1st BLOGOVERSARY!

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Hey everyone,

Happy first blogoversary!


I made a wish, don't worry!

It's been a rather fabulous year, since I began this blog.
It started as a medium for me solely to review my own style, but has envolved into something I care deeply about.

Blogging has definitely made me more passionate than I ever thought I was about fashion and style. It's also made me have more confidence and self-belief than I ever had before.

One of the highlights this year for me, has been that I've been able to meet so many lovely and inspiring people both online and in real life.
Special thanks go to bloggers I've admired, who are now wonderful friends, and it's been such a pleasure meeting up with you guys!

So breaking this down:
Thanks to Claire for letting me sleep in your bed, providing a constant stream of delicious cake, and being my twin. Although you don't have red hair anymore. (Boooo, Judas!)

Lillian for getting absolutely trollied with me on delicious mojitos, watching me get covered in glitter, then taking me for the best ice-cream sundae ever. Also, for being the anti-Unicorn.

Lauren for letting me attempt to impersonate her (Essex) accent ("Carla, I'm not a bloody cockney!"), and turning on the wind machine.

And the BSB girls for the fun day in York. Especially Rachel, my fellow Northern chum and fangirl.

Also to George, for letting me stay in Oxford for the S/S events, and making me say hello to Jimmy Choo although I was wearing £35 heels from Next.

A shout-out is definitely needed to my hairdresser, Chris, for keeping me from looking like (much of) a hot mess, and being the person I can fangirl to about lotions and potions.


Also to my mam and dad who are the most avid readers. (Worringly)
And my sister, who doesn't like my blog.

Muchos MUCHOS thanks go to my head cheerleader, Daniel.
Who is not only a fellow blogger, but a journalism student, and makes me look like a hack.

Whew, sorry for going all Gwyneth Paltrow on you guys. Nearly there, I promise!


But even though it sounds cheesy, my biggest thanks are to everyone who reads this blog - either on subscription, or has just passed by it once or twice.

For your amazing cheerleadin' comments, Tweets and emails that constantly make me smile.
I read every single one of them, and reply to as many as I can.

Finally, to girls of all shapes and sizes.
From skinny minnies to voluptuous vixens who read this blog, and hopefully, feel a little bit better about themselves - here's to another year of fun, fashion and positivity.


With Lauren from Pocket Rocket Fashion.
Picture by Monsoon.


*raises glass*

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

PS: My camera broke today. Please don't let this be an omen of doom? ;)

Ms. Bow-jangles!

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Hey everyone,

Thank you SO SO much for all your amazing comments in my last post.
I promise I'll reply to everyone over the weekend.

My friend Daniel's response was quite sweet in his own way:



Make sure you're following Daniel's blog, as it's rather hilarious!


I honestly was not fishing for compliments, but you guys absolutely made my day!
I hated to bring the mood down, but now it's out the way - we can get back to business, yes? YES!



(Picture by Corey Bennett)


Anyhoo, I have been window shopping, and noticed an abundance of pretty bows.
So here's my top picks:

Although there's so many ways to wear a pretty bow, my favourite at the moment is old-skool prom style, with your shirt buttoned all the way up, and a bow-tie fastened at the top in place of a necklace. Absolutely adoreable.

Very geek chic, very PeeWee Herman:


Also, I know this is a few months old now, but I absolutely adore the outfits on The Trolley Song perfomance from Over The Rainbow:



I'm going to have to dig out my school shirts and my collection of berets...


Boys aren't off the hook with this trend either - quite the contrary.
The high street is FULL of bow ties, suspenders/braces and high collared shirts for the boys too - I love when trends cross over for both genders.

I'm making a mental note to ask Daniel for a loan of his beloved silver bowtie:


(From March when we went to a LGBT Prom)


So how about you guys?
What's your favourite way to wear a bow?


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Haters Gonna Hate...

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Hey everyone,



Apologies that this is going to be a little off-topic, but there's something I'd just like to say for the record.

I'd also like to address a negative comment that I received (and have since deleted - I appreciate your constructive criticism, but there is no place on this blog for blatent spite and negativity hiding under Anon).

