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Showing posts with label style. Show all posts
Showing posts with label style. Show all posts

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Brighton Lights - A whirlwind trip back to my hometown

Modern Brighton Postcard

Brightonians (as we call ourselves) are notoriously filled to the brim with pride in our fantastic city. Yes, Brighton IS a city! I count myself so very lucky to have grown up in this wonderful place, and I'd love to bring my kids up here too. It's big enough that I could become street-wise, but small enough that I'd ALWAYS run into someone I knew when wandering around town, and it's sandwiched so beautifully between the seaside and the countryside. I've always loved Brighton but I've never appreciated it as much as I do now that I live in London. Much as I love the bustle of London, and the fact that you can pretty much get EVERYTHING here, there's nothing quite like the inclusive, friendly atmosphere of Brighton. Case in point: I received four compliments on my skirt in Brighton, and whilst I know my skirt is fabulous, I've never received an innocent compliment about my fashion choices in London!

Colourful houses Brighton
Chicwish Neon Lights Skirt Blog
Alleyway fashion shoot
Bokeh skirt blogger style

We decided to travel down to Brighton for the day on an absolute whim. I missed my hometown and if you've got a rail card and you go on the slow train, a day return from London only costs £6. We wandered around the shops, ate hearty donburis at Pompoko, a super cheap and cheerful Japanese place, wandered some more, and had an incredible vegetarian dinner at my favourite restaurant Terre à Terre. We had a tapas plate to share, and a sharing dessert too. Both were absolutely beautiful, complex and perfect. I've wanted to take Dan to Terre à Terre for years now, and I'm so glad we went.

terre a terre tapas review
terre a terre dessert menu

Bellies full, we waddled along the rapidly darkening seafront to the glowing lights of the pier, because Dan has never been to the pier at night. I had a great time playing with the light to make it match my skirt, and telling Dan all about all of the different memories I had of times I spent on this pier in my childhood and adolescence. We walked right to the end, looked out to sea and tasted the salt on our lips, before paying to ride the ghost train (which is actually quite scary since they've renovated it. It includes a really horrific zombie bathroom scene, and a severed head burning in an oven... Dark...)

Typical Brighton Sunset UK
The Palace Pier at Night
Bokeh Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier night fashion
Pier rides Brighton
Blurry lights effect
Merry go round fashion
sunset fashion brighton uk

Brighton is often portrayed as this pastel, saccharine seaside destination, all stripes and sticks of rock, and Mr Whippy ice creams with a flake stuck in at a jaunty angle. Yeah, we've got all of those things, and to the casual visitor it is probably easy to restrict your visit to these aspects of Brighton if you want to. But to me, Brighton is so much more than that. Brighton has a dark, grimy underbelly. It has a thriving arts scene and more youth music than you'd think possible. It's got restaurants and cafés for every taste, it's got countless creepy kebab places, it's got winding alleys, lanes and laines, boulevards, landmarks, local history, and so much character. This has been a love song to my favourite place. I miss you, Brighton, and I'll be back soon, I promise!

Skirt: Chicwish
Top: H&M Basics (it's actually a bodycon dress)
Shoes: Dr Martens

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Toolkit or hair clip?!

Leatherdos review

This is a very important hair clip. The moment I came across this hair clip with built in tools, I knew that I had to have it. I am a big fan of functional fashion, and this pretty much ticks all the boxes. I wasn't alone since after finally finding and ordering it on Animi Causa, I received an email telling me that there would be some delay in shipping due to unprecedented demand. But I really didn't mind waiting for such a nifty little item.
I've been obsessed with Swiss Army knives, penknives and multi-tools since I was a tiny child. My Dad gave me my first Swiss Army knife and I wore it attached to my Brownie Guide culottes, until I was told I wasn't allowed to bring a knife with me (which is fair enough really). It's not so much that I am really into any of the specific functions of tools or knives, it's more that I love being prepared for anything. I love the idea that with this hair clip, I could saw up some twigs or bits of string, I could repair my own glasses (another piece of functional fashion), or I could measure something tiny in the forest!
Another thing I adore about this hair clip is the fusion of unfathomable bad-assery (yeah, that's a word now, I decided) and something inherently innocuous and 'feminine'. The pictures on the website show it as a Kippah clip (to fix the skullcap traditionally worn by Jewish men to the crown of their heads), but the glowing reception this hair clip has received online has mainly been from women as far as I can tell. This simple hair clip is so much more than it seems, and for some reason that resonates with me.
I've tried out the little saw, the ruler and the small screwdriver, and they are all great. I've not tried using it as a trolley coin yet, and I'm a little skeptical about that part, since it is a US-designed product. I don't know if it will work in a UK trolley. Follow me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated! For now, I shall stop waxing lyrical about a hair clip, but suffice to say I think it's awesome. Can you tell?

pale wrist veins
red hair don't care
hair clip with tools

This hair clip can be purchased at Animi Causa, which does free worldwide shipping. I was not paid to review this product, not was I sent it for free, but hey, Animi Causa, if you wanna hit me up, I 'ain't gonna say no!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A jolly jaunt to Portobello Road

Portobello Weekend

At about midnight on Friday night I decided that I wanted to go to a market on Saturday morning. Since it has been almost three years since I made it to one of my favourites, Portobello Road market, we decided that it was as good a time as any to visit again. I love to mooch about on the side streets to look at the beautiful houses, and squeeze into the crowded vintage shops to ogle the gorgeous dresses on sale. Dan was excited about all of the food stalls, so we hopped on the bus to see what we could find.

