Wolf & Stag is a London lifestyle blog curated by Eire. Here you'll find inspiring words and pictures all about beautiful style beauty, travel and interiors and -- most importantly -- a wolf's life adventures with her Stag.
Hello readers, friends, and the occasional enemy (if you hate sarcasm and bloody marys, this may be you). It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I wish I could say my unintended absence was due to frolics in fields, adventures unbound, late nights and laughter and wine and LIFE.
Well, okay, I may have done some of those things over the past few weeks. But really, most of all, what have I been doing? The activity that’s taken up the vast majority of my time and in return yielding me such joy?
I’ve been sleeping.
Okay, if that opening section wasn’t too much of a snoozefest (can’t stop won’t stop), hear me out. Over the past few months, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to a lot of recent buzzwords. ‘Capsule,’ ‘Sustainability,’ ‘Slow Living,’ — phrases that many toss around like they’re going out of style. But ones that, as Wolf & Stag evolves in the way that I hope, have and will take very seriously. Because they aren’t going out of style.
In my quest for a life of meaning, happiness, and intent, I’ve decided to focus on investing in the things that matter. Capsule living, if you will, thus the title (and future titles) of this post. I plan to share this journey of mine with you — and help you find yours, too, along the way.
One of the things that really, really matters to me — and should matter to you, too, as every study ever shows — is sleep. A good night’s sleep improves moods. It enables better decision-making. It makes you more productive. And it helps you live longer. You know that phrase “Sleep when you’re dead”? You will — just earlier than you expected, thanks to NO SLEEP.
Well, all that said, my sleep has not been okay for quite some time. Thanks to a penchant to sleep like a Demon Incarnate — limbs twisted, head sunken, face-down in a cocoon of blankets — I wake up with one criiiiiicky neck. And my shoulders? Don’t even get me started.
I finally decided it was time to invest in a memory foam pillow. One that would support my neck and shoulders properly, keep me cool at night, and feel soft as a cloud.
Receiving the box (after free shipping — glory), I was instantly impressed by the, well, box. It’s nice indeed, with packaging that makes you feel like you ordered an Oscar de la Renta gown instead of a pillow. Little touches like this remind me of how much more enjoyable and meaningful purchases can be when they’re intentional.
One of the reasons I chose the GhostPillow specifically is because of its cooling properties. Considering I’m cold like the undead during the day, at night, I sleep like a literal furnace. GhostPillow’s cooling gel encased in memory foam combines the structured support of a special neck pillow, the softness of foam with a constant airflow of a cold night’s sleep. It’s like the Holy Triumvirate of Pillowness.
However, only a few nights in, I can’t be exactly spouting the GhostPillow’s miracle sleep properties just yet. Deciding whether a piece of bedding is right for you takes time, and I really do suggest you take your time with it. So much of sustainable, capsule shopping is buying fewer, better things.
Luckily, GhostPillow has a 101-night sleep trial, meaning you can really test this baby out before committing. *Insert every demonic-like position I could possibly sleep in here* It also has a 5-year warranty, which is such a relief for this only-buy-one-for-life kind of gal.
So there you have it, dear readers, friends, and occasional enemies. GhostPillow is my answer to a good night’s sleep.
And here’s my final Words of Wisdom to get you moving on your mindful journey: invest in your sleep. Invest in your health. And invest in your capsule life. These are at least some things I can guarantee you won’t regret.
Unlike my 4th-grade flute recital. But that’s another story.
Fuck, guys. Ambition. Goals. Things that in younger years defined yourself, like “What’s your favorite color?” They were the things you asked and wore, a badge of honor.
While ambitions were things so current, a part of you, ironically they were also things of Distant Future, where a Nameless You would deal with – and conquer.
My personal version looked something like this: “I’m going to graduate high school and study Ancient British Archaeology in college and graduate with honors and do a dig in Ireland and move to Britain and get my MA degree and write a book and work in the British Museum and be a world respected curator.” How I would get to these places, I had no clue. But I knew that Future Self would figure it out. Because she had to.
As all great things can do, though, sometimes ambitions can get lost. Somewhere between the advent of Netflix and discovering a love of gin, adulthood becomes wrapped in the day-in, day-out. A fact that only came to me recently, when encountered with colleagues my age with far, far greater accomplishments than me.
“She’s written a book,” I explained to Stag when I got home. Collapsed on the sofa. Wide eyes looking up at him, pleading. “She’s 30 and only blogging for 3 years and got sought after for a book deal.”
Stag ponders. “But that’s also luck.”
“Is it?” I shrug. “I want to write a book.”
“I think you should write a book.”
“I think I could write a book.”
“I think you could write a book, too.”
I sit. Consider. “I don’t think I have any goals. For me, or for Wolf & Stag.”
And there, like a weight of bricks, I said it. Previously studious, ambitious Eire, who was always the teacher’s pet, graduated with distinction, set to do great things: suddenly arrived at the ripe age of 30, with no goals?
I mean, sure, sometimesI come up with lofty blogging goals (you know these goals: these are the ones that you can write in January in a fresh white notebook, big and bold, boasting proudly from the page because Future You will somehow, magically — like a montage in a rom-com — get it done. Those ones).
