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If Only: Outfit of the Day 27#

The instant I saw this dress, one thing came to mind: Venice. This thought was closely followed by a second; the reason behind the first: Indiana Jones. More specifically, that scene in The Last Crusade when Indie first meets Elsa in Venice, and – and I know that this is an inaccuracy on my part – but while I have seen that movie a thousand times, and I know that she wore a grey suit during that scene, in my mind, I always recall her as wearing a beautiful white dress with a collar.. like this. I couldn’t even tell you why. This dress is the perfect replica of what my imagination has created for Elsa’s character (perhaps she wears a dress like it elsewhere in the film, because it’s so clear in my head!). It’s a beautiful, classic, vintage-style design, with a flattering, figure hugging cut and that beautiful belt detail, reminiscent of what we are seeing on the runways right now. With such a crisp white dress, I decided to go to town with accessories, from a vintage-style headscarf (I’m picturing a tuft of a coiffed quiff visible beneath the silk), the bold splashes of orange and mint, and the subtle pink lip that matches that bracelet perfectly, I’m pretty damn pleased with the final look… now I just need for someone magical to manifest it for me immediately!

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1. Altuzarra Calvino Satin and Crepe Dress. £1,170. Available here.

2. Rupert Sanderson Romantica Patent-Leather Pumps. £475. Available here.

3. Valextra La Scala Textured-Leather Clutch. £670. Available here.

4. Toast Tabitha Bracelet. £. 22. Available here.

5. I Love Ugly Samuel Watch in Mint. £70. Available here.

6. River Island Black Oriental Print Satin Square Scarf. £13. Available here.

7. Accessorize Arrow Head Long Pendant. £7. Available here.

8. NARS Lipstick in Catfight. $26. Available here.

9. Eyeko Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner. $19. Available here.

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My Battle with Sensitive Skin…

I’ve always been one of those lucky, lucky people who suffer from skin issues – eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, not to mention that my list of allergies (most of which are those random chemicals that they seem to put in everything) is longer than my arm. Both arms. In fact, my allergy list is probably longer than I am tall. And it was getting worse, until finally, about one year ago, I decided to substitute as many of my beauty products as possible for natural ingredients, to try and stop he constant string of allergic reactions and eczema attacks. I’m still prone to get a rash on my face or a breakout once a month or so (annoyingly, it always seems to be my face that suffers, regardless to whether I’m having a reaction to something that was applied to my skin, or something that I have eaten), but it’s a thousand times better than it was. I just thought I’d share a few of my ‘go-to’ ingredients, and how I use them.

1. Clay.

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Grey clay, green clay, red clay, pink clay… The most common use for clay on our skin is as a face mask, but mixed with a little water, and it also becomes a great facial cleanser. White or red clay is best for sensitive skin, red also being dreat to hydrating dry skin, while pink works best to bring life to dull, tired skin, and there are a whole host of clays suitable for those of you plagued by oily skin (green, rhassoul, bentonite, kaolin, fuller’s earth..) It draws toxins out of our skin and calms inflammations.

Other natural ingredients that can be mixed with clay and applied as a face wash or face mask include aloe vera, olive oil (though I definitely wouldn’t advice using olive oil unless you have really dry skin), organic yogurt, or buttermilk.

2. Raw Organic Honey.

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I go through jar after jar of honey; I use it to lighten my hair in the summer, I use it to keep my skin silky smooth, and it also clears up any breakouts, as honey is antibacterial and so will fight against the gunk for you! While raw honey is better than processed, and organic is better still, it is pricier, and I’ve found that processed honey also works – it just takes an extra week or so to see a difference.

3. Oatmeal.

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My go-to thing when I have an itchy eczema breakout. I tend to get them on my face, elbows and knees, so I mix oatmeal with honey (yogurt would also work), and apply it as a mask. It takes the itch away almost instantly, which is great, because the eczema is bad enough, but the red ribbons down my face the next day from trying to claw my face off isn’t pleasant either.

