Embracing the British summer

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Summer in Britain, not exactly known for its days of blazing hot sunshine and wonderful warm evenings. It more often tends to be 5 random days in mid June reaching over 25 degrees (which obviously happen on days that you are stuck inside) which are then followed by weeks on end of on and off rain with the occasional bit of hail thrown in for good measure. Not exactly the best weather for cracking out the shorts and the T shirts really. Now shorts aren’t exactly a best friend of mine with my tree trunk legs preferring to be in their happy place being wrapped up in 3 pairs of tights.  However when if I see a beautiful  summer dress then it will tend to weasel its way into my bag and somehow end up back home with me. This ‘summer’ has been no different with long, short, patterned and plain ones all being added to the collection. So even when the weather is looking no better than truly pants I just try to embrace the breeze, throw on my favourite floral dress and remember there must be at least 1 place in the world right now which is 30 degrees and sunny. 

 

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This gorgeous cherry print dress from Topshop pretty much ticks all the boxes for me. With its collared shirt detail down the front, to its pretty blue and red print, to the fact that is manages to have no funny cut out sections and actually have with fully functioning sleeves! Actually managing to find a dress with sleeves that isn’t ridiculously short or low at the front has seemed to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Last year urban outfitters came up trumps and this year it has seemed to be Topshop’s turn. From this i’ve learnt 60’s is the way to go with it’s slim fitting shift dress/shirt dress shape and pretty cherry pint print nicely bringing a touch of vintage to a modern outfit. Despite my yaking on about it being a gorgeous summery daytime piece I definitely think that this piece will stand the test of time being able to take you from day to night and summer to winter. Whack on a good thick tight and a chunky knit jumper and your good to go for a wonderful wintery look. 

 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

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Christmas for the un-christmassy

Christmas for the un-christmassy

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Well for starters Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a good day and are still sleeping off the food comas and hangovers that you acquired from a little bit too much of everything. I can safely say having a day reserved pretty much for eating far too much food while watching far too much tele was just what I needed. 

This year christmas has been rather different for me. With being wrapped up in the crazy old world of Panto, working all the hours god sent up until christmas eve and getting back to work on boxing day, I was far more excited this year for christmas day than usual if for nothing more than a nice day of rest! 

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I would never usually consider myself the most christmassy of people. Don’t get me wrong I love the idea of christmas, spending the day with the people you love, eating some great food and getting a couple of nice presents along the way but somehow between childhood and growing into an adult the whole occasion somewhat lost some of its magic. Maybe it was from at the age of 13 being told by your parents Santa isn’t actually real and you no longer get a stocking or being given one to many body spray sets you seriously start to question how badly you must smell or being forces to watch the christmas day episode of Eastenders year on year (evidently I don’t have the most festive of parents!) Also with usually only letting myself vaguely entertain the idea of christmas until after my birthday is done and dusted (3rd Dec), which by this point advent calendars are all sold out and Black Friday present deals have been and gone I tend to miss the bandwagon. 

But as I said this year I have been determined to make the most of christmas, enjoy my time of to relax and see family and try to forget about the last stressful term and before a probably worse one. So I decided to put together a little collection of the ways in which this year I will try and make myself enjoy the festive period. None of these are going to be ground breaking, I’m sure probably all of you do this already but these are just a couple of ways I will be spending my christmas hollibobs!

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CHRISTMAS TELE

I really have been rather crap on the tele front this year. With not even getting around to watching what was once the highlight of my TV calendar, Strictly Come Dancing, christmas will be a bit of a shock to the system with actually sitting down to watch some TV on an actual tele! With christmas specials in abundance (outnumbered being this years personal highlight) and the good old classics being pumped out to fill the gaps (how can anyone not like Blackadder), its the best time of year to have a good old TV binge and enjoy watching Chicken Run for the 8th time. 

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UNAPOLOGETIC REST

Anyone like me who can be a bit of a workaholic, sometimes it is hard to completely shut down and and forget about deadlines and projects and what I should be doing next. But if there is any time of the year that this can and should all be forgotten about it is christmas. This may be somewhat hypocritical writing this now but just put dow the notepad, sit down, relax and watch that whole series of lost in 2 days with a family size pack or bourbons by your side (to share, obviously). 

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CHRISTMAS BAKING

Anyone around me who knows me will know that I am some what of a foodie. Not in the sense of fancy Michelin star restaurants with caviar and quails eggs but in the sense of just loving a good old bit of grub! With christmas being the one time of year when you can drink and eat chocolate before lunch time and eat cake convincing yourself that its healthy because it has fruit in it, I love to crack out the cooking equipment and make a lovely batch of biscuits or muffins for either yourself or to be a lovely hand made present for a relative. 

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SEEING FAMILY

Now I know this is kind of the obvious thing for people to do over the christmas break but having been away for the whole term without a reading week and working full time over christmas, getting to go home and see some family on christmas day is a rather exciting prospect. 

