Monday

Just another manic Monday

I'm not sure about you, but 2016 feels like it's running away with me. January has already gone, this week marks the middle of February... Before we know it we'll be basking in the wonderful British summer sunshine. I jest...  Last week was absolutely crazy - tasks being thrown around left, right and centre. We decided to escape it for a couple of days this weekend and go up to see my parents. They live in London too, but I hadn't been there yet this year (which gives some indication of how busy things have been). Home really is where the heart is; nothing ever changes and I felt my shoulders relax the minute I stepped through the door. I was straight into my spot in the living room; next to the fire with a mug of tea and the papers. Bliss.


Outfit wise, comfort is key. I disappeared into Mum's wardrobe and pulled out this oversize cardigan from Quba. So cozy, without being too thick and heavy. Funnily enough I was in my "London is always a good idea" T shirt from BA&SH, which made me laugh as I've been pondering over leaving the city recently. I do really love the capital, but it's very very hectic. As much as it is the "place to be" for what I do, the world is becoming more and more global every day. It raises the question; do we need to be here? I digress...


My jeans are my "forever pair" from Topshop here, you're probably bored of me talking about them. The fit was an unexpected success for me - at 5 foot 4 I didn't think the "mom jean" would work for me but I feel super confident in them and wear them at least twice a week... You can probably spot my yoga bra underneath too - this was a gift from White Stuff over Christmas. It's one of those sportswear pieces you swear blind you won't get into the habit of wearing unless exercising - but it's so damn comfortable you can't resist. Oops.

Any who, the weekend break gave me some time to relax and think about things I want to get done (or in the habit of) in February. Here they are:
  1. London Fashion Week - It's very easy to get huge FOMO during this time, as Instagram and all the social media channels seam to burst with all the "look at me at this party" selfies + front row seats. Quite frankly, it's not for me. I find the shows pretty boring. That said, it's a great time to catch up with friends as everyone is in town. So I'm making sure thats my focus, and not worrying about whether my invites were lost in the post...
  2. Wardrobe Declutter - We move at the end of the month (where to remains a big question) and so I am downsizing like a mother f*cker. If I have two similar things, one goes - without question. Even if I love it. Last week I had a little cry over parting with SEVEN denim shirts. Even some of my twenty five Breton shirts are going to be finding new homes. Keep an eye on my Vestiaire Collective account here if you fancy anything.
  3. Pancake Day - YES. Pancakes aren't optional in my house, they're religion. I've been pretty unwell recently and struggling to eat much, but this Tuesday I am 100% going to indulge - even if it means swallowing a pharmacy afterwards. I cover mine in orange squash (don't knock it till you've eaten it) or cheese and ham. Yum. 
  4. The blog - South Molton St Style turns five next week and I've been thinking lots about where it's going and what I'm going to do with it moving forward. It would be great to hear what you all think, content you enjoy or would like to see more/less of. Please do email me here with your ideas...
  5. Yoga - I've got the bug. Since acquiring new kit from White Stuff and Theory (thank you) I've got a new lease of life for all things yogi. I've even broken a promise I made to myself long ago and am practising with the boy - most days! We've found a great series on YouTube here - try the one for tense shoulders, it's amazing!
  6. Plan weekends away - I am itching to get a proper city break in the diary. My T-Shirt's brand BA&SH are running a competition on their Facebook page here to win one - so get on it pronto! I'm thinking a couple of days in Paris could be good for the soul, non?
Whatever the week has in store for you I hope it's a good one - it's apparently supposed to rain all week in London. Wrap up warm, or stay in and snuggle.
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Friday

On The Couch


Some of you may have already seen my earlier post about my shoot with L.K.Bennett to show off their SS16 collection? If not fear not, here is the full interview on their site. It's not often that I like more than about 2 photos from a shoot, but I really wanted to share these ones of my in the Addison dress.


We shot it at Duck and Dry's new basement event space which is a brilliant little spot for a group of girls to get together before a night out. You can drink at the bar whilst friends have their hair and make done at the dressing stations. The blowdry bar has long been a haunt of mine (well, since it opened a year ago) but it really has just upped its game - I'm plotting plans for as many pre-party trips there as possible...


