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

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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

New Year’s Eve Dresses With Sugarhill Boutique

New Year's Eve Dresses | She and Hem | Sugarhill BoutiqueNew Year's Eve Dresses | She and Hem | Sugarhill BoutiqueNew Year's Eve Dresses | She and Hem | Sugarhill Boutique

So all of your presents are wrapped and your poor pet turkey’s legs are quivering, but have you got your New Year’s Eve outfit sorted yet? No? Well, don’t fret, as we’ve picked the perfect party pieces from Sugarhill Boutique that will help you shimmy your way into 2016. Go glam this NYE!

It is often said that I (Victoria) have a heart of gold. So this Betsy Jacquard Shift dress*, which is covered in a bunch of golden hearts, really called out to me. Now that I’m officially Mrs Valentine, I feel it is acceptable, nay demanded, that I wear any novelty Valentine inspired prints at all times. I’m probably the only person more excited about February 14th than Christmas Day. I have a day named after me guys (sort of…)!

Back to the dress, it’s not just the hearts I’m into, oh no. The shape is super flattering, and the short sleeves are smart and chic. Almost perfect, but alas neither this dress, nor the Philippa Tweed Jacquard dress* that Jo is wearing, feature pockets, a must have here at She & Hem towers. However, what Jo’s dress does have is those awesome jazzy straps and the most gorgeous texture. While shooting these photos, we both agreed that Sugarhill Boutique are just so consistent, in terms of style and quality. You can wear their pieces over and over again (and I do!!) and they stay in tip top condition.

New Year's Eve Dresses | She and Hem | Sugarhill BoutiqueNew Year's Eve Dresses | She and Hem | Sugarhill BoutiqueNew Year's Eve Dresses | She and Hem | Sugarhill BoutiqueNew Year's Eve Dresses | She and Hem | Sugarhill Boutique

If you are not planning on a big night out on the 31st, but still want to wear something special, you could layer a party dress with some nifty knitwear. Jo picked the Hatsy Chunky Lurex cardigan* to wear over her glitzy frock and I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be seeing her in it a lot over the upcoming months. It’s sparkle is pretty, yet subtle enough to make this the ideal cosy coverup to wear to work to beat those January blues. She added a touch of extra sparkle by adding gold glitter to her roots! Snazzy! This was achieved by mixing glitter with Rush’s Lift & Defy Root Lift. What do you think? I wore the Georgia Heart Sequin sweater* over my betsy dress, as I love a bit of heart synergy and it’s got the cutest collar of 2015!

New Year's Eve Dresses | She and Hem | Sugarhill BoutiqueNew Year's Eve Dresses | She and Hem | Sugarhill Boutique

What are your NYE plans?

V&Jx

Ice and Pies!

Ice and Pies | At-Bristol Ice Skating | Bristol Bloggers

What a bunch of blogger babes! On Friday night I (Victoria) wrapped up warm and joined Sophie from Saints On A Plane, Hayley from Bonjour, Blogger!, Dulcie from La Dulcie Vita and Amie from Credit Crunch Chic (Tara from The Style Rawr and Lucy from The Parent Game not pictured) for a night of Ice and Pies! We looked like an off duty ice skating girl band who only eat pies. Incidentally, this is pretty much my dream come true.

Every festive season I excitedly exclaim how I’d love to have a whizz around the rink at At-Bristol, but I never seem to get around to it before it vanishes for another year. Instead, I just bore my friends with my story about how Christopher Dean once called me ‘a ray of sunshine’. Unfortunately, compliments from skating legends do not equal skating prowess, and I can just about shuffle around the outside of the rink without falling over. Luckily for me, the soundtrack was spot on, so I felt pretty great creeping zooming along to Shake It Off.

For dinner, we popped along to St Nick’s night market to sample the new festive pies from Pieminister, which were pretty damn tasty. Myself and Hayley went for the Three Kings pie, which contains a mouthwatering combination of turkey, smoked bacon, parsnips and cranberries. It’s like Christmas in a pie. Merry Piemass indeed! It would definitely get more than 3.142 out of 5 from me…

Ice and Pies | At-Bristol Ice Skating | Bristol | She and HemIce and Pies | At-Bristol Ice Skating | Bristol | She and HemIce and Pies | Three Kings Pieminister Pie | She and HemIce and Pies | Pieminister St Nick's | She and HemIce and Pies | Three Kings Pieminister Pie | She and HemIce and Pies | Pieminister at St Nick's Market | She and Hem

If you are looking for things to do in Bristol during the lead up to Christmas, check out Visit Bristol. If it’s not listed on there, it’s probably not worth going to.

