Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The 2012 Travel Calendar – Part 1

The 2012 travel calendar

Every destination has its best time of year. So, to help you plan your trip, Lonely Planet's Tom Hall has put together a calendar of countries best seen in 2012

iceland september

So cool: September in Iceland. Photograph: Alamy

January: Georgia

Winter sports fans and city breakers looking for somewhere new should try Georgia. The country is attracting a growing number of independent travellers who are exploring mountains dotted with historic castles and churches, beautiful towns such as Svaneti and Kazbegi, and the Europe-meets-Asia capital Tbilisi. It won't be warm in January but skiers won't mind: the country's main resort, Gudaur, is a good bet for reliable snow and can be reached by road from the capital in two to three hours.
bmi ( flies from Heathrow to Tbilisi with returns from 364 including taxes

February: Oman

This year looks set to be a great one for Oman, the fastest-growing destination in the Middle East, according to several tour operators. The beach resorts of the Musandam Peninsula are an increasingly popular combination with Dubai, while Muscat's star as an alternative Arabian city destination is rising.
Abercrombie & Kent ( has a seven-night Classic Oman itinerary costing around 2,395 per person

March: Panama

Panama City

Panama City's old town is one of Central America's finest historic areas. Photograph: Alamy

Central America's star turn over the past few years has been Costa Rica, but Panama has all the qualities to rival it. The country boasts brilliant beaches, the world's most famous canal and unspoilt rainforest. Best of all, the continuing renovation of Casco Viejo, Panama City's old town, is boosting the profile of one of the region's finest historic areas.
Journey Latin America's 12-day Panama trip starts at 2,470 per person (

April: Titanic tours

The centenary of the sinking of the Titanic is big news for cruise operators capitalising on interest in the doomed liner. While there are cruises recreating the exact voyage (but with a happier ending), there are other Titanic-themed voyages taking place to coincide with the anniversary in April. Landlubbers can overdose on Titanic heritage in Belfast, the city where it was built, and Southampton, from where it set sail.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages ( has a seven-night "British Maritime Heritage" cruise, departing on 10 April from Tilbury and visiting Cherbourg, Cobh, Belfast and Liverpool. Prices from 499pp

May: France

The birthdates of saints aren't normally a good reason for a holiday, but following Joan of Arc around France, 600 years on from her arrival into the world, is just that. Joan blazed a trail across France from her birthplace in Domr my-la-Pucelle to Rouen, where she was burnt at the stake aged 19. Orl ans, the site of her most famous victory, stages a week-long series of festivities in her honour (
The January 2012 edition of France magazine ( 3.99; has a guide to Joan's France written by Sophie Jackson

June: Germany

Germany remains Europe's most underrated destination, and its cities are at their best in the early summer sunshine. Art fans should head to Nuremberg for the Early D rer exhibition (, the largest collection of works by the German Renaissance artist for 40 years. You can even bring the kids back a Playmobil model of D rer.
Kirker Holidays ( offers a four-night escorted trip to Nuremberg to see the exhibition, including a visit to D rer's house and a guided city tour, from 998pp

Article taken from The Observer, Sunday 1 January 2012 written by Tom Hall

Tagged: Castello Dal Pozzo, Hotel, Italy, Things to do, Things to see, Travel

The 2012 Travel Calendar – Part 2

Continuing the 2012 Travel Calendar as suggested by Tom Hall from Lonely Planets for the Observer Part 1 was published in yesterday's Blog

July: Ukraine


Discover Ukraine's coastline this summer. Photograph: Alamy

Europe's football championships finish with fireworks in Kiev on 1 July, leaving the rest of the summer to discover Europe's largest country. Apart from the big-city delights of the capital there's Lviv, a central European stunner that's been turning heads for a few years, and all the fun of the seaside in the Crimea. Ukraine remains an inexpensive destination - especially away from Kiev - but book ahead if you want to be by the coast in the high summer.
Ukraine Travel (, specialists in the country, offers direct flights to Kiev from Manchester for 225 including taxes, and can also help with rail tickets and hotels

