Emotional online shopping

For a long time I have been interested in the psychology behind shopping.  In my life I have seen groups of people aggressively hammering on a shop front door to be let into a boxing day sale.   I have seen news footage of people trampled to death in the desire to obtain a gift voucher.  I have seen great reams of offensive comments on companies' Facebook pages because people were unable to access their website during a sale. Also on a company's Facebook page I have seen people claim they cannot sleep and are afraid to leave the house due to excitement about a product launch (and the anxiety of missing it being released).

With the exception of the people who were trampled to death whilst queuing in the hope of receiving a credit voucher (in Saudi Arabia, at an Ikea event) all of this anger, anxiety and sleeplessness was caused by people wanting to buy something and being obstructed by the company.  If you're wondering if I'm talking about a purchase of necessity - food or water, for example - you'd be wrong.  When I worked at H&M I witnessed hordes of people in Southampton hammering on the front doors to be let into our post Christmas (clothes) sale.  The abuse directed at a company, was during a Model's Own sale (cosmetics) and the people who could not sleep and were afraid to leave the house for fear of missing the opportunity to buy a new product were all proclaiming so on the Boudoir Prive Facebook.

Seeing these things, I can't help but feel that we haven't all gone a little bit mad.  Don't get me wrong, I love shopping.  In the run up to payday I have been known to make lists of all the things I want to buy the following month.  We all blog our wishlists - and then blog what we've bought when we allow ourselves a splurge.  I feel comfortable with this.  I admit I feel disappointment when I want to buy something and it sells out, or I get sniped on eBay on something I really wanted, but this feeling quickly passes.  It does not turn into rage or upset.  It worries me that we have become a nation so dependent on the thrill and excitement of shopping that when the opportunity is withdrawn from us we turn to anger and aggression.  It makes me feel sad that people are counting down the days, lying awake at night or refusing to leave the house because of the anticipation of being able to order a beauty sample box, or a half price nail varnish.  I am not being 'holier than thou' here - I'm guessing (hoping?) it's a small minority of people who are experiencing these type of emotions at being met with a barrier to being able to buy.  I am guessing most people feel like me - if I can't buy it, and it's not a basic necessity like food or water (no matter how I try, stationery and shoes do not fit into this category) then... well, I am okay with it.  The world will not drop off its axis, life as we know it will not grind to a halt.  I can live without a Betty Blue Model's Own nail varnish or an H&M vest with 50% off (and let's face it, their sale items are usually pretty horrid anyway).

In a way, you have to give these company's PR/Marketing teams a pat on the back (well, maybe not for causing such mass hysteria that people actually died.)  But I can't help thinking this isn't a positive step.  I can't help thinking we should be telling people... you know what, if you can't buy that nail varnish or that vest, you didn't win the Ikea voucher or the discount code, or you're not first in line to order the beauty sample box... it's okay! Turn the computer off, step outside, and go for a walk.  Get some good old fashioned fresh air.  There's a whole world out there (and psssst... it's free!)


Dog shaped news

Just a quick post today as, although I have a little bit of exciting news, the last few days have mainly been spent catching up with friends, baking for a charity cake sale and furiously internet shopping for dog beds, crates and toys! In case you didn't pick up on that little clue, my news is that we are getting a dog on Sunday! It is something that Tom and I have been thinking about for a while as we have both had dogs in the past, and living in the Forest and both of us working different shifts (so there is almost always someone in the house), we think we'd be able to give a little doggy a pretty awesome home!

After a lot of research, we settled on a schnoodle (a schnauzer, poodle cross).  After a lot more research we chose a breeder, and on Sunday we get to pick up this little bundle of joy!  To say that Tom and I are excited would be an understatement - we can't wait to bring him home and give him lots of cuddles! (These are the photos the breeder sent us).

I have bought a puppy training book and been downloading lots of Dog Whisperer episodes to get us started but it is all a bit new for us so if anyone has any tips please do let me know in the comments! (Or tweet me!) I think you can probably expect a lot of puppy pictures on Sunday/Monday so if you are not a dog lover you might want to look away then!

A few more snaps from the last few days...

