Friday, 2 September 2016

Style Update: Rock'n'Roll Culottes

You may have noticed by now that I have this thing with rock t-shirsts. I blame my southern rock roots and the mix of my Camden living days in London. It might also have something to do with growing up with a father that was constantly listening to the best rock possible. Parents - you think that stuff doesn't shape your children, but oh how it does! 

But, when it comes to rock t-shirts and my now vast collection, this one holds a special place. It's a distressed old Led Zeppelin beauty. Oh, Led Zeppelin... "Does anyone remember laughter?" Now, yes, you can now buy a similar tee that is completely distressed (in fact you can buy one that looks nearly just like this one, link below), but it will take a thousand washes and a few snags here and there before yours is just as "ruined" as this one is. Yet, it's my favorite way to dress down any outfit. Although, somehow I feel like there's nothing dressed down here at all. I'm just showing support for musicians that changed the world. Surely that's more a tribute than a dress down.

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Thursday, 1 September 2016

FFG Eats: The Roadkill Burger, Bobo Social, London

Roadkill Burger, Bobo Social, London
Roadkill Burger, Bobo Social, London
I ate something called the Roadkill Burger today. Truly, is there a better sentence to start any story with?
Yes, I ate, and survived, Bobo Social's Roadkill Burger. I'm on a new journey and it's all about the element of "new." I'm trying new places to dine, as often as possible, and I'm stretching out my palette by ordering things I'd never in a million years consider. The experiment begins here, at Bobo Social, the place where being "experimental" is the name of the game.

Here at Bobo Social, there's actually a weekly society that meets to designate a new and original concept burger of the week. Appropriately name the "Experimental Burger Society," this group meets every Monday to create the craziest concoctions they can muster and the winning combo gets the honour of a place on the menu for the entire next week. It just so happens that my first visit coincided with the introduction of Daniel Rech's Roadkill Burger. I feel like I need to straighten this out here and now. Don't worry, no possums, skunks or the like were peeled off the pavement and thrown into a meat grinder. Did anyone else just get the chills there? Are you sitting there thinking, "is this really a food review?" Try to stick with me.

The Roadkill Burger is actually Ostrich and Kangaroo meat. Not only did I not know that it was ok to eat this meat, I also didn't realize it was so damn tasty. I can feel animal rights groups coming for me now. "You ate what?" Before you go mental, Kangaroo meat is a byproduct of managing the overpopulation of kangaroos and ostrich meat has been eaten by humans for thousands of years (their hides are also used for handbags, car seats and more, as it's such a tough material). The two minced meats are pulled together in perfect harmony to form the patty for Bobo Social's Roadkill Burger. It's finished off with a fried egg and a piled of maple bacon, all served on a fluffy white bun. To say this is a mouthful would be an understatement. This is a mouthful of insanely tasty goodness and I enjoyed every last bite. The experiment, dear reader, was successful. And yes, of course I felt compelled to document the entire moment. 

Bobo Social was actually a Velocity discovery. I have to give full credit to the app for this one. I am, after all, using Velocity to guide me in my food experiment. A quick brief for those of you that haven't downloaded this yet- it's the best thing since sliced bread met sandwich meat. The Velocity  app allows you to research, book, pay, split the tab and receive email receipts for the hottest restaurants popping up in London, New York, San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles at the moment. If it weren't for planning my week's lunches and dinners with clients on the app, I would have never locked eyes on the Roadkill Burger. Can you send an app thank you flowers? 
Roadkill Burger, Bobo Social, London
Roadkill Burger, Bobo Social, London
Roadkill Burger, Bobo Social, London

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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Style Update: The Floral Wrap Dress

Can someone please have a chat with the weather systems and guarantee at least another month of summer? I don't want to put my floral dresses away just yet and I'm pretty sure I came by at least a dozen more for the closet this year. The fashion world, from high end designers to high street retailers, has given us an endless supply of summer dresses this year. It may sound crazy but I find some summers are better than others. This year we've lucked out. So, I'm stocking up for next year as well...just in case! Sales are on, fashion antennas up! 

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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Style Update: Bright Pink Rock'n'Roll

Ever have one of those moments when you see a coat styled on a mannequin and you think, "I would style that beauty completely differently." I took one look at this beautiful pink brocade coat in store and fell in love. Actually, I'm leaving out a crucial point. I actually said, aloud in the shop, "that piece may be formal fabulous, but I can't help but see it with ripped jeans a rock t-shirt." I'm pretty sure my shopping companion thought I was insane! But, that was last month and this is now... and guess what I've done?
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Monday, 29 August 2016

