The Town by the Lake, Aix-Les-Bains

For the last couple of years I have spent my holidays seeing Europe by train and trekking to gorgeous little towns around France and Italy. One of my particular favourites has had to be the town of Aix-Les-Bains, nestled quietly next to the towering Alps and the beautiful Lac Du Bourget in France.

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The weather here can be changeable and on the couple of occasions I have visited it has been prone to some quite fantastic thunderstorms! More specifically after our arrival it seemed to pour with rain as soon as we’d walked into the hotel lobby! We also had a bbq one evening which resulted in a quick dash inside when the first spots of a heavy shower started to plop onto our plates.

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For those who are keen cyclists the location is perfect and the nearby Chambery is the finishing point for Stage 9 of the 2017 Tour De France. Routes close to Aix-Les-Bains include Col Du Chat and the renowned Mont Du Chat, for those who would like more of a challenge and is also to be featured on the 2017 Tour de France.

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For those who like to explore on two feet, I recommend taking a trip down to Lac Du Bourget and what better way to get there than by miniature train which leaves the Hotel De Ville throughout the day. This is a perfect way to see the town – the commentary is mostly in French – but it is still wonderful to see the beautiful scenery on the way down to the lakeside. Once by the lake you have the opportunity to walk for miles, there are lovely areas to sit and relax as well as wonderful bars and restaurants which I’m sure would be open in an evening to watch the world go by.

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Although there are not many chain stores here, it is a beautiful town to stroll around at a leisurely pace, visiting the various independent stores. I bought some stunning shoes in one of the stores – a gorgeous pair of pastel coloured wedges. I had a wonderful morning enjoying some retail therapy and planning my dream French maison!

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If you are looking for a fabulous hotel in which to base yourself for the duration of your stay then definitely take a look at the Golden Tulip. With recently refurbished spa facilities it is the perfect place to relax and rest those aching feet from all that retail therapy. The large bar and reception area is perfect for chilling out – reading a book or catching up with the latest on the Tour De France on their widescreen TVs.

If you are looking for a town where you can truly practice your French. This is the place to go. I had quite an experience in a French lingerie shop where as it happened I had a brief lapse in remembering any French bar the words ‘tres chaud’ and manically trying to mime how hot the weather was outside.. fortunately the two French ladies were extremely excited about the fact that I was even attempting to speak their language – a very amusing experience by both parties involved!

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Becky

Pretty & Petit

 

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#apovgiftswap – Part 2

First off, a belated Merry Christmas to you all! I have been enjoying the festive season to the max, spending time with friends and family, eating(!) as well as decorating my first real tree. It’s been nice to have a few days to catch up with myself and to reflect on the year too – something which I explored back in my Achievements and Resolutions post for 2016/17 which you can read here. Back to this one though and I recently wrote about the #APOV Gift Swap. We were each swapped with fabulous bloggers, we shared an idea for budget and a few things on our wish list before hitting the shops. I had a fantastic time choosing for my blogger, The Trendy Orange, and had a great time reading her fashion and lifestyle blog too. In turn she sent be a box of gorgeous goodies which I was so excited to open on Christmas morning!

So what was in my box of goodies? I opened it up to find the cutest little card from Ashley with a gorgeous glitter Merry Christmas. Underneath I spotted the Pusheen Cosmetic Bag straight away. I love anything Pusheen – the cutest cat – so I was so excited to see this. Pusheen has plenty of room for storing all my make up and is so furry. His little face is gorgeous and can brighten anyone’s day!

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Next up, I spotted bright pink flamingo paper clips. I love cute stationery especially when it involves animals or fun things. I’ve just created a new desk space to enable blog and writing for 2017 so these will definitely brighten up the space!

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The next gift I could smell as soon as I opened the box – a gorgeous Lush bath bomb in the shape of a parcel. I must admit I went in Lush just before Christmas just to smell all the beautiful bath bombs! I also jumped in on the online queue for the sales on Boxing Day and spent my day waiting from 75,000th in the queue! By the time I got onto the website there was nothing exciting left! Do let me know if you grabbed a bargain though!

