Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mini Life Update

Good morning beautiful readers! 

Unfortunately due to some personal goings on in my life I haven't been blogging for a week or so (nearly two?) so I'm sorry you haven't had any joyous sneek-peeks into my ever adventurous life. I've been in a pretty bad place and sometimes even my little slice of the net is not the best outlet for my emotions, the whole world doesn't need to know. I still have quite a lot to sort out this week and I'm swamped with wedding plans (5 weeks on saturday!!) but I plan to back up and running ASAP. 

I have plenty of posts to catch up on and I have all of your lovely blogs to catch up on too so hope to see and hear from you all soon!


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Summer Senses

I bet most people have some sort of sensory reaction to certain scents without even realising. Your sense of smell can evoke extremely powerful emotions mostly linked to memories. For instance the smell of freshly baked cookies or shortbread might remind you of visiting your Grandparents, or a waft of fresh flowers smells just like hugging your Mum. On a deeper level you might remember how a smell made you feel. You'll probably know exactly what I mean if you smelt the perfume you were wearing on your very first date, or the smell of candles being blown out at your younger birthday parties. Our whole lives are filled with sensory influences that completely overpower us at times. For me, smell is the strongest influence and can stun me into submission. I never realised until recently that the smell of smoke reminded me so much of my Grandma. My parents have smoked my whole life but after living away for nearly four years, walking into their house takes me right back to bounding in to my Grandma's house when I was just a bairn. My fiancé is transported back to the Hilton in Iceland whenever I wear my Jimmy Choo Flash perfume - we got engaged there so it's a very special memory.

With Summer as my topic I am going to go through a number of sensations that evoke that sunshiney feeling. 

First up is SMELL: 

I'm probably not the only one who finds coconut a major summer-evoking scent. It simply smells like holidays! I don't know if all Suncream was coconutty when I was little or what but it will always, always make me feel like I'm on holiday. 

Next up is garlic. Now this might seem strange to some people, but it doesn't matter how many times I smell it, cook with it or eat it, I am always transported back to the various streets of Europe where I spent my family holidays growing up. The smell of Italian food, Spanish Tapas or delicious curry wafting out onto the pavement is one of the simplest pleasures there is, and an ultimate summery feel good moment.

Last but most definitely not least is flowers! The smell of wild flowers and freshly cut grass just makes my day when I leave the house. Even if the sun isn't shining I can happily bask in my summery sense of happiness when surrounded by these delicious natural scents.

Now for TOUCH:

Think about that feeling you get in your skin when the sun is shining directly on you. Not burning, not tingling but a gentle warmth that spreads right through you, relaxing your muscles and your senses. THAT is summer in a moment.

Sheets. Crisp, white, cotton sheets. Soft and smooth against your skin. Cool yet comforting. Bliss.

Bare feet on warm ground or sand. It doesn't get more summery!


Whilst pastels makes me think 'spring', brights just scream 'summer'. The gradual change from neutrals to pastels to brights in all the shop windows, marketing emails and supermarkets gently ease me into a laid-back summer feeling. 

Blue sky, fluffy clouds and sparkly waters of the river and the ocean where I live.

Sunkissed hair and skin.


Fruit, fruit fruit! Strawberries and cream during Wimbledon, juicy apricots and lots (and lots!) of wine.

French fries. Really salty and preferably served poolside in a basket.

Seafood. We adore seafood in our house, but perfectly cooked salmon fillets or calamari takes me back to summer in Italy in a second.


My fiancĂ© has a summer playlist on his iPod which is just perfect for cruising in the car with the sun streaming in. Santana is a particular summer favourite, and Lissie will always remind me of the Uruguayan wilderness. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Packing for my Summer Jollies!

Packing. Panic. Packing! Panic! PACKING! PANIC!

This is what happens every single time I pack to go anywhere, be it two weeks abroad or one night at my mother-in-law's. I don't like packing. I always feel like I've forgotten something incredibly important. Surely one night away requires two spare pairs of underwear, layers, germolene and plasters and extra painkillers for emergencies...? Maybe not. But this is, and will always be, my approach to packing. Be prepared! I always take too much, always take things that don't even get taken out of  the suitcase and always seem to come home with twice as much as I went with (I think this is a very common travelling phenomenon...)

I'm getting married in a few weeks and will be jetting off to sunny Thailand for two weeks of honeymoon bliss, and we are both attempting to 'pack light'... Everyone keeps telling us how much we'll buy when we're there and it's so hot we'll hardly need many clothes, just a couple of swimsuits and vests etc. But it's just not that easy, is it? A couple of swimsuits equals one tropical print bikini, a reversible neoprene bikini and a monochrome one-piece (for watersports) and I have enough vests to start my own business! I tend to pack in outfits so I'm guaranteed to have something that goes with everything, avoiding those lonely pretty tops that never get worn and or the jazzy kaftan that clashes with everything. Not to mention that we're travelling, not just hitting one resort, so I need different attire for sightseeing in Bangkok (trainers, shorts, loose t-shirts), jungle trekking in Elephant Hills (waterproofs, hiking boots, Indiana Jones-style hat and shirt) and finally chilling by the beach in Koh Samui (bikinis, flip flops, floaty dresses.) Then there's cosmetics to deal with. I definitely need at least two sets of haircare, one for dry days and one for oily days. I'll obviously need a variety of sun-creams too - body cream, body spray, SPF 20, SPF 30, P20 once a day, face cream, BB cream with SPF... Don't even get me started on make-up! I always take beautiful summery shades of everything then end up using nothing but tinted lip-balm the whole time. That reminds me I need tinted lip-balm...

This year I have vowed to be better. I've been trying to keep everything very simple and sophisticated. You only have one honeymoon so I've treated myself to a few luxury items instead of a tonnes of cheap rubbish. First up is my immaculate new Tripp suitcase, possibly the new love of my life - I've gone for sunshine yellow in the medium size. This is to a) keep the weight down and b) physically force me to pack less.

I'm using this old pink Harrods weekender as my cabin bag. I wouldn't normally take something so large but we've got two long haul flights with Dubai duty-free in the middle so I need plenty space for all the essentials. That brings me nicely onto my flight essentials.

Chick-lit. I'll give anything a go but at the minute I'm very into my wedding related books! I always travel with a journal or diary. I love to write down all the things we did every day, the food we ate, activities we enjoyed so that we can look back and re-live the happy memories. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with passport holders. They're great for keeping ticket stubs, cards, extra money etc. safe but these days you have to take your passport out of it's holder when you're at the airport which can be really annoying. I still always use mine though as well as a travel wallet to keep everything together and organised. My favourite in-flight beauty product has to be a multi balm, that you can use on lips and skin and has a relaxing fragrance. These little beauties are great for keeping skin plump and glowing through hours of moisture-sapping flights and airports and are just as useful when you're on holiday too. I also always have a pashmina or cashmere wrap for comfy snoozing, my Ipod filled with my favourite tunes (I normally make a holiday specific playlist) and my camera to start capturing memories as soon as the adventure begins. 

Here are a few other holiday essentials I'll be packing this summer.

Beautiful summer make-up pallette.

Designer facewear. Obviously.

Floral scent.

Fun bikini and denim cut-offs

Fruity, fresh candle to make our villa home.

I use these amazing drawer liners in my suitcase to keep my clothes smelling fresh. It's the most amazing thing when you unpack!