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The end of the blogging road…for now

16 Sep

As you can see there’s been a long hiatus since I’ve filed anything on here, for which I apologise. For my sanity and purse strings, I took the decision to stop writing Consumer Cravings. When I set up the blog, the overiding aim was to curb a slight shopping habit. To my surprise, thinking, writing and talking about my cravings on a day-to-day basis actually had the opposite effect.

I hope to be back with a better-conceived blog (and cure) some day soon. For now, you can keep up with my ever-expanding wish lists on Pinterest.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my ramblings – it’s been fun.

Farewell friends


#LFW: a twitter tale

28 Feb

While I’ve been acquainting myself with the inside of a not-so-glamorous gym to get fashionably trim, over the last week real fashionistas have been busying themselves with a little thing called London Fashion Week.

The LFW Daily Newspaper, 23rd Feb

I’d love to have been one of them, documenting the goings on from the catwalks’ front rows, but unfortunately my bloggersphere influence has not quite reached the level where glossy show invites are dropping through my letterbox (one day!). Never fear though, thanks to the medium of Twitter we can all now share in the highs and lows of the ‘gruelling’ five days that will define my A/W 2011 cravings.  Any fashion bod worth the Louboutins on their feet is sharing their daily fashion lives with their avid followers, 140 characters at time.

In case you aren’t as much of a stalker/wannabe as me, my best twitter bits of #lfw 2011—straight from the mouths/hands of bloggers and fashion editors et al—are below. I hope you enjoy.

The start


  • The exhibition is open, the shows have started… has all you need, it’s hot!
  • #LFW is the top Twitter trend in London! What a start!


  • Ere we go #LFW

The transport


  • Love people’s expressions when they see the Orla Kiely Citreon car… Zipping over to Topshop now… Yes, I ‘zip’ in this car, not speed
(You can see pics of Susie’s ride, on her blog: She can also be seen below (left), taking time out from the shows to give a masterclass on blogging from the front row to newbies like me at Topshop, Oxford Circus)

Topshop Fashion Blogging Masterclass


  • Win your very own Range Rover for the weekend, just like our #lfw one – RT this pic by 6pm to enter!


  • Pulling up in my @LFWMercedes to Margaret Howell. Let the day begin! #LFW


  • When will I ever learn…public transportation and fashion week don’t mix.


  • If I don’t survive this, remember me as the girl who rode her bike to fashion week. In her Erdem dress.

The outfits


  • I think my outfit must be fashion week-worthy because I’m bloody freezing.
  • Too far away to snap, but there’s a dog wearing a mulberry bag.


  • Loving Hilary Alexander’s fur hat! Raccoon tail and all. The women IS style!



  • #LFW Hmmm – major error! Today was not a day for heels… Sliding here there and everywhere


  • On the way to the Mulberry show. Covered in white cat fur as usual! Not glam!

The nutrition


  • Team Glamour enjoying a cheeky vino en route to matthew williamson


  • We just overheard that the official champagne of #lfw is Tesco Finest. Can this be true!?

    Only (Tesco's) finest for fashionistas


  • Wish i could survive on the fash wk diet of malboro lights and coffee…but I’m hungry goddamnit so eating a ham/cheese baguette and crisps



  • Favourite #LFW interviews so far..erin o’connor who told me she was off to macdonalds…

The shows and front rows


  • Loved @houseofholland show it was a mix of tweed, pearls and bright crochet… very granny on acid #LFW


  • Olivia Palermo, Alexa Chung, Yasmin Le Bon front row at Matthew Williamson.


