Enter Autumn with Thought


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Many of you may know we are in the midst of renovating our house. It’s been a bit of a slog but we are slowly making some headway. An unexpected (and increasingly frustrating) offshoot has been feeling permanently unkempt. For a while there we had no working shower and we even had to utilize the archaic Victorian toilet at the back of our house (not for the faint hearted, esp. at 2am in the morning), which definitely takes it toll on your psyche. Thankfully, with some order restored in the bathroom and my bedroom feeling slightly more sane I can once again turn my attention to clothes – I’ve basically been rotating the same handful of outfits in order to preserve my more precious items from getting too dust ridden or damaged. I have mostly failed in that endeavour, I might add. Again, this is something I totally didn’t factor in when we bought a major fixer upper. And I certainly hadn’t even considered autumn or how I was going to tackle this weird transition period until sustainable fashion brand Thought Clothing offered to send me a few items from their current A/W collection. Suddenly I was getting excited about the change in seasons and realised I didn’t have an appropriate jacket that could see me through these warmer weeks before winter well and truly hits. I instantly feel in love with the cocoon cut and muted grey tones and knew it was just what I needed to give my lack lustre wardrobe an instant lease of life.

 

Wandering about Penzance last weekend I couldn’t have felt more autumnal, particularly with our gorgeous girl Whinnie in tow (in case you weren’t aware, we’ve adopted a 2 year old rescue dachshund who has basically become the love of our lives) … this really is the best time to be in Cornwall. A little more calm with still a few visitors floating about, this is when the area really comes into it’s own, in my opinion. The sunsets are more spectacular, the weather is still mild and there’s an air of tangible tranquility – maybe it’s the light or perhaps it’s all in my mind but to my eyes it appears extra magical.

 

As much as I love my coastal and countryside walks, I also adore meandering around Penzance – an early morning Sunday stroll through the town we’ve made our home is the perfect weekend destresser. With only a handful of people about I didn’t feel too awkward having my photo taken against this cool mews-style backdrop. I kept things super casual by pairing the coat with a crisp white blouses (also from Thought) and light denim mom jeans – it’s doesn’t get more classic than that. A white blouse is such a great basic to have in your closet and I’ve worn this one an absolute ton over the last few months, so you could say it’s become something of a staple. The mom jeans are old favourites from Monki (I actually want another pair in black) with my bag and shoes also being high street finds (Zara and Mango respectively) with the hat being (kinda bizarrely) from the men’s section at Mountain Warehouse – I have one in black too, and my Husband and I share them.

 

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organic cotton Hartley jacket//thought clothing   austin white tencel blouse//thought clothing   taiki mom jeans//monki     green bucket bag (old … similar here)//zara   faux leather ankle boots//mango (similar here)   mens knitted beanie//mountain warehouse (similar here)

 
Basically, this is a pretty accurate representation of what I like to wear at the weekend … achingly simple with a very subtle nod to current trends. Because I only invest in a few pieces each season, this casual jacket was enough to inject some contemporary cool into my outfit – if you’re on a reasonably tight budget like myself, then I find selecting a handful of neutral items can be enough to rejuvenate what you already have at your disposal. Then it’s a case of having fun with how you style it. In my opinion, comfort is key – if you look at ease in your clothes, chances are you’ll feel a lot more stylish. It’s that age-old addage … ‘it’s not what you wear but how you wear it’, which has become something of a mantra for me, particularly since I pared back my wardrobe. Whilst it was initially nerve-wracking having a fraction of the clothes I once owned to choose from, it soon became quite liberating and I found my personal style effortlessly entering a new era. Clearing out all my vintage clothes with their wondrous but overwhelmingly manic prints was not as traumatic as I once would’ve thought, instead giving me space to breathe and discover a new way – contrary to what I previously believed, minimal does not necessarily mean dull. Having always gravitated towards colour and pattern, I still allow myself to inject a bit of liveliness into my ensemble, usually in the form of accessories, such as this hat and bag. That way, I still feel myself … just a more ‘grown-up’ version. The twenty-something me would’ve balked at my current closet with it’s abundance of navy, white and denim, but the fact is our tastes do tend to shift the older we get – it’s a natural progression and I for one am not going to fight it.

