Home Sweet Home

I’m pretty sure the current global situation was beyond most of our wildest imaginations. I mean sure, we’d all seen films about the world coming to a standstill, we may have even had those ‘imagine if’ conversations after watching Contagion. But, I’m pretty sure this isn’t the 2020 any of us had in mind when we were tanked up singing Auld Lang syne.

It’s pretty hard not to be consumed with the current COVID-19 Pandemic which has drastically changed life as we know it and shut down our versions of normal.

We have been told that the best thing we can do for humankind right now is just stay home and press the re-set button. It is helping the total heroes out there who don’t have the choice and it is absolutely the right thing to do. Now, I don’t know about you, but this sitch is definitely conjuring up some anxious feelings and I would go as far to say it is TOTALLY normal right now if you’re a bit of a panicky Paula and don’t quite know what to do with yourself.

After a week of coming to terms with the escalating situation I’m going to share some bits and bobs that have helped me stay calm and centred at a time when the world as we know it seems to have been flipped upside down.

1) WAKE UP (AND DON’T LOOK AT THE NEWS) 

Sounds easy enough right?? Well actually its pretty hard! My routine last week began with me waking up, reading ALLLLLLL the news articles on Coronavirus I could humanly find. I would then check in with Instagram and the 2 million opinions uploaded on the current state of the world and then have an anxious cup of tea whilst I stared at my kitchen wall. NOT COOL.

This was not helpful for me. It wasn’t changing anything I was gonna do with my day and it was making me feel a whole lot more scared and out of control.

At a time where it seems like control is slipping away from us I would encourage everyone to take an hour of peaceful time in the morning where you DON’T look at your phone or the news.

Doing this has made a massive improvement to my happiness levels.

2) WORK OUT EARLY IN THE DAY

Most of us on house arrest have many more free hours in the day at the moment. My work has been suspended for the time being, so I reluctantly have extra time on my paws to play with.

After brekkie I do some Pilates stretches and exercises online – there are thousands on YouTube. Its a gentle way to get the blood pumping around my bod (which incidentally is good for helping to fight the virus). It also injects some much needed happy hormones into my brain to set me up for the rest of the day.

Pilates not your bag? Pretty much every Personal Trainer is being a legend and offering some sort of free online workout right now. Utilise them. Joe Wicks even has PE for the younger cherubs schooling from home out there- Mummas can join in :).

3) BE GRATEFUL

I start the day and end the day by writing down three things I’m grateful for on a post it note and putting it in a jar. Once you start to get into the habit of this you will find thousands and thousands of things that you can write down.

It may be as simple as your morning cup of coffee, which you used to take for granted. The fact you have access to drinking water. Whatever it is you’re feeling grateful for write it down. The more you write down the more grateful you’ll feel – again, another huge mood booster.

I’m mostly grateful right now for all of the amazing people putting their lives on the line to help everyone move through this crazy period in our lives. Hospital workers, supermarket staff and anyone helping the country/world function are absolute heroes.

4) WATCH WILDLIFE FOR A BIT

I really have the strong feeling that this time which many of us are finding extremely challenging is all about re-connecting with nature, the planet, and realising what is important in life. If you have a window or are lucky enough to have outside space try and observe nature more in the next few weeks.

Watch the birds, listen to the sound of the wind. Have a look at Spring popping up right in front of your eyes. It truly is a beautiful world we live in.

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I stopped in my tracks yesterday and just watched some flowers for a few minutes. This is the kind of behaviour which would have been nutty a few weeks back. But I just couldn’t stop staring at the beautiful colours and appreciating the gorgeous scent coming from them. This plant has been there a while, but I only really noticed it on my walk yesterday. Have a look around (and get out for a solo walk if you still can) 🙂

I’m also noticing the sky more. I’m grateful for beautiful blue skies which fill my heart with joy, those dreamy sunsets which make you feel warm and safe and the morning sun streaming through my windows.

5) VOLUNTEER (IF YOU’RE ABLE TO AND WHEN YOU’RE READY) 

It took me a good couple of weeks to come to terms with this new situation and the limitations which are being asked of us so that we can help slow down this new virus. But now that I am adjusting I feel it’s only right that I offer help to anyone that may be more in need than me.