And, of course, I have my daily goals. The ones I scribble every morning on a to-do list, like “Get dressed you lazy cow” (check!) and “Walk to bus stop” (check! I’m on fire!) and “Take a shower” (whoops.. missed that one).
And while both forms of goals are useful, the most useful of all? They fall somewhere in between. Achievable, relevant, middle goals. The ones that can break down into bite-sized tasks but are abstract enough to keep you focused on the long-term.
How to Find Your Middle Goals and Ambitions When You Fear It’s Too Late
1 / Consider not just what motivates you, but how you’re motivated.
This may seem like the most pointless point, but trust me, it can feel like the hardest to overcome. Finding motivation is not easy — heck, I’ve written a whole blog post about it and still struggle with it, daily. So yes, easier said than done: find what motivates you. But, more than that: find out how you feel motivated. Is it from having accountability? Is it from starting something new, or finishing something? When thinking of your goals, it’s important to be realistic about not just what they are, but how on Earth you’ll approach getting them accomplished.
Tip: Read Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better than Before. While it’s not the best for actionable advice, her explanation of the different categories of people’s habits (and thus motivations) is incredibly useful. It helped me realize I’m someone motivated by finishing things, and I desperately need accountability.
2 / Get SMART with your Goals
This is something I learned in the Corporate World, a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. However, the SMART method of goal setting is something that can be used by anyone, applicable to all types of goals. For many of you, this is an obvious yawn-fest, but for those of you new to this method, here’s how to approach it:
/ SPECIFIC. Goals should be, well, specific: clear, easy to understand and able to provide direction.
/ MEASURABLE. Can you easily measure the success or accomplishment of your goal? Be as specific as possible with numbers, amounts, or what success looks like.
/ ATTAINABLE. This is a hard one to balance, because goals that are too out-of-reach can demotivate, whereas too-easy goals are not useful. A useful question to ask yourself: is accomplishing this goal within my control? i.e. does it require the motivation of others in order to achieve?
/ RELEVANT. Keep your goals relevant to each other, to what you want out of your life or work, and to what you can feasibly accomplish.
/ TIME-BOUND. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Goals need them; you need them.
3 / You don’t need a bullet journal to set goals.
You guys: between bloggers and their perfect lives, Instagram showing-off, pretty pictures GALORE, the struggle is so real. I feel it, too, constantly. The need to try new methods and make pretty notebooks to get organized packs on the pressure to be perfect.
For me, it began with a goals journal from Kikki K (never filled it in). Then, it was the bullet journal, of which I got so overwhelmed that it made me feel even more like a failure. You know what I like best? A simple, boring notebook. But you know what? It works for me. My best advice: find what works for you, because something on a plain notebook is better than procrastination in a blank bullet journal.
Tip: The tools that have worked for me the best in terms of goal setting and achieving are Trello, a whiteboard in my office, and a daily to-do list pad. I recently bought a Productivity Planner from Anthropologie to help make my productivity more streamlined.
4 / Don’t just set goals; make an action plan, too.
Years in the corporate world and years of freelancing have taught me one blatant fact: ideas are not the difficulty; it’s the execution. How many times have you been in meetings where people brainstorm ideas, and the ideas go nowhere? All. the. time. Arguably, having an action plan is the most important part of goal setting. It’s a loaded question: how will you accomplish this goal? Simple, and yet very, very difficult to answer. I haven’t quite figured this one out myself. I’m hoping that productivity planner, mentioned above, will help!
Do you regularly set goals? Yearly, monthly, life, or some other amount? What do you use to make and track your goals? Would love your advice!
Ahh, summer fashion, you fickle minx you. In the past, you and I have not been friends. You know what you do, you tease: while you pique my longing for maxi-length cuts, bright, bold colorsand florals galore, you simultaneously force me to expose my arms and — gasp — wear shorts. Conflicted and forlorn, you leave me. Why, summer fashion. Why would you do this to me?
Okay, before I lose all of you loyal readers to what can only be described as a semi-sexual soliloquy to clothes, I’ll stop while I’m ahead. As you may gather from the above, I’ve never been a huge fan of summer fashion. I’ve probably rambled about this — oh, I don’t know — no less than 5 MILLION TIMES. Sorry. But Holy Panic at the Disco, the thought of exposing my arms and legs fills me with a nameless fear.
That is — until we moved to California. The land of Sunshine and Perma-Summer. I mean, San Francisco is like a misery cloud-filled London in Winter during the summer (thanks). But outside of SF? Warm, sunny days galore. Because it’s like this year-round, suddenly, summer fashion is my daily grind, rather than my only-when-necessary.
And — if I’m truly honest with myself — this year, for the first time ever, I don’t hate summer fashion. I KNOW, RIGHT? Is it really me? Am I actually an alien disguised as Eire the Cynic? You’d hope if I were an alien, I’d have my life sorted a lot more than I do. DON’T WORRY, GUYS, IT’S ME.
But I’m sure you’re asking: what caused this radical change? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: buy summer fashion staples that you enjoy wearing. Revolutionary, I know.
These are the fashion picks that, if you got me into a room, I’d wax lyrical about until you hated me. My favorite summer fashion picks this year, thus far. Because Summer’s still here, and I’m ready for more loves.
