Accessories to Murder #20

Hello and welcome to the 20th Accessories to Murder! Are you ready to delve into the world of amazing accessories? Excellent! Without further ado, here are the accessories that have made it onto this week’s She and Hem’s Most Wanted. Warning: this one includes an amazing Zara bargain. Happy shopping!

Accessories to Murder #20 | She and Hem | Gin Bag
Glitter Gin Bottle Clutch Handbag | £100 | Luna on the Moon

Would you just look at this Gin Clutch! It really makes me grin, because it’s just all kinds of win. It’s not made out of tin, so don’t throw it in the bin. So, tell your next of kin that it’s got me in a spin. I knew my English degree would come in handy sooner or later… Luna on the Moon has so many incredible bags, and you can find them all over on Etsy.

Accessories to Murder #20 | She and Hem | Red Bag Zara
Red Tote | Was £22.99 Now £9.99 | Zara

This is not a red herring. Oh no, it’s not all novelty prints and quirky patterns here at She and Hem, as we are also pretty potty about a pop of bright colour! February is all about red, so thank you Zara for reducing this tote-ally great bag down to £9.99!

Accessories to Murder #20 | She and Hem | Hot Air Balloon Necklace
Hot Air Balloon Necklace | £18 | Joy

Living in Bristol, it’s difficult to get through the day without spotting at least one hot air balloon floating above the city’s colourful houses. This Hot Air Balloon Necklace from Joy would be perfect to wear to the next Bristol Balloon Fiesta, as we always like to dress appropriately (see here), with as many novelty hot air balloon items we can possibly find!

Accessories to Murder #20 | She and Hem | Joy Acorn Earrings
Acorn Earrings | £15 | Joy

Also over at Joy are these mega cute Acorn Earrings from Dublin based jewellers Artysmarty. Although Bristol doesn’t (yet) have an Acorn Festival, I think they are still an essential purchase. There is nothing corny about them, they’re just nuttily good!

Accessories to Murder #20 | She and Hem | H&M Glittery Trainers
Silver Glittery Trainers | H&M | £24.99

I’ve never been a big trainer fan, as I’ve always found them really hard to style successfully, especially with my beloved dresses. This all changed last year when a pair of sunshine yellow Superga’s came into my life. Since then I’ve jumped fully on board the trainer train, and my final destination are these incredible, sparkly H&M Silver Glittery Trainers.

Accessories to Murder #20 | She and Hem | Avocado Phone Case Skinnydip
Googly Avo iPhone Case | £15 | Skinnydip via Topshop

Let’s all avocuddle and admire the last item for a moment. It really calls out to me as I am always within arms reach of both my phone and a juicy avocado. This googly eyed Avocado Phone Case is yet another Skinnydip gem, currently in Topshop. Did I mention it has googly eyes? It has googly eyes. And I, for one, am completely goggle-eyed for this little gem.

Until next week, keep accessorizing!

Vx

Double Thumbs Dresses #66

Hello hello! Welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses! It’s time once again for our frocktacular roundup of the dresses deemed worthy of the highly coveted Double Thumbs seal of approval….

Mary-Kate Dress £49 by Louche
Mary-Kate Dress £49 by Louche at Joy

We kick off with this groovy little number from Louche. Those big yellow blooms certainly cut the mustard for me and you’ll be living life full on flower power with those awesome sleeves and nipped in waist.

A-Line Striped Dress £29.99 from Zara
A-Line Striped Dress £29.99 from Zara

Time to stripe a pose in this affordable frock from Zara, which I believe is ticking off at least three SS16 trends. I am loving the cheeky chevron action up top and hidden round the back there are some delightful little buttons for you to faff around with every time you put it on/take it off.

Cherry Blossom Dress £45 from Miss Selfridge
Cherry Blossom Dress £45 from Miss Selfridge

It’s never too early to get excited about cherry blossom season (Instagram is no doubt rubbing its collective knees with anticipation) and, come the time, what better dress to waft around in than this stunning Miss Selfridge affair? Look at those sleeves! *faints*

Cupid's Heart Printed Dress £42.41 from Chicwish
Cupid’s Heart Printed Dress £42.41 from Chicwish

Heart prints are inevitably cropping up all over the shop at the moment but this Chicwish number has really caught my eye. The colours are just great and, to me at least, it has a slight Kate Spade feel to it without the Kate Spade price-tag. Winner!

Rajaa Whale Print Dress £49 from Louche
Rajaa Whale Print Dress £49 from Louche

You’ll have a whale of a time in this Louche dress which whaley does has a totally excellent print that channels the deep blue sea in colour and theme!

