A Pinny For Your Thoughts

Afternoon luvvies! How are we all? I do hope you’re eating plenty of treats, drinking much tea and looking after yourselves.

Now during these times I am fully aware that some of us… Ok probably a lot of us are living in realm of lounge wear and pajamas, including myself! Comfy worn-in joggers and slouchy jumpers have become the new office attire; let’s face it even if you’re working from home in these times and have to take a conference call who says that you can’t be put together on the top half and cosy on the bottom? You’ve totally earned it! But if you do happen to wake up one morning and the notion of getting dressed presents itself then do it, sometimes putting on an outfit I really like can make a huge difference to my day and I genuinely feel more productive simply just by getting dressed.

One of my favourite pieces in this scenario is (you may have guessed by the title!) The pinafore!

Now I’ll be honest I steered away from buying a pinafore for years, out of fear that I’d end up looking a bit like a child and let’s be honest I wouldn’t be worlds away with my haircut and collection of peter pan collars… However when I started to plan my outfit choices for a holiday to Scandinavia, ordering one by chance completely changed my mind and it has now become a major staple in my wardrobe.

I got this navy blue one from Joanie Clothing (my favourite online store I might add) and much like Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat, I honestly wish I had this pinafore in so many different colours and shades (hint hint)! It’s versatile and one of those timeless pieces that can get you through any season.

When it gets a little chilly in the air a cute jumper with a collar works perfectly with a pair of opaque tights. Fast forward to the height of summer, now you can ditch the tights altogether and opt for a basic tee or an adorable blouse with all the frills imaginable. What made me fall head over heels with this pinafore in particular was just how much you can do with it! It can be casual one minute or dressed up if you’re going out for a lovely lunch somewhere. One of my favourite places to where this item is when travelling, specifically on a train journey. I find it comfortable and effortless; it’s a no-brainer outfit! I for one cannot rock lounge wear out and about in public it simply doesn’t suit me, so something like a pinafore is fantastic.

Whether you have a modern dress sense or you want to jazz it up a little and make it look 1960’s and retro, a pinafore can work for your personal style no matter what outfit choices you have in mind.

I have yet to buy another like this and when I stumble upon the right one you better believe I’ll be buying another one… or three!

A Day at the Opera (Cake)

Did someone say cake? Part 2

If you know me, you’ll know that I am what I call a cake enthusiast… Or y’know a person who just flippin’ loves cake but thinks she deserves a fancier title (is it just me that thinks Miranda Hart would strongly approve of that statement?)  

Whenever it comes to a catch up with a friend what says “let’s have a chinwag” better than cake? Nothing that’s what! Everyone can enjoy cake whether it’s gluten free, dairy free, flourless! Yasssss is what I say!

Well last week I visited the most adorable café that I simply have to share my experience with you all, just in case you ever visit London town.

Boulangerie Jade is a traditional French artisan bakery and patisserie and I know what you’re thinking “well that ticks all the boxes doesn’t it?” You’re darn tootin’ hun. I instantly felt I was back in Paris the moment I walked through the door and it was wonderful to have the feeling in the heart of London. They have four locations, all SE London and but it’s definitely worth travelling out of Central London, not only the cafes but the delightful surroundings. My dear friend chose to visit here as it was her birthday and she was keen to try somewhere new (my kind of mentality!) She decided upon Boulangerie Jade as one of the locations was in East Dulwich (which is such a pretty part of town) and it’s the only one out of the locations that does hot food.

The place felt cosy and warm and the ladies who worked there made you feel extremely welcome. It’s not a particularly large place but nonetheless there were plenty of places to sit and it was clear by the number of people it’s a popular choice with the locals (and this is always a good sign). So before I go anywhere I always tend to scour the menu beforehand, this is because I could talk for England and reading the menu when I meet up with a friend isn’t very high up on my priority list! However…Trying to narrow down a patisserie menu filled to the brim of some of my favourite cakes and pastries, this proved to be incredibly difficult and could have easily ordered 5 things off of the menu…

I didn’t however if that’s what you’re thinking! Cheeky.

I opted for the Opera cake, which is one of the most beautiful combos ever put into cake form, if you’ve never tried it and are a chocolate/coffee obsessive then honestly what are you waiting for?  Again, due to popularity (and no doubt because it’s been featured on the Great British Bake Off) there was only one of these available. But I wanted to my dear friend to have it, as it was her birthday and after all one of us had to have it!! Nevertheless my luck was in when my other favourite was in fact available, another popularised by British Bake Off fame- Millefeuille. The most beautiful flaky pastry sandwiched between layers of crème pâtissère. My idea of heaven basically! We paired it was a couple of their light and creamy coffees and we were two very happy Northern girls!

