Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Paris Day 1

Hello everyone, I'm back!

Did you miss me? Haha, anyway, I thought I'd start with day 1 of my adventures in Paris. This is quite a picture heavy post, so I'm sorry about that, I broke it down into days so it wouldn't be so painful for you! And also, I'm sorry for the rubbish photos, as I've said before on this blog, I'm not a photographer with a really expensive camera, and my photos definitely reflect that!

Anywhoo, here we go:
We had a 9.30 Eurostar from St. Pancras, and arrived at Gare du Nord at something like 12.45 French time:

Then poodled along to our hotel, at Place de Clichy in Montmartre.

This was the view outside our hotel room, a typically Parisian street, beautiful.

After a nap and sorting ourselves out, we went for a wander around our hotel and went past the Montmartre Cemetery (which has famous people like Hector Berlioz, Offenbach and Adolf Sax buried in it)

And of course, staying in Montmartre, we couldn't not go past Le Moulin Rouge. We didn't go in, mind, at €80 to literally just be allowed in to see a show (not even necessarily the Feerie one) each, there was no way I was paying that!!

We then strolled past the moulin and walked through the Pigalle (red light district, I think my younger brother might be scarred for life...!!). I saw this fantastic sculpture thing outside le musee d'eroticisme. There was a woman as well, but I preferred him.

We also went past Le Chat Noir, one of the famous bistros, that was commonly frequented by artists at the turn of the C20. So commercialised now, and really expensive, and not really authentic either, so we gave it a miss.

We then took a walk up to the Montmartre Square, where we came across an English woman, playing the hang (which is a bit like an upside down steel drum, with a much mellower sound, if you didn't know, it's nice to listen to actually)

And after walking up all those stairs, we had to see the Sacre Coeur Basillica. Beautiful, right?

Have you seen Amelie? If so, this is the carousel in it. I had my photo taken by it when I last came to Paris a few years ago, so I didn't do it again this time.

Because we had to get up quite early (we caught the 6.30am train to get to London) we had dinner and went to bed after our mini-adventure. I will get the next couple of day's photos up soon, but in the meantime, my reader is bursting full of blogs to read and emails and comments to reply to, so I have a lot of catching up to do! Hope you're all having a lovely week!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Adieu mes amis!

So, I'm off to Paris for the Bank Holiday weekend. So, I'll be taking a break from posting for a short while. I'll hopefully catch up and show you some of my holiday snaps when I'm back next week.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, and I'll be back soon.

Tasha x

PS Blogger was being rubbish and just plain refusing to upload any of my photos. I've decided that when I get back I'm just going to use a web based picture host, thing. Any recommendations??

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Rainy day in Portsmouth

Today has been such shocking weather, hasn't it?? Urgh, I went shopping today, and thankfully missed the worst of the rain, got back just in time, it's been pouring it down ever since I got home! Anywhoo, here's what I wore:

I bought some stuff that I've been lusting after for quite a while: the pearl necklace I'm wearing, for example. I've been looking for a nice (but not too expensive, therefore actual pearls were definitely out of the question!) simple pearl necklace. I've hated all these ones with either massive pearls or with all this other crap attached to it, and I'll be damned if I'm paying £15 for a necklace that I then have to alter. Sod that haha! So, finally Accessorize came to my rescue. (for less than £15, too!)
I also bought some new gloves. All of mine have holes in them. A good reason to buy some, right? They're nice, wool, and hopefully will last me at least through this winter!

That's pretty much all I did today. Yesterday and the day before, I made some phone socks, but I'll show you those another time, my pattern, technique and equipment still needs improving, and I don't want to show you all a rubbish one!

Hope you all managed to not get too wet today, I hope Paris doesn't rain too much when I go this weekend! Notice how I just slipped that little one in there...yeah, I know! I'm really excited!