Someone basically commented today saying something along the lines of how they think I've gotten "too big for my boots" I've been fortunate to attend a few events now, and I'm "neglecting my blog".

First, let me just put my life into some perspective for you:

I've been out of a job for just over a week now, which isn't long, but I've been rushing around everywhere (and I mean EVERYWHERE) trying to get placements, interviews...anything really, as I absolutely hate being unemployed.
On top of that, I'm attempting to have a social life AND fit blogging around that.

Some people just done appreciate how much work bloggers put into their post - from researching, taking photos, photoshopping pictures together (like the above) takes time, as I like to make every blog post worthy of a read.
I'd never just "bung" anything together and hope for the best.

Not to mention I've spent my own money getting to events (travel, hotel, food etc. all adds up). I also have to pay monthly to host my photos, and my layout was quite expensive as I specifically had an artist (the fabulous Lucy Farfort) and design which I knew would work for this blog.

Remember, I DO NOT get paid for doing this blog - I have no advertisers (nLinkone who have asked me seemed suitable, and I'd consider it unfair to you guys to promote a product or business that had no relevance) and I don't get paid for reviews.

I don't get how going to events makes me "big for my boots".
If you knew me, you'd know I do NOT have an inflated ego - quite the contrary.
When I put this blog up just under a year ago, you have no idea how much it took for me to post pictures of myself on the internet.

I'm not fishing for compliments, but to say I think I'm better than anyone is simply ludicrious.

Surely I thought reporting on events would make for more interesting blog posts, as opposed to getting hundreds of entries of me standing in my backyard or room with my hand on my hip.

Oh, and hater:
Referring to my weight when you've clicked on a blog entitled "MessyCarla: A Fashion Blog in a Size 16"... try something a little more original next time, non? Bon.

I know I shouldn't let this stuff get my down, and I know it's one person when I have over 650 people who have thought me decent enough to subscribe to.

But I'm the sort of girl who thinks "If one person thinks like this, more people must too..." so I just wanted to use this post to let you all know how I appreciate every single comment from you guys, I read hundreds of your blogs, and reply to every Tweet and email I recieve.

Next week is this blog's first birthday - so apologies for straying a little off-topic, but I'd rather it was addressed now, so next week is completely negativity-free.

I DO have a fashion related post coming up tonight, so I promise I'll be back to normal soon.

Muchos, Muchos MUCHOS love,
MessyCarla.

The Look Show A/W 2010

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Hey everyone,

Sorry for the lack of cupcakes yesterday, but I had so much on! I'll catch you up for my finale of baking week very soon I promise.

But I want to give you all my rundown on The Look Show, which I went to on Friday.

This was my second show, as I luckily won a last minute ticket with Monsoon and Accessorize, and I asked the darling Lauren from Pocket Rocket Fashion to come as my plus one.

I was super excited when she said yes, as Lauren's was one of the first fashion blogs I started reading, and is one of the most well known plus sized bloggers in the UK. (Though she denies this when asked!)

We were originally going to be meeting Nicolette and Sakina in Harrods for lunch, as they were in the city to interview Beth Ditto about her new collection at Evans.

Sadly, they'd moved on by the time my VERY SLOW BUS arrived in Knightsbridge.
But c'est la vie, me and Lauren grabbed some sushi then headed over to the Saatchi Gallery.

My camera is being RUBBISH lately (I'm getting a fancier one for Christmas) - but here's some pictures:


Lauren and me.


The Like.
I chatted away to them later and they were all very nice.
Other live performers were Shayne Ward, Gabrielle Cilmi and Diana Vickers.


I got WAAAAY too excited to meet the teenager who lives across the road from my friend, Claire.
But for those of you not from the UK - this is Joe McElderry who won last year's X Factor, and he's from my hometown of South Shields.
(Off-topic, but his new single, Ambitions, is campilicous - and is going to be a favourite at The Bank I reckon...)


With plus-size model Hayley Morley.
She was SERIOUSLY beautiful and had curves to die for.

And now on to my favourite peices:
(Pictures from Look.co.uk)



River Island.

