Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t fail to have noticed Orla Kiely’s new range for Uniqlo. As a fan obsessive of Kiely prints, not buying a piece from this collection was never an option. The only question was, which print should I choose? Finally plumping for a classic print, I broke my spending ban and purchased based on the logic that it was a winter investment. After all, it is a HeatTech top…I’d need it when the weather dropped chilly. However, when it arrived I just couldn’t wait to wear it. After a long, long week, it seemed the perfect pick me up for a lazy Sunday afternoon.And very lazy it was. For a start, my day didn’t begin until 11am! I can’t remember the last time I slept in so late, but I can’t even say that I’m sorry. Sometimes I think your body just needs to sleep. My late morning may have had something to do with my late night. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but I’m gripped by the Netflix series, ‘Orange is the New Black’. The boy and I stayed up well past our bed time trying to cram in as many episodes as possible.What do you do when you wake up late? Well, go shopping of course. Recently, I’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with TK Maxx, it seems I’m in there at least twice a week. Not for the clothes you see (although, I do have a good look, naturally) but more for the homeware. Whether it be Rob Ryan, Le Creuset, Cath Kidston or Emma Bridgewater…there’s always something that catches my eye. Today, it was my Dad’s Christmas present. Don’t worry, it’s not homeware. I figured I needed to start my shopping soon so when I spied a rather beautiful moss green chunky knit sweater the homeware went out of the window. Not literally.// Top :: Orla Kiely for Uniqlo // Dress :: Topshop // Shoes :: Topshop // Necklace :: vintage//After a week (and weekend) of long working hours, even a trip to Tesco can feel like a treat. My gratitude was rewarded in the form of £7 sale boots. Who can resist a bargain like that? With a little customization, I reckon they’ll become the perfect winter boots. Watch this space.How’s your weekend been?Have you invested in any Orla pieces yet?As always, much love,Donna x (now on a real spending ban)
Late last Sunday, I decided that it was time to put the books down and take some time out. As a teacher, I recognise the responsibility my job carries and with that, the extra hours it inevitably brings. However the importance of a work-life balance can never be underestimated. After a weekend filled with work, we decided to drive to Blackpool to enjoy the final night of the illuminations.
Arriving late afternoon, the boy and I headed straight to the seafront to enjoy the final rays of sunlight. Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We basked in the beautiful golden haze that only an autumnal sunset can offer before dusk arrived and the illuminations took centre stage.
If you’ve ever visited Blackpool in November, you’ll know just how quickly the temperature can drop. A fresh sea breeze combined with northern temperatures means it can get pretty chilly out there. It was the perfect place to try out my new Joules coat.The kind folk over at Joules let me choose a new winter coat from their range. Immediately, I was drawn to this classic duffle coat. New in, it’s the ideal coat for the winter season. Lightweight yet warm, a description that may sound contradictory but with its wool content and lined sleeves, you can see why. With a detachable hood, I like that I can change the look of the coat should I fancy a change.As soon as the coat arrived, carefully wrapped in its pretty floral packaging, I knew I’d fall in love with it. It’s such a classic style. Whether I’m wearing a dress, jeans or a skirt, I know this will become my go to item for winter.// Coat : c/o Joules :: Floral dress : Primark // Satchel : Cambridge Satchel Company // Vintage riding boots : thrifted //
For our trip to Blackpool, I chose to team my coat with florals and my new Cambridge mini satchel. Right now, there’s so much blogger love for this Primark floral dress and I can see why. At £8, it’s a steal. Yet another go to item for the winter season.No trip to the seaside would be complete without a compulsory listen to Led Zeppelin. Recently, I’ve been dipping back into my collection, especially Physical Graffiti. It was inevitable that they’d feature in this post somehow. There’s a familiar comfort to be taken from music that’s been with you through thick and thin.
This really is my final Berlin post, well, until the next visit. It’s unusual for me to post an Instagram roundup. The main reason? I just don’t think my daily life is exciting enough to warrant a weekly post. That said, a mere few days in Berlin is more than enough time to burn up the pixels on my camera with some serious camera porn. Here are some of the outtakes that didn’t make it to Instagram.From experiencing the spectacular Festival of Lights to visiting the Broken Fingaz exhibition at Urban Spree… there was never a dull moment. So much so, I struggled to squeeze most of our antics into my Berlin tales (or onto my camera). If you’ve never been, you must! What are you waiting for?Until next time, auf wiedersehen!
As this was my fourth time in Berlin, the boy decided that it was time to show me the historical delights of Berlin Olympiastadion. Famed as the home of the 1936 Olympics, the 2006 World Cup and the place where Usain Bolt broke the 100m and 200m world records in 2009, this was somewhere I was eager to see. John had been numerous times before and with his keen interest in history, he was the perfect tour guide.
Arriving early, it was the perfect autumnal day: warm, clear and bright. This was the first day that I would find just the right light for using Instax film with my Diana F+ camera. Coincidentally, it was the first day that I wouldn’t need a coat…nor a jumper, as it turned out. I’d chosen to dress in skinny jeans, a tartan YMC blouse and a fine knit jumper. Unbelievably, even that was too warm!
(I’ll mention here that I am a woman who takes no interest in sporting events. However, I am a woman who likes to take an interest in buildings of architectural merit (read: nosey))When you enter the Olympiastadion, you can’t fail to be struck by its sheer size. If you’ve ever visited, I’m sure you’ll agree that reaching the top seats can leave you with a slight sense of vertigo. The height is breathtaking. However, it was well worth the climb just to sit and spend a moment or two pondering times gone by.
