15 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Her

Valentines Day has always felt like such a weird date and occasion to celebrate whether I’ve been in a relationship or not. It’s a little like new years eve as there’s so much stress and expectation placed upon one day: whether you’re trying to secure the perfect valentines day reservation or find the perfect valentines day outfit. There’s a lot of pressure.

Which is why this year I’ve already pre-planned out my entire earlier celebration with Tyler. It’s something I’ve never done before and I’m pretty impressed with myself for organising it all ahead of schedule – we’ve been together almost nine years and I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of Valentine’s day, ha.

There always seems the tendency to go a little overboard with gifts and reservations and I had to stop myself from booking a table at Duck & Waffle/Ours/The Shard like seven times. No joke. I was just getting ahead of myself and whilst that’d be nice with Tyler and I’s mismatched schedules just a dinner together somewhere like Nandos would be enough of a treat – and we’re trying to save so, my view was, if I can’t justify buying anything in the Zara sale I absolutely cannot justify a spenny dins.

Saying that I always think it’s worth trying to be realistic to yourself and your budget. And, whilst you don’t always need to go OTT it can never hurt to send a few hints of things you might have your heart set on - leaving this blog post open on their desktop might to the trick... 

Whilst I love giving gifts and picking presents that I know will really make a loved one’s day and I always think it’s important to remember that the best gift might not be a cute pink Gucci cardholder but, a fuss-free photo frame filled with meaningful Instax snaps of your fave dates and travels.

I’ve popped together a little mix of things I'd be thrilled to receive… simply click the item to shop :)


Eight Of The Best Instagram Accounts To Follow

So this was considerably harder to edit than I expected it to be when I sat down to collate eight of my favourite instagram accounts.


Things I'm Proud Of From 2017

So, my previous post on life lessons from 2017 dipped into the lows of 2017 a little more heavily than the highs. 

Which although that was a pretty fair reflection of the year,  it seemed unfair to neglect to mention some of the most exciting things from the year and work that I'm really rather proud of and would love to share with you and look back upon.

1, not eating meat

I became a full-on, super committed pescitarian last Christmas. Whilst I didn't really eat much meat previous to this completely cutting meat out has been totally fine and something I've not missed in any way whatsoever. I still prepare meals containing meat for Tyler and haven't missed eating it in the slightest. Actually. To be wholly honest with you though, there was just one occasion this summer at our friend Jess & Rob's wedding where they had the most spectacular selection of sausage rolls which truly looked like heaven. They were organic, handmade rolls fresh out the oven which tempted me like nothing else had up to that point, or has since. I had a tiny blip and had a bite of Tyler's. I was horrendously sick once we returned to our dreamy airbnb that night - which I wholly deserved. 364 days without meat is pretty good though.

I always get asked why I don't eat meat and what prompted me to stop and the most concise answer is that (as mentioned) I didn't really eat much of it before and then after my parents owned chickens and ducks for a few years I saw first hand how clever and charismatic they are and couldn't bear to consume one more.

2, saying yes to all travel opportunities

My passport was used more last year than in the three years before then. I flew on my own for the first time in February last year, before going onto take several flights on my own. 

I visited Italy for the first time ever driving around Turin in a Ford Vignale (you can watch the road trip here) and truffle hunting with the same dogs as Bey and JayZ, flying to Marseille to participate in Roxy's #RoxyFitness event, seeing Craig David with Boohoo, dancing to Little Mix with Arcadia at the o2 (travelling south of the river counts, no?), getting covered in body glitter for the first time ever and dancing with Nokia in Ibiza. 

3, working with awesome brands

In 2017 I collaborated with Debenhams and Joules on projects and created content for Marks & Spencer, Boohoo and Warehouse. I 'modelled' the H&M x Erdem collaboration for a feature in LOOK and supported Jeans for Jeans. I was lucky enough to attend the Burghley Horse Trials with Joules. Taking my oldest friend Hollie with me was such a treat and a really special memory from the year: I worked with them again styling their SS18 press day which was an incredible opportunity. Presenting has always been something I've been so intrigued and passionate about so I was beyond thrilled to step out of my comfort zone when I was invited to host an in-store event for Timberland: interviewing Maya Jama and Tia Ward. A real highlight of the year for me was filming a Facebook Live with Fearne Cotton and Liv Purvis for Cath Kidston. Presenting/speaking and hosting events is something I'm looking to do more of in 2018: it gives me a thrill quite like nothing else (seeing Fearne do her thing was beyond inspiring).

