Oliver Bonas + Innocent #BigKnit - Get behind this!


This isn't my usual sorta post, but when two of my fave brands collaborate for a great cause, I want to do everything I can to tell everyone. If writing a quick post helps raise even £5 more for Age UK, it'll have been well worth it :)

You all know about the annual Innocent #BigKnit, right? I'll keep the description brief for anyone that's not familiar. Innocent ask people to donate hand knitted miniature hats to sit on all of their smoothie bottles in the run up to Christmas. Every time they sell a bottle wearing a little hat when the shelves are stocked in February, they donate 25p from the sale to Age UK - a fantastic charity that supports vulnerable older people. 

They've been doing this for 12 years.


Now, it's not the first time I've mentioned my adoration for Oliver Bonas to you. Their homeware is on my radar every time I have a home decor project, and I've blogged about their stuff a fair bit in the past. When I heard they were collaborating with Innocent on their annual #BigKnit campaign, I fell in love with the brand even more (didn't think it was possible, things are about to get weird).

Oliver Bonas are now stocking regular head size replicas of the #BigKnit bottle toppers in their stores, and for every hat they sell, £5 is being donated to Age UK. 

So next time you find yourself wandering around town (or having a browse online) treat yourself or a friend to a new Oliver Bonas woolie hat for the colder months ahead, and rest assured you're helping Age UK help those having difficulties in their later lives.
 
There are 6 hand-knitted hats in the OB range inspired by some of the best little big knit hats over the last 12 years Innocent Smoothies have run this campaign, including some lovely designs for the littluns (A £3 donation to Age UK for each of those sold).

Head over to the Oliver Bonas website and take a peek of all the hats, they're gorgeous ›› 

I'll leave you with a selfie of me in mine. This very selfie session made me 20 mins late for work, and I can only apologise that it's the best of 70.


I hope you get behind this :)



A Joyous walk across the South Downs

Country style gingham black and white dress from Joy

By far the best thing about autumn (when the weather holds up) is the crisp cold walks Neil + I go on with a stop off in various country pubs for a bite to eat and a pint after. 

The stunning South Downs

Country style gingham black and white dress from Joy + chunky knit autumn style cardigan

The stunning South Downs walks

We try to get out to the countryside at least once a month. Living in the city can get really claustrophobic, so it's our way of detaching. We usually spend the whole walks chatting about one day owning a cottage or farm house, living the country dream. I saw my dream house on the walk photographed. It's on my Instagram, check it out, it'll be mine one day :) 

This past weekend we explored the cute Sussex village of Amberley. Neil got the most beautiful shots of nature and wildlife whilst I drooled over the thatched cottages and wild flower displays in every immaculate garden. He wrote a post around it that you can read here if you like. It's called Amberley in the Autumn. 

Anyway, what I really wanted to do was show you my fave new gingham dress + chunky knit cardy, ha! 

Country style gingham black and white dress from Joy + chunky knit autumn style cardigan

Country style gingham black and white dress from Joy + chunky knit autumn style cardigan

Country style gingham black and white dress from Joy + chunky knit autumn style cardigan

Country style gingham black and white dress from Joy + chunky knit autumn style cardigan

I remind myself SO much of Caitlin Moran in these pics (but sadly I'm not quite as cool as she) all I need is to swap the Hunters for Doc Martins and I'm her!

My dress is from one of my favourite retailers at the mo, Joy. Joy stock the best patterned + print clothes that mainly taps into retro, bright and fun styles. They love colour, and lots of their dresses remind me of stuff my style crush Elsie Larson would wear. Have a feel around on their website and you'll know what I mean. 

Country style gingham black and white dress from Joy + chunky knit autumn style cardigan

The chunky knit cardy kept me all toasty when the wind hit, and I added a splash of colour to the look with the cute fabric bar necklace, which would make a cracking DIY I reckon. 
I'm also rather liking playing around with the OPI colour paints collection. Mustard is one of my fave colours (can you tell from the blog design?). 

What do you think? Do you like the dresses on the Joy website? If I'm ever in the Brighton Lanes I always wander in store and spend too long looking through all the rails.

Fiona xoxo

5 favourites from the Loaf AW15 collection

5 favourites from Loaf's A/W 15 interior collection

The Autumn / Winter 2015 collection at Loaf has some true interior gems. I've said it before, if I was doing a total furniture/accessory re-haul I'd get almost everything I need from Loaf. I love their brand. 

I thought I'd share 5 of my favourites from their new collection. 

