Spotted: Dorothy Perkins Style Essentials

So, it’s September, a season synonymous with new season style and time for me to get my fashion hat back on. I’ve been thinking hard about new season trends over the last couple of weeks, ready to bring you all the must have pieces and trends you will want to try. It always takes me some time to digest the new trends and figure out how to work them into my existing wardrobe, so I was happy to partner with Dorothy Perkins to introduce their Style Essentials range, which will do just that.

DP’s Style Essentials consists of 10 key new season pieces that will bring your Autumn/Winter wardrobe bang up to date. Best of all, they are an absolute bargain and super versatile, with many a day-to-night option amongst them. And this week only there is 25% off online and instore at DP’s so take advantage!

I decided to pick out one key trend amongst them, the ‘item sweat‘ and show you how I would wear it this season….

Nude sequin sweat £22 // Grey printed jersey jogger £22 // Black high pointed court £27 // Facet stone spray necklace £30

I’m really feeling the luxe sweat pant for day to night dressing and this nude pink sequined sweat top looks like the most comfortable outfit ever! Add in some heels and a statement necklace for a cool date night outfit or drinks with the girls. This season is all about soft pinks so you can tick off two trends in one without feeling guilty about the splurge. Next stop sculpted tee and cute fit knit to update my work wardrobe and I’m feeling pretty smug!

DP’s are also currently running a competition to makeover your winter wardrobe with £500 to spend on the seasons Style Essentials!

Dorothy Perkins will put you and a friend up in a fancy hotel and send you for a
posh meal, after you’ve been given a styleover by one of our friendly Style Advisors.

To enter, just head on over to the competition page here

Finally, if it’s a slow Tuesday (anybody ready for the weekend already?) grab a coffee and get some style inspiration as Natalie Hartley, Fashion Director at Instyle, talks you through her favourite pieces from the Style Essentials Range.

Don’t forget that 25% off this week at Dorothy Perkins!


*Sponsored Post

GIVEAWAY: Moonfruit


It’s almost 2 years since the launch of Florence Finds now and 2 things I have definitely found to be true: 1. Design is everything and 2. Great images are key to growing your readership. As a result, when Moonfruit contacted me to share their services and offered to give away a Max package membership (worth £25/month) and fancy camera to a lucky reader, I pretty much jumped, knowing there were many of you who would love to win a prize like that!

So who are Moonfruit? Having done most of the work on FF myself, I didn’t know there were any great services like this around and if I was starting out afresh or a little less handy with web design, I would be jumping at their packages. Sometimes the only thing keeping you from getting started or upgrading your design is a lack of time and knowledge! Moonfruit are the UK’s leading DIY website building platform and their standard package is totally free, but with their premium packages you can make some pretty spectacular site designs, all of which are tablet and mobile-friendly. Plus you can find some genius tips for your website and business on their blog here.

As I said before, great images are key to growing your readership, with Moonfruit’s Lightbox image gallery, you can showcase your photos and creative work via their pre-designed templates, and it’s really easy to share your content on social platforms straight from your website. I do so much online now that feeds into Florence Finds; just look at the way I could create moodboards for the room sets I planned last month, get all of you to offer your advice and then buy the whole lot online!

But let’s get to the nitty gritty here. The lucky winner will receive:

  • Moonfruit membership to create a shiny new website on their Max premium package worth £25 a month
  • A Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30E-K Bridge Camera – Black

All you have to do is:
Leave a comment below telling me why you would love a shiny new site from Moonfruit and what you would like to take photographs of with the fabulous camera on offer.
*Bonus entry methods*

  • Follow @moonfruit on Twitter leave your user name in a comment below
  • Tweet the following phrase on Twitter and leave me a comment saying you have done so: “Win a camera and new website from @Moonfruit on @FlorenceFinds”
  • Like Moonfruit on Facebook and leave me a separate comment below saying you have done so.

