Last Minute Gift Guide

Last Minute Christmas Gift guide
Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Today's the 21st of December, and that means only one thing. Christmas is in four days! Say what?! When did that happen? I have no clue. Preparations are underway, biscuits have been baked, crackers have been bought, the Christmas day menu has been planned. But. There's a big but here. My Christmas present buying has not been on point. I had no time to go out and search for the perfect gifts and to be frank; I'm such a perfectionist and worrier that every time I think that something would make a nice gift for someone, I immediately think that there must be something else even better out there.

How to Wear the Leopard Print Coat | The Non-Classic Way

How to Dress Down a Leopard Print Coat
Leopard

I don't consider myself a maximalist. The majority of times I tend to avoid wearing anything too loud, be that a print or a statement shoe. I tend to stick to neutral or primary colours. I don't mix many colours together, and though I do love a good colour combination, it's been quite some time since I had dared wear one myself. If I am to wear colour or print, it will usually be on top of something neutral or black. That was my thinking when I bought this leopard coat last year.

BEAUTY GIFT GUIDE

Beauty Gift Guide - 2016
1. CAUDALIE - Beauty Elixir Christmas Set | 2.ILLAMASQUA-Vanitas Rose Gold Palette | 3. TOO FACED - Lips and Cheeks makeup set | 4. Le Labo - Discovery Set | 5. Deborah Lippmann - Nail Polish Set | 6. BELLA FREUD - Eau de Parfum | 7. ESTÉE LAUDER - Modern Muse Treasures | 8. SLEEK Makeup - Solstice Highlighting Palette | 9. BURBERRY Gold Touch Eye, Lip and Cheek Illuminator | 10. ANASTASIA Beverly Hills - Contour Cream Kit | 11. STILA - Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Set | 12. LAURA MERCIER - Holiday Caviar Stick Eye Colour Collection | 13. TOM FORD - Lip Color Matte(Ruby Rush) | 14. ESTÉE LAUDER - The Ultimate Eyeshadow Collection | 15. CHARLOTTE TILBURY - Legendary Party Eyes(Black) | 16. CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte Revolution - Mini Lipstick Charms | 17. BECCA - Glow On The Go | 18. DIPTYQUE - Mini Candles Holiday Trio | 19. GHD Copper Luxe Soft Curl Tong Gift Set |

60's Inspired

Book Gift Guide

These last few weeks, you have probably been bombarded, just like me, with about a million gift guides. Not that I'm complaining. You know by now that I love a good gift guide and I've certainly done my part in the whole shenanigans. No, scratch that, I've actually done three parts: a stocking fillers gift guide (because who doesn't love buying beautiful useless crap,) a what to buy your mum gift guide (because you are running out of candles you haven't yet given her,) and finally one for your beloved dad (because, in the end, we both know he will end up with another pair of socks, but there's nothing wrong with that!)


| 1. Christmas Days-Jeanette Winterson |2. V&A: The Twelve Days of Christmas | 3. The Night Before Christmas-Nicolai Gogol | 4. Neverwhere-Neil Gaiman | 5. The One Hundred Nights of Hero-Isabel Greenberg | 6. Austen Vintage Classics | 7. A Room of One's Own-Woolf Vintage Classics | 8. Mrs Dalloway-Virginia Woolf | 9. Brontes Vintage Classics | 10. Pretty Iconic-Sali Hughes | 11. Bloom-Estee Lalonde | 12. Inside Vogue-Alexandra Shulman | 13. Women in Clothes | 14. Literary London | 15. The Bookshop Book-Jen Campbell | 16. Aimme's Perfect Bakes | 17. Classic German Baking | 18. Golden : Sweet & Savory Baked Delights from the Ovens of London's Honey & Co.| 19. Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook |

Faves from the Sales

Best Deals from the Black Friday/Weekend Sales

Black Friday Sales

I never understood the hype surrounding the Black Friday sales. It was always a bit too much for me. But this year, it seems like there are so many good ones out there, and especially online where you don't have to bump into others every second trying to find that jacket you had your eye on, so I thought I should not let them go to waste. So I scoured the web and found some great pieces that are on sale right now. I hope you like some of them!

Winter is Coming : Coats and Jackets to Wrap Yourself in

Topshop Wardrobe

Asos My Love

That's it for now! Rest assured, I am probably going to spend a good amount of my weekend trying to decide what to buy. I already know that by the time I decide it will be sold out and I will be crying my eyes out. Raise you hand if you've got a similar problem. I say we create a club "Indecisives\Perfectionists Anonymous". Who's with me? Anywho, I really would love to know what your favourite item from the sales are, even if it wasn't on my lists. Please share below! There's nothing I love more than being enabled to buy things ;)

