Sunday, 25 March 2018

My Athleisure Style

Sunday, 25 March 2018

My Athleisure Style



Hey Guys,

It's been a while since I last had a London-based shoot for my blog. After traveling all over Italy in sunny dresses and shades, I was brought right back to earth when I arrived home to snowy London. I needed to revert back to my more practical wardrobe, let's say, which includes a whole lot of "comfy clothes" or "Athleisure-wear" as it's known in the FASHUN industry.

From comfy women's joggers, to oversized sweaters and trainers, it's not hard to see the benefits of jumping aboard this trend. I think of it as being "airplane-ready, all the time" - looking great but feeling even better!

This week I created a look that was based on the athleisure trend. I have barely taken these trousers off since purchasing in the River Island sale. I quickly decided that they will be my London to LA airplane clothes this week when I jet off. My aim is to look as put together as a celebrity stepping off their private jet... fingers crossed for me!


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I love a statement trouser, as you may have gathered from previous fashion posts like this one where I rock a bold red and this one where I strut into Spring with pink. So it's no surprise that these funky striped trousers spoke to me. In fact, they called out to me from the River Island sale rack like Rose to Jack. Only difference is, I saved these... (ooo burn!)

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Details and accessories are minimal and effortless. I experimented with these on-trend narrow cat-eye sunglasses that I picked up for pennies in Primark. I wasn't sure they would suit me but I loved the final result when paired with a sporty-luxe look. I also kept my signature gold hoop earrings as well as my Casio watch in a Nintendo-grey. I love this watch, it is my number one go-to for practicality and works well here. 




I love the mustard LOTD faux-leather biker jacket a lot. I must say, I haven't had much opportunity to style it up, but with the right outfit, it looks great! I paired it on top with a Boohoo cropped cami in a scuba material. Perhaps it is a top that should be saved for a sunnier day (perfect when I hop off the plane at LAX).
I also tried a different jacket to give an even more laid-back vibe. Puffer jackets were huge last year an I picked up a cropped, hooded one. When taking away the pop of colour from the mustard, the look is automatically muted and a little more casual and sporty. 

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I love these New Balance trainers. They are the most comfortable trainers I have ever owned and they go with so many outfits! I couldn't find these exact ones anywhere online so I have linked some similar.


I have extremely strong feelings of love and lust towards athleisure wear. As I get older, the more important it is to look good and feel good. Gone are the days of blister-making shoes and super tight, mini skirts that are freezing and impractical. Time to get cosy!

What are your thoughts on the Athleisure trend? Love it or hate it? 

Eb x


*This is a sponsored blog post*
All images by Cairo Leon

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

10 Reasons Why I Love To Travel

Sunday, 18 March 2018

10 Reasons Why I Love To Travel



Hey Guys,

After recently arriving home from a beautiful trip to Italy and with another amazing month-long adventure in America coming up, I thought I would put together this list of the reasons I love to travel. 
Perhaps you love to travel too and this post will reaffirm your passion. Or maybe you are a little wary or afraid to head off on an adventure, I'd love to inspire you to head somewhere new!


10 Reasons Why I Love to Travel

1. Escape my "normal" life

Of course, I am well aware that I am extremely lucky to live in one of the most vibrant, beautiful and opportunistic cities in the world - London. I love London and will always feel at home within it's safe embrace. However, I am sometimes left feeling uninspired by my familiar surroundings and a little bored or frustrated with my day-to-day life. I get itchy feet that want to explore some new pavement. Travel gives me the time to escape London and return with a fresh charge of creative battery!

2. Learn about myself

I love when I travel and am faced with difficult or new challenges that allow me to flex new social muscles and learn something about myself. Whether that's my self-control when faced with all the pizza and pasta in Italy, or my foreign language skills that are very often put to the test. I have also come across situations and people who live very different lifestyle to me, with different values. I love how I learn to deal with these situations and embrace people for who they are regardless of how differently we live our lives. 