Shoe of the Month: Chanel pearl mules

Chanel Metiers d'Art 2015/16 Runway Pearl Mules
It’s with excitement that I get to present my newest pair of Chanel pumps as shoe of the month! What you must know is that this is the first ever mule from Chanel, we’ve seen everything from clogs to cowboy boots and endless versions of he two-toned pumps, however according to Karl Lagerfeld, this is the fashion houses first proper mule. This mule has been on everyones lips since it was sent down the catwalk in December last year and now I understand why.
After buying the boots, the brogues and seeing the nerdy sister version of these - the slingbacks, my interest for classic Chanel shoes was born. I did not live through a big discovery moment with this, this habit has been sneaking up on me. Chanel’s are never teetering high, nor are they in-your-face eye catchers, but delicately beautiful and something I wish to one day pass down to my yet unconceived child. 
The runway shoes differs quite a lot from the main collection. Often adorned in the brands signature hardware (chains and pearls) and are somewhat pricier. However, they are always classic with full injection of fashíon that guarantees to land them on the seasons it-shoe list. The black toed, two-tone shoe was introduced by Chanel exactly 60 years ago and have been their signature ever since. Correctly designed to elongate the leg and shorted the foot, and applauded by petite girls like me around the globe. However, it was the pearl on the heel that really tipped me over. I’ll buy any excuse to have all eyes drawn to my heels.
Let’s celebrate the fact that this is my first ever #shoeofthemonth that get’s a 5/5 in both comfort and quality. Chanel living up to it’s reputation!
Comfort: 5/5
Very comfortable and adjusts perfectly to you feet. Although these are quite delicate and not meant to be a 24h shoe, you’ll completely forget that you are wearing these.

Quality: 5/5 
As Chanel should be, these are perfect in every way. From the dreamy smooth leather to the CC encrusted pearl detail on the heel, these are a pair to add to the achieve.

Purchase price: £540 in Chanel in Harrods London, July 2016.
As we know, Chanel does not retail online, so the only way to get your hands on these is to visit a store. However these are pretty much sold out at the moment, so I suggest keeping your eye on stores like Vestiaire Collective and eBay.

As seen above in beige, the shoe also comes in a black and a white version - all with the black toe. Available in either leather or suede. There is also a more ‘festive’ version with a snake around the pearl.
Sizing: Runs very true to size. If you are in between, I suggest going half a size down and hope for the toe to stretch out a bit. Mine are a size 37, my usual size

Photos by Mikko Puttonen

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10 pearls of business wisdom for any budding entrepreneur

I've spent a lot of time this month talking about getting started in chasing a dream with the help of Currys PC World and the best technology available to us today. Call it the seven year wisdom share? The ups and downs haven't made me an expert, by any means, but they have definitely given me a few pointers to pass on for anyone who's trying to chase a a dream, while still managing the day to day business of life. It's not easy, but my goodness is it rewarding. So, for those of you stepping out into the great unknown, here are my top tens pearls of wisdom for doing so.

1. Study business
If there is just one thing I could have gone back and done differently with my life, it would be this - I would have taken every business course I could fit in at University. I was a liberal arts major. I had fun learning art history and the art of writing a well composed essay. But, I didn't listen to anything my economics teacher was trying to tell me. I just crammed for tests, aced the class, and let the knowledge fall right out of my head. Big mistake! If you are going to run your own business, and yes, a blog is a business, you need to know what you are doing. If you are young enough, add some business management classes to your schedule next semester. If you are old, and not so wise, like myself, enroll yourself in an adult education class on business management. It is never too late and this is valuable information you're seeking. You are investing in your future, no matter what your age. Get out there and get informed!

2. Learn to code.
Alright, so perhaps there are two things I regret in life. If only I had known I would be a blogger by profession! Learning to code... well, there's nothing I'd recommend more. Well, that and having a great piece of equipment, like a top of the range laptop, to learn to code on (check out my video on what I'm using right now on YouTube... it's all about the right technology). There are tons of classes out there at the moment that will teach you how to code in a day and will build on your skill level over time. Do it! This is an invaluable resource. You don't want to be in a position of relying on someone else to fix anything on the site. You're the maker... be the fixer! We are capable of anything in this world and coding is not rocket science, but it is an acquired skill and one that the world is finding more and more desirable on a CV, let alone for running a blog. 

3. Back up and use the best technology available to you.
Oh the stories I could tell you about not backing up my blog, my computer, my phone etc. You would tear up, I kid you not. The tears that have been shed. Back up everything, at least once a week. If you're totally paranoid, do it at the end of everyday. There is no telling what can happen. Stolen, lost, or hacked technology can mostly be fixed if you're smart in keeping it all filed. A little organization goes a long way when it comes to backing up! At the moment I use WD Passport portable hard drive by the half dozen to keep everything in my life on record! 

And I've said it once, but I'll say it again. One of the most important parts of any business today, besides a great entrepreneur behind it, is a reliable family of technology. My laptop is truly my business partner. It allows me to work from anywhere in the world, whether that be 30,000 feet in the sky or sitting in the middle of nowhere on a mountaintop in Switzerland. I've used HP Laptops for years and these days technology has come a long way. At present I work with a hybrid, the HP x360 - a laptop and tablet creation - which allows me to work even more efficiently with design applications and in presentations. Never underestimate the power of a great piece of technology in business. 

