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What to buy in the sales now | M&S

I don’t really like sales shopping and will avoid busy places such as Brighton and Oxford Street during sales periods. Fortunately we have an out of town mall not far from us with a huge Marks&Spencer. 

I took my mum on a weekday afternoon so not quite as busy, which worked well. 

The key for me when sales shopping is to not go for things you wouldn’t ordinarily buy and are now tempted just for the price.

Quite often if you follow your own style rules you will come away with some fab pieces and may not need to try on, thus avoiding long hot queues. 

I kept my colour palate simple as I was shopping for versatile pieces for my holidays.

Autograph white T Shirt and Cream Full Midi Skirt……….

The T Shirt is very Cos like and quite structured for a T with a simple pocket and a bonded hem. 

The skirt is beautiful it has so much material heavy cotton, with pockets and reduced from £50 to £25 such a bargain. 

Stripy strappy Blouse and Striped 3/4 Wide legged pant……..

Love this top. The stripes keep it simple though you can play around with the bows for different looks. 

The pants are the perfect holiday pants,  off white with a stripe so you are far enough away from white jeans. Also practically shorter than palazzo pants so you can wear from the Mediterranean to the City. 



Shop the M&S sale here

M&S Sale 
Hope you liked the post.  Have a great week, Love DSB X 

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Packing for a Summer Wedding 

Packing for a Summer Wedding can be tricky, especially because of the uncertainty of the Great British Summer.

If any part of the event is to be held outdoors at all think carefully about your choice of what you take and what you leave behind.

I’m going to a Summer Wedding in a Country House later in July.  Although its the height of summer I’ll be packing for all weather.

I’ve decided on a patterned maxi dress, with espadrille heels for the ceremony with either a small pill box hat or a flower in my hair and my multitasking clutch bag.

I’ll be packing flats for dancing and a belt to hitch up my maxi dress for a more laid back dropped waist look.

Maxi dresses are usually better rolled rather than folded in a case.  My case is the new Kipling Super Hybrid S in Grey, it’s lightweight and has four wheels so you can push in all directions.  Also, its cabin size so wherever your wedding you can pack light without the stresses of check-ins.

Not to forget a dinner jacket for the evening or inclement weather spells.  I’ll also pack my go to overnight travel kit all from Marks & Spencer which includes some of my current favorite beauty buys, like this Nuxe Cleansing Oil and Filorga Creme Universelle.


All easily packed and ready to go, now where’s the confetti?

Cabin Case|Kipling

Beauty Products|M&S

Dress|Modern Love

Shoes|Office

Clutch Bag|Boston&Boston

Love DSB x

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Palm Print Sunday

Don’t you think some words go better together than others?  I love the two words Summer Afternoons, a match made in heaven.  I also like Pink Lemonade, who doesn’t?

How about Palm Print?  Me I love it! Can’t get enough of it.  Makes me think of Victorian Conservatories with giant palms, and holidays and sipping tea on Summer afternoons, there’s a theme here right, clearly, I was born in the wrong era….

Now, I have green palm cushions and a chintzy palm lamp but I’m thinking of wallpaper, full on palm on palm taking over the dining room.  Mr B is going to be in Florence for a week with work so perhaps I could plan a makeover? Hmmm.

For this weekend at least I’ve contented myself with this rather lovely palm print bikini and matching sarong from H&M.  It’s really all you need for lounging in the garden on a summer afternoon sipping pink lemonade.

Enjoy the weekend, I’m off to find those other two words that go together so well.  Gin and Tonic!


Love DSB x

Bikini & Sarong – H&M

Sunglasses – Karl Largerfeld

Ring and Bangles – Sam Ubhi Jewellery

Slides – H&M

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Sunday Supplement #41 |Garden Life 

I think I speak for the whole country when I say thank the Lord for the sun this week.  After a devastating start to the week with events in Manchester, I think everyone spent the beginning of the week feeling sad and slightly down.  I suffer from anxiety and any sort of sad news can work as a trigger.

I relax by watching gardening programs (I know!) I have a particular soft spot for Monty Don, unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the Royal Chelsea Flower Show this year but I did watch it on catch up and its given me some great ideas for a little garden redesign.

 

Talking of which my roses are in full bloom at the moment, and the peonies will be making a show anytime in this next week….Watch this space.

