Backpacker Chic?!

Backpacker chic, an oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one. In my experience it’s less about the chic and more about “can I wear this 6 times without washing it?” If the answer is yes then go ahead and pack it. Don’t get me wrong I packed plenty of cute ensembles to see me through nights out in Australia, and days wandering around the cities. But when it comes to 6 weeks of braving the New Zealand winter in a campervan, trust me ladies (and gents) layers are your best friend! I am guilty of wearing tights, leggings, socks, ski socks, denim skirt, vest, long sleeve top, t-shirt, jumper, hoody and coat all at the same time. Some days I looked and felt like the Michelin man! But when the temperature barely hovers above 0°c fashion is the last thing one cares about! So dispel images of stereotypical travellers sashaying around in harem pants they picked up in Bangkok with headbands made by children only born under the full moon in a leap year from India and that oh so impressive “I did a bungy jump in Africaaaa on my gap yaaah” t-shirt…I mean yeah we’ve all done it…”Oh you like my top?!…thanks I bought it in a vintage store in Brooklyn” I cringed at myself!

Here are a few tips on what to pack:

  • Underwear is not as important as you would imagine! About 10 pairs of pants. White bra, black bra and one more to tide you over. About 10 pairs of socks…avoid white socks like the plague, black socks are your friends!
  • Skater dresses are a wonderful creation: casual enough for day wear but versatile enough to take you into a swanky bar when dressed up with the right accessories!
  • A comfy pair of shoes are essential. Nobody wants to be complaining about blisters on a jungle hike! Walking shoes may look hideous but trust me, on a midnight run to the toilet in a New Zealand DOC campsite through the mud and rain they were lifesavers!
  • Basic t-shirts and vests that you don’t mind ruining.  The same goes for leggings, skirts and dresses.
  • A warm hoody, even though you may be spending months in the heat of South East Asia or Australia a hoody is an essential item, trust me!
  • Clothing that can masquerade as sleepwear and vice versa! This is especially useful on longhaul flights/hangover days/living in a campervan.
  • Minimal toiletries…I know this one is hard but try to streamline your make-up collection and vast quantities of lotions and potions! BB cream, mascara, bronzer, blush and lipbalm are all one really needs for a natural everyday look! Or why not be brave and go make-up free for the duration of your travels?! Your skin will love you, and so will your bank balance! I’d recommend a Lush shampoo bar, I use Seanik which has seaweed to soften the hair and salt to give it body, it lasted me about 9 weeks of almost daily use! Lush shampoo bars save on space and weight in your bag, so you have more room for souvenirs and new clothes!Remember: a litre of liquid is a kilogram in weight! Pack a good moisturiser with an SPF, buy suncream when abroad (its usually cheaper!) and aloe vera gel/cocoa butter moisturiser to soothe any sunburn that may occur! A saviour of travellers is Tiger Balm which you can pick up in the UK but if you or a friend is off to Thailand then I urge you to take a vast supply home! It works on anything from insect bitesto sunburn, headaches and blocked noses, even period pain! Dry shampoo is also a godsend for keeping grease at bay, and refreshing your hair in hot and humid conditions! I’d recommend buying it in the UK as it is WAY cheaper and of better quality! Facewipes/babywipes are a great item…if you cant shower and are in the middle of nowhere  a babywipe shower is your best friend! Remember your tweezers (I use Tweezerman mini tweezers- they offer a FREE sharpening service on all of their products for life!) and nail scissors and you are good to go!
  • Your iPad/Kindle: essential for keeping in touch with home and boredom relief! Download a few good books to occupy the time you will spend waiting in airports/not being able to sleep!

Hopefully with a few of these hints and tips in mind you’ll have a plethora of extra room for those important souvenirs, fashion finds and random crap you pick up on the way.(20 condoms from a gay bar in Sydney Mandy Gardner?!)

Bon voyage!


13 Reasons Why I Love Kanye West


1. You can’t fault his self-confidence

‘Jay’s favorite line: “Dog, in due time”
Now he look at me, like “Damn, dog, you where I am”
A hip hop legend, I think I died in an accident, cause this must be heaven’


2. Not only is his self confidence as evident as ever, Kanye’s songs are so good they take a dump on you

‘R.Kelly and the god of rap shitting on you, holy crap’
TO THE WORLD feat. R.Kelly

3. He likes efficient service

‘In a French ass restaurant, hurry up with my damn croissants’

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Mid-season break…

Hello loyal and not so loyal readers…as you probably know I’ve been galavanting around the southern hemisphere for the past nine weeks! Sorry about the bragging facebook posts, twitter updates and oh so irritating instagram uploads (not sorry!) 

But now i’m back in civilisation in Brisbane and I promise not to be so distant (despite the 15000km!) Queue posts about backpacker chic (or lack of) the perils of campervan life, and general insights into my new life down under…

Return To Sender

I’m going to make an assumption here….I bet you dread the arrival of post…Just another load of bank statements, credit card payment demands, catalogues or spam. But what if there was a way you could get excited about the arrival of the postman?! Well there is…by picking up a pen and putting it to paper and writing a letter to a pen pal!

