Category Archives: Lifestyle

A Festive Weekend in London

FAIIINT Rekorderlig Cider Lodge Southbank London at Winter Christmas time. Fairy lights outside. Premier Inn London Southwark kingsize bed. Premier Inn London Southwark kingsize bed, bathroom. Premier Inn London Southwark restaurant, breakfast. Tate Modern London Abraham Cruzvillegas Empty Lot Turbine Hall installation 2015. FAIIINT London Eye and Southbank lights at night. FAIIINT Rekorderlig Cider Lodge Southbank London at Winter Christmas time. Fairy lights outside. FAIIINT and The Style Rawr FAIIINT Rekorderlig Cider Lodge Southbank London at Winter Christmas time. Fairy lights outside. FAIIINT Rekorderlig Cider Lodge Southbank London at Winter Christmas time. Warm mulled cider mugs. FAIIINT Southbank London River Thames buildings lit up at night. FAIIINT London Southbank bridge and river Thames lit up at night. FAIIINT Southbank London fairy lights trees night.

Late in November me and The Style Rawr girls headed down south for a short girly weekend in London to catch up, get drunk, do some Christmas shopping and most importantly, for Jade’s very first wedding dress fitting – which I have been trusted to make! I’m so excited to be working on something completely different to what I usually do, and I really can’t wait to get started on the final piece and see it on her, it’s going to be so unique, and so Jade!

We were booked in to stay at Premier Inn’s Southwark hotel, the rooms were lovely and big with huge king size beds, a nice sofa bed in the corner and all the tea we could drink. We stayed up too late talking about hot boys and weddings and yet we still woke up feeling refreshed thanks to the super comfy beds. We couldn’t have asked for a better location either, it’s literally around the corner from the Tate Modern, so of course when I told Tara and Jade this and learned that neither of them had been before I had to take them for a little visit! We also had a pub, coffee shops, a restaurant and a Tesco express for all the snacks right on our doorstep, plus we were just a short walk from Southbank too.

After realising we’d spent far too long in our room chatting, drinking and generally laying around, we were never going to be able to fit in any real Christmas shopping now, so instead we decided to take a walk down Southbank towards the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge to grab something to eat and help put us in the festive spirit with plenty of warm mulled cider. As we walked along the riverside twinkling with lights and past the smells of the Christmas markets, all bundled up in our scarves and hats, we couldn’t help but start to feel pretty Christmassy, and then we saw the lodge! It was like a mini winter wonderland, draped in fairy lights and scattered with Christmas trees and firepits to drink around, blasting all the best RnB, Soul and Hip Hop from the past 30 years, I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to spend a chilly winters evening. We sang along, danced, got merry and stuffed our faces with mac & cheese and pizza before heading back to the hotel to curl up.

We had such a fun weekend, and I can’t wait until we can get to together again. I always say this, but it is genuinely one of my favourite things that has come from blogging, and that’s making such great friends like these girls ♥

Filed under: Lifestyle | 3Comments

Passionata White Nights

Fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Passionata White Nights black lace embroidery balconette braFashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Passionata White Nights black lace embroidery balconette bra and bikini breif knickers. Lingerie mirror selfie.

As some of you will know from my social media and lack of posts around here I’ve been having a bit of a rough time recently, I’ve been feeling pretty low in confidence in myself, completely confused and like a pretty rubbish person to be honest, so this little parcel from Passionata really couldn’t have come at a better time. There is nothing like beautiful underwear to cheer a girl up and I always feel a million times more confident when I’m wearing a gorgeous set, even if it’s just underneath my normal clothes. In fact, that’s one of my favourite things to do when I’m having a down day, knowing you have the full works on underneath and no one else has any idea definitely gives you a little extra self confidence and sass.

