TRAVEL – what to pack for a two month USA adventure

travel - whats in my suitcase

Tomorrow I fly to New York to start my trekamerica adventure!

It’s come around so quickly! As a helpful guide for future trekkers, or for anyone travelling to the USA in general, I thought it would be a great to show you guys what’s in my suitcase, and what I’ve packed for a two month trip!

hand luggagetravel - whats in my suitcase - hand luggage
new look backpack/cross-body / glamour magazine / New York guide / mini hairbrush & comb / samsung camera / watch / passport

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It may be small but this New Look bag is very versatile. With a handy strap, the bag can either be a backpack (perfect for days when we’re hiking) or a cross-body bag (great for when we’re in the city). The tassel also adds a cute touch. My in-flight essentials include my samsung camera (I have to say it’s not very good, but it does an okay job at taking photos if my iphone ever runs out of battery) and my New York guide, which was given to me as a leaving present from the guys at F&F. With fold out maps and information on the main attractions, places to eat and entertainment, I can’t wait to use it!

the essentialstravel - whats in my suitcase - essentials

snow & rock XL trek towel / trespass packaway waterproof jacket / torch

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A small torch is a must for walking around the campsites at night (and more importantly for not getting lost whilst searching for the toilet). I bought a handy packaway Trespass jacket from Argos which is waterproof and has a hidden hood. This will be a great lightweight layer for when it rains, and for our visit to Niagara Falls. I left it quite late to get a towel for the trip, so for £17.99 I bought this XL one from Snow & Rock. It is really thin, but apparently it dries 10x quicker than a normal towel, so we will have to wait for the verdict on that one! It is however really compact and that means more room in the suitcase for clothes!

toiletries galoretravel - whats in my suitcase - toiletries

t-zone face wash / razor / toothbrush / mini toothpaste / carex body wipes / paracetamol / plasters / face cloth / mini batiste dry shampoo / insect repellent / full size radox shower gel / full size garnier shampoo & conditioner / full size sure deodrant / nivea 50+ sun spray / nivea moisturiser / mini gilette shaving foam / mini body shop hand wash

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I’ll be taking these in a large see-through bag, alongside my very little amount of make-up. Some important essentials to shout about here are insect repellent with 50% DEET (apparently there are mosquitos and ticks in America), sun cream (factor 50, gotta protect your skin), carex body wipes (there are apparently no showers at Yosemite, groovy) and the of course plenty of plasters and paracetamol (for those nights out and long walks!)

tops and teestravel - whats in my suitcase - tops

vila sequin top / river island nyc tee / next embellished vest / asos grid vest / river island sequin vest / primark lace kimono

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I’ve packed more tops than shown above (about 15 in total), but here are a few of my favourites. As you can see I love all things black, white and er, embellished! The sequin tops are perfect for nights out, the kimono is a great cover-up and I couldn’t resist visiting New York without my River Island NYC tee (yeah, I’ll be that tourist).

short storytravel - whats in my suitcase - shorts

river island denim shorts / primark linen shorts

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Once upon a time, there lived a girl called Sarah, who loved her shorts as much as she loved black, white and all things embellished. Shorts are my wardrobe staple, and as the weather looks to be getting rather hot in America, I thought it would be best to pack a variety of linen and denim shorts. Great for the day and the evening!

shoes shoes shoestravel - whats in my suitcase - shoes

f&f flip flops / gelert walking boots / converse / primark flatform sandals

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I’ll be taking four pairs of shoes on this trip – these must-have flip flops (for showers, trust me you do need them), walking boots for hikes and long walks (extra points if they’re waterproof), converse for everyday wear and flatform sandals for nights out (and the extra height).

home comfortstravel - whats in my suitcase - home comforts

topman mtv jumper / topdeck hoodie / primark leggings / primark blanket scarf

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What’s a trip without some home comforts? Clothes-wise it’s these above. Jumpers can take up a large amount of room in your suitcase, so I thought I’d pack one jumper and one hoodie. Two pairs of basic leggings are great for the cold weather too, as well as a blanket scarf (which will be pretty handy for the 8 hour flight.)

Other nifty things to pack are: underwear (including cosy socks for those extra cold nights), face wipes, swimwear, jeans (I’m taking one pair), make-up (eye liner, lipstick, lip balm and mascara) and a sleeping bag if you’re camping.

So there you have it – my packing guide for America. If you want to stay tuned into my American adventure, follow me on instagram – @sazwatson.

sigyhl

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Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

FASHION – mad for monochrome

fashion - mad for monochromeIf there’s one trend which is currently taking over my wardrobe, it’s monochrome.

