Saturday, 16 August 2014

Australia 2014 #8: Velvet Blouse Adoration

velvet blouse charity shop | grey long sleeve crop top american apparel (link) | black a-line denim skirt asos (link) | thick black tights primark | black chelsea boots topshop (link) | black textured bag dorothy perkins | watch casio via asos | black beaded bracelet cotton on | nails: sally hansen make waves

There's something about this oversized velvet blouse that makes me very happy. It may be the colour, one that I strongly argue is a shade of pink whereas ninety percent of my friends are defiant it's purple (it's pink...right?) Whatever the colour label on it is, it's simply beautiful. And only cost 3 quid at a charity shop in Shrewsbury, Shropshire's county town. It was my first (and only) Midlands charity shop buy and it has a serious spot in my heart. Comfy? Oui. The texture? It's there whilst still being soft. And the collar? Well, that's a funny one. Not that you can really tell in the photos, but it reminds me a little bit of the collars on my old school shirts in India called Nehru collars -  which I should note that everyone detested and used to fold it over to make it look a little more...European. However, contrary to this it still works and is fabulous. And was a mere three pounds. I have no complaints's a keeper. I actually received a spam-like email a couple of weeks ago (from a man, I must add) asking to buy this shirt and my velvet blazer (see here) for 150 Euros. As nice as the offer was, naturally I ignored the email...'twas a tad on the creepy side. Sorry Charlie - I'm keeping the velvet beauties. 


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Australia 2014 #7: Freo & Jus Burgers

I really love Fremantle. It's where my Mum was born, it has many beautiful views and it's not too long a train journey from central Perth. I made it clear pretty early on during our trip that I wanted to visit Freo, and after having been to a Freo match (and seen them win) the temptation to visit increased significantly. So here's the lowdown from our day: one that included burgers, selfies, our new favourite drink and a visit to a prison.
See what I mean about selfies? It's a real struggle to get everyone in focus. I love how you can see my arm's reflection in all three pairs of sunglasses.
Mum and I were strictly Lipton-ites before visiting Freo but our hearts were really stolen by the peach ice tea from Real Iced Tea Co. They are just...real.
Hungry and feeling 17469% in the mood for meat, we hunted down the nearest burger bar.
Upon spotting the sign declaring Jus burgers were voted best in Australia, we knew it would be wrong to not go in...
With a name like 'Pommy', Keir and I had to stick to our British roots and enjoy some cheddar and bacon.
Mum ordered a 'Turkish' burger, which featured tahini yoghurt and Middle Eastern slaw.
Here's a photo of my delicious Pommy. It feels strange writing that. I only photographed mine because naturally I had to order extra pineapple and as Keir left his without extras mine was obviously superior...
Considering Jus Burgers understandably, specialises in burgers, their drinks pleasantly surprised us. We didn't expect them to be bad by any means, we simply weren't expecting them to be so damn good. Keir's was a banana, yoghurt, cinnamon and honey smoothie whilst mine was a pomegranate, berry and mint frappe. Both were served in very pinterest-y kilner jars with uber-helpful handles and I felt very suave as I drank my frappe.
I've read travel blogs that have bigged up Fremantle prison big time, and quite a few members of my family have visited and absolutely loved it. When we realised how nearby we were to the prison, we thought it would be silly not to go in.
We were a little naughty. From time to time I make use of my (lack of) height and slight baby-face and lie to be classified as a child. It's worth it when we save nine dollars, that's for certain. I didn't want to upload any photos from inside the prison because let's be honest, it's a tad depressing however we all found the tour to be absolutely fascinating. *Shoutout to our tour guide Steve for being brilliant* 
I lol'd at this simply because it was a true Aussie koala in the sloth pose...amirite?!
Getting back to Perth was nice and easy - just a few stops on the (aptly names) Fremantle line. Once again we lied to ourselves and classified me as a concession. We are obviously too rebellious to be contained... 

I highly recommend a visit to Freo if you're ever in Western Australia, it's a real gem and I imagine some people wouldn't visit it because Perth is so close and it's the state capital. Seriously though, it's so close to Perth that you can easily do both. I can speak from experience ;)


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Australia 2014 #6: Leather Meets Breton

navy breton top la redoute | faux leather shorts supré (link) | thick black tights primark | block coloured bag jeanswest (link) | set of earrings lovisa | black beaded bracelet cotton on | watch casio via asos | black chelsea boots topshop (link)

It is very rare that I come across a shop that really gets me. And more importantly, gets my size. Don't get me wrong, I do quite like being small, albeit I often cannot reach the top shelf nor am I probably tall enough to ever be an air hostess. Regardless, being 'pint size' does have its benefits. Shopping is not often one of them. Jeans are 9 times out of 10 just that bit too long, and that average-sized dress drowns you until you really are swimming. But Supré get the petite girl vibe - and I like that. Back home in the UK shops such as Topshop and Miss Selfridge have the strongest petite collections, with the likes of Dorothy Perkins becoming fab too, but all three of them can get quite expensive. Supré, aimed at the teenage market, isn't ridiculously overpriced, and has sizes 3XS (UK size 2) to XXL (UK size 16) so there's something for a whole range of people. And that's why I love it. I found these wonderful shorts there (among other things) and overall I'm just chuffed. 

