OOTD: That Last Summer Hoorah (And A Self Portrait Copy)

Despite my best efforts, so many cute summer dresses are hanging unworn (most still with labels on) in my wardrobe thanks to the fact that the season has been and gone. I’ve been more likely to have worn jeans and a tee than a sassy summery number – and I’m already in jackets and jumpers, whether I like it or not. During an especially treacherous day last week, I thought ‘screw it’ to myself and popped on one of the dresses I was saving for a special occasion anyway; it may have been chucking it down most of the day, but it didn’t stopping me from getting one last summer hoorah. It did, however, leave my hair looking like a mess and most of the waves limply hanging by the side of my ears wondering what on earth was going on. In the words of Monica from Friends: “It’s the humidity!” So please excuse the random shape my barnet is making… Sometimes a girl has just got to look for the rainbow and ignore the clouds.

THE SELF PORTRAIT TRIBUTE

Ever since I first saw the Self Portrait dresses pop up on Instagram, I was utterly in love. Way back before they became mainstream I wondered whether I could justify the price tag, and spent far to long theoretically picking out the one I wanted; when they all of a sudden became seen on every celebrity and every blogger, they lost their shine a little – you don’t want what everyone else has, you know? This lemon number from Joanie takes all the elements I love from Self Portrait (the lace-inspired material, elegant length, simple lines) but wraps them up in a £45.00 alternative that’s far easier to swallow! It’s really comfy, easy to dress up or down, and looks far more expensive than it is. The only downside is the fact it doesn’t accommodate big boobs very well, thanks to the random detail right across the breasticle area… But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, i.e. put up with it. Unfortunately there was a lot of little threads popping out and random bits of lace that hadn’t been finished, so if you’re unlucky you may have to get happy with a pair of scissors and a needle, but because of the style you can’t even tell from a distance.

THE OVERSIZED TRENCH

When the weather is like it is (one minute super sunny and the next there’s a torrential downpour) there’s only one jacket that will do: a classic trench coat. I’ve had my trench coat for quite a few years, which I love popped over anything from a fancy dress to a jeans-and-tee combo, but I kept getting frustrated that I couldn’t really do it up as soon as I wanted to wear a big chunky jumper in the winter. Step in an oversized and almost full length number I picked up in Next during their latest sale, which is so roomy that I could comfortably wear two jumpers and a scarf and still get all the buttons done up! It almost goes round twice, which is just what you need when covering up from the wind and rain, and even has room in the arms for a chunky knit – something that I often struggle with, when the arms are so skinny I can barely fit a naked one down there. Hoorah for trench coats!


THE CLASSIC YSL BAG

Nearly a year later and I’m still utterly obsessed with my cream YSL bag. It’s the biggest amount of money I’ve ever spent on a singular item (car and wedding excluded!) but seeing as the price has already increased by nearly 20% since I bought it it’s definitely been a wise purchase. The classic shape, style and shade ensure it goes with everything and will never go out of style, while the chain detail allows you to wear it cross-body or doubled up on the shoulder. It’s super roomy but also quite lightweight considering, plus it takes a cracking photo. There’s something about carrying this that instantly makes me feel special, and I’ve no doubt I’ll love it until I’m old and grey.

THE ROSE GOLD ACCESSORIES

‘When will your thirst for rose gold ever end?’ I hear you ask… I really don’t know, but right now I still can’t get enough. Ballet flats should be a fundamental part of any wardrobe, and these rose gold slippers from Office have been such a handy pair of shoes to have over the summer and into autumn. They’re so blooming comfy and keep out the puddles (which seemed to be everywhere this day,) without looking too chunky or out of place with a delicate outfit. Paired with pinky toned shades from Quay Australia (seven pairs and counting!) and my usual rose gold jewellery, including a new ring and necklace from the Accessorize ‘Z’ range (every time I pop in for a look I come out with at least three things) and it’s a rose gold party for one! I finished the look off with my new fave pearl drop earrings from ASOS which make a statement without being too much, and an Olivia Burton watch that’s so pretty I’ve barely taken it off… And yes, those are little bees inside that move around with your arm movements! So unnecessary, but so cute.

