Cyprus Photo Diary

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In my last post I promised to show you a few photos from my recent trip to Cyprus. This is going to be a bit of a mish-mash and fairly image-heavy, but here goes! Grab your passports and let's head off to the sunshine together. (Virtually speaking, of course.)


First stop, Limassol. When I first met my husband and started to get to know Cyprus, I didn't like this town, but I kind of love it now. If you prefer sleepy little resorts and unspoiled fishing villages, this is probably not the place for you, but I find the chaotic urban sprawl has a charm of its own. We were based here for the week and spent most of our time here. One of my favourite things to do was walk along this promenade.

Limassol, Cyprus

Limassol, Cyprus

Limassol, Cyprus

We stopped every so often to take a quick outfit photo. As you do. 

#OOTD featuring Miss Selfridge Maxi Dress

Dress - Miss Selfridge, SandalsBag - Topshop, Hat - Accessorize, Sunglasses - H&M, Watch - Jord

A lot of eating and drinking was done on this trip. In fact, I was so focused on the food that it almost never occurred to me to take any photos in restaurants. I definitely forgot to "think like a blogger" when mealtimes were involved! I did, however, manage to capture evidence that my chocolate milkshake obsession is still going strong, not to mention a chicken caesar salad the size of my head.

Chocolate Milkshake and Freddo Cappucino

Chicken Caesar Salad

I'd heard about a new development at the Limassol Marina, with luxury villas, shops and restaurants being built, and I was curious to see it. Much of it was still under construction, but we had a good nose around anyway!

Exploring Limassol Marina

 
Limassol Marina

Limassol Marina

Limassol Marina

This place is clearly going to be the perfect spot to moor one's yacht once it's complete!

In the evenings, I found the drop in temperature from the heat of the day left me feeling like I wanted to cover up, much to the amusement of my husband, who was still boiling. I didn't get chance to take any proper outfit photos in this get-up, but here's a little Instagram snap to give you an idea of what I wore out to dinner most nights.

#OOTN featuring River Island Ripped Jeans

Jeans - River Island, Top - Oasis, Blazer - Zara, Shoes - New Look, Bag - Topshop (I'm obsessed with this bag. I only bought it recently, but I can only find the black version online at the moment and even that is currently out of stock! How dare they?!)

One thing Cyprus certainly has no shortage of is ancient sites. I've visited a few over the years but this was the first time I'd been to the Sanctuary of Apollo, near Limassol. It was deserted when we were there and we really made the most of having this amazing place to ourselves. You can walk along the pathways that would have been in use at the time and try to imagine the ruins on either side as fully functioning buildings. The Roman temple at the heart of it is just stunning.

The Sanctuary of Apollo, Limassol

The Sanctuary of Apollo, Limassol

The Sanctuary of Apollo, Limassol

We spent one lovely day in Paphos. Paphos has a different vibe to Limassol - it's a lot more relaxed and laid-back. In many ways it's possibly my favourite of the main resorts.

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos, Cyprus


Giving the menu in a fish restaurant some serious attention!

Paphos, Cyprus

And finally, I will share just a couple of shots taken in Larnaca, where we dropped in for lunch one day. This is also a lovely resort and has a different vibe again - More of a buzz than Paphos, perhaps, but more "manageable" than Limassol. A nice balance of the two to finish with!

Larnaca, Cyprus

Larnaca, Cyprus

And that's pretty much how I spent my week! Have you visited Cyprus? Which are your favourite places?

Kate x
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Boho Vibes

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It seems like months ago now, but just a little earlier in June I was in Cyprus for a week. Cyprus is a bit of a home from home for me. My husband has Cypriot heritage so since we've been together I've had the opportunity to visit often, which is absolutely fine with me. I have a very high sun, sea and Greek salad threshold, believe me! It was a bit of a flying visit this time but we did take a few photos, so if I can find enough suitable ones I might do a little photo diary type post next. Today, though, I wanted to share this outfit with you, which is something I really enjoyed wearing while I was over there.