4. Sugar.

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Dry skin tends to be an issue for me – an obvious result of my eczema, and there is no better exfoliater than sugar. A quick search online, and you’ll find thousands of sugar scrub recipes, and I think most involve combining sugar with olive oil. Lemon and sugar is great for buffing away a tan, if you prefer to remain pasty white and tan-line-free, as I do. Coffee scrubs are known for fading those pesky cellulite marks and orange peel skin. Sugar scrubs are also great for super-soft, kissable lips. 

I’ve bookmarked a few of my favourite sugar scrub recipes here.

5. Bananas.

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While I try to eat healthily, I always find myself with a few over-ripe bananas at the end of the week. They’re great for a hydrating face mask (though it looks disgusting when applied), or another sugar scrub recipe. Banana peel also has a number of great uses; placed on top of a painful area, it reduces the pain within 30 minutes. Weird, I know. Rubbing fresh banana peel over acne everyday will result in a visible difference after a week, as well as keeping wrinkles at bay. Who knew.. I also like to mix banana with honey and almond milk to help with a dry, flaky scalp (because lucky me, my eczema doesn’t just settle for my face!)

PS. Apparently while sugar scrubs are great for dry or normal skin, salt scrubs are better suited to oily skin types. I guess people with combination skin will have to make a judgement call on that one… or maybe alternate between the two?

6. Coconut oil.

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Besides honey, this is the most important thing in my ‘beauty kitchen cupboard’. I use it as a moisturiser (at night only, as it’s quite heavy otherwise), eye-makeup remover, conditioner, eczema cream, as an anti-inflammatory, hand cream, anti-aging cream, and a dose of daily coconut oil helps with allergy symptoms. It’s wonderful stuff.

7. Almond/Hazelnut milk.

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Not only is it yummy, but I was told fairly recently by my dermatologist that cows milk is one of the most common triggers of eczema… and on cutting it out of my diet, I did notice a dramatic difference. However, I do love my bowl of cereal for lunch (yes, I’ll have someone from the bakery for breakfast, and cereal for lunch…), so I knew that I had to find an alternative. Almond or hazelnut milk not only taste delicious, they are both actually very easy to make at home, they act great as a toner, or makeup remover. Yes, these alternatives are pricer than cows milk, but it’s definitely worth the extra pennies.

I could easily talk for hours about all of these ingredients, and more – each one has dozens, if not hundreds of uses in my beauty routine, as well as my diet and generally just my healthy, eczema-fighting lifestyle, so no doubt I’ll be writing more posts like this in future to elaborate on the contents of the ‘beauty cupboard’ in my kitchen. For now, however, I hope that some of you at least have found this quick peak of what I use to keep the dermatitis at bay useful.

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May Wish List

This month’s wish list clearly reflects just how many old black and white movies I’ve been watching lately… Hitchcock, Curtiz, Wilder and Huston, I’ve been locked well and truly in a film noir binge for several weeks now. That of course means that I’ve been spending far too much time day dreaming about my dream boudoir bedroom, complete with a glamorous peignoir to sweep about the room in, a la Gilda.

wishlist-may

1. Latte Design. Dream Big Art Print. £9.16. Available here. If I’m dreaming of hollywood glam boudoirs with luxury wardrobes, then I’m clearly dreaming big. I would have this centre stage in the middle of a wall of art, as the ultimate motivation.

2. Steve Madden. Cori Cut-Out Oxfords. £60. Available here. I always have a pair of brogues or oxfords in my wardrobe, wearing them until they’re tatty and torn. Never before have I seen cut-out oxfords, however… they’re beautiful! Not great for rainy English days, however. Great for my favourite summer past time of reading books in quiet Parisian cafes, quietly people watching over the page. Library chic.

3. Yang Li. Full Length Cotton & Silk Skirt. £1375. Available here. This dress is expensive, dramatic, and oh so glamorous. I’d style it with a cream silk camisole with the thinnest straps and a low cut back for Paris, a low backed fitted top for Milan, a plaid shirt tied at the waist into a crop top for New York, and with an oversized, fashionably torn slogan t-shirt for London. So versatile but daring.

(Update* See how I have styled this skirt for NYC, Milan, Paris and London here.)

