Monday, 31 October 2011

Shabby Apple GIVEAWAY

Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that designs and sells gorgeous dresses and accessories for women. They have collections of beautiful, vintage-inspired pieces that are the epitome of feminine elegance. As I was going through their website to select pictures for this post, I came across so many dresses I covet. Their website is like a pretty lookbook with creative and professionally-taken photographs.

Bette D.

Block Party

They truly believe that "beautiful dresses shouldn't be complicated", hence their focus on one-pieces. That said, they do love accessorizing and have lots of jewellery, bags and shoes on sale. Besides those, they have also got a lovely range of swimwear with lots of feminine frills and pretty bows.


Now, here's a treat for you. Shabby Apple has kindly sponsored the dress below (worth $92!) for this giveaway which means one of you lucky U.S. readers will get to own this stunning dress! You cannot imagine how envious I am ;)

This piece is called "Moon River". Here's how Shabby Apple described the dress:

"Bring back nostalgia for the beautiful jazz age in Moon River, a sultry silver frock with stunning details.  Carefully constructed from stretch sateen, the Moon River boasts a high, wide boat neck, fitted bodice,and cap sleeves.  The slightly tapered skirt descends from a bouquet off our flouncy ruffles at the low waist, and falls to the knee. Belted,bedecked with a long strand of pearls or left as a stand-alone statement, Moon River has potential to inspire romantic flashbacks wherever you wear it"

How to enter:
1) Shabby Apple and I have made this extremely easy for you. All you have to do to enter is make sure you "Like" Shabby Apple's Facebook page. That's it!

2) That is the only compulsory step, but if you'd like an extra entry, you can also follow Shabby Apple on Twitter.

3) To enter, simply fill up the form below.

Deadline: 9th of November 2011.

A winner will be randomly selected and announced on the 10th of November 2011. Remember to check back!
This giveaway is only opened to my readers in the United States (sorry, sponsor's rule).

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Venezia (Part 1)

We really didn't have any plans for the first day since we arrived in the evening and so we just wandered around aimlessly, peering through window shops and enjoying the cool night air. It was fun getting lost in the little Venetian alleyways.

1) Venice in the evenings
2) Though quiet in most parts, the main streets still bustle with activity
Like I mentioned in my previous post, Venice is beautiful, but at night, it's gorgeous! It's so quiet and if you walk along the canals, you can hear the soothing sounds of water gently lapping against the sides. However, some of the bigger streets still have plenty of vendors around trying to sell their merchandise to the last dwelling tourist.

3) Pasta in an assortment of colours and shapes
Very soon, we were hungry for our first authentic Italian meal. I know some of you guys like looking at food pics, so I made it a point to photograph our main meals. Oh by the way, we had tiramisĂș nearly every night, but they don't seem to photograph very well, so I'll only post those that looked decent.

4) Parma ham
5) Gnocchi in bolognese sauce
6) Raviolli
7) Quiet alleyways

The next day, we woke up bright and early to explore some islands. Our first stop was Murano, a series of islands famous for glass-making. To get there, we had to catch a vaporetto (waterbus). In Venice, there are no cars and the main mode of transport are boats via the waterways. So the cars, taxis and buses here are all in the form of boats. One evening, while we sat at the docks to chill after a day of walking, we saw many men looking smart in office attire returning home on a motorboat. Pretty cool, eyh?

8) Murano
So in Murano, we saw plenty of glassware. Some so detailed, they were truly works of art. It was unfortunate that we didn't get to see any glassblowers at work as most of the place was shut. I noticed that the Venetians take their lunchtime very seriously. They completely shut for a good hour or even two and as there's usually only one person manning the shop, they can't take shifts.

9) Glassworks
10) Lampworks
11) Murano canal
12) Gelato on a hot summer's day
13) Tiny masks on sale everywhere
Then, we caught a vaparetto to the next cluster of islands, Burano. These little islands are famous for their colourful houses. Each house is actually painted a different colour! Imagine how pretty the place is with such bright, happy colours everywhere.

Before I show you all the happy clappy houses, let me show you these quirky drinking fountains found everywhere in Venice.

14) Drinking fountains
These taps were a lifesaver. The water was so cooling and it's great just to wipe some on my neck to cool down. It was absolutely boiling the week we were in Italy!

15) Colourful houses in Burano
16) Bridges that link the little islands together
17) The boyfriend and I
18) Duff Beer

How random is it that we saw Duff beer being sold in shops?

