Friday, 22 December 2017

Wrap Stars

Christmas is but three sleeps away! Everyone I know is in a wrapping frenzy...
Like me or loathe me, but I don't really like the novelty, gaudy Christmas wrapping paper that seems to be everywhere... I have always had a thing for brown / kraft paper, so that with an assortment of adornments is usually my wrapping theme of choice.  I just spent last night wrapping a pile of presents so thought I'd share this year's wrapping look and feel, as I have stayed with the kraft paper / brown paper category, but have dipped my toe into the colour territory, and also gone for one print.

Wrapping paper heaven - image via Arket
I do like to put a lot of effort into choosing my favourite wrapping papers, tapes and adornments, but whilst I want to to look festive, I don't want the presents to scream Christmas, AND I want the option to be able to use the paper all year around. So the anointed choices this year are red kraft paper, a sumptuous dark green thick paper and a red and white geometric print, coupled with an assortment of twines, ribbons and adornments. I have also purchased a few rolls of brown paper, and brown paper with subtly festive prints.

Wrapping Theme - Christmas 2017

Wrapping close ups
Throughout the year I like to collect postcards, little illustrations, twine, string, ribbon and washi tape for my adornments. This year I've also picked up a bunch of fresh eucalyptus leaves for a touch of greenery. I like to make gift tags with paper luggage tags or use postcards or stickers! There are so many places that have free postcards with beautiful photography or illustrations on them, I just collect them as I go and save to use on presents. You can also use music scores, old maps or magazine imagery stuck onto card one on side, tied with twine, for a unique gift tag.

P R O D U C T  L I S T

Dark green paper, £4 per roll, ARKET
Red kraft paper, £1.95 per roll, IKEA
Red multicoloured twine, £3 per ball, IKEA
Red and natural twine, set of three, Sainsbury's (instore)
Postcards, free, collected from cinemas, museums, galleries, coffee shops
Eucalyptus leaves, bunches available from your local florist
Washi tape, green grid and red candy cane, £2.95 per roll, MT Tape
Gold glitter ribbon, set of three, £4.50, Kikki K  

What are your favourite ways to wrap Christmas presents?
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Friday, 8 December 2017

A Coat Story

Even though I have always loved fashion, when it came to coats, I saw them more as a functional clothing item to keep me warm. From a young age I'd have one winter coat a year, often in a boring, neutral colour, without any real thought given to choosing one I truly loved. Even in recent years, this way of thinking has continued with the mentality that I ought to get a practical, warm winter coat, often picking classic styles without much care or attention.

It's only this Autumn when coats began to take centre-stage. Maybe I have been living under a large rock, but it seems that suddenly there are a kaleidoscope of coat options everywhere!  From myriad faux fur options in multiple lengths and hues, to checked and houndstooth, to ruffled, bouclĂ©, embellished and everything in between in every rainbow hue imaginable. They are all warm and functional but simultaneously statement-making, and I'm finding that many friends and colleagues have a few 'coat options' in their wardrobes, not just the one winter coat. 

Naturally this has meant that I am more attracted to coats than ever before, trying out styles, prints and colours both in and out of my comfort zone. Both the high street and designers are teeming with bold and chic coat options right now. I've admired some seriously chic coats from MSGM and Maxmara, but equally at Reiss, Whistles and Jigsaw. Whilst on the hunt, I've been really fastidious at looking at the material composition of the coats, and shockingly, many of them were high in polyester and acrylic and very low in actual wool content, despite their hefty price tags. 

A couple months ago, scrolling Instagram one day, I spied a gorgeous coat - a strong contender for the coat, originally in camel. It was a beautifully cut, slightly oversized, 100% wool number by Jigsaw, and I saw that it also came in a burst orange colour, officially named 'Nordic Orange' by them. From that moment I visited it in store, tried in on a few times and decided it was to be mine. Black Friday and Cyber Monday came and went without an enticing offer from the retailer, and either way I had to wait till the end of the month to save up for the coat. So when I asked about upcoming promotions, one of the sales assistants was kind enough to let me know that one was coming up... That weekend, with bated breath, stealth and my wallet in tow, I tracked down the promo code and made my order! On arrival, it was everything and more, I love it and it's seriously warm! At this price point, with 100% wool, I think it's fantastic value for money.

