I’ve got a bit of a thing for yellow at the moment. I like to colour scheme my Instagram just for fun and a few weeks ago I decided to have a little yellow theme for a few days. But a few weeks on it’s kinda stuck and I’m absolutely loving it. I see is it a bit like a daily treasure hunt, I’m always on the look out for a pretty yellow building, flower or door. I’ve also been raiding my wardrobe for lovely yellow additions to my outfits. It’s definitely a colour that makes me feel cheerful, positive and even in the recent awful weather – summery! So when Dolly and Dotty asked if I’d like to review one of their dresses this lovely yellow Anna dress was the obvious choice.

The dress is in a classic simple shape with a simple high cut bodice and full skirt. I love the stripes which add a little interest to an otherwise basic dress. The dress fastens with a concealed side zip. I always prefer side zips as they are far more common on original vintage dresses, I also think they give you a better fit. I do find the zips on Dolly and Dotty dresses a little stiff sometimes, so it can be a bit of a struggle to get them done up, but once I’m in I love them.

I chose a size 14 in this dress and it was just right on me. It’s always worth checking the size guide and reading reviews of dresses before you buy them, just to check that you’re getting the best size for you. I was very happy with the length of the dress as well, it sits on the knee on me. I’m 5’6″ tall and normally wear a size 14 for comparison.

The dress would be perfect as an everyday summer dress, if like me you wear pretty dresses whatever the occasion. I think it would work really well for a special event too. For a normal day I’m pair it with a pair of flat sandals and a cardigan, but for a special occasion I’d wear it more like this with a pair of heels and a statement necklace.

I wore mine with my Miss L Fire shoes, which I absolutely adore, I think they were made to wear with this dress! My necklace is an old one from Coast that I got a few years ago. My bangles are modern bamboo and a very old vintage celluloid bangle.

Do you find yourself focussing on a specific colour? Do you have a colour that makes you feel happy? I love anything bright and colourful and green is my actual favourite colour. But I can see my obsession with sunshine yellow lasting a little bit longer for sure!

For this and the pretty vintage style dresses, check out the Dolly and Dotty website.

*This dress was sent to me for the purposes of review, all opinions are my own. 

If you liked this post, check out my Outfit Section for more vintage inspired outfits.

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In my last post, I talked about the work we’ve been doing on Lila’s room and the ice cream theme we’ve been creating. Now that the room is painted and the basics are in place, I wanted to start making some pretty things to go inside it. I spotted this pin on Pinterest and decided to try something similar myself. The pin comes from this blog and I just love the idea.

Ice Cream Theme | Painted Ice Cream Plant PotsI got my plant pots and paint in Hobbycraft a while ago and on a recent trip to Ikea I spotted these pretty fake flower plants. I usually like to use real plants at home, but these were far more suitable for a child’s room and they are the perfect colours for the room. The paint is just craft acrylic, which is perfect for kind of project.

Ice Cream Theme | Painted Ice Cream Plant Pots

Ice Cream Theme | Painted Ice Cream Plant PotsI started by painting the bottom part of the bot in a similar colour to an ice cream cone. I used a couple of layers to get it looking how I wanted it. The paint dries really quickly because the terracotta pot is so porous.

Ice Cream Theme | Painted Ice Cream Plant PotsNext I mixed a darker shade and added some waffle details. I did this quite roughly because thats the looks I was going for. It could be done more precisely with a thinner brush or even a Sharpie marker.

Ice Cream Theme | Painted Ice Cream Plant PotsI then painted the top part of each pot with a different colour to look like ice cream.

Ice Cream Theme | Painted Ice Cream Plant PotsThe next step was to add sprinkles to each ice cream, I used different brushed to make different shapes and sizes of sprinkle.

Ice Cream Theme | Painted Ice Cream Plant PotsAll thats left to do is leave the pots to dry completely and add the plant. Lila absolutely loved these and not they’re sitting on a shelf in her room looking so cheerful and lovely.

