It's A Marvellous Night For A Moon Dance

Exactly two days to go- All my presents are bought and wrapped, all logistical plans of how I can some way manage to see everyone I know and effectively be in more than one place at one time have been made and a small truck load of mince pies have already been eaten. If you're not ready for christmas now, you ain't ever going to be ready in time my friend. Ok so last time we spoke I was a teeny weeny bit of a Grinch, but know that all my complaining was done with nothing but love and affection... Now all my festive jobs are done and dusted, it's completely a different story. I can lounge around in my PJs, eating cheese platters, watching Christmas TV gold and effectively just being a maximum chill lady of leisure, in the most smug- "oh what you mean, its the 23rd and you've still not wrapped your presents"- kinda way. Needless to say I'm getting more into the swing of things, joy to the world and all that jazz.

Cheer Up Sleepy Jean

December and Christmas time, Christmas time and December! It's officially one whole week exactly until Christmas day and if you're not feeling festive yet, what the hell are you waiting for? Grab a mince pie, dust off your Wham CD and get guzzling down that mulled wine, just kidding- Please drink responsibly. As Andy Williams once said "it's the most wonderful time of the year"... Sort of?*George Michael screeches to a holt*... Ok sure, but come on, is it REALLY wonderful? How wonderful? like 100%? Or more like 60/40 split? Oh FYI, I probably should have started this blog post with a disclaimer- May contain traces of Grinch.

Yeh Hair Woes, Yeh She Blows.

Right it's time to FINALLY discuss my hair... And there's a heck of a lot of it so we could be here for quite sometime! Firstly I feel like I should apologies to a few of you because I have been asked on numerous occasions how exactly I style my mane, what products I use, if there's a particular technique to waves/curls I prefer etc and I've never really ever given a straight answer. The reason I've shied away from talking about it as a serious (when am I ever seriously serious though?) subject on my blog is because there's so many amazing hair experts out there eager to share their advice, that I always just figured any nuggets of wisdom I could give would be insignificant. I use the word "wisdom" loosely, as when it comes to hair I'm probably not even close to being knowledgeable. As with my make up I prefer easy to use, minimal fuss, hair products. Nothing too technical, nothing too fancy pants, just something which can do a great job with as little effort as possible involved....

Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Leaves)...

Two subject's I've mentioned on multiple occasions; my love for Autumnal/Winter colours and my phobia of wearing colours. Scratches chin, scribbles equation on chalkboard, counts on abacus and if you listen extra carefully you can even hear the cogs ticking in my tiny (no seriously I have a pea head, it's a thing) head... How does that figure? Surely I'm just massively contradicting myself? How have I never put two and two together and made a wonderful outfit of four autumnal colours before? Nothing makes me happier than seeing cosy, nostalgic colour combinations such as browns and pale blues, dusky pinks and navy blues, burgundy and dark mustards, so why do I constantly shy away from actually wearing them?!

Oh Foxy Lady

A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Isabelle of Isabelle Fox clothing, we walked around Manchester, discussing clothes, life, being mutual northerners and she explained to me all about how her wonderful label came to be. Her clothes are TO DIE for and that's only at a glance on the website! In real life it's plain to see the love and attention to details that goes into this wonderful little creations, making them just that little bit extra special. The clothes are all made in England, designed by Isabelle herself, with all material sourced by herself and the patterns all cut by her Grandmother!... Seriously this girl is a serious power babe (as is her talented Grandma) and I couldn't help but feel in complete admiration of what she had created here. Just to be clear building a fashion brand successfully and having it all run smoothly is, to put it mildly- hard work, but to do it all on your own? Woozier, hats off!

