Sunday, 30 June 2013

Back to Black (and White)

 black boyfriend crop: Primark
white crochet layer shorts: TK Maxx
Alibi ankle boots - Topshop


Today isn't the 'day two in Madrid' post but it will be up tomorrow! I thought I'd just post a quick outfit from a few months ago whilst I had a spare few minutes. I'm moving out of my uni house today so all is rather hectic. Everything is finally all packed though, hurrah! Jordan and I are going for a quick last stroll by the river before I leave. It's strange to think that I've been in Kingston for three years for university and it's now come to an end. I'm really going to miss it here but will be visiting frequently!

This outfit was actually part of the 'Summer Trends 2013' lookbook on my YouTube channel; take a peek at the embedded video below if you fancy a look! Whilst summer is all about celebrating florals, bright colours and patterned pieces - the monochrome trend was also deemed as one of S/S 13's biggest trends. Being an avid fan of the hues, I exclaimed a loud 'HURRAH' when I found out and didn't hasten to fling open my wardrobe to display my black and white clothing items.

Like much of my outfits, I tried to make this one appropriate from day to night. One, it's purse friendly. Two, it's versatile and three, I'm too lazy to change and get ready all over again for the evening. Crop tops have been everywhere on the high street and I've grown to become a big fan of the midriff flashing pieces. For those who are self-conscious of their abs, pairing it with high-waisted bottoms helps to solve that problem but still show a cheeky bit of your body for summer without ahem, looking like a strumpet.

As the black boyfriend crop top is plain, oversized and quite frankly... a bit dull, the crochet layered shorts helps to feminise it, add some texture and make it all the more interesting. They're my favourite summer shorts and I even bought a black pair too. Quelle surprise.

I must dash now, the swans on the thames are now calling me!

Have a great rest of the day,

I'll post as soon as I've moved in (and unpacked boooooo)

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Day 1 (Evening) in Madrid: Bright Orange Skater Skirt with Jeffrey Campbell Lita dupes

sleeveless chiffon shirt: Primark
orange skater skirt: River Island
gold choker necklace: Forever21
bag: Longchamp Le Pliage 
paisley print Lita dupes: eBay


I present to you my first evening outfit in Madrid! After a day of exploring, we decided to fully embrace Spanish culture with tapas (and sangria) plans. One of my favourite meals of all time!
We were recommended to go to the San Miguel area by the hotel staff and boy, we need to thank the man as it became our favourite spot for great food and drink!

For the occasion, I decided to dress up a little (but still leave room for a potential food baby). Out came the black chiffon shirt but hold your horses, this doesn't end in one of my usual monochrome affairs... a bright orange skater skirt broke the marriage and decided to accompany it instead. 

It's no secret that I'm a lover of patterned/loud/statement/crazy/you get my drift bottoms so this little number didn't escape from my wandering eyes at the River Island sale. It was reduced to £12 and I waited 2 months to finally wear it; the weather in Spain certainly did it justice. Pairing brightly coloured items with a neutral top half helps to lift and emphasise the intensity of the colour; it's also a great way for strict monochrome lovers to dip their toes into experimenting with colour without straying too far away from their comfort zone. 

However, I'm excited to colour clash this piece in the future and have a few items in mind to pair it with. A vivid cobalt blue loose vest would be dandy... complementary colours and all that. 

The occasion also called for a nice pair of heels. Well, it wasn't necessary but I wouldn't say no to the illusion of longer and slimmer legs. Trust me, I umm-ed and ahh-ed about taking these shoes with me with the fear that it'd remain a prisoner in my suitcase but fear not, they were put to good and frequent use during their time in Madrid. They're ridiculously comfortable to walk in for a 5 inch height thanks to its 3 inch platform buddy. I didn't fall flat on my face or trip (bravo), didn't form a single blister or have any troubles at all. 

I'll have one in every colour please.

Jokes aside, they're my 'test run' heels before I commit to the real thing. £120 is a whole lotta money! If you're interested in the dupes, you can purchase them here.

Onto the rest of the evening, we merrily walked over to the San Miguel square and were immediately greeted with the Mercado de San Miguel. Foodie. Heaven. It was an indoor market filled with tapas, pastries, seafood, paella, cocktails and stalls filled with a rainbow selection of fruit. It was incredible. We took a quick stroll around with the promise to return after dinner for dessert, we were not disappointed. We went back at least once every day after that evening; it was love at first sight.
Behold, the oldest restaurant in the world.
We finally decided to eat at Meson Rincon de la Cava largely due to the incredibly decorated interior and exterior.  The restaurant was perfect. It felt like we had stepped out of our modern day shoes and went back in time. The walls were lined with an array of flowers and old paintings. Old wicker chairs sat outside basking in the evening air and old wooden stools greeted us as we walked in. We sat at low wooden tables and our sangria was housed in a terracotta coloured pitcher. I'm not one for snazzy modern decor and would happily swap swanky glass doors with an antique that promised to tell you stories from the past. I'm also in a huge Game of Thrones phrase right now, I'm reading the books and rewatching all of the episodes. 

