It feels like forever since I’ve posted (I know, I said I
wouldn’t do that again. Oopsy!) But I couldn’t be happier to be back. I’ve had
a lot of up’s and down’s since my last post. Don’t worry! I’m not going to go
into details about the down parts, simply because I’ve let my anxiety hash it
out and to type it out I feel would be inviting all that negative energy back
and that’s a big no-no (bye Felicia!)
With arrival of autumn (hey babe, I’ve missed you!) The
heating is finally going on, knitwear
and plaid trousers are making their way back into my wardrobe again and my tea
consumption is through the roof. If you can’t tell (or you’re new here
“hellooo”) it’s my favourite time of year. Let’s reminisce to a few blogs ago,
where I’m trying to find my way with summer fashion. Fair to say I was
struggling! Now you’ll discover when it comes to the matters of ‘autumn/winter
fashion’ I have zero worries. Bring on the jumpers, I say!
I. AM. THRILLED!
Now there’s one major fashion staple that pretty much helps
assemble my everyday outfit choices that I feel deserves talking about, especially
at this time of year: the false collar.
Something that would seem so simple, yet takes my autumnal outfits to a whole other level.
I first decided I wanted to make these an addition to my wardrobe a few years ago, but I was confronted with a series of collars from amazon that had some pretty sketchy reviews and all looked the same. There was just nothing that popped and had zero personality; until I came across Magnus Clothing Companyon Instagram. The girl just understood exactly what I wanted!
It’s as if she took a peek inside my brain and said “girl, I got you covered!” If her store wasn’t enough- she is just an absolute dream! Personable, adores fashion and to say she works incredibly hard would be an understatement. Her business attracts quirky instagrammers and fashion forward people alike from all over the world, including myself. Through her store I’ve not only met other like-minded people, but created some wonderful friendships through the power of social media… All because of the magic of ‘the collar’!!
In addition to the collars that Magnus creates, she also offers useful tips and what she calls the ‘crew neck closet’. Here is where she thrifts shirts and dresses that would fit her collars perfectly, which you can also purchase from her store so you’re never in doubt of how to pair your collars and also encourages buying sustainable fashion. Believe me whether you live in the US, UK or Australia, what she offers is worth the extra postage to get these items to your doorstep!
What I personally adore most about the false collar is the power to completely transform your old t-shirts and tired jumpers. They’ve given my wardrobe new life! Through supporting a small business, I now have a whole new love for some of my older clothes as I can simply change them up day by day.
At this preset time I own 6 collars and I will never stop adding to my ever-growing collection, remember #livecollarfully !
this month I was completely overwhelmed with happiness (understatement of the
century) when I got to see one of my idols the
Barbra Streisand live in Hyde Park. Oh my lovelies, to be able to stand
there hand in hand with my mum (aka the most important lady in my life) and watch
(through all the tears) this goddess whom we have both looked up to for many
years; it was quite simply a dream come true (as I’m sure it was for many of
the others we were stood with!) It got me thinking about how important it is to
have someone to look up to.
for me, an idol is someone whom I look up to because of their talent, career,
charisma and all-round presence.
Four people who I feel encompass all of these traits are (as mentioned) Babs, Lucille Ball, Liza Minnelli and of course, my mum. They’re ladies I’ve always known and can’t imagine my life without them. They influence a lot of what I do, how I dress and how I present myself to the world on a day to day basis (ask any of my friends or former colleagues… On second thought don’t!)
mum is an incredibly strong-willed woman who continues to empower me every day
and teaches me to never settle for less. She’s always taught me to be persistent,
and even though the road to success maybe a bumpy one has never once deterred me
from what I wanted to achieve in my life. I’ll always be eternally thankful for
her and for introducing me to the other amazing ladies I look up too.
