September Favourites – My Top Nine From The Ninth

In a throwback to school days, I think many people agree that September feels like time for a fresh start. It’s the beginning of Autumn, nights are drawing in, Halloween and bonfire night are within sight and Strictly’s on the telly (I’ve never been an X-factor girl – give me glitter and sequins any day of the week). I always enjoy the feel of this time of year and I’ve found it really quite hard to narrow down my list of favourites but, after much debate, here are my top nine picks from the month of September.

September Favourites, Monthly Favourites, Monthly Picks

The Shades

You all know I love a good pair of Ray Bans. Aviators, Wayfarers, Clubman – there’s something very hard to beat about these old-school classics. Recently I’ve noticed the Round Metal style (seriously Rayban could you not think of a better name?) cropping up every which way I turned and it was only a matter of time before I cracked under the pressure! With my birthday cash burning a hole in my ‘mom jeans’ I finally succumbed and bought the folding style (so bloomin convenient – why are all sunglasses not foldable?) in gold (standard). They are a thing of retro beauty and make me feel way cooler than I actually am (never a bad thing in my book). As I am rarely to be found without a pair of shades about my person whatever the season (does anyone else actually find the light stronger when the September sun hits?), these were a total no-brainer and I suspect will be worn to death this autumn.

Book Of The Month

Book of the month has to go Captain Jack’s Woman. If you’ve read all about my guilty pleasure then you will recognise that this is another from my number one author Stephanie Laurens. This is a prequel to the Bastion Club novels that feed into my favourite Cynster books and although I’m only halfway through I just can’t get enough. Smuggling, intrigue and a fair amount of bodice-ripping, this has all my essentials for a cosy, comfy read. Now, I do realise that these are not the most intellectually challenging of reads but I have to say, the web that Stephanie Laurens manages to weave with so many characters all connected by birth or marriage is nothing short of genius – the perfect companion to a glass of red on a cool September evening.

Cream Marks & Spencer Cardigan

Birthday Girl

It wouldn’t be a September round-up without mentioning the B word! My birthday is one of two days of the year (the other being Christmas) where I can be guaranteed a glossy black box to call my own and this year I was lucky enough to receive not one but two Net-A-Porter vouchers.Now I’m not gonna lie, I pretty much always have a wish-list on the go with Net-A-Porter – some things like this Burberry knit (Oh my days) are complete pie in the sky but others are ‘do-able’ with a bit of saving and a couple of birthday vouchers! After a great deal of umming and ahhing, I went for the classic black Gucci Loafers and the tan Gucci belt both of which I have worn daily since they arrived – in my book that’s a bloody good start on the old cost-per-wear system!

Pierce Bag (I.e The Purchase That Nearly Made Me Vomit)

Ok, this is where September got spendy. Driven by the sheer exhilaration of spending my birthday vouchers, I started to feel in need of a new bag. With the exception of my beloved Saint Laurant ( a surprise Christmas gift from Mr.R – find similar HERE),  I’ve had a little bit of a bag hiatus of late. During my Uni years, having a designer bag ranked highly on my list of desirables and I was forever lusting after (and spending my non existent money on) the latest ‘It’ bag. In recent times, the whole ‘bag culture’ had kind of dropped from my radar but what can I say, the bug has bitten once more and it has bitten hard! The object of my most recent affection? The JW Anderson Pierce bag. The sensible side of my brain tells me that it’s a trend piece…In a few years I’ll have moved on to something else and the Pierce will be left languishing at the back of my newly detoxed closet. My heart, however, well my heart seems to be in control of the purse strings which is in no way ideal. By way of justifying this purchase, I have to say that I did receive a hefty discount by  purchasing my bag from the newly discovered Forenzi site. (Seriously, check it out if you’re in the market for a treat – a gorgeous selection of premium and niche designers with spot discounts).

JW Anderson Pierce Bag

JW Anderson Pierce Bag, Monthly Favourites, Monthly Picks

Closet Switcheroo

If you read all about my wardrobe detox you’ll know that I’ve completed my autumn/winter switcheroo and pimped up the closet in the process. It is no word of a lie when I say that this closet detox has been a revelation! I love spending time in my wardrobe. Whereas before it would be a quick in and out trying not to fall over the pile of winter boots and shoe boxes gathering dust, I now find myself lingering just to admire my perfume shelf and perfectly edited belt selection – yes I am actually that sad! If your own wardrobe leaves you feeling stressy I highly recommend having a look at my wardrobe detox post and following my five-step process. The clarity that you gain from having a good old fashioned cull is seriously priceless – far and away my biggest achievement of the month.