Art Deco in style, the stadium oozes elegance. We happily spent an hour photographing and exploring the inner stadium, making sure we paid a visit to the place where the first Olympic flame was lit. Our historical tour was not quite complete without a visit to the Bell Tower.Standing at 77m, the Olympic Bell Tower boasts the best views of Berlin…stretching from Spandau to Alexanderplatz. The glass elevator allows you to admire the inside of the tower from all angles. Arriving at the viewing platform, we certainly weren’t disappointed. The view was astounding, well worth the white knuckle elevator ride.After much persuasion from the boy, we climbed higher and admired Teufelsberg. Standing on Devil’s Mountain, Teufelsberg is an abandoned spy station. As we stood basking in the sunlight, John recounted tales of his previous visit… making me eager for more urban exploration.As we had travelled far from the inner metropolis of Berlin, on our way back we decided to stop by Charlottenburg, a small town west of Berlin. It seemed Charlottenburg had been bitten by the Halloween bug. We strolled the town’s streets, enjoying the delights of a Halloween grotto accompanied by festive music before ducking into Starbucks for a well-deserved Pumpkin Spiced Latte.Have you ever visited the Olympiastadion?Are you tempted by Berlin yet?
With the sweet taste of peanut butter bagels tempting us onto the streets of Berlin, we woke early on Monday to head to Aunt Benny, our favourite coffee bar in Berlin. Discovering it was closed, we headed central to Am Alexanderplatz for the next best thing…a Grillrunner! We chomped our hot dogs whilst deciding what to make of the day.
Casually, John asked if I fancied checking out an abandoned brewery. Whilst any right thinking person would have probably declined such an offer, the adventurer within me couldn’t refuse. Exploring Spreepark had whetted my appetite for urban exploration. I’d read about the Bärenquell Brauerei on a blog dedicated to exploring Berlin’s abandoned places. I’d also read their warnings about security, shady characters and passing idioten ringing the police. Unsure of when we would return to the city, we were just too curious to let the opportunity pass.
After circling the colossal site, we let ourselves in through the fence. Overwhelmed by the sheer size of the brewery, we scurried into the nearest outbuilding to avoid being seen. Strewn with stained mattresses, defunct spray cans and junk, amid the debris we found remnants of the building’s former life.
Hearts pounding, we explored the buildings like stray cats alert to any sound that didn’t belong to us. The brewery had stood empty for almost 20 years. After the fall of the Berlin wall, East Germans were overwhelmed by choice from the previously forbidden west. Sales dwindled and the brewery was forced to close its doors in 1994. Since then, the site has become a playground for street artists and spray paint revellers.
We were there to see the work of Ghost Patrol, an artist who has also worked in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. We were spoiled with art from other well-known artists and art from those not so famed. Watching our step, we were spoiled with art every corner we turned.
After two hours exploring this monster site, we decided to call it a day. The shadows in the Maschinenhaus and the haunting squeaking sound had sufficiently added to the spook factor. We escaped the abandoned playground, unnoticed and unharmed, back through the fence and onto the street… like nothing had ever happened.Would you venture into an abandoned building in the name of art?
Today, you’ll find me guest posting over at Rachel the Hat. Whilst Rachel enjoys her holiday to Cornwall, I’ll be stepping in to talk about my favourite go-to item. This is my second guest post of October and I’m so pleased to be featuring on Rachel’s blog today. If you don’t know, Rachel is the co-host of Passion for Fashion, a weekly fashion link up celebrating the style that we love. So, swing on by and check out her blog.
It seemed everywhere I looked, I saw perfect brows; softly rounded, high arched, extended, groomed. Whilst mine could only truthfully be described as… overgrown. Years of hiding my brows under a fringe had left them rather neglected. That’s why when Debenhams asked if I would like to review a brow product, I jumped at the chance.
Urban Decay Brow Box c/o DebenhamsBeing a complete beginner in the brow world, I chose Urban Decay’s Brow Box in Brown Sugar based on the brand’s reputation. I certainly was not disappointed. Packing all the tools needed to preen my brows, this palm-size kit was perfect for taking on my travels to Berlin. The box contained two shades of brow colour, perfecting/setting wax, two mini-angled brushes and mini tweezers.
With my fringe length getting shorter and shorter, I decided now was the time to take the plunge. Whilst locked in a Berlin bathroom, I watched countless YouTube videos, searching for the nuggets of advice that would send me on my way to beautiful brows.Tweezing advice sought, I plucked tentatively. You’d be surprised at the precision and speed offered by the mini-tweezers. In no time at all, my brows were groomed. Next up, brow colour. I chose to use a darker shade because of my dark, dark hair. Using the angled brush, I lightly applied the shadow at first building up the colour until I was happy with the coverage. Considering this was the first time I’ve ever applied make up to my eye brows, I was incredibly impressed with the effect I managed to create in little time.
Urban Decay promise to deliver the tools for amazing brows and they certainly don’t disappoint. Have I got it completely right? Not yet, not even close. However, I love the ease that this product offers. In just five minutes, I can make sure my eyebrows are groomed should that gust of wind come and make them centre stage.
Do you believe in the power of the brow?How do you look after your brows?
*Product received free of charge. All opinions are my own.