There are some companies I keep coming back to season after season, because I know their clothes are comfy, reliable and good quality. Hush is one of those companies! They specialise in stylish clothes that are easy to wear – relaxed chic, if you will. Today marks the first day of their spring sale, and if you use this code as a new customer (https://hush.mention-me.com/m/ol/rjz-gemma-cox-18) you get £10 off (and so do I! Win-win!) You can also add APR1610 on the top and get 10% off your order too!
Here are my picks from the spring sale line-up!
Jessica Dress: £20. A cool and effortless dress for spring and summer days, with a contrasting grey back panel for an added edge!
Lana Lace Dress, £55. Stay cool and breezy with this floaty dress, covered in sophisticated midnight blue lace.
S/S Lilly Dress, £45. Pale ivory and light grey create an edgy contrast for this sweet and simple lace-skirted dress. Just casual enough to wear anywhere!
Starlight Jumper, £65. Hush jumpers are another staple of mine, and I love the cool star motif dusted across the front of this one!
Colourblock Stripe Jumper, £45. You can’t go wrong with a Breton stripe – wear this one baggy with your favourite jeans and a pair of sunnies for cool summer style!
Don’t worry about your passport, your tickets and your itinerary – that’s all deadly boring. When it comes to packing for a holiday, my favorite thing to consider are the accessories!
(Notting Hill Nude lipstick, Rimmel / Odeion clutch in indigo, Oroton / DKNY 4109 sunglasses, c/o sunglasses-shop.co.uk / Tickle My France-y nail varnish, OPI / Blue leather bracelet, Next)
That’s why I picked out these amazing black cat eye sunnies from DKNY from sunglasses-shop.co.uk. Cat eye shades are such a classic shape – they’re stylish without being too trendy, and you can wear them with everything from a swimming costume on the beach to a maxi dress at the bar.
I love sunglasses-shop.co.uk because you can actually search for your shades by frame shape, as well as the usual brand and colour options. As well as cat eye sunglasses, you can search for Aviator style, butterfly, oval, rectangle, retro, visor, Wayfarer and more! (Should I admit this…? I honestly didn’t realise that there were that many different styles!)
These awesome shades come from the DKNY range – this style comes in tortoise, leopard and black (pictured), and is a best seller (look for DKNY 4109). The biggest seller in the DKNY range is the 4084 – an elegant, more rounded cat eye shape that comes in black and tortoise. Also, check out the DKNY 4096, which is featured in the campaign with Cara Delevingne! You can’t beat a bit of DKNY while you’re lounging by the pool, can you?!
I’ll be taking these gorgeous shades with me to Marseille, so expect some modeling shots live from France later next week!
I’d heard of gougères before I made them, but I could never really understand why people raved about them so much. Basically, these are cheese puffs, made from the same kind of pastry usually used for patisserie like eclairs or choux buns – except this is a savoury version. They’re just cheesy, pastry bites – but in this case, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Trust me when I tell you that these will be devoured in short order at your next party – and they’re so chic you can even serve them for something formal as well as a BBQ!
Whenever I make ice cream, I always make meringues. All those leftover egg whites need using up, of course, and there’s nothing nicer than being able to offer your guests a plate of a cute little meringue kisses to have with a cup of tea or coffee!
At the SkyRide I was excited to come across a British company selling some seriously stylish (and by all accounts, very waterproof) cycling jackets. Now, I already have a couple of waterproof jackets – one is for walking, and one is a cycling jacket – but both of them are fairly short and neither of them are particularly fashionable. Once you see the beautiful macs from Water Off a Duck’s Back, I’m sure you’ll agree that ‘fashionable’ is definitely the right word to describe them…
In fact, looking at them, you probably wouldn’t even realise that they’re cycling coats at all…
But, there are loads of really nifty touches to these that make them perfect for cycling – such as reflective bands on the wrists, back of the waist tie, and the collar.
