Discovering Monti and The Vatican City

On the second night of our trip we discovered an amazing restaurant in Monti, one of the trendier less well known areas of Rome. I still can’t forget the tiramisu. So the next morning we decided that we would come back to explore the area better and go hunting for some vintage gems.

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We were recommended to visit Pfeibo and King Size vintage shops, as being the biggest and full of treasure. Personally I was a little disappointed. The shops were bursting with denim jackets, denim jeans, vintage tees and jumpers and blouses. But I feel a bit disenchanted with vintage at the moment because nothing is ‘unique’ or ‘individual’ anymore. Every vintage shop feels like it has its own warehouse mass producing the same type of ‘edgy’ clothes. You can’t get one off pieces so easily anymore. I know there are some vintage shop exceptions, particularly in Antwerp. But suffice to say I left empty handed.

We then discovered an ‘urban market’ which was much more interesting and fun to look around!

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Those gold earrings were amazing and I would have bought them if they weren’t clip ons – i’d be so annoyed if I lost one!

The heavens decided to open so we dashed into a coffee shop for a quick break, before heading to the Vatican to do our last major tourist activities.

The Vatican museum was an exceptionally dull hour and a half of my life. First impression was thousands and thousands of people trying to cram through the security checks, ticket barriers and first few hallways. It was insufferable and you certainly would not have liked it if you get a bit claustrophobic. The highlight is obviously the Sistine Chapel, it is unbelievable how high and intricate the frescos are. God knows how long that would have taken to paint! Of course you aren’t allowed to take photos and you must be silent!

It was nice to be finished with the tour and be out in the fresh air again. We weren’t in very high spirits so we were quite disheartened when we saw the next queue for St. Peter’s Basilica, however, this one was worth the wait. The structure and architecture really blows you away, the scale of it is huge, on the inside and out! At this point my feet were very sore, so we walked home along the river, to rest a bit before dinner!

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We decided to head back into the centro storico area in search of Pizza for our last night! Restaurants in Rome I have learnt are either trattorias that sell pizza or they are more up-market restaurants that have the traditional primi, secondi style courses and they are better for pasta! So we hadn’t had much pizza, shock horror!!!! It wasn’t hard to find a place to be honest…

Afterwards full on pizza, bellinis and love we ambled through the streets of Rome back to our apartment…that was the end of our visit to Rome we were leaving early the next morning! Sad to leave but back to the drawing board for the next adventure!

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Ciao!

Leather Jacket – Whistles

Black Slides – H&M

Black patent Sandals, Blue Dree Jeans, Black circular belt – Topshop

Bag, Spotty Scarf – Zara

Grey Tee – & Other Stories

White off shoulder top – Cos

White trousers – Bordon Charity Shop

 

When in Rome….

One does what the Romans do…eat pizza, pasta and gelato!

We checked into our Air B&B, freshened up and set off out to explore!

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We headed straight for the Centro Storico to wander along the cobbled streets and see Rome’s hidden gems, such as the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps. You really are spoilt for choice in Rome, there is so much culture to see and drink in. First things first though…ice cream!

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Our golden rule was to stick to restaurants and cafes that were off the beaten track, because most of the cafes nearby the monuments charge you triple the price you should normally pay. We certainly made one of those mistakes and vowed to not make it again. On the first night we found a lovely little restaurant hidden in a courtyard, we were treated to prosecco whilst we perused the menu, then we decided on bruschetta, prawn cocktail and pasta for mains. I didn’t take many photos of the food because I was busy devouring it!

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The next morning we decided to get up early to try and beat the crowds at the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

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After this we strolled through the Jewish quarter, hoping to find artisan cafes and vintage shops but we found none which was disappointing. However, we did make it to Piazza Navona for another ice cream! From there we decided to head home via Castel Sant-Angelo, which was my highlight of the trip the view from up the top was brilliant, you had such a clear view of St Peter’s Basilica! That evening we headed to a district called Monti we had an amazing meal at L’asino, the tiramisu was the best I have ever had, then we hung out on the streets with the crowds for a couple of night caps at Ai Tre Scalini. Monti is definitely the cooler hang out in Rome and we discovered quite a few vintage shops called Pfeibo and King Size which we decided to revisit the next day! But more of that on the next blog!

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Packing for Rome!

Packing is actually one of my favourite things to do, unpacking not so much, but packing to go on holiday, I like. To be honest as soon as I book a holiday I start planning what I want to pack, choosing outfits in advance is I guess part and parcel of having a blog. But i’ve always been the type to plan an outfit to the nth degree.

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Travelling:

It’s always best when travelling to put on a pair of comfy jeans, a t-shirt and a comfortable pair of trainers. You can pack all your open toe shoes, sandals, heels in your suitcase. But you will need at least one pair of comfy shoes to walk around whilst your there.

Day Time:

I tend to take a few different tops and trousers for the day time, or maybe a skirt if I know the weather is going to be particularly warm. At this time of year in Rome the weather is a solid 20-25 degrees, but it was forecast rain so I didn’t get much use out of the leather mini-skirt. I packed my new stripey Zara trousers, so silky and soft and I bought a casual luxe grey t-shirt from & Other Stories just before I went, it was only £17 but I think I wore it with just about every outfit! Mix it up with a few scarfs and different sunglasses and bob’s your uncle…job done.

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Night-time:

I try to plan outfits that are easy to go from day to night, then I just put on a little more lipstick and eyeliner. This time around I packed my pink flouncy skirt, because the streets in Rome are a little glamorous and I just don’t wear it enough! I’ve also recently bought this Whistles leather jacket, which was a mega investment, but it goes with absolutely everything I own and it was perfect for the evening as the temperature dipped a little bit.

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All of this, plus all of my toiletries fitted in a carry on suitcase! I had one handbag on top of this that I used for everything. It was actually nice for once to pack lightly and not have to lug a heavy suitcase about!

Amen to that!

 

 

 

Salon, A dining experience!

Just before I head off to Rome I thought I would sneak in an amazing restaurant recommendation on the blog. Salon in Brixton Market has been on my bucket list for years. They have an inventive and interesting set menu that changes all the time and is priced on average about £30 per person, for four courses. I took my mum and friends for my birthday back in January and forgot my bloody camera (any excuse to go back of course)…and that we did!!!

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It’s such a fun, small place, so definitely book ahead!!

First things first, we ordered cocktails then we were brought over lovely warm homemade bread and butter and little snacks to start with..

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The House Red was also really nice and it was very reasonably priced around £20 for the bottle. In my view if the cheapest bottle of plonk on the menu is actually pretty decent, then you know you are in safe hands and you’ve not blown the budget! The first course arrived…it was a garlic sensation, wild garlic, garlic puree, not a plate for vampires, but bloody delicious!

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Every single course is so beautifully presented and tastes amazing. It’s such good value for money and I really think if you’re a foodie and you’re reading this you have to go!

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The venison was so tender and juicy, such a treat!

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Saving the best till last, this was a de-constructed cheese cake…It was blended with white chocolate, the biscuit crum was delish and it was paired really well with rhubarb!

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Actually the best best thing was saved till last and that was the petit-four. It was basically a fancy dark chocolate caramel nibble. Extremely luxurious, melt in the mouth, moment on the lips lifetime on the hips sort of stuff. Exatly what i’m into…

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Columbia Road

Yes yes, I know you’ve all heard of it before….its an oldie but a goodie. It’s also a stones throw away from Broadway Market, so if you haven’t been to either, this is your perfect Sunday sorted.

We arrived ravenous so decided to find somewhere to eat breakfast first. Honestly, we walked around and around, up and down the market trying to find somewhere nice that you could actually sit down, rather than just take away coffee. Then we stumbled on this place, I forget the name which is useless i’m sorry, but the food I cannot forget.

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Absolutely bloody delicious!

Then we meandered around the market, in and out of the bric-a-brac shops, wishing I could buy all the vases and wrought iron baskets on show. I settled for a couple of bunches of flowers instead.

The flowers at the market are honestly such good quality, they last for weeks and there are just so many to choose from. Plus they are much cheaper than what you get in the supermarket! It’s a very narrow market mind, lots of pushing and shoving, patience is key!

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I am also wearing my favourite green suede coat, also seen here, my new favourite bag from Zara that I can’t get enough of, my new Alexa Chung top from M&S! And last but not least an Envy & Green Sparkler!

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xxxx

Happy 1st Birthday!

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A very merry unbirthday to me, to me! Yes you are probably all thinking, ‘now she really has lost the plot’…but it’s actually this little baby blog’s first birthday! New Girl on The Blog did actually technically exist before April 2015 (BB – Before Blog) but she hadn’t quite figured out who she was yet. This time last year she came bursting out of that closet, she had a huge image overhaul, she got her own URL, her own custom design, a fancy new logo and she has been blogging ever since.

Now it’s her first birthday, in her current reincarnation and boy oh boy has she got some new tricks up her sleeve. So I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect (as the brains? behind NGTOB) on our journey so far together, the peaks and the troughs, broke back mountain style…(just kidding).

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Why did we start this journey? What did we have in mind?

Tough question – I have loved and read blogs for many years, it started with The Londoner way back in sixth form, 6 years ago now…eek! Her preppy style was at the time quite up my street and back then she wasn’t wearing choos and Gucci. I’m originally from Liphook, out in the sticks, out in the middle of nowhere and I often spent my weekends in London, hunting out restaurants and charity shops. I’m not sure why I didn’t start blogging at University, as Newcastle had plenty to offer. But when I returned to live in London almost 18 months ago, I knew NGOTB was the first thing on my agenda. I decided that I would no longer waste my money on clothes, charity shop finds and pop up restaurants without having a platform to show other people what I have got up to. The dream was/is never to be as big as The Londoner, or Fashion Me Now – it’s simply not what gets me up in the morning. That’s Human Rights. But it is an important part of my life, I am ‘Wild at Heart’ – quite creative and artsy fartsy – but training to be a lawyer just doesn’t satisfy all my interests. If I get one little freebie here and there, or if one person I don’t know very well has told me they like my blog and enjoy reading it – then that’s all I need to keep going.

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Where are we going from here?

To timbukbloodytu!

Actually we are on the up, I might not have 136774660k instagram followers yet, but our views are growing month on month. A successful business reports growth does it not? NGOTB has tripled her views and unique visitors since this time last year. Often I have no idea where these views are coming from (probably my mum always pressing refresh) – because I still only advertise on my personal Facebook page and instagram. I will branch out soon into my own blog Facebook page, I might approach some PR agencies (I don’t believe you have to wait for them to come to you), my mum thinks I should have a launch party (i’m game for that – any excuse to have a party)!

You guys will also start to see some changes soon, I am in the process of updating the design of my blog, so that it’s easier to read, easier to navigate. Plus I am working on updating my logo a bit for the summer, to freshen up the page.

With regards to content this year – you will be seeing more fashion, more travel, more restaurants. I’m also working on a couple of reflection and advice pieces right now too. Two months ago I upgraded my camera, I am so pleased with the results – the chap is also getting rather good at taking photos now as well, which has been one of the main reasons why you guys will have seen a few more outfit posts recently, because it isn’t just me behind the camera any more!

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April Favourites

It’s getting a little warm outside (woohoo – dancing like the red dress emoji). I’ve spent most of my money on a new wardrobe, new spring things, i’ve even started putting gradual tan on my legs! Though it still might be awhile before I am brave enough to go out without tights, a few more sessions are needed in the gym too AND I must stop the winter habits of eating a packet of caramel nibbles a night, because coats can’t cover up a multitude of sins anymore!

Anyway, enough of the chit-chat, let’s get down to the purchases. Even though I have been very spendy recently, I am definitely thinking a lot more about my purchases, nothing is random or spontaneous. I have thought hard about them – how they will add to my wardrobe, do they fill a gap, do they go with several outfits, is it a classic piece. I’ve managed to fit every purchase into one of these categories, so i’m not sure if I am just trying to justify everything or if these items do actually fit into one of these categories. Who bloody knows. Without further ado…

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So pleased with this necklace from & Other Stories, it is so delicate and looks really pretty layered over tops and with other necklaces, only £19 but definitely worth it, it feels much more expensive than it is!

These shoes were also another good purchase, only £19 from H&M. Lots of high street shops are now selling versions, a very good shoe for summer and they are copies of a shoe brand I have been lusting after called Marais USA – but they don’t ship internationally which is really annoying!

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This belt has been fantastic, it literally goes with everything! Gold circles have literally been on the brain recently, other bloggers are wearing the more expensive Frame version, but there really is no difference and this cost £15 not £150!

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Here’s a little bit of beauty for you, something I don’t normally do, but these two items are worth raving about. First up is Bella Freud’s Ginsberg is God perfume, only £75 for the bottle. Obviously that is not cheap, but perfumes are very very expensive these days. This has a lovely woody, smokey, frankincense smell. Sounds heavy but it’s actually quite light, a different type of spring scent to the normal floral scent.

This lipstick is a real classic too, I bought one for my mum on mother’s day because she also really liked it. It’s got a lovely smooth texture, is super easy to wear all the time and is nude but with a hint of colour at the same time. I can’t wait to wear it with a bit more of a tan!

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Shoes – H&M, similar here

Necklace – & Other Stories 

Bobbi Brown Lipstick – colour beige 2

Bella Freud Perfume

Belt – Topshop, similar here

Alpine Adventures

Indulgence – the only word that could describe the past week my mum and I have had in the Alps. After very hectic schedules for the past few weeks, mum and I really needed a bit of R&R. Easier said than done on a skiing holiday, as you are supposed to spend the majority of your time exercising. But I think my mum and I got the food/drink/ski balance quite right. We decided to go for a catered chalet this year, something we haven’t done in a very long time, as it is quite luxurious. The food and service was amazing and kind and I would definitely recommend Go Ski Meribel and cannot wait to return. The only downside is i’ve put 5kg on in weight, absolutely no exaggeration, I am now on a no low sugar diet.

I wasn’t quite sure at first how to present this post, as I essentially just took lots of random pictures as we went along. But I still really want to share these moments with you,  so i’ve grouped some photos and events together to give you a snippet of our Alpine Adventures. Although there is a disclaimer – the mountains will call to you, these photos will make you desperate for your own snow fun.

The first and most important thing to share with you is the food cooked in the chalet. Every day we were treated to a hot breakfast, sometimes American pancakes or eggy bread, afternoon tea around 4pm AND pretty much a five course meal in the evenings. The food was different each day and I think I photographed every plate, but here were some of my favourites, starting with brekky. (The cheese soufflé and Pavlova were huge highlights for me).

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The Chalet had a hot tub and a sauna too, so most afternoons we would rush back from the slopes to have a soak – very important for those aches and pains. Often accompanied with a little tipple to smooth over the edges of a long day 😉

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The weather was a bit hit and miss to be honest, there was still snow on all the slopes (just about) but there were very strong winds in the valley’s and sometimes the fog rolled in and you couldn’t see a blip. It was quite scary at times, because mum wore a white jacket and was easily lost. But then when the sun came out it was absolutely glorious.

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I normally wear a helmet, but I just can’t resist bringing this hat on holiday. I got it from a market seller in either Bolivia or Peru and it is the perfect compulsory crazy skiing hat. I knew when I saw it that it would be perfect. It also later turned out that the theme for the closing party of the season at the infamous ‘Le Folie Douce’ was the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’. So the beads, frills and bright colours fitted in perfectly!

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Last but not least I must show you the Fondue we had at the restaurant La Galette on our chalet’s night off. The minute you walked in to the restaurant the smell of smokey cheese infiltrated every piece of clothing you had on. But what was put on your table was certainly worth it. Fondue is an epic mountain tradition and it’s one tradition i’m on board with all the way!

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It just doesn’t get any cheesier than that – 3 cheeses were in that! Comte, emmental and another I forget! Anyway folks, that’s all i’ve got to show you! I hope you liked my little snippets and i’ll be back into my usual blog post habits from now on Xxx

 

 

The Mother of All Cake’s

The Mini-Egg Cake.

It’s Easter, I know you are all partial to a mini-egg, so why not try baking this for the weekend. It’s a guaranteed winner. I assure you. It’s very easy to assemble, just watch out for the disappearing mini-eggs (don’t know what happens to them) and it’s certainly very impressive.

