Sleep well with Leesa


Photography by Sophie Lobban

When you are a self-confessed workaholic, like myself, a good night’s sleep is positively crucial. If I’m running short on rest you will definitely know about it, and not in a good way. When you are out the house twelve hours a day, there is nothing I enjoy more than getting home and welcoming my bed with open arms. My bedroom is my safe place. It is where I feel most relaxed and I can begin to unwind. However recently I found myself waking up several times in the middle of the night, and despite getting my full eight hours of sleep I would still feel tired for the rest of the day.

So when Leesa offered me the opportunity to try out one of their mattresses, I could not accept quick enough. If you haven’t heard of them before, Leesa is a mattress brand that was created with one simple task; to help people sleep better. You place your order online as quick and easy as ordering from your favourite clothes store and the mattress is delivered right to your house. I don’t want to spend hours (that I don't have to begin with) searching for a mattress, testing out different thickness, hardness, softness and everything else in a store. I want to be able to go online and with a click of a button place an order, with the peace of mind I won't be waiting weeks on end for my delivery. And with Leesa I was able to do all of this with ease. Within five minutes of heading to the website, I had selected my mattress, added it to my basket, filled in my shipping details and checked out. With a scheduled arrival date of within the week. It felt as though Christmas would be coming early this year!

What first struck me was how small the box was when the postman arrived with the KING sized mattress I was waiting to be delivered. I had ordered a king size mattress, yet what was delivered was a small box that stood to be around the height of my shoulders. How does that work?! The mattress was completely compressed inside; making it easier to carry and unpack simply and efficiently. For the post, I had every intention of photographing stills showing how easy it was to do, but I have recently pulled a muscle in my shoulder so I had to leave it to Liam's parents to take over and do the unpacking process for me and feedback. Luckily for them it was incredibly easy and took them only a matter of minutes to do. You just unroll it, unwrap it and watch it expand to a real mattress size within hours. What a treat!

After working a twelve hour shift, throwing my body onto the bed and sinking into my Leesa mattress was an incredible experience. I was snugger than a bug in a rug. The mattress is so, so comfortable – super soft, but still firm and supportive. And it’s a shame it has to get covered up with bedding – the mattress itself is gorgeous. Not only is it the most aesthetically pleasing mattress I have ever seen, but also the softest too! I had to call for Liam to come and try it too, which he couldn't believe how comfortable it was either. I guess we both didn't know what to expect as for years now we had just become accustomed to springs digging in to our backs. I think Leesa’s aim has been achieved 100%. The main goal is the customer's comfort and this is exactly what you receive, from start to finish. It's scary how I didn't even recognise that my previous mattress was clearly doing so much damage to my back.

Overall, my experience with the Leesa mattress is 100% positive. Not only was the order process efficient and easy to work through. But the speed, convenient, and compact nature of its packaging and delivery methods had completely won me over. Every purchaser can try and test the mattress with a 100-night risk free trial, safe in the knowledge that they can return it and receive a refund if they aren’t happy with it. Any returned mattress will then be donated to charity. Pretty amazing, right?! If you are interested you can read more about Leesa's story here and about the ethos of the brand. Leesa have been kind enough to offer my readers a £50 discount through this link, so if you're on the hunt for a new mattress; or after reading this post are questioning whether your current choice is the best for you, I'd wholly recommend at least checking out Leesa's site and the mattresses they have on offer.

Happy sleeping!

This post is in collaboration with Leesa, all words are my own.

Suit Up And Look Sharp With SuitsMen


Wedding season may be drawing to a close, but there will always be an occasion a gentleman will need a suit. Looking great in a suit is no mean menswear feat. With ill-fitting attire, colour combinations and an endless array of ties to contend with, it’s a wonder anyone pulls it off at all. And while a great suit will make you feel (and look) sharp, world-wise, and sophisticated, a bad one will make you look like a hack, a ninny, or a man-child who still gets dressed by his mother. So it helps to know a thing or two about buying, wearing, and caring for the one you choose.

Here are some great tips to go by when you are shopping for your next suit which may help guide you through the process:

- The width of the tie should match the width of the lapel.
- In general, thin lapels are more modern. Wide lapels are more old-school, Mad Men style.
- A pocket square is a great way of adding a level of polish, but make sure it doesn’t match your tie in pattern/fabric choice.
- A collar gap between your jacket’s lapels and your shirt’s collar can signify an ill-fitting jacket.
- Your belt should be fairly thin and the same colour as your shoes.
- Make sure you smartly match your shoes to your suit.
- Double vents in the back are more modern and fashionable.
- For a more casual, trendy look, opt for a single-button peak-lapel jacket.
- You should be able to place your hand between your chest and buttoned jacket such that it feels snug, but with room to move.
- Always unbutton your suit before sitting down, or you risk ruining it.
- Sleeve cuffs should be exposed about half an inch.
- If you sweat a lot, wear an undershirt.

