Love Hijab subscription box

Recently I was sent ‘The Box’ by Love Hijab, an online store which sells beautiful hijabs (scarfs) at affordable prices. Owner Nazira messaged me about a new subscription box that she was launching and if I would review the first one. Now, I love a subscription box and would love it if someone (hint, hint husband, hint…HINT!) would get me a Glossybox subscription. I got one for my best friend Camilla as a birthday present last year and she said it was like getting a birthday present every month and the best surprise ever. I love the concept of a subscription box because you never know what’s coming but subscribe to the right one and you will be guaranteed to get something you will love each month. So of course, I was intrigued by Nazira’s idea of a box based around hijabs.

Love Hijab’s subscription box is a little different from a regular subscription because it’s not as regular as one every month. I will explain more about the nitty gritty later but first let me share my experience of ‘unboxing’ my box with you! Pictures speak a thousand words so I won’t bore you with my thousand and will show you instead!

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I was so excited and delighted to open the box and see all the different things that came out of it. The first thing I thought was what a great gift this would make for someone. Although I don’t wear a hijab myself I still appreciated everything that came out of it and see myself using the scarves just for wearing around my neck. Inside the box there was a personalised note from Nazira telling me a little about what was inside.

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My favourites were the Beau maxi scarf and that mirror! I’m a sucker for all things vintage looking and girly (just look at my duvets for heavens sake) so the mirror was just a special touch for me.

I was also sent two additional gifts by Love Hijab.
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The wee notepad has been in my handbag and I’ve been jotting down any ideas I have for my wedding which is fast approaching quite scarily and any ideas I have for the blog. Too many, but so little time. How cute is the wee tin?! It goes perfectly with my room.

Now let me tell you about how this particular subscription box works.

‘The Box’ is a quarterly subscription box priced at £25 including postage and packaging. The contents of each box will be worth £55 or over. Each box will be filled with a surprise of new and exclusive pieces. The first box will feature two oversized scarves, one printed and one plain, one statement necklace, and three other carefully selected items. What is really nice is that each item will be packed lovingly inside explaining the month’s picks with a cute note. You know how much these little touches mean to me. I have a pin board filled with all the lovely messages I get in packages. I will show you it in my next post. Anyway, at a price of £25, this is a lovely gift idea. I’m already thinking of my teenage niece who wears a hijab and would love the whole quirky feel of the packaging not to mention the beautiful items. I hope you aren’t reading this Zahra because I’ve ruined the surprise now. The packaging is all handmade and designed by Nazira. How cute is the wee doll?

The good thing about this subscription box is you don’t have to buy every single box. Each customer can choose how many they would like to subscribe to so even if you want to buy one to try and then you can always buy another or if it’s just a one off as a gift? Hijab is worn by so many girls around the UK now and I know that you can never have too many so this is a lovely idea for all hijab wearers. This box is being trialled in the UK before international orders are taken.

The quarterly subscription will be available in February, May, August and November.

I absolutely loved opening my box and seeing what was inside. I think for £25 you are getting good quality items for your money. Considering the size of the box, the postage alone will be nearly a fiver on this so you’re getting two scarves and three other items wrapped beautifully for around twenty pounds? I’m happy with that.

You can purchase your very own box at:

http://lovehijab.tictail.com/product/the-box

There are also some other beautiful items on the Love Hijab website which you can browse through on http://www.lovehijab.tictail.com

Here are some of my favourites.

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I'm Scottish, of course I will love anything with a thistle on it.

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I absolutely love Nazira’s cute hijab subscription box idea. It’s new, it’s different and I think lots of you girls would love to come home to one of these every so often as a pick me up after a long day, week or life.

If you do buy one,  tag me on Instagram @missmulberry or comment below to let me what you got!

Love,

@missmulberry

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Valentines Day look

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Bringing you a bit of a belated Valentines dinner look tonight. Now, I really think the whole Valentines Day thing is just another overly commercialised day designed to make truck loads of money from people. Then again many would argue, what’s the harm in having a day where you shower your partner with more love than normal and make a bit of a fuss of them? There’s nothing wrong with that at all actually but I want to be treated like that every day, thanks. Is that too much to ask for?!

How and ever, my other half surprised me with a visit a couple of Saturday’s ago which just HAPPENED to be Valentine’s Day so we went for a nice meal. In keeping with the theme of LURVEEEEE, I incorporated a touch of red into my all white outfit.

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Blouse and skirt – Reiss
Shoes – Christian Louboutin

I am obsessed with all white outfits at the moment and loved this combo from Reiss. I finished the look with a new limited edition red Mac lipstick called ‘Toxic Tale’ and rollers in my hair for soft curls. I kept my make up simple, i.e. just mascara but in hindsight this probably wasn’t the best idea. I look tired and my eyes look wrinkly. I probably was tired and my eyes might be wrinkly. Just joking, I’m only 24.

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But yeah, I see me styling this skirt differently during the summer. Can’t wait to wear it on holiday! I love Reiss clothes.

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I’m going to keep this post short and sweet since I have a long queue of looks to blog.

May you all have someone in your life that makes you feel like the luckiest girl in the world more than just one day out of 365. We can all hope eh?

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And when you do find that someone, may they make you smile so much your eyes practically close because your smile is so wide.

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P.S. I know I will sound like your granny saying this but Valentines Day isn’t just about your other half. I loved the fact that my two favourite ladies in the whole world were over watching me apply my lipstick and insisting they joined us on our photo shoot. You should make an effort with ALL your loved ones every single day but if you can’t then choose one day to show them you love them!

