Thursday

TGIPD PART 2

Finally March pay day is here... So late it wasn't even in March, it was pushed to April! Not sure about you but I'm done with winter. I want colour, freshness and a little bit of "wow." Summer is coming (I'm going to force it) and therefore I'm dressing for it. It may be a bit premature but who cares? There are SO many good deals at the moment, with retail sales being slower lots of brands have gone into mid season sales, or reduced the prices of their entire new collections. Hey ho, works well for us - here are my finds for this shopping frenzy of a weekend...


This month is about "cleaning up my act" and adding a few pieces to mix in with my denims and my basics. I already have a few pieces I'm dying to get into... A new ASOS jumpsuit here arrived last week and I literally cannot wait to bomb about it on a sunny afternoon. I'm all about the boho/ vibe at the moment having spied this top on Net A Porter... Marant is just so good at the moment, and who on this planet doesn't want to be a Chloe girl this season? I mean, feast your withered-by-winter eyes on this dress. I've been on the lookout for pieces of the "inspired by" nature rather than having to pay the full whack, as £4,000 isn't exactly my budget for one item (although I am trying to assess whether I should go nuts and buy this Rachel Zoe top).


patterned dress, Oasisprinted skirt, Topshoppatterned sandal. Sam Edelman at Net A Porterblack top, Isabel Marant at Net A Porter / white sleeveless top, Rachel Zoe / floral dress, Topshop / patterned jean, Current Elliott

Super duper finds have come from surprising places; I'd never have said Net A Porter was where you'd come across a full-priced bargain. These Sam Edelman ones ooze everything I need from a spring sandal, and these may be even better - incredible for the price. Topshop have some lovely things; this dress is most definitely "inspired" by Self Portrait's summer collection (here - the light blue dress is incredible) and this pencil skirt has my name written all over it.

I can't not mention my friend Holly's brand for this kind of thing too...  Pampelone here is going from strength to strength. I've had the Grimaud dress for a while now, and every time I go away it ends up being the piece I live in when by the beach. Shop the collection on Shopbop here.

wearing my Grimaud maxi dress from Pampelone, buy it at Shopbop here

Other really good boho finds include this dress from ASOS (a bargain at £40, mine is on its way as I type), this top by (new name for me) Only and finally this £9.99 beauty from Hennes here.

Finally, I really want to shout out to Oasis because their new Victoria and Albert Museum Collection is incredible, see it all here. I walked past their Oxford Circus store the other day and actually took a moment to stop and stare at their window display. This dress is incredible for the price, I'm going to buy it for a wedding I'm going to in Italy in August... And thats me over and out!
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Wednesday

Mucky Pup

I'm very much of the opinion that a blogger should show their audience what their lives are really like, as it's the main point of difference between us and editorial content. For some people that means endless images of avocado, eggs and perfect pins. For me, it's more "dog just rolled in a puddle and I forgot to put the towel in the car." Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you my Easter Monday problems:


There I was all set to do some photos in my lovely new Wyse London cashmere jumper (here) and Lopez jumps in a puddle. In fact not just any puddle, oh no, the biggest puddle in the whole of Trent Park. So that cuts him out of the pictures... (and in case anyone was wondering, the only thing that gets a white dog clean again after that amount of mud is Johnson's Baby Shampoo...).


This is a really good example of what I wear when I'm relaxing, I guess you could call it off duty style. Although I've been brought up in London, my family are down in South Wales and I've spent a huge amount of time plodding around outsides in waxed jackets and wellies. I got this jacket last week when I was up at the Barbour factory (shooting something quite exciting which is coming up in May). I am absolutely thrilled with this, and can't wait for it to get a little more muddy and worn. As soon as I put it on it takes me back to being a kid, mucking out horses or being very, very cold in the "Welsh Spring" on the beach...


The wellies are Hunter, because is there another wellington boot brand? I mean, really? These are actually my mums (I think, I found them in the garage at home - could well be my sisters...), we have a number of pairs floating around the house. I can't wear the higher versions as my "dense" calves don't fit in them, but these are great. I really like the black, they're less of a statement... Look awesome covered in mud too, which is convenient.