Coral Reef Print Party Dress £75 from Yumi
Coral Reef Print Party Dress £75 from Yumi
Bunting Print Day Dress £45 from Yumi
Bunting Print Day Dress £45 from Yumi
Multicoloured Village Print Skater Dress £45 from Yumi
Multicoloured Village Print Skater Dress £45 from Yumi

We finish with a triple whammy of Yumi dresses (click the dresses for their individual links) who really do appear to have hacked into my mind palace for their new season inspiration. Colourful houses? Check. Bunting? Check. Err scallops? Check! It’s all quite dreamy and my bank balance is truly afraid.

Jx

Accessories to Murder #19

Hello again and welcome to the 19th Accessories to Murder! Regular readers may have noticed that Accessories to Murder is now back on track, and you’ll have a lovely new post ready for you every Sunday. So pop it into your diary, or if you are just far too modern and fancy for a pen and paper, follow us on Bloglovin and never miss a post! So, are you ready to delve into the world of amazing accessories? Excellent! Without further ado, here are the accessories that have made it onto this week’s She and Hem’s Most Wanted.

Long Time Pointed Flats | ASOS | She and Hem | Accessories to Murder #19
Heart Shoes | ASOS | £22

Tired of wearing your heart on your sleeve? Well, wear it on your feet instead with these ASOS heart flats. Just in time for your Valentine’s Day outfit too! I’m thinking full on hearts this year, so these loooverly shoes are the perfect finishing touch to my hella twee look. Simple but just quirky enough to make it through the tough Accessories to Murder selection process.

Daniella Flats | Boden | £69.50

If those flats aren’t quite right for you, here’s another adorable option. This cute pair in ‘Poppy Red’ from Boden are blooming beautiful. We recently featured them on our Instagram and they got oh so much love. They have a pretty bow detail and are flat enough for the walk home after you’ve been wined and dined on Valentine’s Day…or for my walk to kitchen to get just one last biscuit.

Know an Eccentric or Two Swimsuit Top | Accessories to Murder #19 | She and Hem
Know an Eccentric or Two Swimsuit Top | $49.99 | Modcloth

I hadn’t really considered Modcloth when buying swimwear until about a year ago, when I spotted one of their incredible swimsuits online. I added this to my Pinterest ‘Wish List‘, causing a internet sensation mild murmuring, and the cossie to be repinned here, there and everywhere! I’ve kept a keen eye on their swimwear ever since, and it is always fun, flattering and fabulous. This swimsuit from Modcloth features cute cats and cupcakes floating around in space. Cats. In. Space. What else could you possibly want?

Cactus Cross Body Bag | Skinnydip Via ASOS | £30

I am a huge fan of all things Skinnydip, so I was pretty hyped when Jo sent me a link to this beauty. I predict the sales of this Skinnydip cactus bag, and matching luggage tag, are due to spike sometime soon, so hurry up and get your hands on this super succulent! Don’t put your hands on a real cactus, that would hurt and leave you feeling awful prickly.

We Now Present You Bag | Betsey Johnson via Modcloth | $68

This gorgeous Betsey Johnson bag might just be my perfect Valentine’s present right here. Can someone please point it in the direction of my husband? I’ve become quite the Betsey Johnson fan after featuring the incredible working phone in the recent January Sales post. I had so many messages from readers who loved the phone bag, hopefully this one will be just as popular. You may not be able to make calls with it, but it does have a really sparkly bow, so y’know, every cloud.

Kite Box Clutch | Kate Spade | £295.65

Yes, I know this is slightly more expensive than our usual Most Wanted novelty bags, but I’ve found it here via Nordstrom for much less than if buying direct from the Kate Spade website. How kind am I? Kate Spade has always been a high flyer in the world of whimsical clutch design, and my love for this kite bag is going up, up and away!

Yellow Tote Bag | New Look | She and Hem | Accessories to Murder #19
Yellow Structured Tote Bag | New Look | £24.99

I really recommend that everyone has at least one staple yellow handbag in their wardrobe. I use my yellow Boden Westminster handbag every single day and I absolutely love the pop of colour it adds to any outfit. New Look have just released this tote, their very own sunshiny dream, for a very affordable £24.99!

Pancake Socks | Topshop | She and Hem | Accessories to Murder #19
Stacked Pancake Socks | Topshop | £3.50

Stacked pancake socks.Sometimes, a picture really does say a thousand words. So instead of raving about these, I shall just give you my top stock sock tip. If I was going for the famous ‘3 for £8’ Topshop sock deal, I would also pick the Coffee and Donuts and I Loaf You pairs. Why? Because they are awesome.

See you next week,

Vx

Double Thumbs Dresses #65

Hello hello! Welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses! It’s time once again for our frocktacular roundup of the dresses deemed worthy of the highly coveted Double Thumbs seal of approval….

