Hosting #MBE / Midlands Blogger Event

21 Mar

I actually have very few pictures from the Midlands Blogger Event as I was too busy running around organising goodie bags and making sure people were having a good time to actually take photos. The event was a massive success and I can’t say thanks enough to everyone involved.

My co-host, Annie Bean, and I started the day with a beautiful French inspired breakfast at my place before I took the limelight and gave an interview to the lovely Mark Dennison about MBE. I was so nervous about being on the radio but everyone has said I sounded really confident so I’m chuffed with that. You can have a listen of the Midlands Blogger Event radio interview here.

When we got to the event at the lovely Orange Tree in Nottingham, we were actually pretty calm! We bagged up the goodies, displayed all the fab raffle prizes and decorated the tables in some beautiful vintage tablecloths.

We had some fab sponsors, including the brilliant Innocent smoothies who provided a whole array of flavours on the day and kept our bloggers quenched and happy. We also provided cupcakes and bonbons on the treat table and Best of British Bloggers gave us the cute little umbrellas to help decorate the place.

 

 

Catherine from Wells About Town enjoys her smoothie

The goodie bags were fab (if I do say so myself!) and we had some great help from Immediate PR, More magazine, Beauty Naturals and Sparkly Nails amongst others. And, of course, the big prize came from BMI Baby who provided a pair of flights and a chance to blog for the company for the big winner. You can see from the photos just what fun was had!

 

Aislinn from BooBoo Kitty Couture wins the flights!

Aislinn from BooBoo Kitty Couture wins the flights!

I met some fab new friends on the day (I’ll put a full list of bloggers up over the weekend) and the feedback from the day has been BRILLIANT. Annie and I have had loads of people ask when the next event is and we are indeed planning another… Watch this space!

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What to wear for a fancy dinner?

18 Mar

Isn’t it ironic that I haven’t had time to blog because I’ve been planning a bloggers event? MBE (Midlands Blogger Event) was an incredible success yesterday and I’ll be blogging this week with photographs, links to the bloggers that came and all the info about the sponsors!

For now, I need some help on what to wear! My lovely boyfriend is taking me out for a rather swish meal tomorrow night at Marco Pieree-White’s restaurant in The Cube in Birmingham as a little treat for all the hard work I’ve put into organising yesterday’s event (just gutted my co-host isn’t coming!)

Do I go for a Little Black Dress? Or maybe a floral, vintage inspired number with red lipstick and a hair flower? And then there’s the whole bag option- Mulberry Alexa or a clutch? Elizabeth Arden snake print clutch or sparkly bow one from Accessorize?

Hell, if I’m having this much trouble picking, how am I going to make a decision on what to have for dinner?

I’ve got less than 24 hours to decide and if someone could just magic this outfit into my wardrobe in time then I’d be the happiest girl alive!

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Bonjour!

6 Feb

Since coming back from London, the low moods really hit me. I have to admit I miss the rush of London, the busy office and the thrill of partying a few nights a week. But lovely Nottinghamshire is just that… lovely. The boyfriend and I have been getting back into our routine and I’ve been kept busy copywriting for a client.

Since coming back, conversations have been turned to Paris and our beautiful trip on May 2nd to May 4th. My boyfriend and I are jumping on the Eurostar to Paris in several weeks for a few nights of champagne drinking, brie eating and general tourist photo taking.

I’ve been researching some brands to splurge my birthday Euros on. I want tank tops from Sandro, a bag from Vanessa Bruno and Breton stripes from APC. Of course, we’ll be taking a trip to Sephora where I can go wild and stock up on red lipstick, mineral foundations and floral creams. I cannot wait!

What are your tips for shopping in Paris? Any brands I should be aware of? Do you have a favourite French beauty product? I’m dying to know!

Photo from weheartit.com

Taylor Swift for Vogue

18 Jan

Things have been crazy busy at More! when I’m currently doing work experience. If I’m not writing news features for the web then I’m sourcing celeb gossip or out interviewing the likes of Wayne Hemmingway. It’s all incredible and I’ll do a longer post next week about my experience.

