The serious business of holidays


I was born in to a family of list writers. I am a list writer. I have a daily list, a weekly list, a shopping list, a random things list. I like to write things down and plan.

Holiday planning is my favourite kind – the promise of family time somewhere beautiful and hot, lots of clothes to be worn, multiple lists to be written in a new book with a fancy pen: bliss.

I start by writing out the days we will be away and split them into day and evening. Then I add travel days & split them into 3 (day, spare – a must with kids, evening) I do this 3 times so one each for me, Little Legs and La Bambina. You could do it on a computer but I like writing it out.

Then I go through my clothes and when I find something I like I fill in a day/evening. I do this over days, even weeks sometimes. It is the most important part of my packing. Things fit differently if you haven’t worn them since last summer, you notice a stain from last year, you think a new top will work perfectly with old white jeans. If I’m not sure about it, it goes in a separate list to be tried on again nearer the time. This is serious. It also means you never over or under pack.

It makes choosing bags and shoes easy. Last year the studded Kurt Geiger Moves in gold and silver were perfect so I will take them again as well as brown leather, navy and black Havaianas to wear all day. I’m taking one pair of heels – ancient black leather and raffia wedges. I am not that keen on wedges normally but they feel right in the sunshine and less formal than other types of heel.
Havaiana family.

I have a large selection of sunglasses and take them all away. I have a black cat eye hole in my collection so I may make a small purchase at the airport.

This made me smile.

I can’t recommend the Jantzen swimsuits enough. Supportive, flattering but not frumpy. The floral one with black sides is my favourite. The J Crew swimsuits are lovely quality though they offer less bust support than the others I have. The Midnight Grace was a last minute sales purchase for the pricely sum of £11.50.

I have a case of beachwear that only comes out a few times a year. Much of it is a few years old but here are some bits I’ve added recently. Topshop sundress, Next white bandeau dress, New Look denim playsuit, ASOS palm print playsuit, Seafolly kaftan (I have navy and the neon).
I like this last minute order off the shoulder cheesecloth dress from ASOS. I save white for holidays and wear a lot of it.

Evening wear
I’ll share some of my evening wear while I’m away or when I return. I don’t take anything too fussy. Lots of harems, silky shorts, cami tops and a few bright necklaces. I am taking the French Connection blue sunburst maxi I’ve fallen in love with again.

Make up & beauty stuff
I adore Chanel Les Beiges. I usually use shade 10 over my foundation but I shall be using shade 30 on holiday instead of foundation with a bit of my usual Nars creamy concealer (I wear Custard). I bought the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza as recommended by Gina and now I’m using it properly, I love it.

I really rate Laura Mercier eyeshadows. This Cognac is such a beautiful shade on – perfect for green /hazel eyes. I’ll take Forest Green and Bleu Marine too as well as the Chestnut I use everyday at home (good for eyebrows too)
Last year my lipsticks were Nars Schiap and Red Square. This year they’re joined by Mac Relentlessly Red and So Chaud.

Ann got on the case and found me a waterproof mascara.
First impressions are good – it’s waterproof (so many aren’t!), it doesn’t cake and I can get it off with a normal makeup remover. It has beautiful packaging to boot.

I really rate this Aveda sun shampoo and body wash which gets rid of chlorine. I got a handful of samples of Damage Remedy Restructuring Treatment too. It’s a bit too heavy for frequent use in London but great for in the sunshine.

What a long post! Sorry if I’ve bored you but a few people have asked for a holiday post.

I’m off to tick some more things off my lists. Back soon!

Saturday Night at the Movies

My sister surprised me on Saturday with a night out at a cool bar and open air cinema on the roof of an old car park.
Love the car plant pots.

The movie screen. You get headphones and blankets too. Luckily it didn’t rain but they give out ponchos if it does.

Red wine, popcorn, chocolate. Perfect.

I had no idea where we were going so tried to wear something that would be fine anywhere. Zara green jumpsuit, Zara black, red and leopard sandals.

What did we see? My favourite movie! 20140728-102206-37326064.jpg

A new dress & new trainers

First week of the summer holidays and it’s been so hot!

I’ve said before that I often buy my cami tops from Topshop’s maternity range. The straps are usually a bit wider so cover a bra strap and I just size down. While I was looking in the maternity section I came across this summer dress.
It’s not my usual style but it’s cool and perfect for this beautiful weather.

Today we went to a party which ended with a huge water fight. Great fun but I am so tired now!
I wore old Zara drape front trousers, Topshop cami, Zara necklace, ASOS jacket, New Look white slides.

These babies arrived this morning. I’d held off hoping the velcro style would be reissued too but I caved and am glad I did.

Finally, I had my hair cut earlier this week. My hairdresser asked if I wanted “some movement” in my hair and blow dried me curly!
(Excuse the toilet shot!)

Hope you’ve had a good week. Back soon.


Now, I haven’t blogged in an absolute age, so I thought I’d better get my act together, even though today’s outfit is hardly a thrilling one. What you gonna do, though? It’s the summer holidays, the weather is glorious, and I’ve got a long list of errands to run with a five year old in tow, so jeans and a cami, with a blazer for extra coverage will have to do. I am, at least, rather thrilled with my little red bag, one of my only sale buys, and only a tenner from Zara. I am pondering picking up the Bon Soir black one too.



I ordered these paint splat Zara trousers back in March but sent them back as the 12 was huge. I was late night blog browsing during the storm last week and saw Kat wearing a pair. A quick look on line told me they were reduced to £17, yes please! I am wearing an 8. I do not say that often. Yes, they’re supposed to be slouchier but I like them like this.

