Anya Mindmarch sale picks

The Anya Hindmarch sale has just started in the US and it’s up to 50% off. Yep, you heard correctly. FIFTY. We’ve just moved so I can’t justify any handbag spending at the moment, so instead, I will have to make a wish list and here it is….

Number one
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Name: Giant pixels Georgiana clutch
Colour: Suede lux indigo – pixels
Price old + new: $1245 / $622
What I like about it: I love a clutch. The pixels are a great design; the colours are fab & I am obsessed with navy at the moment.

Number two
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Name: Silver clouds men’s backpack
Colour: Suede lux in airforce blue
Price old + new: $2295 / $1147
What I like about it: What’s not to like?! I think this is what I would want if I could choose anything at all from the sale. I’ve wanted a backpack for the longest time and this one has not only a sun and a cloud on it but a it has a rainbow too!

Number three
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Name: Silver cloud Ebury tote
Colour: Suede lux in airforce blue
Price old + new: $1795 / $897
What I like about it: Same as above, really – the blue suede is amazing and it also has these pockets inside which make it super organised. I’d actually find it tough to choose between this and the backpack.

Number four
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Name: Stack shoulder bag
Colour: Silk calf leather in vampire
Price old + new: $1645 / $822
What I like about it: I had my eye on this piece when it originally came out. This would actually be a far more sensible choice than the backpack, just look at it! It has multiple shades of red, it’s made of calf leather, I don’t already own a red bag, and… it’s perfect. I like how everything is separated out into multiple sections, I like to have things separated inside my bags with little pouches & I wouldn’t need to do that with this bag. I need it.

Number five
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Name: Circulus double-zip coin purse
Colour: Circus leather in sunset
Price old + new: $375 / $187
What I like about it: I would need this to attach to the above bag to hold my coins, obviously. My favourite thing about it is that it’s in my favourite colour – mustard. It’s also very cute.

So there we have it, my favourite things from the AH sale.

L. x

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IKEA – 10-gruppen – AVSIKTLIG collection

 

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IKEA has released a collection called AVSIKTLIG and I really like the designs, so I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite pieces and some information behind the designs and designers.

You can read more HERE, but in short, in Sweden in the 1970s, a group of designers called 10-gruppen (which translates as 10 Swedish designers) got together and decided to create their own designs and textiles, going against all the design “rules” at the time. These designs were considered “unsellable” but following a showing of their work in New York in 1973, they created quite a following. They first worked with IKEA in 1979.

The AVSIKTLIG collection comes as a result of a collaboration with three current IKEA designers and the original 10-gruppen to create a new collection using the 45 year-old designs.

avsiktlig-rug-flatwoven-assorted-colors__0485080_PE621413_S4First up there is this blue/black rug ($99) — I really like the bold stripes and the alternate directions. I think this would be a great alternative for a kid’s room or nursery. Ditch those pastels and go bold! Design by: Tom Hedqvist. 

 

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I adore this fabric and it’s vintage vibe. IKEA show it on a wall in their styled shoots for this range and I think it’s wonderful. It is $4.99 / yard and I’m excited to see what people do with it. I think it would have made a great duvet set. Design by: Britt-Marie Christoffersson. 

avsiktlig-paper-napkin__0483146_PE620666_S4IKEA paper napkins are one of my favourite IKEA staples. In my opinion, these are the least useful size, but the designs show three of my favourite prints from this collection, so they’ve made the list. $1.99 / pack of 30.

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They’ve done it again… why is it that all the best duvet covers only come in single/twin size?! This fantastic design would have looked awesome as a double/queen/king ($29.99). Design by: Kristina Abelli-Elander.

 

avsiktlig-bath-sheet-assorted-colors__0482719_PE620352_S4These towels would look great at the beach this summer. I’ll take the blue and black striped ones, please (there are other designs available if you follow the link). $14.99.  Design by: Tom Hedqvist. 

 

avsiktlig-cushion-assorted-colors__0487857_PE622776_S4I do like a sausage cushion (that’s what we call them at home) and this dotty cushion is no exception. $3.99! Design by: Iina Vuorivirta. 

 

avsiktlig-art-card__0483171_PE620697_S4All of these brilliant designs are available in a card pack. I’ll definitely be getting myself one of these (and another to send to people, of course) if they have any on my next visit. $4.99/pack.

avsiktlig-book__0483134_PE620675_S4If you love these designs as much as I do, you can read all about 10-gruppen in the book that accompanies the collection. Again, if they have this when I visit I’ll be getting myself a copy. It’s only $7.99 for IKEA family members.

There are loads of other pieces in the collection, so go by and take a look or check out the link here >> IKEA AVSIKTLIG collection.

Happy Friday!