Currently listening to: Nothing by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Style Icon Series: Grace Kelly

Well, where to start with Grace Kelly!! Actually, I read a book on her in Waterstone's today (I know, I didn't buy it, it's cheaper on Amazon...I know, also terrible, but I was passing the time. Just making it worse, I'm stopping now), and I loved it. It really inspired me to think a bit more about her, rather than just her clothes. In truth, when I initially chose her, I didn't really know that much about her. I knew she was an actress who got famous, then married the Prince of Monaco, then died sometime later. But having read that book, I felt as though I knew her a bit more.

Grace Kelly was born in November 1929, to a fairly 'normal' family. Her father won Olympic golds as a sculler, and then became well off with his building business. Grace attended a theatre school, and became a model to help pay her way through education. After she graduated, she then starred in her first MGM film, Mogambo. This then led her to be in films directed by Alfred Hitchcock, with Dial M for Murder being her first working with this prolific director. After much success as an actress, she went to the Cannes film festival as part of the US delegation, where she met Prince Rainier of Monaco. It is said that within the first 24 hours of meeting each other, they knew that they would get married.

She got married in April 1956, and the ceremony was broadcast on television all over Europe, and together they had 3 children. On 13th September 1982, she died following a car accident. After her death, all the charitable work she did continued, under the names of different foundations: assisting emerging theatre companies, dancers and film artists, helping citizens of Monaco for whom there was no social services provision (eg. those with special needs), in her lifetime she even encouraged new mothers to breast feed.

It is clear after very little research that Grace Kelly was more than just her clothes, although she was known as a style icon in her time as well as today.

I hope you all enjoyed today's style icon post!

Currently listening to: Country House by Blur

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Links of the week

Sorry this is a day late, I'm a bit higgledy-piggledy with everything this week! Anyway, enough excuses, let's just get started!

  • I've mentioned Megan's blog before in this feature. This week she's written a post about the art of making big decisions, something all of us have to contend with at different times in our lives.
  • A new blog I discovered this week via A (AKA The Glamorous Grad Student) on Twitter, Angel Cutsforth's blog is called Modern Vintage Girl. It's amazing, she writes about her love of vintage in a way I find really refreshing! She also has an etsy shop which I intend to have a look at soon too!
  • Sal of Already Pretty (a regular featuree on here!) writes a 'letter to my body'. A thought provoking post on body image, as well as dealing with how we treat our bodies generally, both in our minds and physically.
  • In very random news: 20 things you didn't know about Sesame Street. I used to watch this on TV every morning at 6am as a nipper, and really miss it being on now :( Also, I didn't know half of these facts!

Sorry it's a bit shorter than normal this week, it's been quite busy relative to my usual weeks!

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! It's my Mum and my Nan's birthdays today (I know, and I'm a week before!), so we're going out for a meal later :)

Currently listening to: Symphony Number 3 Largo e tranquilissimo by Gorecki

Friday, 20 August 2010

Friend Friday: Conspicuous Consumption

Every week, Katy of Modly Chic asks a set of questions which are pertinent to bloggers in any capacity. In the past she's asked questions about size, privacy, etc. This week we're all discussing conspicuous consumption.

NB. Conspicuous consumption: the acquisition and display of expensive items to attract attention to one's wealth or to suggest that one is wealthy.

Q. Do you think fashion blogs are often just conspicuous consumption? Are some?
In general, I would say no. There are, have been and (probably) always will be some blogs like that, but most bloggers are just normal people talking about their clothes. For me, I much prefer blogs and bloggers to whom I can relate. However, I do sometimes think (or imagine?? Who knows) that there is some kind of 'pressure' for bloggers to have some kind of unlimited wardrobe, so as not to repeat outfits. But of course, real life (for me, anyway) isn't like that!

