Insta-Fashion: A round up of my favourite casual looks

As I have mentioned here, Instagram is a place where I regularly update my daily outfits, travel titbits, fitness regimes and of course home and mum life. In this post, I will take you through some of my favourite casual looks.

 

1)      Floral Bomber:

Belfast and Northern Ireland Must See Places

Bomber jackets are having a moment and why not? They are incredibly versatile. Pair with a flowing maxi, jeans and tee, shorts or a midi. I have here used a floral bomber and accessorised with a statement necklace to give it some oomph. I have used my Toms here as it is one of the most comfortable walking footwear I owe and bomber jackets are perfect when you are traveling as it can be used on its own or for layering (with another bigger jacket for winter months). Also love this and this bomber jacket options.

2)  Paisley Print Top:

Paisley Print casual look

I absolutely adore paisley print and this top is a gift from my wonderful sister in law. The navy colour, the paisley print and the bubble hem style makes this blouse a clear winner in my eyes. I have paired it with long hoop earrings, chunky bracelet and ankle boots. You can check out this paisley top from Misguided.

3)      Polka Dots

Polka Dot Fashion

Who does not love polka dots? Polka Dots are sartorial fun guaranteed. When I saw this polka dot black and white blouse, I was bowled over. I have used minimal Owl accessories and my specs for here. And note for work I have swapped my trusty flats with coral pumps.  Also like this polka dot blouse from Amazon Fashion.

Thank you for reading this post. Hope you enjoyed it. Have a great weekend and do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

Northern Ireland & Belfast: A place full of surprises

Northern Ireland is different. To be honest, I had not expected much from this place and dare I say I did not plan this trip so meticulously perhaps this is why I was beyond surprised with what Belfast and surrounding areas had to offer. Here, I take you through some of my favourite points from our last holiday.

Belfast:

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

City Hall, Belfast

Many are quick to dismiss Belfast as a place with a wounded past nothing much to offer beyond its conflicted history. But hold those thoughts as Belfast would pleasantly surprise you. I had imagined Belfast to be grey and gloomy but only one trip to the city centre is enough to convince you of its grandeur, rich architecture and quirkiness.

The City Hall screams of underrated sophistication where as Cathedral Quarter located a few blocks away is filled with places where you can eat, drink and make merry. There is something decidedly edgy and trendy about this walk which overwhelms you pleasantly. Time really slows down when you are exploring the various interesting nooks and corners of this city and you would want more and more of it.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

Beacon of Hope, Belfast

My favourite spot, however, was the brilliant water front. There is something calming about that spot where you can forget the hustle-bustle of the city, your own restless mind and see the river meandering through. Two sculptures which stood out for me here were the Beacon of Hope and the Big (Blue) Fish each reminding me of never letting go of hope and always remembering the bigger things in life. Other must-see places of Belfast are the Titanic Quarter, Peace Wall and St. George Market.

Game of Thrones:

I will be honest, I initially started thinking of Northern Ireland only for Game of Thrones. The rugged castles, gnarled woods and its raw beauty makes this place perfect for many Westerns locations. There are several tour guides operating here and based on your requirements and budget you can tailor make a trip for you.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

The Arya Stark Bridge

If you are a fan then this tour is unmissable (can be done independently too). You can check out Stark’s home of Winterfell, the bridge where Arya runs to save herself from Waif, the ghoulish White Walkers and the caves of Cushenden, where Melisandre gives birth to the shadow baby.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places Game of Thrones

Dark Hedges, on the route Arya Stark, masquerading as a boy, took when when escaping King’s Landing.

Game of Thrones is almost like a mini-industry in and around Northern Ireland. Don’t be surprised if you run into extras or members of crew from this hit show. Both our GoT tour guide and Air BnB host were part of GoT cast and crew and needless to say gave us some interesting stories about the show and its main characters.

