Friday, 15 November 2013

Among the whisperings, the champagne & the stars...

Hello Readers,

Today I come to you with a Gatsby inspired post. We all know The Great Gatsby was a hit film this year and as  such, the 1920 style is leaking into our fashion and hey, I'm not complaining, everybody needs a little bit of sparkle.

So the theme for my work christmas party is Gatsby and ever since it was announced i've been on a hunt to find my perfect Gatsby dress and alas, I have succeeded. However on my hunt I have found a lot of Gatsby inspired stuff and so if you're struggling, I wanted to put a post together to share some of my ideas with you.

I have put sets together based on the High Street brand they are from, so as not to confuse you. However, the most important thing about Gatsby, is the accessories, so let's start there.

Gatsby Accessories

Gatsby Accessories by paperdoll-x featuring black earrings

So this headband is what totally inspired my own outfit, so much so, I'm intending to have mine exactly like this. Headbands, pearls and bling is the main focus of the 1920s. I also have some, what I like to call 'Chandlier' earrings, that's what they remind me of, hanging from your ears. This black & gold pair are very Gatsby, however a nice sparkling silver pair would also work. Then we have this little simple dainty pearl headband with gold flower-like detail, I thought it was cute if you want to do a nice simple look. I also loved this floral pearl necklace and wanted to get it but alas, it has sold out. I have found a simpler alternative for myself though. Finally, we have this beautiful River Island Bib, which is just pure solid bling, now I personally am more of  a less is more kind of girl but I just love this so I had to share. You could go very glam rock with it.

So let's get started on the dresses, starting at the lower end of the financial scale with: George at Asda.



Asda Gatsby Dresses

Asda Gatsby Dresses by paperdoll-x featuring a metallic dress

So the one thing about the 1920s is that, they weren't very colourful. Mainly blacks, golds, silvers and very light pastel colorus, mainly soft pinks. This soft pink and silver dress does remind me of one of the ones Daisy wore in the film and with some silver bling, a nice headband and some sparkly shoes, I think it would look great.
This one piece, oh my, it's so simply beautiful. You would literally only need some earrings, a pair of great gold heels, maybe some gold bracelets and you'd be flying. Plus it's so versatile you could wear it over and over again for dinners or nights out. Had I seen this first, I might of bought it. Love love love.
Then we have this gorgeous black and gold shall we say Baroque inspired dress? Its got the lovely colours, it would be simple to style and once again, you could re-wear it, black and gold never really go out of style, especially in the festive season.

Moving up the to the High Street, we have New Look
New Look Gatsby Dresses

New Look Gatsby Dresses by paperdoll-x featuring 1920s inspired dresses

So ladies, first of all, New Look have 25% off until Sunday so if you act quick you'll get significant discount. 

New Look has a bit more of a range of 1920s style dresses compared to what we've seen so far. I included this simple Aztec Gold Skater dress as it's pretty and it's sort of a modern twist on the theme. Again, some black and gold accessories and you're set. Then we have this lovely scallop detail dress which is definitely reminiscent of the flapper/charleston girls of the time. I would go silver with the accessories for this. You need some bling to brighten it up and it has a silver reflection.
Of course, this red fringe dress is totally screaming flapper at you, when you think flapper, this is what you imagine, well not quite this but the fringe detail definitely. Im not a fan of fringe detailing because half the time it mkes you look like you're wearing  lampshade. This one is nice however as its only a small bit of fringing and the colour adds depth and detail and finally some colour in this place. Finally, we have this very simple Swing dress. I love the shape of the swing dresses and think they sit really nicely on the body, I did have my eye on a lace one but it just didn't look as good in reality, however this sparkly black one is perfect and all it needs is some silver bling or plenty of pearls and you'd be good.  

Sticking with the high street, we have Dorothy Perkins.

