18.9.16

OUTFIT | Goodbye Summer, and Long Hair


There are no holiday or festival snapchat stories bombarding my feed anymore, heatwave weeks are turning into cloudy days, and I'm buried in homework every night; I think summer 2016 is well and truly over!

And what a summer it was.

From walking the Camino to my holiday in Greece, from my French course to three weeks in Irish college, this summer was packed with non-stop travel and fun. But those sunny, happy days feel like a century ago now. I started fifth year this month, and my life has turned upside down.

I'm talking three English essays a week, constant class tests and work; my everyday schedule is polar opposite to mine from Transition Year. I haven't even had much time to Instagram, let alone blog and make YouTube videos! I know, it's a tragedy! 


In between all of the school madness, I've had casual outings with friends, a trip to the cinema (Café Society is a good film), and I went to a magazine launch! More belated info on the Magpie launch is to come in the next post.

So, basically, from the end of summer to now, I've been trying to balance my life out; I'm kind of getting there. I've almost caught up with blogging about super old news, and I'll be back on track soon with everything Queen of Quirk.


I CUT MY HAIR!
I got it cut back in late August to a long bob and I LOVE IT! I got some balayage done too, and my hair feels so bouncy. It's easy to wash, dry, style... There are so many pros to short hair, I could go on. I think I'll be keeping it around this length for a while



TOP: ABERCROMBIE | CARDIGAN: FOREVER 21 | JEANS: HOLLISTER | WATCH: TED BAKER | SHOES: TOMS



I wore this outfit one Saturday evening for a family friends dinner party. It's a great summer-to-autumn transitioning outfit with its layering and season-neutral colours. The top from Abercrombie is one I tend to forget about, and fall in love with again and again. I must say I am quite excited for cooler weather so I can whip out my scarves and hats. 🍂


8.9.16

TRAVEL | Athens - Greek History + a One Day Cruise


I remember first listening to Greek myths and legends in primary school and being blown away. Since then, Athens had been on my travel bucket list for quite some time. Athens is the heart of Ancient Greece, and I had the opportunity to delve into the rich history of the city on my recent trip with my family. 

(So this holiday was in July, and I'm only blogging about it in September. A tad bit late, I'm aware, but this holiday was too good to not write about and share photos of!)

Following a relaxing weekend in Mykonos, we flew to Athens for a quick three day stay. I'm glad it was three days - the shorter the stay, the more active we are when it comes to holidays abroad. Also, it was scorching - I'm talking up to 40 degrees everyday. 

We did so much; we explored the Acropolis and many ancient ruins, absorbing the history; we explored the modern Athens city itself; and we did a one day cruise!

Read on for more...


EXPLORING THE CITY OF ATHENS
After arriving in Athens at our hotel, Fresh, we spent a while walking around Athens. We came across a Flormar pop up shop (I bought a few things - I couldn't resist), many trinket and souvenir shops, as well a Fish Spa.

Yes, a Fish Spa, you read correctly! My sister and I nervously dipped our feet into tanks of mini fish, who nibbled at our toes and dry skin, all for the hopes of soft, pampered feet after. At Doctor Fish, we spent ten minutes squealing at the ticklish feelings on our feet, while Dad kindly filmed us for my Athens Travel Diary (have a watch - it's at the top of this post).

I loved the architecture style of Athens, and its photogenic streets. Every corner I turned, I was almost bound to see some kind of historic site or ruin. In the first few hours of our stay, I had already established a liking for the city. We soon turned back to the hotel as it was so warm, and I made my way up to the pool on the beautiful rooftop for a cool down before we headed out for dinner.

Meals out in Athens were all lovely - it's easy to find quality restaurants, even by walking around, as it's such a huge city. My favourite meal was the one on the rooftop of our hotel - there was a stunning sunset, and you could gaze at the beautiful Acropolis propped on its hill as well as the millions of bright city lights when the sky darkened.


HYDRA 


POROS



(ISLAND OFF) AGEINA 


THE ONE DAY CRUISE TO HYDRA, POROS AND AGEINA
On our second day, we went on a cruise with One Day Cruise. It was a super early start - on the bus to the port at 7.30 am - and our first stop would be Hydra, one of the three Saronic islands we would be visiting. 

