#LoveWins and Pride SF

Posing in front of 18th and Castro

The last few days have been full of ups and downs here in San Francisco. The down being that the Mr and I missed our first Glastonbury Festival in seven years (Timehop has been a blessing and a curse for reminding us what we’re missing) – first world problem, much? One of the highs has of course been Pride, and the USA’s Supreme Court ruling to legalise gay marriage in all 50 states.

San Francisco is definitely one of the more liberal cities in the States and has long been home to a bustling LBGT community, so when news of this huge win for equality broke on Friday morning, the jubilation could be felt on every street corner. For us, marriage was a natural progression within our relationship and while it’s not the right move for everyone, it’s hard to imagine having to fight so hard to justify loving another person in that way.

We’re blessed with lots of rainbow flags here throughout the year but for Pride, businesses, homeowners and citizens go all-out, and it’s been a joy to walk around neighbourhoods that are even more colourful than usual. On Saturday afternoon we headed down to a BBQ at our friend’s house in the Castro, before checking out the Pink Party, a Pride street party packed with performers, music and dancing.

For the occasion I dug out the only pink item of clothing I own – this floral jersey pencil skirt from Topshop – and paired it with these epic gold sneakers from Zara that I picked up in the sale a couple of weeks ago. I am in heart-eyes emoji love with them.

America is not without its flaws (the topic of gun control, or lack thereof, could spawn a whole other blog, let alone a blog post) but I felt very proud to live in San Francisco this weekend. It’s a peninsula of acceptance, tolerance and celebration of who you are, and proof that love wins in the end.

SF Pride Pink PartyFrozen yogart faceGold mock croc Zara shoesRainbow fawn at SF PrideRainbow flag agaisnt Twin PeaksEn route to the Pink PartyPretty in pink for SF PridePride rainbow baseball capsGold shoes and rainbowsBloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

Dressing in Denim and a Note on Fast Fashion

F21 denim shirt and Old Navy trousers

Yep, more denim from me! I just can’t get enough of the stuff at the moment, and just when I thought I had all the denim staples a girl could ask for (jeans, check! Dress, check! Shirt, check!) I spotted this denim t-shirt.

I wore this look to lunch at a friend’s house on Memorial Day and despite Memorial Weekend kicking off summer, the weather in San Francisco has been distinctly overcast and windy.

I’m not about to suggest that it’s cold, but it’s definitely living up to the did-he-say-it-or-didn’t-he Mark Twain quote often attributed to summers in the city. Fortunately our recent trip to Miami gave me the blast of sunshine I’ve been missing in recent weeks.

This outfit is unusual for me in that – Mulberry bag aside – it’s the first in a long time that’s made up entirely of fast fashion, including the American brands Forever 21, Old Navy and a pair of (old) Primark sandals. Although I still own several Primark items I stand firmly in the anti-fast fashion camp, but here in the US I’m not as familiar with the ethics of high street retailers. That’s something for me to work at and educate myself on, and in the meantime it leaves me a tad conflicted about outfits like this, especially since I bloomin’ love this denim t-shirt.

I read about The True Cost documentary on Style.com recently and it’s one I’m definitely going to make an effort to see as I think it mainly focuses on American retailers. Do ethical/environmental decisions factor in your shopping habits? I’d love to know your thoughts on this so leave me a comment below and let me know…

Denim t-shirt –  Forever 21 / Printed harem pants – Old Navy / Tan sandals – Primark / Oak ‘Effie’ bag – Mulberry

Denim tshirt and harem pants outfitDuboce street signCasual Memorial Day outfitMilkmaid Heidi braidsF21 denim tshirtSan Francisco painted ladiesRelaxed denim tshirt outfit

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A Long Weekend in Miami

South Beach MiamiI feel so lucky to have explored as much of America as we have in the last six months, including trips to Lake Tahoe, Santa Cruz, LA, and New York. So when some of our friends invited us on a beach holiday to Miami a couple of months ago, we jumped at the chance. At the time, everyone in the group mentioned that it would be great to go somewhere sunny and warm and, having not yet experienced my first San Francisco summer, I was a bit baffled by this – surely summer in Northern California would be glorious, no?

Well, it turns out that it’s actually a little chilly. Obviously as a Brit I can’t and won’t complain, but lets just say that I surprised myself by how excited I was to step off of the plane into a warm, tropical climate when we touched down in Miami a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve touched on what we got up to in my recent Little Things post but I wanted to include a Miami photo diary too, if nothing but to serve as a personal reminder of the beautiful buildings and delicious food we enjoyed. As a group of eight, we decided to stay in a rented apartment rather than a hotel, and we ended up in the thick of it on South Beach’s Ocean Drive.

Vintage car on Ocean DriveOcean Drive is like another world. Part Balearic island, part Venice Beach, the sidewalks are heaving with revelers, restaurants and rich kids. There are muscle men in vintage cars, go-go dancers in artificial fish tanks and more neon bikinis than you can shake a palm frond at. It’s loud, colourful and for the most part, one long 24-7 party.

