Return to Virginia

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Hey everyone,

It has just dawned on me that I never got around to sharing photos of my holiday to Virginia!

I've already shared some photos from my previous visit in 2008 which was awesome, and as expected I had so much fun second time around.

Here are some of my favourites:

(Photo by Jessica)

Happy as can be in my favourite shop in the world - Sephora!
Jessica and her sister Jaime gave me a $50 gift card as an early present, so I treated myself to stuff from Make Up Forever and Sephora's own range.

The Noland Trail.
The long stretches of water remind me of Pocahontas!

There were such beautiful colours everywhere - it definitely felt more like Autumn than Winter!
This poor tree was knocked over by the recent hurricanes.

Gorgeous holly leaves, you can tell it was coming up to Christmas!

Free Ho! Ho! Ho's!

When Jessica finished her final exam we celebrated with margaritas and fries.
I tell you, what American beers lack in strength, they more than make up for with cocktails. 
It took just two of these and I ended up singing Geordie folk songs in the car park.

Since I'd never had it before, we made pumpkin pie! (We filmed the process here!) and it was absolutely delicious.
I had further belated Thanksgiving food when her grandma prepared an amazing chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, squash, green beans and cranberry sauce. It was without a doubt one of the best meals I've had in years!

Ahhh frozen yoghurt - another foodstuff that isn't as big a deal as it should be here in the UK! 

They had really interesting seasonal flavours such as gingerbread and pumpkin pie. 
I was a bit boring and had original tart, vanilla and cappuccino with Butterfingers, hot fudge and sprinkles. 

Awwww Missy is the cutest and most affectionate cat I've ever met - she's almost like a dog in the way she loves curling up next to people for sleepy time. I love her wee snaggle tooth, too!


So yeah, as you can see I have yet more wonderful memories from one of my favourite places in the world!
Jessica thinks it's funny that I love coming to stay, especially as apart from Virginia Beach there aren't many international tourists. 
But I think that's the beauty of visiting anywhere - meeting the locals and doing everyday things such as shopping at Trader Joe's or World Market is often a lot more interesting that visiting typical tourist traps.

Finally, I'll leave you with two more videos. 

The first is a mash up of footage I took during my holiday. 
The second is Jessica's flatmate David attempting to prepare a chicken salad while we cheer him on. (You'll need to turn the volume up for this one as I just filmed it on my phone!)




Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Blue Monday

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Hey everyone,

Apologies once again I disappeared! It's been one of those weeks where I've felt like I've just had to get off the grid for a while.
Mostly I've just been hanging out with my friends and family, doing real world stuff.

But I'm back - and I went shopping today for the first time in ages. This is what I wore:


It was a sweep-of-red-lipstick-needed kind of day!
(Fire by Chanel)


DRESS: Topshop.
CARDIGAN: H&M.
BELT: Dorothy Perkins.
NECKLACE: Present from Daniel, via Topshop.
HAIRBAND: Forever 21.
SHOES: Primark.
POINT OF FASHION: Blue.

Make-up wise, I used a set which was kindly sent to me from the lovelies at Find-Me-A-Gift.co.uk.

Being a fan of gold products at the minute, I chose the Me Me Me Goddess Eye gift box which includes an eyeshadow quad, liquid eyeliner, eye pencil, mascara and a tutorial card.

I wasn't sure what to expect as although I'd heard of the brand I hadn't tried any of their products, and I was pleasantly surprised.
The eyeshadows are lovely and pigmented and go extra sparkly when I dipped my brush in water first (though to be fair, I do this with all my eyeshadows).

The mascara and the pencil were nice quality too, but I was a little let down by the liquid eyeliner which has a pen time, and I really don't like them.
However, I have a few friends who do - so no doubt this will be donated to one of them!

So although I tried it, for this look I went over the top of it with Elf's liquid liner.

Inside the box.

Eyeshadow swatches applied wet.

Taken with flash at a distance.

Taken with flash close up.

So yeah, overall I was impressed with the set - and for £13.99 it's a bit of a bargain for the products you get!