  • A look at Topshop Unique…101 Dalmations hit the runway! LOVE! @topshop_tweets


  • Anna wintour, philip green, mario testino, alexa chung, kate bosworth all spotted arriving @Burberry #LFW #livestreaming
  • London Fashion Week: Charlie Le Mindu’s gruesome AW11 catwalk and backstage bloodbath


  • EVERYONE has turned out for Erdem – Sam Cam, Alexa and Janice Dickinson (who was applying hairspray front row at Chris Kane!)
  • #lfw red is the colour of AW 11 it seems. It popped up at Erdem too

The parties (and their aftermath)


  • Kate Moss wore @StellaMcCartney to Number 10 last night. See the look -and all the rest from last night’s parties- here:


  • Sitting waiting for Daks to start, feeling a tiny bit fragile after last night’s Vivienne Westwood party. #lfw


  • #LFW LOVE Alex Wang party beating Mulberry and Westwood – Beth Ditto performing now! Katie Grand knows how to throw a party
  • #LFW what a way to start the day… with a hangover from the Mulberry party

The trials and tribulations


  • @StellaMagazine if you still need painkillers at jaeger then I have fast acting anadin x
  • So tired can barely think straight , and eyes keep closing, but must get blogs done for today for me & MB [Mercedes Benz]

    Staple LFW handbag item



  • Seriously, if just one show could start on time I’d be so happy #lfw


  • Argh all the models come out at the same time at meadham no time to make notes!!! #lfw
  • London traffic during the shows arrrggghhhh #lfw

The end


  • On to the next one…#LFW ending #MFW starting…


  • There’d be some great jobs in fashion up for grabs if this Milan flight went down. Half the industry aboard incl Ms Wintour in full mink…

The Credits (in order of appearance)

With thanks to the following twitterers: 


The year of skinny

24 Feb

Before I get started on my latest post, here’s a quick update on the ASOS competition I previously blogged about. From my failure to tell you about it before now, I’m guessing you’d all gathered that I hadn’t won (had I done so, I’d definitely have showed off all my new wares!). Following the disappointment, as predicted, I promptly logged onto Asos and bought one of my wishlist items (well I couldn’t let down all those who voted could I?) The item you picked for purchase was the watch, which secured 42% of the vote. Alas, on arrival it had to go straight back to the shop—it was far too big (and I couldn’t be arsed with alterations) and a bit cheap-looking (well I guess it is pretty cheap), plus Asos offers a very easy returns process. So, unexpectedly I overcame the marketing ploy. Are you proud?

Back to the shop: Tortoise-shell watch

With one craving overcome, it’s on to the next set…

So, where on earth did February go? I’m amazed at how quickly a month can fly by these days (these days referring to the fact that I’m currently living out the last month of my mid-twenties. My younger colleagues (Fliss!) unequivocally told me that when I turn 27 I will cross the line into ‘late 20s’. Eek). In contrast, during my teens, even 24 hours could feel like a lifetime, especially if my friends and I were counting down to (and meticulously planning outfits for) the next disco with the local boys school.

Anyhow, the combination of all this reminiscing, rapid time travel and a small age crisis, brings me on to the topic of this post: workout gear. Not an obvious link I agree, but let me take you through my thought process. Back in my youth, I was a bit of an exercise freak, spending hours each week at gymnastics training. However, sessions at the gym were often followed with the reward of a bar of chocolate, packet of crisps and a can of coke (note: fizzy drinks were only allowed once a week by Barbara—head of household rations). The problem is that over the years my love of naughty food hasn’t disappeared but my dedicated fitness regime has. The result = not the four-pack (it never made it to six) I once had.

Every January for the last few years, I’ve said to myself this will be the year I get fit, tone up and return to my pre-university weight. Unsurprisingly, aside from the few months following a rather unpleasant (but very effective) parasitic infection in Peru, this hasn’t been achieved. Until 2011, that is. This, my friends is going to be the year. What’s different you ask? Well there’s three things: I really need to do this before I’m 30 (friends have warned me figure-wise it’s all downhill from there); I’ve signed my life away to a gym, which’ll be taking £52 from my account every month for a year, and I really hate to waste money unless it’s on clothes; and most importantly, I’ve blogged about it now so it’ll be pretty embarrassing if I don’t stick to it.