Enjoying the sunshine with a glass of wine with a friend on the roof terrace at Revolution bar yesterday

Also Revolution bar - half price Mondays meant a friend and I ordered a lot of food!

Cooked 'mud pie' cupcakes for the Macmillan cake sale at work - they were so yum! (Yes I bought one back!)

A little package going off to my favourite Scottish person

Trees are gonna lay the wedding table

Yesterday we went to East Horton Golf Club in Eastleigh to see one of my oldest friends, James, get married.  I find choosing dresses for weddings really difficult - I can always find dresses I like but then I end up questioning if they are 'wedding-y' enough - which is what I did for quite some time with this dress from ASOS before finally settling on it.  It was such a lovely day and felt very special being able to see someone who I've known for so many years marry his girlfriend of many years.  There was much eating, drinking, dancing and catching up with old friends - such a nice day.

dress: ASOS | earrings and bracelet: topshop | heels: zara
Today we decided to go for a roast dinner in Burley - a lovely little village in the forest a few miles away from where we live.  I was pretty excited to have an excuse to wear my new boots, which I bought from ASOS a few weeks ago.  They seem to be a bit of a love/hate item, with some of my friends thinking they are awful, and others liking them! I also love this coat, I bought it from Boohoo a few weeks ago and I love the tweed collar and elbow patches.  I think it's perfect for autumn when it's still not quite cold enough to bring out my duffel coat!

boots: ASOS | jeans: tesco | t-shirt: zara | scarf: h&m | coat: boohoo

After our roast dinner we went for a long walk and bought some malteser's fudge (nom!) from Burley Fudge Shop, then stopped off on the way home to buy yummy cheeses and tiger bread for dinner (excited to try balsamic onion cheddar and apple pie cheddar!) I am baking 'mud-pie cupcakes' for our cake sale for Macmillan's coffee morning tomorrow so that, and X Factor, will keep me busy tonight! Hope you've all had lovely weekends too!

Her tea leaves dry by the sea

I work a flexitime system at work, and I've worked enough hours lately to allow me to take a day off, so yesterday I had the day off to spend it with my Mum.  We went for a mooch around a reclamation yard and some charity shops and then went for afternoon tea at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel.  I bought the voucher from Groupon ages ago, and I'm so glad I did as we had such a nice time.

We had glasses of Prosecco...

And all manner of sandwiches, cakes and scones!

All with a lovely view overlooking the harbour.  Was so nice to spend some time with my Mum - not to mention getting to polish off all those delicious cakes!

I feel pretty awkward doing outfit photos (surely everyone does?) but I want to keep some variety in my blog.  I think I look a bit like an awkward little owl in the first one!  I wanted to show you the outfit I wore to afternoon tea as I found this dress in the back of my wardrobe - am I the only person who buys something, wears it loads and then totally forgets about it for a few months?  It's from Fearne Cotton's range for Very, and the boots (from Office) I wore to death last year - I found them in our cupboard under the stairs and decided it was time for them to come out again! By the way - I had worn this outfit all day by the time I took this picture, so apologies for the wonky dishevelled-ness!

I'm off to do some ironing now and finish watching series three of Jersey Shore.  Does anyone else watch Jersey Shore or am I the only one with terrible taste in TV?

Cheer up Tuesdays - Kirsty

Today's 'Cheer Up Tuesday' is brought to you by the very awesome Kirsty from Miss Kirsty.  One of the reasons I love reading Kirsty's blog (and following her on Twitter) is because she always seems like she would be loads of fun - her blog is a creative mix of book reviews, awesome stationery, tattoos and her ever changing nail and hair colours and is one of my favourite reads. (I am also proud to be Kirsty's most unreliable penpal!)

1. For those readers that don’t already know you, tell us a little bit about yourself...

Hello! I'm Kirsty, I'm 22 and from Edinburgh in Scotland. I've just started studying HND Textiles at Edinburgh's Telford College. I've done 4 different courses since I left school four years ago so I'm hoping this is finally the right thing for me. I started my wee blog when I was studying graphics a few years ago. My blog has changed a bit since then and I'm gaining confidence with posting outfit photos and whatnot, but I plan to start posting my college work once I get into it.

