My Summer Essentials

Living in the islands of perpetual summer and being fortunate enough to enjoy sunshine around 90% of the year, I have had plenty of time to get my summer wardrobe and summer essentials pretty much sorted. Summer seems to be flying by (June disappeared in the blink of an eye!) but we still have plenty of warm weather left and I wanted to share some of my summer staples with you. From top to toe I’ve got you covered. So, whether you’re going on holiday soon, or just enjoying some warm days in the park in the sunshine, these are a few of my summer favourites! 

 

Summer Essentials - Beach and Holiday Style Post

 

 

1 :: Kimono – 

A great kimono can really elevate that simple shorts and t-shirt outfit. It adds a splash of colour and an additional layer of interest. They’re chic and they keep the sun off your shoulders, win win. They are also great for keeping in your beach bag and throwing over your swimsuit as a cover-up. I favour a bright floral or a leafy palm print. These Amazon kimonos are fantastic for only $15 and come in 26 colours and patterns.

 

2 :: Sunglasses – 

I have to hold my hands up here, I have soooooo many sunglasses! Too many sunglasses, you could say… but I refuse to apologise for it. Against the bright sunshine I am basically blinded as soon as I set foot outside and always have to have a pair on hand. (In my car, in my beach bag, in my hand bag, on the side board, on my dressing table, on the coffee table, on my desk… they are liberally scattered around so that there is always a pair within arms reach!)

Along with my favourite Sojos pair, Amazon have thousands of pretty styles at really affordable prices, many of which are polarized (which is my preference) and still don’t break the bank. I have my eye on this pair to add to my collection, don’t tell the husband… 

 

3 :: Summer & Rose Microfiber Towel – 

Featured in my FabFitFun Summer box (and now available on Amazon.com), I was an instant fan of this lightweight and quick-drying beach towel. I hate carrying home soggy beach towels full of sand after a day by the ocean. This beauty is a great size, a vibrant print, easy to pack and you can just brush the sand right off! A beach day game changer! 

 

4 :: Beach bag – 

I have a number of really cute beach bags, and switch between them regularly, but sadly that still doesn’t stop me constantly looking for new ones! I am a complete sucker for a pom pom or a tassel – which is why I am totally obsessed with this one by Daisy Rose, isn’t it adorable? I love the neutral straw with the brightly colored embroidery and the tassels are to die for. I also love the striped inner pouch and the fact that it has a zip closure to keep all my beaching knick knacks secure. It is on my wishlist!! 

 

5 :: S’well water bottles – 

I have been a big advocate of reusable water bottles for the longest time. But, as the weather warms up, it’s even more important to ensure that you are appropriately hydrated and carrying around one of these full of icy water can help ensure that you won’t get sucked into buying single-use plastic bottles of water when you’re out and about and start to feel that thirst! Keeping your water cold for a whopping 12 + hours, throwing one of these in your beach bag makes life so much easier. S’well does lots of beautiful patterns and colours, but I love my tropical print bottle. 

 

6 :: Reusable straws – 

In my bid to cut down on the amount of plastic I use I have been attempting to ensure that I have reusable alternatives to the common plastic straws when I am out. There are so many available on the market but the two I have tried so far are these beautiful copper ones and this bamboo set. Yes, it’s a little bit more effort to walk with these, and you have to clean them! But plastic straws are so bad for the environment and just so unnecessary! Starbucks hit the news last week as they revealed that they will be phasing out plastic straws and eliminating more than 1 billion straws a year by completely eradicating them from their stores by 2020. I say ‘Bravo!’ to Starbucks and urge you to join in on this initiative! 

 

7 :: Kindle – 

There is no better accompaniment to your beach time or pool time than a really good book. In fact, I have a post on my recommended summer reads that you can check out right here! I have been a kindle convert for some time now (I literally can’t leave home without it) because I love the freedom of having so many books at my fingertips, if I finish one – no problem, I have another just waiting to get started. It’s so freeing taking all those great titles with me in my beach bag without any of the weight of carrying the books. Recently I have been thinking about starting with audible too – might be good for workouts or when you’re lying by the pool just gently snoozing. Have any of you tried it? Audible have an offer at the moment for two free audible books when you sign up for a free 30-day trial, which I might just need to take advantage of. 