Q. As bloggers, do we have the obligation to explain our personal financial status, how we pay for the things we showcase, if we have debt, etc...
I partly agree, but mostly disagree. I don't think we are obliged to reveal our finances. Like others have said answering this question, I've been brought up not to talk about finances, or to ask about other people's. If someone asks or there is a reason to tell a story about your finances, then I think it is one's responsibility to speakr as truthfully as possible, but some things are just private I think, sorry. However, I don't think we should pretend that we just have a bottomless pit of money to spend on clothes or whatever, otherwise we can ourselves become very materialistic and consume far too much. More on this in a later question...

Q. Critics often say that fashion bloggers should use their money to support more worthwhile causes than clothing themselves in a different outfit daily. What's your reaction to this?
I would say to those people that they shouldn't judge everyone with their negative viewpoint, and that it's none of their business what I do with my money! I use this blog as a kind of 'escape' from everyday life. I don't talk about every aspect of my life on here, and I know many bloggers who are the same, so how does anyone know about any charity work that we may do? I shouldn't have to justify myself or how I spend my hard earned money to anyone, sorry.

Q. Since you started blogging, do you spend more money on fashion and beauty products?
In truth, now, I don't no. However, I did begin going down a slippery slope about a year ago. I was only reading fashion blogs, not even owning my own blog yet, but I spent a lot of money on clothes. Clothes I saw on blogs, clothes I saw in shops, on the internet, anything that took my fancy, I bought it. Half of the stuff I bought this year I've recently donated to charity in my twice-yearly wardrobe clearout. I am now in a slightly precarious financial situation, with no debt as such, but some potential problems in regards to not being able to afford food or rent at university next year. I only realised earlier this week how bad my financial situation is. Relative to others, it's not terrible, I only had a year of irresponsibility, but my actions can never be taken back, I can never get my money back, and I've been wasteful and materialistic. I've had quite a difficult year in other senses, and really was just buying things to make myself feel better. And some of the worst part of it is that I was in denial about the whole thing!

In the last few months I've been much stricter with my purchases, restricting myself greatly, relative to what I used to, and saving as much money as possible in order to not let this situation get worse. Really, I'm back to where I was before I started reading blogs. I'm really disappointed with myself and angry at how stupid I've been, and I hope none of you have to go through the stresses of not having enough money to cover your rent. Trust me when I say that no item of clothing is worth not having anywhere to live.

Q. Life is about more than what money can buy. What are the things that top your list of what life is all about?
I like this question, it's lovely, I love hearing about the important things in people's lives, and explaining my own, too. The things on the top of my list of what life is about are my family, friends, as well as music and dance.

Hope you all enjoyed Friend Friday this week! Any comments, please write to me!

Currently listening to: Violin Sonata in A major by Cesar Franck

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Questions and Answers:

I wrote a post a couple of months ago about where I wanted this blog to go, and how I'd love for it to help me connect with people with similar interests to myself. I have started to put in much more effort with connecting with other bloggers, as well as paying more attention to my blog. It first started out as a silly, angsty teenage journal (I was having quite a hard time 10 months ago), but I feel now that my blog is slowly blossoming! Each and every one of my followers is special to me, and I love getting comments from anyone who feels they have something to say about my blog! Thank you each and every one of you for contributing to my blog and helping me make it better and (hopefully) more interesting to each of you!

Beautifully Invisible is a blog that I only recently started reading, however it's already become a regular in my blogroll. It's a fashion blog with a twist - she doesn't post pictures of herself or her outfits, but uses words and other pictures to express herself and her views on fashion and life in general. And she seems downright lovely, too! She's tagged me in answering some questions which originated from V of Grit & Glamour (another fabulous blog I recommend you all take a look at!), for which I'm so chuffed about! Thank you! I hope you all enjoy my answers!

Q: Practically everyone is six degrees from a celebrity, political figure or famous person. Will you explain your six degrees of separation from a famous person?

