Saturday in Covent Garden

If you've got a somewhat cloudy London Saturday with nothing to do on your hands, my tip is to take a walk. Relish the the luxury of walking (yes, I consider walking a luxury!) to Leicester Square, through Chinatown and all the way to Covent Garden. Walk around the market, look at people, stop and be amused by one (or a few) of the street artists. Enjoy your Saturday, every delightful minute of it.


Creating the vegan capsule wardrobe: the perfect 10

Note: the products in the pictures are not necessarily vegan. However, info on where to find the vegan version of each product is provided at the end of each paragraph.

As vegan fashionistas, we know dressing well is doubly important for us: after all, we're on a mission to prove that yes, you can dress cruelty-free without looking like you grabbed the first piece of polyester you could find on some shelf and draped it around yourself. For every compliment we receive for our shoes, every time someone notices that we look good, another message is sent: vegan fashion is fabber than fab. So going that extra mile to leave a lasting stylish impression is worth it! And so is creating the perfect compassionate capsule wardrobe, although that might take some work.

Here are the ten pieces that will get you well on your way:

The cozy (wool-free) cable knit

I am SUCH a fan of cable knits. Frankly, the only thing I dislike about summer is that I can't wear cable knits (okay, that and insects). A good cable knit sweater will look cozy-chic with jeans, over a floaty skirt or under a faux-leather jacket. It's really tricky to find them wool-free...but it can be done, and even on the high street! I'd even go so far as to say especially on the high street, as high-end designers tend to use wool.

They do it well: H&M, ASOS

If anyone knows any eco-friendly wool-free vegan knit brands, let me know!


My piece on HelloGiggles!

As you probably know, I LOVE HelloGiggles, the site founded by three true superwomen that I wish I could be best friends with - actress and singer Zooey Deschanel, producer Sophia Rossi and Molly McAleer who writes 2 Broke Girls. This website publishes funny, thought-provoking and inspiring content from female writers...and now I'm one of them!


10 little things that never fail to make me happy

1. The smell of fresh coffee in the morning. The smell of fresh coffee a rainy afternoon in a coffee house. The smell of fresh coffee, anytime.

2. The first time I flip through a brand new just-bought magazine. Sure, the internet and blogs are great, but nothing will ever replace real magazines.

3. Walking home after a night out in the summer, when the air is warm and there's no need for a jacket and the streets are buzzing with people and sounds and music and life.


Support Beyond Skin's Kickstarter campaign!

I love Beyond Skin - they're cool, they're quirky, the're from one of my favourite places in the world (Brighton) and they make the loveliest vegan shoes. If you haven't already, check them out here!

Now, Beyond Skin needs our help to create a diffusion line of comfy and affordable vegan footwear to be sold online along with their already-existing luxe vegan shoe collection.


Take a Walk on a Summer Night

I love summer nights.

I love walking around, aimlessly, freely, feeling a warm breeze on my face.

I love not wearing a jacket.

I love walking home from a movie that finishes at eleven p.m and the streets are still alive and full of people.

I love Southbank, the little riverside sliver of London at its best. Especially at dusk.


Things I Can't Wear: The White Dress

On my birthday a month or so ago, a couple of friends were kind enough to give me a H&M gift certificate (my friends are awesome) so I went shopping. Among the things I bought was this little gem of a dress. It cost about £15 (no kidding, people) and looked delicious. I really mean delicious, like a little wedding cake. I was in love; I HAD to have it.



Exactly two years ago today, July 21 2011, Coffee and Heels was born.

I remember how excited I was about this new little project of mine, thinking of all the different things I'd post, what I would write about and above all, how much fun I'd have with it. From the start, this was thought to be a cruelty-free fashion blog: I had decided that I'd never get too personal here.

Fast forward two years and I realize that this blog has ultimately become my diary. A place where I share the good, bad and ugly of my life as it happens. And it's both comforting and a lot of fun to take you along with me as I plan my endless escapes across the world, dive headfirst into things that scare me, cry into a cupcake tin about shattered dreams , discover new things I love and learn things I always thought I was hopeless at.


Flashback: my first months in Milan

Milan's Naviglio Grande. The Navigli are hands-down my favourite area in Milan, not only because that's where I used to live.

I got a comment on my moving to London post from a reader asking for survival tips in a new city with no money:

Hi Sascha,
As a young Irish lad (20) with virtually no money, no sense (except for adventure), and flights booked to London already, I found it really relieving to hear that you survived in Milan on 200 euro.
I must say that it sounds like a very familiar tale.

I was just wondering if you could tell me a bit more about how you survived in a foreign city on that small a budget? Any more tips for we of the empty-pocket variety? I literally have about 200 pounds sterling too.

Very encouraging post, which is really nice to see.


...now, this is truly my area of expertise.


