So last year it was all about the pink coat and it looks like it’s not going anywhere. Pink coats are here to stay. So in the last of this week’s Winter coat collaboration with Shop Formula here is the Dree Bouclé Belted Coat in Maple sugar by Won Hundred.

Won Hundred pink coat

Won Hundred pink coat

I couldn’t wait to get this one on. A lovely sugary, pastel pink it will lift your spirits on any Winter’s day.

Styled with another classic ensemble, the denim shirt, black super skinnies and red wine suede chelsea boots*.

Won Hundred pink coat

Again, Shop Formula have styled in a more formal way which works brilliantly for the office or even a Winter wedding. Making another really versatile coat.

Shop Formula Won Hundred pink coat

All of the coats that have been featured this week are available to buy online from Shop Formula – take a moment to check out the rest of their collections too. It’ll definitely be one to add to the favourites bar.

Shop Formula winter coats

Thank you to Shop Formula and here’s to some crisp winter days.

Have a great weekend, L x

(*also available from Hero)

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Today in my Shop Formula collaboration I’m featuring this grey blanket coat. Don’t judge it on it’s name – it’s gorgeous.

Great plains grey coat

Great plains grey coat

I was completely cocooned in the softest wool-blend fabric that, like the green coat from Monday, I didn’t want to take off.

Great plains grey coat

If I’m being completely honest, if I’d seen it on the peg I’m not sure it would have made it into the fitting room with me but just goes to show how wrong you can be!

I’ve styled it with a very classic combo of skinny jeans and a grey cable knit cashmere jumper. Not the most dynamic, I’ll be the first to admit but a classic all the same.

Shop Formula Great plains grey coat

I love the way this coat can take the outfit from dull and boring to fun and adventurous. Shop Formula have styled it here with the same super skinnies and killers heels – another very versatile coat. Tick.

This is a super easy coat that’s perfect for the school run or thrown over a dress and a pair of opaques.

What do you think?

Lx

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The leaves are starting to change, the days are shorter and there was a distinct chill in the air this morning. Autumn is on. it’s. way. And I for one, am really pleased. Time to put away those summer tees and sandals and start thinking fine knits, ankle boots and coats.

This week I am delighted to be featuring a Winter Coat collaboration with Shop Formula. Shop Formula are an online boutique known for their great mix of established brands and emerging labels. I was initially drawn to the online store because of it’s classic, wearable fashion as well as trend-led pieces – the perfect combo.

Today is the first in a series of three posts this week where I have styled three coats picked by Shop Formula and all available to buy online.

Baum und Pferdgarten green coatBaum und Pferdgarten green coat

The only way that I was going to style these coats was exactly how I would wear them. The variation in my lifestyle of doing the school run and my blogging (and now shop) work means that I can’t afford to be precious about my clothes but I also want to look smart – it’s also a must to be comfy and warm. I live in jeans and jumpers in the autumn and winter, so they had to work within all these parameters.

Baum und Pferdgarten green coat

I was a little concerned at first about the cropped sleeves but I love the way the colour pop comes through.

Not that I needed it for warmth on the day that we shot these photos but you could feel how cosy it was and despite the 20degree weather I didn’t want to take it off. That was the warm and cosy box ticked. It was perfect with these jeans too. Winner.

Baum und Pferdgarten green coat

// styled with yellow jumper, Topshop (old). Seven for All Mankind skinny jeans. Seven Boot Lane ankle boots* //

It wasn’t heavy either so would make the perfect throw on as the temperatures start to drop.

Shop Formula have dressed the Baum und Pferdgarten coat up with super skinnies and killer heels to give a completely look.

Shop Formula green coat

 So, are you ready for Autumn?

L x

(*a little heads up…these Seven Boot Lane boots are coming soon to Hero)

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My Pollyanna

I have dreams, I have aspirations and I want to realise them. I don’t want to get to sixty-five and feel that I didn’t fulfil my potential. Do I even have potential? I’ll never find out if I don’t give it a try. It’s not about living life to it’s fullest but more about satisfying an inner curiosity of how far I can go and what I can achieve.