My Favourite Summer Fashion Buys This Year
1 /UNIQLO BUILT-IN BRA TOP. I have two words for you guys on this one: no bra. In case you didn’t fully let that glory wash over you: no braaaaa. The magic that is getting to go sans bra all day like a Hot Babe but still have a sense of decorum? Priceless. I wear this top when working from home, out shopping, hiking — you name it. I’m in it.
2 / ALIENINA ROPE BAG. Yes, I know, everyone and their mom have this beautiful rope bag. But, if you remember from my Sustainable Summer Bag post, this guy is a beautifully ethical choice, and honestly? It makes every outfit look summery and put-together. Evidenced here, in fact.Sometimes, trending items are popular for a very deserved reason.
3/ LULU LEMON ON THE FLY PANTS. I caved, guys. I caved. Lululemon is pretty amazing, and I am now in love. Part of this is because I discovered I live a 10-minute walk from a store, so I just had to stop in and take a peek. I also blame my colleague, Julia, who has these pair of pants and looks like a goddamn Goddess. But as you may have seen me ramble about on my instagram, the On-The-Fly pants really are the best thing since sliced bread. They’re cool enough for hot days, warm enough for home days, and are my go-to travel and roadtrip pants. I will buy one in every colour, from now until the end of time.
4 / UNIQLO LINEN PANTS. Don’t worry, this isn’t an ‘ode to Uniqlo’ post. But once I learned that they aren’t as terrible sustainably-wise as I thought, I finally stepped foot inside one, after years of neglect. And whoa, was I blown away by the price and selection. These linen pants at $30 were a fraction of the price of the Reformation ones I wanted (sorry, Reformation), but they retain that faraway-travel-to-distant-lands look.
5 / FAITHFULL THE BRAND SKIRT.A few years ago, I had the realization that I just didn’t like skirts. I liked them on other people, sure, but on me? Nope. Until I tried on this skirt, and now I don’t know what I was thinking. A size Medium is the absolute perfect fit, and I wouldn’t change a thing about this beauty. It looks stylish, elegant, trendy, casual and fancy all at the same time. Literal wizardry.
6 / MADEWELL WAIKIKI JUMPSUIT.Words I’d never thought I’d said: “My most worn item this summer is a jumpsuit.” But, Madewell’s beauty of a jumpsuit has changed my world. Not only does it fit like a dream (minus the too-long straps, which to make the perfect fit, I will get fixed at some point) — but it works in every damn situation. Fancy dinner date in Vegas? Yep. Helping move my brother and sister-in-law in the heat? Yeppers. Wine tasting? HIKING? Yes, to both of those, although one accidentally. But it held true, stalwart in its ability to fit every situation, possessed by some form of Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants magic.
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What are your favourite summer fashion buys this year? I’m always looking for more!
In mylast Sustainable Stylepost, I chatted about how the versatility of clothing can do wonders in maximizing your minimal wardrobe. Today, however, we’re going back even further than that, before you even begin to fill your wardrobe. Yep, this post is about finding clothes that fit. A topic both close and far, far away from my cold heart, the one that nags at you incessantly when on a high street shopping spree. One that we all choose to ignore a little too often (I do, too). But I’m here to tell you: don’t.
For me, this is a factor of shopping with mindfulness that, well, may have taken quite a bit of time to work its way in. Years of wiggling myself into the cutest pair of jeans more reminiscent of sausage casings than clothing — “But I will slim down this year, of course” — or sliding sleeves that consistently slip down to my elbows. That latest H&M dress that looks like heaven on Earth but on you? Something just isn’t right. But by hell, I’m buying it anyway.
Yes, I know; when it comes to fit, we’ve all been there.
And then, one day, it hit me. The inevitable truth. Something plain that fits well looks much, much better than something trendy that doesn’t. Huh. Imagine that.
But the simple fact that you’re even reading this post means you want to fill a wardrobe with fewer, better things. Perhaps a capsule wardrobe (my pal Jessica has you covered on this, FYI), or perhaps a way to lead a life more sustainably. Perhaps to save money.
Either way, my Wolf & Stag friends, it’s time we all embrace the Fitted Truth: clothes that fit will not only last you longer, they will make you feel better than things that don’t.
Welcome to your new Wardrobe Wokeness.
So, the question of the ages: how do we find clothes that fit? Seems obvious, of course, but fit is something incredibly individual. What you consider ‘yay, it fits well!’ may not be what I consider fitting well (see: Eire likes muumuus). Fit is inextricably wrapped into taste, body shape, aesthetics, material, etc.
However, there are a few broad tips you can kind in mind the next time you shop for your next forever piece. Of course I’m going to ramble your ear off about what they are, DUH.
A Few Tips on Finding Clothes that Fit
1 / CONSIDER YOUR BODY SHAPE. This one took me a fair amount of time to master. As much as I am a firm believer that everything can and should work for everyone, there are just some cuts and styles that look better than others. Case in point: I forever drool over long, body-con dresses. I forever buy them in hopes that this is the one that will work. However, for my thick-middled, high-hipped self, it just doesn’t, each and every time. Take the time to understand the styles that make you feel great — and those that don’t.
