Autumnal attire

You may have felt the colours of Autumn come creeping in over the past couple of weeks. Slowly the evenings are duller, darker and cooler. The mornings are met with vibrant green grass covered in morning dew. The car windows are no longer vividly transparent, with the signs of the cool night clouding the view. The flowers are no longer quite so voluptuous and singing a warm and bright song. Darker shades of green are in their place, with these greens slowly turning to beautiful rusty colours before carpeting the ground. Spiders are in complete abundance, constructing their webs wherever they see fit (including across footpaths and covering gates!). Gone are the floaty dresses and straw hats of summer. To be replaced by autumnal attire.
Summer has always been my favourite season. I’m in love with the longer days and adore feeling the sun’s warmth settle on my skin.  The careless attitude of just running out of the door in sandals without a care in the world. The gorgeous pub gardens and evening sunshine snatching. I love it all. With this in mind it may surprise you to learn that when it comes to fashion, I love what autumn brings. The berry colours, the cute knits and even the coats. Oh, how I’m a sucker for a coat. I have acquired quite a few over the years because for me a coat or a jacket is the main outfit when you are outside. You could be wearing a gorgeous dress fresh off of the runway, but when outside the part of your outfit the world sees is your coat. It will be with you on cool, crisp icy mornings and rainy afternoons. It will be there if snow falls overnight. That’s why I believe that you should have a variety of coats. A coat for every occasion. This leads me nicely on to my wonderful new addition – my stone coloured Mac from Jack Wills. I have a complete love affair with Jack Wills and am probably sporting something from their collection most days. I have never been over struck on macs as they are a sort of in-between coat. Too hot for summer, not hot enough for winter. However, when I laid eyes on this beauty, it was quite clear to me that my life has been incomplete without it. I dreamt of autumnal morning walks, evening dinner date trips and even April showers, all with this beautiful Mac on my back.

They also make a pink version, although I feel that is best suited for springtime. Unless you are Elle from Legally Blonde. In which case, go right ahead. 

The cut is just perfect and the beautiful stone colour sets the perfect tone for almost all autumnal outfits.

I took this coat for a sunny afternoon Sunday walk through the woods. We have my Mum’s dog, Elizabelle, staying for the weekend. Elizabelle was quite keen to creep in on my shots. She’s quite cute though, so I’ll let her off.

We’ve been having some absolutely glorious weather recently, so I could get away with a simple striped boat neck top from Uniqlo and black jeans, also from Uniqlo. 

I first laid eyes on a Uniqlo store a few years ago when one opened up in Uxbridge. It wasn’t there for too long and I sort of forgot about the brand (sorry!). When I was looking for some leggings a couple of years ago, a friend mentioned Uniqlo had some good quality pairs. I hit up their Oxford Street store and voila! I was hooked. They make some lovely casual items, perfect for layering or lazy Sunday’s. Simple, affordable and good quality. They are a bit of a go to place for basics now.

To complete my OOTD, I slipped on my trusty black Moroccan crochet Toms. I am such a huge fan of Toms, as is my husband. We both live in them during the warmer months.

I bought this pair around three years ago from Office. They were £46 and have definitely reduced their cost per wear to a minuscule amount. I have a cream pair too and frequently skip between the two pairs depending on what I’m wearing. They are just so super comfy and go with everything!

We all thoroughly enjoyed our woodland stroll and now feel as though we have earnt a hearty dinner and chocolate gateau. Sunday’s are for over indulgence – right?!

L x

Our Hawaiian adventure!

We were fortunate enough to spend a week in Hawaii whilst on our honeymoon. We stayed in Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. I have wanted to visit Hawaii since I was a small girl growing up in the nineties after my Great Aunt and Uncle went. They bought me back a cute pineapple necklace, t shirt and bag. I absolutely adored their gifts and I think I still have them kicking about somewhere today! 

When Phil and I first started talking about our wedding and honeymoon as teenage dreamers about nine years ago, I mentioned how much I would love to go to Hawaii. It’s quite a long journey and when you add up the flights from London and the hotel etc, it’s actually quite an expensive trip. Weddings in themselves are quite expensive, so I’m very grateful that we managed to go. 

We actually landed up flying there from Las Vegas as we planned a West Coast tour of the United States. The flight was around six hours. I didn’t realise quite how far Hawaii is. I’ve always thought that it’s just off of the West Coast, which it is in theory. It’s also only 7-8 hours from Japan and Australia. There were a lot of Japanese tourists and I only saw a British family once during our stay. It was in Hawaii that I felt furthest away from home (obviously I was, but you know!).

