What to Buy: July

Happy Friday Readers!

Apologies for the tardiness in getting this post up. It’s been very busy in the Johnson household. I’d forgotten how days can just morph into one whole week with a newborn – adding a toddler into the mix just seems to speed things up! Whilst I have been in a cloud of Toddler actives, Baby Cafe visits and NCT meet ups, I have been keeping an eye out on what’s in the shops, and there are few things I’d recommend getting your hands on this month – both for immediate use and “buy now, stash for later” wear.

To the Beach!

Since Summer holiday season is upon us, and for those of you who have not yet been on yours yet (that’s me, we are off on a Stay-cation in early September), there are some really nice beachy bits to be had, some of which are in the sale (bonus!).

Of course, as it’s me, stripes feature here, and I have to say that the H&M dress is lovely in the flesh. Cotton and just throw on, so perfect to put on post beach or for a relaxed day out. Not good for the Breastfeeding amongst us, but would be good to maybe keep for when you aren’t. I also couldn’t go without mentioning off the shoulder here – HUGE for this summer, the Mango dress below is easy to wear and a great nod to the trend.

I’d dropped a Hammam towel in here too as not only are they great for the beach (quick dry) they are chic enough to wear as a Sarong too. Make sure you buy cotton ones for authenticity. I use ours as throws on the bed as well.

Striped Dress / Hammam TowelOff the Shoulder Dress

Palm Print

I’m obsessed, and it seems as if I’m not the only one. I know I’ve mentioned this before on the blog (I did say I had an obsession) but there are some really nice bits around, not least the H&M print.

There is a gorgeously light cotton shirt in this print (sold out on line but some in stores), and I wore it on the beach last weekend with some crochet shorts when we went down to Dorset. A day on the beach I used to frequent as a child (Knoll Beach, Studland BTW) with my boys and Hubby. A lovely way to make memories of your old memories. Plus it’s National Trust and as members, parking was free ;) The playsuit here is a nice alternative. I also love the Topshop Jumpsuit, but I have one similar from a couple of seasons ago that I will dig out. Get this whilst you can as it is selling out fast.

Dress / Playsuit / Jumpsuit

Yellow

Set to be a big accent colour for AW15 (you only have to check out the J Crew looks from the season), you won’t go wrong in investing in some yellow to perk up outfits come the Autumn. The Karen Millen flats below also nod to the flat shoe trend that is BIG news for the winter. It will look great with the Pink that’s set to be huge, as well as lifting any neutrals you have – it’s always a winner with grey too.

Shoes / Skirt / Top

Pink

The rose tones of this season’s pink make it much more grown up and less “sweet” than has been seen on the runway in the past, and again, can be worn as the main part of an outfit, or as an accent. I really like the Clarks Bag – the leather is divine – and it’s a great size. Not available on line anymore though, but you may be lucky in store.

Bag / Shoes / Skirt

Monochrome

Again, a trend that’s set to be huge for AW15, from geometric prints to simple contrast, black and white it’s where it’s at. Easy to do in a simple top and bottom combo, there are some pieces around that would really work hard come the Autumn. The ease of the Stories silk-blend sweater is wonderful. Pair with slouchy white jeans and you are good to go. I also really like the Finery shoes – the trend nailed in one piece!

Shoes / Sweater / Dress

Wishing you all good rest of July’s. I do hope the weather becomes more summery and less Muggy – it’s doing nothing for my hair at the moment. Monica from Friends when she goes to Barbados springs to mind – LOL!

Erin xx

Spotted: Secret Linen Store Kids!

You all know I love the Secret Linen Store. Modern designs and great quality at competitive prices. Now I’m very excited to say they have extended their talents to kids bedding and it’s just as inspired as the original range.

We’re not yet at the stage of needing ‘big bed’ linen but when we do I have already shuddered at the thought of character emblazoned kids bedding or pretty pretty ditzy florals and cliched cars and space ships. These designs feel fresh, modern and on trend enough to keep stylish parents happy, while in bright and striking colours that kids will love too!

I love the stylish grey stripes and fun teal bubbles!

What do you think readers? Would your big kids like these?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Rooms: A Modern Animals Nursery

I’m a bit embarrassed that Bea is over 6 months old now and I have only just managed to finish the photos of her nursery. (I’m sure those of you with children won’t be surprised!) ;) We finished the nursery before Bea was born as, of course, we had opened the envelope! Interestingly, before we knew whether we were having a boy or girl, I was convinced it wouldn’t influence my choice of nursery and that I wanted brights. Initially I veered towards this Sian Elin wallpaper, then I felt it was too much for the space and found this incredible animal wallpaper. Once I had a neutral backdrop I couldn’t resist a shot of bold pink to add colour to the room and the room progressed from there. I hope you like it!

