31 July, 2013

Snapshots of July

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These are some of my favourites of the photos that I've taken this month but, somehow, they were all just a bit too miscellaneous to warrant their own blog posts. I still wanted to share them with you though so here they are, little snapshots into my life this month.

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A Red Dragon cocktail at Royal China in DIFC.

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Sandy toes and wonderful company - Kite beach Jumeirah.

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Vibrant little flowers that were just calling out to be photographed!

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Cookie mix in a jar! They sell these at Pantry Cafe and how could I resist?

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My latest skincare purchase from One Love Organics. All-natural goodness that feels utterly delicious on your skin.

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And, finally, meet Soda. She loves tanning with me by the pool but is probably the most camera-shy dog in the world so, unfortunately, she'll be no match for the limelight-loving Custard and Roger!

26 July, 2013

The day I succumbed to the scrunchie

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Dress: H&M (still in stock in Dubai stores, similar online from Just Female 12), Flatforms: KG Kurt Geiger (customised), Leather backpack: similar from Topshop, Scrunchie: similar from Urban Outfitters.

Frizzy hair and sweaty upper lip... it's a good look right? Oh well, at least it sets me apart from the swarm of flawless, designer-clad fashun bloggers out there, not a hair out of place or a glisten of perspiration to be seen. But hey, lets "get real" and throw some high-street and humidity into the mix!

I bought this shirt dress last week and have received so many compliments on it since; you know you've made a good buy when you want to wear the item the very next day, and night, and the day after that! I do feel like the print is a little reminiscent of Cruella Deville, but that's alright, I can deal with it. The backpack is also a new favourite, bought in a little leather shop in Copenhagen, and complemented by my trusty new flatforms and a 90s-inspired leather scrunchie. Are you for or against the scrunchie's comeback? 

24 July, 2013

Grazia Middle East - Local Look We Love

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Go out, buy Grazia's latest issue, flick to the back, and you'll see yours truly smiling back at you from their "Local Look We Love" feature! I had the shoot a little while ago and I just remember it being very hot and windy, so it's a pleasant surprise to see that the photo that they picked is relatively ok; no beads of sweat visible at least. What they wrote is so sweet as well, isn't it?

Thank you Grazia Middle East, and especially Gemma, you're too lovely!

Here are the links to what I'm wearing...
Crop topRiver IslandLeather skirt: vintage (similar at Whistles and Elvira Vintage), Denim jacket: vintage (similar at Urban Outfitters), Perspex clutchZaraHeelsGlamorous.

21 July, 2013

Summer sandals

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At the risk of sounding like Gok Wan, isn't the high street fabulous! I have to admit that I actually prefer the cheaper option of all of these sandals bar one (no high street store has yet topped the beautiful Isabel Marants), which is very convenient, given that it's the end of the month and my bank account is looking seriously sorry for itself!

As you can tell, my footwear theme for the summer is "chunky and strappy". These flatforms from KG Kurt Geiger are my latest purchase and I can't get enough of them. I like to think that they're work appropriate, they're probably not for most professions but I'm taking full advantage and have rocked them day-to-night. Is any one else also seriously coveting a pair of Juju jelly shoes, possibly the transparent glittery ones, just for the novelty and nostalgia?

So, which shoes are going to be creeping into your #fromwhereistand Instagrams this summer?

15 July, 2013

An optimistic sunset

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Shorts - Monki
Top - Cotton On
Shoes - Topshop (sold out, but similar here and here)
Bag - Zara
Sunglasses - Monki
Floral crown - DIY

Dubai isn't very pleasant at this time of year. The heat is almost suffocating (think sunglasses fogging up from the humidity and steering wheels that are too hot to touch) so, unsurprisingly, many of the city's residents flit off on vacation to less scorching climates. Meanwhile, the rest of us are left in this ghost town, enviously flicking through photos of our friends and family enjoying the "freak heatwave" in London or the "summer storms" in New York, which, really, look positively glorious in comparison. 

The only thing to be done is see the summer through and focus on some of the good things that come along with it. Empty shopping malls; a chance to detox; the amusement provided by bewildered men trawling the supermarkets, left to fend by themselves by their holiday-ing wives. 

