Monday

Gift Guide: £150 and under

Here is part two to my three part gift guide series. If you missed the first one (£50 and under) here you go. This time we're looking at gifts for everyone under £150… This price point is super fun as you can start to buy things with real wow factor…


For Her

Now we've gone up a little in price, we can start to really get some luxe into the lives of the ones we love. Nothing, not one thing, can be better than fancy bed linen. If you haven't done it yourself, do. For me there is only one place and thats The White Company. Their Avignon and Harrison collections are my personal favourite… In the same vein, buy someone some luxury pyjamas. Mine are from Hush and they're unbelievably soft even after taking a battering in the tumblr drier for the last 2 years. Really recommend them, here. Or go for something a little more risqué; L'Agent (Agent Provacteur's less extreme little sister) has some really fun playsuits and bodies here.


Perfume is something, like flowers, I think a girl should never buy herself. This year was somewhat of an education for me in the scent department as I discovered Tom Ford's collection. Noir is without a doubt the nicest thing I've ever smelt. John Lewis have a gift set of it reduced, here. She will 110% end up wearing it for life, beautiful. Continuing the beauty-ish thread, Christmas is the perfect opportunity to help someone get to grips with what they should be using. Charlotte Tilbury is most definitely the brand of the moment, and this beauty bible as literally everything anyone could ever need, ever.

If you're really stuck but need to buy something for someone who knows a bit about "on trend" brands then a Comme Des Garcons pouch is very useful. Can be used as a wallet or a clutch, and for that reason very good value. More on the practical side, if she's into healthy living and all things juice then you really cannot go wrong with a Nutribullet. Find them here (the red one is a bit more festive, I have it). Finally, if she's into her music and her style then there really only are Frends headphones. These rose gold ones are the ultimate gift.

For Him

First up, clothes. Men are hard to buy for and experience tells me never to try and introduce them to a new style or colour at Christmas. Look at what they already have, and go for something similar. For example, the men in my life need a bit of an upgrade on their basics so I have picked out this Whistles denim shirt and this Old Harry jumper (new name from the South Coast, love it ALL). If you need to buy for someone who really isn't in to clothing, then you can never go wrong with decent hats, scarves and gloves. This Acne khaki coloured scarf is also perfect for you to steal back off him once the booze kicks in on Christmas Day evening, although it's so nice he may well remember he got it on Boxing Day sadly… Or if you want him to fend for himself try new name Spoke London where he can choose a pair of custom made chinos or cords…


On the "traditional classics" front, you can't go wrong with cufflinks (my favourites, here), gloves (here) or something handy like a bow tie. Granted he won't use it often, but every time he does he'll appreciate having a decent one (gone are the days of Moss Bros being in any way acceptable). This Lanvin one is the nuts. Annnnd if you're still trying to coax a guy into the world of smelling good, try this Le Labo scent and these Tom Dixon candles.

For You

Now this is where it gets fun; telling you what I want! First up, my ever growing trainer collection. I recently just brought these Nike beauties into the family, but am very much hoping someone buys me these ones. Never enough… My guilty pleasure. Next up, never forget that you always, always, need sunglasses. Not enough people remember this at Christmas and then summer comes around and you need to shell out for a pair. Best site I've found is Smart Buy Glasses, I've just picked up these Rayban Clubmasters and am super happy with them. Beauty wise, if you're asking for something special then make Aesop your go to - this set has everything you need to glow into 2016...


As I've got a older and wiser (that depressingly defaulted to "wider" when I typed it in), Christmas has become a little bit more practical. I can remember being horrified when my parents asked my grandmother for a dishwasher one year, but now I totally get it. Housewise, I spied these awesome chairs for under £100, and as much as I am berated for the number of cushions I own (men just don't understand) I really want this one from Anthropologie. On the "growing up" front, there comes a time when Ugg slippers start to make sense. I'm 110% there, so here are my favourites.

Hope that helps the present shopping missions you have to complete - my under £300 will follow in the coming days...