This one has really taken some thought! That's kinda sad, huh?
The first one I came up with was a fairly new British musician called Ellie Goulding. Her album was written and produced with someone who just graduated from my University, who did the same course as the one I'm doing now. Small world, I guess! If you've not listened to her music, it's actually pretty good! Here she is on Jools Holland:

Another one that came to my head around the same time as the Ellie Goulding one is Marina and the Diamonds. Another British group, whose lead singer is the daughter of my younger brother's art teacher. Again, small world!! Here is a video of the band:

To be honest, it's not entirely to my taste, but I can see why people like it!

Q: What have you always wanted to do, but haven't yet?
Jeez, where to begin! I will take Beautifully Invisible's lead, and begin with travel plans. I would love to go to Buenos Aires, the home of Argentine tango, my favourite hobby, and dance, ever. I would love to dance until the small hours of the morning outside, with it still being warm, and watch the sun rise through the street with the best dance partner.

Other than that, some more cities I'd like to visit: Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Venice, Krakow, Barcelona, Madrid, Bruges, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, Edinburg, and so many others I can't think of right now!

And in personal terms: Get over my fear of playing the piano in front of people and knock their socks off with my favourite pieces of Chopin and Rachmaninov.

Q: Your favourite meal is:
Easy to answer this: practically anything made by my Italian Aunt. Her food is the best, always.

Q: If you could only save one pair of shoes from your closet, which pair would it be, and why?:
Well my dear readers, it would be my dance shoes. Because I can't dance without them! And the fact that they're the most expensive shoes I've ever bought! They're a bit like these ones below, but in patent black leather.

Q: Which handbag would you buy if money were no object?
Without question a Chanel 2.55 quilted bag. In as many colours as possible! But if I could only have one, I'd get it in black. Obviously!!

Q: Who is your girl crush?
Ooh, I would say Christina Hendricks. She's curvy, beautiful, talented and confident in herself, what more could you ask for?

Q: What is your vice?
Haha! I have so many! A choice selection: Spending money I seriously shouldn't, not really knowing as much about music as I ought, The Jeremy Kyle Show, and eating too much food, all the time, every meal time when I'm at home with my family!

Q: Last song you listened to:
Valentina Igoshina playing Chopin Nocturne in C minor. I'm learning it at the moment, and hers is probably my favourite interpretation, even better than The God That Is Vladmir Ashkenazy. And the way she's so totally immersed in her playing and the music. That is what I aspire to every time I play!

Now, it's my turn to tag some of you! I'm sorry if you've answered questions recently, but here we go:
  1. Krystal of Village
  2. Daisy Dukes of Outfits Anon
  3. Danni AND Maria of Frills'n'spills
  4. Sherin of HiFashion
  5. Luinae of More Magic Always
  6. Christine of TTDWAICL (it's a really long title, she'll understand!)
These are special mentions, I'd love to hear everyone's answers to these questions!

Currently listening to: Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Style Icon Series: Princess Diana

Really, I'm a tad too young to remember Princess Diana properly, but I will always think of her as Our Princess. A beautiful woman, who had a very kind heart.
Born in 1961, she'd be 49 now if she'd have lived to today. However, she died an early death in 1997. (I remember that, because she died on the day of my 7th birthday party.)
I didn't want to google her, I just wanted to use my memories of her, so this bio/info will be a bit shorter than some of the others I've written. As I've said, I don't remember an awful lot about her, but I remember her as a woman who wanted to help others, particularly those in Africa suffering as a result of AIDS. Her death was overshadowed by her affair with Dodi al Fayed (sp?), but it's not uncommon for marriages to split, just because people are royal does not mean their marriages can result in unhappiness. Really, I feel sorry for William and Harry.
Anyway, let's not get too political, let's just remember the woman for her kind, big heart and her beauty.

(That's John Travolta. Little fact for you there!)

Currently listening to: Sexy Boy by Air.

Hope you're all having a fab day!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

If I were...

