Friday fancies #1

Hey Guys,

So this is a new feature I am calling ‘Friday Fancies’ Every Friday I will post an item that I have been coveting all week.

To start it off this week’s fancy is this beautiful yellow maxi skirt from ASOS Yellow maxi skirt

I really need to invest in a new maxi skirt and this one is a bargain at just £14 in the sale! I love the colour, so perfect for summer.

Love from JJ

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BellaSorella launch party + interview with Lydia Bright

Lydia BrightHey Guys,

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party of new pop up store Bella Sorella. Bella Sorella is a beautiful boutique run by Lydia Bright (star of ‘the only way is Essex’) and her sister Georgia. The girls opened their first boutique in Essex 18 months ago and launched an online store 6 months later. Now they are touring the country opening pop up stores in several cities. I attended the launch of their Bristol pop up store in Cabot Circus, which will be open for four days from the 26th – 28th July.Bella Sorella 002 Bella Sorella 003 Bella Sorella 006Bella Sorella 013
Florence dressThe launch party was a fantastic night. I loved getting a sneak peek at all the beautiful dresses before the store opens. I also got the chance to meet Lydia and interview her…

JJ: What first inspired you to open a boutique?

LB: Our flagship store in Essex was always a big dream of ours. Our family owned boutiques and so it was just something we always wanted to do, we were brought up around our family owning boutiques. So me and Georgia launched ours one year six months ago and then we did so well we decided to launch online six months later, which also went amazing. So for 2013 we decided to hold these pop up stores. It’s just a great way to bring it to everyone.

JJ: How many of these pop up stores are you doing?

LB: We are doing seven in total. We’ve already done London and this is our second in Bristol.

JJ: Are you having fun doing them?

LB: I am yeah. It’s a lot of hard work because me and my sister are the only partners in our business. We’ve got 6 employees but me and Georgia do all the day to day overall running with our expansion and our buying. It’s quite full on just for us two but we are so passionate about it that we are really enjoying it.

JJ: I didn’t realise you were so hands on with it

LB: Yeah it’s just us two that are partners so we do everything ourselves, we funded everything ourselves, we do all our buying, all our expansion, we run our site, we write our descriptions. Yeah we do everything.

JJ: What can people expect when they come into the pop up stores?

LB: They can come in and see our fashion and what we have to sell, we’ve also got our home ware and our jewelry. They can get a picture with me, chat with me if they want to. They can also enter our competitions. So there’s lots to offer even if people haven’t got the money and they just want to come in and just see what we are doing.

JJ: Do you have a personal favourite out of all the dresses?

LB: I’d probably say my favourite out of the stuff we’ve brought here would be the Florence dress.

JJ: That’s one of my favourites too!

LB: It is cute, it’s very fifties isn’t it?

JJ: Do you have any advice or tips for girls who dream of opening their own boutique?

LB: If you are prepared to put in the hard work,because it is very very hard, and take the risk then just go for it. Just make sure you do a lot of research beforehand. Make sure you do a proper cash flow and ensure that you can keep up with the rent and rates. Research your audience and market, what people shop down that high-street, just do loads and loads of research. Attend all the trade fairs as well which are great and they are free of charge. It’s great to go there and meet suppliers and to research what’s big on the high street and in boutiques that season. Owning a boutique is a 24 hour job, you just need to make sure you are that passionate about it and you’re willing to put in all your energy.

Lydia was lovely and an absolute pleasure to interview. Bella Sorella is a wonderful store, there were so many gorgeous items that I loved. I bought a silver and mother of pearl ring which I think is just stunning and
I’m also tempted to go back this weekend and pick up some super cute shorts that I spotted.

If you are in Bristol over the next few days you should definitely pop into the store. Also check out their online boutique you won’t be disappointed!

Love from JJBloglovin / Twitter / Instagram

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Review: The minimum wage dress

dressHey Guys.

This is the ‘minimum wage dress’ from Shelikes.com. The dress went on sale on 20th June this year and only costs a measly £3.68, the minimum wage for under 18s in the UK. The dress is aimed at young girls who work hard for very little cash and are feeling increasing pressure to still look stylish and follow trends.

The more I have heard about this dress the more curious I have become. When the dress originally launched in June I read a few articles about it in the papers, most of which seemed to be suggesting that it was nothing more than a gimmick and questioning whether the dress was actually good value for money. I have also seen quite a few negative blog posts about the dress, again suggesting that it will probably fall apart after one wash, will look cheap etc. One blogger even claimed to be insulted by the very idea of it! However, none of these bloggers had actually bought or tried the dress before giving their opinions on it. That just didn’t seem fair to me. So I decided that I would purchase the dress and ‘roadtest’ it. I hope you enjoy my review, I have tried to answer some key questions…

How is it made?

