An insight into my wardrobe featuring Hawthorn International

For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with clothes. I remember going shopping with my family, friends and even by myself from a teenager, and the sheer thrill of new garments has never worn off. Every time I enter a store, my hands naturally go for the fabrics. Different textures and colours are enticing me in, calling me to take a closer look.

Personally, I think I am a very picky shopper, though most people who know me will say I buy the whole store. But that’s just not true. When I shop, I am usually looking for a specific item in mind which I am determined to find at the best quality as well as price.

Price is one of the most important factors when going shopping. We all set out with a budget in our minds as to what we can and can’t afford, so this sort of acts as a compass to what shops we browse through. One of my favourite stores is Karen Millen. Their colours, designs and top grade fabrics make the clothes so desirable and I now have quite the KM collection. However, I always tend to wait for a sale or find an outlet or sample sale where the items are usually 50%-75% off. The quality of the garments don’t change over time so I am happy to wait until I find what I am looking for at a nicer price!

One of my favourite online retailers is PrettyLittleThing. The clothes from here are very different in terms of quality as well as price, but they create designs and patterns that just draw me in, so I am happy to relinquish my standards for a piece that I feel just calls to me every once in a while.

So, we’ve talked about price, designs and quality- and these essentially are the main reasons why we get our wallets out in exchange for the goods. So what is the most important to me when shopping? I would have to say the budget. If I find exactly what I’m looking for but it costs twice as much as what I am willing to spend, I am more than happy to sit back and wait for the sale or find a similar item elsewhere.

My passion and love for what’s in my wardrobe is how it all started you could say, and the reason behind why I started up a fashion and lifestyle blog. Recently I virtually met CCO Tom Lovelace of Hawthorn International, a leading clothes manufacturer, to talk about the different factors that determine if clothing is quality. Tom tells me “there are two main factors- fabric and construction. When it comes to fabric, there are different grades of cotton- that’s the reason why you can purchase a 100% cotton tee shirt from anywhere between £5 to £100. The £5 tee shirt is essentially made from the same material as the £100 one, but the quality and grade of the more expensive fabric will be higher. Next, is the construction- as far as stitching goes, handmade is always best. This is because the operative actually putting the item together can quality check their work as they go along and ensure there are no defects.”

What factors are most important to you when searching through the clothes racks or scrolling through reams of pages online? Do you head straight for the sale or filter by price- lowest first?? Keep the conversation going by commenting below or reaching out on Twitter. Thanks to Hawthorn International for collaborating on this article.

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading! Now it’s time to see what we got up to on our first family getaway with Alice! 

Alice’s first snowfall and Cari’s Closet

This week we have seen a huge amount of Christmas spirit with the big event right around the corner. One bottle of mulled wine gone, bank balance a little shorter due to inappropriate cheese purchases and of course all the snow! I am not a fan of snow normally, it means icy roads and slushy mess on the ground, but this week I got excited. I’m finding the love in the first good snowfall of the year all because of Alice. Here is a little bit about what happened during Alice’s first snowfall and Cari’s Closet.

Cari’s Closet is an Irish born brand with stores based in Malahide Co. Dublin, Cork City and Galway City. Its new website rivals all the best ones out there in my opinion. A recent discovery, but this is a place to be for fashionistas and for finding that all important New Year outfit.

I decided to get dressed for the occasion after peeking out the window to discover a blanket of fluffy white wonder. Alice was still asleep at this point, so I got myself all dressed and ready while she was sleeping. I pepared to brave the cold in a red poloneck from Zara and put on my matching faux fur gilet* from Cari’s Closet. I put Alice in her fluffiest snowsuit and we were ready!

She was so curious about the bright white snowfall, she found it hard to focus on just one spot. I kept her hood nice and high as the snow was still coming down. We just about managed to get a lovely photoshoot in before we took her back inside into the warmth.

Then it was time to do a few by myself!

red poloneck: Zara

faux fur gilet: Cari’s Closet

bag: Boohoo.com

skirt: H&M

boots: Nasty Gal

Thanks to daddy for all the amazing shots!

Saharasplash x

*PR Sample

Thanks for enjoining Alice’s first snowfall and Cari’s Closet. For more baby cuteness, check out my post all about Alice’s personalised cake from Bakerdays.

