28.11.2014- Do Your Bit with a Knit!

Friday, 28 November 2014

With December lurking just over the horizon, and prospective Christmas presents a plenty filling the shops, things are definitely feeling festive, don't you think? Over recent years, something which has become as much of a Christmas tradition as mince pies, fairy lights and waking up at the crack of dawn to unwrap all sorts of goodies is Christmas Jumper Day, held in support of Save the Children. The first one was a few years ago and since it started, the day has become phenomenally successful. The premise is simple- donate £2 to Save the Children and wear your festive fashions with pride on Friday 12th December. This year's event looks set to be the biggest to date- and it's become even more fashion friendly thanks to those canny people over at Atterley Road:

This festive season, they're encouraging us all to 'Do Your Bit with a Knit', teaming up with some of Britain's most beloved and creative designers and amazing knitwear brand Wool and the Gang to concoct some very special, one off pieces which will be available to buy for £99. All of the proceeds will be donated to Save the Children, and what's more you'll be able to get your hands on a one off designer piece at the same time. What's even more exciting is the fact that each sale is secret- so you won't know who designed your jumper until it arrives on your doorstep. With designers involved including Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders and Mother of Pearl, as well as current students at the London College of Fashion, this really is a completely unique opportunity to own a piece of design history, whilst doing something amazing for charity at the same time. 

The sale starts at 9am on 3rd December with just one limited edition run of each jumper available- so make the world better with a sweater and head over to the Atterley Road blog for more details! 

Will you be celebrating Christmas Jumper Day?

(Image credit: Atterley Road)

25.11.2014- Christmas Wishes: Winter Warmers

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

So, here we are again at the zenith of another year, getting ready to celebrate the festive season and indulge in lots of special treats. After falling head over heels in love with John Lewis' Monty (I know, I know, I'm definitely not the only one..!), and getting ahead of the game with some pressie purchases, I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing my pick of some of the best bits and pieces which the shops have to offer this Christmas- and I'm kicking things off with some suitably cosy creature comforts:

Hooded Luxury Dressing Gown, £39.50, Marks and Spencer/Malin Roll Neck Jumper, £125, Reiss/Finest Flavoured Black Tea Selection, £10, Whittard/Zenobia Cup & Saucer, £42, Whittard/Kingswood Rose Pyjama Set, £50, Cath Kidston/Heattech Polo Neck Shirt, £12.90, Uniqlo/Rosebud Hot Water Bottle, £18, John Lewis/Lumie Bodyclock Starter, £59.99, Boots/Women's Cosy Slippers, £30, The White Company

One of the few redeeming qualities which winter has to offer is the fact that the chilly turn in temperatures definitely justifies plenty of duvet days. I've mentioned more than a few times in the past that I tend to go into hibernation mode as soon as the clocks go back, so for me the winter months are prime pyjama time. This gorgeous dressing gown from the Rosie for Autograph range at Marks and Spencer is an essential winter warmer if ever I saw one- and I'm sure I'm not the only one wishing it was socially acceptable to wear something like this to I?

With winter warmers on the brain, this knit from Reiss is another seasonal essential which is firmly at the top of my Christmas list. The winter white offers such a lovely, refreshing alternative to so many of the darker hues which are in the shops at the moment, and the roll neck makes it the perfect, timeless basic for layering up too. As well as spending as much time as possible in my pyjamas during the winter months, the dip in temperature also offers the perfect excuse to indulge in plenty of luxurious, warming drinks. Whilst a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows will always be a winter favourite, over recent years I've become a real fan of tea- and these little caddies from Whittard are the perfect present, don't you think? For a touch of sophisticated sipping, look no further than this cup and saucer set- a truly elegant way to indulge! 

Speaking of pyjamas, it's something of a festive tradition in my house to treat yourself to a new set for the Christmas season. These ones from Cath Kidston caught my eye as I adore the print and the fabric is super warm too, making them both pretty and practical- double whammy, eh Santa?!!! I mentioned in my last outfit post that I've recently invested in my first set of thermals- and they are proving to be real essentials, particularly for those all too regular occasions when I find myself standing out in the cold waiting for trains. In the spirit of protecting myself from the chill as much as possible, I've popped some of Uniqlo's amazing Heattech pieces onto my Christmas list- and this Breton style top is a real fashion friendly, practical purchase for this time of the year, don't you think?

