TSM Travel: The Whistles Maxi Skirt is my best travelling buddy: A road trip through Spain Part. 2

If you remember my post from Barcelona last year, you’ll know that Spain is another country I’ve grown to love over the years and so it was without a doubt that my final European trip involved at least a full week of sun drenched siestas interspersed with jamon, tapas, sangria and of course, visits to Zara. I often ask male friends which European girls they think are the most physically attractive (in general) and as their faces light up imagining the possibilities, I’m always ready to volunteer my answer: Spanish girls. Traditional older French women may have that effortlessly Parisian chic down pat but personally, I find the girls in Spain stunning (cue memories of feeling uber inadequate in Ibiza!) It’s the confidence, the passion in which they express themselves (Maria Elena from Vicky Christina Barcelona – need I say more?) and their perpetual tan … It’s hard not to be mesmerised! So after having a beautiful week in Crete, we picked up the pace and started our road trip down towards the south of Spain through Valencia, Alicante and Granada…

35. Granada Spain Alhambra 2013 37. Granada Spain Alhambra palace architecture symmetry 37.5 Granada Spain Alhambra palace 34. Granada Spain Alhambra Nazrid palace

40. Granada Spain Alhambra generale life

granada spain alhambra palace 2013

The above aren’t your typical images of Spain. They’re in fact from one of the most highly visited sites in Spain: The Alhambra, in Granada – the tourist highlight of my Spanish trip this time around. If you know me well, then you’ll know that I’m by no means a museum/sightseeing enthusiast (although I must admit I did love The British and Egyptian museum in Tahir square in Cairo) but the thought of a full day of sightseeing and museums brings a whiny sigh and petulant boring! mutter beneath my breath pretty quickly. But there was something so serene about the ancient moorish architecture and peaceful views of Granada from the top of the Alhambra that had me equally mesmerised; I even wanted to spend more time than allocated walking through the grounds imagining what life would have been like for the royals of the Nasrid palace and their time in the general life gardens…

A tip for anyone who does want to visit is to book tickets online prior to visiting Granada as tickets sell out in sessions and when we arrived at 8am with pre-booked tickets, the queue was general admin was already miles long!

32. Museu de Belles Arts de València city or arts and sciences

IMG_7440

27. Valencia fatons and horchata orxata28. breakfast in valencia old town

The stop before Granada was Valencia (my second time) and it was all about the EATING. Wake up late, eat. Shop, eat. Siesta, eat, drink sleep and repeat. I’ve been to Spain over half a dozen times now and although I don’t speak fluent Spanish (it’s on the to do list!) I feel most at ease in Spain than any other European city when communicating with locals. I’m a huge fan of tapas (European dim sum) and we’ve eaten at so many bars through the years that I now know how to push my way through the crowd, order drinks and food in Spanish and bypass all the confused tourists waiting for table service and a menu (hint, they don’t really exist in the really old and authentic tapas bars). I love the food even more as you head down South (Seville has the best tapas in my opinion!)25. valencia beach

Granada from Melia hotel

Granada Spain old down

These days I’m all for casual comfort over stylish glam. Throughout my trip I lazily left the make up bag at the bottom of the suitcase and packed only one pair of wedges (which I never wore!) Without fail, for every Summer trip, I get the most use out of maxi skirts and dresses. The casual ones tend to pack well requiring no ironing and are particularly practical for cooler nights to avoid pesky insect bites and perfect for short haul flights when they decide to crank up the A/C while you snooze. I actually bought this Whistles Jersey skirt for a client in London who was after a maxi skirt and when it went on sale, guiltily bought one for myself tool!

Maxi skirts are always feminine and are great for busy mums and lazy leg shavers like myself (overshare?) and can be best styled with a simple short or long tee and paired with a leather or denim jacket. Accessories with sunglasses and costume jewellery optional.

topshop strappy v neck camiGranada Spain Alhambra travels tstyled meGranada Spain Alhambra topshop cami whistles maxi jersey skirt

khaki jersey maxi skirt topshop strappy v neck camiOutfit Details

  •  (These are so comfy, I bought 3!)
  • Kurt Geiger Sandals (similar )
  •  (I can’t believe they’re on sale now!)

