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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Our House - Before and After Photos: Kitchen

Of all of the rooms in our house, without a doubt, the kitchen has had the biggest transformation. There's not even much I can say about our new cooking haven other than we went for white, white and more white.

The 'before' kitchen wasn't bad at all, I know a lot of people would have loved it, but it just wasn't us. We wanted something more streamlined, cleaner and more modern, to match our plans for the rest of the house.

You can read my previous post on the inspiration behind this room here.



Monday, 22 August 2016

Our House - Before and After Photos: Lounge & Dining Room

In December 2015, Luke and I bought our first house together, and we (when I say we, I  mean he), spent the first 8 months decorating every single room. Finally we're in a position where almost everything is finished so I'm really excited to share the 'after' photos.

Considering when we bought the house, it was in a relatively good state, most people said we were crazy to waste our money decorating much when it was 'fine'. Yes, it was fine, but it was someone else's house, their style, their tastes. Now it's us, every single inch of it. 

I have previously written posts about our inspiration for the lounge and dining room which looking back, we completely stuck to throughout. We knew all along we wanted a white house with touches of grey, a pop of colour and some mirrored furniture.

'Before' photos


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Body Confidence with Boohoo

When I sat down to write this post, I spend a lot of time thinking about my body confidence story and how my feelings about myself and how I look have changed over the years. It's actually been really therapeutic to think about how far I've come in regards to accepting myself and taking steps to ensure my own happiness.

After a couple of negative relationships when I was younger, my body confidence was pretty low between 16 and 18. I had put on some weight and was generally unhappy with relationships, friendships, stresses of getting into uni and all the normal pressures of being a teenage girl. The day I found out I got into University was the day I said to myself that things would be different from now on. It was my chance to get away from a bad relationship and start again in a place where no one knew me and I could be the person I've always wanted to be. And I did it. 

Swimsuit from Boohoo


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

St Martins Lane Hotel, London Review

One of the reasons I love my job so much is because I get to travel, a lot. As most of the events I organise are now overseas, I very rarely get to stay in hotels in London which is a shame because there are SO many amazing ones in our City. 

I recently organised an event at a London hotel that has had my heart for a very long time (and even more so since their recent refurb!) , St Martins Lane Hotel. Every Morgans Hotel Group property meets and exceeds my expectation and this one was no different. 

Just a couple of minutes walk from Leicester Square, St Martins Lane Hotel is a hotel like no other. Morgans Hotels are mostly known for their futuristic, quirky, high end style, and this hotel's recent refurb has definitely put it top of my list of favourite London hotels.

photo credit

On arrival, there's no signs outside, which adds to the secret, exclusive feel of the hotel and probably part of the reason why some people don't even know it's there. Once inside, it's like Willie Wonka's Factory for the hotel world, with so much to explore, look at and get excited about. 

Check in was quick and easy, and the staff were extremely friendly which is something I always notice on reception. I have been to the hotel before, and was slightly disappointed in the size of the bedrooms (considering the cost!), so wasn't expecting much from the room. The corridors are super dark, so much so that you can hardly see - which I later found out is so that when you enter your bedroom with floor to ceiling windows, you're hit by the intense light. 

Opening my bedroom door I was most certainly hit by the light! 

Squinting for a few seconds whilst my eyes adjusted, I realised my room was INCREDIBLE. And I mean, I visit a lot of hotels with work, and have been very lucky, but this is hands down my favourite by a mile. My bedroom has a beautiful outdoor terrace which, for being in Central London, is very very rare. It was so silent and tranquil, even though the streets outside were buzzing, and decorated perfectly. The bathroom and bedroom were all open (although you could shut off the bedroom doors), and I felt so peaceful and at ease, I could have easily woken up thinking I was staying somewhere tropical with the room's decor and colours. All of the rooms have floor to ceiling windows and custom made Philippe Starck furniture with interactive light installations (which I hold my hands up to playing with for a good 20 minutes) and smart TVs.

Most people know St Martins Lane Hotel but it's famous Asia de Cuba restaurant. Critically acclaimed and serving a fusion menu, the decor is in keeping with the rest of the hotel's stylish and quirky style. Now if you've been to Asia de Cuba, you'll know (well you should know) about their famous Mexican doughnuts. EVERYONE I speak to absolutely raves about them and whilst I'm more of a chocolate lover, than doughnuts, I have to say, hand on heart, they were incredible. And I ate about four... every day... for a week. 

One thing I LOVE about all Morgans Hotel's is their bars. Each one is unique and fabulous, and the Blind Spot at St Martins Lane fits that criteria to a tee. Hidden behind what looks like a boutique tea counter is Blind Spot, a speakeasy style bar serving guests bespoke and signature cocktails bursting with flavours influenced by the British Empire and its ancient tea trade. With an incredible line up of jazz and swing acts as well as DJs, this bar, really is the place to be. Look for the Golden Handshake to enter...

 photo credit

For more of a relaxing drink or catch up, the hotel's lounge, The Den, is the perfect cosy place. Styled after a Gentleman's Lounge, is perfect classic addition to the rest of the wholly modern, contemporary hotel. The Den serves a fabulous afternoon tea that I gawped over on more than one occasion whilst in there working. If you ever visit, ask one of the staff to tell you the stories behind the paintings on the wall, it's absolutely fascinating to understand the thought that went into the decor.

photo credit

Not that most of the people reading this care, but, the event space at St Martins Lane Hotel is so great for any events where you're looking for more of a contemporary blank canvas space. I've run a lot of events throughout my career in all types of hotels around the world and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the service at St Martins Lane surpassed everything. Every single staff member who was involved in our event was attentive, patient, kind and accommodating. which makes my life a hell of a lot easier as well. I was so impressed with the service, I will be putting this hotel forward for my next event in London, and any others in the future.

The stunning cake made by the hotel chef literally within 20 minutes of asking with no complaints - trust me this is beyond rare for a hotel!

Last but most certainly not least, guests at St Martins Lane Hotel can also enjoy complimentary entry to the largest hotel gym in Europe. Now why am I telling you to check out the gym when you're staying at such a great hotel in Central London? Well this isn't just any gym, this is Gym Box. Not only do they have state of the art equipment and an Olympic sized boxing ring, they also have nightly DJs to turn your workout into a night on the town. What more can anyone possible ask for from a gym?!  The hotel also rents out free bicycles to guests so if you fancy taking a bike ride around London, the City is your oyster. 

I'm sure, I have said enough to convince you get get on St Martin's Lane Hotel's website immediately and book your next staycation, because trust me it's worth it. If you're in the area make sure you pop in for those Mexican doughnuts, and a cocktail at Blind Spot, then there's always the gym after if you've indulged too much! I CANNOT wait to return!

You can also read my review of another fabulous Morgans Hotel, 10 Karakoy in Istanbul.

Love Lauren xx

Monday, 27 June 2016

Monday Motivation When I Need It Most

I haven't blogged in quite a while, and that's okay. Really, it is. 

In my latest vlog, I talked about how we all need to stop making excuses for ourselves and justifying what we do, or in this case, not do. This is our space, to do with what we want so if you need a break because you have a million other things going on in your life, do it, and you don't need to apologise for it! You can watch the vlog here, but I warn you, I rant a lot...

I wanted to write this post to share with you all my favourite quotes about working hard and motivation so when you are feeling overwhelmed with the pressures of a blog/work/life balance, you can think of these, and work through it!

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