michelle louise pan [satchels & pearls blog]

| lifestyle, plus size fashion, beauty and travel blog based in west yorkshire

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Scarlett & Jo at Evans | Fashion

Scarlett & Jo are a brand that I've been familiar with for years, I remember owning one of their beautiful prom style dresses and absolutely adoring it. However, nowadays I don't have anywhere to wear that style of dress to so they fell off my radar a little bit. After seeing their new A/W collection over on the Evans website, I knew I had to have this gorgeous purple crochet collar dress. 

One of my absolute favourite features on dresses has to be a Peter Pan collar. Check. It's an ivory crochet neckline with stunning beaded detail that you can't really see on the website, and that's just such a shame! The images definitely don't do the dress justice so when it popped in my post box I was in awe of how stunning it is. The dress is simply perfect for me; it sits nicely at the knee and the sleeves are three quarter too. I ordered a size 20 which is a little too big around the bust for me, so I could have easily gotten away with a size 18. Plus it's super stretchy and really comfortable. 

You can pick this stunner up in the Evans sale right now for £30!
*This product was paid for with a compensated voucher, opinions are my own. 
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Thursday, 18 December 2014

M&Co Blogger Challenge: All I Want For Christmas | Fashion

After posting my M&Co advent calendar treat wish list on Tuesday, a little email popped up my inbox asking if I wanted to take part in their blogger challenge: All I Want For Christmas. This challenge is open to anyone with a blog or their own website, and you can find all the details on their blog here. Oh and the prize, £100 to spend on their site! 

I've picked these three items for under my tree because when Christmas is over, I want something I can wear in the new year. I've seen a lot of entries with festive based gifts, but really festive wear can only be worn once a year (i.e. jumpers). When the January blues hit and the festivities are over, at least I can look in my wardrobe with an array of beautiful new items. 

The brushed single breasted coat looks so comfortable, and it's longline, just what you need this time of year. I've matched this with a faux fur tippet collar in grey, perfect to match the coat. And of course I like to be a little playful with my prints, so I've chosen the rabbit print skater dress, perfect for my shape too. All in all, coming to a total of £90.50. Bargain. 

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Sea Life Centre, Munich (Photo Diary) | Travel

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

'That Day' Mustard Dress | Fashion

I've been in love with the illusive mustard dress from That Day ever since I first saw popular plus size fashion bloggers tweeting and Instagramming it, I knew I had to have it in my collection. Unfortunately I wasn't able to locate it over on the Evans website and contacted the fabulous folk over at That Day to see if I could obtain it elsewhere. This beauty rocked up in the post last weekend and I had to show it to you all. This is the perfect Christmas day dress for my Shanghai dinner. I'm super excited to have it in my collection! 

This is by far the most flattering day dress I own, and the colour is perfect. Mustard happens to be my favourite A/W shade. Teamed perfectly with a tan belt and cut out boots. The sleeves on the dress are what make it very unique, splitting so they will fit any arm size. I do have a lot of problems finding a dress that's long enough for me too, and this sits perfectly just above my knee. It also comes with a matching underlap so you can't see through the chiffon. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, perfection. I'll definitely be adding their floral print dress to my collection. 
Since popping back over to the Evans site, the dress is available in the sale at £45. I would snap this up before it goes completely out of stock! 

*The dress was gifted to me but I had to share a review with you all! 
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M&Co Advent Calendar Treat | Fashion

A little email popped up in my inbox a few minutes ago with M&Co's advent calendar treat; today you have the opportunity to win your Christmas wish list (up to the price of £100). There are so many gorgeous items (that are on sale too!) on their site, so I knew I had to participate in this little competition. This is open to everyone, and you can find details here. I would like to point out that I'm entering this completely on my own, and I haven't been contacted by their PR agency, etc. 

I've chosen an oversized animal print jacket, ponte skater dress, this gorgeous pair of cut out ankle boots, and this stunning statement boutique beaded necklace. I'm so chuffed this outfit selection comes in priced at £97. What a bargain! 


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Saturday, 13 December 2014

Blogging Tips | Lifestyle

I am in no way an expert at blogging however, I have been blogging on several platforms for over 15 years and have had my own domain name since I was 12 (not this one obviously). I've picked up a few tips along the way that I would love to share with you guys. Especially new bloggers that are asking for tips over on Twitter. 

Branding
Is it important to have a brand for your blog, it helps the reader get a glimpse of who you are and what you like. This could be a specific blog design, illustrated header on your blog, or your blog name itself. Having your own domain makes you stand out more and gives you your own unique space on the internet. You can pick up a domain name for as little as a few quid. Check out 34SP for some of their packages available.  

Layout/Template
It's easy to get hold of a simple template to install (or have someone install for you!) on Blogger. I tend to have a look on Etsy or search on Twitter for bloggers designing blog layouts; you can be really lucky and pick up a template for around £10 too. A bargain price to pay for something that helps add to your brand. Also, it's really important to have a clear layout, keep to white backgrounds and black text to make it easy for your readers. The same applies with fonts, keep to a simple font that will be easy to read and easy to load too. 

Photography
Don't worry too much about having the latest DSLR camera. All my blog photos are taken with my iPhone 5. It's much easier to carry around in my bag. Plus you can pick up extra lenses from places like eBay for a couple of quid too. Same applies with editing software, there's no need to shell out for software when you can find free websites that allow you edit your images. This brings me to apps...

Apps
There are numerous apps out there that allow you to edit your images straight from your phone, it's simple and great for folk who are on the go. Same applies with the Blogger app, you can easily blog from your iPad or any other tablet! This is one of my favourite ways to blog as I can open the app quickly and type up a quick blog post when Dexter has a nap; you can always edit this later from your laptop. 

So what do you think to a few of my tips? I would love to hear some of yours too! 
*Sponsored post / Images sourced from We Heart It, edited by me. 
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Bread & Butter Pudding | Lifestyle

I've been doing a lot more homely baking and batch cooking lately, especially with the night's drawing in and it getting colder I seem to enjoy these little things a lot more. I'm not a massive fan of stews, in fact I despise the word, so I like to tend to make puddings a lot. Cheeky I know. One of the house favourite puddings is bread and butter pudding, and we've been making a variation of this recipe for years. It's simple, cheap to make, and would suit the whole family. Plus you're likely to have the ingredients in your pantry already. 

What you will need:
six slices of white bread
30g of butter
15g currants or sultanas
60ml of semi-skimmed milk
20ml double cream 
20g caster sugar
20g brown sugar
1/4 lemon (zested)
a pinch of ground nutmeg 
2 eggs
and ready made custard to serve (yes I am lazy). 

So here we go:
1. Preheat your oven to 180/fan 160/gas mark 4 and butter a baking dish.
2. Cut the crusts off the bread and butter all over. 
3. Lay half of the bread at the bottom of the baking dish, top with half of the currants/sultanas. 
4. Repeat step 3 until all the bread and currants/sultanas have been used. 
5. In a bowl cream together the eggs and sugar, add the milk, double cream and zest from the lemon.
6. Pour the mixture all over the bread ensuring every last inch is covered. 
7. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg and brown sugar. 
8. Bake for 30-40 minutes. 

Hey presto, you're done. Just serve with the ready made custard. You could make your own but I prefer the taste of ready made. Yum. 

I've taken this recipe from Sunrise Senior Living whose recipes are created by award winning chefs that have come up with a range of delicious, nutritious, healthy recipes suitable for all the family. You can check out their recipe range here, why not download a couple for your collection? Here is the bread and butter one I've taken my recipe from. Next on my list is the smoked chicken and orange salad. Yummy. 
*PR collaborative blog post. 
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