Survive a flight with LE

1. Stand up!! 

Regardless of flight time (short or long haul) keep moving those feet and limbs! Your lymphatic system is worked by your muscles which means if you aren’t moving, neither is your lymphatic fluid. 

2. Book an aisle seat! 

Partly because of the reason above… it’s easier to get up and move about if you have an aisle seat and also you won’t annoy people asking to move in and out of your seat. Another advantage is that you can stretch your limbs into the aisle for comfort.

3. Double up

Double up on your stockings. The atmospheric pressure plays havoc with my system so I find doubling up on compression halves my swelling. I’d apply moisturiser before garments go on to lessen the irritation felt behind the knee after long periods of sitting down! 

4. Hell yeah H2O

I’ll happily have a glass of fizz before boarding my flight and coffee when up in the air… however, I’m aware this isn’t the best call for my Lymphie system. When in the air constantly drink water. Yep, an excuse to get up and walk to the loo but also it aids your system and the feeling of jet lag when you land. Double positives!!

5. Wear comfortable clothing 

There’s nothing worse than the feeling of your feet or limbs getting trapped and shoes etc digging in to your limbs. I always wear shoes that are extendable with laces, I’ll loosen my shoes as soon as I get on board. I’d recommend loose clothing on long flights rather than fitting or constricting clothing. On short haul flights I love a pair of fitness leggings and trainers as neither constrict your movement or your limbs. 

6. Travel pillows

If you can sleep on the flight, do it! My limb always feels better if I’ve managed a nap or 2 on board… especially if it’s a night flight. Your limb is used to a routine, try to keep to it as much as possible. Always carry a travel pillow… it also doubles up as a soft foot rest. If you don’t want the hassle of carrying a travel pillow, a rolled up hoodie or jumper can also work well!!

7. Be sensible 

Nobody knows your limb better than you. If that means putting your feet up for 24 hours before and after your flight then do it. If it means catching a connecting flight instead of going the full 15 hour flight in one sitting, then do it. Don’t feel pressured into something silly that will cause havoc for your limb!! 

8. Take a larger item of carry on

Don’t be afraid to take a large piece of hand luggage. I always include an extra pair of shoes-flip flops, a scarf, a small pot of moisturiser, a pair of socks, a hoodie or cover up, and a large bottle or 3 of water… to aid my body on my journey. 

Here’s to healthy and happy travels! 

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

This post adapted from previous post- How to survive Travelling as a Lymphie! 

Accepting Lymphoedema

Hey Beautifuls!

‘Happiness’, ‘Empowerment’, ‘Courage’ and ‘Acceptance’ are buzz words that are constantly thrown around! Here in the U.K. we seem to be easily following in the Network Marketing footsteps of the USA. 

I’m all for the happy seal clapping, whooping and hollering! I loved Stella and Dot Hoopla. I love seeing my friends succeeding with Younique. I’m also intrigued by the increase of Self Growth books and Positive Affirmations. I even buy them myself! I loved ‘Girl Code’ and most recently ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’. 

But how has this aided me!? How is this post going to aid you? I’m not a life coach, I’m cynical, I’m mostly happy when following my own rules or lying next to a pool with a margarita! Can I relate to unhappiness. YES! I am the average nearly 30 year old who has other things to worry about as well as my medical condition. 

So how do I cope? How do I survive? I QUIT! I QUIT doing what makes me unhappy. I QUIT saying yes to unnecessary stress. I QUIT putting others before myself. 

I accept what I can’t change, and alter what I can change. 

I came to this realisation fully when I underwent Multi Layer Lymphoedema Bandaging. I couldn’t change it so I had to tackle it and accept it. This was my turning point. I had to dress for the bandages. I categorised, felt fear, and done it anyway. 

Do I enjoy showing my leg? I’m not really bothered now, but initially I hated it. With bandaging I had no choice- either sit in my pjs at home, morbid and depressed for 3 weeks OR… Alter my clothing and go out. I chose the latter. Majority of people asked what my injury was. The lightbulb flashed on. I had made a bigger deal internally about what people would think of me and my leg than was necessary.