4. Laura Mercier. Creme Brulee Honey Bath. $45. Available here. Everyone has their signature scents, and mine have for a long time now been honey and vanilla, from my hair potions, skin lotions and perfumes (but for the occasional spritz of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle thrown in there in all its floral glory on special occasions).  If it contains either of my beloved favourite two ingredients, I want it. I don’t know why, but I especially love the little honey dipper that comes with it. I’m a sucker for good packaging, I guess.

5. Stella McCartney Balcony Bra. £96 £67. Available here.

6. Stella McCartney Underwear. £52 £36. Available here.

I make it no secret that I adore beautiful lingerie, and cobalt blue is my ‘colour of the month’. Stella McCartney has never let me down, and so I of course adore this beautiful lace and silk blue lingerie set.  So pretty, so sexy.

7. Very Home. Wood Frame Etolies a Marrakech Diffuser. £53. Available here. Living on the very edge of a city, surrounded by fields and farms, it’s fair to say that things smell strange here, and so I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with covering those ‘country smells’ of pigs, cows and horses with a range of candles and diffusers. I can’t believe I went years before finally buying a diffuser set for myself – they are amazing! Their scent is stronger than a candle, you don’t have to worry about your house burning down if you fall asleep in front of the Eastenders omnibus (I caught a few minutes of it just last week, and I can tell you that it’s a very real threat!) and they don’t make that irritating little hissing puff sound that plug-in or battery powered air fresheners do either periodically or – worse – whenever you dare to move! Definitely my new favourite way to stop those wandering farm smells from invading my house.

8. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. £18. Available here. I’ve never actually tried gel eyeliner, but I have always heard good things about it, and I think that when I do finally get around to that make up bag purchase,  Bobbi Brown would be a good place to start. Has anyone tried it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

9. Fornasetti. Silenzio Candles. £109 each. Available here. Nevertheless, there will always be a place for candles in my heart home, and this (rather expensive) Fornasetti candle set would look amazing, side by side on a white coffee table.

10. Lush. Vanillary Gorilla Fragrance. Prices from £28. Available here. Some vanilla to go with my honey bath… stuff (what do I call it exactly? Bath cream? Bath gel? Bubble bath? We speak a language that for each word in the English dictionary, has 100+ alternate words that share the same meaning, and yet we refer to anything that we add to our bathwater as either bubble bath, or, if you’re a grown adult, ‘bath’? Where’s the sense?) I’ve long trusted Lush and their products, and I’ve often used their solid perfumes while travelling, especially Vanillary, a tried-and-trusted favourite that everyone always compliments.

11. Montegrappa. The Brain Gold Fountain Pen. £29,580. Available here. I had to include this one just for the ridiculous extravagance of it. Almost £30K for a fountain pen? I may be one of the only members of the Y generation who still puts pen to paper, but is it really such a spectacular design that it would be worth the kidneys, eggs, pints of blood and miles of hair that I would have to sell to be able to afford it? Doubtful.

12. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. £. Available here from 8th May. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since it was first announced, and I will be sure to snap it up from the nearest bookshop next week. I have long enjoyed reading the biographies and business advice books of various entrepreneurs, picking their brains, trying to understand how their businesses boomed as they have. Sophia Amoruso is yet another idol of mine, the founder of Nasty Gal, which began as a humble Ebay shop. I can’t wait to see what she has to say.

13. Eicholtz. Royal Master Sealight Lamp. £1539. Available here. Again, I’d blame my love of old Hollywood movies and, of course, photography, but if ever I spot an extravagant, industrial-style lamp such as this one, it stops me in my tracks. Yes, the price is a little steep (how many donated eggs would that cost? Two? Three?) but I love it.

14. Ted Baker Opulent Bloom Black Cabin Luggage. £199. Available here. My choice of luggage matters just as much to me as what I pack inside it, and I’ve lately seen a range of beautiful, floral Ted Baker suitcases lining shop windows, tempting me. One day I’ll succumb and replace the ultra light, red IT suitcase with something albeit chunkier and heavier, but so, so much more beautiful.

