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ASOS Sale Picks.

Hey everyone,

So Christmas is over as quickly as it came, but we're still reeling from it in my household: still living on leftover party food and biscuit selection boxes.
Can't complain though!

I've also been having a bit of a rummage through the online sales.
There's no way I could ever go to the shops during this time - I can't even shop on a busy Saturday, let alone now!

Dorothy Perkins was a bit of a let-down, and Accessorize had almost no stock online.

Also, I put loads of stuff from River Island in my basket, but when I went to the checkout the entire site went down, and by the time it was back up most of the things I had chosen had sold out! It wasn't worth paying for a top that was around the same price as the postage! (Le sigh...)

Rant over!
But as always ASOS' sale is very good, and I've found myself some lovely little bargains:




I also bought the Beth Ditto heart cardigan from Evans that I've wanted ever since the collection was launched, but hadn't been able to justify paying nearly £40 for it.


Also, you know how at the end of every entry I like to post a little about what I've been up to? I really love doing this, and giving you a little insight as to what I'm up to outside the blogosphere.

I liked how the three-picturs at the end looked in my last post, so I'm going to try my best to make this a regular feature.
It'll also give me a opportunity to use my lovely new camera more and more.
I'm still working my way around all the settings, so it'll all be good practice.

So the last few days...


1. Oh, there's nothing more satisfying than a new lipstick is there?
I got two new ones for Christmas: Maneater by Illamasqua and Stormy Pink by Revlon.

2. Last night was the annual get-together me and my friends from school have every year.
This is the gorgeous Sarah telling a very rude joke. Her new years' resolution is to start her makeup blog up again, so please check it out!

3. I was rummaging through an old cupboard and found my old Game Boy, so wasted an hour on Tetris.


Speaking of resolutions, I haven't really given them a thought this year.
In the past I've made a list of ten things to improve, then given up mid-Feburary.

But last year my only resolution was to teach myself to cook and bake.
Honestly last January I couldn't even boil an egg properly - now it's December I've made lots of yummy meals and have found a new passion and hobby.

Hmmm, as for 2011 I'll have to get back to you come the first...

Do you guys have any plans for New Years?
Usually ours are very quiet - I stay home with the family, watch Jools' Annual Hootenanny, (kind of like the UK's version of Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve) eat nibbles and wait for Big Ben to stike twelve.
But this year there may be a fun party to go to which will be a nice change!

Hootenanny! Hootenanny!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Sparkly Christmas Jumper.

Hey everyone,

So yesterday was Christmas, I don't know if you'd heard?
I had a lovely day, full of eating and lazing about - which is what the holiday season is all about for me and my family.

This is what I wore:


JUMPER: Topshop.
DRESS: New Look.
NECKLACE: Lipsy.
RINGS: Accessorize and Miss Selfridge.
SHOES: Office.

POINT OF FASHION: Sparkly and festive!



Santa was kind enough to leave the jumper and shoes under the tree for me!
I've always wanted a snazzy, cuddly jumper - and it's just perfect. And VERY stretchy too, so if you're a few sizes bigger, the 16 should fit you fine!

I was very spoilt by the big man in the red suit (aka: Italian Catholic Mother and dad):

"He" also brought me some Illamasqua makeup, baking stuff (including a pinny and mold to make GIANT cupcakes), a clutch shaped like lips to match my shoes, Bill Bailey's new DVD, and lots of chocolate.
My sister paid attention to my hinting and got me this clutch I've wanted for AGES from Accessorize.
My uncle was also very kind also got me some Vivienne Westwood purfume and the QI annual.

And a few more pictures from yesterday:




1. Every Christmas Eve, we get a new pair of pyjamas. I LOVE these with a gingerbread men design from Primark.

2. Our collective alcohol-related presents. "Merry" Christmas, indeed.

3. As a silly little gift in my stocking, Italian Catholic Mother bought me 'monkey.' If you're not from the UK, he's the face of PG Tips tea.


If you celebrated, I hope you had a wonderful day.
And if you didn't - I hope you enjoyed a nice peaceful Saturday!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...

Hey everyone,

What? What's this? An OUTFIT POST?!!
I'm so sorry this is my first outfit post in forever - but honestly, with the weather lately you'd just see a lots of pictures of me looking grumpy in my polka dot coat.

Also, the sun has been setting earlier and earlier (It started going dark at 2pm on Tuesday!), so it's tricky to take decent photos without a glaring flash (ooh-err!).

But I actually was out the house at a decent hour today, so here is my outfit:


DRESS: New Look.
CARDIGAN: Primark.
HAT: River Island.
HAT PIN: Vintage.
BELT: New Look.
NECKLACE: Lipsy.
TIGHTS: We Love Colors and Asda.
LEG WARMERS: Primark.
BOOTS: Borrowed from my sister.
POINT OF FASHION: Braving the snow...

