Meeting a Very Special Blogging Friend in London

9 Feb

The internet can be a wonderful thing. Since I started blogging nearly 4 years ago, I have met some fantastic people both on and off line. Some of those I would truly call friends. One such person is the lovely lady known online as Ms Sabrina Fairchild. I discovered her blog when I was quite new to blogging and commented on it a few times, since then we’ve chatted loads online and got to know each other through social media. The only bad part was that she lived all the way in Australia – the other side of the world!

When she announced that she would be spending a month in Paris this October I knew I had to jump on the Eurostar to meet her. As it turned out she’d also planned to come over to London for the day so instead of one day trip we ended up having two! I thought I’d share each of days out in the two cities with you…

Platform 9 3:4

All the way back in November, Fay and I headed over to St Pancras to meet her and our first stop was a trip to Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station for a moment of Harry Potter geekery. I absolutely love all things Harry Potter and so do Ms Fairchild’s children. She wanted to get some pics to send them. This was a big highlight of our day, it was great fun watching everyone else queuing up and posing for photos and although there was a photographer there taking official photos, they were more than happy for us to snap our own and even took a few for us. We also popped into the Harry Potter shop, which was crazy busy, but full of awesome stuff. I need to go back for a wand!

Then we headed to Giraffe Stop for a quick re-fuel which I really needed! I chose porridge which came with bananas and seeds and really set me up for the day. Absolutely delicious!

Collectif Spitalfields Miss L Fire

Full of breakfast it was time to head over to Spitalfields Market for a browse around all the stalls and a trip to Collectif to try on some of their gorgeous vintage style clothing. As usual I wanted absolutely everything! I particularly loved all the gorgeous Miss L Fire shoes. I’ve since bought both the dress and the coat pictured above. Outfit pics coming soon!

Buckingham Palace

Then it was time for the real touristing to begin. We jumped on the tube to Green Park for a leisurely stroll through the autumn leaves to Buckingham Palace. If there’s one place that makes me feel like a tourist in my own city it’s Buckingham Palace. It’s so touristy in-fact that I think I’ve only gone and stood at the gates twice in my life. As someone who is absolutely obsessed with Georgian architecture this is a bit of shame and I really must go and have proper look soon. While we there we took loads of selfies and pics and it was fab mingling with all the other people doing the same thing.

Westminster

We then got back on the tube for a very fleeting trip to Westminster to take pics go St Georges Tower (Big Ben) and Westminster Abbey, because you can’t go to London and not get a quick snap of them can you?!

At this point I couldn’t believe how quickly the time had gone, there wasn’t long left before Ms Fairchild had to return to Paris. We made a quick stop at a rather disappointing pizza restaurant in Kensington called Sole Luna. I hadn’t been before and won’t again. The service was not good.

Victoria and Albert Museum

The last port of call for us was a brief visit to the V&A to look at their beautiful fashion gallery. I’ve been there so many times, but the collection never fails to astound me. Highlights for me include the regency, Victorian and Edwardian fashions and the 1950s pink Dior ensemble which always stops me in my tracks.

Dior V&A

It was then time to head back to St Pancras for some sad goodbyes. Luckily it wasn’t for long as three days later Fay and I visited Paris for the day. But I’ll save that for another post.

I loved seeing my city through the eyes of a visitor, however one day is not enough. There is so much I love about London and in my 30 years as a born and bred Londoner, I still feel like I’m discovered new places to love every year. If you were visiting london for the day what would you want to see? If you are already a Londoner what are your favourite parts of the city?

Check out Fay’s Blog here

and Ms Fairchild’s here

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My Girls

7 Feb

My blog is very close to reaching it’s fourth birthday, which seems absolutely crazy to me as I’m not the best at sticking to things. When I started it Lila was still a baby and I wanted something to keep me busy and my brain working! I can’t quite believe how far the blog has come in that time, but to me it is still a place to share parts of my life and things I’ve been doing. I love looking back on some of my earlier posts and remembering things I’ve done and places I’ve been.

