A Place in My Heart

So everyone talks about post-holiday blues, but to be totally honest I have never really experienced them. That was until my trip to Europe. If you have read my last couple posts you would know that I have recently; although it feels like a lifetime ago; returned from an amazing whirlwind trip around Europe. I spent three glorious weeks indulging in amazing food, wine, culture, history, art and fashion. I have been on a few holidays in my 23 years but none that have even come close to what I experienced this time around. I guess that’s why I have felt the blues so hard this time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home and I missed all my family and friends, but I felt so lucky to be able to experience what I did when I was over there. One of the places that I not only loved but that completely shocked me was Amsterdam.

When Megan and I first began planning the trip, Amsterdam was thrown in as a bit of an afterthought. Sure I wanted to go there and experience the notorious night life but that was pretty much all I expected…..

Well didn’t I underestimate poor old Amsterdam and boy did she over deliver!

We spent the short 3 days that we had seeing as much as we could, including the Floating Flower Market full of amazing fresh blooms, the peaceful countryside that could calm you into an almost coma like state, a whole street lined with cheese shops (I was in heaven) and surprisingly chic and funky boutiques that I could have spent hours in.

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Amsterdam had never even been a blip on my radar and was just a place to visit on the way to Rome and Paris. But after being there and experiencing this amazingly beautiful place it now has its own little spot in my heart.

Ash

XX

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I Fell in Love

It has always been a dream of mine to live in London and a couple of months ago I finally got to visit this amazing, bustling city for myself. I adored the rich, vibrant culture full of food, fashion and art. A city with such life can almost be addictive and all I wanted was more. To see more, do more, eat more and shop more!

Apart from the beautiful old buildings, vibrant night life and inspiring street style, I fell in love with the beautiful city gardens. Londoner’s love enjoying their lunch breaks sitting outside in one of the many gardens scattered throughout the city. Especially on one of the rare sunny days that I was lucky enough to experience the whole five days we were there.

Along with the gardens I fell in love with the fantastic street art that we stumbled across in West End. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t agree with graffiti, but these amazing pieces are certainly not that. Often produced by local and international street artists these lively pieces are scattered throughout West End and other areas of the city and are such a pleasure to see up close.

London, whilst not my favourite place of everywhere we went (stay tuned for that post) was truly an amazing experience and I cannot wait to go back.

Until next time…

X

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Megan at the Royal Park in London

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Sorry….

So I feel like I need to start with a bit of an apology. I have been on the holiday of a life time which unfortunately didn’t leave me much time to write. But I’m back and now I can share my amazing adventures with all you wonderful people.

Starting in London my friend Megan and I made our way down to Rome stopping off in Paris, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Nice and Florence along the way. Since I have come home the first question people ask me is “which place did you like the most?” quickly followed with “did you buy a lot?”

Firstly, I found it pretty hard to settle on one favourite place. Everywhere we visited had more than one thing to love about it. London was fast paced, bustling and full of life. Paris was absolutely beautiful at night with amazing lights and unbelievable buildings. Amsterdam was quirky and vibrant and Switzerland was absolutely stunning with its snow topped mountains and glass like, pristine lakes. I couldn’t get over the amazing art in Florence with its amazing history and the stunningly beautiful pebble beaches of Nice. However, Rome was the one place that I truly fell in love with. The quaint cobble stoned streets lined with cafes, gelato shops, boutiques and restaurants was truly to die for. The history, and life of the city was mesmerising and I couldn’t get enough.

Now onto the shopping… Oh the shopping!

In answer to the second questions, yes I did buy a lot, or as much as the baggage restrictions allowed.

Each new place had a different look and feel when it came to fashion and style. In London preppy dressing and trainers were the go-to, where as in Paris chic looks and clean lines were the city staple. Amsterdam style took a more laid back approach with just-rolled-out-of-bed hair and boyfriend jeans while Nice was all about resort style, breezy aesthetics and light fabrics.

So, as much as I loved my trip and am already planning my next one there really is no place like home.

