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

 

7 Things For the Weekend

A Girl, A Style: Cafe Bonaparte, Paris

Bonjour! I’m writing this from a little café on Rue Saint Honoré in Paris where I’ve escaped for an impromptu weekend away. My friend Grace is in town from New York and invited me to to join her for a weekend adventure together. The sun is shining and we have no plans other than to visit a few galleries (we’re staying next to the Louvre) and do as many of our favourite Parisian things as we can manage (sincere apologies in advance for the inevitable macaron spam on Instagram).

French pastries aside, here’s my roundup of suggestions for the week ahead:

1. Make a date with your favourite gallery-loving friend to see an exhibition near you. Grace and I went to see the David Hockney exhibition at Tate Britain after work on Wednesday and it was marvellous. Although I had hoped to see the full collection of his portraits, I adored seeing the evolution of his style and the exquisite explosion of colour (his Malibu series – set against a pink backdrop – is a particularly good antidote to a rainy day). If you’re a fellow art enthusiast and in London between now and the end of May, be sure to go and see it.

2. I’ve just finished re-reading this book, and it’s the perfect bedtime read (for when you can’t face anything too intellectually-demanding). I love the idea of setting your own happiness project each month and figuring out what works best for you (my January theme was ‘family’, February is ‘what I love’, and March will be ‘organising’).

3. I loved this post by my friend Carly on how to meet people. I remember the anguish I felt when I first moved to Cambridge and realised that aside from my boyfriend (with whom I moved), all my friends were now on the other side of the world in Australia. Great advice for any fellow-introverts and those who find themselves alone in a new city.

4. Try a new workout. I confess that after life got in the way over Christmas, I completely fell out of my exercise routine the past couple of months and am now struggling to get back in the swing of things (nothing more demoralising than realising you can only lift half the weights you could a couple of months ago). So I’m shaking things up with some cute new trainers, some different classes and a weekly trainer in between to keep my motivation up.

5. If you haven’t already, start planning a spring adventure. I’m thinking of heading to New York with my aunt and cousin for some much-needed happy family time up after losing my beloved uncle to cancer last month. A picnic in Central Park, tea at the Plaza, an afternoon at the Met and a glittering Broadway show seem like a good cure for the blues. (P.S. If you’re also heading that way, this is my favourite guide to NYC).

6. I know there’s still two months of winter weather remaining, but I can’t help but think of Spring days ahead. Although I won’t get to wear it for a couple of months, I just ordered this perfect blush lace midi dress (it looks like Self Portrait but is only £35) to wear the moment I can step outside sans-tights!

7. Send someone you love a surprise in the mail, for no reason other than that you appreciate them and want to make them smile. I was sent this gorgeous Jo Malone candle last week – just because – and it completely cheered me up at the end of a particularly stressful day. Now I smile every time I burn it!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Love from Paris,
Miss B xx

 

Hello, 2017!

Hello, 2017

Happy New Year* everyone!

I love the clean slate that January brings; new beginnings, a chance to reset and reflect on what did and didn’t work for us the previous year. Personally, I ditched the idea of austere resolutions years ago, and instead now try to focus on a few happiness-boosting intentions each year.

Although I have a few tangible things I need to work on (finalise my wedding planning, stop being lazy about getting to the gym, eat less sugar, and to get my anxiety-inducing stress in check), my goals for 2017 mostly focus on prioritising what makes me happiest. Hardly groundbreaking, but we could probably all do with being reminded once and a while.

So if, like me, you’re also wanting to focus on that which brings you happiness vs a set of restrictive resolutions, here are five intentions to set for the year ahead. Consider them our 2017 mantras, if you will:

1. Spread love + positivity // Choosing happiness each day, even if it’s not the easier option. Limiting negative thoughts before they escalate. Telling the people you care about how much they mean to you, often. Being kind to everyone you meet. Standing up for what is right and important in the face of injustice. 

2. Spend more time doing things you like with the people you love // Stop wasting time on things which bring little joy or serve no purpose, and instead make regular dates with the people that matter (this is so obvious that I sometimes completely forget to do it). Schedule regular dates with your friends (including making the effort to visit those further away) doing things you both enjoy. 