Heart Print Shirtdress £48 from Topshop
Heart Print Shirtdress £48 from Topshop

How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways! This Topshop heart print shirtdress is simply vintage valentine perfection! It’s just SO cute which is probably why everyone has been snapping it up since it appeared online late last week. Curses! It’s worth checking though as they do keep adding more stock. The print is also available in a just-as-popular shirt.

Stripe Shirt Dress £55 from Topshop
Stripe Shirt Dress £55 from Topshop

But, hey, who needs hearts when you can stripe a pose in this little Topshop number instead? Apparently this print is ‘conversational’, a description that never fails to make me laugh, but I’ll gladly discuss those delectable stripes, the neatly cinched in waist and cute little button up detail with anyone who will listen.

Red Cross and Plaid Belted Flare Dress £42.14 (with discount) from Chicwish
Red Cross and Plaid Belted Flare Dress £42.14 (with discount) from Chicwish

There’s so much I love about this Chicwish dress that I’m not entirely sure where to start! The colour and cross/plaid combo print are pretty magnificent and that whopper of a belt is just everything to me right now. Also, sleeves. I’m all about those long sleeves. It’s really rather cold at the moment, if you hadn’t noticed.

Guards & Friends Sleeveless Slub Dress £65 from Cath Kidston
Guards & Friends Sleeveless Slub Dress £65 from Cath Kidston

Atteeeeentttttion! It’s time to quick march yourself to the Cath Kidston website to grab one of these incredible soldier print dresses! What a print and, not that I’m planning ahead or anything, but the potential perfect dress to wear to the Queen’s 90th birthday party. Assuming I get invited of course.

Retro Floral Print Bell Sleeve Dress £18 by F&F
Retro Floral Print Bell Sleeve Dress £18 by F&F

Yes Tesco! I am digging this retro floral frock. Who doesn’t love a good bell sleeve? and the shift shape with that dreamy print is ticking all the right boxes. Oh and did I mention it’s only eighteen pounds? BARGAIN.

Babydoll Dress in Grey Cat Print £165 by Paul & Joe Siser at ASOS
Babydoll Dress in Grey Cat Print £165 by Paul & Joe Siser at ASOS

So you might need some extra cash floating around for this Paul & Joe Sister affair (and if you’ve got extra cash at this stage in January then you are a better person that I) but, my goodness, it’s only flippin’ covered in cats. Meow! I adore the grey and the pink against the cream, you might even say I’m lapping it up.

Caroline Dress £59.99 from Chi Chi
Caroline Dress £59.99 from Chi Chi

Chi Chi really are the Queens of the occasion frock at the moment and this big ol’ floral number is just the latest in a long line of hits. I love the brown with the gorgeous red tones of the flowers, I think it’s just perfect for this time of year. You could dress this one up but it would look equally fab with thick white tights and brown boots.

Verna Skater Dress in Dutch Floral £40 by Motel
Verna Skater Dress in Dutch Floral £40 by Motel

Last but not least we have this Dutch delight from Motel. The button up high neck with alllll that detail down the front is just great. I’m also, as is no doubt totally predictable by now, wildly into those long cuffed sleeves! Do be prepared to get your pins out though, this one looks short!

That’s all folks,

Jx

Accessories to Murder #18 UncommonGoods Special

Hello and welcome to the 18th Accessories to Murder! It’s an UncommonGoods special this week! Are you ready to delve into the world of amazing accessories? Excellent! Without further ado, here are the accessories that have made it onto this week’s She and Hem’s Most Wanted.

UncommonGoods | She and Hem | Accessories to Murder 18 | Log Lady Necklace

I do love a bit of personalised jewellery. C’mon, who doesn’t love wearing their own name around their neck? In fact, there is super clever evidence that proves that our brains really like hearing our own names (it’s all about the left middle frontal cortex and subgyral matter, obviously). So I got quite excited when I saw that UncommonGoods has a whole blooming section dedicated to fun personalised bits, and that excitement Twin Peaked with this stump necklace. Embrace your inner log lady and proudly display your true love’s initials, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

UncommonGoods | She and Hem | Accessories to Murder 18 |Morse Code Necklace

If you’re not down with the lumberjack vibe, don’t log off, cause I’m switching it up to sexy Morse code. SOS indeed. I love the idea of carrying a hidden message around with me, that only the nerdiest of companions might understand. The necklace seen in the picture above shows a name, but I think it would be so lovely to choose an anniversary date or a favourite saying instead. Either way, they are so subtle and beautiful!

UncommonGoods | She and Hem | Accessories to Murder 18 |Coordinates Necklace

You may think it’s all colourful dresses and hilarious puns here at She and Hem, but we’re soppy types at heart. If you follow us on Instagram, you will know that I recently got married and that Jo was one of my wonderful bridesmaids. As a little thank you present, I bought each of my bridesmaids a necklace with the exact coordinates of where we first met, and (I think) they really loved them! UncommonGoods have their own beautiful version here.

