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Last week I found myself with a spare afternoon and decided to pop to Greenwich to visit a museum I’ve wanted to see for ages. The Fan Museum is housed in a beautiful Georgian terraced house on a quiet street in the heart of historic Greenwich. It is home to a vast array of historical fans and has regularly changing exhibitions. The fans date from as early as the 11th Century.

As someone who is absolutely obsessed with Georgian buildings, I really loved the building itself, it was a fantastic setting to show of all the beautiful fans. The displays are all housed in elegant cabinets which fit beautifully with the interiors. On the ground floor is a permanent display which explains the different styles of fans as well as how they are made and which materials were commonly used. It was really interesting to see materials such as ivory and tortoiseshell, which are now protected and can’t be used anymore.

On the first floor up a gorgeous staircase the latest temporary exhibition is displayed. The current exhibition which runs until the end of December is called Vision of Beauty. The fans on display dating from the 17th century onwards show the changing aesthetic of beauty through the artwork on the fans. From ancient mythology to beautiful art deco era beauties, the real beauty is in the fans themselves. I was amazed at all the detail and intricate embellishments. I absolutely loved the whole exhibition. I was also so impressed with the way everything was displayed and lit.

At the back of the building the museum owners have built an orangery in keeping with the rest of the building, the perfect place for an afternoon tea. Sadly the tea room was closed when I visited as it wasn’t a particularly busy time of day, so it might be worth checking opening times before visiting. I did manage to get a picture of the beautiful painted walls through a window though.

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I’d definitely recommend a visit to The Fan Museum for fashion and art lovers alike. It’s definitely worth taking a day trip to the area as there are so many other great places to see in Greenwich including The Cutty Sark, The Royal Observatory and The National Maritime Museum to name a few. The museum is also a short walk from Greenwich Market which is the perfect place for a little vintage shopping.

Here are some pictures I took of some of my favourite fans from the exhibition…

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The Fan Museum

12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8ER

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm Sunday: 12-5pm

For more information visit The Fan Museum Website.

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I absolutely love reproduction vintage clothing, all the benefits of beautiful classic clothes with none of the sizing and washing hassles. So I’m always excited to hear about the launch of new stockists of elegant ladylike attire.

The latest addition is Atypical Girl, and I have to say I’m a big fan already. The new website launched by vintage stylist Simone Hadfield stocks some of the finest independent reproduction brands as well as Atypical Girls own exclusive collection. The website will also soon be stocking a range of original vintage items handpicked by Simone from her travels around the world. The eclectic range brings together the best of style from the past with a very modern feel.

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What makes Atypical Girl stand out from the crowd is the fashion led approach to the brand. The clothing may pay homage to the past, but it is also extremely current and fashion forward. For someone like me who absolutely loves vintage clothing, but is not trying to create a completely authentic look from the past the whole approach is really refreshing. I love the mix of influence between the decades, it’s nice to see so many 60’s inspired items for example.

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I also really appreciate the use of small independent designers, as opposed to mass produced reproduction vintage. Simone also uses freelance fashion graduates to produce the house range. After graduating herself Simone found it hard to move past unpaid internships and is committed to providing opportunities for graduates. They are therefor paid to use skills including garment production, pattern cutting and other skills.

I have a 10% discount for my readers to use on the Atypical Girl website. Enter the code AtypicalGirl Gang.

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I’ve had my eye on this gorgeous beach print dress from Boden since the beginning of the summer. It’s absolutely beautiful. It looks like the perfect homage to the 50’s novelty print dress. The problem was at £89 it was well out of my price range (blogging doesn’t pay very well). Amazingly it went into the sale and eventually was reduced to just £18.69 so it had to be mine!

I am so happy with the dress, the quality is fantastic and the print is every bit as gorgeous as I hoped it would be. It is of course a really summery dress. Nothing says sunshine like a beach print. And the weather here in England is certainly not sunny! In fact a beach is the last place I’d like to be right now. But that wasn’t going to stop me making the most of my new purchase, so when I went out for an autumn walk this weekend I just threw it on with opaque tights, a cardigan and some sensible shoes!

We went to my all time favourite place to explore – Claremont Landscape Garden in Esher and despite being a little chilly and damp, it was looking beautiful. This is one of my favourite times of year when the leaves change to beautiful shades of orange and red, we gathered sticks and built dens, looked at bugs and ran down hills. I spend most of my week at home looking after the kids, cleaning, working and doing school runs. The weekends are for fresh air, family time and having fun and this one was perfect.

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You can buy the Nancy dress from Boden here.

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A little while ago I was contacted by Baking Mad.com and Billingtons sugar about a campaign they are running called #Bakeface. The idea is to bake something yummy, take a silly photo of your bakeface and enter it to win some great prizes. I absolutely love anything baking related so I was delighted to give it a go. They sent me a lovely hamper containing lots of fantastic baking bits and a recipe for their chocolate brownies.