Dorothy Perkins Gatsby Dresses

Dorothy Perkins Gatsby Dresses by paperdoll-x featuring a beaded chiffon dress

My oh My, Perkins have stepped it right up. 
So to start off we have this lovely pearl detail skater dress, which is simple and lovely, so easy to style and good for re-use for nights out or dinners. It definitely has appeal.
Oh my, this second dress just screams Gatsby, it's exactly like the Gatsby poster print except it's silver, which is actually nice because, the black and gold gets repetitive and also silver is so easy to accesorise with, most jewellery would go with this. Some blingy chandlier earings, silver slingbacks and you're good to go. I'm actually picturing this as something from Sex and the City. 1920s-Modern day, this dress just works.
Well, this soft pink/gold beauty is a show stopper. It's lovely because it's not black, its a bit of colour and would look absolutely stunning with some pearls and some kitten heels. I love it, someone please snap it up. 
I like this white skater dress, I think its a little bit different with regards to the prints and it's a little bit brighter since it's white, it would actually work as a gangster dress, with a trilby and some heeled brogues? It's a little bit of Gangster Glam. Or is that just me?
Finally, this little dress is such a simple little baroque style print, it's lovely. I can see this being worn everywhere, you could maybe even make it casual with some tights and boots. Again, that could be just me being strange haha.

Moving up the high street scale, we come to River Island
River Island Gatsby Dresses

River Island Gatsby Dresses by paperdoll-x featuring River Island

River Island have pulled out all the stops this year.

I seen this first dress featured in Cosmopolitan and instantly fell in love, they had the gemstones painted a neon green and I was just like what is this magic. It looked amazing, but for Gatsby, keep the gemstones white and you're sorted. It's also a very festive print, with some of the print looking like snowflakes. I just can't say a bad word about this dress.
PUT EM UP GANGSTER. This is the sexiest gangster dress in the history of gangster dresses. I mean it leaves little to the imagination and the men would be absolutely tripping over themselves looking at you, so if you've got it, flaunt it my little mobsters. Some High heeled boots, a trilby and a necklace dipping into the dress, some blingy earrings and you're set. Do show me if you style this, because I might possibly fall in love with you.
This dress now, isn't  a personal favourite, but it is very Gatsby and it was also worn by Tamira on X Factor when she was belting Beyonce so I felt it deserved a mentioned. It is a lovely dress, it fits right in with the theme, Im just not  a fan, but it did look good on, so maybe?
Remember the fringe dress from New Look? Well this is it's mother. You also won't look like a lampshade, but a beautiful red Chandlier. Also colour, Im all about getting the colour in here where you can. This dress sort of speaks for itself, you really wouldnt need much, a black feather in your hair, some heels, you're set.
Ah, I love this little scalloped pearl skater dress, mainly because it's very close to the one I myself got. It's just lovely and it won't take much to accesorise, some pearls and it's done. Love it.

And finally, for those of you who prefer to shop online (which you can do with most of these, but you get my point), Simply Be simply have something for everyone. 



Simply Be Gatsby Dresses

Simply Be Gatsby Dresses by paperdoll-x featuring a mixed print dress

I think Simply be definitely nailed the Gatsby theme. This centre dress is basically the dress from the film reincarnated. I know it's not the exact same but unless you're willing to pay £1237247521546 trillion, then this is it. Simply be have even styled it for you here, with a little dainty gold headband and some peep toes. Job Done, you can go home now.
So, the gold top skater, is lovely, it incorporates the baroque gold and black and is a very modern take on the theme. I like it and if the first Gatsby dress doesn't fit your budet, then this is a good alternative.
Now I know this blue print dress doesn't look like much here, but it looks really good on the model and once again, COLOUR is the keyword here. It brings a bit of colour to this very black and gold world, it has a nice baroque themed print which fits the theme and  it's lovely. 
The soft pink dress is also lovely because it's colour, again, it is a dress for the girly girls, soft pink and pearls, really where could you go wrong with this? 
And finally, I'm not a big fan of this dress because I don't like the two-tone print, but it fits and is once again a cheap alternative to the original Gatsby dress. 

So there we have it, my Gatsby inspired picks from the High street, hopefully you enjoyed this post and some of you find it helpful. I'll be sure to post my Gatsby outfit when I pull it altogether - still waiting on bits and pieces and the party is still 3weeks or so away, so plenty of time to get myself prepared. 

Until next time,

''And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.''

Sami

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Christmas Wish List

Hey Guys,

I know, I know, Halloween is literally just over and it's already Christmas everywhere. Who are you kidding, it's been Christmas since September :P. Anyway, I'm not one to endorse Christmas early and this year I'll be lucky if I get any Christmas shopping done before Christmas Eve. Maybe I'll just bypass it and go straight to Easter, eh? Everyone loves chocolate eggs. That's besides the point, I got an email from EtailPR that struck my fancy so I thought I'd share!

