Shipment successย 

Good day to you my jet setting jewels, 

The next step of my Aussie adventure unfolded just before Christmas when my long awaited shipment of personal effects arrived in Brisbane port. After 5 long, agonising months seeing those boxes stacked up in the room was enough to bring tears to my eyes. As I’m sure any of you have moved overseas will relate, you never quite feel settled until you are surrounded  with “your things” right? 


The next challenge was where on earth was I going to put all of these items, bearing in mind we recently had moved into a one bedroom apartment where storage is not known as a new build’s fortay. 

So after much huffing and standing with my hands on my hips procrastinating, I grudgingly opened the first box armed with my “keep” and “charity shop” piles. I was surprised to find the decision was made oh so easy as I found that some of my possessions which were perfect for the cool winter days and average temperature summers of London were completely inappropriate here. In the same breath, all of my beautiful summer dresses and easy, breezy shorts and vest combos were well needed after 5 months of rotating the same weeks worth of clothes! Also it is awesome to know that none of them can be found in shops close by – its always fun to be unique and quirky don’t you think ๐Ÿ˜€


Once my clothes piles were organised, I felt a huge sense of relief come over me that the mammoth task was actually a lot easier than I had expected. My new wardrobe in my apartment is still filled with my favourite items from home but are now just worn with a subtle twist. Those pencil shift dresses I usually paired with opaque tights and a cardie are now worn with bright coloured flats and coordinating sunglasses and those beautiful summer dresses are jazzed up with relaxed beachy waves in my hair and my rainbow selection of havaianas. 


One thing that definitely has not changed since my move is my love of pampering. Although I greatly miss my fave nail salon Gossip nails in my home town, I have managed to find a great nail place close to my home in the city who has a huge selection of shellac and OPI colours but the key difference is when I always used to go for deep burgundys or reds as it suited the London climate, now I can experiment more with cute pastels or bright shades I never dreamed I would be brave enough to try. 


One key learning factor for me being away from my things for so long I discovered, when they did eventually arrive I soon realised that you have to adapt to the environment you live in. Of course, I relish the days when I can unpack my big thick cable knit jumpers and over the knee boots when I spend frosty winters back home, but for now my new slimmed down wardrobe is easy, cool in the summer heat and also deep down I feel deeply grateful that the items I did take to the charity shop will be lovingly worn and admired by someone who perhaps needs them more than me right now. 

Although it’s great to have lots of beautiful, material things around us to make us feel as though we have achieved wealth and success in life, ultimately we live in a disposable world which constantly evolves and changes so we must go hence forth with it. Anyway, at the end of the day, material things are not coming with us when we leave this earth, but experiences and love of our families and friends will always be within us. 

Until next time, take care

Keya x

At one with the ocean

Good day to you my sea faring style icons, 

I am so excited to tell you all that for the last fortnight I have been undertaking surfing lessons much to my absolute delight. This is not my first foray into surfing; in 2011 I went on a yoga and surfing retreat so had a few lessons then although not with much success I may add. This post I am dedicating to that wonderful natural wonder – the deep blue sea. 


(Image courtesy of google images)

When I decided back in the earlier part of 2016 that I was going to be moving to Australia, I already was dreaming of summer days at the beach – surfboard under one arm and my waterproof camera on the other. As soon as I was settled I started researching surf schools on the Gold Coast and amongst the seemingly endless selection I found the Learn to surf in paradise school. I just immediately loved the no fuss website and the instructions about where to meet for my lesson were super easy to follow. On my first lesson there were only two other students and our Brazilian instructor immediately put us at ease and after learning he had been surfing for 20 years (although only being a year older than me) his experience really showed. With our lessons being held at the Spit beach, the rock wall on one side and the pier on the other really makes for the perfect waves for beginners. 

 

On my second lesson, it just fully clicked and I was standing up so many more times than wiping out (which believe me is such a relief because wow does that salt water sting after the 20th time haha) The feeling of just being you and the board out in the ocean gave me a similar feeling to being out on my bike on a triathlon training session or on an early morning run. It is so peaceful and so rewarding feeling that awesome wave pick you up and carry you towards the shore.

It really is a chance to let your fashion flare go to town as well. I love hitting the surf shops in town like Billabong, Roxy or City beach Australia to check out their new selection of rashies and board shorts. I recently just purchased a striped Roxy rashie which I pair with my black board shorts and my trusty Havaiana flip flops when I hit the surf. I also am on the market for my own surfboard too. The styles, sizes and colours vary so much dependant on your experience level, height and confidence but a good starting board is usually between 7 and 8 foot long with approximately 3 inches thickness to it to help with balance and being able to stand up efficiently when that wave comes along. 


