Wishlist! What will happen when I have some money….

Essentially what will happen when I get money, is that I will spend it all. ALL of it. I think this is sensible.

Wishlists are dangerous. Any time I run out of money, buying new things all of a sudden becomes very important to me. And I get fully obsessed with ideas and plans for my new wardrobe! So I sit on Pinterest scheming how to sell my kidneys or my hair (it’s legit, I’ve looked it up, it might well happen). For example, this season it was this dress and check shirt combo that haunted me. Hence this instagram, and this pinterest board. I KNOW the dress existed, I saw it with my OWN EYEBALLS. And yet, it is now nowhere to be found. (If someone can find it for me, then I will pay you in cookies, many, many cookies).

My current wish list though, for some reason, has turned out fully black and blue. Never have I created ANYTHING with such little colour.. I’m quite surprised with myself. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to buy it all.

1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. | 7. | 8. | 9. | 10.


Add a little more leather, more fur, purpley berry lips and a few times as many pretty dresses and you’re there.

I’m actually amazed some of these are still in stock. Particularly the check skirt and Topshop coat! The shoes are the big wants though. I need a new pair of boots, my old Topshop ones are so tatty, they seriously need replacing. I love the whole cut-out boot thing. But the contrast sole was not something I expected to like! I’m obsessed. The Forever 21 ones, which are totally gorgeous, might be the ones I get so that I have one chunky pair and one non-chunky pair, you know, just in case I’m feeling non-chunky… (you can see how I run out of money so quickly right?)

The leather/suedey skirt and the lingerie dress are the two others I’m really pining after. I love how weirdly interesting the skirt is! And I realised I probably don’t have that many skirts or dresses, so I think I should stock up. Patterned smocks are gonna be in there too.

Anyway, life with me has been unbelievably busy, interviews and spontaneous trips to Bournemouth (did you know it has a beach?!) have kept me away from the blog.. But some exciting updates and hopefully lots more outfit posts to come, so bare with me..

Happy weekend!

Katie x

5 Things to do on Halloween!!

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I’m a very festive person. I absolutely love celebrating things, AND I love dressing up. When I was a child, I wore more fancy dress than real clothes. I’m pretty sure I pioneered the onsie. I had a dalmatian suit (inc. tail, a replica of which mysteriously appeared in Primark a while later.. after mine went missing!!) that I wore every day, until I was soo big for it, it split. My collection of fairy costumes, were next to none. I even had a dark one for Halloween, or when I was in a bad mood.
IMAG5114-001But I’m going off topic.. Because today is an exciting day, and one of several coming up this season, here is a list of 5 things I think will make it even more exciting.

1. Halloween-themed nails! I have no doubt that I’m pretty far behind in developing my nail-art talents, and that you will all be much more adept at drawing fun things on your nails. So make the most of this opportunity!! To go crazy with nail art and celebrate.. I like Lily’s post, but also, do some googling and see what you can come up with.

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2. Get creative with costumes! Take tights for instance. With one pair, you can make a top- cut out the crotch and feet, rip it up a little and you have cobweb lady/vampire/generally gothy scary thing! Fishnets are extra specially effective for Halloween.  With one pair, some bundles of old socks and wire you can make a cat’s tail. With 4 pairs, some loo-rolls and maybe some wire/coat hangers you can make a handsome set of spiders legs! sorted.

IMAG51043. Walk around town in costume: Don’t be shy. This is a day for being silly if nothing else. And, if you go to Sainsbury’s in full costume, face paint, additional props e.g. vampire teeth, I guarantee you’ll make someone’s day.

4. Watch a scary movie: This goes without saying. Grab a toffee apple, some spooky shaped sweeties, a good friend or two and turn all the lights off till you’re well and truly spooked.

5, “boo” people: I have spent all of today hiding behind doors and jumping out at Dad, Mum, Rodney, Tutu, Sam the Plumber… funnest day. EVER!

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Additional Halloween points! Tim Burton-themed cocktails, animals/children dressed up, imaginative costumes. I will give a whole bucket of sweets to anyone who can effectively pull off a White Walker costume.

