Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Crazy For Kiwis

White Peplum Jumper: Miss Selfridge
Fruit Print Trousers: Zara
Sam Edelman Sandals: mywardrobe.com
Willow Bag: Mulberry
Black Ceramic Watch: Michael Kors

My love for patterned trousers is showing no sign of waning, in fact it seems to be gaining serious momentum - this kiwi print pair are my second patterned trouser purchase in a matter of months but shall I let you into a secret? I think these may just be my favourites. Unlike my River Island pair these guys are a tad more fitted and there's no sign of the dreaded baggy bottom in sight, something that I find can become a reality with patterned trousers. Tell me I'm not alone? My ensemble is the epitome of Spring and is what I sported for the last day of the Easter bank holiday, Craig and I made a trip to town to buy a birthday gift and grabbed a shed load of meat in the process for our second BBQ ever. Everything was ready to roll and just as we tucked into our first round of fodder the heavens opened, typical April showers. Thank goodness for our umbrella and my faux fur gillet, needless to say my outfit didn't look so on point right at that moment.

As a purveyor of pattern it's unusual when I sport something plain so props to this white peplum style jumper which I picked up on a must-buy-basics hunt last month, on the hanger it doesn't look much but on it's got enough going on without entering dullsville. In true Cagney and Lace style accessories are at a minimum with the only ones worth shouting being my (nearly) one year old Willow and my trusty Sam Edelman sandals. I really am lacking in the shoe department at the mo, I even thought I had it in the bag on Good Friday but after a mammoth Clarks trying on sesh I was left feeling underwhelmed. Any ideas where I can get me some Spring brogues/loafers?

Without sounding like a broken record it's a grand total of four days until my birthday and you know what? I'm starting to get mighty excited.

What are your feelings on patterned trousers? Do you dig my kiwi print babies?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Whistling For Easter

Joie De Vivre Jumper: Whistles
Leopard Print Clutch: Whistles
Distressed Maysa Jeans: Whistles
Studded Ankle Boots: Zara

Easter is without a doubt my favourite bank holiday around, four days away from work may seem incredibly indulgent just before my birthday but I can promise it's an essential - what's better than spending a few days catching up with family and friends, eating Easter eggs and devouring both BBQs and Sunday roasts? Today Craig and I had a visit from the Easter bunny and boy did he treat us well, yes I know we're 25 and 27 but you can never be too old for chocolate in my book - needless to say I've now got enough chocolate to last a fair while.

After scoffing a chocolate and toffee hot cross bun each (are you sensing a pattern?) We hopped off to my ma and pa's for a roast to end all roasts, it was super tasty although it did mean a lengthy dog walk was non negotiable in an attempt to counteract the number of calories consumed. Sundays for me are all about laid back dressing so my Joie De Vivre sweater was a no brainer and it just had to teamed with my new ripped knee jeans from Whistles. I've had my eye on these for ages but after spotting both Mel and Anna in them my lust levels hit the big time, only to discover they'd sold out on-line in my size! Good Friday was certainly that as after a shopping trip in Leeds (just look at those bags) I found the Whistles store there had one pair left in my size, hooray! These fit me like a glove and although the rips are akin to Marmite, neither my mum or nan are a fan I'm in love. Paired with my old Zara booties and pony skin leopard clutch I think this is a winning blend of casual cool.

Tomorrow may be the last day of the bank holiday bonanza but it does mean we're inching closer and closer to my twenty sixth birthday, six days and counting...

Have ya'll had an egg-cellent Easter? What's your outfit of choice on a Sunday?

Friday, 18 April 2014

New In: Be Jewelled By Vera Wang

Perfume has never been something I get excited about especially as it's usually a pricey spend, I'd much sooner spend my mula on that Chanel foundation (you know the one) or these sandals but when Harvey Nichols got in touch I was more than game, especially when I laid my eyes on the Be Jewelled offering from Vera Wang*. I've always admired Vera Wang from afar, in the celebrity realm her wedding dresses are seen as the ones to wear (so I hear) and her perfume launches have always been nothing short of beautiful. Did you see the campaign with Leighton Meester? Just stunning.

