Archives for the month of: May, 2015

Midsummer12

I was invited to an A Midsummer Night’s Dream themed birthday party last weekend by my friend (who honestly, if I had to describe in 10 words I would go with “most likely to have a Midsummer Night’s Dream themed party”). I had loads of ideas about what I was going to wear and of course tried everything on the night before, hated it all, and went with this instead.

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My room- perfectly illustrating why I shouldn’t be allowed to attend fancy dress parties.

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This being:

– Monsoon sequinned dress (last worn in Vegas a few years ago, with flats, bare legs and a belt.)

– Whistles sequinned capelet. I love this capelet, not only does it instantly make every outfit look amazing but it also marks the first time I ever went shopping with my mother without it ending up in a massive “That’s too slutty! No it isn’t! Yes it is!” argument. (My teens were a tiring time for my mother…)

– Pink butterfly veil from Asos, last worn (after a panic) at Ascot.

– Hugely heavy Accessorize earrings (last worn here)

– M&S tights and slightly pointy shoeboot heels (plus various anklets, bought in Monastiraki over the years. I adore these anklets, and bring them out every summer. They have little bells on them that jingle as I walk, which makes me so happy! :-D)

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– Feathered bag from Asos and tiny butterfly bag I found in my cupboard, I think it was a gift from years ago. It fit my iphone perfectly, which was fantastic as it meant I could have it on me all evening while still having my hands free for Prosecco and snacks! 🙂

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This is the dress without the capelet. I decided it had kind of a warrior fairy look to it, so it worked for the theme. I had actually bought kiddie fairy wings that I had hoped to customise/make less tacky but I ran out of time and decided that the capelet had a wing-like quality anyway so left it. It was actually a really good theme as it allows you to a.) look nice (fairy queens, woodland nymphs etc.) and b.) use mostly stuff that you already have. Most of the women were either Titania-ing it up with lots of face sequins, smeared on with Vaseline, and ethereal dresses (one woman wore fairy lights, and won the prize for best costume), while the rest simply wore floral outfits with flower hairbands and the like. The guys made even less effort (shocker! Although I was surprised nobody brought a donkey head…) and mostly wore a couple of flower hairclips or furry hats. My bf sprayed his hair green and wore a flower crown (both the dye and crown were from Claire’s Accessories.) He looked really cool actually, although I haven’t forgiven him yet for resisting my request that he wear eyeliner which I think would look amazing on him!

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Warning: the green spray went everywhere! Wrap yourself in a towel you don’t especially like and try and be as far from everything as possible. I sprayed it on him and we went through about 8 face wipes between us just trying to get it off our chests/arms/faces etc. It didn’t really show on skin but the wipes all came out neon yellow so it was definitely there! Also, my bathroom is now a weird colour.

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Make up wise, I put loads of gold glitter eyeshadow under my eyes and around my temples but unfortunately, it didn’t show as much as I’d hoped. I think I needed to get proper body glitter for that to work. I stuck on a couple of diamanté stickers I had, above my eyebrows, to try and look a bit more exciting, and then just did eyeliner and mascara as usual.

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I love the effect of the veil but my tips if you are ever planning on wearing one are:

– Don’t leave the house without straws. Straws are your best friend.

– Be prepared to be mocked for having a champagne glass with a straw in it.

– Don’t overdo the mascara or it will drag against the veil and you will end up twitching at people.

– Tuck it up and under when the food comes! Don’t even try and eat around it!

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I bought some metallic transfer tattoos from Asos and put a few along the inside of my arm.

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It was an amazing party- bunting and fairy lights everywhere (my friend basically bought out Tiger), fresh flowers all over, a cushion floor for lounging (my day began with instructions to come by in the afternoon with as many cushions as I could fit in my car – and 2 shoulders of lamb), the food was good and the drinks were flowing… We even had a competition where people acted out parts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (making it officially the ponciest, yet most hilarious, party I have ever attended.) The sun even made an appearance as we arrived, meaning that it really did live up to its theme! 🙂

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Happy Hump Day everyone! (Man, I love bank holiday weeks, they feel so delightfully short!)

Love,

The Styletterie

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The best thing about Primark is that it’s so cheap you can always justify a wild card (or two :-p)…

Hence this look.

I thought this was a dress at first, but was really pleased when I discovered that it was actually a weird apron top thing, with slits up the side. It actually makes it much easier to wear!