Simplistic styling and brave choices featuring PrettyLittleThing

This October has been one of the most incredible Octobers of my life. Not only did I have the most fantastic 27th birthday with my family, it also brought and end to my pregnancy and welcomed a brand new arrival! I’m sure you have seen by now that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who we called Alice Iris. It’s been a tough first week to say the least, and I thought that this would be a great opportunity to talk about being brave- in more than one aspect of life. Having the courage to stick with your guns and make your unique voice heard is such an important thing, so here is my piece on simplistic styling and brave choices featuring PrettyLittleThing.

I feel that I have grown up a confident person, always going for what I want in life. Even at school I remember being the one always speaking out and eager to have my say, so having strength and courage definitely stemmed from a young age. Confidence and being brave may not come naturally to everyone, but I’d like to try and persuade you to come out of yourself just that little bit today. Whether that means doing that task you’ve been putting off for days or saying something you have been holding back from someone close to you- I say you are going to do it! And once you do, you’ll feel amazing.

So, how does being brave work it’s way into another part of your life- your wardrobe? PrettyLittleThing are here to help with their new season coats and jackets range. PLT are one of my favourite brands, so getting to collaborate with them on this project was definitely a big fat tick off the blogger bucket list. I did this shoot two days before giving birth, so this will definitely be one of those memorable weekends not only for my blog but for my family too. This sage green floral maxi kimono worked effortlessly with one of my plain black dresses. Pregnant or not, it’s a simplistic style for anyone not wanting to brave a whole new wardrobe just yet. Just one stunning jacket like this can make you feel confident and ready to take on anything life throws at you- you’re in a kimono for god sake, rock it!!

Much like this kimono, I took the leap of faith and braved my labour without any pain relief. We did it together, Alice and I, along with some super support from my husband, sister and mother. I took my strength during labour by focusing on all the reasons why I was doing it, and who I was doing it for. The list was long- my husband and my late mother in law who she is named after were the top two faces in my mind- and it worked brilliantly. Being brave for another person I find boosts your confidence levels like nothing else- I’m sure you can remember exactly how you felt at a time where you have stood up for something or someone that you believe in- it gives us that fire and purpose.

This next coat was a little out of my comfort zone, but I just had to jump in with two feet. That item you’ve been looking at online but not sure it’s ‘you’, just go for it, just like I went for this bright yellow longline puffer jacket.

Again, I’ve paired this with black which is a smart choice for anyone out there struggling with splashing colour into their autumn winter collection. Sporty stripes are heavily trending throughout the high street, so a pair of wide leg stripe trousers like this create a cool but chic balance to the powerful puffer.

Simplistic styling and brave choices go hand in hand- it’s just one small change that makes a lot of difference.

Tell me about a time you made a brave choice in the comments below- and for this week I want you to face any fears you have (wardrobe or otherwise) with a deep breath and a strong focus. You won’t get a baby at the end of it, but you’ll be self rewarded with a new found sense of accomplishment!

Until next time,

Saharasplash  x

Find out all about my experience at Seckford Spa with a pregnancy massage!

PR samples included

Being Nautical in Ipswich Suffolk

With a love for so many things, it’s a good job I can use my blog to cover all sorts of topics. This blog post, Being Nautical in Ipswich Suffolk, is all about the weekend just gone. I had my number one blogger babe Yasmine come visit me in Ipswich to hang out and of course, take some photos. We ended up having a lovely Saturday afternoon forecast, so to the waterfront we went! This was Yasmine’s first time exploring Ipswich so I thought I would take her, along with a very statement wardrobe piece, to the marina.

Isaacs is a really popular destination on weekends for locals and tourists so we started out there for some lunch.

After, we took all of our things, plus a gluten free strawberry cheesecake to go, and set out to get some great content! Thanks so much to Yasmine and my sister for helping me on some of the shots. Being 32 weeks pregnant meant quite a slow walk back to the car, but all the better chance to stop and start posing!

So, details of my ‘being nautical’ ensemble…

Dress: Asos Maternity
Shoes: Zara
Bag: Juicy Couture via Trendlistr

 

The whole outfit was inspired by being nautical, and mainly focused around this gorgeous accessory. This sexy bag is a vintage Juicy Couture item from Trendlistr* and as soon as I saw it I fell head over heels for it. To tell you the truth, this is actually a makeup bag, but I couldn’t just leave it at home when the marina called!

