Thursday, 31 July 2014

Guess Who's Back...

 I am back from my three week trip to Florida, USA and I loved every second of it. I will be posting about my time in America in just a while, I just wanted to let you all know I was back and thank those of you who have read my blog and commented on my posts whilst I was away - I'm so sorry it took a while for you to have a reply to these comments. 

 I also want to thank my lovely guest post bloggers and my sister who guest posted too! Thank you Gemma from Lipsticks and Lashes and Georgia from Mapped Out - I loved both of their posts and I hope you enjoyed them too (also check out their blogs, I am a reader of both of these lovely blogs and I'm sure you'll love them just as much as I do). You can read Gemma's post here and Georgia's here.

 Whilst I was away my camera "magically" jumped into the pool so bear with me on the photo front. I'm not the best of photographers but now taking photos will be even harder. I was especially sad as my camera is nearly 5 years old and I loved it so much, if anyone has any affordable camera recommendations for me that would be amazing, so please let me know if you do! I will be using my iphone for the time being. 

 I hope you are all having fantastic summers so far, whatever you may be up to....

Monday, 28 July 2014

Ely | Wildwood

My lovely Grandparents live in Ely, and me and Dan headed there to see them and go for lunch. One of their favourites is Wildwood, and myself and Dan had seen this restaurant in Canterbury before and were so desperate to try it, so off to Wildwood we went! It was really hard to take photos so once again I'm apologising for the photos on this post. We did our best (my lovely Dan is always helping me out for my blog!)

 The inside was so posh, but also really light which I found welcoming. We were led to our seats which had a sky window above them (and were really comfy!). I found it really cool that the pizza oven, which was pretty much right next to us, was covered in 2p pieces; it was such a nice touch and made the restaurant a little different to other places I had been to before. We were served our drinks and me and my Grandma went for raspberry bellinis and my Grandpa and Dan went for a pint of beer! The bellini was delicious, although I think I would have preferred the peach flavoured one, unfortunately they had run out of the peach puree. We also had some delicious garlic and rosemary bread. I'm a sucker for garlic bread and this one was of course delicious!!

We then ordered our main course, and I went for Chicken Milanese with Spaghetti and Tomato sauce, and me and Dan ordered a portion of chips to share. The only bad thing I would say about Wildwood was that it didn't say on the menu that there was cheese in the Tomato sauce. Personally, as someone who doesn't eat cheese at all, I felt as though I shouldn't have had to check with them about whether it had cheese in it, it should have been on the menu. Instead of the Spaghetti, Dan let me eat the chips instead which were gorgeous! The chicken was also really tasty - i'd definitely have it again, just making sure I ordered the chips instead! (My Grandpa jokingly complained, and the staff were efficient and offered us to have our garlic bread for free which impressed me, although my Grandpa said he was joking in the end!)

Apart from me being fussy, Wildwood was great. I loved the restaurant itself, the layout was perfect - I didn't feel too crowded which can sometimes be the case in restaurants. I loved the lighting as it felt like I could actually see, and I thought it was nice that they had sofa seating at the front for those just wanting cocktails and drinks, or perhaps those who are waiting for their table in the evening. They also had a cinema room which you could hire for the evening, and I saw candy floss and popcorn machines at the entrance. I thought this was a really nice touch, and something different - it would be perfect for parties! They also had a childrens playroom which is something most restaurants of this style don't usually have, and I thought that was a nice touch as well. Overall, I was very impressed!

 I think myself and Dan will be returning to Wildwood, perhaps we will try the one in Canterbury out too. I had a lovely time visiting my Grandparents, as always!

 Have you ever been to one of the Wildwood restaurants?


Friday, 25 July 2014

Glorious Glitter

I’m obsessed with clothes and shoes that glitter. I love wearing something sparkly, I almost feel like Beyonce when I wear my sparkly clothes. I have quite a few sparkly pieces in my wardrobe and I thought I would share them with you all.

 The first Glittery item I have would have to be this beautiful dress from Topshop. I bought this dress last christmas at Topshop and I absolutely love it. I can't lie and say it doesn't itch when I wear it, but beauty is pain right? Its just too pretty for me to not wear, I feel like a princess in it. I love the colour of it as well, as it is something I wouldn't usually go for but still so gorgeous.

