Saturday, 28 January 2012

Delicate Jewellery

I got myself a new pair of earrings this week and I'm really thrilled with them for several reasons. They're pretty similar to the Anthropologie pair I blogged about before but instead of costing a whacking £30, these cost me....£4. They're from Orelia and were on sale in Topshop.

I've blogged about this brand before, and I have to say, I think they do a fantastic range of delicate costume jewellery at a reasonable price point {considering the details and high level of design}. That said, I still um and ah when it comes to handing over £15-£20 for a necklace. When they have sales, however, it is possible to get your hands on some gorgeous accessories that are as cheap as chips. Browsing the website I could easily drop a fortune on several pieces:

I don't feel like their website does justice to the range of gorgeous things they make, but Topshop and ASOS also stock their pieces.

What a pretty start to a Saturday!

Love B

ps - did you notice I caught up with technology and got myself and iphone?! I am obsessed with Instagram and its ability to make everything look prettier than it probably is in real life.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Lets get physical...

Untitled #9

$140 -

£15 -

Excuse the awful pun for a title but, like many of you I'm sure, January was meant to be the time for me to kick my ass into shape and get moving again. Now, I've been for the odd run and played a bit of badminton but quite frankly, I've done nowhere near as much exercise as I should have. I blame this entirely on the fact I'm a fair weather runner and the weather in Edinburgh right now is far far FAR too cold to tempt me away from the warmth of the indoors. I reckon, I need to find an active sport/exercise that I love, is maybe indoors and is one that will make me forget I'm playing sport {badminton might just be this...}. Until then, I can at least plan how I could look really attractive when I'm out going for a run. Ahem. Though, in reality, this is probably more accurate.

Do you have an exercise that you love?

Love B

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Tiffanys - what makes love true

Wow. They've surpassed themselves with this little campaign. Shot by Garance Dor and Scott Shuman, I love the use of the Instagram filter {that app is probably the biggest reason I want an iphone...}. I think it's a really beautifully shot campaign, and I love how the filter just makes it all a bit softer, a bit more romantic. I particularly love that it's about pretty normal moments - reading a book curled up together, flagging down a taxi, stealing a hug...

Well done Tiffanys. Well done. Now if you could reward my interest and appreciation of your campaign with a diamond, it would be much appreciated. Ta.

{all images via Tiffany's}
Love B x

Monday, 16 January 2012


Listen to this and tell me it isn't beautiful. It's the kind of music that makes me grin in a way that I can't help or stop. A completely genuine, instinctive response to this kind of music and talent.

And tell me this one doesn't make you smile when it starts to really kick in around 1:36.

These two incredibly talented musicians really put a smile on my face today in the most genuine, wonderful way. I love listening to music like this. I hope you did too.

Love B x

Home vs house.

We live in a rented, furnished flat, like many people. This situation is unlikely to change in the forseeable future with property prices being as they are, and deposits being as their current, huge amounts {though that doesn't stop me from aiming to own my own property before I'm thirty}. The flat in which I live is very much my home - I share it with someone I love dearly and we are gradually filling it with things that have particular meaning to us. However, for all I feel like it is my home, it is most certainly not my house.

Now I am unable to be buying furniture to replace the pieces that are currently here - I can neither afford to do so financially {a sofa is a big commitment at 23!} and the logistics of storing furniture and moving it in and out seems over the top. This niggles me when I'm scoping gorgeous design blogs, but for the most part I can move past it - filling our home with personal momentos is having enough of an effect in terms of personalising the place. However, with regards to my interior design tastes, our landlord and myself have somewhat conflicting views. Namely, I like my walls to be a mix of chic muted colours that act as a backdrop to accent colours, whereas he very much enjoys a bold punch of colour {it's like living in a Skittles bag}. Any changes to this interior decoration would be purely cosmetic because lets be honest, it's not as if the walls are falling down around me or like I don't have a roof over my head {so I'm aware it's a pretty privileged problem to begin with}. So my options lie in either asking the landlord to paint the walls {which I have, though I'm not holding my breath} or doing it myself which requires both a financial commitment as well as a commitment of my time.

