been out sailing in a decade full of dreams

Monday, 30 June 2014

Hello again. For probably the first time I have quite a lot of post content lined up, and not enough time to post it on here! I'm almost always rushing out last minute to try and nab a few outfit pictures to help me keep to my two-per-week schedule, but for some reason Summer has meant I have been up to much more photo-worthy things. I'm definitely not complaining though, as it has really taken the pressure off me to document everything - knowing I have posts lined up has given me the freedom to spend days on end dressing up for no one but myself, and enjoying mini adventures without the need to prove it photographically for this blog. I love documenting and recording everything, but sometimes it's nice to be able to choose when and what I want to blog about, and not feel obliged or pressured to make something into a blog post as I haven't had time to take any other pictures. Hopefully this will mean good things for my content as well, as I will be able to post only the things I am most happy with, and nothing that will just 'do for now'.
Note- Ignore the awful spacing in this post, for some reason no matter what I do the pictures still end up really spread out?!

Anyway, this outfit is from Saturday, when I spent the day working in the absolute dream of a shop that is Hirst Antiques. I've never actually done any real work (let alone paid work) before, and so to have my first experience of the workplace in one of my favourite places was a dream come true. The shop itself is a literal Aladdin's Cave, with antique and costume jewellery almost flowing out of the big glass cabinets, intricately carved glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and fabrics and all sorts of pretty pieces layered everywhere. Each shelf is organised by colour and style, and heaped with jewellery and inspiration making each one like a sort of shrine that you could spend hours exploring. Passion for jewellery and style hangs in the air like incense, and it is almost impossible not to be completely and utterly enthralled by the mystery and magic of the place. Obviously I was completely in my element, and could have spent all day there (which I almost did by accidentally carrying on working until 6, when I was supposed to finish at 5!)

I wanted to dress a little smarter for the occasion, and so wore my pin-stripe shirt and belt from Beyond Retro, cream skirt and bag from Rokit, white tights from Topshop and white socks (that were once tights) from H&M. The shoes are from Office, however I only wore them for the photos, as I'm sure teetering around fragile glass cabinets would not have been such a good idea, given that I am the clumsiest person alive. I wore my vintage glasses from a car boot sale, and was surprised that a customer actually recognised them as Gucci...I found them for £10, and then when trying them on later noticed they said 'Gucci' on the arm, but I just assumed they weren't real designer for such a good price. You never know, maybe I was wrong (fingers crossed).

Working in a shop definitely appeals to me - I can imagine it would be very hard to get bored in such a busy place, where you get to meet so many interesting and enthusiastic people. It's also a really nice thought to think you might be able to help someone find a piece they really love - especially if they are after something for a wedding, as you feel partially responsible for helping them get the ideal piece that will help contribute towards their perfect day. It's also given me a new interest in jewellery, as recently I have been wanting to wear more, but am quite clueless as to materials, styles and designers. I definitely now want to learn more - it is a very similar world to the fashion world, just heralded by different icons and with a different and deeply historic background. The two go hand-in-hand really, and I think it would be amazing to be more knowledgable in both areas.

The rest of my day was spent with family, celebrating my Auntie's birthday and my Aunt and Uncle's anniversary, which meant lots of fancy dress, party food and of course amazing cake from Dru of Coco's Cakes, who was the kindest person ever and made me my own little cupcake to celebrate the result of the Company Awards. It definitely tasted as good as it looked. Also, here is a little preview of my prom outfit from Beyond Retro...there will be a post on it soon!

Last but definitely not least, I was sent a gorgeous personalised package from Balance Me to try out and review. I've never really been big on skincare routines - after toying with them when I was younger, I found they were often impractical and time-consuming to carry out each morning and night, and so I made do with makeup-removing face wipes, tea tree, witch hazel and the odd bit of moisturiser to try and keep my skin clear. I was, as you can imagine, a little daunted by the idea of trying to keep to a routine, but the products from Balance Me were so effective and practical that I'm now struggling to imagine what it was like without them.

