Monday, 24 December 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

Reena Rai wearing Ashish x Warehouse red sequin dress for Christmas

The parties are done, the out of office is on and the only thing left to do is put your feet up for Christmas!

This year, I gave myself a big, early gift - a plane ticket to Cuba. I'm currently gearing up for a big festival in a tiny little town to celebrate Christmas Eve before slipping away to an island to soak up the sun on a beach. I'm incredibly grateful to past Reena for having the intuition to book a trip away, the last few weeks have been quite tough and a blissful day by the beach is exactly what I needed for Christmas. Travel is such a tonic, rejuvenating, inspiring and relaxing all in one. 

Anyway, enough about me! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, whether you're celebrating it or not. Whatever you have planned, I hope it's restful and you manage to disconnect even for a little while. Prioritise yourself and your mental health during the festive season. 

I hope you have a blessed day. 

Lots of love,
Reena
x

Dress - Warehouse x Ashish | Heels - Gianvito Rossi (similar)
Photography by Kylie Eyra
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Monday, 10 December 2018

Christmas Party Dress Edit 2018


It's time to get your glad rags on, Christmas party season is upon us. For someone who gleefully gives parties, clubs and large gathering a swerve for the majority of the year, I'm surprisingly eager and enthusiastic about the festivities. Everything from group dinners to work parties and black tie balls are a great excuse to shrug off the boyfriend jeans and oversized jumpers and into something a little more fun. I've rounded up my edit of the BEST Christmas party dresses on the high street.

Dress - Warehouse x Ashish | Heels - Gianvito Rossi (similar)

Photography by Kylie Eyra

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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Why You Should Be Kind To Yourself This Festive Season


Ah, December. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...the John Lewis advert, presents, parties Rudolf and all of the fun and festivities! Even if you're not a huge fan of Christmas itself, I think everyone enjoys letting loose at the end of the year. Unless you're a content creator, that is. Rather than seeing this month as a home run, this time of year seems to exacerbate stress and guilt over all of the things you have left to achieve by the end of the year. 

I've noticed a fair few tweets on my timeline panicking about only having 20-odd days left to achieve a never-ending list of blog posts, shoots, campaigns and content. I've said it many times before but being a content creator is a graft. Especially if you're a 'weekend creator' who also works fulltime. I don't know about you but I feel like I'm in a constant state of juggling my ever-growing to-do list and feeling wracked with guilt about all the things I haven't done yet. 


But enough is enough. Instead of letting anxiety and my inner critic rule and spending the last few weeks of the year burning out trying to achieve everything I set out to do, I’m going to sit back and give myself props for everything I HAVE achieved this year. It’s not very British to admit this but I’ve been working my ass off this year and I have some amazing achievements under my belt. I’ve also seen some of my favourite bloggers working their socks off to achieve incredible things, whether it’s winning awards, working on amazing campaigns, writing books or simply upping their blog game. So why are we beating ourselves up instead of celebrating our successes? Why let a handful of outstanding items taint all of the things we've worked hard to achieve? 

It's hard to focus on what you have achieved and celebrate your success as we live in a society of overachieving and trying to have it all. We wear “stress” and “busy” as a badge of honour. I'm slowly learning that busy ≠ good. Instead of aiming for a life which is bursting at the seams, we should allow ourselves time to pause and celebrate each step towards a goal rather than ticking something off the list only to move straight to the next task. If you don't stop to appreciate your work, you won't find happiness, contentment or joy in what you do. 

This doesn't mean stop setting yourself goals or dial down your ambition, it's just being realistic about your goals and being able to hit pause without being wracked with guilt. I put together a couple of tips to tick off a couple of projects on your to-do list while keeping your sanity over the festive season: 

  1. Set goals...but be realistic. Would you rather do things or do them well?
  2. Prioritise your mental health. Giving yourself an evening, day or even week off when you need it will do you the world of good. 
  3. Remind yourself what you've already achieved this year. 

My most important piece of advice is: give yourself time to let your hair down. Be kind to yourself, take the pressure off and let yourself have fun. 



Co-ord - Missguided | Coat - Max Mara | Bag - Miu Miu | Heels - ASOS (similar)

Photography by Kylie Eyra
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Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas 2017


All of the Christmas presents have been bought, wrapped and delivered. You've eaten, drank and danced at a dozen Christmas parties and get-togethers. It's *finally* time to kick back and actually enjoy the big day. Right? Maybe...or maybe not. 

