My Barcelona Guide

Hey all!

I’m finally getting round to blogging again after starting a new job (actually 2 jobs) earlier on this year.

I wanted to start things off with my Barcelona Guide. Last month at the start of July, my sister and I went on a 3-day city break to Barcelona! It was the most amazing trip mixed with both relaxation and lots of sightseeing. We arrived at our hotel around 10pm Sunday night and then headed back to Scotland at 9pm Wednesday night.

What we did:

Monday

 On the first day, we were keen to do some sightseeing, especially as the weather was a bit cloudy. We firstly headed off to Brunch & Cake for brunch (possibly the most instagramable café we came across) before heading to our first stop, the Sagrada Familia. To get about we got ourselves a 3-day metro pass for around £30 each. This was the best decision ever as the metro can get you anywhere in Barcelona and it is really easy to use (I’d recommend just buying your ticket at the station as opposed to online as it is slightly cheaper).

The Sagrada Familia was as amazing as you’d expect. With it being ‘peak tourist season’ it was super busy so to get a good view (and a good pic) I’d say go to the park that is a bit further in front of the building (you’ll see what I mean).

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Then we went to a café to have some Fanta Lemon and Patatas Bravas (perfect combo) and headed back on the metro to a food market called ‘La Boqueria’. There was everything from smoothies to meat to churros to fruit cups. I have never felt so hungry in my life! We got some churros and a smoothie and then headed back on the metro to our hotel.

In the evening, we headed to ‘El Nacional Barra de Vins’ which is a massive beautiful building filled with bars and restaurants. We had some wine and cheese followed by a vegetable tart and then went for cocktails before heading home.

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Tuesday

 On Tuesday, we got the metro early to the beach. We went to La Barceloneta which is the main beach in Barcelona with lots of bars and restaurants around. The beach is really busy, so if you aren’t keen on that I’d try and find a quieter one, but we were quite happy chilling there most of the day!

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In the evening, we planned to go to a cool rooftop bar but it was fully booked so we had to find an alternative plan. We happened to stumble across the most amazing little restaurant called ‘Bristol Gastropub’. The food was amazing and we were actually really happy we didn’t get into the bar as we wouldn’t have found that hidden gem!

Wednesday

 On the last day, my sister told me we were going to a park called Park Guell. I packed my book and a throw to lie on thinking we were going to a nice green park to chill… however it happened to be a full-blown hike up the side of what looked like a mountain (I was also wearing my very pretty but completely impractical sandals)! It was about 30 degrees when we arrived and the walk was hard but the views were truly amazing! I’d definitely recommend going, but when it’s less hot and wear some trainers!

We then got some food and headed back to the hotel before heading on the plane home.

Accommodation

 We managed to get a really good deal for our hotel and flights on lastminute.com. We stayed at a hotel called Sunotel Central. It was a perfectly lovely hotel in a really good location and not too expensive!

I couldn’t recommend Barcelona enough. It’s one of those cities that really grows on you and is just super cool!Let me know if you have any questions about Barcelona and if you are going soon – enjoy!

All my love,

Rachael x

 

 

“Congrats, you graduated! So what’s next?”

So its been a few weeks since I’ve graduated and as you can tell from my Instagram updates its been a whirlwind! I spent a couple of weeks in Spain with my friends and boyfriend and then got back in time to graduate! And now I have moved out of my flat in Dundee to stay with my family in Perth for a bit. The week of my graduation was one of the best weeks of my life- I had the most amazing celebrations with my friends and family but the week ended with a sudden hit by reality- I was then a graduate and needed to figure out what on earth I was going to do with my life.

I highlighted in an earlier post that I originally planned on doing a postgrad in fashion marketing (the degree I just completed was a business one) however I decided to not go ahead with that. So here comes the question of ‘what next?’. Im sure every graduate loathes this question but it is something we all have to think about. I have spent the last month in either a state of panic, confusion or excitement and so I thought I would share my thoughts as no doubt quite a few of you reading are in this position or will be at some point.

It is of course very easy to start overthinking and worrying about your future- all we hear about nowadays is that there is an increasing amount of competition for jobs, the price of living just continues to go up and if I see one more news article on how we will be renting the rest of ours lives I might scream! The pressure is immense so it is completely normal to be in a panic. However, here are some thoughts that have helped me gain a little bit more peace of mind.

