Saturday, 31 January 2015

Six Things to Pack for a Beach Holiday

This winter has allowed me to have a couple of beach breaks: first the Philippines for New Year's, then south Thailand for a week with my parents. Both holidays were completely brilliant, both times I dragged myself away and maintained an inevitable sulk face for the duration of the plane ride. When making this list, I didn't include items that are obvious (towel, book, swimwear) but essential items that you may neglect to bring...

1. The bag that will fit everything in 
I have tried the 'I'm-going-to-use-this-cute-little-bag-to-take-to-the-beach-and-carry-the-rest'... Needless to say it's a stupid approach as you balance everything while staggering across the beach. Wicker baskets such as this one are perfect to keep everything in and I like the timeless look of wicker on the beach. 

2. Ripped distressed denim
High-waisted, hip huggers, black, blue, grey, white.... take your pick. But make them distressed and worn for a laid back attitude. Mine are Topshop. 

3. A good sun hat 
As many of the items in this list, this hat combines style and practicality. Perfect for when you're trying to read (read THIS) or simply snooze in the sun, and makes you look a lot more together than you might otherwise be. Also, if you're prone: bad hair days no more. 

4. Crochet, of course
Timeless, feminine, comfy, attractive... my love for crochet began a while ago but recently it's expanded and I can't get enough. I'm selling these in black and white, so please get in touch via e-mail (contact page or right hand side bar) to find out details. 

5. Sunglasses, sunglasses, sunglasses
Cheap sunglasses are my weakness... If they're dirt cheap and novelty, I'm always there. Sadly I seem to get through them at an alarming rate, for example this spread from the Philippines has already reduced by 3 (I think someone stole them on the beach sad face). In an urban setting I tend to wear classic shapes and colours, but on the beach aaaanything goes. 

6. Heat Protectors
It's easy to get caught up by the sand, sea, and all round excitement of stepping on to the beach, but it's important to be sensible about it too; not only skin, but also hair and lips. In the way of suncream, P20 is applied once a day and it actually works - plus it's completely water resistant. It's a little more pricey but given you only need to apply once a day you save in the long run as the bottle will last ages. These are my current favourites for keeping my hair as tamed as it can be

So there you have it... are there any items you would add to the list? 
Let me know in the comments below!

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Monday, 26 January 2015

All Things Crochet

CROCHET tops - contact me for details 

This is a bit of a different style post: the concentration is clearly on styling the CROCHET TOPS rather than focusing on one single outfit. I really enjoyed working out how many ways I could style these gorgeous tops and what would work in what setting, how to make it more evening-appropriate, more urban etc...

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have caught on to the fact I am obsessed with crochet at the moment. I've always been a big fan, especially for hot temperatures, but when I arrived in Bangkok's markets and discovered the gorgeous items on offer, I knew this holiday's wardrobe was non-negotiable.

THE GOOD NEWS... if you, like me, love these tops, I will be selling them very soon in both white and black versions, and will try my best to get a hold of a variety of sizes... They're super cheap and amazing value, so if you're at all interested, please send me an e-mail (link to the right of this post or on my contact page) for details!

Ph. by Mama Elkin 
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Friday, 23 January 2015

How to: Day to Night

CHINESE MARKET dress, PRIMARK cardigan (similar here), CHANEL style bag, RAYBAN wayfarer sunglasses, NIKE frees via Sarenza*, OLIVIA BURTON watchVINTAGE gold and silver chains

Wearing a feminine outfit that has a smart feel and banging some sneaks on is my daily go-to this season; not only do my feet love me but I think it adds an up-to-date element to an otherwise pretty classic outfit. To maintain a polished look I layered these gold necklaces and added a few classic accessories. There’s even an opportunity to take this to night, with possibly some rouge on the lips? 

I absolutely love this dress: in sync with my monochrome tastes, flattering, smart… and all for a steal of 5 pounds in a market. It’s sleeveless, in a similar way to this Topshop dress, but it’s still winter (unfortunately?) so layering is essential (read more here). I added a couple of black t-shirts underneath (I find Primark works fine) and the previously raved about HeatTech Uniqlo leggings

Flying to Thailand as we speak, so more travel posts heading to the blog, and of course Instagram

Keep tuned for what I wore on top of this outfit to keep me extra warm… 

Ph. by Jenna Cammish
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Monday, 19 January 2015

Checked In: Radisson Blu

All photos by me

A quick hello from my Business Class room on the 35th floor at the Radisson Blu in central Shanghai... I'm here for the weekend hosted by Club Carlson. Feelings so far: phenomenal. 

For the time being, keep up to date on Instagram; I'm collating photos for a couple of killa posts on this beautiful place and my stay... Going to check out the pool now! 

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Philippines Travel Diary: Part 2

Typhoon, rain, blue skies; mangoes, pineapples and papayas; lush rainforest, turquoise sea and jaw-dropping views... click through to see more

Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Crisp Winter's Day

THRIFTED coat (similar, on sale), MANGO roll-neck (£5 in the sale), ASOS leather-look jeans(similar), MANGO flats (£20 in the sale), CHANEL bag, RAYBAN wayfarer sunglasses

After all this Philippines, winter sun talk I thought it would be appropriate to throw in a winter outfit for those struggling with those prevailing January blues (I myself am probably suffering from the worst case I've ever had... #SOS - thank Goodness for meeting my parents in Thailand next week!)

You could say this outfit epitomises a winter's day: clean, fresh, fuss-free... Dressing in only black and cream makes the coat really stand out; while the roll-neck, pointed flats (ultimate shoe porn) and Wayfarers help towards making this outfit super polished, just the way I like it. 

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Monday, 12 January 2015

Philippines Travel Diary: Part I

Objectively photogenic, there’s something special about visiting the tropics in mid-winter… 
Your eyes are especially drawn to the deep turquoise, 
your skin more sensitive to the heat, and your toes to the white sand under them

Thursday, 8 January 2015

2015: Fresh

BEACH sarong, MANGO pants (as in this post)

Fresh back from the Philippines, exams already out of the way (tell me if you find a better feeling because I don’t know one) and Chinese university has finally finished for the Winter Break… however, I can confirm that Boracay Blues are some of the worst I’ve ever felt. How could you not miss the turquoise blue sea, the fresh fruit shakes on every corner, the palm trees, and the chilled out attitude of the locals…? But more on that in my next post. 

Much to my constant frustration, I’ve never been much of a creative/ DIY sort of person (although my bubble writing is on point) so when I knotted my freshly purchased sarong into a back-bearing crop top, I was pretty pleased with myself. 
Not much of a tutorial here apart from: 
1) sling the sarong around your neck, 
2) criss-cross it across your front (let some fall loose if you don’t like bearing too much flesh)
3) tie at the back in a sturdy knot 

Many more posts coming very soon, stay tuned!

Ph. by Kieran Carty

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

2014 Recap


2014 was a big year: I travelled to Kerala, Paris, Shanghai and the Philippines, I really focused on my blog in order for it to grow, I came top 10 in Company Magazine's Blogger of the Year Award in the Newcomer category, I worked for Fibre Magazine, I received a scholarship to study in China and, most importantly, I waved Europe good-bye to move to Shanghai for a year! It's had its ups and downs - what year doesn't? - but I've learnt so much... namely a lot of Mandarin (!!)

I'm in the Philippines for the week, so keep up to date on my Instagram for some tropical shots. Also I'm preparing a Philippines travel post soon... it's going to be epic!

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