I always really love it when one of my favourite designers does a high street collaboration and one of the best ones at the moment is Orla Kiely’s Olive and Orange range for Halfords.

Olive and Orange range by Orla Kiely for HalfordsLast year when I needed a tent for the Twinwood Festival, I had quite a few demands. I needed something that looked great and had plenty of room for me and all my clothes. After much searching I found a gorgeous one, with an amazing Orla print at Halfords.

Olive and Orange range by Orla Kiely for HalfordsLater in the year I was lucky enough to meet Orla for the first time at the Halfords press day and she was absolutely lovely. She even noticed my Enid Collins handbag and asked me all about it, before making a note of it on her phone! That totally made my day.

Olive and Orange range by Orla Kiely for HalfordsA few weeks ago I was invited to another event, this time an afternoon tea at Claridges to celebrate the latest pieces from the Orla Kiely at Halfords collection. The range not only includes camping and outdoor items and a wonderful collection of bikes and bike accessories. It is made up of three new nature inspired prints and they are all gorgeous.

Olive and Orange range by Orla Kiely for HalfordsFor someone like me, who likes a pretty print on everything, the whole range appeals to me a lot. I love the idea of riding on bike with a lovely retro inspired print. Especially since it would go so well with my tent!

Olive and Orange range by Orla Kiely for HalfordsThe afternoon tea was a real treat too. As you’d expect from Claridges all the food was delicious. We were treated to a lovely selection of finger sandwiches, as well as cakes and scones and a selection of jams.

Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the collaboration.

Olive and Orange range by Orla Kiely for Halfordsbike – festival chair – basket linerbaskethelmetbellbike

Some of the range has already sold out, as its always a very popular collaboration. Fin gets crossed it’ll be back again next year, so I can get some more goodies before festival season. You can view the full range over on the Halfords website.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen me share a few pictures of todays gorgeous dress. I have already written about it for the Laura Ashley blog and everything about it is fabulous!

Laura Ashley Floral Ruffle Dress 2A few months ago I went to the Laura Ashley press day and saw so many gorgeous things that appeal to my love of vintage and retro clothes. For this season Laura Ashley have looked back to their archives for inspiration and this collection really does pay homage to the companies best days. As I’ve mentioned many times I adore the 70s look and all the romantic flowing fabrics and floral prints, this dress really epitomises that for me.

Laura Ashley Floral Ruffle Dress 4The Pink Floral Ruffle Dress has a high neck with a pussy bow detail at the neck as well as plenty of retro ruffles. It has gathered sleeves and an elasticated waist which is neatly hidden behind a classic tie belt. The dress falls mid calf, which is a little longer than I usually wear, but perfect for wearing with some knee-high boots. The ones I’m wearing are from Dune and were kindly leant to me by Fay (the bestie).

Laura Ashley Floral Ruffle Dress 6Fit wise, I went for a size 14 as usual and the fit was great. I didn’t have any problems with gaping at the bust and the elasticated waist was just right, but would also add a little flexibility if you’re between sizes. The dress is made from polyester crepe and doesn’t need ironing, which I appreciated as I seem to spend most of my time glued to the iron!

Laura Ashley Floral Ruffle Dress 3As the dress has quite a busy design and print, I kept accessories to the absolute minimum and only brightened the look up with a hair flower from Scarlet Ribbons. I wore my hair in a simple messy Gibson roll, I think the dress is nice with an up-do as its shows off all the details, although it would also look good with some 70s style waves. As the weather gets warmer I will probably wear the dress with a pair of wedges instead of boots, making it a great transitional piece as the seasons change.

The dress costs £110, but is currently on offer for £88 and is available on the Laura Ashley website.

