55

Girly and Frilly

31 July 2010

Something that has caught my eye lately are all the pretty, cream coloured dresses in the shops and I've come to realise that it's just one of those shades that I don't wear very much. I'm quick to admit that I like my girly attire but there is still something that niggles away telling me that can be a bit too girly and frilly. Then again, leather jackets would toughen up any overtly sweet and girly dress!

The Miss Selfridge frill dress is really lovely and seems to be on all the mannequins in their stores at the moment. It has what I would refer to as having, a vintage inspired collar, I'm thinking forties inspired? The other dress is from a store, I rarely buy anything from these days, but I actually prefer the Dorothy Perkins Frill Dress compared to the Miss Selfridge one. It's a WHOLE pound cheaper too, which makes all the difference when you're a student!

However, my real favourite find was the Sestra Moja Tunic over at ASOS. Now I own a lot of belts and this one would look awesome belted. ASOS also has the option of viewing it on a catwalk and that definitely helped! In fact, more online stores should opt for this video view of the clothes!

I found all these cream dresses through Style Compare. The site represents 35 retailers and has about 70,000 items on site! Crazzy. If you thought you could spend all day on ASOS...well imagine a site that combines ASOS, Topshop and a whole bunch of your favourite high street brands? Yes, bad news for your bank account, your dissertation and that exploding wardrobe of yours.

51

Ring a Ring o' Roses...

28 July 2010

loose rosebuds
So it's time for another post on one of my many other passions, tea! Among the gifts that my very generous aunts left behind (before they went back home to Hong Kong) was rosebud tea. They heard that a lot of celebrities in HK drink the stuff for it's health benefits and I suppose everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and drink stuff that apparently reduces cancer and cholesterol. I absolutely adore green tea so I thought I would give this stuff a go.
Rosebud pink
So pretty!
I have to admit, I'm not drinking it for health reasons but purely for the curiosity of drinking rosebuds. I felt like some kind of overindulgent princess, shunning regular PG tips for individually picked, pink rose buds. Yeah you definitely can't dunk any biscuits in this tea...
Rose bud packagin
So what do I think? Well there wasn't any doubt that these were real dried rose buds. As the box says, it's definitely a delight for the senses. The heady, floral scent was not unlike pot pourri (make of that, what you will!) and a bit of honey really enhanced the taste...but it's all a bit weird! I almost swallowed a petal and I didn't know quite what to do with myself.
Glass
I think it would taste a lot better brewed with a bit of green tea, but it's definitely a unique tea that takes some time getting used to. A part of me feel a bit sorry for the rose bushes though, oh the poor things!

54

Smile like you mean it

25 July 2010

Bench dress
Blazer (Zara) Dress (Bench) Tights (Topshop) Shoes (H&M)
When it comes to gifts, I only accept things that I really, really like and more often than not, I have a hard time choosing things and sometimes I have to politely refuse!

However, when the lovely Malin and Maria over at Very asked me to pick something,I headed on over to the dresses and was surprised that I ended up liking something by Bench as the brand reminds me of when I was 14. A time when I had a bit of a phase wearing baggy jeans, band t-shirts and listening to er...emo music. Yeah, let's all erase that from that from our memories. Ahem.
Bench Dress detail
Necklace (Tatty Devine for Tate)
So I ended up choosing this Streetlight dress, which is perfect for layering and has a great print. I chose a size 10, but should have stuck with the 8 as it's a tad on the baggy side. However, it's quite a loose fit anyway which meant I had to belt it, so I think I would have had the same issue even if it was the smaller size.

I don't do these very often and have avoided doing a Q&A post because I really don't think I'm interesting enough at all! However, the amazing Clare over at Tweet tagged me to answer these 8 questions, so I might as well give it a go!

1. What never fails to cheer you up?

My friends definitely, I love nothing more than chilling out and having a good laugh. Otherwise, I'm a sucker for funny game shows. I've always watched Cantonese ones growing up like Super Trio...but Japanese ones are hilarious too. You only need to youtube them to find some funny ones!

Otherwise, my latest discovery is Sleep Talkin' Man which is pretty hilarious!

2. If you could live one day of your life over again what would it be?

I'd go back to July 2008, New York. Any day would do. It was one of the best holidays and it definitely brings back fond memories.
NY Photo by ClaireR
Photo by my friend Claire...look how short my hair is!!

