On body image, smaller breasts and beautiful lingerie

Don’t get me wrong: I have always seen myself as having a good body image: I don’t usually care much about what people think, always dressed and looked after my body in a way it makes me (and no one else) happy, and am quite comfortable wearing nothing or very little; always been a lights on in the bedroom girl.

So why is that when time came to photograph in lingerie I was nervous and dreading the publishing of this post?

Dita Von Teese Madam X lingerie - FigleavesPhoto fears overcome, let’s get to the reason why I wanted to photograph in beautiful lingerie – and they don’t come in much more beautiful than the Madame X set from Dita Von Teese in Paradise Pink, available at Figleaves.

My small breasts were, as I was growing up (and they weren’t, as it turns out), a little bit of a joke. Fried eggs, a big spot, ‘took it after my dad” were common jokes to deflect the fact I always thought they were not proportional to my wider hips.

Plastic surgery was a desire for many years, for all of the above and also that, being from Brazil, the quest for the perfect body is never ending and surgery is widespread.

I wanted a fuller cleavage, wanted to stop using the ridiculously squashy push up and cushion-like padded bras I wore most my life.

Then something happened. They were no longer an issue. They felt like mine, they felt sexy and suddenly looked like they were the perfect fit for my body. They belonged. Finally.

The change was in my head, and the life long journey that is accepting yourself in various aspects. I went topless on the beach. I started going braless. I wore daring necklines. I stopped caring.

“Oh, you are too flat to wear such a plunging neckline”. Oh well, I like it and feels comfortable, so you can suck it up. Also, I actually think it looks good.

“Don’t you think such small breasts are not feminine” enough? Well, they are still breasts and they haven’t received any formal complaints to this day (please don’t form an orderly queue), so you can suck it up, again.

Dita Von Teese Madam X lingerie - Figleaves

Sexy lingerie was always something I wore for myself. There are no limits to my preferences – from the practical to the pretty all the way to the kinky, I am in.

However, I always compromised the beauty of my lingerie for the push up factor. But no more. I will now wear shapes that will flatter my size and make me feel good, without creating that extra boob of foam I cannot even feel.

I always perceived Figleaves as a retailer that caters for the fuller bust, so never thought of looking for my underwear there.

Until I went to one of their events, got a proper fitting and realised their gorgeous styles – for all tastes and pockets – are available from an A cup, and that includes sports bras!

Plus, among many great brands, they stock the stunning Dita Von Teese range, with which I frankly fell in love at first sight, then again when looking closer.

Figleaves handpick their stock from over 200 brands, from everyday to luxury, and their bras go from A to K cups. They also have their own brand, which has great styles with great fit and is extremely good value for money!

They are passionate about lingerie and how women feel when wearing them, from the practical to the fashionable, something I am very much on board with.

The Dita Von Teese lingerie is extremely sexy and classy, very comfortable to wear and there is a great selection of sets currently available on the Figleaves site.

The gorgeous Paradise Pink Madame X bra costs £48, the g-string £27 and the suspender £40. It also comes in black, creme caramel, aquamarine and electric blue, but the pink is limited edition, I am told.

Also, if you are quick, just today (14 May 2018), Figleaves has an amazing 25% off promotion*. Just use the code HOLIDAY25.

Be quick and DO IT NOW.

*Some exclusions do apply

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

If dreams had a scent…

It’s soooo good in bed… Launched just under a year ago, Feather & Down is a gorgeous range of bath, body and home fragrance products to help you unwind and have a great night’s sleep.

We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping but today’s busy lifestyles means 35% of people feel their physical and mental wellbeing is affected by not getting enough sleep, and 30-45% of adults suffer from insomnia*.

My anxiety sometimes gets the best of me and that means that, even being a good sleeper in general, sometimes I appreciate the extra help unwinding.

The Pillow Spray is a joy. The fragrance is an amazing infusion of lavender and chamomile essential oils, which are known to help with anxious minds.

It encourages calm, which is essential for a restful night’s sleep. I’ve been using it almost nightly, a couple sprays on my pillow and have to say, on top of feeling very relaxing, it give my bed a comfy, sweet and fresh feel, as if my linen had just been changed. The scent is not lavender heavy.