Just wanted to blog about the stunning photos of Taylor Swift for Vogue that have hit the web today. Taylor has always been one of my favourite celebrities; she’s beautiful, has stack loads of talent and comes across as really down to earth. And now, if I wasn’t jealous of her enough, I have serious hair envy! That fringe, the gorgeous highlights… I think I need to pay a visit to Toni & Guy ASAP.

What do you think? Would you go for the chop?

Packing for More!

2 Jan

This week is going to be crazy! I’ll be boarding a coach back to Nottinghamshire tomorrow and seeing my bloke after over two weeks apart, on Friday I’ll be celebrating five years of being with my boy with a yummy meal at YoSushi and some cocktails at All Bar One and Saturday will see me head off to London for two weeks! I’m knackered thinking about it.

Yup, I’m heading to the Big Smoke for a Very Big Deal. Being a More! mini blogger over summer was one of the highlights of 2011. I was so thankful to be picked from so many entries and it was great getting to know some of the other bloggers through Facebook and Twitter. The More! staff come across so lovely (especially you two, Ms Millar and Ms Perry!) and when the chance came up to do work experience at the London offices, I snapped it up quicker than a Mulberry bag in a £1 sale.

I’m hoping I’ll get to help out on a few different departments. I’d love to see a fashion shoot put together and I bet the ladies on the beauty desk have some top tips! And what about features? I love writing. And there’s the news desk filled with celeb gossip! This gig is a girly girls dream and I’m so lucky.

But what is one to wear? Losing nearly 40lb in the past four months has changed my style a little; I’m now not too scared to wear a shorter hemline and my new bright pink blazer is an incredible four dress sizes smaller so that’s a favourite, for sure.

I’m staying with my beautiful friend so I’m having to pack light. Babyliss Big Hair? Check. Elemis cleanser and moisturiser? Check. Can’t-live-without-them-NARS products? Of course! But then there’s the clothing and I’ve never really had to put together a capsule wardrobe before. I want my clothing to say fun and creative but serious with a lot of colour and some classic staples like well-fitting jeans and black t-shirts. Have a peek at my potential capsule picks and tell me how you organise your wardrobe:

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Christmas round-up

26 Dec

Happy Boxing Day! I hope you’re all suitably stuffed with Baileys and chocs and not regretting a thing.

Christmas this year was a simple affair. A mock Christmas was held on the 18th December at the home I share with my boyfriend. The broken oven didn’t get us down and we celebrated with a whole host of delicious delights; fig and walnut cheese, French loaf and Indian chicken pakoras were the savory treat whilst mini Swiss chocolates and millionaire shortbread provided a welcome sugar rush. Robin and I exchanged presents with Yankee candles providing a Christmassy anticipation.

Sat on the super thick rug in pjs and cuddled up under a floral patchwork quilt, we exchanged carefully selected gifts wrapped in metallic papers and finished off with soppy gift cards. Robin unwrapped books about everything from productivity to tailoring and I was presented with treats from Liberty:

Robin, ever the thoughtful one, also bought me Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange; I’m in love! The book also came with a promise… of a trip to Paris!

I’ll be packing my Breton stripes and black shiny flats and heading off to Paris for my 23rd birthday at the start of May (if all goes to plan!) I want to cruise down the Seine, shop until I drop in all the chic boutiques and be held tightly as I stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Has anyone got any top tips for a romantic Paris break? Luckily for me, R speaks fluent French so I’m looking forward to sighing with romance as he orders brie and grapes for breakfast.

Yesterday was the main event with the little brothers, mum and step-dad in tow. Tip-toeing like a child into my mum’s room at 745am on Christmas morning, I awoke the whole house with a round of Christmas singing and childish foolery! At 22 years old, I was the most excited!