I promise I did wear my coat as well! Teehee.
Yes, those boots are my sister's as I never did get around to buying a decent pair this season - I'm going to try and snap some up in the sales.

She's two sizes bigger than me in shoes, so I had to wear two pairs of tights, socks and legwarmers to make them fit!

The week leading up to Christmas is one of my favourites, as I get hang out with my friends and do fun, festive things.
So far I've had milkshakes and swapped presents with Hattie and Sam, had a tea date with Megan, and tomorrow I'm seeing Daniel for yet more exchangin' of presents!


Hattie and her white chocolate cocoa.

The takeaway containers held some of my presents to Hattie - as well as a Twinings mug, I made her some rocky road and cookies as she loves my baking!

Both were amaaaaazing if I do say so myself, and there's not many of the leftovers left in my fridge...

As well as seeing Daniel tomorrow, I've also got to bake my contribution to Christmas dinner on Saturday: Sticky toffee pudding!

I posted the recipe and pictures a few months ago as part of my Cupcake Week series, and it's actually not as divorced from Christmas as you'd think: apparently the recipe is not too different to that of figgy pudding!

So as this is going to be my last post before Christmas, I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
I hope everyone has a fabulous day, and Santa visits you all after a detour to the shops...

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Hurry Up, 2011...

Hey everyone,

Another year is drawing to a close, and I'm really looking forward to 2011.

Not that 2010 has been too bad to me - I've done some things I would have never dreamed of doing before.
Most of the things surrounding this blog, and the lovely people like you who read it!

I know we haven't even hit Christmas yet, but this is what am I looking forward to in 2011...

1) Spring/Summer 2011:


I'm hoping S/S 2011 sees a welcome return to girly pastels like like year, however tailored peices are making the trend a lot more ladylike this time.
I'm raising a glass to lots of dresses with swooping swing skirts and nipped in waists.


2) The Vines: Album Number 5:


If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know I have a lot of love for Craig, Ryan, Brad and Hamish - four shaggy haired boys from Australia.

I've been a fan of The Vines since I was a shy thirteen-year-old and I cut my hair to match lead singer Craig Nicholls. (I also left it pretty much unwashed to get the full effect...)

And as a band who've had their fair share of ups and downs, I'm SUPER excited for album number five (their last was Melodia in 2008).

Mind you, if the album was Craig simply reading the phonebook to the sounds of an acoustic guitar, birdsong and occasional screaming I'd still think it was a work of genius.


3) My London, London Bridge wanna go down...



(Yes, yes I know this is Tower Bridge. Shh! ;))


With lots of the lovely opportunites that I've been lucky enough to attend since starting this long, I spent a lot of 2010 travelling to and from London.
It's my favourite city in the world, so I hope to be back plenty more in the new year.

In January I'm going to the opening night of The Children's Hour with my dear friend, Megan.
We're both complete theatre nerds, so we're really excited!
But one of our favourite actresses Keira Knightley is the lead role, so we're going to have to keep our fangirlish squee-ing to an absolute minimum!

Also of course on Feburary 5th is the Plus London Blogger Meetup.
There's now 35 people officially attending - and I can't WAIT to meet you all.

Remember to RSVP to the Facebook event if you'd like to attend (EVERYONE is welcome!) so we have a vague idea about number, and also follow the Tumblr page, which Lauren is updating.


4) 2011: The Year of the Nicola:


Being a Geordie has always made me rather loyal to Cheryl Cole as my favourite member of Girls Aloud, but I've always had a soft spot for Nicola Roberts.

Constantly made fun of in the Media in the past for being the "ugly one" of the band, she's risen amongst the ranks and become a style icon in her own right - including running her successful makeup line.

But Nicola has announced that she's releasing her solo material next year, which I'm very interested in hearing.
I'm hoping it's very electropoppy, along the lines of Sophie Ellis Bextor and Robyn.

Also, FYI - during Popstars: The Rivals, I actually voted for Nicola!


5) A Blank Canvas:


While 2010 has treated me very kindly, there's been some things about it I'm not so fond of. The main one being that I've been out of a job since October, and it feels like a lot longer.

Beth of Anchor of Roses (a BRILLIANT blog by the way - follow follow!) did a brillaint post a few weeks ago about how hard it is for graduates to find work - and how some ignorant so-and-so's simply think we're being lazy or not trying hard enough.

However I'm trying to (as always) look on the bright side of things.
No job, also means there's nothing to hold me back.

There's plenty of things I can be doing:
I recently discovered a journalism internship in Australia (!!!) that sounds very appealing, and/or I'd also maybe like to go back to America next year to visit my friends on the East Coast again. (My American friends don't know this yet, teehee...)

