Double Thumbs Dresses #51

Merry Friday everyone! It’s time once again for Double Thumbs Dresses, our roundup of the frocks we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted She and Hem Double Thumbs seal of approval!

Rainy Day Dress £55 from There's Only One Amy Laws
Rainy Day Dress £55 from There’s Only One Amy Laws

I always enjoy dressing to my surroundings and at the moment I am surrounded by miserable January weather. I feel this delightful number from There’s Only One Amy Laws would cheer many a grey day. If only rain really was multicoloured. Sigh.

Bark in the Park Dress £47 by Sugarhill Boutique from Thunder Egg
Bark in the Park Dress £47 by Sugarhill Boutique from Thunder Egg

You’d be barking mad not to have puppy dog eyes for this cute dress from Sugarhill Boutique at Thunder Egg. The illustrations are just lovely and will definitely have you looking more lady than tramp (sorry)!

 Noah's Safari Print Tea Dress £65 from Yumi
Noah’s Safari Print Tea Dress £65 from Yumi

Grab your binoculars, we’re going on safari over at Yumi with this floaty frock. Lions and tigers and, errm, massive birds help to form this rather enjoyable print.

Floral Print Midi Dress £57.99 by Chi Chi London at House of Fraser
Floral Print Midi Dress £57.99 by Chi Chi London at House of Fraser

This Chi Chi London dress is more phrwoar-al than floral with a big bold digital print. It’s a stunning take on modern vintage from a brand I am becoming more and more obsessed with!

Dreaming of Hana Printed Prom Dress £40.41 (sale price) from Chicwish
Dreaming of Hana Printed Prom Dress £40.41 (sale price) from Chicwish

Continuing my humongous floral print of dreams theme is Chicwish who have just released this gorgeous poppy dress. It’s so glamorous! If only I had somewhere to wear it. I really need to get myself invited to more weddings.

Daria Dress £29.99 from Lindy Bop
Daria Dress £29.99 from Lindy Bop

How lovely is this Lindy Bop dress? The colours are simply gorgeous but I think it’s the super pretty scalloped neckline that makes it a true top frock.

Paris Floral Pinny Dress £48 from Topshop
Paris Floral Pinny Dress £48 from Topshop

Wahey this is one jazzy pinny! IT’S PRACTICALLY SHOUTING it’s so loud but my goodness it’s fabulous and I just love those blues against the vibrant orange. Top work, Topshop.

Girls On Film Dogtooth Check Collared Dress £45 from Dorothy Perkins
Girls On Film Dogtooth Check Collared Dress £45 from Dorothy Perkins

Last but not least is this dogtooth print from Dorothy Perkins. It really reminds me of one of Victoria’s dresses and if there’s one thing I love, it’s to be reminded of Victoria. I think it’s the delightful contrasting collar which really makes the dress stand out.

Jx

A She and Hem Storybook

A She and Hem Storybook | Poppy EnglandA She and Hem Storybook | Poppy England

Since taking the leap from avid blog readers, to bonny bona fide bloggers, we have been fortunate enough to be offered some wonderful opportunities that neither of us would ever previously have dreamed of. Each time an amazing email arrives in our inbox or when we receive an extra special tweet, we have to pinch ourselves that individuals and brands we have loved and coveted, often for much of our adult lives, enjoy our blog and value the time and effort we put in to making sure each post is special. There are the hours spent on Thesaurus.com trying to expand explicate our vocabularies lexicon, the sifting through the 99% of blog photos where our eyes are shut, flies are undone or we just look too awkward. Not to mention the cost of the constant stream of make up it takes to make us look half decent. Blogging can be time consuming and often a bit of a challenge, but we blooming love it. We get to work on our hobby on a daily basis! Quite honestly, even in the short space of time since we launched in 2013, She and Hem has been life changing.

