Monday, August 28, 2017

Travel Diaries - Rome Outfit Of The Day //

Dear Readers,

I am currently sat in a little café in the Vatican, writing this mini post for you all after wandering through the museum. The Vatican is so rich with Italian history, as you are able to see some incredible architecture, statues and famous paintings including the work of Salvador Dali and Leonardo Da Vinci.

These photo's were taken in one of the many courtyards in the Vatican.

Floral Blouse, £24.99 | Zara, Sarah Pink Suede Overlay Ruffled Frill Shorts, £24.99 | Missy Empire, Fur Sliders, £5 | Primark

I am in love with the versatility of this outfit. The floral blouse is actually long enough to be worn like a dress. Please note though that the material is very sheer and has multiple slits in it, so I would recommend you wear a slip underneath (if worn as a dress) or with a bralet and shorts (if worn as a floaty blouse).

I paired the blouse with my silver Primark mesh bra and the 'Aliona Pink Overlay Ruffled Frill Shorts' £26 from Missy Empire, which looks like a skirt when worn.

It has been incredibly hot here in Rome, with the temperature reaching as hot as 38°c. I'm not quite sure how my makeup is still on my face, because it is so hot. That combined with lots of walking, sightseeing and photograph taking, I am guaranteed to end up a sweaty mess.

More updates to come I promise, but for now I must run and catch the bus back to our hotel - Hotel d'inghilterra.

Stay Sweet,

Alice xx


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bloom & Wild - Floral Memories //

Dear Readers,

The idea behind today's post is to share with you some photo's of memories in which flowers have featured. I thought what better memories to show you than of some family wedding photo's through the generations.

I have always adored looking through family albums and wedding scrapbooks and there are plenty of photo's to show you. However I decided to refine them down and display my favourites.

This post was inspired by Bloom & Wild, who have asked followers to get involved and post their #FloralMemories to Instagram.

My Great Great Nanny Marsh (Aptly named Lily) with her husband Albert Edwards Marsh (1919). Their wedding was held when Albert was back after fighting in the First World War. 


I didn't realise until I had had a discussion with my Mum and Nan about what images I could include, that they both told me of the wedding tradition all the brides on my Mother's side of the family did with their bouquets.

Every bride carried white Stephanotis flowers in their bouquet and somehow it developed to become a tradition in my family spanning over four generations (so far). I wonder if I choose to carry the tradition on and carry Stephanotis in my bouquet?

The traditional Stephanotis flower used in all the bridal bouquets

My Great Grandad (Gar-Gar) and my Great Grandma (Nanny Ings) on their wedding day. It took place whilst Gar-Gar was on leave during the Second World War. Due to rationing, their wedding cake was made out of cardboard and the wedding was turned around very quickly so they could get married before he went back off to war.

My Nan being given away by my Great Grandad (known in the family as Gar-Gar)

My Nan & Grandad at their traditional church wedding 

My Nan with her bridal bouquet including white Stephanotis and Red Roses

My Nan and Great Grandad (Gar-Gar) at the same church, being given away for her 40th wedding anniversary vowel renewal

My beautiful Mum and Dad's wedding at The Nutfield Priory in Surrey

My Mum on her wedding day

My Mum & Dad - Here my Mum is pictured holding her large floral bouquet featuring the Stephanotis flower.

I hope you enjoyed looking through these images from my #FloralMemories. Be sure to tag Bloom & Wild in your images and use the hashtag #FloralMemories.

Stay Sweet,

Alice xx

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Review: Fancy Crab London

Fancy Crab is a chic restaurant located on Wigmore Street, a quieter back road just behind Oxford Street. It experiments with the many flavour combinations that stem from just one glorious ingredient, crab. Of course like with many eateries who sell a niche product, there are other options aside from the main spectacle, for those who have somehow missed the point of the restaurant. But still, the options are there, so this does not limit who you dine here with.

