Sicily and Rome

Our recent cruise around the Mediterranean was wonderful, giving us a brief introduction to new places and people which is really just a taster for more. Likewise I'm going to be as brief as I can and try not to inundate the blog with endless holiday snaps. Therefore today's post covers our first two stops in our whistle stop tour. The first photos are from Palermo, Sicily where it seemed to be a tad unusual to see a woman dressed in such vibrant colours. Maybe I looked like a circus clown to the local residents. But men and women alike, as we walked around the city, they certainly gave me more than a fleeting glance. 

Steve found himself promoted/demoted to position of blog photographer, but soon got into his stride. He spent most of his time heckling me whilst I barked instructions. We made a great double act - it was hilarious.

I bought this little bag in Rome the previous day. There were so many colours and styles to choose from, but I think this being the first choice was the right one. It's lined in pale yellow chamois leather (sorry Sally for yet again not taking a shot of the interior) and opens quite wide to hold a surprising amount of bits and bobs.

Jacket: Benetton. Maxi dress: eBay. Sandals: New Zealand. Handbag: boutique in Rome. Rings and watch: charity shop.

As we walked along this old fashioned street we found a wonderful vintage shop called "Magazzini Anita". 

It didn't take long for me to realise that this boutique was where I would spend today's pocket money. Steve loitered outside in the morning sunshine and I disappeared inside. I had a great time browsing and trying things on. The owner is a lovely lady called Elena who sources her wares from all sorts of places. The boutique was brimming with beautiful Italian shoes, bags and clothes, some of it new and some second hand. Elena was the perfect hostess helping me to find just the right pieces to suit my frame and colouring. For a fashionista this had to be the highlight of the trip so far. We swapped details, chatted about fashion and blogs and eventually I made my purchases.

Retail therapy complete, and bag in hand, Steve and I then continued with our stroll through the ancient streets of Palermo.

And here's what I bought.

Coat, trousers and blouse all from Magazinni Anita, Via Maqueda, 263 Palermo.

That evening was the first gala dinner on board the ship with the opportunity to meet the captain and his senior staff afterwards. We're on one of the diamond staircases which were the prime location for all of those wanting a glamorous setting for their photos. My outfit is the same as I wore for the island Christmas party as seen here. It was the right thing to take this ensemble along as I felt very comfortable in it. The first night on board had been a bit overwhelming. I knew we were going to be on a big ship, but little did I realise that we would be amongst over 4500 passengers. Considering our little island has a winter population of about 130 residents this vessel, MSC Preziosa, was a gigantic floating city by comparison. Some 18 decks high and 333m long we regularly got lost at the start and by the end of our cruise still hadn't discovered every bar, lounge or even all of the swimming pools.

Skirt: Susan Small, Enjoy Clothing. Blouse: Shubette Separates, charity shop. Shoes: Primate. Belt: eBay. Necklace: Debenhams. Clutch: Santa Cruz.


The trip to Rome was the highlight of the cruise for most of us, with the Colosseum obviously being the major tourist attraction. We docked in the port of Civitavecchia which was an hour and a half away from Rome by coach.

Steve brandished the camera about today with great results.

Jacket: Vero Moda. Jeans: Gap. Waistcoat: Uniqlo. T shirt: Uniqlo. Belt: H&M. Trainers: Salomon. Handbag: charity shop. Scarf: old. Watch: charity shop.

We visited the Palatine ruins first of all which were extensive.

After a couple of hours we crossed to the Colosseum where we spent another two hours steeped in the history of this huge feat of architecture.

The tiers of marble seats were where the Senators sat to watch the gory battles.

As I stood here I couldn't help but wonder about all of the poor souls who had experienced the most horrifying of deaths in this arena.

 This must-have shot of the icon that represents Rome.

The dress theme for this evening was 70's/80's/90's disco. This jumpsuit was the best I could conjure up. My next post will feature Malta and Barcelona - see you all on Wednesday for that!

Anna x

Jumpsuit: H&M. Shrug: charity shop. Green pearls: Almost Perfect. Belt: eBay.

