Monday, 27 February 2017

Ballerina









I think I'm getting a little bit over excited about spring. Every time I see snow drops I freak out and immediately take out my phone to start snapping away like mad. I absolutely love watching the seasons change and for spring its definitely about seeing everything turn green and little flowers starting to pop up everywhere. When we drove past this gorgeous bank of snow drops whilst driving through the beautiful village of Stanton St John I knew I had to take some more photos. I'm now trying to reign in the snow drop love as I have far too many photos on my laptop....

This dress is one of my all time favourites but due to my weight gain I stopped feeling as confident in it. Now thanks to losing almost a stone I am feeling a lot better in my body and decided to try restyling it for the slightly colder time of year. The shoes I absolutely love, I always feel like a ballerina when I wear them and can't help prancing about pretending to be Darcy Bussell. I'm also loving learning how to style my shorter hair, I haven't been able to wear these cute little braids for a while as I just had too much hair and it was a lot of effort but now I'm loving the milkmaid look.

Although I do struggle living in Oxford due to how expensive it is (it is now the most expensive city in Britain!!) it is very beautiful and I am really enjoying discovering some of the neighbouring villages to ours. We had a nice little wander around the village and found a few public pathways we decided we needed to explore when the weather gets a little warmer.





What I Wore...
Dress - Old | Jumper - M&S | Shoes - Primark | Bag - Primark 
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Friday, 24 February 2017

Business Woman







The sunny days are returning! And although I might not be able to prance about in pretty vintage dresses without cardigans and tights just yet, I am able to take some lovely photos without freezing completely. For those of you who don't know, the vintage convertible is Clifford, my husbands car and the inspiration for the name of this blog. At the beginning of our relationship Russell and I spent a week at Easter driving around Fife in Clifford with the roof down, me in my Audrey Hepburn - esque headscarf and sunnies and Russell in his flat cap. Those few days were full of drives round the countryside in the sunshine and parking up by beaches to watch the sunset, and I decided that feeling was exactly what I wanted to capture in my blog and so Life With The Roof Down was born.

Of course we had to use Clifford for our wedding and so unusually so he was out of his garage up in Scotland and down south with us for a few weeks. I can't say we got much of a chance to drive around in him but we decided to go for one last drive in him before Russell's parents picked him up last weekend and took him back to Scotland. It was an absolutely stunning day and just perfect to take some fun photos with Clifford.

I also wanted to get some photos in this gorgeous Lindy Bop music dress. I fell in love with this dress a while ago but couldn't justify buying it until recently. If you follow me on twitter you might have seen some rather cryptic tweets about 2017 being the year to make things happen and now I am happy to announce the beginning of my own little business. Most of you won't know that I actually work in a care home in Oxford as an activities assistant, I run activities for elderly people with many different physical and mental needs. One of the best parts of my job is sharing music with the residents and I soon realised this is something I would really like to do outside of my own job. I started looking into running music sessions and performing in care homes and soon realised it was a lot easier than I thought. I now have three bookings in March and am expecting more in the months to follow. This is so exciting for me, I've always had a dream of being my own boss and I'm hoping that one day I will be able to make enough money from writing and my business alone. And so this is how I was able to put this little dress down as a business expense. Not only will I love wearing it all year round, it is also perfect for my music sessions in care homes and I can't wait to give it a whirl in March.

If you'd like to find out more about my latest venture you can read all about it on my website here.





What I Wore...
Dress - Lindy Bop | Shoes - Old | Bag - Old 
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Spring Wishlist

Just a few things I am loving and wishing for this season, I love wearing bright colours in spring and summer and I think my wardrobe needs brightening up a bit. I've been a big lover of Lindy Bop for a while and I love their beautiful bright dresses especially this stripey red one, I used to wear a lot of red and have slowly been trying to get back to it. I also love this beautiful green button up dress from Collectif, I love the delicate shape and style, it reminds me of something Grace Kelly might wear. I'm also turning into a little old lady and choosing comfort over style which means I am slowly replacing all my impractical shoes with more sensible ones. I've been thinking for a while that I need a good pair of solid dolly shoes with more of a heel and these ones from Clarks are just perfect, real leather and everything (yes I care now about real leather and oak furniture - I'm old!). But as you can see I'm not too sensible as I still want a bright red pair or heels and a pair of sparkly pink peep toes. What can I say? I can't resist a pretty shoe. I saw these beautiful earrings in one of my favourite shops in Oxford, Aspire, and decided they were definitely going on my wishlist, very affordable at only £7.99 and could be a great accessory for day and night. I just love the art deco feel of them and can definitely see myself buying these next time I am in town.
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Monday, 20 February 2017

Casual Marilyn





Its getting warmer! It may only be a few degrees but I am very excited by the rise in temperature. It means that spring is on its way which means flowers, sunshine, lighter evenings, the odd picnic and Easter! Being a Christian, Easter is quite a big celebration for me and my husband and I love any excuse to decorate the house in flowers and bright coloured eggs so I can't wait. I know we still have pancake day, lent and St Patricks day to go but I am still finding myself getting all my pretty spring dresses out for the Easter season. Having said that I am rather excited for pancake day next week and will be having my usual nutella and banana pancakes before trying to eat less sweet things during lent. 