1. Lovebird weather clock, £295

The first is this rather unique Lovebird weather clock (above) that comes in a variety of neutral colours, and not only tells the time, it tells you the weather :) Yup. It has a built in barometer too. They're handmade in Yorkshire by a duo of talented folk that form Bramwell Brown. Check out their story on Loaf's product page, it's inspiring ››

5 favourites from Loaf's A/W 15 interior collection

2. Shilling Table Lamp, £165

The second is this geometric wire lamp. Its intricate pattern paired with a bold shade makes it perfect for any room in the house. I would pop this on a console table to jazz up a dark hallway - lamps are a nice light to enter a home to, aren't they? It's a much cosier alternative to the spotlights we have in our hall. 

5 favourites from Loaf's A/W 15 interior collection
  
3. Crumbs Floor Rug, from £195

This one would work brilliantly in a family home with messy kiddies running around. The light colours and texture means that small stains, pet hairs and crumbs from the floor wouldn't be picked up as noticeably, giving you style and substance. That we like. 

5 favourites from Loaf's A/W 15 interior collection

4. Banyan Mirror, from £245

Look at the beautiful frame on that mirror. It would fit perfectly with our grey/ivory/white colour scheme in our bedroom, adding a bit of detail to the walls and opening up small spaces. Best of all you could choose to hang it either portrait or landscape, or have it resting on a bedroom mantel, layering up smaller mirrors and framed photos for an eclectic look. 

5 favourites from Loaf's A/W 15 interior collection

5. Olivia Bedside table, £225

Finally, this new Olivia bedside table is just perfection for Parisian-chic style interiors or to add a vintage vibe. I'm imagining a bedroom with one of these either side, with matching shilling table lamps (above) either side too, dream room. I wish I lived in a big enough home for more symmetrical design like that. Imagine the hours I'd spend styling it and photographing? One can dream. 

A special something before you go...

If you haven't seen already, I've been running a giveaway alongside Loaf.com, so if you've seen anything that's caught your eye, enter below for the chance to win a £50 voucher all to yourself. 

Best of luck :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Camping + a country walk in Sussex



I've been working on a little style post with Laura Ashley (keep an eye on their blog next week) which found me and Neil out camping in the countryside playing with evening light photography. 

It was such a lovely weekend. We practised shots of me spinning with this beautiful skirt I was gifted for the photo shoot, and I'll let you in on a little secret... 

I fell over twice doing it. 

Had a few too many ciders didn't I? but ssssh. 

Keep an eye on Laura Ashley's blog. The post I wrote is all about creating an outfit fit for country walks and climbing fences. 

Top here, skirt here








A trend to try: Yellow shoes

yellow trainers to jazz up jeans and a t-shirt

yellow trainers to jazz up jeans and a t-shirt


Meet the new loves of my life. 

There's a new shop in town, Superga. Well, it's by no means a new business (they've been around for over 100 years!) but they have a store new to Brighton nonetheless. 

I couldn't not grab some super yellow kicks (did I just say kicks? Oh god) to liven up jeans and a tee, and I love 'em.

Cute, eh? My sister got the cream version too.

Pop in to say hey if you're Brighton based, the shop is right by the clock tower and they're a friendly bunch. Or if you're a Brighton blogger too, be sure to RSVP to le opening party in August :)


Photos by Neil W Shaw Wedding photography, location: the Little Beach Hut of Dreams, shoes c/o Superga

Mountains & Anthropologie



I'm fresh home from a French Alpine retreat with work (which I'll share stories and photos on soon enough) and thought I'd post a holiday / festival-vibe outfit I didn't take off the whole time I was travelling. 

Enter my new beautiful Anthropologie kimono. In late 20s heat, this baby kept me as cool as a cucumber and prevented my milky white skin from burning like a prune. Do you like it?

We stayed in the most stunning chalet (more info and stunning photos from Neil to come, I promise) right on the border of the Swiss and French Alps in a village called Morillon. It was a transformational week for me. Unplugging, relaxing with cool people and exploring the mountains with a bit of adventure (and fondue) thrown in. 

Come Friday I'll be back in the Alps again - this time Bavaria. Stick around until early July and I'll be gate crashing your newsfeed with interior updates, outfits and holiday stories, no doubt. 






Outfit: Kimono c/o Anthropologie, Clutch c/o Anthropologie, Jeans c/o George Credits: Photos by Neil William Shaw (also does weddings, hey) 

Do you love lists as much as I do? You'll love this


I honestly can't get enough of lists. I use 3 tools for productivity and list making that I thought I'd share with you.


