Thursday

Carousel with Dune

This is unusually speedy of me to get a post up but apparently the combination of the full moon and Venus being in retrograde means we aren't able to sleep for the next few days, which could explain my late night blogging session (I'm as sceptical as you…). Today/Yesterday I went to a lovely lunch with some blogger friends and Dune at Carousel on Blandford Street in London and it was too good to not blog...

jacket, Topshop / sandals, Atterley (sold out but similar here in the sale) / jeans, J Brand (budget option here) / bag, L.K.Bennett / sunglasses, Marc by Marc Jacobs

I wore some of my favourite basics including my new Topshop jacket (which Erica helped me track down earlier this week), my faithful L.K Bennett tote which is used for 6 days out of every 7 and my Atterley sandals which I forgot I owned and found over the weekend (and now live in). They've sold out but upon trying to hunt them down for you I just found these ones in their sale for £19 which are just as nice, if not better. The jeans are J Brand, I've had them for a long, long time and I love the fit but if you're just after the colour then these ASOS ones are superb. Oh and the sunglasses are Marc by Marc Jacobs, my first attempt at coloured sunglasses - and won't be the last!

jewellery: bracelets; astley clarke, halcyon days and tiffany & co / rings; daisy knights, astley clarke and and other stories / nail polish; cheeky 



My new found obsession with gathering "rings and things" is going pretty well at the moment if I may say so myself. I've blogged a lot about my Astley Clarke bits over the last few weeks, but I probably should mention the red one on the left as I found it in a box from my house move the other day and am so, so happy as thought it was lost! I found the black bangle from Halycon Days at the same time which was a double win! Other new additions include the simple gold rings I picked up at And Other Stories this week for £15, and a new solid rose gold one from Astley Clarke (better to look here at it as it doesn't show up in the picture as it's super delicate).

jacket, Topshop / sandals, Atterley (sold out but similar here in the sale) / jeans, J Brand (budget option here) / bag, L.K.Bennett / sunglasses, Marc by Marc Jacobs

I managed to rope Naomi into taking some pictures before we turned up to lunch (benefit of blogger friends, it's never weird to spend 15 minutes posing on the street in the middle of the day). Now most importantly, over to the food…


I had never been to Carousel before, I don't spend enough time in Marylebone (where the restaurant is) and when I do I tend to go to Relais de Venise (a French restaurant that you can't book, and only does steak and chips - my parents used to take us when we were little). It's changed massively over the last few years, every corner has a cool coffee shop or diner now… Enough about other places, because Carousel deserves a round of applause for it's grub. I mean who else can make courgettes look this interesting, or produce a platter of steak that looks that good?



For a grand finale, we had this dessert (below). Parsley and mint cake (stick with me, it's good) with strawberry and rhubarb sorbet and lemon ganache (what is ganache? anyone? other than tasty…). It was unreal… Anneli, Naomi and I tried to do the whole "we don't eat puddings" thing and then this rocked up and we pretty much licked it clean… Amazing. 

Thank you so much to Lesley-Ann and Holly at Dune for a super afternoon, and visit Carousel's website here for reservations and info.



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Monday

Outfit: Mint Velvet Maxi


One of the nicest things about our staycation at Limewood a couple of weeks ago was simply being outside. Obviously you can do this in London but there is something about the countryside that makes it a hell of lot better. Letting the dog off the lead (he made friend's with Lily's dog, Rudy) and watching him bound about without a care (or a car) in the world is one of my favourite pastimes, especially if you can do while drinking ice cold gin and tonics..!


I laughed when I saw these photos because they completely emulate how I felt at the time; "I just want to sit down and relax, stop being a blogger and enjoy this." In truth, I bl**dy hate having my photo taken. I really, really do. I've got a bit better at it as I completely accept that I need to do it, and sometimes as a blogger you just have to bite your lip and try and enjoy it… I'm still working on not looking completely miserable, apologies for the resting b*tch face.


I spotted this dress on a Mint Velvet newsletter and immediately set about buying it. I love dresses like this; they take absolutely no effort and hide a multitude of sins (perfect given we ate 8 courses that evening). You can dress them up or down and the print goes with everything. I used to have an amazing navy silk one that I annoyingly lost in a house move and I'd been keeping an eye out for a replacement ever since. I also got the trousers in the same print (here) - they're both perfect to wear when travelling as they're both just so damn comfortable.