Daring Red

Partywear

Partywear for the Holiday Season 2016 - www. theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.com
1. UO - Light Before Dark Liquid T-shirt | 2. Topshop - Biker Jacket | 3. UO - Patent Leather Skirt | 4. Zara - T-shirt with Quilting | 5. Tophshop - Diamante Velvet Blazer | 6. Zara - Band Tee | 7. Zara - Trousers with Sequins | 8. UO - Metallic Bronze Leather Skirt | 9. Zara - Cropped Shiny Trousers | 10. Zara - Metallic Halter Top | 11. Zara - Metallic Cropped Trousers | 12. Topshop - Velvet Shorts | 13. Topshop - Satin Puffer Jacket | 14. Mango - Velvet Platforms | 15. Topshop - Mini Skirt by Unique | 16. UO - Rose Gold Metallic Ankle Boots | 17. Topshop - Sequin Sleeve Sweatshirt | 18. Topshop - Lace Dress | 19. Topshop - Graphic Tee | 20. Zara - Oversized Shirt | 21. UO - Stretchy Gold Ankle Boots |22. Topshop - Wooden Heel Boots | 23. Zara - Sateen Open Back Dress | 24. UO - Silver Foil Cami | 25. Mango - Velvet Dress | 16. UO - Velvet Frill Jumpsuit

It's almost Black Friday and let's face it: damage will be done, bank accounts will be wounded, if only scratched, and vanities will be satisfied. Personally, I know I'll be doing some shopping these two weeks. The holidays are upon us, and I do not only have to buy everyone presents, but also something to wear for the party season. Sure, I might not have anything planned yet. And yes, I'm not that much into partying. But my motto is there's a time and place for everything, and I'm trying to push myself to go out more during this time of year; accept any invitations that might come my way and try to have fun and let go (leeet it gooo, okay I'll stop.)

Christmas Gift Guide | For Mum and For Dad

Happy Sunday guys! I hope you've had an amazing week. Today I'm coming to you with two more Christmas gift guides. Last one was all about bits and bobs with which you can fill your stockings, but this time, it's all about mums and dads!.

Christmas 2016 Gift Guide for Mums - www.theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.com
1. Dr. Hauschka Lavender Tranquil Kit| 2.this works Bedtime Story Set | 3.DKNY Printed velour pyjama set| 4. Marble Cheese Board| 5. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick | 6. Aromatherapy Associates My Treat | 7. Neom Christmas wish home collection | |8. Topshop Satin Top (similar) | 9. The Ladybird Book of the Mum | 10. S'well Stainless Water Bottle |11. Mango Semi-precious Earrings |12. Kikki.K Goals Journal | 13.Carrara Set of Four Espresso Cups & Saucers | 14. Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial Set | 15. Copper Head Massager | 16. SKANDINAVISK Vinter Mini Candle Gift Set | 17. Travel Two Tier Jewellery Box |

I can't believe it's already the 20th of November. I find myself being very torn by this news because, on the one hand, it means that time of flying by and I have deadlines and other things I want to accomplish before the end of the year, but on the other hand, all I can think of is "Yay! Only one month left (almost) till it's Christmas!"

Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers

Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers

Shop the gift guide:

1. Oh K! Highlighters | 2. Gel Nail Colour in Pirate | 3. Not For You iPhone 6 Case by Skinnydip | 4. Topshop Velvet Makeup Bagsimilar) | 5. Avocado Pod Face Mask | 6. (*The Little Book of Feminism | 7. Topshop Limited Edition Mini lip Bullet Trio | 8. It's Skin Macaron Lip Balm | 9. Happy Plugs Rose Gold Earbud Headphones| 10. Glitter Liner in Mosaic | 11. Release Your Inner Unicorn Cuff | 12. Shell Earrings Multipack | 13. Casio Casual White Digital Watch

Christmas is Coming

It's the 14th of November. Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas? No. Definitely not. The John Lewis advent calendar ad is out, the streets are one by one putting on their festive face, and the shops are brimming with partywear, fairy lights and glitter.

But isn't it too soon to start planning your Christmas shopping? I've been asking that question to myself for the last few days, feeling somewhat guilty for starting to think about the C-word so early. But you know what? Over the years, I've realised that the sooner you start your Christmas preparations, the better and the less stressful. It's quite funny how we've put so much pressure on a period that's supposed to be about relaxing and being with our loved ones. Though I might not be the best at laying my hair down(metaphorically because that's all I do literally), I am certainly looking forward to spending some time with my favourite people, be that watching Elf on telly in our snuggliest pyjamas or drinking wine in a bar downtown (yes, that almost never happens, but you never know! I might turn into Carrie Bradshaw any day now).

My Favourite Books

My Favourite Books | www.theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.com

Ever since I can remember, I've loved reading books. No, scratch that. I've loved devouring books. On every birthday, on every Christmas, on every achievement, my present would always be a new book which I would immediately proceed to gollop as we were waiting for the dessert. I don't know if this love of reading is something that is innate in me or if the circumstances and the environment were fertile for this love to bloom. For me, the answer is always a bit of both. Being slightly introverted by nature and shy, books were what kept me company most of the time. Wait, that sounds utterly pathetic, but I swear it wasn't! Sure, I wish I had been trying a little harder to come out of my shell a bit sooner, but even if that were the case, I'd still love curling up in a corner to read a good book whenever I could. However, as I was growing older and slowly (like very slowly) more confident, I'd try to make up for all the socialisation I'd missed out on, and that had an effect on my reading. I would even choose to go out on a Friday if possible, than sit in bed and read. Gasp! Horror! I know.