Below are just a few Insta snaps from the trip.

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Playing around in the airport….

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Nice Beach

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The Palais Garnier

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Amsterdam Canal

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The best Macaroons in Paris

 

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Amazing food in Rome

 

Until next week lovers…

XXX

Foodie Hot Spot: Enriques

Bold, vibrant, inviting and absolutely delicious. These are the words that I would use to describe Beaufort Streets buzzing little Spanish tapas hot spot, Enriques. I have wanted to check it out ever since I caught site of the quirky interior months ago and finally, last Friday I did.

Its buzzing vibe, great music, amazing service and tantalizing food have catapulted it to the top of my favourite foodie hot spots list. There are no cliché options on the menu and with a full list of Gin and Tonic options, it is a Gin and Tonic bar after all, Enriques is a refreshing change to your typical Spanish eatery.

Next time you’re in the area why not give it a try, I recommend the Ceviche and a glass of bubbles to go with it!

Ash

XX

Style Icon

Mimco has started a style icon competition through Instagram and it’s really got me thinking; who is my style icon? Who can I honestly say inspires how I present myself to the world?

Knowing your style icon first begins with knowing what your own style is. Are you eclectic, feminine, indie, masculine or classic? What style does my own look represent? Eventually, after some extremely deep soul searching and devouring a few fashion magazines I have come up with what is probably one of the most enlightened thoug   hts of my life to date. My style represents me…

So if this is the case, who exactly inspires me to be me? With that thought I have realised that it isn’t just one person but several throughout history that have given me my inspiration.

Jane Birkin

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Sexy, laid back cool with a carefree edge is exactly how I would describe this amazing chick. With her effortless bangs, distressed denim and even the basket used as a bag Jane truly knew how to pull off the cool girl vibe.

 

Audrey Hepburn

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I don’t think there is a girl out there who doesn’t admire Audrey Hepburn and for good reason. Her chic and sophisticated look has transcended through time remaining stylish even today. I often find myself thinking, what would Audrey wear? Clean cut lines, sharp tailoring with chic accents, are always a win.

 

Alexa Chung

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No one pulls off quirk quite like this girl and I love her for it. Her eclectic and fun looks always inspire and remind me not to take fashion too seriously. Alexa’s style encourages me to pair unexpected pieces with each other and to explore outside of my comfort zone.

 

James Dean

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There was something so alluring about his F U attitude and that translated into his style. I love his undone look and the way it just oozed confidence. His usual uniform of a white tee, cuffed jeans and a biker jacket have stood the test of time for both men and women, if that’s not a worthy of style icon status, show me what is!

Inspiration is everywhere; I not only get it from the icons above but also from colleagues, friends, movies, songs, paintings and even strangers on the street.

Who is your style icon?

Ash

XX

(Click on images for credits)

 

Challenge Yourself

Style is a form of self-expression. It’s how we show the world who we are, what we stand for and how we want others to perceive us. What we wear makes a statement to the world and the people we interact with. Are you strong and confident, feminine and kind or outrageous and creative? We can answer the questions of who we are just by the choices we make when getting dressed every day.

So, if our style is such a powerful tool, why is it that so many of us shy away from ourselves? How many women feel that they can only go shopping for outfits with a girlfriend in tow, available to pass judgment on every piece that enters the dressing room?

I know personally that it’s a trap that is very easy to fall into. My whole life I have admired and loved fashion. I would spend hours reading magazines, soaking up the beauty that covered every page. I adored bright, bold, quirky pieces that made an outfit unique. Unfortunately, my passion only extended to the contents of those magazines and it was almost like I had this hidden secret. The clothes that hung in my own wardrobe didn’t resemble the ones that I had circled and torn out of those magazines. They resembled what I believed everyone else would accept and like. I was a trend follower; a sheep. The originality that I adored was something that I just couldn’t find the courage to do for myself. Every time I got dressed the first thought that would enter my mind wasn’t, what do I want to wear today?, but, what will everyone else be wearing? My biggest fear was looking out of place and different. Which honestly, was ironic, considering I admired those who did.

