Blog by Ashleigh Dougherty

25/07/2017

9 THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM LOVE ISLAND


If you're been hooked on this year's Love Island, then you'll be joining me in a downward slump tonight.

Every night for 43 episodes, I have cancelled all evening plans, planned the gym for earlier in the day and made sure my dinner was on a plate much earlier than 9pm. Why? So I could lock myself in my bedroom at 8.55PM, ready for another hour of absolute brain rot. However, it's this addiction that has got me craving another fix tonight. Tough and somewhat unlucky, as it's sadly over for another year.

Last night's finale got me thinking. Firstly, why have I never watched a previous series of this show? Secondly, who is ITV's stylist?! And finally... what have I learned from watching 43 episodes of this year's series?

Well, this is exactly what I have learned.

1) It's possible to change the mentality of a 'fuck boy'.

When Chris walked into the villa, my automatic impression was EW. I mean, physically, yeah I'd rip his clothes off. However, his personality came across very uptight, arrogant and he seemed to think everyone fancied him. It seems many of us on Twitter agreed and it's always a difficult job to get another chance at making a first impression.

However, a few weeks passed and the nation simply fell in love with farmboy, Chris Hughes. Deep down, he's a sensitive and genuine person with a heart of gold and this came across very clear during the beginning of his whirlwind relationship with fellow islander, Olivia.

It got me thinking. How many fuck boys have I dated in my lifetime? A LOT. How many fuckboy relationships have worked out? None. How many did I try to change? Errrrr, none.

Don't get me wrong. Most fuck boys are literal fuck boys and won't change until their willies fall off from having sex with too many girls. However, there must come a point when a fuck boy (either senior or in-training) must want to stop messing about, meet a nice girl and settle down?

Basically, Chris, if you're ever rid of Olivia and reading this; hit me up boy. 




2) I have absolutely NO life or love interest that has distracted me from Love Island.


Ya know, most people go on Friday date nights to the cinema or spend Sunday's together watching rubbish TV.  What have I been doing for the duration of the show? In my room, making no noise and pretending I don't exist. Watching rubbish TV. Alone.

3) Essex boys really do love the typical Essex looking 'bird'.


Jonny went for Tyla. Mike wanted Tyla. Jonny secretly had an egg in another basket and is now with Chyna. Kem is with Amber. All these girls look like the typical girls that live in my hometown of Essex and to be honest, it's painfully accurate and puts me off dating.

I recently dated someone from Essex and I honestly always felt he was "too Essex" for me. Everything from the hair, fashion sense, accent and lifestyle; I knew from day one that I wasn't this guy's true 'cuppa tea. Nor was he mine. No matter how much I wanted to ride him like a pony.

Swiping on Tinder means I come across these typical TOWIE lookalikes all. the. time. Yeah, of course Dan the 26 year old city bod from Brentwood is fit, so I swipe right. Do I ever match with Dan? With Ben from Loughton? With Marco the Greek god? With Jack the builder from Basildon? Nope. I'm just not Essex enough. Sadly, my hair is my hair. My teeth are my teeth. My lips are mine and I don't have a range rover or a dog that fits in my handbag. Man, I don't even use handbags.


4) The realisation that I've never had a romantic date.


This hit me hard yesterday when the couples each had to read their partner a letter they had written. Most people in this year's Love Island are my age and have coupled up with very fit looking people. They've been on amazing dates; slap up meals, picnics in the sun, helicopter rides etc.

The most romantic date I've had is to Nandos and getting dropped home afterwards. Oh the shame.


5) Persistency and not giving up, will make sure you find something real.


Hands up if you loved Sam? Both my hands are up and waving. Although not the most attractive, I think he was the most genuine and most funny guy in the villa this year. This made me automatically fancy him a lot and and I'm so happy he finally managed to couple up with Essex girl, Georgia. With so many knock backs and girls telling him he uses too much tongue (which is actually a thing that so many guys need to learn), he finally had a happy ending. Yaaaay!

6) Realising I have certain Olivia traits and feeling horrified whilst witnessing it in someone else. 


