Modest Summer Slaying

I am painfully aware that modest clothing is SO not hot in this day and age but hear me out. While retailers are encouraging us to flaunt our wares in revealing and increasingly barely-there outfits – especially so in the recent beautiful weather we’ve had (scorchio!) – I say we regain the exclusivity of our form and cover our bits and pieces in style.

There’s a saying much-beloved of meme-makers who also believe modest dressing to be where it’s at: if you dress like a piece of meat, you’re going to attract dogs. I have heard some ladies complain that the attention they receive from men is overly focused on their body parts but, as they are complaining, their said parts are hanging out for all to see and drool over. Right…

Now I am the last person qualified to judge anybody for anything but, dear beautiful women, whatever happened to us dressing to please ourselves instead of everyone else? And why can’t doing so translate into fabulously stylish, classy and flattering outfits that leave something to the imagination?

Feast your eyes on these examples of modest yet totally bomb diggity (did I just say that?) style choices…






See? It is possible to stay cool in warm weather without baring all! And, by the way, it has actually been proven that you stay cooler wearing loose-fitting clothing rather than exposing bare skin to the sun. So there.

Here’s me doing smart(ish) on a hot Sunday, wearing dusky pink shirt by H&M, white textured skirt by M&S, flat snake and suede sandals also by H&M and minimalist accessories from New Look and Michael Kors:


I take enormous pleasure in knowing that what I’m ‘working with’ (ahem) is exclusively for my own and my husband’s eyes. Even before I was married, I actually enjoyed picking out what to wear with modesty in mind, knowing I could slay without sky-high levels of flesh being exposed. I suppose I’ve always been someone who enjoys going against the grain and it seems that, in having this viewpoint in today’s flesh-thirsty society, I’m staying true to form.





Concrete, Stone, Marble Home

Texture. Home stylists and interior designers are always going on about texture. When you start to experiment with it in your own home, you can really start to see (and feel) why.

There are all sorts of ways you can add texture, from plush woven fabrics to natural tactile wood but, somehow, the stripped-back, raw look and feel of stone and concrete accessories adds a unique kind of a luxury finish to a space. It’s as though you’re saying, “sure, I could gild my home with highly-embellished and faffy stuff but I’m choosing a ‘less is way more’ approach, thank you very much”.

Marble is of course the embodiment of luxury stone materials in the home and just a touch here and there gives this same luxe effect, even if it’s not real marble you’re using. Have a look at this beautiful melamine marble-effect tray from Mia Fleur (£16.00,


I love stone finishes in the home, especially dotted around in the form of beautifying accessories. I guess it appeals to my thrifty nature as the fact I can create my own accessories and displays using stones and pebbles found on the beach, riverbanks or even the park gives me a little kick as they’re completely free. Check out my heart-shaped coaster, it’s curves formed by the River Thames itself:


I just love the simplicity of these white rounded stones I found in Hyde Park:


If you wanted someone else to do the work for you though, you could do worse than to head over to Wild and Wood (£95.00, where they have this absolute beaut of a clock made of concrete with oak hands which move with a silent sweeping motion. Yes please.


Or how about this lamp base from IKEA and black granite worktop saver/chopping block from Tiger (£5.00, – with my Hyde Park stones on:



So, the next time you’re at the park/beach/local place where stones happen to be lying around, keep an eye peeled for those stones which could very well add a new texture to your space in a very cool way.

Pound Shop and Proud

Is anyone still reluctant to admit they shop at pound shops? Or has the recession made pound shops trendy? I for one have always loved them. Why on earth would you pay more for the same thing elsewhere?

I looked around my home and realised so many things were found in pound shops that I thought I’d do my bit to banish pound shop shame and share with you the surprise finds I’ve seen in pound shops on my travels. (And, no, I’m not talking about bin bags and kitchen roll.)

1. Candle holders
There’s nothing like candlelight to help you feel relaxed and cosy on a quiet evening. Poundland usually has a varied selection of candles, holders and votives for you to choose from.




2. Photo frames
We love photo prints in our house so we have a lot of photo frames dotted about the place, most of which came from pound shops.



3. Plant pots
Have you seen these pots though??


They make fabulous caddies for kitchen utensils, pen pots, oh, and for putting actual plants in. They’re from the Charlie Dimmock range at Poundland and they fit in perfectly with a rustic, shabby chic or ‘beautility’ look. Yep, I said beautility: beautiful/utility. Moving on…

4. Coasters
Practical, yes, but they don’t just have to be functional; the humble coaster can be a stylish accessory in its own right! I love my crackle mirror coasters and use them underneath pillar candles for a gorgeous sparkle as well as for drinks.


So go on, go out there, find your nearest pound shop and look at their home accessories in a new light. Beautify your home for less! And pick up some kitchen roll while you’re at it.

Munchkin Soft Tip Infant Spoons – Review


Introducing babies to solid foods is a rollercoaster ride of excitement on your part, discovery on their part and finding puréed food splattered in impossible places around your house on everyone else’s part. Oh, just me then. (Cue chorus of parents saying “no, us too!” I hope.)

Weaning is a huge milestone for baby and for you and there is a plethora of products available, all marketed as being essential in making the process easier for you and your little muncher to make the transition to solids.

Mixed in to the whirlwind of baby blenders, silicone crumbcatcher bibs, multi-position highchairs and digital steamers is the oft-overlooked but truly essential bit of weaning kit: the humble spoon.

When I began looking for spoons to feed Eden with I came across these beautiful bamboo and silicone creations by


At roughly £18 for a pack of four though, I continued the search; I wasn’t about to pay for four baby spoons with what could buy a 12-piece dinner set. That’s when I found Munchkin’s colourful feeding spoons.


