Thursday, 31 July 2014

AW14 Coat Guide

One thing you are going to need for the Winter Season is a great coat, or two, or three, and as there are plenty of trends to pick from more than one coat is highly justifiable!!

1. Capes- In terms of capes the whimisical and plaid patterns are the order of the day. More of a fashion statement than pratical, capes are not always the best for keeping warm, but when you can look like Red Riding Hood, who cares?? (1, 2, 3, 4)
2.  Patchwork- when purchasing a patchwork coat think multi-coloured, shaggy and oversized. Topshop has some great high street alternatives for those on a tight budget. (1, 2, 3, 4)
3. Raincoats- By far the most pratical of trends, raincoats featured on the runway at Hunter Origional, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu and DKNY. (1, 2, 3, 4)
4. Sheepskin- Whether bold or more subtle, sheepskin is having a moment, be it in the lining of a coat, trim on the cuffs or all over. I already have my Canadian leather and sheepskin coat ready to go for when the weather gets chilly. (1, 2, 3, 4)

And if these four trends aren't your thing, then why not try a blanket wrap coat, as seen in Burberry and on a certain Miss Cara Delevingne.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Interrailing Days 1-3: Amsterdam

As any of you who follow me on Instagram and Twitter will know, I recently went on my first big holiday with friends, Interrailing across Europe. This trip has certainly changed a lot of things for me, from my perspectives and life decisions to my new found love of red grapes. So I thought I would give you a quick run down of my two week excursion country by country, and share with you lovely readers some of my holiday snaps.

We travelled to Amsterdam on the 9th of July and I was surprised by how short the flight was, being a girl who's first ever flight was 24 hours long! Amsterdam is a beautiful city, with canals and quaint winding streets at every turn. We stayed in a place called Inner Hotel a hostel conveniently located near the Van Gogh Museum and the 'I Amsterdam' sign you see in the pictures above.

When in Amsterdam I would highly recommend renting pedallows (they cost roughly £8 each for one hour) and seeing the city via canal. The Anne Frank Museum is also a must, especially if you are a history buff like me. However, booking in advance is vital, as we went to the front of the queue, where as our friends who had not pre-booked were left queueing outside for over an hour. Vondel Park is a beautiful place to sit down and relax in the sunshine and you can also rent out bikes or roller skates and cylce/skate round the park. Finally, I highly recommend Pancakes! a cute and cosy little pancake house selling traditional dutch pancakes as well as these delicious American style pancakes, which I am still dreaming about!

I would love to go back to Amsterdam, as there is so much I felt I didn't see, especially on the museum front! Friendly, helpful and ever chic, the dutch people of Amsterdam really made you feel welcome, and if any of you have any reccomendations, let me know in the comments below, as I am saving up my pennies to hopefully go back soon!!

P.S. For any of you out there on a budget, McDonalds cheeseburgers in Amsterdam cost just 1 Euro each!!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

What I am Listening to this Week #26


Saturday, 26 July 2014

AW14 Trend Guide

This year the AW14 runway saw an array on different trends and styles. From Star Wars and Fairytales to Grey and 60's Miniskirts, AW14 has a trend to suit just about anyone. After reading a stack of fashion magazines and trawling fashion blogs on the internet I thought I would give you a run down on some of AW14 biggest trends.