I loosely followed this recipe – but instead of chocolate buttercream to decorate and sandwich together – I just used whipped cream and stirred in melted butter and chocolate (it tastes seriously good on its own).

Let the journey of baking begin….

Start with the cake batter, spread them evenly into your tins and leave them to cool. Now make the yummy whipped cream and melted chocolate.

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Use the cream to sandwich your two cakes together – make sure you leave enough chocolatey cream to cover the top and sides of your cake! You need to cover the whole cake so that the mini-eggs can go right the way round.

Then start to put your mini-eggs in place – they should stick down in the cream fairly easily. Try not to put two of the same colour next to each other – though this does get a bit difficult towards the end. Make sure they are evenly spaced so that you get a nice presentation at the end.

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There’s only one thing left to do after that = and that’s eat it with friends and family.

A real easter treat – I hope some of you give it a go and don’t forget to show me the results!

Happy Easter to you all – from the Blogging Bunny Xxxx

Foxcroft & Ginger

Hello! This is just a quick one…but this is a brunch place you need to know about. Why not go this weekend?

I went a couple of weeks ago to the branch in Whitechapel and my love began. Our food was amazing and everyone else’s orders also looked great. So on Mother’s Day I decided to take my mum to the Soho branch on Berwick Street. I was really surprised because I thought there would be a queue out the door down the street, but we must have just picked a good time and we got seated quickly.

We chose Herb Roasted Mushrooms, Poached Eggs, Truffled Hollandaise on Sourdough Toast and Ricotta Pancakes with Marscapone cream and Rhubarb Compote. Next time i’ve got my eyes on the French Toast, with Marscapone, Poached Plum and Honeycomb.

I’m always looking for new brunch places and this is a great newbie you should all try!

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I also made my mum a little ‘brown paper package’ with all of her favourite things…it went down a treat!

Xxx

Fall Back, Spring Forward

I think it’s safe to say spring is upon us. Even though it was still a little cold last weekend, the sun was out and shining in all its glory. So out came the Mary-Janes and the mirrored sunglasses. Spring is honestly my favourite time of year – I love daffodils and tulips, walking past flower shop’s pretty windows, mini-eggs (who doesn’t love mini-eggs), Easter egg hunts on Easter Sunday. I also like that it’s not too cold but not too warm. I can’t stand travelling on the tube mid-summer, when its just so sticky and hot and you need to shower five times a day. Anyway enough of my waffling, here’s what I wore this weekend. The shirt is my new favourite and from M&S, i’ve seen it on many other bloggers recently and its now sold out but cross fingers if any of you want it, that it comes back in stock  ITS NOW IN STOCK

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I also want to tell you that I have been purchasing other spring/summer items and i’m excited to style them and share them with you in the next few weeks! I’ve started my summer wardrobe mainly  because I would like to spread out the cost of my purchases and also because everything goes out of stock so quickly and then you can never find the exact pair of shoes again. Such a dilemma.

Shirt – M&S

Jeans – Old Levi’s

The Mac – 80s Wallis (given to be my my Auntie), similar here

Pink Shoes – Topshop (old), similar here and here 

Sunglasses – & Other Stories 

Spring Favourites

I thought I would share with you my current favourites from the new season on the High Street. It’s March 2016 and we are just about going to enter that awkward phase of the year when you try to lighten up your wardrobe and mistakenly think its warm outside and opt for a light jacket when actually you still need a coat. There are times when you think you don’t need tights, or its actually okay to wear an open-toe shoe but NO its just started snowing outside. Bloody spring, so unpredictable! Either way I desperately need to inject some colour into my wardrobe (I’m currently wearing head to toe black, is anyone else?)

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From L-R

Zara Shirt – £25.99

Zara Lace Cami – (I bought a nude one last Summer and its so easy to go under jumpers or shirts and just glimpse that little bit of flesh and lace)

Zara Loafers – (very on trend right now, I am thinking about getting a pair of slip on ones, but i’m just waiting for the weather to get a little warmer)

Zara Platform Wedges – (just for a bit of fun! These will definitely be featuring this summer, I still think they would look nice in the not too distant future with jeans)

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Topshop Boutique Leather Jacket – (I am in desperate need of a decent leather jacket, not too cropped but not oversized, not too cheap because then it looks cheap and I certainly can’t afford an ACNE, Sandro or Maje version so Topshop Boutique is definitely offering a happy medium)

Topshop Pinstripe Cigarette Pants (to replace my beloved French Connection Pinstripe pants that have just been washed too many times)

& Other Stories Grey Top

Topshop Clutch – £22 (to satisfy everyone’s love of something circular at the moment – comes in black too!)

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Topshop Boutique Leather Pinafore – (a look I am going for this season, casual tee under dress with Vans, Converse and a funky jacket)

& Other Stories Patchwork Jacket – (LOVE THIS!)

What I Wore…in Budapest

Last weekend I had an amazing trip to Budapest with my chap. I’ve been so excited about the trip since my birthday and as always I started planning outfits from the minute that I knew we were going. The apartment that we stayed in was amazing and we found so many cute cafes and vintage shops, so I am putting together a 48 Hours in Budapest guide. But I thought I would give you a glimpse of what I wore first! All shot on my new camera, which I have invested in for the blog – the quality of the photos is genuinely amazing. So let me know what you think!

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Black Converse
Skirt – Zara (old)
Jumper – Muji
Bomber – Charity Shop in Liphook
Cashmere Hat – Cos

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Jeans – Vintage
Top – & Other Stories (was in the sale)
Fishnet Socks
Shoes – Topshop

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Dree Jeans – Topshop
Adidas Top – Charity Shop
Trainers – Public Desire 

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And Sean’s Outfits….

Back to Basics

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You know sometimes  all the time when it’s been a really long week, all you want to do on the weekend is eat cake, drink tea, wear comfy jeans and trainers. This was one of those weekends. I’ve recently bought this pair of jeans from Topshop, they are the cropped kick flare Dree style and I have them in black and need them in every colour. They are SO soft and quickly mould into your shape, but they are still thick proper denim. A great pair of basics. The bomber is also a recent purchase from New Look, I like the fact that it isn’t too cropped like some are, it sits just below the bum and keeps you warmer than a normal bomber would in the Arctic temperatures we are suffering. I’ve paired it with a simple black high neck jumper from Primark (I don’t think you can beat there plain basics) and some black suede Pumas. Cosy, comfy and warm. We took a lovely stroll around Kew Gardens and stuffed our faces with scones and tea and the local well known Maids of Honour.

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Strolling around Wapping

Sometimes its the little unexpected things you do, when you’re being spontaneous that end up being the most fulfilling and a lot of fun. The morning i’m about to show you was just one of those days. The primary plan was to meet up with one of my long time friends at the Annie Leibovitz exhibition in Wapping, beyond that there were no plans, but I always keep my camera handy.

The exhibition, as i’m sure you can imagine, was amazing. Her portrayal of women across the decades has lead to some of the most iconic photographs that speak a thousand words. Wapping Power Station is the perfect exposed brick backdrop for the pictures to really be the main focus. The exhibition is consuming, we sat for at least an hour on plastic chairs watching several cycles of photos.

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We meandered back through towards Wapping in hunt of a coffee and a sandwich. We found this lovely little Deli, just minutes away from the exhibition.

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We settled on a delicious freshly baked panini, with our choice of filling and wandered off in the hope of finding a better spot for coffee.

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Wapping is actually quite a residential area so finding a decent coffee spot took some time, but boy was it worth the wait. Our first distraction along the way was an amazing wharf building, mainly offices, but a plaque on the door said the river terrace was open to the public. So of course we went to check it out and we couldn’t have chosen a better day to bask in the glorious winter sunshine…

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By now we were actually quite desperate for a coffee, so we headed off in the direction of Tower Hill, we found a lovely little scenic canal route that lead us all the way to St Katherine’s Docks, where we knew we would definitely be able to find coffee. It was jogger’s paradise but not so much for the little ducks!

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Finally at St Katherine’s Docks we found White Mulberries, apparently its London’s best coffee, according to lots of award stickers in the window. The warmth was welcoming, we unwrapped ourselves and sat down to enjoy the coffee we had been waiting for and a little elevensies treat to go with it!

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You simply couldn’t have planned a better day!

 

Valentine’s Day Party!

This is a girls only party celebrating the kind of love that always lasts! It’s time to go all out pink and girly, everything is colour co-ordinated and there is enough sugar to keep you up all night!

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Whatever your plans may be this Valentine’s Day, whether your single and ready to mingle or in a relationship. Make sure you celebrate in some way, do something little or big, buy flowers, a nice bottle of wine, some chocolate, pink sweets, light candles – whatever you want. It makes a difference, it will brighten up your day and c’mon its just a great excuse 😉

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Put on some great tunes, think 90s RnB, golden oldies…and have fun with the people you care most about!

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A tipple or two

“You’ve got to have a tipple or two boys…..you’ve got to have a tipple or two”

Quite right, a tipple or two is what makes the medicine go down, the world spin round, your head spin around, you fall to the ground….etc etc…you catch my drift.

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To make a tipple you will need:

  • Chambord
  • Champagne or Prosecco
  • Sloe Gin
  • & Your best glasses (for feeling extra fancy)

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It’s basically my take on a Foragers Fizz, a cocktail I had a couple of months ago in a bar called Old Tom & English – a secret hideaway on Wardour Street you should definitely check out..

I also bought these teeny tiny pegs ages ago and have been waiting for the perfect moment to use them in a post!

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Don’t be shy, just chuck loads of the stuff in. Not so much of the gin though, the first batch I made were rather strong, then top up with loads of fizz.

Then the main thing to do is to sit back, relax and enjoy. Too much time is spent on our phones during the week, sitting at a computer desk all day, stressing about life. You need to give yourself time to unwind and get drunk.

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Sketch for Tea

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Sketch is the ultimate Afternoon Tea experience and I felt very lucky when my mum suggested we go to celebrate my graduation last week. The main gallery is a sight to behold, plush pink velvet seats and quirky illustrations by the Artist David Shrigley cover the walls. The food is amazing too! The hot cheese toasted sandwich was my favourite, it came wrapped in a little pink bow. Your plates are constantly being refilled too so you really get your moneys worth, which is good as it’s quite expensive, and I guarantee you will leave feeling extremely full!

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You can have a lot of fun in the toilets too….I always judge a place by its W/C and at Sketch the toilets are in individual space ship pods. It’s really rather weird.

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Shirt – Claudie Pierlot

Dress – Reformation (last summer)

Patent Boots – Office 

Patent Bag – Furla (old)

Suede on Suede

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I’m not normally one for matchy-matchy outfits but since I got this bag, my obsession for green suede is getting out of control. Its totally appropriate to wear it all at once right? I hope so anyway. It’s not just green suede either, its the colour green in general, everywhere I turn someone is wearing a green bomber or parka and I can’t help but be green with envy…;)

I can’t rave more about the current trend of jeans either – high rise, cropped and kick flared is a perfect fit for me, it means no more annoying gappy bit at the back of your jeans. This pair are the new Dree style from Topshop, i’ve just bought this style too... Unfortunately my ankles are getting a bit chilly of late..

To top it all off – I’ve also just had a major clean out of my wardrobe and i’ve chucked out every crappy breton stripe top I previously owned and replaced it with this gorgeously soft roll neck version from Muji. January is the supposed to be the month of detoxing and in my resolutions post I said I wanted to streamline my style, so that means out with the old and in with the new. I’m glad that I’m at least pursuing one of my 2016 goals passionately!

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Boots – Office

Suede Coat – Vintage

Suede Bag – Sandro

Jeans – Dree Topshop

Breton stripe jumper – Muji

Home Comforts

The bitter cold of January has arrived. Venturing out becomes that much harder…to walk out your front door you need layers, hats, gloves, scarfs but then once you are on the tube smushed against other people you regret wearing 5 under tops. I can’t face travelling into London on the central line anymore, it’s one extreme to another.  Enough is enough, i’ve made a decision for us all, let’s not go out anymore, stay in and eat yummy food.

Last weekend I decided to cook a traditional home comfort of mine, Lasagne. It’s perfect for warming you up but it’s also quite easy on the purse because it can either feed a lot of you, feed one for a week or you can put it in freezer bags and defrost at a later date. An overall winner.

Let’s get cookin’…

You will need:

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Lasagne Sheets, Beef mince, an Onion, Butter, Flour, spoon of mustard, an aubergine, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, beef stock, a bit of celery and basil..

(most of that stuff I vaguely had in the cupboard..)

You make the Ragu first, then get your white sauce going – if you are using dry lasagne sheets like me make sure you soak them in a little hot water first so that they are slightly pre-cooked before going into the oven. If you are using fresh pasta sheets then there is no need to do anything with them before layering everything up.

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I personally like layering aubergine in mine, but that is of course up to you! I also like adding celery to the ragu as it gives it a bit of crunch.

Then of course smother it in cheese and bake it in the oven for a good hour or so.

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And voila – it is cooked and ready to eat with a bit of salad on the side (you’ve got to be a little bit healthy after all)!

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New Years Resolutions 2016

Normally I am not one for New Years Resolutions, I often can’t keep to them (normally I crack after a few days) and I set unrealistic goals. But this year I feel inspired by other bloggers who have put together their goals for 2016…and it got me thinking about mine.

Get a job! 

2016 is the year I need to start putting real effort into finding a job. I’ve got a million part time jobs and I love running this blog, but I need to focus on finding a job in law. I need to work out who I would like to work for, get some more work experience, find out when all the deadlines are for applying, try to be more consistent with my studying – not leaving everything till the last minute…

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The Blog

I love my little space on the internet, its my creative output and wouldn’t stop it for the world. But that doesn’t mean i don’t want to change it…I want it to grow. I want to improve my content, post more about cool new things, outfits, places to eat but also improve the quality of my photographs. I’ve also got to work out a good marketing strategy to get my blog further out into cyberspace so more people might stumble upon it!

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Life and Health

Cut down on sugar. I know this is probably on everyone’s resolution list, but I have one hell of a sugar addiction that needs to be kicked. I will try my best to choose healthier options and have sweets and cake when it means something, not just because i’ve got a cup of tea in hand and Eastenders is on. Healthy meals are also so important, often after a long day I will just eat a few slices of toast or a bowl of cereal, but I need to properly cook for myself on a regular basis, healthy body = healthy mind = less stressed. I’m getting my food inspiration mainly from The Sprouted Kitchen..Plus in February I intend to up my Orange Theory classes from 4 to 8 a month. 2 hours of that workout is enough to make anyone feel good about themselves!

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Travel More!

On my bucket list this year: I really want to do a couple of weekends away in Europe, maybe visit Budapest or Amsterdam or Antwerp. Have an amazing skiing holiday with my mum in April, which I want to be super fit for. Then come summer i’d love to get an internship in New York, visit friends in Mexico or Japan and use my last chance of a proper summer break to go somewhere and do something I have never done before! Better start saving now…

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Streamlining my Wardrobe…

I’m normally a sucker for trends but this year i want to try and ignore them and just buy clothes that I really like and which bring my whole wardrobe together. The perfect coat or the perfect pair of jeans/trainers/sandals that work with everything – I really want to streamline my look and have a good chuck out. For example yesterday in the sales I bought a perfect breton stripe polo neck which is so soft and a lovely fit – now I am going to chuck out the 5 other breton stripe tops that I have, that I just don’t wear, because they weren’t quite perfect when I bought them!

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Be Less Stressed

These days everyone is stressed, it’s really not good for us and my mum often tells me she is worried about my stress levels. Stress means high levels of the hormone cortisol, funnily enough this makes spots worse, but you can bring the level of this hormone down by increasing your Serotonin. Serotonin is basically a happiness hormone, it increases through sleeping and going to the gym. To be honest I am normally stressed about money, this is a terribly un British thing to discuss, but London is an expensive place to live and if I properly get in control of my finances and spending…this might mean i’m less stressed.

But it’s also nice to have someone to lean on…

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20th December – The Best Christmas Playlist EVER!

Guys can you adam and eve it, its 5 days until christmas? Today is a Sunday, maybe your going to wrap presents, make a batch of my christmas cookies, make your own wreath AND have a few glasses of prosecco. Either way your going to need one thing and one thing only, the best christmas playlist to put you in the christmas mood. So here it is ladies and gentlemen….please follow the link….this will take you to the playlist on my YouTube channel….

