Saturday, 31 December 2011

Looks I'm loving

The start of the new year being just around the corner coupled with festive overindulgence has made me even more determined to lose another stone in 2012. I want to be toned and healthy, and if possible achieve the unthinkable, get legs as toned as Snooki’s (apologies to those of you who can’t believe I’m saying this, frankly I can’t believe I’m saying this either but hell, if that little meatball can do it so can I). Speaking of toned legs, I give you Jennifer Grace, 25 years old and from California. Her posts on Lookbook remind me a lot of how some of the London girls dress (and how I’d like to dress), casual but with a fashionable/grunge edge, but with that unmistakable California girl style.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

New Year, New Start

So, Christmas has been and gone and it's time to start turning our attention to 2012 and what the year ahead has in store. This Christmas The Boy and I seemed to receive more than our fair share of presents and I fear on our return to the flat we will struggle slightly for space. No need to worry though, additional clutter will only spur me on with the spring cleaning. For some reason I spend pretty much the last four months of the year obsessing over creating the perfect Christmas that by the time it gets to boxing day I'm ready to take down the decorations and make a fresh start. This year I have big plans, not only for a general clear up of our living space but life in general:

1. Making my bulging wardrobe work for me - I love fashion, which can be seen by the sheer volume of garments, accessories and footwear in almost every accessible area of the flat. Yet I still seem to find that without careful consideration the night before, 6.30am will often see me staring vacantly into the wardrobe uttering the immortal words "I have nothing to wear". The invention of blogging has given me endless inspiration for putting together ensembles yet I often end up reaching for the same old tried and tested outfits. In 2012 I want this all to change. I want to spend less on frivolous fast fashion and make the clothes I have work harder for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting some sort of ridiculous ban on shopping for a year but do expect me to be reworking some old ensembles rather than heading straight to the high street - expect photographic evidence of my attempts to become more of a fashionista in the new year!

2. Get back to crafting - those who read this blog regularly will know that I get inspiration from a variety of places in addition to the world of fashion. I love to draw, knit, sew, paint and just generally craft, these are things that thanks to the nurturing of my mother, I've done all my life, yet seem to have little time for these days. So, with a new sketchbook and endless half started projects in my craft box, 2012 will be the year that I get back to doing some of the things that I truly love to do.

3. Learn to say No - 2011 has been a busy year for The Boy and I with a seemingly endless array of events and obligations taking up the time we should be spending together. Sure, I love celebrating special events in the lives of both our friends and families, but when you get that sinking feeling before you leave to go somewhere with your head basically telling you that you'd be better off staying on the sofa; something isn't right. Sometimes I know it's just me, but ultimately I just want to consider what I do with my free time, and who I spend it with.

4. Choose my friends wisely - a friend is someone who is there for you, no matter what. Who you can go for months or even years without seeing and when you meet up everything is the same. Truly great friends can even be people who you speak to only online, who you knew in the past but have reconnected with over a shared passion. Friends take you as you are, understand and are non-judgemental. Who, when you say you can't afford to do something, actually listen and offer up other solutions. I went for years feeling that I wasn't good enough for certain people, now I see that ultimately they weren't good enough for me, and I now choose my friends wisely. I have learnt over time that it is important to be selective of the people you choose to have in your life as some will simply take and give nothing in return. In 2012 I want to spend more time with the people who make me happy, you know who you are.

5. Save vs. Spend - the end of 2011 has seen vast amounts of cash disappear from my bank account (I like to give) meaning I will need to be frugal as we enter 2012. Equally, 2011 saw the beginnings of a house deposit being squirrelled away here and there and 2012 will be the year in which this grows, by as many methods possible. The L&F eBay shop should be back up and running within the week (watch this space) and spring looks set to be car boot central as I head down south to get rid of the last of my old junk at the family home and help raise a bit of extra cash. Already the queen on the coupon I will be using as many as possible to full effect in the new year to help with the budget in the L&F household for the many weddings and holidays we already have in the diary.