15. Heaven Tanudiredja. Baven for Death Princess Necklace. £869. Available here. I rarely wear jewellery, but when I do, I go big. I’m all about statement necklaces to bring together, and how great would this necklace look teamed with the Yang Li skirt and a white silk camisole? Or for a more casual day look, a simple yellow tea dress…

16. Kikkerland. Sharp Image Pencil Sharpener. $19.99. Available here. Of course, as a photographer, my eye will be drawn to a camera-shaped pencil sharpener, even though it has been done a thousand times before. Cute, quirky and so typical, I’m amazed that I haven’t found one in a Secret Santa stocking before!

17. Too Faced. Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Peony-Dusty Rose. £21. Available here. Last but now least, we have a liquified lipstick (or a thicker, gooier lipgloss, if you prefer). I’ve always been quite traditional about my lipsticks, but dried out, chapped lips caked in flakey clumps of colour have always been a problem for me, while lipgloss simply gets on my nerves, with its need for reapplication every five minutes, so perhaps it’s about time that I experiment with this go-between solution.

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April Wish List

Springtime is (almost) upon us… or so I keep whispering to the beautiful floral tea dresses that have been waiting impatiently in my wardrobe for far too long. There’s nothing worse than wet tights in the rain, after all. Every change of season, I try to resist the inevitable style stereotypes of dark colours in winter, brights in summer, neutrals in autumn and, of course, florals in spring. Every change of season, I succumb almost immediately. It’s a weakness of mine, I know. I’ll work on that… In the mean time, however, I have been perusing the current sales and new gems of the best online shopping hubs to find my spring ‘must have’s’ for you to enjoy.april

1: Christian Lacroix. Naked Life Cushion. £95. Available here. Do I need yet another cushion? Probably not. Would it go with my current decor? Definitely not. But, oh, to own a cushion featuring not only such a true sentence for any English person (it’s struck a definite cord of recognition, like an acknowledgment of our ongoing struggle with the need to wear clothes when in the privacy of our own home), but to own a cushion that says naked… I can’t think of a single person I know who wouldn’t be compelled to comment as soon as they saw it.

2: Floral Vintage Style Watch. £7.33. Available here. I don’t know I’m always looking at watches, seeing as I have never worn a watch but for during my secondary school exams. I have my phone, that will do… but this one is so pretty. I am a bit of a sucker for collecting pretty things that I will never use.

3: Ciate. Best Sellers Nail Polish. £9 £6.50. Available here. I know they say ‘never judge a book by its cover’, and that should apply to packaging too (how often have we been duped by promising looking merchandise only to find a 99p store quality mess inside?) but my hot pink nail polish as now dried up and separated and clumped together beyond all help, despite the best efforts of our good friend Mr Polish Thinner… I could buy the same, usually trustworthy Topshop varnish… or I could allow myself to be tempted by this equally pretty, but different bottle. Yes, this is a big decision to make on a Monday evening.

4: French Connection. Feather Light Yellow Trouser. £75 £29. Available here. I once dated a guy who declared that no one could pull off the colour yellow, and for about a year after we broke up, I avoided the colour like the plague. His words were seered across the front of any sunny hued garment like a bad DIY-Punk shirt. Lately, however, I’ve been venturing into the most upbeat colour that it is possible to wear, and I should never have allowed him to convince me that it such an unflattering no-no. Especially as he never even saw me wear yellow. It was around about the same time that I spotted in an online Zara sale, the last few (plus-sized) pairs of a yellow, tailored suit trousers. Had it not been for the sizing issue, I’d have snapped them up straight away, regardless as to certain opinions. I searched for a similar pair for months and months, to no avail, but now, finally, I have spotted a style that trigger that same over-excited, ‘I must possess you’ feeling. Yellow trousers will be my Summer’14 look.

5: Bea & Dot. Two-Steppin’ Out Dress. $109.99 $32.99. Available here. This one took me a while to figure out my feelings about… love it, hate it… hate’s a very strong word.. dislike it? Like it? I’m still not entirely sure, but it’s definitely adorable with a potential to be upgraded downgraded altered to adorkable.