Coastal Drive to Giant Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge:

National Geographic mentions this coastal drive as one of the most scenic drives in the world and one has to take this trip to believe that it is in fact true. The hundred mile stretch boasts of some jaw-droopingly spectacular scenery. It is centred around the nine glens (valleys) of Antrim and you turn any which way you will see magnificent valleys, sprinkling water bodies, lush greenery everywhere.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

Giants Causeway

Giant Causeway, itself is so amazing, that no superlatives can do justice to its beauty. Apparently a result of a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago; the rock formations are surreal. They are near perfect hexagon shaped tubes stacked neatly resembling a giant puzzle. The Giant’s Causeway is also steeped in myth and legend. Some say it was carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool, who left behind an ancient home full of folklore.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

On the opposite side of Giants Causeway, is the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge an ancient rope bridge. This is another stunning experience that Northern Ireland has to offer. Walk along an exhilarating coastal path awash with grassy slopes and rocky outcrops. You will see flower-rich meadows, the occasional grazing cattle, the magnificent views of Ratlin Island and Scottish Isles amidst the vast azure blue waters before actually arriving the entry of the rope bridge.

The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede and it spans 20 metres (66 ft) and is 30 metres (98 ft) above the rocks below hill Mountains. If you are brave enough to see you will notice the sea below you dancing, thriving and teasing you whilst the swaying bridge would almost give you a feeling that you can descend down anytime.

Cave hill Mountains:

If you have been following my blog, you would know that I never ever miss a chance to go for a hike. Fortunately, my hubby shares my passion and despite our toddler we go for hikes whenever possible. There is something really therapeutic to be amidst wild, unpredictable and unassuming nature that inspires you infinitely.

Cave Hill overlooks Belfast and is nearby Belfast Zoo. Characterised by its famous Napoleon’s Nose; as the profile resembles the famous emperor; Cave Hill rises to almost 370 metres (1200 ft) above sea level. Most of its lower east side lies on the Belfast Castle estate, which has as its focal point the imposing 19th-century Scottish baronial castle.

Belfast and Northern Ireland Must See Places

The Caves which inspired Chronicles of Narnia

As you probably are aware, Northern Ireland has a rich literary history. Many authors like CS Lewis and Samuel Beckett came from this small country. Cave Hill has been an inspiration for several legendary literary work.  Cave Hill is thought to be the inspiration for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Swift imagined that the Cave Hill resembled the shape of a sleeping giant safeguarding the city. The Caves inside the mountains (which we climbed with some difficulty) are said to be the inspiration behind Chronicles of Narnia.

Belfast and Northern Ireland Must See Places

On Top and that’s the whole city behind me

We navigated through some tricky slopes and encountered so many drops and caves to reach on top and once you are on top; the entire city comes so tantalisingly alive. Locals say on a clear day, you can see Scotland and Isle of Man from the peak.

Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoirs.

The Silent Valley Reservoir located in the Mourne Mountains near Kilkeel, County Down in Northern Ireland can easily be the best-kept secret of Northern Ireland and had I not bothered reading posters in the city airport, we would have easily missed this gem of a place.

Belfast and Northern Ireland Must See Places

Silent Valley

Easily about two hours away from Belfast (after the Bronte sister homeland), you know you are entering the reservoirs when you see majestic mountains cleverly sneaking from mist laden clouds. This place really feels like you are walking right inside a magnificent painting.

Secluded, peaceful and truly an oasis of calm, the reservoirs offer plenty of scenic trail walking routes and whichever route you choose you will see the incredible Mourne mountains dotted with beautiful towns and villas everywhere. 

If you are in Northern Ireland and want a place where you genuinely can clear your head and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit then this is the place. The beauty of this place will make any challenge you are facing inconsequential and small.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this travel post. Have a great weekend and do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Uptown Girl

The Bags Under My Eyes Are Chanel–Anonymous

My style like my mood is varied: it oscillates between comfy and girl next door one time and becomes bold and daring the other. It is hence safe to say that I am naturally drawn to brands and shops that offer a plethora of variety under one roof. SheIn is one such place where you can get great variety of styles for affordable prices. My this post is a collaboration with Shein. I must say as a fashion blogger, I do get a fair share of collaboration requests but I only work with those brands which appeals to my personal aesthetics.

