5 PRODUCTIVE THINGS TO DO ON A LONG DAILY COMMUTE

Boots // Carvela at Kurt Geiger | Jeans // Zara | Coat // New Look (no longer available, but similar here)

I am now in my third year of uni and for the last year I have commuted each day… 3 hours there, 3 hours back. You maths genius’ would’ve worked out that I travel 6 hours a day when I’m scheduled to go into uni. That’s around 3 times a week. So I guess I would consider myself a bit of a pro when it comes to travelling – my journey includes a car journey to the station, a train, a tube and another train to the campus – and during this time, especially now that I’m reaching the most crucial part of my course, I have found a few ways of staying productive on the commute.

If you travel 6 hours a day like me or just 15 minutes, let that time be productive!

  1. Read a book
    This one is something that I’ve always done without even thinking about it, I read for fun – I always have a book to read, I have to finish any book that I start, even if I’m hating it. Weird OCD habit. The train is a great place to read because you can really zone out from all the chaos of rush hour and escape into your own little world.
  2. Meditation
    Staying on the theme of escaping into your “own little world”, I have mastered the art of meditation on public transport. No weird “ohm-ness” going on with my legs crossed or anything like that, but for the past few months I’ve really become a fan of the Calm app. It’s a guided meditation app that’s really easy to follow and just allows your mind to switch off from everything around you. Earphones in, world out.
  3. Brain training
    Something which might not seem entirely productive is brain training. There have been times when I’ve been so tired on my commute that I’ve become a victim of the fall-asleep-head-roll-mouth-open gaze that seems to affect the best of us (only the very best, apparently) and so I’ve found that doing a sudoku or crossword puzzle helps to keep my brain alive and awake, as well as keeping my eyes open. And besides, something that is training your brain and making you think hard that early in the morning can only ever be a good thing, right?
  4. GET WORK DONE!
    I’m not one to sit on the train on my laptop, mainly because I can’t be bothered to lug around my MacBook with me all day, but I do find that if I’ve made notes on something I aim to do when I get home, or if I’ve read a few chapters of a book I’m studying for my dissertation, then I always feel much better and productive once I’m off the train. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’re on a train with no distractions. Of course, if you really want to work on your laptop on the train then that’s great and totally admirable, I only wish my laptop wasn’t so heavy so I could do the same!
  5. Make a to-do list
    My last point is probably my favourite and most-used. Making a to-do list is so productive for me because it allows me to really plan my time well. Travelling to and from uni every day can take it’s toll on my productivity levels because travelling is so tiring. When I get home I tend to just want to sit around and catch up on Mad Men, but having a list of things that I need to get done helps me to focus. Ticking things off the list is so satisfying that I find that this alone is enough to make me want to reluctantly click away from Netflix and do some work!

Of course there are days when all I want to do on my commute is listen to music, zone out and pretend I’m in a totes-emosh music video whilst gazing out of the window (probably listening to Adele, just to be a total cliché), but I’m trying my best to keep those days to a minimum and try something productive instead.

What do you do on a long commute, I’d love to try some of your ideas – I have another 6 months of commuting ahead of me!

THE HANDBAG THAT EVERYBODY NEEDS IN THEIR LIFE.

After getting a new job (yay!), being totally stressed out at how much uni work I have to do, as well as keeping on top of things on my blog (which has been a bit lax lately – sorry about that) I decided to make one of those “treat myself” purchases, a new handbag. Now it’s nothing spectacularly expensive, but unnecessary enough for me to feel a bit naughty walking out of the store. It is, of course, from Zara.

DSC_0015 copy

I’d seen this bag in Zara for a good few weeks now, tried it on, put it back. Tried it on, looked in the mirror, changed the length of the chain, put it back etc etc. for the past few weeks now and after a long weekend of working, I decided to to pick it up, try it on, look in the mirror and BUY IT.

DSC_0006 DSC_0007

Justifiable-for-purchase features include: Durable, classic and damn beautiful ridging and quilting on the fabric (it isn’t leather, however it really feels like it, such great quality), a sturdy clasp, two interior pockets for the 14 MAC lipsticks that I’m likely to ‘need’ in there, and a double-length chain that you can have long as a cross-body bag, or short as a shoulder bag. I actually prefer it as a shoulder bag with the double chain, I think it tends to work better on me like that as the longer chain reaches almost down to my knee. #shortgirlproblems

DSC_0008 DSC_0018 DSC_0014

Let’s face it, I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to afford a Chanel, so this is my next best thing. It’s not a complete carbon copy, and well within its own rights in design, however it does have that classic shape, size and stature of a high-class (and high price tag) designer handbag. And at only £39.99 I think it’s a bit of a steal.

