The End Of An Era | A Life Update

The End Of An Era | A Life Update
The End Of An Era | A Life Update
The End Of An Era | A Life Update

This ‘life update’ post has been a long time coming but I did not want to rush myself and I have only just felt ready to write it. About two months ago, on Saturday 10th June to be precise, my life changed forever. This was the day that my mum told me she had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease and I felt my whole world collapse around me. This news resulted in me flying back home to Bristol where I stayed for around a month to spend time with my mum. I blogged where I could and even though worrying about outfit photos and how many likes my latest Instagram photo had received seemed so bloody trivial, sitting down and writing my British Summer In The City post was a great release. I was also lucky enough to attend Glastonbury last minute, which was a great way of forgetting all my troubles for a few days (until one too many wines were had, oops). It was a very strange month. I did not feel like myself at all. I missed Lewis. I suffered watching my mum suffer. I was and still am completely heartbroken.

I returned to Montreal in mid-July for the rest of the summer because it was something I had to do. Lewis and I had planned to stay in Canada until at least the end of the summer – after that we weren’t so sure - and it was something that I had been so excited about. The city was just coming alive after what seemed like the longest winter ever and I just had to get back to my happy place, my boyfriend and my cat. Of course, you will not be surprised to read that we are leaving Montreal in mid-September to return to the UK. It is something that we had been considering – although just as the news broke my career had taken a step in the right direction and I had started thinking about Montreal more long term. However, when you hear that your mum has a severely limited amount of time left on the earth and you live across the Atlantic Ocean, there is no other option than to go home. However, it is difficult to accept that after four years living abroad, it was not our decision to stop that lifestyle. It was nobody’s decision. It is also no-one’s fault. It is just life throwing a shit storm our way and I need to try and cope the best I can.

The End Of An Era | A Life Update
The End Of An Era | A Life Update
The End Of An Era | A Life Update

I hope this post does not sound too much like a self-involved pity party when actually it is my mum going through the worst of it. I guess I just need to write these things down and hope that if anyone reading is going through a tough time too, I want you to know that it is ok to think about yourself and that selfish thoughts are totally normal. Some of the selfish thoughts I have daily are that I simply do not want to leave Montreal and the fact that this is out of my control angers and scares me so much. So rather than just going back to my hometown of Bristol, as I’m sure my mum would prefer, I had to take control of where I live even if for now I am restricted to the UK. You’ve guessed it – we’re going to give London a try and I feel both excited and apprehensive about it. I am looking forward to reconnecting with old friends in London and being close enough to take regular trips back to Bristol to see my mum. I am worried about finding a job that pays enough to sustain a London lifestyle but I also can’t wait to get stuck into the “career ladder” I have been dodging the last few years.

So there’s a little life update for you. It’s the end of an era, the end of life abroad and the end of life as I know it. Perhaps now you’ll understand my reduced presence on social media and why there have been fewer blog posts recently. My head is so full right now – of things we need to sort out before we leave, trying to job hunt in London and making sure we enjoy our last month here. I have some all-important Montreal posts planned over the next few weeks so watch out for that. Having covered my trips to Boston, Toronto and Vermont with tips on where to eat and places to see, I have not yet posted a travel guide to Montreal, which is a crime! So yes, please bear with me and thank you for reading X

The End Of An Era | A Life Update

Oh, Summer (Date) Night!

Summer date night
Summer date night
Summer date night

Summer evenings are just the best aren’t they? I love how a too hot day can turn into a beautifully warm summer night and I have been trying to make the most of these while I still can. You guys know that I love sharing my “OOTDs” on this blog but what about my outfits of the night?! Of course in winter it’s pretty much impossible to be able to capture an evening outfit because of the lack of light. Therefore, I made a point of shooting this outfit I wore on a Saturday night out to a restaurant a couple of weeks ago and I do think it is rather perfect summer date night outfit indeed.

Ever since I found this star print shift dress in the Zara sale, I have been waiting patiently for the right occasion to wear it. During the day was a no-go because it has been rather humid of late so when we decided to treat ourselves to a Saturday night out, it was the obvious choice. The combination of the short length and the long sleeves meant it was great both during the early evening while the daytime heat was still lingering and later on when the air was a bit cooler. As we were going to a restaurant, the loose shirt shape of the dress was great for hiding any food babies – and trust me, there were definitely multiple food babies going on after a trip to our favourite vegetarian restaurant, Lola Rosa.