Ignore Mr Macho’s slippers – they are mine. He wouldn’t step on to the balcony bare foot and I promised him if he just popped my slippers on quickly and obliged, they wouldn’t be in the photos. HOW AND EVER, these made me laugh so much, they have just somehow ended up on the blog. I’m so glad I’m not my wife, I would be so annoying. Crazy thought.

Love,

@missmulberry

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How to do a Paris day trip!

When I said to friends and colleagues that I was going to Paris for a day, most were surprised that such a trip was possible. It absolutely is if you are living in the UK, especially close to London since France is just across the English channel! But, be aware that you can’t do everything in a day and it is a very tiring day with lots of walking involved! I have been to Paris for the day as well as for a few nights so I thought I would recommend where some of the best places to go are. I thought I would share some of these with you within this post to inspire some of you to go and explore the beautiful city even for a day trip.

How to get there.

Originally, I had planned to take the Eurostar there from London St Pancras. The Eurostar takes you directly to Paris Gare Du Nord which is the biggest train station in Paris and you can get to all the main attractions from there via the Metro fairly quickly. However, I decided against this because of two factors and opted to book flights instead. Firstly, the Eurostar takes around two and a half hours and the flight only took an hour. We also would have had to get a train to London St Pancras first which would have resulted in waking up even earlier.  Secondly, the Eurostar tickets were working out to be much more expensive than the flights so it was an easy decision! We flew from London Luton via EasyJet on a 7am flight. This flight was under £50 per person which is pretty good. The only problem is neither EasyJet nor Ryanair seem to fly back on a Saturday to any London airports in the evenings. This is a bit of a pain because you can only really do a day trip if you go early and come back late evening. I did think about getting the Eurostar back but again it would have taken 2 and a half hours plus the connecting train back. Instead I looked around online and found Air France flights back to London Heathrow around 9pm that night. With Paris being an hour ahead in time it meant that we landed at 9am in the morning in Paris and were back in London at 9pm UK time.  We flew to Charles De Gaulle airport which is the biggest airport in Paris and the closest to the city centre. You will find cheaper flights to Beauvais and Orly too but you then have to get an hour long coach into the city centre which is quite expensive so it isn’t even worth it to be honest. Avoid those airports for day trips! They are fine if you are going for a few days. I often used to get £30 flights to Beauvais to go and see my sister when she was in Paris! Anyway, once we got to the airport we got the RER train straight into the city centre, just follow signs for the RER once you are inside the airport. It only takes 25 minutes and you can get it from inside the airport. It literally is the most simple thing and we were in the city centre of Paris for just after 10am. A return ticket back to the airport + use of the Metro for the day cost 20 Euros each. You can buy tickets from the self service machines but note; these are card only machines so if you want to pay by cash head to the ticket offices next to them but these do have queues inside them so expect to wait around 10 minutes. The trains run every ten minutes or so and are very efficient. So, we got on the RER from Charles De Gaulle Airport and came off 25 minutes later at St Michel which is the metro literally outside Notre Dame cathedral. All the main tourist attractions are just nearby so this is a pretty good place to start! That’s where we chose to get off first but you could come off at St Michel and just change lines to go to the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre instead. Obviously, look at the metro map and make a quick itinerary so that you’re not just constantly catching the metro and are making the most of your day!

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Get your hands on one of these soon as you get there!

What to do.

There is just tonnes to do in Paris. You could stay there for a month and still not run out of things to do. But if you go for a day and it is your first time then you of course would want to see the main hotspots within the small timeframe that you have. I had seen them all but Atteeq hadn’t so I arranged the day in a way that we would get to see the main attractions and still have some time left over to do whatever he liked. After seeing the Notre Dame, we walked along the river Seine and headed back to the metro to head to our next stop. The area outside the cathedral is just beautiful and during the summer months people sit all along the river. Because it was freezing when we went, it was much quieter.

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As we got back into the underground I could feel my feet slipping. Next thing you know I was down on all fours literally collapsed on the ground with both knees and hands on the ground. Atteeq turned around after hearing the loud bang of me falling and stated confudesdly; “what are you doing?”. PROSTRATING on this filthy underground floor oh dear husband, I thought! Once he realised I had actually fallen he helped me up and it was one of those funny situations that I couldn’t even breathe from laughing so much because I knew how funny I would have looked falling flat on my face. Can you imagine the people behind me? They must have wet themselves. I didn’t dare look back though, I probably would have fallen into the track from laughing. Atteeq isn’t one to laugh at other people’s misery though and kept asking how I was. I was actually in a lot of pain but I probably couldn’t cry because I was laughing so much. As the day progressed, my left knee got more and more sore. I really hurt my knee and this probably wasn’t ideal because of the amount of walking we had to do. I have a lovely, navy bruise covering the surface of my knee now. State of me. Note to all readers; DO NOT go and fall within the first half hour of being in the city. Thank heavens I didn’t need to be carted out of the St Michel station on a wheelchair. Heaven Forbid. I’m laughing thinking about the whole palava now and Atteeq having to drag me up. Poor guy doesn’t know, a trip of mine isn’t complete until I have injured at least one part of my body. I wish I wasn’t so clumsy.

