21 September 2013

TRAVEL: Autumn Weekend Packing Essentials

Hey everyone,

Autumn is the time of the year I'm most likely to have a weekend away. Ticket prices drop along with the temperature, so it's much more comfortable to wander around taking in the sights.

There are also more opportunities to nip into cafes for a cheeky hot chocolate and cake, which is really what life is all about.

I'm going on a few jaunts in the next few months - I'm visiting my sister again in Glasgow next month (I try and go before her semester really kicks in and she is inundated with work. Unlike me, 'procrastination' is not a word in Nadia's vocabulary. Which is ironic, seeing as she's an English student).

Then in November I'm going to Plus London 3 and in December I'm going to London again to see Placebo.

So I thought I'd write a blog about my packing essentials for weekends away.
I must admit before I went backpacking I had a habit of taking everything but the kitchen sink with me. But in recent times I've learned to be more stringent. Sort of.

Anyways, here is what I pack:


1: As you know I love my belts. I take one one dark and one bright, then tie with hair elastics which I can use later.

2: For a weekend break (Thee days, two nights) I take three day dresses.

3: I also bring a dress suitable for the evening, for when we go out for a meal or if we end up going dancing. 

4: A snuggly jumper in a neutral colour that can easily be thrown on top of any of my day dresses when it gets chilly. (Yes, this is my bunny jumper!)

5: A cardigan, in a dark colour. Black is always good. Not only for the cold and fashion's sake, but handy to have in case you visit a religious building and you need to cover your shoulders.

6: Vest top/singlet. Great for putting on under dresses when it's cold, or use as a pyjama top/to slum around your hotel.

7: Socks. Self explanatory.

8: I tend to buy a new packet of tights for when I'm going away so I don't have to worry as much about ladders and holes.

ALSO: Pack underwear. I didn't think I had to show this as you really don't need to see my drawers.
And bring a coat, too. Yes, Geordies do wear coats sometimes. 

Don't forget to pack your pyjamas - I've done this several times and had to ask friends for a loan. 
(I mostly sleep in band t-shirts from my youth and Primark pyjama bottoms as that's how I roll.)

Also bring a hat, a scarf and gloves or mittens. Although don't wear these to bed. 
(Though you can if you want to, I suppose.)


During Autumn and Winter I pretty much live in boots anyway - so will either bring my black Dr Marten 1460 boots or my black Bearpaw wool-lined boots. 
I also bring a nice pair of flats to wear in an evening. 
I hardly ever wear heels, but if you'd like to bring them - go ahead!

This may sound like an obvious tip, but be sure to wear - not pack - your heaviest boots or shoes to save lugging them about. Or worse, going over your weight limit if you are flying.

Another tip is to roll your socks, hosiery and underwear into your footwear to save room in your bag. 


My favourite kind of washbag to travel with is like the large floral one. 

You can find them on eBay and in homewear stores - but I got mine in Primark for under £5. 

They fold out with different section and you can see everything you have in front of you. 
The hook also make it easy to hang onto bathroom doors or the shower while you're getting ready (this was a lifesaver while saying in hostels!).

Or if you can fit everything into a regular wash bag, then ten points to Gryffindor!

1: A razor. 

2: Toothbrush and toothpaste. 

3: Shampoo and conditioner. I personally love the Lush shampoo bars while travelling as they're so compact and you don't have to worry about a MAJOR SHAMPOO EXPLOSION
Karma is my favourite, but Godiva is also great as it has lots of conditioning ingredients included.

4: Face wipes. 

6: Setting powder: Nude Beige by Maybelline.

7: Brow palette: Vamp by HD Brows.

8: Soap/shower gel. 

9: Blush: Rustic Peach by BeautyUK. This has a small brush included which I don't normally use, but it saves me bringing my big blusher brush. 

10: Foundation: Sand Beige by Revlon.

11: Tweezers.

12: Eyeliner. I got this from eBay and really love it! (I also forgot to put a number by my Mascara - this is They're Real by Benefit.)

13: A lipstick. I adore lipstick, but have to limit myself to one or two at the most. This is Russian Red by MAC which is great for day or night.

14: Sanitary products. 

15: Medication. I always bring paracetamol, stomach tablets and travel sickness pills just in case.

16: Just a hint: if you have travel sized/sample products lying around from magazine freebies or beauty boxes that you aren't in a hurry to use, put them aside in a box and they're great for short trips away!


1: Phone. If you have a smartphone, this is extra handy for maps, looking up restaurant/excursion reviews and making notes of your reservations.
(I always screenshot confirmations to save time and not have to be scrambling in my bag for printed documents).

2: Camera. I was using my DSLR to take these pictures so please enjoy my Helina 3000 standing in for the photo's sake!

3: Travelcards and passports if necessary.

4: Camera remote. This is very useful if you are going somewhere rather secluded and there is no-one around to take your photo. Just set your camera up and click. This only cost a few pounds from eBay!

5: Earplugs. Essential for sleeping on transportation, and also if your travel buddy snores like a rhino with catarrh. 

6: Travel hair straighteners. Most hotels and hostels have hairdryers, but if you use hair straighteners you can pick up a cheap pair for around £5. 
(Look out for these around Christmas - they're always being sold as inexpensive stocking fillers.)

7: iPod/MP3 player and headphones. I can't travel anywhere without music, and your fellow travellers will love you if you have noise reduction headphones.