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EXPLORING THE CITY

With living in London there is so much going on over the christmas period that it would be stupid to miss them all. So on the small time that I have of I am determined to hit up the christmas markets even if just for the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread, visit Winter Wonderland to see what all the fuss is about and plainly have a nice wonder around the city to see all the beautiful christmas lights.  

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS  | At Raglan Castle

 

 

 

The classic coat

The classic coat

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Every year winter rumbles on around (funny that) and it was finally time to tear myself away from my beloved leather jacket and into something a little bit more practical for the season. Despite last years orange number still being very much in my good books, Zara has pulled it out the bag again this year with this beautiful double breasted grey number which I have had glued to my shoulders.

Not to diminish my love for a good jumper but probably my favourite things about winter dressing is being able to crack out a good old coat and wrap up all warm and cosy. This look really encapsulates all of my favourite styles at the moment of with the ever so practical for the ankles culottes, a good knitted jumper and obviously a good old cosy coat. With the simple accessories of a chunky black belt and small and simple bag, they nicely finish this simple yet stylish look and keep everything very comfy with my Adidas Gazelles .

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PHOTOS : TOM FLATHERS 

COAT | CULOTTES | JUMPER | SHOES | BAG 

When all else fails…

When all else fails…

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We all have one of those pieces in our wardrobe, the thing when the rest of your clothes are lying unloved and rejected on the floor after a manic “I have nothing to wear” session that we reach for time and time again. Be this in the form of a massive fluffy jumper, an old pair of Levis which have probably seen a few world wars in their time or a classic little black dress, we all have them tucked away somewhere.

Despite all of these being very much on my panic dressing hit list the one item which has reigned above all since its purchase has been this lovely vintage black velvet dress. It may be cheesy to say it but  with it being black, a shirt dress and vintage its pretty much me in velvety goodness dress form.  The £9 price tag also makes it all that bit sweeter with the cost per wear probably now being less than a tin of beans (and I don’t even mean fancy old Heinz).

With any completely black outfit I always try and throw in a splash of colour somewhere and this beautiful suede bag did just the trick. All my thrifting powers were put to good use with this look with managing to pic this bag up for a couple of pounds in a charity ship. With its angular hexagon shape (seems I learnt something in GCSE Maths) it adds a geometric edge to a pretty piece and adds another spot of interest.

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BUY THE LOOK  |  DRESS  |  BAG  |  SHOES

PICTURES  |  TOM FLATHERS 

 

Kentchurch Court Gardens

Kentchurch Court Gardens

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With this countries mini July heatwave coming to an end and with me now finally being able to function once more, and all of us now realising we shouldn’t have complained that much about it being too hot with it now raining, it seemed only right to reminis on the beautiful weather with a post all about my trip to the beautiful Kentchurch Court Gardens. 

This summer in particular I think I have had a real draw (just like a bee) to beautiful gardens and flowers. Sunny skies and pretty flowers, whats not to like? Maybe its me getting older (should I take out a national trust membership card already?) but Kentchurch Court Gardens has really tickled my appetite for all things floral and summery. With living the big city life nowadays its lovely and refreshing to come back to visits such beautiful  placed hidden away in the depths of the countryside.(totally haven’t been there 3 times in the past couple of weeks :/) 

Not only have I been hanging out with the flowers I have also rather unusually for me started wearing them too. With my new discovery of a fab little vintage shop in my home town packed full with more vintage dresses than you can shake a stick at, It has definitely made shopping trips in little old Hereford a lot interesting (and less purse friendly too.)   

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Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers

 

YOUTUBE – http://bit.ly/1OZ7v1c 

FACEBOOK –  http://bit.ly/1qtU1Ff 

TWITTER – http://bit.ly/206TW6B 

INSTAGRAM – http://bit.ly/1YeK3ST 

500 PX – http://bit.ly/296984s 

PINTREST – http://bit.ly/1SbgcG9 

BLOGLOVIN – http://bit.ly/1UI3N36 

My design portfolio: http://bit.ly/1MjTQGD 

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: http://bit.ly/1SjgRWc 

Etsy shop http://etsy.me/20dSJdF 

Rain and Rainbows

Rain and Rainbows

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You know those times when on the way back from and extremely long 2 days in London when you spot a double rainbow and just have to jump out of the car while it is raining to get some all important photos? Well that happened to be us this weekend. As someone who is no stranger to a more challenging shoot, standing out in the rain was definitely not something new to me. Least the addition of not just one but two rainbows was a nice change. (We didn’t totally run to the car as soon as it turned monsoon like at all! with lighting equipment and all.)

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Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers

YOUTUBE – http://bit.ly/1OZ7v1c 

FACEBOOK –  http://bit.ly/1qtU1Ff 

TWITTER – http://bit.ly/206TW6B 

INSTAGRAM – http://bit.ly/1YeK3ST 

PINTREST – http://bit.ly/1SbgcG9 

BLOGLOVIN – http://bit.ly/1UI3N36 

My design portfolio: http://bit.ly/1MjTQGD 

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: http://bit.ly/1SjgRWc 

Etsy shop http://etsy.me/20dSJdF 

500 px http://bit.ly/1XldouE