Sunday, 30 October 2016

Embroidered



{Jacket - Barbour, similar here | Faux Fur Collar - here | Top - Primark | Black Denim Shorts - River Island - similar here | Chelsea Boots - similar here | Bag - similar here}

To ensure I get the most out of my clothes, I don't jump on the bandwagon with trends all that often. However when I started seeing embroidered touches everywhere, I knew I had to have a piece of my own.  I was initially thinking of a handbag, something that would stand the test of time despite the trend's inevitable one-season life.  This top is neutral enough with it's thin knit black material to be a wardrobe staple, but also fits in with the season's trend nicely.  I paired it with a mainly black outfit to make it even more wearable long-term.  







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Saturday, 29 October 2016

Travel Diaries: Dubai


Travel is one of my favourite things to do.  I've been fortunate enough to have visited some amazing places and seen some amazing things.  I've decided to start a new series on my blog documenting my travels; where I've been, what I've seen and what I found to be the best experiences and things to do in each place.  Starting with one of my favourite places I've visited - Dubai.

Where I stayed

{Rooftop view at Auris Plaza, Al Barsha}

We stayed at the Auris Plaza in the Al Barsha region.  I have to say, the hotel was a little out of the way (we stayed there to be close to a friend) however the hotel is within 2 minute walking distance of the Mall of the Emirates (more on that later in this post) and there was a supermarket just down the street which was definitely convenient for snacks and water etc.

The hotel itself was clean and modern, with a rooftop pool, bar and jacuzzi with views of the city.  The rooftop wasn't the biggest space but was well appointed and the hotel also had a spa, which unfortunately we didn't have time to visit.  Food was served downstairs just off the lobby (we had breakfast there most days) and there was enough choice to have something different every day.

Our experience of the hotel and staff was overall great, and after opting to take an earlier flight on arrival to the airport, we were very early for our check-in.  The reception staff were very accommodating and after making us comfortable with drinks in the lobby, they got a room ready for us within an hour.  The room itself was very clean and modern with a sizeable bathroom.  




{Selfies in the hotel room & at the rooftop pool}

Etiquette 


Etiquette, dress code and being sensitive to religion in Dubai were things I was concerned about before we left.  Having researched, the little information I did find was that it is disrespectful to have bare shoulders and knees in public (hotels/beach bars/restaurants/private hotel beaches were fine).   For example at the malls I would wear things that covered both if it was possible.

Physical contact with your significant other in public is also frowned upon so definitely keep the PDA on the down low if you want to be respectful!


Things to do

Brunch



{Yalumba Brunch @ Le Meridien}

Attending a brunch is an absolute must if you visit Dubai and there are no end of options to choose from.  We opted for the Yalumba Restaurant Brunch at Le Meridien near Dubai airport (a 20 minute taxi ride from our hotel).  The brunch did not disappoint with endless buffet food and drink options, an outside barbecue and food made to order.  Get ready to indulge!

The Malls

Dubai Mall



The scale of Dubai mall is nothing short of amazing.  As the world's largest mall it has an unbelievable 1,200 shops!  Certainly set aside half a day to wander around and take in the place, however you could easily spend a day (or two) here!  There's so much to see with an indoor aquarium, luxury and 'high street' shopping areas, ice rink, a cinema and the Vogue Cafe - you definitely won't be short of ways to spend your time!  We may have got lost a few times....

The Mall of the Emirates



As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the Mall of the Emirates was conveniently located within walking distance of our hotel.  It's definitely on a much smaller scale than Dubai mall with 630 shops, cafe's and restaurants.  It's also home to Dubai's indoor ski experience.

The Burj Khalifa


The Burj Khalifa as you may already know, is the tallest structure in the world.  The above photos were taken at the visitor entrance to the Burj (accessed via the inside of Dubai Mall) and the entrance just outside the building looking up.  

We scaled the building (on the inside!) to reach the observation deck on the 124th Floor.  The views of the city were staggering and well worth the wait - it definitely gets busy so be sure to book tickets in advance.


