Nat’s Spring Summer 13 Wish List

Last month I went to the Harvey Nichols Spring/Summer fashion show at the Saatchi gallery with a friend. She’d been to the event last year and said it was a good evening, so when we got the email about this event we got tickets. The tickets were around £20 each. There was free flowing bubbly and some canapes floating around, but the way the poor catering staff were being ambushed every time they came out with a fresh tray you’d think the people at the event had been starved for a week! We also got a goody bag which had some nice bits in it, but in comparison to last year’s event’s goody bag, most of the budget must have gone on the venue hire.

 

The atmosphere was really nice and there was a buzz in the gallery as the show started. The pieces that were shown in the show were all very high end designer, but there were a few trends that I picked up on that have given me some inspiration for what to go for to up date my Spring/Summer wardrobe for this year.

 

Wish list:

 

White. The first lot of models that came out were all in white outfits that ranged from maxi dresses, to skirts and jackets, to trouser suits. I’m absolutely loving white and nude tones at the moment whether it be in fashion or home decor.

 

Three piece trouser suit from the H&M Conscious Exclusive collection.

 

Bright/Neon Colours. The brights and neon trend has been around since last year and I’m loving it. My favourite thing at the moment is neutral make up with a bright lip. So this summer I’m planning on adding pops of colour to neutral outfits. I love this trend because it can be done without breaking the bank, by just buying accessories or shoes, or a bright nail varnish.

 

Crystal pendant necklace by & Other Stories

 

Maxi. I’m not the tallest, so it doesn’t always suit me, but I’ve always adored the maxi trend. This year I’ve noticed a lot more pieces in light, floaty fabrics which I think is a lot more flattering on shorter people. At the Harvey Nic’s show they had a couple of pleated maxi pieces which I really liked.

 

Pleated maxi dress from missguided.co.uk

 

Lace. I love lace because worn properly I think it can look really elegant and classic. But choose the wrong undergarment and it can look oh so wrong! So if you go for this trend invest in some good undergarments that you’d be proud for people to catch a glimpse of. I’ll definitely be investing in a couple more lace bits for this Summer.

 

Electric blue lace dress from MANGO

 

Food diary…boring but worth it!

To notice a real difference from doing regular exercise, you also need to eat right. Sure we’ve all heard that before right? Well it’s true. I’m not going to tell you about the latest crazy fad diet, because personally I think they’re wrong and they’re not a realistic way to achieve and then maintain a healthy balanced weight and lifestyle.

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Ideal Home Show 2013

 

I’d always wanted to go to the Ideal Home Show, not really sure why, just always thought it might be a nice day out, where you could get lots of cool freebies. One of my close friends also shared this curiosity and last Saturday we went to find out what the big deal was.

The weather wasn’t too great, but there were stewards just outside the exit of Earl’s Court tube station handing out umbrellas for you to use to cross the road. Once inside we were pretty impressed with how much there was to see.

Continue reading “Ideal Home Show 2013”

Reminiscing Salvador Carnival 2012. Tear.

So carnival in Brazil is the bestest. I am bias, but it is true. For your information, carnival in Rio and Salvador are very different (Salvador is better also). To help make up your mind…If you want to sit back listen to samba and watch a phenomenal show with half naked tanned bodacious buff bodies, Rio is your gal. BUT if you want to be part of the show and listen to samba, axe, reggae, samba-reggae, pagode, baile funk and even the occasional bit of house, SALVADOR IS YOUR GIRL!

 

 

This year’s week long affair ended a month ago. My mum, dad and sister were all there absorbing the sun, sea and music with family and friends at our Barra flat – literally right next to the festivities.

In Salvador, there are 2 routes for carnival: Campo Grande in the old city and Barra – next to the beach. I used to spend my childhood in a big rented room in Campo Grande with family and friends. I have some amazing memories sitting on the window ledge watching the floats go by.

 

Awww when Natalie was the ‘big’ sister at Campo Grande!

 

As Campo Grande is the more traditional route with Afro-Brazilian groups passing by, I especially remember Filhos de Ghande bloco (group) and Ilhe Aye parading down in their costumes (I will explain ‘Bloco’ in a bit).  If you didn’t know, Salvador is heavily influenced by African culture due to it being the main port during the slave trade and first capital city of Brazil.

