This December I’m Loving…

December’s a perfect time to share an ‘I’m Loving’ post.  If you’re needing a little inspiration on the gift front, maybe this will help…


1.  First up is a new necklace by Under the Rose.

Under the Rose make bespoke jewellery for men and women (you can find them on Not-on-the-High-Street) and I just love this new silver quote pendant.  I wear a necklace most days and like having something unique.

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It arrived beautifully and thoughtfully packaged and the quality was just what I’d hoped… (sometimes you’re not sure if it’s going to be as well made as it could be…?).

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Things I like include the shape; it’s not quite a perfectly round circle.

The fastening (apologies, I didn’t take a photo of it) is a T bar slotted through a hoop, meaning there’s never a clasp travelling round your neck and ending up next to the pendant; it  always stays at the back of the neck!

Finally the text.  I think part of my taking so long to decide on what to have engraved was that those words were going to be set in silver loud and proud for all to see.  The writing is discreet and delicate, so will only be read by those who look long enough…

You can visit the Under the Rose website here.

2.  Second up is a quality Scandi print company, Desenio.

Desenio came recommended by Insta friends – (I love Instagram!).  After filling my online basket, I purchased up for the home and am now awaiting another delivery of Christmas presents as a few of the boys in the family have chosen prints for their bedrooms (as has Miss P… shhh!).

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There are SO many different types of prints to choose from, I got all my frames from them too, and the great thing is the prints don’t cost the earth so if you want a change a few months down the line, you’ve not wasted a fortune.  With them being so reasonably priced, I wondered if they’d be cheap-looking?  Not so.  The paper is beautifully thick and the quality details in the prints, I couldn’t fault them!

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3.  Finally, the Star Purse.

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Velvet’s quite the fabric at present and though I don’t do trends, when I saw these in the Lake District a few months back, picked up three unable to choose between colours. (There were about 5 other colours also available).

fullsizerender-249It’s possibly intended to be a make-up bag, and though I didn’t like the beaded attachment on the zip or label on the side, instantly thought they’d also make a great festive clutch if removed.

fullsizerender-248Having gifted the others this Christmas, I’ve kept the red, chopped off the label on the side and replaced the bead fastening on the zip with a tassle et voila.  The bags are around £15 by Lua are still available online if you google.


Ps, the quote on my necklace is a favourite of mine, it reads “At the end of the day it all comes down to love or fear.  Choose love and don’t ever let fear turn you away from your playful heart”

Have a very Happy Christmas ~ Olivia

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~O~

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Transitional Styling

It is worth investing in staple clothing.  Once you know what seasonal styles work,  you can add to your collection each year.   These pieces will differ for each of us.  Camisoles are my Summer staple.  They go with everything, I wear them all the time, and am prepared to spend a little more on quality tops with interesting detail.

Owing to our fabulous British climate, camisoles just don’t cut it unaided past Summer.  Enter long cardigans (coatigans).  These are my Autumn staple that absolutely work with cami’s and personally, mean I can carry on a Summer look that seems to work well.

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Delicate femininity, paired with thick brushed wool, leather pants and biker boots… yields a slightly undefinable outcome.

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Staple can be statement.

If you’re going to invest in a coatigan, it’s worth doing well.  Buy wool/alpaca blends.  These will not only provide great warmth but can usually be brushed up with a natural bristle brush.  Cheaper, thinner brands will look old fast.  Invest in quality wools and you will be able to revive frequently.

Second, save your expense for ‘wow’ designs and spend less on plain, singular-coloured cardigans.  The black Selected Femme one (above) is so thick and luxurious, the yellow stripe and peach tones provide colour pops (I’m so done with everyone using that term but what else is there?) that really bring the outfit alive.

When choosing plain, look for little detailing/clever knitwear like this Gat Rimon one ↓.

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Finally, look for mid-season colours you can wear with light or dark.  This Samsoe & Samsoe grey one ↓ I have had SO much wear from.  It looks great with grey or black jeans, and have worn with shorts all Summer long when there’s been a chill – it’s doubled as a  dressing-gown if you will (which I don’t own).  Not only that, it has graced every campsite with me for the past three years (that’s some wear and tear!) and brushes up like new every time.

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It won’t be long till a full offensive is needed against the cold.  Once the temperatures drop, I’m no die hard.  Thermals, thickest jumpers and warmest boots will be drafted in (till around March!)  Till then, I’m happy to keep Summer cami’s in play.

~O~

(All cardigans have made their way into my wardrobe over the last three years from local boutique Attic Womenswear)

Happy New September!

September seems to be more of a fresh start than New Year.  Once again, as the Summer holidays came to an end, the urge to be ‘on it’, descended.  At present, I’m craving all things interior; just CAN NOT get enough.  At home no shelf or cupboard is safe from scrutiny as we de-clutter, and from my various social media ‘inbox’s’ it seems to be a common itch as people make way for the new season ahead.  I LOVE changing things up don’t you?  Here’s what’s got my attention this month.


