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.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Video: Autumn/Fall Fashion Haul

It's been a while since I've uploaded a clothing haul on my channel but fear not, I've definitely made up for lost time. From bright yellow raincoats to a coveted fur gilet (that resembles a dire wolf from Game of Thrones), I'm ready to embrace autumn with its golden crispy leaves and pumpkin-scented everything

If you have a spare moment or two, I've embedded the video below if you fancy a peek. I hold no responsibility for any grumpy bank accounts from spontaneous ordering although our wardrobes will be rejoicing! Think of it as an investment in your happiness ;)

Happy shopping!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Through My Lens #1: Sunsets in London

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London is a capital that thrives under constant change - it offers us new developments and flurries of the latest pop-ups yet it's easy to get lost in the motion of things. Trying to keep up with the rush often means we take for granted what's always been on our doorstep.

Lately, I've taken to skipping the underground in favour of long walks around the city with a goal of clocking in a daily target of 5 miles. I set off early with a good playlist and my camera stopping to capture the fleeting moments that catches the eye. Since doing so, I've built up a stream of snaps during my wanders and thought I'd share them on here for anyone who may be interested. I'm thankful for these windows of escape on days that stress comes knocking demanding to reign and overwhelm. It reminds me to reflect on my priorities and to shift my focus on the things that really matter.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Prague Day 3: Turning 22 (Daytime)

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Despite crawling into bed at 4am, I was gently nudged at 8 the following morning:

"Shu, wake up... it's your birthday! Happy birthday!!! Shu?"

The sleep fought its hardest to coax me back into a deep slumber but excitement ultimately won. I slowly sat up, rubbed my eyes and adjusted to the 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' bunting and balloons that presented themselves in front of me. My heart skipped a beat and I think I nearly burst into tears from the surprise (happy tears, mind)

Jordan had woken up an hour before to pin up the decorations: he silently blew balloons and balanced on top of wobbling tables all whilst trying to keep me asleep. Birthday cards from family and friends dotted themselves on the bedside tables, I sat cross-legged reading each one as I laughed, smiled and wiped away tears from my face.

After a quick breakfast, we strolled out to the warmth of the sun and a perfectly blue sky. I had been looking forward to visiting Prague Castle so we slowly made our way over, pausing to stop at the gardens and landmarks along the way.

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Once we reached the top of the hill, we rewarded ourselves with homemade herbal lemonade from a nearby stall. I opted for the dandelion flavour whilst Jordan chose the lemon balm. It was the right balance of sweetness along with a subtle shot of sour and was refreshing after our small trek!

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Prague Castle was spectacular with its towering turrets and haunting gargoyles guarding the walls. Drawing influence from a mix of Romanesque, Gothic and Bohemia architecture, it holds the Guinness records of being the largest ancient castle in the world. Walt Disney even drew inspiration from it and based the creation of Disneyland's castle on the structure!

Multicoloured specks of light were reflected against the walls from the stain-glassed windows and I may or may not have pretended to be a Disney princess when we were inside. I'm convinced that I even saw a flap of a wing from the stone creatures inside ;)

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We spent the next hour marvelling the detailing of the cathedral and its surrounding gardens before taking ourselves back into the city centre to feed our rumbling stomachs. We found a restaurant nestled quietly away from the hustle and bustle of the main square and plopped ourselves onto the stalls in the outside seating area. In no time at all, a plate of beef goulash appeared in front of me. The meat melted in the mouth and complimented the richness of the sauce perfectly. Jordan had chosen another Czech classic: svíčková - beef sirloin pieces in a creamed gravy sauce topped with cream and cranberry jam.  We mopped every last bit up with the bread dumplings and sat back to nurse our very satisfied food babies.

Next on our itinerary was the climb up The Tower for panoramic views of the city. Once we reached the summit, the scene that greeted us momentarily took our breaths away. Prague is already beautifully picturesque but seeing the city at a height is even more impressive. A blanket of miniature terracotta roofs contrasted with tall spires from Gothic buildings. Winding roads snaked themselves on cobbled stone paths from the main plazas and vibrant green trees lined along the city's borders.

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We ended our afternoon with a quick waltz around the jewellery shops (where a dainty amber ring was purchased!) and stopped to say hi to this little guy. I spoke a little parseltongue and he couldn't keep himself away from me! Sorry pal, I'm a Gryffindor.

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Now, I turned into a shutterbug and was rather snap happy so have split this post into two parts. After our reptile encounter, we stopped for a quick birthday drink and changed into our glad rags for the evening. Pop back in a couple of days for a night of the Black Light theatre, surprise birthday desserts and penicillin-themed cocktails!

If you've missed the first two days and fancy having a peruse of what we got up to, you can find day one here and day two here!

See you then! :)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

casual outfits: ripped jeans and bardot crop

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On this particular morning, the weather proposed to have a casual day.

'Leave your kimono and floppy fedora at home. Ditch the ankle boots and put on your best weekend sweats. It's time to take a break from being indoors, go for a long walk and breathe in some fresh air!'

Ever the sun worshipper, I happily obliged with a triumphant 'I have JUST the thing!' and flung open the wardrobe doors. I had recently gone through a 'lounging' phase so gleefully held out my new purchases and didn't hesitate to pull them on.

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[Bardot crop - ASOS, High-waisted Ridley jeans - ASOS, Converse Dainty Ox trainers - ASOS]

Along with some white denim shorts, the bardot crop top was a gift from Jordan following a hospital procedure I had been nervous about. It was an extremely kind gesture and it certainly squashed the butterflies racing around my stomach!

To minimise the classic Britney effect, I opted for these high-waisted jeans from ASOS that emphasised the waist line but covered the lower abdomen and hips. If you're 5' 3" like me, this will be just the ticket to fool yourself into thinking that you possess longer legs - if only for a few hours. The slight rip at the knee originally intended to add a grungy 90s feel until it took one look at my height, laughed and made a tent for itself under the knee caps. For Christmas this year, I'd like to add two inches to myself please!

What's a casual day without the appropriate footwear to match? I've fallen in love with a new pair of shoes: these Converse Dainty Ox trainers are the slimmer, sleeker and streamlined version of the originals. They're lightweight and extremely comfortable to walk in. I'm notorious for having a party of blisters (thank me later for the great imagery) when I'm trying to wear in a new pair of shoes but there's been zilch, zero, nada with these. If you find the usual pairs to resemble clumpy bricks on your feet, give these a try!

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To transition this for the autumn, sling on a nifty cropped leather jacket or duster coat over the top! For a more feminine approach, swap out the jeans with a high-waisted midi skirt with some moccasins to match.

I'm still feeling nostalgic for Buffy and the other TV shows from the era - Even Stevens and Sabrina the Teenage Witch anyone? Lizzie McGuire? Now excuse me while I hunt out the perfect 90s playlist and find old clips on YouTube...
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