Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rathlin Island

On my last visit to Northern Ireland Thomas's work meant most of our explorations were limited to places near his home we could visit in the evenings, but this time things conspired to give our schedules more flexibility. Between Easter holidays and the end of a few projects Thomas has been able to take me to some of his favorite spots a bit further away--such as Rathlin Island. A brief ferry ride through the "Sea of Moyle" and you arrive to a small island with an old-world feel seeped in history and legend. We hiked out to the East lighthouse to a couple of old ruins at the edge of the Atlantic with seals basking in the sun on the nearby rocks. It was a beautiful place to visit and on a sartorial note, my cardigan made me feel like someone out of a French New Wave film...

Outfit details:
vintage shoes
Rebecca Minkoff backpack
*pictures by Thomas

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Packing Tips

Despite growing up with frequent moves and then studying abroad in college for a couple of semesters and focusing most of my disposable income on travel when possible I would still not claim to be an expert packer. Packing is also subjective. Separates are great to focus on because you can mix tops and bottoms to almost no end, but 9 times out of 10 I'd rather wear a dress than a shirt and a skirt, so that sort of tip doesn't work for me. Still I do try to be an efficient packer and there are a few tricks I always try.
-wear your bulkiest items on the plane to save more room in your suitcase; my "airport style" is based around maximum suitcase space saving rather than cuteness
-think variety at least when it comes to shoes & accessories; i.e. one pair of flats, one pair of boots, a cross body bag, a tote, a nice purse for evenings out and choose them in varying colors like one brown shoe, one black shoe

-choose items you can remix; the key to this is thinking ahead and imagining 2 or 3 outfits you can wear each item with before you choose to take it
-why don't you try picking out a specific color palette--like blue, white, and red? if every piece you take goes within that palette you'll be able to combine them endlessly. even choosing a base of black means you can minimize your shoes and jackets and focus on a variety of dresses that will coordinate with those basic pieces.
-focus on taking more dresses/separates rather than outerwear; the same coat day after day doesn't get as old as the same dress
-minimize your beauty routine--I use less skin products when I travel and focus on only packing my makeup essentials, it will also save time in the morning and evenings so you can experience a fuller day

-wear perfume, after a long day tourist-ing it up on foot and stumbling into a dirty hostel there's nothing like being able to smell nice to make you stand up a little straighter--further why not buy a perfume while you are there? scent is the strongest sense tied to memory, so wear it while you're away and it will evoke your travels every time you spritz it when you back home
-pack accessories to keep your basics interesting
-put your jewelry/more fragile items inside your packed shoes to keep them safe during travel
-leave room for souvenirs, if you're going to be gone for a long time (like a semester) consider taking a small duffle bag inside your suitcase to fill with your finds

Downhill Demesnes

Oh my winds. Thomas is a great sport in helping me take pictures and I always make an effort to smile so sometimes when you look back in retrospect it's hard to remember that between shots it rained on you and anytime you ventured away from these walls the wind threatened to blow you off a cliff. Ok perhaps not off a cliff, but it was strong wind that made exploring this area nearly miserable. We were both quite happy to troop from one end to the other, then away to a quiet beach where the rain abated and the wind lessened. I definitely had a better time running around in the sand and sitting in the dunes enjoying the sun than I did exploring in this particular set of castle ruins, but the pictures certainly came out nice! The architecture was very interesting and the views from the top were lovely, so hopefully I can return on a more calm day and appreciate my surroundings a bit more.

Outfit details:
Knitwits hat
ASOS jacket (similar)
Anthropologie shirt (old, similar)
*pictures by Thomas

Monday, April 21, 2014

Postcards From The North Coast

On my last visit to Ireland despite being in the country for nearly a month I still somehow managed to not visit the Giant's Causeway (arguably the most famous sight in Northern Ireland). This time better weather prevailed and Thomas took me on the most amazing tour of the North Coast--the Giant's Causeway ended up being just one stop on a tour of breath-taking beaches dotted with cliffs, caves, cows, and funny phones...

Wind To A Sailor

Sunny if still brisk, weather has been encouraging Thomas and me to stay outdoors on various day trips around Northern Ireland. This day was probably my favorite so far since my visit here due in no little part to my love of the ocean. I'd really love to live near water again. We explored a few different beaches along the north coast but most of these photographs were taken at Whiterocks Beach--a beautiful, near-empty beach lined with a few curious caves and rock piles.
Like many girls I was quite infatuated with that sailor coat Topshop had a few years ago, but I resisted it because I already had a navy coat and the price tag was a little outside of my budget at the time. It never really left my mind however so I still do the occasional eBay scour for it, but thankfully I no longer have hunt since I now possess a perfect sailor coat from Asian iCandy. My simple navy coat might be more practical in some ways, but I'm so enamored with the sailor collar and rows of buttons on this one. I can't think of anything I'd rather wear when I'm by the ocean.

Outfit details:
thrifted hat (similar)
ASOS dress (old)
vintage shoes
*pictures by Thomas

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Much Loved

It's remarkable how much personality a worn-down toy can look. Much Loved by Mark Nixon is a series of portraits of "loved to bits" teddy bears along with stories and memories from their owners. The series is striking--while the teddies often look rather forlorn it's heartwarming in a way to know they got that way from affection and use. When I was little I definitely played favorites with my stuffed animals and then felt guilty for not playing with the more neglected ones enough...
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