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Happy 3rd birthday Street Style Wales

October 27, 2014
Photo credit: Will Clayton (creative commons)

Photo credit: Will Clayton via Creative Commons

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of the day I set up this blog, or its 3rd birthday. I almost can’t believe it’s been that long, but on the other hand it feels too short. I suppose it’s because I’ve been blogging for far longer than that – since 2007 in fact – that blogging has almost become like second nature by now.

When I first started this blog, I was a journalism student and on an adventure to a career that I knew I’d love as soon as I got to practise it. 2011 was such a year of change for me in so many ways (not all of them good, sadly) and one of the main reasons for that is because I stepped out of my comfort zone, from a secure job that was paying the bills, into a career and a city that were both new to me.

I’d worked so hard to get to that point and I was determined to make the most of it. Living in Cardiff was such an experience and gave me a great set of friends and I really enjoyed my time there.

The blog started as a university project although I was so excited to get back into blogging. I wanted it to be a change in direction from my previous lifestyle blog and I first set out to make it a street style blog. It soon became something completely different though and now I write about crafting, independent designers and fashion, mixed in with a bit of lifestyle.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the direction I’d like this blog to go in and I will soon be updating it and changing its name. Street Style Wales has always been a little bit restrictive and it hasn’t been a street style blog in a long time. I want to keep all things crafty, as that is my passion at the moment, but I’d also like to throw in some more lifestyle and other things.

Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when all these changes occur (in the next month I’d imagine) but, I think, after three years, that it’s time to spruce things up.

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Dinefwr Literature Festival

July 3, 2014

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The weekend before last, when it was still incredibly hot, I went along to a lovely, not very well known, festival close to my family home. Despite this only being the second year of The Dinefwr Literature Festival, it has already built up quite a reputation locally and in Wales, although it’s still small enough not to be overrun by people.

As I’m lucky enough to live nearby, it wasn’t much of a trek to get there every day and I could go back to a warm bed and hot shower every night too, which I secretly loved, so I didn’t have to give up any of my luxuries.

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Although mainly a literature festival, there was also a good selection of music and other activities there, not to mention the amazing selection of food places (there was one place which sold the most amazing cake with carrot, apple and various nuts and spices in!)

I really enjoyed the variety of artists and bands who were playing; namely Cate Le Bon, Climbing Trees and Gruff Rhys (who was worth a watch just for his act in-between the songs) and discovered a whole load of newer bands that played my kind of music.

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A replica of the Dylan Thomas shed even made an appearance, to celebrate the centenary of the poet’s birth

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Climbing Trees were one of the new bands I discovered while at the festival

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Dinefwr provided the perfect tranquil backdrop for the festival

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Perhaps the highlight for me though, was Laura Bates, journalist, founder of the Everyday Sexism website and author of a new book, also called Everyday Sexism, who gave a brilliant talk about sexism and the situations that she and other women have found themselves in, that unfortunately a lot of women can relate to. Perhaps because that was the first talk I went to, but it really put me in an empowering mood and I really enjoyed the rest of the weekend at Dinefwr.

Apart from the many bands I went to see, I also enjoyed the literature and poetry events, like the poet Gillian Clarke. Gillian, the current National Poet of Wales, performed a few of her poems and, although I’ve seen her before, she is really good and has such a stage presence that makes you want to watch her again.

If you’ve never been to Dinefwr, it should be somewhere to put on your wishlist straightaway. The setting was spectacular and the festival was so relaxing and lovely that I’m sure it will be a success in the future. I hope the next one isn’t too far away!

 

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A day trip to Hereford and Hay-on-Wye

May 2, 2014

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Last week, Mum and I went on a little adventure to one of my favourite towns, Hay-on-Wye, otherwise known as the town of books. If you’ve never been there, you really must. It’s a pretty town, tiny and right on the border of England and Wales (It’s technically in Wales, just so you know!).

But before then, we travelled a little bit further down the road to Hereford, a cathedral city half an for away from Hay. We didn’t have much time in Hereford, but we did manage a little look round a few of the shops and the cathedral. Plus we ate a really nice lunch from a sandwich shop in one of Hereford’s alleyways.

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Of course I had to visit a craft shop in Hereford!

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Some of the shops in Hereford are really sweet

The reason for our visit was that it was Mum’s birthday and we have a, kind of, family day trip tradition on birthdays. We’d also planned to visit a jewellery shop in the town for a little while and Mum’s birthday was the perfect excuse to go.

We arrived in Hay mid afternoon and we headed straight for the jewellery shop, with vague notions of buying a ring each as a memento for the day. Unfortunately, neither of us managed to find a ring we liked, but the Hay Festival is coming up at the end of this month and they promised to have more by then.

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This cute child’s chair was on sale outside one of Hay-on-Wye’s antique shops

After visiting every jewellery and antique shop in the town, we stopped for a coffee in Shepherds, our go to coffee shop. By then it was nearing half five and there were still a few shops left to visit so we quickly rushed around the rest of the shops, before heading back to the car.

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Every time I visit Hay there are noticeable changes. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the time I’ve been coming here is that there are now far fewer bookshops than when I was a child. If you know or have heard of Hay, you’ll know that it is known for its annual literary festival as well as its bookshops, so it’s weird to see another type of shop taking the place of a bookshop you used to go in every year.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy that Hay has more to offer than bookshops and, believe me, there are still plenty of those. I just love exploring the different, irregular, rooms of those shops and choosing a novel.

My next visit will hopefully be for the festival, which is always an exciting time for the town.

Have you ever been to Hay? Are you looking forward to the festival this year? Who are you going to see?

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Adventures on Llansteffan beach

April 23, 2014

IMG_4993The other day my sister and I went to one of our local beaches here in Wales, for a walk. I always find myself drawn to the coastline and, as a creative person, it inspires and energises me. Llansteffan is a place I have been to since I was quite young and it’s really in the middle of nowhere. People only drive along the road to it to get to the beach or the castle.

If you’re ever in West Wales, and you want an adventure, Llansteffan is a lovely place to visit. It’s really quiet and there are plenty of alcoves and walks on the beach and around it to keep you entertained.

The castle is a short walk away and it’s worth walking up to just to experience the breathtaking views over Carmarthen Bay. It’s also a great place to have a picnic and just sit for a while.

We didn’t walk up to the castle the other day, but stayed close to the beach instead. Maybe next time.

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Zatchels flash sale

April 12, 2014

Lilac satchelIf you’re anything like me and have an addiction to satchels, then head over to the Zatchels website this weekend, as they have a flash sale happening right now, with up to 70% off on some bags. They had a similar sale on last year and I took advantage, picking up this beauty for a bargain. I won’t be buying any satchels this year as funds won’t allow me to, but I hope some of you will instead.

Remember, the sale is only on for this weekend and prices will return to normal then.

If you’re not into satchels, there are plenty of other bags on sale too. Here are just some of my favourites:

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Cornflower Blue and White Polka Dot Saddle Bag, £38 (Image credit: Zatchels.com)

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Classic Chestnut Saddle Bag, from £36 (Image credit: Zatchels.com)

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Pastel Grass Green Leather Barrel Bag, £27 (Image credit: Zatchels.com)

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Kaleidoscope Leather Satchel, from £68 (Image credit: Zatchels.com)