7 Things for the Weekend

Kate Spade eye mask (similar style here) // Next maribou slippers // The White Company bedlinen

My husband (still feels so weird saying that!) has a meeting in Oxford today, so I’m tagging along so that we can make a weekend of it. I’ve been many times before, but it’s one of my favourite cities and I’m excited to be having a mini escape for a couple of days. I’m looking forward to exploring all the colleges, visiting the museums, and sitting in tiny coffee shops with a book.

1 // Meet a friend for a gallery date. I always try to get to an exhibition at least once a month (we’re so lucky that all the public museums are free in the UK, meaning can pop in as often as you like), but I’ve really been binging on London’s culture the past few weeks. In the last fornight alone I’ve visited the Royal Academy for the Summer Exhibition (on until the 20th August), the National Portrait Gallery for the BP Portrait Award Exhibition (until the 24th September) and the Sir John Soanes Museum (an incredible cornucopia of treasures).

2 // Buy yourself a new dress. My diary seems to be jam-packed until the end of summer, with barely a day off until October. I ordered this dress (it might be the cutest thing I’ve bought all year) to take me everywhere from picnics and games of croquet in the park to garden parties and dinner with friends. I’ll wear it on its own with sunglasses and sandals for now, and a leather jacket and these white trainers for autumn.

3 // Treat yourself to a new perfume. I really had no need (!) for a new scent, but when I visited the Jo Malone boutique to choose my wedding fragrance, they had this candle burning. I hadn’t smelled it before but it was so gorgeous that I recently went back to buy the perfume version. I’ve been wearing it non-stop for the past week and have already been asked what I’m wearing at least once a day. It is fresh and delicious and unlike anything else I already owned.

4 // Celebrate your friends. My trans-Atlantic soul sister Nicolette and her friend Gabi launched her own plus-size clothing brand, Premme, last week and I could not be any more proud (and I made sure she knew it)! I wish I could order everything, but especially this kick-ass ‘Feminist AF’ denim jacket.

5 // Plot a winter getaway. We’re currently trying to figure out where to go on honeymoon (an African safari is currently in first place), but know we definitely want to go somewhere warm in January to escape the worst month of winter and have something to still look forward to. I can’t resist a whimsical globe, and have been spinning this one on my desk every day fantasising about all the places I want to visit.

6 // Upgrade your excess baggage. Whenever travelling or taking the train to London, I always seem to need a tote bag big enough to hold my laptop, water, book, camera, and all the other stuff I seem to need to carry around with me. I got this one at the start of summer thinking it would be great for weekends and vacations, but it’s actually so perfect for carting all my stuff around in (it’s SO sturdy and strong) that I’ve been using it practically every day. Bonus points for the French slogan and making me feel like I’ve just popped back from a week in Provence.

7 // Have a lazy Sunday morning, guilt-free. Pick up the weekend papers, brew some coffee, put on some jazz, and make your favourite brunch. Heaven!

However you’re spending it, have a lovely weekend everyone!

Love, Miss B xx

 

Married a Month!

A Girl, A Style _ We're Married

We did it!

As those of you who follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook will know, we were married a month ago today in the most beautiful ceremony at Kings College in Cambridge. So many of you sent lovely messages of congratulations and wanting to know more about the details, so whilst we wait for the photos to come back, I thought I’d share some reflections on the day.

In the interests of full disclosure and saying the things no bridal blogger ever admits, I should preface this by saying I never really pictured myself as the ‘marrying’ kind. I didn’t ever dream of a big white wedding as a young girl, probably at least in part down to the fact I didn’t have the best example set by my own parents (who divorced spectacularly after 10 years) and my subsequent fear of divorce. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against the institution of marriage per se, but it was never really a life goal of mine upon which I pinned my future happiness.

