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Saturday, 30 November 2013

2013 has been a good year / pt.1

Even though the year is not yet officially over, I felt it was high time to look back on this year and all the good things that it has brought with it.  It's been, I must admit, possibly the best year of my life, thanks to my boyfriend and parents who've been my rock in the more difficult times, the opportunities I sought and which came along unsolicited, and you my dear readers, who have kept me going!

What follows is a little two-part run through the year, with some highlights, both blog-related and more personal ones. Hope you enjoy this!


Moved to Krakow and started working from home - this was definitely a blissfully challenging time, getting to spend time with my loved one, but having to get to grips with a totally different climate (SNOW!) and possibly the most difficult language in the world! And of course, I can't forget visiting the Andy Warhol retrospective which was showing in Krakow at the time.


More snow in Krakow as I came across some quirky loved up apples at Carrefour.  Of course, I couldn't leave without buying one or instagramming it!


March was spent jetting from Krakow to Malta to Berlin, where I attended a course on social media, and of course did some obligatory shopping and site seeing! I experienced my first 'White Easter' ...oh, and I appeared on FM magazine as a professional shopaholic.


Our first Polish wedding in the quaint and quiet Wadowice! A seven course meal, lots of dancing and lots more vodka! Loved every minute of it!


This was possibly my craziest month, at least the end of it: spur-of-the moment purchase of flight to London for the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective at the Tate Modern, the David Bowie is exhibition at the V&A, friends, parties, shopping (duh!).  Quick trip back to Krakow, to catch a flight to Malta, via Bergamo, to travel to Budapest (via Munich) the following day.  I wish the flights were all on the same airline topping up my frequent flyer card!


With my every monthly trip to Malta, it kept getting hotter, while back in Krakow I was still battling thunderstorms and occasional blazer-temperatures (which I love, btw!).  Alas, my time in Krakow was soon drawing to an end ... but there was still time to make some incredible memories while there ...

Watch this space for part deux of this 2013 round-up xxx

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Friday, 29 November 2013

Event Post: Just Us Girls with Oasis & Jane Norman

What is the best thing one can do after a long day at the office, especially if you're a shopaholic fashionista like myself? Well, go shopping of course!

The problem is that if you have a 9-5 job which actually keeps you on for much longer, shops tend be just about to close.  Enter Oasis and Jane Norman to save the day yesterday! With an event especially dedicated to us girls, the combined store in Valletta opened its doors late into the weeknight to allow us hardworking ladies to shop till we drop and be pampered while doing so.  It was the perfect antidote after a few tough days at the office.

The evening proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable one, with fashion guru Marisa Grima and Caroline Fashion Stylist in attendance, as well as an Avon stand for quick make overs. And of course, the fabulous stock at Jane Norman and Oasis taking centre stage.  The glamorous girls from local TV series Il-Klikka were also present to meet and greet those present.

I will admit that at first I said to myself I'll just go for a quick visit and to catch up with Marisa and Caroline ... but before I knew it I was making a bee-line for the changing rooms, debating the merits and demerits of animal prints and royal blue with Caroline and cashing in what could easily be my 100th dress (I lost count, I swear).  Oh, and did I mention, I actually got the dress in animal print! What?! Yes! I succumbed to the feline charms ... but truth be told, it's a very subtle print in shades of grey.  I guess, I didn't move so far out of my comfort zone after all.

I do wish there would be more of these late night shopping nights.  At the end of the day I sauntered home, delighted with my purchase and the fact I overcame one of my fashion fears and glad with having caught up with my girlfriends who share my same passion.

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

ZARA edits

Ever since the global Spanish sensation that is Zara opened up shop on our tiny island, I've been somewhat obsessed with everything that is available in store. Sometimes I've even hounded the shop managers with calls to ensure that the items I'd be coveting on their online presence would actually be available in my size ready for me to just pop over at the last minute to pick them up.  I feel that I've become somewhat notorious in the Sliema front establishment ... possibly also due to my (at least) bi-weekly visits ...


It stands to logic therefore that I would be subscribed to their mailing list and have the chain's Facebook page as a favourite to make sure I don't miss on a single post. Yes, I'm that obsessed.

And this morning, when I received the latest newsletter with the current edits, I was, as always blown away.  The relaxed, yet glamorous vibe emitted in the pictures spoke in French to me.  Possibly, this is because I'm currently reading Paris Street Style - which I'm loving and I'm trying to apply everything I'm learning from it on a daily basis (ever the nerd haha!)

With model Cate Underwood, music producer and model Caroline De Maigret, fashion blogger Roy on the Street, fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell and creative director Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea gracing its images, the 4th Zara edit is an eclectic mix of refined beauty, with a freshness that simultaneously evokes a styling maturity.  It is everything I've ever dreamt of achieving style-wise.

