Saturday, 24 September 2016

Sunshine in the City


With sunshine in the city, comes frolicking around in your favourite dress, clocking up thousands of steps on the iPhone health app and eating way too much ice cream. That was pretty much how mine and Scott's year and a half anniversary (yep we're making that a thing) panned out and it was one of the most fun days I've had in a long time. It was coincidentally our first full day in Amsterdam which meant we were awake bright and early, our stomachs full with croissants and Dutch biscuits and wandering the streets of Jordaan, a beautiful area of Amsterdam away from the bustle of tourists in the centre. We wandered local shops, cafes and houses and crossing canal after canal, in awe of how beautiful the city looked in the sunshine. Amsterdam really is a truly idyllic place with the combination of the unique and quirky architecture giving it a distinctive feel that seems to set the city apart from anywhere else I've visited. 

When I spotted this gorgeous embroidered smock dress on one of my favourite bloggers, Kristabel from IWantYouToKnow, I was head over heels for it and bee lined for Zara as soon as I could commit to the not so cheap price tag. With embroidery being huge this season, I knew it was a purchase I would get wear out of time and time again, both in the last dregs of the summer sun and with some wooly tights throughout A/W. I'm not one to closely follow trends and buy pieces only because they're in fashion, but sometimes it's nice when the stores are full to the brim of clothes in a particular style to bag yourself one and feel a little like a put together kinda human. I know I'll be wearing this dress for years to come even when embroidery has taken a back seat in 'fashun' because it really is one of the most beautiful pieces I own. Similarly to some of my other Amsterdam looks, a slightly more masculine touch was added with addition of black high top Converse which made exploring the city by foot possible without the inevitable blisters my sandals would have caused. My Alphabet Bags tote bag was also a welcome addition on the trip to lug my daily essentials plus my vlogging camera and big ol' Canon without my shoulder giving way mid day (always a bonus!). I'll always think fondly of this day which was filled with ice cream and the most delicious cheese pasta of my LIFE, as well as the fact I was floating around in my dress of dreams. Sometimes fashion can be underestimated in the impact it has on our self esteem so I for one will be pulling this dress out every time I need a little pick me up!


Thursday, 15 September 2016

An afternoon in Vondel Park


Y'know those outfits that at first are kind of out of your comfort zone but soon become one of your favourites? This is totally how I feel about the denim shorts in question and as a result I'm SO pleased with how the images came out! We shot these photographs in the warmth of the early evening sun in Vondel Park after wandering around Amsterdam for another day and feeling deflated that the next day would be our last. Amsterdam seems to have the perfect balance of hustle and bustle in its centre yet only a few minutes walk along a canal or two you can end up in an idyllic street surrounded by its crooked houses and architecture and locals sat outside enjoying the summer sun. Can you tell I'm head over heels for the city? We ended up in Vondel Park on the hottest day of our trip and it only made me wish we could have stayed longer and planned a picnic amongst the trees and other tourists and locals relaxing with drinks, snacks and friends. Located just a few minutes walk from the Van Gogh museum which we sadly didn't get a chance to look around, the park is a welcome sense of calm amongst the busy streets just outside it. I was lucky that I (unintentionally) seemed to plan my outfits directly around the weather on our week away and so hurriedly throwing on this simple shorts and tee combo was such a blessing on this day of non stop sunshine in the city. 

As I mentioned before, I initially wasn't sure how I felt about these shorts and after having bought them back in May and only having worn them once, I was determined to have a 'YOLO' moment on holiday and get my legs out; it is/was summer after all! I don't know what it is that seems so safe about skirts to me yet so daunting about shorts but nevertheless, I did it, and felt great! I'm so glad I opted for these Topshop shorts with the colourful embroidered phrases and words covering them, they're such a welcome fun twist on a classic denim short and add a playful aspect to an otherwise simple look. This might also be the first time I've shared a proper shot of my Kanken backpack on my blog which is MADNESS because I wear it so so often! It's perfect, especially when travelling, for chucking in all my essentials (read: rubbish I seem to think is essential day to day) and still looking cute AF. I've added a few enamel pins which I just adore the look of! If you have any cute pin suggestions, send all the links my way; I would love to expand my collection! Looking back at these photos is really making me want another trip ASAP. Any travel companies wanna sponsor me to be a travel blogger? PLs. Lemme know. 


Monday, 12 September 2016

An Embroidery Wish List!


