02.03.2015- My Month in Pictures: February

Monday, 2 March 2015

Phew!!! I know that February is the shortest month and everything, but the last four weeks have flown by in a complete flash, don't you think? However, I'm hoping that now March is here we can start looking forward to some spring sunshine, and I'm already far too excited to see some daffodils popping up in my garden. Hooray! Anyway, whilst I start tentatively packing away my knits, here's a little look at what my February featured:

Some beautiful Valentine's roses from Bloom & Wild!/One of the only bonuses of having a 6:15am alarm- seeing the sun come up/Getting some summer wardrobe inspiration at the Next Press Day/Finding unexpected benefits from being squashed on the train!/BAFTA prep!/Admiring the Cos windows from afar/Brunching at Bill's/Seeing The Scottsboro Boys again!/Beautiful floral installation at Victoria/New favourite shirt from Oliver Bonas/Sunset through the window/Game of Thrones box set joy!/Floral favourites in Zara/Anticipating the Oscars with the Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue/Spring blooms!/Feeling a bit 70s in my new favourite dress from Miss Selfridge.

All in all, the last month has been a definite whirlwind! I've got lots of lovely things in my diary for March too- including a visit to Savage Beauty at the V&A which I just can't wait for!

What have you been up to recently?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

24.02.2015- Brilliant Backpacks

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

I don't know if it's just me getting older, but as I start to streamline my wardrobe, I'm focusing on making purchases which are far more practical than many of my spur of the moment spends. As well as having a good old fashioned sort out of my clothes, I'm planning on tackling my accessories too- which means sifting through a mini mountain of shoes and hearty haul of handbags. Don't get me wrong, I'm still as obsessed with shopping as ever, but there's something pretty cathartic about 'out with the old and in with the new'- particularly if you're making space for some new investments which you've been saving up for. With a more practical slant to my shopping, it will probably come as no surprise that one of my current obsessions is easy to wear, reliable and seriously sturdy. Yep- I'm talking beautiful backpacks:

Grafea Backpack, £145, ASOS/Clean Smart Backpack, £34, Topshop/Clean PU Backpack, £32, Accessorize/Whistles Verity Cracked Leather Backpack, £95, Selfridges/Mansur Gavriel Camello Backpack, $745/Leather Rucksack, £49.99, Zara/Classic Nylon Molly Backpack, £185, Kate Spade/BDG Leather Backpack, £120, Urban Outfitters.

Up until recently, I'd been fairly convinced that backpacks were the preserve of the playground and something which I'd left well and truly behind me, along with compulsory maths, trying to tie a tie and falling off of my stool in science exams. Okay, perhaps the last one was just me, but nonetheless, in my mind the backpack was always synonymous with school, and more specially picking out a new one at the start of each school year from the Argos catalogue. However, over the last little while or so, they've had something of a style resurgence, and are now firmly fixed on my radar as the perfect alternative to the traditional tote. I've got a couple in my collection, but over recent months a few more favourites have well and truly caught my eye. This pastel pink design from Grafea has been on my Radar for a little while now, and is the perfect spring staple, as well as being a really refreshing alternative to some of the more muted tones which dominate my wardrobe. With that in mind, this metallic number from Topshop is another winner, particularly as it's a pretty sturdy piece too- ideal for packing in the essentials! 

Accessorize have got a bounty of beautiful new season pieces in at the moment, and this bold blue backpack is no exception. Again, it's a great way to update your existing favourites with a brilliant burst of colour. I stumbled across (completely by accident of course!), this Whistles style which is still part of the Selfridges sale- best make a move quickly if you're after it though, as I'm sure it won't stick around forever. 

I have no doubt that a Mansur Gavriel bag will be on everyone's wish list this year, and I'm determined to save my pennies for one (although how successful this will be is anyone's guess!) Their totes and bucket bags are beautiful, but it's this backpack which has well a truly caught my eye as it's so simple yet really smart too. On a slightly more affordable (and available) note is this Zara piece- a lovely, light addition to any spring wardrobe. If you're after a truly versatile investment, then you'd be hard pushed to go wrong with this Kate Spade style as it's an instant classic. Finally, a slightly larger piece from Urban Outfitters- perfect if, like me, you find it nigh on impossible to leave the house with everything but the kitchen sink! 

Are you a fan of the backpack?

(Image credit: ASOS, Topshop, Accessorize, Selfridges, Mansur Gavriel, Zara, Kate Spade and Urban Outfitters.)

22.02.2015- Spring Favourites

Sunday, 22 February 2015

With the arrival of spring hopefully just a whisper away, my thoughts are once again turning to welcoming the new season with open arms. As I'm typing this, I'm dosed up on Nurofen and surrounded by tissues as I've once again come down with another cold, so I'll be glad to see the back of the chilly weather in favour of some much needed Vitamin D and overall 'getting better' time- something which always feel like so much less of a battle when the days are longer and the sun sticks around for more than five fleeting minutes. Anyway, in anticipation of things getting a little bit brighter, I've been reaching for some spring-themed favourites:

Chanel's  Coco Mademoiselle perfume has been a favourite of mine since I tried my first bottle when I was about sixteen years old. Whilst it's totally terrifying that that occasion is almost ten years ago (!!!), my love for the scent still remains as strong as it was on day one- although now it's become more of a special treat than something to spritz every day. The light floral notes are perfect for spring, and, for me, it's a scent which is synonymous with a sense of happiness and optimism- soppy, I know, but that's one of the most powerful things about perfume, don't you think? Painting my nails is one of those things which I never seem to find enough time to get round to on a regular basis, but with lighter evenings on the horizon, I'm hoping it's something which I can find a spare moment or two for. Essie's Lilacism remains one of my favourite shades, and there's something about the lovely pale pastel hue which fits in perfectly with a spring colour palette year after year.