Next we headed to go and see the Eiffel tower. There are many stops that you can get off at where you will get a view of the tower, some closer than others. We headed towards the station Trocadéro which is a stop on line 6 (the wee green one). Set on the summit of the Chaillot hill, the Trocadéro’s site overlooks the Seine, opposite the Eiffel tower. The moment you come out of the station, you turn left and you will be standing on the Esplanade du Trocadéro which offers a panoramic view over the gardens, the Eiffel Tower and, further in the distance, the capital’s major monuments. This is one of my most favourite places in Paris because there is such a lovely atmosphere and this is probably the best place for photos in front of the Eiffel Tower! However, I was so annoyed to get there and see scaffolding here, there and everywhere. The ghastly building works covered half the view of the tower and spoiled many pictures.

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What even?!!


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Not an ideal situation for photos...

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I’m not sure how long these building works will go on for so be aware of this if you go in the near future! This is a good stop for crepes! Now I’m not really into sweet things like
pancakes and crepes but Atteeq had a crepe au chocolat with bananas and he said it was just delicious. You can buy them from one of two vendors that are always there within the square. There are lots of different types and hot drinks etc available also. It’s a nice place to have something sweet to eat and to watch the beautiful view. It was SO bitterly cold that I think the crepe warmed him up more than anything. It was a beautiful day in Paris when we went but very, VERY cold so wrap up warm. I had to buy gloves off a wee man at a stall for 5 Euros and they saved me from frostbite.
After this, we headed back two stops on the number 6 line again and got off at Bir-Hakeim. This station takes you right next to the Eiffel Tower, so this is a good one to get off at if you want to see the tower close up or go up it. We couldn’t climb up it because of lack of time and my knee which by now was throbbing but I pretended like it wasn’t as a sore as it was. I didn’t want to spoil Atteeq’s day. Now, soon as you come out of the station you cross the road towards the right hand side. You will pass a row of restaurants around the corner and the Eiffel Tower will be there right in front of you. We went to look at it closer and spent a bit of time here.
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Just noticed Atteeq standing in the corner oh so creepily. Dies.


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Oh you know, just casually blinding the man who fulfils half my deen for a photay. Nice.


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Sun doesn't bother a pro like me.

On the way back to the station we decided to stop and have lunch at one of the Italian restaurants across from the station. Now, this wasn’t where we had originally planned to eat. I would recommend eating along the Champs Élysées. There are much better restaurants there and you will fins a better variety to choose from. However, we decided to just have lunch where we were because a) we were super hungry by this point and b) we were desperate for the toilet. Lunch was nice, pasta, pizza and of course French fries. No snails! For any Muslim readers that are quite fussy like me, French food isn’t for me and nice halal places right in the centre of the city are quite hard to find. There are certain areas where you can find halal restaurants but these aren’t next to the main attractions so I would advise just find a nice Italian. There are plenty to choose from and I would recommend eating along the Champs Élysées. More on that later!

After this, we headed back two stops on the number 6 line again and got off at Bir-Hakeim. This station takes you right next to the Eiffel Tower, so this is a good one to get off at if you want to see the tower close up or go up it. We couldn’t climb up it because of lack of time and my knee which by now was throbbing but I pretended like it wasn’t as a sore as it was. I didn’t want to spoil Atteeq’s day. Now, soon as you come out of the station you cross the road towards the right hand side. You will pass a row of restaurants around the corner and the Eiffel Tower will be there right in front of you. We went to look at it closer and spent a bit of time here.

After lunch, we had a bit of a longer commute of around 20 minutes on the metro to Pont Neuf. This is where you will find the Lovelock Bridge, a popular tourist spot where couples can write their names on a padlock, put it on the bridge and throw the key in the river Seine. All very cheesy but it’s just something we wanted to do because I had heard that the bridge will probably close over the next couple of years because of how heavy it has become. When we got there we noticed the bridge straight away. There were so many people standing on and around it! Sadly, most of the padlocks have now been boarded up and are filled with graffiti.

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I don’t know if this has something to do with the weight of them or what? But there is a whole side at the start of the bridge that hasn’t been boarded up and we found a spot right there! You can buy padlocks on the bridge between 3-7 Euros and write your names with a Sharpie. We of course had our fancy engraved number! We bought one of the cheapo ones too just for the sake of it.

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There was a lovely atmosphere here and romance literally was in the air with couples from around the world taking selfies like no mans business. Oh em gee, I forgot to say! Selfie sticks are literally RIFE around Paris at the moment. People had absolutely no inhibitions about roaming around with a selfie stick at all the tourist spots. It was okay to have one because nobody was blinking an eyelid at the people with one. We never had one because I had my 2 tonne SLR around my neck like a proper tourist but yeah take your selfie stick with you, it’s totally acceptable in Paris!
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It was so nice getting to do the lovelock bridge because it was our very first item ticked off our long bucket list!
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Spot our wee cheapo version!


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The lovelock bridge is literally behind The Louvre museum, a must see if you are in Paris. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go in and see Madame Mona Lisa but I still wanted to show Atteeq the grandeur of the palace! You simply cross the road at the bridge to the right hand side and just walk into the grounds of the museum. Turn left into an archway through the courtyard and you will be in the grounds of the Louvre!

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It was such a beautiful day and there were so many people just sitting, enjoying the sun and the company of their loved ones.

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So we did the same 🙂

Now, remember if you are aged 18-25 and are a member of the EU you will get free admission into The Louvre. Simply show them your passport when getting your ticket. Otherwise it’s around 12 Euros I think. I’m pretty sure there is free admission for ALL on the first Sunday of each month so expect to wait in a VERY long queue if you happen to be there on one of those days.

