Monday, January 30, 2017

Travel Style Diary: London Part 2

It's hard to believe this is my final Travel Style Diary from my trip to Europe! In my last post, I wanted to show you the photos we took while at Stonehenge, and also share a few more things we did during our final days in London.

Stonehenge was a place which, to be quite honest, I wasn't super enthused about visiting at first. Partially because it's a long bus ride to the site, so you really have to dedicate half a day to it, and it's rather pricey - I believe we paid around 80 pounds for the tour. Our bus driver was pretty hilarious though, so that alone actually made the long journey out there feel shorter, and it was definitely an amazing sight to see. Brrr it was freezing out there though! I'm glad I layered up. My Burberry-style scarf was a star piece in pretty much all my London outfits for that reason. If you're not sure whether to check out Stonehenge, I definitely don't think it's an absolute must-see if you're tight for time, but if you have a free half day, it's worth a visit.

There was actually a lot of other sights and activities we managed to squeeze into our 5 days in London. Harry Potter Studios was an absolute must-see for us, and we spent the whole day exploring the amazing wizarding world of Harry Potter, seeing all the original costumes, movie sets, and drinking butter beer. Man, was that butter beer everything I had hoped it would be. We also saw the London Eye, Big Ben, and checked out the inside of Harrods. My god, I wish we had a Harrods here in Vancouver. That department store is incredible. Their food section alone was a sight to be seen! Chocolates, teas, preserves, fresh foods, unbelievably beautiful cakes, and so much more. I wanted to buy literally everything. We also visited Camden Market, where we made a stop for a snack at Cereal Killer, the cereal shop with flavoured milks, cereal toppings, every cereal you can imagine, and even a huge selection of Pop Tart flavours! It was delicious!

Lastly, one stop in London you have to make is Sketch. It's a high end destination for food, drinks, art and music - a place that you really need to see in person to understand. To give you an idea, you are greeted by a doorman, who opens a cloaked entryway to let you pass into the foyer, which has a game of hopscotch printed on the floor in front of you. There, you decide which room you would like to visit: the East Bar, the Glade, the Parlour, the Lecture Room, or the Gallery. That night, we had drinks in the Parlour, but I would definitely recommend visit the Gallery (aka the Pink Room), which we saw on the way to the washrooms. It is a truly beautiful space, and on any given evening, the room is full of London's elite in their best dress. Even their washrooms were a sight to be seen: individual washrooms are hidden inside white alien-like pods. You can see photos of what they look like here!

It's been fun reminiscing, looking back on my favourite memories from Italy, Switzerland, France and England with you over the last few months. I hope it's helped you discover some new places to visit on your future travels, and inspired you to dress your best while on the go.

If you'd like to see a post on how I packed outfits for the 3-week trip, let me know in the comments!

Photography by Debra Hawryzki

Cape - Topshop | Sweater - Forever 21 | Scarf - thrifted via Salvation Army | Necklace - Claire's | Shirt - Winners | Jeans - Urban Planet | Boots - Just Fab

Happy Styling! xo
~ Britta

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Chic Valentine's Day Inspiration

I know Valentine's Day seems to be a love it or hate it kind of thing. I'm not a fan of how it sometimes just becomes another reason to buy each other big expensive gifts just for the sake of it. That being said, I'm in favour of spending time together on Valentine's, and if anything, sharing some small and/or meaningful gifts together. I've included a few special things below that will be inspiring my Valentine's Day plans. Hope they inspire you to have a sweet (and sexy?) Valentine's too!

As I mentioned, I think small, meaningful gifts are the best if you're going to do any sort of gifting for Valentine's. My #1 favourite gift idea for this is a piece of customized heartbeat jewelry from Everly Design. You can record your loved one's heartbeat using their app, and have it engraved on any of their jewelry pieces, from necklaces to rings and pendants. How sweet and thoughtful is that?? Speaking of sweet, a bottle of Chocolate Shop wine and a box of macarons from Theirry (they are literally the best I've ever had) would be a sweet gift that you can share together on Valentine's Day. I'm also a sucker for cute matching stuff, so I thought these couples mugs from Chapters would be an easy and cute gift that you both can use every day.

If you're stressed about what to wear, whether you're doing date night out, date night in, or a girls night out, I've also linked to this cute dress, and some fun accessories below. Bardot-neckline dresses are a current favourite of mine. If you're having a more chill Valentine's, how about rocking that adorable pizza sweatshirt, or that super cute heart toque? Plus, of course, no Valentine's outfit would be complete without some special new lingerie to make you feel like a million bucks. Seriously, doesn't a matching set make you feel like you really have your life together? I find it gives you an added boost of confidence underneath your outfit, even if no one sees it but you. I've bought cute lingerie sets from Adore Me a couple of times, because they were really reasonably priced and had a good range of sizes and designs. They're actually comfy too!

