Back to Basics

Relaxed denim ootdToday I’m talking basics or, more specifically, jeans. Back in the day (the day being when Evanescence were on the radio and Buffy Summers was my idol ) I owned a ton of jeans – bootleg, flare, patchwork, skater, even a pair or two of skinny jeans, paired with ballet flats, naturally.

But then I started university, discovered vintage and the wonder that is floral printed trousers, and somehow all my jeans found their way to my local charity shop. I just didn’t get the casual urge anymore. I hung on to a black pair and some that were strictly reserved for festivals and camping, but even the latter bit the dust when we moved, along with a pair I picked up in a recent clothes swap. To me jeans signified casual, ordinary, uniform and dull, but I’ve finally realised what I’ve been missing out on.

Jeans can be a uniform but they are also an iconic piece of clothing that originated as a sign of change and rebellion, which is perhaps why they look so darn good paired with leather, leopard print and tartan. Jeans are an easy choice – they go well with everything, even vintage blouses, and there are no hidden surprises.

I decided to ease myself back into the denim game with this pair of skinnies from Paige Denim. Paige are an LA based brand but I actually found them in Nordstrom Rack for a stitch (geddit?) of the original price. I’ve only had them for a couple of weeks but they are fast becoming a wardrobe staple, and the perfect accessory for my growing collection of Breton-themed t-shirts.

Now that jeans are back on my radar, what should I try next? I’m thinking ripped at the knee… Tell me what your favourite brand/style is in the comments below.

Blue ‘Verdugo’ jeans –  Paige Denim via Nordstrom Rack / White and blue stripped t-shirt – Zara / Oak ‘Effie’ bag – Mulberry / Tan Chelsea boots – c/o Topshop, Cabot Circus

Casual denim and Breton t-shirt outfitPaige jeans and Breton t-shirtCasual denim and Breton t-shirt outfitBattered Topshop Chelsea bootsPaige jeans and Mulberry bagBreton stripes and denim jeans

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4 Fitness Websites to Get You Excited About Your Next Workout

Fitness websites to motivate youRecently I’ve been exercising five or six times a week and while I love the way I feel after a  class, run or YouTube video, motivating myself beforehand can feel like the hardest thing in the world.

From wanting to stay in bed a little longer to feeling the lure of Netflix and the sofa, sometimes the very idea of exercise feels too much like hard work. Fortunately there are a ton of online destinations to inspire and motivate, some of which I wanted to share with you today.

If you feel the same way about lacing up your trainers, heading to the gym or rolling out your yoga mat, here are four fitness websites that I promise will leave you feeling excited about your next workout.

Remodel Fitness

A recent discovery for me, Jessi Kneeland is the personal trainer on a mission to help others find confidence and self-love through fitness. If you think that sounds wishy-washy, think again. Jessi’s blog is sharp, brutally honest and BS-free. From standing up to terms like ‘fitspo’ and calling time on ‘girly fitness bullshit’, her posts are guaranteed to get you excited about how fitness can change you for the better, inside and out.

POPSUGAR Fitness

I have Bloglovin to thank for bringing this website into my life. Part of a wider lifestyle site, there is a magazine-like quality to POPSUGAR Fitness that offers workout videos, healthy recipe ideas, opinion pieces and fitness news from around the world. The site is updated several times a day so there is always a new nugget of inspiration to read. Most of the workout suggestions are under 15 minutes, so they’re perfect for days when you want to keep fit, fast.

The Balanced Life

For motivation at a slower pace, Robin Long’s The Balanced Life is another great website to check out. ‘This space is about grace, not guilt’ sums up pilates instructor Robin’s attitude to health and fitness, and her blog and videos always leave me feeling good about myself rather than worrying that I should be thinner/fitter/able to hold a plank for more than 10 seconds.

Pinterest

Is it a cop-out to add Pinterest to this list? Granted, if you spend too long browsing pins you’re more likely to end up in the kitchen attempting to make whiskey cinnamon rolls than outside pounding the pavement, but curating a health and fitness board gives you the opportunity to come back to a place that’s proven to motivate you, because you made it. I’ve just created a new board for running and it’s a mix of warm-up stretches, quotes and music suggestions to run to. Looking at it gives me that little extra push to put on my trainers and head out the front door.

Those are my suggestions, where do you find your fitness motivation? Let me know below :)

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Chilling in Tulle

grey marl t-shirt and black tulle skirtI have been after a tulle skirt for the longest time. So much so that I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to tulle and tutus and I was even contemplating making one myself. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my sewing machine out here when we moved, which kind of put a stop to my fanciful Great British Sewing Bee ideas.

Luckily when we were in LA a few weeks ago I spotted a black tulle maxi skirt at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. It’s a little long on my short-ass frame, but I knew I had to make room in my suitcase to bring it home with me.

