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Outfit of the Day

We ended our first full day in New York with a stroll around Soho, a trip to Grand Central Station and a dinner at a Bobby Van’s where I ate Tuna Tartar and steak.  The food at Bobby Van’s was good, but their service leaves much to be desired, a characteristic of many New York steak restaurants.

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I also wore this cheeky little number which just happens to be all Topshop –  embarrassing.  I love this strapless black jumpsuit (which has now come out in a blush pink colour which I’m lusting over) while this blazer comes from a co-ord suit which I wore to the theatre but didn’t manage to get a photo of!

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Anyway, on to the second day.  We decided to walk up to the Rockefeller centre from our hotel which just happened to be in Times Square.

Times Square is hectic 24/7 but with subway stations, theatres and food all at your doorstep it is an ideal spot for anyone to stay for a short amount of time…and did I mention that theres a Sephora just around the corner as well.  

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The Rockefeller centre is located in midtown Manhattan and refers to a collection of buildings including the NBC studios, Radio City Music Hall and the GE building, which the Top of the Rock observation deck sits on top of.

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Is this even the building we went up…I’m not even sure anymore…

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The view at the Top of the Rock is incredible; the 360 degree views mean you can observe the Empire State proudly towering over the buildings around it in the middle of Manhattan to the south of the Rockefeller Centre and Central Park dominating the view to the north, whilst also surveying the cars and people below and scouring the cities rooftops for gardens, pools and workmen going about their daily business.  We spotted a few people scaling up and down the sides of buildings washing the windows – a thought which gives me vertigo even thinking about it now.

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Dungarees – American Apparel / Top – Topshop / Bag – 3.1 Phillip Lim 

I have been looking for the perfect pair of long leg dungarees for months and I finally found them while away!  In the past few months, I’ve ordered numerous pairs from both ASOS and Topshop and umm-ed and ahh-ed for weeks before sending each pair back.  I even announced that I’d given up on my fruitless search several times, much to my mothers relief, but in the end I stumbled across the holy grail of all dungarees in American Apparel in Soho.  I love the zip detail at the top – which actually ended up being most handy – and the tapered legs which I rolled up a couple of times to give a more relaxed aesthetic, plus they’re super comfy and make you feel like a 5 year old again; I’ll be wearing these all year round now.  If you’re interested in trying these babies out for yourself, I’d advise ordering a size beneath what you usually do unless you want a very baggy look, I’m usually a medium but had to buy a small as I didn’t want to look like an off-duty painter.

I’m currently sat in my bed at Newcastle, flicking between blogging, watching the new season of Orange is the New Black, begrudgingly doing reading for my dissertation and looking through photos of my trip to New York.  Now that is multi-tasking.  I’ve just booked a trip home for a few days, so I’m praying that the weather will be sunny so I can sit by the pool to make the dull, monotonous task of reading a much more enjoyable task!

I’ll be blogging about my jaunt around Central Park and a trip to the MET in the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled for more soon!

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A while ago, my family and I went to The Hook, one of Guernsey’s newest restaurants which fast became one of my favourites.  Not just because it served up melt in the mouth steaks and fresh seafood, but because of its sushi menu.  It seems ridiculous but The Hook is one of the few places on an island –  which is surrounded by sea and all things fishy – that serves up a comprehensive sushi menu.  My little isle was woefully in the past when it came to the Japanese delicacy, with most people having to brave an early morning scuffle in the deli aisle of M&S to get a taste – albeit, a not very good or authentic one.  Alas, The Hook has saved the day.  Not only has it provided sit down meals full of the fishy stuff, it also does take away lunch boxes; cue town workers across the island accidentally leaving their lunches at home as an excuse to pick up some midday sushi.

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Kenzo dress // 3.1 Phillip Lim Mini Pashli bag // Topshop boots (old)

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This Wednesday my family and I made the hop, jump and skip to the town front for a spot of sushi and steak.  While the sushi restaurant is mainly housed downstairs, you can order from both the A La Carte and sushi menu upstairs, so you have the best of both worlds. 

I wore my Kenzo fit and flare dress with my Pashli as well as my Topshop boots which I think I’ve worn in every OOTD so far?!  While the Kenzo dress was an eBay bargain (shhh) I understand why people buy them at full price, it fits like a dream and is oh so comfy even after a three course meal.  I think I’ll be repeating this outfit when I head to the LOOK offices for work experience in a couple of weeks time.  This will be my third trip to the IPC offices in London for work experience at LOOK and I’m really looking forward to it, everyone there is lovely and they all make a real effort to give interns ‘proper’ jobs, just check out my post about my last time there here if you need further proof.  Possibly the best work experience ever. 

