Sunday, 30 November 2014

Winter is Coming

Although it has been incredibly mild recently, (so mild in fact, that I had an ice cream van treat on 29th November!) I can't deny any longer that winter is practically here. It may be a mild one this year, but there's still a good bit of chill in the air when I set off for working in the mornings.

There's nothing better on a crisp winter's day than having a stroll in countryside - and that's exactly what Bob and I got up to last weekend. It's so nice to live in a place with such beauty right on our doorstep.
Darwen Tower Walk North West Countryside
I'd say that my style very much reflects life in the country. I've never really been one for the urban lifestyle. To me, there's nothing quite so perfectly country as a good tweed jacket and some riding boots.
JustRach in TU Tweed Barbour Cashmere Hollister Jeans Hush Puppies Riding Boots
Flower Statement Necklace Primark
Geneva Navy Striped Watch
I've totally fallen in love with the mini Primark at the top of Selfridges in the Trafford Centre. It always seems to carry the nicest pieces. That's where I picked up the pretty little statement flower necklace, that perfectly matches my outfit. I've become completely obsessed with statement necklaces recently! I picked up my watch from a seller on the Depop app (@justrachblog) which I'm also totally hooked on at the moment, I really can't stop buying things off there, not to mention that it's all super cheap. This adorable watch was under 4 pounds.
JustRach Black White Primark Barbour TU Sainsburys Hollister
Tweed Jacket Yellow Green Blue TU Sainsburys Tailored
This beautiful imitation tweed tailored jacket was something I grabbed on a whim from TU at Sainsbury's. I am completely in love with it. The colours just scream autumn/winter to me and it goes so nicely with most of the jumpers I own. I just love those mustard tones.
JustRach Darwen Tower
Barbour Pale Blue Cashmere V Neck Jumper
What takes centre stage for me has to be my jumper. I adore a good jumper, I own way too many. There's nothing quite like cashmere to keep you warm on a frosty winter morning either - seriously everything should be made from it. This beautiful blue number was kindly sent to me by Barbour and I am in love with it. I already own a Barbour jacket, which has been a long trusted staple within my winter wardrobe, but I'd never before considered checking out their range of clothing. I'm really glad I did! The gorgeous soft tone offsets the blue in the jacket perfectly and it feels so snug and comfy on. The thing I probably like the most is the discrete branding. I will pay good money for designer items, but only if the branding isn't splashed all over, I can't stand it that way. 
TU Sainsburys Primark Selfridges Barbour Hollister Hush Puppies
Jacket: TU by Sainsburys // Cashmere V Neck c/o Barbour // Superskinny Jeans: Hollister // Leather Riding Boots c/o Hush Puppies

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Etsy Lusts #4: The Christmas Edit

So I guess I underestimated just how busy I would be. I swear my weeks just seem to disappear from under me. I am trying my best all the same. I still love browsing Etsy on my phone (I barely get to touch my computer these days unless I'm planning) and buying all kinds of awesome stuff. I've picked a few of my recents faves that I think would make really awesome Christmas gifts.
I'm a big fan of tulle skirts, even if I do have too much of a baby face to pull one off (a cashier in Primark spotted my license and told me I didn't look old enough to be able to drive last week - I've been driving 6 years...). Vintage Divinitiess hand-make the most beautiful ones. Perfect for the pampered princess in your life!

How stunning is this little sterling silver Origami Crane necklace by Kimono Reincarnate? I'd love to find this little guy nesting under my tree this year!

The cat planner from AnkePankes Shop is just the most precious gift for any crazy cat ladies you might know. I am desperate to get my paws on this thing. It's a week-to-view diary that's filled with illustrations of cats from 50+ amazing artists. Best of all, it's got no dates so you can pick it up and start it any time! Purrrr-fect!

The geek in me just can't resist these Mario-tastic invincibility earrings. They'd make a really great stocking filler for anyone who's a fan of the ultimate classic in video gaming. You can pick up these little cuties for a tiny price at Frozen Crafts.

My love for photography and unsuccessfully growing household plants is combined perfectly in this adorable little cement planter. This would make a lovely gift for any of your fellow blogger friends, photography enthusiasts, or just someone with an eye for a great little gift. These gorgeous planters are handmade by Brooklyn Global.

What's your favourite piece from the Christmas edit - let me know!

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

Hello cherubs! It's been an awful long while... almost two months to be exact! (Oh my goodness!)

Settling into my new home (expect home decor and DIY updates galore from B and I over at From the Lark's Nest) and new job has been busy and hectic but things are finally starting to calm and I'm finding time in my schedule to take some moments to relax.

I've been sipping on wines, drinking too much tea, reading books and generally just doing a lot of the things that I've put off in favour of blogging in the past - and I feel flipping great for it.

Now that I've allowed myself some indulgent time to find "me" again, I know I've got a little spare hour here and there to pick JustRach up where we left off.

I've got an untouched inbox with nearly 300 emails and an incredibly shameful back-log of posts but I'm going to take it slow and catch up as and when I can.

Posting is likely to resume on a bi-weekly basis (much more manageable for me) which means that hopefully blogging will go back to being a relaxing hobby and be much less of the stress-filled chore it was starting to become. You can also expect to see weekly posts on FTLN, either from B or myself, and I will be sending out my newsletter once a month (you can sign up in my sidebar to get all the juicy goodness delivered straight to your inbox so you never miss a treat!)