I never had any interest in ballet as a child (evidence of which can be seen in some of these questionable poses) but that never stopped me trying to capture an off-duty ballerina look, long before the days of Black Swan. As a teenager I loved off the shoulder t-shirts, and in my first year of university I had a thing for leg warmers. I never did get my hands on a pair of real ballet slippers like singer Amy Winehouse used to wear, but this skirt is continuing the theme nicely.

Who knows? Perhaps next year I’ll be craving a leotard and pointe shoes…

Black tulle skirt –  Rose Bowl Flea Market / Cropped grey t-shirt – Zara / Black shoulder bag – clothes swap / White pumps – c/o Toast

Chilling out in tulleTulle skirt and clothes swap bag

Practicing a ballerina poseChilling in tulleBlack tulle skirt OOTDBloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

48 Hours in LA

The Santa Monica Ferris WheelA couple of weeks ago Mr Ship-Shape and I decided to have an impromptu weekend in LA, after we found out he needed to attend a conference there. Despite the distance, a flight down the coast was quicker than it takes to drive from Bristol to London, at just 52 minutes!

After spending the Friday together, relaxing by the pool, visiting Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and heading up to the Griffith Observatory to watch the sunset, I was left to my own devices during the day on Saturday and Sunday.

Although I’d been to LA many years ago, I was looking forward to exploring again. It was so much hotter than I remembered, and I was in awe of the runners and cyclists out in the midday heat, looking like they could be on the cover of a magazine. I spent Saturday morning walking from Santa Monica to Venice Beach, which was beautiful. Venice in particular was bustling with street performers, skateboarders, tourists and the occasional muscle man walking around.

On Sunday I got up at an eye-watering 6am so that I could make it to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl Flea Market. We didn’t have a car so I relied on getting around by public transport, hence the early start. The Rose Bowl Flea is one of the largest events of its kind in South California and is packed with stalls selling everything from vintage linens to mid-century furniture and even old film props. Needless to say that I was in my element there, and if we weren’t flying back with only carry-on luggage, I could have bought twice as much as I did.

After the flea market it was time to head back to LAX for our flight home to San Francisco. It was a whirlwind trip but one that’s left me looking forward to more weekend adventures. Here’s what 48 hours in LA looks like through the lens of my camera…

Sunset over west LAGriffith Observatory at duskRoscoes chicken and waffles signRoscoes chicken and wafflesLA palm treesSanta Monica boardwalk signSanta Monica beach boardwalkVenice Beach graffitiSkateboarder at Venice BeachConverse street artHollywood walk of fame starsGreen smoothieRollerblading and dog walkingThe Rose Bowl StadiumHands for sale at Rose Bowl Flea MarketOld copies of Life magazine for sale

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21 Beauty Trends for the 90s Kids

Teen Beauty Trends from the 90sFrom magazines like Allure to beauty blogs and video tutorials, I feel like there are so many more resources available today for teenagers who want to experiment with make-up. Alas, when I was a teen my friends and I had to go it alone, with only copies of J-17 and Sugar magazine to guide us.

Whenever I went back to my parents’ home I’d always have a peek at the contents of my old chest of drawers, one drawer of which contained some choice teen make-up, including a frosted silvery blue lipstick from Boots’ 17 range, worn in homage to the lead singer of Babylon Zoo. Fortunately I only wore it a few times (probably while rocking the skirt over trousers + asymmetric sleeved top look) before I came to my senses.

So to all my fellow 20-30 somethings, if you shopped at Tammy Girl or spent your pocket money on anything with glitter in it, here are 21 beauty trends from the 90s that I’m glad are (mostly) in the past.

1. Butterfly hair clips
2. Metallic cream eyeshadow stackers from Miss Selfridge
3. Impulse body spray
4. Lilac eyeshadow
5. A ‘neutral’ palette including baby pink, purple glitter or powder blue shades
6. Crimpers – ’nuff said
7. Lip liner darker than your lipstick
8. Scrunchies
9. Anything vanilla scented from The Body Shop
10. Glitter hairspray*
11. Orange hair mascara
12. Using Sun-In and because you weren’t allowed highlights
13. Glitter eyeliner
14. Rimmel make-up packaged in burgundy and gold
15. Frosted lipstick
16. OTT black kohl eyeliner – waterline? What waterline…
17. Hard Candy nail polish
18. Wearing multiple mini buns/top knots à la Gwen Stefani
19. Body glitter
20. Woven plastic chokers
21. Chokers in general, actually

*Actually, I think I’d be ok with this now. I think it was four cans of the stuff being sprayed at any one time in the girl’s bathroom pre-school disco that put me off…

Now it’s your turn – what other 90s beauty faux pas would you add to this list?

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