Um, cutest highlighter pens ever? I love these little guys, they really brighten up my desk:)
I’ve not been instagramming as much as I’d like recently because my iphone camera is playing silly buggers – more than a little annoying, I may even be experiencing instagram withdrawal symptoms! It’s mainly the focus that is shot and Hubby has bought a replacement one, which he intends to fix soon, so until then I’ll make do with these slightly grainy offerings….
Breakfast might be my favourite meal of the day – I say might because I have a soft spot for lunch and dinner too;) If I eat badly (or not at all ) in the mornings it messes with my day big time. It might mean leaving myself with a ridiculous amount of time in the am but I’d much rather wake up early and ease myself into the day ahead than rush out the door in a blind panic.
Ah, the elevator shot! I love this vintage top I recently found in a charity shop, it was a real find. The neon running through it is so ‘now ‘too, some might think I was attempting to jump on board some kind of fashion trend….but you know me better than that;)
Would ya look at these! Hilda Maha wonders….beyond fabulous in every way. If I were to choose one pair of summer shoes these would be them. Just wow.
Willows – don’t you just love ‘em? This is a walk near our flat, which also houses an animal sanctuary of sorts. There are deer, peacocks, goats and a whole host of lovelies. A much needed place of calm in a City of chaos.
I’m slowly emerging from the fog I feel like I’ve been living in the past fortnight. I haven’t been remotely tempted to lift my camera until today but when I came home from work I just decided to snap some pics of my latest favourite ‘cruelty free’ beauty products…..and as far as I can tell (but do double check) are also all suitable for vegans!
You may have heard me blabber on before about how incredible Superdrug is for vegans – none of their own brand products are tested on animals (yay), many are vegan friendly (double yay) and everything is labelled clearly (mega yay). My kind of store.
I have used the shampoo before but they’ve mixed it up a little since I last purchased it by adding the lime but i’ve never known a dash of lime to diminish anything so I fairly certain it’s a safe bet. You’ll notice I opted for the ‘oily hair’ ‘poo – yes, I am prone to a greasy mop so am hoping this product will keep it in check some.
Skipping swiftly onto the deodorant (and this is why I can’t be 100% sure everything here is vegan friendly although Rituals products are definitely not tested on animals), which admittedly was bought in haste at the airport when I was hurrying home to Ireland last week. Luckily it turned out to be a total winner – double winner seeing as I snaffled both the roll on and spray. I normally avoid sprays like the plague but I felt I need extra underarm protection. Anyway, all I can say is it may be (as in, it totally is) the best anti-perspirant I have ever used and that is saying something. It has kept me completely fresh and dry for the past two weeks during some pretty stressful moments, smells delightful (not too overpowering like many deodorants) and, whilst being a tad pricey, is actually totally worth the money. Okay, so I might be a wee bit obsessed with this brand right now so forgive my overly glowing recommendation.
And now the face oils. Oh man, these are good. I mean, really really good. I’ve taken to alternating between the Nude ProGenius oil and my regular moisturiser for my nightly routine and it is working for me big time. I had a super annoying dry patch on my cheek for months and after using this oil it completely disappeared and hasn’t reappeared since. I haven’t sampled the Weleda Almond oil yet but I’ve never been disappointed with anything from that brand so I’m giving it a preemptive thumbs up.
Eye cream can be tricky one because I still feel like i’m at that in-betweeny stage. Whilst I know I’m no spring chicken I don’t feel like I should be using anti-aging products just yet, so this Superdrug ‘Optimum’ cream seemed like a good compromise. I’ve only been using it a few days so will report back on it’s effectiveness at a later date but so far, so good.
Whilst we’re still on the topic, Superdrug have an excellent make-up range now (much to my delight), which is affordable and really quite fantastic. Thankfully I can assure you this eyeliner is most definitely vegan friendly as it says so on the pen – thank you Superdrug, yet again. I am not easily impressed when it comes to eyeliner but this is a goodun – I could probably put it on one handed if I wanted too, as these pictures demonstrate… ‘cept this is obviously taken longs after the liner had been applied but hey, you get the idea. In case you’re interested I had been wearing the liner all day when these were snapped and not a smudge in sight!
