John O’Groats

I love trains.  I really really do.  So, whilst I’m in my final ‘summer’ so to speak (although still working full time, as and when) I felt it was only necessary to take the train to John O’Groats.  As you do.  Snaps and stories.

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We took the sleeper train from London Euston up to Inverness.  This was my beaut of a berth.  If you haven’t been on a sleeper train, I’d really recommend it.  It’s so much fun toddling down to the dining carriage bar for a drink and to mingle with the other passengers.  (Note my left over gin and lemonade glass.)  It can be a bit hit and miss as to how well you actually sleep, but I find the swaying and to and froing really rather comforting.  Then waking up and finding out you’re in the middle of Scotland and that the London lights are 300 miles behind you, pretty breathtaking.

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We wandered around Inverness for a bit before catching our next train, from Inverness to Wick.  This was a 4 hour pretty bumpy ride through the Highlands but was absolutely beautiful.  I saw puffins, deer, even majestic stags and of course, lots and lots of sheep.  It was gorgeous.

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From Wick, we took another very bumpy bus up to John O’Groats (the most northern part of the UK) itself.  It was crazy, literally nothing there.  I felt extremely overwhelmed about how far north we were (which is weird, cause I’ve been to Australia heaps of times LITERALLY the other side of the world) but is was beautiful and desolate at the same time.  Excuse the pretty casual get up here.  (I’d spent upwards of 12 hours on trains).  But FYI my tee is ASOS, jeans are trusty BDG at Urban Outfitters favourites, socks are Topshop and sneakers are Vans.

After a twenty minute stroll around John O’Groats we got the same very bumpy bus back to our hotel in central Wick (located on the shortest street in the world, don’t you know).  After relaxing over a bottle of cava we headed down to a gorgeous dinner and some drinks in the bar, before collapsing into bed.

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After an early start, we got the same (bumpy) train from Wick down to Inverness where we spent the day strolling the Ness and the Isles of Ness, shopping and gorging on Pizza Express.  At 8pm we boarded the sleeper train to head back to London Euston where we arrived 12 hours later.

So that was it!  It was a beautiful trip and exactly the break I needed.  The Highlands were just gorgeous and I can now say I’ve been to the most northerly point in the UK!  Next, Landsend.

 

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Explanation Part 6

Who would have thought there would have been 6 occasions where I have a wee apology to you lovely readers for not posting?  Well, I certainly thought it might be the case.  For me, blogging is a hobby, its something I love doing; writing and creating (hopefully) exciting and intriguing posts for you all to read … but its certainly not my life.  Its not my life, its not my job, its just something I do.  Life is far bigger than this blog.

The first thing that happened is I went to Scotland.  Ohh yes, I popped on up to John O’Groates and it was wonderful.  And then when I got home full of inspiration and ideas, my internet decided to stop working .. for 12 days.  Terrific timing.  Anyway, since the internet has been back up and running I’ve just been so busy.  I’ve had a few London days out, headed to Royal Ascot, been to a Boat Party, had my bi-annual Dance Show … life has been pretty hectic.  Hopefully I can fill you all in on it over the coming weeks.

For now … fall in love with life, I dare you.

Fall in love.

Fall in love.

September Syndrome

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It’s currently 8.38am.  So far today I have had two mugs of coffee, washed up and have done a load of laundry.  Now I’m sitting watching Lorraine contemplating my day, and it’s not even 9am.

On Monday, I started my Masters course at University and Boyfriend started a new job.  We are well and truly in the swing of September Syndrome.  Granted, we’re a few weeks behind everyone else.  All the children ran back to school the first few days of September, us Uni students are just catching up.  But nevertheless, the stationary shops continue to plug ‘Back to College’ gear, everyone decides they need new commuting shoes and a new bag is just, well, essential.  I also find September the time of year where people, young or old, assess changes in their lives.  Maybe it’s the combination of coming home from a summer holiday, the evenings getting drastically shorter and the need to find your scarf but something changes and people become more ambitious, driven and contemplative about the future.  I know friends who are years from education who use September as a time to address that diet, consider that savings plan or change their hair.  I don’t know why it is, or what it is, but with the going back to education season, people seem to want to become brighter, want to become better.  Myself included.  It’s almost a mid-year revolution feeling if you like.

