Thursday, 18 May 2017

Travel: candy coated Shanklin

What's that saying? "If travel was free you'd never see me again." Last summer you saw Graham and I travel to Portugal and I thought it was about time I posted some (candy coated) snapshots from our trip to the Isle of Wight which occurred a few months later. We've frequented the island a few times now and always stay in Shanklin, a picturesque little place with lots of adorable shops, pubs, cafes, amusements and the promise of sandy beaches close by. We like a chilled out peaceful place when vacationing (we prefer countryside breaks and beach escapes to city life) so the IOW is ideal for us. Not gonna lie to ya, the candy coated colours in Shanklin make for a pastel pretty backdrop, and what blogger in their right mind doesn't want that when strolling along on vacay? THAT SWEETSHOP THO. I honestly fell in love. The perfect pink punchy hue, the beaut balloons. God, my heart. Isle of Sweets? Isle of Paradise I say.
One of Shankin's most loved sweet shops, The Rock shop, is one of our favourite haunts. It takes me back to being a kid too, when I used to go on family holidays to the IOW with my mum + dad. Last year I picked up a stack of retro sweet bracelets which have come in handy to rock as chokers; the perfect ironic 90s accessory when shooting a candylicious look for Instagram. Who says candy is for eating? So 1989 darling (hair flick). The array of sweets inside are pretty impressive and the retro vibe certainly makes for the lack of Starbucks branches on the island (one, hear me cry!) Am I alone in thinking the decor looks good enough to eat? Because it truly does. And that's before you even get indoors.... 
We indulged in a slab of angel cake with cups of tea and hot chocolate at The Strawberry Thatch, a cutesy tea room brimming over with flowers surrounding their outdoor seats. We loved it so much that we ventured there several more times before we left the island. Armed with our reading material (Graham with his Marvel comics, me with my Adele Parks novel), we sat down and whiled away several hours in the sunshine. I've been trying to hunt down an angel cake slice that's as good as this ever since, but alas. 
One of the lovely things about Shanklin is that the shops often stay open a little later during the summer. After an evening game of mini golf or a majestic walk along The Chine, gift shops like Pencil Cottage are great to browse in. Pencil Cottage also had a tea room and gardens but we ran out of time to try out their range of tea and cakes. Because we are the cake connoisseurs to end all cake connoisseurs. 
Last but not least, The Old Thatch Teashop was somewhere we sought shelter in a few years back from torrential rain and for some lovely home cooked food. The eye catching old worldly theme was welcoming and after chatting to the owner we discovered he was from Rochester, the place Graham and I first met and had our first date at (and is fairly local to both of us). Obviously we didn't ask him what had attracted him to move so away from Kent in the first place (the pink sweet shop, what else?!) 

Have you ever been to the Isle of Wight?
What do you make of Shanklin? 


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Aquamarine dreams: celebrating 4 years of blogging

Calling all my fellow merbabes out from the transfixing tides! As always Motel Rocks have fulfilled the most mythical of mermaid fantasies with yet another stunning gem; this Motel Finn Dress in Aquatic Disc sequin had me safely to shore and chasing the most minty mojito. Much as I love the pink version of this dress, I can safely say that this aquamarine dream is the total equivalent of glittering gemstones crossed with sassy scales and it doesn't get better than DAT. As for the Skinnydip London rainbow cross body bag; what a slice of cloud nine. You've seen it before in this previous sugary sweet ootd post.
My new fashion icon has to be Graham's sweet niece Alice, the other day we asked her what she loved. Her reply? "Unicorns and rainbows and mingos and glitter". MY KIND OF GURL!!!! Just when you think she can't get more adorable, she also calls flamingos 'mingos' which I'm totally stealing and scribbling down. One for the dreamy dictionary, right?! The sunshine scorched when we shot this look, fortunately it was a lot hotter than it has been these past few weeks (sort it out weatherman, we're all waiting here). The cute kitty that has shown up for this previous merbabe shoot and this glitter infused shoot once again arrived as we were in the midst of taking these photos (will deffo post some photos on Twitter of him, he's an angel). He must enjoy mermaid/glittery sightings.

So i'm celebrating my blog's fourth birthday this Friday! Four years of blogging, woah. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I'm the same girl who could barely look in a mirror because of low self esteem. I never used to let myself wear dresses or skirts because of a lack of confidence, and it was only when I started dating Graham that I actually felt gorgeous for the first time in my (19) years. Talking of confidence, I have to mention my diamond hairdresser, Rosie, who helped me build long-lasting confidence and made me blonde (will forever be thankful to her for that). She really boosted me up in so many ways and in a future post I'll be opening up fully about gaining confidence and smashing down all my self-esteem. If you'd have told my 19 year old self that I'd be running my own fashion blog and posing in public for photos like these (wearing a dress like this) I never would have believed you. And that's what's amazing about life; we never know what we're capable of until we go ahead and slay. 