Nowadays I just can't seem to find as much time to read. Whenever I'm tired, the internet just seems like the easiest option, and although I know in the long run it's not the most pleasurable, I will still be sucked into the black hole that it is. I also catch myself feeling guilty from time to time when I'm reading recreationally. That inner critic whispers malevolently in my head, "You could be doing something more productive with your time," or "If you've got time to read, then why don't you do *insert something vaguely boring here* instead?

The Tartan Shirt

The Tartan Shirt - www.theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.com

October Favourites

Ocotber Favourites - www.theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.com

Happy Sunday!
So, the first week of November is coming to an end, and everyone around me is sick of me asking "how the hell did that happen?".The clocks have turned back; the dark is getting longer and the cold stronger. But that's not all bad! Because all these are slowly heralding the arrival of Christmas and I couldn't be more excited. It's always been my favourite holiday, and I'm eagerly awaiting it every year. Yes, I am one of those annoying people. But please tell me I'm not alone on that!

Still, there is a whole month (and three full weeks after that) until then, and we've got to make the best of it. I just hope I have it doesn't go right past me just like October did. Looking back at it, I realised that I'd discovered some new loves and rediscovered some old faves. Here, then, are my highlights of this past month:

On Sustainability and Fashion

On Fashion Sustainability: Some thoughts and ideas - www.theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.co.uk

Hey guys! Today I wanted to share with you some thoughts I've been having on fashion and sustainability. It's something I always try to educate myself on, and so I hope that one day I might feel proud about my shopping habits. However, it seems that these days, it's very hard to be ethical, surrounded as we are by a constant influx of new products and new "it-pieces" and it's the easiest thing to fall down that sweet slippery slope. But for me, it's all about balance. Once we discard the idea that we need to be perfect, even in our garment choices, then we can realistically see, what we can do, and how we can contribute to making the fashion industry and fashion consumerism a bit more ethical.


A Mountain Escape: What to Wear in The Country

Hi guys! Happy November!! Hope you've had a fantastic weekend! Whether you celebrated Halloween or not, it feels like this week has been the most autumnal of all, as if everything is slowly getting ready for the temperatures to drop even more and for the holiday season to commence. Anyone else getting excited?


Today I have something a little different for you. I might be a city girl, but I like identifying myself as a nature lover. As soon as the opportunity arises, I run towards the open air- and maybe fall on my face a few times in the process.

A Mountain Escape: What to Wear in the Country

Brands on Instagram: Jewellery and Accessories

As promised, I'm continuing with my "Brands I've discovered on Instagram" Series. I hope it's as much fun for you to read, as it is for me to make them! Part Two is all about jewellery and other accessories!

And in case you've missed it, here's Part One.

Jewellery

I love me some good jewellery. Even just gazing at it when I can't afford it; I don't mind. They are quite magical and transformative. They can make a simple outfit look 100% more luxurious and curated. They also allow you to play around with different styles in a much more subtle way than a change of jacket would. Sometimes I might want to go more contemporary and add my simple yet statement metallic earrings and other times I might wish to pile on the hardware rings to toughen up the outfit. Instagram, I find, is an amazing tool for jewellers. One simple close up can be extremely impactful and beautiful. So without further ado, here are some of the brands or stores I've discovered there:

Common Muse


Common Muse-Minimal Jewellery Brand

Baker Boy Reimagined

Happy Tuesday guys!
I hope your week is going well. Mine has been pretty good so far, and I hope it stays that way!



Today I thought I'd share with you, my favourite way of adding a little something special to any basic outfit: wearing a hat! You probably wouldn't know that because I've never shared it on here, but I've got a certain love for hats. Any hat, in any shape or size, is enough to spark a yearning in me. Or at least it was until I started veering of them about a year or so ago. I don't know why that was. Maybe I thought they weren't cool enough. Maybe the Man Repeller had gotten into my head, and I was scared to wear them. Maybe I had finally realised I wasn't French and would never be. No matter the reason, the results were the same: my hats (I've got at least five ) were sitting on top of my closet, gathering dust.

Brands on Instagram: Shoes and Bags

I love Instagram. No matter how much it’s changed since when it was really only about posting pictures and trying to make the most of them, it’s still a platform that allows us to discover creativity in all its forms. You might discover a brilliant photographer; I might find an amazing dancer. Instagram knows what you fancy, and it’s going to hand it to you wholeheartedly. Now, the most popular accounts might be the ones who benefit the most, but I’ve always been trying to hunt down those smaller accounts. They might have nothing in common other than that their numbers don’t have an entourage of zeros.