2. Tell me five things that make you happy...

- having pink hair (I've found its hard to be sad when you have bright hair, especially when little girls smile at you!)
- new stationary.
- being in a nice pub with lovely people.
- sending and recieving things in the post.
- getting new tattoos or piercings!

3. If ever you do feel down, what song or songs do you put on to cheer yourself up?

I have a pretty mixed up music collection and I'm one of those people who has to skip past 100s of songs to find one I want to listen to. If I can dance and sing along to it, then chances are it will cheer me up. At the moment my playlist would include The Misfits, Horrorpops, The Cramps, maybe a bit of Blondie, Xray Spex, Los Campesinos, The Pipettes and perhaps a little Die Antwoord (my guilty pleasure!). I also have a playlist of songs we used in my burlesque classes and having a wee dance to those always makes me feel good about myself.

4. What’s your happiest memory; a memory you think of that always makes you smile?

I'm not sure I can pinpoint one specific memory as my happiest. Most of my happy memories include hanging out with friends, doing silly things, going to gigs and out dancing - little things! One of my recent favourites is of the 2 weeks I spent in Florida earlier this year. Amazing food, sunshine and lots of theme parks, including Harry Potter which was fantastic.

5. Describe your perfect day.

I'm not a morning person, so I wouldn't like to get up too early. I'd visit some of my favourite places in Edinburgh - the museum of Scotland, art galleries. I would meet some friends for lunch in the gardens, get ice cream or milkshakes and then go shopping. Later on I'd have dinner and cocktails somewhere with Kevin, before meeting friends in the pub for a night of drinking and dancing.

6. How do you maintain a positive outlook on life?

As someone who suffers from depression, I often find it difficult to stay positive. I'm learning not to focus on the negative or get stressed out about things that I have no control over. I try to appreciate the little things - even if my day is going horrible, I look for something to cheer me up. I try not to sit around and mope when I'm feeling down. I'll head out for a walk around town or meet some friends for a catch up - anything to distract me so I don't sit around feeling sorry for myself.

Thanks Kirsty! | Visit Kirsty's blog


As you can imagine, I did a little dance of joy when this package [first photo] arrived from Ayden yesterday. Full to the brim of gorgeous Cath Kidston goodies and with an awesome mix CD [second photo] popped in for good measure. I feel so lucky to call Ayden one of my friends and I'm overwhelmed by her kindness and generosity - I'm actually looking forward to going to work tomorrow so I can give my new CD a listen!

The third photo is my Glossybox, which also came on Friday. I won't go into too much detail as there are millions of review posts but I thought I'd show you what I got - I'm a little jealous of the people who got the Neal and Wolf conditioner as I bought a bottle of L'Oréal oilixir oil earlier this week but will keep it in the cupboard ready for when that runs out.

I have a 25 mile commute to work and usually drive rather than taking the train so like to have music to listen to on the joruney. I haven't bought a CD in years but I'm getting fed up of that radio interference noise you get on Spotify (you know that, dug, dugadug, dugadug noise?) so I decided to go old school and buy some new CDs.  Really looking forward to listening to these (saw Midlake at End of the Road festival and they were amazing) along with my new one from Ayden!

If you follow me on Twitter you'll see I had a total fail with these cupcakes when I lost my icing bag and tried to use a carrier bag instead (yes, really!) It worked for one or two and then I gave up and used a spoon. They are probably my favourite cupcakes to make, they are 'French Toast Cupcakes' from my Eat Me cupcake recipe book. You can find the recipe online here. They taste just like French Toast!

The second photo is 'lunchtime pizza bread' which I've made for packed lunches next week. I got the recipe from 'Your Home' magazine - it's really easy to make; you basically make it like a pizza and then roll the dough up into a loaf (I can share the recipe if anyone wants it). I've just tried a bit and it is delicious!

