Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas Presents - Wrap it up

With four days to go till Christmas Day hopefully by now you will have trawled the shops and online to get all your presents sorted!  Hard part done!

Next, you'll have to wrap them all.  I like to have different theme every year and put lots of thought and care into creating every package!  I don't have all the time in the world so it was handy to have an easy-to-achieve look which will look chic under any Christmas tree!

My theme this year was Crafty Chic.  Involving a rubber stamp, brown paper, red checked washi tape, parcel twine, vintage map gift tags and neon heart stickers.  See how the packages look below - I think they look super chic and cute!  You just wrap in brown paper (I stamped some festive messages onto the paper with the rubber stamp first), tape with the coloured tape, use twine instead of ribbon, tie on a gift tag, then decorate with some stickers! 

My Crafty Chic Wrapping Theme for Christmas 2013
Love these vintage map gift tags with parcel twine
Spruce up brown paper by rubber stamping festive messages
I love to use coloured washi tape & stickers to decorate! 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!





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Thursday, 12 December 2013

7 Days of Chic: Statement Necklaces

This is a new little series I'm starting, more so to give mileage to everything in my wardrobe - and to not get stuck wearing the same pieces again and again!

What better thing to start with this festive season then statement necklaces! I'm a big fan of the statement necklace and prefer them anyday to delicate jewels.  I think statement necklaces have the power to transform even the most simple of outfits, and come in especially handy if you want to take an outfit from day to night.  I have amassed a small collection of such necklaces but often end up wearing the same ones again and again, so last week I set myself the challenge of wearing a different necklace everyday.  I must admit I really enjoyed it and feel like each necklace added a different dimension to each look.  See my necklace looks below...

7 Days of Chic: Statement Necklaces
Row by row, starting with the top row:

Day 1:  Topshop Crepe tea dress and Freedom at Topshop Flower Necklace.  I love the clash of red and pale pink accented with white and gold!  The necklace is a recent buy but I couldn't find it online, but check out stores. Online selection here. Here's a similar one from Forever 21.
Day 2: Topshop Hamptons Burnout blue marl tee and Freedom at Topshop necklace.  I love how this necklace gives this simple marl tee a lease of life, and makes it after work drinks appropriate! Again, I couldn't find it online.
Day 3: COS waffle knit jumper and H&M (Lulu Frost esque) statement necklace, paired with my black Karen Millen leather biker.  One of my favourite new necklaces - it is very Lulu Frost at a fraction of the price! One day! Check out their selection of necklaces here or pop into a store!
Day 4: Topshop heart print shirt and H&M knot necklace. This is one of my favourite old necklaces that I've had for years.  It's very Lara Bohinc! I love the gold knot combined with the burgundy heart print.
Day 5: J.Crew Breton Top with Forever 21 Gemstone bib necklace. Love the combination of a classic Breton stripe top with these dark wintry gems!
Day 6: J.Crew bib top (similar here) and Freedom at Topshop necklace.  Love how a simple top pops with this turquoise and silver necklace over the top.
Day 7: Oasis stripe and heart jumper (similar here) and tricolour Forever 21 necklace. This neon necklace makes this simple jumper pop!

My little seven day stint had me lusting more statement pieces for my collection, and luckily there are lots of great gems in the shops right now! Check out my latest top buys below.  Forever 21 and New Look are great for statement necklaces at purse friendly prices, as well as H&M and Primark.

Layered Gemstone Necklace, from Forever 21
Gem Bib Necklace, from New Look


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Saturday, 23 November 2013

What's In My November Makeup Bag?


Take a peek into my makeup bag this month... See what I've been loving (and what I can't go without!) as Autumn turns into Winter!

1. Bourjois Happy Light Foundation in 54, £11.99
I recently tried this for the first time and have been loving it this month.  The shade range isn't great but I luckily match the darkest shade 54.  It's a great everyday, dewy foundation which I find gives you a glowy, velvety finish. It's light in texture so doesn't feel heavy yet gives a medium, decent-ish coverage!

2. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in 4 Deep, £4.19
A YouTube and blogger favourite, this little budget concealer has been helping to erase away blemishes and dark circles - very useful for the morning after the night before! Will also be handy as we approach the festive party season!

3. Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Powder, in Medium, £33.00
I've been setting foundation and concealer in place with this micro-powder, which is unlike traditional heavy powders.  It's really finely milled and lightweight with nano particles (apparently!) and I find it blurs imperfections and gives a lovely finish to the skin without leaving it cakey. I also love the chic gold compact!

4. Real Techniques Buffing Brush, part of Core Collection, £17.84
Buffed to perfection... After experimenting with a few other brushes, I'm back in love with the Buffing Brush.  It is the softest, easiest brush to use and gives a lovely natural, beautifully blended and even finish.

5. YSL Babydoll Mascara in black, £24.50
Ahoy there lashes! I love this mascara - the brush is easy to use and it gives really black, volumised, lengthened and defined lashes.  I even use the brush on my bottom lashes. Plus I'm a sucker for the chic gold packaging!

6. Bourjois Blush Exclusif, £7.99
A pop of pink to the cheeks...This cream to powder blush adjusts to your skin tone and gives a different pink flush to everyone! I love to warm up my face with some of this on the apples of my cheeks - I dab some on with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush.

7. Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet, £7.99
I searched high and low for this a few weeks ago as it always seemed to be sold out in the biggest Boots I know (the one on Oxford Street next to Bond Street Tube Station). I think it's the perfect Autumnal red! A lovely burgundy which is moisturising to boot. 

8. Maybelline Baby Lips in Hydrate, £2.99
I've been keeping winter dry lips at bay with this cheap and cheerful lifesaver. It's a fresh, hydrating formula with SPF 20 and really packs in the moisture.  An essential!

9. Neon Make Up Pouch, set of three, £10.65
I love love love this make up bag (especially as I'm a typography geek!) It came in a set of three from Forever 21. They also double up as quirky clutches! Sadly no longer available but check out the selection at Forever 21 - they have the best make up bags!

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Isabel Marant x H&M

The wait is over - the highly anticipated Isabel Marant x H&M collection landed today, following a Parisian street party inspired launch at the Tennis Club, as well as debuting the collection first at the new flagship H&M store in New York's Time Square (doors open at 12.01am to celebrate the occasion especially!).

No sooner had the collaboration news been announced back in June, mass hysteria had set in and desire levels were at an all time high.  The release of the official lookbook, images and videos from the collection only cemented the high anticipation, until finally, November was upon us.

Now, I hate getting up at the crack of dawn and queuing for these sorts of things, but careful studying of the collection did reveal that some if not most of the collection was highly desirable.  A conundrum ensued - how would I get my hands on the collection?!  An issue of Vogue later, the problem was solved via the regular preview events Vogue and H&M usually host, providing eagle-eyed (and sharp elbowed) fashionistas the chance to see and buy the collection 24 hours before the masses.

My fashion fairy godmother must have granted my wish - my friend and I were issued with the magical silver ticket granting us entry to last night's preview.  Crazy does not even describe the scenes!  After a fast-ish moving queue - we entered the vast H&M store at 234 Regent Street to find all hell was breaking loose - LIVE!  Shelves and rails were being looted by fashionistas (old and young, male and female) at breakneck speed.  I felt sorry for the cute cater waiters as tried to navigate the crowd handing out flutes of champagne, bellinis, glasses of pink lemonade and delicious dessert canapes.  The result: the collection's coats, knitwear, footwear and clothing including the printed sweatshirts were all swiped by the first entrants.  Crazed shoppers had a mission: impossible and they were doing their damnest to make it possible!

