A little window into my world

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Packing headache!

A few weeks ago I bought flights to Oslo for £5, the only catch being I can only take a hand luggage bag. At the time I thought it could be jokes but now I am actually rather concerned after seeing the size of my bag (check pictures below) and reading the November weather report (Average temperature -1c, Average low temperature -3c, Average snow fall days 9, Average sunshine hours 2) eekkk. I fly out on the 19th and fly back on the 22nd making me think the later you go the more likely it will be for snow! As well as booking flights to Oslo I got another flight for Stockholm in February where the weather is set to be more snowy, and a little colder....

... With limited packing space to say the least I am on the hunt for warm clothes that I can wear on the flight, and lots of layers to pack to keep my warm while away. This is actually going to be a challenge. I started today by trawling the shops all afternoon followed by a touch of online ogling and here are a few pieces I have on my shopping list!

Cable Over The Knee Socks £10 from TOPSHOP.

These will go perfectly over some opaque tights to add warmth with one of my wintry dresses. Plus they wont take much room in my little bag.

Knitted Chunky Stitch Cardigan £48 from TOPSHOP.

Not one for the case, this will be perfect for flying.

Waxed Duffle Coat With Quilted Lining £80 from ASOS.

I love this and not only will it keep my snugly warm but hopefully dry from any rain or snowfall.

Black Polar Bear Jumper £35 from Dorothy Perkins.

It may be too early to crack out my reindeer cardies but this polar bear jumper has got my in the wintry spirit, soo cute!

Black Super Skinny Jeans £25 from Dorothy Perkins.

These are the only jeans for me, they feel like leggings and fit perfectly plus they will look good with some chunky knitwear in the cold.

Leopard Print Earmuffs £2.99 from H&M.

These are such a bargain and will be easy to carry on my flights. Stylishly warm ears, yes please.

Flower Knit Headband £3.99 from New Look.

This is a cute alternative from a hat and will save the bad hat hair.

Pearl Trim Chunky Knit Beanie £5 from Matalan.

This is lovely and in case the head band is not enough will keep me nice a snug.

These essentials mixed with my current wardrobe will hopefully keep me snug in Oslo if I manage to wear and pack it all. Perhaps a little further shopping is in need. I'm pretty much envisioning a security alert as I look so dodgy with all my layers trundling through check in, or holding up airport security as I take my 8 layers off to go through the scanners. I have a feeling this could be one of my more interesting trips to date. Watch this space for a full report once I get back!


Monday, 25 October 2010

Working from home

Since returning to uni I have made the effort to go in for at least half a day everyday to make sure that I do work but after waking up with the headache from hell, feeling like someone had hit me over the head with a Flintstones style rock club I decided to stay home and turn my little room into an office and attempt to work from home (all be it in my pyjamas with a ridiculous amount of soya milkshake).

One of the units I am taking at the moment is an Entrepreneur unit which basically involves putting in place everything to set up and run my own business, which will come later in the school year. I am looking at launching my own clothing brand and so have been busy sussing out my competition, which has involved a lot of highlighting, post it writing and many a tea break. In this process of compiling bits of paper and visiting numerous online stores, my bedroom has gone from my relaxing room to hell!! I have tried to organise it time and time again during today but it keeps going back to the stress zone! (See Pictures below!)

My attempt at organising my bed area!

Note impressive amount of library books and home made organisation chart! Geek Alert!

As well as suffering from lack of focus and a very sore head I am actually convinced that my toes are frost bitten and need chopping off. Then suddenly I remembered the woolly slippers I bought from an indoor market in Poland during my backpacking trip in the summer and had to get them out. I'm not going to lie, I cant be entirely sure which fur and wool is lining these little booties, but they are soo snugly and warm, and I love them so much. I brought them for just under 30 zloty which is the equivalent of just over £6. Amazing. Best investment ever.

Anyways once warm to try and motivate myself on came the music and out came some terrible dance moves (distracting). I think this is going to be a long week if progress continues like this, but I genuinely need to achieve a lot of things by Friday. Anyone else feeling the work crunch? I hope I'm not alone on this one.


Saturday, 23 October 2010

Fashion's Night In

I'm beginning to get really excited about vogue.com's 'Fashion's Night In' that is happening on November 1st. Following the success of Fashion's Night out in September, Vogue.com are bringing us all the best of online shopping with a "night of exciting and exclusive digital fashion events". As well as shopping, there is access to expert style advice, bespoke films and goodies bags are up for grabs. Its not all about indulging ourselves either, the night is raising money for KidsCo.which works therapeutically with vulnerable children and young people. A little less guilt from spending those last few pennies? I think so.

