Thursday, 28 January 2016



I absolutely love fabrics and enjoy injecting different textures to my wardrobe. Last season I became slightly obsessed with Suede. (Suede post here) And this season or let's say in the last two weeks I've become very fashion haunted by the idea of wearing Velvet. I just really like how the super smooth soft texture looks. So it's the perfect time to add a touch of new velvet to my ever evolving (Bursting! Eeek!) wardrobe. 

Once again stuck without the choice but to spend a spare half hour in the west end I found myself in a vintage shop fashion hunting, Rokit Covent Garden to be exact which is where I purchased this gorgeous velvet maxi split skirt at a fabulous sale price of £2. Yes Two QUID! It's vintage so I was expecting a visible loose stitch, tear or stain mark but nothing of the sort was seen. :-) 

Above I've styled my new skirt with a vintage chocolate brown polo knit jumper from Mint Vintage, big fedora hat (of course), lace up Mero Retro ankle booties (love them), faux fur Rokit coat and my Beyond Retro literally stuck to my hand satchel bag. 

I'm so happy the sun came out for this shoot! Spring is coming dears!
I hope you enjoyed this post. 
Don't forget to come say hi on my Instagram page or twitter. 

What fashion piece are you madly swooning over?
(I'm a fashion freak I know)

My Look
My Style 
Flora Maria


Sunday, 24 January 2016



Yaaaaay I've finally got round to sharing 'My Shoe Collection' which I'm really happy about as it's one of my favourite blogs to read. Very similar to the 'What's in my bag post'(Moi here), a bit nosy but a great insight into finding or learning a new style. I have well over a hundred pairs of shoes (no joke) as I was kind of obsessed with them from a young age, and started wearing heels from about fifteen. I'm 5'6 which is like a short tall person so adding height in a heel was everything to me growing up (silly I know). I shouldn't be too hard on myself about the amount of foot wear I have as the majority of my shoes are vintage second hand or hand me downs. And the rule with anything vintage is you have to buy the piece there and then as they are one offs and you'll never see them replicated anywhere else. They are unique must haves! Also I feel like my shoes are timeless and quite versatile styles that will last forever. (Ok time to stop justifying lol) I LIKE SHOES! HAHAHA!

Here are a few favourites of mine that I've picked which I continuously grab and wear to complete an outfit. Enjoy!
:-) XXX

Not sure if I need to do a spiel on the classic American Converse creation. Converse shoes are incredibly recognizable having been around for decades (1908). Very versatile that I wear these hi tops with vintage dresses, jeans, smart trousers and maxi skirts, (you name it I've worn these with). They are effortless and I find them extremely comfortable to wear.  I also have these in black and dark red. The Converse brand have lot's of different styles like All star, low tops, high tops, slip ons, pro star, con star but I tend to stick to the classic ranges like above. I love them!

I've spoken of my addiction of the Little Black Boot before but I have to say these are one of my favourites in my shoe collection. I love the gold buckle finish and the soft leather detail. They have a slight heel and very comfortable to walk in (Comfort is very important). I'll pair these beauties with lot's of different outfits and I've already had a huge amount of wear out of them. A recent purchase from a fairly new vintage shop called Mero RetroBeing vintage I will probably have to get them re-heeled at some point so they are kept in prime condition. For me definitely a great vintage find. 

The Sexy Sparkly Stilettos. To be honest I've never really been into bundles of bling but I saw these whilst shopping on my birthday two years ago and kind of had to have them on my feet. At a good nearly 5 inch in heel they aren't the easiest of shoes to walk in but they do make me feel fabulous darling. A pointy court shoe is great for secretly lengthening your legs. The metallic gold finish is what gives this style of shoe the ultimate wow factor. I'll pop these delights on with an evening dress or my denim jeans for a more causal yet effective look. Huge fan of Carvela-Kurt-Geiger shoes and these are now in sale. 

