When it’s the middle of February but it feels like spring… When you want to wear summer dresses and add denim and leather layers because it is February after all… When you find the perfect dress for your unreliable body shape… These are transitions. Carrying the most beautiful bag that is so impossibly small the show invite you have masterfully slotted in there in the morning simply refuses to come out at the front of the queue and the PR has to peer right into your purse to squint at the inevitable ‘standing’ to let you in… that’s just impractical. But a bag’s prime function is not always to be practical but rather to be beautiful and this little guy is winning the pageant.
What is spring if not a mish mash of summer and winter? With London Fashion Week in mind (kicking off today!) I picked out a sort of spring capsule from Tu so I’m sharing my three top looks right here right now. First up classic stripes and pleated midi paired with what have to literally be the softest leather glove shoes (aka a fashion week win) and this leather biker. I am having such a thing for navy right now and a genuine leather jacket for under a hundred quid is basically unheard of these days… until now. And my nod to winter? The neon red bobble hat – in love.
As soon as I saw this poplin blouse online with its big balloon sleeves I knew I had to give one a home – it honestly has such a great silhouette (looks great with simple jeans too, just saying… might have worn it more than once in the past week). Paired with the trench for a little warmth and in that classic tan hue you can’t really go wrong.
I am honestly so happy to finally share this news with you and stop hiding my increasing bump… big changes lie ahead for our little family this summer. Fear not, this isn’t about to turn into one of ‘those’ blogs but there will be inevitable fashion (and other!) challenges along the way, that much is for sure. But now just a couple days shy of the half way mark and eventually past the stage of throwing up in the street, ready for that glowing phase to kick in… any day now… any day. I hope you guys will join me for the ride.x
Last time I had a fringe I was three. For real. And I have Sharz at the Sassoon Glasgow salon to thank for taking me back there although, cute as it undoubtedly was for a toddler in the eighties, I think this is in another league to my bowl cut of yesteryear.
You guys probably know I have been wrangling with the desire for a fringe for almost a year now but it’s a pretty big commitment coupled with the fact that I have a super small forehead… but I really wanted one. I was ready for something new you know and with London Fashion Week kicking off the end of this week I wanted something different and ‘fashion-y’ and bangs are gonna be big this year… So I tried out the Prestige Cut & Care service starting with a bespoke cut, a treatment and £15 saving on two take home products – so Sharz created this shape for me with the fringe starting pretty high in the crown to give that illusion of a little more space and it worked. Like it really works for me, I love it.
This journey I have been on with Sassoon has taken me from this yellow mess to this and this amongst others along the way and honestly my hair is like it belongs to someone else now, the condition and cut is in another league from where we started. I couldn’t be happier to partner with Sassoon again this year – my loyalty to these guys is strong and there’s honestly nowhere else I could have this level of trust. Anyway, enough gushing…
I hope you like the bangs and that I crumpled myself under my concrete kitchen counter for these shots and I have to give a mention to these shoes from Next which are just about perfect in every way (suede, leather lined, block heel, rusty colour)… but back to the hair… such a big change for me – tell me what you guys think.x
Welcome home. Or, at least, welcome to my home. How is it possible that after living in this apartment for over a decade I am only just getting round to taking you guys on a home tour? Well… first of all we rented for 8 of those years and have spent the past two years redecorating at a snail’s pace (or maybe slower). But one room at least is complete and here it is.
SHOP THE LOOK
We worked to a pretty tight budget but man I gotta tell you, I love it. You know when you go to a party and everyone winds up in the kitchen? Yeah, that’s basically me – every single night. Party for one. This is my most favouritest space. It’s open plan with the living space and with all signs of those ugly, brown, laminate cabinets removed, it is just an oasis. Scroll down for the step by step, George’s tips and the dreaded ‘before’ pics…
So what did we do? (And I use the term ‘we’ somewhat loosely as my father-in-law basically made this his pet project and I did not argue – thank you George).
First things first – the laminate had to go. Enter Annie Sloan. The beautiful thing about this chalk paint is that you can paint it straight onto just about anything. No sanding, yep that’s right, no sanding. We opted for Pure White and it is sooo fresh.
– Forego the recommended grey undercoat and start with a coat of white.
– Use three to four coats to get a really solid coverage and finish with lacquer to seal.
Next up – the tiles. Now, I never hated my tiles but they were kinda… meh. You know? I mean, they were just so beige. Hardly living out my Spanish casita Pinterest dreams. And then a friend introduced me to Beija Flor World. Mind officially blown. Surely stickers over tiles were going to be kinda naff? Well, you tell me.