3. Different settings are inspiring

Just a change of landscape; city to country, land to sea, can have a hugely positive affect on my creative side. I get major FOMO, and would hate to think that my London life meant I would never understand what it is to live by the sea or on a farm. Travelling allows me to fulfil my desires to experience all types of living, which in turn, unlocks a part of my brain that could never be stimulated in London. 

4. Weather change

Ah this is one is extremely important for health-related reasons. Vitimin D, warmth and sunshine is vital for human living in the same way it is vital for plants to thrive. I suffer mildly from weather-related depression and can sometimes feel down after facing a week of grey, rainy skies. A huge majority of people love the idea of a sunny beach holiday, whether thats to top up your tan, frolic in the sea or just have a quiet, slow paced getaway. I know I often desire a sunnier climate. I notice a huge difference in my mood and attitude because of it. 


5. Meet new people

It is fun to meet new people when on your travels. Whether thats at the local bar over a few drinks or whilst staying in your hostel, really great friendships can be formed in the most unlikely of places. I think its a great idea to make friends abroad, that was you can create a network of friends all over the world who you can visit!

6. Eat new food

If you are heading to a country known for their delectable cuisine, such as Italy, Jamaica, India or Mexico, enjoying your meals will probably be one of your trip highlights. There is no better time to try something new than whilst travelling. And don't be scared to ask for a recipe or look up a dish online, that way you can bring a taste of the country back home with you!
I remember the first time I got home from Italy after three months working and living with local families, I genuinely forgot what I used to eat before going away. I ended up making a lot of coffee, pizza and pasta!


7. I like flying

OK, fun fact - I actually love flying in airplanes. Not the annoying airport-y, security, waiting around, waking up at 4am bit. The take off, the cloud watching, the tiny toy town awe and appreciation for the captain after the safe-landing bit. There's something really special and humbling about being able to travel by plane. 

8. New activities

There are loads of things to get stuck into whilst travelling, many of which you couldn't do at home! For example, snorkeling, sky diving, jet skiing, fishing, hiking... the list can definitely go on! I love the doing things that I couldn't at home like The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, Harry Potter World at Universal Hollywood, hiking up to Mount Tibidabo in Barcelona, seeing a Broadway show or playing the slots in Vegas. There are so many special things to do and see that can only be done once you start travelling!



9. Shopping

The shoppinngggg! This one is pretty self-indulgent but I love going shopping in new places to see what is on offer! When I head to America in April, I can't wait to hit Sephora, Bath and Body Works and all the other great stores we don't have in the UK. It's also fun just to have a look around iconic places such as Rodeo Drive in LA or Bloomingdales in New York.

10. Appreciating "normal" life when I come home

And after all that travel and adventure. All those lessons learnt, food consumed and clothes bought, it is time to return home and look at where you live through fresh eyes. There really is no place like home after some time away.


Eb x

(images by Morgyn Cliff)
Shot on location at Casale Amati Country House




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Friday, 16 March 2018

Celebrating Two Years of EBONI + IVORY!

Friday, 16 March 2018

Celebrating Two Years of EBONI + IVORY!







Well, I didn’t expect to be writing this post so soon. It does not feel like two years has passed since I started my lil blog (on Wix btw... lol!) But here I am, tapping away on my phone’s notes app and I can honestly say that I can’t quite believe how much positive energy blogging and YouTubing has brought into my life (- though I am still super new to YouTube! )

This month I found myself celebrating the big "2" in Cinque Terre, Italy, which was uh-mazing! I’m pretty sure the Weather God’s knew too, because the sun shone like mad as I looked out to the sea and took in what a journey I have been on! The images in this post were all shot by the wonderful Morgyn Cliff, overlooking the beautiful harbour of Manarola, Cinque Terre.


Blogging is certainly not an easy industry, and is one that comes with little reward in the early days. It is something to work hard at and reap benefits on a personal rather than social level. I always said I would stop as soon as I started to not enjoy it. I even forgot/didn’t bother to write up a 1 year blog-iversairy post incase I jinxed myself and decided to pack it all in weeks later. But I didn’t, and here I am, two years in (sorry I keep saying that, I am still trying to convince myself its true!) 