Liza has been an idol of mine for as long as I can remember. I fell in love with her performances in Stepping Out, Cabaret and Arthur (not to mention her collaborations with choreographer Bob Fosse) and knew I wanted to perform just like her; the energy and facial expressions she possessed had me hooked from day 1. She’s an utter powerhouse, but yet when she’s vulnerable it’s beautiful to watch. What makes my admiration for her even more worthwhile is when I was working last month, an absolute sweetie made a comment that I resembled like her without even knowing I was a fan. If only I had her voice and could move like her, that is! Is there anyone you’ve been told you look like and do you find it strange, or like me the biggest compliment!? What I’ve always loved about Liza is that she still adores her mother and the legacy she build, but Liza well and truly carved out her own legendary career! Believe me; watch her episode of Inside the actors studio with James Lipton and try your hardest not to fall in love with her infectious personality! (See my dedication to the woman below in an impromptu makeover I did yesterday…)
One thing all my idols have in common is: comedy.
If you’ve met me, you may think I’m a little quirky, off-beat and most definitely kooky (these traits I definitely got from my dear mama!) So I suppose it’s no surprise that I relate heavily to all of the quirkiness these ladies flourish with. Like Liza, Barbra and Lucille are comediennes in their own right and I live for comedy! If you’ve never watched an episode of I Love Lucy before, might I recommend Lucy does a TV commercial or watch Barbra in Funny Girl and I defy you not to not belly laugh at some point! I find that even when the TV is on mute their facial expressions alone can leave you in fits of giggles. But did you know that if it weren’t for Lucille Ball you wouldn’t have Star Trek? I know right! In addition to her amazing comedic talent, she was the first woman ever to run a major TV studio! I mean, I don’t know about you but I certainly find that inspiring (even where we are in 2019). Moving swiftly back on the topic of Babs! Now she can make me howl with laughter one minute, make me sob with her effortless voice the next and still have plenty of talent to spare directing, producing and starring in two of her movies (one of which is my mum’s absolute favourite!)
What I’m trying to say through all of the ramble is – these fantastical ladies push me to do better. They’ve gone through personal battles over time and chose to come out on top and I know that if they can do it- so can I. I love my idols and they’ll always remain a massive part of my life. Even if some are in the entertainment industry or unfortunately not with us anymore and will never know that I exist, I’ve found that they can still support me just as much as I support them.
Chinwag time! Who are your idol(s) and why do they inspire you??
something I’ve not really gone into detail about on this blog (yet) is that I’m
a MASSIVE nerd (and very comfortable
with being called such) and right now one of the greatest annual events known
to humanity is currently taking place, San Diego Comic Con (SDCC for short). I
do realise that by just simply stating I’m
a nerd that it can sound quite generic, as I geek out about many things!
Fashion, musical theatre, movie scores and Liza Minnelli – just to pick out a
random few! However, my love for comic book/sci-fi/fantasy nerd culture is
something that’s been deeply rooted in my soul for as long as I can remember.
Watching classic Wonder Woman with the iconic Lynda Carter and discovering my
love of Patrick Stewart as none other than Jean Luc Picard with my mum, my
utter obsession with The Goonies and Beetlejuice (both of which are still going
strong by the way, thank you for asking) and as I got into my teenage years I
fell head over heels in love with The Lord of the Rings.
to mention everything else, this is merely the cusp of my geekiness!)
I know what you’re thinking “Quinn, are you feeling ok hun? You seem to have
left Star Wars off the list” Heck
no! It’s common knowledge that I bloomin’ adore Star Wars.
always I digress! As I was growing into an image conscious teen, I don’t know
about you but I began to notice the lack of clothing options available
especially if you were like me and knew you were different. At this time (as
you may recall me mentioning) I was an alternative teenager with a penchant for
Tim Burton inspired stripes and a severe lack of colour within my wardrobe. I
had to make do with jeans (with the widest legs I could find) from Tammy Girl
and an array of HMV t-shirts that were extremely ill-fitting and although
unisex definitely weren’t meant for shapely hips like mine (do remember that in
the year 2000 there was no Primark m’dears!) In my hometown the only other
option was a shop called Kinda Majik, and no there’s no spelling mistake. This
was your goth/alternative store, and I frequented here as again there was not
much else available. A case of needs must!
forward to now, 2019 and nerd girl clothing is much more than just a galaxy
far, far away! Most importantly we have brands such as Her Universe and Loungefly.
