The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden | She and Hem | Devon

Whenever I get the opportunity, I love to spend a long weekend exploring areas of the UK that I’ve never visited. Even better, I like re-visiting places I travelled to as a child on a jolly family jaunt, seeing what has changed and what hasn’t. Although Devon is somewhere I’ve frequented many times before, I always love going back, as it holds very special memories and well, it’s just such a beautiful place. Whilst I was there visiting Bovey Castle recently, I found the most glorious country garden. It definitely wasn’t seedy!

The Secret Garden | She and Hem | DevonThe Secret Garden | She and Hem | DevonThe Secret Garden | She and Hem | Devon

As luck (read: much planning) would have it, I was dressed in my finest florals. I bought this Zara dress for the Vogue Festival in March and think that it’s got some real staying power! I’m sure it’ll be a staple for several summers to come. I can also see it creeping into my winter wardrobe, perhaps frolicking with a cable knit jumper, thick tights and boots. As I was popping into Exeter to enjoy all it has to offer, I wore my trusty and super comfortable humble oak brogues from Clarks teamed with fun yellow New Look sunglasses, my Boden bag* and a tan belt from ASOSYou could perhaps say that my choice was outstanding in it’s field (I hope that one wasn’t funnier in my head!). 

The Secret Garden | She and Hem | DevonThe Secret Garden | She and Hem | DevonThe Secret Garden | She and Hem | Devon

I hope you enjoyed weeding about my own secret garden party!

Vx

She and Home: Blog Club

She and Home | Blog Club | Trunki

Last night I attended the latest Blog Club! If you cast your mouse mind back to January, you may recall that Blog Club gives bloggers a happy caked-filled space to discuss, improve and share their various blogging experiences and tribulations IRL. I know, there really is life outside of the Internet after all. 

She and Home | Blog Club | Trunki
Sophie and Hayley

She and Home | Blog Club | Trunki

She and Home | Blog Club | Trunki
Charlotte from Blackheart Creatives

Blog Club is run by the excellent double act of Hayley (Bonjour Blogger) and Sophie (Saints on a Plane) who totally excelled themselves in arranging for Trunki to host this meetup! Not only did Trunki provide the greatest selection of snacks I have ever seen (skittles and chips ahoy) it was a fantastic opportunity to have a nose around their seriously fun office. 

She and Home | Blogclub | Trunki
Fritha from Tigerlilly Quinn

She and Home | Blogclub | Trunki

This was a particularly inspirational evening with both Charlotte from Black Heart Creatives and Fritha from Tigerlilly Quinn speaking about their personal experiences of blogging and business. They are certainty two very successful (and lovely) ladies so it was a joy to hear how they had gone about crafting their paths and a fabulous opportunity to pick up some top tips for the future.

It was also, as always, a great chance for a natter with new faces and a catch up with old ones. Plus we all got to go on a massive slide! Told you Trunki was seriously fun….

She and Home | Blog Club | Trunki

She and Home | Blog Club | Trunki
Megan from Briar Rose
She and Home | Blog Club | Trunki
Emily from Mermaid Gossip
She and Home | Blog Club | Trunki
Lily from Lily Doughball

She and Home | Blog Club | Trunki

…..I am really going to resent walking down the stairs at work so much now.

Anyhoo, it truly was an excellent evening and one which made me feel very grateful to be part of the blogger community and to have such a talented group of ladies on my doorstep. Plus, you know, SLIDE!

</gush>

Jx

Double Thumbs Dresses #45

Hello hello and welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses! Our weekly(ish) roundup of the frocks deemed to be worthy of the highly coveted She and Hem Double Thumbs seal of approval. Let’s crack on. 

Aurora Dress in Blue Castle Print $144 (or £120)
Aurora Dress in Blue Castle Print $144 (or £120) by Pinup Girl Clothing available from Deadly is the Female

It’s not often that I am rendered speechless by a dress but that’s what momentarily happened when I spied this fit-for-a-princess frock by Pinup Girl Clothing. The enchanted castle print is simply stunning and combined with that perfect shape and colour it’s just begging to be worn on a jolly jaunt around Disneyland. Thankfully for us Brits, this American brand is also available from Frome based (West Country REPRESENT!) shop, Deadly is the Female. Magical.

Love Me Not Dress £79
Love Me Not Dress £79 from Coco Fennell

Continuing my dress related joy this week was my discovery of Shoreditch based creator of fun, Coco Fennell! I got a little overexcited on their website and basically ended up wanting everything they have ever made (if anyone knows where I can get a helter skelter print shirt I am yours). I eventually decided that this super cute baby blue dress was my current favourite! Just look at the collar!

