Brand Love: Yoshi

I feel like this post is LONG overdue as I’ve been admiring Yoshi and their amazing array of accessories for a very long time now. I believe it was the queen of quirky, Char who first put me on their scent and ever since then I’ve obsessively stalked their instagram and website seeking out the latest arrivals.
But what makes this brand stand out within such a saturated market? I’ll start off with a visual example of why I love them so much…
Cats, biscuits, books, flowers and dogs are just a few of the cute characters you’ll find splashed across Yoshi pieces. With everything from handbags to glasses cases and key rings to coin purses this is one of the first sites I hit up when I’m looking for a gift with the personal touch for someone I care about, or to create massive wish lists of pieces I want for myself.

Yoshi is a small family business that has over 50 years experience in working with leather. With their timeless values of quality, craft and workmanship it’s clear that they truly care about what they do and this shines through in the accessories they produce.

It was an absolute privilege when Yoshi got in touch with me on instagram asking if they could pop a couple of cat themed pieces in the post to me. Just because, no obligations. The pieces came beautifully packaged in gorgeous printed dust bags and the attention to detail is just spot on. This is exactly why I love to support small businesses- you get that extra something that you just can’t replicate with mass produced goods.

There is definitely something for everyone in Yoshi’s work and I can hands down say you can buy from them with confidence. The key rings are a personal favourite of mine for gift giving purposes, and once I know I can trust him not to lose it I might well treat my boyfriend to one of their men’s wallets.

What’s your favourite piece on the Yoshi Website? I’m kinda feeling that owning a Jammy Biscuit bag is bordering on essential right now!

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Denim: a fit guide*

It took me a while to realise it but jeans are a true wardrobe essential. They might have had some downtime over the summer as denim shorts reigned supreme but they’re definitely back for autumn/winter 2017 — as if they ever truly went away!
Of course, finding the perfect denim relies heavily on getting the right fit. Womenswear designer Ralph Lauren is on hand to guide us through this season’s most stylish shapes and how to wear them.

(image from Ralph Lauren website)

Flared
Thought flares had been and gone? Think again- Flares are back for AW17 adding a vintage revival to the new season. They’re great for balancing out your proportions and subtly hint at times gone by.
Elongate your legs by wearing your flared jeans with heeled ankle boots, chic lightweight knitwear and a trench coat. As autumn transitions into winter, choose a chunkier knit and wool overcoat to keep the cold at bay.

Boyfriend

For those down days boyfriend jeans are essential. Their relaxed, loose-fit style is perfect for a variety of body shapes, from hourglass to pears — but only if you get the fit right right.
Many believe that ‘boyfriend’ is simply a fashion term for big. However there is actually an art to wearing boyfriend jeans- just like a top that is too big will swamp you, you risk losing your curves in a pair of ill-fitting boyfriend jeans. Stay on the right side of this style by making sure yours fit properly around the waist then loosen on the thighs.

Turn up the hems and wear with Chelsea boots for a tough yet chic winter-ready look, or with converse and a slogan tee for true weekend vibes.

Straight
Straight jeans are the perfect go-between style for boyfriend and skinny styles. More relaxed than skinnies yet with greater structure than boyfriend jeans, they are super versatile and can be either dressed up or dressed down. Wear them with flat or heeled boots during the day, or switch it up for the evening with a stylish pair of patent court shoes — their polished look will contrast perfectly against the relaxed jeans.

Skinny
With A-listers making more relaxed, loose-fit styles popular skinnies may not be your most-worn jeans this season. However, after all these years we can’t just leave the skinny jean behind, there will always be a place for our shape-showcasing old faithfuls in our wardrobe.
This season we’ll be keeping our skinnies for smart-casual events, wearing ankle-grazing styles to show off our killer new season boots.

What’s your favourite jeans style? I’m definitely a skinnies girl, although I feel like once I’ve found the perfect boyfriend style they’ll soon be replaced!

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Hot To Trot: Warm Weather Essentials To Buy Now*

Most of us are guilty of moaning about grey skies until a heatwave hits. Sometimes, it can seem like there’s no happy medium and we go from miserable to sweltering without warning. We may not be guaranteed sunny skies all summer long but there have been some pretty hot days of late so it’s definitely time to invest in some warm weather essentials. If you’re keen to make sure keep your cool this summer here are some must-haves for your wardrobe.
Throw-on dresses
When it’s hot outside and you haven’t got hours to put an outfit together a throw-on dress can be a godsend. Thankfully, this season there’s something for everyone- from cute mini Bardot dresses to jersey maxis and retro-style midis. Go for cotton or linen to keep you cool and choose a length that makes you feel comfortable, some people are much happier about exposing their legs than others. If the warm weather has caught you off-guard and you’re not ready to show off your pins just yet chucking on a maxi is an easy way to look chic and stay cool with minimal maintenance. Cold shoulders and strapless styles are everywhere this summer but if you don’t want to show too much skin (or don’t fancy the tan lines) you can team a plain slip dress with a basic vest or tee.

(image here)

Summer lingerie staples
Hot weather can pose problems with it comes to lingerie as we tend to veer towards strapless styles, or tops with low backs, racer-backs or even no backs. If you don’t already own an extensive collection of summer-friendly underwear click here to check out some versatile styles. It’s also a good idea to stock up on nude and white underwear in the summer months especially if you’re wearing trousers, skirts or dresses made from light materials like linen. You don’t want visible pants spoiling an amazing get-up…I can’t help but cringe when I spot this whilst out and about!
Denim shorts
Not a year goes by when the denim short doesn’t make an appearance in every summer must-have list on planet Earth. There are many a good reason why denim shorts are so popular- they look cool, they’re suitable for festivals, garden parties and hanging out with your friends and they’re really easy to wear. This summer why not embrace the embroidery trend and go for some cut-offs with pretty floral prints? You can toughen up the look with vintage leather sandals, an arm cuff and a mini backpack.

