Sunday, 30 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for having the plasterers in.

Note, that title says plasterers and not painters! Hello, Readers. Short time no speak. Why on earth am I in such a good mood? In all fairness, I shouldn't be writing this having just come off the phone from MYB as I've had a stupidly awful day.

Picture the scene, it's Saturday night and you're wiping away the tears after seeing your inspiration that is Britney Spears perform on X Factor. As you're about to curl into bed you think of the day ahead; caramel coffee, cashmere cardigans and pj bottoms, Heat Magazine and some styling. You drift off to sleep with MYB on your mind and all is well...

Until you're woken up at silly o'clock by men in your kitchen. Yes, I forgot the platerers were coming and that they thought it would be great to hammer down walls or whatever they do early on a Sunday morning. I tumbled downstairs to find my mother et al happily sipping tea which has been made in a makeshift tea room in the front room after said plastering men have taken over your kitchen. My Hollyoaks sessions was ruined by banging, workmen singing along to Leona Lewis, constant cried for cups of tea and the scraping of plaster hitting the kitchen walls. They didn't leave until 6pm after which I headed down the pub for half a bottle of wine and a rather fancy dinner with friends.

Dressing For is about lost Sunday comfort. It's slouchy but, after being covered in dust, it's glam enough to make you feel all pretty again. I love this Donna Karan sequin vest- it's perfect for the party season if you don't fancy wearing a dress. I'm wearing some Diane von Furstenberg tuxedo jersey pants on my legs and silver Converse on my feet to dress the whole look down. For accessories, I've picked a Juicy Couture bag and jewellery from Forever21. Thank God I get a lie in tomorrow!

Plasterers. by hollieanne

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for the Primark menswear section.

I was dragged out Christmas shopping today and with my sore throat still roaring and bags under my eyes after chatting with MYB into the small hours, it was pretty much the last thing I wanted.

After a wake-up call in the form of soft cheese and bread sticks for breakfast, I blow dried my ginger mop and added a pop of red lipstick on and was finally ready to face the havoc inducing high streets. My mother and I stepped out together for a men-free shopping day (although several yummy creatures caught my eye so it wasn't totally men-free) and indulged in every make-up counter that Boots has to offer. My selections? A wonderful orange lipstick, Marc Jacobs 'Daisy' fragrance and a smokey eye collection for the festive season.

We had fun selecting gifts for my brothers and I managed to pick up a few things for MYB (not from the Primark menswear section if you're reading this MYB, you don't have to worry!). My pleasure came in the surprisingly cool Primark menswear section. My mother was picking out a few bits for her tracksuit bottoms and trainers excuse for a partner and a cardigan caught my eye. I'm a major fan of the boyfriend cardigan and wore one recently when out for dinner with MYB over a smart purple dress, stockings and heels. The latest addition to my expanding cardigan wardrobe is a grey with "neon" pink stripe cardigan from Primark menswear. I opted for the XL size for a baggy and comfortable feel and I'm currently wrapped in it over the top of some pretty pink pajamas. I also came across a rather large tartan scarf that will go fab on jeans and Topshop basic vest days. Who would have guessed, eh?

I'd wear this outfit out for dinner with MYB or perhaps just to the cinema and for a cocktail. I'm a little bit in love with Primark today so both the peep toes and the gorgeous orange dress are from the flea market on the High Street that is Primarni. And we love it! I've used jewellery from Betsey Johnson and an established "it" bag in the form of this Balenciaga teal number. Finally, as I am championing men's clothing, add a Topman teal cardigan and wear with the buttons left open.

Menswear. by hollieanne

Friday, 28 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for sore throats.

I could feel it coming on last night as I chatted with MYB whilst snuggled up in my bed and knew this morning would only make it worse. Alas, after getting over a cold and several weeks of none stop physical illness, I'm now run down with a dreaded sore throat.

I think having a sore throat is one of the more horrible winter related illness. If you know me, you know I never shut up so losing my voice today has proved a nightmare but still hasn't stopped me chatting (in a painfully high pitched voice) to my best friend on the phone or singing along to Britney Spears.

My bed proved a welcome comforter today but sadly MYB wasn't with me to enjoy gossip magazine reading or hot chocolates. I've slept for a lot of the day although, come 11:30pm, I'm now wide awake and have to be up early for the hell that is Christmas shopping in the morning.

A girl can't let illness get to her too much though, can she? After all, I had a portfolio to put together, blogging to be done, feature ideas to be sent out and a novel to write so I bounced back as much as I could with the added help of some honey and lemon medicine.

Dressing For is all about spending the day at home poorly but still looking chic as you take calls from your editor and plan the latest twist in your future best-seller. I don't have the figure to pull off hareem pants but I wish I did as they always look so comfortable and yet so chic; I've selected these ones in a classic colour from Topshop and paired them with a Bowie tee also from the ultimate high street favourite. Add some gorgeous Lanvin pumps which would look just as good as heels on any dance floor for the Christmas party season and added a scarf by Paul Smith- the chicest way to keep your poorly throat nice and warm this winter for the true English country look. Finally, slip on a few cocktail rings and some studs. And if you must go out? Slip your Strepsils and Filofax in this vintage beauty.

Sore throat. by hollieanne

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for lunch after lectures.

I'm in such a brilliant mood today despite only a few hours sleep and many a looming deadline. Today saw me feeling confident and smiley on a freezing cold North East morning; my trench was back on, the peep toes I wore were freezing my feet off and my over sized clutch was like a comforting daytime teddy bear.

I attended my philosophy lecture this morning and successfully pointed argument out, debated and pouted my way to such respect from my fellow classmates. On my way out of campus, Pussycat Dolls on my iPod and lipstick freshly applied, I bumped into an old classmate who I hadn't seen in ages due to timetable changes and we exchanged chats and smiles that kept me grinning for the rest of the day. Finally, I waltzed into town and met my darling mummy for lunch and a catch-up. As a friend said to me today: "Lunches with mums are the best" and she is so right. I can always trust my mum to tell me I look nice, make a few corrections when I don't and generally amuse me.

After the entry yesterday about surprise contact from MYB, I thought it couldn't get too much better in terms of loved-up, romantic and flirty mid-day messages but clearly I was wrong. MYB and I exchanged text messages all day that made me feel all beautiful and safe despite MYB working in the capital today and your darling blogger being Up North.

Lunch with mummy was fabulous, MYB has pretty much made me the happiest girl in the world today and nothing beats a decent philosophical debate. So, to express my happiness but a need to still dress smartly for lunch with mummy, Dressing For is colourful but chic. I'm a major Oscar de la Renta fan and have been spying on this silk bow blouse for a while. I've paired the aforementioned blouse with some simple wide-leg jeans available from Warehouse and some wonderful heels by the fabulous Georgina Goodman. Now, you'll have to forgive me for yet more purple but I cannot resist and have therefore gone for a purple flower ring, a Fiorelli laptop bag and some bangles available from ASOS. Got your glass of wine in your hand, mother opposite you and smile on your face? Your look is complete!

Lunch after lectures. by hollieanne

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for surprise e-mails from MYB.

