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.
So I guess we could call this post my "official" festive post although if I'm being perfectly honest with you, I toyed with the idea of doing a big "Christmas outfit" bit but then I sort of vetoed it. Why? Because I didn't want to patronise you by telling you to wear sparkles, tartan, velvet or gold over the festive period... We know that works and we know it will always work, its like me telling you to wear a sundress in summer. However I have worn a fair few delightful velvet numbers already this December and if you've been reading my blog or following me on Instagram for a while, you'll know gold, silver and stars regularly crop up. It would be rude not to share another metallic fuelled outfit with you right? Especially with Christmas just around the corner. Like I said I'm not going to wax lyrical about what a great idea it is to wear silver to a festive party, because you already know the drill BUT what I do want to talk about is next level star adorning. I'm not normally a big accessories kinda gal however earrings have slowly creeped back into my life and I'm very much ok with it. Don't roll your eyes at me on this but there's something a little vintage inspired about wearing earrings these days, its like from 2000 to 2015 we kinda forgot about them unless they were a classic silver sleeper or big statement jewellery. Stellar themed earrings are a subtle, Chanel-esque way to squeeze the star trend into your wardrobe oooor why not up the ante a little further like myself and get adding them to your mane via slides or clips? Just a suggestion but I would seriously recommend... Just saying...
I will leave you with my last outfit before Christmas no further words as I know you can put together perfectly fantastic festive outfits without my help. I hope you enjoy and a very Merry Christmas to you all you lovely bunch of festive elves.

Sophia x

PS You know how I said I was real smug about being Christmas ready, well I should mention that on Boxing Day I'm off to Venice and I'm 100% NOT holiday ready... Just to make any of you guys still shopping for Christmas presents feel just a touch better.

Shop My Outfit
Blouse- Marks & Spencer
Skirt- Vintage but similar from New Look
Boots- Kurt Geiger
Slides- Oliver Bonas

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.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Christmas as a whole but as I grow older and therefore more cynical, I become increasingly aware that they it's just such bloody hard work (albeit wonderful at the same time, obviously). Don't agree with me? Well then you've never lived in a city centre over the festive period. Stress levels are high, people are EVERYWHERE and ruthless and you can be sure to add a seasonal half an hour on to every journey ever, even if it's just walking round the corner to your Tesco Express for a pint of milk and selection box of chocolate for one, to eat in one sitting. It's exhausting! Life is tough and festive cheer runs low, very fast. Even this year I feel like I've sort of escaped the hustle and bustle of city life and yet you're still sucked into the stress of Christmas planning, there simply is NO ESCAPE. Ok sorry, I maybe starting to make one of the most lovely times of year sound like a horror film. 
The point I'm getting at is December is most definitely devoted to Christmas and quite rightly so but sometimes you need to remove yourself from the stress of it all and have a little cosy safe heaven away from highly flammable, garish festive jumpers and over priced lukewarm spiced wine. December for me is all about snuggling up, spending 70% of your time in PJs and hiding away with a pile of Christmas films (I can't stress it enough I genuinely DO like christmas, I'm not the Grinch) and my said selection box for one (but come January I do have a belly not too dissimilar from his) debatably two, if you know, you're feeling generous...
My room over the past few months has been a sorry state of affairs, boxes upon boxes of "stuff" and not a single place to put any of it. I've only just sorted it all out fully and just in the St Nick of time too (see what I did there? Cute huh? See! Totally love Christmas). I am now fully prepared for being completely unsocial and 100% lazy and curling up in my little heaven. I figured as I've never really given you the guided tour of my very teeny little world, now would be a great time... Make yourself at home, but bring your own selection box please...

Sophia and Evie the cat (see below) x 

Shop Below pieces at Urban Outfitters:

Other pieces:

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....

Which brings me to the main star of the show (blog post) the Remington Keratin Radiance hair tool range. The idea behind the range is all products are infused with Keratin oil which protects/strengthens and Macadamia oil which reduces frizz and gives me hair a pretty little shiny we all crave... Ie. minimal effort, just bloody lovely, easily achievable dreamy locks! Where's the catch? Wait, there is none? Ok I'll take one of everything! I've no shame in telling you that where hair and beauty are concerned, I've no qualms with cutting corners and making life easier on myself as long as I'm not forfeiting top notch end results (yes I want my cake and I wana eat it), so the Keratin Radiance Range was clearly going to be right up my street.
So incase you haven't notice my hair is kinda shaggy, kinda unkept and kinda wavey. I'm not going to lie, I am (debatably) lucky enough to have a natural kink so I can go au naturel to a degree, however it still needs a little bit of encouragement and a little bit more taming. The Pro Dryer is perfect for showing my locks who's boss from the moment I get out of the shower. It's lightweight, so if like me you suffer from seriously thick hair and drying can take what seems like an eternity, your arm will thank you for a little bit less baggage, trust me. It also comes with a diffuser, which is just the thing you need if you're after creating waves. 
The second product I absolutely love in this range is the Pro Tong. Now there's two sizes available in the tong, one is quite thin (Wand) and one is a little thicker, (Tong). If you're after more loose, wider curls go for the thicker tong. I know that sounds like I'm stating the obvious but if you've got short hair such as myself, I think logic suggests to go for the thinner option and that's just not the case. Little tong's will give you less dishevelled more... Little Bow Peep, your call. As a rule I try and get my hair as wavey as possible by scrunching it (don't know if thats a technical term but we'll go with it) when wet with a lil bit of Moroccan oil and then using the diffuser to dry. The tongs are simply used to perfect a few unruly areas and also curl the front areas of hair away from my face. Pro Tongs couldn't be easier to work and the adjustable heat setting means you can control just how intense the curls you create are! My only tip would be ensure your curling round in the direction away from your face, this looks a whole lot more natural.
The nice thing about the Keratin Radiance Range is my hair feels lovely after using them and there's never a worry of it looking too dry and over done which exactly what you're after with the wavey look! I hate over using hair products and this range completely eliminates the need to. My hair woes truly have become hair WOAHS!!