#OOTD featuring Topshop dress, sandals and bag

DressSandalsBag - Topshop, Watch - Jord, Ring - Accessorize

I found this dress a couple of weeks before I went away, and the shoes and bag were even more last minute as I ended up grabbing them in a mad dash to Topshop about twenty four hours before we set off for the airport! I'm glad I did though as I wore them with anything and everything, pretty much seven days out of seven. I don't know if all this lace up and fringing business is going to last more than a season or two, but it's such a fun trend to wear and I certainly made good use of it that week! The bag is just big enough to get the essentials in and I found the shoes a lot more comfortable than I thought I would.

#OOTD featuring Topshop dress, sandals and bag
Floral Topshop Boho Dress
Topshop fringed Boho bag and lace-up sandals

Now, I apologise in advance if the following paragraph is TMI, but....

The bodice of this dress is open at the sides, with laces that tie at your waist. While this is very pretty and adds an element of interest to the design, it also poses that sticky question - what sort of bra am I supposed to wear with this? The model on the Topshop website doesn't appear to be wearing one at all, but some of us like a bit of support! I pondered this question for a while and then finally decided that if my bra was going to be on show, I might as well look like I intended things to be that way, so I plumped for a bright coral one. You can just about see what this looked like in the photo below. I don't know if this was a good solution or not but I felt comfortable with it so I guess that's all that counts! How would you get around this situation? 

Lace-up Topshop Boho Peasant Dress with Floral Print

Other than the bra issue this dress was so easy to wear - cool and floaty and a nice length for those days when I didn't feel like showing too much leg. For the evening, I threw a denim jacket over the top and that kept my arms warm as the temperature started to drop. (Yes, I still feel the cold in Cyprus in the summertime. I'm beyond help.)

What trends have you been loving so far this summer?

Kate x
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Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paint

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I'm a big fan of Barry M nail polishes. They're inexpensive and the choice of shades is seemingly endless. So when I saw their new Daylight Curing Range in Boots a few weeks ago, I just had to give it a try.

Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paint

In case you haven't seen these yet, the concept is intriguing. You buy the shade of your choice (I went for Fuchsia Generation) along with the Daylight Curing topcoat. Apply two thin coats of colour, allowing the first to dry before applying the second. Then follow with the topcoat, and allow this to dry in the natural daylight. The effect is supposed to mimic a professional gel manicure and stay chip free for days. If you happen to chip nail varnish in your sleep, like me, this is a very attractive prospect. Yes, it's slightly annoying having to buy the special topcoat, but I figured it was worth it for the results promised.

Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paint

Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paint in Fuchsia Generation

Application of Fuchsia Generation gets a big thumbs up from me. It went on smooth as silk and felt somehow "stronger" than a regular polish, which made me feel quite hopeful about this whole no chipping business. I followed the instructions to the letter and allowed each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

At first, I was seriously impressed. I loved the colour, and the finish was impeccable. It was absolutely streak free and really did look as though it had been applied by a professional.

Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paint in Fuchsia Generation

However, I'm sorry to say that, at least on me, it chipped as quickly as any other polish. Within 24 hours, to be precise. Normally, that's about what I would expect, but in a polish that specifically claims to be long-lasting, I do find it somewhat disappointing.

So would I buy more of these?

Well... I might. As I said, the finish is lovely, and at £4.99 they're not exactly extortionate (although more expensive than the other Barry M formulas.) So now that I own the topcoat, if I saw another shade I liked I'd probably pick it up. Even so, I can't recommend buying this product solely for the purpose of enjoying a chip-free manicure for longer because, in my experience, this just didn't happen.

I would love to know if anyone else has tried this. What did you think of it, and did you have a better experience with the chipping than me? Let me know in the comments!

Kate x
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Summer Shoes Wish List

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Summer Shoes Wish List Featuring Topshop, Zara, New Look and Jones Bootmaker

Finally we've had some decent weather in the UK this past few days! I was beginning to think it wasn't going to happen. I actually went out in a skirt yesterday. Yes, a SKIRT. In the daytime. Without tights and boots. This is a major event.

Of course, the warmth and sunshine has got me thinking about holidays, and holiday clothes, and bright makeup and fake tan and all the rest of it. In particular, there's quite a few pairs of summer shoes I'm currently coveting so I thought I'd put together a select wish list to share with you. (I emphasise the word "select" as this is by no means an exhaustive list. My appetite for shoes cannot be sated. I just thought we should all be clear on this.)

