Friday, 13 January 2017

Look How They Shine For You // Golden Globes Glamour 2017

The wind may be a blowing and the snow may be fluffy under foot, the blustering weather may have you hiding under your duvet reaching for the snooze button, but over in La La Land the stars were out in full flourish for an evening of grace and glamour for the 74th Golden Globes Awards. An evening dedicated to celebrating the bold and the beautiful, where film and television actors collect and collide, where it's an honour to be nominated let alone taking home the prized awards, and this years event was no exception!

As well as being super thrilled to read that some of my favourite thespians were nominated (and winners!!), for me it's all about the glitz and glam of dress up! Being a costume gal, the awards season is more about seeing the stars mix personality with fashion adding a healthy dose of drama, ready to strike a pose as they hit the red carpet. There were so many gorgeous looks that this ended up quite a photo heavy post, though amongst the sparkles and tuxedos, periwinkle chiffons and splashes of yellow, I'm sure you won't mind!

Simply Divine

Let's kick off this post with a round up of my most favourite looks of the evening! The plunging yet classy necklines, the gorgeously delicate fabrics, the dusty periwinkle and scattering of stars, these 5 looks are just simply stunning. Mandy Moore looks like a goddess in this almost sheer Naeem Khan gown, Evan Rachel Wood cuts a fine silhouette ditching tradition and reaching for a classic Altuzarra tux and wearing the heck out of it, Kristen Bell stuns in this sequined Jenny Packham gown. Jaw droppingly beautiful in Vionnet Anna Kendrick brings a softness and delicacy to the red carpet and Emma Stone dazzles in Valentino Haute Couture and happened to win Best Actress in a motion picture for comedy or musical!

The Fash Pack

The cool kids mixing it up brought cut-out shapes, texture, colour and florals galore! Jessica Biel looked red carpet ready in this seriously stylish Elie Saab dress, Olivia Culpo stole the night in this dramatic number by Zuhair Murad bringing a gallery worthy gown to life and posing like nobody's business and Busy Phillips looked cute as a button in this super flatering cut and by adding a touch of nature, to her otherwise classic black dress, raised her fashion game to master.

Mellow Yellow

A refreshing blast of sunshine in a sea of monochrome, these bright lovelies stood out from the crowd. Viola Davis sparkled and shined in an asymmetric Michael Kors dress, a glowing Natalie Portman looked divine wearing this retro glam Prada outfit and Reese Witherspoon did what she does best and smoldered in this spring-fresh strapless gown by Versace.

Classic Cut

There's just something irresistible about a classic red carpet look and these outfits scream luxury. Adding a badass twist to a classic, sharp cut suit Kathryn Hahn slayed in Brandon Maxwell, Chrissy Metz went for pure Hollywood with a velvet amethyst Nathan Paul dress and Winona Ryder in custom Viktor & Rolf showed how mixing old school glamour and gothic beauty makes one heck of an awards look. The beautiful Gillian Anderson gives me goosebumps in this ethereal Jenny Packham show stopper and killing it in a classic Vivienne Westwood is Gwendoline Christie.

Fairy Tale

Sugary sweet, these beauties opted for feminine floatiness and set jaws a droppin in these four other-worldly looks. Lily Collins is all frothy princess in Zuhair Murad, the gorgeous Connie Brutton wore a sophisticated blush pink Georges Hobeika dress, Kristin Cavallari was sultry and sparkles in Idan Cohen and Drew Barrymore floated to greatness in this fairytale worthy dress by Monique Lhuillier.


Phasers were set to stun at the 74th Golden Globes as many an attendee adorned their bodies in precious gems, and these four looks dripped with diamonds! Ruth Negga looked out-of-this-world in Armani Prive, Priyanka Chopra was a shimmering vision in Ralph Lauren, the stunning Felicity Huffman rocked this Edition by Georges Chakra number and shining bright like a diamond was Regina King in this Romona Keveza floor sweeper.

Here Come The Boys

Let's here it for the gents, looking mighty fine in their Sunday best. The oh so intensely charming Milo Ventimiglia stunned in navy Ralph Lauren, Award Winner Casey Affleck chose a 3 piece by Dolce & Gabbana, gorgeous Christian Slater wore a slate grey Armani suit and stealing the show with his sweet heart of a speech, and of course actually winning by picking up an award, Ryan Gosling in a Gucci tuxedo.

Classy Things

This gang of suave vagabonds had the time of their lives by mingling with the rich and famous and posing the heck out of that red carpet, whilst looking pretty darn smart. Milly Bobby Brown looked every bit the star in Jenny Packham and the boys didn't let her steal all of the lime light as they rocked their tuxedos like true heroes.