The first is Trello

You've probably heard me talk about trello before in my 7 ways I'm making life better post, and here I am again recommending. This tool has changed my life. In short it's a digital to do list, but collaborative, simple to use and is useful for almost every project or plan. I use it for meal plans, blog plans, holiday ideas, itineraries,  event organisation (part of my full time job), and even financing. 

If you're a blogger too, it can be super hard to keep track of campaigns you're working on and items you've been asked to review. Trello is your best friend for this. Above is a sneak peek behind the scenes of Fifi McGee :)


The second is Google Keep

I stole this from Neil's productivity tips. Do you ever find yourself chatting with friends and things pop up in conversation that you make a mental note to google later, but end up forgetting what the title of the book was, or what the song was called? Everyone needs this app in their life. Capture everything you think about and save it for later on little post it notes that syncs with desktop and mobile versions. 

Never let ideas get lost in translation again :)


The final one is Lyst

Imagine how simple it would be if you could just search 'tan leather backpack' into one search bar and it pulls in results from your favourite brands (rather than dodgy websites or ebay shops when you type into google) - Lyst is the perfect web app for this. You follow all of your favourite shops - like H&M, Topshop, Zara etc and create mini wishlists of items you love that compliment each other. It's new to me, but so far it's been a breeze to use. I've even considered sharing my lysts with friends or family for Christmas & birthdays.



Take my 'fifi's festival faves' lyst for example, you can see it/shop it here. I want to wear more boho-cultured festival vibe outfits this summer that are comfy and keep me cool without baring all to the world so I started a lyst full of mid length skirts, crop tops and sunnies to channel festival chic from my fave shops. Now all I have to do is save and spend :)

Anyway, I hope sharing these has helped feed your penchant for list making. If you have any tools I need to know about, share all @fifimcgeee - you can never have enough productivity apps!


Representing Brighton



You might have seen my porky chops on the Dorothy Perkins website over the past few weeks. The team have been on a quest to discover the nation's favourite dresses, collaborating with bloggers from all across the UK and asked me if I'd represent Brighton choosing a style iconic to where I live. They ran a wee interview with me and other UK bloggers representing cities like London, Leeds, Bristol & Nottingham to discover which styles were favoured where and styled us all up in our fave pieces from the trends in store. 

It wasn't a hard decision for me given Brighton has very strong ties with the Mods & Rockers. Shift dresses are the ultimate 60s trend with an heir of ‘mod’ class to them, so I picked this polka dot heart number with some high tan shoes. Perfect for tottering around the city in the sun. 

Have a look at the map Dorothy Perkins have created and see which style/blogger is representing your city ››





Credits: Photos copyright of Neil William Shaw // Dress & Shoes c/o Dorothy Perkins // Content all my own

4 tips for freshening up your style

Yellow coat / Style ››

You might have read my post on lazy weekends not long ago. I discussed my want to change from the same ol' scruffy Spongebob squarepants pyjama bottoms, to something a little more grown up without compromising on pure comfort. Well my day to day style has taken a similar approach. 

I have never been overly interested in personal fashion, (everyone else's, I'm all for it). As long as it fits, is easy to wash, throw on and in a dark flattering colour, clothes ticked boxes for me. A large part of my disinterest comes down to preferring to spend my hard earned money on interior finds instead of looking good, but since turning 24 I've decided it's time to step out of my 'same old' comfort zone and embrace colour for a more 'grown up' look. 

Here are 4 ways I'm doing a style re-fresh:

Yellow coat / Style ››

1. Make seasonal changes working to a tight budget

I'm sure you're well aware of the 'capsule wardrobe' debate, so I won't bore you with definitions. Well, I'm all for it. I've emptied my wardrobe clear of all but approximately 50 or so items that I wear all the time. Every month, I'm allowing myself £50 and no more to purchase a few 'disposable' seasonal items or any necessities, such as colourful bits and pieces or accessories to jazz up outfits. Shopping in places like George at Asda make it so easy to achieve a particular look on a super tight budget. They have some fantastic Spring clothing that you need to see. It rivals Topshop for a quarter of the cost.

Yellow coat / Style ››

Yellow coat / Style ››


2. Buy one thing you'd never think you'd wear

It's all too easy to get stuck in a style rut. I've been in one for 24 years, only wearing dark, slimming colours and opting for the most basic clothes that don't need much thought to accessorise. I bought this bright yellow coat knowing full well I'd be scared to walk out of the house with it on, and it's one of the best things I have ever done. It's so unbelievably bright and fun, and so unlike anything I'd usually wear, that it's given me the confidence to experiment more with colour and cuts.

