THE PERFECT, CASUAL SUMMER DRESS.

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This is what 'happy' is.

Evenings spent with loved ones, in rural surroundings, with the nigh on smouldering warmth of an intensely hot, evening sun basking on our shoulders.

And what better a dress to gleefully dance about the fields than this?

4 WAYS TO MAKE SOMEONE'S DAY.

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I've spoken a fair amount about increasing our own happiness levels here on BTB.

From simple ways to better your mood to beautiful, positive mantras to brighten your day, and heck, I even have a whole series (14 months strong! I'm such a proud mother ;) dedicated to what's been making me happy lately.

But a part of our own happiness and self-fulfillment is linked with doing for others and giving back, so we ought to ask ourselves - what are we doing to make those around us happy?

I'm sharing 4 simple ways to make someone's day, most of them free, won't take up a lot of your time, and all them absolutely worthy and gratifying.

SUMMER.

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I'm having a bit of a reflective moment.

The kind where you've committed yourself to stopping, amidst the bustle of your ever-busy routine, to think about where where you are, and the little moments that make life what it is.

I know I have my 10 Things series but I don't tend to really purge my current thoughts, feelings and present ramblings into one post on here. Like the diary-like mentality I still sort of wish for this blog. I think it's because there's quite a bit going on behind the scenes that I'm not yet ready to document? I'd like to in time though.

Also there's always the option that no one would want to read it! ;)






There are a few things I hate about summer, that I don't remember hating until it comes around again each year. The first of which is hayfever. I've mentioned it many a time on Instagram especially already but why exactly it seems to be so bad this year I have no idea! Mornings are the worst by far. It wakes me up at around 5-6am and I've got to sit upright against the v-pillow and try not to sniffle too much as F tries his best to be supportive.. The heat as well. F's infamous for being 'the human-radiator' so cooling down at night is definitely a struggle in this weather!

But there are many things I love about this time of year.

Everything is decidedly lush and green in the garden. We've had bouts of giant peonies and beautiful cascading roses, and now we're onto produce in all it's glory. Fat green beans, that look far too heavy to hang so delicately from those spindly stems, entwining themselves with the peas. And it's the raspberries that have impressed me most this year. We've been getting a bowlful every few days, our rambling plant churning out beautifully sweet, sunsoaked fruit, plump and dark red from lazing about in the heat.




Outfit details

Navy broderie top - on sale here but more sizes here (and in white here!), White wide leg trousers (comfiest clothing item ever), Straw hat with ribbon (and a different ribbon), Flip flopsOversized sunglasses





There's a little lake nearby our house that's so beautiful this time of year. I love going down there with F in the evenings when it's cooler and the sun's starting to dip behind the trees, casting a golden glow about the fields (one that I would've liked to have captured more of had my camera not have thrown a tantrum and given up the ghost..). It's right about this time of year that the lighting around an hour before sunset is just the most beautiful light I've seen, picking up all the tiny particles in the air and sets them aglow - it gives me goosebumps.

I couldn't imagine living in a city again. I love being so close to rural, idyllic countryside now - it speaks to the very soul of me. I love that we're so close to London too, and that I can be there in under an hour door to door but I can't help but wear a little smile when, on the train home, I dip back into fields, greenery and wide, open space.

Today's post seems somewhat aimless in comparison to my usual. But I enjoy it's meandering and unimpeded nature. And I may well do more of these. I'll no doubt love looking back over these thoughts in months and years to come and remember what little moments were filling my head at the time. I think part of that instinctual rigidity regarding writing comes from school day's of writing essays and being drilled not to veer from the essay title, and to make sure you had a succinct intent and conclusion. All of which I can now eschew with sheer abandon now that I'm an Adult and can write whatever the heck I want ;)

So with that, here's to July, aimless meanderings, and eschewing with abandon :)



xx

MY CURRENT SKINCARE ROUTINE.

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I chop and change with my skincare.

And because I haven't spoken about it for a while, I wanted to share today my current 'routine' and some of the items I've been really loving to use lately. My skin isn't itself at the moment due to the very warm weather we've had in the South East and the unrelenting hayfever that's making it dehydrated and sensitive, so a lengthy routine of exfoliants, retinoids, treatments and creams just isn't for me right now.

Instead I'm reaching for gentle, comfortable formulas that are light, clean and don't impede my day.

So stay tuned for some of my current favourites - I'll see you after the jump break :)

GINGHAM.

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There have been a few fashion trends/styles that were rife in my childhood wardrobe of the 90's, and after a very long hiatus, have come full circle.

Denim jackets and heavy embroidery are but a couple of examples.

Anddd.. gingham.

24 STRAW BAGS TO LOVE THIS SUMMER.

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Along with just about every blogger and even slightly fashion-minded person this summer, I'm embracing, appreciating, loving, straw bags for the summer.

They're perfect for holidays, going to the farmer's market, and make the best transportation for all your picnic essentials.

I've been having a scour for my own collection and wanted to share some of my finds - whether you're after plain and unadorned or embellished and fun, a tote, crossbody or clutch, something splurgeworthy or dirtily affordable, there's a straw bag out there for you!


10 THINGS THAT'VE MADE ME HAPPY #14

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10 things that have been making me happy recently :)


PETERSHAM NURSURIES // LA GOCCIA.

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Ever since Petersham Nursuries opened their Covent Garden branch, I've been excited for to try their new sibling restaurants.


SIZE 14: BEING A FASHION INBETWEENER.

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Being a size 14 in the fashion blogging world is almost like no mans land - an a la mode purgatory or middle ground if you will.

Over the last 10 years or so, I’ve been everything from a gaunt size 6 to a rubenesque size 18, yet this ‘happy medium’ is probably the place that feels most odd to me since I’ve taken up ‘fashion blogging’, or more, sharing photos of what I’m wearing on the Internet. I put fashion blogging within quotation marks because I feel like it seems to fall into two categories on the internet, neither of which I feel like I fit in with.

I’m absolutely not slim enough (or toned enough!) to sit among the quintessential, cookie cutter 'Instagram girl/fashion blogger' etc, but at a UK size 14 (16 on a bad day ;) I’m not large enough to be
classed really as plus size.

A'PIEU SOO BOO JI // THE KOREAN LINE FOR COMBINATION SKIN.

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I won't pretend that the clean, minimalist packaging of A'pieu's Soo Boo Ji line didn't draw me in, but I was also pretty interested by a Korean range specially formulated for combination skin.

There are a few skincare items to the line and a couple of foundations, but the SPF 50 lotion (that claims to be both non-whitening and non-greasy) and SPF 50 cushion were what I was most interested to try.

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