My first thought was “where/how has the dress been made?” I had visions of some poor Indian child in sweatshop knocking up these dresses. After a small amount of research I discovered that they are actually made by Figa store, a clothing and fabric manufacturer in Leicester. I definitely favor brands who support British manufacturers and so Shelikes earns brownie points for that.

How does it look?

When I first saw the dress on the website I have to admit that I thought it looked a little cheap and nasty, as did the other bloggers I mentioned above. The main reason for this is that the model in the photo is clearly wearing a dress that is a couple of sizes too big for her. This creates the illusion of a badly fitting and therefore bad quality dress. You should not judge this dress by the picture on the website as it does not do it any justice Web picsat all.

I am not for one second suggesting that I wore the dress better than the model, I just feel that it looks so much better in real life than in the websites photos. Minimum wage dress

The dress is shaped well and I love the way it looks. It fits me perfectly and the colour is bright and fun. I should probably also mention that it comes in four different colours.

Is the material good quality?

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by the material. I was expecting something flimsy that would fray and unravel as soon as I even looked at it, but I am really pleased to say that I was wrong about that. Obviously it’s not the same quality fabric as a £80 dress from Lipsy but if I compare it to some of my other bargain dresses that I have bought in the price range of £10 – £20 then the quality is just fine, if not better. It has a lycra kind of feel to it which makes it quite figure hugging but I really like that.

Can people tell it is cheap?

I posted a pic of me wearing the dress on Facebook and asked my friends to guess how much it cost. Their answers ranged from £25 – £45 with the average guess being around £30. So clearly no it does not look cheap.

Is it wearable?

Yes! I wore it out to dinner with my boyfriend. We went to a nice hotel to eat and I can honestly say I didn’t feel out of place or underdressed or even embarrassed for wearing such a cheap dress as I really don’t think it is obvious that it is a cheap dress. I actually had a few compliments on it! Avon gorge

There were no snags or frays or anything. The one thing I will say is that it is quite short and would start to ride up a little as I was walking. However, I think that can be expected from most mini dresses.

Is it washable?

I washed the dress on a standard 40 degree synthetics wash. It came out looking like thisphoto

Exactly the same! The colour didn’t fade or bleed and there was no ‘bobbling’ on the material. I was very happy with that.

My overall opinion.

Despite my initial doubts and skepticism I can honestly say that I love this dress. I genuinely enjoyed wearing it. I think it is great value for money and will definitely be wearing it again.

I hope you enjoyed my review or even found it helpful. Have any of you bought the minimum wage dress? Would you? I would love to know your thoughts.

Love from JJBloglovin / Twitter / Instagram

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20 random facts about me

Hey Guys,

I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers doing ‘random facts about me’ type posts and I decided I would have a go at doing one myself. I always love to read these kinds of posts. I think it’s fab to get to know a little more about the person behind the blog and also I’m kinda nosey!

So here goes…

  1. My real name is Jade Evelyne-Marie. I am named after Jade Jagger and my two great grandmothers. A lot of people tell me I have a ‘movie star name’ but personally I prefer to be called JJ, it’s snappier 🙂
  2. I love to travel and start to feel very restless if I stay in one place too long. I have been to Italy, Spain, Ibiza, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Thailand, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Morocco and the USA.
  3. My favourite place in the whole world is Matapalo. A tiny village on the pacific coast of Costa Rica. I lived there for a while and I’ve never been happier. I think it is the most beautiful place in the world.Matapalo
  4. I struggle with anxiety and depression and have done most of my life. I’m ok at the moment tho 🙂
  5. I am weirdly private about my music collection. When people start scrolling through my Ipod I feel like they are reading my diary!
  6. I have a LOT of phobias (the joys of an anxious personality!) Some of the weirder ones include rag dolls, singing children, bald men with beards and Noel Edmonds!
  7. I have 4 jobs and I am a full time student.
  8. I find it extremely hard to relax. I have to constantly be doing something productive otherwise I feel guilty for being lazy.
  9. I speak Spanish and I can read French, I could probably speak it a little too I’m just not that confident with it.
  10. I have had 3 tumors in my head and have had surgery so many times I have actually lost count. I’m all clear now 😀
  11. I love turtles. They are the bestest animals ever. 254870_10150206273757181_3933335_n
  12. The only bones I have ever broke are my toes which I broke when a sea turtle was dropped on my foot. We were trying to load it onto the roof of a fire truck during a hurricane…True story!!
  13. I love red wine.
  14. I really suck at being a girl. I am genuinely clueless when it comes to makeup. I only ever wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick on a day to day basis. I have no idea how to use primer, foundation, etc… and I don’t even understand what BB cream is!
  15. I’ve been together with my boyfriend for almost 3 years and he is the love of my life.262998_10150214405512181_7287996_n
  16. I am super adventurous. One of my best adventures was camping out overnight at the top of an active volcano.
  17. Some of my other adventures include: camel trekking in the Sahara desert, flying a plane, bareback riding wild horses, sleeping under the stars in an African nature reserve with cheetahs and jumping off of an underground waterfall. 77002_10151132915127181_1729472635_n 5969_109015067180_2041849_n
  18. Mexican food is the best!
  19. I am terrible at baking.
  20. In my lifetime I have experienced a hurricane, volcano eruption, flash flood and an earthquake. The earthquake registered 5.9 on the Richter scale and was a really weird experience!