A She and Hem Storybook | Poppy EnglandA She and Hem Storybook | Poppy EnglandA She and Hem Storybook | Poppy England

One of our most magical blogging days so far came in the form of the most fun we have ever had a photoshoot with Poppy. A brand we had featured time and time (and time) again before we had met, as we both absolutely adore every charming storybook inspired piece they design. Sometimes it’s OK to fangirl. Want to know a secret? Of course you do! Well, we’ve seen their new collection, and much like the Snowstorm collection featured here, it is all magnificent!

A She and Hem Storybook | Poppy EnglandA She and Hem Storybook | Poppy EnglandA She and Hem Storybook | Poppy EnglandA She and Hem Storybook | Poppy England

Thank you to Bryony and everyone at Poppy for being so awesome and creating some of our favourite ever photos. You rock!

V&Jx

Double Thumbs Dresses #50

Sound the party klaxon! We’ve finally made it to FIFTY Double Thumbs Dresses posts. I completely dread to think how much money I’ve spent in the process of writing them but hey ho a milestone is a milestone! Perhaps we should all buy a nice new frock to celebrate? Seems a reasonable suggestion….. So, without further ado, here’s the 50th roundup of dresses we have deemed worthy of receiving the highly coveted Double Thumbs seal of approval. PARTY KLAXON.

Cowboy Dress £69 (PRE ORDER) by Emily and Fin from Aspire Style
Cowboy Dress £69 (PRE ORDER) by Emily and Fin from Aspire Style
Marble Dress £65 (PRE ORDER) BY Emily and Fin from Aspire Style
Marble Dress £65 (PRE ORDER) BY Emily and Fin from Aspire Style

I blimmin’ love Emily and Fin and practically lassoed my computer when I spotted Aspire Style had added some of the new season collection to their website, which you can pre-order now. There are so many new gorgeous vintage inspired prints that it was hard to narrow it down to just two! I think you’ll agree that the cowboy print is pretty special indeed and I adore the cuteness of those marbles against the dusky pink. Get. In. My. Wardrobe.

Home Farm Cotton Dress £65 from Cath Kidston
Home Farm Cotton Dress £65 from Cath Kidston

E I E I WOAH! Channel your inner Old MacDonald in this farm yard print dress from Cath Kidston, who happily bring new meaning to the term ‘animal print’. It’s a gorgeous cut and not one I believe I’ve seen before from CK. I just love the button detail and apparently it has concealed pockets! Rejoice. You’d be quackers not to moooove quickly with this one….

Polka Dot Chiffon Dress £22 from Forever 21
Polka Dot Chiffon Dress £22 from Forever 21

This is such a lovely 50s inspired number from Forever 21! I adore the mustard colour, the pleats and, of course, the peter pan collar. Delightful! It’s also a bit of a bargain which makes a nice change.

Daisy Print Shirt Dress £55 from Topshop
Daisy Print Shirt Dress £55 from Topshop

It might have something to do with Cara looking all wonderful in it on the Topshop homepage but I have a serious crush on this big daisy print number. I want to embrace the flower power and rock that pussybow neck! I also want to be a supermodel and have fantastic eyebrows. I can only assume this dress will make it happen.

Cherry Dress £54 from Sugarhill Boutique
Cherry Dress £54 from Sugarhill Boutique

My goodness this is a berry nice frock from Sugarhill Boutique. The bright aqua colour is just stunning and looks great set against the cherry print. I am also a big fan of the 50s shape which looks outrageously flattering with those lovely sleeves and cute little collar. One to cherish for sure!

Conversational Print Skater Dress £45 from Marks & Spencer
Conversational Print Skater Dress £45 from Marks & Spencer

FlamingOMG what a top print, which according to M&S is apparently conversational. I wonder what it’s trying to say? You can’t really argue with hundreds of flamingos so it can pretty much say anything it likes. FYI I could only find it in petite sizes on the website so you’ll have to flaming-go and try and find it in-store if that doesn’t suit.