These brands truly understand what it means to be a nerd, a geek and a fangirl
(if you will)! You can be all of these things and do it in style; it’s exactly
why the amazing lady behind Her Universe developed the brand in the first
place. Ashley Eckstein is a wonderful actress both on screen and in the
voice-over booth. Every year she holds the Her Universe fashion show at San Diego
Comic Con unveiling new geek couture and uniting those that want to transfer
their love of nerd culture and put it in their everyday wardrobe.
Like Her Universe, Loungefly is nerd chic through and through! However they specialise in accessories. I first discovered this brand in early 2015 (instantly fell in love, obviously) but soon learned I could only buy their items if I ventured to the US, which lucky for me I did and made my first purchase without hesitation! They basically had me at “Star Wars purse”. Their bags and purses are now available everywhere from Disneyland Paris and the Disney Store, and websites such as Zavvi and Truffle Shuffle. Her Universe has yet to make the bigger transition to the UK and believe me; I’m waiting for the day with my star wars purse in hand.
Its brands like these that can make you feel empowered and truly represented, because I believe how your able to freely express yourself is important. Although I identified as Goth and wore that very much on my sleeve… and the rest of my body for that matter, underneath that veneer was my true self bursting at the seams. I chose hide that part and lock it away in my teenage bedroom, where it was safe. Yet that’s the part of me that has always remained a constant, as the Goth exterior surely enough faded away as soon as I left high school and entered college. I suppose I hid that huge part of myself away to not give kids another hundred reasons to bully and tease me; especially when those ‘things’ meant so much to me and helped me to escape. Although teasing me for whom I was and things I couldn’t change hurt, weirdly I knew teasing me for what I had utter love and admiration for would hurt so much more.
Now I wear my favourite movie properties and cartoons as a fashion statement and a symbol of just howproud I am to be a nerd.
Chinwag time! Are you a little bit geeky about something? If so, let’s have a geek out together!
I’m head over heels in love
with Copenhagen and I think it’s serious.
It may sound completely and utterly absurd, but having only stepped off the ship for a mere 10 minutes I already had the strange feeling I’d be heading back to Copenhagen again in the future. This may also have had something to do with the fact that this would have been the first time we’d have set foot on land in almost 72 hours. If you’re thinking “wait, you did tell us why this was but I honestly can’t remember” – then let me catch you up m’dears! We were scheduled to head to Brugge as our first port and due to a storm called Hannah (apologies to any Hannah’s out there reading this, it’s nothing personal) this would not be possible. We thus had to spend a day extra at sea and our first port of the trip would be Copenhagen. TA-DAR!
But let me reiterate, Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever set my eyes upon and completely different to other cities. Say you like the concept of being in a city and going sightseeing, but maybe you’ve tried somewhere like London and it’s really not your cup of tea. Sometimes it’s the sheer volume of people and I understand that at times it can feel fairly claustrophobic, I completely hear you! If all this rings a bell, then why not give Copenhagen a try instead? Now although it’s a city, believe me nothing makes you feel like you’re wandering around one. My mum likened it very much to Amsterdam, if that comparison helps at all? There’s no real sense of hustle and bustle, the people are incredibly friendly and the food, oh my goodness the food!
If you’re not so keen on trying new foods and want to stay fairly close to home, don’t worry most restaurants (especially on the front in Nyhavn or the city centre) have plenty of options to keep everyone’s tummy’s happy! But if you’re a bit like me and cannot wait to get stuck in for lunch, then you simply must opt for an open-faced sandwich more commonly known as Smørrebrød. You can find so many different toppings for these to try and almost everywhere in Copenhagen serves them! In the end my mum and I decided on beef, horseradish, crispy onions, sun-dried tomato and pickles on rye bread. I know it may sound like a simple combo, but my goodness when you put all the flavours together it tasted like the most incredible comfort food! I could have easily had a second helping if I weren’t so full.
However if I’ve managed to win you over already and you’re now desperate to visit yourself, let me be open and honest about the prices! Do be aware it’s a fairly expensive trip, a touch more expensive than London. To put it into perspective, the Smørrebrød and a coffee came to around £15 per person. But I wouldn’t let this sway you from booking a trip to Copenhagen immediately my lovelies! This is something that didn’t really faze me when visiting; it’s just something to take into account before going.
Now even though we only spent
around 12 hours here, I feel like I’m only getting started when telling you all
how truly glorious this place is.