Hope all your night is spooky as can be, and you don’t get got by  no ghouls!!!
x

London Weekend

So a slightly different post today. I just wanted to show/tell you what I did over the weekend! It was a London one, and a busy one. Click on the images for a closer look-see…

  1. Charity Fashion show! Was super fun, got to pretend like I was at LFW (or NYFW or PFW or MFW etc).  Hence why it was promptly instagrammed.
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  2. Saw one of my awesome women, Jas. We had coffee and cake at Fresh cafe! I had a honey latte and we talked for hours.
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  3. Went home watched QI learnt things ate curry.
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  4. Got up suuuppper early to hop on a train to meet G under the big clock in Waterloo.
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  5. Got the tube to the East to continue exploring where I left off in summer, BUT FIRST, spur of the moment like, decided to head up to the top of Heron Tower to Duck and Waffle! This place is mental. It’s so high, it’s almost a bit scary. Don’t think I’ve been so high up since my skydive! (Another story). Also, if you’re a fan of crazy dining experiences…. THIS!
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  6. Wandered through Spitalfields and down Brick Lane, on a fruitless search for a coat. Stopped off in Rough Trade for a coffee, and raspberry toast for me, before also browsing through the music. I’m pretty keen on my records, after starting my collection with a 1979 The Who vinyl in a Dublin market (another story). I managed to resist buying everything…..this time…
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  7. We got handed a flyer for Blitz Vintage walking along, and I must say, if you like vintage shops, you really should pay this one a visit. Blitz is so huge and pretty and organised, rather than looking like a glorified charity shop it could well be Urban’s edgier cousin.
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  8. Got rained on. Declined offer to borrow G’s anorack. Regretted it.
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  9. Jumped on train home, greeted brother and girlfriend, and sister and boyfriend. Put on un-rainy clothes, went to pub. Failed to photo-document experience.
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  10. SUNDAY. Ate a home-cooked roast (unbeatable mummy bumble) followed by a suitably autumnal plum tart and a brisk sea walk with Rodney. Perfic.

Hope you all had great weekends too!!

Katie x

Summer in Spain, part 3: Mallorca!

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This is the final chapter in my Spanish posts. It feels odd and nostalgic to be posting this now (definitely says something about my organisational skills…) but this is officially when I stop talking about Spain.

My last week in Spain was spent with three incredible women, all totally different in their beautiful ways who you will undoubtedly see more of in times to come. And! with whom I intend to share my life and adventures with, and go on holiday with every year until the day we die. And possibly for a little while after that. This is something we have discussed, as a gentlewoman’s agreement, it’s gonna happen.

We arrived from four different airports, two different countries. Some tired and foot-sore, some worked to the bone, all ready for a holiday.

We came in the dead of night (well, like 10pm) took a taxi home and went straight to bed, not really knowing where we were, or how we managed to get ourselves to the house..

When we woke up, this is what we saw:

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Rain. Rain and thunder and lightning and cloud. And Rain.

But luckily, we were thankful for the excuse to stay in the house and do nothing, and a game of cards or two later the rain had subsided and we wandered into Sóller for some Sangria.

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Such a beautiful little town! With the tram running in front of the church in the main square, and all the restaurants arranged neatly around it, the smells of calamari and spices and wine mixing in the air…

The next day we headed down to the port to soak up some beach rays. That walk, along with the sunbathing, ice cream from the shop with the orange stripey awning, tapas and sangria became a bit of a theme. As did sitting on these rocks watching the sunset:

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yesWhen not conversing on philosophy, love, money and the like at the tapas restaurant on the beach, our evenings were spent unleashing our culinary genius at home (note the giant cauldron of home-made sangria, inc home-grown oranges).

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The island of Mallorca is truly beautiful. Totally unlike anywhere else I’d visited in Spain. It’s humid and mountainous and foresty. In the rural parts, it felt like there were more cats than there were people. And unlike Vigo where everything is connected with a neatly colour-coded network of buses, if you want to go anywhere, you take one of two buses, the long one or the short one. For a trip into the mountains to Valldemosa, we took the long one. It was not a pleasant journey. Winding roads and a lack of seats do not equal comfortable and nausea-free bus trip. Luckily, we are composed and generally fantastic young women, and recovered in a swift and graceful fashion (ahem..)

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As well as eating, drinking and sunbathing, we women also enjoy excursions to exciting cities such as Palma de Mallorca, especially when getting there is via cool antiquey trains through the mountains..