I posted notes through my neighbours doors, and I’ve emailed my local area neighbourhood group to see if there’s anything I can do to help. And you know what?? It felt so nice. So maybe try it, when you’re ready. We are all in this together (well, actually we always have been, it’s just a shame that it takes events like this to make us fully realise that).

6) TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY (OR GO BACK TO YOUR OLD ONES). 

I’m pretty sure that now is a time which we will look back on and reflect on for many years to come. Perhaps push yourself out of your comfort zone learn something new or go back to something you used to love and never got a chance to do as an adult.

I read somewhere that thinking back to your 8 year old self, and what made you happy at that time should give you some clues as to what you really love in life.

For me it was painting, dancing and playing musical instruments. So, I bought some acrylic paints, my plan is to paint a canvas which I can keep forever, to remind me of this time when we had to slow right down. I also dug out my keyboard, I want to try and learn a few songs whilst I have this extra time at my fingertips.

FYI creating something (a painting, a dinner from scratch) is actually very good for your mental health. So do a little something, even if you think its teeny it may help.  We have a wealth of information at our finger tips on the internet. Get creative, and try and use it if you can 🙂

7) FACE TIME YOUR FAVES

I would go as far to say that FaceTime wine dates with your friends and family should be considered mandatory at this time. If you’re like me and you’re lucky enough to have the most positive beautiful friends on the planet, now is the time to lean into each other and make stupid jokes together.

We can’t control the situation around us, but we can control who we chat to and how they make us feel. Now is probably the best time to limit contact with naysayers or dramatic Debbies. Get back in touch with Chirpy Caroline and Positive Penny, and never lose touch again.

8) TAKE A BUBBLE BATH

Taking a bath is a good way to relax and let your troubles melt away. In fact I read once that a bubble bath is the equivalent in happy hormones to an intense HIIT workout.

Put something to watch on Netflix, make the bath extra bubbly and soak in the goodness of the tub. Wine and candles optional/availability dependant.

9) LISTEN TO CALMING MUSIC (OR MUSIC THAT CALMS YOU)

I’ve started really appreciating classical music more and more the last few years, but right now it’s my music of choice in the house.

It is so amazing that most of the big composers were alive in the 17-18th centuries. Yet their music speaks to me hundreds of years later at a time when things are changing very rapidly.

Music seems to have more meaning now somehow.  I can honestly say I fully appreciate the skill in that now more than ever. So whack up whichever tunes make you feel happy and calm.

NB A little bit of Destiny’s Child whilst dancing around the kitchen is always a good idea too.

10) BUY SOME PLANTS  

If you’re not lucky enough to have some already consider filling your home with some plants.

They are an instant mood booster and they require a little attention, a great thing to focus on right now.

I’m considering ordering a couple more to make my home even more green if I can.

11) DON’T COMPARE 

Now more than ever it is important that we DON’T compare ourselves to others online and we go easier on ourselves.

People will be going through this transition at different phases, people will also be feeling better on days when you are not an vice versa.

Try and step on social media for the goodness (workouts, people who uplift you and keeping up to date with good news and funny memes). Don’t let it consume you at a time like this.

And if you fancy that Mint Aero or whole Terrys Chocolate Orange eat it!! You were probably lucky enough to find it in the shops in the first place!

12) DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE

If anxiety is creeping in one day or you just feel that the situation is too much don’t forget to breathe slowly. In through the nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and breathe out for 7 seconds.

There are also some good meditations on YouTube that you can find. Try some out on days when you feel you need it and even on days when you feel you don’t.

FINALLY, REALISE THAT SITUATIONS ARE TEMPORARY

Nothing remains the same forever, and that is often the beauty in life. This time is a new challenge, and we are facing things that we never imagined would happen.

However, I truly believe that so much good will come from this. We are having to re-learn how we live life. It may be the universes way of intervening at a time when we just didn’t know how to fix everything.

