C is for… #AlphabetDating

C is for dinner at Cau (complete with Churros for dessert!) and a night at a Comedy Club! This was a fun night out, doing something we’d never done before which is kind of part of this challenge! 

So far so good… but we’re struggling for ideas for ‘D’! Any suggestions? 

B is for… #AlphabetDating

B is for Brunch at Bella Italia (breakfast pizza ūüėćūüćē) and a lovely walk and trip to see the animals at Beale Park 


My absolute favourites had to be the baby meerkats- I really wanted to bring one home with me! They were just so cute and curious, running around the making adorable squeaking noises


17 books in 2017

I used to love reading, and I still do but mostly just on holiday now! I’d like to make more of an effort to read more, and watch less horrendously trashy, IQ depleting television…


So 17 books in 2017 seems like a good challenge to set myself!

I’ve made a good start already- 7 weeks into 2017 and I’ve already made my way through two new books;

First up was Baby Doll by Holly Overton. ¬†I saw this advertised on the underground and was intrigued, so I ordered it on Amazon for my kindle. ¬†I won’t ruin it for you, but it’s a quite gripping psychological thriller about a woman who was kidnapped. ¬†The twist is that the story starts with her escape. There are certainly enough twists and turns (some more predictable than others) to keep the pace moving quickly and I did enjoy the somewhat bittersweet ending.

My second book of the year is¬†certainly a more acquired taste-¬†Scarlett¬†by Alexandra Ripley. ¬†This is one I’ve been meaning to read for a long time but hadn’t quite got around to, as I love Gone with the Wind. ¬†In this novel the story picks up where Gone with the Wind ended- but written by a different author decades later. ¬†Alexandra Ripley’s style of writing is not unlike that of the original by Margaret Mitchell. ¬†It’s certainly quite a long book, at 848 pages, but I did persevere. ¬†It doesn’t really feel to me like closure to the story of Scarlett O’Hara… I think it is best viewed as a standalone novel on it’s own rather than a sequel.

Any recommendations for my next read of 2017?



DietBet Challenge : Lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks

I’m always interested to hear about something new when it comes to dieting and losing weight. Something I’ve heard about a lot recently on Instagram , which seems to be more popular in the US, is dietbet. 

The basic premise is this ; you weigh in on the start date – providing your weight, a full body image of you standing on the scale and an image of the scale (and your feet) with a code word you are given written on a piece of paper. This is to make it more difficult for people to cheat! 

I weighed in today, placed my bet ($25 = roughly ¬£20 in today’s terrible exchange rate…), sent in my photos (which were approved within minutes) via the iPhone app. All that remains now is to lose 4% of my body weight by the 12 March and I’ll be a winner! The total pot is currently sitting at just over ‚ā¨8000 dollars and will be split between the players who manage to hit their goal (minus a fee taken by the website of course!) 

I’ll be following my usual weight loss routine; slimming world and exercising twice a week (clubbercise on a Wednesday night and Zumba on a Saturday morning). I think this will be a great way to keep myself motivated ahead of the 2 holidays I have coming up in April and May. 

I’ll let you know in March if I hit my goal, and win myself some dolla$$$! 

¬£50 per month shopping challenge

Hello. My name is Nicola, and I’m a shopaholic.And I’m not even sorry! 

I do however know deep down that it would be more sensible to save my money (for things like holidays, spa days and new houses…) rather than frivolously  spending it all on shoes and handbags. That’s why I agreed to a challenge posed by a friend – a maximum budget of ¬£50 per month for clothes, shoes and make up.  It doesn’t sound too difficult, but it’s all too easy to fritter cash away, and I think this will really help me keep track of all those little purchases that really add up. We are going to be keeping each other accountable throughout the month, which will help I think!

I’ve already got my eyes on few things this month… new workout clothes, a chunky cable knit sweater and the cutest spring flats I spotted the other week… I think that might be the budget bust already!

I will post a February round up and let you see how I got on! 

In Conversation with Cosmopolitan ‚Äď The Truth About Celebrity Fashion

It’s not even payday until Monday but it didn’t stop me… I’ve just ordered a ticket to Cosmopoltian Fash Fest¬†(Okay, not such a fan of the name but I’ll let it go!)

I’ll be going along to the Tuesday the 16th of September session: In Conversation with Cosmopolitan- The Truth¬†About¬†Celebrity Fashion.¬†¬†Their website states that hosted by Cosmo‚Äôs Editor-in-Chief Louise Court, this is a¬†chance to get behind the scenes and discover trade secrets.¬† The panel are certainly well connected in the industry:

Pixie Lott

Victoria Adcock ‚Äď Celebrity stylist¬†to clients including¬†Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham.¬† If you read my wee interview over at secretsofatwentysomething.com you’ll know that Victoria Beckham can do not wrong in my eyes so I’m interested to hear any tips from her stylist!

Lisa Valencia ‚Äď Celebrity Make-up artist

Jess Moloney ‚Äď ¬†Designer Fashion PR for Vivienne Westwood

Ben Cooke ‚Äď Celebrity hairdresser to clients including Nicole Scherzinger- who always has beautiful luscious locks!

¬†I can’t make LFW A/W this year due to work commitments, so I’m excited that I have this to look forward to instead.¬† Of course I’ll do a full review post afterwards!