Despite a rollercoaster rush of confidence all those years ago, it's only these past few years that I feel like I've grown into myself. Finally after finding the blogosphere and writing my first novel, I feel like I'm on the right path. Both blogging and writing have transformed my life completely. Only two days ago I was talking to Graham, telling him how he really gave me the courage and freedom to not only love myself, but to unlock the courage to my dreams and destines, and discover what my true calling really is. People that really believe in you to the moon and back are where it's at, for damn sure. One day I hope my book lines the shelves, and it'll be the dedications to the people that have supported me most that I really want to see in print. Knowing I've gone from rock-bottom confidence to finding the courage to post pictures of myself for all to see and steer away from the norm to write a novel and chase my dreams, I reckon my 19 year old self would be pretty pleased. And as it's a celebration and all, I have to say I'm pretty damn proud of myself and the way things are turning out. 
Finn Dress in Aquatic Disc Sequin: Motel Rocks 
Rainbow cross body bag: Skinnydip London 

Thank you all for your continued support, you babes really are the best! 

Saturday, 8 April 2017

MOTO Topshop Floral Gemstone Mom Jeans + Honesty

Today marks the hottest day of the year so far in the UK, so posting a shoot we did in the snow feels kind of wrong (so wrong it's right). Maybe I'm slightly out of sync with the weather but out of sync with the summer? Never. Snow obviously gives any seasonal fashion blogger worth her salt the green light to rock a crop top and sandals, so we braved the snowflakes and surrendered on. These MOTO Topshop floral gemstone mom jeans dazzled amongst the frost as did the glacial glare from my beloved Temerity Jones disco ball. Regular readers will know I've got a love affair with the MOTO jeans that adorn Topshop's shelves; these MOTO sequin hayden jeans are still a firm favourite of mine. Can't wait to add a bit of glitz to a BBQ or hit the beach and sink some ice old beers (mojitos, more likely). The pop of emergency pink came in the form of this Motel halter neck fonda crop top in metallic sugar. Motel always sizzle, especially come summertime. Their retro/vintage/90s with a modern side order of slay never fails to leave me starstruck. Actually refraining from their 'new in' section right now for fear of bedazzlement. 

I've seen a lot of bloggers mention that they've lost motivation for blogging in recent times or are just bored altogether with the whole shebang and I definitely relate to that. The past few months I've struggled to gain enthusiasm for the blog even though this comes and goes in equal measures. "Does anyone really care about my blog?", "Am I good enough?", "Shit, I could be doing so much better, I should be doing so much better." Obviously most days I try and reverse these thoughts and put them straight in the brain blender but on really down days, the negativity can flood in and win. Much as I love the rise of social media it can be exhausting having to keep up with one of your main channels sometimes, let alone all the others whilst keeping a consistent blogging schedule (something I can't always upkeep, but, you know what? What works for me works for me and if that's not 24/7, it's not 24/7). I love blogging as a whole; the shoots, the ideas, the friendships, that moment when you hit publish and your heart rate soars and you feel proud. It just can't always be like that, right? 

I went through a tough time late February/March, my anxiety got so bad and I just wasn't coping at all. Luckily I've felt more positive this month and have been better in more ways than one. It might sound a bit corny but whenever I felt really low I'd picture being in a blissed out garden, freckles framing my face, clutching a load of sunflowers and just feeling and being pure happiness. (It's the hippy spirit in me). I think the weather has played a big part in feeling better too, SAD is a real bitch and plagues me during the winter. I've been out in the garden as much as I can, and I intend to do things like throw a small BBQ, attempt to make my own DIY hammock and of course get creative for the blog and the old Insta. The free spirited me is looking forward to summertime commencing at long last, and it really is the little things like reading a good book, smelling freshly mown grass and the promise of a poolside piña colada.....

Are you a fan of MOTO?
Can you relate to my blog related thoughts?
If so then what motivates you + your blog?

Crop top: Motel Rocks
Gemstone jeans: Topshop 
Hydrogen heels (black): Asos 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Spin off story: Blazing butterfly