Now, the Soothing Body Oil. Honestly, I am a huge fan of all sorts of oils in beauty, including body oil.

Full of essential oils, with the same fabulous scent of the Pillow Spray, it sinks beautifully into the skin. Apart from the calming and relaxing fragrance, spraying and smoothing it on skin will soothe it and seal the moisture after showering.

And talking about showering, the Melting Shower Cream shares the scent and mind calming properties of the range. The cream turns into a oil delivering softness and nutrition.

What a trio to reach to after a long week at work – and a great way celebrate World Sleep Day in style.

Bring on the lie-ins!

You can get the Feather & Down Pillow Spray (£7), Soothing Body Oil (£8) and Melting Shower Cream (£6) on the Feather & Down website.

They also have balms, butters and lovely little kits, as well as home fragrances and products are made in England.

written by Dani

*Info from the World Sleep Day website

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Surviving January (and let’s face it, February)

The party well and truly is over. When the summer comes to an end (and trust me, we stretch the feeling to the bitter end), we all start looking forward to the season to be jolly.

The celebrations usually start in early December, but with the shops putting the decorations up in mid-November, it is easy to get carried away by the festive spirit, especially when you love Christmas, like me. And it’s all fun and games.

We eat, we drink, we are merry. Too merry. Then January hits. Even worse, mid-January, when you had time to take a long, hard look at yourself… No bank holidays for a long stretch, dark, dark and cold days, we are poor from all the crimbo expenditure and our bodies are feeling the worse for wear after all the eating and drinking. It is truly dreadful.

So how do I plan to survive? By looking after my mind and body, that is.

The body works

I’ll reach out for the fake tan. I’ve been loving the Fake Bake Five Minute Mouse tan as I feel mega lazy. It’s quick, transfer free, little smell and develops into a gorgeous tan that lasts up to a week (I top up every 4-5 days).

Before bed, I lather myself with the Nivea Rich Nourishing 48h intensive moisturising care, which is perfect to treat your skin, battered by the cold and heating, overnight. It’s a classic that has been reformulated recently and it’s super creamy, delivering up to 48-hour hydration, thanks to the Nivea Deep Moisture Serum and almond oil.

And smells Nivea-comforting. It is very rich, but absorbs well. Next day, I can feel it “coming out as a shower”. This is serious moisturising.

I am a huge fan of pillow sprays and as much as they are for the body, they are for the mind. I am using the Feather & Down pillow spray, together with their shower cream and body oil before going to bed.

I absolutely love the fragrance and if you are not too keen on lavender, this one is definitely for you – so calming, relaxing and absolutely delightful.

Going back to fitness has been on my list for over six months, after being plagued with injuries. I am at a point I can ease myself into my usual routine, a step at a time.

I have just had a proper week of working out – four times, and closer to my old routine, including aerial pilates, ballet barre, an inversion class and circus conditioning. My injury seems to be ok with it and as long as I take it really slowly, it feels promising.

My diet will receive the attention it deserves. No, I am not going radical, but will stick for a while to the ketogenic diet my MSK specialist doctor recommended, to diminish inflammation, as well as taking good supplements like probiotics and immune system support, which worked a treat for me this year.

That also includes cutting down alcohol (dramatically? we’ll see about that), in quantity but mainly type as some are more irritable to my body than others.

I will also stick to my Zenii Radiance and Skin Health supplements as they do work a treat to fight dullness.

Minding the gap

My mental health will be a huge focus this year, so I’m starting strong in January to set myself up for the year. I will practice mindfulness, work to prevent thoughts from becoming compulsive and my actions turning obsessive and spiralling out of control.

Planning my budget and organising my life in general has always been a struggle, so I am aiming to put a realistic plan together. That should enable me from planning for the travels and hobbies I want to squeeze in 2018.

Attention will be focused on what matters; people who matter. Friends who are supportive, reliable and positive. Of course, no one is like that all the time, but it’s the give and take balance that is really important here. I will not be a sole giver. Unreliable friends make me anxious and why would I want to be around people show are not supportive? Exactly.

Creating rituals is important for me. I must go back to “face mask Wednesdays”, “mani Thursdays”, or “deep stretch Mondays”. You get the drift – something that is great for body and mind. Two birds and all that.

