Home Sweet Home

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Today marks a very major milestone for me: the Clever Boyfriend and I just bought our very first house!

Well, ‘house‘ is probably a polite exaggeration. Really, it is a teeny tiny apartment (which by Cambridge standards probably equates to a sprawling estate in other, less spatially-challenged cities), but it is right in the city, on the top floor, filled with light, minutes from the station (so I can be in central London within the hour), and even has a little balcony (roughly the size of a postage stamp) for planting herbs and having morning papers and brunch outside on weekends.

But, most importantly, it is all ours!

As a compulsive over-sharer, it has taken all my restraint to keep this quiet until now. But conscious of how drawn-out and boring these things can be, and for fear of things falling through at the last minute, I didn’t want to share the news until we’d signed that big stack of paperwork (so.much.paperwork).

We complete and collect the keys next week, and then have less than a week to move, set up, and gather an entire house worth of furniture, fittings and accessories before we leave our current place (all while holding down our day jobs). The timeline and ‘to do’ list gives a mild control freak like me palpitations (eg. I don’t even know where to start with setting up a wardrobe system to fit the space…), but I am so excited to get stuck in and to turn that blank, empty canvas into a cosy little space that feels like our very own home.

I hope you won’t all mind me adding a new interiors section to the blog (to share the stages as I go, as well as new treasures I discover and love), but please do let me know if you have any comments, questions, suggestions for wonderful places to buy treasures for the home, or first-house-buying wisdom of your own!

Love, Miss B xx

 

7 Things To Do In July

A Girl, A Style _ July

1. Have a weekend adventure. Plan a fun day or weekend trip with your best friends. Spend the day at the coast, explore another city nearby, or escape to the countryside. I’m planning a weekend in Oxford and a trip to the English seaside with girlfriends.

2. Stop to smell the roses (both literally and figuratively). This is one of the most beautiful times of the year, so don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful moments; the feel of the breeze on a hot day, the beauty of a summertime sunset, the smell of the roses that bloom in the gardens you pass on your way home.

3. Buy yourself a fabulous pair of sunglasses, in honour of the sunshine. I’ve been wearing my favourite Karen Walker pair on repeat, and they magically seem to make every outfit a little bit better.

4. Take in an outdoor show. Make the most of these precious, sunny evenings and get a cultural fix outside. On my schedule: Shakespeare in a secret college garden at sunset (one of my favourite annual Cambridge traditions), jazz in the park and watching a movie beneath the stars at an outdoor cinema. (Take a blanket, a picnic and someone to snuggle up to.)

5. Spend a sunny afternoon dreaming + making plans. As we are now half-way through the year (!), now is the perfect opportunity to step back and assess how the year is going. Find a window in your schedule one afternoon, settle in a shady spot outside, and spend a peaceful moment just watching the clouds as they lazily float by. Think about the goals you set at the start of the year, about how this year has been thus far, and about the dreams you have for the rest of the year. Make plans to set in motion the actions you need to take to make those dreams a reality (and to make the rest of this year as great as it can be).

6. Surprise someone you adore with a thoughtful letter. Instead of just emailing, take the time to write a beautifully-penned letter or put together a thoughtful package to brighten up someone’s letter box. (I stock up on gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. notecards in the Selfridges stationery hall; they make letter-writing a joy.)

7. Hunt down the best gelato in town. Work your way through all the best ice cream places in town to find your favourite (because what’s summer without ice cream?). Personally, I’m still trying to find a version in London that is as good as the orange blossom gelato from Cibo in Adelaide, Australia and the apricot sorbet from Maison Berthillon in Paris.

I’d love to hear how you plan to make the most of the month!

Love, Miss B xx

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for my daily updates + adventures!

 

Sunday Girl

A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 3A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 6 Summer weekends: surely two of the most beautiful words in the English language. For this, the first weekend of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, I had a blissfully relaxed schedule filled only with the sort of pleasing pastimes that make the weekend feel wonderful. On Saturday, the Clever Boyfriend and I went for bike rides and burritos at our favourite Mexican place, before a long stroll through a few of the grand colleges and a Saturday matinee at the charming little ADC theatre (if you’re in Cambridge and get a chance to see the Footlights perform, you simply must go; I guarantee they’ll have you in fits of giggles!). A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 2A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 7A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl Yesterday, I met my friend (and A Girl, A Style sidekick) Sophie for brunch at Afternoon Tease (one of my favourite little Cambridge cafés; anywhere that carries Frankie magazine, peonies on the tables and an abundance of homemade cake is alright in my book). I say brunch, but really it was one of those long, languid afternoon dates that ease into the early evening. We talked for hours and hours about good books, happiness and everything in between over the best eggs Florentine and iced coffees in town. Eventually, we tore ourselves away at closing time, parted ways and I cycled off home with that glorious summer sunshine on my face, Phoenix in my ears and a basket full of peonies. Summer Sundays, you are my favourite! A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 4A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 5

