Out of the Bluestone

Out of the Bluestone
Dresses L-R from Primark (in-store) and Sugarhill Boutique* (here)

Out of the Bluestone Out of the Bluestone

Out of the Bluestone
Victoria: Jumper Sugarhill Boutique* (here), Jeans Topshop (here), Sneakers Superga* (here). Jo: Jumper Boden (old), Jeans Topshop (here), Sneakers Superga* (here)

Out of the Bluestone Out of the BluestoneOut of the Bluestone

*make a cup of tea – this is a long one*

Along with our lovely husbands, James and Andrew, we recently took the girls to Bluestone National Park Resort for their very first holiday. For our first trip away we wanted somewhere that wasn’t too far, so at just over two hours in the car this Welsh delight was perfect! If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you may remember we visited Bluestone a couple of years ago (back when we were footloose and fancy free) to review their adult only packages. We were really looking forward to going back and seeing it through a fresh pair of new parent eyes and found it quite amazing what you don’t notice before you have children! Bluestone is perfectly geared up for little and big kids with plenty of activities for even the babies (they offer baby sensory, massage and yoga although our top tip would be to book in advance as we missed out on the sensory class). We really appreciated just how easy everything was made for us, even eating out was a breeze thanks to how child friendly all the facilities are. All restaurants should have a buggy park!

We stayed in the six person Skomer Lodge which was slightly luxurious thanks to its three beds and three bathrooms situation. The girls really appreciated having their own bathrooms – we just can’t drag them away from the mirror! We were all slightly nervous about attempting a holiday with two such young babies but thanks to the amount of space we had, we were never under each others feet and it was very easy for one baby to be crying in the night and not disturb the other. A big relief for us all! If you’ve got bigger children, all the lodges have lots of lovely outside space for running around in or for even bigger kids (hi) for drinking prosecco and eating fish and chips from the onsite posh fish and chip van. We were even visited by some friendly rabbits and ducks!
Out of the Bluestone Out of the Bluestone Out of the Bluestone Out of the BluestoneOut of the Bluestone Out of the Bluestone Out of the BluestoneOut of the BluestoneWe were #blessed with good weather so made the most of being in such a beautiful part of the world by exploring and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors. One of our favourite things we did whilst away was the very pretty nature trail. Poppy and Ada actually slept through the whole thing but we had a lovely time admiring the bluebells, fairy houses, and giant fox sculptures! After a lovely long walk, we ended up at the picturesque Camp Smokey for a quick marshmallow break and some sing songs round the bonfire. Last time we visited we only ventured here during the evening but actually much preferred it in the day. It was so peaceful and it felt very special being there with the babies. Yeehaw!
Out of the Bluestone

We love this photo of the girls! We are hoping to take the same photo of them every time we go back to Bluestone!

Out of the Bluestone
Victoria: Shirt Boden* (here), Skirt Boden (old). Jo: Shirt Sugarhill Boutique* (here), Skirt Boden* (here)

Out of the BluestoneOut of the Bluestone Out of the Bluestone Out of the Bluestone

It wouldn’t be a She and Hem holiday if we didn’t try and eat all of the desserts on offer. We loved the ice cream milkshakes at Ty Coffi and set ourselves the challenge of trying every flavour! They were so good! However, the star of the holiday has to be those ridiculous freakshakes. Oh my goodness what a treat. When ordering, the waitress was curious to know how many people would be sharing the shakes and was somewhat shocked to discover that we had one each. Did we regret it? Heck no. We probably shouldn’t mention that we then went on to have a spaghetti bolognaise should we… To combat our sugar high we left the boys with the babies and booked ourselves in for a two hour spa session. It was glorious and very much needed. In fact, whilst sitting in the outdoor jacuzzi we got chatting and soon realised that everyone there was a mum having a bit of a break. We felt very rejuvenated and soaked up every second before bouncing back to our lovely little ladies and their equally lovely dads. The four of them had had a real blast while we were away.

We also had a blast swimming at the Blue Lagoon swimming pool. There’s an abundance of family-sized changing rooms (complete with baby changing tables – so useful) and the pool itself was extremely baby friendly. We took the girls in the special kiddy pool (they loved the bubbles!) and then braved the wave machine and the rapids! Such daredevils. The girls aren’t quite big enough for the flumes yet but, hey, there’s got to be some advantages to being a grown up! We must have been in the pool area for a good couple of hours which is crazy! We even did a couple of feeds whilst lounging in the poolside deckchairs.

