Monday, 22 June 2015

Holiday Packing : Ibiza Essentials

1) Ray-ban sunglasses| 2) Accessorize trilby hat| 3) ACEVOG beach dress| 4) Boohoo Pom playsuit 5) Norma Kamali plunge swimsuit| 6) Opal denim shorts |  7) Havaianas flip flops|  8) Coast sequin top 9) Accessorize thong sandals 10) Butterfly beach scarf|

I'm very excited to be heading off to Ibiza in a a few days and I can't believe I haven't been for nearly 5 years! It's fair to say that I am (or was) an Ibiza veteran, going every year for well over a decade. Perhaps I won't be doing the every year thing now, but it is certainly a destination that feels like a home away from home that I've got so many good memories from. Now I'm only going for long weekends, I'm getting better at packing light to get away from checking in a bag. Not only is it an extra cost, I also worry about suitcases going missing or being left behind which for me would be a disaster! Knowing what to pack can be a pain so I thought I'd do a post on packing essentials to get through the weekend:

Sunglasses- Obviously the hero accessory. I always take one cheap pair and my ray-bans as I'm so scared I'll break/lose the bans if I over wear them
The sun hat- I normally go for a cowboy shaped or trilby style but the sun hat is great to protect your hair and face as well as add to your beach day style. I always have one by the beach or pool unless I use a scarf 
The beach cover up - For me, this is the absolute holiday must have. I have spent quite a bit of money on beach cover ups but they are worth the investment because I seem to spend more time in them than I do in evening wear.  I also find that a decent beach dress, kimono or jumpsuit make great day to night wear if you can't be bothered to change for the evening 
The playsuit - I'm a playsuit kind of girl, especially in the summer. They are easy to throw on and make an ideal holiday outfit as they are small and light to pack
The one piece swimsuit- I am yet to find one that fits me well but the one piece swimsuit has made a huge comeback the last few years.Some are designed to be more of a cutout one piece but those don't do anything for me. I'm looking for a good one piece that doesn't cut off my body and flatters my shape
Denim shorts- You can never go wrong with a good pair of denim shorts that fit nicely. They are great to dress up in the evening with heels and a cute top but also work for daytime
The havaianas- Nothing needs to be said here really. Uber comfortable flip flops that you can live in the entire holiday
The evening top (or two)- Even if you can't be bothered to get super glammed up, a couple of dressy tops work great for nights out. Ibiza style is very eclectic and people pretty much wear what they want so if you don't want to bring 100 dresses or find taking too many outfits a pain, denim shorts or jeans with a cute top can go a long way 
Dressy flat shoes- I'm still a heels kinda heel but dressy flats are a great alternative and comfortable.. especially for Ibiza!
The beach scarf/sarong/throw- Great beach essential or on the plane if it gets cold 

Monday, 1 June 2015

It's all about Balenciaga

Every now and then, I like to treat myself on erm.. nice leather goods. In my defence, it’s never an impulse buy and I’m usually lusting over it for a while before I make the final purchase.  I have been a fan of Balenciaga ever since I lived in LA a few years ago. Yes.. I know Cristóbal Balenciaga is Spanish but there is something very Californian girl about their city range; the grainy worn leather, the metallic studs and the tasselled finishes. I’m usually more of a classic, structured handbag type of girl but LA influenced me with its understated, casual, rock chick style . I bought a black giant city bag (similar here) nearly 7 years ago, and it continues to be one of my most loved  bags and prized possessions.
I have been after a decent wallet for a while and though I considered the Saint Laurent Monogramme  and the Valentino rockstud Balenciaga was still always front of mind. Maybe it was the sentimental attachment I’ve got with my city, I feel we've had great times and been to many places, so I'm hoping the wallet will do the same (as well as bring some good luck to my finances).
I wasn’t expecting to buy it on this day, but I was randomly browsing in Selfridges Birmingham ( work trip) when I overheard the word ‘sale’.  And there it was.. the beautiful Giant Continental Zip around leather wallet in black and purple (sold out but similar here). 
No joke of a lie, the purchase was made in 15 minutes. I had been thinking about it for a while, it was a beautiful colour and the discount made it impossible for me to walk away!

