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Getting Friendly

I had an absolutely fabbo day on Saturday!

I was going up to London anyway as I had another Voice Training session, but about a week or so ago I started corresponding with a really nice guy and since it seemed to be going well, we agreed to meet up after my session. We both agreed we’d just play things by ear and when one of us had had enough, we’d part.

Well, 7 hours after we’d met up we were still together, so something obviously went right! But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

The Voice session went really well. I can really feel a change in my voice, and have a lot more control over it now. I still think I need plenty more training but my teacher thinks I am getting to the stage where I could start attending group sessions rather than one-to-one all the time. It would certainly reduce the cost.

Somerset House

Somerset House

So, after the session was over I walked to where we’d agreed to meet and we soon spotted each other. And no wearing of Carnations or anything like that necessary. Isn’t the modern internet age wonderful!

After a nice coffee / tea (respectively) and a good chat, which lasted a good 45 mins or so, we decided to go for a walk which took us through Somerset House where he very kindly agreed to take this lovely pic of me. I’m so vain. ha ha.
As you can see, I’m wearing that sweater dress and boots I mentioned in my previous post.

Much of the rest of the day was a bit of a blur really, but I do remember doing an enormous amount of walking and although the boots are really comfortable and are made for walking (ooh I think there may be a song there!) they were pinching my toes a little and could do with being slightly wider. A pair of boot stretchers may shortly be on order I think.

It turns out I’m not allergic to the Angora in the dress, but boy is it insulative! Despite it being quite thin, I was absolutely boiling whenever we were indoors, even with my jacket off! I think Arctic explorers should be issued with them!

Things were still going really well, so we decided to have some dinner together. Whilst there I noticed from Facebook checkins that some of my friends were nearby so we agreed to meet up with them after, and my friend took us all to the most amazing bar. It was The Friendly Society in Soho and is all really kitsch with much of the ceiling covered with Barbie dolls and Sindy dolls, all attached to the ceiling with screws through their tummies (bit gruesome), and with disco balls everywhere, and wallpaper that looks like it should be in a child’s bedroom. I loved it!

kitsch kuddles

kitsch kuddles

After a while, my friends moved on, and my companion & I managed to grab a table.

I tried to take a nice selfie of us, but with that a really nice guy sitting next to us with his boyfriend leapt up and offered to take the pic for us. He was so nice. In fact everyone was really friendly there – I guess the place lived up to its name!
He took a pic both without the flash and with it, but the one with the flash came out really badly so this is the non-flash one. Please excuse the fuzzy pic; I did my best to de-noise, sharpen and lighten it, but there is only so much you can do.

Anyway, it was now getting on for 10pm and although I was having a really wonderful time, I really was wilting and I desperately needed to go as I was a good hour or more from home. So my friend, ever the gentleman, walked me to the tube station so I could catch the tube to where I had left the car and I started my journey home.

I had such a great day. As I mentioned at the start, we did a lot of walking. In fact, my feet were pretty sore by the end of the day and when I got home and got the boots off I discovered that one of my toes on my left foot was numb and half the big toe on my left foot was also numb. The next day it still was, and even today (Monday) it is still a little numb so I think I will need to invest in those boot stretchers. But the boots are very new and definitely need to be broken in.

On Sunday I spent most of the day pottering round the house, feeling sore and achy from all the walking on Saturday, and ended up watching a lot of telly. I’m such a lightweight!

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

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Pew! Pew! Swipe! Swipe!

A couple of days ago (ie. Saturday) I had another session of laser hair removal. Nothing much to report really – it hurt like hell as usual, and it took two hours as usual. I’m definitely showing progress though, with large areas of my body completely hairless now apart from annoying little clumps here and there. But my face, especially the upper lip, is still stubbornly refusing to die off although hair growth has been much reduced. But I can definitely see me having to have further sessions on the face beyond the six I pre-paid, and I’ll probably need electrolysis too in order to get the light-coloured hairs that the laser cannot get at.