Out of the Bluestone

Thanks for another lovely stay Bluestone! We will be back!

J&V (and A&P&A&J) xx

A massive massive thank you to Bluestone for inviting us. Although they really did spoil us rotten this review is 100% honest. 

Accessories to Murder #36

Hello and welcome to the 36th 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.

Accessories to Murder #36 | She and Hem
Game Over Crossbody Bag | £28.00 | Skinnydip Via Topshop
Accessories to Murder #36 | She and Hem
Secretly A Mermaid Cross Bag | £25.00 | Skinnydip Via Topshop

We start with a terrific twosome from Topshop. Both the Game Over bag and Mermaid Bag are made by Skinnydip and are a heck of a lot of fun. Being a lady of a certain vintage, I remember loving playing on my GameBoy when I was growing up, so I’m a big fan of the first bag. The second is dedicated to all of our aquatically minded followers, and I know we have a good few! What a catch.

Accessories to Murder #36 | She and Hem
Transparent Frame Sunglasses | £12.99 | Zara

It’s finally bright enough to wear sunglasses out without looking a bit odd. That’s never stopped us here at She and Hem, but hooray for the sun, and let’s hope it lasts! I spotted these whilst browsing the Zara website and while they aren’t as colourful as the sunglasses we usually feature, they look chic without being too sensible.

Accessories to Murder #36 | She and Hem
Multi-Coloured Satchel | £35 | La Redoute

I’m really excited to have spotted this fab satchel from La Redoute, which also comes in a wonderful yellow version. I usually go straight for anything that comes in yellow, but I’m a big fan of the grey and pale blue combo on this beauty. It looks a lot like the more expensive brands, but comes in at about half the price at £35! Thanks La Redoute!

Accessories to Murder #36 | She and Hem
Life in the Splash Lane Swimsuit in Chevron | $99.99 | Modcloth

I haven’t featured anything from Modcloth in a while, so this week they are back with a bang with this incredible chevron swimming costume. It’s so pretty! The yellow piping looks so flattering, especially around the waist. Gosh, if I was going on a summer holiday this year, this would go straight into my basket.

Accessories to Murder #36 | She and Hem
Red Apple Snow White Bag | £10 | Primark

Keep the doctor away with this fruity little number. Whether you have a fancy dress party coming up or you just love novelty bags, this apple bag from Primark is a right old bargain. This is the first time I’ve featured anything from Primark on Accessories to Murder because I have to admit, I do struggle with their website! Does anyone else feel a bit frustrated with it?

That’s all for now folks. Until next week, keep accessorising!

Vx

Check out last week’s Accessories to Murder

Red Roses and Valentine’s Day Poses

Red Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and FinRed Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and FinRed Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and Fin

Ever wanted to see us fight over a bunch of red roses? It’s your lucky day! It’s finally February and now officially acceptable to start dressing in all things Valentine related. Yippee! Break out your hearts, roses and stupid cupid accessories -it’s time to get soppy guys. These new Valentine’s dresses from Emily and Fin will be more than just a February fling! Thanks to their fab prints, summer appropriate cuts and pockets (for all your love letters), we will be sporting these all year round! It’s true love.

Red Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and Fin Red Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and FinRed Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and FinRed Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and Fin

If you hadn’t noticed, it’s flippin’ freezing (brrrr) at the moment but thankfully both the Scarlett Heart* and Bed of Roses* lend themselves to being paired with winter warmers. Victoria has teamed her ravishing red frock with a black cardigan from M&S, a black belt, polka-dot tights from UKTights* and black flats from F&F. I (Jo) have also embraced all things black (to match my heart – jokes) by layering my rosy number over a sparkly black thermal top from M&S, a black belt, tights from M&S and Topshop pumps. My glittery heart bag is from good ol’ Primark. The roses were a gift from a passing handsome stranger*

Red Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and FinRed Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and FinRed Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and FinRed Roses and Valentine's Day Poses | She and Hem | Emily and Fin

What are your plans for V-day?

J&V

*Not really. We bought them ourselves (sob).

This post was written in collaboration with Emily and Fin. Who we love all year round. 