If you like your make-up, happen to be vegan and prefer not to spend a small fortune on cosmetics, you will probably already have heard of E.L.F.. I’ve long since been a fan and actually rate them better than most higher end brands. I’d been having trouble finding a foundation that suited my colouring, and had previously been recommended a terrible shade in a certain well known make-up outlet that will remain nameless, until I came across this one and I’m pretty certain I’m going to stick with it for the foreseeable future. I’ll admit the concealer could give a bit more coverage but for the price I ain’t complaining.
Ooompphh, that was a long one. Until next time folks!
I almost didn’t post this but I needed to take my mind off some sad news I received today. Sometimes focusing on the small things in life can help you appreciate the bigger picture and this Sunday was an exercise in recognising how terribly fleeting our time here can be. With that in mind I might have clung a little tighter to my Husband, hugged my Sister a little closer and tried to be a little kinder to those around me.
These are just photos from our morning meal and I’m not even sure they’re blog worthy – other than to show you a glimpse into our weekend routine. I don’t always make a big hoohah at breakfast, so often rely on cereals and bread. Of course, I can’t resist multiple toppings and one of my frequent favourites is plain soya yoghurt, chopped dates, fresh fruits, nuts and date syrup.
I’m also obsessed with this rye bread, which toasts perfectly and is a staple in my cupboard. This morning I opted for cashew butter, chopped strawberries, desiccated coconut and date syrup. Not forgetting a good grating of nutmeg and generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Not exactly a recipe, I know, but still delicious and really satisfying on a lazy Sunday morning. Right now I’m preparing myself to travel back to Ireland to be with my family during this difficult time, and tonight I will be savoring every single second with my beloved Hubby knowing that these small moments matter.
I’m not sure these trousers could be any baggier – i’m almost in MC Hammer territory but I’ll be damned if I care. I was so chuffed when I came across these bad boys in a much needed charity shop haul last Saturday I couldn’t contain my excitement and had to wear them out in East London for a friends birthday shindig. There was me all excited about my street urchin get up when some guy at the bar tried to pay me a ‘compliment’ by telling me how much he loved my ’1930′s school marm attire’…..erm, thanks?! That’s what I get for not wearing a bodycon dress i guess.
Anywho, doesn’t put me off them in the slightest and even though they might make my bottom half look disproportionately bigger than my upper, these uber baggy trousers are seriously floating my boat right now so I shall keep on wearing ‘em until I get bored.
It’s been a while since we had a wander around this lovely park. It even has an animal area full of peacocks, deer (bambi ones!), horses, chickens, goats and other little lovelies I could admire all day long. It’s not a zoo type situation I hasten to add.
Why do weekends have to fly by so goddamn quickly? Seriously, I feel like life doesn’t stand still for one second – or at least enough for me to catch my breath. Luckily, we have a Cornwall trip planned for the upcoming Easter break and I am counting the days – it’s 12 in case you’re interested. I need to see the sea, be in the sea and generally be near the sea. What in the heck am I doing in the city, can you tell me that?
When I first heard about this frozen dessert I was more than a little dubious – how in the heck can banana make ice-cream?! Like I said. Dubious. In my pre-vegan days I considered myself an ice-cream connoisseur and truth be told it was the one thing I genuinely missed at the very beginning of my journey. The lack of good substitutes didn’t really help either. In case you weren’t aware the dairy free frozen dessert section in most British supermarkets is not even worth talking about – apart from Swedish Glace there’s not much in the way of authentic tasting ‘ice-cream’, so I have to rely on myself to satiate those urges.