I thought I would share with you some beauty bits I've been loving this week.  I am a sucker for new products and I decided to get the Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector after seeing it reviewed in several magazines. It's essentially just a tinted moisturiser but I really like it, it goes on easily and makes my skin look nice and smooth. Again, I bought this L'Oréal oilixir oil after seeing it reviewed on a couple of blogs; I put a few blobs in my hair before and after washing and it makes my hair feel really soft. I got Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue for Christmas and it's my absolute favourite at the moment, smells so fresh and citrus-y. I bought this model's own eyeshadow during their sale and it's my new favourite - it's really shimmer-y and makes my eyes look nice and bright! This KMS color vitality heat protection came in last month's Glossybox and I've been using it on pre-blowdried hair and it makes it feel so soft! I bought Nars Orgasm Illuminator on a bit of a whim earlier this month - I never normally spend much on make-up but I really wanted to try it, and I do love it! I've been using this ELF face primer before applying the BB cream and I think it makes my skin look smoother; I picked it up on a whim during their last 50% off sale (they have another one on at the moment) and I'm glad I did.  Another Glossybox full size product from last month, the Daniel Sadler jumbo jet mascara - I've been using it as my previous one ran out and I might buy this one again in the future.

After seeing lots of people raving about 'oh comely' magazine I had to give in and order a copy online last week.  I bought issue 4 online and in the meantime saw issue 6 in Lymington WHSmith's so now I have two copies to peruse! I must say I absolutely adore it and am definitely treating myself to a subscription, it's such a lovely, inspiring read.  I picked up 'The Suspicions of Mr Whicher' in a charity shop last weekend but haven't started it yet, looking forward to an early night and getting started on it tonight.

Phew, this has turned into a long post! Hopefully it didn't make you conclude 'tl;dr' (pinched off Ayden :)

Dominos date night

Because Tom works shifts and I am a regular 9-5er there are always a few nights every few days where I don't get to see him.  Don't get me wrong, I am not claiming 'woe is me' here - I have friends whose boyfriends/husbands are away for months at a time working or at sea, and I know a lot of you ladies on here are in long distance relationships.  If you live together I think it's healthy to have time apart every so often - personally I use the nights when Tom is away to have some 'me time' - I read blogs, have long baths, paint my nails, read trashy magazines, and so on.  Nonetheless, even when Tom is here and in the house it's easy to end up doing separate things - with him watching TV (unfortunately 'Robson Green extreme fishing' does not float my boat) and me in the study on the computer.  So, to combat this, we try and have 'date nights' every so often where the computer gets turned off, phones get put to one side and we spend some quality time together.  This can be anything from going out for a meal or to the cinema, to cooking dinner for each other, to just staying in and getting takeaway (actually, as a general rule, it normally involves food - what can I say, I love to eat!)

Last night we decided to stay in and get takeaway pizza and watch True Grit.  Tom (bless him) put his favourite shirt and styled his hair for the occasion and we decided to order from the Dominos pizza menu as we had a voucher.  We never agree on what to have on a pizza (Tom usually orders ham and pineapple, and I think having fruit on a pizza is wrong) so we ordered a half and half pizza - yum! We didn't get to watch the whole film unfortunately as Tom has to get up at 5 for work so he wanted an early night.

It was nice to spend some quality time together - I am on call with work this weekend so I probably won't be able to get away from my pager unfortunately.  Do you have date nights? What do you get up to?

  • Receiving my September Glossybox and getting excited to try out the bits and bobs in it.  I'd like to do a post but there are so many other posts out there I'm sure you'll have all seen the different combinations of items people got!
  • Coming home to a very domesticated boyfriend - this week Tom has made sloe gin from sloes he picked, green tomato chutney from tomatos in our garden, apple juice from apples in our garden, and tiger bread! 
  • Furiously ordering dresses from ASOS for a wedding I'm going to next weekend - still not sure I've found the right one!

I own this field. And I wrote this sky.

Last night Tom's parents invited us for dinner to their caravan, where they were staying for a week in a caravan site near Brockenhurst in the New Forest (just down the road from us).  Being a man, Tom decided to take all the back roads to get there and I had to hop out and take a few opportune photos of the lovely early evening autumnal sunshine.