2 / FIND THE BRANDS THAT WORK FOR YOU. In a similar vein to above, the way brands fit can vary drastically. After 20-something years of shopping (ugh, that’s a lot of shopping), I’ve learned which brands I can rely on to find looks and styles that work for me. And if I’m discovering a new brand? Try on everything — or as much as possible without driving your sales associate nuts.
Stag also brought up a good point in relation to this topic. His “Find one t-shirt, buy it in every colour” approach seems to be simple and straight-forward, but it’s not always the case. Don’t just try brands and shapes, but even try the same item on in different colors. Small variances in cut can make huge differences in shapes.
3 / DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE TAILOR. I used to think, “Never buy something if it needs alterations. What’s the point?” And then I realized: there is a point, and it’s about making clothes fit properly. However, if we are about the idea of buying slower and better (why you’re here!), then spending your money on a quality, investment piece that needs a little work? Worth your investment. I recently bought a Reformation dress that fit me like a literal dream except for the length of the straps. Rather than just deal, or not buy something that fit otherwise, I got the straps taken up. REVOLUTIONARY.
4 / TAKE YOUR TIME. Probably the most important tip of the bunch. If you’re seeking to adopt a more sustainable, conscious wardrobe, the best thing you can do for this — and for your wallet, your mind, your conscience — is to take your time. If a clothing item isn’t perfect? Don’t buy it. I don’t know that’s so bloody hard for me to seem to do (I struggle with rationalizing everything). Spend time exploring online shops, brands, cuts, styles (i.e the tips above) and don’t rush it. As much as you think you love a piece, there will always be something you love as much. No FOMO here, thank you.
Finding the Right Fit: Indigo Handloom’s Mixed Check Crop Top
If there is one thing and Indigo Handloom’s owner, Smita, and I have in common, it’s how much we care about sustainable fashion. And, more specifically, why fit matters in clothing.
In these pictures, I’m wearing the Indigo Handloom Mixed Check Crop Top, a semi-sheer, cropped but not too cropped, rather-perfect-fitting top that’s great for both beach and day. Made of a silk cotton mix, it feels like the luxe resort wear purchase you deserve (so shape? Check. Brand? Check. Doing well on our checklist above).
But above all, what makes this top ideal is the cut. More specifically, the bias cut, which essentially is a clothing atelier’s way of saying cut in the diagonal, allowing more room for the fabric to expand. Meaning this wonder cut helps clothes curve and fit your body in all the right places. And boy, does it fit, this top. Cinched into high-waisted shorts, I couldn’t believe how great I felt taking these photos.
When the day got a bit chilly (only in the shade — thanks, Vegas), I wrapped this silk stripe shawl over my arms, also by Indigo Handloom. Both products were courtesy of, full disclosure. However, if you’re seeking an ethical, sustainable, improves-the-lives-of-others clothing brand to have on your radar — well, Indigo Handloom is the best.
*This post contains affiliate links. It is also in collaboration with Indigo Handloom, a brand I love and with a mission I feel so strongly about. However, as usual, every opinion, thought, musing and rambling above is completely my own.
Do you care about fit as much as I do? What’s your favourite brand for fit? Do you get your clothes tailored? What do you think of my Indigo Handloom top? Let me know!
If there’s one thing I’m always and forever open about, it’s my mental health. Whether it’s something small(er) like my lack of motivation, or the difficulties I’ve had moving from London to California — or, heck, the fact that I realized I was previously suffering from burnout, or still could be. All these things, I will share with you. And all of these things are aspects of my mental health that I am constantly, unequivocally, dealing with, daily.
But, there is one thing that — during a time when, daily, things were just too much — really, really helped me. This is a story about my journey with L-Theanine. This post is not advocating its use for everyone. It’s not even advocating its use to anyone. It’s simply a story about how vitamin and supplement company Her Vital Wayreached out to me in a time I needed them most. And it’s a journey that I’m still taking, with L-Theanine there to help.
My Story, Circa 7 Months Ago
Now, it’s time to back up a bit. Back to a time roughly 7 months ago, when a move across an ocean took its toll deeply on my psyche. Two budding careers ripped away and placed into a shiny-new market exposed something about myself I did not care to know: in the face of adversity and, well, newness, I struggled. I was in a state of constantly berating myself with hard, unanswerable questions. Am I entrepreneurial? Am I even motivated? Am I burnt out? Will I ever be successful?
Daily, I would open my eyes to morning light and be overcome with feelings of failure. Anxiety clenched my heart, pushing the air straight out of my lungs. Then, the tears would come, and my emotions were often directed at Stag, or at myself, or I just did nothing at all.
I won’t go into juicy details, as I know many of you either know exactly this feeling I’ve described above — or you deal with things much, much worse than me. In summary: every morning, I felt as if my anxiousness would overwhelm me.
This is how I operated for some months. I was in this state when Her Vital Way got in touch with me — a women’s wellness brand seeking to improve the lives of every woman through affordable, targeted supplements. They did not ask anything of me but simply to try a few products.
I will admit: over the years, supplements had frequently crept their way into my cabinet, and chock-full of good intentions, I’d give them a go. Always to forget once, twice, and then, no more. However, always wanting to test new, local brands and products for you lovely lot, I decided to give it a go.
