Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Five must-have pieces for your autumn wardrobe

Summer has abandoned us. It’s true and the sooner we all come to terms with that the better. Autumn isn't all that bad, especially if we focus on all the shopping we can do to get through that tricky transition period where it’s hot and sticky one minute, then freezing and drizzly the next. So here are my top five essential items to ease you into cosy autumnal-ness.

The Blazer

I can’t live without my blazer at the moment. Not only does it effortlessly transform even the most basic jeans and t-shirt into a sleek look, it’s also easy to take on and off and carry depending on the ever-changing British weather. I go for classic black, but it’s worth investing in a whole range of colours. Grey, khaki and navy are personal favourites and will go with absolutely everything. My favourite blazers this season are from Zara.

The Ankle Boot

I live in black ankle boots come winter time, but they’re also perfect for autumn. Go for a neutral colour like tan, as these will look equally good with bare legs on warmer days as they will with tights as it gets drearier. It might be sad that we’re packing away our sandals, but at least we’ll have dry toes again! I’ve long been a fan of ASOS’s leather ankle boots – good quality, mix of styles and half sizes and wide fit available.

The A-line Skirt

The skirt shape of the season is definitely the A-line, whatever the length. You can go mini and 60s or knee length and 70s. The most hardworking and trend withstanding styles are in suede or denim, ideally with buttons down the front. I’m particularly fond of the folky print minis and have fallen hard for the sold out H&M number. It will be mine!

The Lightweight Knit

Never underestimate the value of a good quality lightweight knit in a natural fibre. It’s the best way to add warmth without bulk and if you spend a bit more will last you for years (if you follow the washing instructions, mind). For everyday luxury I swear by jumpers from GAP, but you need to check the labels to see what fabrics they are, and for a real treat you can’t beat J.Crew.

The Scarf

One of my favourite pieces for any season, a scarf has the ability to transform and add polish, but also can help you wrap up warm when it gets nippy. I love a statement scarf, my absolute favourite being a colourful animal print scarf in a lightweight fabric. Getting too hot and bothered on the train? Then just tie your scarf to your shoulder bag – voila – you still get a pop of colour, but without the heat. Like good quality knitwear, it’s worth spending a bit more – you’ll make your money work with the great cost per wear.


Saturday, 8 August 2015

My English Country Garden Wedding in Cornwall

For those of you who don't know, I got married three months ago to my best friend and fellow troublemaker, Mark. To not sound like a total cliche it was the best week of my life. I loved every, single second of it and it was even better than we could have predicted or planned. Sorry it's taken me so long to post about my vintage inspired, English country garden style wedding, but it's been an incredibly chaotic few months since the wedding and honeymoon.

The day wouldn't have been as memorable or as fun without all our wonderful friends and family who came down to Cornwall to celebrate with us. We extended the celebrations to a full week with our loved ones that included fun days on the beach, holing up in local pubs and having gigantic house parties.

We knew immediately that we wanted to have the celebrations in Cornwall, as all of my mum's family are from the small village of Kingsand and I've spent so much time there over the years.It's also the place that Mark proposed and over the seven years we've been together has also become a special place to him. While looking at venues, it was quite an easy decision to go with Mount Edgcumbe. I've been rolling down the hills and eating ice cream in The Orangery for as long as I can remember. So while it might look like another stately home in the UK, it was my ultimate setting for our wedding.

Q&A about the Wedding

Entrance music: Glenn Miller - Moonlight Serenade
Readings during ceremony: The Hands CeremonyMarriage Joins Two People
Favours: Sunglasses were handed out at the drinks reception and a mix tape (well, CD) of our songs from throughout the day was everyone's place setting at dinner
Menu: Antipasti, roast lamb and a trio of desserts
First Dance: Louis Armstrong - La Vie En Rose (as a nod to our New Orleans honeymoon!)
Funniest moment: That has to be between the photobooth madness, the 'Red Wine Bandits' on the dancefloor, going to the reception on a golf cart or the best man's speech, which involved a flip-chart with Mark's fashion crimes!
Favourite moment: There were so many, but it has to be when everyone had the left and we made our way to the honeymoon cottage on the grounds. We were the only ones left in this huge park and just strolled through the moonlight while stargazing
What was worth the headache: The DIY photobooth, the sunglasses and the CD favours
What wasn't: I can't think of a single thing!
Planning advice: Do your research! I was planning a wedding 300 miles away from where I live, so didn't ever meet a few of the suppliers face to face. Take time to find suppliers you like and plan in as much as you can. My day was made even more amazing by all the wonderful suppliers who worked together to create exactly what we'd asked for.
Honeymoon: New Orleans and Mexico - both thoroughly recommended!