I have to apologise to Tom's parents, who asked if I was to going to put any photos of their caravan on my blog - as I was too busy stuffing my face with caesar salad, olives, cheese from Lymington Market, roasted vegetables, bruschetta, corn on the cob and chicken and sausages from the barbecue (I know, what a spread!) to think to get my camera out once we'd arrived.  We had such a nice evening sat in the awning with a few glasses of wine, and their caravan is also the height of luxury - I think if I was them I'd be tempted to live in it! I can't think of anything better than spending a week in the forest going on lots of walks and having lots of barbecues.

cardigan: edinburgh woollen mill; t-shirt and trousers: zara; brogues: new look
I have been hunting for a new woolly cardigan to add to my A/W wardrobe, and after seeing someone recommend Edinburgh Woollen Mill on Twitter I popped in and snapped up this 100% wool cardigan at the weekend.  It is so warm, I know I will get loads of wear out of it - it's not an ideal match with this outfit but I was desperate to give it its first outing!

These little shoesies arrived for me this week.  Would you know they weren't really Vivienne Westwood/Melissa? I picked them up on eBay after seeing them in one of VIPXO's designer inspired eBay posts and I'm chuffed to bits with them - they even have a slightly cushioned insole so they're really comfy to wear.  I've always wanted a pair but never been able to afford them so I'm thrilled to bits with them - they were under £20 too! Unfortunately it doesn't look like the seller has any more pairs!

On a final note, just for the lols ... I made an animated gif out of me trying to take some photos of my outfit - I was standing in front of our apple tree which has recently been discovered by a family of wasps, only I discovered this at the last minute as two or three swarmed round me!


Above the unconquered seas

I was excited to wake up this morning and see the sun shining so Tom and I went out for lunch and for a little walk.  We usually go for walks in the forest on the Sundays we have off together but I fancied something different today so we ventured out to Lymington.  Lymington is very pretty, with lots of nautical gift shops (sad as it is, I could spend a fortune in Nauticalia), ice cream shops and cute little cafes.  

You can see me yanking my hair around in the photo above - I'm really not liking my hair at the moment so I'm furiously trying to make it photo-ready, (ha!)  I have been trying to grow it for ages and it's at that really awkward mid-length stage where it's neither long nor short and I really don't like it.  I am getting increasingly tempted to chop it all off - especially when I look at photos like this one - love.  (Of course, then there's always photos like this one tugging me in the other direction!)

I found Oh Comely magazine in Lymington's WHSmith's so I'm off to have a flick through that over a cup of tea.  Then it's back to the 'tidying and cleaning' grindstone - though I will be fitting in some time to catch up on last night's X Factor! Hope you're all having lovely Sundays.

This week I have been mostly....

After my birthday weekend away, the unexpected trips to Cornwall, a busy weekend of being on call with work and two festivals (makes me feel tired just reading that list!) this weekend will be my first weekend at home in almost six weeks.  I am feeling pretty stressed at the moment as all this time away is making my to-do list grow and grow, so I am looking forward to a weekend that will be a mix of starting to get some things done and also have some time to myself.  One of the reasons I am looking forward to Autumn so much is that I'm hoping it'll present lots of opportunities for curling up with books, getting crafty on rainy days or curling up under the duvet and watching a good film.  Here is what I've been up to recently...

  • Considering entering the Sketchbook Project even though I can't draw - wonder if they'd be disappointed with a book of lists!
  • Excitedly planning dinners from my Pie Minister cookbook and the first Olive magazine I received as part of the subscription Tom's parents bought me.
  • Talking of magazines - I ordered an issue of Oh Comely magazine - haven't read it before so can't wait for it to arrive!
  • Oh, and I want to do everything in the 100 style ideas for the Autumn in Style at Home magazine - arranging well placed throws, blankets and hot water bottles around the house and filling a bowl with conkers and pine cones is my kind of interior design! 
  • Buying this gorgeous winter coat from Topshop - and giving thanks to the lovely Kate for spotting it!
  • Listening to lots of Bon Iver and looking forward to it being the perfect soundtrack for Autumnal drives through the forest to work.
  • Featured on the lovely Kate's blog talking about how I overcame shyness, and on the lovely Tabitha's blog showing off one of my tattoos!
Happy Friday all - I'm off for a long bubble bath and a Brothers' toffee apple cider!