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yesIn a blissfully empty carriage, hanging heads out of windows in a content manner like dogs, is obligatory.

Palma is a great city. With a million narrow streets that all look the same, meaning we got lost… often.. (my bad). But the amount of ice cream, seriously photogenic buildings, white sand and awe-inspiring bookshops made up for the lack of (my) map-reading abilities.

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We decided to go there again for a sort of birthday celebration. We booked a hostel, went shopping, ate tapas, and drank far too many Chupitos. But it was a goood time. 🙂

Tip: when on holiday on your birthday, be sure to tell all the bartenders what day it is. You will get free things. We were treated to one guy’s own invention of hazelnut liqueur and a lemon slice dipped in cocoa powder. It made for delicious, and thoroughly irresponsible, drinking. And an exciting red thing that took another guy 20 minutes to make.

Tip2: Make sure that the free things don’t include Absinthe.

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^ My birthday presents! Officially the luckiest 22 year old in all of Palma.

yup^ Spying through the gates into someone’s secret courtyard.

I mentioned briefly in this post the little bookshop we visited. If I could remember exactly where it was, I’d tell you. But I can’t. So if you’re ever in Palma and find yourself wandering down the streets by the Cathedral, be sure to keep an eye out for a little over-spilling bookshop with a loud Cockney man telling stories inside, pictures of Ronnie Wood and a trickle of probably quite emotional/inspired people. We stumbled across it on our way home and definitely ended up spending a good few hours in there. Packed shelves from top to bottom in each of its labyrinthine rooms, with books of all kinds from all eras and in many different languages. There was even a map room (sort of). As well as piles of junk (or treasure) like globes and lanterns and picnic chairs and ships wheels and notes left by happy customers. I managed to find a book from the 1700s, which makes it older than Australia! I bought Angus a book of gruesome legends and my sister a collection of old photos of Italy. After speaking to the owner for a while, who’d moved there 40 years ago and seemingly not left his little shop since, slowly building up his collection and meeting people from all over the world, we each came away with a map of Palma to take home.

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The following day, we grudgingly started making our way back to England and our normal lives, one by one.

maybeMallorca is beautiful, my friends are awesome. A trip to make my year, and one hopefully to be repeated many times. A perfect end to my Spanish adventures. Go travelling, if you can, all the time. But take a camera, take friends, make friends and keep going till you can’t go anymore. Spain, we’ll be back…

x

My summer part 2: Barcelona

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This year has seen something of a turn-around in my life.. The theme? Doing exciting things I never thought I could. Exciting things including wearing hats, red lipstick, graduating university, Instagram selfies, learning guitar, blogging (of course), and… travelling alone… (*gasps!*) The latter of which has probably had the biggest impact on my life (if not instagram and university).

I won’t tell you the whole story, but it happened in one impulsive instant. I had some spare days in August and so instead of accepting homelessness, I accepted the serious dent in my bank balance, and Barcelona.

I had three days to explore the city that has escaped my reach so many times (another story…) So I grabbed Daisy, and my trainers, my camera and a map, and walked for miles, spoke Spanish, drank beer with travelers alike on the sand at 3 am, learned about Picasso and Gaudí and Dalí, chased parakeets, accidentally became part of a bongo procession and fell in love with the most colourful city I’ve seen, in all senses of the word…

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Escriba– a cafe type sweetie shop, they cut candy in the store right in front of your eyes!

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My first stop was to La Boqueria, as a lover of colour, and a lover of markets, it was my heaven….

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My poor little camera however, was not so happy..catedral! nice.

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After wandering round the city a little, I took the metro up towards Parc Guell. This was another place I knew I wanted to visit, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was the highlight of my trip. I was so overwhelmed by its awesome-ness, I genuinely shed a tear… don’t judge. This place had escalators! Outside escalators!!

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What i wouldn't give.....