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My final gift was the most gorgeous candle I’ve ever seen. It’s a little pine cone with snow decorating the base inside a pretty glass jar. The most perfect Christmas decoration which I am planning to save until next year as it is far too pretty to light!

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To complete the box Ashley included a number of yummy chocolates which I can’t wait to indulge in! You can never have too much chocolate at Christmas – Yum! Thank you Ashley so much for all of my fabulous gifts – even though we have never met the gifts you bought were so special and truly wonderful.

My advice to those who are thinking about a bloggers gift swap is totally do it! It’s such a lovely way to meet new blogging friends, learn about others’ interests and in turn it’s so fun to go out and choose unique gifts for someone.

Happy Christmas and wishing you all a wonderful New Year!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Guest Post – Transform Your Fashion Style into Your Home Design

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For those of us who love fashion, picking a perfect outfit for the day is important. It has to reflect our mood, the place we are going and more importantly it has to be within the borders of our style. We all have our ways of wearing clothes and designs we absolutely adore. Moreover, as much as we love fashion, we love the design of our homes, as well. That is why the design of your home should reflect your own style and you can easily incorporate your accessories, favorite materials and patterns in it.

Play with Patterns

Patterns are the most interesting way to elevate any of your outfits. So why not incorporate them in your home? You probably have a dress or a shirt that has fun patterns on it, and you should consider putting them in your home. For example, if you enjoy wearing floral patterns, you can easily find cushions of the similar design and refurnish your chairs. Lovers of geometrical shapes can arrange throw pillows with circles, triangles or any other shapes they like. Also, any wearable pattern can be turned into wallpaper that can make a great accent wall in the living room.

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Your Favorite Colours

Colours define styles. Whether it is a vivid style with plenty of vibrant colors, or one with darker shades, there is no doubt it will be unique and personal. The same goes for home designs. If you just can’t resist wearing bright and warm colours, you can incorporate them by painting any room you like in light shades of yellow, beige or cream, and use brighter colours, such as light blue, green or orange to create a fun atmosphere. For those of you who like darker shades, stick to the elegant colours, such as Lost Lake blue, Mole’s Breath gray and Dark Teal green to create the foundation, while you can add colour pops of light pink, dark red and purple to make a more pleasant sight. Those small colour pops can easily be introduced through bigger pieces of furniture; but you can use smaller accessories, too.

Accessorize with Accessories

An outfit is not complete without accessories, and the same goes for your home. Plain walls, empty dressers and lonely coffee tables are monotonous. There is a simple solution – use your accessories as an inspiration for home accessories. Transform the design of your bronze or copper bracelets into simple accessories of the same materials. You can use it in the details of the lamps, find figurines that remind you of the bracelet or anything else that comes into your mind. Also, you can turn the style of your favorite elegant Mecque earrings into a gorgeous chandelier for the living room that will exude sophistication. If you like gold or silver jewelry, dress your home with gold and silver details or add a few lines in the same colors on the wall. Just look through your wardrobe and jewellery box, and you will surely find something that inspires you.

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Incorporate Fur

There is a great deal of people who go crazy over fur or faux-fur in their style; and this material can easily be fitted in your home. Fur rugs always look mesmerizing, warm and elegant in any room, so why not add such a fluffy detail. Also, you can cover your dining room chairs with pieces of fur and instantly elevate their look. Moreover, you can make your bedroom even more inviting by arranging a few fluffy throw pillows or a blanket for the ultimate softness. To make things even more interesting, using fur will warm up your home and prepare you for the cold winter days, just like your outfit.

Reflect on Your Favourite Clothing

You certainly have a favourite dress, shirt, skirt or any other piece of clothing. Use that opportunity to dress your home. Your summer dress with floral patterns and bright colors can easily be turned into a picture. Just reflect on the same colors and similar patterns and voila! The same goes for any other piece you love wearing; you can turn their design into wall art, covers for the couch, throw pillows and so on.

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Be creative and your style will find its way into your home. So, next time you are looking for new accessories for the home, think about what you would wear.

