WHAT SUMMER SAYS TO ME!

I think it’s probably extremely apparent from my annual “Oh my god the sun’s out and there’s blossom and I’ve just had my first frappuccino and isn’t summer just the best thing since sliced bread, blogging and Harry Potter” Tweets, Instagrams etc. that Summer is without a doubt one of my favourite seasons. Everybody is happier - I mean, I live in London so you know, like 5% of the population are happy in comparison to the usual 0.5% - and there’s a general buzz of amazing atmosphere for a good two months.

And it got me thinking, why do we love summer so much and what is it that summer says to you (which was bloody good timing as Ugg contacted me in regards to their Summer Says campaign and it was the quickest yes please I’ll be involved as I’m not sure I’ve ever had such a relevant and appropriate campaign idea) and I decided that Summer says a lot things. Summer says BBQ’s with family and friends, it says Almond magnum ice creams everyday without being even a little bit guilty, it says pretty makeup and pastel nail polishes and the tans that dreams are made of. But mainly, mainly for me it says travel.

Now, you know by now that travel is definitely not exclusive to Summer but it is a time of year that I specifically put aside some time to expand my travel portfolio - can we take a moment to appreciate the most pretentious phrase that I’ve ever used on my blog - and one place that I’ve had on my list of travel destinations (I genuinely have that list) is Paris, as the last time I visited was 15 years ago - omg where has that time gone? - and some good food and stunning scenery was just what I was looking for.

also happened to be looking for some pretty floors as UGG apparently love the #ihavethisthingwasfloors hashtag as much as I do and challenged me to find some gorgeous floors that not only show off my ridiculously pretty Ugg Kari sandals, but also say what summer says to me.
Paris, Summer, Love. Travel is what sets my heart on fire, Paris set my heart on fire and ultimately, I love that. I love anything that provokes that excited, overwhelmed butterfly feeling in your stomach and summer, more often than not, seems to be the season that homes those occasions.

Summer says travelling but it also says exploring - and not just in anticipation of finding the gluten free croissant bakery, although that was up there in my life highlights, alongside being BFF’s with Gary Barlow when working on the X-Factor. Cool. - so of course one of the first places I went to visit was the Louvre which is where I so inelegantly modelled the Ugg Kari's below.




As you can probably see, I am beyond obsessed with the Kari's and they are officially my "I need to be comfy whilst taking in the sights and as much food as possible" sandals that will be following me on my next adventures for the foreseeable future!

Ugg also have a pretty snazzy competition running - who doesn't love a good competition? Nobody, nobody I tell you... - where all you have to do is upload a summer snap with the hashtag #summersays and tag @ugguk and you could be in with the chance of winning £500 to spend on the Ugg website. Pretty darn great if you ask me!

Have you tried out any Ugg Sandals yet? What are your favourite Instagram accounts for pretty floors? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

As always, thanks so much for reading!
xx

This post was kindly sponsored by Ugg. All thoughts, photographs and love of comfy sandals that don't cause 20 blisters, my own.

HOW TO TRAVEL IN STYLE AND COMFORT

airport styleairport style
airport style
airport style
airport style
Adidas Superstars black and gold
Adidas Superstars black and gold
Leather jacket - Stradivarius / Chambray Shirt - ASOS / Jeans - ASOS / Adidas Superstars - ASOS / Bag - Aldo (old) / Gorgeous watch that I'm obsessed with - The 5th

Let me just state that I by no means think I’m “nailing” airport style/look particularly chic/or even just not that I woke up and threw on the first thing that’s fallen out of my wardrobe in these snaps. It’s this reason that’s put me off of this style of post for a long time actually, but coupled with my newly developed f**k it attitude - LOL, we all know I say that but secretly have all the anxiety and actually really care - and the fact that I’ve been travelling a lot recently and have somehow received really lovely comments for my travelling attire (oh, and the fact that me and my gal pal Hannah took these photo’s pre flight to Marbs and I felt like one of those mega cool Travel bloggers that look like they just float through an airport even though I realistically look like a bargain bucket version who always turns right into economy) I decided to whack up some tips for how to feel comfortable and chic and not totally like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards when travelling.