 

Same goes for my house. Ten years ago I would have gravitated to all things retro and mid-century and probably kitted the whole place out like a set from Mad Men but having purchased a Victorian Townhouse, it immediately became clear this was not the way to go. Again, keeping things fairly neutral and adding pops of colours with soft furnishings etc. is really working for us at present … some might say it’s bland or boring but we think it’s total bliss. Perhaps in another ten years I’ll back to my sixties loving self but for now I’m happy keeping things zen.
 

*Whilst this post is kindly sponsored by Thought Clothing, all words and thoughts are entirely my own.

 

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Thoughtful Fashion

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a jam packed number of months … at least not in a very long while. The blog, as you may have noticed, was pretty much discarded during this time but now that I have a bit more time on my hands I’m desperately trying to repair the damage. Thanks to everyone who has stayed with me during this posting drought. I can’t promise it won’t happen again but I feel like I have a better handle on things at the moment and so I’m making hay while the sun shines, so to speak.

 

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Instead of launching in with a food post (there are plenty of those in the pipeline) I thought I would instead open with a fashion feature. I recently uploaded one of these images to instagram and was immediately inundated with requests for more style-related content. If you’re a long-term reader you’ll already be familiar with my love for fashion and design, and even though those passions have never really waned, I had stopped posting them on this platform – I’d also completely avoided selfies and the like on places like instagram too. Perhaps it was just a self-conscious phase I was going through but I almost felt like hiding from the world for a bit … I’m glad to say I’m in a much better place right now, which means I’ve been dipping my toe into the fashion arena once more.

 

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Being vegan, obviously means that my ethics do extend to my clothing choices too and so I’m always drawn to brands like Thought Clothing (formerly Braintree clothing). You may remember a post I uploaded a year or so ago but even since then they have evolved into one of my current favourite fashion outlets – they have all the eco-credentials I’m after coupled with the simple ease I’m always seeking for my wardrobe. When they sent me through a recent look book I was immediately drawn to this maxi dress. An absolute dream to wear, I’ve been pairing it mainly with my faithful pale grey Superga trainers – there’s no point in trying to over-style this number, as it is a statement in itself. I’m off to LA at the end of May and this will definitely be coming with me. I’ll probably wear it with some heeled clog-style sandals but I also think it would be a great cover-up for the beach … and we are staying right on the beach (Venice beach, to be exact), which is basically my dream scenario.

 

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There are so many pieces in the current Thought collection, I found it seriously difficult to choose just a handful – the shapes, styles and lengths are perfect for my figure, which is always a bonus … and the materials they use are sublime. Being quite short (5’4”) and with a typical British/Irish pear shape (smaller on top with wider hips and thighs) it can sometimes be tricky finding clothing that is flattering but this range manages it beautifully. Over the past few years I’ve been placing more importance on fit and cut rather than passing fads and trends, often opting for a size up to ensure it hangs just right. Because I’m female, I’m always berating myself for not being thin enough but recently I’ve really endeavoured to embrace all my imperfections and not get too hung up on being ‘perfect’ – easier said than done, am I right? I don’t know why us women are so critical of ourselves but it can be exhausting at times. I try to avoid sites and feeds that feed into my own insecurities but they seem to have a way of finding me, almost like a moth to a flame. The older I get though (I’m 36 on Sunday) the more I realise how redundant comparison is – it is the stealer of joy, after all. Right now I’m focusing on all the positives in my life … happily married, new house, healthy, in a job I adore and living in Cornwall. It’s all good stuff. I probably need to remember that more often.

 

what I wore//tanami maxi shirt dress/thought clothing//light grey superga cotu classic/superga//bracelets/cos//necklace/h&m
 
disclaimer: thanks to Thought clothing for sending through the wonderful pieces from their collection … whilst this is a sponsored post, I only ever work with brands I truly love.
 