New in: vegan studded sandals

I went shoe shopping again! Actually, I do have an excuse this time: all of my summer shoes are left in Milan, so I believe this would fall into the category "times when I actually need new shoes". Literally.


The hugest news ever!

I have the biggest news! Even as I type this, I'm nervous and excited at the same time.

Every year, Marie Claire magazine here in the UK offers a fantastic programme, the Inspire & Mentor Scheme, that pairs women with mentors that will help them further their careers and help them take their ideas forward. Mostly it's an entrepreneurship programme, even if that's not its sole purpose. I have always thought this to be a fabulous opportunity to take your career in the right direction.


Six years of me and you

Photo: Six years of love. Six years of madness. Six years of discovering new places. six years of laughter, music and plain being silly. Six years with you are never enough <3

Anniversaries. I'm a huge fan of them. While my coupled-up status has taught me to appreciate Valentine's Day, I'd still rather celebrate a day that's just for us  (along with any other July 10th couples out there!). Every year, me and David go out to dinner to celebrate the day that we first met. Nothing over the top, just dinner, something simple, because our first date was, in every way, very simple.


Home office: why working from home is harder than it looks

I recently went back to working part-time with one of my favourite clients that I really enjoy working with. Even if what I do with them is quite far from journalism (it's fashion copywriting), I still love being in their offices - everyone's really nice, the location is lovely, the work is relatively easy, there's free fruit and team breakfasts - what's not to love? They were okay with me working from home most of the time, but I actually asked to increase my office time. Why? Because a typical "work from home" day is usually like this for me:


First beach day of the year: back to Brighton!

On the train to Brighton yesterday, David asked me when I first saw the beach. It took some remembering, but I realized that, quite sadly, the very first time I had ever set my bare feet on seaside sand was when I was all of eleven years old.

As a little kid in Russia, I didn't have many beach holidays. My parents worked hard and had no time to gallivant around the world. My very first beach trip was to Gotland, a Swedish island, when we had lived in Sweden for about four years. But the seaside that has remained superglued to my memories as My First Beach is another: the sandy beach of Southern Italy that I first saw at thirteen, falling in love with what would become my home country for six years, almost decade from then.


Idea for tattoo number two: yay or nay?

I'm planning my second tattoo!

EDIT AND DISCLAIMER: my tattoo will be on my wrist - not on my neck like this photo. And it wouldn't be completely round - it'd be more like two things, the black and the white, rather than a circle.

There are few things that I've recently done that beat the high of getting my first tattoo. I was insanely scared but knew I wanted to do it. And afterward it just felt amazing. I loved it so much and I was so proud of myself for going through with it.

It's true what they say: tattoos are addictive. I've been planning number two since, well, pretty much since I peeled the plastic off number one! But they're also a commitment for life, so it's always advised to think before you ink - we don't want to end up like this girl, now do we?


TV couples that totally should have ended up together.

Disclaimer: any and all comments on this post that state, "you watch too much TV" will be deleted mercilessly.

It's quite safe to say I'm what may be considered a TV-aholic. Sitcoms are my oxygen (well, not really. While I am fully capable of holding my breath for almost a minute, a recent stay at my mother's has proved that I can, in fact, not function without a television) and whatever crowd I find myself in, I'm always the resident Friends expert. However, there are times when my beloved TV shows make me go ballistic, namely when the characters that are supposed to end up together choose other people. We're supposed to be all happy for this oh-so-wrong, lopsided couple, while the "right" person sits nearby with a "gracious loser" look on his/her perfectly made-up face. And I just want to scream, "No, no, NO! This is WRONG! You should be with him/her! Did I really waste five years' worth of Thursday nights on this?"

Without further ado, here are the couples that definitely should have sailed into the sunset together:

Brenda and Dylan

I had such a crush on Dylan in the 90s. You may say, "we all did", but I bet you weren't as obsessed as I was. As a twelve-year-old, I already exhibited the same stalker-ish celebrity obsession tendencies that I do now (hi, Jared Leto). I actually worried about how to tell my mother that I, at 12, was about to marry the then-24-year-old Luke Perry. How would she take it? Brenda was obviously my favourite character on the show, I raged against whoever called her a bitch and was heartbroken when Shannen Doherty got kicked off. Needless to say I passionately hated Kelly. That blonde soulmate-stealer.


In the end, all I want is some sunshine.

I'm glad that I'm fairly certain, at the age of 30, of the professional direction my life will take in the future. I know I'm a writer, I know I want to be a writer. There's not much else that I want to do - or that I'm good at.

I'm also very relieved that by now I have figured out what professions are definitely NOT for me. One of these is definitely "vacation organizer" or whatever it may be called, the person that plans and organizes trips. Because, as it turns out, I can't even put together a holiday for myself.