Sausage sandwiches and Christmas cookies kicked off breakfast as my brothers worked through pile after pile of boyish gifts. Squeals of shock and delight echoed in the room as I presented my little brother with a Justin Beiber mask (yes, really!) and I was chuffed to see they’d been given the One Direction album- think I’ll be having a sneaky play of that!

Then it came to me and, after a year of working hard, I was rewarded by the bearded man himself! Glittery purple wrapping paper played host to lavender room scents, Yankee candles, pore penetrating face masks and a rose gold watch. And clearly Santa knows what a beauty junkie I am! Piled under my tree right this second sits products from Philosophy, enough Elemis to make my own spa, the Soap and Glory bag set and a Leighton Denny set which took my breath away. Hurrah!

I’m armed with a little cash to hit the shops tomorrow and I’m on the hunt for some new jeans, a sexy black leather jacket and a whole host of fashion magazine to swot up on trends before I head to do work experience with More magazine in 3 weeks!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas filled with laughter, family, friends and vino!

Christmas Gift Guide: Splashing the cash

5 Dec

Gentlemen, if you’re reading this, please take note. You see, us ladies like uber pretty things.Don’t know if you knew that? We’re simple creatures who work hard- giving birth, baking cupcakes… that kind of stuff. And if there was anytime to whack a pressie for your beloved on your credit card, well, now is the time!

And women of the world, sod what you’re mother would say if she knew who much that cashmere jumper or sparkly heels cost! It’s the season of good will and- as they say- charity begins at home!

Here’s my pick of the top 5 gifts for women from £100 to a whopping £2600!

This J.Crew silk shirt is a modern-day must-have! Wear tucked into a pencil skirt for the office or paired with leather look leggings and an embellished clutch for a night on the tiles.

J.Crew shirt, £100, Net-A-Porter

 

The Christmas jumper is having a chic revival this year and what better way to celebrate the return of this old favourite with Markus Lupfer’s sequined version.

Sequin merino wool jumper by Markus Luper, Net-A-Porter, £295

 

Treat yourself or the one you love to these Mulberry Postman’s Lock Ankle Boots this winter. Come rain, snow or shine, these classic tan boots are sure to make you feel like you’re walking on cloud 9.

Postman's Lock Ankle Boot, Mulberry, £475

 

Sticking with Mulberry, this beautiful Effie Tote shows that handbags- not diamonds- are certainly a girls best friend!

Effie Tote, Mulberry, £595

Treat your angel this year to the ultimate in bedtime luxe. Rosamosario’s Feathers On My Mind chemise is the perfect things for both you and the woman in your life to unwrap this year.

Chemise by Rosamosario, Net-A-Porter, £2600

Update: Keeping Calm and Staying Cosy

4 Dec

I hope that, by now, you’re all snuggled on the sofa in your favourite pjs and slipper socks and ready to watch the X Factor in all its full on craziness. December brings a lot of positive thoughts for me, although that’s not always been the case. Surprisingly, for many years, I was always of the “Bah! Humbug!” clan but recently times have changed and I am decking my halls and tucking into mince pies like there’s no tomorrow.

I love the positivity of Christmas. The sparkling wrapping paper, the first flurries of snow and the whimsical delight in getting a Starbucks Christmas drink. For me, nothing says Christmas like a good old fashioned turkey sarnie and an afternoon of card writing in front of me.

This year has been an odd one for me. “Year of the Brain Transplant”, I’ve been calling it. You see, long gone is the disorganised chick who leaves her lecture notes at home and forgets to always have change for the bus. Nope, I am now a fully fledged member of the Grown-Up Girls Society (if such a thing exists!)

This Christmas I am celebrating the difference between myself last year and myself now. This time last year I started to notice my body not working right- I was so tired it was unreal, I’d constantly be hot, have trouble sleeping and would experience worrying hair loss. For the sake of my barnet, if nothing else, I finally took myself to the doctors in January. After almost twelve months, I can safely say I am done with blood tests and operations. Thanks to a few doctors who actually believed me and the warmth of friends and family, I am confident that I won’t let menopause get me done. And yes, you read that right. At age 22 and a half, I’m going through something women twice my age go through. Whilst I’ve dealt with the issues surrounding fertility, it’s often the smaller things that get me down. I find myself crying when Little Mix sing a ballad or when we have no hot chocolate left. I feel sad every single time I see more hair falling out and I am so sick of waxing my legs that, quite frankly, I’d happily look like a gorilla for the rest of my life.

