31 May, 2013

Happy and healthy in a midi dress

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Seeing as my body has successfully fought away that evil bug, I decided to treat it with a healthy lunch at Pantry Cafe (post on that coming soon) and a pretty midi dress to flounce around in. Flouncing is always the best way to celebrate after all.

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Dress - GAP (was a gift and can't find it online but if in doubt always head to ASOS. Similar one here, but my favourite of their midi's at the moment is this lovely item).
Bag - vintage (from The Bridge)
Belt - vintage
Sandals - Topshop
Hair tie (just visible) - DIY

28 May, 2013

Bed bound

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This has been my immovable position for the last two days. There's nothing quite like being ill and festering in bed to remind you how much you take being healthy for granted. I can't even remember what it feels like to feel well right now!

My melodrama is probably due to the fact that I'm hardly ever sick so, when I am, I just don't know how to deal with it. I've self-diagnosed myself with a bad case of "man flu", but I'll be back to blogging about fun and happy things as soon as I can move more than three steps away from my bedroom. Until then, I'll just be here, wearing floral socks and feeling sorry for myself. Enjoy the world outside my window, all of you healthy people.

27 May, 2013

Double denim at dusk

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There's just something so pleasing about two denims working together, isn't there? I saw these two items sitting side by side in a pile of clean washing, threw them and some converse on, then stacked up the gold accessories... ready for the day! On a side note, guys that can pull off double denim instantly move a notch up in my estimation so, go on boys, give it a go. 

Everyone should be careful about the number and shades of denim pieces that they pair together, though, as there is the potential for a Britney and Justin circa 2001 denim disaster! 

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Just a quick word about these Topshop "Jamie" jeans: they're such a great fit - skinny and ankle grazing, yes please - and used to be my favourites (I bought them in 3 different colours), that is, until Topshop released their "Joni" version. If you've ever tried on or bought the wonderful American Apparel Easy Jean, you'll realise that the Joni's are a very similar, except for for the fact that they cost about half the price, so yalla go buy them now!

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⌃⌃Remember the heels that I posted about last week? This is the white pair's blog-debut⌃⌃

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Shirt - Forever 21, similar here
Shoes - Converse
Heels - Glamorous
Necklace - River Island
Spiked bracelets - DIY, see tutorial here

26 May, 2013

DIY spiked bracelet and hair tie

As I'm sure you've all noticed, there's currently an influx of spiked accessories in every high street store. In particular, spiked bracelets seem to be everywhere - see Topshop,  ASOS and Forever21. Why spend 50dhs (£9) on a single bracelet though, when you can easily make your own! I recently bought an assortment of metal spikes (the same ones that I've used in previous DIY projects) and executed this simple DIY version...

You can also use these bracelets as hair ties, instantly upgrading a simple ponytail or bun with a little bit of edgy glam.

So, there you have it... multi-functional spiked bracelets. I also want to find some skull beads and rhinestones to throw into the mix, just to amp up the kitch-punk look even more!

23 May, 2013

Paul Mitchell spray wax {Product review}

My mum bought this product a couple of years ago and, as daughters do, I "borrowed" it to try it out. As you can probably guess, she never got it back. 

I usually use it once my hair is styled - either curly or straight - and, unlike normal hairspray, it leaves my hair with natural movement and texture, whilst still holding it's shape. I really hate the stiff crispiness that you sometimes get with hairspray so this is a great alternative. Also, if you have fine hair like me, this product is wonderful because it instantly gives your hair some much-needed volume, especially if you turn your head upside down and spray the roots underneath (try it, trust me!). 

I also use this spray wax when I've just washed my hair and want to put it into an up-do. I don't know about you, but my hair is the least well-behaved when it's just washed; it's too clean and smooth and just slips out of any clips or ties. A spritz of dry shampoo at the roots is my go-to product to get a bit of lift and make my clean hair "stick" better, but I often get annoyed at it's powdery-ness. So, instead, I'll mist my hair with Paul Mitchell's spray wax and it gives me the almost dirty texture needed to create a good up-do.

Just be careful not to get carried away, too much spray and your hair will be weighed down and greasy. Only a gentle all-over spritz is needed and you're good to go!

22 May, 2013

DIY macramé lace bracelets

Last week, in my search for some other DIY materials at FIDA, I spotted some rolls of brightly coloured macramé lace. They instantly reminded me of Crucciani bracelets so I bought half a yard of each colour and decided to make my own version.

It was so super simple it almost doesn't qualify as a DIY!

I've been wearing one or two of these bracelets every day this week, colour coordinating them with each outfit. I've had a lot of compliments on them some friends have even asked me to make them one - I feel like I'm back in primary school, making friendship bracelets!

COMING SOON: DIY spiked bracelet (shown in photo above) and hair tie.

20 May, 2013

Buckled block heel sandals {Today, tomorrow, one day}

If you know me well or have been reading my blog for a while, you've probably realised that I'm quite the bargain hunter. If I could afford it, I would totally go for the high-end version every time but, as a recent grad, I'm driven to find better value options. I'm a firm believer that you don't need to spend a fortune to look fabulous, it's how you put an outfit together that makes you fashionable. And on the flip side, just think about how many people (especially in Dubai) buy the most expensive designer clothing but wear it all wrong and end up looking horrendous. Fashion is much more of an even playing ground than we think.

So, case in point, just because my student lifestyle wouldn't allow me to purchase these gorgeous Givenchy chunky heels last summer (they were over $900 originally but are now available for $455 on yoox.com), it doesn't mean that I can't still rock the look. The great thing about fashion is that it inevitably trickles downstream from catwalk to high street; numerous similar styles are now banging around on the web and in the malls. Tough gladiator sandals (both heeled and flat) should form an essential part of your SS'13 wardrobe so get out there and start looking for your perfect pair, you're honestly spoilt for choice.