L. x

Further reading:

So I say… thank you for the fabrics | The Independent

I would Kill for Fashion: Britt-Marie Christoffersson

Weekly Abroad: Iina Vuorivirta | Helsinki Design Weekly

Crumpled Englishman in New York

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What does this cheeky little floral number represent? Well, I’m about to tell you. Today was the day I taught myself how to iron shirts. Yep.

Until now we have paid a visit to the dry cleaners every single Saturday to drop off and collect any laundry in need of ironing. Because, well, I hate it. But I now need to learn and with a pile before me I did it. Sort of.

It doesn’t help that my dear husband doesn’t own any “basic” shirts. I will never again buy him a shirt purely because I like it. I’ll be eyeing it up on my newly discovered “ironability” scale. Fancy buttons? Nah. Fancy creasy bits? No thank you.

I’m not a natural ironer, that much is clear, but hopefully it will get easier. I need to stop ironing creases into things, for starters.

If anyone sees a crumpled Englishman in New York, please say hi to my husband.

L. x

National best friends day — June 8th — gift guide!

June 8th is fast approaching. What? You don’t know about June 8th? It’s National best friends day! There is still plenty of time to send me your best friend a gift. But just in case you don’t have all day to roam the internet looking for the perfect objets de desir, here are some quick links… (you’re welcome). I’ve also tried to keep the ideas around $20.

I am in no way being paid for any of this content, these are all items I’ve stumbled across via a well known search engine. 

Etsy:
Although you love her to bits, have you always hated the way she can apply her eyeliner perfectly every. single. time? I think this tiny ‘UGH‘ pin by Kateslittlestore sums up that feeling perfectly. $5.37.

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You can remind him or her that they are as cool as a perfectly ripe avocado (which is very cool, in my opinion) by  gifting them this wonderful avocado print by MelindaWoodDesigns for their home office or kitchen. Who wouldn’t love this?! Prices vary depending on size and whether or not you want it framed, but they are printed on “photographic archival giclee cardstock”. Fancy.

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Next up is Greenwich Letterpress, one of my favourite quirky establishments and it is based right here in New York City.

If your best bud loves to bake, or just likes to eat ice-cream and sprinkles (guilty) then what’s not to love about these “I like you” sprinkles by Amy Sedaris?! They even get a wooden scoop so they can feel proper glamorous when sprinkling. $20.

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Following on with the sprinkles theme, one of my all-time favourite items from GL is this enamel sprinkles pin. $12.

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Target:
Show your bestie that s/he’s ‘Da Bomb’ with one of these Party Bomb bath fizzers. All yours for $4.99.

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You can also remind her what a great friend you are every time she enters or leaves her abode with this fancy AF gold plated initial keychain for $4.48.

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Urban Outfitters:
How about this pin set to remind them that you are the J to their PB. Of course you get to keep one for yourself… $20.

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This one is a little more extravagant at $24 but summer is almost here and that means it’s almost pool time… how cool is this party pong pool inflatable?! If this doesn’t show them that you’re in it for life, I don’t know what will.

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I know I’ve only been sharing two items from each place but I’ve just spied these and I have to share them with you. It’s a bag of cats. No joke. They’re also only $10.

So that’s it for now, I hope I’ve inspired you to spoil that special person in your life on June 8th. Enjoy the rest of your Monday.

L. x

From house to apartment — living small

We’ve just moved from a two floor, three bedroom, typically 1930s house in England to a 750sqft apartment in a managed apartment block in New York City and before doing so I read a lot of online articles about living in small spaces. At the moment our apartment feels roomy, but it’s shrinking with every delivery we receive. This article on living in a 240sqft space has some nifty tips on how to get by and I wanted to share it with you.

When I’ve become apartment savvy maybe I’ll be able to share some of my own tips:

15 genius tips for living in small spaces — Joanna Goddard.

UberPool – my first trip – 10/10

I love using Uber when I’m in a city because I don’t need to work out where I am in order to tell the driver where to pick me up and the best part is that I don’t need to carry cash (you pay via a card or Apple pay within the app).

This week I had to go to Brooklyn Heights for an appointment to apply for my SSN. It was 32/33 degrees out, which meant I did not fancy the metro, and it was an hour and 20 minutes worth of walk. I thought I’d check out Uber to see what the damage would be and I was quoted approx. $18 for the journey. I then spied UberPool next to the usual UberX and it was quoting me a little over $6 for the same journey. I did a search using Uncle Google and it looked legit, so I booked it.

It works on the principal that you’re joining in on someone else’s journey, so your fare is greatly reduced (usually around 40%, I think). The car* pulled up outside my apartment building 4 minutes after I booked with two people already in the back. The app told me not only who my driver was, but also who the other passengers were.

The journey didn’t take any longer than I’d anticipated (about 25 minutes) after dropping the other passengers off at the park and I really did only pay just over $6. I’m a convert and hopefully next time I need to use Uber there will be someone else heading in the same direction!

