I love it when a reproduction or vintage style item, looks like it could be an original. I really feel that way about the Lindy Bop Maybelle jacket and dress sets. They really do pay homage to that early 60s Mad Men era style. When I went out last week with my mum and dad they were genuinely amazed that this wasn’t a real vintage find.

The set was hugely popular when it first launched in a couple of different colours and I was delighted to see lots of new additions this season. I’m not usually a big wiggle or pencil dress wearer, because I prefer to hide my tummy and hips, which definitely show the signs of having had two babies, but I really like the slightly heavier fabric and lining on this dress, which definitely help smoothen things out a bit.

When Lindy Bop contacted me, to see if I wanted to review one of their new items, I chose this straight away. I love anything in a mustard colour and I thought this would be a great addition to my wardrobe. It makes a nice change from my usual dresses and it’s useful to own something a bit smarter and more formal.

The jacquard fabric definitely reminds me of real vintage pieces I’ve come across in the past and I really like that it had a little bit of stretch. The combination of fitted dress and slightly more boxy jacket works really well too and gives it a very authentic feel.

Quality wise I’m pretty impressed. I like the little details like the concealed zip, fabric covered buttons and the bow on the dress. The lining is a great addition, which I think makes the dress fit and hang better. The set is also finished very well, giving it a more expensive feel. At just £55 I think its great value for money.

Fit wise I went for my usual size 14 and it was absolutely fine. With Lindy Bop it is always worth looking at the size guide, as they really do vary a lot.

I’ve worn the outfit with a pair of Hotter Viviene heels. I think it works well to keep the outfit simple and not go overboard with accessories, so something simple and cream is perfect.

The outfit comes in a selection of colours. If a fitted dress isn’t your thing, then there is also a very similar style in the same fabric with a fuller skirt, which is also absolutely gorgeous.

Top Row – Maybelle Dresses Bottom Row – Marianne Dresses (more colours available)

Which is your favourite colour and style?

*Thank you to Lindy Bop for sending me this dress for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I absolutely love trying different teas. Today in celebration of National Tea Day I thought I’d share a few of my favourites from my collection. I particularly like loose leaf tea, although there are a few tea bags on the list too.

Of course I do drink a lot of classic English breakfast and coffee too, but as they’re a bit boring I’ve just included the more interesting and exotic ones. My collection has definitely grown since Fay encouraged me to start buying tea from T2 and it’s definitely become a bit more of a habit over the last few months!

For the morning: I love a classic Earl Grey and my new favourite is Girly Grey, a soft and fragrant tea which contains Black tea, orange peel, lemon peel and cornflower petals. It’s the perfect tea for when you fancy a classic without going for a heavier tea. This is perfect with a splash of milk and goes down a treat with a slice of cake.

Get up and Glow was my first ever T2 purchase. It’s the perfect tea for a morning pick-me-up and has just enough caffeine to set you up for a busy day. It has a long list of ingredients including cocoa husks, yerba mate, elderberry, beetroot, cocoa beans, lemon myrtle, dandelion root, raspberries and guarana, giving it a fruity herbal flavour. This isn’t on the website at the moment, but may be available in store.

For wellbeing: I’ve been drinking Womankind from Pukka Tea for a long time. It’s a lovely fruity concoction designed especially for women. It contains cranberry, rose, shatavari and vanilla. Its a very fruity tea, that tastes absolutely gorgeous and I’d definitely recommend it for keeping your body in balance.

I recently got Beauty Queen from T2 as a mothers day gift. Firstly I absolutely love the tin and having tried it a few times in the shop, it was top of my tea wish list for a while. It’s packed with beautifying ingredients including green tea, jasmine, nettle leaves, liquorice root and moringa, which are all great for the skin. I love the hints of jasmine in this one but at £18 a tin it is definitely a bit of a luxury. Worth every penny of course!

Feeling Minty: I have countless varieties of mint tea, it’s one of my absolute favourites and with so many different options it’s worth stocking up on a few. I always opt for blends that contain spearmint, as its great for balancing your hormones. I’m currently really enjoying Mint Mix from T2 this zingy refreshing mint tea contains peppermint, spearmint and lemon verbena. I always feel fantastic after drinking this, I’ll often take a cup of it to the bath with me when I have a bit of a pamper session.

For a slightly more interesting mint tea I go for Pukka’s Mint Matcha Green which contains spearmint, sencha green tea and matcha powder for a refreshing lift. I love that pukka teas are organic and this one tastes fantastic.

For a warmth: I like spicy and deeper flavours, especially in the evening. A longterm favourite of mine would have to be Peppermint and Liquorice from Pukka. The strong liquorice flavour really comes though in this one and it is both sweet and tangy. If you’re not a fan of liquorice avoid this one as it’s pretty strong, but if like me you’re a fan then this is an absolutely beautiful tea.