I need to think of this time off as a time for reflection and opportunity, rather than a hindrance.

So peeps, what are YOU looking forward to in 2011?


Oh, and before I forget - thank you thank you to the darling Couture Caramelle who drew this darling chibi of me! I love that she even remembered my Hufflepuff scarf:




Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Peter Pan Collars

Hey everyone,

Sorry for neglecting this blog a little lately. Once again I've been a bit under the weather, but normal service will resume shortly - I promise! *salutes*

Even though I'm a bit low on funds at the moment (ahh jobhunting is so much fun!) I treat myself to an ASOS Peter Pan collared dress I've been coveting since I saw it on Lily's blog.



LOVE LOVE LOVE!


Also, some of you may remember a little while ago I did a post all about my favourite name necklaces?

Well the lovely people at MyNameNecklace.co.uk sent me one of their Carrie Bradshaw-esque name necklaces to review:


It's very cute and dainty - and makes a refreshing change as I do wear a lot of chunky gold jewerelly.
This one is the "Small Sterling Silver "Carrie" Style Name Necklace" retailing at just £19.95.


Although there are more expensive variations available, such as in gold or sparkling diamond-cut.
There are a lot of websites online selling Carrie necklaces, but the necklace arrived within a week of ordering and came with a free gift box. Their customer service is also second to none.



In other news, I've been sending a lot of emails around about the Plus London Blogger Meet, and have had some brilliant responses from companies I deeply admire.

We've also had a lot of RSVP's - waaay more than we anticipated. But the whole idea of this event is to keep it open, and everyone is welcome to attend.
I'm so excited and can't WAIT to meet you guys!


Otherwise, it's been that time of year again when Christmas is creeping ever closer, and there's lots of eating, drinking and being (very) merry!

The highlight was defintely the Pride Radio North East party on Wednesday.
We went for an Italian meal, then to see the Christmas show at Boulevard - which is now my favourite venue in Newcastle!

I thought it was going to be another gay bar, but OH it's so much more than that!

Since we'd been for a meal, we missed most of the earlier shows, but we caught Betty Legs Diamond and some very scrummy boys in tiny, shiny shorts dancing to 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' - and then for the finalé, a drag version of Cinderella.



My co-host and BFF Daniel and some of the Pride Radio lovelies.


I know pantomime is camp already, but Boulevard takes it to a WHOLE new level!


So yeah an absolutely fabulous night - I'm trying to get tickets to see it again before Christmas!
If you're local, I completely recommend checking it out.

Anyhoo I hope you're all good.
I promise I'll be back soon - I've missed you all!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Plus London Blogger Meet

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to give you all a heads-up about the Plus London Blogger Meet that Lauren from Pocket Rocket Fashion is organising.


(Credit)


The initial idea includes:
  • Lunch and mingling.
  • The daytime event will either be shopping or sightseeing, depending on how many people will be coming.
  • A cocktail and canape party on the evening.

I think it's important to point out that EVERYONE is very much welcome, no matter what size you are and it's going to be on Feburary 5th 2011!

You don't even have to be a blogger to come along, we'd love to meet you!
Simply RSVP to the event on Facebook so we can get an idea of numbers.
(Even if you're a 'maybe')


How You Can Help:
  • Mention this event in a blog post, and link back to the Facebook event.
    We'll hopefully have a snazzy graphic soon, and I'll update as soon as we have something!
  • Follow the official Tumblr page PlusLondon - it's looking a bit threadbare at the moment because of the Tumblr crash this weekend, but there's going to be lots of content soon.
  • If you'd like to help out with the organizing in any way, please drop Lauren a line so she can keep you in the know.
  • We're also on the lookout for companies to sponsor the event - from helping with funding the venue/s, to donating items for goodie bags.
    No matter how big or small - if you'd like more information simply let me or Lauren know!
The date is definite, so if you're having to travel (I'm coming from Newcastle), I suggest you book sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, please RSVP if you'd like to come along - and if you need any more information, just tweet, comment or email me!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

(Updated) Red Hair: How To & Upkeep!


EDIT: I still get a lot of hits to this page - please note this entry was from 2010.

Because of the layout of my blog, I can't directly reply to comments so if you have a specific question I'd suggest tweeting me for the quickest response. Though I try to cover as much as I can in the below videos! :)


Hey everyone,

If you follow me on Twitter and YouTube, you'll know that I re-dyed my hair bright red.

It was nice enough before, but wasn't as bright and vibrant as I wanted. So I decided to start all over again and get the candy apple/cherry red colour I've always wanted.

So instead of making this a reallyyyyy long post, I've made two videos on how I did my hair.