Getting Away With It

I often look at other bloggers/girls on Instagram and I'm so completely in awe of how bloody wonderful they all look, all the time! Their wardrobes and their lives always appear so so beautiful, like something off a chocolate box. Their outfits always on point, their breakfast carefully positioned and looking just as stylish as their mid week outfit and their Sunday's are spent in chic pyjama's on immaculate bedding. I often think (freak out) to myself, "wow these girls have really got their lives together" and than there's me. Frumpy, clumsy old me. My breakfast is toast (coffee) on the go, my mid week outfit is make up free, covered in dry shampoo and involving the comfiest, most easily accessible items of clothing I can get my sleepy mitts on and my Sunday morning is spent trying desperately to wake my boyfriend up or snuggling my cat (who by the way is black and fluffy so pristine bedding is a distant dream), my life is NOT together people!!

This Charming Dam

Ok so I'm going to be honest, this post is way overdue by around 3 weeks! I really did have such good intentions! I had so much lined up for my blog, yet so little time to actually put any of it into action and unfortunately this pretty post has had to take a back seat. It's kind of a shame really because this post would have been perfect to get you into the Autumnal mood but we're over that now. We've officially moved on to bigger and better things, with our christmas spirit in full swing and a bratwurst/mulled wine in hand (in my humble opinion maybe a little too early, I'm more a strictly only enjoy Christmas in December kinda gal).

The Love Cats

The beauty of personal style is just that; it's personal to every single one of us in our own way, making us all so wonderfully unique. It defines who we are and reflects the things we love. We're constantly, whether we like it or not, inspired by what surrounds us every day and consciously or subconsciously we express this through our wardrobes. Some of us do this in a more subtle and abstract way; Vintage dressing to glam girls to Nordic style, it's not by any means a "pigeon hole" as such, but it does give the rest of the world a snapshot into your personal preferences. Some of us however, like to literally spell it out and announce it to the world. I guess the best example of this is the tried, tested and loved by many band tee (from Blink 182 as a teen to T Rex just the other week, I've flown the flag). Over the past few months I've grown increasingly aware, I am the latter. There are a hell of a lot of things which inspire me and I want you to know about it, apparently. Some of my favourite "tell all" pieces include; my Bella Freud "Je t'aime Jane" knit, translation- I love french style and more obviously I bloody love Jane Birkin. My Hades "The Smiths" jumper, translation- I like poetically, passive aggressive lyrics. My Blossoms Tote bag, translation- I'm a supportive girlfriend. And my Charlotte Olympia kitty slippers, translation- I'M A CRAZY CAT LADY....

Sail On Silver Girl

If you've been keeping tabs on my Instagram recently than you'll have possibly seen that this weekend was my little old (actually young in the grand scheme of things) blog's one year birthday! *Cue Stevie Wonder- Happy Birthday*. And what an absolute MEGA year it's been. It's gone by in lightning speed but then time truly does fly when you're having fun. I've had such an amazing time and I couldn't have asked for a better response. With every month that's passed, I've been in complete awe of every single one of you; who follows me, reads my blog or gets in touch to tell me your thoughts. Please know that it never EVER goes unnoticed! At times it's been really hard (hold off on the violins for just a moment, this isn't a sob story I promise), you're constantly second guessing yourself and if you're not careful you can very easily get wrapped up in caring TOO much what others think. Word of advise for any aspiring bloggers (or anyone in general come to think of it)- LET GO of the dead weight worry. It's not needed and it will drag you down.

With Tangerine Coats And Marmalade Skies...

As with so many I guess you could say my love for The Sixties started with The Beatles when I was an early teenager and on some levels I guess that's very true. I was MASSIVELY obsessed with both Help and Revolver when I was younger and would sit cooped up in my room listening to them both on repeat. I grew up in a strictly Northern Soul household and I remember asking for the Sgt Pepper album for Christmas and my mum responding simply with... "Are you sure?". But as reluctant as my mum was about my love for The Beatles, it eventually came round in a full circle. From The Beatles, you start listening to The Kinks and The Who and Small Faces and in turn you get caught up in the beauty and nostalgia of the Mod culture. Before you know it, I was back round loving Northern Soul again. I say again because the soundtrack of my childhood was without a doubt Tamla Motown and Northern Soul; every car journey, every meal time, every occasion, it was always in the background in our household. If you'd asked me what my favourite song was when I was 7, I'd have told you anything by The Four Tops. Cheers mum!

