Bonjour! That’s right, I’m in the city of lights itself; Paris… Las Vegas! ; ) This casino was absolutely stunning – in an over-the-top way; the best kind, don’t you think? After walking past the Eiffel Tower replica time and time again (usually on my way to watch the Bellagio fountain show, again) we finally went inside. Honestly, the detail that goes into these places is unreal! With the ‘street signs’ translated into French, I felt like I was either in Paris or having the most interactive high school French class I’ve ever had in my life!
In all honesty, I really, really wanted to take photographs in the main shopping area of Paris, Las Vegas. However the lighting had other ideas, so we said au revoir to the cobblestone pathways and started exploring the hallways near the conference centre. It turns out I couldn’t have asked for a better location as the colours and carpet print perfectly matched my Boohoo co-ord (yes, I’m all about the co-ords this trip!) I took along my full-to-the-brim Paris souvenir cup, my favourite thing from Vegas… Even more so now that my instagram followers have pointed out that it looks like it says ‘penis’! Well, what can I say? Ooh la la!
Well, it wouldn’t be a proper trip to Las Vegas without a trip to the infamous Caesars Palace! Guys, I can’t believe just how big this place is. And the amount of people referencing The Hangover (myself included!) was insane – “did Caesar live here?” I really wanted to show off a different side to Caesars. I mean, we all know that it has massive white buildings; Roman style, but did you know about the fountains and curated gardens? I sure didn’t!
We snapped these photos right before watching the one of the best shows I saw in Las Vegas; ‘Absinthe’. I wish my guy, Barnaby was a bit less blog shy, as he looked so fancy in a navy blue suit – quite the feat in 45 degree weather, let me tell you! I opted for a Missguided co-ord – my go-to for any event even remotely formal.
Hello from Las Vegas! Well, just quietly I’m actually back in wintery New Zealand now – quite the change from the 45 degree desert weather. Somehow I managed to avoid melting into a puddle on a daily basis (short hemlines and Heidi braids certainly helped!) We took hundreds of photos on our first ever trip to America, and I am beyond excited to share them with you.
One of my favourite stops, pictured here, is the Wynn hotel and casino. I’ve never really thought about it, but Las Vegas basically has no grass whatsoever – duh, Jo, that’s why it’s called a desert! The Wynn, though is a massive exception. Practically built around a man-made forest, this place is literally a breath of fresh air. The inside only gets grander! Floral carousels (yes, really!), glamorous chandeliers, and Jeff Koons statues valued at over $20 million are lurking down the corridors. I had my Instax camera out almost constantly during our time at the Wynn – and really, who could blame me?!
Would you be interested in taking a glimpse at one of my favourite cities in the world? Oh go on then! Seriously, I LOVE Wellington. You know how some places just ‘get you’? Well, this is my place. As soon as I step off the plane I feel as though I’m home. Cheesy? Yes. But hey, that’s fine, right! Plus, you know that it’s love when you have to wake up at 5am for a flight. Eek!
Now, we only had one day visiting Wellington this time. While Barnaby was tied up with prior engagements, I spent my morning walking the waterfront, exploring the enormous museum, and trying to spot as many Lord of the Rings related – well, anything really, that I possibly could. (Definitely take a peek at my Instagram if you’re a Hobbit/LotR buff too!) The weather was honestly fantastic – and I was dressed super appropriately in a grey Boohoo crop and my go-to yellow shorts (c/o Pepa Loves). We spent the rest of our day with my brother and his wife – searching for the nearest ice cream parlour. Have you ever seen a pig searching for truffles? It was a rather similar sight – which very luckily ended with the fresh berry flavoured gelato of my dreams. Yum!
I always love a good yearly recap blog post! It is always such a wonderful feeling – seeing all of your accomplishments and exciting news compiled into one nifty little post. I’m feeling extra happy after looking at my year. 2012; you’ve been pretty darn lovely to me. Here is a recap of my year – I hope yours was great too!
Firstly, let’s start with something simple! This year I wore one of my favour ever outfits! You may or may not know, but I am obsessive with cartoons. I used to spend hours in front of the tv watching Cartoon Network when I was little – and even though I’m now in my 20s, I’ve still retained that cartoon love! (After all, Adventure Time is pretty much my favourite tv show!) I was so happy to be able to channel Madeline in this outfit. It will definitely remain as one of my all-time favourite outfits!
One of the most noticeable things I did to my appearance this year was chop off a bunch of my hair! I had worn the ombre look for quite a while – and because my hair is so thick I was getting headaches from how heavy it was.. Definitely time for a change, don’t you think?! I asked your opinion on Instagram, and fully agreed with the response – fringe time! I lopped off a massive amount of hair, fringe included, and went a shade blonder. Oh, and I looove it!