Stay tuned, I have Valentine's outfit photos coming soon...

What are your plans for Valentine's Day?

Happy Valentine's Day! xo

~ Britta

Monday, January 23, 2017

Travel Style Diary: Afternoon Tea at the Ritz London

The last leg of our Eurotrip was spent in London - a city I was so excited to finally see for the first time! And I have to say, it ended up being wonderful in so many more ways than I expected. One major item on my bucket list for London was afternoon tea at the Ritz Carlton. If you're an afternoon tea lover, London is the place for all things tea. The Ritz London is considered the home of one of the best afternoon tea services in the world, so naturally it was a must-try.

We dressed up in our very best (they're not kidding about the dress code - we saw two guys being given ties and jackets to wear) and enjoyed an amazing afternoon tea service in their beautiful tea room, the Palm Court. It was a beautifully decorated room, with live piano music playing, staff decked out in chic suits, and the tables set with the most gorgeous silverware. After all our afternoon tea tastings back home, we've become accustomed to some pretty creative high tea spreads. This was certainly not the case here: it was a far more traditional selection of afternoon tea foods, including finely cut sandwiches, scones and tea cakes and pastries. But there's something to be said for the classics. They definitely do them very, very well. The food was delicious, the service was impeccable, and we enjoyed the added bonus of an extra dessert, which was brought around on a rolling cart for us to choose a slice. It was a lovely experience, one I would gladly do again!

Our first few days in London also included all kinds of other exciting experiences, like the lighting of the Christmas lights along Oxford Street, eating traditional bangers & mash (yum!!), visiting Buckingham Palace, seeing Big Ben and eating traditional fish & chips. Naturally, I had to pick up some tea-related souvenirs while at Buckingham palace, including some beautiful golden spoons and a tin of tea (you can check them out on my Instagram here). We also longingly walked by the theatre for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It would have been incredible to see the play, but sadly it's sold out. Oh, and we can't forget our visit to Selfridges on Oxford Street, which was a must-visit after watching Selfridges on Netflix. To be honest, it was nothing compared to Harrods, but more on that in my next post. We also had some much-needed relaxation and girl time at our AirBNB with cheap wine and our Racinne face masks!

More on our adventures in London in my next post, so stay tuned.

Shirt - Simons | Skirt - River Island via Asos (similar) | Purse - Florence Leather Market | Earrings - Birks | Heels - Aldo (via Salvation Army)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, January 16, 2017

Travel Style Diary: Paris Part 3

Paris had lots in store for us, even during the last leg of our time there. By this point, temperatures had dipped quite a bit, so it was time to bundle up in boots, scarves and cozy knits before heading out for our daily adventures. My camel cape was the perfect warm yet chic piece of outerwear to wear over top - yes, it definitely weighed down my suitcase dragging all my coats around, but considering your outwear is what gets seen the most when on a fall/winter trip, I think it's worthwhile taking on the extra suitcase weight.

During the next part of our time in Paris, we did a self-guided walking tour in the area of  Ile de la Cité and Le Marais, where we made a stop for a photo op at Notre Dame, and Shakespeare and Company. Going to Shakespeare and Company had been on the bucket list for a few of us, and since the new Harry Potter script for The Cursed Child had just come out not that long ago, we wanted to buy our copies there and have them stamped with the Shakespeare and Co. stamp! A special momento from the trip. We wandered past a couple more landmarks on our walking tour before getting sidetracked by other's hard not to in Paris! We stumbled upon Hotel de Ville, where the outfit photos below were taken.

Two more activities that were on our must-do list were having lunch/dinner along the Seine, and trying absinthe for the first time at La Fée Verte. Our dinner on the Seine was a perfect evening; we found some delicious paninis nearby, grabbed a few bottles of wine, and sat along the water after the sun had gone down. La Fée Verte was an equally good night; we picked our absinthe from a long list of choices, and had it served with the large water dropper, sugar cubes and absinthe spoons. It was quite the contraption! But essentially, you dilute your absinthe as the water drips from the reservoir, over the sugar cube and into the glass. Fair warning though if you don't like the taste of black licorice, the flavour is anise - something my friends weren't crazy about, but I didn't mind at all! Traditionally, it was a drink consumed by Parisian artists and writers in 19th and early 20th-century France. A fun dose of history!

Finally, we couldn't leave Paris without seeing the best view of the Eiffel Tower from Le Trocadero! We grabbed some champagne and sat on a bench along the fountains, watching the twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower at the top of the hour. Perfection. 