I've already spent a large chunk of my Saturday painting the wood work in the house because I'd finally decided to do something about the chipped paint and whilst not an unpleasant task, it did require both a financial {albeit minimal} and personal commitment and thus made me consider the implications of redecorating a property that is my home but not my house {landlord permitting of course}. 

Do you invest your time and money into your home solely because it will be your home for the forseeable future, or do you just make do with its current decoration because you would be wasting money improving someone else's house? Granted, I'm speaking from a position of limited disposable income right now, so maybe that would alter my perception but it has definitely divided opinions in our home. I personally, would love to decorate our home, but I'm more and more being able to comprehend my boyfriends argument against fixing up someone else's house. I'm intrigued to know your opinions on this too, please share: I'd love to hear from you!

Love B x

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Laid Back Sundays

Untitled #8

If I have to leave the house today, I would love for it to be in an outfit that resembles this as closely as possible. Maybe not super exciting, or on trend, or colourful, but definitely me. I will spending today trying to find that balance between style and comfort and making the most of another day off before the working week kicks in again with a vengeance.

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend - mine has been really lovely.

Love B

Friday, 13 January 2012

Anthropologie Earrings

I am head over heels for these earrings from Anthropologie. I've had my eye on them since before Christmas {when I had planned on buying them as a gift for a friend!} and when the grey ones went out of stock I was really disappointed - a sign that I probably should've bought them when I had the chance {much like the lesson I supposedly learnt from the Anthropologie champagne glasses - that I eventually got my hands on! - or the ASOS boots}. As it is, they're both back in stock, but with both retailing at just shy of £30 I can't really justify one let alone both of them in this month after Christmas. Hopefully they'll still be around in a few weeks and maybe, just maybe, I'll 'force' myself to buy them. The grey ones, in particular, are stunning in real life - I think they're my favourite by a whisker - they're a lot smokier in real life, but I equally love how delicate the hoops are.

Love B x

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Brass Animals

I have two glittery reindeers that make an appearance every Christmas and I love 'em.  Needless to say I hate putting them away once the 12 days after Christmas have passed. This year though, they've been replaced and I am in love.

Meet the brass giraffe candlestick holder that is currently residing on our TV. He was about £5 in the Anthropologie sale, though I'd loved him when he was nearer £30 {I just couldn't bring myself to pay that}.

I know it's rather random but he fits in rather well with the slightly ecclectic decor in our flat. I like to think it's tasteful but with character - in keeping with our gorgeous cornicing, high ceilings and ridiculously bold colours thanks to our landlord. I might be verbose when it comes to thinking about fashion but I know exactly how I want to merge my personal interior style with my boyfriend's and how I want our home to look and I love that our styles seem to mix so well together. And that he humours me when I do think like bring home a brass giraffe...

Reader. It must be love.

Love B x

Monday, 9 January 2012

Olivia Palermo - or rather, a post that was meant to be about her but turned out to be about personal style...

So January has been quite intensively crafty in terms of posts so I thought I'd diversify a bit and think about some of my other resolutions. One of which is to be consistent in the ways I present myself - both in terms of style {making more of an effort, more of the time - rather than stumbling from high effort to schlomp pants} and looking after myself more with regards to {granted, vacuous} things such as haircuts, eyebrow waxes, nails. I am aware how vain and inconsequential this comes across but I recently stumbled across an interview on with Olivia Palermo in which she talked about personal style and some of the things she said really resonated with me.

She talked about how you can't wear the same clothes at 24 as you did at 18. As I grow up and find myself using my time differently - working full time being the main change - I find I the clothes I wear and love must adapt accordingly.  It's not to say I have had a complete style overhaul, infact I'd say my tastes have been fairly consistent since my late teens, but I am certainly more and more confident in finding pieces that I love and actually reflect my tastes. and my wardrobe is finally beginning to reflect that. A large portion of my clothes need to reflect my personality whilst still be practical for me to carry out my job well. I'm on my feet all day and working with children in a school so I need to maintain some air of authority but formal office wear isn't really appropriate. Nor are high end or trend led pieces. As such, whilst working in a school gives me more freedom than working in a corporate environment, for example, my clothes are still required to be smart and practical enough for me to do my job and show a bit of personality.

