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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

THE SUMMER DRESS


There are several things I look for when seeking out the perfect, versatile summer dress. Not just a dress that's pretty - a dress that is also practical. The swiss army knife of summer dresses. My list of requirements reads something like this; 

Must be; airy, breathable and an appropriate length so I won't fear I'm flashing the world. Preferably printed to minimise the look of inevitable coffee and chocolate stains. Also preferably wedding or summer occasion appropriate in case I'm ever in a pinch and need to be garden party ready with minimal notice. 

I'm pretty sure this powder blue, polka dotted dress from Laura Ashley fits the bill. It's 97% cotton so my airy and breathable bullet point is well and truly ticked there. I also love the cascading polka dots - they aren't predictably placed which is something that really stood out to me about the print and makes it a lot more fun. It's also definitely fitting for several summer occasions; from barbecues to dog walks, garden parties to the races - just pop a fascinator on top and you're transformed! 

On this occasion, I threw on a wide brimmed straw hat and a little round back (which mirrored the polka dots quite nicely I thought) and I was ready to wander around the gardens of a local stately  home and indulge in a slice of cake - all without worrying that the tiny Victoria Sponge jam stain on my skirt was suuuper obvious. Printed dresses are really quite heroic - the saviour of all little, annoying stains that usually happen 5 minutes after leaving the house.

What do you look for when searching for a summer dress? Do you have a list of requirements or do you throw caution to the wind and grab whatever takes your fancy? 

Dress: Laura Ashley.

Thank you to Laura Ashley for sponsoring this blog post. 

Monday, 26 March 2018

SPRUCING UP FOR SPRING - HOMEWARE EDITION

Faux Flowers: here. 
Mini Hurricane Lamp: here.
Mirrored Tray: here.
Trinket Box: here.
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For a lot of us, spring is a time to make changes. Whether it be a traditional spring clean, some new wardrobe additions or the dreaded and unavoidable changing of the clocks (the rubbish one where we lose an hour - but hey, lighter evenings!). Something that I like to do around this time, which I suppose ties into the stereotypical spring clean, is make a few changes to my room. I'll do some rearranging, add a handful of new decorative pieces and I might even roll my rug up and hoover UNDER it, not just around it. 

This year my spring inspired home spruce-up is a little different. A few months ago I moved into a new place and decided to pretty much start from scratch when it came to decor. I don't know whether any of you can relate to this, but the idea of sort of dismantling my room at 'home home' made me feel a little bit sad. I didn't want to go home to visit and feel like I was in a half hearted version of my much loved bedroom; the dressing table belongs there, against that particular wall. That painting (which once belonged to the grandmother I never met) lives on that dusty hook and always has. So, because of this, I started gathering together some new bits and pieces.

In the month after we moved in, I remember my boyfriend sighing and rolling his eyes every time I'd come home with a new faux flower arrangement or a decorative tray for the bathroom. (BUT I NEED SOMEWHERE TO PUT MY FACE CREAMS?!) Gradually, as I put all of these things in place and my vision started to come together, he agreed that these little details really made a massive difference to how homely the place felt. 

I'd call my preference when it comes to decor, classic and traditional - although a lot of younger folks might consider it a little old fashioned. I grew up surrounded by grandfather clocks, heavy Persian rugs and antique furniture, so that's the style I naturally favour and associate with home.

I truly believe that the little details in a home really are so important when it comes to creating a beautiful space. Especially when you're renting and either can't or don't necessarily want to bother with a big decorating project or replacing larger items of furniture. 

An area I really wanted to focus on in my new place was the dressing table - my bedroom furniture at home home is over 50 years old from Harrods, and my dressing table is one of my absolute favourite things. I tried my best to replicate this style in my new place through these newer pieces from Laura Ashley; an antique-looking mirrored tray that looks like it's come straight off my Granny's dressing table. A beautiful glass trinket box in a cut glass style - perfect for keeping hair pins and ties! A mini hurricane lamp with silver hardware, housing a lovely little tea light in the shape of a rose. A glass, square vase of faux flowers - I love a house filled with flowers but being completely honest... I was never one to water them. Faux flowers are pretty but don't come with any responsibility.

Even though these pieces are only small, they make such a difference to the feel and look of the room. As soon as I walk into the bedroom, it makes me happy and feels familiar, like home. 

Do you have a spring inspired home shake up, or a decor style that feels most like home to you? I'd love to know! 