If like me you have always been a water baby and enjoy the beach, salt in your hair and having ultimate peace and “you time” then just bite the bullet and sign up for a lesson today. Don’t just take it from me, find your own version of paradise โค๏ธ

Until next time, take care

Keya x

Glamping at Glasto

Good day to you my festival loving friends,

I apologise for the absence of last weeks post, but I just arrived back from an incredible weekend at Glastonbury festival in Somerset. I will admit from the get go, I didn’t go full native pitching a tent and only having baby wipe washes for five days, my friends and I had a caravan which made the nearly knee deep mud and constant rain a tad more bearable. Haha. 



Prior to this weekend, I have only done a few day festivals each year but as this year coincided with my 30th birthday on Thursday I knew I had to try to get tickets. We were so lucky to finally get them on the very last day of the resale, I literally screamed with excitement when we got through! 

So with a suitcase, sleeping bag, pillows and lots of hand sanitiser packed we set off from London late on Wednesday evening. It was fairly plain sailing getting there apart from a few motorway diversions, although it didn’t bode well when we had to be towed by a tractor to our caravan when we arrived. Ha. Once we finally were settled around 4am on Thursday we were asleep before our heads hit the pillow. I awoke a few hours later to my friends gorgeous 7 year old showering me with kisses and wishing me happy birthday and I was given my outfit for the day which consisted of a pink tutu and a tiara which actually looked awesome paired with my grey Havaiana wellies. We did a recce of where all the main stages were and had some fun in some of the tents taking pictures and making clay models. 


On Friday we awoke after a proper nights sleep and laden with wet weather gear as rain was imminent, we checked out a kids disco in the afternoon before heading to watch Bastille who were actually a surprise hit for me. The setting was perfect with the sun going down behind us, surrounded by colourful flags billowing in the breeze and lots of happy people using our smiley.com flag as a marker to meet their friends. Disclosure closed the evening which being one of my favourite acts did not disappoint.


On Saturday we were intent on seeing the legend that was Fatboy slim which we went to check out after ZZ Top on the Pyramid stage. Although I knew some of their songs, I couldn’t fail to be impressed by their chest length beards and guitar skills. The walk over to the John Peel stage was mammoth after they had finished although having a full rainbow emerge over us on the way there proved a worthy distraction. Fatboy Slim was wonderful and his resident set at Glasto really got us dancing and stamping our feets. By the end of his set, we all were so exhausted after the sheer amount of walking we had done all day, we retreated back to our caravan and listened to Adele close with a cider in hand watching another beautiful sunset. 


On Sunday we decided to make it the most hassle free of them all so we left home armed with camping chairs, wet weather suits, loads of snacks and drinks and decided to get a good spot at the Pyramid stage ready for the closing act. Whilst there we saw great performances by Laura Mvula, Ellie Goulding and ELO. We decided to find some dinner whilst Beck crooned behind us. We then picked up our wrist bands which were being given out by the stewards.


As the rain finally disapated, Coldplay came onto the stage and as you can imagine they were mondblowing. The combination of the multi coloured bands, lasers and flares rocketing into the sky with the words to all the songs being sung by thousands of people in unison was enough to bring tears to my eyes. They were one of the best live shows I have ever seen. 


After Coldplay we decided to check out some of the DJ tents and also danced under the ginormous robotic, fire breathing spider to Prodigy – imagine that picture ๐Ÿ˜€ I really wanted to end my time there in tradition so we got to the stone circle just in time to see the sun rising over Glastonbury for the last time which was truly magical. 

Although I was completely out of my comfort zone for most of the weekend being surrounded by mud, pungent porter loos and rain most days, the sights of people dressed as unicorns, penguins, horse guards or anything else you could ever imagine, great conversations with complete strangers and the loving feeling of everyone there made up for it in leaps and bounds. Only at Glastonbury, will you see someone dancing bare foot with cow bells around their neck on one side and small children on their parents shoulders having a whale of a time on the other. It is the one of most diverse, spiritual places I have ever been to and I know that I definitely left a small part of me there. 

It’s not goodbye it’s farewell for now Glastonbury.  

Until next time, take care

Keya X

Birthday suit

Good afternoon my sunshine souls, 

What a wonderful day in the city today, feeling so happy ๐Ÿ˜€

For this weeks post following on from celebrating my birthday last week,I have decided to dedicate this post to dressing for your special day.

I have been lucky enough over the years to celebrate my birthday in a number of different countries. Below I will reveal some of the more memorable for me and what I wore for the occasion. 

On my 25th birthday I got to enjoy it whilst in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. On my special day my friend and I went out for a wonderful dinner which involved the freshest pasta I have ever tasted and copious amounts of prosecco. We then went to a club called Music on the Rocks which was as the name suggests built into a cave overhanging the ocean. It truly was spectacular. I chose to wear the below dress from a vintage stall I used to frequent in Brick Lane. The nude colour was perfect against my deep sun tan and I just wore classic black wedges and bag to let the dress do the talking.  