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Back to the Eighties

 

Remember the last time I did an outfit post? Nope, I don’t either. In fact, it’s been so long I’d almost forgotten this was supposed to be a ‘lifestyle’ blog and not just one where I upload recipes from time and time. I guess I haven’t felt like my jeans and tee uniform of late is very blogworthy (although it is mighty comfortable) but sometimes it’s nice to put a spin on things  – even if that spin includes a slouchy polka dot blazer you found on the pound rail in a charity shop. Sure, it’s needs the pocket mending but that didn’t stop me from wearing it all over St.Ives on Saturday like the sassy skinflint/thrifter I am. The little blue bag was gifted to me from a terrific new vegan bag company called LaBante (thank you!) and is the perfect size (phone, wallet and keys, bingo!) and style for my laid-back Cornish lifestyle … with just enough pizazz to give me my much needed fashion fix.

 

I’ve basically been living in these trousers too – it almost feels (er, and looks?) like I’m wearing pajamas, which is never a bad thing in my book. I’d tried them on a while back when I was in London but hummed and hawed over them for some reason, so they stayed on the rack. A few months later Monki were having a sale and these little beauties were less than half price, which made them all the more appealing. I was still unsure but at £12 I couldn’t really say no and hey presto, they have quickly become a firm staple. And what I can say about that hat, eh? That ludicrously large ‘i’m wearing a hat’ hat. Yup. Another charity shop purchase from last summer … it’s Laura Ashley and sets off this borderline twee outfit to a tee. It also happens to be the perfect beach hat and as such, has become my requisite summertime headgear of late, lending a rather preppy Hillary Whitney-esque air to proceedings. What can I say … you can take the girl out of the eighties but you can’t take the eighties out of the girl!

 

p.s. I’m wearing a bikini under this garb, which goes some way to explaining the lumpy bust scenario. perils of living near the sea I suppose.

 

what i’m wearing … tee/peacocks (old. so, so, old) … trews/monki … blazer and hat/charity shop … shoes/new look (asos) … bag/labante

 

 

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Quinoa Haircare


 

Haircare can be a struggle for me. I have naturally bouffant locks that have a tendency to err on the frizzy side and most products just seem to make my helmet head worse. Cheap shampoos are an absolute no-no because whilst they leave my hair squeaky clean (literally) this also means my hair feels stripped of any any natural oils or nourishment. It’s a continual pain that’s not easily rectified especially when I’m also seeking out vegan friendly products that combine my ethical credentials with my unshakable desire for quality … easier said than done. Now, having already been a long-time Green People fan, I knew when offered their latest quinoa haircare range I was in for a treat – talk about covering all bases, I was (and still am) delighting in this line of paraben-free beauties that render my bob silky smooth and a cinch to handle.

 

They came at just the right time too because I had actually been in the midst of a hair crisis – mainly due to the God-awful (and yet totally vegan) ‘poo and conditioner I’d been suffering through because I’m one of those people that loathes waste and was therefore refusing to buy anything new until it was used up. Crazy, I know. Thankfully Green People came to the rescue and (unbeknownst to them, I might add) saved me from appearing on screen with a head resembling Monica’s when the humidity got to her in Jamaica – prior to the braids. I’m rambling.

 

Whilst I’m crazy about all the products, I must say the styling gel is a particular favourite, and has quickly become an indispensable part of my haircare routine. I usually take a pea-sized amount, rub it between my hands and run it through my hair, paying special attention to the ends before blow-drying and et voila, smooth as you like. If you also suffer from a case of the ‘bouffants’ then I really can’t recommend this enough. Likewise, the entire range (well, the three products I’ve tried) are a seriously super addition to any vegan’s beauty armour – plus, anything that has avocado, quinoa and artichoke listed in the ingredients is already onto a winner with me. I’m either food obsessed or easily pleased, take your pick.

 




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Currently Coveting


 

I am just about clinging on this month so I need every materialistic comfort I can get my hands on to see me through. Surrounding myself with pretty things is just the ticket to beating these January blues and a good book (namely ‘Not That Kind Of Girl’) is also required, especially during this so-called ‘digital detox’ I’ve imposed upon myself. Luckily for me Lena Dunham’s witty writing style is perfect bedtime fodder and the make-do tea lights (more on those in a minute) are on point too in setting that sleepy-bye-byes mood.