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And onto another Gaudi masterpiece! The great unfinished, Sagrada Familia…CIMG8434It was super impressive.. despite the queue to get in (I had a chair-mirage 45 mins in and almost sat on a person) it was worth it, so much more interesting than I expected! Again, silly emotional in-awe-of-the-beautiful-world-type tears were shed..
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By the end of the three days my feet were sore, shoulders sunburnt and my liver slightly less healthy, but it was an amazing trip. So off to Mallorca I went…

x

 

What my summer looked like part 1: Galicia

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It absolutely breaks my heart that I can’t put up all of my many summer photos on the blog. They’re not all brilliant, but I really feel they deserve to be seen on some sort of internet platform. Which, coupled with the fact that I’m more than a little bit indecisive, is why I’ve spent the past week or so deliberating over which ones to put up.  So me and my brain have reached a compromise! My favourite ones (or what seem like my favourites after hours of staring at a computer screen) go on here. All the rest, go on flikr. Which you can find here. Ta-da!

So, starting with Galicia, this is what my summer looked like…

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Most of the above photos (except the first three) are actually from Oporto just across the border in Portugal (a really beautiful city, the Portuguese really know how to tile!). The beach underneath is on one of the Cies Islands. These are the islands that I have pictured in so many photos, and up until the moment pictured below, I’d spent two years worth of Summers just staring at them from across the sea. It’s supposed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. With its pure white thick sand and clear waters, we could tell why.

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And this, was out first real glance of the Atlantic….

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We had a beautiful day, with a left-over-pizza picnic, lots of sunbathing and people getting buried in the sand, and then we went home..

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And the clouds came with us..

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Meet Isla by the way.. There are few words to describe the awesomeness of this fiery hilarious Scottish babe. Ok, so 4 words..

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Also meet my bro. This is Angus getting a dodgy fake tattoo from a suspiciously quiet and tiny Asian man..

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And now I’ll stop saying things….

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(an egotistical seagull…)

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Most randomly placed block of flats.. kinda works though right?

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Few sunsets can beat the ones that set over these islands.. you can almost hear the waves crashing on the rocks below can’t you? Well, I’ll leave you with that…

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Besos x

How to do Spain!

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So, because I took almost 5000 photos this summer (how?!) I’m gonna split my Spain posts up a bit. As an intro, here are some illustrated thoughts on how to do Spain! You might have already guessed that I proper love this country, but I won’t pretend to be an expert. And since I don’t yet live there (one day…) what follows is just how I came to love it. Through food, people, pretty buildings, music and all things wonderful. Enjoy.

1. Eat:

Chipirones, pimientos de padrón, patatas bravas, alioli, jamón serrano, gambas al ajillo, bbq’d everything but sardines in particular (cover them in fish flour and throw em on the grill), almond cake, icecream, veal steak, paella marisco (shellfish paella- lots of it), chicken (simple well seasoned deliciousness), pesca del día (fish of the day- when by the sea, it’s got to be done)…..

But most importantly, ask for the specialty. Most restaurants I’ve seen in Spain have a limited menu of dishes they know how to do well, if they tell you it’s the best they’re probably not far wrong. We went to a restaurant in Galicia that specialised in pizza and chicken. Every night we ordered pizza and chicken and it was the best darn chicken I’ve ever had.

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Recovered Autosave

2. Drink:

Sangría, red wine, chupitos! (shots), Albariño (Galician white wine), beer (ask for a caña for a small one), liquor (esp. weird herby ones), hot chocolate with churros.

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Also, know when to stop drinking.

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3. Do:

Talk to the locals.

Spaniards are great. They’re emotional and fierce, welcoming and often absolutely in love with life. Which makes them brilliant tour guides. Also, if they think you’re hot, they’ll definitely tell you. “Hola guapa” = “heeeyy goodlookin”

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I’ll explain the story of this little bookshop later.. It involves Ronnie Wood!

Speak the language

Ok, so sure, enough Spanish people will be fluent in English by the time they reach adolescence that you don’t need to be multilingual to go to Spain. However, learn a few words and phrases before you go and you’ll be more likely to get all the insider info.

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Take photos, do the sightseeing– It’s a beautiful country, ignore the fact that you totally look like a tourist, bring a camera with three spare batteries and snap away. There are some things you’re gonna want to remember.IMAG2426

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Say yes to (*almost) everything! *no to drugs, yes to midnight swims in the sea

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Go listen to music outside- just a cool thing to do! Preferably a la Vicky Christina Barcelona under a grape-vine with several Spanish guitars..

