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Getting cosy with a good book

September 23, 2016

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This post lands at just the right time, for starters i’m still poorly (boo!) – spending my time sleeping, reading, sleeping, watching Netflix, oh and more sleeping. If only I currently looked as pulled together as I did when we took these snaps!

There another good reason for this post going live now, that’s because the nights are drawing in, there is a slight chill in the air and golden colour e d. leaves are starting to drop – to me this is the perfect time to get cosy on the sofa and read a good book.

At the moment I have two excellent books on the go, their genre couldn’t be further apart!

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Dior or Die by Angela M. Sanders

Now I love a crime drama or a murder mystery, combination of both featuring a vintage clothing store, well this book is right up my street! Dior or Die is the second book in a series, set in Portland, Oregon, where vintage clothing store owner Joanna Hayworth finds herself in yet another tight spot. I loved book one ‘The Lanvin Murders’ and I can’t wait to read books three and four!

Getting back to Dior or Die, Joanna (the main character and much loved by me) has plans to upgrade her store, but her hopes. Have been derailed and costs are mounting. When she wins an auction lot consisting of three trunks packed with vintage haute couture, Joanna thinks her luck has changed; but little did she know it was about to get much worse! It soon transpires that the high-society owner of the trunks is found dead – poisoned, and police seize the auction lot, leaving Joanna with even more debt.

What follows is the false conviction of her friend, wrongly jailed for being a diamond thief, oh, and a convent of quirky nuns dependant on her help. There’s only one way to navigate these stormy waters; Joanna must find the murderer…..and fast. This book is full to the brim with thrilling plots and plenty of action. The authors beautiful description of vintage clothing stirs me to drop everything and go vintage shopping, without the murder and diamond heist of course. If I had th e en ergo to drop anything, except my sleepy body on my bed right now.

Dior or Die by Angela M. Sanders

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Happily by Sophie Tanner

How far will you go for your ‘Happily Ever After’? Chloe Usher’s had enough of being asked why she’s ‘still single’. People can’t seem to understand why she’s not freaking out on the slippery slope to spinsterhood. But, as far as Chloe’s concerned, life is sweet; she’s happy and she loves her job, has great friends and adores her flat-share right next to Brighton beach. The story starts one summer evening, after ‘helpfully’ being advised by an all knowing busybody that she will never know what love is until she has children, Chloe decides to make a stand and says ‘actually, I do!’ announcing to her friends that she’s going to marry herself.

She’s not quite prepared for the huge reaction to her news on social media and finds herself thrust firmly into the public eye; suddenly she’s a spokesperson for every crazy cat lady out there. With the warm support of her colourful extended family, Chloe attempts to justify her self wedding and the events that unfold take her on a bumpy journey of self-discovery – making exciting new connections and dealing with old ghosts from her past.

This book is all about self love, its original and a light-hearted subversive tale, challenging the notion of ‘settling down’. I think it’s well worth a read, it perfectly sums up how society pressurises women to believe makes the aged old notion of you’re not happy unless married and having kids – this book is a compelling read and will inject a you with a healthy dose of self-love! Enjoy.

Happily by Sophie Tanner
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Photos – Shooting Dave

Camo Country

September 18, 2016

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Wet and rainy London town.

Oh my, it seems the last vestiges of summer here in the UK has waved goodbye and slammed on the brakes, it stopped so suddenly! In recent years, September has been quite glorious, allowing us to eek out our festival fashions, before winter woollies and rain coats become the order of the day. The weather is actually matching my personal circumstances, so in a funny coincidental manner, it’s quite fitting. I was taken ill just recently and even though I fought it, I was left feeling pants. I’m tough, some say stoic and always usually carry on regardless, however, as you will see, these images were snapped on the first day of my sickness, before it fully set in. Little did I know just how poorly I was whilst having them taken -to make matters worse, IT WAS RAINING … now that’s just rude. I know, let’s blame the weather and my poor health for my sulky moody face in these shots?😉

It’s my favourite time in the fashion calendar, in anticipation, I picked up a whole load of Fashion mags recently, I wanted to browse and really get into the swing of the forthcoming fashion weeks in London and Paris. I feel gutted that I might not recover in time to attend both events, all the plotting and planning of recent months dashed, but I’m  a fighter as you know and really hoping to be strong enough to travel to Paris for the shows, paraphernalia and buzz that goes with Fashion Week. So please join me and cross your fingers & toes and send positive vibes my way, I’m hopeful for full health restored quickly. Thank you, normal Vintage Reflection service will resume shortly.

