Monochrome Summer Style

black in summer is so underrated. Black pieces against pale skin or a more glowing complexion black can take any look form a 5 to and 8 instantly. black dresses are timeless and chic and perfect for running around town in or sitting in a beer garden soaking up the sun. This little one I’ve had for years and has never failed me. The underskirt needs a little attention but it’s so flattering and the perfect length to tan my pins. Worn with the perfect ‘business’ jacket from LOTD and white trainers with contrasting laces.

I wore

dress- Similar, Similar | jacket – LOTD | Trainers – Converse* | Sunglasses – Boohoo

The Barn at Avington

I’ll be honest, I though weddings or my wedding was a bit “off brand” for me personally and professionally. But I’ve been to a few family wedding and I loved them all. So romantic and unforgettable. I guess weddings are 100% up my street “on brand”.

I’m 24 and my cards are still on the table, so I don’t know what kind of wedding I want. I always dreamed of eloping but someone, i’m looking at you H is a million percent not having it. So I guess I’ll be surrounded by my loved ones as they congratulate me as i get married. Nothing sounds worse, then having a beautiful day in a dress getting married in-front of my family and friends and telling everyone i got hitched and smiling and laughing at the best day of my life… come on.
Enough of me talking about myself, The Barn at Avington is why we are all here.
A new wedding venue that has spring up out of the Winchester countryside is The Barn at Avington. A beautiful newly renovated barn with more space then most, surrounded by rolling hills, local cottages and beautiful woods. There is also a lake, incase you thought this place didn’t have everything. Just over the lake you get a glimpse of a local vineyard. It’s beautiful and idyllic, it’s perfection manifested in a wedding venue.
 With on site cottages for family to stay in, sleeping up to 14 and the glamping site just up the road there is really no need to stay at a hotel and drive to the wedding the worry about getting back to your hotel after a glass or two, a destination wedding without the plane ticket.
The concept of the Barn is to have a really bespoke unique wedding. There is no conveyer belt service here. The idea is to take your time have a week or weekend at The Barn have a decorating party first day you arrive get everything ready. Time to relax then get married and party the night away, Wake up have a BBQ relax pack down, to finally drive home when safe to do so.
The Barn have really gone that one step further and curated a really expensive list of suppliers. Don’t be fooled everyone on the list has be vetted. From all different types of bands to light up signs to live sketches, everything as been thought of. You want it? The Barn will help you find it. The resources they have at their finger tips is really something to utilise.
I arrived for a press day not really knowing what to expect, When people say barn, I automatically think mud. There was no mud in sight. It is a barn but it’s so much more.
On the press day tables were set by local suppliers and arranged with such flourish that I wanted them to decorate my home. The tableware really stole it for me Crystal Hire Ltd had the most beautiful pieces that it really added a more decadent feel the the rustic aesthetic. The whole place was styled by Linen and Lace Events, who I’d like to style all my birthdays from now on.
We were given a tour and treaded to drinks and snacks then we walked the few steps it took to the ceremony space outdoors by the late. Soon to be pontoon to have your ceremony out on the late. No officially wedding license (yet?) but you can get married in Winchester and have a ceremony at The Barn, a jumping the broom, or trying the knot.
We were invited to visit The Glade also which is a really show piece. An A frame structure fit for 2. Possible a newly married couple? Nestled within a bluebell forest with magnificent views. The out door living space gives you a truly open kitchen and a bathroom right into the woods. An optional seating area at the first pit or would you prefer the old stone water tank to take in your evening view of paradise?
Thank you The Barn at Avington ( Rebecca)lin for having me, please have I have my Birthday here? It’s not in wedding season.
For more information : http://www.avingtonholidays.co.uk/the%20barn.html

Ralph Lauren Mens Shirt

Tailored items are a winner when it comes to pulling an outfit together. The age old, ‘throw a blazer on’ has been all over the internet and fashion realms. Tailoring is great to give your silhouette definition.  A piece that’s sometimes over looked is the shirt. More importantly the mens shirt worn on a more feminine frame.

European styling at it’s finest. An Italian tan leather jacket off set by some light blue mom jeans,  and classic leopard print block heels.

Leather Jacket- vintage | Jeans – Primark | shoes – next | mens shirt – Ralph Lauren | Sunglasses – Boohoo| Necklace – Lovisa

 

 

Genderless Clothing & Paleontology

Dippy – Diplodocus | Dorset County Museum 

 Dippy stayed in the Victorian hall which is very fitting for a globe trotting dino. He/She wouldn’t have settled for anything less. Dippy is over 100 years old and tours the globe inspiring new generations of scientists. The next Ross Geller could be among us.