Be Jewelled is no exception to the glamorous, perfectly coiffed Vera Wang family, just look at that pretty Aladin-esque bottle appeasing my inner magpie. Is it just me who starts singing Arabian nights when I gaze at this bottle? I doubt it but as they say, don't judge a perfume bottle by it's cover (or was that something else?) So let's get down to scent, Be Jewelled is a flirty and youthful scent which the boyf describes as fresh, with top notes of red currant, pomegranate and champagne it's fruity whilst remaining warm. On first spritz it reminds me of a berry infused champagne cocktail you'd devour on a balmy Summers evening. Thanks to the base notes of musk and Australian sandalwood that initial Summer time feeling doesn't slip away, in fact it lasts incredibly well on the skin.

That's my Spring Summer fragrance in the bag, now I just need those sandals...

Have you ever tried a Vera Wang fragrance? Are fruity and warm scents your thing?

*This perfume was kindly sent to me by Harvey Nichols.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wednesday Wishlist #16

It's my birthday in ten days! Usually by now I'd be bugging the life out of anyone who'll listen but this year I'm surprisingly cool, calm and collected, must be a sign of getting older wiser. This year I'm planning a pretty low key affair spending the day with the boyf and family before going out with all my favourite girls in the evening. Another shock to those who know me dearly is that I don't have a birthday list (except a few cheeky skincare requests), cray I know! This year I'm just excited to have a relaxed day with all my faves although I wouldn't say no to any of the following or these...

1. Lyla Orange Daisy Dress £26 - It seems like an age since I went to the Pretty Little Thing blogger event and ever since I've been willing the brand on from the fashion sidelines. They now have the most amazing, easy to search website and this nothing-says-Spring-quite-like-it dress. One for my family birthday day meal?

2. Selected World Sweatshirt £45 - Sweatshirts and I have a unhealthy relationship - I buy them, they take up far too much room in my wardrobe but is there a better way to mark my birthday than with a newb? I think not. I'm instantly drawn to anything with a map on (yes as well as animals) so wearing the world on my chest works for me.

3. Selected Harti Skirt £41 - Ya'll know how much I love patterns so is it any surprise that I was attracted to this almost kaleidoscope print skirt? I think this would look spot on with a breton striped tee and some little espadrilles for a cute weekend look, one for my post birthday trip to Bath?

4. Selected Melis Denim Shirt £55 - ASOS are definitely to blame when it comes to my current Selected obsession, they just style everything so beautifully. I'm in the market for a new denim shirt (since spying this one that is) as mine is beyond stiff - this baby looks the complete opposite and I adore the lived in, mixed denim look.

5. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet £33 - I've been toying with the idea of giving the Vitalumiere Aqua formula a bash for a while but was held back by thoughts of over glowy skin, clearly the Chanel Gods heard my woes and launched this baby just in time for my birthday. Need.

6. Distressed Maysa Skinny Jean £95 - Oh Whistles, you don't half taunt me with your effortlessly chic pieces. I never thought I'd be calling ripped jeans chic but have you seen these? If only I can track these down in my size. A birthday gift from me to me? Maybe.

7. Wood Detail Sunglasses £227 - I fell in L-O-V-E love with these at Bicester where they were a fraction of the price but after my naughty Sandro splurge I refrained. I find it difficult to pick a pair of sunnies that suit my fair skin and light (ish) hair so these pale pink babies are the dream.

8. Reptile Shoulder Bag £55 - & Other Stories is the most swoon worthy store and it upsets me every single day that the nearest one is in London. This bag has got day to night written all over it and it's got some serious vintage appeal going on plus &OS are doing a gift with purchase right now. Race you to the site?

9. Fruity T Shirt £27 - Pineapples are everywhere this season and I for one am not complaining, how adorbs is this tee from French Connection? Me likey.

Are you diggin' my birthday wishlist picks? Which is your fave?

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Festival Of Spring

Oatmeal Jumper: Zara
Paisley Print Skinny Jeans: Zara
Navy Satchel: Zara
Heart Necklace: Swarovski
Tasseled Boots: Faith

If there's a time to wear paisley and tassels it's got to be the weekend of Coachella, anyone else wishing they were basking in the desert sun celeb spotting? California, one day I shall make your acquaintance. This weekend has been dreamy although I do wish the sun would have graced us with it's presence on Saturday and Sunday - Craig was off all weekend but instead of the sun drenched Saturday we were hoping for (we even planned to finally use the BBQ) our hopes of lightly chargrilled eats were dashed by the rain and miserable skies. Thankfully Sunday was absolutely glorious and while the boyf headed down to Wembley (good effort Sheff U) I caught up with one of my faves and her beautiful son. The day weekend got a little foody, read I ate far too many chocolate hot cross buns so this week I'm on my best behaviour.