I always go for this size but I wanted to try the zip around style as I always have trouble with coins falling into my bag. The calf leather is really soft and the fabric and leather lining gives it a lovely finish.  I also love the front slit pocket at the front which is great for train tickets or anything I need to grab quickly,  while the 12 card is basically sorting out my life!  A wallet is a wallet at the end of the day but I know this one is an investment that will last me a while, and I won’t have to worry about replacing it in a couple of years.  It’s already starting to gain sentimental value and I’m hoping it does bring me abundance. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it ��

Monday, 25 May 2015

Hotel Review: Castles and Countrysides at the CASTELLO BANFI IL BORGO

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to visit Tuscany, one of the most beautiful regions in central Italy. I thought I was a travel junkie but my friend Reena takes it to the next level, constantly on the move all around the world. When she asked me to join on her Tuscany trip, I jumped at the chance, as it’s always been one of the places I've wanted to visit. We were blessed with great weather the whole weekend and the views from the Rome to Tuscany drive were stunning.
One of our nights were spent at the Castello Banfi Il Borgo , an exquisite boutique hotel set on a hilltop just over 6 miles of Montalcino's biggest wine estates. I have to say that this is one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever stayed in, and the views on the grounds make it even more spectacular. There is no exaggeration in the title that it is in fact a castle. With its rustic medieval origins,7100 acre estate, an attached winery, two restaurants and heated pool overlooking the vineyards, you certainly feel like you're getting the royal treatment.
Our suite (one of 14 luxurious rooms), was spacious with a large bedroom, bathroom and living room. All the rooms have distinctive individual designs, embellished and decorated by hand using premium fabrics. The en-suite bathrooms have large rain showers while some also have bathtubs, heated towels and luxurious bath products. We were made to feel very welcome in our room finding a well-stocked complimentary mini-bar with a selection of complimentary wines, a flat screen Satellite TVs and of course WiFi!
Breakfast the next morning was wonderful.  With a choice of continental fruits, pastries and juices followed by a fresh cooked breakfast, it’s fair to say a few extra pounds were gained after this trip.
The thing I loved most about this castle is the unbelievable peace and serenity of the Tuscan countryside, the amazing way the staff treated and looked after us and the views. Oh the views! Would definitely go again xx

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Fashion led fitness:It's all about LIJA!

LIJA activewear UK
As I'm  getting into the swing of my fitness regime, I was delighted when asked to review apparel from activewear brand LIJA. One of the reasons I'm not the biggest fan of being in a gym environment is being extremely body conscious and self-aware. I may not be the make-up wearing, immaculate hair type of girl but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to caring about what I wear when I work out. Of course you're never going to look amazing while training and it’s obviously not the most important thing, but wearing something that looks and feels good is a great confidence boost. 
LIJA is totally on the money when it comes to this concept and I am really impressed with my kit. As a style driven sportswear brand, I can really see the fusion between fashion and fitness, which ties in nicely with the popular sports luxe trend. The pieces use a clever technique of gathering to flatter your shape while using soft breathable fabrics to give you comfort. Here are my thoughts on the kit I was sent:

LIJA activewear UK
Gathered tank top:(UK similar here)
I really like the gathered ruched style of this top as well as the pretty feminine neckline. I also love the fact that it has a built in bra, quick drying and moisture wicking fabric to reduce inevitable sweat marks.
Capri pant (similar here)
These capri pants are flattering, fitted and oh so supportive! They act as a wonder bra for my thighs and bum while being snug and comfortable because of stretch they have . I also love the grey panelling on the sides.

