At The Flower Market

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There are few simple pleasures I love more than a trip to the florist to pick up a big bunch of fragrant blooms (as anyone who follows me on Instagram will know). Since moving to Cambridge, a weekly trip to the flower stall at the market has become one of my favourite rituals at the end of the work week.

To me, those flowers are so intrinsically linked with happy memories and moments throughout my life, that it is a luxury I’m happy to indulge (I’d take a bunch of roses over a coffee, any day). Growing up in Australia, we had a beautiful English garden which exploded with perfumed blossoms each season, and some of my happiest days were spent hosting tea parties under the peach trees for my (usually imaginary) friends, helping my father tend to the flower beds, and collecting armfuls of fragrant roses, hydrangeas bluebells and ranunculus with my mother to bring inside.

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Although I don’t have a garden here in Cambridge, it is a tradition I try to maintain to this day. Each week, I’ll pop to the flower stall before a massage and date night with the Clever Boyfriend on Friday evenings, or cycle to the market early on a Saturday morning for coffee, flowers and long chats about life with my best friend (we’ve been friends for 16 years, and by some wonderful stroke of fate, we have always seemed to end up in the same places in the world at the same time ever since and now both currently call Cambridge home).

A Girl, A Style _ At The Flower Market 3Wearing: Alice by Temperley dress (sold out, but similar styles available via Shopbop, Net-a-Porter and TheOutnet) // Whistles leather jacket (past season, but similar styles available here) // Marc Jacobs Stam bag (available at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus) // Chloe sunglasses (similar style available at here) // J. Crew pearl necklace (also available in cheaper faux pearl version) // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl bracelets (sold out, but similar style available at J. Crew and necklace version available at Net-a-Porter) // Chanel brooch + ring (past season, but very similar styles available here and here). Beauty note: MAC ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick // Essie ‘Bachelorette Bash’ nail polish (available at Nordstrom and Debenhams and Liberty).

Regardless of how hectic my week has been, life always just feels wonderful again after these weekends filled with love, friendship and those beautiful flowers.

Do you have any small pleasures you adore which always seem bring about happy moments? I would love to hear!

Love, Miss B xx

Sponsored post in partnership with Flowers of Holland

The 30 Best Things I Did Before 30

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Today is my birthday, which means I get to eat cake for breakfast, drink pink champagne and get spoiled by people I love. In the year since I reached my 30s, in thinking about what I hope to achieve this decade, I’ve been reflecting on the best things I’ve done so far (and the lessons I’ve learned). Here are my favourites:

Fell in love. No explanation required, but without a doubt one of my favourite things yet.

Travelled the world. I’ve seen the sun set over the pyramids of Giza, climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower, seen the cherry blossoms in Japan, slept under the stars in the red dessert in Australia, visited temples in Thailand, explored the souks in Marrakech, swum with rainbow-coloured fish in the Great Barrier Reef, and walked through a snowy Red Square at nightfall. I am so grateful for the adventures I’ve had seeing this incredible world of ours, and can’t wait to keep exploring.

Graduated from University. 3 degrees, 8 years, and countless essays later, I am thankful for the knowledge, experiences and life lessons I came away with.

Worked overseas. Half way through University, I went to Washington to intern with a Senator on Capitol Hill. It remains one of the best experiences I had, and was the catalyst for my career in my politics.

Moved abroad. Leaving behind people I love and moving my whole life to the other side of the world (with nothing but 2 suitcases and my boyfriend by my side) was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but also one of the best. I see the world from a new perspective, made wonderful new friends, and had opportunities and adventures I never would have otherwise.

Learned to accept and value myself. Like anyone, I am certainly flawed and wish I could change some things about myself, but I’ve learned to make peace with my flaws, appreciate my differences and make the most of my strengths.

Built a circle of friends and loved ones I treasure. I am so lucky to count some incredible people all around the world as my friends and family, and try to make sure they know how much I adore them.

Stretched my talents. I’m still horrible at karaoke and team sports, but I’m grateful I learned to tap dance, took ballet classes, performed Shakespeare and trained in classical piano.

Earned my career. By no means do I have it all figured out, but I’m proud I worked hard to build a career I value.

Ran for Parliament. Even if you know you’re going to come in second place, it’s pretty wonderful to be a part of the democratic process and see your name on a ballot paper.

… And drafted a law. I’ve done many things that I’m proud of, but negotiating a piece of crime legislation through Parliament is up there.

Volunteered. I’ve learned that helping a worthy cause is one of the most valuable uses of my time, and helping others always helps me get perspective on what really matters.

Invested. I don’t yet have a mortgage or own a house, but I’m pleased that I have savings, investments and no debt.

… And learned how to spend my money. When I first moved out of home and started earning money, my approach to shopping was more about quantity than quality. But as I now know the reverse to be true, I know when to save my money and when it’s ok to spend a month’s rent on a bag (hint: only if it’s something you’ll keep for a decade).

Achieved goals. Whether major life goal or small achievement, it’s an incredible feeling when you reach what you set out to achieve.

… And learned it’s OK if life doesn’t work out as planned. When I was 20, I mapped out my next ten years in silly detail, but life sometimes has a way of taking you in a completely different direction. And that’s definitely OK.

Learned to say ‘yes’. Because sometimes the best adventures happen when you’re willing to depart from your comfort zone and accept the opportunity.

