Friday, 19 September 2014

Simple Inspiration: Abstract prints

Friday already! Where has the week gone? Hope you've had a good one and you have something lovely planned for the weekend. Today on the blog a few of my favourites abstract prints. There are lots out there at the moment and you can be as bold or conservative as you like, some are floral inspired, others geometric, or artistic. Whatever your bag there's a style to suit. I love a printed skirt with a simple white shirt or jersey T, a printed dress is always a handy piece to keep for a special occasion and as always quality counts with these kinds of prints and fabric you can really tell the difference - unfortunately!

Would you try a print? Have a great weekend and see you next week.

1. Silk abstract print flare dress, Jaeger | SHOP NOW |
2. Parquet geo print skirt, Ted Baker | SHOP NOW |
3. Mary Portas jacquard slim cocoon dress, House of Fraser | SHOP NOW |
4. Marbled floral shell top, Whistles | SHOP NOW |
5. Abstract print top, Cos | SHOP NOW |

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Simple Inspiration: Uterqüe and Need Supply Co

As the temperature is starting to drop here in the UK I'm beginning to look at the new winter collections [about 6 month late in fashion terms!]. If, like me, you're looking to invest a little more money in your wardrobe than just a pair of floral pumps these websites might be a good place to start.

Sometimes it's worth spending that bit more money to get clothes and accessories that will stand the test of time. Uterqüe is a label I wasn't familiar with until a few weeks ago when I read about it in the Times. Part of the Inditex group which also owns Zara it is a much smaller label than it's big sister and focuses on quality and timeless styles rather than current trends. Available online to the UK and around the world it's prices are definitely a step above Zara.


Need Supply is more of a boutique website, offering fashion brands and labels that are really well curated and styled taking a lot of the effort out of shopping. Again, the prices are high but they offer a brilliant world wide delivery service and I'm a believer in saving up for those one off buys that you know will last. 

Do you have any favourite websites you look for inspiration and the occasional splurge? I'd love to hear, and if the weather is getting warmer in your particular part of the world, what are you looking forward to?


Simple Style Update: Dorothy Perkins shoe

Wednesday morning, hope you're having a great week. This morning on the blog a simple style update that will keep your wardrobe looking current. Dorothy Perkins is a high street favourite, but I don't often look to them for their shoes, but this style really caught my eye. 

The print looks very Dolce with really rich, autumnal tones and pretty vintage detail. The style is flattering and simple and would look brilliant with a pencil skirt, slim cut trousers, or would even make a pair of boyfriend jeans and a stripy jersey look really fresh. At £25 they're a brilliant price and would be a really easy way to update your autumn wardrobe for a night out. 

What do you think? Would you wear them and what would you match them with? I'd love to know, see you on Friday. x

Floral printed court shoe, Dorothy Perkins | SHOP NOW |

Monday, 15 September 2014

Style Advice: Autumn wedding

This week's style advice is for a friend heading to an autumn wedding, she has bought a flattering red dress and wanted ideas of what shoes to wear with it. 

I love a bold dress for a wedding. It's a great time to make a statement with your clothes, same for dinner out with friends or your partner, don't be shy of expressing your personality and vitality. There are some great dresses out there at the moment for all shapes and sizes. This pleated neck style from Warehouse [2] is a great style for more curvy shapes with the really elegant longer length and cinched waist. For those of us with less of a waistline and bust to boast I like the shift shape [3] which would look great with a dramatic necklace. 

1. Open back dress, Zara | SHOP NOW |
2. Tuck neck pencil dress, Warehouse | SHOP NOW |
3. Colour block crepe dress, Jigsaw | SHOP NOW |

When you're rocking a really simple style dress I think you can afford to go with a shoe that has more detail and interest. Black can look really elegant, but if you go with the wrong shape it can also look like you've come from the office, so something neutral, metallic or contrasting can avoid this. 

These shoes aren't shy! Consider the shape of your shoe with the style of your dress, and if you're brave try mixing styles and statements in an unexpected way, so for example a classic, elegant dress could look really modern with a bold, block heel like style 3. The main thing is to express a little of your personality and don't be afraid to mix it up.

1. Jazmina, Moda in Pelle | SHOP NOW |
2. Internoppo ankle strap, Aldo at House of Fraser | SHOP NOW |
3. Ocirewen, Aldo  | SHOP NOW |
4. Aonda Natural, Dune | SHOP NOW |

Why I won't be juggling!

Monday morning and it's great to be back. I hope you had a wonderful summer, or winter depending on your geography. After 3 trips to the Apple shop and several hours of nail biting and apprehension my laptop was finally fixed with a new hard drive installed [by me I might add - I know!], and software reinstalled. Ah the joy of modern technology!!