Barbour's Timeless Originals- My Autumn Almanac

I never understand people who choose to go away to more sunny climates in Autumn/Winter. I feel like it's the time of the year when we can truly embrace typically cold and miserable English weather. It's all part and parcel with the season; wrapping up in ten thousand layers of wool and your big winter coat, going for crisp walks and kicking around leaves like your still five years old. Getting irrationally giddy for Halloween, insisting you want to stay in, cuddle up and watch a scary film... Whilst realising 10 minutes in that this was a huge mistake (as you'll be spending every night, for the next 3 weeks doing a stealthy army roll into bed before any evil, possibly fictitious demons can get you in the dark... because everyone knows your bed is the safe zone, right?). Getting even more irrationally giddy over Bonfire Night and for some unknown reason wrapping up in EVEN MORE layers than normal... Seriously though, why do we treat Bonfire Night like an expedition to The North Pole?

Just Another Manic Dungaree Day

I wish I was one of those girls who looked immaculate Monday to Sunday, 24/7. But unfortunately my biggest confession as a fashion blogger is that I'm not. Not even close. I'm a lazy dresser and the busier I am during the week, the more my overall appearance tends to take a backseat. This probably seems like shameful behaviour for someone who is supposed to write about her style on a regular basis. That said I've never been one to shy from the truth, scroll through my Instagram and you will be met by a back catalogue of "scruffy day" photos. Make up free, tussled haired (aka untouched by a brush), blasé outfits normally incorporating a stripe tee, a Mom jean and my trusty high tops. I just don't have the time for well thought out outfits every day of the week, I mean who does? Really? No disrespect to those amazing girls who do, you're heroes and your dedication knows no bounds, please teach us all your ways. But truth be told, it's just not my thing I guess. I'm a self appointed Tom boy in my personal style and I hate to break a habit of a life time. I'm happy to leave my more glossy, preened outfits for the weekend (who am I kidding? Even the weekends is pushing it).

Jumper Jack Flash

Hello and happy weekend, I hope yours has been slightly less manic than mine. I've spent the majority of it shooting, which is promising because it means I have lots of tasty new outfits to share with you. As exhausting as the past couple of days have been, I've had such a lovely time meeting new, amazing people and scouting out some pretty awesome locations in both Manchester and Wigan. Not the most exotic areas I know, but believe me sometimes it's in the most unlikely of places you find the real gems. As cheesy as this sounds, it's been the kind of weekend which makes me super proud of my little blog and the opportunities it's presented. Don't get me wrong, it's bloody hard work and I have moments of wanting to throw in the towel, call it a day and spend the rest of eternity (always one to be a little over dramatic as per usual) in bed with my cat and the covers over my head, BUT it never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I'm constantly looking for new looks and new shoot concepts. Suddenly the most random locations in Manchester which, in the past I will have walked past a thousand times and never given a second thought to, I'm now looking at in a whole new light and thinking "oooh with that dress and those heels, next to that sign and this doorway". I love it! It's tiring at times for sure, but the creative output I've found from blogging is in a strange way so therapeutic?... And I'm appreciating my city more than ever and there's something very humbling about that...

Keen Mr Mustard

My favourite season is finally here! Hooray! Autumn has officially arrived and with it comes my first cold of winter. Great! Not one to be detered by feeling like utter rubbish, I've decided to use my recovery time wisely and catch up with some long over due blog writing. I kinda feel like I've been off the radar to past two weeks. I've had a busy old month of moving back to my home town (and being reunited with my cat), changing jobs, following my boyfriends band around to various cities on their first album tour... GAH! No wonder I'm run down! It's all been really positive change however and the tour was amazing, I can officially say I'm super excited for what the next few months will bring (for both myself and Joe).