"To be in a chance with winning simply create a Christmas wish list on your blog featuring a watch from The Watch Hut. One winner will receive a £300 ASOS voucher and one runner up will receive a £100 ASOS voucher!"

Who doesn't love asos? I'm so keen I applied for their 2014 Access All ASOS already. I heard about it over on The Agoraphobic Fashionista who get sent some lovely supplies! Well jealous so I thought I'd put my name in the hat early. So here's my Christmas wish list, which is sort of practical because I'm a half an adult and I really need some adult stuff haha :P.


xmas list



1. Laptop - Now my laptop is like 6 years old and while it still has a place in my heart, it's incredibly broken, its missing 5 keys, it needs a new battery, the sound doesn't work and I had to get it resurrected from the dead not so long ago. So Im in desperate need of a new one especially since I'll have coursework coming up in 2014.  The laptop pictured here is a Sony Vaio.

2.  Marc By Marc Jacobs Ladies Amy Watch- So I'm incredibly fussy when it comes to jewellery and the things I wear because I have sensitive skin and a nickel allergy, plus I don't like anything too massive and gawky. So I literally went through all 28 pages of Ladies watches on The Watch Hut. It was a toss up between this one and a similar one by Michael Kors with a navy strap. This one won out in the end because it's simple, easy to read and black goes with everything and the hint of gold gives it a girly look. I sort of love it.

3. A years supply of Manic Panic Amplified Vampire Red - So this is my current hair colour and the upkeep of red is really frustrating, time consuming and expensive. So I figured why not bulk buy then its there when you need it. I did dabble with brown this year but went back to red like 2 weeks later. I just prefer it. So yes, a years supply of hair dye would be great!

4. This Star Won't Go Out Bracelet - Literally I have been meaning to get one of these since they came out but every time I remember to get one, I literally cannot afford it. TSWGO is a charity that helps to support cancer patients and their families so the money is going to a good cause and by wearing it you'd be helping raise awareness. Im putting this on my list because if someone buys it for me, I won't forget! I want to do my part but times are hard!

5. Steering Wheel Cover - This is very practical of me. But this morning when I went out to my car and it was practically frozen, I realised I needed one of these so that the steering wheel isn't so cold and my hands wont get stuck to it and winter's just going to get worse so I'm taking the warmth where I can find it!

6. Warner Bros Studio Tour Tickets - I was on the mailing list for this place to get all the opening offers mailed to me but I still haven't got round to going to this beautiful place yet and I would really like to go. I would like to choose my own wand in Ollivanders and get some chocolate frogs. Love those things! Plus, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home :)

7. Books - I'm so behind on reading its unreal and there are so many books on my 'to-read' list. Ceceila Ahern is the one pictured here, I have all of her novels except this one and I think her most recent publication. I love her writing so I would like to continue to read her books, as well as many others. I still need to finish the Mortal Instruments series and start Divergent and yeah....so much reading, so little time. 

8. Nanowrimo Logo Shirt - I couldn't get this to clip to Polyvore but I love Nanowrimo and every November I sign up, regardless of whether I plan to write or not just to give support because the community there is amazing. Again, Nanowrimo is a registered charity and it's my favourite so I'd like to support it in any way I can. Plus this shirt is just really nice, simple, but nice, get's the point across.

 

So yeah, I'm not asking for much I know. I'll be happy if I get anything for Christmas at all, it's not about the presents afterall. 

So what's on your list? Have you been naughty or nice?

Let me know in the comments,

Sami

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Belfast Autumn Events

Hey Guys,

As per usual it's been a while, summer was a bit insane but Autumn is finally here and it's my favourite time of year. I recently got the About:Belfast magazine handed to me and there is so much happening that I thought I'd do a blog about some of the events to try and help spread the word! So let's get down to it, in running order.

1. European Heritage Open Days - 14th & 15th September.
Access all areas this weekend as many of our famous buildings throw open their doors free of charge! Belfast Castle, Hillsborough castle, Bangor Walled Garden, Parliament buildings, churches and even the Crumlin road Gaol. This weekend is the time to visit all those buildings you wanted to see inside of but thought it cost to much. There is also lots of films, plays, poetry and story-telling coming live in the buildings to tell their history and there are guided tours in most of them. I know if I wasn't working I'd be exploring!