 

8 :: Bamboo Ark Bag – 

A beautiful and affordable dupe for the Cult Gaia Bag – this has been my favourite purchase of the summer. Available for just $40 and coming in both small and large (mine is a small for reference) this bag is the perfect summer accessory. Sturdy and stylish it goes with every outfit and has been the object of many admiring glances and compliments (even from the boys!). The small is a great size and roomy enough for all my daily essentials (wallet, keys, lipstick, iPhone 7+ and kindle) I just have to stop myself buying the large one as well… 

 

Summers Essentials - Beach and Holiday Style Post

 

9 :: Hat – 

A great sunhat is an absolute must for the summer! Fantastic for keeping the sun off your face and protecting your most delicate skin. (Also a great photo prop in my honest opinion…) I like to keep one in my beach bag just in case. I love all the summer hats with the cute adorable embroidered sayings. I already own this perfect ‘do not disturb’ hat, but there are a couple more that I have my eye on!

 

10 and 11 :: Coola Mineral Sunscreen – 

I shouldn’t need to tell you that spf is so important for the summer months. Regardless of whether you are going to be sunbathing or not, at the very least you need to make sure that the delicate skin on your face and décolletage is protected, even as you go about your errands. I discovered the Coola products a year or so ago and I love their organic formulas. Even better news, the Coola Mineral Sunscreens are also reef safe! I had been researching sunscreens a lot recently with the increasing amount of information coming out about the risk of regular sunscreen to our delicate reef life. Oxybenzone (one of the main active ingredients in the majority of sunscreens) is a major contributor to coral bleaching. Hawaii has lead the way in banning sunscreens containing reef harming ingredients like Oxybenzone and hopefully it won’t be long before other places follow suit. Get ahead of the curve and start looking out for reef-safe sunscreen. I was thrilled to discover that I could still use my favourite brand if I was just a little more selective about which of their products I was using. Also available – this cute 4-piece Coola Mineral Travel Set

 

12 :: Sandals

 Obviously a great pair of sandals is a must for summer weather – a little smarter than flip flops but still super comfortable and practical for sand and cobbles and other holiday terrain. I like a pair with a bit of interest, so these studded beauties are just perfect. I think that they are somewhat reminiscent of the gorgeous Rockstud Valentino sandals, without being an obvious dupe. They have great reviews!

 

13:: Swimsuit – I feel like people are always really surprised to learn that the majority of my swimsuits come from Amazon. Like maybe they hadn’t considered Amazon as a place to shop for swimwear? I own a couple of these Cocoship suits and absolutely love them, they are fantastic quality for the low price and come in a lot of different colours and prints. The high-waist is super flattering and they are surprisingly supportive… giving you the perfect 50’s pin-up figure!  I feel like this pretty blue and red floral one needs to come home with me! 

 

14 :: Denim shorts – 

An absolute summer essential, I virtually live in mine. I love a white pair for a clean and fresh look. Pair with a vest top, a t-shirt, a cami, a tunic or just a bikini top. Super versatile, perfect for pool days, no self-respecting summer wardrobe should be without a pair.

 

15 :: Maxi dress – 

Is there anything more comfortable or flattering when the weather heats up than a loose and flowy maxi dress? Super forgiving, covering a multitude of sins, the maxi dress is a summer wardrobe essential. Amazon.com have some beautiful and affordable beach maxi dresses, which are so easy to wear but still make you look really put together. Perfect for evenings out after a day at the beach, or for summer brunches with friends. I love this tropical and leafy maxi, but it comes in 8 different colours and prints, if this one isn’t for you.

 

 

Amazon Prime Day starts today and there are hundreds of special deals exclusively for Prime subscribers. If you haven’t yet signed up for Amazon Prime you can start a 30-day free trial today.

 

Which would be your picks??

 

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Friday Favourites – Spartina 449 Edition

Good morning happy, sparkly Friday people!

Bit of a specialized Friday Favourites post for you today. I recently bought another couple of Spartina 449 pieces and have received so many compliments and questions on them that I thought I would showcase what else is on my wishlist.

I would like to preface the post by saying that this post is in no way sponsored and none of the links are affiliate links. I just like to share.

So with all that out of the way – here are some of the gorgeous pieces sitting in my cart at the moment! I really feel that their whole style is perfect for island girls, wannabe mermaids or any lady that likes to channel her inner beach babe, with so many nautical and tropical charms and motifs. Have a look and see what you think – 

This Boho Chic Toggle Bracelet comes in both beachy sea foam green and a pretty cream colour way with coral accent beads – $72


I love the pretty tassels on the multi-coloured boho bead wrap bracelet – $46.50 add charms to it like the little ladybird or the turtle on the sea foam green version



I love my ‘Greetings from Hawaii’ charm necklace with the sweetest pineapple and hibiscus charms – but I also have my eye on the O’ahu version with the little turtle, surfboard and anchor… Aloha! $40



How sweet are these adorable sand dollar and starfish earrings – $30 for the set of two. 


