Elevate Every Day

Mindfulness. It’s something we seem to talk a lot about these days. When you’re scrolling through Instagram feed and Facebook updates, mindfulness is probably the last thing you’re thinking about though. But – sharing aside – social networks do present us with a practical way to record our daily lives and save memories to look back over later.

How about if you could keep your happy moments and memories to treasure – without having to think about likes, comments or anyone else’s opinion? Meet Elevate: “a beautifully simple way to keep track of the small happy moments in life.” Free to download, the app allows you to take small digital notes – every day, or as often as you like – and save them to look back on later, along with corresponding images.

Elevate is private to you – no social sharing is involved here – meaning that it’s a lovely way to start being mindful about those simple, everyday moments that make you happy. A long walk in the park on a sunny afternoon? Coffee and a catch up with a close friend? Snuggling on the sofa with your kids? Reading your favourite poems on Sunday morning? Add them to Elevate. “No sharing. No likes. Focus on remembering the good times”. Open the app, add details of what you’re remembering, plus the date and time – then take a photograph or add a stock image if you prefer. Press save, et voila.

Feeling sad, depressed or just in need of a little inspiration? Open up Elevate and look through your happy moments and those times you want remember. Mindful scrolling and celebrating those small wins? #winning

For more information, see the Elevate website. Download for iOS devices here and for Android devices here.

RIH Drinks

We like to think we have a pretty healthy relationship with gin, and honestly if you’d told us that we’d fall head over heels for a anything else, we’d have assured you of our unshakable devotion. Well, that was until we met Freya. Don’t worry, you’re not going completely mad as you read this… We’re talking about Freya: an exquisite, unique natural spirit distilled from the purest birch sap. And yes, we mean birch trees.

freya-birch-spirit

It’s hard to describe the flavour of the 40% ABV spirit accurately, but crisp, clean and elegant are all words that come to mind. It’s genuinely unlike anything we’ve ever tried before. And once you’ve tried Freya, you won’t want to drink anything else –  vodka, gin and tequila all seem boring, banal, bland and rather flat in flavour. So what does one drink with Freya? It’s best to keep things simple: poured over ice and topped up with tonic is all you need to do – no complex mixology skills required. As you can see, we’ve added a little fresh mint, some lemon and a few slices of fruit, that’s all.

freya-natural-birch-spirit

So how did this miraculously delicious spirit come about? Freya’s founder Dave Wallwork explains: “I wanted to create a completely new spirit for the best bartenders to build cocktails with from this great base ingredient.” And the name? “Freya was the Norse goddess of Love, life and fertility. A strong character worshipped in the wild forests in Springtime. The perfect embodiment of our new wild spirit.”

freya

How is this magnificent creation made? “We source the birch sap from wild forests in Northern Europe. The trees are tapped each spring using sustainable and traditional methods.The sap is then frozen and brought to the UK where our craft distillery uses it to create Freya.” It’s true that there’s a unique natural freshness to Freya – like a crisp, cold walk on a winter’s day, it’s both invigorating and energising.

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Try Freya once, and you won’t walk to drink anything else. Wine, beer and even gin all seem like poor substitutes for such a beautifully light, fresh, clean-tasting spirit. Sipped over ice, served martini-style or paired with tonic, there’s nothing quite like Freya.

For more information and to find stockists of and bars serving Freya, see the brand’s website.

New Books 2017

There are plenty of reasons to be glad that it’s a new year – the last one wasn’t exactly uneventful – but an array of new books is certainly one of them, especially when there are so many juicy novels being published.

First up is Little Deaths by Emma Flint (Picador, 12th Jan), a retelling of a real life murder case from the 1960s. Over a sweltering New York summer, Ruth Malone’s two small children go missing and turn up brutally murdered; almost immediately, the police and the neighbors point the finger at her, a struggling single mother with a penchant for drink. Composed and remote despite this, Ruth is judged for not performing as the exemplary grieving mother, and soon police and press are digging through her life to paint it as sordid and scandalous. Cleverly written – we know from the outset she is in jail, what we don’t know is whether she is culpable – Flint examines the double standards applied to women in the public eye and at the same time carves out a thrilling, unpredictable mystery based on a real case.

