Reviewed: Modern Country

I’m a massive fan of interiors inspiration books and so I was happy to receive Modern Country for review recently. Normally I wouldn’t classify my style as ‘country’ at all, but if you feel the same definitely don’t let this put you off exploring this gorgeous collection of stunning homes.


I was really pleasantly surprised to find a collection of homes that ranged from eclectic to modern to rustic, salvage and industrial takes on relaxed country style.



It’s a perfect gift for those interiors lovers you may know and the publishers have arranged a special offer for you all…

Reader Offer:
To order Modern Country at the discounted price of £24.00 including p&p* (RRP: £30.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG217.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

It’s definitely worth a look! Have a great weekend readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Modern Country is published by Jacqui Small www.jacquismallpub.com (@JacquiSmallPub)

How to Wear: October

Looking back at the outfits I’ve worn this month, I’m quite surprised to see that I’ve inadvertently been following a couple of themes. Mostly, I’m quite lazy in preparing what I wear on a daily basis, taking the time I spend in the bathroom of a morning to figure out my outfit. However this October, I’ve been following one of the many Blogger/Instagram challenges that are out there, this being a #nynystyleproject. It’s actually made me feel a little more prepared for the following day, and the prompts have certainly made me think about what I have in my wardrobe, rather than wearing new favourites on rotation, which is often the case.

I am though happy to report that I actually did practice what I preached earlier in the month and managed to squeeze in some jeweled and faux fur bits too.

Starting with shoes, as that is a passion of mine, mine during the working week have mostly been pointed. My new ASOS flats have worked really well for busy work days, and I really like the pointed lace ups I picked up from Next (another rule followed – Burgundy!). The R&B Vixen’s were a sale buy this summer but still a bit of a splurge.

Weekends have been a very welcome mix of casual. From rips and skaters with cashmere, to Wellies (love these short Boden ones) and my old-faithful Converse, it’s been really nice to dress down. I’ve also noted that Rebecca has mentioned Skaters and Wellington Boots this month too, so it’s nice to be able to wear these trends.

As I said though I have managed to squeeze in some Faux Fur and some Jewels. Faux Fur was worn as a gilet over a relatively simple outfit of a Breton top and coated jeans for a day of Agency meetings and an evening out, and then a Jewel encrusted shirt was worn on my birthday. My Mum always told me that you should wear something new on your Birthday and this fitted the bill nicely, being a recent J Crew (new with tags!) find on eBay for a tiny fraction of the original cost after lusting after this new season one but absolutely not being able to justify the price-tag.

Finally, I must share today’s outfit, if only to say BARE LEGS in almost November. What’s with that? I’m definitely not complaining. I’m a big fan of this inbetweeny weather. Makes my commute so much easier.

So what do you think Readers? Good choices for what is probably my favourite month of the year?

Erin xx

Find Erin on Twitter @ErinLauraWalsh or Instagram @ShoeQueen79

Meet and Greet… Erin

It might have seemed a little odd when I ‘re-introduced’ Victoria a couple of weeks back, as she is a long standing contributor, but I wanted to properly introduce Erin and Esme also, so it seemed like a good idea to start with Victoria. Today Erin is here, pre-empting her second post of the month rounding up how she wore her October must-buys, which is coming right up tomorrow. I love reading about other women’s holiday hotspots, beauty must-have’s and real life, so I hope you enjoy this insight into Erins!

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I am wife to Richard and mummy to 2YO Calum and live in Reigate, Surrey. My day job is looking after the Marketing for a cruise company where I’ve been for over 13 years – it must be love! I love to cook, and a big foodie but am mostly a huge shoe lover (have in excess of 200 pairs probably) and love fashion so, unsurprisingly…

What are you going to be writing about?

… I’ll be writing a monthly column about fashion & style, also sharing what I’ve been wearing in the month for some (hopeful) reader inspiration.

What is your weekday/weekend uniform?

My style is quite varied, going from casual to super glam, depending on the occasion of course! One of my mottos (given not made) is “never knowingly underdressed”! Weekdays consist dresses, skirts, trousers, always worn with some sort of print or jewel, and weekends are jeans, jackets, sweats, flats, but always considered.