These beauties from Whistles are a relative bargain in themselves but, at an even better price, the pair from Glamorous were too hard to resist. I initially spotted them in an outfit post on Amybell the Magpie and I think I have to agree with her: they are absolute game-changers. I bought them in both black and white and can't image wearing any outfit without them in the near future! Dubai shoppers are in luck, too, because international shipping costs only a meagre £1.99 and my order arrived in 15 days (not bad, quicker than ASOS!). 

So, what I'm trying to say is, be prepared to see a lot of them in upcoming outfit posts!

UPDATE: River Island also have a couple of very similar pairs... see here and here (sold out in black online but still available in store in Dubai).

18 May, 2013

Birthday brunch {The MED, Media One hotel, Dubai Media City)

Having not had a birthday in Dubai for the last three years, I was slightly lost when thinking of how to celebrate it. Did I want a small dinner or a big night out... or both, or neither? It probably didn't help that I am the most indecisive person in the world, especially in insignificant matters. In the end my girl friends made my mind up for me and we decided to do everything, adding up to 4 events in total!

1. Thursday lunch at Urban cafe in Dubai Media City with my wonderful colleagues
2. Evening drinks at the ever-glamorous Calabar in The Address Downtown
3. Boozy Friday brunch at The MED, Media One hotel
4. Partying at Blue Marlin beach club, straight after brunch

The good thing about having a few occasions planned was that I was able to fit in different friend groups, as there was something for everyone to enjoy. I took my camera to brunch, so here are a few snaps of our fabulous time there...

I've been to a fair few Friday brunches in my 18 years here (its a phenomenon wholly ingrained in Dubai expat culture) and would definitely recommend this one. We chose The MED because it's  mid-range in price at 340dhs (£61) each, for all-you-can-eat-and-drink, relative to the low-end Double Decker and high-end Al Qasr.

It's advertised as Mediterranean themed but to be honest they seemed to serve a selection of everything from king prawns, to sushi, to beef wellington and even pizza and popcorn. The cheese selection isn't as extensive as at Bubbalicious brunch, but it was totally satisfactory for us. The mojitos were also a great highlight! 

Aside from the food and drink, there is a really great atmosphere at The MED, minus the slightly strange acrobatic acts smattered in throughout the afternoon! They also ran a raffle and my friend Lorna ended up winning a ridiculous prize - a pink Hummer limousine, with champagne included, for her and 10 friends to enjoy next ladies night! Now that's going to be a hilarious experience.

I wore a green dress from Mango (self-customised with gold studded details)

At 4pm the brunch ends but, instead of kicking you out, the staff give you a voucher for a free drink and redirect you outside to the pool bar on the deck, which is a really lovely place to chill and steady yourself. However, for us, the debauchery was only just beginning and we rushed off to Blue Marlin. If you can't do it on your birthday when can you, right?

And lastly, these are the gorgeous white roses and Kate Spade bangles that my friends bought for me, what babes. 

So there you have it! What a wonderful weekend. I loved every minute of it but, I have to say, I'm quite glad it's over and I can finally get a good night's sleep! Conclusion made, though: Dubai is a spectacular place to celebrate your birthday in an over-the-top, spectacular manner! Well, naturally.

15 May, 2013

Yet another brightly coloured maxi skirt

On Saturday it was yellow, today it's blue. I seem to be working my way through the primary colours in maxi skirts! 

I had to go to a conference for work today, but I didn't feel like dressing up all stuffy and business-like. So I didn't. I guess that's the good thing about working in the marketing industry, though, you can kind of wear whatever you like. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Cream silk shirt - similar from Topshop and Massimo Dutti
Blue silk skirt - similar from ZARA and American Vintage
Ballerina flats - similar from ZARA and River Island
Aviator sunglasses - similar from Ray-Ban, Cheap Monday and ASOS

13 May, 2013

Chanel Little Black Jacket exhibition in Dubai

Last Saturday, after getting my hair chopped, Alexa and I headed to Downtown Dubai to visit the Chanel Little Black Jacket exhibition. But not before a bite to eat at The Pavillion...

If bags could be best friends... these two would be perfect for each other! 
Alexa's neon Cambridge satchel, my cheeky studded find from a little shop in Satwa.

The Pavilion is possibly the most hipster venue that Dubai has to offer, except its still been glossed over with that Dubai classiness. Essentially it is a restaurant, a workspace and an art gallery all rolled into one. When I was back in Dubai on holidays from uni, I often used to bring my laptop down to The Pavilion  settle myself on one of their wooden benches, order a smoothie and attempt to do a couple of hours of essay-writing. Admittedly, as with everywhere in Dubai, it's popularity can be partly attributed to it being a fashionable place to be seen (in real-life or, preferably, on Instagram). However, in the past year or so they have seriously upped their menu and I now would legitimately  go there for the food alone.

We sat outside (May is probably the last month that it'll be possible to do this, before summer properly hits), Alexa ordered a mango-based fresh juice and the spicy chicken wrap, whilst I went for the passion fruit cooler and salmon on gluten-free bread, with a side of rocket (not a very photogenic dish but it was delicious)! 

Eventually we headed off to find the exhibition...

I had high expectations for this show, after hearing great things from friends in London and other bloggers, and I was absolutely not disappointed. Every single photograph was absolutely stunning, both as works of art and snapshots of individual idiosyncrasies. 

And lastly, here are the details of my outfit - wouldn't a Chanel little black jacket just complete it? If only...

Skirt - Splash (similar from ASOS)
Tshirt - ZARA
Necklace and sunglasses - H&M