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

 

Farm Girl, Notting Hill

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Dress // bag // sandals // sunglasses // purse

Although we live in Cambridge, when Summer comes around we try to make the most of the warmer weather and head to London most weekends for brunch and a wander around our favourite neighbourhoods. We live just near the station, so can be from our front door to a cafe in less than an hour.

If we weren’t in Cambridge, I’d live in Notting Hill in a heartbeat. I love the leafy streets, the pretty pastel terrace houses, hunting for vintage treasures at the Portobello Road market, and settling into one of the bohemian little cafes for hours on end with brunch, the weekend papers and plenty of coffee (go on a Saturday for the markets and Friday or Sunday if you want the place to yourselves).

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After a particularly hectic couple of weeks, this weekend we made the most of the blazing sunshine and headed to Farm Girl (one of my favourite new cafes at the start of Portobello Road) for rose lattes and a stack of berry pancakes. If you’re lucky, you can get one of the pink tables (pretty much made just for Instagram) outside on a sunny day, where they don’t mind how long you loiter.

Afterwards we wandered over to Westbourne Grove to restock at Aesop and pick up a new candle for summer at Diptyque (Choisya, which smells of gorgeous orange blossom on a warm evening), and then spent the afternoon strolling those gorgeous leafy streets and imaginary house-hunting (we’ll take the big white mansion overlooking the private garden, thank you very much).

A Girl, A Style _ Farm Girl 4A Girl, A Style _ Farm GirlWearing: Boohoo lace dress (also in black) // Valentino bag // Miu Miu purse (very similar style here) // Zara sandals (old, but very similar style on sale here) // Tom Ford sunglasses // Lulu Frost crystal necklace + ring // J.Crew pearls // Michael Kors watch.
Beauty: Estee Lauder ‘Wicked Sweet’ liquid lipstick // NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush // Deborah Lippmann ‘Naked‘ nailpolish.

What are your favourite weekend traditions after a hectic week? And do share any favourite London gems that we should visit next!

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Amber-Rose

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

 

Punting on the Cam

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One sunny Bank Holiday weekend last month, my friends Liv and Joe were visiting Cambridge for a spring staycation. Of course, I did what any self-respecting Cambridge-resident would do: rounded up my favourite Cambridge girl Caroline and her boyfriend, Oscar, and insisted on a picnic and an afternoon of punting on the river to kick off the summer.

I cycled across town to meet the gang at St John’s, where we all traipsed through the Bridge of Sighs towards the river to borrow a punt from Caroline’s college. We all piled in, the bottles of champagne outnumber the crew, and set off on the Cam with dashing Oscar and his master punting skills at the helm.

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The sun was shining gloriously, so the afternoon melted into dusk as we floated up and down the river more times than I could count until it was time for dinner. It is quite simply the best way to see all the grand colleges along the Backs, and the three of us recounted all the marvellous historical tales we could think of as we passed each college, and made up our own stories when we couldn’t think of anything better.

It wouldn’t be a Cambridge summer without at least a few adventures by the river, and there’s no place I’d rather be on a sunny Sunday afternoon than messing about on boats with friends.

Summertime in Cambridge, you’re alright.

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Wearing: Saint James for J.Crew top // ASOS jeans // Salvatore Ferragamo pumps via Monnier Freres // Ralph Lauren blazer // Chanel bag // Tom Ford sunglasses // Chanel brooches // Michael Kors watch // J.Crew necklace.
Beauty: Chanel ‘L’Eclatante’ lipstick // NARS ‘Gaiety’ blush // Deborah Lippmann ‘Naked’ nailpolish

What are your very favourite adventures to kick off summer? I’d love to hear your traditions, old and new!

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Joe Galvin