You could say then that this humble little recipe is a bit of a lifesaver for me. I’ve made it in so many variations – adding fruit, desiccated coconut, flavourings, and all with great success. The banana flavour is not terribly strong so even if you’re not a fan of the fruit you can still enjoy it. Texture wise it’s very similar to that glorious soft serve ice-cream you used to enjoy by the seaside (I’m sure you can enjoy it in city centre’s too but I always associate with small coastal towns).
Anyway, it’s a cinch to make, tastes delightful and best of all you can even have it for breakfast – at least that’s what I did when I enjoyed this peanut butter and chocolate version on Sunday. I can’t think of a better way to start the day, can you?
3 frozen bananas chopped into pieces (chop it prior to freezing!)
1 tbsp agave or other sweetener
1 heaped tsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 small bar of dark chocolate finely chopped or grated
blueberries and strawberries to serve
Place the frozen banana in a hand blender and blitz until smooth – it will go through several stages before becoming creamy so just keep blending until it happens, scraping down the sides with a spatula now and then.
Add the agave and peanut butter and blend together before stirring through the chocolate.
Place a handful of blueberries and chopped strawberries in the bottom of a glass. Spoon over the ‘ice-cream’, top with a few more berries, a little more grated chocolate and serve.
It’s not exactly t-shirt weather yet but I couldn’t resist wearing this new organic cotton one I recently acquired. Whilst I’m a firm believer in sustainable fashion, I’m also a firm believer in good design. If a design (even a simple t-shirt) can’t stand alone, relying on the ethical tagline to sell it then in my opinion it’s hugely flawed. Ultimately, the garment must have aesthetic appeal without having to explain itself – it’s doomed to fail otherwise.
I’m pleased to say this is the one instance where sustainability, quality and design come together in this basic but lovely tee. The fabric is seriously good with a fabulous weight meaning it drapes beautifully – I know I’m going to be wearing this a lot over the spring and summer months.
Basics form the basis of my wardrobe. Without them my mostly vintage closet just wouldn’t work – I like to balance out my love for all things retro with a touch of the contemporary and ethical clothing company Collective have a small but superb range that I hope to gradually add to my wardrobe (I’m particularly liking the box drape styles). Their ethical credentials are more than just a bonus. We should all be embracing a more sustainable approach to fashion and this company seem to have the right attitude with a great basics line that perfectly compliment their values.
These same ethics should also extend to where our clothing is actually made and the high waisted trousers I’m wearing here are a perfect example of a young fashion brand leading the way in locally made goods. Obviously their retro inspired range of clothing is bang on the money and as they only make a limited amount of each item the likelihood of bumping into someone else wearing the same thing is pretty slim. Never a bad thing in my book!
Finding trousers that fit, flatter, are comfortable and affordable is a tall order but these pants deliver on all fronts. Being a lady with curves and in possession of some, let’s say, substantial thighs, ahem, I’ve always struggled with leg width….and the rest. Lord knows how many times I’ve almost come to tears in the changing room after failing to get some trousers and jeans even past my knees – they will go up, they will!!
Thankfully there are some brands around that make trews with people like me in mind. You could say I’m completely bowled over by Tara Starlet and am coveting just about everything on their site – too bad I haven’t a penny to my name at the moment or else I’d be snaffling up everything on their sale page.
Let me tell you why I’m not shy about calling these ‘Ultimate Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms’. Not one for making big claims about stumbled upon creations that are bourne out of what I simply have in the fridge, this recipe was the fluke to end all flukes when it’s comes to stuffed mushrooms. It’s not just that they’re tasty, work well at every meal time or are stupidly easy to make. It’s the fact they put every other stuffed mushroom I have tasted to shame….and I’ve eaten my fair share of stuffed mushrooms.
If you happen to be vegan you’ll be rejoicing at the all encompassing flavour – that certain ‘umami’ you often hear people bang on about (mainly in reference to its apparent absence in vegan dishes) will be silenced because it is totally present here. In bucketloads. If you’re not vegan, I’d be more than a little surprised if you enjoy them any less than their usually cheese laden counterparts – trust me, they do not need it!