The journey was about two hours. The boat was huge, with loads of tourists, and there wasn't much to do other than to sit around. So, I was stuck into my book series Mad in Wonderland by Cameron Jace (I finished the first book and started the second on my Kindle!) for the day on each boat journey. This first two hour journey was the longest, as Hydra was the furthest from the Athens port. 

Hydra is probably one of the most picturesque places I've ever been to. When I first spotted the island from the boat, my eyes widened. Pastel houses with red roofs off the side of a large hill, yachts travelling in and out, people jumping off a small cliff into the clear blue water; I was excitedly snapping away on my camera from the moment the island was in view to the moment we left.

On the island, there were no cars, only donkeys, and the town was so cute with its small streets, locals at every turn. Emily and I found steps up to a higher view up of island, and I of course posed for a few pictures. I'm a blogger after all!

Next stop, following a satisfying lunch on the boat, was Poros. We were on this island for a short while, something like half an hour, so we just decided to relax, eat ice cream and enjoy the view from the cafe we were sitting at. Once again, my camera and I were at work, and I was happy to capture the real beauty of the sparkling blue water of the sea.

For our next destination, Ageina, we had a choice of three tours - one historical tour, one city tour and a 'swimming' tour (a trip to a tiny island off Ageina for some time relaxing time at the beach). We chose the 'swimming' tour; we got off the cruise ship to find ourselves on another boat, a little speedboat to be specific, minutes later. We arrived at this exotic, tropical-like cove, with a small crowd, sunbathing and swimming (surprise surprise) at the island's shore. It was so hot, so scenic and so beautiful, and I adored floating around in the sea with my family.

We returned to Athens, and after a long day on a cruise boat we went to our hotel to rest before dinner.


THE ACROPOLIS AND OTHER PLACES 
Dad booked a guided historic tour of Athens for our last day. We were in an air-conditioned van, driving around with a lovely man as our tour guide (we can't remember his name unfortunately). It was another early start, and the first site we visited was the Acropolis - where many ancient Greek ruins still stand, including the first theatre in the world, the Theatre of Dionysus. I did my Grade 10 Speech and Drama exam this summer, and learnt all about ancient Greek theatre, so I was psyched to visit that particular monument.

Before we headed up the hill to the Acropolis, our guide gave us some interesting information about the history of the Acropolis, as well as the architecture styles of the buildings there. As a lover of history, I was fascinated by the beautiful ruins, and was amazed at how well preserved they are. It was almost surreal seeing the Theatre of Dionysus, which was built in the 6th century (there's not so much of left, let me tell you)!

After the Acropolis, our guide drove us up a hill to view the city from up above (my sister and I attempted to 'hold' the Acropolis in the distance). As well as that, we saw the Panathenaic stadium, the Temple of Zeus, and we went to see the 'changing of the guards'. Those soldiers were pretty serious; we technically weren't allowed to smile, but I couldn't help but grin away, considering what I was doing was quite bizarre.

Back in the car, we went on a reasonably long car journey to Corinth. We stood on the bridge of the deep, deep, deep Corinth Canal, which connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea (bit of a Geography lesson for you there). We also visited the ruins of Ancient Corinth, and almost got to see Acrocorinth, the acropolis of Corinth, but we found out it was closed before we could climb up the steps.

The finale of our long day exploring Athens, and its surrounding places of interests, included that beautiful sunset dinner on the rooftop of our hotel, that I had mentioned before. We were to go to the airport the next morning, so my long awaited visit to Athens city was coming to a close. It was the perfect ending to a spectacular trip.

I'd love to return to Athens one day, but maybe in a colder season!


In other news, I really really really (x10000) hope I get back into the mojo of blogging in the coming weeks! With Irish college at the end of summer, preparing for school and actually going to school (today marks the one week and four day anniversary of fifth year!!), I have been ridiculously busy. All will settle down soon, so don't fret; more fun, quirky content is coming your way (hints: outfits, magazines launches and fashion festivals)!

Stay tuned. xox

22.8.16

FASHION | How I Style Printed Summer Shorts


Going on a late summer holiday? Make sure to pack this summer essential - printed shorts. When you find that perfect pair and style them right, they can be worn again and again.

I was meant to post this about a month ago, but everything blog and YouTube just got thrown under the table following my holiday in Greece, as I was getting ready for Irish college (post all about my experience will be up soon). I'm back on track though (I think)!