LIJA capri pants UK

Apex vest: This vest is really handy layering item, especially for outdoor activities. It's feather light, water and wind resistant with secure pockets to keep things like your phone and cash. The fabric is also really soft and comfortable and I find myself wearing it not just for sports but for popping out to run errands, especially during the Spring weather.

Overall, I'm really impressed with this range and collection. Comfortable, flattering, fitted as well as doing the activewear job! See for yourself on their Facebook page and latest collections. It's a thumbs up from me!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

OOTD: Preppy for Spring

Blazer H&M (Similar here) |Top ASOS| Bow tie ASOS| Skirt Primark (similar here)| Shoes H&M (similar here)| Saint Laurent Bag
I am definitely one for celebrating sunshine as soon as it's out and though it's not quite be time for bare legs, there's certainly scope to get the pins out for Spring. I rarely wear a mini skirt but I quite liked this preppy school girl look I was trying to pull off a few weeks ago, matching it with a sleeveless shirt, bow tie and blazer. I decided to go for my new chunky boots from H&M to make the outfit more daytime, accessorising with my Saint Laurent bag and aviator sunglasses. What's your look for the Spring? Ready to get your legs out?

Friday, 3 April 2015

Beauty Finds: Embryolisse Lait Crème

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturiser and  Embryolisse Lait-Crème Fluid Multi-function nourishing Moisturiser
As someone who's supposedly a skincare addict, I must have been hiding under a rock to not know about Embryolisse. I have been aware of  French pharmacy products like the Bioderma make up remover or the Caudalie lip conditioner , but I'm  only just getting to discover the Embryolisse brand. I have a weird combination skin type that's extremely dry but accompanied by an oily foreheadespecially when I wear make-up. For some reason, the Lait Crème moisturiser is working wonders to keep both areas balanced, and I love the fact that it can be used as a primer, moisturiser and make-up remover. This makes it an ideal handbag essential for travelling, overnight stays and just being on the go so it’s uber convenientThe lighter Lait Crème fluid is a good alternative to be used as a body moisturiser, hand cream and soothing after sun. Though I've only been using the products for a few weeks, I can already see the difference with my skin's firmness and elasticity so I'm in love. I've been completely unaware of the hype this product has been getting from beauty press, celebrities, make-up artists and models and even from one of my good friends! I was so excited to tell her about my new beauty secret and she was just like 'I've been using it for years, I'm obsessed'! I really feel like I've been missing out but as they say better late than never!
My new regime 
Make-up remover: Before and after 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

It's all about the 70's comeback..........Again!

River Island distressed jeans £45.00Black Five shirt £14.00 Rag&Bone open toe wedges £280 | Phillip Lim Sunglasses £185.00| Gemondo gold plated amethyst ring £49.00P.A.R.O.S.H fringed waistcoat £208.00
 There is a reason why I am a bit of a hoarder and find it hard to get rid of clothes; I always believe certain pieces or trends are bound to come back in fashion so hold unto them for dear life! It will be a shock to some of you that I am over 21.. yup yup hard to believe but true, but with this being the case I am officially going through the 70's fashion revival ...... for the second (maybe third) time! There are some eras people barely remember when it comes to style (er hem 90's and 00's), but the 70's is a vintage one that seems to come back time and time again. SS15 is all about 70's chic but what I love about all comebacks is putting a modern twist to it and being able to interpret it your own way. Flares have been a staple style since they came back in the late 90's, but they are so iconic to the 70's that they remain a hero item for this era. Wedge heels are an absolute must to be able to pull off flares which I love to wear with a nice fitted shirt and.. you guessed it a blazer! To make it more 70's, shirts with bright, floral prints work well with a fringe jacket or waistcoat. As for the 70's inspired accessories, it's all about the round shaped sunglasses, floppy hats, hoop earrings and some gemstone jewellery set in gold (or gold plated) to finish off the look. I like 70's fashion and enjoying the come back.