London highlights

Hi everyone. It's great to be back from my holiday and thanks to all my faithful readers for hooking up with my blog in my absence. I had a fab time in London and just want to give you a flavour of what I got up to over the few days we spent there before we went off on our cruise. I met up with my dearest friend Bo who lives in Portugal and we visited the Burlington Arcade first of all. Much to my absolute delight I clocked this fabulous display of brogues in the boutique window of Manolo Blahnik. Read more about Carrie Bradshaw's favourite shoe designer and his new boutique here - it had only opened in the previous week.
A veritable rainbow of suede brogues
Any of this trio would have been perfect with my outfit.
I'm in shoe heaven.
For my foreign readers, the Burlington Arcade, in the heart of London, is a alleyway of boutique designer shops showcasing the most exclusive fashions, perfumes, jewellery, men's and women's couture and every must-have item imaginable. Here's two more of the eye-catching displays...

This from Lulu Guinness.
And this Chanel sculpture with its golden discs stood about three foot tall.

Bo and I have been friends for many years now and one of our common bonds is our love of fashion. She's one of the few people I can happily go shopping with. I'm usually a solitary shopper, but she and I have such similar tastes and know what suits each other; we are always honest with our opinions on what works and what doesn't. As you can see Bo's style is very eclectic - she mixes things up in her very own inimitable way and she always exudes confidence.

Bo is grinning from ear to ear as we've revelled in the window shopping of the Burlington Arcade and next we're off to see this spectacular exhibition at the RA -

The exhibition exceeded all our expectations and if any of you can make it to London in time to see it I would urge you to go. The breadth of artists and art is extraordinary, and we were introduced to so many "new" artists and styles that we hadn't previously discovered. It was moving at times, breathtaking at others, and without question is the most impressive exhibition either of us have ever had the privilege to view.

And finally, Steve and I were luckily enough to be in Leicester Square on the evening of the premiere of the film Zoolander No 2. Amidst the jostling of the crowds of fans, and the TV cameras and crews we managed to catch a glimpse of some of the stars as they sashayed down the blue carpet.

My outfit from the Burlington Arcade was a bit middle-of-the-road as far as the fashionistas of London go, but my silver brogues did attract a few compliments. Thank you to the ladies of the Cath Kidston staff from opposite the Arcade who deserve a mention, as they would like to implement a funky tights and shoes combo as part of their uniform - hurrah and good luck with that!

Trench coat: Jessica Simpson. Skirt: Boden. Polo neck: M&S. Shoes: Office. Tights: Top Shop. Bag: charity shop.

Bedazzled in pink and orange - flashback to September

If all has gone to plan then this ought to be the 4th and final automated post while I'm gadding about on my holidays. I do hope that my readers and loyal followers have still been visiting the blog in my absence and have been rewarded with these posts from my draft box. This was drawn up in September when the golden sun bathed us with it's waning warmth before it started heading towards the Southern hemisphere. Read on -

Can there ever be too much of a good thing? If so, then I hope this isn't it. I have a couple of new favourites in my arsenal and this is one of them. I'm hoping to leaf this into my winter wardrobe to lift the dark colours out of the doldrums. But for today, the joy was in the pairing up of the wonderful fizzy pink blouse with my sedate Boden skirt. Well maybe a pink and orange skirt doesn't really constitute sedate in colour, but it's surely a classic shape. Ending just at the knee it's quite unassuming and simply cut, but by adding this vintage, chiffon, frilly bit of fun the whole thing positively sings. I'm clearly head over heels again. 

The autumn sunshine was bright today and I needed little prompting to give this outfit an airing. The new addition of pink to my wardrobe has my mind in overdrive thinking up ways to feature this and other rosy hued pieces. And when I recall all the times I've dismissed and zoomed past the pink racks and even whole sections of pink and red clothes - well, I just want to rewind to check what I've missed! However, I've got to get over that and move on. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to get a bit of retail therapy again soon and maybe have some pink successes.

The shoes today were going to be my silver brogues as seen here and here. But, I then decided to really play up the colourful girly outfit to the max. Heck, I probably wouldn't wear this again until next year, why not give it the full treatment? So, I introduced the green kitten heels which gave birth to the green gemstone crucifix necklace. And to finish, the purple tights were just the thing to pull everything together. The finished outfit may not be too different to the first time I wore it (quite recently I think) as here, but hey, shoot me for loving this blouse so much I just wanted to give it another reprise!

Vintage blouse: charity shop. Skirt: Boden. Shoes: Office. Tights: old. Necklace: old. Sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Linking with 
Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb

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