 

*the beautifully air conditioned car (note earlier comment about the hot weather). 

Week one in NYC…

This is a little (maybe not so little) catch up, so there’s not too much detail. I’ll hopefully be able to write more frequently once we’re settled, but for now I’m skimming over some of the detail – forgive me.

L and I arrived very early Thursday morning last week & the week has flown by. I thought I would have the chance to update you all before now, but this seems like a good time.

We wouldn’t be here right now without our families doing what they’ve done to help. My parents have pulled out the stops to makes sure our things and our house are ready and safe and for that I’ll be eternally grateful. I have no idea what we would be doing right now without them. Thank you. 

So, what have we been up to??

Thursday AM: We manage to get through the front doors of our Airbnb but realise that we’d not been given a door number by our host. It turns out that this wouldn’t have helped anyway because there are no numbers on any of the doors. After trying the various keys (three) in some of the other apartment doors (very carefully as it was around 1am), we find our apartment. We collapse into bed and wake up at a sensible time for Thursday to properly begin.

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[photo by me] Art by Paul Richard.

Thursday later AM: we take a look around Williamsburg & grab a latte in Cafe Beit. We were aiming for a sit-in latte with a pastry for breakfast but I bottle it at the seemingly complicated transaction, grab the lattes to go and flee without something to eat. I am I bit flustered by the whole thing;I just don’t feel cool enough for Williamsbur g at this point, even if I had just ordered an almond milk latte (Cafe Beit make their own!) and managed to give an appropriate tip.

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[photo by me]

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[photo by me]

We needed to get a few things before going to collect Bo from customs at JFK, such as cat litter and cat food. You’d think that would be easy. You’d be wrong. The first place we find is Whole Foods. Whole Foods is like Waitrose on steroids. It’s glorious. And also very stressful. You won’t find any of your ‘regular’ groceries there; everything is organic or dairy free or gluten free (which is absolutely fine for us) but it makes everything a little more stressful when you don’t recognise a single brand. We found some wonderful things, which I’ll show you later. We decided to find a dedicated pet store to get the things for Bo and in the meantime just got some essentials for us.

We then found a juice bar because we needed a bit of a pick-me-up and had a green juice – they made me my favourite, which is green apple, mint, lime, and celery. It was a little heavy on the celery, I must admit. Then on to the pet store for cat essentials. It was really warm out (for doing errands) so we headed back to the apartment for a 5 minute freshen up before hearing back to JFK to pick up Bo (the cat). Luckily we did because the next part ended up taking 5 hours…

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[photo by me]

But Bo is now here and is quite settled; she’s very interested in the birds out in the yard, so we’re having to keep a very close eye on her when we open the back door.

Friday: I spent some of Thursday night looking at open houses in Williamsburg for today and found that there is an apartment block just a few blocks away from where we’re currently staying, so we go along to see if they have someone to show us around. The letting agent, Jay, shows us an apartment that is almost available but it’s a little on the small side. We mention that we’re looking for a home office if possible and he has one vacating on Saturday morning, so we arrange to come back and have a look on Saturday afternoon. The building is nice and has some of the shared amenities we’re looking for; roof terrace, gym, rooftop bbq, garden, party room, chill room for groceries, etc.

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[photo by me]

L is called into work unexpectedly so I spend the afternoon doing some journalling in the apartment (I got a new notebook, but I’ll show you in more detail another day).

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[photo by me]

For dinner we decide to go somewhere local, so I choose Mable’s Smokehouse for some BBQ. It’s a grab-your-own-table kind of place and you go up to a counter to order the food. I order us the shared platter so that we get to try a few things and we have some beers.

 

[photo by me]

We end the night on a wander around Williamsburg, checking out more of the beautiful street art and just generally taking in the atmosphere.

Saturday: L saw an apartment on the waterfront when he came here a month ago so he wanted to show me the same place. In short – the apartments are tiny and expensive, but the views are amazing. We walked past the famous Smorgasburg food festival on the way and planned to go back, but we decided to take a walk to the East River bank instead and take a look at the view of Manhattan. We found a lovely little grocery store called Harvest Market and got some lunch to take back to the apartment.

[photo by me]

We had arranged to go back to see Jay to have a look at the other apartment that had become available today. It was a little bigger and had the home office and we decided to apply – you have to move fast in New York if you find something you like, so that was it, we’ve decided to stay in Williamsburg for the next 13 months. What actually happens at this point is that you apply to take the apartment and you have to wait to see if you are accepted, so there is some paperwork to do, which we take back to the apartment to take a look at. The bank is now closed, however, so we arrange to go back on Sunday with the paperwork and cheques.

