My Boden New Season Favourites

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know by now that I was lucky enough in October last year to be chosen to be an ambassador for the gorgeous British clothing brand, Boden. When I received the email inviting me to be a part of the #BodenBrandPartner clan I literally couldn’t believe it! I don’t have the biggest following on socials and wouldn’t really call myself an ‘influencer’ by any means, but actually it turns out this was exactly one of the reasons I found myself in the situation at all. Boden and also a PR company of sorts called Zyper (I’ll link them here if you’d like to know more) got together to find women who, like me, were true brand fans and actually had passion for their clothes – sounds simple really doesn’t it?! In a world where there are lots of people online promoting any products they can get for free, it was nice to be recognised as someone who genuinely wanted to share fab finds with their followers. Yes, we as brand ambassadors for Boden get to choose a few pieces for free once a month and that is beyond anything I ever hoped for when I started Just Hollie Blog, but actually, I would’ve bought half of it anyway…
So that’s what this post is really – me sharing my favourite pieces from the new season collection of my favourite brand Boden. Enjoy!

PS. I do have a personalised link which I’ll pop below, meaning you can get a discount on most things on the Boden website, and they’ll know you found them through me. I don’t get paid or anything like that – it just proves to them it’s worth giving me freebies each month I guess! Enjoy the discount and I hope you like the luxurious feeling of wearing Boden as much as I do.

CLICK HERE TO USE MY DISCOUNT LINK

And without further babbling from me, these are my favourites for the next couple of months. Transition pieces if you will.

Norwich Button Back Jumper – Milkshake 

Norwich Boden Jumper in Milkshake

I have this jumper and there are a couple of reasons I love it:
– It’s called the Norwich jumper. Need I say more, I am truly representing my roots up here in the highlands.
– It’s pink, and pink is everywhere right now. I’ve never actually worn pink too much despite being a very feminine person, however this hue is so perfect for Spring (which in my head is only a few weeks away LOL).
– The detail. I love a jumper with large cuffs like this, I find it very flattering. The back has really nice gold button detailing at the neck too which is a bit fancy.

You will be seeing this on the ‘gram v.soon! Also comes in mustard and navy and is £70 before discount.

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Scarlett & Mustard

Every now and then you come across something which excites you and makes you feel like you want to tell everyone you know about your little find. This is how I felt when I first came across Suffolk company Scarlett & Mustard. I was walking around a local food fayre in 2015 when I saw a stall advertising dressings and sauces with really jazzy packaging which made me gravitate toward their wares. After many a taste test (we all know the drill at a food fayre, aren’t they just the best places in the world) I decided I was going to purchase some truffle oil and a lime and mint curd from a company which was new to me called ‘Scarlett and Mustard’. Oh.My.Gosh is all I have to say – the truffle oil was packed full of amazing truffle flavour and was great value for money and the curd was absolutely to die for. If you haven’t ever tried either of the latter I would suggest popping on over to the Scarlett and Mustard online shop and buying asap because words cannot describe how delicious they were.

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So bearing that in mind, can you imagine how giddy I was when I arrived home one day to find new Scarlett and Mustard products to get my sticky little paws on! They kindly sent me one of their rapeseed oils infused with dill and also a peppery chilli rapeseed oil to test and share. I quickly got to work (oh what a hard life) and knocked up some food so I have some recipes to share with you lovely lot!

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The first oil I tried was the ‘Peppery Chilli Rapeseed Oil’ which is made with spicy piquant chilli and is right up my street! I am totally the sort of person who puts chilli sauce on everything and anything, I love spice, so I was extra excited to try this. It is fairly hot so if you can’t take too much heat maybe use sparingly but aside from that, drizzle away! I used it like this… Continue reading

A January of the dry kind

It was December when I had the idea of joining the movement of people not drinking in January. It was early December and I had a whole month of merriment ahead of me. Smugly I signed up through ‘Just Giving’, creating a page telling everyone how I was not going to touch a drop of alcohol for the entirety of the first month of 2017.

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As I write this it’s the 11th of January. Now, I didn’t think I had a problem. I thought I would breeze through January and I turned my nose up when people told me I would never do it. A month without alcohol – surely only real alcoholics wouldn’t be able to do that. How bloody wrong was I; I’m not sure if its the social aspect of drinking with friends in a pub or the association of relaxing with a glass of rosé after a hard day of work that I miss or simply that I just really like the taste, but its hard going! I am genuinely surprised at how much I am missing having a cheeky beer whilst watching the football with Dan or being able to even put red wine in my Bolognese! It was Daniel’s birthday on the 6th of January and we went into the city for a couple of drinks and a meal at the Jamie’s Italian in Norwich. It certainly saved us money with me being designated driver, taxis don’t come cheap, but as we went to the brilliant ‘Belgian Monk’ (a pub which serves tens of different Belgian beers) I really was a sourpuss about the situation. I think it is like anything, the minute you ban yourself or you are told you can’t have something, you instantly want it. I would quite often volunteer myself to be the driver on a night out just for ease and to save a bit of cash and not think twice, it’s funny how the brain works it really is.  Continue reading

Way Down in Budapest

It was said that George Ezra had never been to Budapest when he wrote this catchy little tune; just a little fun fact for you all to start my post about this amazing city.