Keeping up my new "thing" of wearing colour, I wore my trusty L.K Bennett Mariel bag (unglamorously the two compartments are brilliant for dog walking - my stuff in one, Lopez's treats, bags and bits in the other). It sold out in a millisecond I think, but ever so often ones pop up on the site so do keep and eye out here. The jumper as I mentioned is from Wyse London, and I'm obsessed with it. It's so soft. Apparently I look like a childrens' TV presenter in it, but I always wanted to work on Blue Peter when I was little so I'm quite happy with that... Lastly, my sunglasses are fast becoming my staple, every day pair. They're a really good shape for me as I've got an annoyingly round face unless I wear things that add contouring (not Kim K style, I mean as in angular shaped accessories and they're from Hugo Boss here

Shop my outfit below (disable your ad blocker to view the carousel, or use the links underneath)


We just managed to dodge the rain storm to get Lopez in the car. He had a brilliant time printing his muddy paws across the back seat - us, not so much. Hope you had a fantastic Easter break, and Happy Spring! Feels like the sunshine is finally here, almost.
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Sunday

Spring Sunshine in Mayfair


Not sure about you but the long weekend could not have come soon enough. I did have plans to go away, but annoyingly was tied to London for the whole holiday. So, we decided to be tourists in our own town and headed into Mayfair on Friday for some lunch. We started off at Brown Hart Gardens (a little hidden gem a block down from Selfridges. The sun was shining, the sunglasses were out - all in all, being at home seemed very much ok...


There is no question that suede jackets are in at the moment. I've had my eye on Millie's one here for weeks. The lovely team at Jaegar sent me this one and I thought I'd give it a test. I wasn't sure about the colour at first but actually its great and stands out a little, but not too much. It looks great denim, and varies from appearing green and grey. Butter soft too.


I've decided I want to make more of an effort to wear colour, without breaking away from my capsule stuff. As you can see, I'm still in my faithful Breton (this one is from Boden, here) and jeans (from Paige Denim, the absolute best, here) but I'm trying to break away from simple things like wearing brown leather rather than black, and pops of colour in my accessories...


With that in mind I have updated my Astley Clarke bangles with some extra, brighter colours. The snowdrop charmed green jewelled one here, the blue evil eye charm here and an updated red beaded hamza one here. I wore my Marc by Marc Jacobs mint green sunglasses, here which I have loved since I got them in September last year (here I am in Paris wearing them for the first time). I find this colour really handy when you want to step away from black/blue/grey but don't want to make too much of a statement.

bracelets: astley clarke: green here, red here, blue here / bag, Reiss 

My super new bag is from Reiss. I have quite a few handbags and clutches from them and I really think they're the only "high street" brand who really get accessories. This one is not crazily expensive at all and feels like a proper designer bag. It's going to be perfect to go with a couple of summer wedding outfits, and coincidentally matches my Carven bow tie pumps perfectly. Orange is such a fun colour to wear - get the bag here. My boots are a new addition in the sale at L.K.Bennett - a total success as they go so well with all of my floaty maxi dresses and skirts as well as the obvious denim combos... Find them here.


Enough about me and my clothes as I want to give a proper mention to our lunch venue, 8 Mount Street. Tucked away in the peaceful red bricked Mayfair streets, you wouldn't believe you were second from the busiest high street in the world. The restaurant is fairly new, and as the weather was so good we sat outside after having a proper nose of their bar and outside mint garden...


We let the staff choose our meal for us, as I normally do when reviewing a place. I'd heard about their savoury creme brulee starter but wasnt quite prepared for how amazing it was going to be... Equally the beetroot and goats cheese salad and the burrata were out of this world. There was no way we could have finished it (in truth one starter will serve two people comfortably) as we had poussin and dover sole for main courses - before the grand finale of their "apple, apple, apple" dessert; apple mousse, apple tarts and apple crumble. It really is worth a visit and I really do recommend you do. It feels special without feeling ostentatious and the staff were absolutely lovely.


We then met up with some friends and giggled over how cheeky it felt doing so little on a "work day." With the sun being out, London was gorgeous and after a few weeks of solid grey/rain it reminded me how much I do love living in the capital.  I hope you have a wonderful Easter break, whatever you are doing, and that it helps you hit the reset button - as that's my goal for the weekend. Happy Sunday, and Happy Easter!


Shop my whole outfit here (if you cannot see pictures below, disable your ad blocker or use the text links)



suede trench coat, Jaegar / breton tee, Boden (in the sale) / jeans, Paige Denim at Selfridges / sunglasses, Marc by Marc Jacobs / bag, Reiss / boots, L.K Bennett 

Thank you to Finch and Partners for arranging our lunch!
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Tuesday

March Beauty Buys

I haven't really been putting myself in front of the camera that much recently as I haven't been all that well. I've been so tired and have definitely noticed my skin has taken a hit. So, I used it as a bit of an excuse to invest some time in my skincare regime... As you might already know I didn't have a routine of any sort before the blog but as I've got older I've really begun to feel the need - and can see the benefits. I'm extremely impatient so if it's on here it really does mean it works... Here is a round up of products I've tried and tested recently, and some of them are really rather good...