 

 These guys are dressed in the Ilhe Aye costumes

   The famous Gilberto Gil dressed as Filho de Gandhy ‘Son of Ghandi’

 

Last year I went to Brazil for 3 weeks. During which my best friend Hannah came for 2 weeks and it was magical. I’ll tell you about the holiday in another post but let’s concentrate on carnival for now!

So a week of sunbathing, drinking, dancing, partying: F*CKING BRILLIANT. Minus the sleepless nights….but napping is for the day homies! So what is it all about?

Well, carnival is made up of ‘blocos’. What you do is you choose the artists you want to see at a particular time and then buy the t-shirt called an ‘abada’ or costume in the case of the above. This t-shirt will allow you to follow the custom built trucks surrounded by rope holders. If you aren’t wearing the right t-shirt, you’ll be led outside. The surrounding areas of the truck are so packed it’s hard to follow them all the way, but it can be done!

 

 

We followed Banda Eva, with Saulo singing on one night and Claudia Leitte another night. I have to say Saulo was absolutely amazing. The four of us went out; my two cousins and Hannah and we had a blast. My cousins and I got emotional a few times…it’s not everyday I get to see my cousins…and the mix of powerful music, beer and love was too much!

 

 

 

 

This was the song of the year, and it still makes me smile thinking about Hannah attempting to sing it in Portuguese…very entertaining. (Fast forward it about 40 seconds in).

 

Claudia Leitte is one of the most famous Brazilian female singers at the moment and with her amazing beauty, booming voice and upbeat songs it’s no wonder. But I thought I would share one of the most iconic female singers of Bahia, Daniella Mercury. She empitomizes Salvador’s Afro-Brazilian culture in her music and has been around since before I was born.

 

When we weren’t following blocos, we were chilling out in the front space of the flat. Perfect view for the passing blocos with looooads of space to drink and dance.

 

 My cousin Laura and I 

 

 Our view

 

Me and Hannah drinking Capirinhas! Mmmm

 

In the morning through tired eyes, it’s time for the beach or pool…whatever tickles your fancy! Time to top up the tan! I think I went a bit overboard…but it’s bitter cold in England…got to make the most of it!

 

 

Saatchi Gallery: New art from Russia

Hello you. This is me in a toilet. FACT: The average person spends three whole years of their life sitting on the toilet. Pooooo-weeeee!

 

Topsop top and jacket | Primark dress and necklace | ASOS mittens on a string

 

I thought I’d be cultural and cultured etc. and go to the Saatchi Gallery on my tod as I had the afternoon off on Friday. This is what I found:

 

Mr. Mack – Alex Mack’s mum (The Lady, Daniel Bragin)

 

 Pretty glass blanket (Bedtime Story, Daniel Bragin)

 

 Mutilated city boy (Criminal Government, Gosha Ostretsov)

 

“Sex in the City”  Gosha Ostretsov

 

 A room of liars in pretty colours (Not Sad, Just Sighing; Dasha Shishkin)

 

Dasha Shishkin

 

There was also a room filled with lots of shocking photos by Boris Mikhailov documenting the poor and vulnerable in various situations. It was an eye opener into the detrimental aftermath of the Soviet Union.

 

 

And there were many many more interesting and wonderful Russian arty things to see in the gallery. You have until the 9th June to check it out LOADS OF TIME! 

P.S. The oil room on the bottom floor (permanent installation) is crazy! I thought I was just looking at an empty room wondering what all the fuss was about…then I read it was filled with oil. EYE FUCK!!

 

Superga

I’m embarrassed it has been nearly a month since I last posted. Excuses excuses excuses – here are mine: I went on holiday to Spain for a week and a half (it takes a few days to get settled back in), I got very busy at work (someone left so I got given some of her responsibilities) then I got ill for a few days…I’ve been busy on the weekends for friend’s birthdays, a university reunion and spending a night double dating in Southend. IT ALL ADDS UP!! I’m not exactly the best at keeping record of these outings. I feel like a pleb taking lots of pictures and posing for the camera but it’s something I’m going to have to bite the bullet and get used to!!!

 

 

Let’s rewind to August bank holiday weekend…I was in London for a friend’s birthday and Nottinghill carnival – which was fabulosoo the drum and bass soundsystem was sick!! (Yes I do talk like a hood rat in real life) I bought some Superga trainers that weekend from their Covent Garden store. £45 – it’s quite expensive and know I could find a cheaper pair online, but I couldnt wait! I needed them for Nottinghill. I couldnt wear my woven leather pumps as they would have got murkled. I have wanted a pair of Superga for a while now. I was just going to buy a £2.50 pair of white pumps from Primark but even the size 8 was too small! The thin sole would have worn down a hole in no time anyway. I’ve had to throw away 2 pairs of Bensimon pumps because they had holes in. Not too happy about it considering they are supposed to be really expensive (I worked in a shoe shop that had them in the sale so I got them super cheap).