Summer date night

DRESS: ZARA SALE | BOOTS: OFFICE | BAG: VINTAGE | SUNGLASSES: RAY BAN | EARRINGS: VINTAGE


Summer date night
Summer date night

The star print is the thing that drew me to this dress in the first place. Being black and white, it is understated yet still fun and easy to wear both during the day and for a summer date night outfit. With such a monochrome base, I had to sass things up with some colourful accessories. Starting from the feet and working up, I chose to rock my much loved – but recently neglected – silver boots to go with the Starman theme of the dress. I added some fuchsia socks, just allowing them to peep out the top of the boots in such a fun way. This pink silk bag with bamboo handle is one of my favourite purchases of the summer and as I don’t get to wear it much, this pink themed date night outfit was the perfect opportunity.

Summer date night
Summer date night

I finished off the look with some statement earrings of course! I don’t own any pink ones so opted for these amazing round purple ones that clash perfectly with the pink. Finally, I thought I’d try bright pink lipstick for a change! The amazing shade is by Clinique and it has been sitting in my make up bag for ages as it was a free gift. Well, I am well and truly converted to hot pink lipstick and it’s a great alternative to red. I am not sure Lewis was such a fan but then again he prefers me sans lipstick, for smudge-free kisses ha!

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I wore on a recent summer date night! I’m sorry that blog posts are a bit sparse at the moment – we have been having a constant stream of visitors and have some big life changes happening, which I am going to post about soon. Thanks for bearing with me! X

Summer date night

How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer

How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer
How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer
How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer

I have long admired people who can put together outfits with clashing prints but I have never fully given it a go myself. Perhaps that is because I have not quite had the right pieces or have not properly thought about why certain clashes work and some do not. So today I want to talk about how to wear clashing prints for summer and why this particular ensemble works oh so well together.

Today you are looking at an outfit that was not meticulously put together, but one that I thought up as I was lying in bed about a week ago. Both the floral top and the gingham skort are two of my favourite vintage finds so far this summer but I had had trouble finding an interesting way to style either. Suddenly, from the comfort of my mattress, it came to me and I wondered if they might look just awesome together - I was right! (I hope you agree!)

How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer

SKORT: VINTAGE (SIMILAR VIA ASOS) | TOP: VINTAGE (SIMILAR VIA ASOS) | SHOES: VINTAGE | SUNGLASSES: RAY BAN | EARRINGS: VINTAGE


How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer
How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer

I think it is important to find some common ground between the two clashing prints. That could be combining similar shape prints (like gingham and tartan together); wearing different variations of the same print (pairing horizontal stripes with vertical); or, in this case, choosing two pieces with the same colour palette. The black and white of the gingham combined with the black base of the top means the two prints work really well together. It also helps that the skort is of a small gingham print and that, in true nineties style, the floral print is more understated and thus neither print dominates the look.

How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer
How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer

Accessories are key to bringing the clashing prints together into a well-styled outfit. I chose to pick up on the red of the flowers to finish off the look, adding red accessories, as is all the rage right now. These adorable red vintage shoes go perfectly with the sixties-meets-nineties vibe of the outfit, although I can’t walk far in them because they really pinch my toes (I cry). My favourite Mac ‘So Chaud’ lipstick is my go-to for injecting a pop of colour to any monochrome outfit and it matches the floral print so well. Of course, I had to wear a pair of statement earrings too, which is my latest obsession, and as I don’t have any red ones in my collection, I thought these white plastic sixties ones were just the ticket to tie in with the white of the skirt.

How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer

Clashing prints aside, let’s talk about the pieces themselves and why I decided to add these to my summer wardrobe. With gingham being the print of the season, the skort was a no-brainer and I know it is something that I will wear not just in summer but also all year round, thanks to its monochrome colour palette. Furthermore, it is super lightweight; perfect for both the humid and cooler summer days we are having here in Montreal and its unique shape is so flattering. As for the top, you may have noticed that I never succumb to the off the shoulder trend that has been around for a couple of summers now and that is because I don’t feel it really suits me. This top is a happy medium because it allows me to show off my décolletage, which I find so flattering, but I don’t have to have my shoulders on display – something that makes me feel a bit self-conscious (I wish it didn’t!).

So there we have it – how to wear clashing prints this summer. Will you be taking my tips on board and giving clashing prints a try or have you already got the print clash down?! Let’s chat! X

How To Wear Clashing Prints For Summer

My Summer Essentials

My Summer Essentials
My Summer Essentials

I don't know about you but I'm finding it harder and harder to dress for summer this year. I'm usually waiting all year for that warmer weather, the chance to get my pins out and to get some good natural vitamin D. However, this I'm struggling because after the harshest winter I have ever experienced, Montreal has done a complete 180 and is giving us a pretty damn hot and humid summer. The trouble is that I find summer dressing a bit less creative so I thought today, rather than trying my hardest to get out of this style rut, I would just share an outfit full of my summer essentials. 