Believe it or not (I know I don't!), this weekend marks the one year anniversary of my trip to Essaouira, Morocco with some of my favourite blogging ladies. I'm sure I've posted more than enough about my undying love for the culture, the food and everything about the trip- including discovering Argan Oil and becoming well and truly converted. Over here, it's once again very much in the realms of treat territory (why so pricey?!!), so I've been looking for some other beauty buys with which to bridge the gap- and Ren's Moroccan Rose Otto Body Lotion fits the bill perfectly. Not only is it beautifully fragranced, but it's also ideal for combating winter skin woes too. Finally, a little update for my phone in the shape of this gorgeously designed case from Rifle Paper Co- needless to say, I can't wait for the garden to look as bloomin' colourful!

Have you dug out any spring favourites of late?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

18.02.2015- Most Wanted: Glorious Ganni

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Regular readers will know that I'm a massive fan of Ganni, and have been since discovering their super cool Scandi-chic aesthetic just over a year or so ago. I'm very lucky to have a few of their gorgeous designs in my wardrobe, and it's pretty safe to say that there's not a week which goes by without me paying multiple visits to their website to see which new pieces I can add to my wish list. With spring so very nearly sprung, I'm planning on having a serious sort out over the next few weeks, and finally getting round to clearing out my wardrobe. I'm still clinging on to bits and bobs from eons ago just on the off chance that I'll get round to wearing them, so I think it's safe to say that it's well and truly time to get a little bit ruthless. Also, by the unwritten law of wardrobe logic, having a sort out means that it's perfectly acceptable to invest in some new pieces- and my pick of the crop comes from Ganni's SS15 collection:

Printed Kimono, £115/Manhattan Sweater, £90/San Pedro Shirt, £90/Sunset Dungarees, £170/Gold Shopper, £170/Santa Monica Dress, £115/Gemma Silk Top, £115/Gardena Georgette Shirt, £90/iPhone Case, £12

Towards the end of last summer, you might remember that I became something of a kimono convert, and the one which I picked up from Ganni's sale remains a real favourite. This monochrome design is another cracker, and the simple shape coupled with the bold print makes it the perfect statement piece- as well as a brilliant transitional investment. Sports Luxe is a trend which I really want to try and experiment with a bit more, and this chic sweater taps into the effortless cool of that aesthetic perfectly. Well and truly added to my shopping list!

Regular readers will know that I'm a huge fan of prints, and this shirt ticks all of the right boxes, don't you think? It's a lovely new season breath of fresh air, and ideal for teaming with some old favourites too. It seems that there are few trends as devisive as dungarees, and if I'm being completely honest, with the exception of the pair which I lived in as a toddler, I've only had bad experiences with them. However, that's not to say that the perfect pair aren't out there somewhere- and these ones look like a pretty safe bet to me. One to ponder over a bit more I think! As well as their ready to wear, I'm also a big fan of Ganni's accessories, and this gold tote is the perfect, characterful bag for every day. Plus, on a purely practical note, it looks more than big enough to accommodate all of my essentials!

Although day to day I tend to live in jeans, when the weather starts to get a bit warmer, I think I'll be reaching for a few more dresses of a morning, and this navy blue number is ideal for mastering smart/casual effortlessly. I love the feminine, frilly detailing too. Back to printed blouses (if it ain't broke and all that), this black silk design is another smart staple which would undoubtedly prove to be a real investment. On the same note, this Gardena style is perfect for spring, and a really versatile piece which has serious styling potential. Finally, if you're looking to give your gadgets a new season makeover, search no more- this lovely floral phone case has got you covered- literally!

Are you a fan of Ganni?

(Image credit: Ganni.)

16.02.2015- Beauty Buys: Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil

Monday, 16 February 2015

Over the years, my eyebrows and I have had a somewhat topsy turvy relationship. From the early, unkempt, wouldn't look out of place in a Marx brothers film combination, to the over-plucked, tadpole like twins which adorned my face during secondary school, we've been through pretty much every extreme that there is. After discovering a pair of tweezers when I was about 13, it's fair to say that I got a little bit carried away- as I think most overzealous teenagers tend to when you're confronted with the possibility of being able to change your appearance without going to the extreme of reaching for a bottle of hair dye or getting a tattoo. Okay, perhaps they're not exactly the same, but if you struggled with some serious caterpillar brows like I did, then I'm sure you'll understand the overwhelming temptation which tweezing presents. So, suffice it to say that I was left with very sparsely defined brows by the time the end of school approached- something which, in hindsight, was a definite grooming gaffe on my part. Now, a fair few years later, I've managed to get back a lot of the shape which I lost (seriously, does anyone else think that tweezers should come with a public health warning??!), and only get plucking when things are looking a little bit unkempt. I've also come across a pretty special (not so secret!) weapon which is an absolute dream in helping to define things a little bit more clearly:

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, £26, Space NK

Before I started using this, I was more than a little bit skeptical about how essential an eyebrow pencil was, but now I think it's pretty safe to say that I wouldn't be without it. It's perfect for just adding a little bit more emphasis to the natural shape and contour of the brow, and the colour matching (I'm soft brunette) is pretty spot on too. For someone who is as clumsy as I am, it's also really easy to handle, and the shaping of the pencil itself makes it more or less impossible to be too heavy handed. I reach for this most mornings, just to fill in a few gaps here and there, and to give my browns a little bit more definition. The brush is also a real bonus, ideal for teasing out the otherwise tricky to tame on bleary-eyed mornings!

Have you tried any eyebrow products?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)
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