Anya Hindmarch sticker shop white and black leather mickey mouse hand sticker giving thumbs up sign


Lately I’ve had a bad case of blogger’s block. Finding the time and enthusiasm to post has been tricky to say the least, but this morning inspiration arrived in a neat black box. Thanks Net-A-Porter.

Since first spying Anya Hindmarch’s leather stickers (a collaboration with Charlotte Stockdale of CHAOS FASHION) I was obsessed. Irreverent humour and a nostalgic nod to childhood, what’s not to love? Personalised products are practically perfect in my book.

Crafted out of embossed leather, these self-adhesive delights can be used on pretty much anything. Whether you want to pimp your PS11 with your initials, or bastardise your Birkin with your Instagram name, Anya has you covered.

My only problem was deciding on what design and where to stick said sticker. The irrational side of me wanted to buy about fifty of the things and cover a seldom used bag with them; but the sane side decided that it would probably be wiser just to get one. I was still stuck on where to put it though.

Eventually I decided to jazz up my boring black leather iPhone case. You know I’m all about having fun with fashion, so with one Mickey hand it went from drab to fab – thumbs up from me.

Visit the Anya Hindmarch Sticker Shop here.


flat lay with Anya Hindmarch thumbs up leather sticker on black iPhone 6 case surrounded by boxes leather thumbs up Anya Hindmarch sticker on black iPhone 6 case

black and golf flatlay with contrasting textures


The flat lay. It’s a hard thing to master and it certainly took me a while (not to mention a little lot of help from a good friend – you know who you are) to arrive where I am presently. Now I’m not saying I’ve nailed it by any means, but I have made progress.

If you search #flatlay on Instagram, it yields over 100,000 results, so it’s fair to say that the ‘lay is here to stay. Or maybe it’s just a case of flat cliché? Either way, I’m officially obsessed.

When attempting to compose your ideal image, it’s best to have a theme. In this instance mine was texture, with a black and gold palette. Composition and placement of the subject matter is crucial, so you may have to play around until you find what works for both you and the image. If you are capturing it with your iPhone, the square camera setting on iOS is godsend; but when using a DSLR, bear in mind that the image will have to be cropped when uploading it to Instagram.

Backgrounds and lighting are also key factors. Even the most amazing things can look awful on a hideous base; yet the most mundane objects can be transformed with a beautiful backdrop. Ultimately it’s a matter of taste, find what you like and do your best to make it work. Natural light is preferable, unless of course you’re a pro; and remember that shadows can actually work in your favour.

So what are your thoughts on the flat lay? You can check my Instagram to see my attempts. From food to fashion, it is what you make it. And yes, some attempts may be less flat yay and more crap lay, but progress not perfection…

new years eve flatlay of white shirt with cartier ring in box hermes cuff and dior black satin bow tie
Fashion, Recovery


Here’s wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2015 – may it be filled with love and light.

I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your love, support and kind words. You guys are the best.

Stay tuned for a refreshed Style Over Substances – new year, new look. Same old Samuel though.

flatly of an hermes scrapbook surrounded by sticky tape scissors bits of paper and pens


Now that I have a flat, the next task on my to-do list is to decorate it. As it’s a Regency property, I want to keep the main parts as age appropriate as possible. I don’t have an endless budget and bearing in mind the ceiling price for a flat of this size in this area, there will have to be some compromise. Sure I would love to have the entire thing gutted, re-rendered and all the original mouldings and ceiling roses put back in, but I think that whilst it would look good, it may not necessarily be a frugal move. Coving and roses yes, but probably less ornate versions would work just as well, especially when it’s all going to be painted white. I can introduce colour with soft furnishings and special pieces I have collected over the years.

As my mind is constantly running and I haven’t completely mastered Pinterest, I keep scrapbooks. I have always kept them for things that catch my eye, mainly from magazines, so I have re-opened my decoration one and started to add to it once more. Thankfully I have always gravitated towards period features and statement/classical pieces, which means the majority of it is still wholly relevant.

Simple things like photographs of nature can provide the best colour schemes. Think moss growing on an old rock, or decaying Autumn windfalls – there is no better source of inspiration than Mother Nature herself. With that in mind, I’m getting back to the sticky tape, scissors and endless magazines; the perfect way to spend a wet Saturday.

Chanel jewellery and cosmetics flatlay on a sheepskin rug
Beauty, Fashion


It’s currently day two of the horrible ailment that is man-flu – It’s a serious condition. Whilst I really can’t be bothered to do a blog post, I know I should at least post something. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that the picture is a few days old, if not, then forget I said anything. It started off simply as flat lay practise (man they are hard, especially if you are a perfectionist like me), but I must say I’m super pleased with it.

I adore beauty products and these two are fantastic new additions to my ever expanding grooming hoard products. The Chanel Beauté Initiale Spray Serum is a lightweight product ideal for those who have oily skin, perfect for when you just need that little boost. It’s relatively scent free, which is always nice, as sometimes I just don’t fancy smelling like a wild flower. The Beauté Initiale Eye is a lighter eye cream that soothes and cools; it may not be anything too groundbreaking, but it’s perfect for when your eyes require a little TLC.

The rest was mainly just filler for the photo, but you will spot my beloved eagle necklace, tie pin and crossbones brooch. They are all pieces that I cherish. I love how Chanel makes their accessories fun, plus they never really date.

On that note, I’m off to get another Lemsip.

flatlay of blue clothes and accessories on a white background


So the plans for my short visit to San Francisco have been annihilated – along with the sightseeing, potential outfit and streetstyle posts . It’s cool, I’m over it now, but I have managed to make one post with something visual. When life gives you lemons you have a bitch fit make lemonade.

Now I’m not saying it’s anything epic, but seeing as my time here has been drastically reduced, I made my OOTD into a post. Rather than feeling blue, I was wearing it.

In response to the fabulous Dana Fashina’s post on her blog (check it out – she is GREAT) about clothes you only ever really wear around the house, I wore my beloved navy cashmere jumper by Jacobs by Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs – yes you did read that mouthful right. It is super lightweight and super warm, perfect for this time of year. Plus it’s stood the test of time, no bobbling and it hasn’t been devoured by moths just yet.

I also wore my old 7 For All Mankind jeans, which I stopped wearing years ago as they were bootcut. Nothing a trip to the tailor couldn’t fix however and hey presto, new-yet-old slim/straight leg jeans that wonderful worn in feeling you only get from jeans you’ve had longer than you care to remember.

Accessory wise I kept it semi-simple with an Hermès Constance belt in Blue Jean, Céline navy sunglasses and my beaten-up Balenciaga wallet.

The coconut water was my flat lay fuel. I think I’m getting there slowly…


flatly featuring wonderland magazine with lindsay lohan on cover plate of macaroons and laduree pink candle


Sundays, the perfect day to procrastinate and do as little as humanly possible. Although I do have a fair few days off, it seems perfectly acceptable to do bugger all on a Sunday and I certainly have no problem with that.

Today therefore seemed the ideal opportunity to engross myself in the Mean Girls issue of Wonderland magazine; and it’s epic. Super fun editorials and spot-on interviews -plus I totally love la Lohan. What better accompaniment than a plate of macarons to stuff into my face. I didn’t get up until just after midday, so I rationalised that they could be both breakfast and lunch. Guilt dodged.

Now the main reason for this post was to practise my flat lay skills, as they seem to be a staple for any budding blogger/Instagram fiend. Good grief they are harder than they look! My OCD slight perfectionism had me taking about thirty photos to get the result I was finally happy with. Angles + lighting + subject matter = stressed Samuel. It may not be perfect, but I’m getting there. Progress not perfection remember…