Wednesday, May 23, 2012

dip dye

I am loving this trend of dip-dyeing hair. It recently got popular last summer, when Kate Bosworth dyed the ends of her hair blue, but now it's come back and is more popular than ever. I have been working on this post for weeks, mostly because I wanted an excuse to keep checking out photos of dip dyed hair. I am planning this summer to try out this look - but I can't decide what color to do! I have ordered a bright pink shade from Manic Panic, but I am tempted by all these choices! Maybe I'll pull a Lauren Conrad and do all of them at once.

My favorite model Abbey Lee Kershaw experiments with yellow, purple and pink dyed ends

I love Dree Hemingway's soft pink dip dye

I love Kate Bosworth's turquoise tips

Lady Gaga's dyed hair is incredible - I am a fan of the grey with blue ends in particular

Nicki Minaj works a variety of colors on her strands

I love this picture of two girls flipping their dip dyed hair

The grey/black ends are such a statement - but it's a statement that I'm a fan of

I love these blue and purple strands - Ellie Goulding and Pixie and Peaches Geldof are apparently fans of this portion of the color wheel as well

This mix of pink, purple, and blue is gorgeous

These green and teal hues remind me a bit of the heroine from the classic early-noughties TV show Caitlin's Way

I am such a girly girl, so obviously I adore the pink look

I think the dip dye looks even more amazing when it's braided

A mix of dip dyes I found on Tumblr 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Dolly Rocker Girl's Guide to London: Stores

I'm in love with shopping. And to quote both the Shangri-Las and the New York Dolls, "when I say I'm in love, you best believe I'm in love, L-U-V." It's a love affair that blossomed early on in the twenty-plus years I've been alive, and it is one of the reasons that I live and breathe as a happy, healthy person on this earth. Shopping lifts me up where I belong, it's the wind beneath my wings. It's probably the greatest love I will ever know.
So of course I've spent the majority of my time in London seeking out various vintage shops, stalls at markets, department stores, and boutiques to grasp what British style is all about. I've been told (and I readily agreed!) that I dress in a rather London way, more so than I dress American. I certainly do not dress like I am from Dallas, where heels, tight clothes, and big hair reigns supreme. Limp locks, patterned frocks and scuffed up shoes work quite well for me! 
I can certainly get more specific about the stores that I like if people would prefer to know great vintage shops or hole-in-the-wall boutiques, but these are my ultimate shopping destinations. 

My Five Favorite Stores:
1. Topshop (Oxford Circus): a mega-store if there ever was one. Five floors of glorious shoes, jewelry, accessories, and clothes - for both gals and guys - Topshop is my go-to place when I need something fantastic but I'm not sure what. The bottom floor houses up-and-coming designers that are really diverse in aesthetics -- from The Ragged Priest to Oh My Love, there's no limit to what Topshop will offer.
2. Dolly Dare (Spitalfields): the British answer to Betsey Johnson's wild fashions, over-the-top girliness, and maximalist approach to dressing. I admittedly went into the store because it had 'Dolly' in its name, but I am so glad that I did - I picked up the most amazing slinky black velvet minidress that was trimmed with long fringe and covered with zig-zagged gold glitter. It's the ultimate rock star dress. Go to Dolly Dare for lace, ruffles and ruching, flouncy skirts, dresses with petticoats, and shoes by brands like Irregular Choice.
3. Selfridges (Oxford St): one of the many massive stores in London (from Harrods and House of Fraser to Debenhams and Liberty, the list goes on and on), Selfridges is like my heaven. If you can't afford the Balenciaga and Missoni upstairs, check out the Topshop and Miss Selfridge sections on the lower floors. That way you won't break the bank, but you still get one of those traffic-stopping yellow shopping bags. I've had lunch a few times at Dolly's, the resident tea café for the department store that was named after the Dolly sisters, both lovers of store founder Harry Gordon Selfridge.
4. Mary Quant (Chelsea): this store is sparsely stocked (which is true of most every designer boutique) but there's a whole lot to want in the pristinely white Chelsea store. Classic Quant designs like wool shift dresses and miniskirts hang alongside more contemporary-inspired pieces to create a whole collection that any stylish girl would be insane not to want.
5. What Katie Did (Notting Hill): this retro-inspired lingerie company has its home in Portobello Green, a covered area of shops on Portobello Road. Popular among celebs -- the brand has been rocked by everyone from Kate Moss to Gwyneth Paltrow and was the exclusive supplier of the fab undergarments in My Week With Marilyn -- What Katie Did offers comfortable but luxurious items like bullet bras, high-waisted knickers, satin robes, marabou mules, and corsets.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Dolly Rocker Girl's Guide to London: Markets

One of the best things about living in London is the number of markets in this city. Some are only weekend affairs, like Portobello Road Market, while some happen everyday like Camden and Alfies, but one thing is for certain - if you ever make it to London, a market is a must-do.