Technicolour Dreamcoats

She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden

Ah, coat weather! Don’t you just love it? We were incredibly excited (there were squeals) when these two AW15 beauties from Boden landed on our doorstep. We are always totally obsessed with Boden’s coats! They just consistently nail the colours, the shapes and the patterns. Naturally, not much time was wasted before we threw them on and set off for an Autumnal stroll. Oh my.

In a break with tradition, we’ve gone for some bright colours (yeah, right) with two of the most technicolor dreamcoats around. Victoria is single handedly representing all of the primary colours in her gorgeous striped Tilly*. Those stripes are seriously stunning and the drop shoulder and boyish frame are surprisingly flattering – we are both usually quite scared of anything that isn’t fitted but any fears of this looking too boxy were quickly allayed. My (Jo) obsession with all things pink has continued with the a-line shaped Karlie* which has a beautiful jacquard print and Victoria was a big fan of my trim. I will be wearing this throughout the colder months thanks to it being 100% wool.

She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden

So, how exactly to style two such statement coats?! As a couple of girls who wear a lot of patterns, we did struggle with our wardrobes at first but thankfully soon discovered that an Autumnal colour scheme of berries, browns, navy and greys worked a treat for both! Victoria wore a navy t-shirt from Primark with the Hayley Spot Jacquard Skirt from Sugarhill Boutique*, ribbed tights from Boden, and Chelsea boots from Yumi* whilst I went for a jam jar print dress from Book of Deer, grey tights from M&S and grey Pointed Loafers (former gophers) from Boden*. We accessoried with five thousand colourful leaves.

She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden She and Hem | Technicolour Dreamcoats | Boden

J&Vx

Buckle up for Clarks Shoes AW15

She and Hem | Clarks AW15She and Hem | Clarks AW15She and Hem | Clarks AW15She and Hem | Clarks AW15She and Hem | Clarks AW15

Shoes glorious shoes! We were super pumped when the lovely folk at Clarks got in touch to ask if we would like to style some shoes from their new collection of shoes & boots for AW15! We couldn’t resist their latest collaboration with Orla Kiely, which we first saw in all its fabulous retro glory at the gorgeous #allquietinthelibrary London Fashion Week AW15 presentation. They are fun, quirky and playful! Basically, we like to think of them as the ‘She and Hem’ of the shoe world. That works for everyone, yeah?

We love how the famous stem print design is incorporated on to the sole of all of the shoes in the collection. It’s the little touches like that, the detailing of the straps and the exciting colours which make this collection so shoe-purb! All of Orla’s collaborations with Clarks have been pretty dreamy so far, but this one is definitely our favourite. From sparkly gold flats to groovy 70’s platforms, they are all blooming perfect! And comfy too! So very comfy.

She and Hem | Clarks AW15She and Hem | Clarks AW15

Victoria plumped for the oh-so-sparkly navy and gold Orla Abigail* which, judging by the amount of times we have spotted these beauties on Instagram, are the must have shoe of the moment! It’s not hard to see why as they really are beautiful with such a lovely shimmer and, thanks to their perfectly formed chunky heel, are going to be just the ticket for party season! Victoria let her shoes do the talking and embraced a Sixties vibe with her black and white Primark dress, which is currently available in store if you fancy finding it. She looks so chic!

I (Jo) chose the Orla Angelina* because red and pink is my absolute favourite colour combination at the moment and with those lovely pink buttoned flowers, they were just too cute not to have! I couldn’t wait to wear them with my favourite Boden* skirt (seriously, I live in this skirt now) and, once I’d added some jazzy purple spotted tights and a pink pompom, I decided to try and tone down the madness by wearing a ballet dancer print blouse from Zara. That sentence makes complete sense in my head, anyway.

She and Hem | Clarks AW15She and Hem | Clarks AW15

These shoes really are just fabulous and look so much more expensive than they are!  Please carry on these fantastic collaborations, Clarks! We don’t want this to be the last.

Orla and out!