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

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Now its September, I think it’s just about acceptable to start talking about Christmas. I’ve been saving up a few posts from some of the Christmas in July events I went to this year. I’m starting with Dot Com Gift Shop, who have a beautiful range of gifts and lovely things. I always really enjoy their press days and feel inspired by all the quirky and unusual gifts they sell. There really is a lovely gift for everyone and here are a few of my favourites.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-secret-agent-kitsGifts for kids: My children always get loads of presents at Christmas time from family and friends and I often struggle to find room for all their new things at home. I like to get smaller gifts for them myself, especially little kits and things they can make and do. I also like board games and more unusual gifts. These secret agent kits look really fun.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-traditional-gamesI really love their wide range of vintage toys. The graphics on them are absolutely fantastic and they are just as fun as modern plastic toys. They also remind me of some of the toys my grandma had at her house when I was little, so they make me feel really nostalgic.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-kids-cups-and-platesI also really like their children’s creative kits, which include lots of home-made toys. They also have lots of cute tableware for little ones, I especially like the cute retro cats design.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-kids-bags-and-umbrellasThey have literally everything a small person could need! See the full kids range here.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-mens-giftsGifts for Men: Men are such tricky people to buy for, I always get stuck trying to think of nice gifts for the men in my life, that they will actually use. I was quite impressed with the range on offer for men at Dot Com Gift shop. There aren’t too many of the usual novelty items and I really liked the colours and themes. There are lots of grooming items, such as shaving tools and clothes brushes, perfect for the discerning gentlemen, or handy bike tools which I have my eye on for my bike mad dad.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-mens-groomingAll the ranges have similar items, but different designs. These are, Le Bicycle, a vintage inspired bike range, The Departure Lounge, with a retro inspired travel theme and The Modern Man a stylish retro masculine range. See all the mens products here.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-flamingo-watering-canGifts for women: I’m probably the easiest person in the world to buy for, basically if it’s colourful and would look good on my or in my house then I’m happy! I particularly have my eye on this flamingo watering can (hint hint). See all the fabulous flamingo themed gifts here.

dot-com-gift-shop-compact-mirrorsThere is also a lovely range of pretty accessories on the site and lots of cute things to put in your handbag such as these compact mirrors, mini sewing kits and travel card holders. See the full gifts for her range here.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-stonewareGifts for the home: I love my home so much, that I would happily spend my Christmas budget buying gifts for it. If you have a friend or a relative you likes pretty home bits, or cooking then there is plenty of awesome stuff to choose from. I really like these retro hanging decorations.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-kitchen-accessoriesThese bright and cheerful kitchen accessories, are so pretty. I really like the recipe tins, to organise all the recipes that I have in numerous notebooks and bits of paper!

dot-com-gift-shop-chocolate-tinsThese little tins would be perfect for storing pins, desk things and little treasures away.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-stationaryStationary Gifts: Being a complete stationary addict myself, I’m always happy to be given cute pens and pretty notebooks. There are loads of different designs for men, women and children, see the full range here.

dot-com-gift-shop-christmas-in-julyIt seems really early to be thinking about it, but here are a few of the lovely decorations and wrapping that are already available on the site. If you’re an early planner or just too excited to wait any longer, check out the full Christmas range here.

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I am entering the Cosmo Blog Awards again this year. If you have a minute, I would really appreciate a nomination in the Lifestyle category. Thank you! You can place your nominations here.

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I often wonder at what point a set of things becomes a collection. There are lots of lovely vintage things I keep an eye out for when I’m out vintage shopping but not many I’d actually consider myself to be collecting. In fact collecting as concept scares me a little, I don’t like to own things that I’m not using and never want to become a hoarder! However my recent enthusiasm for vintage kitchenalia is definitely becoming a collection. I’m also completely happy with it as I use most of it all the time.

Vintage Kitchenalia Collection
The other day I cleared everything from my vintage dresser and arranged some of my lovely vintage kitchen items on it, I then decided it was high time I shared some pictures of my little collection with you. Throughout the post I’ve linked to individual post about the items or the event where I bought them.

Tala Icing Set Vintage Kitchenalia
My precious Tala icing set was the first vintage kitchen piece I owned and it was bought from a house clearance. I love that Tala stuff is really common and very affordable. You can get these icing sets on Ebay for under £15 and they look really lovely on display.