1. Grey- One colour that stood out on the runway was grey, and this pleases me no end. I love more neautral, darker colours. Easy to pair with other items and a range of shades that should compliment a variety of skin tones, grey is one colour you will need in your wardrobe this season!! (1, 2, 3, 4)
2. Jewels- When looking at jewels think go big, or go home. Williamson, Dolce and Gabbana, Erdem and Kartrantzou all featured embellishments on their dresses, head pieces and earrings. I have even already seen some pretty snazzy grey, jewel embellished tops in Primark, enabling me to kill two trends in one go. (1, 2, 3, 4)
3. Knitwear- Knitwear is something that is always associated with Autumn and Winter, but this season knits were big and all encompassing, from Stella McCartney's huge knit dresses to Celine's knit skirt and jumper combo. Stylish with the ability to keep you warm in the winter chill. (1, 2, 3, 4)
4. Mini Skirts- For all you gals who like to flash a bit of leg, the 60's are back, with thigh grazing dresses and skirts from the likes of Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Carven. (1, 2, 3, 4)
5. Quilting- Delicate waffle quilting skirts and coats, quilting provides the perfect texture and intrigue to an outfit. (1, 2, 3, 4)
6. Star (Wars)- In a galaxy far far away there was the Bergazzi and Rodarte show....who would have thought that Yoda, Darth Vader and C3PO could look so good on a dress, certainly not me. Star Wars has suddenly gone from geek to chic, and with Vans bringing out a new line of Star Wars themed trainers on the high street, this is one trend that is both accessible and affordable. (1, 2, 3, 4)
7. Totes- In terms of bags totes made a frequent appearence, folded over and carried under the arm. However, if totes aren't your thing, mini trunks and shopping baskets are another bag trend alternative. (1, 2, 3, 4)
8. Velvet- A fabric that can add a touch of luxury to any outfit. I once saw a maroon velvet suit at Hogmanay and let me tell you it looked both expensive and rather eccentric. This red dress from Emilio de la Morena is by far one of my favourite pieces of the entire AW14 shows. (1, 2, 3, 4)
9. Vibrant and Zesty- Think bold graphics, colours and a lot of clashes. An explosion of colour, this trend adds the perfect touch of brightness to the usual dreary and drab winter days. (1, 2, 3, 4)
10. Fairytale- Long flowing dresses and whimsical details, the fantasy and fairytale theme featured heavily in McQueen's, Dolce and Gabbana's and Valentino's AW14 shows. (1, 2, 3, 4)

I would love to know what you think of AW14's trends, and if you want to see more than I highly suggest Vogue's A-Z AW14 Guide and Marie Claire's August 2014 Magazine for more trends and in depth coverage.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Top Five Reads #3

1. Inferno- Dante Alighieri Not a book for the faint hearted, Dante's Inferno is a book full of beautiful metaphors and descriptions. Centred around one man's journey into hell, I found Dante's prose rather hard to understand, and therefore had to read each pages a few times in order to better understand the complexity of the story. That having been said it is well worth the attempt!!
2. The Night Circus- Erin Morgenstern I love stories centered around magic and mystery. I love how they can transport you into another world so entirely different and other wordly to your own, and The Night Circus is no exception. What I love most about this story is not the story, characters and romances themselves, but the concept of The Night Circus. A entirely black and white circus that appears suddenly in the night, with circular paths set in a clockwork motion leading you to little pockets of wonder. I only wish that such a circus existed.
3. The Motorcycle Diaries- Che Guevara A recommendation from a friend, The Motorcycle Diaries is a journal written by Che Guevara when travelling around South America in his earlier day, pre revolutionary icon. This book is very potent to me at the moment, as I am setting off with friends interailling around Eastern Europe and hope to keep a similar journal off my own adventures. Journals and Diaries often allow us great and personal insight into what has made somone the person they are today, and in this case, what made Che, Che.
4. City of Heavenly Fire- Cassandra Clare The last installment in the Mortal Instrument Series, City of Heavenly Fire sees Shadowhunters (children of human and angels) battle against the forces of evil, namely Sebastian Morgenstar, one of their own who has been tainted with demon blood. Throw in werewolves, warlocks, vampires and fairies and you have an action packed novel fit for any fantasy lover.
5. The Maiden- Cynthia Harrod-Eagles The Morland Series follows one family from the War of the Roses right up to the end of the Second World War, and for all you history lovers out there, is very historically accurate. There's politics, murders, enstranged family members and enough affairs and illigitimate children to have continuous plot twists and hand holds into every major historical event. Rigth now I am in the Stuart-Hanoverian struggle with the Morlands being famously Sturat (with some of them even being daughters of Stuart princes!!). Therfore, Jemmy, the heir of Morland Place is forced to marry a Hanoverian against his wishes in order to save the family.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Fashion Favourite #6

Love her or hate her, Kristen Stewart knows how to make a statement. Be it her penchant for wearing trainers on the red carpet or hoodies and snapbacks off the carpet, Kristen has got rock chic glamour down to a tee.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

What I am Listening to this Week #25


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Holiday Packing

It's that time of year again, the sun is shining, ice cream is melting, and people are jetting off around the globe on holiday. By the time you read this I, myself will be trekking across Eastern Europe, visiting the cities of Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Keszthely with friends. I must confess I am pretty nervous, suffereing from anxiety and not liking clubs and crowded places don't make me the ideal travelling companion. Never the less I am making this holiday a challenge, proving to myself and my family that I can be away from home for a few weeks and deal with crowds and unfamiliar situations. However, the first thing I need to prove is that I can pack!!

