Monday, 26 October 2015

OUTFIT // the BIBA blouse

When I was at school I hated the blue blouse that made up part of my school uniform. I don't know what it was - I guess I just felt out of my comfort zone wearing stiff collared shirts to school, work experience and job interviews. But fast forward some years, and now I can't get enough of shirts and blouses! They are the height of comfort, they go with everything, and help to smarten up the most casual of outfits. When I spotted this delight online, it was a no brainer.

In my old age, I'm steering towards quality over quantity when it comes to clothing and this blouse is certainly that. Slightly oversized, but super soft, and really comfy to wear, it also offers good versatility as the piece looks great both with the tie in a bow, or tucked away and hidden from view. I tucked mine into shorts and paired with my lace-up heels. Biba is one of my favourite brands and I always have a nose whenever I'm in my local HOF store. I love their gold logo so was delighted when I discovered that the gold buttons on the cuffs and main body of the blouse were stamped with the Biba logo.

What do you think of my Biba blouse?

*Although House of Fraser very kindly sent me the blouse for review purposes, as ever, all words and opinions are my own!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Fancy winning a Michael Kors bag?

Who doesn't right?! The good people at House of Fraser have an amazing competition on at the moment and up for grabs is not one, but five Michael Kors bags in various sizes and styles.

1st prize: Michael Kors Jetset Tulip Tote Bag
2nd prize: Michael Kors Selma Tulip Tote Bag
3rd prize: Michael Kors Selma Tulip Double Zip Tote Bag
4th prize: Michael Kors Selma Tulip Cross Body Bag
5th prize: Michael Kors Jetset Travel Purse

If you want to be in the running and fancy a try (I know I will!), you can enter here
You have until 1st November to enter so get your skates on! Good luck x

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tapas, golf and wine tasting. Not your typical Wednesday night.

When I was first invited for an evening of golf and wine tasting, although I do love a glass (or three) of wine, and I like golf, I couldn't really imagine how the two went hand in hand. But after one of the loveliest nights out I've had in a long time, I can safely say that I was proven wrong! Monarch Airlines kindly invited me for an evening at N1 Golf in Greenwich to spread awareness of the numerous golf holiday destinations they have across Europe (you can read more about these here). I arrived at North Greenwich (yes, the tube stop right by the o2!) and N1 Golf was a stone's throw away from the station. Google maps seems to suggest it's over a mile from the station and a 30 minute walk, but it's not. We were welcomed with sparkling wine and got the chance to meet everyone there. The sun was setting as we arrived and the floodlights were starting to come on - it was such a beautiful location to be playing golf in. To your left, the city and the River Thames next to you, and to your right, the o2 arena. You'd expect it to be loud and bustling when you play golf in the city, but it was so serene.

After drinks, we moved to the golf bays and received a briefing from the pro golfers, learning the tips and tricks of the trade - very useful as I hadn't played golf in such a long time! Then we had the chance to try for ourselves. I shared a bay with Michaela and Inna who were pros compared to me! We were upstairs on the top level of the driving range and had the most incredible views of London.

During which, there was lots of tasty looking tapas to dig into. We enjoyed prawn carpaccio, Basque style crab, barley, quinoa and pomegranate salad, and a selection of prawn tempura.

As the time to practise drew to a close, the competition of the night began to see who could get the ball the furthest. We finished up our starters and then were escorted downstairs to the restaurant to finish our meal. For the main course there was steak, lamb, tuna steak (the best I've ever tasted!) and sea bream. Most of which came with the most incredible fondant potatoes.

Dessert was a cheese board and chocolate brownies. 
It's officially a good night when there are chocolate brownies involved.

We also partook in some beer and wine tasting. Although it was pretty weird to be drinking beer out of wine glasses(!) I'm not really a beer drinker - although I did really like the first one we drank! - so I was more into the wine. And it was really nice to try some different wines. I would tell you my favourites, but after several different beers and several different wines, my attention span was... slightly lacking to say the least!

Olivia had a good collection of glasses going on....

By 10pm I was feeling pretty good. I had that nice fuzzy feeling inside that you get from a good wine. Or two. Or six. The winners of the competitions that evening were announced. Alex won the driving range one and Olivia won the social media side of things. Monarch flights and vouchers for N1 Golf's restaurant Vinotec Compass were up for grabs - so some really decent prices! Then after that we were all on our (very) merry way.

Thank you so much to Monarch Airlines, N1 golf, Talented Talkers, and Vinotec Compass for a lovely evening, doing something I usually wouldn't do. I've learnt that I'm no Tiger Woods, but it was a really fun experience and it's definitely not PUTT me off playing golf again in the future!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Interior inspiration // barn conversions, ski chalets & log cabins

Those of you itching to have your own place - be it a house or a flat - will be well aware of the frustration, stress and blood, sweat and tears that goes into finding your perfect home. No sooner do you find a place that excites you, it goes like that *snaps fingers*. I yearn to start a new chapter of my life in a new place with a fresh start... but these things take time. 

Recently I found a house in an area I normally would dismiss as being too far away from London, but as it happens, the journey to London is just as long as my morning commute on the tube at the moment. Away from the city, in an idyllic setting with lots of nature around you, the house comes with brick fireplaces, cast iron bed frames, beams and a farmhouse style kitchen. I kick myself knowing that I am getting way too attached to this property and that it will inevitably go before I get the chance to see it. Because that's what always happens. I have since discovered this property has another building - aesthetically it's like a barn conversion with the beams and sloped roof - at the bottom of the sizeable garden. It has that barn conversion feel that you see all the time on Escape to Country (my new favourite program!). Ever the excitable cookie, I find myself looking at existing barn conversions for interiors inspiration. Because I love this little annexe that comes with the house and I am full of ideas of how to make my own mark on it.

Inspired by a mixture of barn conversions, chalets and log cabins, I'm thinking light / bright / warm colours, cosy interiors, brick walls and plenty of light. Maybe even move the kitchen diner in there for more light and space to work with.

See, totally getting carried away! But with the frustration of losing out on houses, and not finding The One just yet, it's a nice distraction to be able to daydream like this!