?  I could be totally wrong.

The material is medium weight and really soft, comfortable and zipless. It fastens by simply adjusting with the bow so you can have your waist as defined as you like.  One thing I will say is that in these photos I tied the bow too tight and it ended up being slightly unflattering on me as the waist has a longer line that is more fitted down to the hips.  I have since worn it a bit looser and it has been much more flattering to my figure.

One thing to be cautious of with this dress is the sizing.  I initially ordered a medium which should be a 12, as currently with my weight gain I am around a 12-14.  However at this size the dress drowned me; it wasn't just a bit big - it was massive (and no bow tightening could fix that)!  Luckily I reordered in a small and it's a pretty good fit.  It was still a bit large when I tried it on, but the bow fixed that no problem.  I would definitely check the size chart before ordering as it seems that a lot of their dresses have different sizings.

I have attempted to accessorise this dress, but I am not sure that I am totally happy with it (I could do with a stylist)!  I think I ended up looking a bit too much like I an old lady going to a horse race or something!  I got the vintage hat from eBay a while ago and I have been struggling to find an outfit to wear it with.  All these accessories I have had for a while and am trying to find a new way of displaying them in my room so they don't get forgotten about in the bottom of a jewellery box!

How would you wear this dress?
Dress provided free of charge for review purposes, all opinions are honest and my own

19 May 2015

Trim Tuesday: DW Fitness, First Impresions

This week I finally made it up to DW Fitness and I have to say, I was impressed.  When I got there a woman showed me around all the equipment and explained the classes on offer and pool etc before leaving me to it.  The facility in Barnsley is really modern and clean looking compared to the council gyms I have attended before and even more importantly, a hell of a lot quieter.  

Every time I went to the local gyms in our area you were always fighting over equipment, it was also full of gangs of lads and was rather intimidating (I spend all my time at the gym hoping no one notices me and my red face!) but even right after work that wasn't an issue here.  Now, this gym is more exspensive then the others in the area so I am not sure if that is the only reason but not only was there enough equipment and but the atmosphere was so friendly.  After testing out the equipment and some of the free weights I bumped into a friend who told me she was on her way to an abs class and asked me to join.  Sure I thought, abs workouts are actually my fave, how hard can it be?

I should have realised when the class was full of men that this wasn't going to be easy, how often to you see men in a gym class?  Basically never.  Then all the weights came out and the hardcore session began.  Damn it was hard, but I actually loved it, I think I later described it to my friend as a pleasant torcher.  It was hard work and truth be told I wasn't very good but the instructor was very motivational and corrected me when necessary.  Four the following four days I was scared to cough for fear of my sore stomach mussels, It actually made me feel really proud, I could actually tell I had worked out!

In short, I am really impressed, the biggest thing for me is the atmosphere, I can't put my figure on why it is but taking away that feeling of paranoia that I always get in the gym made me really comfortable and ready to try new things.  

Have you tried anything new this week?

18 May 2015

1950's inspired homeware bargains for under £5!

It's official: I am in nesting mode.  I am currently living at my parent's but I can't stop buying stuff for a home I do not yet own.  The sensible part of my brain tells me to stop spending, but I figure while retro/50's style stuff is in the shops, I may as well take full advantage of it.  There are some amazing finds on the high street at the moment.  Here are just some of the things I have picked up lately.

First of all, I never thought I would be buying homeware from Poundland and yet here we are.  I absolutely hate cooking but baking I can just about manage (not that I am much better at it)!  All of these items cost just £1 (obviously) from Poundland and there's much more in a range of pretty pastel colours.  

This combination has got to be one of my favourites. As you might have realised, I am loving mint green at the moment so this set is so cute.  The ice cream scoop is £1.50 from Primark,; the shop in my town is really small so they don't normally have any home stuff at all so I was over the moon to find this.  The two ice cream dishes?  Well, those are from the 99p Shop (yes you read that right), and were both in a set for just 99p!  They are plastic but I think they are really pretty - plus it means I can't break them!

I have been working on a project for my 'one day' home that involves vintage Disney poster-style postcards and these white vintage inspired frames.  I want them all to look similar without matching and these are the three I have so far.  If you know where I can get more let me know!  One is from Poundland, one from Wilko and one from Asda, between £1-£4.  

I got this wooden pastel bunting from Asda for just £1 and I actually wish I had gotten more because I don't think they are selling them now and it's so pretty!  The Dream Big decoration and green photo holder are both £3 from Primark.

Now to add some quirkiness into the mix!  When I saw this Pineapple cup on the Bow & Crossbones website I knew I had to have it and it's going to be so perfect for drinking in the garden in the summer.  It's the most expensive of my items at £4.99 and completely worth it!  Lastly, this vintage powder puff bowl will look perfect on my dressing table when I finally choose one, I picked it up on Ebay for £3.