 

A couple of things here are Christmas gifts from my Husband (that man truly gets me) but before I wax lyrical about my latest Mary Quant scarf let me draw your attention to the cute personalised stamps I acquired from NotOnTheHighStreet. I must confess, I’d never ordered anything from there before although I’ve always been intrigued by their wares. I’d intended to give out edible gifts at Christmastime (hence the stamp) but unfortunately due to my absolute self-confessed stupidity I listed the wrong postcode meaning it (along with the requisite cellophane bags) didn’t arrive in time. Ugh. Idiot. Thankfully I’ll still get good use out of them but I was infuriated (at myself) at the time.

 

Onto the scarf then. Another absolute beauty sourced online and given to me by my wonderful Husband… I adore Mary Quant and this colourful option is going to get so much wear during the summer. I’ve been playing around with different ways to style it although I think I’ll probably end up using it most as a headscarf. What can I say? J’adore.
 



 
The charm bracelet was a ridiculous (like, five quid ridiculous) bargain I found at a terrific vintage jeweller’s in Derry called The Whatnot. They have sooooo much incredible stuff in there, I could seriously spend hours browsing the shelves. We were actually on some official earring business (my Dad was buying my Mum’s Christmas gift) when I spied it out of the corner of my eye and knew I had to have it. I kind of feel like it’s an homage to our London days, even though it wasn’t actually bought in London. And I can’t deny, I did come over all nostalgic for those happy years we spent in the capital although I’m not sure how much fun it would be now. Rose tinted glasses, eh?

 

Herbal teas are where I’m at and Yogi is a fav brand of mine – this one was Sweet Chai and it has a real spicy kick to it. Sometimes I add a splash of soya milk and a teaspoon of agave but today I enjoyed it ‘au naturale’. I also love how each bag comes with a philosophical saying or quote. This one read:

 

In distant travel you learn about yourself

Too true.

 

Having just recently discovered my skin type is ‘dry’ (and what with this winter weather wreaking havoc with my skin) I was desperate to find a natural solution. I did some research (YouTube is a wondrous thing!) and Argan Oil came up a lot, so I knew I had to try it. I’ve been using it solidly since before Christmas (I apply it after removing my make-up in the evening) and now I’m a total 100% Argan Oil convert – it really does live up to the hype. Whereas before I was waking up in the morning with a tightness in my skin, it now feels soft and supple and totally hydrated. If, like me, you also suffer from dry skin then I honestly can’t recommend this stuff highly enough. The brand I went for was Dr.Organic, which can be purchased at Holland & Barrett. Go try it ! Now!

 

Oh, and those simple glass tealight holders once contained scented candles. All I did was wash them out and I must say I really am quite taken with them. That’s my kind of recycling! What are you currently coveting? Leave me comment below.

 

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Seeing Spots


 
Take a good look at this little loft location because it’s probably the last time you’re going to see it. Two weeks from now we will hopefully be settling into our uh-mazing new pad, which is practically on the seafront with masses of snorkelling potential… not to mention the double whammy outside space it boasts that will be perfect for sunbathing and bbq’s. Yeah baby! With so much going on in our lives at the moment, I’ve been resorting to simple uniformic outfits like this one – jeans, shirt, sandals, go. I actually wore this to bowling last night because it’s so damn comfortable – and it may have helped my usually awful game because I ended up getting not one, but TWO STRIKES! *insert victory dance here*
 

what i wore…  spotty shirt/ new look … skinny jeans/h&m … sandals/asos (new look) … bag/nica … sunnies/wild pony vintage

 

 

Badly applied lippy and unbrushed hair is also de rigueur these days in my world… I’m a habitual lip licker and my mop is badly in need of a trim but due to deadlines, it’s been the least of my priorities. Speaking of deadlines, I got a sneak peek of my completed book yesterday and I am so delighted with how it’s turned out – seriously cannot wait to show you guys!
 
To top it all off, Cornwall is currently basking in some serious sunshine right now, so it’s gonna be a great Easter break – it’s like the county is slowly waking up before the summer droves head down for their holidays. Oh, and on a slight side note, I celebrated my 33rd birthday this week. As a treat I got my toes summer ready by taking myself to the rather lovely Watergate Bay Hotel for a relaxing pedicure before my friend treated me to a gorgeous vegan lunch at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen (which just happens to be perched on the cliff overlooking the bay – er, dream location). Last but not least, the Hubby (spot him in ma sunnies!) and I are five years married today – not that either of us actually remembered, mind… ah well, here’s to the next five, eh?!
 

