A fashion, beauty & lifestyle blog by TV Host, journalist & Front Roe's author Louise Roe. The blog Features outfit ideas, beauty tips, recipes, DIY's & inspiration. Louise resides in LA, has a line of shoes and bags on Stylistpick.com, and writes fashion column for Huffington Post and Mens Health UK.
Malibu beach days are one of my absolute favorite things about Summer- packing a picnic and spending a lazy day on the sand always makes me feel so grateful to live near the sea. Mackenzie loves to surf whenever we get the opportunity to go down to Malibu and I’m really enjoying helping Honor explore the beach and paddle in the waves. If we’re tying in a beach trip with a visit to some friends or a dinner out then there are certain things I will always take with me so that I can be comfortable but still maintain my beach chic.
The Straw Boater
Possibly my favorite type of sun hat; I’m all for a wide floppy brim but when you’re chasing a toddler around, a boater is a hat I don’t have to constantly push out of the way. They’re also not as easy to carry around in the evenings. A boater keeps the sun off my head and goes with dresses as well as shorts and a swimsuit. There’s also something very British about a straw boater in the Summer and so I feel a little nostalgic when I wear this one.
The Floaty Maxi Dress
I could live in this dress. Effortlessly easy to throw on (over a swimsuit too) and perfectly floaty at the same time. Cotton is essential on hot California days and a loose fit keeps me cool. Tight-fitting clothes are an absolute no no on the beach. Not only is this tiered sundress a perfect daytime option but also looks really smart when it’s dressed up with some jewelry. I’ve honestly worn this endlessly!
An absolute beach staple- I’ve definitely had beach days ruined when I’ve forgotten to pack some sunglasses and my Wayfarers are a pair I go back to time and time again. There’s nothing I can’t wear them with and I know that they’ll keep my eyes protected from sun, sand and spray. On a beach day these are the first things I reach for- a classic that’ll be forever chic. I also find I keep them on right up until the end of the day. The Malibu sunsets are famously beautiful but not without glasses.
Obviously I don’t recommend wearing heels on the beach but a wedged espadrille can look just as elegant as a high heel and it’s actually possible to stay in them all day. On the sand itself then barefoot is best but when we’re wandering around the shops and restaurants, tie up espadrilles give me that extra big of glamour without compromising on practicality. The high wedges are super stylish but the lower heel height looks just as good if you’re on your feet all day. For a beach party or BBQ where you want to be a little smarter with your seaside style, an espadrille wedge is the perfect option.
The Bucket Bag
As every mother will tell you, a day out without a bag of some sort is totally impossible. Gone are the days when you could be out for hours with nothing but a clutch! That being said, I really don’t love carrying around a huge basket full of things I may or may not need. When we’re at the beach I always bring a bag that closes- partly for safety and partly for sand. A bucket bag that will fit in the essentials is a stylish answer to a potentially sandy problem.
Five items that will take me easily from a beach day to a beach evening. Who’s ready for a sundowner?!
It’s summertime, which means one thing: the parties are now poolside. We absolutely love our backyard space, and it’s perfect for entertaining friends and family in the beautiful LA weather. Though hosting might seem stressful, it definitely doesn’t have to be. With my three tips to planning the perfect summer party, you’ll give your guests an affair to remember (and you’ll actually be able to enjoy it too!)
1. Create a table that emulates the season.
A color scheme is key when creating your perfect table setting. With the summer sun as my backdrop, I went for a color scheme of lemon yellows (and real lemons too, on the vine of course!) mixed with soft greens. Without really meaning to, suddenly the table looked like Southern Italy, so I ran with it and added more and more patterns and really filled the table up, with fruit, different textures and a hand-painted tablecloth. I am so over minimalism: when it comes to entertaining, I’m a maximalist all the way! The tablescape reminded me of dinners out during our honeymoon in Positano, packed and pretty and over-indulgent.
2. Use fresh blooms.
Everyone knows I absolutely adore fresh flowers! When entertaining outdoors, I always grab a few seasonal florals that are easy to work with. Our local flower market has a great variety, so it’s always a treat to go and stroll the aisles. It totally works to put them in mismatched vases, pitchers, or anything else you might have. I even sometimes incorporate fresh produce into my arrangements, which ads an unexpected pop of color to the table. Here, I topped the table off with olive branches thrown into an urn (that was actually left here by the previous owners of our house, so I gave it a new lease of life!). Pro tip: Try to hold off on flowers until the day-of, to avoid them dropping in the heat and humidity.
