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Sorrento

Jessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoLast week I went on a family holiday to Sorrento, Italy. We chose Sorrento because it’s close to the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and having been to see an exhibition about Pompeii in the summer we couldn’t wait to have a look around the real thing! Now, I have seen a lot of ruins in my life and I am not usually the biggest fan, unlike the rest of my family who love archeology. Pompeii and Herculaneum were different – they are so complete it’s like being in a Roman theme park! You can walk along the streets of the town, into people’s houses and up their stairs. Because Herculaneum is nearer to Mount Vesuvius, it was buried deeper than Pompeii was when the volcanoe errupted, so even second and even third stories are preserved. The paintings are still on the walls and the Roman pots are still sitting on their original wooden Roman shelves! (See above.) Pompeii is sprawling, and we didn’t manage to walk around it in a day.

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It rained for a lot of the time we spent sightseeing. On our last day, the sun came out and I spent the morning wandering around the pretty streets of Sorrento and eating ice cream! We stayed in this gorgeous yellow villa looking out over the sea, and I would love to experience it again during a warmer part of the year! Sorrento really comes alive in the sunshine, and the steep cliffs are so striking. Have you ever seen Pompeii? Would you like to?

P.s. I’m also guest posting on Of North today, talking about what home means to me. Check it out here!

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Photography with Joe

Photography with Joe / JesstheticsPhotography with Joe / JesstheticsI just couldn’t resist sharing some more photos from my time in Southampton with Joe. I know that I’m a bad blogger for repeating content but I have photographic evidence that I can do a cart-wheel and climb a tree in high heels, and the world needs to see it! (See the original posts here and here.) In the above photos I’m wearing a vintage feather jacket that I found in Paris, as well as my Ette bell bottoms. I actually really like this outfit, and I think I’ll wear it again, probably outside of Joe’s sitting room next time!

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It’s so much fun to be photographed by someone who’s as excited to be there as you are! I’m so grateful that James and my family take outfit photos for me, but I know it’s not always their favourite thing to do, especially in the cold! Taking photos with Joe has increased my desire for a DSLR, and my desire for a personal photographer! Just for fun, I’ll leave you with a photo that Joe took of me 5 years ago. Do you think I’ve changed? Don’t forget to check out more of his work here.

Photography with Joe / Jessthetics

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How to Make A Lacy Bra

How To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsHow To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsHow To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsLately I’ve been drawn to triangle bras on pinterest, like this one. I don’t actually wear bras day-to-day, but they’re fun to have for special occasions! Underwear is so expensive, especially for the small amount of fabric that you buy, so I decided to DIY my own triangle bra. Joe took these photos for me when I was in Southampton last week, and we had so much fun!

You will need: 1/4 metre of cotton fabric, 1 metre of wide lace, 1 metre of thin elastic, greaseproof paper, measuring tape, pen, scissors, needle and thread, sewing machine.

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First, you need to get your measurements. I don’t have any expertise in pattern cutting, so there’s probably a different way of doing this, but this is what worked for me! For the width of each cup, measure the distance under your bust where the bottom of a bra sits, and add an inch (let’s call this length 1.) For the height of each cup, measure the distance between the bottom of your bust and just above your armpit and add an inch (let’s call this length 2.)

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For your pattern piece, draw length 2 on your greaseproof paper, then draw length 1 two inches from the bottom. The rest is just a matter of joining up the lines as above, making sure all three are curved! Cut out your pattern piece and use it to cut two bra cups from the cotton fabric.

How To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsInsert a dart which runs from the middle of the bottom of each cup to the middle of each cup. To get the dart right, I tried on the fabric piece and adjusted it until it curved in the right way / Hem the edges by 1/2 an inch, with a zig zag stitch / Cut a strip of elastic to go around your torso, and sew the ends firmly together / Sew the cups onto the elastic so that the elastic is on the right side of the bra. Cut two strips of elastic for the straps, and sew these onto the cups and the back of the bra. To get the right positioning, keep trying things on as you go! Remember that the cups should be far enough apart that you can add lace to the inside of each.

How To Make A Lacy Bra / Jessthetics

Finally, sew on your lace! I stitched the lace where it met the elastic at the top and bottom of each cup, as well as along the inner edge of the cup. And you’re finished! I later decided to add an extra dart to the side of each cup to give it more of a curve.

How To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsThis isn’t really a practical bra, but it is pretty. Would you ever attemp to make your own undies?