And the blog, which has saved me through so much, will continue to be my haven and I will (and already have been) paying more attention to it,

How are you planning to survive during these dark months?

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

 

 

2017: good riddance

You know when you are in the Crimbo limbo and start thinking about your life… well. Have a sit. But not beofre making yourself a cup of tea…

When 2017 started, I seemed to have it all: I was comfortable with myself, I was going to move to my very own flat and I had met someone who seemed perfect, late in 2016, and we seemed to be good together. Great right?

Plan and simply happy, I was soooo looking forward to it and waltzed into it full of hope. It turns out the world went a bit messed up, and hell, so did my life.

While the move into the new flat in February was smooth – and quite frankly, amazing (but we will get to the good once a I have a good old moan) – from there on things started to crumble.

And one of the most difficult things for me to overcome has installed itself in: my anxiety started creeping in as soon as the flat buying rush started to calm down.

“Perfect” man decided, well, that in retrospect, he wasn’t so perfect, and after almost four months, couldn’t “do us”, announced two days before Valentine’s, over the phone. I was left with a card and a gift which would never met their recipient, but worst of all, with a heart so broken, in so many tiny pieces, I still think it will never be mended. I was surprised that A) I was actually in love and B) he wasn’t. What?! And I cried.

Anxiety reached peak. I was on edge, my OCD kicked off into unmanageable levels. I cried some more. I had awful physical symptoms and my blood pressure went up.

I struggled to leave the house except when I absolutely needed to (basically work and pushed myself to go to blog events. I STOPPED DRINKING (what, you say? Who even are you?).

But I thought the summer would sort me out. Well, it didn’t. So I cried a bunch more – alright, a lot more –  and started the long road of (yet again) rebuilding my shattered self through therapy and the excruciating hard work on myself.

As in a Mariah Carey song, “you’re all smiles but in your eyes, your sorrow shows, yes, it shows”. That was me.

Then I got injured. Oh, yeah, twice. And recovery has been long. To be away from the one of the couple things that keeps me sane was a huge blow to my balance and self esteem. That pulled me inside that hole even further, together with the fact I could barely recognise my inflating, weaker and inflexible body.

Boys were generally rubbish. Although I did have all he fun, the ones I liked a bit weren’t that upfront with me, some came out of the woodwork after months of disappearing looking for an easy shag, some even reappeared not knowing I knew they were back with their exes. Yes, I knew [insert eyeroll here]. Yes, I liked him an awful lot. No, I didn’t see him again. No, I won’t ever see him again.

I became extremely sceptical and detached on the romantic front.

My ex of 7 years got married within 1.5 years of meeting this (also Brazilian) girl on Tinder I believe a mere 2 weeks after we moved apart, four days before my bday. Oh yeah.

For the record, I hadn’t already been in love with him for quite a while when we broke up and we did so in great terms. I knew he was engaged (he proposed on NYE) and going to get married this year, but I ended up finding out on Instagram on the day it was happening. NOT COOL, mate. Not cool.

Some parts of my small network of friends proved to be more flawed than I anticipated. I seemed to insist on non-supportive, unreliable, “I’ll be all over you when I need you but am rarely there when you need me” only to, surprise, feel let down and lonely.

One of my besties decided to move to Australia. Another great friend decided not to come back from Australia (Australia, I am starting to have a problem with you).

My grandfather passed away in Brazil, it devastated me, it is still hard to think (or write more) about it, as he was a huge part of my life. Then my aunt had some scary health problems.

The blog suffered. As the anxiety exhaustion kicked in, I felt little motivation to write. Traffic dropped and even when I came out of the worse patches of anxiety, the motivation was low. I started posting less and have struggled to get back into it.

What a stupid year, 2017. Talk about disappointment, I had high hopes for you.