You’ve probably seen on countless instagram accounts (or even this blog) the famous multi-coloured houses in Nyhavn and the statue of The Little Mermaid. Basically not discounting these wondrous sights, but everywhere you turn is a photo opportunity and a photo simply does not do these sights justice. There’s so much to see! To try and conquer this we managed to book a canal cruise and I feel this is an absolute must. In doing this you will see sights that otherwise would be quite difficult to see in such a short space of time, the canals are the easiest way to get from point a to point b of the city- without skimping on any of the sights along the way. I also found it absolutely fascinating to learn about their history; honestly I can’t recommend it enough. Tip: if you take the canal cruise in the evening you’ll also see the sun begin to set throughout your journey, which allows you to see the city in (literally) a completely different light!
Another reason why I would have done anything to stay another day in the city (as if I need another reason!) would be for Tivoli Gardens. We sadly only got to experience an hour in this magical, fairy-tale theme park and you must pay it a visit if you ever decide to venture to Copenhagen. It’s a very special place and so much more than a theme park! You can simply purchase an entrance ticket and have a wander, do some shopping, eat some delicious cake at Cakenhagen (and yes. That’s the actual name of the store) and pay separately for the rides, if you wish to do so. Or pay for a ticket that includes the entrance fee plus all the rides! Honestly visiting felt like a step back in time (especially in the evening), when you wander around the gardens, see peacocks walking freely around the park, delicious food stalls, pretty fairy lights cascading the buildings and trees and an abundance of family-friendly rides; you can indeed see where Mr. Walt Disney got his inspiration from for a theme park of his own…
Although nothing quite prepared me for how much I was going to freak out over seeing the home of Hans Christian Andersen. For me personally, this was the core reason for wanting to visit Copenhagen so badly in the first place. Aside from loving the Danny Kaye musical movie (a little too much), I have adored the fairy-tales of his from a very young age. As I can imagine many of you have! (I even freaked out having a photograph taken with his statue in Central Park, New York!) He lived in three different houses in Nyhavn and there are various nods to him all over the city. There’s even a statue of him across from Tivoli Gardens, in which people still leave flowers for him. How beautiful is that? It filled my heart to know that he is very much a presence within the city and that the people arestill in love with his stories.
As you can blatantly see the beauty of Copenhagen has stolen my heart tenfold. In all honestly I could hop on a flight tomorrow and travel back in a heartbeat, with zero regrets! If you want fairy-tale culture combined with awesome food, then my friends this is the city for you!
How about we have a sit down,
a cuppa and a chingwag?
Do tell me, how are you all? Apologies for yet another 3 week absence, I swear that these absences feel longer every time! So to catch you all up with life stuff, this last week I’ve been on a wonderful job with some truly lovely people and as much as my intentions were good to come home and write another blog, honestly? I was so tired, that food and bed won me over every time. However, I’m now getting better at not berating myself every time I don’t happen to fulfil a task on my imaginary to-do list (that’s normally down to the floor). I listened to my body and did what I needed to do.
Within the last month it’s
safe to say there have been a couple of things that’s definitely put my anxiety
to the test. The feeling that certain forces have been put on this Earth purely
to test how you’ll cope. For those that are in the process of healing or
starting your journey, have you felt that? Well that’s how things have been
recently and I don’t want to jinx things, but so far things are in fact ok! If
these forces are trying to grab hold of you once more, remember how strong youtruly
are. Believe me, you are.
If I’m being perfectly
honest, yes during this time I’ve had a panic attack. But so far it’s only been
the one. Normally I would have seen this
as a step backward or a sign of
weakness, but weirdly I’m feeling quite the opposite. It happened, I took
control of it and although my body was exhausted for a time afterward I didn’t
let it get the best of me. Now I cannot lie my friends, this is major progress.
Aside from that minor blip,
I’ve been taking steps to get passed some of these testing moments that would have otherwise dragged me down, I like
to call these “F—it, why not” moments.
It’s basically trying to be
more open and more spontaneous to what’s out there and if you’re having a
particularly good day you could be on a roll!
