7 Things for the Weekend

A Girl, A Style _ 7 Things for the Weekend

Hello lovelies! Although most of you follow my everyday adventures over on Instagram, I thought I’d start a new regular series on here where I can share the things I’m reading, buying and enjoying each week. I never want this blog to be just about fashion, so this is hopefully a new way to share some things that don’t warrant an entire post (whilst also allowing me to post more frequently, too). As always, I’m so grateful for your feedback and advice on what you want to see more (or less) of around here, so please do let me know in the comments!

This week we have family visiting from Australia (hurrah for deliveries of Haighs chocolate and dried peaches to cure expat cravings), so evenings have mostly been spent exploring Cambridge, picnicking in the botanical gardens and working our way through our neighbourhood restaurants.

1. Even though I’m still trying to stay in summer mode (I don’t want to let the last of the season pass me by), I definitely have that ‘back to school’ feeling that always seems to arrive towards the end of August. Although I now add all my appointments to my iPhone calendar the moment I confirm them (otherwise: goldfish memory), I still love a hardback planner for all my daily ‘to do’ lists and things I need to remember. I just bought this perfect Kate Spade 17-month agenda (I buy one every year and I love that they start in August and run to the following December) and am spending this weekend getting myself organised.

2. I loved seeing this lookbook my BFF Nicolette shot around LA for Target’s AVA&VIV collection (proving that style is never defined by a shape and size).

3. Although I’m trying to read more novels (any suggestions? I’d love to hear what you’ve enjoyed recently), I always favour interesting biographies and non-fiction books. I’m fascinated by the tech industry, and have just devoured ‘How Google Works’; it’s a fascinating insight into this game-changing company and why they’re so successful (confession: I dream of working there one day).

4. It is a sad day when peony season comes to an end (I bought the very last bunch from the market last weekend and felt smugly victorious). Head to the market this weekend and treat yourself to a giant bunch of hydrangeas or dahlias instead.

5. Did you spy my pictures over on the Coach Instagram account? I’m obsessed with their entire blush pink collection (and this one is similar to my favourite Mulberry Lily bag, minus the price tag).

6. I’m usually sleep-deprived, and this guide to getting a better night’s sleep is an excellent reminder (note to self: stop staring at my iPhone in the dark at midnight!)

7. I loved this post by Garance on how women’s careers and lifestyle influences their style. It’s something I think about often; my day job in politics requires me to be fairly corporate when I’m in the office (you’ll usually find me in a tuxedo blazer and heels during the day, but always with a little sparkle and my own feminine spin), so I love letting loose and being extra feminine or playful with my style when I’m off-duty. I’d love to know how your lifestyle influences your own style?

As always, you can find me over on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for more day-to-day updates in between posts.

Happy weekend, lovelies!

B xx

 

 

How To Ace Summer

A Girl, A Style _ How to Ace SummerWe are half-way through August, which means there is just over a month left until the end of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the best season of the year, so don’t let it pass you by without extracting every last drop of fun from these long, sunny days. Here’s my guide to how to win at summer (even if you don’t have a vacation booked):

1. Have an adventure. Travel to a new place or have a fun weekend getaway with your girlfriends. Explore a new city, go to a festival, spend a weekend on the coast, or go camping in the countryside.

2. Get outdoors. Make the most of these long summer evenings and get outside whenever you can. Cycle to work instead of taking the subway, dine al fresco at sunset, watch an outdoor play, visit an outdoor cinema for to see a favourite movie beneath the stars or listen to a jazz band in the park.

3. Dance all night. Every summer should include at least one extravagant party. Get all dressed up, drink champagne, kiss beneath fireworks and dance until the small hours.

4. Play tourist. Don’t let the tourist have all the fun in your own city. Visit the sights, go to the zoo, take in a show or try the hottest new restaurant or rooftop bar in town.

5. Throw a picnic. I take any excuse to have a picnic outside, but every summer I try to have at least one especially wonderful version complete with the best food, good company and a round of croquet or punting on the river afterwards.

