DATE NIGHT ESSENTIALS.

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P R E T T Y   I N   P U R P L E

As someone who's now become very much deep-rooted (and happily so) into a very barely-there makeup routine, date night is the perfect excuse to spend a little more time on my appearance. Part of the reason for this post is that I just wanted an opportunity to talk about some gorgeous new date-night-appropriate items I've picked up lately, so I hope you enjoy ;)

KOREAN SKINCARE // SPF 50 IN A FACIAL OIL???

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A N O T H E R   K B E A U T Y   I N N O V A T I O N

I've been wanting to talk about this product for several weeks now. Because combining my love for sunscreen and facial oils into one product sounds so up mio strasse!



RETINOL 101 //
A LAYMEN'S GUIDE + MY FAVOURITE PRODUCTS.

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W I N D   B A C K   T H E   Y E A R S

Those of us somewhat into skincare have all heard of 'retinols' I'm sure. But are we all sure of exactly what they are and how they work? It was only a year or two ago that they became something I thought I ought to be including in my routine, but really, with all the terminology and definitions being banded about, and information tending to be confusing, I'm not ashamed to admit I was pretty clueless myself! In an effort to 'get educated', I've since researched, read up, spoken to dermatologists and experts, and most importantly have tried a large handful of retinol products myself, in my search for youthful skin.

So today, I'm sharing my Layman's-term guide to retinols, including some of my favourite products. There's really so much to say on the topic, but I've tried to round up what I think I would like to know, so I hope you enjoy!




WHERE TO EAT IN CROATIA // 5 MUST-VISIT RESTAURANTS.

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Where shall we eat today?

Wherever we travel, food is among the very first of my thoughts. I just can't help myself. Croatia, like most places in my eyes to be fair, is very much hit or miss when it comes to food. There's amazing seafood to be had, and beautiful, home-style Mediterranean fare, albeit very much mixed in with lacklustre taverns and eateries catering to the mass of tourists that descend come summertime.

Plenty of the former though, which is wonderful news for any fellow foodie! So if you're planning a visit, let me share some of my favourite spots with you :)

PEA, FENNEL + LEMON SALAD.

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S I M P L E   +   F R E S H

"Had salad for dinner! Mostly croutons and tomatoes. Really just one big round crouton covered in tomato. And cheese. Ok, so I had a pizza."

I must say that when it comes to salads, I generally end up defeating the point of trying to eat more healthily by loading on carbs and dousing it in dressing - so much so that it's really more of an ordinary meal with a few pieces of lettuce..

I've never really seen the appeal of a load of raw veg and little else - that, a meal does not make for me. And I'm not even saying that today's recipe would suffice as a standalone dinner for me, because frankly, it's unlikely. It is, however, a bowl that I would eat on it's own, perhaps for lunch, as the star of the occasion rather than being outed as the side dish (although this would undoubtedly make a fabulous accompaniment for some fish or chicken).

Even though simple, it's far from boring.

LAVENDER + BRODERIE.

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F I E L D S   O F   L I L A C

It's another outfit post today!

How do we feel about these btw? I sometimes think I'm just so outside the cookie-cutter 'fashion blogger' stereotype, and that my wardrobe is full of the same items (17x bretons and jeans haha!) that no one will want to see what I'm wearing!

We're house-sitting at the mo. For a work colleague, in fact no, he's the MD, out in the deepest depths of Oxfordshire (and may I say that it's beautiful here). And it's rained incessantly for the past 10 or so days. I'm currently sat, laptop aptly in lap, looking wistfully out of the window, wondering are we really in August? Where is my late, Indian summer? Fortunately, it was much brighter and warmer a couple of weeks ago, when I was able to give this gorgeous Broderie skirt it's first outing.

CROATIA // 21 THINGS THE GUIDES DON'T TELL YOU.

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T H E   F I N E R   D E T A I L S

F and I did, what we thought was, a fair amount of research for our Croatian travels. I, of course, scoured through travel and lifestyle blogs (often with a cup of herbal tea and plenty of biscuits on hand), he, the Guardian travel guides and Reddit etc, and we even picked up a Lonely Planet guide. But alas, there were still plenty of little details that I really wish we'd known in advance! Some, pretty significant, others very much tongue-in-cheek, but all the kind of information that none of the articles we read mentioned! So if you're planning a trip anytime soon, then I hope you find this alternative guide somewhat helpful!