Gingerly, my friend Jem and I were able to get in on some action - and grabbed what we could in our sizes, stuffing our haul into a shopping bag as we trawled.  Combing through the store, we also met some helpful fans passing the things that didn't suit them to us to try on (the reversible bomber jacket) who I duly passed on to another woman, who on seeing it was there for her claimed "You've made my day - that was the only thing I wanted to buy!", she even came and found me later to thank me - sweet!

So, a couple of champagnes and mini tarte au citrons later, we did our basket edits.  You can see what I picked up below.  None of the star items (I am still hankering after those tasseled boots, and the oversized coat) but I really like them none the less.


Top row: crazy scenes at the Isabel Marant x H&M Vogue Preview; My friend Jem and I posing
Middle row: Silk vest top, £39.99; Soft track pants, £34.99; Silk brocade style trouser, £59.99
Bottom row: Brass earrings, £14.99; Scarf, in goody bag; Official shopping bag, free with purchase

So, what's the verdict, I hear you ask!  Well, I do really like what I have bought.  The printed silk brocade style trousers I'd pair with a plain top and heels, and I think the material is lovely and I especially love the print.  The matching vest top - I would layer over another vest, but I haven't tried that yet, so the jury's still out...  The track pants are very comfy and in a super-soft merino - I really love these and could totally rock these with a heel due to the slim fit.  The earrings are really pretty and will be a good day-to-night addition to a work outfit, or for anytime wear, and the scarf from the goody bag is a great layering all rounder now that winter is upon us!  I do also like the shopping bag and will certainly be reusing it!

I do wish I had managed to get hold of the below items - but that's wishful thinking now and there's no way I am paying over the odds for items on eBay!


My wishlist:

What did you buy from the Isabel Marant x H&M Collection?  What do you think of the collection?
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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Kate Spade - A Lesson in How To 'Live Colorfully'

Welcome to a world of bright colourful living and all that glitters - welcome to Kate Spade!  The accessories and lifestyle brand made it's way over to the shores of Blighty around two years ago, bringing with it oodles of colourful (and very covetable) handbags, wallets, shoes, jewellery (and much more) in an attempt to inject our lives with some much needed rainbow brights.

Life is definitely better when surrounded by colour - I embrace and wholeheartedly subscribe to the Kate Spade motto and philosophy 'Live Colorfully'.  Despite this pledge - I had not really come into contact much with Kate Spade over the years - perhaps the odd glance through magazine encounters, seeing bits and bobs at department stores or admiring someone's bag to discover it was a Kate Spade.  So when an exclusive shopping event at the Kate Spade shop in Sloane Square beckoned, I decided to go along and find out more.

Stepping inside was like entering into a kaleidoscope - and there was colour everywhere.  From the magnificent neon pink sign instructing disciples to 'Live Colorfully' to the statement green printed wallpaper, to the delectable pink prosecco and macarons being served to, of course, the dazzling collections on display. Jewel toned totes, sparkle-adorned shoes, glittery purses and pouches, gobstopper statement jewels, bright and breezy clothing and fun, frivolous phone covers - all in heavenly hues shouting 'buy me', and looking to add an injection of fun into my wardrobe!

See through my eyes at the event below, including the piece I couldn't resist - the Beacon Court Louie iPhone Purse in a coral patent leather! I will have to save up for the pink and red 2 Park Avenue Beau bag :(

Living Colorfully at Kate Spade
Kate Spade Beacon Court Louie Purse
Object of desire: 2 Park Avenue Beau Bag
Kate Spade's colour invasion continues as it launches in Selfridges London, with a New York inspired pop up space in the Accessories department of the ground floor.  It's the first time Kate Spade accessories have been been available in Selfridges and to celebrate they have seven exclusive pieces to Selfridges available now.  More importantly, from 22 November for five weeks, on every Friday between 5-6pm, the Kate Spade pop up shop will be hosting Champagne Fridays! What better reason do you need for that post work sneaky shopping trip?! Check out Kate Spade New York at Selfridges here.

