Category Archive: Dear Diary

Apr 09 2014

Benetton Florals: Flower Arranging At Jaime Aston

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One of my secret passions is flower arranging, in another life I would love to be a florist, so when Benetton invited me down to a workshop at Jamie Aston’s flower school to make a hand-tied bouquet I couldn’t say no.

So armed with seasonal flowers from sweet peas to spray roses, ranunculus, hydrangea, hyacinths, and delicate forget-me-nots, as well as gorgeous green foliage I attempt to wrap and combine my blooms to create the perfect arrangement. My thinking was to have pops of baby pink standing out against the vibrant pink and purple-blue hyacinths – I think it worked to a point but I have to tell you it is a lot harder than it looks.

Sharnie at Jaime Aston’s floristry school was amazing, it was really interesting to learn about stripping down the flowers, the wrapping technique to secure the flowers together while making the hand-tie, the use of foliage to break up the bouquet, as well as having her helping out when the flowers became so big I could barely hold them. As well as arranging the flowers we also wrapped our bouquets with layers of tissue paper – I have to be honest I was pretty impressed with my floral creation after just an hour of trial and error.

As well as coming away with a gorgeous bloom, which I might add is still going strong a week later, I also got to pick one of Benetton’s ‘perfect printed shirts’ with their micro and macro floral patterns in shades of pink, lilac, blue and white. Of course I had to go for the hot pink one and I can’t wait to style it up in a future outfit post.

Have you tried out the art of flower arranging? I really enjoyed it and would love to learn a few more tricks to deck my house out in gorgeous blooms.

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My Style: Yellow print skirt, Peter Pilotto for Target via Net-A-Porter.com // Jumper, Primark // Necklace, Primark // Glasses, Retro54 //

Mar 31 2014

Visual Diary: The Joys Of Spring

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I love it when the clocks go forward, not only do I get to enjoy an extra hour in bed, but I know that the long sunny nights are on there way. I am a lover of all seasons, I adore the snow in winter, the changing of the leaves in autumn, and that summer brings my birthday as well as the UK’s best weather, the occasional heat wave, but there is something special about spring.

I not sure whether it is because it follows the cold, not that this winter has been as cold as previous years (I am still waiting for the snow), or that it brings out the flowers, I especially love daffodils all lined up in a row, or that the fields surrounding my village are dotted with adorable lambs bouncing around the field playing. There is just something so giddy and playful about spring that always makes me smile.

We have had a great start to spring, this weekend was gorgeous, it was nice just to spend time in the garden watching the butterflies fluttering around enjoying the blossom on the trees and listening to all the birds chirping away – it is hard to think of a better way to spend a Sunday to be honest.

As well as enjoying the sun, my surroundings, and outside brunches with friends, I also love that spring means lightweight knits, fun lovely flats and peep-toe heels, and if you are really lucky – no coat at all. Plus it is always the time of year that I love to do a revamp of my wardrobe – out with the old and in with the new.

What does spring mean to you? 

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My Style: Jumper, Peter Pilotto for Target via Net-A-Porter.com // Glasses, Retro54 // Floral print nails done at the Next press event //

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Mar 25 2014

My Style: Casual Affair In United Nude Trainers

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Trainers are having a moment, they have never been out of fashion, so it isn’t a revival, so I am going with a moment – we have designers embracing the casual shoe on the catwalk, we have unsporty types opting for pops of colour to spice up their day-to-day outfits, and we even have hard core fashionistas embracing the comfort of the flats over heels. During fashion week everywhere I turned people were wearing the Nike FlyKnits, paired with jeans, leather skirts and even dresses – it seems that dressing down is the way forward.

For me, wearing trainers is the ultimate comfort, more so than wearing fluffy-lined boots on a cold day, they are an item of footwear that really has the ability to go with anything, plus if you really want to you could also run a mile in them, I don’t – but the thought is always there!!! One thing I am loving about trainers at the moment is how fun they are – with brands going for prints, textures, clashing colours and best of all retro shapes.

