Friday Hi-Fives: Play In The Sunshine

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YOU GUYS! What a week it’s been! Today I’ve been practically skipping around in the sunshine and reflecting on the past 7 days. Let’s rewind a week, shall we? Last Saturday I met with some lovely people (familiar faces and new ones, too!) at ScotStreetStyle’s creative networking event, The Gathering 4. It was held in the West End, and had an incredible turnout. A hop, skip and jump into Tuesday and I found myself checking out Abandon Ship Apparel’s new girls collection in their Princes Square boutique at a fabulous – and very fun – launch night! A manicure, hairstyle and a rather badass faux-neck tattoo later and I was feeling very ready to wiggle into a much-coveted tartan frock!

Yesterday we spent a beautiful day at the wedding of our lovely friends, Jordan and Kate, and tonight we are heading out to the retro film night that I mentioned lately. I just can’t wait to watch some of my favourite movies, with some of my favourite people by my side. Bliss!

This weekend looks set to be pretty damn awesome, starting with a full day photography workshop with some blogger babes tomorrow. But let’s not look too far ahead just yet. It IS only Friday after all, so let’s get to it before we go play in the sunshine…

Link Love

I’ve been joining in Gala’s #RadicalSelfLoveJuly photo challenge on Instagram this month and LOVING it

Psst! The adorable Caroline has found a Some Like It Hot-style speakeasy and has shared it in her blog!

Becky visited the National Portrait Gallery in London and took oodles of wonderful photos

As someone that has spent a lot of time in Florida, this rang ever so true with me!

I can’t get enough of Amber’s gingham outfit post – super cute!

Also making me smile…

All of this beautiful weather. What a treat!

Wearing itty-bitty Disney Castle earrings – magical mood-lifting properties for sure!

Midweek yoga action

Epic sandwiches inspired by the soundtrack to Chef 

Dancing with my newly-wed friends under twinkling fairy lights

 

With sunglasses, stretches and selfies,

Miss West End Girl x

 

Global Generation Turns 10 – Let’s Dance!

Global Generation 5On a recent Saturday evening, I found myself in a secret green space, in the centre of London, eating delicious fresh produce and dancing with strangers. It was pretty much the complete opposite of how I’d spent my previous night, a totally new kind of special.

I was in Global Generation’s Skip Garden, an area that was once intended as a pop-up organic garden but has gained so much love from Londoners that it’s stayed a bit longer. I first learned about this little oasis after checking it out on Kylie’s blog, and learning all about the food, people and ethos behind Global Generation. When I heard about their 10th birthday celebrations, which were taking place while I was going to be in the city, it was perfect timing. What would it be like? Can there really be something so serene in such a busy location? Will they serve prawn cocktail Skips? I was most certainly intrigued and keen to finally check out Skip Garden myself.

Global Generation 3

One thing’s for sure – when they call this place a secret garden, they aren’t kidding! After about twenty minutes of wandering around Kings Cross with Kylie and Erica (“but Google Maps says it’s right HERE! Where is it?”) we eventually followed our ears (and noses) and found it!

With a cute campfire (marshmallow roasting was actively encouraged!), home-made bunting for days and a live folk band setting up, we had time to explore the site – which is like a community garden, allotment and outdoor cafe all rolled into one. The amazing thing about Skip Garden is that it’s always developing – thanks to the input of local volunteers. They invite everyone to take part in shaping what the next steps are, and even as a first-time visitor I was made to feel VERY welcome indeed with a hearty spread of food and a fizzy rhubarb and honey concoction to sip on.

Global Generation 7

Every part of the garden has been designed with sustainable living in mind, from the plants growing in colourful tins, the food being produced on-site (literally – they even have their own bees creating the honey, honey!) to the upcycled wooden furniture.

Global Generation 2

After having some dinner – special mention to the to-die-for focaccia bread, spiced carrot dip (no Skips, but that’s OK!) – and blethering with my girls in the soft evening light, it was time to take part in a little bit of dancing, courtesy of Ceilidh Liberation Front who were raring to go! I hadn’t really done much Ceilidh dancing since I was in high school (where we had a Ceilidh every Christmas), but it turns out its a bit like riding a bike – you never really forget the steps! Traditional dancing was mixed with other styles, and – somehow – it worked!

