7 Things for the Weekend

A Girl, A Style _ What's In My Chanel BagPictured (clockwise from top): Chanel bag // Tom Ford sunglasses c/- Vision Direct // Luxe Guide to Paris // J.Crew crystal earrings // YSL Touche Eclat // Fresh ‘Sugar’ tinted lip balm // Diptyque Eau de Sens perfume // Chanel brooch // Chanel ‘L’Eclatante’ lipstick.

Bonjour! We’re just back from a week in Paris where we had the most wonderful time. Even though it rained solidly for four out of our six days there (meaning we had to cancel our planned day trips to Versailles and Giverny), it was still pretty much perfect. We went to all our favourite places for tea and desert (and then walked and walked all over the city to work it off), spent hours in galleries, and lazed in the beautiful gardens when the weather was kind.

I’m not even going to bother packing away my suitcase, because in another week we’re off to Italy! My fiancé has a conference in Bologna, so I’ve invited myself along to explore the nearby cities whilst he’s in lectures (I’m thinking of day tripping to Florence and Verona), with a few days together in Venice at the end. Please send all your Italian recommendations my way!

1. If you haven’t already, do a new-season wardrobe stocktake: pack away all your out of season clothes, go through all your current-season items to be sure they definitely still deserve a place in your closet (my qualifying criteria: it must be a) loved, b) worn often, c) flattering, d) still in good repair), take any clothes or shoes that need refreshing to the drycleaner/cobbler, and replace any worn-out or missing essentials.

2. I recently bought this dress (looks just like Chanel, but at a fraction of the price) to wear in Paris, but it was so rainy it sat in my suitcase unworn. Thankfully it will look just as cute in Italy next week as it will for brunch dates and bike rides in London.

3. I love anything orange blossom scented, and this new Diptyque perfume is the perfect iteration for summer. Crisp and fresh (and not at all sickly), it is perfect for long summer days (or just those days that could use a little more sunshine).

4. J.Crew jewels are my weakness, and these perfect crystal earrings (that go with literally every outfit I own) and dahlia necklace (full disclosure: I also bought the matching bracelet) might be my favourite jewellery acquisitions so far this year.

5. Coupled-up? 13 questions to ask your significant other before getting married, via the New York Times (I would also add: “Have you ever contemplated voting for Donald Trump?” to that list…)

6. I would quite happily own everything Kate Spade ever made but, for the sake of being a responsible adult, usually practice restraint. But when I bought these salt + pepper shakers as a hostess gift for a friend last week, they were so especially cute I ended up getting another set for myself (and hurray for the fact that Kate Spade homewares are now stocked in the UK at John Lewis!)

7. Because it is seemingly raining everywhere in the world right now (what summer?), make the most of the mini-autumn and indulge in all your favourite indoor pursuits. Perhaps a romantic date at a cosy little bistro, a visit to a new exhibition, or a low-fi date at home with new books and old movies (I’m just about to dive into this one, in attempt to deal with my sense of always feeling overwhelmed).

P.S. Don’t forget you can follow me over on InstagramTwitterPinterest and Facebook for daily updates.

As always, please do let me know what you’re currently buying, doing or enjoying in the comments below (I always love reading your favourites).  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Love, Miss B xx

7 Things for the Weekend

A Girl, A Style _ Tom Ford Cherry Lush Lipstick

Tom Ford ‘Cherry Lush’ lipstick // Kate Spade ‘All in Good Taste’ book

I honestly don’t know where this week went. After a whirlwind trip to The Netherlands for work the other day, my stepmother came to stay from Australia last weekend so I was busy playing tourist after work all week. It’s going to be a rainy weekend here in England (April showers do get me down), so I have a pretty low-key weekend plans of spring cleaning + organising my wardrobe, going to see a movie, and getting my hair done (I’m so very rock and roll).

1. I don’t know about you, but a single red lipstick seems to last me for years. So when you purchase the same one for the third time, you know it’s a winner. My friend Tania first introduced me to the excellence of Tom Ford ‘Cherry Lush‘ – the perfect true red shade – about 8 years ago, and I’ve been loyal to it ever since.

