27.01.2015- Spring Shopping: Fresh Florals

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

In my book, you can't beat a burst of florals to welcome in the spring. Whilst, in the immortal words of Miranda Priestly, they may not be groundbreaking, there's no doubt that they're a real seasonal failsafe, and are perfect for pepping up transitional favourites too. One of my favourite things about the change in seasons is being able to rediscover some of my favourite prints at the back of my wardrobe, as well as browsing for some new key pieces in the shops and online. With brighter days and warmer weather (hopefully!) just around the corner, I've been eagerly keeping my eyes trained for the pick of the floral crop springing up- and so far I've found a real bounty of beautiful, botanically inspired pieces:

Poppy Print Jacket, £60, Warehouse/Flower Pussybow Blouse, £38, Topshop/Dutch Master Floral Print Trouser, £20, Oliver Bonas/Shadow Floral 2 in 1 Dress, £55, Oasis/Laura Mercier Cheek Melange, £32, Space NK/Winter Garden Navy Watch, £75, Olivia Burton/Hotpotch Trainers, £59, Boden/Blue Flower Statement Necklace, £28, Warehouse/Pretty Flower Ring, £6, Accessorize/Gardena Georgette Blouse, £70, Ganni/90s Black Floral Sweatshirt, £25, Rokit.
This poppy print jacket from Warehouse rocketed to the top of my wish list as soon as I saw it. Not only does it incorporate a really stylish, ultra modern long line, but the print is really unique and packs a punch without proving too overwhelming. It's also a really versatile investment, and ideal for styling with some simple tailoring, or with jeans for a slightly more relaxed feel. Much like the humble shirt, the basic blouse is another largely unsung wardrobe hero of mine, and this design from Topshop is simple, chic and sophisticated. I love the painterly feel of the print, and the subtle colourway makes it the perfect piece with which to bridge the gap between winter and spring in your wardrobe.

I've posted on countless occasions in the past about my love for the floral trouser- the many pairs in my collection are, without doubt, some of my most worn wardrobe staples. This pretty pattern from Oliver Bonas caught my eye in their sale- what an absolute steal! I'm already eyeing them up in preparation for the arrival of the warmer weather- it pays to be optimistic after all! In recent weeks I've also noticed that there's a definite gap in my wardrobe for some new season dresses- and this chic design from Oasis ticks all of the right boxes. I adore the sophisticated pattern and the shape is perfect for carrying through from winter.

With the arrival of spring, I'm sure I'm not the only one who reaches for some new season beauty buys. This gorgeous Laura Mercier palette is the perfect purchase if you're looking for a fresher face-and the floral theme is ultra pretty too. If you're looking for something slightly more subtle, then search no further than this lovely Olivia Burton watch- ideal for adding a splash of spring chic to your perennial style favourites. You might remember that back towards the end of last year, I fell in love with the bevy of botanical designs at Boden's SS15 press day. Whilst I'm waiting for some of my favourite pieces to appear online, I'm biding my time by pining away for these amazing printed trainers- an ideal purchase if you're looking for a practical punch of colour to see out these dull winter days in style- and perfect if you're always on the go. If you can't quite bring yourself to bid farewell to some of your woollen warmers just yet, then adapting them for the transition into spring with some key accessories couldn't be easier. This gorgeous statement necklace from Warehouse offers an instant update to your wardrobe staples, and this pretty pink ring from Accessorize is a lovely subtle touch, don't you think?

Now, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is eagerly anticipating the arrival of warmer days if only to be able to leave the house without being wrapped up in layer upon layer. This Ganni blouse just screams out for 'no coat' days, and the delicate print is a really refreshing change from so many of the darker, solid block colours which make up the majority of my winter wardrobe. Definitely one which I'm adding to my shopping list! Finally, if you're after something unique and full of character, look no further than this vivid sweatshirt from Rokit- the perfect purchase to make now if you really can't wait for spring. 

Are you looking forward to waving goodbye to winter? 