After a personalized discussion of my life, my health, my habits and my intentions with CEO Amy McKelvey (a wonderful, personalized experience that truly touched me), I was sent a unique routine to follow. This consisted of a few different supplements, all of them easy to take and to benefit my health. The one that stood out to me — new, and interesting, one I had never encountered before — was L-Theanine.
What is L-Theanine, and How It Helped Me
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves and is what gives green tea its natural relaxant, considered one of the most effective natural ones you can take. It directly stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation without drowsiness.
As Her Vital Way describes it: “Managing stress makes for clearer thinking and decision-making, healthier communication styles, and happier relationships. But sometimes, it seems that life and events just move too fast. That’s when we use AlphaWave® L-Theanine to support our sense of calm and focus.”
Intrigued — but, also, cynical, as I am about most things — I decided to give this L-Theanine a go for at least 3 months, before I made any final decision on it.
After Day 2, I was blown away.
Every morning, I would wake up, feel the anxiety begin to bubble, bursting to come to the surface, threatening to choke. I would go to the kitchen, take my L-Theanine with a glass of water. And… be okay.
It wasn’t as if my anxiety dissipated. Of course, so many of my issues — both mentally and circumstantially — were there to grapple. But, that anxious feeling that would derail my day? It felt manageable. Like it couldn’t, and wouldn’t overwhelm me. And I was able to begin my day, feeling like my normal self again.
This was seven months ago. Since then, my daily use of L-Theanine has dwindled, because well, I feel good. Great, even. Some of this is circumstance; some of this is my own stress management strategy. If you had asked me back then to take a supplement to feel calmer, I would have rolled my eyes, cynic that I am. But I know now: this journey of mine would have looked a lot different without L-Theanine.
Giveaway Time! Win a Bottle of L-Theanine on Instagram
I need to caveat again: this is my own journey, and supplements may not work for everyone. If you have serious anxiety, panic or mental health issues, please please please always speak to a health professional. But, if you’re like me and want something to help conquer life’s daily stresses, then L-Theanine may be perfect for you.
Her Vital Way has kindly provided me with 5 full-size bottles of AlphaWave® L-Theanine to give to Wolf & Stag readers. That means that five lucky readers* will get the chance to try out Her Vital Way and take steps to improve her wellness.
Good luck! And a huge thank you to Her Vital Way for providing the winnings
*Open to anyone in the US & Canada, 18+ only.
Her Vital Way provided me with all supplements used and tested in this post. However, I was under no obligation to prepare any content for the brand. All opinions, thoughts, stories, and musings are completely my own.
Part two of my Packing for Vegas post: what I actually wore. Because sometimes, a packing guide is not enough. And sometimes, an outfit guide + a fun account of what we did (and a few tips along the way) is exactly what you’re going to get. Enjoy!
You will notice a theme about this post, and indeed, our entire trip to Las Vegas: happy hour. It’s Vegas’s best-kept secret, the way to enjoy the most amazing food while managing to not blow your entire life’s savings. Bardot Brasserie was one of our favourite finds of the trip. A beautiful setting snatched straight out of a by-gone Paris, the vibe at the bar is a local feel, with exquisite food to match.
Las Vegas Tip: many happy hours run until 7 pm, meaning you can eat at a reasonable hour and still manage to paint the town red. And in my case — a red outfit to match.
My love of Faithfull the Brand is no secret. I’ve included them in no fewer than 5,000 round-up posts and shopping edits. I struggled to get one of their dresses to fit — but this skirt? Heaven, in a skirt. In fact, it’s quite literally the only skirt I now own, a testament to its magical Goddess Fitting powers. The outfit was topped off with my last-second purchase of these black mules, which may be the comfiest ‘dressy’ shoes I own
After some crazy weeks in June, Stag and I fell immediately into “treat ourselves” mode upon landing at Las Vegas airport. And let me tell you: the only thing to get us up at the crack-of-nine on Vacay Morning 1 is the promise of pure relaxation. That’s exactly what we got with a spa morning at the Excalibur, complete with massage treatments (some of the best we’ve had). Bliss. Even if, much to our chagrin, we weren’t together for our spa morning.
Las Vegas Tip: Almost all of the spas are separated by gender. If you plan on going with your SO and you are not the same conceived gender, be prepared to have a solo spa day.
While some people may scoff at the extreme cheesiness of some of Vegas’s more ‘themed’ hotels, I, in fact, love them. The more ‘themed’ the hotel is, the better. (Harkens back to memories of staying at The Little Mermaid hotel at Disney, but that’s another story…).
After the Excalibur, we decided to explore some of these more kitschy hotels, braving the Vegas heat to enjoy the dragons of Excalibur, the tombs of the Luxor and the cobbled streets of the New York New York. If you’re new to Vegas, I can’t recommend taking the time to explore the strip highly enough.
But, as referenced above, the heat of the day was noooo joke. Shorts, a cute tee and my hair yanked back were necessities of the day. Did I mention I’m in love with this Sea NY tee? Because I may leave Stag for it.
One note about my outfit above: while I love the look of the Urban Outfitters tote I’m sporting above — well, it broke during our vacation. Handles ripped at the seams, from minimal use. Therefore, I’ve provided you guys alternatives to some of the Urban Outfitters products I mention, because I no longer trust their craftsmanship.