2. I am always on the hunt for the perfect breton striped top; it must be white -not cream – and navy, slim enough that it doesn’t look as though I have literally stolen it from a French fisherman – but not skin tight, and just the right thickness so that it’s flattering and doesn’t stretch out in the wash (I’m so demanding, I know). I ordered this one last week and I think the search might finally be over!

3. Now is the perfect time to pack away all your winter boots and shoes and bring out your summer footwear. While you’re at it, take the time to clean them all and take any which need new soles or heels to the cobbler. If you haven’t worn them at all in the past year, it’s probably time to sell them or donate them on.

4. I just rediscovered this rose beauty balm. I used to use it for years as a cleansing balm (I would take off my makeup and then leave it on in the shower for 10 minutes to work as a treatment masque) but then forgot about it. I’ve been using it every evening for the past couple of weeks and my skin is already so much softer.

5. If you’re in London, don’t miss the ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ exhibition at the Royal Academy (which ends in a few days). I went with my aunt the other week (followed by afternoon tea at Laduree on Piccadilly) and it was just breathtaking from start to finish.

6. Do you have sugar face? I’m trying really hard to minimise sugar (my one vicethough I’m realistic enough to know I’ll never cut it out completely) myself, and if the health benefits weren’t enough of a motivator, this article might just speak to your vanity.

7. I’m more of a proponent for wardrobe classics vs short-lived trends, and there’s no lovelier an icon than the white summer dress. This white cotton + lace version is practically perfect in every way (bonus points for the budget-friendly price tag), and is sure to accompany me on many summer adventures.

P.S. Don’t forget you can follow me over on InstagramTwitterPinterest and Facebook for daily updates + catch my latest posts (in case you missed them) here: 
Travel: 36 Hours in Holland
Beauty: 5 Rules for Waking Up Prettier
Style: Bow & Arrow

As always, please do let me know what you’re buying, doing or enjoying this week in the comments below (I always love reading your favourites).  I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!

Love, Miss B xx

 

7 Things for the Weekend

A Girl, A Style _ 7 Things

Pictured: Deborah Lippmann nail polish in ‘Blue Orchid‘ // Alex Monroe ring 

Honestly, this week flew by in a complete blur and I didn’t do anything aside from work, so I’m looking forward to the long weekend and having a few days off with my family in London before an even busier week ahead. Next Thursday I’m off to The Hague for work (it will be my first time there and I can’t wait to see the Binnenhof and visit the Girl With a Pearl Earing at the Maurithuis gallery), and then will have a few hours to myself in Amsterdam before my flight home Friday night (I haven’t been since I was small, so all tips and suggestions for things to see and do in Amsterdam or The Hague gratefully received).

1. Whether you celebrate Easter or not, it’s the perfect time to indulge in the traditions of the season; buy a big bunch of spring flowers (I love pink hyacinths and perfumed white narcissi), paint your nails a pretty easter pastel hue, and eat all the chocolate eggs and hot cross buns (Marks & Spencer’s toffee & belgian chocolate chip buns are a revelation) you can manage. And then work it off with a long walk somewhere beautiful.

2. I am a huge fan of London label Self Portrait. I bought two of their dresses last year and they’re both so beautiful and of such great quality (without being wildly expensive) that I just added another two to my wardrobe for spring/summer: this black one (I love midi-length and the ribbon ties), and also the blue version of this white one I bought last summer (it also comes in blush, yellow and mint).

3. It’s going to be raining all long weekend in England, so I’m taking my Aunt and Cousin to see the garden exhibit at the Royal Academy (I tried to go with my friend Grace while she was in town last month, but it was completely booked out), followed by tea at Laduree or Fortnum & Mason afterwards. The French Impressionists are my favourite, so I can’t wait to see all those works by Monet, Renoir and Matisse.

4. After sitting in my cart for months, I finally pulled the trigger and bought these GHD tongs (before I’d just try to curl my hair with my straighteners, but the style would never last all day). It’s completely changed my morning routine and it looks like I’ve had a blow-dry every day (even though I really need to get to the salon).