If you need a little more guidance take a visit to SuitsMen and they will be able to to easily navigate the many choices of suits and formal attire from masonic suits and men’s waistcoats to men’s jackets and much more in between. Their suits are handpicked to represent what they feel are the best choices for the modern man, however this still leaves room for a lot of choice and have a dedicated number that you can call and speak to one of our friendly team should you have any questions or need some help choosing. What are you waiting for, get suited up and looking sharp today!

This post is in collaboration with SuitsMen, all words are my own.

The Beauty Of Change


Photography by Sophie Lobban

Did you know in a typical day, a woman will be on her feet for over four hours? Whether you're a stay-at-home mum or a travel extraordinaire, a comfy pair of boots to carry you through the day is an absolute must-have. My life is anything but slow-paced. I work forty hours a week; travelling to meetings, getting up and down from desk or doing a mad dash to the corner shop because I've been so busy I have forgotten to eat. When I do have "spare time" I distribute it between working on my blog as much as I can, catching up with family and friends with the occasional (okay, maybe frequent) accolade of retail therapy and trip to the florist. Therefore, comfort is a necessity.  Finding a pair of shoes that are versatile enough to every aspect of life; and comfy enough to not hinder your plans, can be difficult. Thankfully, Marks and Spencer incorporate Insolia® technology into their footwear, helping reduce pressure on your feet to ensure you stay stylishly on your feet all day long.

When it comes to tackling the colder seasons in style, a heeled boot is my weapon of choice. They provide you with enough height to elongate the legs yet they aren't narrow enough to cause any strain on the ankles. Plus, they look great! So imagine my excitement to discover a pair with tortoiseshell detail on the heel. What makes them so great is that this detailing gives them just enough touch of uniqueness to transform an ensemble from day to night with ease. I decided to give these boots a genuine comfort test, one week of wearing them to both work and on the weekends. The result? I can honestly say at no point did I feel any discomfort wearing them. Providing me with the reassurance that you really do get what you pay for, which can sometimes be hard to come buy in footwear, unless you're buying trainers. See more about Marks and Spencer's boot fit guide here.

On a personal note, it is of a great relief to me that everything seems to come together when you truly least expect it to. You may have seen via my other social networks that I have a new job, which is the result of why I had became a little quiet on the blog so suddenly after getting myself back into it. I'm now working in social media - a career I've always wanted to be in and have been trying on and off for the last four years to get into. This little blog of mine has provided me with so many wonderful opportunities over the years, but this has to be the greatest of them all. I made the decision to not complete my university course and get a degree in something I wasn't passionate about because I knew I was capable of more, and chose to dedicate my time into working and blogging in the hope of it eventually paying off for something much more rewarding. Within the countless hours I have been swatting up on SEO, dedicating to understanding analytics and KPI's there have been times where I wasn't ever sure I would ever catch a break. It is so great to know that it really has in the end and at twenty three years old I am actually welcoming change with open arms.

This post is in collaboration with Marks and Spencer - all words, styling and outfit choices are my own.

Let's bake: Coconut and Raspberry Cake


Yes, it's a bit naughty. Yes, it is a little bit messy. And yes, it is most likely to be at least half of your daily sugar intake but sometimes we need something decadant to reward ourselves for life's little triumphs. Right? In my opinion managing to get ready on time in the morning is enough justification. But you know, less about me... Great British Bake Off has finally returned, gracing our TV screens once more (thank goodness!) and I find myself ensuring that as the clock hits 8 o'clock Wednesday night, I'm comfortably placed on the sofa, paired with a slice of cake and a cup of tea to wash it down with. Please tell me I'm not the only one?

In preparation for tomorrows episode I decided enough was enough, farewell to the supermarket versions, I wanted to make my own. Now, I'll be the first to admit I am sadly no Mary Berry. However after easing my way in with chocolate cookies and sourdough bread at the weekend; and succeeding in not giving anyone food poisoning, I decided to tackle one of my all-time sweet treat favourites - Coconut and Raspberry Loaf. I know fruit in desserts won't be everyones cup of tea, but for me it is the pièce de résistance. However you could always switch it up and make it with chocolate instead, or flavour it with lemon. Both are perfect pairings with coconut. This one has a triple hit of the good stuff both outside and in; coconut oil, coconut milk and desiccated coconut, creating a rich, textured and flavourful cake, that’s spiked with tart raspberries and a layer of raspberry jam brushed on top. Raspberry and coconut are a match made in heaven and given I was able to pull it off without any errors, I’d say this is a good one for bakers anywhere from novice level upwards.

If you're a little hesitant to get into baking as you think it could be a hefty price-tag, don't be disheartened! For all my ingredients I got almost everything - with the exception of Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil and Frozen Raspberries, from Lidl for the grand price of £6! This recipe will create a cake that will serve at least six to eight people, which you could stretch to even ten to twelve, if you you want to ration the portion size. Averaging less than £1 a portion. What a bargain for a fresh, delicious tasting treat that the supermarket simply cannot produce. Plus! You will have over half of the ingredients left over to use towards more recipes too. If you like the look of this and want to make it yourself, go grab your apron and get yourself to the kitchen!