If I were a month, I'd be September
If I were a day of the week, I'd be Friday
If I were a time of day, I'd be 7pm
If I were a planet, I'd be Venus
If I were a sea animal, I'd be a porpoise
If I were a direction, I'd be South

If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be a big, fluffy, comfy chair with lots of cushions and blankets
If I were a liquid, I'd be water
If I were a gemstone, I'd be a sapphire
If I were a tree, I'd be a willow tree
If I were a flower, I'd be a tulip
If I were a kind of weather, I'd be warmth
If I were a musical instrument, I'd be a piano

If I were a colour, I'd be black
If I were an emotion, I'd be calmness
If I were a fruit, I'd be an apple
If I was a sound, I'd be the sound of a symphony orchestra tuning up
If I were a car, I'd be a Ford Fiesta
If I were a food, I'd be spaghetti
If I were a place, I'd be my bedroom

If I were a material, I'd be silk
If I were a taste, I'd be sweet & sour together
If I were a scent, I'd be vanilla musk
If I were an object, I'd be a piano
If I were a body part, I'd be hands
If I were a facial expression, I'd be a smile
If I were a song, I'd be La Ritournelle
If I were a pair of shoes, I would be Comme Il Fauts

Sourced via More Magic Always

Happy Birthday to me!

Sorry I've taken a few days off from posting, it was my birthday on Saturday, and I've had a really busy few days, and this is the first chance that I've had where I'm not either too tired or haven't got enough time to write a half decent post! I'll do things backwards, cause it just makes sense in my head that way. In the evening, my grandparents, parents, my brother and I went to a lovely Italian restaurant near my house. I've been there a few times before, and it's kind of more expensive than we usually pay, but the food is delicious! (We first went there with my Italian godparents. If they like the food, I'm sure it's good enough for my English pallet!)

Earlier in the day, we went on a boat ride around Portsmouth Harbour, looking at all the boats that are stationed there. I never realised how many warships are stationed in my home city, it's really cool! At the moment there are about 20 different boats, including the Ark Royal, which was kind of cool! The boats were just too big for me to manage to get a whole one in a photo, so I didn't bother, it was astounding how big they were though!

This is Portsmouth's Millenium tower. Finished in 2003/2004. Yeah, we're a bit rubbish! I haven't been up it yet, but my parents say that you get really lovely views of the Isle of Wight and the Solent. Sounds really nice!

This is the HMS Victory. Yup. :)

If you had super good vision (and a better photo), you'd be able to see my house :)

That's the HMS Warrior. I think. Portsmouth's got some cool stuff!

This is called Spice Island. No guesses for what used to happen here! The white building in the middle (ish) of the picture is one of my favourite pubs ever. It's called the Still & West. If you ever go to Portsmouth, go there. (but only on a non-rainy day, otherwise you won't really like it very much!)

Portsmouth City Council have recently commissioned an artist to make a 100000ft (possible exaggeration) dinosaur on Southsea Common. Cost a few million pounds. And it's right next to a war memorial. Generally an atrocious idea, but cool to take a photo of. Once.

I had a lovely birthday! :)

I'll be back tomorrow with the Style Icon of the week, and hopefully some outfits too over the course of the week!

Also, I've recently dyed my hair black. So black it sometimes looks blue. I'm not entirely sold, but it was my choice! And it'll grow/wash out soon enough!

Currently listening to: The Ballad of Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Links of the week

So, here are my links of the week this week. I think it's pretty lengthy, but I like to bring you all as much as possible, in the hope that I introduce everyone who reads this to something new at least! Here we go:

  • Firstly, 3 posts from a blog that I've just discovered: Beautifully Invisible: The first post lists 10 women who make being curvy sexy. It lists women of all shapes and eras who are and were beautiful and who have such self confidence. A nice little inspiration! The second post is about being a US size 14 (UK 18) and shopping. How most 'pretty' and covetable clothes only go up to a US 10 (UK 14). Do you think this is unfair? The write of this blog certainly thinks so! The final post talks about Vogue Italia's controversial Water/Oil shoot. Personally, I agree that as much as it's great and has raised awareness, not giving readers prompt or aid to help as well as purposefully ruining thousands of pounds worth of clothes as well as the usual product placement you get in such magazines, I think this is a terrible way of making a statement. Vogue should seriously consider the repercussions of its actions. As well as the obvious that the money spent on ruining those clothes could've gone straight to the Gulf instead.
  • Ballerina Project: Such amazing photos, made me wish I'd kept up the ballet more!
  • Shopgirl/Emily asks whether Christina Hendricks is the attainable curvy role model she's billed to be.
  • Sal from Already Pretty talks about what truly makes a person who they are. An interesting and inspiring read.
  • My Milktoof is a blog that isn't updated half as much as I wish it were. It features 2 cute little plasticine teeth. Sounds weird, I know, but just do with me on this. The latest installment: The Art of Lardee
  • Luinae from More Magic Always writes 'If I were...' and comes up with all sorts of lovely ideas and imagery. I'm going to have a go of my own soon. Read it, then tell her what you'd be :)
Hope you're all having a lovely week! It's my birthday tomorrow, so sorry if posting takes a bit of a hiatus over the weekend, I'll be too busy having a good time, promise ;)

Currently listening to: Phat Planet by Leftfield (the song from the Guinness Ad from all those years ago, if any of you know what I'm talking about)

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Shabby day

Yesterday was a bit of a shabby day for me, I spent the day practicing the piano and my local 6th form college (they're lovely and let me use the Yamaha Grand there to practice over the summer when I'm home), so I just wore a random top and a skirt. This skirt is shorter than I usually wear without tights in the summer (no one wants to see The Wobble do they!) but to transition it a bit more (it was still a bit too warm for tights...at least that's what I tell myself) I decided to try out these OTK socks that I bought in Topshop while in London last week. I was especially inspired to wear them after Leia, Maria and I talked about them on twitter the other day. We mentioned the dangers of looking too much like a schoolgirl or a wreck (a la Lindsay Lohan), so I hope I don't look too much like a wreck. I felt a bit silly wearing them, but hopefully with time I'll just get used to them and stop feeling like such a wally.

Tshirt: Random place
Skirt: Primark
Cardigan: M&S
Socks: Topshop
Nail varnish: 'Heather Grey' (I think) from Topshop Makeup

Sorry the pictures aren't very good to see these socks, I don't have a tripod or a person to take these photos, so I'm reliant on various surfaces in my room, none of which are at quite the right height!

Today I went to Gunwharf Quays (it's less rubbishy than the website makes it out to be. Honestly it's probably one of the nicest places to eat, shop or go out in Portsmouth!) and bought a reallllly nice coral coloured 100% silk blouse for £13 (bargain, I know). So I'll probably wear that tomorrow and show you all that :)

Currently listening to: La Ritournelle by Sebastien Tellier

Style Icon Series: Penelope Cruz

Ok, so possibly not known for her edgy fashion-forward choices, but I've always thought Penelope Cruz is stunning. I like the fact that she's not usually into making huge statements with her clothes, she just sticks to classy, classic clothes and makeup. She really reminds me of a modern day Sophia Loren, and just as beautiful.

This grey number is something I'd wear! I don't know what designer it is, but I can guess from the photo that she wore it while promoting Volver (which I still haven't seen, but mean to).

This is one of her more daring outfits (for the red carpet, it's pretty tame, but I really dislike it when women wear these really stupid dresses) but it's still quite classic and it doesn't date.

Being a spokesperson/model for L'oreal means she has a barnet to envy, and boy does she! Her hair is probably my favourite thing about her. Who wouldn't want locks like that! I'm sure that for a normal person like you or I, it'd be a nightmare to style but with the team of people she has pretty-ing her everyday, I'm sure it's easy for her!

Sorry this is a day late, I spent the day practicing the piano yesterday, and totally forgot it was Wednesday and I had to post something! There will be yesterday's outfit post too coming later today.

Currently listening to: Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper.

Hope you're all having a lovely day!