That amazing wallpaper is from Beware the Moon – an independent wallpaper designer I found online. It features 51 different animals from the tropical to farmyard, all hand drawn in pencil. It really is a work of art and the neutral palette makes it versatile for the future too. ;) We papered one wall and colour matched the other 3 to the backdrop of the paper which is a chalky white.

Like so many of you, we chose the IKEA Hemmnes 8 drawer chest for all of our storage – nappies, bedding, clothes, it all goes in here. I chose a coral pink shade from our local trade paints shop and painted the chest myself in an eggshell finish, then diluted the colour with white eggshell for the 3 progressively lighter shades for the drawers. I used a gloss roller and it really was very easy. Then I chose Anthropologie knobs in shades of blue and mint to finish it off.

The table doubles as our changing station and I keep Bea’s changing things in the drawers, with a small tray of cotton wool and a bowl of water out on the top. The table lamp is from Dunelm and the changing mat cover is Aden+Anais. On the wall, my favourite animal, a baby Elephant from Sharon Montrose’s Animal Print Shop. That white bear is a Merrythoughts teddy that I had as a child and my mum bought the Histoire D’ours Classic Bear for Bea when she was born.

The mint green chair was a bargain from HomeSense (love that shop!) as I felt we really needed to temper the pink and I wanted somewhere to feed in peace if I needed to. In fact I don’t use it that much but on the occasions I have, I’ve been very pleased to have it. The knitted pouffe is also from Dunelm and unfortunately now out of stock. I also wanted to add in some gold to the room as my current obsession and this seemed the right corner, as the wall is very blank. I used large gold polka dot decals to create a confetti pattern, from Etsy of course. The geometric cushion is Conran at M&S and the throw over the chair back is Urban Outfitters.

I searched and searched for a cot I liked, having become obsessed with the Oeuf Sparrow but drawing the line at £600 for a cot! This cotbed was from John Lewis and similar in style. I know some people think cots should be cheap but I hope this one will see more than one baby and it’s the central piece of furniture in the room so I thought worth spending a bit more on. The patterned fitted sheet (so hard to find!) was from The White Company. I searched high and low for the perfect mobile (thinking about, but failing to make one,) and eventually chose this paper clouds mobile also from The White Company.


We also needed some storage and I wanted to be able to display pretty toys or books and for Bea to be able to get her own toys out (and put them away!) The remaining alcove was a funny width (66cm) but I found these ladder shelves at a great price from The Futon Company. We need to fix it to the wall before Bea is toddling!

I found this rug in Urban Outfitters again, as the floor needed something to soften it up and I loved the geometric grey pattern – and the price!

Lastly, the art came from Society6, my new favourite place for well price art for your home! I chose the ‘Be Brave’ print, a pink and grey fox with a gold nose and hung them with a letter B balanced on top of a ceramic hand and foot print we did when she was 1 week old.

So that’s it!

I hope you liked the tour! ;) If you’d like to see more of the inspiration for the Nursery I’ve just made what was a secret Pinterest board, public. So feel free to have a look!

All the sources are listed below but do ask if you have any questions!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Sources:
Animal Wallpaper, Beware the Moon
Mirror and Mint chair, HomeSense.
Chest of Drawers – IKEA
Knobs – Anthropologie
aden + anais Twinkle Changing Mat Cover
Baby Elephant print
Owl lamp, Dunelm
Gold polka dot wall decals (UK supplier) Etsy
Stockholm Cotbed, John Lewis
Paper Clouds mobile, The White Company
Star fitted cot sheet
Ladder shelf, The Futon Company
Rug (no longer in stock) Urban Outfitters
Art: Be Brave and Pink Fox, Society6.

Spotted: Party Feet

Today’s #FFFestiveFun prompt is ‘Sparkles’ and so it’s the perfect time to share the perfect shoe for your party feet!


Lyrics by Aaron Smith, Shoes from Marks & Spencer

They from M&S, they’re £35 and if you have ever fancied a pair of glitter heels but not wanted to splurge, then now’s the time. As an aside, they also have a very practical and on-trend block heel which will make them more comfortable and easier to walk in, if you happen to be out of practice like me. ;)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Triple Temptation: The Pink Coat


Zara studio Coat // M&S Duster Coat // Ted Baker short coat with big collar

For AW13, there hasn’t been a bigger trend, more talked about within fashion circles and beyond, than the pink coat. Debuted on the catwalks of Carven, Mulberry and Celine, (see here) it was inevitable that they would filter down to the high street. Pink will be everywhere this season and if you want to stay away from traditionally dreary winter shades, this is the trend for you.