Having now tried a sampling of their cake and pastry, I would return in a heartbeat and wouldn’t hesitate to try their hot food offerings and leave enough room to try another of the cakes, tarts or pastries.

No matter where in the world you live I think we can all agree that one thing we could always have more of are lovely little cafes, where they provide comforting hot drinks and luxurious desserts that taste so good you can’t even be bothered to feel guilty about devouring.      

“Just call me Aunt Teek!”

When looking to plan a perfect day out and about; for me it would be a morning moseying around local antique and second-hand stores, a stop off somewhere for some tea and cake (or a cheeky chai latte, if it’s on offer) preferably at a quaint café where the cake is homemade, then an afternoon wandering little side streets with another coffee to walk around with.

Now I’ll be honest with you all the antique stores in Shoreditch are quite simply not my cup of tea. I think they’re overpriced and Shoreditch itself I find to be rather stressful!

When antique hunting in London I find it best to scour the internet first instead of hopping straight to Shoreditch and some of the best places I’ve found so far are in the SE London. Crystal Palace antiques and Love Atomica which has a space Croydon are fantastic, if you’re looking for vintage furnishings! Maybe you’re looking for a tea set just like your Grandma used to have and you remember it from your childhood, or a funky 1960s Mad Men style bureau. Places like this are really worth taking a look round and they won’t have you forking out so much money that you end up thinking – “was it just worth buying something similar from Ikea?”       

My favourite haunt as of lately is Mabel’s Five & Dime, in Sydenham. Now hold onto your seats kids it gets better, there’s also a cute little café next door… I know right?

However Mabel’s is only open Thursday through Saturday, but this should just further the urgency to go and visit!

It’s such a perfectly sized store and is curated beautifully. The owner handpicks everything that goes into Mabel’s (by the way if you’re curious Mabel is a cute little pup) and the way everything is displayed instantly made me personally want to spend a lot of time there, just to make sure I didn’t miss a beat. The store stocks everything from furniture, china, books, toys, clothes/accessories and plenty of vintage fabric. Even better, if you do see an item of clothing you do have your eye on there’s a changing room!

I knew as soon as I entered that I’d be walking away with something and that I did! Now would you honestly believe me if I told you that these finds came to £24 altogether? I know right! I didn’t think they would either to be perfectly honest. But it just showed me what vintage and antique stores can be like once you venture away from Central and East London, and I’m eager to find more to visit.

If you know of any fantastical vintage/antique stores on the outskirts of London that I simply must go and give some love, then please do send your recommendations my way. Or if you know of any around the country, I will make it my mission to go visit those too!

Wardrobe Woes

Well my friends it’s that time of the month. Oh my goodness, no! Not that!

…That was a stellar introduction to 2020 on my blog wasn’t it? Ta-dar! You’re welcome!

The time of the month I’m referring to being “it’s January – time to have that break up chat with your clothes again”.

Basically around this time of the year, every year (without fail) I have my annual ‘try it and style it’ routine; taking my entire wardrobe and trying literally everything on. Now I don’t ever go in with the notion that I have to get rid of something, it just always works out that way! My main rule (that I try and stick to as much as possible) is – that if I’ve not worn an item of clothing in the last year then there’s no doubt that it has to go, again it’s not attempting to get rid of stuff, but if I’ve not worn it a year am I going to wear it in the next? Probably not! (Hence the “sorry we have to break up” part)  

Doing this allows me to rediscover my love for items of clothing I might have forgotten about, or maybe my body had decided it was going to grow out of it for a time and now miraculously it fits again!

We’ve all been there haven’t we? Just me then…

Now I know I may sound like a neat freak by saying this (and that’s because I am, and proud!) But I actually love having a wardrobe clear out! Although it can be a lengthy process; in helping to make way for space in my wardrobe it also makes way for space in my mind. I find it extremely therapeutic and calming; I’ve always felt that way about cleaning and tidying though. How about you lovelies? Am I alone on that one too?

If you’re wondering by the way I filled two shopping bags! A good mixture of blouses, dresses and even a ballet skirt (yes, you read right). These I will split between the charity shops in my area and (an attempt to) sell some pieces and I’ve never tried selling my garments before, so this for sure will be an interesting experiment.  

But being among chums I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been noticing my anxiety has been on a downward spiral over the last few months, slowly beginning to channel depression-like symptoms. However last month I decided enough was enough and I made the decision to go back to therapy. It’s making a massive difference and I can already tell the leaps taking to get myself back to where I should be; which is good that I can notice that. Normally I’d be so quick to judge myself, doubts would instantly set in and I’d feel completely hopeless. So channeling my negative energy into activities such as this I find really help and also helps my creative soul when putting new ensembles together.

My anxiety will always be a part of me, I may as well style it out the best that I can!