Ultimately, I want to spend 2012 living healthily and happily, surrounded by the ones I love – all the best to all of you for a wonderful fashion filled 2012!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Looks I'm loving

Bonnie Barton (got to love that name alone) mixes geek chic with a variety of patterns and textures to create her own unique look. The twenty-two year old currently residing in Philadelphia is often a source of inspiration for me as, lets face it, it’s not often I mix prints and fabrics (I’m more of a comfort girl at heart). Find Bonnie on Lookbook and

Sweet Charity

My recent weekend at home was particularly special as I was able to do one of my all time favourite things; support a great charity and shop. Who wouldn’t love that? Saturday was a day for me and the mother (whilst Dad took The Boy on what can only be described as a pub crawl). It’s been a while since Ma and I have spent anytime just the two of us and with Grandma passing away recently I wanted to make sure she was ok and spend some genuine mother-daughter time together. We set off early and headed for a top secret location where we could indulge in our favourite pastime: bargain hunting. Sue Ryder is a charity close to my heart and their sale days are legendary, hence the reason I found myself queuing in the grounds of a stately home on a cold winters day. There was many a bargain to be had and my wardrobe now contains even more fashion gems (if that was even possible). Bargains of the day were an amazing pair of curtains for the hallway (more of those later) and some brand new tan leather Clarks loafers.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Blog of the week

As most of you will know, aside from during a recent bout of food poisoning, I love food! There’s nothing I enjoy more than being cooked for, going out to eat, or even cooking myself which seems to be fast becoming a favourite pastime of mine. When I don’t have time to cook for myself or am simply being too lazy when I come home and crash out from work, one of my favourite blogs to drool over is that of Homerunballerina. Written by a chef named Audrey from New York, Homerunballerina is the perfect combination of food and fashion (although mostly food) with images to accompany the recipes that literally make me want to hop on a plane to New York pronto.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Getting dressed

Preparing for the work Christmas party has taught me two things. One, I have far too many nice going out clothes when you consider that I stay in almost every night of my life (bad thing), and two, that there is no reason for me to buy any new clothes for all the weddings I have to go to next year (good thing).

Narrowing down option choices for the Hobbs Christmas do has most definitely been my chore of the week, ending on Thursday night with me needing to choose between six outfits. Six! All of which looked great proving that sometimes it might be worthwhile for me to actually, shock horror, go out rather than heading straight home and putting on my leopard print pyjamas and towelling dressing gown. When I mentioned this to The Boy he said that we do go out. I said that I meant out out, and no, Wetherspoons does not count.

Another dilemma facing me when deciding on what to wear was how Essex of a look I could get away with in central London. Obviously I’ve never lived in Essex but the influence of TOWIE on some elements of my wardrobe is very evident in some of the dresses I own. Basically any bright colour I am now wary of – particularly when teamed with platform heels. Not that the tight bright dress, high heels, tan/lashes/extensions look is one that I rock intentionally but some outfits are just a bit better received outside of London. Here are some images of my final choice (leopard, obvs), along with some of the other gorgeous Hobbs girlies.

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Breakfast Club

December very much seems like a time for catching up with friends, eating and generally sampling the festive cheer and it's safe to say I've been doing plenty of all of the above of late.
As a lifetime Christmas fan I have been excited about December rolling around since approximately August and when the 1st finally arrived last week there was many a reason to celebrate. The members of the Branch Merch team are all fans of food and the beginning of the festive season seemed like as good a reason as any to try out a new eating establishment, namely The Breakfast Club in Soho (after all, an early start when it involves food is completely diffe
rent to an early start when it involves working). As a sufferer of food envy my decision to have French toast with bacon and banana went out the window when virtually all of the team went for the All American, a gut busting concoction of pancakes, egg, potato, bacon and sausage topped off with maple syrup. It may sound too much but let me tell you, it was good. Not only did the food taste great but the atmosphere, the staff and the music were all fantastic - leading me to to beg that we forget about work, stay for another cup of tea and then hit Oxford Street for a spot of shopping. But alas this was not to be, work was calling and we headed back to the office to discuss The Muppet Christmas Carol and sing songs from Beauty and the Beast (who knows why, it's just the life of a branch merchandiser). And, for some of us who had over eaten, attempt to have a nap under the desk without anyone noticing.

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