Cheer up Tuesdays - Michelle

I honestly don't know if I can fit in the gushy introduction bit to Michelle's blog all the things I love about this lady - except to say that her blog 'Daisy Butter' and her attitude to blogging, epitomises everything I love, and find inspiring about the blogosphere.  I am fairly certain Michelle has more hours in her day than anyone else does (maybe she is secretly hiding Bernard's Watch?) as she seems to find time to write the most well-planned, well thought out blog posts, study for a degree, work a part-time job, reply to e-mails and indulge in some impressive Harry Potter shaped geekery all at the same time! One of the things I love about Michelle is that she always takes the time to reply to her comments and is always up for a natter on Twitter.  She deserves every one of her followers and millions more, and seeing her Ways To Wear and Week in Photos features pop up in my blog feed always makes me excited! I loved her answers to Cheer Up Tuesday - I hope you will too!

1. For those readers that don’t already know you, tell us a little bit about yourself...

Hi 'A Rosie Outlook' readers, I'm Michelle, and I'm a writing, fashion and culture student, book lover and Harry Potter enthusiast. I also write a little blog about style and fashion. I'm from a little town which is relatively unknown, but love to spend as much of my free time in London, soaking up the busy atmosphere. My favourite thing to do is read glossy magazines and newspaper supplements with a milky coffee (and two sugars!) on a Sunday morning.

2. Tell me five things that make you happy...

Spending a rainy afternoon with a friend in a coffee house.
Finishing the last page of a really good book.
Endlessly laughing at ridiculous things with my little sister.
Hearing from my family, all the way across in Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Writing for no reason other than to write.

3. If ever you do feel down, what song or songs do you put on to cheer yourself up?

I'm not huge on music to be honest, but I'll always listen to my favourite bands to cheer myself up, typically B2ST, 2PM, Big Bang, Miss A (Korean groups), Owl City and, of course, my beloved Taylor Swift. I have quite an eclectic music taste!

4. What’s your happiest memory; a memory you think of that always makes you smile?

I don't know if I can pinpoint one happiest memory yet, I've still got so much to look forward to! My holiday back to Hong Kong and Malaysia in 2009 could count as one though: it always makes me smile because I was lucky enough to spend a month there, embracing life with family members I hardly ever get to see, and really being a part of my little cousins' lives! I speak to them weekly, but seeing family once a year or less makes holidays back there even lovelier.

5. Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day would comprise a lie-in and a late breakfast in bed, perhaps French toast with maple syrup and a side helping of bacon, with some magazines to hand. I'd then pop out with my family for the day to a corny tourist attraction, and snap away at beautiful buildings. We'd lunch at a local restaurant or cafe, before driving back towards home for a lazy afternoon in comfies. I'd spend the remainder of the afternoon catching up with friends, before venturing out again for dinner with my family, possibly at our favourite Korean BBQ restaurant in London. Typical to our household, we'd then watch predictable Chinese drama series until the early hours of the morning, before heading to bed at a casual 3am or so.

6. How do you maintain a positive outlook on life?

I always take things a day at a time, looking at what I need to get done, and always balancing it with things that I personally enjoy. I always feel more positive when I'm organised, to maintain minimal stress, as well! Failing that, a lovely hot bubble bath, a drink and a book will always help! I can't be the only blogger who takes a coffee or bottled Coke in the tub with me?!


End of the Road 2011

Another packed few days for me, meaning my list of things I want to blog about is getting even longer! This weekend deserves a post all to itself however, as from late Friday night until this morning I was at my favourite festival - End of the Road festival.  I went for the first time last year (my blog post about it was one of my first posts!) and had such an amazing time that Tom and I bought tickets for this year a couple of days after last year's festival.  The festival is held in Larmer Tree Gardens, beautiful Victorian gardens near Salisbury.  The festival is spread out throughout the gardens, with stages deep in the woods, a walk through the woods with a library concealed within it lit with fairy lights at night, peacocks (and peachicks!) wandering around, tipi tents and one of the main stages nestled amongst ornate old buildings.  Along with some amazing bands (my favourites this year were Wild Beasts and Midlake - amazing), there is a comedy tent (I have decided that Robin Ince might be one of my all time favourite humans, let alone comedians), workshops, and lots and lots of yummy food (Pie Minister, I'm looking at you).  We will definitely be going again next year.  Here are some snaps from the weekend...