I've had a hectic day which resulted in some power dressing and super defending. I could write a mile long blog entry about the antics of today with television companies, porn, turning into my alter ego a la Beyonce and Sascha Fierce and the ripping apart of presentations. However, I like the positive things in life and find that a blog entry on your dear author going on and on about the ins and outs of advertising revenue, putting together a Microsoft PowerPoint and the National Geographic Channel would just be a one way ticket to Dullsville.

So, we're going to keep the mood upbeat! Don't you just love it when surprises come at just the right time? After an amazing day in education and a muffin and cappuccino at Starbucks, I came home and was exhausted. It's times like this, after five hours sleep and lots of caffeine, that I realise I am but a 19 year old and shouldn't want to "get myself settled" for the night in comfortable clothes and with a hot water bottle but that's the way it went this evening. I changed into some wide-leg trousers and a cashmere cardigan once I returned home and sat myself on the comfortable chair to read my e-mails; after a few press releases, a Facebook update and a case study request (I didn't have one, sorry!), I noticed an e-mail from a certain name I remembered very well but hardly ever see in my inbox.

MYB (or My Yummy Bloke for those of you who have not long joined us) has been so rushed off his feet with work lately that I started to get worried about his stress levels. Sure, we've spent some gorgeous time together of late just relaxing but I can't exactly be there to pour him another cup of coffee or give him a hug when he's being given paperwork beyond the roof or trying to employ decent news journalists, can I? He was working in a different city today which is a real regular occurrence but I couldn't help but feel sorry for him- late nights and lots of work are not good. So, during my only spare five minutes of the day, I dropped him an e-mail to say hello despite knowing he wouldn't perhaps get it until tomorrow once he was back in the usual office. I like to be a romantic idiot, to be honest and one of the things that most attracts me to MYB is how sweet and romantic he is.

As regards romance, I like the small things. Perhaps my definition of romance is different to most but to me it's things like when MYB knows my taste so well and texts me to tell me about a certain song I'd love or when he thinks the drive up to Chatsworth will be just as pretty as actually walking around the grounds will be or when he lights candles as we have dinner as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Therefore, after a crazed day, a small dose of MYB romance was just what I needed and just what I got. This afternoon MYB had sent me an e-mail just to tell me he thought I was gorgeous. He took time out of his crazy work schedule just to tell that to some 19 year old writer with a love of tea dresses, balloons and peach coloured socks. I'm positively glowing with happiness now.

I'd wear the outfit I've selected for Dressing For to go out for dinner with MYB- my treat! I love Gareth Pugh but, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, very little of his stuff is really that wearable but these two pieces are a total exception and are clearly being added to my Lust List; the silk top clearly reminds everyone of that Kate Moss ripped vintage Dior dress a little and the zig-zag wrap cardigan looks so comfortable. Pair with some Karl Lagerfeld straight leg jeans and a purple overload via accessories with a strawberry pendant, a pair of stunning earrings with a price tag of over £3,000 (eek!), some amazing Louboutins and a Dorothy Perkins clutch.

Surprise e-mail. by hollieanne

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being fine.

"I'll be fine, I'll be fine. No, really, I will". I keep telling myself this and it shocks me how much the low mood on today has crept up on me after the joy of yesterday but that's the way it goes, right? Especially when you have BPD.

I'm a creature who is both amused and saddened by the little things. A cupcake at the Hummingbird Bakery, wearing a corsage, seeing MYB stand at the bar and order cocktails for the two of us...bliss! Not having an umbrella when it's raining, getting a question wrong in class, running late for an appointment... floods of tears. I ain't by half one sensitive soul, really.

I guess that's what it is today, isn't it? I just keep welling up with tears over the smallest reasons on earth and am having to tell myself to stay calm and stop being silly. Perhaps it's all just part of being a girl? Or maybe I am just a simple creature.

I could do with the biggest cuddle from MYB though. There's something about that man where, as soon as I'm in his company, I just feel warm and snuggly and safe. He's better that caramel hot chocolate which tends to have the same effect on me.

Dressing For is today about being in between; about needing a little cry and a huge smile. I'd wear this to go for a walk with MYB and then back to his for a few tiny tears, lots of massive cuddles and scribbling down my feature ideas as he did some work. Purple is the main colour of today as it's that in between colour, it can be happy but it can also be sad. We're sort of in the middle today but how could you not be happy with these purple sequin Converse on? I'm actually in love with them. And to me, there's not really much more comfort that pairing some smart wide-leg trousers with a pair of Converse so I've used these ones by Oscar de la Renta. Keep the happiness theme with this super cute Disney tee and, because they always make me smile, wear some pretty Pucci ear muffs. Continuing with the purple theme, I've used a pretty Miu Miu bow scarf and one of my favourite handbags ever- the patent purple Mulberry Bayswater. Stay happy!

I am fine. by hollieanne

Monday, 24 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Hollyoaks Later.

I'm in the best mood today. I'm happy, I'm singing, I'm dancing. But can I reveal why? No, not really. In due course, my Dear Readers, in due course...

However, I have to admit that I'm tired today after all the happiness (which I've actually yet to share with anyone. I wish MYB would answer his phone!) so the addition of Hollyoaks Later has to be the icing on the cake. I'm currently giggling as I write but must say that I was suitably shocked at the use of swearing from Josh. He doesn't swear!

I can't wait for the appearance from my current favourite band The Saturdays. Hollyoaks and The Saturdays? My life is too happy (and simple) for words.

Dressing For is happy, happy, happy today! Why not be super colourful? I've used this Tibi bright blue shift dress which is a statement in itself. I've over accessorised with some amazing patent pink peep toes by Alexander McQueen, a fab apple clutch by Temperley London and a pretty Disney castle necklace. Finally, slip on a bright pink cameo ring and sit back and enjoy Hollyoaks Later. What's life without guilty pleasures, eh?

Hollyoaks Later. by hollieanne

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for the perfect trench coat.

Why was my lazy Heat magazine reading Sunday spoiled when I was informed I'd be dragged around yet more shops Christmas shopping? There I was, plain vest and nice jeans, all snuggled up on the sofa with the papers and some magazines and ready to spend the day lipstick and care free. But my mother had other ideas.

Again, it wasn't bad. I tried to ignore the impending loom of Christmas Day and the current credit crunch by purchasing a few items for myself: an amazing statement necklace from New Look, frilly pants with purple flamingos on, a bath bomb from Lush... simple things. Toys R Us nearly killed me with the load of screaming children and whizzing lights from flashy toys but I got through.

The surprise smile of the day came from an early Christmas gift, however. Shopping in a favourite high street store of ours, my mother and I came across a beautiful looking trench coat- the buckle style detailing on the sleeves, the amazing neckline cut and the lenght all made it look appallingly pricey on the hanger and I was worried that once it was on my tall but apple figure, it wouldn't look like the dream it had hanging up in the store. But it did! Hell, I'd even go as far as saying it looked better. The neckline sat perfectly on me to give that super smart but sexy look and the belt around my waist made me look more Marilyn Monroe than Space Hopper. My mother very kindly offered to purchase it for me and took delight in seeing me twirl around in ultimate happiness in the trench I'd be craving for several years. I can't quite afford a Burberry just yet so this will come second best. I can't wait to wear it for my lecture tomorrow evening with my new plum colour corsage pinned to it that I'd purchases from H&M several days ago.