(image credit)

The jumpsuit
If you aren’t a dress kind of girl jumpsuits may be your thing. The good news is that jumpsuits are back with a vengeance this summer. Choose from sophisticated tailored versions for nights on the town, weddings or a day at the races or go for jersey basics or nautical style stripes for a cool daytime look.

It can be difficult to look great in hot weather, especially if it arrives without prior warning. If you haven’t had chance to update your wardrobe yet it’s time to get shopping and stock up on these warm weather essentials.

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Keeping Caffeinated with Rombouts

My love of coffee is well known amongst my friends, family and colleagues. Whereas in the past I’ve been of the “get as many as possible down my neck” approach, not really caring about quality, these days I’m much more fussy about the coffee I drink- I’ve pretty much halved my consumption but with that has come the expensive habit of popping in to a coffee shop at least five times a week to get my fix of something that isn’t instant.
I really need to cut this down but up until now I haven’t found an alternative that I can make at home that I love enough to forgo my cafe habit. I was recently sent a box of coffee from the folks at Rombouts and whilst I knew it would be good based on prior experience, I really didn’t expect for it to replace my beloved double shot Americanos.
The one cup filters from Rombouts have massively impressed both myself and my equally dedicated to decent coffee boyfriend a lot. Both the Colombian and Italian style varieties have become firm favourites for their smoothness, depth of flavour and complete lack of bitterness. They make a great Americano when topped up with hot water and also provide the perfect base for lattes, cappuccinos and iced coffees.
I normally steer well away from any kind of decaf coffee but gave these a go on the back of how impressed I was with the caffeinated versions and it looks like I might have finally found an acceptable coffee that won’t keep me up all night when the evening coffee cravings strike.

The little travel cup included in the package has been great for the walk to work. Given that I pass two branches of Costa most days and can rarely resist the lure, this has saved me a huge amount of money in a short space of time- for the price of one takeaway coffee you can get an entire box of one cup filters (£2.69 for 10) with change left over.

Should the mood strike I can even take a biscuit or two with me on my walk thanks to the individually wrapped cafe biscuits- you know how really good coffee shops serve a speculoos biscuit to go with your drink? There’s something very satisfying to get that same experience at home, feel smug about saving money and still getting to enjoy one of your favourite luxuries.
The ground coffee is, as you’d expect, equally as good. Both blends are single origin and fair trade- the Cuban one has notes of cacoa and caramel in it making it my favourite of the two and perfect to go with a lazy weekend breakfast.You can get Rombouts products direct from their website (as well as all of the accessories and biscuits you could ever need!). If you’re looking to cut down on your coffee shop habit then I highly recommend them as the brand to try- let me know if you try any of the coffees and which one is your favourite.

The changing face of petrol stations*

Well, here’s an off the wall idea for a post- especially given that I don’t drive! Hear me out though, having spent 30 years being driven around by other people and spending a lot of time as a passenger at petrol stations listening to other people muse this was, and is actually a really interesting subject to try and get some thoughts down about.

I also love to people watch at petrol stations, with so many idiots on the roads you really do get to seem some sights! And with things advancing at all times it’s no wonder that insurance is a big business (petrol station insurance from Forum Insurance here). Covering everything from fire risks to other people’s stupidity through the means of employee and public liability.

(Photo by Caryle Barton on Unsplash)

It always amuses me when we drive past an old school filling station- you know the ones with attended pumps, where someone else does the hard work? It’s a rarity these days and I think the only place I ever still see them is when I’m down in Devon or Cornwall. Things have come a long way. These days you can pretty much do your weekly shop when stopping for fuel- I quite often pop out of the car and in to the shop whilst my chauffeur for the day is filling the tank (especially if it’s an M&S simply food kind of place) and some of them are seriously fancy these days! When I was a kid popping in to the grotty Esso garage near school for some sweets for the walk home was about as good as it got, now you can pick up artisan biscuits, picnics that require a bank loan to afford and all manner of random non-edible items.

Car washes are a big thing too- from the super fancy all singing, all dancing machine washes (not gonna lie, they creep me out) to the do it yourself jet washers, there’s not much you can’t do at a petrol station now- it’s almost a wonder anyone spends less than half an hour at one!

Cost seems to be a common source of conversation among friends though, when planning a long journey they seek out the station with the cheapest fuel and do their upmost to ensure they won’t need to top up on the motorway as, well, 20p a litre price difference soon adds up! Luckily where we live petrol seems comparatively cheap and the prices are equal between the two stations that we have. Venture in to the city though and it is not only more expensive in general but depending on where you go- it’s not unheard of to fill up at one station only to drive two miles down the road and see it considerably cheaper. Cries of “I’ve been ripped off” are common.

Of course, as things advance safety is a big concern for many. Just having so much flammable material in one compact space is a risk in itself- you know, I once saw a lady light a cigarette whilst still at the pump and honestly did begin to despair for the human race! Seems like common sense does not always prevail!
I’ve also lost count of the amount of times I’ve almost been run over by people not paying attention as they move from the pump. The pattern appears to be get back in car, put foot down no matter who or what is in the way. My road sense isn’t the greatest and the forecourt really puts it to the test.

Does anyone else share these random fuel station musings? Honestly, I spend a lot of my time waiting for whoever I’m with to fill their tank wondering about this- I’m fully aware this makes me sort of odd but it’s amazing where the mind can wander at times!

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