4, learning a lot of random things

I realised this week that I learnt a vast amount of peculiar knowledge last year. I now know that it's more expensive to be cremated than it is buried amongst a real mix of utterly random bits and bobs. Like you can buy biodegradable glitter and, if you fall asleep in your sheet mask on a long haul flight you'll probably wake up to an entirely dried out sheet mask which'll (on a v.small scale) blow your mind. 

5, that it's okay to ask for more/what you want

When I joined Look Magazine it was to shoot a feature that was cut before the stories I'd styled and shot even went to print due to a budget reshuffle. That could have been it for me and, Sarah from 2016 wouldn't have asked for more. I did, I asked to style and shoot their weekly style feature and my editor at the time said yes. Asking for and getting what I wanted was a really defining moment for me and enabled me to style, coordinate and manage more shoots than ever before.


The Under £100 Outfit

Jumper, Bag and Jeans, all New Look

If you follow me on Instagram (click here to heart me), or Facebook ('like' me here) you'll have 100% seen this look. I've shared it quite a lot because the whole look is under £100! 

Yes, that's including the coat. And I think, in a insta-world full of influencers sharing £1,000 coats and bags each day, a whole outfits that's under £100 is something worth sharing and shouting about.

January is a weird, cold and bloody long month - which seems to be dragged out further by it being so devoid of alcohol. Never have I craved a glass of red wine more!

To keep myself distracted this month I've been online window shopping like nobodies business adding things to my basket but never checking out - that is, until I stumbled across these dreamy pieces...

I love everything about this whole look. Not only do the pieces work well together tonally they'll all work equally as well separately with other elements of my wardrobe. Making their cost-per-wear even more appealing. 

The khaki long-line coat is a super flattering length and tone, adding some much needed warmth into my mainly monochrome winter wardrobe and comes in 101 other shades. It's under £35 too which makes it a little too easy to purchase two when you inevitably can't decide between camel and khaki... GET BOTH! Soz not soz.

New Look are crushing it right now. Their new season collection is filled with oh-so many great pieces. Like this sweeter than sweet tee, this beret-good beret and this dreamy colour-bock knit.

Disclaimer: whilst this post wasn't sponsored or endorsed by New Look I purchased everything featured with vouchers. All opinions, as ever, are my own.

5 Winter Outfit Ideas That Don't Suck

I don't know about you but this never ending winter is killing me sartorially. Finding warm winter outfits that don't suck and keep you warm enough on your commute/snuggled up on the sofa is bloody hard. 

Is it even possible to look put-together when you're exceptionally layered and wrapped up to the absolute max!? 

There’s the age-old mentality that you must dress ‘practically’ in winter – which (for me) often means ugly and mismatched in an un-cute way.

I was discussing this with my sister earlier today and, at the start, we were unsure whether you can beat winter at it's own game and put together your outfit of choice without a) catching hypothermia en route to work/home/dinner/gym b) compromising on your stylistic identity. But we decided that it’s worth a shot – and viable, when you break it down for each feeling you have when you wake up that morning. Giving you an alternative and socially acceptable option for days when you don’t want to leave your duvet at home.

I only recently made the connection that the reason I don't love winter could be down to the fact that I live in chunky knits and coats all winter long. Quite simply, I don't challenge myself to wear anything that I live in and love allll summer long and, whilst I love a great coat as much as the next gal I much prefer being able to pick and choose between the endless variety of dresses and skirts and tees all summer long.

So, here we go...

1, For days when sweats are the only option

Click the item in the above image to shop directly from the site.

We all have those days, when cosy is not only what you want to feel but, what you want to wear too. For ultimate cosy chic opt for separates in similar tones.

Whilst tapered cashmere trousers are a real indulgence I can truthfully promise, hand on heart, that if you’re always cold (like me) then nothing is a better investment. Pick a light grey pair; team with a Breton or colour pop knit (if you’re feeling super bouji then a cashmere jumper will make you feel unbelievably lux.