I'd also go back to Reading 2005, the night when Incubus were on the main stage. It was one of my favourite moments, the sun was setting and the light was hitting the band while they were singing Wish you were here. That was pretty special.

3. What do you like best about yourself?

I've always been shy, hated public speaking and being the centre of attention. A strange paradox when it comes to writing this blog! I still hate public speaking but uni has shown me that once I put my mind to something, I can do it and I definitely like that about myself.

4. What would you change about yourself?

I wouldn't mind being a little taller- no one likes to be at armpit height when you're on a packed bus/tube. Haha, I'm ridiculously short! Honestly, all you short girls out there know what I'm talking about!

I'd also tell the 12yr old me to carry on with Chinese school as my one regret is not being able to read/write Chinese! I know a little but not enough to get me by.

5. What have you enjoyed most about blogging?

All the friends I've made from it! It's awesome having friends that have similar passions. There have been some pretty epic instances which I'll never forget like going to the Burberry AW10 show. The exciting news is that I've been invited back for the SS11 show!

6. Who or what is your ultimate source of inspiration?

A mixture between real people aka bloggers and Japanese fashion magazines. A perfect mix of both is definitely my cup of tea!

7. If you could be anywhere in the world where would you be?

Right now? I'd love to be in Hong Kong to see my family. I miss them a lot. Otherwise I would say Japan as I've wanted to go for so long!

8. Who would you invite to your ideal dinner party?

Tim Walker because I really admire his work, I'd want him to bring me a giant prop from one of his photos! Haruki Murakami so I can quiz him on his amazing, surreal writing (what do they all mean?!) Vivienne Westwood because I think she would be totally mad and definitely some of my favourite bloggers.
Vivi Aug 10
Phew, long post! Lots to do tomorrow, a bit of uni work and scanning August's Vivi magazine which I've been meaning to do for ages. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

55

Tie Dye, Pea snacks and Wooly party rings.

20 July 2010

Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer the questions in my last post, it was so interesting reading through all your answers. Writing this dissertation has really put a whole new spin on things and made me think a lot more about why I blog. The one thing I love, is that blogging is such an open forum for ideas and creativity. Yeah, feel the love, you guys are awesome.

Anyway, not the most interesting outfit as I have been holed up in the house typing up and reading lots of articles. I did however, have to pop into uni briefly and just chose a really casual outfit, after all, I was only going to the library (yawn!).
Tie dye and stripes
Denim Jacket (ASOS) Dress (French Connection) Tights (Oasis) Shoes (Topshop)
I swear, those Topshop shoes never, ever photograph well but at least it covers up how scuffed they actually are...

Selina from Flying Saucer is a big fan of the lilac Barry M nail polish and as she has mentioned, they are sold out everywhere. However, it is avaliable in the worlds busiest fashion store, Topshop Oxford Circus! Strange huh? So I made sure to stop by the last time I was in London for the blogger meet up. I battled my way through the insanely busy flagship, found the polish and paid asap! It's such a fun colour and I (very messily) added splodges of blue glitter and gold polish.
Random nails
Even though my family left for Hong Kong about 2 weeks ago now, we're still chomping through some of the treats they left behind. In the UK, Muji are only just starting to sell a few of their speciality snacks but in Hong Kong, the food selection is huge! My favourite so far is this yummy pea flavoured snack.
Muji pea crisps
I swear they taste just like mushy peas. Yep, it's a bit weird but yummy also!

As you know I'm a big fan of kitsch. I bought these knitted brooches a few years ago. They're meant to look like Party Rings but they're definitely doughnut-like too!
Knitted party rings
So to end, I get a regular newsletter from my favourite local gallery, The Ikon and this fun postcard was part of it and it's definitely a keeper!
Laters
...in a while crocodile!

36

Contrasting colours

16 July 2010

Sometimes my camera hates me and decides to go all blurry and sometimes, all I want to do is wear contrasting colours...
purpleandred
purpleandred detail
Cardi (Oasis) Top (Dress-AA) Skirt (Thrifted DIY) Bangle (Gift) Shoes (Topshop)

Currently I'm busy typing up my dissertation but here's some food for thought!

1. Why do you read blogs?
2. What is the role of the blogger?
3. Do they (or have they) influenced any of your purchases?

It's all in the name of research so let me know what you guys think!

46

Souvenirs and Meet Ups!