UncommonGoods | She and Hem | Accessories to Murder 18 | Forget Me Not Ring

Ring a ding-ding! Another item that is perfect for Valentine’s Day is this cute hand cast Forget Me Not ring. I am positively thread over heels about that delicate silver bow, and would definitely knot forget anyone kind enough to give me this. It’s so dainty and I think it would be ideal for stacking.

UncommonGoods | She and Hem | Accessories to Murder 18 | Valentine's Day Scarf

I couldn’t write a round up of my favourite pieces and not include this incredible scarf. I simply cannot resist those incredibly cute vintage style illustrations. Not only is it a unique accessory, but it has my new surname on it! Valentine’s Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me now and I’m probably definitely going to buy any novelty item of clothing with the word Valentine on it. So if you see anything, link me up please! Take a look at their immensely enjoyable scarf selection here.

Vx

This post is in collaboration with UncommonGoods, who we are very happy to work with as we love their environmentally friendly products, and that they are a bunch of jolly decent people. Keep up the good work guys!

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and Hem

Welcome to the third part of Leah’s American adventure! Confused? You can read Part One here and Part Two here.

J&V

………………………………………………………………………………………………

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and Hem New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and Hem

Thursday, 17th December

Today I moved house for the last time. My final stop was Bowery Street in Nolita (which stands for North of Little Italy- apparently a made up area name created to spark gentrification: it worked!) The area is a strange mixture of grittiness, art galleries and high end clothing stores. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I really loved it in the end. I stayed at the Bowery House, which is a re-purposed hotel which served as temporary lodgings for soldiers returning from WWII. A couple of friends stayed here a few years back and described the cabins as deluxe “chicken coops”, each cabin having just enough room to fit a single bed and storage of essential items. The cabins also feature wooden cross hatched slats over the empty ceiling space. It’s a great cost effective way to stay in Manhattan and is fine for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time in their room.

I’d signed myself up for a Free Tours By Foot tour of the Lower East Side, Nolita and the East village that afternoon. The rain was really heavy and I managed to arrive uncharacteristically early so took the opportunity to take shelter, order French Toast and drink copious amounts of coffee. As I waited in the rain for my tour guide, I wondered if I was the only one silly enough to show up for a free tour in heavy rain. Luckily, one other person (a Canadian girl) was foolish enough to honour her commitment and the tour went ahead with our inimitable tour guide, Dante Salerno. It was an awesome and very informative tour and we learnt about the immigrant communities who moved to the area, the punks and finally the hipsters (or yupsters). The tour included a trip to the site of CBGB, famed hangout of the Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads. We also caught a glimpse of the site of the world’s first underground park, the Lowline– a plan to use solar technology to shed light on an historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side.

The soggy tour was followed up with an educational visit to the Tenement Museum (learning about the fates of a German and Italian family who lived in the building we were shown around). In the spirit of No Sleep till Brooklyn, I went straight to a highbrow variety show type thing at the magical McNally Jackson bookstore. Playwright Annie Baker and novelist Lynne Tillman gave a fascinating talk on the powers of inanimate objects, read from their and others’ work and made me miss my university days. On the way home I went to the excellent Joe’s Pizza (our tour guide had said it was the best pizza in NYC) and got invited to a party on Ludlow Street. Though it may have made more entertaining reading, I decided that going to party at a pizza queue acquaintance’s pad probably wouldn’t have been one of my better ideas. Instead, I ate my pizza slice and retired to the coop.

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and Hem

Friday, 18th December

Today I got up super early to go on a pilgrimage to Orange, New Jersey to see where my grandmother was born. Fun fact: I am 1/4 American (I can already picture my family collectively rolling their eyes at this claim, but it is technically true). Though my great grandparents were both Cornish, my mum’s mum was born in NJ and moved to Cornwall when she was eight years old. Though I never heard it, apparently she retained her American accent until she was in her 40s. How cool is that? Anyway, I found out that Orange is only 20 mins or so from Penn Station so I set off on a photographic odyssey, hoping to capture a slice of Americana. There was time for a nose around Little Italy before catching a ride to New Jersey.

Orange didn’t disappoint and I managed to cause a bit of a stir by being white and owning a camera with a prominent lens. A few friendly locals came to chat to me about soccer (oh dear)! It was quite a run down, industrial city but really different to just about anything I’d seen before. Most of the houses were pretty dilapidated but this added to Orange’s charm- it looked as though it might have been quite a swell place to live 90 years ago and I felt pretty emotional when I saw Granny’s childhood home on Watchung Avenue.