Tala Two Way Egg Slicer
Two other Tala pieces in my collection are my egg slicer which I bought a few weeks ago at a vintage event and my cookie cutters which I bought at the Classic Car Boot Sale last year. They are pictured with my precious box of Elizabeth Craig recipe cards from 1937.

Vintage Glass Jelly Moulds
I absolutely love anything made from glass so vintage jelly moulds have always been something  that has caught my eye. I have such a huge list of vintage set dessert recipes that I cannot wait to try and now I have so many moulds that I can do them all at once. If you have one why not try my milky jelly or blancmange recipes.

1930s Simple Recipes for Home Baking Recipe Pamphlet
My collection of vintage recipe books and advertisement booklets is getting pretty extensive. Ever since I started regularly trying original vintage recipes I’ve bought them whenever I’ve seen them. I have big plans for the baking side of the blog which I will hopefully be sharing in the new year. Find lot’s of vintage recipes in the Baking section of the blog.

Vintage Quality Street Tins
I see these vintage quality street tins all the time, I bought both of mine for under £1 at car boot sales and I’d definitely like a few more. They’re really colourful and fun. Vintage tins are definitely something I’d like a few more of so I can keep useful bits and bobs in them.

Vintage Mason Cash Bowls
I also absolutely love Mason Cash mixing bowls. They have been produced consistently for over a hundred years and are such an essential part of any vintage kitchen collection. The second two in the picture are both Mason Cash and the first one is a 1930s Gripstand mixing bowl which is much rarer.

I G Green & Co Gripstand Mixing Bowl 1930s
To me the joy of vintage clothing is all in the details and the same goes for vintage homewares, even the packaging is so iconic…

Vintage Kitchen Advertising
What vintage things do you collect?

Last week I popped into London to check out the Urban Outfitters AW15 press day. It’s always a little strange looking at warm winter clothes at this time of year when the weathers getting hotter, but I was really impressed with the upcoming collection.

Urban Outfitters AW15 Press Day Seventies Outfits

As you may have seen in reports from recent fashion weeks, the seventies trend is going to be huge later this year. Despite it’s bad reputation I adore the seventies and I love that designers are taking the very best elements of the decade and recreating them for the modern shopper. Urban outfitters collection is all about layering and mixing textures. The colours are deep and warm with plenty of browns, reds and oranges with the occasional pop of brighter colour.

Urban Outfitters AW15 Press Day Cookbook Images

As you can see from the look-book images, the footwear and bags are also perfect for a seventies inspired look, with a simple hat and boots you can let the accessories complete the outfit.

Urban Outfitters AW15 Press Day Retro Inspiration

Fur is also going to be everywhere next season and Urban Outfitters had several faux fur coats for the colder months.

Urban Outfitters AW15 Press Day 70s Knits

The knitwear was all absolutely gorgeous. I wear cardigans with almost everything and the cute knitted jumpers would look perfect worn under their cute little pinafore dresses. Urban Outfitters AW15 Wishlist

These are some of my favourite pieces. I love both the denim and suede A-line skirts which will be perfect staples for autumn and winter.

The retro look is also carried through in their homeware ranges, with fewer small novelty items than past collections and more of a grown up sophisticated offering. The furniture is simple and functional, but also very on-trend and design focussed.

Urban Outfitter Press Day AW15 Retro Sofa

Urban Outfitter AW15 Press Day Retro Homeware

I absolutely love the bright sofa and accessories which could easily be mistaken for retro originals. Although very simple, the warm colours make it feel very homely and cosy. The selection of record players from Crosley are all gorgeous and after looking through the pictures Rob and I are planning on treating ourselves to one soon. It’s all about vinyl again at the moment!

Urban Outfitters AW15 Press Day Retro Sofa Bed

Urban Outfitters AW15 Press Day Interiors

The sofa pictured above can be used a sofa bed as well, which is really handy for guests. I love the way they have used wire crates as a coffee table too. The monochrome pattern rug adds a little texture to an otherwise very simple look.

What do you think of the collection? Do you have a favourite piece?

Shop the currant collection on the Urban Outfitters website