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Sunday

Winter Is Coming


Last week was a manic one, period. Rushing about trying to get everything done, balancing being a blogger, running a business, being a friend, girlfriend, sister, daughter, dog mummy… and on top of that taking care of myself. Phew… Don't get me wrong they're all lovely things to have to do (and be), but sometimes all you really want to do is prance about and laugh with a friend. So, last Thursday thats exactly what Emma and I did… 


We had a good old natter (read: I had a good old moan about my 201 first world problems, and Em listened) over tea and toast at Poilane before taking our pre-planned outfits out for a spin… It was a super cold day, so I had brought out the cashmere. Namely the two new hero pieces in my wardrobe; my Karen Millen camel coat and my to-die-for-soft Pure Collection jumper. I'd sleep and shower in them if I could… So comfortable.


It's the first time I've shot photos since I had my hair did, which needs a mention. I've been going to Sassoon for almost three years now and if you look at early pictures on the blog (I would link to one, but the very thought makes me cringe into a ball) my previously yellow, brittle blonde hair is now very much shorter, thicker and stronger. I owe it all to Sassoon; if you're after a salon that not only makes you look good, but feel good too - head in their direction.


Accessories wise, I can't not introduce my new handbag, Mariel. She was a gift from the lovely L.K.Bennett team a couple of weeks ago and the personalisation was done by the infamous Boyard (the illustrator behind all of the Vuitton pieces, etc). I'd long wanted an initialled piece so this really does feel very special (and ridiculously practical, I use it most days). Rings and things - shout out again to Rosie for her amazing kite ring and to Halycon Days for their fab gold and rose gold bangles.


Other clothing bits are classic favourites, I picked up this Topshop stripe tee for £20 a couple of weeks ago. I assumed it was a pyjama top as its so soft… To be honest even if it was I'd still wear it as much as I do outside. The reverse colour way on the arms (see here) is great for hiding the fact I really should be taking barrecore more seriously! The jeans are Paige and are my staple pair when I want to feel good in denim as they hug and cuddle all the right bits in all the right places… A worthy investment.

Shop the post using the links below (click on them)


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Friday

Gift Guide: £50 And Under

And so the time has come; Christmas. Well, almost. As this weekend is a pretty big one for shopping (errr HELLO Black Friday offers) I thought I'd start you off early…

santas hat cupcake recipe here

I've been feeling festive for ages as a couple of weeks ago we took a bunch of friends down to Cornwall to shoot some festive content which will go up on the blog next week... Couple that with being in New York (aka "The Most Christmassy Place In The World Ever") next week and I'm more excited than the average toddler. Gift guides aren't all that easy to write - fiddly and time consuming - but this year I thought it was a must as buying presents for the same people only gets more difficult each year. I've broken them down into "for him," "for her," and "for you" (as even I am struggling to know what I want, except for Harvey Spector and milk frother (here)… Here is the one for £50 and under, enjoy!

For Her

Mothers, sisters, friends - their present "requirements" pretty much merge into one after a while. Everyone wants a little bit of luxury, and to be given a present they want but would never have bought themselves. In that respect you can never ever go wrong with cashmere socks. My White Company ones are the absolute dream, here. Giving someone a candle follows the same logic - my favourites are Neom here (above), the White Company Winter here and Diptyque, here. Notebooks aren't far behind either, and for those there really only is SmythsonThis Wanderlust pad is super dreamy… Clothing wise, £50 doesn't go all that far for quality pieces but you can always get them a classic Breton shirt like this one.


 Novelty phone cases are always a good call (get it?!). My shark case and I have had a great time together ever since he (his name is George) was bought for me. This year the one to have is the Stella McCartney lips case, available here at Liberty… Jewellery wise, Astley Clarke have started doing pins, all for under £50. I wear my wishbone pin as an earring too, here. For the fitness types, Made by Millie is a lovely, gentle read into the world of wellbeing and this simple Nike top will be useful for any active soul…

For the beauty connoisseurs, give them a Birchbox subscription so they can stay up to date on all things new every month - £30 for 3 months or £50 for 6 months. Other good things in boxes include Hush's great "knickers and nails" set, here (the exact kind of thing you'd never buy yourself, but would always love to get). Finally (two things) if you're super stuck and need to get someone who isn't all that festive a gift - try the White Company's Winter room fragrance. Two sprays in a room and any Scrooge becomes a Santa, here. Or better still send them an actual Christmas tree that can be mailed through their door, here.