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemWhen I got back to NYC I found out that MoMA was free on Friday evenings so I joined the hoards of other cheapskates in some art appreciation before being traumatised by how busy it was in the gallery. If you go to New York, I’d recommend paying the $25 and looking at some art in relative tranquility. That said, I did manage to concentrate on the Jackson Pollock exhibition before I fled in terror, breathing a sigh of relief as the subway car rattled across the Brooklyn Bridge on the way to Bogota. As you might have guessed, Bogota is the name of a restaurant in Park Slope as well as the capital of Colombia. I was reunited with my Brooklyn buddy who had rejected my sentimental idea to go for Korean barbecue and opted instead for South American fare. Sentiment aside, my first foray into Colombian cuisine was excellent, as were the mojitos and the Brooklyn beer (it had to be done). Nash entertained me for large swathes of the night by impersonating JFK/Mayor Quimby and teaching me how to say haaaaabo-side (harbourside) in a Boston accent. After bidding a tearful farewell to Slinka and Mr Whiskers, I demanded a lesson in yellow cab hailing from a real life New Yorker. It turns out you just stand in the way of oncoming traffic and raise a finger. Fun fact: Nash once played softball with Matthew Broderick.

To be continued….

….but in the meantime why not follow Leah on Instagram xx

Double Thumbs Dresses #64

Hello dress fans! It’s time for the first Double Thumbs Dresses of 2016! Partaaay! So, without further ado, I present to you the top frocks that we consider worthy of the highly coveted Double Thumbs seal of approval.

Tea and Macarons Dress £75 from Yumi
Tea and Macaroons Dress £75 from Yumi

Oh HELLO! We always love a bit of Yumi here at She and Hem but they have truly excelled themselves with their latest offerings. This Tea and Macaroons dress is the stuff my dress dreams are made of. With its beautiful pastel colouring, delightful twirly fit and print that features teacups piled high with macaroons, it really is a wonder frock. It does also appear to come with straps, if that’s a deal breaker for you. This appears to be a House of Fraser exclusive (fancy) which is great news for me as I’ve been sitting on some HoF vouchers for about 8 months. Happy New Year, me.

Cactus Print Skater Dress £65 from Yumi
Cactus Print Skater Dress £65 from Yumi

And so the Yumi fun continues with this super cute cactus print! This skater dress is so cheery thanks to all those fab colours. I’m pretty potty about those pots!

The Potteries Dress £60 from There's Only One Amy Laws
The Potteries Dress £60 from There’s Only One Amy Laws

Want more pots? Your Potteries luck is in! Another of our favourites, There’s Only One Amy Laws, has just added this beautiful Potteries skyline print dress to her website – defo one for all those die hard Stoke-On-Trent fans out there! I adore the hourglass shape and there’s just so much lovely detail to this dress. Even the smoke is pretty!

Patterned dress in Yellow £19.99 from H&M
Patterned dress in Yellow £19.99 from H&M

I am such a fan of this H&M dress (and no, not just because I’d get change out of a twenty pound note – although that does help!). I love the combination of colours and the a-line shape looks lovely with those long sleeves.

Cobalt Ladybird Print Dress £50 from Next
Cobalt Ladybird Print Dress £50 from Next

I feel like this Next frock might be my perfect Winter work dress! Cute but subtle novelty print? Check. Super long sleeves to keep me warm? Check. Colour dark enough to disguise any tea I may or may not throw down myself? Check. The adorable pleating is an added bonus!

Botanical Floral Shift Dress £45 from Warehouse
Botanical Floral Shift Dress £45 from Warehouse

I keep spotting people wearing this divine floral print, which is no surprise really when you consider Warehouse have whacked it on three tops and two dresses. They obviously like it as much as I do! Personally I love the shift dress but the midi appears to be the more popular choice! But whatever tickles your pickle, it’s all about those glorious blooms!

Chaney Woodland Jersey Dress £45 by Louche at Joy
Chaney Woodland Jersey Dress £45 by Louche at Joy

Yay! It’s The Animals of Farthing Wood in dress form! It’s woodland creatures a-go-go in the brilliant dress by Louche! There are squirrels, deer and racoons to admire, as well as what looks to be Little Red Riding Hood? Amazing.

Backless Sheer Sleeve Tulle Embellished Maxi Dress £185 from Needle and Thread at ASOS
Backless Sheer Sleeve Tulle Embellished Maxi Dress £185 from Needle and Thread at ASOS

Last but not least is this simply stunning dress by the tully scrumptious Needle and Thread. I mean, it’s ridiculous. Just look at all that tulle! And the embroidered detailing is to die for! If you’re getting married anytime soon, just wear this and spend the money you’ve successfully saved on cake. Cake forever.

Jx

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2

Welcome to the second part of Leah’s American adventure! Confused? You can read Part One here.