I was sent three products: Pure Skin face wash, Rose Otto face oil, and Balancing face moisturiser. The face wash was deliciously fragrant and refreshing, and I felt like it definitely removed any unwanted oil or grime from my skin, without leaving it tight or dry. The face oil was light, and after using it overnight made my skin look a lot more glowing and alive (my pale skin has the habit of looking quite grey and corpse like from time to time). The moisturiser was probably my favourite, as it was so light and yet so effective, and somehow left my skin quite matte compared to the usual shine and grease left by most other moisturisers. I loved all three products and think they definitely worked for my skin - it is looking clearer and healthier now than it has in months. Also, Balance Me products are completely paraben, sulphate and silicon free, use no artificial fragrances or colours, and are as close to 100% natural as they can be, making them even better for your skin. I totally recommend you checking out their other products here.
Anyway, I hope you had a good weekend! 

the gentle sweet singing of leaves in the wind

Friday, 27 June 2014

Hello! I know I only posted the other day, but the sudden freedom summer has given me has allowed me to do a lot more during the week that I want to post about.
Yesterday was, in my opinion, one of those perfect summer days - you can't ever really plan them, they sometimes just creep up and unravel in front of you, hitting you like a wave of that so-called 'holiday feeling'...a sort of relaxed happiness that is really hard to put into words. I met up with two friends in the morning, and after eating lunch out on the heath we went swimming and sunbathing in the ladies ponds, which is basically a pond in the middle of the heath surrounded by trees and foliage (and so quite separate from the rest of the world) that women are allowed to swim in. It's completely natural water, and apart from the odd duck feather or beetle it is perfectly clean and crazily refreshing. After lazing in the sun for a while (obviously smothered in factor 50 sun cream...being pale is great) I caught the train down to meet my parents for a quick dinner out before I went into the Flower Crown workshop Mooi En Lief sent me to.
The brief was to create a flower crown that matched the pair of Pink Buckle Wellies they had sent me, and then photograph the outcome. I had no idea what to expect, but was happy to find the venue was a gorgeous little studio in a pretty street, which was full of flowers, inspiration (many Frida Kahlo pictures) props and decorations. The work table was prepped and ready for the course, with wires, Stemtex florist tape and scissors, and complimentary glasses of Prosecco or juice for thirsty visitors.

To make the crown, we had to first wrap a length of wire in Stemtex florist tape, before cutting and collecting our chosen flowers from the bunches provided. When cutting the flowers, you need a short length of stem along with the flower itself, which you then attach to your wire by wrapping and securing it tightly with the Stemtex tape. This is repeated along the wire, making sure all of the flowers are facing the same way. The crown can then be positioned and fixed around the head for wear. I started out with a sort of pattern, however I soon ended up improvising and just attaching all of the flowers I liked the most. I loved the finished effect, and loved the way there was no rules  - as with clashing floral patterns, there is no right or wrong combination as all sorts of different flowers look great together.
The course was held by The Flower Appreciation Society, a floristry business run by Anna and Ellie. They produce amazing fresh flower bouquets and pieces for weddings and special events, and also can be found making gorgeous crowns and headpieces at festivals such as Port Eliot and Wilderness. The course was so much fun and I feel as if I have really learnt something that I can definitely use again...I think I'm going to be wearing a lot of flower crowns this summer! The evening had a really lovely and relaxed feel, and I would one hundred percent go to another one, and recommend any other courses they run!

Using fresh flowers really worked well as they smelt amazing, and look so effective. Obviously this means they won't last forever - however this morning, mine is still in perfect condition, so there is no reason not to make one as they are worth the time and effort you put in. They don't actually take that long to make - the course ran for about an hour and we worked at quite a relaxed pace, so you could easily whip one up before a party or festival.

I was in a very summery mood yesterday, and so once again decided on an all-floral clashing outfit, which I think complimented the flower crown quite well. I wore a palm tree cropped shirt from Spitalfield's Market, a long-sleeved oversized floral shirt from the East End Thrift Store, and a blue floral skirt from Beyond Retro. The wellies are from Mooi En Lief (and are incredibly comfortable!)