The Dubai Fountains


We viewed the famous Dubai fountains from the balcony of the Armani Restaurant inside the Burj Khalifa.  Set to music, the fountains were a true spectacle with a similar feel to those at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

The Armani Restaurant 

             



















We dined in the Armani/Mediterraneo restaurant located inside the Burj Khalifa (one of many restaurants the hotel has).  The interior was as opulent as you'd imagine and the food and cocktails were of the high quality you'd expect.  Definitely worth a visit and as I said - a great place to view the fountains!

Burj Al Arab

We unfortunately didn't get to see the Burj Al Arab up-close but it is visible from many parts of the city including the Souk at Madinat Jumeriah (more below).  The landmark is the emblem of the city and a great sight.


Dubai Marina



The Souk at Madinat Jumeriah

With it's stunning architecture and beautiful stalls/shops the Souk was definitely a highlight of the trip for me.  It really was inspiring and gave me a real feeling of appreciation for Dubai's culture and beauty.  This place is high on my list as being worth a visit - day or night.



Dubai Desert


{Quad biking in the Dubai desert}

We booked a Jeep Safari during our stay (ask at your hotel reception) which included an optional camel ride (I didn't partake for ethical reasons) and quad biking through the desert.  There are a few moments in my life when I look around and think 'wow' and quad biking through the desert was definitely a wow moment and one I will never forget.  The organisers and our guide were very helpful and friendly - a lot of people who work in Dubai have to stay outside of the city because of the extortionate cost of living; our guide was originally from Pakistan but living in shared accommodation an hour outside the city.  

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and it was helpful if you are traveling or thinking of traveling to Dubai! There are so many things to see and do in Dubai and I have no doubt I'll be visiting again to try them out!  I have lots more Travel Diaries posts to come including San Francisco, L.A. & Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, Rome, New York and Florida!  Where's your favourite place to travel?

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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Faux Fur

{Jacket - Primark | Trainers - here | Jeans & Scarf - Primark - similar here and here | Bag - Kate Spade}


If you're a subscriber to my YouTube channel, you may be aware that I have somewhat of a penchant for Primark.  The abundance of on trend, affordable pieces definitely has me hooked.  As soon as I came across this faux fur jacket I knew it would be the newest addition to my A/W wardrobe.  It's leather-look sleeves echo the cult Zara jacket (here if you missed it) and the faux fur looks high quality for it's low price tag.






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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Pastel Hues


Not much pleases me more than a head of candy pink locks when I'm in a hair rut.  I've always been the type to change my hair colour frequently, but I always go back to blonde.  The best thing about Bleach London hair dyes is how temporary they are.  After 2-10 washes, your mane will be back to it's normal hue - plenty of time for me to get 'wanting a change' feeling out of my system.

A few months ago I did a video tutorial on Rose Gold Hair over on my Youtube channel and loved the result (more than my apprehensive side thought I would).  This time, I saturated my roots with Rose (here) and worked Awkward Peach (here) through to the ends for a slightly different look. 
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Friday, 21 October 2016

Powder Blue

{Jacket - sold out, similar here | Boots - here  |  Basic Black Top - Primark, similar here | Scarf - gift | Jeans - French Connection, similar here and here | Bag - Kate Spade }

There's nothing more classic to me than a biker jacket. Something that can be thrown on over almost any outfit definitely gets my vote.  The powder blue hue makes this jacket a timeless piece, in a completely unexpected colour {at least for Autumn} and gives any look some edge.  I paired it with my favourite cashmere scarf and over the knee boots (rolled down) which I think compliment it perfectly.



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Thursday, 20 October 2016

DIY Fashion Details | Stepped Hem Denim


It would be difficult to avoid the latest trend when it comes to denim.  As part of a new series on my blog I'll be showing you how to DIY the latest on-trend fashion details - starting with the stepped hem.  I've always loved raw edges when it comes to my jeans and being short {I'm a tiny 5'1"!}, this latest trend means I can make any length jeans work.