At the moment I am actually writing my dissertation about the use, development and future of online and digital shopping and how it may change the face of the high street. I have been busy writing theories, reading articles and industry reports, and had been beginning to bore of it, but this has actually got my quite engaged again. Its not so much the shopping but what Vogue.com is doing with it. The live event gives the shopping experience a more exciting feeling and with so many collection launches and new online retailers to discover its going to be good. Some of my favourite to look out for include; Belle and Sue., Cult Beauty, Fashion Bloodhound, Fox and Squirrel, Liberty and Think Boutique.

There is going to be something for everyone. I am planning on getting the girls round, opening some wine and spending a bit more of my student loan, ohh yess! If you haven't heard about it please visit www.vogue.co.uk to find out more. Happy shopping.


Friday, 22 October 2010

Taking it to the max

It always happens, one thing in your make up bag runs out and everything else decides to at the same time. This happened to me recently and so I had to do a crazy little shop and buy virtually a whole new set of cosmetics which is always really nice as that first dip in a new mascara that only takes 2 minutes to apply rather then the 15 of trying to scrape the very last out of an old one is very satisfying. However I am a bit of a make up snob and really like to buy nice brands as I always feel the results are far better. I'm also one of those people that buys the same products again and again as I feel they are tried and tested and I won't be wasting my pennies, so i literally had a heart attack when I couldn't find my usual pieces. I ended up running all over town on an hour long expedition to try and get what I wanted.

Eventually I managed to track down my magic mascara much to my own relief. I have been using MasterpieceMAX mascara in Black by Maxfactor for the last few years and it is by far the best mascara for my lashes. It always gives them amazing length and volume and I never need to wear any other eye make up when I have this on. I love the brush and ease of use and even when you run it right down you still get amazing lashes. It costs around £9 and is so worth the pennies.

One crisis over the next one to figure out. Ever since receiving a sample at London Fashion week a few years back I can't actually live without Maxfactor Natural Minerals foundation. This foundation gives you a flawless finish and you only need a light dusting to give you full coverage meaning no accidental orange glows. The brush it comes with is so soft and even though you have to spend a little more it actually lasts for months. I think my record so far is about 8 months....amazing! The powder is loose also which means you never get to that point where it all crumbles and becomes unusable.

To my maximum annoyance I could not find it anywhere and so had to begin the search for what might be usable instead. After trawling the racks in about three different stores I settled on Maxfactor Creme Puff powder to use over a light concealer or foundation. I find it hard to use pressed powers as I think they can give a really powdery look and I really love my makeup to look natural. After a nervous walk home I tried it out straight away and now I am in love with it. My skin looks flawless which is never does, and the colouring is perfect for my skin tone. The power smells really nice and the although I use my own brushes to apply it, the little puff it comes with gives an amazing finish when used blend it down. I brought mine for around £8.

As much as I love Maxfactor I mix and match my makeup and get the best product for me. Next on the hit list was a nice new blusher. Mine was in a ridiculous state before hand. I always find it hard with blushers to get the right shade, they always end up too red, too pink, or a little too bronzed. On and off I have used Ruby and Millie cheek colour, colour stick. Its almost like a balm you apply to your cheeks and its so subtle that it just gives you that bit of colour you need. At £13 its quite pricey but worth the treat every now and then so I went for it.

The final thing on my hit list was a bit of highlighter for those cheeky nights out. Mine has been drying up for ages so while I was at it i decided to order some of my favourite, Jemma Kidd Dual Illuminator creme highlighter and shimmer dust. I first got my hands on this at London Fashion Week as a gift for helping at some shows and since then I have been addicted. Its gives my evening make up a little boost and makes my cheek bones pop. It is quite pricey at £18 but lasts a long time and gives the ultimate touch to any evening make up. Check out the Jemma Kidd make up school website for tips on how to use it.

