Stars, Stripes and Gingham

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I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! I may not have been within borders on the day known as the New Years Eve of July, but I was still displaying my American pride in the country that started it all, England! I guess you could consider my scenario a bit controversial: I’m British, but I’m also American…. So whom do I side with? Well I’ve never officially chosen, because then I’d feel as if I’m cheating on the other. Instead, I like to stay within a friendly medium between the two (haha).

The historic day has turned from a day of sole remembrance to a day filled with celebrations, friends and fun. Stripes and stars filter the decadent streets with parades and festivities all across the country. The best part? Arraying yourself in the greatest collection of reds, whites and blues that you can get your hands on. From American flag one piece swimsuits, to blue and white striped jumpsuits and red gowns; however formal or informal your day, it’s always fun to plan an outfit that may be a bit more out there than your norm (whether it be a patterned polka-dot or a bold red). Although in London, I still had a great time putting together my look in celebration. I went with a blue and white gingham print crop-top and white high-wasted shorts. Accessories consisted of bright red lips, silver sandals, a pale bag and sunnies that topped of the 70’s look. I don’t normally go with a bold lip color, but I have to admit I felt more put together with it on, and I felt it made the outfit more timeless.

Top: ASOS (exact)

Bottoms: Zara (similar)

Bag: Zara (exact)

Shoes: Sam Edelman (exact)

Sunglasses: Unknown (similar)

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Xx,

Tash

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A little Bit of Lace

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As I am only interning at Cosmo UK for a short two weeks, it is hard to fit in trips to see my family—my grandparents and cousins all live a train ride outside of the madness of London, and I only get to see them when I come over. Last weekend was a trip to Hampshire to spend time with my cousins, and this past was a weekend getaway to my grandparents in the countryside of Kent, England. One of my favorite places, this house that my mum grew up in fills my mind with nothing but great memories. Picnics in the lovely garden, playing board games after breakfast in the kitchen and staying up all night watching and reciting the lines to The Parent Trap with my cousins. My granny, an avid gardener, also has the most beautiful garden with a long stone path and flowers, which are always in bloom. Over the years as I have gotten older and my schedule busier, I’ve been able to stay for shorter periods of time, and on this occasion I was only able to unwind for one short night in the countryside before it was back to the chaos of London that I cherish and love!

Top: Topshop (similar)

Skirt: Self-Portrait (similar)

Heels: Giavonto Rossi (similar)

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Xx,

Tash

Sydney Street Style

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Yes, it was winter in Australia when I was visiting. And yes, I still insisted on going to the beach. St. Kilda Beach was one of the “must-sees” in my Melbourne travel guide (I’m such a tourist it hurts), so one morning my brother and I took the tram thirty minutes to the seaside to see what all the hype was about. I knew I would be wandering around the beach town instead of laying in a bikini desperate for the slightest bit of color so, I thought this look was perfect for the occasion. I wore a navy and white checkered baby doll tank and bright mustardy-yellow cross-body for a beachy feel. Then I remembered it was below 60 degrees (lol) and I would probably freeze my butt off, so I added on a tan suede jacket which went well with the tank. Lastly, I incorporated statement sunnies to make the outfit a little more unique and my-style.

Jacket: Revolve Clothing

Cross Body: Topshop

Top: Zara

Sunnies: Revolve Clothing 

Boots: Zara

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Xx,

Tash

The Royal Arcade

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One thing Melbourne is known for is its world-famous cafes. Every street you wander down, any direction you look, your eyes will spot a quaint little coffee shop or your nose will detect the delicious aroma of a fresh brewed long black. For me, this is great. I am not a coffee addict, but close to it. I could sip on cappuccino after cappuccino after cappuccino, and that’s exactly what I did. While my brother was slaving over his final exams, I chose a different cafe every day to spend a little time in. I know this might sound boring, but they all have so much character and each one is so unique that in my eyes it was time well spent and a great way to get to know Melbourne.