I learnt so much about Dippy but couldn’t find Dips gender, which ties in perfectly to my T-shirt. It’s genderless clothing from Zara. Designed with no gender boundaries other then making a cute shirt for anyone to buy. Of course you can shop in either section no matter what just I really enjoy the inclusivity that Zara are promoting.

If you do get the chance to see Dippy in their tour of the UK please do, you’ll learn a lot and get to be Ross for a day. Next Stop Birmingham.

 

I wore

Genderless t shirt – Zara | Jeans – Primark | Shoes – Converse via footway*

Vintage Ralph Lauren

 

I wouldn’t say I was a vintage expert, but I do know a thing or two about bargain hunting. My most recent bargain is this vintage Ralph Lauren mens shirt. I love over sized shirts and spotted this one a mile off. If you saw on my Insta stories you’d have seen me trying out how to wear it. The prep look is something I can easily pull together with a subtle jumper over a shirt. As soon as the sun is out you can best believe that this shirt will be worn with shorts and sunglasses. Sat on a beach somewhere, hopefully with a drink in my hand.

Shot in a blue bell wood – Pamphill

Photo cred – Hayden

I wore

Jeans- Primark | Shirt – Ralph Lauren (vintage) | Jumper – And Other Stories | Shoes – Converse* ( via Footway)

Mom Jeans and Leather Jacket

Can you believe it’s May already? Where is the year going? It feels like two seconds ago it was my birthday and that was in January. I can’t wait for the sun to stay out longer then a day so I can  wear dresses and live at the beach all summer long.

Spring dressing is so hard when you live in the UK the cold seams to linger around much longer the needed. I’ve found my spring uniform for this year.

A cropped T shirt, mom jeans and a leather jacket. This one is vintage and was a total bargain. I really learnt from the best when it comes to vintage/antique/charity shopping.

The colour transitions from winter into spring the earthy tones are given new life though cream trainers, and pale blue mom jean. If the sun does pop out, whip the jacket off and enjoy the sun on your skin. When it’s cloudy grab your jacket and dash to the nearest coffee shop for a cuppa.

The tote bag was made by my amazing PR team at uni we sold these bad boys and many others to raise money for a local domestic violence charity. If you are interested in carrying your shopping in something other then a plastic bag.

I wore  Jeans – Primark | T shirt – Topshop | Jacket – Vintage | Trainers – Converse* | Charity tote bag

Pom Pom Jumper & Palm Dress

Squint and I’m at some cool garden party networking brunch, but in reality i’m in my grandma’s garden. She’s got such green fingers her garden looks amazing all year round.

I’m feeling this look so much, worn for my mums birthday to just communicate that she means more to me then me wearing my usual boring uniform. When your mum has a birthday, you pull the stops out you make an effort. Show your appreciation through your outfit choice. If you saw in my Insta stores I wore this look to Stewarts Garden Centre then Networking (it’s the outfit for every occasion) It’s the versatile outfit of the season, you saw it here first ( kidding).

This look was such a talking point at the networking even i went to,  that someone said I made their day by wearing it. When you are self employed you can wear what you like, you can break the mould of suits and corporate wear.

I wore

jumper – H&M || dress – Kaliko similar  || shoes* Converse || bag – Lulu Guinness || charm -Lulu Guinness

Dare To Mask with The Body Shop

I’ve been using products from The Body Shop for years, quite possibly they were the first skin care brand I bought from. So when The Body Shop Southampton hosted a blogger event I had to be there.

The event was in celebration of their new mask range with the hashtag “daretomask” Myself and all the other bloggers got to listen to a skincare expert talk about the new mask range and to take a look at the new more premium collection ( we got to take a few things home which is so exciting) The Body Shop highlighted all the good they are doing with stopping animal testing and creating more sustainable products. 

The himalayan charcoal range of products is supporting the endangered red panda. The Body Shop have consistently worked to protect our most endangered animals and the welfare of all animals. What’s even more exciting is that TBS are even working to sustain endangered plants. Their premium scent collection works with some of the most endangered plants that are used for perfumes all over the world. Normally you’d cut the plant and use it in perfume. Not The Body Shop have cover the plant and extract the smell is naturally releases and uses that in their premium perfume range. Not harming the plant at all.

