31 December 2009

22 December 2009

Snapshot Tuesday 22.12.2009


Vivienne Westwood lust
Grizzly bear hair
Changing my nail varnish again!
Roger Rabbit
Chocolate croissants

21 December 2009

The big Ugg debate: Whooga vs Ugg (The Whooga review)

Giulia Gasparini

After five years of loyal service I decided it was time to replace my old UGG boots, no matter what anyone says and how unattractive these shoes may be they’re extremely comfy and a must for winter weather, especially with the recent snow we've had.

While searching for a new pair I stumbled across a brand of Ugg boots called Whooga. Whooga are said to be the main competitor of UGG Australia and claim to be superior in comfort and quality to the standard Ugg boots as well as being lower in price. Having tried cheaper brands of Ugg boots before and finding their quality below par I read all the information and testimonials provided on the Whooga website and searched blogs for reviews and found some very happy customers.

Miss Gala Darling wearing Whooga boots

I ordered a pair from their website and was promptly emailed back with a confirmation of my order and a PDF to read full of information on the brand and how to take care of your boots, Whooga also offer a cleaning and repair service for your boots after purchase which I think is a great added touch, especially if you're like me and tend to "overwear" your uggs.

This next point can be a bit confusing as the Whooga Company is based in Australia and any contact made with them is in Australia HOWEVER the boots themselves are manufactured and shipped directly from China. The company has their own reasons for this which you can find on their website. I admit I was slightly confused when the package arrived to me from China but my main complaint was with their choice of packaging.


The boots come in an adorable Whooga box which is a big plus to me, anything pretty with bows on gets my vote HOWEVER the box was damaged in transit due to the flimsy packaging, it was basically shipped in a dust bag covered in brown tape which provided no security in transit.





I contacted Whooga to tell them I was unhappy with the packaging, I stated that the box was damaged in transit and the lid ripped at every corner so I was unable to close it and as these boots were intended to be gifted to me they didn’t exactly look in pristine gift giving condition. Whooga promptly contacted me back and issued me with a 15% refund by way of apology and to purchase a new box for them which I thought was a very kind gesture of them. I do hope that in future they think about shipping their boxes in a more secure manner as it seems such a shame that the boxes should get damaged in transit after they’re so prettily designed but we’ll see...



My second complaint with them was the overwhelming chemical smell that they had, being shipped directly from the factory I doubt they had time to breathe before they were packaged up and sent. I’m guessing the smell was caused by the glue they used on their soles as there was some slight residue on them


I eventually had to move them into an empty room and open the windows to air the smell out as it was so strong it was beginning to make me feel ill.



To show you the quality of these boots I’m going to compare them to my short chestnut UGG Australia boots (not my old ones), now I have had these boots for a few years and they have been worn but they’re still in reasonably good condition so that’s why I’m using them for comparison.

Whooga make a lot of comparisons on their website to illustrate their superior quality to standard boots which you can read about here [Link] they also show pictures of their boots compared to others to show this, the following are pictures taken from their website compared with my own comparison of the Whooga and UGG Australia boots.

 


I leave you guys to make your mind up about them but as you can see there is actually very little difference between Whooga and UGG Australia, I found the comfort level exactly the same although the Whooga boots were slightly tighter on my feet but I think that’s more or less due to the fact that they’re new.




One thing I did notice is that the soles of the Whooga boots is slightly thinner than my Ugg Australia boots, both are quite thick and durable so I don’t expect them wear out anytime soon but that’s one of the differences that I noted between them.
 
In general I’d say if you’re looking to buy a pair of Ugg boots this winter and you can’t afford a pair of Ugg Australia boots than Whooga are the way to go. While I wasn’t too happy with the shipping I’m very happy with the customer service and the boots themselves, they’re very comfy and will serve me well this winter.



Tips

When buying Ugg boots make sure they’re made from real sheepskin as they will give you a more superior comfort and durability than synthetic Ugg boots.

Be sure to treat your boots with a stain repellent or sheepskin protector. You can now buy kits from UGG Australia specifically designed for this. You’ll only need to treat your boots once a month (if that) and you’ll get a lot longer lasting wear out of them than you would if left untreated.

Try not to wear these boots in the rain they’re not designed for wet weather! You’re better off wearing wellies if it’s wet outside as they will keep your feet dryer than Uggs will.

Stuff your boots with newspaper when you aren’t wearing them as this will help them keep their shape.

Don’t wear socks or tights as your feet will suffocate! Let you toes feel that fleecy softness it’s almost like having your feet hugged by a big grizzly bear

09 December 2009

I got a new hat today

I'm currently obsessed with the colour purple.