For Him

First up, a little something that I have very much tried and tested. A personalised Nutella jar is the perfect present for any chocofanatic. Under a tenner and brings a smile to their face. Sorted… Next, when I asked my boyfriend what he wanted for Christmas he replied "man bracelets." I'm not quite sure when they became such a desirable item, but here are a few of my favourites from ASOS, Mr Stripe, Polo Ralph Lauren and Ted Baker… Clothing wise, most adult men still treat "buying basics" as "buying as cheaply as possible." Show him investing is the way forward without bearing the bank with this Todd Snyder tee. And, if you're searching for an item for a guy who has everything - try Jimmy Fallon's collab with J Crew; an IPhone case and a pocket square in one, here. Yep, it's a thing.


If you want to ease a guy into caring for themselves, start with Mr Porter's beauty box. This set is £50 (insane value) and will definitely help coach them into the habit of a) washing, and b) using their own stuff (you may even start pinching theirs…).  Additionally if you're trying to get a little bit of order into your other half's beard then this Skin and Tonic beard oil is perfect and only £16 or a beard comb (yep, thats a thing) from Tom Ford here… Or, nothing can be more masculine than a with his own whisky glass… These are great. Finally, boys do still sadly love their toys no matter what their date of birth. This robot will certainly keep him occupied for a couple of hours so you can watch the Eastenders specials… 

For You

First up something I really want; a milk frother. I have an unexplained addiction to coffee shops and these days you spend £3 each time. It's insane. A frother will mean I can make my cappuccinos without leaving the house. I found a good one at John Lewis for half price, here… Slightly more on the "normal" front, Christmas is the perfect time for new pants and stuff. I love this black bralet from Marks and Spencers, and these Miss AP pants.
This might seem like an odd request but if you're anything like me your pipes need a thorough cleanse after Christmas. Ask for Chris James' 3 Day Cleanse and use it on the first week of January. I've now done both his 12 Day and 3 Day and can honestly say they are incredible (as in, you'll lose all the festive flab and more). Buy them at Space Nk here. It's not exactly the sexiest of presents but there is nothing wrong with asking for some help to get organised for Christmas with a hard drive. I have the My Passport which is very easy to use and means my poor laptop doesn't get quite the battering it used to when it was full of my selfies.

Next up, 2015 was the year that colouring in became acceptable for adults. Seriously, try it. If you've had a tough day and need to switch off, have a go at colouring in this grizzly bear to take your mind of it here. In the same vein, if like me you have trouble sleeping (especially when not in your own bed) then this Cowshed Sleepy Cow set is an absolute must have. Last but not least, everyone needs some sparkle on Christmas Day and these shoes are the perfect mix of festive and practical for running around after booze mince pies younger members of the family…  Ooh and don't forget to include the Kings of costume jewellery (J Crew) in your wish list - these and these are awesome for under £50.

I hope that helps the present shopping missions you have to complete - my under £100 and £300 will follow in the coming days...

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Thursday

The White Knit

This time of year is all about comfort. Sod fashion, all we need is to feel warm (and our feet). That said, if you can find clothes that perform the before-said duties that don't make you look like a wilder beast pre-haircut then thats got to be a plus, right?

photo, Damsel in Dior - similar sweater here and here

For me it's all about the white knits. I like to keep a tight ship in terms of my wardrobe but somehow they just find their way in. I have 5 of them, five. I have a Whistles one I bought in their sale last year (they actually have a similar one this year, here), a Rag and Bone one bought at The OutNet (here - more on them below), a fantastic oversize one from And Other Stories (which is always worth a look for woolly-stuff as its ace). The other two are ASOS staples, just like these here and here.

oversize knit, similar here and here

As much it might seem ridiculous, for me a white knit is the white t shirt (in the summer) of the winter season. My little collection fulfil all requirements - my cropped one goes with pencil skirts, my fisherman's style one (I'm obsessed, the Pinterest board says it all, here) goes with jeans on weekends and looks super with leather, and my tighter ones are smart enough for the day job. In essence, you need more than one… Even I, the "you only need ten things in your closet" ambassador says so. They go with everything, from Monday morning "sh*t I should have planned for this" work outfit panic, to "I literally cannot be bothered to even wear pants" Sundays…


Shopping Tips

A good knit is an investment and for that reason should be simple and timeless. Avoided much detail and think about two things: fit and warmth. Do you feel enormous in it? If so, don't buy it - you won't get full wear out of it as you'll only wear it in your own company - and socialising is key in winter, not hibernating.