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Go dancing!- Spain knows how to party, be sure to throw back those chupitos (responsibly) and don’t be home before dawn

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This was a pre-dancing photo.. We started as we meant to go on..

Go to market- So many markets! Food ones, flower ones, fruit ones, clothes ones, ones with 2 euro fake Casio watches, ones with linen as far as the eye can see….

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Dye your hair- (now that one was just me, I just wanted to put it in there.)IMAG1175

4. Enjoy!

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Because that’s what holidays are for right??

Katie x

My English life.

IMAG4168“Post-holiday blues sunk in yet?” said my mother two weeks ago on a particularly chilly English walk. “*Scoff*” said Katie, “that’s not a real thing, England’s great”.

Lies. England is chilly, rainy, has very few Spanish people in it, with not a decent cup of coffee to be had for miles. And what’s more, it’s where the work happens. In case you didn’t know, job applications are not so fun. I recommend everybody stays in uni forever.

Ok so it’s not all that bad. But I’d be lying if I said I was feeling totally chirpy (or patriotic) just now. I’m like a wannabe Spanish Eeyore. So I’ve been trying to keep myself busy with pretty English things to take my mind off not being in Spain, eating cupcakes in London with old friends, taking pictures and nicking blackberries, watching great movies, painting (my new hobby) and instagramming like a fiend.

So at the risk of all my words sounding super depressive, here are some pictures instead..

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1. Taking inspiration from Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox (Watch it!) | 2. A bleak English sea view | 3. Blackberries! | 4. South Kensington | 5. Red Velvet at the Hummingbird Bakery | 6. A bright but chilly Hammersmith |

Speak soon amigos..
x

Summer (holiday) Essentials..

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I was not prepared for this holiday.

Don’t get me wrong, how could I not be a bit excited about a month in Spain! I think perhaps I was just enjoying England too much. London, then the coast, then up in Leeds for a party at the weekend, and before I know it mum is telling me I ought to start packing. I’ve not spent a summer actually at home in years, I think I just got too comfortable with my routine, seeing friends, going for runs by the sea with Rodney in the mornings. A trip to Spain shook things up..

Nevertheless! In my grumpy packing I knew there were certain things I could not leave without. Almost none of them are sensible, but I shall make no excuses..

1. Delicate Jewellery

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Locket and chains: Family treasures // earcuffs and rings: primark, // Silver hoop earrings: Urban outfitters // Eye earrings: Topshop (old) // turquoise earrings: Mexico

I always love delicate jewellery, but particularly in summer with a tan and when everything is late evenings and good food and wine.. I just can’t resist. Also, what feels more indulgent than a pile of unnecessary jewellery when swimming in the ocean?

2. Headscarves

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Something about Summer that gets me excited about headwear. The floaty light materials in pretty colours, they look so vintage and glamorous by the pool.. (this is my next purchase!) These two belonged to my Grandma, one of the classiest ladies I’ve ever known..

3. Bright nails
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the orangey one: L’Oreal, Dating Coral // the bluey one: Barry M, Pure Turquoise // the purpley one: Topshop, Parma violet // the red one: Nails Inc., Victoria

In the winter months if I wear nail varnish, I wear dark red or neutral colours. But in summer, no bright and crazy colour goes ignored. The one I’m wearing now is by L’Oreal called “Dating Coral”. What I like about bright nails in the summer is all the different shades that come out in the sun. This one goes from orange, to pink, to both.. And, like all the others, looks pretty great with a tan.

4. Bikini, sunglasses and sandals

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Bikini bottoms: Topshop (last year) // Sandals: ZARA // Sunglasses: Asos // Sunflower bun-top: River Island

It goes without saying that beachy holidays require some great swimwear. I always love the Topshop ones for their interesting colours and patterns (Love, Love, Love) but Asos are great all-rounders (want this, this, this and this), and Zara are great for simple basics. I get bored when everyone says you should go for what suits your body shape when it comes to swimwear, I say go for what makes you happy!

Sunglasses are equally important, I’d love to afford some expensive ones one day, I think they’re worth investing in. For now though, it’s Asos, Urban and Monki for me.

I tend to not wear shoes at all on holiday but, whenever I need to hop from beach to car, or am out for dinner, strappy sandals are my go-to. And lets not forget the addition of some florals to the mix, another insensible essential for me.