I wore this to my first London Fashion Week show on Friday, (I know, I’m such a newbie but it was an amazing experience) you can read my review here.

mono

Black high waist skinny jeans are my go-to (I love anything high waisted) and this River Island crop top is a great light layer. I love my cut-out buckle boots from Matalan – they are the best sale item that I have ever bought, and my instagram followers have spied this Zara necklace before

Is monochrome taking over your wardrobe too? I’d love to know what you think!

sigyhl

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diary1

Dear Diary;

This weekend I decided to splash out on a new dress, courtesy of Next. Here is a quick post on what I bought, and what I got up to yesterday!

From Top to Bottom: Crop leather jacket – H&M Kids, Flower and Animal Print Dress – C/O NEXT, Black spotty tights – MISS SELFRIDGE, Rosemary bead cross necklace – EBAY & Black Boots – PEACOCKS.

This weekend I did a little bit of shopping, and after what seemed ages wondering around Next’s Ipswich store (what can I say, I’m deffo a browser), I finally decided to buy this lovely animal print/floral body con dress, which was only £24! This dress is not only perfect for the daytime, but I can also dress it up with some killer black heels for a night out too! I would have bought so many things in there, but unfortunately my bank balance says otherwise! I’m not usually into body con dresses, but this one (which was loose, I bought it in a size 12 – I’m usually an 8-10 – because I preferred it a bit baggier), is so nice and definitely made me stand out from the crowd at Look! I teamed it with my beloved H&M Kids leather jacket, which has practically been glued to my body since I bought it!

Yesterday was a very busy day, our fashion cupboard was slowly building up with more and more returns, but there is no doubt we’ll try and blitz it all today! Me, Lauren and Kat all grabbed some delicious smoothies from Crussh – I recommend the Mango Passion flavour – and enjoyed a nice lunch in the sun! The day was topped off nicely when I had managed to get an early train home – yay!

I would like to say hello to all my new twitter and blog followers! It’s hard to believe that anyone reads my blog, so thank you very much for taking the time to read/glance/follow it. I’m so grateful!

If you would like to have a browse through Next’s dress selection and make a cheeky purchase then click here.

Lyrics: Jessie J – Who You Are

Dear Diary;

This is a short but sweet post on what I’ve been up to this week, in photos! Enjoy!

i

From Left to RightFirst day face, Lovely little mini person notebook, Home-made pasta salad (thanks Ali’s mum!), found a whip in the fashion cupboard… kinky, my intern ID/pass, new Look magazine, half empty rail!, view from rooftop, Friday treat – chicken fajita & Next Gift Card.

With the Olympics only two months away, there’s no better time than now to celebrate all things British, whilst trying to achieve that must-have bikini bod. Fancy something a bit different to wear to the gym? Then look no further as with Next’s incredible summer collection at your fingertips, you can not only exude patriotism, but you can also work out in style!

The Sports Luxe trend has brought together two things which we could only dream of combining – style and sport – with top designers such as Phillip Lim, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang and even British style icon; Victoria Beckham including sporty, but fashionable pieces in their Spring/Summer 2012 collections!

The mood board above is the inspiration for my Next wishlist, with a classic and iconic British theme taking precedence – such as the red double decker bus, Her Majesty’s crown and the Queen’s Guard. Combining the sports luxe trend with the Olympics makes it relevant to people who are in the gym and are trying to achieve that pre-holiday bod. It shows that even though we’re not all amazing athletes that we can feel a part of the Olympics, and that it can bring Britain together through our love for sport and fashion.

With my holiday to Malta only a few months away (okay it’s more like five months, but who’s counting?), I am on a mission to achieve a top-notch bikini bod, and with these items from Next’s summer collection, I can not only feel amazing after my post-gym burn, but I can show off my ‘inner fashionista’ too! Who said that gym gear has to be plain and boring?

From Left to Right: 1. Adidas Stella McCartney Performance Tank – £38, Adidas Stella McCartney Navy Leggings – £42, Purple Lace Racer Back Vest – £28, Geri Floral Swimsuit – £35, Official Team GB Olympic Scarf – £10, Stripe Number T-Shirt – £20, Adidas Stella McCartney Red Running Jacket – £68 & Purple Mesh Sweater – £28.