Olivia was branded this year's psycho on the show, because of the many hissyfits she had and arguments she caused between her and Chris and some other islanders. It was blatant to see on my TV screen that she was pushing Chris away in order to get attention off him. She used this dangerous 'technique' as a somewhat plan and it almost backfired.

Sadly, I could relate to Olivia so much and this is something that I am horrified about seeing first hand. Although I don't bark at people like she does (unless I am on my period and so have the excuse to), I have been guilty of pushing people away to get a reaction when it feels like they don't care or are not bothered about a certain situation.

It's much easier for me to end something and walk away, than bother to try fight both sides of an argument. However, I have learned that not every argument has an invitation. Being hurt so much in the past has made me that way and it's hard to change your mentality of having to protect yourself, when it's all you're used to. It definitely has made me think about the way I act in relationships.


7) There is a tiny bit of hope that I will bag a Calvin Klein model when I least expect it.


Camilla never saw it coming. We never saw it coming either and thought Camilla would end up a single lady for the duration of the show. Then in comes hunky Jamie; a Calvin Klein model who's been living life in New York for the past 10 years. You wouldn't put them together but they're both happy and it's lovely to see.

Is it genuinely going to last? Who knows.


7) You can never 100% anyone - no matter how close you are with them.


I have serious trust issues anyway, but how many times did we catch someone in the villa bitching about a so-called friend? Plenty.  Eyes are on Gabby, Montana and Olivia here.

8) You're guaranteed to walk out of the villa with a man with a 6-pac - or at least snog/shag one anyway.


Don't get me wrong here, every woman loves a man with a nice body. Tanned skin, killer abs and a perky bum to match; yes please. However, I do also have a guilty pleasure for a dad bod. Most of the men I go for have some kind of dad bod. Whether this is a bit of a belly, a bit of an odd dress sense or a hairy chest.

Yet, no one walked into the villa who resembled this.  I WAS WAITING AND LOVE ISLAND LET ME DOWN.


9) I really, really want to go on next year's Love Island.


It's quite sad isn't it when you're agreeing in your head and heart that you want to be in next year's Love Island villa? Of course, I have no idea if I will be single or in a relationship next summer. However, I have also come to the realisation that I am just not visually appealing enough for a show that's so filtered and all about looks. So, I probably won't apply.  Siiiiiiigh. 

There's 9 things I have learned! Have you been as addicted as me to this year's series?
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24/07/2017

INNTRAVEL ALPS SLOW HOLIDAYS & GIVEAWAY! #WONDERFULVIEWS


Travelling is one of my favourite things to do, so it's to no surprise that I say yes to being a part of the #WonderfulViews campaign. If you're looking for somewhere new to travel soon, then have you ever considered seeing the Alps?

Inntravel is a slow holidays company that provides planned trips around Austria and the Alps. A slow holiday is a walking holiday. Instead of driving yourself around the country and being stuck inside a car, you can walk or cycle around and see everything properly.

Inntravel arrange the hire of your bikes (or you can walk everywhere), and they give you a routed map to follow. Whilst your luggage is transported way ahead of you, you essentially cycle from one hotel to the next. Of course, you can stop off as many times as you like on the way. It's the best way to take in all of the sights, smells and you'll have far better photo opportunities.

Two years ago, I had the pleasure of doing a road trip through Europe and I spent a few nights in Switzerland. I stayed in a town called Susten; surrounded by forests and the alps and mountains of the Valais region. 


Switzerland had never appealed to me before, but to this day, it's the best place I have ever travelled to. I really fell in love with the country and would highly recommend it as a place to see if you haven't already. 

With the location being surrounded by forests and mountains, it meant you couldn't hear a thing. It was honestly so lovely to wake up to the sound of nothing. No cars, no children, no police sirens. Just peace and quiet. 


We was staying on dry mountain land, but we was about 35 mins from the local skiing slopes. The location we was at was great, as we had many different options of things to do everyday; including skiing, snowboarding, cable cars, hiking and shopping in the local town. 


Two days is an okay timeframe to see Switzerland, but I would have liked to have stayed for another few days, so I could see it more in depth. I also wish I would have walked around a lot more, rather than relying on the car so much. 

