Blue denim jeans and a classic button-up – these are some staple items that I believe, should be essential to any wardrobe and in my opinion, you can never really have too many of.

When the team at Next kindly invited me along to play dress-ups and pull together an outfit from their latest collection, I couldn’t help but choose these two timeless pieces and combine them into a classic look. Personally, my wardrobe predominantly consists of neutral staples (anything black, white, grey or denim) that I keep on high rotation; and whenever I find myself shopping, it’ll usually be for even more staple items to add to this ever-growing collection or simply, another pair of sneakers (because every girl’s got a vice, right?).

What I love most about neutral and/or staple items is that they tend to last for more than a single season – giving you more bang for your buck; and the fact that they can be layered and teamed up in a variety of ways and combinations. Versatile chic!

Wearing: Next Oversized White Shirt, Boyfriend Jeans and Boots, Celine Sunglasses and Trio Bag, Karl Lagerfeld 7 Watch and Nike Fuelband

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The second-last leg of my European journey found us travelling from sunny Barcelona, landing in not-so-sunny Venezia, Italy. Flying over Venice was an experience in itself, as we were treated with a birds-eye view of the many canals running through the islands. It felt completely surreal and unlike anywhere I had seen before.

DAY ONE

Once we landed at the airport, we had to find our way to San Marco. As the airport is located on the mainland, we needed to catch a ferry (vasporetto) across to the San Marco district. The ferry ride took approximately 90 minutes but time seemed to pass by quite quickly as we were just enjoying the adventure of travelling and soaking up as much of the moment as possible.

Once we got to San Marco, we located our bed and breakfast which was about a 10 minute walk from where we were dropped off. Once we checked and settled in (and dried off, as a bit of our stuff had gotten wet from the rain), we headed out, bought a couple of umbrellas (as it was still heavily raining) and set out to explore the area of San Marco.

In an hour or two, it started to get dark and there were hardly any people out – I swear, it looked like a ghost town! We explored the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) and peered inside the St. Mark’s Basilica, admiring the mosaic detail all throughout. Our stomachs were grumbling after a long journey, so we found a trattoria and devoured some pizza and pasta for our first meal on Italian soil.

Venezia

The Ponte di Rialto over the Grand Canal, along with the rest of Venice is extremely busy during the day

Venezia

Gondolas lined up in the morning, before operations commenced

Venezia

Venezia

San Marco Campanile

Venezia

Outside the Doge’s Palace

Venezia

The Bridge of Sighs; this bridge connects the prison rooms to the interrogation rooms of the Doge’s Palace

Venezia

Inside the Doge’s Palace – I’d definitely recommend booking a guide in a small group for a tour inside the Doge’s Palace. Our guide shared so much knowledge of the history of the Doge’s Palace and Venezia as a Republic

Venezia

Statues outside the Doge’s Palace. We learned that the first pieces of a statue to break/fall off were noses and genitals because they were weaker then any other parts!

Venezia

There were hundreds of souvenir stores in Venice that either sold masks or Murano glass - try not to get sucked in

Venezia

Just one of the 177 canals in Venice

Venezia

A visit to Venice is never complete without gelato – I think I had gelato twice a day, at least! This store was called Alaska Gelateria where the owner made the gelato from all natural ingredients himself!

Venezia

Along the Grand Canal – the main canal in Venice

Venezia

Venezia

People soaking up the sun and the view – this location was not too far from the train station

Venezia

A few locals hanging out by one of the canals

Venezia

Gondola rides start from around 80 Euros for 40 minutes and increases to 100-120 Euros after 6-7pm – you can also book guides that bundle in a gondola ride, which work out slightly cheaper

Venezia

There are many trattorias in Venice, where you’ll find delicious Italian cuisine

Venezia

Overlooking the Grand Canal from the Ponte di Rialto

Venezia

The Ponte di Rialto by night

DAY TWO

We spent our first full day in Venice simply exploring the sestieres (municipalities) by foot covering San Marco, San Polo, Castello and Santa Croce. We visited the San Rocco church, which had free admission and admired the artworks depicting a story of St. Roch.

As Venice is quite small in size, we ended up covering a fair bit of ground in a single day, and to be totally honest, I would have been completely happy to leave the next day. We weren’t even sure what we’d do the following day as we had covered so much, so we decided to book a tour of the Doge’s Palace.

DAY THREE

We started off our last day in Venice by grabbing a bite to eat (a panini and a coffee, no less) before heading on our tour of the Doge’s Palace. Now, I’m not one that usually likes to go on tours (I’d prefer to stick to the unbeaten path), but being part of the tour was great for a couple of reasons:

  1. We were able to skip the lines and head straight in (which is a huge deal if you had seen how long the lines had gotten); and
  2. We were able to learn so much in such little time from our guide; information that we would have never even know about certain artworks and the significance of certain areas/rooms of the palace

We also upgraded our tour to include a walk-through of the prison in the Doge’s Palace (yes, the Doge lived near criminals!) and this was actually the prison that the infamous Casanova had broken out of and apparently, escaped on a gondola. Whether or not these events actually happened, we’ll never know – all we have to go by is Casanova’s own writings in Story of My Flight!

After our tour, we decided to take our last afternoon pretty easy (as we had rushed and tried to see everything the previous day, we felt way less pressure) by kicking back, enjoy the clear weather (so thankful it cleared up!), some good food and of course, good gelato.

Where we stayed: Locanda Antica Venezia in San Marco, the location of this bed and breakfast was very convenient – a 5 minute walk to San Marco Piazza

Must-Eats: Gelato from Suso Gelato – the pistachio flavour with pistachio cream on top and nutella with nutella cream on top was to die for! I can safely say that it was the best gelato I had ever eaten – yes, even better than Messina.

Must-Sees: San Marco Piazza is great as you can see three of the major sights in one day – the Bell Tower, the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. I only went inside one of these sights – the Doge’s Palace, just because we had already seen many churches at the stage of our trip and thought the palace would be something different (and it was!).

What I loved: I loved Venice at night. It was much too packed and busy for my liking during the day, but at night, all these people would disappear and I would wonder – where do they all go!? Walk the city at night, it’s absolutely beautiful.

What I didn’t quite love: The souvenir shops – every second store seemed to sell either Murano glass or Venetian masks. These stores were closed at night time, which probably attributes to why I prefer Venice at night.

Have you been to Venice? What were the highlights of your trip?

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Hair care to me has always been quick and easy. I never really got into using a curling iron or straightening wand, and for as long as I remember, the only real effort I ever put into my hair, was washing it.

Now, it may not sound like I take much care of my hair (although, I’m sure it could be a lot better), but what I do try to do is take the hair care products that I do use seriously. What this means to me is using as much organic product as possible and making sure that it’s environmentally-friendly (we all need to do our bit!).

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been using Grown Alchemist’s Shampoo and Conditioner – not only do they meet both requirements being organic and environmentally sustainable, but they’re also made up of a gentle, nutrient-rich formula that has left my hair feeling clean, soft and supple.

What’s even better is that they smell deliciously of roses. What more could you want?

Grown Alchemist

Grown Alchemist Shampoo in Damask Rose, Black Pepper & Sage | Conditioner in Damask Rose, Chamomile & Lavender Stem

Grown Alchemist

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