Monday Night: Happy Hour at Sushi Roku, A Show, Late-Night Happy Hour at Sushi Samba
After that blazing heat, we were excited for a cool evening indoors. As I mentioned above, happy hours are my jam in Vegas, allowing us to try high-end restaurants without breaking our (tiny) banks.
Stag and I also found that we enjoy having a couple of lighter meals (i.e. happy hours) in lieu of stuffing our faces with one big meal. On our main night-out in Vegas, we opted to have Happy Hour Dinner #1 at Sushi Roku in Caesar’s Palace. Tucked away in the expansive grounds, this chilled spot was perfect to chow down on glazed shishito peppers (TO. DIE. FOR) and sushi, washed down with a lychee mojito.
Happy hour led seamlessly to our evening show: we chose Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere, because what’s better in Vegas than amazing acrobatics? (Thunder Down Under?). It’s the original CDC show, which means not only is it incredible, but you can nab pretty great deals on tickets.
We capped off our evening with our all-time favourite Vegas tradition: late-night happy hour at Sushi Samba. I say ‘tradition’ in the loosest sense, because we have only done it once before. But, it’s now firmly a staple in our Vegas routine. From 11 pm until close, you can sample famed Sushi Samba delights such as the Ezo roll (my personal fave), wagyu gyoza and pork belly sliders. Don’t forget your caipirinha (only $6, glory).
Tuesday Day/Night: Exploring Old Vegas / Dinner at Lotus of Siam
I should actually caveat this and say: technically we watched the England game in the morning, because how often are we free at 11 am to watch the footie on a Tuesday? Never, that’s when.
Old Vegas is a part of town I really wanted to explore the last time we vacationed here, but sadly, we just didn’t have time. I knew that I would happily forgo some much-needed pool time for a saunter into a new part of town. And boy, did it not disappoint.
Our first stop was at the Neon Museum, an Elephant Graveyard of a bygone era, chock-filled with kitschy signs, plaques and everything that reminds you of an Elvis Las Vegas. We arrived at 4:30 pm only to discover the museum shuts at 5 pm — leaving us rather distraught.
Las Vegas Tip: Google will tell you that the Neon Museum is open until 11 pm. It is, but only for up to 5 pm and then tours from 6-10pm. i.e. don’t go at 5 pm.
Luckily for us, though, under the desert sun, we could only last ambling among the signs for about 25 minutes before we succumbed to shade. I kid you not, I ended up kissing my light, white linen dress by the end of the day, thanking it for being the coolest option I could have worn in the 43-degree heat.
Next was a wander down Fremont Street, which is essentially what I had always imagined the Las Vegas strip would be like: outrageous, over-the-top, a bit gritty and FUN. We meandered our way down Fremont Street and to the Downtown Container Park, like the Boxpark of Vegas. Sipping blood orange margaritas, we climbed our way to the rooftop and whiled away the early evening, just the two of us.
Our final excursion of the day was my first trip to Lotus of Siam, considered one of the best Thai restaurants in America and another just-missed activity from our last Vegas trip. This, also, did not disappoint. I will leave you with one phrase: crispy duck khao soi. You’re welcome.
Wednesday Daytime: Relax at the Pool / Lunch at Milos
Our final day saw us, oddly, desperate for some pool time. We began the trip planning on doing nothing but lay by the pool. Time had other plans, it seemed. And so we forced ourselves awake at the crack-of-dawn (8 am) to make our way to the pool, enjoying some morning rays before check-out time. This was followed by — you guessed it — more time at the pool (sorry, this is boring), always in the shade. While I purposefully bought this Marysia bandeau bikini to avoid bad tan lines, it turns out I much prefer shade-reading than basting myself in a literal oven.
Honestly, not even the promise of a fancy unicorn was going to get us to leave our favourite shady pool spot. The one thing that would get us to abandon our pool dreams?
Not just any food, but an amazing lunch spread at one of our top Vegas finds. (This, of course, required a quick outfit change, as to not be half-naked in a restaurant — thus the two outfits above).
The 3-course lunch menu at Estiatorio Milos at the Cosmopolitan is only $29. I repeat: $29. Dishes included mouth-watering Salmon tartare, tasting fresh off the boat, and shrimp saganaki, a gorgeous tomato-based shrimp dish that had us craving a second plate. The white-washed, upscale setting makes you feel like you’re diving into a meal much more expensive.
Our bellies pleased, we returned to the Aria for..
“Stag, be my eyes” is a phrase you will hear quite frequently in the life of Wolf & Stag. It’s not that I don’t own glasses. Indeed, the one pair I owned prior to this post — old, scratched and worn, probably with a prescription from 1855 — banged around dutifully in my handbag every day for years, like penance.
It’s just that I stubbornly refused to put them on.
Even in circumstances when, let’s be honest, I really should’ve: train stations, airports, cinema outings. You know, times when you may want to see.
And prescription sunglasses, so I could feast my eyes upon sight-seeing wonders on a sunny holiday? Don’t even get me started. My fabulous look of sunglasses layered with normal glasses on top was a vision to behold.
Needless to say, I was in desperate need of a glasses update. Something to bring me into 2018 (out of 1855 bifocals?), and to compliment both my daily computer work and life in sunny California.