Albert Einstein

I love to feel inspired but I’m fed up of reading about other inspirational people and their achievements. I want my own achievements. I come from a regular family where my parents were ambitious and successful but they worked hard. They always strived for more – and still do. Not because they want or need more but because they thrive off it.

I’ve always felt that this entrepreneurial spirit is in me somewhere and so Hero is the beginning of my own journey.If not now, then when

There’s so much I need to do to be a better mother but this is one way I’m trying to do it. To be a female role model for my girls. To show them I can think for myself, that I can set goals and work for them. To show them how to be the best they can be.

I’ve been a stay at home mum for six years and I know how that feels. I’ve played with them, I’ve shouted at them and I’ve spent days ironing, making beds and endlessly picking up toys from the floor. But life is different now, it’s the beginning of a new era. They are both at school full-time so it’s time to find my identity again.

The girls

Without question, writing this blog has been a stepping stone to where I am now. It’s been amazing to connect with so many people and find a passion I never truly realised I had.

I know it’s not going to be easy. I will feel stretched (I already do) but above all I already feel like I’m a better person. I’m thriving on being my own boss, having independence and having purpose to my day. I’m surviving on around five hours sleep a night and copious amounts of tea and coffee – but who isn’t?!

So in some ways, Hero is completely selfish and all about me. But perhaps sometimes, for the greater good, it’s good to be selfish.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget you can keep up with the countdown to opening of Hero on Twitter and Instagram!

L x

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Jimmy Choo Candy bag

When the invitation to celebrate the opening of the new Jimmy Choo Townhouse arrived, I must admit I had a quick look around to see if it was really me the invitation was meant for. An invitation to London Fashion Week to see one of the world’s most prestigious, luxury brands, Jimmy Choo seemed almost too good to be true. And to top it off it was on my birthday.

After one of the most exhausting weeks I can remember, most of which was spent under a roller painting ceilings and sanding down doors, I had never felt so unglamorous. A touch of the London sparkle was exactly what was in order.

One extreme to another…

The morning of my birthday was spent travelling the countryside picking up a second-hand fridge and seeing that the carpenter had arrived at the shop to hang the new door. A quick tidy up of the shop – removing dust sheets and clearing out the decorating materials, I made it home with about half an hour to spare.

Feeling so underprepared seemed to work though. I hadn’t contemplated what I was going to wear so with just a few minutes to think about it I pulled together my black coated skinnies (possibly one of the best buys ever), a plain white tee and my Anya Hindmarch metallic cross body bag. Threw my hair in a messy bun (no time for a blow dry) and slapped on some Lady Danger lipstick by Mac (the best birthday present!) and I was ready to go. Amazing how some bright lips can transform an outfit in one fell swoop.

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse

Taking it to the next level…

As if I wasn’t feeling lucky enough to be going to London Fashion Week, to top it off I had a car courtesy of Addison Lee cabs collect me from the station and take me to my destination on New Bond Street. And this was it!

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse

Any last minute outfit and make up checks taken care of! The last time I was in London I was lucky to enough to have a car provided too and I can’t say how brilliant the service is. Texts to let you know how long they are going to be, the driver’s name and the registration of the car collecting you. A professional driver – all of whom have been really friendly. The perfect pick up.

The Choo Townhouse…

The New Bond Street Jimmy Choo store has been expanded and renovated to reveal the most gorgeous, luxurious store you can imagine. It’s gorgeous and sumptuous but comfortable and intimate. At the centre of the building is a stunning marble staircase that winds through the building connecting the three floors.

Jimmy Choo Choo Townhouse

I was in awe. The building was beautiful, the shoes were stunning and I was surrounded by some of my blogging idols. At this point I wasn’t quite sure where to put myself!

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouseI soon found the champagne, shoe shaped biscuits and booked myself in for a manicure.

