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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Nothing says simplicity like black

With only a few days until we head off on holiday, packing is well and truly under way. Well, at least the suitcases are down from the loft! Taking expert packing tips from one of my favourite bloggers, Laura Fantacci I’ve decided to slim down the contents of my suitcase and keep to a monochrome theme. But for a long time black has been the least favoured colour in my wardrobe, it just doesn’t suit me. But with a little colour from the sun on my skin and a very lonely looking black jersey dress in my wardrobe, last weekend I ventured out my comfort zone and did it. I wore black and actually LOVED it.

Trying out new things can make you feel adventurous, like lighting up a little sparkle of opportunity. Though my main thought on this occasion was…. “What have I been missing out on?” And I never like to miss out.

If I am to continue my new found fondness for black then my buying strategy will still remain the same; considered and cautious. Gone are the days of impulsive buys (yes I can hear those sniggers coming from those that have been privy to my buying habits in the past but every purchase I make is highly investigated and deeply considered I can assure you!) I need to know that what I buy is going to go the distance both in style and in quality. Obviously a few things will slip through the net but then it would be boring not to have any spontaneity wouldn’t it?!

Inspired by it’s simplicity and effectiveness, I’ve put together a few of my favourite black pieces just right for holiday…

Topshop Embroidered strappy jumpsuit

the embroidered jumpsuit from Topshop

Accessorize Lenia cutwork shirt

the beach cover up from Accessorize

J.Crew grid dot maxi dress

the maxi dress from J.Crew

Reiss Bryana Black skirt

ok, not strictly black but lovely all the same…the monochrome stripy skirt from Reiss

Hush Homewear Maxi tube skirt

and finally, the simplest of them all the black maxi tube skirt from Hush. Timeless.

 What I love about the simplicity of black is that you can make a very quiet statement by wearing it cleverly and not as an after thought. Subtle details like eyelets and embroidery is all you need.

 Anyone else new to black?

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Topshop one piece

With the murmurs of a holiday escalating to full blown booking of flights (wahoo!), like a dog being freed from it’s lead I was set free amongst the holiday wardrobe pickings. First stop, swim/beach wear.

After seeing one of my favourite bloggers, Laura Fantacci writer of WITblog wearing this beautifully elegant one-piece by Isabel Marant on The Grace Tales last year it’s always been in the back of mind. The look was so chic and understated I thought I’d give it a shot.

Laura Fantacci The Grace Tales

Image via The Grace Tales

 

As if I needed further convincing, the final clincher was seeing an Instagram pic from Alex Stedman of The Frugality with her strapless one-piece from Topshop. A matter of days later when I “happened to be passingTopshop I dipped in and came out with said one-piece (above).

But I’ve also seen these three lovely one-pieces from Marks & Spencer that are definitely worth consideration…

Marks & Spencer one pieces

1. Abstract print

2. Tropical

3. Polka dots

Bikini or one-piece for you this year?

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Summer essentials from Connock London

There are murmurs in the My Pollyanna household of the H word. We may and I stress, may be going on holiday. So this naturally got my thinking about me packing essentials, though truth be told holiday or no holiday, these will definitely be getting my through the Summer.

Eau de Parfum Connock London

Since Connock London sent me their Kukui Eau de Parfum and body oil I have been completely obsessed with them. On two levels they fit into my life perfectly. Firstly, if these legs are to be on public display they have to be in tip-top condition. With the warmer weather and the appearance of skirts and shorts the oil has been my go-to beauty product. It’s beautifully moisturising with no greasiness (which if I’m honest was my main concern with using an oil). It leaves a soft, glowy finish to look neatly polished.

Secondly, I’m really not a perfume person. Although I have a small collection that, if I remember, I may have a quick spritz of in the morning but I’ve never found anything that I’ve wanted to wear everyday. Scents are really personal and I suppose I’ve never found one that is just ‘me’.

Maybe it’s been my yearning for a holiday but I’ve been totally taken in by the beachy, fresh scent of the signature Eau de Parfum from Connock London. The ingredients include Italian Bergamot, Moroccan Rose, White Jasmine and Calla Lily, Sandalwood, Vetiver, White Amber and layers of cashmere and sheer musk. Divine.