3. Serve up sips and sweets.
I wanted to switch things up, so I served cocktails and cake. Because if it’s your party, then you make the rules! My talented friend Laurel – the founder of Sweet Laurel Bakery, whipped up some of her ridiculously cakes and brownies (you can buy her cookbook here). A big added bonus? They’re super healthy (no dairy, no grains, no refined sugars – just pure yumminess!).
I hope you get inspired to throw your own cocktails and cake summer party! Shop my top tableware items below and let me know your summer hosting tips.
I spent my entire childhood tying various ribbons and scarves into my hair but the silky ones (my favorites) would just never hold so never stayed in for long. Thankfully, I’ve just discovered hair scarves that are attached to a hairband or scrunchie…which is completely genius. A low maintenance, inexpensive way of dressing up an outfit, I am really enjoying playing around with different colors; it’s such a fun twist on a classic look. I’m convinced it’s the sort of thing Brigitte Bardot would have worn on holiday.
Candy stripes or bold florals dress up even the worst hair days and add that much-needed summery pop of color…win win. You’ll all know what an interiors nut I am, which is why my current favorite hair scarf is this William Morris print scarf by David Watson. Strawberry Thief is such a wonderful pattern that I’ve seen in interiors before- and now I can have it in my hair! Tell me how you style your hair scarves in the comments.
I realized the other day, my midi-length skirt collection is growing. I’m drawn to them. There’s something so ladylike, but still cool and modern, about a floral midi skirt and sneakers, a polka dot midi skirt swishing over slouchy suede boots, or a denim midi – with big tortoiseshell buttons down the front, and old-school loafers. I’m referencing some of my favorite recent daytime looks, and I can’t wait to make up more outfit combinations with these skirts, when the seasons change.
Whenever it’s hot, a midi skirt and tucked-in tee is the easiest outfit you can put together. You don’t have to think about it, it takes two seconds to put on and if you have a collection of cute, colorful skirts (like my new discoveries below) then a white top and some sandals is all you need to add. Easy! For a twist on evening elegance, a silk midi skirt and top with a peplum top (Reformation does my favorites, I just bought this one) can look extremely smart when dressed up with a pair of heels and stacked jewelry. For me, when i’m choosing which skirt to buy, the swishier the better. I’m a sucker for a bit of a pretty pattern. Add your favorite sunhat and straw bag and you’re halfway to vacation mode already…
Most of you will know how much of a bookworm I am and summer vacations are the perfect time to lay by the pool with a good paperback. I’ve put together a list of my favorite poolside reads – from inspiring memoirs to thrillers, trashy brilliance, and fascinating non-fiction. If you read any, tell me what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!
Pandora by Jilly Cooper
I re-read this every couple of Summers and it never fails to transport me to English meadows, scotch in crystal glasses and torrid love affairs, all with the backdrop of a stolen painting. Whenever I feel homesick in LA, I read another Jilly Cooper. She’s in her eighties now, still writing, and fabulous.
Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington
One of the biggest influences on fashion imagery, Grace’s witty and charming yet blunt personality comes through as she details her enviable career, starting as a model to then joining British Vogue as a fashion editor, before becoming American Vogue’s creative director. Grace also intimately describes her personal life, from her two miscarriages and the death of her sister to her long-lasting relationship with the queen of fashion herself, Anna Wintour. I have always admired Grace since my first day working in the fashion industry, she’s a true legend and I still get a thrill seeing her bright red hair on the front row at fashion week. This book is a total must-read for all fashionistas!
My Paris Dream by Kate Betts
Kate is a former Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar editor and, as a fellow journalist, I really enjoyed reading her experience as an American fashion journalist in Paris in the 1980s. Plus, I got to live vicariously in Paris through Kate’s experience! From the glamorous fashion to the sometimes-exclusionary way of Parisian life to the constant deadlines faced by a fashion journalist, Kate really brings Paris, and the fashion journalism industry, to life. It’s a true coming of age memoir about a woman finding herself in the working world, falling in love, facing her ambitions and doubts, and shaping her identity, whilst living in one of the most beautiful and fashionable cities in the world. I loved this book so much I dm’d Kate herself on Instagram and she replied!
Friend of the Family by Tasmina Perry
Tasmina gave me my first ever job as an assistant at In Style magazine, about 13 years ago! We have stayed close ever since and she is a dear friend and mentor to me. This novel is a real thriller about a woman with a seemingly perfect life, Amy, who offers the daughter of an old friend, Josie, work experience and a place to stay in her home, but it begins to look as if this Josie is outstaying her welcome and may not be a friend at all. After reading this book, with its explosive ending, you’ll be scared to have anyone stay over for a while! It’s an escapist read that will keep you guessing throughout.