The backdrop for the action is the city’s Art Deco district, where soothing peppermint green and candy floss pink buildings have been lovingly preserved. The colours of the buildings (now mostly hotels and restaurants) are said to represent the colours of Miami – yellows for the sand, pinks for the sunset and blues and greens for the sea and sky. This concentration of 1930s architecture and design grounds the party atmosphere and makes for a very unique experience. Brighton beach it certainly is not.

Along with the architecture, another highlight of this five-day trip was the food tour that our friend Shawna persuaded the group to go on. I think we were all a little skeptical that it would feel too formal and that we’d leave feeling hungry but we couldn’t have been more wrong. We learnt heaps about the history of South Beach and the food it has become famous for and, to be honest, any tour that starts with Dulce de leche-stuffed churros is a winner for me!

So before I ramble on any further, here are some photographs from our long weekend in Miami (shot on my DLSR and Mini Diana lomo camera)…

Miami Culinary Tour in actionBreakwater building South BeachTropical ferns in South Beach parkSouth beach lomography photoFried grouper and plantain chips from LoriosMiami street artCuban sandwichs are a must in MiamiArt deco Leslie building on Ocean DriveFeet in the sand lomo photoSouth Beach Art Deco hotelWheel of gelato at Milani GelateriaStuffed churros from South BeachBloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

South Beach-Inspired Dressing

Chilling at the beachConfession: I didn’t take a single outfit photo on our recent jaunt to Miami. Bad, bad blogger. I had all these grand ideas about what and where to shoot but in the end that all went out the window in favour of sitting on the beach, reading books and eating an awful lot of ice cream.

It was so hot that most days I threw the same white shirt over my bikini to walk to the beach, then promptly disrobed and ricocheted between the beach and the sea until it was time to seek shade. Fortunately there are also several beaches in San Francisco, and it was just about warm enough to wear this South Beach-inspired outfit to the beach last week.

Unlike the beautiful beaches in Miami, San Francisco’s offerings are colder, grey and often covered in fog, even if the rest of the city is basking in sunshine. We arrived to one such cloudy sky on Friday, but just as we were contemplating leaving, the clouds started to disperse – hurrah for British beach stubbornness!

I’d been saving this red and white embroidered smock dress specifically for our trip to Miami but it never made it out of my suitcase, so I’m pleased it’s still wearable in the SF climate. I think it’s probably long enough to wear as a dress but I had a slight panic that a gust of wind would lead it astray, so I wore my favourite ‘boyfriend’ denim shorts underneath.

So, who’s up for pretending this is Miami, eh?

Red and white embroidered smock –  Forever 21 / Stonewash ‘boyfriend’ shorts  – c/o New Look, Cabot Circus / Tan sandals – c/o Steve Madden, House of Fraser

Ocean Beach San FranciscoF21 smock dress and red acrylic sunglassesWhite and red F21 smock dressSmock dress beach outfitPedicured feet in the sandSand dunesDenim shorts and F21 embroidered smockBloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

The Little Things #13 – The Miami Edition

The Little Things 13-Miami EditionIt’s time for another LT post! For the uninitiated, The Little Things series is a monthly round-up of all the little and large things that have rocked my world recently. At the start of the month I spent a few days in Miami so here are the little beach-related things I’ve been loving recently…

Blogging about: Hitting the six month mark, my gym bag essentials and a lot of prints in my latest outfit post.
Watching: Jurassic World at the cinema last Friday, which has given me a craving to watch all three previous films back to back, and Game of Thrones, which finishes for another season tonight – eep!
Buying: All the bikinis. All of them.
Reading: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. This is actually my pick for the book club I’m part of, and is one that’s been on my reading list for yonks, ever since I saw Rosie mention it. I also joined my local library recently and managed to find Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg – which is another must-read I’ve been meaning to pick up – on my first visit. I feel another Feminist Bookshelf post coming on soon…
Listening to: The sounds of the sea and the hubbub of South Beach’s Ocean Drive.
Wearing: Said bikinis, plus denim shorts and maxi dresses.
Eating: Cuban food! Given its large Cuban community, Miami is a hotspot for Cuban restaurants. One of the highlights of the trip was taking part in a Miami Culinary Tour and sampling lots of famous local delicacies.
Enjoying: Our holiday to Miami (which I’ll post more about soon) was just wonderful. Eight of us stayed in a rented apartment overlooking South Beach and every day was spent relaxing on the beach, swimming in the delightfully warm sea and eating delicious Cuban food.
Looking forward to: Our trip to the UK next month. Not only are we attending the wedding of two of our favourite people, we’re also fitting as many visits to friends and family as possible. Oh and eating us much fish and chips and Pieminister pies as we can.

What little things have you been loving lately?

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