Yet despite my somewhat lukewarm feelings about getting married, none of this is to detract from my relationship – which has been a great source of happiness in my life for more than a decade. I met Mark 12.5 years ago (on New Year’s Eve), and from our very first date, we both knew we would be together for the long haul. But between two overseas moves (him to Japan, and then both of us to England), a PhD, first jobs, and buying our first home together, having a wedding just wasn’t the top priority. So we decided to go at our own happy snail’s pace until our 10th anniversary when he proposed. We had originally planned on getting married last summer (a year and a half seemed about right to give people advance notice for travel and to plan a wedding whilst working full time – without sending ourselves into a frenzy), but when we were told by King’s College that the Chapel was to be restored for much of the summer, we postponed until this summer (because it was worth waiting for and because scaffolding isn’t my vibe; not because we had cold feet!)

But as the wedding loomed, we started to get a bit overwhelmed by the stress of how much there was to do, how much of our savings we were spending (we were planning and paying for most things on our own), and by a few of the people we considered closest to us who couldn’t bring themselves to share in our joy (some of my closest family and friends showed zero interest, and my oldest friend had a meltdown both a week before and after the wedding). I confess that at one point, we both wished we had saved ourselves the stress and just eloped (and if people hadn’t already booked their flights a year in advance, we might have!)

As the day finally rolled around, it really was the most incredible experience to throw a wonderful big Cambridge party and get to declare our love for each other in front of so many people we love. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling from the moment I laid eyes on everyone in the Chapel to the moment we said our farewells, and I’ll treasure those memories always.

To be honest I’m still not a fully-fledged member of the ‘smug married’ club (in the words of Bridget Jones) just yet – I haven’t changed my name, the title ‘wife’ still makes me cringe a little, we haven’t been on honeymoon yet (we’re saving that for January), and there were so many outdated wedding traditions I chose to eschew on the day* – but we couldn’t be happier. Whilst we’ve been together so long that it doesn’t really feel any different to be married, there are definitely moments where we feel like more of an official ‘team’, and that’s a pretty great feeling.

Thank you all so much again for all your sweet messages; I read each and every one with a big smile on my face! If there’s anything in particular you want to see or know about the wedding, then please let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to share everything on here in the weeks to come.

Love, Miss B xx

* perhaps that is a subject deserving of its own post. There are so many wedding traditions that I love, but so many I just couldn’t bring myself to partake in. I asked on Twitter whether those of you who were married had chosen to keep their own names, take their partner’s name, or hyphenate the two, and I was so fascinated by all the responses on each side of the debate. 

 

Summer Picnic on the River Cam

A Girl, A Style _ Picnic at Kings College, CambridgeA Girl, A Style _ Sunday Picnic Cambridge Satchel Co Cloud Bag

Hello from Cambridge! Sincere apologies for the sporadic posting around here; this month is proving extra hectic between election campaigning (don’t forget to vote today!), wedding planning (and my inability to delegate anything), and trying to finish all my work projects in time to be be able to take a couple of weeks off to spend with friends and family (who will soon be arriving from all around the world).

Although these are all excellent reasons to be busy, it hasn’t left much room for downtime. Feeling overwhelmed and knowing my tendency to keep going until I burnout, I knew I needed to carve out a little time for self-care in the form of Vitamin D and switching off (read: ignoring my 7 inboxes for just a moment). So on the weekend amidst wedding admin at our venue, I grabbed my boyfriend, threw together a hasty picnic, and headed for the river to spend even an hour reading a book in the sunshine together.

A Girl, A Style _ Summer PicnicA Girl, A Style _ Eugenia Kim Daydreamer Straw HatA Girl, A Style _ Kings College CambridgeA Girl, A Style _ Cambridge Satchel French Blue Cloud BagA Girl, A Style _ Anthropologie Kinsey Gingham Dress

In summer I love those sunny, lazy days where you just switch off, throw on something that makes you smile, and spend the entire afternoon lazing in the park. And while this wasn’t quite one of those gloriously leisurely days, it was still exactly what I needed.