These beauties that I am wearing here are from United Nude’s new Runner collection, aren’t they pretty – they kind of remind me of a pair of Kangaroo’s I had in the 80′s, yep I am an eighties baby. I love everything from the shape, I do the slightly pointed toe to the vibrant stitching and the striped pattern that makes them instantly recognisable as being designed by United Nude. They are just so much fun.

There are six different designs, these are the Petrol ones, but all of them are just as vibrant, fashion-forward and will make a great addition for any trainer collection. Mine are probably the most toned down pair, but I just adored the neon pink trim, the others called Rave, Paradise, Violet, and Bright Mix are really statements, and there is a monochrome pair called Anis. I actually love them all – they really do capture the architectural vibe of the brand.

What do you think of United Nude’s fashionable trainers? 

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My Style: Runner Petrol Rib, United Nude (c/o) // Ida by Donna Ida Jeans, Donna Ida (c/o) // Jumper, New Look // Glasses, Retro54 (c/o) // My Style United Nude 8 My Style: Casual Affair In United Nude Trainers %tag

Mar 21 2014

Boot Loving: My Customised ‘Skyline’ Timberlands

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Every time I wear my Timberland boots or spy them in my shoe closet I can’t help but sing ‘these boots are made for walkin’, the Jessica Simpson version of course and dream that one day I will look as good in a pair of Daisy Duke tiny shorts as she did in the music video.

My poor music taste aside, there is something about the yellow Timberland boot that instantly makes me think of music, more hip hop than Jessica Simpson, but music stars over the years really have championed this fashion classic, which I still can’t believe is over 40 years old.

When I was a teenage, many, many years ago in the 1990s nearly every US hip hop star wore them, they were the boot to have, I sadly wasn’t cool enough for them so these beauties are my first ever pair and I love them. I have to add, I am probably still not cool enough to wear them, I am no Rihanna or Rita Ora, who have both been spotted sporting Timberlands, but they are so comfortable to wear with slouchy jeans and a jumper.

Just plain yellow they really have a masculine vibe, they are the footwear of choice by most builders, but with my personalised New York skyline, literally sketched on in a matter of minutes by illustrator Mister Millerchip with a couple of pens it instantly makes them more me, add in the black glittery laces and they are simply more girlie.

I promise an outfit post in the future, but for now just check out how incredible they look, the detail in the skyline complete with stars, and how by adding a pair of different coloured laces the boots look transformed.

Are you a fan of customising footwear? Like with my personalised Converse I think these beauties will become firm favourites.

Timberland boots can be a little like Marmite, you either love them or hate them, which side are you on?

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**I was gifted my Timberland boots at The Apartment during LFW, but I chose the design and as always my opinion is my own**

Feb 27 2014

Postcard From: Berwick Lodge Hotel In Bristol

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I am a huge fan of boutique hotels, I love staying somewhere with a touch of character, so when our good friends were getting married at the Berwick Lodge Hotel in Bristol I was excited to stay as it has only 10 suites, each with its own ‘signature’ style.

Of course before we arrived I checked out the hotel’s website, sometimes when places say individual style to each suite it just means a change in wallpaper, when it comes to Berwick Lodge is means that literally everything is different in each suite that before we left we all had to check out each others room. It was hilarious as some of the rooms are so big that we could have all slept in there comfortably.

We were in ‘Ionia’, one of the superior suites located in the eaves of the house and on one of the windiest nights it did sound like we might get blown away at any time, but that all added to the charm of this luxurious stay.

First thing we noticed when we entered the room was how huge the bed was, the hotel claims it is just a super queen size bed, but it felt so much bigger and was so comfortable I slept like a log. But what really wowed me had to be the stunning bathroom with its free-standing claw foot bath, unusual and gorgeous tiling, and the massage shower that was the perfect pick-me-up – oh and every bathroom should have underfloor heating it was lush.

When we arrived the weather was horrible so I didn’t really take notice of the fact we had a balcony, I would have probably blown straight off, but the next day was calm and sunny and it was nice looking out over the incredible garden and seeing across the channel to Wales. I just wish we had more to time to take it all in.