What you will need:

- 175g Desiccated coconut
- 330ml Full fat coconut milk
- 225g Caster sugar
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 250g Self-raising flour
- 130g Frozen raspberries
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil or the Frylight alternative will work too
- 3 tbsp Raspberry Jam
- 1 tbsp Water
- 1 tbsp Desiccated coconut for finishing
- A handful of fresh raspberries for finishing (optional)
- Icing sugar for dusting (optional)

What you need to do:

1. In a mixing bowl combine the desiccated coconut and coconut milk, then leave for an hour covered.

2. Once this hour has passed pre-heat your oven to 190 °C or 170°C if you're using a fan bake.

3. Whilst the oven is warming up, line a 2lb loaf tin and grease with coconut oil. If you want added help to lift the cake out with later, then lay some baking paper big enough to cover all sides in the tin also.

4. To the coconut mixture, add the sugar, egg and vanilla and stir in with a metal spoon. Then sift over the flour in stages, and stir in. Finally fold in the frozen raspberries. The mixture will be thick, almost porridge-like.

5. Spoon the mixture in to the loaf tin ensuring the mixture is distributed evenly, and place in to the centre of the pre-heated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or you can always check to see if it's baked by inserting a knife to the centre and seeing if it comes out clean.

6. Leave the cake in it’s tin for 5-10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it and carefully lift it out using the baking paper. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. This will take approximately 2 hours.

7. Once it’s completely cold, heat the raspberry jam and water in a small pan and cook for around 10 minutes. Then brush the jam over the top of the loaf and scatter with more desiccated coconut. Apply some more of the hot jam glaze to the centre of the loaf (if you want) and add the fresh raspberries.

7. Finally, dust with a little icing sugar, grab a knife and serve.

Mens Fashion Through The Ages


Image Source: Pinterest

Mens fashion has seen some wild fluctuations, with mainstay trends coupled with fleeting crazes that define the generation they were worn in. From the old-fashioned Edwardian gentleman to the coffee-sipping hipster chic, men's fashion has had its ups and downs.

1910 - 1920

Let's start way back at the beginning; when men looked cleaner cut and dressed sharply for every occasion. In the 1910s, those who could afford it wore tunic shirts and frock coats, as well as dashing high waist striped trousers and pointed shoes. You couldn't toss a rock without knocking off someones top hat before it hit the ground. The roaring '20s saw fewer top hats, but kept the same detachable collar shirts and high waist trousers. Men would often wear lounge coats and Oxford shoes too to complete the look.

1930 - 1950

The clean suave look continued into the '30s and '40s, with men typically donning a hat like a boater or a fedora - a hat which has seen an unexpected re-emergence in recent years. The '30s had men typically wearing waistcoats with linen jackets and a soft collar shirt, and during the post-war '40s, trench coats became a mainstay on every man's coat rack. The '50s saw rebellion from young men with the emergence of rock and roll. From this, the greaser look became popular very briefly. You know the look: classic leather jacket, jeans, boots and maybe even a pocket comb sticking out for emergency pompadour grooming.

1960 - 1970

The carefree '60s gave birth to one of the UKs fiercest sub-culture rivalries: the Mods and the Rockers. Your typical mod would be seen in a dashing tailored suit, complemented with a skinny tie all covered with a military parka. The moped was part of the look too. Rockers rode choppers and wore a typical biker get-up similar to that of the greasers, including a leather jacket and jeans. But this short-lived feud was soon overshadowed by disco. A unique and brief period in men's fashion, it was common place to find men in dance halls wearing a ruffled shirt, flares and platform shoes. Afros became unusually popular too.

1980 - 2000

The eighties brought Yuppies, who rolled up the sleeves of their blazers and combined it with a pastel t-shirt and a pair of loafers. The more expensive, the better. Rave culture set in around the nineties, which meant bucket hats all around! Men dressed quite scruffy around this time - with obnoxiously baggy jeans and shell suit jackets. Then the noughties gave Converse a newfound popularity - combined with a set of combat trousers, an Arab scarf and a hoodie to complete the look, undoubtedly all tied together with a t-shirt sporting a forgettable band's logo.

2010 - Present Day

Now we come to present day, where we have high quality, durable men's combat and cargo shorts for summer wear and the flannel shirt for pretty much any night out - rowdy or civilised. 2010 onwards also saw the emergence of the 'hipster look' - sporting skinny jeans, deep neck shirts and military boots. This look is often accented with a low-hanging scarf and a pair of superfluous glasses which, more often than not, don't have any actual lenses in them. It's fascinating how radically fashion can change in just a few years, and yet still retain some of the more eccentric and charming items of yesteryear. There's no telling what the next trend will be, but here's hoping those cheesy '80s films' depictions of a stereotypically 'futuristic' style is wrong.