(Image credit: Warehouse, Topshop, Oliver Bonas, Oasis, Space NK, Olivia Burton, Boden, Accessorize, Ganni and Rokit.)

25.01.2015- Bookmarked: #GIRLBOSS

Sunday, 25 January 2015

With my resolution to read more (and also to break the awful habit which I have of starting a book only to leave it lying around unfinished..) well and truly underway, one of the tomes which I've found myself regularly reaching for since the start of the year is #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, a no holds barred, fierce as you like look at Amoruso's journey from serial job hopper to owner of Nasty Gal- one of the most successful start-up online businesses of recent years. Refreshingly honest, funny and full of wonderful pearls of wisdom, it's a real page turner and something which I've found pretty impossible to put down...

#GIRLBOSS is not only a really fun read, but it's also something which made me laugh out loud at the turn of almost every page. Sophia Amoruso's candid humour and frank firsthand insight gives this book so much character- something which is completely infectious and left me with a grin on my face whenever I picked it up. That's not to say that it's not without moments of pathos- the great thing about this first person account is that it affords a really emotive insight into the sheer bloodymindedness, hard work and determination required to make Nasty Gal so phenomenally successful.

Punctuated with punchy advice from Amoruso and her fellow #GIRLBOSSES, this is a book which also does wonders for kick starting your motivational mojo. With pithy, memorable mantras like 'be your own idol' and 'treat your mind like your money- don't waste it' ringing in your ears long after you've turned the final page, it's definitely an inspirational read- and one which I know I'll be returning to when I need a pep talk. The beauty of Amoruso's succinct, conversational writing is that you feel like you're engaged in a chat with her whenever you pick #GIRLBOSS up- and the positive, can do attitude which runs across each page is completely infectious. So, if you're determined to do something radical this year, or are just looking for something to get your mind into kickass mode, then #GIRLBOSS is definitely a great tool to see you started in seriously sassy style. Founded on gut feeling, instinctive insight and the feel the fear and do it anyway motto, it's definitely helped me to turn down that annoying little voice in the back of my mind which so often talks me out of doing things- and I know it seems silly to call a book life changing, but the lessons of #GIRLBOSS are just that. After all, 'a #GIRLBOSS is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it.'

Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What did you think?

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

21.01.2015- What I Wore Today #211

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I don't know about you, but one of the colours which the mere mention of January seems to conjure up in my mind is blue. In my case, largely blue fingers and toes thanks to the drop in temperature (brr!), but also blue in the sense that this time of the year really isn't my favourite (I promise I'll stop harping on about it soon!) Dark mornings, dark evenings, a purse which is crying out for some spare pennies (January, why so long?!!) and feeling a little bit run down really aren't helping things, but with only a few weeks to go until this most dreaded of months is behind us for another year, I'm seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Whilst I've spent most of my free time this month hibernating, over the weekend it seemed like a wise decision to make the most of the sunshine- and to keep the chill at bay, I reached for a seasonably suitable shade:

Coat- Topshop 
Jeans- American Apparel 
Shoes- Vans (via & Other Stories) 
Bag- c/o Atterley Road
Watch- Michael Kors c/o John Lewis

This coat was one of my few end of season sale purchases- I'd walked passed and gazed at it longingly in the window of Topshop on The Strand for a fair few months, so when I spied it had been reduced to over half price in their sale, I snapped it up in a heartbeat. The colour is a really lovely antidote to so many of the darker pieces which tend to make up my staple winter wardrobe, and the oversized duster style sits perfectly alongside my current relaxed, slouchy shapes of choice. Here I teamed it with some old faithfuls in the shape of my American Apparel jeans, and stripey Zara knit, alongside my new favourite bag from Atterley Road. These Vans are the latest addition to my footwear collection, and were only £20 in the & Other Stories sale- definitely a bargain which was too good to resist, especially as I've been after a plain pair for ages!

Have you picked up any bargains of late?

