Credit Buy: The Dolly Knit

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Today I will be mainly transporting myself back to Bank Holiday Monday morning, lying peacefully on an Isle of Wight cliff top covered in heather... Opposed to dealing with having just found my home completely splattered in Carnival paint.  All together now; "Ommmmmmmmm...!!"

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In celebration of Dolly Alderton’s witty memoir, ‘Everything I Know About Love,’ British knitwear brand Hades has created a lambswool ‘Dolly Knit’ inspired by the brainy Bardot’esq babe herself (RRP. 160.00).  

Available in Powder Pink and Blood Red, these sweaters both have ‘Know Thyself’ embroidered onto the inner sleeve of the left arm, which is perhaps wiser than the usual heart we’ve been known to leave there...!

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Links of London's Royal Ascot Collection

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In just under a week, one of the most fashionable events in the entire British social calendar commences; Royal Ascot.  Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, the four-day racing festival has become a pageantry filled national institution, one where both the horses and the elaborate hats in attendance share focus and press. 

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With a strict dress code, Royal Ascot is synonymous with sartorial elegance, thus, whilst inevitably enjoying a lil’flutter on the GG’s, it’s always the elaborate hats which have my eyes on stalks each year. Underneath all the silk flowers and high-fashion head toppers however, it is just as important to make sure your jewellery is just as on point (to point).    

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Luckily for the attendees, and all race aficionados in general, for the second year running, Links of London are back in the saddle as the official jewellery license holder at Royal Ascot. The much-loved British jewellers and have once more designed a stylish, racing-inspired collection that will not only complete your look, but will be treasured by its owners for many more years to come.   

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Amongst the specially crafted diamond necklaces, colourful charms, and engravable cufflinks for the often-overlooked gentlemen, I decided my favourite pieces from the Links of London Ascot Collection were the Horseshoe designs.

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Simple in style, with an obvious nod to horse racing, the delicate chain bracelets, pendants, rings, earrings and adjustable cuffs available in sterling silver, yellow gold vermeil and 18k rose gold, are utterly timeless.  

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I’m hoping that by wearing some of this collection I will have some luck at the races, and beyond…    

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Hats: Jess Collett Milliner
Seville Dress: Tephi
I'm a Goddess Jumpsuit:  Bozena Jankowska
Bag: Baraboux

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In collaboration with Links of London
Photography: Joseph Galvin
Hair: Taylor Taylor London
Nails: Sophie Gass

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24 Hours in Mykonos with Figleaves

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I was really excited to be invited to Mykonos a few months ago by Figleaves to get a sneak preview of their gorgeous Spring/Summer’18 collection, which has recently hit their digital shelves. 

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I’d never visited the idyllic, white-washed Mykonos before, and over a whirlwind, bikini-filled 24 hours, I was able to really get a taste of both the glamour and simplicity of the Greek island. 

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In the morning I explored the island’s capital, Chora, which gave me the opportunity to wear some of Figleaves’ new beachwear around all the narrow and winding, labyrinth-style streets.  Picturesque, and quaint, there are endless little souvenir and handicraft shops to peruse, and cafes to drop into, as you wander around the bougainvillea scattered narrow and winding, labyrinth-style streets.  

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No trip to Mykonos would be complete without visiting the iconic windmills which overlook the sea, dating back to the 16th Century. 

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Above: Wearing the Rowan 0ff The Shoulder Sundress (RRP. £38.00), also available in white

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I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of stray cats in Mykonos, either happily soaking up the sunshine, or merely looking to share your lunch. To adopt a stray from Mykonos or sponsor their fostering or sterilization efforts, please contact Mykonos Animal Welfare. 

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In the afternoon, I headed to the Alemangou Mykonos, a boho haven on MykonosFtelia Beach. The rocky landscape, golden sand and crystal Aegean seawater made for the perfect location to shoot some of the latest Figleaves swimwear.  My favourite piece from the new collection was the Surf Shore Soft High Neck Tummy Control Swimsuit (below, RRP. £45.00), which was an unusually sporty choice for me, but I loved its high neck and unique mesh detailing. 

