All I’ve wanted to wear for the last few weeks is strappy dresses, shorts and vest tops, which is glorious (I could live with this weather all year round – I love the sunshine). But all good things must come to an end and as usual at this time of year, new, autumnal items are starting to appear all over the high street (and the internet). I thought I’d dedicate this weekend’s wishlist to a few new season trends. And while some are more wearable than others – I’ll be steering clear of capes, thank you very much – there are some gorgeous new season pieces appearing. Here are some of the ones I’ve spotted.
I don’t know about you but I really struggle with night time skincare. I feel like I want to use a bit of a richer product at night, but I don’t want anything too heavy and greasy, and my skin can be a bit sensitive (oh, the horrible tingly pain of a recent dabble into Vitamin C). What I want at night is a lovely smelling, nourishing, soothing moisturiser so I wake up all plump skinned and happy. I was starting to think it was too much to ask, and then I discovered REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm and I’m completely addicted. I’m a huge fan of REN products; they’re cruelty free and as I mentioned recently, they’re really interested in sustainability, introducing a new 100% recycled plastic bottle, 20% of which will be plastic collected by global organisations like Surfrider from oceans, beaches, rivers and lakes worldwide. So I thought I’d dedicate this weekend’s wishlist to telling you about some of my fave products, and giving you the heads up about some fab REN skincare deals and discount codes too.
It’s hot, hot, hot! I think I might be in the minority in that I absolutely love a heatwave. There’s nothing guaranteed to make me hop out of bed in the morning than a peek of a sunny day blossoming through the crack in the curtains. In this weather there’s nothing better than a loose dress, catching every little bit of breeze, and not clinging to you in the heat. So, for this weekend’s wishlist, I thought I’d have a look for a few deliciously light, floaty, cool options – all perfect dresses for hot summer days.
I do love a little travel kit, don’t you? There’s something about teeny products that I love – they’re perfect for travel, or just popping in your handbag, and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this gorgeous hush x balance Me summer edit skincare set. I mean, as if the cute jelly watermelon pink limited edition pouch didn’t light your fire, they’ve only gone and covered it in palm print too. It’s like it was meant for me! Happily, the products inside are brilliant as well – I’m just discovering the Balance Me range and I’m loving everything about the botanically active products, most of which are 99%, if not 100% natural.
I was lucky enough to be on a cruise around the Greek islands this week (I took over P&O Cruises’ Instagram account, if you’d like to take a peek – more about beautiful P&O Cruises Oceana coming soon). It’s scorchio in Greece at the moment. On Saturday we docked in Piraeus and travelled a couple of hours inland to visit the ancient archaeological site of Delphi. It’s beautiful, but there are a lot of steps and steep slopes and very little shade, and in 35 degree heat, it made me realise that my crocheted black dress (although light – it’s a Next beach dress) was woefully badly chosen. What I needed was light, airy, cool and as much as I love it – possibly not black. Hush have added quite a few new pieces to their summer collection, which includes lots of lovely lightweight dresses, so I think I might invest in a few for my next trip. Here’s my weekend wishlist chosen from the new hush high summer styles.
The problem with plastic pollution is that the issue just seems so vast. With TV and social media showing enormous ‘islands’ of plastic building up in our oceans, and beaches being clogged with acres more of the stuff, it’s easy to feel powerless. But honestly, we can all start to make a difference, and the more of us that do (and pass the message on), the more we can start to make a change. Six months since Sir David Attenborough highlighted the sheer scale of this issue in Blue Planet II, he’s now spearheading a brand new BBC initiative called Plastics Action, releasing a short film today outlining the UK’s effort so far, and making a call to action to every one of us to become a #plasticsaction hero and take responsibility for reducing our own plastic footprint, especially where the ‘big five’ are concerned.