So, I feel I HAVE to focus on the good things (I mean, did you read the above? Jeez). And it’s amazing how many there are when you actually think about it:

  • I bought a freaking flat. On my own. In London. And I made it up exactly how I wanted. I am f*cking proud of that.
  • I reigned back my anxiety. It was a long and painful process, harder than the first time it hit me this bad. Many times I just couldn’t see how I’d get out of that. It is still a day at a time battle, but when you started to have way more good days than bad, you know you’re in the path to controlling your mental health.
  • My anxiety had very little impact in my performance at work. And I am very proud of myself for that.
  • I found a twinsie friend.
  • I found support where I least expected.
  • Despite being sh*t at blogging this year, I actually got some amazing opportunities and am so grateful for that.
  • My family back home seems to be closer than ever, which makes me so happy all the way here.
  • Another bestie is expecting a much desired baby. I might even love a child for a change.
  • I rediscovered my love for glitter. Ok, I know, but I had to add this here.

So how I am taking 2018? At my pace; I have no shame to say it will be all about me (I mean, to be honest, it’s always all about me. I hate resolutions list but I will:

  • Put myself and my health in the first place. Mental and physical.  I will take time for myself, I will be mindful of it, I will go back to fitness and look after my body. Circus activities which I love so much will be back and I’m sorting out my diet.
  • Give toxic and unrealiable people no time. At all.
  • Give f*ckboys no time. I’m genuinely bored of ya.
  • Work harder on the blog. Actually pour in the love I have for it.
  • Dance more. Just go out and dance.
  • Not be too hard on myself. I really struggle seeing how good I can be, what I can achieve and always think I am not good enough.
  • Holiday more. I have only been to one holiday in 2017 and that, my friend, is nowhere near good enough.
  • Volunteer. I used to a while back and must return to it. I always felt I got so much more than I was giving!
  • Get a new hobby. I haven’t yet decided what I want to do, burlesque is currently at the top of the list, inspired by one of my besties.
  • Have a long hard think about my career and where I am going, where I want to be and if the path is right.
  • Concentrate on people who matter. Show them I love them, make an effort.
  • Be a little bit more sensible with money.
  • Nurture (and ideally grow) my network of friends.

Phew. Thanks for hanging in there. Please send some cheer and tell me you had a better year. How did 2017 treat you?

written by Dani

Pretty (and) delicious

Confession never heard before: I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth. Too much sugar does make me sick quite quickly and I don’t tend to crave sweets very often. Not even chocolate. There, I said it.

However, how could one even consider resisting these amazingly pretty cupcakes from boutique cake studio The Pink Kitchen?

Especially when they come hand delivered by baking extraordinaire Aline Wickens, the mega talented cake designer behind the bakery? No way!

They came in time for my birthday celebration and I must say they were a hit with the guests and a feast for the eyes.

The new collection has some cupcakes with pipettes filled with a special sauces that gives them that extra oomph.

After much doubt (as they all sound amazing), I picked the chocolate and Bailey’s, raspberry and mascarpone and lemon and blueberry flavours for my birthday.

To start with, the cupcake dough is fluffy, ever so light, moist and not overly sweet, which I love.

The icing is smooth (and quite dreamy like a sugary cloud), flavoured to perfection.

All the elements (be it with a pipette or not) are beautifully balanced to create a cupcake that is enjoyable from beginning to end – in all the flavours I tried!

And I even got a bonus: amazing Brazilian truffles – brigadeiros – and coconut beijinhos <3, so fresh, with perfect texture and flavour.

More than a small bite

But if those babies are impressive, wait until you see their real business: the cakes. The Pink Kitchen specialises in impeccably elegant cakes for all occasions.

Aline’s sugar skills are amazing, as are her creations, which frankly look like works of art; all custom designed, freshly baked and beautifully decorated.

On top of it all, The Pink Kitchen also specialises in dairy free, eggless and vegan cakes, and cater for many dietary restrictions.

There are cakes, cupcakes, pop cakes and mini cupcakes. The Pink Kitchen also creates personalised cupcakes for businesses, as well as catering for events and photo shoots on top of the usual birthdays, weddings and other celebratory occasions.

I am also told she creates gorgeous dessert tables! All delicious, of course!

Cake wonders aside, Aline is very sweet (see what I did here?), very talented, creative, hard working and strives to meet your taste, brief and budget!

You can check out everything The Pink Kitchen has to on their website and you can contact the super friendly Aline to talk about you requirements.

Yum!

written by Dani

 

So I did *some* cooking…

By the headline you’d think I cannot cook to save my life. That is not entirely true. I might not be the most enthusiastic cook but when I am feeling it I can really deliver. Fact.