And as the geek that I am, taking an academic approach to everything I do, let me carry on taking notes, planning purchases and wardrobe reshuffles in the hope of achieving this.

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Monday, 25 November 2013


You know me well by now:  give me an excuse to shop or some new mobile application or gadget, and you'll see my face light up and I'll leave you in peace for as long as you like. 

So seeing these two favourite things coming together in VGF's Virtual Wardrobe application was more than my emotional stability could handle! Let's face it, we've seen and downloaded similar apps from online stores overseas, and probably shopped through them too.  But the pain of having to wait for items to be delivered is sometimes unbearable. 

VGF's Virtual Wardrobe app brings you brands such as MEXX, G-Star Raw, Calvin Klein, French Connection and Hugo Boss which you can browse and shop from the comfort of your home, or even on the go.  The app makes it easy to browse the entire catalog of stock at any time with any mobile device with internet connectivity. Once you've designed your perfect outfit  - whether it's womenswear or menswear - you can then seamlessly send your dream outfit to the store for collection or save it as a favourite. You can even share your outfit ideas with your friends on social media, email any VF Group’s store and get directions to the outlets with just a tap. And I promise, it is that easy to use! 

Don't let your busy schedule get in the way of your shopping enjoyment ... get the VGF Virtual Wardrobe here and start shopping! It's a perfect time to get your Christmas shopping sorted, or get yourself that sassy little number for the party season!
hands off this little red number! I'm so craving it! 

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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Recipe Post: Roast Winter Veggies

I can't remember the last time I actually cooked something decent.  My life is so hectic at the moment that unfortunately, I'm just stuffing my face with microwaveable meals and just plain old junk.  I know I'm doing a major disservice to my body and my health in general and I do realise that I need to get back on the right track.

Hopefully, yesterday's little cooking indulgence was one small step in the right direction!  I took a couple of much deserved hours off in the afternoon and managed to be home early enough to actually cook.  I stopped at the green grocer next door who had just brought in all the fresh goodies and got myself some of my favourite winter root veggies and made myself a huge dish of roasted veggies - one of my most favourite winter warmer recipes which is just so easy to make!

Here's how it goes:

Pick up some root veggies - I bought butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potatoes and fennel.  I found a lonely carrot lurking in the fridge and added that to the mix, together with the obligatory onion. You could also add a leek or use it instead of the onion.

I just love the smell of freshly chopped fennel
despite the smiley face, this butternut squash was still a b*tch to chop and peel!

Peel and chop all veggies in thick wedges.  If you prefer the fennel or onion to be less chunky, you can cut them in slices just like I do!

Place all veggies in a dish (I like using Pyrex or earthenware ones) and just about cover with water. Drizzle a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of BBQ sauce.  You can swap the BBQ sauce for Worcestershire sauce - as long as the sweetness of the honey and some of the vegetables is set off with that moorish, rich flavour of either one of these brown sauces, you're good to go.

Place in a heated oven (regular oven at 250degC) and slow cook for about an hour, folding the vegetables every so often so that they cook evenly.  The cooking length is quite dependent on your oven, really, and how crispy you like your veggies! An hour will give you nice caramelised edges with an al dente consistency.

As I said, the recipe is quite easy, though it does take some time in terms of preparation ... and the butternut squash is a b*tch to chop and peel! So if you can get your green grocer to chop it up at least, it'll help. But on the whole, it's so easy and delish! You can use it as a main vegetarian dish, topped with some goats cheese or as a side to your Sunday roast ... a change from the regular roast potatoes!

Let me know if you give this a try and whether you like it or not! Bon appétit xx

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Thursday, 21 November 2013

hair drama

I've had the same hair style for about 10 years on and off now.  There have been only two instances where my hair was comparatively short: one was when I needed to get rid of some terrible highlights and once when I was going through an 'I want to look like Alexa Chung' phase.

Otherwise, my hair has always been cut, and always been left to grow into the long layers which are yes, oh so comfortable and versatile, but after 10 odd years, oh so boring. Whenever I had these bouts of ennui de cheveux, I always resorted to changing colour (you do remember how at the start of 2013, my hair was dip-dyed blond right?) or have my fringe cut (only to complain about how it just won't stay in place, as of the following day).
relaxed 'girl next door' blowdry at Burberry AW13/14
 I feel I need something a tad more drastic right now.  I won't go for a Miley or a Jennifer Lawrence crop, that's for sure.  And I'm way too old for a Skrillex side shave (the horror, the horror!). Right now, my heart is set on having a lob - that's a long bob for the uninitiated.  Very bold move right?! What do you reckon? Would this be a good look for me? Or should I opt for something more drastic? I know, first world problems and all that ... but I'd still like to hear your suggestions below xx
centre parted perfection at Chanel

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

#ootd: Grey is my new Black

As you may recall, a few days ago I posted a Polyvore set showing an all-grey outfit.  You can refresh your memory of it here.