A New Model by Ashley Graham
It is so refreshing to read such a brutally honest and raw story. Ashley is so genuine and transparent; she’s not afraid to discuss her struggles with her own body and working in the fashion industry. Her message about body positivity and confidence in fashion shines throughout her memoir. It is incredibly inspiring to see Ashley changing the stereotype of what beauty should look like in the fashion industry and I am glad that young girls today get to grow up with Ashley as a role model. She really encourages women of all shapes and sizes to embrace their body confidently and use it to conquer the world. This book truly is about women empowering other women to be their best and I love it.
My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran
Think Pride & Prejudice, but you actually get to pick the heroine’s choices. My Lady’s Choosing is a slightly more modern take on a classic romance novel. It has a really cool interactive book format where you make your own choices as the story goes on and the outcome of the story changes depending on your selections! I would recommend reading it as part of a book club or with a group of friends as it is great fun and very amusing to see what everyone chooses and go through the adventure together.
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
The sequel to The Devil Wears Prada featuring my favorite character, Emily Charlton, who has now left Miranda Priestly and is working as a celebrity publicist in LA. By chance, Emily lands in a suburb of Greenwich, Connecticut where wealth, competition and scandal are heightened. In this novel, with her signature wit and a whole lot of glamour, Lauren Weisberger reveals the very relatable struggles of trying to navigate being a career woman, a mother, and a wife. This book was just released in May and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
The Fear of 13 by Nick Yarris
This is a fascinating account of a man who was sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit. The book has since been made into an equally gripping documentary on Netflix which is definitely worth a watch too! I learnt so much about the justice system, particularly death row, in America from Nick’s firsthand account. Fortunately, Nick was finally released after spending 22 years waiting to die. His persistent positive outlook and strength to forgive, despite his unimaginable circumstances, are truly inspiring. His story is incredibly hard-hitting and emotional.
The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg has such an interesting and unique life story and today, she is one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry. I have always loved DVF and found her so inspiring, but I discovered a whole new level of respect and admiration for her after reading her memoir in which she reveals intimate stories about her family, love life, beauty and, of course, her business. Diane fully devotes herself to everything she takes on, from her business to philanthropy to her battle with cancer, and her memoir is no exception! Her wisdom is a necessary guide for anyone wanting to build a global brand.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell has such a fascinating and entertaining way of looking at research in the social sciences. In Outliers, he discusses the different factors that contribute to a person being successful. He uses familiar examples, examining some of the brightest, most famous, and most successful people in the world, but looks at them from a completely unfamiliar yet enlightening perspective. His five books are all on my top reads list, and I can’t wait to get my hands on his newest book, Talking to Strangers, but Outliers is undoubtedly my personal favorite.
Let me know your favorite summer reads in the comments below!
Since having Honor I have really noticed how important it is for me to be comfortable. Either I’m running around after her (she seems to be getting faster by the day), or running to and from meetings so it’s really important to me that my clothes are practical and allow me to be a businesswoman and mother at the same time. Enter this fabulous pair of overalls- I’ve honestly been wearing them so much over the last few months and so I thought I should share how comfy they are and encourage you all to try them.
An all-in-one outfit is definitely my kind of fashion and overalls are so good for those in between days, when it’s not quite sunny enough for bare arms but too hot for a coat. Pop a plain tee under a pair of overalls, add some sneakers and you’ve got the ultimate in comfort wear. For real Top Gun chic, tie the sleeves around your waist or to make this look a little more feminine- you can’t beat a red lip. Shop my overalls collection below…and thank me later.
This was one of the trips that I was looking forward to most this year- an invitation to spend a blissful long Mexican weekend with my dear friend, the designer Mary Alice Haney, and Farfetch. What better place to catch up with friends old and new than in the beautiful Mexican town of San Miguel. I had heard a lot about this place from various friends, and here are my favorite bits for #FrontRoeTravelGuides!
San Miguel de Allende is by far one of the most charming and vibrant places I’ve ever visited. Without a modern building in sight, the town sits in the mountains north of Mexico City and is made up of cobbled streets lined with brightly colored houses- sunflower yellow and rich burgundy-interspersed with the most enormous and elegant churches. Its founder (and namesake) was a Franciscan monk named Juan de San Miguel whose thirsty dogs discovered the El Chorro spring in 1542 and ever since, the town has been a honeypot for artists who are drawn to the city for its charm, artisan culture and rich creativity. Several Americans have made San Miguel their home and integrated themselves into local life- it’s a place that has a real sense of harmony and community.