This beautiful balconette bra and bikini from the ‘White Nights’ range arrived just as I was leaving for London, so I quickly stuffed the parcel in my bag as I ran to catch my coach. Of course, as soon as I got to my hotel I had to try them on and I then spent half the day prancing around my room feeling awesome in them, so awesome that I couldn’t resist some cheeky mirror shots to show them off! It’s so nice to be able to look in the mirror and say, you know what I don’t have the flattest stomach, the most toned thighs or biggest boobs, but I don’t care because I feel amazing. Made from a gorgeous soft mesh with delicate Italian floral embroidery all over it’s the perfect mix between a pretty and more sensual look, and thanks to the great fit it’s comfortable enough to wear everyday and not just have to be saved for special occasions too.

I had a fitting arranged at the Little Big Bra Shop in Market Harborough a few weeks ago to make sure it would be the perfect fit when it arrived, as it’s been a while since I was last fitted. Here they don’t use tape measures, everything is done by eye and the lovely Karen got it absolutely spot on the first time just from looking at me. She surprised me by telling me I was actually a cup size bigger than what I’d been wearing (and had been told I was by a high street store), but also a back size down making me a bit of an awkward 30 back and explaining why I usually have issues with bras riding up, it was a bit of a revelation! I’d highly recommend getting fitted properly by someone with real expertise if you have never been before. I now also have the perfect excuse for new underwear shopping too!

Also filed under: Covet | 11Comments

Woodside Animal Centre RSPCA Leicester

RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Puppy dog Max the Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross breed.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Grey Siberian Husky & Tan Akita cross breed with sad eyes.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. German Shepherd Siberian Husky cross breed dog black & tan talking barking at girl.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Kittens sleeping curled up.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Black fluffy cat looking regal & cheeky tabby cat kitten.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Volunteer carer looking after cats.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Tabby cat kitten playing in her bed, kitten pawing glass.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Black fluffy cat kitten curled up in soft bed.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Tabby cat kitten looking mischievous, sassy.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. German Shepherd Siberian Husky cross breed black & tan going for a walk with volunteer handler.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Siberian Husky dog looking out at people & tan and white Akita cross breed looking for new owner.RSPCA Woodside Animal Centre Leicester. Siberian Husky Collie cross breed black & white with cone sad eyes.

A little bit of a different post today, but it’s something I’m incredibly passionate about & I feel like it’d be a great shame if I couldn’t use the blog to talk about & highlight causes like this. Last week we headed down to Woodside Animal Centre, Leicester’s branch of the RSPCA, to see the animals & to talk with Gary, the branches manager, about all the good work they do & their latest fundraising appeal to raise £1M for a much needed on-site veterinary facility.

If you’ve ever spoken to me for any length of time, I’m sure you’ll quickly realise that I’m a massive animal lover. I’m not the greatest people person, but show me a dog, cat, ferret, rat or even a snake & I’ll suddenly have the hugest smile. I’ve always said that if I ever could afford to, I’d like to get a big house with a good sized garden so that I could help foster & re-home all of those animals that struggle in shelters or that they won’t take. Nothing makes me sadder, or angrier than seeing animals confused & distressed from neglect or abandonment. It’s so unfair.

Woodside Animal Centre is Leicester’s main re-homing centre, taking in over 75 animals every week & although they are part of the RSPCA, they are a separate self-funding charity that relies entirely on donations from the public, they receive none from the RSPCA or the government. Woodside prides themselves on being one of the top performing centres in the UK & having one of the lowest return animal rates in the UK. Their staff and volunteers work tirelessly to treat & rehabilitate even the most difficult of cases, providing medical treatment, behavioural training & finding them the right homes. Currently they are really struggling to meet the increasing cost in vets bills as they have to take all of their animals to outside surgeries & if prices keep rising, they will simply not be able to afford to provide this much needed care for the hundreds of animals that arrive each month. To combat this they aim to build an on-site veterinary surgery at the centre, cutting their costs massively & saving animals the distress of having to be driven elsewhere too.

They are currently just over halfway towards their funding goal, and have set themselves a challenge in hopes of boosting the money raised & reaching that target – On the 29th of March 2015, a team of seven staff from Woodside Animal Centre & a pack of Huskies will sled across the Arctic Circle for six days. Braving temperatures as low as -30°C, they will cover 25 miles a day, sleep in flimsy tents and live on basic rations. I’m a little jealous, though I know it’s going to be incredibly tough. They’re hoping to raise £25,000 in sponsorship towards their target, and you can help them reach their goal (and hopefully smash it!) by donating via JustGiving here, or in the UK text ARCTIC to 70500 (to make a £5 donation). I honestly couldn’t think of a better cause, and every pound counts!