There were balloons. It was someone’s birthday. I suppose it symbolised my escape. Pink and green and orange balloons, tied to the gate across the street. I always wondered who that someone was. Their birthday broke my bold. He couldn’t force me back through the front door, not with all the neighbours watching. There was a hush of shock and an urge of uproar. They all gazed at me; an agreeable angle of disgust. I looked down and saw my bloodied dress and the beads of glass shattered into my skin. Streaks of red racing down my forearms and the glaze of perfume, alcohol stings incessant. I forgot what usually happened was private, on the inside. That it was a shock to them was a shock for me. It was the norm. If only they could have seen it all, relived it all. This horror was only the one chapter. The very first. 
Turn left down the street. Wind up at Johnny’s family home. My bloodied predicament will send shock through his system. My brother will no longer be the wrench that’s ripped us apart and drenched us in denial; a jail cell of hell. Police will be called. There will be court cases and hearings and closure. Instead of the rhythmic road to recovery, shock will be soothed. Johnny and I will move in together, get married, life will be simple. I will never meet Jed, never fall in love with him, never set foot in Yorkshire. There will be no tattoo; no star inked. My inner wrist will be nothing but a road map of green and purple veins, a mystic map of skin. No blonde highlights, no butterflies. No Daisy, no Dougie. There will be no weddings to attend, no next door neighbours to loathe, no A&E late night confessionals. The little girl that haunts me in my sleep will be nothing but a faraway promise in an unknown land. The potion injected into someone else’s poison, noxious in a new nightmare, a dazed dream. Sometimes I wonder what he’d do if he knew the truth. I see her standing there and him, staring at me. Anger would alight his eyes like acid, betrayal blowing up on his faceI turn right. I run until my heart hammers to a beat that might just break. Away from him, away from the hell I call home. The houses no longer present broken bricks and moulding mortar but flower boxes emitting colourful harmonies. I jab at the doorbell. Then it all goes black. That’s all I can remember.
Yorkshire. Like a cascading waterfall turned off like a tap, like a rainbow soothed over the sky, my world went still. Quiet. The windows of my home with him were always rusted shut but now the breeze drifted through; a blissful remedy. I didn’t realise at first. Was too tired, too shook up from escaping to really realise where I’d found myself. But soon enough fresh air and flowers were all I could breathe. Smoke and oil, fire and fume were long gone. Sights stretched out before me, the air and space a million miles away from the trapped torture I’d been tied. I had to remember it wasn’t a fantasy. The happy. I’m not the kind of girl with the highlighted hair, the tattoos, riding on the back of a motorbike with the courage to turn corrosion into confidence. And yet…. Jed. He took me to a butterfly house. A thousand butterflies were released, soaring to sky; their wings like a blast of rainbow across the heated skies. Pink and orange fused together to rinse out the blazing air. Suddenly butterflies bore a blaze. They represented the freedom I’d fallen into. The flight I found myself gearing up towards and the trust my heart was unlocking at a million mph. He said he’d never hurt me and I suppose in a sense, he was right. Trouble is, I trusted him in every sense of the spectrum. Was it worth it? I suppose so, although....
If you asked me which of my ex-boyfriends I’d crawl under a car to avoid I’d definitely plump for Johnny. We have hurt and hammered into each other, we will always blame each other for my brother. I want to strangle him. Yet… we’re friends. We will always be friends. He makes me laugh even when I hate him for it. With Jed? It’s different. It was and it is serious. I don’t know if I like his being here, at the hospital. It’s a bit awkward, us all being here if I’m honest. Johnny and I aren’t talking and Jed and I haven’t talked for years and Johnny hates Jed and Jed probably hates Johnny by now (something to do with Johnny boasting and bragging and threatening and cursing no doubt, he can switch off the charm as quickly as he can switch it on) and they both want to gore out Terry’s guts and Dougie and Neil are being useless as always. Note to self, must survive if only to see the tosspot that broke Dougie's heart brought to justice and to have one last ditch attempt at making Neil laugh (the miserable bugger). And to tell Johnny to move his (alright I'll admit it, amazing) arse off the seat in my room and let someone else have a go at playing visitor. But seriously? I know when I wake up, if I wake up, they’ll all be wanting answers. But I’m out of answers. That box that Dougie has to hold has the answers. And in that box, that box with all the photos and diaries and pictures and documents, there’s a secret scorching through. A secret ready to blow us all apart. 


Read more about Shea:

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Spaceship sparkle

I was on a voyage to atlantis but the disc broke halfway through, I asked the driver to get the scratch off Go for Your Guns but he didn't have a clue. He told me don't be a pest, it's Kanye West or back down to Earth for you. Sometimes late at night I'd stare at the stars and listen to him and wonder. I'd like a shopping date in every different state, living in the fast lane without no visit from Major Payne. Would Martin and Gina have stayed together? Flashing Lights; Martin ain't nothing without Gina, I think you're right. Yet Charmaine and Lance stood no chance. A Different World spun them out. I had high hopes but they always choke and that's a damn low down dirty shame. Talking of Peaches, I'd like a housemate like Wayman, don't you know I'm his biggest fan? To read about UFOs and tabloid stuff although it's not 1994, not anymore, but you'd think it was round here. Amongst the stars all I have is VCR and a clapped out dream to beam. Poetic Justice. Sometimes I relate to Justice. You know that's my favourite movie? I could watch that on repeat and it wouldn't be a feat, just an over the moon attempt at longevity. 