Try and relax as much as you can, realise we can’t control lots of things in life. Look after those immediately around you, give your family and friends multiple virtual hugs and TRUST THE UNIVERSE.

Big Love to every single one of you,

Han                                                                                                                                                       xox

P.s Wash your hands 🙂

N.B I am not a mental health expert, if you feel like your anxiety is overwhelming speak to your GP or a mental health professional. 

 

A tale of two Natas

Many people have heard about the wonders of Portugal and it’s perfect city break credentials – but no, I’m not talking about lovely Lisbon. I’m harping on about the city that holds the best Port houses in the world, and has the best secret sunsets to boot – Porto.img_2359

I’ve always had this beautiful hot spot on my travel list, but never took the plunge until this year when Mr S was super keen to drink some extra strong wine. Now I only wish I’d visited sooner. And here’s why….

THE BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS

Wherever I am in the world, architecture simply fascinates me. I could get lost in the pretty facades and beautiful brickwork in many a fair town. Porto however, takes it to a new level. The tiles. Did I mention the beautiful tiles?? Blue, Yellow, Green, Patterned. They will literally take your breath away as you see each and every design adorning the beautiful architecture around the City.ba2f6a7e-8ea4-4ace-865e-89c874fceb5aAzulejos (their official name), were adopted into Portuguese culture as far back as the 1400’s when King Manuel I took inspo from Seville. Now Porto’s walls are covered in these beautiful tiles and it’s even been named a UNESCO World Heritage site because of this.

If you stroll down to the waterfront you will see multicoloured buildings beautifying the streets like giant jewels. They are well loved and characterful, and they are perfect to sit in front of whilst sipping a reasonably priced wine (please remember I’m from London so 4-5 euros a glass is good where I’m from).

THEY HAVE THE VERY BEST VIEWS

As Porto is situated on the banks of the River Douro, the streets climb up through the city of Vila Nova de Gaia on the South and Porto on the North. This makes for some gorgeous views to enjoy whilst you devour your favourite Port. The city streets are so steep that you are sure to work up your appetites for your daily Natas!!

If you are looking to chase the sunset you will need to head up the hill on the Vila Nova de Gaia side. I suggest checking out The Yeatman Hotel for an stunning sunset you won’t forget in a hurry. Here you’ll find sophisticated cocktails, friendly waiters and an atmosphere which will leave you questioning how to move to Porto before the dreaded ‘B’. I devoured an espresso martini and Rich went with an old fashioned as we watched the sun disappear beneath the city.

If you fancy a more casual affair you may want to sit directly next to the banks of the River and snack on olives and crisps as you say your goodnights to the big ball in the sky.

Top Tip: Get to The Yeatman early to secure a front row seat on the terrace.

THE DOURO VALLEY IS SPECTACULAR (AND A STONES THROW AWAY)

You may well have noticed that Vineyards feature extensively in my trips abroad, and Porto was no exception. I suggest taking a day trip from the city and checking out a few Vineyards a mere 1hr 30 away from the city. You can take a tour complete with stop overs at many a picturesque spot as you go, you can even head there on the river from the harbour if that floats your boat (sorry for the naff joke).

img_2286Once you are there, they are mighty generous with the pouring too, so make sure you eat a decent breakfast before you set off into the Valley. I suggest some Natas and yummy croissants to fill your tum. If you’re lucky like us you will have been treated to both by your lovely Hotel.

We went with Efun tours and booked via Trip Advisor. Throughout the day you will sample Port straight from the barrels in some locations. You will also learn how they crush the grapes (with their actual trotters – yes, it nearly put me off too but I soldiered on and drank all the port).

Top Tip: The weather is generally a little warmer out there than in the city, so you may want to take off a layer when you get out there. Don’t forget the Sunscreen.

THE SEAFOOD

Being a longstanding Port (who’d have known), Porto is up there with the best city seafood i’ve ever laid my nashers on. The restaurants have some lovely seafood selections and I would urge you to try their catch of the day which has likely been caught just a couple of hours before making it to your plate (yum).

TOP TIP: Head one street behind the riverfront for really yummy traditional Portuguese restaurants which happen to be a 1/3 of the price.