Crab isn't exactly one of the most delicate dishes to feast on with company. It can be a stressful ordeal at the best of times, as you work hard to get inside the shell and find rare chunks flavourful meat. This often results in an accident or two, and a shard of shell from a claw propelling itself across the table. Getting to the white and brown meat is more difficult and I am usually the type of person to give up on the whole process when things get too out of hand. Luckily I wasn’t with someone who would judge my table manners too closely, otherwise I would have caused some serious social injury. Instead, with a friend in tow, we vowed to leave our seafood inhibitions at the door and just get our hands dirty. After all, the dishes don’t come cheap so it is important you get your money’s worth.

I requested that we could be moved from our table of two to a more private and larger booth with a bigger table. It was clear as soon as we sat down at the marble tables lined in the centre of the restaurant, that we were going to be too tight for space once all our dishes had arrived. The waitress was very accommodating and moved us over with ease.

The restaurant itself is well thought out and the decor reflects the theme of the food. A large blown up pop-art style image of a red crab is wallpapered on the main wall, where the deep blue coloured plush booths line. On the other side of the restaurant, iconic art replicas like Grant Wood’s ‘American Gothic’ painting adorn the wall, but were edited to include a crab in the picture. There is a clear eclecticism with the art choices, but this is muted by the underlying theme from boat-like table accessories and the tangled fishnet chandelier, hanging prominently in the corner of the room.

The restaurant tries to be as international as possible with the menu, with clear influences from Russia. As the crustaceans are only caught once a year, it is a premium product. We also learn that only the males adult red king crabs are caught to keep the harvest sustainable.

Before we decide what we are going to order, the waiter first brings over a whole red crab for us to stare at in sheer awe, but mainly with the purpose of informing us on the different parts of the crab and how they impact the flavour of the meal. These large crustaceans are also visible laying on ice in a glass counter at the furthest part of the restaurant.

Firstly, we started with the King Crab Bisque Soup, a crab broth which had a heavy mushroom base, served in a cup and saucer. We proceeded with the King Crab Guacamole, a completely new mix of flavours to the palette. What made the experience more authentic was that the waiter combined the raw ingredients with a large pestle and mortar to make the guacamole from scratch and to our taste and texture. This was then followed by Rose on Ice, a succulent and more meaty part of the crab which was served with thin pickled ginger slivers, a squid ink mayo and a tangy mango dip.

We were then presented with a single Tempura Crab Claw. It was served to us extremely hot and had it not been for the heat radiating from the claw, I would have finished it almost as soon as it had arrived to the table. It was less of a tempura style batter and more of a breadcrumb texture, but worked well with the crab meat. This dish sits on the more expensive side at £12.

The Singapore Chilli Crab met expectations and was by far my favourite dish from the menu. It was surprisingly sweet and creamy, including plenty of crab. It was served with two sweet toasted brioche buns, which were used to soak up the succulent juices of the dish. I was a little disappointed however, with the heat from both the flavour and how it was served. Fresh chilli did come on a side plate with the meal, although I would have preferred it to have been already combined in the dish for an extra kick.

For dessert we sampled both the Chocolate Fondant with house Salted Caramel Ice Cream and the King Crab Cheesecake with Berry Compote. At both £6, the dishes are just about manageable in price. I was keen to know what exactly was in a King Crab cheesecake, but you will be delighted to know that no actual crab meat features in the dish. Instead it is shaped to replicate part of the crab. The salted caramel ice cream was divine and was the highlight of both the desserts we sampled.

Although Fancy Crab serves a palatable range of premium crustacean dishes to Londoner’s, it remains to be on the pricier side when portion sizes and overall expectations are taken into consideration. But, I do think that Fancy Crab offers another culinary dimension to London’s ever-expanding restaurant scene.

92 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 3RD

Thursday, August 10, 2017

12 Room Interiors That Will Inspire Your Next Redecoration //

Dear Readers,

I constantly look to sites like WeHeartIt to get inspired, particularly when it comes to interior design and home decor. Below are 12 images that I know will inspire your next redecoration.


1. This image calls to me in so many ways. Firstly, coloured sofas add so much personality to a living space. The bolder and more textured the sofa, the more statement it makes.

Layering pastel cushions lifts the colour of the sofa and creates a feminine aesthetic.

I also love the large prints on the wall - Their simplicity distract and mute the emphasis of the bold sofa and balance the room perfectly.