Dorothy Perkins- We Can Be Style Heroes

Do you ever have one of those days when choosing an outfit is literally the hardest decision you've ever had to make and nothing is inspiring? When you stand in front of your wardrobe for what seem like an eternity and you're  left with a complete feeling of lacklustre for every piece of clothing in there? We all get those dreaded days right? And I don't know about you but I find I have certain items of clothing I always turn to in my time of need. The kind of items which you know will always work, are effortless and able to turn any middle of the road, "I don't know what the hell I'm doing right now" outfit around. I like to refer to these items as hero pieces because believe me, when you've only got 10 minutes to run for the train, your hairs still not been tamed, you're running around frankly with one shoe in hand whilst the others gone AWOL and all you want is for some to make an outfit decision for you, this hero pieces will in fact save your life.

Ground Control To Major Trend

I don't know if anyone else does this or if it's just me being a little pedantic with clothes but I have this shopping list in my head, kind of like an "elite" wish list of all the items of clothing I feel my life is missing. They don't necessarily exist or more likely, I've just never been able to actually find the perfect replica to whats in my head yet, but I'm forever looking out for them. The kind of item of clothing which if you were lucky enough to stumble upon one day, you do a little dance inside, grab it, make a B-line for the till and reluctantly hand it over because; A) its the love of your life and you're not willing to let go just yet and B) you're worried in some horrible twist of fate the sales assistant will tell you, you can't have it or even worse steal it from under your nose. Trust no one with you're wish list items! It doesn't matter how much money it costs or more to the point, how much money you don't have, if you find that dream piece you've GOT to buy it, or a kitten dies, you die, the world will end (reasons for buying may be dramatised for your entertainment purposes and are not based on reality)!

Earth, Wind And... Festival No 6?

As sad as the conitations that the term "last festival of the year" bring such as; it officially feels like the end of summer and t's time to head back to reality. I've got to be honest and say I'm a little relieved. It's been a funny old year with pretty unpredictable weather, not that we should ever expect anything less from British summertime . I'd like to think a spot of bad weather wouldn't rain on my festival pride (pun intended) but the truth is after a while it kinda does. There's only so many soggy socks and mud splatted clothes I can take. Give it a few months and I look back on these things with nothing but fond memories and the urge to do it all over again but for right now, I'm happy to resign back to my winter wardrobe and cosy coats... Sometimes I feel like we know more where we stand with Autumn/Winter at least (yesterday's northern weather not included, Manchester saw a months worth of rain in one hour. Trams were stopped and Market Street was a river, it was the end of the world as we knew it).

If there's one thing you quickly learn at British festivals it's: Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Weather proof every possible outfit choice, something I still find hard to get the hang of but I'm definitely getting better. Festival No 6 was no exception to the rules, gale force winds meant several of the stages had to be shut down and if you were unlucky enough to have been there on the Sunday (I wasn't, I tend to take the "day tripper" approach to festivals these days and opted for just the Saturday thank you very much) my sympathies go out to you and I completely understand if you're off festivals for life. Negativity aside (I think I might be a little hangry right now), you couldn't ask for a more beautiful "last" festival then No 6. Set on the coast of North Wales in the "kinda make believe" village of Portmeirion. There's no real way to describe just how aesthetically pleasing Portmeirion really is and I feel like for how ever many photos I took, I still didn't quite fully capture it. You just have to see it to believe it. It's pretty enough to go on a chocolate box. The festival itself has such an amazing vibe full of Portmeirion's charm with secret sets dotted around the village itself, as well as your more conventional "festival in a field" set up further down the road. I guess this is the British festival which has it all and it needs to go on your bucket list.

What I wore- I kinda feel like my outfit was the first signs of my acceptance that summer was over as I opted for a knitted turtle neck albeit teamed with a floral A-line mini and of course... My Converse.... which wear quickly changed to Hunters (again, of course).

What I drank/ate- Again I totally jumped on the Autumn/Winter theme and drank Hot Chocolate! My partying days are over and my dancing shoes hung up until next year.

What I did/Who I saw- You'll never be stuck for things to do or see at Festival No 6, you could wonder round all day and never get bored. Which is exactly what I did! Unfortunately I got there much later than expected so didn't get to do half things I'd planned, so decided to prioritise exploring the village. I did however manage to catch one of the most amazing acoustic sets from Blossoms to date (think about it, I've seen a few) at the village town hall consisting of just Tom and Charlie and... oh you know, just a full orchestra. Magic!