I spent some time in London at press days this week mostly looking ahead to Autumn Winter launches.  As a sneak peak of what’s to come for Autumn check this beautiful burgundy clutch from Jigsaw and silk scarf from Marks and Spencer.


I also love the gold personalized passport holder and these danglers from River Island, all available in shops from September.


Friday was a scorcher of a day in Brighton, I spent the morning meeting with fellow Brighton influencers Style Memos, Hunt Continues, and Natalie Courtois we ate brunch in Mange Tout which was so lip-smackingly good I’m surprised I was able to hold a conversation.

I also walked by the sea and popped into The Grand Brighton to check out its event rooms.  Have you been to the newly refurbished Victoria Terrace recently?  It’s a beautiful Victorian conservatory overlooking the sea, such a beautiful place, I think I will be back very soon.


Love DSB X

PS If you would like to donate to the Manchester Emergency Fund with the British Red Cross you can do so by clicking the link.

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Sunday Supplement #40 – The Other Room

Last weekend I had some of my best friends come to visit, delighted to have visitors I set about sorting the spare room and ‘the other room’.  The spare room was not difficult, my parents stay with us a lot, quick sweep, change of linen, done.  To properly accommodate my friend her husband and two children would mean me tackling The Other Room.

The other room has been many things, an office studio before we built the studio shed.  A bedroom while decorating the spare room and latterly my walk in wardrobe, a study for writing and studio for taking most of my photographs.  It’s also a gatherer of dust, books, magazines, excess tut.

I cleaned and took out all of the tut.  I hung some pictures and made a gallery wall of sorts.  It’s a bit thrown together, I’ve just chucked up a couple of charity shop old paintings and some wedding pictures, I don’t know if it’s all those beautiful people smiling back at me but I like it, it’s kinda chinzy and cozy, I’ve dotted the room with candles and flowers and added a painting I’ve been working on, Grey Storm.

Hmmm, let’s say the painting is a work in progress…..and I need new cushions, but give it time.  In other news, our dire weather has had me reaching for the fake tan.  Skinny Tan sent me a box of lovely products.  As well as the tan mousse, they sent me exfoliator mitt, primer, applicator mitt and a detailed list of how to do it.  I now have a healthy glow, no streaks and importantly non-orange palms!

I’ve also this week felt that seasonal change in skin, not sure if its more walking the dog or exposure to the elements (I can’t really say the sun can I?).  So I’ve been reaching for a moisturizer to combat, tired, uneven lackluster skin.  This Bio-Radiance Face Cream from Christopher Courtney London really works.

As soon as you apply this authentic, ethical, luxurious cream you can feel it tingling and working.  It smells incredible and of course, it’s all natural and made in the UK.  If you don’t  know this company follow this link.

All photographs by me, have a fab week, I’m going to work on the other room.

Love DSB X

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How to Upcycle a Kitchen Dresser

Have you seen the recent trend for dark navy or very deep blue kitchens? I’ve been lusting over these dark kitchens from Devol for ages.  They look so luxurious and expensive.

 

With our extension put off until next year and no budget for a new kitchen, we set about upcycling our existing circa 1980’s Kitchen for the second time.

We visited B&Q and choose a dark shade of Valspar paint suitable for Kitchen units.  It only took us around a day to paint (twice)  we finished the look, I like to call it Dark Shaker with brass handles and white walls.

So the kitchen was finished but not finished….It lacked something.

It took a couple of weeks but I snooped around furniture shops then charity shops and finally, I found a Kitchen Dresser. Pine, in need of TLC, £110.  I snapped it up!

Now rather handily I had the dresser delivered on Saturday morning, Mr. B had it painted by Saturday lunchtime and he fitted brass handles on Saturday night.

We left it to dry thoroughly overnight.  The next day it was ready to dress and ready for bank holiday guests.

Painting it in a dark blue hue took it from 1990’s staple pine kitchen kit to sleek, luxe loveliness for a tiny cost.

What do you think?  Are you tempted to take your Kitchen to the dark side?  Drop me a line and let me know….

Love DSB X

 

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Sunday Supplement #39

Hello!

How are you all for a Sunday?

