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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

NOT MODEL BEHAVIOUR.

NOT MODEL BEHAVIOUR with photography by Catherine Harbour.

Today's blog post is a little impromptu. An off the cuff emotional splurge, if you will. 

A few weeks back I booked in to have some photos taken with the insanely talented Catherine Harbour. I'm signed with MiLK Model Management, (to their digital influencer division, may I add) and whilst I'm not a model, my lovely manager, Lucy, assured me it'd be worth having some new shots taken; just to show a slightly different side to Wonderful You (or whatever)). 

And I'm SO chuffed with how they came out - but that's not really why I'm writing this post. 

This is a post for all the bloggers out there who want to step in to themselves. Actually scrap that, this is for all the WOMEN out there who want to step in to themselves. 

I've been blogging for a year as a full-time job, and within that time I've been bloody lucky to have some incredible opportunities, from TV campaigns to being a brand ambassador - they're experiences I couldn't have dreamed for myself. But they're not opportunities that I find easy to grab on to. 

Because SPOILER ALERT: I'm not a model. 

Or particularly confident, for that matter.

The thing is, I don't know the exact measurements of my body and I don't really know my best angles and I'm not 5'11. I'm confident enough to take a selfie, sure; or have my friend take my blog photos, but asides from that? I have no idea what I'm doing. And a lot of the time, the opportunities that arise, well, they're throwing us in to model territory, and for me, that's petrifying. 
NOT MODEL BEHAVIOUR with photography by Catherine Harbour.

NOT MODEL BEHAVIOUR with photography by Catherine Harbour.

NOT MODEL BEHAVIOUR with photography by Catherine Harbour.

I was awake until the early hours of the morning on the day of the shoot with Cat - these photos aren't even for anything, they're just for me, and yet I couldn't sleep for worrying. 

I was booked in with two other models and all I could think was 'Cat is going to think I'm a knob and that I don't know what I'm doing' - and that made me anxious because, well, if that's what she'd thought, she'd have been right. 

But then, receiving these photos today and from the words of people I love most, I had a realisation, that actually it doesn't *matter* that I'm not 5'11! Or that my bone structure isn't perfection or that I don't really know what makes my body look 'good'. 

Because these opportunities, that come through this little blog, they're not because I'm model material. They're actually in-spite of that. They're because I'm me. I'm not what a brand have asked me to be, I'm not playing a part. 

And these photos, these experiences, they've helped me realise that it's okay to step in to the opportunities that are presented to me, I'm not less worthy of them just because I haven't trained to be a model. I needn't compare myself if I find myself rubbing shoulders with the most glorious women I've ever seen, because, because we're all bringing something different aren't we? 

And I think that's okay. 

I think that's really bloody great, actually.

It's just remebering that, isn't it? 
NOT MODEL BEHAVIOUR with photography by Catherine Harbour.

NOT MODEL BEHAVIOUR with photography by Catherine Harbour.
Photography: Catherine Harbour
Hair & Makeup: James Michael Butterfield

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

THE DENIM JACKET.

STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket


I feel like I blinked and this year came to an end. Sat here at my laptop realising its only a matter of weeks until Christmas is bloody overwhelming - But I’m still holding on to Autumn with every fibre of my being…and every thread of my wardrobe for that matter. 

Denim Jackets - I lived in mine last year, somehow managed to lose it and only got around to replacing it this summer - needless to say it’s been permanently on my back ever since. We’re in late November and mostly, it’s really, really cold; but there are still days I’m venturing out without the need for a coat and it’s made me realise just how versatile the denim jacket really is. 
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket

And today I’d quite like to talk about the vintage Levi’s jackets in particular. Getting your hands on one of these means a whole bunch of things.

1.) You’re getting your hands on an absolute bargain. They cost half the price of a brand new one and there’s so many more styles to choose from.

2.) It’s easier to layer. With a slightly oversized look it means you can drag your love affair with a warmer weather wardrobe in to the cooler months. The billowing arms and baggy body allow for tops, jumpers and thermals galore - pretty perfect when the weather doesn’t know if it wants to laugh or cry.

