Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Black Friday fashion discount codes you need to know: BooHoo, Missguided, ASOS, Topshop and River Island

Black Friday and its weekend of discounts is upon us so, in the bargain hunting spirit, here are all the best fashion and beauty discount codes and links I could find for a spot of online shopping. 

BooHoo: 30% off everything and free delivery (no code needed) - Starts on Friday, ends on Monday

Missguided: 20% off everything; Code: CYBER20 - Starts Thursday, ends Monday

AllSaints: 20% off; Code: CYBER - Starts Friday, ends Monday

ASOS: 20% off everything; Code: CYBERWKND20 - Starts Friday, ends Tuesday

River Island: 20% off; Code: TREAT28 - From 11am-3pm on Friday

French Connection: 40% off; Code: FC40B - Starts Friday, ends Monday

Gap: 50% off; Code: BLKFRIDAY - Starts Thursday, ends Friday

Topshop: Up to 50% off selected lines - Starts Thursday, ends Monday

Urban Outfitters: Up to 50% off - Code: #UOBLACKOUT - Friday only

Whistles: 30% off everything (no code needed) - Starts Friday

Zara: 20% off outerwear, sweaters, t-shirts, cardigans and boots (no code needed) - Starts Friday

Warehouse: 25% off full-price range/up to 30% off select seasonal items like knitwear and coats; Code: CYBER25 - Until midnight on Monday

Boots: Varying discounts with big offers, including a Best of Benefit cosmetics gift set discounted from £54 to £24.50 - From Friday to Monday

Kurt Geiger: 20% off everything; Code F&FKG20 - Until midnight on Sunday

Superdrug: 50% off - Until Tuesday 

Dorothy Perkins: 30% off and an extra 30% off surprise picks

New Look: Up to 50% off

That's it for the codes, but keep an eye on Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, and Very, all of whom are promising to take part in the discount day!

Winter high street home haul: Primark, Matalan and Tesco

Wooden hanging bird, £2, Primark; Snowglobe, £5, Matalan; Glade candle, £2 (on offer), Tesco
I'm such a sucker for homeware as it is but with pretty treats like these around, who could resist! 

I've been picking up the odd bits and pieces while out and about recently, not even realising it would turn into a proper haul. This is my first winter in a new home (squee!) and I've been using it as an excuse to tuck away all the bright white linens in favour of deep blues and rich reds.

The candle above is Glade's cosy cinnamon and apple, and ohmigod is it heavenly. I bought an armful of these when they were offer a short while back and my house is now completely enveloped in the scent. Yum.

Fairisle bed sheets, £20 (kingsize), Primark; Slate sign, £3, Matalan
I'm loving Primark's bedsheets at the moment: I picked up a soft grey and white set recently too, but I just couldn't leave these snuggly soft ones there either. They're reversible, with  a wintery navy blue and white forest pattern to the reverse of the fairisle on both the duvet cover and the pillowcases, so you can use them post-festivities too.

Every time I see the slate sign, I hear Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews crooning away. It's part of Matalan's Christmas range but I won't tell anyone if you don't.

Tealight holder, £5, tesco; Hot water bottle, £5, Primark
I couldn't really capture it properly on camera, but the tealight holder (above, left) throws the prettiest gold and red crackled patterns on the wall. It's festive, without being over the top, so you could keep it out all year round.

And finally, I cannot live without a hot water bottle. Seriously, I am one the coldest people in the world, and when it gets below five degrees Celsius, I live in a constant state of shivering. But this fairisle knitted bottle from Primark is incredible at keeping me warm. I've been popping it in the bottom of my bed overnight and it's *still warm* in the morning!

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The one gift everyone should be giving this Christmas

It's one month to go until Christmas and I haven't even started to think about buying gifts.

It's funny, usually I love treating my family and friends with little festive pressies, but this year I'm just not that in to it - and I blame Sainsbury's.

A few weeks back, when the supermarket chain's new advert first started to air, I was sat in my living room, enjoying a leisurely breakfast and bawling my eyes out.

The football on the battlefield story is one I first heard about from a Horrible Histories book when I was about 7 or 8, and to this day I’ve regarded it with a bit of bemusement and humour (although the latter is probably from the undoubtedly rib-tickling cartoon that appeared on the page).

It wasn’t until I saw the Sainsbury's campaign, at the ripe old age of *very nearly* 27 that I fully realised what that one single event meant to so many men – some of whom survived the war with little more good memories than playing footie in no man’s land.

I'm not going to go into the all the criticism that Sainsbury's has sustained for the ad here, for even if it is commercialising a momentous occasion from 100 years ago, the message it promotes is what the Christmas spirit should be all about: peace, harmony and moments of happiness.

That is why I urge you, next time you pop to the shop, to pick up a bar or two of their limited edition chocolate featured in the advert. 50p of the £1 price goes to the Royal British Legion, to help support the service men and women who have made sure over the last century that we have a safe home to celebrate Christmas in.

More than just a stocking filler: Limited edition chocolate bar, £1, Sainsbury's

Thursday, 20 November 2014

You're never too old for a slogan top

Something curious happened when I hit 26: my wardrobe become muted, less full of the patterns and bright colours I'd lived in until then and more...well, I'd call it hopeful Parisian.

