I have never seen elegance go out of style—Sonya Teclai

A very Happy New Year to all my amazing readers and blogging friends. I hope your year started with a bang.

As I mentioned in my previous post, New Year means a time for new opportunities, new challenges and new adventures. For me, it is also the time to step back, introspect and re-invent myself. When I am talking about re-invention, i am not merely talking about physical one. For me, this year, re-invention is focused more on emotional, mental and spiritual aspects.

It is about finding myself in the chaos and incessant chatter of life, it is about learning to let go and it is about de-cluttering my life of negativity, of toxic people, de-cluttering my mind and of achieving some clarity (at least that’s my aim, how much of this I achieve is a question of time).

At the same time, it is also about reinventing myself, learning new things, experimenting (sartorially and otherwise) and once again learning to have faith in me and in people around me.

Gingham blouse trend from Shein

To be honest, I was not too sure, on how I wanted to start the first fashion post of the year on this blog. I was toying if I should glam up or dress down. At the end, I chose what reckoned with me the most. If you know me, you know that l love all things quirky. So, when Shein asked me collaborate with them, I jumped in and chose this cute and quirky gingham billow sleeve blouse with cut out high neck.

Gingham blouse fashion trend, Shein

It is chic, effortless, minimal, quirky (that word again!) and fun. These are the qualities i love and always aim for in my looks and in my life. I chose to pair with ripped jeans, a bright bag and to go back to my Indian roots—Indian style jhumkas. I love mixing oriental/Eastern elements with Western ones (and you will see such mash ups more often this year) and this is just an example how it can be done without going overboard. For footwear, I have used oldie but gold of an ankle boots. I chose this laid back style also because of the fact that it is still supremely cold in UK and I am not quite ready to let go of comfortable dressing. But this is a versatile blouse and I can totally see myself wearing it with black skirt and pumps in spring/summer.

Gingham blouse style by Shein

Gingham blouse fashion trend, Shein

So what do you guys think? Isn’t effortless chic the new black? If you loved this blouse, don’t forget to check Shein for this and more amazing items they have.

Gingham blouse fashion trend, Shein

Blouse: Shein, Ripped Jeans: Diy, Bag: Zara, Earrings/Bracelet: Amazon(UK), Boots: New Look

Thank you for reading. Hope you liked the post. Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Thank you Shein for sponsoring this post. 

Playing dress up begins at age 5 and never really ends–Kate Spade

Gosh, I cannot believe that this year is almost ending and this is my first post for December 🙁 Truth is, December, has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for me and not because it is the year end. I was unwell for most part of this month, confined to the bed even and piled with work. But hey atleast despite everything I still managed to enjoy my office Christmas party  in style(I do have some awesome colleagues) and I am getting back to my favourite method of unwinding–blogging.

The best part of the festive season (apart from all the presents and the general love and affection amidst people) is of course festive fashion. When it comes to festive fashion (or any other fashion for that matte) my favourite go-to style is dresses. This year, instead of splurging on another new dress (mind you I have done that too) I instead thought of re-styling an old dress.

This maroon-red dress in baroque print dress is my all time favourite and I decided to restyle it for obvious reasons. Red is a colour synonymous with Christmas. Combine it with black and some winter accessories and you have an hands down winner.

Festive-Christmas fashion lookbook

 

Festive-Christmas fashion lookbook

Red dresses have spunk, playfulness and just the right bit of sass to make it a clear wardrobe winner. Pair it with classic winter accessories like over the knee high lace boots, polka dot tights, statement necklace, cocktail ring and a delicate bracelet and you are ready to own any dance floor or dinner event.

Festive-Christmas fashion lookbook

Dress: Debenhams (old) also like this one from Pretty Little Things, boots: Ego, Beret &snood: New Look, necklace: Mango, Bracelet: Pandora

I have also added a fur snood and beret to earn more chic points as well to make sure that i stay warm without compromising much on style. So my top tip for this festive season fashion would be? A little Red dress and over the knee lace boots 😉

Thank you for reading. Hope you liked this post. Have a wonderful week ahead and do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

 

 

 

“They laugh at me because I am different; I laugh at them because they are all the same”–Kurt Cobain

It is -3 degree celsius as I write this which means that it is freaking cold, officially. With fog kissed skies, mist laden air and sleet filled streets there is no denial that winters are here to stay.  Brutal winters mean it is all about knits, knits and knits. The knit wear trend is not exactly ground breaking but a necessary evil if you are a huge fan of working limbs and comfort. Although I admit knitwear has gained a bad reputation of being more of a grand-mommy fashion. However, it is good to know that we have some great knitwear including dresses, skirts and cardigans that are flattering, chic yet cosy.

Knitwear/ Sweater Dress trend

This post is all about sweater dress or knit dress. At first, sweater dress can look very intimidating but it can be very versatile, comfortable and chic if done right. The easiest way is to get a sweaterdress in a lightweight knit and pair it with tights and over the knee boots (like I have done here). Put on some interesting accessories like statement necklaces and a colourful bag, a woollen hat, perhaps sunglasses (for peek-a-boo winter sun) and you have an undeniably stylish day outfit.

Sweater Dress/ Knit Dress Trend

Sweater /Knit Dress Trend

You could also get a slightly more thicker knit wear and pair it with leggings, riding boots, a waist cinching belt to give you more form. Or throw in layers like a long cardigan or a sleeveless jacket to add some drama. Another option is to wear chunky roll neck dress in neutral colour and add colourful accessories like a short cardigan or scarf and gloves. Pair with boots or wet look leggings plus ankle boots. As I said, this does not have to be intimidating look just step out of your comfort zone and you might be pleasantly surprised.  Sweater/Knit Dress Trend

Dress: Primark, Boots: Ego, Necklace: Mango (old), Bag: Borrowed from Sister, Overcoat: New Look

So go ahead and try this versatile dress and make winters fashionable again.

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

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.

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:)

Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on twitter and pinterest