Going Interailling and trying to make the holiday as cheap as possible, me and my friends are only taking hand luggage (in the form of a 33-35 litre rucksack), which means minimal packing. In order to adhere to this minimal amount (I am notorious for over packing) I broke my items into different sub categories. 

First came "The Essentails". Boring, not very fashionable or pretty, but extremely useful. Items such as a money belt can make all the difference when travelling around unkown places and staying in youth hostel at night. It is a practical and safe way to keep your money, passport and phone in when out travelling. Things such as travel towels and Macs help you keep space and weight down when adhering to that all important weight limit.

In terms of clothes, I went for simple pieces that would be interchangable with various items in order to maximise on outfit potential but still save space. A bold blue skirt or a simple black slip can be dressed down during the day with a plain t-shirt or dressed up at night with a statement necklace and a slick of eyeliner. 

"The Books". When spending hour after hour on trains and planes, or looking for cheap and easy ways to pass the time a book, a set of cards, or watercolours can prove the perfect answer. It can also provide you with that all important me time, which is vital when travelling with the same group of people 24/7.

Only having hand luggage means that sacrifices have to be made when it comes to "The Beauty Essentials". A pack of cleansing wipes, eyeliner, concealer and mascara is all you really need when travelling. Essentails such sunglasses and a tootbrush are much more important than an extra eyeshadow or an eyebrow pencil. 

And don't forget, once you have arrived to stock up on suncream, washing powder, shampoo and a much needed shaver, there's travelling light and then there is just plain dirty....


Thursday, 17 July 2014

EJF: Save the Sea T-Shirts

Ben Lloyd-Hughes for EJF
Caroline Ford for EJF
Diana Vickers for EJF
Kimberly Wyatt for EJF
Max Rogers for EJF
Emma Cook for EJF
Patternity for EJF
Serge DeNimes for EJF
Recently I received an email from the Environmental Justice Foundation, about their new ethical t-shirt project, 'Save the Sea' aiming to protect the 'marine environment, its biodiversity and the livelihoods dependent on it'. Having studied Biodiversity at A Level I had read all about the importance of our oceans, as a source of income, protein and culture, as well as just being beautiful.

EJF's Ocean Campaigns aims to address three core issue in our oceans, Destructive Fishing Methods, Pirate Fishing and Pirate Fishing and Human Rights, lobbying for rights in the fishing industry, sustainable fishing practices anda making oceans safe for everyone. By purchasing one of EJF's designer t-shirts you are contributing to these vital campaigns.

The 'Save the Sea' t-shirt campaign features designs from Emma Cook, Serge DeNimes (for all you 'Made in Chelsea' fans, Sege DeNimes is Proudlock's design company) and Patternity. The fair-trade, organic t-shirts with a climate neutral design chain have been modelled by celebrities such as Kimberly Wyatt, George Craig, Diana Vickers and Max Rogers.

Emma Cook states: "I'm proud to be supporting EJF's Save the Sea campaign with this design which is a snapshot of the precious ocean life that needs our urgent protection. EJF's work combating illegal pirate fishing not only helps protect vulnerable marine species like sharks but also the communities who are dependent on the oceans for food and livelihoods."

Serge DeNimes are "really excited to be able to support EJF on their Save the Sea campaign, highlighting the importance of the preservation of our world’s oceans. We wanted the bold print and slogan ‘Drop in the Ocean’ to make a statement of how important it is to protect sealife."

Patternity said of it's design: “Patternity is launching an exclusive data visualisation t-shirt as part of EJF’s Save the Sea campaign. Using pattern to translate data about the depletion of sea grass – the design highlights the devastating effects of bottom trawling on our ocean floors, marine wildlife and habitat. Patternity is committed to using pattern as a tool to help people better understand and feel connected to the world around them – driving positive social change.”