Speaking of women accused of murder; Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done goes back a century and picks up the pieces of the notorious Lizzie Borden case. The real-life Borden was put on trail for the axe-murders of her father and stepmother but never convicted despite a high-profile trial. Schmidt takes a look at the day leading up to the slayings and the one after, with a cast of (real life) characters including Lizzie’s shady uncle, her loyal sister, and the miserable Irish maid. Lizzie herself is variously portrayed as Machiavellian and vulnerable; can she even be held responsible for her actions? It’s claustrophobic, creepy fun; every character has a motive and everyone is so hateful you think they deserve what they get. It’s not out until May, and we can’t wait!

Moving away from murder, Katie Khan’s Hold Back the Stars (Doubleday, 26th Jan) is a sweetly written tearjerker about a couple of astronauts with 90 minutes to live. Instead of using that time to find a way to survive, it’s a chance for them to revisit the highs and lows of their relationship; which it turns out took place on a dystopian version of earth where young people aren’t supposed to form permanent connections. So far, so Logan’s Run, but Khan elevates it from stuntish sci-fi to create a charming ‘he said, she said’ romance that would make an excellent film. The ending felt a bit like a cop out, but nonetheless I enjoyed the ride.

Staying with the sci fi theme, The Possessions, by Sara Flannery Murphy (Scribe UK, 9th March) is the unusual novel with a clever premise that more than delivers. Edie is a ‘body’ at the Elysium Society; when she takes a pill she is possessed by the dead relative of whichever paying client is in the room at the time. For five years she does the job professionally, never getting emotionally attached, until she meets Patrick, who is seeking to reconnect with his dead wife Sylvia. But what kind of relationship can a ghost have? And what really went on in Patrick and Sylvia’s marriage?

With January 20th and Trump’s inauguration on the horizon, American fiction is perhaps far more desirable than reality. Nathan Hill’s debut, The Nix (Picador, 26th Jan) is a doorstop of a book in the vein of Donna Tartt or Garth Risk Hallberg – more than 600 pages of sweeping narrative, moving between the student protests of the 1960s, 1980s suburbia, and the safe spaces of the modern university campus. The main focus is the relationship between Samuel, a college professor and failed writer, and his mother, Faye, who disappeared when he was eight. Her arrest for an attack on a presidential candidate throws them back together and prompts him to look at her life before and after motherhood. There are occasional detours that come across as indulgent on Hill’s part – the entitled student who plagues Samuel’s life is a thinly drawn-caricature – but overall this is a masterpiece of a book that will keep you hooked until the end.

For non-fiction fans, Samantha Ellis offers the chance to brush up on your Bronte trivia with a new biography of Anne Bronte. Take Courage (Chatto & Windus, 12th Jan) paints the youngest and littlest known sister as the greatest, the most talented, and the most feminist of them all, exploring her short but remarkable life through her poetry, letters and novels. It’s a treasure trove of information about Haworth and the fantasy worlds the Bronte siblings spawned; Charlotte in particular comes off poorly for not appreciating Anne’s talent. If you enjoyed Ellis’s first book, How to be a Heroine, this won’t disappoint.

Keeping A Healthy Balance

New year’s resolutions can mean giving up booze, signing up to a punishing gym routine and promising ourselves to cut out food groups. But instead of restricting yourself, why not follow the DOSE mantra and “work out, eat well, balance”? Here’s five ways to get into healthy hedonism – which means integrating exercise with eating well and mindful drinking to promote happiness and balance…

Drink better

Instead of the ‘I’m never going to drink again’ cliché, choose drink more mindfully and moderately in 2017. Rather than bingeing on sugary pints, bottles of wine and bubbles, try mixing a ginger JARR Kombucha tea with a splash of gin and lemon, or UGLY sparkling grapefruit and pineapple water with a dash of vodka. Or be a rebel and go alcohol-free… There are plenty of options out there like Superbock and Bitburger Drive non-alcoholic beers and Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit made from six botanicals that’s the next best thing to a Gin & Tonic. If you’re going to drink bubbles, choose one that cuts back on the sugar like Skinny Champagne.

Mix up your workouts

Don’t get hooked on one type of fitness class. Your body will reach a plateau preventing you from seeing results and by training the same parts of your body you run the risk of injury – not to mention it gets boring and repetitive! Shock the body by working different muscle groups to boost your metabolism, strength and endurance. If you like high-intensity interval training, stretch out with Pilates, or if you’re a spinner, work the upper body with yoga and TRX. Boutiques are including more offerings under one roof so you can mix up your workouts without leaving your favourite studio. Try Another Space in Covent Garden which offers Cycle, HIIT and Yoga all under one roof, or Frame (branches across the city) which hosts a endless variety of classes every day.

