4 February 2016

Must Have. Final SALE – the best steals

If you’re smart you’ll hold out.

I’ve been given this advice so many times in my life and it’s always paid off. Hold out for the right job. Hold out for the right time to invest. Another instance in life where this phrase comes into play?... Sale shopping. And I’m here to tell you, if you’ve been holding out, now’s the time to shop.

Most retailers have now got their final markdowns on and you can even nab a sneaky extra % off with a few too. Sure the pickings are a little slimmer but the prices are rock bottom. I’ve rounded up the best bargains below so hold out no longer and go go go…

Their final markdowns are up to 70% off! Hello designer bargain, plus get an extra 20% off items marked a “Sale Must-Have” with code: SALE20.

So many party dresses so little time. Up to 70% off these styles will ensure your Saturday night wardrobe is sorted.

Always one to go to for standout styles, REVOLVE’s final sale is not to be missed.

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Photos via retailers.

1 February 2016

Suitcase. Runnymede On Thames, Surrey

Friday afternoon and it was time to escape the city, fleeing the overcrowded stations and cranky commuters we were heading for a weekend of luxury at the Runneymede On Thames in Surrey.

Jacket (similar and a total steal) / Boots 

Arriving *whoosh* we were hit with crisp, fresh country air. Such a pleasant change from London’s hustle-and-bustle. I immediately felt on Surrey time.

History buffs will love the fact this spa hotel lies just down the road from an ancient battleground and the spot where the famous Magna Carta was signed. Interesting, right?!

After a whip around the property and a cheeky dip in the spa and sauna it was time for supper at the Lock Kitchen. Three courses awaited us which we gobbled with much enthusiasm as we sipped wine and shared stories from our week.

You can’t beat the scallops for entrĂ©e. Every time I eat these beautiful sea-beings I think of the crabs in Finding Nemo eating the air bubbles saying “sweet nectar of god!”. I couldn’t agree more…

Next we had the lamb shank with cous cous and the sea bream ratatouille. The lamb was delightfully tender and the fish extremely fresh.

Then, my favourite: dessert of course. A little Eaton mess and then a very, very delicious treacle pudding. Can you tell I love my custard?

We retired to our room, made a cuppa’ then fell into bed, drifting instantly into a deep slumber in what could possibly be the comfiest bed I’ve slept in…

Morning came and I think it’s safe to say I’ve woken up to worse views. Such tranquillity…

We rolled out of bed with grumbling tummies and set off towards the scent of cooking where we were let loose on the buffet. The breakfast options are never ending here. Think of any breakfast food – yep they have it.

After breakfast we sat in the lounge and devoured the day’s news. When else is there such time for these guilty pleasures? Certainly not in London…

By then the sun was trying to shine so we set off outside for a stroll by the River Thames, through the woods and round the gardens.

When the chill got the better of us we headed to the tranquil studio for a yoga class - I was certainly very out of practice but I aced my omm-ing...

Then I set my sights on the spa where I was massaged and smoothed to within an inch of my life. I left feeling as relaxed as a molten pool of butter, heading for the spa deck for a hot cup of ginger tea.

I tell you it’s a tough life here at Runnymede but I think I could get used to it… Book your spa break here and tell them I sent you. It’s the perfect way to brighten a grey winter and switch off from life’s responsibilities. I guarantee you won’t regret it…

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Photos by @CuriousSophia - she's quite the travel bug too, follow her amazing adventures on Instagram.

27 January 2016

One Day. Living In London: The 18-Month Itch

In many ways, moving to a new country is like dating someone new. First there’s the getting to know them stage; you’re a bit uncertain and insecure as you tentatively seek out information, armed with a generous dose of superficial judgement. Stage two equals the exhilaration phase. You’ve decided you like it so you’re swept up in the moment, thrilled at the prospect of something so new and exciting. You’re blind to faults, you go with the flow…

It’s going to take 2 weeks to open a UK bank account? No problem! I don’t mind draining my savings while I wait, it’s obviously a very thorough process…

The supermarket is only open for 6 hours on a Sunday? That’s fine – work life balance right? I’ll make sure I’ve got no plans between 12-6pm to grab those groceries…

The Piccadilly line has severe delays [again]? That’s ok, I’m fine with a 2-hour commute, think how much of my book I can read…

Rose coloured glasses, anyone?