As well as loving our room, it was nice to wander around the 18 acres of garden and woodland, in the summer I bet this place is great to read a book and just relax next to the striking fountain. In February, when it is cold it was just pretty to look at and then retreat back inside the great house with its inviting fireplaces and dramatic chandeliers.

We didn’t have chance to have an evening meal here or afternoon tea, which was a shame as I have heard great things, but I did get to enjoy the blueberry pancakes which were delicious.

If you are after somewhere a little different just outside Bristol and close to the motorway definitely look into this hotel. If you live closer to Bristol that try out the extensive À La Carte menu, the chef was a semi-finalist on MasterChef: The Professionals.

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Berwick Lodge Hotel, Berwick Drive, Bristol BS10 7TD.

Feb 25 2014

Arm Candy: Susie Wolff Wings for Life Bracelet

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Yesterday I shared my new bracelet, the ‘Wings for Life’ friendship bracelet designed by F1 test driver Susie Wolff with Rox Jewellery on Instagram and I got such a great response that I thought I would share it on here.

Last week my fiancé went to the annual Wings for Life fundraising gala, he does every year with work and last year he treated himself to a fancy watch signed by David Coulthard, and this year he thought of me and bought me one of the ‘Rox in a Box’, which raised more than £10,000 for the charity. I could of either won the only pair of diamond earrings or this fabulous sparkly limited bracelet – even though the earrings were worth more I think I won with this beauty.

As regular readers will know I do love a spot of arm candy, I never leave the house with out a handful of bracelets on my arm, and this grey rope toggle bracelet adorned with crystal set wings to represent the charity is the perfect addition to my expanding collection of jewels.

As well as being pretty, designed by a woman F1 driver, this bracelet is only £40 and 100% of all profits will be donated to the Wings for Life charity, which is an excellent organisation that does critical spinal cord research.

Come on what are you waiting for – do something for charity and get a great bracelet. Be warned these beauties are limited edition so snap yours up quick!!!!

Buy yours here for £40.

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Feb 24 2014

Fast Beauty: Blow Ltd At The Apartment

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As well as enjoying the fashion, catching up with friends and discovering new designers to crush over, I love that fashion week always means that I get to hangout at The Apartment and have a team of beauty professionals make me pretty.

I am so bad at make-up and doing my hair, something other than straight, that I really do need all the help I can get and this season I took full advantage of Blow LTD and their approach to fast beauty – doing a fabulous hair style in 30 minutes, refreshing my make-up in 15 minutes, and even putting a pop of colour on my nails in a speedy 15 minutes – a full look in 60 minutes – what more could I ask for.

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For favourite look out of the three had to be Beach Blow (above), tousled waves to make it feel like summer in this crappy wet weather. I just loved the relaxed vibe of this blow dry, it was just enough curls and volume to make me feel really pretty, plus I loved how they kept my make-up quite natural with just a pop of colour on my lips and cheeks.

I also was also convinced to try on some Eylure lashes, normally I shy away from fake lashes as they touch my glasses, but the lovely make-up artist just used half of the strip to add some volume without them being uncomfortable and I think she has made me a convert and I will have to look into having that done for my wedding. You can’t see them so well under my glasses in these photos but every complemented me on how great they looked – so I will be definitely trying those again.

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Second favourite look was my Power Blow (above), more sculpted waves than the Beach Blow that made my hair look shorter and shinier. I like the slight wave and the volume and even in this rain we’ve been having you could still tell that my hair had been given a makeover.

It is tough to say my least favourite, as I really did love all three blow dry styles, but out of the three the Luxe Blow (below), lots of volume, more glamorous and bigger than the others was just maybe a little too much for fashion week shows, a party yes, running around London probably not. But I am so glad I tried it as it is something I really wouldn’t have normally gone for.

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The whole team was amazing, they made me feel so comfortable and I never felt rushed as it was super quick. They also used the new GHD pastel straighteners on my hair and I am kind of addicted – I think I need to look into upgrading my plain black ones!!!

I really can’t wait to try out more styles off the Blow menu – especially the Scarlet Blow for a night out and the Blow N’ Braid for a bit of fun.

Which Blow Dry would you select?

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**Thanks to Blow Ltd & The Apartment for letting me try out the service**
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