And if it’s good enough for Goop then it’s good enough for me!

Sunglasses / Espadrilles / Lipstick /

What are you Summer essentials?
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It’s been two months since my holiday to Italy and two months since I set my holiday resolutions. I decided to take the time on holiday to think about my existing ‘style rules’ and see if I could try something new; styles that I’d never had the confidence to try before.

It’s now fast approaching autumn, or least the sales are here and the magazines are full of AW13 ‘must-haves’, so I thought now was a good time to review my resolutions and maybe even set some new ones for the new season.

Quick recap…[styled_box title=”My resolutions.  My new style ‘rules’…” color=”pink”]Embrace brights.
This goes for lipstick too!
Accent a plain outfit with a pop of leopard – my new found love!
Be confident in your own style and wear your head high.[/styled_box]

Upon my return from holiday, I rather excitedly, had a rummage through my wardrobe to find some ‘summer brights’. Pieces that I felt I could incorporate into my existing style, without having to buy something new.

Re-energized by brights…

With a different agenda, it was refreshing to look at what I already had in a different light. I have to say, I was invigorated. Wearing things that had been in my wardrobe for years that I could pair with current pieces felt like a much better use of what I had and a little more frugal than buying new things.

My Pollyanna

Most importantly, I loved wearing brights. To be the point where I felt like I needed to tone it down a bit sometimes. Having a bit of a tan probably helped (but then there is always the trusty St.Tropez to help me out with that one!).

I really loved trying out new colours that I had traditionally steered very much clear of. It ignited a new sense of style adventure. On the occasions when I did go shopping, it opened up a whole new landscape of opportunity – a very refreshing experience!

Clowning around with Lipstick…

Definitely the most daunting. But it has been great. Really enjoyed pushing the boundaries with this and having some fun. I felt like a bit of a clown at first but soon wondered how I had gone my thirty-plus years NOT wearing it. A selection now sit firmly in my handbag so I am never without.

Personal gain…

IMG_2571

What it proved to me more than anything was the opportunities gained from moving out of your comfort zone (oh, there I go again!). Although I’d always felt comfortable in my staple neutrals, trying something new gave me a new sense of confidence.  If I hadn’t have given it a go then I would never have experienced that.
[quote]Moving out your style comfort zone…you never know, you might just like what you find.[/quote]

So how did you get on? Did you set any new style resolutions this summer?
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Reflecting on my holiday to Italy and having compiled my holiday resolutions, I was feeling a bit of pressure to put them into practice. There’s nothing worse for me than saying you’re going to do something then not following it through. So off I trot to John Lewis…

The ‘To wear bright lipstick‘ was by the far the scariest holiday resolution I had made. I have ALWAYS steered well away from lipstick but being in Italy changed my thoughts on this and I was about to step out of my nude lip-gloss wearing comfort zone. Orange seemed like a good place to start. I trawled Chanel, Clinique, YSL and the usual, but these were my favourites.

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Dior, Diablotine Extreme 643.

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A punchy, tomatoey bright red/orange. Glossy finish and plenty of colour so no need to over apply. Goes on well and stays on very well.

Bare Minerals, Go the Distance.

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I bought this one as an everyday, ‘go with anything’ shade. I’ve recently bought the Bare Minerals foundation and really like it so I’d thought I’d give them a go. Love it. They also had a couple of other shades very close to this one, so definitely worth having a look at.

Bobbi Brown, Salmon.

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This is much, much lighter than the others. The girl on the counter reassured me this was the one – the one that I’d lusted after in the magazines. I was a bit dubious but went with it, she was the expert after all (yes, total sucker!).

Definitely best worn with a tan as it has that real ‘tangerine’ look. But equally, it still has all the qualities you’d expect from Bobbi Brown and I really love the fact it’s a bit brighter and more ‘orange’ than the others.

Bourjois, Rouge Edition,  03.

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One routine trip to Waitrose I stumbled across the Bourjois lipsticks and thought I’d give them a go. For £7.99 I have to say, they’re brilliant. They’re so easy to wear, last a long time and feel moisturising.

