The Purrfect Jacket from Miss Patina

Oh hello, long time no post- there’s a serious lack of blogging mojo around these parts at the moment, coupled with generally being busy and struck down with some crazy flu type virus- great start to 2018!

Anyway, I’m showing my face around here today as I wanted to show off one of my Christmas presents before the festive season is still vaguely in people’s minds. I’m not usually one to do a show and tell of gifts I’ve received but I do make exception for something particularly awesome, and I am pretty sure this jacket qualifies.

Jacket: Miss Patina | Dress: New Look

The second I spotted this jacket I knew I needed it. I just love the Miss Patina store, my wish list from there goes on for eternity but it’s a bit out of my price range, so when it was suggested I had this as a Christmas present from my Grandad I jumped at the chance.

I don’t really “do” jackets like this usually, I live in cardigans and coats 90% of the time, but I figured that was even more excuse to own this- a much smarter alternative to baggy knitwear now I actually venture out to the odd social occasion.

Please excuse my slightly dishevelled appearance, aforementioned busy life and current state of malaise mean keeping well presented has fallen by the wayside. Probably should make a late new years resolution to make more effort!

I hope everyone is well and keeping chipper during this gloomy first month of the year- have you been up to anything exciting? Let me know in the comments.


The Necessary Post Christmas Recovery Path*

For a lot of Britons January often feels like a battleground, standing wounded on the battlefield in ruins and wondering what kind of magical potions you’ll need to drink to recover from the damages. Admittedly, Christmas is nothing like a war of titans, but it does affect your wellbeing at a deeper level- so much so that you need to dedicate the first few weeks of the new year to your recovery. Don’t be fooled by the term Post-Christmas recovery though, it has nothing to do with the time off after a physical injury or an illness. It’s more about considering the impact of the financial, emotional and physical rush that most people go through during the festive season. Whether you feel tired, or you’re struggling to pay your January bills there is a solution to speed up the recovery path and embrace the new year positively.

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

Problem one- you were so generous that you’re broke:
Would you believe that a lot of people put themselves inadvertently in a debt situation as a result of a Christmas shopping frenzy? Unfortunately it is now a part of the traditional spirit of Christmas. You simply want to please your relatives and closest friends so you find it difficult not to buy them the best gifts – even if it means spending more than you earn. After all, that’s why credit cards were invented weren’t they? Wrong! If you’ve been overspending it’s time to wake up and take your finances back under control. You may need to apply for a payday loan at Personal Money Store to sort out the first bills of the month but this shouldn’t become a habit. Prepare your monthly budget to define how much you need to repay – including the payday loan – and work on your saving strategy. January is a month for frugality: Spend less and only wisely, and if you’ve got birthdays coming set a spending limit for everyone! A last piece of advice: Give the credit card a rest!

Problem two- your skin is telling you you’ve over-indulged over the Christmas period:
Unless you’ve been baking healthy treats over Christmas, it’s likely that you’ve taken your body through some food-related abuses. No, we’re not talking calories but body fuel. There are only so much high sugar and fat content your body can take. For instance, food with a high GI and dairy can trigger and aggravate acne. So if you’re dealing with an acne outbreak, or with dull-looking skin, it’s time to change your diet to address it. Focus on antioxidants, such as red berries, to clear your skin. You will also need to drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body and help your skin to feel rejuvenated. Finally, your eating habits and schedules need to get back to normal. While it’s rather common to have endless Christmas meals and treats throughout the day during the festive season, you need to stop eating at least two hours before going to bed and reduce your caffeine intake too.

Problem three- you’re exhausted after the family high:
Spending time with your family feels great, especially if you don’t see each other often. But it can be highly stressful too, especially as you try to spend time with everyone during the holiday. So if going back to work or school has felt like the worst thing ever, there’s probably a good explanation for it: you’re exhausted. Feeling tired all the time is actually a medical condition called fatigue, and it might even impact your memory, concentration and sleep patterns. In other words, you can’t just switch back to work without helping your body to recover from the stressful family time. It might sound counterproductive at first, but working out will boost your metabolism to recover and will provide you with a burst of energy. Additionally, it will help you to sleep better, which is another great tip to feel less tired!

Problem four- you need time for yourself:
And finally, there’s no denying that the Christmas holiday can feel overwhelming, especially as you spend time with your relatives. You might not have any time for yourself, and it’s a bad idea to go back to work without taking some necessary me time. There’s no need to book a January holiday to recover. But you should be scheduling time for yourself, such as saving a few weeknights for you and forgetting overtime. Focus on what you want to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s gardening or painting your nails. Me time is precious and helps to rest the mind.

How are you coping with the post Christmas recovery? I find being back at work a great healer, although I probably in the minority there!


A Winter Escape #EscapeForWinter*

Imagine you could pick anywhere in the world to spend the Winter months, well, anywhere cold and snowy that is. That was exactly the task assigned to me by Julian Charles the other day and Bob and I spent a great deal of time talking about what we would do and where we would go.

