Red, White and Blue

sitting in a cafe in cologne

bright red tables and chairs alfresco cologne

streets in cologne

red print neck tie scarf striped shirt

cafe in cologne red orange

navy blue outfit

red scooter parked in the street

 

Bomber Jacket Outfit

Welcome back to Cologne! The city where I spent a neat 24 hours exploring in the hunt for colour. On our second day, Rosie and I tucked into a lovely breakfast at the Courtyard Hotel we stayed in (we had a little party there the night before to celebrate their 1000th opening!) and headed off out to the colourful cafes by the river front that we’d spotted the day before.

It’s the perfect area to dine al fresco and watch the world go by. I made the most out of the empty chairs and made myself at home in my matching bomber jacket outfit – a get-up that I can only describe as a mixture between Sailor Moon, a Tesco cashier and a patriotic American (from Boston, apparently) on a school trip. Seeing as we found ourselves in sweet shops and were talking photos everywhere we went, we may as well have been!

Check out the rest of Cologne!

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sweets handmade in cologne

art shop in cologne

cute shops alleyways in cologne

jeans striped shirt outfit

blue satin bomber jacket watch detail

sporty silver rucksack outfit

Thank you Courtyard for hosting us!

What I Wore

 Bomber Jacket – ASOS Men / Blouse - Fashion Pills / Jeans – ASOS / Rucksack – John Lewis (similar) / Trainers – Superga / Socks - ASOS / Glasses – Max & Co at Specsavers (online or in store). / Neckerchief – (similar)

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My SS15 Key Pieces to Wear Now

I’ve gathered together pieces from my wardrobe that are future fashion fodder and, coupled with my wish-list suggestions, will make your outfits the top of the trends. Here are my SS15 key pieces…

Seventies Stylin’

brown blouse printed cropped jacket brown boots bucket bag skinny scarf traveller outfit
There’s no hiding that the next big thing for SS15 fashion is the seventies trend. Just look to Saint Laurent SS15 for your how-to-style masterclass on this one. Oh yes, those wide jean hems are coming for ya along with fedoras, scarves and more chunky footwear (yess!)

I’m not often seen in brown tones but I’m sure glad that I kept a tan silk shirt throughout those seasons of neons! Matched with a cropped jacket that says ‘I’ve had an epic gap year’ and a worn-in bucket bag, it’ll give off a perfect balance of sophisticated-yet-free vibes.

I’m digging around for skinny scarves to drape around my shoulders and tie around my bag. Take note – they’re toted to be the accessory of the festival season!

 

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The New Blue

seventies style indigo clean denim for 2215 trend guide

 

A major player in the seventies trend is denim and it’s time to clean up! We’re all a little over the ran-through–the-brambles-then-the-cat-mauled-my-jeans look and are instead detoxing with straight lines and mono-hued denim.

Key shapes include frilled shorts (and frills in general girls!), boxy culottes (they’ll be your wardrobe staple this spring), midi skirts, and the all-important flared jean. Top of my shopping list is a pair of indigo flares to wear with a denim shirt and snakeskin boots. You’ll be denimed if you don’t!

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Shiny Shiny!

blue metallic skirt and silver t-shirt with silver sandals and a turquoise clutch ss15

 

Blue really is the hue this SS15. If not indigo then it’s got to be turquoise. Minty-blue tones are some of my favourite colours so I’m glad to be integrating these back into my summer looks. Look out for embellished party pieces, sheer and lace, and shimmering fabrics for a futuristic look.

Pair with even more shiny pieces (my fave!) like iridescent blouses and chunky sandals then grab your apple watch and step straight into the future!

 

 

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Unplug and Hippie Out

seventies trend festival outfit flat sandals and rope belt with paisley dress

 

Trend forecasters predict that SS15 will be the apex of the see-saw for us tech-addicts so if the Apple watch sounds like a right lol and you’re scared you’ve become part of the checking-your-phone-40-times-a-day statistic then it might just be time to switch off.

Luckily there’s a whole trend to see you through this return to the simple life. Start by finding yourself a pretty paisley sundress and desert sandals. You’ll be wearing these every day so make them practical in sturdy leather.

Tip: You’ll need a sensible but chic rucksack to carry all your adventuring essentials and a couple of good books in. Choose a rope belt and knit yourself a crochet cardigan and you’ve got your authentic off-grid look down. “Omm”.