I’m really excited to hear what you would do with the camera and how you would improve your existing site, or maybe this is the push you need to create a new site?
Either way, get those entries in!!


*The giveaway will close in two weeks on Wednesday 21st August at 12 midnight. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

*This post and giveaway is sponsored by Moonfruit.

The Spring Series: The Big Spring Clean

For the final Spring Series post we’re getting down and dirty. It’s that time. Time to put on your marigolds, shake out a few bin bags, spruce everything up and clear out for spring. I’m not going to go down the route of telling you all how to clean your houses day to day and week to week, I’m sure you’ve all got that down by now! Instead these are some tips on getting everything in order for spring and some of those pesky once-a-season cleaning tasks.

Image Credit: The Facts of Wife

  • For me, it’s more of a spring ‘clear out’ and this year more than any other I feel inclined to clear out my cupboards. The wardrobe is the first place I’ll tackle. You can start by sorting everything into three groups:
  1. Items with holes, that are faded, have lost their shape or look tatty need to go. I’m always crippled at the thought of then not having these items when I need them so keep a pad and paper handy and if you’re throwing a key item like a skinny jean or white tee out that you will need to replace, make a shopping list for later.
  2. Put all the items you love in a second pile. These are the keepers.
  3. The third pile is the difficult one. Anything you haven’t worn in the last 2 seasons ( ie last winter and the summer before,) goes here and then the legwork starts. Look at each item individually, do you like it any more? Put every single item on and check it fits and flatters your body shape NOW. Not the body you’re promising yourself in 6 months. If you do like it, then have you worn it and why not? There’s no point having items you won’t wear. If its been 12 months then it should go. If that is simply because it needs cleaning or mending, make a pile and get it done! For those really tricky items you don’t want to part with, you can give yourself a 6 month get out clause, keep them and if you still don’t wear them, get rid.
  • Don’t overlook those items in supporting roles. Clear out your lingerie drawer, pyjamas, accessories and shoes, binning the old, worn out or out of fashion stuff and cleaning where necessary. It’s a good time to sort out how you store these items but that might be a bit much for now.
  • Next think about tackling the areas you normally overlook. If you’re feeling really virtuous, pull out the furniture and underneath/clean behind them, including beds. Hoover your sofa cushions, and the sofa carcass if they come off, and think about hoovering or taking down the curtains.
  • Wash your windows, inside and outside if you don’t have a window cleaner.
  • Empty your kitchen cupboards and clean inside and wipe down outside. While you’re on the kitchen, defrost the freezer, clean inside the fridge and do your oven.
  • Strip the beds and wash your mattress and pillow protectors. Take your pillows and duvet to the local launderette and wash then tumble dry.
  • Lastly, think about the garden, sweep the paths and patios, clear any leaves and cut back dead foliage left to protect plants over winter. Wash down your garden furniture ready for summer BBQs and think about tackling any fence panels or gates that need repairing or painting.

Ok, so this might have been a challenge befitting of Anneka Rice, and it’s certainly not something you can do in a day, but if you section off these tasks, week by week, and perhaps you don’t need to do all of them (for example we did the garden last weekend, and have a window cleaner, so that’s two less things to tackle!) with a little time set aside you can get all of them done and be truly spring ready. In my dreams! 😉

Do you spring clean readers? Have I inspired you?


Spring Series: Accessory Alert

Part of spring for me is getting ready for warmer weather. The seasons and good weather are so unpredictable here in the UK that I hate to miss out on unexpected warmer days because I didn’t have my summer items on standby. Most people have summer clothes hanging around ready to be worn, but a few well chosen accessories can have you covered in all situations, season ready and raring to go.

