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January Wish List

 Because even during those lucky months in the up-and-down of self-employment, even though I’m just kind of floating around with my camera and my passport, with no need to pay rent or bills as I was this time last year, there’s always about one-thousand more things on my shopping wish list than I can possibly afford. Even if I were to sell my kidney, it just wouldn’t be enough. Sigh.

 

 

wishlist-jan

  1. Fendi. Striped Sherling and Calf Hair Tote. £2770. Available here. A girl can always use a new handbag, and this one, frankly, is stunning. I’ve always ‘played it safe’ with my handbags, sticking to blacks or browns or, if I’m feeling daring, a deep red leather. Perhaps it is about time that I move into patterned territory, and I think this striped Fendi bag would be a good place to start. Let’ just brush over the £2770 price tag, shall we? A girl can dream…
  2. Becksondergaard. He Loves Me Scarf. £45. Available here. While I tend to walk around in what is apparently becoming my ‘trademark’ over sized gold scarf from Switzerland, I am a big fan of collecting scarves, particularly if they are either vintage, or vintage in style. This Becksondergaard is adorable in both name and look, the He Loves Me Scarf. How many of us spent our childhood playfully picking apart flowers to see if *insert name here* ‘loved’ us? If only life was as simple as our love lives being decided by whether a flower has an odd or even number of petals!
  3. Smythson. Mara Textured-Leather Jewellery Box. £555. Available here. I’ve always had rather eclectic tastes, and Smythson for me is a brand which oozes class and sophistication. I’ve always adored everything that they produce in the same gleeful was as I do every Chanel or Chloé collection, and I’m especially excited now that Smythson has moved into the realm of beautiful leather cases for our technology. They always produce to the highest quality, making the £555 price tag well worth it.
  4. Kiki de Montparnasse.  Amour Sleeveless Silk-Satin Robe. £320. Available here. I’m a woman who feels most at ease with herself when lounging in bed with a good book. I take great pride in choosing what I will wear for such lazy Sundays; I’m not someone who throws on a pair of tracksuit bottoms and an old t-shirt. Therefore, its no wonder that this beautiful, navy blue silk-satin robe caught my eye. Let’s face it, I’m someone who considers owning a boudoir dressing area as fairly high on my lifelong wish list. Priorities, clearly.
  5. Bella Freud. Signature Incense, Wood & Oud Scented Candle. £38. Available here. Like most of us, I think, my candle scent tastes change from spring/summer to autumn/winter. While in the summer, I prefer floral, clean, beachy scents, in winter I prefer to stock up on two types of candles; Christmas scents (spiced apple being my all time favourite) and woody, earthy scents. It’s as if lighting a scented candle makes me feel instantaneously better with the current temperature; I find summer heat more bearable with a beachy candle burning, and equally I feel instantly warmer the moment I light a woody candle (and no, I believe its for more than just the obvious reason of there being a naked flame present). It’s no surprise then that at this time of year, this Bella Freud candle was bound to catch my eye.
  6. The Estate Yard. Deer Fine Bone China Mug. £12. Available here. I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t collect mugs. Most of us don’t realise that we do, until one day, we reach into the cupboard with our latest china purchase, and find that we have no option but to balance the new mug precariously on top of all the rest.  I know that its not just me – being an avid coffee drinker, I’ve seen inside the mug cupboards of so many people over the years, I know that its a national ‘problem’. Nevertheless, its not one that I plan to change anytime soon, and so here you go, I’m throwing in a mug, perfect for winter cocoa, soup, and of course, my much needed fuel: coffee.
