Summer Vibes

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The fact that I’m writing this post while gazing out of the window at a grey sky and spitting rain only serves to fuel my desire to escape to sunnier climes as soon as possible. Sitting at my desk with a woolly cardigan draped around my shoulders and my feet snugly ensconced in a pair of slippers, it seems like the ideal time to start planning my summer wardrobe. While the sun may elude us here in London, we do have a holiday planned to Mallorca, which means at least one week of guaranteed beach weather this summer (a vast improvement on last year as I can only recall one or two days of glorious sunshine). So here are some of the items I would like to be packing into my suitcase come August:

  1. A pair of denim shorts are a perennial summer staple and these ones from Gap have just the right amount of distressing so they look naturally casual rather than too try-hard.
  2. I rarely wear high heels in summer and these silver espadrilles from Whistles are smart enough to take you from beach to bar while still being supremely comfortable.
  3. The soft sheen of rose gold looks fabulous against tanned skin and this stunning Astley Clarke moonstone pendant can be worn on its own or layered with other delicate necklaces.
  4. I tend to stick to a neutral or monochrome colour palette all year round but it’s fun to liven up an outfit with brightly coloured accessories such as this beach bag by Sophie Anderson. Inspired by the designer’s travels in Colombia, the roomy tote has been handcrafted by the country’s skilled weavers.
  5. This gorgeous dress from Isabel Marant’s Étoile collection has popped up in my Bloglovin’ feed quite a few times over the past month or so. The drop waist silhouette and soft ruffles are universally flattering and while it qualifies as an investment piece rest assured that this is a dress that you will want to keep wearing long after the temperatures drop.
  6. Simple but oh so stylish, this striped romper is the kind of thing I imagine chic Parisian girls wear on their annual summer jaunts to the Riviera. Pair with huge shades and a wide brimmed hat to truly channel your inner Brigitte Bardot.
  7. An off the shoulder top is a must this summer and this one from H&M will look great with the Gap shorts or a pair of jeans on cooler days.
  8. Finally, a hat is also a necessity to protect your face, scalp and hair from the sun’s rays. To avoid it getting crushed in your suitcase it is best to wear it on the plane, which also helps you switch into holiday mode!
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Hunkydory Fall/Winter

As soon as August draws to an end my sartorial thoughts turn to the autumn/winter collections. The summer sales have never held much appeal for me, especially as my summer dresses and denim shorts spend about 50 weeks of the year in a box under my bed! A good piece of knitwear on the other hand is likely to see numerous outings between September and April (and sometimes even May!). And when it comes to cosy and cute sweaters nobody does it better than Swedish fashion brand Hunkydory. This season’s collection is not just about the knitwear though, as layering is the name of the game with unstructured coats and soft jersey T-shirts in muted tones creating a cool, laidback vibe. ‘Effortless elegance’ is how the brand sums up its F/W collection and I couldn’t agree more.

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Currently Coveting #28: Patterns for Spring

My blog posting has been very sporadic to say the least since the start of this year due to both a lack of time and a lack of inspiration. January and February are not my favourite months and I’ve had no urge to do anything other than curl up on the sofa in front of the TV once the kids are in bed. But spring is finally in the air and with the warmer weather and lighter evenings comes a renewed sense of energy and a desire to start blogging a bit more again.

Last weekend I also did a mini clear out of my wardrobe to make sure it is spruced up for spring. Recently I have been really inspired by bloggers who embrace the concept of a capsule wardrobe and a more minimal lifestyle and while I am not wholly there yet I have slowly been ridding my closet of things I no longer wear.I’m happy with most of what is in there now but a couple of new pieces for spring wouldn’t go amiss. Last spring was all about stripes but this season I’m drawn to bolder prints on blouses and shirts that can be paired with my trusty jeans (current favourites: Topshop Leigh jeans in black or distressed grey) or cropped trousers. Add a pair of ballerinas or Converse and I’m good to go.

Patterns for Spring

{Any of these pretty tops from Anthropologie would fit the bill but if I had to choose one I’d probably pick the short sleeved top in the middle of the top row.}

For a slightly subtler take on the patterned trend I also love these two tops from H&M:

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What’s your must have item of clothing this spring?

Stockholm Fashion Week – Day 2

Day 2 of Stockholm Fashion Week and two of my favourite labels – Hunky Dory (their knitwear is to die for) and House of Dagmar – had their turn on the catwalk. There were also feminine yet edgy offerings from new kid on the block Valerie while Ann-Sofie Back opted for a more intimate invite-only presentation for her diffusion line BACK. H&M-owned Cheap Monday showed a punk-inspired shipwrecked look brimming with sailor stripes, big checks and threadbare knits. Not too sure about the ‘smudged mascara all over the face’ makeup though…

On a slightly unrelated note I have been bemoaning the out-of-touch seasonal cycle of fashion where, despite all the talk of fast fashion and in-season collections, it is still nigh on impossible to find a winter coat in the middle of January. The zip on my (three years old) Zara coat broke yesterday and, as it’s pretty darn freezing outside, I wanted to find a replacement ASAP. So off to town I went this morning only to find that all the decent coats were in the Sale, which would have been a good thing and saved me some money had there been ANY in my size. In the end I spent £80 on a parka style number from Zara’s ‘youth’ department. It’s OK and will see me through the next couple of months but I really resent spending money on a coat that I know I’ll want to replace come this autumn.