But here is the List of tracks in case you want it!

  1. Dean Martin – Let it Snow
  2. Wham! – Last Christmas
  3. Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone
  4. Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas
  5. Frank Sinatra – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  6. Dean Martin – Walking in a Winter Wonderland
  7. Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas..is you
  8. Bing Crosby – Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas
  9. Wizzard – I wish it could be Christmas Everyday
  10. The Pogues – Fairytale of New York
  11. Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
  12. John Lennon – So this is Christmas
  13. Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody
  14. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  15. Jackson 5 – Santa Claus is Coming Town
  16. Andy Williams – Its the Most wonderful Time
  17. Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
  18. Jingle Bell Rock

18th December: Christmas Pudding Semifreddo

I thought I would share with you one of my favourite Christmas recipes. I probably won’t be making it this christmas because I simply don’t have the time, but it went down a storm a couple of years ago!

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The base is cream and meringue, the texture is similar to ice-cream but it tastes just like a Christmas pudding you wouldn’t believe it!

Follow this link to find the recipe on the Delicious website….

And here is a picture of the one I made…it was demolished very quickly!

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Christmas Eve Outfit

Planning outfits is one of my favourite time wasting things to do…once I get started all the clothes are out of the cupboard, out of the drawers and my room is a mess. So i’ve still got a few outfit posts to share with you…

On Christmas Eve I thought I would keep things simple but still fun as my mum and I will be doing the rounds and visiting loads of our family and friends for quick drinks and nibbles. We do manage to eat properly at someone’s house, but there is a lot of ferrying about with gifts and flowers!

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You can still buy the skirt in Zara – it comes in a variety of different colours..and is an extremely flattering shape on most!

Just match it up with a little top that shows a hint of skin or cover up in a chunky roll neck knit…add tights and boots and you’ll look lovely i’m sure!

Xxx

 

16th December – St Katherine Docks Christmas Market

St Katherine Docks is a beautiful place in London that escapes many people’s radar, but not this year. Tomorrow and Friday the 17th and 18th of December there will be an amazing Christmas Market down at the Docks and I think this should be your Christmas priority. Grab your friends and head over after work for a mulled wine and mince pie! Here’s the Facebook page…

A Christmassy weekend in the Country

Sometimes London can be so claustrophobic, high rise buildings, constant road works, engineering works, crammed tubes, work that never ends…every now and again I crave a weekend break. You don’t need to go far…less than an hours drive out of London you will hit glorious green pastures…so that’s what we did! Last weekend Liv and I packed up into the car and headed to Bury St Edmunds to catch up with old friends and eat/drink ourselves to sleep!

First we headed to Blackthorpe Christmas Barn…

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It’s a cafe come christmas market come christmas tree barn place..

The soup and mulled wine was just what we needed before heading around the arts and crafts!

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Then we popped outside to have a look at some huge christmas trees…

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Heading home after that we took the dog for a walk, to a lovely National Trust House called Ickworth, but we walked home in the pitch black which was a bit scary…

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That evening we gorged ourselves on food and wine…

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The food was so tasty, we had a lovely chicken/pesto/creamy pasta bake before too! Then we got snuggled up in our pyjamas and watched The Holiday, you can’t get more christmassy than that!

The following morning was a real treat though, a cup of tea in bed and then freshly made muffins and yoghurt!

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The weekend was just so lovely catching up with friends, very simple and extremely relaxing, just what the doctor ordered and such a cute part of the world only an hour from London!

12th December: DIY Christmas Wreath

DSC04403It’s been awhile since i’ve done any DIY things on the blog, so I thought I would show you how easy and lovely it is to make a Christmas wreath for your front door. Or maybe you might like to make one and take it home for Christmas as a gift for your family. I bought my oasis ring on ebay it cost about £7, but they come in various different sizes. The rest of it is basically free because I cut all the greenery and berries from my garden!

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Start by cutting about 5 different plants from the garden, try and pick some pinecones and colourful berries too!

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I bought those sparkly mistletoe bits from Wilkinson’s for £3 – I thought it would be nice to add a touch of sparkle!

Start with the greenery that you’ve got the most of – that will be your base!

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Once you’ve completed the entire ring with your base, start to add something else with a bit of a different colour.

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Then start to add some colour!

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Then any extras you might want – pinecones, sparkly mistletoe, cinnamon sticks, candy canes, oranges – anything you like! Also don’t forget to add a little ribbon around the ring so you can put it up on your door

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Then use the rest of what you’ve got to fill in any of the gaps you can see…

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Then all thats left is to hammer a little nail into your door and admire your work!

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Very easy, not expensive and a damn sight cheaper than what you would buy in a florist, or a supermarket! Happy wreath making and merry christmas!

Xxx

11th December – Winter Cocktail Spots

At this time of year there is always an excuse to get a little jazzed up and to head into town with your nearest and dearest. So I thought I would share with you some places that I have been to that would be perfect for a Christmas cocktail or two…maybe before dinner, after dinner or without any dinner at all!

My first few recommendations are a rather fancy affair…but if its the glamorous christmas vibe your after, these will certainly do the trick..

Berners Tavern – Soho

Cocktails that take my fancy are Dill or No Dill – Tanqueray Gin, Smashed Cucumber, fresh dill, lemon juice, elderflower cordial, smoked salt  OR

Room with a View – Belvedere Vodka, quince, citrus syrup, apple juice, lemon and prosecco – both £13.50

Bar Americain at Brasserie Zedel – Soho

A bit more laid back than Berners but still very elegant with a beautiful Art Deco Look. Classic cocktails

I fancy the Millionaire – Dark Rum, Sloe Gin, Apricot and Lime Or Parisian Summer – Citron Vodka, Lillet Rose, Cointreau and Cranberry – both £11.50

Old Mary’s – Lancaster Gate

If your based in West London then this is a must – maybe you’ve been! From the street you walk down a short set of steep steps into a rabbit warren, the background music is great and the cocktail menu fab!

I fancy the Glory and Consequence -Fine Sugar and Sri Lankan cinnamon mix, orange curacao, aged spiced rum, lime and sugar, orange twist and atomoized with orange blossom water – £9

Evans & Peel – Detective Agency – Earls Court

I love this place, you have to book an “appointment” and “state your case” in order to get a reservation. It’s a kind of prohibition speak-easy venue. But i’m sure you’ll love it..

I fancy the Garden of Peas

Oskar’s Bar – Dabbous – Goodge Street

Beneath the restaurant Dabbous lies Oskar’s Bar, its quite industrial looking so if your looking for a cosy corner this is not the place. But the cocktails speak for themselves and i’m sure there are some of you out there who like a clean cut, minimalist style joint.

I fancy the Basil Fawlty -Tanqueray gin, basil, meadowsweet, elderflower, apple & lemon are swizzled together in this invigorating mix – £9.50

Peg & Patriot – Bethnal Green

A relatively new kid on the block, a place I haven’t actually been but only heard good things. Plus I thought I would throw a little East London into the mix.

I fancy the Garden Bellini – peg fig and grape liqeur, rhubarby sparkling – £11

Anyway I hope these recommendations keep you entertained, i’ve got more suggestions too in other areas so drop me a message if you like! You can also probably see that gin and prosecco based cocktails are my favourite! Merry Christmas! Xxx

Drinks with Friends

I bet most of you are going out for Christmas drinks with friends at some point. This is the time to look cool but casual  – you don’t want to stray too far away from jeans and a nice knit, maybe jazzing it up a little bit, unless your going somewhere particularly fancy!

I’ve thrown on my favourite pair of jeans at the moment, Dree kick flares from Topshop, a cosy grey wool jumper from Sisley and some leopard print boots from Zara.

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You can pretty much buy the exact same outfit…

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Boots 

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Office Christmas Party

Considering that you will all have lots of things booked into the diary in the next few weeks…I thought it’s only right I should share with you what I will be wearing to some of them..

Starting off with the Christmas party at work…

With office drinks you don’t want to look too dressed up as often the party will be straight after work, so you want a good day to night outfit. But this is also the time to wear something cool and a bit funky.

I chose to wear a classic black jumpsuit, which you could wear with a roll neck and trainers or brogues for during the day, then in the evening change into a pair of heels and a sparkly top!

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Jumpsuit

Sparkly Top

Mary Janes 

Here’s what I put together from my own cupboard…

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7th December: Oh yes it’s Panto Time….

Oh no it isn’t….

But it actually is.

Panto season is upon us…I for one am a huge fan of going to the theatre around Christmas, so I thought I would put together a little compilation of London shows that you might like to see!

Cinderella at The Old Vic 

Panto at the Old Vic is one of London’s most cherished traditions. This year Stephen Fry has written the script for Cinderella and it looks to be a winner!

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A Christmas Carol at the Noel Coward

One of my favourite Christmas stories, Jim Broadbent who you might recognise as Professor Horace Slughorn or Bridget Jones’ Dad is playing Ebenezer Scrooge, this is one you will not want to miss. Until the 30th January.

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Elf the Musical at the Dominion

Now we all know the great Christmas film Elf, if you haven’t watched it shame on you! But now something even better has happened, they have turned it into a musical starring Kimberley Walsh from Girls Aloud and Will Ferrell, come on now kids, this will truly be sensational! Until 2nd January.

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The Nutcracker on Ice at the Royal Albert Hall

It’s always been a dream of mine to go and see a proper Ballet. The Nutcracker on Ice would be the perfect Christmas experience with frosty scenes and some Royal Albert glamour. From December 28th to January 2nd. Get your tickets quick!

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Peter Pan at the New Wimbledon Theatre

The New Wimbledon is always good fun at Christmas, often because they have a celebrity headlining the Panto, think Max Branning from Eastenders of Jo Brand. They haven’t made the annoucement yet for this year’s show but Peter Pan is an all-time favourite Disney movie of mine!

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Snow White at Winterville in Victoria Park

Well if you were thinking about going to Winterville you may as well kill two birds with one stone and see this Snow White panto!

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So there you go, lots to think about. Plus you could see many more different musicals and plays like Cats, The Book of Mormon, Matilda, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – anything your heart desires!

Merry Christmas! Xxx

6th December – Gifts For Him

My Christmas gift guide for him – boyfriend/brother/best friend – take your pick! I hope this at least gives you some inspiration!

From Left-Right – Top-Bottom

  1. MK Backpack – perfect for travelling around
  2. Rewined Candle – does what it says on the tin
  3. Aspinal Card Holder – you can get them personalised too

  1. Manicure Set – I found this one online but most department stores will have one!
  2. EAT by Nigel Slater – some amazing recipes in there!
  3. Scroll Cufflinks from Envy & Green – always been a favourite of mine

  1. Bradford Plaid Shirt – from Oi Polloi
  2. Reiss Chelsea Boots – I love the dark suede colour
  3. Green Lambswool Scarf – always a christmas essential – from Oi Polloi

Dear Santa…

For Christmas I would like…

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Prestat Red Velvet Truffles

A personalised jar of Marmite

An Anya Hindmarch sticker

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Sparkly Tights for Christmas Parties

A Diptyque Candle

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A Bella Freud Perfume

This bra..

and this one…(and maybe the matching knickers too)

Thanks Santa, Love you loads! And don’t worry I won’t forget to leave you a mince pie and a smidge of whiskey, so you can stay warm out there on that sleigh on the busiest night of your year!

Xxxx

 

 

 

4th December – A London Guide to Christmas Carols

Singing carols is what always reminds me of Christmas. Throughout school I always looked forward to our annual Carol Service at Guildford Cathedral, I love how haunting yet joyful carols can be. I feel upset that I am no longer a part of a choir but I still try to go to a local carol service each year so that I can get my fix.

So I thought I would put together a little list of carol services going on around London throughout December – some are ticketed and some are free, the ticketed ones tend to be for charity – even more of a reason to part with your cash, especially at christmas considering its a time of giving!

Sunday 6th December 7pm = Cadogan Hall – Sloane Square Choral Society – A night of Carols – Ticketed

Monday 7th December 6:30pm = St Bartholomew the Great – Smithfield – Ticketed (for charity) also the Military Wives’ Choir performing

Friday 11th December 7:30pm = Cadogan Hall – Goldsmiths Choral Union Carols for Choir and Audience – in support of Save the Children – FREE

Sunday 20th December and Tuesday 22nd December 6:30pm = Southwark Cathedral – The Cathedral Carol Services – FREE – get there early this is a very busy carol service!

Wednesday 23rd December = St Martin in the Fields – Trafalgar – Carols for Christmas by Candlelight – Ticketed (not cheap) but this is a spectacular carol service and something I would seriously recommend if your going with family.

3rd December – Winterville

So i’m sure you’ve all heard of Winter Wonderland, it happens in Hyde Park every year and its a Christmas fun fair extravaganza. But a there’s a new rival in town, in East London, in Victoria Park called Winterville. I’m certainly going to be checking this out, as its just down the road from me but I suggest you do too. Traditions are good but its important to keep things fresh too, so why don’t you head to the other side of town this year and see if it tickles your fancy! PLUS entry is free!

2nd December: Festive Spice Biscuits

Having crumpled up the recipe well and truly in my bag, I could barely read this lovely recipe for Festive Spice Biscuits found in one of the recent Waitrose Magazines. But I have been looking forward to baking them for ages and they are honestly one of the most moorish tasty biscuits I’ve had in a long time, very simple recipe, not many ingredients – happy baking!

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I bought the star cookie cutters on eBay for a couple of quid and I am very pleased with them!

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Follow the recipe, mix your ingredients to make the dough, then chill it for an hour or so in cling film. If your like me and you’ve run out of cling film, I cut up a freezer bag!

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Roll out your dough to the thickness of a £1 coin, then get cutting!

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Bake for 15 minutes or so. I’ll let you in on a nifty trick I learnt but didn’t have time to photograph…when you get them out of the oven, the biscuits will have splayed out a bit, so to get those crisp edges back, whilst they are still hot – re-cut them out with the cutters. But once they go cold, its almost impossible to re-shape them!

Then all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy your handiwork, hear the sound of the oohs and aahs from your family and friends then dunk them into a nice cup of tea! Always tea with biscuits!

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The start of something special…

Good morning and Happy 1st December to all you lovely people!

So something special is about to happen on the blog. Every day, yes that’s right every day, in between now and christmas (that’s 24 days) I am going to give you a new blog post. It might be something small, like a christmas market you shouldn’t miss out on, or it might be a big post about Christmas and New Year make-up looks. Regardless, you are in for a treat! I’ve been concocting my Christmas countdown for the past month, refining it to make sure its the best advice I could give. So this is my gift to you. Christmas starts NOW. So stay tuned in and get excited with me!

First things first – you need to sort out your advent calendar if you haven’t already. My mum thinks i’m too old for advent calendars, what a scrooge, you’re never too old! So if you’re like me and you’ve got no-one to get yours for you, then bloody heck get out there today in your lunch break and sort yourself out.

Now i’m traditionally a chocolate advent calendar kinda gal, i’ve got my eye on these two from Selfridges, but i know you can get Lindt calendars in most supermarkets too.

But I have always wanted a traditional looking calendar to hang on my kitchen door or to put on the mantlepiece to really get christmas started. Maybe you had one of these as a child and closer towards christmas your mum snuck in a tiny present. Either way I have always wanted to have one like this. They are quite Scandi looking and remind me of skiing trips, chalet lodges and warm fires.

OR maybe you might want to indulge in a luxury advent calendar like these beauty ones? Benefit bring out a new one each year and I know Space NK sells quite a luxurious one too! Go on treat yourself, but head to the shops quick!

Answering Questions with Sunny Sweet Pea

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I answered some lovely questions from Sunny Sweet Pea the other day, Jenny shared it on her page and so I thought I would share it on mine too!

Jenny – Today I have the pleasure of introducing the lovely Frankie from New Girl on the Blog – one of my last lovely sponsors 🙁 Her blog is a wonderful mix of fashion, food and travel and it’s been a pleasure to read over the past month or so. Frankie is also a pro charity shop shopper so I was sure to quiz her on that. I hope you enjoy our little interview.

Me – Hello! I started my blog just over a year ago now. It took me a few months to get into the swing of it. I remember I changed the name about 5 times before I settled with New Girl on The Blog. But I started it because I was inspired by other people’s blogs and I wanted to show my friends and other people all the things I get up to and like, just like they did. For me, I really just love the creative side of it, which is so different to my day job (training to be a lawyer). I hope that readers of my blog see ‘me’, by that I mean a normal London girl that they can relate to, that loves food, fashion and music but has to do this on a budget!