(And I thought I'd throw some snaps from our day trip to Plitvice National Park in for this post, so if nothing else, enjoy the colour of the water!)

THE END OF JULY EDIT.

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T H E   R O U N D U P

July has been a month of travel, growing and rose gold nails for me.

I've already mentioned in this month's 10 Things how wonderful our trip to Croatia was, and that's obviously taken up a large chunk of this month's posts! Back in dreary England (and hasn't it been dreary? It's rained just about everyday for the last 10 days and we're still in July..), we're house-sitting at the moment, which is terribly exciting, essentially taking over someone else's house for a fortnight. They have a little cat too, who's a little sweetheart with a naughty streak - she's already managed to get into a pack of tortilla wraps and nibble her way around a bunch. Undeterred by rain, I've been personally enjoying how lush and bountiful the land seems at the mo - we've had carrots and beets and peas from the garden, and the flowers are a gorgeous view each morning.

Anyway, in case you missed them, here are July's posts:


L I F E S T Y L E   +   S T Y L E


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10 THINGS THAT'VE MADE ME HAPPY #4.

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S I M P L E   J O Y S

I love writing these posts, and incidentally reading ones like them on other blogs. We've done quite a bit to be happy about this month - big adventures (hint, Croatia) as well as tiny moments. Here are 10 things that've made me happy recently, and I'd love to hear yours!

SUMMER ESSENTIALS.

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T O P   T O   T O E   F A V O U R I T E S

It's become somewhat of a tradition here on BTB to do a big, collective roundup of favourites when summer rolls around - and of course a chance for me to indulge in a little flatlay-ing. I've got a bunch of what I consider to be summer essentials to satiate your beauty and lifestyle cravings today so I hope you enjoy!




HVAR, CROATIA // TRAVEL GUIDE.

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E A T ,   S E E ,   D O

Hvar has been in the back of my mind for many years. Although famous for it's party-vibe and nightlife, there's plenty more to the island if that isn't your thing and you're old souls like us!

We only took a day trip out here, which is just about enough time, but with the grace of hindsight, I only wish I'd planned it a little better because quite a few things are dependent on transport and timings etc. Anyway, stick around and I'll show you the sights, what to do, and of course some tippity top food recommendations ;)


SPLIT, CROATIA // PHOTO DIARY.

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G L A S S Y ,   A D R I A T I C   W A T E R S

There's a lot to love about Split. The old architecture of Dioceltian's Palace, the colour of the ocean by Riva Harbour, the winding, stone streets, with eateries at every turn, and the view at the top of Marjan Hill.

THE DALMATIAN COAST, CROATIA.

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F R U I T - F I L L E D   F O L L I E S

We decided to shun all alternative methods of transport and drive from Dubrovnik to Split via the coastal road.



7 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY.

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O U T   I N   T H E   F I E L D

My photography has improved in leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. (You're welcome to take a look back at my ancient blog posts for some expert examples of shooting in ugly, artificial light ;) I've written several posts sharing my photography tips (which I've listed later on for you) but I'm still frequently asked about my photography, so I'm sharing a few more of my thoughts today.

And, in fact, I'm shoehorning in a bit of a outfit post too, with this gorgeous floral tea dress - so I hope you enjoy!




CHARLOTTE TILBURY UNISEX HEALTHY GLOW.

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T H E   G L O W   G I V E R

The weather has been glorious here in the UK recently, it's been so lovely to spend time in the garden (in the shade!) and enjoy the outdoors a little. And I've really been shunning makeup completely, other than perhaps a tinted moisturiser of sorts. Which is why today's review is so apt! I haven't posted a standalone product review here on BTB for what feels like ages, but there is so much hype surrounding the new Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow, that I feel I've got to allocate it it's own space. So, the big question - is it worth the hype? Let's find out.




LOKRUM ISLAND, CROATIA.

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O U R   W I L D E R N E S S   R E T R E A T

Little Lokrum island is only a stone's throw from the Dubrovnik coastline.




CITY WALLS, DUBROVNIK.

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T H I S   T E R R A C O T T A   T O W N

Hello from Dubrovnik!




THE END OF JUNE EDIT.

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T H E   R O U N D U P

I've said this every month, but June seems to have passed exceptionally quickly.

I've been incredibly busy, as you'll notice by the comparatively few posts here on BTB this month, so I expect that's why it's felt quite so speedy. I'm pretty glad for July though. It's a month of holidays, birthdays and anniversaries for me so an exciting month ahead! And hopefully more glorious weather - although here in the UK we're definitely ill-equiped for 30+ degrees. Or any kind of tilt towards hot, cold, wet, snowy etc.. 