Jess and Lila IOW

I’ve taken a bit of a step back over the last month, sometimes I need to take a little break so that it never becomes a chore. I also try to never let it get in the way of life. This year I’ve gone back to selling vintage clothing full time and been busier than ever with all the things that go along with being a mum. My two beautiful girls keep me very busy! Todays post is all about them. I take a lot of pictures of them, loads of which have pride of place on the walls of my house. Making memories is very important to me and this post is a little dedication to them and everything that makes them wonderful.

Jessica Tree

Jessica turned 10 just over a week ago! This seems completely crazy to me, the last 10 years have gone so quickly and I can’t believe I have been a mum for a whole decade! Jess is such a wonderful creative person, she is always thinking up new exciting projects and I love that about her. She loves singing and animals and dancing and drawing!

Jess IOW

She is ridiculously bright and always does well at things without even trying! She’s already better at maths than me and writes really amazing stories. Like me she’s a bit of a night owl and not very good at going to sleep as she’s always thinking up new ideas. She’s really good at exploring and coming up with great ideas when we’re out and about.

Jess Beach

Jess loves to get involved in all the things I enjoy, like the great outdoors and she’s also been known to put together amazing outfits.

Jess and Lila Polsden Lacey

I love exploring the world with the girls and try to take them to lots of amazing places. We have a National Trust membership and try to visit as many old houses and gardens as possible. I always miss the long days of summer when it’s cold and want to stay out all day doing cool things with them!

Lila Polesden Lacey

Lila decided she was a princess when she was very little and is a lovely confident little girl. She has the kindest sweetest personality and has something nice to say to everyone. She loves cuddles and is happiest snuggled up on the sofa with me.

Lila Hatchlands Park

She loves pretend play and her favourite toys are her mini kitchen and her dolls house. She enjoys looking at books and has just started to read a little on her own. She also loves watching Disney films, especially Tangled and Frozen. She has been growing her hair, hoping to have as long as Repunzel’s one day.

Lila Fairy

Lila’s favourite things are family, princesses, rainbows and flowers and she loves drawing pictures of all the things she loves.

Lila Rotherhithe

So that’s a little bit about my lovely children, they drive me insane sometimes, but most of the time I feel like the luckiest mum in the world! I’d like to share a little more about my family and all the things we do on the blog this year. I want to make memories I can look back on and appreciate how lucky I am to be able to do a job I love and my amazing family and friends. I’m really looking forward to getting back into blogging and continuing to work hard and improve what I do. Thanks to everyone who supports the blog and thanks to my little girls for always keeping me busy and making me laugh! xxx

 

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Whats in My January Birchbox?

29 Jan

January has been another fun and busy month for me. So far I’ve had lots of family time, sold a lot of vintage and had a mini break away. I’ve not blogged much so far as I’ve been focussing on other things. I do have a lot to share with you over the next few weeks and one of those things is the latest offering from Birchbox. I’ve now been reviewing the monthly beauty boxes on the blog for two whole years! In that time I’ve tried so many fabulous new products and this month is no exception.

Birchbox January 2016
This months box was a collaboration with Pinterest and I loved the pretty box, I use them to store make-up and vintage jewellery so I always like it when the boxes ae interesting.

Birchbox January 2016 Contents
The contents of the box are equally lovely and I was really happy with the mix of products. The box came with a handful of pretty illustrated postcards with a new year theme, which I just love. I’m planning on putting some of them up in my blog office for a little inspiration.

Birchbox January 2016 Postcards
The first product in my box is the Benefit They’re Real Tinted Primer. I’m already a huge fan of Benefit mascaras and the They’re Real has been my top choice for a very long time. This primer is mink coloured and goes on in one coat under your normal mascara, for show-stopping voluminous lashes. I absolutely love it! the full-sized product costs £18.50 and the samples are always a pretty generous size.

