Thursday, 28 January 2016

Be more Karlie

I'm sure I'm not the only one who was delighted when Karlie Kloss was signed to be the new face of Topshop. Those of you who have seen my Pinterest (in particular my Karlie Kloss pins!) will already know that I love her style. But Karlie Kloss kitted out head to toe in Topshop? Perfection. After seeing her Topshop Lookbook, I found myself wanting to wanting to Be More Karlie, and wanting to dress more like her. And dress more like her, I did. To celebrate #bemorekarlie, I decided to try and emulate some of the pictures from the campaign. Obviously I don't have access to studio lighting or an industrial / urban space with stone steps and brick walls...but I gave it a go!

Khaki jacket (similar here)  // Red dress (similar here)

Blazer and trousers duo  // White tee (similar here)

One of the things I love about Karlie is how her poses look so natural and effortless. I thought they'd be easy to mimic, but the cramp in my leg - then foot - decided otherwise. Apologies for the grainy pics - I'm just your average girl, so don't have fancy lighting rigged up or a photographer friend to take my snaps for me. My SLR wouldn't focus so I had to use my compact camera which has the WORST NIGHT CAPABILITIES KNOWN TO MAN/WOMAN. #firstworldproblems

Epic lookbook and effortless posing, courtesy of Karlie and Topshop. Awful posing, my own.

#MyTravelMemory with Celebrity Cruises

For me personally, there’s no such thing as a bad holiday. So when looking back and reminiscing, it’s difficult to pinpoint the best of the best. But if I had to choose just one, it’d be Gran Canaria back in 2014.

To give you some background, 2014 didn’t have the best of starts. It started with a cancer scare. I’m usually so happy-go-lucky, and after such a shocking and nasty experience, life suddenly became all the more precious.

I love a city break as much as the next person, but a few months later after being given the all clear, I needed a holiday that was slower paced – to relax, and at the same time celebrate me getting past the big c.

I went with my then boyfriend and we ate wonderful food, drank wonderful wine, swam, lounged around by the pool, travelled to nearby towns, and went on long walks. There were laughs aplenty which was just the medicine I needed. Especially that one time we walked and found the most perfect, serene beach which was virtually empty of people. We couldn’t understand it. Then we came across a whole mass of people – all OAPs and naked – and suddenly understood why people avoided walking that far along the beach! Still to this day, I can’t erase the memory of an old and very naked man bending over to get something from his cool box… We walked further along the beach and were so glad we did, as here the sea was the bluest blue and we came across some sand dunes, the views from the tops of which were out of this world.

Although it wasn’t Italy, we embraced dolce far niente (the sweet beauty of doing f all). We had no set plans, just relaxing, treating ourselves and doing whatever we wanted. It was the trip that revived me and gave me my vim back. I’d never felt so alive as I did that particular week. And for that very reason, Gran Canaria will also be one of my fondest memories.

You can read more on my trip to Gran Canaria here

I now invite you guys to join in and reminisce with me! What travel memory do you hold most dear? Please share your blog post links in the comments below as I'd love to read all about your travel memories! #MyTravelMemory

The above is my entry for Celebrity Cruises latest competition where bloggers are invited to write about their favourite holiday memories in order to win a 7 night cruise,  or runners up prizes of restaurant vouchers (both very much up my street!)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

What I got for Christmas

I know that Christmas present posts aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I on the other hand love being nosy and seeing what other people unwrap! As you will soon discover, there are two main themes to this year's post... House and Wedding. All of a sudden I'm feeling a lot more "adult" and it's weird! Here's what I had for Christmas this year...

Wedding magazines - people are well aware that I'm getting married it seems!
House magazines - lots of inspiration for the - hopefully - soon to be house.
Alice in Wonderland colouring book - a wonderful find by my friend Penny
Cupcakes and Cashmere book - I  loved Emily's first book. Her second book is all about setting up home which is very relevant at the moment! She has such beautiful taste
Not that Kind of Girl  - I've heard plenty of good things about this book. I'm reading it now and it's hilarious! Tales of Lena's sexual 'conquests' are both amusing and cringe-worthy - in the best of ways. It's honest, unapologetic and refreshing.

