Breton Stripes & Boyfriend Jeans

A Girl, A Style _ Breton Stripes + Boyfriend Jeans 2  A Girl, A Style _ Breton Stripes + Boyfriend Jeans 6

Summer is on its way out in England, and I’m trying to make the most of these last balmy evenings before they disappear for the year. Of all my beloved Cambridge pastimes, there is little I adore more than lazy summer evenings spent idling on the River Cam. At Kings (the grandest of all the colleges), the river bank is not accessible to the general public, so we usually have the entire stretch of bank to ourselves.

Often, I’ll meet the Clever Boyfriend there after work, and we will have a picnic for supper, stretched out on the grass with cheese and strawberries from the market and some bread to feed to the resident swans (who always come to say hello).

A Girl, A Style _ Breton Stripes + Boyfriend Jeans 8A Girl, A Style _ Breton Stripes + Boyfriend Jeans 4A Girl, A Style _ Breton Stripes + Boyfriend Jeans 5

As we sit there together in the shade of the willow trees – the Kings chapel swooping into the sunset in front of us, the college cows grazing in the grass behind, and the punts floating up the river at our feet – it always feels more like a perfect literary moment from an entirely different era than real life.

A Girl, A Style _ Breton Stripes + Boyfriend Jeans 9A Girl, A Style _ Breton Stripes + Boyfriend Jeans 7

Wearing: Petit Bateau top c/- (also available at Urban Outfitters) // Current Elliott boyfriend jeans (also available at ASOS + Net-a-Porter) // Chanel bag // Mulberry heels (past season but similar style here + here) // Miu Miu sunglasses (also available at Bloomingdale’s + John Lewis) // J. Crew pearls (also available in a less-expensive faux pearl version) // J. Crew crystal necklace // Bauble Bar necklace c/- // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl bracelet (sold out, but similar style available at J. Crew + Shopbop) // Mimco bracelet (past season).
Beauty note: Chanel ‘Extatique’ lipstick // NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush (also available at John Lewis) // Essie ‘Muchi Muchi’ nail polish (also available at Target + Liberty). 

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Beth Morton

How to Make a Sick Day Better

A Girl, A Style _ How to Make a Sick Day Better

As a bona-fide Type A personality, I struggle with the notion of being forced out of action by something as mundane as being sick. But it happens to us all, and sometimes, you just have to admit defeat and call in sick to the world for a day. Here’s my guide to making it as good as can be (NB: none of this is ground-breaking advice, but we can probably all do with a little reminder to slow down when we need to):

1. Ditch the guilt + woe. If you’re anything like me, sick days will inevitably induce feelings of guilt (“but I don’t have time to be sick! There is so much to do!” etc. etc.) or self-pity. Getting sick is your body’s way of telling you to slow down, so listen and do as it says. Guilt-free. (No one will congratulate you for forcing yourself to work when you’re an incubus of germs anyway)

2. Take care of yourself. Your body will be devoting all of its energy to getting better. Help it along by wrapping up warm, taking the medicine/remedies you need and getting plenty of fluids and healthy nutrients. Tea, soup and orange juice were invented for days like this!

3. Get cosy. You’re not leaving the house all day (really, no one else wants your germs), so get comfortable! Fluff the pillows, change into your favourite pyjamas, and fix yourself a tray of healthy snacks, tissues, medicine and supplies so you don’t have to move more than you want to.

4. Rest. You’re home for a reason, so give your body what it needs and spend the day doing as little as possible. Go straight back to bed after breakfast, have a nap every few hours or just rest as long as you need (no guilt allowed).

5. Indulge in a little escapism. There is no point even attempting anything energetic, so spend the day as peacefully as possible. When I’m feeling horrid, I like to escape with a happiness-inducing book, some light-hearted TV or an old-favourite movie (avoid anything too intense or cerebral, or you’ll just fall asleep anyway).