Kate Spade New York Pop Up - Selfridges London
Enter the Kate Spade world of colour and sparkle by checking out their glitter-tastic blog.
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Thursday, 7 November 2013

October Favourites

What I loved in October 
Thought I'd share my favourites for the month of October - a bit of everything - what's kept me going, what I've been loving and what I've been Instagramming!

Clockwise from top left:

1. Pairing my Forever 21 Regal Bib Necklace with an Ikat print top (from J.Crew) love this combination!
2. Enjoying Itsu Veggie Club Maki Rolls - my favourite veggie sushi!
3. Cleansing winter skin with Aromatherapy Associates Soothing Cleansing Balm which is perfect for my sensitive skin as it adjusts to winter!
4. Keeping dry winter lips at bay with Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 in Mango
5. Keeping toasty during this cold snap with this Zara Soft Tartan Scarf which also rather nicely doubles up as a shawl-cum-blanket - it's the perfect size and super soft.
6. Slicking on a slightly darker lip colour, currently loving Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle - the perfect Autumn transition shade, and moisturising to boot.
7. Enjoying a long lasting, navy hued manicure courtesy of GelColour by OPI in Road House Blues
8. Devilishly devouring home-made brunch - an all time favourite is American Style Blueberry Pancakes served with freshly brewed coffee and the Sunday papers.
9. October favourite jewels - my YSL speckled cocktail ring, Marc by Marc Jacobs Neon Watch and an old knotted H&M necklace
10. Creating a set of curated shelves for my bedroom - check out the blog post here!

What are your current favourite things? 

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Curated Shelf

A few months ago I read about a project called The Curated Shelf.  Since 2010, Louis Vuitton have been collaborating with many contemporary artists by inviting them to take the items that have inspired them and to curate a shelf or series of shelves, thus creating news pieces of art on display, and for purchase, in the exhibition space at the Louis Vuitton Maison (the flagship store on Bond Street).  Over the years the project has featured curated shelves from the likes of Tracey Emin, Juergen Teller, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Grayson Perry, plus many more.  Many of the artists have curated their shelves with inspirational books, or objects, such as 100 used up disposable cameras in the case of Jake and Dinos Chapman.

100 personalised disposable cameras: A Curated Shelf by Jake & Dinos Chapman (via anothermag.com)

Books, Books, Books: Juergen Teller's Curated Shelf (via anothermag.com)
Then I saw that one of my favourite bloggers - Alexandra Stedman of The Frugality - had taken the concept further by curating her own shelf, featuring favourite photos, magazine cover, candle and photo album - in short, all the 'bits and bobs' that reflected her personality and things she found inspiring.  Check out her blog post here.

I loved the idea of The Curated Shelf, and with one big bare bedroom wall plus a massive pile of magazines on the floor and countless items scattered all over, I felt inspired to give this project a go!

See my effort below.  I went with four mini shelves and 'curated' my shelves with my latest magazine reads, a print (fashioned out of a wallpaper sample in a frame), some of my favourite interiors tomes, and a gorgeous rose candle.

Ta-da! My Curated Shelves...

It's really easy to have a go at creating your own curated shelf - just use a shelf or bookcase you already have, or try these RIBBA picture ledge shelves from IKEA.  These are the ones I have opted for - they come in black and white and in two sizes - 55cm (£5.50 each) or 110cm (£8.50 each).  Then, just 'curate' with items that inspire you - books, postcards, prints, ornaments, magazines, perhaps even your favourite pair of shoes!  You can also change your edit of items whenever the mood strikes...

What would you have on your 'curated shelf'? Tweet me or send me a pic on Instagram!


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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Cosy Up... Autumn Essentials



Summer’s over and the temperature has dropped considerably. The leaves might not have fallen or properly changed colour but Autumn (or Winter, judging by today) is truly here.  Time to put away the sandals and look forward to cosying up in snuggly coats, boots, gloves, scarves, and embracing winter hues either sartorially or though make up. 