3.) They suit everyone. It’s not that piece of clothing that will only suit this shape or that height, it’s the most flexible item to add to your wardrobe and requires minimal effort or thought to style. 
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket
STYLE BLOGGER: How to wear a vintage levi's denim jacket

So, how are you wearing the denim jacket this season? Are you clinging on for a little longer like me?

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Top | Jeans (similar) | Shoes (similar) | Necklace | Watch | Bag | Ring

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Photography by Derek Bremner 

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

HOW TO SPEND 48 HOURS IN SALZBURG, AUSTRIA.

CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots

Jetsetting with Jamie is one of my favourite things to do and so as an early birthday treat for him, I booked us flights to Austria.

It’s the one place I’ve heard nothing but magical things about and having just shy of 48 hours at our first stop we had zero time to waste.

Austria in all its beauty has so many glorious places to visit, but we were set on Salzburg - craving a taste for the city life we couldn't wait to get stuck in to two days of being absolute tourists.

A PLACE TO STAY

First things first - when visiting a new city we all need somewhere to rest our weary heads. Hotel Goldgasse, situated slap bang in the middle of the city is right on the money. It’s a luxury boutique hotel, but without the crazy price tag you’d expect. The stunning interior boasts a beautiful mixture of traditional and contemporary design; with rose gold details at every turn. (And yes, you’re right, that is a rose gold, egg chair you’re seeing).
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots


LOCAL CUISINE

I’d been given a list of delicacies I simply had to try from friends and family - and so we made it our mission to eat as much food as possible whilst we were there.

The thing about Salzburg is there aren’t really restaurant recommendations to hand out - everywhere is pretty similar and no-where is overtly fancy. There’s a cosy, cafe feel to every restaurant, that all offer the same standard of incredibly tasty meals. So whatever you stumble upon is likely to be a goldmine; there are a few dishes you simply must try though…

Knoedel Goulash - by far my favourite; a hearty, beef stew with the largest dumpling known to man thrown on top. Bathing in all its simplicity it's certainly a basic beauty, but ohmygoodness was it delicious.

Wiener Schnitzel (veal) - may seem bland on title, but boy oh boy are you in for a treat. Served with a side of cranberries, a cucumber slaw and parsley potatoes the flavours are unreal.

Bratwurst - not my cup of tea, but Jamie tucked in fiercely. Served on a bed of sauerkraut it’s promised to be quite the taste sensation.

Apfel Strudel - I mean, google it and see, you'll know exactly why you need it in your belly.

I know I said restaurants aren’t really recommended, but it I could give you one it would be Hotel Goldgasse - the food is unbelievably good and the interior makes you feel like you’re sat up high in the mountains with a log-cabin design. Not only will you experience the taste of Austrian food, but you'll get a real feel for what the country is all about.

CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots


SIGHTSEEING

The city is renowned for both Mozart and the Sound of Music - however Jamie and I weren’t too fussed about paying out to spend our only full day in the city on guided tours. We got a little savvy and googled the destinations for all the locations on the tour and worked out that we could actually walk it all alone within the day, winner!

And so, with our tour guide hats firmly on our heads, we embarked on a day of exploring.

You’d be surprised to learn that most of the ‘hotspots’ on the guided tours are just randomly popped around the city, from ornate statues to grand buildings, you don’t need to pay to visit these places, nor does it take very long to get from one to another. Simply meandering the streets you’ll find yourself stumbling upon them.

However, Mirabell Palace and Gardens is not one to be missed - we spent hours wandering around the grounds, taking in the beauty.