But, as much as I love my new high street one, I'm going for the perfect trench today in my blog. And it is, of course, the Burberry London Windsor trench. Oh, if only! Underneath I've gone for a glam look in the form of a pretty little Diane von Furstenberg lace top and some True Religion skinny jeans. Accessories are kept simple with a nude and grey theme to compliment the top and trench so I've used some stupidly beautiful nude Louboutin heels and Proenza Schouler grey and nude clutch. I'd wear this out for dinner with MYB or perhaps to a work event; thing is, I'd never want to take the coat off even if the underneath did look that good!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Christmas shopping.

When I was tiny I would always make an annual event to Newcastle each year for a special female only day of Christmas shopping with my mum. My mum would take me to Fenwicks every year and select millions of party dresses for me to try on; ruffles, sequins, glitter and frills would fly all across the room as both my mother and the shop assistants delighted in seeing the small girl with the big pout and perfectly styled bob twirl with delight and astonishment at each and every dress. My love of fashion will never cease.

As I became older, the shopping trips never stopped but they'd never be as special. The one a year McDonalds I'd consumer on the cold winter Saturday became tasteless as consumerism changed and fast-food became trendy and Fenwicks Christmas window became nothing but a huge crowd as I struggled with fear of losing my mother amongst the free-for-all. Once I was in my teens, Christmas became a time to be deeply sad as I became torn between spending time with my separated mother and father and feelings of guilt over spending more cash on my mother or vise versa.

Last Christmas was a rush of boring Oxford Street gift shopping as I covered the festive period with freelancing shifts and moved from a manic house in East London to a calm Heaven south of the river.

So it was nice to be back. It was nice to have my mum tell me to button up my coat and make sure I had everything ready for the day ahead. And today was amazing! My mother, my youngest step-brother and myself ventured out into the utter cold and braved every high street store you could imagine. We stopped off for lunch, pulled on our mittens and marvelled at the spinning and singing frogs in that beloved window. Traditions are always the best.

I also managed to finish off buying MYB's Christmas gift. Fabulous! Although my smile, once knowing all purchases were complete, may well be bigger than his on Christmas day. MYB was clearly on my mind today as, for the first time in ages, we did the gorgeous yet slightly silly thing of staying up well into the early hours and just talking. When I finally crawled into bed at 4am, my face hurt from smiling so much. I'm exhausted and I had planned on having an early night last night in preparation for such a long and exhausting day but I just couldn't help myself! For MYB and I, it's our first real Christmas together. Having been friends for a few years now and never anything more, it'll be nice to say I'm coupled up this Christmas and explain to distant aunts and uncles that I'm certainly no spinster and that yes, my boyfriend is rather fabulous. Fingers crossed he'll love his gift!

I'm wrapped up warm for Dressing For today. How beautiful is this coat? The scarlet colour, the bow neck and the cut look really pretty and it's available from high street fave Dorothy Perkins! Underneath I've added a cosy looking Stella McCartney grey dress which would be paired with some much needed tights to combat this cold weather! Accessories are bright, minus the classic leather Marc Jacobs boots, in the form of some pretty red heart studs and a statement velvet trim mustard hat. Finally, I've fallen in love with this D&G bag which, when walking hand and hand around Harvey Nichols once, MYB described as "a toaster". Happy shopping!

N.B: Polyvore isn't working too well right now so I'm going to have to link you up for now!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Rachel Stevens.

A discussion about Rachel Stevens came up in Starbucks in Manchester whilst away on a romantic weekend with MYB recently. As I was browsing through his iTunes play lists ("They were before your time Hollie... And them... Yeah, them too") I came across a single track by Ms. Stevens; I then proceeded to giggle that MYB was the only man on earth to appreciate her music. "But you have to admit, it is a bloody good track, Hollie". Perhaps MYB had a point?

The discussion never cropped up in my mind until today when my Internet radio station blasted out Some Girls by Rachel Stevens. I found myself overjoyed at hearing the song I hadn't heard in forever! Last.Fm them proved the source and I found myself listening to tracks such as Sweet Dreams My LA Ex (MYB's favourite!), Negotiate With Love and I Said Never Again.

Not only can the girl prove a hit on Strictly Come Dancing but she can sure by Hell perk up an afternoon of creating mood boards for my portfolio.

Sadly, however, I now have to admit to MYB that he was right. Bugger!

Rachel wore this Hervé Léger to the National Television Awards recently and she looked amazing in it. I've changed it a little from the standard award night clutch and sparkly shoes to a more edgy look. A jacket of sorts is a must with this cold weather so I've selected this leather jacket by Forever21. I've gone purple with accessories in the form of some killer Moda In Pelle shoes and a Valentino patent tote. Finally, add some cocktail rings by Marc by Marc Jacobs and Miss Selfridge respectively. I'd wear this out for dinner with the girls and to jump in a cab to make it back on time for the Strictly Come Dancing final!

Rachel Stevens. by hollieanne

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for panic attacks.

When I was little I was trained, by my mother, in how to take care of my father whenever he had a panic attack and I was the only person around. I remember a little sheet that gave details of the symptoms of panic attacks and how to calm a person down. I also remember the huge batch of paper bags in the cupboard which were given to my dad from the pharmacy; they were printed with a green cross and blue text in a typical chemist style.

I've never really suffered from panic attacks- perhaps I had a few in my early teens and maybe a 'light' one once every now and again but it's never something I'd say I "suffered" from or that happened to me frequently. But today, for one of the only times in my life, I had a major panic attack.

The thing that's upset me most about it is that I found myself feeling really embarrassed about it as there was nothing, that I can recall, that brought it on. The location bothers me most about the incident, however. I happened to be right in the middle of Marks and Spencer and, in the middle of shaking and being unable to breath, managed to drop my basket to the sound of a loud clatter. What started off as short breaths and sweating turned into loud crying, intense shaking, chest pains, hyperventilating and lightheadedness. Right in the middle of an immensely busy M&S!

People crowded round me and worried people tried to ask me if I was OK but nothing came out of my mouth. Eventually members of staff made people move on and slowly took me to a back room to calm down. They gave me glass after glass of water and gave me a paper bag to breath into. Well done, M&S- you actually really helped! They were so lovely but I felt so silly and couldn't even look them in the eye. I ended up leaving my basket of wine and dessert as I was too flushed and worked-up. It wasn't good.

Dressing For is all about staying calm today. When I'm feeling ill I always opt for the floaty dress or top and skinny jeans number. There's something about a silky and floaty top that always makes me feel calm and comfortable. I love this over-sized Day Birger Et Mikkelsen shirt dress as it can be slipped on over jeans, like I've done, or worn on its own with some ribbed tights and a belt. I've added some skinny jeans by Cheap Monday and some bangles by French Connection. I've gone for browns and oranges with accessories and started with this Disney Couture pumpkin necklace- so cute! Finally, slip on some super comfortable moccasins available from Fred Flare and take advantage of Dorothy Perkins 20% off day and bag yourself this vintage looking patchwork beauty. Remember, stay calm and carry on...

Panic Attacks. by hollieanne

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being a little low.