After refilling my everyday essentials I decided to have a good clear out of my cosmetics. I have somehow managed to gain a whole chest of draws worth of beauty products and many of them needed to go. Boxes and boxes of eye shadows and nail polishes, old eyeliners and lipsticks. It felt so good to get rid of the old and make room for my next make up spree. There are so many amazing make up brands around that I have decided to try some new things out. Its easy to get stuck in one make up routine, especially when you fall in love with products like I have, so I am going to broaden my horizons and get product testing. Reviews will follow. If you only do one thing this weekend, have a good clear out of those cosmetics and get some new pieces in, it will make you feel amazing.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Art of the trench

Trench coats have gained in popularity since their roots in the war and are now considered a staple in the wardrobes of many. While recently giving presentations at university we were asked to name the one fashion item that we wish we had invented and the trench coat made repeated appearances. I personally love them as they are classic, simples and sexy. They make you feel like you have a little secret hiding underneath and that feeling is what makes them so magical. During our discussions we were drawn to an amazing website www.artofthetrench.com.

It is a collaboration between Burberry and some of the worlds leading image makers and they describe it as 'a living document of the trench coat and the people who wear it'. People can submit images of themselves in their trench coats and selected ones will be posted live on the site. As well as this there are specially commissioned Burberry portraits. It is essentially a Mecca of the trench coat. The images put the coat into context and really really are just so lovely. I have been obsessed with Burberry for a while as once you get past the chavvy knock offs in the markets around the UK you see the classic, feminine and tailored beauty of the brand. Here are a few of my favourite images but you should all pay a visit to this amazing site.

Just so Lovely.


J'adore Paris and adventures beyond.

Since getting back from Europe I cant help but look at the pictures a begin planning a few little trips. We went from Brussels to Brussels in a loop visiting, Paris, Avignon, Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, Bari, Athens, Hanioti, Istanbul, Sofia, Bucharest, Budapest, Salzberg, Vienna, Munich, Prague, Krakow, Berlin and Amsterdam along the way. I had such an incredible time and have some really great memories and stories to tell. I just wanted to share a few pictures and stories as I will forever be talking about this trip and so a little background info will not go a miss.


This was possibly the most ridiculous trip to Paris. We had just been to Brussels and were on our way to Avignon in the south of France but had about 6 or 7 hours between our trains as we had to change in Paris. So we decided to make the most of it and had a whistle stop tour of Paris. After a hours trek to put our bags in the other train station we headed for the Eiffel tower for a bit of tourist action. I decided that as it was Andy's first time in Paris the tower would not do and that we must go and climb the Sacre-Coeur and see the whole of Paris. Armed with a tube map and the general direction I was surprised to find the right place. Andy was in no mood to hike up a bunch of stairs in the heat but I made him and it was worth it. This is me taking in our 5 minutes at the top before our rush for the train to the south.

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

No trip to Turkey is complete without a bit of haggling for 'Junk you don't need' as one man put it, in the bazaars. The grand bazaar was actually amazing we ended up spending all of our money on bits a bobs. It was so much fun bartering for random treasures and some of the lines they pulled were hilarious, 'Chicken and chips....I mean fish a chips' what an opening line. I bought a shesha pipe, a recorder, a Gypsy lamp, a bunch of t-shits, some scarfs and soo much more. Got a ridiculous amount of bargains but didn't actually think about the fact we would have to carry them the rest of the way around Europe. Also didn't think about the fact then when I got home my lamp would have a European adapter.

Lykavittos Hill and The Chapel of Agious Giorgious

Athens was one of my favourite places on the trip but it was by far the hottest. We had managed to get delayed on our ferry from Italy due to bad planning and a national holiday so to fit everything in we had to use all of our time effectively. This meant hiking up to the top of the acropolis in midday heat (and nearly dying in the process) and then racing up the Lykavittos Hill to try and catch the sunset and get an amazing view over Athens (in flip flops and with no drink because of our amazing organisational skills). This was the view when we did make it to the top and it was amazing. There is a beautiful white church on the top of the hill and at night it lights up and looks like heaven from the streets below. This was one of my favourite city views on the whole trip and definitely worth the thirsty flip flop hike!


After Athens we wanted to go a visit a friend who was working out in Hanioti at a resort. We got a train to Thessonaliki and then after about an hour of searching boarded a random bus and then a further bus and hoped for the best. Amazingly enough we managed to get off in the right town an hour later but with only our hotel name and our backpacks had to try and find out where to go. Luckily a lady we found spoke amazing English and pointed us in the right direction. When we got there, the hotel was really nice and there was lots of families on holiday (we must of looked a mess rocking up in travel clothes with massive backpacks) but it was a fun expedition. We met our friend later that night for a beach party which was really cool. This is me in my big backpack hiking in the Greece wilderness to our 'Hilltop' hotel. I genuinely hated this hill hike ha ha.