Favourite Food?

Wow this is hard as I love to cook and try new things, although I do have dislikes. Keep Green Peppers away from me! I guess my “Death Row” meal would be a good old English Breakfast… Poached eggs though and Marmite for the toast!

Holiday destination recommendation?

I’m really lucky that in that I’m well travelled – a mixture of the perks of work and being taken to far-flung places as a child so there’s only one continent I’ve not been to and that’s Africa. Working in Travel has also given me access to some amazing deals and places but two places I’d really recommend for a holiday. One is quite close to home and that is the South of France. For a laid back vibe, beautiful food and people watching, I could go back there (to the Cote D’azur specifically) again and again. The other is Thailand. We had probably our best holiday there as a two centre mix of Bangkok and Koh Samui. A must do if you can.

Can’t live without Beauty product?

I’m actually change up my beauty products every so often as I believe it’s good for your skin, and hair, to make changes. However over the years the one product I’ve been loyal to is Palmers Cocoa Butter as a body moisturiser. I love the texture and the effect it has on my skin although I did have to stop using it during my pregnancy with Calum as the smell was overwhelming!

Last book I read…

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. I was at a conference in Las Vegas this summer and Sophie was one of the Keynote Speakers. For those of you who don’t know, she started the brand Nasty Gal in the US and her story really is a rags to riches phenomenon. I read the book (she signed my copy) as she came across so well as a speaker, so very “normal” and actually, quite humbled by what she’s achieved. It’s a good easy read.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

As I work full time, a perfect weekend is a lazy Saturday start (that’s 8am in our house due to Calum!) followed by breakfast after Richard has been to the bakery and butcher for supplies, followed by some family activities and a nice home cooked Saturday supper in front of Strictly/X Factor and then a Sunday that involves seeing friends or family and maybe a pub lunch. BLISS!

Come back tomorrow for Erin’s next style post and in the mean time, you can follow her on Instagram @Shoequeen79 or tweet her @ErinLauraWalsh.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Moody Blues


Blue room with dark floors

Although I’ve been talking a lot of baby stuff recently, I’ve been thinking a lot of interiors ideas. Our builder only left 2 weeks before Bea was born, after finishing the kitchen and decking – I promise I’ll be sharing that soon; and with a new baby plus a house that was clean for the first time in about 6 months, I had no taste for returning to renovations. However, now I’m living in the house everyday, I’m getting more and more fed up with our living rooms heavy cream walls and peachy curtains (from the previous owners) and ready to change it all. Dare I say it, I don’t think I want another grey room, dispute it being a favourite of mine, but luckily inky, dramatic, moody blues are where it’s at in interiors right now and I thought I’d share some inspiring images I’ve been looking at for ideas.


Period living room with marble fireplace

This particular image with the fireplace is exactly what we are going for in our more formal living room. I think these blues really lend themselves to a sense of formality and period grandeur, don’t you?


Traditional style bedroom


Navy bedroom with bright accents

It seems to work equally well with bright accents and colour pops though – which is perfect for me as I always come back to colourful accents.


Dusty blue, lilac and copper room set

This (relatively) paler shade with lilac and copper makes for a more feminine combination…


Aerin Lauders home

And I love darker shades framed by a bright white and light room when you are coming into them, like this shot of Aerin Lauders home.

What do you think readers? Could you take the plunge with dark walls? Or would you consider it as an accent? See more over on my Pinterest board Moody Blues

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Fash Flash: Wet Weather Style

Since I’ve been on maternity leave, I have barely used our car. Firstly I wasn’t allowed to drive post c-section and also, Chorlton has everything I need within walking distance. We also have one very old car that Pete uses to run to work and my three door car. So we can continue to re-do the house and because we don’t really need 2 cars right now, we’ve opted not to to buy a new one (as we had planned) when Bea arrived. Why am I telling you this? Because it left me in the market for a new coat. Coats are cheaper than cars.