I call these my Grandad Shoes as I swear my grandad had the exact same pair and I think they were definitely patent too (Grandad chic). Again quite classic in design and I often wear my grandad loafers with opaque tights and a little dress during the winter. They have a small block heel and soft on my feet to wear. A lovely high street find from ZaraSimilar here :-)

My chunky 70's inspired Velvet Retro Platform. I saw these on the Public Desire Instagram page a few years ago and ordered them online. I did think they'd be a throwaway after worn a few times type of shoe, (as they were quite cheap) but they have actually lasted me a long time. I've also kept these in the box which maybe why I haven't scuffed them. I either wear them with my flares, a vintage dress or I'll rock them with my skinny jeans and socks underneath to create a funky statement look. Although the heel and platform are quite chunky I find them really easy to walk in. I find them very simple in design but great at adding a little quirk or funk to complete an outfit. Similar here :-)

These are my Animal Print Shoes that I often wear to add a little character and quirk to an outfit. I think there a fun purchase from Absolute Vintage that I've had for a good few years. I think the court shoe style make the leopard print quite understated and easy to wear.

And lastly my White 60's block Heeled Sandals. I love these little babies as I find the design so cute and girlie. I tend to wear them in the spring summer season the majority of the time. These sweet gems are made from flexible plastic and feature a comfy wide block heel and adjustable ankle strap. I literally wear these with the majority of my wardrobe but love how they look with a simple vintage dress. (I'm a vintage freak!) Similar here :-)

I hope you enjoyed this little Sunday post. I've enjoyed writing it and learnt from our wee natter that I do have a shoe problem which is more than okay with me. I've also learnt that I have an incredibly high instep. Duh!

What's your ultimate shoe collection?

As always thanks for reading. 
Lot's of Love,

My Look, 
My Style
Flora Maria


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

TRAVEL - At The Edge of Paradise - Part 8 - SAN FRANCISCO

At The Edge of Paradise

Santa Barbara. San Diego. San Francisco

Back on the dusty road again we were heading west this time straight to the heart of San Diego, a lovely four hour drive away. As me and the wife were no longer a duo act due to our good friend Geezy joining us, we nicely became a lucky trio. Which meant the dynamics of our survival group had naturally changed. We now had a third person to consider on this wee venture. G had also kindly offered to take the driving reigns for her first road trip journey having just joined us in Vegas. In fact G couldn't wait to get tucked in behind the 'Thelma' automatic wheels, which was a huge delight for us especially Shaz. Actually can we just give that girl a big roaring round of applause. She practically had to adapt, think fast (as I dropped her in it) and drove us half way across USA in not the easiest of weather conditions. I mean my eyes were firmly on the road too and we only had one near miss where the tiredness struck Shaz, but she probably felt the strain at times but never ever showed it. In fact I think she loved it! Wild and Free on the open road. An Essex Wonder Women is our Shaz.  Also what a great life achievement she now has and one treasured memory to tell her grandchildren about.
Now a good three weeks into our little summer journey back on the road towards the California breeze something in me had changed. It felt like I could feel already what an impact this trip was making on my life. I'm not sure if it was not having the strain to carefully watch the road as much but I distinctly remember seeping into the surroundings around me. My eyes could see. I could sit back and enjoy the ride. 

As I released each breath it felt like the snag deep inside of my being was finally unlocked........the dark detaining demons I had buried inside of me were quickly vanishing. Why does sitting in a moving car looking out do that to you? It's very cliche but I can honestly say it's true. If you take away all the fuss and your left with just you. Roar and the open road it allows you to free your mind, clear your thoughts and just be.  I don't feel like I can write this post honestly without mentioning what I had been through prior to this booked trip. (Deeep breath) Especially as I want it all to make sense. I debated with myself and others as to whether I should delve so deep personally into the next segment which you are about to read. But I think as this is my blog and effectively I can write what the hell I like why not. It's my truth. So here I go.....