I’m curious, which European girls do you think are the most attractive ? 😛

TSM Travel: Summer swimwear in the Greek Island of Crete – Part 1

Opps, it looks like someone forgot to put their out of office on the blog doesn’t it? Well hmm, about that … Can I start by saying that I had every intention to continue on with my weekly blog updates and take you guys with me on my two week Summer getaway in Europe but slowly, as the swimming, napping and constant grazing by the beach took over, I thought to myself “Is it a real holiday if I spend more time on my laptop than enjoying possibly my last real holiday EVER?”(slight exaggeration; it’s true, you can still holiday from Australia). In the end, the lazy in me won and two weeks of holiday bliss became, 3, 4 and 5 weeks away from the laptop. But not to worry – I’m back so let me share with you the sights of one of my favourite places on earth: The Greek Islands. A few years ago, we fell in love with Kefalonia, Santorini & Mykonos so we came back for another Greek fix, this time for the stunning beaches of Crete … Be prepared for a) a whole lot of pasty white skin (hey, it was the start of our trip) b) beautiful views of the endless Mediterranean sea and c) delicious, it still makes me drool, Greek food.

Pink sands elafanisi beach

15. Chania Elafonisi Beach pink sand island

16. Elaphanisi Elafanisi beach17. elafonissi beach beautifl cretan greece crete

21. I love greece

Elafonisi – An hours drive from Chania – famous for it’s pink sand and now one of my favourite beaches in the world…
1. Spinalonga island from domes of elounda hotel view

Domes of Elounda resort private swimming pool

The view from our private balcony and private swimming pool at Domes of Elounda – one of the best hotels we have ever had the pleasure of staying at.

9. Spinalonga from Domes of Elounda Beach

Have any of you read Victoria Hislop’s ‘The Island’? It’s a fictional story set over 50 years ago in Crete and focuses on life in Elounda seen through the eyes of a family affected by life on the island of Spinalonga (the island in the far left in the picture above), a former leper colony (before a cure more recently was discovered). Imagine being ripped apart your family and loved ones for being sick and living isolated across in an island so close yet so far from your home. Anyway, reading the book prior to coming to Elounda, Plaka and Spinalonga made it so much more fascinating for me.13. Best Tzatziki in Crete Greece 3. Elounda mousakka dolmades crete greece 2. Elounda town crete

We stayed in Elounda for a few nights and loved the local Tavernas there. We had such a romantic dinner by the port and gorged ourselves with Dolmades (stuffed leaves), tzatziki and moussaka – oh so much moussaka (eggplant and spiced meat type lasagna but without the pasta)
7. Knossos 8. Knossos Crete RuinsAncient ruins of Knossos 

Summer Swimwear

So along with jeans, swimmwear is my least favourite thing to buy. You almost have to be the right frame of mind and confidence to even feel like trying on bikinis sometimes so this year I decided not to waste any money on new swimming togs (the wear to cost ration is low low low) and stuck to my trusty old Seafolly strapless bikini (to avoid tan lines!).

I find Seafolly bikinis exceptional quality and their designs are contemporary and span across all age groups and body shapes and I love that they last several Summers and keep all your bits in tow. Everybody has a different shape and I think you can always have fun with swimwear. If you need extra support in the chest region, my advice would be go for underwire options (see below) and the halterneck bikinis are always flattering no matter what size you are. If you are conscious of baring so much skin, there are some stunning one-piece darker hued options that would be perfect for you (I wouldn’t mind one for a more retro themed look myself) and if you’re slightly less endowed, the ruffles on the bandeaus always help give you an illusion of not looking like a 12 year old so I’ve been subtly told :)

TSM Recommends: Aldo Black Ankle Cham Boots

Hi Guys! Just a quick hellowww … Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty good, except for the fact that it was too short but that seems to be the trend these days… What is up with that?

I know not all of you read my tumblr and I’ve had a few more questions come through about the black boots that I’m wearing in this post here so I thought I’d provide a quick update to let you know I popped back into an Aldo store on the weekend and they are back in stock this season and in a variety of colours too!