When we arrived, I imagined it would be like an unspoilt deserted island with little wooden shacks and people walking around in Hawaiin shirts with flowers adorning their necks whilst sipping on coconuts. The reality is that Waikiki is actually quite built up (although there are plenty of fun shirt wearers). The beach has a backdrop of skyscrapers and concrete engulfs the coastline. You can still see the rainforest if you look behind the man made jungle though. Despite the human invasion, Waikiki is still absolutely beautiful. Nobody can deny that the beaches are incredible and the sea is so clear that you feel as though you could be in an Evian advert. As much as I was initially disappointed to see such huge buildings towering over our idyllic honeymoon setting, it was actually okay. It was better than okay. It was incredibly convenient. You see Waikiki’s beauty hasn’t been killed off by homosapien invasion. Waikiki is very much alive. We struggled terribly with jet lag whilst away. We were barely used to being eight hours behind the UK when we thrusted ourselves to Hawaii, throwing us a further three hours behind what we were almost used to. This meant that our timing was a bit odd and we would be very awake quite early or quite awake very late. This doesn’t matter in Waikiki Beach. You can go out early in the morning, indulge in an early morning Starbucks treat and be greeted with people, with life. Likewise, the shops and restaurants are buzzing into the late hours. You want a new outfit at 9pm? Not a problem. Dinner at 10? That’s okay too. Eighty percent of Hawaii’s population reside in Honolulu. That coupled with the huge amount of tourists means that the sky scrapers are a necessity in ensuring that needs are met. I totally get that. Plus, if you do fancy a more laid back, untouched approach to your trip, you can always go for a little drive where you will be met with tiny villages and miles of agriculture. 

We used our time in Hawaii to relax and just enjoy each other’s company. Our entire trip had been meticulously planned almost down to the minute and so it was nice to explore at a leisurely pace and just embrace what Honolulu has to offer. We did book our shark swim before we set off though, as I wanted to research the company we were choosing and secure a slot as in the height of summer things can get pretty booked up. We opted for North Shore Shark tours who are an established company with lots of experience. This was very important to me if I was going to throw my body into shark infested waters. Especially as I am not the strongest of swimmers and am certain I cannot out swim a shark back to the boat. I used trusty Trip Advisor to source out the companies with the best reviews. I would highly recommend checking anywhere you aren’t sure about on Trip Advisor as it is so easy to use and provides a wealth of information. 

Hurricane Guillermo was expected to touch down whilst we were in Honolulu and also on our shark swim day! News reports of how awful the hurricane was going to be were in full swing and I was a little terrified. I even thought about stocking up on necessities such as Pain au Chocolat and M&Ms (as long as you have chocolate everything is fine right?!). Fortunately the hurricane didn’t live up to the forecasters expectations and turned out to actually be a short rain shower in the morning. Not too dissimilar to often rainy London. This thrilled us as we could continue enjoying our adventure and our shark tour was scheduled for the next morning. We organised transport through the shark tour which made our journey there really easy and pleasant. We were picked up from the Hyatt Regency with a couple of other thrill seekers. One of the other passengers was a lovely girl from Brisbane who it turned out I had quite a bit in common with. We had a natter in the car and before long it was time for our encounter with sea predators. We were warned to take anti sickness tablets beforehand, which is something I never normally do before boarding a boat. I am very lucky that I don’t suffer from motion sickness (a fact I once bragged about over dinner, citing that my brain was ‘too intelligent’ before somebody pointed out I was holding my knife upside down – awks!), so I’m not used to popping pills. Poor Phil often feels seasick when we are on a boating adventure, sadly even a couple of the pharmacy’s finest anti sickness tablets didn’t help him out. The sea was particularly choppy the morning of our swim thanks to cheeky Guillermo which resulted in poor Phil feeling particularly poorly. That didn’t stop us though as we still readily hopped into the shark and whale infested waters upon command (second group!). We were all quite jovial on the ride out, peering over the side to spot our new oceanic friends.  

Pre swim selfie!

