Monday, 16 September 2013

Hello Vans

What happened to Converse? I had my first pair for almost 10 year. My second pair lasted a year. My third pair, four months. I noticed last week that one of the soles was falling out, which Isn't Good Enough, so I took them straight back to Office, who without quibble offered me a replacement. I decided to go to the other side, and got some Vans.

Converse, I'll be back when you up your game.
First Outing in new shoes

Sunday, 15 September 2013

An Ode to Orla Kiely and Suzy Bishop

I absolutely adore Orla Kiely, so it's fitting that the one LFW show that I got to was hers. I loved the SS14 collection, it's incredible. You can watch the official show video here.

The SS14 collection is "inspired by girl guides, brownies and Suzy Bishop, the collection presents a contract of texture, embelishment and 70's inspired silouhettes fused with a modern twist.

I got zero decent photos from the actual show as I am still saving for a proper camera, but here's a handful from the LFW Site.

The Huckleberry bag, based on a binocular case is my personal favourite item from the whole collection - you can see it in yellow in the middle photo.

If you haven't seen Moonrise Kingdom yet, watch it, immediately - trailer here, and learn the ways of the style icon that is Suzy Bishop. An homage to Wes Anderson's most stylish creation:



Back on the subject of Orla, her new footwear collection in conjunction with Clarks was also showcased at the show on Saturday, "...A capsule collection of 6 styles....Incorporating colours iconic of her collections with green, mustard, navy and red colour ways, and a real sense of fun – the collection is representative both of Orla’s design heritage and Clarks’ passion for style and substance."

The "Mary" are my personal favourites.
Orla Kiely and Clarks, Mary
This fashion stuff is a crazy business though, it's September, the temperature is dropping, it's raining almost constantly, and yet were expected to think about clothing for summer? That will never make any sense to me. Here's a couple of my favourites from Orla's AW13 knitwear collection.
Animal Embroidery Cardigan
Squirrel Intarsia Cardigan
Happily, you can get free delivery on purchases through the website this week to celebrate London Fashion Week (and there's mugs and stationery on're welcome).

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

V&Oak Magazine

My beautiful, clever and very talented friend Ana has created a magazine, and it is amazing. She launched V&Oak (Vintage and One of A Kind) a couple of years ago, an online lifestyle magazine devoted to the vintage and handmade lifestyle, for those of us who are bored of the mainstream and want to adorn ourselves, and our lives with something a bit more unique.

The first bi-annual print edition is now out, and after pre-ordering mine a month ago and eagerly awaiting its arrival, it's finally here in all it's glory, and just as I anticipated, it's fantastic. There's articles on vintage fashion and beauty, vintage shopping tips, quirky home and gift ideas, with beautiful photography throughout, and none of the usual drivel about half-naked celebrities and fake tan.

You can buy V&Oak Issue 1 here for £10 + £2.60 p&p (In the UK). I recommend that you do. 

*Disclaimer: I love my friend, she's uber-talented. Thus I bought the magazine out of my own money and wrote about it of my own accord.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Iris Prima - Pretty Ballerina

Did you do ballet? I did, up until about the age of 7 but I didn't like the teacher. Looking back, she was a great teacher of ballet, but perhaps not for young children! When I was 10 I took up tap dance, and worked my way up quickly from the baby class to the senior class, before quitting because the Friday night classes interfered with my prompt arrival at school discos.

I wish I'd carried on dancing. I admire the discipline, grace and muscle tone of professional dancers but in terms of being any good at it, I think my ship sailed a long time ago. I'll taken to lurking outside the Royal Opera House at lunchtime, creating ballet boards on Pinterest, and watching Black Swan on repeat.

I guess if I don't get to be a ballerina, I can at least smell like one?! Iris Prima, the newest fragrance by Penhaligon's launched today, expertly put together by Alberto Morillas in conjunction with the English National Ballet.

I caught a whiff of this fragrance at the Christmas in July event, sadly I missed the launch itself, and it took my breath away, with its green amber and pink pepper headnotes and basenotes of leather and sandalwood, it really is reminiscent of the ballet.

This charming video was created for the launch of the perfume, featuring dancers talking about what  "The Scent of the Ballet" means to them. I think Alberto was spot on.

100ml is £ for the Christmas list!

*I saw this fragrance previewed, bu I haven't been paid or compensated in any way for this post. I just really, really like the fragrance!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Summing Up Summer

It's been a busy month or so. I moved house, went to see The Bodyguard, went to two weddings and a hen do, Notting Hill Carnival, Bicester Village, had a visit from my sister who's back from Oz, had my boyfriend who I've lived with for six years move back to the North to finish uni and have had an American houseguest to stay for the last week and a half. On top of this, work has been super busy, I've been visiting my grandmother and my internet connection has been extremely wonky if not non-existent at times.