5. Lots of water and a whole load of SPF

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Now this is the serious one. I won’t lecture as I’m sure you all know all this already, but as a biological scientist, you are made aware of just how easily it can all go wrong. We live in a dangerous environment and going out without proper protection from it is just mental. Last year I decided to not wear any suncream at all on holiday. Ok so I was brown as a berry, but it all peeled off in an instant and I increased my chances of getting skin cancer by an awful lot! Have you ever googled skin cancer, its not nice!! If you want to live a comfortable and worry-free life and live to see your grandchildren, then 30 seconds to put on some stuff is a pretty low price to pay.

I’ll use the low spf pictured above for later, but right now I’m on factor 40 for my body and 50 on my face. You should also make sure you’re drinking plenty in the sun. Carry a bottle round wherever you go and you’ll be happy and healthy all holiday! (do you like my foldable bottle? I can even clip it to my bikini!)

6. The trusty old dictionary..
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Now there’s no way of making this little guy look glamorous. I’ve genuinely had it all my Spanish-speaking life, and it’s beginning to show its age. If you’re looking for a word after the ‘W’s, you better try somewhere else. But it’s got me through some sticky situations and I could not have left home without it.

What are you summer essentials?

Besos x

London photo diary..

Though I’ve always lived in or around London, save for the past 9 months by the sea and various spells in Scotland and The North, I’ve never really “seen” it. I’ve always stuck to the same areas, and never strayed too far from a tube station.

So last weekend, I decided to explore. I grabbed my trainers and my camera, rung up a friend or two apt for exploring, jumped on a bus and had a wander.

I didn’t exactly manage to see all of London, but I got some good coverage of central, East and a little of North of the City and thought I’d show you some (lots of) snaps…

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Southbank was my starting point as I ambled past trees shaped like people, tents shaped like cows, a very classy food festival and across the bridge..

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A skateboard graveyard decorates one of the pillar type things of the Hungerford bridge over the Thames.

CIMG7468My weekend involved plenty of markets, starting off with Jubilee Market in Covent Garden..

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CIMG7484The guy with all the leathers (way too hot for leather!) tried to sell me this number..

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CIMG7507I discovered that I’m something of a magpie when it comes to shiny totally pointless but pretty trinkets..

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And why I should definitely stay away from this place…

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“You look different. I like it”

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The next day I got up early, packed a bag including beach towel and picnic, and headed up to Hampstead Heath.

We managed to turn up just in time to beat the crowds (-ish, they were ridiculous) on the hottest day of the year, and found ourselves a nice spot by the ponds..
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Anyone planning on going to London should definitely make the most of these ponds!  My camera decided to fail after the first couple of photos so you’ll have to go yourself to see just how beautiful it all is.. I felt more like I was swimming with the ducks and fishes in a babbling brook in the countryside than heaving London. And it was so hot that day, I felt sorry for anyone not lucky enough to have been for a swim, when we jumped back on the train with our flip-flops and wet, muddy hair..

The next day was all about the East, and more of the famous markets, packed with everything handmade, graffiti to battle Banksy, and lots and lots of vintage..

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I found a stall covered in beautiful Art Deco style jewellery and brooches, all handmade. Can’t remember the name of this guy in Old Spitalfields but I bought a moonstone ring for my friend’s birthday, and will definitely be going back to get more..

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Absolute Vintage in Spitalfields is the place to go if you’re a fan of anything pre-loved. The first time I went to Spitalfields it was to come here with a much older and wiser friend to buy some cowboy boots..

CIMG7632Would love to own a little camera bag like the one below.. and also, caps!!!

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Oh baby…

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After a long hard day of walking, I treated myself to a black forest cupcake from Kooky Bakes. Best darn cupcake I’ve ever had…

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Spitalfields and Brick Lane are an absolute must for anyone wanting something slightly different when visiting London. My tips would be to go with time, a bag of money and a taste for flavour (the food stalls are just mind-blowing) and experiences will definitely be made..

I am as we speak aboard a ferry on my way to Spain for a whole 6 weeks!! So I must return to my cabin before dinner.. I will keep posting of course, and hopefully show you some shots of Galicia! (Not this many I promise..) But when back in the UK I plan to finish off my exploring of the Capital, so any tips for good places to visit?!

Katie x

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