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Hunky Dory

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Valerie

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House of Dagmar

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Cheap Monday

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BACK

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholm Fashion Week – Day 1

Stockholm Fashion Week kicked off in my old hometown yesterday and in between working and looking after two sick children I have been watching the live stream from the shows. Clean lines and a monochrome colour scheme dominated the catwalks and while some may deem the lack of colour and flamboyance boring, I think the muted palette makes the clothes infinitely more wearable. As most of you probably know by now, I love the Scandinavian design aesthetic both when it comes to fashion and interior. A peek into my wardrobe would reveal that, if my budget allowed it, most of these creations could hang there quite comfortably. And it was not ALL black, white and grey – there were flashes of yellow at Carine Wester and a pretty combo of pastel pink and leopard print at Ida Sjöstedt .

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Winter Warmers

Winter Warmers Collage

The temperature has dropped in the last week or so and snuggle season is finally upon us. The temptation is to stay in, with the heating on and the fire lit, and get cosy on the sofa with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. To make sure my feet stay warm I would ensconce them in the super soft cashmere bed socks from The White Company – a pair in every colour would do me just fine! Scented candles are a must at this time of year and, if Santa’s reading, the new vanilla candle by Diptyque is on my Christmas list.

But we all have to venture out into the cold at some point and for me the emphasis is definitely on staying warm. My children may be happy in short sleeves (and crocs if I let them get away with it!) even when the thermometer is showing single figures but I will be wrapped up in these cosy winter warmers. The Topshop padded parka jacket with borg lining is winging its way to me as we speak and I’m also contemplating ordering the cute pom pom knit beanie from Anthropologie. Add a pair off Uggs (if I didn’t already have a pair, I would invest in these boots with extra bling) and a cashmere snood like this one from Brora and I’m good to go.

I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping for snow this year!

New In For Autumn

Fall fashion

{Top row l-r: Fake Fur Gilet, Jumper, Jeans all from Topshop. Bottom row l-r: Dress from Topshop, Jacket and Jumper from Anthropologie}

This week the weather took a distinctly autumnal turn with some crisp sunny days but also plenty of rain and wind. Personally I don’t mind one bit as it is a great excuse to stay indoors, light some candles and cosy up on the sofa. Soup is the perfect food on chilly days and today we had this delicious fish soup for dinner. The colder weather has also spurred me on to update my wardrobe for fall. I know one of my autumn resolutions was to stop spending but the best laid plans as they say…

Added to my existing wardrobe, these six pieces should see me through the next few months. Maybe just a pair of knee high boots and a new winter coat and then I’m done!

 

Five on Friday

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{The boys went back to school last Tuesday. For one year they are at the same school, before it is time for Cameron to move on to secondary school.}

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{Clemmie didn’t start school until today so she and I went to Sweden for three nights last weekend to see my sister and her kids. We had loads of time at the airport before our flight so I treated her to an Anna from Frozen doll. Traveling with just one child was so easy and we had a great time.}

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{Today was a big day for Clemmie but she loved putting on her uniform and going into school. Some of you may remember that I was less than thrilled about her starting school so young but after several chats with the headteacher I felt reassured that the focus in this first year is very much on play.}

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{Some new beauty buys: A Rodial bee venom serum that I bought on the flight back from Stockholm and I also managed to get my hands on the much-hyped Multi-colour Les Beiges by Chanel. I feel a beauty post coming up soon!}

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{I am a self-confessed knitwear fanatic and these two jumpers from H&M and Hunky Dory are new purchases for the coming season along with a pair of boots, also from H&M. I love the zip detailing on all of them.}

Now that all three children are at school, I hope to have some more time for blogging. I have so many ideas but time has been very scarce over the summer holidays. Thank you to all of you who kept reading and commenting despite the rather patchy updating.

This weekend we’re going to Bristol to visit an old friend of mine. Last time we went it took us over four hours to get there so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the traffic will be light. Hope you have a fantastic weekend whatever you’re doing. X

Five on Friday

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{Clemmie was happy to be back home with all her toys. She and I are off to Sweden again in two weeks’ time to visit my sister and her family.}

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{I’m still on a shopping ban but the kids desperately needed some new clothes for autumn so I went slightly mad in Zara Kids this week. They really have some fabulous stuff for both boys and girls.}

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{Now that Casper is moving up to the junior school, both boys needed new backpacks and school supplies like pencil cases, pens and water bottles etc. I still LOVE shopping for back to school things just as much as I did as a child.}

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{OK. so I’m not allowed to shop but I can still look, right? The planning for my A/W wardrobe is well underway and this jumper from All Saints is top of the list along with a new pair of ankle boots and winter coat.}

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{Two weeks of pizza, ice cream, chocolate, cinnamon buns and wine (not necessarily all together) have left their all too visible marks. Time to switch up the healthy eating a gear with the help of recipes such as this delicious-looking one for salmon and chickpea salad. More food inspiration can be found on my Pinterest board.}

Hope you have a fab weekend. It’s a three-day one here in the UK and we intend to make the most of it with plans to go to a food festival and to Ikea to check out new kitchens. What are you up to? X

Currently Coveting #26: Alex Monroe Dragonfly Necklace

Alex Monroe Dragonfly

I absolutely love this dragonfly necklace in silver by Alex Monroe. It is the perfect whimsical, yet sophisticated, jewel to set off a summer outfit, whether casual or glam. Renowned for his irresistible nature-inspired pieces, the British jewellery designer’s collection also features bunnies, foxes, feathers and, of course, the iconic bumblebee. The latter is almost too life-like for my liking so I prefer the more ethereal dragonfly motif. I don’t often buy expensive jewellery (ie not costume jewellery) for myself but I may have to make an exception for this one…

Alex Monroe’s jewellery collection is available from Liberty