Wishlist for summer!

It would seem that any spare moments I have alone with my laptop, I can be found lusting after clothes, and my obsessions seem to change with the tide, not healthy for my bank balance. At the moment however, I have pretty clear ideas on my summer wardrobe, so I thought I’d do a quick wish list to share some of those ideas!

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1. ZARA check dress // 2. Nasty Gal playsuit // 3. Lavish Alice scuba skirt // 4. Urban Outfitters glasses // 5. Motel paint strokes dress // 6. Asos chunky sandals // 7. Urban Outfitters jeans // 8. Monki t shirt // 9. Asos Leopard dress

 

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1. Motel Rocks playsuit // 2. ZARA dress // 3. Nelly leopard sandals (new favourite shop!) // 4. Jeepers Peepers sunglasses // 5. Urban Outfitters kimono // 6. Motel Rocks twosie // 7. Weekday Sweater top // 8. Asos midi dress // 9. Topshop playsuit 


All of my thoughts have been mostly centering on three themes:

Anything midi…

I’ve been dreaming of a full white midi skirt for some time. One that’s really poofy and 1950s ish… But nothing seems to quite fit my ideas! However, this ZARA faux leather one comes pretty close in shape, and the interesting material is just an added bonus. Skirts in scuba material, as above and here from boohoo, might also fit the bill, as well as this textured midi from Asos and pleated from Topshop. I just can’t decide. If only you could try on the interenet!

Monochrome

Black and white in check and spots, in swingy dresses and pretty playsuits.. with matching shoes too! Yes please. Oh and not forgetting bright white nails.

Prints!

Summer is tantalisingly close! And summer is always the time for prints. We steer away from the plain black and grey of Winter, and turn to prints that genuinely make us happy. But no classic disty florals, it’s time for the big bold prints! I’m loving anything bright and tropical and am currently obsessed with leopard print (genuinely had a dream about leopard printed sliders).  This recent Instagram basically sums up my feelings…

Hope you’re all doing well and good luck for those with exams round about now!

Speak soon..

Katie x

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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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love!!

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…

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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…

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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

Dinner with Daisy

I really love dressing for dinner on holiday. I think it’s the whole no make-up, no shoes and bikini in the daytime, running round on the beach with sand between your toes and drinking ice tea, then transforming into a real person at night-time.. it’s a fun process. Especially if you get to wear pretty things like skirts!

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defDenim shirt and sandals: ZARA // Skirt and earrings: Urban Outfitters // Rucksack: Market // Silver Chain: Azendi

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I’ve been running round the garden recently trying to find good places to take photos, this is definitely my new favourite spot. Not only because of the pretty steps, and the secret passage-way behind me, but if I get bored of taking photos I can just peek over the wall and this happens!

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Besos x

Feelin Tropical..

Out for dinner with my family yesterday and I decided to celebrate the tiny increase in heat and go all tropical.

Also, the house was about to become a menagerie of sisters, brothers-in-law, nephews, cousins, aunts, friends, girlfriends and hopefully some exciting hairy Spanish people. So this may be the last time I’ll be able to take outfit photos in total peace..

The top is actually the Motel dress I wore out back in London. It’s great, but really quite short.. So I’ve been resourceful and turned it into a top!

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 Top (dress): Motel Rocks // shorts: Levi’s via eBay // shoes: Deena and Ozzy at UO

My dad said I looked pretty, which is probably a good sign. Since he’s used to me in trainers and backwards caps so far this holiday, so he’s probably glad to remember he has a daughter..

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Yep, that is a palm tree in the background. ..Just in case you wondered….

I also had my first Spanish Sole yesterday evening, served in proper simple Spanish style with potatoes and a lemon. What can I say, it went down a treat..