One of the things that I’ve really noticed about my beginner’s attempt to create a bit more of a minimal, capsule wardrobe, is that quality is really important. If you’re going to rely on fewer items, you really need to make sure they’re decent. I really like this element of it and have found a new pleasure in deciding on which new items will complement my wardrobe, and then hunting down great pieces to invest in, rather than splashing my cash haphazardly every time I see something I like. There are certain places I’ll go to shop where I know the quality is good, one of those being hush. Waiting for sales (and even hunting down great second hand pieces on Ebay) can save you a fortune, especially on things you really need to spend a bit more on, like great knitwear and decently cut swimwear. The hush summer sale started this morning and they’ve got some great bargains, but as usual, you’ll have to be quick as popular sizes sell out super fast. Here are my favourites:
I was chatting with a friend recently about swimwear. Just about this time of year – when you’re still debating whether to bare your lily white pins in a pair of shorts in case you dazzle a passing driver and cause some sort of accident – is, weirdly, the best time to buy your new swimwear. The shops are still full of all the lovely bits. But, woe betide that you leave it until a couple of weeks before your summer holiday – it will all be sold out and you’ll be left with the choice of a teeny tiny string bikini or a boring black sporty swimsuit left in your size. Happily, I’m here to help and yesterday I took a little sortie to Milton Keynes to check out the swim and beachwear from M&S. There aren’t many places better to buy swimwear – their fit is always good, the prices are reasonable, the fabrics wash well and don’t fade in the sun, and they always have nice matchy matchy bits too. Read on, then, for my best buys:
You might remember that back in September, I finally decided that enough was enough and started working towards saving my bleach-ravaged hair. Working with the incredibly talented Nat Lupton at The Hair Secret in Berkhamsted, I’ve been really looking after my hair, keeping it a soft brunette with non-damaging, vegan, organic hair colour from the Organic Colour Systems range, and treating it to regular Power Build protein treatments, shampoo and conditioner, all specially formulated to restore protein and repair the structure of the hair. I’ve been feeling really good about my hair recently: the care we’ve been giving it is really showing results and it feels thicker and shinier than ever. The little wispy broken bits are starting to grow down as well. One of the things that Nat teases me about was my insistence that I liked being brunette and would never go back to blonde. Oh, but… summer’s here, and I wanted a little lift, so we had a chat, and I paid Nat a visit for some balayage at The Hair Secret. Read more
When it comes to this time of year, I start keeping a little M&S wishlist. Rather than popping those essential five packs of cotton undies, and Rosie for Autograph Insta Glow Matte Bronzer (literally the pretties matte bronzer, I’ve hit pan on two of these beauties now) into my online basket, I start to keep a note of what I’m after so I can take advantage of the frankly brilliant M&S Summer Beauty Box. What’s the big deal, you may ask? Well, the M&S Beauty Box lets you try all sorts of incredible new products, many of the sizes are absolutely perfect for travel too. And the best bit? You get the whole lot, worth £135, for just £15 when you spend £40 on clothing, beauty and home. The deal starts today and I’ve got a sneaky peek inside the box, especially for you.
Well hello, hello! I hope you had the most relaxing bank holiday with your nearest and dearest. We went to see Deadpool 2 in our favourite cinema in Milton Keynes on Friday evening (very funny, especially enjoyed with nachos and wine), and spent the rest of the weekend lazing and pottering at home, walking the dog and sipping rosé. Heaven. Back to work today, though, but it’s all good, as I’ve been discovering the new hush holiday 2018 collection. I love hush’s sweet little capsule collections and this one is my favourite of the year so far, with gorgeous new summer dresses and playsuits featuring some lush prints and embroidery. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Ahhh bank holidays. Three days of absolutely nothing to do and hopefully a bit of sunshine too. I was just reading an Instagram post from a fellow introvert who said, ‘three whole days of nothingness to look forward to’ and that’s absolutely what I’m looking forward to as well: a potter about with my plants, cooking some delicious food, maybe a wander into the village to bimble about the flower festival at the local church with my Mum… perfection. I know some people love a full calendar of exciting events, but I’m happiest at home, with my favourite people and a large glass of rosé. Of course I’m absolutely not ruling out a bit of internet shopping and the long weekend brings with it some rather lovely bank holiday bargains. I’ve brought you a few of the best ones that have dropped into my inbox – along with hundreds of GDPR emails, MAKE THEM STOP! – over the last week or so.