  • First up choose a hat, not only will your skin thank you for it, but in one form or another, they’re going to be big this year. Fashionista’s are wearing a baseball cap with city tailoring, but for more casual everyday wear choose a big straw floppy hat for seventies chic.
  • Pick up some inexpensive sunglasses early in the season and keep them in your bag. Nothing says spring time sunshine like that feeling you get wearing your favourite pair. I’ll be investing in some Ray Ban Aviators, plus some fun coloured Wayfarers (all ASOS)
  • Go big or go home. Chunky jewels never go out of style and appeal to the colour crusher in me. J.Crew makes the ultimate examples but ASOS has some great styles (Floral Bug Necklace) for a lot less. Use them to brighten your outfit when the weather fails you.
  • Bags get less structured and a whole lot more fun come the summer months. Again, choose neon brights to punch things up or look for relaxed fabric styles for a boho vibe.
  • Time to polish up that pedicure as its time to bare your toes. Choose some trend led budget flats and save the cash to splash in a pair of longer lasting classic wedges.

What are your must have’s for summer?


Regent Street 24/7

Oxford Street is the place that seems to get the most mentions when it comes to London’s shopping scene, but I have always preferred Regent Street. It’s the place that I always make a beeline for when I head south as it houses some of my favourite stores that you simply can’t find anywhere else. So when I was approached by the Regent Street Online hub to share my favourite stores on Regent Street it was easy to accept.

The  Regent Street Online hub has everything you need to plan a trip; Check on your favourite stores, special discount days or events and restaurants located there. Get involved via Regent Street 24/7, the social media hub which groups Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media activity. Just sign in with your prefered social media account and join the community!

My favourite feature has to be the community page of listed stores and each of their social media access points – find your favourite store on Pinterest and tweet them when you buy something!

I’m hoping you guys might be able to also share your favourite haunts in the area and perhaps a new find for me to stop at next week when I’m in the big smoke! So here are my must-visits on Regent Street, where are yours?

1. Top of the list – Anthropologie. I love this store and when it finally came to the UK it was worth a visit to London in itself. The interiors accessories, books and jewellery are incredible – I lose hours in there every time I step over the threshold. Fortunately there are lovely sofas for Pete to park himself on and wait. 😉

2. Zara Home. Similar in style to Anthro, but at a price point more reminiscent of its fashion sister, Zara Home is my first stop when I want a fresh take on interiors and well priced luxe or world inspired accessories.

3. Banana Republic. Now we have one in Manchester I can get a fix sooner, but for years the Regent Street store was a go-to destination for me for work wear, costume jewellery and bags.

4. With all this shopping you’re bound to work up an appetite and my first stop is always the Regent Street Food Quarter. If you’re new to London and want to meet friends or eat something more substantial for lunch than a Pret sandwich, this is the place. Along Heddon Street, this little route detours off the main drag onto a pedestrianised street lined with restaurants and bars – equally good for a post shopping cocktail. I like Tibits, but Aubaine is also a favourite and The Living Room is always a reliable choice.

5. Another brand reaching our to Regent Street from the U.S. is Coach and I love that buying a handbag here means you won’t see it on everyone’s shoulders.

6. Finally, a newcomer and a soon-coming. & Other Stories, the new store from founder’s of H&M and COS promises the former’s well priced fashion forward staples, and the latter’s streamlined aesthetic, so I’ll be checking it out next week and reporting back. And need I mention the soon-comer? J.Crew, I cannot welcome you to Regent Street soon enough. 😉

So now it’s your turn. Where’s your favourite Regent St hangout?


*This post is sponsored by Regent Street Online.

All Change…

I’m not going to lie, this is probably one of the hardest posts I have ever had to write. I write it in fear of your disappointment but knowing that it has to be done.

I always strive for Florence Finds to be a reflection of real life, not a glorified glossy representation of the unattainable. I want it to inspire and reassure you that whatever woes you may have, there’s somebody else out there having it too. That’s the main message, with plenty of inspiration for improving all the textures of your life too. I have always felt strongly that I should practice what I preach. Recent posts I have written about work and life have meant that something has to change in mine, and it’s news of that that I’m sharing today.