Wearing: French Connection dress c/- (also now on sale at ASOS + John Lewis) // Chanel 2.55 bag // Karen Walker sunglasses (also available in black at Shopbop) // Kenneth Jay Lane bracelets (sold out, but similar styles at J. Crew Shopbop) // ASOS necklace (sold out, but similar style available at J. Crew + Net-a-Porter) // J. Crew pearl necklace (also available in a less-expensive faux pearl version) // Mimco bangle // Miu Miu ring (now on sale at Net-a-Porter) // Zara heels (sold out, but similar style available at ASOS). Also pictured on table (Sophie’s): pink Karen Walker sunglasses (sold out, but similar styles available at Shopbop + ASOS) // GAP palm print clutch (I loved it so much I just ordered the same one from here). Beauty details: Estee Lauder ‘bare’ nail polish (available at John Lewis + Debenhams) // NARS ‘Roman Holiday’ lipstick (available at ASOS + Sephora

I hope you all had a blissful weekend! I’d love to hear how you fill your summer weekends.

Love, Miss B xx

 

How to be Fabulous Each Morning (in 15 Minutes)

A Girl, A Style _ How to be Fabulous

I don’t know about you, but during the week, I never have the luxury of being able to take my time getting ready. If I want more than half an hour to get ready, then I have to either forgo sleep or get to the office late (and frankly, I’d rather lie in bed for those blissful ten minutes after my alarm goes off than spend time styling my hair). Needless to say, I’m by now an expert in getting out that door as quickly as possible, without turning into a frazzled, grumpy mess.

The secret to leaving the house feeling your best? Leave ten minutes to do your makeup (more if you can spare it) and always do a few things that feel leisurely and fun, no matter how rushed you are (for me that’s taking a few minutes to put on a soundtrack to listen to while I’m getting ready, make a quick + healthy breakfast to have while I’m doing my makeup, and always remembering my lipstick, perfume and jewels: those finishing touches that make me feel ‘done’).

Here’s how I do it when I’ve got 15 minutes flat:

One minute: Turn on music that makes me want to have a dance party in the bathroom (hello, Motown!). Brew coffee/put fruit in the blender. Jump in the shower (Jo Malone shower gel starts the morning off right), brush teeth + sing badly.

Four minutes: Quick face routine + slather on body moisturiser (+ sunscreen if it’s summer). Get coffee/juice, giggle at my boyfriend’s silly jokes.

Six minutes: Dry shampoo (Batiste is the best bargain in my beauty arsenal) + quickly run a GHD or tongs through the front and ends of my hair. Twist hair into a bun while it’s still warm to set while I’m getting ready.

Eight minutes: When I’m short on time, I focus on perfecting my complexion and adding a pop of colour. I start with BB cream all over + long-wear foundation and concealer where I need it.

Ten minutes: Add a glow (I like Nars illuminator around the cheek/browbones, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow), lightly buff bronzer into the cheekbones/temples/jawline) then a pop of peachy blush on the cheeks.

Eleven minutes: Add a flick of liquid liner (I’ve tried them all, and this Stila marker version is absolutely the best; foolproof and SO fast), fill in brows and a wash of pearly/bronze shadow if you have a moment.

Twelve minutes: Spritz on perfume (this Jo Malone version is my current favourite), undo hair (shake out waves or pin back into a loose undo), and get dressed in something that makes you feel fantastic.

Fourteen minutes: Add a dash of sparkle (if in doubt, add a statement necklace or a pair of fabulous earrings). Do a twirl + turn off Motown soundtrack.

Fifteen minutes: Grab handbag, do a quick outfit check, smile and go!

In transit: Add a coat of mascara and a pop of bright lipstick on the bus/train/at the lights if you ran out of time at home (ie. these are the only two acceptable steps to do in public; never your whole makeup routine). Write your ‘to do’ list for the day (be sure to include something just for you/that makes you smile). Spend the morning being pulled-together + fabulous!

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Pictured (L-R): Nars ‘Turkish Delight’ lipgloss // Anthropologie monogrammed mug (from Nicolette) //  BaubleBar earrings c/- (similar style available at Shopbop) // Nars ’413 BLKR’ illuminator c/- // Nars ‘New Attitude’ blush.

Do you have any tips for getting-fabulous-quick each morning?

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. By popular request, I’m bringing back Beauty Wednesday each fortnight. Do you have any requests for future beauty posts? Let me know in the comments below or via Twitter / Instagram!