But once those come off, around about the year-and-a-half mark, say hello to the itch. Now, it doesn’t mean it’s all over red-rover, but consider it a significant speed bump that needs attention. I know, because 18 months in to living in London, my eyes are starting to wander.

So, what’s the deal with London? Firstly, I’m amazed at how one city can elicit such emotions from one person - I swing from love to hate, often both in the same minute, most days. And they’re not moderate emotions either; I’m talking full blown adoration to complete annoyance. Jumping on a tube just in time rather than waiting another 2 minutes? Fist pump. Standing in a puddle as I jump off the bus? Deep, deep sorrow – not the new shoes...

It’s not like London’s flaws haven’t always been there, it’s just I hadn’t noticed them during the honeymoon phase. But that doesn’t mean the end for me and the Big Smoke - finding and accepting the UK’s vibrant capital as one big contradiction full of stark contrasts and daily personal tests, makes it easier to manage my love-hate relationship. I’m finding the good in these ‘oh god, London why?’ scenarios:

It Can be Suffocating Yet It’s Easy To Escape
If you don’t like crowds, don’t move to London. I’ve become overly familiar with other people’s body odours in the last year and a half, and trust me, it’s not a pleasant experience. The daily commute, the grocery trip, Friday night drinks – it’s all a rather crowded affair. On the bright side, it’s easy to escape from London’s hustle and bustle; a 2-hour flight will have you in an entirely different country.

It’s Expensive Yet The Best Things Are Free
A little sob involuntarily escapes from me due to London’s exorbitant prices, sometimes three times a day. A cheeky morning hot beverage? £3.50 – sob. My weekly travel card £38 – sob. A low key dinner and one drink - £32 – sob. Yet, just like the song says, I have to agree that the best things in [London] life are free – there’s no joy like the happiness I feel when I simply wander the streets of this city, visit a museum or peruse a gallery.

It’s Freezing All The Time Yet It’s Great For Fashion
Summer lasted about a week and the skies here are endlessly grey. This took a lot of adjusting to for the girl who’d grown up on the beautiful beaches of the sunny Gold Coast, Australia. Yet despite the negative Celsius winters and the endless drizzling rain, the fashion here is fantastic. You never look out of place in a chic hat, you can wrap up in luxury coats and thigh-high boots actually have a purpose.

So I guess it’s true, for every wrong there is a right and for every London-test there is a triumph. At the end of the day, despite my love-hate relationship with this complex, infuriating, addictive city, I’ll always keep coming back for more…

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Photos by Krissie.

24 January 2016

Style It. January Celeb Street Style

I feel rather guilty to admit that I didn’t take advantage of the sales this Christmas. What with my Dad around, there was no time for shopping. Thankfully I see there’s still plenty of bargains to snap up, some of which I’ve noted below for you. Check out my first street style babe round-up for 2016.

Va va voom – Khloe Kardashian is sure looking sexy lately with that new bangin’ hair cut. Love this deep plunge red dress on her that hugs her curves in the right places. Finish with understated accessories.

Knit / Coat (sale!) / Jeans / Trainers / Bag 

Ahhh Olivia Palermo, there she goes again with her effortless style. This time in a chic boucle coat, leather-look skinnies and platform trainers. And, looks like she hit the Zara sale herself!

Jacket (sale!) / Jeans / Top / Boots / Choker

Channeling a bit of a Kate Moss style, Kendall Jenner looked understated and chic in LA in this look. Love the cropped faux fur jacket, and the velvet choker just finishes the look for a cool ‘90s vibe.

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Photos by Krissie via retailers and Pinterest.

21 January 2016

One Day. 5 January Pick-Me-Ups

I grew up with the notion that January was one of the greatest months of the year. In Australia it was part of the Christmas holidays, the start of an exciting year ahead, I was often at the beach and temperatures sat around 30 degrees. Bliss.

Londoners think January is the most depressing month of the year. Funny that. I mean it’s gotta be the weather – the Poms believe this so much, they even have a day for it. Blue Monday. It falls on the third Monday of the year. Supposedly it’s the day you’re likely to be the most depressed… I have to disagree because despite the zero degree weather, January always has me excited at the prospect of what the new year holds. Blizzard or no blizzard. Empty bank account or not.