Although, to me nothing is (literally) hotter than top-to-toe cashmere you don’t have to have cashmere a cosy jogger/sweatshirt combo is equally as great.

Finish off your look with trainers and longline coat – scarf, hat and gloves depending where you are in the world/season.

2, For the days when you only want to wear leggings… 

Clockwise from top left: Fallon Knit Jumper, Joules; Live Lively Leggings, White Stuff;  Carrie Cashmere Hat, White Stuff; Imogen Leather Bag, Modalu; Cashmere Socks, Caroline Gardner; Molly Wellingtons, Joules

The days of gals in see-through leggings are (hopefully) long gone. Leggings need not be mortifying or boring anymore thanks to Uniqlo, Sweaty Betty and Varley. I just got back from a weekend in Center Parcs where I lived in a mix of the above and my ultimate favourite White Stuff pair. Cosy, form fitting and with thermal options leggings are a dream as they enable me to fulfil my constant desire to wear home clothes outside of my home. And, if that hadn’t sold them to you, you don’t need to pick a spenny pair as there are endless affordable options across the high street and online.

Pair with cashmere socks, a seriously chunky knit, a thick wool scarf and long-line coat and you’re good to go!

3, For when you don’t want to leave your duvet at home

Last year Primark’s super cosy puffa jackets made me fall in love with a trend that I always believed would be a little too chunky on me before. Nothing is cosier than a puffa and you don’t have to spend an absurd amount of money, or buy a cruel Canada Goose option to stay warm.

Puffas are the singular way to take your duvet with you all day, with cropped and long-line options available you can wrap up and get out and about even when you’d rather be horizontal catching up on Netflix.

Whether you opt for a colour pop option or, prefer a more low-key tonal style your options are endless. Layer over knits, rollnecks, tees and pair with leggings, jeans, corduroys or culottes and trainers – you’re good to go with literally any of the above.

4, For the days you need to justify buying those corduroy jeans

If, like me, you got a little carried away with the corduroy revival then there’s still plenty of time to get you cost-per-wear back and up.

Comfortable, cosy and great at keeping you a little warmer on really bitter days they work as well with trainers and ankle boots as they do with snow boots.

I picked up a pink corduroy pair from Urban Outfitters and whilst I’d only worn them a handful of times so far, this winter as it’s got colder, and colder, and colder… I’ve started to reach for them more and more each morning.
Not only does a punchy pink pair of trousers help to brighten up a coat that you’ve grown quite tired of they add a little fun back into your everyday and when it’s this cold and bleak that really counts for something.

As ever, Mango have some great corduroy options. As do, Next and Topshop. Whilst I’ll forgive you for opting for a darker, more classic pair I assure you that you’ll be thankful of your fun, vibrant shade in two weeks time when you’re so over all your clothes (again!).

5, For the days when you can’t bring yourself to wear another jumper

It’s okay; we’ve all been there.

Some days it feels like I wake up layer a jumper over my three existing layers and reluctantly take it off just before bed – only to do the same the following day. It’s a (seemingly) revolving cycle of knitwear that I get rather tired of.

So, when I found and fell in love with this chunky Marks &Spencer cardigan it was quite a revelation. I could pair it with silk, lace-trimmed camisoles and still feel warm, in winter!

But, you don’t need to go oversized you can pick up a grey button front cardigan and simply wear as a top, tucking it into your jeans as you would a tee. It’s a cooler way of wearing a knit and a welcome alternative to a life of jumpers.

Boden have a really lovely cashmere cardigan and Boohoo have some very purse friendly options.


Best Pointed Pumps Under £50

Pointed pumps have long been been my go-to. A fail-safe option in my wardrobe (and life...) not only do they help elongate my short little legs they help dress-up any and every look with ease.

Last year I lived in my beloved M&S slingbacks which I eventually purchased in two different shades, switching between those and a red Next pair for practically every occasion.

A pointed pump works as well with raw-hem jeans and a jumper for brunch as they do with tailored trousers and a shirt for the office. The endless styling options they offer from date night to summer weddings make the cost-per-wear equal out in no-time at all.

