Colourful Khaki

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Middle-Eastern summers burn you up and tire you out and, to be honest, the heat’s making my brain a little fuzzy. It’s hard to think about shooting your next blog post when really all you want is the air conditioner turned up! But it got done, so here it is.

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We got back to Lebanon nearly ten days ago, and we’re staying until the 30th, which means lots more time for new blog posts (I hope! Being here can get pretty chaotic with all the running-around). But this post had all its pictures done when we were still in Jeddah so putting it up right now is really all but a baby’s job.

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Short and sleeveless are really the only two words that spring to mind when planning an outfit in the dead of summer. Anything long and tight all but stops the blood in your veins. So, r.e. that pair of frumpy short you probably own and have stuffed in the back of your wardrobe? Here’s a not-so-frumpy outfit idea! (and me pretending I’m not sweltering)

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Let’s talk accessories. First, these glasses: they’re Nicole Miller and one of the only pairs (aside from another set a few years ago) that I’ve ever really loved and suited my face shape 100%.

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The bag (and lipstick) offer a much-needed pop of colour to a more earth-toned outfit.

As for the jewellery, I forget where I got them from – it’s hard to keep track when you bought some of them a few years ago!

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OUTFIT: TopNext / ShortsPull & Bear / ShoesDorothy Perkins / BagSuite Blanco / WatchPierre Cardin / Jewelleryold, unknown / Lipstick  – The Body Shop

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Mad For Mustard

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It’s official – as of July 14th, I’m a university graduate! Journalism with, yes, a second class degree (2.1), but I’m honestly just glad it’s over. University was an emotional rollercoaster and it really just taught me what areas I don’t want to work in.

So, there’s that big pot of confusion I’ve got simmering these summer months! I’ve got to work out what I do want to do when I go back to England in September, so fingers crossed I don’t buckle.

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Summer is in full swing and the heat is on. We’re in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) now, but going back to Lebanon tomorrow, and it’s a respectable (if slightly uncomfortable) 39°C.

Yellow is a colour I love and so easily lifts the tone of an outfit. It goes with so much and, though I only used to wear mustard shades in Autumn, I’ve managed to find pieces that are easy and comfortable to wear in the heat.

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Let’s talk accessories: these bee-inspired earrings are little wonders I found in H&M in the beginning of July. I’ve scoured the H&M website for the exact ones but can’t seem to find them – as soon as I do, though, I’ll be linking them at the bottom so stay tuned!

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These slippers are ones my uncle bought me during a business trip to Kenya a couple of weeks ago, and I love the metallic golden yellow tones!

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I’ve been been compiling a very specific playlist for Summer ’17 and it features lots of Lana Del Rey, The Atomics, Sarah Darling, Jesse Jo Stark, and Sara Evans; all I can think is Palm Springs, California, and a soft ’90s aesthetic. And – I hope it shows – this photoshoot conveys that, in my mind.

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OUTFIT: DressZara / Shoesgift / BagElle / EarringsH&M / WatchPierre Cardin

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50 Shades of Green

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Hello, and welcome to my first post in two months! I feel so ashamed that I’ve let myself fall behind with regular posting, but it’s all good now.

 

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The weather’s been so turbulent for a while, now, sunshine and blue skies one day, then rainstorms and cold nights the next. Though, Mother Nature has never been a tame soul, so I guess we can’t resent her wild spirit.

 

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Green’s such a wonderful colour, and its many different hues make a ’50 Shades of Green’ post one of the easiest! It can be calm when pastel, and vibrant when lime or forest, and all outfits—in fact, what makes fashion so fun—have varying, opposing elements in their make-up.

 

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Florals might hark back to Spring—which is long over—but the brightness of the bag and earrings bring it all straight into summer.

 

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And speaking of summer, I’m so excited for Lebanon—where we’ll be travelling in less than 2 weeks!—and the insane, Middle-Eastern heat. But at least I’ll get a tan, because I’ve gotten quite pasty in the sun-less weather since Dubai!

 

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OUTFIT: DressPeacocks / ShoesBaklash / BagPrimarkScarfMooch Vintage / EarringsVintage

Vintage Photoshoot: Four retro, floral, fashion looks

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My dream of having a vintage-style photoshoot has finally been fulfilled! Okay, in part, but this has come very close.

One of my closest friends, Emma, is doing a fashion journalism portfolio for university, and asked me to be her model for the day—to which, of course, I said ‘yes’!

We took the pictures in and around her house since her interior designing skills are kind of goals.

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Look 1: Breakfast At Tiffany’s

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Check out that floral wallpaper! Though we haven’t really had proper spring weather here, it’s getting a bit warmer now.

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I feel like this look leans a bit towards Breakfast At Tiffany’s; what do you think? The evening gloves, the cat on the bed…(that’s Emma’s cat, Bob—he’s nearly one year old—and he’s a pretty good model!).

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OUTFIT: DressZara / ShoesTopshop / BagArkwright’s Emporium / GlovesVintage / RingNew Look / Necklace – gift / EarringsMiss Selfridge

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LOOK 2: Riviera Reverie

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This look makes me think of summer on the French Riviera—or something I’d wear on a cruise in the forties or fifties. Also, that belt is actually from the strap of a handbag! You do what you’ve got to do, right?

I want to mention: this is my first time with cat-eye liner in six five years, and now I wish I did it more often!