I lost my mother. I didn't know how to deal with certain emotions that I didn't even know existed in my body. Instead of facing them I ignored them. I was in denial for quite a long time. I blurred that whole time of my life out and pretended like I was okay. Looking back I think I was in shock. We never ever thought she would pass...Ever. A year after was when I started to really grieve and then I was just very angry with the world, I hated myself, I hated everyone and everything around me. I nott the type of person to even use the word hate. My grieving quickly turned into a pretty dark place that I know I can never ever go back to. (It's very difficult to articulate this in to clear words so do bare with me). The bereavement  process triggered depression and I didn't see the point of my existence. I had always been such a carefree loving life strong person so depression really caught me off guard. I would ask myself odd questions every day like why am I here. I like so many people out there had been experiencing a lot of pain and turmoil that I couldn't escape from. Loosing a parent is not something I ever thought I would have to go through. Death is never ever spoken of, it just unfortunately isn't. Sounds silly but I felt like I had no training in it or how to deal with it. No one close to me had ever passed in my family. But I don't think looking at me you would've of ever known I was in such a destructive place mentally. On the outside I was smiling and became aware that I didn't want people around me to worry. Everyone has their own shit to deal with so why on earth would I burden them with mine. Saying that I'm very lucky that I had friends and family to talk to (as I know a lot of people don't) if I needed to reach out but I just didn't. I found that time very overwhelming and from someone who really dislikes labels I had suddenly turned into a girl who's mum had died instead of just Tracy. I felt pity towards me. It just all felt weird. The state I was feeling was my own little secret that no one knew of, (and probably still don't know) I had no control over it. My very close friends had a slight inkling but I'd brush it off if they did question me, they would advise me to go to the GP for help. But I think one of the first hurdles with any mental illness is facing the fact that you actually have a problem. Even then I used to lie and be in full repudiation of these unpredictable emotions I was feeling. I mean talking about depression is probably a place for a different blog post but I couldn't write this and pretend. I wanted to note to myself when I re-read these blogs to my older self of what type of place I was in mentally and how I got through it. Thankfully I'm not in that place anymore. I had never ever suffered from depression before, I didn't know how to deal with it so I isolated myself alot in fear that I was going crazy. 
But during my time on the road I started to feel like me again. I was facing myself head on. Nothing to hide behind. No fuss, no phones, no distractions. Living out of a back pack with no real home I felt strong and said a big F U to the demons. It's crazy that all of the emotional feelings I felt during this road trip are still so vivid in my mind. Thoughts. Feelings. Mood. Misery. I let go of it all. Travelling pushes your physical and mental limits. Again without sounding cliche but it made me feel free.

Travelling allowed me to step away and really reflect on the last five years. I now understand why that happened to me and it's actually quite understandable really. I had been through a lot at a very young age but it's made me even stronger and happier. I was sinking fast and the illness attacked me as I was weak. No way will I ever allow that to ever happen to me again. I will never get them years back. But I know where I'm heading. I'll never forget my mother and I'll always have an angel watching over me. How lucky am I :-)

Road trip of a lifetime view.  

So let's step back on that dusty open road along the Californian freeway, pretty fast too! Geezy is also a wild one. Here we were making a much needed pit stop at my favorite famous In n out diner!

I was so friggin excited as I had always wanted to go to an In an Out, hence the I'm actually walking out of a In and Out photo. 

So we arrived into San Diego evening time. Yes G had already broken one of our never driving long distance after dark rule but hey she got us there. San Diego International Hostel was our accommodation for the next two nights.We were all pretty tired and looking forward to a warm clean bed.  Now travelling is great for making you lose all inhibitions but we unfortunately found male pubes in our beds that night which actually made us die with laughter. I mean first hand we were absolutely disgusted but once we phoned the reception and they just practically laughed at us down the phone we just had to laugh along at the situation. I mean frigging pubes! We belly laughed that evening. I think I slept in my suit case that night as I was just too tired to think clearly. The hostel offers shared rooms on a prime location bang in the middle of the high street. (Which meant you heard the noise of the town all night) Apparently San Diego doesn't sleep either. The local bars were a stone throw away from our hostel rooms. I am still 100% recommending this large hostel (forget the pubes) especially if you are on a budget. The hostel is one of the biggest ones we stayed in.They hold lots of events to get people together especially if your travelling alone, which I think is sweet. On our second day we visited San Diego's old town, rode the trams, ate along the pacific ocean in a random wooden hut. In the evening we went to the busy bar across the road. I haven't really spoken too much about the people you meet travelling yet (so much to include, eeek!) I think I'll include that in my final travel post but the people you meet are just bloody incredible. Good people do exist.

After two sleeps we were off to our next town Santa Barbara as a stopping station towards San Fran. The Journey took 4 hours. The driving scenes we were so lucky to see blew our minds. Our favourite tunes blaring (West Coast - Lana Del Rey)hitting the California road hard along the pacific ocean felt like an actual dream. The camera I had was a bit naff so these images don't really do the scenes the justice they deserve.  

Another pit stop. (In and Out is the best!)
We arrived at our Santa Barbara Motel. I don't have any pics but it looked exactly like the previous motels we had already stayed in. Full of motel character. We slept and rose earlier the next morning for another four hour journey to San Francisco.