Where do you buy homeware?

14 May 2015

Meet Peggy-Sue!

That's right, I got my first car!  She's a little retro looking cutie so I have named her Peggy-Sue after the famous Buddy Holly song!  I got my car Monday night right after work so I have been taking a couple of hours a night after work to try and practice my driving, meaning I seem to have neglected everything else including my poor blog!  I am hoping to get up to date with everything over the weekend as I have some really great things to share with you coming up!

My little fiat 500 is of course, mint green because I am obsessed with this colour, in fact when I went to pick it up I had mint green glasses, glasses case, dress, and drink!  

What was your first car?

12 May 2015

Trim Tuesday: Week 7

Well I am pretty sure this week my weight has stayed the same, which considering that I have been away to France with work most of the week and had very little control over what I was eating (and spent most of the time in the car) that isn't too bad.  This post will be short and sweet as I only got back from France really late Sunday and was straight into work yesterday before picking up my new car (woop woop) and getting my head around that so I have had very little sleep!

This upcoming week should be the start of some really positive changes.  I have more time for the gym and I am doing nothing at the weekend that doesn't completely take over my diet, I am going out for two meals but that should be manageable.  I can't wait to really get stuck in, one of my new dresses felt really tight today, I really need to try and drop that dress size, and now I have my pretty new car I need to make even more of an effort to get my ass in gear and exercise.

How has your week been? 


8 May 2015

The Hot Topic Minnie Mouse Dress

We are finally at the end of my Hot Topic haul!  Can you believe I have spread this out over 4 months?  That's the main problem with blogging, I have so much I want to share but hardly ever have the time to get it all down!  You might have noticed it's almost all been Disney related, that isn't a coincidence (I have a problem ok!) and I have definitely saved one of my favourites till last.

I was worried that this wouldn't fit, the waistband looked tiny and doesn't have much stretch, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I think the length and cut are both very flattering on my 5 foot 2 frame, and the black band and trim on the bust make me look slimmer (or at least I think so).  I also love the fact that from a distance, this looks like any other 50's inspired polka-dot/ cherry dress.  Only up close do you notice the trademark ears and bow!  So cute, when the weather gets warmer I will be wearing this a lot!

Unfortunately this is no longer available online but they do have other Minnie inspired items if that's your jam.  There is also 20% off code for everything on their website at the moment which I am desperately trying to ignore because I am way too poor!

Just as a side note, these posts have been no way associated with Hot Topic, Disney or anyone else.  I hate the fact that I even have to point this out but if I ever have sponsored content (which has only happened once ever)  I will always make it clear in the post and disclaimer.  I have noticed recently that a lot of blogs don't do this and as much as I shouldn't have to clarify that sponsored links will always be labeled as such, I felt this was necessary.  The reason I have only ever had one sponsored post is because company's won't work with me when I say I won't do it without a nofollow link and a disclaimer, but that's a post for another day.

So, here is the full list of all my Hot Topic haul posts:

What has been your favourite?

6 May 2015

April Reads 2015

April has been another pretty good reading month for me, I was away every weekend, which means traveling, which in turn means lots of reading time!  I managed to read 5 books this month (one is missing because I immediately lent it to my sister) and it was pretty wide ranging.  So here's what I got stuck into this month.

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Perhaps the best written of all the slave narratives, 12 Years a Slave is a harrowing memoir about one of the darkest periods in American history. It recounts how Solomon Northup, born a free man in New York, was lured to Washington, D.C., in 1841 with the promise of fast money, then drugged and beaten and sold into slavery. He spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity on a series of Louisiana plantations.After his rescue, Northup published this exceptionally vivid and detailed account of slave life. It became an immediate bestseller and today is recognized for its unusual insight and eloquence as one of the very few portraits of American slavery produced by someone with the dual perspective of having been both a free man and a slave.
This is one of the most incredible books I have ever read, simply because of the story.  It's a side of history we so rarely hear about, that of a person who was not only a slave, but was born free and tricked into slavery.  It is amazingly well written and the language barrier isn't affected by the passing of time, something I find unusual in these type of books.  It is a shocking and horrifying story that I think everyone should read, and see how easy it is for humanity to turn on itself.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

Simply one of the most beautiful books I have ever read,   It's deep and meaningful, imaginative and full of emotion. The characters are wonderful, at times it made me actually feel sick with emotion.  It is a story presented in a really unique way, using images as part of the narrative, I recommend it to everyone.