Jane Norman dress

Jane Norman dress

Whilst I was in Epsom, which is where I go to for the laser, I did a little shopping. I don’t enjoy shopping half as much when in guy mode, but I’m confident enough in myself that I have absolutely no problems buying girl stuff when presenting as a guy. I find staff are generally completely fine with it; they either assume I’m buying for a girlfriend or simply don’t care. Besides, a sale is a sale isn’t it?

Anyway, I saw this absolutely gorgeous sweater dress in House of Fraser in the Jane Norman concession. Unfortunately it was full price and a little more than I would want to pay, as it was £32, but I absolutely adored it. I think it will look fantastic with a pair of leggings or thick tights, and knee length boots.

What I didn’t realise is that it is 10% Angora. I’m allergic to animal hair on the whole, especially cats, and also I don’t tend to wear wool as it makes me itch. So I’m hopeful that I’m not allergic to Angora hair or else this could be the only garment I own that requires me to take antihistamines in order to wear it. ha ha

Now, really I shouldn’t have bought that as I’m trying to cut back on my spending at the moment. So I certainly shouldn’t have bought my other purchase. But, again, it was one of those “I must have that” things. I went into Jones Bootmaker and I saw these Timberland boots and fell in love with them because they are exactly what I have been looking for.

Timberland Boots

Timberland Boots

There was a little bit of confusion with the member of staff when I asked if they had them in my size. She went away, and after a while came back with them in a box and moved as if to take me to the till. I said I’d like to try them on, and she apologised and went away again and came back with another one. Presumably those were the ‘trying on’ pair. So I thanked her as she handed them to me, and casually said that I knew I wasn’t really dressed for buying ladies stuff that day but the boots were so nice I had to. A little light bulb went on over her head, and then I tried them on and walked around the shop in them not caring what anyone thought about me.

They fit perfectly and were really comfortable, so a purchase was made.

The boots are waterproof (as you would expect from Timberland), and as you can see from the photo on the right, the lower part of the zip opening is sealed so stepping in puddles should not be a worry. With the weather we are having in the UK right now, that could be a distinct advantage!

The leather is heavily grained and feels very sturdy, but is also butter soft. I think it may be Nubuck from the texture of it and the way it’s almost suede-like when you stroke it. Naturally when I got them home I gave them several coats with Scotchgard-equivalent generic “Leather, Suede and Nubuck Protector” spray.

I adore the lace detail on the back, and also the fact that it’s functional as well because it’s not lacing; it is elastic. It’s a lovely little design detail.

Price-wise, they were equivalent in price to my DUO boots. However, Jones were running a £20-off offer which lessened the financial sting a little bit.

I can’t wait to wear both the sweater dress and the boots, and I think they will go really go well together. I plan to wear them this Saturday when I go up to London for another session of Voice Therapy.

 

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Fashion Roundup

Not much to report on my recent purchases, but there are a couple of things I wanted to share.

DUO - Aralia

DUO – Aralia

First up is to say how brilliant the Customer Service is at DUO Boots. I bought their Neva boots, as I mentioned in an earlier post, but felt that I wasn’t totally happy with them. I won’t go into detail, but DUO couldn’t have been more helpful. Julie, the person I corresponded with, helped me choose a pair that had a narrower ankle fit, which turned out to be the Aralia boots I had almost gone for anyway, authorised a free return (usually £3.99) and also applied a 10% discount to the price of the Aralia boots as a gesture of goodwill meaning my boots ended up costing me £148.50 – I honestly couldn’t be happier with how they handled the whole thing and I will definitely be buying from them again.

The turnaround felt like forever (it was actually only a week), but the Aralias finally arrived with me last Saturday just as I was getting ready to go out. After a quick try on I decided they were definitely keepers so I wore them when I went out. They proved to be pretty comfortable even when walking around IKEA for an hour or two, but they did give me little warning twinges that these are not boots to go shopping in for hours on end. At least not without gel pads for the balls of the feet or maybe insoles. I will investigate that.