I was concerned that it might be a bit too young for me, but decided that life’s too short to worry about this crap…. and anyway, I could always blame it on the hip hop.

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I wore it with M&S treggings, M&S shoes, old hoop earrings that I used to wear every day as a teenager, and a necklace that my Dad gave me. I also carried my new H&M fringed backpack (that’s pretty similar to the Topshop one I was lusting over a while back!) that one of my sisters bought me. (Yes, I have awesome family members) 🙂

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My old-enough-to-vote black leather Warehouse jacket made its first appearance of the year, and I was ready for a wild, crazy night out, as befitting a hip-hop fuelled yoof! (AKA I went for fondue with some friends and was in bed by 11.) 😀

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Have a great weekend!

Love,

The Styletterie

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The next day of our trip and the lovely weather deserted us in favour of thunderstorms and hair-destroying humidity. Seemed as good a day as any to go shopping!

The Grand Bazaar is a covered market, with over 5000 stalls. Last year, it was actually the most visited tourist attraction in the world. So, obviously a bit of a tourist trap but I was still excited as shopping abroad is basically my favourite thing. I love being able to say “oh this, yeah, just a little something I picked up in Istanbul…(BECAUSE I AM WELL CULCHURED THANK YOU FOR NOTICING!)” 😉

I wore my sister’s big bow hairclip from the 80s that I recently found. I love that from certain angles from the front I look like I’m wearing little cat ears. My cat ear sunglasses from River Island were therefore also necessary, despite the lack of sun.

The peacock earrings were a gift, the mini-pearl necklace (that I also have the big Zara version of) is from Next, and the chilli pepper pendant was a freebie from a shop in Siena.

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I also wore: H&M cardi, and my M&S pink trench.

I had to pose in front of the below shop as I have recently started watching the Dawson’s Creek box-set, having completely missed it when I was actually the target audience for it, and am obsessed. It makes me so happy, it’s ridiculous!

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Diverse sizes of mannequins = good

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Terrifying child mannequins with goatees = not quite as good

The Grand Bazaar was constructed over 500 years ago. It was leaking in several places, and looking a little worse for wear all over. All of which only added to its charm.

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Sooo, I promised my boyfriend that if I saw something I liked I would either buy it or forget about it, and I absolutely would not make him wander around for hours trying to navigate back to the first stall we saw to get something I had already decided against. And then I decided, after a million further twists and turns through the seemingly senseless labyrinth that is the Grand Bazaar, that I wanted the front lamp in the above picture at one of the first stalls we had passed and we spent about an hour trying to retrace our steps (the millions of photos I had taken actually really helped with this!) so that I could um and ahh for a further half hour about whether or not it would fit into my suitcase.

I bought it, and it did, just FYI 🙂

I have to say though, that for all the sheer overwhelming size and quantity of the place and the things there, I was actually pretty underwhelmed by what was available. Usually, if you set me loose in a market like this, I spend all my money and leave with my body weight in tat. However, there was just so much choice, and so many stalls selling similar things that it became impossible for me to actually choose anything.

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I love the high-security closing up system…

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I was obsessed with all the lamps. I would have bought so many if I hadn’t had to get them back home somehow! (Although, a couple of the vendors told me that they can courier abroad.)

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There is an antiques section in the middle which was gorgeous, and I wanted everything. However, being antiques, they were unfortunately not your standard market prices. I enquired after a bracelet that turned out to cost US$6,000. *sigh* I would have taken more pictures but they kept shooing me away and telling me off!

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There was one passageway near here that we turned to go down only to find that it was completely blocked by dozens of men praying, in response to the call to prayer. (Which rang out several times a day and was so stunning every time.) It was really interesting to see, as I had been wondering about how the system worked – if people tended to congregate to pray or just stop where they are etc. Never having lived in or visited a predominantly Muslim country, I had only ever seen people praying individually before.

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In the end I left with only my lovely lamp, which cost about 380 Turkish Lira (approx. £90), and these 3 bracelets, which came to about £22 altogether. But, while I didn’t buy much, it was fascinating and definitely a place worth visiting!

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(N.B. Everyone tells you you’re supposed to haggle so, even though I hate haggling with a passion, I did. They did lower the prices a bit but not so much that it made a real difference… Maybe that’s just because I’m so rubbish at it though!)

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Lunch. 40% of what I ate in Istanbul was bread and cheese, 50% was lamb and rice, and the last 10% was ice cream. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get any better than that! 😀

Unfortunately the above meal was too large for the plate it was on, causing the waiter to drop a piece of the cheesy bread right in my crotch. He was so flustered, I felt really bad for him!