Joules Waterproof Parka £129 // Petit Bateau Iconic Raincoat £132 // Boden Rainy Day Mac £119
Seasalt Snowdrop Coat £140 // Seasalt Dayboard 3 in 1 jacket £150 // Helly Hansen W Kirkwall Rain Coat £100

The particularly warm and dry September and most of October we have had meant I didn’t really think about my need for wet weather gear (who was I kidding, I live in Manchester!) But after getting soaked through to my skin pushing the pram back from a baby class 2 weeks ago, the search came sharply to the forefront of my mind. I wanted an actually waterproof coat, but something that also looked stylish. Perhaps unusually, I also didn’t need something super warm as I have a heavy duty waterproof(ish) parka that will be coming out in my winter capsule. This was more of a spring/english summer/autumn piece.

I actually made my first purchase (this Boat Coat) from Seasalt after being recommended their coats but I was really disappointed by how frumpy I felt in it. It just wasn’t ‘me’ and although I like lots of their coats, none really fitted the bill. Next I combed the slightly more fashion led brands like Boden and Joules and google searched, which led me to some surprisingly good looking options.


Boden Short Rainy Day Mac £110

After spotting someone wearing a lovely yellow coat I was reminded of my yellow raincoat from ASOS. Now that it’s stood the test of time and remained one of my favourite jackets, I decided it was time to invest in the real deal and purchased the yellow one above. It arrived yesterday and I LOVE it. It’s got grey detailing, playful oversized buttons, a fleece lining (not too thick, but cosy) and smart pleat detail to the back. I opted not to get a longer length as they just don’t suit me and I don’t mind getting my legs wet.

So readers, do you do rainy day outerwear? I like the Helly Hansen Mac here too for city types.

Happy weekend!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Triple Temptation: Leopard skates

Dune Leopard skates // Bertie Leopard skates // Kurt Geiger Leopard skates

One of the trends I was a little unsure about trying this season that I took the leap with was my leopard skater shoes slip-on’s. I went for it due to their sheer practicality, and was absolutely right. I haven’t had them off and they go equally well with dresses or trousers. One additional benefit? If I happen to get caught in the rain, the sole is deep enough to prevent wet feet and splashes brush off th peony skin easily. Mine were an ASOS bargain, but these were all shoes I looked at. If you’re a little afraid of the full coverage at the front, try the Dune pair. They’re a slightly lower fronted style. The Kurt Geiger pair are a beaut if you feel like splashing out. The colours of the leopard print are really luxe.

Would you go for a skater shoe?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

What to Wear: Capsule Style Post #1

It’s been 2 weeks that I have officially been wearing my capsule wardrobe now, or at least since I revealed it to you all, so I thought it was time to share some outfits on the blog. This isn’t what I have worn everyday as I don’t always have Pete around to snap a photo, but it;s a good representation of the styles I have worn so far. I hope to keep bringing you new outfits every couple of weeks or so throughout the capsule period showing you different ways I wore it.

So let’s start off with one of my favourites… probably because it feels the most ‘me’, baby or no baby. I wore this outfit shopping with Pete and felt pretty presentable. Dare I say, normal!

Henley dress // Leather Jacket (similar) // Knee boots (similar)

Henley dress // Leopard slip ons // Military jacket

Here is the same dress, worn to Grand Designs Live. I needed to be comfortable and casual for an all-day expedition with a baby in tow, and this outfit fit the bill perfectly.

Grey Knit (old) // Khaki Joggers // Military jacket // Nike Air Max 1

This outfit was for swimming! It was a miserable day (as you can see,) and I was dreading being all cold and wet in the changing rooms afterwards so I pulled out something cosy and comfy. Somehow these trainers always make the comfiest outfit look like I made a lot more effort than I actually did. As you can see, I’m LIVING in this jacket.

Sequin long sleeved top // Boyfriend Jeans // Military jacket // Nike Air Max 1 // Leopard belt, GAP (old)

Here comes the jacket again! And my go-to uniform… a tee and boyfriend jeans. A lot of the combinations in this capsule are a variation on this theme. I love the metallic trainers and sequin embellished tee giving this outfit a real kick of personality though.