UK Modcloth order
Deschanel dress modcloth
Electric cinema neon sign

After battling through the crowds (oh gosh, why did I think Saturday was a good time to come to Portobello Road?! Whyyy?!) we ducked into the Electric diner which is attached to the Electric cinema. Dan and I shared the best burger I've ever eaten in my life, and some truly spectacular avocado/poached egg toast, as well as skin-on fries with garlic mayo. Oh and a peanut butter and banana milkshake that was so incredible that even avid banana-hater Dan loved it. I didn't manage to take any photos of the food because the lighting inside the restaurant was so... ambient... that any food photography would not have done the meal justice at all. Once we were full to the brim, we popped back outside to walk it off a bit in the sunshine. I do love Portobello Road and all of its mad stalls and shops. My only problem is that I ALWAYS end up with the Portobello Road song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks stuck in my head whenever I go!

colourful houses in London
ginger fringe hairstyle
kirby grip toolkit

I know my elbow looks a bit backwards in that last photo. I've got hypermobile elbows due to my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I might write a post about that at some point in the future, if anyone's interested in hearing more about my creepy bendy tricks. More importantly though, LOOK AT MY HAIR CLIP! It has tools built into it. I'm so excited about it that I have a whole other blog post lined up all about it! So watch this space. My dress is six years old from Modcloth, and my shoes are from last year's ankle boot collection at Office. Hurrah! Anyway, we had a lovely day out, and returned home so thoroughly exhausted that we had to have a nap on the sofa with our little cat. I hope you had a wonderful weekend - what did you get up to?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Food and coffee in Oslo

tim wendelboe review

Every holiday is a culinary tour for us. We spent our whole honeymoon hopping from cafe to restaurant to ramen bar to street food cart, and our anniversary mini-break to Oslo was no different. Read of our wondrous foodie adventures, and if you stay tuned until the bottom of the post, you may or may not be treated to an accidental 'Marilyn moment'...
We arrived at our hotel very late at night, although there was still a glow in the sky, it being midsummer Norway and all, so after what felt like the shortest night's sleep ever, we ventured downstairs for the most incredible breakfast buffet of our lives. There were eggs and a hot plate to fry them on, a build-your-own muesli bar, countless different types of cheese, and mountains of cured salmon. After all that, we didn't feel like we would ever be able to eat again. (But don't worry - we could!)
We bought a couple of all-day bus tickets from a convenience store called Narvesen and hopped on a bus to Grünerløkka, which we had been informed was the "Shoreditch of Oslo". I actually thought it was much more laid back and family-orientated than Shoreditch, but it was still definitely very trendy. We walked up the river for a bit and then stopped for an iced coffee at Tim Wendelboe. Despite coming in a martini glass, my iced cappuccino was in no way a novelty drink. This was seriously smooth, creamy coffee and it was perfectly brewed. Dan got a different type of iced coffee that came with some kind of aniseed twist. It was just as incredible as mine. The decor at Tim Wendelboe is minimal, with very few spots to sit - the room was dominated by an enormous coffee bean roaster, all clean and industrial looking. The counter tops were functional and wooden - everything was designed to make sure that the coffee spoke for itself, which it really did.

Oslo Street Fashion
Pattern mixing Summer
City break in Oslo
Grunerlokka Hipster

After a lot of wandering and mooching, a trip to the Munch museum, and a visit to the amazing Fram museum (a museum dedicated to the first successful mission to the south pole - more on this at a later date), we changed for a little date night dinner at Elias mat & sånt. This was recommended online as a reasonably priced, modern take on traditional Norwegian food, and it did not disappoint. We amused ourselves between delicious courses, with children's books in Norwegian, and browsed the extensive collection of board games. I'd really recommend this place and enjoyed the fabulous smoked salmon and poached egg salad - Dan had reindeer stew, which was served with a mountain of delicious, buttery mashed potato.
We were only in Oslo for a day and a half, but we managed to squeeze in trips to visit two gorgeous sandwich shops, the Grünerløkka Bakeri, and Godt Brød. Both did fantastic sandwiches. Perhaps Scandinavian sandwiches should be called Scandwiches? Anyway, this sample of two has convinced me that Oslo is the sandwich capital of the world. Fresh ingredients, beautiful flavour combinations and real passion about food. (I sound like a knob).

