£20 and Under: Spring Staples

One colour trend for spring is pastels, soft creamy textures to gradually warm us up to the brights predicted for summer. I’ve pulled together some of my favourite pieces available to buy now, that are great transitional staples to wear into spring. Essential sunglasses to keep the strobing spring sunlight away from your eyes, a slogan tee and oversized or flowing cuts to hide the summer body in progress. The best part is, everything is £20 or under – super affordable and pieces you can coordinate with into summer.

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Click on the number below to be taken straight to the brands page. 

1. Sunglasses – Accessorize 

2. Earrings – Topshop

3. Heels – Boohoo

4. Skirt – Bershka

5. T-shirt – Missguided

6. Bag – Groupon

7. T-shirt – H&M

8.  Dress – Nasty Gal 

9. Top – Newlook 

10. Trousers – Bershka


Book review: Jay Crownover – Marked Men Series

For the last two months my commute from South Ealing to Piccadilly Circus has been made almost bearable.

Unfortunately it’s not to do with glorious sunshine that’s replaced the wet dog smell usually lingering around my nostrils. Or because there are less tanned post-holiday-goers ramming their suitcases into my shins during rush hour.

It’s all because of a few novels. The Marked Men is a series of books that I haven’t been able to get my head out of. And those precious 40 minutes of valuable tube time has been utilised to it’s full potential. Instead of eyeing up potential suitors, turning pages so fast I’m picking up speed to compete with the tube itself.

Rated 4.5 stars on goodreads.com these are the first books written by Jay Crownover. Six books in total in the Marked Men series, the story beings with Rule, followed by Jet, Rome, Nash, Rowdy and Asa. Each book is set around an individual character and their own story, with the others continued through, as well as more characters being introduced as the stories intertwine and take different directions. Every character progresses and develops.

Based around a group of tattooed individuals that have found their way to becoming a family, they are connected on a deeper level through abandonment, loss, heartbreak and love that ultimately unites them.

The first four books I was impatient with, drinking in the words day and night anticipating the endings. You are thrown into the messed up lives of the men and their women, furious at their reactions as they learn to heal and love, not just each other but themselves. You are annoyed with Crownover for writing the storylines in such ways, but when you truly digest the events, you realise that the steps the characters take are very much realistic to that of anyone’s lives and can be justified.

Rowdy and Asa however I was disappointed with. The similarity in the way each book ends, almost sets you up to let you down. Having read the other four first, a clever reader will guess how the characters lives turn out, without the finer details.

Full attention is needed with these books, sometimes a family tree would be helpful too! Characters lines can get confusing, with similar names and intertwining story threads, full focus is required.

Overall I would rate this series 4 stars. Started off really well, gripped me from the beginning. But reoccurring similar themes with each character left me unsurprised and underwhelmed. A classic case of, not every character needs a whole book to tell their story.


Top 5 Trends for AW18

As the women of the world begin to make a statement with their voices, fashion is also following. Empowering women, London Fashion Week’s designers have handing the power over to the woman and allowed her to dress exactly how she is feeling. Bold, strong and making a statement, these are my five top trends from LFW. 

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Left to right: Balenciaga, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Ashley Williams

The autumn fashion is really, really wild for animal print – which is great because you can dig out all the items you’ve got tucked away in your wardrobe to compete in this classic trend. From leopard to ocelot, tiger, zebra and wild stripes covered to catwalks in an array of styles and bold colours. So what makes this classic statement print a new trend? The boldest insist on a head-to-toe policy. It’s truly wild.


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Left to right: Stella McCartney, Tod’s, Huishan Zhang, Miu Miu

When you want to mean business, this seasons go to is a strong leather dress. Short and sassy at Miu Miu, blended fabrics for Stella McCartney and rock goth for Huishan Zhang. A super versatile staple that can be style to become overwhelmingly grown-up.

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Left to right: Balmain, Halpern, Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne

Gone are the vibrant metallics of last summer, instead we are looking futurists with a slash of silver. And as the party seasons approaches, silver is the ultimate go-to dress choice. Experiment with textures and prints, and go all out with matching accessories, shoes and bags to really make a statement.

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Left to right: Richard Quinn, Toga, Oscar De La Renta, Marine Serre

With the Queen making her first appearance ever at London Fashion Week, retro silk prints were strutting down the runway. The chicest and most flattering material screams elegance and opulence. Opt for rich colours and clashing patterns. Too much is never too much. And if you’re feeling truly sassy, wear a matching headscarf knotted at the throat, preferably with a giant “talk to the hand” sunglasses and convertible classic car. Very Norma Jane.

