Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Added Extras #34

UK lifestyle blog

I don't want to sound like a scratched record here, but I am so damn busy. I mean, would you just look at my pesky full time job taking priority over this little weekly installment?! I'd be mad, but I'm actually really enjoying being back at work and getting my teeth into lots of new projects, so I'm just taking it on the chin. I've taken to hand writing blog posts on my commute each day because it's pretty much the only time I get and I don't always have elbow room for typing, so here's this weeks Added Extras, coming to you from my battered old notebook on the 8.22am to Euston:

1) I headed to one of my favourite restaurants, Grain Store, with Katy, Jasmin and Erica, for an incredible feast with OpenTable. We ate amazing food including multicoloured, multi-flavoured ravioli which blew my mind with its rainbow magicalness.

Floral table setting at Grain Store, London

2) I got a sneaky peek of Tatty Devine's new collections for Autumn/Winter and Christmas and fell in love with everything. I wrote a round-up of all my favourite pieces in this post last week.

Tatty Devine starburst Christmas necklace

3) I went to leaving drinks for an ex-colleague who's moving to Melbourne and although it's sad to see her go, it reminded me how many friends I've made through my job. They've supported my career but have also been a huge emotional support and are always so much fun. It wasn't something I expected when I first moved to London five years ago, but what a pleasure it's been.

4) Despite (or probably because of) my busy schedule, I had to cave on Friday and cancel a night out because I was just so flipping knackered. Instead I went home, got into my pjs and watched The Shawshank Redemption *praise hand emoji*

5) Aaaaaaaaad then the madness started all over again with a belated 4th of July party at Katy's house and subsequently destroying any ounce of power my liver stupidly though it had. There were blue drinks which led to singing, and an extremely enthusiastic game of beer pong which Erica, AJ and I totally smashed.

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6) Feeling very sorry for myself on Sunday, I somehow made it to the Southbank for brunch with my wonderful friend Jen and some of her other bridesmaids. We were all briefed on colour schemes so we can get hunting for dresses which is super exciting! If anyone has any tips on where to get a floor length charcoal number, holla at me!

Eating outdoors in London

7) Even though I don't move for another three weeks, I've bought my bed sheets already. Primark have so many bargains in the home department right now, I had to force myself to leave without spending allllllll the monies. With some bits from there and a duvet cover from the Very sale, I just need some cushions and I will be all set to get seriously cosy.

8) As ridiculous as this may sound, this week something that's made me super happy is this here little blog of mine. I've got some really cool opportunities coming through at the moment, my views are on the up, and the comments some of you leave/tweet put such a smile on my face. Huzzah for internets!

9) I went to Bao for an end of week lunch treat with some colleagues and had condensed milk milkshakes. Or, Teeth Rotting, Stomach Filling Amaze Juice, to give it its proper name.

Condensed milk milkshake at Bao, London

10) And finally: SUNSHINE! At long last! Yes, it's too hot and I hate it but I can go outdoors without fear of getting soaked or suddenly needing a jacket and then not, and then needing one again. SUMMER! But I'm totally ready for Autumn now, please.

UCL campus

I hope you've all had a great week, and I'm just going to leave this link for the Blogger's Blog Awards here again, in case there's a certain travel blogger you might want to nominate...
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Monday, 18 July 2016

Touring Temples in Singapore's Chinatown

Thian Hock Keng temple, Singapore

Chinatown is undeniably the most vibrant area of Singapore to explore. I had amazing food there numerous times (including Kaya toast for breakfast and red chilli crab at dinner), and my love for the colourful shutters on all the buildings in the neighbourhood is certainly no secret. Hidden within the warren-like streets, looked down on by high rise offices and residences, there are some beautiful temples. I highly recommend spending a day exploring all of them, because despite their similarities, they are all wonderfully unique and a great escape from the busy streets of Singapore.
Here are my three favourites:

Wak Hei Cheng Bio temple


Wak Hei Cheng Bio temple

Wak Hei Cheng Bio temple

Wak Hei Cheng Bio temple

This little Taoist temple is hidden on a bustling road, sheltered by a huge tree and a surrounding stone wall. It's very small compraed to most other temples and doesn't look like much until you take a closer look at the beautiful detailing on the roof.  Photos aren't allowed inside so you really need to visit to appreciate the stunning depictions of Chinese opera within.

