Monday, 4 January 2016

From The Archives: The Cold Shoulder Lace Dress

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How many sleepy heads are heading back to work today after the festive break?

As I'm forever chirpy in the mornings, imagine me trilling a 'GOOD MORRRNING' and twirling about holding a bucket of coffee until both ends of your lips lift a centimetre or three. A smile makes all the difference - and if all else fails, there's the caffeine to bathe yourself in.

I know the 4th of January means looking forward rather than peeking back, but a quick browse through the archives meant I rediscovered these snaps from mid-September. My beautiful pal Mae took these and it would be a shame to not share these with you! There's two more outfits to post - and I promise you'll fall in love with her photography as much as I have... hence why I'd drag her out at lunchtimes to help shoot these.

I go weak at the knees for a cold shouldered piece; I've stealthily been adding more and more to my wardrobe over the past year. It's ideal for a day-to-night transition, it's feminine and eliminates the need for excess accessories as the statement cut speaks for itself. Saying that, I'm also a jewellery fiend so I can never resist a necklace buffet - and we all know how much I like a good buffet.

This little number was less than £5 from a market in China, though it cost me even less as I swiped it from my sister. There's a ton of cold-shoulder dresses on the high street, and ASOS is brimming with hundreds of them. This is the most similar one I've found.

I hope you all have the most amazing day.

Don't let the January blues catch you!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Guess Who's Back? Back Again (x168)

Hello, old friends!

Before I dive into my usual waffle,  imagine me (five rounds of cheeseboards heavier, mind) excitedly jumping up and down pointing at the new blog layout. After 4 years, it was time for this little ol' space to have a snazzy new revamp. Similar to me grimacing at photos of my toddler mushroom bowl cut, I expect my previous template shuddered at my basic CSS skills.

Struck by the festive holiday break, I return with a tail between my legs (and my new pet, the Christmas Tummy) again to this internet home. There's a library full of every day snapshots nestled in my camera feed, and I want to start making a conscious effort to fly them across to this space. I've always seen my YouTube and blog as digital scrapbooks shared amongst friends - and a life catch up between us all is well overdue!

In the mean time, I've been a plump but busy little bee and uploaded a 'Winter Lookbook' video today. In this visual number, you'll find 5 casual outfits and a lot of awkward dancing. If you've got a few minutes, feel free to click on the play button below! Make sure you have a hot cuppa tea with you too : )

I always say this but thank you for sticking around. 

Goodness knows why you guys are still here, but I appreciate it incredibly so.

Now give yourself a squeeze, that's a virtual little hug from me.


Monday, 7 September 2015

930,310 views?! Thank you.

Warning: this is going to be quite the emotional post. I've not eaten any halloumi or feta today but it hasn't stopped me from being a delirious cheeseball. 

Google Analytics just informed me that I've hit a lifetime total of 930,310 views. Whilst this is a minuscule number to other content creators, that's 930,300 more than I thought would appear (let's leave 10 views for Mumma Shu). Holy mother of mangos. Thank you.

The 2 year old pigeon charmer above would never have expected it. Whilst I still can't quite understand why anyone would want to watch little ol' me waffle on, thank you for joining me on this online venture over the past 4 years!

I've always seen my channel as an online diary, a digital scrapbook that I've kept growing up. The difference is, there's now over 10,000 of you hopping on each stepping stone with me! That definitely has me grimacing at my attempts of humour and embarrassing dances during videos.

From celebrating my 18th and 21st birthday, university, my first graduate job to your support on my orthorexia video, I truly feel lucky, grateful and thankful to have such a wonderful group of online friends around me and I've relied on you more than you'd even realise. Your kindness has helped on the times I've struggled to pick myself up. Your comments/emails/tweets of encouragement puts a smile on my face, especially when you tag me in anything food/Harry Potter/pun related that's reminded you of me as you're going about your daily life! It makes my day :)

While I try to keep my channel as a positive space, I don't intend for it to be a highlight reel. There will still be days I'll stumble and fall - we're only human and I'm still learning. But it does remind me to celebrate the happiness in every moment and being able to share these videos with you all makes it even more special - it's as if we're all gathering around an open fire with a hot cuppa tea flicking through our own storybooks of adventure. I wouldn't change a single thing. Here's to 4 more years!