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Catch-up & A Coffee, with a side of NYC

Hello lovelies!

I’m so glad to be back (for good this time, like Take That…) Now do make sure you’re comfy and have just made a cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate (go on, treat yourself)!

So we met again dearies! We’ve been here many times before haven’t we? Now normally I would go on a tangent (a long winded one, I might add) apologising for my absence. However, if any of you have seen my Instagram page/stories from the past month you’ll probably have a good idea why I’ve been a bit M.I.A. But those darlings that don’t know please let me share with you my wonderful news!

On our recent getaway to our favourite place in the entire world New York City, on a visit to the quaint and quirky Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, my wonderful partner Lee got down on one knee and proposed. Of course I said YES! It was absolutely beautiful; he picked the perfect spot that most definitely encapsulates us as a couple; somewhere that we’ll both share forever and we couldn’t be happier.

As you can fully imagine, I’ve been in a whirlwind ever since! I get to be a bride! (cue constant daydreaming…)

Before I get completely carried away and begin hyperventilating from all the excitement, I’m going to delve into our New York trip a little more over my next few blogs. Honestly I have so much to tell you all!

But for today I just wanted to have a little general catch-up with you.

So it’ll be my birthday in a week’s time and I’ll be 31. It may (or may not) surprise you but It’s not really something I’ve thought much about this year. I suppose it’s just one of those times where I’m kind of embracing it with open arms and seeing what happens in the year to come. Last year brought me face to face with a lot of realisations about myself, who I was and just how strong I’m capable of being (although I hadn’t realised most of this until early this year). I’m so different today from the person I was 6 months ago, I’m now a lot more aware of how certain things affect my mental state and can assess situations I find uncomfortable much more quickly and I’ve learnt how to deal with them much more effectively. But yet I’m still realising that a lot of the time I need to be my own cheerleader. This I’ve always found incredibly difficult and it’s always something I’ve known I need to work on. I just suck at it basically. I’m not one to champion myself and constantly wait for the approval of others, whenever I received feedback from tutors at university I got this note every single time and it’s one of the notes they gave me that they’re actually right about.

I’ve been trying not to bog myself down too much about it and luckily thanks to a visit to see my fantastical mum, many chats with my partner and the lovely Daffny (A Vintage Nerd), who reached out to me. I’ve since realised I’m not being stupid in the slightest and basically come to the conclusion that I need to give myself a bit more self-love.

Sounds simple when you put it like that, doesn’t it?

Although in the midst of all of this, I did have something truly wonderful happen the other week!

I was attending a drag competition a friend of mine was been competing in (their name is Anna Toni; they did absolutely incredible and made everyone including myself very proud). But before the competition began I was waiting at the cloakroom (this story has a point, bear with me) and as I hand in my coat I strike up a conversation with one of the lovelies behind the counter. They ask me if I’ve ever made youtube videos, in which I tell them that it was a while ago now but yes I used too but in a rash decision deleted all my content due to anxiety last year and refused to put myself on camera since. Turns out they knew exactly who I was and actually watched my videos (WHAT!) To that dear person, I just want to say the biggest thank you! You still have no idea quite how much your kindness made my day.

Since that moment, I have been thinking about the prospect of vlogging again… Maybe not everything, but certain events or conventions… Hmm maybe, even if it’s just for myself!

But do tell me, how are you all? What’s been happening in your lives lately?

If you’ve been having a bit of a rough week, please remember “be enough for yourself first, the rest of the world can wait”.

Summer clothes make me feel fine

I’ll be honest lovelies; I really don’t care for summer.

From June until mid-September is a time of year I simply don’t look forward to. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I love the thought of staying out until late and yet it’s still light out, those days someone suggests having a BBQ for dinner (which is always a resounding “UM YES”) and days spent lounging in the park or wondering around central with gelato. But I have this love/hate relationship with the HEAT. Put it this way my dear readers, when I go on holiday my destination of choice is anywhere that’s 25 degrees or less… But when the UK does decide it’s going to get hot (which actually happens believe it or not. I’m staring outside right now and I see the sunshine, it’s there!) I’m always horrifically unprepared. Why am I always unprepared?

This is why. Now I’m going to give you a little insight into my wardrobe situation, (y’know, this is blog number 11 m’dears and we’re all getting to know each other now!) So the scenario is this… my summer clothes are abysmal!

Winter clothes dominate a solid 90% of my wardrobe. Now that’s bad isn’t it?

My “summer clothes” basically conclude of 2 skirts, 2 dresses and a mere few tops… I’ve been well aware for a number of years now that this has to change!