Anyway, back to the FOOD! 

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I started off with a small Okimari platter of sushi with maki rolls and nigiri pieces.  While my dad went for the seafood ceviche, which was presently differently to one which I had at our last visit.

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Small but mighty

While I had intended to keep it all raw, I ended up salivating at the thought of surf and turf, something which is becoming a bit of a (bad) habit for me at the moment.  Last time I wrote about The Hook, I actually pointed out that they were missing out of a trick by not having a surf and turf option on their menu so I was happy to see this had changed!  Meat and seafood, the way to every carnivores heart! 

My steak came with Bone Marrow Jus and my Lobster was smothered in a deliciously buttery garlic sauce which complimented the meaty lobster.   My steak was cooked to perfection and melted at the touch of the knife (I’m sat drooling at the thought after having a typically underwhelming student dinner).  

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Claws out

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Dessert for me was just white chocolate ice cream, which I ended up sharing with my dad – who doesn’t eat chocolate apparently.  

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While I didn’t eat too much of the sushi on offer this time, I can promise it’s all good with their Seabass and Truffle Soy Rolls being a personal favourite of mine.

The Hook is always adding to their repertoire of dishes and hopefully in the future they’ll add even more sushi dishes so I can spend my trips home making my way through the menu and burning a hole in my pocket.

Its back to student cooking now though…

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I’m swapping out the old cliche of the ‘new year, new me’ for a more contemporary catchphrase.

‘New year, New Balance’ is about to become my personal style mantra for 2014.  After seeing Cam from Camille Over the Rainbow and Shini from Park and Cube championing a pair of the trainers, I had some serious shoe envy.  For me, shoe envy is usually reserved for studded Loubs, Alexander Wang booties or those Balenciaga buckle ankle boots but on this occasion, I found myself seriously lusting after a pair of comfy and practical trainers.  

After spending more than the normal amount of time doing some indepth research, I opted for a pair of 574’s in black and grey suede and leather from ASOS and these babies have not left my feet since they arrived.  Even my mum is considering in investing in a pair.

My only problem with them?  The shoelaces.  It is perhaps time to let you all know that I have an irrational fear/phobia of shoelaces.  Yes, you read that correctly, shoelaces.  Just let that sink in.  So as you can imagine, lacing my new trainers  – I’m cringing as I type this – takes some serious will power.

Having bypassed the Nike Air Max fad, I think I’ll be seriously investing some time and money into the New Balance phenomenon and will soon be adding to my debut pair with some 420’s and 410’s in the name of some shoelace based therapy.  

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Top – Topshop (similar here) / Necklace – Primark / Trousers – UO Renewal / Boots – Topshop / Belt – Stolen from my mum / Lipstick – MAC Lady DangerBag – Mulberry (similar here

Yesterday, I was nonchalantly walking around Newcastle city centre when I was asked whether I would like to pose for a photo.  Had the enquirer been a slightly podgy middle aged man with saliva hanging out his mouth, I may have politely declined but as the young lady who approached me looked anything but, I was well up for a bit of public posing.

Dr Marten’s are currently searching high and low for the face of their SS2015 international campaign and this last week, the search was taken to the Toon.  The brand has recently opened a shop on Newcastle’s Grainger street which sells their famous boots and some incredible knitwear from Agyness Deyn’s latest collaboration with Dr Marten and I’ve been tempted more than once to blow my student budget on some sturdy shoes ready for a Geordie Winter.  Although I’m not wearing Doc’s in my street style photo, Sandra Tang – who was heading the Newcastle search – and her crew were looking for those whose fashion sense embodies the Dr Marten spirit and thanks to some tartan trousers, I seemed to fit the bill!  I recently bought these tartan beauties while Urban Outfitters was participating in a student takeover, meaning I got a healthy 20% off the £48 bill!  They’re so comfy and are now part of my growing check wardrobe.  Slave to a trend.  

After having my photo taken I was given a Dr Marten’s canvas bag with a boot keyring inside and a voucher for a 10% discount! No excuses for buying a pair of boots now! 

Thanks to Sandra Tang for allowing me to use the photo!  Check out the other people who were snapped on Sandra’s blog, here, here and here!