Hat from M&S
UP pin from Disney

03 November 2009

Siam Ocean World

On basement floor of the Siam Paragon shopping complex I found myself journeying into the depths of the ocean once again but this time to South-east Asia's largest aquarium Siam Ocean World.
I've put off visiting this aquarium for a while due to it's high prices and dual price system (something I don't agree with in Thailand), I was lucky enough that day to pass as Thai so it only cost me 450 baht to get in rather than the 850 baht "farang" price, however after being there I would say it's definitely worth the price!

Siam Ocean World has some of the largest tanks I've ever seen, yes even bigger than Seaworld! you certainly get a feeling of the vast size of the ocean with it's floor to ceiling tanks and it's definitely a world to get lost in. Those brave enough, for an extra fee, can go scuba diving in the shark tanks and those not so brave can also take a ride in a glass bottomed boat for more spectacular views of the aquatic creatures housed there.

They have some AMAZING displays there including a car which has been converted into a giant fish tank and an aquarium kitchen, I can't find the words to describe them you just have to see it to believe it!

It's not only fish in this aquarium, there are scorpions, snakes, penguins, otters and a rather cute family of water rats and if you're the type of person who gets bored staring through glass tanks there is a touch pool and a fishy foot spa which I really recommend should you get the opportunity to try one out. Unfortunately the fishy foot spa in the aquarium was full but I did manage to try one out in a spa not to far from where I lived

Siam Ocean World is by far the best aquarium I have ever visited there are a wide variety of displays to keep you engaged and lots of activities to do whilst you're there, it may be one of the more pricey attractions in Bangkok but it's definitely something that you can't miss out on

And although I didn't do it at Siam Ocean World here's a short video of my fishy foot spa experience... it tickled lots!

22 October 2009

Winter Warming

Fur Coat by Todd Michael M

I'm sure every family has that traditional family heirloom, the fur coat, passed down from generation to generation, surviving stylish Chic's many winters. I must admit mine is just gathering dust at the back of my wardrobe, although it's a good coat which serves it's purpose, keeping me warm on those winter days, it's not exactly my sort of style. A great winter coat will last your for many years and transcend seasons, it's the one item in your wardrobe you wear with everything and anything and most importantly keeps you warm in those colder months. I believe that a good coat is one of the most important things to own, just think what winter would be like if you didn't have a coat to wear! So if your great, great, great, great grandmothers mink coat isn't exactly your thing here's my guide on how to find that perfect winter coat.


Don't be afraid to shop around.
I know we all have our favorite and least favorite shops but when it comes to coat shopping it's one of those "once a year" purchases so it's important that you shop around. I must have checked every available shop online and in store before I found that perfect coat, I didn't go for the first one I saw I looked around before deciding on the perfect one, and I'm very glad I did.

Make sure it's good quality.
When I say quality make sure it's going to keep you warm, it's unbelievable the amount of people who wear coats and are still shivering! Also check the stitching and make sure it's strong, it's no good spending money on something that will fall apart in a few months a good coat should be strong and sturdy and be able to last you for years to come.

Chose a neutral colour.
Coats are worn with everything so it's nice to have something that will match your whole wardrobe and that you'll be happy to wear year after year. That fuchsia bell sleeved faux fur coat may seem cute at first but fashions change rapidly and something which you find cute now you may end up hating a few months down the line. I believe you can't go wrong with black, black is a classic colour which never goes out of style and easy to mix and match with other colours.

Pick a classic design.
There are hundreds of different designs out there but it's a good idea to pick something that is flattering to your body shape and is able to match your wardrobe. I would choose a simple design which will transcend the fashion trends and doesn't have too many bells an whistles.

Pick a slightly bigger size.
When buying coats you don't want to get them too fitted, remember you'll probably be wearing lots of layers underneath so make sure you've that that bit of extra room to move around.

Find the right length.
Coats come in all different lenght's depending on what you want, it's best to try on different lengths to find the one right for you. I would suggest a longer length for winter but be careful as you don't want it so long that you end up absorbing the melted snow on the streets!

Don't cheap out!
A good is an investment piece it keeps you warm and lasts you years so it's worth spending that little bit extra on it, you don't necessarily have to go designer as long as the coat matches your needs it's worth the money!



Classic Melton Coat by Vivienne Westwood


Coba Wool Coat by K Karl Lagerfeld


Wool-blend military coat by Marc by Marc Jacobs


Pleated bouclé coat by Burberry Prorsum


09 June 2009

Things that make you go Oooooo #4

Ready? by Pacifist

Collectormania 15 - it was a cold and wet weekend but I had an awesome time there and Nathan Fillion is just as gorgeous in real life as he is on T.V.

My Milk Toof is my new favorite blog!

Inspirational posters

Terminator Salvation - Loved this movie and not just because my boy Bale was in it.