Isn’t this weather glorious? Last week, we were lucky enough to have a little adventure on board Royal Caribbean’s newly refurbished Independence on the Seas, and from there I went straight to Gatwick for a quick overnight at the BLOC Hotel there (write up coming soon) before flying to Palma on assignment for Cruise International for the launch of Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) brand new ship, Marella Explorer. Fab fun, but the challenge was that I had to have cabin baggage only for two trips, which forced me to think long and hard about what I needed to take. Happily, this means that I’ve been testing out the perfect holiday capsule wardrobe and I think I’ve come pretty close.
Now you know that I love everything about hush – I think their style perfectly complements my own laid back luxe ethos. I do think, though, that summer is when hush truly shine. The summer pieces always include a great choice of easy to wear separates, all in a modern colour palette, and the new hush summer 2018 collection is no exception, featuring some pretty, floaty dresses, flattering shorts, effortless t-shirts, gorgeous beach cover-ups and a fab new range of swimwear. I think more and more, we’re moving away from cheap, disposable fashion that has the added shadow of murky production values hanging over it, and towards investing in great quality items from responsible retailers with integrity. This embodies hush for me. Anyhoo, on to the new hush summer 2018 collection. There are so many gorgeous pieces, but I’ve tried to bring you a wide choice of some of the best pieces that will make a great base for a capsule wardrobe when the sun finally comes out. Enjoy!
What on earth is up with this weather? Last week, we were convinced that spring had sprung and I was walking the dog in shorts and a t-shirt, and now I’m looking out the window and it’s that proper April rain shower/sunny spell combo weather again. It’s a lot chillier too. This is brilliant for all of us who love nothing more than chatting about the weather (yes, I’m talking about you, Mr E), but not so good if you’re trying to plan your outfit for a day in town or an evening out. At home I’m not bothered because I live in my standard uniform of jeans and trainers (wellies and parkas for walkies), but I’ve got a couple of things in the pipeline that are going to need me to look smart and then what do I do? For this weekend’s wishlist, I’ve been doing a bit of research at one of my favourite retailers and I’ve come up with some ideas for spring dressing with M&S, who are knocking it out of the park at the moment, fashion-wise.
This week, having finally beaten the jetlag which has been making everything foggy and slow, and also having finished drafting all of the new recipes for the book update I’m writing for a work thing (woohoo!), I woke up to beautiful, spring sunshine streaming through the window. I sat and had a cup of tea with the dog on my favourite blue seat in the garden and watched as my beautiful baby cherry tree shed its blossom in the breeze, like pretty pink snowfall. Oh, isn’t it glorious? As you know, I’ve been lucky enough to have had a couple of trips away so far this year, but even then, I rarely feel like I nail the effortless sunny day dressing thing. As much as I’d love to wear bright colours and prints, I just don’t feel right in them. I’m a more relaxed, monochrome dresser at heart, but feel this mostly lends itself to winter dressing: black jeans, grey cashmere and white shirts are an easy uniform, somehow, when it’s cold. So is it possible to dress for summer without opting for brights and florals (yes, I know they look lovely on some people), well, I’ve had a scout around, and here are a few of my favourite things for chic dressing for sunny days.
- Weekend wishlist: new season trends are landing! August 11, 2018
- Houses and scare zones at Halloween Horror Nights 2018 August 10, 2018
- Our tips for making the leap to university August 9, 2018
- Cruising with friends: our P&O Cruises Oceana adventure August 7, 2018
- Weekend wishlist: REN skincare deals and discount codes August 4, 2018