Yellow coat / Blogger Style ››

Yellow coat / Blogger Style ››

3. Copy, copy, copy!

Fifi styling the perfect outfit? I can dream on. As a rookie when it comes to personal style, and unsure of what goes with what, I've took to Pinterest to teach me the basics. I have a pinterest board called 'gladrags' where I pin my favourite looks, and once payday comes and I have my budget of £50 to buy some bits, I look at these pins to see how I can copy my favourite blogger's style. It's as easy as that. 

Yellow coat / Blogger Style ››

Yellow coat / Blogger Style ››

4. Invest in staples like stripes & jeans

Dependent on your style of course. Everyone has their own staple look. Whether it's short dresses & ankle boots, jeans & t-shirts, or blouses & high waisted skirts. For me, it's stripes & jeans. They're the two style items that make me happy and comfortable. Recognising this, I invest in long lasting, well cut jeans and lots of different stripy tops because I know I'll not stop wearing them for months and months. I love these high waisted jeans from George, they're super tight fitting and acid wash. And this bardot style stripy top is my new fave. 

Any other tips you can share for a more grown up look?

Outfit:

Yellow coat, £15, George
Striped top, £8, George
High waist jeans, £16, George
Bag, New Look
Wellies, Hunter
Necklace, £1.50 Primark 

 

Credits // Photography by Neil W Shaw, outfit c/o George Asda

Collecting pine cones at Sheffield Park



I sense a pattern forming. Last week I showed you Nymans, this week it's Sheffield Park in Uckfield. Safe to say our National Trust annual membership is already proving fruitful and it's not even warm weather yet (and any excuse to get my wellies out again!).

It's been such a lovely weekend. Cold, but wonderful. Just outside Haywards Heath and about a 40 min spin from us in Brighton/Hove is Sheffield Park. We paid a visit this Saturday morning just gone. 

The gardens are a horticultural work of art, with 4 lakes, paths through woodland, ducks, wildlife, a beautiful cricket ground dating back to the war times, some of the biggest trees in the UK and a welcoming, warm tea room serving delicious home made sausage rolls. 

We arrived at Sheffield Park Garden at about 10am, had a quick cup of tea, set off on our walks and didn't arrive back to the car until at least 1.30pm, and I doubt we saw half of the stunning parkland in that time. You could easily make a day of it here. Children are welcome to climb the trees, and in warmer weather you could find a spot for a picnic without a soul walking past.

This place is beautiful even in the height of winter, when colour is non-existent and the trees are bare. I can't wait to visit again in Spring or Summer when flowers are in full bloom, or Autumn when the leaves are changing. 

I hope you like the photographs Neil took. We'll definitely be heading back here soon to photograph the gardens in every season :)

Thinking of visiting soon? Bring bread! The ducks didn't appreciate us photographing them having no food for them in return. Cute little things. 




















Follow our adventures on Bloglovin' :)

Fifi's wearing:

Parka - Topshop
Jumper dress - River Island
Scarf - Primark
Wellies - Hunters (bought these in sale from Urban Outfitters many years ago)
Satchel - Beyond Retro

It's just dawned on me. I'm happiest when in my wellies!

Our visit to Nymans, Sussex Style

This is in

Nymans

, about a 20 minute drive from where we are in Brighton. Nymans is an idyllic, peaceful little place with stunning gardens, the dreamiest house and 360 views of the rolling Sussex hills.

We popped up there the weekend just gone, the sun blazing in the sky, warding off the frost as we clutched our travel mugs full of tea.

Neil and I were given a

National Trust

annual membership as an engagement present from my bezzy Jo and her family - possibly the best present we've ever been given, and so suited to us; we're always out and about exploring the best of the countryside around us. This was our first trip with it, and we spent the whole time waltzing around the gardens dreaming up a list of all the other places we want to visit in 2015, to share with you on here.

Our visit to Nymans, Sussex Style
Our visit to Nymans, Sussex Style
Our visit to Nymans, Sussex Style
Our visit to Nymans, Sussex Style
Our visit to Nymans, Sussex Style

Our time there got me thinking how excessively happy I am when I'm in wellies, with a brew in hand, relaxing in the great outdoors. An epiphany moment I think, where I realised if I'm ever feeling like life's giving me lemons, it's easy for me to switch off from it all if I just get outside.

