7 Things for the Weekend

A Girl, A Style _ Weekends in the Park
Pictured: hat // book // sunglasses // dress // sandals // bracelet

Summer has finally arrived here in England, so I’m trying to make the most of every free hour. This weekend will involve bike rides, lazing in the park with my love, and Sunday brunch and a trip to the flower market with my friend. I wish these long balmy days could last forever.

1. Last weekend, after a late Saturday night at a glittering Cambridge ball, we spent all of Sunday afternoon lazing in the Botanical Gardens. We packed a little picnic, found a peaceful corner, and spent hours and hours just reading beside each other beneath the shade of a big tree. I started The Versions Of Us (which had been sitting in my ‘to read’ pile for at least a year) and haven’t been able to put it down since (bonus points for being set in Cambridge). It’s meant to be lovely all weekend, so I know where I’ll be tomorrow morning…

2. How are your 2016 goals and resolutions going? We’ve over half-way through the year, so now is the perfect time to assess how things are going and put in motion actions to get where you want to be by the time the year is out. Personally, I’m trying to have more spontaneous adventures and travel more often, get better at balancing every part of my life, and actually turn up to barre class every week.

3. Do you need a palm-print teapot? Of course not. But it sure beats a sad tea bag in a mug. I ordered this one recently and it makes me smile every time I use it (and I’m pretty sure I score bonus adult points for actually using a teapot).

4. Business in the front, party in the back: obviously I’m going to need these cute little ankle-strap pumps for work (and weekends, and everywhere in between…)

5. Ok, I probably need a Self Portrait intervention but, well, it’s just so very lovely (and the quality of labels triple the price). I just added this blouse to my collection and it’s true sartorial love.

6. Have you read Lena Dunham’s piece on our addiction to apologising? Even though I know that as a woman it’s incredibly disempowering to say ‘sorry’ a hundred times a day – sorry for having an opinion, sorry when someone else is rude to me, and sorry for one of the many balls I’ve failed to juggle that day (not seeing my friends enough, not leaving the office early enough to spend any time with my fiancé, forgetting to do something important) – it’s a habit I have trouble shaking. Do you say sorry more than you should?

7. We’ve lived in our place for exactly two years now, yet still most of our walls are completely naked. So I’ve resolved to finally set about getting all my pictures framed (including my beloved Gray Malin aerial prints) and putting up a gallery wall.

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: The best little white dress + coffee dates in Notting Hill
Life: On freedom, love and politics
Style: Punting on the River Cam with friends

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

 

On Freedom, Politics and Love

A Girl, A Style _ Politics and Love

Hi lovelies! Apologies for the radio silence around these parts the past couple of weeks. Following a glorious week in Italy (more on that later), I spent every waking hour campaigning for the EU referendum here in the UK (for unglamorous proof, see here), and every day since trying to find the words and come to terms with the enormity of what has happened.

Most of you will know I work in politics by day, so caring about what is going on is literally my job.  But the past week was on another level, and even Lord Dobbs would probably dismiss the events that ensued as too far-fetched a plotline for a season of House of Cards.

For those outside the UK trying to grasp exactly what ‘Brexit’ means and what on earth is going on, in summary: against the warnings of just about every economist, expert and world-leader the UK public voted to leave the European Union (a result no one predicted or expected), the global economy immediately went into freefall (the £ tumbled to its lowest level in 40 years and three trillion $ was immediately wiped off the international market), the ‘Leave’ camp retracted their main campaign promises within hours of claiming victory (as ‘not actually possible’), internal party warfare even stranger than fiction (seriously; you couldn’t make up the events of this week in Westminster) broke out in both the Government and Opposition parties immediately afterwards, the breakup of Great Britain seems highly likely (Scotland have said they now want to leave and Ireland is considering reunification, leaving just England and Wales), and no one can predict quite what will happen next or when we will regain stability. In short, we’re in the midst of the greatest crisis of identity for generations.

For me, the most worrying part of all of this is the rise of extreme nationalism and the resulting deep division that has emerged in the UK since the vote; at the moment, it feels like we’re a country divided like no other point in recent history. I, like most, had assumed that these sentiments were confined to the far-right fringes of society, but the result proves that is not the case. Nor is it confined to the UK; last week’s vote just echoes the political and ideological shifts happening elsewhere in the US and many parts of Europe.

And let’s be honest, for many, hate is a powerful political motivator; hate of that which we cannot understand, of those who are different to us, or of ways of life unlike our own. But I like to think there is something more important than hatred: love. Whether it be in the form of compassion, generosity, equality or tolerance (for those the same, different, or less fortunate than us), love is worth so much more than hatred, and must be defended accordingly.

We have made great progress and strides towards kindness and equality, but there is still much more to be done. We are extremely fortunate to at last be in a place where the right to vote is almost universal (though let us not forget that there are still too many countries where free and fair elections are not the norm), and we have a democratic duty to treat that vote with respect.

So, what’s my point exactly? Principally this: we can’t just sit by and wait for others to fix the problems or injustices we see around us, or assume that things will always be alright in the end. While young people will be the most affected by the outcome of this referendum for generations to come, only 36% of 18-24 year olds actually turned out to vote. Put simply, that means 2/3 didn’t actually make the effort to have a say in their future, so instead it was decided for them by others.

I’m constantly asked why I still maintain my day job when I could just blog full-time (and get to talk about fashion and lipstick for a living), but I went into politics for one simple reason: I wanted to make the world a better place than when I found it. Idealistic though that goal may be, it feels pretty wonderful to know I’m getting stuck in and fighting for what I believe in (after all, I have no right to complain about the result if I didn’t fight for the cause). So if you care about something and want to see change, be that change: campaign for a cause you believe in, write to your MP/Congressman/Senator, join the political party you most identify with and help shape things from the inside, and above all, register and vote. We must not sit by and allow others to decide our future for us, and we must not be complacent and assume that reason will always win out in the end; it will only if we make it so.

So, go forth and vote! 

Love, Miss B xx

 

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