There you have it my friends, a fabulous dose of showbiz sparkle to brighten your day. I don't know about you but awards season always makes me want to binge on motion pictures and marathon a series or two! What better excuse to head back under that duvet, grab yourself a hot chocolate while you're at it and tune in for some glamour and escapism- well, until Spring arrives at least!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Precious Paperbacks // Quarterly Book Review

So here it is, a shiny new year upon us, as good an opportunity as any to reflect and review upon all manner of things- our personal achievements, our professional ambitions or how about a quarterly book review discussing the books I read during the months of October, November and December? You're in you say? Well then, let's crack on shall we?

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich     5 * {320 pages}

Never before have I read a book with such heart breaking tragedy that was told with so gentle a hand. In one swift movement the crushing reality of the severity and sheer loss is revealed yet rather than thrashing this about for dramatic effect it is delicately delivered with emotion and tenderness. This book is one to savour. Set time aside for this novel and indulge in time spent inside it's pages, allow it's harrowing story to wash over you and fill your mind with the beauty of Emily Ruskovich's words (and for a debut novel to boot!)

This journey of a novel follows one woman's need to piece together the puzzle of an otherwise regular family's tragic past, whilst living within their bitter, confused present and her moral struggle with forging their future. Idaho is a novel about loss and violence, love and forgiveness. Easily one of the best books I read in 2016.

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon    5 * {672 pages}

This book! Another wonderful read. I devoured it despite it's rather weighty stature and genuinely didn't want it to end!

Not only was this a content rich book, jammed to the brim with interesting facts and true events, snippets of these women's lives laid bare, private letters and diaries exposed and their personal and professional accomplishments discussed and dissected but it is also written exquisitely. It is all too often a biography or piece of non fiction forgets the importance of delivery and simply bores with a list of dates and events; Gordon offers a most fascinating insight into the lives of writer, philosopher and fore front advocate of women's rights Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley (most well known for epic gothic novel Frankenstein), bizarrely similar despite never having known each other. I found this book addictive and informative and will be hunting down both further works about these two women and other pieces by Charlotte Gordon. A most sincere recommendation!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J K Rowling    5 * {652 pages}

If you've read one of my quarterly book reviews before (like this one, this one or this one perhaps?), then you will know that shockingly at 30 years of age I am still making my way through the Harry Potter series for the very first time. A long story short, I rather stubbornly avoided the books upon their original release as I was convinced they were over hyped and probably babyish... Hahaha! What an idiot!! I then, along with everyone else, fell in love with the movies but was afraid to start the series just in case it didn't compare to the big budget movies... Once again I was wrong! So here I am, entering my third decade on this crazy planet and making my way through one fan-blooming-tastic Hogwarts wonder at a time- and this wee pickle was one of my favourites yet! I won't offer a synopsis as you either already know and love the story dearly or you certainly won't be wanting me to spoil the books for you if you've yet to make the worthy pilgrimage. Just simply do the damn thing!

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore     3.5*

I listened to the audio book version of this and really enjoyed it's light entertainment value whilst pottering about in my sewing room. I also love the fact that as well as it being an autobiography of Drew Barrymore's life, she narrates it herself in her ever charming, although sometimes 'actory' way. This book won't be winning any literary prizes nor does it reveal any ground breaking mindfulness but it is a sweet, insightful and highly entertaining read- especially if you grew up with her movies, like I did! I would recommend this to all true Drew fans and even to readers seeking inspiration to continue the path towards self development and that you're never too old to achieve big things.

Sterf Twee Keer / Die Again by Tess Gerritsen    4* {320 pages}

I award myself double brownie points for reading this bad boy in Dutch, but boasting aside this was a fantastic story! Quick paced thriller that flits between a dramatic and horrifying event on safari in Botswana and the dream team Rizzoli and Isles back in Boston cracking the case.

This was my first Tess Gerristen book, despite my mum having read most of her work and being a bit of a fan of the show, nevertheless upon opening this novel I was sucked into it's sufficiently nail biting story line and the cleverness with how the story is split. Not a huge book and certainly a page turner, I urge you to pick this one up, I certainly intend to delve deeper into the Gerritsen archives for more cop-drama drama!

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles #1) by Patrick Rothfuss    4.5* {662 pages}

Hurray for ginormous fantasy books!

As ever, I'm late to the party with this epic series but am happy to announce that I really really enjoyed it! I loved the story and how it is told, I enjoyed the magical world and all the wondrous details throughout and fell in love with the characters and the setting, whole heartedly. I will admit that I didn't find it easy to break into, with all of the names and different elements that make up this great story but once I had my concentrating hat on and was a chunk of the way in I simply devoured it!