So starting off small I
started doing Yoga in the comfort of
my own home! Yes, I know! Me! Yoga!Again,
this is just something small but after one session I could already feel a
massive change. During my healing process everyone around me recommended I try
yoga. However at the time I was completely against it and couldn’t see how it
could possibly help. It’s that’s scenario of wanting to and when you’re in a dark place sometimes the last thing
you want to do is work out and meditate. It’s one of those rousing “I told you
so” moments, yes I can hear you!
Here’s where I’m majorly
proud of myself (I never say that I’m proud of myself, but here it comes!) I
applied for not one job lately, but four!
Now to some this will
probably not seem like a big deal. However rewinding back to January (of this
year) the thought of even going online to just have a browse at jobs sent me
into an instant panic attack with no warning, one that could have lasted up to
an hour and wiped me out for the rest of the day. I had absolutely no
confidence in myself or believed I had any sort of skills and basically thought
I was useless and simply didn’t even see the point.
This is HUGE deal.
I digress. It’s not just the
number of jobs I’ve applied for that matter, but I applied for jobs that aren’t
even in this country! Believe me when I say, I would never have given these
opportunities a second glance last year, January or even February let alone
apply for them! Now I’m well aware that I may never get anywhere with these
applications. That’s what is so thrilling about the “F—it, why not” moments, it’s about the process of spurring you
on to make you happy to strive for other victories. These victories are
personal to you.
If you’ve had a particularly
bad day, week or even month remember lovelies I’m always here to talk and you
can always drop me a line!
But if you wake up and think “F—it, why not” I’m going to do that (insert awesome achievement here) thing I’ve been thinking about for a while, then do it whilst you feel that way and you’re in the moment and just know I’m very proud of you!
I’ll be honest lovelies; I
really don’t care for summer.
From June until mid-September
is a time of year I simply don’t look forward to. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I
love the thought of staying out until late and yet it’s still light out, those
days someone suggests having a BBQ for dinner (which is always a resounding “UM
YES”) and days spent lounging in the park or wondering around central with
gelato. But I have this love/hate relationship with the HEAT. Put it this way
my dear readers, when I go on holiday my destination of choice is anywhere
that’s 25 degrees or less… But when the UK does decide it’s going to get hot
(which actually happens believe it or not. I’m staring outside right now and I
see the sunshine, it’s there!) I’m always horrifically unprepared. Why am I always unprepared?
This is why. Now I’m going to
give you a little insight into my wardrobe situation, (y’know, this is blog
number 11 m’dears and we’re all getting to know each other now!) So the
scenario is this… my summer clothes are abysmal!
Winter clothes dominate a solid 90% of my wardrobe. Now that’s bad isn’t it?
My “summer clothes” basically
conclude of 2 skirts, 2 dresses and a mere few tops… I’ve been well aware for a
number of years now that this has to change!
However I’ve been extremely lucky! I managed to win a prize (which never happens) with my absolute favourite online clothing store Joanie Clothing. If you’re listening to me ramble on wondering who on earth Joanie are? I shall explain my loves. Their tag line states “pretty clothes for nostalgic souls” – It’s feminine, chic but also fits my quirky personality. It was a brand I felt suited me perfectly and their clothes are extremely high quality. So you can imagine my excitement to discover I’d practically won a shopping spree, without the arduous task of leaving the house.
It was here I set myself the
challenge of actually buying summer
clothes and I can honestly say I had a difficult time pick and choosing, as I naturally
gravitate towards the long sleeves and those warm autumnal tones. It’s almost
like telling me I’m not allowed to buy anything with polka dots ever again…
It’s just not going to happen!
When I have bought summer
clothes in the past they tend to be dresses that I can just simply throw on,
with no effort needed. However these tend to be unflattering to my body shape
and nowhere near reflect who I am or my personal style. What I like to call convenience clothing! These specific
items are worn in the house and unfortunately that’s as far as they go. I just don’t
feel my best self when wearing these items of clothing in public, no matter how
comfortable they are. Do you have any clothes like that my dears? I’ll be
honest, I have a fair bit.
But these pieces I’ve listed throughout this blog 100% show to the world exactly who I am and are also super comfortable, which is a huge bonus. What I basically wanted is a wardrobe that excites me to wear it just as my autumn/winter collection does. A wardrobe that looks as though I’ve put hours of effort when in reality all I’ve done is throw on a fabulous dress and my trusty mustard loafers (which I’m obsessed with!)