While in Mykonos, I wore my Boohoo floral flippy shorts on many evenings out since they were so easy to style.

These shorts are very bright and colourful. There are hints of green, yellow, pink, black and white. I decided to style these shorts with black and white tops. And so, I created multiple outfits for the hot Greece evenings while only swapping one top for another.

Have a look at the different ways I styled them...


THE FESTIVAL CROP TOP
Hollister


THE OFF THE SHOULDER TOP
Miss Selfridge


THE SASSY ONE
Brandy Melville


THE STRIPED TOP
Victoria's Secret PINK



THE FLOWY WHITE ONE
Unknown



17.8.16

TRAVEL | A Week in Mykonos - The Island of Dreams



Back in July, I spent a week in the beautiful Greek island Mykonos with my parents and sister. It was a week of relaxation, sun and good food. 

I had always wanted to go to Mykonos after I had seen pictures on Zoella's blog of her holiday on the island. It was just as picturesque as I expected; with its white houses, pink flowers, blue sea and sunsets, Mykonos is the island of dreams.

We stayed in The Residence Hotel, which was so amazing. The four of us had our own pool for the week, and we used it a lot because Mykonos is pretty hot! It wasn't too bad, the heat, since it was usually quite nice and breezy. Oh my, in the evenings though, the wind was crazy; I always had to tie my hair back in the evenings so it wouldn't get messed up! :D


MYKONOS TOWN
On one of our first days, we explored the main town of Mykonos. There's so many little short turns and paths; you could easily lose yourself in a cute, white, summery maze. There's lots of trees blooming with bright flowers, and adorable colourful stairs leading up to homes. The main colour scheme for a lot of places in Mykonos is blue and white, like the Greek flag.

After that afternoon of exploring, we returned quite often to Mykonos town in the evenings for meals out, and on our last full day I got vanilla ice cream with Oreo bits in the Trio Bambini ice cream parlour - so refreshing on that warm day! From one of the many souvenir shops in the town I bought a white and blue Mykonos beach bag - I love the simplicity of it.


THE EVENINGS AND THE FOOD
Evenings were windy, as mentioned, but they were peaceful. Sunsets were so scenic it was hard to believe they were real. After a day at the pool or beach, we would venture out to find a restaurant near our hotel if we weren't off to the town. We were really lucky with our finds - two places I particularly remember were Markos Tavern, a seafood restaurant where I got mussels, and Nesaea - where I had some delicious shrimp with gnocchi. Altogether, the restaurants we went to really gave us the overall taste of Mykonos.


THE BEACHES
We went to two beaches - the quiet one outside our hotel, Kalafatis, and the party-loud Kalo Livadi beach. I preferred Kalo Livadi over Kalafatis, simply because there was a huge slippy rock you had to walk on in the sea at Kalafatis (you can see that in the picture above), while it was just smooth, soft sand at Kalo Livadi - ahhh.

One of the moments I really cherish from my trip to Mykonos is floating and swimming around in the warm sea. At first, when getting in, its super cold, but in a nice, cooling way. I just didn't want to get out - I felt so relaxed each time I was in the sea.

We rented out sun beds for the two beach days, and it was very calming lying under the tweed / thatched / straw ?? umbrellas, listening to some Against the Current and Don Broco, I must say.


DAYS BY THE POOL
We spent most our time in sunny, hot Mykonos at our lovely pool. Messy bun, Triangl bikini Penney's dupe, reading material and good-smelling sunscreen and you have Jane on a pool day!

When not jumping into the pool and splashing around the place, I read my Jess Glynne issue of InStyle, which I read cover to cover; I listened to my summer playlist on my Spotify (Heathens on repeat); I read books on my Kindle - The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting by Holly Bourne (intense and amusing), Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (a short, action packed book by my fave BookTuber, Sasha!), and I started Insanity by Cameron Jace (Un. Real.); and during all that reading and jamming out, I always had some Piz Buin SPF 30 slapped on as that Piz Buin stuff smells amazing - seriously, I could sniff it all day.


I definitely experienced most of what Mykonos has to offer when I visited, and I wouldn't hesitate to visit again; I had such a wonderful week. Maybe next time I head to the Greek islands for a sun holiday I'll check out Santorini or Crete. 

Stay tuned for my thoughts on my three day trip to Athens!

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