This week brings me serious joy, not only is it the week before my birthday week but it's Easter which means a four day weekend! I'm heading to Leeds on Good Friday in the hope of getting my birthday shop on and finding a new party outfit, keep everything crossed for me please? I'm thrilled to bring a bit of fashion back to Cagney and Lace after last weeks home/lifestyle shenanigans not that I mind a jot. Lifestyle posts are incredibly fun to write although I do find myself doing lots of research aka on-line window shopping, I know, doesn't sound like me at all right? On my homeware quest I worryingly discovered Out There Interiors* who stock a chair that looks as though it's come straight from the set of Austin Powers, groovy baby (sorry I could resist!) If sixties meets modern isn't your bag then check out these vintage inspired photo frames. Just how perfect would they look in my blog room? Is it wrong to start a mental wish list? Answers in the comments.

With Sunday spent climbing Sheffield's many hills, with a pram in tow I really should have thought through the concept of low waisted jeans and a slightly too short in the body jumper, no those midriff shots were not intentional. That said I'm thrilled to finally be sporting a few Spring garms, oldies they may be but goodies they certainly are. You may remember my paisley skinnys from posts such as this while my tasseled Marmite like boots were discovered at the bottom of my old wardrobe, they're a tad Isabel Marant and have become my new favourites. Craig on the other hand isn't so keen. My satchel sadly isn't mine but one of my mums treasures, hasn't she got the best taste? Well they do say like mother, like daughter.

Have you been channeling Coachella this weekend? Are you dreaming of hot cross buns too?

*Collaborative link, all thoughts and opinions my own.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Homeware Love With Sophie Conran

Sometimes a brand gets in touch that's not only a perfect fit for Cagney and Lace but for me Hannah, the person behind this little corner of the Internet, I quickly find myself getting giddy, telling Craig as soon as possible and dreaming of becoming a domestic goddess (well with this brand anyway). Funnily enough that's not happened yet... The brand that had me squeeing? Sophie Conran.

Sophie, the daughter of Sir Terrence Conran and sister of fashion designer Jasper was only ever going to be great, with business acumen and a creative flair clearly running in the family Sophie is one inspiring woman creating a dreamy homeware range whilst collaborating with specialists brands like Burgon & Ball (who are Sheffield based yay) all while juggling motherhood and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Anyone who writes a book on pie making is alright with me.

The newest members to the Sophie Conran gang are 15 beautifully thought out wooden chopping boards made in collaboration with Bristol based company T&G Woodware. Made from natural beech wood harvested and manufactured in Europe (the material of choice for many professional chefs don't you know) the boards would look divine and be a practical addition to any kitchen, even in mine which is long overdue a makeover, just where is that money tree? PS I'd love to say I made this bread but it was purchased from Marks and Spencer. FYI It's muesli pave and absolutely sensational.

As a genuine lover of all things aesthetically pleasing for the home I must say my new made with love board* is the bees knees, the circular shape is not only a change from every other board out there but it's ideal for serving, aka showing off your culinary treats to friends and family. Something which Sophie has clearly considered when creating this collection. I adore how the boards are crafted using traditional techniques but finished to modern standards using laser engraving to add Sophie's handwriting to each piece. Simply divine. At £25 the price may be a little more premium than your run of the mill kitchen aid but just think how long this will last you or a loved one, this would make the perfect housewarming gift don't you think?

Team Sophie Conran have been a dream to converse with and not only gave me my very own board but let me ask Sophie herself a few questions and they're not all home related.

As a busy mum of two and successful business woman, which beauty products are your staples that you couldn't be without?
Clarins facewash
Palmers Cocoa body lotion
Neal's Yard lavender balth salts
Estee Lauder 8 hour balm
Chanel lipstick

If you were stranded on a desert island which three items would you take?
Japanese knives
A cooking pot
A pillow and a duvet

You've got just twenty minutes to whip up a quick meal, what would you make?
A salad filled with all sorts of yummy things

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Work really hard, ask for help from everybody, people like to give advice and you don't have to do what they suggest. Don't be in a hurry and work with other people that you like. Try not to get lonely or overtired. Stay positive. Set yourself goals but be flexible, sometimes thing don't work out but other opportunities will arise.

