Always stop and smell the roses…

Roses are the best flowers ever! Not only do they look fabulous (both alive and dried) but they smell incredible! Recently, I have been going crazy over rose scented products and I can’t pass a perfume counter without stopping to sample their rose cologne. After much deliberation (and sniffing) I decided on which rose perfume I wanted. It wasn’t an easy choice, but I got there in the end!

L'occitane Roses et Reines

The thing about roses, is they can smell really good and really bad, don’t blame the roses, blame the manufacturer. Roses need love. If the rose has been grown in poor conditions with too much fertiliser, bad pruning and poor light and not the right amount of watering, it just won’t smell as good as a high-quality, organic rose which has been taken care of. Bad roses make poor quality essential oils which made perfumes which smell bad. Which, of course, can be said of all essential oils.

I love the smell of rose perfumes as it’s floral yet dark and sensual. It’s not light and fresh other other florals, it’s heavy and dark. While rose falls into the floral family, I feel like it has hints of Oriental or woody notes in there too.

I am a big fan of L’occitane products, they always smell so dreamy! Their rose collection is called Roses et Reines, it is inspired by a the tale of the four daughters of the Count of Forcalquier, each of whom were said to be roses, all of whom were queens. This range uses beautiful quality rose essence blended with bergamot, blackcurrent and white cedar and musk. It’s rich and intoxicating, but marginally lighter and fresher with the citrus notes. The overall scent is of course, heavy red roses, it smells fabulous and I adore it! It’s perfect for late summer!

Roses et Reines L'occitane collection

I’m a big fan of layering up scents, so here is the perfume along with the shower gel, body lotion and hair perfume… layers of fabulous rose scent!

Bestival Beauty!

Ah… remember the days before iPhones and social media?! You could go to a festival, throw on a band tee shirt each morning and not worry about what you look like! You knew you probably looked bad, but so did all your friends. It was almost a badge of honour, proof you got really drunk, danced loads and had an awesome time!

listerine bestival beauty

Times have changes and nowadays you are just as likely to have a DLSR around your neck as have a beer in your hands! This year I am attending Bestival as a guest of Listerine, so I thought I would put together a few top tips on how to look good at a festival!

1. The first rule of looking good is feeling good! While you might not be able to shower, cleaning your teeth and using Listerine Stay White will make you feel a whole lot fresher. It will also help keep your teeth nice and white, so if you go in the dance tent, your teeth will glow in the UV lighting… nice!

2. Wash you hair the morning you leave for the festival, so it is as clean as possible when you get there and avoid using any hair products as they will make your hair greasy faster. When you start to feel the grease build up, use a dry shampoo and style your hair into a fishtail plait or bun. It’s also good to have a silk scarf handy (mine is by Cleo Ferin Mercury) which you can use to tie into a turban or wear as hair bow to keep your hair off your face! I will be packing Batiste dry shampoo!

3. Keep your foundation light and your lips/eye make-up bold. When you can’t shower and you are removing your make-up by firelight with a face wipe, you want to make sure your face isn’t caked with make up. Try to keep your skin fresh and your lipstick and eyeliner bold. I will be packing Bright lip colours which have a moisturising formula, like Revlon or Nars and eyeliner by Eye of Horus as it gives you a great dramatic look!

4. Pack clothes you love and you feel good in! If you feel like it might be slightly too short, too tight or uncomfortable, don’t wear it! You will be walking, dancing and sitting on grass, so you want to feel comfortable and feel really happy with your clothes. Everything can be washed when you get home. Don’t forget to pack a small bottle of perfume, mine is a gel tube by L’occitane, it is super light in your rucksack, but smells delightful!

5. Sunglasses hide a multitude of sins! Leave your delicate designer sunglasses at home and instead buy some fun and fabulous sunglasses from Topshop. If you loose them you won’t cry and if you are hungover and tired, just put them over your face and flash a massive smile when the camera points at you! I will be packing Ray Bans, as they are nice and sturdy and they look awesome!

bestival beauty listerine cleo ferin mercury

A few other things you might need? Dermalogica suncream (sunburn is never cool!), Cowshed hand sanitiser (smells amazing and it works great), food (GrassHopper do some great pots which are a little healthier and super tasty!), flip-flops (mine are by iPanema, even if it’s not sunny, you can wear them around the campsite and to shower in) and camera (when your iPhone runs out of battery, it can be fun to have a fun camera like a Fuji Film Instax).

