Friday, 31 May 2013

Can I please have?

"This is not a wish list as such but a needs list" Bill Plasko

I have had this post written for the last couple of days but just haven't had the focus to post it before I go away on holidays due to my hyperness and inability to settle myself for 5 mins.  I joined my mum and little sister on a shopping trip to Ballymena. (hardly little as Carla is nearly 16 and towers over me already & looks older than me.  For instance, I got ID for buying cigarettes for my Dad the other day. I am nearly 25!!! You have to be over 16 to buy them!!!!! Facepalm) Anyway, I thought I would do a post on what I would have bought if I was allowed to buy anything for my holidays.  Thankfully Ballymena hasn't got a Zara or this post would have been a bit longer.
Not really sure if I would have worn these in Florida but I love the colour! If I buying clothes, I would definately invest in a electric blue pair of shoes for this summer! Fab colour
River Island £50

Loved this tie dye dress! It would have been lovely paired with a cropped denim jacket and flip flops to be worn at night time.
River Island £30
Gorgeous Boho chic playsuit! This was a size 6 and it looked a bit big so not sure if I had tried it on, it would have fitted nice but I love this style.  Def a festival idea though white would easily get dirty!
River Island £40
Orange is another colour for this season.  I am not sure if it really suits me, I love the colour on my step mum who is a brunette.  A colour I would like to try for the future but I though this shirt would be could with shorts and white converse.
Topshop £38
I have seen these bags everywhere and I love them! They just remind me of being back at school! I would love one but then again they could easily give you a sweaty back if you were wearing them in a hot country! Thankfully my boyfriend loves them and carries them all the time.  Will be slipping my purse into his bag to carry around! Sneaky
Topshop £34


"When I was little I wasn't allowed to put sugar on my breakfast cereal because it made me so hyper." Dan O'Brien

As some of you may have already read on my twitter or Facebook I am going on holidays tonight.  Blame it for not have posted that much this week.  It's not that I haven't had time, I am fully organised for my 2 weeks away, been packed since last friday night but that quiet anticipation that keeps rolling in my belly means I haven't been able to sit down and focus.  It is even hard typing this as all I want to do is count my dollars again or look up secret facts of Disney world just to randomly drop them into conversation. 

 I am so excited to wear pieces of my wardrobe that I haven't worn in ages due to the bad weather. Typical though that the good weather is right before I go away! Can't wear any of my nice summer wear as I don't want to have to wear it and get it dirty before I head away so hence why not that many clothing posts this week!

Obviously as I am going on holiday I won't be blogging as much as I would like too (lies, I can't to have a break from everything and just scream weeeeeeeeeeee on the roller coasters).  I do still hope to do a few blog posts and post some outfits of the day photos as it will be nice to show you guys how I am styling some of my summer clothes.  Most of my clothes I have worn before and posted about them but now with a summer twist! No tights in sight!!!! If you would like to follow my holiday, keep an eye on my other social media sites!
Facebook: Fashion Fasting
Twitter: @laurinak
Instagram: laurinamkennedy
Pinterest: Laurinak

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Work hard, play hard

"Sunday evenings often feel like the weekend is over before it has even begun"  Catherine McCormack          
Playing catch up, so many blog posts, so little time.  Even when I am off from my 9-5 job I am working!  Over the bank holiday weekend, I took part in a Catwalk for Abbeycentre Summer Essentials.  Great catwalk to take part in but you know when you have one of those days when nothing is going well. Your make up is just sitting on the top of your skin, your hair can't be tamed and people are trying to take pictures of you in these fab clothes and they are getting your worse angle every time??? No? Well I was having one of these days. Facepalm. At this point I just want to get to the sun on Saturday and pray that it magically makes everything better again.  Abbey centre is a maze of a shopping centre! We had to do a parade before each catwalk which let us have a nosey walking past all the shops. Primark, Topshop, River Island, Burton, Next, Monsoon. You name it, it has it.  It really is a one stop shop for all your summer esentials.  Head Honcho of the FABB for Northern Ireland and founder of Sugahfix, Katrina Doran was helping to explain summer styles/outfits for all shapes and sizes of lushious ladies inbetween shows.  Fab idea by the team at the Abbey Centre in Newtownabbey, hopefully they will have a winter catwalk as well and I will be on form!