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Left to Right: Michael Kors, Fendi, Gucci, Versace

If you weren’t brash enough to brag about who you were wearing, the fashion novices amongst society will definitely know when you’ve been branded by their logos. Declare your allegiance, whether it’s on your chest, waistband, or feet there is no escaping fashion’s blaring logos come autumn. And as we’ve previously seen with the high street, many will be taking their inspiration and creating similars – affordable for everyone.

(All images taken from Vogue.co.uk


Top Tunes of the Week!

This week we have a returning DJ, a brand new collaboration and a new-comer. Thick beats, electro harmonies and love song-lyrics, they are my top tunes of the week.

Remind Me to Forget – Kygo, Miguel 

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Back from his success of last year’s Kids In Love album, producer Kygo returns with his new single featuring Miguel called “Remind Me To Forget.” The uptempo & infectious dance-friendly song from Kygo, shows off Miguel’s vocals and discusses a finished relationship that left him scarred in life. 

Love Lies – Khalid & Normani 

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After teasing a new collaboration last month, Khalid and Fifth Harmony member, Normani Kordei have dropped their latest single “Love Lies.”

As Normani’s first solo track apart from Fifth Harmony. It will be featured on the soundtrack for the movie Love, Simon, which hits theaters this spring. The soundtrack for Love, Simon, is set to be stellar, with a particular favourite from Amy Spark called “Sink in.”

Brace – Twinshadow feat. Rainsford 

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Twin Shadow, born George Lewis, Jr., is releasing a new album April 27th called Caer. Last month, he released two tracks from his album: “Saturday” a collaboration with HAIM and the heavily Autotuned, ballad “Little Women.” Following on, he has posted a video for another single–a typically featherweight, lightly soulful jam called “Brace.”


(Images sourced from Google.)


Bershka: Review and Top Picks

Considering the brand was created in 1998, I have only just stumbled upon the brilliant clothing retailer that is Bershka.

Affordable, great quality and part of the Inditex group, it’s basically a more casual version of its sister ZARA. From my newcomer top picks and personal review, Bershka is now a firm favourite brand of mine.

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T-shirt with contrasting collar £9.99, hooded sweatshirt £19.99, hoop earrings £5.99, red tassle bag £17.99, green jumpsuit £24.99, pink trainers £25.99, orange/red denim jacket £29.99, skirt £17.99

Customer Service

Apart from attempting to shop in one of the Oxford Street stores (which is guaranteed to be busy no matter day or time) the service I received when asking for a particular t-shirt, changing rooms, paying and even collecting an order to store, I have absolutely no faults. On all occasions visiting the store, there were plenty of staff around.

Online Ordering and Delivery

The beauty of online shopping is the bigger range they can supply versus the store. With constant updates via email, with the status of your order and prompt delivery to store, it was very swift and efficient. Disclaimer: I have yet to try their delivery to home yet.

Range and Variety

From basics to swimwear, beauty and going out items, their stock is hugely varied. Thankfully they create many products in several colours and patterns, so once you’ve found the perfect style and fit, they are affordable enough to buy a couple.


Brilliant pricing for on-trend items. The majority of basic products from t-shirts, jumpers, trousers and even dresses are under £30.

Sizing and Quality

Having tried on and bought the majority of product varieties on offer, their sizing comes up slightly small – but that’s expected from a European brand. Like most retailers, their trousers come up shin height for my longer-than-average-legs. But nevertheless, I had no problems other than going up a size to achieve the look I wanted.

Overall Rating – Excellent and excited to spend!


Top 5 Benefits of Exercise

“Exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories.” Healthline.com

We all lead more sedentary lifestyles, Dr Laurence Heslop explains that office jobs and longer commutes have put us more at risk of the dangers of inactivity compared with previous generations.

It’s advised that to stay healthy, adults should try to be active daily and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities.

But there are more positives to exercise than the physical sweat (and a few tears) that you exert.

Weight Loss or Muscle Gain

One of the most well-known benefits of exercise is losing weight. In 2015, the NHS surveyed that 58% of women and 68% of men were overweight or obese. It has also been suggested that the UK is in an ‘obesity crisis’.

When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

Increasing muscle mass is also another benefit to exercising.

Credit: Unsplash – Geert Pieters

Regular trips to the gym or partaking in weekly classes are great if you have the time. But they are not the only way to reap the benefits of exercise. Getting more active throughout your day – by taking the stairs instead of the lift, or at home work outs during the ad breaks on tv are a great way to introduce exercise to your routine. Consistency is key.


As your emotional health and self-esteem improves, your social relations can also improve. With increased self-confidence, and participating in sport or aerobic classes you can find yourself introduced to new people with a common exercise interest.