Vx

Boden Press Day #newbritishchristmas

Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem

Greetings dear reader, and ho, ho, how are you doing? Me? Well I’m fine thank you, as I’ve just spent a sunny Thursday morning in July drinking champagne and eating mince pies underneath quite possibly the biggest Christmas tree I’ve ever seen! As much as I (Victoria) wish it was, this wasn’t an average She and Hem day. We had made a trip to London for a full on day of meetingsvlogging and most importantly (you know we blooming love these guys!), the Boden Christmas Press Day.

Just you Santa pause there for a minute…look at that coat! It’s very much the outer wear of our dreams, and we both fell completely head over heels for it. I’ve been a particularly good girl this year (so far), so I’m hoping to find it underneath my Christmas tree! In addition to the incredible coats, the shoe selection was particularly enticing. In fact, one pair would make the most perfect accessory to ‘the most important dress I’ll ever wear’ on a very special day next month. I can’t tell you which design, as I like to think the OH will read this, but when I saw them, it was like all my Christmases had come at once! Jo had to bribe me with another glass of fizz just to let go of them

Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem Boden Christmas Press Day | #anewbritishchristmas | She and Hem

There is only 136 days until Christmas!

V&J

Christmas Jumper Day

Christmas Jumper Day | Bristol Christmas Market | She and Hem

We aren’t the types to shy away from novelty clothing, especially when weaved with a damn good deed. So today, on the third annual Christmas Jumper Day, we have donned our most festive sweaters to make the world better and are donating to the Save The Children #xmasjumperday cause.

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Christmas time, sausages and wine! What better place to wear our joyous jumpers than the very merry Bristol Christmas Market. Our knitwear of choice, is Ski* and Snowflake*, both are from Matalan and they did a fine job of keeping us toasty whilst enjoying a Bratwurst or two. And, as if that wasn’t Christmassy enough, whlist catching up over a mulled wine, the real life Father Christmas appeared. Unfortunately for us, there was no sleigh in sight and he was merely sheltering from the rain, not handing out presents. He gave us a hug, but it was a little frosty…

Christmas Jumper Day | Bristol Christmas Market | She and Hem

Find out more about Christmas Jumper Day and how to donate on the Save the Children website or text WOOLLY to 70050 to donate £2 (don’t forget to read the Ts & Cs)!

V&J

Swindon Designer Outlet Part 2

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

If you have read Swindon Designer Outlet Part 1, you will know that a couple of Saturday’s ago, myself and Jo went wild in the aisles and shopped until we dropped at McArthurGlen Swindon. And by dropped I mean, we both spent far too much money and promptly fell asleep on the train home. Our mission as part of The Gift Hunter Challenge was to find Christmas presents for three of our nearest and dearest. With the promise of The Cadbury Store, blogger (and personal!) favourite Yankee Candle and Ed’s Diner, and an eggnog latte or two, it sounded less like a challenge, and more like the perfectly indulgent girly afternoon out!

To fully embrace the Christmas spirit, I wore my snowflake jumper from Matalan* and subtly festive beret from Gallic Rooster*.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas ShoppingSwindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas ShoppingSwindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

After a few hours browsing and admiring all of the lovely things, we made the difficult executive decision to head to Wagamama to have an in-depth discussion about Strictly Come Dancing what we wanted to purchase. Here are the items that are now patiently waiting under the tree.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

The store I spent the most time and money in, and I’m not ashamed to say this, was Hornby. I am so ridiculously pleased with what I bought from the store and also, with the incredible customer service I received whilst there. Following advice from the very knowledgeable manager, James, I decided on what I wanted to buy for my dad, a life long model train fan. He often gets somewhat forgotten about at Christmas, his annual gift of a box of Liquorice Allsorts from every member of the family being hilarious to everyone but him, so I wanted to give the old boy something special this year. As soppy as it sounds, being able to give my dad the above gifts will be the highlight of my Christmas Day, especially as I am back to work on Boxing Day! I did blow over half of my budget in Hornby, but I don’t think any of the other recipients will mind.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas ShoppingSwindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

