Friday, 15 January 2016

My 2016 Goals

Belated Happy New Year to you, hope you all got want you wanted out of 2015, and if you didn't, hope it allowed you to grow. If I had to use one word to describe the past year, it would be productive. I made big decisions, I went with my gut, I took risks and I'm in a much better place for it. That’s not to say I still haven’t got a long way to go in terms of what I want to achieve, but I'm getting there.
Looking back at my goals from last year, I’d say I've made a conscious effort to do more (or less) of what I promised myself on the list. Am I reading a book a month? Hell no! Do I worry or procrastinate less? Not a chance. I can’t help it because it’s in my nature. What I am beginning to embrace is living in the moment and worrying about what I'm doing this weekend as opposed to where I’ll be in 5 years’ time. The control freak in me wants to plan and predict the future but I'm slowly coming to realise that you can’t control everything. You can work hard, be proactive, be positive and put yourself in situations to better your odds, but you can’t control fate, chance or luck.
My new thing for 2016 is to live for the now and enjoy the moment! Appreciate all that you are and all that you have now because once upon a time, you wanted to be here 10 years ago, or even a year ago!
Spend time with your loved ones, indulge in the guilty pleasures you enjoy, worry less about acquiring things and more about people. Do more of what makes you happy now than dream about your happy place in 5 years’time. Be grateful for everything you have because somewhere else in the world, you’re living the life of a rock star. And finally (most importantly) do something that you’ll be remembered for when you leave this earth. Happy 2016!
My happy moment = In the sunshine, with my bestie, eating a doughnut!

Monday, 4 January 2016

#OOTY: 2015 Outfit Du Jour


Happy New Year all! Hope 2016 is getting off to a good start. Thought I'd do a quick round-up of my top 2015 looks. For Winter, I've definitely mastered the art of layering. Getting more use out of favorite spring/summer pieces was all about the leather jacket, warm scarf and of course trusted blazers. Looking back at my style goals from last year, I was much better at playing with bright colours and bold prints in the Summer especially with beachwear. I also made a brave move playing mass at the Noting Hill carnival which I worked really hard to get into shape for as the costume in question was missing a lot of fabric! I also finally managed to hunt down the tuxedo jumpsuit I've been after for so long even though it was a very snug fit. 
 All in all, it's been playful year of experimenting with new looks while sticking to a personal style I'm finally happy and confident with. 2016 is again going to be aimed at making the most out of the wardrobe I have and spending less on the unnecessary. I'm finding that I get more comments when I wear old favourites,  and  that a new dress or new shoes aren't always the solution for a 'new outfit'. Re-styling, accessorizing, make-up and changing a hairstyle can make all the difference with a wardrobe full of clothes that need to be worn more! Here's to another year of more outfits and new memories.



Sunday, 20 December 2015

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide for her

Tis that time of year again ... People running around last minute like headless chickens trying to find that perfect gift. Crowds hoarding round the high streets not having a clue where to start or what to buy. Christmas shopping can actually be stressful. 
Generally, I have three rules about gift buying; Get something they'll use/wear a lot, something of sentimental value or something that's not too over priced or over budget. The only time I'd consider spending money is when buying an item that will get used/worn a lot as it should have longevity. If you can't afford anything premium, there are plenty of other useful gift ideas that don't come with a huge price tag (especially things people don't think about buying themselves but really appreciate). I know it's only a a few more days left now but you still enough time for last minute purchases. Here are my top ten gift guides for her:  