I sounded happy in the entry from yesterday, right? Yeah. Chuffed with shopping purchases and looking forward to flashing my new ginger hair to a crowd of philosophy students (although I failed to mention that...). But yes, I was calm and happy and still feeling amazing from the weekend.

But, although I tried to remain upbeat about spending time with my father, something always gets me. My father is quite toxic for me but I always kid myself that he's changed and perhaps he isn't as bad as I make him out to be in my head. Yes, perhaps my father is just an old romantic and not a man who makes a mess and leaves everyone else to pick up the pieces. Maybe he's not as disinterested in me as I thought he was and maybe- just maybe- he does totally understand what I go through with Borderline Personality Disorder.

I need to stop pretending things can be stars and glitter with my father. I don't mind him but I always come away from seeing him feeling so low for no real reason and then the mood carries on into my life for about a week. My father made a few comments that upset me yesterday. But the thing is, he says things so lightly as if they're total fact when, actually, they're the most offensive things you've ever heard.

And so I felt fragile today. My hair looked limp. My outfit wasn't a bad choice but I just wasn't smiley and upbeat and looking like someone very excited about hearing back from any of her selected University choices.

I had a cry to MYB last night. I'm not sure he could understand me as one minute I was crying about deadlines and stress, the next I was going on about having a cold and at some point I cried my eyes out at how rubbish my father makes me feel. After a long day, I'm not sure a 19 year old bird crying "And now my Chanel mascara is aaaaaaaallllllll down my face!" was exactly what he wanted but he did correctly remind me that it's always sensible to take my make-up off before bedtime. Did MYB make me feel better? A little but I'm starting to think that the only way to feel better regarding my father is to slowly distance myself from him until I feel healthy enough to take on his issues and criticisms.

Onwards and upwards, eh? Slip on this outfit and take a cab to your bloke's house for ice-cream, cuddles and a tiny- mascara free- cry on his shoulder. You know it makes sense! The outfit is simple but cosy and the Chloé bag is big enough to pack a pair of pajama bottoms in case you fall asleep on your bloke's sofa and decide to stay the night. This mohair McQ looks so cosy and would be cute paired with Ugg boots on lazy weekend days. But today I've added a pair of KG tan shoe-boots to help you stand tall and walk confidently no matter how teary you feel. Finish with a simple pink beret and pretty Chanel necklace. Now, cry and moan all you like but know you'll be doing it whilst looking amazing!

Feeling low. by hollieanne

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for New Look.

I thought I'd made a stupid decision today to go shopping with my father and K The Bore. The fuzzy head and sniffly nose caused me to think irrationally and when I found myself staring at K The Bore's muffin top, I nearly died. Look, I have a muffin top and cellulite and lots of wobbly bits but I dress to suit my shape and don't hang my fat about like an animal trying to attract a mate. I am being a bitch, yes. Anyway, I find myself panicking when K The Bore and my father start talking about her dead daughter and how cool she was and how she knew loads of cool bands that no-one ever heard of. Oh, I don't know, I just find it odd.

We arrived at the shopping centre and I went off by myself, almost feeling like a thirteen year old being trusted for the first time to shop alone or with friends. It was odd how young and fragile I felt when listening to my father's instructions about where to meet and at what time. He was never there during those points of my teenage years when I was allowed my first bit of trust to go off and buy silk scarves from charity shops and pink lipsticks which have stayed the same tone even all these years later.

I despise Christmas so rebelled against it by shopping for myself. An amazing oversize clutch from the Limited Collection at M&S, basics from Primark and amazing bargains from New Look. The difference in regional style is something that amazes me and, I guess, a dream job would be as a street style blogger travelling major cities of the world. I admit, one of the things I loved about spending the weekend in the secret Yorkshire town was the style there- they were preened and perfect and knew how to mix vintage and high-street really well without looking too try-hard.

It then wasn't a surprise to me to see loads of the Limited Edition collection by New Look in the sale at the store in the Metro Centre, Gateshead. I guess the Limited Edition stuff can be a little less mainstream and my favourite item from the collection to date, an amazing faux-fur belted coat which was modelled by Pixie Geldof in the advertising campaigns, was actually reduced from £75 to £30 in the sale today despite there only being 400 of them and it being an amazing piece. Sadly, I'm neither a size 8 or 10. I guess I notice that up in Newcastle, despite the females having really cool style, some of the more unique or quirky pieces are left. Not that I'm complaining as I managed to bag opulent and statement necklaces for £1 reduced from £15. Chunky beads, bright jewel colours, large coloured stones and lots of beading- throw it all together and I'll wear it!

So, in honour of the store which supplied me with great joy today and took my mind away from K The Bore's muffin top, today's entire outfit is dedicated to my favourite store. Enjoy!

New Look by hollieanne

Monday, 17 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for having a major cold.

It's the time of year where you can never escape the horrible bugbear that is getting a cold or flu virus. Everyone is sneezing, people are coughing all over the place and your office is littered with stack loads of new tissues. So why do we always act as if it's such a shock when the symptoms start to show?

I noticed it last night. As soon as I came through the door, the sniffles started and the sore throat began to creep up on me. Thankfully, I was fine during the weekend so could enjoy cuddles and cocktails without so much of a splutter in sight but it may well be the weekend that could have caused it.

I ventured out at the weekend, like the legend of any woman who grew up within a 50 mile radius of Newcastle states, without a coat. I wore a pretty strapless and short dress with a very thin shrug cardigan and thin black tights. I was also in the company of a certain someone with a slight sniffle. And it's November! But all the logical reasons didn't stop me cursing and practically crying when I couldn't breath through my left nostril and my muscles ached like mad. Please flu, go away!

I need to be nice and wrapped up today and, as MYB isn't near to provide me with zillions of cuddles, I'll gladly made do with this outfit. I love the draped front cardigans that I own but this Micheal Kors one pretty much beats them all- if only for the colour. Add a striped tee from American Eagle and some slim leg wool pants by Helmut Lang. To keep the chill away, add some cashmere gloves and a pretty floral scarf available from New Look. Lastly, add more colour to cheer yourself up with some dotty Converse and a bright Chloé bag. I think we're all suffering from the dreaded winter illness, aren't we?

Cold and flu. by hollieanne

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for reflection.

This weekend was incredible. The best weekend of the year. One of the best weekends ever.

I've always been open about having Borderline Personality Disorder but thing the said mental illness has the most silly name. I guess, to anyone uneducated in mental health terminology, BPD sounds similar to schizophrenia but actually it's more about one's reactions, or perceived reactions, to situations and emotions. BPD has a lot to do with insecurity, perceived ideas of rejection, manic highs and crazed lows and issues to do with identity. Although many people will read this text and think they can occur in "perfectly sane" people, BPD sufferers tend to be more on the extreme side to that point that it's dangerous. Wikipedia is actually a brilliant source of information:

So, having had about six years of my life controlled by an illness I could never grasp nor understand, I am finally regaining control. Actually, I'd go as far as saying I am in control. I admit, I still show some major signs of a textbook BPD sufferer but before I'd have every kind of behaviour or emotion associated with it. I am in control of it now.