Road trips are a fantastic way to see countries back to back, but you are limited in terms of what you can see. This is why I think this is such a fantastic campaign to be a part of, as it allows travel lovers like myself, the chance to see these beautiful countries to their fullest potential. Being a keen fitness freak, also means I would love to cycle across these countries and think the concept of a 'slow holiday' is fantastic. 

I will definitely be considering a slow holiday for my travels next year. I just need to decide whether I want to return to Switzerland or try Austria!
I also have a small giveaway to include with this campaign. If you have visited the Austrian Alps before or know someone who has and loved it, then you may want to win this vintage poster! All you have to do is fill in the form below! Giveaway ends Friday 31st July and the winner will be contacted by myself on how to claim the prize. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: In collaboration with Inntravel. All words are my own. 
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17/07/2017

5 BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAID DRESSES FROM COAST


Summer means one thing and one thing only. Wedding season. Whether us singletons like it or not, many couples are tying the knot over the next couple of months, so it's time to start planning those outfits, girls and boys!

Coast is my favourite high street store to head to know when looking for occasion wear. Ever since I got my hands on that stunning satin floral dress a while back, I've always gone back looking for more. 

It's the best affordable brand to shop from when you're looking for something special to wear for a summer event. When my parents got married a few years ago, Coast was the first store we headed to and all us bridesmaids fell in love with the majority of the store. 


Coast have got some gorgeous dresses, tops and skirts in at the moment; perfect for any brides who are looking for the perfect outfits for their bridesmaids. Here I have chosen my favourites, selected from a wide range of colours. 


This Brooke Midi dress (£119) is the perfect style if you're a shorter girl. I personally can't wear dresses that are maxi style, as they are too long for me. I always head for a midi length, as it shows off my legs but gives me that formal feel that you would need at something like a wedding.

The gorgeous frilled bardot neckline is something that really appeals to me and is great for bigger chested girls. It will take the attention away from your boobs and lets your neck do the talking. Pair with a gorgeous pair of silver or nude heels, a dainty necklace and an up-do for your hair; and you're well on your way to outdoing the bride.


The Corwin dress (£109) is made from a jersey material and features a multi-tie up at the back. If you can't go braless, then you can wrap it around you and secure into a bow at the back. If you fancy showing your back off, the ties can be placed across your back in an X shape and tied neatly at the bottom of your back.

This rich cobalt blue colour is something that will suit all skin tones and all hair colours. Available in short and regular lengths (perfect!), it's stunning and visually appealing in wedding photography, especially. 



I have been obsessed with top and skirt duos for weddings ever since a friend of mine wore both at a wedding. I would never usually think about wearing a long skirt and top together, but they do look absolutely stunning on and it's something I will definitely consider for the next wedding I go to!

Burgundy/maroon shades are my favourite for weddings, so this is probably my favourite bridesmaid outfit available at Coast right now. This is the Marr Lace Top (£69) is a lace bardot style with 3/4 length sleeves. The neckline has an almost scalloped style edge and when teamed up with the Harrie skirt (£99); you're guaranteed to look effortlessly chic.


If you love a maxi length dress, the Lori Lee dress (£149) is the perfect one for you. Draped in lace and chiffon, this is set to turn heads at every opportunity. It features a gorgeous glittery waistband that pulls you in at all the right places and extenuates your curves. 

The upper layer is doubled with a material underneath the lace, so you can either wear a strapless bra or a bra with clear straps. Pair with silver heels like the model is wearing and off you go! 


Finally, if green is your colour scheme, then is another duo that you need in your wardrobe for all of those big events. The Thea top (£99) is a boxy fit and embellished with lots of sequins and beads. 

It's the perfect top to wear when you're dancing your shoes off until the early hours and looks amazing with Coast's Iridessa skirt. Available in short and regular lengths, it's another great option for those shorter girls who want length, but don't want their garments to be hitting the floor. Show off those shins and pair with a pair of dainty stilettos; and you're on your way to have a great night. 

What option would you choose? I love them all but I think the burgundy top and skirt duo is my favourite!

Disclaimer: In collaboration with Coast. 
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15/07/2017

CRANES CIDERS


It's finally the weekend and I wish the sun was still around to chill in the garden with some drinks!