AUTUMNAL WANT LIST

TRANSITIONALWISHLIST

Autumn is fast approaching, even though I’d desperately holding onto jackets-not-coats and bare legs-not-tights for dear life. Here is a selection of my favourite transitional pieces from the new arrivals for Autumn/Winter 2015.

1 // ASOS | 2 // Zara | 3 // Topshop | 4 // Self Portrait | 5 // Wood Wood | 6 // AllSaints | 7 // H&M | 8 // Warehouse | 9 // Topshop | 10 // Adidas

HAVING A (SLIGHTLY) 70s MOMENT

Walking into Zara at the moment is like walking into a time machine and being taken back to 1974. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand I’m into it, I’m all for a fad trend here and there, but on the other hand I’m not. I’ll never be into flares ( At 5’1 I can’t find any to fit anyway), I’ll never be enthusiastic for suede and I hate paisley with a passion. Having said that, I’m all for some new clobber and I found this dress in there today. It says 70s without being too I-wish-I-had-lived-through-woodstock-and-second-wave-feminism-ish. It’s black & white (of course), a great transition piece for autumn, and was only £19.99 (so it doesn’t matter too much if I’m sick of the 70s after two minutes…).
DSC_0087DSC_0090DSC_0089Dress | Zara
Belt | H&M (old – similar here)
Boots | Topshop

OUTFIT | THE LAST SUPPER

Celebrating my 21st birthday in Paris was a dream come true. Paris itself is a dream city, matched by no other. For our last night there, we decided to dress up a little bit more than we had done on the two previous nights. Here I am wearing all items I received for my birthday – this is by far my favourite LBD that I own, and also one of the most inexpensive at £35 from River Island. My clutch is from Nadia Minkoff, its the Pimlico Tassel Clutch and so adorable! I aways love the quality and timelessness of Nadia Minkoff accessories, see a previous post here where I reviewed a handbag from the collection. My watch is from Tissot and was my present from my parents and my sandals are from Zara, my old faithfuls.
I’m already itching to go back to Paris, there are so many sights that we just didn’t get the chance to see, so many restaurants and cafés that we didn’t get a chance to eat in, and so many quaint little back streets that we didn’t have time to walk through.

This concludes my Paris set, see my previous posts for what we got up to, where we ate and what I wore!
DSC_0197DSC_0198DSC_0194DSC_0201DSC_0206

Au Revoir Paris!
FullSizeRender-2 copy 11

OUTFITS IN PARIS

Dressing for Paris in the at the height of summer can prove to be difficult, starting with the scorching heat in the busiest areas of tourist-laden locations, staying cool is paramount. Cobbled streets in Paris are a feast for the eyes, but a beast for the feet – especially if, like me, you live in sandals in the summer. So staying cool, comfortable and still dressed up enough to feel nice is a formula that’s not so easy to put together. Below is a little rundown of the outfits I wore for our three-day trip.

Top | H&M Skirt | FOREVER 21 Sandals | ZARA

Top | H&M
Skirt | FOREVER 21
Sandals | ZARA

Dress | WAL G at TOPSHOP Shoes | RIVER ISLAND

Dress | WAL G at TOPSHOP
Shoes | RIVER ISLAND

Top | TOPSHOP Skirt | ZARA Shoes | RIVER ISLAND Clutch | ZARA

Top | TOPSHOP
Skirt | ZARA
Shoes | RIVER ISLAND
Clutch | ZARA

DETAILS

DETAILS

SUMMER WISHLIST

SUMMER WISHLIST

As I write this I am wearing a wooly cable knit jumper whilst rain pours down the windowpane in front of me. You would never know that it’s actually summer here in England…

Most bloggers tend to make their summer wish lists not long after the A/W shows in March, however winter seems to drag and drag and draaaaaaag until we get perhaps 5 minutes of sun at the end of August.

So here is a few of my favourite picks from the summer collections, even if I do have to wait for a weather/lottery miracle to happen in order for me to actually wear them.

1. ALTUZARRA | 2. DOLCE & GABBANA | 3. GIAMBATISTA VALLI | 4. EUGENIA KIM | 5. TOPSHOP | 6. RIVER ISLAND | 7. PROENZA SCHOULER | 8. ZARA | 9. TIBI | 10. MARY KATRANTZOU

GALLIANO RETURNS #MARGIELAMONDAY.

MARC0037 MARC0079 MARC0159 MARC0239 MARC0275 MARC0369 MARC0473 MARC0593

If you haven’t been highly anticipating Galliano’s return to the fashion week calendar for Maison Martin Margiela after four years, then you don’t belong here. I’m joking. (slightly).