The sunglasses are new from Marc by Marc Jacobs, I've been wearing them far too much as I have a really attractive white line on my nose from them. Not that I care because I absolutely love them - they're a totally different shape to my usual choices too. The jacket is Anneli's (benefit of holidaying with a blogger = they bring far too many clothes with them, and nice ones) from River Island here. I felt like everyone had a khaki jacket except for me so last week I went to Topshop and bought my own, here - they're so useful in this tricky weather we've been having.


Get the look here with items from my outfit and some extra similar finds:

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Friday

Food: Tanya's

top, urban outfitters / bracelets, Astley Clarke / sunglasses, Polaroid Eyewear

When you have a blog you spend endless amounts of time looking for something new. New brands, new clothes, new shoot locations, new places to go… Getting caught up in it all I often forget to include the places I go to all the time. So on Saturday as I do most weekends, I had lunch with the girls at Tanya's in Chelsea (South Kensington to be precise) and decided to blog about it. Given as though it's my favourite cafe-cum-restaurant at the moment it seems only right it should get a post...


Of course it was Anneli who introduced me to the place; it's a raw food restaurant. Essentially this means "super healthy" but if you're after the formal (Wikipedia) definition: Depending on the exact philosophy or type of lifestyle and results desired, raw food diets may include a selection of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, meat and dairy products. It may also include simply processed foods such as various types of sprouted seeds, cheese, and fermented foods such as yogurtskefirkombucha or sauerkraut, but generally not foods that have been pasteurizedhomogenized, or produced with the use of synthetic pesticideschemical fertilizers, industrial solvents or chemical food additives.  So there you go! It's not for everyone (I took my Dad who was horrified to discover that meat isn't raw) but I absolutely love it. For me it's a perfect Saturday lunch concept as you can eat a huge amount of food without the huge amount of guilt afterwards!


It didn't take much to persuade us to break the "raw deal" a little bit and break open a bottle of prosecco; we were having lunch to celebrate Louise's London anniversary. Not sure where time flies but she went to live in Australia for a year before backpacking around the world before making the capital her home. Georgie and I picked her up on holiday five-ish years ago in Ibiza and we've been friends ever since. 


I'm sure it's true of every group of friends in their twenties thirties, but it really had been too long since we'd all met up. Even though we all live within a mile of each other there seemed to be so much news. Between the new jobs, new adventures, new boys, new sunglasses (in my case, Polaroid), new adventures and new fake tanning disasters we nattered our way through main courses (superfood salads, nachos, tacos and thai noodles) before the main event...


… Cake! Yep, raw food doesnt mean you can't have chocolate. You can just have awesome tasting chocolate. These beautiful culinary delights are chocolate praline cake, chocolate orange nut cake and lemon cheesecake. If you're wondering how its done, check out Tanya's blog and follow the principle of her Strawberry Cheesecake recipe (and check out the ice cream that broke the internet recipe too).


top, urban outfitters / bracelets, Astley Clarke / sunglasses, Polaroid Eyewear

So, if anyone fancies giving the concept of Raw food a go we recommend heading over to Tanya's. We were at her Ixworth Place cafe, but she also has a new set up in Ride Republic in Parsons Green which does all of her juices, coffees, snacks and cakes. Make sure you have the chocolate praline cake. Insane. Find out more here.



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Wednesday

Trending: Denim Jumpsuits


It's taken me a while to master jumpsuits. My top half is smaller than my bottom so finding a shape that works is really tricky. Erica suggested trying this wide leg one from ASOS which I've just bought so am hoping works, but my other success story is this denim one from Atterley. For one it fits which is major revolution given how hard denim shopping is for me. Secondly it's in the sale (£45 down from £75). Last but not least I then spotted Christina Centenera in one who is my ultimate girl crush which single handily confirmed I should be living in mine. So I am, most likely at this very moment. Get my one here or consider these rather lovely bits I hunted down below. Enjoy.