THE NATAS

Okay, so it may come off a little extreme to dedicate a whole paragraph to the Natas. But we are talking about one of the cities in the world where you will you find fresh out the oven insanely good Natas at every turn. First created by monks (yes really) over 300 years ago near Lisbon, the recipe made its way up through Portugal and is now an everyday staple for many.

My recommendation? Head to Manteigaria near the Igreja dos Clergios Church. You will not be disappointed by the texture, flavour and taste of these beauties. I’m considering a fight back just for these alone!!!

Where to Stay

We had an epic adventure at the Pestana Vintage Porto. I booked it months in advance and can honestly say it blew us away.

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The hospitality upon entering this hotel was just fabulous. The room overlooking the river was unforgettable. And the breakfast? The breakfast was up there with the best hotel breakfast I’ve ever had. The perfect pastries, eggs cooked to perfection, sparkling wine on tap, freshly squeezed orange juice. It was the best possible way to start our days in Porto.

You are also welcome to visit their sister hotel further along the river if you want a day of R&R at the spa or lying by their infinity pool. Pestana Palacio do Freixo is an eighteenth century palace and a perfect way to spend the day.

TOP TIP: Book ahead if you want a reasonable price at this stunning hotel (you’ll thank me later).

Now I’m off to hunt down a Nata.

Safe Travels,

Han

xox

*this blog contains my personal Porto opinions (tongue twister eh?) and is not sponsored by any of the above highlights mentioned in any way. *

 

Why Instagram is S**T (in my opinion)

Okay, so I used to have a best friend, I thought they liked me as much as I liked them. I would pour hours of my time and energy into what I thought they liked and always seek approval from them. That ‘friend’ was called Instagram.

It was a slow transition. It started with an innocent picture of my Eggs Benny one day but boy did it escalate. It escalated to a point of missing fun times in place of getting ‘the shot’. It escalated to an extreme of sacrificing things I loved in place of taking pictures for brands or other ‘grammers’.

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Now I will say one thing before I tell you the ugly truth. And that is I have met some AMAZING humans through the squares. Some people who are just deliciously kind and good hearted. Some people who are up for a laugh and don’t take the whole virtual world too seriously.  For that reason alone, it could be worth it. But anyway here goes…..this is why I think Instagram is s**t.

YOU ARE BOMBARDED WITH OTHER PEOPLES S**T

Whether it’s good or bad news, you are constantly exposed to other peoples days/fears/news/relationships/cats/dogs – okay dogs are the good bits – but you get the picture. It would have been humanly impossible to come across such a large array of emotions/interactions within your 30 minute commute to work 10 years ago. But now? Now you get smacked in the face with millions of *other peoples* thoughts on random s**t before you’ve even had a chance to digest your morning cocoa pops.

img_2901.jpgThe smallest action of opening up the app to see a few pretty pics can leave you angry, sad, happy, anxious or just plain confused. And the worst thing??? We still open it up. It’s like an addiction. But like all addictions, it can be unhealthy.

I wonder, do we really need to see what everyone is up to each and every day. Do we really need to see people having a crap time and complaining or having a great time and not complaining. I’m thinking maybe not so much.

IT IS NOT REAL

Instagram is not real life. It can never ever be real life. So why do we incorporate it into real life so much?? The constant updates, the talking stories, the massively long captions which make my eyes strained. It can never ever give the full picture of someones life. It’s the portion they are willing to share with you at that moment in time on that day. *It is not real* (I really can’t stress this enough). Think someones having a shit time, you could be totally wrong, think someones having a great time, again you’ll never know. You’ll never actually know unless you take them out for a wine/coffee, and even then you still might not know. Insta is just not real.

Now there are some great posts out there which aim to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth and therefore make people feel all warm and fuzzy. You know the ones I mean… talking openly about tummy rolls, or bad things that have happened to them in the day etc. But you know what??.. I don’t know about you but this can still have an impact on my mood. I end up feeling sad for someone if they complain and tell me they’re having a bad day – I take on some of their emotions just like I would a real life 3D friend. The tummy roll pics make me feel bad too, bad for not openly sharing my tummy rolls and loving them in the same way that the said ‘grammer can.

COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY

So, I want you to imagine a simple time, a time where people lived in a quiet village and would notice their neighbours new car or their friend’s snazzy landscaped garden. Maybe they gently eyed up their cousin’s watch and complimented their work colleague on their new Choos. Well all that is probably harmless right? However, add in a few hundred cars, gardens, watches, shoes, holidays which you are perusing day in day out and you could suddenly find yourself not appreciating all the beautiful things within your little real world. And that is just not cool.

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I really do think it’s true when they say “Life moves pretty fast, and if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it”. You could miss all the flavours of the wonderful food you’re having one evening because you’re scrolling through your feed and eyeing up someone else’s night on the town. You could miss the brilliant result your kid got at school because you’re being bombarded with someone’s good news on the squares and rushing to congratulate them wholeheartedly. You could just miss it. Period.

YOU WORK YOUR SOCKS OFF ON THE GRID FOR HARDLY ANYTHING

Now coming from one challenging healthcare job onto a life in the squares I am honestly questioning if its all worth it. Sure, I get to unleash my creative side on any beautiful human that will look at it. I get to choose pretty outfits and sometimes I get sent beautiful clothes or even get paid to take pics of them. But there is a lot that you don’t see on Instagram. The location scouting, the ironing, the editing, the negotiating, the 10 emails back and forth for one picture and the 20 emails chasing payments from brands – sometimes they still don’t pay. I often sit myself down and think ‘what the actual hell am I doing this all for?’.

INSTAGRAM IS UNPREDICTABLE

Now one of the main things that grinds my gears about this slightly evil square app is the unpredictability of it all. The algorithm. The sodding algorithm. Just when you think you’ve got to grips with it, it frikkin changes AGAIN. I think the people at Insta must like to mess with people psyches or something. That’s my best guess. I think we will be talking in years to come about how Instagram scrapped the chronological order of things and where we were on that day!!!

At this moment in time they’ve screwed with the engagement side of things. Which is probably not a big deal if you’re just sharing a pic of your schnauzer (hopefully me in a few weeks) but, if you’ve worked your way up over the years to collaborate with brands they probably expect a certain amount of traffic on your posts. It’s kinda like being kicked in nuts by Insta since they hide EVERYONE’S posts. And it just doesn’t make sense. Also the smaller accounts suffer, lack of exposure leads to lack of growth going back to what I said earlier – what is the actual point??

QUALITY VS QUANTITY 

Quite often quality and amazing content doesn’t add up to getting those elusive likes. Nope sir, its more about post timing, consistency and using the right hashtags (Some are too big and some are too small and some are jusssssst right). The trouble is, we’re NOT robots. We are humans with lives and we may not be able to manage all of the above on every post. And even if we do it drastically sucks all of the fun out of it like that miserable guy in the corner of the party who doesn’t wanna dance to Gloria Estefan.

SO WHAT CAN BE DONE?

1) Well, we could put our virtual tail between our legs and we could quit. Except, all that hard work?? Such a shame.

2) We could take a massive step back like, you know, to Brazil. If something is making you tense/pissed off/annoyed then I’m personally thinking it’s not even worth it. My recent mini Insta-break has refreshed my soul and done me the world of good. I’ve also noticed a mahoosive drop in my anxiety… funny that.

3) We could make our profiles private. Okay so if you’ve been mega relaxed about this in the past then it’s probably not gonna make a huge difference because lots of people have your data, but it’s probably a step in the right direction.

4) We could unfollow all the people that don’t spark joy in us. The problem with this is it changes on a daily basis for me and you might offend some genuinely gorgeous humans. But then as someone I know always says ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs’.

As for me, much like a badly behaved boyfriend from years ago, I’ll probably take Insta back with open arms at some point. But until that day, I’m enjoying the ups and downs of my delightful 3D world.

Big Love as always,

Han

xox

P.s I would love to hear your views on Instagram.

 

 

 

SNAZZY STOCKING FILLERS (that won’t break the bank)

So, it’s that time of year. Final days in the office, last minute drinks with friends. If you’re anything like me, you haven’t even started your Christmas shopping.