However I’ve been extremely lucky! I managed to win a prize (which never happens) with my absolute favourite online clothing store Joanie Clothing. If you’re listening to me ramble on wondering who on earth Joanie are? I shall explain my loves. Their tag line states “pretty clothes for nostalgic souls” – It’s feminine, chic but also fits my quirky personality. It was a brand I felt suited me perfectly and their clothes are extremely high quality. So you can imagine my excitement to discover I’d practically won a shopping spree, without the arduous task of leaving the house.  

It was here I set myself the challenge of actually buying summer clothes and I can honestly say I had a difficult time pick and choosing, as I naturally gravitate towards the long sleeves and those warm autumnal tones. It’s almost like telling me I’m not allowed to buy anything with polka dots ever again… It’s just not going to happen!

When I have bought summer clothes in the past they tend to be dresses that I can just simply throw on, with no effort needed. However these tend to be unflattering to my body shape and nowhere near reflect who I am or my personal style. What I like to call convenience clothing! These specific items are worn in the house and unfortunately that’s as far as they go. I just don’t feel my best self when wearing these items of clothing in public, no matter how comfortable they are. Do you have any clothes like that my dears? I’ll be honest, I have a fair bit.

But these pieces I’ve listed throughout this blog 100% show to the world exactly who I am and are also super comfortable, which is a huge bonus. What I basically wanted is a wardrobe that excites me to wear it just as my autumn/winter collection does. A wardrobe that looks as though I’ve put hours of effort when in reality all I’ve done is throw on a fabulous dress and my trusty mustard loafers (which I’m obsessed with!)

You can see why I’ve had such trouble putting this all together now, can’t you?!

Tell me your wardrobe woes my lovelies! Do you look forward to getting your summer looks together, or are you like me and try to live in your autumn wardrobe until you just can’t get away with it anymore?   

Here’s to a fabulous looking summer!    

Always the (Fabulous) Wedding Guest

So I have two weddings to attend this year, which I’m not gonna lie- that’s a lot for me! But I’ve now reached that age where this should be a normal occurrence, no? However what my inner monologue is actually saying is- “Oh my goodness, we’re now at that age where all my friends are getting married and I’m sat here contemplating a trip to New York for comic con season”. Well, you can see where my priorities currently lie, can’t you?

Nevertheless I’m ecstatic to be attending the weddings of my beautiful friends (and have already got emotional about it on more than one occasion); and feel that this is a fashion opportunity if ever there was one!

Now I love shopping for a wedding outfit and waste no time in looking as soon as an invitation arrives in the post (no word of a lie).

If you made the assumption that I don’t like to be one of these wedding guests who tends to hide in the background- then you’d be spot on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully of the notion that you shouldn’t upstage the bride; I think that goes without saying. However I don’t think there’s any harm in looking as fabulous as you possibly can (hey, photos last forever y’know! Didn’t you see my last blog?)

If you’re struggling to come up with some ideas of what to wear for this year’s wedding season, or feeling adventurous and want to give other styles a try? I’ve put together a little mood board as an example of how I’d (personally) put an outfit together, also taking into consideration accessories and makeup (of course! You all know I’m a sucker for a statement red lip!)

I don’t own these photographs. Copyright goes to Collectif, Loungefly, Truffle Shuffle, Lulu Hun and His & Her Vintage via Etsy

As you can (easily) guess from my mood board, I’m not exactly traditional. Again, you’d be right there.

I definitely have my own “rules” (if you will) when it comes to wedding season shopping… Now, before I go into these “rules”; let me establish sweeties that these are purely what I go by and just my opinion.

Absolutely no (I mean no) fascinator’s. However I feel incomplete without a hat (preferably a pillbox!) This doesn’t mean that I don’t love a fascinator on others! I simply don’t suit them and because of hairstyle it looks as though an alien is emerging from my head… Very much like what you see in Alien, or The Thing. Not a good look.    

You absolutely can wear black to a wedding. I feel as though there may have been a few gasps when reading that. But I have worn black to a wedding before! It’s all in how you wear it. By wearing stripes or polka dot, it breaks up that you’re wearing a big black block and can introduce some personality to your outfit.

You don’t have to wear floral’s! I know this may seem an unusual one to put. However whenever you visit certain stores on the high street at this time of year, it may seem as though that’s all there is available for us wedding guests and there’s a total lack of imagination for those of us that may want some different.

Get an outfit that can do both! If you’re lucky enough to be invited to the ceremony, getting an outfit that can transition seamlessly to the evening reception will cut down costs and a trip home (or the hotel) to change!  

A note to takeaway lovelies, the wedding of your beautiful friends/family/friends that are practically family is an event you want to remember (for all the right reasons, of course)! Wear something you’re going to relish wearing for the day, regardless if you don’t wear it again until the next big occasion! Be comfortable, be fabulous and be YOU!