2. Culture Night - 20th September
I'm most excited about this event, it's on my birthday and instead of doing the usual dinner/drinks I'm exploring a range of different events littered throughout the city center and taking my friends with me. The best thing is, all the events are free. The opening ceremony is in Writer's Square at 4pm and from there you can walk to wherever you need to go. I'm planning on checking out the roller derby, some slam poetry, maybe some burlesque or salsa and ending the night in The MAC Belfast for the after party!

3. Tesco Taste Festival - 21-22nd Sept.
Well let's face it, no one is going to say no to free food. The best thing is that's all local, home-grown produce and you get to try it all for free! I haven't been to this festival yet, but every year the pictures on twitter make me jealous so I'm definitely going to try and get down this year!

4. Aspects Irish Literature Festival - 25th-29th Sept.
Im always going to promote anything to do with literature and this festival is no exception.  Most of the events are located in Bangor but still, there's lots to choose from, including films, writing workshops, readings etc from various local authors, the most famous of which is probably Leesa Harker, who rose to fame for her tales of Maggie Muff in 50 Shades of Red, White & Blue. Cheesy novels aside, it is a serious festival and you should check it out if you can! Note, not all these events are free.

5. Belfast Belly Laughs Festival - 25th Sept - 6th Oct.
So I don't know any of the comedians on the bill, but there are bus tours, poetry, writing workshops and basically I'm sure someone will be funny considering it's a comedy festival and I'm always good for finding out something new and fun. If you need cheering up, im sure you'll find something on the program to make you laugh!

6. Belfast Restaurant Week - 5th-12th October
Every food loving person should be attending at least one of the events on this program, most restaurants will run discounts/offers and signature dishes for restaurant week. There are so many good things on for this week, various themed banquets, including a Game of Thrones one! Various wine/beer/cider tasting events, cocktail and coffee masterclasses, there really is something for everyone. My top events for this week though are: The Co Couture Dessert Club, The Secret Cocktail Club & The Night of 400 Diners which is the closing gala, an extravagant banquet which is a Masquerade, set in the Great Hall of the City Hall. Not to be missed!

7. Belfast Fashion Week - 10th-13th October.
A week full of fashion in various forms, including the famous fashion teas at The Merchant and shows including local designers, as well as renowned designers and for the rest of us, a high street heaven show, to give us the low down on A/W 13. I will definitely be getting myself to one of these, I hope!  Check out the schedule and see what takes your fancy!

8.  Belfast Festival at Queen's - 17th-27th October.
Every year this is a really popular festival because its got various events in different categories, including film, dance, visual arts and music. There is so much to choose from. I dont even know where to start, though Ill probably go to some of the films and poetry stuff. Its something to look forward to in the lead up to Halloween.

9. The Food & Drink Show NI - 25th-27th October.
A lot of my suggestions seem to be based around food, but we need to eat to live and so we might as well enjoy it! The food&drink show involves lots of different vendors showing off their products, but also includes educational workshops for everyone, on how to keep their waste down and how to be food wise. If you're concerned about your health, this would probably be a good show to attend.

10. Halloween - All October.
You can't of course, miss out on any Halloween events especially in October. Over here, it starts early with the Zombie Run on 13th October. My favourite thing about Halloween is the fireworks though and Ill be going to as many displays as I can fit in! Aunt Sandras Candy factory are running candy apple workshops, which will no doubt be amazing and there are plenty of events for the kiddies to dress up and run about. Im excited because I have Halloween week off which mens Ill be getting to lots of Halloween themed events, can't wait!

There are loads more events happening in Belfast, including Oktoberfest, if you're a beer fan. There are several wedding shows starting with the Quirky Wedding fair this weekend. I feel like so much more hppens in the Autumn and I cnnot wait to get to some of these festivals, in between working and studying! I'm a student again! I have big plans for my little corner of the internet and just wanted to get the ball rolling today. So leave a comment, send an email and follow me on bloglovin' to keep on top of it! I'll be back soon with updates on a very in-season dress I got from Simply be!

Let me know if you're planning on attending any of these events throughout Sept and October and if you recognise me, don't be afraid to say Hello!

Sami



Thursday, 15 August 2013

My 2 Week Summer.

Hey Guys,

So July and August are our summer months but most of the time to me, it's just another month of the year, we don't get much sunshine in this little country and I tend to work most of my summer away. However, this year my bff and I booked 2 weeks off this August as we had planned to go interrailing round Europe, this didn't happen though due to a lack of funds. However we did decide to try and make the most of it, so I'm here to share with you what I got up to in my little piece of summer.