Especially when it comes to brands, I love discovering new ones that match my aesthetic and that I might have never heard of them had it not been for that platform. Sure, I love following Gucci as much as the next person, but I also love following accounts where you can get a better sense of the people working behind the camera and witnessing the work that goes into making the products. You get a more raw, handmade feeling. I’m sure there are many other even less known brands with inspiring Instagrams out there, but these are the ones that I’ve discovered so far. I’m sure many of you already know some of them, but I hope that in between those, you’ll discover something you haven’t seen before.

Then again, Instagram has also allowed me to discover brands from all over the world. We live in a world where a place we would never have dreamt of travelling to, is literally one click (or one tap) away. I would be lying if I said that I don't love this. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved finding ways to come closer to different cultures, find the common denominators and not the differences. When I see how similar my tastes are to say, someone from California or India, a warm, fuzzy feeling enters my heart, and I feel content. I've always felt like a world citizen, as I'm sure many of us growing up online do, and in my opinion, Instagram manifests that attitude better than any other platform.

I’m thinking of doing more posts like these, so I'm starting today by sharing the bags and shoe brands that have caught my eye and captured my heart on Instagram. I should also mention that my enthusiasm and approval is purely visual since I haven’t tried or bought anything from any of them yet. Still, what a feast for the eyes! Unfortunately, my wishlist keeps growing. Thank god, my birthday and Christmas is coming!

Bags and Leather Goods

Neely & Chloe

Neely & Chloe bags

Back to Black

black transitioning to autumn outfit

Sunday Links

Happy Sunday!

I hope you're all having a great day. Sunday's are for relaxing, reading the paper, catching up with friends, having roast and pampering. Of course, I rarely manage to do all these. But I do always try to take a walk with my sister, have some cake, and practice relaxation (and miserably failing at that). In the evenings, I always try to plan the week ahead so that I can ease into it and not worry too much. But being the control-freak that I am that's still not enough and this is how I've ended up having a plan for the next month, too. Albeit, it's a rough one but still useful for all of us who can feel overwhelmed and anxious.

Enough about that!Today, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite things from this week:

  • This plum torte recipe. My sister and I made it last Sunday, and it was absolutely scrumptious as Mary would say. I'm sure our result was not bake-off level, but it still tasted pretty amazing if I do say so myself, so take advantage of the last of plums and make yourself a great dessert/breakfast/snack
  • Studies claim that you can probably write yourself out of a funk. Too good to be true? People in the comments claim that it can also put you in a funk...What do you think?
  • I also loved reading what Britain's most successful women would advise their 20-year-old selves.
  • Pandora Sykes' article as a response to the "piece" in the American Vogue and the debate between fashion bloggers and fashion editors. Let's hope that they do find a way to co-exist in harmony without having to belittle each other.
  • I must be really late to jump on that bandwagon but I just discovered Emma Gannon's website and podcast and I'm obsessed! I can't wait to get my hands on her book as well!

That's it for today! Have an amazing Sunday and don't forget to let me know what your favourite things of this past week were!

October Shopping Wishlist

It's officially the middle of October, and that means that autumnal dressing is in full swing. Trends are storming into stores; the 80's are everywhere, and I desperately need to take part in all that sartorial frenzy. Getting dressed during autumn means you get to play with the best of both worlds. Wear you favourite jumper and your leather skirt with no tights. Alternatively, wear your favourite band tee with your new warm trousers. The ankle boots (in any colour, heel-heigh and style) are essential. The possibilities are endless thanks to all the layering that goes hand in hand with autumn like Pumpkin Spice Latte. It's the basic bitch of autumn if you will, but definitely in a good way. I wouldn't want to be anything else during this season. The weather here is usually temperamental, with the mornings being quite hot and the evenings only now getting chilly. While I might've been frustrated at that, I've found that if I keep reminding myself that next year I'll be in England, soaking all the rain I could have ever desired, plus some more, then I can let it go. But yes, a jacket is always on me somewhere, if not over my shoulders then tied around my waist. A pair of jeans is, of course, my go-to. I can't wait to show you how I'm dealing with tricky weather conditions but until then, here are some pieces I've found that I can't get over. A tricky, little order might be waiting to happen one of these late nights...


Autumn/Fall 2016 Shopping List: Leather and Grey
H&M Frill Jumper | Zara Oversized Biker Jacket | Zara PinstripeTrousers | Mango BikerSkirt | H&M Bag | Asos Ankle Boots | Mango Earrings | Asos Satin Jacket |

What would you buy? Have you seen something that you can't get out of your head? Or do you prefer buying makeup this time of year? Let me know!


xx

Blue Jeans 2016: Frayed and Panelled

Blue Jeans with Frayed Hem and Dark Panel 2016

Life Update:

Another month has passed, and I honestly have no idea where it went! It’s getting more and more ridiculous by the day, how fast the time is passing and I’m not happy about it. Not one bit. September’s been a weird month for me to say the least. Not difficult but unreal in a way. Have you ever felt that you hadn’t been quite yourself for some time? That you were acting more like an automaton than a human and that you can’t precisely place when this funk you’re feeling started? This is how I’ve been feeling this month. It had its ups and downs.