After I uploaded a previous outfit post featuring the embroidered dress of DREAMS from Zara (which you can check out here FYI), I decided a little wish list might be in order as I really am lusting over all things embroidery. First up, I'm completely head over heels for all things triangle bra's and bralettes (ultimate comfort) so when browsing the Topshop website recently, the need for this navy number was so real. I love the contrast of pink and teal against the dark blue, almost sheer bra and although it might not be an addition to your wardrobe that everyone can appreciate, having matching, pretty underwear is the perfect start to thinking up the ultimate outfit. Possibly the item I'm pining over the most from this wish list is the Topshop A-line denim skirt featuring the most intricate, almost oriental looking bird embroidery (and pockets!) which I just ADORE. I have plenty of plain denim skirts in my wardrobe already but I feel I could definitely, 100% justify the addition of another when it's so unique and pretty. And for the sake of being on trend right? I am a fashion student after all? 

The little ASOS clutch has some serious summer festival vibes going on with the colour palette and pom poms but it's way too pretty just to confine to one season. I love how small it is yet how much of a statement and pop of colour it would add to a more plain or causal look. The last two piece on my wish list are from Zara which seems to be the ultimate one-stop-shop for all things embroidery at the mo. I adore a drop waist and smock style tops and dresses in general, and at under £20, you really can't go wrong with this striped number. Super cute for the transition into the autumn months but with a playful vibe that I really can't get enough of for adding little twists to simpler looks. Finally, the coat of dreams that is an absolute must in any embroidery fangirls wardrobe. I love the colours, the style and it's got the vibes of children's clothing that we all know by know I can't get enough of. Dungarees, smock dresses with tights and now this Zara number with the embroidered yoke. I'm obsessed.

I seriously need to get a job once I'm back at university or win the lottery to fun this new trend obsession. Preferably the latter. 


Wednesday, 7 September 2016

A mini Amsterdam city guide!

Hey peeps! I've been meaning to do this post ever since I got back from Amsterdam but have been putting off doing it a bit because of just how many recommendations I feel like I have to share! Instead of listing every single thing we did, all of which I would recommend if you're visiting Holland, I thought I would write about a few of my favourites here and direct you over to my YouTube channel where you can see everything we got up to in full! That way I can share some photos and info here whilst you can see everything we did without reading a 3,000+ word blog post; it's a win-win!

Ceintuurbaan 282-284, Amsterdam

Coffee and Coconuts was one of the places I was most excited to visit once our trip was booked and the planning began! I had seen it on SO many people's Instagrams and so already knew about their Pinterest worthy decor and ~those~ pancakes; *DROOLS*. It's a little way out of the centre but with our tram passes for the week it was super easy to get to (tram road works aside)! The building itself is an absolutely huge renovated 1920s cinema filled with locals working away on their laptops and other city visitors like us enjoying the chilled environment and taking in the gorgeous decor. Scott went for the Full CT breakfast involving avo and egg on toast, granola and yoghurt, mini pancakes and fruit whereas I opted for the full sweet version of coconut pancakes with a red fruit compote and maple syrup; the waiter actually brought me over some extra maple syrup, I didn't realise my love for pancake toppings was so obvious. Their orange juice was also to die for; so fresh!! 100% the breakfast of dreams and a must visit if you're in Amsterdam!

Rozengracht 24, 1016 NC Amsterdam
We stumbled across Kessens after we visited the Anne Frank house early in the morning and were in need of some breakfast and time to think about how moving the experience had been. I have to admit, I was mainly drawn in by the marble tables and street seating in the sun but was so pleased we decided to go in for breakfast as I ended up with a HUGE bowl of granola, nuts, berries and yoghurt for only €4!!! The staff were super friendly and it is definitely one to visit if you're planning a trip to the Anne Frank house too; it's about 4 minutes walk from the museum! 
An absolute must visit if you're in Amsterdam and possibly my favourite part of the trip as a whole was a visit to the Anne Frank house. This might be because I've always had an interest in history and the Second World War in general but I think any visitor would have a huge appreciation for how important and moving it is being in the space where Anne penned her many diaries during her time in hiding. I found the experience so moving and I actually felt really emotional walking around the house and being in the same space that Anne and her family once were. The extracts from her diary displayed on the walls around the house really allow you to fully get to grips with what Anne and her family were dealing with during the war when you can gauge the small size of the rooms and the darkness they were living in to prevent outsiders from knowing about their residence. Of course it's impossible to ever know how Anne felt in hiding as the scale of their fear and bravery is unimaginable but being in the space in which she lived was, I think, the closest you could get to understanding just a tiny percentage of what happened in those walls.
I had been told by so many people to book tickets in advance, which we did, although may have made a slight mistake with! Tickets go on sale two months in advance and so I eagerly booked ours about a month and a half before our visit for fear of not being able to see the house. The website explicitly says that once tickets are sold there are no more however after I had booked ours for 8.45am (!!), I checked a few weeks later to find that more tickets had been put up at slightly less lack-of-sleep times. I'm therefore assuming the site puts tickets up in batches and once the batches are sold out they are gone; obviously there is no way of knowing if more will be put up annoyingly but going so early meant we had the whole day ahead of us so it wasn't too bad! 