J&V

………………………………………………………………………………………………

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2

Monday, 14th December

Today has been a day of travel and no friends. I was a little nervous about today as I know that I can be a bit incompetent when it comes to anything practical. I’m pleased to report that I have managed to make it to Boston in one piece, having navigated the New York subway, an Amtrak train, the T (Boston subway) and my way to my Airbnb, located on the dreamily named Wonderland metro line. Acquiring friends has been less successful: I temporarily befriended a very obese man on the train by delivering his rubbish (trash) to the bin (trash can) on a number of occasions throughout the four hour journey and I have made acquaintances with a Brazilian couple staying at my Airbnb. Having made a token effort to be sociable and in the process forced to watch That 70s Show, I ventured outside to a convenience store where I found some pretty questionable pre packaged baked goods. I had planned to go and eat crabs alone, but I always find venturing out tricky when you arrive in the dark and don’t know the neighbourhood. From my brief trip outside, it did feel pretty safe (it’s an Hispanic neighbourhood in East Boston). I retreated to my room as there was good wifi and I felt like watching a movie and getting an early night to compensate for the work Christmas party/mosquito deficit.

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2

Tuesday, 15th December

Today, I followed the slightly pretentious (and excellent) Wallpaper Guide to Boston almost to the letter. Their 24 Hour sections are usually really good and take away the often debilitating tyranny of touristic choice in a big city. I took the long subway ride to Columbus Avenue, dreaming of eggs over easy in a classic American diner. Unfortunately, the cardboard boxes lining the windows of Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe shattered my breakfast dreams and I walked away, heartbroken and hungry (it did look as though Charlie’s was undergoing a refurb so you should totally check it out if you’re in Boston in 2016)*. Dusting myself off in the beautiful Boston sunshine, I headed to the JFK Presidential Library & Museum, a library visit always guaranteed to enliven the senses. As well as looking spectacular on the outside, the museum was very inspiring and brought to life everyone’s favourite dreamy American president (and Boston native). After seriously considering a career in politics and befriending a German physician who gave me an apple, I headed to Cambridge to visit the MIT Visual Arts Center for some challenging installation art. The current exhibition is Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space, comprising films, sculptures and text. I was delighted to enter a room filled with mini projectors and multilayered text (mimicking the appearance of a celluloid projector). The showstopper was a series of images of stars and planets projected through coloured glass panels with voice over reflections on the nature of the universe.

The day ended with a stroll through Boston Common, some giant frogs and a walking tour. I was a little dubious as the only tour available had guides dressed in 18th Century garb, but it was actually really good to learn more about Boston life and those awful colonial Brits. At the end of the tour, I went to the Cheers Bar with an Australian girl called Izzy. It was good to visit but a bit of a rip off. All was forgiven when I caught sight of Marky Mark on the TV in the bar. Mark Wahlberg? In Boston? What could be more exciting?! After listening to me drone on about New Kids on the Block/The Funky Bunch/90s pop for some time, amazingly Izzy agreed to accompany me to The Barking Crab (tagline: “We think everyone should have crabs!”) and we donned our super touristy crab bibs and ate crabs and drank rum late into the night. Thanks to Jo (of She & Hem fame) for the crab recommendation. The crab bibs made it feel like I was in a 90s American movie and the location on the beautiful harbourside provided dazzling views of the lights of Beantown. Fun tip: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2ny13

Wednesday, 16th December

I was excited to return to the bright lights of NYC, realising that trip time was slipping away and there was probably enough things on my wish list to take up a few months. I boarded the express train to Washington and marvelled as small town America glided by. We had to change trains due to a power outage so ended up on a slow, local train rerouted to Grand Central Station. Though I arrived later than anticipated, I absolutely love it at Grand Central. It’s so so beautiful and awe inspiring yet similarly busy and stressful, which elicits a strange feeling of serenity coupled with panic. Part of me wanted to stay for hours taking photographs and the other part wanted to get out of there as quickly as humanly possible. Unfortunately the stress of people colliding with me and my heavy suitcase won out and I made a hasty getaway.

I arrived at my home for the night as the sun was setting. As I wheeled my suitcase along the city streets it dawned upon me that I was in New York City, maybe that’s what being in Manhattan does to you. Such a realisation was followed by a sudden pang to get back to Brooklyn (I get attached easily) so I checked in at the Jane Hotel (a former residence for sailors with cabin-like rooms and staff are dressed as bellhops!) and jumped on the L train to Williamsburg, an area scathingly described by my Park Slope residing buddy as “a shanty”.