Not that that should cause much issue. My style has grown and evolved as I have: I have no desire to dress like I did at 18 nor should I really be presenting myself in the same way I did at 18. I want my outward appearance to reflect who I am as well as where I am hoping to be headed in my future. Perhaps I'm taking clothes a bit too seriously here but I certainly believe that the clothing you wear helps paint a picture of you to those around you. Working with children, I think this is particularly evident as they pick up on visual clues so well - the kooky art teacher isn't going to wear a sharp Tom Ford suit everyday. Equally, the head of a school isn't going to turn up in ragged jeans every afternoon. Especially in a work environment, I think your clothing needs to be consistent with your personality and approach to work. So, as a teaching assistant/hopefully a trainee teacher, and with youth as perhaps a barrier rather than a help, I need to dress in a way that encourages the children to interact with me and that shows a hint of personality, but that also reinforces my role and position in the classroom.

Am I making any sense? I think what I am trying to say {in a rather wordy manner} is that I want my clothing to reflect my professional ambitions, my professional position and my personal approach. Equally I want off duty clothing that reflects me as I am now, at nearly 24, rather than the clothes I wore at 18. Phew.

This new sense of "clarity" {and verbosity, apparently} isn't to say that I don't have days where I hate everything I own and believe it makes me look hideous; there are far too many pieces in my wardrobe that I have spent far too much money on only to realise I like them considerably less than I thought or that they simply don't fit with my lifestyle. Looking at Olivia Palermo and her personal sense of style, I certainly find her tastes have an affinity with mine. She always looks effortlessly polished and pulled together - something that I'd like to emulate more in 2012. Reading this back, this seems like such a vacuous thing to be pontificating on {and pontificate I have} but I know I feel so much better if outwardly I present myself in a way that exudes confidence, poise and a bit of grace. Clothes that express my personality and present myself in the way I want to seen.

Oh hell. This has turned in to a far more epic and wordy post than I had ever anticipated. Sorry. Now for some pretty pictures.

{all images via pinterest}

What do you think? Does your dress sense reflect your personality well? Or present you as you would like? Have I just chatted absolute tripe for the entirety of this post and you've wished I would just shut up?!

Love B x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

DIY: Monogram Mugs

More inspired Christmas gifting, this time in the shape of monogram mugs! I love the little teapot on the back of each mug - it's my favourite touch.

These were super easy to make too. I bought mugs from IKEA and used a ceramic pen that I had at home but that you could pick up at most craft places or online. I sketched out designs on paper before copying them onto my mugs, using photos from pinterest and google as inspiration. For the teapot I googled teapot silhoettes which came up with plenty of inspiration too! The pens can wipe off as you go if you makes any mistakes but once you fire them at something like 200 degrees for 30 minutes, they'll be set. 
Love B x

Friday, 6 January 2012

Sea Salt Caramels

I don't know about you but I am quite happy to spend most of Christmas devouring all kinds of food that I wouldn't normally go near {honest...well, maybe...}. These sea salt caramels are right up my street with their mix of savoury and sweet flavours.

I used a recipe I found online, of which there are plenty of variations, though I omitted any butter from mine and it didn't do them any harm.


8fl oz double cream {I used the extra thick kind}
60g honey
60ml water
200g caster sugar
1tsp sea salt {and extra for dusting - I used Maldon because I already had some}
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Heat the cream and salt together over a gentle heat. In the original recipe, this was left heating until the butter melted but because I obviously can't use that marker, simply heat for approx. 5 minutes.

Add the honey, sugar and water together over a high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Boil until it turns a golden brown. I'll be honest here, I have no idea whether I'm meant to stir it or not and what is proper caramel ettiquette. I stirred, because my first batch burnt when I didn't. Like I said, maybe I'm wrong.

