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Moments in Bruges // Photo Diary

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Moments in Bruges // Photo Diary

Last year June, I went to Belgium. I only put up pictures on my Instagram about my trip because I was too lazy to do a blog post. Yes - I'll admit it, I barely blogged and was too lazy to write.

So now, I'm stuck behind my desk. Trying to find ways to motivate me to continue writing my dissertation. I like to think that in a few months time, I'll be back in Belguim. Luckily my boyfriend has a place to stay over there so a weekend trip back to Bruges is on the horizon. 

I've been daydreaming about our long walks through the old town of Bruges. Mussels and beer. And my highlight of the trip - the Frietmuseum. You heard right, a museum dedicated to the good ole chip! Let's not forget the chocolate and a diamond museums - what else can a girl dream of!

Bruges is a small and tranquil city. As mentioned in the film In Bruges, it's like a dreamland. A place where I felt comfortable wandering the streets with no purpose to where I'm heading. A reminder that a holiday is a time to indulge, and walk at a very slow pace!

I hope these pictures show how beautiful and calm this city truly is.
















Podcasts You Need To Be Listening To

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Podcasts You Need To Be Listening To


I'll say it here, and I'll say it once. Podcasts are the next big thing. The new saying will be, 'lemme tell you about this new podcast I'm listening to'. That flatmate, you know, the one you used to live with at university? They've just uploaded their pilot episode. 

They already are pretty big and happening, lots of new ones popping up will guarantee that you'll never have a boring commute.  I fell in love with podcasts when I fell out of love listening to the same ole songs. As much as I am devoted to music, I find myself losing my concentration and replaying the past or imagining the future. With podcasts, it keeps me present. Focused on what is exactly being said. 

So if you catch me, on the street, giggling to myself it's not the hilarious voice in my head making me laugh, I'm probably listening to a podcast. 

This list can go on and further on, but I thought 5 is a good start. And these are the ones I listen to regularly. A special thanks to Kristabel who has introduced me to a handful of podcasts! 


ANOTHER ROUND

This was the first podcast that made me become ob-sessed. Buzzfeed have a variety of fun and stimulating podcasts. Another Round with Heben and Tracey straight away made me feel like I was listening to a lively and intellectual conversation with my friends. I appreciated how they would explore serious discussions on Mohammad Ali's legacy to police brutality. But I also love their interests and opinion on popular culture. Thanks Heben for introducing me to Fre Shavocado !!! Their podcast is my go-to when I want to be inspired. There's nothing more empowering than hearing two witty and motivating black females sharing their passion. And thank you, Tracey, for also agreeing on my love/hate relationship with Spoken Words. Even though it is a phenomenal method of self-expression, I too cringe at the staccato phrases!

Another plus is that I have been introduced to Bim Adewunmi, Ashley Ford and Margaret Cho. They also have an abundance of inspiriting guests. Oh, and it's a pretty boozy show, you can hear the ice gently tapping against their glasses. 

PANDOLLY

Straight after listening to Pandolly Podcast I feel obliged to pick up a dictionary and discover new words Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton expressed. Although (and they have mentioned this issue) I find it hard to figure out which one is talking! The duo has been criticised for their overly whining posh and private schooled mannerism. For me, their voices are a soothing remembrance of London. Their podcast is an arena of enthusiastic, feminist and eloquent discussions on relevant topics. I feel a little bit smarter after listening to each episode. The way how they talk about fashion is riveting. I hate to think of fashion as a materialistic interest. Pandora and Dolly remind me that it is a wearable art form!

Also, can I have Pandora's style, please? Can I just have it? I promise to give it back... like never.



1CUPPA2SUGARS

The future is looking very bright for this podcast. Plentiful of chit chatter and relaxed convo. I'm SO impressed with the famous guests that appear. I say famous, and what I mean by famous, are people I follow on Instagram or Twitter. 1 Cuppa 2 Sugars is exactly the kind of conversation I'd have over brunch. Lots of laughs and discussions that go off topic - but revealing very interesting insights.