I had a couple of days off this week with Mr. B, no holiday, no time abroad or even an overnight hotel stay.  Instead, we opted for a staycation, that’s right a week at home in the Boston Abode, time to reset, recharge and do all the jobs we had been putting off for an age.

After the first exciting day of work free home togetherness, i.e. lie-ins, takeaways, and netflix.  We found the garden.  I pruned and weeded, deadheaded and fed the flowers.  Mr. B mowed, hoed and dug a trench for the new front fence and lavender patch, more on that in a later post.

Next, we looked to the studio shed, after running denisonboston and BostonandBoston for almost four years from the studio we had a lot to do.  One and a half days and four runs to the local tip later it’s once again become a cool haven at the bottom of the garden for working and writing.

I cut some flowers and greenery from the garden this morning.  Lilac and the last of the Cherry Blossom, Bluebells, and Muscari, and Ivy for a little deep green.  Then as the Instagram obsessive that I am, I took lots of photos of the arranged flowers.  Mr. B took some photos of me and Blue.

Blue is very photogenic and I don’t look bad for an old gal.  Although, I do have to give some credit here to the serum and moisturizer I’ve been using lately.

It’s a new anti-age cream for women.  Eucerin Elasticity + Filler helps to strengthen the skin’s structure by improving elasticity and plumping the appearance of deep wrinkles.

I’ve been using the Eucerin for four weeks now, it’s defo a good combo, I still have wrinkles but they look a whole lot better, plus I have pruned garden and a tidy studio shed, all set for a beaut of a Spring and Summer, hazy days of laughing and gardening and writing ahead!

Love DSB X

PS Please excuse the double denim, trainers and scraped back hair, natural and not always Insta ready!

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Packing for a Spring Break

The first glimpse of spring for me is my neighbour’s Magnolia Tree, the most majestic of bold pink petals growing high into the sky.  The second is the sudden burst of cherry blossom in our garden.  Hundreds of tiny buds open to display an astonishing show of pink.  The Magnolia and The Blossom have two things in common, for me they both signal the start of spring and also both beautiful displays last only for a short time.


I’m writing this post from Brussels where I’ve just spent the day walking Streets and Boulevards carpeted in sweet-smelling petals.

Whilst its been hot in the sun the past few days it is surprisingly cold in the shade.  Packing for a Spring break or Easter holiday takes a bit more thought than usual.


Go for transitional clothes that can shoulder the change from Winter to Spring.  Take trousers.  culottes, ankle grazers, cut off jeans and 3/4 trousers. I’ve packed four pairs of these for my week-long trip.  One olive-green everyday will go with anything and on a sunny day can wear with flip-flops.  One posh heavy navy blue for more sophisticated days, a pair of  cut off jeans and finally black culottes that can transcend just about any occasion as and when needed.

Keep it simple for the top half.  I’m going to hook onto Blue as my major colour for this pack as I have jeans and trousers in blue and a navy embroidered bomber andlinen structured jacket.


For this reason I’ll be keeping all tops, shirts and jumpers in shades of blue and white.  I’ve of course thrown in a stripe and a black blouse for an unexpected posh dinner.  But otherwise its a white shirt or T-shirt option (I need only 2 but packing 6 for safety).

Finally white plimsoles, multicoloured trainers, every day boots, a midi heel in pink and a high-heeled black mule.  Shoes dont count as extra if your travelling by car, finding their own way in the footwells..


That’s it! Capsule wardrobe complete x

Love DSB X

 

 

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How to Make an Entrance

When we moved into our house just over three years ago decorating the hallway as not a priority.  We had no central heating and no hot water so the hall and staircase got a lick of white paint over the existing wallpaper.  Now we didn’t hate this wallpaper but didn’t love it either.  With some well chosen artwork and wedding and family snaps we created a gallery wall up the staircase to hide our ‘Meh’ wall.

As time went on the hall irritated me more and more.  I loved what we created with the gallery but by now I hated the wallpaper in fact that’s all I could see.

When I suggested to Mr B that we should take off the wall paper he was not at all keen.  It will be a nightmare! Take too long! Make the house like a bomb site etc….

So when Mr B announced he had a week working in New York I had the perfect chance for a fab surprise.  I bought a wallpaper steamer and set about taking off the paper.  The paper came off quite easily but what I didn’t calculate was just what was left.  Walls that were crumbling and in need of sanding, and a staircase that went on forever.  When Mr B arrived home from his week in the States he got a surprise alright but possibly not the surprise I had intended.