6: Blessed Type. All You Need is Love Wall Print. Prices start at £6.11. Available here. No place can be home to me without lashings of creativity peppered across every surface. I think many of us are the same, no? For some, that means bookcases stacked high with beautifully bound, well-read books, collected lovingly over the years. For others, that would be their own gallery of their personal artwork on display, while some may prefer to collect the art of others. I would be a combination of the tree, and lately, my decor attentions have keenly turned towards typography artwork and ‘motivational’ posters. Luckily for me, Etsy is full of beautiful options for me to fritter away my hard-earned money on.

7: Paperchase. Garden Mix Hand-Stitched Notebook. £10. Available here. In this tech-mad world, while yes, I do spend about twelve hours of every day in front of my computer – leaving it alone only to pick up my camera – I do prefer to get my ideas down onto good old fashion pen and paper rather than using the thousands of note-taking, schedule-planning, mood-board-making apps, websites and software that we have to choose from. And at the end of each exciting day, I like to sit down, and write it all down in my journal, my deepest, darkest secrets, my ugliest and silliest thoughts. For this, I always need the prettiest notebook, and for several years now, I have been using Paperchase exclusively for this necessity.

8: Wu & Wu. Sweet Sweet Fawn-tasy Container Set. $27.99. Available here. I can’t imagine for a moment what I’d put inside these… all of my ‘bits and bobs’ already have little containers of their own, which of course means that I would either have to go out and spend even more money buying various bits and bobs for each container, or I could stock up on sweet treats and periodically refill each tin… or of course, I could use them as cake tins in case I ever decide to venture outside with a baked treat… which would never happen, in which case, these beautiful little tins would be bought purely to gather dust in a kitchen cupboard. When I started these Wish List posts, I never promised that they’d be practical…

9: J Crew Leather-Trim Faux Raffia Sandals. £270. Available here. Regarding the current weather, is this wishful thinking on my part? Probably. Is it too soon in the year to be contemplating buying sandals? Of course not! With the insane amount of walking I do during my summer travels, my sandals never last longer than a single season, and so every spring, I find myself thinking long and hard about which style I should go for this year, watching the trends, determining whether or not to break said trends, contemplating whether to go for something completely different than I have gone before. It has to be said, every year so far, I’ve resulted in buying an almost identical pair of sandals to those that I have bought every previous year, in black, white or brown, depending on which will suit the most outfits… but this year, I’ll say it again, I am determined to break my pattern and purchase a pair of bright, colourful sandals that are more restrictive in my choice of outfits!

10: Urban Outfitters. Fox and Badger Plate Set. £14 each. Available here and here. These gems are sold separately, but aren’t they gorgeous together? I would display them side by side, exactly as you seen them above, on a shelf in my kitchen, with a little cactus in a white pot thrown in there too.

11: Smalldrawing. Mysterious Tropical Island Phone Case. £25.54. Available here. Technically I’m displaying the wrong sort of case for my personal wish list here, as I own an iPod, rather than an iPhone, but let’s overlook that and focus on the pattern… how adorable is this case? How summery and happy and cute! I would buy it now, and use it throughout the summer, and autumn, until the last leaf falls from the trees, by which time I will have inevitably become bored and found a replacement, wintery case instead, because it seems that we live in a world where even out phones need as many outfits as we own. It’s only a matter of time before phone-and-her outfits are a reality.

12: Penhaligon’s Endymion Bath & Shower Gel. £25. Available here. One final treat… because I am running low on shower gel, and this one simply looks so luxurious and sophisticated (as far as shower gel goes) and it probably smells delicious.

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Not the best wardrobe for backpacking…

When it comes to fashion, I think the 1950s were the best time for travelling. How on earth they managed to so perfectly pack those huge Grace Kelly skirts without completely ruining them, I’ll never know… how they managed to find the space to pack anything other than those space-hogging petticoats and skirts, I have no idea. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve tried in the past to be ‘sensible’ in what I pack for my travels. Jeans were banned (in the summer, anyway), my love for big midi-skirts was ignored, and I’d stick to a boho, mix and match, Free People-esque capsule wardrobe; lightweight, fold-resistant fabrics that take up minimal suitcase space . You’re mocked if you’re a girl with a big suitcase (especially one like these), full of the latest trends, which is definitely flared or pencil midi skirts right now. People – guys especially – roll their eyes out if they catch you applying lippy, or straightening your hair (though that last ‘backpacking offence, I am entirely innocent of, despite the cowlicks). You’re supposed to wander around with a grubby backpack (been there) – something ‘serious‘ (aka, ugly), or if you’re fashion conscience, vintage and canvas, which therefore feels like a bag of bricks hanging from your shoulder blades (done that).