Am I better for this experience? Yes. I now feel less insecure about my limb. I’m slightly more confident in holding my head high! I still have self conscious moments. I still have times when I want to hide my limb and sink in to the background. 

I hate to break it to you, but in the words of Ruth Whippman… it’s not all about you! People may glance or stare. But in the grand scheme… they don’t really care unless you directly affect them! People are selfish. There is a reason you think people care… you care about yourself and your feelings in exactly the same way as the person who glances. My bet is that the person who glanced at your garment has forgotten about it by the time they have reached the next aisle of the supermarket… even though you held on to that moment when you got home, unloaded the shopping, made a cuppa and worked your way through Facebook and Instagram!! 

I too focus on the people who glance and stare. But now I consciously make an effort to not dwell on these thoughts. I realise they are unproductive to my day! People take less notice than you think. Can you remember the details of your colleague’s outfit yesterday? What earrings were they wearing? That bloke on the treadmill this morning, what was on his tshirt? Did he have a conversation with the receptionist? Chances are, you can remember vaguely but not in detail.  THE SAME HAPPENS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR GARMENT! People forget, they remember your personality and character. 

Part of accepting Lymphoedema is the courage to start not caring what others think. Being selfish when needed. Don’t do it for anyone else. You do it for you. You do it in your time frame. Repetition of actions takes courage but does empower you. It gives you options in how you want to live! Happiness should be a by product of acceptance, less stress, and thinking… I’ve done it. Now it’s your turn…

I’m going to leave you with a dare…

Do something today that scares you a little… try on and/or buy that pair of skinny jeans… wear that bold lipstick… post that selfie… join a gym… do something that the future you will be proud of. 

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Best Beauty Trends SS17! 

Hey Beautifuls! 

I’m currently partaking in fellow Lymphie, Kala’s, lipstick challenge. This got me thinking! Not all trends are clothing choices, some are just changing your lipstick, so… I thought it would be fun to share with you the latest beauty trends spotted on the catwalks. I’ve loved researching the latest trends that can update your wardrobe instantly without spending a fortune before pay day arrives!! 

Here are my faves that are easily worn (mostly), as well as a few rather daring ideas. You may even have some of the items in your beauty bag already to recreate these looks!! 

HAIR

  1. POKER STRAIGHT HAIR was spotted at Versace
  2. MICRO PLAITS were used at Missoni and San Andres Milano to add textures through the hair while still looking flawless. 
  3. BLONDE, Blonde everywhere!! 
  4. HIGH PONYTAILS added instant glamour to Nicholas K’s runway.
  5. BEEHIVES were back and Backcombed on Antonio Marras‘ show.


MAKE UP

  1. GRAPHIC EYELINER was still spotted on the catwalk of Fendi and a CAT FLICK was spotted on the runways for Moschino and Elie Saab
  2. SMOKEY EYES are back in varying degrees. Carolina Herrera and Armani donned classic smokey eyes, while at Victoria Beckham’s show we saw an updated flicked smokey colour wash in blues and khaki. Balmain went for a grunge Kohl Stained look. 
  3. FIERY LIPS were all the rage at Carolina Herrera with tones ranging from classic red at Giambattista Valli and Trussardi to a faded Coral lip at D&G
  4. ORANGES were highlighted at Missoni and Blugirl
  5. CANDY PINKS were steeped across cheeks and eyes at Asli Polat, Fenty X Puma, Hermes, Tadashi Shoji, Kenzo, Paul Smith and Marchesa
  6. GREY AND NUDE LIPS were going nowhere as they were spotted on the catwalks of Acne and Marchesa
  7. BRONZED BABE with dewy complexions have been THE look for the last few years! This year is no different as it was spotted at Blumarine, Armani, Trussardi and Marchesa

NAILS

  1. FRENCH TIPS WITH A TWIST were spotted at Salvatore Ferragamo. A taupe base with white tips updates the classic look.
  2. ORANGE again spotted at Blugirl really brightens any drab day. 