The first is all about choosing the right shade of red, and of course how I dyed my hair and which products I used:



And the second has lots of information on keeping red hair really bright and vibrant:



My blog gets a lot of hits from people Googling for red hair tips, and a lot of emails and comments asking what I use - so hopefully this will be of some help.

I'll be adding this to my original red hair entry from back in May.


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Dear Santa...love MessyCarla!

Hey everyone,

I'm glad you liked the novelties and nifty gifties in my last post.
It was requested in the comments that I do a version for the boy-folk, so I'll see what I can do with that.

I've finally got a decent list together for Santa myself, now!
Here's the letter I'll be flying up the chinmey within the next week or so...


Sighhhhh.

Isn't the jumper FABULOUSSS? So glittery and perfect for the rotten weather we've been having lately.
What with Topshop's funny sizing I had to try this on, and the size 16 is VERY stretchy and generous, so if you like it and are bigger than a 16 do give it a try!

And can you BELIEVE those lovely kitschy shoes are just £10 in the sale down from £45?!
I've even found a matching kissy-lips clutch back on Ebay for £6, so I'll be matching. (AND NOT TACKY AT ALL...right?)

I also haven't tried Sugarpill yet but I've heard so many good things about them I'm trying their loose powders in Goldilux (shown) and also Stella, which is black with lots of sparkle.


Also, Santa is being very kind and delivering a present EARLY this year...

My favourite band in the world, The Vines are releasing their new single Gimme Love (I need to stop singing this in the style of 'Gimme More...') in a few weeks.

It's their first single in well over two years, so you can guess I'm REALLY excited.
I love the shaggy-haired Australian rockers so much!



Love love loveeee.


Finallement, I'm now an Ambassador for the lovely makeup brand Eyeko!
If you spend over £15/€18/$20 at http://www.eyeko.com/ you get a free gift.
Simply use my code E12760 to claim online!

Since Eyeko can be a little difficult to find instores, this would perhaps be a great opportunity to get some of their lovely unique items for gifts?



Somebody has already used my code (thank you, thank you!) and so I have some little gifties heading my way too - so it's win win, really!
(I'll of course show you what I get when it arrives - I'm excited!)


Oh, and before I forget - I'm very sorry for the lack of Outfit Posts at the minute!

Because of the afformentioned bad weather, my outfits have pretty much been the same, and you guys don't want to see the same thing over and over again right?

However, I'm going to be doing some more videos soon, now that my sister has found her camera charger.
I re-dyed my hair red over the weekend, and it's much more vibrant so I'll be doing a video about how I did it, including products - so consider it an updated version of this post.

Also, I'm going to be doing the 30 Days challenge that a lot of bloggers have been doing lately, where a different question is answered every day.
Since we're nearing the end of November I figured I'd so this as vlog-style beginning December 1st and finishing December 30th.

I'll be posting the videos on here too, but if you'd like to subscribe to my YouTube channel, please do - so you don't miss anything!
If there's anything else you'd like to see in a video, please let me know.
As always, I love hearing your suggestions.

Phew, sorry if this entry has been a bit word heavy!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.


Christmas Presents: The Best of the NOVELTIES!

Hey everyone,

It's November 25th...officially one month until Christmas is here!
I've been feeling very festive this year, surprisingly!

I'm usually a bit of a bah humbug - especially as my S.A.D gets me a bit gloomy.
But funnily enough it hasn't seemed to effect me very much this year, so hoorah!

I've also been super-organised this year. Annoyingly so, you could say.
I have most of my presents in (I've also had three birthdays to buy for as well!), as well as the wrapping and my cards.

And while I love buying Christmas presents, as for me it's an excuse to go shopping - there's always that ONE person in your life who it's difficult to buy for as they seem to have everything!
They have plenty of clothes, jewellery, makeup etc.

And when you ask them to give you a ballpark on what to buy, they just reply: "Anything!" Hmmph!

So for these special people you move on to something very special that comes but once a year...the novelty present!
And it doesn't all have to be cheap tat - you can definitely get something quite cute if you do some looking.

Here's my top novelty picks:


*EDIT: The itsKitch toast press is actually only £3! WHOOPS!

I have SUCH a soft spot for silly things like these - but I like that you can put most of them to regular use!

There is one thing I've neglected this Christmas however...my own presents!
I've spent November fussing about what I'm going to get other people, when Italian Catholic Mother asked what I wanted, I struck a blank!

We went Christmas shopping yesterday evening however, and picked out lots of lovely stuff - but I'll save that for my next post!


I love this picture of my sister (notice her new lip peircing?) and I.C.M laden with shopping bags full of goodies.

Nadia picked out a fabulous scarf from River Island, a cosy dressing gown from Dorothy Perkins and a Cath Kidson bag.
I think she's getting a lot of books this year too.

How about you guys?
Do you think you're easy to buy for, or have your friends got to drag you late night shopping and make you point out what you want?
As always, I love hearing from you - so do let me know!