 

Bensimon | £46.90

 

That’s the reasoning behind my black Vans I bought years ago. Thick soles you can trust. I still LOVE Vans but it makes me feel sick seeing the amount of people that have them now. They have gone viral!!! Its understandable as they look good, are comfortable and good quality. But SO COMMON. Eurgh. So Superga are less common, and still comfortable. I’m yet to see how their quality matches up. My boyfriend ended up getting a pair in a different style for £20 in the sale!! Jeaaalous. Here are some photos from the bank holiday weekend and some with me and my Superga.

 

  Not bad after carnival!

 

 

Sad but true, we are a Superga couple.

 

My clothes are charity shop bought, bag is Primark and my necklace is from  Nottinghill Carnival

 

 

 

Shirt, Charity Shop | Sweater, Ralph Lauren | Tapered trousers, Topshop | Bag, Primark 

 

Breakfast and Ping-Pong at Del’ Aziz in Bermondsey…

 Not happy with a camera in front of my face!

 

 

Nottinghill Carnival

 

 

    

Henry and I are going to be like that old couple when we grow up

 

 

 

Savill Gardens

It’s a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, the sun is shining…what to do? I’m lucky I live in a beautiful area surrounded by leafy forests and Royal land, so what better way to spend my afternoon than walking around Savill Garden?! I just threw this outfit on nothing special…

 

  Bandana, Oxfam | T-Shirt, H&M | Jeggings, Topshop | Sandals, Topshop | Bag, ASOS

 


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When you get to the car park you’ll see this building…If you want to inside and pay £8.50 to walk around the ornamental gardens you can. But I already spent that on my picnic! I’m fine just walking around the beautiful park. So once you arrive here (car park charges 1 – 2 hrs £3 on a Saturday) turn left before the Savill Garden Royal Landscape building. Then follow the path and you’ll arrive at the Cumberland Monument.

 

Savill Garden Royal Landscape Building

 

Cumberland Monument  

 “Built by George II in the 1750s to honour his youngest son, The Duke of Cumberland. As the original landscaper of this area of the Windsor Great Park, 250 years ago, this stone obelisk is a fitting tribute to the man who first created The Royal Landscape. Close by is the family picnic area, and a place for visiting children to play.”

Taken from The Royal Landscape website

What a pretty little picture. Go for a horse and carriage ride? Maybe next time…Walk further down towards the picnic area and you will get to the Obelisk Pond – a very BIG pond! After eating my last minute picnic (with my lovely boyfriend) we had some leftover bread. Naturally I took to the pond and fed the ducks what we didn’t manage to get through. There’s something very nostalgic about feeding the ducks! I’m glad there weren’t any swans though they’re so viscous. I remember they always used to steal the bread from the little ducks and chase me around, bit my friend’s hand once!! Little bastards! Gorgeous pond though, not ruined by swan and geese poo.

 

 Obelisk Pond

  Feeding the ducks 

 

 View from the path on the way to Virginia Water

 

Another 20 mins walk along the path on the edge of the pond…you get to the grand Totem Pole next to Virginia Water lake…

“A 100-foot high Totem Pole carved from a single log of Western Red Cedar, obtained from a 600 year old tree felled on Queen Charlotte Island, British Columbia. Presented to the Queen in 1958, it was installed to mark the centenary of the British Columbia’s establishment as a Crown Colony. Its intricate and delicate carvings feature the animals and faces associated with the native Indian tribe called the Kwakiutl.”

Taken from The Royal Landscape website

How frikkin cool is the totem pole! It’s definitely worth paying Savill Gardens a visit if you’re ever in the area. I’m just baffled at how tall trees can grow…and at the people who carved and painted this.

 

  Cedar Man

 

I’d like to go to see the General Sherman tree (biggest tree in the world) one day in California, or just go to a giant forest somewhere.

 

From Fridaywithfarmerswife

 

Now I’m just getting carried away about trees but I came across this website and there are so many weird and wonderful trees out there! I might go on a tree expedition…Check out this website.