As always - River Island push the boat out for High Street clothes that look a lot more expensive than they actually are.
Last season at The Look Show, they seemed to have a fantasy/Alice In Wonderland theme, but this time there was more of a rock chick vibe going on - with lots of party dresses toned down with casual leather, sheepskin and faux fur jackets and cardigans.

New Look.

When I think of New Look, I think of floaty summer dresses and boaters for S/S and lots of black and sparkles for A/W. But they really surprised me!
The collection they showcased had lots of structured peices - double breasted coats, nipped in waists and high collars.
I absolutely adore this look, it's very Victoriana.




Oasis.

Oasis showcased some very grown-up glamour with a lot of vintage influences. Like New Look, there was a lot of focus on necklines - from high polo necklaces to a plunging sweetheart neckline on a stunning black maxi.


Snoods were very popular last year, but they seem to have been 'upgraded' this year to vintage inspired faux fur collars and stoles.
They add instant glamour to any outfit - and will definately keep me warm during nights out!

Remember that all these peices are available instore now - and you can stop directly through Look.co.uk.


The Lady Grey dance troupe did a fabulous jazz dance with The Look Shoe collection, which is a collaboration with Office.
They looked stunning, and they were so adorable when we met them afterwards.


The photobooth. Ahhh, the photobooth...
I've only posted the latter pictures, since the first two are actually horrendous.
There was an option of 'WIND MACHINE' which is why we look more windswept than interesting.


After the show, the lovely Amy from Monsoon (who coincidentally is a blogger herself - be sure to check out These Girls Turn Heads) had arranged for us to get into their 'Karma Cab' to drive to their Kings Road store for an aftershow shopping trip.


I renamed the 'Karma Cab' the ' Camp Cab' as it was decorated in flock, ribbons and even had a mini chandelier in the roof.

Because we'd been to The Look Show, we could get 20% off everything.
I've been looking for a nice winter coat for a while now, and picked up this stunning polka dot trenchcoat from the Monsoon Fusion Collection.


RRP £80 but I got it for £64.


I'll post a proper picture of me wearing it soon, but it's like it was made for me!
It hugs my breasticles and bumbum, nips my waist and stops just above my knees.

Nearly finished! - Here is what we got in our goodie bags:


Jergens cocoa butter, Toni & Guy smoothing serum, Benefit lipstick, Jean Paul Gaultier samples, Burts Bees lipbalm and day cream, Thorntons chocolate, Dorothy Perkins white beanie hat, Accessorize nail polish, Marks and Spencers leopard print umberella and Westwood Rocks hairpin.


And finallement, here's what I was wearing:

DRESS: ASOS Curve.
TOP: Topshop.
CARDIGAN: New Look.
BAG: River Island.
FASCINATOR: A-Wear.
SHOES: New Look.
NECKLACE: Primark.
POINT OF FASHION: Monochrome.

Miss Lauren's velvet dress is from Beth Ditto's new collection at Evans and is just beautiful on her!

WHEW!
If you read through all this - you deserve a medal. Or at least a good cup of tea.

Thank you again to Amy and all the Monsoon team for taking good care of us.
And of course to Lauren for being an awesome plus one - next time I'm in London we'll have to party methinks.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Cupcake Day #4: Sticky Toffee Cupcakes

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Hey everyone,

I'm back from London, and all ready to catch you guys up on my baking adventures for National Cupcake Week.

This is going to be part one of two posts today, so tomorrow I'll be able to write up my final cupcake recipe, and the grande finale for this series!

So cupcake recipe number 4 is Sticky Toffee Cupcakes with Salted Cream Caramel.


The recipe is from Bake and Decorate by Fiona Cairns:

Ingredients:
180 g dates, pitted and chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
180 g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
80 g unsalted butter
150 g muscovado sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the caramel:
125 g caster sugar
80 ml double cream (I used single cream and it worked fine!)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the buttercream:
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
160 g butter
200 g icing sugar


How to:

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan170ºC/gas 4.

2. Place the paper cases into a 12 hole cupcake tin.

3. In a heatproof bowl, pour 180ml boiling water over the dates and leave to soak for 20 minutes. with a fork, gently break up the dates and stir in the vanilla.

4. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar for a good 5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, beating between each addition, slipping in 1 tbsp flour about halfway through to prevent curdling.
Lastly, fold in the remaining flour and then the date mixture.

5. Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 15–20 minutes (the tops should spring back when pressed with a finger). Remove and leave to cool.

6. For the caramel: Dissolve the sugar and 60ml water in a small, solid-based pan over a gentle heat, then increase the heat to a boil. Wait a few minutes, leaving the pan undisturbed but watching it like a hawk and, as soon as it changes to a wonderful caramel colour (like strong tea) and is thicker, remove immediately from the heat, stand well back, and add the cream.

7. Be very careful as it is searing hot and it may splatter a little. It will react, or ‘seize’, and you may think it has gone wrong; it hasn’t. Keep stirring, adding the salt and the vanilla. Leave until stone cold.

8. For the buttercream Cream the butter and icing sugar for at least 5 minutes with an electric mixer and add the caramel.

9. Put the buttercream into the piping bag fitted with the star nozzle and pipe it on to the cakes, or spread it on with a palette knife.


This was my first attempting at a few things - fruit-based cupcakes and caramel, and they both came out rather wonderfully.

If you want to save time and eliminate the caramel making section you can use shop-bought, and just add it to the buttercream, but for me there's nothing quite like home-made caramel!
I think I overcooked it slightly, but I quite liked the bittersweet flavour when mixed with the icing sugar.

I was expecting the sponge to go quite stodgy like a pudding, but it was light as a feather and incredibly moist from the soaked dates.

I DEFINITELY recommend this one, as they're a modern twist on a British pub grub classic.

Stay tuned, as I'll be posting the second recipe later on today - you'll be pleased to know, it's full of peanut buttery goodness!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

CUPCAKE HIATUS! & The Look Show.

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Hey everyone,

Just a quick post to say - no cupcakes today, but for a very good reason.
I managed to get a last-minute ticket to The Look Show, which I went to in Spring/Summer to blog for New Look.
It was absolutely fantastic, and I'm so pleased to be going back.

Since it's tomorrow, I've spent all day pulling myself together for it.
I've been under the weather all week, and couldn't go into work today again, which I'm completely and utterly sick of!
Blargh. But I should be better for tomorrow.

My plus-one is also going to be the fabulous Lauren from Pocket Rocket Fashion, one of my favourite fashion bloggers!
Bring on quaffing loads of wine, and beautiful clothes for the chilly Autumn/Winter season.

So I'll get back to you guys on Saturday with a report from the show, and of course - more National Cupcake Week posts!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter as I'll be tweeting at the event.
(If it's anything like last time, beware your timeline will be full of "ZOMG!! KEISHA BUCHANAN!!"...dear me.)

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Cupcake Day #3: Rainbow Cupcakes.

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Hey everyone,

I'm not into Day 3 of my week-long cupcake-ery shenanigans.
I went to bed last night completely covered in flour and icing sugar.
Crack an egg on me and I might rise if it's too sunny outside. *coughs edible glitter*



Today's cupcakes are some fabulous Rainbow Cupcakes.|

I first made them for my darling co-workers and boss, Tony, at LGBT station Pride Radio during Northern Pride and they went down a storm.

(I'd also had a bit of fizzy pop and giggling down the microphone to Tony - but he'd been on the mojitos and had just met Lisa Scott-Lee so I don't think he minded too much...)

But this time around, I added another layer, and a cream cheese frosting instead of being slightly naughty and using Ann Summers' vanilla body icing - as a talking point, if nothing else!

Anyhoo, here they are:





For Vanilla/Rainbow cake:

1. Use the same basic Vanilla cake recipe as yesterday, but divide the mixture between four bowls, and add a few drops of food colouring to each one.

2. Gently spoon a tablespoon of each mixture into the paper cases one at a time. Don't worry if they seem to run into each other.

3. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until the sponge bounces back when touched.