My next glittery items would have to be my beautiful Vans and Converse. I fell so in love with both of these pairs of shoes and they are still favourites of mine. Who wouldn't love them? They look perfect dressed down with jeans or leggings but I can also wear them dressed up with a playsuit or a dress for a night out for some extra sparkle!

Another pair of shoes I have are these gorgeous schuch espadrille wedges that I wore for my Summer Ball. They were £35, but I got my 10% student through NUS, which I'm really going to miss when I leave uni this time next year!!! (My dad and sister will still be studying though so perhaps they will help me out). These are so gorgeous for events like my summerball, but I think I will also be taking these on Holiday with me to Turkey in August so that I can wear them with my summer dresses when we go for dinner on the beach!

This jacket was an absolute bargain. It was from a little boutique in my home town called 'Handpicked and Gorgeous' and it was reduced from £65 to £19, how could I say no! I find this is the perfect jacket to wear with my jeans and a top when I'm going to the pub with the girls, as it dresses up my outfit without it being too over the top! I can also wear it with my dresses if I'm having a down day and need some glitter in my life.

A final purchase that is lovely and glittery are my ASOS sandals. I have bought these for my visit to Florida as I thought they would look nice but also be comfy for lots of walking during the day, as I find if shoes are too flat my feet hurt just as much as if they are heels so these shoes are the perfect balance. Also, the glitter will add to the magical Disney atmosphere.

Do you like sparkles as much as I do? 


Monday, 21 July 2014

Holiday Reads

 I’m a massive bookworm on holiday. There is nothing I want more, all year round, than to be lying poolside reading books all day in the sunshine. I get through roughly a book every other day when I go away because I spend so much time reading and I thought I would share a few books with you that I have read, and that I am looking forward to reading whilst I am in Florida where I am right now! Some of these books will be ones I have had to pay for, and others will be ones I have got for free on my beautiful Kindle which I love very much. The first few books will be ones I've read.

You're the One That I Want - Giovanna Fletcher

 "Maddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob - the man she's about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben - best man and the best friend any two people ever had.

And that's the problem.

Because if it wasn't Rob waiting for her at the altar, there's a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right?

Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it.."

 From the beginning I was #teamben. This book drew me in and I was so intrigued to find out what would happen to the trio. I don't want to ruin anything for you, but this was more than just my usual chick flick holiday reads. I normally feel like I'm just reading something that I obviously enjoy but doesn't have any substance to it. Whereas, this has so much substance and I just loved it. I really think you should check it out because it isn't predictable at all, unlike some holiday reads. I think you should head to your local book shop or kindle store right away!

The Debt and the Doormat - Laura Barnard

 This book was one of my kindle free books, and I loved it. It was light humoured and I found myself crying with laughter by the pool in Gran Canaria. It tells a story of two very different best friends and is an easy-going pool read which draws you in and makes you giggle! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to relax, take in their surroundings and have a book that will be easy to read without too much thought having to go into it! 

I'm now going to tell you a few of the books I have on my Kindle or paperback in preparation for my Floridian frolics!

The Lemon Grove - Helen Walsh

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul - Deborah Rodriguez

And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini 

Committed - Elizabeth Gilbert

Where There's Smoke - Jodi Picoult 

One Hundred Names - Cecilia Ahern 

I also decided to recruit my boyfriend Dan in this post. I thought by having a look at what he is planning to read it might give some of you inspiration for your own men! Dan is not as big a lover of reading as I am but he has got a few books for our holiday.

Elephant Song - Wilbur Smith  

Solo - William Boyd

Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley - Peter Guralnick 

Dan is really excited to read these books, especially the Elvis one as he is a MASSIVE fan. I'm particularly excited to read the Khaled Hosseini one and The Lemon Grove as well. I have heard great things about them both. 

 What have you got to read on holiday this year? Have you read any of the books in this post?


Friday, 18 July 2014

Guest Post | My Little Sister

My little sister isn't a blogger, but as I am soaking up the sunshine in Florida, I asked her to do a post for me on her summer buys as I know she has been doing a lot of shopping recently and I’m so jealous of all the gorgeous things she has brought. Welcome Sarah and her interesting photography - I think it might run in the family that our photos are a work in progress!!  

Hey everyone, as Hannah mentioned I'm not a blogger but whilst Hannah is away (lucky girl) she asked me to post and after seeing how much Hannah is enjoying it I thought I'd have a go!