… And also ‘no’. I will always have an urge to please people, but it’s important to know when to politely decline that which does not bring joy.

Started this blog. Unquestionably one of my favourite pursuits yet. I’m eternally grateful for the people I’ve met, the adventures I’ve had and the opportunities which have presented themselves as a result of this blog.

Appreciate small pleasures. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned not to place all my emphasis on those big life events, and instead to also make time for those small pleasures (buying myself flowers, skipping lunch to have afternoon tea with friends, a spontaneous kiss or a trip to the theatre) which make every day a little more wonderful.

What are some of the best things you’ve learned or experienced? Please do share your wisdom below.

Love, Miss B xx

 

10 Ways To Sparkle More in 2013

Happy New Year my lovelies! I hope you all had a wonderful start to the year? (I kicked mine off as I mean to go on: with loved ones, fireworks, pink champagne and a lot of sparkles).

If there is one time of year that enables us to completely shift our perspective on things, it’s the prospect of a clean slate a new year brings. In 2013, I resolve to view the world through rose-tinted glasses; to find joy in small pleasures and to be a better version of myself. Here are a few of my favourite ways to fastrack to a sparklier year:

1. Don’t save your favourite things for ‘a special occasion’. Life is the special occasion! Treat every day like a party and wear a tangle of your treasures necklaces, a cluster of your grandmother’s brooches, or your favourite party dresses each day.

2. Be kind to your body. Get enough sleep and sunshine, eat well, drink gallons of water and move about. You’ll not only be overflowing with energy, but look gorgeous and radiant too.

3. Practise random acts of kindness. Tell a stranger in the street how great they look, leave a little note with a tip at your local cafe saying how much you adore their cake, volunteer for a worthy local cause. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but doing lovely, selfless things often will make you smile on the inside.

4. Always buy yourself a bunch of flowers. They needn’t be expensive (in spring, I love nothing more than $2 bunches of daffodils and white narcissi on my windowsill), but they will add a loveliness to your home which belies their cost.

5. Reinvigorate your look. If you’re in wardrobe rut, make an effort to do your hair and put on your cutest heels for no particular reason at all. You’ll spend the day feeling that little bit lovelier.

6. Don’t let grey skies get you down. Treat it as an excuse to wear a poppy pink lipstick, an adorable umbrella and perhaps a shot of pastel or fuschia in your outfit (the same optimistic rules apply to bad days).

7. Don’t get stuck in a rut; tweak your everyday routines to make them special rituals. Can’t function without your morning tea or coffee? Have it in your prettiest china instead so it feels like you’re having a tea party every single morning!

8. One day every week (without fail), go on a date with someone you love. It doesn’t need to be grand or over the top. Why not go someone fabulous with your best friend on pay day every single month for a single cocktail? Or get dressed up and go and see a musical you’ve been wanting to see for ages all by yourself? Or a bike ride at sunset with your loved one? Whatever it is, make time for special moments with the people you love.

9. Literally add some sparkle to your home. Buy yourself some (affordable) art that makes you smile. Treasure-hunt some beautiful vintage pink cocktail glasses. String some fairy lights around your doorways, or DIY it and make a garland of glittery bunting to string up across your wall.

10. If you’re feeling uninspired, broaden your horizons. Make plans to take a trip to a city you’ve always wanted to explore, visit a new museum in your area, or go to your favourite bookstore for something wonderful to read this week. Instant inspiration!

Lulu Guinness lips clutch (c/o), Jimmy Choo heels, vintage 1950s pink champagne glasses (found on ebay), ASOS earrings, vintage crystal brooches, Jennifer Loiselle ‘oui’ brooch, pink glass candle votives from Catbird.

What are your goals and plans for the year ahead? Wishing you all a wonderful 2013!

Love, Miss B xx

(This is an edited version of an article I wrote for the Glitter Guide last New Year. See the original post here.)

Riding on Pashleys with Flowers

Whichever way I look at it, this has been a hectic few weeks (sincere apologies for the slowdown on this blog as a result). Even though I had zero wiggle room in my (already exploding) schedule, I decided there was a definite need for a little detour. So on Friday night, I called up my best friend for a mini-girl date (an hour was all we could both manage), hopped on my Pashley and cycled over to her side of town*. I had slipped on my new Mulberry heels and bag (it’s almost impossible to frown when you have bows on your toes and a blush pink handbag), put on a new favourite dress that Wheels & Dollbaby so kindly sent me (I always love sartorial displays of affection for Australia and this dress, in that shape I love to much, is simply perfect for twirls and bicycle rides and picnics under trees), and added this Moschino heart print silk scarf (that’s usually a watch) that my trans-atlantic soul sister sent me for extra smile points.

Such an outfit seemed to call for flower-buying and making silly jokes over coffee and cycle rides with my Brigette Bardot in my ears. And just like that, I was immeasurably less stressed and my spirits had lifted.

Proof that we can’t avoid hectic moments, but that there is always time for evening bicycle rides with friends and flowers and shoes that make us smile and dresses that make us want to twirl. Wearing: Wheels & Dollbaby dress, Mulberry Lily bag, Mulberry bow heels, Asos metallic belt, Michael Kors watch, Moschino scarf (worn on wrist), Mimco necklace. 

So tell me, what do you do when you need emergency smiles in a hectic week?

Love, Miss B x

* I love that everywhere in Cambridge is accessible via a five minute bike ride. 

Thank you Sarah for the smiles and photos!