It's cold in England. 

Being outside is less like a festive wander in crisp, frosty fields, and more like you've accidentally stumbled into an open freezer and are struggling to find the exit.

But, I love winter - it's the time of year where your hair can remain unstyled and messy under a bobble hat and still look good; the time when blanket scarves become an acceptable and practical item to wear to the office, and it's the time where fluffy cardigans, jumpers and polos become absolute wardrobe staples (and general life-savers).

Outerwear becomes so important that my actual clothes get hidden under layer upon layer of coat, overcoat and (usually) an umbrella or two (it is England, after all).
However, without fail (and constantly through rain, snow and shine), my shoes are always on show.

etailPR helped me shake hands and wave hello to Online Avenue, who have been early-Christmas fairies and sent me these tasselled boots of dreams (the professional name for these are simply Lace Up Tassel Ankle Boots) to have a little trot around in to see what I think.

They are composed entirely of faux-suede, with a sturdy block heel. Despite the side profile, the boots are incredibly comfortable - although the heel is high, they don't contort your foot into an angle that is only acceptable for a triangle. Instead, my feet are happy and snuggly inside, and the laces cinch my foot in like a little constant hug.

They do take a little wriggling to get into initially and lace up, but once you're tied in the boots feel incredibly secure and safe. What drew me in like a magpie to these boots was the tassel detail that extends around the neck of the boot, which falls down to rest on the upper ankle. They have a little nod to a 1920's flapper dress, and will be perfect when you want to have a little (or big) twirl at a Christmas party.

If lace-up isn't your thing and you fancy something easier to shimmy into, try the Side Tassel Ankle Boots instead. These are a simple Chelsea Boot style, complete with a flurry of tassells on the outer side of the boot (because we all need more tassells in our life).

What are your favourite shoes to wear during winter? Have you succumbed to the tassel trend yet?

Icy Snap

Let's talk winter. 

The days are getting shorter; the nights colder and the morning light no longer looks like the start of a new day, but like something that should still be snuggled up and left undisturbed in the midnight hours.

Getting out of bed is hard, cold and confusing - let's make the transition from bedclothes to work clothes a little easier with some help from Joules.

I love outerwear. 

I gravitate towards coats, scarves and hats like a planet in orbit - a planet that regularly collides with items and inevitably purchases them. I'm petite - standing at 5'3 I can easily be swamped by clothes - and if something is too oversized or not structured enough, I become my favourite alter ego of an indistinguishable block of material.

Joules' scarf collection hosts an abundance of nature and woodland inspired pieces - with a choice of material ranging from thin foil-printed cotton straight through to oversized woollen blanket wraps - so no matter what you are looking for, the chances are that you will invariably find it nestled within their extensive stock.  

I found this grey, black and white scarf huddled together with its brightly coloured counterparts in store at Solihull. It has a soft frayed edge with a check design throughout, and is rectangular in shape, so it locks in warmth without adding bundles of bulk. 

It adds a bright shot of white to whatever I am wearing, and suspends me in the belief that I may actually still be in bed - which is something of a miracle.

What is your go-to piece this winter? I am on the hunt for a new bobble hat - do you have any suggestions?

The Fear of Wanderlust

'Wanderlust' is like the boardroom buzzword for Millennials and the dreamers of Generation Y. Three little syllables with the power to enchant and inspire, to evoke the need to travel; to see, to explore. I fit the demographic: I'm 23, out of education and trying to figure out how to write the rest of my life. 
 It seems like the perfect time to catch the itch for wanderlust, right?

..except for the tiny fact that I am totally scared of flying. 

The time I have spent being a passenger in a flying tube is less than the number of fingers I have on my left hand (it's been a monumental three times). For those 14 hours I have spent collecting air miles, I have been scared for a good 840 minutes. Or, more simply put: for the whole time.  

 Getting me to fly somewhere is like getting a child to let go of a lollipop. More often than not, it is not going to happen. Friend's invitations to holidays or suggestions for weekend retreats aren't met with excitement or a giggly whirl of thrill, but with an all-encompassing trepidation and sense of unease. 

Let me reiterate: I am 23, and I am able to travel. I shouldn't have these deep-set fears and worries about dipping over the coast and exploring, should I? How is it that I have already lost the child-like want to discover, to play and navigate without purpose? 

The majority of online content I see is filled to the brim with wanderlust: my Facebook feed is awash with friends who have started their lives again in Australia, New Zealand, or nuzzled deep into South America. And whilst I dozily scroll through their pictures, I'm not met with the same wanderlust-pang as others who comment "I wish I was there". 