Plan an epic challenge

There’s nothing like an over-indulgent festive period to trigger a new fitness challenge. Whether it’s a marathon, bike ride or coastal hike, part of the fun in setting a new goal is linked to dopamine: the neurotransmitter that affects motivation. There are many ways to increase dopamine levels during training like listening to playlists that leave you feeling like a badass and visualising what it will feel like on reaching your goal. We are picturing an awful lot of wine and cheese after the Paris marathon! To keep dopamine flowing long-term, set small goals throughout your training and reward efforts every time a goal is reached. Why not team up with a buddy and run to brunch? Multi-tasking, hello!

Learn the art of breathing

Controlled breathing – like exercise – combats stress and anxiety. It’s just harder to do and for some reason, harder to talk about too… There are 23,040 breaths in each day but few we are actually aware of. When was the last time you took a moment to consciously inhale or exhale? Having more awareness of our breath connects us to the way we move, think and feel. By aligning our breathing with the beat of our heart we can breathe away stress – that’s why exercise feels so good! But when you can’t make it to the studio or outside for a run, there are some simple breathing techniques you can do in a few minutes. We’re currently trialing an app called Breathe Sync.

Get out and about in nature

For your next holiday, make sure you go beyond the hotel and stimulate your sense of adventure – plus there’s no need to travel quite so far either! Why not go horse riding in Ireland, climbing in Scotland, hiking in the Lake District, surfing in Devon or walk the coastal path in Cornwall? Getting out in nature is the best cure for the soul and is sure to leave you feeling revived. Reward your efforts with a chilled, freshly-poured pint at the pub!

DOSE is an online destination for healthy hedonists that fuses the worlds of fitness, healthy food and drink. Whether you’re exercising, socialising with friends, eating well or rewarding efforts over a glass (or two), we want to lead you to your feel good hormones (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphin) to help you stay balanced. Founded in early 2016 as a weekly newsletter sent directly to your inbox with a guide to where to work out, find fuel and a healthier tipple. Everyone’s DOSE is different, find yours. Sign up for the newsletter here, and don’t forget to follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram too.

Beat The Filter Bubble in 2017

The phenomena of the filter bubble has been a big topic in 2016. Those shocked by the outcome of the Brexit vote and the American election realised that there is a distinct lack of diversity coming from their news channels. Could you name anyone from your social circle who voted for the opposing point of view? You weren’t the only one!

There are problems from the other side too. The information on offer? Fake, intolerant and racist. However, changing other people’s behaviour is something that you have very little control over. But what you can do as a New Year’s Resolution for 2017 is to make sure that the opinions you encounter are as diverse as possible, so that you have a more thorough understanding of how the world is working. Here are some ideas of how to beat the filter bubble – and get out of the echo chamber…

Try Volunteering

The filter bubble is ultimately something that happens online. Algorithms are able to determine the type of articles you like and engage with, so they offer you similar articles. By volunteering you expose yourself to viewpoints and people who sit outside this filter bubble.

Volunteering can be difficult to fit into your schedule, but there are some things you can do which don’t require a regular commitment. Free Cakes for Kids encourages you to bake cakes for children who would not otherwise get one. Old people’s homes regularly put on events or encourage visitors. Running clubs like Good Gym help you speak to people from a variety of different backgrounds, and if you live somewhere like London, there are many different opportunities to choose from.

Read offline – not just online

Try to discover new information sources offline as well as online. Visit second hand book stores and get their recommendations for new books. Go to a coffee shop on Saturday mornings, leave your phone at home and buy a paper or a magazine that you wouldn’t normally read. Join a book club that aims to read books that haven’t been nominated for awards.

Quite often this type of activity demands that you view your time differently. Instead of trying to read the best and most rewarding fiction and non-fiction, you are trying to read a diverse range of titles. So your aim cannot be to maximise the value you get from your time – instead it is to try and have a wide range of opinions and experiences. Some you won’t enjoy, and some won’t be particularly articulate, but you are opening yourself up to new ideas. In many ways it’s similar to going travelling for a couple of months.

Sign up for mailing lists for the opposing political parties

One of the reasons why getting out of a filter bubble is so hard is because it is difficult to know where to begin. However, the first steps are there for everyone to take. If you sign up to a mailing list for a different newspaper or political party then you’ll learn about different points of view. More specifically you’ll understand what the readers think is most important because of the focus of the articles and material. From there, you’ll be able to expand your research further.

