Piaggio in Milan

Milan street corner

Bandana street style

Bandana neckerchief street style

Milan architectureEn route to Milan a few weekends back I realised that pretty much everything Italian I love to eat and drink begins with the letter P … pasta, prosecco, pizza, Peroni, panzarotte, pancetta, paninis, prosciutto, pistachio gelato, penne, pepperoni … you get the p-icture. It’s also a (definitely not exhaustive) list of everything I managed to eat and drink on at least one occasion whilst I was there and, in defence of my gluttony, I’m citing the fact that it was my very first visit to Italy and well y’know, when in Rome. Milan actually, but same-same but different and all that. I have the amazing folk at Deichmann to thank for the extra tummy wobbles I came back with; last year they ran a competition on Instagram to win flights and a hotel stay in Milan and the photo that I took of a big bowl of pasta and that iconic Milanese landmark, the Duomo won me the competition! Coincidentally we ended up staying within kissing-distance of the Duomo during our stay, at Hotel Straf and if ever you happen to visit Milan I would highly recommend it. More of that in a forthcoming post though along with some handy tips on where to eat, shop and go.

How to do double denim

Topshop sandals

Man cycling in Italy

Milan architecture

Bike in Ita;y

For now let’s talk about another word beginning with P. Pedals. Particularly pedals on Piaggios (try saying that after one to many Aperol spritzes!) When we went to Goa over Christmas and New Year Mister Ruffles and I hired a moped and much to my surprise as a self-confessed scaredy-cat, I absolutely loved zipping around on it whilst clinging onto the back seat. Before our trip to Milan I’d got it into my head that we’d be able to re-enact our moped adventures with an altogether more Italian flavour, however I had to reluctantly forgo that fantasy as neither of us had brought our driving licenses. Another thing I’d also been a little delusional about had been the weather; having checked my weather app before we left and seeing a temperature forecast in double-digits I thought “hurrah! Sun! Bare legs! BRILLIANT”. Despite Mister Ruffles protests otherwise (yes darling you were right … again) I packed a suitcase of outfits more appropriate for a summer holiday in July than a warm weekend in April. Yeah. Silly me. Anyways I knew I wanted to wear this Miss Selfridge dress and despite it being gorgeously sunny, bare legs plus sandals weather it certainly was not. My only option was to team the dress with jeans and as much as I am definitely calling this a panic-outfit, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. It also managed hide a multitude of sins, and by sins I mean those aforementioned foods beginning with p so it was winning on both counts. And I even got to pretend that this Piaggio was actually mine by posing in front of it. Perfect! OKay I’ll stop with the Ps now …. promise …

Sandals and jeans

All the Ps in Milan-12

How to wear a bandana

Milan Street Style

All the Ps in Milan-16Bandana Beyond Retro – vintage leather jacket – Topshop sandals (similar here) – Weekday jeans from ASOSMiss Selfridge Denim dress c/o House of Fraser 

 

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India surfboards

Beer and beach

Beach and sarong

Pineapple phone cover

Evil Twin bikini

Patnem beach

Walking on beach in bikiniI can’t quite believe that it’s been almost a month now since we got back from our trip to Goa over Christmas and New Year and whilst simultaneously feeling like it was literally just yesterday I was lazing on a beach, it also feels like a lifetime ago. Despite returning with the best intentions not to get sucked back into the merry-go-round that is London life and making myself multiple promises to take time out, take up Mindfulness, practice yoga, eat better, drink less, only eat meat occasionally and definitely avoid being so frantic all the time, I’ve ended up doing totally the opposite. I’ve been mainlining cheese and chocolate like it’s Christmas all over again, have drunk a LOT of prosecco (for good reason though!), my diary has been choc-full of commitments and very little ‘me time’ let alone time to blog, downward dog and suffice to say the Mindfulness has definitely gone out the window, so it’s no surprise really that over the past few days I’ve been yearning to go back to Goa where life was so much simpler and the sun shined a great deal more than it has lately!