We even had live music! They weren't strumming harps and reciting poetry but instead settled for a microphone and a Toshiba keyboard... it was the thought that counted and it was lovely all the same. 
I'll leave you with this attractive image of me tucking into my favourite dessert in all the land. It was a hybrid between a pretzel and croissant filled with an almond paste before it smothered in rich dark chocolate. I don't sin often with my healthy lifestyle but this pastry dish had me forget about refined carbs and junk for a moment. Holy moly. I need another one.

That's a wrap up for day one!

I hope you enjoyed it and you're having a lovely day so far. Jordan and I will be exploring Central London today. We aim to walk until our feet hurt and drink in the buzz of the city. I also want to pay a visit to the Harrods Food Hall in an attempt to feel like a posh ol' lady. 

Have a great day! :)

Friday, 28 June 2013

Madrid: Day One (white on white with blue on the side)

blue shirt: ASOS
white blazer: Topshop
crochet layer shorts: TK Maxx
bag: Longchamp Le Pliage
brown plaited belt: Primark
black ballerina pumps: Primark
excited cheesy grins: my own


How are you all?

Apologies yet again for the long absence, life these past two months have been hectic to say the least (in a great way). My blog took a backseat but I have been updating my YouTube channel frequently if you were interested in taking a peek at summer trends, lazy day outfits, clothing hauls and a holiday lookbook! 

Let's start with a quick catch-up before I dive straight into the post. 

First up, I've finished university. The three years have come to an end and I welcomed 'real life' with open arms. It was a great experience but by the end of it, I was ready for a change from the academics. Life has been great, I now have a new job of which I'm UNBELIEVABLY happy/grateful/lucky/excited/eeeeeeee about. 

I won't go into details but it's for a social video technology company; I've been there for two weeks now and I absolutely love it. Everyone made me feel welcome before I had even started, I feel right at home. :) I'm so thankful for the position, to be able to work with such an amazing group of people and I love what I do. Hurrah! It also meant that 6am wake ups and a 2 hour round trip left little time for me to update my blog :( now that I'm settled in, I've created a lovely little daily routine so that will now be a thing of the past.

I also went to Madrid (the title was a bit of a giveaway). After the stresses of deadlines/job hunting/balancing internships, the holiday arrived at a perfect time. It was actually a 21st birthday present for Jordan although it definitely benefited me as well (sneaky sneaky...). We both had a brilliant time and I would 100% recommend the city if you have never been before but interested to pay it a vist. I didn't think I'd love it as much as I loved Barcelona but I was wrong!

Back to the outfit:

Rambling aside, this was the outfit that I wore on the first day. I wanted it to be comfortable yet feel that I had made some kind of effort for when I arrived in the city. The contents of my suitcase were shortlisted and the winners were the usual suspects: a blazer, shirt and patterned bottoms. That wasn't obvious, was it?

I ditched my black blazer and opted for the lighter version with the hopes of feeling more summery/alive/airy. Luckily, the sunshine had already provided that but for the early 3am wake-up in England, this injection of brightness was much needed.

White on white is a huge trend for this season and I decided to mix it up a little by throwing in a splash of colour. I don't wear this blue shirt enough yet I love how great it complements the white pieces and textures of the outfit. It's smart casual yet the fabric is comfortable enough for a quick nap on the plane and a day of exploring. 

To dress it down, I opted out of any tight fitting pair of trousers/smart jeans and chose these white crochet layered shorts instead. It's girly, playful and helps to eliminate the seriousness of the blazer and shirt combination. It also emphasises a tan too (which is always a bonus!) Shirts aren't solely restricted for formal occasions, try pairing it with some casual items and see if they work together! :)

I'll now leave you with a few photos that we took on day one!
We stopped off at Chocolatería San Ginés for their famous churros. It was the first time that I had it and we loved it so much, we went back another two times for breakfast! I'm craving it as I'm typing now (it's 2am). 
I'd say that Madrid and Barcelona are complete opposites of each other. Barcelona is more metropolitan, tourist-based, modern yet heavily focused on street art and music. Gaudi's work was a strong contrast against the contemporary architecture that laid upon the city walls and it was so refreshing to see the integration between the old and the new. Madrid on the other hand really reflected the traditions of Spanish culture. I loved walking down the cobbled streets and gazing up at the brightly coloured old buildings with decorated balconies; I loved walking past museums, market places and spending hours exploring the alleyways trailing off from the city's plazas. 

They're both different in their own way. If you love historical cities, Madrid is perfect. The atmosphere was incredible too, walking down to Plaza Mayor for dinner at 11pm to be greeted with cheering crowds and music was very different to life in London! I wish we had as much energy!
I wasn't kidding about the Spanish architecture! It's mesmerising.

And voila!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Day two, three and four are yet to come. I also have a backlog of around 20 outfit posts that will be up very soon, bear with me!

Let me know if you have any summer holidays coming up (so I can live vicariously off you)

I hope you're all having a lovely day,

Thank you for always being so patient :)


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