Skin

Skin wise, a few products to mention. The first one is something I received in a Birchbox last year, but only recently started using. Trilogy "everything balm" is the kind of thing every girl should have in her handbag, because it really does do everything. I've been using it on dry patches, cracked lips, hands, mixing in with lip colour (makes it last ten times longer) and as a cold-air skin protector. It's absolutely brilliant and even though I've been using it a lot it looks barely touched, get it here.

Next is an old faithful, Weleda Skin Food. When I'm unwell my skin gets so dry and dull - I pop a small amount of this (it's quite oily) on the really bad bits after a shower and it's instantly fixed. It's only £8.95 - a total bargain. Get it here. I also have been using REN Skincare's Instant Brightening Beauty Shot (in fact you can watch me was lyrical about it here) each morning as it's brings the puffiness down (which I get a lot, and really noticeably when I'm not feeling good). Get it here.

Once my skin is nice and nourished I do like to put on a little bit of a tan/tint. I used to be a St Tropez obsessive, but since I've discovered Vita Liberata I've thrown it all in the bin. You only need a 20p size blob to do your whole upper body and once dried (takes 5/10 minutes) you're set!

Lastly, a product which I would be tempted to claim as possessing medicinal qualities. I've been so lethargic recently, and when This Works' skin oil "energy bank body makeover" arrived I was sceptical; How can a product wake you up?! However, after use you most definitely feel revived and more "with it." At £32 it's more of an investment, but whole heartedly worth it. Get it here.

Hair

I'm really quite into my hair at the moment. I've got quite a lot of regrowth coming through (from being unwell last year) meaning I am becoming a super pro at finding products that stop the shorter hairs showing along my parting. It's really tricky as my hair is fine and needs help with volume, so I don't want to be adding heavy products as it'll flatten my whole head! Two things have really helped recently.

Firstly, Maria Nila's Structure and Repair Leave In Cream has been magnificent. I put a couple of pumps throughout my towel dry hair and once dried my locks feel rich, shiny and bouncy - without feeling weighty. For the fly away bits I've tried a lot of things but so far the winner is Davines' Pliable Hair Paste. I discovered it in the changing rooms at the South Kensington Club and couldn't believe how good the hold is. You only need the teeniest amount and it holds everything in place, unnoticeably, all day. Get it here.

Make Up 

Recently my motto has been "light and bright." By "bright" I don't mean very colourful (although Rosie Huntington Whiteley's lip pencil has made the cut as it's incredible, here) but more "uplifting." When you're poorly, or just when you feel it's too cold to leave the house, you need your make up to encourage you out of the door. That said if anything takes more than 5 minutes to do, I'm over it.

Benefit is a brand that I feel I grew up with, their mascaras and lipsticks were some of my first. I've been using their Hello Flawless as a really good primer/foundation. It covers well but you still look naked (is that the right expression? I mean you can't see it!) Get it here. Next, I have been using Sun Beam for years as a "quick fix" skin brightener. I put a swipe of it on each cheek (over the top of my Perricone MD bronzer which is the best in the business - people always think I've been on holiday, get it here) and quickly rub it in et voila. Get it here.

But the next product I almost want to make the font size 1000 and put in flashing red text. It's incredible. For anyone who has dark circles, Lemon Aid is for you. Use in place of a concealer, the bright yellow balm (stay with me...) neutralises your darker bits and makes them actually disappear. I'm fighting over ownership of this one with my mother at the moment, and friends who have watched me put it on have tried to pinch it too... If you buy one thing, its this here.

Finally, I think Rosie Huntington Whiteley needs a real pat on the back for her new make up range (find the full collection at Marks and Spencer here). I was given a few bits to try and the two pieces that stand out for me are the eyeshadow palette here (perfect for my usually olive complexion and dark hair) and the aforementioned lip crayon here, which has been perfect for a bit of a boost on weekdays. It's bright but not too bright... Love it!

Scent

Anyone who has read the blog for a while will know I'm obsessed with Tom Ford scents. At the beginning of the year I was treated to dinner with friends by the power house, and this Jasmin Rouge was in our little takeaway bag. It's more floral than my usual choices, but I've been wearing it religiously and it get's so many compliments. You only need a little, so it will last a lifetime, Get it here.