As we walked around the kennels it saddened me to see just how many bull breeds were in the centre, mainly Staffordshire Bull Terriers & crosses, the stereotype of them being vicious or aggressive is obviously still prominent in peoples minds, but it’s completely untrue. I’ve known a lot of them, and I honestly don’t think you’d find a sweeter or soppier dog! They are soft & playful, and extremely loyal, so please don’t let the news stories put you off. Just look at little Max in the first photo, I’ve never met a bigger sweetheart, he was so affectionate & would have been happy to let me stroke him for hours!

There was also a large amount of Siberian Huskies & crosses, all around 1-2 years old, so just out of the cute puppy stage and of course this made me very upset to see. If you are considering a Husky, please do your research first, there are too many in shelters because people don’t bother to & it angers me. They are not a breed for everyone, they are needy, highly intelligent, stubborn, vocal & have specific requirements that need to be met to keep them happy & engaged, otherwise you’ll have an out of control ball of fur destroying your house & sanity out of boredom! It seems a lot of people don’t realise this, and as soon as they grow they quickly tire of their antics & give them up. It’s a huge shame, yes they are hard work, but they are totally worth it & so rewarding too if you have the time & patience! Gus the Husky x Collie cross with the cone completely stole my heart with his sad eyes & sweet personality, as well as Chase the GSD x Husky who I had a little chat with (it’s funny how talkative they are once they know you ‘speak husky’… Awooo!) Eskie the Husky was very down & clearly not enjoying kennel life, he made me want to just give him a big hug & take him home. They are all incredibly well looked after with multiple walks & play every day, but sadly some dogs just don’t cope with this kind of environment & it made me think of Nico, as I know he’d be the same, they are a very people orientated breed & most can’t bear to be alone.

All of the dogs & cats in this post are currently available for re-homing along with many others, plus small animals & birds too, so if you are based in Leicester & are looking for a pet, please consider paying them a visit & giving one of these guys a forever home!

Find out more about the Woodside Arctic Challenge & sponsor them here.

Filed under: Lifestyle | 3Comments

Autumn Days

Stephanie Brown of FAIIINT wearing Topshop wool trench coat, ASOS draped chunky cardigan, Hunter wellies wellingtons, all black casual dog walk outfit with Nico siberian husky. Autumn in the park forest leaves on floor, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky, puppy kisssing owner. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT wearing Hunter wellies wellingtons with Nico siberian husky. Autumn in the park forest leaves on floor, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky, digging in the leaves smelling for treats. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky kissing owner. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature. FAIIINT Autumn dog walk through the park and forest with Nico siberian husky. Fallen leaves everywhere, beautiful nature.

Forest Holidays got in touch recently to ask if I’d like to contribute to their 30 Days Of Autumn project. They’ve rounded up 10 bloggers from all different types of blogs & asked them for their 3 favourite things to do in the forest or outdoors in the Autumn, with mine specifically focusing on things to do with your dog. You know I can never resist an opportunity to include Nico in my posts, and I thought it’d make for some nice images too, so of course I agreed!

We decided to bring the camera along on one of our usual walks & do a little photo diary of our adventures. Sorry for the overload of pictures, but I am incredibly lucky to live next to such a beautiful park & little woodland, and with all the autumn colours, fallen leaves & Nico’s photogenic little face it was super hard to narrow them down!

Exploring :
Going for a walk is the first thing you think of doing with a dog outdoors, and for good reason, exploring our local parks & outdoor spaces is one of Nico’s most favourite things. We like to keep things interesting for us both by often making our own route instead of following the main paths, or I let Nico decide where we’re going instead & follow him. We’ve ended up getting a bit lost, stuck at dead ends & finding secret little places we had no idea about, and it’s much more fun this way.

