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On a tight schedule

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Five hours, Florence, one fidgety husband – what does one do when the universe deals you cards like these that aren’t compatible in any sense other than in an awkward alliteration (alligator)?

Last month I had a brief stint in Florence for a work trip, to which I took ze old ball and chain (hubby), and discovered later the itinerary was so jam-packed over the two days we only really had five hours to explore the city. Now, for those who have never been/planning to travel to Florence, I personally advise allocating at least four hours for gelato, PERIOD. Because ICECREAM. Then there’s the Duomo, David (by Michaelangelo – and not the ninja turtle), Boboli gardens, a slew of essential museums and galleries, shopping… none of which you should skip, and many of which that sadly require queuing (cue fidgety husband).

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So we decided, over a particularly parmesan-y breakfast, to simply do none of it (except gelato, bumped down to one hour, boo) and took to the streets without a plan, turning corners ad lib and frequently ending up in dead-end court yards, where EVERY SINGLE TIME, an Italian family reunion was under way*. Turns out it’s a great way to see the city, and not bad cards afterall, considering Florence is really the Joker card. Also, you do end up grazing a lot of the important bits as the historical centre of the city is only about 45 minutes-wide on foot. (But do try to graze David properly if you have time, he sure is a looker)

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Watch – Chaumet

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I’ve mentioned this before, but with all travels I try to take something new with me as a ‘beacon’ of memory – typically a perfume – but instead I decided to take my unworn Chaumet Liens watch that I had saved for a special occasion. Surely enough, what with all the time constraints on this trip and diligently having to glance at my wrist where the clock-hands danced from 12 to 5pm, the watch is now my connection to this short, but gelato-sweet, Florentine adventure. And to add to the romance, this very model (Liens) – while classic and timeless in its looks – is constructed with a state-of-the-art Swiss mechanical self-winding movement that makes soft, rhythmical tickky-tickky-tickky sound when you bring it up to your ears, or in my case, whenever I brought my camera up to my face to take a snap…

Well, isn’t this sentimental. I’m going to go have a sarcasm sandwich now.

*Come to think of it, it was the afternoon of the World Cup Italy vs. Urugauy game… so probably not anything similar to a hearty (?) Italian GodFather scene as I’d thought.

Watch – Chaumet. Hat – Hoss Intropia. Dress – ASOS (similar in yellow). Slides - Office. Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’. Earrings – Baublebar. Blazer – Zara (similar).

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Watch – Chaumet

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Watch – Chaumet

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July – August

A Month of Travel

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London · English country · barcelona · lanzarote · florence turkey seaside · warsaw · gdansk · hong kong · seoul

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Let me start by apologizing how I abandoned this blog like last year’s gym shorts, scrunched at the bottom of the bag, ferried back and forth daily in the hopes of reviving the once-faithful routine while letting it gradually pickle away in a salad-toss of loose change and croissant crumbs… Pickle and Cube – preserved past natural expiration date and satisfyingly (?) sour… yep, that sounds about right. Full of Vitamin A they say though, A for Asshat blogger maybe.

Truth is, adult life came knocking and I didn’t want to answer the door in my Spongebob PJ’s – or whatever hobby bloggers wear in this particular analogy. So, naturally the blog was put on the back burner while I attended to new challenges and deadlines, paying bills and saving up for boring things like new vacuum cleaners. Then it hit me, that this ‘blog’, in its overdue/sour entirety, was in fact also a great part of the so-called ‘adult life’, because during the six-ish years of dogged devotion to it, it had also grown up with me. And speaking of dogs, isn’t six dog years 37 in human life? Well then, looks like I’ve got lots to catch up.

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Farfetched analogies aside, I just wanted to say that I’m back. Probably not unconditionally but 100% in thoughts. Call this a re-starting of the engine, or even a direction change, but I’m planning to take this old-timer forward one month, one theme at a time. What’s hump-month July without Travel – so let’s start with that.

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stick around…

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What are you doing tomorrow? Nevermind what you’re doing, you’re coming over to Aubaine Marylebone (upstairs) to hang out with me and six other babe (yes) bloggers over cake. We also will be hosting a yard sale simultaneously and may or may not swindle your hard earned ££$$ in exchange for a cute pair of Givenchy’s that you’ll love forever. It’ll be fun, I promise. Bloggers include: Charlie Girl a la Mode, Alice of Alice Point, Hedvig of Northern Light, Peony Lim, Abi of Abimarvel and Carrie of WishWishWish.