TT Neveritaweg 59 | 1033 WB Amsterdam 

We visited Pllek on our last day in the city and it was one of the best parts of our trip! Pllek is  a super cool industrial beach next to the water with deckchairs, beanbags, aztec blankets and loads of outdoor seating serving ah-mazing food and drinks. You could spend a whole day here in the summer sitting by the water, listening to music (I think they also have bands playing in the evenings!), eating yummy food and enjoying the relaxed yet bustling atmosphere. We got there fairly early as it was our last day for exploring and wanted to make the most of our time but by the time we left at about 2.30pm there were no tables left in sight and even the indoor seating was full! I would definitely recommend getting there early to bag yourself a seat or beanbag and spending a day taking in the beauty of this place. You can get a free ferry to NDSM (where Pllek is located) from the back of Amsterdam central station and they go every 15 minutes! We had the most delicious hummus, olive and roasted veggies on toast and a delicious hot chocolate too; super good food in an amazing location. 


You cannot take a trip to The Netherlands without sampling at least one waffle on your trip. I can't remember the exact name of the place we bought this amazing chocolate, custard and strawberry one from because I was too busy eating it to note it down but there's loads of places to choose from around Dam Square so you won't have trouble finding one! I'm not usually a huge waffle fan but the combination of the fluffy chocolate covered waffle with the lighter custard and fruit really balanced out to be the perfect mid afternoon snack. We shared one as they really were huge but I could totally have eaten a whole one if necessary ;) 

Bilderdijkstraat 165F
1053 KP Amsterdam

A bit of a random recommendation next but one I enjoyed SO much nonetheless and a must see for any other plant lovers out there! Wildernis is a gorgeous store, completely filled to capacity with every plant imaginable. There are plants hanging from ceiling planters, terrariums galore and just about every type of leaf variety you could imagine, all in a bright, open store which is just so so beautiful. They also stock some gorgeous ceramic plant pots which I would have loved to bring home had it not been for fear of breaking them, as well as prints and tonnes of plant focused books! The store is a little out of the centre but like I said before, with our tram passes we were able to hop on and off whenever we wanted and really there's no way you could see everything you wanted to without using public transport in Amsterdam. I hadn't realised when we visited but Scott mentioned that there were menu's on the little tables in the window so as well as admiring the leafy surroundings, you can order yourself a coffee too! A unique experience that I'm so glad we visited. 

ps. When we visited Wildernis, we also took a trip to the FoodHallen just 5 minutes down the road. It's an amazing building full of a range of stalls selling every cuisine imaginable in a huge, bright and fun space! I opted for a goats cheese wrap from a veggie stand called The Green Brothers and Scott got a fancy looking hotdog with loads of toppings. It's definitely worth a visit and if I had managed to take any photos before inhaling my food it would get a mention in its own right! 

The Meatless District
Bilderdijkstraat 65-67 H, 1053KM 

Every time I finish writing about one recommendation in this post and move onto another, I keep thinking 'OH WAIT, this was the best thing we did'!! We just had such an incredible week and so many things we did stand out as amazing. The Meatless District is a super cool vegan restaurant with gorgeous interiors and outdoor seating as well as THE friendliest staff I've ever come across. As a veggie, I love going to restaurants where I can choose from the entire menu (such a treat!) rather than a couple of options and when a restaurant specialises in vegan or vegetarian food, it feels so nice to know you're eating somewhere that shares the same ideas and ethics as you! Scott and I both had the tomato tofu burger with the most ah-mazing fillings, delicious chips and vegan mayo and it was out of this world! The waiter we had was so so friendly and spoke amazing English so we had a super long chat about our trip and his studies in England! It was such a nice and unexpected part of our visit! 


Getting around in Amsterdam is best done by tram as I've mentioned a few times now! Public transport tickets are SO reasonably priced in Holland compared to England with our three day unlimited tram travel ticket costing about £15?! Like I said, it would be difficult to see the city and all it has to offer whilst just staying in the centre and so the tramlines really are a saviour. We did our fair share of walking too, clocking up about 75,000 steps in 5 days and it's such a beautiful city to see by foot but using transport services was great in ensuring we could see everything we wanted to!