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Monday

Outfit: Sundaze

 dress, ASOS (old) similar herehere and (amazing finds) here and here / rings, Patrick Mavros / bracelets Tiffany and Astley Clarke 

Last Sunday was a day of complete relaxation as I think all Sundays should be. After busy Fridays and Saturdays (dawdling around Chelsea, celebrating Victoria's birthday and fitting in as many juice bar visits as possible ) I couldn't have been more thrilled when Rose suggested a lazy lunch with the dogs.

 dress, ASOS (old) similar herehere and (amazing finds) here and here / rings, Patrick Mavros / bracelets Tiffany and Astley Clarke 

So I turned up in typical Sunday attire. This dress is perfect for these kind of days and every girl should have one. I've worn it before on the blog; I lived in it on holiday in California last year. Just throw it on and you're done, I've found very similar pieces here and here. My hair was still wavy from the day before (seriously impressive given how badly behaved my mop can be when it comes to holding curls) when I went to Duck and Dry for a blow-dry and as for make up… Sundays are down time and "minimal" is an overstatement.


 dress, ASOS (old) similar herehere and (amazing finds) here and here / rings, Patrick Mavros / bracelets Tiffany and Astley Clarke 

Rose made her white sangria, which she needs to blog about (please do start a petition as it really is that good) and we nattered whilst Lopez wound Custard up - chasing him around and stealing his toys. They do get on but for some reason Lopez had bags of energy (he's going through a needy teenager phase as this video shows) and Mr C was having none of it...

 dress, ASOS (old) similar herehere and (amazing finds) here and here / rings, Patrick Mavros / bracelets Tiffany and Astley Clarke 

As you may have gathered from my last few posts I've really got into my jewellery recently.  Three new welcome additions to the arm/hand party are from Patrick Mavros. Sea urchins wouldn't be an obvious choice for a jewellery collection (particularly if like me you've ever had one stuck in your foot) but these are gorgeous. I'm wearing pieces with blue topaz, black diamond and tsavorite garnet. My next addition is going to be a cute little elephant ring (here) - makes me think of my sister in Africa, who is lying in bed fighting off malaria/watching Heath Ledger movies on repeat..!

 dress, ASOS (old) similar hereherehere and (amazing find) here / rings, Patrick Mavros / bracelets Tiffany and Astley Clarke 

Hope you all have wonderful weeks, I am going to be resting and catching as much sunshine as possible (thats all between the day job, the blog job and the dog-mum job of course!). Here are a few boho dresses I found whilst searching for alternatives to my own (I couldn't add in this Monsoon one to the carousel, so don't discard it) - try not to buy them all at once!




 dress, ASOS (old) similar hereherehere and (amazing find) here / rings, Patrick Mavros / bracelets Tiffany and Astley Clarke 

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Friday

Love Her Look: Best Of The Vests

This week's weather has been very odd in London, Monday was positively grim and then its been attempting to clear up all week. I've been plotting my summer escapes for this year (the grand finale being a week long celebration for Freddie's wedding in the South of France) and feel I've had enough of an excuse to buy lots of summer tops and crops…

image from this blog / similar tops: here, here and here

I'm clearly not the only person who enjoys a good cropped, loose vest as this was the most shared image from my Pinterest this week. I've been trying to hunt down a dead ringer, my first stop was Free People (be prepared to block out an hour of your time before you click this link as everything is amazing) who have some really similar bits, some of which are below. My favourites finds are from Urban Outfitters here and this one (a bargain at £14) from Topshop. Find my full selection below…


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Wednesday

Outfit: Boho Bliss at Limewood


One of my favourite things about my Limewood staycation last week was relaxing in our own private garden (Lopez was thrilled) at the back of our suite, letting our hair down and prancing around in my new sale-steal And Other Stories dress with no make up on and no shoes.  The hotel kindly gave us a bottle of bubbly on arrival so we popped it open (I say we, it was actually entirely Anneli who sorted it out as I am hopeless at that kind of thing) after a few hours in the gym and hydrotherapy pool that afternoon.
The dress was a spontaneous buy a couple of weeks ago to cheer myself up after a stressy week - I decided I was going to snap out of it, popped into their Oxford Circus store, bought a dress and then went over to Duck and Dry for a blow-dry (new favourite place, it does as good coffee as it does hair styling which is a rarity in this world). After that I was ready for drinks with the girls (one of our friends Sam was over from New York so there was reason to celebrate and eat 25 plates of croquettes at Little House, or at least so we thought).