Not to be forgotten on my list of "happy thoughts", though, are Ramadan hours. Most companies reduce their working day by at least two hours, which, for those of us who aren't fasting, are an absolute treat. Two extra hours in the day be productive, exercise... or simply go to the beach and watch the sunset! And, just like that, things don't seem so bad anymore.

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12 July, 2013

DIY cut-out boots

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We've all seen and lusted over the Balenciaga and Alexander Wang cut-out boots, and numerous lookalikes have hit the high street since, but I thought why not create my own DIY version. I intended to make them for my London trip but didn't get round to it so, instead, I took them to Scandinavia with me and wore them non-stop (see the outfit posts here).

Here's how I did it...

I bought some chelsea boots with a strap around the ankle.

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I cut out the elastic with a sharp pair of scissors.

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And that was pretty much it! How much easier can it get.

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Except, I wanted to toughen them up a bit and add the hardware element that the Balenciaga buckles provide.

So I bought some chunky gold chain (was really looking for dark silver but couldn't find any, so I'm still on the hunt) and used some pliers to shorten it into two pieces of equal length. 
I also bought two clasps and attached them to one end of each piece of chain.

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I replaced the black ankle strap with the chain and voila, my chain cut-out boots were ready to go! I love that I can swap the straps interchangeably, depending on what my outfit is. 

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If I was in a cooler country I would totally be wearing these throughout the summer, to complement cute dresses, but sadly I don't think they're realistic footwear for the 50'C heat in Dubai. Oh well, they'll just have to stay sitting in my cupboard until my next escapade to cooler climes!

08 July, 2013

Kødbyens Fiskebar

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For our very last night in Copenhagen, and the last day of our trip together, Paisley and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal, deliberately ignoring the fact that we were already way over our holiday budget! There is no short supply of incredible restaurants in in Danish capital - it even boasts Noma, the thrice-voted best restaurant in the world, which has a three month waiting list - but we settled on Kødbyens Fiskebar. It was a no brainer really: they serve seafood, have received rave reviews left right and center, and are located in the uber-cool Vesterbro Meatpacking district!

First thing's first, though, our outfits, which were largely composed of newly purchased items from the Scandinavian high street...

Paisley wore: Monki midi dress& Other Stories bag and Vans - an all-new outfit!
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I wore: Monki gold trousers, & Other Stories wedge heelsBershka blazer, vintage bag, Casio watch, DIY spiked bracelet and a snake bracelet from a Copenhagen market.
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And now onto the divine food (see menu), served in this edgy and understated restaurant...

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We started with the best cocktails I have ever tasted (no exaggeration) and then ordered two starters: a selection oysters and a raw brill dish, served with shrimps, seaweed and green tomatoes - unbelievably fresh.

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Next up: a "medium course" of blue mussels steamed in apple cider and herbs... yes, it did taste as good as it sounds!

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And then, finally, our main courses. We ordered the hake, fried in seaweed butter, served with green asparagus, cucumber  horseradish and Spanish chervil and then, despite this being a seafood restaurant, we just couldn't resist the ribeye steak, served with onions and red wine. These dishes were accompanied by a bowl of adorable new Danish potatoes, so small and covered in green onion cress that we almost mistook them for olives! At the time, I honestly couldn't decide which dish I liked the best, but since then, I've had serious cravings for the steak and the mussels... oh and the brill... oh I still don't know!

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Before we arrived at Fiskebaren, Paisley and I had been fantasising about the cheese platter we would surely order but, to our dismay, by the end of our main course we were just so stuffed we couldn't face the thought of it anymore. Sweet food must fill a separate stomach, though, as we easily found space for a delicious pear crumble with pear meringue, sherry vinegar, ice-cream and cherry beetroot gel. Sounds strange right? But, oh, does it work well.

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Not quite willing to call it a night just yet, we ordered a couple of espresso martinis, watched a dramatic sunset over the industrial landscape of the meatpacking district, carried on chatting and were practically the last to leave. 

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Sensational food and the best company; a perfect evening. 

I'll be back one day Copenhagen, I promise!