The story follows the life and all it's twists and magical turns of our main character (who goes by many names) and boy what a life he's lead! Cleverly paced, weaving backstory with current occurrences, this is one delightfully set out book and is really truly jam packed with adventure, high fantasy and some truly glorious characters! I can't wait to get stuck into the next instalment and see where this tale takes me!

Queen Elizabeth's Wooden Teeth: And Other Historical Fallacies by Andrea Barham    3* {192 pages}

Super interesting little book and a great one to whiz through as a palate cleanser but I found it rigid and not particularly reader-friendly, between all the facts and figures. It has some classic myths to bust and some corkers you may never have come across but lacks a certain charm in it's presentation.

All in all, I was super happy with the last few books I read and can't wait to dive into my to-read pile, this year! I'm purposefully not setting any rigid goals or lists this year as I'm too much of a mood reader to comply with any pre-planning! Plus, I'm not a fan of the weird pressure to rack up a high number of read novels just for the end figure, I enjoy my chunky books a bit too much! So this year I will be picking and choosing as I go and as ever, I will be sure to share with you those books that stand out from the crowd and any reviews along the way! What climbed to the top of your favourites pile from this Winter? Are you a seasonal reader delving into colder climates and festive settings or do you follow a different reading rhythm? I'd be intrigued to know how you pick your next book, too!


Friday, 30 December 2016

Seasonal Shine // Winter Style Beauty Edition

Winter is upon us, the frost glimmers from the bare branches and the late afternoon sunshine reminds us of the oncoming of a brand new year about to begin.

Whether you're snuggled up in doors wrapped in a mermaid tail blanket (thank you Santa) sipping on yet another hot chocolate, or if you've cracked out the glitter eyeliner and heels ready to party your way through the Wintery start of a new year- I've gathered together a whole heap of lovelies to add a special little something to the season ahead!

Voluminous, long waves, coppery dashes of glitter, worn casual with your woolies or poshed up with a slick of lippy- all bases of Winter Style are covered here!

Long and Loose

I love the appeal of sleepy curls, they give a sultry not too try hard effect yet are super versatile enough to rock in the evening. Add a high shine product or treat yourself to some new clip in hair extensions to boost the volume and leave it long and loose to get this look.

Pony Tail Princess

This sophisticated upgrade from a standard pony tail can be taken in many directions. This season keep things simple by twisting a long strand of hair around your pony, by taking things high on top or create a tangle of turns by adding tiny elastics and pulling sections of the hair out as you go. 

Snow Angel Plaits

The trend for braids shows no signs of slowing down as we enter 2017, so why not take full opportunity of all the inspiration around you and find your very own plaited preference. You can really have fun with this style keeping things casual for the day or by spicing it up for party time. This look can be worked into most hair lengths and with a little youtube assistance even the most complex of patterns will be yours in no time! 

Tied in a Bow

A personal favourite of mine. You can't beat a touch of luxe this time of year and by adding velvet or satin to your Winter wardrobe you're enhancing the texture whilst winning in the accessories stakes. Create a hair band by tying a piece of ribbon around your head or simply spruce up a low ponytail; I like to take a short piece of ribbon, make it into a bow then attach it to a hair grip to then use at the top of a bun or when pinning a small section of hair to the side.

Winter Warmth

Coppers, rusts, deep berry reds and a healthy dash of sparkle- there is something about these warm shades that fire me up ready for the cold days of Winter. This look is perfect for any evening shindigs as it oozes vampy glamour but can be easily toned down for a subtle daytime look by patting a dark lipstick onto the lips then blending out with a little lip balm or by blending a simple sweep of eyeshadow around the eye to create a soft and smoky liner. Who says glitter isn't for day time too, add a touch to the inner corners of your eyes or throw handfuls of the stuff all around the room... Come on, we all need a little lift this season!

So there you have my Winter Style Beauty Edition, I can't wait to try out some of those twisty plaited looks and am covered in enough glitter to last a lifetime until Spring. Check out my Winter Style Fashion Edition for some tips on how to keep warm whilst working thems there layers and be sure to ditch those resolutions and strut into this new year with your head held high and with excitement and adventure in your heart!

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Baby It's Cold Outside // Winter Style- Fashion Edition

Winter Style. What is not to love? We're talking layers and layers of cosy texture, sumptuously soft accessories and strutting your stuff in a trusty pair of boots. I love me some cold weather fashion and what a treat have I for you, my lovelies, as I've rounded up some of the top looks to try out this season!