Antartctic Circle Dress £65.80 from Miss Patina
Antartctic Circle Dress £65.80 from Miss Patina

We finish off with this charming dress from Miss Patina. It already looks pretty great from this picture with the lovely shirt detailing underneath a classic silver frock. But, game change, the print on the shirt is actually POLAR BEARS. What a triumph for the eyes.

Jx

#BloomMonday with Boden

She and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with Boden

Did you know that today is officially Blue Monday? No, don’t panic, this has nothing to do with Lee Ryan. Today is in fact the day of the year that we are believed to be at our most downright miserable, wailing uncontrollably as we fight the urge to just stay in bed all day. Heck, you might even be reading this from beneath your warm and comfy duvet….mmm so warm and comfy. Fear not though! We are here to improve your mood with a little help from Boden, who have kindly invited us to banish those pesky blues by taking on their #BloomMonday challenge. Thistle cheer you up!

She and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with Boden

Boden are nipping those January blues in the bud by embracing a veritable bouquet of floral prints and bold, bright colours. We love a bit of flower power and certainty felt a spring in our collective step as we embraced the cheerfulness of our outfits. It’s hard not to crack a smile when you’re dressed like sunshine! As it was an absolutely stunning day in Bristol yesterday, we decided to take a stroll in equally colourful (and err boat-anical) surroundings.

She and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with BodenShe and Hem | #BloomMonday with Boden

We hope our good thyme has inspired you to swap your actual bed for a flowerbed and those pjs for fun floral prints! We like to think we rose to the occasion….

Follow the hashtag #BloomMonday to find inspiring quotes, photography, competitions and offers which are all intended to brighten up your day.

J&V

All items in this post are from Boden* with the exception of our tights which are from Topshop and shoes which are from New Look and Orla Kiely for Clarks. Victoria wears The Shirt in Butter Seed Packets, Fun Skirt in Ivory Garden and the Westminster Bag in Sulphur. Jo wears the Emile Top in Ivory Botanical, Florence Skirt in Blue Plates, the Lara Coat in Ivory/Sulphur and the Milan Clutch in Ivory/Sulphur. A huge thank you to Boden for inviting us to take part in this campaign. 

Double Thumbs Dresses #49

Hello dress fans! It’s time once again to take a gander at the frocks we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted Double Thumbs seal of approval! There’s plenty of new arrivals happening at the moment so I have been slightly spoiled for choice! Let’s crack on…

Balloon Fit and Flare Shirtdress £410 from Kate Spade
Balloon Fit and Flare Shirtdress £410 from Kate Spade

Hot air balloon prints are basically my thing (our first ever post was about balloon prints fact fans!) so when I noticed that Kate Spade has brought out an entire collection of balloon inspired wears my credit card spontaneously combust out of fear. I mean, just look at this bag! It’s all so perfect. Now, I wouldn’t normally include something so high end on a Double Thumbs roundup but this list is supposed to reflect the dresses that I am lusting over and oh boy do I want to float around the world in this vintage inspired shirt dress. Get in my (wicker) basket, etc etc.

Clouds Cotton Dress With Shirred Waist £60 from Cath Kidston
Clouds Cotton Dress With Shirred Waist £60 from Cath Kidston

But hey, the sky is still obtainable even without my balloon thanks to Cath Kidston and their gorgeous new cloud print. This is possibly one of my favourites ever of theirs thanks to that beautiful shade of blue. It’s such a fresh print and, as always, the perfect shape too.

Ric Rac Cotton Dress With Raglan Sleeve £50 from Cath Kidston
Ric Rac Cotton Dress With Raglan Sleeve £50 from Cath Kidston

Hot on it’s heels at the top of my CK wishlist is this fab Ric Rac print dress. How fab are those colours? So bright and fun! It reminds me of a maypole and makes me want to go to country fetes and wear a straw boater. I basically just need this dress.