Lunch in Istanbul

How cute is this?! We wanted to grab a cheap bit of lunch in Istanbul and came across this cute little place. Carpets on the walls, seats on the floor and this wonderful Turkish woman making yummy crepes. Mine was filled with cheese and tasted soo good. I loved the culture of the places that we visited, and eating with the locals was all part of the experiences. Later this night we partied Turkish style!

Overnight trains...Nightmare!

So we took a number of overnight trains on this trip to save travelling the days but they always ended up to be a complete adventure/nightmare. The first one we took from Thessonaliki to Istanbul we got turfed off the train in our pyjamas at silly o'clock in the morning to clamber across train tracks and buy visas to enter while our passports were held ransom. We genuinely did not know what was going on as it was shack in the middle of nowhere with a little man wearing a stripey top selling the visas. It turned out to be genuine but it was a little freaky at the time (especially with all the stray dogs around agghh) The second one from Istanbul to Sofia wasn't so bad but again early morning boarder controls were jokes and Andy possibly experienced temporary brain damage as a bed fell down onto his head (It was pure comedy and one of many injuries he picked up along the way). The final one was probably the best though. We were going from Bucharest to Budapest and were put in a cabin with 4 Romanians and one had a child (a very big child). Only one of them could speak broken English. There was no air con and it was possibly one of the hottest days of the trip. We ended up spending most of the night in the cabin next door with an equally random group of people. There was a Greek man who was in his 70's, a Turkish/Iranian man in his 70's, a guy from Peru in his 30's an American girl in her 20's and me and my boyfriend. We drank beer, ate sandwiches and spoke all night. Random trip but sums up my travelling experience.

I have so many photos and so many stories that I could continue this post forever but I will stop now, and post more at another time. People in England seriously underestimate Europe and always dream about far away holidays, but I honestly can say its my favourite place ever. You don't have to go far to see soo many different cultures and the continent is just steeped in history. If you ever get the chance to go backpacking here, take it and love it, because it is the most amazing thing I have ever done.


Saturday, 2 October 2010

And so it begins...

On Thursday I had my induction day back into university after a year out. I am not going to lie I was very nervous on the day because I did not know what to expect. It is a new course with us being the first 'class' if you will, and as well as that, I only recognised a few faces but actually knew no one. The day was spent mainly making small talk to my new course mates and listening to hours and hours of people trying to paralyse us into fear of the amount of work we have to complete and the small amount of time in which we have to do it. When I came away I was actually really pumped up and wanting to get started on all of the projects set. But before I can begin the 'biggies' I have an equally important presentation to complete ready for next Friday to be made in front of my head of school, no pressure or nothing.

The presentation has had what I assume is the intended impact of making me think about myself and my design style. In essence the flow of it will be based on a series of quotes and related questions. I have been working on it all day and am still questioning my thoughts on a few of the questions not because I don't know what to say but to make it relevant and to cut down my choices is actually proving pretty hard. The questions go as follows;

1. "What you have in your closet reveals what kind of job you have, what magazines you read, how creative you are, even where you went to college". Nina Garin.
Who are you? And what is your Personal style?

2. "I wish I had invented the blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity- all I hope for in my clothes". Yves Saint Laurent.
What fashion item or fashion product, would you have liked to have invented and why? Include the product or an image in your explanation.

3. "I don't design clothes. I design dreams". Ralph Lauren.
What is your design dream?

4. " Sofia is so active, and she made The Virgin Suicides, which I thought was great- all these things are inspiring to me, not in terms of creating a particular dress, but just in terms of knowing that there is a type of woman out there". Marc Jacobs.
Sofia Coppola in Marc Jacobs muse, who would be yours and why?

At first these questions seemed pretty simple and straight forward but once I started thinking about numbers 2 and 4 I really became stuck. There are so many people that inspire me and so many products I wish I had invented to narrow it down to one solid answer is very hard. As far as a muse goes there are a number of European actress' and singers that I would design with them in mind but there are also a number of people in other professions that I design for as well as the everyday girl. I don't want my answers to seem cliche or obvious but I guess to an extent they always are.

Apart from making me really think about these two questions the other questions have made me realise I have a real clarity about what my design style is and what my design dreams are as well as where it is all going. I think these early thoughts on all of the above will give me a clear focus for the academic year ahead of me as far as my work is concerned. I am hoping with a bit more thought I will have a snazzy presentation to present on Friday.