I've had a bit of a summer clothes overhaul recently as there have been so many lovely things in stores and online. The first of my purchases was this gorgeous two piece from Zara- it's shorts and a jacket. I'd been looking for a two piece for a while and was drawn to the bright flowery pattern and lacy sleeves- it's perfect for summer. I've been wearing it with vest tops and so the jacket does come in useful if it gets a bit breezy.

Another two piece outfit I bought is from new look and again it was the bright colours that drew me in... The shorts are a really nice cut which makes them tight enough at the waist but still floaty. I've worn both these items separately as well but I'm wary of the colour fading on one if it gets worn more so mainly I wear them together.

I know a jacket doesn't seem particularly summery but when living in England, you can never be too careful. This jacket is from ASOS and did have matching shorts but they weren't in my size. It's quite a light material and so could easily be worn in the summer months. And wouldn't you agree that the elephant print is gorgeous?

A summer essential is of course a bikini or swimsuit for sunbathing! I got a new bikini from ASOS this year, it's slightly more adventurous than my usual choices but I thought it looked really cool. As you can see in the picture the back of the bikini is made up of lots of straps. However, if you tan quickly then it may not be the best choice as it'd leave several strap marks. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately that won't be a problem for me but I still plan to wear it on alternating days just in case!

And finally we come down to the final three items.... Whilst not "crowd favourites" I really like them and think they can put a unique twist on outfits; the first of which is a bum bag. I've wanted one of these for ages, purely because they are so practical and easy to carry around, and so when I saw this one in new look I had to get it. Not all bum bags I've seen are as pretty as this one and I think the lace detail gives the bag a summery feel!

Then last two items are both jelly shoes.... under much controversy from various people on twitter at the moment... Personally I think they are great- especially the glittery ones (it must be something to do with being related to Hannah.... sisterly love of glitter). I am not a fan of traditional flip flop style shoes as I really hate the feeling of the toe posts. Jelly shoes make a perfect alternative!! One of the pairs I will wear more for going out in the evenings, as it has a heel, but can easily be worn casually for braver people!

Thanks for letting me post on your blog Hannah! I very much enjoyed the "blogging experience" and understand why you've been loving it so much!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Guest Post - Mapped Out

Aloha! I'm Georgia from Mapped Out and today I am guest posting for Suitcase and Sandals! As someone with the memory of a goldfish, I thought I would do a post on things I almost always forget when I am travelling. Each of these things are basic essentials, so how I forget them I do not know...

Lip balm

Every time I go on holiday, the one thing I constantly forget is lip balm. I have gained such a massive collection of lip balms from having to buy one at the airport every time I travel. With such a huge collection, I don't understand how I still forget to pack one. I always find that my lips seem to be prone to chapping every time I fly so thank goodness for good ol' boots at the airport!


I always forget to pack an extra towel for the beach. I like to take a big, fluffy towel so I have something nice to lay down on the sand. It's annoying because the time I actually remember a towel, I can never fit it in my suitcase because I have packed the entire contents of my wardrobe. It would have just been easier to forget about the towel...

Cotton Buds

I hate going anywhere without these, which seems to happen a lot of the time. I am always using them to correct my eyeliner/mascara and to sort out odd bits of makeup. I am seriously lost if I forget to pack these! The panda look is never a good look.

Plug Adapter

I hate that the plug sockets are different in other countries. My life would be a hundred times easier if they were just all the same! I can not for the life of me, ever remember to pack a plug adapter. I even leave it on the side next to my suitcase and I will still forget to pack it. Thank goodness I tend to go on people that remember to pack one that I seem to think I am more in need of using than they are... for the whole holiday.


Another stupid thing that I never think to pack. They seem so insignificant but trust me, they are so handy to have in your bag when travelling. I almost always end up buying a little packet at the airport because I have forgotten to bring one with me. Oh, the amount of money I could save if I just remember to pack all this stuff!

Thanks Hannah for letting me guest post! I hope you enjoyed my little post on things I always forget...