Postcards from Goa India

Goa sunset

Leopard print bikini and big sunhat

Porridge and pineapple phone cover

India beach cow

Palolem beach

India beach huts

India palmtree sunsets

I’ve been missing our sunset walks on the beach, drinking tangy-but-sweet mango lassis and eating cashew-nut porridge for breakfast, paneer masala for dinner and crispy vegetable pakoras and gooey garlic and cheese naan breads at every opportunity inbetween. I miss taking endless photos of palm trees and beach-cows, forgoing footwear for days on end and wearing my daily uniform of bikini, beach hat and sunglasses. What I really miss though is spending days on end staring up at a bright blue sky and the fact that the most difficult decision each day was whether to have a big breakfast so that we could then skip lunch in order to have a big dinner or, whether we just threw caution to the wind and had three big meals and yes maybe another plate of pakora too *sighs* Trying to put our utterly-amazing-incredible-bloody-brilliant holiday into words has left me totally tongue-tied because all I can think of to say is “oh my God it was AMAAAAAAZING take me baaaaack!” and so I’m going to quit my wittering on and just let these photos do the talking and perhaps-just-maybe they’ll do our magical trip justice. In the meantime I’m off to go and OD on liquid Vitamin D, order a curry, whack the central heating up to tropical, get into my bikini, close my eyes and pretend I’m back in Agonda.

Opening window Palolem beach

Birkenstocks

Panjim Church Mary Immaculate Conception

Reading Porter magazine

Coffee and palm treats

Wearing from top to bottom; leopard print bikini by Evil Twin at ASOS, hat by Beyond Retro and sunglasses by ASOS. Off-the-shoulder top by Weekday at ASOS. White sleeveless top by ASOSMango denim bermuda shorts, Jeepers Peepers sunglasses and Birkenstocks.

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Sat on doorway steps

Rings

As I type this I’m currently sat on my sofa in my PJs nursing the mother of all hangovers. It’s the kind that’s been un-dented by two Ibuprofen and my go-to comfort food – a bowlful of baked beans – and I’ve just drunk an Altaseltzer followed by a coke-chaser in the hope it goes away. Wish me luck! However the celebrations that preceded this absolutely tub-thumping headache have made it totally worth it. That’s because last Saturday whilst we were on holiday in Goa Mister Ruffles and I got engaged (squeal!) and last night we celebrated with all of our friends and favourite people and I’m pretty sure that I was still drinking champagne well in tothe early hours of this morning. Oof!

My newly engaged status won’t come as a surprise if you follow me on Instagram; I posted a photo of my gorgeous ring almost straightaway as we wanted to share our amazing news with everyone. What I didn’t know though, was that Mister Ruffles had told a fair few of our friends before we went away that he was going to propose and as he’d proposed on the last night of our holiday they’d all been kept in suspense for the three weeks we were away!

A Very Special Ring

Arm Party

The proposal was utterly magical, he’d pre-arranged with the hotel to put on a private candle-lit dinner outside overlooking the beach and beneath the palm trees and when he got down on not one, but both knees he played ‘our song‘ on his iPhone. Suffice to say I couldn’t see for all the tears! He proposed with a beautiful love-knot ring from Catbird in New York but unbeknownst to me throughout the year I had inadvertently scupperred plans to have a bespoke ring designed by being quite vocal (ahem!) about how I had absolutely no idea what kind of ring I could ever see myself wearing as an engagement ring. That may sound a little presumptuous and arrogant but after seven years together we’ve often had quite practical conversations about marriage so we both knew it was a case of when rather than if. We’d chatted about anything from what songs we’d like to play at our wedding (a lot of 80s disco!) to what ring I might wear. I’ve always worn large statement rings on virtually every finger and so I’d had a (misplaced and unfounded) pre-conceived idea that an engagement ring would have to work with them, but I’d always come unstuck as to how it would look. My feeling had always been that if I didn’t know what I wanted as an engagement ring then how would anyone else?

The actuality of it all was that when the ring was placed on my finger it really could have been any ring. I didn’t even look at it in and had to be prompted to do so! What I immediately realised in that moment was that what’s more important than the ring itself is the sentiment and significance of it, and the thought behind it. As it turns out I adore my ‘holding ring’, I look at it constantly and the fact that it’s so delicate and different to my other jewellery I find a beautiful contrast. My rings have always meant a lot to me, most of them bought by Mister Ruffles in fact, but this one now represents something incredible; it’s a mark of our love for each other and a lifetime that we’ll spend together as one and I couldn’t be happier.

Vintage Beyond Retro coat

Catbird Loveknot

Thank-you to everyone for your congratulations, here’s to love, here’s to friendship and here’s to an amazing start to the New Year *clinks glass of Alkaseltzer*

Beyond Retro CoatTopshop trousersASOS poloneckMarks and Spencer boots – vintage belt – Catbird ring

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Giant Christmas Tree

Skate at Somerset House

Plumdiddlyumcious_December14_143

This Christmas I took disorganised multi-tasking to the next level; my Christmas cards were written in pubs on the way to drinks parties and I was given some choice looks in the gym as I commandeered the ‘hair-drying area’ to wrap the Christmas presents I was due to give less than an hour later! I’ve been maniacally crossing off and combining multiple to-do lists – presents with packing, gym-going with a seemingly never-ending work one – because instead of spending tomorrow toasting Christmas Day with a glass of bubbles and turkey with all the trimmings, I’ll be doing it with a Goan fish curry and a bottle of Kingfisher.