Whether it's the Hallmark images of an idyllic family gathering for Christmas or a classic, heartwarming festive film, this time of year is *supposed* to be picture perfect but it often isn't for everyone. The Holiday Season can be a very tough on your mental health. Not everyone looks forward to Christmas and at this time of year, I think about people heading back to families they don't get on with or people who don't have families to go home to. Families can be very beautiful but they can also be very isolating. It can be a very lonely time of year for some, especially when you're surrounded by images of how perfect Christmas should be and it's far from your reality. 



Although I love this time of year, I don't subscribe to this idea of a "perfect Christmas". It's a day of happiness and indulgence, which means you should celebrate it however you see fit - whether that's with your family, friends or on your own. It's really important to value and prioritise your mental health, at Christmas and every day. For this reason, I'm spending this Christmas in London for the first time. I'm looking forward to switching off for a couple of days and practising self-care. That's my new Christmas tradition. 

However you choose to celebrate Christmas, I wish you a blessed and beautiful day. 

Lots of love,
Reena
x


Trousers - ASOS
Shoes - ASOS

Photography by Adorngirl.
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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Dress To Impress This Christmas

Anyone else scanning through their calendar for the next couple of weeks and feeling slightly uneasy about the number of social engagements between now and Christmas?! Every single year without fail I get super excited about Christmas and pack my diary full of super fun brunches, dinners and drinks. I just can't help myself, Christmas is a great excuse to catch up with everyone from best friends, family, old colleagues and even past neighbours! Inevitably, I'll scan through my calendar and have a mild panic about what I'm going to wear then end up panic buying entire outfits at lunchtime...or an entire wardrobe on ASOS! This year I'm vowing to be much more organised and only buy a few key pieces which will see me through the party season. I have picked 3 pretty broad trends - sequins, velvet and prints - and of course had to share my top picks from the high street with you!


Sequins

Sequins are a perennial party favourite and for good reason. Who can resist a little sparkle during the festive season?! I have to admit, I'm slightly averse to sequins in everyday life now but even I can't resist the allure of a little disco twinkle. Here are my favourite sequin pieces for the party season.



1. ASOS Edition drop-waist sequin dress - £150
I can't begin to describe how utterly obsessed I am with this dress! A chic, grown-up take on sparkles, it's the antithesis to the teeny dresses you'll probably see in your local 'Spoons on Christmas Eve. Decidedly more covered up, the flute sleeves, drop waist and asymmetric hem are offset by the open back detail which gives this dress a sexy edge. I'd pair it with simple accessories, slicked back hair and statement earrings.

2. TFNC one shoulder sequin dress - £65
Taking more than a little inspiration from Hedi Slimane's final collection at Saint Laurent, this dress takes the best elements of his swansong and adds an extra punch of sass. Fashion might be fawning over the Nineties now but you can't beat a bit of high octane Eighties glam come party season. This one shoulder, berry-tones dress certainly ain't for the faint-hearted. This dress is begging to be worn with statement accessories, shoes and makeup on a night out with the girls.

3. Zara sequin fringed skirt - £69.99
Only Zara could take sequins and fringing and make a skirt so chic even Phoebe Philo would approve. On paper, sequins and fringing could easily end up on the tacky side but the muted tonal shades and simple silhouette make for an understated statement piece. This skirt looks great dressed up for the work Christmas party or worn with a sweatshirt for a family lunch.

4. Peace + Love gold sequin trousers - £60
These trousers are so divine, I have dreams about them. I've been obsessing about sequins since I saw Halpern Studio's sequin-heavy debut at London Fashion Week this February. I've been scouring the high street for a pocket-friendly pair and these are the best going. I actually love the styling here with a minimal bandeau to let the trousers do the talking.

5. Topshop bejewelled knee-high boots - £89
These boots were made for walking! And being admired. Admittedly, if you're looking for a sequinned look for your Christmas you're probably not thinking knee-high boots adorned with sparkles but bear with me. These boots are surprisingly versatile and would look incredible with any dress hanging in your wardrobe as well as thrown on with a pair of jeans and a jumper for a casual dinner. Have I convinced you that you need them...because I may just have convinced myself!