I actually received samples of two different designs around four months ago so I can confidently say that even in that time there has been no peeling or any other weird side effect you might be concerned about with stickers. Basically these are the bomb. New tiles, without retiling.
– Wash and dry original tiles before beginning.
– Unscrew sockets to get stickers a few millimeters under each one for a neat finish.
– Ventilate your room well – the sticky back adhesive of 1000 tiles can get to you.
And then there was, what will forever be known in my memory as, the concrete saga. In other words – me explaining to the husband, parents and anyone else who would listen that I simply planned to cover 2 whole sides of my kitchen bar/island in a skin of new concrete. There was resistance. There was confusion. And then there was George – I’m honestly sure he thought I had also lost my mind but still he visited the building yard so frequently and asked so many questions that he made friends for life. The builders, no doubt, also thought the concept was… unusual. But they shared their theoretical tips and guess what? You know it. I love it (like ‘heart emojis in my eyes’ love it). I may even have crumpled myself under the worktop to use that concrete as my glamorous backdrop on occasion…
– Use a staple gun to loosely fix a layer of pliable plastic mesh over the area you plan to cover.
– Paint the whole thing with a layer of PVA and when it goes tacky…
– Go to town fast with a trowel and smooth on your concrete (one coat or two depending how thick and or smooth you manage to get the first layer).
– Use a mix of 1 part cement and 2 parts white sand to get that beautifully light grey finish.
And last but not least – the details. I’ve been hoarding blue and white kitchenwares for years and now they have their home. I’ve picked up some gems from Anthropologie as well as growing my Blot collection from Habitat and finally my Marimekko ceramic pot picked up in Finland has its home. My gran’s vintage scales keep pride of place as they always have and remain the only kitchen scales I own, still working perfectly and keeping memories of so many childhood scone baking moments with her.
I searched and searched online for the right blue and white enamel jugs for utensil pots. I was certain I had found just the thing in a lovely online vintage shop until I read the small print – *Please note previously used in French hospitals for enemas. Could not make this up. Luckily I stumbled across these wonderfully quirky pieces from Africa illustrated with accordian playing lions and dancing meerkats. If you didn’t know already, I kinda have this thing with animal themed homewares…
Then the white Tolix stools because, you know, every kitchen on Pinterest. They don’t disappoint.
And so the kitchen is complete. Now for the rest of the apartment…
These sleeves are officially rocking my world right now (I guess they rocked a lot of worlds judging by how quick they sold out). They have that chilled out flamenco vibe, a combo that might not be top of your list but, turns out, it’s top of mine. Sticking with the musical theme… me and guitar straps are having a thang. Course Henri Bendel got me covered with this pretty little red number, complete with a whole lot of crazy wide strap. Bravo.
But enough about all that… let’s get down to business. We all know what we’re really here for. The Gucci dupes. Now Boden really hit the nail on the head with this pair of heels. In case you missed them (hello, *knocks on cave door*) here are the Gucci’s and now let’s just take a moment to really appreciate Boden’s new Campbell heels. Leather soled and leather lined, they’re basically the luxe dupe without the Gucci price tag. No, they’re not exactly cheap but I’ve been wearing Boden shoes for years now and I am so willing to put it out there that their quality is top notch. And, as luck would have it, they match my bag – basically the outerwear equivalent of the odd day you leave the house in matching underwear; it doesn’t happen too often and it’s not even always necessary but that feeling of achievement, that smug feeling that you really got your sh*t together today, that feeling is the best. And it’s only Monday.
Frosted heather and golden sunshine and only the deer and grouse for company.
How is it possible that we have been visiting Kenmore every year for ten years and this was the very first time we hiked up Kenmore Hill? Now it’s not that we’re shy of walking up hills, just that somehow this beauty evaded us. But not this time.
When you’re jealous of your dog. When it’s minus two and you are wearing all your knits and he is basically naked. When you’re freezing your digits off and he is happy as a clam. When you want to stay in by the fire and he wants to be rolling in the frost. This is when you’re jealous of your dog.
Works both ways though. Every time I eat anything, anything at all… he is jealous of me.
Another day, another summer dress. In winter. Yeah, that’s my thang this week. (That and an endless slew of trips to Ikea and inevitable descent into flat pack hell.)
Leather layers for the heat – incidentally if you fancy a pair of leather legs then I honestly do recommend this leather fronted pair by Hallhuber. I wore my first pair to death and reinvested in the exact same pair again this winter and they’re on sale right now and £89 for genuine leather pants is something of a bargain… And colour clashing with this absolute beauty round my neck by Brae, a gorgeous Scottish designer with a tiny but perfectly formed collection of silk scarves – Burberry ain’t got a patch on you.x