Thank you for being a part of my internet home :)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

70s Fashion and Bike Rides in London

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I once wore this fringed knit with a pair of ripped boyfriend jeans to work and was told that I resembled a '90s Shakira'. I twirled on the spot, looked up and responded with 'Aha, the SHUKIRA' through the cheesiest grin I could muster at 9:30 on a Monday morning.

The story above has absolutely no relevance to the outfit above but the memory tickles the corners of my lips every time it springs to mind.

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We'll fast forward to a few months later.

On this particular day, a bicycle ride from West to East London happened. I hopped myself onto the saddle and pedalled my feet along the Thames path, on the left side of the roads and gingerly signalled right at the roundabouts. It was somewhat of a personal victory.

I was also distracted by a 3-course lunch on the way back from a toilet break. Thai as I might, I couldn't resist. The Khao Niaow Ma Muang (mango with coconut sticky rice dessert) was glorious and rendered me speechless the whole 55 seconds it took for me to inhale it.

I waddled out with my crochet knit as my partner in crime and the Roshe Runs did their best to hoist my (after banquet) weight back onto the bicycle. My sunglasses tinted landmarks into picturesque scenes from the 1970s as the tassels danced to the chimes of the bell... warn passers-by of my presence. Ding. Ding. Ding! Children and old people, beware.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

the green juice must be telling me a grape joke

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It's 1am, Wet Hot American Summer is on and my eyebrows are knitted together wondering why I'm finding my green juice to be so hilarious.

It must be telling me a grape joke, one that I find appeeling enough to make my heart skip a beet.

Psst... do those punny attempts make up for the fact that tumble weed replaced regular posts over the past two months? Despite the radio blogging silence, I have bean thinking of this little ol' space and missed it berry much. 

Nothing? Yikes. Tough crowd.

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There are days that I wake up wanting to play dress up.

On this particular morning, the summer air waved an array of sunlight over my wardrobe and cast a spell upon my usual attire. My XL men's jumper was replaced with this periwinkle blue number that hugged me around the waist and billowed out during the moments I played 'dizzy dinosaurs' (and immediately regretted).

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This swishy piece boarded the train from my sister's room to mine and was a gem purchased from ASOS last year. Despite the exact style being out of stock, the same rule applies - skater dresses suits all.

Those with athletic bodies can carve curves with the symmetrical design; longer length sleeves balance out pear shapes whilst apples can create definition with a cinched in waist. One word of warning though, I most definitely don't recommend spinning non-stop after lunch in this... no matter how much twirling potential it seems to have. 

 Fancy the moving image version of this outfit? Why, I'll just leave this right here!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Paradoxical Elements: Silk Stripes and Roshe Runs

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There's something paradoxical about attempting to make two opposites attract, a clash of opposing spectrums that's strangely complementary.

Take a formal style shirt paired with a classic pyjama print, a leather band watch with Nike Roshe Runs and a monochrome outfit with an overlay of greenery from the South Downs.

They form comforting combinations in a mixing palette of otherwise contradictory elements.


Outfit Details:

Striped Print Shirt - Bershka
MOTO Joni Jeans - Topshop
Roshe Run - Nike via ASOS
Clubmaster Sunglasses - Ray-Ban

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Exploring Budapest

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I'm currently squeezing my eyes shut with my fingers crossed to magically *pop* from my bedroom in London back to the cobbled streets of Budapest. Alas, I'm sat with a tummy full of pancakes and the background noise of The Holiday. Let's not get into that, there's no logic involved except that I'm clearly excessively wild and rebellious by watching a Christmas film on the first days of June.

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Backdating to March, this was my travelling outfit on the train ride over from Vienna with the full intention of channeling a 50s siren beaming with elegance. In reality, after a feast of every breakfast food possible (oh, hello croissants/eggs/salmon/yogurt/granola/fruit/jam toast/bread rolls and prosecco because... wine not?) and a excitable morning running around the towers of an ancient cathedral, it was less Hepburn/Bardot and more dishevelled goose with a tummy fulla carbs.