*disclaimer: some of these products were received as gifts from brands and PRs, but none have been promised content, only if I actually like the item - you should see the pile that didn't make it (!!)*
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Wednesday

Birthday Celebrations with Mr Porter


A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves in a bit of a slump. You know when you get so bogged down with work, there is no time for play? Well, we had that. So when Mr Porter got in touch and asked if we'd like to celebrate our joint birthdays (my little blog and their site were launched on the same day - I feel this will be noted in history as a monumental date for online fashion...) and offered a "birthday present" for the boy, we couldn't say no...

coat, Burberry at Mr Porter here / jeans, RRL at Mr Porter here / jumper, Reiss here / sunglasses, Rayban at Mr Porter here

I took the reins and chose his gifts; picking out a Burberry Trench from their coat selection, and a pair of Grenson brogues here. It did make me laugh that for five years of running the blog he gets the gifts, but it's two less presents for me to have to buy him as he's always wanted both pieces... I will definitely be pinching the trench too - it's such a classic and felt like a really good "achievement purchase." We originally wanted the taupe version here but they sell out in seconds on Mr Porter so settled on the black, and actually it looks better than our first choice (in my humble opinion). 



dress, Zara here (quite old, so similar here and (on sale) here) / sunglasses, Bobbi Brown here

We decided to go and see what all the fuss was about and visit Soho Farmhouse for the day. It took us about an hour and half from London, and as soon as we arrived I could understand the surge of Instagram posts that occurred when this place opened. Having been to quite a few of the houses, Farmhouse is in a different league of amazingness... We sat outside in the (surprisingly) warm sunshine and played boules and table tennis. The Yeti (aka Lopez) came along for the ride too, who had a great time bombing around the huge estate.

ps - Farmhouse is largely dog friendly but they can't go in the main eating house or the spa, which Lopez was pretty miffed about...


As much as the bloody Marys in the Den were tempting, we wanted to "celebrate" by getting some serious rest and relaxation... After testing out the outdoor hot tubs (photo below) we went for a dip which was incredibly cool - you can swim outside from the inside pool. We were only swimming for half an hour or so, but following a steam and a sauna we felt like we'd been on a week long retreat. Following that we were pretty peckish so head over to the main restaurant to see what the roast dinners were like...

coat, Burberry at Mr Porter here / jeans, RRL at Mr Porter here / jumper, Reiss here / sunglasses, Rayban at Mr Porter here

Annnnd here you go, looks terrible doesn't it?! I jest... Soho House roast dinners are one of my favourite things; they aren't shy with the meat quantities or the cauliflower cheese (I'm now on the FODMAP diet, so even writing about this is killing me).


Feeling incredibly full and incredibly relaxed we booked ourselves into Farmhouse's cinema to see The Hateful Eight (which was very good, but not enough Channing Tatum and very sad when he gets his head blown off). As an Electric Cinema it obviously was a bit more special than the average experience with enormous chairs, cashmere throws and big glasses of wine on flow. I think we both had a snooze half way, which is no reflection on our thoughts on the film...


After that, it was time to collect the dog and go back to London... We had such a good time celebrating our "birthday" and had no idea how easy it was to get to from us - as lovely as it would be to stay there, people in London (as members) can easily get up there for the day. Thoroughly recommend it, details here.

This post was written in collaboration with Mr Porter.
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Tuesday

International Womens Day

So today is a day for the girls, but is it just me or has the word "feminist" got a bit lost of late?

As words go it doesn't present itself well. For a start most people think it means that women should be better/stronger than men. It doesn't, it means equality. I find it really difficult to gather an opinion on all things "women." I was raised in a "go get it" household, where my parents both worked and were very much a team. Mum went part time for a bit when we were little, but because it made sense - she was breastfeeding, she earned less than Dad (teacher vs city worker) and more to the point it was an option with her job. I very much hope to do the same thing...


I like to think that I believe in complete equality, but then I get a bit confused when it comes to chivalry; I really do think a man should pay for the first date, open doors when trying to impress, and I expect flowers at random every few months... That said, I also think a girl should pay for the second date and that in relationships things should be 50/50 (perhaps not day by day, but overall it should balance out). I'd also be lying if I hadn't used my femininity to my advantage at times (helpless girls at airports get much more help with their bags, and girls with lower t shirts pass driving tests - it's a fact).