One night with CitizenM | Bankside, London


As we anticipate a trip away and the search begins for accommodation, I'm sure I speak for most of us that there can be a touch of anxiety to be felt before you even start. Even more so when visiting London. Finding a nice but reasonably priced hotel in London can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, I think I've found a hotel that finally ticks all of those boxes and alas our search can end. Let me introduce you to CitizenM.

Their Bankside hotel is located in a quiet street on the southern bank of the Thames, about a 7 minute walk from Southwark tube station - a great base for exploring London from. I love Bankside and Southbank; with the Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, Borough Market and lots of great restaurants, bars and pubs on your doorstep. You could spend a weekend exploring without having to stray too far from the hotel. The London Bankside property may be quirky and individual, but it is conceptually identical to its sister hotels.

As I ascend the spiral staircase that lead to the 192 self-defined 'luxury for less' rooms the hotel offer, it's hard to not be impressed by the contemporary décor - all retro seating and lighting, quirky ornaments and books and brightly coloured murals. As we reach our level, I place the keycard into the door blazoned with my room number, and as it opens I am welcomed to a XL king size bed dressed in soft white linen, stretching from wall to wall. Whilst the rooms aren't made for spending lots of time in, CitizenM certainly make the best use of space. With a reduction in space this does of course mean that everything is that bit closer together, including your bathroom facilities, so I would definitely recommend that the overnight companion you bring is someone you are very comfortable with. Each room is paired with a Samsung tablet, designed to control almost every aspect of the room. You have the ability to tailor the lighting to your mood, adjust the temperature and also select an array of on-demand movies with the touch of a finger.

It is so interesting to see how CitizenM are pushing boundaries with modern, innovate touches to further appeal to their target customer, the business travellerSuited to local young professionals alike, CitizenM's 24/7 Living Room made the perfect accompaniment to the incredibly well-designed hotel. They have cunningly created a living room for every occasion. Whether you want to work, relax, meet friends or browse through the library of design-led books. iMacs are dotted around for work, play and googling, and there's free WiFi throughout the hotel.

You could call the experience as 'affordable chic', combining as it does competitive prices (depending on when you book) with extraordinarily high standards of interior design, super-service, amenities such as in-room media and lighting atmospherics, no-hassle group-wide wifi, casual but business-friendly style and exceptionally personable and well-trained staff. Not only that, but are you interested in booking but saving yourself some extra pennies? Who's not! You can sign up to become a citizen here, and have the opportunity to choose from a flexible rate with free cancellation for the best yet non-refundable rate. This way you’ll save some money for important things like shopping and cocktails! It's great to find a hotel that can appreciate how travelling can be thirsty work, offering all of their esteemed citizens a well-deserved welcome drink. That's what friends are for. Am I right?!

As I was only in London for couple of days and to know it was only around the corner, quite literally, visiting Borough Market was top of the list of places to visit. If you're a foodie (like myself), as one of London's biggest and oldest markets Borough Market is a haven. They have everything you could possibly wish for. From grocery and deli stalls piled high with fresh produce, to freshly baked goods from around the world, you will quickly understand why locals and tourists alike crowd its stalls. It doesn't matter how much breakfast you've stuffed yourself with before you made the journey. As soon as you smell the aroma of all the sweet and savoury delights on offer I'm sure you will be able to make some room. What sold it for me was knowing that Borough is home to artisan chocolatiers, luxury confectionery and cute patisseries. Offering a wide range of goodies to bring you that little bit closer to type two diabetes. In essence it’s the ideal spot for anyone who loves their food, likes a good adventure and enjoys taking a few snaps. They’re open for lunch on Monday and Tuesday, and all day Wednesday through to Saturday. If you haven't been before I highly recommend it.

Thank you to CitizenM for sponsoring this post.

Time to refresh


Evening guys! I hope you're having a great Bank Holiday weekend. First of all I just want to apologise for not posting last weekend but it was for a good reason. In case you hadn't notice when you viewed this, I have a new blog layout! We're still working on the logo, but in the meantime I decided to go for a little revamp and refresh it up just a little. I hope you like it as much as I do, please let me know. I'm currently in a really good place right now and genuinely looking forward to planning what my next post will be. Not only that but my love of photography has been reignited and I am finding myself permanently attached to my Olympus Pen e-pl7 at the weekends. Hopefully you have been able to see through the images I have been posted on my social media channels recently. Of course it's not essential but I've also investing into buying new props and backdrops to help my images look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. I just have a pool of ideas floating around in this little mind of mine and I am so excited to transfer it to lens and PC, so to speak. With all that being said I would love to have feedback from the most important people. You. I've been out of the blogging game for a while now, and I need polishing up. So, I would appreciate all the help I can get. Please share to me what would you like to see more of. Is there anything you like or dislike? Honestly really is the best policy.

