Monday, 28 April 2014



Club Tropicana, drinks are free,
Fun and sunshine - there's enough for everyone.
All that's missing is the sea,
But don't worry, you can suntan!

Ah do you remember the days where songs had real meaning and dealt with the real issues, like Club Tropicana by Wham - before that song came out I was constantly worried that I wouldn't be able to suntan, or that there wouldn't be enough sunshine and fun for every one.

Yes for this months Ultimate & Realistic, we are heading off to Club Tropicana in homage to all the fabulous tropical prints that are flooding the high street, as well as being popular with high end designers. Juicy fruit prints, exotic animal prints, tropical floral prints...what would you choose? I think I would choose them all since I have been going wild on colour recently....seriously wild!

Ultimate: Printed Stretch Mini Dress, Just Cavalli - £450; Damsen Neon Matte-Leather Sandals, Jimmy Choo - £625; Square Frame Acetate and Leather Sunglasses, Bottega Veneta - £695; Can't Clutch This Textured-Leather Clutch, Marc By Marc Jacobs - £245.
TOTAL: £2015

Realistic: Draped Dress, H&M - £19.99; Carvela Jessica Ankle Cuff Heeled Sandals, ASOS - £68; Small Square Sunglasses, Topshop - £16; Hot Pink Suede Envelope Clutch, eBay - £17.90.
TOTAL: £121.89

I love the Just Cavalli dress, but £695 on sunglasses? You would have to be more mentally ill than me to pay that -especially if your likely to sit on them like I am.

What do you think of tropical prints?

Gems x

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Thursday, 24 April 2014


I'm seriously crushing on anything neon at the minute, yes it washes out my skin terribly and perhaps looks like a 90's rave has thrown up on me, but I can't walk past anything that is brighter than the sun. I want people to struggle to hear me over the loudness of my clothes - so when I clocked this popping 60's style shift dress in Primark I skipped to the till, without trying it on - I didn't want to talk myself out of it and it was only £13.

So when the sun was shining and the mood was good I decided to pop it on for a day shopping in town with the mother. That was when I realised how insanely short it is, there can be no bending over, and no lifting the arms up, otherwise its indecency hour - thank God I was wearing tights!  Still it doesn't put me off at all.

For maximum clashing I went for some funky press on nails by Elegant Touch, I'm amazed by these neon swirl nails that were featured at London Fashion Week - and if an idiot like me can apply them, anyone can. You just peel off the sticky backing and press onto your prepared nails and voila, gorgeous nails without battling with nail varnish, I am a total convert.

Neon Shift Dress - Primark, In Stores Now.

Express Bright Marble Nails -  Elegant Touch*
Have you tried any of the nails by Elegant Touch? I so love the House of Holland collection.

Gems x

* Nails sent to me by Elegant Touch as part of a review for my work with Femside, all opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, 22 April 2014


Sorry for the lack of posting this week, I have been really run down for a few days and really busy for the other few - doesn't it suck when life gets in the way of what you really want to do, like nothing, or being in your pajamas whilst doing nothing, or eating chocolate in your pajamas and doing nothing. You see what I'm trying to say.

Did everyone have a wonderful Easter break? You will still be wiping chocolate off your face if it was truly successful. I do have a question though, how do eggs and rabbits come together? Did the rabbit do it with the chicken to get the chocolate eggs? I bet Keit from Beauty in Insanity has an opinion, she usually has a quirky and unique take on things :)

Anyway on to the fashion bit - the outfits often featured here are fairly smart and pretty, but I am a huge lover of casual fashion, because I am still a tomboy at heart, the one that wore tracksuits and no make-up until I was almost 18. All evidence of those days should be burned. Anyhoo, I do love to sometimes just through on some boyfriend jeans, a vest and some sneakers to mooch around town.

I love my Primark vest, even the fact that my bra kept popping out to say hello, does not put me off it. I do love the odd skull and it is perfect to team with my grungy checked shirt and ripped jeans.

Vest, Primark.
Open Checked Shirt, H&M - Similar Here.
Ripped Boyfriend Jeans, New Look - Similar Here.
Leather-Look Biker, Matalan - Similar Here.

Models Own Ice Neon in Bubblegum - Same Here.
Maybelline Color Show Crystallize in Nearly Black - Same Here.
So what are your casual go-to basics?

Gems x
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Wednesday, 16 April 2014


First I have to say a huge thank you for all the really moving responses on my previous post, I was close to tears reading them, as I didn't know how many of you lovely bloggers had and still are struggling with similar issues. I know there is still a stigma attached to mental illness, but it is not something you need to be ashamed of and it certainly does not make you weak or less worthy than anyone else. Never blame yourself, it is not something you do on purpose, it is something that has happened to you that you could not control and keep fighting!

So after that rather serious opening, lets get back to the really important The web designer extraordinaire that is my boyfriend thought I deserved a little treat, so he put a few notes in my hand and told me to have a fun afternoon browsing around town.

Of course my first stop was Primark because I have been seriously crushing on their Summer collection, I don't care if ten other girls on the bus will be wearing the same thing, I just have to make sure I wear it with more attitude than anyone else - I'm talking Mick Jagger level attitude. I bought a couple of things, a gorgeous shift dress in a psychedelic neon print and a long-line casual vest in a lovely mint green.