Meeting others may be the first step toward establishing new friendships and developing a support network. If you are not interested in a team sport, you still may be able to reap the social benefits of walking your dog in the local park, or by meeting people at the local pool or tennis courts.

Reduce Physical Health Risks

Exercise is one of the best things you ca do to keep your heart healthy. Every year in the UK, over 41,000 people die from stroke and around 74,000 from coronary heart disease. Regular exercise can reduce your chance of cardiovascular disease by a third.

Credit: Unsplash – Rawpixel 

It has also been medically proven that people who do regular physical activity can have up to 35% lower risk of stroke and early death. As well as up to 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.

“People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.” NHS UK

Mental Health

Exercising regularly isn’t only good for your body – it’s also good for your mind. Exercise can help prevent and treat some mental health conditions. It’s thought that physical activity can reduce your risk of developing depression and dementia.

And on the topic of depression, it’s been suggested that exercise can also help treat it. Once diagnosed, your GP might discuss introducing regular exercise into your routine. It’s even been said that regular exercise can be more effective at treating mild to moderate depression than taking antidepressants.

Credit: Unsplash – Seth Macey

You’re likely to feel happier, calmer, have an improved self-image and a better sense of wellbeing if you’re physically active. Exercise can also help you get a better night’s sleep.

Mental Health charity Mind explains that exercise itself is a stressor, i.e. something that makes your body produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Making yourself experience stress on purpose through regular exercise, forces your body to adapt as it becomes more active, building up a resilience over time.

“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.” Dr Nick Cavill.

Improve Brain Health

According to Brain HQ, your brain is no different than rest of the muscles in your body–you either use it or you lose it. Exercise affects the brain in a variety of aspects.

As you age, certain cognitive functions such as memory, concentration, attention and problem-solving can start to decline. Regular exercise increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also aids the bodily release of a plethora of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.

According to a study, briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions.

Evidence suggests that hormones released during endurance exercise improves cognition and protects your brain against degeneration and that physical activity is a major factor in the prevention of dementia later in life.

Credit: Unsplash – Simon Connellan 

The Bottom Line

Tip! Try as many different classes and exercises as available to you! Changing up your exercise routine will ensure you are reaping the rewards of exercise continually. 

Exercise offers incredible benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health from the inside out. From improving your skin’s appearance, losing weight and improving your mental state, it’s important to introduce it and maintain it for a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Feature image credit: Unsplash – Bruno Nascimento

The 10 Best Dressed Women from the Oscars 2018

From bustier details to strategic cut-outs, the hottest movie celebs were out in force last night to celebrate the 2018 Oscar nominations. Here are the ten sexiest and best dressed women.


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Left to right: Eiza Gonzalez, Betty Gabriel, Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Garner
Eiza Gonzalez wows with a sophisticated and sultry yellow gown. Featuring a scoop neck and saucy side cutouts, it screams summer. Classic red lip and soft waves and she really pulls of this look.
Betty Gabriel oozed confidence in this teal A-line dress. With a very low-cut neckline and bold shoulder detail, she kept makeup, hair and accessories to the minimum and let the colour combination of her skin and dress do all the talking. Absolutely beautiful.

Meryl Streep looked classic in a bold red to contrast her skin. A simple design but elegantly cut, it was a sure winner for Streep.

Bloody hell Lupita Nyong’o. An absolute showstopper of a dress. The clever silhouette created by the one shoulder detail that trails across her torso, guides us to a stellar pin on show.

A gorgeous cobalt blue and soft chiffon pleats works effortlessly in favour for Jennifer Garner. To top it off, a beautiful smile and strong pose has this woman looking amazing.

Vs Taupes

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Left to right: Mary J. Blige, Helen Mirren, Gina Rodriguez, Zendaya, Allison Williams, 

The Queen of RnB made her appearance last night and glowed in a simple cream sequin dress. Featuring a detailed bustier and small train, Mary J. Blige proved that glamour never ages.

Whoever styles Helen Mirren is an absolute godsend. There is nothing I have seen her in that hasn’t looked great. A beautiful purple-blue shade is complimented with a huge diamond necklace and clutch bag.

The neutral hue of this Zuhair Murad gown, with its deep neckline makes it a sexy fashion moment for Gina Rodriguez.

Another killer look for Zendaya in this dark brown-bronze dress. With across shoulder cut and puff sleeve detail, it works so well.

Screaming last century, Allison Williams takes us back in time with this beautiful, understated dress. Featuring barely-there detailing shoulders, into a dense body, this light dusky colour sits well against her skin.

(All images are copyright protected by original sources and accredited to them.)