Peaches - I've been eating bunches of them everyday

Karl Largerfeld on Twitter

Knitting Soap - I bought this for my nanna and it smells as wonderful as it looks

The happiest group on Flickr, Smile :D

Okami - this is the most beautiful game I've ever played on the Wii I love it

Junko Mizuno Pure Trance Figures

Coquettish Tiara make the cutest bags ever!

THIS bunny made me laugh so much

Feasts on the BBC iPlayer a great documentary series which follows some of the more unusual festivals celebrated around the world including the Naked Man festival in Japan and the Day of the Dead in Mexico, very interesting and worth watching.

03 June 2009

My New Obsession : Vivienne Westwood x Melissa Shoes

Vivienne Westwood Sign, Tokyo by Mushrie

I'm sure like many people when I first saw the new Vivienne Westwood Melissa shoe collaboration for Anglomania I sneered and laughed at the thought of Vivienne Westwood jelly shoes. Jelly shoes are one of those taboo shoes like Crocs or UGGs which you think look hideous and disgusting and wouldn't be caught dead in but secretly when no one is around wear them at home because they're so bloody comfy!

Now I admit I probably wouldn't have even bothered trying these shoes if the big SALE sign wasn't enticing me to buy them because lets face it when the shoes are that cheap all brain functions cease to work and the next thing you know your purse is empty and your closet full!

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Black Mary Jane Shoe

Ms. Westwood had released these shoes amidst a global recession much to the delight of fans as these shoes are really cheap being less than a quarter of the price of their elder classic siblings, this also gives them a more wider appeal with girls who only dreamed of owning some VW shoes now able to go and get a pair or two.


Original Vivienne Westwood Black T-Bar Shoe

Jelly shoes, although not being the choice material for most shoes, do also have their good points, it's durable, hard wearing and easy to clean so rather than spending hours polishing your shoes to perfection you just need a bit of soapy water and they're good to go which is probably why jelly shoes are the choice shoes for mothers with their grubby energetic toddlers.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Purple Mary Jane Shoe

Another great appeal of these shoes is the vast array of colours you can get them in, I have them in classic black and white but if you're more adventurous there is anything from mint to glittery pink, all the colours of the rainbow and more so you'll never be short of finding a shoe to match a certain outfit.

Vivienne Westwood's classic moulded toe design

I think what appeals to me the most about these shoes apart from the price and choice is the classic design, it's not immediately obvious that they are jelly shoes, to the untrained eye they could be viewed as a simple pair of patent Mary Jane's. They also have that classic Vivienne Westwood moulded toe which in my opinion adds to the comfort of them.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa White Mary Jane Shoes

These shoes are extremely comfy they're soft and have a cushioned heel, they're not your average jelly shoes, a lot of care has gone into making these as comfortable and luxurious as the originals they're based upon.


Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Sky Lady Dragon Shoe

I'm a complete convert, after my first pair I bought a second and already have my eye on a third this was one collaboration I had my doubts about at first but now I'm extremely excited to see what new takes they'll have on classic designs.

The lesson here is don't knock 'em till you've tried 'em!

02 June 2009

The Frequent Flyer - Musings #1

You know you're well travelled from your collection of single serving toothbrushes you have in your bathroom...

31 May 2009

Things that make you go Oooooo #3

Ferris Wheels by Convexstyle

It has been a while since my last list but now it's time for a new "Things that make you go Oooooo" in its new home on my new blog Cateaclysmic.
The Outnet - You can get some amazing designer goods here for a knock down price and keep an eye out for their flash sales to as you can get some beautiful things for an excellent price.
American Idol winner, Kris Allen's album Brand New Shoes is the prefect thing to listen to on a sunny afternoon with glass of iced tea and a good book.
Speaking of tea, Whittard's has a great selection of instant teas the Dreamtime blend being my favorite and it's perfect to drink hot or cold.
3D movies
Dish a Day - so many wonderful food pictures it's bound to make you hungry!
This little owl enjoys a good scratch.
Little Daft Punk
Tokyo Times offers some interesting snapshots off life in Japan from the bizarre to the beautiful
The Baby and the Buddha is and interesting and moving documentary about a young Tibetan monk's journey to find the reincarnation of his Buddhist master
I love The Zoo, taking animal pictures is one of my favorite hobbies.
Lily Bay Soaps - they have the most delicious looking soaps I've seen and their prices are really great to!
Zokku Natsume Yuujinchou - an anime with spirits and monsters reminiscent of Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away
Sailor Moon - I grew up watching this and seeing it again made be feel so nostalgic, I also love the messages at the end of each episode although cheesy they have a great positive meaning.
Moonywolf has such a creative and imaginative gallery of artwork, it's definitely a world you must visit.
Cherry Coke, the perfect thing to quench your thirst in the summer weather