You baked along with the Great British Bake Off this year, which after my feeble attempt last year I greatly admire. What was your favourite recipe to bake and what do you consider your signature bake to be?

I really enjoyed the quick bread challenge – it’s seriously fuss free baking (what I’m all about) and was very tasty. I’ve got a ridiculously sweet tooth so savoury baking was a nice change. I don’t really have a personal signature bake because I’m always trying new recipes that catch my eye. But my most memorable bake was on Christmas Eve two years ago. I made a semifreddo version of a Christmas pudding, which is basically a combination of ice cream and meringue and my family thought I had surpassed myself that time! I’ll never forget their amazement!

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You love a good charity shop find, can you share some of your top tips for charity shop shopping with my readers?

Oh yes this is a popular question I often get asked, I love answering it, so much so that I recently dedicated a whole post to it. But my top tip is simply to go into every charity shop you walk by. It sounds like obvious advice but often people haven’t even been into their local charity shop, let alone bother trying to find them in a city or town that they are visiting. So my advice is if your’re heading out for the day to Bath, Notting Hill or wherever – have a good google and see where the charity shops are around you. Generally everywhere I go, I go in hunt of a charity shop. That way your always finding good clothes and bargains.

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You like to do a bit of traveling, where are your favourite places to visit and if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

My favourite place to visit is Antwerp in Belgium, my mum worked there for many years so I’ve got to know it quite well. It is the perfect weekend away! I love the vintage shops, the cute cafes, the amazing Belgian chocolate shops and I also love having a nosey around the antique interior shops. I tend to prefer cold, snowy, wintery holidays to sun. So my next favourite place to visit is a French ski resort for never ending cheese, baguettes and vin chaud. If I could travel anywhere in the world right now.. I’d love to be able to take my mum on a trip to Sri Lanka (that’s where she is dying to go) and be able to pay for everything for her, but that will still be a few years away I think.

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What are your top 3 favourite blogs to read and why?

Tough question because I read so many!

Fashion Me Now – Lucy Williams is definitely up there, I love all the clothes she wears, she is my go to style girl. Unfortunately her clothes tend to be quite expensive, but I find it fun scouring the high street for a frugal version.

Cupcakes & Cashmere – I read Emily Schuman’s blog every day, she is always posting new content. But I mainly read her blog for her recipes, how she style’s dinner parties and what she does on a seasonal basis.

The Frugality – Alex Steadman is obsessed with Scandi interiors and I love it. She always makes me want to give my room a total overhaul with each new post. I also aspire to how she actually sets up her blog posts – her flat lays are where it’s at.

Describe your perfect day

A perfect day would involve waking up a little later than usual, having a nice coffee and a croissant whilst I catch up on my emails and blogs. Then I would love to head into town maybe see an exhibition or a play, maybe wander in and out of a few shops and have a delicious lunch. Hopefully I have got someone to accompany me! Then I would pop into Waitrose, get some nice yummy ingredients to make dinner and probably some flowers. Then I would sit on the sofa, wine in hand, and watch all the TV I don’t have time to watch in the week. Wow, if only I could have a perfect day right now.

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And finally, you’re going to be stranded on a tropical island for an unknown length of time. You can only take certain items. What one item would you take for the following categories:

I’m excited to answer these questions it’s a bit like ‘Desert Island Discs’ and I’ve always wanted to be on that show…

– a living thing – it would have to be my mum, no other living thing means quite as much to me!
– one food stuff that will keep replenishing itself the entire time you’re there – it will have to be a cup of strong Yorkshire tea, one sugar and lots of milk. I debated chocolate but you can’t have chocolate without a cuppa or you’ll get too thirsty.
– a book – I’m a fast reader so it will have to be a collection of books. I have never read an Agatha Christie novel and I love crime dramas so maybe I would take the works of that.
– a film – Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet – its always been my favourite, deep down I’m a hopeless romantic who weeps at everything and this film always gets me, plus the soundtrack will be great for a tropical island.
– a personal hygiene item – think I’d have to take a toothbrush and cope with being hairy 😛 – a hairbrush – my hair gets extremely knotty all the time and being in and out of the water without a hairbrush would drive me insane. (I’d have to make myself a toothbrush out of something and find some mint leaves!)
– an item of sentimental value – I have two little pictures of my Nan stuck on my mirror on my dressing table. She’s my guardian angel and I’d have to take them with me.

The Perfect Sunday

This is a post you seriously won’t want to miss. If there is anything you should do this Sunday this is it. Gather your papers, your dogs, your significant other and go to The Pavillion in Victoria Park.

There isn’t really much I can say about this establishment except that it sits right next to the lake in Victoria Park, the all day breakfast is bloody amazing and if the sun is shining then it will be the most glorious autumnal Sunday you will experience.  The only way I can show you this perfect Sunday is through pictures. So whack the kettle on and settle down.

I settled for the Veggie Breakfast because that Halloumi and avocado sounded amazing. Plus I got a Latte and a piece of fruit loaf to eat in the mean time. It’s one of those order at the till they bring it out to you kinda place.

Now just look at that view….

And that food…

Autumn is my favourite season it has to be said. I love Halloween, Bonfire Night, the run up to Christmas, the colours of the leaves.

We decided to take a stroll to walk off that brekkie, taking photos along the way of course!

Time to deliberate what to do next…i didn’t realise I talk so much with my hands…

All in all a lovely Autumnal Sunday and I can’t wait to go back!

Long Cardigan – Primark (recently)

Jeans – Monki

Boots – Topshop (still selling them!)

Shirt – Vintage 

The Coat Re-Edit for Men

I have to hold my hands up and apologise for not including men’s coats in my previous post. Sometimes its easy to just get carried away putting things on the blog that I buy or want to buy and I totally forgot the men in my life. So without further ado gentlemen here is my interpretation of a good men’s coat.

Whilst doing the research for this post I have come to the conclusion that men don’t have it as easy as girls. Guys I feel like you have to invest more in coats than girls do but as a result you only need a few great coats, whereas girls have maybe 3 or 4 variations of one coat.

So to make it nice and easy for you I have categorised the coats I found and love into similar styles and colours…

First up is the Camel Coat – also featured on the girl’s coat edit, but a firm favourite for guys too.

Next is the Down to Business kinda coat – this tends to be a mid length coat, either plain or a checked/tweed pattern and maybe even a little fur/shearling on the collar. The yellow coat is a bit out there I know but I was just so drawn to it…Also in this category for men is a good Mac/Trench coat think Reiss/Burberry…

Then you’ve got the Denim Jacket – all guys must have one of these in their repertoire, it can be vintage or even quite clean cut, black or blue denim, but its a staple that can be dressed up or dressed down – its a vital piece of clothing.

The Leather Bomber – now this isn’t an essential for all guys but its a style I just love. My dad has one of these he just chucks it on to take the dog for a walk/go to the pub/watch rugby and i’ve always wished it wasn’t so big so I could steal it..

Last but not least the Barbour – I think this is more of a guy thing than a girl thing. If I put one on I instantly feel countrified but somehow guys don’t. So black/green/navy take your pick, this is a good coat that will take you anywhere in most weathers…

So there you go guys my coat re-edit just for you xx

The Coat Edit

The cold weather has finally hit us…the misty fog that rolled across London last weekend made me reach for my tights, there’s no way I can sneak in another night out without them. Coats are a must in the morning, i’m sure the scarves and gloves will also be out in the next few weeks! So if you haven’t bought your new winter coat already, or you’ve got a few ideas let me add some more into the mix.

My friends will tell you I am a serious coat addict – but normally before i buy a new coat it’s because i’ve seen a similar style on somebody else. I don’t go “coat shopping”, I see loads of coats in pictures then when I’m out i’ll see one and have to buy it..so I thought I would share with you my top coat inspiration pics (mostly sourced from Pinterest)…

The first style i’m longing for at the moment is Navy – whether its a duster coat, a pea coat, pinstripe’s take your pick…

I also really need want a new leather jacket that’s fitted but still vintage in style…

Camel is also a big colour infiltrating the shops at the moment, I bought myself a long pavement trailing camel coat last year and it is my go-to coat almost every day. I’m loving this long camel cardigan too, Primark have a fab range of long wool cardigans like this at the moment – you should take a look!

Velvet is also creeping back onto the high street and i have to say this fitted number would be amazing come December.

Green, Green, Green – I love Green! Green is my favourite colour and I am seriously trying to hunt down a calf length green coat, I spotted a girl on Oxford Street in the dream green coat and I have been lusting ever since. I’m also really excited the Heritage trend is back in – love a good tweed inspired coat.

Suede is still a biggie for me – I don’t see it leaving the high street anytime soon. I recently just bought one similar to the picture on the left, inspiration from blogger Pandora Sykes. But I think i could also do with a bomber style suede jacket maybe in black!

So there you have it – coatspiration. Sorry these aren’t links to actual coats, that would be amazing – try looking in general stores like Topshop, Zara, Urban Outfitters, & Other Stories, H&M – i’m sure they will have a few of these designs – but don’t forget to rummage around the charity and vintage shops too, you might just find something rather special.

All Hallows Pumpkin Soup

*Twas’ All Hallows Eve…not a creature was stirring… not even a mouse (rather debatable in our house!)

Pumpkins were lit, candy bowls filled, skeleton’s hanged and fake eye contacts put in…

But before you venture out into the night of ghosts and ghouls… make sure you knock together a bowl of scrumptious All Hallows Pumpkin Soup to dust the cobwebs away..*

Its rather an easy soup to make. Here’s all the ingredients you’ll need:

First of all you fry the onions until they are beautifully golden. Then you basically shove every other ingredient into the firing cauldron with some boiling hot stock, then let it simmer for 30 minutes. After that use a hand blender to whizz it all together, the vegetables will all be super soft by that point!

And voila….Soup is Served…

mmmmm…creamy Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup….

10 Tips for Charity Shop Shopping

The title gives it away really but I feel like there has been sufficient demand for this post because people often marvel at my ‘Recent Charity Shop Buys’ So today I am going to try and share with you my top tips for charity shop shopping. *Pause* and grab a cuppa and a few dunkin’ biscuits because it’s a bit word heavy…but I have thought long and hard about these so I hope they give you the tools to go out there and find a bargain.

  1. Be Persistent – In order to get the good bargains you have to be persistent. You can’t go in once a year and expect miracles. But by no means am I saying go every week. You should try and pop in at least once a month so that you can see the new items on the shop floor. Charity shops are very seasonal too and you’ll often find around Halloween, Christmas or Easter they will put out seasonal items such as clothes, games, decorations, easter baskets etc and if you go in monthly you’ll be able to get the good stuff before it goes.
  2. Find your Local Favourite – this might seem like an obvious tip, but it is important to know the charity shops in your area and have a personal ranking of what ones you like. For example when I go home I know I will go straight to the Bordon Care Shop, then suss out the Liphook shops AND then I would go and see the ones in Haslemere maybe popping into Grayshott on the way. To some of you that will make absolutely no sense but the point is you need to find a few in your area, maybe around five and try and check these out each month.
  3. Actually look through the rails – at first glance all you will see is a bunch of other people’s tat. That’s essentially what it is but you know how the saying goes…one man’s junk is another man’s treasure…It is important that you properly look through the rails, piece by piece. Often charity shops organise by colour so you know you can skip the yellow rail or the pink rail if that’s not what suits you. Often people say to me “I can’t believe you find all this stuff in charity shops, I never find anything” and the answer is… because you probably aren’t looking properly or you just not willing to give pieces of clothing a chance. So carefully look through the rails, try and take the clothes out of the drab context and into your wardrobe.
  4. Search for Brands you know – charity shops are the best places to scoop up brands, especially in London. The Oxfam in Notting Hill and on Portobello Road are swimming in designer and high-street brands like Zara and Topshop, often the clothes will be in good condition too. My advice is to never buy anything from Primark because i feel like that’s almost defeating the point. Search for items that probably had quite a high retail value. One of my favourite charity shop finds was a Max Mara Tweed coat. I am super excited to bring it back this season, as it is now ‘on trend’ again!
  5. Look at the quality of the clothing – this is important. Charity shop shopping is fun and if you do it well, dress it up well you will look fab in an outfit that cost £5. BUT – if the clothing is already super worn, there is a tear or pull in it then it’s not worth getting. It doesn’t matter if its cashmere but has a slight rip in it you’ll probably never wear it or even get round to sewing it up. However, if something looks a little dirty don’t be afraid to buy it and wash it when you get home. It will look ten times better.
  6. The best things to look for: tend to be tops, jumpers, vintage jeans and skirts, jackets and coats. I recommend not buying shoes as they always tend to be very worn and obviously don’t buy the underwear/bras/pyjamas because that’s a bit too personal. What also is often overlooked in charity shops is the homeware! Definitely check that out…once I got a set of 6 wine glasses for £2 and very nice they were too!
  7. Its not about basics: if your hunting around charity shops for basics then I’m not sure your going about this the right way. Charity shops are full of bizarre, quirky items. You don’t have to end up looking like Mary Poppin’s carpet bag but try and get a vintage/modern balance.
  8. Try stuff on: That’s why there are changing rooms, try it on definitely. You can’t really return clothes to charity shops, so if those jeans are way too big then that’s just wasted money!
  9. Bring cash! – Lots of charity shops are still cash only! Now now… this isn’t something to scorn at, when their average price of clothing is £2-£3 and the people that work there are volunteers, its okay that their payment systems aren’t as up to date as Apple Pay but hey I have given you the heads up!
  10. Charity shops I would recommend:                                                                                                                         St John’s Wood High St: Oxfam and St. John’s Hospice.                                                                               Marylebone High St: Oxfam and Cancer Research.                                                                                            Wimbledon Village: Oxfam and Cancer Research.                                                                                                    Goodge Street: Oxfam and YMCA.                                                                                                                      Notting Hill (Westbourne Grove): Oxfam (Portobello): Cancer Research and Oxfam Books.                             George Street near Bond Street: Barnardo’s and Geranium Shop for the Blind                                         Beckenham High St: British Heart Foundation, Scope and Cancer Research.                                             Haslemere High St: Oxfam and Haslemere Care Shop (Phyllis Tuckwell – Wey Hill) .                                       Liphook Station Parade: Oxfam.                                                                                                                    Grayshott: Cancer Research and Sue Ryder.                                                                                                     Bordon (Pinehill): Bordon Care Shop and YMCA.                                                Godalming/Guildford/Cobham/Esher have loads too!

I would also love to know if you have any charity shop recommendations!! Xxx

The best day ever…

So on Friday me and my best friend Megan had the best day ever at Stylist Live. It’s basically a 4 day event put on by Stylist magazine (that you get on the tube) at the Business Design Centre in Islington. You can eat, shop, drink and enjoy everything they put on for you. But luckily for us we didn’t have to buy tickets as What Olivia Did (a blogger I follow) entered their Stylista Fashion Competition and so she was giving away 2 VIP tickets which I managed to win (and I never win anything!)

Anyway we got up to all sorts and for us the best part about it – was that it was all free! There was amazing food from the Social Pantry, Lola’s cupcakes, Green & Black’s ice cream. You could get your nails painted, your hair done by Aveda and your make-up done by NARS. You could watch high street catwalks showing you this seasons trends, watch talks by chefs such as Nigella and Ottolenghi and even do a spot of shopping! All in all it was a fab day and we got a rather tiddly on the free champagne!

So let me give you a sneak peak into Stylist Live…

We started the day with a high street catwalk sponsored by Swarovski and put together by the Stylist Team who dissected the catwalk for the trends they thought would most influence our wardrobe this season…They had 5 themes

First – Sweet & Sour 

Tones of baby blue and lemon and acid yellow and pink!

Second – Supercharged Tweed (my favourite)

Taking the country out of tweed

Third – Period Drama

Lashings of lace, rich velvet – think Tom Ford

Fourth – Decor Dressing

Embroidered pieces (like at Erdem) and William Morris prints

Fifth – last but not least…80s Glam

The era that bought us the shoulder pad is back..it’s the return of the logo and metallic colours. Think Miu Miu, Balmain and Versace!