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I have always wrongly thought that Figleaves only catered for the more curvier figures, but I was so thrilled to realise that they have copious, sun-sational (couldn’t resist) fits for every shape and size, allowing us all to feel both supported and stylish this summer, whether poolside or at the beach.

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Above:  How pretty is this Margarita Frill Triangle Soft Bikini?!  I prefer non-wired bikinis, and being not adverse to the odd frill or two, this bikini top (RRP. £20.00) was an immediate, 'add to bag!' 

Below:  A few other favourites from Figleaves that I have my beady little eyes on for this Summer; The Secret Garden Soft Cut Out Swimsuit (RRP. £45.00), the Tulum Tassel Kaftan
(RRP. £45.00) and the Frida Underwired Bandeau Swimsuit (RRP. £50.00).

Here is a little video of my whirlwind 24 hours in Mykonos...

TLC ON TOUR... MYKONOS SUITCASE:
(Click on the items below for their direct links)

In collaboration with Figleaves

OOTD: 21.02.18

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On rather a bleak, grey Sunday last week, I wore my Madeleine Thompson multi-coloured dream jumper (had there been a coat available, I would have been first in line) alongside some severely bright accessories, and instantly felt brighter. Now, I've never been shy of wearing colour, but there have been many studies that actually prove that a colourful wardrobe can improve one's health and boost one's mood.  Here comes the science bit… Certain colours trigger neurological responses in your brain, causing the hypothalamus gland to release HAPPY hormones.

If truth be told, I've been feeling pretty low since returning from Africa last month.  It's nothing unusual, it just always takes me a few weeks to readjust and get back in to the 'swing of things' after enjoying a lengthy time back home with friends and family in the sunshine. 

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Once upon a time, my friends and I HAD to have one of Madeleine Thompson's slouchy cashmere beanies, and now, fast-forward a few good years, we're all now hankering after her cult cashmere once more. This jumper honestly felt like a warm shield against the weather, and all my subsequent doom and gloom, especially when paired with some new slim leg Topshop dungarees, my new Big Gold Heart Blue Billie necklace, my favourite Tom Ford lipstick ('Spanish Pink'), and an afternoon of popcorn and old-school Hugh Grant in 'Notting Hill' with my buds Katherine and Haden.  

If you're resolutely attached to your neutrals and feeling a little colour-hesitant, start beating 'dem blues with some bright accessories… I can barely take a step in my new mustard Nike Air Force trainers from & Other Stories without someone asking me where they are from, and likewise, my favourite Mulberry handbag. 

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Thomas Sabo's Generation Charm Club

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From the Babylonians to Queen Victoria, the collecting and wearing of charms to commemorate milestones and honour cherished memories has been one of the most enduring of jewelry styles. When I was at school (alongside the Babylonians, it now feels!) all the coolest of cats in my class had charm bracelets dripping with trinkets; the Eiffel Tower, precious sparkly dogs reminding them of their own… Fast forward just a feeeeew years this chaaarming trend is back with a bang.

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Today, Thomas Sabo launches their Generation Charm Club, releasing an abundance of chic, beautifully detailed charms which can easily clip on to our existing Thomas Sabo necklaces and bracelets. I was amazed at the variety available and was excited to pick pieces and that were unique only to me.   

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What I really love about these charms is how easily you can switch up the combinations of what you wear, depending on how you feel.  Whether you want to wear just one, or many charms together, or in this maximalist magpie's case, layer up a few chains of differing lengths with several charms together, for a bohemian, 70's feel.  

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I was particularly drawn to the more celestial Thomas Sabo charms, immediately gravitating towards the moons, stars and zodiac charms (although, should I really be advertising that I'm a Scorpio?!)  The Vintage Moon and Star pendant, combined with the Star Mother of Pearl pendant reminded me of stargazing on my rooftop back at home in Watamu, Kenya. 