So this week:
It's been a pretty good one - apart from if you follow me on Twitter you'll know that my friend Ash was in a car accident and had a stay in hospital after losing part of his lower eyelid. 
Thankfully there are no problems with his actual eye, and he is healing up very well - apart from obviously being shaken up and he also has a little whiplash. We've been out this week celebrating his getting better Geordie-style. 
Read: too much fizzy pop. It's medicinal, right?

Thank you to everyone who sent good wishes - he really appreciated them! 

However, it has also been a week of awesome as my best-friend (and Ash's twin) Sam found out this week she is working on a TV show (hint: "WHY AYEEEEEE") in Mexico which is amazing amazing amazing. 
I'm so jealous, and I have already requested that she bring me back a poncho. 
Expect an outfit post with it in the near future. Maybe.

Or else just lots of pictures of me eating the innards of a piƱata. That's much more likely.


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.


DISCLAIMER: The Me Me Me gift box was sent for review. I received no money for featuring the item on my blog. As ever, all words and opinions are my own!


Flowers and a Bee(hive).

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Hey everyone,

Apologies I have been away for a week - it's been a surprisingly busy one, which is always good!

I wore this outfit today to hang out with my friend Jessica who was in Newcastle for her dissertation research, and I was brought in to help.

By "help", I ended up guarding her Cath Kidston holdall while she handed out questionnaires and bought me drinks - such is life!


DRESS:Vintage.
NECKLACE: Vintage.
BELT: Dorothy Perkins.
HAIRBAND: Primark.
SHOES: Primark.
POINT OF FASHION: 1960s.

I am a bit of a stereotypical Geordie in the way that I don't really like coats. I find buying a coat as stressful as buying a pair of jeans. 
However I found the following in the Dorothy Perkins sale for £30 down from £59 and absolutely love it - I've been after a red coat for a little while, and the faux fur collar was obviously a deal breaker!


As always with coats, I sized up to an 18 and it is still very roomy - there are still a fair few sizes available online, and I really recommend it! 

I apologise for my hair being a bit windswept - I was caught in a bit of a gale on my way home!
It was a bit of good luck that I decided to style my hair into a beehive. 

The last time I did that for my friend Marie's birthday party, I backcombed like crazy and even ended up creating a dreadlock! 
So this time, I simply slept with my hair pulled back then used a Bumpit and lots of hairspray!



Finally: My laptop Ginny II was officially pronounced dead this week after being in the computer hospital all week, so I took the opportunity to make a new friend. 

After nearly 23 years of being a PC, I have made the move to a Mac. I'm still finding my way around the new system but I already love her.

It still needs a name though. My camera is called Bella, so maybe another B name.
My sister suggested Edward. So Edward and Bella. I really don't know how we're related, sometimes.



Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Let's Go Rockabilly!

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Hey everyone,

Once again I come bearing a rockabilly influenced outfit.
I think it's strange how one's personal style chops and changes, which is the beauty of fashion for me, really.

When I first started this blog in late 2009, I was really into nautical colours (see here, here and here - the first ever outfit post - cringeeeee!), then I moved on to more clashing prints, then pastels and tea dresses.

Of course, you will still have to pry my pretty floral dresses from my cold dead hands - I've recently started pairing them with a punky cardigans and animal print accessories!

I've mentioned a few times was a little wee goth (also known as a "mini mosher"...not that I ever did much moshing as I wasn't allowed to go to gigs!) and was pretty much known as "Goth Carla" to all the cool kids at school.

So when I went to college at sixteen to do my A-Levels, I underwent a complete re-invention:
I started wearing bright neon colours, wearing homemade necklaces made out of casettes around my neck and going to class with a face full of glitter.
I sneaked into electro club nights, watched The Mighty Boosh and listened to bands like Robots In Disguise, Client, Hyperbubble, Helen Love, Polysics and Freezepop on repeat for inspiration.