The sleeves are extra long so that they can cope with the extension of your arms when you’re reaching for the handlebars. There’s even a special clip at the base of the coat that keeps it from flapping open as you cycle. And, there’s a detachable hood as well.
You can probably make out the gorgeous purple lining in the hood too – beautiful! You can even tuck your coat neatly into the hood to make it more portable. Best of all, the coats are waterproof – not just, as the site points out, showerproof.
The coat comes in black or stone (love it, but I’m totally scared of getting it dirty!) for £130 – not cheap, admittedly. In fact, probably more than I’d pay for any coat, but let’s just say the sun was shining, my credit card was calling me, and Antonia was offering a special discount at the event which shaved off a few pounds…
Check back later for a real review of the coat in action – I’m pleased to say I’ve not had to use it yet, but my favourite season is approaching and I’m sure there will be plenty of showers!
Another weekend, and another great Sky Ride Local! This time we cycled a sort of familiar route, although we started in a new place for me – still within cycling distance though (although we took the car as we had no idea where we were going!). This time the ride took us through Victoria Country Park and up to Hamble – we did a similar thing on our led ride from Weston Shore during the Big Bike Celebration in June.
It chucked it down for our trip to Itchen Valley Country Park, but the weather was glorious at the weekend – and even though I slathered myself in lotion, I still caught the sun a little bit. I decided to wear my ASOS cycling shorts with a skirt over the top – I love wearing skirts, but I always feel self-conscious about them being short, so whenever I cycle I get to wear cycling shorts underneath! This actually means I’m getting to wear my skirts way more than I did before, which is great news for me – shallow, I know! I also refound one of my favourite T-shirts that I bought from GAP years ago – it’s so thin and comfy, great for cycling in the sun.
I also discovered Heidi plaits are great for cycling (thanks, Minx Girl!) as they keep the hair off the back of your neck in a sweaty clump – they also look good with a helmet too.
Wearing my lovely Sawako Furuno helmet again – I wondered if the smaller ventilation holes would give me a hot head, but I’m pleased to report even in the sunshine I was fine! It’s definitely not as cool as a normal aerodynamic helmet, but it doesn’t bother me at all.
Unlike the previous two times I’ve been to a Sky Ride, I actually arrived early this time, and so I was able to laze about and watch everyone else hurriedly pull their bikes off their racks for a change!
The ride was a good mix of trails and roads – I’m still completely terrified of getting a puncture on gravel, but once I actually get one I think I’ll be fine. I really want to be able to take some kind of course in bike maintenance, but I can’t find anything nearby, which is pretty frustrating…
Anyway, I like having a mix of track and road, and the Allant manages to handle both decently. I think my favourite part is cycling down a long residential road, though, with everyone else stretched out in front. Somehow, as we all serenely glide along, it reminds me of clouds, just peacefully moving through the air.
Something about it just feels so effortless and peaceful. Until, of course, you get Omar, flipping me the bird over his shoulder.
He thought taking photos as I was cycling was hilarious. I have to admit, it’s not the safest thing you can do on a bicycle, but I wouldn’t dream of doing it if it was actually dangerous (or there was traffic on the road!). I’d love to get a camera mount for my handlebars, but I think that a set of lights is more pressing than that!
Here’s Rachel and Omar at Victoria Country Park – we stopped to watch a yacht race, but we were more interested in discussing their recent holiday to Cornwall. They got to go to the Eden Project, and a cycle ride that ended with Rick Stein’s fish and chip shop, so I’m insanely jealous!
The brief stop was great, though, and it wasn’t long before we were back on our bikes to head to the final point, which was Hamble.
There was a big group, and the leaders did a great job keeping everyone happy. Once we got to Hamble, we headed back again – it was about 75 mins of cycling all together, with about 30 mins of breaks added in.
We’ll definitely be trying out some of these routes ourselves when the Sky Rides end in August!