The Louvre is the perfect place to spend the day because the museum is so big you could roam around for hours. I got lots of outfit pictures here since there’s that many tourists that nobody even noticed when my impromptu photo shoot began. I was one of many.

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Blouse – eBay
Jeans – Asos
Boots – New Look
Coat – Topshop
Bag – Mulberry
Watch – Kennett Timepieces

I had been searching for a vintage looking ruffle top everywhere and after failing in my quest to track one down I found one on an eBay shop. It was brand new with tags from a UK seller and cost under a tenner. Score! Just search ‘ruffle blouse’ and tonnes comes up.

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After people watching for about an hour we got on the metro once again and headed towards the Champs Élysées. Probably one of the most famous streets in the world, the Champs Élysées is impressive in every way. It is filled with designer shops, cinemas, theatres and lots of restaurants. There is the most grand Sephora on this street and it is literally every girls dream! Definitely a must visit if you are in Paris. There’s a Laduree tea room which always has a queue but I prefer the Haagen Daaz. You usually have to wait in a queue if you want to sit in though but it’s worth the wait. On one end of the street there’s the Arc de Triomph so between the shopping and the Arc, there’s plenty to do here.

Palais Royal Musee Du Louvre station is where we got on from to get there and it was just a short walk from the Louvre museum. You could also get on at Louvre Rivoli as they are both close together. We got off at Charles De Gaulle Etoille which is just one straight line there from the museum stations and in my opinion this is the best stop for exploring Champs Élysées. We also deliberately made this our last stop before we had to head for the airport because we knew that we could get back to the airport from here quite easily as the station has good links to the RER.

We looked around the shops for ages and went for dessert. We were originally going to climb the Arc de Triomph because you get the most magnificent view at the top of the whole city but thanks to my fall in the morning we couldn’t climb all the stairs. We will leave that for our next trip. But definitely do that if you can because it is well worth climbing the few hundred stairs! After strolling around and checking out the shops we finally headed back towards the airport and were home for 10pm UK time. We were shattered beyond words but it was so worth it and such a fun trip jam packed with things to do!

Where to stay

Now, if you are planning on staying for a few days in Paris then this section is for you. Many of you have messaged asking about where to stay and I don’t have any recommendations of hotels in particular because I haven’t stayed over in ages but I have some ideas of where is best. If you want to stay very close to the main attractions then you will probably pay quite a bit. Just Tripadvisor everything. You can stay a little bit away from the main attractions but just make sure your hotel is next to a metro station so that you can get to places easily. There are some areas to avoid staying in Paris so just look these up first. Like I said, Tripadvisor any hotels you consider . Best areas to stay of course would be around Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre etc. For me Paris is a city to be explored so I always choose pretty basic hotels. Clean, safe and good breakfast does the trick since most of the day will be spent out so it doesn’t really matter if the hotel isn’t five star. So long as the bed is comfortable and you get clean towels. I hate it when you get pillows made out of bricks in some places.

And so that was our short and sweet trip to Paris. I hope those of you who have trips planned in the near future have found this post helpful. Tag me in your pictures if you go on Instagram @missmulberry.

Love as always,

Miss Mulberry

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Wee sausage fingers crushing mine

P.S. Not that it’s a competition or anything but how on earth will the husband top this for MY 25th birthday? Let’s be honest, it totally is a competition. May the best woman win!

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It will be this one!

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A birthday surprise!

Now, I do love a surprise don’t I?

I love organising them. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I am pretty awesome at coming up with ideas for birthday presents and even better at organising SURPRISES. I always do such meaningful things and put so much thought into presents. I spent weeks making a movie with pictures and clips of all our best times together for my cousins wedding complete with 90s Bollywood tracks and cheesy songs galore once. The issue I always have with surprises arises once I have to involve other people. The more people that know, the bigger risk there is of it all going pear shaped. So, this time I thought I would tell minimum number of people to minimise chances of my great surprise going belly up.

The surprise I planned was for my husband’s 25th birthday. Because this was a big birthday, marking his presence on planet earth for a quarter of a century, I felt I should do something special to celebrate the occasion. His birthday was on the 7th of February which was a long holiday weekend for me where I had the Monday and Tuesday off from work and this inspired me to plan a surprise trip. With him living outside of London and me outside of Glasgow it can be really difficult to make time to see one another but of course I couldn’t not see him on such a big birthday. I was mulling over some ideas and thought about a few things such as buying him a new watch or a nice pair of shoes. But then I thought, HE bought me a pair of shoes on my birthday and he already has a watch. Men are just so difficult to buy for? He has every gadget under the sun and doesn’t have a shortage of clothes either. I thought about taking him away on a trip but that wasn’t feasible either because we haven’t had our wedding reception yet. So I thought and I thought. I got nowhere.

But then…AHA! That light bulb moment came to me one day when I was writing out our couples bucket list out into my diary in fancy writing. Yes, I am a sad individual who likes writing things in diaries with metallic gold and silver pens. After our Nikah ceremony (Islamic wedding ceremony), Atteeq and I spent hours one night on Skype creating a joint bucket list. I would recommend all couples do this. It was a task and a half and made us realise so many things about one another. Of course we both have our own personal bucket lists but we thought it would be nice to make one together so we had lots of things to look forward to after we moved in together. It took ages to make because we are both so different and there were things that one wanted to do that the other was too scared to do. This was all me basically. For example, Atteeq wanted to do things like HOLD A TIGER and I can’t even be anywhere near our pet cat, Gus – never mind a tiger. I’m so scared of him I take palpitations if he is anywhere near me so poor Augustus has to be quarantined into my brother Armaan’s room during the hours when I am at home.