Joanie Kezzy Lace Dress | £45.00 | LINK
Next Trench Coat | £48.00 | SIMILAR HERE
Office Rose Gold Ballerina Flats | (WERE £58.00) NOW £35.00 | LINK
ASOS Pearl Drop Earrings | £10.00 | LINK
Quay Pink Sunglasses | £40.00 | LINK
Pandora Rose Gold Bracelet & Charms | From £35.00 | LINK
Olivia Burton Busy Bees Grey & Rose Gold Watch | £200.00 | LINK
Saint Laurent Bag | £1495.00 | SIMILAR HERE
SHOP THE LOOK
Thanks to Kirsty from Fashion For Lunch for the photos!
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My Harry Potter Art Print Wall

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I adore Harry Potter. The books, and later the films, have played such a huge role in the last two decades and I can clearly associate years of my life or huge experience by the Harry Potter release that was looming around the same time. I’ve been to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour eight times and I’m still not bored of it (I blogged my Christmas trip here if you fancy having a gander before Hogwarts In The Snow launches again!) and we even flew all the way to Florida to visit Hogwarts in all its glory – my only regret is not taking that many photos. Fly me back please! We’ve got Potter books, figures, merchandise and prints all over our flat, but I wanted to create a little areas that was dedicated to our love for the book and film franchise that we could add to over the coming months and years. In our entrance hallway there’s a very large bland white space that wasn’t being used for anything, so after deciding upon making the most of it and spending hours searching through Etsy for the perfect pictures, our Harry Potter art print wall was born!

The wall behind the prints is that god awful woodchip stuff, so what better way to distract from it than with some blooming awesome HP orginal artwork that will leave a smile upon the face of everyone that steps through the door. I didn’t want it to be literal pictures of the Potter cast or even the posters we know so well, but something a little more ‘mature’ and homely. I instagrammed the collection the other day and the response was incredible, so I thought I’d show you more detail and let you know where I picked up each of the six prints…

The Knight Bus One (£15.00)
Possibly my favourite, thanks to the quirky vintage feel and almost ‘this could have been in the movie’ design, this looks so good on the wall and really brings together all the different elements. The print was a slightly bigger size than I anticipated so we had to fold over the top and lose a fraction of the artwork to get it in the frame, but it’s totally worth it. All aboard!

The Dobby One (£11.00)
My favourite character (I even dressed up as him, with sock and Tom Riddle’s diary as props, for ComicCon!) Dobby is just so iconic. I adore this original artwork because it brings to life Dobby’s fragility and mortality, while keeping the expression one we’re so familiar with. Dobby is a free elf…

The Hogwarts Castle One (£9.95)
I really wanted a Hogwarts artwork, but most are literal sketches or a bit too old school for my liking; this one is modern, clean, fresh and has the same tones as the other pictures – so bringing it all together and reminding us of where it all started. I don’t think it would’ve been a Harry Potter wall without some element of Hogwarts either!

The ‘Turn On The Light’ One (£7.00)
A favourite quote of mine from the film, I really liked how it’s been made into something very modern and on-trend right now (those lights wouldn’t look out of place in Elle Home) while maintaining a sprinkling of magic.

The Albus Quote One (£9.55)
Another of my favourite quotes, this is a mantra I live my life by and think it’s appropriate to most of us in more ways than we care to imagine. The oversized handwriting text keep it fresh and modern too. There are so many amazing quote prints on Etsy, so if you have a fave one do have a look and there’s sure to be a plethora of choice.