I thought I was the poop, but of course I looked like a silly kid in lots of plastic jewellery!
So, it's nice after about seven years to be returning to my more rock and roll roots! Sort of:


 
DRESS: Vintage.
NECKLACE: Forever 21.
BELT: Dorothy Perkins.
HEADSCARF: ASOS.
UMBRELLA: In my goodie bag from The Look Show '10 via M&S.
SHOES: Primark.
POINT OF FASHION: Old school rockabilly.

As you can probably gather from the umbrella, it was such a grey and drizzly night - and I was probably a little overdressed for a date with the girls for a Nandos and a pint. But as my Auntie Dolly taught us - you don't need an excuse to put on your favourite clothes

However you'll all be pleased to know, I didn't just go out sans coat Geordie-style.
This is quite a summery look with the bright print, so I layered this long, thick cardigan I got at Forever 21 during my time in Virginia. It's so fuzzy and warm!



So what I've also been up to:



 
 
 


1:
After a bit of a stressy day last week I treated myself to one of my ultimate comfort foods - pizza baguette. It's so simple, but so good - some baguette cut in half, a little tomato puree, cheese and some questionable meat products. NOM.

2: The week before last I cashed in some Groupon vouchers and got a Shellac manicure. I went to a tiny wee salon called Wag's which was tucked away in a residential area of Heaton, but the manicurist was very friendly and I think I'll be going back! My Shellac has been on for two weeks now and has only slightly chipped - but I'm just freshening it up by putting my own polish on top as if anything, it's an amazing base coat!

3: The highlight of this week is that my best-friend Sam has landed back in Newcastle after working in London for the past three series of Big Brother (FYI: Gareth Thomas dancing while dressed as a hand roll...amazing!).
We had a bit of a session on Monday frequenting all her favourite pubs she's missed (The Charles Grey, Trillians, The Dog and Parrot and The Town Wall) and then we were out last night for the afformentioned Nando's date with Hattie.

Otherwise, it's been a pretty chillaxing week!
Me and Sam are rather excited about going to see one of our favourite bands, Placebo in Edinburgh in April - we got our tickets during the fan pre-sale on Monday and most were sold in an hour!

The best thing is the gig is at the Edinburgh Picture House which I believe only has a capacity of 1,500 - last time we saw them at Manchester GMEX so I think it's going to be a pretty special evening seeing one of my most beloved bands up close and personal.




Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Plus London 2 - Outfit and Pictures!

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Hey everyone!

As you may know, this weekend was the Plus London 2 event and despite the snow (or more likely London's inability to handle it!) it was absolutely marvellous seeing everyone!

This is going to be quite picture heavy, despite the fact that it felt like I didn't take loads and loads of photos at the event as I was too busy talking to as many people as I could.
(Or more likely screaming excitedly in their face, like I did with poor Em! :D)

I originally had a much more elaborate and colourful outfit planned, however I changed my mind last minute and went something more simple and monocrome - this dress always makes me feel a bit like a mod!


DRESS: Primark.
BELT: Dorothy Perkins.
NECKLACE: Lady Luck Rules OK.
SHOES: New Look.
POINT OF FASHION: Mod girl.

Although the weather was absolutely freezing - it was actually really quite sunny for most of the daytime, so I finally got to try my new sunnies that were kindly sent to me from SunglassesShop.com.

I love that they're a cat eye design and feel very retro and chic without looking like something from a fancy dress shop.
I feel a bit like a girly Joey Ramone here with my thick black fringe and shades...or perhaps channelling a little Helen Love? Why not!


 

I had several people at the event ask where I got my sparkly shoes - they're actually plain wedges from New Look, and I attached glittery clips that I found on ebay to make them look a little more special:

 

Finally, my makeup:
 

I did my standard cat's eye flick with black eyeliner and gold shadow underneath. I kept my eyes quite simple, as I wanted my red lipstick to really pop. I did wear my circle lenses, though!

And now, pictures from the weekend!

Unfortunately my train didn't get into London until the afternoon so I missed the visit to Anna Scholz's studio - but Mel gave us all the gossip when we met up at the hotel, and it sounds like an amazing time!