So Northern Ireland did manage to get a little bit of Sunshine for a few weeks, which was a surprise to everyone and so the whole of the country basically spent their days outside and raided all of the bbqs from everywhere. It did prove for some amazing sunsets and still waters down at Seapark, Holywood which is where I took both of these photos. I spent a lot of my time kidnapping friends here or to Bangor to make the most of the sunshine while it lasted.

It's been a big year for Belfast, with the horrendous flag riots and other unnecessary violence, but some good has to come out of the bad and this year we were not only host to the G8 Summit but also The World Police & Fire Games. In basic terms, this is like the Olympics for police men and fire men and for the general public this meant, a lot of free sporting events to go and see and hot fit men to ogle (or women, whichever you prefer). For me this meant a lot of time spent watching Ice Hockey matches, I missed the swimming and I seen a few bits of the Ultimate Firefighter, no complaints from me. It was nice to just be like 'hey. let's go see some ice hockey' and I found myself beginning to enjoy it by the 2nd match, I'd never been to ice hockey until then. So here's a few pics from the games, or what I saw of them:





1. Ice Hockey 2. Dragonboat Racing 3. The Olympic Size Pool at Bangor Aurora 4. Ultimate Firefighter.


 Before the summer even started I had purchased a Groupon for my best friend and I to go to the Armagh Planetarium as she had never been before. The Groupon entitled us to entry for the both of us and a show in their lovely dome. We chose to see one about stargazing as we both really love the stars. The Planetarium is quite small and quite as good as I remembered it being, the show was definitely the highlight, but it's definitely something you have to at least do once if you live here. Here's a photo of me with a friend I made at the Planetarium:






Of course, you can't have Summer without eating some delicious food or attending some sort of food festival. My favourite place is St Georges Market on Sundays because it's full of delicious cupcakes, brownies and all sorts of sweet treats, however this year the lovely restaurants in St Anns Square pulled together and had their own mini food festival in the square itself. There were several demonstrations of how to cook food and of course I couldn't miss the cocktail demonstration by House of Zen, which was taken by a very cute bartender, yum yum.



I also managed to check out a lovely little restaurant that's getting some very good reviews and recommendations around the interwebs lately and that is The Secret Garden, the restaurant attached to the Dundonald Nurseries which is a garden centre. It's a very quaint/quirky little place, not too expensive and the food was absolutely amazingly delicious, here's some pics to tantalise your tastebuds:





A steak sandwich with fried onions, mushrooms, peppered sauce and homemade chunky chips. Followed by pavlova which didn't last long on the plate, just look at that thing!!

As well as all of this, I had to fit in some movies especially with some big names released this summer such as Despicable Me 2 (MINIONS!!), Wolverine, Kick-Ass 2 and of course, Monster's University:




Since my best friend is a Marine Biology student we couldn't pass up the opportunity to go to the Into The Deep festival at the Titanic Building. This was a pretty fun experience, we got a talk on the marine life of N.Ireland and then got to see live cams from a ship that's out doing work on shipwrecks on the Gulf of Mexico and talked to one of the crew members on board. We then played some games involving, making plasticine boats and making sure they didn't sink and trying to dig things out of the bottom of the ocean using hand-made tools, aka a spoon and a stick.This made for some pretty amusing experiences:


This was our boat, trawler and spoon which was our digging tool haha.

I'm nearly done, but of course, if you have a caravan up on the North Coast, you can't not visit it when you have some time off, just to get away and also because it feels like home for me, having lived there for University. We literally spent a day there, watching movies, waiting up to see the Perseids and just chilling the hell out. We also took a trip to Barry's Amusements, which in all the 3years we'd been students there, we hadn't managed to do. Jesse won me this insane looking octopus, which now has pride of place in my car! We also ate ice-cream from Roughans on the Portstewart Promenade which has of course, some spectacular views! Or an excuse for me to try the panorama on my phone.




And last, but not least, you can't be me and not do something relatively crazy on your summer holidays, except my kinda crazy involves pain and ink.




The weapon we have is love.

It's a quote from the wizard rock band Harry and the Potters and their song The Weapon. So it's a roundabout homage to the Harry Potter series and also a quote that's a bit of wisdom or something.

So there you have it. 2 weeks in the life. Now I've to go back and work my ass off because September is full of car tax and birthdays. What fun.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer.
Sami
xo

Friday, 21 June 2013

My Top Places to Shop, on the Cheap!