Those are my random facts, I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better. Why not tell me a fact about you? Love from JJ

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Backless

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In this heat wave when I’m not at work I am making the most of the sunshine. I’ve mostly been rocking bikinis with casual summer dresses or long T-shirts thrown over the top. I actually already blogged this dress here but I forgot to take photos of the back. The back of this dress is lovely and definitely deserving of its own blog post!Love from JJ

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Gromit unleashed

2Hey Guys,

This weekend my baby sis and I took to the streets of Bristol to follow the ‘Gromit unleashed’ trail.

Gromit unleashed is a charity art exhibition, raising money for Bristol children’s hospital. I actually spent most of my childhood in the children’s hospital so it is a charity that is very close to my heart. The idea is that there are 80 Gromit sculptures dotted around the city for people to find. Each sculpture has been designed by a different artist/celebrity/public figure and after 10 weeks the sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money for the hospital. I love the idea behind it and it was so much fun finding Gromits. We only managed to find 8 before the heat got too much for us but we will try again next weekend.

Gromit unleashed Wallace and gromit 6After all the trekking around town we had worked up quite an appetite and so we stopped for a tasty lunch at mission burrito. Yum!

If you want to find out more about Gromit unleashed then click here There is also an app available where 40p of the cost will be donated to Bristol children’s hospital.

It was ridiculously hot so I kept my outfit really simple. I bought the dress from a market in Costa Rica a few years back. It’s great for just throwing over the top of my bikini. I jazzed it up with my H! by Henry Holland lips bag and my current fave necklace.

Gromit1 Gromit3 photoDress – unbranded // Bag – H! by Henry Holland // Necklace – Veuxdoo // Sunglasses – Primark

Please excuse the state of my hair, I’m trying to avoid bleaching it for as long as I can but my roots are starting to look pretty yucky!

Love from JJ

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Hungry like the wolf

wolf and skort3 Hey Guys,

How amazing is this heatwave we are having? I am loving the weather at the moment.

Friday evening I had a BBQ with my family and my boyfriend. It was really nice to have some family time as I have been working like crazy for the last month.

Wolf and skort1 wolf and skort2Top – Veuxdoo // Skort – Zara via Ebay // Shoes – New Look (old) // Cuff – Etsy // Earrings – handmade

So I’ve found myself wearing every bloggers favourite skort. I usually try to avoid wearing the ‘it’ items simply because I really can’t stand it when I feel like I am dressed exactly the same as everyone else. I bought the skort ages ago and this is the first time I’ve worn it. It has been sitting in my closet because I actually feel weirdly guilty for following the crowd and buying a ‘must-have’ item. It kind of goes against the title of this blog right? But the problem is I do actually adore the skort and have been thinking about all the wonderful ways I can style it. To wear or not to wear that is the question that has been running through my mind for the last few weeks. Eventually I decided to just get over myself and wear it because I like it and who cares if everyone else has the same thing, I just want to wear what makes me happy.

I styled my skort with my amazeballs new top from Veuxdoo. The wolf design is crazy cool and makes any outfit look badass. My boyfriend actually picked out these earrings for me to wear. I made these about 6 or 7 years ago, from keychains purchased from the bathing ape store in Japan, I still think they are pretty cool.

Love from JJ

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