These two products are just my favourites but you can have a gander at the whole range and stockists (ya know, to give Santa a push in the right direction) on the link below:

Happy Styling,
Sophia x

PS This was a sponsored post but views are forever my own! Promise!

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?!

Just to keep you updated on where I'm at right now, I recently moved back to my home town and it's kinda out in the sticks to say the least... But in all honesty I'm so so so pleased to have done it just as Autumn began, because the colours in the scenery around me are like sometime out of an oil painting! Everyday I walk down to the station and I'm totally inspired by the rolling green hills and gold crispy leaves decorating the streets. I almost begrudge getting on the train back into the grey and dreary reality of Manchester city centre (shhh but don't tell Manchester that).  One of my favourite and most peaceful (I'm so zen now I'm a country bumpkin) things to do is just chuck my head phones on and wonder aimlessly, because I have the luxury of doing that now and not ending up lost in the deepest, darkest depths of a Salford estate. Little insight into my world- My tailor made soundtrack to wonder around, thinking of nothing in particular but being perfectly content looks a little something like this:
Simon & Garfunkel- The Only Living Boy In New York
John Lennon- Oh Yoko!
Donovan- Colours
Nico- These Days
Don McLean- Vincent
Bob Dylan- Girl From The North Country
The Mama & Papa's- Dedicated To The One I Love
George Harrison- Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
Cat Stevens- Here Comes My Baby
The Byrds- Tamborine Man
Leonard Cohen- Suzanne
Neil Young- Heart Of Gold
Bread- Make It With You (Imagine FM Late Night Love taught me well)

I don't know if it's the countryside air going to my head or my scenic surroundings but recently I've been more inspired to take on board my love for rustic colours and welcome it with open arms into my wardrobe. One item in particular I've fallen in love with is the beautiful "rainbow" knit by Whistles photographed below. I'm convinced a team of elves sat down together and made a list of "Sophia's Favourite Colours" and than magicked up this dream stripe jumper... Thanks friends. The beauty of multicoloured stripes is, if like me you're new to this dressing in colour malarky, you can't go wrong! Seriously, pick a colour, any colour and work with it! I teamed mine with this wardrobe staple of a skirt from New Look in forest green. Not to gush too much about my outfit but again, this skirt is a God send. It's a quick fix solution to a "I just don't know what to wear" kinda day and I was so impressed with it I bought it in 3 colours. Yikes! Keen bean. But hold on one sec, as if I hadn't had enough of colour yet I go and add the cherry on the cake... Quite literally, with cherry red (burgundy to a colour maverick) Dr Marten's from AllSole! You know for that extra winter palette, je ne sais pas! Woah, woah, woah! Still not quite done with you yet... One last teeny weeny addition, a winter must, a sheepskin coat. A masterpiece in it's own right, my countryside inspired outfit in which I just let the colours roll...

Sophia x

Shop My Look
Faux Sheepskin- Glamorous but find similar from ASOS
Striped Knit- Whistles
Faux Leather Skirt- New Look
Dr Marten's- AllSole

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! 

The clothes are made from THE most beautiful silk fabric which FYI if you're sit at a desk all day, is a god send because it does NOT crease... Hallelujah! And that's the nice thing about Isabelle's clothing, yes they're super special but they're so transitional from day to night and summer to winter, they are simply, classics or investments pieces if you will. 

I had the easy peasy task of styling some of her pieces, they pretty much style themselves. I chose the Edie skirt in a beautiful deep aubergine and teamed it with a thick chunky jumper from French Connection with matching floral embroidery... I'm a huge fan of winter florals; bold colours in flamboyant designs, there's something a little grand about it. I'm especially thrilled by all the oriental style prints we're seeing in the shops at the moment, ideal for teaming with christmas party sparkles I'm telling you!

The other item I picked out was the Jean dress which I teamed with a gold turtle neck underneath for a seasonal take on the sixties mod vibe. This look has real vintage inspiration but as I'm sure you've learned by now thats just the way I like it. The dress itself is cut incredibly! I don't know about you but as a rule I tend to avoid shift dresses for the simple fact they all tend to be a tad shapeless however this little dream fits like a glove and I pinky promise it's so so SO flattering... I'm holding out to wear it in summer with a less pasty leg colour *looks down at my legs in distain*. 

I honestly had such a blast meeting the power babe behind the label and shooting/modelling such beautifully designed clothes, in one of the most beautifully designed buildings in Manchester. I'm pretty chuffed to finally be able to show you the photos of how I styled the pieces and how I modelled them looking 100% sassy (warning- I have no sass), just call me Miss Fancy Pants...

Miss Fancy Pants x

Outfit 1
Jean Dress- Isabelle Fox
Gold Turtle Neck- Vintage but similar from New Look
Mary Janes- Zara but similar from ASOS

Outfit 2
Edie Skirt- Isabelle Fox