Maxi Wrap dress style shein

Maxi wrap dress

As you know, I am having a maxi dress moment and the minute I saw this split maxi wrap dress with geometric print, I was instantly drawn towards it. This style is perfect for bidding adieu to summer. Crisp and airy, the geometric lines gives this dress an instant playful vibe. Pair with nifty accessories like bold earrings, cocktail ring, bangles, a hat and fringe booties and you have nailed the uptown girl avatar effortlessly.  Maxi dresses are indeed versatile hence it is no wonder that this trend  dominated the catwalks of McQueen, Alberta Ferretti and Erdem this summer.

Maxi Wrap dress style shein

Maxi Wrap dress style shein

Fashion, as I always say can be armour  to take away of the mundanity of daily life. And whilst many will dismiss it as unnecessary vanity, I disagree. Au contraire. I say if something as simple as a dress can bring you happiness then why not? Don’t you agree? Let me know your thoughts.

Maxi Wrap dress style shein

Dress: SheIn, Earrings: H &M, Bangles and Necklace: Accessorize, Boots: JD Williams , Hat:Street shop somewhere.

Photography by: Annukka Styling by: Me and Sai  

Thank you Shein For Sponsoring This Post

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Must have: Noodle strap Maxi Dress

“Only great minds can afford a simple style–Stendhal”

Every once in a while, the perfect maxi dress that ticks all the boxes, makes an appearance. When I saw this dress in H &M (that too on sale), I knew I had to have it.

Must have Dress: Maxi dress style

Being 5’4, it is not very easy for me to find a maxi dress which does not drag and always requires heels. So, in my eyes this was already a winner. With its beautiful blooms design, side slits and noodle straps–my favourite detail–this style is perfect of you want a casual dress with some oomph to it.

I have kept it simple here with my trusty golden flats from here, statement earrings and a bracelet. But it can also be worn as evening wear with a well-structured jacket, clutch, heels and statement necklace like choker. And if you are worried about your arms then just add a lace cardigan or a bolero.

Maxi dress style

Dress: (Similar H&M), Earrings: H &M, Bracelet: Tenerife Street Market, Flats: India, Sunglasses: Oscar De La Renta 

So tell me is maxi dress really your summer favourite? And if yes, how do you like to style it?

Thank you for reading the post. Hope you enjoyed it. Have a great weekend and new week ahead. Do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest

 

Family days out in and around Hampshire, UK

If you like me are one of those who make full-use of the last few days of summer, then stay put, this post is especially for you. Surprisingly, UK has seen a rather glorious summer this year (given the usual meh standards) and though we are nearing September it still looks promising. If you are looking for ideas to spend with the family for the next few days (or are bookmarking ideas for next year) then here are few:

Mayfield Lavender Farm, Surrey:

There is something gloriously luxurious about the calming fragrance of Lavender wafting through the air and 25 acres of beautiful lavender blooms filling your senses. This summer, this has been one of my favourite activities. The Mayfield Lavender Farm is a must place if you would just like to spend a great day amidst beautiful Lavender flowers and go crazy taking photographs. This place is certainly buzzing with photographers (and posers alike). And whilst there is not much to do it definitely can be a great outdoor activity. The Lavender Farm is only open till September 14 so hurry. (Outfit details).

Shirt dress over jeans style

Berry Picking:

Bomber Jacket Fashion

This activity has been our favourite activity this year. Who knew that picking strawberries and other berries could be so therapeutic. I honestly do not know who enjoyed this activity the most: me or the toddler? There are several strawberry picking farms in UK, my pick is the West Green Fruits in Hampshire (Hartley Whitney): a beautiful 20 acre area where you can pick not just strawberries but raspberries, rhubarbs, black currants and a host of other veggies. Just be mindful as this is a seasonal activity, if you have not done it yet, you might have to wait for another year (but I promise it is worth the wait).