I had never tried Flora Freedom before, and when I received my hamper and found out about the new flavours – avocado & lime, coconut & almond and walnut –  and the recipes created by Benjamina Ebuehi using the spreads, I was ready to give a go.

Flora Freedom is a dairy free range of spreads, also free from artificial preservatives, colours and flavours and certified by the Vegan Society. The spreads can be used for cooking, baking and of course, spreading. They have 45-60% less fat than butter and 100% of the oils used come from plants.

Obviously, I was immediately drawn to the Avocado oil and Lime flavour and it quickly became my go to bread spread for my usual breakfast of avocados and boiled egg.

Also great for cooking omelettes or adding garlic, chopped herbs or black pepper for a special spread. I like with coriander.

I also used it to make one of the recipes, the avocado and lime buckwheat pancakes, which I really liked as they have two options – one vegetarian and one for the meat eaters.

I went for the veggie one and if you want, you can try them using the recipe below – it’s pretty easy!

Avocado & Lime Buckwheat Pancakes

  • Servings: 4 (2 pancakes each)
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

300ml semi skimmed milk, 55g wholemeal flour, 55g buckwheat flour, 1 egg, 25 g Flora Freedom Avocado & Lime, melted

Filling

Cooked beetroot (diced), 50g goats cheese (sliced), 1 avocado (sliced).

Or

2 avocados (sliced), 4 rashers bacon, 175g cherry tomatoes (halved), handful coriander (chopped).

Preparation

  1. For the batter: place flours in a mixing bowl, add egg and gradually whisk in milk, beating well. Stir in a teaspoon of the melted Flora.
  2. Heat a little of the remaining Flora in a frying pan and pour in a little batter, tip pan to spread. Cook until underside is golden brown and then cook other side.  Repeat until all batter is used.
  3. Divide your chosen filling between the pancakes and fold or roll.

I was, actually, very surprised at the coconut & almond one, it’s delicious on toast! It is the perfect spread for sweeter breads, and Benjamina suggests it on shortbread, in the topping of fruit crumble or – my favourite option – melted to make homemade granola.

The walnut flavour is nutty and great for shortcrust pastry, cheese biscuits and cake icing!

I have to say that overall, I was quite impressed with the flavours in the range, even alone as spreads. I don’t have any dietary requirements, but feel they are not a “tasteless” options to satisfy a special diet, but tasty for every day use.

You might find the coconut one very pale, but it is some proof that no artificial colours have been used!

Each 225g Flora Freeedom Dairy Free tub retails for £1.50 (RRP). There are tons of free recipes on flora.com

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

And… breathe

Anxiety is something I have carried with me for a long time. Although rather manageable most of the time, there are periods that it still gets the best of me, no matter how many defense mechanisms I have against it.

The first time I came across aromatherapy breathing roll ons was after the this works energy bank launch event. I loved the range, but was really intrigued by that little roll on.

Fast forward a bit a few have come into my life. I feel the different scents do evoke feelings of calmness, energy, relaxation but for me, the most important thing is the time you take to breathe.

Sounds weird but most of us do not find time in our days to breathe mindfully. We our always on the go, with our heads on the schedule ahead, with a million thoughts overlapping. And if you are an anxious person, multiply that by 100, on a good day.

For me, the simple reminder of that little fragrant tube begs me to stop (hammer time! Not really), take some time out, breathe deeply a few times and think of nothing. And resume.

At the moment I have a few on the go, with a heavy bias towards the this works breathe ins, which have a natural blend of super oils. I apply them on my wrist, rub against the other and breathe away.

The energy bank fragrance is brilliantly awakening, with soothing orange oil, mood-boosting rosemary and energising geranium.

It is really an awakening fragrance, a fab post-lunch pick-me-up and costs £18 for 8ml.

The deep sleep stress less breathe in shown was reformulated and renamed as stress check and is now part of the fantastic stress check range.

It is calming, refreshing and really opens the airways for even deeper breaths, formulated with eucalyptus, frankincense and lavender oil . The packaging is now white for all this works breathe in roll ons, and they are very affordable at £16 each.

