Highpoint Grove

"She wore bluuuuuuuuue velvet" as the song says. No one is more shocked than me that I am buying into the velvet trend. For one, I didn't used to even be able to touch it. I spent ages tracking down the "one for me" before settling on this one from L.K.Bennett. I will wear it constantly over the party season as it draws me in at the waist, is a stretchy fabric (for 2nd puddings and surplus snacks) and covers the tops of my arms...

outfit details and links at the base of this post

As I said, I never expected to buy into this trend. At all. I saw the Gucci collections at the beginning of this year and shuddered at the prospect of wearing the fabric. However, something has certainly changed since the days of velvet Alice bands are a child (a thought which stills sends shivers down my spine) as these pieces are soft and silky - more akin to silk. 

Aside from the L.K.Bennett gem (which also comes in red, here) I found a few more: I dodged all the bodycon versions because why in Gods name would you want anything tight over Christmas?! We all know what happens, we've tried and tested belts and buttons - they don't work for us now until about March... 

This green ASOS one is a really good option for someone looking to "do" velvet without being super fancy, whilst this one is a bit more showy (but only showing the bits that really can't be chubby, on anyone). This pink one is good for anyone with more of an apple shape as the wrap style gives you a waist and finally I couldn't not mention this one I found for £15 that is an excellent all rounder...

outfit details and links at the base of this post

The most important thing around Christmas time is that you feel good. There is nothing worse than arriving home to a full house of visitors and not feeling you look your best, or that you appear tired and bit peaky. I make sure I stay on top of my fitness and beauty regime throughout the month of December otherwise I end up really really rubbish come the 25th... I really recommend using REN's Glycolactic Mask as it keeps my skin tight, fresh and soft during the month of over consumption...

As for an outfit to pair with the dress, I'll wear mine with some more glitzy heels in the evening, but these boots are great for daytime. I've worn them to death since I got them for my birthday party... To the point that my friends are wondering if they are soldered to my feet!

outfit details and links at the base of this post

Outfit details with links

Photos taken with the Olympus Pen 7 found here at John Lewis, using the 45mm lens here.


The Christmas Gift Guide Part One

Oh hello, December. How the hell did you come around so quickly?! Everyone is saying it but I can't believe how quickly 2016 has come and gone. Quite frankly I'm ready to see the back of it. Between Brexit, Bowie and Trump this year has been a right sh*tter. On a personal level we lost my beautiful Mamgu... 2016 can do one. So, if we ever deserve to treat ourselves friends and family it must be now, right? Without further a do here are my gift guides. I tried to put them into logical order but chaos creative genius got in the way so you'll just have to take them as they come...

First up, my own lil' wishlist. Not forgetting the essential red knickers for the festive season (here) I'm getting to the stage of life where as long as I have gin (preferably The Botanist, here and out of fancy champagne glasses like these) and stripes (the one featured is a new-in from Joules here) then I'm ok. I've also come to appreciate a decent candle and Jo Malone's pine and eucalyptus is my favourite here - smell wise think Christmas trees with a zing... Cooking wise I'm going to kid myself in thinking I could go pro with Nina Parker's Capri, when in reality I'll keep up the Deliveroo orders and use a shiny, golden pizza cutter from Amara here, whilst wearing my find-of-the-year detox face mask from friends at Skin and Tonic here.

I'm also very keen for anything that makes looking good easy so Charlotte Tilbury's handbag sizes Legendary Eyes stocking filler is a must, here. Equally easy-wear bling from Missoma (so shocked how much this gets commented on, as it's so simple) is a must have for me this Christmas, my necklace here and pinky-finger rings here (£34!!!) are two of my favourite things. Lets not forget the practical world too (having moved into a new place this year); Hay is the best for stationary, storage and trinkets and this pine desk tidy is gorgeous.

Adding a few cheeky extras into the mix I've just stumbled upon these amazing Nike trainers which are amazing all rounders (I've worn them solidly for work-out and play ever since they arrived). The rose gold detail, combined the with black/white colours makes them pretty much perfect. Find them here. Secondly, from the moment Jo Malone's Orange Blossom arrived my boyfriend and I have been fighting over which of us wears it. Literally the most gorgeous scent ever, here.

A few ideas for things to get people who have everything; an actual Christmas tree from Bloom and Wild. This bad boy fit through my letter box. I've sent one to my granny because I feel horrid thinking about her not having one until she comes to stay... Find them here. Next. who doesn't love copper interior stuff? These Tom Dixon candles are incredible (look dead fancy and fill the room with posh smells = win) and these coasters from Oliver Bonas make lovely stocking fillers (a bargain at £8) ...