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I’m not sure the shop names below would go down as well in England…

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After we had exhausted the Grand Bazaar (and my boyfriend), we wandered through the Spice Market, which is right next door. However, again we were a bit underwhelmed, and didn’t buy anything. It was obvious that it was heavily geared towards tourists, not locals, and my bf (who has clearly not understood the point of travelling!) said that there was nothing you couldn’t buy at the Turkish Food Centre in Stoke Newington anyway.

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Not entirely convinced that “Hakuna Matata” is an authentic Turkish spice…

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Designer dummies!

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Um…..but…it’s a bunny?

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My bf bought some horizontal kebabs (cag) from Sehzade Cag on the way back to the hotel. He tried to buy 4 skewers but ended up with 4 entire dishes, complete with bread and salad. In the unlikely event that he starts a rap career, he shall be known as “4 Kebabs”.

2 Chains will be so jealous.

While he was amassing enough food (which was delicious by the way) to feed a small army, I was buying enough scarves to keep them warm while they digest.

I bought several of each of the colours below (they were only about £4 each!) to give out to my friends and family (and myself) as souvenirs.

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We went for a swim at the hotel, purely because I had brought FOUR bathing suits with me (packing light? What’s packing light?) and had to wear at least one to prove that it was worth me bringing them…

Then we got changed and headed out for some more authentic Turkish cuisine – SHAKE SHACK!

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I wore my leopard print jacket (last worn on my bday), black Dorothy Perkins top, my new bracelets and earrings that I bought last summer in Monastiraki.

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We took the tram (very efficient, pretty clean) from Gulhane to Tophane and then walked up the steepest, longest hill ever to get to the main shopping street in Beyoglu. I would have liked to have had a couple more days in Istanbul to explore the more modern areas like this as well.

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The street was decorated with Christmas lights, even though it was the end of March! Not sure if this is a year round look or what…

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Shake Shack was fabulous as ever (although not as good as the one in London, which in turn is not as good as the one in New York).

I loved these random feathers, not sure if there were a sign for something or just art, but they certainly livened up the never-ending hill of doom as we retraced our steps back down!

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Thanks for reading!

Love,

The Styletterie

Hagia Sofia

After visiting the spectacular Blue Mosque, it was time to walk across the square to the other main attraction of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia. Originally the biggest Orthodox cathedral of the Byzantine era, it fell to the Ottoman empire in 1453, and was turned into a mosque. It was secularized in 1931 and made into a museum.

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I was especially excited to visit this building, as I have been raised as a Greek Orthodox and so have been in several Greek Orthodox churches, including the stunning St Sophia cathedral in London, which took a lot of inspiration from its namesake in Istanbul (or Constantinople, as it was when Hagia Sophia was a church). I was keen to experience the amalgamation of church and mosque, and my Dad, who had been to Istanbul years ago, declared this to be the most important sight there.

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I kept thinking all the signs said “Girls’ Entrance”…

In fact, it was even more of an obvious division than I expected. You can still see many of the mosaics depicting Christian figures and angels, with large wooden boards bearing writings from The Quran hung over them. (The mosaics were whitewashed over when it was converted into a mosque, and restored when it became a museum.)

I thought these lights were so beautiful:

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We walked upstairs through a long, windy and dark corridor. I had to laugh because my bf filmed all the way up this very boring walkway, expecting to emerge at a breathtaking view of the Cathedral and instead was greeted by-

-a giant wall of scaffolding!

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They didn’t make many big structural changes when it was converted into a mosque, they merely added minarets and moved the altar off centre, as it obviously had to face Mecca.

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It looks a bit weird actually, this majestically designed building with an off-centre focal point.

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View of the Blue Mosque from the Hagia Sophia window:

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It really was fascianting to see the mix of styles. Some of it was so Greek, and felt like I was just in a regular Greek church, and then you’d turn round and the Turkish, Muslim influence would completely change that. I love that they made it into a museum actually, so you can really enjoy the opposing cultures and heritage of this historic building.

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Note to self: Try and stand in front of the No Entry sign that totally kills the effect of the picture next time.

(Pink trench: M&S, black dress: Asos, sunglasses: River Island)

I loved these cards in the gift shop:

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Nothing makes me laugh more than the utter cheekiness of tourist shops selling air in a tin. Surely no one buys this?!!