 

 

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Sassy A-line Skirts

seventies style a-line mini skirt metallic and corduroy button up skirt

So you’ve got your head around seventies, futuristic and back-to-nature trends but what SS15 key pieces should we be looking out for now? For me, it’s all about mini-skirts! Whether floral print, metallic, textured or embellished, they’re the best break from flares your pins will get.

THE BUTTON SKIRT: This Spring, fabrics are all about weightiness so keep an eye out for suede and denim button-down skirts. My latest purchase was a corduroy version from the Urban Outfitters sale. Get yourself one now!


 

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THE FEDORA: I’ve got a lot of wear out of my black fedora hat but it’s time to find a weathered looking brown one to pair with those seventies and off-grid ensembles.

JACKETS: The teenie-tinier the better! There are many to choose from this Spring: Sweeten-up in a lilac suede jacket, man-up in a fitted black and satin number or hit the road in a brown patched leather version. Full-on tassels optional.

Lastly don’t forget those culottes, shearling sleeveless jackets to see you into the warmer months, platform boots, authentic style kimonos, tennis style separates for when you’re feeling active, and anything small and suede. SS15, bring it on!

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24 Hours in Cologne

bright red wall and red german signposts

mirror menu hippy cafe cologne

lock bridge cologne germany metal love locks

bright green and red building cologne

green fold out chairs cafe wooden

church and houses cologne

 

 

Köln

What would you do with 24 hours in a new city? For me, it’s all about maximising my feet and getting exploring. Of course, when I’m discovering somewhere new, I’m colour-hunting all the way. Remember my colourful trip to Amsterdam? Following in the footsteps of ultimate colour-lover and traveller Will, having something to look for and find makes the discovery process all the more worthwhile. What would you be on the look out for?

The results of a quick Google of Cologne were very promising indeed; bright pastel-coloured houses in front of a church, a triple arching bridge that looked spectacular at night and of course the famous Rhine river. So when, on my first venture out of my Courtyard Hotel room with travel buddy Rosie, I didn’t find much beyond a huge outdoor play area, I knew there was more to find. Time to turn the other way!

Navigating a new city without internet required a bit of unexpected brain power but in hindsight that was no bad thing! It reminded me that my sense of direction is a trait worth patting myself on the back for, plus nearly getting run over by a lorry and loosing half the group in the Cathedral it made for an even more interesting adventure!

Here’s what I discovered when colour hunting in Cologne, Germany last week!

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yellow bike parked courtyard cologne

colourful houses fountain man with dog cologne

green bike and yellow scooter in cologne

flower pots on a metal gate church cologne

german yellow postmans cart

cologne beach rhine river spit of sand

mooring ropes quayside harbour

rhine river boat cologne

blue bicycle with a brown leather saddle

blue pillars underground space

black and white walkways bridge cologne

Thank you to The Courtyard Hotel for hosting us for the night!

See more of my travel posts!

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Take10 x Timberland Boots

nineties style outfit blogger london mom jeans fur coat timberland boots

silver backpack jeans outfit

mornington crescent camden

bright pink timberland boots

mornington crescent camden

style timberland chunky suede boots

windy day wavy hair girl

mornington crescent camden

nineties style outfit blogger london mom jeans fur coat timberland boots

nineties style outfit blogger london mom jeans fur coat timberland boots

mornington crescent camden greater london house

nineties style outfit blogger london mom jeans fur coat timberland boots

asos pink fur coat with a silver rucksack

nineties style outfit blogger london mom jeans fur coat timberland boots

 

Timberland Boots

Hey 2015, we’re well overdue a Take10 challenge, so lets steam into it! We’re kick starting the year with a bit of a new crew including the babin’ Megan from Pages by Megan (and ASOS personal stylist extraordinaire) and the Beaut Anoushka from Anoushka Probyn who looks dreamy in anything tasseled.

For this challenge we’re repping  Timberland – the guys that do those tough gal boots borrowed from the boys. I decided to stick to their best sellers but snatch them firmly away from men in hi-vis by going for pink. Like, PINK pink.

I did have to think fairly carefully about how to style these little monsters. They’re pretty chunky so you have to take proportions into consideration. (Btw, go a size down as they’re very roomy.) To prevent twig leg, I went for a roomy boyfriend jean and the massive flamingo jacket stops you being too bottom heavy. I’ve added a touch of sportiness with a classic logo T and shiny shiny rucksack. Take a look below to see how Caroline and Anoushka styled their boots and the other girls show you what other lovely shoes Timberland have to offer. Peep toes? Who knew?!