Grace coat, £360, Jigsaw
However just because I've found this coat, doesn't mean the hunt has to cease...I'm still looking for other 'coat options' to take my fancy. I've had a little look and selected my little edit of other coat favourites below. I truly believe they are all investment options, in classic styles that won't date. I've also picked coats with at least 50% wool content. 

Mensy coat, £95, Boutique by Topshop, 100% Wool
Premium Quality coat, £99.99, H&M, 77% Wool 
Long crossover coat, £99.99, Zara, 75% Wool
Wide lapel wool-blend coat, £139.99, Mango, 60% Wool
Halle wool-blend coat, £365, Reiss, 78% Wool
Mae ruffle coat, £318, All Saints, 80% Wool
Paper London checked wool-blend coat, £495, Net-a-porter, 75% Wool
J.Crew two-tone wool-blend coat, £330, Net-a-porter, 70% Wool
Tweed cocoon coat, £450, Winser London, 81% Wool
Wool coat, £99.99, H&M, 100% Wool

Which one is your favourite coat? 

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Friday, 1 December 2017

All I Want for Christmas...

It's December now, which means we can officially be festive! All around London there have been preparations for weeks, adorning streets with the prettiest lights and decorations and shops have been pumping festive tunes out of their speakers for a couple weeks now, whilst shoppers begin (or complete, if you're a smug early bird) their Christmas shopping.

Thought I'd kick off the festive-ness with a gift guide of sorts - it's basically my edit of £50 and under gifts, or stocking fillers if you're a moneybags. Either way, every single thing on my little list is either something I already have and love, or have been yearning after for some time now. Needless to say, if any of my friends and family are reading this, then I would love to see some of these under my tree... 


JL Cashmere Bobble Beanie Hat, £45, John Lewis | After years of frittering away hard earned cash on man-made fibres, like acrylic, this winter I treated myself to this ultra soft cashmere beanie, complete with cute bobble. It keeps me so warm and cosy! Available in a few neutral colourways, this would be a lovely gift to give!

Fir Tree Candle, £25, The White Company | The smell of fresh, real Christmas trees, captured in a candle, what more do you need this Christmas?! This delicious, limited edition candle will fill your home with the fresh, woody notes of pine, eucalyptus, cedar and moss, and is firmly near the top of my Christmas list! (15% discount with code FRUGALITY15)

Balance Me Hyaluronic Plumping Mist, £12, John Lewis | I love a face mist, and recently purchased this one. It's packed full of natural ingredients like chamomile to soothe, but a good dose of (my favorite ingredient) hyaluronic acid, keeps skin hydrated - handy with the mix of central heating and changing weather conditions our complexions have to endure. 

Leather Passport Holder, £29, & Other Stories | This Parisian designed, seriously chic passport case in burgundy, instantly conjures up vintage travel adventures. Just imagine the gift of memories you will help create with this magical passport case!

Abstract Pendant Earrings, £17, COS | Let's take a break from tassels and admire these brass beauties, I certainly have been! They are ultra pared back and simple, yet impactful all at the same time. Perfect when paired with a black polo neck, or anything! 

Beaded Crossbody Bag, £19.99, Zara | There's something about this little black beaded bag - it's sleek and embellished so works perfectly as an evening bag  (especially for the festive season), but would work equally as well as a crossbody for daytime essentials too - double whammy!

Studded Waist Belt, £45, & Other Stories | Add some definition to the waist, with this chic studded leather belt. It's an outfit transformer and can be worn cinched over coats, knits and dresses to create some shape.