Thankfully, thus far it’s going well. I’m three weeks and 10 work outs in, which have included aerobics, swimming, running/cycling/rowing, supple strength (yoga without the spiritual stuff), netball, the Ministry of Sound DVD and tonight Zumba! If you haven’t tried it you should give it a go. You feel like a bit of a prat to start with, but are soon shaking your bum like Shakira (in your head at least).

A lager lout no more?

The problem is, I’m currently on a post-exercise high, it’s early days and and my motivation will soon wane (it certainly does post-exercise when I give into my beer and carb carvings). As such, I think I need another driver to keep on track (bikini-time will be here before I know it). And that is where pretty exercise clothes come in.

I’m not sure I’ve every really grown out of the thing I had for branded sportswear when I was a kid. Each year my Christmas and birthday lists would be filled with sportswear from adidas trousers with the luminous green stripes to the latest nike trainers (which when received, would sit pride of place at the end of my bed while I slept—worrying). I try to keep the condition under control now I’m an adult, but it’s really just morphed into American Apparel hoodies and Abercrombie joggers—my staple lounging kit.

Below, I’ve put together a list of session-specific work-out gear that would definitely help keep me on the straight and narrow. Did I mention it’s my birthday next month?

My exercise week, complete with ideal gym kit

Monday: Aerobics

Adidas grey long top (to cover the bum)

Nike black lycra leggings

Wednesday : Netball

Adidas black track top

Nike blue and yellow Livestrong shorts

Thursday: Zumba

Nike black racerback

Abercrombie dark pink trackies

Saturday: Swimming

I’m afraid to say, that despite extensive internet and high street shop research, there is not a single swimming costume designed for big boobs and serious swimming that I deem fit to feature on my blog. It seems that as soon as Speedo add an inner shelf to their costumes, their style goes out of the window.

Sunday: Supple Strength

H&M blue marl sweatshirt

Adidas berry red tank

Adidas petrol grey straight leg pants

Extra bits and bobs

Nike Lunar Eclipse blue/grey running shoes

Black Puma gym bag

The Shock Absorber (essential kit - already purchased)

(Photo credits: retailer’s websites as below)

The shopping list:

  1. Adidas long top, John Lewis – £28
  2. Nike leggings, John Lewis – £45
  3. Adidas jacket, John Lewis – £35
  4. Nike shorts, Pro-direct – £13.49
  5. Nike top, John Lewis – £22
  6. Trackies, Abercrombie & Fitch- £50
  7. Sweatshirt, H&M – £12.99
  8. Adidas top, John Lewis – £23
  9. Adidas trousers, John Lewis – £33
  10. Trainers, Nike – £90
  11. Bag, Puma – Debenhams – £25
  12. Shock Absorber sports bra, Bravissimo – £30

Sorry, that was a bit of a John Lewis overload—they aren’t sponsoring me, promise.


Ultimate crave: free ASOS shopping for a year

30 Jan

The savvy marketing bods over at ASOS headquarters have come up with a series of very dangerous competitions for weak-willed shopaholics such as myself. Launched just under a week ago, Crave it? Save it. Win it. has been tempting online shoppers in their thousands to log on to and spend hours filling up their virtual shopping carts with dream purchases, in the hope they might be one of the lucky ones picked to win their wishlist.

Fill your online shopping cart

(Image credit: Maximum PC, via Wikimedia Commons)

Of course the chances of winning are minute, but the prizes just suck you right in:

  • Starting small, the first round offered one winner a basket of goods up to the value of £300.
  • For round two, ASOS upped the stakes to £500 for five victors (although, it was on the proviso that 25,000 people entered – which then happened, of course).
  • And now, they are on to the grand finale, which will see one lucky so-and-so secure a jackpot of £1000 of goods, plus an outfit each month (for 12 months) up to the value of £200 for themselves and four of their most-prized friends.

As marketing plans go, it’s genius. It’s cheap as chips, with the only real outlay being £13,800 for the prizes, and yet going on my experience, the returns should be ridiculously high…

Why it works

Having spent over an hour selecting my wish list for the first round, and another day convincing myself I would win and picturing myself in all my lovely new clothes, the defeat was hard to take. (Other entrants also took it badly,  with the message boards getting increasingly bitchy about how the winner’s choices weren’t up to their standards).