When the mix has turned golden brown, remove from the heat and carefully add the cream/salt mixture. Carefully does it because it will bubble up something crazy. Cook for another 10 mins {still stirring? I am!}. This should be when the caramel reaches 250 degrees F/120degrees C but because I don't have a sugar thermometer {are you noticed the adhoc trend yet?} I just waited until a drop of the mix formed a reasonably firm ball in cold water.

When that happens, pour the mixture into a lined tin and leave to cool to room temperature. Then simply pop in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours. It might harden up too much but don't worry it should soften up back at room temp.

I used a heated knife to cut my caramels into 60 little rectangles which I wrapped in strips of wax paper. I used cellophane bags from the pound shop and some of the smaller stickers from a Christmas label pack I had bought, to make little bags of 5 as gifts. The second batch I simply wrapped and whacked in a bowl to accompany my festive film watching. Yum.

Have a lovely weekend everyone - ours is full of seeing family and friends. Wonderful! See you Monday.

Love B x

Thursday, 5 January 2012

DIY: Snood

A lot of my December {and November, come to think of it} was spent handmaking Christmas presents. I've been itching to share them all since I started but obviously couldn't before the big day! Now though....

This little project started off life as a Christmas present for my sister and descended into making snoods for rather a lot of the lovely ladies in my life! Whilst it took a reasonable chunk of time to make 6 snoods, it was totally worth the effort and the outcome is lovely. I found myself passing any free time I had with knitting needles in hand and it was great to have something to focus on outside of work.

These chunky snoods are particularly satisfying - using large needles and chunky wool they come together really quickly. I found that I often didn't need more than 1 - 2 balls of wool per snood either (though the large grey snood used 3) and considering you can pick wool up for a reasonable price on Amazon, for presents on a budget they're lovely.

I simply cast on 30 stitches {remember the video I uploaded} using extra chunky wool and size 10 knitting needles {though the wool you use will dictate the thickness of the needle normally}. Being careful to not drop any stitches {and fiddling about to 'repair' the ones I did} I simply knitted until I reached near the end of the ball and to the end of the line {top prevent any knots in the middle!}.

Casting off at the end, I used any remaining wool to tie the two ends together, though I could have used a similar coloured thread to stitch them instead. I made most of mine quite snug - they need to be large enough to go over someone's head and not choke them but I quite liked that they are fairly unobtrusive and could be worn all day without getting in the way!

I folded mine and wrapped them up with Christmas ribbon for a bit of festive flare. I love them and most certainly will be embarking on making one for myself!

Love B x

Tuesday, 3 January 2012



Well, December vanished in a blur. I love Christmas and there are so many parts of the festive season that I wanted to blog about. All of which fell by the wayside as I got swept up in the whirlwind of festivities and actually partaking in them rather than documenting them! I'm still getting used to that.

There were trips to the German Market, decorating our second tree in our home together, a wonderful ten days split between my boyfriend's home and mine, Christmas day finally spent together and we topped it off with possibly the best New Years Eve I've ever had. Great company, a big dinner party, perhaps a little too much wine and absolute hilarity was guaranteed to follow. I had the loveliest Christmas and New Year and spent it with the people I love most. It was the most perfect way to round of 2011 and ring in 2012.

A New Year always sets my head spinning with resolutions and changes that I want to embrace. Personal, professional, health, aspirational, relationship - you name it, I can probably give you a resolution about it. I'd like this year to set myself achievable goals rather than make promises that I can't keep. I'd like to strive to be a better version of myself - look after myself and my health more, be more present in all my relationships with friends, family and a certain loved one, keep working towards the career I want and do more to develop my hobbies and interests - blog more, read more, run more, craft more. I'd like to make the most of the opportunities around me and grasp things with both hands - relax and enjoy things a little more perhaps {I am a Monica by nature}.

I have a lot of hope for 2012 and I'm excited to see where it will take me in my professional and personal life.

Happy New Year.

Love B x

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