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Monday, 29 August 2016

NYC Twilight Cruise

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One of our evenings in New York was spent on a 90-minute twilight boat cruise to see the skyline as the sun went down. We had a 48-hour tour bus ticket, which covered us for the hop-on tour buses around the city and were told that this cruise would also be included in our tickets.

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In fact, when we got to the ticket office at the ferry pier, we were told it wasn't, but having walked to the end of the island (literally!) in the blistering heat, we weren't prepared to miss the opportunity and paid ten dollars each to upgrade our tickets. 

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Being there about an hour before the ferry began to board was a grand idea as it meant we were at the front of the queue, but actually that didn't really help us, as there are more people than seats and whilst we got on and sat on the top deck, people continued to fill up the edges of the deck, making it impossible to see anything from our seats, which was a little annoying. 

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We managed to wait for a space and I proceeded to take about eleventy billion photos of the skyline in the gradually fading light.

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The tour lasted about 90 minutes and we were given plenty of information about the things we were passing. It went down from Pier 78 and along Lower Manhatten past the Brooklyn Bridge, and then did a lap of Liberty Island as the light was fading so that we could get some lovely photos of the Statue.

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This cruise was a great way to spend one of our New York evenings! 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

My souvenirs from America..


Although I still have lots to share following my trip to the States, the one thing I keep getting asked about is what I bought. Although the itinerary was quite full, and we had so much to see and do every day, we did manage to fit in a little shopping. 

All of the tourist attractions we hit up had gift shops (of course!) so we'd peruse all of those as we left. I bought a badge for my camp blanket from just about every place we visited. And here's what else...


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I hadn't really planned to buy anything in particular. I knew there'd be no opportunity to hunt down a Kate Spade store, so I was pretty much content with just seeing what caught my eye. I spotted this orange t-shirt when we were at the Capitol in Washington and decided I's like to add it to my gym gear. (Which is definitely in need of a serious overhaul). 

I then stuck with the trend and bought myself a t-shirt from the CN Tower gift shop, and one from the NYC souvenir shop on the night before we came home. I also bought a Toronto Blue Jays tee from the merch stand at the baseball game I went to. So, four (!) t-shirts. Which for a girl who only really wears t-shirts to the gym, should be me set for life!

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We managed an hour in Macy's on the Sunday we were in New York and I wasn't wildly impressed with it, if I'm honest. There are probably other, nicer department stores over there but Macy's was the one the girls requested, so that's where we went. And I totally expected to leave without purchasing anything, until right before we were due to meet them all and we found the cutest selection of Marc Tetro bags. I bought myself a shopper bag and matching wallet. The bag kind of became my travel bag, and was super useful for the coach journeys on the trip, and I used it for my hand luggage on the way home. So much space! 


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Finally, I bought myself a little silver moose charm, to go onto my charm bracelet. I don't wear my bracelet that often and to be honest, it's been a long time since I added anything new to it, but it was a present for my 14th birthday (we all got one when we were 14, same as my mum and aunt had when at their 14th birthdays) and I love it. The moose came from a gift shop at Niagra Falls. 

So, that's about it - a lot less than I'd expected to come home with, although we were quite short on space with just one rucksack each, I suppose. And we had very limited shopping time, really. It wasn't really that kind of trip, though. 

Friday, 26 August 2016

Friday Favourites 210..

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So much for a last ditch attempt at the summer weather, then. If anything, this past week has served as a reminder that autumn is on it's way. But, always looking on the bright side of life, it seems to me that a change of season is the perfect time for a wardrobe overhaul. This week, plenty of lovely Autumn essentials have been catching my eye on the Esprit website and I've decided to share my favourites...

001: Always a sucker for a statement necklace, this one in shades of gold and bronze has definitely got the autumnal vibe. I could wear this with just any outfit for a sparkly little finishing touch. 

002: Long-sleeved dresses are perfect for layering up in the autumnal weather. I like to wear them with thick tights and flat ankle boots when things are miserable and rainy. Plus, I can't get enough of flamingo prints. I liker that this one is mustard in colour as that's a shade I always associate with the change of season.

003: Glitter shoes add a little sparkle to just about any outfit, whilst still giving you the option to keep things casual - I like the classy, gently-pointed front on this pair.

004: This floral print sweater would be perfect for layering up over a long-sleeved blouse for work, or under a pinafore for a weekend look. So versatile!

Have you thought about new autumn looks, yet? Do you dress differently when the seasons change?

Thursday, 25 August 2016

12 things I learned in New York..

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I've been back for over a week now and I'm well aware that I haven't yet shared any of my photos, but there are just *so* many to sort through, plus life has continued as it has a knack of doing, so there is plenty to keep me busy. We had lovely weather for the few days we spent in New York and it was my first visit there, so I was happy to just try and take in as much of it as I could. I thought I'd share a few of the things I learned when I was in the great NYC...

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  • If you look up, the crazy mixture of architecture, old and new, could confuse you and you might think you were somewhere else - it's a lot like London, until you see one of the iconic landmarks.
  • People are really friendly. Unlike London, they'll stop and chat to you; they're happy to provide you with directions and the armed security people, who are just about everywhere you look, are always happy to help (or have their photo taken with you). Not just public servants, though, we had lovely conversations with people as we were eating in restaurants, shopping and queuing for things.
  • American queues work differently. It seems you can stand one person in a queue, who is basically acting as a place-marker for every member of their family / class / travel party / anyone they know (delete as applicable).


