Wednesday, 29 October 2014

San Antonio, Texas - Photo Diary #1

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Hello, you lovely lot!

I'm back from the most amazing trip away; Jordan and I spent 6 days in San Antonio, Texas and a further 5 days in New York. It was my first time visiting the States so needless to say that I was very, very excited. For the first few days, I was either running around squealing at everything 'TARGET! YELLOW CABS! TRADER JOE'S! CAWFEE! ACCENTS! OH, THE FOOD! BREATHTAKINGLY TALL SKYSCRAPERS!' or walking around silently (much to the pleasure of those around me) with an open mouth and widened eyes trying to drink in the sights and sounds around me.

As Texas and New York are completely different with their local culture, surroundings, food, energy and weather (hello 36C Texan heat in October and brief biting winds in NYC), I thought I'd share a series of photo diaries of my shutterbug moments during our travels. For those into videos, I daily vlogged my trip on my channel - you can find day one here!

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First up, San Antonio:

We had the chance to catch up with family, attend his cousin Johanna's wedding (many happy tears were shed, it was a beautiful celebration of love), stroll along the incredible River Walk and I consumed everything flavoured with pumpkin spice. I half suspect that I've returned as a pumpkin but at least it'll be fitting for Hallowe'en, ey?

I've never known kinder people than the Texans that I met during my stay there. It was so lovely to be reunited with Jordan's auntie, uncle and cousins again and to spend some quality time together exploring their local stomping ground. They all became part-time tour guides and chefs with their constant stream of historical facts and knowledge of the city; Jordan and I couldn't be more grateful to them for spending their precious hours on us to ensure that we both had a great time, especially with the wedding happening 4 days after our arrival! I already miss seeing their smiling faces each morning.

As Londoners are renowned for their quick mutters, fast scowls and slumped shoulders, what truly surprised me was the generosity extended from the complete strangers that we encountered. Everybody from the airport security, waiters to passersby welcomed us with open arms and shared their warm smiles with us as soon as we approached. They took a genuine interest in our trip and bent over backwards to help us with whatever we needed - a grin and a string of happy words goes a very long way indeed! Being on the receiving end of a cheerful greeting and a 'how are y'all doing' made all the difference - all it takes is a few seconds and you could very well have improved that person's day if only by a little amount! :)

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The heat engulfed us with its unexpected warmth; to shield our eyes from the sun rays that glared down at us, we donned our best sunglasses and continued on our merry way. Spot the ones that I've been favouring?

The lovely people from Smart Buy Glasses popped over an email to see if I'd like to try out a pair of their designer sunnies and with a holiday around the corner, it couldn't have arrived at a better time and I couldn't be happier with them. The delivery was fast and the package was enveloped in layers of protective cardboard sheets and bubble wrap. Along with the case and lens cloth, the company also added in their own branded lens cleaning solution and a mini screwdriver keyring for any pesky loose screws inevitable after constant long-term use! I opted for the Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses in mock tortoise for its classic and versatile design; the green lens helped to neutralise the bright tones and I seemed to gaze out at scenes carved straight from an Instagram filter,  I'm still sneaking in a few uses out of them before the sky retires to a wash of winter's grey. For those interested, you can check out the full range here.

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There's been a serious case of Shu and Jordan VS. food during our meals there; generous portion sizes for a fraction of the price that it'd fetch back home! We often rubbed our bulging bellies as we attempted to walk it off with a meander along the river front before we dived into another banquet as soon as we stepped back into the house! I quite fancy another Kobe bourbon burger with a portion of sweet potato fries on the side, I may look overwhelmed in the picture above but pssst... Shu won.

-triumphant fist pump-

Another photo diary of Texas will be comin' up again very soon (hello Target and pumpkin overload) followed swiftly by our adventures in New York. They're both truly incredible states, I'm already conjuring up plans to return again next year.

I've compiled a playlist of my trip in the States if you fancy something to go alongside your cuppa tea! :)
 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Weekend Photo Diary #1: America, Beaches, Cookies and Dates



HAPPY FRI-YAY.

In celebration of the approaching weekend, I thought I'd post a photo diary to summarise last week's adventures. After a week of early risings, 5 mile walks and long commutes, the only plans that I had penciled in my diary was to catch some ZZZs, chomp on carbs, coastal walks and a cinema trip to see Gone Girl.

Jordan and I wanted a very chilled out couple of days and instead of rushing around with a packed itinerary, we wanted to take it slow and enjoy each other's company instead... I also wanted a reason to stay in my pyjamas and to make dens out of the duvets and blankets so there's that too.

saturday:


- A stack of protein pancakes AND a fry-up each. If that's wrong then I never want to be right -  my tummy was grrrumblin' after my work out and it was doing a magnificent hunger dance so I fed it.

- October: IT'S TIME FOR MY PUMPKIN SOCKS! I keep padding around the house prodding at people to look at my warm Hallowe'en-themed tootsies. The novelty has been put on a temporary hold as it's spinning around in the washing machine right now.

- Date night begins with a plate full of carbs starting with a king prawn with monkfish linguine! Jordan's carbonara was better though and half the price too (pah!) so I may have stolen a strand... or three.

- Movie time! I really enjoyed Gone Girl and thought the performances from Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike were fantastic. I rarely watch films before reading the book first but I loved being on the edge of my seat during the twists and turns not knowing what was going to happen next! The book has since been downloaded and the writing is brilllliant.

sunday:


- Another day, another stack. This time, it's cacao buckwheat pancakes with mango cubes on the side.