There are several secret weapons when it’s comes to achieving such stuffed mushroom greatness and eliminating even one of them will sacrifice an essential layer of deliciousness and may even render them simply good instead Uh.ma.zing.
The nutmeg and cayenne pepper are musts – omit at your peril and against my advice….I can be quite bossy when I want to be. The coconut milk could be replaced with soya cream but it would be a less healthy choice. At a push the leek might be swapped with half a very finely chopped onion but in all honesty the earthy flavour the leek lends to the dish would be sorely missed. I also insist on the double dose of garlic – fresh and pureed…it’s an absolute must! Oh, and the nutritional yeast is crucial in achieving that perfect stuffed mushroom crust.
Ready for the recipe? Here ya go….
4 portobello mushrooms
several handfuls of fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves plus 1 tsp garlic puree
generous grating of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit.
Peel the mushrooms and remove stalks. Rub each with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Finely chop the leek. Heat a little oil in a pan and gently fry the leek until soft. Mince the garlic and add to pan along with the garlic puree (if using – recommended) and gently infuse for several minutes before adding the spinach.
Generously grate the nutmeg over the spinach and sprinkle over the cayenne. Season and wilt.
Add the coconut milk, gently heat through, season and set aside.
Fill each mushroom with the creamy spinach filling and top with nutritional yeast. Bake for 25-30 mins depending on your oven. Serve immediately with hot ‘buttered’ toast. For extra B12 goodness, spread marmite on one slice.
This isn’t the kind of round-up where I break down each collection and give you a full on background to every designer and their portfolio of work. I see no point when there are countless more qualified people than myself who have already written reports on the matter, so I’m not about to add my tuppence worth. And besides, this isn’t a fashion article, it’s a blog post so I’ll try to keep it light and lean.
‘My London Fashion Week’ is exactly that – a round-up of how I experienced the shows and everything else that goes with it, and try to make sense of what can truly be an overwhelming week. I think the important thing to remember before all else, is that LFW and indeed all fashion weeks are an industry event that helps keep that retail chain churning and is crucial to what is now a huge part of our ecomony. We’re talking hundreds of millions here and that’s just the UK.
I try to keep this in mind whilst being easily distracted by the side shows that can interfere but also sometimes enhance (we all love a bit of people watching) with what fashion week is really about. As you can tell I’m in two minds about the plethora of fashionistas who mill around outside the shows waiting to be snapped by the increasing amount of would be street style photographers who seem to be multiplying a the rate of knots – probably not helped by blogs like mine or the ones I feverously read every evening but it’s still a mad thing to witness.
When it comes down to the nitty gritty of the fashion itself, I’m again in two minds. I know what I like and I certainly know what I don’t. However, working in fashion means I must to try to have an open mind – trust me, this is something I actively have to work on. Whilst I can appreciate the fashion I wouldn’t necessarily wear or use in my work I can get ridiculously excited about collections that I would. Of the shows I witnessed throughout the week, without a doubt Margaret Howell came top. Her sheer brilliance is in the simplicity of her clothing – always consistent, never boring and eternally wearable.
At the other end of the scale I would put Haizhen Wang, who is a designer I know next to nothing about. There was certainly a lot about his collection I admired and it was visually striking yet the collection was pretty much the antithesis of what I’m about…..although I am a sucker for a cape and his was a pretty awesome one.
House of Holland had heaps that I wanted to grab off the catwalk and wear there and then but the spectacle of the whole thing mildly bothered me. I inadvertently took a picture of the front row, which pretty much sums up the the show, i.e. bright young things lending support to their designer friend and getting a bit of publicity in the process. Nought wrong with that really but ’tis quite strange too, no?