‘Find It’ :
I love this game for adding a little extra fun to our walks & for giving Nico a good brain work out too, getting him to use all his super dog senses & keep them sharp. The idea is to take a small bag of strong smelling treats with you, ask your dog to sit & then hide a treat around the area before shouting ‘Find it!’ at which your dog should then start hunting for it with his nose. Nico will do anything for cheese, so I like to use little cubes of mature cheddar.

In the beginning you’ll want to make it super easy, place the treats very near by & give clues if he needs them so that your dog understands the idea, plus plenty of praise when they do find it. Once he’s got the hang of it you can make it much harder by hiding them further away, under things or making the pieces smaller. Nico is never off-lead, as he has the notorious husky trait of ‘selective hearing‘ (bad recall!) so if I’m by myself with him I’ll ask him to sit facing away & then throw a piece as far as I can. You’ll be surprised by how much more tired your dog is after doing a few games of this on one of your walks, it’s a great mental workout for them!

Biking :
I recently brought a Trixie Biker attachment for my bike, it clips onto Nico’s harness so that he can run alongside me without the danger of pulling me off or getting too close to my wheels & it’s one of my favourite things I’ve brought for him. I was sceptical if it’d work, as Nico is a real puller & I pictured it ending in me with broken bones, but thankfully it works a treat! I’d highly recommend it to anyone who has a dog with a lot of excess energy to burn, it really knackers him out & it’s a nice way to mix things up so you’re not just going for a standard walk every day. I love to go biking myself, I much prefer it to walks or running & it’s great to be able to bring him along too, especially when it’s through such pretty scenery.

Forest Holidays are also currently offering you guys 5% off a Forest Holiday, at any of their 9 gorgeous locations across the UK if you book before the 31st December 2014 with the code VWAUTUMN !

Also filed under: Outfit | 16Comments

Princesse Tam Tam

FAIIINT Princesse Tam Tam lingerie Espionne soft cup underwired black bra with frilled edges. Fashion blogger.FAIIINT Princesse Tam Tam lingerie Adelie underwired polka dot mesh black bustier bra with ruffled edges, Asos satin kimono robe. Fashion blogger.

I’ve never been one to feel embarrassed about people seeing me in my underwear, most of my friends have probably seen me running around in my bra (or less, thanks to the now infamous Lady Gaga Halloween outfit!) more times than they care to think about & I’ll often say that given the choice I’d choose no clothes over going makeup-less. For someone with such insecurities about their face, I guess it’s kind of weird that I’m totally comfortable with my body.

I won’t lie though, I did debate whether I ought to post these, not because it made me uncomfortable but because I wondered if they were appropriate for the blog or if it may come across as a little trashy. Being soft cup bras though, the fact is shooting them flat really couldn’t show off just how gorgeous they are (we did try!) & it seemed like a waste of a beautiful product to not do them justice. We tried to shoot them in as natural a way as possible, to give more of a casual, out-take kind of vibe instead of looking too posed or sexy, so hopefully they come across that way. As I say with all of my outfit posts, which is why I’m often in the exact same pose – it’s not about me, it’s purely about showing off the clothes & I see this as being no different. I’ve always wondered why underwear photos are seen as so taboo though, I mean, so many girls happily post up photos of themselves in bikinis on holidays, or super cropped tops that are just as revealing as underwear, so what’s the difference other than what we call it? I think as long as you’re comfortable, why should a little flesh bother anyone else?

Princesse Tam Tam is one of my favourite brands when it comes to underwear, they make the best triangle & soft cup bras hitting that perfect balance between being comfortable, practical & pretty. These two sets are no different either, made from beautiful, soft fabrics in classic shapes they’re unfussy enough to wear everyday, yet the little details like a ruffled trim or spotty mesh give them a playful edge & make them so much more than just your everyday bras. I love that as a brand their bras are always a very flattering cut for small busts like mine too, something which is becoming harder & harder to find in UK stores as they all now seem to be targeted towards a more standard, fuller chest. Thank god for the French!

Also filed under: Covet | 23Comments