Anyway, in case you missed them, here are June's posts, and I'd be more than happy to hear any suggestions of posts you'd like to see in the upcoming months!

L I F E S T Y L E   +   S T Y L E



B E A U T Y



P H O T O G R A P H Y







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FEELING STUCK + 5 TIPS TO ESCAPE A LIFE RUT.

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Feeling stuck or trapped can be one of the worst in the world.

Whether it's feeling like you're knee-deep in a routine that you don't know how to change, wondering if your hard work will ever pay off, or that your destiny is inescapable - that things are out of your control, it's hard to know how to break the cycle and get yourself onto a newer, better path.

I've definitely been feeling like this, especially lately, so today I'm sharing five tips to help us escape the life rut.

HEALTHY SKIN WITH CAUDALIE VINE ACTIV.

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Since dramatically whittling my collection, it takes even more than usual for skincare to impress me enough to 'make it onto the team'.

WEEKEND IN NUMBERS.

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3 // attempts Jasper took at squeezing past me to get into the car footwell. Just to sit in it.

10 // beautifully scented roses, that after a solid week are still looking luscious.

8 // harvests of berries from the garden! The strawberry and raspberry plants have gone rampant and taken over this year and I can't say I'm not pleased.

3700 // the number of followers on Instagram I just seem perpetually stuck at these days weeks :| They're driving me a little loopy with their shadowbanning etc, that I'm giving up caring. Temporarily at least ;)

12+ // minutes deciding which Anthropologie earrings to purchase. That shop is a minefield for my bank balance.

5 // calls between F and I this morning because he's in Cardiff and we're soppy old souls like that.

6:50 // the time our flight leaves for Croatia. I know I'll be dreading waking up at the crack of dawn that morning!

38 // the number of tabs I currently have open, predominantly blog posts on Croatia, subsidiary collection of ASOS and Hobbs..

8249 // current count on my Camera Roll, which I think ought to spark an iPhone clearout.

3 // pairs of 'necessary' summer footwear sent to F via iPhone for purchasing consideration.

66 // percentage of said footwear he liked enough to consent to purchasing. One of the pairs bore embroidered fruit which he said was a 'no no' ha.

100 // percentage of aforementioned footwear purchased regardless ;)


How did your weekend go? I hope it was a lovely one!




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8 FAVOURITES FOR GLOWING SUMMER SKIN.

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Summer beauty is all about the skin. I love pared back makeup when the weather warms up, in fact no makeup at all, bar perhaps a tinted moisturiser and a generous application of lip balm. There are all manner of ways to achieve glowing summer skin, and today I'm sharing eight of my favourites.




7 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR INSTAGRAM AESTHETIC + HOW I CURATE AND EDIT MY FEED.

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I'm asked many a time about my Instagram.

How do I go about curating my feed, what's my process, and how do I edit my photos? In all honesty, my approach is pared back and simple, and I stick to the same few filters and editing tools that I've used for the past year or so. Having a cohesive and attractive feed is possibly the biggest thing that draws me to a new Instagram account so today I'm sharing seven of my favourite tips for a strong Instagram aesthetic.

12 TRAVEL BEAUTY ESSENTIALS TO PACK THIS SUMMER.

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Even with the recent showers in the UK, I'm in a summery mood lately - as you can probably tell from the spate of sun-loving posts lately. I actually quite enjoy the rain when it's warm and you can smell the earth and grass. I recently spoke about my summer wardrobe essentials, what skincare minis to take on holiday with you, and a bumper SPF edit, so today I thought I'd add to the growing collection with my travel beauty and makeup essentials.




9 MUST-HAVE SUMMER WARDROBE ESSENTIALS.

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I'm feeling really inspired about holiday clothing at the moment. And I've found that, whilst mentally packing, I very easily gravitate towards certain styles and colours, or items that I consider my must-have, travel essentials, so I thought I'd share them with you today, hope you enjoy!

THE SPF EDIT // 15 SUNSCREENS FOR
EVERY SKIN TYPE + BUDGET.

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Ask any beauty expert for their one tip that all women can adhere to to improve their skin, and 9 times out of 10 you'll hear SPF. Sunscreen is one of the most important steps in my routine year round, but especially in summer. Gone are the days where we had to put up with heavy, sticky creams that turned our faces white, so today I'm sharing the SPF innovations that are available these days, including a more expensive, and more affordable option - so there's no excuse not to be protected!