But, ASOS saved the day and gave us all another chance for victory: cue another hour finding £200 of extra bits and bobs to add to my basket. Alas, the second prize eluded me too, and my Friday afternoon was spent overcoming the disappointment.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I should get out now and avoid the final devastating loss, but I’m in too deep. So tonight will be spent finding another £500 of items in a last ditch attempt to secure the prize. But we all know what will happen: I won’t win and I’ll be left with £1000 worth of clothes and accessories sat in a basket, that I feel like I deserve. It’s funny, I hadn’t  realised it before this whole exercise, but I really do need a pair of brown brogues, a new watch and a lovely leather handbag.

And here is where ASOS wins. I’m going to try and be good but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up buying at least one thing from my wishlist, and if others do the same (looks likely going on the message board chat) that’s some serious wonga for the retailer. This is a very rough (and probably a low) estimate, but if you imagine that the 25k who entered round two buy just one item each at approx £25 – that’s £625,000 of revenue. Clever.

Time to Vote

(Pic credits:

So anyway, now the damage is done, maybe you lot can help me decide which my one purchase should be. Above are all the accessories included on my wishlist, as it stood at £500. And below is a poll for you to pick your favourite item. (Mum, don't just pick the cheapest!)

Oh and if you're as ASOS-obssessed as me, you can still enter the competition yourself until Tues 9am, here. And as I was kind enough to alert you, please bear me in mind when you're picking your four friends to win with you!



Blog benefits and faux fur overload

12 Jan


A nicely-lit corner, educational too....thanks aunties!

Who drank all the wine?...Thanking you Mr and Mrs Brown!

New book and ends...cheers Jane and Mick!

Last but not least, my new blogging aid. Big thanks parentals.

Happy New Year my lovely blog readers.
Yes I know it’s a little late, what with it already being 12th Jan and all, but I’ve had a bit of a sluggish start to the year (I only took down my Christmas tree yesterday—I hope that doesn’t mean I’m in for a year of bad luck). So, my Christmas break was really rather enjoyable, with two full-on turkey lunches and lots of amazing presents. It turns out having a Christmas wish list on my blog really does work—see pics above, thanks all! After a drunken New Year’s Eve, Steve and I decided to put off going back to work until 7th Jan, with a short excursion to a pretty countryside house in Kent—complete with a secret room hidden behind a bookcase—courtesy of Steve’s cousin and wife (thanks Lindsey and Vicky). The purpose: further cheese eating, wine drinking and the odd countryside walk.

My intention was to feature a fetching shot of me dressed in my winter gear on one such country walk, in order to bring me neatly onto the topic of this blog post: faux fur. Unfortunately, I seem to have caught a rather severe dose of Steve’s misplacing things disease, and left my camera in Kent. (Other items currently missing, presumed lost, are my favourite gold bird necklace and the aforementioned bargain of the century £3 waterfall cardigan. If anyone’s seen them, please let me know, I might stretch to a reward!)

Anyway, in the photo I’m wearing two of my recent purchases (now demonstrated below with product shots), which were bought specifically for a last-minute work trip  to -24 degree Moscow last month. On hearing of the baltic temperature, Steve recalled an old Norwegian saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” I decided that this (and a small handout from my generous father) gave me permission to buy ‘good ‘ clothing.

Pick up a puffa, Esprit - £95

Stomping through the snow boots, Snow & Rock - £59.99

(Photo credit:

Now, I’ve never been one for puffa jackets in the past (this blog, is enough to scare anyone off) but for once in my life warmth was going to have to come before fashion. So in between the numerous trips to the Russian visa centre (it’s seriously labour intensive to get into that country!) I trotted off to Esprit on Oxford Street to pick up a coat in the style of a Russian oligarch’s wife (i.e. luxurious fur trim – mine’s faux though, don’t worry). The shop assistant revealed, as if sharing a dark secret, that once you wear a puffa jacket you will struggle to put on anything else until Spring. And, oh how she is right—I’m a convert. Snow boots were next on my, ‘let’s ignore my blog challenge’ shopping list and these furry bad boys are amazing. Surprisingly, there wasn’t any snow in Russia, as I was unfortunate enough to go in an unusually cold spell—think numb fingers, toes, legs and face within minutes, but they were great for whizzing past people who were skidding around on the ice last month on my walk to work. Smug, who me?