V&Jx

Bristol Fashion Week AW15

she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15 she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15

On Thursday I popped down to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway with my friend, fashion icon and fellow M&S appreciator Kelly to catch one of the runway shows of Bristol Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 15. This was my third BFW and it was definitely the best so far thanks to the brilliant movie theme that was embraced from start to finish! It was such a nice touch to be welcomed with popcorn and Kelly and I had a great time admiring the movie posters as we drank our delicious fruity drinks.

she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15

The first thing to catch our eye on the catwalk was the ‘High Shine’ collection from John Lewis! You can’t beat a bit of glitz and glamour and I suddenly became all about sparkles, faux fur and sunglasses! What a combination! Plus, how much do I want to be the sort of girl to rock up at the work Christmas party wearing an actual crown?? I also loved the 70s injection courtesy of M&S during the ‘Nomadic’ segment. I can totally see myself trying this look out come the colder weather and couldn’t help but notice the similarities between that pink hat and the one from Accessorize I fell in love with in our last post! I may have made a sneaky purchase after the show!

she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15

As someone who likes to dress in as many bright colours as possible, the large amount of grey and black on the catwalk (the grey coat appears to be this seasons staple) didn’t really do it for me although, once again, I was really feeling the faux fur accessories! I’m going to be a big fan of this trend I can see! Both Kelly and I also enjoyed the liberal use of colourful tights which gave everything a bit of a Gossip Girl vibe and is certainly something I will be happy to embrace!

she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15she and Hem | Bristol Fashion Week AW15

The two stand out pieces for us were the black sequin jacket (which was spectacularly hard to photograph) from M&S, naturally. It’s absolutely stunning and a brilliant take on the biker jacket. Imagine throwing that on top of your dresses come party season! We did several laps of the store after the show but sadly couldn’t find it (probably just as well as it’s £89) but it is available online should you be feeling flush. The other was the gold and purple fringe dress of dreams from Phase Eight at John Lewis which had Kelly shouting “MAKE SURE YOU TAKE PHOTOS OF THAT!” at me as it came sashaying down the catwalk, fringe all over the shop. What a stunner.

Did you go to Bristol Fashion Week? What was your favourite piece? And how are we all feeling about crimped hair??

Jx

Jo wears – Floral Print Ruffle Dress from Topshop, bag and tights both past season from M&S, Pointed Loafers from Boden* and heart sunglasses from TkMaxx

Kelly wears – Dress from Primark (available in store), bag from Joy, a scrabble necklace (similar available from Not on the High Street) and a watch from Urban Outfitters

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015

She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015

Ah, hot air balloons! How we love you. We never take this unique part of our city for granted but it was a special reminder recently when we went to meet with the fabulous Charlotte from Betty magazine (OMG, we know) when, as we sat outside in the glorious sunshine on the top deck of a boat, cocktail in hand, three should suddenly float over our heads – much to Charlotte’s surprise and delight! “This is Bristol” we said, “isn’t it the best?”

She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015

The Bristol Balloon Fiesta, then, is the highlight of any local balloon enthusiasts diary and we always try and go to, or at least sit and watch from a distance, as many mass ascents as possible over the four days the Fiesta runs for. This year was no different and between us we watched them all! GO TEAM. It’s fair to say that whether you are down at the Fiesta itself, or perched up on a hill, or even just sitting looking out of your window with a cup of tea, there’s no better sight!

She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015She and Hem | Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015

On Thursday evening we ventured down to the Fiesta site at Ashton Court for the first balloon launch and the night glow. We always like to dress for the occasion and this year was no different as once again we broke out the balloon print dresses. Victoria wore a handmade dress (Mumma V is a talented lady!) which was made using a Christine Haynes pattern and yellow heart sunglasses from Primark (fancier but similar version here). I (Jo) wore a Rosalita McGee balloon print dress and a hot air balloon bag which are both from Modcloth and teamed them with brown heart sunglasses from Topshop. Will we ever get bored of heart sunglasses? Probably not!

As much fun as it is to visit the Fiesta for the night glow, we particularly love going down to Ashton Court for the morning ascents (even if it does mean getting up at silly-AM) as there really is something truly magical about watching so many balloons go up when the rest of the city is still sleeping. We’ll be blogging about our time at the Saturday morning ascent later in the week (as well as some very special outfits from Emily and Fin) but if you can’t wait until then (or you just love balloons as much as we do) then have a watch of our Bristol Balloon Fiesta vlog to get a sneaky look at what we got up to as well as the rest of our time at the Fiesta.