My favourite winter warmer, is too good not to drink all year round. Sweet Spice is a beautiful mix from T2, just look at all those beautiful ingredients. The tea contains meringue, orange zest, rose, sultanas, cardamon and clove. This tea is just stunning and even makes the house smell amazing while it brews. I’ve heard this one won’t be around much longer, so stock up while you can.

For Bedtime: For me bedtime is all about rituals, when I get the chance I like to unwind before bed. I’ll have a relaxing bath, thoroughly cleanse and moisturise my skin and relax in bed with a book or some colouring and a mug of relaxing tea. I’ve recently been having Sweet Dreams from T2 most nights. This blend is so soothing it makes me feel super sleepy when I drink it. It contains Chamomile, apple, linden and lavender and smells and tastes really lovely.

When I was in Whittard on Wednesday I picked their Dreamtime instant tea. This is like a sweet and soothing night cap without the alcohol! It contains honey, apricot and vanilla and compared to most of my herbal loose leaf teas this one is very sweet, but I love the flavour and felt really confronted when I tried it for the first time yesterday.

What are your favourite teas? I’d love to hear your recommendations.

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I am a big tea drinker, I like to try lots of different flavours and have lots of tea pots and cups to serve it in. I really enjoy the ritual involved in creating the perfect brew and have different teas for different moods. I have tea for the morning, tea for relaxing and tea for just before bed. When I was invited to have a tea tasting session at the Whittard shop in Kingston, I obviously jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did.

I visited the shop, which is located in the Bentall Centre with fellow tea fanatic Fay. She is probably even more of a tea fan than me, having a fully stocked tea cupboard in her kitchen with every flavour you could possibly think of! When we arrived at the shop we were greeted by the lovely staff and a lovely cup of cold brewed Cucumber and Mint Tea, which was delicious and refreshing.

We talked about the types of tea we liked and got to try a few, both hot and cold. We also discussed some of the more popular and unusual teas in the shop and their origins. I was really impressed to hear that the tea is fair trade and bought straight from the farms they are produced on. It was lovely to see how enthusiastic the staff were about their products and also how knowledgable.

Having talked about the types of tea we liked, we were offered lots of recommendations and discovered lots of new flavours to try. Our absolute favourite was the Cranberry and Raspberry Instant Tea, which is lovely both hot and cold.

Teas can be bought in a selection of beautiful pots and tins or measured out from their canisters, giving you absolutely loads of choice. I was actually completely amazed with just how wide the selection was, and it absolutely extends far further than your normal English Breakfasts and Earl Greys.

Whittard is a long-standing British company which was founded all the way back in 1886! Walter Whittard set up his first shop in Fleet Street when he was 25 years old. He was hugely successful in putting together creative blends and making tea a bit more interesting, something we definitely see a lot of today. The business has survived through world wars and times of recession and goes from strength to strength today, still creating innovative and tasty flavours as well as gorgeous tea making equipment.

Tomorrow is National Tea Day, a great chance to celebrate our love of tea and also an opportunity to try some new flavours and be a bit creative with every cuppa. It also made me think about writing about tea a bit more on here, as its such a big part of my day. Having only visited yesterday I haven’t had the chance to properly try my purchases and samples, so I will definitely be doing an update post soon.

I’d definitely recommend a visit to your local Whittard shop, where the staff will help you find your perfect tea. You can find a full list of stores of the Whittard website.

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Back in March, I had a lovely few days of well earned relaxation, at Champneys Spa Forest Mere. I went for a lovely break with Fay, her mum and a few of her mums friends. It was second visit to the spa as I had visited a few years ago for a day trip. There is nothing nicer than driving into the countryside and just switching off from the daily grind.

I’m going to do a couple of posts about our trip, but today I thought I’d share a review of our experiences and share my thoughts on what to expect when you visit. I’ve broken it down into sections as its a bit of a mixed bag.

Location:

The location just can’t be beaten. About an hour away from London, the resort is situated near Liphook, in the Hampshire countryside. The beautiful building is reached up a winding path through woodland and farmland. The grounds are simply stunning. The main building over looks a tranquil lake and beyond the sprawling lawns you are surrounded by trees. The fresh air is simply wonderful and the gorgeous view fills you with a sensation of instant calm. The surroundings really give you that sense of getting away from it all and it really is the perfect place to relax.

The Hotel and Spa

The building is attractive, very clean and the decoration is comfortable and cosy. There are lots of little rooms to escape to with a book and it was lovely to just sit in a chair with my book or laptop and take in the gorgeous view through the windows. (photos above and below by Fay)

The spa and swimming pool area are fantastic, there are plenty of chairs and beds to put your feet up and relax and recharge. We spent a lot of our time just lying on the heated water beds in the quiet room, reading and napping. This was my favourite part of the stay, as a very busy person, I found doing absolutely nothing to be the most luxurious part.