I loved how big the crown was - I felt very much like a kind of Frida Kahlo/Lana Del Ray hybrid, and now feel slightly naked without it on my head. Using smaller flowers would make it less of a statement, or only working on a section to make it a small bunch of flowers would also work, however I just love the bold colour of the crown, and the impact it has on the viewer. It is really eye-catching and perfectly sets off an outfit, and would be perfect to help you stand out at festivals, especially when paired with a pair of wellies or similar that match!
Also, I loved the matching colour of my nails I had done on Wednesday courtesy of Rimmel London...I'm not a big nail polish wearer (art and textiles just ruin it) but this bright paint has really inspired me to wear crazy colours on my hands more often. It's the best encouragement to keep my nails looking nicer!

I really enjoyed the workshop and loved the crown...I think I am definitely going to make lots more this summer. Thankyou so much to Mooi En Lief for organising it for me and sending me the wellies, and to Anna and everyone at the Flower Appreciation Society for having me and putting on such a lovely workshop!

Company Magazine Rising Stars Music Party

Thursday, 26 June 2014

 Last night I was lucky enough to attend the Company Magazine Rising Stars Music Party with the amazing Adora Mehitabel and Kayla Hadlington. Being quite new to such events, I had no idea what to expect - and so of course was happily surprised to discover I was in for an evening of good music, good food, lovely people and even free manicures...all in (and on the amazingly colourful rooftop of) the Queen of Hoxton in East London. Everything was so vibrant and summery (and perfectly instagrammable, forgive me for using such a word) and felt like a little oasis in the middle of the busy surrounding streets. The general atmosphere of the evening was also greatly helped by the fact that it didn't start to get dark until about 9.45pm, allowing us to remain upstairs in the crisp summer air for as long as humanly possible, before being lured downstairs to see the amazing live acts and of course test out both available photobooths.

(photos by Kayla)

I am desperately trying to break out of, or at least develop on from my strictly orange and mustard phase, and so decided to wear a slightly different outfit to my usual choices. I bought the jeans from Topshop in December last year, and although I love them (they are literally the most comfortable things in the entire world) I have never really worn them that much. I'm definitely going to try and wear them more this Summer though, as they are that perfect light material that is great for the slightly cooler evenings. The purple shirt is from Beyond Retro, the silver crop top is from Urban Outfitters, and the shoes and socks are also from Topshop.

(Company Magazine Street Style shot by Holly Mcglynn, and photobooth shot with Kayla and Adora)

The rooftop was so colourful, with multicoloured tables, bunting, flowers and even a spot of astroturf (which is basically obligatory on rooftop gardens). The food on offer was absolutely amazing, and of course was the first thing we gravitated towards upon arrival. I felt we deserved it after climbing the what felt like hundreds of flights of stairs to reach it.
It was lovely to be able to just relax and chat with other bloggers and the wonderful ladies working at Company, all while catching the last rays of sun and being treated to manicures courtesy of Rimmel London.

After being coaxed away from the pretty rooftop, we all gathered downstairs to watch the 'Rising Stars' themselves perform. Company are incredibly supportive of new talent, and so took the opportunity of showcasing incredible new artists like Laurel and Rainy Milo. It was so lovely to be able to see them before they are famous - individuals spotted by Company have notoriously hit the big time a year or so after their feature, for example Rihanna, who the lovely editor Victoria told us was featured just after she released 'Umbrella'...and is now one of pop's most famous icons. Others include Nina Nesbitt, who was chosen last year, only to appear this year as a Company Magazine Cover star.

The event was really lovely, and I of course loved being able to spend it with two of my favourite blogging girls, Kayla and Adora, who definitely helped me enjoy it...I mean it would have looked a little odd if I had gone into both photobooths by myself. Also Kayla I apologise as I seem to have stolen your lemonade. *tries to telepathically send it to you*
I hope you are all having a good week...I have quite a few posts ready so I may be posting a little more frequently over this weekend and next week. Hugs