As it's an investment always check discount stores like The OutNet out. They have some super bits and bobs like this to die for Phillip Lim for 70% off, and this Vince easy-wear knit. Heavily discounted cashmere is exactly that - and it comes from a different part of the animal. True cashmere (the purest stuff) comes from the nape of the goat and no where else - hence it being so expensive as you need a lot of napes for one jumper… Brands like Pure Collection are prime examples of what true cashmere quality should be like.

Although places like Uniqlo and Marks and Spencer have some fantastic fitting stuff (here and here), just don't be deluded into thinking you're buying the same quality. That said if you're looking for jumpers you can just throw in the wash, then go for it - same goes for these brands: And Other Stories, Gap, COS and to a degree, Topshop (this jumper though…) and ASOS (each have been shortlisted under the link, so you're not trawling through).

cropped white jumper, similar (nailed this one, thank you thank you) here and here

Shop my selection here



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Tuesday

My New Staple Winter Coat



Last weekend we decided to get some fresh air and explore a "new" part of town, Hampstead. I was brought up nearby but hadn't been to Kenwood for years, mainly due to the brain-logged childhood trauma of falling off my bike and ripping open my arm… After a mini tantrum and the promise of chocolate, I managed to get passed it and headed out for an adventure. I'd forgotten how beautiful it was, but it really is one of the nicest parts of London town - particularly on an autumnal, sunny Saturday.


Lopez loved waltzing around (and terrorising the neighbours). Even though he is a Yorkshire boy there is something most definitely North London about him, he seemed very at home. We got coffees and oversize croissants and pottered about in the sunshine…


I wore my "new-in" dress from Millie Mackintosh's latest collection (shop it here) and most importantly my new staple winter coat from the guys at CoatWalk. I thought I had my basics nailed, but when they got in touch and suggested this lovely black number I couldn't resist (although it was a hard choice when this and this was also offered). It's so well tailored for my shape, super warm and - better still - the fur collar wrap comes off so I can wear it for work days as well as weekends...


And I have some fantastic news - you can get yourself your own new winter staple coat by taking a look at the collection here and then emailing me (here) to tell me which one you want (and your contact details, obviously). I'll be picking out a winner on the 17th of November, which I'll let you know via Twitter. It won't be the easiest task as there are so many amazing ones but for one of you lucky ladies it will be very much worthwhile (UK and Ireland only).


I also can't not give a mention to some new jewellery I've acquired over the last couple of weeks. You guys already know I'm a crazy fan of Astley Clarke, and they've just started doing pins - I love my wishbone and evil eye which (see the whole collection here). I'm actually wearing mine as earrings which I'm sure you'll see all over my Instagram in the coming weeks… Additionally I was lucky enough to be given this new Labrodite bracelet as a birthday gift. Finally my lovely friend Rosie has launched her jewellery collection here, and this ring is my absolute favourite. She's put so, so much into the collection so its amazing that it's finally arrived! Check out her whole collection here.

Shop my outfit here (providing your Java script allows you) …




This post was in collaboration with CoatWalk / Jacques Vert - all content creation my own.
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Monday

Velvet Tuxedos


Just a quick one from me… I was having a sort out this week and found my black velvet Acne tuxedo jacket (a gem I bought at Vestiaire when I worked there, check out their current options here). I wasn't sure whether or not to keep it until I read the Times on Saturday who had a really nice edit of currently available options. This caused me not only to do a little leap for joy that I am in fact still on trend (a four year old told me I dressed like their granny last week) but also spend a good hour purring over the new-in options…


green jacket, The White Stuff / blazer blazer, mango / navy blazer, Tom Ford / red blazer, Gucci / black boyfriend blazer, Topshop

One brilliant is from a company I've never mentioned on the blog before, The White Stuff. You wouldn't expect them to be as fashion-forward as this, but this velvet blazer is one of the best and cheapest on the market. Next up is from Mango here, a great option if you're after a black version. On the designer side of things this baby pink MSGM one is gorgeous, not to mention these Tom Ford and Gucci ones respectively. These go so well with jeans or smart trousers, and are perfect for dressing up a daytime outfit… So glad I'm keeping mine!
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