While it’s all too easy to wax lyrical about the importance of making room for fun (and I know blogs – including my own – can perpetuate this myth that everyone else is having the time of the lives whilst we’re chained to our desk / doing laundry / running around after children / etc.), sometimes even taking time out can feel like just another task on an already manageable ‘to do’ list.

But as our mini afternoon picnic reminded me, no matter how hectic things are – indeed, especially when things are hectic – it is so important to take an hour or two to just ignore everything you should be doing, get outside (instead of admiring the sunshine through your office window), and do whatever makes you feel happy. You’ll help avoid that dreaded feeling of ‘overwhelm’, make some new memories (because no amount of email-replying will do that), and come back feeling more calm and refreshed.

So here’s to us all remembering to put self-care at the top of the ‘to do’ list and carving out some indulgently lazy time every day.

A Girl, A Style _ Picnic on the River CamA Girl, A Style _ Picnic at Kings College Cambridge

Wearing: Anthropologie dress c/- (I also bought this similar version) // J.Crew sandals // Eugenia Kim hat (past season but similar style here + inexpensive version here) // Cambridge Satchel Co bag c/- (currently on 50% off here) // Anthropologie sunglasses // Kenneth Jay Lane bracelets // John Lewis picnic basket // Marks & Spencer picnic plates // H&M picnic rug (actually a linen tablecloth!)
Beauty: Deborah Lippmann ‘Naked’ nailpolish // Chantecaille ‘Sheen’ illuminator c/- // Clarins self tan (so good + smells like fig) // Charlotte Tilbury ‘Kim KW’ lipstick.

What are your best strategies for carving out downtime when your schedule threatens to overwhelm you? All tips gratefully received!

Love, Miss B xx

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Photos by Joe Galvin

7 Things for the Weekend

Joanie hat c/- (similar style here) // J.Crew bracelet // Deborah Lippmann ‘Shape of My Heart’ nail polish.

Hola from Spain! Apologies for the slightly delayed weekend post; I’m staying in a gorgeous villa in the remote hills of the Costa del Sol and wifi is scarce to say the least. We’re here for a week to celebrate the marriage of two of our best friends (who also happen to be our neighbours), and I couldn’t be more happy for a week of sunshine, downtime beside the pool, good company and excellent Spanish food. However you’re spending it, I hope you have a lovely long weekend!

1 // Celebrate the start of summer as you mean to go on. Pack a picnic, round up some of your favourite people, head to the park, the beach or your favourite place outdoors, and make some new memories.

2 // Our wedding is now less than a month away (!) so I’ve been trying out all my favourite beauty products to try to decide what I’ll wear on the day. I think I’ve finally found the *perfect* pale blush pink polish in the form of this shade from Deborah Lippmann. Next on the list: finding just the right lipstick, and deciding on the scented candles we’ll burn throughout the day.

3 // I recently bought this gorgeous breezy white dress to bring to Spain with me, and I’ve already worn it so many times. Perfect for lazy summer days, Sunday picnics, and everything in between.

4 // Between work, blogging, wedding planning and everything else, life has been a little crazy lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about shifting gear and the need to slow down post-wedding, so these tips were well-timed.

5 // One of my favourite high street stores, And Other Stories, now does stationery and it is so good! I bought this golden envelope holder to organise our mail, and it looks so charming atop a stack of books on our hallway console table.

6 // When was the last time you refreshed your sleepwear? I have rather a serious pyjama addiction; they’re one of my favourite things to buy, and I change into them the minute I get home from work. I just ordered this cute blush pink set for summer; they’re lightweight and so comfortable.

7 // Even though I’ve made a career out of it, I confess I’ve been feeling a little disillusioned by the political system of late (a subject which probably warrants it’s own separate post). But one thing I can always get behind is feminism + equal rights, and this slogan tee is both chic de la chic, and supporting a good cause (proceeds go to the UN’s Women’s Fund).

Love from Spain, Miss B xx