That’s why I’ve rounded up my favourite stocking fillers/gifts under £20 which can be ordered ASAP (obvs double check delivery times). Now we can all run into Boots and grab any old tat to give the ones we love/kinda like… but these beauties will have people convinced you actually care, and you put thought into them at this special time of year.

They’re also not gonna break the bank – some of them can be snapped up for the princely sum of just £5!!

Now get clicking, and have a bloody fabulous festive season.

Big Love,

Hannah

XOX

My Winter Boot Edit

img_0288If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know about my ridiculous shoe obsession. I remember as a 5 year old hobbling around in my Nannas white peep toe stilettos and loving life (btw if you have daughters and don’t want them to go bankrupt – take note and lock the wardrobe doors when they’re little).

But lets talk about the real reason we’re here, BOOTS. As a self proclaimed shoe aficionado I want to highlight some of my recent boot finds and show you what I’ve been drooling over this month.

This year the boot situation has reached new levels as the shoe gods seem to continually release new fabrics, styles and lengths for us to covet. My shoe closet is more like a room in itself (also known as the spare room ;)). Soon I’m going to have to use the kitchen cupboards for shoe storage!!

The days of just choosing between patent or suede leather are long gone. Now there’s sequins, tartan, heavy hardware and all manner of fur. You name it, they’ve probably made it in the shape of a boot. And I couldn’t be happier!! Here are some of my absolute faves (most are afforadable, some a girl can dream can’t she??)…

TARTAN & CHECK

Tartan, houndstooth and other check prints are HUGE right now. Traditional and yet somehow bold at the same time, the combination of colours in a check design are the perfect choice to make your outfit pop!

But if you don’t want to don a set of check trousers a la Rupert the Bear, then switching up your boots could be the perfect way to introduce this print into your wardrobe. With just a glimpse of check on your toes, you can make your outfit just a little more daring without going OTT. I ordered the cream and yellow styles below from ASOS and I am currently in a slight dilemma deciding which pair to keep (you can help by voting on my stories).

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SEQUIN & SILVER

Perfect for this time of year, but why limit yourself to just a season with shoes that make you smile so much. They are a perfect style to light up a dance floor at the Christmas party without crippling yourself and needing a med evac at the end of the night.

I’m personally preferring the soft leather silver leather varieties (I’ve heard some of the high shine options can be slightly less toe-friendly).

ANIMAL PRINT

Good old animal mania… are you bored of it? Nah, me either. And it’s probably a good job as it seems to be here to stay for a little while longer. Snake, zebra, leopard; we’ve practically had the whole zoo in our closets. If you’re feeling less risqué, I’d recommend to stick with the leopard – it’s been around longer and the neutral tones make it an easy one to match with traditional base colours (see recent lilac post for inspo).

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ALL BUCKLED UP

It all started with Chloe. Well, at least thats where my personal obsession began with extensive hardware-emblazoned boots. Buckles, chunky metal and a sexy masculine quality made me fall onboard with this trend.

Ultra easy to pair with skinny ripped jeans and a biker jacket, these boots are the most functional for, you know, actually walking. I guess that’s important too after all.

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CLASSIC

Sometimes the classic, well made styles are just what the foot Doctor ordered. I’m sure you’re aware by now that I am a huge fan of a heel. I feel more confident and more ‘me’ if I’ve gone up a few inches in the world. These beauties are styles which do just that, they enhance your mood and can be worn from the office straight to cocktail hour.

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Which are your faves?

Have a good week guys!

Hannah
xox

N.B This is a personal blog written by me containing affiliate links, all opinions and thoughts are always my own. 

Sleeve dreams are made of this

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Knits, jumpers, sweaters; whatever you call them, they are a necessary addition to your #OOTD at this time of year.

The cold temperatures, skating dates and Winter Wonderland strolls call for lots of layers. I’m a big baby when it comes to being cold, but I don’t want to miss out on all the outdoor fun either.