I hope all you Americano-types had a wonderful Thanksgiving - I've always wanted to be in the USA during Thanksgiving as I've already been there for 4th July.
Hmm...one year one of you will have to invite me around for some turkey and pumpkin pie, yes? Heehee.

It's always nice to say something we're thankful for.
I'm thankful for my lovely family, and my best friends Daniel and Sam.

Also for everyone who reads this blog, and your constant support.
You lot are the best cheerleading squad in the world!
*knuckle-bumps you all*


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.


PS:
UK folk - bloody stupid snow, am I right? Bah!
PPS: I am not sponsored by any of the companies featured.

MessyCarla and the Deathly Hallows.

Hey everyone,

Well, Potterweek is finally here!
Co-inciding with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows me and my friend Natalie went to a Harry Potter quiz at the Tyneside Cinema earlier on in the week, and this is what I wore:

DRESS: Vintage.
CARDIGAN: Dorothy Perkins.
SCARF: Handmade.
NECKLACE: Dorothy Perkins.
BELT: New Look.
TIGHTS: Dorothy Perkins.
BOOTS: Fenwicks.
POINT OF FASHION: Hufflepuff.

This isn't the best picture of me in the whole wide world, because it was dark, drizzly, windy and I was in a hurry to meet Natalie. But I've just got to show off my lovely Hufflepuff scarf.

My mam (aka: Italian Catholic Mother) knitted it for me a few years ago, but it's so soft and cosy it's perfect for the winter. And great for showing Badger Pride!

The quiz was so much fun - I loved the geeky team names everybody had chosen: The Quidditch Queens, The Weasleys, S.P.E.W, God Hates Hufflepuffs (I booed them!), The Chudley Cannons...yeah, Harry Potter fans really are a different breed of people aren't we?

Themed cocktails were also served.
I had Infusion of Gurdyroot, which was vodka, Midori, Blue Curacao and cranberry juice:



Yummmmmm!


Natalie had a Felix Felicis (vodka, butterscotch liquer and lemonade), and a Gillywater (vodka, creme de menthe, creme de cacao, butterscotch and milk) but neither of us were brave enough to try Firewhisky (bourbon and tabasco sauce).
Completely alcohol-free versions were available too, which was a nice touch.

We came sixth out of fifteen teams, which I don't think was too bad seeing as neither of us has read the books in about a year, and there was only the two of us!


I'm actually not long back from seeing the new film.
I've already tweeted a few of my thoughts, but if you'd like to read my two cents, just highlight the white text below.
(Yes, there are spoilers - and apologies if my thoughts are a bit scrabbled, I've only been back from the screening a few hours and wanted to get everything down before I forget.)

I solomnly swear I am up to no good...

Visually, it’s a gorgeous film – the cinematography of lonely beaches and abandoned forests are bleak, but stunning and reflect the mood of the characters.

The Ministry of Magic scenes are fantastic – and are the crux (or should that be HORcrux? Oh shut up, Carla.) of the action scenes which unlike the others films are far between.

You can tell most of the action scenes were originally prepared for 3D, notably the chase scene with ‘the seven Potters’, and with Nagini the snake, so I found these do fall a little flat – especially in comparison to the rollercoaster-esque opening scenes of The Half Blood Prince.

I also adored the animated scene, with the Tale of the Three Brothers being told shadow puppet style.

Out of all the films, for me it’s one which follows the book pretty much gospel.
But as such, lots of characters are introduced at once, which could be pretty difficult to follow if you haven’t read the books. For example, the characters of Gregorovitch and Grindleward are not explained very well, nor why Bathilda Bagshot turns into a snake.

Unlike the other films, I like that they keep the little scenes in – such as in the ambush in the Muggle café, which I suppose is one of the perks of the story being sliced in half.
As in the books, it’s a constant reminder than nowhere is safe – even the Muggle world is well and truly infiltrated.

All being said, I am glad there are two parts, as the cliff-hanger at the end is a brilliant choice (rumours were it was originally going to end when the trio are captured by the Snatchers), and it does pull you in for Part Two.
It just makes me wonder if people who aren’t completely entranced by the Potterworld will be able to remember all the little pointers that link to the bigger story.

The film does try to pick up repeatedly in the middle – but it doesn’t quite live up to the excitement at the start.
Rupert Grint does supply some comic timing, which is well received after long drawn out shots of Harry looking pensive into the distance.

Deathly Hallows was always going to be a difficult one to make into a movie, as it’s very character driven, and there are large portions of the book where nothing much happens.
This is pretty difficult to transfer to screen, and I could definitely hear fidgeting from kids (I went to the 5pm showing) all the way through.