The real style is oversized, pale, candy or dusty pink, longer in length than we’re used to in recent seasons and either masculine or cocoon in shape, some with a belt. However, if these styles don’t tickle your fancy (they’re not universally flattering,) i’ll be surprised if the colour doesn’t spread to nearly all styles if it performs well in stores early in the season. This Ted Baker version is proof already.

This entire post was really an excuse to share the M&S Duster Coat – universally hailed as one of the best takes on the trend and at £89 considered to be a bargain. It went on sale yesterday online and instores and is likely to be a massive sell out, so get in quick if you want it or be prepapred to scour eBay! I have to say, through the miracle of styling in the picture above it looks fabulous, but skip through to the images online and typically M&S have managed to make it look terrible… I wouldn’t have been encouraged to buy. I know at least one of you has already though so I’d love to hear how it looks and feels in the ‘cloth’!

So can I tempt you readers? What do you think of the pink coat trend and M&S’s version particularly?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Snapshots…

This afternoon I’m taking time out to prepare for the second Dream. Find. Do. workshop – this time we are heading to London and being hosted by the super cool Hoxton Hotel. I can’t wait to meet our students and share all my blogging finds from over the last 3 years. I can hardly believe I’ve been blogging that long! (For those of you who want to know more, Sam from A Little London Wedding has just posted her review of the first workshop in Manchester and it’s great read.)

This afternoon I’m sharing some snapshots of the little things that I’m loving right now but I’m also getting discount codes through left, right and centre for the next few days so I have also included a little list of them for any of you who want to get ahead with your Christmas shopping – take advantage and get a bargain! Scroll down after the photo’s for the list.

The new flamingo joining us on my living room mantlepiece (from here)

My Dad’s old Canon SLR (that I learnt to take photo’s with) adding to the interiors books on my picture shelf.

A cute Christmas decoration from my sister that I’m making all-year-round pretty on my wardrobe door handle.

Unpacking the Alphabet bags for the Dream. Find. Do. goodie bags this weekend.

American treats we brought back from Florida…

My favourite new necklace – A ram (because I’m an Aries) from J.Crew.

Happy Shopping!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS!

What to Wear: Zara Leopard shirt

Today’s What to Wear (and part 2 of my London packing) is an item that I just had to have. I saw it on a shop assistant in Selfridges and instantly fell for the discreet leopard print and fierce but subtle stud detail on the collar and cuffs. It’s a steal from Zara at £29.99 and I took it away with me to London last weekend, wearing it to travel down straight from work that day (seen here) and then again the next day in a quirkier and more trend led ensemble for a day out sight seeing in London town.


Leopard shirt with appliqué collar, Zara £29.99

The work outfit really isn’t anything tricky, but for the weekend and cool East London I decided to try it with my H&M pink trousers (also here) and trusty leather jacket, teaming them with my silver glitter Converse for ultimate comfort when pavement pounding.


Blouse, Zara as above. Trousers, H&M. Jacket, Whistles. Bangle, Banana Republic

Later on, the weather was kind and the afternoon got a little warmer, so after popping back to the hotel to drop off some shopping, I switched my leather jacket for the French Connection nude one I bought recently as it is lighter. It also turned out the Converse weren’t so comfortable so I also swapped to my pointed flats again and had a whole new outfit!


Jacket, French Connection. Blouse, Zara as above. Trousers, H&M. Pointed flats, GAP.

Deviating slightly from the blouse to my capsule wardrobe for the weekend, the only item not covered in the outfits above and in this post that I took with me were pair of navy tailored shorts. I wore them both evening, first with the blouse and tights and patent heels, and then the following evening for a friend’s birthday party when I teamed them with a navy loose fit tee, the nude jacket, tights heels and a statement necklace, as seen in the gallery below.

As always, let me know your thoughts. I should also issue a disclaimer, ’tis Zara, not I that should be blamed for the damage that blouse will do to your credit card, although I think it’s a minor dent for such a cool, but wearable item. :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Pink Highlights…

Since finishing my grey make-over of the dining room and lounge in a decorative sense, I’ve been waiting to share it with you until I have completed the decorative ‘finishing touches’ it’s currently lacking. I’ve chosen some bits and pieces, re-invented others and have just a few ideas that I need to execute now.

After my overdose of calming neutrals in the grey walls and neutral toned furnishings combined with natural woods, I started to think about how to finish the look. Writing a blog like this comes naturally to me as I’m always searching for visual inspiration, flitting from style to style mentally and alighting on new things to try. Decor is no exception and the best thing about my new grey rooms are that they still feel like a blank canvas, just moodier and with more personality.


Pink dining chairs

However, try as I might I can’t escape my love of colour and more and more I’m thinking about how to inject it back into the room that I’ve just covered in calm with the new greys. I decided to have a look around on Pinterest for some new inspiration and found some nothing short of beautiful images that I thought I’d share with you all today.


