Plan A Solo Vacation // Giveaway

23 February 2017

I am an advocate for solo vacations, or as we call them here in the UK - holidays. I've always loved travelling alone; I feel as though it leaves you more room for open mindedness and adventure. Don't get me wrong, I love travelling with friends. But the more friends you have on holiday with you, the more conflicting interests you have. I have been so lucky in the sense that I have been on many solo expeditions and have always come out richer from these experiences. So to celebrate Plan A Solo Vacation Day on the 1st March, I am giving away some goodies that I think are essential for a solo holiday.

Lime Quilted Cross Body Bag - A cross body bag is essential for any solo trip, whether it is abroad or  domestic. It frees both arms for ultimate exploration potential and isn't so big that it becomes a burden. You need a bag small enough to not get in the way, but big enough to hold all your essentials. It's also handy if the chain can be tucked away as it can double as an evening bag/clutch. Having a multi-purpose bag means you can travel with less (just one bag) which means more room for shopping hauls or additional luggage if you are planning a backpacking style trip. This fun lime Miu Miu style quilted cross body bag is perfect!

Lovisa Turquoise Crystal Ball Earring Studs - While some may think jewellery is not essential for a holiday, I think it's important to pack a pair of earrings for certain occasions. Some understated but colourful studs will do the trick if you want a bit of daytime bling in the sunshine or evening glitz. These studs are versatile and do the trick!

Missguided Statement Necklace - I believe you should bring at least one necklace on a holiday with you, while not necessary in the day, I think having one glam piece is essential. Stick with silver so it can match any outfit you pick out.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin and Love Poems by Pablo Neruda - Always bring at least one book with you unless you know there will be books at your accommodation. If you stay in a hostel, chances are there will be many books to pick from but if you're at a holiday resort, it's safer to bring one from home. Choose a classic like Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice or if you don't want to commit to a long story, choose something easier to read like a collection of short stories or some love poems. 

Nude Nail Varnish - While makeup should be minimal on holiday, I think it's important to have well groomed nails. Opt for something understated like a nude brown or french manicure pink. A lot like the silver statement necklace, the colour of your nails should be able to match any outfit you pick out. 

Semi-Rimless Tortoiseshell Vintage-Style Sunglasses - Last but not least, sunglasses! You can never predict the weather, and it is very important to look after your eyes. Not only can the sun's rays damage your eyesight but squinting can increase wrinkles around the eye area. Keep your eyes protected with some stylish sunglasses and make sure they themselves are protected from scratches.

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La Douleur Exquise

10 February 2017

Ever since I spotted Oscar De La Renta's striped sequin and ostrich feather top on my favourite blogger Blair of Atlantic Pacific, I knew I had to have it. But at about £2,000 for the beautiful piece, how would that be possible?

I took a mini hiatus from any DIY projects but returned in full force with this cheeky number. I had an old navy and white striped cropped tee from H&M that I was planning on throwing out (crop tops are not cute on a 27 year old woman) but loved the shape and quality so much that I couldn't bring myself to do it. Queue the lightbulb moment! After buying 2 meters worth of crisp white ostrich feather trimmings, I decided to sew this to the hem of the top to elongate it (making it more wearable at my age) and also channel my inner Oscar De La Renta. Not only was this one of my easiest upcycling projects but one of my favourites also.

Step 1

Since ostrich feather trims are quite sparce in feathers, it is likely you'll have to double up the trimming in order to gain the same look as the Oscar De La Renta top. Work out what length of feathers you will need.

Step 2

Double up! Fold the trim on itself to double the volume of feathers, align and pin in place.

Step 3

Pin to the inside of the top. The reason we do this is so that the hem of the top hides the ribbon trim of the feathers. It looks neater and more professional.

Step 4

I would highly recommend machine sewing, the industrial needle will penetrate the double trim and hem of the top with ease. Align and sew leaving a slight gap between the start and finish. Do not leave a big enough gap so that it's visible (the feathers should mask the gap) but big enough for a little stretch. Because this trim does not stretch, you may find this difficult to put on without a stretch gap. Failing that, you can insert a zip. 

Once complete, style with dainty and delicate jewellery or a vintage brooch. The top I had was upcycled from an old H&M top and the feathers were bought for £7.48 which seemed like a much more reasonable option compared to spending £2,000. Check out Oxfam's shop for some easy stripes to upcycle here.

While I do love a good brand or label, I think it's important not to add to the environmental impact the fashion industry already has. As an aspiring minimalist and zero waster, I am aware of just how much waste is involved in the industry and knowing that I'm minimising my impact makes me feel that little bit better. 

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