Aldo Cham ankle boots with gold hardware

Unfortunately for my Aussie readers, Aldo in Europe doesn’t ship to Australia but I did a bit of research and found a similar pair available online that is in a very similar design at and may I add, it’s a little cheaper too! I can’t speak for the quality of this one but I do know the one from Aldo is made from leather and a really comfortable height.

If anyone uses Amazon.com I surprisingly found the boots on too.

T-Styled Me Tip …

For that extra bit of comfort, add insoles! They make the world of difference and I bought a pair from Primark and  which had a sticky backing and slipped right into the shoe. They certainly help with the comfort factor when I’m late and running for the bus!

shoe in-soles

Have a great week guys!

Tien xo

TSM Answered: Packing clothing essentials for College

Anonymous Asked

Hi T, I hope everything is well :) Your blog is such an inspiration for me! I was wondering if you had any tips for a college student who is packing for school. What are the essential clothing pieces? Something versatile would be the best!Thank you!!

T-Styled Me Answered

Hi! I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go away for ‘college’ like they do in the movies and on Greek. Having gone to university in my own hometown of Melbourne, I commuted every day and didn’t need to live on campus. I envy the experience you’re about to have (Will you be joining a sorority, play beer pong and go to band camp? JK) but I for one am glad the days of study groups, tutorials, group assignments and cramming for exams are over!

I’m not familiar with how much you’d need to pack and for how long but I’d suggest the ratio be: 80% for casual 10% evening wear and 10% accessories and shoes. Dress comfortably and stay true to your style. My recommendations below are for items that can be mixed and matched in different categories to help you create multiple outfits.

Bottoms

  • Jeans/trousers: You’ll want at least two pairs of jeans with you: One for casual everyday wear for classes that you can alternate with say a darker pair that can be dressed up in the evenings.
  • Shorts: Whether denim or leather, wear them to class in the warmer months on their own and over tights and sneakers in the fall.
  • Flippy skirt: Have a fun floral skirt that can be layered in the cooler months with tights and boots but one which you can dress up for a night out with the girls.

T-Styled Me what to wear to college bottoms

 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Tops 

  • Tees: I’d suggest plenty of comfy t-shirts to wear at College. Take a few neutral coloured ones and add some with patterns and graphics to the mix as well. Long and short sleeve for layering is ideal.
  • Shirts: A couple of shirts in a variety of patterns would be useful to mix. A chambray shirt would be perfect for a college with your jeans if you’re more a girly girl then a floral or patterned chiffon shirt would also go well with shorts.
  • Wool long sleeved knits: Pack a few sweaters and cardigans that you can layer on top of your shirts and tees to keep you warm. I myself am addicted to cardigans!

T-Styled Me what to wear to college tops

1. T by Alexander Wang Muscle T-shirt in black 2.  3.  4.  5.  6.  7. 

Outerwear

  • Parkas: A casual jacket or parkas with detachable hood is a great look to have on campus for any casual outfit. Parkas a removable warmer lining will prove to be versatile for the impending cooler conditions.
  • Leather Jacket: Whether it be faux or real, a leather jacket is a sure way of dressing up your outfit on or off campus. Choose one that would suit both!
  • Pea coat/Blazer: If the weather is set to be a lot cooler, I’d bring a wool coat that you can keep in your closet in the event of an unexpected cold weather.
T-Styled Me what to wear to college outerwear

1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Dresses

  • Summer dress with sleeves that you can wear when it’s still warm and then layer with tights and your leather jacket for Fall.
  • A tunic or long sleeved easy to throw on dress that you can quickly pop on when there’s no time for coordinating an outfit.
  • A cocktail dress or two for any on-campus functions and special dates you might have 😛
T-Styled Me what to wear to college dresses
1.  2.  3.  4.   5.  6.  7. 
Shoes and Accessories
  • Shoes: Pack shoes that are comfortable enough to carry you across campus e.g sneakers, loafers/ballet flats, some ankle/long flat boots and a pair of heels to wear out.
  • Accessories: Scarves, hats, jewellery that you can mix and match with different outfits are essential. This is where your personality can really shine through so have some fun!
  • Bags: If I did college over again, I’d invest in a smart leather backpack to help lug around all those notes and books. Pack a neutral colour bag that can be worn in class with ample space and a handbag / purse for a more polished look for a night out.
T-Styled Me what to wear to college accessories

1.  2.  3.   4. Tory Burch 5. s 6.  7.  8.  9. 