It wasn’t until I left school that I began to develop my own style. I began to feel more adventurous and bought pieces that I found interesting and unique. I began to push away that worry of looking different and wore the pieces that I wanted to wear. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t going totally out there and really to anyone who didn’t know me very well, they probably didn’t notice any difference. It was how I felt about my clothes that really changed. I began to believe that I could be different. I could buy that leather jacket with a furry vest. I could wear vintage blouses, checked jeans and nana cardigans. I began to realise that fashion and style isn’t about trends, what’s hot and what all your friends are wearing. It’s not about choosing an outfit based on what you think others will wear. It’s about getting up, looking at your wardrobe and asking yourself, who do I want to be today?

I still sometimes find myself holding back and choosing a safer more commercial look. It’s those times that I have to remind myself that if I can’t be myself then how will others know me. It is this thought that has encouraged me to take on a challenge. I have decided that this is the year to push the boundaries and challenge my own style. I am going to step outside of my comfort zone and wear the pieces that I have always loved on others but never dared to wear myself. Below are just a few looks that I will be experimenting with this season.

Daytime Sparkle

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Brouges

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Tutu Skirt

 

 

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Patterned Pants

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Full Skirt

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Dungarees

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All Over Print

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Head to Toe Colour

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What challenge will you set yourself this season?

XX

Ash

 

12 Must Have Shoes

 

In my last post, I wrote about my love of shoes, and how after my first purchase of suede nude wedges I was hooked. Well I thought I would continue with the theme of footwear this week with a post about my top 12 styles that every woman should own. As I have said before, the right pair of shoes make you feel empowered, confident, beautiful and elegant. They can transform your everyday outfit from blah to BAM and will never make you feel fat or bloated like so many other items in your wardrobe have the ability to do.

I personally believe that a woman can never have too many shoes; however for those of you who aren’t as shoe crazed as me, here are just a few of the styles that I believe no woman should be without.

Over the Knee Flat Boots

By keeping your over the knee styles flat you look more cool than trashy. Pair these with tights and a funky shift or keep your legs bare and wear with an oversized knit for an off duty laid back look.

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http://www.tonybianco.com.au/harlei-44124.html

All Weather Boots

If you have ever been caught in a surprise rainstorm wearing suede or satin shoes you will know the importance of having all weather boots. These babies will be your go to kicks in winter and will save you a hell of a lot of heartache when that next thunderstorm appears. Steer clear of any styles that are made from high maintenance fabrics like suede or satin and ensure that they have sturdy soles.

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http://www.styletread.com.au/girton-black.html

Ankle Booties

I like suede styles as they look great with everything and I am not too fussed on shiny materials but whatever your taste some classic ankle boots are a must have for every wardrobe.

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http://www.rag-bone.com/Classic_Newbury__Black/pd/cl/16107/np/205/p/6452.html

Casual Sneakers

I never used to think of these as a wardrobe staple but over the past year I have come to include casual sneakers on my must have list. Whether you prefer some casual kicks like classic Chuck Taylors or something with a sportier edge like these, having some comfy casual shoes in your wardrobe is certainly a must.

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http://www.nikestore.com.au/616723-600

Ballet Flats

Who could resist the classic ballet pump, especially ones from Chanel. This modest style is simple and sophisticated with a chic edge. Even your most dishevelled boyfriend jeans will look polished when paired with ballet flats.

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http://www.chanel.com/en_AU/fashion/products/shoes/g/s.two-tone-iridescent-patent-calfskin.14P.G02819X01170C7014.cat.bal.html

Sandals

This season’s sandal takes it shape in the form of the iconic Birkenstock. This famed style has done a full 360 and is now back at the top of the must have list for fashionistas across the globe. The comfy construction mixed with its cool no fuss look makes it the perfect shoe for the weekend spent shopping, brunching and hanging with friends.