Rocket Dog - Satire

Rocket Dog – Satire

Another company that gave me a painless refund was Amazon. I ordered these absolutely gorgeous Rocket Dog ankle boots a couple of weeks ago. Since I’m on Amazon Prime they arrived the next day, I tried them on, and it was immediately clear they were way too small (and I don’t just mean a little, I mean like 2 sizes too small despite being clearly labelled as my size). So I went to my computer, called up the order, clicked the Return button, printed the pre-paid returns label, packed the boots up in the box & bag they came in, applied the label, and popped down to my local Collect+ dropoff shop which happens to be open until 10.30pm. By the time I got home, Amazon had credited me a full refund. Fantastic. Such a shame they didn’t fit though, because they are so cute.

Tulip heart necklace

Tulip heart necklace

Finally, I was at an Antique & Vintage Fair at Sandown Park Racecourse last Sunday, and this beautiful silver necklace caught my eye. The seller wanted £15 for it and I managed to get that down to £12, which I consider to be reasonable. I haven’t worn it yet, but I look forward to doing so soon. I’m going to be going to the big Antique and Collectors fair at Alexandra Palace this Sunday so I may wear it then.

 
 

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Bargains Galore

Regular readers will know that I love shopping, especially when I get a good bargain. Well, in the past week or two I’ve had a positive orgy of shopping resulting in a Smorgasbord of items arriving at my house.

Crew Clothing - Marie dress

Crew Clothing – Marie dress

First up is an adorable dress from Crew Clothing, which has a bit of a story behind it. I first became aware of this one when I saw a colleague at work wearing it. I don’t know her that well, but plucked up courage to ask her where it was from under the pretence of it being for ‘a friend who I just know would adore it’. She was more than happy to tell me, and to try to find the link for me and was really helpful. I don’t know whether or not she was convinced by my cover story, but she has played along with it ever since and hasn’t pried. Which is nice.
She had bought the dress in the sale for £35 (reduced from £65) but sadly they weren’t listing it. However, a bit of googling found the original page and the price had been reduced further to £26. However, they didn’t have my size. Another online retailer was reselling it for £45 but I didn’t fancy that price. So I set a watch on eBay and hoped for the best. A few came up but never in my size, but in the meantime I realised that I was getting into some size 14 dresses when trying them on, so when a size 14 of this dress came up on eBay as “brand new without tags” I bid, figuring that if it didn’t fit now I would slim down into it and at close of bidding managed to secure it for £24 including postage, which I was pretty happy about. And what’s more, it fits perfectly. I’m so happy I’m beside myself, and I intend to wear it tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday) to London for my next Voice therapy session. Needless to say I’ll be wearing a jacket and also tights, given how the weather has gone lately!
[Update: There is now a pic of me wearing this dress here!]

Friday On My Mind - Belle

Friday On My Mind – Belle

Whilst I was waiting for this dress to come up on eBay, I was keeping an eye on a similar dress from Friday On My Mind. I’d almost done a ‘Buy it Now’ on a brand new one at £45, but had decided against it and then regretted it, so when another came up, I decided not to let it go. The seller described it as ‘Used but never won’. Unfortunately bidding got up to £37 (inc postage) before the auction closed, which was a little more than I wanted to pay but it’s very cute.

F&F - Tulip dress

F&F – Tulip dress

Another dress I got on eBay, this time in ‘Used, but great condition’ is this tulip dress by F&F. I can’t say I’m that keen on it, to be honest. But at £13.50 inc postage, it didn’t break the bank. I can always put it back on eBay if I find I don’t wear it.

Superdry - Vintage dress

Superdry – Vintage dress

Another bargain was a ‘last season’ offer from TK Maxx on this cute vintage dress from Superdry. I fell in love with it even though it was a Medium and I wasn’t sure that I have the figure for it. It was £16.99 (RRP £44.99) so I thought I had to give it a go. As it turns out, when I got it home, it actually fits (yay me!) but it’s very figure-hugging and I think I really want to get a flatter tummy before I can wear it out. Maybe next summer, since this one is almost over.

Tu top

Tu top

Next up is this top by Tu. It’s nothing special, but it was half price and was included in Sainsbury’s 25% Off sale. So it came to a grand total of £5.25 which in my book is a total bargain. Tops like this are always useful for casual wear.

Body con skirts

Body con skirts

Finally on the clothing front are these two body con skirts I got on eBay. The tan one is H&M and cost £4.45 inc postage, and the black one is Top Shop and cost £5.35 inc postage. Neither have arrived yet so I can’t comment on condition but they look ok in the photos.