Firstly, I, like many graduates, am young! I’m 22 and am in no rush to choose an exact career that I will be in in the rest of my life, I will probably have a few jobs before I find the right career path, so whats the rush now- I will get there in the end.

Secondly, you really can’t  plan life to a tee. As much as I would love to say that in 6 years time I will be at the top of my career, have my own house and have five dogs, it isn’t realistic. Furthermore, I can’t say whats going to happen in 6 months time, therefore how am I to know that in 6 years time my life will be all sorted? It is important to take things one step at a time- as long as I am happy and healthy and working towards one goal at a time, thats all that matters, eventually I will get my five dogs!

Thirdly, we need to believe in ourselves. Most of my friends and family with vouch for how hard I am on myself, but I really need to realise that I have already achieved a lot at a young age. If you, like me, have just graduated from uni, we have spent 3/4 years studying, passing exams and assignments etc and have gained a degree! So clearly we are capable of something! We just need to believe in ourselves!

So whats my plan? well… As you can probably guess, I want to work in fashion, however the industry is a big one. There are all kind of jobs in fashion, so I think my main focus is finding what kind of role I would like. I have some idea of what kind of job I would like (perhaps digital trading or digital marketing), however I think its a really good idea to take some time to think about it and see what is out there. I am currently applying for stylist jobs in Glasgow in the hope I will get to work with a cool brand in a nice shop, learning how the company works from the ground up! I will also be trying to gain some experience in digital marketing as well as looking at what other jobs I could look at in the industry. And of course I will be spending more time working on my blog. My blog was one of the main reasons I have decided to make a move (besides the fact that 10 years in a small city like Dundee was driving me crazy). I have received quite a few opportunities in Glasgow for my blog (a lot of you will probably think I live there because of the amount of work I have done there already), but the travelling from Dundee restricted my chance of gaining a lot more of these opportunities, so I am hoping that once I am there, I will be able to build my blog and brand a lot more. I am really excited about the next few months to see what I can do. Despite already facing a few people telling me to avoid the fashion industry, as apparently when you start out the jobs are rubbish, I feel like despite being only 22 I have already had my fair share of awful jobs (as in cry on my way to work and cry on my way back from work kind of jobs) so I am clearly prepared for that. In addition, I have wanted to work in fashion since I can remember (basically since my dreams of being a vet died when I realised I would have to deal with sick animals) so why should I let a few hesitations stop me? I can do anything I put my mind to, and I know my work ethic and passion will help me do so.

Basically what I am trying to say is that it is so easy to feel under pressure if you are in the same position as me, but why are we rushing or panicking? I think the key is to find something you love or are interested in (you don’t even need to know what that is right now either, you just need to explore) and know you will need to work hard, but the end result will be worth it! We have our whole lives ahead of us where we will learn lessons and make mistakes but thats what gets us to where we want to be! After all, its a marathon, not a sprint (credit to my dad)!

I hope anyone reading this who has felt the way I have the past few weeks finds a little more peace of mind in this blog, knowing that everyone is in the same boat. However, eventually and hopefully, we will all find out exactly where we are supposed to be.

All my love

Rachael x

 

 

Finding Confidence

“You must be so confident to post all those pictures on Instagram”, “She’s just confident because she’s tall”…   the reality? I’m anything but naturally confident. When I started Style With Rachael, I was so excited to start something I was passionate about, but I was so worried that people wouldn’t like me. Being a self-proclaimed people pleaser, meant I wanted everyone to love my blog, the way I look and the way I assert myself on social media. However, of course, you can’t please everyone.

I have been self-conscious my whole life- probably like most people. I have insecurities and focus on my weaknesses and that brought me down a lot. I started doing a bit of modelling when I was 15 and HATED the camera. Every photo taken of me at fashion shows made me pick out every imperfection there was. Even when I take photos for my blog, my boyfriend will tell me how he loves all the photos we took, but I will sit over analysing, looking at every little detail in the picture. Lacking in confidence was something I just accepted and in response I put on a persona to try and cover up the fact I was really self-conscious. However until recently, a couple months ago to be exact, I realised how unhappy it made me. I started back at university after the summer and was really struggling. I had no confidence or motivation in myself, I wanted to just delete my blog and forget about everything. I don’t really know what happened, but I have a feeling it was to do with ignoring how I really felt and continuing on with this “perfect” image I portrayed. It was when I realised this, that I set myself three tasks to help, and I can honestly say they did. So I am writing this in the hope that I can help someone else.