13 July 2010

I hate to go back and forth, but this is it, the last post to do with Marrakesh! The photo below was taken by my friend and as I recall, was the outfit from day 1.
Mosaics
Tee (UO) Shorts (Miss Selfridge) Sandals (Carvela) Hat (Accessorize) Earrings (Warehouse)
So like I said before, I barely bought anything on holiday. Maybe I was a bit too picky about holiday souvenirs but I did manage to buy a few things and bag these super cheap bangles for my sister. I don't really wear bangles but I knew that my sister, Hailey would love these. I bagged them for about 70p each. Definitely a success as she's been wearing them a lot lately!
Moroccon bangles
I bought for myself, a pair of silver filigree dreamcatcher earrings. This was off the guy who suggested I trade my friend for a camel, so I'll always remember that story when I wear these. They'll forever be known as my 'almostgainedacamel' earrings and well, let's face it, everyone wants a pair of those!
Dreamcatchers
I also bought these very mini tagines. Tagines this tiny are either purely decorative or for the storage of salt and pepper. I thought they would be great little storage containers to hold my lil' sister Becky's studded earrings.
Mini Tangines
So moving away from Morocco and onwards to London! It's always fun going to blogger meet ups and actually seeing a real moving person in front of you instead of a static image! I finally got to meet the lovely Wendy B in person last Saturday in London (who should totally be a spokesperson for MAC pro longwear lip colour!). Other bloggers present were Liz from Miss Peelpants, Kate from Make Do Style, Margaret from the fantasticly named Penny Dreadful Vintage and Disneyrollergirl.
L-R- Wendy B, Liz and KateL-R, Liz, Kate and Margaret
Pictures by Margaret and Wendy!
As you can see we had plenty of pimms which resulted in plans of shopping around Carnaby Street going out the window. I'm not complaining though, I'd much rather choose pimms and great company over shopping any day (sacrilege?!).

41

Calm a Llama down

10 July 2010

I don't know about you guys, but it's quite nice to be able to write a post that is not so picture heavy. A grand total of just three photos...feels good!
Novica outfit post
I don't shop in TopShop as much as I used to anymore, but this outfit is a testament to a time when I used to work in my local shopping mall, and spent many a lunch hour perusing TopShop. Yes, all this outfit is TopShop!

This little handmade, silver filigree pendant from Novica comes all the way from the Andes. Novica supports artisans from all around the world and have some lovely jewellery and unique gifts. It originally came on a shorter chain but I replaced it with a longer one so I could layer them with my own jewellery. It's so intricate and pretty!
Novica pendant
Metal Chain (H&M) Heart Pendant (Novica)
Novica Packaging
I don't know what's better but I am a sucker for cute packaging, I love the little llama! I should make it into some kind of brooch and pin it somewhere. It's far too cute to ignore!

48

Morocco...last days!