Thank you so much to Laura Ashley for sponsoring this post.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

SPRING PASTELS


Coat: here - c/o Laura Ashley.
Earrings: here - c/o Laura Ashley.
Bracelet: here - c/o Laura Ashley.
Skirt: H&M.
Shoes: Mango.
Bag: here - c/o Aspinal.
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Before you start - yes, the title is 'Spring Pastels'. Yes, I also know that it's not quite spring yet. Just let me bask in my delusions a little while longer and soon enough, spring will truly be upon us! When this beautiful candy coloured coat from Laura Ashley arrived at my door, my mind burst into a pastel themed kaleidoscope of the new wave of fashion, colours and styles that the change of season brings. Surely one can't quite get away with wearing pastels in January, but February... well in February, you're just enough on the cusp to get away with it. 

I wanted to keep the rest of the outfit monochrome in order to keep the focus on the parma violet hued coat. I think often when it comes to styling a statement coat or any coat of a particularly striking colour, the safest option is to keep everything else relatively simple. Alternatively, with this lilac coat, I might mix in a similarly toned lilac or purple via the shoes or another accessory. In this instance, I chose a delicate lace top to add interest but still not draw attention away from the main event, and to keep a foot in our seasonal reality winter, I chose this pleated faux leather skirt.

In terms of other accessories, I absolutely love the way silver looks against lilac, so I chose a pair of hammered silver drop earrings and a matching bracelet, also from Laura Ashley. The earrings and bracelet are such a bright, shiny silver that they really stand out - the earrings in particular, which means that even if I wear my hair down they'll still peek through!

I would also like to add that having worn this coat all day walking around Notting Hill in temperatures so cold that it snowed a little, it is exceptionally warm! Obviously my legs were cold but that's due to my poor decision to wear a micro-skirt on a day cold enough to snow...
I just know that this piece is going to hang on my coat rail all throughout spring and even during the chillier summer months!  

Thank you to Laura Ashley for sponsoring this post. 

Monday, 4 December 2017

ENHANCED SKINCARE




After speaking to Panasonic's resident skincare expert and beauty ambassador Louise Thomas-Minns, she suggested I give this product a try. My main skin concerns are quite universal; I get the occasional eruption and want to ward off any wrinkles or signs of ageing for as long as possible. That's where the Panasonic Micro-Current Facial Enhancer comes in; two of its main fortes are deep cleaning (and therefore, keeping spots at bay) and minimising wrinkles by enhancing the effects of your moisturiser and anti-ageing creams.

The way I feel about this tool reminds me of how I feel about eyebrows. When I was 15 I didn't even realise that you could do anything to your eyebrows, they were just sort of there; wild and probably growing halfway down my eyelids. But now - HOW did I ever not shape and groom them?! How did my face look even slightly normal without them? Basically what I'm trying to say is, now that I've used this tool, I don't know how I ever went without it. 


The Enhancer essentially turbocharges the effects of your skincare routine. It maximises the effects of your favourite products whilst also adding its own, unique benefits via the cooling and heating plate. The plate itself emits an alternating current of negative and positive ions which improves molecular water movement, which in turn stimulates your skin to improve its moisture levels naturally too! It's terribly clever. As if that wasn't enough for this magic wand, when cool, the head can also be used to reduce the look of dark circles and reduce puffiness around the eyes. I also really love the fact that it has a 3 minute auto mode for early mornings that will essentially make decisions for you. Too tired to even lift your finger to switch between warm and cool? That's fine. It does it for you. 

Also, for those of you who are allergic to some metals (Hi Mum!!) the head of the tool is entirely hypoallergenic. 



Hands up, how many of you have hovered your face over a precarious bowl of piping hot water and draped a towel over your head to attempt a DIY steam facial? Me! *Purple top girl with hand in the air emoji* Well, those days are gone. I have 'glowed up' as the kids say, in terms of my home steam facials. 

First of all, how cute is this steamer?! It's undeniably, WALL-E style adorable.

The main aim of this steamer is to help your skin to look its naturally-beautiful best; hydrated, purified, elasticised, hydrated and revitalised. It's basically a natural reset button for your skin. 

It uses nano ionic technology to generate steam particles that are 18,000 times finer than average steam particles, which means that the steam is able to better penetrate the skin and encourage natural hydration, as well as minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production deep within the skin's layers. It's a wonderful product to use pre-cleansing to open up you pores, as open pores mean less rubbing and scrubbing at your skin.

This is such an amazingly easy to use but luxurious feeling product. Literally all you have to do is add some distilled water (I also like to add a drop of lavender oil to enhance the experience further!) turn it on and you're ready to go! There aren't any running costs or batteries required so it's super low maintenance.


After trying these two Panasonic Beauty tools, my skin feels well and truly treated. What I really like about these two products is that they're so, so easy to use and store. So many at-home beauty tools or treatments require so much faff and preparation that most of us just don't even bother - who has the time to assemble something before using it? It's not the most relaxing process. In contrast, there's no song and dance required with these tools even though they feel like there should be - they're an extra luxurious but quick step that I've added to my skincare routine rather than something that requires a huge amount of effort, and I can't wait to continue seeing the effects.