We stayed in the Inntel Hotel in Zaandam which is about a 15 minute train journey from Amsterdam Centraal station and so worth the roughly £5 we spent on our train tickets a day to get into the city. Staying in the centre of Amsterdam is so much more expensive and we had an amazing stay in Zaandam that I would wholeheartedly recommend. Our hotel had a pool and sauna that we were free to use as much as we wanted and our room had both a bath and shower (!!) which I loved! The room itself for huge and so bright and airy. I can't recommend it enough and would stay there without a doubt if I was ever in Holland again! 

So that's it! If you've made it to the end of this post then thank you so much for reading and I hope it's been helpful if you're off to Amsterdam soon, or to bookmark for a future trip. We had such a great time and I've loved looking back at these iPhone snaps and reliving it all again. I was hesitant about putting this post up because I didn't get many fancy camera shots of places but I was keen to share all our experiences nonetheless and I hope the phone quality photos are okay. Please link me to any Amsterdam city guides you have written or seen floating around the internet, I'd love to have a read if I'm ever back in the city or just general travel guides. Despite my anxiety I feel really excited about travel so a good ol' city guide for an amazing place I've yet to consider might be just the push I need! 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Insta Inspirations #2 - My Liked Posts!

Since I've been back from Amsterdam and worked so bloody hard on taking outfit photos every day on my trip, I've become full on OOTD obsessed and decided to share some snaps from my Instagram liked posts. This is the second edition of something I'm hoping to add to every few months to give me some extra fashion inspo and also share some of the total babes I get my fashion fix from daily. First up is Faye, a recent fashion graduate now working at ASOS who, in my opinion, rocks casual day to day style with a twist. I love looking to her for her simple yet so effortlessly put together outfits, and did I mention she has the shoe collection of absolute DREAMS?? I particularly loved the pin embellished bag and red boots in this look and haven't stop thinking about her princess hair ever since ..... 

Liv from WhatOliviaDid has had a fair few mentions already on Charlotte's Web so I won't ramble for too long about my total girl crush for her. I really loved the star print number in one of her recent Instagrams; I feel like mine and Liv's style is so similar in terms of floaty, smock dresses and dressing slightly like a small child so I'm always stalking her social media when I'm need of some inspiration. I love the drop waist and tassels on this dress and really what is there to say about THAT Michael Kors Gabriella satchel. I NEED ONE. Next up is Lucy from the blog ShinyThoughts whose Instagram I obsess over daily for colourful outfits, colourful food and well, colourful everything really! I had planned to do this post for a while and so have been screen grabbing outfits as I go, and this was one I was one I've been head over heels with for a long time! I really love the tiered top she's rocking and the confetti pattern is right up my street and works perfectly with her statement earings  another thing I think are part of Lucy's signature style! I'm not really a skinny jeans wearer but the light wash paired with the bright red accents of her shoes work so beautifully together. I think I need to go jeans shopping. 

I haven't followed Megan for too long online but her super cute style suits her arty personality down to a tee! This denim pinafore dress is SO BLOOMIN' CUTE and paired with the almost pastel floral shirt, gives the look a very cool toned vibe; perfect for the transition into A/W! I'm also obsessed with tote bags at the moment so seeing her rock one with a really casual look has reminded me I was on the look out for another funky one; send recommendations please! Another Megan next! I think I might have mentioned Megan Ellaby in my last Insta Inspo post which only goes to show how utterly obsessed I am with her style. Seriously I don't think there's anything she's worn in the years I've followed her that I haven't liked. Not only do I adore the laid back stripes and cardie vibes of this look (total primary school teacher but cool vibes) but I'm so IN LOVE with those tassel jeans! Like I said I'm not usually one for jeans but as I'm moving back up north in a couple of weeks and with September just around the corner, perhaps finding the perfect pair is a wardrobe edition I can totally justify. And finally, super cool Sophia is my last fashion inspiration of late. I love the contrast within her style and how she channels both quite grungey looks as well as super girly smock dresses, which as I mentioned earlier I am all about! I saw Liv (mentioned earlier) rocking the same The Smiths jumper on her blog a couple of months back and my love for it has been fully cemented when seeing Sophia style it so wonderfully. Despite my mention of autumn about 200 times in this post, the mini skirt she's rocking has got me pining for summer to stay around a little longer so I can get away with the bare leg and skirt combo for a few more weeks pls??

So that's it! Another instagram post rounded up and done! I'd love to know who inspires your style via social media so whether it be Instagram, Twitter or blogs, send me links in the comments and let's share some love for those gals whose style we just can't get enough of. 
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