Anyway, since discovering the joy of being warm and yes, smug, I’ve basically gone a bit winter accessory mad (you’ll realise it’s mad when you see the state of my scarf drawer in the pic below). Clearly, at the end of 2010, resisting my consumer cravings went out the window. So just to get the confession off my chest, here is my latest loot:

Overflowing scarf drawer, but I still want more

Naughty purchases

Seriously comfy slippers

Now here’s to a better behaved 2011!


A moment (or three) of weakness

15 Nov

I seem to be making a habit of leaving it far too long between blog posts, which makes me a very bad blogger indeed – sorry! I do have an excuse prepared though: I’m blaming Stieg Larsson. Since my chair entry, I’ve spent a remarkable amount of time sitting in said chair glued to the Swedish author’s millennium trilogy. I’m only managing to write this now as I’ve got to the end of book two and don’t have book three instantly available to me. In fact, I’m almost too scared to buy it, as once I get into a crime thriller as good as Larsson’s it takes over my life until I reach the end (picture me reading until 1.30 am in the morning, nearly missing tube stops etc and you’ll be on the right track) and once I’ve rattled through The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest then that’s it—there’s no more. Sad times.

Addictive book one of the millenium series

Book two - led to many late nights!

Book three - not to be read if I'm going to keep this blog going!

Unfortunately, now the apologies are out the way, I’ve got more sins to confess. After nearly a month of controlling my consumer cravings, I’m afraid I cracked. I’m going to bring into play the “essentials” disclaimer I mentioned in my first post i.e. there are some things you just have to buy. And, that can be extended to new jeans, nail varnish, and an eyeliner, right?? Hmm, this might take some justification.

  • First up, the jeans. My workplace is pretty casual, so jeans are an everyday staple for me. As such, my old faithful H&M dark blue skinny pair have definitely had some use (see photo evidence ).

    Unusual rippage - new pair required!

  • I admit it is a rather peculiar place for jeans to wear out—I’m not sure if this is an indication of unusually fat knees or a rather weird walk—but we won’t dwell on that. When you combine unsightly fraying on an essential item with a pretty stressful week at work, you’ll understand that a visit to Topshop for some retail therapy is a must. Obviously, nature then took its course and I found myself £40 poorer, one pair of Indigo Baxter jeans richer, and a very happy lady. If you too are after some new skinnies, I would definitely recommend this style—they aren’t made of that awful, unflattering stretch material, and yet seem to have kept their shape after a week of non-stop wear (they’ve made it into the wash this weekend, don’t worry).

    New jeans - an essential surely?

  • As an aside, in a bid to further justify my purchase I thought I’d go through all my old pairs of jeans and get rid of any I no longer wear. In doing so, I came across one major error of a purchase. I seem to have in my possession an unworn pair of dark blue skinny jeans (noticing a pattern yet?) from Uniqlo in a size six . Now bearing in mind I haven’t been that size since my early teens,  I was clearly having a moment of madness (or hadn’t eaten for a week) when I bought them last year. As I don’t really like being reminded of the fact I’m not a size six, I wondered if any of you reading this who are lucky enough to be that teeny, would like to take them off my hands for free? Just comment below or send me an email.
  • Now on to my reasoning behind the beauty goods. I don’t know about you, but I always find buying presents for my friends a lot trickier than buying things for myself. In fact Christmas shopping usually results in me buying one gift for a family/friend, and one gift for me (naughty, I know). Recently, my way around this is to pick something I would like myself and then accept I can’t have it, and instead buy it for the person with a birthday. It seems to work quite well. So a few weeks back I was in Urban Outfitters (my ultimate shop of temptation) looking for a gift for my friend Rachel, when I came across the shop’s new nail varnish range, which now includes the colour of the moment: greige (gray/beige) or taupe if you’d prefer to use its real name. I’d been wanting to try out this shade for ages, but hadn’t come across a version I liked, other than at Chanel (which at £16.50 a pop isn’t very fitting with my new budget), so with this pot’s price tag of £6, out went my original plan and now Rach and I both have greige nails.