I mentioned on Twitter that I thought the whole thing was a bit of an anti-climax, and this quote from the Guardian pretty much sums up my thoughts: “Deathly Hallows looks great, in the way that a show home looks great.”
...Mischief managed!

I would like to point out as well, that I was sat beside two utter cretins who ate massive packets of popcorn and chewed so loud I felt like I was sharing an aisle with Mr Ed.
So I’d like to dedicate my surly mood while watching the film, to them. Hmmph!




So how many of you guys here are Potternuts?
Have you stayed with Harry until the very end...or is it well and truly time for Hogwarts to close the doors to their hallowed halls?


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

PS: Oh, and for you local lovelies - there's another quiz on at the Tyneside Cinema tomorrow at 2pm especially for children and families. Check the website for more details.

Indie Spotlight: Crown & Glory

Hey everyone,

It's Indie Spotlight time, again!

Meet the lovely Sophie from whimsical accessories line, Crown & Glory:

"My name is Sophie King and I am a 22 year old Photographic Art graduate from the University of Wales, Newport. I currently reside in rainy Cornwall with my boyfriend and cat, Little Boots.

Crown and Glory is run as a hobby from my 6ft square spare bedroom.
At the moment I am undertaking internships in marketing and promotions to enable me to apply for work with galleries and arts organisations.

I strongly believe in the value of arts education and love learning. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, though! Aside from that, I'm all about cats, cooking and marathon shopping."



And I just had to quiz her about her designs...

1. What inspires you to make your creations?

It might sound a little self-obsessed, but I only ever make pieces that I would wear myself. I was originally inspired to start Crown and Glory due to an apathy with hair accessories available on the high street; I wanted something different so started making butterfly headbands!
Keeping in with these themes I'm also heavily inspired by nature and keep an eye on the trends, too; though again, only ones I personally like! You won't be seeing a shearling headband any time soon.


2. What is your best selling item and why do you think this is?

The Daisy Duke's headband is the best selling item, and I think it's because it's fairly cheap (£4), unique and quirky. It suits all ages as well; I've had orders for 3 year olds and 30 year olds!


3. I love the Avada Kedavra Bobby Pin Set - and right on time for the last Harry Potter film being released! Are you planning any more Potter-related peices?

Thankyou! I'm such a huge Harry Potter fan I couldn't let the release date pass without making something! It's another testimony to the fact that I only make things I'll wear myself...I made these to wear to the screening, and figured I'd put them online to see if anyone else wanted them! If they sell, then that's great. No plans to make any more yet, but I never say never!


4. What more can we expect from Crown & Glory?

I'm hoping Crown and Glory will carry on growing from strength to strength; the success it has had in the last six months has been quite overwhelming, really!
Hopefully I can find a way of doing that whilst still keeping my passion for the brand and products alive. I would love to be stocked in some independent retailers, and plan to investigate the best way to make that possible!
As far as products go, I'm looking forward to adding some edgier pieces to the Moonlight Constellation Collection, and making some more floral crowns in the spring.

5. Where else on the internet do you live?

Blog.
Twitter.
Facebook.
Tumblr.

Sophie was kind enough to send me a peice to review, and I chose the Antoinette Floral Comb, as I thought it would look great with my red hair:



I LOVE it.
I already miss wearing flowers in my hair from Summer, but the twirly vines keep it very Autumnal!


Believe me, it was SO hard having to pick just one peice - here are my other favourites:

I love how all the prices are very recession-proof, yet reasonable for the quality of the peices. And best of all, you lovely folk can all get 15% off if you use the code MESSYCARLA until the end of December.
So if you're in need some lovely, original stocking fillers, I suggest you take advantage of this!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.



PS: Be sure to check out the previous posts in the Indie Spotlight Series, and support your independent designers!


Also, me and Daniel are back on Pride Radio tomorrow 2pm-4pm GMT.
Tune in at
http://www.prideradio.co.uk for X Factor snark (and warm up for the eviction show!), celebrity banter and some fantastic pop music!

'Tis the Season to PARTY!

Hey everyone,

As the holiday party season is creeping up on us, with lots of dates for work functions and reunions being penciled in diaries everywhere - I hit the shops looking for some fabulous party dresses!

My go-to place for fabulous dresses has always been Dorothy Perkins. I just find the cuts fit me very well, and I was very impressed with their stuff online. So here's some changing room pictures:

1: The 'TOO-SHORT' dress.

To give Dorothy Perkins their due, this is advertised as a 'tunic' and on the website is paired with some skinny jeans and heels.
But I don't really do jeans (especially not on a night out!) so I tried this on as a dress, and it would be SO cute if it was just a few inches longer. I know I'm a Geordie, but even we have boundaries...
Oh, and this is also available in cream.


2: The fugly/cute dress.