Duo - Neva

Duo – Neva

And, at last, the grand finale. I love knee length boots. Always have. However, I have very slim calves so it’s often hard to get boots that fit. My Doc Martens are fantastic but I don’t think I would have the nerve to wear them out in public, so I decided it was time to buy a pair of Duo Boots. If you’re not familiar with Duo, they sell boots in a variety of styles, sizes and calf sizes. So I was able to choose slim calves that fit perfectly.

Unboxing

Unboxing

These are Duo’s Neva boot, which currently sell for £180 (with free shipping). The only trouble is that now they have arrived, I have found the ankles to be very baggy and I’m seriously considering sending them back and trying a different style. Their Aralia boots looks like they may be a contender and are slightly cheaper at £165. Only trouble is that I had been planning on wearing my Duo boots tomorrow, but if I’m going to send them back then I obviously can’t.

Well, I think that’s all of my recent purchases. It’s quite the little haul isn’t it!

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Clothes, Shoes, and Jewellery, Diary, Photos

 

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A little Burlesque

I finally overcame my inertia and got myself all made up and did a photo shoot yesterday. My plan was to do some outside in the sun, as I have been waiting for some nice weather for ages, and the forecast was “sunny spells”. Sadly I didn’t get any sun, but I did get some bright overcast weather in between the showers, and managed to get some photos. I’ll be posting them over the next few days because I don’t like to post everything at once.

I took photos in 3 different outfits, and the final one was something a little naughty…

I bought this corset and tutu set ages ago on eBay but this is the first time I’ve worn it. The boots you will have seen before in another pic; they’re my awesome Doc Martens.

I have to confess to some Photoshoppery on this pic as the tops of my bewbies were visible and needed to be blended into my skin. I think that came out quite well actually! I think the colour balance might be slightly out too, but hopefully it’s not too bad.

As a little bonus, here is another pic I also took at the same time. I haven’t published it on Flickr yet so you are getting a sneak peek here!

IMG_2214e_m

This one required quite a bit more Photoshoppage as it is a close-up. Hope you can forgive me for that!

 

 
 

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London-bound

I went up to London yesterday with a friend to hear a mutual friend singing at a bar. What a great night out!

I took this pic before I went out as I wasn’t sure if we’d get a good pic there

London-bound by Jo.Boyd
London-bound, a photo by Joanne (Hay Llamas!) on Flickr.

 

As it turned out, we managed to get one picture that wasn’t too bad, and here it is:

IMAG1353e

 

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Lunch

Lunch by Jo.Boyd
Lunch, a photo by Joanne (Hay Llamas!) on Flickr.

I went out for lunch with a friend yesterday, wearing this outfit (plus a jacket). Unfortunately the pic we took of me didn’t come out very well, so I took this one when I got home afterwards.

 

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In these shoes?

 

In these shoes? I don't think so.

In these shoes? I don’t think so.

 

I bought a shoe rack today, and now all my shoes and boots are nicely organised. Although I think I may need to lose a pair of boots so they can all be lined nicely along the back and the shoe rack can expand to the full width of the wardrobe.

A lot of those shoes and boots were eBay specials, absolute barrrrrgains (I do love a good bargain) although I confess some were more bargainy than others. Prices range from £10 up to £100, plus two pairs are hand-me-downs gifted to me by a good friend of mine.

 

 
 

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Bargain bootment

Bargain bootment

Bought these today. What a bargain!

And cute & comfy too!

 

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We’re ess aitch oh pea pea eye en gee…

Shopping

I went shopping today (quelle surprise) and found some absolute bargains. It seems everyone still has a sale on of some sort. I know everyone is struggling financially at the moment, but if you do have a little disposable income then there are some stunning bargains to be had.

I got an uber-cute pair of black leather ankle boots for £20 (reduced from £50) in Barratts and a black leather dress by Oasis for £15 (reduced from £60). Yay me!

Expect photos from these at some stage, although I’m a bit tired today plus the light has gone, and I am out all day tomorrow, so it’s unlikely to be this weekend.

 

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