Sunday, 24 June 2012

My week in photos 5

So, this week has been pretty uneventful but I've loved every minute - plus it's flown by which can only mean one thing...four working days left til my holiday! I cannot wait to take a break, see my family and explore some places I've never been before - I'll be keeping you posted with my holiday prep and you can expect some holiday based blog posts in the very near future so watch this space.

For now, here's what I've been up to this week:
Clockwise from top left - Amazing burgers with The Boy and The Brother at Meat Liquor - The Houses of Parliament - The fountain in the Rose Gardens at Hyde Park - A stroll around Westminster - Friday dinner from You Me Sushi - First findings for the BT ArtBox project - Homemade apple and blueberry cobbler - Pretty roses in Hyde Park - Something old - Love this colour - The day I realised I might need to do something about my under-eye bags - Big Ben

Thursday, 21 June 2012

LOTD: Pretty in pink

Last week (for about five minutes) the sun came out so I decided to throw caution to the wind and wear my NW3 pink silk blazer that I bought last summer. Now, you may notice that in some of these images I'm cowering in a doorway, that's because it had inevitably started to rain again (don't you just love the British summer?) and I had to persuade The Boy to continue taking my photo whilst getting soaked through - I guess it must be love. I'm pretty pleased with this ensemble and hope to wear it again before we settled into Autumn (if that hasn't already happened).
Jacket - NW3
Vest - NW3
Bag - Hobbs
Trousers - Hobbs
Shoes - Dune
Belt - Primark

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Primark AW12 Preview

Last week a very interesting email dropped into my inbox offering up a preview of the AW12 goodies Primark have in-store for us in a few months/weeks time. Now, being a Primarni devotee I normally find quite a few things to catch my eye each season, but AW looks set to see me camping outside the Marble Arch store in the hope of nabbing almost all there is on offer. This season Primark, you've hit the nail on the head - see below for my selection so far.

 Clockwise from top left: Jacket £25 - Dress £26 - Trousers £14 - Shoes £12 - Bracelet £4 - Coat £tbc - Necklace £4 - Top £8 - Shirt £12 - Shoes £15

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Love List

I've come to the conclusion recently that I own far too much "stuff". This is something that I guess I've always known but lately, as I stuff another Ikea bag under the bed, I've realised that I can no longer even see the wood for the trees (or, amazing pair of wedges hidden under an old jumper - you get the picture). Therefore I have started what shall become known as The Big Wardrobe Clearout 2012 (not surprisingly Zsa already wants to stay over and help me with this). It's time to cut the crap and actually appreciate some of the truly timeless pieces I've bought over the years. Currently The Boy and I rent but when we have a place of our own I'd love to have a walk in wardrobe (and yes, I'm aware this will probably never happen but hey, a girl can dream right?) so I've been scouring the internet for storage solutions and Carolina Engman over at Fashion Squad has me mesmerized by her shoe storage. 

I mean, wow. Why can't my bedroom be like this? As far as I can see she's simply used Billy bookcases from Ikea which is such an accessible (and cheap) way to create a Hollywood wardrobe on a budget. Bravo Carolina, bravo.

Image by Fashion Squad

Katy over at Rotten Otters Thoughts has also got me thinking of new ways to store my make-up. I've been considering buying some of the clear perspex drawers that every make-up blogger seems to have but I'm worried that I'll get them really dirty REALLY quickly and would rather have something that's easier to clean. Therefore I'm planning on following Katy's lead (sorry Dad, this means another trip to Ikea) and pick up a Helmer drawer unit with some Antonius drawer inserts. Nice and organised and not offensive to the eye.

Image by Katy at Rotten Otters Thoughts

Also, in an effort to curb my frivolous spending altogether, I stumbled across this insightful blog by Jeff Atwood entitled Buying Happiness. This blog post focuses around how: "if you're fortunate enough to have a good income, how you spend your money has a strong influence on how happy – or unhappy – it will make you feel". 