Complete Plays by Sarah Kane

When Sarah Kane's first play Blasted was staged at the Royal Court Theatre in 1995 it was hailed both as a "masterpiece" and as a "disgusting piece of filth" (Daily Mail). That play, and the others that followed, have been produced all over the world. This anthology includes Kane's never-before-published Channel 4 screenplay, Skin.Plays include: Blasted, Phaedra's Love, Cleansed, Crave, 4.48 Psychosis,and Skin.
I don't have much to say about this other then Sarah Kane is one of my favorite playwrights and as I hadn't read any of her plays since university I thought this was long overdue.  Her unique style of writing is definitely 'in yer face' as the genre was called and they will never be a playwright like her again.  For me personally Blasted is her best work but she is definitely a writer you either love or hate.

Seconds A Graphic Novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley 

Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over: 1. Write your mistake2. Ingest one mushroom3. Go to sleep4. Wake anew And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions. From the mind and pen behind the acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series comes a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.

The first non-Scott-Pilgrim title of O'Mally's that I have read, and for me, it's not quite as good.  That doesn't mean it's not great however, the imagery is beautiful and the story is interesting, but it just doesn't have the same level of in-jokes and quirky humour that Scott Pilgrim does.  Definitely worth a read however, even if you don't usually read graphic novels (as I don't).

The Unfortunates by B.S. Johnson

BS Johson's infamous book-in-a-box is, if remembered at all, notorious for its presentation rather than its content. The "book" consists of a first and last section plus 25 other chapters, each one coming as a self-contained "pamphlet", that can be read in any order the reader likes. The subject matter concerns a journalist's day covering a football match in Nottingham, remembering previous times spent in the city with a lover now gone and a friend now dead. The innovative format permits Johnson to echo the random thought processes of his protagonist--the associations and reminiscences bubbling up in no fixed order as he walks through the city, watches and reports on the match and returns home afterwards.

Now this book is something completely unusual.  It is a book in a box!  Inside the box all the chapters are loose and  you can read them in any order you wish, apart from the first and the last.  I have to admit I got this purely for the novelty factor.  It is a book driven by emotions and characters rather than story so this method really does work.  I can't say it is the most exciting book I have ever read but the writing is rather poetic at times.

That take me up to 18 books by the end of April, good going even if I say so myself!  Don't forget if you want to see what I am reading, follow me on Goodreads.


5 May 2015

Trim Tuesday: The one with the crisis!

I am feeling angry, annoyed, and fed up with myself.  Honestly, I could cry.  This week it's been my birthday weekend, which consisted of pizza, alcohol and chocolate gifts, and I am getting fatter.  This isn't exactly a shock, that's what happens when you eat badly, but I feel pretty awful.

I had one free evening after work when I was hoping to get to the gym but I ran out of time.  All this is to say I weighed myself for the first time in 2 weeks today, post Whitby, post birthday weekend.  And I have put on 5 pounds.

That's right, 5 pounds, it's actually so bad it's almost impressive.  Not quite as 'impressive' as this next statment though:

I am now 4 pounds over my start weight.

Yeah just take that in, it's making me very sad right now.  I was nice enough to have 2 cakes made for me on my birthday and another one bought.  The bought one is still sitting on the side uneaten, then there's all the chocolates and sweets I still have left to eat, as we speak my mum is makin me my favourite food, lasagne, as a late birthday celebration as they were away at the weekend.

So now what?  This week is another difficult one as Friday-Sunday I am away in France with work which usually means eating out of service stations when possible and doing a lot of driving.  I can try my best but most of this is out of my hands.

I am going to go to the gym in the next couple of days, before I go away.  I ony had one day where I could have gone last week and I ran out of time.

I am feeling pretty low right now, I am hoping that after this week things will really pick up.

I am Kariss, and I am really struggling right now.

1 May 2015

The Ariel Pin Up T-Shirt

We are almost at the end of this little series of Hot Topic goodies, and this harps back to an earlyer post about a certain Ariel Pin Up Dress that proved to be rather popular.  This is that dress's casual sister.

I actually got this almost accidently, when I saw it online, I actually thought it was a long sleeved thin jumper, similar to the Alice in Wonderland Jumper that I picked up at the same time.  It is, in fact, a thin t-shirt, I think it was the thick band at the bottom of the body and sleeves that confused me.  

Now, I have pretty much stopped buying t-shirts as I live in dresses these days for a couple of reasons, partially because I have a lot of t-shirts already and partially because I am uncomfortable with my weight gain.  However I don't regret this because, just like the dress, I adore the design!  I have had a few compliments while I am wearing it, and I think I just need to find a better way of styling it.  The material is so soft too.

Just one more of these posts to go, and it's definitely one of my favorites.  Hint, it's another Disney edition!  Expect to see it on the blog soon!
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