But Hannah I don’t have a pen pal…well fear not my friends the lovely girls at the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club are here to remedy that! International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club is all about spreading the geeky love, whether you are obsessed with Harry Potter, addicted to Dr Who, love all thinks anime and kawaii, are a baking goddess or a wiz with make up there is a pen pal out there for you! Follow the link to IGGPPC whack your details in and the wonderful girls will pair you up with your geeky soul mate! My pen pal and I have so much in common it’s scary! So let’s recapture the lost art of letter writing and spread the love via snail mail!


Song Of The Week: Blurred Lines -Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I

I’ve listened to this song every day this week thanks to Nick Grimshaw on the Breakfast Show on Radio 1…I literally cannot get enough of it. I love the allusion to Sex Machine by James Brown and lets just appreciate the female form in the music video…the “chaste” version is linked, but if you want a racier experience just google…13 million people have! I will definitely be downloading this onto my travelling playlist!


Sinful bargain!


There are many things that I love; shopping, bargains, cake, coffee, books…and nail polish! I have a lot of different nail polishes, ranging from neutral hues to bright neon shades. A new bottle of nail polish truly brightens my day and is an inexpensive way to be on trend. This particular shade of “mint apple” by Sinful Colours caught my eye, I adore the colour, its a great shade for spring leading into summer. Most importantly, it looks particularly fabulous with a tan! And at only £1.99, it’s a great bargain!

Other colours available at Boots. Check out more Sinful Colours on their website HERE! !


Olympia Le-Tan and Charlotte Olympia

A bank holiday Monday spent lounging around the house usually propells me towards browsing the internet for items of clothing/make-up/accessories that I cannot afford! After finding myself once again on Net-A-Porter making goo-goo eyes at Mulberry handbags, Alexander McQueen scarves and generally ogling at designer wedding dresses I stumbled accross Olympia Le-Tan and Charlotte Olympia! In the words of Sanka from Cool Runnings “I’m feeling very Olympic today!” Indeed I am…Lusting after all things Olympic in the world of accessories!

In an ideal world I would be a multi-millionaire who could afford to buy a gold plated croissant clutch for £995! However I do not..and as a result I can merely stare on in wonderment at women who can afford such gold plated luxuries! These quirky accessories are both fashionable and functional! My personal favourite of the current Charlotte Olympia range is the Yellow Scent Perspex Clutch for a mere £795…A girl can dream right?!


What really caught my eye were the tres chic and oh so geeky Olympia Le-Tan clutch bags which masquerade as hard-back books! Displaying your geek credentials has never been more fashionable! And I don’t mean wearing an £18 t-shirt from Topshop which screams GEEK/DWEEB/NERD…girls who wear such monikers very rarely are! The Telegraph featured Le-Tan’s creations back in 2010 and since then legions of celebrities have been spotted with one of her quirky clutches!


325777_in_l book-clutch_michelle

If you cannot afford Le-Tan or Olympia’s astronomical prices but happen to have a kindle or iPad…vintage book “covers” can be purchased tocreate a more lo-fi appearance for your beloved gadget! I’m currently debating a purchase from with To Kill A Mockingbird being my favourite! ASOS also have clutches available in the style of a hard-back book…but sadly they lack the vintage artwork and finesse of Le-Tan…but for £20 what do you expect?!



PRODUCTS I LOVE: La Roche-Posay Effaclar

Call me naive…but I thought on the morning of my twentieth birthday I would wake up and my angry, oily, tempermental teenage skin would be gone…How wrong I was! Fast forward two years and i’m still battling with the occaisonal outbreak of spots/zits/pimples!

I’ve tried many topical acne treatments. Everything from Clearasil, Nutrogena, Garnier, Biore, Origins and Clinique have graced my face! And yet none of them truly tackled my problems! Worse culprit being Clinique…yes it may be allergy tested and lauded as an excellent three step skin care system, but in my opinion it’s incredibly expensive and bad for your skin! Its all chemically and harsh…worth the Boots advantage card points but not worth the pain and broken dreams! I decided to research some skin care systems/brands and I stumbled across La Roche-Posay! It had rave reviews by beauty bloggers and reviewers on the Boots website! The Effaclar range is perfect if, like me you have combination/blemish prone skin! I decided to go all out and take advantage of the3 for 2 offer that was on in Boots and purchase the Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel(£10.21), Clarifying Lotion (£11) and Effaclar Mat (£13).effaclar-range


I effectively bought a CTM routine! The products are all 100% hypoallergenic, non comedonegic (oil free) suitable for sensitive skin and use minimal ingredients and fragrances, meaning that they use a high concentration of selected active ingredients that really work! So far…so good! The purifying cleanser is gentle and doesn’t dry your skin out, you only need a small amount of the gel (about the size of a 5p) for it to foam up into a wonderfully creamy wash. The lotion tones and is a micro-exfoliant meaning that you’re skin is getting a good clean without the harshness of an actual exfoliator which can strip away moisture! The Mat moisturiser is wonderful! Its soothing and absorbed quickly without any greasiness, its also an excellent base for make up! I’ve only been using these products for 10 days but already my skin is a lot clearer!