However, if you are feeling a little down, might I share with you my 5 favourite pick-me-ups.

dog video, youtube, funny video, dogs, puppies, laugh, blue monday

Dog Videos
Honestly, I could wile away several hours each evening sifting through all the animal videos in my social feed, particularly those featuring confused and/or adorable pups. If you hear giggles coming from Fulham, it’s probably me.

travel planning, map, world, travel, wanderlust, adventure, blue monday

Travel Planning
Obviously. As the wanderluster that I am, there’s barely a greater joy than that I get from staring at a European map and pinning future destinations. So far this year I’ve got Copenhagen, Geneva, Italy and Croatia on the cards… Yippee.

shopping, designer, chanel, retail therapy, exclusive, blue monday

Retail Therapy
Nothing says pick-me-up like a sassy new outfit. Whether it’s a dress, a pair of shoes or a designer handbag (splurge!), you can’t beat the thrill that comes with purchasing something new you really love.

library, books, blog, reading, blue monday

Whether it’s a good book (like this un-put-downable one) or my most favourite blog The Londoner, I love to escape reality for an hour or two and lose myself in someone else’s stories.

cooking, baking, chocolate, brownies, dessert, yum, recipe, blue monday

Get in that kitchen and whip up a new recipe – when it turns out a treat I guarantee you’ll be feeling chuffed. I’ve been making this one a lot lately.

Voila, January blues be gone - because who's got time for that anyway?

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Photos via Pinterest and by Krissie.

17 January 2016

Must Have. A Luxury Home

If you hadn’t already guessed by my Instagram posts, I’ve had a bit of a shift in abode recently. Sadly it’s not a permanent move, but it’s one I’ve absolutely loved all the same because for 10 days I’ve been able to call South Kensington home.

interior design, style, home, architecture, homewares, south kensington, london

It all came about when Dad needed to hang around London for longer than expected for work and so rather than him hanging around a hotel, I found this gorge little air bnb which I’ve been able to call home for a few beautiful days.

interior design, style, home, architecture, homewares, south kensington, london

On the doorstep of the Natural History Museum and with its luxury lounge and significantly better-stocked kitchen [than my own], I’m been in seventh heaven. SW7 to be specific.

interior design, style, home, architecture, homewares, south kensington, london

My little taste of luxury has had me in raptures over gorgeous homewear and ways I can decorate my own little abode. Here are some of my favourite picks…

interior design, style, home, architecture, homewares, south kensington, london

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Photos by Krissie and via retailers.

14 January 2016

Suitcase. Verona, Italy - Travel Guide

Verona. To me I will always associate this Italian city with Shakespeare’s Montagues and Capulets.

We stopped off here on our way back to London as the final leg of our Italian Christmas extravaganza. And what a way to finish.

This city is magic. From its historic walls and mini colosseum to its winding alleys and iconic squares.

I quickly decided after arriving here that Verona would be a fantastic place to live, particularly if you’re a creative type. There’s no doubt that writers and painters would feel completely inspired by this ancient walled city.

Historical buildings greet you at every corner, each with a story to tell. The warm shades of peach, terracotta and yellow peek out at you as they line the streets with locals zipping by in their bicycles or ambling past with their pooches.

Verona’s Cathedral is a sight to behold...

As is the nearby Ponte Pietra bridge...

And of course you can’t miss the central Piazza Erbe.

I also stopped in at Juliette’s balcony (sadly it’s not as magical as it appears in Letters To Juliet but I enjoyed it all the same).

Look to feet or bicycles for Verona. The streets are narrow and the alleys are a-plenty so you’ll see the most this way. In summer you can even take a tour round the river, I’d like to do this next time.

Verona was our last stop in Italy before heading back to London and I thought I’d be damned if I’ve had a whole trip in this country without a gelato. So despite the fact that it was 0 degrees and I couldn’t feel my fingers, I stopped in at a shop and ordered my favourite – hazelnut. It was delicious of course!

Then as the sun set we dug into to a delightful bolognaise in a little backstreet restaurant before heading for the airport.

Ciao Verona, arrivederci!

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Photos by Krissie.