You can see why I’ve had such
trouble putting this all together now, can’t you?!
Tell me your wardrobe woes my lovelies! Do you look forward to getting your summer looks together, or are you like me and try to live in your autumn wardrobe until you just can’t get away with it anymore?
“In the world of today, haute couture is one of the last repositories of the marvellous” Christian Dior, 1957
This can be read on the wall
as you make your exit from visiting Christian
Dior: Designer of Dreams, which currently resides at the V&A until
September. It’s an exhibition that celebrates the life and career of the man
that started it all and the 6 key creative directors that have followed in his
footsteps. It’s exquisite, stunning and breathtakingly beautiful. For anyone
who loves fashion and artistry, this is both an education and a history lesson.
But not one that will put you to sleep! No no, quite the opposite.
With more than 200 dresses on
show this entire exhibition basically became a shopping list of everything I
can’t have, but would hyperventilate uncontrollably if I did.
From Dior himself to his
successors; when seeing all the pieces displayed so perfectly together I felt there
was one common theme that the Dior brand has stayed true too.
The essence of femininity.
This was first demonstrated with Christian’s ‘Bar Suit’ (designed in 1947 and made in 1955). This ground-breaking outfit embraced ladies curves (and believe me, from seeing this in person if you didn’t have curves back then you were guaranteed them just by slipping on this fantastic tailored jacket). Upon his first fashion show in 1947 where he debuted this design it was immediately dubbed the New Look. Fast forward to creative director John Galliano (1996 – 2011) bringing extravagance and theatricality to the runway and now to the present day with Maria Grazia Chiuri (Dior’s first ever women creative director, can I get an amen?) Chiuri stands for female empowerment and says with her way of femininity “the message, really, is that there is not one kind of women” (quote from Vogue.com).
Quite simply, whether we’re talking 1955 or 2019 – Dior know women and they know how to dress us.
All of us.
Walking into the exhibition- from the first moment it felt as though it was lifted straight from the pages of a fairy-tale, almost like Disney’s Cinderella and Dior is your fantastical Fairy Godmother. As you turn each corner; almost holding your breath to see what might await you in the next room, the experience made you feel as though you were permanently in a dreamlike state. Honestly, it’s magical! Although not as emotional as Mcqueen’s Savage Beauty (V&A, 2015), It gave me a lot of the same feelings in terms of the thought and care that has clearly gone into each room.
I’ll be honest, there were so many garments in that exhibition I never ever thought I’d have the opportunity to see… that wasn’t just on the pages of a magazine that is (basically a lot of John Galliano- see the photos above for sheer perfection); and clearly from the literal “oohs” and “ahhs” that emerged from everyone else’s mouths around me I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. It was at a moment like that I realised we were all there for the same reason.
WE J’ADORE DIOR.
At £20 a ticket, honestly it was worth every single penny and more (and if you’re wondering, yes you could take photos!) If you are contemplating a visit, unfortunately lovelies the run is currently sold out however (like the Savage Beauty exhibition) they do release a limited number of tickets at the V&A itself. Also, do keep your eyes peeled online as I’ve noticed they have been releasing more tickets for museum lates!
Victoria and Albert Museum Cromwell Road SW7 2RL Nearest tube station: South Kensington
I know that it’s
only been 2 weeks since I last posted, but in the world of me I swear it feels
a lot longer. As you may be able to guess from the title of this post, I have
firmly set foot back onto land and back from my Scandinavian adventure and my
first ever mother/daughter holiyey!
I’ve been rather excited to have this chinwag with you all since returning and I have so much to discuss. So as Julie Andrews once sang “Let’s start at the very beginning” (don’t worry I’m not going to copy and paste the entirety of Do Re Mi on here, I’ll just let you all get the song stuck inside your head of your own accord…)
Now as someone who recently disclosed with you all that I had a fear of boats and doing something on this sheer scale was a rather big deal for me (understatement of the century). I can hand on heart tell you all that I’m completely and utterly converted to the cruise life and may have already started looking at others I could venture on in the future (may I add that I did this search whilst still on board the cruise itself!)
So for lack of a better word, I bloomin’ loved it.