Balancing Act silhouette portrait from thepairabirds on Etsy

You see I love Florence Finds, don’t for a second get me wrong on that or think I’m tiring of it. We’re not going anywhere 🙂 But do I love it more than my husband, my family, my friends, my life? Of course not. I couldn’t. A lot of bloggers pay lip service to their chaotic, over stressed and over worked lives and the oft repeated mantra is that ‘they wouldn’t change a thing’. Well, I beg to differ. One of the best things about having Florence Finds is that I’m control of it, rather than it controlling me. So when the workload gets too much, I can say enough is enough.

You all know I took a temporary job recently with longer hours, and my reasons for doing it. As a result, I’d be lying if I thought I could keep the blog going at the pace I have so far. Actually, I totally could, I’ve done it before – earlier in the year I did the same job and just waded through every evening spent blogging. I actually wrote this post in mid-July, planning to make the change at the beginning of last month, then limped on. Not only did the lack of ‘down-time’ make me feel one dimensional, but I wasn’t happy with the content I was putting out. But do I want to do that again? No.

So, from this week, until (and if) there’s some semblance of change in the precarious balance that is life there will be 1 less post per week on Florence Finds. I asked for your feedback a while back with this in mind and carefully considered the responses. Of course there is no pleasing everyone but I hope the changes I’m making won’t be too much of a disappointment. Monday mornings will see a lighter post but no less addictive – ‘Monday Must-haves’, which will make it a little easier for me to get back on track after the weekend and also nicely fills a gap we had at Florence Finds for sharing single items of lust.

Friday is the other change you’ll see, but do not fear, it’s Friday Food that is going, not Frocks – I couldn’t do that to you! Food won’t be disappearing from these pages completely, rather making an appearance in the week whenever I have something to share. That way they will be a better reflection of my life and also coming to you from my own kitchen.

I also want to share another change that I’m making today. Some of you might have noted the change this morning to my right hand sidebar. Right at the top there you can see a larger than previous advert and that is because I have recently taken the decision to sign up with an advertising agency, Handpicked Media. Until now, I have treated Florence Finds with the professionalism that it and you, the readers deserved, but it has never in anyway been a business. I do use affiliate links, where they fit with pre-planned content and NEVER the other way around. I do not plan content to increase the links and potential revenue. To explain affiliate links to those of you who do not already know, some of the links I place on Florence Finds earn me a percentage of the sale on any purchases that are made when clicking through from the site. This varies between about 3-8% on average and that percentage comes from the brand, in no way affecting the cost of the item to the consumer. In fact you could argue that you get extra benefits from it as I promote discount days, flash sales and free delivery offers from the brands I am affiliated with if I think they are of any use. I have a similar arrangement with Amazon. I’m not going to go into pounds and pence but the earnings I get from this are in no way enough for me to a. be swayed into unethical behaviour or b. renumerate even a fraction of the time I spend on Florence Finds. Given how much effort I put in, I decided that joining an agency like Handpicked was the most sensible way to gain some return from my hard work and retain control over the content.

All the adverts you see on Florence Finds will be personally approved by me. They will always be something that I can see myself or the average Florence Finds reader being interested in, no cash for gold or online bingo adverts here. I may from time to time also accept sponsored posts, however once again they will always be personally selected and approved, in the interests of the reader and clearly marked as such.

Lastly, in the process of making these changes you will see the long column of brand adverts have been removed for now. In their place, I have added some new buttons to highlight prime content areas that I know you all enjoy. I took my cue from the feedback in this survey for the buttons and chose your favourite posts so when you’re in need of a little lifestyle inspiration, you can have a click through and browse your favourite area instantly.

I think that’s all for now folks. I’d love to hear your thoughts as always, good or bad and hope you’ll stick with me through the transition. My number one priority is ensuring the quality of the posts on Florence Finds and these small changes are going to make a big difference to me and my life, in turn helping me to do just that. Thanks readers, just for coming back and reading. I will never take that for granted.


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