I spent my lovely bank holiday weekend up home in the magically place that is Coleraine rubbing it in my family's face that I was going to Florida for 2 weeks soon. My 9 year old little brother and 11 year little sister were not impressed. Aw well, not my fault I am going!!! Just simply informing them of my day to day life. So obviously I am going away for my summer holidays and yet I can't buy anything but I can borrow things.  I am very organised and as usual, I am already packed so my mum couldn't understand why I didn't want to raid her wardrobe and take all her summer stuff as I must be bored with my wardrobe.  But I am taking away pieces that I haven't been wearing as the weather has been so bad.  Shorts, skirts, string tops, vest, maxi dresses, maxi skirts, you name it if I haven't worn it I am bringing it to America.  Granted I did steal a maxi dress from my mum and black shorts from my other little sister that she hasn't even taken the label off!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Cruising into Summer

"Style is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma. Fashion is something that comes after style." John Fairchild

Last night I attended the Cruise Summer Style Party and the launch of their new re-vamped store. I originally wanted to wear shorts, a t-shirt & a gorgeous borrowed sequin jacket from Miss Zoe J Watson but as usual the lovely Northern Ireland weather put me off this idea on my walk home. Rain and freezing wind so bare legs was a hell no! So what to wear? 

I came up with this idea as I was searching my wardrobe for something to cover my legs but something other than jeans, these tuxedo trousers again are a piece in wardrobe that I have never worn.   I bought them from Asos in the sale about 3 years ago but never knew what to wear with them. Or maybe I was never brave enough to wear them. So tried the look on and loved it but felt it needed something. 
Black ribbon, Of course!! Standard last minute me, where the hell do I get black ribbon 45mins before an event?? Hunting all over the house, I huffed and I puffed but nothing. So I sat on my bed & moaned in my head that the whole look was ruined. Looked to my left and what do I see but a cruise shopper bag I had used to carry my samples home in the other day. And what are the handles on a cruise bag??? Black ribbon!!! How ironic is that?!?! 
Cut the ribbon off & ta-dah!! Pussy bow! 
Cruise is a luxury designer store in the Victoria Square complex in Belfast City Centre. With brands like Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Pinko and Lanvin, it is your one stop shop if you want to buy one of a kind stand out from the crowd pieces. Whether you are a big designer shopper or not, last nights event was a perfect excuse to be blown away by the gorgeous new collections that they have in store. With free cocktails supplied by Smirnoff and Captain Morgan as soon as you walked in the door, I was scared to even move to look around the shop incase I tripped and poured my drink over one of the gorgeous Chloe bags.
 Gorgeous new layout for Cruise
Thankfully I was able to get a seat for the catwalk show were my stunning housemate Jayne Higgins was modelling the gorgeous clothes. She was even able to wear a gorgeous Temperley London dress that we have take note off as a potential wedding dress for the future. I was with Jayne's boyfriend, Kevin for the show & I did point out the price to him but at the end of the day, she's totally worth it ;) 

Ella wears: Forever Unique Coral Dress £220              Jayne wears: Pinko Long Purple Dress £317

Ella wears:Alexander McQueen Petal Shoulder Dress £2675      Jayne wears (future wedding dress):
                                                                                                       Temperley London dress £2,500

Well done to Judi Graham and all her team at Cruise for last night's event, it was a great turn out and lovely to see everyone on a school night. With a helping hand from CMPR, what do you expect though!  Definitely pop into the shop and have a nosey! They start their Mid season sale today and Judi and her team are always willing to help you out or just have a natter!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Breathable Pants