It has such stunning detail, I know I’ll be using it as often as I can as it really is one of the most interesting items in my wardrobe for this season.

If you love this bag as much as I do, you have to go and check out more vintage gems via the Trendlistr website here. Not only can you buy, but you can also sell if you have some unloved vintage pieces lying around your bedroom!

Thanks so much to Lou at Trendlistr for this collaboration, I hope to see more bloggers being nautical too!

Saharasplash x

*Trendlistr and I worked together on this collaboration for my honest opinion and review.

See my latest post on some clever little discoveries for baby here and thanks for reading Being Nautical in Ipswich Suffolk.

Best Bras at six months

I’ve heard a lot of pregnancy announcements this past month from personal friends as well as on social media. I’m sure you have noticed a pregnancy bug going round in the blogging industry! Falling pregnant at the start of this year means that while many are entering their second trimester, I am now starting my third. I guess this works in my favour slightly, and so I wanted to do a helpful blog post for those mamas to be out there! This post is all about the best bras at six months.

Bravado Designs

Seamless Nursing bra in Silver Belle 

Bravado is an award winning brand specialising in maternity and nursing bras. These bras are designed to go from bump to baby and are so comfy. At 18 weeks I was measured as a 32DD bra size, which is a size S on the Bravado sizing chart for this bra.

Monogrammed Leggings by Dharmabums

Bravado have designed their bras with a clip system so that it’s easy to detach when breast feeding. I love the colour range in this bra, there are so many to choose from!

Price: £30

Bravado Designs

Sweet Pea Nursing bra in Pink Lemonade

Usually pink is not my go to bra choice, but this just jumped out at me and looked so fabulous. I’m wearing a 34 B/C here which fits just right!

Again with the magic straps, this bra is so supportive without having the uncomfy underwire as my bump now reaches higher up my torso. I think it looks like an Easter egg if you look at my bump face on!

Price: £26

Hunkemöller

Ava Padded non underwired bra in Grey 

This next set isn’t a specific maternity set, but don’t be put off in buying non-specific maternity bras when brands like Hunkemöller can provide! I adore this set from their non underwired range.

Ava Bra: £25 (size 32D)

Ava Brazilian Brief: £12 (size M)

The detailing is stunning and makes me feel like I’m still stylish- all mums to be shouldn’t have to compromise on underwear when buying the best bras at six months or at any stage. Find exciting brands that work with your new shape and help you to feel great about your body.

I hope this has helped a few of you out who are struggling to find bras whatever stage you are at in pregnancy. Would love to hear your stories in the comments below if you are having trouble, or if you have already tried these particular bras out.

Saharasplash x

PR Samples 

Celebrating Chlobo in the sunshine

It’s a perfect sunny April day, mid-afternoon and the blue skies are out. What a great time for a photoshoot with a brand new jewellery company I’m working with called ChloBo. ChloBo is a brand that has spirit and style for days and their products are made in the U.K. To see the unboxing and what I wore with my piece, keep reading celebrating ChloBo in the sunshine…

I had so much fun unboxing my piece of jewellery- not only was the package adorable, it also came with cute little extra product cards which is a blogger’s dream so I created a not so flat flatlay…

Here’s my piece- the mini disc tassel bracelet! Just gorgeous for a spring addition to your wardrobe. It will brighten up your wrist and make you want to show it off so I recommend wearing cap or short sleeve tops and dresses.

Tassel bracelet- £110

I decided to wear a Karen Millen dress with the bracelet but I dressed it down boho style and went barefoot in the garden.

The 925 sterling silver matches with my wedding bands so well…

Time for a final spin to show off the flare of the skirt. The ChloBo bracelet is so perfect to wear with something dressy as well as waiting for the festival months to come around when it would go great with a lace top and shorts.

My vibe for this month is definitely stripes!

What do you think of the tassel bracelet? Would you have worn something completely different? Let me know in the comments below, and head to the ChloBo website to see more of their iconic bracelets, charms and rings.

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading my piece on celebrating ChloBo in the sunshine. Check out my lastest London post all about why I hate the colour pink!

PR sample