Hey Readers!
I was recently asked to make a list of the cheapest places to shop online and I thought that this was a good idea and that I would share it with you and maybe you could also inform me of some I don't manage to list here. So onto the list, click the titles to go to each website :)

Automatically the first site I think of when you ask me the cheapest place to shop:

1. George at Asda
I know Asda is generally thought of as a supermarket, but it is technically run by Walmart and its full of wonders. I know lots of people who love shopping at Walmart, even if it's just for the basics. So it's an automatic yes for me, George at Asda is brilliant for cheap clothing. Sometimes cheap equals really bad designs and quality, but Asda manages to surpass this, it's always full of lovely designs and their jeans have lasted me longer than some other ones from the high street and they were cheaper too! Here's some of my favourite pieces at the moment!




George at Asda

George at Asda by paperdoll-x on Polyvore

2. Ebay
Ebay is everybody's favourite bargain hunting website. Often if I can't find something I really like in my size in a store, I'll trawl ebay for a few hours afterwards to see if I can find it. Also, they do absolutely everything from fashion to perfume to make up to jewellery. The fact that you can order things from halfway across the world is also what's great about Ebay because you find gems that no one else will have so you can make your own style and it still costs what you'd pay on the high street. Ebay rocks! Here are a few things on my ebay watch list:



ebay gems

ebay gems by paperdoll-x on Polyvore

Internacionale is one of my favourite high street stores because it just is so cheap but also totally with fashion and trends. There never used to be a decent one in Belfast and when I was University there was such a good store which had the whole top floor as a sale floor, which came in handy being a broke student! I've gotten so many cute dresses from Internacionale for going out as well and their jewellery is usually on 3 for 2 offers and is so cheap. Here are some of my fav items from their website at the moment:



internationacle

internationacle by paperdoll-x on Polyvore

Okay so Etsy isn't always cheap because most of the items on it are hand-made, but I think it deserves to be on this list because it's unique in it's own right and if you look hard enough or buy in bulk then you'll get a decent price. Etsy is brilliant for finding items based on your favourite fandom, from harry potter necklaces to doctor who phonecovers and game of thrones tshirts and artifacts! I mean you can get your own time-turner, how cool is that! I also included here one of my favourite bloggers etsy, tinytangerines, she makes really cool hair bows and hair clips! So check that out too :)


Etsy

Etsy by paperdoll-x on Polyvore

So I know you asked for fashion, but with fashion comes Beauty and you need somewhere to get cheap beauty fixes and I have the answer! Cheapsmells.com is brilliant, it has perfume, aftershave and even make-up so you can't go wrong. I have bought perfume from here that's like £40 on the high street for £12, complete and utter bargain. Its also categorised for you by brand name so you don't have to spend hours trawling through the pages of stuff. I'm so happy I found this website, I don't think I could live without it now!




cheap smells

cheap smells by paperdoll-x on Polyvore

So there you have it, my favourite cheap places to shop. Of course there are plenty of others like, Matalan, H&M, New Look and other supermarket clothing aisles. To get the best deal you need to shop around but us being girls, not all of us have the time or patience, so that's why we have websites like this for us. Though shopping around online is much much easier than running back and forth, so I suggest you look online first! I hope you enjoyed this list and if you have any other similar websites, do let me know in the comments, I'm always looking for a bargain!!

Until next time,
Sami

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sami & Albuferia

So in my last post, I informed you of my last minute holiday to Albuferia, Algarve, Portugal. I had such a good time guys, I totally didn't want to come back! It was nice to get away and relax in the sun for a while. I didn't get much of a tan, think I took too high a factor of suncream considering it was low season and while the temps were 28, a factor 20 might have got me a bit more sun.

So I just wanted to write a wee post and share some pictures to tell you about my time in Portugal and why you should give it a visit.


This was the hotel we stayed at called the Natura Algarve Club, it was so quiet at that time of year and one of the days we had entire pool to ourselves which was brilliant. We had a really big room with a massive balcony and the staff were lovely. I really recommend it!


The beach was lovely, this was a small one called Praia da Oura but there was a big one in the old town with sun loungers and umbrellas and stuff to rent which was also lovely.