"I like being a woman in a man's world.  After all men can't wear dresses but we can wear the pants." Whitney Houston

I love skinnys. The majority of my trousers are skinnys, I am sure whoever is reading this is nodding along saying yyyyeeesssss, got 20 pairs in my wardrobe.  Well I have all my favourite trousers folded on a shelf in my little cubbie hole/walk in wardrobe.  Now there are 2 pairs of trousers hanging in my wardrobe.  This is one of them.  I bought these palazzo pants about 3 years ago in Primark.  I was a bit nervous to try this trend.  I had never really worn anything like them before and as a student back then, I didn't really have anything to wear them too.  My wardrobe as many peoples wardrobe at university simply consisted of hoodies, hoodies and more hoodies.
So in my head, I was like ok, I want to try out this trend but don't want to spend too much money on them just incase they don't work.  I wore them once or twice and back in the wardrobe they went.  But I put them on this morning and instantly fell in love with them again.  They are perfect for work, dressed up or dressed down like I have with a t-shirt.  I have noticed them making a recurrence in the shops again so I have selected a few of my favourites around the shops at the minute.
Asos White Palazzo pant £40

Mango Satin Palazzo Pant £59.99

Zara Red Palazzo Pants £49.99

Boohoo Amelia Floral Palazzo Pants £15

Asos Pink Satin high waisted Palazzo pants £45


Monday, 20 May 2013

Back to the grind

"Work is a necessary evil to be avoided" Mark Twain

So back to work today and I am already looking at my diary and thinking wow, when will it be the weekend so I can put my feet up again? My suitcase is lying all the way across my room with half of the contents on the floor. I always look forward to unpacking when I get to my the destination but why is it you can never be bothered unpacking when you are home??
One thing I noticed when I was away, as much as I tried to wear colour, I had it always paired with white or black or even grey.  I never wear all colour so this week I am going to try and wear as much colour as possible. I have never pieced things like this together. The weather is so annoying.  I wish it would make it's mind up! Is it summer? Is it winter? It is on that inbetween stage where it is cold but warm. I thought this was a good combo given that I had a heavy knit on top and bare practically see through chicken legs on bottom.  It didn't really work as when I was walking to work this morning, I was roasting and sweating on top of my body and nice and breezy on bottom!
Thanks to CastleCourt for sending me essentials for Florida! Castlecourt shopping centre in the heart of Belfast are promoting Sun safety this summer! This is an issue close to my heart. I have moles (I have one massive mole on my bum which I call my crap-on-mole as it looks like a piece of crap I haven't wiped off) and thus I have never been on a sunbed in my life.  Yes, I tan on holidays but I always wear a high factor and have a 50 SPF factor to put on my moles.  My mum has always drilled into me that you need to take care of your skin.  My reply is always yes mum, no problem mum.  Standard daughter reply but her nagging or gentle encouragement as she would call it paid off when my step dad had a mole that changed shape. She made him or gently encouraged him to get it checked out and it was confirmed as skin cancer but they had caught it so early that he just needed an operation to remove the mole.  He is fine now, extra extra careful in the sun but it was a wake up call for me.  So please be careful this summer! And don't do sunbeds!!! 

