Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Winter Warmer

Top - Primark
Skirt - H&M
Boots - New Look
Bag - Urban Outfitters
Snood - Primark
Eventhough it's been much colder in the UK lately, I still love to wear my black skater skirt. Teamed with a cropped jumper or long sleeved top and some thick tights - it's turning into my winter staple! Also I bought this bag in the Urban Outfitters sale and I wear it literally everyday - I feel like it adds a lot to an outfit.

You may be thinking I froze without a coat on, but don;t worry kids, I came prepared...

Sorry about the bad lighting in these photos, they were actually taken at the library. It's becoming my second home this year as deadlines draw closer!

What are your winter fashion staples?

Alice x

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The White Blazer

All summer I was pining after buying a white blazer. I think they look so smart, tailored and chic, especially in the summer! Sadly I bought one a bit late for the summer months but im still super happy with this one from H&M. The cotton blend makes it a little less 'im in the office' and a bit more casual.

Blazer - H&M
Jeans - Zara
Top - Mango
Bag - Fossil
I haven't done a blog post in aaages but since coming back to Uni I have had so much going on I just haven't felt the urge to blog, especially as it is my last year of ever being a student! But I feel I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things again!

Plenty more posts to come!

Alice x

Sunday, 21 September 2014

What's in My Bag...

I recently got a new bag as a Birthday treat from my mum. We found this cute little brown leather bag in a Fossil Outlet shop for a bargainous £30! It's the perfect size to carry everything you need without over-packing and has plenty of pockets for all your bits and bobs...

Bag - Fossil Outlet
Sunglasses - Vietnam
Concealer - Collection
Purse - Vietnam
Stick Perfume - Zara
Ipod + Radio adapter
Lip Balm - Bioderma, Vichy, Nivea
So from doing this little exersise I have come to one conclusion: I carry around far too many lip balms. Small note though; if you haven't tried the little stick perfumes from Zara then get on it! They smell amazing and cost like £4 - perfect when you have a smaller bag.

My iPhone would of course also be in this stash, but I was using it to take the photo, so we can all imagine!

What's go-to bag these days?

Alice x

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

My Vietnam Experience / RealGap Review

As you know I recently returned from a four week trip travelling around the North of Vietnam - the 'Vietnam Experience' which I booked with RealGap (see their website here). All year I had told myself that I wanted to travel somewhere this summer as its the last summer before I finish University and head into the real world, so I thought it would be a perfect time to go. 

I debated about asking friends to travel with or even going alone, but in the end I decided that I wanted a trip where I could where I could meet new people and be completely in control of where I was going without having to compromise with friends when it came to budget and location. Obviously there is a small risk that you will end up on a trip with people you don't get on with, but with 14 others on mine I thought that risk was pretty small. Luckily, my group was amazing and we all bonded extremely quickly - I certainly made some friends for life!

And my final reason for booking through RealGap was the fact that once it was booked that was it. No working out routes, no booking accommodation, no booking transport... The itinerary was all organised for you and all that was left to do was booking flights. If you are going on your first trip alone it definitely puts you at ease as it's pretty risk-free and safe!

Now the trip itself. Vietnam was absolutely stunning, I can't even describe how beautiful and interesting a country it is. With it's incredibly rich and recent history full of war and conflict, it is amazing how the country has rebuilt itself in a short time. Every place we went to was so different; Hanoi and it's crazy roads full of motorbikes and street food felt like worlds away from the quiet and stunning countryside scenery of Sapa.
Excuse the sweaty back - we had just trekked for 10km!
The Itinerary had a few flaws, a few boring days where we felt like we were just wasting time, but on the whole there was a great mix of activities and excursions and also provided plenty of time to bond with the group over food and drinks in the evenings. The Vietnamese guides we had were great and taught us a lot about traditions and cultures whilst also being part of the group and, by the end of the trip, good friends.

Highlights of my trip:
  • Seeing various temples and learning about Buddhism
  • Cycling through the stunning scenery in Tam Coc
  • Tasting endless delicious Vietnamese Spring Rolls
  • Spending a night at the Hot Springs and the National Park in more basic accommodation
  • Experiencing the Night Bus on our trip to Hoi An (not part of the itinerary, we organised this amongst ourselves)
  • Trekking through Sapa
  • Staying with the home-stay family in Sapa (the food was amazing!)
  • Kayaking through caves at Halong Bay
  • Jumping off the boat at Halong Bay
Scenery in Tam Coc
Whether with RealGap, with friends, or alone - if you feel like trying something new and stepping out of your comfort zone - travel. Yes it can be expensive but as a friend of mine said the other day, it is what life is all about. Not saying you need to travel to the other side of the world either - my year I spent in France was the best year of my life so far and I am so thankful that I did it.

It will teach you more about yourself and other cultures than you ever imagined. Saying yes to that trip that you have been thinking about for years will be the best decision you make, I promise.

Which country is top of your travelling list?

Alice x

For more photos of my time away, see my last post here

Monday, 15 September 2014

Vietnam in pictures

I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves...

Floating Fishing Village - Halong Bay
Volleyball on a beach at Cat Ba Island - Halong Bay
Halong Bay
The cutest child I have ever met - Sapa
Waterfall in Sapa
River in Sapa

Halong Bay (again, too beautiful!)
The family we stayed with in Sapa

Our Group
We were excited to have found a waterfall!
Jumping off the boat at Halong Bay
Underwater Beer Selfies
Me and Helena went Paragliding - Hoi An

The trekking group

After a month in the most incredible country I have ever been, I am back! Vietnam was absolutely stunning; seeing its scenery, culture and history with a brilliant group of people made it the best month and exactly what I needed.

