Outfit – Sunshine and Showers

Yesterday my boyfriend and I took a trip around Bristol to check out some of the areas we are looking to buy a house in. The weather was veering wildly between surprisingly warm sunshine and showers with a gale attached, so it was time to layer up. I’ve turned this old black jumper into a cropped version so that it’s more versatile. I love cropped tops and have a few summery holiday pieces but very rarely get the occasion to wear them. Layering them is an avenue I haven’t explored very much so far.

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(Oops, shirt is a bit creased – we spent quite a long time in the car hiding from the rain!)

 I think I’ll be wearing this style in work more often – my office always seems to be really cold and this is a great way of keeping warm while still showing off the feature top.

I wore a light blue shirt underneath to keep it summery. I think I’ll be taking a fresh look at my existing wardrobe to see if I can crop anything else!

H x

Black Bags and Big Decisions

It’s been a pretty busy few days over Easter, split between Bristol and Wales visiting the family. It was straight back to the early starts this morning and ended up being a 9 hour day 😦 As we were back late from work, my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to a cheap and cheerful dinner at Pizza Express down the road (not very exciting or original I know but the menu never disappoints me).

I looked like a scruff but was too hungry to change, so in an attempt to smarten up I grabbed two favourites: my pink coat and trusty black leather bag. I love the effect of a beautiful handbag. This one always makes me feel a little bit more classy, and, when I’m walking down the street on a nice sunny day, like I’m in an episode of Sex and the City! It’s by John Rocha and I bought it as a ‘necessity’ for an interview last year (Read: I wanted it because it looks a bit like the Mulberry Bayswater I will never own).

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(I was too lazy to change my Converse!)

Another excuse for having dinner out was the need for a Discussion. Here’s the dilemma: My boyfriend’s parents have offered for us to move in with them for a few months while we save up to buy a house.

It will obviously save us money – we have the deposit now but it seems to be unbelievably expensive just to move, let alone to buy the property! My boyfriend’s parents are lovely and I get on well with them but I don’t want to lose my personal space – I’m a very independent person and enjoy time on my own in the evenings. I worry that it could get awkward with the differences between  cooking and day-to-day habits. They also live outside of Bristol and moving out of the centre would be quite a big change for me.

My boyfriend says it will be a ‘short term pain for long term gain’ but I can’t bring myself to agree to it yet. Does anybody have experience of moving in with a partner’s family?

H x

Spring style additions and my girly weekend

Some friends of mine were down in Bristol this weekend and in honour of their visit, I added a few new touches to my look.

I’ve been experimenting with a small side plait, channelling Daenerys Targaryen (Big Game of Thrones fan here 🙂 ). I love this look and would have tried it earlier if I was more skilled at plaiting! I would love to try a Katniss (The Hunger Games)  inspired waterfall plait but I think I would struggle. That’s something to practice! This plait was perfect for me this weekend; I wanted to wear my hair down but I don’t like having hair in my face.

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Another new thing is my obsession with a colour I like to call ‘Mint’ (a pale pastel turquoise). I’ve been loving pastels this spring and it’s such a lovely colour for sunny spring days like this weekend! I’ve just treated myself to this new nail polish – Breakfast in Bed from the Rita Ora for Rimmel range.

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(My nails are quite short at the moment. I have to keep them in check because of my lab work 😦 )

I think my preoccupation with this colour started when we moved into our flat last year. The walls of the living room were painted this exact colour. It’s unusual and not the colour I would choose in my own place, but it really works with the existing fixtures. I also have a casual tee and sunglasses in this colour – I thought about taking a photo of this combination but I think it would be mint overload! On my wishlist is a leather pencil skirt in this colour.

It was quite a relaxed weekend – we had a quiet girly night in with facepacks, trashy TV and gin! On Sunday we had a long session in the Thermae Bath Spa. It has an open air rooftop pool which we spent most of our time in. The views over Bath are beautiful, as was the weather. I’ve caught the sun on my face and shoulders!