You may be reading this thinking that the image has no relevance to the content and you would be absolutely right. But I needed a perfect excuse to photograph my new Aspinal of London Marylebone Mini Tote so I took it. It's so beautiful isn't it? For me it's such a classic piece, and I know that regardless of what trend comes in or out of fashion this will always complete a look perfectly. Don't get me wrong if I had spare cash lying around for a new Gucci Dionysus handbag I'd definitely add one to my collection. But, low and behold I'm living my champagne lifestyle on a lemonade (with a touch of prosecco) budget. 

How to do date night on a budget


Whether you're at the start of a exciting new relationship or like me, in a long term relationship, date nights are incredibly important. There is nothing I enjoy more than getting dressed up, sliding my feet into a beautiful pair of heels and spending time with Liam. Whether that is with a slap-up meal being wined and dined, or as casual as heading out for the day wandering through fields picking our own fruit, I am just as satisfied. That being said, both force us to open the purse strings. In reality, for us, we both can't really afford to spending every day off we have together especially as we have just got back from an expensive holiday not too long ago, and are looking to save to move out together next year. Thus I thought I would share how you can still have great date nights on a tighter budget.

Supermarkets are your best friend - For those evenings when you can't be bothered to wash your hair or even get out of your pyjamas, having date nights sitting at a table with a great meal can be just as enjoyable as spending over £50 for a meal out at a nice restaurant. One of our favourite meals to have together when we are having a date night are either a tapas or cheese board. The above photo including the wine cost us £15. Yes that's right, £15. The key to how I managed to save so much money on this meal was to shop around.

Lidl recently released a new 'Taste of Iberia' range with a huge variation of Spanish delicacies starting from 59p. It's such a shame that some people avoid supermarkets like Aldi or Lidl or try and distance themselves from them when in European countries they are all you see. It's the best way to get some culture into your meals and for me (Liam took some convincing) it just shows that cost doesn't always guarantee taste. Almost all our meats were from here and the cheese too and they tasted so, damn, good. I only picked up a few bits of the range for our tapas night but I could have bought so much more. FYI this post isn't in collaboration with Lidl, I just really like the supermarket.

Not only just for evenings, an awesome alternative for those days when the sun is shining is to head out and have a picnic together. Picnicking in the park is an adorable and inexpensive classic. Get yourself to the supermarket, grab some of your favourite ingredients to make fingers sandwiches, some sweet treats and a nice bottle of bubbly (or a non-alcoholic beverage) and you'll both be good to go. 

Netflix and chill - Take that as you will, but Netflix or Sky Movies are a great alternative to spending quality time together; watching a movie, rather than paying what can be up to £30-40 (if you buy snacks, which I definitely do) for a trip for two to the cinema. When you have had a long day at work it can be hard not to just want to curl up on the sofa, alone, and spend hours catching up on what everyone else has been up to on social media. The best way to avoid this is to agree that for both of you it will be a no phone zone for the duration of the film/series. Power off, relationship on. What is also another positive, again if you're anything like me for those days where getting out of your pyjamas was something definitely not found in your to-do list, it's a great way to get yourself positioned under the duvets, have yourself a little cuddle and spend some quality time together. 

Dust off those old board games - One of my own personal favourites, you will be surprised that even as an adult, countless hours of fun can be found from playing board games as a date idea. Maybe not the greatest idea if you are looking for more of a traditionally romantic setting; as you enter the house to You and Me by Lifehouse, finding rose petals scattered everywhere and only able to see by candlelight. Instead you may find yourself arguing over who's turn is next, or how that was the property you needed to start buying houses. Many a time has this happened in the McAneny-Hopkinson household. Liam is adamant I'm cheating every time we play. The reality? I'm just better at Monopoly than he is. Board games are a really great way of injecting a bit of silliness to a date night, plus you could also have a double date this way as well.

Explore the beautiful outdoors - There is so much to be seen simply from just placing your two feet out the front door. Why don't you both wake up early one morning, put on some comfortable footwear and just go for a walk together. This is perfect for dates that don't lend themselves to real conversation; use the walk to get to know each other and the date for having fun. The days of scavenger hunts may feel long over, but they don’t have to be. You have no idea what you might come across. Plus, they’re easy to organise yourself. Simply make a list of a few things you both may have been wanting to see or do, and head out to find and experience them all.

So there you have it. My tips to still having great date days/nights together without breaking the bank. In addition to that too, I think it's exciting to do things together with your better half that are outside the box. Some of the best moments I have had with Liam have where we haven't spent a penny. After all, love doesn't cost a thing. Let me know your thoughts and if you think they may come in handy for you, or if you have some great ideas to add to inexpensive date nights.

Weather Appropriate Workwear


If you follow me on social media you may already know that recently I changed jobs. My role requires me to dress more professionally than I have previously, however it's quickly became apparent that "workwear" is marketed as simply a white shirt, black trouser and blazer combination, and not much else. I already mentioned in a previous post (which you can read here) that although I have always prided myself on being smartly presented, it is important for my personality to show through. Which made me realise how difficult it can be for the more fashion-savvy individuals to find weather appropriate workwear without being perceived as looking too casual.  