I prefer to step off every plane, train and bus like this:

Minus the pin-perfect curls. I really don’t care that certain people who I meet on my travels openly presume that I am a) rich b) spoilt c) a bimbo and/or d) ignorant to the reality of backpacking. I’m not about to climb mountains in a pair of stilettos! Especially as I can barely walk down a perfectly flat and even pavement in stilettos without falling flat on my face… needless to say, while stilettos are pretty to look at, I never take anything higher than kittens abroad.

Fashion and travel don’t always work well together, of course… take the second Sex and The City movie. There were some great outfits in that film – I love the Dior tshirt-and-big-skirt combo. But equally, sometimes it was like a car crash headfirst into the wardrobe department. For example:

Personally, I think people have become lazy when it comes to fashion when travelling. I get that when travelling, people don’t want to spend hours and hours getting ready each morning. It takes me half an hour. Bam.

I think this is an expansion on my RSS… my fashion style is definitely ‘settled and working in the big city’, while my passion is to keep on moving, moving, moving. I’m molding the two tough, into something that works well for me.

Now days, besides making sure that I have one or two practical outfits for things like rock climbing, long, long, long walks or anything else that can’t be done in ballet pumps and kitten heels, I pack whatever I want, and just keep my fingers crossed that it will all fall naturally into a perfect capsule wardrobe. I seem to repeat the same go-to fashion habits again and again when it comes to colours and patterns, so generally, my entire wardrobe works well together. I guess in a way, I’m not particularly imaginative.

Dior

Bottega Vetena

Rochas

Fashion week still fresh in my mind, I’ve been thinking about my packing wardrobe of the season… Yes, the skirts are staying, along with tuxedo jackets – buttoned and bra-less… or maybe a cute lace bustier…hmm…), big petticoats beneath midi-skirts, patterned pencil skirts and amazing shoes.

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Look One: BlazerPetticoatSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Two: BustierTrouser. Bag. Shoes. Belt. Necklace.

Look Three: Top. Skirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Four: TopSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Basically, I travel Audrey and Grace style.

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old animated GIF

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Tips for a Movie-Worthy Road Trip…

We’ve all seen a road trip movie and thought, ok, that’s what I want, right?

I think road trips never work as well anywhere but America. Something about narrow roads, roadworks and swerving around potholes rather kills it for me. It’s supposed to be about open top Cadillacs or Mustangs, long, long straight roads, a group of friends with a tendency to scream ‘wooo’ at the slightest thing, and a great mix tape – even if no one has used a tape since what? 1997? 98? Basically, this:

Take a cross country road trip, without worrying about how much it will cost to fill up!

Or, you know, as this is England, this:

weekend escape = country road, picnic basket, roadtrip

Or if you’re really going for it, this:

I love a good road trip. I can’t tick off the Mustand/Cadillac yet, but I can say that I have been on  road trip in a Mini. And a yellow camper van. Both of which were brilliant.

Top 10 Tips for a brilliant road trip:

1. Company. Obvious, I know. Nothing sucks more than grumpy company. Except for the person who throws up all over everyone else. Luckily that’s never happened, but I imagine it would be pretty hard for a trip to bounce back after that. I’m not even going to bother explaining why good company is such a must for a good road trip.

#friends #RoadTrip | photo shannon lee miller

2. Music. It’s always a good time for music. The Black Keys are perfect. As are Sigor Ros when you hit ‘downtime driving’ mode. You know, when you need to recover from having laughed so hard for so long, it feels like you’ve done about a million sit ups. Not that down time driving ever lasts long with friends about. It’s all about laughing through the pain!