August: New York City

Such is the pace of change that, like Paris and London, New York is somewhere best visited regularly. If you haven't been in the past year you won't have had the chance to admire the new 9/11 memorial, explore the latest section of the High Line or take a superhero walking tour ( The Big Apple bakes in summer, but you can at least stay in a cool spot at the new Bowery House. Many of the cabin-style rooms are small with funky shared bathrooms, making this a great deal in a hip part of New York.
Bunks in shared rooms start at 31 with single cabin rooms from 51 (

September: Iceland

It's a good year for getting to Iceland without breaking the bank. EasyJet ( will start flying from Luton to Reykjavik from 59 return at the end of March. In addition to this and established airlines such as Iceland Express, a new carrier, Wow Air (, is advertising flights from the Icelandic capital to Stansted.

October: Milan and the Lakes

Milan's delights for a city break need little introduction, but a shake-up of any big city's hotel scene is a welcome thing. Self-styled "eco-chic" hotel E.c.ho wears its green credentials on its sleeve. Look for 125m of solar panelling, sustainably sourced decor materials and a seasonally focused menu. The courtyard garden is home to a Renaissance chapel by Donato Bramante, who designed St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Rooms at E.c.ho start at 163 per night ( Flights to Milan are available from around the UK - see

Whilst in Milan take the time to visit the Lakes. A mere one hour's drive from Milan, 30km from Malpensa airport (BA, EasyJet, Alitalia flights from UK). October is usually mild, autumnal and full of colour. Visit the Borromeo Islands, do some great winter shopping, enjoy some splendid Piemontese food.

Aerial View of Castello Dal Pozzo and the Palazzo Hotel

Stay at #Castello Dal Pozzo, Oleggio Castello, at the southern end of Lake Maggiore.
A Romantic Escape for 2 starts from 244 in a double deluxe with candlelit dinner, breakfast and bottle of bubbly in your room.

November: Norway

Northern Lights

Keep your fingers crossed for a clear night ... Photograph: Alamy

This is predicted to be the best year yet for spotting the northern lights, so if you've been promising yourself a trip, then this is the time to do it. November is as good as any other part of winter to go: all you need to do is keep your fingers crossed for clear skies and a light show. There's nothing to stop you making your own way via Bodo in Norway or beyond on a flight with Norwegian (
The Aurora Zone ( has four-night trips from 1,445 using snowmobiles, huskies and local guides

December: Cambodia

Cambodia is so much more than the magnificent temples at Angkor, as a bunch of funky new openings is busy proving. As well as luxury resorts, such as Shinta Mani and Song Saa, The Plantation (, rooms from 41) has just opened in Phnom Penh in 1940s colonial-style buildings set in tropical gardens. About Asia Travel ( can arrange cross-country packages, including private-jet transfers and sightseeing tours.

Tagged: Castello Dal Pozzo, Hotel, Italy, Lake Maggiore, leisure, Piedmont, Things to do, Things to see, Travel

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

AlunaGeorge Perform Beautiful, Slowed Down Live Version Of “You Know You Like It”: Watch

Baby You Got Nothing To Prove

London duo AlunaGeorge is busy promoting their exceptional debut album Body Music this week. (It drops July 29). A visit to Rinse FM studios was on their itinerary and the pair delivered a beautiful, pared-back rendition of catchy, ’90s R&B-flavored pop single “You Know You Like It”. This is well worth checking out. The velvety vocals of Aluna Francis shines and the song takes on an unexpectedly dark and dreamy quality that lifts it to new heights. Watch in awe above.

Do you like this new version of “You Know You Like It”? Share your enthusiasm in the comments.

Britney Spears Keeps It Casual In California: 10 Post-Workout Pics

At Least She's Hydrated

View the Gallery / 10 Photos »

Britney Spears was spotted leaving a dance studio in Thousand Oaks, California earlier today (July 26). The “Ooh La La” songstress seemed a little worse for wear in a grey tracksuit and pink tank top but no one looks their best post-workout. At least her skin was glowing from all that exercise and hydration. Jokes aside, it’s encouraging to see Brit putting in the hard yards before her Las Vegas stint.