Finally if you had to choose your favourite piece from your beautiful homeware collection, which would it be and why?
That is so difficult! I use all the pieces and work with fantastic people to create them but I think it has to be the dinner plate as it was the start of the collection and I have had so many lovely meals on it.

I'm off to work out how I can replace my entire kitchen with pieces from the Sophie Conran collection, wish me luck.

Have you ever bought anything from Sophie Conran? What do you make of the new boards?

*This board was kindly sent to me by Sophie Conran.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Refresh Rather Than Relocate With Look Again

Since buying our first house last August we've literally been full steam ahead, donning overalls (read unloved clothes), grabbing paint brushes and even a steamer to decorate our little cottage. With nearly all the upstairs complete and our funds almost depleted we're now focusing our energies on outdoors. That was until Look Again* got in touch with a challenge, to create a mood board showing how I'd revamp a room with a £750 budget. I thought this would be a walk in the park but boy was I wrong. Look Again have a huge selection of home goodies and I was blown away with the level of choice. Unsurprising to none, keeping in budget was a challenge #storyofmylife but I knew straight away which room I'd be tackling...

Credit to Pinterest for the inspirational images here and here

The blog room also known as our smallest bedroom/wash room/general dumping ground. When we first moved in this was painted similar to a chocolate box although Hotel Chocolat it was not with a dark brown ceiling, thick mink carpet and matching walls. So far we've steamed it, re lined the walls and painted them, had a jazzy wallpaper put on a feature wall (thanks Papa Wild) and Craigs bestie has put us a new carpet down but that's where the fun ends. The room is now furniture less (except for a chest of drawers) and is being used for anything but blogging.

Tip - Get creative and try your hand at DIY, what's the worse that can happen? It saved Craig and I lots of money plus I promise you'll have a giggle with a steamer and paint brush in hand. If you get stuck, draft in friends and family members. Fancy Farrow and Ball shades but not the prices? Ask your local paint specialist to mix up the colour for you, leaving you change for cushions. That's home maths right there!

The inspiration behind my blog room choices? A country cottage with a delicate, perfumed garden which is far too beautiful to leave outdoors. Our cottage is old (dating back to 1820 to be precise) and although incredibly charming it's lacking in light, I blame the tiny windows. As such decor has to be carefully planned to give the light and spacious feel we crave. One thing I have to be conscious of is over loading our space, the minimalist look isn't my bag but there's a fine line between curated picks and clutter.

My first choice for Cagney and Lace HQ would be the Torino day bed, perfect for blog writing sessions or for when guests come to stay. A double feather down duvet is an essential buy and I'm a firm believer in buying quality, you spend far too long in bed to scrimp on these things. I also like to buy duvets bigger than the actual bed too for that increased snug factor, don't knock it until you've tried it! To cover my feathered friend I adore this Freya duvet set which brings a flurry of candy strips and coloured lace into an otherwise monochrome room. Bringing a necessary dose of print and texture are my mismatched selection of cushions, Hello Kitty was a teenager fave, I'm digging the vintage feel of this one and how hilar, and scarily accurate is this offering?

Tip - Furniture can be a hugely expensive outgoing when you first buy a house. My tip? Beg, borrow and seek (never steal!) My parents gave us two old sofas to start us off and we found some amazing crockery at a local vintage fair. Don't become that panic buyer, we've all been there and it costs!

Speaking of furniture I'd be thrilled to see the Aimee Dressing Table in my blog room, with a certain je ne sais quoi this striking piece would be a beautiful background for blog shots, somewhere to apply make-up or it could even be used as an official blogging desk. The possibilities are endless. Making the table my own I'd add this cute ice cream print and personalised trinket box to store all my jewellery/secret chocolate stash. I'll let you guess what's more likely...

Tip - Putting your personal stamp on a space doesn't have to be expensive - frame postcards of your travels, pictures of your buds or create mood board if your room is going to be used in a creative light (like mine). You can bring the outdoors in by taking cuttings from the garden and popping them into milk bottles like my Pinterest shot, inexpensive and quirky.

Are you planning to refresh your home for Spring? What do you make of my blog room picks?

*In collaboration with Look Again.

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