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[photo by me]

Sunday: L needs to go to his bank to arrange some cheques (they need to be certified, so you can’t use a chequebook); we each have to pay an application fee (which you don’t get back if you’re rejected) and another $1,000 to take the apartment off the market. We take our forms and the cheques along to Jay on Sunday morning. We get told that there is a chance that we won’t get the apartment because we don’t have an American credit history. Your magnificent credit history in the UK is worth cheese here, for anyone else looking to go through this process.

We celebrate our first apartment application by going to brunch. I’ll write again about brunch at some point because it’s a big thing here in New York. I don’t think it’s the same as in the UK, at this point I think it might be an excuse to drink alcohol earlier in the day, but we’ll see…

Our brunch place of choice is Fushimi, a Japanese place. L has the wagyu beef mini burgers and I have some chicken and potatoes. Both were delicious, the burgers more so than the chicken. More wandering around Brooklyn follows and we find a cute little vintage furniture store inside a garage that is only open at weekends.

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[photo by me]

We also go on a hunt for a clothes iron. I’ve still no idea where you get these from in The City. We happened to find a hardware store that had one type that we definitely overpaid for.

Shop guy: Can I help you?
Us: We’re just browsing at the moment, thank you. 
Shop guy: Well, it’s not a museum. 

This exchange prompted me to ask on Quora if there is an American alternative to the phrase “just browsing” (which in England usually means that you’re looking for something specific but you don’t need any help looking for it because you’re not in a rush) to which most people replied that the guy was just being a jerk and that the phrase is perfectly acceptable. Phew!

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[photo by me]

Later in the day we go out looking for Blue Bottle Coffee, a trendy-looking coffee place that has been on my radar. We find it, we have coffee, life is good. Not so good is the pizza that we decide to have for dinner. I won’t tell you the name because it’s a very popular place here and maybe they were having an off day? Either way, we spent over $20 on a couple of slices of cold, tasteless pizza.

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[photo by me]

Monday: L starts work properly today and off he goes first thing. His commute amazes me, he leaves here and pops up in Manhattan 20 minutes later and the train isn’t even overcrowded. I use the day to do some more journalling and I go out for a walk around Williamsburg. It’s a bank holiday Monday in the UK, I believe we get one on the 29th of May. I think they’re just called public holidays here? I’ll look into that.

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[photo by me]

I went back to Harvest Market and got some groceries today (I’ll write about groceries at a later time – I need to work them out first) so I made us our first proper homemade dinner – a chicken curry. I will never get bored of the view on the way home from the grocery store…

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[photo by me]

We also find out around this time that we have been accepted for our apartment! We’re very excited because this part could have taken up to 4 days and I already spent most of Monday checking my emails. Hooray!

Tuesday: I take a walk to find Midoriya, a Japanese grocery store, and also pop into the pet store (PS9) to see if they have a harness I can get for Bo so that I can take her out in the yard. I get some Japanese treats and a harness, I also pick up a birthday present for Bo (it’s her birthday on Monday). On the way back I find McCarren Park, the weather is beautiful and I find a bench and take in my surroundings.

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[photo by me]

In PS9 I had a good 30 minute chat with the cashier (I believe her name is Adriana) and she was very welcoming. She has moved from Manhattan to Williamsburg and confirmed that we had made the right decision to live here instead of in The City. She also offered to give me a tour of Brooklyn – people here are so nice! It turns out that I can also take Bo along so that she can try out the beds and choose her own, which is nice. I learn that it’s quite common for cats to be taken out in carry bags so that they get some outside time and that harnesses and taking cats to the park is taking off. Maybe Bo will like that…

It’s actually not a struggle to get Bo into her harness (small miracles) and we spend the afternoon in the back yard.

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[photo by me]

Today is the day that I perfect the grilled cheese sandwich.

Wednesday: Another walk to the East River bank and Harvest Market. I finally try the pizza from Harvest Market ($4 per slice!) and it’s delicious. I get brave and ask about loyalty cards and delivery. Get me!

Thursday: I have one plan for today – to find Mister Dips. Did I find Mister Dips? No. But it turns out I was close (I told them on Instagram where I’d ended up and asked if I was close, and I was). So that’s a job for another day. I did, however, find Du’s Donuts and coffee, where I had a creamsicle flavoured donut and a latte (thanks).

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[photo by me]

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[photo by me]

We finished the day with a meal from Sweet Chick, which I’ll write about in a separate post.

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[photo by me]

Friday: Today was a washout. The rain came down. Not just a little bit. Enough for me to get an official flood warning on my iPhone. During this time the radiators in the (temporary) apartment started leaking. It was a day and a half and I’m glad that L is now home and it’s the weekend!

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[photo by me]

Apologies for the loooong catch up there. I hope you enjoyed parts of it. I’ll keep snapping away and I’ll update you as often as possible.

Much love,

L. x