The day before I went on holiday, my sister and I had a little BBQ, so it was the perfect opportunity to each crack open a bottle of cider to wash everything down with. I have been obsessed with these drinks ever since and am sad I am down to my last bottle; which I am definitely saving!


I'm not a huge drinker, but I do enjoy a cider; especially in the summer. I think I have tried the majority of ciders on the market, but these are definitely my new found favourite. I will definitely be stocking up on more of these in the near future!

Cranes Ciders is founded by twin brothers, Dan and Ben and is definitely set to take the cider world by storm. They brew the finest cranberries and apples to make their fresh and crisp ciders. They also experiment with other flavours like blueberries and pomegranate.

What I love about these drinks other than the fabulous taste, is that they have 30% less calories than most ciders on the market. Perfect for someone like me who is trying to cut down on their sugar and calorie intake. Although not entirely sugar free, Cranes drinks are definitely up there for making you feel less guilty about having an alcoholic beverage with your dinner. 


There are currently three flavours available; Cranberry & Lime, Blueberry & Apple and Raspberry & Pomegranate. The flavours are all quite similar, but all very distinct too. My personal favourite is the Blueberry & Apple one. Really sweet and almost feels like you're drinking juice! Punchy, refreshing and crisp.

Cranes cider are 4% and 12 bottles can be purchased for £27.60 direct from their website.  

Disclaimer: PR samples. This does not affect the review. 
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14/07/2017

VIDEO: CROATIA WITH EUROCAMP HOLIDAYS


I've finally put together my little compilation of my holiday to Croatia with Eurocamp Holidays. If you missed the blog post, you can read it here

 Here it is...  enjoy! Don't forget to subscribe :) 


Disclaimer: In collaboration with Eurocamp Holidays. All content is my own. 
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CHOOSING THE BEST HAIRCUT FOR YOUR FACE SHAPE

Guest Post


I think you realise before long, how important it is to figure out what hairstyle will look best on you. Whether you rock a long or short bob, pixie cut, long layers, shoulder length hair updos or braids; sometimes it can be difficult to make the right choice.

You may even change your hair style frequently to look extravagant, different and on trend. However, if you feel confident and comfortable with your hair, you're almost guaranteed to keep it for a lot longer than you usually would.


Sometimes it can be a bad idea to follow trends or copy the hair style that your favourite celebrity has. How many times have you been to the hair salon and asked the hairdresser to cut in a style that you've seen in a popular fashion magazine? I know I am certainly guilty! If it doesn't suit your face shape, it can look awful and result in you hating your hair more than ever. A suitable hair cut needs to fit the face shape, hair texture and be comfortable to wear in everyday life.

So, here is a small guide on what hair style is best for you depending on the face shape that you have.

Oval Shape Face

Any hairstyle will suit this girl, as an oval face usually has a great bone structure. All you need is to decide on how to highlight your look with a fresh, new cut. I think among a huge choice of hair cut styles, an A-line 'bob' or pixie cut and side-swept bangs fit brilliantly on an oval face.


Round Shape Face


A round face commonly features a wider forehead, chin and slightly wider cheek bones. It's said you should avoid one length hair cuts and pay more attention to styles, such as long layered bobs or styles that have mid length cut hair. These types of haircuts will elongate your face and make it appear more oval shaped. A side fringe will also flatter your features and curly/wavy hair will always suit your face shape too.


Heart Shape Face


Avoid slicked back and choppy, layered hair cuts, pony tails and braids. The best hair cut for a heart shaped face is a short one. Finish by cutting in a brow-skimming or side swept fringe to emphasise your eyes.


Square Shape Face


Any hair cut that has asymmetrical or graduated layers is best for you; with a particular favourite being that of the angled cut bob. Don't be afraid to experiment with sleek pony tails and buns too!


Long Shape Face


If you have a longer shaped face, chin length hair styles are best for you. They create the illusion of width to your face. Longer hair cuts will elongate your face even more.


The most important thing of all is to feel comfortable and confident with your hair when you look in the mirror. If in doubt, have a chat with your hair dresser who will be able to recommend some hair styles that really suit your face shape.


Disclaimer: Guest Post. 
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13/07/2017

5 BEAUTY TRENDS I AM CURRENTLY LOVING

Orange Eye Makeup


My everyday makeup always involves an orange/brown eye. I think orange really compliments my green eyes, so it's a rarity that I ever change colours now.