Many people believe that it’s the lack of information which is the issue when it comes to filter bubbles, but that’s not the case. It’s your ability to access that information – and we should re-teach ourselves how to do this, like we taught ourselves how to use a library in the 90s and Google in the 00s. Perhaps we need to create a new system in the 10s.

Notice when everyone has the same opinion as you

Whenever you are in a room or on social media and everyone has more or a less the same views, then note that you are probably in a filter bubble. Sometimes these filter bubbles are beneficial – like if you are in a university seminar room or in a business meeting. It’s helpful to be around people who have similar viewpoints so you can work together!

However, if you’re at the pub or in a bar, or you’re watching your social media feed, then simply recognise that there may be other opinions out there that are not contributing to the discussion. Again, simple awareness that these bubbles exist, and understand what issues may sit inside them is incredibly helpful in lifting yourself out of that echo-chamber.

Sign up to The Echo Chamber Club

Finally, sign up to The Echo Chamber Club. As a disclaimer, it is a weekly newsletter that I run, but we go out of our way to monitor where a ‘liberal and progressive’ echo-chamber lies and then curate articles that show you a different point of view. Previous newsletters have included the Russian perspective on the Syrian War, an argument in favour of safe spaces, and a new way of understanding inflation in a global world.


Alice Thwaite is founder and editor-in-chief of The Echo Chamber Club – a weekly newsletter that distributes different points of view to the liberal / progressive norm. The ECC has just released a podcast in which we interview key thinkers; philosophers, journalists, economists and politicians about their values. The idea is that we can then strengthen what it means to have centrist political views.

Tired of Targeted Ads?

Cue cute drooling babies, gurgling along vaguely to the tune of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, and a direct question to the viewer, ‘Are you trying for a baby?’ An advert I’m getting quite familiar with, and quite sick of, to be frank, for digital ovulation tests. As it happens, I’m not trying for a baby. I simply want to watch a video about cats. This ad is relentlessly broadcast to me whenever I watch anything online.

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And it’s not like it’s this ad sometimes, and others at other times. I can’t remember the last time I was shown a different ad as the inevitable prelude to an online video. Except for a few months ago when I was faced with endless cycles of a similarly vomit-inducing digital pregnancy test ad from the same company. I don’t know what the Internet knows about me, but it probably knows I’m a woman in my early thirties and I can only assume it’s these factors that result in this unwelcome bombardment of babbling infants.

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But it doesn’t stop there. Since this particular advert got my back up, I’ve taken more notice of the targeted advertising that I receive more generally. Over the past month, the adverts I’ve seen include: chocolate, cake décor, laundry detergent, cleaning products, vacuum cleaners, wedding photography, children’s toys, baby formula, and – best of all – ‘sleep tips for new parents’ from a high street life insurance company. How kind of them.

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If I look at this list and think about the ‘profile’ these organisations have built up of me, it’s a worryingly backwards one. While the chocolate is fair enough (although I am dubious as to whether they promote to males of the same age) it appears to me that my profile is that of a mother (or aspiring mother) who should be married, or at least thinking about getting married, who bakes cakes, cleans the bathroom, does laundry and enjoys vacuuming.

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Is it just me, or does this sound like we’ve gone back 50 years? Promoting these products specifically to women in their thirties appears to be reinforcing outdated social stereotypes that our generation assumed had been committed period dramas and ironic Ladybird books. Aside from the simmering rage this realisation stirred up, it also – in the back of my mind – got me wondering, should I be thinking about having a baby? I don’t think I want one right now, but why not? I probably should want one. Everyone else I know does. And now my news feed is pretty much telling me it’s imperative that I do!

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While it’s obvious I’ll never be one to get satisfaction from baking or laundry, the baby thing did for a brief moment at least, get me questioning my decisions. Has personalised advertising replaced nagging grannies and broody friends in asking the cringeworthy and dreaded question, ‘so, are you next dear?’ For me (and it seems, lots of other women – check out the comments on this video) this whole thing is annoying and slightly perturbing, but there’s no harm done, I guess. Unless I end up pregnant precisely because those bundles of joy were so damn persuasive.

But what if it were to cause harm? What if I was struggling to conceive, or had lost a baby? Beyond the obvious question of exactly how companies compile their secretive algorithms and profile us, the more worrying question is, while they aim to present us with products that mirror our interests and lifestyle, what if instead, they are moulding our lifestyles, our motivations and our expectations for ourselves?