1) Jo Malone Amber and Lavender Cologne: £85.00 
You can never go wrong with Jo Malone perfume; fresh, clean, bespoke scents tailored for different occasions. Though the amber and lavender range has a musky, velvety blend, it's still perfect for daytime as it's light, airy and effortless 
2) Fitbit Flex Wireless bracelet: From £44.95
What better way to ease your way into 'new year, new you' with the Fitbit wireless bracelet. An ideal way to track your activity including steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned and hours slept. Simple enough to set up once synced with your smart phone or computer
3) Personalised name necklace: From £15.00
Nothing more personal and sentimental than a personalised name necklace. There are lots of retailers offering this gift idea, and jewellery offered (e.g.necklaces, bracelets, rings etc.) can be made from plastic, silver, gold plated and gold. Prices are based on what you get but I would advice gold for longevity ( around the £100-£150 mark) though gold plated can last a while if well looked after
4) Nike Women's Free Run 2 Trainers £69:99
I live in my New Balance trainers so much that they might need replacing. Good quality and fashionable trainers are essential footwear for your all year round wardrobe and I love the pink trim detail of these Nike Free Run trainers.Good price too 
5) Prosecco made me do it jumper £16.00
Because you know it did. Light-hearted fun caption sweat shirts are a good option if you share a similar sense of humour 
6) Porsche design interchangeable sunglasses £220.00
One of the pricier items but worth the investment! These sunglasses are everything and one of the best investment purchases I've made. They match my entire wardrobe and have seen me through a summer and winter already. Ideal if she likes the over-sized Jackie O kind of look and available in different sizes depending on the shape/size of face
7) Embryolisse Lait-Creme Moisturiser £13.00
If it's not in her essential skin care range, it needs to be. For years, it was the undiscovered French girl's beauty secret but now it's a lifesaver. A multi-task 24-hour cream invented by a French dermatologist is THE girls best friend working as a primer, moisturiser, repairing mask and make-up remover all in one! At £13.00 from Boots, it's also real value for money for any skin tone
8)  Accesorize printed scarf £22.00
Scarves are never something we buy for ourselves so a good quality well made one comes in handy. You can never go wrong with nice print to brighten up your winter coat 
9) iPhone battery charger (Amazon) £26.99
As obsessed as we are with them, iPhone's are notoriously known for having rubbish battery service. Battery chargers are a lifeline especially if you're out an about for long periods of time. No-one is going to dislike this as a present. I swear by them 
10) Ministry of Sound wireless portable Speakers  £79.99
Ideal for on the go, these portable wireless speakers from Ministry of Sound are the perfect travelling companion.  With over 15 hours playback, a splash proof design and a rubber band that acts as a strap, they are a great gift choice 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Ultimate Seasonal Getaway: Chateau De Berne Heaven

There's nothing like a short 'n' sweet seasonal getaway to recharge batteries so a couple of months ago, my friend and I took a long weekend trip and escaped to Lourges, a Provençal town in the south of France. We stayed at  the beautiful Château De Berne,a 1500 acre residence surrounded by countryside and all the fresh air a girl could wish forFor me this place had everything; a vineyard, a spa, a gorgeous pool, tennis court and gym and amazing food. As you drive through the entrance gates, you're instantly aware of its remote location as you need to drive 3km just to get to reception.You're immediately greeted by a concierge who parks your car and carries your luggage, followed by a welcome glass of sparkling Château De Berne wine while you check in. I'm always a stickler for service and was pleased with how Christine and the rest of the front of house staff welcomed us. I honestly had an a amazing 2 day break doing an array of my favourite things which went a little something like this:
Saturday:




Our room was a beautiful and elegantly decorated suite overlooking the vineyard and castle with a private balcony, en suite shower, bath and cute living area. Once checked in, we decided to have some spa time before dinner and were pleasantly surprised with everything on offer including an indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and quiet reading area. I also had a 20 minute massage the next day which was extremely relaxing and rejuvenating. Our spa treat was followed by dinner at L'Orangerie, a gourmet restaurant within the vineyard offering a perfect dining experience, impressive menus and of course an abundance of local wine and cheeses to enjoy.



Sunday Funday




Sunday was all about pool time. Hours were spent, reading, cooling off and taking in the last bit of vitamin D at the beautiful infinity pool. The peace and quiet was much needed as was the mid-afternoon wine tasting tour that followed ( it's not like  you can go to a 292 acre vineyard and NOT taste the wine...)