After the initial shock (grounds for divorce if ever there were!) we worked together to smooth and paint the walls.  We decided on a dramatic colour scheme of dark and light.  Brilliant white paint for the top half of the staircase wall and Deep Space Echo a very dark almost black green from B&Q’s Valspar range. 

We were keen not to have a dado rail so Mr B drew an imaginary line halfway up the wall which has worked wonderfully as a backdrop to our mostly black and white gallery.

We finished up by flooding the floor with a dark oak floor varnish from Wickes own range. 

What do you think?  Would you go to the dark side? I love the contrast and now I’m delighted to open the door to nothing less than a dramatic entrance. 

Love DSB X 

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London Fashion Week – Five Rules 

Hey hello

A couple of weeks back I caught some shows at London Fashion Week.

This sounds like such an easy, cool thing to do.  Cool it is but easy it is not!  Going for three days out of five I knew I would need to pack carefully to see the week through!  It starts on a Friday and is technically a weekend rather than a week with shows and presentations back to back.  Press and buyers who attend the catwalk shows know that getting from one show to another can sometimes be tricky.  To see out three full days is one part pure excitement, a couple of parts hard work and one part pure resilience….I will get to the show, and if I can’t find a cab I will walk! Even if I have broken my shoe (Natalie I’m thinking of you!).

This year I knew I needed some comforts to make me feel super smart, sexy and comfortable in equal measures.  So I played safe.

 

Rule Number One

Take the best coat you can find.  Coats can make the best accessories.  I wore a black coat by Kenzo x HM in black with an oversized collar and big gold buttons.  I wore it over my shoulder on day One, checked it in to cloakroom with goody bags on day two.  On day three I wore it almost as a dress.  I pulled up my collar and observed shows from behind a forbearing lapel.


Rule Two

Take shoes that look good but that you can walk in.  I love the idea of being papped but I love the idea of being comfortable and seeing the shows more.  Trust me you don’t want to look like an extra from Ab Fab.  

Rule Three

You dont need to make every show.  If you miss a show its not the end of the world.  This year especially I relaxed and if I missed a show I caught friends and lunched somewhere lovely.  This is just as important as the catwalk.


Rule Four

Say Yes, take opportunities as you find them.  Say yes to the networking the aftershow and the show.  Although be careful not to overdo it so you can come back tomorrow.

Rule Five

Go in numbers, you might have the outfit, the invite but make sure you meet your friends.  London Fashion Week is soo much better when you share it.  Oooo and don’t take yourself so seriously.  Fashion is fun.  xxx 

 

Love DSB X

 

 

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Sephora Haul

When Mr B announced he was going to New York with work for a week in January I felt a little green with envy.  Then I remembered one of the basic rules of marriage.  If the husband travels abroad with work thou shalt be rewarded upon his return with gifts.  I think the marriage certificate details this.

And then I remembered Sephora.  If you’re not au fait with Sephora then you soon will be. Sephora is the beauty megastore founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970, with 3,200 stores in 33 countries.  Except the UK, that is until now.  Rumour has it that Sephora is coming to the UK, specifically our London Westfield stores.

Anyway back to my haul, Sephora is as ubiquitous on New York streets as Boots is in London. So I knew Mr B was likely to find one easily. I told him to look for Smashbox Primer and to buy Sephora Favourites, basically a beauty box full of current pics.

The black and white stripes of the Sephora packaging told me he had shopped well.  I’ve almost tried all of the individual products, too many to mention all so here’s my topbuys.

1/ Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Amazing even better than you think!

2/ Sephora Favourites Give Me Some Nude Lip. You cant get enough of a good nude lip

3/  Sephora Favourites Beauty After Last Call The January pick me up package we all need.

You can buy online from the website however you need to spend a minimum of £75 and £6 postage, or you can wait patiently crossing all fingers and toes that a Sephora store will arrive in the UK soon….

Does a clap of excitment….Weeeeeee!

Love DSB x

 

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Topshop Ankle Boots

We are kinda in the middle of the bleak midwinter here in Blighty.  Except its not been that bleak, I mean its very cold but we have had an astonishing amount of sun shine  days. I mean I’ve spent as much time in ballet flats and trainers as full on boots.   To be honest I’ve not worn a knee high boot all season.