What’s really refreshing about TBS is their continuos hard work in sustaining animal and plant habitats. They recently built bio-bridges and help discover a new bread of Orangutang. If you don’t know me personally then you don’t know I LOVE orangutang and really want to work on a sanctuary for a few months just helping out, helping save those big orange guys. TBS created Reggie a shower and bath luffa to raise awareness for the new orangutang which is such a worthy purchase.
I was given the strawberry shower gel as part of a set for christmas and i used it every day. It smells good enough to eat and the scent lingers on your skin. I’m so glad to have a mini one  in my possession. The balkan Juniper Body Wash is such a decadent smell that I’m waiting till have had a day off and am going to spend my time in the shower breathing this in and watching my skin get all soft. This on this product as the best five star hotel you’ll ever stay in.
The oils of life cleanser is a daily god send. I lightly exfoliate my face every day and follow with the cleanser and my skin looks so youthful, and bright.
I was given these items in a goodie bag to say thanks for coming and try out or products and see what you think. But because I love TBS and value them as creatives and innovators in the skincare world by going animal testing free. They are also expanding their vegan range. I got a little spendy and bought myself a few extras.
Oils of Life – A pea sized amount covers the face perfectly. The cleanser goes on line a think serum but washes off like water.
Moisturiser- Because that spring sun ain’t no joke, I don’t wanna crisp up at 24 thanks. It’s really tackled my rose cheeks and brought down the tension in my face.
Head bands red panda and bunny:  Putting on my makeup has never been so fun. I’m a bunny fanatic, Hayden can testify to this. If you aren’t already follow Reuben the rex on insta if you love bunnies. He’s adorable and I want to meet him. And the expand and give more to the red panda cause i got that head band too.
Face brush – Going into summer means my skin will suffer in makeup all day but not with this bad boy. A tiny little brush perfect to get the last of the day off.
Himalayan charcoal soap – again i just have to support the red panda and I’m really on the charcoal hype, what can i say.
 Pyjamas – Next  
from the boxing day sales, but Next have possibly the best PJ collection ever.
Let me know what your favourite Body Shop pieces are and i’ll be sure to give them a go.
Thank you to @quaytobeauty on Instagram for inviting me and the Southampton Bloggers.

All Meningitis Matters

As you are reading this it’s world meningitis day. It’s such an important day for so many people all over the world, but possibly more pertinent for myself and my family because i suffered with meningococcal septicemia which is a variation of meningitis in 2008, 10 years ago WOW!!

for more information https://www.meningitisnow.org

warning graphic content ahead

The day after boxing day I hit the sales with my mum and shopped till my fingers were sore. I did notice that my arms were really sore too, but just thought it was from all the bargains. We headed home for a christmas leftovers dinner which was so good. Yet it didn’t last and I met my dinner again, i was whisked to bed to rest and it all went down from there. Being 14 meant that i knew something was wrong even in my sleep, I woke up to tell my parents across the hall that i wasn’t right. I was hallucinating and didn’t understand where I was. I got out of bed and crawled to my door to try and get my parents attention but could reach up to the handle so got back into bed.

 My mum said she found my propped against the window fitting, she pulled me onto the floor where i proceeded to me sick all over the new carpet. Mum noticed the faintest of marks on my skin and just knew to see if they blanched (disappeared). She tested them and they stayed, it was time to ring the ambulance. My parents kept talking to me to keep me awake.  I remember them telling me what I’d like to eat and drink. My response was always a crisp green apple and a glass of water. I felt like i was boiling.

 Fast forward to the ambulance arriving, I was whisked to my local hospital and into a side room ASAP, more and more consultants and specialists came in to look at me. My mum being a nurse at the time knew exactly what was going on. Mum Terminator Mode was officially on ( when your mother goes into survival mode, she doesn’t panic she doesn’t stress she is efficient and knows what her job in this is) I was moved very quickly and carefully to Southampton and put in PICU – or paediatric intensive care unit to me and you. I stayed there on cold presses and monitored round the clock until i showed signs of improvement. A few weeks later my breathing tube was taken out next my feeding tube then my central line over the next few days. I started to me able to talk and look around, I was on drips and had as many blood platelets as I could to recover. I still couldn’t move successfully by myself so had people to itch my nose or, move my arm to touch to cold bars of the bed so i could feel the soothing cold of them. I still had a temperature that wouldn’t get under control. A weeks past and I tested sitting up for the first time in almost a month. I had no neck control, my head snapped forward like it was a tone of bricks. But it was a successful venture I had sat up… with 3 people holding me and someone ready to catch me incase if tipped over. I had sat up so it was time to go back to my local hospital. We ambulanced down and arrived into a private room, and quarantined for safety.  The doctors worked on getting my temperature down and eradicating the last of the infection. When I was stronger I sat up alot more then moved to sitting in a chair. For only 10 minutes at a time but gradually that time increased. I started physiotherapy and tried walking just around my room at first then into the hall way then into the play room then down the corridor.