  1. Don’t care about what other people think of you- yes this is cliche and yes it is so much easier said than done. But honestly, it is life changing. As I said, I am a people pleaser, and really want everyone to love me, but I have realised that is not possible- and you know what? Who cares. Life is waaaay to short, and quite frankly, why waste time and energy on people that negative anyway. Since ignoring what people have to say (not all the time- I have my bad days, like this weekend I was getting worked up about a couple of comments) I have felt so much more assured in myself and a weight off my shoulders.
  2. Focus on your strengths and passions– ‘Education, Education, Education’ has been drilled into my head my whole life. The slight issue though? I’m not great at the whole education/university thing. I love the social aspect, but the whole exams/assessment aspect? Not so good at that. Don’t get me wrong, I work my bum off and I try so hard- I just don’t think uni is for me. I get stressed, I don’t think it shows my strengths and quite frankly I just hate my course. I want to work in fashion, and thought after I graduate from my business degree I HAVE to get a fashion degree and I felt super unconfident about that fact I will get a job in the industry without. But recently I have realised that there is really no point in me stressing and being unhappy for another year. So I have completely changed my plan and decided to take a year out after uni to focus on my strength and passion- my blog. This is a much scarier option, but I think I can really do well in this industry with my blog and feel super confident about that. So if you have a strength or a passion- go after it. Don’t conform to what you think you have to- take a risk and have confidence in yourself.
  3. Love yourself- yes another cliche, but this is so important. I think the most important thing I have learned is to find what makes you happy and to find what aspects of yourself make you happy. Whether its as small as your laugh or your eye colour- love it! I know that sounds silly, but I have recently been focusing on small aspects of myself that I actually quite like, and last week I found myself- believe it or not- a little bit more confident in the way that I look!

Basically, we all have insecurities- its part of life. Even Victoria’s Secret models will have something they don’t like about themselves but it is so important to not focus on that- but also don’t ignore it!

I hope that if you are reading this, and can relate to how I felt a few months ago, that taking little steps in accepting you have insecurities but acting on them can make thinks that little bit better.

Have a lovely, positive week!

Rachael xx

My LFW Experience

Never in a thousand years did I think I would get the opportunity to go down to London Fashion Week. This was quite literally a dream come true.

I applied for an internship with William Chambers Millinery (based in Glasgow) to go to LFW for five days after seeing their advertisement on Facebook and much to my surprise I got the internship! I booked my flights straight away, got myself organised and within two weeks I was flying down to London.

I flew down to London on Thursday night, arrived at my hotel at midnight and was at the LFW studios by Friday 9am. When I got to the studios there were photographers waiting outside ready to a catch a glimpse on anything and everything. I was greeted by Niall who then helped me get my pass for the week and then was introduced to William. William is the milliner behind the beautiful hats and Niall works will William too, often helping with the PR and marketing. They also happen to be married – a real dream team!

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I was working in the designer showrooms where everything from clothing and swimwear brands to jewellery and handbag brands were showcasing their Spring/Summer’18 collections. I was based in the accessories area along with other hat brands like The Season Hats, Harvey Santos Millinery, Sophie Beale Millinery and of course the wonderful Stephen Jones Millinery were also showcasing their brand. The very non-fussed about hats Rachael was about to become a lover of all things hats in the space of 10 minutes!

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I couldn’t believe how beautiful Williams collection was! He has been making hats for 10 years now, and this collection was a celebration of the last 10 years. He brought back previous hats that were memorable and classics. William is also inspired by his flower garden, which is why there are a lot of floral inspired hats. William sells his hats in his shop in Glasgow, but also stocks in Harrods and Fortnum and Mason- how fabulous!

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And now for the fun part- getting to wear the hats!

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I was instantly drawn to the feathers on this hat- so fun and perfect for a cute pink wedding outfit!

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As well as hats William also makes the most beautiful, delicate headbands!

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By far one of my favourite hats! I’m in love with the flowers.

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How fabulous is this?! Singer Kelis wore this in one of her concerts in Glasgow.

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There are no words- I cannot tell you how much attention this hat attracted- amazing!

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I love love love the bright pink on black combo on this design.

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The detail on the structure of this hat is to die for!

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Again one of my favourites- the flower is beautiful.

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Would you believe me if I said this hat was made out of drinking straws? I know. Insane.

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And another one of my favourites- it was hard to pick one.