This shoot takes on a ‘country/camouflage’ theme, creating a mix of trends I spotted from the pages of Vogue just recently. I must admit to originally being inspired to create a ‘Victorian Merchant’ style shoot, but when it came to it, I found it a bit too flouncy for my liking. I believe our choice of clothes, the texture and colours, so often reflects our mood, don’t you think? Perhaps as I was toughing it out, my look reflected my mood and the addition of a camo jacket created a less fussy style. Dave thought I looked a little bit ‘country and western’, either way I’m definitely digging this look.

As I recuperate, I will look through snaps taken on our recent escape to Greece, choosing something just right to pop a shot of sunshine into these cool autumnal, fall evenings. There are a couple of other posts in the pipeline, so fear not, the upcoming schedule should keep ya’ll entertained while I get back on my tootsies.

camo_country_034camo_country_017camo_country_018camo_country_022camo_country_038What I’m wearing –
Skirt c/o Super Dry
Loafers – & Other Stories
Bag – Miu Miu
Camo Jacket – Episode Vintage
Socks & Belt – Topshop
Fedora – Urban Outfitters
Blouse – Oasis
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Fall Dreaming

September 11, 2016

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I’m back refreshed from a holiday on the beautiful, warm island of Kefalonia, Greece – more about that on my blog very soon!
I’ve noticed a slight drop in temperature in recent days and fallen Autumn leaves are littering the garden, a sure sign that fall is on it’s way. Now I don’t mind autumn or fall (depending on which side of the ocean you live) but I do dislike winter – yuk!
Autumn brings with it my favourite colour palette and time for layering and texture, without having to wear big heavy coats. As it’s only a little drop in the temperature, I’m sticking with bare legs for now, adding warmth with leather jackets and in this case my trusted beret to keep any slight chill at bay.

For this post, I picked my dress up at Oasis using my staff discount; I am so pleased I did, its the perfect ‘throw on and look good’ dress, we all need this kind of dress! I’m also sporting a cute Ottoman ring – thanks to the lovelies over at House of Fraser, I was actually spoilt for choice, they have the most amazing selection of jewellery on offer, I had a good mooch! You all know how much I love to accessorise with a good ring, and this beaut is no exception. It’s big – with a central semi-precious stone. It’s unusual – was attracted by the triangular shape. The delicate gold-plated band is adjustable, creating a just right fit. I think it’s pretty, easy to wear and you can see that I’m smitten with it.
So watch out for more autumnal fall looks here, plus some shots of sunshine from my Greek escape, coming soon.  

amy_blog_044amy_blog_058amy_blog_021amy_blog_048amy_blog_030amy_blog_033What I’m wearing –
Sunglasses – Urban Outfitters
Dress – Oasis
 Leather Jacket c/o ASOS 
Shoes & Socks – Topshop
Bag – Vintage
Beret – Accessorize
Ring c/o House Of Fraser amy_blog_042amy_blog_032amy_blog_038amy_blog_034amy_blog_046amy_blog_039Photos – Shooting Dave

Parisian Cobbled Streets

September 6, 2016

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Now I think this is my favorite outfit I’ve ever worn! I know thats a corker of a statement and let me explain why, it felt effortless and oh so chic. The embroidery and crochet detail is very on point! Even more so is the way the dress flowed beautifully with movement when I trotted about in my glove heels, which is another reason why I love this outfit – these shoes!! I bloody love these red heels! To mix it up a little, I added in a blue bag for accent colour.