I went to the achingly cool Nitehawk Cinema where you can order food (themed to the movie, no less) and cocktails right to your cinema seat. The last time I had experienced such a wonder was at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. Unfortunately, I was very very “tired and emotional” and was ejected from a screening of The Aristocrats for supplying minors with alcohol (they were only a couple of years younger than me). Anyway, I digress. Though I had a great time, I think I would get very annoyed with all the food/drink serving interruptions if I’d actually cared about the film I was watching. Not that I didn’t enjoy Trumbo (with my Communism 101 Sandwich and The Driver cocktail laced with Gosling’s Rum), but it didn’t set my world on fire. I still wish we had a Nitehawk in Bristol. The bar was also magnificently cool.

To be continued….

….but in the meantime why not follow Leah on Instagram xx

*Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe closed permanently in 2014 after 87 years of sandwich related success. Worst news –  Jo 

Accessories to Murder #17: January Sales Bag Special

Hello, Happy New Year, and a hearty welcome to the 17th Accessories to Murder! It’s a January Sales bag special! Are you ready to delve into the world of amazing accessories? Excellent! Without further ado, here are the accessories that have made it onto this week’s She and Hem’s Most Wanted.

ASOS Bubblegum Clutch Bag £18.00 £9.00 | January Sales Accessories to Murder #17
ASOS Bubblegum Clutch Bag | Was £18.00 Now £9.00 | ASOS

“I don’t want to settle down, I just want to chew gum!” Does anyone else remember that song by my favourite Norwegian pop star Annie? Just me? Ok! Don’t let that put you off my taste in bags, or you will miss out on gems like this ASOS bubblegum clutch which has been reduced to a sweet and not too sticky £9.

ALDO Cookie Crossbody | January Sales Accessories to Murder #17
ALDO Cookie Crossbody | Was £25.00 Now £10.00 | ALDO via ASOS

If you, like me, have well and truly over indulged during this jolly festive season, you may need to cut back on the sweet treats during January. Don’t feel too crummy, because you can WEAR them instead with this studded cookie clutch. It looks so tasty, I want to take a bite out of it. At £10, it’s a right bargain, so go get one and let’s make biscuits the thing for 2016!

Clutch Bag in Rainbow Chevron Print | January Sales Accessories to Murder #17
Moyna Clutch Bag in Rainbow Chevron Print | Was £70.00 Now £28.00 | Monya via ASOS

While I am a fan of novelty food related accessories, I like great patterns too, and there is no better pattern than the classic chevron. Look how fun this Moyna clutch is! Moyna really are the queens of the colourful clutch, although unfortunately for me and my bank balance, they usually cost around £100. Thanks to our pals at ASOS, this rainbow clutch is available for £28. You may not find a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, but it will add a few more colours to your January blues.

Red London Bag | January Sales Accessories to Murder #17
Red London Bag | Was £99 Now £59 | Boden

There’s nothing grey(hound) about this bus. I’ve been a fan of this cute London bus bag since Boden released it a few months ago, so I’m super happy to see it’s now in the sale. If buses aren’t your bag, you can hail it in black taxi form too!

Teddy Shopper Bag | January Sales Accessories to Murder #17
Teddy Shopper Bag | Was £199 Now £100 | Ted Baker
I’ve decided to let the dog out of the bag and bring this adorable shopper bag to your attention. Excuse me for being a little dog-matic here, but I would say it’s the best Ted Baker bag I’ve seen. Truly, it must be puppy love. It’s still a little on the pricey side compared to some of my other choices but can you really put a price on a such a hot (dog) bag? Woof!
That’s What I Call Cool Bag | January Sales Accessories to Murder #17
That’s What I Call Cool Bag | Was $108.00 Now $64.99 | Betsey Johnson via Modcloth

This next one is really off the hook. This Betsy Johnson telephone bag has a working receiver that plugs into your phone that you can actually talk into. As you can imagine, it was so popular, that it recently went out of stock. Luckily for you, it’s back and has just been reduced, so act fast if you want one.

Star Wars | R2 With Me? Bag | She and Hem | January Sales Accessories to Murder #17
R2 With Me? Bag | $59.99 | Modcloth

Last of all, a real gem. It’s not in the sale but who blooming cares as it’s a Star Wars bag! R2 With Me? Heck yes I am! This IS the droid bag you are looking for. Whilst I decide if I’m more of a R2 or a BB-8 kinda girl, I genuinely recommend heading over to Modcloth for their excellent sale. I need it all.

Vx

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 1

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1

Happy New Year everyone!

We are kicking off 2016 with something a little different! Our glorious friend Leah (pictured above, smiling) likes to go on adventures and, like any good friends would do, we have spent an unreasonable amount of time pressuring her into writing about them for us! Until now we have failed to convince her to do so but imagine our excitement when she decided to embrace her inner Carrie Bradshaw (sorry, Leah) and write about her trip to New York for us! Hoorah! Over the next few weeks we are going to be posting Leah’s NY diary, which should help us combat those January blues and, potentially, leave us all a lot poorer once we’ve inevitably booked flights to America so that we can follow in her footsteps. Fun fact: Leah is really good at both writing and adventures.