How To Display Your Perfumes

Flat Lay All Day

So if you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my grid starting to change in colour and style. I’ve been consciously working on building and developing my Instagram since around February and although it has been a very slow (and I mean glacially slow) and frustrating exercise, I finally feel as though I’m making a bit of headway. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you won’t have failed to notice the rise of the ‘flat lay’ as a photographic style. A ‘flat lay’ is essentially a birds eye photograph of a collection of objects artfully arranged and styled often with the use of props such as flowers, candles, glasses etc. After a lot of experimentation and trying to conform to the ‘marbled, rose gold, pink peony’ vibe (which I absolutely adore btw), I decided to start from scratch and work out a look of my own. I’ve made a start by choosing a smooth slab of black slate as my flat lay backdrop and have been enjoying playing around with the setup to find my own signature style. I’ve yet to ‘nail’ the aesthetic that just screams ‘Jessica Rhoades’ but, as with everything, its a work in progress and I’m pleased with how it’s developing so far.

Flat Lay Tutorial

Check Mate

So the big story this season is shaping up to be checks! Prince of Wales, heritage, houndstooth, if there’s a square print on it then it’s safe to say you’re onto a winner. The object of my desire is the picture perfect ‘Madeline’ blazer by Anine Bing (yes I’m on the waiting list and have been since the beginning of September). I’ve considered purchasing the Zara dupe but to be honest as much as this is a key trend this season, for me, it’s so true to my own style that I am more than happy to invest as I know it will be a wardrobe staple for years to come. Having said that I did feel like I needed a slice of the pie while I wait patiently for my fantasy blazer to become available. Enter this, I have to say, pretty epic, lightweight coat from Marks and Spencer. For the price of £69, it ticks all my boxes AND has gold hardware – what more could a girl ask for? I’ve been wearing this with jeans (shock) in the day and with tailored trousers in the evening – love it!

Checked Marks & Spencer Coat

Nailing It

When I was at school (and a nail-biter) I distinctly remember thinking to myself that when I had nice nails my life would be perfect! Now clearly that is utter bo**ocks but I suppose I can understand my thinking. It’s a bit like a cream coat (Coats, Crops & Falling Into Autumn), nice nails say to the world, I’m a grown-up, I’ve got my shit together. So, although I am no longer a nail-biter (and haven’t been for twenty odd years I might add) I was beginning to feel a little depressed by the state of my hands and nails since becoming a mum. There’s a nail salon on the corner of our street so there really is no excuse for me not to keep my hands in check, so while the baby was having her regular Friday playdate with Grandma I took myself off for a bit of me time and 30 minutes later emerged with a super shiny gel mani than managed to improve my mood tenfold! One week in and they are still perfect (despite the daily battering ) so I am most definitely going to make this a fortnightly treat!

Smith & Cult Nail Polish

Building A Wall

Luna can build a wall. Now she’s not going to be on Grand Designs anytime soon but I have to say that when I first saw her methodically start placing the multicoloured blocks one on top of the other I was so proud and had a little cry. I realise that this might not sound particularly groundbreaking but watching a baby grow and develop and learn is truly one of the greatest privileges I’ve ever known. She never fails to amaze me and every day there is something new to discover.

Ikea Building Bricks

Well, that’s how my September shaped up. What have been your favourites this month? Has Septemeber treated you kindly?

August Favourites – My Top Eight From The Eighth

August is and will forever be the countdown to my birthday (not that I’m a birthday diva or anything)! Luna arrived just a few days after my birthday so this year  August has meant the countdown to our baby girls very first birthday! Time seems to be slipping through my fingers and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it, so, in a bid to stay in the moment and reflect on the good things in life, here’s a round up of my August Favourites – eight highlights from the eighth month…enjoy!

Levi’s

I couldn’t do an August Favourites post without mentioning Levi’s! If you follow my Instagram, you will have noticed that I’ve been living in my gents Levi 511’s. Opening myself up to shopping in the men’s department has been something of a revelation and I’ve found that the fit and wash of this particular pair have injected a much-needed shot of 2017 into my post baby wardrobe.  If you’ve read my recent styling post (Wardrobe Picks – Levi’s Tee & Blazer) you’ll know that I’ve been trying to navigate the new shapes and styles in the denim arena. Denim is such a focal point in everyone’s wardrobes these days that I truly believe that a well-chosen pair of jeans has the power to make a look, while a fit that’s slightly ‘off’ or not quite current can just as easily bring the whole thing crashing down! Expect to see many more jeans purchases in the coming weeks as I start to plan my autumn wardrobe.

Levi’s Gents 511 Jeans In Harbour Wash

August Favourites - Eight From The Eighth | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Party Planning

Luna celebrates her first birthday in the first week of September and I have been so excited to get stuck into party planning! We’ve gone for a big family affair at home with a bit of a botanical theme!  I’m aware that she will have no memory of the occasion but I plan to take lots of pictures for her to look back on! There’s an episode of The Big Bang Theory’ where Leonard says that his mother never allowed him to celebrate his birthday as it was her achievement, not his! Well, obviously I will be allowing Luna to celebrate her birthday but for this first year, yes I see it as celebrating everything about that day as well as our achievements in raising this little girl during the precious first year of her life. Consequently, the party will be filled with prosecco and gin and all good things! Stay tuned for a full report of Lunas First Birthday Bash!

