Friday, 13 July 2018

The Holiday Hot List

The UK has been seriously hotting up over the past month and having just stepped off a flight back from a week in beautiful Mallorca, my summer wardrobe is full to bursting with new and old goodies perfect for this heat. 

This season I'm loving lemon prints, bold stripes, statement earrings and simple, but flattering bikinis. My holiday outfits were a combo of these, with my simple go to pieces like tan block heels, silver hoop earrings, blue and white patterns and monochrome stripes. 

After a recent purchase of ASOS Premier, I've found myself stalking the virtual aisles of ASOS on a regular basis frequently filling up my basket and over-using the 'save for later' button. These are my top picks for your heatwave and holiday wardrobe.


I thought I'd shed a little light on the beauty, skincare and haircare products I take away with me too. My hair is coloured and curly, so sun, sea and swimming pools can really take their toll on my dry hair. I stock up on Moroccan Oil and nourishing shampoo and conditioners for trips away. My fail safe sun cream is Garnier Ambre Solaire, my family have used it for as long as I can remember, the smell is a nostalgic favourite. When I'm feeling like I need to fake it till you make it, the Bondi Sands Dry Tanning Oil is the best for a seriously convincing fake tan. Jo Malone's Tropical Cherimoya scent is my new summer spritz, but Clarins Eau Dynamisante is an old favourite. 




What's on your hotlist for your holiday? 
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Thursday, 28 June 2018

It's been a while...

It has been a hot minute since I last put up a blog post. 
About two months ago I started working full time in a dream role - it's creative and I work with the best team - but my time to write on my little corner of the internet has dwindled, as I expected and accepted it would. As I've settled into the job and found a little more routine when it comes to a few smaller jobs I'm continuing as a freelancer, I've found the time I have left is spent with friends and family and before I know it weeks have passed and I've not picked up the camera to film or opened my laptop to blog.

Eager not to lose the source of so much creativity from the past few years, I'll be blogging and filming when the time feels right and I have something to say or photos to share - very natural with little schedule, so bare with me. But, that's the where I've been and why over with! I'll quickly get your up to speed on a few goings on.

May and June were full of beaut weather (which is continuing now, HELLO heatwave!) and fun weekends, so I wanted to share a few snaps with you from the last few weeks or so. I'm jetting off to Mallorca on Sunday, so I'll have all the summer, packing and holiday vibes for you v soon.


MAY

The first weekend in May was a looong, hot one. We drank gin catching up with friends, sat around the fire pit until the early hours toasting marshmallows, ate a damn good lunch at Henry's grandma's house and relaxed in the hammock to get some shade. Dreamy and so chilled. 




One hot sunny Sunday was spent celebrating birthdays at Henry's house. After al falling in love with a life changing cake (it's not dramatic, it's true.) at a party in February, I got in touch with the lovely Mary Ann, who made the cake to get a surprise one made for Jo and Jasmin's birthdays. It went down very well and we were all pretty satisfied with our carrot cake fix afterwards!






JUNE

The start of June meant one month until mine and Henry's first holiday, so there's been a lot of organising going on this month. It also saw trips to Mercato Metropolitano, an amazing street food place near London Bridge - gin from Jim and Tonic and prawn Pad Thai was a winning combo for me - but it's got anything and everything you could possibly want + there's a photobooth which I'm always a sucker for.  


I decided it was time to bring back the blonde for Summer and I'm so happy with it. I'm always torn between going back to dark brown, my natural colour but every time Summer rolls around I just want it to be bright and beachy.



The sale of our Grandma's house finally went through and we said goodbye to the home that had been in our family for over 60 years. My mum cut some of my Auntie's favourite flowers from the garden before she left - it had flowered just in time - a nice surprise left on my desk when I arrived home from work that evening. They're delicate, beautiful and smell incredible.

and that's a little round up of the last two months for ya! I felt like I needed to get you to speed before I dived on in with holiday posts. It's been a real shift for me, but I couldn't be happier and I look forward to fitting in my time to write, photograph and edit when I can. Quality over quantity.