There are also jacuzzis, hot rooms, steam rooms a refreshing ice room and rain showers to enjoy. We made full use of these and it made us feel great.

There are also plenty of gym, facilities and fitness classes if that’s your thing, for me the trip was all about relaxing and being lazy, so I didn’t actually give these a try.

Rooms:

Our room was everything we could want and need. It was a reasonably good size, with a nice big TV, lots of mirrors and storage and an en suite bathroom with a fabulous shower with some serious water pressure! It had French doors which opened up onto a little patio with seating, this is something I’d definitely make use of in the summer. My only complaint about the room, would be how hard the beds were, those mattresses were beyond firm and would benefit from mattress covers for sure!

When we arrived the wardrobes contained our robes and flip-flops for our stray, we were provided with a very small size and after a quick call to reception we were brought a larger size with no hassle.

The rooms were kept immaculate by the cleaning staff throughout the stay. The housekeeping team were absolutely fantastic and so friendly, they do such a good job. We were sure to leave them a tip and a thank you note at the end of our stay to show our appreciation.

Treatments:

This is the area in which our stay fell short and was a big disappointment. Not long after arriving we headed to the treatment reception to book ourselves in for a massage and facial.Unfortunately we were informed that for the whole 3 day duration of our stay, no treatments were available. We were told that to ensure being seen we should have booked in advance. Unfortunately this was the first we’d heard of it and we were so disappointed. It would have been slightly better if the staff had been at all apologetic, but we actually felt that they were a bit rude and unpleasant. We tried really hard to not let it put a dampener on our break, but unfortunately it did a bit.

Food:

Being a spa and health resort, everything on the menu is super healthy. All our meals were included with our stay. Our first meal was dinner, which is served from an extensive menu, which includes a starter, main and dessert. Breakfast and lunch were both served at buffets, with absolutely loads of choice, we took full advantage and tried absolutely everything! There are a few options which incur a small extra charge. I took lots of pictures of my food on my phone.

Shopping:

If you want to take the pamper experience home with you, there is a fabulous Champneys shop on site, selling clothing, accessories and beauty products as well as a Decleor and Elemis concessions.

Having not spent any money on treatments, I had a little spare cash to treat myself to a few goodies in the shops. The staff were really helpful, especially in Elemis. We asked the assistant lots of questions about our skincare needs and she was just fantastic and really knew her products. I’m going to do a separate post with my haul in the next few weeks.

Overall Experience:

Although the trip wasn’t perfect, it was still a great experience. Much of this was the surroundings and the company. Going to a spa with lovely people is what really makes it perfect. Me and Fay had lots of giggles and it was just so nice to have a little getaway. I will absolutely be back and I will be sure to book my treatments beforehand.

I’m going to write a little guide on what to pack for a spa break and some other useful information, so if you have any questions or anything you’d like to know, please post in the comments and I’ll try to cover everything for you.

Lastly I’d like to say such a big thank you to Fay and her mum for taking this tired mummy somewhere beautiful and for being fabulous company!

Find out more about the spa on the Champneys website.

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I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Cath Kidston’s latest print, firstly because I love anything beachy, but also because it features lobsters. This isn’t the first time novelty lobster prints have been used and the latest offering from CK has has some rather fabulous lobster predecessors. I thought I’d share a bit of fashion history, before showing you my favourite pieces from the Cath Kidston collection.

Image from The Philadelphia Museum of Art (source)

This amazing dress by Elsa Schiaparelli dates from 1937 and was designed in collaboration with Salvador Dali. It’s one of my all time favourite dresses.

Image found via Pinterest

Above is a picture of Walace Simpson wearing the dress, photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1937 shortly before her marriage.

Image found via Pinterest from The Fashion and Textiles Museum

Horrockses also produced a lobster print, which can be seen in the above skirt. I really love this print and I hope one day it’s reproduced.

Another variation of the Horrockses Lobster print designed by Pat Albeck is included in the Horrockses book by Christine Boydell.

Lobster and Shells DressLobster Beach ToteLobster Kids SunglassesLobster Foldaway ShopperLobster Grace MugLobster Espadrilles 

I absolutely love the cute beachy theme of the Cath Kidston dress and the colours are really pretty. I also really like the simple lobster and blue background print on the shopping bag and really wish there was a dress in this print too, as it would love a bit more vintage. As well as the dress I really like the beach tote bag a lot and these are the two pieces from the collection that I’ll definitely be saving up for.

What do you think of the Cath Kidston prints, is there something from the collection that you like?

See the full Lobster range on the Cath Kidston website.

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