 

 Basket tree 

Goodge Street

I’m a massive charity shop addict. So I thought I’d write a post about charity shops in London. Obviously London is so big, I’m not going to talk about every single one I’ve been to. I’ve chosen Goodge Street because I feel like it’s the most accessible to everyone. It is right in the centre of the West End, parallel to Oxford Street, so if you’re there and feel like taking a detour…take a trip down to Goodge Street and see what you can find! There’s an Oxfam and a YMCA, and one or two more other charities along the way (rhyme not intended).

 

 Oxfam, 52 Goodge Street

 

 YMCA, 22 Goodge Street

 

Oxfams in London always have unworn stock from Urban Outfitters. I’m guessing it’s old stock that they have donated, which Oxfam then sell at a knocked down price. I was lucky to find some really nice dresses from Oxfam on Goodge Street, both from Urban Outfitters. There’s a nice bit of floral going on…and some nice neck embellishments. These retro looking dresses look great with a nice pair of brogues/loafers or some ankle boots. I will definitely get my new cream clogs involved. The collar on the black dress does remind me of some old curtains we had in the 90s, but I like that! Reminds me of my childhood :)

 

 Dress, Urban Outfitters via Oxfam | Loafers, Topshop

 

 Dress, Urban Outfitters via Oxfam | Espadrille Wedges, Office

 

Collar made out of 90s curtains | Lipstick, Models Own in Plum; £5

 

And it doesn’t end there…YMCA has also been good to me. I bought this retro berry dress/top for a fiver! I wear it more often in the winter because of the colour – acts as a staple every year. It has to be worn with a waist belt as it is very baggy. So if you are in a charity shop and find something big that you like, never forget the power of a waist belt.

 

 Dress, YMCA | Belt, Charity Shop | Vintage Ankle Boots, Ebay

 

 Close up on dress detailing | Lipstick, Models Own in Red Wine; £5

 

I usually wear it with black leggings (for the slim fit) and black high heel ankle boots to give it more of a contrasting structure – big on the top, the illusion of slim long legs on the bottom. The cardigan…I think some people will either love or hate!

 

It goes really well with the dress: THANKS YMCA! It’s very fun to shop at the Y.M.C.AAA. (Sorry I couldn’t resist: cringey me!) I love how big the sleeves are, and the detailing is very Christmassy (I’m getting excited thinking about Xmas already!) It was £4 and I’m sure if you found this in a vintage shop the price would be quadrupled. It’s always worth checking in charity shops first! And you are also giving to great causes – guilt free shopping! Aha!

 

 Christmas Cardigan!

 

 Close up of fluff

 

If that wasn’t enough to wet your appetite…I’ll tell you what else is good on Goodge Street – cheap pizza. It’s called Italian Coffee Company, also known as ICCos. As a student in this area, of course it was a massive part of my life. The pizzas are freshly made, pretty large in size and have a thin crispy base. Pepperoni is one of my faves – £4.50! “Get in ma beeeelly!!!” (Fat Bastard) With all those calories and pounds spent on shopping, you can afford one of these delicious pizzas. The coffee’s not bad either.

 

 Picture taken from LondonTheInside…EAT

 


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Vapiano

Shopping on Oxford Street can work up quite an appetite. When I think of places to eat in that area I am always stuck because you either have go for something quick and cheap (plus unhealthy) i.e. McDonald’s, or quick and/or healthy and relatively expensive. Cafes like Pret a Manger and Starbucks can be tasty but a sandwich and crisps won’t put me in good stead for an energy draining shopping trip. Wasabi offers some sushi and hot food but again it’s either unhealthy and full of oil and sugar (the hot food), or you end up spending a fortune on sushi, which is a bit of a tease. Sometimes it’s just nice to get a reasonable portion of food and a nice seat in a restaurant. Carnaby Street has some nice pubs and restaurants, but most of them are overpriced. Then you have your usual suspects on the side streets like Pizza Express and ASK but they’re not quick. I love a bit of Nando’s but I have that all the time so it’s nice to go somewhere different when you’re in London (if you don’t live in London).

