A retro wish list with Vivien of Holloway*

I’ve always had a fascination and admiration for vintage style, it’s what sparked my love of fashion in the first instance and although I don’t wear much vintage myself (only for lack of decent finds) I have always envied those who deck themselves out in the trends from the 1940s and 1950s. I kind of feel that I’m too tall and lacking in curves (a work in progress) to really pull of a lot of the clothes but a quick browse on the vintage style emporium Vivien of Holloway has me thinking that maybe I need to branch out a little bit more.
This is only a tiny selection of pieces I’m loving from the online shop and whilst I might not be able to pull off a prom dress anywhere near as well as Char can I’m thinking that a pair of the swing trousers or a circle skirt plus a fitted slash necked top or blouse might not be too far out of the realms of possibility.

Which fashion eras do you especially love? Any tips for wearing vintage style pieces with confidence?

A Healthy New Year with Degustabox

Welcome to my first Degustabox review of 2016! It’s only fitting that the first box of the New Year was packed full of healthier treats to help keep those good intentions in check. It’s pretty safe to say I’ve fallen off the healthy eating wagon several times over by now but that hasn’t stopped me enjoying the goodness I found inside the box.
I love something sweet with a cup of tea in the afternoons and these bars from The Fabulous Bakers hit the spot nicely. Packed full of tropical flavour, real oats and plenty of fibre these are a no nonsense snack to tide you over until dinner. They went rather nicely with the bonus box inclusion of a skinny chai latte from Drink Me chai.
How cute is this smoothie pouch from Happy Monkey smoothies? I’m not that much of a smoothie drinker as a rule but I really enjoyed this strawberry and banana one. Made with 100% fruit and no preservatives/additives these might be targeted at kids but I’m pretty sure I’ll be purchasing these for myself as a pick me up at work. I was also pretty happy to see the inclusion of Koko dairy free milk in the box. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with cow’s milk, far from it! I just personally don’t enjoy the taste and prefer coconut and almond milk as an alternative especially when fortified with calcium for that all important bone health.
I took this alcohol free wine along to a gathering at a colleague’s house for the drivers and those partaking in dry January. I myself am not much of a drinker and don’t always wanted to be limited to a diet coke or feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. This tasted just like a glass of cold white wine but didn’t leave me with a sore head the next day and it meant I could enjoy more than one glass without getting all giggly (yes, I’m a terrible lightweight!)
I was really intrigued by the Beatavivo pouches. Essentially they are a crispy oat cereal (aptly in the shape of a heart) and can help lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. I really liked the taste of these, especially mixed in with some fruit and yoghurt for a healthy breakfast or bed time snack. One daily serving of these will go a long way to help your health! I can’t say I was as much of a fan of the compete energy bites- it was probably the lemon flavour that marred them for me, I just don’t like citrus much but they are a good energy hit for anyone studying hard for exams or doing a lot of exercise and they won’t add too many calories to your day either, coming in at 42 per bite.
A favourite from this month’s box was the Hip Pops- a healthier alternative to crisps. Available in 6 flavours (4 of which are gluten free) I was equally in love with both the barbeque and the sea salt & black pepper ones. I also found them more satisfying than crisps and I’m seeking out the rest of the flavours to try asap!
The product of the month from Degustabox was a pasta and sauce duo from Barilla. The whole-wheat pasta is a super tasty and quick way to get 20% of your daily fibre intake and served with the mediterranean pasta sauce makes for a speedy and delicious healthy dinner. No more ready meals for me after a long day at work!
I loved these freeze dried fruit snacks from Nothing But. I didn’t expect to be blown away by them at all but they were a really tasty hit of sweetness and light, perfect for some guilt free snacking action. I’ve tried a few of their products before but the pineapple and grape pack was new to me and a real winner. So tasty, low in calories for those on a diet and one of your five a day in one handy pack.
If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £6 off of your first box by entering the code BLDEG15 at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand one and off over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.


SS16 trends for eyebrows and my brow kit

Over recent years eyebrows have become quite the beauty statement. From bleached out “barely there” brows to the big and bold Cara Delevigne approach to face adornment it’s hard to ignore that these days not only do your clothes need to be on trend, your eyebrows also need to be on point.

I was recently sent the Tweezerman SS16 brow style statement and was delighted to read that lazy girl grooming is in. I’ll be the first to admit I’m quite low maintenance when it comes to my eyebrows- a few simple products and a quick tweeze of the stray hairs does me fine.

I’m all for keeping things natural so finding out that I’m accidentally on trend prompted me to share my top products for my every day grooming. If anyone has anything they think I should be adding to my “brow army” do feel free to let me know in the comments…

Tweezers c/o Tweezerman | MUA eye brow kit | Real Techniques eyeliner brush | L.A.B.2 grooming brush | Natural Collection clear mascara

And that’s that! I simply tweeze out any stray hairs, fill in the gaps with the palette and set with clear mascara and give them a brush up.

Maybe I’ll become a bit more high maintenance but I doubt it- there’s a trend floating around for bleached out or pastel brows but it’s not one I can see myself embracing, how about you?


Winter Working

At last, an outfit post! It’s been a fair while now and whilst I wish I could say I am back with something groundbreaking in terms of style that would be a false promise. Instead I decided to spend some time getting to grips with my new living room, the lighting, my tripod and remote and snapped a quick set of pictures of my standard work wear for the cold winter months.

Jumper: Primark | Skirt c/o Long Tall Sally (in the sale) | Boots: Miista

This jumper was an emergency purchase one bitterly cold afternoon spent exploring the Bath Christmas Market. I was in desperate need of another layer and dashed in to Primark to pick up the cheapest but warmest jumper I could find. I’ve barely taken this off since this recent cold snap, it’s just so snug and cosy and oh so perfect for layering purposes. At only £12 I would say cost-per-wear wise it’s paid for itself several times over.

Despite never getting on with pencil skirts I’ve also found myself reaching for this Long Tall Sally number over and over since it arrived. It’s made of super stretchy jersey that is thick enough to be both warm and flattering- not a small achievement by any stretch of the imagination. Combined, the jumper and skirt have made up my staple work uniform for the colder days. I’ve stretched the truth slightly by putting on these Miista boots for the photos, it has been far too long since they had an outing and given that they are my favourite boots of all time I figured it was about time they saw the light of day.

So there we have it, my first post-move outfit post. Hopefully I’ll have some more coming up in the not too distant future. Weather permitting Ben and I are off out to explore our new local area to scout out some locations…watch this space!

What do you wear for work in the winter?

Gentle Powder Love from treaclemoon

I’m pretty certain I’m not alone at all in absolutely loving the scent of baby powder. I find it one of the ultimate comfort scents and at this time of year a long, hot bath with something that smells incredible is just what the doctor ordered to put a smile back on my face.

For this reason I was incredibly excited to find out about the launch of Gentle Powder Love from treaclemoon* (£2.99/500ml from Tesco). Already a favourite shower product brand of mine I just knew that this new arrival was going to be heavenly…

This is one luxuriously thick and creamy product that manages to both cleanse and soften the skin whilst enveloping you in the most amazing smell. It instantly transports me back to happy childhood days and is the perfect precursor to spending an evening on the sofa snuggled up tight in a blanket. Even the description on the bottle is dreamy…

“…The scent led her to a gentle place…a dreamy carousel ride on painted marshmallows and rainbow coloured elephants. Life was cute…”

Sometimes being transported back to your childhood happy place is just the ticket, if you too are a fan of the baby powder scent then this product is an absolute must buy next time you’re picking up your bread and milk (and milkybar buttons, ssh!) in Tesco.