Can’t wait to try some of these myself, and spot the trends on your social media accounts! Click on to my Instagram to see my take on Grey Lips!! 

Happy Spring and Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Lymphoedema Awareness Day! 

Hi Beautifuls! 

Today is Lymphoedema Awareness Day! Well, the entire month is dedicated to Awareness of the condition that affects more than 200,000 Brits. Also, more Americans have lymphedema and lymphatic diseases than AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, MS, muscular dystrophy and Alzheimer’s in total! (LE&RN). Colossal numbers are affected, yet so little is known. 

So, what have I done to celebrate… I’ve been for a Lymphie themed mani! 


I also thought I’d share some of my favourite Lymphie Instagram accounts (in no particular order and can’t list all accounts. For an extensive list, please check my “following” list on Instagram):

  1. @kala_not_kayla 
  2. @helensamia123
  3. @lymphaticsurgery
  4. @sarahpumpkin8
  5. @girlwiththeweirdleg
  6. @sopraltoraptor
  7. @Lymphie_rah
  8. @lymphiebarbie
  9. @lymphosaurus_rex
  10. @lymphie_me
  11. @lymph_it_up
  12. @dairy_free_lymphie


Hope you’ve had a good Lymphoedema Awareness Day!

Lots of Love 

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

HOW TO Cope with Lymphoedema on your Hot Hols! 

Hi Beautifuls! 

Spring has sprung and summer is ever closer. This means one thing… Holidays!! Whether we love them or hate them everyone is booking them. I’ve just realised how close my summer holiday is! Just fully paid my deposit and full payment is due at the end of next month!! I gathered many of us are in a similar predicament… how can we enjoy the heat!?

Here is the low down of top tips for coping on a hot holiday! 

  • MOST IMPORTANTLY… Don’t go without your compression garments. It is so tempting to leave them off as ‘they are too warm’. Guess what, you need them so much more when it’s hot!! It only makes it harder for you in the evening if you leave them off during the day! 
  • Drink plenty of water. In the heat, your system becomes sluggish. Water will help ease your system… also it’s handy for stopping dehydration (apparently… who knew!)
  • Seek the shade. The shade will help keep you cool and protect from sunburn. Also, sunbathe upside down… so your legs rest on the back section of the lounger to keep them elevated. Double whammy of help!! My favourite is legs elevated and in the shade to tan only my upper half!! 
  • Regular dips in the pool! Not only does the water ease the limb and cool it down, when you swim it massages your limb and encourages lymph flow! I recommend wearing an old garment if you wear it in the pool or sea as the chlorine and salt can ruin the material make up. Also, if you’re planning on going in the sea, take some scuba or jelly shoes to protect you from standing on anything that could harm you… you don’t need a trip to A&E and a course of antibiotics to steer away cellulitis!
  • On the subject of garments, wear some sun cream underneath your garments as the sun is able to penetrate through the material. Last thing you want is a sunburnt limb!! 
  • Try to keep a regular routine to back home. In other words, don’t forget to moisturise. My favourite moisturiser for holidays is The Body Shop’s ‘Hemp Body Butter’. It stinks, but it’s so intensive that it keeps your skin so supple and soft locking in any moisture… it also keeps your tan looking good! Thank me later!! 
  • Take a pair of what I call ‘old trusty shoes’. These shoes are the ones that fit, no matter what. These are your saviour shoes!! These are the ones that you don’t WANT to take as they usually aren’t pretty… but are the ones you NEED to take. You’ll only wish you brought them otherwise. These old trusty are perfect to throw on day or night when your feet are wrecked from the pretty ones that ‘fitted fine in the shop when I bought them’… I have A LOT of shoes that fit the ‘fitted fine’ category that I always take and usually never wear! 
  • Mix up your fabrics. Take as much lightweight fabric as you can. I know majority of us lymphies love maxi dresses, maxi skirts and palazzo pants. But these can be warm around your legs. Linens, chiffons and silky fabrics are so much cooler and will leave you less irritable from the warmth. They also fall beautifully leaving you both cooler and stylish!!
  • Eat healthily. Holidays are a time when we tend to over indulge… ice cream, waffles and pancakes for breakfast… I know the score!! However, remember to throw some salad and some fruit on your plate. Excess toxins don’t help your lymph system, but also there is always an abundance of fresh local produce available… take advantage of the flavours being offered!! 
  • Don’t expect your limb to act as it does at home. The chances are you’ll have been on a flight or long journey which automatically messes with your body! This means you’re already at a disadvantage. The best thing to do is keep your routine as close as you can to normal. It will take longer to return to ‘normal/ everyday’ size from the swelling so don’t be disheartened. Just do less physical activity on the day after you land to allow your limb some time to recuperate. Also the same for warmer nights so get that air conditioning going through the day to keep your room cool… use your costa coffee card to put in the slot to keep it on instead of leaving your room key! 
  • Keep a stash of cellulitis antibiotics with you. Tell your doctor you are going away, they can prescribe the best ones. For example some aren’t suitable for those allergic to penicillin. Also it’s handy if you see the start of infection to try and stop it earlier rather than have an extended hospital stay! 
  • Lastly, do what makes you comfortable. We all have different ways of coping. Don’t feel you have to do what others say. They don’t have the same condition as you. Be selfish and don’t feel guilty about it. 