EJF's 'Save the Ocean' campaign, and the work that it does is a great and valuable cause, and for all you fashion lovers out there the bold graphic desings of Patternity and Serge DeNimes and the softer more whimsical design of Emma Cook provide the perfect t-shirts for a laid back weekend. Paired with a pair of ripped jeans and flip flops or a mini skirt and trainers these t-shirts are fit for anything from your morning errands to a lunch date with the girls. And there is the added benefit of this time, when you buy your top, instead of feeling a little guilty at spending yet more money, you'll be doing your bit for charity. So head over to EJF's shop Just For and purchase your 'Save the Sea' t-shirt, I know I will be!!


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Dealing with Anxiety at Parties

Sometimes I feel like this blog is like my own personal diary, where I talk about recent events that have troubled me or things that I am struggling with, and today I want to talk about my troubles with anxiety at parties. I have suffered social anxiety for a few years now, and I stuggle with meeting new people, crowds and any situation that can become stressful. The problem with parties is that all three of these factors are focused in one place, and combined with alcohol things can unravel pretty quickly.

Usually if I have been drinking alcohol then I will be ok for a few hours, my anxiety over meeting new people and being around more than a couple of people is dulled into the background. However, once the effects of alcohol wear off then my anxiety is heightened. As I said in my recent post about Self Doubt, after having consumed alcohol I often spiral into a lull, a depression for days afterwards, thinking of all the things I shouldn't have done, or said, or how I may have embarassed myself. Often what occurs at parties people don't care about, or don't remember themselves, but being an anxious person they can affect me for days on end.

Yet, if I am sober, although I don't have the heightened anxiety or crippling embarassment, my same fears are still there. I struggle to go up and talk to people, even people I have known for years, or who have been in my classes. I struggle to keep up conversations, join in, or go up and dance with all my friends. Unless I have someone who I feel safe with, and who will be there if my anxiety starts calling, I often have to leave parties and go to a place I feel safe, my bed, my boyfriends house, or a quiet corner in my favourite coffee house. It happened a day into T in the Park 2013, my Year 13 Prom, and my friends recent 18th birthday party, and so far all I have done is run away.

I have struggled to find a solution for my anxiety, and with my A Level results and University looming, I fear that I will really struggle in Fresher's Week, to make friends, go out to clubs and keep up the 'party' lifestyle that is famous in Fresher's Week. I dont want to be the girl sat in her room alone, having gone home early cause there was too many people, they were too drunk or had no one to talk to.

I am working on ways of controlling my anxiety, going out into bigger crowds and trying to go to small pubs and gigs, and hopefully lessening my panic attacks. If you suffer from social anxiety, have troubled with Fresher's Week at Uni, or have anything which helped you control your anxiety I would greatly appreciate it.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

What I am Litening to this Week #24

So as of the 1st August a lot of my friends will be heading to Kendall Calling a music festival in the Lake District, and what can I say, I am pretty jealous. So in tribute to Kendall Calling and the amazing time that all my friends are going to have, I thought I would create this weeks plylist using some of my favourtie songs from the 2014 line up.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

OOTD: Prom

It's that time of the year again, and an array of limos and girls in taffeta dresses and tiaras have passed you by. June saw my Year 13 prom, and I wasn't looking forward to it to say the least. Heels, hair and make up ain't really my thing, nor is paryting the night away on the toon (Geordie for town for all you Southerners out there). That having been said, as my last school event, ever, I decided to don my heels, put on a dress, and hit the town.

All Saints had some beautiful dresses, and initially I purchased the Nisia Silhouette Dress but when I went to exchange it for a bigger size I came across the Sierra Dress and I fell head over heels (literally, I really can't walk in heels). I  love the vibrancy of the mandarin and the beautiful fine chiffon draped over the top gave it a different edge. The zip that runs down the left hand side added a bit of sexiness to the dress when left slightly unzipped up the thigh.

I wanted to keep the All Saints 'edge' to my dress so opted for heavy silver rings and earrings. I have never been a handbag kind of girl so this little black satchel from Primark provided me with the perfect alternative, and is a bag that I use almost every day now.

I am not sure if parties, going out and dressing up will ever be my thing, but it was lovely to see everyone one last time, all dressed up and together to remember 5 long years of high school and wish each other best in the future.

Dress: All Saints- Sierra Dress
Shoes: Garage (not available on website)
Bag: Primark
Rings: H & M (similar)
Earrings: Topshop

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