I’ll be honest I don’t think my mum was the only one who was shocked upon hearing how much I enjoyed the entire experience, and no one was more surprised most than me!
The cruise liner we
sailed with was Princess Cruises, on the Sapphire Princess ship. Now this meant
absolutely nothing to me; as I didn’t know who was neither good nor bad! But
this decision was made due to the fact my parents had sailed with them a few
times before and has had many a wonderful experience with them, and thought
given their track record it wouldn’t be a bad place to start!
Lovelies if you’ve never been on a cruise before however it’s something that has crossed your mind from time to time, then I say absolutely do it!! But for those who really aren’t keen on the whole idea, I wouldn’t say that it’s a must do or tell you that “you’d be missing out if you didn’t”. However, there’s a lot I’ve gained from having this wonderful experience and also things I’ve learned about myself.
Cruises are not just for people who have retired – Unfortunately this is a very common misconception and I’ll be honest, when my parents booked their first cruise I was shocked as this is something I thought to be true as well. However, given the range on cruises you can now book and the vast choice of cruise liners you’ll most likely see every holidaymaker going!
You can absolutely go on a cruise as a solo traveller and look fabulous doing it! – I saw so many wonderful people on our specific trip that were solo travellers. There’s so much to do on and off the ship and everyone (especially the staff) is extraordinary you will always feel like you’re being looked after.
There’s a facebook group for that – If you’re going on your 1st
or 15th cruise with your partner/friend/wonderful self, join a
facebook group for your specific cruise line! Whether it’s a question about
what’s onboard, the excursions on offer or even how much of which currency to
take! Everyone will offer their own
experiences to help you on your way and for certain things my mum and I found
this very handy!
You don’t have to dress up to the nines – Again, a very common misconception! The formal nights are a great way to get dressed up and take the opportunity to snap some lovely photos. If you’re like me you’ll relish an opportunity like this, as apart from weddings or the occasional drag show in London I don’t get to do it very often! But you don’t have too if it makes you feel a little uncomfortable or it’s just simply not your thing! Don’t worry, there are still many people that don’t. But if it is your thing, however you don’t know what to wear and dread the thought of bling and sequins (very much like yours truly); A simple cocktail/maxi dress and some flats will do. (I’ll go into further detail about the formal nights soon!)
Activity time! – There’s so much to do on-board the Princess cruises and you get your daily patter delivered the day beforehand of all the things scheduled. I found this becomes particularly handy on the days at sea! However, just because it’s all there don’t feel obliged to take part! It’s one of the things that actually made me feel a little nervous. That notion of “do you have to join in?” You absolutely don’t. But watching a movie outside on the cinema screen, lounging with a coffee and cake (which my mum and I did many times over) or taking in a boogie in the ships nightclub are things I did do on-board!
So many places in the world, so little time! – Cruises are the greatest way to see parts of the world, by giving you a taster. What I mean by this is, say like me you wanted to visit Scandinavia… But you simply don’t know where to start?! Do you travel to the main cities or go further out to the countryside? This is where a cruise is a fantastic idea, as (depending on the cruise you opt for) it allows you to explore places you maybe never would have ventured to had it not been on the itinerary!
Those immortal lines “I don’t get motion sickness, as I’m great on roller coasters” – ships are not roller coasters kids. They can be extremely rocky and this can last for hours. It is true, I love roller coasters and have never really suffered with motion sickness. However this is a completely different sensation. Heed my advice and take sea sickness pills with you, no matter how strong you think your stomach is! However if you’re like me and for reasons can’t take sea sickness tablets, those adult travel bands (y’know the ones that sit on the pressure points on your wrist?) are amazing and certainly do the trick!
THE FOOD – It’s inclusive, enjoy it and feel no
I well and truly missed the boat here – Due to unfortunate circumstances (aka the darn weather, curse you Storm Hannah), we had to miss our stop to Brugge and stay at sea for an extra day; this would ensure our safety and help us arrive into Copenhagen on time. Now I’m going to put this down to my sheer lack of knowledge about going on a cruise… But I didn’t know that ‘missing a port’ was a thing. It’s a bummer!! So much so that the idea of spending another day at sea sent me into a panic attack… My first in a couple of months! However thanks to my amazing mum, she got me back on track and helped me deal with it pretty quickly. I digress! If this ever happens (the missed port scenario, that is) make sure beforehand you have holiday insurance with specific cruise cover, as you may be able to claim something back!
