Authors Posts by Samantha

Samantha

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Literary Lusting

I love a good bookshop. There’s something about the smell of paper, the feel of gloss printed photographs and faded prose. Spying on what other people take to the till, or read by the shelves. Contemplating whether or not the ease of a kindle outweighs the pleasure of traipsing around with an enormous tome in your handbag.

But I’ll confess to a terrible habit. Whilst shops are a source of inspiration and I get great pleasure in finding new treasures, it’s a rare occurrence that I’ll actually part with my cash in one. I constantly find myself checking on amazon for price comparison, and, despite my desire to support local shops, it’s just a tad too difficult to fork out over twice the price just for the pleasure of taking it home there and then. And it does feel fairly sinful, to indulge in the pleasure of the bookshop but then leave empty handed regardless.

So, at the very least, I may as well share all of the books on my to-buy list. (Although, these three will also be landing on my doorstep tomorrow).

literary lusting

Food Styling Inspiration

Cold, wet, dark winter nights are not the best for blog recipe creation. Instead I have curled up in bed, eaten a dinner of tortilla chips and guacamole, resisted red wine and turned to Pinterest for some food styling inspiration.

food styling inspiration

SO YOU WANT TO BE A FASHION PR?

I get a lot of questions from people about working in PR, working in fashion or generally establishing a career in digital. For all of those of you who wanted to know, here is my low-down on life behind the brands, what it takes to get the job done, and the skills your going to need to win your dream job. (Although, don’t ask me what to study at University or what work experience you need. I read law, and had little. It was a right-place, right-time moment, and that is totally frustrating and unfair).

Fashion PR

Essentials: The Black Skirt

Before moving house I had an epic wardrobe clear out. You know those clothes that you love, but are probably too old/worn/short? They all went. But now I am distinctly battling wardrobe clothes and ‘the black skirt’ is one of them. I used to go for a pretty standard Topshop jersey skater skirt, but I think thats just a bit too close to school uniform when trying to be a functioning full time employed adult.

black skirt

VANILLA AND ROSE MADELEINE RECIPE

vanilla and rose madeleine recipe

Yesterday was a day for vanilla and rose madeleines. It was also one of those days where I felt mainly grumpy and frustrated, doing annoying things and feeling generally peeved at how I was being spoken to. Having snuck of home, to at least vent my frustrations in private, I managed an early evening break to get my bake on.

You can never get a cup of tea large enough

Jing Tea, black tea, Peppermint tea, glassware

A Sunday morning is a most restorative thing. Best spent with layers of jumpers and scarves and duvets, fluffy hair, limited makeup and a mug of tea to warm your hands on.

Chocolate Making with Rococo

Rococo chocolates

I first discovered Rococo chocolates in Liberty with Mama TE, who is obsessed with their darling retro packaging and lux flavour combinations. I’m a big believer that chocolate can make an amazing gift – but not if we’re talking a half price box of Thorntons. Artisan chocolate is a thing to be savoured. That single mouthful after an amazing meal – where you can close your eyes, let it melt on your tongue, and be transported to happier climes.

Where is Bess?

London, forgive me for I have sinned. Can I come home now?

This week O and I have had a few days away in Malta, catching the last of the summer sun and generally despairing at the standard of service in our supposedly-five-star-but-not-really hotel. It’s caused me so much angst that I don’t think I’ll give them the air time of getting into all of the customer service fails. Needless to say, a big chunk of me wishes we’d just stayed at home and played tourist in our own city.

Speaking of home, I have a new one. Which also means we survived our first couple trip to ikea. No more crazy flat mates, a long-loved best friend and a wonderfully cosy home thats in walking distance from my office. Winning. kitchen sink

Hampton Court Palace

Over the August Bank Holiday, O and I headed down to Hampton Court Palace for a date-day. (We don’t do “date nights” that often, as I’m a granny and like to be home by 9). We actually decided to go this particular weekend because the BBC Good Food Show was on. Having now been to two of these, I think they’re grossly over priced and incredibly under-whelming. Go to Borough Market for free, any day.

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THE TALENTS OF OTHERS

In preparation for The Big House Move (yes, again), I’ve been having a scout around Pinterest for some interesting images that I could turn into some artwork. I’ve been reading some interior design magazines lately (so middle aged, I know), and I know that ultimately I yearn for white, soft calm spaces. I know I’m a person who’s easily stressed, so bedrooms in particular I want to keep soothing. (Yes. I take my laptop to my cheap bunk beds. I know…)

Illustrations

REN 1 MINUTE FACIAL: SAVE CITY GIRL SKIN

Ladies of London. No time? Dull, grainy skin? Pollution getting you down? Fear not… I have the answer, and it’s AMAZING.