Have a listen, and vote for them on the British Podcast Awards! Christabel knows what she is doing.


THETELLSHOW

I am begging. Begging! When will this podcast come back on? I've never heard storytelling expressed in such a humourous and natural way. It was so uplifting to hear beautiful and embarrassing stories told by writers and actors and artists. I've started to replay these podcasts again because I have been in the mood to laugh. The Tell Show is another Buzzfeed creation.
If you're new to podcasts, I'd suggest starting with this one. It's very easy to listen to, calming in fact. My favourite part of the podcasts are the sections of Never Have I Ever (the non-sexual version) and the three final questions: what was your last kiss like? when was the last time you cried? what's wrong with you?

3 incredibly personal questions, that makes me realise how human everyone truly is. We're all same-same but different.

One more thing, I'm completely in love with Isaac's voice.


OH BOY

Oh Boy! By yours truly Man Repeller. Shall I say more? Because once you know it's by Man Repeller, you don't need to be convinced any further. Another reason why I fall for certain podcasts is because of the hosts' voices but come on you don't want to sit there listening to a monotone drab. I really enjoy how Jay Buim genuinely listens to the guests and asks questions that make them think deeper into their beliefs.
There's an array of guests that I've never heard of, it's exciting to get to know motivating creatives out there. People I wouldn't have found on my own.


*****

So! There's a list, and you better get listening!

I've given links to their Soundcloud or iTunes profiles. I prefer Soundcloud because I can't get podcasts on my iPhone iTunes, does anyone know how to? Help?

A Graphic Tee Is All You Need

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Graphic Tee Is All You Need


I'm trying not to start off this post by saying TWO MONTHS INTO 2017! Because I'm sure you already know that. I would love to gloat that I'm still sticking to my new year resolutions. Yeah, I said it! I've sticking to my wishes like glue. BAM Universe! - you thought I'd let you down again, right?

Think again. Because I'm coming to you with better knowledge, better thoughts, a better body and a better style.

"Better style, did you say Kara? How can your style get even better?" said the Universe.

I've been using Pinterest as my style Bible recently. It's giving me so much inspiration from art, to interior designs, to food. I've turned to Pinterest for inspiration. Where it's quality over quantity and a large array of fashion styles. You'll see me posting everything and anything Scandi, to neon pink lights, to massive fur coats. I can't even put a name to my own style. 
I think the content of Instagram is becoming quite samey, too many fishnet tights and ripped jeans. Too many girls wearing Metallica and they can't name one song by them. 

But there's one trend that stops me from scrolling past: Graphic tees! A trend I'm in love with. I love the grungey effect they bring to an outfit. I would style them with straight classic jeans (with a bit of a rough hem), red patent ankle boots, and a fur coat. I might even do an OOTD with this kind of look.

Below are the styles that I've been lusting over.

My favourite look is the image of the woman wearing a white ruffle shirt underneath her Renegade top. Classical and grunge combo! I'm drooling.

And spot the cute look from Kill Bill !












Style & Fashion

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Style & Fashion




First OOTD of the year! And I spent a wonderful afternoon roaming around the Barbican centre. 

As I jumped off the tube and found myself within the Barbican maze, it brought flashbacks of school trips here watching productions and visiting galleries. 

What made me pay a visit to the East London jungle was for the exhibition 'Vulgar'. Closing this Sunday!

A couture collection dedication to the weird and wonderful magic of fashion. 

It explored the out-the-there elements that designers craft, and investigates 'what is good taste?' or 'how can we define bad taste?'

The designers' outlandish creations have shocked and bewildered the public. From Hussein Chalayan to Christian Lacroix discuss why is vulgarity seen as negative?

It brought back more flashbacks of my A-Level textiles studies, I based most of my work on Givenchy Couture Fall 2010 collection.