  7. Mod Cloth. Streak of Success Skirt. $59.99. Available here. It may be bitterly cold outside, but throw on a thick pair of tights (or several) and I’d still be happy to head out in a skirt. This navy skirt from Mod Cloth is perfect year-round, in keeping with the midi-skirt trend that has been around for so long now (which I will never tire of). I especially love the simplicity of the white band detail. So simple, so versatile and perfect.
  8. Jimmy Choo. Attila Embossed Patent-Leather Point-Toe Flats. £375. Available here. Black flats are my staple shoe. I walk my way through about 5 pairs a year. Generally I choose suede, rotating between a contrasting toe-style or an over sized bow. Sometimes, however, I do something crazy and choose patent leather… you know, in case I ever leave my mirror at home and I need to check my reflection.
  9. Sweaty Betty. Double Time Run Tank. £60. Available here. It’s January, a time of fitness-related new year resolutions that only about 3% of us will stick at until next year. Mine is to take up pilates again. It would be a much easier resolution to stick to if I lived in London, land of the free yoga/pilates classes in every park, any day, any time, you can guarantee you’ll find a yoga mad group flexing on the grass. Try that in Derby, and people stare. It seems to be acceptable in Paris as long as your French, and you’ll be considered laughing stock if you try it in Italy or super-relaxed Spain. Nevertheless, I am determined to try, wherever I may find myself. First things first, I need the perfect pilates wardrobe, and Sweaty Betty has proven to be a great place to start.
  10. Sweaty Betty. Easy Run Capris. £55. Available here.
  11. Bare Minerals. Bare Skin Perfecting Face Brush. $28. Available here. Choosing the right makeup brush can be as important as choosing the right makeup in achieving that flawless, au naturel look. Choose the wrong brush, and you could be left looking blotchy, patchy, with brush strokes as visible as the Mona Lisa. I’ve heard great things about this brush from Bare Minerals for creating a flawless look, and I hope to soon be able to try it out for myself.
  12. Nip+Fab. Bee Sting Fix Eye Night. £14.95. Available here. It’s the latest crazy to sweep the celebrity world; the use of bee venom to ‘plump’ up the face and reduce and prevent wrinkles. I may be only twenty-two, but I’ve always believed that anti-aging skin care starts early – its much easier to prevent wrinkles from appearing than it is to remove them once they’re there, after all. While there are plenty of much pricier bee venom creams, potions and lotions to choose from, I would prefer to start with Nip+Fab’s budget-friendly version. Who knows, perhaps its the secret to maintaining my youth that I’ve been searching for?
  13. Clothbound Classics. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens. £11.29. Available here. Being a bookworm, I could not compile a wishlist without including a book or two. I’m a big fan of the classics, and Dickens is no exception. Being the artistic sort, it only makes sense that I would yearn for this beautiful clothbound version of my favourite of his novels: Great Expectations, don’t you think? A range of classics have been given the same classy treatment, and are available here.
  14. MAC. Punk Couture Eyeshadow. $40. Available here in Spring 2014. This one is not yet available for another few months, but I already have my eye fixed, waiting impatiently. I know what I like and what I don’t when it comes to my makeup, I’m not one for experimenting for bold eye shadows (unless a camera is involved), preferring neutral shades, venturing only as far as deep blacks, plums and navys for a night out smokey eye. This pallet is teetering on the edge of my comfort zone, consisting of both pale pinks and smoky navy, but its not quite anything like I’ve ever used before, and so I am excited to experiment, ever so slightly.
  15. Missoni Home Husky Throw. £248. Available here. Patterned blankets go hand-in-hand with chilly English winters, don’t you think? There’s nothing I love more than snuggling up beneath a stack of blankets, with my scented candles burning, a good book in my hand, and a mug of steaming cocoa at my side, cosy in my beautiful dressing gown, while the snow is falling outside. Wintery perfection.