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Since moving down to the City for a career change and a life reboot, pretty much every element of my routine has changed. And skincare, something I love and adore – (you only get one face) has really had to take a back seat. When it comes to a charcoal mask or an extra fifteen minutes in the bunk beds, that time with the pillow is going to win over every darn time.

RICHMOND PARK

One rainy Sunday (I forget which one – there has been so many of late), O and I ventured down to Richmond Park in search of an adventure. Adventure, of course, being common parlance for “if we don’t get out of the house in the next hour, boredom is sure to erupt into a blazing row”.

In my idiocy, I decided to leave my big girl camera at home and just ‘enjoy the moment’. Which, of course meant that we were bound to stumble across a heard of incredibly peaceful red deer, and I had to use my crummy iPhone zoom to try and capture the simple magnificence of the stags. Ideal.

richmond park, deer

Taking time out

I spent yesterday evening  sampling some of the amazing products offered by the team at  Jing tea (more on that to follow soon, I promise). They talked a lot about how great tea, like great wine or fine dining is a real experience that you must take time to enjoy. But these last few weeks have been so hectic, that I don’t feel like I’ve been present in the moment very often. Right now I’m typing this, eating my dinner (at 10 PM) and texting a potential publisher about a work offering. My eyes are dry and itchy, my back is burning and my boyfriend has had approximately one minute of my attention since I met him over an hour ago. After he’d stood waiting for me in a tube station because I was 20 minutes late. Again.

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Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

It’s a funny old time of year, don’t you think? After the wettest, most miserable bank holiday Monday, during which O and I decided driving down to Bluewater in Kent would be a good idea (sneak preview: it was not), I’m feeling the need for some new black tights and to finally get round to getting my boots re-heeled.

Autumn Winter Fashion

But… before we get too excited for autumnal colours … I haven’t even been on holiday yet! Hence the trip out for the joyous job of buying a bikini. A word of advice, from me to you… don’t try on a bikini when you’ve eaten both a KFC and a Pizza Hut. In fact, swimwear trying on should be reserved strictly for first thing in the morning, preferably after both a visit to the ladies and a seven day juice cleanse.

ST DUNSTAN IN THE EAST

St Dunstan in the East is a Church ruined by second world war bombings. The remains are now a public garden – you can find it half way between London Bridge and the Tower of London. It’s a truly lovely place to stop for an afternoon wander.

St Dunstan in the East

KENWOOD HOUSE

Kenwood House, London, Hampstead Heath, Places to go

For mama’s birthday she came down to London for a weekend of adventuring. We started the day  we a coffee and a good old fashioned grump about mama’s noisy hotel. We then jumped on a tube and a bus and made our way to Hampstead Heath and the beauty that is Kenwood House. Managed by English Heritage the house and grounds are free to explore – with a host of summer activities for little ones, garden strolls for active ones, a stunning library for cultured ones and a great cafe for everyone (By the way, let’s check my friend’s reviews on folding picnic table bench for outdoor party). 

LONDON DIARIES #6: GREAT BRITAIN AND THE FREE PRESS

This weekend O and I welcomed his parents to town for a night at the National Theatre. Great Britain, a play written by Richard Bean and starring Billie Piper is a parody of the News of the World scandal, that kicked off on the day a certain Rebekah Brookes was handed down a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

HONEYCOMB

A couple of weeks ago Daddy TE descended on London town for a visit. Safe to say, London is not his favourite place in the world to spend the weekend. (I believe, in fact, he asked my Stepmama if she was ready to leave fifteen minutes after stepping of the train). Fatherly love, right there. (He also met my boyfriend. They got on. They like each other. It’s weird and creepy and they are absolutely NOT allowed to be pals).

honeycomb on toast

Instagram vs Life – August

Ah instagram. Some days I swear I think in filters and witty captions. Like the day I spent 10 minutes arranging Stylist and a pair of new shoes on my work desk so I could take a snap. That’s normal.

Given our unhealthy obsession with projecting, I thought it would be interesting to show you some of the goings on behind the phone…

Fizz and new shoes perched on my desk

Honky Tonk, Clapham

I’ve been to Honky Tonk (the Clapham branch) a couple of times now, so I figured I should probably share my thoughts with you, little lamb. Now I’ve only been for brunch, and we all know my thoughts about venturing out into the drunken Friday night hoards (= don’t).

So, I think I’m fairly confident to say it’s convenient, the decor is nice, the brunch is nice and it’s a good spot if you’re heading north for weekend adventures and need some serious sustenance to fuel yourself.

Honky Tonk Clapham