It was a surreal moment to see the dress I used to examine through the computer screen. Finally, it was in front of me. At last, I was able to closely view the intricate details of the lace and the symmetrical patterns. I was so thrilled I was able to see THE dress I study on for so long. My mum asked me if I said "Hey, how are you?" to the dress because I was acting as if it was a celebrity. I wasn't allowed to take a photograph but here is the link to the dress I adore.

But to the OOTD, I decided to wear this outfit, a mermaid two-tone slip dress from Urban Outfitters, sheer t-shirt from Missguided and a skinny scarf from Topshop. This dress is a new favourite of mine. The style is quite grungey and the 'is it purple, is it blue?' factor makes it playful.

And this is what brings me to the meaning behind this post.

Fashion does not have to be taken so seriously. It doesn't have to accentuate your figure. It doesn't have to make you look rich or beautiful. It's purely an art form that we wear, and can be examined in so many different ways.

To some people, my dress looks gothic. To me, it's fun because there's more than one colour involved.

Different opinions are taken into consideration. But we shouldn't say what looks good and what looks bad.

I prefer to say I'm interested in styles. It's creative and varied. Not judgemental. I'm focused on the artistic preferences we incorporate into our clothing. Whereas, the term 'fashion' is influenced by trends that are in or out, or, hot or not.

How can I love something that is so temperamental?

The difference between style and fashion is a concept I'd would like to expand on throughout this blog in the future.


Does anyone else believe we take fashion too seriously sometimes?






DATE NIGHT / Café Rouge Afternoon

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

DATE NIGHT / Café Rouge Afternoon

Fancy dining like the French?

But you're too broke to afford a Eurostar ticket, or think Paris is way too overrated?

(This is sounding very pitchy, I need to stop watching Dragon's Den)

I can count how many times I've been to Café Rouge, and it doesn't surpass 5. Why? I honestly don't know why.

Every time I dine here. I ask, 'why don't I come here more often?'

The attention to detail is superb, I can tell the chefs give every dish their best effort. As if they want you to Instagram every plate.

The quality of food is way over average. I feel as if I've spent my day viewing art at the Louvre, walked down the cobbled streets of Paris, finally nestling down to my evening meal, enjoying a hearty authentic French dinner. Honestly, there aren't many chains restaurants that teleport me to another destination.

Ok ok, I may not be French and I haven't tasted all of the traditional French dishes. But I have to admit, Café Rouge does an impressive job of fooling me that I am not in Coventry anymore.

I sipped on a refreshing sparkling and raspberry mocktail. For starters we had the 'warm breaded Camembert with cranberry and redcurrant sauce'. The cheese paired beautifully with the sweet berries. As well as the Salmon Rillettes, 'smoked and poached salmon, lightly flavoured with shallot and chives'. The shallots were my favourite part of the dish! I also loved the rustic presentation of this starter. 

For mains, the photo above that probably got your stomaches rumbling, were from the lunch menu. My boyfriend order the Steak Baguette and I ordered the Croque Saumon, obviously alongside the best French fries you could wish for. 

I asked my boyfriend, 'how's your steak?' He was too busy stuffing his mouth and replied with a moan and eyes rolling to the back of his head. I think he liked it. 

My main was... beautiful. Is it ok to call salmon, cheese and fries beautiful? It looks simple, and easy enough to cook. And that was the beauty of it. For an afternoon lunch I just want a good, hearty meal. Everything was cooked to perfection. You know when it's a good chip when the outside has a crunch, and inside is fluffy. Call me the Chip Connoisseur. The salmon in the sandwich was drizzled with lemon and dunked into horseradish crème fraîche. The cheese... oh the glory cheese... just look at that golden sunshine. 

After this meal, I will definitely be back again, I promise! But I would love to go to more French inspired restaurants that are less fancy and more cosy like Café Rouge. And find French restaurants that don't break the bank!