Hope these help to ease your holiday worries!! These are just my opinions and views. It is not medical advice. These are just tips I use when I’m going on holiday! Pick and mix with the tips and see what works for you! 

Happy Holiday! 

Lots of Love

L xoxox

P.s. Margaritas help… so do mojitos, also pina coladas…. 😜😘

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

The BEST Lymphie Trends for Spring 17! 

Hey Beautifuls! 
All the Dubai sunshine has really got me feeling the gorgeous spring trends!! So, thought I’d give a quick update on the top trends for the up and coming season! 


Florals

We see them EVERYWHERE at this time of year. Seriously… Everywhere! From the runways of London to New York, from dainty to bold, there is a floral to suit everyone. Some of my favourites include… Erdem, Fendi and Chloe. 

Images taken from ‘To’ and ‘Business of Fashion’ via Pinterest


Tribal

There’s no better trend than the tribal patterns and colours and fabrics to remind you of holidays… past or upcoming.  The tribal colours suit everyone and every skin tone. There is a pattern to suit all- whether that’s excessively loud and outrageous or mild, low key and simplistic. Some of my favourites include… Ralph Lauren, Anna Sui and Roberto Cavalli.

Images taken from ‘Business of Fashion’ and ‘To’ via Pinterest

Stripes

Stripes have been huge news on the runway over the last 2 years. Good news, this means your wardrobe items can be recycled and reworked with little effort… maybe an injection of a new coloured cami top, jacket, shoes or handbag. Some of my favourite looks include… Carolina Herrera, Jasper Conran and Elie Saab. 

Images taken from ‘To’, ‘Business of Fashion’ and ‘Vogue.co.uk’ via Pinterest

Sheer Luxe

One of my favourites, I’ve kept until last. Sheer, floaty fabrics. This feminine and flattering fabrics mix so well with stripes, florals and luxe sportswear. This style adds instant glamour to any outfit. Some of my favourite looks are from… Ralph and Russo, Tadashi Shoji, House of Holland, Oscar de la Renta, and Elie Saab. 

Images taken from ‘Ralph and Russo’, ‘To’ and ‘vogue.co.uk’ via Pinterest

I can’t wait to find the High Street steals of these styles! 

Happy Shopping! 

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017 

500 Giveaway!! 

Hi Beautifuls! 

I never thought I’d have 5 Instagram followers, let alone 500!! So guess what!? 