In terms of the internship it involved a lot of wearing hats (of course) but I got to meet lots of people! There were bloggers, designers, guests and most importantly buyers walking around the showroom and it was my job to speak to lots of people about Williams designs.

Furthermore I modelled the hats for buyers so they could see them on an actual person rather than a mannequin head! I also walked around the showrooms wearing the hats and went outside the studios where photographers took my picture whilst wearing Williams designs!

I also got invited to the designer after party in a very fancy bar on Sunday night where there was free prosecco and canapés and I got to meet more people in the industry!

Of course I couldn’t finish this blog without a few pictures of Stephen Jone’s designs- here are a few of my favourite!

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This hat is stunning on!

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Wacky and fabulous!

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This is just genius!

So there it is- my first LFW experience. It was the most amazing five days and I am so grateful for the opportunity, I learned lots, met new people and most importantly has so much fun!

I hope you all have a lovely week,

Rachael x

 

Norway and my experience at Bik Bok

 

Hey hey!

So as some of you may know from my Instagram, I am back from the most amazing trip to Oslo, Norway. I was there for a placement at a Scandinavian fashion company called Bik Bok. Before I tell you all about my placement I want to talk about how much I loved Norway!

 

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I arrived in Oslo after a short flight from Edinburgh and was greeted by some lovely rain (nothing new for a Scottish girl) and got a taxi to my airbnb apartment in the Frogner area. If you go to Oslo, I highly recommend looking at airbnb as it works out half the price of a hotel!

I instantly fell in love with Oslo. I couldn’t get over how beautiful it is! The architecture was stunning and all the streets were so pretty and clean. Everyone I met were super friendly and spoke perfect English!

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I arrived on a weekend so spent a couple of days sightseeing and stumbled upon the most beautiful park called Frogner Park! It was filled with statues and a pretty pond surrounded my flowers.

 

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Sightseeing on your own can get a little lonely at times so I was really happy that my dad flew out to spend the last couple days with me!

We explored more sights of Oslo including the Opera House and The Palace as well! We got such beautiful weather making Oslo look ever prettier! We went shopping and found a street with Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Gucci on it- heaven!

My dad and I also found a festival going on called Piknik i Parken which had Solange Knowles performing at it! It had such an amazing atmosphere and we had so much fun!

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As amazing as Norway is, it is so expensive! If you are going there, be aware of the prices! If you want to go grocery shopping I would recommend going to Kiwi as it is the cheapest supermarket.

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And finally onto my placement. Bik Bok is a fashion company specialising in womenswear and was founded in Norway. Since then it has grown to have 200 stores across Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Austria. Their clothes are very on trend and gorgeous!

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When I was there I was placed in the children/teen department which has a line of clothing called WOW. I worked with the buying team and was super excited to see what they got to do as it was my first experience of buying.

I got the chance to go behind the scenes of a photo-shoot and also got to sit in with buying meetings with suppliers from India and Turkey!

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I learned lots, like how to measure samples properly and got to watch how the buying process happened from start to end. Everyone in the office were so friendly and made the experience even better!

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The above are design boards I made for the WOW team!

Overall, I had the best time in Norway. My experience at Bik Bok has definitely reinforced the fact that I want to work in fashion, and I am really grateful for the experience.

I cannot wait to go back and would recommend to anyone to give Oslo a visit- make sure you check out Bik Bok when you are there also!

Love always,

Rachael

Self-love

Hey hey!

So this blog post is a little different to my normal fashion and beauty ones, but I’ve seen a few bloggers write about this topic, and I felt inspired.

Say the word “self-conscious” and a million things spring to mind that I can relate too. Ever since a young age I’ve struggled with issues about my looks- I’m super tall and always have been! That is something I have struggled with for years. I used to get called names when I was younger, get horrible comments from rival teams when I played sport, and still get nasty comments in nightclubs and sometimes on the street! Even people saying “You’re so tall!” to me, with no intention of being nasty, made me feel insecure! Adding more to my issue, I suffered from acne (still do from time to time), had braces and being tall means I have larger feet and hands (weird thing to be self- conscious about but I hated it when I was younger). My weight fluctuates non-stop, and I constantly put myself under pressure to always be ‘in shape’. In addition to these body issues, I was never the most intelligent, sportiest, most musical person when I was younger, so I always felt inferior to those around me. And to top it all off, I suffer from anxiety a lot of the time which made me more aware of these issues and made me overthink everything! All of this contributed to a horrible time I had in my final year of school, where I felt so lost in who I was, I was so insecure and cried most days because I felt hopeless. I’m sure I am not the only one with an endless list of hang ups, but recently I have been able to slowly change my mentality, to start to accept who I am, which is why I wanted to write this blog to hopefully help some people with the same issues.