Leather Card Holder, £35, & Other Stories | I recently downsized my huge wallet to a small cardholder, and this one is my favourite. In mock-croc gold leather, with concertina style pockets - it's small but mighty and holds a lot! It's really chic and doesn't weigh me down! I would love to receive this as a gift!

Cashmere Scarf, £59, COS | Another of life's little luxuries, quit the acrylic and help keep someone you love's neck ultra warm and toasty with this powder pink cashmere scarf. It's really well priced, and comes in other hues if pink ain't your thang... 

Scallop Leather Gloves, £17.99, Reserved | These beautiful scallop edge gloves are premium quality leather by Polish brand Reserved, who have just launched in the UK. These beautifully detailed gloves would be both a practical and chic present to give (and receive!) 

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Monday, 24 April 2017

Write it down

Don't look back, look forward they say. 

As we step forth into an increasingly digital world, communicating with each other through emojis, acronyms and digital shorthand via multiple screens, for hours of everyday; anything and everything seems possible. Here's a radical idea; let's hit pause for a moment though and take some inspiration from the evergreen existence...slow living, la Dolce Vita, savouring every moment, the written word...and dream that maybe technology and old world living can co-exist in perfect harmony? I believe it can!

Concept Room at Paperchase Flagship Store, London (aka stationery Mecca!)
Even though I appreciate stationery and the written word all year round (and by appreciate I mean stockpile pretty notebooks and spell the word stationery correctly - it drives me mad when people spell it 'stationary'!), April 24 through 30 is National Stationery Week. This is the week in the year to really go to town with celebrating the physically written word, because writing still matters. How nice is it to receive a handwritten letter or card in the post (as opposed to bills bills bills?!) or to look back and cringe over old journals?! 

So the call to action is to pick up your favourite pen and some paper and get writing; whether that's a hello or thank you card to loved ones, a postcard to friends whilst on holiday, a day-to-day journal or even a short story or a poem. Any old paper you have will do OR like me you can use this as an excuse to nosey around the shops and pick up some pretty new stationery. I've pulled together my favourites edit below...sorry not sorry!

Say 'Merci' in style with these navy personalised notecards, from £0.90, Papier 
Put pen to paper with this trio of chic pens, £12, Ban Do at ASOS
Write a proper letter with this stunning Japanese writing set, £10,12, Etsy
Keep a journal, jot your innermost thoughts within this chic tome, from & Other Stories new stationery line, £17
Reflect on everyday feelings in this thought-provoking, prompting journal, £15, Kikki K
This stylish notebook set is perfect for penning your story or makes a beautiful gift, £10 for three, Lulu Guinness at ASOS 
Realise your travel dreams or capture your adventures in this beautiful travel journal, £5, Paperchase
Make your to-do lists as pretty as this orange marble notebook, £8.75, Katie Leamon at Trouva
What will YOU write? What are your favourite pieces of stationery?
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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Dreamweavers

Summer days are coming! For me, nothing marks the start of summer or the arrival of holiday season like updating my accessories ready for sunshine-filled days. In my humble opinion, a woven basket, tote or clutch is forever going to be a holiday (or staycation)  style staple, for that chic, easy, carefree, beachy vibe.  I like to think of them as 'Dreamweavers' (excuse the naff pun!) because when I start seeing them arrive in shops, they make me so happy and immediately conjure up images of sandy beaches, sunbeds, sangria, cocktails, local markets, summer nights, glowy tanned skin...you've lost me already! Maybe you already have a summer woven bag, and every time you get it out it makes you do a little happy dance?!

I think these dreamy woven numbers transcend trends, and work every summer and vacation season for years to come. I've had a little hunt, and I've rounded up the ones I've spied that I absolutely love; which I think work whether you're beach hanging, city-breaking, market hopping, or even if you're just looking for something to give your work wardrobe a summer edge. I think Zara and Mango have come up trumps this year, with & Other Stories following close behind...