What shops do you feel 'get' you?


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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Australia 2014 #5: Lovisa Lovin'

When I think about Lovisa I think of Accessorize, stripped back a bit to get a slightly more polished vibe, combined with the jewellery sections in the likes of Aldo and Mango. But, the prices are far better than all three of them. The main reason why I'm no jewellery addict is because I think that most of the time, they're so damn expensive. £12 for a necklace that doesn't go with everything? No thanks, £10 for one ring that I'll probably lose? I better not. This is where the multi deals and discounts at Lovisa caught my eye. The necklace itself was $10, so nearly spot on to £5. My Mum got the dangly earrings in the bottom left of the photo and the larger black jewelled earrings on a two for twenty deal, so only a tenner. As for the adjustable ring, set of 3 black studs and the intricate silver drops - they were on a three for ten deal. All three of them for 5 Great British Pounds. I have no complaints.

Lastly I picked up a set of three rose gold band rings, which include a thicker one with Cartier-inspired engravings. I must admit, I tried that one on in the shop and had one of those horrible I-can't-get-this-off-I'll-have-to-get-it-and-scan-my-finger moments, but alas after a bit o' a struggle I managed to yank it off. That near death experience aside, they made it to my basket at $13, so I splurged on them at £6.50.

So now? I'm all set up on the jewellery front. It was a good experience, and I'll look out for Lovisa next time I'm in Aus for certain. If you're one of my Australian readers (hello! you guys are loved) you can find out where your closest store is here. Unfortunately they don't sell online, but I'll be on the lookout and will mention on here if they ever do sell their beauties on the web. 

Before I go I must mention the sales lady who served my Mum and I at Lakeside Joondalup - I don't know her name, but she was a tall lady with long, dark hair and most distinctly: an absolutely humonguous bandage that had her entire right hand wrapped up. Despite this she wrapped the lot up so neatly and I was so impressed - and she was lovely too. I love encountering nice sales people! She said that she had accidentally slammed her hand in the car door so take note guys: don't do that. It looked very sore.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Australia 2014 #4: Skincare Buys

So Priceline (the Australian alternative to the likes of Boots and Superdrug) had a two day flash sale very recently with 40% of all skincare products. Every single one of them - the full schbang. Understandably, this meant a visit to Lakeside Joondalup, arguably my favourite shopping centre in the entire world, was inevitable. Despite the brilliant deal I managed to show a surprising amount of restraint, to the extent that I left my Mum pleasantly surprised. All of the bits I picked up were small and light - perfect for my suitcase which is already 1.8 kilos overweight. 

La Roche-Posay is a brand I've always wanted to try but being me, I've never wanted to spend too much on anything...let alone what is essentially water in a pretty can with a handy spraying...thing. Effaclar Duo was the hugest thing of all huge things in the beauty world last year, and despite the influx of positive reviews I wasn't excited by the £13 price tag. However, when on sale and around the £7/8 mark, I felt a little more encouraged to dip my toes into the Effaclar Duo waters. Lucas' Papaw Ointment is perhaps the single most Australian beauty product of all time - I don't think I've ever come here and not seen it everywhere. The other day I instagrammed the pure joy that is this small red tube. This one is actually for my wonderful friend Nadine to pay back how she picked up an EOS lip balm for me when in Miami: apparently over there they are far cheaper in the US than in the UK, and far more accessible. The only place I've seen them is in Topshop (Oxford Circus flagship branch) and they were seven quid each - thanks, but no thanks to that.

Bioré nose pore strips have been on my to-buy list for what seems like eons now, but in a likewise manner to the La Roche-Posay bits, I didn't want to spend £6/7 on a product that could be replicated elsewhere, or essentially is something I'll use and then dispose of shortly after. I think they were around the £4 mark (baring in mind they were in Aussie dollars and then discounted, so this is an educated guess) considerably better than the price back home. I'll have to report back on these - I've been getting blackheads around my nose for a while now (lovely, I know) and the Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel strips aren't quite cutting it when it comes to the reduction of those annoyances.

Anyway - I'm off now. It's past midnight here now (i.e. ideal time to publish posts for UK/US based audiences and the time when my brain is unfortunately buzzing with ideas) and I really should hop off to bed. It's my last night at my cousin's place before heading to my Mum's best friend's place, which reminds me that I've only got another five days here. The trip has gone so quickly but at the present moment I don't feel devastated at the thought of leaving. Obviously I'll be sad to leave the city that is my home away from home, but being back here has reduced the withdrawal feels big time, and seeing my family after way too long apart has made me happier than you could even imagine.