Ice Cream Theme | Painted Ice Cream Plant PotsWhat do you think of the pots? Do you have any other craft suggestions that could look good with an ice cream theme. Watch this space for more projects in the next few weeks.

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There’s loads of things I love about being a mummy, but one of the things I love best is making the girls rooms look lovely. Over the last few months Rob and I have have been completely transforming Lila’s room. I have wanted to do an ice cream theme room for her for ages. Last year I started picking up little bits and bobs when I saw them. The room is still a work in progress and I have lots more little craft projects planned, but I thought it would be nice to share the progress on here gradually.


As with all great projects, the first step was creating a Pinterest board with lots of ideas and inspiration. I created a board for all things ice cream theme and another for storage ideas.

Ice Cream Theme Pinterest board


One of the first things we did was re paint her walls. We wanted to paint the wall behind her bed a very light cream so it would look like ice cream. So I chose a shade called Fine Cream from Dulux which is just off white.

Ice Cream Theme I bought some sprinkle wall decals from Etsy and stuck them all over the wall. I love how much colour this added and Lila absolutely loved it.

Ice Cream Theme Sprinkle wall decals


Her bed currently has flamingo bedding from Laura Ashley on it. Even though it’s not on theme, I just love it so much and the colours are so pretty.

Ice Cream Theme Laura Ashley Kids Flamingo BeddingI got a lovely bedspread from Laura Ashley to go on top. This is covered with little tassels and I love how well they go with the sprinkle wall.

Ice Cream Theme Laura Ashley kids BeddingTo finish off the bed I’ve added a square ice cream cushion from Tiger which I got Lila last year. I also added the ice cream cushions which I featured in my Home Bargains haul a few weeks ago.

Ice Cream Theme Ice Cream Cushions

Finishing Touches

I picked up a few other bits from Tiger last year, including these little hooks and clock. The hooks are going to go on the back of her door.  I also got a paper ice cream garland from Tiger which I haven’t put up yet.

Ice Cream Theme | Tiger Ice Cream clock and hooksI got these lovely ice cream pictures from Ikea last year as well. you can tell I’ve been planning this for a while because of how much ice cream themed stuff I’ve been hoarding!

Ice Cream Theme | Ikea Ice Cream PicturesThis paper ice cream was also from Tiger and came in a pack of two. For now I’ve just hung it from her light shade.

Ice Cream Theme | Paper Ice CreamsAs I’ve already shown in my Home Bargains haul I got loads of extra ice cream theme stuff there recently, but I thought I’d add the pics again here, so it’s all in one place.

Ice Cream Theme | Home Bargains Ice Cream Cushions Ice Cream Theme | Ice Cream Lights Ice Cream Theme | Home Bargains Mugs and Milk Bottles Home Bargains Ice Cream Cups | Home Bargains HaulAs I mentioned above the cushions have gone on her bed. Nice taking the pictures of her sprinkle wall above, we have also put some little picture shelves from Ikea up above her bed. I’ve displayed some of the pretty things we bought there and so far this is my favourite part of her room.

Ice Cream Theme | Ice Cream Themed Girls Room ShelvesThis was just a quick iPhone snap after I arranged the things on the shelf. I’ll take better pics when I get a chance. I have lots more planned for the room and plenty more work to do to get it exactly how Lila would like it. I also have lots of Pinterest worthy craft projects planned for the room too. I’ll also be sure to write a post about how I store all her things and how I organise everything. So watch this space!

Ice Cream Theme  | Unicorn SlippersWhat do you think of the ice cream theme? If you see any other nice ice creamed theme things while you’re out and about be sure to let me know. And yes, I have seen the new ice cream print at Cath Kidston and I am very excited!

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I recently watched the fabulous series A Stitch in Time on BB4. This wonderful show, is presented by fashion historian Amber Butchart. Over the course of 6 episodes, costumes from a number of paintings are carefully reconstructed by a small team lead by historical costumier Ninya Mikhaila. The series is a lovely look at fashion history which combines art history and social history. In each of the half hour episodes Amber chooses one painting and talks about its background. We then look at the materials and methods that were used to create each garment, at the end the final reconstruction is revealed and worn by Amber. I really enjoyed learning about the social context of each outfit as well as the methods used to create them.

