Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sporty Girl Series: Touch of Tennis

This outfit is reminiscent of days I used to play tennis with my dad on the weekends when I was younger (minus the boots, of course). It's classic and flirty, with the playfulness of the pleated skirt matching the cuteness of the polka dot bow.

Sporty Girl

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

5 Tips for Staying Pretty While Budget Traveling

Some of us have yet to go on our summer travel journeys, or could be in the middle of an incredible journey now. Many people travel for 3-6 months at a time, while others opt for a shorter vacation of 2-3 weeks. Either way, it can be difficult knowing what to pack when escaping for a budget holiday. Last year I traveled for just two weeks around Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore and by the end I was looking a little rough. I knew that we would be going to multiple cities, and it was a budget trip, so I thought it would be a good idea to keep my beauty routine and outfits as simple as possible. Not a good decision. Kuala Lumpur is too chic for Birkenstocks and Carmex. And Singapore is just like any other major city. I put together a few tips that I now practice and swear by for the traveling girl:

1. Bring mineral make-up. Everything from foundation to eyeshadow, it is absolutely imperative to bring mineral make-up to a climate you may not be used to. My skin tends to go a bit haywire when I get to new places, so I prefer something that won't cause my skin to react even more. This type of make-up won't clog your pores the way regular make-up does, and it's nice and light. It's especially perfect for warm climates. 

2. Wear maxi dresses with a pretty print. If you're going on a backpacking trip, do not wear cargo pants or shorts. People do this far too often on trips, but do we really use all of those pockets? You should wear pretty maxi dresses instead, which create an elegant look instantly. And, they come in handy for entering religious institutions.

3. Braid your hair at night. It can be confusing trying to figure out different plugs and voltage usage in various countries. Plus, you always run the risk of blowing out your straightener or curling iron. I just wash and blow dry my hair at night, then braid it into pigtails and wrap it. In the morning, you'll have pretty mermaid-like waves that'll last all day.

4. Wear wedges that support your feet. Wedges are generally very comfortable. Instead of wearing walking shoes or sandals, try a pair of supportive wedges that can get you through the day looking stylish. I love TOMS shoes (just be sure to break them in beforehand) and the Good for the Sole collection at Debenhams.

5. Bring cheap, but pretty jewelry. Never bring anything of value with you while traveling. If you only have jewelry that's sacred to you, then go out and buy a long necklace (great with maxi dresses) and a pair of nice earrings from any affordable accessories store at the mall.

Monday, 23 July 2012

A Taste of Summer: Lemongrass Strawberry Tea

The sun is finally out in London! I found another great summer tea that will go perfectly with this lovely weather, served either hot or cold. I bought Lemongrass Strawberry tea from The Tea House in London's Covent Garden. It is an herbal blend with lemongrass, strawberry, lemon, apple and pineapple pieces, and marigold petals. Even the combination of flavors sounds summery. I unrolled the top of the bag to release the blend's incredible smell. The lemon pieces and lemongrass were the strongest scents before brewing. 

I brewed the tea for 4 minutes, allowing the flakes to bloom inside my strainer. The strawberry and lemon scents came out even more after brewing, with just a little hint of the sweetness of pineapple. I could have sat at my table breathing in the tea for ages, it smelled so beautiful. The taste of my cup of tea was different than I imagined. I expected it to be more earthy and sweet, but it tasted more like a strawberry-lemon flavored drink with the strawberry dominating the taste buds. As I drank more, I also noticed a bit of natural apple juice flavor in the tea. It was incredibly delicious. I could have a cup of this tea every summer morning. 

Friday, 20 July 2012

Fashion & Film: For Us By Us

I found an old fashion video with fashionable girls having tea! I got excited about the fashion tea party, so I had to share. The best part is towards the beginning, and somewhat Alice in Wonderland-esque. The rest of the film is very abstract, which allows for lots of different stylish pieces to reflect the changing scenes in the film. The collection is from For Us By Us. 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Sporty Girl Series

The Olympics are coming! Although I'm not looking forward to "an expected 1 million visitors" in London everyday causing major crowding, I must say it is all getting pretty exciting over here. The Olympic rings are hanging from Tower Bridge and the athletes are arriving. I'll also be going to an Olympic-themed bloggers event where I'll be competing (playfully) against fellow writers! To get into the spirit of the Olympic 2012 games, I'm putting together a sporty girl series to combine femininity and athletics for the sports-crazed season. You can get creative, and assemble outfits mixing in mesh, stripes, or drawstrings before you're off to watch your favorite sporting event... whether you have a ticket or just watching at home.

Sporty Girl

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

How to Dress Up for Harsh Summer Weather

Summer weather seems to be getting the best of many of us around the worldheat waves in the US, and never ending rain with chilly nights in the UK. But, it doesn't have to mean a sacrifice of style! 

For cold/rain: This type of weather can be tricky during the summer. The temperature might sit just between warm and cool during the day and into the evening, but dips to a much lower temperature just as you're getting ready to walk from one bar to the next. And if you're in a city like London, it can rain at any given time. It's best to stick with thicker materials, like the wool skirt below. Because it is open and flares, the humidity won't make you feel uncomfortable in the fabric, and the wool can keep you a bit more warm. A light jacket can be worn over a short sleeve or tank top for varying temps. If it might rain, never leave your house without a little umbrella that'll fit in your purse. Suede shoes are my favorite, which doesn't hold up well in the rain but the black ones below can mask any damage (just don't wear your most expensive pair).