2. Again, another statement sofa. I love how much layering is used in this room; from the fur, patterned blankets and eclectic pillows on the pink sofa, to the table accessories. 

It is important when creating organised clutter on your work surfaces, that you play with the height levels, colours and textures of the items. This leaves it with a more artistic aesthetic.


3. I love the minimalism of this room. The main focus remains on the wooden table, wooden floor and brick wall. If you find yourself living somewhere with period features such as external walls or beams, use them to your advantage. The large print attracts the eye immediately to the wall, whilst the low-hanging lights bring another focus to the dining table. Low-hanging lights are also incredibly fashionable to have in homes at the moment.


4. I think this entire property is incredible. But on a more realistic level, I love the simple wooden garden furniture. 

I also really like the attention to detail on the garden itself, the clean lines and landscaping makes this property even more appealing. There are affordable alternatives for the round plants and large terracotta pots too, which definitely add elegance.


5. For those of you who want to say a lot with their room decor, you should take inspiration from this picture. Although it does come across as quite a busy room with colour, texture and pattern, it does somehow work well together. It has a lot of personality.

If you are too scared to go all out, then take parts of this look you like and make it your perfect room. Personally I am drawn to the fuchsia footstool. 


6. The blue and grey tones of this room are great for a more subtle sophistication. Working with finer patterns, like this blue bedding, also helps to add depth to a room without being too overbearing. The studding on the headboard also adds character to the bed.


7. If you're looking to warm up a room, go for gold plated ornaments and work with a more natural colour palette which includes a lot of browns or oranges. Leopard print always makes a comeback during Autumn/Winter, so make a statement with animal print accent cushions.


8. It's so important that we don't forget about the bathroom. Keep this as minimalistic as possible, as more often than not, we are not blessed with a lot of space. Stick to natural tones, like this mocha colour on the walls. You can also bring some life back into the room by adding a potted plant or smaller plants for the windowsill.


9. Your outdoor space is just as important as your indoor space. Although we haven't been very blessed this past month with the weather, I would love to see more people experimenting with outdoor rugs and coffee tables. It's such an easy way to bring more life to your garden and is ideal for BBQ's and parties.


10. There is something so appealing about this bedroom. I don't normally opt for cream furnishings, but I think in this instance it works so well to create a soft, inviting space. 

Liven areas of your room up with different height plants and flowers.


11. The gold art-deco lamp in the corner of this picture struck me first. It is such a simple design, yet it brings so much character to the room. Statement lamps are a great way to accessorise and brighten up a room on a budget.


12. If you're looking for somewhere to put all your new found accessories, then a coffee table is essential for any living space. Keep it clean like this white and silver piece or go quirky and experiment with shape and colour. The possibilities are endless.


I hope you enjoyed looking through these images for some #roomspiration. Let me know in the comments below which image you liked most and what you will be recreating in your home.

Also if you are in the West Sussex area, then why not head down to With Love and find your next piece of up-cycled vintage furniture or homeware. But if you like to get your hands dirty, then find the Annie Sloan paint range in store and create your own custom pieces.

Stay Sweet,

Alice xx


Friday, August 04, 2017

Why Micro-Influencers Are The New Mega-Influencers //

Dear Readers,

Before I begin the formalities of this post, how has it taken me so long to get another piece out...I'm not quite sure?! But boy am I glad to be back at my laptop writing and sipping on coffee and shooting flat-lays for you all.

Today's post is going to talk a little bit about why I blog and continue to write pieces for you guys, as there are times when I get a lot of comments about what I do. I really want to stress as well, just how grateful I am for every reader and for those of you who take the time to message me or share my content. I am so thankful.


There have been quite a few occasions where I have had a conversation with someone who asks what I do. I'll energetically explain that I blog in between uni and my job as a freelance writer and without warning I will be given an unsolicited lecture, informing me that I'm "too late to the blogging game" and that "blogging is dying it out". Firstly, blogging is not fact, it couldn't be more alive. I bet half the clothes you are wearing right now were purchased because you saw someone on your Instagram feed wearing it first. Yes? Yes. 