Velvet

The return of velvet has been one of my favourite trends over the last couple of season....you can tell I'm an 80s baby! Velvet is such a beautiful fabric, especially for the autumn/winter season and the high street has really embraced it. Here are my favourite party pieces from your favourite high street retailers:



1. Topshop velvet and lace midi dress - £46
Romantic, decadent and vintage-inspired, this midnight blue number is an essential addition to your party wardrobe. I'm not normally a fan of midi-length dresses for parties but the lace panels of this dress add a sexy edge. I'd wear this with some classic pumps and tassel earrings for a fancy Christmas shindig, think lunch with the future in-laws or dinner with friends.

2. ASOS Maternity velvet dress - £40
How cool is this velvet dress?! Outkast may just describe it as cooler than cool...ice cold. This dress is so covetable I nearly wish I was pregnant so I could rock it. Designed to fit through all stages of pregnancy, I think it's the chicest way to dress your bump for the party season. It's worth booking a couple of extra Christmas get-togethers in the diary so you have more excuses to wear this gorgeous dress!

3. Warehouse velvet trousers - £42

There's a reason why Audrey Hepburn was obsessed with capri pants; they are super flattering. For the Christmas season, simply add velvet and you have a wardrobe staple that will see you through the party season and beyond. One of the added bonuses of this sumptuous fabric is that it's toasty so these trousers will even keep you warm in the wee hours.

4. Pretty Little Thing snake-print velvet dress - £30

Ok so this dress might not be for everyone. I mean it's velvet AND snake print AND has those racy tie up sides. But who doesn't need an OTT dress in their party season arsenal? I'd wear this dress as is for a night with the girls but if you're feeling a little coy, this dress would look great with high waisted opaque tights too.

5. Topshop velvet wrap dress - £39
I love this autumn/winter update to the dress silhouette of summer - the wrap dress. This ivory midi with a touch of lace is beautiful and super easy to style up or down. I'd layer it over a polo for a daytime Christmas celebration or with a pair of statement heels for a more dressed up look in the evening.


Prints

Turn up the volume this party season in some bold, fun prints. Often overlooked, I'm a huge fan of making a style statement with a little pattern, whether it's a winter floral or something bolder like polka dots or leopard print. Here are my favourite party prints: 

I always tend to focus on dresses for party season but sometimes separates are the way to go, especially if you're heading to a shindig after work. This skirt is great as it's office-appropriate with tights, boots and a hoodie. But switch up the top, chuck on some heels and you're totally party ready. 

How delicious this sheer rose-embroidered dress any justice. This pretty dress can be worn with heels or toughened up with this season's must-have OTK boots. I'd go for the latter to give the dress a real edge rather than playing up to its obvious sweetness. 

Florals can be a little tricky in autumn/winter, however, this cute little tea dress in moody tones is spot on. Channeling more than a touch of Erdem, this cute little dress is ideal for a Christmas brunch, lunch or dinner! 

Seen in every AW17 collection from Balenciaga and Loewe to Jacquemus, polka dots are a huge trend this season. Fun and playful, they're the ideal print to wear during the party season. This long sleeve dress is perfect for the chilly evenings and is super cute for chilled out catch ups over the festive period. 

I love this little turquoise leopard print dress, the shot of colour is a welcome update to a classic print. I would wear this to a family lunch or dinner with some cute little ankle boots - the silhouette is perfect for hiding a Christmas dinner food baby! 
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Friday, 9 December 2016

Bailey's Eggnog Recipe

 
 
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Between all the Christmas lights getting switched on, open-air icerinks opening and the stunning festive windows, Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier to London. But it’s my favourite time of the year and when London is at its best. It's actually enjoyable to be snuggled up and cosy, making the most of the festivities.

Being a Londoner, festivities naturally mean an alcoholic beverage. I usually favour Bailey's but last winter I was partial to a hot toddy. A couple of weeks ago, I tried eggnog for the very first time at EatFirst's Festive Feast. Chef Benn Hodges whipped up his special Aussie version which went down very well with our party.


Having piqued my interest, I wanted to start looking into eggnog a little before the festive season get into full swing. Apparently eggnog was one of George Washington's favourite tipples; he made it himself and even aged it for a few days to let the flavour mellow. While I appreciate his enthusiasm and commitment, I feel like President Washington may have taken his eggnog a little too seriously..!

classic eggnog is a fairly straightforward drink which calls for a base of rum mixed together with egg, milk and nutmeg. Some eggnog recipes jazz it up with double cream, condensed milk or cinnamon sticks. I found a very tempting Bailey's Eggnog recipe. This is essentially my dream Christmas cocktail - warm, comforting eggnog combined with my festive favourite Bailey's. I whipped it up this weekend and wanted to share the recipe with you:

Ingredients:
  • 35ml Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 75ml milk
  • 1 split vanilla pod
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A sprinkle of nutmeg
Method:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1tbsp caster sugar until creamy and the sugar begins to dissolve
  2. Mix in 35ml Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur and 75ml milk. Stir in the seeds from a vanilla pod, scraped out with a teaspoon.
  3. Using a grater, grate the sides of a whole nutmeg into the bowl.
  4. With a cocktail strainer, strain the mixture into a Cognac glass.
  5. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, placed inside the glass at an angle.
For more Christmas cocktails check out Diageo's site, thebar.com. 
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Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas x

 
 
t’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’m signing off for a couple of days to spend some much needed time with my family so I’m going to wish you a wonderful Christmas – take this time to enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest. Beyond the commercialisation and gifts, this is a holiday for family and friends who may as well be family. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas full of festive cheer, fun and laughter. See you on the flipside.
 
Lots of love,
Reena
x
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Thursday, 25 December 2014

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas x


Love magazine's advent calendar is my most favourite recent Christmas tradition. This year was a bumper bonanza of babes, including Gigi Hadid and Adriana Lima. Those little tinkers at Love shared the best for last, the unbeatable duo of Cara Delevigne and Kendall Jenner frolicking around and wishing us a merry Christmas.

I hope you have had a wonderful day with your family and loved ones.

Love,
Reena

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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas from Fashion Daydreams


I hope you are all having an utterly fabulous Christmas with your loved ones and getting spoilt rotten! 

Lots of love, 

Reena
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Saturday, 22 December 2012

Last minute Christmas gifts

Twas the weekend before Christmas and....London is heaving with the pitter patter of last minute Christmas shoppers. Here's a quick gift guide of last minute gifts, but you better hurry - time is running out! 



1. For beauty babes: Nails Inc Bling It On Leather & Skulls nail polish - £19
Perfect for beauty-lovers, the Nails Inc leather and skulls nail polish set has been inspired by the key SS13 trends - texture and leather. The polish applied glossy but dries matte with a leather-like texture and the set includes crystal skulls for an extra special touch. 

2. For the man in your life: Tom Ford for Men eau de toilette - £60
There is nothing more sensual than a Tom Ford fragrance. When I recieved a bottle of Black Orchid for Christmas a couple of years ago, I felt so spoilt. Between the beautiful, weighty bottle and delicious scent, it was the perfect present. The Tom Ford for Men scent is equally luxe and sensual, with rich notes of amber accord, cedarwood, patchouli and vetiver, it's a smoky masculine scent and the gift which will keep on giving. 

3. For gadget geeks: Nostalgia Electrics hot air popcorn maker - £59.95
How fun is this retro popcorn maker? It makes up to 12 cups of popcorn per batch in a couple of minutes and the electric popping system uses hot air instead of oil which makes this a super healthy snack.

4. For everyone: Westfield gift card - £ Dependant on your generosity!
Gift cards are usually a total cop out in my book but I would love to find a Westfield gift card in my stocking. With literally hundreds of stores in Westfield White City and Westfield Stratford City, your lucky recipient be completely spoilt for choice, whether they fancy a bit of Aquascutum or Zara. 

5. For fabulous fashionistas: MariaFrancescaPepe Swarovski crystal stud ring - £52, was £75
MariaFrancescaPepe is one of my favourite jewellery designers, hand's down. This ring includes all of her design signatures, including her tough, spikes. 
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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Printemps Christmas window 2011



Christmas may technically be over, but we can still enjoy all things festive, right? I'm still making the most of the awesome telly and the festive overindulgence pass as well as smiling at the twinkling Christmas lights and decorations. I've already posted about the Selfridges Christmas window which was slightly disappointing, especially compared to the Printemps flagship in Paris. The French department store may have an unfair advantage though, like Harrods a couple of months ago, they've had a Chanel take over meaning that the windows were curated by Karl Lagerfeld resulting in very chic and very cool windows. My favourite is the one with the mini Karls. What do you think of the windows? 