Bold and Beautiful

When the weather is a little grey and grumpy why not pack a punch into your day and choose a bright coloured statement jacket. Whatever your flavour, adding a much-needed ray of sunshine will brighten up your day, and anyone you come across, no doubt! These lovelies show this point perfectly! A soft feminine pink is playful and pretty, the rusty orange adds depth and gives a twist to an otherwise classic outfit and this gorgeous sea green freshens up any day to day look!

Sharp Tailoring

How about smartening up your act? Choosing a sharply tailored coat will cut you a mighty fine silhouette with minimal effort and allow you to bring your entire outfit up a notch. You can diversify this touch by opting for equally clean-cut accessories, elevating your look making it easily transferable to night time/ business attire or level things out with some casual pieces paired in. This classic camel coat lets the details do the talking and my what a speech! The crisp, dark pea coat sharpens up an otherwise casual collection and the combination of deep sumptuous red colour and luxurious wool fabric create an overall look perfect for neatening up this Winter.

Layer It Up

This is a favourite element of mine, dressing in multiple layers! There's something deliciously snug about burying yourself in lots of textures and getting to show off much more of your wardrobe than usual is also a plus! Take a leaf from this book and opt for contrasting lengths and colours, play with fabric textures and throw the rule book out of the window altogether, switching things up a bit! A simple take on keeping warm yet looking styled to perfection with an over coat and long scarf, go over sized with your outer layers and add quirky accessories to bring it all together or try wearing your shorter layers on the top, for a distinct fashion upgrade!


The fun thing about Winter is all the goodies to decorate your outfit with and the practicality of staying warm whilst out and about! You can really change up your look by playing with accessories- go for contrasting colours to make things pop, add classic leather to bring a grown up edge and fully embrace the cold with all things woolly! Try adding a sharp, simple long scarf to create clean lines, keeping length to your overall appearance, a classic beanie will keep you warm whilst keeping things casual and youthful, and chunky knits in complimentary colours work wonders to bring an outfit together!

Step On It

// Chelsea Black // Suede Sunrise // Ankle Tan //

What better excuse to treat yourself to a new pair of booties than the imminent blustery weather? Investing in a great pair of boots will see you through many seasons whilst ensuring a bad ass, grounded look despite battling the chill. There are so many styles on offer to suit many a budget, my personal favourite will always be an ankle boot, just so versatile! I love a classic Chelsea boot and this black pair are calling my name, but playing with texture is always a great idea for Winter and suedes or velvets can add a special touch of luxe to your tootsies! But if we're talking a boot for all looks, then it really has to be a tan brown, am I right? This pair, with it's slight point and nicely tapered top helps elongate the leg and keeps things nice and neat, allowing you to wear these bad boys from day right through to night!

Cherry On Top

The crowning glory to any layered up look- a wide brimmed hat! This touch is so simple yet really adds a special something- if you're ballsy enough to really go for it! Keep it dark and classic and pair it down with casual knits and short jackets for an easy day to day look or go super glam matching your crisp brim with a statement coat in jewel colours will stand you apart from the crowd.

Whatever way you decide to stay warm this Winter, perhaps playing with your usual style by adding a bold colour, trying a new accessory or by simply swapping up the order in which you layer, I wish you a snuggly and stylish season, full to the brim with hot chocolate and crisp, morning strolls!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Rocking Around The Christmas Tree // Ideas for Festive Gatherings

Christmas is a time to make memories with loved ones, reach out to people and bring them together and to share a warm toasty room, plentiful food and oh so much merriment. In short, it's all about the festive fun!

A great way to share this sparkling Christmas spirit is to organise a jolly shindig! Whether you're into festive frolics through the snow or a swanky soiree, the options really are endless! I've come up with a few helpful suggestions to get you on your way, all that's left to do is to hop over to the gorgeous Paperless Post to pick out one of their design-focused Christmas cards online or printed invites and get this party started!

Gingerbread House Build-Off

Crank up the jingle bells and let your competitive side fly free as you battle your way to the Gingerbread House Building Championships! This is a super fun and tasty activity but surprisingly challenging, depending on how ambitious your architectural aspirations are of course! Something for the whole family that is almost too good to eat... almost!

Merry Movie Marathon

Popcorn and pjs are an essential during this next joyful gathering, why not snuggle together for a back to back running of your favourite festive films? See how creative you can be with your movie of choice or stick to the classics, there are plenty to choose from and please all viewers.

Christmas Cookie Swap

Now this one has my name written all over it. Fairly self-explanatory, I mean- cookies!! Invite your favourite sugar coated buddies over for an afternoon of sweet treats. Each party-goer could bring a different type of cookie (home baked or otherwise, we're not judgy round these parts!) and swap recipes and biscuits to your heart's content. You could even set up a decorating station to jazz up a selection of plain ones, using sprinkles and candy and icing and so on. Just don't forget the milk!