One of the most exciting parts of this year for me was my graduation! I’d never been too sure what I wanted to study, and had actually changed degrees three times. (Barnaby and myself often refer to me as the real life Van Wilder). So honestly, graduating was a huge relief! The entire experience was lovely – and I was so happy that my mum was able to fly over to attend! (But so sad that my dad couldn’t, boo!) The whole event gave me the most wonderful feeling, especially when my Nana called/yelled (!) out my name as I walked the stage. I gave a little wave in response – the only one (out of hundreds!) to break protocol. There has always gotta be someone, right? Whoops..!
This year has also had Lost in the Haze featured in a bunch different printed publications! I can honestly say that seeing my own face peering back from a glossy magazine page is one of the most surreal/exciting/weird/amazing feelings ever! The one above is from Creme Magazine, and it was published about a week ago now. It was a much much, much bigger feature than I was expecting – I got such a happy surprise when I spotted my page. Plus, the Apple A Day dress even made a cameo!
A major cause of excitement for me this year has been our Modcloth collaborations. Anyone who knows me will also know that I LOVE Modcloth. Back in February 2011, when Barnaby and I first started Lost in the Haze, I set aside a bunch of goals for the blog. I’m sure you will have guessed by now that one of them was working with Modcloth! In January we were lucky enough to be selected as the Modcloth Travel Bug blogger, and I starred in a video to show off the place I consider home, Brunei. I was endlessly happy about this collaboration, so I was practically bouncing off the walls when, in July I was crowned the Modcloth Blogger of the Moment! It has always been one of my biggest blog goals, so to see it finally come true, and so quickly into my blogging career, was truly a dream!
This year I was able to collaborate with two of my favourite designers. The shoots we did with beautiful dresses by Kelsey Genna and Caitlin Shearer was both so much fun. I’ve long-followed Caitlin and her amazing blog – she is one talented lady! As for Kelsey – I actually got to meet/go out for drinks with her! And she really is just as wonderful and lovely as you think she would be! She has even started her very own blog now too – and it is a beauty!
It’s not always a guarantee that it will happen in Christchurch – but this year there was snow..! I’m not really one for the cold, but snow is of course an exception! I was so excited about it! We ended up embarking on a massive walk – around two and a half hours I think. It was really lovely. The world really does look beautiful when you’re inside a snow globe!
We took a couple of lovely holidays this year. Firstly we visited the capital city, Wellington, then later in the year we said hello to Auckland. Both trips were endlessly fun! In Wellington, we spent plenty of time at one of my favourite places – right beside the water (yes – even in the midst of a storm!) In Auckland we reconnected with our fear of heights on the Sky Tower, and we spent time lounging in the viaduct. Ahh, I always love a good trip away!
I finally faced my fears this year, and shared my voice on Lost in the Haze. (At the same time I also realized how incredibly kiwi my accent is! I could barely believe it..!) We’ve been sharing the occasional video on our YouTube channel, with plenty more to come in the new year, yippee! Above is one of my favourites – how to style a collar 5 ways. You may know how much I love collars of all different shapes and sizes, so it was a delight to share some styling tips. I do hope that you enjoyed it too!
Now of course, there is my massively exciting news – I designed and created my first ever dress! It was an idea I’ve had for a long (long long long!) time, so it truly was amazing to see it finally in front of me. It is very surreal seeing something on paper suddenly materialize in real life – in the best possible way, of course. I can’t wait to produce more beautiful clothing in the new year for you to love and cherish!
I also spent this year creating a bunch of fun tutorial posts full of handy tips and tricks. I loved creating them, so I hope that you feel the same about seeing them! Some of my favourites (and most popular!) this year include:
This was my absolute favourite day in Auckland – and the very day that we flew back home too! We had until midday before catching our flight, so decided to spent our time wandering through the Viaduct Harbour. Oh, did I mention it was in search of food? I’m forever craving vegetarian eggs Benedict while on holiday (okay.. and at home too!), so most days involve a quest of some variety to find a pretty place to eat! I’ve never really explored this far before, so discovering a walkway almost entirely covered in stripes was the biggest treat! Almost as if it has been planned – though I swear it wasn’t! – I wore a striped sweater with a boat motif, courtesy of Modcloth. Underneath I was wearing a white playsuit – that I also styled here! Oh, and you must be terribly used to my ASOS sunglasses by now! They’re the only ones I managed to pack, though I must admit – I really do adore them! They’re slightly reminiscent of the infamous round Chanel glasses that Mary-Kate Olsen often wears, or at least I like to tell myself that they are!
We wandered through the Auckland Viaduct Harbour looking at some of the most incredible boats. There was one in particular that we lingered beside for ages. It was so shiny and beautiful – we definitely had one of those ‘if I had a million dollars..‘ type moments! We also spotted a bridge in the distance that I would have loved to explored. We were running quite low on time, so at least I know where I will visit straight away on our next trip! Oh, and I thought you’d might like to know – I did get my cooked breakfast in the end! Nom nom nom!