Oooh and the Bare Minerals sparkle trio here is a brilliant find for anyone looking for a little bit of a Christmas "glow" as opposed to going full-pelt Essex style "done." I've been using it and people have asked where I've been on holiday...

Finally for this post, for him. A tricky one so here is what my boyfriend is actually getting for Christmas (only hoping he doesn't read this). He's really tricky because even though he goes shopping once a year he has a remarkably strong opinion on clothes. So I've gone for sturdy basics; leather black driving gloves from GANT here, brown suede Chelsea boots from Grenson here and a (wild card) Acne navy woollen scarf from Mr Porter here.

He appreciates things that are "well made" (hence sticking to premium basics with the clothing) so I've also got him a decent Whisky from Woodford Reserve here, and a HAY sand timer here because he's the kind of person who will spend ages marvelling over it... In the same mix of design and practicality I know he's going to love this Native Union slate (actual stone) phone cover here - check out their whole collection here too as they don't some super phone accessories...

Last up, he never says no to Kiehls which for me is hands down the best mens' brand to buy if you're a bit unsure on skin type etc. It seems to work for everyone. I steal his Facial Fuel stuff all the time so it's pretty much just a replacement, so John Lewis' scrub and cream combo offer is great, here. Ooh and if you're trying to get him into candles you can tell him this one is made of tin, made for cooks and can double as a shot glass if he lets you burn it out. Thank you, Falcon!

Stay tuned for the second round of my gift guide on the blog next weekend!


Windmill Hill

I never expected to have a job which involved putting my face on the internet. To this day I'm not entirely sure why I started the blog but it was for anything but any kind of "fame." I'm very aware that I'm a small fish in the pond when it comes to blogging but the decision to "reveal" myself from anonymity wasn't an easy one. It doesn't matter whether 1 person sees a photo, or a million - instead it's the concept of just having the photo out on the World Wide Web. It took 3 friends, one being Briony and a lot of gin to get me to pose for it.

outfit details at the base of this post

I, like most girls have hang ups and have struggled with my shape and body for various reasons at various times.  One thing I've always had an issue with is the colour of my teeth. They're by no means awful but I wanted them to be white without question (or camera setting). I'd tried at-home whitening kits before (including the various concoctions you can buy in the US) and one professional course but they had never given the kind of results I was hoping for.

So when Enlighten got in touch I was initially dubious, but at the same time desperate for it to work. I went to a dental practice (the word "practice" freaks me out - surely they shouldn't need to practice, they train for years!?) in St John's Wood near me (this one) and had moulds made to make my dental trays and two weeks later went back to collect them. They also coated my teeth with a protector to stop enamel erosion. In truth having half a tonne of pink goo shoved in your mouth whilst it's held open with dental pliers wasn't a top 10 life moment, but the trays that came back fitted me perfectly and (best news of all) were completely unnoticeable when I put them in...

outfit details at the base of this post

Enlighten recommended I put the low-dose gel whitening concentrate into the trays each night for a week, and then a slightly higher dose for a further week. I followed this for 10 days and by then my teeth were super white, so stopped. I've used the remaining gel to act as a top up once a fortnight to make sure the results stay. I did get some sensitivity for a couple of days, so didn't use the gels one night and was fine by the next day... You could most definitely wear them during the day if you needed/wanted to - they trays are transparent and more or less invisible - bar speaking with a very slight lisp.

I've realised that I've missed an enormous point here; I am ecstatic with the results. You have no idea how lovely it is for me not to have to worry about my teeth anymore. I showed my teeth on my Instagram here and had a surge of you ask for details (so apologies for the delay with this). It made me realise how many of us worry about this but on the flip side, how easy it is to fix.

outfit details at the base of this post

Last weekend I was away with a big group of friends and I didn't need to worry when other people took photos of us all together, whereas before I'd close my mouth or instantly have fear about my teeth looking bad compared to others. They aren't "Hollywood" white either, so it looks totally natural. 

This was one of the best projects I've worked on with the blog (on a personal level) and something I will keep up for life. Results last around 2 years according to the dentist, but if you continue to "top up" with the gels once every few months it can last a lifetime. You can also buy a whitening toothpaste from Enlighten here which prolongs results...

Outfit details (and links)
sunglasses = as worn, Fendi
top = as worn, Boden / similar here at ASOS (£12!)
pom pom hat = as worn, Winser London

Find out all the details here, and thank you from the bottom of my heart to Enlighten, CCD PR and the team at Smile More dental practice.
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