Read it. And weep.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

I wish it was Sunday

I was feeling pretty low on Monday lunchtime (just the back to work blues, nothing to worry about) so went for a long walk to clear my head. The rain was pouring down (as usual) but I donned my Winter coat (that’s right, in June) and headed out to pound the pavements for an hour.
I needed to pop to M&S to buy some food for the week (I’ve not suddenly come into some money, it’s just that the M&S at Marble Arch is reduced food central, particularly on a Monday lunch time) so headed along Wigmore Street to avoid the crush of tourists near Marble Arch.
As I ambled along I remembered that my Dad had told me about* a Jubilee exhibition in the basement of Selfridges that was worth checking out so I popped in. I love Selfridges. I’d love to be able to spend my days ambling around the homewares section, indulging in my love of fashion, picking up some make up and grabbing some food to take home and devour. Sadly my budget is more Primarni and Asda (for now) so I scurried past all the temptations and headed for the Ultra Lounge on the lower ground floor.   
The exhibition is called The Big Britannica Exhibition and is based around seven fashion installations which take inspiration from three issues of Vogue magazine. Now, let me get this straight: I could have been in the V&A the exhibit was that well put together (curated by Judith Clark). I was only sorry that there were only seven installations, as I would have loved to while away the whole afternoon taking in more displays (rather than heading back to the office for some spreadsheet fun).
The Vogue issues the exhibit is based around were February 1951, 52 and 53 and were special issues entitled "Britannica", created to mark the time from the Festival of Britain up to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The issues focused primarily on Britishness and celebrated the post-war style and culture, reimagining traditions and embracing new ideas.
Each of the seven models wears a recreated Vogue pattern, and the setting shows a 1950s women and what she would wear in different scenarios throughout a day. I love all of the designs (the 1950s New Look silhouette has always been a favourite of mine) and it was interesting to see how much these styles and shapes are still very much relevant in today's fashionable world.
If you're in London, and need a break from the general craziness of Oxford Street, I'd recommend checking out The Big Britannica Exhibition for a spot of culture alongside your retail therapy (and this won't touch your bank balance) - but hurry, the exhibit is only on until 24th June.
*nagged me about going to

Monday, 11 June 2012

My week in photos 4

This week started off pretty hectic, beginning with the Solent University Graduate Fashion Show on Brick Lane and the Branch Merch Jubilee Lunch (organised by yours truly). Luckily for me I then had an entire week off - it has been bliss let me tell you.

Here's a snippet of what I've been getting up to:
 Pork pie anyone? - Jubilee graffiti in London town - Finally finished my book - Front row at the fashion show - Rollercoaster at Thorpe Park (i.e. me way out of my depth) - Amazing homemade lasagne for dinner on Friday night - Smallest ice cream van ever in Barnes - A (6 mile) walk in the woods - Cheesecake with strawberries - Doing a jigsaw (I'm definitely on holiday now) - Hammersmith bridge in the sunshine - The infamous Thorpe Park doughnuts

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Made in Chelsea

On Monday, following an eventful Jubilee weekend, The Boy and I decided to head out for a spot of ice cream in a passing patch of sunshine. We live pretty close to Holland Park (one of my favourite places in London) so took a stroll over to check out the Holland Park branch of Gelato Mio, an Italian ice cream store and cafe with eight locations around London.

I had passed different branches of the Gelato Mio on a number of occasions but had never actually been inside (even though I had been tempted by the delicious cones the customers were always walking away with). Having seen the cast of Made in Chelsea indulging in some ice cream sundaes from the one and only Gelato Mio in a recent episode, I decided that Monday was the day The Boy and I should finally see what all the fuss was about. Following a bit of a wander around the area, we popped inside (alas, all the outside seats were taken) and made our selections from the wide variety of flavours on offer.

I went for a Cookie Monster from the Goblets Menu, which came in a wafer "goblet" filled to the brim with deliciousness - namely Stracciatella, Cookies and Cream, Cookie Pieces and Caramel Sauce. One word: Yum. The Boy got highly confused with the ordering process (this is nothing new) but eventually chose to go for a selection of flavours (chocolate and caramel) in a cup. He then proceeded to "help me out" with mine.
 Find out more about Gelato Mio here.

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Love List

The weather has been really getting me down lately (this morning on my trip to the market I'm pretty sure I experienced all four seasons in the space of an hour) and this has led to me feeling "stuck in a rut" with my wardrobe. I find myself dieing to put on my summer sandals and dresses but whenever I do I'm left resembling a pack horse, usually carrying an umbrella, some spare shoes and a jacket "just in case" the heavens (inevitably) open. As usual, I'm relying on some of my favourite blogs for inspiration. One that never fails to reignite my passion for all things fashion is Style Scrapbook. Andy has such a strong sense of her own style and I must say, I love her look. Here's some of my favourites of Andy's looks from the month of May.