It started off really well. I was productive and ready to face whatever was coming along with the autumn season. New challenges? “Bring it on”, I’d say. But by the last week I was feeling drained and uninspired. I’m sure you’ve felt that too at some point. If not… should I be worried? Fear not, though! I’m getting out of this funk as we speak. I don’t know, man. Maybe it was the weather. Or maybe the moon was in some of its weird phases. (I’m a Saggitarius. Was it written in the stars that the last week of September would suck as much as it did? Let me know, all you star experts!)

Adorn me with Adore Me

Adore Me Lingerie and Sleepwear for Fall

Falling in Love with Adore Me

Fall Flat-lay with a Warm Knit and a Cute Bralette

October is here and with it, fall can finally rule supreme. I love autumn. I don’t know if I’ve made that clear before. I probably have. What’s not to like, though? Everything turns colder and warmer at the same time. It brings with it, all that’s comfy, cosy, crispy, cinnamony. My favourite part is rearranging my wardrobe. Bringing out the knits and the scarves and hiding far back the slinky summer dresses. So long! You won’t be missed!

As the season progresses, you might start feeling a gloom, though. A sign that you might be preparing to hibernate under all those layers –which I love but they can be a bit stifling at times. You might forget what your body looks like under that big, soft hoodie you just bought and the other one you got from the man’s department two years ago. Now, I’m more than happy at times to walk around resembling a furry squirrel. But some days, it can all get a little too much. You might start reminiscing about the sunny summer days, and that’s a dangerous path to walk on. Before you go down that route, there’s something much more obvious to do that will make you feel like a human woman and not an obscure animal of the furry family.

The Outfit Post

Back to School/Uni Outfit | Part 2

Back to School Outfit Inspiration featuring dungarees and off shoulder dress
Back to School Outfit Inspiration featuring dungarees and off shoulder dress

Monday Shopping

Back to School and Uni Wishlist

Back to School/Uni Shopping Wishlist
House of Sunny Sweatshirt | Tophop Loafers |Light Before Dark T-shirt | Weekday Coat | Stussy Double Layer T-shirt | Tophop Fringe Jeans | Zara Joggers | Zara Ankle Boots | Topshop Spliced Tee |

It's the first September in my life that I haven't got any kind of classes to attend. I'm finished with school and uni, and though next year I'll be at it again, for now, I'm taking time off from being a student. At first, I thought it'd be great. Hell, grand even! But being a student was all I ever was: it was a label I could claim without reservations, though admittedly with some indignation. I never really enjoyed school but the learning process, I quite relished. Granted, not all the subjects were my cup of tea. I could never get my head around complicated maths -for which I blame my mental teacher- and that had a domino effect on other subjects. But, languages, literature and other "useless" subjects, I was actually excited for. Especially when the profs happened to be good at their jobs. I would take my shiny new pencil case out, highlighter in hand, and underline to my heart's content!

Back to School / Uni Outfit | Part 1

Inspiration: What to Wear to School or Uni

Back to School/Uni Outfit Idea

Students everywhere are about to or have already gone back to their school or unis or colleges or classrooms in general! At this point, we can distinguish two types of students. Those who eagerly anticipate the start of the new academic year (who are these people?), and those who refuse to believe that summer’s ended and that there are four full months of classes before Christmas. Talk about a bummer!

Sartorially speaking, we can again distinguish between two types of students. There are also those who have already planned what they’ll be wearing every day of the new semester and those who have been procrastinating and now realise they haven’t bought a new pair of shoes. Even the former group, though, by the time the first month is over, they have fallen into that slump, where even deciding what you’re going to wear for the day seems like an effort.

Personally speaking, dressing up was at times the only thing that managed to get me up at the ungodly hour of 6 am to attend a class I had absolutely no interest in and in which the professor must have decided to run for the award of most dull and unimaginative speech.

So, I know the difference wearing a nice outfit at school and uni can make. I have put together some outfits from my current wardrobe to show you how they can work as back-to-school outfits. I’m sure, though that you can come up with much better outfits by yourself, using your creativity and imagination. No use for fancy and expensive new stuff! One of my biggest regrets is that I wasn’t expressing myself creatively during my school years. I could but I wouldn’t.

My advice it to have fun with your outfits, play around with them, personalise them, don’t fit in the crowd if you don’t want to or blend in if you do. Follow your school/uni’s rules or recommendations if you can.

This post is already making me nostalgic, so I think I’m going to stop now and offer you my interpretations of back to school or back to uni outfits.

How To Feel Better That Summer Is Over

Ways To Feel Better During Autumn
How To Feel Better During Autumn

With summer on its final legs and with most of us returning from our holidays to the daily grind, it's hard not to feel melancholic for the season that sets upon us. But that isn't something that should only make us sad and gloomy. We shouldn't give into our impulse to dread the dawn of the autumn season. We shouldn't spy on the trees to witness the first yellowed leaf falling as if that somehow signals something much greater than it does.