Back outside, the Obelisk of Theodosius:

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We went for lunch at The Han, my first meal sitting cross-legged on the floor. I now understand why this isn’t popular all over the world. It is really not that comfy!

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Suite Blanco turquoise jewellery and H&M silver bangle.

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Ok, so I know this isn’t exactly depicting the majesty of Turkey, but still – I want my pyjamas waiting for me like this every day, dammit!

We went for a stroll along the Bosphorus in the evening. None of my pictures do justice to how pretty it was, or how the bridges have lights on them that sparkle as they sway in the wind. (The lights, not the bridges!)

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We went for dinner at a random streetside restaurant we passed, where a violinist came and played his violin (badly) on the table right next to us for half an hour, while I jumped out of my skin every time a stray cat brushed past me (which was often). Definitely not a highlight.

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We passed a massive tower of traditional sweets in a shop on the way home but, being me, I ended the evening back in my hotel room with a Cornetto.

In my defence, it was a flavour that we don’t have in England.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Cornetto… 😀

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And our first full day was done! Sob.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

The Styletterie

SelfishKimK

So I ordered Kim Kardashian’s selfie book…

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Thank you Amazon 🙂

As soon as I heard of this book’s existence, I knew I wanted it. The first (of many, probably) actual selfie book.

While I wouldn’t describe myself as the world’s biggest Kim K-W fan, I do like her (sue me) and I find her kind of fascinating. (Much like Paris Hilton before her, who I was really into when I was a teenager.) There’s just something about the ability to make so much out of essentially a pretty face, a great body and a willingness to share that’s interesting, and admirable. After all, plenty of people have all those things and other gifts besides. But the rise of the Kardashians tells us so much about society and celebrity and social media and media in general, that it’s hard to not be intrigued by them. Especially because Kim herself is not actually that interesting. She’s not a wild-child. On the show, her dramas are pretty pedestrian, just better dressed versions of what we all go through (with the notable exception of her infamous 2nd marriage.) Even her relationship and marriage to Kanye West is only interesting through the pretty pictures and the fact that he, for all his faults, is an undeniably original and unusual bloke (to put it mildly).There was no drama to it at all, and all we ever hear are soundbites of their wedded bliss. By all accounts, she’s unfailingly polite, and hardly ever shares any opinions that could even come close to controversy. So, what’s the fascination?

For me, I think it stems from the sheer shamelessness of her vanity. (And I don’t mean that as a criticism.) Even the name of the book is unabashedly, unashamedly, gloriously vain.

Maybe it’s to do with having been brought up in Britain (and by old fashioned parents too),but the idea of declaring myself to be good at something, or attractive, or sexy is impossible to understand. Not that I lack self-worth or confidence, just that fishing for compliments, or ‘boasting’, is just Not Done.

Selfies and social media didn’t exist when I was a teenager (thank goodness!) but I certainly take lots now. We all want to chronicle our looks and feel attractive.  And I’ve always been concerned with my appearance, and wanted to look as nice as I could. But even now, any pictures of me on Facebook have to look attractive of course (I’m a champion de-tagger), but not like I think I’m attractive. Does that make sense? I seldom put up selfies as I (a clearly very old person! :-p) would be mortified if anyone I knew thought (ok, knew) that I had spent time taking photos of myself, with the intention of looking hot. (Also, selfies aren’t really my best angle… my face benefits from a bit more distance than my arms can manage!)The idea that I was taught was that you had to be unconsciously attractive/clever/kind etc. If you knew you were any of the good things you wanted to be, it detracted from them. Modesty was key. And so, the more modern/American view of not feeling the need for false humility and not being ashamed to be openly proud of yourself and your appearance is something I am completely mesmerised by (and a little bit jealous of)!

I really didn’t know I had this much to say on the subject…

(This is certainly more writing than can be found in the book!)

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The book itself is as you’d expect. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a hefty tome, stuffed with pictures of Kim pouting, Kim looking serene, Kim with other people and Kim looking sexy. There is actually a “sexy” bit in the middle, where the pages are black instead of white and she is either naked or underwear-clad.

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A lot of the photographs are ones we’ve already seen, but some are new. There are a few captions here and there, but nothing beyond the usual Instagram captions that accompany her pictures. It’s not trying to be Alexa’s “It”- it’s simply an anthology of her face and body.

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Verdict:

– This book is not going to change your life.

– It’s attractively packaged, and will look nice on a coffee table. (Although it’s smaller and thicker than most coffee table books)

– Is it vacuous? Yes, of course it is. We all knew it would be.