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http://www.birkenstock.com.au/product_details/arizona/314/women/0

Ankle Straps

Every girl needs some elegant heels with a petite ankle strap. Pair these with your little black dress for a night out on the town or with some cuffed boyfriend jeans and a white tee for dinner with the girls.

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http://www.tonybianco.com.au/categories/heels/aero.html

Stacked Heels

A pair of sturdy stacked heels are perfect for a big night out and can look super stylish paired with leather shorts and a boxy Tee. Every girl needs comfortable heels!

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http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/401562/Michael_Kors/carson-tri-tone-leather-sandals

Pointed Pump

A classic pointed pump will never be a waste in any girls shoe collection. Either stick to a classic plain colour or opt for a funky pattern like animal print. Either way this style is certainly a must have and will suit pretty much any occasion.

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http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/442020/Gianvito_Rossi/leopard-print-calf-hair-pumps

Strappy Heels

Sleek, sexy and strappy, these beauties are perfect for date night and special occasions. They can make you feel super confident, sophisticated and chic.

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http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/411622/Alaia/studded-lace-up-leather-sandals

Wedges

A pair of good wedges will take your from breakfast to the bar and beyond. Whether you plan to be on your feet wiggling your booty all night or spending all day shopping every girl should own at least one pair of wedges.

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http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/402904/Stella_McCartney/buckled-faux-leather-wedge-sandals

Wow Factors

Everyone needs a pair of shoes that gives every girl they meet shoe envy. They may not always be practical but you can be damn sure that you will love having them in your wardrobe!

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http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/423509/Aquazzura/saharienne-glossed-elaphe-sandals

 

So how many staples do you have in your shoedrobe?

XX

 

In HER Shoes

It started when I was in year 11; my obsession with shoes that is. The first pair I ever fell in love with were suede, nude wedges with chiffon strappy ribbons that you could tie up your leg, from ZU shoes. I loved the way they made me feal; elegant, expensive, sophisticated and most of all stylish. From the moment I put them on and witnessed what a great pair of shoes could do I was hooked and my shoedrobe began to grow. So you can imagine how happy I was to find In My Shoes, a memoir of one of the great God’s in shoe land; Tamara Mellon of Jimmy Choo.

Not only is Jimmy Choo an Iconic label which has been featured in movies such as The Devil Wears Prada; and the Sex and the City series, but the book also touches on the amazing world of Fashion as a business and everything that comes with it.

I am yet to finish reading it, but if the first couple of pages are anything to go by it’s going to be hard to put down.

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Stay tuned shoe lovers XX

Ash

Sunday Brunching

 

 

Brunch is pretty much the best meal of the day. And what better day to enjoy a lovely brunch than on a Sunday? Today Tom and I headed out to Little Guildford. A cute little place in the heart of Guildford. The mixture of old time rustic and modern décor along with absolutely amazing food has bumped it up to one of my top 5 Brunch locations.

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The weather today was a bit of a mix and pretty hard to dress for. I think I stood in my wardrobe staring blankly for about 15 minutes with no idea what to wear. Would I be too hot in stockings and boots or too cold if I didn’t rug up? In the end I opted for the ultimate skitzo weather combo. Cuffed black jeans, tan flatforms, a cropped white T and gold foil biker jacket. I was completely prepared if the sun made an appearance but ready for any cold gust of wind that blew my way.

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Happy Sunday Lovlies XX

 

(Jeans West Gold Biker Jacket, Miss Shop Crop T, Thrifted Necklace, Zu Shoulder Bag, Betts Flatforms, Target Cuffed Jeans, Tissot Watch, Market Ring)

What are your plans?

I am writing this as I sip an espresso and munch on a hot cross bun whilst sitting on the balcony at the holiday home where I am staying. This Long Weekend I am spending 4 glorious days at a beautiful holiday house by the ocean with my family. It will be a weekend full of fishing, eating, drinking, reading, relaxing and even more eating! I have needed a getaway like this for some time and I intend to make the most of it.

What are your plans this weekend?

If I wasn’t here looking out at the sea and enjoying the crisp ocean air I would want to be at one of these amazing places around the country.

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