Where To Stay
My trip was a mix of visits to some stunning private homes, guided walking tours of the town, delicious margaritas and fabulous Mexican food. As if that wasn’t spoiling enough, my home for the weekend was the wonderful Hotel Amparo, which opened to rave reviews earlier this year. With just five rooms set around a quiet courtyard, this hotel is the real jewel in San Miguel’s crown. Owners Taylor Goodall and Mariana Barran de Goodall developed the hotel in a former mayor’s residence and have added their own well-travelled spin on the colonial Spanish style architecture with splashes of bright color and furnishings from France, India and Mexico itself. Every corner has been lovingly transformed into a comfortable haven. They could not have been lovelier people and the hotel’s hot chocolate (a traditional Mexican one with a concoction of spices stirred in) was honestly the best one I’ve eve had in my life. Ever.
Where To Eat & Drink Hotel Amparo: I may be biased given that I was so comfortable there, but the breakfasts at Amparo have become a must for visitors. Delicious local eggs (bright orange in color) make for some amazing huevos rancheros and their coffee is 5-star. Not only is it the only place you can get it before 9am but theirs was the first espresso machine in San Miguel! Salon Oaxaca: One of the best places for an evening out, you really can’t beat sitting on their roof terrace with a mezcal and a selection of tlayudas (sort of like a crispy tortilla).
Where To Explore
Siquerios Mural: Found inside one of the caves at the Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez El Nigromante, a beautiful courtyard surrounded by pink arches.
Artisans Market: One of my highlights was this Saturday market- flowers, fruits, peppers, cowboy hats and belts, beaded necklaces, hand embroidered linen, local pottery- my idea of absolute heaven. Full of sounds and smells and amazing colors, I really could have wandered around for hours.
Guided Tour: The centro histórico is well worth exploring and there are some amazing churches and Baroque architecture. I loved the Templo de Santa Ana with its incredible façade. El Charco del Ingenio: Open 9am to 6pm daily and just $2 entry, this botanical garden and nature reserve provides a wonderful view of downtown San Miguel and surrounding valleys. Keep an eye out for special events like traditional temazcal (steam baths) and yoga. Rancho Xotolar: Ideal if you have time to spend, a guided horse riding excursion ($95 for a half day) through the desert is a great way to see the countryside. Just don’t forget your hat as it gets very hot in the late morning!
What To Wear Haney x Farfetch: A one shoulder white dress for market shopping, embellished trousers for cocktails and a silk jumpsuit for dinner, Haney’s collection with Farfetch really is the perfect go-to for elegant dresses. Dressing up in the heat isn’t always easy but silk cami dresses, chic co-ords and draped dresses make it so much easier to be well-dressed and comfortable.
Guys, I think it’s now officially Summer. I know it’s cliché, but I really can’t get over how fast this year is going. As much as I love bundling up during the colder months, I’m finally ready for some warm weather and sunshine. After all, it means pool days and brunch parties in our backyard! As you guys know from my recent post about inflammation, I’m always trying to introduce key healthy ingredients into my diet, and I love doing so in creative ways.
I recently read about the health benefits of hibiscus (fights bacteria, promotes weight loss and boosts liver health to name a few!) and decided I just had to make this refreshing (not to mention pretty) recipe for some friends who visited over the weekend. Not only is hibiscus pretty and pink, but it also packs tons of antioxidants, can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and even help aid digestion. It has a floral taste, but I prefer it over the taste of rose as it’s slightly more mild. See how to make these pretty iced hibiscus lattes below (which I remixed from this recipe), and enjoy!
Iced Hibiscus Latte
-5 hibiscus tea bags
-5 cups water
-3 tablespoons organic coconut sugar
-2-1/2 cups milk of choice (for non-dairy options, right now I’m loving oat and macadamia nut milk though neither froth as well as dairy milk)
-Crushed rose petals for garnish
1. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil
2. Steep tea bags in water for 5 minutes
3. While it is still hot, add sugar and mix to dissolve
4. Remove tea bags, add 1/2 the milk, and cool mixture in the fridge (I chilled mine for about an hour before serving)
5. Just before serving, froth the remaining milk with an espresso machine (we used our Nespresso attachment. If you don’t have an espresso maker, vigorously shake milk with ice to froth).
6. Add chilled latte over ice and spoon milk froth into each glass.
7. Using a small plate as a guide partially cover the mouth of each glass and sprinkle dried rose petals to create a pretty crescent shape. Enjoy immediately!