Lost at sea? – Obviously it goes without saying but you won’t have phone signal on board the ship (shock horror!) Whatever you do, do NOT go and pay the ridiculous Wi-Fi prices they have on-board. I forbid you all to do so, as it’s really not necessary. Most cruise liners (like Princess) will have a super easy to use app (free of charge might I add) that you can use on the ship to contact others you’re on holiday with. Huzzah! Then if you’d like to contact loved ones back in the UK, wait until you land at a port! Being at sea and having no signal or social media was extremely liberating. It put me at ease to not see everyone attached to their phones and instead taking the time to meet new people; and living in the moment.
RELAX – The first thing I told my partner once we’d landed back home was how, for the first time I went from 90 mph to 5 mph. His response? “Good, because you never ever relax” and he’s absolutely 100% correct. My usual idea of a relaxing holiday is crammed full of sightseeing, walking, wandering and going full-out. When you’re at sea… You’re entire mentality has to change. I didn’t realise how quick I’d fall into a state of relaxation. Honestly? It took me less than a day. As someone who’s past year or so has been a never-ending stream of overthinking, to the point of either not leaving the house or a series of panic attacks. This has been a triumph and a half!
So I have two weddings to attend this year, which
I’m not gonna lie- that’s a lot for me! But I’ve now reached that age where
this should be a normal occurrence, no? However what my inner monologue is
actually saying is- “Oh my goodness, we’re now at that age where all my friends
are getting married and I’m sat here contemplating a trip to New York for comic
con season”. Well, you can see where my priorities currently lie, can’t you?
ecstatic to be attending the weddings of my beautiful friends (and have already
got emotional about it on more than one occasion); and feel that this is a
fashion opportunity if ever there was one!
Now I love shopping for a wedding outfit and
waste no time in looking as soon as an invitation arrives in the post (no word
of a lie).
If you made the
assumption that I don’t like to be one of these wedding guests who tends to
hide in the background- then you’d be spot on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully of
the notion that you shouldn’t upstage the bride; I think that goes without
saying. However I don’t think there’s any harm in looking as fabulous as you
possibly can (hey, photos last forever y’know! Didn’t you see my last blog?)
If you’re struggling to come up with some ideas of what to wear for this year’s wedding season, or feeling adventurous and want to give other styles a try? I’ve put together a little mood board as an example of how I’d (personally) put an outfit together, also taking into consideration accessories and makeup (of course! You all know I’m a sucker for a statement red lip!)
As you can (easily) guess from my mood board, I’m not exactly traditional. Again, you’d be right there.
I definitely have my own “rules” (if you will) when it comes to wedding season shopping… Now, before I go into these “rules”; let me establish sweeties that these are purely what I go by and just my opinion.
Absolutely no (I mean no) fascinator’s. However I feel incomplete without a hat (preferably a pillbox!) This doesn’t mean that I don’t love a fascinator on others! I simply don’t suit them and because of hairstyle it looks as though an alien is emerging from my head… Very much like what you see in Alien, or The Thing. Not a good look.
You absolutely can wear black to a wedding. I feel as though there may have been a few gasps when reading that. But I have worn black to a wedding before! It’s all in how you wear it. By wearing stripes or polka dot, it breaks up that you’re wearing a big black block and can introduce some personality to your outfit.
You don’t have to wear floral’s! I know this may seem an unusual one to put. However whenever you visit certain stores on the high street at this time of year, it may seem as though that’s all there is available for us wedding guests and there’s a total lack of imagination for those of us that may want some different.
Get an outfit that can do both! If you’re lucky enough to be invited to the ceremony, getting an outfit that can transition seamlessly to the evening reception will cut down costs and a trip home (or the hotel) to change!
A note to takeaway lovelies, the wedding of your beautiful friends/family/friends that are practically family is an event you want to remember (for all the right reasons, of course)! Wear something you’re going to relish wearing for the day, regardless if you don’t wear it again until the next big occasion! Be comfortable, be fabulous and be YOU!