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Although I only prefer to wear mostly yellow gold, the current trend is to mix your metals, and I can really see myself embracing this idea through incorporating some silver and rose gold charms.

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I obviously had to have a charm of my initial (love me a 'K' anything!) and with a trip to Joshua Tree coming up next month, I feel I might commemorate this with a gold cactus charm... Watch this space! 

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In collaboration with Thomas Sabo
Photography: Ella Sadika
Hair: Taylor Taylor London  
Nails: Sophie Gass

Heart 'Feel Good Challenge'

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Knowing that this time of year can prove quiiiiite the struggle for many of us (I mean, January is the Monday'ist of all the months, and February is kind of, well, a bit 'meh' too) those cheery lot at Heart (my personal antidote for all dem'winter blues) has launched the #HeartFeelGoodChallenge. Here comes the science bit; Challenge yourself by trying a feel-good activity, inspired by a feel-good song you heard played on the station.  

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I always have the radio playing as I write, and last week, fresh off the boat from Kenya, wearing 84 layers of clothes and feeling ultimately sorry for myself, Heart played one of my faves, 'Say You'll Be There' by the Spice Girls, no less. This bouncy, deliriously infectious girl power anthem is ultimately all about how actions speak louder than words, which resonates slightly, given my New Year's resolution has proved, thus far, to be mostly hot air! Promising myself I would start doing some exercise in 2018 didn't quite go entirely according to plan… 

Being a life-long member of the 'Fitness Protection Programme,' I have always struggled to commit to any kind of exercise regime, let alone enjoy any classes that I've tried.  As I get older I am increasingly aware that the health benefits of exercise cannot be denied, and a little toning here and there is always a welcome perk.  'Say You'll Be There' definitely leaves you feeling pumped, ready to leap off that comfy sofa and get moving, so yes, it happened…I leapt; A Frame gym membership was sourced, and Barre classes and Reformer Pilates signed up to...

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I have to say, despite the anticipated pre-gym grumbles and subsequent aches and pains associated with squats, the endorphins have been released, and I'm really looking forward to my next class; 80's aerobics (and yes, there will be leg warmers and a scrunchie… I may not be well versed in exercising, but accessorizing? Oh, I've got that down, people!)

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I'd love to hear if you have also taken up the #HeartsFeelGoodChallenge and started any new mood-boosting activities to help you get through these grey ol'months… And please share any 'pick me up' song recommendations you've heard play on Heart which might help keep us all stay motivated...!

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In collaboration with Heart
Photography: Ella Sadika
Hair: Taylor Taylor London  

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Klorane: A French Pharmacy Favourite

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Jane Birkin, Jane Seberg, Caroline de Maigret, Clemence Poesy… In my mind, when it comes to effortless style and seemingly natural beauty, French women will always come up le trumps.  I say ‘seemingly,’ as that well documented, and much envied, ‘je ne sais quoi’ our trop belle neighbours possess, is as much the direct result of the ritualistic use of reliable, high quality products as it is the dose of good genes they frequently are blessed with.

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 I think this is why us Brits have always incorporated a lengthy and joyous perusal in a French Pharmacy into any travel itinerary, and why we have suddenly seen so many more French products pop up on our shelves this side of the channel in recent years.  

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Despite now being able to pop to Boots to stock up on all my French faves, there are still few places more exciting to visit than a French Pharmacy.  Case in point; Last Easter, my girlfriends and I derailed our entire ski group in Courcheval, so we could visit a French Pharmacy… A little Après Skin before our Après Ski.  One friend, Emma, was raving about Klorane, and specifically their cult product, the Oat Milk Dry Shampoo.  Watching her purchase several cans, le FOMO kicked in and I also grabbed one myself. 