But the thing is, there are only so many French slogan tops you can buy until you get really sick of the words 'cheri' and 'amour'. In fact, there are only so many slogan tops you can buy before you get really sick of the lines we're brandishing across our chests: I mean who really cares anymore if shopping is your cardio, or how you feel about your ex-boyfriend.

Just like brains shouldn't concede to beauty, they shouldn't to your style either :)

1. Dream goals sweater, £57.95, Nelly; 2.Nothing to hide tee, £22, Topshop; 3. Gold element sweatshirt, £25, River Island; 4. I'm an entrepreneur, bitch, £28, Tease and Totes; 5.Baum und Pferdgarten Eira T-Shirt with Slogan, £29, Asos

Friday, 14 November 2014

Disney dresses you can wear to work

You guys, look what I found.

Disney Villains belted dress, £25; Disney Villains collar dress, £30, both George at Asda.
Let's face it, you you would wear these Disney inspired dresses in a second, right?

They were designed by fashion student Kayleigh Hilde for the Graduate Fashion Week competition earlier this year (the theme was Disney villains!) and are now on sale in Asda, along with another two outfits inspired by Ursula from the Little Mermaid, by Charlotte England.

As you've probably guessed, they pay homage to the worst of the worst villains, 101 Dalmatians' Cruella De Vil (Cruella De Vil, if she doesn't scare you...) but unlike the character's seriously questionable clothing taste these are actually super chic.

From the splatter-style ink blot Dalmatian print, to the cheeky red collar, they're so well designed you could even wear them to work. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

5 jewellery advent calendars to countdown to Christmas 2014

Is it just me or have the beauty advent calendars gone a bit over the top this year? What started as a cute way to try a new sample for 24 days in December, has turned into something you're going to have to pay at least £50 for.

I've been scouting around, trying in vain to find a beauty calendar for £20 or under - but have discovered something much much better: jewellery advent calendars.

New Look 
Advent calendars, £19.99 each, New Look
First up are these bracelet and necklace calendars from New Look. In the necklace version, each day you get a new charm to use as a pendant on a chain necklace - meaning you get essentially get 24 necklaces for just £19.99. The charm bracelet option on the other hand (ha) contains one single chain that you add a cute Christmassy charm to every day.

Meri Meri
Nutcracker jewellery box advent calendar, £19.54, Meri Meri
I love this little Nutcracker ballet jewellery box - it's probably more suitable for little girls but it just takes me back to Christmas when I was a kid. Like New Look, on the first day you get a pretty little chain and then for the next 24 days you get a festive charm to add to it. (£19.54, Amazon)

A photo posted by Now stop... (@totalhamilton) on
Primark is offering up two Christmas calendar treats this year: first there's a £10 advent calendar filled with a mixture of four midi rings, four charm bracelets, 12 stud earrings and four pendant necklaces.

And secondly there's the 12 days of jewellery calendar pictured above. For just £8 I honestly think you get a better with this deal than the full 24-day version. Behind the windows are four pairs of earrings, two rings, three bracelets and three necklaces in much more versatile and on-trend styles. (Take a look at more photos of both on Leighlee's blog).

Charm bracelet calendar, £16.75, Amazon
Another build your own charm bracelet calendar, this £16.75 one contains two bracelets and 22 charms in a pretty Pandora style you can wear for the rest of the year too.

Jewellery Christmas advent calendar, £25, Topshop
This calendar from Freedom at Topshop is a little more expensive at £25 but contains some of Freedom's typically fashion-forward pieces. A mixture of both silver, gold and cotton pieces, it contains eight necklaces, four bracelets and 12 pairs of earrings which will look gorgeous with all your Christmas party outfits!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

14 Monty the Penguin gifts we all want for Christmas

If you haven't seen the John Lewis Christmas ad, I can only assume you've been in a coma for the past week. Or holidaying somewhere exotic with no WiFi, you lucky, lucky thing.

The cute Monty and Mabel penguin cuddly toys have already sold out on the John Lewis website (and are reportedly on sale on eBay for up to £500!) but there are still plenty of little treats to bring some penguin love into your life...

1. Kissing penguins jumper, £49; 2. Christmas light, £25; 3. Monty and Mabel pouch, £12.50; 4. Two pairs of Men's socks, £8; 5. Blue unisex t-shirt, £15; 6. House of Dorchester chocolates, £3; 7. Red unisex t-shirt, £15; 8. Men's slippers, £15; 9. Mug, £5; 10. Knitting kit, £25; 11. Hot water bottle, £18; 12. Cushion, £15; 13. Scarf, £35; 14. Umbrella , £19, All John Lewis.
PS - if you've got a dark sense of humour this horror recut of the ad will have you in stitches...

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Coach bags out of your price range? Then head to Next

£290, Coach
The amount of times I write that I am obsessed over this bag or that dress on this blog must make me seem a little bit nutty. BUT JUST LOOK AT THIS BAG.

This mini cross-body bag from Coach is pretty much all I want in my wardrobe this winter. The pattern, the jewels, the shape, it's just perfection in a clutch.
£28, Next

Anyway, same problem as always with these bargain posts - it is way out of my price range. I mean I'd have to give up living for a month to afford it.

This boxy bag from Next may not be an exact copy but it sure is a good little tribute to Coach's design. It's just as sleek and pretty damn sparkly but with the added benefit of being just 10% of the designer bag's price.

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