Nursing dress // Pony spot flats // Monica Vinader necklace

This one was worn for a family get together for Pete’s Mums birthday. I wanted to dress up a little and it was still warm, so the point flats added a bit of extra smartness too. Do I love this photo? No. Can I see the extra baby weight and mum tum? Yes. Am I trying to give myself a break 12 weeks on? Yep, trying. *Grimace*

Navy funnel neck knit // H&M Henley // Skinny Jeans (similar) // Leopard slip ons

And lastly, this weekends outfit – a perfect Sunday outfit in my book. Skinnies, flats, a chunky knit (worn over a layering top with buttons for feeding access) and no coat as it was warm enough to go without. I like wearing knits layered instead of coats in the winter.

So what do you think readers? How are your autumn wardrobes going?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. If you’re new here, Welcome! Here is my whole capsule wardrobe and why I’m doing this.

Girl About Town: The Art of Dining – The Colour Palate

With the job that I do, I regularly get emails full of “check out this amazing experience” ideas, lots of which actually aren’t that exciting or innovative. However a few weeks back, one thing did stand out amongst all the “uber cool” Shoreditch bar recommendations or “uber exclusive” private members club launches (with “live PAs form the cast of the latest reality TV series” no less!), and that was a link to the Art of Dining website. I’ve never heard of them before, but have seen similar concepts and so I was eager to try them out.

So I hit up a foodie friend of mine who I knew would also be in for a colour-and-light themed dining experience and booked us some tickets.

We arrived at a non-descript building, not far from Baker Street tube, identifiable as our destination only by a man with a clipboard standing next to instructions chalked on the concrete step outside. We were ticked off a list, ushered down some candlelit stairs to an underground space, washed in green light, handed a Green cocktail each and showed to our seats at the long communal table, laid with green paper, the usual dining accoutrements and, unusually, rather large tree centrepiece.

Once the room filled up with guests we were called to attention by the creative team behind the concept, who briefly talked us through the evening’s proceedings and we were then served our first course: the Green course, consisting of light, leafy, herby, green food on green plate with green napkins accompanied by a paint pot of green sauce and a paint brush (not green) with which to serve it!

When we had finished, serving staff informed us we should rip off the top layer of the “table cloths” to reveal the next colour: White. The tree was taken away and replaced with a silver candelabra and the green light slowly transitioned to soft white.

As a quick aside, a lot of my GCSE science and art came back to me. White light is actually a rather beautiful combination of colours, and it seems that green light washes out colour entirely so my dining companion and I looked like black and white photographs of ourselves! Which is a good point to note if your complexion is looking less than flawless in real life before a big event – put on some red lippie and change your light bulbs to green, you’ll look like a thirties movie siren!

Sorry, back to the dining experience. With the White course (a soup) also came a small glass of colouring pencils so we took to doodling all over the table tops as our neighbours played a heated game of hangman. We decided against the corresponding White cocktail, and stuck with the Green as it was so tasty!

After White came the main course, Yellow, complete with massive vases of sunflowers, yellow table tops and sunny yellow light followed by Black, where the lights were dimmed to almost complete darkness, as we finished off the savoury dishes with black food almost invisible against black plates and table tops by the light of tiny candles.

We ordered some Orange cocktails to match our Orange pudding which arrived (along with the matching tableware, of course) as the lights came back up to a warm glow and our tables were adorned with sprays of orange roses.

The food was interesting and tasty, enhanced by the “concept” in which it was served, and overall it made for a really great night out. Tickets cost £50 for five substantial courses and a welcome cocktail. Drinks thereafter were very reasonably priced for London.

As it’s a pop up, The Colour Palate disappeared as quickly as it arrived, but keep an eye on the Art of Dining website for future pop ups, and check out some of their previous events here which look equally as interesting and exciting.

With my appetite for concept pop-ups fully whetted, have you lovely readers any recommendations? Let me know!

Victoria x

PS! Find Victoria over on her blog Sugar Plum Slipper or on twitter @VictoriaHale.