A hot water bottle is another real winter essential, and I love the whimsical floral print on this one from John Lewis. Hand in hand with wanting to hibernate during the winter comes the serious problem of getting up when it's still pitch black outside. It's funny- as I've gotten older I seem to be finding it increasingly tricky to prize myself out of bed in the mornings, so much so that I'm seriously considering investing in one of these amazing sunlight alarm clocks, designed to wake you up in a more gentle, natural way than being blasted out of bed by the radio. It's got to be worth a try! Finally, for me winter is synonymous with cold hands and freezing feet (#lowbloodpressureproblems), so I'm always on the lookout for purchases which promise to keep me warm- and these gorgeous slippers from The White Company fit the bill perfectly. 

Which pieces are on your Christmas wishlist? 

(Image credit: Marks and Spencer, Reiss, Whittard, Cath Kidston, Uniqlo, John Lewis, Boots and The White Company)

22.11.14- On the Menu: Polpo, Soho

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Now that I'm on the cusp of being a 25 year old 'grown up', it's fair to say that my tastes have changed a lot. Much in the same way as my shopping habits have evolved, I've also found myself becoming far more of a foodie too. Whether it's exploring Borough Market (one of my absolute favourite places), or ticking restaurants off of my dining out bucket list, getting gastronomical is well and truly one of my favourites pastimes. Last Saturday, in celebration of Hannah's birthday, myself and some blogging buddies headed along to Polpo in Soho- and their menu was well and truly the stuff which (foodie) dreams are made on...

Nestled a five minute walk away from the chaos of Oxford Steet, the Soho Polpo (the original branch!) is small but perfectly formed. We managed to nab a table downstairs, which was a lot quieter and far more relaxed than the frenzy of the first floor, particularly at lunchtime on a busy Saturday. The menu is simple, consisting of small sharing plates, with favourites such as pizzette sitting alongside dishes like braised octopus, cured meats and Italian breads. Relaxed, informal and flavoursome, this is a selection which really lets the food do the talking. I chose a cured pork shoulder and pickled pepper pizzette, with the paper thin base really allowing the toppings to come into their own- definitely recommended if you're a fan of food which packs a punch! My next choice was chilli and garlic prawns- a staple favourite from when I'm enjoying tapas, but not something which I'd tried served in Polpo's signature style. The rocket and chilli salad provided the perfect contrast to the sweet, delicately cooked prawns, which were served very generously- definitely a dish which I'd recommend. Finally, no eating out experience is complete without dessert- and Lily's recommendation of chocolate salami was inspired; perhaps the most incredible pudding I've ever had, and the kind of food which you could enjoy from here until the end of the world without any qualms at all!

Overall, Polpo gets a huge thumbs up from me, and I'm already planning a return visit...but until then I'm investing in the cookbook!

Have you eaten out anywhere special recently?

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

18.11.2014- Birthday Wishing

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

As I mentioned when I rounded up my October in pictures, come the start of December I'll be turning the grand old age of 25. Perhaps not that much of a significant turn of events, but the quarter century is the last 'proper' birthday before I'll have to start behaving like a grown up, so I'm hoping to make the most of it. Although I'm a firm believer in the 'age is just a number' philosophy, 25 seems to be a bit of a milestone, particularly looking back on the last year and how much has changed- more on that to come, I'm sure. We all know that I'm a self confessed granny in waiting, so I'm pretty sure that my birthday celebrations will be anything but raucous, but I've definitely got my eye on a few pretty pieces which I think I'll be treating myself to: 

Bella Freud Ginsberg is God Jumper, £280, Harvey Nichols/Medium Eva Backpack, £450, Lulu Guinness, Sagittarius Charm Bangle, £50, Kate Spade/Kiss a Prince Infinity Studs, £40, Kate Spade/Kiss a Prince Infinity Pendant, £40, Kate Spade/Cosmic Carnival Pyjama Top, £118 and Bottoms, £98, Beautiful Bottoms/Molly Hatch Desk Clock, £22, Anthropologie/Kate Spade New York Book, £17, Amazon/Abacrombie Brogues, £165, Russell & Bromley/Monogram Crest Journal, £22, Anthropologie.