Hand Luggage Essentials


As I start to prepare for my upcoming holiday (honeymoon!) I’ve been thinking about packing, and about my essentials¬†for my hand luggage. ¬†This is especially important when space is limited.

Here is what I am planning on packing in my carry on, so far:

  • iPhone
  • Google nexus tablet
  • Kindle
  • Chargers for all my gadgets
  • All the documents, of course!
  • Make up bag
  • Lipbalm
  • Purse
  • Tangle teezer (I could not live without this now)
  • Scarf (for if it gets chilly on the plane)
  • Sunglasses (ready for the minute you step off of the plane!)

Do you have any other suggestions for ‘must haves’? How do you pack?


Vogue Festival 2014 : My Fashion Life

Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny warm day, when I made my way towards the Southbank Centre, near Waterloo station on London.
All the action at the Southbank Centre kicked off at about 10.30 that morning but as my tickets were for the 4.30 talk, I had foyer access from 4.00-6.30.

Once inside there were lots of different activities laid out on the first floor, including a Kerastase styling area- offering complimentary hairstyling (you got to choose between five classic french styles) and make up consultations with Burberry’s beauty stylists. They also had a fabulous ‘show and tell’ opportunity, where you could bring your own designs to the festival and meet with Vogue editors to receive personal advice about your product. I had a quick look around the various activities before queuing to go in to the talk. I booked my ticket quite late, and it was a sold out talk, so my seat was pretty far back- but it was still amazing! I’ll definitely be more prepared next year and book earlier.

On the ‘My Fashion Life’ panel we had Tory Burch, Angela Missoni and of course my icon (and I confess, my main attraction!) Manolo Blahnik!

First up was Tory Burch, someone who I confess I didn’t know much about before yesterday. Tory worked in marketing for years, before launching her own brand and opened her first boutique in New York in 2004. She set out to create a ‘lifestyle brand’ and I have to say she came across as a engaging and inspiration woman. She talked about juggling her home life (3 sons and 3 step daughters!) with her business. She said that she takes them to school in the morning, and is home by 7 most days. I love that. Something I debate with myself quite frequently is whether it is possible to ‘have it all’- in my eyes that is both a fulfilling career and a child. I also love that she started out working in marketing (I work in this area) and still managed to achieve her dreams. Inspirational. The first Tory Burch store opened in London in 2011 and it’s definitely on my radar to pay them a visit soon.

Next up we had Angela Missoni, daughter of one of Italy’s most famous fashion dynasties. She talked about her upbringing, the wonderful home life in contrast to the glamour of the industry (she met Manolo when she was 10!) Angela Missoni came across as down to earth and committed to her family and their brand. I loved that she brought her mum with her (she was in the audience!). Her own daughters are now involved in the business and she was passionate about developing the company further. Her runway debut in 1997 signified a rejuvenation of the brand and their iconic print.

Last, but by no means least, the legend that is Manolo Blahnik. Manolo was fabulous, so witty! He talked about growing up on the Canary Islands, where he used to make shoes for the lizards (luckiest lizards ever!). He studied law but decided he didn’t want to be a lawyer but instead a set designer. It was while doing this that he was told not to bother- and to concentrate on shoes instead! He talked about how he prefers to work alone than with a team (something I can totally relate to!) and how he himself has a part in all areas on the design and production of his shoes (“except for the sizing… I don’t like numbers”) Manolo was one of the first men ever to appear on the cover of UK Vogue, and was awarded a CBE in 2007. He won the British Fashion Council Outstanding Achievement Award in 2012 and in his 40 year career is widely considered to be one of if not the most successful and influential designers. Yet he was so down to earth and talked about his home in Bath and his latest addiction- Netflix! I love that. They always say that you should never meet your heroes, that they might disappoint, but I have to say- I was so impressed, and inspired by Manolo, and I’m so glad I went to see him.

After the talk I headed out to to the foyer, and went to pick up a souvenir at the Vogue Shop. More about that, and the rest of my day, in the next post!

L’Wren Scott

L’Wren Scott was proof that anyone could become anything that they want to be.

She was adopted, and raised as Luann Bambrough, in Utah.  At 12 years old she was already 6 ft tall so modelling was a natural choice. She left school at 18 and flew to Paris, changed her name and walked for Chanel.  That is the real American dream right there.

In the early 90’s she went back to the US and established herself as a stylist, dressing A-listers and icons alike. ¬†Some of her most famous fans include¬†Madonna,¬†Sarah Jessica Parker,¬†Angelina Jolie,¬†Nicole Kidman (a close friend of hers who has an apartment in the same block),¬†¬†Michelle Obama,¬†Carla Bruni-Sarkozy,¬†Naomi Campbell,¬†Reese Witherspoon,¬†Christina Hendricks,Jennifer Lopez,¬†Sandra Bullock¬†and¬†Uma Thurman.

A divorcee, she had been romantically involved with Mick Jagger since 2001 and he has spoken to his devastation over her death.

L’Wren is proof that being beautiful, thin, and rich is just not enough to live on. Those are plentiful things but to be loved, fulfilled and content are worth so much more.

Another bright star in the fashion sky gone too soon. So very sad for all those who loved and respected her.