For extreme heat: I'm from Arizona, so I'm no stranger to unbearably hot weather. During the summer, the low temperatures there are generally hotter than the high temperatures in London. It can be tempting to wear very little, but the outfit below is a great way to dress up a bit more revealing ensemble. A bustier top and flowy, light fabric will keep you cool. The heels I picked out are beautiful with the skirt and top, but if you want your feet to breathe, you can opt for a pretty pair of sandals.

Dressing for Harsh Summer Weather

Friday, 13 July 2012

Fashion & Film: Teatum Jones

I'm still sharing the spring/summer collections for 2012, since I refuse to take my mind off of summer. This fashion video features designs by Teatum Jones, and was apparently featured in Vogue last year!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Beach in a Cup: Piña Colada Tea

Oh, sweet summertime. I miss it so much, and it's supposed to be here now! But, London weather is far too unpredictable to truly embrace the season. I decided to go out and buy a couple of new teas to, at least, bring a bit of summer into my kitchen. I tried a sencha piña colada flavored green tea from The Tea House in Covent Garden. It has pineapple chunks and flavoring mixed in with the green tea in order to create the taste of a tropical drink in a healthy form. 

The loose tea smells quite a bit how a piña colada tastes, and when it's brewed for 2-3 minutes, the aroma comes out even more. The green tea also blossoms beautifully in the strainer with the contrasting flecks of yellow. The cup of tea smells sweet and fruity, but just has a subtle taste of pineapple. It's really light and delicious, and has a great rich, pineapple color. It's great for summer, but doesn't beat a piña colada on the beach!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Designer of the Month: Daisy Harris-Burland, Dumpster Couture

Attending Brighton Fashion Week in late May/early June was a refreshing change to the extremely busy fashion week events that take place in London. There, I discovered the unbelievably talented Daisy Harris-Burland, south coast based designer and creator of sustainable fashion brand Dumpster Design. Two fashion lines stem from the brandthe more casual Dumpster Apparel and my favorite, Dumpster Couture. The couture line unites structure and softness, creating feminine, yet edgy gowns and dresses. They hold beauty capable of drawing in the viewers eye to look at every curve, and every detail. I had a chat with the light-hearted Daisy to learn more about her unique source of inspiration.

Krystle: What first inspired you to start designing? What’s the most exciting thing about being a designer?
Daisy: Everything inspires me, really. I bet everyone says that, but really it’s true. Although, I'm not one to flick through fashion magazines and get hugely inspired or riddled with ideas. It’s more like I go to the scrap yard and see an old engine and actual salivate when I see it’s only a tenner! I love the intricacy of engines and car mechanics. How the structure of the materials in their raw state can be so delicate and detailed just fascinates me and I really try and portray that amount of detail in my work. What’s great about being a designer is constantly being able to push my work to its limits—sometimes it works and sometimes it is an epic fail! It’s all about stretching the boundaries.

Krystle: How would you describe your couture collection?
Daisy: There’s only one word I can think of to express what I'm trying to achieve through my couture collection, and that’s 'limitless'. I’m trying to show how far you can take a material and stretch it and manipulate it into something completely different. Showing that anything has the potential to be transformed into something beautiful and daring.

Krystle: Do you have a favorite piece in that collection? If so, what do you love about it?
Daisy: My favorite piece is the 'clean sweep' dress. It’s made entirely from jay cloths, transforming them into something elegant and beautiful. It looks fit for a fairytale.

Krystle: Where do you find the materials you use, and how do you decide which ones to work with?
Daisy: I source my materials from anywhere, if it’s a company’s left over scraps of packaging or old deckchair material. Dumpster really focuses on the intricacy that can be created from such unusual objects. Working with the material, experimenting, seeing what fits and looks good. Every material is so different and you never know how it will respond to anything you try. The design then starts to create itself, always changing in structure and style as the building process continues. All working on the mannequin, never ever with a pencil and paper!

Krystle: How do you feel when you see people wearing something you’ve designed?
Daisy: Magnificent! Creating a bespoke garment is a very personal process, so when I see a client wearing a dress I have created for them and them being overjoyed with it, it feels incredible.

Krystle: If you weren’t a designer, what would you be and why?
Daisy: I’d be a stunt double for action films. No doubt.  My guilty pleasures are motorbikes and top speeds. Hopefully I’ll be able to merge my two loves of designing and daredevil somewhere along my career line! I'm nothing but an 8 year old boy at heart haha.

Krystle: Do you have any upcoming projects or things to look forward to?
Daisy: Lots of exciting projects coming up but nothing I can divulge as of yet, I'm afraid! All to be kept super secret and down low. But, be sure to keep on the lookout as big things are in the pipe line for Dumpster. We're just getting started, baby!

Photo Credit: Tori Clarkson

Find out more about Daisy and see her beautiful garments on her website:

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Follow my blog on Bloglovin'!

I just added my blog to bloglovin'. There, you can see what my creative mind is cooking up, and follow other bloggers, too!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Image: Helen Rödel

Vintage Sewing Machine

My boyfriend's dad spent yesterday afternoon mowing the lawn in their garden, and looking through some old things in the shed. While he was sifting through, he dug up my bf's mom's aunt's antique Singer sewing machine. I'm new to sewing (but not too shabby, I must say), and they know how eager I am to become a crafty girl, so his parents decided to give it to me! I was so excited looking through the old instructions on how to use the machine. Each little booklet dated back to the early 1900s, one in particular from 1912. The wheel on the right still moves the needle up and down, but I need to do a bit of research to get it fully up and running. And, of course if I don't use it for sewing, it'll make for an excellent piece of living room decor.

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