Monday, 18 August 2014

Volunteering in Nigeria

I have some very exciting news to share with you all. With a heavy heart I have decided to leave my job and in October I will be venturing to Nigeria for 3 months as part of the International Citizen Service (ICS) to volunteer with Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO) ICS is a UK government-funded development programme that brings together 18 to 25-year-olds from all backgrounds to fight poverty in overseas and UK communities.

It was a tough decision to make as I love my job but I've always wanted to volunteer. I'm so excited for the next chapter and curious for the places I'll see and the people I'll meet. I'm hoping to be part of something that can make a real difference to someones life, I'm under no illusion that in 3 months I'm going to have built an orphanage, hospital, school and adopted 20 children but if I can help in any way or contribute to the bigger picture of fighting poverty then I will be so honored. 

Whilst I am in Nigeria I will be living and working in the Imota and Ijede communities in the Ikorodu area (South of the country next door to Lagos) and I will be undertaking my volunteering with the Women advocates research and documentation center (WARDC) which was established in 2000 to promote respect for human rights, gender equality, youth development, equity and social justice. The organisation's specific objectives are:
  • Advancing education, research and self-development and positive change in society.
  • Promoting gender equality as a principle of human rights and a development role.
  • Advocating for the re-balancing between men and women in terms of resources, legal rights, participation and equal relations.
  • Emphasising the specific needs of young people in order to promote justice development and the achievement of equality in policies, laws and social relations.
  • Contributing positively to the advancement of the legal system in Nigeria that will support development.
  • Promote a governance system that is people-orientated.
I'm hoping there will be internet at some points so I will be able to keep you all updated and I will be taking my camera to document it which I'll post on here on my return.

There's just one more thing...I need to raise £800 for VSO. This will allow them to continue to bring about positive change in the developing communities where they work. This £800 does not pay for my trip or anything to do with my placement as this has already been paid for by the government. The money I raise will enable to great work of VSO & ICS to carry on around the world, empowering young people and women and helping to fight poverty!

If you would like to sponsor me you can do so by clicking here. I would be so grateful for any donation.

You can find out more about VSO and ICS by visiting their websites.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Percival Clothing: Japanese Polka Dot Shirt

A lovely shirt from London based brand Percival. Made from soft yet structured Japanese cotton it features coconut buttons, breast pocket and all an over polka dot print. It's perfect for in between the seasons and you could roll up the sleeves and team with soft chino shorts for park BBQs or button up to the top and pair with some reverse pleat trousers (a lovely charcoal pair) for office days.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Photographs by Mike Brodie

One of my favourite art websites is Booooooom! it's always full of inspiring images and artists, a recent post really captured my imagination and I wanted to share it with you. Mike Brodie spent 3 years from the age of 18 travelling America train hopping and photographing the people he met. These photos could almost be stills from a film and they fill me wanderlust and wonder. I want to know they're stories, where they are going and why. You find out more about Mike over at his website. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Inspirational Industrial Homeware

When I think of homeware trends I tend to think of floral scatter cushions, fairy lights and "shabby chic", trends that have been dominant for (too many) years now. Well this year there is a new, more manly, homeware trend in town, which has a distinctly more industrial flavour. 

Think robust, hard and flat materials like concrete, marble, metal and stone. Materials that have previously only been used for exteriors or floors have crept into the homeware section. But rather than being cold and uninviting, you have something rather more beautiful, sculptural and delicate. I've picked some of my favourite pieces to give you some industrial inspiration. 

1. Etsy is a goldmine for concrete related homeware and it's a great place to get inspiration. I love this concrete lamp, it's painted gold inside which gives a nice contrast against the matt grey. Handmade in Berlin, each one is handmade so you know you are getting something truly unique. Concrete hanging lamp £121.50 GANTlights on Etsy. 

2. I have ALWAYS wanted one of these boards! They are hard to come by and can often be way over priced and too tiny to be practical. Well the guys over at Harrop and Penny have come to the rescue and stock them in 3 great sizes. They are made in England too! Noticeboard £40.

3. Another gold/concrete combo, this time on a wonderful geometric succulent planter. Perfect to add a little greenery to your desk or around the house if you don't have a garden. £44.96 from ConcreteGeometric on Etsy

4. Previously only used as a murder weapon on Cluedo the candlestick has been having a bit of a renaissance of late. I love the marble patterns contrasted against the smooth shiny surface of the copper. Chunk of Marble Small by Menu £48 available from The Goodhood Store.

5. There is something very satisfying about changing the date on a perpetual calendar, this one is made in England by Green & Blue and changes like a church hymn board, lovely stuff! Perpetual calendar in Navy Blue £65 available from Dyke and Dean

6. Who needs a lamp shade when this bulb is practically a work of art in itself!? Nearly 20cm in length, it's a whopper so watch your head. Globe mega Edison filament bulb £20 from Dyke and Dean.