When you are working 8-9 hour days, being comfortable is absolutely essential. Not only that but when the sun makes an appearance you need to make sure sweat-patches are an absolute no go. All the items featured above are made from lightweight fabrics; cotton, crepe and grosgrain in the hope of keeping the perspiring to a minimum. Quite a lot of people tend to disagree with me but when I am investing the amount of money I do on clothes each month I don't want to dedicate it to two days I have in the week as it's not cost-effective. For me nearly every item I purchase is something I can wear for all occasions, whether that is for work, lunch with friends or a cinema date with Liam. Therefore I feel as though all the items in my workwear wish list can be worn outside of work too.

My favourite item of all those shown above has got to be the floral a-line mini skirt from Topshop. Such a versatile piece that would be suitable for all seasons; whether that is with a thick knit jumper, tights and heeled boots or with a crisp white shirt and lace-up shoes, it will look amazing. For the amount of detail and quality of the fabric too I think £39 is more than reasonable. I can't wait to pick it up on my next pay day. Do you agree that these would pass as acceptable workwear choices? What are your thoughts? I'd love to know, let me know in the comments below.

Alternatives to the Ruffled Shirt:

Alternatives to Gold Brogues:

Copenhagen in three days


City breaks are absolutely my favourite kind of holiday. Although beach holidays are great, I love taking the opportunity to learn about other cultures and see the world in the best possible way than within four walls of a complex. Not only that, but in my experience they are usually cheaper too (win-win, right?). My last city break was to Rome in September, which I posted about here, and I thought this time rather than just sharing my photos and a summary of what I got up to I'd give you a better insight into some tips and tricks that really helped us make the most of our holiday, without breaking the bank.

Booking with Airbnb - Some of you may be thinking what is Airbnb? Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people with rooms to share with people who need a place to stay. What really sold it to me was how it offers a different experience from standard hotels. I was lucky enough to have a friend who knew someone originally from Copenhagen, who was able to help us and guide is in the right direction to know where was best to stay. This helped us refine our search to her recommendation of Frederiksberg; which is seen as a quieter district of Copenhagen, yet still within the central region. Airbnb has a variation of homes for every price point leaving you with SO much choice (seriously, if you don't believe me have a look).

We decided to go for Maria and Marco's apartment and it could not have been more perfect for our stay; we had a great selection of cafe and restaurants nearby, and it was only a five minute walk to the metro line to take you into the livelier areas of Copenhagen also. It is also a great way to get tips from a local too. Maria was incredibly helpful leaving us plenty of information sharing her favourite restaurants/hot-spots with us that might otherwise have gone under the radar. As we had kitchen access, it gave us the freedom of going to the supermarket and stocking up on plenty of snacks and breakfast supplies, not only helping us save some money but meaning if at the end of the night we just wanted put our feet up and chill with toasted waffles and chocolate AND a takeout pizza then we could. Giving us a little bit of home from home. Bliss.

Sharing is caring - Even with a little more money in our purse thanks to using Airbnb, be prepared, Copenhagen is not cheap. I exchanged 300 GBP which gave me 2700 DKK for three days, sounds a lot right? Wrong. If you are anything like myself on a city break, I just want to spend, spend, spend. However, Copenhagen had a higher cost of living than I had already anticipated, after being warned by others. After the first day we realised each meal was costing us approximately £20-25 each, so we had to come up with an effective strategy so we could still try all the great food Copenhagen had to offer without stopping us from doing everything else we wanted to do. Everything we would buy we would share, automatically cutting our costs on meals by 50% and I'm sure my waistline was grateful also. An app that has always benefited me greatly when travelling has to be Foursquare. Free to download, Foursquare helps you find the best places to eat, drink, shop, or visit in any city in the world. With ratings from locals it helped us hugely discover restaurants that were not only cost-effective but also served delicious meals.

One meal we knew we had to try; as they are a huge part of the Danish diet, had to be smørrebrød. These open faced sandwiches were a perfect opportunity for us to try so many different varieties that can served without judgment of one plate between two. With the use of Foursquare we decided to visited The Royal Smushi Cafe and what a true haven we found. One of the dreamiest cafes I have ever had the pleasure of dining in, the interior consists of a long room with chandeliers hanging from the wallpapered ceiling, and is adorned with objects ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, in a style the cafe calls "Funky Baroque". The walls are graced by some enourmous portraits, and marble-top tables. A bloggers delight. What appealed to us to try the classic Danish dish here, was how they have created a modern, fresh take on the classic open-faced sandwich. They combine Scandinavian ingredients to create bite sized sandwiches, in delicate portions that aesthetically evoke sushi. Although the cafe was slightly on the pricier side than others, it was just too adorable for us to pass up. We shared each dish and enjoyed each and every one, I would highly recommend visiting if you appreciate paying a little more to enjoy the interior and atmosphere the cafe has to offer.