OK, let's take a look, shall we?

1. Gold Sandals, New Look - It never ceases to amaze me how well New Look do shoes, for such reasonable prices. These are currently on sale at £17.99 and I love how delicate they are. They've got that ankle strap detailing that's so big at the moment and I reckon they'd go with pretty much anything. I particularly like the idea of pairing them with feminine midi skirts.

2. White Loafers, Zara - My sister has these in a sort of faux crocodile light stone colour and I'll admit, I'm jealous. I don't think hers are available any more but I love this glossy white version. They look really sophisticated on and are a lot sturdier and more supportive than a ballet flat, so great for running around in. They probably wouldn't stay that pristine white for very long, but let's not spoil the fantasy.

3. Wedges, Zara - Seriously, how chic are these? I think they might be my perfect wedges. I love the height, the colour, the simple straps, everything. They're so classic that I just can't imagine them ever going out of style. WANT.

4. Roman Sandals, Zara - OK, so chances are I'm not going to buy a pair of sandals like this. I'm not sure how long this knee-high trend is going to last and probably by the time I get round to thinking seriously about it, it will be long gone. But I do love the way they look with short summery dresses, so I thought it only right to include a pair here. I particularly love the thicker straps of this version - for some reason I prefer these to the thinner laced ones.

5. Snake-Effect Sandals, Topshop - I can't tell you how much I love these. Look at the colours! They just make me think of balmy evenings in a tropical paradise, sipping cocktails under the stars. Just add a little white dress, tanned legs and a bright pedicure. Perfect.

6. Lace-Up Flats, Topshop - Ever have that struggle to find a really nice daytime shoe? It's too warm for ankle boots but you don't want to wear sandals or plimsolls and you're not sure what else there is? I have often struggled with this in the past, but beauties like these (along with the Zara loafers) seem to be bridging the gap very nicely. Cute and practical.

7. Rose Gold Espadrilles, Jones Bootmaker - I loved the espadrille trend when it first came to my attention last year, and it looks like it's back with a vengeance this summer. I love the shimmery rose gold finish of this pair and think they'd look equally good with jeans and a shirt or denim shorts and a floaty peasant top.

Well... I think it might be time to go shoe shopping! What's your favourite pair?

Kate x
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May Favourites

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Favourites time again! It only seems like five minutes since I last wrote one of these posts. Where on earth does the time go? Anyway, I have once again whittled down my current loves to just five items. Perhaps this is going to become my thing? Who knows! In any case, here they are.

1. Benefit Gimme Brow - This was a free sample when I last got my brows waxed at the Benefit counter at my local Debenhams. If it hadn't been, I would probably never have tried it as it's so similar in concept to Maybelline Brow Drama, which in my opinion did nothing for me. This, however, really adds definition to my brows and keeps them from looking too "powdery" after I have used my Brow Zings palette. It's essentially like a mascara for eyebrows and is a good substitute for a tint, which is great for me as I'm allergic to them. My brows just don't feel finished without this now!

2. L'Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss in Protest Queen - I reviewed this here so I won't go on about it, but it's a lovely creamy lip gloss that's such a pleasure to wear. I've been slapping it on over a nude pink lipstick most days this month.

3. Jord Watch - Again, I wrote a whole post on this here. Basically, I didn't think I could possibly like a watch made out of wood until I saw one. Now it's permanently attached to my wrist.

4. River Island ripped jeans - I'm so late on the bandwagon with the whole slashed knee thing but boy am I giving it a good go now! I tend to live in jeans day to day as it is, and didn't really think that distressing would make that much of a difference to an outfit, but it really does. I especially love these paired with a really simple top as the slashes add an element of interest. I have a grey pair from Topshop now too, but these pale blue ones from River Island are that little bit more versatile.

5. Without You, There is no Us by Suki Kim - This month I've been reading this captivating account of one woman's experience working as a teacher in North Korea. It offers a rare insight into what life is like in this secretive state and is very poignant in parts. Kim describes in detail the relationship she develops with her young students, and it's both fascinating and sad to see how they are just like students anywhere else, yet so different at the same time. I usually much prefer reading fiction but I cannot put this down.

So that's this month's top five! Anything you like on my list? What have you been loving in May?

Kate x
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