I’m going to do a cheeky giveaway to say THANK YOU!!  What’s up for grabs I hear you ask? A Stella and Dot wishing bracelet and a special edition winter lip balm.


To enter is easy! 

1. Follow @lymphasion on Instagram.

2. Repost the image relating to the giveaway (it looks like the one above!)

3. Use the hashtag #lymphasion500 

4. Write a positive comment on my original post! 

How easy is that!? 

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

HOW TO Pack your Carry On with Lymphoedema! 

Hey Beautifuls! 

I’m sure you have gathered recently that I’ve been doing so much traveling! I like to think I’m now packing like a pro!! So, I thought I would share my carry on luggage tips with you! I must say, this is just my personal way of packing! I do this for both long and short haul flights. In terms of short haul I probably take less beauty products and less entertainment options although the base is usually the same!! I ALWAYS take a hold-all as carry on. For the reason that you can fit everything in, and it’s useful for if you have a stop over with your hold luggage being sent to final destination (you can pack another outfit!). 

The Essential items when packing your carry on! 


I love taking a small pouch with any travel documents etc. This makes an easy transfer from bag to safety deposit box when you reach your hotel too!! In my Coccinelle pouch I carry: 

  • My Passport (in a cover to keep nice and clean), 
  • my insurance documents, travel itinerary and print offs, 
  • a pen (you never know when you may need to fill in a landing card!), 
  • my purse complete with currency needed for destination and at home! 

Beauty Essentials!


To keep yourself looking good up in the air, or leaving your flight like a celebrity takes work. Sadly we don’t all fly 1st class with a shower available!! So I ensure I always have the following: 

  • deodorant wipes -don’t worry about overpriced dove spray in the departure lounge! Try these! Much easier to use in the plane loos!
  • cleansing wipes -great for EVERYTHING! Wiping down your tray table, wiping your hands etc. Try these individually wrapped ones to save on space!
  • mini moisturiser -the altitude takes the moisture out of your skin, Nivea soft is the perfect size! Try this 30ml which is in the flight allowance for liquids!
  • mini perfume -love tiny sample that you get given with large perfumes, great for taking on board your flight to keep smelling sweet, I love Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream. These miniature perfumes are perfect and can be transferred to your handbag for when you are out and about at your destination!
  • stick foundation –usually a smaller weight than normal foundation tubes and perfect to apply with fingers in small spaces! I love NYX Mineral Stick Foundation. Find it here!
  • Brow gel –again, small tube. Perfect for final adjustments to ensure you look put together when disembarking (eyebrows make all the difference to your face and your look), this one is by H&M. This Sleek one is perfect! 
  • Mini mascara –around holiday time, I always pick up a mini mascara- I always look for one on offer, again this finishes your look for disembarking, I love Too Faced Better than Sex mascara as you still have the full sized brush in the tiny tube!! Take your pick here!
  • Tinted lip balm –perfect to be doubled up as moisture for your lips but also to use as a blusher, this one is Younique’s Lip Bon Bon in Raspberry Cheesecake. I love the colours these are available in!

Comforting pieces!!

Another thing to remember is to pack items that will make your journey more comfortable- both literally AND in terms of entertainment. If I’m bored I become uncomfortable and restless… never good on a long haul flight. 


Some of my comfort essentials are:

  • Hoodie –my grey ‘New York’ is a long length and from Primark
  • Scarf –Leopard print scarf is from Stella and Dot, this can double up as a pillow or blanket
  • Travel pillow –grey faux fur is from Primark. Take your pick!
  • Small bag –mine is Carvela, strap hidden inside bag, useful to keep sweets, iPad etc at your feet instead of in the overhead lockers!
  • Socks -always useful if you suffer with cold feet… especially if traveling somewhere warm and you are wearing sandals!!
  • Bandage -in case you need any extra support during the flight!
  • Extra garment -see above!
  • iPad with films or documentaries already downloaded -there may be a chance that you dislike the on board entertainment, or your flight may be delayed.
  • Book -in case you have no battery available on electronic devices. My next read is Nocturnal Animals as I’m looking forward to watching the film adaptation
  • Magazine -lightweight easy reading that can be left behind! I picked up Hello Fashion for a bargain of £1!!
  • Snacks -I’m always hungry or bored waiting for the food trolley to arrive, also if you don’t like what is served you have a back up plan… 4 hours during a flight with no food is hard!!
  • Mints -great for take off and landing, great for a breath freshener, great if feeling ill! I love foxes mints!!