In fact, I'm an advocate of accepting that like every season; summer has an end and no matter how hard it might be to deal with this reality, there are indeed many coping mechanisms that I always put to good use whenever I'm feeling particularly down. (Usually, that's by the end of September: Autumn is ironically in full bloom, there's rain, and all the children are in school which only serves to remind me of awful Octobers' past. And also, the next summer is barely visible, clouded by the winter full of responsibilities and worries and cold that is to come.) But before I have to rename this post into Bleak Prospects 101, let me get on with a list of some things that might help you to cope with your summer withdrawals.


Autumn/Winter 2016 Trends I'm Loving

Autumn/Winter 2016 Trends I'm Loving

Ok, I hear you, the Spring/Summer 2017 Fashion Weeks have begun, and you're still preoccupied with the Autumn/Winter ones? And, I get your point, but right now, I'm doing the most I can to look more positively at the end of summer and the coming of colder months. And surely, anticipating and dreaming of all the new trends I'm going to try and incorporate in my wardrobe is the way to do that. And since in my leisure time, besides browsing Asos and Topshop, I am haunting the VogueRunway website, I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite trends that have emerged from the fashion shows of this A/W season. Personally, this helps me in the process of shopping for the new season because, no matter what, I always end up buying something new. However, knowing this weakness of mine, I try to plan ahead as much as possible. I note the pieces I'd love to own; I save the looks that inspire me and make boards on Pinterest (fun fact: I used to create similar trend based boards on notebooks when I was still an Internet noob.) I try to think which of the trends I'm loving are going to work well with the rest of my wardrobe and which ones will not be able to be translated to me in any aesthetically pleasing way.

When that's done, I can wonder about the shops freely, and look for those items. Having placed restrictions on my shopping means I can save up to buy the item that's made my heart skip, and that'll probably be something I won't be able to wear enough. So without further ado, here are the trends that I'm loving right now and that I'll try my best to find ways of incorporating them into my current wardrobe!

Puffer Jackets

Autumn/Winter 2016 Trends-Puffer Jackets
Balenciaga, DKNY, Stella McCartney.

I hope it gets cold soon so I can get lost in the arms of a humongous puffer jacket. Wearing it falling off the shoulders is recommended, but the attitude is obligatory.

Travel | Chios: a Unique Greek Island

The Travel Post

Exploring the Greek Island Chios

Komi Beach

The holidays are over. Time to get back to reality, return to all things quotidian. Everything can look so bleak and bland after spending days or even weeks under the shade of the beach umbrellas, looking out to the crystal, glittery peplum of waters, whose lethargic swishing still echoes in my ears. I wonder how they have managed to overcome the violent transition to the sounds of honking, breaking and of rubber screeching on cement. But that's the circle of life (try not singing in your head, I dare ya), and though I'm sad to have left that almost alternate reality behind me, I'm also glad and eager to start fresh, put new ideas and inspirations to practice, take on new challenges and prove that holidays are essential for renewing our energy and drive.

As a last hoorah, now that September is upon us and all that it heralds, I thought I'd show you the place where I've been for the last couple of weeks. I love looking at travel guides and travel blogs, daydreaming of the places I might one day see with my own eyes. Greece is one of the places that everyone seems to travel to during the summertime. Santorini, Mykonos, Ios: you name it. A plethora of Greek islands has been the destination for many travellers myself included. Chios is an island that's not familiar to most people and which is why I loved it there, to be honest. It's a place still untouched by the mass tourism that manages to keep its authenticity well and alive. If you're interested in more laid-back kind of holidays, off the beaten path with lots to see, from historical landmarks to breathtaking landscapes, then I can't recommend visiting Chios enough.

August Favourites

August Favourites

Chios

Travelling in Greek island of Chios
For the most of August, I was lucky enough to spend it in Chios, a beautiful Greek island in the Northeast Aegean. Time there seemed to be flying by and at times I'd wonder if I was in some kind of an alternate reality.The beaches, the calmness, nature, everything was beautiful and perfect. To be honest with you, something I always anticipate during the summer holidays is a break from the Internet. As much as I love it, it can become too overwhelming and polyphonous, and it can also be very distracting. So, whenever I travel to places where the signal isn’t top notch, I know I’ll have to find new ways to fill up my free time. I’ll meet up with friends, sleep a bit more (hooray!), draw a little and get back in touch with my inner thoughts. If nothing else, the lack of internet can give you a push towards introspection. Most importantly, though, without the internet’s enticing charms I can find so much more time to spend reading, which I enjoy immensely but which I’m guilty of neglecting when everyday life starts taking over. I did read quite a lot in the end, which brings me to my next favourite:

5 Ways to Wear the Off-Shoulder Dress

This post might seem like it’s coming slightly too late, but I think now’s the perfect time to make the most of the off-shoulder dress we bought last season. (We can all admit to having fallen victims to that hype. But, what a beautiful hype that was: I for one do not regret buying into it in the form of this loose and light Zara dress.) Sure, autumn might be coming but for all intents and purposes it’s still summer, and I’m planning on taking advantage of that fact for as long as I possibly can. That means wearing shorts, sandals and yes, summer dresses until my limbs start turning white-blue. My number one motivation, though, is the simplest one there is: I just want to wear my off shoulder dress as much as possible. I got in July and regrettably, I haven’t worn it all that much yet. I’m sure some would consider that as a plus, but when I find an item I particularly love, I want to wear it as much as possible and wear it in as many ways as I can, anywhere that I can. Because even though I love it to bits, I couldn’t bring myself to wearing it the same way over and over again. And many times, I just couldn’t do it. When I had to dress more formally, I couldn’t show up wearing it by itself as a mini dress, and the shorts I had hidden underneath it were quite useless on that front. So I had to improvise, especially since it was one of the few items I’d brought with me on holiday that could be dressed up. So improvise I did and to my surprise and utter relief, this off-shoulder dress or tunic (it all depends on height. Height semantics?) is proving to be so much more versatile than I could have ever hoped it to be!

1. As a Top over Denim Shorts
How to wear the Off-shoulder dress: Top over Shorts How to wear the Off-shoulder dress: Top over Shorts

| Zara Dress | H&M denim shorts (old but similar here) | Birkenstock Sandals |

If you didn't buy an off-shoulder top, (are you sure you didn't? I thought everybody had!) fear not! The dress you've got can double up as one when you tuck it all in your shorts! Ta-da!! I'm telling you; this dress is magic and billowy and perfect.

18 Ankle Boots to Buy Now for Autumn+Winter 2016

Autumn (or fall) can look like it's still too far away or at the very least most of us like to delude ourselves that it is. But if the products, currently rushing in stores and online, are any indication Autumn is racing towards us in full force. Sure, the weather might still be too warm to even consider wearing turtlenecks, and you might feel your skin actually withering when you think about trying on clothes for the new season, but truth is it's never too early to start planning ahead, or in this case, shopping ahead. So, go ahead and treat yourself in an ice-cream if you can't cope with having to look at (or heaven forbid, try on) clothing any heavier than cotton dresses. If that's the case, then you're one of the lucky ones still enjoying warmer climes. But, as we all know, many of us have already been wearing our jackets (mostly denim) on an everyday basis. No matter in which category you fall, there's one thing that you'll need to see you through this A/W season. And yes, that's the mighty ankle boot, the undeniable Queen of the Shoe Kingdom. All the other footwear bend under its shadow, be it of a block or a tractor heel. They might shine on occasion, but the ankle boot is the classic Queen song to their one-hit-wonder or a classic Bergman film to a modern, evanescent blockbuster. It's like the Harry Potter's: reaching audiences of all generations by being timeless, seasonless, uniting, all-encompassing, and yes, magical as well.

Since the shops are teeming with them right now, I'd suggest you start the hunt for your perfect pair. Or you can pick more than one because let's be honest: there's nothing that we wear more all year round than a simple ankle bootie. For now, stick to wearing them with your summer mini dress and that 90's choker for that perfect grunge, throwback look that'll make Marc Jacobs proud. When the temperatures drop, pair them with a pair of frayed, ankle-grazing jeans for extra coolness points. From printed, jacquard block heeled booties to minimalistic, sleek, black patent ones; there's a pair to suit all tastes. And while my metaphors might be rubbish, you can rest assured that the ankle boots following are top contestants for the gold.

Fashion Trend: The Ankle Boots to Buy for Autumn/Winter 2016.
Fashion Trend: The Ankle Boots to Buy for Autumn/Winter 2016.

| 1.Asos | 2.Zara | 3.Balenciaga | 4.Asos | 5.Topshop | 6. Zara | 7. Acne Studios | 8. Uterque | 9. Mango | 10.Zara | 11.Topshop | 12.Gianvitto Rossi | 13. Dr Martens | 14. Topshop | 15. Mango | 16. Uterque | 17.Asos | 18. Uterque |

3 Easy Summer Holiday/Vacation Outfits to Wear on Repeat

Dress old but similar here and here

Zara dress

Playsuit old but similar here

Creating a summer holiday wardrobe can be one of the most frustrating undertakings one can have. There are many reasons why that's the case. Firstly, the weather's too hot for shopping and even that bag that you had been craving for month after month isn't enough to lure you out of the comfort of your perfectly AC cooled bedroom.

Secondly, all the good summer clothes seem to always be out of stock. "Did everyone go on holiday before you?", you can't help but ponder as you browse on Asos and that bikini you had saved for later just one week ago is now gone, maybe even for good. However, you might fall in love with some of the new-in items, for which I don't blame you one bit because just yesterday I swear I must've saved about seven chokers. If September arrives and I'm sporting at least one every week I wouldn't be surprised. But your plane leaves in two days and there's no way you'll have them on time and so you're stuck with the things you've accumulated over the summers of your recent past.