One thing we did invest our money in was a trip to the top of the tower that sits on one of the mountains. With a train track leading as high as the eye could see, we were whizzed up there in a matter of seconds and the views really were spectacular. The €15 not only pays for your fee to the top, but also gains you entry to all the museums that are built within the castle walls - you could quite easily lose a few beautiful hours here.
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots
CITY GUIDE SALZBURG AUSTRIA, including hotel recommendations, local cuisine and sightseeing spots


I think the most charming thing about Salzburg is that actually? There’s not much more than this to recommend. It’s a city small enough to see in just a day or two if that's all you have and every street, every corner is it’s very own museum. Whether you jump on a horse and cart, enlist yourselves on a guided tour or simply do it yourself, you’ll discover such beauty that you’ll never want to leave.

Keep your eyes peeled for part two of our Austria trip, where we escape to the mountains.

Watch our travel vlog here:

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Thursday, 17 November 2016

ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS.

ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter

Normally, when I book to go away somewhere, it’ll be to another city or perhaps even another country. Very rarely do I treat an escape to the countryside as a holiday

The countryside is my home - I’m the woman who pays a handful of visits to London each month but can’t wait to scurry back to the peace and serenity that village life gives me. And so when the opportunity arose to visit a somewhat local getaway I was excited. A home from home experience felt like the most relaxing thing I could do right now.
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter

Lords of the Manor is a beautiful hotel situated in Upper Slaughter, a tiny little village that resides in the picture perfect Cotswolds district. It’s actually only a stones throw away from London too - so wherever in the country you are, it’s a pretty central spot to get yourself to. 

I booked Jamie and I in for a one night stay on Halloween - his birthday. We’re both pretty much past the party scene, and this year I wanted to do something a little more special than just a meal at our local hotspot. I can’t even begin to tell you how magical it was. Dating back to around 1649 this hotel has heaps of history behind it (and was once owned by no other than Henry the VIII (I know!!)) - as you can imagine, everything about it exudes luxury. 

In our room was a beautiful book, letting us know everything about the hotel and all the things we could do around the Cotswolds whilst we were there - we decided we’d rather make the most of our time at the hotel, but we did have a little explore around the village and then hurried back to set up camp in our beautiful room.

Having arrived quite late in the afternoon, we nestled in to the comfy armchairs in the lounge area to have some cream tea before exploring the grounds. The gardens are pretty spectacular here and I genuinely felt like I was on the set for The Secret Garden; every corner had something new and special to tell. 
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter

 We were booked in for dinner at the hotels restaurant for 8pm, with drinks and canapĂ©s at half 7. I knew that the restaurant had a michelin star, but neither Jamie or I were quite prepared for just how mind blowing this evening would be. The restaurant offered 5 or 7 course tasting menus that are completely unique and seasonal - we opted for for the 7, of course… 

Part of me wished I’d taken some snaps of the food, but it was such a special evening I wanted to leave the cameras behind and just get completely lost in the experience - because that’s exactly what it was, the most incredible experience. (Take a peek on their website here to see what I mean). 

I knew Jamie felt a little out of his depth and I was a little apprehensive too - I mean, we’re used to Nando’s and a coke and this really was something quite different. The staff were incredible and absolutely nothing was too much - it may have been posh but they so clearly wanted everyone in that restaurant to have the best time that our apprehensiveness quickly melted away. 

We ate to our hearts content and I kept squeezing Jamie’s hand across the table every time a new course came out and it looked prettier than a painting. From langoustine to duck and pork to banana soufflĂ©, we had it all. 

We rolled ourselves up to bed at 10.30pm and had the best nights sleep of our lives before feasting on the complimentary breakfast in the morning. 
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter
ESCAPE TO THE COTSWOLDS: A blog review of the Lords of the Manor hotel, Upper Slaughter

It was the perfect getaway for Jamie and I to just enjoy being together and completely switch off. 

Writing this now even feels like a dream, it really was so very special. It’s without doubt the most luxurious hotel I’ve stayed in in the UK - from the grounds to the rooms and the restaurant to the bars, everything was a+. 

If you’re looking for a treat beyond measure, book yourself in to Lords of the Manor - you’ll leave feeling like a Queen and I guarantee it will be one of the most special getaways of your life.

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