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

19.01.2015- Beauty Buys: Foreo Luna Mini

Monday, 19 January 2015

At this time of the year, it can be tricky to make resolutions which are realistic to stick to. Let's be honest, trying to give up chocolate when there are still festive selection boxes lurking about the house is more or less impossible. Living on nothing but salad and fresh air in the middle of winter is also something which is a tad impractical- and putting your willpower to the test during what tends to be a pretty trying (not to mention long!) month is definitely not something which can prove a real challenge. With that in mind, a few years ago I decided to make my resolutions a little bit more relaxed- incorporating things which are realistic and which I know I'll benefit from. As silly as it seems, one of the promises which I made to myself a little while back was to take better care of my skin- investing in my Clarisonic and settling on a routine which relied less on picking up whatever was on special offer in Boots and more on investing in some top quality products which ticked all of the right boxes. Now, a little while later, with some lifestyle changes under my belt, I'm revisiting that resolution- this time around with another investment buy:

Foreo Luna Mini, Feel Unique

Now then, this is quite the tricky product to describe- but it's essentially a sonic system which is designed to gently cleanse at a deeper level than just a basic wash and buff. I've been tending to think of it as a happy medium between foaming face wipes and my Clarisonic- and the brilliant thing about this is that it's perfect for everyday use, targeting the environmental stressors which tend to make my face flare up. I still reach for my Clarisonic once a week or so (usually on a Sunday evening), and the Foreo Luna Mini has been a real boon to my existing routine- if you live or work in the city then this is absolutely perfect for lathering away the nasties from the day, every day. It's really gentle, and on a practical level is ultra easy to use as it's compact, fully waterproof and seems to have a really long battery life. I've been using it for about a month or so now and have noticed a huge difference, both in terms of how my skin appears overall as well as a serious reduction in flare ups. So, if you've resolved that 2015 is going to be a glowing one, or are just looking for a winter boost, I couldn't recommend this little gadget more.

Have you tried any new beauty products recently?

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

16.01.2015- Life Lessons: Stress Less (..or trying to!)

Friday, 16 January 2015

With all the hubbub and humdrum which the start of a new year brings with it, there's no doubt that things can get pretty stressful. Whether you're settling into a new fitness routine, are struggling to adjust to getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas break, or are just counting down the minutes until payday, January seems to be one of the worst months for feeling down/getting stressed/being tired/all of the above. So, with that in mind, I've made a conscientious effort to be kinder to myself this year- less pressure, more easy going- you get the gist. Easier said than done, however, with day to day events which threaten to send you into Hulk mode (train delays, I'm looking at you!), so I've put together a little selection of tip top essentials which are real relaxation must haves:

Pride & Prejudice, Anthropologie/Deep Sleep Duo, This Works/Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum, Aesop/Rosewater Balancing Mist, Jurlique

As one of my goals for the year ahead is to read more, I'm a definite believer in getting lost in a good book to help you relax. Whether it's a classic like Pride & Prejudice, or something with an artier feel (like the Kate Spade book which I'm working my way through at the moment), making some time to turn off your technology and enjoy a good page turner is a really effective way of winding down at the end of the day. Another instant relaxation aid comes in the shape of the This Works Deep Sleep Duo, which the lovely Hannah got for me for Christmas. The aromatherapy pillow spray is a real treasure, and it's completely surprised me in terms of how much of a difference it's made to my quality of sleep. The accompanying rollerball is also super soothing, so well worth trying out if you've been having some sleepless nights of late.

I don't know about you, but at the end of a busy day, one of the things which I look forward to the most is treating my skin to a good old cleanse. I'll be posting about a new skincare saving discovery soon, but, until then, I'm more than content to sing the praises of a dynamic go to duo, which I tend to reach for religiously a few times per week. The Jurlique Rosewater balancing mist is something which I use regularly to pep up my skin and give it an instant injection of moisture, and it's brilliantly soothing for when I'm feeling tired, stressed, or am having a bit of a flare up. Aesop's Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum has been a firm favourite of mine for a good few years now, and in my books, it's something of a miracle worker. Definitely worth investing in if you feel in need of some midwinter tlc!

What are your favourite stress busters?

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