Our visit to Nymans, Sussex Style

What is it that makes you happy? When you're feeling stressed about work, life, money, what is it that takes you away from it all? It's so important to find something that can instantly take you away from current worries, like your very own natural medication for the soul :)

Once you find that one thing that changes your mood instantly, use it as your weapon and pull it out of the bag every time you need a pick me up. It might be drawing, yoga, watching TED talks, baking, spending time with children, anything that makes you feel happier. 

For me, I'm instantly cheer up when wearing my wellies.

Posh Totty necklace
Posh Totty necklace

Like my new necklace by the way? It's a personalised silver chain with 'Fiona' engraved on the heart, and a small star charm with the letter 'N'. (I'll give you two guesses what that stands for!) I wore it to Nymans, and don't think I've taken it off since being given it.

My friends at

Posh Totty

gave me this necklace as a congratulatory engagement gift. It means

so

much to me. I only ever wear jewellery that has sentimentality - my ring & this necklace. 

I will talk a lot more about my friends at Posh Totty in upcoming posts. They are such a wonderful team of passionate lassies based in the same office building as me and I often head down for cups of tea, spending lunch hours chatting to them about blogging and jewellery making. It amazes me watching all of the stunning items they sell on their site being custom made right before my very eyes. 

It would mean the world to me & them if you paid their pages a wee visit, particularly if you're on the look out for birthday, wedding or valentine's day gifts in the coming months:

Website:

www.poshtottydesigns.com

Instagram:

www.instagram.com/poshtottydesigns

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/poshtottydesigns

Twitter:

www.twitter.com/poshtottydesign

Everything they do inspires me. A great company to add to your little black book of lovely designs, and a delight to have in my news feed.

Photos all by Neil William Shaw, Brighton Wedding Photographer

Who else loves country walks in winter?


Country walks, hunters & tartan

The clocks went back last Sunday, the afternoons are getting darker and winter is well and truly creeping in. I love it. It's a lot of people's favourite time of year, mine especially.

Neil & I have been on ANOTHER country walk again. Sussex is full of forests, hills and great walks on our doorstep, it seems like we're somewhere new every week. 

Now that we've said goodbye to the warm weather, we initially thought it would be a close on our outdoorsy travels, but I since realised how beautiful it is going out into the country even in the coldest and wettest of weathers. 

We got the Hunters & tartan scarves out, wrapped up all cosy and set off on an hours walk through Devil's Dyke & Saddlescombe farm. Stunning views across Brighton & Hove once you clamber up high enough. We both agreed how doing this kind of thing is such a positive way to end the week and start another :-)

Anyway, thought I'd share the snaps Neil took of our wanders. What a talented chappy he is. He's a Brighton wedding photographer, and now that the summer wedding season is over for him, I'll keep him even busier taking photos for my blog! Stay tooooned. 

Country walks, hunters & tartan

Country walks, hunters & tartan

Country walks, hunters & tartan

Country walks, hunters & tartan

Forest Style, Fifi McGee's outfit of the day!

Winter walks near Brighton

Forest Style, Fifi McGee's outfit of the day!

Winter walks near Brighton

Winter walks near Brighton

Winter walks near Brighton

Winter walks near Brighton

Forest Style, Fifi McGee's outfit of the day!


Tea & Cake at... Stanmer House (and other 'knobby russet' affairs)


How lucky are we that the weather's looking better than it did in August?! At least, that was the case for my visit to Stanmer House a few weekends ago, and also for my sister's wedding a few days ago (photos to come!)

Of course, before I left the house to embark upon a short drive out Falmer way, I wrapped up in a scarf and two layers, anticipating (and looking forward to!) an autumnal breeze. Stepped outside and it was hotter than the Med, a concrete jungle. Typical.

Since Neil & I got the car, it's any excuse to drive out to the country. A few weekends gone, we took an impromptu trip to the fabulous Stanmer House, about a 15 min drive from where we are, initially wanting some tea and cake, but ended up getting a bit more than we bargained for...






lols, had to include it

As we excitedly pulled in to the lane leading up to stanmer village we saw a big fete-like sign, 'Apple Day this way!'. Yep, typically, the morning we chose to go for a quiet stroll and cuppa tea ended up timed perfectly with one of Stanmer's biggest events of the year. A congregation of families, stalls, ciders, organic produce in all its finery. We weren't displeased by the crowds. There was a lot of hilarity to be had. 

We started off in the orchard. Took some shots of as many inuendo apple tree names we clapped eyes on and rolled forth to the bulk of the action. There were morris dancers, songs, table tennis-athons, apple pressing, you name it. Twas like a day at The Shire :)





Stanmer house itself is a stunner both outside and in. I had a whale of a time walking round the old country 'period living' styled rooms - if you're ever looking for interior inspiration, just hit up a café or wedding venues like Stanmer House and you'll be sure to return with some enviable furniture ideas and a longing for a grand open fire. It made me so excited for Christmas, as hot as it were.