Does Britney make work up a sweat in this attire? If so let us know in the comments below.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Spotted: Rihanna Flaunts Her Jacquie Aiche Body Chain in Poland!

Rihanna took a much-needed break from her demanding job as a performer and went straight to the beach to unwind with friends over the weekend. For months now, she has been traveling around the world for her Diamonds World Tour concert, and this might’ve taken a toll on the multitalented artist. Despite the stress, Rihanna still looked sexy and stylish while basking under the summer sun in Poland. Check out the photos below.

Rihanna Body-Chain Necklace at the Beach

Rihanna spends some time at the beach in Sopot, Poland

Rihanna spending some time on the beach in Sopot, Poland, on July 7, 2013

How do you like her look, ladies?

For a beach trip in Poland, Rihanna looked amazing in a Mikoh Mundaka bikini. She used her Rihanna for River Island white crochet midi skirt to cover up her bottoms and wore a chic pair of Miu Miu sandals. She accessorized by throwing on a diamond filigree body chain necklace from Jacquie Aiche, which made her whole look very stylish! We’ve seen some celebrities, such as Miley Cyrus, flaunt body chain necklaces before, but Rihanna made hers a bit personal by having it designed with her last name, Fenty.

Body chain necklaces are no longer new in the fashion department. So, if you’ve been wanting to own one this summer, then we’ve got a few chic choices for you below.

Body-Chain Necklaces Set A

Vanessa Mooney The Neptune Body Chain, $140 (before: $175)
L’Agence Beaded Body Chain, $320 (before: $400)
Jacquie Aiche Bezel Body Chain, $220


The post Spotted: Rihanna Flaunts Her Jacquie Aiche Body Chain in Poland! appeared first on Your Next Jewelry.

Ashlee Simpson Piles On Bangles for a Dance Class

Leave it to a punk rock fashionista like Ashlee Simpson to have a workout attire as edgy as her usual style. The 28-year-old singer/songwriter was spotted going to Third Street Dance Studio in an all-black attire - a poncho, a tank top, sweats, and a Birkin - accessorized with a huge stack of slim bangles.


Ashlee Simpson on her way to Third Street Dance Studio in West Hollywood on July 8, 2013

In fashion, the punk world is no stranger to stacking bracelets, and Ashlee did it with such gusto, even going as far as combining bangles with different styles and materials. That always guarantees an interesting stack! With those much bangles, though, we can’t help but wonder if she might have been just a little too noisy in her dance class.


A pile of bangles making Ashlee Simpson’s all-black attire shimmer

Here are some bangles and bangle sets you can mix and match for days when you feel like working out a la Ashlee Simpson.

Michael Kors Seaside Luxe Geode Bangle

Michael Kors Seaside Luxe Geode Bangle, $95

Iosselliani Brass Bangle Set

Iosselliani Brass Bangle Set, $305

Gemma Redux Mood Bracelet

Gemma Redux Mood Bracelet, $159

Mercedes Salazar Indigenous Bangle Set

Mercedes Salazer Indigenous Bangle Set, $65

Kelly Wearstler Hexagon Bangle

Kelly Wearstler Hexagon Bangle, $175

Credit: JP/JFXimages/

The post Ashlee Simpson Piles On Bangles for a Dance Class appeared first on Your Next Jewelry.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Designer Discovery: Harlyn

When I was in the Nest & Cradle store in Victoria a few weeks ago almost everything that I pulled off the clothing racks was by Harlyn, a new-to-me brand. Designed by Maria Stanley, Los Angeles based Harlyn has a pretty collection of feminine, vintage-inspired, printed pieces that have caught the attention of celebrities like Sienna Miller, Alyssa Milano, and Kristin Cavallari,

I wish I had time to try on these flamingo printed pants (remember this flamingo post?) because now I'm definitely regretting it!