Enter in: Coastal, the largest online eyewear company in the world, purveyors of frames for every person at every budget. Now I will admit to you: prior to this experience, the world of Buying Glasses Online terrified me a bit. What if they didn’t fit? How do I know what will suit me?
Well, let me debunk those fears for you. Coastal offers a very-clever MyFit tool, which is essentially a “Will it fit me?” clothing filter, but with glasses. You enter measurements from a pair of glasses you already have and love, and presto, out comes a curated list of glasses that will fit similarly. It made buying glasses online so much easier.
There is also such a range of shapes, styles, colours and lenses that it’d be hard not to find something you like. No, seriously: I tried, and failed, because I wound up loving about 150 frames and had to narrow it down to two. Talk about Indecisive Libra Problems.
Of course, I saved the best for last. As you lovely readers are well aware, I try to only promote brands on this glorious Internet Slice that do good in some way. One of Coastal’s best selling points is their ‘buy one, give one’ initiative, which donates a pair of glasses to someone in need with every pair purchased. I wish all my shopping habits did such good for the world.
Because I am not one for excess — I’ve been on a mission to only have fewer, better things — I chose one pair of normal glasses and one pair of prescription sunglasses.
For my everyday normal glasses, I paired my Kam Dhillon Brinkley frames with BlueReflect for digital screens lenses, which reduce glare and limit exposure to blue light from digital screens. Admittedly, these do have a rather blue-ish sheen, but they make such a difference when using a computer. If you, like me, spend your days screen-staring for hours-on-end, this is the lens choice for you.
My second pair is — wait for it, because I’m so excited people — a pair of prescription sunglasses. You have no idea how long I’ve wanted a pair of these. Now I can be in the sun and SEE FAR AWAY, which is like some Christmas Miracle that I never thought possible. These Kam Dhillon Crawford beauts are stylish and classic, meaning I’ll keep them for years.
With these two pairs of glasses in tow, I was completely ready for our recent holiday to Las Vegas. My prescription sunglasses saw me through a hot, hot day reading by the pool, and my everyday glasses were perfect for watching our shows in the evening.
Two pairs of prescription glasses: one life, sorted. Thanks, Coastal, for the much-needed glasses update!
A.K.A. What to pack for a trip when it’s really frickin hot out.
Did you know that, apparently, London is experiencing its record summer for consistent sunshine and heat for the past 8 years? I know this, because I lived in London for 8 years, and because I obviously pissed off the God of Happy Weather, this is the first summer where I am not in London. Le sigh. Sorry, Londoners: clearly I am the reason the weather is typically shite.
Luckily for me, California is even more filled with consistent sunshine (fun fact: I can’t remember the last time it rained. I repeat. NO MEMORY OF RAIN. What is this madness?). Even luckier? Stag and I decided to book ourselves in for a spur-of-the-moment holiday to Las Vegas. You may remember my last trip to Vegas, which was full of adventure, hikes, pastries and waiting for Ubers.
Not this time, my friends. This Las Vegas holiday is a, well, holiday: sun, sea (pool, but close enough), spa day, Vegas show, reading books, eating buffets all day errr day.
That’s all the good news. The bad news? The weather is predicted to be a scorching 41+ degrees C, which for you un-Celsius-savvy readers is “will turn you into literal fried chicken” weather.
If you’ve followed this blog for some time (hi, Mom!), you’ll know I essentially threw out all of my summer clothes when we moved here. So trust me when I say: I was relatively ill-prepared when we clicked that ‘book your flights‘ button. I’ve had to buy a lot of new thangs for this trip.
In fact, most of these things are new — something which I do not condone in most circumstances. It’s so much better to reuse what you have and buy slowly, consciously, and ethically. I’m not the best at this (you’ll notice some things on here are not ethical, because I had to buy them last minute). But I’m forever improving. Stay tuned for some very specific content related to making sustainable fashion choices.
And as a note: most items on this list are things you can wear well into Autumn. Give me a sustainable high five!
But anyway, if you’re like me and after one or ten two new things for your summer wardrobe — or if you’re packing for a Vegas trip yourself — here’s my exact packing list for Las Vegas.
In the hot, hot summer.
Literal fried chicken.
Goodbye, cruel world.
My Packing List for Las Vegas
I had high hopes that I’d also separate out each planned outfit for day and dinner for you guys. Complete with some sweet Photoshoppin’ skills (that clearly I don’t possess), polished off with some amazing life-changing wisdom for you.
Clearly, this has not happened. SHOCK. But, what I may do is share with you a What I Wore post (last seen here in Amsterdam), to show you exactly how I paired all this stuff together. I find it too prescriptive to do this in advance, anyway. Half the fun is to see what mood your fancy takes.
Would this be interesting to you? Let me know in the comments!
*This post contains affiliate links. This means I will make a very small commission on anything you purchase directed from this site. Thank you for supporting the amazing brands I feature here, and thank you for supporting this blog!
What do you think of my packing list? Any recommendations for how to deal with such extreme heat (gulp)? What are your new fave picks for summer?
Eye masks. Yes, they are a thing (news to me!). Yes, they make you look like a ninny. But do they work? I admit, I was rather dubious when skincare brand VIICode got in touch and asked me to try out their range of Oxygen Eye Masks. When used 2-3 times a week, these gel-like babes claim to get rid of dryness, puffiness and dark circles – otherwise known as the Unholy Triumvirate of Eye Misery. And the bane of my “make me beautiful naturally” existence.