I wanted to stop the outfit becoming over-girly, so I toughened it up with my much loved leather biker jacket. Now you know how I like to mix things up, I’ve played with this juxtaposition and like the girly styling with tougher edges – it’s just my thing!

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Whilst taking outfit pictures on this quaint Parisian street, we were stopped by the sweetest French Gentleman and his Petit Chien doggy, Chanel. We took a couple of pictures of them together, then Monsieur took a picture of us with Chanel – how cute is she? I think Chanel and my Coco would have made the perfect doggy couple!

paris_027paris_005paris_006paris_019paris_009 What I’m wearing –
Dress & Leather Jacket c/o ASOS
Shoes – Topshop
Bag c/o BHS
Sunglasses c/o The Goods Agency
Hair Cut & Colour c/o Toni & Guy
paris_011paris_021 paris_025paris_032 paris_023paris_034What Lois is wearing –
Dress, Jacket & Shoes c/o ASOS
Sunglasses c/o The Goods Agency
Hair Cut & Colour c/o Toni & Guy
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Photos by Lois & Amy.

Dinner at Vin & Marée

September 1, 2016

IMG_8789Vin & Marée
71 Avenue de Suffren
75007 Paris
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Lois and I got all dolled up and headed out for dinner at Vin & Marée, just a stones throw away from the Eiffel Tower. Vin & Marée offers a wide range of fresh fish and seafood – now I’m not the biggest seafood or fish fan, well apart from salmon, tuna and cod that is. I guess I’m not very adventurous, however that all changed at Restaurant Vin & Marée.

The wine waiter was first on the scene to take our order and guide us through the aperitifs and wine options for each course. He was most helpful talking to us about the selection of wines to suit the different courses, I like the care that was taken over this.

 

 

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For the first course, they brought over Mussels and yep, I must say they are not for me, but I gave them a go. Fortunately Lois loves them and was happy to tuck in, she said that if you like mussels, you will love how they are cooked here the sauce was amazing.

Up next was a light salmon dish starter, delicately infused with lemon and garlic, I could have eaten another helping, it was truly divine!

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The pace of each course was good, not at all rushed, we had plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings, do a spot of people watching, enjoy the wine and talk.

Throughout the meal so far, I had managed to avoid ordering anything that presented the awkward conversation about gluten free menu choices. I asked the waiter about any possible gluten that could be hidden in the main courses. He recommended sea bass, another fish I hadn’t tried before, but wanted to. I opted to have it filleted (as I’m a wimp) I can’t bear fish bones and much prefer the head removed too. Our waiter and Lois found this highly amusing, but it’s all about personal preference and Lois’s doesn’t mind removing fish bones. I like that the waiter offered us both options.
Lois also chose sea bass for her main course, which was accompanied by a garnish of lemon and a small pot of freshly made pesto. Now we are talking! I’m a real fan of pesto, it’s my favourite sauce and I really enjoyed the delicate sea bass which was complimented by the citrusy sharpness of lemon with herby pesto. I had it was served with green beans and Lois also ordered French fries (I pinched a few – ha ha!)

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The staff take great pride in the quality and freshness of the menu choices and I can recommend the restaurant wholeheartedly. The food was served beautifully and each dish proved to exceed the previous course in excellence.

Our waiter was a delight and so much fun, fancying himself as our creative director, suggesting so many things we could photograph…..and did I mention that he had the dreamiest of French accents?

Vin & Marée beside the Eiffel Tower proved to be a great restaurant and the chef was really accommodating of my gluten intolerance and would aim to accommodate any other dietary needs. He even suggested that on our next visit, to let him know in advance and he will get GF bread and dessert in especially for me. I will definitely be taking him up on that offer, now I have extended my repertoire of fish and seafood and want to try other menu options.

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When it came to dessert, tracking down wheat and gluten free options was tricky, it always is. I was very happy to demolish a bowl of fresh strawberries with a sprinkling of sugar and Lois was tempted by a trio of ice creams.