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There’s been much talk lately in light of the recent Brexit and Trump victories, about how ‘filter bubbles’ (a term coined by Eli Pariser in 2011) can create an imbalanced world view through algorithmic online filtering. I see a distinct parallel between this ‘filter bubble’ affecting the stories we see and the ‘advertising bubble’, which affects which adverts we’re exposed to.

The ramifications of adverts being so targeted as to blinker out alternative views of ourselves are far-reaching and disconcerting. Not fitting the mould that’s being incessantly rammed in our faces will no doubt contribute to feelings of inadequacy, and in some cases, emotional and psychological trauma. It’s only right that tech companies start thinking about the ethical impact, not only of personalised news feeds, but of personalised advertising. If the ‘filter bubble’ is influencing the way we think about the world, so too the ‘advertising bubble’ is influencing the way we think about ourselves. It’s time we take off the social blinkers before we start baking, hoovering and inadvertently trying out those sleep tips for new parents!

Rethinking Dating

Want to know what separates a date that feels like a job interview and a date that feels fun and enjoyable? It’s all in the approach. There are two ways to approach dating – from a place of fear or from a place of love. We’re Project Love, and we’re all about the latter, here’s how you can do it, in five simple ways…

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Be open to being surprised at who you could be attracted to

 
Time after time, when we speak to happy couples, we hear that the women didn’t end up with the kind of guy that they thought they’d end up with. So don’t assume to know what your type is. Rather than focusing on physical attributes, what they do for a living etc, focus on how you want to feel on the date and anchor into that instead. Approach your date with an open heart and mind to give you both the space to show up fully.

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Give up the game!

 
‘Play it cool, ‘don’t reply to messages on weekends’, ‘play hard to get’ – there are so many ‘rules’ to play this game of dating. But the only game that you should be playing is the game of honesty and authenticity. That’s all people ever want from us. When you’re being real, you open up a space for your date to be real too.

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Get inspired

 
If you’re feeling disillusioned about dating then time for a shot of inspiration to get you feeling optimistic again. Think of one or two couples that you know, and whose relationship really inspires you. Write about what you admire about their relationship and as a bonus, spend some time with them too. They are showing you what’s possible for you.

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Explore and experiment with different ways of meeting people

 
Online dating is a great way to meet people but it doesn’t have to be the only way. Ask your friends to be your matchmaker and set you up on a coffee date with someone. And get involved in activities that you enjoy that will also have you meeting new people. You could decide to try something new like a photography course, a printmaking workshop or learning a new language.

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As well as dating other people, don’t forget to date yourself!

 
This is one of our favourite things that we get clients to do – to take themselves out on a date. We’ve had clients do anything from take themselves out to brunch at their fave cafe with a good book to getting dressed up and taking themselves on a solo date to the theatre. Take yourself out and woo yourself – give yourself the same love and respect that you want from someone else.

dating-yourself

Project Love helps women to create a relationship and life that they love, through online courses, 121 coaching programmes, events, workshops and a regular podcast. Their amazing ‘Get Ready For Love’ 30 day online course promises to transform your love life from the inside out. Feeling stuck in love? We’ve got three Get Ready For Love courses to win, plus membership of Project Love’s private Facebook group. To win, simply follow both Running in Heels and Project Love on Instagram, or Facebook (Running in Heels and Project Love on FB). You get an extra entry if you comment/share anywhere on social media, hashtagged with either #runninginheels or #projectlove. Check out Project Love’s testimonials here.You’ve got one week to enter, go go go!

The Edit: Faux Fur

Fashion trends come and go, but we couldn’t be more delighted that this year, faux fur seems to have really come into its own. Not too long ago, it looked like we were heralding the return of real fur, but thankfully with faux fur coats, gilets and scarves looking ever more stylish for Autumn/Winter 2016, there’s even less excuse for mink, fox and all the other non-PETA-approved fabrics. From leopard to stripes and high street to high end, staying warm and stylish has never been easier. Here’s our edit of the best faux fur coats to buy right now…

mango faux fur coats

Mango Leopard faux-fur coat          Mango Faux Fur Jacket

Mango Leopard Faux-Fur Coat

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Missguided Blue Oversized Collar Faux Fur Coat          Missguided Collarless Short Faux Fur Coat

Missguided Navy Bubble Faux Fur Coat

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Mango Faux Fur Coat        Mango Faux Fur Coat

Mango Faux Fur Jacket

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Missguided Pink Bubble Faux Fur Bomber Jacket          Missguided Pink Pressed Faux Fur Coat

Missguided Pink Longline Faux Fur Bomber Jacket

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X Revolve Bonita Faux Fur Jacket          Unreal Fur Dream Faux Fur Jacket