After the show we decided to go and have a mosey around to see what was on offer, there were so many cute independent businesses selling their wares…I was blown away by how gorgeous everything was. Here are my favourite stalls!

Katie Leamon

It’s okay to admit your a stationary addict…

Nui Ami – Stunning silk luxury pyjamas that make me want to get ready for bed right now..

Ros Shiers – look at those cute doggy cards!

Crosstown Doughnuts – always a favourite of mine!

Nata Pura – amazing custard tarts!

After finishing up on the shopping front we decided it was high time to pamper ourselves. We were going out for drinks afterwards so we thought why not let someone else do all the hard work beautifying us for a change!

Last but not least we got an amazing goodie bag each – Megan and I couldn’t believe our eyes when we found out what was inside…

That’s it folks thanks for staying tuned, all in all a fab fab day. I am so glad we went and am so thankful to Liv Purvis for giving us the tickets! 🙂

Xxx

Motown the Musical

So I am super excited to tell you that I have had the absolute pleasure of being asked to work with the brand spanking new Motown the Musical. Hold your horses it doesn’t open till February 2016 BUT tickets are now on sale! (could be an amazing christmas present for the family)! AND it is showing at the Shaftesbury theatre, one of my favourites!

When the email came through I couldn’t help but be amazed at how perfect this opportunity was. You all know the phrase ‘if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life’. Well for me this couldn’t ring any more true, I absolutely love Motown music (and know lots of you reading this do too), so I jumped at the chance of featuring it on my blog and putting this post together is certainly not work – it consists of a glass of wine, a bloody good pair of speakers and a little dance around my room as I try and compile my favourite songs from the era!

So without further ado here is my selection. I would also like to point out that i’ve chosen songs by artists that I know will feature in the show (of course I don’t know which songs will feature) but I wanted you to really get a feel of what lies in store…

  • Jackson 5 – Blame It On Boogie
  • Diana Ross – Upside Down
  • Stevie Wonder – Higher Ground
  • Stevie Wonder – Isn’t She Lovely (I couldn’t just pick ONE Stevie song c’mon…)
  • The Supremes – You Can’t Hurry Love (nooo you’ll just have to wait!)
  • Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing
  • Marvin Gaye – Heard it Through the Grapevine
  • The Marvelettes – Please Mr. Postman (I will die if this song is in the show!)
  • The Commodores – Easy (like a Sunday Morning)

Right if that is not enough to get you out of your seat and dance then I don’t know how else i’ll persuade you. The storyline of the musical will reflect how Motown Records came about in 1959 and all the amazing people that it signed. I don’t know any other musical out there that incorporates so many songs by different artists that everybody knows and loves, its a sure fire success and i bet it will be one of those shows you can’t possibly forget!

I hope you enjoy the post and it brightens up your day! Go on put your headphones in and have a little listen at your desk or on the tube or wherever you may be! I’m sure there will be more Motown things in the pipeline of the blog too, so keep a look out!

Xxx

Have you been to Primark lately?

Primark or Primarni as I like to call it gets so much stick these days. Yes I hear you..sometimes the clothes aren’t very good quality and you shouldn’t just fill up your wardrobe with clothes that don’t last forever. BUT….and this is a big but…sometimes they really have some great hidden gems. My thought process with Primark is to pop in every once and awhile to scout out a couple of good pieces, if you go all the time then you walk straight past the good bits. That way you always feel great when you pick up a sneaky little bargain, your bank balance remains happy and your innermost shopping desires seem fulfilled. So now I am going to show you what I have bought in the past few weeks in Primark.

Primark Grey Wool Jumper – £14

Zara Leather Trousers – last winter sale £10

Ellesse Trainers – Ebay £25

Primark Green High Neck Jumper – £10

Same Leather Trousers

My nan’s red scarf

Topshop Midnight Boots – £75 (still online)

Primark Thin Grey Top (just like the Topshop one) – £4

POP Boutique Red Bandana – £2

White vintage skirt (paris) – 5 Euros

Same Topshop Boots

Primark Black Denim Jacket with Shearling inside – £18

Personally I think an amazing find – the perfect trans-seasonal jacket

I personalised it myself with some iron on patches from the local haberdashery – random I know – but I did it around the time we were celebrating the Queen as the longest reigning monarch! Hence the theme…

Primark Black Ribbed Jumper – £4

Versace Jeans – Charity Shop Find

Topshop Boots

So my decision on Primark is mainly that you can get some fab basics from there. I do have quite a few of their simple jumpers and thin long sleeve tops in my drawers. They are surprisingly soft, surprisingly cheap and some of them have lasted me quite a few years and many many washes. I like to wear quite tight fitting thin jumpers with high-waisted jeans and skirts and Primark certainly delivers for me! It might deliver for you to, just remember to not buy too much from there too often and mix up the pieces with other more interesting bits from your wardrobe. But you should definitely not cast it off, next time you see one pop in and see what you might find, then tell me I’m always intrigued! ALSO worth mentioning are the non-slip velvet hangers (in black) they only cost £2.80 for a pack of 10 and I have recently updated my whole wardrobe to matching hangers so that it all looks neat and tidy, I’ve only got mild OCD not to worry!

All shot in my lovely home by the patient Melanie Cowpland!

Xxx

Broadway Market

I know it’s Monday and the weekend is now the furthest away it can possibly be. But if you haven’t made any plans yet, Broadway Market is where you want to be on Saturday. In fact if you just make the decision that’s what your going to do your week will become much more bearable.

Broadway Market is a real foodie haven but its also got lovely little jewellery stands, magazine and book shops and cool clothing shops too. So as the cliche goes there really is something for everyone. Personally I chose to eat all my daily calorie intake and more, which meant I couldn’t even contemplate shopping on such a full tummy.

Here’s what we ate, in order…

First – a Salt Beef wrap (recommended by Jamie Oliver)

Then we decided to have a courgette pie…it was unbelievably good, but I have no idea what spices the lady sprinkled on top…it just made it look rather pretty!

We then oggled the scotch eggs and decided it was high time for a bit of coffee and cake!

I actually got an iced tea in the end, which was the best I had ever had. The glass and mug were so nice too and we contemplated taking them home for a second, but decided against it. The little white bags you also see on the table contained an amazing slice of Carrot cake and Banana cake!

Then we headed off in search of our last purchase an ice cream cone that we had spotted right at the beginning…I got the Salted toffee apple 🙂

Having stuffed ourselves silly we decided to grab a couple of Grapefruit G&T’s and went to sit down in the park. In prime position for puppy watching! Of course we found the perfect white wall for a couple of outfit snaps too!

Skirt – Levi Vintage

Top – Charity Shop (in Bordon)

Green Jacket – Sandro

Bag – Louis Vuitton (Kalkan special)

Trainers – Ellesse

Pastry Week could only mean one thing…

On GBBO’s Pastry week all I could think about was cooking up a Bakewell Tart. Though I did love the volovants, Matt’s flavour combinations were amazing, I really fancied making a Bakewell. I could honestly sit down and eat a packet of Mr Kipling’s in one go, the glace cherry on the top is my favourite bit.

However, although mine looks a little fancier than what you get from the box… my oh my it certainly lives up to the taste!

Also I bought shortcrust pastry from a box. I love baking but even Mary Berry herself confessed she doesn’t have time to make it from scratch!

Here’s what you will need, I followed Mary’s recipe by the way!

First things first roll out that pastry and get it into the tin, I should have used a flan tin but this cake tin was absolutely fine.

You have to bake it blind for 15 minutes in order to avoid that soggy bottom. On Bake off they use these special baking balls but rice works just as fine!

Then I set about making my frangipane…mmmm. Basically you just melt all the ingredients on the stove…

Then get your tart out of the oven, smother on a layer of Raspberry Jam, then the almond frangipane, poke in some fresh rasps, flake a few almonds and hey presto c’est fini!

Ooh it really is as easy and as quick as that. It’s just to die for! My mouth is starting to salivate now over breakfast!

Best served with a good strong cup of English Breakfast Tea! (in my favourite Marmite Cup)

Wedding Attire: The Pink Flouncy Skirt

I bought this skirt at London Fashion Weekend earlier this year. Its an event I would highly recommend to anyone (anyone can buy tickets) because there are lots of fashion industry talks with bloggers and magazine editors AND you will experience one of the best designer clothes sales EVER. I also purchased a Viv Westwood Leather Jacket for under £200 when the RRP was about £800! Anyway I ummed and arred about this skirt, it wasn’t expensive but I thought it could only be occasion ware and at that time I had no occasion to go to! Then an invite to my cousin’s wedding popped through the letterbox and i knew it was a purchase meant to be!

The wedding was at the most gorgeous country house hotel in Surrey and thankfully the english weather held out and I managed to get a few good pictures in the beautiful surroundings.

The gardens were glorious and provided the perfect dusky backdrop to my floral printed skirt I had been longing to wear..

So I whisked my mum outside, glass in hand, into the fresh air away from the dancing to amble around the grounds and take a few shots along the way. Normally my mum isn’t the best at taking photos for me and my blog and she will readily admit that, but I think she surpassed herself this time!

And here is the lovely lady herself, not posing I just managed to capture her mid stare off into the distance…funnily enough wearing the Vivienne Westwood jacket we bought at the same time as the skirt!

Then we ventured back inside for a good old fashioned boogie on down with the rest of my aunts and cousins 🙂

Both the Top and Shoes were from Zara and the bag a Louis Vuitton from the boutiques of Kalkan…

What I wore…

…in Kalkan. Yes yes I know its been a couple of weeks since I got back and quite frankly I have not been on the ball with blogging. I spent the last week recovering from my dissertation and although I desperately wanted to blog especially after going to Vogue’s Fashion Night Out and meeting some of my favourite bloggers, I just have not had the time. But fear not, I am back with a vengeance and this week I shall be churning out the posts, and scheduling loads more for the upcoming weeks. I hate to let pictures and blog ideas go to waste just because I didn’t post them in time!

Let’s begin…I went to Kalkan with my friend Liv for 10 days of replenishing ourselves and re-decorating my mum’s apartment. We shopped, sunbathed, ate wonderful food and drank amazing cocktails….what more could you want from a holiday. If you would like any recommendations for a holiday in Kalkan don’t be afraid to ask! I snapped some outfit pics on my camera and i-Phone – some of them are a little blurry so I apologise!

I got this little embroidered number from Etsy and the shoes are from Next, blue beach bag is my mum’s from the Caribbean!

Standing in front of the entrance of the best cocktail bar in Kalkan, the shorts were in the sale from & Other Stores, the white tee is from Gap, and the sandals are from Bertie last year in the sale! I do love a bit of frugal shopping!

I got this striped shirt in a shop called Vesila & Brako in Kalkan and it has definitely become my favourite at the moment! Worn with vintage Levi shorts from Beyond Retro, Bertie sandals and my Celine Trio Bag.

I got this silk shirt/leotard from my Aunt’s market stall in Deptford, I love the open back detail which you can’t see in this picture. The white skirt was also from & Other Stories in the sale, and the shoes are from Next!

I got this lovely floaty dress in a charity shop a few years ago, but I love it over a bikini!

So there you go…a few little pics of what I wore on holiday in Kalkan. This is the first post of it’s kind, but I loved putting it together and I hope to bring your more outfit posts in the future!

Xxx

GBBO Bake Along: Honeyed Beetroot Brownies

The week before last was ‘free from’ – sugar-free and gluten-free cakes. It was a new and interesting theme for bake-off and i’m not sure I liked it. I have tried in the past to make lots of low calorie cakes but they never tasted any good. So this time I thought I am not going to scrape on the sugar because ultimately I still want to bake something yummy and delicious that everyone wants to eat. So I thought why not bake fudgey beetroot brownies using honey! Honey is still a form of sugar but coupled with beetroot it seemed quite healthy! There was no butter or eggs in this mixture either so dairy-free as well!

This is all you will need:

First you need to puree the cooked beetroot. I heated mine up a little bit with some water on the hob, and I used the juice to wet the batter later on.

Then mix all your dry ingredients into a bowl..

After that whisk in your pureed beetroot and honey…

Spoon it into a baking tray, pop it into the oven for 25 mins and hey presto your ready!

This was such a quick and healthy bake, I would definitely do it again!

My gorgeous global ethicist friends were coming over for Lunch to celebrate the hand-in of our dissertation and they loved them! Here’s a few pictures of the little spread I put on for everyone! I am in my element when hosting little parties, there isn’t anything else I enjoy more then a bit of baking, presentation and good company!

GBBO Bake Along: Elderflower Syllabub Pavlova

Hello lovely people! Today I am sharing with you my version of Mary Berry’s Spanische Windtorte. Its called a Pavlova, and it is without doubt my favourite dessert of all time! Ask any one of my friends they will be able to verify!

I got the recipe from the front of last month’s Delicious Magazine, an amazing magazine I buy every once in awhile as it has gorgeous recipes and pictures to make anyone feel hungry!

So here goes 🙂 I separated the egg whites from the egg yolks first, into a separate bowl in case you make any accidents!

Then you whisk them up to form stiff peaks, slowly adding the caster sugar, until you get a lovely glossy yummy meringue mixture!

It’s actually healthy to eat egg whites didn’t you know…

Anyway chuck the mixture onto a baking tray, into the oven for an hour and a half on a low heat, then turn the oven off and leave to cool completely for about 4-5 hours!

Then start cracking on your whipped cream. This is not any type of cream by the way, this is Elderflower Syllabub whipped cream. You will need some elderflower cordial, double cream, a splash of dessert wine, some icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice – whizz it all together and add more of what you think according to taste!

Then smother this on top of the meringue, and top it with some nectarines, plums, blueberries or cherries, whatever takes your fancy.

Cut yourself a very big slice, make a lovely cuppa, and go and catch up on Eastenders, I know you all secretly watch it!

Verdict: very yummy scummy, I had to stop myself from eating the lot or I wouldn’t have been able to sleep from the sugar rush!

Next Tues/Weds I will be sharing with you by sugar free Beetroot Brownies! Can’t wait!

Xxx

Recent Charity Shop Buys

You’ve probably started to think I don’t shop in charity shops anymore. Fear not, I do i’ve been meaning to put this post together for awhile, but I’ve just been so busy lately. But now the summer is almost over and this is quite a sunshiney post, so I thought its now or never!

Welcome to this summer’s charity shop buys 🙂

Top – YMCA Goodge Street – £7.99 (current River Island)

Shorts – Vintage from Beyond Retro – £20

Top – from a little charity/vintage shop in Bath opposite Sam’s Kitchen – £10

Top – Oxfam Goodge Street – £4.99

Skirt – Primark a million years ago

Sandals – Next – £22 (recently)

Top – Charity shop in Le Marais – 1 Euro (no jokes)

Skirt – Another charity shop in Le Marais – 10 Euros (very excited to wear this)

Top – Le Salon Emmaus – 7 Euros

Shorts – Vintage Shop in Newcastle – £10

Sunnies – ASOS

So there you go guys my summer charity shop finds, once my dissertation is handed in on 7th September, I am itching to go around my favourite charity shops because its been awhile, and I need to inject some cheapness and Autumn/Winter into my wardrobe!

Xxxx

Great British Bake Along: Soda Bread

Yesterday I tackled last week’s quick bread challenge. I thought about doing baguettes as they really are one of my weaknesses but I needed to buy a ‘Linen Couche’ to do it, and unfortunately they had sold out online (no jokes). On one of the websites it even said we have sold out because of the GBBO and we will re-stock late September!

So soda bread it was! I decided to make a Brown Butter Irish Soda Bread, with Cheddar and Red Onion

This is all you need ingredients wise:

I couldn’t find buttermilk in the co-op, so I opted to make it instead with normal milk and a squeeze of lemon juice. It doesn’t thicken as much as normal buttermilk, but it does the job just the same!

Whilst waiting for that to ferment I chopped up my onions and grated the cheese!

Then you mix the flours together, make a little well in the middle of the bowl and add the buttermilk, slowly drawing the flour into the milk.

You end up with something like this, ready to go in the oven!

Then it comes out looking something like thisss

Now although it looks great and tasted amazing, there was quite a lot of liquid in my dough so it took a long time to bake (and probably my oven doesn’t get to the right temperature)! I fear Paul Hollywood would have had a good poke, and would have said it was under baked, but it had been in an hour already! Unfortunately no more baking was going to solve the fact there was too much liquid in the dough.