I love the pretty turquoise beading on these beaded horseshoe earrings – $26


This beautiful beaded tassel toggle necklace is the perfect way to add a chic touch to your casual bikini and cover-up outfit. A great length too at 36″ – $76 


My Ships Ahoy necklace is a great statement piece with the 34″ chain and the chunky anchor charm – $44.  

I have a couple of items that I’m lusting after which are currently out of stock and I’m keeping my fingers crossed and patiently waiting to see if they come back in… And don’t even get me started on the beautiful range of tunics, handbags and even stationary! They deserve a post of their own!

So there you have it – a few of my favourites – any of them tickling your fancy?

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I Bought A Designer Handbag On Tradesy

Buying designer handbags on the cheap is usually a fool’s game – I know because I’ve done it.

When I was 19 it was the too-good-to-be-true eBay purchases – Gucci handbags and Tiffany necklaces (if I remember rightly…) items that broke, fell apart or tarnished in a distinctly un-designer fashion.

When I was 21 it was the street stalls lining the roads in Italy (when I lived in Pisa ) – I had a beautiful Fendi Spy Bag (I actually kinda still stand by that purchase, I haggled long and hard for a decent one, she was the ‘it’ bag at the time and she’s still going strong – albeit a fake and in storage at my parents’ house), a few very suspect Gucci wallets and some dodgy Prada sunglasses.

Don’t judge me – I was young, they were everywhere and you’re no one on the mean streets of Tuscany if you’re not in Diesel jeans, high heels, large sunglasses and toting a ‘designer’ handbag.

But now as a proper (semi) adulting adult – I try to stick to the real deal. I have a couple of beautiful Kate Spade purses (those secret 75% off sales are usually very hard to refuse) and very recently I saw a handbag on Tradesy that I just couldn’t let go…

Let’s rewind quickly a couple of years…

It was 2013 when I first spotted the Mulberry Willow.

Mulberry, the iconic British brand – synonymous with quality leather and craftsmanship – had branched out from the classic Bayswater, their buckled Roxanne and the achingly cool Alexa. They had created the perfect envelope tote (in my humble opinion). Smooth lines and beautifully structured with her oversized detachable clutch (I mean really, she’s two handbags in one!) the chunky gold zippers and shiny hardware it was totally love at first sight. The Mulberry Willow had to be mine.

I immediately (and with only a hint of shame) tried to find a replica – on my admin assistant’s salary I could never afford the $2k+ price tag. But already, in my mid-twenties, I was disillusioned with the fakes. Instead, I pushed her to the back of my mind and tried to come to terms with the fact that she would never be mine.

Then a few days ago, with a birthday imminent (I’m starting the excuses already…) and a slightly better job, I decided to take a quick look on Tradesy and there she was…



Images via Tradesy

So many seasons older, and no longer available to purchase from Mulberry, she’s now a geriatric in fashion years (they’re like dog-years except they go by even faster) but I didn’t care. She’d never been used and she’s a classic, a statement piece and like all of the other icons she’ll only get better with age – I would say like Sophia Loren but, since she’s a British bag, we’ll go with Audrey Hepburn or Dame Helen Mirren.

Emerald green and made of the thickest, most sumptuous, supple and buttery leather you could ever dream of – it’s safe to say that I don’t regret my purchase for one second. And, because of that, I wanted to share a bit about my experience with Tradesy – a little review, 100% honest and unbiased with some points to consider – so here goes:

1. You are not going to be getting $2-$3k+ handbag for pennies. While providing a significant discount from retail price, these are still genuine items and command a hefty price tag, even second hand.

2. For the best deals consider older or less established styles – it’s hard to get a good discount on the current ‘it’ bags since no one is letting them go.

3. Following on from point #2 – carefully consider what sort of condition you are willing to live with as pay-off against price. For example: I wanted a bag in excellent condition so I went with an older style that isn’t as in demand. Possibly I could have afforded something more current in my budget if I could have overlooked an ink stain, some mild watermarks or a stud missing.

4. Do your research – Tradesy (along with many other sites of this ilk) claims to verify authenticity but in reality that is impossible to guarantee. It is imperative that you do your own independent research and there are multiple brand guidelines online. Pay close attention to key details and carefully cross reference them with the pictures of the item you are looking to purchase.