For now it's safe to say that I'm back and I've missed you. I'm looking forward to lots of rainy October fun!


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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Strawberry Lambrini - Summer in a Bottle

New Lambrini Strawberry perfect summer drink
As soon as I was qualified as a teacher, savouring the summer became more important than ever. Of course, like anyone in my profession we also love a good glass or two (though shh, I didn't tell you that!) to help us wind down after a day of bouncing around being the happiest person the kids know.

A huge rose fan usually, over the holidays I found myself reaching for the summery, fruity blends that were little lighter and sweeter. Naturally, I was very excited when Lambrini got in touch with me to try their brand new flavour of drink - and what could be more perfect for keeping summer alive than strawberry?!
Strawberry Lambrini
New Strawberry Lambrini
Lambrini Strawberry
Even though it's October and it's starting to look more and more like winter is coming every day - if you're like me and you're holding on to that last little bit of summer (still wearing dresses to work with bare legs!) then this is the perfect drink for you!

Are you a Lambrini fan? Do you think there's a better summer flavour than strawberry?

I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // justrachblog@gmail.com

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Mensa Spring Ball 2014 - Great Gatsby Murder Mystery

The fact that I'm a member of Mensa is little known, and it's often something people are quite surprised about. The reason I don't talk about it, isn't because I'm ashamed or embarrassed, but because I don't particularly want it to be seen as a defining feature of my personality. I took the test when I was in the early years of high school, I think I was 12 - though my memory is foggy for a lot of those years. Since then I've been a relatively silent member; ardently awaiting my monthly magazine and enjoying reading articles on a range of topics and hearing about the adventures of other members. It was only this April that I found the time and courage to go along to a Mensa event. Organised by my incredibly talented friend Jade, the Mensa Spring Ball was spectacular for the last two years with themes of burlesque and masquerade and fast became a permanent feature in the Mensan calendar.

"A little party never killed nobody..."

Yeah, you guessed it (ok so the title of the post gives it away!) but this year the theme was Great Gatsby - except that a little party did kill somebody, because it was a murder mystery, of course!

B and I had the BEST time at the ball, with dressing up 20s stylee being the absolute cherry on the top of the fabulous cake. We met so many amazing and interesting people, made new friends, had fantastic conversations and Charleston'ed the night away. I cannot wait for next years ball!

I'm just going to go ahead and let you enjoy the photos now!
Mensa Spring Ball 2014 Great Gatsby Murder Mystery
JustRach 1920s Great Gatsby Fancy Dress
Carey Mulligan Gatsby Head Piece
1920s Fancy Dress Great Gatsby
Great Gatsby Fancy Dress 1920s
Unique Vintage Ivory Beaded Flapper Dress
I fell absolutely head over heels in love with this gorgeous ivory flapper dress from Unique Vintage, which has the most amazing selection of dresses to choose from, from any era you could want. The dress was a little pricey, but in my opinion well worth it. It was incredible quality - quite heavy with all of the beautiful beads stitched on - but the way it swished when I danced and moved was pure perfection. I like to do fancy dress properly, and I felt a million dollars in my 1920s get up. As with most proper flapper dresses, it was see through, so I purchased a simple white slip from BHS for underneath the dress.
Unique Vintage Beaded Flapper Dress
Daisy Buchanan Gatsby Head Piece
Daisy Buchanan Great Gatsby Head Piece
This absolutely beautiful head-piece is a pretty amazing replica of the one that Daisy Buchanan wears at the big party in the recent Great Gatsby film. I picked it up on Etsy.
My stunning matchy shoes are from Dune. I was so over the moon to find the perfect shoe I was looking for! I'll definitely wear them again too, they're comfortable and classic pair of shoes that I'm sure I'll cherish for years to come.
1920s chignon updo Scarlet Hair Studio
Scarlet Hair Studio 1920s chignon updo
I had my amazing hair-do done by my hairdresser Laura. Laura is crazy talented, and I'm so impressed with what she managed with my hair. As you all know its super long and it was really difficult to work with because it's so soft. Laura put together a fantastic chignon style up-do complete with 1920s finger waves at the front, which allowed my headpiece to slide perfectly into place. If you're ever in the area pop along to Scarlet Hair Studio, they're just fantastic. I did my own eye-makeup, which I'm really flippin' proud of. I'd never even attempted a smokey eye before this and I think I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself!
JustRach Raddison Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury
JustRach Chivalrous Gatsby Fancy Dress
Literato Gatsby Cufflinks
These fab Gastby cufflinks B was sporting were made by none other than the man himself. You can pick up a pair, as well as a tonne of other amazing literature inspired goodies from his shop Literato.
Mensa Spring Ball 2014
The wonderful Jade, event planner extraordinaire!
Gatsby Ball dancing
Gatsby Ball meal
Chivalrous JustRach Gatsby 1920s themed fancy dress mensa ball
My next excuse to dress up (I'll take any!) is coming very soon - September, in fact. It's my sailing club's autumn social and the theme is Western (cowboys and indians), so I'm planning to go as Pocahontas... watch this space!

So, what do you think cherubs? Did we do the 1920s proud?

I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // justrachblog@gmail.com

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