First day of the holidays yesterday and we stayed in bed watching tv until 10! What bliss.
I wore Zara paint splattered trousers, Office gold espadrilles, Mango pocket tshirt. The tshirt didn’t work. I should’ve worn the Topshop cami-vest instead but I could be bothered to change my bra. It’s that kind of weather. I wish I had though as the non natural fibres and full coverage of the tshirt have given me bad prickly heat.

On a more serious note, did anyone watch “Clothes to Die For” on BBC2 last night? It was very sobering. I will come back to it in another post once I’ve done some proper research.

Hope you’re all enjoying sunny days.

Some photos from the weekend

Having limped to the end of term and spent the weekend demonstrating then celebrating we are exhausted! No long post from me then, just a few photos from the weekend.
We celebrated La Bambina’s birthday. Not such a baby anymore!
Retro birthday present.
Guffo owl cake made by me and Little Legs.
Pre birthday celebration tapas in Topshop black maxi dress, ancient necklace, Havaianas. I’m hoping to find a better quality black vest maxi before I go on holiday but am not having much luck.

Birthday breakfast in ASOS dress, Next silver sandals, mirrored RayBans, Alexander Wang Diego.

Back later in the week with my packing tips!

Feeling hot hot hot

Somehow we’ve managed to get through the week! We’ve had a bad week, it’s been so hot and muggy in London and I’ve had no more than two hours continuous sleep am for over a week. Not a great combination. But you know what SCHOOL IS OUT FOR THE SUMMER!

We marked the start of the holidays with a picnic with my big girl’s mates and families in the park. Few glasses of prosecco, industrial quantities of cocktail sausages, a cheeky picnic dressed crab for me and a water fight for the kids.

I have no photos of my outfits this week – variations on H&M denim shorts and Topshop camis and the Topshop sundress (“that’s a pretty nighty” said Little Legs)

Today I wore the Zara printed jumpsuit with Havaianas.

Now I’m sat in my little garden with a cold glass of wine, some popcorn and a book. Ah yes, bring on the summer!

New shoes

I had my eye on these Tory Burch Mischa espadrilles for a while and I was so disappointed when they were sold out in my size when the sales preview came around.


A bit of googling and I found them on, and soon they were on their way from a boutique in Rimini. From one seaside town to another – I suspect the water is many degrees warmer in Rimini though!  I do like the idea of buying from small boutiques rather than multi-national conglomerates, so I’ll certainly use Farfetch again (note: sadly Farfetch did not sponsor this post!)

IMG_3077Of course the hazard of internet shoe shopping is sizing isn’t it? My shoe size varies from 36 to 38 depending on the brand and then there is the added complication of US sizing. I am a 7 in the J Crew shoes that I have, but the 7 was sold out in Mischa and I went for the 7.5. It is a generous size but nothing an insole won’t fix – better too big than too small.

Of course, no sooner do I  have one new pair of shoes in my possession than I move on the the next thing I ‘need’. I have been hankering after a pair of pointy shoes for a while, so I went into town to have a look at what’s left of the end of the sales. I was seriously taken with these Isabel Marants IMG_3140

And these in Irani’s from LK Bennett, I love the pink print, it comes in a skate shoe also. The pink was too big, but the silver was my size, and if you tilt your head sideways it really is very close to the Marant. I dithered for ages (thank you to the very patient assistant!) but in end I left them as they are dead flat and as I am short I really need a bit of a heel if I want to wear them with dresses or skirts.

IMG_3165On my way through M&S on my way home and I spied these – pale pink, pointy, and kitten heeled.



They are a bit like Eve and Belinda’s Coast’s but for wusses like me who can’t spend longer than 30 minutes in high, or even mid heels – the shame! So I snapped them up and on the way home I thought about my daughter’s gold marker and how I might get to use it for a bit of diy

IMG_3171I started at the back in case it was a complete disaster…

IMG_3173but they turned out rather well!

Now, on to my next shoe…I am thing of my cold feet in winter and how what I really need is the fur lined Jimmy Choo bikers or the Fiorentini & Baker fur lined Eli. If you have either I’d love to know what you think of them!

Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks Review

You know the first evening of your holiday.  You are slightly tinged by the sun.  You realise you probably should have been more careful with the sunscreen but by goodness you look good.  The glow accentuates your cheekbones, makes you look younger and generally more fabulous….well….if you don’t have a holiday coming up but want the same glow of gorgeousness let me introduce you to Charlotte Tilbury’s beach sticks.

Here’s a video with the lovely lady herself demonstrating them click here.

Because I like to think I have the same colouring as Gisele (obviously I don’t but one can dream) I got the Ibiza shade.  I actually ordered it online which was a bit risky because I normally like to go and test make up products but this time it paid off.  I love it.  It gives me a gorgeous bronze glow when swiped across my cheekbones.  I look instantly healthier.  They have a delicate shimmer, blend beautifully and they smell divine.  I’m not usually a big fan of fragrance in make up but it doesn’t seen to irritate my rather senstive skin.

Like the Nars multiples it’s supposed to work on the lips too but the shade that is right for me (Ibiza) looks a bit odd on the mouth (weirdly I’n not too keen on brown lips but maybe that’s just me!) so I can’t testify to how good/bad they are when used as a lipstick but as a bronzer/highlighter the one I tried is wonderful, so much so I use it everyday at the moment though my husband keeps getting caught out and asks how I caught the sun when I’ve been stuck in the office all day.

You can get them online at Charlotte’s site or you can do the sensible thing and go to Selfridges (if you live near enough) and get advised on the right colour for you.

I’m also currently obsessed with Charlotte’s retoucher (as well as her eyeshadows, liners and film star bronze & glow)…so another Charlotte review coming up shortly – sadly I’m not sponsored by her (what a dream that would be) – I genuinely just love her products.