All images by Style Scrapbook

Andy even owns the Zara shirt that I've been lusting after for weeks (and this week finally bought). Can't wait to wear it with a pair of black trousers with a paper-bag waist and *shock horror* no jacket!

All this time stuck indoors due to the weather has got me thinking (yet again) about redecorating. I have a minor obsession with photo frames (there's just something about surrounding yourself with images of the ones you love that can't help but lift your mood) and this image (taken from The Decorista) have me wanting to rush out and buy even more. I love the look of a white wall with different sized frames grouped together. I can't wait until The Boy and I have a real place all of our own so I can let my imagination run wild (you can't tell can you?).

Image from The Decorista

Recently, Tamara over at Glam and Glitter 4ever has had me a) wishing I was on holiday, and b) heading to the gym pronto (I need her beach body ASAP). Seriously, it makes me sick that it's possible to look that good! That being said, I love Tamara's blog, she dresses really well and her blog always makes me want to step up my game in the style stakes - check it out if you love all things fashion.

As you know, this week I've been off work work and although I've been attempting to be healthy I am looking forward to the return of healthy eating next week when things get back to normal. I have generally been attempting a mix of weight watchers and elements of The Londoner's Anti-diet with little success (again, next week it's ALL GO) and am dieing to try her Skinny Shrimp Bowls, as they look delish and are super healthy.

 Image by The Londoner

You may get the impression that I'm thinking a lot about the way I look lately, and you'd be right. With Summer supposedly here, a marathon to run in a few months and many a wedding approaching, I want to get fit and feel good. Not that I don't feel good already. Having lost three and a half stone I'm pretty happy as I am, but I want to tone up and feel confident (even when wearing *gulp* a swimsuit). I am currently on my seventh day of the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred - watch this space to see how I get on!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

That Friday Feeling: F+F Pop Up Shop

Friday evening officially marked the beginning not only of the Jubilee weekend but (more importantly) my week off, and let me tell you I was ready for it. I haven't had any proper time off since Christmas (bar the odd day or two) and following a major work-related meltdown on Thursday, it's safe to say I was in need of a holiday.

Zsa and Rebecca were in much the same boat (done with work and ready for some "me" time) so the three of us headed to the (disappointing) Meadham Kerchoff event at Topshop on Oxford Circus, followed by the (much better) F+F Tesco Pop Up store at Covent Garden.

Advertising made for a cute backdrop - Summer brights - Gorgeous underwear - Zsa and Rebecca take a shine to some tailored trousers

The premise was simple: the store was essentially the F+F Clothing at Tesco website but in 3D form. You could look at, touch, even try on the clothes, but in order to purchase anything you needed to use one of the computers or iPads and purchase online - you could even arrange a collection for the following day from a local store. QR codes on the clothing tags even allowed you to scan products and buy them via your mobile phone. One word: Genius.
The Covent Garden Pop-Up store - Shades of Summer - Gorgeous dresses for little fashionistas - Get online in-store - The tribal trend - Looking in - Love this dress - The beautifully designed shop

I've always loved the F+F collection and when I lived with my parents the weekly food shop would inevitably end with me returning home laden down with fashion goodies (usually alongside copious amounts of 2-4-1 make up and bath products) which would be the envy of all my friends. I've never understood fashion-snobs who only shop in certain stores when there are clearly fashion gems to be found in the unlikeliest of places. My F+F studded leather jacket for example, is a few years old and well loved but was recently compared to the Marni for H&M version (and the best part is I'm pretty sure it cost me £12 in the sale). Living in London has meant I've been shopping at Tesco for clothing on a less frequent basis (due only to their being less stores locally that stock clothes) but whenever I have the chance I always pop in to see what's on offer, and am always impressed.
Gorgeous platform footwear - Bodycon for everyone - The summer colour palette at F+F - Cosmetics from The Vintage Cosmetic Company 

I was even able to walk away from the event with some gorgeous new lashes (which were supplied and expertly applied at the event by a girl from The Vintage Cosmetic Company) which helped lift-my-look from day to evening for my drinks date with The Boy. I was really impressed by the range of products The Vintage Cosmetic Company had on display (especially the brushes) and will definitely be making some purchases in the future (I just can't help myself when it comes to cosmetics).