How and ever, we made a very realistic bucket list filled with things we both wanted to do together, things that were feasible for both and didn’t involve us having to face fears such as making contact with the cat family members. Amongst this list was one wish that gave me the perfect idea for Atteeq’s 25th birthday. 

It was:

“Visit Paris together,put a padlock on the Lovelock Bridge and throw away the key in the river together”.

This one was suggested by Atteeq because he had never been to Paris. I have been lots of times because my sister lived there for a year. It is one of my most favourite cities so of course it was a good one to put on the bucket list. I was SO surprised at him adding the Lovelock bridge on to that one because a) I thought he would think that was pathetic and b) I thought he would think that was pathetic. Atteeq is not one for cheesy/romantic gestures such as putting padlocks on bridges. I see things on TV or reading something in books and say “isn’t that so romantic?!” and usually get an expressionless look back with a grunted “yeah”. That’s the majority of guys though right?! They are hardly going to be all singing all dancing about things like LURVVVEEEE are they? Anyway, where was I? So yeah, he suggested it when we put the list together and I was quite surprised because it was totally different to the other things he had put on it but I just thought I wouldn’t push my luck. Part of me still thinks he put it on there because he knew I would love to do that. He’s sweet like that. So as I was writing out this list that was typed on my phone into my diary with a metallic gold pen, I saw the Paris one and thought BINGO!

Yes, you guessed it! I thought to myself, what better present could there be for Atteeq than to start ticking off our bucket list together on his 25th birthday? From then on I started planning. The trip to Paris was approved by mother and father since it was only a day trip and we would be back in the evening. I planned to surprise him by turning up at his house on Friday the 6th of February after work (as this was the night before his birthday), take him to Paris on the Saturday, spend the day together on the Sunday and come home on Monday morning. I made sure that he wasn’t doing anything on his birthday by working away secretly with his sister and also one of my closest friend’s, Ash. I had told him that I was having a night out with best friend Camilla on the Friday night just so he wouldn’t grow suspicious of me not replying to messages etc while I was catching the flight down!

So, on the Friday night he hadn’t a clue about what was going on and was told by his family they were getting a take away in. He went to the gym (he even goes on a Friday night – meanwhile I eat anything calorific I can get my hands on during Friday nights) and came back lazing around. Whilst I was sitting in Starbucks at the airport (he thought I was doing my make up, getting ready for Edinburgh) I asked him what he was up to the next day for his birthday and he said “nothing much, just going to get my beard trimmed in the morning”. Oh flip. I wanted to shout; YOU CAN’T GET YOUR BEARD TRIMMED IN THE MORNING BECAUSE YOU’RE GOING TO PARIS YOU NUMPTY. But of course, I couldn’t. Instead I replied with a “Oh, really? Why don’t you go just now, saves you going in the morning?”. I got a swift no, I can’t be bothered in reply. Now, of course he could have just gone to Paris with a fuzzy beard but he’s so particular about it that I didn’t want all the moaning and groaning of “wish I had known to get my beard sorted” the following day. So, quick thinking me messaged his brothers and asked them to somehow get him in a barber’s chair without revealing what was going on. My eldest brother in law, God love him is not the best at keeping secrets but he assured me that Atteeq was getting his ‘shape up’ and hadn’t a clue about what was going on. He told him that he was taking him somewhere early morning the following day for his birthday but he wasn’t allowed to tell me or Ash. Subtle.

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Couple of hours later and I was standing in Ash’s room with the lights off in my 120mm Louboutin heels unable to breathe in a figure hugging dress waiting for my cue to surprise him. By this point I was starving because all I had eaten that day was SOUP due to the ridiculously tight dress I was wearing. I had raced home after work, quick shower and change later I was on my way to the airport! All I wanted to do was go out and shout SURPRISEEEEEE but alas I had to wait for the right moment.  Now just as I was about to head downstairs I heard Atteeq running up the stairs followed by an “I’M HAVING A SHOWER” followed by a slamming of the bathroom door.

By this point I was ready to slice my limbs off because I was tired, hungry and struggling to stand in my daft, high shoes. After his 15 minute shower I was ready to head down when he tried to ENTER Ash’s room to see what was going on. He had obviously cottoned on to the fact that everyone was acting fishy including my dearest brother in law who randomly decided to whip his phone out to film his reaction an hour before the surprise even took place. I’m giggling to myself thinking about the lot of us. What a bunch? Me hiding for about an hour upstairs unable to come down because we couldn’t find matches to light the candles for the cake/Atteeq deciding to take an impromptu shower for no reason/brother in law about to self-combust because he couldn’t keep the secret in any longer. It makes me laugh so much that whenever we try and organise surprises everything goes belly up but that’s what makes it fun eh? We will look back at these things in years to come and laugh. I’m laughing now and it was just a week ago. Atteeq had grown suspicious on the account of the fact that his brother had said there was a surprise involved but when I finally got downstairs, it was clear to see that he hadn’t a clue that I was going to be there on his birthday.