I also don’t want to wear boring jumpers all the live long day and get fed up of my oh-so similar roll necks on repeat when I remove one of my fabulous coats (like these babies). That’s probably why I’ve developed a penchant for snazzy sleeves.

It started last year with some cheeky faux fur, and the obsession has expanded from there, now my wardrobe has amazing ‘arm-wear’ and all manner of textures and fake fur.

As far as I’m concerned the fluffier the better. Sure, you will get accused of looking like a chicken from time to time, people may call you a bear behind your back, but you will feel far from a plain Jane.

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This year, sequin sleeves and pearl embelishments have been doing the rounds and this is right up my Christmas street. Office dress down days, Christmas drinks and even a Saturday shopping sesh are all screaming out for this festive update.

I’ve linked some sexy sleeve-y faves for you to have a spy at.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Hannah

xox

SHOP THE LOOK

N.B This is a personal blog written by me containing affiliate links, all opinions and thoughts are always my own. 

 

Black Friday Bargs

It’s that time of year (that as a Brit holds zero significance to me) which we all get swept up by EPIC DISCOUNTS.

Yes thats right you’ve guessed it, it’s another Black Friday round up.

Now, I wasn’t going to bother bombarding you with Black Friday-ness but when I recieved an email from Mango telling me there is 30% off EVERYTHING, I was compelled to share this information with you. Enter BLACK18 at the checkout and your order price will be slashed.

Not long after that I saw some amazing boots from Nasty girl with a whopping 50% (yes you read that right) 50% off all clothing!! To cap it off stores like River Island made my week with 30% discount (selected lines but ya know, still awesome).

So below are a couple of the amazing things I saw and my favourite Black Friday bargain goodies below including the black and white two tone boots I ordered from Nasty Gal and some sequins for Christmas time too.

Remember, you don’t need it ALL.

Happy Friday beauts,

Hannah

XOX

TOPSHOP PICKS

MANGO PICKS

RIVER ISLAND PICKS

NASTY GAL/ASOS PICKS

N.B This is a personal blog written by me containing affiliate links, all opinions and thoughts are my own. 

Faux Fur Faves

img_1197.jpgI don’t know about you, but these plummeting temperatures have really got me reaching for my jumbo jumpers and black forest hot chocolates. It’s cold in the mornings and even cooler in the evenings. I reckon I’m one step away from full on hibernation in an ugly set of pj’s.

So let me bring you to the real reason you’re here, my winter rescue remedy: faux fur coats. They’re toasty, they’re cosy, and they look frikkin chic! But, perhaps even more importantly, they keep you from feeling like an extra in the film Frozen .

Handily they also happen to be one easy layer to ditch on the furnace-like temperatures of the Piccadilly Line. Pick one of the printed or (slightly) colourful versions and you are sure to jazz up any outfit in no time – you probably already know my feelings about looking like a real life cookie monster.

I have rounded up my absolute faves in the shops right now for you to feast your beasty eyes over (get it?!).

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You could also opt for the sleeveless variety and go down the gilet route. Here I paired my black faux fur version with a fluffy sleeved white jumper to add some volume to the look.

A word to the wise… seeing as we Brits are adopting all the American holidays, (not quite sure why) some of these are sure to still be in the Black Friday sales, if last year is anything to go by. So bear that in mind before you rush off to click your credit card details in.

And if you are actually American and celebrating Thanksgiving (not British peeps pretending for the Black Friday discounts) then I hope you have a good one 🙂

Peace.

Hannah

XOX

FAUX FUR PICKS

N.B This is a personal blog written by me containing affiliate links, all opinions and thoughts are my own. 

Ice Ice Purple

img_2573.jpgLilac. Let’s face it, it’s an ugly word. It conjures up images of Nans knitting in old cardigans and all sorts. But theres no denying, this pastel purple shade is hot right now (or cold – depending on which way you look at it). Yep, they’ve even given it a sexy new name – Icy Purple.

Seen all over the catwalks in SS18, it filtered into the AW high street collections and I for one couldn’t be happier. I selected this purple knit from Littlewoods to keep me cosy in these winter months and it is stunning. I definitely recommend you check them out – they have a really gorgeous selection of jumpers for the winter season. This particular one is oversized and a perfect match with some leather-look leggings. The leopard print boots  work perfectly to soften the effect of the purple and marry the look together. Both are on SALE right now just in time for Black Friday.