My favourite auntie really loves Christmas and makes the whole family a small stocking every year full to the brim with small but uniquely personal gifts, which we open just before our Christmas dinner. It’s probably my favourite of our family traditions. To say thank you, I decided to put together a rather special stocking of treats just for her, including a gorgeous Bobbi Brown set from Cosmetic Company Store.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

These two gifts are for one of my BFF’s. Although there are several specialist bag shops at the outlet, including Osprey London, Antler, Radley and Fiorelli, it was this gorgeous blue French Connection bag that caught my eye. I think it will make a perfectly casual but fun day bag. My friend has been super supportive this year, and as she is a fellow Yankee Candle obsessive, I couldn’t leave without popping in to purchase my last perfect present! I spent far too long choosing the most festive Yankee Candle from their vast selection, and I really hope I made the right choice. Just another 23 days to find out!

If all these goodies have got you in the mood for a little festive shopping, as a little Christmas gift from me to you, to get an extra 10% off during your trip to McArthurGlen, just click here!

Vx

Ask Her Friends November Panel

Ask Her Friends | She and Hem | November Panel

As members of the Ask Her Friends panel, every month we will be picking our favourite pieces from the Ask Her Friends website. This month we went a bit kitchen crazy and selected our items around a super sushi making experience, as we had such a blast at the workshop we went to. We had lots of fun searching and chatting about the perfect  pieces, so do let us know what you think!

Ask Her Friends are running a competition to win three different prizes this month. All you have to do is vote for your favourite panelist’s choices. It’s almost as easy as Deal or No Deal. Also on offer is £10 off if you spend more than £30 by adding sheandhem10 and a further £20 off if you spend more than £50 by adding sheandhem20. We promise we’re not trying to bribe you…

V&J

Accessories to Murder #10 Christmas Special

There are only 3 sleeps until Christmas, so it’s the perfect time to have a brand spanking new Accessories to Murder. We’ve only gone and made it a Christmas Special! An early gift to our fabulous Hemsters and maybe some inspiration for any last minute gifts you need!  If you are anything like me you will be SO ready for a few days off to relax and indulge in mince pies, toffee pennies and my new favourite tipple, mulled cider. Joyeux Noël!

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Flashing Light Necklace, £6, Claire’s.

Now, I know it’s a bit of a faff wearing batteries as part of your outfit (don’t ask how!), but stay with me here, as this necklace exemplifies Christmas. This fully functioning flashing light necklace won’t be hard to accessorize with your Christmas outfit as it has not one but three settings.

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Gingerbread Man Earrings, £16.02, Etsy.

Just how cute are these little fellas from Pixie Hearts via Etsy? These ginger guys will certainly brighten up these chilly December evenings. They are made to order, so if you have a bit of a sweet tooth (or ear…), get your orders in asap! If it’s too late to order for this year, why not be super organised and grab some for 2014?

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Pom Pom Beanie, £10, Next

I’ve been looking for a cute beanie to wear over winter for a while now and I think I found the perfect knitted wonder in Next while I was Christmas shopping this weekend, and thought I should share it with you! It is Christmassy, but unlike the light necklace, you won’t look a little bonkers wearing it come January. Continue reading Accessories to Murder #10 Christmas Special

Festive Finds: Meaty Christmas

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As you’ve probably guessed by now, we here at She and Hem are very fond of a good Christmas jumper. We’re also pretty devoted to our annual trip to The Burger Joint in Bristol to sample their delicious Christmas Menu. It seemed fitting that we should combine our two true loves for maximum meaty joy.

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Choosing a meal at The Burger Joint is almost as much fun as eating it! Their selection is vast, allowing you to create your perfect carb-fest. With a whopping choice of locally sourced burgers, sauces, sides and salads, it has been calculated that there are a staggering 78,912,800 different combinations on offer. So, we’ve decided to make it our New Years Resolution to try them all!

BJ1 Continue reading Festive Finds: Meaty Christmas