Pick me up at the airport! 

Please don’t forget to buy WATER!! There is always at least one offer on at the airport in relation to water. Make use of it! Normally it will take the shape of 2 bottles for ‘x’ amount! If you are on a long flight ensure you double up on this offer. Keep a bottle for when you are stuck in arrivals!! 

Hope these tips and tricks are useful! 

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

HOW TO pack for Paris

Hey Beautifuls! 

I was such a lucky lady for Christmas! One of my treats was the Too Faced Grand Cafe Collection! 😍 Another was a trip to Paris with another gift I had to bring with me (turned out to be the Kailijumei lipsticks!! 😍😍) 

As a Lymphie, I was stuck as to how to look stylish, with limited luggage, in the cold!! I decided on a capsule wardrobe to make the most of my luggage space! I took 2 pairs of shoes and wore a pair! 2 pairs of jeans and wore a pair! Took a fur coat and wore a padded coat! Then followed 2 dresses and a top for each day (nobody likes a sweaty sweater after a day of sightseeing in the cold and being wrapped up!) I took only my curlers (sadly these packed in on NYE! 🙈) and limited jewellery that was versatile … thank you Stella and Dot! I wore 1 scarf for the duration of the trip, same for gloves. I did take 2 fur hats but wore just one. Wore 1 bag for daytime, 1 for evening. 

So how did I ensure that everything would match? I planned my outfits before hand and what could be mixed and matched! 

Below is an overview of the items I packed!! This process of deciding took about 2-3 hours in total. I had to be cut throat and harsh. It pained me not packing ‘extras’ for ‘just in case’ moments. BUT. To decide on my final items I did originally start with ‘just in case items. Hence the 2-3 hour cutting process!! I also TRIED ON ALL THE ITEMS!! This aided the idea of what looked good together. I also tried on all outfits with my coat… to ensure I looked stylish with and without my coat!! 😂 Fashion lover problems!!


Firstly, shoes!! Originally I wanted to take about 4 pairs! Ridiculous! I decided to wear the converse trainers to travel in, these would be perfect for daytime walking and sightseeing. The Zebra sparkle Carvela shoes were packed for New Years Eve for our River Cruise dinner and dance. These could be worn with black jeans too! Lastly, I decided to pack my Moda in Pelle knee high boots. The gold zip detail down the back adds a dressy feel. These could be worn with dresses or jeans!! 


Jeans were the next decision! I whittled down to basic colours that would go with everything! I wore my Khaki H&M jeans, I packed Blue jeans from Zara and Skinny Black jeans from George at Asda!! I really have to thank another Lymphie for the introduction to Wonderfit jeans at Asda! They stretch with you to fit perfectly AND go back to normal when washing!! I was a little wary at first about washing them, but they wash really well!! I’m starting to look for them in other colours ready for spring!!  All of these could be worn during the day, but the black can be doubled up for a night outfit!! 


I was aware that Paris would be freezing so I packed mostly jumpers! I again chose Colours that could be mixed with any of the jeans! Camel off the shoulder is from H&M, 3 others are from New Look. The black jumper is 3/4 sleeved and was worn to the airport to travel home! 


I packed 2 dresses for any nights out!! They are both off the shoulder. The burgundy dress is knitted and from Miss Selfridge which I wore to the Moulin Rouge with the black boots. The black dress is from Missguided which I wore with the zebra heels for the NYE dinner dance. 


