Spring Brogues

This post encompasses two things I love; Spring and Sensible footwear

Once i graduated from my baggy jeans and sneakers lifestyle I tended to live in ballet flats. I have loads of them that I got on sale years ago in New Look for £5 in various colours and they are leather and have lasted really well. I always wore the pale pink pair throughout the summer but these sadly finally had to be thrown our after wandering about the sea in Sri Lanka in them. A couple of years ago brogues started to appear on the scene and I immediately bought a pair of pale brown with floral fabric inserts from Miss Selfridge. I wear them loads during the better weather but always worry I am going to wear them out.

I did a very stupid thing and look on New-a-Porter (land of beautiful things I cant afford) and immediately fell in love with these delightful Robert Clergerie three colour brogues. I have always hesitated before at brogues in a light colour, thinking they would stand out too much but the variation between the lighter and darker shades work really well. As much as I love them (although not totally convinced by the white sole though it’d soon get dirty and darken) I just cant justify the £320

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While continuing my perusal of shoes I went on the Dune website (they always have very pretty mens shoes in their shop windows) and was completely smitten with these. I think I actually prefer them to the Robert Clergerie ones and although £79 is more than I would usually pay for a pair of shoes, if they fit well then they would be worth it as I would wear them all the time. The local shop doesnt have them in yet but I am hoping that they will soon so I can find out if they fit as good as they look.

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In a lower price range Clarks (£54.99) also do these two tone peachy pinky nude brogues. Im not totally convinced they are for me but they are worth trying on. In Autumn I spent so much time umming and ahhhing over whether I wanted the same style in the patent black or green tweed or red that I never got any.

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Finally I saw these on ASOS and they are just so cute but I dont know whether I should order them to try on or not. The colour means that they would go with less outfits, but they are just so cute!

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Poorly again

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Image Source

I was feeling a little run down in the week then at 3am on 14th February I woke up with the most horrible cough and haven’t been right ever since. It seems there is a bug going round which people are saying “oh I had that, it took 3-4 weeks to go”. You know you’re properly poorly when all you want to do is lie in bed and not even watch telly.

Its beginning to get a bit annoying and boring at the moment though and all my brain is doing is obsessing over shoes. Im on the hunt for the perfect pair of wedding shoes and while i’ve been in bed I have been looking everywhere online I can think of to try and find the perfect pair. I have possibly found the exact ones however in peacocks which i randomly bobbed into on Monday (just need to try them on tomorrow and see). While i’ve been lying in bed i’ve thought of so many things which I want to write about. Ive been adding loads to my pinterest of the new spring fashions, so expect lots of rambles about shoes and handbags.

There is one silver lining, in that once you are better you are so glad to be better and full of all the things you want to be doing (like try shoes on, clear/sort out my beauty case, tidy my wardrobe, put pictures on the walls) that you might actually have the positive feeling to get things done.

Im just hoping that it goes soon

The Modern Gentleman’s Guide to Valentine Flowers

(or indeed anyone wishing to buy anyone flowers at any time)

Last year I wrote a guide to buying valentine chocolates. To make sure you get it just right, its useful to know what the recipient might like This year its all about the flowers.

Thinking of you

Flowers don’t have to be expensive, you can get small bunches of daffodils this time of year for around 80p, and a small token of ones affection can often mean just as much as extravagance. The gentleman of the house used to buy me ‘rescue plants’ you know the ones that are a bit past their use by date in the supermarket but sometimes just fine. This is an example of knowing your loved one. Once a friend teased him for buying me garage flowers but he knows that I wouldn’t take offence (however if you do want to make garage/supermarket flowers a bit more special you could swap the wrapping for some pretty coloured paper and tie with some ribbons). Buying a £2.99 bunch of flowers  and leaving the label on may be ok in some situations, but in others it may just like it was an ‘oh heck i forgot the flowers’ on the way over. (image source)

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A lasting arrangement

Cut flowers are all very well but they don’t last. Why not buy a longer lasting potted plant, all it needs is watering and you don’t need a vase. You can always make a bulb pot: shops are selling daffodil and hyacinth  bulbs in pots at the moment and with a bit of compost and a new pot you can make a beautiful gift.

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Culinary garden

Why not try an edible bouquet if your sweetheart is a fan of cooking. You can buy herbs in pots in supermarkets and garden centres, and to make them a bit fancier why not buy get/make a windowsill herb planter. The one below is from Sparrow and Finch You may find that supermarket herbs are tightly packed together and it can be good to split the plants over 2 or more pots. Alternatively you could buy a set of pots and seeds like this one from Greenfingers.com

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Make an entrance

With spring on its way why not make up some floral entrance pots to flank your loved ones front door. (image source)

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Hey big spender!

If you do want to splash out then bob to your local florist and get a special bouquet made up, or go online and order a delivery (do make sure you know the recipient well enough that they wont be embarrassed if flowers arrive at work for them – or that your ex-girlfriend doesn’t work on reception in the same firm – oh yes this really happened). There is always the classic red roses and sprays however when I was looking at wedding flowers I came across these amazing arrangements by Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart in London, they really are quite fantastic. Left The Romantic Vintage bouquet and Right The Seasonal Eclectic bouquet

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The gardening guru

Is your sweetheart a keen gardener? Why not buy some bulbs or seeds for them to enjoy. Chose something unusual, or maybe heritage vegetables (varieties which are being marginalised by mass farming – we don’t want them going extinct). This however will not see immediate results and do check the planting times (you dont want to get something which should have been planted in October). Alternatively you can adopt a veg or get involved with the Heritage Seed Library

There are of course edible bouquets made of sweets or fruit, i saw a chap in town selling ones made from flying saucers but didn’t catch the name of the company

Valentines day is however about more than the gifts, think of it as a day to celebrate love and caring however you spend it, even if youre on your own take some time to have a really nice relaxing or pampering evening doing what you enjoy best. Personally I love it, lots of red and pink, and excuse for baking, and probably buying myself random heart shaped pink and red tat.