Well, I suffered through the ridicule (“You look like you’re attempted very sad looking war paint” – thanks, Stag) and tried these bad boys out. My thoughts? Spoiler alert: I am a VIIcode eye mask convert. And I will forever sing it’s beautifying praises.
Fo serious guys. Have you ever used a mask that actually does something to your face – besides making you look like you’ve smeared various food objects on your skin, of course, like a small child? Admit it: you secretly have always wanted to know the glorious sensation of scooping peanut butter out of the jar and spread it all over your skin.
Okay, I digress. Masks, though: I use them, of course, because I am a total beauty sheep and will do everything that is supposedly good for me. But believe they’re actually doing something? Nahhht so much.
That is, until I entered into the new-fangled world of Eye Masks. I assumed nothing could penetrate my perma-sleep-deprived, hangover-looking peepers. I’ve written whole blog posts about it. But these eye masks? Winners.
What are these VIICode Oxygen Eye Masks All About?
Okay, okay, I’ll stop rambling your ear (eyes?) off with “They’re great!” but tell you why.
Firstly, I should caveat: the Oxygen Eye Masks are less of a traditional mask, more of a sheet mask. Meaning, you peel the paper pads with the treatment on them, place them under your eyes, and badda-bing, you’re set to go. No mess, no cleanup, which I looooove.
VIICode Eye Mask Pro-tip: store the masks in the fridge for an even better result.
What makes them different than others? They’re designed to be used for up to 8 hours at a time. Meaning – yes, you guessed it – you sleep with them on. The first night I tried this, I was a little … shall we say hesitant. “Weirded out” is probably the correct term. But honestly, once you get over your fear of sleeping with something on your face (“IT’S A BUG, IT’S A BUG”… “No, it’s just my eye mask”), it’s super comfortable.
That said, if you just can’t get over that feeling, you could also wear them during the day for 2-4 hours. However, I found the best result to be using them as a night treatment and waking up with bright, glorious eyes.
The point is, the reason they work is because that cooling, gel-like nutrient goodness is seeping into your eye area for a long time, allowing the magic to really happen. And the magic does happen. I seriously noticed a difference the mornings I woke up after wearing the Oxygen Eye Masks. My eyes looked… plump. Awake, bright. Words that takes a little miracle to be attributed to my face.
The Verdict: Would I Buy These Again?
Cautionary tale alert: becoming addicted to the VIICode Eye Masks will cost you. A box runs at about $55 (but, luckily, you can get $5 with my special code!). However, you only use these masks around 2 times a week, meaning a box can last you a good while. I’d save them for special occasions (ahem my wedding I will have beautiful eyes to gaze into thanks).
But, if you’re looking for an eye treatment that does everything it claims to and more: then look no further.
And luckily for you lovely lot, VIICode is offering all Wolf & Stag readers $5 off any purchase site-wide! Use code Eire before July 31st, 2018.
*This post was sponsored by VIICode. However, this sponsorship was contingent on the fact that I tried and liked the Oxygen Eye Masks. I more than liked them: I loved them. Therefore, all opinions, ramblings, musings and recommendations are completely my own.
I mean, I get it: I’m a fashion blogger (kind of), and I should wear something else other than a top and jeans. But, in the deepest of deep places in my cold, dead heart, there’s a little flicker. And that flicker is the happiness that only comes from the simple joy of a top and jeans.
Sure, admittedly, sometimes I like to replace the ‘top’ part with ‘tee’ or ‘shirt’ or what-have-you. But no matter my sartorial attempts — like wearing linen, A DRESS, (duh duh duhhhhh) or throwing a cardigan on top — I always end up back here. Simple, classic, boring, stylish: it’s the outfit that is everything, and nothing, at once.
Okay, maybe I’m getting a tad bit too ‘meta’ for what is essentially a really boring blog post about an outfit. But seriously. I was trawling through my closet the other day (and by closet, I mean drawers), and it dawned on me. I virtually wear some form of ‘top and jeans’ every damn day. I mean this quite literally, because I still do not understand how and why someone would wear a dress on a Tuesday.
We took these pictures while strolling around in Charleston, gaslamps flickering (insert simile about my cold, dead heart as above), sun shining above. Whenever I’m packing for any trip — from Charleston to Amsterdam, and everything in between — I stick with tops and jeans. Nothing is as flexible, reliable, and versatile A top and jeans outfit will take you from day to night, from wind chill to bursts of sun. A switch of accessories, and you have a brand new outfit. It’s like being a chameleon, but with hair.
For many of you, this may be the most dreadfully inane post ever (*raises hand*). “Eire, is this really just a blog post to justify posting these awesome pictures?” You may be right on that one.
Top and Jeans: Shop All my Fave Picks
(Most are Sustainable)
*This post contains affiliate links. This means I will make a very small commission on anything you purchase directed from this site. Thank you for supporting the amazing brands I feature here, and thank you for supporting this blog!
Do you love a top and jeans outfit combo as much as I do? What are your favourite top/jean picks? Please share, as I am in need of some new ones!