Our new home was the downtown Courtyard Marriott Hotel (which was quite posh for us). We fitted quite a lot in the 4 nights we were there. Looking back I really loved that we were all quite big adventurers. Each of us every day would wake up over excited for the day ahead. Gearing to face and embrace whatever would be thrown at us. A wonderment of what this beautiful city had to offer. For me it never ever got boring. We all got stuck in, no one lagged behind as we just got on with it (Dagenham birds, lol). I think that's really important when your travelling as a group. Oh I also have to mentioned that on our third night during the early morning we experienced our very first encounter with an earthquake. The walls legit moved from side to side along with the ground for a good 10 seconds. It was crazy! I was actually on the phone to a love one in the Uk at the time, I remember it being late well into the morning around 2am. I actually said that the rooms moving and that I thought it was an earthquake. G woke up and shouted earthquake. We joked but the next morning we found it all over the news and it actually was an Earthquake. My dad text me asking if I was ok. So crazy and surreal to think we actually experienced an earthquake. Breaking News! YOU JUST HAVE TO TRAVEL IF YOU GET THE OPPORTUNITY! Not for earthquakes but just for them small awakening moments. (Did I MENTION AN EARTHQUAKE)

San Francisco map reading and street walking. We walked everywhere.  

Ticking Alcatraz Island off of our life list. Pretty booked out so we didn't get a chance to go inside so this is my quick snap from the San Fran bay.

Golden Gate Bridge We all fell in love with this bridge, we walked over it, drove along it (twice) and jumped on a dodgy boat to go under it. But why you ask! It's just a bridge. The boat is where I've never laughed so hard in my life, the wind was so wild that day and the under current was literally throwing our little boat from side to side. People were being sick on the boat and our safety cover flung over board. Still the best experience Ever.  

We explored the streets and found the house where Mrs Doutfire (fav film) was filmed in honor of Robin Williams.

We visited Haight Street which is the coolest place in San Fran. I haven't stopped talking about. It's a place I would love to revisit. Haight is full of so much history and being the inner hippy that I am a place I felt belonged too. Lot's of amazing cafes, vintage clothing, music stores and bars on this iconic street.

I have to also talk about the Tenderloin District that we unintentionally stumbled through to get to Haight Street. If ever there was a time when I felt intimidated on this trip or worried about our safety this district was initially it. I got called the N word in passing but in a endearing kind of way from an american man who looked high on drugs. The Tenderloin area is renowned for it's homeless community so be prepared for that in San Fran, (unfortunately there are lots of homeless people in San Fran) but after the initial Oh sugar I think we've taken another wrong turn, duh! we were actually fine. Again a huge eye opener as we were in and amongst it all on the streets. A few probably had guns but I actually felt safe around them. It was just surreal and again felt like a scene out of a film. Tenderloin District is probably one of the places we were told not to go to but you know what I think if your visiting a town you should see all aspects of it, like London not everywhere is rosy and Jim. I want to see the real America and that day we did. 

We walked through a beautiful national park to finally reach the pacific coastline to gain another view of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Rock climbing through the park.

Totally worth it. 
Golden Gate Bridge
My rucksack I picked up from a native american shop in Phoenix. 

Forever Young. Forever Free

On our last day we went up in the mountains for a bird eye view of San Francisco from Twin Peaks.

We were here!

Thank you so much for reading. 
A bit of a deep life post today.

Next stop and the last chapter 

My Look, 
My Style
Flora Maria 


Sunday, 10 January 2016

Back to Black

Back to Black

Black is my ultimate go to colour. Especially after the stuff my face with food season. It's when I feel the most comfortable, which is quite important to me. I do like to add a bit of texture like this corduroy vintage shirt that I purchased recently from Urban Outfitters and the jeans are also UO from the BDG jean range. The super skinny jeans are highwaisted and have literally been stuck on my legs since Christmas (or my black American Apparel thick leggings). I've had these for a while so they're now quite worn in and faded which I actually love. I styled my all black look with my never let me down Missguided Chelsea boots, (which are also the comfiest things ever) and my vintage Pop Boutique suede slouchy jacket that I know isn't black but so easy to throw on and wear. Quite a basic look today which I hope you like.

What's your go to colour to wear?  

Thanks for reading.

My Look
My Style
Flora Maria


Saturday, 9 January 2016

TRAVEL - At The Edge of Paradise - Part 7 - LAS VEGAS!