These trousers, although black, are more of a spring/summer staple for me as they are rather lightweight. I bought these a while ago in a winter sale but haven't had the confidence to wear them after I put weight on, now I've lost the weight I am finding I am a lot braver with my outfit choices. They are definitely the comfiest trousers I own and I love wearing stripes, I feel like they brighten up my day a bit. I love the comfiness of this outfit and whilst looking through these I couldn't help thinking of the photos Marilyn Monroe on her casual days. She often wore comfy tight fitted jumpers with little cropped trousers and I absolutely love that look of sleek but comfy. I'm looking forward to styling these up in a different way when they weather gets warmer.  




What I Wore...
Scarf - Vintage | Top - M&S | Trousers - New Look | Bag - Fairtrade | Shoes - George 
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Friday, 17 February 2017

A Red Beret






Spring where did you go?! For me I felt like spring was well on its way and then suddenly it started snowing all over the country. We only got a tiny little dusting of snow that didn't stick at all but it was still bitterly cold for a few days making me dream of sunshine, ice creams and swimming in the river. Normally January is a very quiet month for people after all the Christmas rush and jollity but for me January was extremely busy with my wedding and so I've found my February to be more sedate. I spend a lot of my evenings wishing for warm weather so me and Russell can enjoy picnics by the Thames and moonlight swims again. I am also itching to start wearing my dresses with sandals and sunnies but for now I'm still pulling out the wooly tights.

These photos were taken in a beautiful part of Oxford called Old Headington, not only full of beautiful houses made of cotswold stone, Old Headington also houses one of our favourite pubs ever The White Hart. Its a really nice place to go for a little wander together and get some serious house envy. Although we know we don't want to settle here and I have dreams of a little white seaside cottage up in Scotland, I can still appreciate how pretty the houses are round here and I definitely see why people would want to stay here even if it is rather pricey.

This dress is one of my old favourites that I bought last year from Fatface but I wanted to find a new way of styling it up. I always worry in winter I am wearing way too much black so I'm trying to inject more colour into my outfits. I have an array of berets in different colours that I bought when I went to Paris for the first time but I haven't made the effort to wear them with outfits. I decided if it was going to be so cold I'd dig out all my winter accessories and try to wear them a bit more before the Spring arrives. Having recently watched La La Land and absolutely loving it, I thought this outfit channeled Mia the main character a little bit and couldn't help but start prancing about the lamp post as soon as I saw it. I'm hoping that is our last bit of snow for this year and that soon I will see daffodils, blossom and green leaves everywhere.





What I Wore...
Dress - Fatface | Cardigan - M&S | Bag - Fairtrade | Shoes - New look | Tights - M&S | Hat - Old
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Monday, 13 February 2017

My Favourite Love Stories


So tomorrow is Valentines day, a day a bit like marmite - some people love it some people hate it. For me its always been a chance to celebrate the people I love. When I was younger and single I would organise a single ladies night where all my girlfriends would come together and have a fun evening and now I am married its more about having some quality time with my husband. This year we can't really afford a dinner out and fancy presents but for us it really isn't about that, instead we prefer something simpler with a home cooked meal, yummy cake and a romantic movie snuggled up on the sofa. I'm really looking forward to spending a bit of time appreciating the man in my life and I can't resist a good love film or book. For me romance novels are the best full of hope, adventure and of course love, they also happen to be the genre I prefer to write in and my own romance novel is hopefully going to get finished this year. I decided for Valentines I'd put together a list of a few of my favourite romance novels for any of you, who like me, like to snuggle down with a good love story.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
This is a true classic and if you are looking for a meatier romance novel this is the one to go for. A gothic romance, Wuthering Heights is the beautiful story of the brooding Heathcliff and Cathy set in the Yorkshire moors this is a great story to read at this time of year snuggled up on the sofa.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
I've already written a book review about this book last year and it has definitely stayed a firm favourite of mine. This has to be one of the best love stories I have ever read, raw and heart wrenching this isn't a story for the faint hearted but so worth a read. If you are looking for a life changing book this valentines this is the one to go for!