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse

I took a tour round the store, chatted with blogging companions and closely examined each and every fabulous pair of shoes from the Choo 24:7 collection on the lower ground floor, to the newly launched CHOO.08 on the first floor, that has it’s own dedicated room. The room is slightly darker to give a more edgy feel to reflect the urban mood of this collection. There’s also a VIP that focusses on bridal, evening and red carpet styles on the first floor.

Downstairs there is a dedicated room to the recently launched Made to Order service – choose from the signature styles then from the myriad of different fabrics and colours. Where would you start?

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse

To celebrate the new store, the Jimmy Choo Creative Director, Sandra Choi has designed a limited edition Candy bag. The acrylic clutch has been printed with an image of quintessentially British red phone box to reinforce the brand’s London roots. And it’s gorgeous.

Jimmy Choo candy bagJimmy Choo Choo Townhouse

After a gorgeous Nars manicure I said my thank yous and farewells and made my way round the corner to Sketch for a birthday cocktail. A perfect Birthday – thank you Jimmy Choo and thank you London.

This week it’s been back to the manual labour of setting up shop but the exciting news is that we’re looking at opening next week! You can follow what we’re up to on Twitter and Instagram.

L x

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Alderney

Firstly, Hello! It feels like ages and what a Summer! Hope everyone managed to get some form of fun in the sun one way or another.  I have to say, this Summer had to go as one of the best. The girls have reached a great age and the insanely indulgent three weeks in the Channel Islands was incredible – plenty of sun, beach fun accompanied by copious a healthy amount of bread, cheese and wine and lots of time with family.

To top it off, I then got to spend a few days in the scorching heat on the Costa Del Sol with one of my best friends, Louise (from Lolly & Boo). No husbands, no children just a pool, rose wine and dish after dish of gambas pil-pil. It was amazing.

 

But these past few days have probably been one of my most significant – ever. It was back to school and that meant my youngest daughter, Flossie starting full-time. From one pragmatic mother to utter sadness. She drives me mad, she’s a total handful but going to school marks the end of an era. I’m no longer the mother that needs to be at home to look after her children. She’s happy and excited and that’s most important thing.

New starts

So what now? Luckily I have that covered. Yesterday, I collected the keys to my very own shop. A real bricks and mortar shop in Stockbridge (Hampshire), to sell my curation of casual fashion wares. You’ll find luxury denim, cashmere, boots, tees and more.

And it gets better. I have the pleasure of working with someone who I have become friends with and who I respect tremendously for her impeccable taste, her tenacity and her achievements at such a young age (which should not define her but is hard to ignore!). I will be starting this new chapter with Ailie Williams (previously of the online store Bramble & Bracken) and I could not be happier about it.

Ailie Williams

Ailie will bring her eagle eye for gorgeous homewares and accessories. So, without further ado we introduce

HERO LIFE + STYLEHero Stockbridge
We’ll be online too so if you can’t make it to Stockbridge everything will be available on the website.

There’s a lot still to do but we’d love for you to follow the journey and help out with all the tricky decisions like which hangers to choose and where to put the flowers!

We’re on Instagram and Twitter so come and join us. You can also follow the hashtag #shopathero – we’d love to see you over there!

My Pollyanna will still be going and I’m really excited about what I have coming up on the blog this month – a whole week of Winter coats, London Fashion Week and birthdays galore!

Here’s to new chapters!

L x

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Christy towels

Taking a break on this cloudy Thursday morning in Alderney to do a little blogging. The sun is having a rest today so the perfect excuse to spend a little time with My Pollyanna. We’ve spent the last five days getting to know the island, walking through the beautiful, colourful Georgian streets of the town and getting sandy and sunned on the empty beaches.

 

Longis beach, Alderney

But back to the blog…this post is a review. A review of the softness, fluffiest, bury your face in, groan worthy towels I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Now that’s a statement. But don’t take it lightly. I can assure you that if this was not the case, I wouldn’t be saying it.

Christy towels

Last week I took ownership of an enormous pile of Christy Supreme Supima towels. Not that exciting I hear you say…but let me tell you that these towels are the ultimate in spa-like softness.