One famous pedestrian alleyway in Melbourne is the Royal Arcade. This narrow cobblestone street is lined with restaurants and brasseries, all distinct in adornment and identity. I think I might have made my way back here every day, at least to walk through and eye the French and Italian tourists make themselves quite at home as they lounged outside with their wine and cigarettes. Below are some images photographed in the Royal Arcade~

Hat: Zara

Sweater: Zara

Sunnies: ASOS

Backpack: Topshop

Boots: Zara

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Xx,

Tash

Aussie: Asymmetry and Simplicity

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The past few weeks have been completely crazy, and I have 100% been slacking on my posts. This has seriously been stressing me out and I have been feeling really guilty, so don’t worry I promise I’m back! After Abu Dhabi I spent two-three weeks in Australia, based in Melbourne (where my brother is studying). I spent one full week in Melbourne and then my brother and I ventured off into the unknown where we found ourselves cuddling with Koalas in the rainforest and swimming with sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. It was honestly one of the funnest, “yoloist” and most memorable three weeks of my life. I was hoping to leave with a new Australian accent, but instead I left with incredible memories and many new furry Kanga and Koala friends (satisfied!).

My first week in Melbourne was great, because I got to know the city really well. As it’s not that hard to get around and my brother was busy with classes that week, I spent most of my time wandering and exploring on my own. The weather was kind of (actually very) confusing- it’s currently winter there, but winter to them is like September/October/mid 60’s weather. WTF?! Packing was the most stressful thing ever- do I bring my winter jackets or do I not? And shoes? I had no idea. Here is one look I wore on one of the first days- it was so cold (and I was unprepared), so had to run to Topshop to buy this grey coat (not complaining about it, though).

This outfit reminded my of the Jacquemus Pre-Fall 2015 runway show. A ‘60s vibe combine with back-to-school uniform to sum it up. The effortlessness, symmetrical proportion, and simple hues are very similar to the pieces that make up this collection. Hope ya like it!

Blouse- Zara

Coat- Topshop

Jeans- Topshop

Lace Ups- ASOS

Back- Rebecca Minkoff

Sunnies- unknown boutique in London

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Xx,

Tash

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

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Day two: I hopped outta bed at 8am, ready to take Abu Dhabi day two by storm. Although jet lag had kicked in the previous night (and was not working in my favor), it was overpowered by my shear excitement to explore more of the city the next morning. After getting ready and having a quick breakfast, I was introduced to my driver at 9.30, and we were already on our way to the Grand Mosque before 10am.

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The Grand Mosque- there really aren’t words to describe it. Definitely one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. Breathtaking. The pure white in contrast with the pure gold detailing and bright blue tiles, it looks so clean and refreshing. The driver had brought me an abaya to put on, as women are made to cover everything except for the face. He then gave me about 45 minutes to explore the religious site. Now, I could bore you with details about the architecture and the history, but I’ll spare you and skip all that.

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So next we were off to the date market. I freaked out when the guide informed me of this, because strangely, I LOVE DATES. Most people I know hate them or think they’re gross, but I don’t know what on earth they are talking about. They’re seriously delicious. I was maybe the happiest girl to have ever visited the date market, because they let me test out the different kinds- did you know there are over 90 types of dates? Yup. And they all taste so different. Anyways, I was really really enjoying myself at this date market.
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Once a sugar rush had hit due to date-overload, we headed over towards the Historical Village. This is an area of the city which depicts how the Arabs used to live, prior to the industrialization of the UAE. Honestly, I’m not sure quite how they did it because, although beautiful, it was so darn hot. Like, 110 Fahrenheit, and that’s on an average day. There were all types of artisans at work (glass blowers, carpet makers, to name a few), an agricultural community, and living quarters. The end of a tour and a trip that I will never forget.

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Xx,

Tash

Arabian Desert Safari

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Update: I’m moving to the desert. I love it. Its beautiful simplicity intertwined with the Arabian culture is absolutely breathtaking. The colors of the sandy dunes shining off of the bright blue skies without a cloud in the sky is one thing that everyone needs to see in their lifetime. Oh, and also, this place is made for Instagram. Everywhere you look, every angle you position your camera- BOOM! Quality insta right there. I had a fantastic experience on my desert safari, and so I’ll give you a little recap.