Buy a Travel Guide Book - Without a travel guide and no knowledge on Copenhagen myself and Beca really would have struggled to organise our time successfully. We wanted to embrace everything Copenhagen had to offer, so with the use Lonely Planet Pocket Copenhagen we were able to do this. Managing our expectations on what key areas such as Tivoli Gardens and Nyhavn would cost us to visit, it was a great way to delegate our money so we weren't put in a position where we had no money. Not only did it have a tear-away map of the city, to help us keep our bearings, it provided us with the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries can be found too.

Where to visit - Kongens Nytorv and Strøget are the place to be if you want to do some real shopping. Bursting with cutting-edge Danish fashion brands and interior design shops it was almost enough for me to hand over my card to the cashier and tell her to take all my money. No-one embodies effortless daywear quite like the Scandinavians, with their uncomplicated palettes, simple separates and luxe tailoring. Known for their sporty, casual and effortless style, the Danish are the masters of combining minimalism and functionalism pieces without sacrificing on style. Especially when you are walking over five miles a day, putting comfort first year-round is essential. Flats are 100% the footwear of choice in Copenhagen; think white trainers, sleek plimsolls or a pointed pump.

Nørrebro is an area you must get yourself to if you are into small design shops. Head for the streets Elmegade or Jægersborggade. In Elmegade we found the most amazing vegan ice cream parlour Nicecreamcopenhagen. All handmade with fresh, natural and organic ingredients we ordered the acai and peanut butter bowls to taste. Even though it is healthier than "normal" ice-cream it is one of the best ice creams I have ever tasted. Although it was was quite expensive at 59 DKK (£6.50 approximately) to think it was just for a bowl of ice-cream, however it was huge and definitely filled us enough to last us until dinner time.

With the exception of Venice, Copenhagen is one my favourite city breaks to date. As a sufferer of anxiety I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable and safe I felt regardless of what time of day it was. Usually with a capital city, such as when I visited Rome, you are sadly surrounded with lots of beggars, thieves, and people trying to sell you stuff. This would make me feel constantly on edge knowing that once it went past a certain time walking around was a no-go as it was no longer safe. For me, the constant invasion of my personal space honestly has put me off going again. This was not the case with Copenhagen at all. With its warm, sociable feeling I was able to walk around at ease and talk to others without thinking if they had an ulterior motive. What was also a mega bonus was how on every corner you could find a bakery. I definitely ate enough pastries and cakes to set up my own patisserie. Feeling a little peckish after breakfast? Grab a cinnamon swirl. Need something to fill you until dinner time? Chocolate puff pastry sounds good. You see a theme arising here, right? Two of the best we visited were Emmerys Bakery which was only a matter of steps from our apartment in Frederiksberg and also BRØD. If you are visiting you have to try them out.

How Hairaisers gave me my confidence back


I’ve already discussed in detail (maybe too much for some) that over the last year I hadn’t been feeling too great about myself, albeit people may think it's quite shallow but one of the reasons was a result of cutting my hair short again and regretting it almost instantly. With a few vocal outbursts; via social media, declaring my desire for long lustrous locks again one day in November I noticed a message enter my inbox asking me if I would be interested in wearing extensions. Now I know what you're thinking, that it has taken me a while to get round to writing this review however I made the decision that in order to write an honest and genuine review on a product which I had never used before such as fitted hair extensions, I wanted to experience the full process; from the initial fitting to the removal and subsequently another re-fit of the hair, before sitting down to write this. I'm completely aware that the experience we may have with with hair extensions can differ from each individual. I found that those with the money to buy the highest quality brands or with celebrity status always would have the hair that looked amazing, however I was also incredibly aware of how they can also be the polar opposite. Some horror stories I've heard from others of how they were left with bald patches, the hair looking unnatural or cheap-looking certainly left me with a feeling of slight hesitation to commit straight away.

The style of extension I was offered to review were the Hairaisers Blue Label Professional Weft. The usual association with a weave being one long strip of hair sewn in to the hair, this method may have the tendency to cause strain on the scalp due to the weight. In comparison the style of extension I was fitted with composes of three pieces of hair distributed evenly and then sewn throughout the hair. Using this process allows a more natural finish and blends the hair evenly.  Online they have an amazing variety of different tones and shades of hair pieces with a variety of lengths and styles; straight, natural waved or even curled. And of course it is 100% remy human hair. I definitely recommend doing your own research with any beauty treatment that could potentially cause permanent damage in order to decide if it is right for you. After a week of deliberation and weighing up all the pros and cons I was ready to take the plunge.