The collection itself was undeniable Galliano’s, albeit with touches of Margiela-minimalism. The set design was quite possibly one of the most pared back in Galliano’s history, with a small audience, white seating and no decorative adornments. With a colour palette of rich ruby reds, palatial golds, deep blacks, creamy camels and hints of animal print, the collection was a world away from your typical Margiela show. Gold voiles, silk taffeta, highly embellished breast plates all adorned the showstoppers, each look complete with two-tone platform shoes and elaborate headpieces. For a Margiela couture show, the fabrics were perhaps more extravagant than typically expected.

The theme of decay offered a haunting washed-at-sea vibe with sea shells and latex evoking a creature of the ocean; hair plastered to the head and face also suggested a sense of a washed up creation.

The show was seemingly a humbling experience for Galliano as he reflected over his fallen star vicariously through the medium of design, appearing very briefly at the end of the show wearing a traditional white lab coat as worn by the Maison Martin Margiela team.

FROWers at the show was basically a who’s who? list of anyone that’s anyone in the fashion industry: Anna Wintour, Alber Elbaz and Nick Knight were just a few to mention. As for the show? Well fashion has recently started to feel repetitive (normcore?), predictable (normcore?) and almost trend-less (normcore?) Galliano has single-handedly, with just one show, made the shows an event again, both in person and online. Never have I seen a more highly anticipated show before on social media; everyone on my timeline, news feed and Instagram home page was tagging #MargielaMonday with abundance.

For me, Galliano’s return says much about the fashion industry as it does Galliano himself as well as the house of Margiela. I personally am beyond glad that those inside the industry as well as those who appear to be outsiders looking in, have now allowed themselves to look past his “scandal” and accept him for the genius that he so clearly is.

Long live John Galliano.

DARK ENCHANTMENT

DSC_0040 DSC_0037 DSC_0084 DSC_0097 DSC_0100 DSC_0106 DSC_0067 DSC_0068

Better late than never…

A selection of photos from my Vogue Scrapbook layout, as exhibited in the post below. By no means do I consider myself a photographer… The proof is in the pudding. However I did get an A for this assignment so I thought I’d share the fruit of my labour. The model is Maddy, follow her instagram here.

HEAD PIECEHandmade
DRESS |  Topshop
JEWELLERY/BELT | H&M
TIGHTS | Wolford
BOOTS | Dunlop

VOGUE SCRAPBOOK

Uni has been absolutely mind-bogglingly crazy these past few weeks and the next few weeks look just as insane. One of my assignments was to create a shopping page in the style of Vogue Scrapbook. I decided to go for the theme of a “dark fairytale” as seen on the catwalks of Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana for Autumn/Winter 2014.

We were then assigned to produce an accompanying photoshoot with the shopping piece and the result is below… I will do another blog post with the full range of photos included, but for now it’s just the one I submitted with my work.

zzzZDARK ENCHANTMENT INDESIGN2zzzZDARK ENCHANTMENT INDESIGN22

Text:
DARK enchantment
Ethereal illusions captivate the heart, mind and soul of those willing to be cast under its spell…

Once upon a time in a far away land where denim is all but forbidden, exists a wonderland of all charming dimensions where child’s play is not limited to those in infancy. Dolce and Gabbana led this season’s enchanted offering with Little Red Riding Hood capes all the better to be seen in, along with splendidly embellished creations evoking only the most magical notions. Forest greens, deep-hued ruby reds, blood-curdling blacks and a trickle of gold were all seen on the autumn/winter 14 catwalks by way of Valentino, Erdem and Alice & Olivia who all captivated the enigmatic motif of the classic dark fairytale.

Nature-themed garments decorated with appliquéd butterflies, birds and roses at Valentino nod to Cinderella getting ready for her grand ball, whilst over at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton provides the darker edge to the fairytale matter with lurid evocations of past lands of make-believe. Fierce feathers provide the evasive charm to an otherworldly selection of garments of a luxurious couture-like quality. Gold accents are presented in all manner of accessories from filigree clutch bags adorned with jewels and chains; to gem-encrusted twinkly shoes by Dsquared² that will no doubt get Prince Charming’s heart racing as you skip off into the sunset. Pair your twinkly toes with equally twinkly fingernails with this season’s offering of ravishing nail lacquers from Dior.

The look comes into its own this winter with the release of Disney’s latest blockbuster Into the Woods starring the glorious Meryl Streep. Seemingly innocent, stemming from a Disney film, the undercurrents of style are of a feral innocence; this look is not for the faint-hearted. Snow White need not apply.

Follow the heart of your inner dark princess this winter party season and you’ll be in for a treat. From head-to-toe ethereal empress, to sparkly eyelids and a smattering of jewels with your LBD, however you don it you will no doubt be alluring; And with a tap of a wand you shall go to the ball, for you are the fairest of them all.

 

P.S. This was my first time using photoshop so please don’t judge me too harshly. I do enough of that to myself!