At first our only worry was the temperature of the water. We were four miles off of the coastline and although on land it was a delightful thirty two degrees, I was rather concerned that the water would not reflect that and would leave me regretting wearing a couple of pieces of minuscule fabric instead of a wet suit. I needn’t have worried though as the water was absolutely gorgeous. It may surprise you that I wasn’t scared of going into the cage and being surrounded by fishy friends. I did have a moment when I saw a few over the side of the boat though and it all felt very real. We were in the cage for around twenty minutes, dipping underwater to spectate the wonderful Galapago Sharks. It was incredible to see them in their natural habitat. It was such a beautiful experience watching these creatures swim wild and free in the ocean. I did spend a lot of our experience being battered against the cage as the sea was so excitable. This was the most terrifying part of the whole trip. A few times one of my limbs would be forced out of the cage through the (rather large) bars. I’m not going to lie, this did freak me out a little and I decided to hang out near the ladder so that there was more of a barrier for my poor limbs. Obviously I’m not a sharks natural choice of food, but if it’s hungry and my leg is hanging out… Well let’s just say that’s a risk I didn’t fancy taking. We were so lucky to have such an amazing shark encounter, there were so many swimming around us of all shapes and sizes. It was truly incredible. Soon our time was up and we were reeled back in and onto the boat and driven back to Waikiki with our GoPro footage and our new memory. I have put a video up on my channel of our swim. Excuse the rough edit – I was jet lagged and in a hurry! You can check it out here

I loved the Hawaiian lifestyle and vibe. It was great to see people enjoying being outdoors so much. Hawaii also has a thriving wildlife which is just fantastic. We loved shopping. Everywhere from market stalls with local produce to high end designer shops. Waikiki has it all. Before long we were hopping on a plane to Los Angeles, leaving the chilled out vibe behind us. We have vowed to return to Hawaii, although we will spend more time there and hit up the other islands as we have heard that they are just perfect.

Until next time Hawaii x


I’m BACK!!!

So as the title suggests, I am back from my blogging hiatus!

I decided to take a break from blogging for a bit because I had so much going on that I just felt like I didn’t have time to squeeze it all in. It wasn’t even a conscious decision as such, it just happened. I was super busy planning our wedding and honeymoon as well as juggling the usual tasks that life throws at us and I just couldn’t give my blog the attention that it deserved. 

So it’s been quite a few months since I last posted and this year has been a bit mad in all honesty. 

We started the year with a trip to Pisa to celebrate my birthday (another year closer to my bus pass!). We had a lovely time and enjoyed exploring Pisa and Florence. We even managed to squeeze in a beach trip on my actual birthday, although I can assure you this isn’t something to be terribly envious when your birthday is in January! 

Unfortunately the day after we arrived home my Grandad was taken into hospital. This isn’t a topic that I normally discuss publicly, but it has had a huge impact on our lives and the biggest change started in January when his illness progressed. He has been quite unwell for the past couple of years and it had been incredibly difficult for us all. He has always been a close friend and has literally been such an amazing Grandad. Our bond is very strong and I owe a lot of who I am and what I’ve achieved down to him. He has really taken care of us all and is our family rock. Especially as I haven’t seen my Father since I was eight. This year has been the hardest in terms of watching him deteriorate. We are slowly losing him to the grips of terminal illness and it really is the most painful thing. I am normally so upbeat and positive, but this year has certainly challenged that. I don’t want to go into too much detail because what he is going through is nothing short of cruel and torturous and he deserves his dignity and respect. Fortunately we have come together as a family and are supporting both him and each other.   

It’s not all doom and gloom though as we’ve had plenty of highs this year. We decided to have a joint hen/stag do in Paris. We had a delightful time exploring the city and going to Disneyland. I also enjoyed stuffing my face with Pain au Chocolat and macaroons!

Before we knew it, it was time for the event of the year – our wedding!

It was so much fun and I literally had the best day. It was so wonderful for us to be surrounded by such brilliant people. We had a beautiful day filled with love and our favourite people. It did rain, which I was devastated about at first (I woke Phil up the day before with my uncontrollable sobbing!), but in the end it was fine. I think it actually made the day complete as a true British wedding! 

Then of course we had our amazing honeymoon, which we dragged out over a few weeks. We travelled to Las Vegas, Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco before heading back to Vegas. We had the best time filled with amazing adventures. If I could relive it all over again I would in a heartbeat.

Of course all good things must come to an end and we have been well and truly catapulted back into normal life. Of course I have no wedding to plan now, so we have decided to embark on our next adventure… Buying a bigger house. This absolutely terrifies me as it was hard enough when we bought our current place, now I will be managing the sale of our current home and the purchase of our new one. It’s such a stressful event and in all honesty I am not looking forward to the weeks of chasing solicitors etc! Still it’s pretty exciting all the same.

Watch this space!