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Here’s another one of my ensembles I thought I’d share with you lovely readers:

Who: With family

What: Monochrome jacket (Bershka £39.99); Black polo top (New Look £7.99); Short black skirt (Forever 21 £5.25); Black patent buckle flats (Linzi Shoes £20); Patent black croc effect bag (Next £30)

Where: To church

When: Sunday 16th October 2011

Why:  I draw inspiration for styling myself and putting an outfit together from so many different sources such as magazines, films, blogs, celebrities, friends, family, adverts and strangers I see when out and about. Here, it was from a reality TV program.

Like millions of people across the UK, my TV highlight on Saturday and Sunday evenings is The X Factor. This year, I’ve been particularly drawn to the monochrome outfits worn on the show.

Two Shoes(left); Amelia Lily (right)...Images ©ITV

Before her makeover for the live shows black and white was recognised as Amelia Lily’s signature look. She had a unique style and accessorised her outfits really well with an abundance of stylish jewellery.

When Two Shoes auditioned for the first time they did what I like to call a monochrome match. I wasn’t so sure about the shape of Lucy’s dress but I really liked Charley’s jacket. As the two lovely ladies from Essex would say, I thought the look, as a whole, was “totes amazeballs”. Very eye-catching indeed…. Such a shame that both acts left on the first of the live shows. Anyway, I digress….

Had to get this jacket when I saw it in Bershka. It stood out to me and fitted beautifully. The polo neck (which you can’t see very well from the pics, sorry)  was selected because autumn is here (mind you, it wasn’t that cold on the day, hence why I braved not wearing tights), and that style of top generally goes well with jackets/blazers.

So why the short skirt? I wanted to make the look somewhat youthful because one can run the risk looking a little too mature with that style of jacket.

I could have worn this outfit with heels, but in fear of looking tarty ’cause I’d already chosen a short skirt, I opted for black patent flats. I kept the patent look consistant with the bag. Speaking of bag, I’ll admit that I chose to carry this one simply because I wanted something big enough to fit my little bubba’s nappies, milk and mini flask into, nonetheless it adds an office feel to the look.

What do you think of monochrome? Eye-catching or eye sore?

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The ‘Maggi – So Juicyadvert seemed to be popping up on TV enough times for me to take serious notice so I decided to purchase a pack to see what all the fuss was about. I bought the ‘paprika for chicken‘ sachet from Tesco for 65p.

I did exactly as instructed in the ad (well, the back of the packet): Take the bag > Add in some chicken (cleaned and skinned beforehand– I can’t stand meat with skin on) > Pour in the recipe mix > tie it up > pop it in the dish > and bake it in the oven.

Just before I put it in the oven, my mind triggered back to the advert. It’s apparently “so juicy that you don’t even have to add oil”. I poured a little inside just to be safe. Dry meat doesn’t go down my throat. I also added some extra seasoning of my own just in case the  paprika didn’t live up to my expectations. “Thyme and all purpose seasoning should do the job”, I thought to myself.

It took about an hour to cook properly, during which time I regularly brought it out to give it a good shake, making sure every one of those drumsticks was getting its fair share of juice.

So juicy, eh? I’ll be the judge of that. As it so happens, it actually was. I had it with roast potatoes and mixed vegetables.

Now, as tasty the chicken was, all the product is, in essence, is some seasoning in a packet that comes with a heat- resisitant plastic bag. Therefore, I need not buy the other flavours in the range. I can simply use my own seasoning, put it in a heat-proof bag and voila! I’d have the same results. Glad I tried it though. Satisfied my curiosity.

Have you tried anything culinary advertised on TV recently? Did it live up to your expectations or not?

Earlier today, I came across this video of a young boy in America who had been caught by the police for drinking under the legal age of 21. It made me chortle a little, but with all humour aside, the seriousness of the issues arising from the clip (parental involvement, education, mental health care etc), indicate that so much needs to be done to help support disadvantaged kids and give them more opportunities to better their lives. But of course, they need to be willing to help themselves first.

I, like many others who watched this, thought: “Where the hell are his parents?”. It’s obvious that the teen is from a broken home. It’s probable that from a very young age he was left to his own devices and certain acts of deviance have become the norm to him.  He’s emotionally torn and needs guidance or some sort of counselling. As much as he protests that he wants to go to prison, rather than juvenile hall, jail-with that mouth- will most definitely send him on the path of  destruction. His situation is not unique. Without sounding patronising, it’s a sad state of affairs.

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