Back to Limewood… Lopez absolutely loved the fuss everyone gave him and if anyone is thinking about going with their pooch I wholeheartedly recommend it. Some places are dog tolerant, but Limewood is completely dog friendly. Lopez wasn't allowed in the main house but that was hardly a problem as he snoozed off his run around the grounds while we ate dinner (more on that to come, I'm looking at the photos now and salivating).


One thing I would like to borderline brag about (sorry!) is my upgraded arm party. I've long been a fan of Astley Clarke and so when they asked if I'd like to choose a few new pieces to add to my collection. I picked out a few pieces from their Biography collection, including this gorgeous evil eye bracelet and this beaded piece. In addition, I popped along to the Tiffany and Co exhibition at Selfridges last week and the team very kindly gave me this little silver bracelet. I love them all mixed up together and am yet to take them off!


Shop the outfit by clicking the links below




*We were guests of Limewood in a Pavillion room (dog friendly) which start at £295 per night. Book via Mr and Mrs Smith here*
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Monday

Essential White Tee


It's been a while since I've done one of these posts, and it was only today when having a clear out that I realised I needed to give my own wardrobe a cleanse and remove all of the tops and tees that go unworn. Firstly, there is no such thing as the one t shirt that'll solve of your problems for you and your wardrobe. At least in my opinion. Nope, there are a few (in my case, two) and the ones that'll be right for you completely depend on your body shape. Once you've mastered which styles work you'll gladly part with £100+ for a good t shirt, believe me. After all, you'll wear it at least once a week for the next few years. Here is my little break down on the various kinds:

v neck tee styles here, here, here and here

The V Neck - Great if you are bigger busted or pear shaped as it draws your eye to your smallest point (your waist) and away from your larger features. Wear them without accessories otherwise your chest will look like a shelf... On the flip side, if you are slim/skinny a v neck can look great with long jewellery pieces to accentuate your d├ęcolletage  A stylist friend told me that you should work out the depth of the V by drawing (an invisible) line from the top of one nipple to another. Having seen friends do it, I can confirm it works . Try these out: James PerseJ CrewReiss (great for hiding the tops of your arms) and LNA Clothing (reduced on ASOS here) for good options.



high neck tee styles here, here and here

The High Neck - This has to be my favourite for my shape, but not good for over a C cup so when I had put on a little weight I really found myself looking a lot chunkier in mine... Buy a slightly thicker material for this one so it holds its shape, and also make sure it isn't too tight on your stomach as it isn't flattering - however make sure it fits you around the bust. The best shapes pull in under the bust and then flow out... Try Adam LippesFrame Denim, Rag and Bone and this Saint Laurent was is a beaut if you are really investing…



scoop neck tee ideas here, here and here

The Scoop Neck - This a good all rounder and it's almost more important what bra you have on underneath as it will impact how the tee sits on your body. Makes sure your humps are supported (this t shirt bra from Triumph is fantastic) so the tee can fall properly and you don't have a loose boob making an escape through your neck line... Try MajesticIsabel MarantTyler Jacobs and Alexander Wang.




oversize tee ideas here, here and here

The Oversize Fit  - Everyone wants to be that street style girl with the "nailed off duty model" look that so many do so well.  It can be done but takes some practice. Don't be tempted to buy something that could double up as a teepee. Your boyfriend's tee isn't the answer either. Find a style that is supposed to be oversize rather than going 4 sizes up - it will still "fit" you then. Try Rag and BoneAlexander Wang and this lovely one from Frame.



For more inspiration check out my "got it to a tee" Pinterest board. As a tip, if you aren't sure about a shape buy a few cheapies first to get a feel for the shape before you invest. Here are some good options that tick the "trial" box. ASOS high neck 3 pack (grey and black included) / ASOS soft scoop V neck / Next V neck / Uniqlo high neck / Uniqlo oversize 

And when you decide to invest - try out The OutNet for all the major designers featured here at a very good discount, here.
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