If I was going to practice it again, as if I was a real competitor, I would reduce the amount of buttermilk and browned butter and I would also put less raw onion in (as that releases water when it’s cooked). Maybe I might try grating the onion too, or try and fry it off first to release some of the liquid!

Anyway, it all got eaten so I guess that’s all that matters!

Xxxx

Shorts can be Chic!

Finally I have found my favourite pair of shorts! They aren’t the usual denim and that’s what I really like about them..

I generally struggle buying shorts because I’ve got such a big bum and quite a small waist so I really suffer from that annoying gap at the back of your jeans! So it’s rare for me to find the perfect pair of shorts.

My advice for anyone else out there suffering from the same gap problem, is go vintage! Often high street shops like Zara, Topshop and HnM are the worst culprits, the cut and shape of their jeans and shorts just does not suit big bums and there is always a ‘gap’ unless they are super high waisted. That’s why vintage is the key! Every pair of vintage shorts (and this goes for skirts, dresses and everything else too) whether they are suit material, denim, cotton or linen is different – that’s the beauty of it! If you go into a vintage store they tend to organise their clothes according to style, so it’s easy to rifle through racks of denim shorts or cotton flowy shorts and really take about 20 different pairs into the changing rooms. I swear one of them will fit you perfectly, and if they don’t then just go to the next vintage store repeat the same process and eventually you will be beaming with happiness!

If your looking for somewhere to go vintage shopping in London, then I suggest Brick Lane, of course there are loads of other places, but here you can really go from shop to shop in search of what you want. I recommend Rockit (they have 2 shops I think along there) and Beyond Retro. You might have heard a lot about Beyond Retro recently as they have been doing loads of promotion on their social media and with other bloggers, you might have seen What Olivia Did in their Dream Vintage Dress campaign.

Anyway, awhile ago I purchased this pair of shorts from Beyond Retro. I love the colourful print and the perfect shape, plus they are such an easy pair of summer shorts for the city, not too tight and not too short!

Top from Vintage Store in Paris, Shorts from Beyond Retro (Brick Lane), Mules from Primark!!, 1/3 of Celine Trio Bag, Glasses Vintage Store in Paris

GBBO Bake Along: Biscotti

I realise I am posting this after week 3 of GBBO has aired, and I apologise. I am currently on holiday and all the days have seemed to merge and I have no idea what is going on…

It’s been a week now since the biscotti went into the oven, so i should probably show you how it all turned out!

I followed a simple recipe for Almond Biscotti, adding my own twist, here are the ingredients I used:

To add a bit of kick to mine I added Almond extract, ground cinnamon, and orange zest. But in hindsight I should have added more cinnamon as the flavour was lost a little bit!

Once you mix the ingredients together, it is supposed to form a dough that you should roll out and then put on your baking tray!

My dough was however very very sticky and gloopy like cement paste, there was no way of rolling that out no matter how floury   I made the surface or the rolling pin – instead I opted to just spread it like a paste into the desired shape on the baking tray…

It goes into the oven for a good 45 minutes (a tip I remembered from GBBO – you have to make sure your first bake is perfect otherwise you won’t be able to cut the biscotti)..no pressure then..

I started to panic that it wasn’t rising and maybe I had messed the whole thing up, but it rose by about a half by the end of 45 mins!

After cutting it all up, it then goes back in the oven to bake for another 30 minutes, turning them over half way through!

To jazz them up a bit, I thought I would half dip them in dark zesty orange chocolate!

It is absolutely compulsory to eat the rest of the chocolatey goodness!

Voila! Here they are in all their glory! What started out as a clear recipe for disaster slowly turned into something lovely!

I didn’t get a chance to get the opinion of my housemate’s as I dashed off to the airport, but I left them all on the counter top and I hope they were eaten!

Once I am home and back into the regular swing of things, I am going to try and get a few people to come and properly taste test my bakes, because i need some constructive criticism 🙂

The Great British Bake Along

Oh yes, you heard me right!

Every week alongside the Great British Bake Off, I will try to bake one of the three challenges.

Why on earth are you doing that I hear you ask? Well the answer is that I love baking but I never really make time to do it, which means I never really get the chance to improve.

So I haven’t decided yet if this is going to be really enjoyable, or whether I am just giving myself added stress (which I quite like to do anyway!)

This week I chose the Madeira cake, i’m not a fan of a Black Forest Gateau, and I thought it was best to start simple.

Very simple in fact, I just followed this recipe…

This is all the ingredients you will need:

Don’t forget to really grease your tin and make sure that the consistency of your batter is so that it ‘drops off the spoon’, you don’t want it to be really thick..

Plop it into your loaf tin, sprinkle it with a bit of love, sparkle and fairy dust…

Watch it rise in the oven for 40 mins (it really does take this long – mine took about 45 and could maybe have done with another minute or two)

I like to think Paul Hollywood would be impressed with my lovely crack 😉

And here is the finished product, topped with some lemon icing sugar and mixed peel. Very simple this week, it had a good verdict from my housemates. My crumb was maybe not as dense as it could have been, and my candied lemon peel failed as i forgot it was in the oven, so definite improvements to be made. But first time I have ever made a Madeira!

It is compulsory to be eaten with a cuppa!

Southpaw

Where do I even begin with this review? Your going to have to leave behind all the fluffiness of my normal posts and start listening to some Eminem. He is all over the soundtrack too. Now your in the right mood for this film.

Let’s begin with Jake Gyllenhaal’s body, he’s topless for most of the film, even totally starkers in some scenes so you really get your moneys worth. Don’t ask me to describe his body I’m lost for words…I’m aware that I sound very creepy writing that he has got lovely muscles, but his honed physique is a sight for sore eyes (or strained in my case).

If that hasn’t made you rush to the cinema, then the fact that his wife Mo is played by Rachel McAdams should. Since watching the film I have become mildly obsessed with her, her body is also INcredible, and she is just so gorgeous and has a lovely voice. Yes now I am creepy. But she is so great, she plays such different roles in all the films she does.

Their love is something you would pine for. But unfortunately within the first 25 mins tragedy strikes and she is shot down in a Casino. I am honestly not giving anything away here, that the trailer doesn’t already show you.

Be prepared, come with tissues because from this point onwards if your pre-menstrual and anything like me you will cry for the rest of the film. At EVERY little thing. It’s one tragedy after another, this is an intense film, and not to be entered into lightly.

But do not misunderstand me, this is not The Notebook or The Time Traveller’s Wife, this is a boxing film. Its essence is truly gritty, punchy (catch the pun!), nail biting and quite gory.

Before the film started rolling my friend said to me “the thing I’m not looking forward to is when they actually hit one another”, and i said I kinda like it when they hit each other (says words about me I’m sure). But what makes it feel so real is that in many of the fight scenes the cameras is in the line of the boxing gloves, i.e you feel like your being hit in the face in the cinema. It is intense (but i loved it).

It’s a classic get knocked down, pick yourself back up again story plot. But bloody hell the scene to watch is when Gyllenhaal is getting back up on the horse, training for his first big fight again. His body will make you drool, but at that point in time I really felt like a physically weak person tucking into my pick&mix. My urge was to hit the gym hard, seriously hard, with boxing gloves throwing myself at a punch bag. Boxing isn’t just a man’s sport ya know!

The ending is pretty decent too, it comes to a satisfactory conclusion. There are no cliffhangers, its not namby pamby lovey dovey either. It’s an appropriate end to a gritty boxing film.

I give this a solid 4/5, its a good allrounder film, there is something for everyone in there, except for maybe your mum that hates violent films. Definitely not for kids.

Gone Crabbin’

So I guess you can imagine what we did on the Sunday…

We gathered the buckets, nets and lines from the garage, stopped off to get some fish heads but ended up with some leftover prawns (very posh bait) and headed to the pontoon..

Jamie sorting out the bait…

We started crabbing on one side of the pontoon, to suddenly realise the tide was going the wrong way, so we had to make a brisk change!

We caught 27 crabs, can you believe it, but we did tip them all back in the sea, then weren’t quite big enough to feast on 😉

The highlight of our day had to be Neil, the seal that just kept popping up to see what all the fuss was about…

And there you have it, our delightful relaxing and much needed weekend away in West Mersea!

Gone Fishin’

Having moved house last week (i’m sure some of you will know how stressful that can be)…I was more than happy to leave London behind for the weekend and head to West Mersea an island near Colchester for a bit of clean living to celebrate a friends birthday!

We headed down on the Friday night after work, we blasted some absolute tunes in the car, think Dance Wiv Me – Dizzee Rascal and had a small panic about a potential flat tire!

But when we arrived we went straight to The Victory pub on the seafront and had about 8 packets of crisps for our dinner (no photos of that I am afraid)!

Saturday was pretty special though….

First of all none of us woke up till 11am, which was so nice but even better a cooked English Breakfast was already on the way…

Next on the agenda was the beach, but we couldn’t help but stop for another coffee and scone on the way 🙂

There was a delightful little antique shop next door that I couldn’t resist popping into to…

Finally we hit the beach…

We skimmed stones, breathed in the salty fresh air and bathed in the glorious English sunshine…before heading home for a typically British spot of croquet!

But the best was yet to come…earlier in the day a couple of us had gone to The Cow Shed to ironically pick up some amazing seafood…

We had a little minion in our midst too…

The night continued with Grapefruit Gin & Tonics and charade Cards Against Humanity…

I will tell you a little more about what we did on Sunday tomorrow, as I’m sure this post is getting a little too long!

A Twist on the Classic

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Gin & Tonic is the perfect unwinding drink after a hard day at work.

It’s the perfect thirst quencher whilst simultaneously taking the edge off things.

Now I know some of you out there are going, “yuck I hate tonic water!” Well fear not, I used to be among your company, but this twist simply changes everything up, really for the better, I promise!

The G & T with a twist is brought to you by Bloom Gin, infused by a typical English Country Garden it has a delicate floral taste…

So I thought why not shoot this post in my own English Country Garden too…

You will need:

– 1 Bottle of Bloom Gin (sold in Waitrose)

– 1 Bottle of Schweppes Elderflower Tonic Water

– Punnet of Stawberries

– Some good fun friends to drink with

– preferably some english sunshine, but if not just turn the heating on

Best served up with strawberries to enhance the flavour…

Pour a little bloom gin into your glasses, remember a ‘little’ goes a long way, so don’t overdo it! In this case, its nicer to have more drinks, than one ridiculously strong one! Also I popped my Bloom Gin and Tonic water into the freezer beforehand, so there was no need to ice the glasses, but maybe you might want to!

Then what really makes a difference for those of you out there that hate the bitterness of tonic water…I would like to introduce…

Schweppes NEW Elderflower Tonic water! It works wonder with the English County garden infused Gin!

The only thing left to do, is sit back and relax and careful not to finish off the bottle, and remember to line your stomach!

The Sunday Sessions

It’s Sunday morning, the sunlight is trying to creep through the window, but it’s looking like it might rain.

Quickly pop to the shops and get yourself some bacon, eggs, orange juice and whatever else tickles your fancy, don’t forget The Sunday Times (for the brilliant Style magazine mainly).

Rush home, put the kettle on and press play on this playlist…

(no but seriously, you should put your trainers on and go, no one in the shop gives a monkeys about what you look like!)

There is a little something for everyone in The Sunday Sessions, I didn’t want to go overthetop on one genre incase you got particularly bored, but make sure you click the shuffle button, and you should have a good ol’ funky groovin mornin..

Here is the link to the playlist <—–

And below is the list of tracks that I chose (but if you press shuffle they won’t be in this order):

  1. Quincy Jones – Soul Bossa Nova
  2. Etta James – A Sunday Kind of Love
  3. Van Morrison – Days Like This
  4. Lighthouse Family – Ocean Drive
  5. Gabrielle – Dreams
  6. Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing
  7. Solomun Burke – Cry to Me
  8. Steely Dan – Peg
  9. Supertramp – Dreamer
  10. Stevie Wonder – Isn’t She Lovely 
  11. Beyonce – Check on it
  12. Ella & Louise – Cheek to Cheek
  13. Aristocats – Everybody wants to be a Cat!
  14. Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody (I thought this might be quite nice in the rain)
  15. Maroon 5 – Sunday Morning
  16. Jamiroquai – Cosmic Girl
  17. Craig David – 7 Days

The Confused Musings of a 20-something: Ghosting

This series has been a little dormant of late (massive understatement), sometimes a lady never tells 😉 But I have also been away pretending to be Parisian, so excuse me for only just re-entering the London scene.

Readers of previous posts might remember me rambling on about guys/girls who don’t message you back, my aim was to boost morale, to tell you not to worry there is probably a good reason for their lack of response. Although this is sometimes the case, I must eat most of my words as, alas, their disappearance has now been coined by The Americans as ‘ghosting’.

‘Ghosting’ is when a dater ends a relationship by simply disappearing into thin air, this might sound like a party trick, but believe me it doesn’t end in a barrel of laughs! The ghoster gives no reason or explanation for their disappearance, and ceases to respond to any form of communication.

A decade ago, my mum would ask, “what ever happened to that boy you were going out with, from the disco?”, my response, “oh him? I dumped him by text ages ago”. “By text???” she would screech, “Poor boy”. Don’t think me cruel, it was common place back then to start and end relationships by text. I remember sitting next to one of my friends in science one day, and no word of a lie I think she dumped and got asked out by three different guys in the same day! We were 14, relationships never lasted long, in fact we often hedged bets when new couples got together. But nowadays the techno-era of Tinder, Happn, Grindr has surpassed even the polite dump-by-text. Ladies and gents, what kind of age do we live in?

I have often supported friends over a drink or two, as they try to explain why they haven’t heard from their dater, “maybe he’s just really busy?” they would suggest. The bells start chiming in my head… feeling sceptical I continue to listen as they recount that they have sent 2 texts in a row, but no reply, a drunken drop call or two, they’ve also liked a couple of their pictures on Instagram and Facebook, but to no avail. It saddened me to say that, “sometimes guys just don’t message you back, its happened to me before”. Always their response was, “no, i don’t think this is like that”. It would be much better for all parties involved if they had honestly disappeared and had accidentally fallen down a crevasse whilst skiing Le Vallee Blanche, it would be much better for everyone’s egos to say the least.

But we have to come to terms with ‘ghosting’. A recent survey by Elle US found that 17% of men and 24% of women have ghosted someone at some point. Come to think of it, I often ghost people who out of the blue send me random messages on Facebook, and i just don’t know how to respond! If your not into confrontation or maybe you’ve only been on two dates, maybe you think this is the best way of dumping someone. But please this is the cowardly and dangerous way out! For the ghosted, conjecture over what might have happened to the ghoster is genuinely enough to drive them absolutely insane. And you never ever know when you might bump into them again, this is a “small world” after all!

So why does ‘ghosting’ exist? The long and short of it is simply that tech-based dating means it is actually easier to disappear. The fact that we are all humans gets lost in translation when you date someone online. They don’t quite seem real, most of the time you don’t know their friends, family, where they live, they just aren’t really tangible. Moreover, tech-based dating means there are plenty of fish in the sea, there is no need for you to focus your efforts on one lad or lass, when you can put your finger in many pies (gross pun not intended). People are always curious to shop around for more, and this means that people just aren’t as committed to relationships however big or small, fun or serious. I can name many friends who have the tinder app on their phone, whilst being in long-term relationships, their excuse, “I just wanted to see what it was all about!” Yeah right….

This week when I got the inspiration to write this post, I have seen so many different articles and instagram pages joking around about why most of us don’t have boyfriends or girlfriends – check these lot out…Reasons I Don’t Have A Boyfriend – its a webseries and really funny!

I have come to the dire conclusion that us millennials are losing touch with good old fashioned romantic fun. This is not the blanket case for everyone, in fact I have several best friends who have that kind of relationship, some of them even found that kinda love on Tinder! I refuse to call myself a hopeless romantic, as I am not hopeless just extremely optimistic and hopeful that one day (hopefully soon) I will meet my romantic match. In the meantime, everybody just needs to be careful to not be too haunted by previous ghosting experiences, as this may leave you deathly pale and lying on the floor, on six feet under? Heaven forbid!

The Little White Dress

The Summer is not over yet! It is only the 3rd week of July, the whole of August lies before us, and just in time for the second British heatwave I thought I would give you my edit of The Little White Dress.