19) Bought this little souvenir in Murano
20) My Diana Mini accompanied me on this trip
21) Burano's leaning tower in the background
22) Sunset

As the sun was setting, we caught the last vaporetto back to the main Venice islands. We had a beautiful view of the sun setting, though it was hard to capture on camera. When we arrived, the sky was already dark and again, we just wandered around to take in the night view.

23) Bridge of Sighs (under repair works)
It's a very short bridge linking the Doge's Palace to the adjacent prisons. Apparently, it was so named because prisoners often sighed on this bridge as they had their last glimpses of both the sky and the sea.

24) Eerily quiet
Dinner was a very satisfying meal. The seafood was so sweet and fresh! Yummeh! I'm missing my frutti di mare already.

25) Pasta con il Nero di Seppia (Spaghetti in squid ink)
26) Spaghetti frutti di mare (seafood)

Most photos were taken by my boyfriend as I was busy with my Diana Mini, so credit goes to him

Friday, 28 October 2011

Rimmel: The Kate Collection

[Pic source: Rimmel London]

I'm no beauty guru, but I just wanted to share my tiny Rimmel by Kate Moss lipstick haul.

I think the packaging is pretty sleek. I like how Kate's signature really pops against the black matte packaging.

I got 3 shades because Boots was having a 3 for 2 deal. Otherwise, these lippies normally cost £5.49 each, which is very reasonable.

*Note: Shade 12 doesn't actually look as orange as it does in the photos. It's slightly redder*

I knew dark red lips don't look good on me, but I just felt adventurous and wanted to try Shade 01. It's a really pretty classic red, but alas, it just doesn't look good with my skintone. I like Shade 08 and Shade 12 a lot and have been using these alternatively.

The lipsticks glide on smoothly and have pretty decent staying power, but I find that it dries out my lips a bit. I just have to remember to put on some lip balm beforehand. What surprised me was that the lipsticks had a sweet scent. I really like the smell as I'm usually not very keen with the ones that have a strong..."lipsticky" smell.

I don't have a very big lipstick collection, but Shade 08 and Shade 12 are definitely my current favourites!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Hi, guys!

I'm back! So did you guys manage to guess where I went? Many of you guessed Italy and you were right! After Venice and Rome, the boyf and I went to Budapest (Hungary) and Berlin (Germany). We had such a good time and I definitely learned a lot.

First stop - Venice, Italy.

Venice is as I remember it, absolutely beautiful. It's still as touristy as ever, but on a particularly gloomy day and during the nights, the streets have a quiet calm that makes the entire place seem very serene. I think that's when Venice is the most beautiful.

Second stop - Rome, Italy.

While I didn't quite enjoy Rome the last time I was there, I think this trip has changed my perceptions quite a bit. I think I didn't quite like the place due to its high cost of living, the heat (in summer) and also the throngs of tourists everywhere which is silly because I was a tourist myself, contributing to the congestion. The boyf, being a history buff, mapped out everything he wanted to see, so I got to revisit a lot of the sites and more. There was so much to cover and walking around under the sweltering heat definitely tired me out.

Mini stop - Vatican City

The among of people there was crazy! Luckily, the boyf and I bought audio guides, so we strolled through the place at our own speed. So many different tour groups of all sorts of nationalities were being herded around like sheep, I wonder if they actually saw anything. I know I didn't get to fully appreciate the Sistine Chapel the last time I was there, so I made sure to spend a good amount of time there to appreciate Michael Angelo's masterpiece.

Third stop - Budapest, Hungary.

After the heat and tiring pace of Italy, Budapest was a very welcomed holiday. We managed to cover nearly all of the more interesting sites at a very leisurely pace. The city is absolutely gorgeous at night when a lot of the important sites are lit up. I learned quite a bit of history here.

Last stop - Berlin, Germany.

Berlin is a place full of history and "German precision". Nearly every corner has a story to tell. We visited a lot of memorials and I read so many interesting and sad life stories. The city is very urban, yet very safe and the people are very nice. It was the only city out of the 4 where a local stopped to ask us if we needed help when we looked lost.

It was a great trip and I'm very appreciative of the fact that I got to visit these places. At different times during the trip, I would stop and think just how lucky I am to be able to be there, to see the things I saw.  Traveling definitely opens up your mind.

I have thousands of photos to go through and even selecting the few above took me hours and hours. Since many of you seem to be interested in hearing about my trips, I'll certainly be blogging about them. However, I'll have to spread them out over the weeks as I don't want to lose sight of the main purpose of this blog.

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