At The Edge of Paradise


The End. This is actually from the morning that we left Las Vegas. After five days and four non slept nights beneath that smile is a mouth dry for water and had probably just puked (sorry). Under them blacked out shades are lost eyes. How I stood for this capture I'll never know..........Is that actually a wedding ceremony happening behind me or was that my Las Vegas toxic mind fooling me. NOPE that was 100% Elvis Presley conducting a beautiful outside wedding. (I got to meet him yaaaay) I'm not sure if I'm photobombing them or the Las Vegas vowel exchange is photobombing me! EITHER WAY LET'S BEGIN.....

Over the open road, through the wild dusty desert, along the mountain cliffs we found our way to the mighty Las Vegas bubbling city. (Living in a bubble ) We reached in record time of under 3 hours from The Grand Canyon. Shaz literally drove like a mad women across the nothing but desert landscape which was truly breathtaking. We definitely felt like the iconic Thelma & Louise driving the Canyon that day. And if ever our little Thelma (car) was needing her own 'Thelma and Louise' moment that drive was it. Me and Shazza had one hundred percent embodied them ladies that day. We turned up looking pretty scruffy but ready for the wild rapid city!

This isn't a shot of our luxury hotel I'm afraid. Nope we weren't making The Mirage our new home. We did budget for the not so glamorous but well within our travelling budget Casino Royale Hotel, which was standing directly opposite along the Las Vegas strip. Our Casino Royale hotel had tons of the characteristics that we had now naturally become accustom to during our road trip.The tiny hotel lift was constantly out of order and the corridors stunk of the familiar funky smell we already knew too well. BUT if you are on a budget I'm highly recommending this little place. The rooms were super clean, had all the daily necessity you'll need for a just wanting a base and bed to sleep in visit. Sheets were also clean and the bathroom was fairly big. We planned to be out majority of the time so it was perfect for us. The flamboyant famous Wyn, Encore or Bellagio hotel's had nothing on our new gaff. (hahahahaha)

Once belongings dumped and jumping up and down on our Las Vegas budget hotel bed had been done, we headed straight for a cocktail and refresh at the closet salon we could find! (Back packers life!) The salon we found actually had a DJ and cocktail bar too! We just wanted to embrace it all feeling a little more fabulous in ourselves. Entering the Las Vegas strip I instantly felt Big inside as everything is so BIG around you. BIG cars, BIG enormous buildings, BIG bright lights and the speed in which you are living also instantly doubled in SIZE. BIG in The Fast Life.

Encore Beach Club


Flamingo Famous Hotel. Hi photo bomber :-)

Hakkasan Restaurant Dinner

Break fast - Beach club - grab lunch -  our hotel - got ready for a restaurant for betting/dinner/nightclub - betting - dinner - night club - after party - the after morning party -  Break fast - Beach club - grab lunch -  our hotel - got ready for a restaurant for dinner - night club - after party - the after morning party  

Eat. No Sleep. Rave. Repeat.

Along the Las Vegas strip.

Underneath Bikini. 
Resting selfie.

Tryst Night Club. 
Will iam DJ set behind us (screen). 

Our bestie Cihan nick named 'Geezy' joined us for the rest of the crazy road trip in Las Vegas. Love this girl. She unfortunately nearly fainted on her arrival due to the scorching heat in Vegas. Never felt heat like it. No air. But she got back on to the fast lane. 

A mall with a full on Italian canal running through it.

Beautiful fountains.


Our last night sat at a restaurant with a open perfect view of a the strip and our sexy BIG deserts. 

Las Vegas was everything I could of never imagined and more. Another 'you have to see it' moment but you do. Everyone we encountered had a super friendly, buzzing infectious free spirit. If I'm honest lots of flashing lights, bling, designer shoes, false perfect teeth, big money and the extreme high pace living has never really ever appealed to me however I can tick Las Vegas off my life list. I do love to party and usually the last one standing but V city is up on the highest grandest scale which I literally couldn't keep up with but a place that will live in my heart forever. I will be coming back especially to visit the shooting ranges, chapels and to watch a Las Vegas show (sold out, book in advance) as we couldn't fit it all in whilst there. 


Viva Las Vegas!

Thanks for reading. 

My Look
My Style 
Flora Maria 

Hi the real Elvis at the Flamingo hotel