Mini Pom Pom basket tote, £19.99, Zara 
Zara has some serious bag game this summer! This cute basket has to be my absolute favourite. It works perfectly as a summer day bag, plus I cannot resist pom poms and this is such a cute contender! I just returned from holiday, and used this during the day - it easily fit all my daily essentials including a large instant camera and my normal camera. I also love the fact that you can store all your bits and then pull the toggles to secure your stuff inside, or if you want to use it as a normal 'chuck everything inside basket' then you can fold the lining down and use it that way too, a snip at £20!
Jute Basket bag, £39.99, Mango
This bag reminds me of the grocery bags you always see on Australian soaps! I think it's perfect as a market or beach bag.

Message basket tote, £35.99, Mango
Straw basket with blue pom poms, £39, & Other Stories

Once again the ocean-blue pom poms are calling me! This is another perfect contender for summer day bag, you can carry it by the top handles or wear cross body using the leather strap. The blue pom poms make me so happy! They are selling out fast, so see you in line! 

Raffia basket bag, £39.99, Mango
I love this basket - reminds me of the ones you see in the souks of Morocco and Tunisia, perfect for chucking in all your market buys; or works equally well as a carry on or beach bag. 

Braided crossbody with studs, £29.99, Zara
I took this one on holiday too and I love it! I adore the fun pop of red and the studs, and it fits a decent amount inside too. Plus you can wear it crossbody and use it during the day, then remove the strap and use in the evening as a clutch. 
Straw clutch, £17.99, Mango
Straw clutch with pom poms, £35, & Other Stories
Love a festive and fun summer clutch adorned with fringing and pom poms! The Mango one is definitely a bargain!

Which one is your favourite? Have you seen any woven bags that you will be snapping up this summer?
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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Matte Moments

I'm having a love affair with matte colour! I'm so glad that the matte formulations of yesteryear have been modernised by the likes of Charlotte Tilbury (with her launch of Matte Revolution lipsticks), as today's mattes are super pigmented, available in myriad shades and most importantly, super comfortable to wear.


I never got on with the original matte lipsticks that were knocking around when I was, ahem, younger. I dabbled of course but the effect was always chalky, dried out and altogether not flattering. So I was happy to stick with flattering glossy lipsticks, lip glosses or better yet low maintenance tinted lip balms.

It wasn't until the grand dame of make-up herself reworked the meaning of matte with her bestselling range of Matte Revolution lipsticks, that I dared to give mattes another go. Using her extensive make-up expertise, Charlotte wanted to create a long-lasting, hydrating matte formula that would 'make lips look lit from within' something she was using to cheating the effect of using lighting trickery, pigments and powders. Natural extracts ensured your lips stay hydrated and moisturised - aka avoiding that dry, chalky look!
Charlotte Tilbury's philosophy




I've selected my five favourite matte lipsticks right for Spring, let me know your favourites too! 

This cult MAC shade is truly universal and unique - if you haven't already tried it, it's an intense matte pink. £16.50
L'Oreal has just done a Charlotte and launched its own range of bold yet moisturising mattes. I like the formula - it's comfortable and highly pigmented, plus you can't go wrong with £6.99 a pop! This hue is literally the exact shade of my lips! £6.99
The original and best! I have loads of Charlotte's Matte Revolution lipsticks and love them all. This new and exclusive shade is the perfect rosy, nudey pink - and also happens to be the lipstick version of the her cult lip liner of the same name! £24
As above. I also love this bright coral shade from the Color Riche Matte Collection. I don't tend to go too bright with my lips, so this is just the right amount of a 'pop of colour' for me, and perfect for Spring! £6.99
I LOVE the name of this lipstick! Another pinky nude, this time slightly browner. This formula is also hydrating, super easy to wear, super chilled and laid back - funnily enough I love slicking this on on a Sunday! 
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