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 We had a wonderful evening, we laughed with the staff, enjoyed too much of the fine wine. We were given such good advice on what to order, each one went well with our food. I will remember this deliciously healthy and very flavoursome meal for some time.

It was a great being wined and dined by the lovely folk at Vin & Marée, thank you for having us and accommodating my allergies! I look forward to our next visit, you made us very welcome.

Vintage Paris

August 29, 2016

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No trip to Paris is complete with though visiting the infamous Eiffle tower and what better location for our outfit pictures, than the foot of the tower. The grounds are so pretty and with that view it’s not hard to see why people flock here to relax in the sunshine.

For my look I wanted to wear my new vintage treasures I’d picked up the day before from Episode Vintage and be comfy for a day of sight seeing. Starting with my Superdry button down skirt and Superdry peasant blouse, then adding my new camouflage jacket into the mix, along with my trusty bandana tied in a chocker style around my neck to add even more clashing prints I teamed my fedora with contrast Aztec trim. For ultimate comfort factor I worn my new Adidas Samba trainers which I also picked up at Episode Vintage, in such good condition and great value – they truly are the find of the year!

paris_031paris_049paris_013What I’m wearing –
Blouse, Skirt & Bag c/o Superdry
Trainers & Camo Jacket – Episode Vintage
Bandanna & Socks – Topshop
Sunglasses c/o The Goods Agency
paris_039paris_051paris_048paris_012paris_045paris_033 paris_038paris_035paris_040paris_047paris_050What Lois is wearing –
Blouse – Episode Vintage
Sandals c/o New Look
Backpack c/o Superdry
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Photos by Lois & Amy

Lunch with Chez Francoise

August 27, 2016

IMG_8443Chez Francoise
Terminal des Invalides
75007 Paris

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   Lois and I have such fun time at this restaurant and I could not get over how accommodating the staff were regarding my wheat allergy. I was offered a menu with all the gluten-free options. It’s so nice and reassuring, especially when you are abroad. So we sat down and had a good chat as we looked over the choices on the menu.  Sipping on a glass of white wine in Paris felt sophisticated, we nibbled on small appetisers of salmon and waited expectantly for our main course.  

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I chose the chicken, it was succulent and moist and so flavoursome, accompanied by ratatouille which is one of my all time favourites. After a tussle to choose, Lois ordered the steak grilled medium rare with smoked paprika roasted potatoes and a garnish of salad. A basket of bread arrived, placed in between us, with the waiter saying “not for you”. He meant it contains gluten and wheat, this soon became a running joke as most times I ordered anything for the rest of the weekend “not for you” became a recurring statement as wheat is hidden in so many inconspicuous food items, it’s tricky avoiding wheat back home in the UK, let alone making requests in another language (that I don’t speak.).

Imagine my surprise when shortly after he brought out bread which was especially for me. The chef had baked a loaf of bread suitable for me to eat. Eating fresh warm bread was lovely after feeling deprived of not eating those delicious croissant’s provided at breakfast. I was so in need of a bread binge, yummy! After devouring our main courses and bread baskets, we topped up our glasses, I sipped on wine and Lois had a coke.

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It was dessert time, many of the options usually contain gluten, so I selected fresh raspberries with some delicious home-made ice cream. Lois enjoyed a white chocolate cheesecake made with soya cheese and a strawberry coulis decoratively drizzled over the plate. We practically rolled out of the restaurant, we had filled lour boots with so much yummy food, wine and fizzy Coca-cola. 

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It was one of those places that makes me smile as I reflect back. Laura the hostess was engaging, a warm and friendly person and her English was excellent. I appreciated her welcoming manner, she did the Restaraunt proud and made us feel comfortable and relaxed. We pretty much grazed our way around Paris and out of all the places we visited, Chez Francoise was the most accommodating restaurant, their chef and staff truly went above and beyond my expectations, even creating fresh wheat free bread and fresh gluten free ice cream. I highly recommend this restaurant, especially if you have any food allergies. It’s well worth checking out – they will also accommodate for people shellfish allergies along with plenty of others! So special.

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