Written by Elise Morgan. Follow her on Twitter @elisemorgan1

 

Discovering Trilogy

Trilogy are the ‘ones who know denim’ and from a first glance at their homepage, it’s pretty clear that they are true to their word!

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Trilogy is London’s premium denim specialist with one simple aim – to find every woman the perfect pair of jeans. Excellent service, a carefully edited catalogue of brands and a raft of denim knowledge means we’ve been doing just that since 2006. – Trilogystores.co.uk

Voted one of Vogue’s ‘Best Boutiques in Britain’ four years running, Trilogy aims to not only make their customers look great but through creating stunning exclusive collections and excellent customer service, aims to make them feel great too!

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With this valuable, expert knowledge you have the option to book a ‘denim experience’ – a one to one individual style consultation to find your perfect jeans or to give your wardrobe a denim overhaul.

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I love that Trilogy not only includes every type of jeans imaginable – cropped to straight, flared to skinny, but they also include complementing tops that really show off the shape of the jeans. They all look so flattering and suitable for any body shape.

I have included a couple of my favourite styles below!

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Paige – Colette Flare in White – £245

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Paige – Verdugo in Noelly – £240

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Paige – Edgemont in Black – £260

They have an amazing sale on right now so make sure you go check it out by clicking here.

Becky at Pretty & Petit 

New Shoes for Summer from Jones Bootmaker

It’s always time for some new shoes and I have recently come across some fabulous shoes and Summer sandals at Jones Bootmaker.

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I always thought Jones only offer boots and so tended to avoid them throughout the Summer months. I was looking for a pair of comfortable shoes ready for these slightly warmer days and that would be perfect for my upcoming holiday.

One aspect Jones Bootmaker particularly prides itself on is its quality. They are renowned for its fantastic quality of shoes and although they are on the more slightly pricey side you are definitely gaining excellent value for money!

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Their stores are often beautifully designed and located in small towns and cities across the UK. They offer excellent customer service – with welcoming, kind smiles, a helpful approach but also leaving customers to browse which I think is the most perfect way to shoe shop.

As the weather has been so toasty lately I have particularly been looking at sandals for the Summer. I have been looking for something comfortable so I can walk long distances but also look fashionable, keeping my feet cool at the same time. I have listed my favourites below so make sure you check them out!

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After finding these fabulous sandals for the day time I also found these great sandals for the evening too! Here are my top 5!

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You can find the full range of Womens Sandals by clicking here.

They also have a fabulous sale on right now so make sure you check it out and pick up some bargains! Sale

Becky at Pretty & Petit

31. Mrs W Tutus

My featured business this week is…Mrs W Tutus!

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Mrs W Tutus was set up by Kate Winchurst, a Fashion Graduate with a passion for creating beautiful bespoke tutus. These stunning tutus enable anyone to look and feel like a fairy princess. The perfect addition to your special occasion, a wedding or birthday, or even just for feeling fabulous!

I absolutely love these gorgeous tutus. With a range of bright colours to choose from, Kate can create bespoke tutus to match your individual style and taste. There is no age limit on these, so anyone can feel like a fairy princess whether you’re 6 or 60!

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Are you unhappy with a petticoat you have recently bought online which doesn’t match up to your expectations? Pimp my Petticoat is Mrs W Tutus latest service. Mrs W Tutus offers a fabulous service where you can send your petticoat to her and she will add ribbon trim, custom made bias binding  (in things such as superhero print material etc), extra layers of net/Tulle etc until it’s exactly what you were hoping for! It’s an excellent service, enabling you to create something personal and unique.

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It is so important to take care of your tutu to keep it in tip top condition! They are very delicate in nature so need to be carefully looked after to make sure it keeps looking fabulous. Tutus should never go in the washing machine, and if possible a tutu should be hung up to ensure it keeps it fluffy shape! For more handy tips on looking after your brand new tutu take a look at Kate’s handy list for Tutu Care.

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For more of Kate’s stunning designs make sure you check out her fabulous gallery and gorgeous shop on her website, Mrs W Tutus! She is also on Facebook, Twitter @MrsWTutus  and Instagram @MrsWTutus

Becky at Pretty & Petit

All images from the Mrs W Tutus website.