I mentioned before that I’d been searching Etsy for some great bike accessories and hadn’t found much. Well, I’ve been keeping up with my searches and found a lot more than I originally thought! I decided to put them all together in an Etsy treasury list here, so you can check out these extremely beautiful objects and the talented folk who produced them!
It seems as though when you start a new hobby, it’s easy to stumble upon never before realised controversies that were lurking all along, under the surface of everyday life, completely unobserved by everyone else. For fans of foreign TV programmes or movies, there’s the dub versus sub debate. For bento box lunch enthusiasts, there’s some snideyness amongst people who only use ‘proper’ Japanese boxes, versus those who use western lunchware like Tupperware or Laptop Lunches. With vintage dressing, I know there’s some debate about repro clothing versus authentic, really from the era vintage clothing. To be honest, a lot of these are more to do with perceived elitism and snobbery than anything else, which I guess you get in the cycling world too. I was expecting a similar debate around lycra/safety clothing versus streetwear to crop up quite early on in my enthusiastic web surfing, but I must be dodging those sites completely. The one thing that keeps jumping out is helmets versus no helmets, and I’ll explain why that’s a bit of a shock for me.
As a child, the school laid on cycling proficiency lessons for us, which mostly seemed to involve dodging between traffic cones and being able to hold your hand out to signal right and left. The one thing that was totally gospel was helmet-wearing, and I guess, due to a lack of real cycling between then and now, as an adult, the idea that helmets were an essential part of cycling has always stayed with me. I see a lot of cyclists on the roads now, especially as I’m looking out for them, and I rarely see anyone without a helmet. Those that do are generally quite obviously making smaller, neighbourhood journeys. In order to get to the next shopping area from me, you have to travel down and up a rather large hill, and all the cyclists I’ve seen tackling this are wearing helmets.
For me, personally, as a new cyclist, I feel compelled to buy and wear a helmet. I don’t feel confident enough in my ability to cycle, in the roads, or in the traffic flow, to go without one. That could change,but in the meantime, I’ve been researching the most stylish options available for cyclists, and I’ve found some pretty neat ones!
Perhaps the most traditional looking helmet on my lust-list is the Nutcase, a cool-looking solid type of helmet from the US which resembles a BMX biker or skateboarders helmet.
Love the cool Union Jack design – and although it doesn’t have as much ventilation as the average aerodynamic helmet does, it still has some airholes there to keep your head cool. Priced around £45.
I also really like Sawako Furuno helmets, which you can buy at cyclechic.co.uk.
They’re quite pricey (from £60 up to £73) and I haven’t seen one that I’ve fallen in love with – yet. The colours are very pastel, so if that’s your style, you’ll love these! They’re very subtle and girly.
My favourite find so far has to be the cool Yakkay helmets, which come with interchangeable soft covers!
I’ve heard they can make your head sweaty, but it seems like a small price to pay for such stylish and protective headwear!
They come in three different sizes, so I’d have to purchase them in person to be sure I was getting the right size for me. They’re a bit pricey to buy sight-unseen, and I’m sure they’re not really waterproof either. But, they look great! They range from about £30 for a cover to £104 for a cover and helmet, depending on the style.
By far the most intriguing of my finds is the Ribcap.
Made from an amazing material which hardens when struck with a hefty force, the Ribcap looks like a soft beanie type wooly hat, but the manufacturers claim prevents head trauma. Sounds good to me! They look a little hefty for the summer, but I can imagine them being really good for the winter.
The Jackson may not look much on the mannequin, but it looks great on the model!
Again, they’re quite pricey (£50-60), but they do look good, and seem like a less restrictive choice if you don’t like the feeling of a traditional helmet. If you’d like to see the Ribcap being put through its paces, and want to find out more about what it’s made of, check out the Youtube video below of the Gadget Show.
If you’d like to see some more amazing helmets, I found this excellent site which has some really cool examples: Helmets Rock Hard.