I wanted to add a little post- script to my pre-summer blog post. You might remember my feelings of frustration and guilt at not having the time to spend on my blog and other things in my life that I wanted to. I discovered that this was a really common feeling with a lot of people I spoke to, that feeling of being constantly compromised and overwhelmed. I spent the summer rereading a fantastic book [A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle], a lot of quiet time and meditation thinking about my objectives, and this weekend I went along to an inspiring yoga workshop with Ashtanga teacher Caroline Simpson. The culmination of all this soul searching was the realisation that I need to stop juggling. I think this is the curse of our generation [not to sound too dramatic]. It is doing lots of things at the same time, it might be driving Noah to school with the radio on in the background, working at my desk with several browsers open at the same time, whilst listening to the radio, checking my emails and trying to schedule in my next dental appointment, or simply that feeling of doing a job like making the bed or washing the dishes whilst thinking at the same time about all the things I have to do in my day, and what I should be doing at that precise moment. I was constantly left feeling overwhelmed, compromised and unfulfilled like I was living a half-life. I never felt like there was ever any space in my life to just be, I was always too busy 'doing'. 

My new goal is try to focus on one thing at a time, not easy in my peripatetic, unpredictable life, but entirely possible with a little discipline and bravery [thanks Caroline!]. I have promised to stop checking my emails every 5 minutes, looking at Facebook to fill a spare moment, listening to the radio while I'm trying to do anything that requires any degree of concentration, organise my time a little more effectively, focus more fully on the job in hand, and breath a little deeper. When we focus more fully on what we're doing it firstly takes a lot less time, but also is done much better. Have you ever noticed that? Do you have solutions to modern life you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them and I'll keep you up to date on how my new approach pans out day to day.

The Simple Style Notebook is part of this process. Simple Style is not just about the clothes we wear, but the attitude and philosophy we bring not just to our outer world, but also to our inner lives. By living in an uncluttered home and approaching our personal style with clarity and sincerity we can live a more honest and authentic inner life. I hope that doesn't sound too hokey!! 

This week on the blog, a global brand you may not have heard of, some style advice for a friend heading to an autumn wedding and bold style inspiration on patterns and prints. 

I hope you can join me.

Amy xx

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Post Holiday Post

A little later than expected I'm back from our holiday, much browner, unhealthier and poorer than before we left, but it was worth every penny and calorie! I hope you had a great summer (or winter time) whatever you were up to.
The reason for my tardiness is my Mac problems finally got the better of me. After delaying updating my hard drive until after our vacation, it took a stressful few hours and a lot of swearing to finally get the hard drive in place and book the earliest appointment at the Apple store to get the software reinstalled. Which has left me for 5 days without the use of my computer, who knew I was so reliant on this piece of metal for running my life?
The hope is by next week I'll be back on track but I'm learning not to count my chickens before they,ve hatched. So until then a little food for proverbial thought.
On Monday when I realised my computer  was definitely kaput I have to be honest there was a moment of sheer panic. My eyes welled up, my heart quickened and I genuinely thought what am I going to do! Then I thought get a bloody grip, it's a computer, life goes on. I've had to be creative about using my phone, borrowing the husband's iPad (this post courtesy of) and just learning to take a step back for a moment and acknowledge those things I can do (notice no pretty pictures on today's post -sorry), rather than focusing on the things I can't. But in all honesty we've had bigger considerations this week than my broken laptop. Noah has been back to school in a new class and at 5 these kinds of changes are pretty big deals, he has spent evenings crying and nighttimes restless and fitful, which is stressful for mum as well as son. I know given time he'll settle back into a steady routine and life will return to normal, and for the meantime I'm taking the time to be with him when he needs me and do those things I can for myself without my computer.
It is a lesson we also learn in yoga to accept where we are now, and smile through the discomfort, for 'this too shall pass'.
Have a great week and all being well, see you here next week with pictures and style inspiration.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Taking a break & creating space

Friday morning, hope you've had a great week. I've had a busy time working, but very happy to be heading into my own little summer break. I have made the decision to take a blogging break for 3 weeks. I'll be back at the beginning of September with more interviews and new content. In the meantime I'd love to hear from you. 

What do you enjoy reading about? What's missing that you'd like more of. Be honest. I try to be. I've recently felt compromised in both my personal and work life. Over stretched, I feel like I'm not doing anything whole heartedly, but rather juggling lots of things and doing none of it to the best of my ability. Do you ever feel like this? So I'm taking the next few weeks to reassess and reprioritise what is most important, including my blog, to work out if there is a better way for me to work so I don't end up feeling like I'm letting myself down. I'm not seeing it as a negative, but as a real positive. I'm missing important time and space in my life to fully enjoy things, so the next few weeks this will be my priority, to be fully present with an open heart and a creative, inspired mind and come back with a new zest for everything. I hope you'll keep following as I continue my journey, and in the meantime I'll be updating my Instagram feed with pictures and news of what we're up to. 

See you in September. x