Milly Faux Fur Jacket

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Shrimps Fifi Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat          Shrimps Jean Striped Faux Fur Coat

Shrimps Claude Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat

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Reiss Alexia Faux Fur Coat           Reiss Meyer Faux Fur Gilet

Reiss Alexia Faux Fur Coat

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Whistles Faux Fur Cocoon Coat          Whistles Jacquard Faux Fur Coat

Whistles Duvall Faux Fur Jacket

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Karl Lagerfeld Faux Fur Coat         Elizabeth & James Balin leopard-print faux fur coat

Alice + Olivia Kinsley oversized striped faux fur coat

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Lazy Oaf X Disney 101 Dalmatians Faux Fur Coat          ASOS Faux Fur Cropped Jacket

ASOS Faux Fur Coat in Leopard Print with Contrast Collar

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Zara Short Faux Fur Jacket          Zara Faux Fur Bomber Jacket

Zara Animal Print Faux Fur Coat

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J.Crew Madison Faux Fur Coat          Michael by Michael Kors Leopard-print faux fur wrap coat

J.Crew Madison Geo Striped Faux Fur Coat

SJP’s Must-Have Shoes

When you think of Sex and the City, New York streets, the girls’ epic dating antics and Carrie’s pondering voiceovers are probably what come to mind. And then there was that shoe collection. Yes, when we weren’t lusting over Smith Jarrod et al, it was Sarah Jessica Parker’s incredible footwear that lit up the screen. She might not have invested in property, or done any of those Serious, Important Things, but boy, did Carrie have an amazing collection of shoes. So the news that SJP has created a capsule range of shoes for Net-A-Porter is sweet, sweet music to our ears.

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SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Westminster Metallic Leather Sandals

Launched just in time for the festive season, the collection of party shoes includes heels and flats – all as opulent and eye-catching as you might have hoped! Think jewel-encrusted satin pumps, shimmering metallic leather sandals and bow-adorned heels plus elegant flats and pretty Mary Janes. These are classics, with a twist – SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker’s shoes are timeless pieces to wear this season and next too. Add these show-off shoes to any LBD and you’re good to go. And party dressing made easy is something we think Carrie would definitely approve of!

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SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Windsor Crystal-Embellished Satin Pumps

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Metallic Leather Pumps

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SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Satin Point-Toe Flats

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Tartt Crystal-Embellished Satin Pumps

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SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Lucille bow-embellished satin pumps

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SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Windsor Crystal-Embellished Satin Pumps

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Fugue Glittered Leather Sandals

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SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Satin Pumps

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For more information, and to shop the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker collection, head to Net-A-Porter. Prices range from £245 to £400.

Festive Feasts Help the Homeless

Christmas? If you love the fizz-fuelled, gift-buying, sequin-clad occasion, it’s quite probably the most wonderful time of the year. But if you’re homeless or living in temporary accommodation, it’s likely to be one of the worst. Cold, dark, lonely; most of us can only imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on the streets, fairy lights twinkling cruelly over our heads and on the other side of shop windows.

fat-macys-supperclub

“We really want to challenge the stigma surrounding homelessness”, says Meg Doherty, Founder and CEO of Fat Macy’s: the supper club project that gives the homeless a helping hand. “The people we work with just need a chance” and by training homeless young Londoners to run supper club events so they can save money for a rental deposit, Fat Macy’s does just that. It allows people who have become homeless “to get on with rebuilding their lives, rather than getting stuck in a benefits trap”.

fat-macys-menu-2016

But as well as being a great social enterprise, at Fat Macy’s you’ll also eat one of the best meals you’re likely to get this December. A velvety roasted garlic and potato soup, hearty turkey pie with smashed cranberry sauce and boozy quince trifle make up a menu you’d never guess was cooked up by newly trained twenty-somethings, recently down on their luck.

fat-macys-christmas-menu

Fat Macy’s are hosting twelve evenings throughout December at Clerkenwell’s Printworks Kitchen (a short walk away from Farringdon Tube and a hop and a skip from Exmouth Market). With long sharing tables the sociable atmosphere is electric and it’s a great way to meet new people (what supper clubs are famous for), as well as helping those in need.

fat-macys-helping-the-homeless

Buy your tickets for Fat Macy’s here for £30, including three courses and a welcome cocktail (bargain).  It’s honestly the best night out you’ll have this Christmas and leave you feeling all fuzzy inside. #WIN