I think it's pretty obvious how much fun I'm having in this picture but just to reinforce the point: I had a wail of a time wearing this dress. It feels like an outfit you'd wear when you are a little, and run around doing pirouettes in. That said, I felt awfully grown up and could definitely wear this in the office as much as I could to a christening (ok, so my office is also my living room, and I work in fashion, but still...).


The shoes are also from LKB, and although I was dubious about them being a little "normal" I've found them incredibly useful post shoot. They are called "winter rose" and are essentially an upgrade from the taupe coloured heel that took over 2013. They look fantastic and I really can't fault them, despite trying (and look brilliant with blue denim, for the record. Find them here.

In collaboration with L.K.Bennett London. Photography by Amelia Allen.
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Tuesday

The Dominican Republic


Annnnd somehow it's February! I realised at the weekend that last month I was a terrible blogger and only blogged three times. Oops. I'm going to try and get a bit better this month, aided a lot by the number of shoots I did in January - meaning you guys can actually see some half decent photography rather than the usual iPhone snaps...



Any way, the main reason for the lack of postings was that we took a very last minute break to the Dominican Republic for a fortnight. We'd set aside the time off but didn't book until Boxing Day. We (ok he, not me) found some amazing last minute flights on with Thomson (not sponsored, for the record) and before we knew it we were sitting on a beach sipping cold beer with sand between our toes... (when we say amazing flights, we mean £250 each - here).

We spent the first few nights in a hostel in Bavaro, 20km from the airport to get our groundings and to see in the New Year. The town was essentially built for tourism, so besides the coconuts on the beach and a few rum huts it was more "burger and chips" than "rice and peas." That said, I did eat the best quesadilla of my life at a tiny little cafe called "Kat's Corner" which I really, really recommend.


The beaches are beautiful, but the Atlantic coast makes them a little choppier... Most of the people in the area are in all inclusives and don't leave their hotels, so restaurants are quite quiet. It became clear that the more picturesque places are on the South coast of the island so we plotted a way (through two new friends armed with questionable "cigarettes" and an open top Jeep) to get down to Bayahibe on New Years Day...

After a day of travelling through the centre of the island we arrived in paradise, quite literally. Bayahibe is a quaint little fishing town which lives up to every Caribbean cliche you can imagine; bright coloured boats, sandy rum shacks and lots of local character. We knew as soon as we arrived that we'd be staying here a while. We found an apartment for a week in Dominicus (the next town down, walkable in 15 minutes from Bayahibe) at the Marina.


This was where the holiday started to come into it's own. We made several incredible local discoveries, including a tiny shack of a restaurant run by a Frenchman called Didier. The kitchen comprises of an enormous barbecue and only serves lobster and rum. It was without a doubt the best seafood I've ever eaten.


We took one day out to visit Saona, a relatively uninhabited island to the south of the Dominican Republic. You can take your pick of either a "party boat" or an old fisherman's boat to get there (you can guess which one we picked). To say it is beautiful just doesn't do it any justice. The beaches there were used for the Bounty adverts if that helps set the scene... We lay in our hammocks in between snorkelling with stingrays for most of the day, before heading back through a stretch of warm (like a bath) sea water covered in starfish. One of the most incredible days of my life.



For the last few nights we decided to treat ourselves and stayed at Tracadero. The all-white hotel and very Italian hotel is absolute bliss. When we got into our room it was so lovely we burst out laughing as we only paid $100 a night for the room. It very much has a beach club feel, anyone who has been to a Puro Beach or Blue Marlin - it's the same kind of thing but a fraction of the cost. Sipping Pina Coladas by the salt pools overlooking the sea, we felt a million miles from home... Firmly recommend the rose champagne too... ;)


To anyone looking for a complete break, I really recommend the DR. It has a reputation for being solely an all inclusive style destination, but with a little bit of planning you can have the total opposite. Book it NOW.

Find flights to Punta Cana here.
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