My Summer Essentials

SHORTS: VINTAGE (SIMILAR VIA MISSGUIDED) | T-SHIRT: VINTAGE | SHOES: ZARA SALE (SIMILAR VIA CASTAÑER) | SUNGLASSES: RAY BAN


My Summer Essentials
My Summer Essentials

THE DENIM SHORTS


In my eyes, you simply cannot get through summer without a good pair of denim shorts. Surprisingly, I only had one pair (that fit me) until recently - some very very light blue Levi's shorts that are honestly a bit too tight but I kept wearing them because they're Levi's. I'm one of those people that likes to do things right so if I'm going to wear denim shorts, they have to be Levi's. However, I recently saw these adorable embroidered denim shorts in a vintage shop and thought I'd give them a try. I'm so glad I did because they fit like a dream around the waist but don't hug my thighs at all like the Levi's ones do in such an unflattering way. They are also slightly longer which makes them so much more comfortable, especially when sitting down in a park. They are my ultimate new summer essential so let that be a lesson to all of us - there’s more to the denim short game than Levi’s.

My Summer Essentials

THE SLOGAN T-SHIRT


Although all I want to do in summer is free the armpits and only wear strappy tops, I often feel a bit self-conscious because I don't like the tops of my arms. Enter the slogan t-shirt, a total summer essential and something I am always on the look out for to add to my collection. I bought this cute 'Camp Mini' one from a friend in Paris and even though it is rather off-white now, I still love it. The great thing about a slogan t-shirt is that it is much more casual than wearing a camisole, which is certainly needed when stomping around the city in some rather statement shoes.

My Summer Essentials

THE STATEMENT SANDAL


I am really not a sandals gal. I hate super flat, strappy sandals and I’m really not into flip-flops either. Instead, I have spent most summers in Converse, which are nice and practical but are not always very breathable…and I hate sweaty feet. Therefore, last year I thought I’d try something a bit more statement and purchased a pair of yellow flatform espadrilles from ASOS (which you can see in last week’s post about linen). They turned out to a total win so when I spied a similar pair in the Zara sale for just 18$, it was a no brainer. These ones are slightly different because they have that lovely ankle tie detail that is all the rage right now. So if, like me, you struggle to find sandals you like, I would definitely recommend trying a pair of flatform espadrilles. This summer essential is super on trend and surprisingly comfortable and easy to walk in. Plus they elongate the legs beautifully, which is always a win in my eyes.

 

My Summer Essentials
My Summer Essentials

THE RAY BAN ROUND METAL


And finally, no summer essentials list would be complete without some sunglasses and the pair that I reach for time and time again is the Ray Ban round metal. They go with absolutely any outfit and add that touch of retro that I’m always seeking. They are also great for super hot days because they perch nicely on your nose without resting on your cheeks, which is what annoys me slightly about Ray Ban Wayfarers. I’m definitely looking to add some more round Ray Bans to my collection once the bank balance is looking a bit healthier – I’m lusting over the Ray Ban Ja-Jo with pink lenses, which are even more retro than these!

So there we have it – four of my summer essentials all rolled into one awesome outfit. I hope you’ve liked this post – I’d love to hear you summer essentials! Let’s chat! X

How To Spend 48 Hours In Vermont | A Travel Guide

How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Lake Champlain And Its Islands

At the weekend, Lewis and I took his visiting dad and nephew down to Vermont from Montreal for a couple of days of exploration. Having only ever previously travelled through the New England state on the way to Boston, it was lovely to explore the cities, villages and nature that lush green Vermont has to offer. We set off bright and early on Saturday morning and spent an amazing 48 hours in Vermont, staying in a remote Airbnb apartment near Waistfield. Whether you’re just passing through on the way to other areas or planning a trip to the region specifically, grab a cup of tea and check out these tips for an awesome 48 hours in Vermont.

How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Lake Champlain And Its Islands
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Lake Champlain And Its Islands
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Lake Champlain And Its Islands
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Lake Champlain And Its Islands

LAKE CHAMPLAIN & ITS ISLANDS


After crossing the US border into New York State at Champlain, we took the bridge to Vermont and drove down through the beautiful Lake Champlain. Lying in all of Canada, New York State and Vermont State, Lake Champlain is an enormous expanse of water, broken up by four main islands, which were an absolute joy to drive through. We stopped off briefly in the town of North Hero to stretch our legs, admire the lake properly for the first time and peruse an amazing antique shop. We then headed to the very south end of North Hero Island to Knight Point State Park.

As someone who is often dreaming of swimming in a picturesque lake, a stop at Knight Point State Park was the perfect way to kick off the holiday. After picnicking under a tree, we all donned our best swimwear and took a dip. It felt amazing to swim in fresh water with only blue skies and tree-lined shores as far as the eye could see. If we had had more time, we would have definitely gone kayaking (10$/hour) and been able to explore even more of the beautiful Lake Champlain.

THE MUST KNOW
Entrance to Knight Point State Park: 4$/adult | 2$/child.