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In all honesty, up until this point, I had always assumed dry shampoo was a quick fix for greasy hair, used if running late for work, or for a quick freshen up at a festival… Given I have major OCD and wash my hair most days, I just hadn’t ever imagined dry shampoo being a staple in anyone’s beauty regime, let alone my own. The reality is, French women don’t wash their hair every day, believing that frequent washing can strip the scalp of nourishing oils, so prefer to wash their hair only a couple of times a week. 

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Launched in the ‘80’s and still considered the best in its field, Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo decreases the need to wash your hair, and what I’ve found, is that it rather helpfully extends the life of my blow-dries.  Rather than leaving your hair feeling stiff, the result of others I’ve tired, the oat milk in Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo seems to soften and protect your hair, even giving your doo some volume within just a couple of minutes. It took a while for me to relax into not washing my hair every day, but knowing that I’m looking after my hair and scalp, whilst also rocking some serious French chic, bed head vibes, it’s been worth it. Just pass me some red lippy and a Breton, already! 

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Above: Shake Klorane's Oat Milk Dry Shampoo well before use and spray evenly 30cm away from hair roots… Leave for 2 minutes and brush out thoroughly, et voila! 

Above: Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo is also available in a mini size for touch ups and added texture throughout the day. 

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After discovering this total hair hero, I wanted to learn more about Klorane. In 1966, Klorane has a well-documented history in pharmaceutical ethics and is dedicated to protecting both plant heritage and the environment.  We all know I love incorporating more ethical purchases into my life, and it seems Klorane is putting the care in to the hair care, by donating a portion of its sales to supporting the activities of the Klorane Botanical Foundation

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Keen to try some more of Klorane’s products, I decided to give their Mango Butter Range a go.  Having spent a chilly few months in London hiding under a beanie, and being about to head back to Africa for Christmas, I felt my hair could do with some serious nourishment. 

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The Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo, and Conditioner, contain fatty acids that really act to repair your hair and bring back its suppleness and shine. 

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Klorane's Leave in Cream serves as a protective coat, making your hair easier to style. Oh, and I should mention, the smell… Ooh La La! Heavenly. 

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I’ve really been enjoying using Klorane’s Mango Butter Range twice a week, with interim touch ups using the Klorane Oat Milk Dry Shampoo.  My scalp is definitely appreciating being left alone a little more, and my hair is super shiny thanks to the oils I’m clearly allowing to hang out a little more. 

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Being now able to stock up on these affordable Klorane products within the U.K, rendering those heavy beauty hauls back from Paris on the Eurostar less necessary, has also been massively helpful (and now there’s plenty more room to smuggle back cheese…!)

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Klorane is available at Boots, Escentual, Birchbox, Look Fantastic and independent pharmacies.

In collaboration with Klorane

Photography: Eva Salvi

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All She Wants For Christmas 2017

Jingle Kells is back here with a little annual, last min giftspiration for the lovely ladies in your life... If, like me, amidst the haze of festive celebrations and trying manically to finish sign off various bits of work, you’ve left your present buying to the very last minute, fear not! We still have some time to place orders for our loved ones online, cuppa in hand, rather than having to brave the last minute high street dash on Christmas Eve!  Oh and the Net a Porter SALE started today too, so all our disorganisation might have have paid off...

Hover and click on the items for their direct links and Merry Christmas (shopping)...

Above:  'Buy to Give' this season by spoiling your loved one with jewellery that also directly helps fight against ivory poaching.  The Tembo Collection comprises seven Masai bead inspired bracelets which I designed with Auree Jewellery, and every purchase of a Satao, Pembe or Shina (RRP. £50.00 - £140.00) sees 100% of the profit go to For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk that helps the heroes on the front line of conservation in their fight against elephant poaching across Africa. A real feel good pressie. 

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Above:  Pens, make up brushes, carrots… If they fit, they’re going in one of these Pentreath Hall Alphabet Pots (RRP. £42.50). How many is toooo many?! 