And this weekend proved that. I'd love to write and write about it but I fear if I do then I'll never stop and I want to re-live the entire weekend over in my head for the rest of my life. This weekend was filled with cocktails, shopping, Starbucks and discussions about the small things. Nothing unusual, right? No. But it was the discussions about what I'm doing with my future which got me. The discussions about where I'm going and, more importantly, who with. I've never been happier.

Being like this, normal and calm and content and blissfully happy, is abnormal to me and it almost feels strange but it really is everything I've ever wanted and this weekend just topped it off. Oh my God!

Let's feel pretty and feminine and twirl about in a pretty Roberto Cavalli dress because, well, why not? Slip over a 3.1 Phillip Lim cardigan to keep out the cold (although, thanks to my company this weekend, I've caught a killer cold so I think it would take more than this chiffon beauty to keep the chill away). I've added some Marni flats and a gorgeous green Chloé bag. For your last accessory, slide this fab apple ring on from Dolly Dagger. Top off with a lip-gloss coated smile!

Reflection. by hollieanne

Friday, 14 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for weekends away.

I can't say much about this weekend, really. I want to, but perhaps it's best not to for fear of complications. A weekend away is just what I need and I want to talk about plans, my company and all in between but I've been asked to keep it low-key. And before you question it, no, I am not off for an illicit affair/filthy weekend with some woman's husband/to sleep around behind MYB's back/to undergo some secret boob job. Quite the opposite, actually. You can probably guess where and who with but not so much why the secrets. I'm not too sure, either.

But anyway, my weekend bag is packed and I raided the Chanel and Lancome beauty counter in House of Fraser this morning for a quick pick me up. I'm all set to go and meet my date for the weekend at 9pm tonight somewhere in Yorkshire (or at least I think it's Yorkshire...).

I spent several hours at the salon this morning having my hair done. I am now a really natural looking shade of ginger and I adore it! Oh my god! I feel like Nicola Roberts but without the size 6 figure, cash and string of "hard-men" boyfriends. I hope it goes down well tonight- I don't see why not!

So, as I'm going to be away until Sunday evening, my lovely Readers get 2 outfits: one for train travel and late evening drinks and the other for a fabulous cocktail drinking and shoe shopping Saturday in a (probably) Yorkshire city.

Friday evening: I need something comfortable to travel in but I also want to look stupidly hot. This DKNY dress is sort of fugly but that's why I love it. It's so fussy so doesn't need much in the need of accessorising so I've picked some simple gold jewellery and some Sigerson Morrison boots that I'd sell MYB to own. All that's needed is a weekend bag in the form of this Balenciaga number and you're done!

Saturday: Saturday calls for a lie-in and a big bubble bath before going out for a light lunch and to raid the Topshop sale. I've gone on a bit of a Sonia Rykiel love-fest with this. The gorgeous coat, sweater dress and killer shoes are all by the lady herself and the tights and bag are Topshop. Grab about 10 shopping bags and a glass of wine to complete the look.

Have a fun weekend!

Friday travels. by hollieanne

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for finishing her University application.

Hooray! I am officially finished my UCAS. It's been edited within an inch of its life and I am now officially knackered!

I went against the recommendations of my personal tutor who wanted to make my personal statement really, really, really bland and dull but I know my persistence will pay off. After all, isn't a personal statement supposed to be about your personality? Yeah, I made up 98% of the statement about academic/career stuff but I also listed a final line of other stuff which inspires me. I can now reveal that the following things were amongst that list: Barry M nail paint, French pop music and MYB (although I just gave his official job title). Oh God, what have I done? I am nervous!

Dressing For today is about being stressed but celebrating the end result. We all know it's all about the brilliant end result, right? So once you've finished that UCAS form/essay/article/dumping your bloke, pull on a pretty outfit and head out for a few glasses of rosé with your girls. I like the whole girly but fierce look- you know, pretty pinks and studs, floaty dresses with biker boots and a leather jacket. I think the Olsen Twins work this look really well, as does Alexa Chung. I've started with a very pretty Forever21 dress with bow detailing- the pink colouring and strapless detail make it pretty much as feminine as you can get. However, when going for this look, accessories are key so I've used hard black and nothing else. Add a pair of Forever 21 earrings and a Yves Saint Laurent cocktail ring that is to die for. And finally, grab this studded Fendi clutch and some incredible Louboutin wedges that are to die for. Slip a large glass in hand and know that all the hours and effort will soon pay off!

UCAS. by hollieanne

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for stress.

I actually feel as if I am going to cry and never stop. But I don't even feel sad, I just feel super stressed.

I have assignments spilling out my ears, group work to co-ordinate, ideas which are not being listened to, a UCAS form to fully finish, an application to FIT in New York to sort out AND a weekend cuddle session with MYB to finalise. Do I feel sorry for myself? Yes I do!

I guess that's the thing with being stressed, isn't it? You try and take a little time out for it all to unwind but all you end up talking about is how stressed you are which makes you realise just how much there is to do. Take tonight for example, I was out for dinner with friends and although they understood my stress related rant fully, I felt bad for going on about rather depressing stuff. I know I should have a boiling hot bath with bubbles, take some magazines and a book to bed, have a square of chocolate and call MYB and have a little cry but I just can't- there's too much to do!

And I swear, if MYB can't do this weekend and help his girl relax then I shall be rather crossed. And even more stressed.

Hmm, so the outfit for today is blue. I feel blue a little but blue is also a really calming colour. My mother and I both adore this sweet Kirstin Davis for Belk blouse. It's so sweet! Pair with some skinny jeans by 7 For All Mankind and some pretty silver jewellery. Finally, add darker shades with some suede blue flats and a bag available from La Garconne. Take a deep breath. Everything will be fine...

Stress. by hollieanne

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for a not quite gig in Italy.

As I was scribbling away ideas for my novel, working on my UCAS form and getting some very exciting news from across the pond, I had my radio playing. I like Not only does it record all that I listen to (actually, that can be a bad thing when I'm listening to bad pop music such as Rachel Stevens and Billie Piper- eeek!) but it has a brilliant feature which allows me to listen to the "radio" made up of artists and songs that I adore.

I'm proud of MYB in lots of ways, sometimes his past career choices make me giggle but mostly I find it fascinating. Not only is MYB a rather brilliant media bloke *Insert "I Wish He Was My Boss" fantasies here* but the man also happens to be a successful musician (although I use the term "successful" rather loosely. I'm joking!). I guess you could insert musician/groupie fantasies right now too, couldn't you? Anyway, so away spins my radio filled with the likes of The Cure, Emiliana Torrini and Damien Rice. My mind, at this point, was focused on my main character's latest love affair so I pay little attention when MYB's music turns up on my radio and am humming along. For some reason, I click onto my page and read the short brief about the artist and then notice a gig date. A gig? Sure, MYB is working on the new album but I didn't realise he'd be playing any gigs right now. And it's in Italy? With New Young Pony Club? And some others? Whaaaaaaaaa?

November 20th apparently sees MYB take the stage at some Nokia music event. Was I happy? Hell No! Excuse me, Monsieur, but you do not go off to Italy and not tell your girlfriend. And where's my invite? Jesus, if anyone is going to be pulling the lead singer then it'll be me, Love!