7. Paperweight, book end, table decoration? Whatever you want to use it for this geo shaped cement piece is a great price and an easy to way to invest in the industrial trend. Geo shape by Serax available £12 from The Goodhood Store. 

8. Don't be confused by the cold marble exterior, this cushion is 100% silk, feather and down stuffed softness. Marble cushion grey by Ferm living £57 available from The Goodhood Store. 

9. These replica milk bottles do lean on the "shabby chic" side of things but with a cool slate grey paint job they definitely have an industrial feel. Porcelain replica vintage milk bottle £21.96 from urbancartel on Etsy. 

Do you like what I've picked? Have I inspired anyone to head down to their local B&Q to pick up a bag of cement? Thanks for reading :) 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Cut Make Trim - Handmade leather bags from London's East End.

Me and my Cut Make Trim Saddle bag, wearing ASOS playsuit and New Look Sandals. 

I received a lovely little present in the post from Dalston based leather bag makers Cut Make Trim a few weeks back and I couldn't wait to post about them as I've been getting so many compliments wearing my new bag. 

Cut Make Trim bags are British made through and through, with a small team of craftsmen based in their East London workshop they offer 5 classic satchel designs. What makes Cut Make Trim stand out from the rest of the crowd is the amazing choice of colours available, including neon green, mustard, tan, powder pink and fluorescent orange . I opted for the Saddle bag in Powder Blue, an unusual choice for me as I do love black and tan, but I'm so glad I did as I absolutely love it and have taken it everywhere with me (including holiday) since I got it. It's the perfect size for a day or night handbag and would be ideal at festivals as it doesn't get in the way. 

 My saddle bag having it's close up around the pool. 

The 13" satchel in green - £79

 The Saddle bag in Purple - £44

You can find out more about Cut Make Trim, their products and their workshop by visiting their website at Or if you are London based you can visit them at their stall in Covent Garden's Jubilee market every Saturday and Sunday.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A visit to Private White V.C

A few weeks ago I ventured down to Manchester to finally pay a visit to one of my favourite British brands; Private White V.C. The brand have been going from strength to strength over the last few years, it's so great to see a British manufacturing brand (and a northern one at that) doing well. As well as the factory shop in Manchester they are opening a store in Tokyo and launching a womenswear line later in the year. 

The shop has been fitted out so nicely, with lots of cool features (including original work benches, copper piping lights and an upcycled safe)

Private White not only make their garments in the factory building, they also support other UK made brands, stocking Cheaney shoes and Dawsons Denim (aprons pictured)

I fell in love with this Camouflage Harrington jacket, a wardrobe classic with a fun twist. £375

The story of Private White V.C from Victory magazine (1987) blown up and used as wallpaper, very cool!

Sneak peek of their Womenswear collection which launches AW14/15, I tried on a few pieces and they were gorgeous. The same high quality fabric and attention to detail from the menswear range has been used to create the womenswear collection.  

As well as a tour of the shop I was also shown the rest of the factory building which was fantastic. From the cutting rooms to the sewing rooms you really get a feel for the true essence and the people behind the brand. These are just some of the pattern blocks, there are over 2000 in the building!

Lovely speckled and striped silk/cotton knitwear. £110

Beautiful copper hardware detail on the Twin Track £495

When it comes to detail, nothing has been left unaccounted for. The G1 Harris Tweed Flight Jacket (£450) comes with removable neck guard and an inconspicuous place to store it inside when not in use. 

If you find yourself in Manchester so I would really recommend a trip to see the guys at Private White V.C, you can make an appointment by emailing the factory shop at or you can take a virtual tour by clicking here. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Grenson x Concept By Cruise Collaboration

Cruise has been a longstanding brand in the North East for over 30 years now so when they launched "Concept by Cruise" their high end menswear/streetwear venture in March last year it went down a treat. It's great to see a North East business doing so well and I wanted to share with you their latest collaboration with British shoemaker Grenson. The Grenson and Concept collection is a subtle reworking of three popular silhouettes amongst Grenson fans; the Curt, Archie and Stanley all get a premium makeover. The Concept Made In England exclusives are crafted from superior leather and suede, with a fully Goodyear Welted construction. The limited collection is finished off in typically premium fashion with a dual branded sock-liner, and hand numbered in an edition of 12.

The guys from Concept went behind the scenes at the Grenson's Northampton factory to see the making of shoes and have made this great video. It's amazing to see the amount of work, detail and craft that goes into each pair.

To get your hands on a pair before they sell out head over to Concept by Cruise now.