What I’m Wearing: Dress by Asceno London, Hat by YoSuzi
It’s hard to believe that our little babe is quickly approaching the year-and-a-half mark! We’ve learned so much about Honor as she grows, including her complete love for play and story time. (Total win for this bookworm mummy!) Today, I wanted to share with my fellow mummas a full report of Honor’s favorite toys and books!
Cuddle and Kind: It’s important to me to teach Honor charity at an early age. Cuddle and Kind creates precious hand-knitted dolls, which Honor completely adores. They also make such great gifts for any kiddos you know. The best part – every doll sold gives 10 meals to children in need!
Keiki Toys: You all know I am a huge supporter of all things natural, and I’ve always been keen on finding sustainable and safe toys for Honor. Enter, Keiki Toys. It is my absolute favorite when it comes to nontoxic wooden toys. Not to mention how gorgeous and classic the pieces are, including this adorable polaroid.
Kinedu: I’m all about screen time with a purpose! Kinedu is a mobile app that customizes activities for Honor and I to do to promote her development. After we complete an activity, I can record her responses and track her progress. It’s a really great tool for me because it not only marks her milestones but also helps me understand what they mean. It’s always with me on my mobile, so I can keep up-to-date no matter what.
Lovevery: I can go on and on about Lovevery! They have toys, games, and books tailored to a child’s exact age and current learning level. We just received our new play kit for Honor, and she’s already loving it! It’s the perfect mix between fun and educational, and starting at $36 a month, it’s such a steal.
Maisonette: This shop is so darling! It caters to the English in me with posh playthings like this gorgeous tea set, which gives me major French girl vibes. There’s such an emphasis on beautifully crafted and designed toys that I catch myself browsing this site more often than I probably should!
Skip Hop Plush Avocado: When I saw this avocado plush toy, I knew that I had to get it, being the avocado lover that I am. There’s even a built-in rattle “pit” that makes Honor giggle so hard. I definitely bring this everywhere we go!
Vtech Sit-to-Stand Walker: This is the best little walker that truly helped Honor to walk. It comes with two different gears and brakes, so you don’t have to worry about it running away from a younger, wobbly baby. There’s also so many colorful knobs and buttons for music, and it’s so cute to see Honor dance when she pushes one of them!
Personalized books: Being a bookworm myself, it warms my heart to see my girl light up at the sight of a book. My next goal for Honor is to recognize and learn how to say her name, and when we read a personalized story book, her name is in bright, shining lights (literally!) Wonderbly and Shutterfly have wonderful customizable books that write your child as the star. I love seeing what these books do for Honor’s confidence and imagination!
A is for Awesome by Eva Chen: Written by a super mum, this book holds a very valuable lesson – the importance of girl power. I love to read it to Honor and teach her about the strength and brilliancy of the trailblazing women on its pages.
Claris, the Chicest Mouse in Paris by Megan Hess: Honor might be a tad too young to enjoy this story fully, but it sure is Mummy’s favorite! The story follows a little mouse, Claris, as she follows her fashion dreams in Paris. The illustrations always have me dreaming about the chic streets of the City of Light.
My Friend Bunny by Louise Tate: This lovely board book is such a fun read. Honor quite enjoys the pictures, and the storyline is too cute not to be housed in our little library.
My Grandparents Love Me by Claire Freedman: We are so lucky to be surrounded by the best grandparents a little girl can have! This book celebrates the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and is a must-read when we go to visit the grands.
Paddington by Michael Bond: Paddington Bear was such a classic in my childhood that I just knew Honor needed to know the lovable little bear as well. Now with films based on the books, we’ll never go short on giggles as we learn about the adventures of Paddington Bear.
What are your little ones’ favorite toys and books? Anything we’re missing?!
Now that summer is in full swing, I find myself reaching for a hot weather favorite – the printed mini-dress. A one- item look that takes 30 seconds to style is my kind of outfit!
Jet setting to a tropical paradise? Pack an eye-catching print. Having a girls’ trip into the city?
Try ladylike lace and puffy shoulders. Working all day? Channel your boss babe and with a 90’s square neckline and big gold earrings. Whatever summer plans are on your schedule, be armed with pieces that’ll have you
covered for the beach, bar, and beyond. Scroll for the list of mini-dresses on my summer shopping list, and don’t forget to let me know which one is your
favorite in the comments!
Shop Must Have Minis:
What I’m Wearing: Dress by Réalisation Par, similar here, Bag by Alameda Turquesa, similar here, Sunglasses by Finlay & Co., Sneakers by Keds