My Five Favorite Markets:
1. Borough Market (Southwark): a foodie's dream. Open Thursday through Saturday, this food market -- located near the Globe Theatre -- is a heavenly blend of artisan chocolates, cheeses, breads, juices, wines, vegetables, teas, and basically every other exotic, luxurious, delicious food that you can think of. Stock up on groceries for the week or have lunch on the cheap by filling up on the market's many free samples.
2. Alfies Antique Market (Marylebone): an amazing assortment of vintage clothes, decadent jewelry, fantastic antiques and light fixtures. There is also a charming rooftop restaurant where you can stop in for a quick bite to eat while shopping. It's one of the few indoor markets I've been too, which means that regardless of rain or shine you can go to the market on its days open Tuesday through Saturday.
3. Portobello Road Market (Notting Hill): arguably the most famous market in London. It attracts tons of tourists and locals alike for its mix of costume jewelry, vintage clothing, and local foods. The stalls are open Saturday only, but it's worth it to check out Portobello Road during the week to visit stores like Cath Kidston and All Saints, and vintages shops like Dolly Diamond and One of a Kind.
4. Camden Stables Market (Camden): Camden Market is an umbrella term that covers four different markets and streets of stores open every day. My favorite is the Stables, which are literally old horse stables converted into stalls where you can find alternative and vintage fashions, ethnic foods, vinyl records, screen-printed tee shirts, furniture and global housewares.
5. Spitalfields Market (Spitalfields/near Liverpool St): open five days-a-week, Spitalfields offers vintage clothes, pieces from local designers, jewelry both homemade and antique, and a wide range of old books (I picked up a first edition of A Twist of Lennon here for five pounds!) and comics, pastries, kebabs, fur gilets, leather shoes, manual cameras, and compasses.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Dolly Rocker Girl's Guide to London: Sweet Places

It's no secret that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Thankfully, London is home to some of the best sweet parlors and dessert shops that I've had the immense pleasure of visiting. Whether you want a little taste of Paris from Maison Bertaux or Ladurée or want to relive your childhood at Hope and Greenwood, there's a place for everyone to indulge in London.

My Five Favorite Sweet Places:
1. Ladurée (Covent Garden): there are several locations for this famous French dessert house throughout the city, but the Covent Garden location is beautiful and fairly quiet (in comparison to the Ladurée in Harrods). A mix of salted caramel and raspberry macarons is the perfect Sunday treat for myself.
2. Amorino (Soho): this gourmet gelato shop can also be found in Chelsea, but I've only visited the one in Soho. My fave flavors are the chocolate-hazelnut (tastes exactly like Nutella!) and salted caramel. It's simply the best gelato I've ever had!
3. Hope and Greenwood (Covent Garden): an old-fashioned sweet shop specializing in retro candies, Hope and Greenwood is a treat to visit. Visually it's everything you wished a sweet shop would be -- darling and jam-packed with goodies, it's the closest I've found to a real-life Candyland.
4. Maison Bertaux (Soho): Soho's oldest (and best) pâtisserie captures the essence of all things French in a charming and authentic café setting. Come here for yummy pain au chocolat and to check out the gallery inside. 
5. Prestat (near Piccadilly Circus): London's oldest chocolate house is so delicious that it's gained the approval of the Queen mum herself, garnering two Royal Warrants. Prestat is so widespread throughout London that boxes of the chocolate can be found in Waitrose grocery stores.

The Dolly Rocker Girl's Guide to London: Pubs and Taverns

You aren't truly getting the London experience if you don't visit a pub or two. Whether you go for a pint of beer or just some fish and chips, the pubbing experience is an important element of London life. No matter where you go you'll find a pub, but some of them are too commercial or too limited in choices for my taste. But for the amount of pubs I've been disappointed by, there is a healthy number of pubs that have truly delighted me.

My Five Favorite Pubs and Taverns:
1. The Princess Louise (Bloomsbury/High Holborn St): one of the nicest pubs in London. With etched glass creating cubicles for private drinking, the pub has an authentic Victorian feel to it, which is kind of rare for pubs as a lot of them have been commercialized and purchased by massive chains. It also has some of the best cider in the city.
2. The Lamb (Bloomsbury): rumor has it that Charles Dickens used to come to The Lamb all of the time to write, but this pub is worth visiting even if you're not a Dickensian scholar for it's beer and traditional English pub food.
3. The Fitzroy Tavern (Fitzrovia): let's just say that there's a reason why this tavern was famous among many literary figures such as Dylan Thomas, George Orwell, and Augustus John. Now a popular hangout for UCL students, the Fitzroy is different from many other pubs I've been to -- there's interaction between customers and a really lively atmosphere.
4. Cross Keys (Covent Garden): a gorgeously decorated pub with tons of shrubbery covering the outside and knickknacks covering the inside. If you go to one pub in Covent Garden, make it Cross Keys.
5. Ye Olde Chesire Cheese (City of London): located in the financial district on Fleet Street (of Sweeney Todd fame), this pub dates back to the 17th century, with previous pubs located there since the 13th century. This pub has good food and a selection of drinks to choose from, but it's definitely worth it to come here just because of the history.