You just cannot beat a glowing tan, rosy lips and an LWD.

It is the ultimate instagram pic, in front of a flowery or mosaic backdrop, somewhere in the Med. Maybe holding a glass of wine for extra gloating (and extra likes)!

1. Zara Knitted Dress – IN THE SALE

2. Rare Dress from ASOS – reminds me of Solange’s wedding cape style dress!

3. Zimmerman Ladder Dress – for a special occasion, but their dresses are so worth it!

4. Glamourous White and Blue Beach Dress – ideal for the perfect instragram pic aboard a boat!

5. Finery Evelyn Embroidered Dress – IN THE SALE

6. Self-Portrait Dress – absolutely gorgeous!

7. Topshop off the shoulder Dress – as seen on many London bloggers!

8. Mexican Embroidered Dress from Etsy – just bought one for myself 🙂

Hope ya’ll find something you like, don’t leave it too long to buy the perfect LWD, Autumn creeps around so quickly!

XOXO

The only list you’ll need this Summer!

Everybody loves the sunshine but life in the sun’s glorious rays is not complete without a good book! It is vital for your health, for your glow, for your tan (something has to entertain you whilst you lie on that sunbed) to be transported to a life far from your own, for just a small smidgen of time..

I am an avid reader, that sounds like something I put on my UCAS form, or the CV that I made in Year 10. But at least I was being honest, unlike some I am sure.

When I was young, sleep came second after reading my book at night. The Harry Potter books were my mum’s worst nightmare, even though i’ve read them countless times, I still had to stay up until 5am when the last page had been devoured.

I know everyone’s reading tastes differ, but hopefully I can offer you something…

Up first is I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (read in Marbella 2014)…a James Bond/Matt Damon/CIA thriller, truly gripping, you won’t put it down. But it is the only book you’ll need to take on holiday as it is 800 or so pages long…

Next up, Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (read in Argentina 2013), a very easy read, but a lovely love story all the same, I did shed a few tears one night in Buenos Aires in the darkness a little afraid of where I was staying, extremely jetlagged and too obsessed with the book to put it down.

US, by David Nicholls (read in Marbella 2015). If you liked One Day you will like this, very funny it had me chuckling in places, an unusual love story with twists and turns. Yes, I did cry at the end on the flight home when everybody else was trying to sleep. (I am slightly concerned how much I cry at books now). I found this quote really moving, “The fact was I loved my wife to a degree that I found impossible to express, and so rarely did”..

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, you’ve probably seen the film, but it just doesn’t compare to the book, READ IT, and his second one A Thousand Splendid Suns…for months and months after reading The Kite Runner, I just couldn’t read a book that matched up to how good it was. So so moving.

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo, really gritty crime, you can read this book alone or start from the beginning of his series about the detective Harry Hole, I have personally read quite a lot of them and this one so far has been the best. You don’t really need to read all the others to read this, but once you’ve read one book of his you’ll be pining for more…

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair – read by my friend on our recent holiday, she couldn’t stop raving about it. So it’s on my list now for my next holiday, apparently its really creepy and I love a good true story!

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, another book on my summer list, different to books I normally read but i’m quite excited!

I won’t bore you with anymore, but if you have read all these, and want more suggestions just ask me, i’ve got loads!

Erotic Fashion & Baguettes

It would have been impossible to justify not seeing the John Paul Gaultier at the Palais Royale in Paris, especially for only 9€ with a student card..

But to tell you the truth, before the exhibition I really couldn’t have told you many of his iconic outfits…I definitely did not know he was responsible for Madonna’s cone bras in the 80’s!

I imagine the exhibition is similar to the Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty in London, which I haven’t seen but have heard only amazing things..

Gaultier’s clothes were absolutely stunning, really breaking boundaries..the best thing about the exhibition is they allowed us to take photos, so put the kettle on and grab a few choccy digestives!

The attention to detail amazes me, each room of the exhibit had a specific theme like “Urban Jungle” or “Nautical” (he practically invented the Breton stripe!)

After a lovely morning, I headed home ravenous. As I popped out of the metro station at Porte de Charenton there was a surprisingly cute antiques market awaiting me, I couldn’t resist this ‘chapeau’ from this rather friendly street seller, a bargain at 10€ if you ask me!

With a baguette in hand and provisions of fromage et jambon dans mon sac, (as one must in France) we finally headed home! Taking a few cheeky little snaps on the way 🙂

Oh I do love a baguette and a bit of Erotic Fashion!

More Parisian adventures to share, if I ever get through editing the photos!

XOXO

Seeking Buried Treasure….

I found the gold at the end of the rainbow, no unfortunately it wasn’t my future husband (still looking for that), but I did find treasure that made me equally as happy as I think a future husband would….

It’s called Le Salon Emmaus, it can only be found once a year in Porte de Versailles in Paris, so next year be prepared….

for the best vintage fair you will EVER go to.

wherever I go in the world, I am the first person to check out the markets, but i cannot emphasise enough how friggin shamazing this is..

Grab a cuppa and look at what you could have picked up

Everything is super cheap that fluffy chair was 25€, not only could you buy cool furniture, there were racks and racks and racks of vintage clothes!

Stefania picked up this gorgeous traditional Romany top..for only 30€

I’m so very jealous of her purchase, there were many others to choose from but they were such tiny sizes (sheds a tear)

Oh yes, that bar drinks cart was only 40€ and I definitely could have seen it being mine!!

How groovy is that sink, only 80 €….

There were people personalising all sorts of things too…

Check out this funky skiing radiator chair!!!

By the end of the day people were selling their wares really cheap so its worth hanging around for the end. There are also loads and loads of vintage clothes stalls, I managed to buy a beautiful blue lace nightdress for 8€, a red breton striped jumper for 7€ and numerous little silk scarves for 2€ each! Next year I am definitely taking my mum to buy furniture for our new house 🙂

I hope you enjoy the post, sorry for my disappearance of late, i’m away on a girls holiday and haven’t been able to squeeze in much blogging time!

Xxxx

Happy Birthday to the Queen!

In honour of the Queen’s birthday, I thought it seemed fitting to share with you my trip to the Palace of Versailles last weekend!

Wow, what a place! It’s just incredible to imagine someone with that much wealth, the scale and grandeur of everything is insane, no wonder there was a Revolution! I went 10 years ago on a school trip, admittedly not much has changed, but I wanted to see it again…

It was a Saturday, so the queues were especially long, you must go early, but for people under 26 with proof that you live in the EU (i used my driving license) it’s free!! It only costs 7 euro to get there on the RER Line C, so its well worth a visit!

A little cheeky celfie in the Hall of Mirrors!

I won’t bore you with loads of photos of the interior, the garden’s where its at…

I did really enjoy being a tourist for the day, so excuse the touristy photos….

Somehow I managed to still get burnt though, even though I really tried to cover up! haha…look at that back, my neck was so sore for days!

There was a special light and fountain spectacle going on as well, with baroque style music being played really loudly through hidden speakers in the trees, it really did make the visit even more special 🙂

I would recommend if you do go though to take a little picnic and sit on the banks of the canal, because the food is a little pricey inside! Loads of people were doing that, there was even a super cute little engagement party going on!!

Dress from HnM/ Vintage Sunnies/ Matalan Sandals / a Turkey Mulberry Special 😉

So there ya go hunnies, my day at Versailles, doing the tourist shabanggg!!

I’ll be back soon with more Parisian adventures xxx

The first Parisian adventure

Some of you may know, some of you may not, but I have upped sticks and moved to Paris for May/June to learn French (read books, drink wine, date french men). Before leaving I had a list longer than my arm of things to do and places to go all off the beaten track and since i’ve been here, the list has doubled if not tripled. I promised my tutor I would do all the reading for my dissertation out here, and write a blog as well?? But I don’t know where I will find the time with all the roaming and wandering…

After class last week, I persuaded a new friend to accompany me on a small wild goose chase…

I had heard of this place, on Rue du Pont Lodi, a Chinese Tea House, only known by some Parisians where you can only have a table if you ask very politely, they count your bill on an abacus, there are thousands of unknown teas, and the food is sublime.

A very enticing and quite easily won pitch….

We turned onto the street, and it really didn’t look like there was a restaurant down there. Quickly trying to cover my tracks, I said “sometimes these places are pop-up and some of the travel blogs have out of date information”.

But to our good fortune, it was tucked away right at the end, you never would have guessed something so special was inside….

First we ordered tea, on the owner’s recommendation, as we had no idea what to choose..

Then we ordered food, it was bloody delicious, but all I can tell you is that it was chicken and pork 🙂

An absolute hidden gem!

I’m in Paris baby…Music Obsessions

To readers of this series, thank you for staying with me, this month’s obsessions are something special! I am always scouring Soundcloud and YouTube for new songs, but last week YouTube really stepped up and I downloaded some fab tunes, which I hope you will like and enjoy as much as I do!

As well as the new stuff, I will also pay ‘hommage’ to some incredible French music…

All the songs are so uplifting, so jazzy, so funky, and still fresh after so many years, when I’m wandering the Parisian streets they really hit the spot!

Let’s start with the best…

1) Marvin Gaye – Ain’t That Peculiar (Beshken Remix) – listen to this a couple of times, it’s a grower for sure…I have always loved Marvin Gaye but this brings it to a new level

2) Marvin Gaye – Funk Me (Nelson Leeroy Remix) – super smooth jazz

3) Songhoy Blues – Nick – such a cool new African sound, there’s a lot of it around at the moment, which suits me just fine 🙂

4) Songhoy Blues – Sekou Oumarou – another cool song, slower vibe

5) St Germain – Sure Thing – pure French smooth jazz, from his best album Tourist

6) St Germain – So Flute – groovin’ in Paris

Now for something totally different but so great, last night I eating out in Canal Saint-Martin and Daft Punk came on, and I totally forgot they were French, my French Professeur says this is where house music began…

7) Daft Punk – Da Funk – from the album Homework released in 1997

8) Daft Punk – Around The World – it doesn’t get better than this, I vividly remember when the video came out and watching it on MTV Hits

9) Daft Punk – Revolution 909 – still fresh 20 years later…

Thank you for listening, i’ll be back sometime in June xxxx

The Breakfast Club

Me and my mum have got into a new routine of meeting one another for breakfast, now that we both live in the same big ol’ smoke! It means she can have a nice leisurely morning, and I actually get up early to have a productive day of work!

This time we headed to the famous Breakfast Club, it needs no review from any blogger, it is a ver popular haunt now.

But I may as well seduce you with pictures, force you to add it to your bucket list, and show you my new jeans I am totally obsessed with….

Every breakfast should start with a pot of English Breakfast Tea…

We swiftly ordered The Full Monty and the Huevos al Benny!

The food was scrum-tiddly-umptious, just what we needed to start our day, perfect place to go for a meeting as well as a casual weekend brunch!

Now the bit I am most excited about showing you, my new high-waisted, culotte style denim jeans. They are the perfect Spring/Summer transition jean….unfortunately they are now out of stock on ASOS….but here is a very similar pair, and here, here and here are some more great ASOS alternatives!

They have little ties at the top, which are great for pulling the jeans in, perfect for anyone who suffers with that really annoying gapping bit on the waistline of jeans!

Top is an golden oldie from Zara, Puma Trainers, Sandro bomber jacket

Xxxx

Meat & Shake

As I am sure you are aware, I do love a good burger, you just can’t beat it, especially when your really hungry!

So after my visit to Patty & Bun, I thought I would check out the new up and coming Meat & Shake in Tooting Bec. Londoners, it really isn’t that far away, it’s only on the Northern Line, man up!

I ordered the Smoking Bandit, a side of fries and a Sea Salt Caramel and Vanilla Milkshake!

It really is a SMOKIN’ Bandit

It is customary to have the typical eating and concentrating shot!

There you go ladies and gentlemen, Meat & Shake in Tooting Bec, definitely worth a visit if you looking for something to do this fine May Bank Holiday!

Spring Beauty Buys

Disclaimer: I do not confess to know it all about beauty, but I do like to buy a few bits here and there, so here’s what I bought recently!

If I buy something, and I really like it, I will buy it over and over again, just like this Revlon 24 Hour Foundation. This stuff actually stays on for a really long time. It’s great for people with acne/blemished skin, because you can get a really good coverage, and you don’t have to endlessly re-apply it and cover your spots up on a night out! Only downside is it doesn’t have a pump, but I apply my make-up with a foundation brush.

This Essie – Lapiz of Luxury is such a pretty colour for spring, I have been wearing it non-stop and have received loads of compliments!

Next up is Rimmel Liquid Blush in Sunkissed Cherry. I had never used liquid blush before, always choosing powder, but I saw this on an Alexa Chung make-up VLOG, and decided to try it. It blends so much better, and gives a new dewy look, good for spring/summer. Only downside is it seems to rub off after a few hours, and needs to be reapplied!

At the moment I am really into nude colour lipsticks, my favourite for ages was Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick – Number 03, but I thought I would change it up recently, and buy one with a hint of coral/pink for Spring. I chose Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick – Number 38, and I love it!

Last but not least, is my favourite Spring/Summer Floral scent Just Precious by La Perla. Perfume is such a personal thing, but do smell this next time you see it, and let me know what you think!

The flowers were picked from a Blossom Tree in my garden, in a little vase that I bought for £1 from Bordon Care Charity Shop!

Wriggle on over to The Paperworks…tomorrow!

So rumour has it there is a new little foodie app creeping around London, organising amazing deals and offers with cool independent cafes, restaurants and bars. What could be better than an app that tells you exactly what offers are going on around you right now??? Not much I don’t think…

It works a bit like Groupon, in the sense that you shop around, see what’s on offer and if something takes your fancy then you can purchase the voucher on your phone very easily with your Wriggle credit….then head on over to the bar or wherever  with your Wriggle code before your voucher expires (don’t worry about forgetting, because Wriggle counts down the minutes on the app until the voucher expires)!

Here are a few things on Wriggle last week that took my fancy….

A very good deal on Punch at The Little Yellow Door in Notting Hill – such a quirky little venue!

AND an amazing discount on a tasting menu at Salon in Brixton, it’s been on my bucket list for awhile now, and I can’t wait till this deal comes up again and I’ve got someone to take with me!

You can even go to a map viewer and more easily see what deals are on closer to you…

So last Thursday, Wriggle sent me to check out The Paperworks between Borough and Elephant & Castle, and what a cool place that is! It is a rather big outdoor space underneath the railway arches selling funky cocktails (2 for £10 on the Wriggle deal), great burgers and hot dogs, signed, sealed and delivered with some really groovy music, which will definitely be featuring on May’s Music Obsessions.

It was a little rainy the night we went, but don’t worry they have outdoor heaters, and they came round with blankets! My kinda heaven….

Be sure to get to Paperworks ASAP, because they only have the space until the end of June, they are trying to extend it, but developers smellvelopers.

If not rest assured, i’ve been informed the owners are going to keep The Paperworks going in another part of South East London…where all the best people live 😉

So don’t forget to go on Wriggle tomorrow, buy your voucher, and GO!

We arrived a little early from work, but it soon filled up…we started with a Springtime Fizz, then moved on to Ginger Mojito’s…

What a lovely start to the weekend! Thank you Wriggle! Would definitely recommend the app to any foodie lover out there, wanting to be frugal! And The Paperworks is an urgent must!

Xxxx

Postcards from Bath, Day Two

After a very late night, today we headed to Bruton, branded ‘The New Notting Hill’ by Vogue! First destination was Hauser & Wirth, it’s an incredible almost village like place, with an art gallery, restaurant, gift shop and rooms to stay all tucked away deep in the countryside!

We strolled around and took some funny pictures, before eating at the Roth Bar & Grill. I had Roast Lamb, genuinely the best roast I have ever had!

We drove back to the centre of Bruton, and finished our trip with a coffee and a slice of cake At The Chapel. 

Postcards from Bath, Day One

Last weekend, the funky divas drove down to Bath, to have a lovely weekend exploring the finest cafes, pubs and restaurants Somerset has to offer. I thought I would share with you guys, some of my favourite postcards!

Day One, we ate a lot. First we went to The Walled Garden in Mells for coffee and pizza, then over the road to The Talbot Inn for a pint!