Dam on the River Rotte

"Self-consciousness kills communication.” Rick Steves

First bloggers conference over! I had an amazing time at the TBU conference in Rotterdam.  I was giving a talk on creating content for your audience and knowing what your audience wants to read.  Honestly, most of the time I just write.  If you want to read it super but if you don't aw well.  However, this is not the way to think if you want to take your blog further than a simple personal blog. I hoped that the advice I gave will help other bloggers!
View from my seat on stage as people went out to have a break and BREATH LAURINA!
For my outfits, I kept everything really plain and simple.  I didn't want to stand out too much. Spot the fashion blogger trying to stand out!!! So standard blazer, tshirts & jeans.  I really wish I had tried to wear more colour but it always just seems to be easier when colour is paired with white or black.  At this rate I am just dying to get into some summer clothes as a "new wardrobe".  I have seen the same pieces over and over again in my wardrobe and worn them to death that I think the nice weather needs to come in soon so I can try new things!!
Rotterdam was a beautiful city to visit.  Outside the seminars and workshops that I did within the conference, Connor and I walked around the city.  The city really has a love of all things gnomes! The gnome above was one of the nicer ones I seen!  I would really recommend staying in the Mainport hotel if you are ever in Rotterdam.  It was a perfect hotel with easy access to subway and trams right on the door step.  The rooms are gorgeous and the beds are massive.  Was lovely not even knowing I was sleeping with Connor apart from him trying to steal the covers every now and then.
A special thank you to Oliver and his team for organising the conference and to Kim at Rotterdam tourism and marketing for having a lovely well organised itinerary for me. Just the way I like it.


Thursday, 16 May 2013

This could be Rotterdam or anywhere

"Women can't live with them, can't live without them" Desiderius Erasmus

One feels very cultured at the moment. Art and Design tours in the morning, exploring the wonderful city that is Rotterdam in the afternoon then a smart/casual networking event hosted by Rotterdam tourist board in the evening. Oh yes darling! Quite high class, one might say. 

Or one might tell you the truth and say that she enjoyed everything in Rotterdam but the highlight of her day was when she found a shop that sold salt & vinegar crisps as one had a wild crazing for them.

After stuffing ourselves with breakfast this morning, we were treated to a tour around Rotterdam focusing on mainly the Arts and Culture side of it and boy is there a lot! I love Belfast but it simply couldn't have random pieces of art that Rotterdam has everywhere as it would be trashed or destroyed. People had even left some bikes completely unlocked, if that was Belfast they would be gone in two seconds flat. My inner hood was even coming out when I saw the bikes, just a simple wondering would anyone notice if I stole it. 

The only damper on the tour was that it was wet. Kinda refreshing to know that it's not just in Northern Ireland where we have been having miserable weather. Quick march back to the hotel and into the sauna! Have I mentioned that our hotel room has a sauna???? Maybe a few hundred times on my twitter. The gorgeous newly opened Mainport Hotel where the conference is being held has truly been christened by Connor and I. Jesus!!! Not in that sense, you dirty minded people! ;) But in the sense of we have used every inch of our hotel room already. The fancy coffee machine, sure why not! Don't even like coffee but it's free! The whirlpool pool bath, rainfall shower, mirror with a tv in it and of course, did I mention the sauna?!? All been used 50 times & we only been here a day. 

Quick change and over to the Maritime Museum where the Head of Rotterdam tourism was hosting a mixer for all speakers & delegates. It was nice to finally meet some fellow speakers & some of the organisers of the event. Nice to put faces to email addresses and twitter names. I am crap in these situations, I'll be the first one to admit it. Thankfully Connor knows this and is usually the first one to strike up a conversation and then include me in the conversation. I appreciate that he knows my weakness and works with me to help me out! Thanks cocopops! Without him, I would still be standing in a corner staring at the same picture all night. Or pretending to look at something on my phone.

Tomorrow is D-Day! Getting up on stage to give an hour and 45mins discussion on my blog, knowing my audience, mistakes that I have made, etc etc. It's very technical, things that I had never really thought off till I got the email from Travel blogger unite letting me know the guidelines for the talk. Hopefully my answers will give advice to the other bloggers!!! I will let you know!!!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Leaving on a Jet Plane

"Well, you go to Holland and everybodys on a bike - nobody would think to have a car." Stone Gossard

Never in a wildest imagination did I think last year that in May 2013, I would be sitting with Connor in Belfast International airport stuffing my face with a Burger King on my way to my first bloggers conference to speak at. It is funny the way life works out. 