 What I wore shopping: Stripey jacket, Charity Shop Vest top, Triton | High-waisted chinos, American Apparel Espadrilles, Oxfam

I used to walk down Great Portland Street quite a lot when I was living in halls and used to go past this place called Vapiano. I never really understood what it was. From the name on the outside I assumed it was a jazz bar or piano school. WRONG. How wrong I was. I was shopping the other day with a friend and suggested we come here after I had been told by my sister it was actually a really nice restaurant. How right she was. First of all, it has a completely different set up. You are given a card as you walk in. There are no waiters, so this acts like a tab. You have to go up and order your drinks from the bar and food from the pasta or pizza stands. The bar has a good range of drinks, even 3 types of draught beer (good for the boyfriend or if you like beer!). The pasta menu is organised into 4 price ranges A – D, starting at £6.75 for Group A going up to £9.75 in Group D. You get to choose out of 11 types of pasta, which are all made fresh on site (you can watch it being made while you wait).

 Queuing system 

Once you’ve chosen what pasta and sauce you want, you choose a queue where there are chefs waiting for you (in the above photo). After you order it then gets cooked in front of you and takes around 10 minutes. Quick, cheap and healthy. The same idea goes for the pizza, apart from you don’t get to choose a base or anything like that, and it can be a longer wait. Obviously you just choose your topping out of the 4 price ranges. There is also a menu for antipasti and dessert but I didn’t get any so I can’t really say what it’s like. I can safely say the pasta and pizza are a-ma-zing (my friend got a pizza). So I’m sure it’s the same for everything. I went for the Granchi di Fiume pasta: Crayfish, fresh vegetables and lobster sauce from Group D.  Was quick, delicious and fresh. Need I say more?

Granchi di Fiume pasta washed down with some Magners. Yumitiyum. 

I love the decor. It really does complement the style of the food. It’s like a modern, sophisticated cafeteria. You have your own fresh herb selection if you wish to add a few more flavours to your meal. As it is a quick self-service arrangement, there are no bookings and the seating is mostly communal. I’m going to stop here as I am getting very hungry talking about this place and my stomach is screaming at me to go back. Where do you like to eat if you’re in this neck of the woods?

Wedding Special

It was my friend’s wedding on Saturday. A very old friend, for whom I could not be more happy…and her now – husband!! She looked beautiful of course…one of the best looking people I know, its not difficult! However, what also makes a wedding really exciting is looking forward to see how the rest of us turn out. Everyone looked stunning to say the least. Initially I was after this Floral Pencil dress from Zara. I don’t particularly like my legs, but my silhouette isn’t too bad, so this was the perfect shape. It had an amazing print in the style of Mary Katrantzou. There was a grey tone that I preferred but they sold out of both! There’s a red version out now called Racer Back Dress at £45.99, but the fitting came out slightly different. Not sure if it’s a fault or I put on weight after my holiday…most of the dress zips were ripped across different stores though. So maybe it’s both. (Sorry I have a moody beak mouth in the pic!)

What to wear to a wedding?

I did order some dresses from ASOS but none of them were any good. I was starting to worry that I wasn’t going to find anything…maaah! I really limited myself only looking for pencil dresses. Until I went shopping in Reading last weekend. I found some peplum dresses by Miss Selfridge in House of Fraser. They are perfect for my body shape, whoopie! There were about 5 different types, there are loads more online. I went for this blue one ‘Sporty Peplum Dress’ (£45.00) as it fit the best, even though I wanted coral. But I’m glad I did as there was a lot of coral about at the wedding! I bought these sandals for a wedding 2 years ago, they are H! by Henry Holland for Debenhams. The necklace is H&M (£9.99) and the clutch bag from Dorothy Perkins (£15.00). The collar necklace is a definite must with this type of dress as it could end up looking quite plain.

Next…my lovely sister and I. Doesn’t she look BEAUTIFUL! Her dress is…(drum roll)…Primark! This dress is made out of a lovely chiffon material and suits her hourglass shape…aaaand green eyes (that I have always been jealous of). Her blazer is Miss Selfridge called ‘Apricot Shawl Collar Blazer’ and shoes are Zara. They were actually bought for the Bride’s sister’s wedding in January as the bridesmaid’s shoes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are my very old, good friends, Hannah (right) and Beki (left); beautiful leggy bitches!! These sisters have the best legs known to man. Both looking swell don’t you think? Beki is wearing a dress from Topshop and Hannah’s is River Island. Don’t you love Beki’s church appropriate jewellery?! She also had a rosary bracelet to match; a present from my sister. BLESS.

This is Leanne (on the right obv) the photographer at the wedding. Also a close friend of Beki and Hannah’s. She is my current girl crush. Beautiful on the inside as well as the outside! She is a super cool photographer and has super cool hair to match! I <3

Anyone got any weddings coming up? What will you wear?