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  • Your tour bus seems to be the only one which doesn't come past every five minutes, when you're waiting for it. 
  • Just about everything is within walking distance. The grid system is amazing and made a lot of sense to me. Everything is measured in streets and avenues (except for Broadway, which confuses the system a little). Anything under twenty streets away is definitely walking distance.
  • Times Square is horribly busy, no matter what time of the day you pass through. 
  • August is hot - and this one seems to be hotter than usual (so much so that just about everyone seems to pass comment on it). It's so hot that your rucksack will leave lovely damp patches on your shoulders. You understand why genuine New Yorkers "summer in the Hamptons" and you stop caring about your hair, so long as it's out of your face.
  • So many New York smells. A lot of the streets are piled up with litter in the evenings, which I guess is collected in the early hours. There are plenty of rats around and they're not afraid of people. Also, cockroaches.
  • It's a lot more difficult to buy what I'd consider a "packed lunch". In fact, it's generally not cheaper to buy things to make lunches than it is just to buy food out, which seems alien to me. 

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  • Comfortable shoes are a must. I took three pairs of shoes with me for my trip - some running trainers, which I wore in the morninngs, some regular trainers, and these Miss L'Fire sandals, which I wrote about here. Although my trainers were perfectly comfy, I was glad of these to give me a break from wearing socks and trainers all of the time - I wore them a little before my trip, but the wearing-in process wasn't extensive and I found them super comfortable for a day of walking, which I put down to the fact that they're leather and have a decent, sturdy sole.
  • The queues for things aren't as bad as you'd think. We expected to queue for the most touristy of destinations - the Top of the Rock and the Statue of Liberty. But, in fact, what held us up most at either of those places was the airport-style bag checks and security procedures. Once through those, the crowds seemed to disperse. 
  • The parks are lovely. There are more than you think. Central Park was hands down my favourite - mostly down to it's size and the sheer amount there is to see (personal favourites including the turtles in Turtle Lake and the Alice in Wonderland statue). I ran there each morning we were in the Big Apple and every day I saw something new. But, Union Square Park, where you can sit and play chess as you watch the world pass you by, is also nice.

I'm sure I'll think of more; these are just the things I noticed well enough to remember to note down.


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Be yourself, so long as it suits us.

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Assemble heels: Carvela
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Blouse: George // Skirt: Topshop  // Necklace: New Look

This week has been a bit of a rough one thus far, I'm sad to say. Things are busy busy (when are they not?!) but I'm also facing some rather weird....shit, for want of a better word. What can only be described as backlash for being honest. Unsure how it's all going to pan out, but I'll share more when I know.

Anyhow, as a way to cheer myself up, I dug out some old favourite heels - I remember tracking these down in Birmingham on the way home from a blogger meet-up, I figured they'd go quite nicely with this new planet shaped bag, which I've recently welcomed into my novelty handbag collection. Hard to resist at less than £10! 

I made something of an error of judgement with the weather as well - I'd assumed that the grey start to the morning was as good as things were going to get, so opted for this long-sleeved bicycle print blouse, which I regretted when the temperature in my office rose to the mid-twenties. Ah well. Maybe we are set to have something of a mini heat-wave after all.

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Planet Bag: Gamiss*

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Tuesday Titles 103..

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Curious Minds : Janet Evanovich + Phoef Sutton


When I first posted this book on one of my recent #YarnAlong posts, it was clear that I was in the minority as this is the first Janet Evanovich book I'd read. 

Curious Minds is the first book in a new detective series starring Emerson Knight - a wildy rich eccentric who also happens to be rather handsome and clever, but fails completely at social etiquette, and Riley Moon - newly graduated from Harvard, she's given an internship and a rubbish parking space at an investment bank and is keen to learn, until her first assignment happens to be babysitting Emerson Knight. 

Events spiral out of control as Emerson discovers that he can't access the gold in his deposit account, and the bank realise that something untoward might be going on. Emerson and Riley make an unwilling duo but are dispatched to see if they can find some answers.

Frankly, I really enjoyed this book - it kept me entertained during a long Greyhound coach journey and I liked the fast pace. Reminiscent of the Artemis Fowl series, I'd say this had potential to be another great adventure series and am looking forward to future releases.

Read anything great lately? Please share!


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Lemons and cloves to keep the bees away..

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Dress: Gamiss*
After a week or so of wearing shorts and trainers, I couldn't have been more pleased to get back to normality where my wardrobe was concerned. I was pleased to arrive home to this little lemon print beauty from Gamiss - it can't have taken long to arrive, despite travelling across the oceans to me.

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Blair Elfglow boots: Irregular Choice* // Hat: Atmosphere

Frankly the quality is really great - a nice, thick cotton fabric and the dress has a button front detail although also zips at the back, so you don't actually have to fiddle with them all to wear it, which is nice. I like the button detail to the straps as well, which give it something of a pinafore dress look. It's got a lovely full skirt, which ticks all of my boxes and works nicely over my trusty Hell Bunny petticoat. 

I figured the colours would go rather perfectly with my Blair Elfglow boots; navy and yellow go so nicely together, I think. And I really liked it with this hat, which I made recently and posted about here