- We went on a 10 mile walk passing boating lakes, long stretches of lands and cobbled paths with willow tree arches before stopping off at a vintage tea room with tea cakes and popcorn tea (cappuccino for the gentleman). We bumped into our friend Pete so had an overdue catch up of life since secondary school - a lot of smiling and laughter happened.

For a moving image and more detailed version of the above events, I present to you my weekend vlog video filled with even more food, a snoozing dog and long rambles from yours truly all wrapped up with a joyful jingle. Have a cuppa tea ready!



Have a lovely weekend! :)

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Topshop 'Jamie' Ripped Jeans and The Perfect Cut-Out Boots

 photo IMG_5487_zps5d10b659.jpg uk fashion blog, uk style blogger shulikesclothes shu likes clothes blog

My mother once stopped a lady in a shop to tell her that she had picked up a faulty pair of jeans.

"I don't know if you noticed but they're ripped at the knees, do you want me to help you find another pair?"

I think the lady thought that she was being sarcastic and scathingly replied with a cool 'they're meant to be like that' and sauntered off with the torn-on-purpose denim in her hands. My mother was left puzzled and muttered her confusion at people paying £££ for some grazed knees. Give me £40, a pair of scissors and I'll do it for you. 

You can imagine her reaction when I turned up with a Topshop bag swinging from my elbow with one leg of the Jamie jeans peeking out from the top. She held her breath, shot me one of those looks and hurried downstairs to make dinner. Meanwhile, my sisters and I flopped onto the sofa and excitedly rummaged through the day's purchases that ended with a swish, turn and sashay across the make believe runway in the bedroom.

Ripped jeans, I'm now a convert. My usual smart blouses have now been tainted with a rugged appeal and I love it. If there's an essential item that you should purchase for autumn/winter this year, it's this. I'm hailing it as a wardrobe essential and I reach for it on the days when archetypal stereotypes are thrown into a mixing pot of preppy and grunge. Think... Blair Waldorf and Jenny Humphrey (during that raccoon phase in season 2+3).

Speaking of which, for those who haven't heard me virtually bellow from my YouTube/Instagram/Twitter and Facebook accounts, I'm going to San Antonio and New York next week and I couldn't be more excited. Whilst there's a sprinkling of cultural monuments and museums on my list, 80% of it are various restaurants and food trucks that I've marked down to visit. If you've been to Texas or the Big Apple and have some 'must do/see/eat' recommendations, please do let me know! I recently made a Q&A video too so if you have any questions you've ever wanted to ask me, pop it in the comments box of the embedded video below! :)

 See y'all later << I'm trying, I'm trying.

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|| Shirt - Gap - Ripped jeans - Topshop - Burgundy Cut Out boots - Zara - Lipstick - Revlon Black Cherry ||




Monday, 29 September 2014

Autumn/Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014

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Oh, Monday mornings. I'm head to toe in the 'black coffee to go' outfit in the thumbnail shot with a distinctive lack of a caffeinated mug in hand. I'll be sure to fix that, pronto. 

In the mean time, I uploaded the first part of my Autumn/Fall Fashion Lookbook video on my YouTube channel yesterday evening and thought some of you may want to take a peek! There are 5 transitional outfits as a guide through the autumnal awakening whilst summer takes a long and slow slumber until the following year (although if it feels like popping over from time to time for a fleeting visit, that would be great too) I've tried to organise the ensembles to suit most climates with room to adapt for those in milder/cooler temperatures!
 

Stay tuned for the second part in the next couple of weeks for a few more outfits! For those who prefer a written post, more detailed outfit shots will also go up in the next week or so with links to the pieces available in the shops : )

Hope you're all having a great day so far! :)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

the transitional knit



There's certainly been an autumnal chill in the air and it won't be long until I'll be wrapped up in an oversized scarf, crunching on golden leaves in my winter boots and come home to a pumpkin-scented candle and a hot cuppa tea for the longer evenings.

But for now, the remains of summer is still around the corner so I'm exhausting the last of my pastel-coloured knits and bare legs until next year. This jumper was a bargain at £3.99 from Pull & Bear and it's the perfect transitional piece to take me through the seasonal crossroad. It's oversized, slouchy and soft enough to lounge around the house in after running errands all day. I've paired it with some shorts but a fitted pair of skinny/leather trousers will be replaced when the cooler weather comes to stay!

My sister is moving into her university halls today and my other little sister moved last weekend so it's been a little manic around the house. I remember moving away 4 years ago and as cliche as it sounds, it's all flashed by in a blink of an eye. They were 14-15 and it's a little strange that it's their turn to start this new chapter of their lives now! I'm incredibly proud of them and will no doubt be seeing them more often when they pop over for some home-cooked meals ;)

What have you been up to this weekend?  Have a great rest of your Sunday! :)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

the peasant swing dress



If I could ever be an item of clothing, I'd happily be this one.

From the embroidered detailing, shoulder cut-outs to the flared sleeves, there's certainly an ethereal air about the dress that has me fluttering around like a forest nymph. The dress was an extremely kind gift from a colleague at work and she couldn't have given me a more perfect piece; it's gone to a loving home, Harriet! For those who may be interested, I've found a very similar dress from ASOS (which is currently on sale too so hurry over!)

Jordan and I have booked a 10-day trip to Texas and New York next month and with our fingers crossed that the weather will stay in the 30s, I'll be packing this little number with me ready to jump on haystacks and mingle with cowboys. I've been told that the chances of the above happening are very slim but I'm practising my best Texan drawl anyway... just in case.