Date night Oslo
Asparagus date
Norwegian disney

We visited another coffee shop the morning before we left, called Mocca. Again, the design inside the shop was clean and slightly industrial but perfectly executed. We both ordered iced mochas and enjoyed them surrounded by young families and hip students scribbling in Moleskines. I enjoyed every single food and drink experience I had in Oslo even though it is a very expensive city. I would love to go back when I am richer and experience more of the culture that Oslo has to offer!
Yeah, I know basically all of the photos in this post are of my outfits and not food!!! Whatchoo gonna do about it? Stay tuned for more Oslo adventure posts as well as my packing essentials.

Oslo coffee shop
iced mocha oslo
Scandinavian minimalist chic

Striped top - h&m
Skirt - Dorothy Perkins
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Party dress - Dorothy Perkins
Cardigan - I have no idea... It used to belong to my mother. Ask her!

Oslo station tiger
Accidental upskirt
Windy day dress

Ooops.

P.S. Take a look at our vlog! There's bling! And licking!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

My Grandma's Dress

70s Vintage dress
A little while ago, one of my grandmothers sent me a dress in the post. She lives in Australia and I don’t get to see her nearly as often as I’d like to. In the parcel with the dress was a little note explaining that her sister had made the dress for her in the 70s, as she was going to be a bridesmaid at her best friend’s wedding. She was going to get rid of it, when my mum suggested that she could send it to me.
As soon as I unwrapped, it, I tried it on straight away, and it fit perfectly. It’s so purple and patterned, and I can’t wait to wear it to some kind of picnic or barbecue, or other summery event. I love how 70s it is, and how different it is from anything I normally wear. Most of all, I like that it was my grandma’s, and that there isn’t another dress like it in the world.
Grandma's Vintage Dress
70s fashion in London
Genuine Vintage dress
Here’s my grandma and her friend who was getting married. What a classic photo, and how stunning they both look! I feel honoured to be giving this dress a new lease of life. I love hand-me-downs (or Hammydowns, as I once thought they were called. But that’s another story for another day…)
Old photo of Grandma
Posing like Grandma
Thank you Grandma Helen for this beautiful dress.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

A Salty Adventure on the South Bank!

Southbank Fun
Hey again chums! Like lots of 'Londoners' (I guess that's what I am now - eek!) I spend a lot of time on the South Bank. Lots of people feel like that's as far South in London as is acceptable, but I don't think that's true at all. Nevertheless, I love the South Bank - the atmosphere is bustling and there is always so much going on!
Dan and I decided to go on a little adventure to celebrate it being... the weekend... and thought it'd be great to start at Borough Market. I wanted to repeat my glorious experience with the Kappacasein grilled cheese, but the queue was unbelievably long, so we decided to get some Salt Beef sandwiches instead.
Salt Beef Borough Market
I mean, the queue for the Salt Beef was pretty darn long too, I'm not gonna lie... But much shorter than the cheese queue and once I saw all that melty, melty beef, I kinda forgot about anything else.
London Salt Beef
Bagel Man London
Salt Beef South Bank
Southbank Bagel
After partying on down with a delicious bagel and a soft rye bread sandwich, both filled to the brim (do sandwiches have brims?) with salt beef (or for Americans, Corned Beef - British Corned Beef is not the same as American Corned Beef. Confused yet?), we strolled along the river to the Tate Modern to mooch about with some free art. I've lost count of the number of times I've been to the Tate Modern, and I still adore it. It makes me feel like a tourist all over again, and that's an aspect of London that falls away fairly quickly once you live here!
Thames bridges
Southbank bubble performer
Look at those beautiful bubbles! Remember what I said about how there's always something going on? Also, bubbles are pretty much my all time favourite thing - Rainbows in ephemeral ball form? What more could you want!?
Satchel and Tweed London
Cambridge Satchel style idea

Scarf - Hobbs (a present from my mother-in-law)
Tweed Jacket - Zara (a present from my mother-in-...birth?)
Dress - GAP (this season! OMG am I fashionable yet?!)
Satchel - The Cambridge Satchel Company (another gift from the mother-in-law)
Tights - Somewhere in France (a gift from my Stepmother)
Shoes - Office (I bought these myself!)
APPARENTLY THIS WHOLE OUTFIT WAS PROVIDED BY MY MOTHER FIGURES...

Hobbs scarf style
I'm so interested to see how London's skyline will change over the next few years. There's an awful lot of cranes having a party out there, and who knows what the future will bring... I guess I'll just have to keep on blogging about it, eh? And to all my new readers - I'm super pleased you're here and very honoured indeed. It would be beyond excellent if you stuck around and introduced yourselves! I love making new friends :)London Skyline changing