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mornington crescent camden

bright pink timberland boots

take10 timberland challenge

black adidas t-shirt and gold chain necklace

mornington crescent camden padlock gate

 

What I wore:

Boots – Timberland / Coat – ASOS / Jeans – Calvin Klein (similar) / T-shirt – Adidas / Rucksack – John Lewis (similar) / Necklace – ASOS (similar)

What the other Take10 girls wore:

TAKE TEN TIMBERLANDS

Anoushka Probyn (hey newbie!) / Burkatron / The Magpie Girl / Pages by Megan (hey newbie!) / Hi Fashion / Hands of Style / Love Cloth / Media Marmalade / Dearest Deer

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Cactus in the Cotswolds

the rectory hotel turquoise door

citroen cactus car

countryside by car walking in wellies in cotswolds

dunton the rectory hotel garden

trip to the cotswolds following google maps

the rectory hotel blossom wall gardens

cricket bats games in wicker basket

the brew tea co loose leaf teas

colourful games dominoes

breakfast table watermelon and cereal

pennsylvania key purple tulips rectory hotel
 

Weekend Getaway in the Cotswolds

It’s not every day that someone offers you a car for a weekend and says ‘go have fun with it!’ Well two weekends ago, I was lucky enough to be offered just that – and you could too if you enter a really easy competition as described at the bottom of the post! Armed with an armadillo-like Citroen Cactus (mine looked more like a Barney the dinosaur really) I took to the open road and headed to an area in Blighty that I’d yet to explore.

So what’s the Cotswolds all about? Turns out, lots of quaint quiet streets, sandstone houses, lots of dogs/sheep and cute interiors shops. We stayed in the gorgeous Rectory Hotel, which I had seen reviewed in Stylist magazine a few months previously, and with a bit of further research found it to be the coolest hotel in the area with the right mix of modern and youthful. Go there if only for the stewed rhubarb and the most delicious breakfast tea by Brew Tea Co.

I was determined to discover as much as I could on my weekend so a cheeky detour via Oxford city and Bicester Village was a ‘sensible’ idea really. Here’s what else we discovered on our #LoveC4Cactus jaunt!

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greenhouse the rectory hotel

 

Town: Cirencester

Just 10 minutes drive from our beds lay Cirencester, a town I’d heard of through the grapevine/internets as quintessentially Cotswoldsy plus the regions largest town. Take time to amble the quiet streets as the light fades and you’ll witness stunning amber light reflecting off the church and houses. Go to discover quaint cafes and sleepy streets.

meringues and cakes cirencester

cirencester signposts

bright blue house cirencester

bright blue scooter

bright red door

vintage retro shop front sign painting

cirencester streets

Restaurant: The Potting Shed

Cute name huh? The Potting Shed Pub is the gastronomic brother of The Rectory and definitely worth a visit if you’re staying across the road in the hotel. I was totally hearting the interior; a mix of countryside trad (deers busts on the wall and tapestries hanging) and pop culture with witty illustrations and colourful signs dotted about. The food was lovely and the young staff so posh and polite that we knew we must be miles from London. Award winning and worth booking.

duck dinner

the potting shed cotswolds

the potting shed pub restaurant

Villages: Slaughter (Upper and Lower)

When Googling ‘typical villages must visit Cotswolds’ and the names Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter come up, you’re going to stop scrolling. We didn’t let the sinister names put us off (nor the hundreds of other couples it seems) and parked up outside the country church of Lower Slaughter. A peaceful and pleasant 1 mile walk up to it’s Upper-wards sister, which features a cute ford and windy lanes, makes for an afternoon tea treat when you get back again. Cute.

afternoon tea lower slaughter cotswolds

sheep behind a fence

lower slaughter signs

lower slaughter river lock

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Win your own weekend getaway!

I’m sure there’s loads more of the Cotswolds worth seeing but we just drove around with the wind and stopped when we saw something we liked and you can too by wining your own weekend getaway!

Just pop over to LoveC4Cactus.co.uk and tell us what your weekend wish getaway would be! Maybe it’s a weekend in Bath with your Mum or a maybe it’s driving to a festival to see your favourite band. Just let us know, it’s easy peasy – good luck!

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Welcome, I'm Lucy!
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Sharing my shiny thoughts of London, food, places around the world, my home, my outfits and things to make you smile.