3. Record your memories. I’ve been on a few spur of the moment trips… without a camera to hand, despite trying to always have it within reach. It sucks. Folks, always take a camera on a road trip. Or a video camera, and you can make a lovely movie of your road trip, like these.

4. Picnics. They go hand-in-hand with road trips, I reckon. Especially as I have a few crumb-phobic friends, so snacking in the car is a no-no. I’m a bit of a ‘picturesque picnicker’ too. Pink lemonade, berries, cupcakes. I like my meals pretty.

not a specific place, but fall weather in Dallas is a perfect place for a picnic!

5. Sleeping under the Stars. Sun roof, convertible, or good old fashion sleeping back in the grass, I love sleeping in the middle of no where beneath the stars. You don’t realise just how few stars are visible from the city until you’re on a hill surrounded by mile and miles of fields in a Cath Kidston floral sleeping bag.

6. Fashion. I admit, I tend to be the girl who carefully plans her road trip outfits. Apparently that’s sad, but I’d hate filling a suitcase to find that nothing is suited to my trip, or nothing goes together and everything clashes and blah blah blah. I personally love Free People for the girly, boho-but-not-quite-hippy clothes that I take on my road trips. And of course, good old Asos.

roadtrip

7. Freedom. It’s the whole nomad-lifestyle calling to me again. When you’re on a road trip, you’re just leaving all of your worries and responsibilities behind and throwing yourself into life. However, don’t be as free as a certain anonymous someone I know who was feeling so free and spontaneous and crazy that he decided to abandon his phone and his wallet at home and just drive… a great idea, but money is needed for petrol, people!

8. Glamping. I spoke about glamping back in May. I still loveit. Again, picturesque. I think this is the influence of years of admiring Tim Walker‘s work. I seem to live my life like it’s one big Walker-esque spread. Minus the over-sized props. I would if I had the budget, though. One of my favourite things to take along on a road trip is a portable projector. Or rather, I love to take along my friend’s portable projector – and my friend too. Not just because he has a portable projector, either. (♥ H) Picnic blanket of food, sky full of stars, a sheet draped over a tree, an old movie projected against it, a cluster of deck chairs and blankets over our legs… perfection.

Love this photo~

9. Getting Lost. I love getting lost. I always find the best places when I’m lost, be it the amazing ice cream bar in Venice that I stumbled into to ask for directions (which, sadly, I haven’t been able to find since), or a tiny village with an amazing bookshop because I’m terrible at map reading and sent my designated road trip driving friend in the completely wrong direction. Oops, but so worth it.

10. Be Spontaneous. I know that spontaneous road trips can mean that packing the above items just don’t happen. Like me and my camera. Picnics and glamping and carefully co-ordinated outfits need a chance to happen, especially if you’re on a budget (I’m sure you could whip up a great picnic of berry-topped-cupcakes and pink lemonade from Marks and Spencers and Waitrose, but I prefer homemade. Still, there’s nothing more exciting then grabbing the car keys, finding a friend or two with a) a license to drive and b) a car (neither of which I have), and just going. No map, no plan, just laughs and that amazing feeling of having no responsibilities for a while.

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Oh… I’m so itching for a road trip right now. Anyone?

I guess it’s not the best time of year for road trips… I suppose I can keep myself busy until the sun finally arrives with a few road trip movies. Little Miss Sunshine, On the Road and the last 30 minutes of Elizabethtown (I don’t even bother with the first hour and a half).

Ah… summer.

