Archive for Travel

Take a break

Posted in Accessories, Drinks, Fashion, Food, Shoes, Stylist, Travel, Trend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2016 by Cheeky Poppins

Life is for living in my very humble opinion. Over the past three weeks I have spent in Milan, Italy – I have never known the benefits of a recharge. Any time I have ever taken a break, or a holiday, I bury myself in a project or organised a voyage of a lifetime.20160318_135548

Walking as a means of transport, has been a pleasure. The wonders it does for your fitness, posture and general health are a saving grace to save me from the delicious beige food I have consumed. As would you with pizza, pasta and bread so delicious and on every corner.

Getting lost in a city with a drastically low incidence of petty crime is a wonder. The freedom, beauty and space to roam the city is such a calming experience.

Not to put Milan on a pedestal, with the cleanliness, culture and rich history there is also a lack of conformity. few people want or choose to speak English, which can make for a tough few first weeks before I was taken pity on by my lovely landlady Gabriella. Teaching me English from grammar upwards to vocabulary, she is heaven-sent.

The fact I have not posted in some time is due to the fact I had to get myself a job to survive in this beautiful city of beauticians, salons, high-streets, beautiful leather shoes, bags and independent retailers. as well as bars, clubs and cafes. Teaching English was a wonderful experience and has given me additional tools for life. I have honed my interpersonal skills, communication technique, teaching skills and have made a positive impact on the lives of a few amazing Italians along the way to improve their English, confidence and prospects in the future.

It’s not goodbye just yet, but on my rare day off, I thought a little tribute to this gift of time was due. Thank you Milan.

Getting around Milan

Posted in Fashion, Food, Travel, Trend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2016 by Cheeky Poppins

Other than dolce far niente…..

There are a many other perks to living in Milan other than the food. There is the fashion, coffee and general sense of familiarity. Talking to strangers on the street, meeting locals and expats in the local bar and becoming a daily customer at your nearby cafe will open up a world of opportunities.

I have been on trips to Vigevano a town located in the province of Pavia, Lombardy. It is one of the most historical cities known for its famous Piazza Ducale and Catello Sforzesco (a castle for us English folk) rebuilt in the 15th century for the patron Ludovico Maria Sforza. Its history of footwear manufacture also houses one of the most impressive footwear museums known to myself. With a beautiful piazza, cathedral and historical buildings and statues in the centre of town it is a great place to get some culture. There are plenty of places to stop and have an ice-cream, or a full meal. There are markets and stores for shopping if that is on the cards too. Its a quiet little place to disappear to. Not literally as eventually someone will notice your missing, hopefully.



Bergamo, houses a beautiful lot of many things. 40km north of Milan, you’ll find churches with royal crests of three testicles , amazing frescos, Venetian walls built in the 16th century, outdoor churches and historical bells you can actually stand underneath as it rings, why I did this I am still not sure why but the view is amazing.



Next stop will be Florence , so watch this space. My point is the more people you talk to and the more connections made, the better the experience in this beautiful country. I’m not talking backpackers, regular people who enjoy socialising and meeting crazy foreigners with a booming laugh not even London understands. Thanks to everyone so far whose made my time here so awesome, I haven’t met a crazy person yet but with the amount of people I have met the odds are not in my favour.

Another food edition

Posted in Fashion, Food, Travel, Trend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2016 by Cheeky Poppins

I have tried some pretty delicious food whilst being here in Milan. I have had the pleasure of having home cooked Milanese risotto from one of the finest cooks I have had the pleasure of dining with. I have also had prepared home cooked pasta with various healthier meat alternatives, washed down by my contribution of yummy lemon sponge, it is the Londoner in me. Good friends are easy to come by in this city, I took a snap of the delicious cheese he sprinkled on the top. Lush.20160305_134850

Last week I was given an education on food from Naples. I dined at Nastro Azzurro, a two of a kind restaurant which exists in its home town of Naples with a second branch here in Milano. Talk about being exclusive, the queue to dine in was longer than the take away counter for Nandos on a Saturday night. Not only are Neapolitan pizzas notoriously large, the ingredients are traditionally more rural, vegetarian and fish rather than meat. It must be cooked in a wood-fired oven for authenticity. They prepare a pizza base with both fresh and crushed tomatoes to give an intense difference of textures and tastes.

The desert we dined on was the Baba. This baba was saturated in rum. Delicious warm rum in a yeast sponge like cake. Needless to say it went down very well, where there was room to fit it.


At another restaurant we tried Milanese food, I had the pizza again, and Andrea had the pasta again. Both delicious, both tasty as hell. The desert is a coconut tiramisu. Can’t really go wrong with this menu.


Food on the go does not always mean you must walk through golden arches for immediate satisfaction – my local spot produces the most delicious pieces by the slice with desserts which make your mouth water from down the street. I resisted temptation like it was a test from above and consumed my huge delicious pizza without a sweet for afters. Prosciutto, margarita and pesto. Eye of the tiger.