 I think I've captured the ability to admire from a distance - I appreciate the gorgeous vistas, waterfalls and overseas cuisine without leaving the ground or consulting my passport. 

I don't know if I am alone with this feeling, or if my body is simply just more cautiously wired than others, but I would love to open a dialogue on this topic, as I feel all I have seen so far is conflicting to my honest opinion - being that I have not been bitten by the wanderlust bug, and I don't think I ever will.

What's your view? Do you long to travel and wander unknown lands, or are you happy to stick to where you are?


OK, I'm going to admit it: I'm irrevocably scared of fireworks. They terrify me; the noise, speed, the unpredictability - everything (minus the incredible smell) scares me to the back of the crowd, shivering and nuzzling into whoever is stood next to me.

A few days ago I posted a Halloween Spider Eye tutorial, and, like some homework you're really proud of, I ran to find my mum to show her what I had done with my face. After two cups of coffee, a few nibbles at some ginger biscuits and a gold star for effort, she suggested that I did something similar for Bonfire night. At 23, it felt incredibly odd to finally have permission to attack my face with all that glitters. 

Being a grown up is great.

Let's start with the simple stuff. On my lids I have a wash of No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in Truffle, which I also used to line my lower lash line. On my lips I wanted an iridescent, shimmering finish, so I patted on the No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter a little south of where it is designed to be used - lips instead of cheekbones - because multi-purpose products are oh-so-great.

I then created basic eye lines with a few strokes of the Maybelline Color Tattoo Gel Shadow in Pink Gold, using an Angled Liner Brush from Seventeen. This is a great base for any powder shadow, as it is gel-like in texture, so any powder applied on top sticks with minimal fallout. I then chose a selection of green, blue, purple and orange powder shades to pat over the gel line to add some colour and depth. 

Directly over the coloured lines I then dotted and dashed some line work using the Collection Fast Stroke Liquid Liner in Brown (similar here) to add a bit of definition, and added some little stars to finish the lines. I then applied my Eyelure Exaggerate 141 Lashes and lightly merged falsies to real lashes with the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Are you seeing any displays this year? Whether it is in the fields or sitting by your windowsill, enjoy the pretty lights and smokey air - I'll be watching with a cup of coffee by my window whilst I try to calm down a very upset cat.  
Being a grown up is great. ;)

Christmas Lusts: Estella Bartlett

We've only just said goodbye to October and hello to November, and already the trees have shaken off their bright orange coats and, like us, are now shivering in the wintry weather..which means one thing - Christmas is fast approaching. Eek. 

The colder temperatures mean that we really don't want to leave our beds/PJs/loyal companion of the radiator, so in protest of leaving the house, I took to ASOS to have a nose about to see how I could get a little head-start with my Christmas shopping; sans queues (and the general need to get dressed).

I have had a few of Estella Bartlett's bracelets stashed away in my saved items for weeks on end, and I have dutifully watched them fall into the sale (shh, don't tell my friends), so I decided to snap them up before I lost them.

The first to drop into my basket was the Estella Bartlett Pheobe Seed Bead Bracelet. This has a delicate double-band design, with two adjacent rows of beads thread onto a pale turquoise drawstring, and finished with small silver detailing on the reverse. This has a mix of dusky lavender, silver and white seed beads with a shot of blood-orange running through it, and a tiny silver-plated star resting in the middle of the design, adding an angular edge to the otherwise smooth bracelet.

I gravitate towards simple and effortless pieces, and this delicately composed piece is perfect to add a little understated beauty to your wrist.

After a little searching, I then popped the Estella Bartlett Dream Big Bracelet into my basket. This design is a lot more durable than the Pheobe bracelet, with a silver-plated textured star affixed to a sturdy cord with a pull-through fastening on the reverse, with an acid green accent. The same dusty lavender shade runs through the whole piece, with metallic silver thread edging the centre of the threadwork on the bracelet.

This feels strong and hard wearing, and would be an ideal option for everyday wear without any worry of snagging or catching.

I, like most, try to give presents that have a little thought behind them, and are drenched in some kind of meaning. That can be sentimental or otherwise - one year I gave my best friend a Sass-girl Emoji T-shirt and she nearly fell over with happiness - whatever the purpose, silly or sentimental, I like it to have one.

I think these bracelets are so personal, and carry really gorgeous wishes. Whether you are a "Live As You Dream" kind of girl, or simply just a "Dream Big"; you'll find something to suit you with Estella Bartlett

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I have dipped my toes into the festive waters and conquered two gifts so far..what's your number? 

Stock image credit Ian Schneider @ Unsplash
© flawedfairytale. Design by MangoBlogs.