Frosting:

300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
White chocolate chips
Hundreds-and-Thousands

4. Mix the ingredients together until fluffy.

5. Spoon the frosting onto the cakes when they are cooled.

6. Decorate with white chocolate chips and hundreds-and-thousands.


These are very fun cupcakes - a quick and easy way to jazz up a very simple Vanilla recipe.
The colourings do add some rather naughty e-numbers, but they're nice for a treat!
(Isn't everything?)

I'd never made a cream cheese frosting before, and don't think it's supposed to be that runny - but it was still delicious - like unset cheesecake!

The cupcakes are definitely going down a treat in the office, and I'm having to take two tins in - one for the reception team downstairs, and a bigger one for the office I'm working in.

However, I think I have a bit of a mutiny on my hands today.
Wendy from the office next to ours brought in MASSIVE pink cupcakes:


MUTINY! CORRUPTION!
COUP D'ETAT!
I'm going to have to up my game, here...

Recap:

Monday: Black Bottomed Cupcakes (Chocolates sponge with Vanilla cheesecake topping)
Tuesday: Marshallow Cupcakes (Vanilla sponge with a molten marshmallow, and buttercream and marshmallow frosting)

I've just realised that I've had a surge in new followers the past few days - I hope you are visiting for the cake, but stay for the fashion!
For the benefit of the newbies, I also have a Facebook page and Twitter where you can chat with me!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Cupcake Day #2: Marshmallow Cupcakes.

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Hey everyone,

It's Day 2 of my week-long bake off (with myself?!) for National Cupcake Week.

Today's recipe is also from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook - Marshmallow Cupcakes.

I did tweak it a little by adding pink food colouring to the icing, and I couldn't find mini marshmallows so I just chopped up some big ones.
Also, put a few less than recommended in, as the frosting recipe I used was already very sweet and rich.

The vanilla sponge is light, fluffy - and goes wonderfully with the molten marshmallow.

Ingredients:

For Vanilla Sponge:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 45g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 medium pink marshmallows
  • 200g mini marshmallows

For Frosting/Icing:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

How To:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas 3.

2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

3. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.

5. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

6. Put the medium marshmallows in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave until melted and smooth.

7. When the cupcakes are cold, hollow out a small section in the centre of each one and fill with a dollop of melted marshmallow. Leave to cool.

8. Stir the mini marshmallows into the vanilla frosting by hand until evenly dispersed.

9. Spoon the frosting on top of the cupcakes and decorate with edible glitter.

This recipe (Cake, not frosting/icing) is taken from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers
Published by Ryland Peters & Small
Text © Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers


The only problem I have is that they are EXTREMELY sweet - if you're making these as a gift, make sure the person has a massive sweet tooth.
Be prepared for a rather epic sugar rush.

I took a BIIIG batch of cake into the office yesterday to cure our Monday Blues - they had all been completely devoured by 10.30am.
I hope you all enjoy this series - I promise I'll still blog some fashion-y stuff as well!

If you missed yesterday's recipe of Black Bottomed Cupakes, please give it a clicky-clicky?

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Cupcake Day #1: Black Bottomed Cupcakes

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Hey everyone,

Some of you may remember me explaining how the only resolution I set myself for 2010 was to learn to cook and bake.
(I keep meaning to post more recipes here, but don't know how many of you would be interested?)

But as it's National Cupcake Week, I've decided as a special for this blog - I'm going to bake and post a different batch of cupcakes every day this week!

The darling Katie from Katie Cakes and Pet Lamb Patisserie funnily enough had exactly the same idea - so please follow her blog too for some fabulous recipes.

So I thought I'd kick this off with Black Bottomed Cupcakes which is a recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.

I don't have the most luck with cupcakes, so usually I don't make extremely fancy cupcakes - so thought I'd be a bit of adventureous.

They have a lovely chocolate sponge base, then a sweet vanilla cheesecake topping.
The original recipe had icing/frosting on top, but I thought the cupcakes looked so pretty anyway, I decided against it in the end.

Ingredients:

For the chocolate sponge base:

  • 190g plain flour
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder, plus extra to decorate
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 40 ml sunflower oil
  • 1½ tsps white vinegar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the cheesecake topping:

  • 140g cream cheese
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100g milk chocolate chips

How To:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3. For the chocolate sponge base put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and mix on a slow speed until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated with a sandy texture.