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Everywhere you turn, the city exudes an abundance of history and charm. Buda Palace sits proudly atop the Danube river; the Fisherman's Bastion boasts picturesque views from its lookout towers. Come evening, spotlights dance against the historical buildings and transforms into Hogwarts. It was enough to render me speechless and wide-eyed as I went about exploring.

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Whilst discovering cubby holes and hidden hallways, a hauntingly beautiful voice echoed along the corridors. After following the musical path with a few other intrigued guests, it revealed an elderly man sitting back with his homemade guitar. He gestured at us to sit, closed his eyes and sung classic renditions from The Beatles, Elvis and Johnny Cash. We all sat under the moonlight and listened as our hearts collectively hummed with delight.

A beautifully magical evening and a memory that I'll forever be returning to if only to relive and rehear the perfect tranquility experienced in a forgotten tower at the top of Buda Castle; a fool's paradise.

Outfit Details:
  • Bardot striped top - Zara
  • Jamie ripped jeans - Topshop
  • Felt fedora hat - ASOS
  • Carpet bag - Topshop
  • Burgundy cut-out boots - Zara

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

My Weekend Down South and The Confinements of Social Media

Sometimes, the best adventures stem from the roots of nostalgia and the branches of familiarity.

Over the bank holiday weekend, I took a trip down to the south coast with an explorer's bag, a camera and plans to create new memories with old friends.

These photographs are a collection of postcards captured over the past three days, each one a snapshot of the people and places that put themselves on the map as the reasons why I'm happy to return home.

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Living beside the seaside with the backdrop of the South Downs means a palette filled with the seasonal colours of nature painted this weekend's canvas.

I pulled on my walking shoes (note: Nike Roshe Runs are the definition of the phrase 'walking on clouds') and strolled through a nearby park towering with willow trees surrounding by a boating lake. A sign told me that it was One Eyed Jack's territory with his army of pirate boats but aside from a trio of ducklings taking their first paddle on the gentle waves, the gentleman in question was nowhere to be seen.

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Politeness will get you everywhere - although in this case, it would be at a slower pace. I also positively told my feet to not run astray and to walk slowly through the restricted areas.

After drinking in the views, I hurried back to be reacquainted with a wagging tail and an affectionate lick. We had long conversations (mainly woofs and gruffs) catching up with each other's adventures before I refocused my attention back to the humans and attended to our rumbling stomachs.

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We passed peculiar signs...

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and I filled a morning with an early brunch of vegan cakes, savoury scone meze platters and full-bellied squeezes with a truly beautiful soul that I'm honoured to call my best friend. We exchanged tales, whispers and stories over a teapot of Moroccan mint tea before rolling home promising to repeat it all again in a month's time.

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You'd think that amount of food would have been enough, wouldn't you? My appetite had other ideas. Come evening, I found myself sitting cross-legged on my friend's bedroom floor being surrounded by our favourite things. We ate pizza filled with the cheesiest of crusts, BBQ-laced chicken wings and drunk swigs of cinnamon whiskey to the soundtrack of Game of Thrones and The Breakfast Club (until I bleated mid-movie to him for a Harry Potter marathon where I proceeded to quote the entire film between mouthfuls of food. Classy one, me.) before our phones rung inviting us down to a Sherlock-esque pub in Brighton.

We hopped on the train to The Globe where stacks of board games and a 90s soundtrack greeted us. We spent the following hours competing with Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit washed down with goblets of gin and shots of spirits.

We laughed, danced, sung and spelled words laced with innuendos until 3am before we stumbled into a taxi that guided us back to our warm beds before waking up to an afternoon family barbecue. More food? I forgot to warn you that it was a weekend of indulgence.

Note to self: chilli Doritos on top of a spicy burger will forever be one of my better ideas.

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Before long, my 72 hours by the seaside came to an end. Waving goodbye, I jumped back on the train as we hurtled along the tracks back to the city accompanied by a suitcase brimming with the past weekend's entertainment, ready to be unpacked and revisited at a later date.

In a society confined by the walls of social media and constant online attachment, this weekend made me realise the importance of the physical forms of communication that no paragraphs of emojis could possibly replace. In other words, here's to reconnecting with old friends and family. It was good to be home.
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