For those of you familiar with the country, I travelled around the north; starting in Hanoi, then Ninh Binh and Tam Coc, followed by Hoi An, and then trekking through Sapa before finally having a week at the stunning beaches on Halong Bay. Every place we went was like a completely different country in itself, with completely different scenery and culture.

If you didn't know, I travelled with RealGap which is a company where you meet up with a random group of people and the whole trip is planned out for you. It was an amazing trip and I met some friends for life so if you are thinking about travelling and don't fancy going it alone, definitely check out RealGap here. (Full review of the trip coming soon!)

Being in the little Vietnam bubble away from work, university and the real world was bliss and although I miss it already, I feel refreshed and ready for my final year at university!

For more photos of my time away, follow me on Instagram: alicesmithh

How has your month been?

Alice x

Friday, 8 August 2014

Be-right-back - off to Vietnam!

Today is my last day in the UK for a month, because tomorrow I am going to Vietnam! I mentioned this a few posts ago, but I am off travelling with Real Gap for 4 weeks, exploring North Vietnam. We start in Hanoi and end up on Halong Bay and I am so excited!!

Ever since returning from France in March I said to myself I wanted to do two things this summer; get an Internship for 3 months, and go travelling in a new country. I am so happy and lucky that I can say that my summer has turned out exactly as I hoped!

Last week I finished my Internship of 3 months and 3 weeks. It was a great experience and eventhough the 9-5 got a bit tiring at times I am so glad I have done it and now have it to put on my CV for graduation next year. 

So on to the packing...

The weather in Vietnam is set to be 32 Celsius plus, with probably a few rainstorms as i'm encroaching a bit on rainy season! So I feel I am well prepared with my clothing so far, as you can see, I doubt I will run out.

If I had been smart I would have set up some scheduled posts, but alas, I have not been that organised. So I'm sure we will all survive 4 weeks without any posts! Make way for a lot more when I return in September :)

What are your plans for the rest of your Summer?

Alice x

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Festival Fun Times

As you would have noticed, I recently went to WOMAD which is a festival located conviniently just down the road from me! We go every year and with the UK going through a heat-wave it was so unbelievably hot and lovely to have a few days chilling in the sun with a cider in hand.

As shown in my last Summer Staples post here, my new Primark hat provided welcome shade from the sun.
I had a great weekend - eating, drinking and listening to music in the sun - what's not to love! You probably wouldn't know any of the acts as they are from all around the world; but that is the beauty of WOMAD, there is no pressure to see a long list of artists, but instead you just stumble onto some under-rated musical genius.

Actually I lie, this year they had Sinead O Connor playing ('Nothing Compares', you 90's kids will know!)  

Until next year, WOMAD :)

Alice x

Saturday, 2 August 2014

English Summer

So with the weather being so beautiful here in England lately, I have found myself spending much more time in the great outdoors... 

Last week I  had a lovely day having a countryside walk with my beautiful friend Lara (see her blog here). We discovered that pine-cones come in all shapes and sizes.

Hat - Primark
Skirt - H&M
Top - Bershka
Bag - New Look

I forget how beautiful my surroundings are and how lucky I am to live in the countryside sometimes :)

How is your summer going so far?

Alice x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Summer Staples #4

Summer Staples # 4 - Festival Style Essentials

I am off to a local festival called WOMAD next week and I cannot WAIT. When it comes to festivals i'm all about the festival style, any excuse to wear a flower headband and i'm there. Thought i'd show you a few festival goodies which I picked up in Primark recently...

Headband - £3

Black Hat - £8

Bum Bag - £6

Some of these beauties in action with my favourite playsuit! 
I will hopefully do a post all about WOMAD, currently praying that this glorious weather will hold out! Can't waaait :)

Alice x

Thursday, 17 July 2014

London Baby

A particularly lovely day in London recent was spent with my good friend Tanja. She is one of those people who knows the best places to eat so I was certainly not dissapointed by our lunch at "Jak's". It has a kind of deli vibe where you pick your main and two sides. We both chose the Tuna and I had some pasta and greek salad on the side, was sooo yummy!

Lunch followed by a lot of shopping and strolling around London made for a perfect day in the sun!

Always nice to have a change of scenery for a day.

Alice x

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Summer Staples #3

Fuss-free Jewellery

When it get's to hot weather, festivals, travelling.. I just can't be bothered with thinking about what jewellery to wear and switching it up daily. I especially can't stand it when you buy a new ring and it before you know it it leaves a blue trace because it's such poor quality.

So I generally opt for Sterling Silver jewellery that I never have to take off and looks good with pretty much anything! It doesn't have to break the bank either as you will see...

Hoop earrings: all from Claire's roughly £5-7 depending on how many per pack

Left to right...
Cross ring - Claire's £10
Small band ring - Part of a pack of 3, Accessorize £15
Thumb Ring - Accessorize, £8
Bobble ring - Pandora, Gift
Daisy ring - Daisy, Gift
Plain silver band - Part of pack of 3 (see above), Accessorize £15
Small heart ring - Accessorize, £5/6

If you are someone like me who doesn't want to have to worry about the faff of jewellery, definitely start a little silver collection!

What's your go-to summer jewellery peice? 

Alice x

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Summer Staples #2

Crop Tops. They are something I thought had died in the nineties but these days my wardrobe is full of them and they are definitely my go-to for the summer time!!

Haiwain Print - Republic
Bow-back - Republic
Blue - New Look
Spotty - H&M
Coral Lace - Topshop
White - New Look

Any of these paired with high waisted shorts, skirts or jeans - Perfect!

Alice x