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Recently turned into a blockbuster movie this is a beautiful book follows a rather unconventional love story of a man with quadriplegia and his personal assistant hired to "cheer him up". This book is a real tear jerker but one that will have you questioning what life is all about and have you raring to live life to the full.

The Little Shop of Happily Ever After by Jenny Colgan
Jenny Colgan! The queen of romantic novels, I don't think I have ever read anything by her that I didn't love. She is definitely one of my favourite authors and there isn't a book of hers I've read that I haven't loved, it was hard to narrow down my favourite but so far I think it is this one. I loved this one I think especially as it was set in Scotland and about a book lover. The setting in this is so beautiful and the love story is one of the most romantic I've read.

The Complete Works of Jane Austen
This is cheating slightly but I really couldn't choose which book by Austen I loved most and they are all the most beautiful love stories. There really is nothing like a good Jane Austen at any time of the year but especially on Valentines day reading about the tension between Lizzie and Darcy is the best.
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Friday, 10 February 2017

The Lake District | Food


When people asked me where we were going on our honeymoon I would explain to them all about the beautiful little cottage we had booked right in the middle of the countryside and the walks we had planned but I would always end with the most important thing - the food we intended to eat. For me the food is an integral part of any holiday and a great way of sampling local culture. Both Russell and I are big foodies, part of the reason we fit each other so well, and so when we are looking at visiting a place the food is a massive consideration. Having been to the Lakes numerous times I knew that the food here does not disappoint. From pubs, to cafes, to restaurants if you're looking for amazing food the Lake District is the place to be. I thought I'd share a selection of the places we had some seriously spectacular food on our honeymoon for any other foodies out there wanting to take a trip.

The Watermill
This was the local pub for us, just down the farm track from our cottage we decided to pop here for a bite to eat when we really couldn't be bothered going any further. We'd been told it was a great place for a nice local ale, so Russell was in his element choosing a few to try over the evening. The food was good english pub grub and was absolutely delicious. If you are looking for a chilled out evening, somewhere you can go after a long walk for a slap up meal and a drink this is the one.

Poppi Red
One of my favourite cafes from when I used to visit with my parents, Poppi Red is full of cute floral prints and vintage gifts. Predominantly a cafe it also has a lovely little shop worth looking round before you sit down and order one of their deliciously naughty cakes. We decided to go for a panini each and were really impressed with the use of local ingredients including Hawskead Relish and local meats. This is a great place for coffee and cake or lunch out with the girls.  

Zepherellis 
Another place I used to go to with my parents when I was little, Zephs is definitely more of a restaurant. Although you can just turn up in your jeans its also somewhere you feel you can get a little bit more dressed up for. The menu is entirely vegetarian but don't let that put you off, even my meat loving husband managed to enjoy himself as we ate two courses before going through to their cinema to watch La La Land. Zepherellis is both a restaurant and cinema offering special deals for food and cinema tickets. It was a lovely place to go to as more of a date and we enjoyed the chance to dress up a bit and have a special night out together.

Mason Arms
This is definitely my favourite place in the Lake District (so far), a beautiful little 13th century inn the Masons Arms is cosy and warm with a crackling fire, candle light and the most amazing food you'll ever eat. A slight step up from pub grub, it serves all sorts of local dishes such as lamb Cartmel as well as ham hock, black pudding burgers and my personal favourite - Masons Arms Ribs. If like me you are a bbq rib lover this is the place to go,  having sampled many bbq ribs all over the world for these are the best. A great place to go for a cosy relaxed date with sensational food.

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Monday, 6 February 2017

Nene Way | Wellingborough






Last weekend we were lucky enough to go on another holiday, this time it was just a little weekend away but it was really nice to get some time out of Oxford and out in the countryside. We went away with our church's student group as Russell is both a student and student leader at the weekly groups and I make the cake. It was an amazing weekend, the theme was on Identity, and I definitely felt God talking to a lot of us there including me. I feel that I learnt a lot and found it challenging some of my ideas and feelings. I also made lots of new friends and ate a lot of good food so all in all it was a pretty epic weekend!

We went away to an adventure centre in Wellingborough, a place I have never been to before, in actual fact I realised I haven't really been to the east side of England ever before so thats definitely somewhere I'd like to explore more. As a self professed British travel blogger I love any chance to travel to a new place in Britain and do a bit of exploring. On the Saturday afternoon we had a little bit of free time and Russell and I decided to have a little wander along the Nene Valley. It was very pretty with a series of waterways and lots of birds and as we watched the sunlight turn into that perfect golden we couldn't help but stop to take a few photos. 

We have a few more trips planned for 2017 around Britain and so I am hoping this is going to be the year of exploring my country a little bit more.   






What I Wore...
Top - Joules | Jeans - M&S | Wellies - Hunters 
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