Now that #winteriscoming, my day to day wardrobe is pretty dominated by knitwear. Whilst I've amassed a sturdy selection of basics, over the last few years my head has been well and truly turned by Bella Freud's statement designs. Effortlessly chic and super cool, this is the sort of piece which is a real investment- and something which definitely falls under the sensible adult umbrella. I've been in the market for a 'grown up' bag for ages now too, and since picking up my most recent purchase from Warehouse, I've been well and truly converted to the backpack pack. There are some seriously stylish designs in the shops at the moment, and for sheer practicality alone they get a huge thumbs up from me. This Lulu Guinness design has been in my sights for a little while, as I love the slightly more structured, vintage inspired feel- making it technically two bags for the price of one- am I right?

With statement accessories on the brain, it will probably come as no surprise that I'm well and truly in love with yet more pieces from Kate Spade. Their UK online shop launched properly a few weeks ago, and since then I've been browsing morning, noon and night. This star sign bangle has birthday written all over it (such a great gift idea!), and these co-ordinating earrings and necklaces are simple, chic and subtle. It's probably a sign of my age that the prospect of a new set of pyjamas is secondary only on the excitement scale to someone offering to make me a cup of tea. Winter is all about duvet days and spending as much time in my pyjamas as possible- and this pair from Beautiful Bottoms are a prospect which is too tempting to resist. I know, I know- they're a little on the pricey side- but if you can't treat yourself when it's your birthday, then when can you? With all things sleep related on the brain- what better way to wake up than with this clock from Anthropologie? Ideal for easing you into the morning in style.

Another favourite winter pastime is snuggling up with a good book- and, looking forward, I'm determined that 2015 is the year that I get round to reading more. I can think of no better book to kick off with than Kate Spade's Places to Go, People to See- not only the perfect, vibrant antidote to the winter blues but also choc-full of travel inspiration. With resolutions on the brain, I've already promised myself that next year I'm going to try and write as much as possible- not only for here but also on some other ideas which I've got brewing and which have been on the back burner for far too long. The prospect of a monogrammed notebook from Anthropologie is definitely sealing the deal too! Finally, in my seemingly infinite quest for a pair of shoes which don't leak, I've finally come to the conclusion that a hardy pair of brogues seems to be the solution to my winter weather footwear faux pas- and these Russell & Bromley ones are a definite style staple in waiting.

Have you made any wishlists recently?

(Image credit: Harvey Nichols, Lulu Guinness, Kate Spade, Beautiful Bottoms, Anthropologie, Amazon and Russell & Bromley.)

16.11.2014- Great Boden in Bloom

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Boden SS15 Press Day. Now that we're in the midst of winter, the opportunity to pep up my day with a peek at lots of lovely new season pieces was a really welcome one, particularly as I'm a huge fan of the way that Boden theme their press days. This time around, the mood of the day was 'Great Boden in Bloom', with plenty of pretty florals and botanicals brewed up to evoke a perfect picture of springtime:

One of the first things which struck me as I made my way through the doors of Rook & Raven was the smell- with fragrant florals filling the air, it really was like I had taken a step into a garden in full bloom. As always, the styling of the location and the pieces was beautiful- with the botanical theme evoked through fresh flowers, vegetables and gorgeously green grass. My green fingered fancies were seriously indulged, as I found myself admiring the beautiful array of blooms and horticultural hallmarks almost as much as the array of pieces on display- particularly as the lovely ladies from Bloom & Wild were on hand with their signature bouquets!

From season to season, Boden always come up trumps with collections which offer wearable, everyday essentials alongside some more trend led designs. You might remember that their AW14 range really caught my eye thanks to the variety colour on display- and the same is true of the SS15 offering. As well as taking a more obvious theme and really running with it, this collection was punctuated by a series of standout pieces which conjure up bright summer days. Basic shirts are injected with a new sense of vibrancy thanks to an array of signature, eye-catching prints, and occasion wear offers a relaxed, comfortable, breezy feel with effortless shapes and the perfect balance of detail. Standout accessories come in the form of statement sunglasses, embellished bags and sandals which simply scream 'summer holiday'- and I for one am seriously sold!

A big thank you to Boden for the invitation- roll on SS15!

What do you think of this collection? Are you looking forward to spring?

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