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Jumper – Topshop / Skirt – Topshop / Shirt (underneath) – Zara / Socks – Topshop / Bag – Mulberry / Boots – Topshop 

Just like Cher Horowitz from Clueless, I often find solace in a mall (ahem, shopping centre).  Ahead of my first week starting my Masters in Media and Journalism and after seeing off the boyf as he moves to Dubai, I was definitely in need of a little – read, huge – bit of retail therapy.  My preferred treatment is a trip to Topshop and on this occasion I discovered that the perfect medicine for a bruised heart is definitely fluffy jumpers, tartan skirts and pony skin boots!  As if! 

I wore this outfit to an induction day at Uni and then to a pub dinner with my grandma – old people are so sweet – and my mum, who is a total Betty.  Although I could tell a few people were giving me strange looks throughout the day and would have probably classed me as a fashion victim – or ensembly challenged – I lovedddd recreating the Clueless vibe.

Now I just need a real life Dionne to join me!  Any takers?

P.S. camera quality is awful!  Relying on Santa for a new one!

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After a chaotic summer of travelling around, I’m finally back home!

From Ibiza to Paris, I’ve taken 14 flights this summer and feel like I’ve dragged a suitcase around with me everywhere I’ve been!  I am the Departure Lounge Queen. 

After settling at home for a few days, I ventured into St. Peter Port to have a nosey around the shops and although I had resolved that I would refrain from spending any money, I accidentally picked up this little – okay, huge – stunner of a necklace.  Oops.

The bib style has been around for a while and a few weeks ago I was seriously considering investing in an almost identical golden beauty from Topshop but at a hefty £50 my student budget was not permitting.  BUT, fear not!  This New Look version is an absolute bargainous £19.99 and also comes in gold!  Necklaces for everyone!  

I’m also particularly fond of this Zara bomber jacket which I picked up a few weeks ago while I was on work experience in London.  It’s become a staple in my wardrobe as it goes with just about anything and makes an everyday outfit (cami and jeans) a little bit more special.  The overall pattern is floral but the cuffs and pockets have a tartan lining which is a subtle nod to the upcoming AW13 trend.

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Necklace – New Look / Bomber Jacket – Zara / Dress – Topshop / Shoes – Nike / Sunglasses – Ray Ban / Dog – POA 

I’ve still got a couple of weeks of summer home comforts before I head off to Newcastle University to begin an MA in Journalism and Media!  I’m a little nervous  – okay, a lot – as I don’t know too many people in the city but I’m looking forward to exploring, perfecting my Geordie accent and playing Bingo every Thursday with my gran who lives up North!

Anyone want to be my friend in Newcastle…? Anyone…? 

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On Sunday morning, I woke uncharacteristically early in anticipation of a full day ahead in Paris.  My mum and I had breakfast in the hotel but wandered along to a bakery down the road from our hotel after hearing rave reviews from our helpful taxi driver who had given us some useful tips for our trip.

When driving us into the city from the station, he had mentioned that the bakery’s around Madeleine were famous for their goods, however were overpriced because of their notoriety and he suggested that instead we visit a boulangerie which was just as good – if not better – and kinder to the purse.

Eric Kayser is a chain of bakeries which are  strung throughout the city, named after the famous artisan baker, they are full of sweet pastries, colourful macaroons, tarts, crumbles, an endless assortment of breads and perhaps best of all, cookies.  Their cookies are deliciously melt-in-the-middle soft with overly generous portions of chocolate which make them guaranteed to give any sweet tooth their sugar fix.  I vowed to return to Eric Kayser’s bakery every morning for a spot of culinary indulgence; when in Paris!

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Look at all the gooey goodness

After gorging myself on cookies, my mum and I jumped on a double decker train on the RER towards Chateau de Versailles.   The Palace of Versailles is a monument which I’ve been itching to visit since watching Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (2006) about France’s most controversial Queen.