At the moment, I'm having a bit of a love affair with all things grey, going as far as getting my current manicure done in a charcoal grey with silver v-shaped tips.  I think I owe this obsession to my Polish friend Katarzyna whom I caught up with during my last trip to my beloved Poland.  When we met, she was wearing an all grey outfit, comprising of a woollen sweater dress and waterfall cardigan and matching hosiery.  She wore a beige trench and tan coloured ankle boots and bag.  The effortless elegance of her outfit remained imprinted in my mind.

On Sunday morning, I thought about her outfit once more when choosing what to wear for a whimsical trip to The Point Shopping Mall, which much to my delight, is now opening on Sundays too.  I opted for a more comfortable approach, wearing my grey jeggings and a loose fitting knit.  The weather was actually very warm so I could have done with a lighter top ... but it's mid-November, for crying out loud, and I want to wear my knits! 

Anyway, thinking that I would get much shopping done (I actually walked out empty handed *sob*), I wore my tan oversized bag and kept my shoes and accessories to match with the bag.  I don't really like matching my shoes and bag on a general note, but this kind of outfit calls for it, as the whole point of it is to keep things simple and polished.  I kept my make up relatively simple too ... it was Sunday morning after all, so certainly there was no need of excessive glamming up!

I do want to experiment more with grey as I feel it tends to be either relegated to work-wear or thought of as black's (ugly) sister.  How do you wear your greys? Let me know x

What I wore: Sweater (Zara); Jeggings (Stradivarius); Oversized bag (Zara); Ballerina pumps with gold toe-cap (H&M); Leather and chain bracelets (Massimo Dutti); Chain bracelet (Tommy Hilfiger); Bangle (W.Kruk); Ring (Maison Scotch); Necklace (Parfois)

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Sunday, 17 November 2013

#ootd: monochrome pattern clash

I've been dying to parade in my patchwork Zara coat for quite some time.  It did get quite a few outings while I was in Krakow a couple of weeks ago, but here in Malta, only this last week has it been cold enough to warrant coat-wearing.  The Bling Bling Accessories launch (which I wrote about here) provided the perfect occasion for it.

I chose to go for an Iris Apfel inspired look by layering statement jewellery and mixing prints.  Who ever said that less is more, huh?! I did shift out of my comfort zone in this H&M zebra print shift dress. Not being a huge fan of animal print, I was very wary of this dress looking totally wrong on me.  The first time I saw this dress was in Brussels last month and I was very tempted to buy it on the fly. During one of my (almost) daily visits to H&M in Krakow, I decided to go for it. I will admit that even though it's rather loose fitting, I need to be careful how I wear it as it can easily make me look double the size I am *sob*.

I kept the look rather ethnic inspired with a statement necklace I've had for some time from Pull&Bear and one of my Marni x H&M bangles.  To date, the Marni x H&M collaboration remains my favourite of all the collaborations the super high street brand has created.  

What I wore: Patchwork coat (Zara); Zebra print dress (H&M); Black opaque tights (H&M); Black ankle boots (Zara); Statement necklace (Pull&Bear); Curb necklace [barely visible] (Yoshe); Bangle [part of set] (Marni x H&M); Hand made ring (Yana's Jewellery); Stacked rings (Zara)

If you like the look, please click on the Lookbook hype button above.  You'll make me a very happy girl.

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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Event: Launch of Bling Bling Accessories

Well, you know how it is: Friday night, all dolled up, drinks are flowing ... what's that I see in the corner? Something sparkly this way shines.  An array of the most exquisitely chosen jewellery and bags is displayed at the far end corner of the The Villa, St. Julians.  I am a magpie.  I hover over and before I know it, I'm trying on rings, necklaces, writing cheques to take my new precious babies back home with me.  This is, in a nutshell, what every woman experienced last night at the fabulous launch of Bling Bling Accessories.

Bling Bling Accessories are launching a shop in Swatar, where customers shall receive personalised service when shopping during opening hours, or even by appointment for those of us who lead super-busy lives.  I suggest you follow their Facebook page here to keep updated on new items from Fiorelli and other ranges in stock.

I loved catching up with so many friends and acquaintances, all brought together in the love of quality and style.  Among them, was fellow blogger and former MBA course mate, Dorianne from *askdorianne.

As for my new babies? Well, I fell head over heels for this orange-toned lady bag with chain straps which I found so elegant, but still youthful in its warm colour.  I love the plaid lining (surprise, surprise!) and how one compartment closes with a clasp, whereas the other fastens with a zip, thereby giving you a bit more security for your valuables.

Yet another statement necklace made its way into my collection (I should count them, really), this time in an emerald green and white diamante combination, set on a gold curb chain, which as we all know, is the trend-du-jour.

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