Are you suffering from September Syndrome?  Don’t feel bad, it’s a good thing!  Perhaps you’ll fall in love with life..?  I dare you.

Glamping

At the weekend, I went glamping.  Or rather, hashtag glamping as I feel it should be said.  Nestled deep in the depths of the Sussex countryside (we didn’t even find out the location until we booked) we went to EcoCampUK (http://www.ecocampuk.co.uk/), a completely off grid camspide where all we had to bring was food and bedding.  As a keen camper (every year since I was 9) this was an absolute walk in the park for me but for boyfriend, who hasn’t camped since Beavers, we decided on a glamping holiday to ease him into the outdoor lifestyle.

It was absolutely beautiful.  On the first night, giddy on love, laughter and too much wine we put our fire out and scuttled into the tent to play scrabble.  It was only hazily around 5am where I heard the pounding of rain on our bell tent I realised we had left ALL our firewood outside in the pouring rain.  The ultimate facepalm moment.  Undeterred, we just about managed to make a fire using the wood from the bottom of the bag and my ‘Ideal Home’ magazine (sob, hick, sob), but shortly after, packed it in and went to the pub.

We went for long country walks, read that book I’ve been meaning to for so long, had a digital detox, drank wine, mastered the game Triominos (it’s amazing!) and spent pure, quality time together as a couple where our only company was the distant mooing of cows (oh, and woodmice come sundown).  On our last night we had a lazy stroll around the adjacent farmyard field, looking up at the stars.  It always strikes me how incredibly bright, light, powerful and beautiful they are away from the hustle and bustle of the city suburbs.  My weekend was peaceful, contemplative and I’m home feeling utterly refreshed.

Beautiful Sussex Countryside

Beautiful Sussex Countryside

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Our Bell Tent

Woodland View

Woodland View

Countryside Canopy

Countryside Canopy

Fall in love with life, I dare you.

 

 

I’m Back!

Bella’s Back!  How are you guys?  Gosh, it feels like months, well, it has been months!  What have you all been up to?

In Bellaworld, I finished University with a 2:1, so really over the moon about that!  I’m so happy with my grade.  I worked so hard throughout University and especially in my Final Year (which correlated with lack of blog posts) so all the blood, sweat and tears felt worth it.  It’s also been quite emotional, leaving Uni.  Saying goodbye to all the friends I’ve lived with for nearly three years was tough.  I’ll still see them of course, but not every day, which will take some getting used to.  It does mean that when we do see each other, it will be more quality time which is important.

So a week after my last exam, Boyfriend and I did something really spontaneous … we booked a last minute trip to Australia!  I have lots of family over there who we surprised at a birthday party which went so well.  We hung out with family, ate too much, drank too much, acted like complete tourists and partied.  It was most probably the best holiday of my life. 

And a week after getting home from Australia, I’ve got a flat!  Which is also really exciting.

So bringing us to here.  I’ve got the summer ‘off’ now so to speak so expect many more posts coming your way regarding fashion, culture, travel, food, beauty and more.  See you soon!

 

Urban Outfitters Obsession

After a little break, blogging about other things and the like, I’m back on my personal Bella’s Bits challenge to do 14 posts I’ve assigned myself.  This is much easier now I have a stunning new camera, Brendan!  He’s gorgeous.  Blue and Canon like and ultimately stunning.  So here’s a teeny tiny peek into my winter wardrobe, Urban Outfitters style.  I’m well aware that the shots look like bad Ebay ones selling my clothes.  I’m still getting used to Brendan, lighting etc. and my bedroom at Uni is pretty dark.  Ah well, enough excuses!

My love for Urban Outfitters began when I was about 12/13 years old, WAY before it got popular.  About once a month all through school and college my Mum and I would pop up to Oxford Circus and trail around the flagship store for goodies.  My secret is to head to the sale, I don’t think I paid full price for any of these items.  I would say that well over a third of my wardrobe is U.O..  I don’t shop there as much anymore.  I don’t know if that’s because it’s become way more popular and I have the whole ‘don’t want to see anyone else wearing my stuff’ fear or just because I’ve grown up a bit.  When I say grown up a bit, I mean I don’t have the same desire I used to to buy, buy, buy.  I’m more than happy with what I’ve got and I think (at least I hope!) I have the creativity to make new looks with my existing clothes.  Anyway..!