(CLICK)

When I saw this on the hanger I had to try it on, because it looked rather hideous. But the joke was on me, as when I popped it over my head...I really liked it!
Don't judge on the horrendous picture - I didn't know how to show you the fabulous sleeves any other way.

This is so not my usual style, but I decided to branch out and bought it.
I promise to post a much more flattering photo soon, with it all styled up.

(EDIT: I later returned this, just changed my mind! :))

3: The ONE! aka: The sparkly Christmas dress.



I love sparkle and shimmer at Christmas, so fell in love with this dress at once! It's very flattering, and I love the massive sleeves. Last year I was all about statement shoulders, this year is statement sleeves.

When I showed Italian Catholic Mother, she thinks it's "a bit too short" - but I think it's just right in proportion to my height. An inch or two longer and it may have looked a little frumpy.

So what are you guys going to be wearing over the party period?


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

(PS: I'm in no way affiliated with Dorothy Perkins - I just love their stuff!)

OUTFIT POST: Panda Girl!

Hey everyone,

Finallement! It's been aaaaages since I've done a proper Outfit Post.
I was a bit off a few weeks ago, and this week I caught a cold after coming back from London.

Anyhoo, on to the post:


IMMA REAL PANDA!!!


COAT:
River Island.
SHORTS: Dorothy Perkins.
HAT: River Island.
SCARF: Vivienne Westwood.
MITTENS: Accessorize.
TIGHTS: Asda.
SHOES: Primark.
POINT OF FASHION: Cosy Panda Girl!

I know, I know everybody and their next door neighbour has a silly hat from River Island.
But I got mine last year, and one of my first posts was about it so I still do love it muchly!

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen me wearing this get-up, and looking rather bundled.

I was on my way to a fireworks display at South Shields beach, which is freezing cold even in Summer. So because I'm just getting better now, I really had to wrap up warm.

I'm also hiding my nose (well, the septum) as I'm still having a bit of Rudolph action going on there. Hmph!

I came downstairs after getting ready, and my dad said "Bloody hell, Captain Scott wore less than he went to the Antartica. Also, you're wearing that silly hat again?"
Personally, I think dad is just jealous he doesn't have a panda hat.




Finally, this is my FAVOURITE advert at the minute.
When it came on during Saturday night's X Factor (which I found incredibly dull - anybody else think so?) I couldn't stop laughing!




"NO! NOT COWS - I'M LACTOSE INTOLERANT!!"


I want that little guy's action figure now - can't wait to see my mam's face when I ask for one as a stocking filler. She'll think I've finally lost the plot.

The description on the website is so funny too: "When he is angry, he is really angry. He'll stamp his feet and roar at others, but no-one pays him any attention." Awwww!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

EDIT: I can't BELIEVE I almost forgot to tell you guys - me and Daniel are back on the radio this Sunday!



We first began presenting on Pride Radio for a few weeks over the summer to co-incide with Northern Pride. But the station now has a permanent home (snuggled in the middle of the gay scene) which we're all so excited about!

So we're back a little earlier than last time, on SUNDAY 14th NOVEMBER 2pm-4pm GMT.
I'll post some reminders on here and Twitter, so please tune in if you can.
There's going to be fabulous pop music, pre-X Factor eviction banter and our regular celebrity snark.

Also, please give the website a clicky-clicky, and also my darling friend/co-presenter Daniel's blog Silly Old Daniel Says...

Movember

Hey everyone,

If you don't know, November is the month for the boys!
International Men's Day is on November 19th, and according to the website, this objectives of the day are:

  • To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  • To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  • To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  • To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
  • To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
  • To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.

Doesn't sound to shabby does it?

Co-inciding with this is the Movember event, where moustaches are grown throughout the month to raise funds and awareness for men's health issues (however in the UK, Movember specifically focuses on Prostate Cancer awareness).


According to the website's statistics, men are less likely to visit their doctor - mostly because of embarassment.
But the logic is by having something humourous like a moustache as a catalyst, this will get the boys talking about their bits!

Now as a girl, I am unable to grow a moustache (*hides pot of Veet behind back*), there's got to be another way I can show my support, right? Right!


For every Makia Movember item sold, 20% will be donated to the charity - so get your dad's/brother's/boyfriend's/husband's etc's Christmas presents sorted!

You can check out other charity items for sale on the official Movember website, including moustache combs and slippers.


In other news - I hope all my fellow British lovelies have something nice planned for Bonfire Night, tonight. Whatever you do, please stay safe!

This is one of my favourite holidays, and I do find it rather sad that it's celebrated a lot less than the very Americanised Halloween (which I do love too!).
Wrap yourself up warm and go down to an organised fireworks display (check your local paper).