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February Wish List

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  1. Cambridge Satchel Company. Navy & Peach Satchel. £160. Available here. I’ve been dying for a Cambridge Satchel for ages, but somehow I just never end up buying one. Soon.
  2. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. Prices start at about £90. Available here. This was my perfume of 2012, and I’m missing it. Not that I specifically choose a perfume for each year… it recently occurred to me that I just so happen to buy my perfume around Christmas each year. Or of course, someone buys me perfume as a Christmas gift. Maybe I’ll break with routine. I love Dior J’adore – especially the teeny tiny travel sized bottle that I have in my purse because it’s adorable. But I’m definitely more a Chanel girl. Always have been
  3. Bo-Homey cushion. $44.99. Available here. Because my bed is screaming out for some cushions. It’s just so pretty!
  4. Crosley Keepsake Turntable in Blue Floral. £160. Available here. What is it about vinyl that makes every song sound so much better? I’m more than a little bit obsessed with vinyl, be it vintage, classics or new releases. But a floral turntable?! Yes, please!
  5. ‘Time of Your Life’ phone case, available for a range of Samsung or IPhone models, as well as prints, posters… etc. Prices start at $15. Available here. I love everything in Kavan & Co‘s Redbubble portfolio. It takes self-control not to paste my whole home with beautiful motivational quote posters. It seems I’m a sucker for graphically beautiful inspirational quotes.
  6. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith… or, you know.. JK Rowling. £9.99 to pre-order from Amazon… I think Waterstones have the same pre-order price too! I’ll be buying mine from the latter. Waterstones need my money more than Amazon. Available here. It’s like Harry Potter all over again. Queuing outside bookshops at midnight for a book release. Actually no, I never did that with Harry Potter. I’d be sent to school, my mother would go and buy it first thing in the morning, and I’d some home to find I’d then have to wait the three or four agonizing days for her to finish it. Luckily these were during my pre-Facebook days, and I avoided the M25 circa book six. But this time, I don’t have to share this book with the rest of my family. I read the first of the Comoran Strike series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, mostly during my few months in Rome, reading a few pages a day in bookshops because I didn’t want to carry around a bulky €25 hardback copy with me. Anyway, super excited for book two!
  7. Alexander McQueen Velvet & Leather patent heels. Originally £455, but here, they are £204.76!! I don’t know how well I’d be able to walk in these. Anyone who knows me knows that my heel-skills are limited to kitten or wedge. Me and stilettos are not on good terms. But still, they are beautiful. These and a little brocade black tea dress? Yes. I keep having to push the word ‘steampunk’ from my head, though.
  8. Chloé monochrome jacket. Originally £1370, but here, £479.50. There is nothing to say but, I have 1000 outfits from my wardrobe that would look so good with this. Damn…
  9. Victoria Beckham. Originally £2195, but here, £987.75. Pricey, but my god, so gorgeous. It’s sexy but girly but classic. Without the visible built-in bra straps, I’d say it’s very ‘modern day Audrey Hepburn’, except that I think she’d have avoided the outerwear as underwear and visible bra straps trends. Isn’t it about time that certain newspapers stop wondering if the ex-Spice Girl/’WAG’ can match other designers?
  10. Tom Ford Lipstick in Spanish Pink. £36. Available here. I’m still searching for that perfect pink lipstick. It’s out there, somewhere. Maybe I’ll try this one next.
  11. Undercover Leather Travel Organiser. £59.95. Available here. Cyclamen, please, magic gift-bearing elves of the universe. Of course, I can’t have a wish list without something travel-related. I don’t really need this, of course. I love my On the Road passport cover too much, but still. Browsing, browsing, browsing.
  12. Guerlain Météorites Face Powder. $60. Available here. I know, I know. Pretty packaging doesn’t mean that the contents are necessarily as amazing as they look, but it’s hard not to pick my makeup on looks alone. I mean, it’s the beauty industry. Choice of three colour pallets depending on your skintone; clair, medium and dore.
  13. Olivia Burton Floral Watch. £85. Available here. I haven’t worn a watch in about a decade, not since the hideous, chunky hand-me-down that would go off at random times during those rare moments of silence at school because I had no idea how to un-set the alarm. Is that trauma? Perhaps.
  14. ‘Refind your footing’ in turquoise. $34.99. Available here. I’ve loved brogues and brogue-esque shoes for a few years now. I’ve worn the soles out of several pairs now, I wear them to often! So far, though, I’ve stuck to ‘classic colours’; black, white and various shades of brown. But these… oo. I have room for a pair of turquoise brogue-esque flats in my life. Also available in brown, blush and beige. Actually… I want them all.

Hmm… right now I’m struggling to remember why exactly I’m saving my money… time to stick a memo to my wall, I think.

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