Weekend Brunch: Foxcroft & Ginger

This morning I woke up and my first thought was ‘Brunch’. Not even kidding, there is nothing better than weekend brunches; coffee, chatting, pastries, pancakes, bacon, bread, it’s basically all good!!

foxcroft and ginger mile end road

We tend to go to the same few places for brunch, so this week, we thought we would try somewhere new! We had heard rumours about Foxcroft & Ginger being great and since it’s just a short walk from our flat, we thought we would give it a go. Decor-wise, it is very east London. This exposed bricks, lights and pipes, mixed in with artisan breads, fabulous coffee, comfortable chairs and amazing coffee.

foxcroft and ginger east london

First off, let’s talk coffee, as they do a great cup of coffee, really strong, really smooth and exactly what you need to start the day. Seriously, Foxcroft & Ginger make a fabulous cup of coffee!

foxcroft and ginger bread

I ordered homemade sausages with peppers, mushrooms and fried eggs on sourdough toast. It was pretty special, I practically inhaled it as it was so delicious! I loved it all and it was lovely having the vegetables with brunch. My man had Eggs Benedict, which was pretty amazing, as it had pulled pork in it. The eggs were homogenised, so while they are fully cooked, the texture is a little runnier than you would normally expect. Some people love homogenised eggs, but they were not to my mans taste, I think next time he would ask for them fried or poached instead. But other than that, it was pretty delicious!

foxcroft and ginger breakfast

The service was great (big up to our waitress Ella, she was lovely) and it was lovely to find a nice new brunch venue so close to our flat. Most of our East End breakfast haunts are more towards Shoreditch and Hoxton, so it was fun venturing to Whitechapel for the morning!

foxcroft and ginger sausages

A note to all then East End Freelancers who like to work in cafes! Foxcroft and Ginger is a perfect venue for this, it’s big, spacious, friendly and they serve great coffee and great pastries with a fantastic looking lunch menus! It’s quite likely I will be back soon with my laptop and a pocket full of change for coffee and croissants!

patternity x pretty polly tights bricking it

The dress code in Foxcroft & Ginger was pretty relaxed, pretty much anything goes, we saw everything from pretty vintage dresses to ripped boyfriend jeans and tee shirts!

As for me, today I was wearing a black dress from ASOS, brick print tights from Pretty Polly x Patternity and black Dr Marten shoes from Cloggs Footwear. My cardigan is vintage and my bag is from Eastpak.

dr martens and patternity pretty polly tights

Jewellery designer: Amanda Coleman

Regular readers of my blog will know I am crazy over jewellery…I love buying it, wearing it and most of all, I love finding new and exciting brands! Want to hear about my latest jewellery find?! Her name is Amanda Coleman, and I think her jewellery is adorable!!

bird on branch necklace by amanda coleman jewellery

Amanda Coleman grew up in a tiny village in Leicestershire, her parents were potters and painters and all their friends were artists, creatives and craftsmen. Coming from a creative home clearly rubbed off on Amanda, as by the time she was thirteen, she had a business making clay buttons and selling them to local shops. She continued to make and create until she went to study 3D art at university before eventually getting a place at the Royal College of Art. She graduated from RCA in 1998 and soon set up her own label. Each piece is designed and made in the UK and is sold on Online and beautiful independents around the UK.

amanda coleman bird on branch necklace

Her jewellery is inspired by fairytales, mystery and magic, as well as bugs, animals and flowers you would find at the end of the garden. I love the tiny flowers, cute field mice, lounging leopards, hummingbirds and dragonflies. While there are similar themes being explored by other jewellery designers, I do think Amanda has a different take on them and they are really beautiful, intricate and they are often articulated with beads and movement! I love my bird on a branch necklace, I love all the tiny details in the surface of it! 

What do you think of Amanda Coleman jewellery?

Jo Malone London: Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

Help! I am a Jo Malone London addict! I am obsessed with their incredible colognes and when there is a new fragrance launch, I get excited.

jo malone london wood sage and sea salt cologne

The new collection is inspired by the English coast, imagine walking along a windswept shore, rugged cliffs behind you and the fresh air mixed with the scent of sea salt and earthy sage. That’s what this cologne is all about! Finding it hard to imagine? You can try the scent for yourself by requesting a scented card here or go into your local Jo Malone London boutique.

Jo Malone London always encourage customers to combine their fragrances to create something a little more personal to the individual. This Cologne can be layered up with Lime Basil & Mandarin to create a fresh woody fragrance, aromatic with basil and sage. Or you can combine it with Peony & Blush Suede for an opulent floral enwrapped with woody warmth, luxurious with a touch of suede.  Or you can wear it alone for a fresh, coastal scent. Either way it’s fabulous and like no other scent out there!

No trip to the seaside is complete without a postcard home, so send your loved ones a e-postcard or traditional postcard via the Jo Malone website, the imagery is beautiful and it is a lovely opportunity to surprise a friend!

Wood Sage & Sea Salt can be bought as a cologne is two sizes, as well as a body creme and a home candle. Pop in to your Local Jo Malone London Store soon, you need to try this new scent, it is one of my favourites ever!