Mind full of mojito we crashed down in the sand. I was promised the Bahamas so what the fuck was this pathetic excuse for land? I wasn't impressed but still I was dressed in sequins and glitter galore, so unzip the ship and let me down to wow the staring souls once more. Liquor and Poker and a whole load of swagger and I think I'm good to go. Shall I get a truckload of tattoos or dye my hair blue? Earth Girls Ain't Easy when it comes to making colourful conclusions. Hyped up on the cosmic trip of potions and lotions I made my trip back to the ship and it's time to take off once more. Refill the bar and tow back my pink car, I think I might visit again soon. For now the galaxy is galvanising and we can't be late, the aliens eagerly await. They've got the cocktails lined up, ain't that our luck. Now the stars dazzle and the soaring succeeds anything I've ever believed. Make sure the station is hooked up to a decent satellite so we can watch all our sitcoms and shows. The solar system scorches and the realisation torches so we can only glide into the glitter and rise above the stars. You can be whatever you believed, belief is all you need. 

Liquor & Poker mermaid mom jeans
WYLDR London sparkle top 
Asos Hydrogen glittery heels 


Monday, 13 March 2017

Off the shoulder vibes: pom pom dress

First it was my Liquor & Poker jeans and now pom pom fever is spreading with an off the shoulder dress. After a long obsession with black when I was younger, you rarely catch me in darker colours these days, hence this dress only caught my eye due to the colourful detailing of the pretty pom poms. I think they go pretty dreamily with the shades, all the colour poppin' cute that spring craves. Is it just me or do these Rad + Refined shades remind anyone else of the lights at a fairground? They're definitely best (alongside most of my outfits) surrounded by sequins and sunflowers
After a long overdrawn winter it's so lovely that spring is finally in full bloom. Without wanting to jinx things, the UK temps are soaring into (almost) 'let's sunbathe on the deck with several rounds of mojitos and piña coladas' territory and getting me thinking hard about various summer looks to prepare. It's going to be so nice to finally venture out into the garden amongst fresh flowers, the smells of freshly mown grass, the bubbling pond all the while stretching those summer deck chairs out. 
I can definitely see my off the shoulder collection of dresses and tops growing this summer, it's one trend I really love. Not only is it stylish and sexy for summer, it's also so comfy and easy to rock. This two tone contrast fedora hat makes for the perfect compromise when adding that bit of edge to an ootd. I felt like last summer I really found my style stakes so hopefully this one will be just as colourful as the last. 

Dress: c/o SheIn

Are you getting summer-ready yet? 
What's your favourite thing about spring?

Dress gifted to me, all opinions and views are my own

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Birthday bomb: Motel Rocks Hedi Dress

If it's pink, I'll take it. If it's got sequins I'll take it. And no doubt if it's from Motel Rocks I'll be sure to take the hell outta it too. This backless rose sequin Hedi mini dress from Motel Rocks  seemed like the perfect sequel to the previous Motel metallic rose dress I've rocked before on the blog. I know most fashion blogger gals can probably relate that if you like a dress enough, you damn well have to buy it in a similar style! That's the only problem with Motel, they keep launching and launching these tempting trends and well... my bank is going to go krupt. 90s vibes are a big deal and Motel Rocks seem to strike it right every time. I can't wait to wear this dress more in the hotter months. Although ridiculously unpractical (aren't all my clothes for the blog tho), I can definitely see it making waves at the beach. The bonus of course being that I won't have to freeze my a$$ off to wear it. 

No sunflowers featured in this shoot (unfortunately, dammit) but instead a shell shop backdrop to keep my sea-salt soul satisfied. I'd been enchanted by this aqua hued shell shop for a long while and wanted to make it my mission to shoot here at some point. After we shot this party NYE look, I knew I wanted to start getting more and more experimental with photoshoot backdrops, and so the idea for the shell shop came about. Hence our day out in Folkestone last week, and after Graham had kindly spoken to the owners and shown them my blog business card, they said they were more than happy for us to get some shots outside their gorgeous shop. I thought that was so kind, especially as they were re-stocking at the time. They said that we should come back in the summer when it's not so cold, and I'm definitely dreaming of that. You can't beat unique gift shops with friendly owners and of course, the pretty beach-y shopfront has my heart 100%. 

It's my birthday next Tuesday so Graham's sweetly taking me away tomorrow night and we're staying away for a couple of days which is just the loveliest, I can't wait! I also think this pink glitter affair is appropriate for a pre- bombin' birthday look; whatddya think? I'll be back mid next week and getting back in the groove of blog commenting which I've fallen so far behind on. Bring on the celebrations! 

Are you feeling Motel Rocks's stock?
What trends are you looking forward to for Spring?