Having really enjoyed the series I was delighted to hear that all the costumes would be going on display at one of my favourite places – Ham House. So this week I popped along for a visit with my mum and its was amazing seeing the clothes close up and really taking in all the details.

Both my mum and I really enjoyed the episode in which they recreated the dress from the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck, which you can actually see in my previous blog post! The dress is absolutely fascinating and has such interesting construction. I love that it is lined with fur and has so much fabric. I learnt so much from this episode of the series too.

I love that the mannequin is posed in the same position as the bride in the original painting. Her pose holding up the front of her dress is so iconic. You really get a sense of what an expensive garment this would have been and how much fabric and work went into making it.

The next piece we saw, was one that absolutely amazed me when I watched the episode on TV. In this episode they reconstructed a Jupon, which had been worn by the Black Prince and is seen on his effigy at Canterbury Cathederal. Amazingly a jupon from that time survives and it was wonderful seeing such an old garment on the television.

A jupon is a padded garment worn over armour. This one is covered in the most exquisite hand embroidery and must have cost an absolute fortune to make. The garment is both opulent and practical, it was really fascinating to learn more about something I had no previous knowledge of.

Seeing the beautiful stitching close up, gave a whole new perspective to seeing it on the TV, it is so fine and delicately made.

My least favourite costume from the series was Dido Belle. I loved the episode, but the final garment left me a little underwhelmed. This one was particularly hard for the team to recreate as so little of the dress can be seen in the picture. I did however think it was important to discuss the life of Dido Belle and to have a black portrait subject as part of the series.

Although I wasn’t entirely sure on the accuracy of the garment, it was very beautiful to see. I loved the gorgeous fabric and the sash and shawl were lovely. I’d also love to read a lot more about Dido Belle and her story, so the series definitely opened up a line of interest for me.

I really enjoyed the episode about the hedge cutter. It was interesting to see a portrait of an ordinary working person and this made the garment all the more interesting. In the painting the jacket has extensive damage and patching. In the episode they created the outfit as it would have been new. I really liked this approach as it showed us the evolution of the garment.

I enjoyed seeing how they worked with leather and the different methods and techniques they used. The finished piece was just so beautiful and the details are amazing. As someone who loves vintage clothes, I can appreciate the passing down of garments and the extension of their lives beyond the first owner.

The outfit in the first episode of a Stitch in Time was a suit worn by Charles II. the original painting hangs at Ham House and it’s one I’ve looked at many many times. Despite this I don’t think I’d ever fully appreciated Charles’ outfit, so this episode gave me a whole new perspective on the painting.

In the episode they talked about the materials used and the time, effort and expense that went into creating a reasonably simple looking garment. I was most interested in the social importance and the message that Charles was conveying through dress.

At the end of the episode I thought Amber looked absolutely brilliant trying this on. I’m a little but jealous of her job to be honest!

The last outfit is one of the most beautiful despite it’s simplicity. It is based on a controversial painting of Marie Antoinette. In the painting she is seen wearing a simple muslin dress, this caused scandal at the time and was considered far to intimate for a queen. the painting was quickly replaced with a more traditional one, but it was the beginning of the downfall of her reputation.

This is an era I absolutely love, especially when it comes to fashion and royal history. Again this episode really looked at the social connotations of dress and it was so interesting.

On the programme they made a set of stays to wear under the dress, compared to relative simplicity or the dress the stays were far more complicated. As the episodes are only 30 minutes long there wasn’t that much time to look at the fin shed stays in much detail, so I was delighted to see these on display alongside the dress.