Comfort is key
Whoever coined the phrase Comfort is key, can you please stand up so that I can take you for a curry and wine night because oh my god I am not the heels and dress kinda airport girl and thanks to you babes, I don’t need to be. Being comfortable immediately makes you ooze that effortlessness because guess what? It actually is bloody effortless when you’re wearing trainers and not heels that would be less painful rammed into your eyeballs. Trainers are my first port of call and these blogger cliche Adidas Superstars are my absolute favourites of late. Comfortable, chic, they go with everything [insert high five emoji here] and I actually think they take a casual vibe to a “yeah I’m casual but look at how cool AF I am” vibe and I am all about that. If you own a classic pair of jeans that also happen to be mega stretchy then they are also your BFF’s, plus a light but easy to move around in jacket to keep you warm on the plane but not too warm - apparently sweat patches aren’t a thing in the fashion world, that’s a shame - and bob’s your uncle.

Or you know, you’re done (for those who aren’t fluent in cockney/prat language)

Practicality
Before you give me a Johnson and Johnson award for being the world’s most boring blogger, practical items may sound seriously snooze-worthy but they will reduce all of the stress levels - meaning those subsequent sweat patches and lack of effortlessness won’t be an issue - and make your life so much easier. A large tote bag that holds the world and it’s dog (but not too large that you’re tempted to pack your usual 25 nearly identical pink lipsticks) is my ultimate essential. Plus, just because it’s a big tote doesn’t mean that it has to be unsightly, I love this red one from Aldo, mainly because it’s my favourite colour for feeling chic - just me that feels like red accessories are a total game changer? - but also because it definitely looks a lot like the Celine luggage bags without literally being a fake Celine bag. Things with pockets be it a jacket, jeans or dress are also extremely helpful for not having to dig into your bag for your passport every 2 seconds.

Simple pieces
For me this goes for all day errr day fashion but simple, basic pieces can never do you wrong. A monochrome palette, or chambray and denim as I’m sporting today will always look put together without looking like you’ve spent 10 million years planning your outfit. It’ll also make it extremely easy to “jazz things up” with accessories and that is something that I am always on board with.

Accessories
Talking of accessories - you’d think working in TV for four years would help with those links, clearly not - they are potentially my favourite way of adding that oomph of chic whilst still remaining comfortable. Sunglasses are an absolute essential for me as my eyes are streamy little buggers in sunlight and I also like to go sans makeup quite a lot when I travel and don’t really enjoy looking like a cross breed of Casper the Ghost and Shrek, so find a pair that suit your face shape and rock them like your Victoria Beckham/Olivia Palermo. They also look chic as fuck, so even if your eyes aren’t streamy little buggers and you’re naturally gorgeous (in which case, I hate you) they’re still going to make you look 10x more effortless and fab, so you know, why the hell not.

Give no sh*ts
Now, my final point completely obliterates this whole post - lol, blogger of the year award - but I honestly think that as much as I really like to look and feel chic and comfortable - hence this post - I also care a lot more about having an amazing holiday and a chilled airport experience so take your outfit with a pinch of salt. Wear what you feel good in, whack on some shades and think about nothing but your impending sun/city views/alcohol/fun times consumption and be done with it.

So that’s my top tips - I mean, I say tips in the loosest terms possible - for feeling chic whilst being comfortable at the airport. I’d love to know your tips and tricks for feeling your best? Any must have items that will make me feel like Blake Lively next time I travel? I’m all ears :)


As always, thanks so much for reading!
xx
The fitfh watches
The fitfh watches

FALLING IN LOVE WITH MARBELLA

Amare Marbella
Basically, it's one of those hotels that you visit and the moment you leave, you instantly say "I can't wait to go back!" 

