Summer Picnic on the River Cam

A Girl, A Style _ Picnic at Kings College, CambridgeA Girl, A Style _ Sunday Picnic Cambridge Satchel Co Cloud Bag

Hello from Cambridge! Sincere apologies for the sporadic posting around here; this month is proving extra hectic between election campaigning (don’t forget to vote today!), wedding planning (and my inability to delegate anything), and trying to finish all my work projects in time to be be able to take a couple of weeks off to spend with friends and family (who will soon be arriving from all around the world).

Although these are all excellent reasons to be busy, it hasn’t left much room for downtime. Feeling overwhelmed and knowing my tendency to keep going until I burnout, I knew I needed to carve out a little time for self-care in the form of Vitamin D and switching off (read: ignoring my 7 inboxes for just a moment). So on the weekend amidst wedding admin at our venue, I grabbed my boyfriend, threw together a hasty picnic, and headed for the river to spend even an hour reading a book in the sunshine together.

A Girl, A Style _ Summer PicnicA Girl, A Style _ Eugenia Kim Daydreamer Straw HatA Girl, A Style _ Kings College CambridgeA Girl, A Style _ Cambridge Satchel French Blue Cloud BagA Girl, A Style _ Anthropologie Kinsey Gingham Dress

In summer I love those sunny, lazy days where you just switch off, throw on something that makes you smile, and spend the entire afternoon lazing in the park. And while this wasn’t quite one of those gloriously leisurely days, it was still exactly what I needed.

While it’s all too easy to wax lyrical about the importance of making room for fun (and I know blogs – including my own – can perpetuate this myth that everyone else is having the time of the lives whilst we’re chained to our desk / doing laundry / running around after children / etc.), sometimes even taking time out can feel like just another task on an already manageable ‘to do’ list.

But as our mini afternoon picnic reminded me, no matter how hectic things are – indeed, especially when things are hectic – it is so important to take an hour or two to just ignore everything you should be doing, get outside (instead of admiring the sunshine through your office window), and do whatever makes you feel happy. You’ll help avoid that dreaded feeling of ‘overwhelm’, make some new memories (because no amount of email-replying will do that), and come back feeling more calm and refreshed.

So here’s to us all remembering to put self-care at the top of the ‘to do’ list and carving out some indulgently lazy time every day.

A Girl, A Style _ Picnic on the River CamA Girl, A Style _ Picnic at Kings College Cambridge

Wearing: Anthropologie dress c/- (I also bought this similar version) // J.Crew sandals // Eugenia Kim hat (past season but similar style here + inexpensive version here) // Cambridge Satchel Co bag c/- (currently on 50% off here) // Anthropologie sunglasses // Kenneth Jay Lane bracelets // John Lewis picnic basket // Marks & Spencer picnic plates // H&M picnic rug (actually a linen tablecloth!)
Beauty: Deborah Lippmann ‘Naked’ nailpolish // Chantecaille ‘Sheen’ illuminator c/- // Clarins self tan (so good + smells like fig) // Charlotte Tilbury ‘Kim KW’ lipstick.

What are your best strategies for carving out downtime when your schedule threatens to overwhelm you? All tips gratefully received!

Love, Miss B xx

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Photos by Joe Galvin

Winter Floral

A Girl, A Style _ Chanel 2.55 Classic Flap Bag A Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral 5

Let it never be said that I don’t know what I like. Trends come and go – and whilst I’ll sometimes experiment with a new style – it’s those classic, gorgeously feminine pieces I always reach for. Or put more simply, red lipstick and Louboutins always trump #normcore (unless you’re my friend Alex of The Frugality, who wears boyfriend shirts and Birkenstocks like no one else and makes me wish I were half as cool as her). 

A Girl, A Style _ Erin Featherston Floral DressA Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral 4A Girl, A Style _ Kate Spade Bow CoatA Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral

I’m pretty powerless against a dark floral dress, but I always prefer a dark, winter version (as seen here and here) vs a lighter spring iteration, which can feel a little too twee or predictable. I bought this neoprene version in Anthropologie before Christmas, and it it looks instantly glamorous, but is actually completely effortless (exactly what I like in a dress). I teamed it with my sky-high red Louboutins for date night, but it looks just as good with a mid-heel (this Kate Spade pair are a perfect substitute because, let’s be honest, those Louboutins are strictly taxi shoes only) for dinner, or teamed with black boots or a ballet flat for day. Just add red lipstick and a jaunty beret and voila: the perfect coquettish winter look that will work for just about every occasion.

A Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral 2A Girl, A Style _ Chanel Classic 2.55 Flap BagWearing: Erin Fetherston at Anthropologie dress // Kate Spade coat // ASOS beret // J. Crew necklace // vintage bracelet (similar style at J.Crew) // Lulu Frost crystal ring // Alex Monroe ‘love’ ring // ASOS pearl ring // Jacquie Aiche heart ring // Christian Louboutin heels // Chanel bag. 
Beauty: NARS ‘Greta’ Audacious lipstick // Chanel ‘Provocation’ nail polish // NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush.

What’s your instant style formula for winter?

Love, Miss B xx

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Photos by Amber-Rose

Back to School (for Grownups)

A Girl, A Style _ Back to SchoolClockwise from top: Apple laptop (I just this week replaced my last iPad and MacBook Pro after 5 years of faithful service) // Anthropologie stapler (sold out, but identical version available here) // Kate Spade coaster c/- Magpie Decor // Kate Spade pencil case (also comes in a notebook version) // Rifle Paper Co. notebook + to-do list + notecards // Parker pen // Kate Spade 2015-16 agenda // Teapot c/- Magpie Decor.

Alright, let’s be frank: I’m hardly going anywhere near a school gate this year (I graduated high school – insert scream face emoji here – over fifteen years ago). But regardless of the fact I’m a grown woman in my 30s, I still derive as much pleasure from a few back-to-school rituals and a new set of stationery as I always did.

Although thankfully these days the stationery is from Kate Spade, the new school shoes are replaced by Ferragamo’s and the knee-high socks by Wolford opaque stockings, some things stay the same: I always start each season with a big organising and de-cluttering session (spring cleaning the entire house, making a list of what needs updating, and going through my wardrobe to remove anything worn out, the wrong size or no longer loved), re-stocking the basics and moving the out-of-season supplies to storage.

So whether you’re 15 or 35, the start of new term is always the perfect time to take stock of your progress during the year, set new goals, have an almighty organise + de-clutter session at home, and re-stock your supplies with a few lovely things for the new season. And there’s always room for excellent new stationery. 

A roundup of my favourite back-to-school supplies (for grownups):

I’d love to know: do you still start the new season with a few old back-to-school rituals? What are your favourite things to do + re-stock this time of year? 

Have a great term!

Love, Miss B xx

 

Christmas Traditions

A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 1A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 2A cliche it may be, but this really is the most wonderful time of year. I love the the festive cheer everywhere (there are few things lovelier in December than the sound of carollers in Parliament and the Christmas lights around Regent Street), the glittering parties and celebrations, traditions old and new and, most importantly, sharing time with beloved friends and family.

The Clever Boyfriend is in Australia for a couple of weeks (our first Christmas apart), so we started the festivities rather early this year. So far, December has been filled with all the key ingredients which, for us, add up to a wonderful festive season; decorating the house (the first Christmas in our own apartment), coming home after a long day at work to a house filled with the sound of the Rat Pack’s Christmas tunes and the smell of Diptyque’s holiday candle, and Christmas movie nights with our friends (complete with a side of Christmas cake and mugs of candy cane hot chocolate).

A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 4A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 7A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 5When it comes to those presents under tree, I love the treasure-hunt involved in finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list (even if I do always seem to leave the wrapping until the last possible moment). For me, bringing joy to others with something that you know will make them smile makes the act of gift-giving more rewarding than receiving.

But that said, I do know what I most like to recieve; a stack of beautiful books, a boxset of old movies, or a gorgeous bauble to add to my jewel collection.  Every year, my boyfriend buys me a beautiful piece of jewellery for Christmas. Whereas I’m always buying myself fun, statement costume jewellery when it comes to a special piece, when it comes to a special present, I prefer something delicate and beautiful that will stay with me for years to come. Monica Vinader has become one of my (and his) favourites; I treasure these perfect little rose gold rings, the gemstone earrings that work just as well on their own as they do when paired with a statement necklace, and the simple engraved charms that remind me of the love with which they were given every time I slip it on.

Guess what’s on my wish list this year…? 

A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 3

Wearing: Monica Vinader diamond hoop ring, diamond disk ring, moonstone stacking rings + rose quartz earrings // Alice by Temperley dress (past season, but similar style available at Net-a-Porter + TheOutnetShopbop) // Monica Vinader engraved pendant necklace c/- // Eugenia Kim headband (similar style available at Net-a-Porter).
Beauty: Clinique ‘Matte Peony’ long last lipstick (also available at John Lewis + Neiman Marcus) // Estee Lauder ‘Fuchsia Flash’ pure colour lip lacquer // Nars ‘Gaiety’ blush (also available at Sephora + ASOS + Selfridges) // Deborah Lippmann ‘Today Was a Fairytale’ glitter polish (also available at Liberty).
Homewares: Antrhopologie monogrammed mugs // C. Wonder gold plates (sold out, but similar styles available at Shopbop) // White Company platter // Paperchase Christmas decorations.

Love, Miss B xx

This post is in partnership with Monica Vinader