I e-mailed MYB at his workplace. I knew it would be a weird situation to bring up because I knew that he knew that I'd go ballistic about it without some other explanation apart from that the trip was a surprise and he was taking me to Milan to go on a shopping spree after the gig. I panicked. Italy? Really? And he didn't think to tell me? Bugger. Would it all be over? I mean, we tell each other everything, right? But Italy? Playing a gig?

Eventually, I text MYB and asked him what on earth was going on. He pretty much replied straight away. He had zero clue what I was talking about. Was he telling the truth? Of course he was! We sent giggly text messages back and forth about's silly mistake. Alas, no trip to Italy for either of us. Gutted.

However, there's zero reason I can't Dress For Italy today. You lot get the outfit I would have worn had I been sipping on a cocktail as he played. And it's a colour pop today to match my (imaginary) tan. Starting with this Juicy Couture lace and silk dress. I heart yellow- why don't people wear it too often? Add a Topshop pink belt around the waist and carry on the love theme with a necklace from Dolly Dagger. Slip on some sequin Topshop bracelets and a Marc by Marc Jacobs ring for extra colour fantastic. I've added a gorgeous pair of sandals by Steve Madden and then a vintage blue clutch from Rokit. Finally, check your lippie in this fab little Dolly Dagger compact mirror- after all, a musician's girlfriend must look sweet at all times. Ahh, to be summer again.

Italy. by hollieanne

Monday, 10 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Teen Vogue and Cosmogirl.

I went into Smiths this afternoon to buy NYLON (although, after the Peaches Geldof column disaster, I don't know why) but found the new delivery wasn't in yet. However, amongst the choices of either Plastique or Another Magazines, I saw two titles that I'd grown up adoring but hadn't bought in ages.

I didn't dare open the front covers of the two magazines as to savor every moment for tomorrow once I'm cuddled up in Starbucks with a skinny toffee nut coffee. I spent £4.95 on Cosmogirl and Teen Vogue because, sometimes, it's nice to have a super simple read in your hand.

I haven't picked up either magazines in ages so I cannot wait to flick through the pages once more. After a rather long, tiring and- frankly- a bit rubbish day, I'll wake with a geeky excitement as to devour every word of my magazines tomorrow.

Dressing For is today about being a sensible grown-up but with that little bit of girly teen added on secretly. This outfit would be worn to dinner with MYB and his mates or out for cocktails with my girls. I love this Bill Blass flamenco backless blouse- appallingly sexy but still subtle. Team with some 7 for All Mankind jeans and a simple but effective Mulberry clutch. Next, slip this gorgeous Yves Saint Laurent cocktail ring on for ultimate sophisticated yet girly effect. And now, here comes the inner teen within you, have several spritzes of this Hilary Duff fragrance and slip on your Jessica Simpson shoes. Finally, add some sort of fizzy, pink and sparkly drink!

Cosmogirl/Teen Vogue. by hollieanne

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for fiesty women.

I'm one of those birds who claims to dislike most women and not get on with them. 90% of you will now be thinking "She must be a flirt/man-eater/rude bitch/up herself". The other 10%, well, you're probably one of the very few females I do get along with.

Why don't girls like girls? Easy, most of them are threatened and a lot are jealous (yes, I did just go there!). So, when a girl and I clash, perhaps it is because she finds my Tory loving personality just a bit much but a lot of the time it may well be because she's jealous. Because, face it, that is the main reason women dislike each other. Hmm, so I'm circle shaped and my nose is a wee bit small and I have a really annoying giggle after several glasses of wine. I'm not saying that I am perfect and every woman should be jealous of me, but what I am saying is that I can see why some women could be. Just like I am jealous of other women (MYB's blonde, thin, intelligent ex to name but one) and just like I will continue to be of other women that I meet. My plus points? A rather decent little journalism career for being 19, a gorgeous and successful bloke, ambition and confidence in my apple shape figure (although I've lost 9lb in 3 weeks so I'm looking more Marilyn than ever before!). It takes a strong woman to admit there are reasons others may be jealous and it takes a confident woman to state her plus points- why don't women do it more often and stop being hard on themselves?

Simple fact is though, I often don't get on with women because they don't enjoy football, a decent pint and a kebab on a night which, by the way, would be my ideal night. I date metrosexuals who come across as being gay but my mates are all football loving blokes who ask me if they can wank over my tits after 11 pints. I always say no, by the way. Anyway...

So, how did I lead with this topic for today? Well, dear Readers, I was having lunch with my Aunt today and we got talking about X Factor. It came as little surprise to me that my Aunt didn't like Ruth ("She always has her bangers out and loves herself") and Rachel ("She's got such a bad attitude"). Hmm, no comment on their singing ability but their apparent attitude. Let's start with Ruth. In truth, 99% of men would love to sleep with Ruth because she's a stunning natural beauty with a body to die for. And as far as Rachel? That woman is an inspiration to all who have been knocked down. Jesus, after what she's been through she's going to have an attitude but if anyone wants to comment on how her attitude is "rude", I'll take you to Brixton and show you what rude is.

I just find, because I'm not slagging off every bit of fat on my body or because I'll use every muscle in my body to make it in the world of journalism, some people can perceive my confidence and ambition as attitude. Women judge confident women wrongly- we're nice, really!

Dressing For could only be about a figure loving dress and some killer heels today, couldn't it? Kicking off with the shoes to give even the most feet phobic people a shoe fetish. They are, of course, Yves Saint Laurent's blue sole beauties which will set you back a total of £415. Worth it? Hell yes! I'm loving this semi-80s style Balenciaga dress- the cut, the monochrome...yum. It'd take a strong woman to pull it off but why can't that be you?! Slip a Chanel classic on your arm and load up on jewels available from Net-A-Porter that you bought yourself, of course. All set to go out and meet your model looking and successful bloke? Slip on some Destiny's Child and shake what your momma gave you because, my word, you look hot!

Woman. by hollieanne

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dress for hospital visits.

Last night, after I published the blog, I took a slight turn for the worst and this morning ended up in hospital. Hmm, they're not my favourite places to say the least but the comfort of my Chloé swinging off my arm and a half decent cup of coffee inside me made me swallow my pride and divulge all my health secrets and tales to an amazing doctor.

So, after a short time in the hospital, I was well enough to pop off home with a prescription for some pills and an explanation that I'm slightly "odd" and "rare". That will do me, Love. As long as I'm not dying!

MYB and BFF were both worried but hopefully today's explanation might calm their beautiful minds a little. It's pretty safe to say that the recent bout of illness has been brought on by stress so I need to leave any issues regarding my father/UCAS/deadlines/MYB's ex-wife very much alone and enjoy a boiling hot bath, trashy TV and evenings wrapped up in the duvet as much as I can. Hopefully I'll be better for Friday when I'm probably spending the full weekend with MYB snuggled up under the duvet with a DVD or two and lots of glasses of wine- can't wait!