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Paisley in Southampton

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I spent the last weekend with my good friend Joe in Southampton. He used to live on the same street as me (we’ve been friends since we were 13!) and we would help each other out with our art and photography A levels. I would model for him, and he would have picnics outside with me at at midnight, or help me collect rubbish from the bottom of the river to make into a shed. I had a blast staying with him in his gorgeous flat, and we spent Saturday taking pictures like old times, in the woodland in Southampton common! I’m wearing a playsuit from ASOS and my trust New Look heeled boots. I LOVE this playsuit. it’s quite a striking colour, and it’s very comfy but the cut outs make it a little summery. I can’t wait to take this to Italy with me this week!

Jessthetics / Paisley in the woodsJessthetics / Paisley in the woodsJessthetics / Paisley in the woodsJessthetics / Paisley in the woodsOutfit Details: Jumpsuit, ASOS / Boots, New Look / Sunglasses, H&M / Earrings, H&M

I’ve tried to go for a “stepped out of a time machine from the 70s” look with my round rose-tinted glasses. They’re very similar to a fancy dress pair of sunglasses I have, but I can assure you these ones are supposed to be worn every day! I don’t usually wear heels to go walking around a forest (although my last outfit would have you thinking otherwise) but these shoes are so comfy maybe I will from now on! Taking these photos with Joe was so much fun, and there are more coming your way! It’s a shame he lives so far away, otherwise we could do this every weekend 🙂 You can see some more of Joe’s work here. Have a lovely week!

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St Andrews and Pitlochry

Jessthetics / St AndrewsJessthetics / St AndrewsJessthetics / St AndrewsJessthetics / St AndrewsJessthetics / St AndrewsThe second place that James and I visited in Scotland was St Andrews. We went for a postgrad open day at the University, spent the afternoon with my friend Margaret and had dinner with family friends. I have been to St Andrews before, and I remembered the beautiful coastline and the ruined cathedral, but I didn’t remember just how many grand and quaint old buildings fill the town. The weather was glorious, and we spotted a lot of people writing essays on the beach – I’ve been told it’s not like that all the time!

Jessthetics / PitlochryJessthetics / PitlochryJessthetics / PitlochryOur next stop was Dundee, where we stayed with my Aunt. From Dundee, we drove to Pitlochry to spend the day walking and picnicking. We visited Queens view and wandered around the Allean forest. It was a really lovely trail, and we got to see an old forest “Clachan” (village) and a stone homestead from 1000AD which was pretty impressive. From the forest there were some lovely views of the Loch and some snowy topped mountains. A lot of trees had blown down in the windy weather, so the trail was a bit of an assault course!

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Pitlochry is just at the beginning of the Highlands, and I would love to explore more! I’m hoping to have another staycation in Scotland this summer. I’ve been itching to visit Norway recently, but a lot of the Scottish landscape is similar and a lot closer!

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsIf you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve spent this past week in Scotland with James! Our first stop was Edinburgh, and we spent two days here. On the first day, I had a look around the University and walked around the city. In the evening we had dinner at David Bann followed by drinks and board games at BrewDog. We actually had plans to sample a couple of bars, but it was so cosy and relaxed in BrewDog we decided to stay – there’s such a nice vibe there and I can’t wait to return!

James doesn’t love having his photo taken, so I’ve noticed I have a lot of photos of the back of his head. I do know him, and I’m not stalking him, I promise!

Edinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsWe spent the second day in the National and Modern Scottish National Galleries. Although they’re a little walk from the town centre, both buildings are really beautiful and they have some nice exhibitions – my favourite was Louise Bourgeois. I think I prefer small art galleries like these because I can take most of it in without feeling overwhelmed. We ate a lot this day (at Hendersons and Hula) and I even tried a deep-fried mars bar, which was delicious! We definitely needed longer to explore the city properly, so hopefully either me or James will be living in Scotland doing a Masters next year. I loved Edinburgh – it’s full of history, beautiful buildings and cool places to eat, drink and shop whilst being a relatively small city!

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February is Finished!

February Review / JesstheticsGolden hour in my living room

February Revview / JesstheticsMy beautiful old bike, which has been taking me to work every day this monthFebruary Review / JesstheticsPlanning my blog posts with my homemade calendar

When I set my February goals I said I would aim to take more lifestyle-type photos and I have! What do you think? I’m really pleased I have these images to remind me of a month that’s been full of fun, food and friends. Nothing big has happened this month, but I’m just in a really good place (both literally and metaphorically!) I’ve loved working, living in this house with James and spending my weekend catching up with my favourite people, wandering around York, grabbing some really delicious food and catching a movie. Not every day’s been perfect, but I’ve definitely made the most of this month in the way I intended to. And I watched two seasons of Buffy, so it’s been an all round success.