They have soft tips (good for baby’s gums) and long handles (good if you choose to buy food in jars).

They come in a pack of 6 so you’ll always have one ready while the others wait to be washed – and wait they will at times (and all the tired parents said “amen”). They’re easy for baby to hold and practice feeding themselves with although, with the long handles, it can take a few attempts before the spoon reaches the mouth (which makes for some hilarious moments – cameras at the ready!)


They’re dishwasher safe, BPA free and all this for around £2.99. Plus, you’ll be using them well into the toddler years.

Munchkin spoons for munchkin’s meals all the way I say.


Wearable Metallics


I like shiny things. In fact, I love ’em. In my home I’ve used metallic accessories to add a luxe touch to what is quite a neutral black, white and grey scheme (see ‘Marvellous Monochrome’ post) but I also love wearing shiny fabrics and accessories.

I happen to live near a Matalan outlet store. I very rarely go in, more out of Eden not being a fan of long shopping trips than anything else, but this week he was kind enough to allow me to peruse their ‘30% off already discounted items’ sale. (Thanks, son.)

That’s how I found what may well become my new favourite t-shirt; a very wearable metallic silver short-sleeved top with a pocket detail on the front. Very minimalist. Very easy to wear. Very shiny.


I now have quite a collection of clutch bags, some of my favourite of which are the ones with a metallic finish. Take, for example, this one; a superb example of what I affectionately call ‘trashy chic’:


Very maximalist. Very fun to rock. Also very shiny.

DKNY have got the right idea:


As have Topshop and H&M:



Metallics are pretty much everywhere right now so if you want to experiment, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something you like to suit every budget. Plus, they’re a super-easy way for busy mamas to look great without having to spend ages getting ready: a gold or silver top thrown on with jeans rocks, as do metallic trainers or ballet flats. Effortlessly glam. Shine on!

Nursing Cover Review –


Breastfeeding. Yep, I’m taking it there. Specifically, breastfeeding in public places. When you’re out and about and you’ve chosen to breastfeed your baby, you will inevitably face the issue of how and where to feed your little one in public. Or, perhaps, it’s not an issue for you (and if that’s the case, hurrah).

I remember very clearly the very first time I had to breastfeed my son, Eden, in public. King (my husband – yes, that’s his real name) and I had gone to a restaurant in north London for lunch. It was opposite a beautiful park we had gone for a walk in which had plenty of open spaces where I would have happily fed my newborn baby without feeling uncharacteristically shy and embarrassed, as the next nearest people were quite a way off.

My baby didn’t need feeding while we were at the park though. He needed feeding at the restaurant. I knew he would and I actually tried to delay going in, saying I’d rather feed him in the car, but King told me not to worry about it, no time like the present etc and, anyway, I could always use my new nursing cover.

The waiter offered us a table in the window – which I abruptly declined and asked to be seated somewhere a little less conspicuous. We found a nice little nook. Everything was fine. Then Eden began to squirm and put his fist in his mouth, which I knew meant we were about to embark on our first experience of breastfeeding in public.

So here it was. The moment had arrived. Out came the nursing cover which I slipped over my head as discreetly as I could, and, with nursing bra clip undone by nervous, fumbling fingers, I fed my son. I could feel that my face was hot. I was trying so hard to look as though everything was normal. Then it hit me: this IS normal. A moment ago, I had a screaming baby to deal with; now he is happy and content as he has his ‘lunch’ and the other diners can dine in peace.

Fast forward to almost one year later and I’m still going strong with breastfeeding, largely due to the fantastic nursing covers I use which make public nursing a no-drama affair. I discovered a small, mama-run nursing cover company called (their tag line is “Mam-made in the Lake District” – love it) after initially looking for a Bébé au Lait cover at a reasonable price. Badjily’s covers are the same type as Bébé au Lait’s well-known design, featuring an adjustable strap you place around your neck and a section of curved boning inserted at the neckline which holds the cover away from your body a little, allowing you to see baby and check attachment while you feed and also helps keep baby cool.

They come in a wide range of designs and colours, they’re generously sized so they easily cover you and baby and they even come with a free reminder tag for you to pop on your bra strap to remind you which side you last fed from. AND they’re a fraction of the price of a Bébé au Lait cover at £6.95 each. I bought two and they combine postage. Result.

The only thing that could be improved about these nursing covers is that they are made of a 50/50 cotton mix instead of 100% cotton but they are durable and hardwearing enough to have withstood being shoved repeatedly into my changing bag for a year and still look great after many washes.

So, if you’d rather cover up than bare all, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better nursing cover – especially at such a fantastic price. Thumbs up and thank you for helping to give me the confidence to nurse wherever I am.

Marvellous Monochrome


Stick around on my blog and you’ll soon gather that I love monochrome everything; I just think it’s such an effortlessly stylish palette and most things in a monochrome finish just look so bloomin’ cool! I’ve gone to town in black and white in my living room.

The great thing about a monochrome theme is that you can add a pop of colour to personalise the look and, as can be the case with your home space, when you fancy something different or want to refresh the space, you can change the look and feel of a room just by adding accessories in your chosen colour.

Yellow works really well in a monochrome setting, whether it’s a vibrant sunshine shade or a more muted mustard. Purple can add a touch of opulence by way of silk fabrics on scatter cushions or even curtains in this regal colour.

In my living room, I’ve opted for metallic highlights to keep things neutral. For example, my light fittings, vases, photo frames and candle holders are in a range of silver finishes; some have a super shiny mirror finish, others, a brushed metal finish. I love it in the evenings when I turn on lamps or light candles and the metallic elements really come to life, bouncing light around the room and making the magpie in me very pleased indeed.