Do drop by anytime between 10:30am and 5pm, the address is 7 Moxon Street, W1U 4EP London. Theoretically it’s cash-only but as we’re children of this century and will be equipped with Paypal app too, should you be lacking a coin or ten, so if you have ATM allergies, download the app tonight! I’ll be carting over my goods (from ASOS to Alaïa + and most of this), prices start at £1. My sizes are UK8-10 for clothes, UK5-6 for shoes, but collectively we’ve got the whole spectrum covered, small to scrumptious, so not to worry! Aubaine is giving us a special breakfast menu (you know me) for early birds, and an all-day burger option for pigeons like me.

Also, for our non-UK readers & followers, I will be posting up yard-sale priced goodies throughout the day on my Depop account (find me under @parkncube) so do keep an eye out, the app is available for Apple and Android.

See you tomorrow!

Cereal Magazine

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One for summer splashes…
‘they’re real!’ push-up liner by Benefit

This one’s for you lucky folk with exciting summer plans that involve unblemished blue skies and a mass body of water of some sort. First of all, I am not one of you (we don’t even own a bath tub), so I HOPE YOU STEP ON A LEGO. My own summer plans involve watching Sherlock on repeat (Cumberbitch4ever) and inhaling peanut butter sandwiches in this dinky cave we call home. Makeup is wasted on me, especially one as effective as this new gizmo by Benefit I’m about to introduce you to.

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Before I go further, this indeed is a collaborative post with Benefit, but my opinions are absolutely my own, as always. Everything is always tested before collaboration, and in this case I’d applied the new ‘they’re real!’ gel push-up liner and later in the day managed to drop a peanut-butter sandwich (why does toast always insist on landing on the buttered side) on the kitchen floor. I wept, but revelled later at the fact that the eyeliner had not transformed me into a hot mess/raccoon. I kid, really, but as one who cannot go without eyeliner (desert island item), and naturally someone who’s tested every stick/pot out there – this one definitely cuts the mustard. Jet black, to begin with (I like to think it matches the colour of my heart), opaque, effortless to apply, and waterproof* with appropriate application**.

* Naturally what with anything being waterproof, it’s incredibly difficult to wipe off, but I find that a drop of olive oil/coconut oil does the trick, or simply, the ‘they’re real!’ eye-makeup remover from the same line.
** I found that applying primer and a layer of base eyeshadow ensures longer wear.

Also, I’ve shared a couple style tips and DIY tutorials on Instagram to accompany the partnership with Benefit, so do give them a click as well. A small warning though, there’s a fair bit of ‘sexy-back’ in one of the the videos and at one point I resemble the Michelin tyre mascot. It’s pretty sexy if you like rolls of phat and stuff.

Click on the arrows to activate the slideshow, and click through to see the full tips and clips.

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Wellington Boots - Hunter

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Look 1: Look 1: Crochet dress – ASOS. Wellington Boots – Hunter. Hat – Hoss Intropia (Similar). Sunnies – Karen Walker. Bag - Simone Camille
Look 2: Look 2: Tank top – DAY by Malene Birger (simliar) . Shorts – DIY Mango denim. Wellington Boots – Hunter

Burgers for breakfast, nests for heads, drop-in concerts and wild dancing under the stars… yep, the festival season is upon us. Also, lest we forget, the painful reminder of the elementary science behind soil + water, with your brand new canvas plimsoles as collateral to this re-education. Except of course in England one wet sneeze can turn the whole field into cake batter, and however much you try to convince yourself mud-caked shoes are the next paint-crackled converse, it just doesn’t fly. (Stop trying to make mud happen, it’s not going to happen). You’ve never wished for anything rubbery and water-resistant in your whole life, or at least since the invention of squishies at age three. I don’t know what floats your (rubber) boat (ducky), but for me it’s Hunter boots, no question – and here’s two ways I’d style my Shoreditch pair with. And speaking of extremities, now I need to find a clever festival-friendly solution for my hair without looking like I dumped flour (aka dry shampoo) in my hair… All part of the cake-batter setting I guess.

BTW – Hunter are hosting a wee giveaway of the Shoreditch model over on Instagram, simply upload an image of your festival style inspiration and tag @Hunterboots #BeAHeadliner for a chance to win. Dates: 12th – 19th June (5pm GMT). Winners will be contacted on the week of 23rd! (T&C available on request from Hunter)

Photos with the help from ze lovely Miss May.