The opulent palace housed the court of the Ancien Regime from 1682 until the French Revolution when France became a Republic and became a symbol of the absolute monarchies wealth.  Originally built as a hunting lodge, Versailles went through many reincarnations to become the huge chateau that it is today and boy, is it big.   SAM_0139

SAM_0140Entrance into the palace is free on a Sunday meaning that you can spend more pennies on shopping but you are visiting on one of the busiest days.  We arrived to discover a huge line outside, so I would definitely advise taking some sort of shade and plenty of water as there aren’t many places around and inside the palace which sell bottles! IMG_3554

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Hidden rooms to the public eye…

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We took around 3 hours to tour around the main palace, slowly taking in the grandiose design and straining our necks to stare at the epic ceilings which depict the founders of the Roman Empire (most of them naked as well…ooo-er).  We marvelled at the beds, which are covered with sumptuous blankets with golden thread while also commenting on how short they are!  After spending too much time in open mouthed adoration we took to the gardens, which were definitely my favourite part of the day!

The Gardens of Versailles were designed by the landscape artist Andre Le Notre and represent the ideal of the French formal garden style, which uses the idea of imposing control over nature through symmetry.  So it’s no surprise that the gardens which cover over 800 hectares are always pruned to royal perfection.  Our ailing feet and empty stomachs prompted us to take the lazy option by hopping onto the Petit Train which allowed us to stop off at various points and jump back on when we wanted.

We whizzed through the immaculate gardens to the Grand Trianon which was the built on the request of Louis XIV and his mistress of the time, Marquis of Montespan.  The Grand Trianon would have definitely been my choice of domain, being removed from the overbearing grandeur of the main chateau, the Trianon allowed those who stayed there to avoid the stuffiness of court life and enjoy a relative freedom.  I imagine, in modern day terms this would mean, skinny dipping in the various fountains, playing loud music and generally running amuck.

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IMG_3601 Top – Topshop / Skirt – Topshop / Necklace – Primark

After sauntering through the gardens of the Grand Trianon we made our way back to the Petit Train where our final stop was the Grand Canal.  The immense stretch of water today plays host to Parisians aimlessly rowing while reclining in the warm weather, but back in Louis XIV’s reign, it was the sight of many nautical displays and housed perfect replica’s of ships scaled down and a winter wonderland-esque ice rink in the winter.

On our walk back to the palace we encountered marble sculptures, beautiful fountains (I’m sure I could almost hear my mum whisper the words ‘we need a water feature’), and imposing hedges which rose around us. IMG_3611

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After leaving Versailles we headed to the Champs de Mars on the RER to scale the Tour Eiffel.  My mum decided that sticking to the 2nd floor was probably for the best, but I with a head for heights made my way solo to the summit for the spectacular sunset.  It was the perfect end to our first full day in the City of Romance and after standing on our feet all day long we stuffed our faces before heading back home to bed, ready for another day of city living!

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After spending a week interning at LOOK magazine in London, my mum and I headed to Paris to be complete and utter tourists in the City of Romance.  In a confession which may lose me some street cred – did I have any anyway? – I treasure the time I get to spend with my mum, so I jumped at the chance of having her for a few days all to myself.  For years, my mum and I had planned city breaks which we would spend indulging in rich foods and soaking in even richer culture and it’s only now that we’ve actually got round to executing one of these highly anticipated trips!  We chose Paris as the location for our first annual ‘mother-daughter jaunt’ (yes, I’m hoping to make that a thing) as mum had only visited the city years ago on a work trip with my dad, while I had only vague notions of going to DisneyLand when I was much younger and although neither of us know a lick of French – my knowledge stretches to ‘ou set le piscine?’ a phrase I didn’t use once on our trip – we were both eager to return to the French capital.  

On Saturday morning we headed to St Pancreas and spent a quick 2 hours on the EuroStar before emerging with tired eyes on the other side of the Channel in Paris!  We were staying in the Hotel Pont Royal which is located in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and just a 5 minute walk away from the iconic Musee de Louvre and a short 2 minute walk to Rue de Bac Metro station on line 12, a spot which was absolutely perfect for all our tourist needs and provided more than a few surprises (more on that later…) 

After settling in at the hotel, we hopped on the Metro to Montmartre and made our way past local markets selling paintings and nic nacs towards a set of stairs which would take us to Sacre Coeur.  After a tiring day lugging around heavy suitcases, we climbed breathlessly – only to find that there was in fact a lift which could have taken us the whole way for a small price – toward the summit.

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Dress – Zara / Necklace – Primark / Sunglasses – Ray Ban / Bag – Mulberry

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Sacre Coeur itself is architecturally stunning but the view outside it is breathtaking.  With the sun low in the sky, my mum and I took in the almost panoramic view of Paris while planning the days ahead and marvelling at a talented street performer who was balanced precariously in front of a gawping crowd.