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OUTFIT: DressBaklash / ShoesTopshop / HatH&M / (Photo 1) EarringsMiss Selfridge / (Photo 2) Earringsgift / NecklaceClaire’s Accessories

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LOOK 3: Dressed For Dinner

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Going glam for this look, with the demure black and flashy white and gold. And I am so in love with those chandelier earrings from New Look!

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Vintage queen, Audrey Hepburn, being my inspiration, today and everyday. Obviously.

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OUTFIT: DressDorothy Perkins / BoleroAmisu x New Yorker / ShoesTopshop / BagVintage / MaskMolly Limpet’s / EarringsNew Look / BraceletPrimark

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LOOK 4: Girl About Town

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Channeling Faye Dunaway in ‘Bonnie and Clyde‘ and Suzy Bishop in Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom‘ for this part of the photoshoot. Also, I wish I wore a beret more often.

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OUTFIT: DressForever 21 / ShoesTopshop / BeretRed Herring x Debenhams / ChokerExtravagance 

The Scorpio Cupcake: Dark chocolate raspberry recipe with chocolate buttercream frosting

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Lucky number 6 with today’s zodiac-themed cupcake post! Today, I’m going to talk to you about Scorpio.

Scorpios are born between October 23rd and November 22nd and their greatest strength is their sensitivity. Though they tend to hide from the intensity of their emotions (Water signs are led by their heart) and can be stubborn with whatever stand they take, they always find a way to forgive. Scorpios are also quite passionate and dynamic.

 

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Distrusting and suspicious, people under this zodiac appreciate honesty.

But hurt a Scorpio at your peril, because as much as they’re known for being a good friend, they’re determined and seriously into getting revenge, and their emotions can prove destructive to themselves and others. They won’t be so quick to forgive you again.

 

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For these reasons, I’ve chosen to do a dark and sultry combination of dark chocolate and raspberry. The colours are beautiful together, for one thing, but dark chocolate has always been underrated and underestimated—it’s unique, that’s for sure. Raspberry brings out a soft sweetness, and I feel like these two ingredients represent the two sides to a Scorpio: the good, sensitive friend, and the scorned lover.

 

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I used this delicious chocolate cake recipe by Martha Stewart and added crushed raspberries (equal to 2 handfuls of whole ones) to the batter.

For the dark chocolate buttercream:

160g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter, room temperature

20-30g cocoa powder

Drizzle of chocolate syrup

And top the cupcake with a raspberry—enjoy!

 

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The Libra Cupcake: Banana recipe with chai buttercream frosting

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I’m writing this post from my hotel room in sunny Dubai, so expect some day-by-day posts of what I’m getting up to!

Keeping on with my zodiac-themed cupcake posts, today it’s Libra.

 

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Libras (September 23-October 22) are known to be fair, balanced, and diplomatic—which makes the most simple sense since its symbol is the scales. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that they’re quite people-oriented, whether that’s with their partner or family and friends, and like to keep everything in harmony and peace. They can’t tolerate injustice and root for equality and fairness in all they care about, and this mentality makes them the idea partner.

 

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They’re flirtatious by nature, which comes as no surprise since this sign is ruled by the planet Venus—also known as the Roman goddess of love. Along with Aquarius and Gemini, Libra’s element is Air. People ruled by this element tend to be quite social and communicative.

But, as with all good qualities come the not-so-good and Libras can be indecisive and even gullible; they’re good at helping other people, but they’re not as headstrong as when it comes to themselves.

 

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For these reasons, I wanted a flavour that was balanced—something sugar and spice (and everything nice), so I chose CHAI. Also, I love banana, and cinnamon (which is one of the make-ups of chai) pairs so well with it.

For the banana cupcakes, I used this beauty of a recipe by the domestic goddess herself, Martha Stewart.

For the chai frosting, I used:

160g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter, room temperature

Splash of coconut milk

1-2 teaspoons of Drink Me Chai

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl so it doesn’t go lumpy, then add the butter. I went for 2 teaspoons of chai powder, but add to taste. And enjoy!

The Cancer Cupcake: vanilla marshmallow recipe with coconut buttercream frosting

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It’s a sunny Sunday here and I spent all afternoon walking around the city, having iced coffee and ginger beer, and counting down the days ’til we leave for Dubai (three!)

But it’s that time again: new post, new zodiac-inspired cupcake! Today I’ve got Cancer going on. My sun sign’s Virgo (check out that cupcake!) and my moon sign’s Cancer, so this is another one I’ve especially enjoyed doing.

 

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Cancerians are born between June 20 and July 22 and, as their element is water, they’re known to be emotional, responsive, and sympathetic. They’re really good at giving advice because of this sensitivity and deep-rooted ability to empathise and to tap into other people’s emotions. Their heart rules their thinking. This also makes them loyal and dependable; a Cancerian’s a great friend to have.

With this strong tie to their emotions, they can also be moody, oversensitive, and self-pitying.

 

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The flavour I’ve chosen is vanilla and marshmallow! Sweet, just like Cancerians, and with all the fluff that emotions bring.

The cupcake recipe is from ‘Lemon Sugar’ which you can find here. When they’d cooled from the oven, I cut out some of the middle, filled it with marshmallow creme, and replaced the top.

 

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Frosting recipe:

80g unsalted butter, room temperature

160g icing (confectioners’) sugar

Splash of coconut milk

Handful of desiccated coconut

2-3 tbsp blue food colouring

Mix all the ingredients together—make sure to sift in the icing sugar so it doesn’t get lumpy.

 

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And that’s it! Check out my other zodiac-inspired cupcakes: Leo / Gemini

LIBRA will be up tomorrow!