A Stitch in Time has inspired me to look a little closer at art, to consider the outfits and the reasons for the clothes that people wear. I’d highly recommend both watching the series and taking a look at the exhibition. Ham House itself is incredible and being able to see the clothes just adds to what an interesting location it is to visit. the series isn’t currently available on iPlayer, but may repeated on BB4 at some point. I did manage to find all the episodes on Youtube, so it might be worth looking there if you want to watch it.

Find out more about the exhibition on the National Trust website

Find out more about A Stitch in Time  and view more clips on the BBC website.

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Last week on a snowy day in London, I headed to London hairdresser Blue Tit salon in Dalston to have my hair styled. Unlike my usual vintage curls or messy mum hair we were going for something a little different. Inspired by the Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition at The National Gallery, we were creating a Pre-Raphaelite inspired look.

William Holman Hunt, Il Dolce Far Niente, 1866, Oil on canvas, Private collection © Photo courtesy of the owner

William Holman Hunt, Il Dolce Far Niente, 1866, Oil on canvas, Private collection © Photo courtesy of the owner

The exhibition itself is incredible and of course one of the things that really stands out in Pre-Raphaelite art is the beautiful romantic hair. Blue Tit London recently collaborated with the gallery to create a photo shoot which pays homage to the beautiful paintings on display within the exhibition.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

The one advantage to how long and thick my hair is at the moment, is that it was perfect for creating this kind of look. When I arrived at the gorgeous salon, I was greeted by Declan who would be styling my hair. We discussed some ideas and decided to go for some big curls. He wanted to create something that was wearable with some Pre-Raphaelite inspiration.

It took a couple of hours to curl all my hair – there really is a lot of it! The end result was amazing.

Here we fluffed the hair up a bit more for a slightly more Pre-Raphaelite take on the look. It was such a fun way to spend the afternoon and I absolutely loved the salon. Declan was amazing and really took his time to create a look that we both loved. It’s definitely made me want to go back and get a cut and colour done very soon!

William Holman HuntThe Lady of Shalott, about 1886-1905© Manchester City Galleries/Bridgeman ImagesThe salon is absolutely gorgeous and every time I’ve walked past it, I’ve admired the decor. As well as the Dalston branch they have salons in quite a few locations across London. I really enjoyed looking at all the pictures on the wall. It was such a nice environment to sit for a couple of hours and relax, while Declan worked on my hair.

Here’s my resident art historian Matthew, with a little bit more information about the exhibition – The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood formed in 1848 when a group of young artists, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt, were looking for a new and fresh inspiration for their art. Instead of looking to the 16th-century Renaissance artist Raphael, who was held up as the ideal model for artists to follow, they were inspired by older medieval and early Renaissance art. This exhibition puts one of their favourite old paintings, Jan van Eyck’s 1434 ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ in the centre, and shows how it influenced the ambitious young Pre-Raphaelite artists.

Jan van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni (?) Arnolfini and his Wife and ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ , 1434, National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London

Jan van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni (?) Arnolfini and his Wife and ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ , 1434, National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London

It’s brilliant to see one of the National Gallery’s most famous paintings surrounded by the Pre-Raphaelite’s works. You can see how they loved the Arnolfini Portrait’s beautiful colours and perfect attention to detail. A painting that was hundreds of years old inspired these Victorian artists to create art that was bold and revolutionary. They loved features like its mysterious round mirror and even had replicas of it in their homes. Van Eyck’s serious portrait was the inspiration for the Pre-Raphaelite’s beautiful women from medieval legend.

Today, the Pre-Raphaelite paintings themselves are now all more than a century old, but they are still beautiful, vivid and fascinating. Just as the Pre-Raphaelites were inspired by Van Eyck, we can be inspired by them for our art, our homes and our style.

Hurry along to catch this exhibition before it closes on 2nd April, and see what inspiration you can find.

Find out more about the exhibition on the National Gallery website

Find out more about Blue Tit London on their website

Thank you to Matthew Storey for contributing to this post. Matthew is a curator and art historian with a specialism in historic art and decorative art. You can read a couple of other posts by him here and here

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