Flamingo pants by Maria Stanley of Harlyn

It does take a lot to attract the attention of a monochromatic-loving gal like me but Harlyn has successfully done it. Just look at these awesome - and varied - prints...










Images courtesy of Harlyn.

Fashion in Motion at the office

Mellow yellow this is not. You're looking at the brightest dress on the street and in the halls at CBC's HQ. It's a fab vintage number that I found at Persepone Vintage on Etsy

Mellow yellow this is not. You're looking at the brightest dress on the street and in the halls at CBC's HQ. It's a fab vintage number that I found at Persephone Vintage on Etsy and I'm wearing it with green suede wedge lace-up espadrilles and my trusty (ha! never on time) Target watch, white pearl earrings

Folks, it's been a busy sprint to the summer with many uninspired pre-summer looks. I didn't really bother picking up too many new things- spring is a tricky season for me and I've never invested heavily in it.

Instead I used the time to surf summer garb by night and by day, wore the same ol' layers to my regular clothes and stretched the use of my grey opaque tights. I threw on my sailor-striped scarf to freshen up the looks and with a pink lip to brighten my complexion, I was waiting for summer.

And here it is- at last. I have been very excited to show you and my office mates my new threads that came home while spring dragged on, and also my 'old' threads that I've kept over the years. It turns out that many of my pieces just weren't interesting me anymore, or didn't fit and I wasn't feeling up to having them altered (lazy, I know). Add that to a seasonal closet purge and it looked like I made room for a few new things.

Finally - the heat is on! Summer has landed.

I'm lucky to be able to cycle to work every day and while I love riding in a dress, some pencil skirts just don't allow a lot of movement on the bike (I ride a men's frame with the bar in between my legs, so not a skirting advantage. I've done a superman outfit change on arrival on a few occasions.

Today I want to show you one of my very first vintage purchases online- a lovely canary yellow dress by Nina Piccolino that I found at Persephone Vintage on Etsy.

I fell in love with this dress right away, and it's easy to see why. This is what the post looked like:

The description: vintage 80s deadstock yellow midi sun dress with wrap-style deep v pleated bodice. matching belt. full skirt. pockets at waist. (050d) fabric: rayon, acetate condition: excellent size: tag 10, fits like a medium - large (please check measurements for accuracy) (not pinned)

The description: "Vintage 80s deadstock yellow midi sun dress with wrap-style deep v pleated bodice. matching belt. full skirt. pockets at waist. fabric: rayon, acetate condition: excellent
size: tag 10, fits like a medium - large (not pinned)"

Actually, to be honest, I fell in love with the belt.

One thing you learn very quickly when studying the vintage is how important and desirable it is to have the garment's original matching belt. And what a belt:

Isn't it amazing? The belt is about 4 inches wide I kid not

Isn't it amazing? The belt is about 4 inches wide. Sure keeps me sitting straight

I also went really crazy about the very deep V cut in the front- it's just so sexy and with all those lovely pleats dropping down from the shoulders, and then from the waist- genius. The length is significant and you really need some height on your frame to pull off a midi length (official fashion language).

It's incredible what an iPad can do (it made me into a full-own vintage browser/consumer) and what I've learned doing all these searches for random vintage clothes. For one, I discovered people's interests in a most interesting way. When you're looking at a vintage shop, it's a curated gallery and not everyone is stocking '50s full-skirted situations. There are shopkeepers like Perpephone's Susan, who seems to have a thing for '80s minimalist, deconstructed shapes, although she'll dip into other decades, too. This isn't the '80s you thought you knew- or at least, most of it might feel intriguing. When grouped like this, the shop is a capsule of so many ideas.

Take a look at a few things up for sale right now:

Persephone 1

Persephone 2

Persephone 3

Cool, huh.

And so very fascinating to peer into someone else's thought-provoking closet.

Photo of me by me, other pics courtesy of Persephone Vintage.