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Besos, Katie 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

Uncovering old gems…

dDress: ZARA // Denim shirt: ZARA // Trainers: Asos

Coming home has always been fun for me and my wardrobe, because the first day or two after I get back I spend rooting through the drawers and boxes and selecting those forgotten pieces that could be given a new lease of life! In the past there have been vintage handbags, surprisingly chic sweatshirts older than me (London Marathon 1983), pairs of trainers in need of dusting, t-shirts that weren’t cool two years ago but definitely are now, pretty flowy skirts I deemed too pretty and flowy for winter, things my super tall brother grew out of when he was 10 (varsity bomber jacket? I’ll take that)….. the possibilities are just endless.

Admittedly, a lot of my finds are in boxes labelled “to Oxfam” for a reason, and go straight back in said box after the excitement of free things has worn off. But some stick around a bit longer, and if they’re lucky, become permanent fixtures in my wardrobe. I bought this silk dress last year for my sister’s graduation in the sale section of ZARA WOMEN, aka, posh stuff. And I haven’t worn it since. I knew it was there somewhere, but I was waiting for another posh occasion. I got tired of waiting. So when I rediscovered this a few weeks ago, (in box labelled “posh clothes from old house”) I threw on my trainers, belted it to make it mini and chucked my favourite denim shirt on.

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And ta-da!! rejuvenation is achieved.d

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The dress is nice and balloon shaped, which I do enjoy in a dress. It’s not a very clean-cut look, but I was glad for the all the breeziness and summery colours on a hot day last week. I also liked the mismatch of textures with the silk and denim and the tiny metal buttons on the back.. Hooray for attic treasures..

Besos from Spain..

Katie x

For when it’s just too hot to trot!

I’ve been living in London this week, which means that internet and time to blog has been scarce… but how beautiful has this weather been?! Went for a swim on Saturday then strung my bikini up on the balcony to dry, could not have felt more on holiday…

Anyway, this outfit is one for those times when you decide wearing clothes is just totally inappropriate, in the sort of heat where all you want to do is pour water over yourself and drink pints of lemonade.

Where suncream melts and you worry that you might ultimately do the same.. for these times, though perhaps complete nudity would be preferable, it’s probably not socially acceptable, and the thinnest and lightest of materials is a must.

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The top is basically as thin and see-through as material gets so it’s not exactly mother-approved (if you look closely you can see my tummy button! Shock. And. Horror), however I’m in London baby, and I’m sort of hoping I might be able to pretend it’s a demonstration of the “underwear as outerwear” trend for SS13.

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dTop: a slip dress that came as part of a dress from ZARA // shorts: Levi’s via eBay // sandals: ZARA // necklace: Mexico // rings and bandeau bra: Primark

Skinny tops and shorts are my go-to in summer, so sorry if you’re getting bored with these Levi’s!

Hope you’re all keeping hydrated and sun-creamed though, I’m about to brave the heat (and the tube) and head over to east London’s Sunday markets!

Katie x

OOTN!

oh dear, I am currently struck down with a summer cold. You know those ones where you just want to sleep all the time? In this weather, I mean come on!

But anyway, my illness was probably not helped much by going out the other night! It was my friend’s 21st and the plan was to pre-drink and then pop off into central London to a super posh club. However, we ended up having far too much fun in Clapham (Inferno’s anyone?) and stayed up till the dawn..

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I’m obsessed with this bomber, I almost can’t stop wearing it.. It’s silky and beautiful and makes any average outfit look considerably more than average, and that’s the kind of jacket I like…

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I decided to pair it with this LWD (little white dress) from Motel Rocks, which you might have spied around the blogsphere already, and my fave pair of banana yellow heels..

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Catalina Dress: Motel rocks // Bomber jacket: Zara // Heels: Zara (old)

I’m planning to wear the dress a little more in the day time with a denim shirt and casual shoes, if I can find a way to avoid sneaky bottom flashes.. (it’s friggin’ teeny!!) But the shoes, are definitely a once-in-a-blue-moon sort of affair… And who doesn’t need a pair of yellow heels?!

Katie x

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