We did the Albuferia Bar Crawl on the Tuesday night we were there and it was so much fun! We paid 20 Euros and got a free shot in every bar, plus a free cocktail on arrival and free entrance into the nightclub called Heaven (which opened at 3am might I add) which is normally 10Euros! This is how the night started, with a very nice Strawberry Daquiri, I then had a cocktail plus a free shot in every bar and ended up very drunk, danced all night and rolled back to the hotel at 5am. So that was fun, I highly recommend it!


This quirky American Diner was just up from our hotel and I had read good reviews about it so we decided to try it out one night and it was so good. We had lovely fresh big milkshakes and big juicy burgers and the staff were so friendly and chatting away with us and it was quite late when we ate but they didn't mind at all!


This is the Old Town which was lovely and the beach was much nicer there than the one in the new town, much bigger, we did a little bit of shopping here and had lunch and it was sort of cheaper than the Strip but it was full of these wee bugs that kept crawling all over us and making our skin crawl so we only stayed until the early afternoon and then returned to the Strip to finish our shopping. All the shops were very similar though but just varied in their prices.


On the last day I wore this beautiful Curvissa dress I won in a twitter competition, I had never had a chance to wear it before so thought Portugal was the perfect place. I'm going to write a review on it hopefully in my next blog!

All in all, I had a wonderful time and would love to go back some day but I have so many other places I want to explore first! But I highly recommend a visit to the Algarve if you get the chance. Also, I booked with Travelrepublic.co.uk and had absolutely no hassle whatsoever which was awesome as I had heard some bad reviews previously.

Anyway, it's late and I'm tired so I'm going to go chill and then go to bed.

Until next time,
Sami

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Holiday Edition

Hello Lovelies!

This post comes to you inspired by my recent booking of a holiday in the sun for next week, I'm excited to just go chill out by the pool and have a nice cocktail in the evening. Of course, holiday means that you're entitled to shop for that perfect beach/poolside look! So here are my top picks!

The first set comes to you from Matalan! After my last rant about jeans and when I ordered some from Matalan they were perfect so I've kinda fallen in love with this shop and for summer, they are definitely doing it right! Have a looksie:

Matalan Summer Range


I love all of these items but the Floral Smock Dress is my favourite, it'd be so nice to throw over your swimsuit and wander down to the pool and it could go from day to night, a nice pair of sandals to match or a pair of small kitten heels and some jewellery and you'd be ready for the cocktail bar! I also love the duffel bag, it'd be perfect for the beach, big enough to take everything you need and small enough so you don't pack the kitchen sink! The Kaftan is also the perfect cover  up for running into the shop after a dip in the pool and the best thing is, all of these things come in various colours, I've just picked my favourites! Everything is so cheap as well! Matalan definitely have it right this summer. I'm definitely hitting my nearest store as soon as I can!

The next set I have actually comes from George at Asda, who also are doing it right. I loved a lot of their winter items too, a nice half heart jumper and I did even get some lovely jeans from there! Here are my top picks from asda:

Asda


G21 Marl Dress - £10.00
Dip Dye Vest - £8.00

The swimsuit is definitely the stand out item here for me. They have a range of swimwear with various prints on it this year, including my favourite of places, New York! But I'm determined not to buy a new one because I've barely worn the one I do own. I'm also in love with the Khaki Playsuit, it'd be lovely with a pair of sandals for a cool night walk along the beach. Again, the dress comes in several colours and could go from day to night, thus minimising you're packing! I think the dip dye vest would be lovely with a pair of khaki ankle grazer jeans, again perfect for the cooler evenings. 

I have found more on Matalan and Asda than I have on my two favourite stores which is suprising, but then they might be waiting until it's really summer to release their big summer items. However, Matalan and Asda suit my needs, I need only a few things and the cheaper the better.

Of course, I can't post about summer without posting about Sunscreen and how important it is: 

WEAR SUNSCREEN GUYS, IT'S IMPORTANT!

I'm not planning on taking much make up with me, probably just my Benefit Fake-Up and Hello Flawless powder and some mascara. Foundation will just melt off in the heat and I'll only need some for night times in the bar :). I'm also taking some SPF30/50, probably both since I'm so pasty. I'm also planning on painting my nails before I go a bit like this:


Every nail a different summery colour, I think it looks really cool and then you don't really have to worry about it matching your outfit! Even the thought of the sunshine is making me happy so I'm off to stalk more online shops before heading out tomorrow. Oh and just to make you jealous, I'm going to share a picture of where I'm staying:


That's all for now and don't forget if you're going anywhere, WEAR SUNSCREEN!



Full of useful advice :)