For example: After painstakingly checking many Mulberry authentication guides I took note of the following key points

  • The Mulberry tree or RiRi stamp on the underneath of the zip pulls.
  • The delicately-stamped logo on the metal disc/name plate and the negative space between the leaves on the tree.
  • The laser etched font of the serial number.
  • The quality flat head screws on the main plate.

These details vary by brand, by model and by vintage – so please, please do your homework.

5. If you’re at all uncertain, and even if you just want a second opinion, consider using Purse Forum’s ‘Authenticate This’ threads in order to utilise the experience of someone that really knows what they’re looking for and have them cast an expert eye over your purse. Yes – an eagle-eyed bidder might be alerted to your lusted after potential purchase and swoop in, but it’s possibly a small price to pay for the peace of mind and security spending your hard-earned savings.

6. You have 4 days to lodge the returns process and even then it’s only for Tradesy credits. That’s not very long to make up your mind.

7. Tradesy offers an authenticity promise. If you do not believe that your item is genuine you can send it back at no cost for expert authentication and a full refund if your item is found to be counterfeit. (US orders only)

Overall my experience has been very positive and I may already have a couple of items on my wishlist that I’ll be researching and possibly saving for…

Have any of you had experiences either positive or negative with nearly-new designer purchases? Let me know your thoughts. Do you have any advice?

This is not a sponsored post – it is an honest account of my experience using a re-sale website. 

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Pretty Perfect Palm Prints

I have been going rabid for pretty obsessed with the stunning palm prints that are popping up everywhere this summer. I’m particularly loving the fresh shades of green and the beautifully bold prints, not to mention the fact that they are pretty bloody perfect for my tropical surroundings.

Here are a couple of items that I may have already splashed out on (Oops…) along with a few others still on my wishlist:

1. Stella and Dot City Slim Clutch in Natural Green Botanical – $49

City Slim Cluth - Natural Green BotanicalMy Stella and Dot addiction collection continues to grow. This little beauty is the perfect size clutch (not so big that it becomes cumbersome, not so small you can’t fit all your essentials into it) and the little credit card slots are a nice feature.

2. ASOS Fuller Bust Longline Bikini in Miami Palm Print – $25

Miami Palm Longline Bikini

The perfect bikini top – my favourite longline style in my current favourite print! This cheeky little number was sold out in my size for the. longest. time. So naturally I kept stalking it and, when some fool finally returned one, I nabbed it straight away. Loving the shades of navy blue incorporated in this particular print. Means that I can wear it with my plain navy or white bikini bottoms rather than purchasing the matching printed pair.

3. Old Navy Flat-Front Stretch-Twill Shorts in Green Palm Leaf – $15

Women's Flat-Front Stretch-Twill Shorts (3 1/2") - GREEN PALM LEAF

A budget-friendly pop of palm print in the form of these luscious-looking shorts from Old Navy. What can I say? I just had to have them…

4. Topshop Palm Leaf Print Strappy Jumpsuit – $80

Topshop jumpsuit

Sadly unavailable in my size – but that’s not helping me lust after this Topshop jumpsuit any less.

5. ASOS Spanish Palm Print Cross Wrap Front Halter Swimsuit – $58

ASOS Palm Swimsuit

I wouldn’t be able to wear this ASOS swimsuit without risk of incurring a serious ‘wardrobe malfunction’ but it is still very beautiful.

*Briefly ponders the feasibility of wearing it and remaining completely, totally and utterly motionless on a sun lounger*…

6. Dot and Bo San Cristobal Coaster Set – $23

Coaster Set

These little gems are just crying out to go out on the dining table on my deck and stand ready-and-waiting for a cool, crisp glass of white wine on a sunny afternoon… shame it’s still dry July!

7. Pottery Barn Palm Print Lumbar Pillow Cover – $29.50 (insert sold separately)

Pottery barn Palm Print Pillow Cover

Apparently ‘the tropical nature of jungle palms is balanced by a repeating pattern, which emphasizes the symmetrical fronds and brings a calming effect.’ I concur.

8. Missguided Waisted Shirt Dress in Ivory/Green Palm Print – $60

Palm Print Shirt Dress

This crisp, fresh-looking and work-appropriate palm-print shirt dress from Missguided, would look perfect teamed with a pair of strappy tan wedges.

*Frantically calculates how many days until next pay day*

So those are my current favourites – but there are plenty more options out there. Which particular palm-printed items have you been lusting after this season? (I would suggest safely purchasing them before I get my grubby mitts on them…)

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