[frame_center src=”http://www.mypollyanna.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/IMG_3285.jpg” href=””]Top left: Dior. Top right: Bobbi Brown. Bottom left: Bare Minerals. Bottom right: Bourjois[/frame_center]
I couldn’t do a post about lips and not mention my trusty Eight Hour Lip gloss. An absolute winner. The usual benefits of the Eight Hour Cream with a proper glossy effect.

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Have you found any lipsticks I should know about??!

Laura x

 

 

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Borgo Egnazia pool

It had been a busy start to the year and one without a holiday, so I finally convince JT that the business world will survive if he takes some time off.  I have always relished searching and filtering through reviews and articles to find the best places to stay. I love a bit of culture, sightseeing and exploring new places but these days our agenda is slightly different. We want rest, relaxation and above all, luxury!

So I set about finding our special family holiday for five nights (the business world could definitely not stretch to seven without him!). Now usually this is where I put in hours of research and plan the whole trip – flights, transfers, accommodation, everything. I’d consider myself well-versed in this technique but to the point that this year I just couldn’t face it again and just wanted someone to do it for me. But could I really put this responsibility with someone else and actually book a (gulps) ‘package holiday’?

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After some deliberation, I picked up the phone and called Scott Dunn. I was indecisive, I was anxious, I was a bit bloody awkward at times but I have to say, they came up trumps. So I’d done it, I’d booked my first package holiday. But would I get the luxury I aspired to? Nervous? I should say so!

Driving through the stone walled roads surrounded by ancient olive groves we finally arrive at Borgo Egnazia. As we stop for security, it feels like we have arrived at a Beverly Hills mansion. I am secretly smiling inside. I knew I had pulled it off. This was the place for us. Walking through the large doors into calming chalky white interiors I think we both visably exhaled and knew we were in the right place.

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There’s always a sense of trepidation before you’ve seen your room though. Are those lovely web photos going to be reality or do they just know how to take a great photo?? Wow. Having been guided through the narrow, winding ‘streets’ of the Borgo the dusky green door to our Cassetta Splendida was opened. Gorgeous. Our own (not so) little town house with garden and roof terrace .

A quiet, relaxed atmosphere resonated around the Borgo and we soon settled in to Puglian life. Fantastic children’s club; great staff, no rigid sessions, just dump and go! Most of the time we relaxed by the pool while the girls floated around the ‘beach style’ children’s pool. Absolute bliss. It wasn’t long before we entered into ‘mid-day cocktail mode’ and I had found my new tipple. The Martini Spritzer. Could talk for hours about the food – amazing!

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On a cloudy afternoon we took our pick through a lovely selection of vintage style bikes and ventured out for a breathtaking cycle along the empty local roads and through the golf course to the beach club.

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I have visited my fair share of luxury spas but Vair Spa (2013 Tatler Spa Awards- Category Winner) at Borgo Egnazia was definitely up there with the best. I indulged in the U STESS facial, pure bliss.

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The feeling of everything being taken care of by Scott Dunn, could not be beaten. No wads of paper and confirmations, it was all taken care of and I felt I’d won. You really could get luxury from a package holiday. So we said goodbye, until next time…and there WILL be a next time. The perfect place for total rest and relaxation, with or without children. Stunning. Now go, go, go!

Laura x

 

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Pollyanna by the pool

There aren’t many times when you can completely and unashamedly relax and unwind. But the holiday to Borgo Egnazia was a time when I could. Relaxing by the pool with my newly discovered Martini Spritzer, I decided I was going to make some holiday resolutions. With no chores and no lists, my mind was free to focus on the future…and my style!

[frame_center src=”http://www.mypollyanna.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_1283.jpg” href=””][/frame_center]
Everyone knows the Italians have an impeccable eye for style but I have to say I was quite overcome by the effortless manner in which they pull this off. After a couple of days of hiding behind my ovesized Chanel’s I began to embrace it. I wasn’t going to be intimidated, instead I would join them in their unadulterated penchant for style.
[styled_box title=”My resolutions. My new style ‘rules’…” color=”pink”]Embrace brights.
This goes for lipstick too!
Accent a plain outfit with a pop of leopard – my new found love!
Be confident in your own style and wear your head high.[/styled_box]
[frame_center src=”http://www.mypollyanna.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_1667.jpg” href=””][/frame_center]Let’s see if I can stick to them….?!

Laura

ps. what will your holiday resolutions be?

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