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Above:  A Cartwright & Butler festive hamper filled with thoroughly-British tasty treats… Let the feasting begin! (From RRP. £35.00)

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Above (L-R):  I already have a super chic, personalised Garment Bag (RRP. £175.00) from bespoke womenswear label Tephi, and now I'm after their perfect Washbag (RRP. £40.00) to match.  Edge of Ember's ethically and sustainably made personalised Love Letters (RRP.£95.00) are swoonsome and look even better when stacked together in different lengths. 

Oh, and don't forget that all important Stocking! 

 Dear Santa...!

The Watamu Turtle Pouch Launch and Competition

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Last week, Elizabeth Scarlett founder Elizabeth Elsey and I celebrated the launch of our ‘Watamu Turtle Pouch’ at an intimate breakfast in the festively decorated private dining room at Balthazar London in the heart of Covent Garden. 

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100% of the profit from our limited edition, intricately embroidered cotton, teal pouches (RRP. £25.00) go directly to the Local Ocean Conservation, a non profit organisation based in my home village of Watamu, back in Kenya.

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Local Ocean are committed to the protection of critically endangered and threatened sea turtles and the preservation of Watamu’s spectacular Marine Park and Reserve. Having been lucky enough to help with several of their turtle releases, I can tell you first hand, nothing brings more joy than watching these beautiful beings healthily return back into the wild.

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It was so great to see so many of my friends there to support my second ‘Buy To Give’ collaboration, and they all received their own ‘Watamu Turtle Pouch,’ which were filled with some of my other favourite ‘travel essentials,’ spoiling gifts from Jo Malone, Caudalie, Charlotte Tilbury, Spacemasks, ASOS Africa, and Sisley Paris.

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Above (L-R):  With Venetia Falconer, Niomi Smart, Rosanna Falconer and Liv Purvis.

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Above (L-R):  Nutritionist Zoe Stirling, Make-up artist Charlotte Cowen, presenter Venetia Falconer, and Matthew Williamson's Business Director, Rosanna Falconer.

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Above (L-R):  With documentary photographer Freya Dowson, and wellness guru Jasmine Hemsley

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Watch More Here... 

Watch out for the #TLCComp in the above vlog, for your chance to win your own Watamu Turtle Pouch filled with all my travel favourites (below).

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Photographs: Moeez Ali

With Thanks to Balthazar London

The Watamu Turtle Pouch

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This week I launched my second ‘Buy To Give’ collaboration, the limited-edition ‘Watamu Turtle Pouch,' (£25.00) with the wonderful British home wear designer Elizabeth Scarlett.

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I am proud to say that 100% of the profit from our limited edition, intricately embroidered cotton pouches goes straight to Local Ocean Conservation, a non profit organisation based in my home village of Watamu, on the beautiful Kenyan coast.

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Local Ocean Conservation are committed to the preservation of Watamu’s spectacular Marine Park and Reserve. With a focus on protecting critically endangered turtles, they use practical conservation, community involvement and development, education, research and campaigning to promote the sustainable use of Kenya's marine resources.

I have grown up in awe of the work that this project achieves, and have been lucky enough to help with many of Local Ocean's turtle releases, and I can tell you first hand, nothing brings more joy than watching these beautiful beings healthily return back into the wild.

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Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as endangered, slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells.  They also suffer from habitat destruction, plastic pollution, accidental capture in fishing nets, and having their nesting sites seriously affected by climate change (which is actually a real thing, Donald…!)

Being an avid fan of Elizabeth Scarlett, and sharing such mutual passions with the beautiful Lizzie herself (primarily, conservation and sustainability - oh, and a seeeeerious love of pineapples), I’m thrilled to be working together with her to raise some vital awareness and funds for Local Ocean Conservation.

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Please Buy To Give this Christmas…  #TLCxES

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The 'Watamu Turtle Pouch' can be purchased online at Elizabeth Scarlett.

All proceeds will go direct to Local Ocean Conservation.

Photographs of Elizabeth and TLC:  Ella Sadika

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