Here goes:

 

Here are my beaut blue suede desert boots!  I love them to pieces and they’re SO comfy.  £20 down from £80 .. bargain!

More shoes!  Here are my, what I call, Victorian booties.  I’ve had these for about five years now and they’ve been sewn/stitched/reheeled/relaced more times that I care to believe.  These only really come out in the Winter and I can only really wear them with tights, cause they pinch a bit now due to all the reloving.  Still gorgeous though!

 

This is one of my most recent U.O. purchases.  A beaut of a cardigan I wear ALOT.  It’s huge but so versatile cause it can be just a cardy or act as a giant jumper.  Love.

 

Here are some dugarees I got in the vintage section of U.O. a few years ago, before they started to reform absolutely everything by adding studs or patchworks (I’m not bitter, honest.)  They’ve done me well.  I’ve partied at festivals in these, worn them as a cover up on holiday, and even added long sleeve tees and tights for winter.  All good.

 

And it’s not all casual wear!  Here is one of many playsuits/jumpsuits I own from U.O. but it’s my fav as it’s probably the most versatile. It is my LBD in playsuit form.  Black, silk, plain, gorgeous with a killer lacy back.  This is the kind of thing I throw on to go out when I’m not sure what else to wear.  Looks great with Keds or Heels!

So a teeny tiny peek into my U.O. Obsession.  Bear in mind I have jeans, jewellry, bunting, flasks, pictures, posters, tees, tasches from U.O., to photograph them all would take FAR too long!  Hope you’ve enjoyed your sneak peak.  Want to see more of my wardrobe?

Right kids, well I’m off to London for four nights.  So expect a travel post when I’m back.  Take care kids!

 

 

Thai Lookbook

Well hello there followers!  Gosh, hasn’t it been a while?!  Since we last met I’ve been gallivanting around Thailand for a month!  Here are some snaps of outfits I wore:  (Please bear in mind I backpacked, BACKPACKED, around Thailand with 5/6 outfits. plus various bits and bobs I purchased along the way.  Fashion wise, this holiday really was all about making the best out of what I had!)

This is me at the Grand Palace (one of the greatest Thai temples) in Bangkok.  Because of all the Buddhism, you have to be very respectful and cover your shoulders and knees whenever you are around temples, hence the getup!  Here, my sunglasses are from Urban Outfitters, my jumper is Levi’s and the fisherman pants are from India.  And you can never go wrong with Converse on a city break!

Quite the contrast!  This is much more of a beach holiday fashion moment than temple hopper, taken in our (very messy, apologies) hotel room in Koh Samui, a Southern Thai Island.  The necklace is from a Thai market, the boob tube is New Look whilst the shorts are Topshop.

Again, taken in Koh Samui.  Excuse the pose, quite unsure what’s going on there.  This is one of the many Thai Dye creations I purchased in Thailand.  I’m not actually sure if tye dye is specifically from Thailand, but it sounds better to say that it is, aha!  This beauty cost the equivalent of about £7, bargain!

Excuse the geeky, overexcited pose.  I was most excited on our first night on the Khao San road where we were staying in Bangkok.  The maxi dress is from TK Maxx and the bag is from Nica at Debenhams.  I would seriously recommend a good maxi dress to anybody travelling lightly.  It looks great dressed up of an evening, or relaxed with converse for day time sightseeing.

A cheeky shot snapped at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (basically, lots of crazy sculptures).  Again, a trusty New Look boob tube piled with my favourite Urban Outfitters culottes.

Shut up about the face, boyfriend must have said something funny!  Here, I’m standing at the foot of the Doi Suthep Temple which is a temple in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.  Again, trust Urban Outfitters providing me with a top, Indian fisherman pants, and my gorgeous gold USC sandals that unfortunately broke in Phuket and had to be chucked, boo!

An evening out in Koh Samui, with another Thai dye lovely from Thailand (LOL), coming in at approximately £7 – bargain!

Thai Loving <3