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I was collected by my guide at around 4:30pm, and after picking up another family of mother, aunt, two young children, and a friend (who all live in Abu Dhabi), we drove 45 minutes out into the isolated area of clear skies, camels, and sandy hills. First thing on the menu was the safari around the sand dunes. This consisted of about 15 safari cars speeding and bouncing up and down the dunes. The vehicles were doing all sorts of things that I thought vehicles shouldn’t be able to do. Terrified? Yes. Having the time of my life? Yes. On the way back we stopped at one of the camel farms just to watch them gaze and do their thang for about 15 minutes.

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“No pictures, please.”

 

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the two little boys!

 

Then, we were headed back to the desert camp. Here, all groups from the 15 cars joined in a big area with access to refreshments, henna painting, smoking from the midkwah (Arabian tradition), sand boarding, camel riding, and just about every cool Arabian cultured activity that comes to one’s mind. This is where I really connected with the family I was on the trip with- I felt like they had adopted me into their little family for the day. I enjoyed their company and they enjoyed mine as we bonded over the different areas of the world that we came from- each so fascinated by the other’s culture (I learned so much about the UAE from them!). At around eight o’clock, we were greeted with a vast buffet of Arabian classics. I’m talking hummus, barbecued meats, more barbecued meats, different types of rice and salads, all topped off with a local rice pudding, muhalabia.

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Henna art

 

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Traditional Arabic food

 

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Muhalabia (Arabic rice pudding)

 

Post dinner, meaning post food coma, was the entertainment of the night: Belly dancing! I had never before seen a professional belly dancer, and she was amazing. She balanced swords in places I didn’t know possible, moved her stomach in even stranger ways, and ended with a traditional Arabic dance. Winding down this spectacular evening, all lights were shut off, and all guests laid on their backs for star gazing. It was truly the perfect ending to the most perfectly imaginable day in the Abu Dhabi desert.

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my adopted family for the day 🙂

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Xx,

Tash

Arrival in Abu Dhabi

This past week, on route to Australia, I stopped in Abu Dhabi for a couple of days. So it was me, for two days, in Abu Dhabi, ALONE. Pretty cool. The closest I had come to Abu Dhabi before this trip was the Dubai airport when I was traveling to Tanzania a few years ago. And man, even that airport was like a mini vacation in itself!

Since the moment the flight attendant told me to open my window blinds in preparation for landing, I was astonished at how beautiful this place was. I mean, I had no idea the sky could be so many shades of blues, oranges, pinks, and yellows, all at once! My eyes were paralyzed on the view for a good 75 minutes— no joke.  (due to amazing view + me being delirious from the 13 hour flight) I landed at about 7:30pm Abu Dhabi time (8 hours ahead of NY), sped through customs, security, baggage claim, and met my driver for a short 20 minute drive from the airport.

On my arrival I was greeted by a multitude of gentleman and was treated like a Princess. After being checked in, I was brought up to my room, where I was given a mini tour and settled in. At this point I was in utter awe at how amazing this place, this hotel, and these people are. I felt as if I was literally in a whole different world. Men and women walking around in their traditional Arab dress with the headpieces and everything. Of course I have seen Sex and the City 2 a million times, and it was actually just like that (to give you a better idea). Let’s just hope I don’t pull a Samantha and get kicked out of the country.

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Amazing lobby

 

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Quick shower, and an ever quicker unpacking job, I was starving and ready for my first bite of Arabian cuisine. Who knew that a hotel could have so many restaurants? I mean this one has at least five— all different and all delicious. So I ordered a seafood salad with some of their local dressing, cuddled up in bed with an (unknown) movie, popped a sleeping pill, and that was the end to my long first day.

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View of the Grand Mosque top right corner!

 

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This morning (day two) I woke up to my alarm at 9am. First thing I thought was this is just not gonna happen— I hit snooze, and fell back asleep until 11am. I rushed out of bed, went to the gym for like a minute (have you ever been to a gym with the perfect view of the Grand Mosque? I have!), then laid out by the pool. When I say “laid out”, I mean sat there uncomfortably drenched in sweat after 2 minutes because it was 100 degrees. No exaggeration. I then came to a sudden realization that i hadn’t had my morning brew yet. What! It’s already 12:15, and I haven’t had a sip of caffeine (even with this jet lag)!? So I headed to the oh-so-fancy Chocolate Lounge where I had a couple (or a few) cups. And that’s that.