Scattered Stars Dress £65
Scattered Stars Dress £65 from Cath Kidston

Oh my starry eyed surprise, this Cath Kidston number is a bit special! CK are really killing it with the great prints and cuts this A/W and quite frankly neither my bank balance or my wardrobe can take much more.

Love Dress £49
Love Dress £49 from Sugarhill Boutique available at House of Fraser

This hearty Sugarhill Boutique number really is the perfect Autumn wear dress with it’s playful print and lovely long sleeves. I am already envisioning black tights, brogues and some leaves to kick. Maybe even a nice hat to really to set it off.

Midi Skater Dress in Tapestry Floral Print £28 from ASOS
Midi Skater Dress in Tapestry Floral Print £28 from ASOS

I always appreciate a good floral and with that gorgeous mustard colour, fab length and the fact it looks so easy to just throw on, this ASOS tapestry dress is ticking all the right boxes for me! I am already eyeing it up as a potential work frock.

Victoriana Lace Dress £46 from Topshop
Victoriana Lace Dress £46 from Topshop

I am rather smitten with this Victoriana dress that appeared on the Topshop website this week. It’s such a beautiful vintage inspired piece and the lace detailing is just wonderful. Good work, Toppers.

Embellished Blossom Dress £15
Embellished Blossom Dress £150 from Needle & Thread at ASOS

This Needle & Thread dress is simply exquisite. The detailing is so intricate and beautiful and SO SPARKLY. The oxblood colour is gorgeous too and would be perfect party wear for this time of year (and dare I say it, Christmas). I keep watching the ASOS catwalk in the hope that one day the model is going to mysteriously hand me £150 through the computer. Seems unlikely though.

REDOSIE  Graphic Print Tunic £139 from Ted Baker
REDOSIE Graphic Print Tunic £139 from Ted Baker

I feel like this Ted Baker number might not be everyone’s cup of tea but personally I adore this graphic print tunic. There’s something about that headless woman and her red outfit that really appeals to me. Plus, it has glitzy embellished shoulders! You go girl.

Jx

Have you read Double Thumbs Dresses #44?

Have you read Double Thumbs Dresses #43

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol

Are those chopsticks in your pocket or are you just happy sashimi?

Last month we managed to snap up the last two tickets to an awesome event run by one of our favourite places in Bristol, The Watershed. There are always good vibes and interesting, fun activities going on there, but their ‘Studio Ghibli Forever’ season was particularly eye catching, a month long celebration of the legendary Japanese animation studio, featuring screenings, workshops and all manner of unique events inspired by Mr Miyazaki’s colourful, captivating back catalogue. It was the ‘Build Your Own Bento Box’ that was most alluring to us, as huge fans of both the Studio’s beautiful films and all Japanese food ever. Although neither of us have a natural flair for hands-on practical activities, we enjoyed learning about the culture of Japanese food and the history behind the Bento Box whilst sipping on some green tea. We certainly excelled at tasting all of the ingredients. Just look how pleased we were with our finished tasty boxes!

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol
Photo by Clare Leczycki

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol

After some excellent instruction from special guest chef Kiyoko from Your Sushi, we reached the point of nori-turn and it was our time to make some delicious edible art. It was roe much fun! We were pleasantly surprised with our creations and as we got to keep the bento boxes, we’ll definitely be trying to recreate the fun at home. Fish us luck!

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol
Victoria wears floral dress from Primark and glasses from Glasses Direct | Jo wears Stop Thief dress from Cath Kidston | Photo by Clare Leczycki

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol

Thank you Watershed for treating the good people of Bristol to Studio Ghibli Forever, and thanks also to Clare from Watershed for the action shots of us.

Time to gyoza!

V&Jx

Hem and Away: Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia.

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem

Last month during a family holiday to Tunisia I took full advantage of the incredibly cheap public transport and headed north from Tunis by taxi, coach and train, to sample the blue and white (and yellow!) delights of Sidi Bou Said. With it’s picturesque cobbled streets dotted with delicately decorated doors and clusters of delicious evergreen jasmine flowers, it was certainly a highlight of the holiday. 