Whenever my fella, Barnaby and I visit anywhere on holiday, we have to do at least one touristy activity. It doesn’t matter if we’ve been somewhere a gazillion times – there must be something novelty to do! Last time we visited Auckland, we went on an enormous taxi ride to the local theme park. The visit before, we unsuccessfully attempted to visit my favourite childhood aquarium. When it didn’t work out, we used our visa to order room service – dessert included! This time, to save our pennies, we decided to take a trip up the Sky Tower – a massive structure right in the middle of the city. The actual building is 328 metres tall, and is the tallest free standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
Now, don’t let my calm expression fool you – I am petrified of heights! When we exited the elevator I could barely even look out of the window. I credit the glass floor for getting me in such a state! It took about twenty minutes to calm down and stop sweating, but almost instantly I fell completely in love with the views. I was even able to scurry across the glass floor panelling – did I mention that it was 186 metres off the ground?! Despite the reassurance of the thickness of the glass, it was terrifying! Just as I was feeling extra brave, there was movement in front of the window. The tower is used for bungee jumping, and luckily for us, a woman took her jump right as we watched! It looked like a truly amazing experience – but just watching was quite enough for me!
Exploring a city is truly a magical feeling. Darting between various alleyways, buying take outs at places you’ve never even heard of, walking wherever you’d like with absolutely no idea where you’ll turn up – they are all some of my favourite things. Don’t get me wrong, I actually know Auckland city reasonably well – despite my horrific sense of direction – but something seemed different about this trip. We were visiting for work, specifically photography, but we wanted to make this visit special. We did some of the tourist essentials, including a trip up the Sky Tower – a 328 metre tall building (!!), and numerous visits to the casino – where we won $26 on various machines! Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the best though, and in particular I really loved the day that these photographs were taken.
I’ll be honest – when I’m on holiday, I wake up on an almost daily basis absolutely starving. The morning usually involves me convincing Barnaby to leave the hotel as soon as possible, just so I can make my tummy happy and full again. Of course, this was one of these mornings! We walked, walked, and walked until we found the most incredible place on the waterfront. It was was so amazing – perched right beside the water and surrounded by all sorts of impressive boats. I ate an entire vegetarian cooked breakfast and half of Barney’s too. Yum! It’s probably the reason that I adore these photos quite so much – my meal certainly left a good impression! I wore round sunglasses and a Jessica Ogden romper, both from ASOS. Auckland can be seriously windy at times, so I actually wore playsuits for the entire trip – none of that upskirting for me, thanks!
Now, I haven’t yet told you the sole purpose of our trip to Wellington. Several months ago, I contacted the beautiful and exceedingly talented Kelsey Genna. I’ve been a long-time admirer from afar, so was giddy with excitement when I saw a reply waiting in my inbox, signed by the lovely Kelsey Genna herself! I can get quite nervous about meeting new people, so arranging to meet with Kelsey over drinks seemed like the logical idea! I was soon at complete ease – how wonderful it is to meet someone so like-minded! Poor wee Barnaby is constantly having to listen to my fashion and blog ramblings, so it really was an incredible experience having someone actually interested!
The very best part of this meeting – Kelsey and I had planned a collaboration! I was so excited to team up on her latest project. The ever-enchanting Begonia dress is now available in custom colours; what a treat! For me, Kelsey made the perfect petal dress in a rustic orange – the ultimate autumn piece! It was a dreamy experience, frolicking through the Wellington botanical gardens, feeling very much like one of the flowers myself! I was also lucky enough to wear a Venetian glass necklace, courtesy of Tiger Eye Beads. Even now I’m still in a complete daze that I have a Kelsey Genna dress of my very own! I have to keep peeking into my wardrobe, just to make sure it’s true!
You may not know – but Wellington weather has a bit of a reputation. It is notorious for being very, very windy – I’ve even heard that some intersections have handles to stop you blowing over! Yesterday, the capital lived up to it’s ‘windy city’ namesake. The plan was originally to venture to the zoo with the ever-wonderful (and my latest girl crush!) Kelsey Genna. Due to my sleepy state, along with the gale-force winds, Barnaby and I instead headed to the waterfront to take bets on how big the waves were. I’d also been quite keen to test out a recent winter purchase; a transparent raincoat bought from eBay. I haven’t owned a raincoat since I was a child, so it was a surreal feeling to be completely soaked on the outside, but warm and toasty on the inside! I’m usually fairly impractical when it comes to clothing, and either freeze or sweat; depending on the outfit! I think I’m hooked on this whole ‘adapting to the surroundings’ notion, and actually dressing for different weather! I’m thinking this raincoat will be a go-to piece during winter; or at least I hope so – as I’m able to wear summery dresses underneath, and not even shiver! I spent the afternoon wearing a gingham ASOS dress, paired with black t-bar flats. Oh, and thought I should let you know – I warmed up afterwards with an incredibly warm hot chocolate; my favourite!