Sunglasses, Primark
Scarf, Primark
Dress, Zara
Clutch c/o Kaliko
Boots, Topshop





We suitably stocked up on scones and mdtea, and had to rush back home for a long awaited delivery of our new chesterfield sofa. I went from one stately home, to trying to create my own in the space of two hours :) it was a really lovely way to spend a Sunday morning though, although I still wished for that crispness in the air. I looked bloody ridiculous wrapped up all cosy with sunglasses on. 





Have you visited Stanmer House before? Were you in awe as I was? I'm constantly on the lookout for villages, tea shops and country walks to write about so if you're from Sussex and know somewhere close by, drop me a line :)

10 reasonably priced home interior sites

10 reasonably priced home interior sites

With Neil and I all penciled in for moving house in late May, it's just dawned on us how much basic furniture and appliances we need to buy... and that's before we even begin to plan those finishing touches that make a house a home. If there's one thing buying a home has taught me (bar the definition of LTV) it's that interior is my new found passion. I've always wistfully roamed the aisles of Home Sense, dreaming of owning my own home and how I'd decorate it all, but now I've found myself reading books about it and yep, forking out £4 a pop on Elle Decoration. That's dedication right there.

Here are a bunch of home interior shops we've got our beady eyes on for the new place. And some not too pricey either.

10 reasonably priced home interior sites


MADE.COM 

Contemporary pieces at a cut of the price. Made.com cut out the middle men and buy directly from the designers and makers, allowing them to keep prices low and the offerings excellent quality. Particularly reasonable for quirky chairs, sofas and lighting, I've seen a few floor lamps that will definitely be going in my basket.

10 reasonably priced home interior sites

Home Sense

A high street favourite of mine. We have a fairly big outlet in Brighton that stock tonnes of vases, kitchenware, photo frames, rugs etc, but I've heard amazing things about the Chichester store - they stock furniture?! (one day, one day) Home Sense is incredible for unique, low cost buys. I have big plans to make my own gallery wall and with the range of frames on offer at Home Sense, I know exactly where to go for a spend up.

10 reasonably priced home interior sites

Alexander & Pearl

I found this place as I was having a flick through Style at Home (fave mag ever at the mo). It's THE place to shop for that coveted 'industrial chic' we see in almost every new coffee shop that hits the town. I love the mix of iron and wood furniture, and the eclectic trunks. Not quite so appealing on the purse strings, but we're saving up for a sturdy chest coffee table that might come from here.

10 reasonably priced home interior sites


We searched high up, low down on our internet travels for a chesterfield sofa bed. Our new place is just a one-bedder so if we ever want our family to stay, a sofa bed is a must. Trouble is, I absolutely despise the look of them - they're so boxy with no character. I was considering sacking it off and having our ma's sleep on an air bed - until we found this gem. Chesterfields are the one thing I've long pined after, so we're doing it, and thank God Oldboot Sofas stock this beaut. Doesn't look like a sofa bed at all does it? 

For similar leather creations, you should have a look at Newman and Bright's Italian leather sofa range. Some stunning great quality pieces of furniture to be had.

10 reasonably priced home interior sites

Edited

This one's a local haunt, so apologies for all you non-Brightonians. I LOVE Edited. They sell a mix of retro soft furnishings and stools, and the most beautiful tapered candles that will make you never want to light them. Whenever I'm stuck for interior ideas or colour schemes I just click on their site and weep at their unusual home accessories, I want it all that bad. Fingers crossed they start selling more and more bits on their inspiring site - their shop is stocked with stunning bits and bobs!

10 reasonably priced home interior sites


Laura Ashley stock dreamy soft furnishings. This very photo pinched from their site will form the very replica of how I see our new room looking once I'm done with it. We'll be channeling the distressed white 'vintage look' furniture, with minty pastels and heaps of textured blankets and cushions. Maybe even some 'Grow your own lavender' that I was gifted for my birthday. Laura Ashley is my first port of call for the country look, thick knit blankets and fluffy cushions. 

10 reasonably priced home interior sites

NEXT

Another high street fave. Of all 10 home interior places I recommend in this post, I think 80% of the stuff I buy for the new place will be from Next. I just got back from their mahoosive branch in Holmbush after spending an hour looking around for a sofa (but to no avail, boo) and a further hour choosing between all the reams of rugs, lighting, curtains, blinds they have, at such reasonable prices. Once we measure up the new place, we're hiring a car and driving out for a big spend up.