The 9 & 3/4 One (£15.00)
So simple, yet so incredibly iconic. Platform 9 3/4 has a special place in my heart, and the sign a special place in my home – we have a cushion that sits proudly on the sofa too! I really liked how the designer changed up the tones and made it more suited to a modern home, and it worked perfectly with the purple of the Knight Bus.

So there you have it! Have you spotted any other awesome Harry Potter artwork on Etsy that you think I should add to the wall? Let me know!

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The New Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gels

The New Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gels Review

Do you like speed reviews? Great because I have been using the new Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gel for a good few days now and I have a few thoughts on it – mainly you should treat yourself immediately – but not quite enough pleasantries for a lengthy and typical of me blog post.

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I’ll be entirely honest, I am a fairly new recruit to the world of Jo Malone bath and body products; typically when I splurge in one of their luxurious boutiques, I leave with a cologne…or two and yet the new Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gel has me hooked. A shower gel, really? Yes and I beg that you hear me out.

The Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gels aren’t your bog standard shower gel – they are an experience. As to be expected the first thing that will lure you in, is the heavenly aroma and familiar notes of Jo Malone fragrance, with three scents to choose from, I can safely assume that there will be something for everyone. This is my first dip into the iconic fragrance that is Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin, and let’s just say I finally understand the fuss: a bright, bold yet never overwhelming, sophisticated fruity concoction that is perfect for a refreshing morning shower.

What sets the Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gels aside from the rest is that they both cleanse and of course, gently exfoliate the skin using Jojoba beads and Orange peel. Now I’ll be the first to admit that this light body scrub won’t be enough to remove layers of self tanner but it is more than sufficient

for a quick daily polish, that will in turn result in continuously soft and supple skin.

It’s not everyday that I will rave, let alone write about a shower gel but then again it is not everyday that Jo Malone launch a new body treat.

Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gel £30 via John Lewis – link.

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Le Labo Palo Santo 14

Le Labo Palo Santo 14 Candle

I am obsessed with fragrance: from candles, to incense, perfume and all that is in-between. If it smells good, I probably own it or want it. With Autumn slowly but surely drawing in, I have been nesting at home and trying to create a cosy little den to work, rest and entertain in and central to that has been one brand of candle (and my new pink sofa but more of that at a later date). Yes my friends, I have finally plucked up the courage to light not one, but three of my Le Labo candles and I can’t say I regret it one iota. As they say, you can’t take it with you (not that I am playing on going anywhere) and what good is having a luxury good, if you can’t enjoy it?

The latest addition to my small but perfectly formed Le Labo collection is Palo Santo 14: a rich, woody, intense concoction that combines lingering notes of Cedarwood, labdanum, incense and patchouli. It is bold, earthy and comforting, all at the same time, in my mind it has the magic of the first touch of Winter frost combined with the scent leading up to Bonfire night – nostalgic to some, unfathomable to others. In a nut shell it is a fragrance with soul, vigour and has the ability to stir up long forgotten memories.

Le Labo Palo Santo 14 Candle

I also selected Le Labo Palo Santo 14 Candle over the other fragrances, for the significance behind burning such type of wood: in some cultures it is considered sacred as it can dispel negativity and misfortune. I’m sure the candle won’t have quite as much weight behind, igniting the actual wood but it is a lovely sentiment and talking piece, none the less.

As a collector of candles (we both wish I was kidding), I have noticed that Le Labo creations (hell yeah they are fancy enough to warrant such moniker) burn a little cleaner than others of a similar price point. This will most likely be down to the soy base and natural infusion of scented oils, which undoubtedly are kinder to all around (and your walls/ceiling/furnishings). So far I only have three and until I fall into a pot of Gold, that won’t be changing anytime soon but I will say that they have not disappointed, each scent beautifully fills a room and lingers for hours later, and you can customise the labels of each purchase meaning you have a pretty and forever keepsake.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have dollar bills that need burning. I’m kidding…kinda.

You can shop the full range of Le Labo Candles here:

UK/£51 each via Liberty – link

USA/World/$75 via Barneys – link

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