Bloggers London Fashion Week

IMG_2752Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to attend Bloggers London Fashion Week. I wasn’t able to make it down for most of the events, but on Wednesday evening Jessie and I headed to central London to partake in the fun.

The whole thing was organised by Bloggers Love, who do an amazing job of connecting brands and bloggers. I have to admit, we were spoiled rotten.

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The event took place in The Penthouse, which offers an amazing view of central London and we were given the opportunity to chat with representatives from some of the UK’s top beauty brands, sample their wares, and even take home a few goodies.

Bass Budds had teamed up with award-winning manicurist Roxanne Campbell, who was on site giving mini manicures that matched the company’s new fashion line of earbuds (studded with real Swarovski crystal!) I took home a pair in fuchsia and I’ve been using them everyday. I’d been using over-the-ear headphones for the past couple of years and found them bulky to carry around. These are so much easier to stash in my bag and I can’t help loving that they double as a vibrant accessory.

I picked up a bag of samples from Bravura London, a skincare company that creates natural but very effective products. Having just been on holiday, I’ve put my skin through a lot – drinking too much, eating lots of dessert, falling asleep with my makeup on, etc. etc. But using these products has been making a big difference to keeping my skin clear and glowing.

I was also treated to a few freebies from Umberto Giannini. It was perfect timing as I’ve been looking for a new shampoo and their Mend My Hair collection is specially formulated to rejuvenate coloured hair without causing any fading.

And my glittery makeover was courtesy of The Parlour (look for them if you’re heading to a festival this summer). I felt very David Bowie and am tempted to try my hand at recreating the look for a big night out (it screams NYE, doesn’t it?)

There were quite a few other brands there that I didn’t have a chance to chat with and as the fashion show was a bit delayed, I had to miss it. It was still wonderful to connect with such great brands and to start planning some exciting future collaborations. I had a really excellent time and can’t wait to see what Bloggers Love comes up with next!

To sequins & designer marshmallows,
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The Self-Love Book Club Reads Man’s Search for Meaning

franl“He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” - Nietzsche

This month the Self-Love Book Club read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, which was chosen by my good friend Eric.

This was a much different book than those we’ve read already, which were explicitly focused on spirituality and self-improvement.

While Frankl touches on these subjects, the book is a powerful memoir of his experience surviving internment in a Nazi concentration camp and an explication of the branch of psychotherapy he practices, logotherapy.

Throughout the book, Frankl comes back to this quote from Nietzsche again and again. It sums up the underlying principle of the text, which is all human life is meaningful. There is meaning in suffering but when we perceive our lives as meaningless, they deteriorate. This can cause sickness and mental disturbances, or in extreme circumstances, even death. But by orienting ourselves towards the meaning in our lives we’re able to overcome even the most appalling of circumstances.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Man’s Search for Meaning was named one of the most influential books of all time. And I can understand why. I often read on my lunch break and during the week that I was reading this book, I often found myself in tears over the horrors he was describing. But woven throughout the narrative is a clear message. We always have a choice in how we take up our circumstances.

This is even more explicitly clear in the second half of the book, where he goes on to detail the principles of logotheraphy and the techniques he used with patients to help them overcome their neuroses. Essentially, it all comes down to choice to recognize the unique meaning of our lives. Whether you view this meaning through secular or spiritual terms seems inconsequential. You don’t have to believe in destiny or necessarily even a higher power, but to recognize your life as meaningful, even in the face of suffering.

He gives the example of prisoners who found meaning in the thought of one day being reunited with our loved ones or in the spiritual growth offered by the experience. Meaning orients us towards the future. It gives us something to live for.

I found Frankl’s words so rich with wisdom and it left me with a lot to think about. About what we choose to find meaningful. How we choose to interpret the circumstances we face. The things we choose to think about and place value on.

If you’ve read it as well, I’d love to know what you thought.

In April we’ll be reading This I Know and in May, Personal Development for Smart People. If you’d like to read along with us, it would be great to have you join the Facebook page.