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Quirky Corners: Pop Up Cinema!

Image from here

I need to visit this place one day! In fact… it’s in London. I’ll be in London in a few weeks; I’ll try and find the time to head there and watch a film! Jeez, why have I never heard of this place before?!

The Cineroleum is a derelict petrol station-cum-cinema. Transformed by a team of young architects in 2010, the cinema features everything you would expect at your local Odeon or Showcase: flip down seats, printed tickets, popcorn. The works. I especially love the beautiful draped curtain that envelopes you as you.

Image from here.

And with tickets starting at just £5, it’s cheaper than your local Odeon too! This lovely quaint cinema can be found in London on Clerkenwell Road, and the nearest tube station is Farringdon, so its easy to reach.

 

Image from here.

Damn… just checked the website. The chances of me being able to see a film here before I go travelling are pretty slim after all.. everything is sold out already!

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Joie de Vivre.. Part Four….

Zurich
 
I didn’t plan to go to Zurich. It just sort of happened. There I was, admiring the beautiful views from the window of the Milan-Paris train (seriously I recommend that everyone travel by train from Milan to Paris at some point in their lives, it’s amazingly, spectacularly, jaw-droppingly beautiful!) and we were passing through Zurich, and I just thought.. I’ll get off here, just for a few hours.
So glad that I did!
One of the first things that I saw was hundreds and hundreds of people just floating – not even swimming – floating down the river on inflatable green and yellow butterflies. I don’t know why, or what it was about, but I did gather that it’s an annual thing so I have decided, that is how I want to celebrate when I leave university next summer! With all of my friends of course! I saw two genius girls using orange armbands to hold a bottle of wine – definitely a plan for next year!
I only had time to spend about four hours in Zurich, and for most of that time I was either exploring the biggest, most amazing antique fair I have ever seen, (if only I was a millionaire, I’d have bought everything in sight), or just sitting on the jetty, dangling my feet into the lake, as it was ridiculously hot).
I need to get my bum back to Zurich and explore it properly. ASAP.
Paris
 
J’adore Paris ♥
As long as I don’t look too closely (and spend as little time in Gare de Lyon station as possible, as it’s filthy and has a serious cockroach problem) I love Paris. I have always loved Paris and so as much as I had to drag my bum out of Italy, I think Paris is about the only place that for me could come close in winning my heart.
I love that everyone kept mistaking me for being ‘a true Parisian’. I love the French language, I love the art, the culture, the history…. I love how friendly everyone is, despite their reputation for being rude and.. Parisian…
Or at least I loved how friendly everyone was, until I realised rather late in the day that it might have had something to do with my black top being very see through, and I had decided to go bra-less… oops.
So, I crossed many ‘must see’s from my Bucket List while in Paris: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Moulin Rouge, the Louve (more specifically the Mona Lisa), etc etc… but I also went here:
My inner child is still buzzing – I’ve only waited twenty years and I’ll admit, mock me all you like, I was the biggest kid there! Though I only met Mickey Mouse and Jack Sparrow. Oh and of course I saw the parades. Still… not a fan of this whole ‘character meeting points’ system – I was looking forward to seeing all of the characters just casually strolling around.. my inner child was a little disappointed. That’s the best part after all, right?
 Anyway…….
Montpellier (and various little surrounding lakes and villages)
 
I have fallen in love with Montpellier. As well as Rome, Venice, Florence, Paris, Bordeaux, Porto… the list goes on and on… but seriously, I love Montpellier. Unfortunately I’ll have to wait to develop my many many rolls of film before I can see any of my photographs from Montpellier itself.. I have just one for now:
My first evening there, after a lovely long walk around the city with my lovely host Mallory, just as we were walking back to his apartment, we happened to walk past this lovely group of people: (I’ve just realised that I use the word lovely far too often, but there’s really no other word to describe the lovely people I have crossed paths with and places that I have stumbled across). We perched ourselves on a ledge for a while and listened to them sing about coffee and life. There was an old woman listening from her balcony a few floors above us and a couple sitting in the doorway across the street from us. I love that about Europe – in England, people hang around the streets, and everyone else peers suspiciously at them from their windows, wondering if they’re out to cause trouble, but in so many of the countries I visited, neighbours chat to each other while sitting in their doorways or on their tiny balconys. It’s so similar but so different.
The next morning, Mallory showed me around the area surrounding Montpellier. He took me to a tiny village full of winding streets where people hang clay sunflowers on their doors to ward off evil spirits. It was exactly how I picture ‘Southern France’, it felt familiar almost to the point of deja vu.
We picnicked by the river and went for a swim, and we laughed at everything; the teenage boys posing and wading through the water like they were male models staring in a perfume ad, my tan-lines, which were pretty horrendous at the time, my failed attempts to swim against the current, the man who hesitated for ages on top of the largest rock trying to decide whether or not to jump as all of his friends had, only to finally do so while cupping his ‘special pebbles’. I spent what felt like hours just perched on the same slippery rock watching fish swim around my feet.
By the time we had reached this lake, I was exhausted. I had already been struggling to keep my eyes open in the car as we drove from river to lake. I dozed on the damp towels while Mallory went for another swim, only to return two minutes later complaining that there was ‘water plants’.
Eventually, the mosquitoes drove us away, and so we went back to Mallory’s apartment and gorged ourselves on crab, salad and blackberries.
I miss it.
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