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.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed a short video that I did for the Ultrasun #myskinis campaign. It’s a fab campaign, not gimicky or hyper hard-sell, but basically created to spread the word on choosing the correct sun protection for our particular skin type, and also about applying it properly. I did a little piece to camera, talking about my skin and also about a few new things I’d discovered during the campaign. This was filmed just after my Dad died and I’ll be honest, I was having a rotten time. The guys at Ultrasun were the sweetest, kindest, most understanding people during this time and I think it’s just made me love everything about Ultrasun even more.
As an early adopter of the slogan tee (yes, I had an original ‘FRANKIE SAYS RELAX’ as well as an oversized ‘CHOOSE LIFE’ which I wore tucked into my rara skirt with my jelly shoes) I feel that I’m highly qualified to choose the best slogan t-shirts. The trend shows no sign of slowing down, and if you’re a late adopter (perhaps the horrors of ‘my <insert relative> went to <insert place> and all I got was this crummy t-shirt’ memories are still too raw for you), I promise it’s totally fine to wear one now, evidenced by the fact that they’ve popped up everywhere from Primark to Prada. And while I don’t really want to walk about with ‘u okay hun?’ or ‘BABE’ emblazoned upon my chest, there are some really nice slogan t-shirts about. I promise. Here’s a little roundup of the best slogan t-shirts about at the moment, from high end to bargainous.
It’s a happy coincidence that it’s Paddy’s Day today, but honestly, I was already planning a green roundup, I promise! As long as you ignore the rumours of a return to -3 degree temperatures this weekend, there are certainly signs that spring is well and truly on the way, and what better way to celebrate than introducing a few fresh, spring greens into your wardrobe.
I do realise, as I’m perched here on the breakfast bar right next to the snowy scene of devastation that is currently our garden, that talking about holiday dressing might be a bit of a stretch, but honestly, I’m all about the escapism. Right now, if I can imagine myself on a sunkissed beach somewhere, I’m a very happy bunny. So even if your current surroundings might not scream (or even whisper) new bikini, I feel that we could all do with a bit of beach dreaming to warm us up. And with so many gorgeous holiday clothes new in at Boden, it would be rude not to have a quick look, no?
This year, Mother’s Day is on Sunday 11th March. Did you know that the reason the date changes every year is that it’s on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday, and the timing of Lent changes every year (it’s linked to the lunar calendar)? Mother’s Day, Easter and my birthday are always linked in my mind as they’re around the same time of year, and this lovely few weeks always makes me think of spring: delicious scents, fresh flowers and all the food (mostly hot cross buns, but also Easter eggs and roast lamb). I always feel like Mother’s Day gifts should be something indulgent that your Mama might not splash out and buy herself, so whether it’s a posy of pretty flowers, sweet treats or beautiful beauty pressies you’re after, I thought I’d have a look and give you some M&S Mother’s Day gift inspo.
- Become a #plasticsaction hero with Sir David Attenborough June 23, 2018
- The hush summer sale is here! June 21, 2018
- Visiting Walt Disney World with toddlers June 19, 2018
- Come shopping with me: swim and beachwear from M&S June 16, 2018
- Coconut chilli prawn noodles June 14, 2018