I'm sure you'll all be aware by my increasing travel content and constant Instagram wanderlust that travelling the world and seeing as much of its wonder's - lol to the cheesiness levels just one sentence in - is one of my biggest passions and I will embrace any opportunity to see more of it. But despite having a travel bucket list longer than the Kardashian's list of marriages - Soz Kimmy K and co, love you really - one place that I never even considered putting on the list was Marbella.

To me, Marbella was a place where the TOWIE cast went - having worked on the show for a year I say this in a "true story" kinda way rather than a derogatory one - somewhere where people look mega, ultra, super glam 24/7 and where people who love to party go, but after just returning home from 3 heavenly days, I'm really sad that I felt that way because I can honestly say, I've never been so positively surprised and overwhelmed by a place. From the atmosphere, to the fellow guests, the surroundings that Instagram dreams are made of... Marbella is really, really stunningly beautiful. Like, if Marbella was a person, it'd be Blake Lively. That beautiful.

So, me and my gal pal Hannah - who after spending 3 solid days with, I have officially decided is my spirit animal/a sassier version of myself - headed off to catch our Monarch flight to Malaga (p.s I'm not sure I've ever flown Monarch before but my 5"8 self was seriously loving the leg room and how easy/comfortable the flight was) to stay at the Amare Marbella hotel and we were both immediately blown away by how stunning it was.

And then proceeded to Snapchat, Instagram, Tweet, Vlog and Photograph the entire thing #bloggerlife...
Amare Marbella
Amare Marbella
Amare Marbella
Arriving at the hotel at around 8:30pm, it was still light enough to see that we had seriously lucked out with the most stunning room - that also contained a bottle of Moet and if you think that Hannah and I didn't mini fist pump at this then you are seriously mistaken) but it was only on awakening the next morning, sun shining brightly on the ridiculously exotic looking hotel and resort that I really had a to take a moment to appreciate just how stunning that view really is.

Then I attempted to capture the room's beauty - I say "attempted" because put two beauty and fashion loving girls that tend to overpack at the best of times in one room and you basically have a bombsite in 2minutes [insert cry laughter emoji here]. As with the rest of the Amare Marbella, our room was a stunningly light and airy room with lots of whites - if the Amare had a profession, it would be a blogger/Instagrammer - with gorgeous touches of turquoise and marble. The most luxurious and comfy bed complete with a coffee machine [there are not enough heart eye'd emoji's available for this], a corner sofa, a dreamy shower and of course, that terrace which I've officially made my life goal to own.

It was just so comfortable, but also so modern and chic, and trust me, having stayed in a lot of hotels recently that mix is pretty hard to come by.
Amare Marbella
Amare Marbella
mish london feather pyjamas
After oohing and ahhing at the room throughout the whole trip - yeah, soz about that Han - we then took ourselves off to explore the rest of the hotel before breakfast, giving each other "Oh my god this place is so Instagrammable" smirks as we went. The reception in itself is super beautiful whilst the VIP lounge - which yes, we could get into, lols at us being VIP's - is one of those mega calm and zen places that I can just imagine chilling in with a pina colada, bashing out 3/4 blog posts (#DreamLife) whilst feeling like some sort of princess. You can also grab a bite to eat at any time between 7 - 11 and you better believe that we ducked into it many times for cheese and meats breaks. And then we have the spa. Oh my goodness the spa can I please just live there for the rest of my life, many thanks?! After a quick hydrotherapy session - jeez, we so fancy - I headed in for a Shi Zen relax which was genuinely the most incredible massage I've ever had in my entire life. Inspired by Shiatsu, it aims to bring relaxation and wellbeing and that is exactly what it did.