6. Build the ultimate summer playlist. Make the perfect soundtrack to accompany those summer adventures. Mine is filled with everything from the Beach Boys and Brigitte Bardot to Phoenix and Vampire Weekend and evokes fond memories of summer bike rides and beach days (and my imaginary summer in California).

7. Take to the water. Head to the pool to practice your swan dive (or cannonball), rent a rowboat on the lake or, better yet, make friends with someone who owns a yacht and set sail into the sunset.

8. Host an impromptu dinner party. On an evening when you have no other plans, gather your favourite people for a summer party at home. Decorate with bright flowers, put together a make-your-own taco or pizza bar, play your favourite tunes and serve up homemade lemonade or frozen cocktails.

A Girl, A Style _ How to Win at Summer 1

9. Work on your green thumb. Even if you only have a tiny windowsill or balcony, make the most of the sunshine and try growing your own basil, mint or hydrangeas. Guaranteed smugness when you make a salad with your own herbs.

10. Have a beach day. Grab your brightest towel, your strongest SPF and your favourite swimsuit and spend the day splashing about at the sea. Bonus points for beach hair and silly photos.

11. Visit the farmer’s market. Go for brunch at your favourite cafe and then head to the farmer’s market to stock up on summer berries, peaches and the biggest bunch of hydrangeas or sunflowers you can find.

12. Ride a bike. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, rent a couple of bikes and spend the day cycling out to the prettiest spot outside your town (I’m planning to cycle to the Grantchester meadows or the Hitchin lavender farm in Cambridgeshire).

13. Find the best lobster rolls or ice cream in town. I’ve taken this one step further and bought an ice cream maker with my neighbour so that we can make our own ice cream flavours as often as we want (my favourite so far is peach and orange blossom).

14. Make like an aristocrat. Head to the grandest estate near where you like and spend the afternoon strolling the gardens, having tea in the orangerie or playing croquet on the lawns.

15. Spend a day in the park. Feed the ducks, watch the clouds drift by and and make a dent in your summer reading list.

I’d love to know your favourite things to do in summer! How do you plan to spend the rest of the season?

Love, Miss B xx

7 Things To Do In July

A Girl, A Style _ July

1. Have a weekend adventure. Plan a fun day or weekend trip with your best friends. Spend the day at the coast, explore another city nearby, or escape to the countryside. I’m planning a weekend in Oxford and a trip to the English seaside with girlfriends.

2. Stop to smell the roses (both literally and figuratively). This is one of the most beautiful times of the year, so don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful moments; the feel of the breeze on a hot day, the beauty of a summertime sunset, the smell of the roses that bloom in the gardens you pass on your way home.

3. Buy yourself a fabulous pair of sunglasses, in honour of the sunshine. I’ve been wearing my favourite Karen Walker pair on repeat, and they magically seem to make every outfit a little bit better.

4. Take in an outdoor show. Make the most of these precious, sunny evenings and get a cultural fix outside. On my schedule: Shakespeare in a secret college garden at sunset (one of my favourite annual Cambridge traditions), jazz in the park and watching a movie beneath the stars at an outdoor cinema. (Take a blanket, a picnic and someone to snuggle up to.)

5. Spend a sunny afternoon dreaming + making plans. As we are now half-way through the year (!), now is the perfect opportunity to step back and assess how the year is going. Find a window in your schedule one afternoon, settle in a shady spot outside, and spend a peaceful moment just watching the clouds as they lazily float by. Think about the goals you set at the start of the year, about how this year has been thus far, and about the dreams you have for the rest of the year. Make plans to set in motion the actions you need to take to make those dreams a reality (and to make the rest of this year as great as it can be).

6. Surprise someone you adore with a thoughtful letter. Instead of just emailing, take the time to write a beautifully-penned letter or put together a thoughtful package to brighten up someone’s letter box. (I stock up on gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. notecards in the Selfridges stationery hall; they make letter-writing a joy.)