Bamford’s Padmasanainspired by the yoga pose of the same name, is a 100% organic blend of rosemary, ginger and basil oils, for concentration as it helps to restore mental strength and clear the mind.

It is quite fragrant, quite smoky to start with and then quite herbal.

Finally, a little spray from Evolve Organic Beauty, the Tranquility Essence with lavender, bergamot and cedarwood.

Although it contains alcohol in its formula, I really love this spray. It is not overpowering, quite citrus and you can really get the lavender at the end.

This is little helping hand is very useful if, like me, you struggle to naturally take a little time to breathe.

What’s your go to method to get your daily dose of mindfulness?

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Get your Shine (Shack) on!

 

My love of glitter is never ending. From the tiny pots mum started to buy when I was around 8 that doubled up as school crafts and hair adornment for ballet presentations, to the same little pots purchased years later to comply with the 90s “glitter round the eye” trend, my love for it never grew smaller.

If anything, it just grew, may I say, exponentially, in the last years. And I have no shame. Glitter Milanese is the goal (#GlitterMilanese/#MilanesaDeGlitter, you saw here first hahahaha).

So you guys have no idea what meant to me to be invited by the amazing girls at Shine Shack to have a glitter makeover for Lovebox at their beyond fabulous pop up at Missguided Westfield Stratford.

I mean, who am I kidding? I’ll never get over the fact my girl crush and glitter goddess Posie Dwyer actually touched my face and glittered me up <3. I’d been Insta-stalking them for aaaages!

So off I went on my “disco ball day”, with my lovely Carol in tow to get to shine even brighter and spread their sparkle even further on the second day of Lovebox.

I got a proper silver holo that was all sorts of fabulous and Carol an amazing pastel-y gradient. The gem design is customised, as well as the glitter combos and obviously Posie and the Angels listen to what you want and deliver extra.

Basically, it is a happy event altogether: they are happy, it’s a great vibe, there is clearly a huge passion behind the brand and work that is done and you can definitely feel that. Plus, glitter IS life so…

Here’s a ridiculously excited story I posted on Insta still at Missguided after being Shine Shacked:

You can have from a simple bio glitter huge sprinkle on the parting of your hair (£3) to lovely braiding (£15, various styles, add rings for an extra £5), as well as glitter on one side of the face, gems, or the full works: glitter on both side of the face, chest plus gems on both (from £7 to £30). Take a look at their divine shimmery menu below.

I mean, I did some glitter on my face on Friday but this was EXTRA. Another level, I cannot recommend enough.

Shine Shack is at Missguided Westfield Stratford (on the right as you come in) on Fridays and Saturdays 10-5pm and Sundays 12-6pm all summer . You can pay at the till for your makeover.

Apart from having it applied professionally and lovingly by the Angles, you can also buy their sparkly range of glitter (from £5.50 – £16.50), accessories (from 2.50) and the brand new mix and match gems (£8) if you fancy DIYing on the Shine Shack website and at Missguided.

Plus, you can catch them at festivals this summer and they are available for private booking – parties and functions: just get in touch and they will have a package to suit you

On top of it all, crushes and love of glitter aside (which might make me biased as I barely managed to remove it all from my face and body as I wrote this), it is amazing to see young, talented women working hard doing what they love,  succeeding and spreading happiness in the process. It is inspiring and empowering and I am a fan, unashamedly.

You might as well just go and follow them on Instagram @shineshack: it will add that extra glam sparkle to your feed!

written by Dani

Yes, I was invited and was lucky to be offered the glitter makover for myself and Carol. But I love the guys and would recommend 10 times over. 

 

Festive, me?

2017. I am doing festivals. What?! I hear you shriek in disbelief. Really?

That’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I dipped my toes for a day once, a couple of years ago, but never really got into it.

The fact that on festivals you can get away with copious amounts of glitter on your body is too big an attractive for me to pass.

But fear not, it’s still me and you won’t catch me camping anytime soon.

To open the season, I am going to ease myself with GALA, in Brockwell Park on the 28th May, bank holiday weekend, and welcome summer with Carol in a disco fashion with a very local vibe.

Of course, preparations have started – you know me, nothing happens without due preparation.

I’ve decided silver holo is the way forward for this one, because…disco ball. Stars, chunky and fine glitter are waiting to be devised into some shimmery face adornments.