I mean, minus the cheese, that's probably not so great for my wellbeing is it? 
Amare Marbella
Amare Marbella
Whilst on the subject of cheese, let's just discuss food for a moment. I am a big foodie, but I'm also one of those awkward coeliac types - the ones that actually have to eat gluten free - so I was a little cautious to begin with that I may be left hungry. But thanks to the most incredible buffet with such a fab selection of all kinds of foods, my appetite was easily kept in check (no mean feat, believe me). With fry ups, meats, cheeses, fruits, waffles, breads - including gluten free bread!! Now that deserves the hand clapping emoji's - and the dinner buffet with cuisines from all over the world, I seriously looked forward to every single meal.

The meal that without a doubt was the most "this really is my dream life" meal was our lunch on the last day though. It wasn't necessarily the food itself - although I have to say, that Goats cheese, berries, honeyed walnuts and balsamic glaze salad will be in my dreams for the foreseeable future. No seriously, the dreamiest of all dreamy salads - it was that we were based in the beach club, looking out over one of the most gorgeous, exotic looking beaches I've seen, having girl chats and grateful moments. Those are always my favourite kinda meals. The ones where you're not even bothered about getting the perfect instagram shot because you're too busy enjoying the moment... just to put it into perspective for you all ;)
I've lost myself in that goats cheese for a moment, where was I? Oh right, so once we'd demolished some food, on our second night we got ready for the hotel's opening season party #AmareParty and it was such a beautiful way of showing guests, VIP's, journalists etc. what the hotel really has to offer. Now, we all know I'm a major granny so parties aren't always my favourite thing - mainly because Harry Potter marathons with hot chocolate wins out always - but this one was different. We started with a tour of the hotel, ending on the rooftop bar with some champagne (not a bad Friday night tbh) before heading down for more cheese - Hi, my name's the Brie/Feta/Goats cheese next door, how ya doing? - more drinks, a fashion show from some spanish beauty queens that really made me regret the extra chunk of brie and handful of salami and just general good times. It was the perfect last night to end our stay and such a fab way of showing everyone that the Amare hotel is not only gorgeous, but the perfect place to stay for those wanting amazing food and brilliant entertainment all in the most luxurious of surroundings. I'm all about that kinda life...

We also - sorry, sorry, I know you thought you were nearly at the end, just one extra little fangirl - happened to be demolishing our cheese and meats and everything else when the sun decided to put on a show of it's own producing the most insane pinky/purple/golden sunset that genuinely took my breath away. You know I'm as a major loser for sunsets so sat there in that moment, with a prosecco and kilogram of cheese, oh, and Hannah by my side (lols) it really was one of those "I am so blooming grateful for life" moments. I had a lot of those on this trip, but this was a special one!
With our final day coming round far too soon, we took ourselves off to explore the old town - otherwise known as Instagram porn - before soaking up some final rays by the pool and discussing all things Marbella and life. I know I've said this a lot now, which is why I'll only reiterate it one last time. Everything that I thought Marbella would be, the Amare Marbella and Old Town area, just wasn't that at all. Sometimes when a place is so luxurious, it almost becomes slightly pretentious or clinical and definitely not somewhere that ever truly feels homely, but this stunning place really did feel like a home from home. It's a place that older couples, younger couples, families and your girlfriends would absolutely love, somewhere you go to relax and chill and forget about all of life's troubles. It's somewhere that you can be waited on hand and foot whilst chilling by the pool or beach, or just chill out on your terrace looking out on to views that belong in photo frames.

Basically, it's one of those hotels that you visit and the moment you leave, you instantly say "I can't wait to go back!" 

Have you ever been to Marbella before? Ever stayed at, or are thinking of staying at Amare Marbella? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

xx

We flew with Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, which operates flights to Malaga from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton, Leeds Bradford and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £49 one way (£80 return).

For further information or to book Monarch flightsMonarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, please visit www.monarch.co.uk

Also a huge thanks to Marbella Tourism for making our trip as special as it was.
© the Elle next door

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