THE END OF MAY EDIT.

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It's truly bonkers in my mind that this is my third monthly edit! May has really whizzed by, and I find myself almost half way into the year already.


5 TRAVEL SKINCARE KITS TO PACK THIS SUMMER.

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P I N T   S I Z E D   S K I N C A R E

I wish I could take my whole beauty cabinet away with me sometimes. I succumb to overpacking, and that includes beauty products. This is where teeny curated kits of pint-sized offerings come in incredibly handy -skincare minis are invaluable when you're off on your travel. I'm currently planning what to take with me for our trip next month so thought I would share 5 of my favourite travel skincare kits with you today. Hope you enjoy!

10 THINGS THAT'VE MADE ME HAPPY #3

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I can't believe we're almost done with May! I've spent an unwelcome proportion of it feeling unwell, especially with headaches, which certainly hasn't been making me happy, but here are 10 things that have :)

BEETROOT + GOAT'S CHEESE TART.

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R U B Y   B E E T S ,   S E A S O N A L   E A T S

This recipe essentially came about because I wanted to show off the gorgeously dainty thyme flowers that have sprouted in our garden. I did toy with the idea of a lemon and thyme cake but many of my recent recipes have been sweet (not that I'm complaining obviously!) and I've been really coveting goats cheese, with it's lemony tang, especially with beetroot. Hope you enjoy!

LIFE LATELY, GUILDFORD CASTLE.

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S P R I N G T I M E   F O L L I E S

So this post is a little culmination of imperfections, which I'm in fact quite enjoying. So often are we faced with photograph after photograph portraying a happy, luxurious or otherwise perfect life and it's all too easy to treat these tiny, curated snippets as the whole story and feel inferior. So enjoy the cloudy weather, and the imperfect poses - although I'm sad I'm unable to share all of the tulips in their fine glory - Guildford Castle's perfectly manicured gardens are strewn with bed after bed of them were you to venture in March or April ;)




MY 'GOLDILOCKS' SKINCARE ROUTINE
+ HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN CAPSULE COLLECTION.

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N O T   T O O   M U C H ,   N O T   T O O   L I T T L E ,   J U S T   R I G H T

If you're unconfident when it comes to skincare, the prospect of trying to sift out the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff, what you need and what you don't, can seem really overwhelming! Or of course if you've gone completely the other way and don't know what to cut from your extensive collection ;)

I've had several questions about my own skincare, creating a skincare collection and what I consider to be my must-have products, so today I thought I'd do a big bumper skincare post, and share my thoughts with you. I forewarn you, this is a lengthy lazy Sunday read so grab a bacon sandwich and I'll meet you back here in 10 - hope you enjoy!

A DATE WITH DISNEY & MAC.

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M A K E U P   +   M U S I C A L S

Last weekend, I was invited to what turned out to be a really beautiful day in London, c/o Disney and MAC Cosmetics, and I'd just love to share it with you! (And for the beauty obsessed, hold on until the end to see what's in the goody bag we received ;)


3 DELICIOUS + HEALTHY AVOCADO TOAST IDEAS.

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A V O   A - G O - G O

I'm obsessing over avocado at the moment. I've been eating them everyday for breakfast or brunch. Today's post is simple - I'm sharing my three favourite topping combos for avocado (I'm using some homemade tomato bread because that's just what I've fancied lately, but rye, sourdough, crackers, oatcakes, whatever carrier, it's completely your call), so lets get stuck in and I hope you enjoy!

KNOWING YOUR SELF WORTH + 4 WAYS TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT.

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A   H A P P Y   H E A R T   +   A   H A P P Y   M I N D

Even the best of us are susceptible to moments of self-doubt, especially when it comes to our image.
There's a tendency to attribute self worth to how you look, and I'm especially guilty of this. So today I want to share my thoughts on showing yourself a little more self-love, and feeling more confident in yourself, regardless of appearance.

KOREAN SKINCARE DUPES
FOR HIGH END FAVOURITES #3

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I love finding dupes, who doesn't? And fortunately, there are plenty of them to be had among Korean skincare, so today I have another bunch to share with you. This feels like it's becoming a bit of a series here on BTB, and you can check out Part 1 and Part 2 respectively if you're hungry for more ;)

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