Jolly Jumper Mash-Up

This is a silly fun, crafty activity for all ages, simply choose your weapon of choice (tinsel, glitter, knitted reindeer?) and go to town on a thrifted or ancient beloved sweater, then proceed to wear the beauties for rest of the evening revelling in your creations! You could even set up a photo booth area complete with props and errythang, and let the hilarity ensue!

Caroling Karaoke

What do we love more, this time of year, than singing along to those awful, cheesy, classic tunes? Make it a Christmas celebration to remember and take the vocal route! I insist that you combine this with a Mistletoe Mixer or two (festive themed cocktails anyone?), you could even get creative and make teams or red buttons/ scoring cards, hey it's your party!

Workshop Christmas Do

Forget the work's Christmas Do this year and create your very own Elves Workshop party, dressing up your inner Buddy the Elf, stripy tights and all! Deck the halls, throw handfuls of glitter and stock up on candy canes, this is one sweet shindig! You could even arrange activities such as gift wrapping, tree decorating, wreath making, snowball fights! How about decking out your very own hot chocolate bar full of delicious toppings and flavour variations!

So there you have it, creative Christmas gatherings bringing the whole family together to share in the fun. I love this time of year, all the twinkly lights and yummy foods and I'm heading back to the UK for a few days over the holidays, which I'm super excited for, as well as drinking my body weight in hot cocoa whilst dancing around my beautifully lit tree between now and the new year! When it comes to money and presents though, for me a token gift is as far as I go as that's not really what it's all about, but if you were looking for a little inspiration when picking out that perfect something then perhaps my Handmade Gift Guide might be of use!

I invite you all to have a wonderful Christmas and can't wait to hear about all your fun activities and special moments. Stay tuned for some Wintery Style guides and Festive Beauty favourites!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Wrap It Up // Shop Handmade This Christmas

Tis the season to be jolly, for spending time with loved ones, snuggling up warm, for eating all the foods (Terry's Chocolate Orange and after Eight Mints, get in my belly!) and for hunting down a little something for your favourite peoples. Sometimes it's glorious to spread a little glitter and love, getting together with long distant friends and raising a glass to good times, dusting off the old board games and making new memories with family and giving a thoughtful, unique gift. The easiest way to ensure your present is especially special would be to buy from a small business, from craft markets or even having a go at some DIY home-made badassery yourself.

I've done a little day-dreaming research just to get you off on the right foot and by searching the old faithful, one of a kind, dream gift mecca Etsy I've found a heap of beauties! If it's inspirational quotes to add a punch of positivity to the worrier in your life's day or a customised bookmark for your nerd at heart, a vintage timepiece for your antique lover or a customised watercolour print (for yourself?), whatever it is that makes your loved ones tick, take a mooch below for some serious inspiration!

Here are a few ideas if you were thinking of taking the DIY route:

Most of all, don't stress it. The festive season is all too stuck on money and stacks of monotonous 'presents', keep it small and personal and you're sure to have a happy recipient.

I'm off to whip up a couple handmade bits and bobs for my specials. Question; is it too early to break open the After Eights? Thought not!


Thursday, 24 November 2016

Oh You Pretty Things // Mood Board Curations

Fine evening dearest friends, how's your November going so far? The end of this 2016 is just about in sight and there is so much to squeeze into Winter before we ring in a shiny new year. Here in the Netherlands we celebrate Sint 5th December, this wee post will explain further and get you in the mood for all those sweet treats!, so the Christmas festivities begin super early. There are all of those delicious Winter markets to look forward to, creating a snug and cosy home (bring on those cinnamon scented candles!) and plans to make with family and friends (always a sticky web to untangle when you straddle two countries!), my head is spinning with ideas!

One way to focus my mind and steer my creative attentions is and has always been harnessed by a good old fashioned mood board! Over on the Faded Windmills facebook page I collate collections of imagery that inspire me daily and always seem to get me into a productive and creative mood! As you may have noticed from a previous post I have decided to round up some of my favourite mood boards to share with you directly on the blog, so feel free to stick around for a bit of a mooch!

I post these snippets of loveliness over on facebook, but if you'd prefer to see the individual images right from their source then do check out the hub of all curated beauty... pinterest!

For now I intend to soak up a little visual stimulation then put together some ideas for handmade gifts- my favourite thing to give at Christmas. I'm thinking knitted boot toppers, homemade cookies, personalised tree ornaments and make up bag/ cute coin purses... Stay tuned!