Global Generation 1

The atmosphere was amazing – gentle, friendly and encouraging. I expected to see at least a small group of people that didn’t want to take part in the dancing (as you normally do at any sort of event) sloping off to the side, but nope! This 80-strong jolly crowd were up for anything and happy to laugh at themselves for getting it a bit wrong, and hi-five each other when they had the routine licked. There were young people, older people, trendy guys and hippy chicks – all getting into the spirit of things.  “Ladies!” the band leader called out, “what does a turnip sound like? Throw out your arms and release that energy” – I swear I’m not making this up! It was, as I’m sure you’ll have guessed by now, totally unlike any other Saturday night out, utterly bonkers and 100% awesome.

Global Generation 6

Mid-way through my umpteenth twirl of the evening I looked up. Beyond the garden, a mere few metres away I could see that we were still surrounded by concrete, as huge, grey towers loomed over. Even though I could see how close they were, they seemed a million miles away from this calm, rustic Eden.

As the three of us made our way out of the Skip Garden and into the London night, we couldn’t stop grinning. Did all that really just happen? I looked over my shoulder and could still see the faint glow of the fairy lights, and with light laughter and singing in the distance behind us, I knew that it had.

Global Generation 4

Thanks again to Global Generation and the Ceilidh Liberation Front for showing us an evening to remember. If you’re ever in the centre of London and in need of some downtime from the hustle and bustle (and a damn tasty meal to boot!) be sure to check out Skip Garden!

With carrot dip and Ceilidh twirls,

Miss West End Girl x

My Style In 5 Key Items

My Style in 5 Key Items

Recently my girl Sophie challenged me to pick out 5 key items that define my personal style. Almost straight away, I was listing items in my head and starting to find that actually the hardest part of this task would be narrowing it down to just 5 things! I thought about my most-worn items, favourite pieces and even put myself in my friends’ shoes if they had to sum up my look in a couple of garments!

It’s true that I adore unique and eye-catching things, whether they’re hanging in my wardrobe, decorating my home or even on my plate at lunchtime. I’m sure that if you know me well, or have been reading my blog for a little while, my picks won’t come as much of a surprise!

Let’s take a look at my style in 5 key items…

1. Headwear/ hair accessory – I am RARELY seen without something sitting on top of my head. It is, in all honesty, my natural state! Be it a jumbo-sized glitter bow, bright flower crown or a set of animal ears – it’s become something of a trademark! Pour example: I left the hairdresser’s one day and bumped into a friend – instead of remarking on my fresh new cut, she whispered, rather concerned, “you have NOTHING on your head”!! I wouldn’t feel right placing this particular key item, any lower than number 1 on my list! My favourite pieces always come from Crown and Glory, I could happily browse and play dress-up for hours…

2. Bright lipstick – Along with a cute cat-eye, my go-to beauty look is a vibrant lip. Slicking on a  lipstick can make even the most drizzly days feel radiant and I never leave the house without one in my bag! My most-worn colour over the past two years has been the Emotional Brilliance liquid lip colour in Passionate by Lush (it’s PERFECTION!). Special mention goes to OCC Lip Tar in Nylon too!

3. A statement necklace- Marilyn Monroe might think diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but actually there’s nothing I love more than an oversized necklace made from perspex or acrylic! I’ll never forget the day Gary surprised me with my Tatty Devine Tiger (his name’s Terry, in case you were wondering…). Other favourite pieces in my collection include a beautiful unicorn necklace by Sugar & Vice and a giant Blether name necklace by Bonnie Bling. Fantastic plastic!

4. Dresses, dresses and more dresses – want to know something? I used to be a right tomboy. You would NEVER catch me in a skirt and I lived in my jeans (I reckon I must have been Topshop Moto denim’s best customer!). Fast-forward ten years and now I spend ALL of my days in frocks and skirt/ tee combos! With a wardrobe bursting full of dresses, it’s hard to pick a favourite, but I reckon my most-worn style is a cute skater cut.

5. A good bag - it was a close call between bags and shoes for number 5! And as much as I love my footwear, I need to shout my love for bags from the rooftops! I tend to go between two bag extremes: the first is a large bag (to carry all my everyday rubbish essentials around in) which will normally be by the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Kate Spade or Lulu Guinness. The other extreme is a much smaller, less (read: NOT) practical bag that will often be shaped like something awesome and too small to carry things in! My current favourite is my Betsey Johnson ice cream cone clutch!

I really enjoyed putting this together and thinking of my 5 key items! Are any of yours on there? I’d love you to share your top 5 with me, too!

In celebration of personal style, always…

Miss West End Girl x

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