Be sure to bring some treats such as soup, treacle toffee and honeycomb. Nom nom nom.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Yours Blogger Event

Hey everyone,

Monday was the blogger event for Yours.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't know much about them previously as there aren't any Yours stores up North, but I was honoured to be asked to attend - especially as most of my favourite plus-sized bloggers were attending.



Walking the catwalk, you can see on the website.
Check out my MOAR MODEL THAN THOU pose...

The day was very informal, and it was interesting hearing about why we all started blogging as we all have different stories, different sizes and different styles.

They took us for a tour of the headquarters in Peterborough (so I also got to meet up with my friend Adam who I haven't seen since graduation - you can see him in my last post, dressed as a dragon...) and showed us the new collection, even letting us try on whatever we wanted.

We were like kids in a candy shop, sauntering around in faux fur coats, glittery shrugs and party gowns.
Georgina took loads of lovely pictures and did a waaaay better write-up than me, so give her a clicky-clicky.

So many, many thanks to Yours for a lovely day out.
And be sure to check out the other girls, all of whom are adorable:

Devon from Fat Nurse. (She also did the organising to KUDOS, chica!)
Lauren from Pocket Rocket Fashion.
Steph (my fellow Northerner!) from Buttons, Bows and Brogues.
Kat from Plus Size Beauty.
Georgina from Cupcake's Clothes.

I stayed over at Lauren's in Essex (innit!) and we had some girly chat, ate pizza and watched stupid YouTube videos (we're both addicted to memes).

This one with James Franco parodying his own Gucci by Gucci commericial especially had me actually crying with laughter.
I wish you could directly embed the video - boooooo!

Finallement, to cure my post-London blues, I recieved my giveaway prize from The Nearsighted Owl, which is an uber-cute vintage trinket holder shaped like a owl.

I'm going to keep my collection of rings in there, as I haven't had anywhere nice to keep them until now.


SO CUUUUUTE!

Thank you so much for the lovely prize, Rachele!
Be sure to check out her blog too, as I just love her style.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Halloween Picspam!

Hey everyone,

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I'm not doing anything this Halloween this year.
It's the first year I haven't really been inspired by it. Don't get me wrong, it's still one of my favourite holidays, but I just have no real desire to go out and celebrate it.

So looks like it's going to be a night in front of the TV (Sarah Millican's 'One Night Stand' is on Dave, and I was in the audience when they recorded it with a few of my friends - I've already spotted some people I know in the clip!) in my new polka dot pyjamas sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Then probably watching my Vincent Price DVD box set. I really adore him.

So what I thought I'd do instead is provide with you with a picspam (remember them from the good old days of LJ?) of my costumes over the past year or so.
For a 21 year old, I really have dressed up more than necessary...



Last Halloween a bunch of us dressed up as zombies to promote a Halloween all-nighter in Sunderland.We were ejected from The Bridges shopping mall by security...


LOVE this picture from the zombie day. Sometimes they're in need of a change from eating brains all the time...


Kathy Seldon from Singin In The Rain for Faye's TV & Film birthday party.
(People thought I was Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray...)


My old work buddies for another TV & Film party.
How many do you recognise? ;)


My cheapo costume from Halloween 2009 - an 80s bride. I got everything for under £10.


Hannah, Kristian and Tom as FunnyBones.


Two Alex DeLarges!
I'm not just being biased, but I think my friend Neale looks the best with his fringe.
I also drew his eyelashes on for him.


I've been dressed as Alex Delarge this year too...



Tyler as Jigsaw, Kelsey as a dead scuba diver and some guy as very convincing Mr. Tumnus.
I actually ignored Tyler for the first hour or so of the party as I didn't recognise him!


With Becky as Sally!


Joe as Lady Gaga and Jamie as a wrester (I think...?)



David's homemade robot costume was my favourite last year - I especially loved his light-up nips!


Kisses for my poor friend David because he's stuck in a Saw trap. *sadface*


Fran's amazing Saw trap costume. All made herself with odds and ends she found, then painted.


RAWRRRRRR! Dragon Adam!
"He spent all day making that bloody flame, he's so proud of it!" - my friend, Megan.

I did warn you that Media students take Halloween VERY seriously, right?
If any of the people above have a link with their name, give it a clicky-clicky as they'll take you to their various blogs/showreels etc. They're a pretty talented bunch!

But if you have a last minute party to go to, hopefully I've given you some last minute inspiration.

Oh! I almost forgot - I found this on an old hard drive a few months ago, and it is quite possibly my favourite fancy dress idea ever...


Curly hair, bright t-shirt, cardigan, necklace, wayfarers, painted nails, flipflops and a pose?
James went to a fancy dress party a few years ago dressed as Daniel!
Heh.


So do any of you guys have Halloween plans this year? What are you dressing as?
Do let me know, I love hearing back from you guys!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.