Curiouser and Curiouser cushion - I love the quotes and the typeface and the fact that the colour matches my new sofa I was gifted lately. Very good choosing by my friend Alison!
Egg house - I've always wanted one of these and M. has always laughed it off as a non necessity. However I ended unwrapping this French vintage style egg house over Christmas and I was delighted - my parents know me so well!
Olive wood spatula - check out that beautiful detailing! Marble effect...but on wood
Vouchers - I may have spent my Zara voucher from Sofia already...haha! Other vouchers I received were for the house. Including some very generous B&Q vouchers from my friend Nicole and her husband
Slippers - I love cable knit socks / slippers. And it just isn't Christmas if you don't receive slippers!
Wine set - although this looks like a wine bottle, this actually unhinges and contains a wine connoisseurs set including a cork screw, foil cutter etc. Such a genius idea from my Grandparents!
Bag - tan leather bag from my friend Chinye. Can be worn across the body, or as a clutch
Photo frame - my friend Val knows I like natural interiors so this was spot on! I like the reclaimed wood feel to it
CK One - I love unisex scents and this is my one of my favourites.

One Line a Day - the most beautiful - and Instagram worthy - blue book with gold lettering and gold edged paper.
There are an eventful few years ahead of me so with this in mind, I can record my adventures over the next crazy five years!

White Company Winter Candle - I heard a lot of bloggers and Youtubers rave about this over Christmas so it was amazing to unwrap one of my own on the big day. Being cinnamon, clove and orange scented, it's heaven in candle form.

I also had a food hamper from my parents full of larder essentials like brown rice, pasta, spaghetti, tinned tomatoes etc. ready for when I move. So yes, a very wedding-and-new-home orientated gift guide this year! I remain incredibly grateful to all my friends and family for their generosity, but am still in disbelief that Christmas passed so quickly this year!

What did you receive over the festive period? I'd love to know! 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

#14 Life as we know it

... festive edition!

What have I been up to lately? Mostly snuggling up in cosy knits. Wearing my camel coloured Zara scarf to death. Yes it's been the mildest December / January that I can remember, but it won't stop me wrapping up!

The cutest decorations on our tree at work. Just look at the miniature Christmas jumpers!

Christmas markets. My favourite food stall this year was The Frenchie on London's Southbank which specialised in duck confit burgers. Not the prettiest of burgers... but the duck scratchings and truffle mayonnaise were heavenly!

Christmas cups. I wasn't overly impressed with any of the festive hot chocolates this year. The honey and almond hot chocolate from Starbucks tasted massively of my nemesis... marzipan *bleugh* ... so instead I mostly indulged in Starbucks' Signature Hot Chocolate (the best!) and Costa's standard hot chocolate topped with plenty of cream (a must!)

Starbucks still can't spell my name.... 

Woodland walks with Mr Curiouser and Curiouser.
The mild weather has been ideal.
The ground isn't too soggy, and there's no snow or ice (yet!).

Coming in from the cold, warming up with a mug (or two!) of mulled wine

Isn't this parcel beautiful? My best friend Alison has impeccable taste!

Flowers from work given to me on Christmas Eve.
I love poinsettias - nothing makes me feel more Christmasy!

I had a massive digital detox over Christmas which did me the world of good. No Internet. No phone. No TV. I work in Digital so it was nice to have a break from it all. Just before Christmas I treated myself to one of those adult colouring books and I can now understand what all the fuss is about! There's something very relaxing and satisfying about completing a design!

Hope you all enjoyed the festive season and that you saw the New Year in in style! I look back on the last year with fond memories. It was the year I got engaged to the most wonderful man. We met in the first year of uni and got closer and closer over the years. I don't really do New Year resolutions (and I'm not going to start now!) but in the New Year I look forward to moving in with my fiancé (still feels weird saying it!) and planning our big day. More details on the proposal to follow at a later date!