 I’d ask the physio after each session what would we try and do tomorrow and that night with my mum and dad we’d practice. It was one of the best motivators to recover quickly.

 Having not looked in a mirror for a month you forget what you look like, doubled with being so ill when you do see yourself it’s a shock, I was a pale grey yellow with matted bloody hair. There was no life in my skin or hair. I’m grateful that I was alone when I saw myself so i could process what I looked like alone. The best hair wash of my life was next. Having bleed out my nose while in bed the blood had dripped into my hair and dried into my matted curls. My auntie washed my hair for the first time and it was one of the first things that made me feel better about myself.

I had Septecima source on my thighs. The little black scabs you see on people who stuffer from meningococcal septicemia well they can get much bigger and can even lead to limb loss. Some how mine didn’t pass my knees or elbows but the lingered on my thighs and butt for ages and were very deep. I was visited by the tissue viability nurse to help me dress me new wounds. Manuka honey was such a saviour to my legs. Once they had healed Bio oil helped reduce the tightness in the skin of my scars.

 It was finally home for me, I was well enough to leave hospital but my temperature was monitored and so were my scars. I got used to being at home, walking up stair brushing my teeth, brushing my hair. Being back in my room where it all started. I went back to school for half days until I had the energy to stay a full day. I slotted back in to school socially very easily, but not into the work I was behind and didn’t have the opportunity to catch up. Teachers didn’t understand why I did have home work, why I couldn’t do PE when i had to stop alot, to think a little longer. Not have an attention span like I used to have was really hard, nothing interested me. Peoples plights of a friend not being nice to their boy friend or what ever just felt petty and nothing to me. I was in a serious bubble where nothing effected me. Smells and songs were a huge distraction and would plant me back in hospital at my lowest point in hospital. Kylie Minogue released a perfume called Show Time, i think and it was my favourite perfume I get mum to spray me with in in hospital all the time. I can’t smell it anymore without getting really sad and anxious. I remember so much of my time in hospital and some of my hallucinations  As well as Somewhere Over The Rainbow by IZ, mum and I used to dance in the kitchen to it and we listened to it in hospital together crying. I still can’t listen to any version of it.

Years later I raised money for Meningitis Now  by walking 60km well I actually only managed to walk 37.7km I pulled a ligament in my knee so I stopped. I wanted to close of my story with a high and i think I did that. I went through something awful and came out the other side pretty well off, my family where there monitoring me just as much as the Dr’s they kept me entertained, interested.

Please educate yourselves on the signs and speak up if something doesn’t fell right, you know what a cold feels like.

Thank you to my family and the nurses and Drs in Southampton and Poole for all you hard work.

Below are graphic images from my time in Hospital, Caution is advised.

Today change your Facebook profile to the Meningitis Filter, spread your stories or listen to them, create awareness.

Vintage Summer

Finding vintage dresses to wear this summer has become my favourite past time. I scooped this one a few weeks ago along with two others that I can’t wait to show you. The capped sleeves, the original cream buttons, it’s a vintage dream. I was super tempted to cut the hem shorter, but love the more conservative look at the length it is.

 Paired with burnt orange/red slippers which are all over the shops at the moment. Mine are Primark and were such a bargain, I’ve my eye one a pair from Public Desire, that are way more extra then these. A wicker basket that is fit for a summer in Italy or at your local beach. Of course you need a pair of purple glasses. They defuse the the orange tone in the sun light, which means you can actually walk around without squinting, also no need to take them off when stopping into stores to buy water and ice-cream.

The ultimate vintage summer look.

I wore

dress- vintage

shoes – Primark

bag – similar

glasses – Romwe

After next week, there will be alot of new posts coming your way. How to shop vintage and where. Summer looks, stay-cations, vacations, university and a “mature student”, Vinted Everything.