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem

Sidi Bou Said is a dreamy labyrinth of steep pathways leading to magnificent views of the bay reaching out to the Med, with a wealth of pretty cafes serving traditional Arabic coffee, tempting mint tea and sticky sweet baklava. Even though we were battling against near 40 degree heat, the scenery was reward enough for climbing the hefty hill below. Half way up I discovered the most enchanting yellow door (see above). This beauty definitely won a place in my Top 5 Tunisian Doors of 2014, which also includes this gem. Like the decor? Stay tuned for more delightful Tunisian architecture on the blog soon. It won’t be too much to handle, I promise!

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem
Dress – House of Fraser | Hat – Pull and Bear via ASOS | Sunglasses – ASOS | Shoes (seen above) – Solillas

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem

Have you ever visited Tunisia? If so, what did you think? More Tunisian posts to come next week!

Victoria x

Double Thumbs Dresses #44

Hello hello and welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses. Our roundup of the frocks we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted She and Hem Double Thumbs seal of approval. I hope your bank balances are suitably prepared….

Cream Cupcake Print Hepburn Dress £50
Cream Cupcake Print Hepburn Dress £50 from Lady Vintage

….because OH MY. This has definitely got to be up there with one of the best ever Double Thumbs Dresses. It is the cake covered dress of my dreams. Sadly it would appear I am not the only one obsessed with this print as Lady Vintage are currently running perilously low on them. Fingers crossed more stock appears soon.

Brushed Prom Skater Dress In Donut Embroidery £65
Brushed Prom Skater Dress In Donut Embroidery £65 from Nishe at ASOS

Who needs cake though when Nishe have come to the rescue with a doughnut embroidered dress. I mean, seriously, it’s like the Internet doesn’t want me to have any money. This dress is ridiculous and I need it. Mmmmm doughnuts.

Jersey Sweetheart Skater Dress With Balloon Embroidery £48
Jersey Sweetheart Skater Dress With Balloon Embroidery £48 from Nishe at ASOS

If food based frocks aren’t your thing then don’t feel too deflated, the new Nishe collection continues to deliver with a balloon dress! It’s so pretty and will surely raise your spirits.

Townhouses Raglan Cap Sleeve Jacquard Dress £70
Townhouses Raglan Cap Sleeve Jacquard Dress £70 from Cath Kidston

This Cath Kidston beauty caused quite a stir at their press day waaaay back in July. It has now finally arrived online and in store and oh boy has it been worth the wait. The Townhouses print is simply gorgeous and, as ever, I adore this dress shape. No window shopping necessary as I’ll be moving in on this one.

Deer Amongst the Flowers Dress £40
Deer Amongst the Flowers Dress £40 from Yumi

It would be fair to say that I’ve been fawning over this Yumi dress. The delightful deer print is one thing but I sure do go doe eyed for a good collar!

Sweatshirt Dress in Puppy Love Print £149
Sweatshirt Dress in Puppy Love Print £149 from Orla Kiely at ASOS

You’d be barking mad not to love this super cute puppy print dress from Orla Kiely. It’s such a fun dress and a great piece to take you through Autumn/Winter. I really love the sweatshirt style and those raglan sleeves are just perfect.

Karen Horse Print Flared Dress £110 from People Tree
Karen Horse Print Flared Dress £110 from People Tree

More animals, this time in the shape of horses from People Tree. I adore the flared shape and elbow length sleeves but really it’s the colours that have got my horse heart racing. I just love the pop of yellow against the grey and black. Dreamy. I wouldn’t bet against this one appearing in my wardrobe.

Sharpen Dress £55
Sharpen Dress £55 from White Stuff at House of Fraser

You can sharpen up your style with this pencil print dress from White Stuff! It’s definitely a perfect work dress and would look fab with a blazer thrown over it. I can’t help but feel they’ve missed a trick in not making a pencil skirt but, hey ho, I’ve got dibs on those nibs!

Fit & Flare Sleeveless Shift Dress £45
Fit & Flare Sleeveless Shift Dress £45 from Limited Edition at Marks and Spencer

At first glance this might not appear an obvious choice for Double Thumbs but I have been searching for the perfect dress to layer over my ever growing collection of jazzy (yes jazzy) shirts and blouses. This nude M&S frock fits the bill perfectly and has the added bonus of massive pockets. You can see it styled over a pretty blouse here.

Jx

Have you read Double Thumbs Dresses #43

Accessories to Murder #15

Hello and welcome to the 15th Accessories to Murder. I’m pretty excited about this one, not only is it chock-full of food and felines, but it features possibly the best clutch bag ever! It’s so magnificent that I’m not going to waste anymore of your time on this ‘ere intro and just let you go and swoon over its embroidered beauty. You’re welcome.