5. I nearly completely burned myself out when I turned 30 – mostly under the weight of my own expectations for myself – so this article definitely resonated: ‘Why Millennial Women Are Burning Out‘ (can you relate?)

6. I have a weakness for anything monogrammed and which looks like it might belong in a Parisian apartment, so just bought a set of these cute little coasters for our coffee table.

7. I’ve been making a point of reading for half an hour before bed (instead of just coming home late from work, working through an enormous to-do list and then falling into bed exhausted) and it has made such a difference to my stress levels. Whenever I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by my schedule, commitments or just ‘stuff’ in general, I re-read this rather excellent book and it reminds me to take charge of my own happiness. Does the trick every time!

P.S. Don’t forget you can follow me over on InstagramTwitterPinterest and Facebook for daily updates + catch my latest posts (in case you missed them) here: 
Style: Bow & Arrow
Lifestyle: On Blogging Alongside My Career
Style: Je’Taime Jane

As always, please do let me know what you’re buying, doing or enjoying this week in the comments below (I always love reading your favourites).  I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!

Love, Miss B xx

 

A Little Life Update: On Blogging Alongside a Career

A Girl, A Style _ Westminster Louboutins

It’s been a while since my last life update, so I thought I’d share the latest. As many of you will know, I have worked full time in politics the whole time I’ve had this blog (over 6 years – how time flies); first as a government policy advisor on domestic affairs, then as a parliamentary advisor to a Cabinet Minister for five years (until my boss retired from Parliament last year), and now at a policy consultancy.

I don’t deny that politics and lifestyle blogging are a strange combination. While most other bloggers either have complementary jobs (usually in fashion or beauty), or eventually give up their jobs altogether to become full-time bloggers, I have always been somewhat of an anomaly amongst my peers for having (and maintaining) two such disparate roles. For a long while I struggled with being both at once – fearing my colleagues in politics would dismiss me as frivolous whilst thinking my blogging industry peers didn’t see me as a ‘real blogger’ even though my readership numbers were just as good as theirs (I’d always have to skip daytime events and then rush to evening events straight from Parliament, to the bemusement of everyone else).

And then I came to realise that just like I always relate more to bloggers who, like me, hold down full time careers alongside their blogs*, I like to think that having a career separate to this blog makes me similarly relatable to my readers (I know that most of you are not yourselves full-time bloggers; I receive more emails from readers asking for career advice each week than I do about any other subject).

So I decided to ignore Sheryl Sandberg and Lean Sideways in my career (not quite as catchy, I’ll admit). After endlessly feeling guilty that I was too burned out after long days at work to find the creative energy to blog, but not wanting to just give up the career I’ve worked in for over a decade (and spent six years at university working towards), I made the decision to ignore a promotion this time in favour of taking Fridays off to work on my blog and creative projects from now on. My peers in Westminster would probably consider this career suicide (in politics you’re no one unless you’re the top of the game, which includes being available to your boss and journalists 24/7); but because I don’t know anyone else in the blogosphere with my strange career combination, I’ve decided to make my own rules.

And I couldn’t be more excited! I still won’t be able to blog daily like my full-time peers, but you can expect considerably more regular updates from me from now on.

So, as always, please let me know if there are any specific topics you’d like me to cover more from now on. Do you want to see more outfits and personal style? Beauty? Lifestyle and advice? Home and interiors? And I know so many of you want to know more about careers advice, so please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll cover all of them in a separate post.

Have any of you ‘leaned sideways’ at any point in your career? Do you work and blog at the same time? I’d love to read your advice, tips and questions in the comments below!

Love, Miss B xx

*(…inspiring women like Krystal from This Time Tomorrow, who works at Google, Blair from Atlantic Pacific who works at Tory Burch, Kristina who is an anesthesiologist (!), and my good friend Nicolette Mason, who is an editor at Marie Claire and spends countless hours championing equality in fashion.)