4. Be Grateful. Say Thank you.
When I first started FFG, I wrote a thank you letter to every single person I had breakfast, lunch or dinner with. If they as much as bought me coffee, I would send a hand written note thanking them for their time and their attention. I was grateful to be seen. I was over the moon to be recognized. I was just working gratitude to a level that was unprecedented. I believe in the power of being grateful. It is an energy that you put out into the universe that can't help but be rewarded. Sure, there are tough times. But, each day that this is my job, I wake up and say "thank you." I don't know what else could have been planned for me, but I'm grateful to be here. And, this may sound cheesy, but I actually keep a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet on my computer, even to this day, of people that I still need to thank - whether in a big or small way. They are on a list of people that I think will constantly deserve my gratitude. 

And here's another little trick. Write yourself a letter thanking yourself for all your hard work. Write it when you are feeling your most grateful. Leave it with a trusted friend or parent - someone you speak to regularly - and ask them to do this: In the future, if you ever come across as frustrated or upset, this letter should be put in the post back to you. Let it act as a reminder that there are good and bad days, and that's expected. But, you should be grateful for each and every one coming to you. Hey, I'm an eternal optimist!

5. Be nice.
I can't stress this enough, people. There are too many divas in the world. Don't add to the number. Be the nice one. What harm will it do? Everyone has a job to do and you being difficult just makes anyone's job that much harder. And trust me, that grief will follow you... and everyone in this industry talks. Keep a smile on your face and trust in the fact that doing so is highly contagious. 

6. Demand attention, don't ask for it.
Ok, you're going to think this means something else, so let me try and be as clear as possible. Do not hound people with emails if you want to work with certain companies or brands. Fill their google alerts instead. Write about a brand or company you love so much that you can't be ignored. One of my favorite brands had over 45 blogposts written about my undying love for them before they reached out. But they reached out to me. There's only so long you can ignore someone when they are waxing lyrical about your brand, without asking for anything in return. Write about things because you love them and you will find that the rest takes care of itself. Just don't give up! Write until your fingers bleed, if that's what it takes. 

7. Ignore the haters. 
People will be mean. This is a fact. There's no getting around it. There will be people who love you and people who loathe you, and both will most likely have something to share that isn't nice all the time. You have to develop some serious rhino skin, so it's best you work on that from the start. If you anticipate it, you won't be on the floor in a flood of tears when it hits. Yes, I was on the floor in a flood of tears so many times in the beginning. Just remember this - haters are only writing to you what they feel about themselves. Don't let it change you. Let it be the fuel for your fire! And every mean comment just means you're one step closer to greatness! 

8. Be true to you. Be an original.
This is super important to success in any industry - being an original. Copying others will only get you so far. Sure, be inspired by people and celebrate others in the industry, but try to stay true to your own creative path. You want to stick out from the crowd, not get lost in the middle of it!

9. Say yes to everything.
In the beginning, say yes to everything you possibly can. You never know when a coffee, a quick hello at an event or a lovely lunch with another person in the industry can lead to something bigger. Just say yes. Your biggest power player in chasing your dream will be the network of people around it. Build it with a drive like you've never had before.

10. For goodness sake - listen!
All too often we are more interested in sharing our own stories here, there and everywhere. It's how we all get to know each other, right? Well, of course share away and share big. Share your story and share the tales of the hard work you've put in, when asked. But, anytime you can, listen to absolutely everything that's going on around you. Listen to others about what's happening in the industry around you. Listen to people tell tales of those that have come before you and the mistakes they have made along the way... so you know what not to do! Start a notes section on your phone if you have to, observe and record! Listening in this industry is tough as there is so much noise, but it's worth developing this skill and sticking to it.

At the end of the day, however, your biggest hurdle that lies ahead is just in getting started. No excuses! Do it!

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Sunday, 28 August 2016


There might not be a reoccurring #5inchanduptravels hashtag trending on Instagram, but that has not stopped me from spamming your feed with scenery changes and the not-so-surprising airplane images (sorry but they really match my feed!). Although recklessly answering NO to the polite ‘Been anywhere nice recently' questions, I keep forgetting that I have indeed been to a lot of nice places this Summer. Am I starting to rule out European destinations of my ‘serious travels?’ Maybe. Or maybe I just need a little wake up call. 

SOON we are going to go through a few changes here on the blog, one that will lift travel into a more frequent feature. But until then, a little Insta recap of the cities visited over the Summer months. An attempt to become interested in football in Paris resulted in me enjoying our hotels and the lobby bar way more (shocker). A charmingly tipsy trip though Champagne, a lot of back and forts to London, a 24h stop in Stockholm and a wonderful Tuscany trip with Ferrari. A few days in Denmark, Finland from Helsinki to Porvoo and a road trip though the numerous cities and villages that include too many ä’s and ö’s for you to remember them.
This and oh so much more, you find me at @5inchandup.

A special Thank You to the Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel

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