Let’s Talk about… Age of Reason

Don’t worry, I’m not getting deep on you, I’m still talking fashion here!

Age of Reason scarves - uk fashion blog

Have you heard of Age of Reason? They are a really interesting British accessories brand who I have recently fallen a little bit in love with! The designer, Ali Mapletoft spent her childhood in Africa and then moved to London during the 90s, which was a really exciting time for London. Her prints are a mix of the two; African influenced colours, carefree sketches mixed in with intricate drawings and confident lines. They feel like a painting on a scarf, rather than a traditional scarf print. 

Her AW14 collection has just launched and it is pretty fabulous. It is inspired by tudor queens, sea creatures and pop-tribal patterns. Lots of ink blots, pen and ink drawings, confident stokes and japanese and african inspired prints. I love the bright colours, luxe fabrics and naive drawings! I obviously had to get one for Winter, because who doesn’t want….. keeping  you warm?!

The Collection is out now and can be bought from the Age of Reason Website.

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Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge

I love a bit of Carven…

About three years ago my friend Marsha wouldn’t stop talking about Carven… I nodded along and smiled, probably was thinking about My Little Pony’s and cakes at the time, because I had never heard of them. It turns out Marsha was WAAAAAYYYYY ahead of the game as about 6 months later Carven was everywhere! Every cool blog, every cool magazine and every cool shop was talking about Carven. Thank goodness for friends keeping you up to date, right?

Carven was a big Parisian couture fashion house around the time of World War II. They delivered accessible luxury to the chic women of post-war Paris and gave their customers beautiful, high quality clothes, but without the couture price tag. Their designs were fresh yet refined, simple but high quality, just like they are today.

carven aw14 collection

The brand relaunched in 2010 with Guillaume Henry at the creative helm (formally of Givenchy and Paula KA), he said true to the brands ideals, creating collections for the modern woman, using the best fabrics and great tailoring. Carven is once again hot, hot hot!

carven aw14 avenue 32

Carvens Pre-Fall ‘14 collection is inspired by Bonnie Parker, of Bonnie & Clyde, as played by Faye Dunaway. Think mannish outerwear, flared skirts, and trim knitwear… nice! I have a fair few items on my Avenue 32 wish list, want to see? Or the full collection can be viewed on Style.com.

‘The Cornershop’ by Sew Your Soul

OH! I am so hopeless! About three weeks ago I went to the Sew Your Soul art instillation, The Cornershop. I intended to blog about it that evening and three weeks later, here I am! Those who follow me on instagram will have seen some photos weeks ago when I visited, but for everyone else, I am really sorry this is so late, as time is running out to go see it!

sew your soul lucy sparrow artist

Lucy Sparrow is the artist behind Sew Your Soul, The Cornershop is her latest project. For the month of August, she took over an old, disused shop in East London (just behind Columbia Road) and she transformed it into a cornershop. One thing you need to know is, everything is made from felt. Not even kidding. It’s amazing, from the price ticket machine, tampons, chips, crisps, dog food, wine, newspapers, chewing gum, you name it, everything you would find in a regular cornershop, only it’s handmade from felt. Not only does each individual item look incredible, but the shop as a whole is amazing. The Cornershop took Lucy Sparrow 9 months of hard work to create, but it is totally worth it as it looks incredible and the attention to detail, thought and craftmanship involved is awesome!

sew your soul cornershop london

Everything in the shop can be bought, you order it now and collect it when the instillation is over, and if you want to get involved, that’s possible too, as they have been holding workshops to make some of the products. Pretty cool right? Or you can buy it online.

sew your sould felt cornershop

Check out my photos and if you are in London, it is well worth popping along to. It will be on until the 31st August from 10am-8pm every day. Located at 19 Wellington Road, London, E2 7BB. I’m lucky, I live just a stones throw away, but even if you don’t, it’s worth hopping on a tube to see it!

sew your soul lucy sparrow shop

sew your soul cornershop magazines

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the cornershop by sew your soul

sew your soul cornershop east london

sew your soul newspapers

sew your soul shop chips

Great Handbags!

I thought I would share my current handbag wishlist… Which is your favourite?

My flat smells good and I have inner strength!

Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength candle

Just a quite little post to tell you all about my new Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength candle. I am crazy for scented candles and this one is just a dreeeeaaaaaam! It is so heavily scented, in the most wonderful way! It has 40 hours burning time in total, but the scent fills the room so fast that I don’t need to leave it burning for long to get the effect. Even when the candle is not lit, I still get the odd whiff of it. It is scented with Frankincense & Cardamom to uplift, inspired and give inner strength. All I know, is that I LOVE it! Oh and 10% of proceeds will be donated to the charity, Defence Against Cancer.

What’s not to love?