Festival Style with La Redoute

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1. Chisuzu Long-Sleeved Printed Bomber Jacket – £59

2. Leaf Print Dress – £35

3. Chuck Taylor All Star, Oil Slick Toe Cap – £55

4. Adjustable Cuff – £15

5. Embroided Clutch Bag – £19

My festival style outfit from La Redoute encompasses a tropical print theme. This is something I love right now – the bright colours and the clashing prints, they look fabulous together! I chose a lightweight dress, as I always enjoy wearing cotton, fun printed dresses at festivals. They are so good if it gets a bit too warm in the sun, and easy to layer up if there is a chilly breeze. My favourite part of the outfit is the printed bomber jacket and it is what inspired the outfit overall with its bright orange with the contrasting palm leaves, it is the ultimate must have to complete any festival outfit!

To add a grunge effect to the outfit I added the Chuck Taylor oil slick toe capped trainers. I love the effect these have on the toe area, definitely something unique! In addition I have added a cute beaded cuff and embroided clutch bag, great for an over body bag or for using as a clutch.

This outfit was created as part of the Festival Style Competition from La Redoute. Click here to find out more!

My Festival Wishlist

Whilst clicking through the La Redoute website I found so many different outfits, from cute dresses, pretty accessories, through to bold prints and bright shorts! Here is my wish list for Summer! Let me know what you love in the comments!

 

New Year, New You – Essentials for Travelling Abroad

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 

Today is the turn of Cait from CaitsCozyCorner who will be sharing her essentials for travelling abroad! Such a useful post as I will be travelling myself in a couple of weeks time so have picked up on some handy tips for my trip!

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Hey everyone! I’m so happy to be a guest blogger here at Pretty & Petit!! Today I wanted to chat about 4 essentials you need when traveling abroad. I don’t consider myself an expert of course but I have been to Europe several times ( and planning another one this October for Munich and Germany ) so I wanted to share some tips that have helped me! Whether its your first time abroad or your hundredth, these will ease your worry and make the trip as smooth as possible.

1. Passport case. Believe me, with all the stuff you’re packing in your suitcase, you want something fun and durable for your passport. After all, it’s what helps you get from country to country. If you’re feeling fancy, Kate Spade or Coach has adorable prints to keep your passport safe but if you don’t feel like splurging, your local convenient store should have some!
2. Durable luggage. I’m a suitcase girl. For me, a suitcase abroad means something with 4 wheels that I can push and turn in all directions. Those cobblestones you’re attempting to push your luggage over can be a pain so why not make it easy on yourself and get a suitcase that’s easy to push and pull.
3. Packing in layers. The one thing that took so much time was what to wear! Layers was the answer and simple ones at that. Don’t worry about the latest fashion because you want to be comfortable. A few pairs of jeans, leggings, tank tops, sweaters and a cute purse is all you need! You can mix and match everything! Be creative!
4. A Camera. You don’t have to have a fancy camera to make the most your trip. Our phones are so handy and easy to use at a moment’s notice that you’ll want to capture everything. Make sure you do because you’re in Europe creating memories! Enjoy every single second of it!
Cait is a 20 something blogger who loves writing about fashion, fitness, her family, and traveling. Follow her and her adventures on CaitsCozyCorner !

New Year, New You – How to Gain Instagram Followers That Stick Around!

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 

Today is the turn of the lovely Louisa Rogers, who has a vibrant and beautiful blog accompanied by a fabulous and equally stunning Instagram feed. She shares her tips on how to use Instagram, how to gain followers and most importantly how to keep them. Make sure you take a read of her blog by clicking here.

Contrary to popular belief, Instagram is not an easy business. Amongst the meme pages, the self-obsessed 12 year olds and the Russian spambots lie real people who are interested and passionate about your content. The only problem you have to get around, is finding them, and keeping them interested. I used to notice that my follower count was volatile and I would lose 5 people overnight for no apparent reason, now I only ever notice the odd person unfollowing and I can put that down to one thing only…

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My Instagram pre-overhaul… as you can see there was no over-riding aesthetic style, and the whole thing looked messy and a bit crap!