Stag head and neon letters and Grey velvet chesterfield and pink cushions.

Perhaps unsurprisingly after my recent obsession with pink, that’s where I started and although my intention was to share images with you in a variety of accent colours against grey, I found so many pink ones that I thought I’d run a little mini series.


Pink sofa and gilt bookcase.

My favourites here are definitely the moodier grey tones contrasted with splashes of almost neon pinks and whilst making my sofa magically turn pink isn’t a viable option, it’s the colour combinations and textures I’m taking inspiration from in these images.


Moody grey backdrop with gilt mirror and florals adding colour.
Neon pink bench and anglepoise

If I had to categorise my own sense of style I’d definitely err on the side of rough luxe. It’s the one category that enables me to combine my love of glamour and style with salvage chic and I’ll definitely be adding some metallic gilt and glass accents to the rooms.


Shell pink curtains and grey. Lilac-pink chair

I also totally surprised myself by pinning some paler examples of pink and grey, falling hard for the almost mauve tinge of this velvet chair against the darker grey walls and loving the fresh shell pink curtains in this neutrals and grey accented room.


Candy pink console and Pink topped grey desk and chair

Right now, I’m just trying to muster the confidence to splash out on some statement and accent pieces to set off the room and keep my passion for brights happy, whilst still making my living spaces a sanctuary.

What do you think about pink accents for your decor? Too girly? Too in-your-face? Have you seen anything to inspire you here?

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

What to Wear: Pink and Navy

Ok, so, in all my enthusiasm last week (for pink, obvs,) I kinda forgot that it was February. Cold, wet, windy and all-around miserable February. After last week’s Fash Flash, I headed straight out and purchased the H&M pink trousers (£14.99) and congratulated myself with Sushi – stuff that cheap never fits me properly. Then I got it home and promptly wore them on the couch. As you do.

Not satisfied with the couch alone, I wanted to wear them at the weekend and found myself thinking, hang on a minute, how am I going to wear these without looking like an idiot in February? Tricky. My couch ensemble was perfect for a summer day, not the back end of winter. It’s not even March yet people!

But then I thought, wait a second, I think you guys must be having exactly the same problems. Victoria mentioned trans-seasonal outerwear dilemmas on Facebook and it’s London Fashion Week. That means the whole of the fashion-world-at-large rocking this season’s trends on the streets of London, despite the weather and (hopefully) avoiding the season in-appropriate fash-victim look.

So here’s how I did pink trousers in February…

Surely the easiest way to do brights is teamed with neutrals. In my book, navy counts as a neutral and it’s also a blinder of a colour teamed with pink, so on went the cozy. My striped top was a nod (or perhaps encouragement) to spring and then of course my trusty GAP parka in (another neutral in my book,) khaki. Topped with a sludgy blue scarf, I was wrapped up and ready to go.

My other reason for wanting to bring the trousers out? I really wanted to wear my new Belle Sigerson Morrison boots. I looked high and low all of last year for spring/summer grey boots and finally found the perfect pair a few weeks back from The Outnet. They were no where near as bargainous as the H&M trousers, although that depends on whether you look at the final price or the discount, but I worship at their dove grey uppers.

A couple of other new bits I’m particularly loving right now? A chunky gold link bracelet I found in Banana Republic last week in the sale – a bargain and something I can see myself wearing again and again, layered up or on its own. The nail polish was my final uber-bargain. One of a set of four from H&M for £2.99 – this one is a pale pistachio green, and the pink on my toes also came in the packet along with a lemon yellow and lilac. Perfect for SS12′s pastel trends.

So what do you think guys? How are you making your new spring purchases work while the weather stays grim? Look out for a bit more fashion and beauty this week on Florence Finds – we’re giving a nod to #LFW with some related posts and then some serious anti-fashion for good measure!

Pop back later for this month’s Book Club,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Fash Flash… Think Pink

Just recently, I have seen an absolute onslaught of pink hitting the shops, and I’ve also seen it popping up all over the blogs, adorning the most stylish ladies and just generally making me want to wrap myself in it from head to toe. Pink used to be just a little bit un-cool, but it can certainly be done…


L-R Top Row: Fuchsia Dress, Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere in Pink on Pink on Pink, Camel and Neon. Bottom row L-R: Bubblegum jumper and striped skirt, Hot Pink Blazer and bobble hat, Emily again in pink pants and khaki jacket.

So I thought I’d do a little round up of items in the shops that you can combine into your outfits at home:

So come on girls, tell me what you think? Is pink for you? Or will you be sitting this trend out?

Love,
Rebecca
xo