Birch box January 2016 Jelly Pong Pong Lighten Up Brightener
The next product is a multi tasking brightening pencil. The Jelly Pong Pong Lighten Up Brightener is a great all round product. It’s perfect for using in the waterline for brighter eyes or to highlight your eyebrows. I love the soft bendable formula and will definitely be using this one more. This was a full site product which usually costs £14.95

Birchbox January 2016 - Cowshed Gorgeous Cow Body lotion
At this time of year I always get through loads of body lotion, so I was pleased to get a new one to try with this months box. The Cowshed Gorgeous Cow Blissful Body Lotion has a yummy spicy recent, perfect for this time of year. A littles goes a long way, so this generous sized sample will definitely last me a while. The full-sized product costs £20.

Birchbox January 2016 Parlour by Jeff Chastain Hair Products
The box included two samples from Parlor, a brand I’ve never tried before. This shampoo and conditioner are perfect for strengthening and repairing lacklustre hair. The scent of Ripe Peach and Freshly cut grass is simply divine and both products made my hair very happy. The full-sized products are £16 each.

Birch box January 2016 Absolution Cleansing Water
I love cleansing waters for removing my make-up when I’m in a rush. Although it has a clear watery consistency, The Absolution L’Eau Soir et Martin is packed with fabulous nourishing ingredients like hazelnut oil and aloe vera to keep your skin looking and feeling lovely. The full-sized product costs £27

Birch box January 2016 #NoFilter mirror
The bonus product in the box was this cute #NoFilter hand mirror, perfect for tucking into your handbag.

I was really happy with everything in the box this month and loved that every product was a high-end sample, no gap fillers here.

Birchbox Pinterest Collaboration
See how this box compares to last year’s January Birchbox.

If you’d like to receive a monthly Birchbox too, I have a refer a friend link with add £5 worth of points to your account. These can be used to buy full sized products in the Birchbox shop.

 

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Cleaning Out Your Vintage Wardrobe

20 Jan

Time to clean out your wardrobe

One of my very favourite things about wearing vintage, is the constant search for new (old) things. Most people who wear real vintage will be used to trailing vintage shops, charity shops and online to find that gorgeous unicorn piece in just the right measurements. I have never met a vintage collector who feels that their collection is complete.

I don’t think I’ll ever look at my wardrobe and decide that I don’t need to buy anymore clothes. One thing I am very aware of, is never letting my possessions become a burden. So as someone who is constantly looking out for my next amazing piece, so I must edit and curate what I already have. I never want to become overwhelmed by too many dresses, or have a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing wear.

To Keep or not to keep
Every now and then it’s time to have a cull. I thought today I’d share with you some of my rules that I use to keep on top of my vintage collection.

Does it fit?

This to me is hugely important. I have to be very honest with myself, should I keep something that is too small with the hope that I might lose weight and it will fit in the future? Personally I don’t think so, if and when I do lose weight I will reward myself with something new, until them someone else could be enjoying the garment and I could use the space for something that I can enjoy now. The same applies for items that are too big, will I ever get round to having it altered? Probably not, so again it has to go.

Do I really Love it? 

I am definitely guilty of having a few gap fillers in my wardrobe. Things which I’ve bought because they fit and because they were a bargain. But I always seen to pass them by for my favourite dresses. Again they are just wasting space and for the one time I might potentially wear them, they’re not worth keeping. If I don’t love them they have to go.

Is it valuable?

It is very true that with the increasing rarity of vintage and the ever-increasing prices, certain pieces are both collectible and valuable. But keeping things because one day you might sell them, might not be worth the space. From a personal point of view I collect vintage to wear and I will often pass on investment pieces so that I can buy something new that I will wear more.

Vintage Dresses
Have you Worn it too many times?

I have been known to rid myself of some of my favourite dresses because I feel our relationship has come to an end. I have so many dresses that once I have worn something, enjoyed it and photographed it, I feel it is time to set it free. The best thing about vintage is that you can easily sell it and replace it with something new without having lost any money. I love the possibilities of constantly updating my clothes and letting them pay for themselves.

Am I Wearing it at all?

This is definitely the most important thing to consider and culminates all of the above. I feel very affectionately towards my real vintage dresses, not only are they beautiful, but they are also steeped in the history of the women who wore them before me. I hate thinking of them hidden away unworn and I would prefer to find them a new home where they can be enjoyed rather than shut away out of sight.