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Diana F+ Instant Kit Giveaway


It’s been quite a while since I’ve hosted a giveaway for you, my lovely readers. Luckily this one is extra special! Organised by Amanda from Little Tranquility, I’ve teamed up with a group of amazing blogger ladies and we’re offering you the chance to win this amazing prize pack. Not only will you be winning your very own Diana F+ (I’ve written before about how much I love mine), but you’ll get the instant back that allows you to print your analogue photos straight from your camera  AND a 20 pack of film.

Amanda from Little Tranquility // Sarah from The Laughing Medusa // Lena from Tiny Painter // Michelle from Creature Type // Lorelai from Lorelai Sebastian // Jessie from Creating Happy // Tara from Tara Victoria // Rosa from Hello Martian Girl // Georgia from Wherever We Find Ourselves // Jess from Copper Hollow // Maddie from Maddie Richardson

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open internationally and you can enter daily until 3rd April.

Good luck!

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This is London: Rockalily Cuts

IMG_2402 IMG_2405 IMG_2411I first discovered Rockalily Cuts during my first trip to London. It’s such a me place, with lots of vintage flair and a specialty for bright coloured tresses. I love following the salon’s owner ReeRee Rockette on Twitter and reading her blog. She’s always got fabulously styled hair and great outfits, but she also has a lot to say, from feminism and tips she’s learned from her own fitness journey to business know-how and insights into the often awkward world of online dating. When she offered a little blogger discount a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t help but snap it up. My shaggy hair was in dire need of some attention!

As soon as you sit down in the salon you’re offered a hot drink, served in vintage china with something sweet perched on the saucer. The walls are lined with prints and lots of ReeRee’s fun vintage, charity shop finds. The staff are so friendly and stylish; most of them sport colourful hair and lots of tattoos.

I had my hair cut by one of the team’s newest members, Hannah. She sorted my hair out while we had a good chat about everything from dating to getting settled and making friends in London. It’s such a fun and relaxed environment and I’m always so nervous about who I trust my hair to, but I know I’m in good hands at Rockalily.

Next time I want to be sure I make my appointment on a day I’m going out afterwards, as you can add an up-do for only £15!

While the salon is looking for their vintage styling and alternative looks, their specialty is fabulous hair, no matter the inspiration. So even if you’re looking for a more modern style, I definitely recommend booking in at Rockalily.

To rainbow pin curls & lots o’ kitsch,
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The Birthday List: Learn a choreographed dance routine.

beyoncedanceclassYesterday was the International Day of Happiness (and International Macaron Day – who decides this stuff?!) and, while this post has nothing to do with macarons, I am writing about something that made me very happy recently:

Beyoncé dance class!!!

After taking a dance class for my birthday list last year, I knew I wanted to do it again and push myself even further out of my comfort zone. There’s something about a choreographed dance routine that’s so much more intimidating than partner dancing or something improvised. Especially when you’re trying to dance like Beyoncé, who epitomizes sexy, because I’m pretty self-conscious that my body does not move like that.

I signed up for the Crazy in Love dance class at Drink Shop Do with four of my book club ladies (who I now call my girl gang as we only ever read the one book). I didn’t watch the music video for the routine we were learning until the morning of the class, which had me thinking “Whose crazy idea was this?!” (Jayne’s!) and “Do anyone’s legs actually do that?”

I hadn’t predicted what a tough workout we’d be facing or that we’d be learning how to twerk (sort of, my butt did not want to cooperate), but we had so much fun. Our instructor Gemima was great about breaking down all of the steps and making sure we all had each one down before moving on. We were definitely the boisterous group of the bunch and the night was full of sidesplitting laughter and lots of sweaty attempts at the ‘Beyoncé shake’.

You can see a short video of our efforts here and while I don’t think my daydream of us breaking out into the routine when we’re all out at a club is likely to come true, I’m pretty sure there are more pop star lessons in our future.

To booty shaking & lots of giggles,
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