It was a special treat for me to go to Bath on such a gorgeous sunny day – I was a student there and have lots of great memories of the city. I had to be stewarded around the shops so that I restricted my spending (still saving for that house deposit…)

Anyone else a mint fan? Or do you disagree with my description of it as mint? 🙂

Hattie x

A gorgeous sunny evening – time for a bike ride!

Well, scrap what I said in my last post – we had beautiful sunny weather in Bristol yesterday! My boyfriend and I headed out on our bikes as soon as we got home. This is my bike – fairly girly, it’s white with pink highlights on the wheels!

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I purchased it through the Cycle to Work scheme. My boyfriend is a keen cyclist; he and a group of friends cycled from Bristol to Barcelona last summer, raising over £10,000 for MacMillan Cancer Care (but that is a whole other story!). He thought it would be a nice activity to do together so I decided to get in on the action. One of my goals for this summer is to complete my commute to work (a 50 mile round trip with a 5.30am morning start – unfortunately, I don’t work in Bristol!).

As I’m fairly fit already, when I started riding my bike at the beginning of this year I was able to do 15 – 20 miles quite easily. However, it wasn’t so easy on my knees! I ended up with a knee injury requiring physiotherapy. I’ve learnt my lesson; I’m trying to be really disciplined and do my stretches and strengthening exercises as often as I can.

I’m now slowly (and sensibly) building up the miles, so yesterday’s ride was a fairly short and easy route. On our way back we did a quick circuit of the Downs, where I annoyed my boyfriend by wanting to stop and take photos every 5 minutes! It’s such a great open area and I’m lucky to live so close to it. I find open spaces relaxing just by looking at them.

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It was also great weather for flying kites…

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Hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather!

Hattie x

Fitness: My new motivator!

Apart from the odd sunny day, it’s still not quite warm enough outside to tempt me out for a run on week nights. I’m not very keen on running at the best of times and if it’s cold and damp then I feel more like jumping under the duvet when I get home from work! It’s really important to me to do some exercise nearly every day as a mood booster, but I’m also making a concerted effort to do regular exercise at the moment to build up to a few fitness goals I have for summer.

At moment I’m using one of the 7 minute workout apps to get me going. There’s been a lot of hype about these workouts in the last year or so – research indicates that short high intensity workouts such as these produce the same fitness benefits as 30 minute sessions. All you need is a chair or sofa, a section of wall and space to lie down. Perfect for my tiny flat! The ‘voice’ of the app leads you through a series of short exercises with short rests in between. It’s weirdly compelling which is great when you’re lacking in motivation.

The app I use is free and is just called ‘7 Minute Workout’. The app leads you through a series of short exercises with a short break in between. Unfortunately, with this app it’s the same 12 exercises, in the same order, every time. I think it would get boring if you did it every day, but unless I’m really short on time, I only use it to lead into something more fun. I do like the range of exercises though; they focus on areas that I tend to neglect.

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Once I’m warmed up I generally have a bit of dance around my flat – it’s a great de-stresser too. I’ve got wireless headphones – my boyfriend bought them for me after watching me wreck two headphone cables in six months with all my flailing around! What I’m listening to varies on my mood but it’s generally upbeat so there can be plenty of jumping around and booty-shaking! If I’ve still got energy left after that then I’ll finish with a few pilates exercises and some stretches. I’m trying to be disciplined this last part as I’ve had to have physio in the last few months to recover from a knee injury.

What do you do to get going?

Outfit: It’s still cold outside!

I don’t care if the coral coat has had it’s moment – I love mine and I’m still wearing it nearly everyday! This is another ‘it’s fate’ buy from Miss Selfridge. I’ve wanted a boyfriend coat like this for a while and stalked this one on MS’s website for a good few weeks, umming and ahhing about the colour….until it sold out! Is is just me or does missing out on something make you want it even more?! I got lucky on an unplanned trip to the shops – there is was, 30% off in the sale! Happy Hattie 🙂

I love the huge pockets on this coat; I get can away without a large handbag most of the time. I look less than happy today as it’s pretty cold and windy outside! I might have to add a scarf before I venture into town..