Now I’m aware that this shade of purple may remind you of previous Boots No7 eyeshadows you used to wear as a teen, or perhaps eating those weird parma violet sweets (did they actually taste of anything?). But I reckon this trend is not going away anytime soon so we should embrace it with open arms!

img_3042.jpgI also chose these stunning lilac sock boots from Littlewoods. They are such a beautiful shade to be worn with denim for a head to toe pastel look. They also look understated and chic with winter whites and creams, or you can keep it edgy like I did with my foolproof formula – black, lilac and leopard. I find these puppies are incredibly complimentary when worn with tan and brown hues so this ‘wild cat’ print works like a dream. They also happen to be incredibly comfy due to their sock-boot style.

While we’re walking on the wild side, can I just say I adore leopard print in general?! Okay, it’s been around the block a while but it pairs perfectly with pretty much any colour due to the neutral effect. This makes it a great option for any outfit, especially when you’re being a bit daring with your accent colour choices.

The bucket bag was gifted from a wonderful company which can personalise your totes and coincidentally matches perfectly with the purple shade in the boots. I’ve linked the exact bag below, and they also have loads of other cute goodies on offer.

I have rounded up some of my favourite lilac and leopard picks for you to have a look at at the bottom of this post.

Have a great weekend guys!

Hannah

xox

P.s Some of the pieces in this post were gifted but chosen and styled by me.

EXACT ITEMS

LILAC SOCK BOOTS

LILAC OVERSIZED JUMPER

LEOPARD PRINT BOOTS

BUCKET BAG

 

MY PICKS

N.B This is a personal blog written by me containing some affiliate links, all opinions and thoughts are my own. 

Christmas at Peggy’s

img_2826I don’t know about you, but I think catching up with people at this time of year can be so tricky. There’s parties, birthdays and Christmas drinks are starting to creep in already. Thats why I’ve started scheduling in Christmas coffee mornings at my favourite coffee joints.

Couple that with an invite from Peggy’s to pop by and sample their Christmas Menu, and I was on the tube to Victoria quicker than you could say ‘slow down cupcake’.

The beautiful festive shop front is a good enough excuse to go regardless of the food, but add in a little sprinkle of the best cupcakes you’ll ever taste and you will not regret a visit to Peggy’s Palace.

The festive menu is simply delicious and beautiful, it is sure to put a smile on even the Grinchiest Grinch. They also have mulled wine, yes you read that correctly, MULLED WINE on the menu.

Upon closer inspection inside, I clapped eyes on the festive cakes and I knew I wanted to get my paws on a snowman-topped treat. I went for the ginger and lemon cupcake which was so delicious. The ginger was beautifully balanced and not in any way overbearing and the lemon gave it a nice citrus kick. Plus, check out his cute little hat and scarf!

I washed my cupcake down with an expertly textured oat milk cappuccino – I’m always so relieved when cafes have an extensive range of milk offerings as I don’t drink cow’s milk. Peggy’s offer oat, soya, coconut and almond milk,  so it’s a perfect meeting spot for any lactose intolerant lads and ladies.

img_2702My parter in cake-eating crime @pepperpaperstyle opted for the raspberry, lemon and rose layer cake which was light, fluffy and refreshing (I stole some). The icing has a beautiful zing to it and the perfect pink is so pleasing to the eye. There is the same old problem at Peggy’s every time though, where the cake is almost too pretty to eat, but you’ll be happy to hear that I tackled that hurdle head on and stuffed my face.

img_2705If you haven’t visited this beautiful coffee spot in Victoria I urge you to add it to your London list. The staff are lovely and friendly, the cake is divine and the setting is stunningly pretty!!!

TOP TIP: Visit in the mornings for the best tables!

SHOP MY LOOK

ACTUAL RED SNAKESKIN SKIRT

N.B This is a personal blog written by me containing some affiliate links, all opinions and thoughts are my own.