August Favourites - Eight From The Eighth | jessicarhoades.co.uk

St Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Sculpt & Glow

If you’re a regular reader then you’ll know that we took our first family holiday this summer (My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves) which was amazing and hugely stressful at the same time. Gone are the days of lounging on the roof terrace, sangria in hand. With a small person to contend with, plastering on the SPF and sitting in the shade reading Old MacDonald is the new norm. Consequently, I came home from our Spanish adventure in an ever so slightly darker shade of milk than when we left! These days I have neither the time nor the patience for ‘real’ self-tan so this daily lotion has been an absolute lifesaver with all of these cropped jeans about! Yes, it does have that fake tan smell but it’s ever so subtle and I really can’t smell it on myself throughout the day (which is what has put me off about so many similar products). It’s subtle but buildable and just perfect for taking the blue tinge off my epidermis going into Autumn!

St Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Sculpt & Glow

August Favourites - Eight From The Eighth | jessicarhoades.co.uk

ASOS

I’m having a bit of a moment with ASOS and I do realise I’m about ten thousand years late to the party here. Of course, I’ve dibbed in and out over the years, a bikini here, a maternity dress there but I’ve never really got the whole ‘ASOS fangirl movement (obviously too busy over at Net a Porter with my head stuck in the clouds). I remember the days when ASOS stood for ‘As Seen On Screen’ and every item was (what we now call) ‘a dupe’ for something a celebrity had been spotted wearing! Back in the day, I had a particularly fetching PVC version of Victoria Beckham’s black white and blue Dolce & Gabanna leather jacket! Thankfully, things have moved on and ASOS is now a global phenomenon with its own in house label as well as a vast selection of high street, premium, and niche designers! They also offer this amazing service where for £9.95 a year you get unlimited free next day delivery! I’m not gonna lie, this has paid for itself in the first week of signing up – definitely one for the August favourites!

August Favourites - Eight From The Eighth | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Aquazzura Flats

I treated myself to the pretty iconic Aquazzura Christy shoes not long after Luna was born. I figured that the occasions for heels would be few and far between so I may as well allocate my designer shoe budget towards something that I was going to get my wear out of. These flats are so chic – they have an old school ‘Holly Golightly’ vibe but with a distinctly modern twist. I have to admit that they’ve been a bit of a slow burn but all of a sudden they just seem to be working with my wardrobe – hence deciding to include it in my August Favourites! I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve all of a sudden found my direction after wandering about in the post-baby wilderness but they have well and truly been rediscovered and I’ve fallen in love anew!

Aquazzura Christy Shoes

August Favourites - Eight From The Eighth | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Baby Developments – Crawling & Chatting

No two days are the same with a miniature human in the house and I have to say that this stage of development just brings so much joy. The past month has brought us proper crawling (before she had this Comando crawl going down – my little SAS soldier) and all sorts of interesting jibber jabber! She imitates and points and chatters away which is so hilarious to watch and at the risk of sounding soppy, my heart just melts when I look at her little smiling face! Every day she seems to grow and learn a little more which is incredible and such a privilege to watch.

August Favourites - Eight From The Eighth | jessicarhoades.co.uk
Mucky Pup!

House Plants

My mother actually did a little LOL when I said ‘house plants are having a bit of a thing at the moment aren’t they’. I know it seems a little ‘off’ to talk about plants being on trend but it does seem to be all the rage to fill your home with all manner of jungle foliage. If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll now that I’m rather partial to a blousy bloom – I literally can’t leave M&S without a bouquet of something pink and dreamy. However, recently I’ve been seduced by all kinds of alternative plantage – succulents, cacti and aloe vera to name but a few! Now I would be lying if I said my love for my new plants didn’t have something to do with my new gold plant pots which make me do a little happy dance when I come downstairs every morning! They’re just so glitzy and, well, gold! LOVE!

H&M Gold Planters

August Favourites - Eight From The Eighth | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Missoma Necklace

I’d lusted after the Missoma Horn necklace since I first clapped eyes on it and with it being ‘birthday time’ of year I decided it would make a perfect treat to self. I know gold (and rose gold in particular) is super ‘in’ right now but I’ve always loved the deliciously warms tones and that sumptuous, JLo vibe that it gives off – particularly with a tan. For me, this is going to be a part of my jewellery wardrobe for some time so was absolutely worth the slightly pricey price tag! I love the super fine chain and the pendant itself is deliciously tactile. This layering of fine necklaces look is one I can totally get on board with both with necklaces, bracelets, and rings…my next project.

Missoma ‘Lucy Williams’ Horn Necklace 

August Favourites - Eight From The Eighth | jessicarhoades.co.uk

What have been your August favourites? Do you have exciting news to share or maybe a must have purchase? I’d love to hear what you got up to in the eighth month…did someone say countdown to Christmas?

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