None the less, I do look to my female friends for inspiration more than I do men. I don't know why, I just do. As it's International Womens' Day I thought I'd share a few of my favourite "influencers-with-humps" with you:

Nina and Meg - These are the kind of girls that prove that hard work pays off. Unbelievably intelligent, driven and talented, they finally came together to create A Day after working in Venture Capital and Private Equity respectively. I first met Meg when she was dating a friend from university, and Nina when I was first starting out working for myself. Whats super about them is they aren't afraid to share knowledge, contacts and experience - in fact they thrive off doing so. Their respectively wardrobes aren't bad either, and Meg and I share a shoe size. Handy.
Follow Nina here and Meg here on Instagram

Ginnie and Lauren - These two are just a bit super. For a start they were the first people to really give my blog any time of day and without them I really doubt I'd be writing this now. Lauren worked at My Wardrobe at the time and gifted me my first ever blog-gift (an Acne striped blazer which at the time I thought was incredible and now fear I resembled Uncle Sam). She was later behind the big blogger campaigns at Harrods, and has always seen the value in us little digital influencers... Ginnie took me out for my first breakfast and Whistles (her job at the time) were the first brand to put me on their website. They joined forces a year ago to create Aisle 8, a PR agency causing a bit of a storm here in London. Watch and learn... 
Follow Ginnie here and Lauren here on Instagram

Naomi - This lady is a rare gem; quietly seeking success in the fashion industry. Most people do it with such a fuss, parading their successes over social media. Not Naomi, and I always look to her when I get a "what am I doing?" moment. She simply believes in what she does (running The Lifestyle Edit) and knows there is a need for it because she researched the f*ck out of it. Everyone knows Naomi, but not necessarily from Instagram, but through well nurtured and fostered relationships. Saying that, her style is on point so I recommend a follow...
Follow Naomi here on Instagram

Erica, Jemima and Alice - these ladies really are a bit special because they show me that what I want is possible; to work and to "mum." I'm a way off it yet but I do worry that I'll be too selfish or too busy to ever find a time to go "right, and now for the kids." These ladies all work (and really do work) and all parent - and are really very good at both things. They also prove that you don't lose all sense of normality when you become a Mum, these three all hangover like a treat... Between the three of them, they provide me with a constant stream of notes for the future. Alice talks through single parenthood in the most brilliant way, Erica just moved to the country and Jemima walks us through life as a London mum...  If you're after some lighthearted (no reviews of nipple balms or photos of pre-prepared "perfect" parenting) "this is how we do it" ladies, these are your girls:
Follow Erica here, Jemima here and Alice here on Instagram
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Saturday

So Underwear Is Out

After a very hectic week I'm sat next to the fire at my parents' house and do not intend to move for the rest of the day. Lopez is at my feet and I'm spending the afternoon updating my Pinterest and planning blog posts, both things have been a little neglected of late. Having spied my way through some recent street style snaps I've noticed a bit of a trend for wearing camisoles as "outerwear." By that I mean, in place of a vest top. 

image: Pernille Teisbaek / tuxedo blazer, here / blue jeans, here / camisole, here (amazing find)

I can remember this trend the first around (showing my age). I have a vivid memory of Myleene Klass being snapped in one, and recall desperately stalking ASOS (as seen on screen as it was then) to find out where she got it from..! I don't particularly like my arms so rarely wear vests unless I'm on holiday (when I live in Tibi camis), but having seen the above image of Pernille Teisbaek in hers I realised if I paired them up with my jeans and blazers they could actually look really cool...

camisole, here / handbag, here / patent brogues, here / white trousers, here / black jacket, here

Camisoles don't all look like underwear, so don't be too put off if you're a bit of a prude (like me). These ones from Iris and Ink are a really good start. The only thing I'm a bit of a stickler for is quality; I can't stand that synthetic looking "silk" - it doesn't hang properly, and therefore doesn't fit well. This doesn't mean you need to spend a huge amount, you can find some good bargains at the moment like these from J Crew which are half price (the light blue and the dust grey are my favourites). Similarly these from And Other Stories, and these from Skin are really good finds... However the best and most surprising find was this from Next. £20!!!

My Edit:

to view the edit turn off you're ad blocker, or use these links: 1. black Protagonist at Net A Porter / 2. grey Equipment at Net A Porter (cashmere) / 3. light blue, J Crew / 4. black with feathers, Tibi at Net A Porter / 5. green Tibi at The OutNet / 6. black with lace, Next

More on the "investment" side of things Net A Porter is obviously a really good start. Old favourite names like Equipment have some goodies here and here (cashmere!), Tibi have some amazing new additions (this one with the feathers = its love) and then newer names to me like Protagonist have really good ones, this black one is gorgeous. Overall, it's definitely a look I'm going to be trying out for spring with my new black tuxedo blazer (from L.K Bennett, I'm obsessed).

I hope you guys have a wonderful, lazy weekend!
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