7. Hunt down the best gelato in town. Work your way through all the best ice cream places in town to find your favourite (because what’s summer without ice cream?). Personally, I’m still trying to find a version in London that is as good as the orange blossom gelato from Cibo in Adelaide, Australia and the apricot sorbet from Maison Berthillon in Paris.

I’d love to hear how you plan to make the most of the month!

Love, Miss B xx

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for my daily updates + adventures!

 

Summertime Pursuits

Here in England, we have been blessed with the longest, warmest summer I can recall since I moved here. The sun has been shining solidly for a month, the days are long and hot and the balmy evenings are made for languid, outdoor lazing in parks or by the water. Many of my happiest memories have been made in golden summer moments, so I plan to make the most of every sunny day for the season. Here are a few of the ways I’ll be spending the summertime:

1. Take a trip to the seaside. Growing up in Australia, most mornings started with a swim in the sea or a weekend at the beach, so to me, it just wouldn’t be summertime without a few seaside adventures. If you don’t live near the coast (as I don’t in Cambridge), then make a road trip out of it and take a weekend trip to the seaside for sunshine, sand and ice cream.

2. Throw a garden party or picnic. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden of your own, then gather all your friends and throw a summer garden party. Otherwise, pack a basket of snacks, a bottle of champagne and some fun activities and head to the park for a fabulous picnic. Bonus points for a round of croquet or bocce on the lawn.

3. Master a signature summer cocktail. You don’t have to be an expert mixologist, but everyone should be able to serve up at least one signature cocktail. Master a drink or two that you love (mine is a rosewater and lychee or pear and elderflower martini) and have your friends around for a summer cocktail party.

4. Wear bright lipstick. Summer is the perfect time to have a little fun with your makeup. Move on from Spring’s pastels and try bright colours you wouldn’t normally wear. I’ve been playing with bright pink lips or cobalt mascara paired with dewy sunkissed skin, messy buns and my favourite summery perfumes.

5. Go on a boating adventure. When the sun is shining, there is nowhere more pleasurable to be than on the water. If you don’t count someone who has a yacht among your friends (and if you do, lucky you!), then hire a rowboat or a punt, take surfing lessons or go wild swimming in a lake for an adventure on the water. If all else fails, then don your favourite swimsuit and your biggest shades and spend the whole day at the best pool you can find. I’ll be punting in Cambridge, rowing on Regent Park lake or having a pool party in Cambridge.

6. Have fun outdoors. I figure that when the temperatures are soaring, exercise might as well be fun. Learn to salsa dance, play tennis, take up surfing or go for a hike. I’ll be taking my Pashley out for long bike rides around Cambridge.

7. Watch jazz or theatre in the park. In summer, I’ll take any excuse to be outside on balmy evenings, so I include my cultural outings in this. Most cities have a wonderful programme of outdoor cinema, jazz, theatre, performances or festivals in green spaces. I’ll be going to the rooftop cinema at The Varsity by the river in Cambridge, jazz on the lawns at countryside estates with my family and watching Shakespeare in the gardens.

8. Pick your own strawberries. To me, one of the best things about summer is the abundance of delicious fresh fruit and produce (I’ve been practically living on a diet of cherries and nectarines the past few weeks). Head to a pick-your-own farm and fill a basket with sun-ripened berries or cherries and eat them just as they are or turn them into homemade jams and tarts.

9. Go to the zoo. Spend a day doing the things you used to love doing as a child. Go to the zoo, the aquarium or the funfair. Buy an ice cream, go on the rides and smile at the animal enclosures. I’ll be going to the Friday night lates at the London Zoo for monitors and monkeys.

10. Eat lobster + champagne. Head to the coast or marketplace near you for the freshest summer seafood, then throw a simple yet luxe lobster and champagne dinner party. Perfect!

Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be having a picnic in the garden…!

What are some of your favourite activities to do at this time of year? I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer so far!

Love, Miss B xx