So I guess that leads me to the end of my festival blog post frenzy which DEFINITELY means summer is O-V-E-R. I honestly hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them and hopefully we can do it aaaaall over again next year... Even better, maybe you'll actually catch me at one and we can have a real life boogie!

For now I'll leave you with the last batch of a million and one festival photos to nosey at. Have fun.

Sophia x 

Shop My Outfit
Turtle Neck- H&M
Skirt- New Look
Converse- All Sole
Earrings- Wolf&Moon

Mai (Kind Of) Thai- Chaophraya

When it comes to eating I'm always open to trying new food and visiting new restaurants but truth be told, more often then not I'm a stickler for routine and I definitely have some long standing favourites I prefer to visit over and over again. Thai food is one of my favourite cuisines and for me the best place to find it within Manchester is without a doubt Chaophraya. It's a no brainer and so when the lovely people at Chaophraya invited me down to sample the new menu, I was over the moon and RSVPed quicker then you can say "Pad Thai please"

Located in the centre of town, just off Market Street on Chapel Walk, the building itself is beautiful! It's pretty huge place but with each area of the restaurant split into separate rooms, there's a cosy intimate kind of feel going on. The decor is rich with warm, vibrant colours and the attention to detail is very apparent. From an outsiders perspective, yes it looks a little fancy but the staff couldn't be more welcoming, you can't possibly feel intimidated and the prices are so responsible once you've sampled a few of their plates, you'll be tempted to order one of everything on the menu! Point proven by the fact I headed down with Joe who hates anything fancy pants and he couldn't of loved it more.

The new menu was an absolute treat and completely diverse! Ok so you still have your classic dishes on there you'd expect to see on any Thai restaurant menu such as; Satay Chicken, Thai Green Curry and of course everyones favourite, Pad Thai but just as with the decor you can tell a lot of thoughts gone into their food. They've tried to think outside the box and hey, it works!! For starters we tried their new pork tacos, which sound maybe too out there, but were an absolute dream to not only taste but to look at, daintily presented on a slate board with edible Pansies (I'm not going to lie I actually gave these a miss, they were just too pretty to eat). Along with our tacos, I had one of my old favourites on their menu; steamed dumplings. If you like classic Thai plates you won't be disappointed by these. They are done to perfection and accompanied by a delicious Teriyaki sauce, I could quite happily have on the side of every meal. 

For mains we tried another newbie to the menu, sirloin steak which you cook yourself on hot rock salt! Ok so, word of warning with this one; if you like your steak rare to medium (which I do) then this dish is perfect for you. The rock salt will cook your meat perfectly and I promise you it will taste like heaven. BUT if like my boyfriend Joe, you like to cremate your meat and arguably ruin it, then this is NOT the dish for you. It takes sometime and when it's finally ready, its been lay on salt for so long, you're going to need about 3 pints of water... Punishment for sabotaging good meat, in my personal opinion (joke, joke).

Finally for dessert we shared a White Chocolate Box and my only compliment would be I wish we'd ordered our own! I could have easily demolition one to myself. It consisted of a white chocolate mousse on a shortbread base accompanied with a passionfruit sorbet aaaand a macaron... I'm addicted to macarons so this was an added treat. Normally in the long standing debate of; " if you have to have a starter and a main or, a main and a dessert, which one?", I'm more of a starter kind of girl. Don't get me wrong, I have the biggest sweet tooth but I often just find desserts to be a little sickly after a tasty meal. However this mousse was so light, you didn't feel like you'd just eaten three courses and it rounded the meal of just nicely.

As mentioned before I'm a huge sucker for old habits and hearing one of my top pick restaurants had changed its menu was a tad worrying ,but I can whole heartedly say it was all for the better and my list of favourites dishes has now doubled! You can check it out in the link below or even better, go pay a visit and see for yourself!

Sophia x