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So, if you follow me on any form of social media you will know that I spent last weekend in glorious happiness in Budapest, Hungary. I was lucky enough to be chosen with a great bunch of colleagues to spend the weekend there as a reward for our hard work; as much as I would love to become a full-time blogger clearly my day job isn’t so bad!! I think I am starting to get over my fear of flying as I wasn’t totally terrified and by the second complimentary gin and lemonade I was practically enjoying the flight – who’d have thought! The company had organised for us to have a lovely woman called Jude arrange the trip for us so we had a full itinerary and tour guide the whole time, which is something that definitely makes the difference to a trip – no wandering aimlessly around finding out where to go and what to do. Her job is literally to organise trips for businesses and then go on the trips with them and make sure everything is sorted and people have a good time! What a job! If anyone would like to pay me for organising their holiday and getting drunk with them for the weekend i’m totally available!

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From the moment we arrived in Pest (one side of the river is Buda and the other Pest) I really did fall in love with the place. That is not me trying to be all romantic and ‘doesn’t this sound nice to write that I fell in love with the place’ I literally instantly loved it. We stayed in Pest’s Jewish quarter and everywhere you looked you could feel the history dripping from the architecture and it has such a nice vibe it everywhere you go. Obviously the fact it was glorious sunshine the whole 3 days we were there probably did help too but whatevs. It would be the perfect place to go for a loved up weekend away with your boo, I plan to go back with Dan as soon as I can!

We got there around midday Friday and went straight to a lovely restaurant called Kiosk. Think cocktails with fresh ingredients, a menu which makes it impossible to pick just one thing to eat and an interior to make the coolest east London hipster feel like an old woman in a nightclub. I had a cocktail which had the much anticipated Hungarian tipple of Palinka in it. This stuff is a spirit like no other, it must be tried if you ever go here – just don’t smell it first before you neck it if you have a shot – you.will.gag.  However, my drink at Kiosk was a long cocktail with lemon juice, elderflower and also oddly enough, gooseberry jam. I’m such a sucker for a sweet cocktail so it’s safe to say I was in heaven at this point!

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After several cocktails and a big ole plate of pasta we headed out for a walk in the streets of Pest. As we wandered, everywhere you looked there were little bars, cafes and lanes of food stalls and they all just looked so cool. I wasn’t really expecting this as normally you don’t think of places such as Hungary as being hip and trendy (god I sound like an old woman) but it really was. If you enjoy a shoreditch vibe, head here! The buildings were stunning too, I literally got neck ache from walking around looking up so much as there was so much to gawp at! It is beautiful.

In the evening it was time for a river cruise along the Danube and man oh man didn’t I feel fancy. We had a four course meal whilst sailing down the river taking in the sights and we had a man playing an actual white piano whilst a woman serenaded us, just like on the films. It was cheesy and bloody marvellous!! A bottle of prosecco later and we were all ready to leave the boat and head on to the absolute best night out I have had in years in a ‘ruin pub’.

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If you haven’t heard of them you must google ‘Budapest ruin pubs’ right now. I am literally urging you to leave my page (BUT COME BACK) and take a look. Long story short there is a law in Hungary that if a building is abandoned anyone can take it over and set up a pub until something is done with said building. Something like that anyway. So this particular pub, Szimpla, has become a permanent fixture in Budapest and it is amazing. The buzz of the different people, the different rooms and sections, all the different music, the colours, the plants – just everything. I honestly can’t describe how good it was or why it was so good, it just was. I urge everyone to go at least once, you wouldn’t regret it. I didn’t manage to get a good enough picture to share with you as it was so dark with just fairy lights mainly and a big projector for light, apologies.

On the Saturday we spent the day in the best possible way you could ever think of for a group of English people away in the sun in Europe together – Beer biking. Once again, please google this and book immediately. So you all sit around a table on bike saddles, you all pedal the table around the streets with someone driving it and there is a beer barrel onboard which is connected to a tap and one of you stands in the middle of everyone and serves the pints. This is steered around the city and you get a tour of the place whilst getting on the beers! Also, there is a speaker on board and the driver plays whatever songs your heart desires. I don’t think I need to say anything else about this, you can imagine what a scream it was! Much to our amusement they do tend to cause traffic jams and you have to be prepared for people to video you and take pictures of you as you pass them on the street on the bike!

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I won’t go into every detail of everything that we did whilst in Budapest as I have already been going on a bit, I know. I just feel it is my duty to share with you all the amazing time I had, so you are all encouraged to go and do the same! I had never really spoken to anyone who went before I did, meaning I had no pre-conceived ideas and I was so suprised at how much I loved it.

So, I think the moral of my post is this: Get the F off my blog and onto bookings.com. Pronto.

Just Hollie xoxo