My name is Rachel Carr and I started This Is Carrt in 2014 when my husband's job moved to Germany and I decided to give up my day job in the city and go with him on the adventure! I had always loved to travel and write, and was also passionate about photography so one day I sat down and mingled all three of them on this website and my Etsy page. I write about a wide range of things like how to cope with airline hand luggage allowances to what to wear to any destination wedding. However, when I write up a holiday destination, there are more often than not a few common themes linking what are otherwise very different places:
1) Food. I love to eat. It structures my day to day life as well as any trip that I go on. I think food is a great way to start to experience a new culture as well as meeting new people.
2) Value. I don't get swayed by places to be seen and clothing to be seen in for the sake of it. I hate being ripped off. Be that by a fiver or by hundreds of pounds. If an activity or an excursion I go on is expensive but an amazing experience, I will still highly recommend it, but won't recommend it simply because it is deemed luxury.
3) Beauty. I love looking at pretty things. They don't have to have a purpose!
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Marks and Spencer has recently been making waves in the blogosphere for their fabulous fluted sleeve jumper. Whilst the pregatron in me can't wear it without displaying my bump, it made me look at the British High Street faithful's latest offering. I was pleasantly surprised, but I don't want even that to be taken as a negative on the stalwart shop. I've always been taken aback at M and S's continued limited success with its fashion range. It always has fab basics, does great knitwear and its workwear pieces last longer than other high street brands. If anything, I think Marks and Sparks suffers from trying to be too many things to too many people. For instance, I don't buy more from there as when I enter the shop I find it confusing - do I head to Per Una, Limited Collection or its standard range?
I found looking online helped a lot in sifting through its vast collection, which is how I found these ten, new at Marks and Spencer:
This beautiful white lace skirt belies its small price tag. Although part of its more expensive Autograph range, it is still more than affordable, especially when considering how much it can be used in the run up to summer. Weddings, girly lunches, hot days at the office when mixed with a button down shirt, BBQs. It's an easy separate owing to its shape and colour. Mix it and match to your style's desire!
The sleeve is where it is at in fashion world at the moment, but this otherwise simple shape and neutral colour will live through many more. Not least into our UK Summer with its usual unknown weather prospects.
I love a statement jumper - especially ones that are in my usual colour palette of white and black. It makes for classic dressing with a twist, plus with all the interest being in this one piece, it makes pulling the rest of your outfit together so much easier. I would pair this with jeans at the weekend and black cigarette trousers for a day at the office with sky high heels.
Statement trousers are far more wearable than they may initially appear. Especially when they are in black and white like this monochrome pair. For ease, I would pair them with one of the many white or black tops I have in my wardrobe. However, for the braver, they would also look great with a bright coloured top, or even a contrasting pattern. At such a fabulous price point, whatever you do with them, they make a great purchase for the upcoming Spring.
This bomber jacket is sooooo not me, but it made it on to my top 10 list as the muted colour palette it has makes it far easier to wear than it first looks. I would personally pair it with jeans and a simple white tee, but those that are blessed with the ability to mix, and carry off, patterns will look far more fashionable than one would assume of a Marks and Spencer jacket.
Denim dresses make for the easiest weekend outfits. Plus this is a great season transistioner - just wear warmer shoes and a thin layer underneath up until the sun rears its shy head. Come the warmer months, I would wear it with flips flops and a cold cider in the local.
Nude shoes made it into my wardrobe about the same time Kate Middleton, with her beloved LK Bennett Sledge shoes, made it into Kensington palace. They are leg lengthening and even this clunkier pair will do the same. They will also go with a multitude of outfits and keep it looking fresh with their modern shape.
Another top, another statement sleeve. This time in a bright colour that most women will still find wearable. It's light material means that it can be worn tucked into skirts for a polished look or worn over jeans for a more relaxed feel at the weekend. If I was doing top to toe Marks and Sparks, I would probably wear it with the white A Line skirt in lace, or the Batik trousers.
I'd love to know any of my readers' Marks and Spencer's wins. Just leave a comment below!
On a typically cold wet and rainy English Spring day, my mother and I visited Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire - a place neither of us had had a proper trip to since I was a small child. (I did go to its gardens this Christmas on yet another wet occasion to see them lit up for the festive season - it was stunning, I highly recommend it). The palace itself is famous for so many things - Winston Churchill being just one of them. It is an absolute beauty of a building and set amongst some gorgeous English countryside.
OK so these totally made it onto my list as it is the middle of February and this Winter has been loooong. My feet are ready to be released from socks and shoes. The bright colour screams Spring and Summer and I literally cannot wait to pair these with an equally bright nail colour when the weather allows.
Oversized clutches appear to be going nowhere and this bag underlines why. Sleek clean lines mean it can be worn with so many different chic outfits and also fit in all your mod cons - iPhone, lippie, keys, credit cards and any other spurious items that women need to leave the house. Long may the fashion for oversized clutches therefore continue!
I've tried to keep the fact that I'm pregnant off my blog. For many reasons, I did not want to divulge it, but it's so painfully obvious now (I'm, fingers crossed, due in three months) that I felt I simply could not ignore it anymore. Plus I wanted to write down just how overwhelming not only the prospect of pregnancy and having a child is, but simply the breadth and depth of information available to us is. Whilst writing this post will add to such info, I thought I'd impart some things I have so far learnt on the most superficial of matters: how to dress stylishly when pregnant.
Quinoa is a great, wheat free, alternative carb. But up until recently I've not had much success with it. I simply put it in my trolley because Deliciously Ella was extolling its virtues. Have you, like me an millions before you, bought this healthy food stuff with no real idea what do with it? I've had a great deal more success with it since I discovered that I could simply substitute it for cous cous or pasta. Plus it has a wonderful nutty flavour that can add to many meal. I've collated some great recipe ideas below that give any quinoa virgin some excellent pointers.
Whilst I lived in Germany with my husband for two years, I learnt a great many things. I can now drink a whole stein of beer and hold my own, I can make a mean schnitzel, I can drive fast without the fear of god running through me, and I also learnt to love a spa. Interestingly, for a woman, I always found spas a bit 'and what next?'. I think I found it hard to realise that the whole point of going was not activity, but just indulging in doing absolutely nothing. Apologies if I'm telling you how to skin a cat here, but the point of spas genuinely passed me by up until I moved to the North Rhine Westphalia area.
2016 was a year of highs and lows for me - all of which taught me something. From the sublime: my outlook and what I wanted from life. To the ridiculous: that I can never really give up carbs and travel wise, what I shall be repeating and what never to mention again. Given that I want this blog to be helpful to other people than just myself, I've written here my tongue in cheek, top tips for travel in 2017 as opposed to listing my new year's resolutions regarding my waistline and other such personal matters.
Every year as Christmas approaches, I promise myself that I won't almost kill myself by socialising every night in the run up to the big day. Every year as Christmas approaches, I fail. In the past, I have found that continuing on like this, whilst working during the day, means if I am not careful, that by the time the 25th December arrives, my skin is grey, my hair is greasy at the roots and dry at the ends, and my nails are brittle.
Etsy is such a great place for so many reasons. One is the abundance of ludicrously priced art that is on offer that suits so many tastes, styles and interiors. Below are my top ten that I cannot recommended highly enough.