I found time to pick up the camera and vlog, too. Have a watch.


xxxx

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Friday, 11 May 2018

April Favourites

A slightly late April Favourites! Style, candles, podcasts, Netflix, lifestyle and beauty faves - all things I really loved throughout the last month. 


Don't forget to subscribe so my videos pop into your subscription box every week! 

xxxx

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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

April Moments

I know, I know - it's been weeks since I last tapped away at my keyboard and shared a little slice of my life with you. This year I've been working really hard, a lot has changed and things are really exciting (I'm sure I'll share a little more when things have settled a bit. Soz to be so secretive.)

April has been full of fun moments and my phone is full of happy snapshots from the month, so I thought I'd go back to basics and share them with you.

Starting with a sunny Friday spent strolling around Notting Hill at the start of the month. It was the first real hint of Spring we had after the what seemed never ending Winter. I took a gazillion blossom photos, we walked miles and enjoyed the sun.








For my little brothers birthday, I promised him a trip to the science museum. He'd been eagerly awaiting our trip since November and I finally managed to sneak him off for a day in his Easter holidays (the kid is hella busy!) Spending a day with the baby bro I've watched grow into a hilarious and charming little man was the best. The Wonderlab was out favourite bit, so much to see and do! 


Mayhem at the Macaron Masterclass with The Crow Kitchen. After doing some photography work with them recently, myself and Hen's family took part in a masterclass to learn how to make macarons. It was madness with a lot of laughter and so much fun. A vvv. good girls day! (Surprisingly me and Em make a baking dream team, who knew?!)


Celebrating this Wonder Woman's 30th birthday. Polly is the most inspiring and fun-loving babe I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. She quite honestly is a shining light to everyone lucky enough to know her - celebrating her turning flirty 30 was the best!


 Summer rearing it's head a little early and bringing a beaut Spring Heatwave. After the Beast from the East taunting us so close to the end of Winter the heatwave was a warm (or should I say hot?) welcome! Basking in the sunshine - with a rhubarb G&T - was nothing but glorious! That weekend we lazed in the garden with the pups and friends, celebrated a birthday and I took photos of yet more blossom because I'm totally predictable (but just LOOK at the colour of it!)


Rounding off April, Henry and I spent the entire weekend together and it was just what we needed. We don't get to see each other too often at the moment and in all honesty we just wanted some quality time together. We popped back to Brighton on Saturday - our favourite place! We filled up on Mexican food and wandered the streets we know all too well. Henry ended up getting his first tattoo (eek!) but I wasn't allowed to watch, but luckily the stars aligned my best friend Charlie happened to be in Btown with an hour to kill, so we met for spontaneous catch ups and cocktails. I had an Amaretto Sour, a new fave. Hen and I headed home, tipsy heads and sore tattoo'ed arms in tow and I finally convinced him to watch The Greatest Showman with me. Absolute shock horror he actually enjoyed it! Don't think he's so keen on having the soundtrack on repeat though, baby steps...


And that's a wrap for April! There's been lots of exciting times and hard work finally paying off. I think I'll write more posts like these, it felt quite natural, simple and back to blogging basics - I like it! 

What did you get up to in April?
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Thursday, 26 April 2018

Spring Clothing & Accessories Haul

A new favourite denim, new Spring additions and a whole haul of statement earrings to wear with every outfit through the warmer months! 

What's your favourite Spring wardrobe essential?

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Thursday, 12 April 2018

5 Things I've Learnt About Freelance Life | AD

This blog post contains an AD.