I hope you found some inspiration from my hand-picked suggestions and good luck for this semester of college!

Tien xo

TSM Tips: How to find the right hairdresser that suits you

I recently had a few questions come through on my about what styling products I use for my hair and this had me reminiscing about the first day I set foot in London and decided that it was time for the big C.H.O.P! I had had enough of long hair (and standing in front of the mirror, sucking in my cheeks and folding my hair in at strange angles in attempt to imagine myself with short hair, a fringe and a moustache) I was ready for a change!

I’ve never been one who religiously visits one and only one hairdresser. Not because I’m disloyal, but because I’ve never felt like I’ve met ‘the one.’ It’s almost like dating isn’t it? Some would just nod and pretend to listen (Just a trim sweetie? Blah blah blah Imma give you whatever haircut I feel like today) and others would make me feel like they understood what I wanted but in reality charged me an arm and a leg to flutter their scissors and exclaim how much they LOVE.IT before pushing me out the door poorer than when I walked in yet still with the same length hair.

Since I’ve come to London, I have stuck to the one single hairdresser for three years. I met my hairdresser at  on the Strand on Embankment and for the first time ever, I didn’t leave regretting wasting my money. I was in LOVE: Hook, line and sinker after the first session. My hairdresser was professional, technically trained, genuinely friendly and importantly delivered on what we discussed. The salons themselves were gorgeously decorated and it always felt like a treat to be in pampered in, especially in the Shu Umera lounge at the Rush salon on The Strand.

I know most of us want to feel like a million bucks when we leave a hairdresser’s and I’m no exception but after so many let downs in Oz, for me all I wanted was to leave feeling like I a) I actually got my hair cut b) my styled hair differently to how I walked in and c) I got my money’s worth. My experiences at Rush always tick these three boxes. I love the products they use and am always sneakily asking for advice on DIY tips and tricks for the in between haircut weeks.

If you’ve been roaming around London like me looking for ‘THE ONE’ I’d definitely recommend giving Rush a go. It’ll be the best pick me up you can give yourself.

A picture taken after ‘The Chop’ three years ago

short hair rush hairdressers

And another one from the last haircut I had a couple of months back from the same hairdresser I met all those years ago at Rush.

Celine Trio Bag Magenta Red regular small Shoreditch love shake

 

T-Styled Me tips on finding the right hairdresser and obtaining the experience you’re after is is always to:

  • Where possible, use recommendations from friends. Trust is a major issue when it comes to hair and you generally don’t want to risk it.
  • Opt for a hairdresser that is within your budget that you will realistically return to for follow up appointments whether it be a stylist or a senior stylist
  • Bring in pictures and clearly explain to your stylist exactly the look that you’re after and don’t be afraid to speak out half way through the haircut.
  • Find someone who suits your style and you get along with without having to try too hard.
  • Always ask for a different finish: blow-waved curly, straight, with loose waves – This part personally always makes me feel like a million bucks !
  • If you don’t like the service, get up and move on – no one wants to be stuck in a bad relationship right?!

Shopbop extra 25% off Sale items ends soon!

You know I love a bargain so I’m scoping out the last of the sales (most stores are in their final week of sales) and ShopBop have offered an extra 25% off their sale items with discount code SAVE25, woo hoo! Grab a cuppa tea, and let the scrolling begin ….

Did anyone else spot this on sale ?! swoon. There’s only a few left so don’t forget the SALE25 discount code!

Alexander Wang Diego Bucket Bag

If you picked up anything nice I’d love to hear about it and live vicariously through you! Happy online Shopping :)

Oh and how gorgeous is this  just out of the blue?

J Crew statement necklace

It’s amazing and I can’t wait to order it for one of my clients!

Oh and this gorgeous dress too!