Twitter: @mappedoutblog
Instagram: @mappedoutblog
Facebook: Mapped Out Blog


Friday, 11 July 2014

Guest Post - Lipstick and Lashes

Colour Crush: Yellow

Hello lovely readers! I am Gemma, I’m a makeup hoarder who’s obsessed with Glitter, 80’s films, travelling and writing. I blog over at Lipsticks and Lashes, which is made up of the following the ingredients: Beauty, Lifestyle, Fashion, travel and Books, with a little bit of anything else I may like to share! When the gorgeous Hannah asked if I would like to do a guest post on her blog, I jumped at the chance.
Do you ever go through those phases where you are completely drawn to a certain colour? My current colour crush is for anything yellow! I love it, I’m not sure why, maybe because of the sunshine we’ve been experiencing lately as it’s such a fun summery colour. So here is what is on my all things yellow wish list!

Cat Print Dress / Anchor Wall Hook / Sun Flower Print Dress

I love all these pieces and may have to restrain myself from going on a spending spree on pay day! Over the winter months I am terrible for only wearing black, its super slimming right? However in the summer I like to brighten things up and go from one extreme to the other as I am a fan of bright colours.  I have had my eye on the Sun Flower Shift Dress from Boden for a while, I think it would be perfect for a summer’s day BBQ. I also am massively crushing on the shift dress from River Island, paired with the earrings I think it would be a great going out look.
I am currently looking to move so I have been imagining what my new place would look like and I’m not particularly a neutral colour schemes kind of girl I am all for pops of colour, and living near the sea I think the anchor wall hook is gorgeous! Oh and I must mention the candle, I love Yankee Candles and the smell of the Sicilian Lemon is just to die for, such a gorgeous scent!
Massive thanks to Hannah for letting me stop by! If you would like to find out a bit more about me then come and check out my blog Lipsticks and Lashes. Also feel free to come and say hi to me on twitter @GemmaMarieJames
Gemma xx


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Saffron Walden Carnival

Every 3 to 4 years there is a Carnival in the town in Essex that I live near. Its called the 8 day weekend. As I'm off to Florida today for three weeks I am missing some of the nights but I was lucky enough to be around for the two main events - the opening night which was on Friday, and the procession which was on Saturday! Matt Cardle, Larissa Eddie and Mark Wright were at the opening night, and the procession is a parade of floats that goes round the town! I love the procession so much as it reminds me of my childhood. There is such a good atmosphere, especially if its sunny which unfortunately this year it wasn't!

 On the Friday evening we headed down to the common, which is like a massive piece of grass in the middle of town. They had set up a HUGE marquee for all of the events happening over the week. We got some drinks and headed to the stage to watch the crowning of the Carnival queen. There were 12 entrants, and Mark Wright was presenting! The girls introduced themselves, and then we had a round of quick fire questions! 

The Carnival queen and her two attendants were crowned, including one of my sister’s gorgeous friends Nella (who’s mum had won it 30 years ago on the exact same day!) who won the title of Carnival queen. It was time for some music!

 Larissa Eddie and her band, who have supported the Saturdays on tour, took to the stage. We were in for a treat! I have never heard Larissa before but I definitely want to again, she was such a good performer (and I loved her jumpsuit and shoes!). We heard covers of songs like 'Diamonds' and 'Heartbreaker' which are always crowd pleasers. I had such a nice time dancing with some of my favourite girls, my mum, sister and Dan!

The other performer was Matt Cardle, obviously the bigger name so the headliner (although I much preferred Larissa!). He was good, but the songs were more upbeat performed by Larissa whereas his was slower. My friend is in love with him though and was desperate to meet him! She insists that he was smiling at her though... Even though I preferred Larissa and her songs, you can't deny that he has a good voice!

Saturday saw the population of Saffron Walden (including Jamie Oliver who lives very nearby!) line the streets to watch the parade of cars, people and floats go past. We took position and braced ourselves for an afternoon of rain which in the end wasn't actually too bad. We also bumped into my little sister doing her ST John's Ambulance duty at the carnival.

There were so many floats this year, and I have to say my favourite part of the parade was the Old People's home contribution - it was a vintage style bus and all the old people were able to go on it, and they were having such a lovely time waving to everyone. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture as I was too busy waving! I also loved seeing the primary school floats as it takes me back to my childhood when I was on the floats with my primary school (one of the primary schools were playing Frozen too which excited me!). The Christ Redeemer was also a highlight for me, it made me laugh!

The gorgeous Carnival Queen Nella sheltering from the rain!

We also got loads of freebies (my favourite!)

I loved the carnival! Its such a lovely event and sees the whole community joining together to celebrate. I already can't wait for the next one...I would love to be on a float again! 

Have you ever been to a carnival? Or have you ever been to Saffron Walden?

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