The high street does pointed pumps so, so well. With Zara, Boden, M&S and Office all offering a real mix of classic staples and stand out pieces

I absolutely love a low heel/flatter shoe (after working in the Selfridges Shoe Gallery for two years whilst I was at university I'm soooo over heels - and it's very rare that you'll find me in a pair!).

If, like me, you love a pointed pump you'll be happy to hear that the revival of the 80s kitten heel is set to continue through 2018. After I rather hesitantly embraced sock boots last summer/winter (I was as surprised as a lot of you that, not only did they quickly become my go-to boot but that they were oh-so comfortable to boot.

Shop seven of my favourites from the high street here...
Clockwise from top left: Red Pointed Shoes, Next; Blue Velvet Shoes, River Island; White Sling Backs, Next; Metallic Courts, Zara; Furry Slingbacks, River Island; Striped Pumps, Topshop; Fringed Pumps, Topshop


Life Lessons From 2017

So we're quite a little way into January and I can't still shake the feeling of reflection away. It's quite funny really as it isn't a feeling I expected to have as I don't think I'm alone in saying that I was oh-so bloody happy to see the back of 2017.

Filled with many more lows and disappointments than any other year before, the pits heavily outweighed the peaks. It was quite a whirlwind and a blur as behind the posts I shared, the holidays I escaped to a lot of shit went down. Family members were lost and friendships ended. There was more heartbreak and uncertainty than I've ever experienced in a single year before.

To be totally honest I stopped sharing what was happening in full with pals early on as, at points, it just got too absurd. Instead a few sweet colleagues helped me - providing shoulders to cry on and helping construct many a sassy retort. Fash gals can often get a bad rep but I'd have seriously struggled without them.

If you had a great 2017 think of three terrible things, then another three even more awful things happening concurrently to the earlier three. Then three more after that and so on. I say three as up to 2017 I rather naively believed bad things only occurred in three's.

Sadly whilst it was a pretty awful year for me I know that I didn't really even have it that bad. Awful, terrible shit happens every single day to people and I have a whole other level of empathy to that now (and I was overtly empathetic pre-2017, so that says a lot).

And, whilst all the above might seem like the most depressing opening to a blog post, everr. It does have a slightly happy ending.

Shit happens. So you have to work with it, work around it, work through it and work. That's truly the main thing I've learnt from 2017 to keep working: personally and professionally. When things go wrong in either area of your life it helps to have something going on in the other to offer support or distractions and neglecting either area never ends well.

Personally 2017 was hideous but professionally it was pretty good. I shot more than any year before, working with some seriously inspiring teams. Styling for and working with brands I've admired for years. Whilst also hosting Facebook Live's, interviewing and hosting talks for brands and finishing up my final working week speaking at Superdry's global summit. I also went on my first trip with a brand as 'Sarah' from Sarah-Rose Goes which felt bizarre but was such, such fun.

Despite being a little apprehensive about the year ahead and what it'll bring one of the things I learnt in 2017 is that, although it can feel really hard and super overwhelming at times, it's okay to not be super confident with your abilities and yourself all the time. It's okay not to know what you're doing and it's okay to walk away from things and people if it doesn't feel right.

2017 bought a lot of drama and heartache and a little of that was down to being horrendously let down by a close friend. They'd been a part of my life since university and someone who I invited to move back to London with us when Tyler and I both secured 'our dream jobs' in 2015. They let him and I down big time and whilst its sad that their choices broke our friendship down entirely it taught me a lot about myself.

As you grow older friendships become funny things and I learnt more from their behaviour about myself than the many things I learnt during my seven years at an all girls school. This betrayal was different this time and their selfishness was just enough to make me realise that I needed to change a little. I'm fiercely loyal by nature but this pushed me a little too far and I learnt to keep my cards a little closer to my chest and step back a bit. Yeah it's sad but I'm a hell of a lotta more self sufficient and stronger because of it.

So whilst in all honesty I'm not feeling the levels of hope and optimism I've felt going into previous years perhaps my feeling of reflection is lingering around so much because so much changed in 2017. I gave myself a little digital detox at the end of the year as it all got a little too incessant and feel all the better for it. I may write a little post on what I learnt from mine and how refreshing it is to take a step back from the digital world.

There we go. That sure felt cathartic to type out. 

If you've written a 'year in review' or, have any 'life lesson' posts to share please do. I love to read through them. 

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