Also, because our taxi was running slow in the snow, we even ended up missing the fashion show!
(I have since discovered that this was a particularly sore point for some attendees which is a tremendous shame - more on Claire's blog if you're interested.)

Right, I'm going to shut up now (sort of) - because it's picture time!

 
Nadia glamming herself up!
(Though I did her liquid eyeliner - proud! Welcome to the kitty eye
club!)

 
Organiser Claire in her fabulous "jellyfish dress" from ASOS Curve and Lauren looking adorable in a Dotty Noir dress from Domino Dollhouse.

 
I was dyyyyyyying to meet Bethany, as her blog and twitter makes me laugh so much - I love when she livetweets her dates! As expected she was so bubbly and cute, and hopefully we'll meet up for a cheeky London date later on in the year with Claire!


Our hotel mate, new friend and fellow Geordie Mel wearing her buys from Red Bows Boutique and the ever inspiring Kirsty!

 
I finally got to meet my favourite Australian (who is neither a Minogue sister nor a member of a Sydney based 90s grunge revival band...) Em, who I have pretty much followed ever since I started blogging!
I love that we were both wearing polka dots with our dark hair and red lipstick - it never fails to be an awesome combination!

Because me and Nadia missed seeing everyone during the day - some of us went for lunch in trendy Southwark on Sunday!

Rachel (Claire's head cheerleader!) and Claire. I loved Rachel's Tatty Devine necklace!

 
Kirsty and Claire's OH - who I lovingly call "Mr. Claire".
He took great photos all through the event for us - and I thank Claire for not uploading the more ~HERPDERP~ ones of myself. Too much fizzy pop! 

 
Nadia wearing the infamous Tatty Devine lobster! Such an amazing peice! 


It was wonderful to see everyone I've met before - as well as meet some marvelleous newbies!

Thank you to everyone who came up to me and said lovely things about this blog, you are all amazing cheerleaders - and it's such a great feeling putting faces to the names who always comment here and on the Facebook page!

And of course a special thank you to darling wee Rosie who let me nip through her bra fitting with Elomi to use the bathroom. Much appreciated, teehee! (I peeked, sorry. ;D)

Here's to round three in 2013 - there are already rumours that it may be up North!
Interesting...

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Early Valentines Wishlist

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Hey everyone,

Apologies for the mini hiatus - but I'm back!

It's coming up to the most depressing day of the year. Valentines Day. Yeuch.
You may tell from this introduction that I am single for the second Valentines in a row - hoorah!

(Though mind you, when I was with my last boyfriend - that was a good Valentines! We went to a vintage fair, had tea and cake, and he bought me a family bag of Love Hearts and a postcard of Cliff Richard from the 1960s!)

The idea of spending loads of money on telling someone you love them for one day of the year has always left me a little cold.
However, during this time of year it means that the shops are filled with all things pink, pastel and heart-shaped.

(Extra points if it's an anatomical heart. If somebody bought me this for example, I'd think it was the most romantic thing in the world. Once a goth, always a goth...)
So I thought I'd share a little wishlist of what I've been coveting recently.

I've had to really tighten my purse strings the past few weeks as amongst other things - my laptop deciding to die on me (read: Clumsy people carrying a beverage should keep away from electronics. Lesson learned).

So it was a bit of a challenge constructing this without reaching for my debit card:


Finally I thought I'd share with you the best Valentines card ever from GeordieMugs.co.uk. If this doesn't say I LOVE YOU, then I don't know what does.


In other news, it's been a bit of a busy week.

For the past few days I've been in Belfast with my friends Marie and Natalie, and we also squeezed in a day trip to Derry with two of my favourte bloggers - Sarah and of course my blogging twin, Claire.

Claire has already uploaded her photos on her blog French For Cupcake, so be sure to check those out. I personally look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards as I snoozed on the bus, and wore a hat whenever I was outside as it's suddenly got freeeeeezing again!

I have a day of chillaxing (my sister has borrowed her boyfriend's Playstation 3 and is going to show me how to play Call of Duty) then tomorrow I'm off to London for Plus London 2, hoorah!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.