10 reasonably priced home interior sites

Urban Outfitters

One not many of us would think about for decorating the home, more decorating our wardrobes! But UO have a really trendy selection of colourful furniture and bedding that would add serious levels of photogenic-ness to a room. I'll be picking up home accessories like door mats, magazine racks and key holders from here - it's great for those little bits that add character to a space.

10 reasonably priced home interior sites

Emmie Home Interiors

Found Emmie mentioned in a magazine too. There are some really beautiful planters on offer here, perfect for brightening up a shady patio. I also particularly love the patio lighting available to buy. Lanterns can make a garden look much more welcoming in the summer nights with the odd candle here and there. For now, we'll be focussing more on decorating the inside of the place, but as soon as weather starts warming up I can't wait to feature garden projects.

10 reasonably priced home interior sites


Just wow at everything on this site. The patterned blankets, the 'Alice in Wonderland'-esque furniture and the stunning girly console tables. I've had my eye on a few hallway furnishings I can't choose between. People think I'm mad looking to spend £300 on a hallway table, just so I have somewhere to put my keys and letters, but I don't care. When they're as nice as this they're worth every penny! I'll just add that to my to save for list... eeek.

Can you recommend anywhere else to shop? I'm on the hunt!

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Valentine's chocolate brownie fun (and a special package for you)

Fifi McGee / A cheaper way to spend Valentine's day in Brighton

Two things I love about Valentine's Day. Chocolate, and the excuse to wear the brightest red that's ever entered your wardrobe. Last year, Neil and I celebrated by ordering in a fat Chilli Pickle take away (only the most delicious and worth every penny restaurant in Brighton) Two king thali's and a bottle o' wine later and I was one smitten kitten. Neil surprised me with a dozen red roses to the office earlier in the day, and I spent the day as red as that dress. 

Fifi McGee / Primark red dress for Valentine's day


This year we're keeping costs to a minimum. We're saving for the big move, so we'll have plenty more Valentine's days together in the coming years - probably spent rowing about how one of us forgot, quick nip down the offie for a cheap bottle of prosecco and everything's peachy again. I can't wait. 

What better way to save cash this v-day than to bake some mini double chocolate brownie bites to tuck into ready for an evening of Boardwalk Empire (the less epic substitute for Breaking Bad) and copious amounts of rioja?

Easy chocolate brownie recipe for valentine's day

Lindt Lindor chocolates - Fifi McGee's favourites!


I usually do all my baking alone. Mainly because I can't talk and cook at the same time. Is any one else this dopey? Multi tasking gets me all in a flush. But tonight in the spirit of Valentine's day, I kept as cool as a cucumber while Neil and I teamed up to produce these delicious little slabs of joy to accompany my favourite chocolates in the world - the classic Lindt Lindor. Now that's love, right there in a tin.

God I'm still salivating writing this post and there's a whole pile of chocolate beside me. 

Fifi McGee - chocolate brownies for valentines day



I have a whole box of blogging props to use from Style My Party so I had so much fun dressing up my brownies ready for Neil to do his thing. I decided to make you guys a little bundle as a thanks for reading about my ramblings this long. If you've read this far down the post, you're crazy :)

Can you guess what's inside?

Fifi McGee's valentine's day DIY

Fifi McGee's valentine's day DIY

Hope you're all having a wonderful Valentine's day. I'm off to read what you've all been up to on my blog reader with a glass of red in hand.

Talk soon :)

Dress: £5, Primark sale 
Recipe: My easy-peasy double chocolate brownies 
Props: All from Style My Party

**I was super lucky to be gifted all these lovely props from Style My Party, and I think I have a secret admirer at Lindt because they posted me these chocolates. Yum. 

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Handcare 101: Tips for taking care of your hands in winter months



In case you didn't know, I'm awaiting my *big break* in hand modelling, wishing my mitts will one day earn me millions whilst I pose with a mobile phone in hand for some crappy tube advert. I know what you're thinking, I might be waiting a while so in the mean time, I take pride in my meticulous hand care and here I am sharing with you some products I'm loving at the mo, and ways you can look after your paws in this treacherous weather.



Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder

Okay, the most obvious (yet essential) thing you can do for your hands in this blowy weather is to moisturise 'til your heart's content. This Absinthe Purifying Hand Butter (£11 c/o The Body Shop) is a bundle of menthol-joy. It's thick, minty and smothering-ly moisturising, leaving it perfect for keeping wrinkles at bay and the skin soft and supple. This is probably one I'd use as a weekly treat. It's heavy and can leave hands feeling quite greasy (a recipe for typo disaster) but a great all rounder, and also works wonders on the feet!