Orange is also a fabulous colour for summer and suits most skin tones and eye colours. Finish with a golden highlight on the brow bone and dusting in the inner corners of the eyes; and you'll dazzle everyone with your peachy eyes.


Sheet Masks

Even though they are utterly terrifying when applied, sheet masks are definitely something I have grown to love this year especially. I try to use a face mask at least once a week, but do tend to try more sheet masks than anything else.

I have generally quite clear and healthy skin, but do like to treat myself to products that claim to brighten the skin's complexion. I'm not a huge fan of peel off masks as I find them get stuck in my hair and are a chore to remove. However, sheet masks allow the moisture to soak into the skin and the mask can be removed and thrown away immediately.

Sheet masks are available almost anywhere that stocks skincare and makeup products. Ellisons is a great website for all of your beauty needs. From beauty products for personal use and professional beauty products like waxing kits or a couch roll, you'll find pretty much everything you could ever need for your beauty treatments.


French Plait Pigtails


This was the hairstyle I would rock every day when at school and I am so glad it's become the number one beauty hair trend recently. Not only does it look amazingly pretty, it's also effortless. Plaits can be difficult to achieve at first, but practice makes perfect. Once you have mastered the technique of a french plait, you can try out different directions and styles.


Microblading


Microblading is the 'tattooing' of brows - either making yours look fuller or shaping them completely. Fine hair like lines are created with a hand held tool with a sharp nib at the end and the technique involves drawing on each 'hair' one by one.

I was first introduced to Microblading when I worked in Beauty PR. Blessed with dark and full brows, it's not a beauty treatment I will ever need. However, I was always stunned by the before and after results that I would see. Results last for around a year and then you'll need a top up. The perfect beauty treatment for women with thin or shapeless brows. Or maybe you're just sick and tired of filling yours in!


Fake Tanning

I remember the days when I would never touch fake tan and then I started a blog and you end up trying all kinds of new products. 

I have been especially obsessed with applying tan for golden and healthy looking skin all of this year. I love to try as many new products as possible in order to try and find one that answers all of my prayers. Having a tan for me, makes me feel much more confident in my skin and I just feel like I look a whole lot better when I look like I've been sunning it up in the Caribbean! 

What beauty trends are you loving at the moment? There's always new ones being introduced, but these are the 5 I am loving so far!

Disclaimer: In collaboration with Ellisons. All words are my own. Photographs are from Pinterest. 
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12/07/2017

FREYA BIKINI - ZETA STYLE


Freya has fast become my go to website to shop for lingerie and swimwear and I've been raving about them all month so far. I just can't get enough!

Not only do they offer women fun, sexy and playful printed delicates, they also offer their lingerie up to a K cup size. Amazing for women who struggle to find bras in their sizes. Now you can ditch those boring t-shirt bras and spoil yourself with sexy lingerie that's going to feel comfortable too!


This time, I am styling the fabulous Zeta style bikini. With a whole bunch of different colours on a geometrical print, it's eye catching, vibrant and would suit absolutely any skin tone too. 

The pattern reminds me of a jungle, so we decided to shoot this on the dry land of Croatia. With a backdrop of trees, long grass and the sun falling in front of me; it was time to get posing and shooting. 


There's two different top styles (available in sizes D - HH), but I went for the sweetheart version. At £32, it gives me an uplift and boost to my cleavage. This makes my boobs very happy, because they don't move around and stay put like two good children.


The bottoms also have two different styles available for you to choose from. These are the Bikini Briefs and are priced at £22. The are available in sizes XS - XXL and are true to size if you need any help in choosing a size. 


Wearing Freya swimwear has made me feel extra good about my body and ready to hit the beach and pool with bundles of confidence. 

With a whole collection of different styles from there, I think it's safe to say that I am pretty obsessed with the brand and recommend it to every lady out there! I am dying to try their sports bras now!

Disclaimer: PR samples. All words and photographs are my own. 
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11/07/2017

4 WAYS TO LOOK AFTER OUR FURRY FRIENDS IN SUMMER


Guest Post

You just don’t feel like doing anything in the summer, do you? It’s too hot and sticky and you are sweating profusely, so just imagine wearing a fur coat on top of it all.