Quite a few people have told me to write about it but I’ve always been concerned it would hurt me to much to speak out. Whilst I don’t intend on turning Florals and Cupcakes into a blog for me to moan about hot flushes and the lack of Dairy Milk in the fridge, I do intend on upping the pace into the new year.

2012 holds some remarkable things for me. First off, I’ll be celebrating five years with my other half of the 6th of Jan. I think a good Italian meal and breakfast in bed is in store! The 7th of January will see me wave goodbye to my love as I head off to London for two whole weeks to intern at More! magazine. And then there’s the holiday in September, not to mention a planned spa day in March and the inevitable fun of summer.

I feel like I’ve left Florals and Cupcakes to the side a little, lately. And for that, I feel bad. But I’m still here and still want to bring you some beautiful finds from the high street and online. I’m always available on Twitter (@hollieanneb) and there’s the Floral Wishes Tumblr too (www.floralwishes.tumblr.com)

And as there’s still a few weeks until Christmas, I’m going to be compiling some gift guides to get you through (including a super-luxe gift guide for all those dreamers, like myself, who love a bit of excess!)

A chill in the air

7 Nov

November and December are perhaps my favourite months of the year. Ignoring the horrible cold I have, the icy conditions and the sleet that soaks right through you, it is the most wonderful time of the year. The shops are filled with Christmas goodies, it’s acceptable to have a mince pie and Starbucks is the only place for a toffee nut latte. Fresh Christmas trees line the streets of my market town ready to be purchased and planted and the first blanket of snow can be seen.

November means it’s certainly too cold just for a thin jacket and my beloved snakeskin flats are replaced by riding boots, Wellingtons and every outfit comes with a pair of earmuffs or a bobble hat. Fashion at this time of year is so cosy and warm. Everyone is bundled up, stylish leather gloves and all.

There are so many beautiful items of clothing and darling accessories out at the moment that just make me excited to walk through the snowy lanes of Nottingham. Here are my 7 favourite pieces at the moment- one treat for every day of the week!

Parka, £179, NW3 Hobbs

 

Lace up courts, £159, Hobbs

 

Mustard cardigan, £19.99, Dressrail.com

 

Striped dress, £32.50, Dorothy Perkins

 

Fitzrovia wellington boot, £145, Hunter

 

Striped boot socks, £19, Hunter

 

Animal ears, £6, Claire's

 

Shut Uuuuuup! I’m going mad for Minnie’s Boutique

23 Oct

The weight loss has meant that I cannot wait to go shopping and buy a ton of new stuff! This week I splashed out on a new trench coat, a faux fur gillet and some riding boots that I love a little bit too much. I’ve been writing some stuff for my university magazine on the topic of changing body shape and who I’m going to be looking up to for style inspiration. And as much as I want to say I’m going to channel the Kate Moss look with fedoras and skinny jeans, there’s a girl inside me shouting to realise my inner Essex.

You heard! I want sparkly dresses, high heels and false tan. I want Paul’s Botique, Minnie’s Boutique and, er, Whoeverelse’s Boutique. I want to wear Lydia’s vintage style for day and then work a one-shoulder jade coloured dress for a night out at Nottingham’s equivilant of Sugar Hut. With Essex Fashion Week coming up, who knows which pieces I’m going to be eyeing up to add to my wardrobe in a few months time. In the mean time, here are my top five picks from Billie and Sam’s Minnie’s Boutique.

Pleated dress, £32.99

Deery Me playsuit, £54

Arabel dress, £300

My Spot blouse, £36

Viva Glam ring, £81