Christy towels

Perfection and knowing that I have the best I possibly can is the ultimate in satisfaction as far as I am concerned. Whenever I’m hunting down something new, I want the best. If it turns out I can’t afford it then I’ll gracefully accept and move down a notch or two but I’ll always aim high.

When I was asked to review the Christy Supreme towels of-course I accepted but I did not expect to find towel perfection. Thick, plush and all round gorgeousness – that kind of softness that comes from 100% supima cotton of 500gsm (grammes per metre square!) these towels made me feel like I have found the best.

Christy towels Christy towels

 

And did I mention being they have also supplied towels to the sporting elite at Wimbledon with the famous purple and green towels for over 25 years? Quite an endorsement.

Christy towels

They have accompanied me on my trip to Alderney to be put to be ultimate test. Sand and sea everyday and multiple washes…I’ll have to report back on their hardiness at the end of three weeks! You can buy directly from Christy Towels.

Have a great weekend,

L x

 

 

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see you soon

The To Do list is a glorious mess of scribbles and most importantly strike throughs and as I write this I have that nervous feeling of either having done everything I needed to do or forgotten everything. But we’re off and everything appears to be in place for when we get back so for the time being I’m going to roll with it.

As we head off to the Channel Islands to stay with family for three weeks I’ve decided to take a break from the blog for August. There will be the odd post and of-course I’ll be on Twitter & Instagram with Alderney updates but August is also dedicated to working on my new project so when I come back in September I am really hopeful that I can divulge every detail…until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!

See you in September!

Love, L x

featured image via Clare Lavis

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Minimal packing

Like any good blogger, I couldn’t go away and not share the contents of my suitcase. So although the blogosphere is aflood with packing tips and travel essentials, here’s mine to add to the pile…

This holiday is completely different. There will be no requirement to dress up, no need for posing poolside attire and certainly no need for a breakfast dress (see the Online Stylist‘s brilliant definition of a breakfast dress!). So the words simplicity and minimal spring to mind.

Having said I was going to give the monochrome packing regime a go I came unstuck when I realised I don’t actually have much black but what I do have in abundance is navy, white and grey.

So the theory is that you only pack items that can co-ordinate together. If it’s doesn’t go, it doesn’t go in. Brilliant. Packing has never been so easy and blissful.

My Pollyanna packing My Pollyanna packing

My Pollyanna packingThere is of-course the exception, so I’ve popped in my coral beach cover up that I bought in Italy last year. But the basis of my suitcase has been my 7 For All Mankind denim cut-offs (an old pair of bootcut jeans I butchered last month). White and grey tops – there’s a white shirt, tee and vest together with a denim shirt for cooler days and my Oui Mon Cheri sweater for those sea breezes. I’ve also thrown in a black jersey maxi dress just in case.

House of Havisham

For swimwear, I’ve packed my one-piece swimsuit from Topshop and this nautical bikini from Cos that I bought a few months ago (it’s now in the sale and the top is reduced to £5!).

Keeping my suitcase lavender fresh is this perfect suitcase pillow handmade by my lovely friend Penny with lavender from her garden. She has opened a new company, House of Havisham where she designs and hand makes beautiful contemporary crafts – she is also an expert at sourcing unique vintage finds so look out for her website coming soon.

In the meantime you can follow her lovely Instagram feed now and she’s on Twitter too.

So that’s it, just time for a few bubbles tonight with friends and we’re off.

L x

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Summer 2014

<< pre-school adventures. Making the most of the few days of just me and this little one before she starts school in September >>

Flossie

<< dining alfresco >>

Dining alfresco

<< lunch with blog and twitter friends at the beautiful Limewood >>

Amanda & Jo Limewood Limewood Jennie & Me Limewood

<< paddling, fishing & old fashioned fun at the river >>

Old fashioned fun at the river

<< coffee at Cote and early evening supper at our local pizza hang out, Woodfire >>

Woodfire Coffee at Cote

<< London fun and posing in-front of the eco-wall at the new J.Crew store, Sloane Square >>

London J.Crew Sloane Square Camden

Now for next chapter of Summer…three weeks in Alderney. Better get packing!

L x

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