He looked as though he had seen a ghost and after a few seconds said “I thought you were in Edinburgh”. No, you lucky human being. I’m here! Okay I didn’t say that. It honestly was such a relief to just get the first part of the surprise out of the way but we were all on edge just waiting for Adeel (Atteeq’s elder brother) to blurt out that he was going to Paris. After the surprise element had worn down we sat down to eat. Finally, I could consume solid foods again now that he had seen me in my jazzy dress with a flat stomach. At this point I realised that I was extremely overdressed and everyone else was in their loungewear or pyjamas. Who cares, I’m always overdressed! A bit too much on this occasion but oh well, YOLO and all that. After eating, Atteeq cut his cake and we took some pictures. Obviously.

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Youngest brother in law Sohail looking like the newest member of One Direction! Husband looking like he's off to the North Pole.

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With my eldest brother in law Adeel who drives us all insane but we love him just as much!

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DAT BEARD DOE.

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Me acting cute for no reason.

Well done to the boys for being good sports and taking pictures in their jammies. The girls weren’t so obliging of course but I love them too! Promise.

I literally look like I’m off to the Oscars whilst the boys looked like they were off to the local gym. Despite all the drama and the surprise nearly being ruined so many times, I still enjoyed myself so much and appreciated everyone doing their wee bit to try and ensure everything ran smoothly!

Finally, it was time for presents! I had spent weeks thinking this through and it all paid off. I wanted to make the present special and didn’t want to just say we were off to Paris so I decided to give Atteeq a series of clues that would eventually lead to the fact that his birthday present was the trip.

I presented him with a red box with a huge bow which sadly I didn’t get any pictures of because I was so busy trying to stay alive in my tight dress upstairs.

Inside the box there were four items that he had to open. Each one would take him one step closer to his actual present!

Item number one was a padlock engraved with our names and the date of his birthday.

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He took one look at it and looked confused as though to say “Wow, a padlock – just what I’ve always wanted. Not”. After a few seconds though, the bucket list must have registered in his mind and he said “Ohhhh, I get it! This one’s for the future!” Men eh?

Item number two was my favourite!

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I had this card commissioned by illustrator Yaz Raja who I met via Instagram. I had thought up of the idea for the card and Yaz brought it to life through her beautiful art work. I was blown away by her work and Atteeq was too. I will bring you more details about the card and the commission in a future post. On the inside there was the message;

“On your 25th birthday it’s time to start ticking off our bucket list”.

At this point you would obviously think I pretty much gave it away right? Nope, he still didn’t get it.

Item number three came in beautiful packaging!

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I knew he had needed a wallet and Aspinal of London do such lovely wallets that it was the perfect gift! Plus, you know I’m a sucker for good packaging. I had put 100 Euros inside the wallet for him to spend in Paris and to give him another clue about the trip. He absolutely loved the wallet and when I asked him to look inside, he saw the Euros and looked very confused. Still, he had no clue about Paris. I mean, I had only given him a padlock with our names engraved on it, a card with us standing in front of the Eiffel Tower painted at the front and a wallet with Euros inside. Why on earth would you get it eh?

Item number four was an envelope with our boarding cards inside. Yeeeeehaaaaaaa.

And so that was my present to my husband for his 25th birthday. It took weeks of planning but it was so worth it seeing the look on his face and how happy he was. The trip was absolutely amazing and we had the best time. But, I will save that for my next post. I wasn’t expecting this one to be so long.

I guess I’ve got my mojo back?

We spent the Sunday with the family and it was so nice getting to spend time with everyone. Atteeq’s eldest sister did my make up, Ash did mehndi on me and we cooked together. Check out her work on Instagram (@mspositivity1) because her mehndi is lovely! Sometimes it’s just nice to have a day in right?

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Thank you lovely Sadaf for doing my make up!

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Ash's work on youngest sister Husna.

Keep your eyes peeled for my next post where I will be telling you about how to do Paris in a day, the best places to see and of course bringing you my Paris lookbook!

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Selfie central in front of the Louvre.

Sorry this one wasn’t really about the fashion. Sometimes, just sometimes I just want to write more about the family so that in years to come my grandchildren can read these posts and think their grandmother was so cool. I’m kinda cool okay?

Love, as always,

@missmulberry

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Floral midis and faux fur

Lately I’ve been so lethargic, just so BLAH. All I want to do is sleep or lie on the couch like a lump ad do nothing which is so unlike me because I’m always doing something. I don’t even want to write on here which is something because this is one of my most favourite hobbies. I need to snap out of it though – 2015 is moving on swiftly and I have 38574878476things to do. Maybe that’s why I’ve lost all my mojo…maybe I’m secretly panicking about all the changes that are about to occur and all that I have to organise by the summer? A wedding, moving my entire life to a new place and oh marriage. Yikes. Well, clearly I’m not SECRETLY panicking am I?

I’m sure I will snap out of it soon. 

Today I bring you a new look put together based around this floral skirt.

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Cropped knit – Asos
Skirt – Asos
Shoes – Dorothy Perkins
Hat – Topshop
Bag – Dune
Watch – Kennett Timepieces (enter kennett10 atwww.kennettonline.com to get 10% off all watches for a limited time. See previous post!)

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I bought this midi skirt a few months ago but haven’t really had the chance to wear it. It’s so hard wearing nice, girly things in the winter when you’re living in the UK because you usually need to wear knee high boots to save you from ice and the likes. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t wear fun stuff like this here and there. The faux fur hat and bag went so well together and I chose these because there were plum coloured florals within the skirt. I felt so Russian.

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I’m the first to admit, black tights do spoil a lot of outfits I put together but it’s freezing cold so it’s either hypothermia or fashion. For once, I will choose something else over the latter.

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What do we think of this look?

Would you rock it?