In the grand scheme of things and when comparing my blogging career to that of others (don’t do that) I am still occupying such a small, minute space and making micro-differences to people lives, but that is something I have come to terms with and am ok about - for now! 

For now, I like to see my blog (and YouTube channel) as a kind of diary that I update and can look back on in years to come. 

A sort of proof to the future world that yes, Eboni Dixon did exist! 

But I also have many hopes and ambitions for the future...

I am extremely lucky in that my blog has, over the past four or so months, turned into a small freelance job where I make a little bit of money here and there from sponsored posts. This has changed very little for me, except I can now justify all the equipment and things I have bought especially for my blog! I am very proud that though I am not your typical blonde-haired, slim, middle-class blogger with hundred of thousands of followers, I am defying the odds and monetising my blog! Very proud! 

But anyway, back to the future of EBONI + IVORY... 
I aptly have 2 huge goals for my next year - firstly, to grow my Instagram following significantly and organically and secondly, to increase and improve my YouTube content, to hopefully grow a larger audience of lovely people who like to watch my videos! I do think I need to create more of a “brand” and “genre” for myself in terms of YouTube, but for now, I will just film and upload what ever takes my fancy! I would also love to continue to grow and work with brands I love. To continue to take sponsored work and perhaps one day have this as a career! (In addition to my acting of course!)
I also love to travel (as you may have guessed) and I'm super excited to expand and improve my travel section. Whether that is working with tourism boards and hotels, or simply updating you guys on my trips. I have an epic month adventure planned in the USA coming up so can't wait to share lot's of new content!

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I want to take this final moment to thank you. If you are reading this it means that I (hopefully) haven't bored you and that maybe you are a regular reader? If you are, thank you very much. I hope you will continue to stick with me on the journey to three years, whether you are a regular reader or just joined, let's smash this year!

Eb x

(images by Morgyn Cliff)

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Thursday, 15 March 2018

Ohh La La, Skipping Around Paris!*

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Ohh La La, Skipping Around Paris!*


Hey Guys,

Around this time last year, I released a blog post about the top 5 things I recommend to do and see in Rome. In this post, I mentioned a tour of the Vatican that I attended with The Roman Guy. It was an amazing tour, led by a great guide who did more than any automated museum ear-piece could. We were able to skip the queue and receive an in depth, insider experience of the Vatican with questions, answers and fun facts.
Well, the brilliant company behind this tour have just announced a new set of tours based in the heart of Paris! I love Paris a lot, but I have never had the pleasure of exploring with a guide. After reading about these amazing new tours, I have definitely added them to my next Parisian adventure "to-do list" (alongside riding on the back of a vespa and staying in that fancy hotel that overlooks the Eiffel Tower!)
I thought I would share some more about each tour incase you are planning your own Paris trip...





The Louvre is filled with priceless works of art; 38,000 to be exact! The Paris Guy offer one of the best Louvre tours in Paris, with skip the line access and a local art-loving guide to lead your small group through the galleries to the most iconic works of art. 
You'll visit the most iconic galleries and collect valuable insight from their guides who are dedicated to welcoming you to the Louvre and bringing the museum to life in front of your eyes. You'll get to hear stories about the construction of the building, at the same time as learning all about the best artwork collections the museum has to offer. 
Louvre tickets are included in the price. 


Their Skip the Line Paris Catacombs Tour is filled with facts and folklore that bring the Paris catacombs, a place for the dead, back to life. This tour features passionate, storytelling, expert local guides, Paris Catacombs skip the line tickets, a look at actual human bones, catacombs entrance fee and a small group size for a maximum of 12 people.
I've always been fascinated by the history of the Catacombs and have definitely added this to my must-do list!


And Finally, the Golden Versailles Palace and Garden tour takes you to the iconic Castle and Gardens just outside of Paris. On this half day tour, you'll feel like royalty as their passionate guide not only escorts you from Paris to Versailles, but then helps you to understand exactly what it was like to be a French King or Queen in 17th century France! Talk about boujee!