3. Learn + explore often // Adventure = happiness. Continuing to explore the world (both near and far) as often as possible. Travel to new places, learn about different cultures, try new things. Read as much, and as widely, as possible. Develop current talents and learn new skills. 

4. Be kinder to yourself // Stop being your own worst critic + instead be your own head cheerleader. Quit comparison and worrying about what everyone else thinks of you. Nourish + treat your body with respect. Get enough rest and quality downtime to manage stress and avoid burnout.

5. Prioritise what makes you happy + have one thing to look forward to every week // The main perk of being an adult is you don’t have to ask for permission; if you really want something, then get it. Build in small pleasures every single day. Always schedule in one bigger treat each week (dinner with a girlfriend, a theatre date, a massage…) so there’s always something to look forward to, no matter how stressful the week. Make happiness a year-round affair.

Hello, 2017!Pictured: Kate Spade agenda // West Elm ‘hello’ // West Elm lucky horseshoe // Charlotte Tilbury ‘Electric Poppy’ lipstick // J.Crew earrings.

Do you have any goals or resolutions for the year, or will you adopt any of these? I’d love to hear them! Here’s to a tremendous 2017!

Love, Miss B xx

* I realise I’m a bit slow off the mark with the whole ‘New Year’ thing. I’m never sure whether readers want to know about my personal life or not, but my beloved Uncle (who is more like my surrogate Father) was diagnosed with cancer just a few weeks before Christmas and passed away earlier this week. Truthfully, I hadn’t felt much like posting cheery posts when I was feeling heartbroken and trying to spend all my time with family in London to collectively get through it.

Shop the post:

The Perfect Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Pictured: European travel guide (I swear by the recommendations in this book) // gold bracelet c/- // brass apple candle // blueprint key dish // nude + pink lipstick // crystal earrings // lip balm c/- // crystal arrow brooch.

I’m now officially in full-on Mrs Claus mode; filling our house with twinkly lights and the sounds of Christmas music and finalising the perfect gifts for everyone on my list. Having to go near the high street or a department store in December gives me anxiety, so with the exception of a couple of foodie gifts, everything is being ordered online by the end of this week (with a hot chocolate in hand).

Speaking as someone who everyone seems to find impossible to buy for, I can say with authority that if in doubt you can’t go wrong with a beautiful candle (this is my number one favourite), a good cookbook, anything cashmere or something indulgent from the recipient’s favourite beauty brand. I usually ask my boyfriend to avoid ‘stuff’ I’ll never use and just get me nice chocolate, one of my favourite lipsticks or nail polishes, and a ticket to the ballet or theatre – wonderful!

So if you’re yet to finalise your shopping, here’s my definitive guide to the best gifts for everyone on your list.

For Her (or yourself):
I like to either buy one excellent gift – perhaps a nice pair of pyjamas (I love this classic pair and this inexpensive pair for everyday), a gorgeous piece of jewellery or new handbag for someone special – or a thoughtful set of items tailored to the recipient; a new teapot and some lovely tea for your mum, or a set of gilded coupes and a bottle of champagne for your girlfriend.

For Him:
I’m always a bit stumped when it comes to shopping for the men in my life, but never seem to go wrong with a good book (anything about science, psychology or cricket is a winner with both my fiancé and Father), dapper wardrobe essentials, some luxe (but man-friendly) toiletries, or foodie treats. This year my fiancé is getting a new cashmere sweater, face cream, and a stocking full of all his favourite small-indulgences.

For the Little Ones:
Truth be told, I’ve never really had to shop for children until recently, but suddenly all my friends seem to be either pregnant or having babies and I now feel it’s my responsibility to furnish them with cute things! I personally like to avoid anything too garish or noisy (for the sanity of the parents) and go for utterly adorable clothes or old-fashioned toys to stimulate their curiosity.

For their Stockings (+ small gifts under £20)
If you have tight budget, it’s always better to get one small but perfectly formed gift over lots of cheaper alternatives; I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be thrilled to unwrap an indulgent box of chocolates or a new version of their favourite lipstick/beauty treat. I always keep a few small pre-wrapped gifts on hand just in case I need an extra present or make last minute plans with a friend and don’t want to show up empty-handed.

I’d love to know your favourite things to give (or receive)!

Love Miss B xx