06 July 2010

Anyway continuing from the last post...we're onto day 3! After another lovely breakfast at the riad (it was different everyday and authentic) we marched on over to the taxi rank and paid 10 dirham (about 75p) each to get to our sight-seeing spots. Marrakesh is made up the medina (the old walled city) and the new city. The medina has a total of 19 gates and we were dropped outside this gate, Bab Agnou which is the grandest of them all.
Bab Agnaou
We spent a little while exploring the Saadian Tombs which is a rather grand necropolis built by the Saadian Sultan Ahmed El Mansour in the 16th century for himself and his successors.
2 Saadian tombs
There was no question on how grand and elaborate this place was as a final resting place for these ancient leaders of Morocco.
5 Saadian tombs archway
Soon we moved on to Bahia Palace, once a royal residencey which is another stunning example of beautiful mosaics, elaborate carvings and stucco work.
12 Bahia palace10 elaborate decor11 Bahia palace decorative doors
Dress (From a stall in Tai Po, Hong Kong) Belt (Accessorize) Shoes (Topshop) Hat (Accessorize) Bag (Salad, Hong Kong)
13 painted ceilings at Bahia
One thing I definitely noticed was how vibrant and colourful Marrakesh was!
8 colours
After the palace we set out to find the spice market...
16 follow the leader2
I was a little suprised to see these 'piles' of spices were pretend! The stall owner simply rubbed the spices onto the conical shapes to give the illusion of spices piled high!
17 spices in mellah
We stopped for lunch and had a brilliant view of a whole bunch of Storks chilling out.
20 storks
On the way back to the Riad, we stopped by the Koutoubia Mosque which is the focal point of the city. I think this shot shows just how hot it was, 4pm seemed to be the hottest time of the day!
22 Koutoubia
Something I would throughly recommend is to try the market food in Jemaa el-Fna square. It was atmospheric, fun and a cheap meal! I also was constantly amazed at how the market sellers knew a myriad of languages with snatches of Spanish and even Polish! Needless to say, we stayed away from the roasted goats heads and opted for a BBQ feast!
24 market dinner
After dinner, we had a go at playing the street games. Here is my friend 'fishing' for bottles of coke!
25 the square at night
The following day, we ventured out of the Medina and into the new city. We stopped by an Artisan store and found Tagine pots in all manner of sizes!
27 little and large
We then went on a walk to the next destination...
28 stop
We loved this club...too bad it wasn't open! The signs say le club...for happy people only and la boutique...for fashion people only! We decided to jump for joy and was amazed that this only took one take! The boys on the other hand took many, many takes and it seems that guys only do star jumps!
29 jumping for joy
We managed to walk for about half an hour until we realised that our lonely planet guide was a few years out of date! Luckily for us, a very lovely local offered to take us in the right direction! Though we were taken via a dirt track (which henceforth was referred to as the desert by us) and I was a bit wary of being led astray...
31 follow the leader
...but faith was restored when we arrived! The man would not take any money from us. We were used to giving tips to people in similar situations in the Medina (old city) as sometimes kids would follow you and ask for money. However people in the new city are a different breed and not out to make money from tourists!
34 Jardin Menara
Tee, shorts, shoes(Topshop) Hat (Accessorize)
We finally spotted some camels but they were specifically for tourists to sit on and take pictures...
32 camels
A direct view of the Koutoubia Mosque from the Menara gardens.
33 new city and mosque
Unfortunately, the Menara gardens was little more than a big square pool (with a whole lotta fish) and a small pavillion. It wasn't worth the tired feet! We ended up hopping back in a taxi and went in search for lunch at the square we began to see as home, Jemaa el-fna Square. After losing a man who was clearly being paid commission to convince tourists to go to his restuarant, we made it into a restaurant where I had another tagine dish of Kefta (meat balls) which was delicious...even if the rice was decorated in a er, interesting manner.
35 kefta tagine
After lunch, we wandered into the Souks where we spent a few hours haggling and trying our best to get things for as little as 10 dirham...75p. A small but rather hilarious detail that I missed out from day 2 in the souks was how the Moroccons loved my friend Lucy, who is fair skinned and blonde. At one of the shops within the souks, we got chatting to the owner and I was offered a camel in exchange for my friend.. It doesn't matter that he probably wasn't serious but he gave her a hug that lasted a little too long...and it was one of those moments that I laughed so hard that I couldn't stop crying. Definitely a holiday story that I'll never forget!
42 shoe sellers
For dinner we went to another restaurant in the square called Aqua Cafe, so named because it would spray mists of water every few minutes. It was actually, a bit distracting and they soon turned it off when they realised that our extended table was getting quite wet! It had a lovely view of the square...at sunset.
36 sunset
The view of the food stalls in the square with Koutoubia Mosque in the background.
37 Djemaa el Fna at dusk
We headed off to have ice creams at another restaurant and I happily devoured FRESH strawberry ice cream. I've never had anything like it, as it was strawberry red rather than the usual diluted pink ice cream, it was almost like a sorbet and so delicious. Morocco is absolutely amazing for fresh fruit and it's definitely a must!
39 ice cream
A final meander through the souks as we made our very last walk back to our Riad.
40 souks at night
The lamps were so beautiful and a few of my friends returned home with pretty little Moroccon lamps. I barely bought anything on the holiday compared to my friends...but I'll save my purchases for the next post!
41 lamp sellers
The rest of the night was spent packing in anticipation for our flight the next morning...and so ended our trip!

A shot of our passports the following day when we landed back on British soil, we were such an international group! Such is the beauty of studying a business related degree. Here you can see British, Turkish, German, American, Taiwanese and Chinese passports!
44 passports
I adored Marrakesh and staying for 3 and a half days was more than enough to see the main attractions in the city. If any of you plan on visiting, I would definitely stay in a Riad for a more authentic Moroccon experience, brush up on your French and get ready to do some haggling at the market stalls!

PS: On a side note, Miruku over at Milk Tea is holding a give away featuring some really kawaii prizes! I'm just excited that I've found a fellow Arashi fan!
 

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