A Girl, A Style _ How to Make a Sick Day Better 2

Pictured: (Top) John Lewis bed // Marks & Spencer lamp // White Company bedding // Diptyque candle // Aerin fragrance // (Bottom) Warby Parker ‘Huxley’ glasses // Anthropologie monogrammed mug (a gift from Nicolette). 

6. Pamper. You’ll probably feel dehydrated, achey and flat, so a little nurturing won’t hurt. I try to take a long bubble bath (the heat eases aches and pains and the steam will help clear your sinuses), slather on a face oil before climbing back into bed (to combat parched, dull skin), and a healing balm to soothe dry lips and nostrils. A spritz of face mist during the day and a few drops of relaxing lavender oil on an oil burner also work wonders.

7. Tidy up a little. No matter how sick you are, wallowing will only make you feel worse. Open the window and spend five minutes collecting all the tissues, straightening your room and washing a few dishes. The outer order will improve your mood, if nothing else.

8. Indulge in small pleasures. Don’t waste your precious energy on anything elaborate, but now is the time to indulge in a few of your favourite small pleasures to cheer you up. I like to light a few candles (even if I can’t smell a thing, it lifts the mood of the room – just don’t fall asleep with them lit!), have a piece of dark chocolate and make a pot of my favourite Laduree tea. Such pleasures certainly won’t cure any ailments, but they will make you feel a little rosier.

9. Do one small task. even though I only take sick days when I’m so unwell I’m physically incapable of leaving the house, I struggle with productivity-guilt if I do nothing with my day. I find it helps if I do at least one tiny task. Now is not the time to do anything requiring sharp focus or decisiveness. Tidy a junk drawer, file a stack of paperwork or clean out your medicine cabinet.

10. Go back to bed! Just when you’ve spent the day resting, go back to bed and sleep some more. Hopefully, you’ll wake up feeling like yourself again (and if not: rinse and repeat tomorrow!).

How do you try to make the most of a sick day?

Love, Miss B xx

Pictures via my Instagram (because who whips out a DSLR when they’re sick?!)

Botanical Blooms & Cambridge Garden Parties

A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 3A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party

One of my favourite things about summer in Cambridge is the abundance of fabulous events that fill the calendar. The end of term May Balls (actually held in June) where the colleges are transformed into glittering all-night soirees that would make Gatsby proud, games of croquet on the lawns, Shakespeare plays in the college gardens and grand garden parties for the fellows.

The other evening - in the middle of our house-moving weekend – the Clever Boyfriend (a fellow at Kings) and I took the night off to attend the annual Kings College summer party. We put on our party clothes and cycled on our way (as any Cambridge worth their salt knows, this is the only real way to arrive at a college event) to be greeted by a college all decked out for an evening of celebration.

A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 4A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 5A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 6

There was champagne on the lawn, a candlelight supper in the great dining hall, games of Russian roulette in the library, a jazz band in the garden and a magnificent explosion of fireworks on the river.

There really is no affair quite like a Cambridge party.

A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 2

Wearing: Warehouse dress c/- (also available at ASOS + on sale at John Lewis) // Anya Hindmarch clutch bag (also on sale in gold at TheOutnet) // Miu Miu heels // Karen Walker sunglasses (also available in black) // Lulu Frost earrings (sold out, but similar style available at Net-a-PorterJ. Crew + Shopbop) // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl bracelet (sold out, but similar style available at J. Crew + Shopbop) // Mimco bracelet (old).
Beauty note: NARS ‘Angelika’ gloss (also available at Sephora + John Lewis) // Clinique ‘Curvy Candy’ Chubby Stick (also available at House of Fraser + Nordstrom) // NARS ‘Gaiety’ blush (also available at SelfridgesJohn Lewis) // Deborah Lippmann ‘Shape of my Heart’ nail polish (also available at Bloomingdale’s + Neiman Marcus). 

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Beth Morton

Home Sweet Home

20140707-091417 pm-76457270.jpg
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