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Remember to use #missmulberry on Instagram if you want me to see your outfits and I will feature my favourite.

Here’s hoping I break out of my phase soon and start writing on here more regularly.
 
Love always,

@missmulberry

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Kennett Timepieces

I absolutely love a good watch. It just finishes off an outfit don’t you think? But, a watch can tell you more than just the time, it can tell you a lot about a person. For example, my better half (who is going to kill me for including this in this post) used to have a bright gold, D&G, diamond encrusted monstrosity around his wrist during his bad boy days. Of course this gaudy possession was testimony to his carefree, I don’t know what I’m doing in life because I’m a teenage boy so I’ll just spend my wages on a D&G watch kind of phase that he went through. Thankfully he came out the other end and now wears a much more subtle GC black and rose gold number to match mine. His and hers watches? Thoughts? Pathetic? I think it’s cute. I had a Barbie one back in the day, the kind that would require you to flip Barbie’s head to view the digital time. Remember those?

Over the years I’ve had lots of different watches and when I look back at them all I would say they each represent a different part of my life. We all had a huge Guess watch when we were 16 right? I totally look at people’s watches not just because I’m a creep but because I think a watch can tell you a lot about a person’s personality. Maybe it’s just me and my psycho nature to think there is meaning behind each and every thing in the world or maybe it’s true. Either way, today’s post is about a certain watch (shock, horror) and I am so excited to show you this collaboration.

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Kennett Timepieces recently sent me their signature Savro watch in rose gold and brown to review and I haven’t stopped wearing it since. I first came across this up and coming brand in 2011 when the brand was just two years old. My best friend Camilla was gifted the same watch in white and rose gold for her 21st birthday by her parents and I remember loving the classic design straight away. That’s the first thing you will note about the Savro Timepiece – it is just timeless. Pardon the pun. You could wear this watch today or twenty years from now and it will still be in fashion.

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Before I tell you about the watch in detail let me tell you a little bit about the branding story. you know I love a good story and this one is nothing short of inspiring for all budding, young entrepreneurs.

The brand was founded by Tom Kennett in 2009 when he decided to design a Timepiece for his father’s 60th birthday present.

Tom’s father was notoriously difficult to buy for (which guy isn’t eh?) as he had every gadget around but both father and son shared a love for watches and that became the inspiration for Tom to design his first watch, The Savro. From then on the watch was appreciated and brand Kennett was born. Isn’t that just such a lovely story? How many of us even put a bit of effort into buying a present for our dad’s these days? Never mind actually design a timepiece just for him?! It’s quite sweet knowing that the watch currently around my wrist was originally designed for Mr Kennett and now there’s all these different versions of that watch worn by so many different people.

Now, on to the actual watch before I start crying or something for heavens sake! Okay, so the first thing I noticed about the watch was how expensive it looked.

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The quality of the piece is clear to be seen the moment you lay eyes on it. It just LOOKS very well made based on first impressions but for the basis of this review I’ve of course analysed every little bit of the watch. First impressions though, 10/10.

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The design process

Now, I love rose gold so of course I’m going to say the rose gold mirror finish looks good with the brown leather strap. The strap is made from luxury calf leather which compliments the Mother of Pearl dial very well. Within the dial, the font is slick and sophisticated, finished off with genuine Swarvoski crystal index markers. There are two pushers at either side of the crown of the watch giving it a classic feel. My favourite aspect of the watch has to be the three sub dials which admittedly are quite unusual for a ladies watch. I often say that I prefer mens watches more because of the sub dials and how classic they look so this piece is just a treat for me. The dials consist of 24 hour, Minutes elapsed and seconds with date function included at the 4’o clock position.

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Not only is The Savro aesthetically pleasing but it is also made very well with premium mineral glass stainless steel push fit case back and a traditional engraved buckle. This watch is water resistant to five atmospheres and comes with a two year Kennett Timepiece mechanical warranty. Overall, The Savro is a classy watch that can be worn every day either casually or more dressy at night. I see this one being a part of my arm candy for a very long time.

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This watch retails at £260 which I think is a very reasonable price for what you are getting.

HOW AND EVER!

You can get it for an even better price just for reading this blog. More on this later.

I’ve been having a wee look at some of the other pieces on the Kennett website and have a few favourites that I thought I would share with you all.

My top 5 picks from Kennett brand, in no specific order are;

1. Lady Ceramic

https://www.kennettonline.com/item/1/LadyCeramic/Lady-Ceramic.html

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2. Lady Savro Rose Gold Black Empire

This one is a modern twist on the Savro I am wearing. Love this one!

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https://www.kennettonline.com/item/15/LadySavroEmpire/Lady-Savro-Rose-Gold-Brown-Empire.html

3. Savro Silver White Black

https://www.kennettonline.com/item/15/LadySavroEmpire/Lady-Savro-Rose-Gold-Brown-Empire.html

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Although this is a mens watch I can see myself buying this for Atteeq and then wearing it myself. Another timeless timepiece. I’m full of puns today I tell you.

4. Challenger Rose Carbon Dark Brown

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https://www.kennettonline.com/item/55/Challenger/Challenger-Rose-Carbon-Dark-Brown.html

It was my brother that showed me this one actually. To me this watch looks as though it would cost between £500-£600 but it is only £250. I love the fact that you can get a really nice watch from this brand but still for a reasonable price. Pricing is definitely a major plus for Kennett Timepieces.