But so did Kim, and that’s the point…

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And then, because it just seemed rude not to, I put on a tiara and took selfies:

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😉

Have a great weekend!

Love,

The Styletterie

Ps. Read this for a much more detailed and entertaining review of the book!

photo 4 (2) I went on a mini-break to Istanbul in late March and it was gorgeous! Here are some of my favourite pictures:

Day 1: Our hotel room. We stayed at the Hotel Sultania, and were very happy and comfortable there. I thought that the decor might be kind of cheesy but actually I loved it and the staff were all fantastic. 🙂 photo 1 (5) We arrived at dusk so we just went for a wander and then dinner. I wore: Stripey top with a weird back and underlayer effect from Express in New York that I had forgotten I had; M&S treggings; Sublime necklace; pink M&S trench that was a gift from my Mum and sister and has quickly become my favourite thing. The panda slippers were a gift a while ago so I don’t know where they’re from! (I refrained from wearing them out on my walk and just wore black Office booties. 😦 ) OOTD day1 Our hotel was in the Sultanahmet district so just a 5 minute walk to the Sultanahmet Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque, and Haghia Sophia, amongst other things. photo 5 (2) Multi-coloured fountain in front of the Blue Mosque:

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We went to Gulhane Kebab House for dinner as it had lots of good reviews on Tripadvisor. It was really tasty (I now need Turkish style buttered rice with all my meals) but we had to laugh as, while we were paying, 2 waiters came up to us separately to let us know that they were on Tripadvisor and would we like to review them? We smiled and said we would and the second guy hovered over us, waiting. “Would you like to do it now?” he offered. Umm. “WE HAVE WIFI!”

So, while it was really nice, I think we might have the reason for its online popularity!

photo 1 (6) The following day we made the Blue Mosque our first port of call. We arrived at prayer time so had to wait in the courtyard until it was over, at which point visitors are admitted. I wore: my black Asos 90s button down dress, with black leggings, boots, my pink coat and turquoise Suite Blanco jewellery. I added a strap top underneath for modesty, and kept my coat on inside the Mosque anyway. ootdday1 With regards to clothing modesty (something I don’t usually give too much thought to, being of an un-shy nature)- while Turkey is a secular country and I could wear whatever I liked, I was aware that I would be visiting religious buildings and that a large proportion of the population is Muslim. Consequently, I did make an effort to be more demure than usual, just as a sign of respect.

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photo 3 (5) Seriously, this building was so pretty, all I did was take photos of it. Every time I walked past I was struck by how picturesque it was – I now have about 400 of the same photo! photo 2 (8) photo 1 (12) They do hand out scarves for the women but I had one in my bag anyway so used that. You also had to take off your shoes (but you could keep your socks on.) photo 2 (12) 10419036_10152949821523952_5306533924525370691_n

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photo 3 (9) The reason it’s called the Blue Mosque is because the tiles on the ceiling are predominantly blue. photo 5 (7) Inside Blue Mosque I didn’t take too many pictures inside, as there were still some people praying and I felt weird about photographing them mid-prayer. I also refrained from any selfies in the actual Mosque but I was the only one! Pouting v-sign selfies abounded. I know this makes me sound so old (and possibly a bit judgemental :-/) but it just seems like an odd thing to do in a place of worship, regardless of whether or not you’re there for religious reasons. As someone who was taken to Church a lot as a kid, I was always taught to be on my best, most decorous behaviour and I know my parents would kill me if I didn’t show the same respect in any and all places of worship!photo 1 (13) photo 3 (10) photo 1 (24) I liked these little trees on the railings nearby- they look like Christmas trees!

A quick ice cream (Turkey is famous for its dondurma, which tastes just like normal, delicious ice cream but goopier and stickier. I think it’s made with mastic. It’s also famous for the sellers tricking you by pretending to drop it, spinning it around so you can’t grab it etc. And even though I had watched a whole video about this beforehand, I still fell for it and panicked that I’d dropped the ice cream as they were handing it to me!) and then on to phase 2 of the day, Hagia Sophia, which will have to wait for another blog post as I took way too many pictures of that too!

(Seriously, editing’s a b*tch! But considering that my own parents were unable to stay awake during my photo presentation, I figured I should cut down before unleashing them on the unsuspecting blogosphere!)

photo 5 (8) Thanks for reading!

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend! 😀

Love,

The Styletterie