The Dolly Rocker Girl's Guide to London: Restaurants

As my time in London is winding down (I leave this Saturday sadly), I thought it best to do a few closing posts about my favorite adopted home. In the next few entries I will muse on my favorite spots in London -- shops, restaurants, clubs, and markets, all (or at least I hope all!) will be covered. If you have any special requests for lists of my favorites -- like my favorite vintage shops or bookshops -- drop a note in the comments section or send me a line via email and I will gladly comply!

Despite its reputation, London has some really excellent food. From Greek to Mexican, Indian and Italian, this city has an endless array of options for a truly great dining experience.

My Five Favorite Restaurants:
(Some of these restaurants have several locations, so I am just noting the places that I frequented)
1. Bumpkin (Notting Hill): though there are three locations all over London, I went to the one in Notting Hill for brunch and it was incredible! The food was delicious, the decor was charming -- and they have the best Bloody Mary that I've ever tasted. 
2. Hummus Bros (Bloomsbury/Holborn): a range of nontraditional hummus options. I always get the guacamole hummus -- it's perfect with one of their mint and ginger lemonades.
3. Cantina Laredo (Covent Garden): True, I like this place because it reminds me of home (there are a few Cantina Laredos in Dallas) but this is one of the only spots in London that I've found can do a proper margarita. Come here if you're in desperate need for some tequila, chips and salsa.
4. Bloomsbury Coffee House (Bloomsbury): I learned about this place from my friend Anna, of The Puddle Jumper, and now it's my favorite place in the city to get an iced coffee, a yummy breakfast, and do some work. A chill atmosphere and great soundtrack round out a truly fantastic coffee house experience. 
5. Dishoom (Covent Garden): a self-titled "Bombay café," Dishoom specializes in Bombay cuisine that goes beyond typical Indian fare that you can get in London. With tapas-style dishes that have incredible spice, flavor, and heat (something hard to come by in some London restaurants!), Dishoom is unique in an never-ending sea of restaurants in Covent Garden. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

i ain't nothin' but a nasty gal now, a-hey hey

I have nothing but good things to say about Nasty Gal. Whether they're providing me with the coolest styles of clothes and accessories, or giving me a tutorial on how to do the perfect smoky eye, Nasty Gal has always been good to me. I find their lookbooks to be extremely inspirational for my personal style - they're always such a lovely mix of trendy edge and vintage wonder.
Here are a collection of my favorite images from their past few lookbooks:

Photos: from Nasty Gal
Title: from "Nasty Gal" (Betty Davis)

The Lovin' Linkful

I literally want to make every recipe from this website. (Chow Vegan)

An interesting article about the Rolling Stones and their (very active) sex lives. I for one will certainly be picking up the Christopher Sandford book that this piece was extracted from. (The Daily Mail)

Really sad news - Betsey Johnson filed for bankruptcy. Betsey girls, let band together and help our queen mother out with some great new purchases. (MTV)

A fool-proof guide to dressing for your job or internship this summer. Duly noted. (Refinery29)

If you're ever in the area, check out the exhibition "Innocence and Experience" at the Tate Liverpool, co-curated by Marianne Faithfull and John Dunbar. I know that I am planning a trip before I leave England. (Tate)

Thank you to HelloGiggles writer Meghan, who understands my deep love and respect for Tom Hiddleston. Also, I think calling him 'Hiddlywinks' is a swell idea. (HelloGiggles)

So I am almost five months too late to this party, but I just discovered the "Survivor/I Will Survive" mashup from Glee. New power anthem for my workout playlist? I think yes. (YouTube)

Seven things a twentysomething can do. Embarrassingly enough, I do most all of these things. (Thought Catalog)

I am a young female. Obviously I love One Direction. I am a product of the internet age. Obviously I love memes. Simple enough. (Crushable)

Catch a rare glimpse of stars without their makeup. Disappointingly, they are all still annoyingly beautiful makeup-free. (The Gloss)

Yes! A list of beauty products that my life idol Gwyneth Paltrow uses from English pharmacies. Buying all of them, no questions asked. (Goop)

Check out my Pinterest profile! Follow for my style wants and food cravings. (Pinterest)