These Adidas/Stella McCartney designs are a perfect example of two house-hold name brands which are proving that sport and fashion CAN mix. The best thing about this wishlist is that with vibrant colour-blocking and clashing prints massive this season, you can mix-and-match everything – giving you more variety in your gym gear! Pastels are huge at the moment with Alexander McQueen, Emilio De La Morena and PPQ all sending their models in these delicious ice cream shades down the runway.  This lilac jumper will be the perfect pullover/slouch sweater for your post-gym walk home, and the studded vest adds that edge if you’re a bit of a ‘rocker girl’ like me – think Balmain!  Next also have some of their own amazing gear which exudes the sports luxe trend! For instance, the purple lace racer back vest and stripe number tee are amazing for those of you who are on a student budget like me, and cannot afford to splash out on Stella McCartney! Take a leaf out of Isabel Marant’s book and team your number tees with similar coloured joggers. And finally, we can not include a Union Jack scarf into the mix – this is after-all  based on the Olympics – at only £10 this is one of the cheapest flag scarfs I have seen, and trust me, I have been looking!

Winning these Next vouchers would be amazing as I can invest in all of this ‘gym gear’ and get fit for Malta. And with the sports luxe trend huge at the moment; I can also wear these pieces out of the gym, as they are all versatile.

Now my gym gear wishlist is completed, I have included some top tunes to get us all motivated and into the Olympic spirit too!

|         Listen         |         Listen         |         Listen         |         Listen         |

Next and Glitz and Grime are hosting a competition where you can win £500 -yes that’s right – you can those blogger hands of yours on £500 worth of Next vouchers! Click here to find out more, but you have to hurry as it ends at 12pm today!

As a member of the Next Bloggers Network, this week’s ‘Steal Her Style’ is not only a feature, but it is also a competition entry to win tickets to the Elle Style Awards 2012. And who better to focus on, than the stylish, eccentric and opinionated Jameela Jamil for my entry?!

The Channel Four ‘Play It Straight’ presenter has always ‘wowed’ me with her laid-back approach to fashion.

(Images sourced from here, here & here)

From her love of prints, to festival chic – and not forgetting her trademark stand-out lip – Jameela has got it all. For this feature I have taken an outfit from last year’s Elle Style Awards, and I have found similar items from the Next website.

Here is what Jameela wore on the left-hand side of the image, and what I found similar on the right-hand side:
jameela(Jameela image sourced from competition download pack here)

Geri Cream Maxi Floral Dress £55 –Floral prints may have been HUGE in 2011, but they are also set to be big this year too, with designers such as Peter Pilotto, Christopher Kane and Proenza Schouler  all including this Spring/Summer print into their designs. Being ahead of the fashion game is a tough job for many, but Jameela does it with grace and originality. Want to achieve this look-for-less?  Then try this Geri Cream Maxi Floral Dress from Next! This dress may be pricey but it is a good investment. It’s a perfect transitioning piece from Spring to Winter, for example, for the current icy weather try pairing this dress with some opaque tights and a cosy cardigan and for Summer, take inspiration from this look!

Models Own Eye Gift Set £15 – Every girl needs that perfect smokey eye! So this Models Own eye gift set is a perfect buy for those of you who can’t live without this sultry and sexy look! At £15 it is a tad pricey, but take heed from the blogosphere – who are raving about Models Own products at the moment – and bag yourself this kit!

Models Own Lipstick in Baby Pink £6 – Again, you can’t look like Jameela without having that all important statement lip! This Models Own baby pink lipstick is a bang on-trend colour at the moment with pastel hues being all the rage! Take colour inspiration from Valentino, Calvin Klein and Diane Von Furstenberg who had a rainbow of pastels in their collections!  Now all you need is a cute guy to pucker up with for Valentine’s Day!

Made With Love Rose Mesh Clutch £18 – Miss Jamil may have a simple plain nude clutch in the picture above, but this textured rose mesh version brings something different to this girly ensemble.  Mixing prints and textures was huge last year, so it is unsurprising that I have incorporated this ‘clashing’ trend into this week’s Steal Her Style look!

Nude T-Bar Platform Shoes £35 – Nude accessories are the best way to go if you want all the attention paid to your statement dress! These T-Bar heels are not only similar to Jameela’s shoes, but T-Bars are on trend too! Take Jonathan Saunders and Calvin Klein who had their models strutting down the runway in this particular shoe style!

That’s all for this week’s ‘Steal Her Style’! What do you guys think of Jameela’s style?

(Feature images sourced from here, here & here)

Here is The Live Scene’s new weekly feature, From Catwalk to High Street. Have you ever seen a beautiful outfit designed by Marc Jacobs, Balmain or John Galliano and wanted to re-create that look for less? Then look no further as The Live Scene is on hand to find similar items for the snip of the designer’s price.

Each week I shall focus on one designer’s collection from the Autumn/Winter 2011 fashion shows, and re-create their look for less. You don’t need to pay £2000 for the actual garment, when you can get similar clothing at high street prices!