  

For my 26th birthday I went to Bali on a yoga and surfing retreat. My day started with a sun rise yoga session overlooking the beautiful rice paddies, I then relaxed by my hotel pool in the afternoon and in the evening my wonderful South African friend (who I had met on the trip) and I jumped on the back of some local scooter taxis to a great restaurant to watch the sunset with exotic cocktails in hand. I chose to wear the below dress as the evening was so beautifully balmy paired with some simple sandals. The bright pattern and metallic accents really made this dress one to remember. 

  
For my 27th birthday I was working overseas in South Africa at the time which was an amazing experience. I am actually half South African so it meant a lot to me that I got to spend my day with my family and friends. Although winter was on the approach on that side of the world, my best friend and I decided to go all out and celebrate in style. We went for a lovely dinner overlooking the harbour, followed by drinks at our favourite watering hole in Long Street and then onto Club 31 which as you may have guessed was on the 31st floor of a skyscraper building. I chose the below navy lace dress with sequin detailing paired with my vivacious Valentino shoes and a Michael Kors snakeskin bag. 

  
For my most recent birthday ( cannot quite believe it but my 29th) I celebrated on the following weekend as my special day fell on a Tuesday this year. On the Saturday morning I did my birthday wod at my Crossfit box which was tough but a lot of fun and then I had my closest girlfriends over to my house for drinks in the garden in the darling dusk of evening. We then went to East London to a few bars where we met my birthday buddy and all of the rest of our friends. Wow what a night. As I knew we were going to be on our feet all evening I went for the comfortable option. My top seen below was vintage lace which I paired with my black wet look jeans from Massimo Dutti, boater hat from the Italian wool company and my espadrilles from Havianas. 

       

 These are just a few of my more recent incredibly memorable birthdays. I think the key to enjoying your special day is to firstly ensure you dress for the venue.  Always research a new place thoroughly before visiting to ensure all guests adhere to the dress code and there are no problems gaining entry. Most important of all though,  as long as you surround yourself with your dearest friends and family, it does not matter if you are turning 21, 30 or 50 you will surely be the belle of the ball and have an amazing evening. 

 Until next time party people,

Take care, Keya x

Shoes out for summer

Good evening my wonderfully well heeled gentlemen,

For this weeks post, due to a request from one of my awesome friends, I have decided to delve into the world of what shoes are appropriate for summer in the city.

If like many of us young professionals you work in an office, those fabulous Italian leather Chelsea boots or laced up buckskin brogues are just a tad too warm for these humid days we are experiencing. You need a combination of smart footwear but also ones that keep your toes perfectly cool and comfortable. Below I have chosen a selection of my favourite shoe styles for men to wear this salubrious summer ๐Ÿ˜€ 

Firstly the slip on loafer. This style reminds me of holidays in the Amalfi Coast – well dressed gentleman in open necked shirts, slim fit chinos and tasseled loafers in a range of pastel shades. With the warmer climes upon us, suede and lighter leather varieties are more wearable (no one likes the risk of a sudden downpour of rain whilst in red suede moccasins) and they compliment a great fitting pair of trousers that nip in neatly at the ankle bone perfectly. 

I love this pair below from Louis Vuitton, the tassels are understated but chic and the chocolate brown leather looks amazing with a matching skinny belt. Other cheaper alternatives can be sourced at Gant, Massimo Dutti, Russell and Bromley or Tods. 

  

Next there is the lace up brogue. This style is unisex (much to my own delight) with unbelievable designs at the quintessentially English, Church’s or on the high street Dune is a great quick stop shop for high quality leather choices. This style looks great either dressed up with smart trousers or down with tailored shorts and a buttoned up Polo shirt. 

  
Aha, now I hear you ask, so that is the work shoe wardrobe covered, what style do I need for the more casual garden BBQ or a relatives birthday celebration? Well, my chiselled companions, look no further than the desert boot. This suede, lace up style looks great in the standard camel colour or be even more adventurous with navy or plum to act as a contrast to your chosen shirt or rolled up pair of chinos. You can find some great selections at Penguin, Dune or Tommy Hilfiger. The great thing about these shoes too is because some styles come with an incredible laser cut out design on the toe, they maintain a cool environment for your feet no matter how high the temperature gauge goes up in your car or on public transport. 


For that impending summer vacation looming, my number one choice for flip flops is Havaianas. I first discovered this brand when I was in Brazil for Carnevale and I was so excited when they opened stores in the UK. These rubber sandals are ideal for that hot walk up the sandy beach from the sea and come in such a wide range of colour combinations you are sure to find a pair to match every swim shorts variety.

  
My top tip for shoe choices in the summer is be adventurous! When the sun is out, you can get away with wearing brighter colours on your footwear. What’s not too love about matching your shoe colour to your sunny disposition? If everytime you glance down at your feet, a huge smile steals across your face then believe me, colleagues, friends and complete strangers will want a slice of your happy pie there is no doubt ๐Ÿ˜€

Until next week, take care

Keya x