I used Instagram (@louisagrogers, if you’re curious) for a long time without taking any notice of aesthetics: I guess you could say that I used it for its’ intended purpose, as a real-time photo-sharing app with an emphasis on the social! However as I became more serious about my blog, I realised that if I was going to gain a decent number of followers on Instagram like my influences @Helibells and @LisaMcconniffe (amongst many others!) I was going to start making sacrifices.

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My Instagram pre-overhaul… Once you realise how important the cohesive feed of images is to followers, not just individual photos, it’s a lot easier to use Instagram more wisely and make your whole feed look awesome and appealing.

I stopped posting random, funny moments with friends and only posting from my camera roll. I started considering using the same filters for every post to keep things quite coherent (Ps. I use Clarendon, that’s mine now, no touching) and making sure any images I post fit my colourful, slightly vintage, slightly funny aesthetic.

I do make the odd exception for a hilarious meme because they are uber-shareable, people always tag there friends in them, thereby increasing your visibility and I think humour and fashion should be placed together more often!

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My Instagram post overhaul… My new approach is still as quirky and varies, but I make sure to use similar colours and filters throughout to keep things relevant. I can thank this change of attitude for all my new followers!

I now wholly understand why many bloggers have separate blog and personal Instagram profiles , as the ultra-curated content of influencers who have over 10,000 followers is often very glossy and impersonal, almost business-like, and I understand them wanting to retain Instagram for those fleeting, semi drunk moments with friends that we all used it for back in 2012.

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My Instagram post overhaul… I even feel happier looking at my feed when it’s nicely composed!

Curating your Instagram may be upsetting at first, and I still sometimes hate how disciplined I’ve become, especially when I upload a photo that I think will fit and it suddenly throws off the entire photo-feed with the wrong colours or composition, but it does pay off. I had about 300 followers on Instagram for the first year and a half that I used it. Since changing to a more carefully considered use of the app, and hashtagging mercilessly in my comments (yes, I’m that girl – but it works) I have garnered over 600. This number is by no means impressive or putting money in my bank account, but I think it does prove that anyone is capable of gaining followers and therefore exposure by making a very simple choice.

So what will you do? Do you want to keep Instagram as a platform as light-hearted and spontaneous as Snapchat? Or are you looking to boost awareness of your blog and personal brand by stepping up your #instagame? Let us know in the comments section below!

Memories of 2015

2015 has been a year of some fabulous memories..

Small Businesses of 2015

I have featured some fabulous small businesses over 2015!

Achievements of 2015

  • Organisation of the 10th Anniversary Awards for the Fashion Retail Academy
  • Completing Race for Life
  • View from the Shard
  • Winning a competition for a trip to Dubai and shopping vouchers for Dancewear Central through blog writing
  • Passed my theory test
  • My first tattoo

Travels of 2015

  • France – Nice, Aix-En-Provence, Aix-Les-Bains, Paris, Tour De France, Versailles and Disneyland
  • Mykonos
  • Bristol (Twice!)
  • Southampton
  • Kent

Events of 2015

  • Cinderella Exhibition
  • The Ideal Home Show
  • London Bike Show
  • My friend’s beautiful wedding at Kent Life
  • London Fashion Weekend
  • Wonderful blogger events, product launches, chocolate making workshop, Big Bloggers Conference, Beautycon, Xmas Party, Food Festival
  • West End Live
  • Wireless
  • Pure London
  • The Cycle Show, Birmingham
  • Design Your Future and Skills London (FRA)
  • Beauty Blogger Awards 2015 & Olympia Beauty
  • Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition
  • BFI London Film Festival – The Program
  • My friend’s beautiful wedding in Whitstable
  • Made London
  • Clothes Show
  • Winter Wonderland

Films of 2015

  • Furious 7
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • Spy
  • Spectre
  • Star Wars

Style of 2015

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What are your fave memories of 2015? I’d love to hear them!

Wishing you all a most fabulous and wonderful 2016 and will leave you with some memories of last years fireworks from London.

Becky at Pretty & Petit