After taking in the view and admitting to each other that we were feeling rather peckish we returned to the Metro and headed back towards our hotel.  We stopped off at Le Saint German to share a plate of delicious antipasto smothered in pesto before hitting the hay, ready for a packed day of cliche activities in the morning!

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Co-ord – Topshop / Jelly Shoes – eBay / Frilly Socks – Topshop / Necklace – Estella Bartlett

It’s not everyday that you find yourself wearing a staple of your childhood wardrobe.  No, I’m not talking about my old favourite Tammy Girl tshirt but a pair of glittery jelly shoes.  

After weeks of contemplating via Twitter whether I should purchase some of these childhood relics my mum (of all people) convinced me that I really did need them and so I bit the bullet and hit the magic button on eBay.  At first I worried that these new shoes could be a sign of a post-Graduation crisis point whereby I was trying to recapture the essence of my youth through  nostalgia inducing purchases, but, even if they are I still bloody love them.

My old pair of jellies, which I probably wore circa 1997 were glittery, pink and had a Disney Princess emblem on them and although I searched high and low for a replica pair, it’s probably best that I didn’t manage to find any.  My new pair have a block  heel, which I like to imagine signals that I’m now an adult…just an adult wearing jelly shoes…

Although the temptation to don some dungaree’s and wear a scrunchie in my hair was great, I managed to pull myself away from the faded denim and throw on this Topshop co-ord which I picked up in the sale.  I can’t find this particular co-ord online anymore but if you’re as enamoured as I am then keep your beady eye on eBay for some bargains or check out Topshop’s other incredible two pieces.  I also wore a sweet little Bumblebee necklace which I found in a local shop in Guernsey.  It’s by Estella Bartlett and can be found on John Lewis online and myflashtrash.com for only £15, no need to break the piggy bank just yet.  

Are you a fan of jelly shoes?  How do you wear yours?

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After three quick years at the University of Reading, I graduated on the 4th of July with a 2.1 in English Literature and History.  As well as being a bit of a tear jerker (sentimental moments get me teary) it was also, admittedly, a day of fine dining with a bit of booze thrown in there for good measure.

I had chosen to wear a French Connection dress to the ceremony (which is now in the sale!) accessorised with a Michael Kors watch, some Swarovski rings which my housemates gave me on my 21st birthday, my Chanel bag and my lovely Louboutins, whose stiletto heels were perhaps not the best thing in the grass but nevertheless got me a few compliments!

Looking back on the day now, it’s a blur of photographs, sweaty palms and the feeling of relief after having not tripped up infront of the huge hall full of people – something I maintain is my greatest achievement to date, nevermind the degree – but one thing I can clearly remember is the food.

As a foodie at heart, I had put more thought into where my family and I should dine on the evening of my graduation than even revising for some of my exams but ultimately I left the decision up to my dad, the senior foodie of the family.  After consulting some in-the-know friends he booked The Forbury’s restaurant in Reading – not to be confused with The Forbury Hotel’s restaurant Cerise.  

After generously filling our wine glasses, we all got down to the serious business of ordering our food.  I’m one of those sad people who will obsessively check a menu online before venturing inside any restaurant, but on this occasion I’d been too busy in Newcastle sans internet to plan my meal – a travesty.  

After asking everyone round the table what they were planning to have at least twice, I opted for the Hand Dived Scallops served with a Pea Puree and Black Pudding for my starter and the Fillet of Angus Beef (medium rare of course) with Duck Fat chips, Onion Rings and Cherry Tomatos.  I can vouch that both were absolutely delicious, with the scallops being the best I’ve ever had (a huge claim for a scallop addict) and the steak being cooked to perfection.

By dessert time, my poor dress was probably feeling the strain, but Ross and I decided that we could both stretch to dessert and shared our first ever Bourbon Creme Brulee with a ShortCake Biscuit.  I’m more of a starter and main fan, mostly because I always fall foul of the ‘eyes too big for my stomach’ curse and don’t survive to the third round but I’d always coveted the crack of a Creme Brulee so loosened my hypothetical belt and tucked in.  I am now 100% a dessert convert and will be making room for some more sweet treats in the future whilst also renewing my gym membership ASAP.

This coming September I’ll be heading up North to study a Masters at the University of Newcastle so expect a Graduation 2.0 post in a year’s time!

If you’re graduating this summer, first of all GOOD LUCK (try not to trip!) and second, enjoy every second!

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