1. Dark Interiors.  Guaranteed, they are having a moment and though not one for trends, I’m all in!  Whites appear whiter, colours more vibrant and metallics simply come alive against a decadently dark backdrop.  Whether it was Pinterest that sparked it for me a year ago when I painted my first dark feature wall at home, or the gallery wall completed a few months ago (see it here) that tipped the balance I’m not sure.  Either way, it’s a process I’m enjoying more and more.

With the onset of the cosier months there’s no better time to indulge if you’re fancying a change!  Inspiration is everywhere; there are some amazing pictures in my feed daily from Instagram’ers like @kerrylockwood_, @artynads and @_lisa_dawson_ (to name a few!).  If you want to dabble but are slightly hesitant, start with just one wall.

2.  This nicely leads to an upfront confession that I’ve only just discovered Rockett St George.  (If you just said ‘who’ to yourself, I feel better.  If you tutted, I don’t want to know). Rockett St George 1As part of the home overhaul, looking for furniture one night , I googled ‘industrial homewares’ and up it popped… time left me and a good hour or so later I’d scrolled through the entire website.  Days later I ordered this gorgeous sheepskin rug to keep my assets warm in Winter and have my eye on a few other pieces.

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For a while I’ve felt there’s a gap in the interior decor market.  Everything has become so ‘samey’.  Needless to say, this ‘extraordinary interiors’ has put a smile on my face and wouldn’t you know, just like the car you think of buying, am now seeing RSG everywhere!

3.  Finally, and I’m probably late to the party again, but after seeing GANDYS flip-flops at The Eden Project during the holidays, came home and googled.  I have to say that from there on, it was these towel images ⇓ that drew me in (I’m a sucker for great marketing).GANDYS 3

Great pictures and the round towels?!  So unusual and I have been sorely tempted.  For me it’s’ not about the flip-flops I ordered… they’re pretty regular flip-flops like any other brand (though I have worn them constantly!)  But have to say after reading their story was compelled to put my money here and not with a regular high street name.

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In ‘very’ short, two brothers Rob & Paul, were orphaned over night after their parents died in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami (it feels wrong to skip over so quickly for the sake of ‘keeping it short’, can you even begin to imagine…).  These orphans now have created GANDYS to raise funds for other orphans, hence their tagline, ‘ORPHANS FOR ORPHANS’.  Take a look at their website (here), they have some great looking products and naturally, it’s a great cause!

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towel images with kind permission from Gandys

Ps, black flip flops are great for wearing beyond Summer with black jeans without looking too Summery!

Till next time ~

~O~

How To: Create a Gallery Wall Feature

Gallery walls are a great way of creating a bespoke feature in the home and are so easy to do yourself.  The wall below was both painted and dressed in a day with zero additional expense.

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Rooms with high ceilings can sometimes be hard to style.  Unless you have big art pieces to use, photos and pictures can look lost.  A gallery works especially well in this setting in making use of the space.  The wall below was bare for months (yes along with the filler!); so in an inspired moment, the ladders came out and I decided to begin by painting it dark (Farrow and Ball Hague Blue).

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Curating your gallery should be easy.  Unearth pieces you own that don’t have ‘a home’ (as I did here), then lay them out on the floor to get a feel for positions.  3D items look great, a string of lights adds a whimsical touch and personally think you can’t beat a bit of sparkle against a dark wall.

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A little shelf is also useful as you can change the look by adding candles, a small vase of flowers, whatever you fancy throughout the year.  The shelf can be positioned anywhere on the wall but I wanted it more-or-less central, so it became my starting point when it came to hanging the other items.

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You may find as you start that you need to readjust slightly as you see things on the wall for the first time, but just go with it.  Some pieces like a mirror, that you want to use practically (i.e. at eye-level) will naturally determine the position.
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The end result will be 100% unique and bespoke to you.  As I said earlier, nothing new was purchased for this wall, but now it’s finished, I like the different components involved. If you’re struggling for what you use, consider these as a starting point:

Photos

Poster

Shelf

Mirror

Something with Text

Piece of clothing

Lights
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At the end of the day, your wall can be added to and taken from, so if you only have a few pieces, start there; allow space for it to evolve and enjoy the process!

If you want to know more about styling your home, you can get in touch with me here at The Butler.

∼O∼

Summer Lovin’

Warmer weather is at last, here!  As the days lengthen and we go in search of the sun, the following are my now favourites.


1. Almost-white nails.  It’s been a while since I shared a nail colour, probably because I’ve rarely diverted from my all-time fav deep purple ‘Essie, Carry On’ which I’ve worn all year.  Having fancied the idea of white/very pale nails, anything I’ve tried either streaks or looks like Tipp-Ex, till this…

IMG_2868IMG_2869Nude Demoiselle by L’Oreal, is this palest pink/white. It applies so easily and lasts me about 6 days.  I just LOVE it and think it’ll be a summer favourite as it looks even better with a tan.