I know there are serious vintage collectors who create archives of fashion and it is different. But from my point of view my wardrobe is not so much a collection, but more a place where I want to store clothes that I actually wear.

What to do with your unwanted vintage
So once you’ve pulled all the unworn pieces from your closet what should you do with them? Again there are loads of options and I do a combination of the following…

Sell them:

I often sell my better items on eBay, add them to my Etsy shop or take them to a fair or car boot sale. There are also some fantastic Facebook groups for selling on your vintage pieces. I have a great memory or where I bought my clothes and exactly how much they cost and I always try to sell them for what I paid for them or a little bit more where possible. This means I can get new things with the money.

I find eBay the quickest and easiest way to sell vintage and still get good money. Etsy is great, but can be very slow-moving, as it really is very full of vintage now. I only take items that I don’t mind getting a very small amount for to car boots sales, as everybody is looking for a bargain there too.

Useful links from the blog:

My Ebay Selling Dos and Dont’s. 

My Tips for Selling at Vintage Fairs

So you Want to Start a Vintage Business

Donate them:

I get a lot of my vintage bits in charity shops, every year it seems to become harder and harder to find good vintage though. I really believe in returning some vintage to the charity shops every year so that someone else can enjoy a bargain too. It’s also a great way to support a good cause and give a little back to the world.

Vintage Clothes
Don’t Let Anything Slip Through The Net:

My final tip would be to make sure you remove absolutely every item from your wardrobe before you begin. This is mostly so that each and every item gets seen and no unwanted items stay hidden amongst the keepers. Another good reason to get everything out is to give the wardrobe itself a good clean. Moths and other pests like dusty corners and a clean organised wardrobe can help to keep them at bay.

Only put the items you want to keep back in your wardrobe and as you put them in, make sure you check them over for any damage.

What tips do you have for sorting through your vintage, are you a hoarder or are you strict with yourself about limiting  your vintage clothing collection?

What I’m Reading – In Retrospect Magazine

13 Jan

With the ever-growing popularity of wearing vintage and the vintage scene in general, there has never been a better time for a really good quality vintage magazine. Last year saw the launch of the hugely popular In Retrospect Magazine. The quarterly magazine describes itself as ‘a modern magazine for old-fashioned people’ which is a very accurate description.

In Retrospect MagazineSo far I’ve read the first four issues which are packed with a wide variety of pieces from some really fantastic contributors, bringing their knowledge from all corners of the vintage world. Variety is what makes the magazine such a great read. The audience is both male and female and it’s great to see the male element of vintage which is all too often forgotten when we talk about vintage fashion and lifestyle.

In Retrospect Vintage MagazineOver 120 or so pages of quality text and beautiful photography you can find not only fashion, but book reviews, lifestyle posts, the latest vintage events and discussion. The magazine is a wealth of information to immerse yourself in. Whether vintage is an occasional fashion choice, a hobby or your full lifestyle you’ll find something in its pages to enjoy.

In Retrospect Contents PageWhat makes me enjoy it especially, is that so many of my favourite bloggers write for the magazine. It’s like an anthology of my favourite blogs in one place and as well as really enjoying leafing through the pages I’ve definitely gained so much knowledge of the past from its interesting features.

In Retrospect Collecting CelluloidOne of my favourite parts of the magazine are the useful guides to collecting vintage pieces, I was fascinated by a guide to vintage celluloid in the first issue by vintage jewellery expert Natalie Leon.

In Retrospect Are the 90s Vintage

In Retrospect Make Do and AccessorizeAdvertising is kept to a minimum with a few relevant adverts for vintage related companies scattered throughout. The bulk of the magazine is really good quality writing and for the £4.50 that each issue costs, you definitely get your moneys worth in content.

In Retrospect Trench cake

In retrospect the Tweed RunThe magazine is written by vintage lovers, for vintage lovers and I really recommend it. You can buy back issues from the In Retrospect website and also subscribe to future issues.

Find out more on the In Retrospect website.

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