A huge thank you to Panasonic Beauty for kindly sponsoring this blog post.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Autumnal outerwear

Magical Pocket Coat: here & Hammered Ring Drop Earrings: here. Both C/O Laura Ashley. Boots: here. Shirt: here.
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'Tis officially the season! And by that, no, I don't mean Christmas (although there's a concerning amount of Christmas themed decor popping up in the shops already...) I mean the season of rich, striking jewel tones - as I've always associated the A/W season with luxurious colours like ruby and emerald.

In addition to that, I feel like my style repertoire really expands with the reintroduction of coats come autumn, so you can imagine my joy when I spied this vibrant red number. Red is without a doubt one of my favourite colours to style and one of the most versatile, especially come autumn. I love mixing red with block colours like black, white, green, or even pink if I'm feeling brave enough for a deliberate clash, textures like faux fur and leather, and printed pieces too - checks or stripes are my favourites! As well as mixing patterns and textures, I also love mixing metals. It's something I've always done and thought nothing of, despite it being regarded as a stereotypical no-no. That's where these hammered ring drop earrings come in; two differently sized silver hoops held together by a single gold hoop. To me, mixing metals when it comes to jewellery only leaves you with more choice for other accessories, as you're not tied in to any hardware shade. Can't decide between your favourite silver hardware handbag and gold hardware belt? Wear both! 

This coat is one of those quite rare finds that I'd describe as; warm enough to be practical but elegant enough to be stylish. It's not a style VS. substance piece, it's very much both. Another little detail I just have to mention is that it has REAL POCKETS. Yes, you heard me right. REAL, quite sizeable pockets that you can put things in. Not a fake, deceptive 'I'm-not-really-a-pocket-I'm-just-a-weird-slit-in-the-fabric-made-to-look-like-a-pocket-but-I'm-actually-not-a-pocket' pocket. PRAISE BE.

So, I've told you that red is my favourite colour to style come A/W - I'd love to know yours. Please let me know below!
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Thank you to Laura Ashley for sponsoring this blog post. 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Exploring Paris with Small Luxury Hotels of The World - PART 2

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Next on our itinerary was the glamorous Grand Hotel du Palais Royal, a magnificent 18th century listed building located between the (v insta-famous!) Palais Royal and the Louvre. The Royal Gardens that sit beside, flow through the decor of the hotel in the form of lush green accents and floral features.

The hotel also has a Carita spa with an authentic Turkish hammam, as well as it's own fine dining restaurant; Le Lulli. I recommend the salmon!

One of the most spectacular and unique delights of the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal has to be its inredible views - one of the rooms we visited had spectacular views over Paris and all the way to Sacré-Cœur. Grand Hotel du Palais Royal is one of many hotels in the SLH Parisian portfolio that has everything to offer on its doorstep.

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We also popped into Hotel du Petit Moulin, a historic 17th-century bakery complete with its original shop front. From the outside, Hôtel du Petit Moulin looks like another one of Paris' charming bakeries, but inside lies a 17-room hotel flamboyantly decorated in baroque, couture and rococo styles by Christian Lacroix. 

Hotel du Petit Moulin is definitely a hotel to note if you're looking for a more intimate, understated (on the outside!) place to stay in Paris.
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Lastly, we visited Hotel San Regis for an indulgent, three course lunch before heading back to Gare du Nord to enjoy the Eurostar Business Class lounge.

A short walk from Champs-Élysées and Avenue Montaigne, Hotel San Regis is located in the designer district of Paris, the 8th arrondissement. The classic, elegant decor of the San Regis was one of my personal favourites. I've mentioned before that my tastes regarding decor and furnishings are more on the traditional side, without being stuffy and old fashioned. The hotel, which it set within a townhouse that dates back to 1857, is styled in a grand, extravagant way whilst still maintaining an intimate charm. It's impressive without feeling cold, unwelcoming or overbearing. 

The rooms, like many of the hotels in the Small Luxury Hotels of The World group, the 42 rooms are individually decorated in a traditionally elegant and Parisian style. If you choose to stay in one of the hotel's Deluxe Junior Suites, you'll enjoy your very own balcony with a magnificent view of The Eiffel Tower.

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For lunch, we dined in Hotel San Regis's very own gourmet restaurant. Like the rest of the hotel, the restaurant is impeccably decorated, intertwining antique oil paintings with modern glass features - the most impressive of which being the eye-catching glass roof that really gives the room a light and airy atmosphere - almost as if you're dining on an enclosed balcony or terrace.


Thank you so much for reading! I really hope you enjoyed this little two part series. Do check out Small Luxury Hotels of The World if you're looking for a place to stay in Paris in the future.