Last year I discovered Joanie Clothing for the first time. Since then I have picked up a few of their lovely dresses. When they offered to send me another one to try I obviously jumped at the chance. I’d had my eye on this lovely striped shirt dress for ages, so had to give it a try. I am always drawn to bright colours and I love all the clashing, contrasting shades in this one.

One of my favourite things about this dress is the arm length. If like me, you sometimes like to keep your arms hidden, then this is a great choice. I was also impressed that the arms weren’t too tight either, so the dress is really comfortable to move around in.

In general the fit and style of the dress is great, I had to add a safety pin at the bust, which I do with most shirt dresses. I’m quite busty so to get a great fit everywhere else the bust can gape a little. Having said that the dress didn’t feel at all tight across my chest, so this wasn’t a big problem for me at all.

Another thing I liked about the dress, was that the body isn’t too short and the dress’s waist sits very well on me. I love the belt that comes with it too. Its quite a strong one and should last well.

The dress is made from a light soft polyester and the skirt is lined. It’s a very comfortable dress to wear in warmer weather and I found the dress quite cool and breathable.

I went for my usual size 14, which was absolutely fine on me. They do run ever so slightly on the small side, so if you’re unsure make sure you take a look at the size guide first.

I’ve worn my dress with my favourite yellow shoes from Miss L Fire, an H&M hair flower and some vintage Avon Colour Go Round bangles from the 70s.

I’ve fallen in love with so many dresses from the Joanie website, these three are next on my wishlist. They would all be perfect for summer holidays and sunny weekends.

Mermaid Sun DressStripe Sleeveless DressFrill Sundress

Find the full range of dresses on the Joanie Clothing website.

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

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A couple of weeks ago, Cath Kidston launched yet another gorgeous Disney Colab. This time classic Cath Prints were revamped with a lovely 101 Dalmations theme. Having bought dresses from the last two collections I knew I had to pick one up this time too.

Luckily for me, this is the first time they’ve done a preview launch in a few stores. So to avoid hours of online frustration trying to get the dress into my basket, I headed to the Piccadilly store and stood in a queue for an hour to get my dress.

The whole shopping experience was pretty stress free. It was a lovely sunny day and the queue was organised really well. There were friendly CK staff chatting to people in the queue and it was a really nice atmosphere. When the store re-opened at 7pm we were let in a few at a time and staff were on hand to make sure everyone got everything they wanted. I left with this dress, a bookbag and a mug. I also got a bonus canvas tote bag for spending over £40, which was a really nice touch.

Obviously I absolutely love the print of this dress, the colour and design are really cute. However I was even more in love with the Townhouse print, so I was a little disappointed that they didn’t do it as a dress, as it would have been perfect.

A few people have mentioned being a bit disappointed by the material of the dress. When I first went into the shop, I was too. The dress is 100% polyester and at first I was really sad that it wasn’t cotton or viscose. I’ve not come across another CK dress in this material before and it actually felt very cheap. However my mind completely changed when I put the dress on. When you’re wearing it the material drapes really beautifully and the lighter fabric works very well with the pleats. The dress is very comfortable to wear and not at all sweaty, so don’t be put off!

Fit wise, I always go for a 14 in Cath Kidston and this fit really well. As usual I found it a little short in the body, but I was much more pleased with the skirt length on this, than any of my other Cath dresses.

Price-wise this was not a cheap one, at £80 it is a bit of a splurge for a simple dress. But all my Cath Kidston dresses have lasted for years and always washed well, so I always treat them as an investment. I also rarely buy anything expensive, so I will treat myself to something I really want every now and then

I am really looking forward to finding out what the next Disney collaboration will be. One day I’m hoping for a Lady and the Tramp or a Mary Poppins print. That would be amazing! What Disney film would you like to see Cath Kidston work her magic on next?

Find the full 101 Dalmations range on the Cath Kidston website.

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It can be tricky to find practical shoes to go with vintage dresses. For me comfort is a huge priority. I’m a busy mum and I do a lot of walking. A lot of my job involves going from place to place and keeping my feet happy is really important to me. I’ve mentioned numerous times, how much I like Hotter shoes. I have so many pairs now, but until recently they were mostly heels.

A few weeks ago, I was sent a pair of their Flare sandals in red and yellow and they were perfect to wear with this original 1940s dress which I picked up at a car boot sale.

The sandals are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I have ever owned. They are wide enough for my feet and have adjustable straps for a perfect fit. The shoes are contoured and have a microfibre insole for ultimate comfort. I went for my usual size 6 and the standard fit. They also come in a wider fitting. My feet are reasonably wide, but I always find the Hotter standard fit to be spot on.

I chose the red and yellow colour way, because they remind me so much of original vintage ones I’ve seen. There are so many lovely 40s sandals in bright colours like these. For a modern shoe, I think they’re a perfectly acceptable addition to a vintage inspired outfit. I think they’d work well at festivals, where comfort needs to come first. These will definitely be coming to Twinwood with me this year.

I love how well they match up to my bangles and I’ve definitely been picking out similar coloured items from my wardrobe to wear with these this summer. As well as this lovely colour, the Flare also comes in several other colourways including gold, blue and aqua, and brown. See all the colours here.

The quality is everything I’ve come to expect from Hotter – excellent. They are beautifully made from high quality materials and best of all, they are produced in the UK. These sandals cost £59.

Find the full range of sandals on the Hotter website.

*Thank you to Hotter for sending me these shoes for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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A few weeks ago I blogged about my trip to the Whittard shop in Kingston. Faye and I were treated to a tea tasting and were shown around the shop and taught about some of the teas and their origins. We were also given a goody box to take home.