February Review / JesstheticsThe view from my kitchen windowFebruary Review / JesstheticsA lovely lunch at El Piano

February Review / JesstheticsChai tea and people watchingFebruary Review / JesstheticsEarly, frosty mornings

This month I’ve blogged about vegan food (here and here) and two paisley outfits (here and here.) I shared a pair of crochet socks I made for James (here) and my finished cushion for the autumn stitching club (here.) Most recently I interviewed one of my favourite bloggers, Ally from Now That’s Pretty (here.) It’s been a good month! How’s your February been?

p.s. You can enter my GIVEAWAY up until Middnight GMT tonight!

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Christmas Day

Things have been a little quiet on Jessthetics recently. I’ve been working full-time as a Christmas temp, trying to finish off homemade presents and getting ready to move back to York in January – I forgot how much hassle it is to find somewhere to live! I’ve not had much time to sit down with my computer and blog. My Christmas day was lovely and relaxed –  exactly what I needed (especially since it was my first day off work for a while!) Here is how I spent the day 🙂

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My Grandpa stayed with us for Christmas, and he brought my Aunt’s dog Bella! She’s very good – she knows she’s not allowed to chase Archie, although Archie is still very nervous around her, understandably. After a lie in, me and my brother opened our presents from Santa before enjoying a leisurely breakfast. We then exchanged family presents, accompanied by champagne and appetisers!

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We spent Christmas day afternoon walking in the countryside around my village – we’ve never done this before, but it was lovely to be outside in the cold sunshine after too much time on the sofa.

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After our walk we came home for Christmas dinner (including a mirror selfie in my new Christmas jumper!) followed by the Blackadder Christmas special in front of the fire. Christmas has been and gone so quickly, I can’t believe that it was four days ago now! If you’ve written a Christmas day post, do send me the link. I love to read them!

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Blogger Favourites: Photography Edition

I think all bloggers can appreciate a good photograph. I mean, obviously a good blog has to have good content, but I would argue that the photography is just as important. My photography has come a long way from where it begun but there is still a lot that I want to work on. Most of my photography inspiration comes from other bloggers, and I find their photography tips really useful. There are lots of talented blogger photo takers out there, but here are four of my favourites

Helena La Petit

Helena is a London-based photographer, and her work is stunning. All of her photos are very natural, bright and crisp – I wish all of my photos looked like this! Helena’s pinterest is incredible – she might even be my favourite pinner, and I get a lot of inspiration from her dreamy pins. She generously shares a lot of photography tips, tricks and tutorials on her blog. It’s a great place to get to know a camera!

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The Dainty Squid

Kaylah’s blog, The Dainty Squid, is one of my all time favourites. I love reading about her many pets, her adventures in nature, her awesome collections and her personal style as well as her photography. It’s such an interesting and unique blog and her photos are always gorgeous. They’re so colourful, she has such an iconic photography style, and her nature photographs always make me want to go outside and explore.

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Wish Wish Wish

Carrie writes the fashion blog, Wish Wish Wish. Every post of hers looks like it could be in a magazine. She has a really gorgeous classic sense of style, and her photographs are super dreamy. I also love her photos of London and her travels. If my outfit posts looked like Carrie’s, I would be very happy! Carrie has a series of posts on photography, and also shared her own Photoshop actions which I love!

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Forest Dreams

Christina has an excellent eye for beautiful things – her room is gorgeously decorated and it looks so peaceful. The images on her blog are so pretty and they have a lovely light quality to them. I also love the vintagey feel that her photos have, and I found her post on editing photos really useful.

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So, there you go! Do you find photography a challenge? Are there any bloggers whose photography inspires you?

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What I Wore: Paris Day One

At the end of August, me and my boyfriend spent 6 days in Paris! We hired an apartment through airbnb and it was so lovely. It was so much cheaper than staying in a hotel, or even a hostel, and we had a bedroom, kitchen area and bathroom all to ourselves. I will definitely be using airbnb again! We got up very early and arrived in Paris at 10am. We spent our first day walking around Paris and visiting the MusĂ©e de l’Orangerie, where Monet’s Waterlilies are displayed on the walls of two elliptical rooms. This was one of my favourite galleries – it’s quite small so I felt like I could take in most of the art without feeling overwhelmed.

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Our apartment was on the Canal St.Martin. I’ve never visited this part of paris before but it was just so cool! At night-time, everyone eats and drinks along the river banks and there were lots of quirky bars and cafe’s right next to our apartment.

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Outfit details: Dress, Charity Shop / Shoes, Ebay / Sunglasses. H&M / Backpack. Ebay

It’s fun to share my Paris photos with you, I’m enjoying going over the photos and reminiscing! Have an amazing Tuesday.

p.s. I’m selling some clothes that I don’t wear or don’t fit me. Feel free to have a browse!