5. Valour White on Orange.

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Bit more quirky but you know me and bright colours. This retails at only £150.

https://www.kennettonline.com/item/63/Valour/Valour-White-on-Orange.html

Each style of watch comes in a variety of colours and you can check out the full range at;

http://www.kennettonline.com.

Direct link to the watch I am wearing.

https://www.kennettonline.com/item/3/LadySavro/Lady-Savro-Rose-Gold-Brown.html

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Kennett watches are also stocked at online watch retailers such as Watch Shop.

But the most exciting thing is that you can get 10% off all watches on http://www.kennettonline.com using the discount code “kennett10”. Tom was kind enough to offer this discount, exclusive to all those that read this blog and follow me on Instagram. That means that you can buy the watch I’m wearing for £234 instead of £260. Simply browse the Kennett Brand website, make your purchase and enter “kennett10” at the checkout.

If you do buy a Kennett Timepiece then I would love to see how you wore it! You can tag me on Instagram @missmulberry or email me your pictures on mulberryalamode@gmail.com. I would love to share the best ones in a follow up post. Remember to use #kennettbrand and #missmulberry if you want me to see it as well.

I really do love the pieces I have shown you today and can’t wait to see what you buy! The brand headquarters are based in Glasgow as Tom is Scottish himself and it’s so nice to see young Scottish people showing so much creativity and ambition. Why am I getting so patriotic for? Go Scots!

P.S. Here’s a sneak peak into my next post which will feature this outfit. All outfit details will be shared next time.

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Till then, lots of love.

@missmulberry

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I’m back, I’m bad and I’m nationwide!

Who remembers the TV show 8 Simple Rules?

I swear I would watch that show every single day of my life and laugh and laugh and then Paul, the dad, died and I actually sobbed during that episode when Bridget comes downstairs dressed like a slut in a red dress and then starts crying when she gets to the door and says “dad would never have let me get this far”. By that point I had just about gone into cardiac arrest thinking in every episode she wore short skirts or whatever and her dad told her off and she moaned about it but then he dies and she WANTS him to say get back in here and wear something longer… but he can’t. The cycle of life eh? We always want the things we can’t have and the things that are best for us, we don’t realise they are until it’s gone basically. I remember in one episode of 8 Simple Rules, Bridget said; I’M BACK, I’M BAD AND I’M NATIONWIDE.

I thought this quote from her was very fitting for my first post back after nearly a two month sabbatical from the world of blogging. I am back, I am not bad and I don’t even know what ‘I’m nationwide’ means actually but it sounds good right?

So, quick recap. The last time I wrote on here was whilst I was sitting in an airport lounge at Manchester airport nibbling on peanuts or something daft like that. I had the trip of a lifetime in Pakistan for three weeks where I did a huge chunk of my wedding shopping and met lots of amazing people. I posted a lot on Instagram (@missmulberry) about it but I think I will leave the blogging about it for now because I wouldn’t even know where to begin and my stories will go on forever.

I came back in the first week of January but my mum stayed on hence why I have been so AWOL. I have literally just been going to work, coming home, cooking, cleaning, ironing, sleeping and repeating for the last month or so. Mother is coming back in two weeks time but spoke of extending her ticket and I just about had a hairy canary at the thought. I tell you…looking after a house is a full time job in itself and people are not given enough credit for looking after their home and families. I’m the eldest sibling and the most annoying when it comes to cleaning etc so I’ve pretty much been driving my siblings insane making them clean like mad but I’ve been cooking lots and using them as guinea pigs so that by the time I move in with le husband in the summer I will be an expert. Smart right? But yes,  working full time and doing the general cleaning, cooking etc does take it out of you but like my title says I’m back and I’m bad! Just go with it.

Today I’m bringing you a look from this weekend when I was out for my bestie Camilla’s birthday party.

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Jumpsuit, Kimono and Necklace – Zara
Shoes – Christian Louboutin

I picked up this entire outfit minus the shoes in the Zara sale for under £35 would you believe? I missed all the Boxing Day sales since I was in Pakistan at the time but the other day I popped into Zara and things had been reduced even more since the sales are nearing the end so I ended up with a few bargains. I instantly fell in love with that velvet kimono and I see me wearing that lots.

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The only thing is the fringed bits kept hooking on to things and at one point I was hooked on to a door handle the other night and it was one of those really dumb things that would happen on Mr Bean or something.

I loved the green of this jumpsuit but it looks SO different in the different lightning.

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Okay so this thing looks like it’s 15 different shades of green?! I would say the flash makes it look much more brighter than it is  but the pictures without the flash make it look far too dull. In reality it is the perfect emerald green which I think is a colour that suit Asian skin tones so much. I hate the fact that I can barely ever get pictures of outfits outside when I’m going out in the evening and it’s so dark so quickly. Half the time it’s raining. Think I need to be a blogger in the Bahamas, not Scotland so that you can actually see what colours my outfits really are.

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Make up wise I was having one of those nights where you are let loose with every make up item you have. I just got carried away and ended up looking like I had used a crayon all over my eyes. Whoopsies. One day my make up skills will improve I tell you. One day soon I hope!

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I have lots of new outfit posts coming up but before I go let me leave you with a joke I made earlier that has still got me cracking up.

Meet my friend Mr Philips…

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He’s steamy!

Get it??

It sounds funnier in my head okay?

@missmulberry

P.S. Yes in real life I walk around looking like I have been dragged through a bush and go wild with a big steam iron removing crease at a time out of clothes every night whilst I watch Star Plus.

JK I’m totally glam.

Okay just kidding properly this time.

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