Now, the plus side of hospitals is the bloody fit doctors! Dressing For today needs to look comfortable but hot at the same time. OK, so the colour combination is verging on dull but if you're sick, you tend not to feel like dressing in the latest hot pink DKNY slinky dress. I really love this Sonia Rykiel bow sweater as it's the perfect weekend item. Tuck the sweater into this gorgeous office friendly Thurley bubble bow skirt and slip on some cheap Old Navy tights. Add a fab bag from ASOS and a £6 flower ring also from ASOS and then, finally, slip on some incredible Marni heels for extra long legs as you walk down the corridors and try not to vomit as you do so.

Hospital. by hollieanne

Friday, 7 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for sympathy.

I haven't shrugged off this infection. Actually, according to the doctor this morning it may well not be an infection and I'm getting a lot worse. My liver and kidneys are suffering and it's not because of a few too many glasses of champagne in bed with MYB. Not this time, anyway.

I've spent the day flicking through magazines, falling asleep on the sofa and giggling at my little brother doing impressions of everyone. According to him, all I do is shop for shoes/bags/dresses, write articles and apply lipbalm. He's got me perfect, come to think of it!

But what was perfect today was the sympathy. I've been ill for over a week now and am getting to the point where I'm all emotional and crying lots because it's just getting worse. First off, my mum- you can always trust your mum to look after you. "Do you want some soup? Or can I get you a hot chocolate? Shall I put The Hills on for you?". No, mum, I'm fine but thanks anyway.

Secondly, my best friend. Ahh, the gorgeous bloke who all my friends fancy and I did once upon a time. The bloke who, whenever I'm feeling a little low, will give me a place in his bed and provide me with take-out and a good DVD for the weekend. The bloke who, no matter what happens, I will hand on heart love forever. So the worrying "Please be OK, Baba!" texts from the BFF mixed with the "Just calling to say I love you" calls were such a sweet little touch.

Now, when a girl is feeling low, nothing can make one feel much better than a big bubble bath. On my way to my afternoon lecture yesterday, I picked up several products from Lush. This evening, after a yummy dinner of turkey and roasted leeks, I ventured into the bathroom and put Damien Rice on via iTunes. I slapped on some organic honey and oat face mask stuff and stepped into a boiling hot bath just as my Christmas Pudding bath-bomb was fizzing away. And, as I washed my hair in a pink and sparkly liquid named Snow Fairy, I couldn't help but smile.

But, topping the list (sorry Mum, sorry BFF) has to be MYB. I should be annoyed at him for a silly little reason but his- rather cute- little worrying tone this evening made me melt. Apparently, according to a text, he's worried about his "poorly peapodness". I know it's vomit inducing stuff but when my kidneys and liver feel like they're each giving birth to triplets, anything that can make me forget about it for 3.5 seconds is incredible. So, snuggled up in my bed with a novel and my favourite Tinkerbell nightwear on, MYB called. Stressed out with work, he brushed any ranting he wanted to do for pretty and caring words for his girl. Hmm, there's something about a bloody gorgeous man telling you that he thinks you're beautiful despite the fact that you look dreadful and feel like throwing up constantly. Thanks, MYB!

Thus, I'm dressing for nothing but cuddles and affection from MYB. This outfit is for cuddling up on my sofa with MYB, having him hold my hand as I'm sick and going for a slow walk around the park to get some fresh air. I think this Fendi dress is so pretty- and it's silk! I've paired it with a Miss Selfridge knitted beret, some Tom Ford over sized sunglasses for when the headache kicks in and the light hurts my eyes and some Juicy Couture gold pumps. Finally, add some bangles from Wet Seal and a Juicy Couture bag to hold any pills/bottles of water/medicine that you need. Hope I feel better soon!

Sympathy. by hollieanne

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for using her Chloé Paddington for the first time.

I'm a very luck girl, although some would read that as "spoilt brat", as I am now the owner of a Chloé Paddington bag. It was a Christmas present that I was allowed to use early and the bag got her first outing today to my media lecture.

It is a beautiful bag- such soft leather and rather roomy considering it doesn't look it but, Jesus, isn't the bag/lock heavy? Never mind, I'll suffer the pain of a sore shoulder/arm/back from the lock and contents. Not a problem!

But why don't men get the joy that this bag brings me? I haven't really spoken to my boyfriend about it but, considering we discussed his love of Living Lohan and America's Next Top Model in my media lecture today, I'm sort of guessing he'll understand more than most. However, I called my best friend up and squealed in delight that I was carrying a Chloé Paddington on my arm and he just sort of snorted and started talking about his silly new computer game (snore!). His loss.

The biggest reaction came from my friend Mike, though, who implied that I was some sort of wannabe WAG. One must laugh but, as I text him back and tried to reason with him that I'm currently a girlfriend of an assistant editor and not a footballer, I realised that Ms. Beckham has exactly the same bag as moi. Seriously, Mike, I don't go for footballers. I just go for gorgeous bags!

Ah, just remembered what my media lecturer said about the bag; when discussing the sheer amazingness of it with a female friend, my lecturer made some comment about it being some sort of Mediveal torture bag. Hmm, if I become a kinky escort then it'll be my bag of choice.

So, it's all in the bag today for Dressing For. OK, so the outfit sort of doesn't colour match with the bag but when was that massively important? Starting with the bag (my bag!), well, not much needs to be said. I've done the classic layering look of a grey long sleeve tee and a very pretty navy Ci Ci for Topshop dress. Accessory wise, I'd throw on a beanie by ACNE, some super heels which are (surprisingly) by Paris Hilton and then added a tassel and bead necklace by DAY Birger et Mikkelsen Braided. Finally, because you can, slip on a diamond Tiffany & Co. ring. I'd wear this for drinks with friends and then a quick Pizza Express with MYB.

Chloé Paddington. by hollieanne

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for BARACK OBAMA!

This is all that needs to be said today:

Hoodie is available online. Jeans are Sass & Bide at Topshop. Sequin shoes are Converse. Tote is the official Barack Obama site and the ring is available online.

I am happy today.

OBAMA! by hollieanne

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being ill!

Urgh, I am ill. Spent the morning peeing into a cup and being given medication. I am classy, aren't I?

I feel tired and dizzy and like I could throw up every bit of food I've had to eat since the age of three. However, I am a trooper and will be setting my alarm for 6:25am tomorrow to make it to my morning lecture. So, an early night is in need thus a small post.

So, what are the vital things I need when I'm feeling ill? Well, apart from my gorgeous boyfriend to stand around looking gorgeous to distract me, I need pretty night clothing to make me smile. I've selected the most gorgeous Malene Birger negligee which could easily be worn as a day dress, add some Ugg boots for warm tootsies and a Marc by Marc Jacobs hairband because, if you do vomit, you really don't want sick in your hair!

Ill. by hollieanne

Monday, 3 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for getting very confused.

What am I like, eh? There I was, lipstick on and perfume sprayed, about to set out of the house for an appointment. I'd blagged a lift there and back which saved me three buses each way and I'd woken up especially early to get myself sorted for this meeting.

I'm about to walk out of the door when I pick up my diary. The intention was to scribble the number of the hotel MYB was in so that I could give him a call. What I saw was an appointment card slotted in at the back of my diary. At this point I'm in a bit of a rush so I quickly look at the card. Ah, no November 3rd meeting but rather a November 10th meeting. Bugger!

I hate doing that, don't you? Last time I did it I ended up getting all the way there and looking rather silly to the point that I cried a little. Thank God I didn't do that!