In the end we decided that we’d hop on over to Iceland to spend some time in a glass igloo- something that might sound like a punishingly cold way to spend the Winter, but upon further research sounds more and more appealing.

Photo by Rucksack Magazine on Unsplash

Made from thermal glass, the igloos actually provide a snug and warm environment which allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of Iceland- and if you’re really lucky, catch sight of the elusive Northern Lights.

Kitted out with a bed, toilet facilities, log fires and more, I can think of nothing better than cozying down in bed or on a beanbag with the thickest of duvets and faux fur throws known to man kind whilst enjoying the spectacular surroundings. From my brief bit of research I’m also 100% down with the daytime activities on offer- one supposes you can’t spend all of your time there in a cosy little nest at least!
From husky sledging to snowmobile hire I actually really want to book this escape right now despite really not being a big fan of cold weather and potential frostbite.

If we were going to be there for any length of time I’d be sure to pack some extra bits and pieces to make our dwelling extra warm and cosy- some giant scented candles to provide a warm glow, some super warm blankets and several hot water bottles for starters.

Wardrobe wise a new winter coat would most certainly be in order, as would some super warm footwear and a trapper hat for day time attire and the thickest dressing gown, fleecy pyjamas and sheepskin lined slippers for night.

I’m imagining plenty of comfort food being on offer- from traditional Icelandic dishes (plenty of fresh fish) to simple soups and bread for warming lunches. I’ll probably be rolling home several kilos heavier but will definitely be avoiding local delicacies such as dried fish or sheep’s head.

Julian Charles have also put together a great e-book to serve as inspiration for anyone looking to escape the ordinary this winter. Reading this gave me a serious case of wanderlust and I’m pretty sure that it will do the same to you, too.

What would be your dream winter escape, and how would you keep cosy and warm whilst there?


Collaborative post with Julian Charles.

Chic knits wish list from Amazon Fashion

So, Amazon does fashion, who knew? Ok, so I’m probably really late to the game with this discovery- and I always was aware you could buy clothes on Amazon, but a dedicated Fashion zone stocking well known brands? That was entirely knew to me.

I’m on a rare afternoon off as I write this post, and having spent a good portion of that afternoon window shopping doing my tax return whilst listening to the howling gale outside, snuggled up in the biggest jumper I can find, I thought it would be quite fitting to pop together a knitwear wish list. Today I’m focusing on classic, investment pieces to fit my vague New Year’s resolution of buying quality over quantity, at almost 31 years of age I’m starting to feel my habit of buying novelty pieces I wear only once or twice needs to be kicked to the curb.

Goldie Jumper: £49 | Just Female Jumper: £141

Filippa K Cropped Jumper: £140 | Cacharel Polo Neck Jumper: £221

As you’ve probably quite rightly assumed, all of these jumpers- and a great many more are available from Amazon Fashion, somewhere that I will no longer be over-looking when I’m shopping for investment pieces for my grown-up person wardrobe. Although these jumpers might be pricier than I’d usually consider they all look extremely warm, and extremely versatile- ideal for both work wear and casual layering.

Am I the only one late to the Amazon Fashion game? Has any one had any experience of purchasing from there?


The Perfect Smart/Casual Jacket

I hate being cold, I’m miserable when I am cold and therefore it makes sense that I own rather a large selection of coats and jackets- mostly coats though, and mostly casual and despite telling myself that I really can’t justify adding to my collection when the opportunity came up to work with Irish fashion retailer Cari’s Closet and I clocked the jacket I’m featuring in this post I just shrugged my shoulders and declared “there’s always room for one more”.

Jacket c/o Cari’s Closet (now on sale!) | Pinafore: Monki | Star Print Top: Primark | Boots c/o LOTD

Of course there’s justification for one more jacket especially when it’s ideal for bridging that gap between smart and casual wear. Perfect for slinging on over jeans and a jumper for day time, but still smart enough to put over an evening outfit to keep the chill off- something that always foils any partywear plans of mine…a big old duffel coat just doesn’t do the job so well.

This is a beautiful jacket, and a bargain right now as well as it’s gone in to the Cari’s Closet sale. This is a website I wasn’t familiar with up until a few weeks ago but after an extensive browse I’m quite the fan and next time I’m in need of a fancy party dress it’s one of the first places I’ll be visiting. There was a definite touch of luxe when my parcel arrived, immaculate in it’s sleek black box. I do love a company that takes care over the little details.

I hope everyone had a fantastic NYE and isn’t too sad to be getting back in to the swing of life after those long and lazy inbetween days (I say long and lazy, but I am sure that many people were, like myself, back at work). I for one am looking forward to getting some proper routine back, I don’t do well in chaos, and although January is traditionally a bit of a rubbish month, for me at least I feel it will be different this year. I’m so excited for 20o18 and all it has to offer and I’m looking forward to sharing more of it as it happens.