Lastly, 2 blouses. The grey cold shoulder blouse is from Miss Selfridge and I wore this to travel, especially as our plan was to head from the airport to see the sights then stay out for dinner rather than going back to the hotel and go out later! The black blouse was packed for an evening out, to be worn with black jeans and EITHER boots OR shoes!! 


Our first day in Paris trying out the selfie stick!! The coat is Ralph Lauren (picked up on sale at House of Fraser). 


Majority of the time spent in Paris, I looked like this!! Wrapped up warm! The scarf is New Look from last year, Fur headband is Primark from last year, the gloves are from H&M from a few years ago. 

As you can see, I tried to stick to complimentary colours! 

When you visit Paris, I highly recommend the street artist JC Maxim found in Montmartre. He is so talented. My other half treated us to a portrait by him as an anniversary gift! 😍



With Love from Paris on NYE! We dined on the Boreas. The food was incredible. Entertainment was fabulous! We highly recommend this trip down the Seine! My fur coat is from Warehouse! 

Hope this aids your packing!! Enjoy your trip!!

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Dubai Dreams

Hey Beautifuls!

As my previous post suggested, I seem to be doing no end of travelling this year!! My latest trip was over to Dubai during October half term. I was so nervous about what to pack in my 30kg as you hear so many horror stories! Hopefully this post will put your mind at ease… put simply… dress for Spring in London and you can’t go too far wrong! 

 I arrived at Heathrow on the 25/10 for my 1pm flight. I flew with Qantas who were impeccable from check in to landing. There is not one area I could fault!! I checked in super early so I could relax, eat breakfast and peruse the designer stores! 

Before perusing Gucci and Ted Baker, I ate at Strada… highly recommend their ‘Golden Bread’ which is a Sicilian version of French Toast! See below! 😍👌 After the deliciousness I ensured I was stocked up with a large bottle of water and some healthy snacks for during the flight. 


I find it’s so important to be comfortable on a flight so I wore my George at Asda Wonderfit skinny jeans in black, my trusty white tank from Topshop, a sheer black shirt from H&M, and my glitter trainers from Primark. I also packed my hoodie from Primark and my Parker slope Scarf from S&D. I ensured I wore any jewellery that I might lose or might tangle… hello Garland necklace and Seine Threader earrings!! 


Miles met me the other end and off we headed to the Villa Rotana, that boy picks them…. 1 metro stop from the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall!! 😍 Our room was spacious, had a kitchenette area and a view of the Burj Khalifa! Perfect! 

We woke to sunshine and temperatures in the 30s! Our first day of exploration took us to the Burj Kalifa and Dubai Mall. As we were heading into the mall, I was worried what to wear,  settled with my bias cut midi dress from Topshop and a pair of flat sandals. To be honest, this outfit couldn’t have been more perfect!! Knees were covered as were my shoulders due to cap sleeves. I carried a scarf in my bag, just in case, but it wasn’t needed. The mall is amazing! Over my 4 day trip I still didn’t see every inch of it! The Burj Khalifa is as breathtaking in real life! The views were to be the best ever! Evening took us to the Reel Movies Platinum Experience. Soft reclining couches, blankets and pillows, tables and lamps and pre ordered meals and drinks for during the film. Yet again, unsure of evening etiquette, I wore my khaki midi dress and laser cut white shirt, both from Primark. At this point I realised, pretty much anything goes- from strappy sandals and a bandage dress to maxi dress and flip flops…. it doesn’t matter as long as you look and act respectfully. 


Thursday saw a trip with Nicki to Karama for discount shopping. Again, I was so anxious in terms of what to wear as Karama is in the older districts with a more conservative policy than the main tourist area. I finally settled on a skimming maxi skirt from New Look which I picked around 2 years ago, my orange cami top from Topshop and my trusty later cut white shirt. This outfit was near perfect- respectful and cool on limbs. Karama was replica and pashmina heaven! The evening was spent in the incredible Burj al Arab for cocktails in the Skylounge before heading to one of their restaurants where we had views of the building itself. The cocktails were beautifully crafted and deliciously decadent. I wore my silver maxi skirt, lace top from Zara, my Karama bought pashmina and a pair of Carvela wedges. This way I could be both respectful and dressed up. I piled on the bling to finish the look. 