First Impressions

Of all the varieties and methods extensions that can be fitted this seemed to be the most natural and less damaging to my own hair. Upon the initial meeting with Hairaisers educator Tom he could see I was feeling nervous at the concept of walking into the unknown but after some reassuring words those emotions of nervousness changed to that of excitement. With this method of application you are advised to have the hair re-fitted or removed every 8-10 weeks which meant that if I had decided it wasn't for me it would only be two months to wait and I could go back to my usual extension-free self. That being said as soon as the hair was fitted the first thing I noticed was how lightweight it felt on my scalp. I had gone in with the impression that by having hair sewn in to my scalp that it would feel like someone had a weight on my head pulling me down so that was a pleasant surprise. Not only that, I was amazed with how amazing of a colour match the hair was considering it had been matched by a photo sent over to Tom with no meeting prior to the fitting. It blended in so natural and felt quite literally just like my own hair. The extensions were 16 inches in length, however I chose to have them trimmed to my desired length. The reason I chose to do this was to make the whole process from my natural length of hair just above the collarbone to longer hair not as much a huge jump, and secondly once fitted to keep the overall look to be natural as possible.

The First Twelve Weeks

If you pride yourself as low-maintenance and spending a bit more time and money on your hair is not something you are interested in, then maybe extensions are not the product for you. One of the main reasons extensions can end up looking matted or of a poor quality is down to how you take care of them. My attitude was to treat them like it was my own hair. Perhaps with just a smidgen more TLC. Cleansing and conditioning is essential to keeping your hair clean, soft and shiny so of course I want to do the same for my hair extensions! I invested in some essential products that I believe are the secret to keeping the hair in tip-top condition.

The first of these products had to be a Tangle Teezer. The teeth flex and flick as they glide through the hair making it the perfect brush for detangling the hair without getting caught in the threads which can loosen the weft quicker than expected. Not only this I had to make myself a new conditioning and moisturizing routine. I think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t neglect your hair underneath the sew-in just because it is less visible than your extensions. I decided to purchase the Kérastase Elixir Ultime shampoo and conditioner duo to make sure I was giving my hair the best care. The shampoo left my hair full of body, revived and beautifully soft and I cannot recommend it enough. Pairing this with a quality hair oil and heat protecting spray before styling ensured that at no point I was compromising the quality of the hair due to neglecting the hair. I tried to only wash my extensions only once a week as they don't need cleaning as much as your own hair. Let's just say I've went through quite a few bottles of dry shampoo... Hey! I'm not complaining. Alternatively I would tie my extensions back and wash my own hair in-between washes so you are still able to look as good it does when you wash your full head. Although advised to only wear the hair for 8-10 weeks at a time, I had to wait two weeks longer before scheduling another appointment with Tom due to conflicting schedules. Over this period as the weft was completely loose (not detached don't worry!) I did notice that the extension becomes more visible, which is understandable as it has no control of the threads keeping it in place securely as it once did. That being said with a little bit of extra time concealing the parts that were visible with hair grips and hairspray you would be none the wiser.

Now I'm sure you're wondering what feedback did I receive? Thankfully all comments were nothing but positive comments regarding my hair. Some of my friends didn't even realise they were extensions. The only way they believed me was when I lifted up my hair to show them! The best possible reaction right? For months I went without without even wanting to look at myself in the mirror and now I'm positing selfies left, right and centre on all my channels (mainly snapchat @charissarae17). I feel like the best version of myself when my hair has been freshly coloured and styled and I feel like I am ready for the day brings me no matter what.

Lasting Impressions: To Remove Or Re-Fit?

Overall, I love how my hair looks and Hairaisers extensions really have gave me my confidence back. My hair is the best it has ever looked regardless of whether I've styled it at that moment or three days later. It still looks amazing. I have the flexibility to tie it up or wear it down without feeling restricted. However, that being said this confidence comes at a cost. I promised to be honest about my experience and there have been moments of frustration. It was annoying to me that there was some hairstyles I was unable to wear because it would have made the hair visible or as a result of where the hair was fitted made it impossible to move and position it to how I would have liked. But then on the flip-side if I didn't have my extensions fitted in the first place I wouldn't have been able to create such a hairstyle anyway. As my hair would be too short. These emotions were more from the realisation that this hair wasn't really my own. After 25 weeks of wear I am now at the second stage of the process where I am due a new set to be fitted. With my birthday not far away, in 5 weeks and travelling to Copenhagen in close succession at only 7 weeks away, I was incredibly excited to go through the emotions again of having a brand new set of locks as I did in December. However after discussions myself and Hairaisers may not be able to work with this timescale. Which means there is a high possibility I may have to get the extensions removed and go back to my natural hair, which is quite upsetting. I've become reliant on a product to make me feel good and until my hair grows back I know my approach is not going to change. I could be placed in a position where I am essentially being given an involuntary haircut at the time when I want to look and feel at my best. What am I going to do? Who knows. But I know that I can't thank Hairaisers enough for giving me my confidence back and that I have loved every minute of having the hair in and I'm hoping for a miracle so it doesn't have to go.

Spring Summer '16 at Intu


Investing in myself...


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