Accessories to Murder #15 | She and Hem
Alice in Wonderland Clutch | Olympia La Tan | £1,015

Ok, so it’s jolly expensive but a girl can dream, right? Enjoyable Moby Dick and Mary Poppins editions are also available, but hurry, as these clutches are so special that only 16 of each have been made. You will be so pleased to discover that I’ve done the fashion maths and if all of our twitter followers lend me £1.34, it shall be mine!

She and Hem | Accessories to Murder #15
Lucky Team Watch | ASOS | £30

It will always be burger’o’clock with this Lucky Team watch from ASOS. It’s fun, functional and features cheese. What else do you want from a watch? If that tickles your pickle, how about the matching phone case below from New Look , or these quite excellent socks from M&Co? Meaty!

Accessories to Murder #15 | She and Hem
Burger Phone Case | £4.99 | New Look
She and Hem | Accessories to Murder #15
Pink Cat Bag | Chelsea Doll | £18
Accessories to Murder #15 | She and Hem
Sleeping Cat Bag | ASOS | £18

These cute kitties could be catching some Zzzzzzz’s, or merely showing off their exceptionally long eyelashes. Either way, they are pretty darn cute. Which do you prefer? I’m totally feline the black one…

Accessories to Murder #15 | She and Hem
iPhone Cover | Zara | £12.99

We all know that cereal is amazing and if I lived alone, it would probably be the only thing I would eat. If you are not a part of the breakfast (fan)club, it also comes in what I call, ‘banging bagel’.

Accessories to Murder #15 | She and Hem
Cat Slippers | Shoon | £39.99

Now, I wouldn’t normally recommend chopping a cat in half, but if it’s for the sake of a great pair of slippers, I am willing to turn a blind eye on this occasion. My Topshop cat slippers are coming to the end of their 9th life, and when they do I will definitely be heading to Shoon.

Accessories to Murder #15 | She and Hem
Burger Necklace | Chelsea Doll | £9
Accessories to Murder #15 | She and Hem
Milkshake Necklace | Chelsea Doll | £8

Time for the last burger item, and what a whopper! I’m a big fan of ‘online dressing up box’ Chelsea Doll and their quirky accessories. This milkshake necklace is made to be worn to one of our favourite places to visit in Bristol, Rocotillos.

Vx

Hem and Away : Brighton

Hem and Away : Brighton
Train, Safari and Stop Thief! dresses all from Cath Kidston

During the Summer holidays (ah, remember those?) we managed to get away for a few days of quality girl time in good ol’ Brighton. It turned out to be exactly what the three of us needed and we spent a fine few days being blown around the beach, winning back our two pence pieces on the pier and getting joyously lost in the shops of The Lanes. We also ate a lot of top notch food.

Hem and Away : BrightonHem and Away : BrightonHem and Away : BrightonHem and Away: BrightonHem and Away : Brighton

We struggled initially to find a room that a) didn’t cost a fortune and b) would sleep three adults but eventually stumbled across the Five Hotel. It fit the bill perfectly and came with the triple bonus of having a sea view, an OC box set to watch and a breakfast hamper delivered to our room every morning! What a find!

Hem and Away : Brighton

Dresses from Cath Kidston and homemade (by Victoria's lovely Mum Carol)
Bus Dress from Cath Kidston and a magnificent homemade  seaside print dress (made by Victoria’s lovely Mum Carol)

Hem and Away : BrightonHem and Away : Brighton

Dresses from Orla Kiely for People Tree and Cath Kidston
Bird print dress from Orla Kiely for People Tree
Bunting necklaces from Tatty Devine
Bunting necklaces from Tatty Devine

As you can see, we were pretty cheerfully dressed for our mini holiday and we like to think Brighton appreciated the effort. Despite having not spoken about outfits beforehand we all managed to wear a lot of Cath Kidston. So much so in fact that we were too embarrassed to go in the shop. What can I say, we like to co-ordinate.

Hem and Away : BrightonHem and Away : BrightonHem and Away: BrightonHem and Away: Brighton

It really was a wonderful time and we are already planning a repeat girly trip away for next year! Any suggestions?

Oh and as we indulged in so much fantastic food and drink I shall leave you with our own little list of recommendations!

Moshimo for sushi on a boat!

The Marwood for an Extreme Affogate (picture above). It had brownie in it!

Fishy Fishy for some tasty seafood courtesy of Dermot o’Leary (pictured above)

Small Batch Coffee Company for, errm, coffee!

Choccywoccydoodah for alllllll of the chocolate (pictured above)

Jx