My take on the season is leather (biker jacket and full skirt), leopard print (pouch clutch), a touch of tartan (a top), the colour pink (coat or accessories), pencil skirts (camo or pleather), held together by a great pair of ankle boots (check out Whistles or Zara) and styled with a ponytail (move over blowdries, style up your pony and get inspired by Matches’ great guide)

Getting a dark, berry hued manicure signifies the proper beginning of Autumn for me, and last weekend, right on cue I went for a much loved classic; Essie’s Wicked shade.  I’ve also felt the chill in the air, so have been snuggling into a huge grey woolly scarf and slicking on a dark berry shade of lip balm. Which shade to go for next is the big question!

Manicure in Essie Wicked

Alfresco drinks on rooftops are a distant memory, as Saturday nights now involve curling up on the sofa with a fluffy throw and season three of Homeland for company. All summer dresses have been swapped out for chic knits, trousers, skirts, coats and essential ingredient: packs and packs of pristine black opaque tights.  I’ve edited my wardrobe and filled two bags ready for the charity shop, which leaves the opportunity for some retail therapy for some autumn essentials come pay day!

See what's on my Autumn wishlist below!

My Autumn Wishlist
Clockwise from top left corner:
1. Yankee Candle Autumn Night Small Jar, £8.54 (similar), Yankee Candle
2. Peaked lapel wool coat, £150, COS
3. Short leather gloves, £39, & Other Stories 
4. Tuck stitch scarf, £55, Whistles 
5. Braided wool sweater, £55, & Other Stories 
6. IKEA Stockholm Throw, £25, IKEA 
7. Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in 'Cherry Me', £2.99, Boots (3 for 2 at the mo!)
8. Biker leather ankle boots, £79.99, Zara 


What are your Autumn or Fall Essentials? What's on your wishlist? Tweet me or Instagram me!
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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Just a note to say...

...Thank you!
A phrase we say practically everyday to partners, family, friends, colleagues, even strangers, when they give us gifts, do favours, donate their time or perhaps are just there whenever you need them.  When was the last time you send a proper thank you card or note to let someone know you appreciate something they've given you?  These days it's all about texts, whatsapp messages, tweets or perhaps a tagged photo or Facebook or Instagram.  I prefer the personal touch to express my gratitude via a handwritten thank you card or note.  It shows you have taken your time and effort in showing your appreciation, and is guaranteed to put a smile on the receiver's face!

My stash of thank you cards
I like to keep a box of thank you cards handy in a box, along with coloured pens, rubber stamps, envelopes, postcards and stickers to make the note extra fun!  That way I'm always prepared when I need or want to send a thank you.

Below I've rounded up my favourite thank you cards right now...

Clockwise from top left: 
1. Ella Thank You Cards Set, by Rifle Paper Co, £19.95 for eight, Liberty
2. Neon Thank You Note Cards, by Marby & Elm, £14.95 for six, Liberty
3. Floral Thank You Post Cards, by Rifle Paper Co, £9.50 for ten, Papermash
4. Merci Glitter Cards, £9.50 for ten, Papermash
5. Thank You So Much Mini Cards, £4.00 for ten, Paperchase
6. Bright Floral Thank You Notecards, £4.95 for eight, John Lewis

Send me pics or details of your favourite cards on Twitter or Instagram!

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

New Purchase Alert!!

I'm a massive fan of bright colours... They make me super happy, especially neon colours! So when I spied this bag on Pinterest, I knew it was the one for me! It was a hot pink and black satchel named Selma by Michael Kors and I knew it had to be mine. So when I was in New York recently, I went into a Michael Kors Boutique to investigate, and absolutely came
out with the just-came-into-stock bag!! The bright pink hue never fails to bring a smile to my face !!



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