I loved this event and it has truly reignited my love for fashion from F+F (I have already been filling my online basket). If, like me, you love a bit of F+F you can take advantage of an offer their currently running in conjunction with the Pop-Up and to celebrate the Jubilee where you can get 20% off of your order before June 10th by using the code 'JUBILEE.' Now that to me is a winner.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Random Wednesday: Burberry Brit White Collection Launch

A couple of weeks ago, Random Wednesday took me and the girls to the launch of the Burberry Brit White Collection at the Burberry Brit store in Covent Garden, to enjoy canap├ęs, cocktails and a preview of the new collection.

I was under no illusion that I would actually be able to buy anything (due in part to the brands high price point and largely to my low wage packet) but I love the Burberry brand and was interested to see what this range would be like. The breathable and lightweight fabrics and colour palette immediately gave this collection a different feel to what I usually associate with Burberry and overall I was impressed. Sadly, the only Burberry garment I own is a vintage trench coat I bought at a charity shop for £13 (winning) which I am considering selling on eBay due to it now being too big for me (also winning). And, due to my general clumsiness and love of food, I'm pretty sure the Burberry White range will always be out of my grasp. However, I often think that if I was one of those More Dash Than Cash women, Burberry would quickly become one of my go-to brands for all things timeless and stylish, as I love their designs and think they're one of the most innovative brands around.
The Burberry Brit Store - Bags and shoes from the current collection - a DJ to keep us entertained - Zsa and Rebecca peruse the merchandise (that's right, we like Kurt Geiger) - Lust-worthy bags - Innovative sunglasses - The Burberry Brit White Collection

This particular Wednesday should also be known as the day that Summer officially hit London town. I dressed accordingly in a dip-hemmed carboot sale dress that I have been dying to wear even since I bought it a few months back.

Dress - Miss Selfridge (via a Hampshire carboot sale)
Scarf - Primark
Bag - Hobbs
Shoes - Matalan
Sunglasses - Primark

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A right Royal celebration

I love the royal family, which means (if you're anything like me) this past weekend was pretty amazing. 

Living in London, the preparations for the Jubilee celebrations have been getting me excited for the past few weeks - passing the flags on Oxford Street every morning certainly put a patriotic spring in my step. My father clearly felt the same way and we both wanted to be able to say "I was there" for this once in a lifetime experience, so he and Mum traveled over on Saturday night to partake in the festivities.


Sunday dawned grey and dreary but we donned our cagoules, packed our flags and umbrellas and headed down to the waterfront to watch the flotilla. The streets were heaving with people hoping to catch a glimpse of Queenie but aside from a small amount of jostling (seriously, if you want to be at the front SET YOUR ALARM EARLIER) everyone was in high spirits. Sure, once you've seen one hundred boats they all start to look the same (particularly when you're standing in the freezing cold June drizzle, on a slope which has caused your right knee to completely seize up and you are majorly regretting not bringing a packed lunch) but the flotilla was pretty interesting all the same and I'm glad we braved the weather.

We finished the day with an extremely wet walk home via the Kings Road and Fulham Broadway, stopping for drinks in the Harwood Arms (more on that to follow), before having a delicious Jubilee picnic style tea back at the flat. It was a great weekend (aside from the weather) and it was lovely to see Mum and Dad for a few days (particularly when Dad buys dinner).

How did you spend the Jubilee weekend?

Monday, 4 June 2012

My week in photos 3

Summer has officially begun in London town and I am determined to make the most of every second in the sunshine (or the rain). Here's what I've been getting up to lately:
Got to love a spot of red nails and leopard print - What do you do when the sun comes out? Head to the rooftops of course! - Rose wine and sparkly nails - Cider and squashed blueberries in the sunshine - London prepares - Lush dinner made by The Boy (sausages with sweet potato wedges, yummers) - Free lunch courtesy of Barclaycard's one touch payment (don't mind if I do) - Loving the NW3 shop at Manchester House of Fraser
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