How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Burlington
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Burlington

BURLINGTON


Sat right on Lake Champlain, Burlington is the biggest city in Vermont and home to many universities, including the University of Vermont. We stopped off for a couple of hours to explore the downtown and waterfront areas. It is a nice place with some great red brick buildings – which I always love – but I couldn’t say there’s much to do in Burlington. We took a stroll along the famous Church Street Marketplace, which is full of both independent and big brand shops as well as lots of cafes and restaurants that spill out onto outdoor terraces. Perhaps we missed out on something by not stopping for a drink or a bite to eat but unfortunately it wasn’t the right time. As for the waterfront, it is certainly a nice place for a stroll, but after having seen Lake Champlain from a remote setting, it does seem slightly spoilt. I would definitely recommend visiting Burlington if you are in the area but you don’t need more than a few hours and it’s perhaps a good idea to aim to have lunch or dinner there.

How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | American Flatbread Waitsfield
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | American Flatbread Waitsfield
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | American Flatbread Waitsfield

AMERICAN FLATBREAD, WAITSFIELD


On Saturday evening we checked into our Airbnb just north Waitsfield and then headed out for dinner at a place called American Flatbread, which I had found while researching stuff to do in Burlington (they also have a restaurant there). Located on a farm just south of Waitsfield, American Flatbread offers indoor and outdoor dining in the most beautiful of settings. After about a 30-minute wait (during which we visited an adjacent art show and met a wonderful cat), we were seated outside beside a roaring bonfire just as it was getting dark. There was a wonderful atmosphere, with large groups of friends, families and couples enjoying flatbreads (which are essentially pizzas!) by fairy light. We ordered a flatbread between two because they are enormous – a margherita and one with lots of veggies and locally made goats cheese - and boy were they worth the wait! The dough was lovely and soft and the ingredients were delicious. We had an absolutely incredible evening at American Flatbread in Waitsfield – it completely exceeded our expectations and I will definitely be back.

FIND IT: 46 Lareau Road, Waitsfield, USA

How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Montpelier
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Montpelier
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Montpelier

MONTPELIER


Much smaller than Burlington but the State Capital nonetheless, Montpelier is a must-visit when in Vermont. We loved its quaint streets, numerous steeple churches and strangely picturesque steel bridges that crossed the Winooski River and North Branch that ran through the city. The Vermont State House is particularly impressive, its white façade and gold dome standing out boldly from the green mountain backdrop. After hearing there was a local baseball game on that evening, we returned later on to watch the Vermont Mountaineers face the North Adams Steeple Cats at the Montpelier Recreation Field. It was the perfect evening activity that had a lovely local feel we are all grateful to have been a part of. If you have to choose between a visit to Burlington or Montpelier, I would highly recommend Montpelier. The scenery is stunning and there are lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from.

How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Waterbury Center State Park
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Waterbury Center State Park

WATERBURY CENTER STATE PARK


After swimming in Lake Champlain was such a success, we went searching for another lake to cool off. Just under a half an hour drive from Montpelier, Waterbury State Park was the perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon in Vermont. We sat on the grass bank, watching canoes, kayaks and paddle boarders go by before getting into our swimming gear and jumping in. It was just the most beautiful setting, with rocky shorelines, lush green forest and mountains in the distance; swimming into the middle of the lake with my love was certainly a “pinch me” moment.

How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Waterbury Center State Park
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Waterbury Center State Park
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Ben & Jerry's Factory
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Ben & Jerry's Factory

BEN & JERRY'S FACTORY


As a big ice cream fan, I always insist that we visit the Ben & Jerry’s Factory when we are in the area. We have previously visited the factory off-season or on a rainy day, so it was amazing to be there and sample some delicious ice cream on a hot summer’s day. The great thing about visiting the Ben & Jerry’s Factory, especially as a Brit, is that there are lots of flavours that are either exclusive to the factory or not available in all countries. Lewis and I shared our usual pint of hand packed ice cream, opting for half Salted Caramel Blondie and half Sweet Cream and Cookies because it’s sometimes just too hard to choose just one flavour. For those of you not quite as greedy as us, you can opt for two scoops for around 4$ or three scoops for around 5$ - although at just 6.50$, a hand packed pint is a much cheaper option.

How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Ben & Jerry's Factory
How To Spend 48 hours In Vermont | Ben & Jerry's Factory

So there we have it – how to spend 48 hours in Vermont. I would highly recommend visiting this beautiful region, especially if you are planning a trip to Boston, Montreal or even New York. I hope you have enjoyed this post – I absolutely love putting together these little travel guides so please let me know if you visit anything I’ve recommended. Happy travelling! X

For more North American Travel Guides, check out:

How To Spend 48 Hours In TorontoHow To Spend 36 Hours In BostonFive Free Things To Do In New York City