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Thoughts: Am I a city girl now?

I couldn’t get home for Mother’s Day so I took a few days off at the end of this week to visit my parents in Wales. This is the lovely little village which I grew up in, tucked away in the gorgeous Brecon Beacons…

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It amazes me how accustomed I’ve become to living amongst the perpetual hum and buzz of a city. After three years in Bristol I’m fairly accustomed to sleeping through the glow of street lights, car alarms and sirens. I currently live in the city centre and have a stream of shrieking students wandering past my window on week nights (I am guilty of a sing-a-along on a walk home so I can’t complain!) but even that doesn’t really disturb me! I think it’s pretty amazing how we can adapt like that. When I woke up in the middle of the night at my parent’s house it was so dark and quiet that I panicked for a minute or two – it was like being shut up in a box!

I love the buzz and opportunities of city life and I’m  not ready to leave that behind yet, but I’m always amazed at how relaxed I feel when I get back home. I love getting my first glimpse of the mountains on the drive home.  Bristol has some great green spaces ( I go on a quick run around The Downs if I need some quiet time) and beautiful countryside is never more than a short drive away so I’m pretty lucky.

It was warm and sunny here yesterday so I was pretty happy. I went for a walk looking like a true city girl – I climbed a wall in my pink coat and chelsea boots just to take a photo – I must’ve looked a bit ridiculous! It’s great to be rid of this pollution now – it caused havoc with my asthma. Has it affected anyone else badly?

There were some adorable little lambs in the fields as well (I tried to get a picture but the zoom on my phone camera is useless 😦 )

I can’t wait for summer to arrive!

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Outfit: Wedding season has arrived…Flower power!

I went to a wedding at the weekend and this was my outfit….

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It’s the first of a few I’m attending this year and I’d told myself that I would NOT buy a new dress (I’m trying to save for a house deposit this year). Technically, I stuck to that ruling. I saw this floral jumpsuit in Miss Selfridge a month ago and was smitten.

I’m a big fan of playsuits (I have two at the moment) but this is my first jumpsuit. I couldn’t wait to call my mum after I’d bought it – she had some great jumpsuits back in the 70s, although they were much more utilitarian in style. She gave me a useful tip re bathroom visits: take the whole jumpsuit off and hang it up so that it doesn’t drag on the floor!

To keep it simple, I wore black heels and a black blazer when it got a bit chilly. I did throw in a few colour pops though: my favourite orangey-red lipstick, bright green stud earrings and bright blue nails.

As it was quite a formal wedding I probably stuck out a bit among the dresses – I got lots of compliments though which was very flattering. The jumpsuit will have it’s second outing for another wedding in a month’s time!

What is there to know about me?

Hello everyone!

I am a 20-something girl living in the fabulous city of Bristol, UK.

I adore clothes and shopping. I spend far too much time stalking people on Pinterest and far too much money on clothes. I love music and attend a fair few gigs in Bristol. I’m pretty keen on keeping fit and attempting to eat healthily too!

Over the past year I’ve really got into Pinterest and a number of fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogs/vlogs and I really wanted to get involved.

I’m in a bit of a mid-20s crisis at the moment and I really wanted a way of exercising what little is left of my creativity and writing skills, after the past few years of studying and working hard. I used to write a lot when I was younger but after starting university I never had the time. I now work in science which, while interesting, doesn’t satisfy my creative side!

Deep down, I still hold a candle for though – every day I find myself asking random questions about how things work and look up the answers. I loved researching topics and writing essays at university. I hope that while I’m here I can recover some of that enjoyment. So maybe a mix of style and substance here… let’s see how I get on… will the serious or the stylish prevail??

Of course there’s a diary element to this as well – it would be really interesting to look back on if I can keep it up!

I hope to encounter some lovely people with similar interests along the way too 🙂