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Where the chocolate-making magic happens

 

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Lounged there while writing 🙂

 

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This afternoon I am going on a Desert Safari organized through the hotel. I don’t know why it’s called a “safari” because since it’s in the desert, we will be seeing absolutely no animals (except Camels!). But, even better, I will be camel riding, sand boarding, watching belly dancing, henna painting, and feasting on an Arabian Desert- Barbecue. I literally can not wait! More to come…

Xx,

Tash

The Liebster Award

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Exciting news! I was nominated for the Liebster Award by one of my fellow bloggers, Katie Nichole. She has an amazing blog called Typewriterial (Check it out here!!!!).

So, I’m a total newby to all of this but here is how it works:

  1. Mention, thank and link the blog who nominated you (see above)
  2. Answer the nominator’s 11 questions (see below)
  3. Create 11 questions of your own for your nominated bloggers to answer
  4. Notify your nominees via social media

Here are the 11 questions that I was asked:

1. Where did you grow up?

New York

2. What is your favorite song at the moment?

I don’t have a favorite- but love anything Tay Swift or Beyonce

3. Why did you start your blog?

I love to write and spent so much time reading other people’s blogs— I thought why not write my own!?

4. Do you eat breakfast?

Always!!! Never skip breakfast, people.

5. Morning person or night owl?

Definitely a morning person

6. Favorite makeup brand?

I like to mix it up, but most of my products are Bobbi Brown or Maybelline 

7. Who is someone that you admire?

My parents 

8. What is your favorite television show?

Hmm… Anything reality. I would have to narrow it down to KUWTK and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 

9. What is something you’ve never told anyone?

Lips are sealed!! 

10. If you had to eat the same thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

Call me a health freak, but probably fruits and veggies 

11. What is a blog post you would like to see me do?

Easy DIY Recipes! 

And here are the 11 questions of my own:

  1. What is your dream job?
  2. Who inspires you the most?
  3. Favorite Beyonce song ever?
  4. What’s the last thing you binge watched on Netflix?
  5. What’s your favorite topic to blog about?
  6. Favorite clothing brand?
  7. What’s your most used emoji?
  8. Who is your guilty celebrity crush?
  9. Where do you gain the most inspiration for your blog?
  10. How long have you been blogging for?
  11. What’s your favorite city?

Lastly, here are the bloggers that I nominate:

coffeeandcurls with kiki

hey han

one girls obsessions

abroad and local

StilStyle

Everything Nadia

you.theworld.wandering

Xx,

Tash

 

The Best Dressed at Coachella ’15

 

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re probably aware that Coachella (aka the world’s biggest music festival) took place over the past two weekends. Basically a fairytale make-believe land full of the world’s best music, the best food, the best rides, and what seems to be every-single-celebrity that exists. While my roommate was lucky enough to snag a ticket and a tent to experience the second weekend (ugh, bring me next time, @Olivia?!), I just got to experience from the sidelines, through the overwhelming celeb coverage on social. Well, there’s always next year, I guess?

Although Coachella is primarily a music festival, it’s also a time when the spring and summer trends are shown off by the world’s top supermodels, stylists, and artists for the world to see. The whole vibe is a pretty boho-chic atmosphere, and people attend dressed in some wild (and sometimes questionable) looks. Personally, a lot of the outfits (even those of my all time favs— ie. bff’s Gigi and Kendall) are not my favorite (just not my style). But, here are a few looks that I loved at Coachella ’15:

Kate Bosworth

Kate Bosworth

Kristina Bazan

Kristina Bazan

Jourdonn Dun

Jourdonn Dun

Jasmine Tookes

Jasmine Tookes

Jamie Chung

Jamie Chung

Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung

Julianna Hough

Julianne Hough

Alessandra Ambrosio (and possy)

Alessandra Ambrosio (and possy)

Alessandra Ambrosio Weekend 2

Alessandra Ambrosio Weekend 2

Rosie Huntington Whiteley

Rosie Huntington Whiteley

P.S. Another Coachella post coming soooon!

Xx,

Tash