I finished university a year and a half ago, ever since I've been Self-Employed. With the luxury of living at home I thought I'd see how freelance life was (spoiler. V hard and a little ambitious post uni for me personally... but not out of the question!) Although work is ever changing for me, I have learnt a lot in this time, so I thought I'd share some of my learnings with you!
BUSINESS CARDS

They may seem 'old school' but I can not tell you how many times I've had to give out a business card! Working in music, social media and photography/videography - it's often something people are interested in and might want to know more about - having a business card on you means they've got your name and contact details straight away. If like me, you want something a little more exciting than the usual standard cards, say hello to Basic Invite*

With a beautiful array of customisable designs and unlimited colours, finding the perfect design for you will be easier than you think. My favourite colour combination is blue and white, so this painted chevron pattern stood out to me straight away and I spent ages picking out the perfect blues. I wanted to have something that looks professional but different that I would be proud to hand over - first impressions are important! The service was simple to use, the cards came quickly and packaged safely and I was very impressed with the service. 

Not only are Basic Invite great for Business cards, they also have Custom Made Birthday Invitations, Thank You cards and beautiful customisable stationery.
They ship worldwide and you can get 15% OFF with this code: 15FF5

*I have altered the image of the business card slightly to keep my contact details private.


WHERE YOU WORK IS V. IMPORTANT

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the bed office is not a thing - unless Netflix, naps and online shopping counts as work? Getting up, getting dressed and working at a desk or table will make a huge difference to your productivity levels. Some days I find I need to escape out to a new setting to inspire new ideas and get me out of the house. Find a coffee shop, my favourite one is filled with natural light, has a banging playlist, free wifi and the best coffee and cakes you could ever want. This means I can set myself up for the day and when I shut my laptop and head home, I'll be finished for the day.

TRY NOT TO WORK 24/7

It's important to be aware of how much you are working. One of the benefits of working for yourself means you're your own boss and you can be flexible with your hours. If you're sitting down to work for a 8 hour day, but realistically only working for 4 of those hours, realise that and spend the four hours doing something else productive - don't force yourself to be at your laptop because you 'should' be working a full day. Also, as hard as it is - particularly if you love your job - try and make your weekends remain as weekends!

PLAN AHEAD, SET GOALS

Set yourself goals to help measure your success, they can be as small or as aspirational as you please but it will help you focus on what to work on. I tend to have yearly goals, but I split them into smaller more achievable ones to help me get there. Write them down! Can you actually remember your NY resolutions? It'll be helpful to see them daily as a reminder.

ROUTINE IS KEY

Some days I know I have to wake up and get straight. to. work. and on those days I go in hard on setting myself a routine. I mean, strict timings from getting ready to working hours to tea breaks. This way I've got a structure and it stops me from getting distracted, I know if I work for a solid hour on this job I can stop for a tea and a quick social media scroll and then get back to work after. I write this down in 'notes' on my iPhone before I go to bed, so I know my plan as soon as I'm up the next morning! I first did this when revising for my AS levels years ago and found it was a structure that worked for me when I had various different topics to work on and wasn't spending my time wisely. It sounds a bit strict but when I've gotta get my head down, it works for me.
Being self employed has been one big learning curve for me and I'm grateful I've had the opportunity to try it out before having the full pressure of a home, bills and life on top of me. I basically have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm doing what works for me... like everyone else, right? 

What are your tips for working for yourself?

*Big thanks to Basic Invite for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own.
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Monday, 2 April 2018

The BEST Lemon Drizzle Cake

As it's a drizzly bank holiday Monday, I thought I'd share a little slice of sunshine with you in the best Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe. 

This is a Mary Berry recipe (she's always got your back with the best bakes) and wins every award in my book due to the sweet, sour, crunchy, sugar topping - the dream. It's the most simple recipe - one of those just mix it all together and bake kinda recipes - and the chances are you'll have most of the ingredients lurking about in cupboards already. 
Cake cut into squares
Ingredients 

for the cake:
225g butter (softened)
225g caster sugar
275g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
finely grated rind of 2 lemons

for the crunchy topping:
175g granulated sugar
juice of 2 lemons 

Equipment: Traybake tin (30x23x4cm)
Prep Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 40 minutes