Fashion Sees Red

Posted in Accessories, Fashion, Shoes, Stylist, Travel, Trend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2016 by Cheeky Poppins

Red, also known as Fiesta is one of the big colours for Spring 16, as if you didn’t already know.
Whether you are a minor red hair accessory kind of girl. The guy that wears the red power tie or even the person who enjoys the sneaky peak of a bright red sock peakibooing under trousers, this Spring 2016 is your season.
With the likes of Armani popping accents of red all over the Spring collection, you’ll be a fool to ignore it. Red has never been my colour, but back in November I entered a Stylist competition – stage one was to showcase our interpretation of red.
Here was my entry. Unfortunately I didn’t win, but I still love my entry. The cardigan is a retro vintage piece from Greenwich. The beading detail is incredible, pure lambswool and lined inside to prevent any wool intolerance reactions occurring.  I love it. I’m also wearing my shoe clips from my website Cheeky Poppins, a touch of fur.
Here are some pieces from Armani showcasing possibly the most powerful colour in the spectrum. So says the power tie philosophy.
Here is a dress on Pretaportobello by Liquorish At Marketplace. Taking the colour block Fiesta to an extreme but why not? Otherwise you can tone it down with accessories – all found on the site.
Whatever your feelings on the colour, there ain’t no party like a Fiesta.  So jump on board.

#shoesmakemehappy – the brogue

Posted in Accessories, Fashion, Shoes, Stylist, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2016 by Cheeky Poppins

Italy, the Graceland of the footwear industry, and I have just acquired the bargain of the century. I bought what I believe to be an amazing pair of tan almond toe, slip on wing cap brogues, with a tassel and fringe. They are basically my dream pair of shoes, the last one in the lot so I got them for the bargain price of 44 Euro (at a 1.2 conversion approximately £36.67). I haven’t yet mentioned the  upper and lining is leather, made and sourced all in Italy – for £37. What a steal, for any shoe snob you should be feeling the raw envy. Or feel around for change and get yourself to Italy.

Collage 2016-02-16 19_16_30

Brogues for me are the epitome of heritage style rounding off an indigo skinny jean with finesse, topped off with a mink cashmere jumper and velvet blazer why not. I have been searching for a pair of shoes like this for years. I have been travelling to Italy since 2009 and in my 2nd week of having packed my bags and taken the search hard core I have found them. Additionally to add they are as comfortable as a coma. Just a quick stroll to the shops in my new shoes and I feel a million bucks. MM Glamour shoes – thanks and I’ll see you again for sure.

The brogue is a style of footwear typically characterised by decorative perforations (broguing) along and on top of the upper surface of the shoe. The roots of punching holes into shoes came from Ireland and Scotland, primarily for drainage purposes. Today they are the epitome of sophistication, business attire and fashion but also a trend driven in sportswear with EVA soles, pull on high tops and slip on sport shoes. Taking my love of masculine driven pieces, it’s safe to say I am pleased as punch.

A designer known to perform broguing with the upmost reinvented style, innovative comfort technology and finesse is Coal Haan. See these and drool. This brand is my shout out to splurge on, for a pair of shoes in this category, a brand delivering a cheaper option isn’t really an option at all.

Coal Haans

Face Fashion

Posted in Accessories, Fashion, Stylist, Travel with tags , , , , , , on February 15, 2016 by Cheeky Poppins

Aviators, round, or cats eye, there are so many shapes of sunglasses to choose from. I have a heart shaped face, emphasis on the top heart as my cheeks are undeniably plump. The general rule is, if a pair of sunglasses is angular and you have a round face go crazy, and vice versa. My rule is wear what makes you feel like table top dancing and own it! In Mango, I tried out a few.

sunnies collage

I have always liked what I liked. So this is just a guide, try them on and see what actually “fits”.

Aviators – large lenses, designed to block out the sun from every angle, hence their association with pilots. Often with reflective lenses, for extra pizazz. Recommended for slim faces as not to emphasize girth.

Brow line – a wide frame which runs across the top, at the, wait for it – brow line. Often thin frames or rimless across the remaining bottom of the lenses. An association with the founder of KFC, but very retro chic today.

Square / Retro square – regarded as the most compatibly complimentary style for all face shapes there is. Again, their name is their shape, whether you like them black thick rimmed for nerd homage or slim framed for more sophistication, they’re a mandatory addition for every collector of sunglasses. Best on an oval / round face.

Oval – again works with most face shapes.  Looks best on square faces. See what I did there.

Cat Eye – much like the eyes of our feline friends (or foes). They were made fammannequin - 4ous in the 50’s and are best worn with animal print frames and high cheek bones. These are guidelines only as I think Hollywood wore them best in Mannequin (1987).




Wayfarer – an iconic style, monopolised by one brand in a particular. Somewhere between rectangle and oval in shape.

Round – perfectly round, but best remembered worn by Lennon. They are just that, round; very trendy and fashionable. If your face isn’t round, these are generally regarded as an agreeable look for you.

Sport – curved with your face, often tapered at the temple, sometimes with fancy polarised lenses for the sports enthusiast. To fight glare.

I love my Moschino cat’s eyes; they are gaudy and bold – just how I like them. 2nd favourite is my round eyes (Topshop) – a fraction of the price but possibly more of a statement. When the sun makes an appearance, you’ll be thoroughly equipped! Come on SS16.