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2.  Clinique Super City Block SPF 40.  My regular day cream is Arbonne RE9 which I have used consistently for about 3 years.  It is simply the best for a premium anti-aging cream.  That said, it is only SPF20 and before heading to New Zealand in March, wanted stronger protection (no ozone and all!).

Googling my options, I came across Clinique City Block.  It wears perfectly under minerals powder makeup and does not slide in the heat (it was great for the wedding day!).  If you’ve ever thought creams with a higher SPF feel ‘obvious’ on your skin or you’re simply aware you are not wearing your regular cream, this could be a good one to try.  Approx £18 for a 40ml tube – I will definitely be re-purchasing as I’ve worn every day.

3.  Finally a crush.  Rae Feather has been in my Instagram feed for as long as I can remember.  I have swooned over the wicker baskets and clutches for as long.IMG_2864

Monogrammed, bespoke, sheer luxury.  It’s been a pleasure to see the development of this label found amongst Vogue and Selfridges.  Possibly on a par with my fondness for the bags themselves are the snippets of soul often woven into the text accompanying the images.  I don’t know Rae personally, but I like her style, I like her presence and though the bags be an investment… they be beautiful.

(images with kind permission from Rae Feather)

 

~O~

Three Stylish Gift Ideas

What to buy for the stylishly minded?  These three ideas have made their way into my world this past month, here’s the lowdown! ~OX


 

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  1.  First up the faux fur stole.  I LOVE a bit of furry luxe and have numerous colours and sizes I’ve collected over the years.  This maxi one from Zara is HUGE (goes all the way down to the hips) keeps me really warm, and is now easily my favourite!  You can style with most things but I’ve been wearing it over a chunky knit. This one was £50 but you can buy them everywhere at the moment so will find one to suit your budget.

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My Ideas - 8

2. Love, Style, Life is the first book by Garance Doré.  A fan of her blog and style; I was eager to get a copy.  It didn’t disappoint.  The book’s a perfect easy-read that can be dipped into,  has great style advice written in Garance’s humorous hand and I finished in three ‘sittings’.  This will be finding its way into many a stocking this Christmas I have no doubt – a great gift for around £12.

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3.  Having worn one pair of earrings pretty much consistently for the past 18 months (yes these ones), I have been on the look out for another pair…something a bit fabulous but not too ‘evening’.  There’s many a cuff around at the moment and these I fell in love with.  Again from Zara, wait till you see the price…

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One ear (shown on the left) has a stud at the bottom with a cuff securing higher up the ear, and the other (on the right) is one of those drop-behind-the-ear jobs.

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Aren’t they are just gorgeous and an absolute steal at £9.95!

Have fun shopping… shop local where you can, shop online when you can, don’t stress too much about it and don’t forget to gift yourself something!

∼♥∼

In Favour of The Dress

The Dress.

I’m going to put myself on the line and say that the majority of us wouldn’t choose to wear a dress on a regular basis… not outside of the summer months anyway.  With all the many ‘hats’ we wear, trousers, jeans and all manner of leggings are THE ‘go-to’ items of both comfort and choice.  Agreed!

That said, now and then an occasion requires we shed our trusty trew’s… enter THE DRESS.

Over the past few months a few have made their way into my wardrobe, so, in a salute to ‘legless’ dressing, here are three styles and how you might be able to incorporate similar looks into your wardrobe.

DISCLAIMER: Photos were taken in the warmer Autumn weather; the moment it drops below 10°c, all bets are off.  Thickest jumpers, thermals and trousers win every time.

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The Transitional Dress.  Purchased at the end of Summer when I couldn’t stand the thought of abandoning my bright clothes for the ‘darks’ of Autumn/Winter – this green is a great colour more suited to Autumn and Spring months.

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You’ve possibly already got this dress in your wardrobe but will get more wear out of it if you can find a cosy wool cardigan (this one’s mohair) to go with it.  Both are still available here at ATTIC Womenswear.

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The Box Dress. Highly aweful name but highly kind in character.  Box dresses are so-called owing to their looser-fit which mean they are very easy to wear.  This silk number from All Saints has a sheer drop-hem in the back for added detail.  When you want to wear a dress but don’t want anything tight, this style is a relaxed winner yet still great for evening (more so in a silky fabric) when you add heels, jewellery… perhaps a fur stole and you’re away to go.

The Day Dress 1

Alternatively, grunge it up a bit with some rugged boots and leather jacket.

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Finally, this navy number makes the cut because it could easily be worn for a day meeting or evening party when worn with the right accessories.  This fitted style won’t be for everyone but this is the kind of old faithful you’d have in your wardrobe for years.  Autograph M&S are to thank for this, there’s slight ruching round the waist and being lined, it feels warm. Wear with a suit jacket for a meeting or heels, bold statement jewellery a great fur scarf for evening.

Et voila – let me know your thoughts.  Now then… it’s raining today…where’s my jeans?

∼♥∼ 

 

 

 

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