Thian Hock Keng temple

Thian Hock Keng temple, Singapore

Thian Hock Keng temple, Singapore

Thian Hock Keng temple, Singapore

Thian Hock Keng temple, Singapore

This was my favourite temple in Singapore. It's lavishly decorated, is a maze of rooms and walkways, and the quiet hum of people inside shows that the temple is alice and working. It has the most wonderfully intricate tiles throughout, and was still decorated with hundreds of lanterns after the recent Chinese New Year. Despite being in the middle of super busy Chinatown, it is blissfully quiet inside and totally serene.

Sri Mariamman temple


Sri Mariamman temple, Singapore

Sri Mariamman temple, Singapore

Despite being in Chinatown, this is Singapore's oldest Hindu temple. There is a similarly designed temple in Kuala Lumpur called Sri Mahamariamman and it is really striking. The tower at the front is incredibly detailed and you could look at it for hours and not spot every nuance. Apparently in October, people run over hot coals in front of it which I'd love to see!

It is often thought that once you've seen one temple, you've seen them all but it's just not true. Even if you just pop in for a few minutes, you can't deny that the beauty within each building is totally worth seeking out.
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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Tatty Devine AW16 Wish List

Tatty Devine store, Covent Garden

I am no stranger to the weird and wonderful world of Tatty Devine. My love for the brand is so well known that I that I receive pieces for birthdays and Christmas every year, I queue up for the incredible sample sale every May bank holiday, and have a dedicated drawer to safely store all the bits I own. When I got the chance to have a sneak peek of the brand's new seasonal collections, I didn't even mind that I had to get up at 6am to make it into London before work (god damn, commuting - only four weeks left, only four weeks left...).

As expected, I want everything I saw. Seriously, if statement jewellery is your jam, you are about to lose your mind. Here's my wish list for AW16:

Cheese and wine


Tatty Devine red wine necklace and cheese necklace

These are separate necklaces but I desperately need both of them so I can wear them together and solidify my intense love for red wine and cheese once for all. Look at the cute little detailing on both of them; they're both so adorable but made with an adult audience in mind.

Haberdashery


Tatty Devine sewing machine necklace AW16

Part of the upcoming haberdashery collection, this sewing machine has real thread running through it. It really shows the delicacy of Tatty Devine over cheap imitations which seems to be cropping up everywhere. It's all made with so much love an attention to detail.

Starburst


Tatty Devine Christmas stars necklace

I need this starburst cluster for a sparkly Christmas outfit! Actually, I need this for every outfit, ever, at any time of year. I actually had a dream about it last night, I kid you not. It's girly but it's tough and it's just totally stunning. I'd literally wear this a minimum of 5 days a week.

Space cat


Tatty Devine space cat necklace

SPACE CAT. This is like Barbarella meets Thundercats; it's so gloriously kitsch. I love pastels with metallics too (in fact my colour scheme for my new room is remarkably similar to this palette), and it comes in brooch and necklace form. SPACE CAT.

AAARGH!


Tatty Devine Aaargh necklace

This isn't new, but I've wanted it for such a long time that maybe this is the year I cave and just buy it. I feel it pretty much sums up my inner monologue a lot of the time, and I can't really think of an outfit in my wardrobe that it wouldn't go with.

Golden tassels


Tatty Devine gold tassels necklace

I feel like this would make me look like a walking Christmas tree and that is so not a bad thing. It's outrageous with a hint of Edina Monsoon. I love the idea of making a statement piece of jewellery like a tassel necklace and maximising it to be totally insane.

Ruby red bow


Tatty Devine Christmas red bow necklace

Well isn't this just Christmas on a necklace? It screams Ding Dong Merrily on High and Christmas morning with a glass of fizz, worn with a big chunky jumper or your best party frock. Who needs actual ribbon when you can have sassy perspex?

Majestic swan


Tatty Devine swan necklace

WOAH. Everytime I look at a pic of this bad boy, I'm just agog. It's like Bjork's dress got frozen in 2001 and has come back to life even prettier. The bling on this is so perfect and the shape would work so great on everything from a shift dress to a low neck ball gown.

Virgo


Tatty Devine virgo horoscope collection necklace

This is also currently out in stores and is part of the horoscopes collection. I mean, I want all of them, but being a Virgo it's convenient that this one is actually my favourite. It's not obvious that it fits with a particular theme because it's simple, pretty and on the more classic side of TD's offering.

Cats and dogs


Tatty Devine Battersea Dogs Home collection

This cute little basset hound is part of the new collection in collaboration with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. £3 from every sale goes towards the cause and there is everything from french bulldogs to siamese cats. This is bound to fly off the shelves so get in there quick when it comes out!

Which pieces do you like? And which one are you going to buy me first?!

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