Venue: Mount Edgcumbe Country House and The Orangery
Flowers and theming: Escential Blooms
Photographer: Richard Skins
Videographer: Electric Weddings
Hair & make-up: Rosie Finnigan from SalonX
Bride's dress: Silk + Satin
Groom's suit: Reiss
Bridesmaid dresses: M&S
Ushers suits: M&S
Stationary: Maya Moore
Cakes: Juicy Lucy Cupcakes
Lights: Glow Love Lights
Balloons: BubbleGum Balloons


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: Warehouse Summer Sale

A good sale is harder to find than a tasty Pinterest recipe for a flourless and nut free keto brownie, but fear not, for I have found one. The Warehouse Summer Sale is it. A wonderful mix of key summer pieces and even a few gems that will take you through to the next season and now with up to 70% off. I've picked out three of my favourite pieces from this unicorn of a sale.

Wear it with Mary Janes or block heels now, and then trade up to opaque tights and patent ankle boots for an autumnal look that's bang on trend.

Denim skirts are so having a moment, and button through skirts even more. At this great sale price you could even buy two - keep one as it is and chop one down to an A-line mini. VoilĂ  - you have two denim skirts for every outfit!

This dress is a tangerine dream for any holiday wardrobe - cold shoulder detail, relaxed fit and *fringing*. Need I go on? I didn't think so. Buy it, pack it, wear it!

Have you found a summer sale steal this season? The sales really do feel better than usual, so get out there and treat yourself to something pretty!


By Carina Sullivan

Thursday, 16 July 2015

High Society at The Old Vic

I am a die-hard musical fan. It’s been bred into me from a small age thanks to my mum’s love of The Sound of Music. One of my favourite musical is a lesser known classic, High Society. I still find it strange that it isn't very well known, considering the ridiculously famous and talented cast – Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong – not to mention a fantastically funny storyline and some of my favourite musical songs.

To say I was excited to learn that this wonderful musical was coming to my favourite London theatre, The Old Vic, would be as big an understatement as if I was to say that I was indifferent towards cats. So my swellegant brother (High Society pun) won some sibling points by buying me some tickets for my birthday. We had a long wait (tickets bought in January, tickets for June), but boy, was it worth it.

The Old Vic’s adaptation of this wonderful musical was spellbinding in every sense. The theatre has been transformed in recent years to be “in the round”, meaning that the stage is in the centre and there are seats for the audience all around the stage, rather than just in front of the stage. This immersive style was made even more special with the ‘household staff’ actors darting around as people took their seats. In the round theatre is very intimate and raw, as you are so close to the actors and the action, plus they are at ground level while everyone else is raised above them.

The entire ensemble is noteworthy, but I particularly loved Tracy, played by Grace Kelly in the film and by the refreshingly waspish Kate Fleetwood in the play (her cheekbones deserve their own blog post - wowsers!). It would have been so easy to cast a Grace Kelly-alike to re-enact the performance, but instead she was given a new lease of life and a new look. The same could be said of Mike, the character that Frank Sinatra made so charismatic in the film, who was given a slightly harder demeanour in the play, but whose comic timing was impeccable.

The opening scene also really gets the audience in the party mood and really involved with the cast. I won’t give any spoilers, but it was totally unique and fresh. We loved it and the singer Joe Stilgoe.

I don’t think I could advise you strongly enough to go and see this performance, it is the best theatre production I have ever seen in London (and I’ve seen A LOT!). But you best be quick, as it finishes on Saturday 22nd August and you don’t want to miss this swell party.

You can buy your tickets here.


By Carina Sullivan