Photography by Chantale Tyers

Cape - Topshop | Scarf - thrifted | Hat - (similar) | Sweater - Neiman Marcus (thrifted via Salvation Army) | Earrings - Forever 21 (similar) | Jeans - Urban Planet | Boots - Miss Smart | Purse - Florence Leather Market

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Lipstick Lovers BFF: the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Vault

If you have an obsession with lipstick, consider yourself warned, this post is going to make you want 36 more!

I have always been a HUGE fan of NYX's Soft Matte Lip Creams, and I tell pretty much anyone who will listen how great they are. So I was over the moon to get this NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Vault for Christmas!! Well, full disclosure, I bought it myself and had my brother give it to me for Christmas, but hey, that made it guilt-free shopping!

While they are in mini-size, it's the perfect set to test and try all these amazing shades and decide which ones are truly your favourite. There were quite a few Soft Matte Lip Cream shades that I had been dying to try, but didn't want to splurge on a bunch individually, so this is perfect! The last couple of weeks since Christmas, I've been testing out a different colour here and there, to see which shades were the best on me.

I first tried Prague, which I had been dying to try for months now, and let me tell you, this colour does not disappoint. It's the perfect berry shade, something I've been searching the beauty aisles for quite a while for. I think this is officially my favourite shade out of the whole Vault! Runner up has to be Cannes, which is a nice every day neutral shade with a tinge of pink. It's a "your lips but better" kind of shade, in my opinion. Especially if you're on the pale side. Other favourites not shown here were Transylvania (super dark and gorgeous), and London (an excellent nude shade). I like that they included some intense colours like Moscow (a very dark blue), Havana (a bright purple), and Morocco (orange) for those times you feel like taking a beauty risk!

If the range of colours wasn't enough, the formulas of these are great, if you haven't tried their Soft Matte Lip Creams before. They're a long-lasting matte lipstick that smells great and doesn't dry out my lips too bad. Sadly, when I took these photos, my lips were super dry even without lipstick (ahhh winter...), but usually my lips feel great with these Lip Creams on.

Want to give them a try? I picked up mine at London Drugs, although I don't see them available online anymore. You can also find them on NYX Cosmetics' website, or you can find the full-size NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams at any London Drugs store!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, January 9, 2017

Travel Style Diary: Paris Part 2

I swear, every day in Paris just got dreamier. During the second part of our time in Paris, we decided to start out with a stroll down the Champs-Élysées. We actually ended up getting sidetracked after coming out of the metro and seeing the Pont d'Alexandre, which was worth checking out for the photo op and a view of the Eiffel Tower.

Afterwards, we meandered down the Champs-Élysées, where we stopped in a few clothing shops and popped into the Publicis Drugstore (which was actually far fancier than it sounds) to find an easy snack. Inside, they had a Pierre Hermé macaron boutique, where I obviously had to pick up some to taste. When in Paris, binge on macarons, am I right? Of course, I had to check out the iconic Laduree on the Champs-Élysées as well. It was quite dark inside, but I was happily overwhelmed by the selection of treats, and definitely enjoyed the rush of ordering my Ladurée in french for a change (can't do that in Vancouver!). One of my must-buy items on the trip was a special key chain from Laduree, and I was so giddy to find they had them in stock. I don't even know if I'll ever be willing to take it out of its adorable box! If you're a real lover of Ladurée, don't forget to stop by the Sephora on the Champs Elysee too: it's the ONLY location in Paris where you can find Ladurée makeup! I bought their gorgeous cameo blush - you can see my post on that here.

One of only two clothing items I purchased on the trip was on the Champs-Élysées. It was a perfect little black dress with lace sleeves from Morgan de Toi (you can see a peek of it on my Instagram here). The prices were super reasonable considering it was such a touristy spot. The second of the two clothing items I ended up purchasing at Les Galleries LaFayette, from Molly Bracken. Shocker, it was another little black dress! It's bow and scallops were just impossible to resist, and seriously it was almost the only store I could afford there. The rest of the time was glorious window shopping. Very glorious indeed, especially during the holidays. I ended up wearing that dress over Christmas, you can see photos here!

Hope you enjoy the outfit photos below! This was definitely my favourite shoot in Paris, in terms of locations, and it was certainly one of my favourite outfits of the whole trip.

Photography by Chantale Tyers

Coat - Zara (similar) | Shirt - Simons | Earrings - c/o Nobis & Grey | Pants - Zara (in navy, light camel) | Shoes - Nine West (via Amazon) | Purse - Florence Leather Market | Umbrella - Little White House Co.

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta
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