That's nothing to fret about, though; usually holidays mean relaxing and leaving your worries behind even if they're as trivial as deciding what to wear for the day. By that time, hopefully, you've already bought the items you deemed necessary to have on your holiday. If not, you might be just like me, realising last minute that you actually need a new beach towel and that your school backpack isn't cutting it anymore as a grown-up beach bag. I never got one one this year like I was planning. That is why on the beach I look like an overgrown child too eager to go back to school. But staying true to my previous statement and since the last thing I want to be is a hypocrite, I simply shrugged and decided to carry my trusty Eastpack for one year more. My number one advice: if you can afford to do so, try to relax on your holidays, enjoy the sun, the sea, the salt, the ice-cream and all the good things we're all too anxious to enjoy the rest of the year.

Personally, I realised I desperately needed just one more dress to be able to make the most of my time away. I know for a fact that most times I'm looking for something to just throw on me and head out the door. The less I've got to put on, the better in the 30+ degree weather we're having at the moment. Two days before leaving for my holiday I bought that off-shoulder Zara dress I'm wearing above. I've had my eye on it for quite some time so all I had to do was find where it was stocked in my size near me, take it out of the rack, pay it and place it right into my suitcase.

I was missing other things as well. But there was simply no time. And as I've said before the place where you're holidaying must have at least some proper shops. In my case at least, I knew for a fact that the island where I was heading has a great sunglasses market from where I bought the round metal Ray-Bans I fell in love with last summer but never got around to buying because I'm nothing if not a master procrastinator and probably the most indecisive individual I've ever met. I'm still bagless and on the lookout for the perfect one; one not overly girly but classic and just slightly quirky. But being the perfectionist that I am, I know I'll probably end up buying it next year.

The point is, that you don't need to overpack your summer suitcase. You're allowed to lay back and repeat outfits, forget about layering unless it's somehow your work or you actually feel like dressing up in which case go ahead. I mean here I am, thinking I'm keeping it cool and casual with my outfits and my sister insists that I still think about what I'll wear too much. Well, I love fashion so why not?. Coming up with outfits and matching them with the situations and occasions and different outings is part of me having fun and being creative. I don't think I could ever not do that. As long as I'm doing it for my own pleasure, it keeps being enjoyable.

If you're also going on holiday or are already on one, the I wish you'll enjoy them as much as I am! I'll keep trying to post on here as regularly as possible but regular programming won't be restored until late August probably. Thank you for being so understanding and for sticking with me. Enjoy your summer no matter what you're doing!

Lots of love!

The Magic Yellow Bus

The Perfect Holiday Outfit

I'm really sorry for the rarity of posts these last few weeks. Things have been quite slow around here, and a certain drowsiness seems to take over me whenever that happens, dragging me with it in a whirlwind of guilt and procrastination. If I want to be honest with you the rhythm on this blog is probably going to follow a slower pace throughout August as well. I'll try to post outfits and articles, but since I'll be on holiday where the Internet isn't at its best, I can't guarantee they will be as consistent as I'd like them to be.

It also seems that I've reached the inevitable point where the writer's or blogger's block hits and I've felt uninspired and less confident about my work on here. I'm always oscillating between two forces.There's a part of me that pushes me to publish as much as possible and the other part is reminding me that the content can be so much more important. There's also a sneaky third part that tells me I can do all these things at once and is mostly to blame for the guilt that takes over me from time to time. But what about you? Where do you stand on the whole quantity vs quality debate? I'd love to know. I'd also love to hear any recommendations for future posts or what you most like seeing on here. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

In other news, my laptop was on the verge of catching fire. I was actually worried my hands would be burnt off anytime I'd type long texts. I'm glad to report, though, that as of yesterday my laptop is as good as new, and I can now type this very sentence on a normally heated Typepad. Hooray!

Now let's talk a bit about this outfit, shall we? It's another honest representation of my summer wardrobe. It almost never gets more inventive than this. This is why I've stressed the importance of accessories. In this case, with just one brilliant piece of statement jewellery I've managed to add some sophistication and intention to an otherwise simple outfit. The top is also printed which is not common for me but for some reason I gravitated towards this top from the moment I laid my eyes on it. Perhaps it's that it's got just enough black and white in it for me to feel comfortable in it. And it has proven quite versatile. I've worn it with whites, greys, blacks and even reds with an ease I wasn't expecting when I'd first bought it. And where I usually steer clear from yellows and oranges since they make me look like an extra in The Walking Dead, the yellow here is so subtle and away from my face that it offers its luminosity without taking away mine. Hooray again!

I know what you're thinking. You've got a whole yellow bus behind you, and your skin doesn't look that awful. To which I've got two answers: firstly, thank you and secondly, I'm fortunate to have my hair surrounding my face acting like a barrier from the bad influence of the yellow behind me. And trust me, in real life, it was slightly worse. I was brave though and took the pictures anyway. It was too happy a coincidence to find this yellow background on the one day I dared to put some on me as well.

That's all for now. I hope you've had a great week and if you're on holiday, enjoy the sun, the sea, the food, the rain, or whatever else you're having and don't forget your suncream!

xx Maro

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