The box contained lots of samples including tea bags, loose leaf tea, marmalade and biscuits. Since I decided I wanted to write about tea more, I thought I’d work my way through the box and let you know what I thought of the contents. I’m going to do a couple of teas at a time.

As I’ve said before, I prefer loose leaf tea to teabags. I really enjoy the ritual of spooning out the tea and watching it brew, so I was really pleased to see all the lovely choices in my box.

The first tea I tried was the English Rose. Rose is a very traditional ingredient in tea and was first blended during China’s Ming dynasty. Whiter currently have this tea in a gorgeous Alice in Wonderland tin, which I completely love.

This blend is beautifully well balanced with the rose. It is pale, aromatic and quite full flavoured while still being delicate and fragrant. There is a subtle hint of rose without being over powered. I found this tea to be quite refreshing and as recommended by Whittard this would be lovely for a summer picnic. I take mine with a little milk.

Another treat inside the box, was a little jar of Blood Orange Marmalade infused with Assam tea. I adore marmalade on toast so was very happy with this! This was very tasty and full of chunky yummy orange bits. The hints of tea are quite subtle and make this a great addition to my breakfast. I’m definitely going back to pick up another jar of this!

The other tea I tried was the Apple and Elderflower fruit infusion. This blend contains apples and elderflower, with sweet liquorice, vanilla and hibiscus with added rose and marigold petals.

This beautiful mix is tangy, fruity and fresh. It has a medium strength and smells absolutely divine. This can be served hot, which is how I had it or it can be made into a refreshing iced tea.

Recreate my breakfast look:

Hen Toast Rack – £22 – Laura Ashley

Cat Teapot – £8 – George at Asda

Gold Spoon (set of 4) – £20 – Laura Ashley (not currently available)

1953 Coronation Plate – Vintage car boot find

Bird Butter Dish – £22 – Laura Ashley

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Last month I wrote a review of my stay at Champneys spa. I mentioned that I’d done a bit of beauty shopping while I was there. I’m a big skin care addict and I love a good pamper, so it was really fun picking out some new products to enjoy as well as stocking up on a couple of old favourites.

The shopping at Champneys is pretty good. They have their own dedicated store, filled with their normal product range as well as a selection of gifts and fitness clothing. They also had a little Elemis shop, which has their full range of luxury skincare. As a couple of months have passed since I made my purchases I thought it was high time, I let you know what I think of them.

They had a special offer in the shop, where you got a discount if you bought the Good as New Hip and Thigh Firming Gel, Skin Firming Shower Scrub and the Exfoliating Mitt together.

The shower scrub is now one of my favourite products, mostly because I love the smell. It’s a really nice product to use and my skin feels great afterwards.

I’ve only used the firming gel a few times, mainly because it’s quite long-winded. The tube comes with a massage applicator, with little roller balls to work the gel into the skin. It feels amazing and really does firm up my skin, but it takes a while and I certainly don’t have time to do it the recommended twice a day! When I do use it though, I’m really happy with the results.

The exfoliating mitt, is super scratchy and great when you want to completely remove all your dead skin. As a massive exfoliator addict, who loves super scrubby products, its unusual for me to find something too coarse, but this really is a bit much. So once a week is just fine for me.

I bought the Detox Hip and Thigh Firming Mud, mostly because I liked the look of it. Plus I’ve always been a fan of mud based products. This is perfect if you want to create a home spa environment and have a proper pamper.

My only misgiving with this is that you have to leave it on for 10-20 and that can get a bit messy! But otherwise I love everything about this. It softens the skin while making it feel firm, it smells lovely and rinses off really easily. My skins feels lovely for days after using this, so I’d definitely recommend it.

I also picked up this Champneys yoga sweater. I love finding stuff I can wear to exercise that appeals to my vintage side. There were a few choices of picture and I absolutely loved this one. The jumper is nice and loose and adds a warmer layer, when working out.

I’ve always really liked Elemis skincare, it works really well with my skin and I like products which lots of natural extracts and ingredients. I’ve used their Papaya Enzyme Peel loads of times, its one of my all time favourite products. I knew I needed to get one of them and when I saw I could get it as part of a set and I saved loads of money I was delighted.

One of the products that was new to me was the Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser. I’ve been using this most days since I’ve got it. I find it quite similar to my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. It works really well as a hot cloth cleanser and not only melts away make-up effortlessly, it also leaves my skin feeling fabulous.

Another product that I had tried previously is the Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash balm, This lovely cream, gives tired skin the boost it needs. I use this occasionally on tired skin days and find it really soothing and brightening.

I haven’t really got round to using the Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules, but they look really good, so I’m sure I will soon. It’s always quite fun getting sets like this as it give you the chance to try new products, that you wouldn’t otherwise have tried.

Not only was the Elemis concession packed with lovely products, but the lady who worked there was also fantastic. We had a lot of questions about the products and she answered all of them and was able to help with recommendations.

I was after a really good eye product, to help with fine lines and dark circles and all the other things that tired mums in their 30s get! She recommended the Absolute Eye Mask, which is a super potent eye mask. I absolutely love this product and use it a couple of times a week. You can really see and feel the difference with this one.

I also picked up a pack of cleansing cloths. I always need these, as I use wash off cleansers and use a clean cloth every time I cleanse. These are super soft and have washed brilliantly.

As I’d spent over £80 I got this free gift, which was a lovely little extra. I’ve used all of the miniature products in here and they’re all very good. I particularly like the Sweet orchid Bodycream which smells lovely. Although I liked the other products in the gift, I probably wouldn’t repurchase as I already have products I love.

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