Fur Slides, £5 | Primark, Lipstick, £70 (each) | Christian Louboutin, Earrings | Zara, The Dress | Megan Hess, Olympea | Paco Rabanne, Dragon's Egg Bath Bomb | Lush

I have learnt to take negative comments like that on the chin, particularly because I hear it from a wide variety of people, even people working in the industry. It is incredibly naive to think that this digital phenomena is "dying out".

There are definitely moments when I worry and wonder if everything I am doing on this blog is worthwhile. But then I look back and think about all the opportunities that have come about because I created my own website and content from scratch. It can be incredibly daunting when you first start out as a blogger; some of you will work for years and not grow your audience very wide. Others will work to the recipe of the average successful blogger and will get their audience almost instantly. 

I think my biggest advice is that it is all about working well to your audience, rather than the audience you wish you had. That's where the term Micro-Influencer comes in and I think brands need to take note.

Micro-Influencer vs Mega-Influencer

So what is a Micro-Influencer? 

Well, to put it briefly, a Micro-Influencer is a Blogger, YouTuber or Instagrammer who has a small, but very engaged and active audience. Micro-Influencers are consistent and trusted sources when it comes to recommending products and offering first hand experiences. This ‘small’ audience is very valuable, due to their engagement and their consistent relationship between themselves and their readers/viewers.

Mega-Influencers will undoubtedly have a high number of followers, readers and subscriber's, but will be catering to a wide range of people. Often promotions will be generalised and their content will come across as appealing to everyone. Although these bloggers and influencer's are successful, they aren't necessarily 'the best'. I see some insane content from people who have a 10th of the followers a famous blogger has. I guess what I am trying to say is that, how many followers you have, should not determine the quality and effort of your work.
Why are we so focused on numbers?

Well historically speaking, numbers put you either ahead or behind your competitor. But I think this should not always be the case, particularly when we look at measuring online success.

It’s no longer just a numbers game and it is promising to notice how some brands and PR companies are beginning to realise this. If you want to reach a wide demographic then it would seem like an obvious choice to go for a celebrity or huge YouTuber with hundreds of thousands of followers. However, if you want to actually sell a product or experience to someone's readers, then influencer's need to be chosen a little more wisely. 

It may cost a brand a substantial amount of money to work with an influencer with a huge following, but if they were to work with someone with a more niche audience relating to their products, then they would see better consumer interaction, which ultimately leads to sales.

Let's talk about engagement

I was so interested to discover that on my blog, the average person reads one blog post and then proceeds to click and read another 10. Now this may not seem like a big deal to most people, so to put it in perspective, the average blogger gets an extra two clicks. I may not be reaching an audience of millions, but my audience is engaged and is actually interested in another 10 posts. It is becoming increasingly apparent that as an influencer's following increases, often their engagement drops off. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Putting my blog to scale

According to my Alexa Ranking, out of circa 1.5 billion websites blogs currently active, I currently sit at 10,840,139 most popular blogs. Again, do you see how numbers can seem incredibly belittling and daunting when you first see them? But it's so important you put them to scale, rather than just seeing the number as a scary figure.

Size doesn't always matter

As mentioned previously, engagement actually decreases as the influencer's following grows. So if you’re a smaller influencer, then take pride in your audience – even if you don’t have the extra 000’s on your number of followers, understand that your audience truly cares about your recommendations, and that’s the most important aspect of being an influencer.

If you're a brand and you've found yourself reading this post, then really focus in on who your consumer is. If the influencer, be them big or small, fits the demographic, then they could be your secret weapon to a successful campaign.

Keep Going!

I've said it before and I will say it again, don't ever let the words of others discourage you. It's so important that you do not lose sight of your vision, no matter what it is you want to achieve. If I had listened to the people who told me blogging was a dying "trend" then I would never have started my blog and I wouldn't be where I am today journalistically.

If you're looking to start a blog or you have one which is still growing, then do not look to comparing yourselves too harshly to people you see at the top. Use them to inspire you, yes! But do not get yourself worked up and worried on their analytics.

Oh and lastly, please PLEASE please be the strongest version of yourself. Dream big and work hard for it and you will inevitably succeed. I have faith in you.

Stay Sweet,

Alice xx

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