Say goodbye to OPI

As tricky as it might seem, my theory is that it's really good for your nails to let them breathe a while. Strip away all the fancy polishes and embrace the au natural! Fake nails are my pet hate too, purely down to the damage they do once the acetone has sunk deep. I've never once used fakies (in part because I'm petrified of them ruining my nail beds foreverrr... or so people say) and I think it's worked wonders for how fast and strong my nails grow. It's a good idea to occasionally use cuticle oil if you're prone to brittleness and breakages.


WTF is a nail brush for anyway?

Don't diss the nail brush yeah! They might seem a bit ancient and not so much an essential these days, but nail brushes are the secret to keeping hands (and particularly skin around the nails) looking neat, clean and tidy. Is it just me who uses excessive amounts of nail polish remover on painted nails, and STILL the colour seems to stain the skin around my cuticles? Nail brushes get rid of this, whilst tidying up all those rough edges of skin around cuticles. If you use warm, soapy water and a nail brush for cleaning all the edges after removing a manicure, you'll never live without a nail brush again. This one (c/o The Body Shop £4) is soft and easy to use.

What tips and tricks do you have for taking care of your paws? Do you bother?

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Can I have all of these for my house please?

My dream home || ideas
Inspiration time :)

I've been pinning all hell out of life these past two days, pulling together a visual mood board of what Neil & I (okay... just I) want our home to look like once we've saved enough deposit. Having a clear visual to look at when you're making so many financial sacrifices is a great approach to keeping spirits high, I always think.

What better way to curb spending than to spend the weekend dreaming up all the bits and bobs you want, like money isn't an object, in one big online scrapbook. I sat back and pretended I clicked 'buy it now' and felt the same fulfilment I feel when I hit up the Primark sale.

Anyway. I thought I'd share a few pieces on here. My vision is a mish-mash between vintage-chic and quirky statement pieces. I just hope this lot will still be available to buy come the big day ;)

Julian Bowen Katarina king size bed frame The Range, £129.99

This bad boy is similar to my current bed frame but has a more new-vintage vibe (and is much roomier!) I just know that places like The Range are going to be on my radar once it's time to buy a bed, given the value for money. I imagine lots of lights entwined through the gaps for that coveted "blogger bedroom" look.

Zig Zag rug in grey Urban Outfitters, £14

Have you seen these all over pinterest yet? Interior designers are going mad over chevron prints, from cushions to rugs, and I'm no exception. These rugs will probably be completely out of fashion by the time we move, but it comes in every colour and gives an extra focal point to a room that will make me still love it.

Double ended freestanding bath Cheap Suites, £339

Bit of an odd one to include in the wish list, but alongside a fireplace, I've always dreamed of having a claw foot bath, freestanding in the middle of a wooden Parisian-style bathroom. One day, one day!

Primular cushion covers Dunelm Mill, £6.99

Aren't these country-bumpkin cushions sweet? And a steal at only £7. I imagine having lots of these, some mis-matched, dotted all over a Chesterfield sofa positioned in front of the fire with a little cat curled up into one. N'aww!

Cath Kidston Sprig teapot Amazon, £23.53

If I want to channel country living as realistically as possible, a cute tea set is a must. This Cath Kidston teapot is just the ticket. I've never been too fussed about Cath Kidston designs in the past, I always found items to be overpriced and easily duped, but after spending a few years saving, it's worth splashing out on a set that will be timeless forever :)

Yay! Biscuits! biscuit barrel Edited, £14.95

Want. Want. Want. This biscuit tin is from one of my favourite shops in Brighton, Edited. They sell lots of quirky interior bits, the perfect place to find 'out-there' items for the home. I love having one or two pieces that make people instantly say "oh wow, this is cute, where's it from?" as soon as they walk into a room, and this cheeky tin stands out from the crowd!

Smeg fridge John Lewis, £1,1...let's not look at the price 

Ok. Hands up who wants their own Smeg fridge. These are about the only heavy duty home appliance my heart starts fluttering for (bar Henry hoovers... don't get jealous Henry!) It's more popular to go for the retro pastel shades but I think this lime green is the best colour of the whole bunch. Best keep saving eh?

That's it for now. I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to "housepiration", come see. And let me know what your favourites are. Do you fall head over heels for smeg fridges too?

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