Beatrice Dress £89 from Boden
Beatrice Dress £89 from Boden

Boden have also brought out some absolutely cracking dresses this season because it would appear nobody wants me to have any money anymore. Cheers, guys. Anyhoo, this fruity frock has pipped the others to the post as my favourite and is most definitely the apple of my eye (sorry). I really love the orange and the pink print but it does also come in blue too if that hue just isn’t for you.

Lottie Dress £55 from Seasalt Cornwall
Lottie Dress £55 from Seasalt Cornwall

This lovely floral midi dress from Seasalt has been styled on a vintage tea dress. It’s ever so pretty and I love the print and all the button detailing.

Isobel dress Yours Truly £76 from Emily and Fin
Isobel dress Yours Truly £76 from Emily and Fin

We have actually featured this gorgeous envelope print from Emily and Fin before when they originally debuted it in navy blue last year. It is now back in a fresh new colour for 2015 and would make the perfect Valentine’s frock. Who needs a card when you’ve got 450 beautiful envelopes, eh?

Wallflower Sleeveless Dress £85 from Orla Kiely for People Tree
Wallflower Sleeveless Dress £85 from Orla Kiely for People Tree

I also fall in love with the Orla Kiely for People Tree collections and this season is no exception. For Spring this year they have gone classic Orla with retro 50s inspired pieces in beautiful shades of pink, grey and green. I think this sleeveless number is my current front runner.

50s Style Dress in Bright Pink Spot £74.95 from Joules
50s Style Dress in Bright Pink Spot £74.95 from Joules

We finish off in true twirly style with this pink polka dot number from Joules. I do love a good floaty fock and this ticks all the right 50s boxes for me. Gorgeous!

Please pass on my apologies to your bank manager,

Jx

Coffee with Currys

Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff

Not a day goes by in which I am not fueled up to the eyeballs by delicious coffee. Without it, I am pretty despresso. Although I am slowly but surely working my way through the South West Independent Coffee Guide (look, here’s me really enjoying a hotdog at the launch party), when recently invited to a whole day of coffee based fun with added cocktails and cake, I just couldn’t say no to #coffeewithcurrys. The event was held at Waterloo Tea in Cardiff, a blooming lovely place which is located in the equally lovely Wyndham Arcade. Having only ever been to Cardiff once before to boo Luis Suarez during the 2012 Olympics, I really enjoyed wandering around the city and it’s charming arcades before the event.

Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff

During the event there were five stations, where you could take part in different activities, such as latte art, coffee cocktail making and testing your taste buds at a coffee cupping session. Once you had bean (HA!) around them all, a glorious lunch was available, courtesy of Waterloo Tea. A gorgeous array of gourmet salads, artisan breads and cheeky truffles was our reward for a hard morning’s work (it was work, right?), and I would definitely go back the next time I am in Cardiff, as the food was absolutely delicious. Later in the day, they even provided a seemingly endless parade of cakes, presumably just to counterbalance the high caffeine intake with a healthy dose of sugar. Definitely my cup of tea!

Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff

As if that wasn’t enough, the main event was saved for the afternoon, and it was certainly a case of last but not least. Two contests, requiring all the skills, knowledge and intellectual guile that we, naturally of course, had picked up throughout the day. First, the coffee cupping contest, a fierce battle of taste buds, brain cells and who could pull off the most dignified slurp (not me). Representatives from each group were called forward and asked to blind taste test a selection of coffees, matching them in turn to a list of brews, based on flavour profile alone. Challenging, but oh so tasty! The techniques we learned earlier were especially useful in tasting the coffees and picking out certain tastes and styles, and it helped that we were guided along by the dutiful, knowledgeable baristas. Contestants submitted their cards, with the winner being the person with the most correctly matched coffees.