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Pineapple Head


 
Guys, it’s no secret I have a thing for glasses… prescription and sun. It’s actually kind of a problem (one that my Husband tolerates thankfully) and often means I turn a bit magpie-like whenever I spy a new style – I honestly think I have a sixth sense when it comes to spectacles, it’s kind of impressive. Living in Cornwall seems to have exasperated this unfortunate affliction because people wear glasses here all year round – fine by me! When it comes to shape, I often switch it up and don’t affiliate myself with one particular era – in fact my own collection contains the big-ass 80’s sunnies I’m sporting in these pics, as well as the typical hipsterish roundies that take their lead from those 60’s Beatnik babes we all adore so much. As far as brands go though I do have a penchant for the wonderful Warby Parker (and I know I’m not the only one!), so when I spied their latest ‘Spectrum’ collection my magpie tendencies went into overload – they’re like a better version of the vintage ones I already have, especially with the gradient lenses…. er, love! From the painfully pretty ‘Hall’ Cherry Blossom style to (my personal fav) the ‘Minnie’ in Eucalyptus (obvs!) – ack, but I also love the super cute ‘Downing’ frames too, what’s a girl to do? No, seriously, I need help on this one, which pair would you opt for?
 

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what i’m wearing… original breton top & handmade necklace/wild pony vintage… sunglasses/vintage… pineapple/the supermarket

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Weekday Wish List

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clockwise from bottom left… white tee/pickwick&weller … vegan heels/bait footwear … kids umbrella/stella mccartney … tess sweater/toast … coral carmen sunglasses/house of harlow … 2 in 1 cleansing milk/lavera … packable poncho/paul by paul smith

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Well hello there friends! I hope you had a terrific weekend and are enjoying a constructive start to the week… or, like me, are just about holding it together. In between my book writing (self-motivation can be a bitch) and sorting through the chaos that is currently my house (we are on a mahoosive decluttering mission here) I decided to take a moment (okay an hour) to make myself a little inspiration board that encompasses my current casual life in Cornwall whilst attempting to maintain some modicum of style – not as easy as it sounds. I was actually in the midst of creating mood boards for the book (yup, I am a mood board nut and make no apologies for it) and suddenly had the uncontrollable urge to share some of my recent fashion and beauty loves. I must admit I only possess one of these items at present (the Lavera cleansing milk), which I can confirm is totally uhmazing. Damn I love cruelty-free beauty, don’t you?

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When I browsed through the Toast March look book this morning my heart actually simultaneously skipped and sank a beat when I first saw this gorgeous Tess sweater. I presumed the worst (I always do) and thought there must be some wool content but no, to my delight, it’s cotton – woohoo! These ‘Happenin’ Home Heel’ Bait shoes have been on my ‘i want, i want, i want’ list for a while now and by golly I shall have them… (or a similar style anyway because hey, guess what, these ones are currently unavailable, ugh). I hear that all their styles will soon be 100% vegan friendly –  music to my ears! The Paul by Paul Smith packable poncho is probably waaaay out of my price range but would be so perfect for our Cornish walks that can start bright and sunny, and end in some ridiculous thunder storm. Also, I could only find a Japanese shopping link for it, so apologies if I got your (my own) hopes up on that one. And yes, the Stella McCartney umbrella is (a) intended for children and (b) currently not in stock – can you blame ’em?! Something tells me there’s not a hoard of uber stylish kids swanning around with these (more like their Mums), and as soon as they’re back online, I shall be making a very swift purchase myself. Oh, and what about these Pickwick & Weller tees, eh? I realise I am so behind the times on this one but my goodness these are great… every style imaginable, I am in t-shirt hea-ven! Slight snag though, they currently do not ship to the UK (insert major sad face here)…. good thing I might be heading to New York in May when I shall endeavour to hunt these suckers down. Do I need to even explain why I adore these incredible House of Harlow coral sunnies? Nuff said.

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