#1 JONATHAN SAUNDERS
I love
Jonathan Saunders; his colourful and flirty outfits are simply beautiful! For his Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, some of the trends Saunders focused on were colour-blocking – a Spring/Summer trend which is still big for the end of 2011, and menswear – yes I’m featuring outfits for you guys out there! Enjoy! Colour-blocking, which was seen on the catwalks of Anna Sui and Isabel Marant, is still set to be a massive trend for the Autumn/Winter 2011 season. The catwalk saw Saunders’ designs flaunt down the runway in an array of pop-art colours, from two-hue blue and green cardigans to mint green satin blouses teamed with maroon pencil skirts. There is no doubt that Saunders has stepped up this season from his pastel-filled and el noir Spring/Summer 2011 collection, and below, I have attempted to find similar high fashion pieces for high street prices.

Red Rib Back Tank, £10, River Island – Despite scouring the online high street stores, I couldn’t find a red blouse similar to the one above! However, I did find this cheap but simple red tank vest, which teamed with the bright blue jersey pencil skirt below, hits the nail on the colour-blocking trend’s head. The red tank tucks effortlessly into the pencil skirt, which goes to show, you don’t need to be an heiress to produce high fashion outfits at high street prices! Saunders would be proud!

Jersey Pencil Skirt, £25, Topshop – Pencil skirts are a hugely predicted Autumn/Winter 2011 trend, with the extravagant and silhouette skirt by Marc Jacobs to Louis Vuitton’s beyond sexy see-through mesh ensemble. So it comes to no surprise that Topshop has flagged this trend as one of its five key autumn/winter pieces. This jersey pencil skirt in cobalt blue shows off them beautiful curves of yours while ticking all the right trend boxes.

Black Jewelled Waist Belt, £22, Miss Selfridge – This black jewelled belt cinches your waist in and separates the bold red vest and pop-out blue skirt. The jewels add more glamour into the outfit, making the look wearable for not only the daytime, but for night time too.

SALE! Kingpin Black Leather Wedge Boot, £24, Office – Last but not least, is these killer black wedges from Office. These not only add a touch of ‘rock’ into the outfit (think Alexa Chung), but they also add height which elongates those hidden legs of yours!

Overall at £87, this outfit may not be the real ‘Jonathan Saunders’ deal, however it does show that you don’t need to be an A-List star or have won the lottery several times to own a designer-inspired outfit!

Unlike his previous Spring/Summer 2011 collection, Saunders included delicious male models sporting his new menswear collection. Similar to the colour-blocking trend for women above, Saunders concentrated on three-tone cardis (again incorporating the colour-block trend), as well as piecing together different prints. Of course, the looks were toned down by simple black shoes and plain navy, cream or black trousers. Below, despite my attempts, this is the best look I have created which is similar to Saunder’s creation.  Finding similar high fashion pieces on the high street is harder work than it looks!

SALE! TMD Khaki Sheer Cardigan, £30, Topman – This khaki sheer cardigan may be a million miles away from Saunder’s three-tone cardigan, however, with the mixed prints trend in mind, it works. The cardigan may have a utilitarian feel, but teamed with the red print knit, this outfit conquers two trends at once.

Pattern Shawl Neck, £40, Next – This fair-trade-like knit is only for the daring of all men. You’ve got to be eccentric but not afraid of die-hard preppy, G-Star/Bench critics to wear this baby with the Topman cardigan above! The two-layers will keep you lovely and warm into the winter months, and with the plain blue trousers and black espadrilles, they won’t look ‘over-the-top.

Blue Overdyed Cuffed Carrot Trousers, £38, Topman – Cuffed trousers are in fashion at the moment, and are a best seller in high street stores such as Republic and River Island. So I had to include these trendy trousers into this Jonathan Saunders-like outfit. These are plain and simple, and allow people to focus on the mixed print top half effortlessly.

Black Slip on Espadrilles, £19.99, River Island – Who doesn’t own a pair of espadrilles?? These black ones are the perfect piece of footwear to complete this outfit. The trousers and espadrilles are very similar to the catwalk Jonathan Saunders image above and for summer through to autumn, these babies can be worn for any occasion, to your heart’s/your man’s content.

At £128, this outfit is expensive for you males, however these products are bang on-trend, and even if you don’t want the whole outfit, I suggest you buy one of these pieces of clothing as they will see you through the summer, autumn and winter trends! That’s the first ‘From Catwalk to High Street’ finished! Hopefully this will be a regular feature like This Week’s Wishlist, and I hope you enjoyed reading it!