Friday was a beach day. Another interesting take on Dubai life, what do you wear as a cover up!? I couldn’t wear my tiny cheesecloth, backless dresses or my short denim shorts… I settled for a mint colour dress that should have been for evening!! Due to the floaty material and colour I was able to pass it off for daytime. We paid for our loungers and towels and parked ourselves on Jumeirah Beach front watching the skydivers and camels. We took the camels as a sign for what sound happen in the evening. Come evening, we headed to Serafinos which has views of the dancing fountains and the Burj. As my tan was developing nicely I wore my purple slip dress from Oasis, Carvela Gold heels and my Karama pashmina!! My jewellery, as always, was S&D… perks of being a Stella Stylist! Serafino’s food and customer service was disappointing. We would have been willing to spend all night there making our way through the menu but their focus seemed to be on families… great place if you have kids, if you want to avoid children I’d suggest a late table booking!!  We left earlier than we had anticipated so headed into Dubai mall in search of the Camel Milk Cafe!! Yes we had Camel milk milkshakes- date and chocolate flavours! I’d definitely recommend this unusual experience. 


My final full day in Dubai was the Saturday! The early start took us to the gold and spice souk in the old town. We paid 2 dirhams to cross the creek in traditional format. As it was the old town I wore the same as I did for Karama. Again, being covered up was my main priority. I picked up some beautiful gold glitter henna transfers… so tacky they are stunning! The souks are overwhelmingly busy. An hour is plenty but it’s a to do list essential. I headed up to the rooftop pool for one last soak of sun while Miles wandered to the mall to see if he could pick up a suit. However, he also comes back with a pair of gold wedged converse 😍😍 all my favourite things in one beautiful package! We got ready earlier then normal and went to the Marriott hotel in the Marina for Sunset cocktails. I wore outfit from the night before but changed my shoes to the Carvela wedges, tied my hair up and stuck my bling henna on! The views of the sunset over the palm were spectacular. We also ordered Steak chilli fries to keep any hunger at bay! 3 cocktails were consumed, my favourite being the 24 carat gold- goldshlager and prosecco topped with edible gold! Post cocktails included a stroll over to the marina where we grabbed coffee and dates from Bateel. Never have tasted dates like it… so soft! Then over to jumeirah beach to pick up a shwarma… because, when in the Middle East!!! Well, a girl needs to line her stomach before packing! 


The Sunday morning arrived, I was packed and ready to go wearing what I arrived in, but swapping out my glitter trainers for my new converse. This time I flew Emirates. Must say, the on,y redeeming factor is that Bullet for my Valentine were on my flight and the Samoan Rugby Team. I booked an extra legroom seat due to my impairment but was expected to move for a family to have the cot space… the thank you… a mini toblerone!! That’s it… just a mini toblerone! No upgrade on frequent flyer cards, a MINI CHOCOLATE BAR!! Not even a full sized one!! I thought my flight would be made better by watching Tom Hiddlestone… a box set of The Night Manager had my name on it… until cabin crew collected headphones 30 minutes before landing, meaning, yep you guessed it, missed the last 20 minutes of the final episode!! Not the best flight in the history of trips, especially when Emirates are usually prided on their customer care and flights… obviously not this flight! Sadly, I’ll probably end up having to fly with them again. Disappointing after great service with Qantas. 


Sometimes all you need is some red lipstick! I had this as a freebie from Chanel in Harpers Bazzar Emirates! Colour 152! 


All jewellery is Stella and Dot except purple choker which is from Ted Baker, teardrop ring from Links and the Opal ring from Swarovski. 

Stella and dot can be purchased via: http://www.stelladot.co.uk/sites/laurentoner 

Sadly back in the cold, but I’m sure it won’t be long until another visit to warmer climates!  

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2016