Then I skipped on down to H&M, where ai found a great maxi skirt for just £5.99 - you can't really see it in the picture, but it is mostly sheer with a split on either side, very sexy. Now we just need some sun to I can blind you all with my pearly white legs - look directly at them at your own risk.


I'm a huge fan of painting my nails, it breaks up the long days staring at my computer going all fuzzy eyed at the letters swimming off the page, so when I saw that Superdrug had 3 for 2 on all Models Own, I had to pick up a few shades - Blueberry Muffin, Blue Glint one of their Beetlejuice shades. I have to say their Hyper Gel shades are amazing, they feel so smooth and are super shiny!

I have also been really lucky on Ebay and in charity shops recently so stay tuned for another haul post, it may be my last for a while after getting cleared out by bills - being a grown up sucks!

What have you guys been purchasing recently?

Gems x

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Thursday, 10 April 2014


Some of you may know that I am a huge science nerd, I love all things science with a particular fondness for Biology (I have a first class degree in Applied Biology) and space. Following the end of my degree in 2006, I was immediately offered a PhD is genetics. I was of course delighted and the first year, was one of the greatest years of my life. It is funny how much you can feel you achieve when working in a lab everyday, toiling over experiments. I was even chosen to be the face of Postgraduate science for the Northumbria University prospectus (even though they spelled my name wrong and put the incorrect PhD).

Unfortunately, about 18 months in I had a nervous breakdown and I didn't recover in time to complete my PhD. It is my greatest disappointment in life and something I wish I could forget about and leave behind- losing a dream career in science is something I may never get over. But, I have to keep thinking about it, to see how far I have come with my battle with mental illness.

These days, thanks to a supportive boyfriend and family and an amazing course of therapy, I made another of my dreams come true, to be a self-taught professional copywriter and now I write about science and fashion for a living on a number of platforms. One of my favourites is for a site called Femside, because I have total control over what I write.

Although I will probably battle with mental illness my whole life (I'm still on two kinds of medication), I smile a lot more, look a lot healthier and I genuinely love life once again. And although I don't have many friends now (it's hard to stay connected with people when your ill), I hope to meet lots of new people in the future :).

If you are struggling with mental illness, there is no reason to feel ashamed and you can find information and support with the wonderful charity, Mind.

Keep Dreaming Lovelies.

Gems x

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Monday, 7 April 2014


Yes, I admit that I am a total whore when it comes to leopard print, I am destined to be one of those old ladies dressed head-to-toe in leopard print, taking the crazy cat lady thing to the extreme. But, I have recently developed quite the fondness for tartan - it is school girl fashion but all grown up, so it's not creepy or Japanese anime. As in the word of Peter Griffin - "Everyone in Japan is either a school girl or a monster."

I'm in a bit of a bad/sad mood today because I'm feeling under the weather - the whole head in a vice feeling, does not for a happy Gemma make. I'm also having a bit of an attack of the green eyed monster - no not the hulk, jealousy stupid. It's my older sister's birthday today and she is off on holiday to Lanzarote in a few days. Of course I hope she has a lovely time and a fab birthday, but I o wish it was me.

So happy birthday Rach...

Tartan Dress, Missguided - Similar Here
White Shirt, ASOS - Similar Here.
Faux  Fur Coat, Next - Similar Here.
Over-the-knee Boots, New Look - Similar Here.

What prints are you loving at the minute?

Gems x

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Friday, 4 April 2014


Yes, yes, I now I can be quite the mood cow, but this has nothing to do with my epic tantrums - I just don't see why animals are used in advertising alright, a bumble bee can't use a mobile phone and a dog can't apply for a mortgage, it's just stupid. OK rant over!

The title refers to the beautiful blue shades that are just flooding the high street at the minute and making my empty pockets ache. Gorgeous sky, cornflower and placid blues are everywhere and as they suit most skin tones and pretty much every hair shade, they can be worn by anyone and everyone.

Wear them head-to-toe or just dip a toe in with calming blue accessories. If you are worried about fading into the crowd with too many cooling tones, mix your blues with hot pink and mustard yellows for a real stand out look.

1) Rhinestone Necklace,  Zara.
2) Cross Body Bag with Sleek Curb Chain, ASOS.
3) Cami Dress by TFNC, Topshop.
4) Blueberry Muffin and Cornflower Gleam by Models Own.
5) Blue Leather Trench Coat, River Island.
6) Light Blue Patent Block Heels,  New Look.
7) Pleat Back Top, Warehouse.
8) Blue Cotton Skinny Crop Trousers, Dorothy Perkins.
So what do you think? Will you be joining the blue man group?

Gems x

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Don't you just love Ebay, I can spend hours browsing the dresses people are selling to see if they have one for me. The only thing that can put a dampner on it is if you get stuck in a bidding war - just because someone else is bidding on something you have a minor interest in, you end up bidding like a madwoman, yelling "You're not gonna beat me, you bitch!" at your computer. Then your stuck with a sequin dress that is horrible that you're never going to wear and that you have paid way to much for.

Anyway, I had a lost this H&M dress on Ebay three times before I final won it for the bargain price for £3.70. It is in perfect condition and was perfect for a meal out for my Mum's boyfriend's birthday - I was so chuffed that I didn't slop food or curry all over it, which was a bit of a miracle with the way I went to town on some lamb chops.

Paisley Dress, H&M via Ebay - Similar Here.
Clutch Bag, Next - Similar Here
Shoes, Next - Similar Here.

Have any of you had some great Ebay purchases recently?

Gems x