Apparently our household was all confused today and it wasn't just me. My mother called up the doctor to cancel an appointment for today. Turns out it's tomorrow. What's wrong with us?

Thankfully, I did get one thing right with time today. During a rather early break in my evening class I rang the hotel number I had for MYB (he's in the Isle of Man) to check to make sure I had the right place. The hotel receptionist put me through and I'm all set for it clicking off any second as I expected MYB to be working or out for dinner. By coincidence, I caught him ten minutes before he was due to go out for dinner with the BBC lot. I like how things work out like that. So, we spent a while talking about my mustard cardigan, apologising for a silly (tired) argument last night and then said general pretty and loving rubbish that made me smile and blush for the rest of the lecture.

I have been very confused today.

However, if you do manage to make all your appointments at the right time and on the right day, why not do it in style? I like this outfit a lot. Black and blue aren't colours I wear too much but, according to my mum, I should. I really love this Moschino Cheap & Chic cardigan and cami vest all in one- it's pretty and versatile and would look really sweet paired with these 7 For All Mankind jeans. Slip on some Tibi flat slingbacks and carry your (correctly updated) diary around in a smart Anya Hindmarch black bag. Finally, some cute little bits of Forever21 jewellery. Now, always remember to double check- I'm glad I did!

Confusion. by hollieanne

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for the last day of half term.

Jesus, how long has this week been? Half term, or the more maturely known "reading week", has to be the most boring time of year. Highlights included the cute act of taking my little brother out for Halloween, all my long lie-ins and, of course, the purchase of Gordon and Horatio the Guinea Pigs!

I struggle with holidays. I'd happily work all year without a single break. I'm just like that, I get addicted to work and thrive on long working hours and spending extra time in the classroom or office. It's not a bad thing by any standards but I have found myself in tears at times because I had a whole week off work or something similar. No matter how much work I have to do at home, how many plans I have with friends or how generally busy I am during my week off, I just cannot cope very well.

I wish I could swap with My Yummy Bloke. MYB works long hours sometimes and has to travel for work a lot when he'd much rather take time off and be with his kids. We should have swapped this week. I could have been sat in the office in Birmingham and doing whatever fancy media stuff that he does and he could have been at home baking cupcakes, shopping for shoes and spending time with the little ones (although his aren't so little anymore).

So, I'm so glad to be back tomorrow. My class doesn't start until 5 but I have loads to do beforehand so no doubt I'll be sat in a chair on the eighth floor before I know it. I enjoy work, what can I say? It may be a little sad but it excites me like no other and-fingers crossed- it'll equal mass success.

On the last day of half term I found myself doing yet more shopping. T K Maxx provided me with stacks of Betsey Johnson treats and Borders provided me with the latest Belle de Jour book and a few minutes of flirting with the cashier. Good times!

But, despite the mass loads of piggie cuddles and clothing shopping, I can't wait to spend the next few weeks getting stressed out with work. It's odd, for me, stress actually feels rather fabulous as it means I'm going to learn, progress and succeed. Perhaps I'm just odd?

So, with excitement about getting various essays and grades back and the joy of finding the Betsey Johnson treasure trove, Dressing For is all colour today! And how could you miss this Forever21 bright striped cardigan? I love it! Add a pretty teal skirt and throw on a Topshop beret. I love these sexy as Hell Roberto Cavalli suede boots- wear with trousers for work, skirts at the weekend, dresses for parties...everything! Add a soft Vivienne Westwood bag and a Betsey Johnson necklace and you're done. Until tomorrow...

End of reading week. by hollieanne

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for NOT meeting his parents.

My relationship with My Yummy Bloke has always had it's problems (although details should be spare for girly chats as, if recent behaviour is anything to go by, his ex-wife will be reading this and getting herself all worked up) but for a while it's been rather gorgeously fabulous. I always fear looking further than tomorrow as regards My Yummy Bloke as he's older, a lot more successful than moi and has- without making him sound ancient- been there and done that. My silly little 19 year old fantasies about the perfect wedding or whether I think we should go on a romantic two week love-in in the Caribbean in the summer of 2015 wouldn't be unwelcome but perhaps would just feel awkward. But lately, as things settle and the honeymoon period is closed to the point that I can forgive him for not calling me because he was enjoying his cuppa too much, it's actually been nice to wonder what we'll be doing for my birthday in May next year or whether he'd ever be up for spending New Year 2010 in Times Square.

I'm a realistic girl- My Yummy Bloke and I probably won't stay together for a lifetime but, actually, the idea isn't appalling.

However, despite being super suited and very much together, we've never met each other's parents. Actually, this is a half lie in my case. When I became ill in June 2008, my mum and her partner drove down from Durham to see me in Derby City hospital. When I was well enough to leave, my mum and her bloke drove me to my Bloke's house on the way back to my place. They stayed in the car whilst I ran across the road, knocked on the white door and held the man who'd stayed up all night with me as I threw-up all over the place and cried my eyes out for hours- that night, when he looked after me and still called me Sweetpea despite me not looking so sweet, I knew more than ever that I was in love with him. Anyway, back to the point- we've never introduced each other to our parents!

My mum has spoken to my Bloke on the phone for various reasons over time so they're not strangers but I may as well be to his mummy and daddy. So, as I sit here with a poorly tummy and a craving for diet ruining chocolate, My Yummy Bloke is out for dinner with his yummy parents. I often wonder what his parents must think of me, I mean, I'm a journalist turned mature student turned soon-to-be fashion promotions student. And, of course, I'm young enough to be his daughter and swear like a trooper. Not to mention the rather chaotic family, the fact that his kids probably aren't too keen on me and the way I'm totally gone after two glasses of wine. What a catch!

Hmm, would I like to meet his parents? Hell yes! But I can see why I haven't yet. For a start, he's really independent and I think his parents are quite reserved with him regarding matters of the heart, especially after his divorce and the LTR after that that was expected to last forever but clearly didn't. I guess that I am sort of wondering what tonight would have been like had he taken me. The thing about me is that, although I am some foul-mouthed Northern lass with a big bottom and a love for Heat magazine, I am actually a rather polite bird. I can use a knife and fork, I actually know more than you'd think about politics and current affairs and I'll not mention that time Their Yummy Son and I got caught kissing like mad in Chatsworth. It's not that I think My Yummy Bloke has a problem with me or how I'd behave, I just think that-perhaps- as you become older it's less of an important thing to have your parents approval. But please, My Yummy Bloke, introduce me to them- I'll wear a nice frock!

And speaking of nice frocks, what a breathtakingly gorgeous piece this Christian Dior dress is. I want to get married in it in Paris with a small bunch of pink roses and no-one there besides my groom (either Jude Law, George Lamb or- at a push- My Yummy Bloke) and our close family... I'm getting carried away. At over £5,000 the dress is, to say the least, an investment piece. I'd slip on some pretty pink ballerina flats and add a vintage clutch bag. Curly hair would look smart and pretty clipped back with these divine Betsey Johnson hair slides and then pop in some Dorothy Perkins heart earrings and add an almost identical Mikey heart ring. An all round pretty and parent approving outfit, don't you think?

I could meet your parents. by hollieanne