J&V x

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Big Bows and Blogging Duos

Big Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill Boutique Big Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill BoutiqueBig Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill BoutiqueBig Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill BoutiqueBig Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill Boutique

We loved shooting our last Sugarhill Boutique post so much, we’ve decided to do another one and woah, what a scorcher it was too. The sunny climate called for up do’s, a trip to the local park, and matching heart sunglasses. What a blooming brilliant way to spend a Saturday morning! As you might be able to tell we both fell for the 1960’s style polkadot print from their new Autumn/Winter collection and couldn’t resist signing on the dotted line and styling it two ways. Both the Hayley Spot Jacquard Skirt* and the Dahlia Spot Dress* are super fun, whilst being so easy to wear, which are both big requirements for any item in the She and Hem wardrobe.

I (Victoria) took a walk on the wild side and paired the spotty skirt with the rawrsome Bella Tiger Blouse*. With tons of floating tiger heads, gold buttons and a dropped back, it’s pretty freakin’ fierce and we ain’t lion! Jo’s dress is the star of the show with a super chic tunic shape and snazzy zip detail, it’s the perfect dress to take you from work to play.

Big Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill BoutiqueBig Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill BoutiqueBig Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill BoutiqueBig Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill BoutiqueBig Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill BoutiqueBig Bows and Blogging Duos | Sugarhill Boutique

Now for the big bows! I accessorised my outfit with a black ribbon, sunglasses from Primark, a floral headband from New Look, and white heeled ASOS shoes (similar here). Jo layered her dress over a Zara blouse and accessorised with a humongous black bow headband from Forever 21, TkMaxx sunglasses, a cat shaped Dahlia bag, and black VANDER point shoes from Topshop.

What do you think? Are you ready to think about Autumn?

V&J

 

 

Love Ur Look

She and Hem | Love Ur Look

One of the many fantastic things that has come from writing She and Hem has been the opportunity to discover, work with, and support new and exciting brands! We were therefore absolutely thrilled when Love Ur Look, who launched their first full collection in 2013, got in touch with us and invited us to style a couple of their dresses. A quick gander at their dream of a website later and we were rather in love with their look!

She and Hem | Love Ur LookShe and Hem | Love Ur LookShe and Hem | Love Ur LookShe and Hem | Love Ur LookShe and Hem | Love Ur Look

Love Ur Look is the creation of Ronke Fashola, a graduate from the London College of Fashion who has decided to take her love for vintage fashion and put it into her own label. The website is certainly a treasure trove of retro loveliness and we found it rather difficult (as always) to narrow down our choices! We eventually settled on two tea dresses in equally fun prints! Victoria went for the Bluebird* whilst I (Jo) went for the Doll* print. Aren’t the bright colours just lovely? We certainly felt suitably jazzy in them! They are really nice and flattering too with a tie waist, big buttons and even bigger pockets. We ridiculously decided to take these photos on the hottest day of the year so we can also confirm that their relaxed fit also helps to keep you nice and cool too!

She and Hem | Love Ur LookShe and Hem | Love Ur LookShe and Hem | Love Ur Look

Due to the heat and the boldness of our frocks we both decided to let our of dresses do the talking but we did both plump for a fun shoe to complete our looks! Victoria’s pink bow pumps are from Primark whilst my heart shoes are from ASOS.

J&V x

Retro Row Your Boat

Laura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro DressesLaura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro DressesLaura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro DressesLaura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro Dresses

Ahoy there Hemsters! If you are a Laura Ashley fan, you may have spotted two very familiar faces this week on their wonderful blog. We took two of their gorgeous retro inspired dresses along to our recent city break to Oxford. Victoria picked the colouful 50’s style Sail Boat Print Fit Flare Dress and Straw Panama Hat, whilst Jo chose the gorgeous Beach Scene Halterneck Dress with the rather glam Floppy Straw Hat, all of which are from Laura Ashley’s current Sunset Collection.

We dressed down for this wee jaunt down the river to Oxford’s stunning Botanical Gardens, but we can’t wait to restyle these blue beauties again when we set sail on our summer holidays. Jo accessorized her halterneck dress with the Milan Clutch* from Boden, cute ASOS ballet flats and a mustard Primark belt. Victoria’s tan sandals are from New Look and the gorgeous straw bag is from Primark. Unfortunately, the straw bag is now unavailable, as it sold out faster than disposable BBQ’s in a heatwave.

Laura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro DressesLaura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro Dresses | Straw HatsLaura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro Dresses | Straw HatsLaura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro Dresses | Straw HatsLaura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro Dresses | Straw HatsLaura Ashley | She and Hem | Retro Dresses | Straw Hats

V&J