2. Put the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and 125 ml water in a jug and whisk to combine. While the electric whisk is running in the flour bowl, slowly add the contents of the jug, increasing the speed of the blender as the mixture thickens. Continue to beat until all the ingredients are incorporated.

3. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and set aside.

4. For the cheesecake filling beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and salt on a medium-slow speed until smooth and fluffy.

5. Scoop about 1 tbsp of the cheesecake filling on top of the cupcake mixture, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm to the touch and they have an even golden colour on the cheesecake filling. Don’t overcook as the cheesecake will become very dry and crumbly.

6. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


This recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery’s Cookbook, published by Ryland and Peters, £16.99. To buy it, click here.


Sorry for my lovely American readers who usually use cups for measurements - I just prefer using scales to measure.
I'm sure there's a few converters online with a bit of Google-ing!

Do let me know if you try them - they're not the healthiest cupcakes in the world, granted.
But pah! It's Monday, I need lots of sugar to get me through the day!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Cosy Autumn Knitwear

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Hey everyone,

Wow, the temperature has really dropped this week hasn't it?

Although I'm not the biggest fan of Autumn and Winter - the dark mornings and short days set off my S.A.D which has already been putting me on the blink this week. Bah!

BUT, what I am looking forward to enjoying is shopping for some gorgeous jumpers.

And a few days ago, I had my first 'Jumper Day' of the year - where it's still a bit too warm to my winter coat, but too nippy to go out without a jacket:

JUMPER: H! by Henry Holland, £38.
SHORTS: Dorothy Perkins, £Can't remember.
BAG: River Island, £40ish.
TIGHTS: Dorothy Perkins, £4.
SHOES: Ebay, £5.
POINT OF FASHION: First 'Jumper Day' of the year!

I absolutely adore the Henry Holland jumper - the fox is so cute, and the white tip of the tail even has extra fuzzy-wuzzy bits.

Also, some more lovely knitwear that I've put on my wishlist:

RABBIT JUMPER: Next, £25. (Georgina from Cupcake's Clothes looks adorable in this!)
POLKA DOT JUMPER: Topshop, £35.
FLORAL CARDIGAN: Red Herring, £20.
LACE PRINT CARDIGAN: New Look, £22.
MILITARY JUMPER: New Look, £20.
BOWS CARDIGAN: River Island, £36.99.
BUDGIE JUMPER: Topshop, £28.

I've just realised I've done almost a full circle with this blog - my very first post was all about upcoming Autumn collections! How time has flown...

I do have a fun idea for my first blogoversary on September 30th.
Stay tuned for more information, folks!

I've also added a bunch of pictures to the Facebook page from my life away from the blogosphere, so you can see what sort of stuff I get up to that doesn't make it onto this blog.

If you could consider becoming a fan, you can get updates of new blog posts plus some more cool stuff straight to your news feed.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Back from Ireland!

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Hey everyone,

I've been back from Ireland a few days now, but have been super-busy since coming home.

I had a fabulous time with Claire from French For Cupcake, who is just as lovely in real life as on her blog.
We went shopping in Belfast, took a bus into Dublin, ate a lot of beautiful food, baked and generally had a right laugh.

(Pictures by Claire Magowan)


Twins!
We even use the same red hair dye, we're so silly.



Pecan Pie at the lovely Avoka in Belfast - beautiful things to buy, and delicious cake.
I could have lived there.


I've also got to give a shout out to blogger/photographer and Claire's best-friend Sarah Kane, whose blog I really adore.
We were supposed to be hanging out too, but unfortunately she's very ill lately so we were unable to get together. I hope you feel better soon, my darling.
Click for Sarah's blog, website and flickr - her photographs are seriously amazing!

Thank you so much again for letting me invade your bedroom, borrow your clothes and use up your hairspray - you're welcome in Geordieland whenever you'd like!

Since I've been away, you guys have been lovely and buying lots of stuff over on my selling blog, MessyCarla Sells....
There's still plenty left though, and I'll be adding some more this week so please consider following for updates.

I'll be back to normal soon, I have lots of lovely posts planned for this week.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.