This DIY doesn't take much instruction but there are definitely a few tips included for the best possible outcome, so reading them is advised before you pick up those shears!


Tip 1 - Keep your lines straight


You want the edges to look raw, but you don't want them to look like your dog decided to chew them.   In my opinion, to keep this look polished (as much as it can be) draw your lines with a straight edge, then cut above the line so that the ink line is cut off.

Tip 2 - Measure the distance

You can make your 'steps' as large as you like.  I prefer the look when there isn't much of a step (it's all about personal preference) so I kept the back of mine to 1.5 inches longer than the front.  Measuring ensures you get the exact look you want.


Tip 3 - Make the trend your own

I used pinking shears to give a different edge. Check Pinterest for some ideas.


Tip 3 - Fray Fray Fray

The key to this look is how you fray them.  You want your stepped hem to stand out - so I suggest concentrating the most fraying on the back hem of the jeans - however this is again all down to personal preference and how easily you can fray the type of denim you're working with.


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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A Pop of Colour

{Bag - Ralph Lauren | Cuffed Boyfriend Jeans - similar here | Shoes - BCBGeneration (purchased at T K Maxx) | Cold shoulder top (also T K Maxx) similar here and here | Black duster jacket - here}

As soon as I laid eyes on this bag, I knew I had to have it.  The bright 'lipstick red' colour and gold hardware add a pop of colour to any outfit, but it's especially complimented by the classic stripes on this cold shoulder top.  Unfortunately, the season of no jacket has completely gone here, so this black duster jacket is a must to pull the look together.






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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

DIY Glitter Bath Bombs


For as long as I can remember I've always looked at things I liked or things that impressed me, and immediately had to find out how I could do it myself.  D.I.Y (the crafty kind, not the household construction kind) has been instilled in me since I was young and it's something I've definitely carried on into adulthood.  So of course, I planned on making a trip to Lush this week for some cute bath bomb therapy and couldn't help wondering if bath bombs were something I could create myself. 

This would be an amazing homemade gift idea and there really is no end to the colours and shapes you could create! I used whatever moulds I could find whilst I was out shopping for ingredients but if you want round bath bombs you can get a mould {here}.

You will need:

Dry Ingredients:
Epsom Salts 1/2 CUP
Citric Acid 1/2 CUP {You can find this at the wine making/home brewing section of your local supermarket}
Baking Soda 1 CUP
Cornflour or Corn Starch 1/2 CUP
Glitter (optional)

Wet Ingredients:
Avocado Oil {You can use almond oil but I chose Avocado a it's high in Vitamin E and good for the skin} 2.5 TABLESP.
Essential Oils of your choice 2 TEASP.
Food Colouring
Water 3/4 TABLSP.

Utensils:
Mixing Bowls & Spoons
Measuring Cups
Moulds of your choice

Step 1

Measure out the wet and dry ingredients separately into two bowls and mix. Separate your liquid mixture into smaller bowls if you plan on making different colours and add your food colouring. 

TIP: I used less food colouring for a pastel effect, if you want brighter colours definitely add a generous amount of colouring.

Step 2

Add the wet mixture to the dry slowly.  If you mix the dry and wet ingredients too quickly it will make your bath bombs rough and uneven so make sure everything is mixed together well.

Step 3

Fill your chosen moulds with your mixture! Be sure to pack the mixture in layers (press firmly with the back of a spoon) You can layer different colours to give a rainbow effect and add glitter if you wish. 

Step 4

Leave your bath bombs for at least 24 hours but longer if you can - the longer you leave them the less crumbly they will be.

TIP: If you are using a silicone mould (avoid it if you can) leave the bath bombs in the mould whilst you leave them to set.  If
they are in metal moulds you should be able to take them out of the moulds (tap gently) and lay them on some baking paper before allowing them to harden.


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