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Sunday, 25 December 2011

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Selfridges Winter White Christmas Windows


On Sunday, I strolled past Selfridges and the corner window caught my eye - it was snowing! The snow machine was incredible, totally mesmerising. My picture really doesn't do it justice, you really must see it for yourself and also wind up the musical wind up window, which really worked much to my surprise.
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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Next Christmas press day 2011

Held at the cavernous Old Billingsgate Market, Next's Christmas 2011 press day was a bit of an extravaganza. Earlier in the afternoon, they had a star-studded fashion show with the likes of Jourdan Dunn and Geri Halliwell taking to the catwalk! By the time I arrived, everything had calmed down and I had plenty of time to peruse the collections. Daywear is bold, bright and cosy with lots of snuggly puffa jackets to keep you warm and ditsy prints to brighten up your wardrobe while eveningwear is heavily embellished with liberal smatterings of sequins and beading on gorgeous sheer fabrics and sumptuous jewel tones. The beaded flapper dresses were my favourites as well as the shoes. Those snakeskin heels have just a hint of Yves Saint Laurent about them, don't they? 








The gorgeous homeware collections are also worth a mention, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I do love traditional red and green at Christmas but the icey blue, winter wonderland colours are so chic. 



The kids collections are adorable, aren't they?! Really looking forward to dressing my neices up in the pretty party dresses. My nephew is a little too young to be sorting that dapper suit and bow tie combo but next year....!



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Sunday, 2 January 2011

Blogger's Christmas Dinner

Last month, I thought it would be nice to organise a wee blogger's Christmas get together for some of the lovely folk I've met through the crazy world of fashion blogging.We all see each other pretty regularly but usually we're on official blogger business and taking notes/pictures/asking questions rather than catching up. Oh and I needed to wear my Lanvin x H&M dress in the presence of people who would appreciate it!

I'm not a huge turkey fan so I chose what seems to be blogger's favourite cuisine, dimsum. Rather selfishly, I chose one of my favourite restaurants - Ping Pong. I've been going for years and it's become my automatic response when someone suggests lunch or dinner. At dinner, both Kristabel and Jenny reminded me that the first time they went to Ping Pong was with me. As I'm such a super-fan, the lovely folk at Ping Pong helped me to plan the shindig, they put aside a private room in the new-ish Appold Street restaurant which is just by Liverpool Street station. The room is absolutely gorgeous, two walls are glass and it's just stunning. 

Unfortunately, a few people couldn't make it due to the snow which is a shame. But the rest of us - Kristabel from I want you to know, Jenny from The Style PA, Katie from London Plinth, Fiona from Save Our Shoes, Matthew from Un Nouveau Ideal, Alize from Blog de Tendances and Kit from Style Slicker - had a ball. I think we all OD'ed on dim sum and the amazing flowering jasmine tea - if you haven't tried this, make it your new year's resolution! Huge thanks to Emma for helping to organise the night. 






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Monday, 11 October 2010

Push PR Christmas press day

I'm assuming you're sitting down. That's a good thing. Ok, there are only 75 days left til Christmas 2010. I know Halloween hasn't even happened yet, but you can never start preparing too early. I've been caught out in a mad rush on Christmas Eve one too many times, learn from my mistakes kids! The lovely folks at Push PR invited me to their Christmas press day on Tuesday. Thankfully it was a very subtle Christmas soiree, yummy mini mince pies were the only giveaway thankfully, I don't think I could stomach Christmas trees and tinsel just yet. Push PR represent lots of gorgeous brands including Upper Street, Holistic Silk and one of my favourite London designers Jasper Garvida.  I saw a lovely selection of products available, including:


Jewellery by Vanya - Beautiful and dainty vintage inspired jewellery. I loved the swallows, letter/envelope and cameo details. Perfect for girly little sisters or friends. 








Eastern Mystic - At the other end of the jewellery spectrum, big and bold statement jewellery. I loved the blues and golds. A girl who loves a bit of luxe would love one of these necklaces.





Gilda & Pearl - This is the prettiest, most sumptuous lingerie I've seen in a long time. It's grown up and luxurious. Great for beautiful best friends. 






Holistic Silk - Following on from the luxe theme, Holistic Silk have got the perfect gifts for women who have everything. Silk lavender infused eyemasks and silk slippers are so luxe, not to mention the Rolls Royce of yoga mats. The silk and lined mats are so gorgeous they almost made me want to take up yoga, and I hate physical exercise!





Jasper Garvida & Kandee shoes - I love both these brands. I've seen Jasper's Autumn/Winter 2010 tons of times and I still love the panelling and details such as the oversize zips. I wrote about Kandee shoes very recently, the sky blue studded shoes were by far my favourite. I had a sneak peek at the metallic studded version which were amazing! These would be perfect for any fashion darling.









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