Our host certainly knew everything there was to know about the château's  heritage and wine making and I loved the fact that he took us full circle showing the early days of the grapes right to how they are harvested and turned into wine with the huge steel and wooden barrel cellars. The tour ended up with some tasting at La Cave, the local gift shop and wine bar within the château grounds. 

Last Day












How could I resist one final lazy morning by the pool with such a view? We were so blessed with the good weather that early breakfast and poolside was the only option.There are genuinely no words to describe how incredible this place is, especially if you're seeking some peace, quiet and rest. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Provence region and even though summer is favourable, I can also see how it could be an ideal winter getaway with the log fires, heated in-door pool and spa and indulgent gourmet food. Top marks from me, would definitely go again x
                   

Friday, 30 October 2015

LOVE, WANT, NEED! BALMAIN FOR H&M

H&M sure know how to pick some of the world’s best fashion houses, but the latest Balmain  collaboration has to be my favourite yet. In fact, I'm so in love with this collection that I might have to queue up overnight or crash my laptop to hunt down everything in every colour! If you know me, you know that I'm a blazer, gold buttons, studs and leather girl, so no surprise I'm all over this! The fact that I can now get my hands on a Balmain blazer without going bankrupt is astonishing and the entire collection is sorry to say magnificent! You're basically covered for winter especially for Christmas party season as it's serving you all things velvet, sequin and satin. Here are five reasons why I love this collab:
Leather Jacket £199.99

1) It's affordable

Affordable being the operative word. Prices range from £18 (jewellery) to £400 but that's you getting Oliver Rousteing tailoring at a bargain price! 

2) Oh the tailoring..

What’s not to love about the womanly silhouettes and strong shouldered tailoring? Every piece I've seen screams effortless Parisian style, and I'm so glad that the signature Balmain detail for rich fabrics and flattering embellishments is a key theme in this collection.


Satin Skirt, £59.99

3)The Embellishments


Embellished dress, £299.99

Balmain is known for top quality wearable embellishments and the H&M collection is no different.  The long-line beaded jacket, white embellished dress and diamond-encrusted black top clearly shows the signature craftsmanship with attention to detail at a great price. And that green v-plunge sequin dress is bound to get you noticed at your work Christmas party
Green embellished dress, £119.99

Velvet embellished jacket, £299.99


4) Velvet at its best 


Velvet top, £59.99
I'm not usually a fan of velvet but the rich autumnal greens, reds and blues in the collection could change my mind. From the fitted high waisted trousers, clutch bags and gorgeous embroidery polo top, I think it’s time to finally have velvet in my life

5) Blazer heaven

All I'm going to say here is blazers.. structured blazers. Double-breasted wool-twill Balmain blazers at £80? Nobody, I say nobody get in my way 
Balmain for H&M blazer
                              
White Structured blazer, £79.99


Long Button Coat, £139.99

Friday, 28 August 2015

What to wear in Ibiza - Day time chic


After not doing Ibiza for four years, I realised that I'm much more of a daytime girl now than I was over a decade ago. My first few Ibiza mornings (and afternoons) were spent in bed nursing a hangover after an 8am finish. This was unless I could muster the strength to drag myself to the beach to get some shut eye.
Nowadays it’s all about daytime so when I pack for Ibiza, my day wardrobe has certainly had a facelift over the years. My must-have daytime wear has to be the beach cover-up. I generally have one for each day as they have become more of a full on outfit for me. Ibiza is known for day-to-night parties and I normally can’t be bothered to change for them so these beauties really hooked me up.