Later we headed to Bath city centre, we refuelled on coffee and cake at Sam’s Kitchen, then had a very entertaining drink in the afternoon rooftop sun at Hall & Woodhouse.

We finished with a nightcap at The George Inn in Norton Saint Phillip before dinner and games. We cooked chicken and chorizo paella and managed to eat our way through a cheese board and still had room for sweet, sticky toffee cake!

Highlight of the day, seeing a little baby lamb and the fab tunes in the car!

Fraq’s Lobster Shack

Not quite sure how to spend our Saturday, Liv and I decided to meander around the homeware shops on Goodge Street before checking out the new humongous Zara near Tottenham Court Road!

We were really desperate for a coffee or something to eat, but didn’t want to go to Pret or Starbucks, nothing was really taking our fancy. Until we happened upon Fraqs Lobster Shack…

It’s very new, only been around a few months, and the staff are lovely!

We started with a Homemade Lemonade…then ordered a Calamari Club Roll, a Hot Prawn & Avocado Roll and a Combo Bucket of Fries!

The lovely waitress even gave us a second Hot Prawn Roll on zee house! But look at that Combo Bucket, normal fries, sweet potato fries and courgette fritters!

Not long before it was all demolished!

I love the lobster themed artwork on the walls too!

SO happily surprised and full, we finished off with a little…..

Would definitely recommend this place, also there are a couple of great charity shops nearby on Charlotte Street so you could really make an afternoon of it!

Xxx

The Skirt Edit

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the weather in England is bloody unpredictable. Over Easter blue skies and sunshine hit London, everyone went mad, winter wardrobes packed away, light jackets out, maybe even an open toed shoe emerged.

But we were a little too eager, for the past week I have been under-dressing and feeling really cold, but then this weekend was bleedin’ glorious. The weather in England just doesn’t know if its coming or going, so we may as well prepare our wardrobes for when those bursts of sunshine do appear!

Welcome to the skirt edit…my best pick of what’s out there on those rails

From Left to Right/Top to Bottom

1. Monki Molly Skirt – great for work with trainers, nice and flowy, suitable for the super hot tube

2. Sandro Josy Skirt – lusting after this one!!

3. Asos Denim Raw Hem Wrap Skirt – a good transeasonal skirt

4. Finery Full Floral Skirt – I love these skirts at the moment, so glamorous, make your waist look tiny, and perfect for any summer weddings!

5. Boohoo Jersey Tube Skirt – super simple, but will look great with a pair of trainers and a denim jacket

6. Asos Denim Split Front Skirt – would be nice with a bright summer knit and a pair of clogs!

7. Zara Striped Skirt – (bought this one myself) – vertical stripes are always flattering!

8. American Retro Jupe Christine – for if your feeling a little fancy, and want to splash out to nail ‘That 70’s Show’

Let me know which ones you like the most!

Xxx

King’s Road Foodie Market

If your looking for something to do this Saturday well look no further, a trip to the King’s Road is just for you if you fancy a little window shopping, a nice coffee in Joe & the Juice, a hunt through one of the best Zara’s in London AAANNDDD some incredible food at really great prices! This food market is there every Saturday, so don’t worry if you’ve already made plans this weekend, but this needs to be on your bucket list!

Ravenous we headed straight for the food, shopping could wait. We had a good walk around first because there is so much to choose from, so many stalls, and the smells well they seriously make your tummy rumble!

We decided to go for Dumplings first!

Then we hit the pancakes…

We went for a savoury one with cheese, mushrooms, spinach and ham!

I am hungry now just looking at it, next was the Empanada’s, something I loved eating in South America!

We couldn’t leave without something to satisfy our sweet tooths!

Liv had a cake I forget the name of now, but its dipped in chocolate sauce and desiccated coconut. I had a mini Lemon Meringue Pie…

What a feast, I felt thoroughly sick after eating all of this, but still managed a successful trip to Zara! This market is well worth checking out especially if you live locally, you can even go and just buy a good loaf of bread for Sunday’s brekkie!

Xxxx

Recent Charity Shop Buys

So I was a little slack at blogging last week, but I had loads of essay deadlines for my Masters and then basically spent the rest of the week drinking and eating! But I’m back with a blogging vengeance, and what better way to bounce back then with my popular charity shop purchases. I’ve said this before, but me and charity shops have good karma, i give to them and in return they give back to me! So here goes…this was shot a little while ago…but some of these items have been my staples in the past month or so!

Camel Coat – Oxfam (Liphook) – £1 – seriously (they were having an everything must go sale) – dry cleaned for £7

Black Leather Trousers – Zara – £12 in the sale

White Turtleneck jumper – Ebay £7

White Puma Trainers – Ebay – £7

Peering into a cute cottage here…

Suede Coat – Oxfam (Liphook) – £1 (yes seriously, same sale as the other coat) – £15 dry cleaning

Jeans – Vintage Levi’s

Brown Suede Skirt – Oxfam (Notting Hill) – £6.99 

Blue Turtleneck – Marks and Spencers – Super soft and comfy – £16

Fringe beading Denim Jacket – vintage shop in Byker in Newcastle – £10

Brown Safari Belt Jacket – £4 – Oxfam (Sydenham) 

From writing this blog, clearly I have been trying to inject brown into my wardrobe!

Stay tuned, because on the weekend, I got some great new charity shop finds!

Shot by the wonderful Melanie Cowpland – find her here 

Xxxx

An Easter Garden….

Easter was 2 weeks ago, its crazy how the time flies, I swear it feels like it was last week! Anyway, that means it’s taken me 2 weeks to write this blog, which is shameful I am very sorry!

I did give you a little peek into what I was planing, http://newgirlontheblog.me/2015/04/02/this-weekend-can-only-mean-one-thing/, but this blog shows you how it all turned out 🙂

So first of all, I baked some Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes, generally following this recipe, http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/lemon-curd-cupcakes/, with lemon buttercream, chocolate flakes on top, with cute little chicks. I also made a chocolate nest using bashed up Salted Pretzels (to look like twigs) and normal milk chocolate. You are pre-warned though this chocolate and salt combo is irresistible. Topped off with a whole packet of mini-eggs. Finally, once all the baking was over, all that was left was the assembling of the “easter garden”!

My Aunt got me the wooden crate from the market, which I have kept because they can always be used over and over again! I filled it with straw, which I bought at the pet/farm shop in Liphook, the assistant thought I was totally bonkers buying a small bale of straw for a hamper, but at only £3.99 it can also be used for many many many hampers to come!

I bought a few little things to go in it from various places, John Lewis had this fantastic little bird, and I went to Tiger (amazing shop!) where I bought lots of different metallic coloured eggs, plus this little bunny from Lidl was only 75p!

I also bought some Tulips and baby Tete-a-Tete’s from the market in Guildford, as I thought some flowers will totally lift up the feel of the hamper!

I had some little green juice bottles which I stuck with blu-tack to the side of the wooden crate,  I cut the tulips down to fit in them and then I ‘planted’ the mini daffodils at the back!

Once the important parts were in, I filled the rest of it up with the cupcakes, chocolate nest, and used the metallic eggs to fill in any gaps!

Et Voila, C’est fini!

I hope this inspires you to do something fun next year, it really doesn’t take a lot of effort! Just baking some cupcakes, buying a few bits and bobs and then max an hour putting it all together, for what I can guarantee is a very long term satisfaction!

Xxxx

Patty & Bun

Hands down the best burger joint in London. Yes I know this is a big statement to make, but I think its better than Honest Burger, or Bleeker Street Burger – though I am yet to try Meat and Shake in Tooting!

Anyway, rewind back to a couple of weekends ago, on a very hungover Sunday, Liv and I almost vommed our way through a vintage sale, before deciding we desperately needed to eat something. Just our luck, all the cafes nearby were busy with huge queues outside them, even with our sunglasses on we couldn’t face waiting. So from Whitechapel we hopped on a bus to Liverpool street, the idea of a burger cemented firmly in our minds, and headed to the take-out version of Patty & Bun (more restauranty version in Soho, near Selfridges).

And what a treat we were in for…

Decide what you want, and then go order up at the till. I got the “Jose Jose” Chilli Burger, and though my memory fails me most of the time, i think Liv got the ‘Ari Gold’ Cheeseburger with Bacon!

Then sit back down, because they bring the goodies to you…

Don’t mind if i dooooo…..

Liv’s Burger:

As you can see it is well worth a visit, then you can let me know how it ranks in your top burger joints!

Xxxx

April Music Obsessions

So its back, after a few months away…April’s music obsessions are as follows:

1) Tom Misch – The Journey – so i’ve been feeling super mellow recently, not in a sad way, just weirdly “chilled back” (yes I did say this the other day, and someone was like whuuuuttt?). Must be the weather 🙂

2) Tom Misch – On My Mind – clearly you know by now that when i get “obsessed” I listen to everything I can find by that artist, his voice in this one is so sexy!

3) Bearcubs x Tom Misch – Colours of Freedom – this is not a new obsession, it was pretty popular song last summer but for those of you recently coming across Tom Misch this is definitely worth a listen…

4) Idris Muhammed – Could Heaven Ever Be Like This – one of my mum’s favourite tracks, I listened to it for the first time a few weeks back but now the hook has popped up everywhere and I love it! Here’s the original…

5) Chrome Sparks – Marijuana – sound familiar? I downloaded this song in 2013 on my iTunes but i’m loving it again…

6) Jamie xx – Loud Places – then on Easter Sunday I heard this song on the radio, from his new album Colour – the same old hook! I always find that when you hear about something once, all of a sudden it pops up everywhere!

7) Salif Keita – Madan (Exotic Disco Mix) – I have saved the best till last, so hopefully you are still reading this, absolutely can’t get another of this at the moment…

I hope you enjoy, until next time xxxx

This weekend can only mean one thing…

Chocolate!

It’s actually quite crazy how the British like to go completely overboard on festive holidays, Halloween….Christmas…Easter – the shops just go mental. Being a loyal Waitrose customer for many years now, Christmas preparation starts in OCTOBER and as soon as that it out of the way, the christmas aisle swiftly turns into the Easter aisle. Creme eggs appear everywhere, mini eggs infiltrate every corner shop in the entire country. It is virtually impossible to not celebrate one of these holidays in some way or another.

For me, Christmas and Easter are the two times in the year where as many family members as possible, get together in the same place. So it’s always a fun celebration, musical chairs is a firm family favourite – my mum (who I am sure will read this) is the biggest cheat and often pushes my little cousins out of the way just so that she can win!

But the best thing about festive holidays for me is the chance to do something a little creative. People who know me well, know that I love little DIY projects, arts and crafts, baking, wrapping and decorating. So for the past few weeks I have been thinking about inspiration for my very own Easter Hamper Basket to take to my Aunt’s on Easter Sunday.

It is definitely going to involve cupcakes, maybe lemon curd cupcakes with yellow buttercream icing and then the chocolate cornflake “nest” cakes which go down so well! I found these cute ideas on pinterest…..

I love the idea of these cupcake cases from Waitrose only £2.50…

I am going to start with a nice big wooden food produce crate, scatter some straw across the bottom and some nice brightly coloured chocolate eggs a bit like this…

Then I will dot around some cute cupcakes…on holiday last summer I also collected some cute little green glass bottles which I am going to stick upright into the crate with some tulips or daffodils because they remind me of Spring (I knew I would find a use for those little green bottles and I can now justify why I carried them through Croatia in my rucksack)!

I might buy a few of these little Lindt Bunnies only £2.50…

I have also bought a few little crazy items to put in from John Lewis….if you want to do something special for Easter John Lewis is the place to go their home section is full of whacky and cute easter themed ideas, all colour co-ordinated, its amazing!

Easter Sunday is not complete without an egg hunt, these little felt buckets for collecting eggs are especially cute if you have got siblings or younger cousins!

Anyway hopefully this gives you a few ideas to do something fun at Easter, watch this space to see how my Easter Hamper works out!

Xxxxx

New Girl on The Blog 2.0 – The Re-Vamp

So Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to New Girl on The Blog 2.0

For awhile now I have been thinking my old template wasn’t really hitting the spot, when you visited the page it was a constant blogroll, which meant you lovely readers couldn’t read any of my other posts easily. Not only that but you couldn’t really see the categories to find other posts in the same genre, all you could flick through was “About” and “Home”

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The old template also never made the pictures all the same size, so it looked a little unprofessional. AND most importantly my social media wasn’t linked to the page at all!

 

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New Girl on The Blog 2.0 has some significant updates!! As you can see on the very top of the page there is a new menu bar that remains there whenever you scroll around the site, this means you can always find related posts in certain categories.

To the right hand side of the page there are quite a few cool things going on too, from top to bottom you’ve got:

1) a picture of the hungry blogger herself

2) Social Media Icons – so you can follow me easily

3) My Instagram pics

4) a search bar – if your trying to find a specific post

5) Archives

6) Categories – can be found in a 2nd place making it super easy for you

My pictures in all my new posts will be the same size and older posts will have a “View Full Post” button, so you can see more content on the page.

Watch this space – coming soon….a new update on the New Girl on The Blog Logo!!!

I am really excited to see your response to this new site, i’m pretty excited about it. A massive thanks goes to Pipdig.com, first of all for the template and for helping me with all the internet jargon, getting my site up and running and doing all the tech stuff behind it. It was such a personalised service, I felt totally safe in their hands! I couldn’t recommend them anymore, just send them an email if you’re thinking about a new design for your blog!

Happy future reading and blogging!

Wahooooo

Xxx

Restaurant Story

Restaurant Story has been on my bucket list for a long time…I first saw it over on the Londoner many moons ago…it was heralded as the new Fat Duck, but supposedly not quite as pretentious or expensive.

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It is the brainchild of Tom Sellers, it’s story telling through food at it’s best. Each plate and morsel of food has been cleverly thought out, I ate food I never knew existed, tried combinations that I would never have thought to put together…so I want to share with you this amazing experience…maybe you might try it out for a special occasion sometime. You can either go the full hog and do the full story set menu, or they do a slightly cheaper half story and an even cheaper smaller set menu for lunch – which is what we went for, but you definitely still get your monies worth!

Grab a cup of tea because you are in for a real treat, lots of photos to make you hungry!

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The menu starts with snacks, probably the best bit…then it goes through sea food, meat courses and pudding…I don’t remember exactly what was in everything but i’ll give it a shot!

On the right its crispy cod skin, smoked cod roe emulsion, carrot tops and gin botanicals. On the left, amazing savoury oreos….

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This traffic light concoction was an amazing rabbit terrine with pickled beetroot in a variety of colours!

Below were little petit pois with squid ink – these might have been my favourite!

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Yep that’s right, those on the right were edible flowers stuffed with something yummy. It was so surreal putting a flower into your mouth, as you can imagine the petals are quite slimey and velvety!

Last but not least were these yummy morsels of black pudding with pineapple – a combo I would never have put together. Normally I hate black pudding but for this I made an exception!

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Then we began the ‘Sea” Section, first up was the razor clam and champagne snow….a perfect palette cleanser. The ‘snow’ is a very weird cold sensation in the mouth! This course was genuinely really fresh and salty and definitely reminded me of the sea…Then we were given soft shell crab in this amazing vinegar sauce with perfectly sliced avocado. I have never seen avocado so thinly sliced and fanned to perfection!

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Meanwhile a romantic candle was placed on our table…

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I knew what was coming because I had read about it before, but boy oh boy I was not prepared for just how good this ‘bread and dripping’ would be. If you like buttery oily goodness then this will be your thing, it is not for the feint hearted or anyone with bad cholesterol!

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Up next was the Herdwick Lamb… on the plate was shoulder of lamb, belly of lamb, eyes of lamb, heart of lamb…just kidding haha. But the waiter did describe various sections of lamb on our plate! Including a little lamb pie on the side!

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Then for the tour de force – the pudding section!

First up was this incredible lemon extravaganza, lemon curd, lemon flavoured snow, champagne snow, lemon sorbet. It was the perfect combination of sharp and sweet.

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The final pudding was titled ‘almond and dill’, I have no idea what to expect and was definitely pleasantly surprised. This was definitely a flavour combination I would never have put together!

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Obviously though, they saved the best till last. A farewell treat whilst you pay for the bill. Kind of like a traditional tea cake, but 100% better..

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It was such an amazing experience, possibly the best restaurant I have ever eaten at, i’m so happy that I finally ticked it off my bucket list!

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