1. Line your cake tin with baking parchment to cover the bottom and sides and pre-heat your oven to 180°C.
2. Measure all the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and mix well for around 2 minutes - I'd recommend using an electric whisk as it's much quicker, but it can be done by hand if you're up for an arm workout!  Once the mixture is smooth, pour the mix into your lined tray, scraping the sides of the bowl and then smoothing over the top of the with a spatula. 
3. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Test the cake is baked by putting a cocktail stick into the centre, if it comes out dry your cake it ready to come out. If it has cake mix on it, it needs a little longer. 
4. Unlike most cakes, you want to do your icing whilst it's still warm, so allow the cake to cool slightly in the tin for a minute or so, then carefully lift the cake out, remove the baking parchment and place on a wire rack. 
5. Now for the the best bit, the crunchy topping! To ensure the lemon drizzles straight in, use a fork or cocktail stick to create small holes over the top of the cake. Then, spoon over your lemon and sugar mix whilst the cake is still warm - the lemon should sink in and the sugar should sit on top. you might want to place a tray under your wire rack to catch any drips as it can get a little messy. 
6. Once cool, cut into squares and enjoy! 
Close up of lemon/sugar topping
Close up of lemon drizzle cake
It's perfect to make on a rainy bank holiday like today but it's a recipe I find myself using all year round - particularly for Summer BBQ's... which feel a lifetime away right now, huh?

What's your favourite cake to bake? 

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Monday, 26 March 2018

5 Tips for a Spring Refresh

Last week brought the first day of Spring and the start of daylight saving in the UK. I'm writing this post at 7pm and the sun is only just setting, ohhhh how happy the longer and lighter evenings make me! Like many people, the Spring months have me clearing out cupboards, blitzing with cleaning products and refreshing my decor. These are my top five tips to have the best Spring Refresh.

Although Summer and Winter usually bring my full on wardrobe switch up, the start of Spring means I like to fold up some of the chunkier jumpers and hang out a few more colourful pieces to freshen things up. Once I've put away some clothes and chucked a couple on the bin or charity pile, it's time to make a few new purchases. This year I decided to add in a new staple striped top (if you watched my last video, you'll know the big love for stripey's!) This simple *Black and White tank top was sent to me by the lovely people at TOBI, an LA based clothing brand with free worldwide shipping! It's perfect to tuck into jeans or leave to hang with a flattering swing hem. I'd pair this with my trusty black skinny jeans from Dorothy Perkins, simple ASOS silver hoop earrings and a nude lip - super simple, but put together!

Today called for my bedding changeover! My faux fur throw and nude/beige cushions are up in the loft and my bed is now adorned with blue and white cushions and a beautiful throw. Blue and white is my all time favourite colour combination, as it has me dreaming of sunny times and holidays, so it's the perfect colour combo to have around me to brighten my day.

My room is covered in photos of me and my nearest and dearest. I take a gazillion photos daily, so it's only right I get them printed and display them around my room. Spring calls for switching those up! Likewise with plants and candles - fresh plants will bring a little life into your room - this cute lil one is actually a fake from Ikea, because a plant mama I am not! I love lighting candles and my favourite scents are fresh or fruity, so I've picked up a few new ones to light over the Spring months.

I find decluttering so satisfying. I love going through the boxes under my bed, through the organised piles on my desk or the draw that I fill with all the miscellaneous items that have no home. Tidy space, tidy mind - a mantra I like to live by - as I focus, live and sleep better and in a clean and tidy environment. Once I've inevitably made even more mess in the decluttering process, eventually things start to look clearer and then I'll clean and wipe all the surfaces to finish off. It's also worth a little digital declutter too - unfollow negative accounts, delete annoying apps, clear the junk folder in your inbox, take 10,000 photos down to a reasonable amount and maybe change your backgrounds to brighten things up!

This really needs no explanation, but fresh flowers will just brighten a room and lift your mood instantly. At this time of year, I buy daffodils nearly every week. They last around a week, are only £1 in supermarkets and are the most joyful pop of colour to have dotted around your living space. If I'm feeling fancy, I'll get some tulips - my faves!

 Also, make a playlist to listen to whilst you clean away - put in all the feel good songs and you'll be good to go!

What are your favourite ways to Spring Clean?

*These items were kindly sent to me, but all my honest own opinions. 


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