This year I’m celebrating Christmas on a beach in Goa and despite the militant list-making I’ve a stack of blogposts to write and truly there isn’t a way of being able to write a post about Christmas after Christmas! I confess it does feel a little odd to be writing about ice-skating, giant Christmas trees and all things festive whilst wearing sunglasses and listening to the sound of waves crashing on the beach, however I’m going to give it my best shot.

Giant Christmas baubles

How to style a leopard print coat

Skate at Somerset House

People watching ice skating

Ice skating

Every year Mister Ruffles and I try and have a Christmas Day-te together; this year that involved breakfasting at the incredible Kopapa (more on this in a later post) oohing and ahhing at the decorations in Carnaby Street and Burlington Arcade, then heading to Skate at Somerset House to pretend we’re Torville and Dean, drink mulled wine and try in desperation not to fall over.

Ice-skating for me always goes a little like this … in equal measure feel VERY excited and VERY nervous that I’m going to go arse over tit, make a fool of myself or, worst-case scenario, something will bleed and someone will ice-skate over my fingers in the process. It’s quite traumatising and so initially I spend the first 15 minutes white-knuckle gripping the side of the rink, politely moving careering small children out of my way (please note this is for their safety as much as mine). The next step is that I gain a little confidence and eventually my body remembers how to ice-skate so that come the end of our allotted rink-time I’m zipping round the ice thinking to myself that yes, I should absolutely consider taking this up as a hobby. I usually skate solo as Mister Ruffles and I have an unwritten rule that we don’t skate together. This is because he’ll be skating along perfectly ordinarily then for no good reason his legs will buckle, he’ll lean backwards very-almost falling over before regaining his balance and then doing the same thing but tipping the opposite way. It’s far too much of a hazard, mainly because I would literally fall over laughing at him (!) and so we’re not one of those let’s-skate-and-hold-hands-and-look-lovingly-into-each-others-eyes kinda couples.

Fortum & Mason

Somerset HOuse

Fortum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason Tea Caddy

We do however have a most excellent time and this year that was made all the more fantastic by Fortnum & Mason’s sponsorship of Skate at Somerset House; we both adored the giant tree with mini Fortnum hampers and loved browsing the halls inside Somerset House that were transformed into a pop-up Fortnum & Mason Christmas emporium, but with fewer crowds and less of a queue to get in!

There’s something quite magical about Christmas in London and I always get increasingly more excited about it each year; from ice-skating to carol singing, cosy fireside pub meet-ups to giggling at the annual Santacon in Trafalgar Square; London has an inimitable way of making Christmas a sparkling spectacle of wonder. For me the build-up to Christmas is as fun as the day itself and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it this year. All that’s left for me to say is that wherever you are in the world, and however you may be celebrating your Christmas Day, I hope it’s amazing. I hope you Father Christmas brings you all you wish for and I hope it’s a day filled with love and joy. Happy Christmas from Goa!

Beyond Retro hatBeyond Retro jumper – Vintage coat – Topshop leather trousersDeichmann Chelsea boots – Daughter of Jón bag

Santacon

Daughter of Jon gold bag

London Christmas Decorations

PluADaughter of Jonmdiddlyumcious_December14_162

Somerset House

Leopard print vintage coat

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Yay! 150k Followers!

Last week something amazing happened, and by amazing I just want to clarify here that I’m not talking about something as amazing as landing on a comet, nor as amazing as seeing photos of an underwater City off the coast of Egypt. Far from it in fact and actually by those standards it’s a totally insignificant and actually-not-amazing-whatsoever-thing but (disparaging commentary over) in my little world it was pretty amazing.

The amazing thing was that I reached 150,000 Followers on Pinterest *cue the ta-dah sound that the Boots No.7 ads use* So yep pretty exciting and amazing to me as I’ve been a forever fan of Pinterest since it launched. In that time it’s quite astounding to me that I’ve managed to amass 8,250 Pins and 84 boards that cover a rainbow of topics from Flamingos, Pineapples (of course!) and Unicorns, to boards dedicated to couples in the throes of passion, my street style crushes and a particular favourite, an ode to the word dreamy. Whilst curating this admittedly eclectic collection of images I’ve also managed to gain the aforementioned 150,000+ Followers, and that actually makes me pretty chuffed *flashes bashful but cheesy grin*.

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