Those with dogs will understand that no matter how hard you are finding it to cope in the sheer heat of summer, it is twice as bad for them. Some breeds cope better than others; with small-nosed dogs such as pugs and bulldogs most prone to overheating. They have trouble panting, which puts them more at risk of heat exhaustion.

In order to cope with the rising temperatures, we have to make certain allowances to make sure our furry friends are as comfortable as possible. Below is a checklist that dog owners can follow to ensure our gorgeous, furry pets stay healthy this summer.

Water, Water, Water

Just as we are told to stay hydrated in the summer, the same goes for dogs; but they cannot run the tap when their bowl is empty. Dog owners should keep an eye on water levels, so as to make sure their dog is never out of water to drink.

Dogs will consume more water during these months and will require several refills a day. This could mean possibly asking if a friend or family member can check in if you are ever out to supply more water if it runs out.

Ventilation

This really shouldn’t have to be said, but it really is vitally important. Ventilate any space that your dog will be in, especially if they are sat in a car. Make sure to wind down those windows!

If you have to leave the dog home alone, you obviously cannot leave the doors and windows wide open. In this case, invest in a good air conditioning unit that will cool the air. Fans will only circulate hot air which won’t do much for keeping the room temperature down; especially with the absence of fresh air.

Leave Nothing to Chance

Long walks will be out of the question with the sun blaring down, but they will still need some form of exercise. Short walks early in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are at their coolest, are ideal.

You should always take precautions to ensure that your dog can be found should the worst happen, but this necessity is heightened in the heat. Rogue dogs are most at risk of heat exhaustion, as they do not have immediate access to water. Make sure that there is some way that you can be reunited easily if they do run off with a pet tag consisting of contact details. some good examples can be found by visiting this website.

Dogs and Children

The one thing that dogs and children have in common is that they love to play and, mix the two together; you have the best playmates in the world. However, this can do more harm than good for your dog in high temperatures, as they use too much energy too quickly when it is best for them to take things easy.

Children may not understand this and will look to play with their best friend at any given opportunity. They love them, but try and limit this by explaining to kids that dogs will be best left to staying calm rather than getting overexcited and increasing their body temperature higher than it already is.

The most important thing for dog owners to do is to make sure that their pets are as comfortable as possible. Make up a cool spot for dogs to retreat to that is out of the sun and keep their water levels up, which will ensure they stay healthy this summer.

Disclaimer: Guest Post
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10/07/2017

THE RED DRESS AND SNAZZY SANDALS


Dress: Primark 
Sandals c/o EGO Shoes

Window shopping is one of my favourite least-favourite things to do. I had seen this dress in Primark for weeks and loved the look of it, but never picked it up. Of course, I touched it (a lot of times) and planned days in my head when I could wear it, but I didn't take full advantage of a relationship with this dress until the weekend before I jetted off to Croatia.

As soon as I stepped into Primark, I was on a hunt for it. Imagine my sadness when I couldn't find it. Then imagine my happy face when I finally found it hidden behind a similar-but-not-quite-the-same dress. Hooray!

I had to have it. I had to go in for the kill and make it mine, oh mine.


Before I knew it, it was in my paper Primark bag and well on its way back to mine. I promise I don't usually hook up this quick.

With its off the shoulder fit and slight smock dress fit, it's been the perfect dress for these long summer days and evenings. Red is one of my favourite colours to wear as a blondie, so it was inevitable that I would eventually cave in and buy it. Not to mention, it was only £6!

Anyway. How beautiful are the sandals? Can we just take a good ten seconds to appreciate how incredibly tacky, OTT and snazzy they are? With aztec style straps and decorated with different coloured pom poms, beads; they tie up around your leg with jazzy tassels to finish. 


I was super excited to be jetting off to Croatia with three pairs of EGO shoes in my suitcase. Definitely one of my favourite shoe collaborations of all time...  and there's been a lot of shoes featured on this blog in 7 years! 

These are the Saskia sandals but sadly seem to be out of stock now. Darn it! However, EGO do have an amazing sale on right now. So, be quick!

Disclaimer: Post contains PR samples. 
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