Enjoy!

J&V

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1

I’m going to New York City to see a boy. That’s right, I’ve fallen in love. Not with the boy (though he is pretty dreamy) but with New York. Having spent five days there in the hazy summer of ’05 and my whole sentient life soaking up the city in sight and sound, I know it intimately and not at all; New York is the teen crush I’ll never grow out of. A few weeks back, an octogenarian New Yorker mocked me for fawning over her accent: I’ve got it bad. It’s my first solo trip anywhere and I’m terrified and excited in equal measure. Will my British accent and claims I live in a castle be enough to buy me some friends? Will I meet She & Hem’s exacting standards? Probably not, but I shall try my very best.

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1

Friday, 11th December

“You’re going to New York City… On… Your…Own?” My palms became so sweaty that I feared I would fail the fingerprint scan at Newark Airport. The incredulous tone of the man welcoming me to the USA got me thinking, was this the most ridiculous idea ever conceived? Was I the first person to venture to the Big Apple alone? Aren’t we all essentially alone? “Ummm….yes?” I offered, memories of last night’s work Christmas party conga line and the accompanying headache fresh in my mind. After a few more probing questions and a sigh of relief to my response about leaving the country in ten days, I was through security with a vague sense that I’d failed and that I wasn’t really good enough to be in America. It was time to seek out a friend, a prize with which I would be rewarded after doing battle with a tram, train and subway. I was nervous and excited but mainly so so sleepy.

Saturday, 12th December

I awoke at Nash’s apartment (a self styled “hell hole” that wasn’t actually all that bad) with a cat in my face. It had identified me as an outsider and was willing to stare me out until I confessed. I had met Nash in a Trick Art Museum on Jeju Island, South Korea in July and liked his sarcastic sense of humour. We went for French Toast and pancakes at a diner in Park Slope, a leafy area of Brooklyn where he lives and I did my best not to comment on how cool and like a movie set everything was (everything was super cool and like a movie set). It was an unseasonably warm, bright December day and we decided to do a spot of people watching in Prospect Park before checking out the wonderful Brooklyn Public Library and the awesome Brooklyn Museum. I was particularly excited to see an exhibition on Coney Island, a favourite stop on my post university road trip around North America. Later on I would rave about pizza BY THE SLICE and hope that I wasn’t becoming too annoying a house guest. I took myself off on a photography walk while Nash finished some work (in his spare time, he’s a grad student at NYU), aiming for the gritty industrial port. I couldn’t stop beaming to myself as I took it all in, catching sight of the Statue of Liberty in the distance, marvelling at the beautiful Brownstones, the festive decorations and the ubiquity of the stars and stripes.

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1 She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1 She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1 She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1

Sunday, 13th December

I have been savaged by mosquitoes. In New York. In December. On the plus side, it’s another gloriously sunny and mild day in Brooklyn and those sights ain’t gonna see themselves. Why don’t we have delicious French Vanilla coffee in Britain? Maybe we do and I’ve never noticed. After a leisurely (pronounced leez-ure-ly) start, I decided to embark upon the Lonely Planet walking tour of Brooklyn Heights: more beautiful brownstones and incredible views of the iconic Manhattan skyline. I also took in Truman Capote’s house (I think I was looking at the right one) and Jane’s Carousel before wandering around the super cool and elephant free DUMBO, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. After reading about the resurgence of poetry as an art form in the New Yorker a couple of months ago (I’m so cultured), I managed to seek out Berl’s Poetry Shop. Unfortunately, it was closed! I finished the day strolling up the magnificent Columbia Heights, the street on which my Brooklyn buddy grew up. Fun fact: Nash’s parents once rented a studio in their house to the author Norman Mailer.

In the evening we decided to take a trip to the super cool and super stunning BAM Rose Cinemas to see Chi-Raq, the new Spike Lee movie. We arrived early so had time to make a detour to one of my buddy’s favourite barbecue restaurants, The Smoke Joint. It was packed so we sat at the bar, I confused the beautiful bar staff with my strange accent, we ate Southern Sandwiches, drank Margaritas and enthused about pickles (well, I did). It had a really cool vibe and we shot the breeze about American/British cultural differences for so long that we managed to miss the beginning of the movie. After watching Chi-Raq (which I would give 8/10, btw) I would also like to say hooray for the enthusiasm of American moviegoers. My amazed reaction to high fives at mediocre jokes in Wedding Crashers in ’05 came flooding back. Fun fact: as a child, Nash once went to the baseball with Spike Lee. Apparently he (Spike Lee) was “like 5’1” and really mean”.

To be continued….

….but in the meantime why not follow Leah on Instagram xx