As for outfit, I am keeping my options open. It’s London after all and the weather will dictate what I wear (plus I won’t tell you in advance, silly!) but expect some fun and comfortable, married with comfy footwear. I might crimp my hair. Just putting it out there.

In my bag, Dove deodorant, Gucci Guilty roll on perfume, the Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF mist, lollipops, lipstick, glitter, a fan and a power pack for the phone.

Juuuust in case it turns into an after party (or just for that post frantic dancing much needed touch up), I will have some powder, concealer, eyeliner and that e.l.f. Baked highlighter/blusher duo at hand.

Now, enough about me. Let’s dissect this. GALA will host the holy trinity of disco: Studio 54’s Nicky Siano, Paradise Garage DJs and Horse Meat Disco.

And that is not all, expect to also boogie to the sound of Late Night Tuff Guy (a Bowie tribute), Moxie, Honey Soundsystem, Afriquoi, Stevie Wonderland, Crazy P Soundsystem Live, Love Glove, Mood II Swing, Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda, Bas Ibellini, Krywald & Farrer and NixWax.

Gala 2016

What if all that dancing get you hungry? Fear not, there will be a feast of South London independent food on offer: The Joint (delish BBQ, bread from prison guys), Kriket (Indian small dishes), Bill or Beak (pulled duck? Drool. You know what I’m having).

They are joined by The Chicken Shop (succulent rotisserie chicken), Kerbisher and Malt (traditional fish and chips), Fatties Bakery (deserts. Amazing ones. Salted caramel dreams. I am not going to disagree), Made of Dough (pizza, pizza!), Killa Dilla (sexy quesadillas) and Oh My Dog (also sexy hot dogs) to make sure you’re suitably fed. Yum.

And to ensure you’re properly watered, the Soulshakers (they are bar and cocktails experts. Here’s my number), Brixton Brewery (local, independent, full of craft beer), Brick Brewery (a Peckham microbrewery) and Canopy Beer (a Herne Hill microbrewery) will be at hand for refreshments galore.

This is a bit of what went down last year!

Now, how much you ask? Tickets started at £20 but at the moment, they are on third release through good old Resident Advisor (how I love thee) for £35 plus £3.50 booking fee, which is excellent value for money.

You can also get a group ticket for £140 for 5 people or early entry (before 13:30) for £25, and the 10% booking fee also applies.

It starts at 12 and goes to 22:30, last admission at 17:00, with an after party at Jamm (£10 + £1.30 booking fee).

And you might bump into me (YAY). I’ll be the shiny disco ball-like girl bouncing around.

To get all the information go to thisisgala.co.uk.

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

We are better together: Carol Aquino for So Many Lovely Things

Wow. That’s how I am opening. I never thought I’d get someone other than my selfish and picky self to write on So Many Lovely Things.

The day, however, has come. Welcome Carol Aquino *all clap*.

Our paths crossed randomly a few years ago but just recently we realised we may have more in common than previously accounted for. Add to that the fact Carol, originally from Rio but a good old London soul like myself, has enviable credentials and boom.

In all honesty, I am over the moon (surprised and a bit incredulous, tbh) she agreed to become a collaborator on So Many Lovely Things. I cannot say enough how ecstatic I am to get a bit of her shimmering sea of knowledge, professionalism and fun over the blog.

Ms. Aquino brings extensive fashion, style and communications expertise, plus a ridiculous gift for seeing the future (she works in trend forecasting) to the little blog, to make up for some of my shortcomings, mainly in knowledge, but also in, erm… lazy assness time to create more posts.

The low-dow:

  • MA in Fashion Journalism (London College of Fashion)
  • Extensive experience on international trend forecasting (she worked for Stylus and trendwatching.com)
  • A background in economics, mainly providing poignant research for politics.
  • An undying love of glitter and dancing (hello! <3)

Some of you may have already seen her on my Instagram or at an event, so will not be surprised to see her face (and wise words) ’round here too.

Carol will be covering fashion, trends, style, lifestyle and to be honest, anything she wants, gracing us with her fabulous flair and that eye in the future!

Catch her on Instagram (@carolaquino), Twitter (@querouaquino) and of course, here real soon.