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I really enjoyed making these rich dark chocolate brownies, the recipe was fantastic and the brownies themselves are sinfully rich and delicious. I loved all the products they sent me and it was great having sugar that came in a box. You see I’m the most clumsy person in the world and I’m always knocking bags of flour and sugar over when I bake, so that was a little detail I appreciated!

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Here’s the recipe so you can give it a go yourself…

Ingredients…

250g Billington’s Unrefined Dark Muscovado Sugar

200g unslated butter

350g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into pieces

3 medium free range eggs

50g self raising flour

100g Billington’s Natural Glacé Cherries (optional)

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Method…

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees (170 fan oven) / gas mark 5. Line a 20cm baking tin with baking parchment (I used a silicone mould which I greased slighting instead)

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

3. Whisk the eggs until pale and fluffy. Add the Dark Muscovado Sugar and whisk until thick. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture.

4. Sift in the flour and fold in until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the glacé cherries.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, until you see a paper-likr crust on top. There shouls still be some movement in the centre of the tin.

6. Remove from the oven, leave to cool, then cut into squares.

7. Make your bakeface!

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They really are the best brownies I’ve ever made, this recipe is going to be used a lot in my house from now on!

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So here are a few of my bakefaces. I’m terrible at pulling any kind of face but my husband was making me laugh so they came out OK!

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I really really would love to win a prize so please vote for my picture here. Thanks!!!

For lot’s more great recipes check out the Baking Mad website.

To find out more about #bakeface and to enter your picture here.

Zoella, Zoella Beauty, Superdrug, Feel Unique, Full Range

I absolutely love seeing bloggers who have come from sitting at home on their computer making the decision to write their first ever blog post to forging hugely successful careers. There are loads who spring to mind, but one of the most well-known is Zoe Sugg aka Zoella. She started her blog and YouTube back in 2009 and her following has grown and grown well into the millions.

With her online success has come some fabulous opportunities, she has appeared on TV and numerous magazines, has her first novel coming out in November and has just launched her own beauty range Zoella Beauty and she’s only 24! It just goes to show where blogging and lots of hard work can take you!

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I can never resist trying new products especially when everyone is talking about them, so I headed out to Superdrug the day they came out to get my hands on the pretty pink products. My first branch of Superdrug (Epsom) only had the candle, body lotion and bath soak so I headed to another branch (Kingston) and picked up a make-up bag and bath fizzer. The body mist was long gone in both branches. After the effort that went into getting hands on my new treats I really needed a long soak in the bath.

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I’m really glad that Zoe chose to bring out a bath and body range rather than a make-up range, as it’s something everyone of all ages can use, she has a lot of younger fans. I also prefer it when actual make-up artists or experts bring out make-up. There have been some great releases from other Youtubers including Pixiwoo’s Real Techniques brushes and Tanya Barr’s Lips and Nails range. Bath and Body products are so much fun and nice and affordable.

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I absolutely love the packaging of the whole range. It’s pretty and girlie and really cute. I really love the little lace detail on the labels and the pink polka dots. I loved it because it will look really pretty in my bath room, and my girls loved it because it’s pretty and pink! I was also impressed with the sizes, the bath soak especially is a nice big bottle and I can see it lasting quite a while.

The prices are also pretty good. The bath soak, body lotion, bath fizzers and candle are all £5 each and the body mist and make-up bag are £8 each so pretty budget friendly.

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The scent of all the products is a subtle fresh floral scent and quite spring like for an October release. It’s a little lighter in scent than products I usually go for but I still absolutely love it. I’ve used the bath soak and bath fizzers in my bath everyday for the last week and I’m so happy with both. The bath soak foams nicely when used as a bubble bath and also makes a great shower gel. The bath fizzer lets off a lovely fragrance and is great used at the same time as the soak. I’ll definitely be re-buying both as they make for the perfect relaxing tub experience!

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The candle is quite strongly scented and within a few minutes of lighting it, the room is filled with a lovely fragrance. It’s quite a small candle so I’ve only been burning it for a short time, but it’s just enough to let off a fresh feminine smell. I love that it comes in a cute little jar, and it looks really pretty next to the rest of the range on my bathroom windowsill.

After relaxing in the bath I tried the body lotion, this generous sized tube will last me ages as you really don’t need to use much of this to soften the skin. It rubs in smoothly and absorbs really quickly. I hate body lotions which stay on the skin for ages so I was really happy with this too.

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I couldn’t resist picking up one of the two designs of make-up bag, despite not really needing a new one. I chose the pink one with the guinea pig design. I love that the bag had a guinea pig as they are Zoe’s favourite animal and she has two gorgeous ones as pets. It’s a cute little personal touch. There’s absolutely loads of room for lots of make-up in there so I’ve filled mine with all my every day bits, however I know Jess has her eye on it as a pencil-case so it may not stay in my possession for long!

The range is also not tested on animals, which is really important to me.

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All in all I was really pleased with all the products and definitely think they are great value for money. I am really hoping some more products are released soon as I would definitely buy them all again in a different fragrance as well.

The range is available in selected Superdrug stores as well as online at Superdrug and Feel Unique.

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