Something really important that I realised recently is that I simply cannot change some things about myself. Firstly, it is impossible for me to become smaller (I can slouch, but back pain is getting the better of me) and if I were to change myself, I wouldn’t be me. I know it is a classic cliche but what makes us unique is our differences from one another! My height makes me unique, gives me long legs that I always get complimented on and it has opened opportunities like modelling since I was 15! I am now starting to see the beauty behind my height and actually start to like it! Furthermore, I simply cannot change what people say about me- people have their own opinions and it is my choice to listen or not- and from now on, I just ignore them! I think an important issue here is that no one is perfect. You can see celebrities and models on Instagram and think they are totally flawless, but at the end of the day, people have bad days and things they wish they could change. Everyone has a spot now and then, lots of people have braces, not everyone is super talented at everything and a lot of people suffer from anxiety! I really have started to see how important accepting who you are is, and making sure you are the best version of yourself.

A few steps I am taking, moving forward, is picking on my strengths and improving them! Pick something you like about yourself and show it off! Accept yourself, because a lot of things are impossible to change, and in the end you can end up hurting yourself in the process of trying to change yourself. And finally love yourself. I know it is so much easier said than done, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving yourself. Being confident is beautiful, and important! As soon as you accept and love yourself, these little hang ups that seem like a big deal all of a sudden become smaller. I can honestly say that in taking these steps, and changing my mentality, I feel a million times better about myself.

I really hope this piece has helped anyone that has insecurities about themselves, even a tiny bit. I know this is a short blog but I am no expert on this topic. I am coming from a place of honesty, with the intention of trying to show that social media and pictures you see on the internet are simply not a true reflection of everyones life, and most people battle with self-consciousness from time to time.

Have a great weekend,

Rachael xx

Valentines Day Inspiration

Hey hey!

Since it’s Valentines day next week, I thought I would help you girls out with date night ideas- whether it’s with your girls or with that special someone. Also boys, if you are struggling to get your partner a present, I’ve got you covered too!

So lets start with date night outfits…

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Missguided red dress- perfect for drinks!

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How cute is this Missguided co-ord outfit? Wear it together or just pick one piece and match it with something else!

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Mesh shirts are my new favourite thing! You can wear a plain top underneath or show off a cute bra! This one is from Topshop and I love the pussy bow detail.

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You can’t go wrong with a LBD from Zara

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The bandeau detail on this Pretty Little Thing jumpsuit is to die for!

Now lets talk lingerie..

I am a self- confessed underwear addict and have extra drawers in my flat just so that I can store it all- so I like to think I am at least a little bit knowledgeable on the subject! Whether it’s for you’re other half or you just want to treat yourself, I’m going to show you some of my favourites.

I have decided to choose red and black lingerie as I think for Valentines day, those are your best picks! But if you want some other colours most of the lingerie I picked comes in alternative colours- so go for it!

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This set is from the picture I put up! It’s a cute, silky set from ASOS!

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I am obsessed with the gorgeous detail on this set from Boux Avenue!

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You can never go wrong with cut outs- EVER. This set is from ASOS.

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Applique set from New Look 

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How cute? From Misguided

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ASOS red bodysuit

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How could I talk about lingerie without mentioning Victoria’s Secret?! How dreamy!

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ASOS body

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If you have the cash to spend on this- I firstly envy you and secondly encourage you! Beautiful set from Agent Provocateur!

And finally it’s gift time! Boys- if you are reading this looking for inspiration- start reading now!

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How cute is this little book from ASOS?!

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You can’t go wrong with chocolate… especially Hotel Chocolat. You can order from the shop or John Lewis!

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This bag is so cute! I got one for my Christmas with ‘Be Brilliant’ on it and I love it. This is available from Katie Loxton or John Lewis.

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Beautiful earrings from Pandora, which I have my eyes on!

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I have my eye on this Swarovski crystal set too!

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Anything personalised is a fab idea for a present! Not on the High Street is great to find personalised gifts.

I hope you enjoyed reading and have a fab Valentines day whatever you are doing!

Love, Rachael xx