    UO Nail Polish - the lovely new range for £6 a pot

    (Photo credit:
  • As for eyeliner, well that really is essential and I won’t have anyone argue otherwise. I’m fed up of buying cheap eyeliner that needs constant re-application so this time I’ve gone for the £13.50 MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack. It goes on really easily, doesn’t need sharpening and if the sales assistant is to be believed will stay put even after a vigorous game of netball (I’ll soon find out!).

So Sunday’s confession time is up. All I can do now is promise to be much better next week. Although, just to add to the pressure I’ve got a trip to Milan to negotiate on Wednesday. I guess I’m going to have to keep my mind on the job (going to see a book printers – glam!) and not get distracted by the shops!


Fancy dress for less

26 Oct

First up, a quick apology for the long delay between my posts. My excuse: a severely temperamental  internet connection that has resulted in several major attacks of rage, worsened by the baffling computer speak I’ve been wading through on trouble shooting forums. Today, I finally accepted assistance from a MAN and despite him not being able to find the root of the problem or therefore a solution, things now seem to be working.  Nonsensical.

So, I thought I’d make the most of the (probably temporary) breakthrough and get a post up, which is already rather out of date. A few weekends ago, I received an invite to a 1920s-themed 30th birthday do. Now, I do love a good fancy dress party (they always seem to be the most drunken affairs) but the actual process of putting together an outfit is one I find quite stressful. I put this down to two reasons:

  1. The first is a rather traumatic experience I had as a child. Aged about five,  my parents took great joy in dressing me up as Oliver Twist for a school friend’s fancy dress bash. I seem to remember it was quite a good outfit: muddied cheeks, a flat cap, ripped shirt etc, but when I arrived at the party, all the other little girls had come as princesses and fairies (not quite sure how Oliver fitted in with the theme?). The result: lots of tears, a temper tantrum and a flat-out refusal to go inside.
  2. The other factor is the cost. Whenever I’m presented with a legitimate reason to go shopping I tend to get a bit carried away. You start off with good intentions, raiding the charity shops and trekking up to Camden market to seek out a bargain, but somehow end up in a panic on the day of the party shelling out £30 for a pair of shiny lycra leggings from American Apparel in a colour you’ll never wear again (a putrid blue, if you’re wondering) because your outfit (retro ski-wear in this particular instance) just won’t work without them.

So you’ll understand, that sorting out a 1920s outfit, while trying not to shop is something of a challenge.  I had a good idea of what I wanted to look like (think Kate Moss in that lovely jewel-encrusted, nude dress – yes, wishful thinking!), and a definite option in mind that would do quite nicely (1920’s fringing seems to be a look that’s in at the moment) but no such budget.

Ideal Fancy Dress Fix: Tiered Fringe Dress, Rare at Topshop - £45

(photo credit:

The solution:

Beg, borrow…and do what any right-minded lady should if they find themselves with any kind of a clothing dilemma: visit Primark.

The outcome:

  • One pair of long black gloves, a black feather and an accompanying head band loaned by a generous Miss Smith
  • One long pearl necklace retrieved from my ever-expanding fancy dress box
  • One £5 drop-waist dress (thankfully, the 1920s style drop waist was one of this summer’s trends, so it was in the sale) purchased after a stressful dash around Primark, Oxford Street on a Friday night, which required nerves of steel, an aggressive elbows-out stance and a glass of wine lined up for after.

And, here we have the flapper girls, ready to go to the party:

Trying out twenties style on the cheap, with Alana and Charley