Which begs the question is the knee high needed?  I’m not seeing them in the high street at all and they evoke romantic seventies vibes which is not the current edgy street style that’s trending on the catwalk and well, on the street.

Whats hot is the humble ankle boot in almost any carnation.  I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, Topshop do a pretty unbeatable line in ankle booting.

Take note ladies, the weather is changing and winter ain’t over yet. We are due some rain and gloom so lets keep spirits high by investing in a new pair of ankle boots.

Topshop have a mega collection, changing all the time.

At the moment I’m loving…

The Milly Frill.

Frills are the ubiquitous addition to everything right now.  Frills on your shirt on your collar around your wrist, why not on your boot.

Leather pleating, leather frills do something to my brain. Just a little OTT, probably would’nt wear these to Tesco’s but lovely for an occasion or a day in the City.

 

Klash Snake Boot

What I love about this boot is that it is extravagant yet practical.

Love the snake, love the black and white, love love love the flat heel.

Love it.

 

 

Mickey Cone Heel Boot

Ok, this is a bit of a curve ball and a huge nod to the 1980’s.  It’s suede, it’s burgundy and it had a weird heel but I love it. This boot totally on my hot list at least until spring shows itself!

 

For all of these boots and more

www.topshop.com

Love DSB X

 

 

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How to Dress a Shelf

This year I’m planning on writing a whole lot more about home style and sharing my interior design inspiration with you.

I’m forever dressing my home,  bringing in new finds moving older things around.  There’s nothing I like more than curating a shelf.  My dining room shelves are always changing.  Here are my tips on shelf dressing.

1/ Go dark! I painted my shelves a dark charcoal grey like the rest of my room, often painting shelves a dark colour draws attention to them, especially in a white room.

2/ Books.  Collect books and show them on your shelves, group by colour or theme.  I like old looking books and fashion or arts books.

3/ Candles.  Candles look amazing on book shelves and of course make the room smell amazing. I find white candles in jars work on my shelves or gold or silver pots.

4/ Birds.  I have a thing with birds, china figures of parrots, brass figures of fighting cocks.  Phesants painted on porcelein bowls.  Thats my thing, but you may like butterflies, bold lettering or anatomical moving figures are popular.

5/ Flora. Use flowers to dress your shelves, my shelves are too shallow for long stems so I use dried hydrangeas, pots of hyacinths and tumbling ferns and succulents.

Now that you have arranged your shelves, take a #shelfie and next week when your dusting you can arrange them all over again.

Love DSB X

 

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Happy New Year! 

Time to let go of the last year (good riddance! So many creative souls lost).  Best we look forward and welcome the new year. 

I’m taking a couple of tips from my dear old Uncle Fred, he said many things in his life and here are two of my favourites ….

“Two kinds of people in this world,

Those who watch it happen 

And those who make it happen. 

Make it happen. ”


The other profound New Years moment from my Uncle was….

“The sound of a champagne cork popping should be like a Dutchess farting.”

It always makes me smile. 

Have a wonderful New Year! 

Love DSB x 

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Honest Christmas Guide for Her

Here it is the definitive gift guide for her. Gentlemen take note you can’t really go wrong  with any of these beautiful buys.


For Her
1. 3 L’Imperatrice, Dolce & Gabbana, Amazon
2. Amazon Fire Tablet, 7” Magenta
3. Heaven by Deborah Mitchell, Bee Kit.
4. Monogrammed Necklace, Thomas Sabo
5. Sanctuary Spa, Votive Candles
6.  Wool Cape, Cos
7. Elemental Herbology, Bathing Infusions, Look Fantastic.
8. Dogs in Vouge, Red Cross Shop Shoreham.
9. Revlon Orofluido Original Hair elixir
10. Makki Black Eel Skin Clutch, Boston & Boston

Hope you like my suggestions, follow links for more information, oh and one more thing fellas, you can never go wrong with a bling cocktail Ring.  The ring pictured above is Victor & Rolf for Atelier Swarovski.  This one is no longer available however you can’t go far wrong with any cocktail ring from Atelier Swarovski.

Happy Christmas

Love DSB X