Did I Accomplish 2016 New Year Resolutions?

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Did I Accomplish 2016 New Year Resolutions?

I wrote a list last year. Wanna see if I've accomplished anything?

Have a scroll.

1. Take blogging more seriously 

It wasn't hard find last year's New Year's resolution blog post, because I haven't created many blog posts this year. Just a couple of scrolls, and there is it. Sitting comfortably at the top of my archive as if I typed it yesterday.

It's funny to say blogging is my hobby, as a rarely write blog posts nowadays. Lately I've been reading so so manyexciting blogs, filling myself up with inspiration, only to doubt myself 'I can create something beautiful and imaginative?'

When I started blogging at 15 years old, everyone was at the same level. Basic blog template, a few comments here and there, but powered with explosive content. When blogging became more popular, I found so many sponsored lacklustre posts. It was obvious to sort through who blogged just to get rich and popular.

I felt as if the blogging community was expanding but turning into something colourless.

I did not want to be a part of that.

Thankfully Instagram became more of a platform for those types of creators. A place where less words are more. Your beauty gains popularity. Your samey content is a 'theme'.

Now I believe blogging is slowly reverting to what it was before. Rich with exciting content and a world for avid writers.

So I'm back on the scene.

Every time I post, I know I say, after this blog post I'm going to write more!

But this time, I truly truly - hand on my pulsing heart - mean it.

2. Find a sports/active workout that I truly enjoy


I honestly forgot I wrote this, because I only started exercising in September. But I've started! So that's one brownie point so far. 

I never thought I'd say this, but I love the gym. Especially my gym. What got me obsessed were the fun but challenging classes that introduced me to weight training.

Eventually I changed my workout. For cardio, I made it more intense but shorter. Incorporated weights to make me stronger and more toned. I used to walk out of the gym feeling weak and tired, now I feel energetic and sore. It's a great combo, trust me. It feels like you've worked your damn peachy arse off.

I definitely want to continue my gym sessions, try to find a suitable and affordable gym when I come back home after university. I didn't realise how good it makes me feel physically and mentally. 

3. Read more

I believe that I have read more this year than the previous years before. Picking up a book to read for enjoyment and not for my studies felt so refreshing. I could control when I'd like to finish the book, and not worrying about deadlines!

However I could have read more, much more. 

I think I will start using Audible or some kind of audiobook, as I could listen to it when I'm working out or on the way to lectures. 

4. MEDITATE 

I can admit that I have started, but definitely not as much as the Dalai Lama suggests. Luckily for Christmas my wonderful aunt has bought me a membership for Calm app, which unlocks clarity and peace into my day-to-day lifestyle. It has been so helpful already. The problem I find with meditating is sitting down and doing it. As it's an app it perches happily next to my other apps and reminds me 'hey, wind down with me instead of Snapchat and Instagram!' 

I have begun this life-changing activity however I could delve into it more. 

5. Learn a new musical instrument

Well this one is a no-no. Definitely haven't picked up a musical instrument more than five times this year. 
I believe I wrote this down in order to find a new hobby. Watching new thrilling tv series, working out, scrolling on Tumblr, journalling, eating at restaurants, and socialising a whole lot more has become more of a hobby. 

However I have purchased an easy how-to ukulele book so it may motivate me to get playing again.


****

So that's it folks. I don't feel upset that some ideas haven't been delved into, because I feel as if 2016 has become a successful year - 'the year of realising stuff!' Wise words King Kylie. Those ideas were to get me exploring myself a lil more. Become familiar with what am I interested in and what makes me happy. 

I have concluded that blogging really makes me happy, therefore I will focus on it a whole lot more. Focus on writing and creating beautiful content, rather than worrying and fretting if anyone will read this post. 

I have been to a great number of wonderful restaurants and I'm thinking whether to introduce more restaurant reviews... sound alright to you? 

Thanks for reading.

Have a fulfilling 2017!