When I got asked to take part in the Travel Bloggers Unite conference back at the start of March by the organiser Oliver Gradwell, I thought aye, ok mate, sure I will come over! No problem. It was a sort of smile and nod reaction. I had only just started blogging and you get approached by many people suggesting ideas or wanting to work with you. I assume that till I get the product in hand, it is all BS (think a male cow & another word for faeces) but this wasn't even a product so I took it with a pinch of salt. Also, the fact is I am a fashion blogger edging on lifestyle, what did I know about travel blogging apart from having a cute pink passport with my initials on it??  

Got my essentials packed! 

And yet, here I am on a easy jet plane flying to Holland to talk in front of god, knows how many people. Never in my wildest dreams. Myself and another fashion blogger, Retrochic (she specialises in vintage fashion) are the key niche speakers. We are heading over to give insight into our blogging niche and hopefully be able to offer our advice to the travel bloggers on how we go about blogging. I guess at the end of the day, blogging is all the same but the only thing that differs is the topic. The conference last 3 days from Friday to Sunday with each day offering key speakers, workshops, seminars, networking opportunities and tours of the beautiful city that is Rotterdam. 

Sneak peak of article for Foam Magazine

So what does a fashion blogger pack? Aw I have no idea. I packed last minute, I was taking OOTD (Outfit of the day) photos for an American magazine before we left and I was late. Literally bunged my suitcase with random item of clothings which hopefully I will be able to put a nice outfit together from. I wanted to be smart but at the same time casual and approachable. How do you portray that in a outfit which also has to say hey! I'm cool and stylish enough to be a fashion blogger? No idea.  Not only that but I had Connor hovering over my shoulder while I packed so he could see if he could fit another pair of shoes in my luggage. He has size 12 feet, needlessly to say we fitted them in.  I think he put more thought into what he packed than I did and I am the fashion blogger!! 

Stay tuned over the next few days to see if I was able to make a nice outfit out of what I packed and my adventure of my first bloggers conference!! You can follow me here or check out my social media sites as well!! 

Twitter: @laurinak
Facebook: Fashion Fasting
Instagram: laurinamkennedy
Pinterest: Laurina Kennedy

Also if you want to check out Travels bloggers Unite & the conference, check out their sites! 

Twitter: @tbloggersunite
Website: for info on the conference 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Beauty Queens

"“I love you for who you are, not who the world thinks you should be.” Libba Bray, Beauty Queens

I didn't realise how tired I looked until I uploaded this photo. Oh dear, eyes are hanging out of my head.  Thank god, I am off tomorrow and get a lie in! It is the only thing keeping me going! This outfit isn't my best. I wanted something easy to throw on this morning when I woke up.  The maxi skirt, I was happy to wear when I put it on as I haven't worn it in years but forgot why I dont wear it very often.  It is tight which means that I walk like a pengiun so on my walk to work this morning, my skirt magically became a pencil skirt. The blouse, sorry mum cause I know I will probably get a text from you later but I didn't have time to iron my blouse. Thankfully in work, we have a streamer so I was able to iron out the creases before anyone actually saw me.

Last night I attended the final of Miss Northern Ireland 2013 hence my puffy eyes. I am simply getting to old to be out on a school night.  Thank you to one of the guys last night who told me I was over the hill last night.  He was joking but I tend to agree this morning. I wasn't even drinking last night! As usual, Miss Northern Ireland was great to be a part off.  I remember being a part of it and looking at the catwalk models and thinking I want to do that and for the last 3 years I have. Funny the way things work out! As promised I have included some backstages photos of the contestants and of the fab clothes supplied by The Outlet for the fashion show!

Backstage at The Outlet fashion show


Girls posing for photos in the dressing room

Well done to all the girls last night! They all looked amazing! Also, well done to Meagan Green, Miss Banbridge who won Miss Northern Ireland last night. She will be off on an all expenses paid trip to Miss World competition in Indonesia in the next few months.