Meet and Greet: Victoria (a.k.a. Girl about Town)

Good Morning readers! As we have a growing roster of regular contributors, some new, some old timers, I thought it would be fun to get to know them a little better. Victoria is now my longest standing contributor of the Girl About Town series and I’ll be bringing you a post from her tomorrow but for now, have a little read of this and find out more about why she is super qualified to be our monthly stylish city hostess with the mostess!

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a married, early-thirty-something, marketing and business development manager who works crazy hours at a large global law firm by day, but by night/weekends/annual leave days I’ve made it my mission to visit the world’s coolest bars, sights, cities, beaches and parties.
I love to travel, party, explore, decorate, event-plan, outfit-assemble and generally seek out the best that life has to offer. I love to eat, but I can’t bear to cook. I pride myself on always striving to be the Hostess with the Mostess and cocktails are my life skill.
I’m fiercely independent, but really, I just couldn’t do “it”, or be “me” without my amazing and inspiring friends and family nor my long-suffering husband, without whom I would likely never eat meals that require knives and forks, nor would I ever get out of bed in the mornings!

What do you write about?

All the fun stuff I find to do, eat, drink or experience in London and any other city I happen to be visiting.

What is your weekday/weekend uniform?

You’ll either find me at one end of the spectrum or the other… I’m either dressed up and ready to stalk the halls of my office/to party in a black dress and killer colour-pop heels (tights on for the former, off for the latter) or dressed down in jeans and boots, or my fave pyjamas!
I’m all about the accessories. For me, they add my personality to an outfit and make me feel like me.

Favourite Food?

Does tequila count? No? OK, so, depending on the day of the week I could be craving any of the following: Mexican, Japanese, Thai, Lebanese or Italian. If it came down it, I’d have to go with my mum’s lasagne. It’s a recipe that’s been handed down from the Italian side of my family, and which I have no intention of ever learning. However, over the last 10 years, my husband has come very close to perfecting it! I’d have it with a rocket, tomato and avocado salad with a homemade dressing!

Holiday destination recommendation?

So, so, so many! Holidays are kind of my “thing”… tweet me, or message me and let’s chat! @VictoriaHale

Can’t live without Beauty product?

Karin Herzog Vita A Kombi Oil.

Last book I read…

I have a number on the go on my iPad but the last tangible book I read was a recommendation from Florence Finds in fact: The Girl with all the Gifts. It had me hooked from paragraph one.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

A lie in and a leisurely breakfast and quality time with my husband (he works shifts and I work long city hours, so QT is rare!), over which we plan travel, home improvements, social events and talk about work. Then I or we get dressed up and hit the town or a party or get dressed down and snuggle up on the sofa or in the local for catch ups with friends. Sunday is brunch day at home or out, just us, with family, friends or both, catching up on chores and jobs and then a family dinner followed by some Sunday night telly as I relax before another crazy week at work. Sometimes my weekends are more tiring that my working week, but I love them and I wouldn’t change them for the world!

Come back tomorrow for the latest instalment of Victoria’s Girl About Town series, on a pop up dining experience with a difference!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Fash Flash: Splish Splash

Before even the first day was done of my Capsule wardrobe for Autumn, I realised i had made a grave omission (for Manchester dwelling anyway.) No wet weather gear. For autumn walks they are a must but there was enough torrential rain last week to make me want to wear wells every day of the week so there is going to have to be an amendment! I’ve bought a waterproof coat (more on that soon) and am digging out my Hunters. In the meantime, here are a few I found for you guys to waterproof your wardrobes with…


Joules flower print // Dark silver Chelsea boot wells, New Look // Joules Dog print
Strap detail wellington boot, Ted Baker // Original slim zip wellington, Hunter // Studded biker wellies, New Look
SeaSalt tideline Wellies // Hunter Tall stripe wellington boot // SeaSalt Yellow deck wellies

There are styles here for fun, city dwellers and pretty prints – all the bases are covered.

Are you a welly wearer?

Love,
Rebecca
xo