Littlehampton Beach, Sussex

IMG_20160605_214642

Beach is synonymous with summer and once again an activity that knows no limit. There are several beaches in and around Hampshire from West Wittering, Bognor Regis and South Sea Pebble Beach. Litthampton beach tucked away in Litthehampton is a sand and shingle beach boasting of a bustling marina and harbour and a brilliant contemporary architecture. Play with your little one(s) on the beach building sand castles, put your feet up in the marina area or enjoy a nice grub in the plethora of restaurants here. Littlehampton beach definitely has something for everyone and you will not regret driving down to here. (Outfit details)

For more Family Days Out ideas check out here.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week and do not forget to follow me for more such great posts on travel, parenting and fashion 🙂

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Shirt Dress Over Jeans

Stressed. Depressed. But well dressed–Anonymous

Who would have ever thought that a thing once considered a big fashion no-no would become an ubiquitous trend almost overnight? I am talking about the shirt dress over jeans trend that seems to have swept street style mavericks and Instagrammers. After sitting on the fence for a long time, I too have jumped in this wagon. At first glance, this look seems intimidating and too fashion-y to be pulled off in real life. But here, I will show that this look is easy to achieve and with a dollop of fun (not to mention) ease to it.

Shirt dress over jeans style

In theory the idea of pairing a calf length dress with jeans should not work but as you can see it does. The trick here is to play with proportions, colour and style. The easiest (and in my book the best) way to nail this look is to pair a light weight shirt dress with skinny jeans.

Add nifty accessories like a bracelet, rings, flats and oversized glasses and you have got an effortless casual yet chic style. This look does not have to be casual though, add heels, ripped jeans, a statement jacket and super cute bag (like a geometric clutch) and you have a look for the evening.

Shirt Dress Over Jeans

Shirtdress+Jeans: Debenhams (also like this one), Flats: India, Accessories: Tenerife/Dubai, Glasses: Hubby’s 

I have opted for a casual look here because this was a day trip to Lavender Fields in Surrey (Near London) (More on that later) but I cannot wait to try the night time look to see how I can glam up the humble shirt dress.

A special thanks to my friend Sai for taking some of the photos here and as always my dear hubby as well :0)

Thank you for reading. Have a great weekend and do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The Bridesmaid Dress

Be so good, they can’t ignore you: Steve Martin

I think I speak for all womankind, when I confess that even the best fashionista gets stumped whilst choosing the perfect bridesmaid dress. I mean forget the usual concerns about fit and style, there are zillion other things to think of! Can we opt for ivory /white? Should it be long and flowing or short, simple and chic? Is it long enough or too long? Is it too short?

Bridesmaid dress style

When I saw this blush pink dress (in TK Maxx) I knew I have found the perfect bridesmaid dress. There is something ethereal about the blush pink colour that you simply cannot ignore. Add to it, the spiffy lace details which gives it a romantic feel.

Bridesmaid dress style

I have kept the accessories minimal. Golden earrings, bangles, statement necklace and floral headband. I have opted for rose gold heels. Simplicity as they is the key to sophistication and this kind of style brims with both.

blush pink3 - 1

Bridesmaid Dress Style

So, what do you think of this idea? Are you a not-so-blushing bridesmaid or do you like to play safe? Let me know what’s your favourite bridesmaid dress idea in the comments and make my day!

Dress: TK Maxx, Necklace: Mango, Earrings and bangle: H and M, Shoes: Clarks 

I would like to thank my friend Annukka for these wonderful photographs. She is a wonderful photographer from Hampshire UK who loves capturing animals (particularly horses) and people (in that order 😉 ) You can check out her work here.

Thank you for reading. Hope you liked my post on wedding fashion. Have a great and healthy week ahead:)

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