I hope this blog post has tickled your travel tastebuds just a little and at least one of these tours will be added to your next Parisian itinerary!

Eb x



*This is a sponsored post*

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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Casale Amati Country House, Italy

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Casale Amati Country House, Italy


Hey Guys,

I can't believe it has been a year since I was last in Italy. Remember my blog post on Procida? Well a few weeks ago I returned to complete my annual job working as a drama workshop leader in schools. Once my job was over, I head a little more south towards Tuscany, where I had an incredible experience working with a beautiful hotel...

Casale Amati Country House

Last week, I had the pleasure of being a guest of Casale Amati Country House. The manor house is located in a small village called Ortonovo, just an hour from Pisa. The complex consists of three properties. Two are connected (the two I mention here) and can be rented together as a huge 12 person manor house, or they can be rented individually as 6 person houses.
Myself and my friend and photographer for the trip, Morgyn, had an amazing mini-break. We relaxed around the hotel, took a day trip to Cinque Terre and a day trip to Florence. I will be sharing more from those day trips in another blog post, but for now, lets look a little closer at Casale Amati! 

The Country Kitchen




This beautiful, blue, country kitchen has everything you would need to create the perfect meal (and the perfect Instagram post!) The fully stocked shelves and cupboards are quintessentially Italian in every way - quirky, colourful and cute! Once you have stocked the fridge from the local supermarket, located just a few metres from Carrara station, you are ready to go with an Italian feast! We lined the fridge with cheese, wine and fruit. We also made sure we picked up some milk and bread for the morning. 

Oh, and look at this cutie below... He is the resident cat who you are welcome to feed and stroke. He loves people and was super sociable with us. A new friend I'd say!




The Living Room




Next up is the room in which we spent all of our evenings. From the log burner in the corner, to the TV complete with Netflix, this room has everything you need for a cosy night in. Wine in hand, PJ's on, I enjoyed this room whilst watching Friends and having a good old personal de-brief from the busy days.


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The Master Bedroom




This was probably my favourite bedroom of the Marchesa house. Sunlight streams straight through the window first thing in the morning creating a bright, airy feel. The room is decorated with little bits traditional of an old Italian life. Vases are dotted about the drawer tops, and a vintage baby cot is placed in the corner. 
However, my absolutely favourite part of this room (as you may have guessed) was the beautiful peacock chair. Not only did this make the PERFECT photoshoot prop, but it added to the fun and sophisticated personality of the room. 


The Bathroom


As we decided to sleep at the top of the Macine house, our closest bathroom was this beauty. I loved everything about this room. From the modern skylight that allowed light to flood the space, the gorgeous stone sink and wood mirror (see those details in my YouTube tour). However, of course, my favourite element of this room was the marble shower! Yes bloggers! I'm looking at you! Marble shower. The room was filled with clean tiles on our arrival and there were plenty for our four nights. Soap was also provided, we brought our own toiletries. 





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Ortonovo

Ortonovo is the town closest to the hotel. It is sat on the top of an extremely high hill, giving beautful views over the area and even all the way to the sea! We decided to take a hike up to the top on our first afternoon and were not disappointed by the view!



We discovered some interesting artefacts on the way up...


It took us about an hour and a half to two hours to reach the top via the main road which winds and wraps itself around the mountain. When you reach the top, you are met by a small, residential village and grand views of the streets below. We particularly enjoyed trying to point out the manor house down below as we accented.

My top tips when planning a trip would be to make sure you hire a car or have enough money in your budget to take taxi's (though this could end up adding up unless you are in a big group). This is because the house is located about an hour and a half by foot from the nearest station (Carrara). Carrara is just a short train ride from Pisa. We were lucky enough to be given a lift most days, so absolutely recommend a car! 
All of these houses are self-catering. They are fully furnished with everything you may need to cook a 3 course Christmas dinner and bbq! But take note of the local supermarket which is a big one just beside Carrara station. 

I hope you enjoyed this little tour around! If you are planning a trip to Tuscany soon, make sure you consider Casale Amati as a place to stay!

Thank You Casale Amati

Eb x


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