Then, the latte art contest. Latte art is always something I’ve wanted to have a crack at, and while I very much enjoyed my first attempt earlier in the day, I’ll be the first to admit that the end product wasn’t the most sophisticated of art ever seen. More broken jigsaw piece than a cute balloon unfortunately…

Again, representatives from all teams were called forward and tasked with producing a latte art heart. The end results were displayed before the crowd, with the winner determined using the tried and tested “applause” scale. A bottle of champers to the winner, whose foam heart made me swoon with delight! Generous to the last, Currys also offered up a Nespresso machine to the attendant who posted the best Instagram pic, using the #coffeewithcurrys tag. Can we do this every weekend please?

All that remains is to say thanks a latte to Currys, Nespresso and the team at Joe Blogs Blogger Network! I had a great time, and have been on a coffee high ever since. I hope to get some sleep in again in the next two to three weeks.

Vx

Hold on tights

Hold on tights

I don’t know about you but we are desperately trying to combat our January blues!  We are both back at work after a little Christmas break and it has proved very difficult to adjust to the routine of it all. Earlier in the week, we decided to go for a little ‘congrats on spending more than 4 hours out of your pyjamas’ pick-me-up drink in Clifton and managed to coincide our trip with the most beautiful sunset! Ah, January. I guess you’re not so bad after all.

Hold on tights Hold on tightsHold on tightsHold on tights

M&S very kindly sent us some tights to try out which, as you might have guessed, we are expertly modelling above. I (Jo) plumped for some patterned grey tights from their Best of British range which I have been very impressed with! They fit nicely (no ballet jumps necessary) and I have been quite rough with them but they show no sign of snagging just yet! In contrast, Victoria went for some Luxe Warm Toes Tights* which, although keeping her toes toasty, did actually ladder on the first wear. Oh tights, why do you do this to us?

Hold on tightsHold on tightsHold on tightsHold on tights

I also took the opportunity to wear possibly my favourite sale purchase of all time, the Boden squirrel dress of wonder. It’s so perfect that it hurts my feelings that I can’t just wear it everyday. I teamed it with new Office boots (thanks Mum!), white Topshop socks, a brown Primark belt and my pink Boden* coat. Victoria broke out her disco ball style brogues from New Look at ASOS, her incredible red collared dress from Primark (a recent purchase, Primarni fans), a vintage yellow bag from Clifton based Bees & Graves and her stripy Boden* coat.

We accessorised our outfits with a massive bridge.

J&V

Mercure Holland House Spa, Bristol

Mercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and Hem

A couple of weeks ago we took a short walk through the centre of Bristol to visit the Mercure Holland House Spa to try out their facilities, and catch up on all things Christmas! After initially navigating ourselves to the wrong Mercure Hotel, we put our heads together and managed to arrive just in time to cut loose, don our swimming caps and goggles and head for our treatments.

Mercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and Hem

We both had a tranquility scalp massage followed by a cleansing and purifying back treatment and were so impressed with our wonderful masseuses. As we were both a little apprehensive about what the treatments would involve (prudes or what?), it was lovely to just be able to take ten and relax, rather than try to make half naked small talk.

One of our favourite things about the spa was how you are given free reign of the facilities, with the staff just letting you get on with your reclining, paddling and, errr, even more reclining. After our treatments, we felt free to spend an hour or so just lazing around in the relaxation room, sipping on endless tea and coffee. We only left because it was getting a little latte… ahem! We also *may* have snuck in a couple of our favourite Pear Cafe brownies to indulge on as we relaxed. What do you mean that isn’t what you are supposed to pack for a spa day?! You’re all doing it wrong.

Mercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and Hem

To finish our day we popped to the hotel restaurant for a late (post brownie) lunch of smoked salmon sandwishes and a yummy shot of soup before taking another well deserved rest which was followed by a dip in the pool. You could say the day went swimmingly!

Do you know of any great spas in the South West? If so, pop them into the comments box below as we’d love to pay them a visit! Make sure you give the Mercure Holland House Spa a whirl(pool) first.

V&Jx