29 May 2009

Beauty Blitz: My 5 Must Have Products

Bathroom Sink by Simple Moth

I've recently started switching the beauty products I use to more natural and organic ones. I have very sensitive skin and often perfumed or chemical based products cause my skin to burn or break out. The recently growth or more environmental friendly and organic products means that there is a wide array of products to now choose from, I'm a great believer that the more natural the product the more beneficial it is to your skin and that often in the long term the stronger more chemical based products cause more harm than good to your skin.
Here are my top 5 current favorite beauty products:
Egyptian Magic Cream

You may have heard about this cream before as Madonna and other youth defying celebrities are a big fan of it. This is a 100% natural and organic cream which is multi purposed, you can use it as hair conditioner, facial cream, lip balm and even to heal burns. It does come at a high price of between £25 - £30 but you do get a large 118ml tub, I've had my tub since March and with two people using it religiously I still have over half a tub left! One thing about this cream is true it is definitely magic, I am prone to the odd eczema or dry skin break out and after using this cream for a couple days my skin problems seem to disappear. I also use this as a night cream and it has improved my complexion making it clearer, more even and brighter even my mother commented one morning how clear my skin looked and this was a few minutes after I'd woken up, before I had the chance to put make up on. This is my number one must have product, it's definitely worth it's high price as it does exactly what it states and has a multitude of uses, this is one product I think everyone needs in their bathrooms.


Dr Bronner's Organic Tea Tree Castile Liquid Soap

This is another one of those multi purpose beauty products which you can use as a regular body wash, facial cleanser or even a shampoo. This product states it is even suitable for vegans so you know you're getting a great natural and organic product. A little of this soap goes a very long way I found I only need to use one of two drops to wash my body and face so one bottle will last you a good few months. It's extremely cheap to buy, between £3 - £5 for a 236ml bottle, making it great value for money. I found after using this my skin breakouts almost disappeared and that my skin became much softer and more supple, it does have a rather strong smell of tea tree, however Dr Bronner does make a rose, citrus, lavender and peppermint version which is just as effective. I'm a big fan of Dr Bronner's liquid soap, especially the tea tree version, and with them being so cost effective and multi purpose they're all I need to use in the shower.

Skinfood Mushroom BB cream

BB or Blemish Balm cream is currently very popular in Asia but slowly making its way towards the west. BB cream not only provides a natural coverage for skin but promotes skin regeneration and softens the skins texture giving a brighter more healthier glow. BB cream was first made popular by Korean celebrities and you'll find most of the Korean cosmetic brands offer their own BB creams, Skinfood is just one of them. Priced between £12 - £20 (per 50g tube) depending on where you source it from this cream is not cheap and the shades are limited there are only two to choose from #1 which is a bright yellow toned cream and #2 which is a slightly darker more natural shade, it suits my Asian skin tone but for darker skin tones and more pinkish tones I don't think the coverage would be as effective. This cream is very effective at what it's supposed to do, I found that it did in fact promote a more healthy glow to my skin and after a week of using it I did not need to use foundation anymore as my skin looked more even and healthy with just the use of the BB cream. This cream is said to have anti-aging, whitening and sun protection so it's great to use as just a moisturiser or primer under make-up. BB cream is definitely one of those products to look out for and try, I would recommend Skinfoods range as it sources natural ingredients to aid the creams properties, in addition to the mushroom there is also an aloe vera and ginkgo green version which is just as popular.

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

I've been a fan of Burt's Bees products for a while but this is by far my favorite product of theirs. This cream smells so wonderful that you'd almost want to eat it (which I wouldn't recommend!) and it works perfectly as an intensive hand and nail treatment, so perfect that even my grandmother swears by it. Hangnails, hard cuticles and dry skin are no match for this cream after just one intensive treatment all those problems disappear and it leaves your nails with a glossy healthy glow, making old hands feel young again. However this product as with most Burt's Bees products is expensive when I first tried it it was only £3 for a 17g tin but now that price has doubled and it costs between £5 - £7 for a tin! You don't need to use this product daily though you only really need it as an intensive treatment once a month (or bi-weekly if you have particularly troublesome nails) so one tin will last you for a good few treatments, perfect for a beauty treat.

Figs & Rouge Rambling Rose Balm

I've only been using this product for a week but I'm already in love with it. If you don't already know I have a soft spot for roses so this was a bit of an impulse buy but I'm happy I purchased it. The scent is so wonderful and romantic and I adore the packaging, it's also small enough to keep in your purse. I've been using this as a lip balm and too soothe the occasional dry patch and it's very light and works pretty well so it's perfect for travel. At a price of between £2 - £3 it's also very cost effective the perfect thing to pop in your purse if you need a moisture boost or a burst of roses.
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