EBay is becoming my go-to place for quick, easy and inexpensive fashion pieces that are a bit different to what’s already on the high street. I'm also finding that a lot of fashion retailers mark up their prices to double of what some pieces are worth by branding them. I'm all for investing in clothes that will last but when it comes to fast fashion, do your homework and shop around because the fabric, quality and tailoring doesn't suddenly improve when something goes from £12 to £25. It’s more about what label you're buying into.  Here are all my daytime pieces over my four day stay: 
1) Mini printed Playsuit (EBay): I have about eight play suits already but can't seem to help myself! They are my default all in one piece as they’re flattering for my shape and easy to throw on.  I love the crochet stitching detail on the neck line and shorts, as well the pink and white Aztec print. 
  2) Boho sundress (EBay): I Love this sundress! The sleeves and length keep it classy while the thigh high slits give my legs a little helping hand to look .. well longer. I also love the floral print on the blue chiffon fabric and  matching belt to synch in my waist. At £8, it was definitely worth it though it looks way more than that
3)  Anastasia beach dress: I bought this dress in Mykonos two years ago and it was definitely worth it. It cost a little more than I would normally pay for a beach cover up but I knew it would get a lot of wear.  I usually save this one for boat parties or when I know the night party (e.g. Blue Marlin on a Sunday) is going to be my main event for the evening
4)  Floral printed play suit (EBay): This playsuit was great for browsing round Ibiza town and mooching around as it’s made from a cosy soft, breathable fabric. I seemed to have gone for a big floral theme here but if you can't do it in the summer on holiday when can you. 


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Holiday packing: Beauty essentials

Eve Lom Cleanser (50ml)| Bruzz nail brushDermalogica intensive moisture mask (sample size) | Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre| PH Advantage anti-aging cream| Nars Pure Radiant tinted moisturiser SPF 30| Proactiv solution daily oil control| Pure Potions Intensive Moisturising Ointment| Vaseline lip therapy (cocoa Butter)

When it comes to holiday packing, knowing what  beauty essentials to take can be an indecisive long process. There were times I wished I could take the kitchen sink with me, especially when you include things like perfume and bathing products. On top of that, the under 100ml makes it even more difficult to take everything you need so my secret is finding  multi- tasking products that do more than one job.  My beauty needs when I travel are all about exfoliating, hydrating, sun protection and ensuring my skin doesn't get clogged up or spotty. 

A bit of sun is fine but can also do more damage than good to your skin if the relevant products aren't used. For me sun protection is a must regardless of skin colour. There is an assumption that you don't need sun protection when you have darker skin and though fairer skin is more prone to sunburn, it doesn't mean dark skin won't get burnt. I swear by my NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturiser as it has 30 SPF protection while giving me a natural glow. I hate wearing makeup in the daytime on holiday, especially on the beach so the tinted moisturiser works as a great in between product. To exfoliate, I've been using the PH advantage anti-aging cream which has glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells. This cream really does the trick but it's so important to wear it with  a SPF product to protect your skin. 

In terms of make-up remover, I still swear by my Eve Lom cleanser and the 30ml size means I can take it to travel. It's so easy to remove all the layers of make up, sand and dirt so is perfect for holiday. Embryolisse lait creme is an amazing multi-task product as I use it to prime my skin, moisturise and soothe any sunburn  or dry skin. It's the perfect travel companion because it has so many uses. 
The only trouble I get with summer skin is that it tends to get greasier in the heat.  Proactive's Daily Oil control is great product to prep your skin before applying make-up, as it keeps everything matte and stops grease building in prone areas which in my case is my forehead. Another beauty trick is taking sample face masks like the Dermalogica intensive moisture mask which is really useful for just before you get on the flight home to hydrate your skin after all the travelling.

Vaseline is a no brainer for my lips and eyebrows but I've also discovered Pure Potions intensive moisturising ointment which is good for extremely dry areas like my elbows and knees. 

My final new find is a quirky new nail brush called Bruzz which is perfect for getting all the sand out of your nails as well as make-up dirt. The way it's designed means you can clean the top, underside and tip of your nails in one action and the removable bristles make it easy to clean after use. I love it! What are you beauty holiday must-have's?