ALSO: If you are leaving the country, be sure to pack a travel power adaptor. 
These are pretty inexpensive at home, but if you are in a touristy area and have forgotten yours the price will be sky high (especially at the reception desk of your hotel).

Remember if you do forget anything, it's not the end of the world and you'll be able to find it somewhere.
But it's the last thing you want on your holiday to be running around trying to find a pharmacy before it closes because you have an upset stomach. Been there, my friends. 

I hope you've enjoyed this, and let me know if you're going anywhere nice this Autumn!

Finally because this is (supposably) a fashion blog, I'll include a picture of my favourite outfit at the moment because I haven't featured it yet.

You'll also be seeing it in my next post, but for now:

With local blogger babes Hannah, Fen and Katy.

DRESS: Pink Clove*
HAT: Vintage
SHOES: Dr Martens*

Muchos love,

DISCLAIMER: Post in collaboration with Superbreak. As always - all words and opinions are my own. 

16 September 2013

OUTFIT POST: #StandForSomething

Hey everyone,

Dr Martens recently opened a store in Newcastle, and were kind enough to send me a pair of DMs to style and also wear to the opening.

I'll be writing about the opening a little later, but for now this is the outfit I paired with my new bright violet boots (ooh, shiny!):

DRESS: Mela Loves London
BELT: Dorothy Perkins
HAT: ASOS (This was my very first ASOS purchase back in 2008 when it was still 'As Seen On Screen')
BOOTS: Dr Martens*

I'm looking for some frilly socks as they'll look so much cuter than these.
They're not only for style though, as my boots are still in the 'teething' phase - because breaking them in is half the fun!

I now have three pairs of DMs and although they're timeless and suitable for any time of the year - they're especially great in Autumn/Winter for keeping your tootsies warm, and look amazing with a big cosy coat and scarves. 
(And honestly, once you break them in they're as comfortable as slippers! Patience and band aids are a must.)

They're also warriors in terms of battling the elements - which is a bit standard in the UK. 

I've put together a little Autumn wishlist along with the white 1460 boots I bought at the new store:


Dr Marten's latest campaign is #STANDFORSOMETHING.

I'll be posting my own take on this in my next post, however be sure to check out the Facebook app and upload your own for the chance to win a pair of docs.

Muchos love,

DISCLAIMER: Dr Martens boots were sent to style and feature, as well as wear to the opening party (separate post coming soon!). However all words and opinions are my own, and I wasn't paid to take part in the campaign. The Autumn Wishlist also serves as my competition entry for ao.com. 

10 September 2013

Autumn Pending

Hey everyone,

Remember me?

I decided to take an unscheduled holiday from blogging in August.
Not for any reason in particular, I just felt I needed a little break.

However with Autumn pending I've been feeling very motivated lately, although I haven't posted in September yet as surprisingly I've been rather busy.

I think a lot of me feeling 'meh' is that I'm all summer-ed out.
I had an Australian summer from September last year, right through to when I came home in Feburary. And and although it was rather chilly until March, we had a surprisingly good Spring and of course a heatwave this Summer.

I'm not usually one to moan about the heat - but really, I'm done for a while with sun dresses and light airy cardigans.
Bring on the thick knitwear and snuggly coats! And hats to hide my roots.

I bought this coat ages go and hadn't had a chance to wear them until this this week.
You can really feel the seasons click.

COAT: George
JUMPER: George
TOP: George
JEANS: Dorothy Perkins
SHOES: Uggs*

I've been after a cute, collared top I can easily put under a lot of things. 
It did have a peplum bottom however that I wasn't too keen on so I simply chopped it off. 

My personal style challenge for Autumn/Winter is to wear more separates. 
Dresses and belts are becoming my comfort blanket and I'd like more variation in my wardrobe.


I was sent these pretty sparkly shoes quite a while ago and I've been wearing them pretty much constantly. I can't believe they're Uggs - I didn't even know they made ballet flats!

They are easily the comfiest pair of the shoes I've ever owned. I have funny feet - it takes me ages to break shoes in and even then if I'm not careful I always end up with blisters. But these are lined with sheepskin inside (so will keep my tootsies warm in colder months!) and gum rubber on the outside.

I was also recently caught in a rainstorm in these shoes - and they look as good as new!
Usually I'd only spend up to £15 on flats, but these really are worth the £80 investment. 
They're also available in black glitter, and I'm going to buy another pair incase these ever wear out!

In other news after a few months too long, I finally had my hair cut and restyled. 
My lovely friend Chris is now working in The Birdcage Salon at Forever Long Hair, where I originally visited last year to have ombre/dip dye put in my hair.

I've been growing my hair for well over a year now, so didn't want much taken off the length. 
So Chris put on a treatment, gave me lots of long layers and because I was going out on the evening waved it to finish:

Channelling Ariel!
("Look at this stuff, isn't it neat?...")

If you're local to Newcastle please check out Forever Long Hair
They also have a large selection of products, tools, extensions and wigs - in store and also online.

Ask for Chris, and tell him Carla sent you!

The beautiful Birdcage Salon.

And finally after my haircut I met with my favourite local bloggers Claire and Bryden from Trebles and a Mixer for dinner at Nudo:

 I had tuna maki, salmon temaki and spicy edamame.
And for dessert we shared green tea and taro ice cream with chocolate jin deui.

Muchos love,