Since we decided to move to London for Dave's placement job (his absolute dream role), we always knew that he'd be going back, and that I wouldn't be joining him. I got here and settled into a role at a great company with great people, and unfortunately while I was up north, nothing was happening for me career wise at all. Even though we knew we'd eventually have to part it came as quite a shock when the morning came that he caught that train. I told myself on that Thursday that I had that one day to mope and then I needed to get on with it and with all the distractions listed above and a mobile contract with unlimited minutes, it hasn't been too bad at all. We saw each other this weekend for his brother's wedding, which was a very emotional but happy day, but as he was best man he had many duties to perform so our quality time together was limited, but he looked very dapper, and did an amazing job!

Luckily it's his birthday this weekend so he is back in London at my side, and I'm going to spoil his rotten. He's choosing some new trainers, these Spiderman Vans are his current favourite and we'll eat, drink and make merry in the Capital.
Here's some recent photos that sum up the last couple of months
Three generations. Love you Nan, even if you don't remember me
Meat Market
Reunited with the sis
Pub Frustration
Loving Pizza Express's blue glassware, can I get 100 glasses for my wedding?
Hen Party Selfying
This seat took me 2 years to get round to doing, took me 20 minutes. Echino Nico Fabric, Stag Minstrel telephone table
Rum Punch at Notting Hill Carnival
Traffic People Dress, ready for wedding
Geek Wedding Centrepieces: Take car. Go to Mum's. Kill Phil - "Sorry." - grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over.
Best best man
Now Autumn is on its way, though these last throes of summer are going down a treat, I'm ready for some hibernating. Now that this summer's weddings are over, I've realised that the next one we attend is our own next June, when his studies are finally over. While most of the big stuff is done, there's still bridesmaids dresses and wedding rings to find, and more little details to finalise, which means some crafty days dreaming up table decorations with plenty of tea and biscuits, my homegirls, and good movies. Nice.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

willPower and Grace®

I mentioned before how I was on a bit of a yoga drive, and that's still true, I bloody love it. But today, I tried something new. Realising that I've been eating like a dirty, dirty dawg recently (seriously, the Friday night before last I went to both MeatMarket and MeatMission) I thought I'd better up my game and throw some cardio in the mix in order to combat the badness.

I can't stand working out on the machines in the gym itself, and I could throw up at the thought of spinning. When I saw willPower & grace®  on the menu at my gym, Virgin Active, with the blurb, "Go barefoot and plug into some positive energy for the mind and body from the ground up. It’s a whole new kind of class that frees your mind, improves your flexibility and boosts your cardio system. It’s truly awesome!" I was a little unsure, and in truth it's taken me weeks to psych myself up to go, not sure what I was expecting.

The class is very cool (figuratively, it's actually very hot). The feet are the focus, and if you think about it, why not give them some love? We walk around on them all day, and yet we never give them any attention. Most of the bones in your body are in your feet, yet we rarely work on their strength and flexibility. The class is "designed to strengthen feet while progressively correcting imbalances in the ankles, knees and hips." (source). If you're curious, you can see a snippet of a class here.

The class is quite intense, with fast-paced music, and lots of squatting and jumping, but the instructor (Lourdes) was friendly and encouraging without singling out the newbies - I think I was the only one, but I was easily able to keep up with everybody else, some of whom spoke like they;ve been going for a while and clearly love it - I'm converted! My class was this lunchtime, and I had a bit of a sweat on afterwards, but the facilities at Virgin meant I could have a quick shower and head back to work, fuss-free. I'm a little achy already, but that just means it's working! It's a class I'll definitely go back to, while still continuing to practice yoga - this is going to be good for not only my fitness levels but also my ability to get away with eating all those burgers.

You can find a class here or see a list of instructors here - it's pretty big Stateside. Unfortunately for northerners, most seem to be south based with a handful in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But I am sure this movement is only set to grow and hopefully they'll be one in every town and city in the UK soon.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

From North to South (London)

I've moved to a new flat. I have gone from North London girl to South London girl.  I don't get a bus to work anymore, I get a train. I am in zone three. But I love it. My new area is much leafier and quieter than my old one. And our flat is to die for. There's a lot of work to do in my room. This is how it looked when the moving men had finished their work.

I know. But after an hour or so we'd cleared a decent space around the bed, so we could actually climb in, and also located some clothes, as we were due out that night (I went to see The Bodyguard, it was amazing).

Day by day it's improved. We sorted out the kitchen straight away, because ain't nobody that can do all that work on an empty stomach. And once this big brown cabinet is up we can fill it and free up some more space to actually concentrate on making it look nice. This is how it looked before my worldly possession took over.


I've had various Oyster and utility bill related financial disasters this month so am absolutely skint with more weddings and hen dos to attend before payday, so it's time to focus on  nesting, making my room nice and cosy and liveable rather than a box room with a bed in the middle.