Then we had the incredible surroundings at the Julien McDonald show. The air was filled with the scent of about a hundred candles and the whole ambience was decadent, over the top and dare I say fabulous (I secretly loved it). Pop stars on the front row and a proud Mum and Dad also were there to lend support……um, adorable! The glitzy dresses were a bit more edgy than his usual fare and the whole thing was just fun – all I managed to get a photo of was the outrageous chandalier filled with Lord knows how many lighted candles, and that was only one of four in the room. I don’t envy the guy who had to light them.
Daks is always perfection, in my humble opinion. So classically British and more to the point they are clothes made for Women, not girls – isn’t that so refreshing? Aren’t we bored of super girly clothes yet? Layers, lengths and a great classic colour palette. Now tell me, what in heck is wrong with that?
The surprise of the week for me was Todd Lynn. Again, not a designer I am well versed in and I enjoyed the unusual pleated peplums that wafted down the runway. Plus, I do have a penchant for great tailoring (Lynn’s specialty) so it makes sense I should like it. I did read he uses a ‘ considerable amount of fur and leather for good measure’ which made my heart sink but I think we can leave that topic alone for the purposes of this post.
Jasper Conran‘s bold retro offerings were filled with juicy hues of orange, pink and yellow. Every outfit the ultimate ensemble, some of which were topped with ridiculously cute hats made by Stephen Jones, all of which finished off with what I could most accurately describe as the only mid heel shoe worth owning next season.
Oh, John Rocha. Those tulip shaped dresses and the supersize swing coats very nearly had me drooling on the runway. Slightly off beat, distinct and almost a bit too mad to wear in day to day life – none of which stops me from wanting to own more than half the collection just so I can admire it on a daily basis.
And yes, I can confirm that Cara Delevingne is just as beautiful is real life, if not more so. I can’t imagine anyone else looking quite as good as she did in that terrific Peter Pilotto dress. It also transpires I have a thing for Richard Nicoll (who knew?!) – clean, modern, beautiful, I was quite taken with his aw13 collection and now I’m educating myself on his past work.
There was more, of course, but we’ll be here all night if I go on any longer so I think i’ll leave it there for all our sakes. I’ve pretty much just scratched the surface but bed beckons and soon another day in the world of fashion will begin. I’m currently in the midst of organising tickets for Paris and hoping that maybe one day I might get to go in person. My money’s on Rochas and Miu Miu hitting the nail on the proverbial fashionistas (there’s that word again!) head, what do you reckon?
I spend a lot of time fantasizing about our life in Cornwall. There was very little I didn’t love about living in that glorious part of the world and even though London is special too I can’t help but think the lifestyle I now crave isn’t a city one. I own a surfboard goddmammit and I want to use the damn thing!
It’s true to say you can get lost in a city, especially London. I know I’ve had many moments when I don’t have a second to catch my breath nevermind focus on what it is I want out of life – because surely there’s more to it than climbing the career ladder?
Luckily my Husband feels the same way and we have a sort of loose plan to make sure we’re out of the big smoke and back down to Cornish lands as soon as we possibly can. That is, when we’ve done a little of what we came back here to achieve, made a bit of money (chance would be a fine thing) and purged all those city vices out of our system – we’re getting there, very slowly and not always surely but we’re definitely trying.
So when Seasalt sent me a delightfully nautical and oh so Cornish parcel a few weekends ago it got me thinking again about everything we’re missing by being here. It was like a little taste of home (I might be Irish but Cornwall is my spiritual home) and the perfect antedote to my current situation, which mostly involves high fashion, not much of which is attainable to me or even terribly appealing.
Because as much as I love fashion, and there are many designers and brands I admire and, yes, even obsess about (I’m looking at you Margaret Howell), the clothing I feel most comfortable in is well designed casual clobber. Give me jeans over a fancy schmancy dress any day of the week. Pea green jeans with just the right amount of stretch and high enough so that not even a peep of panty is on show? Even better.
Seriously though, what is with the low slung style that is so popular nowadays?! I’m sure those girls spend half the day hoicking their jeans up lest they end up round their ankles. Let it be known that knick knicks are a no no. These jeans, on the other hand, are just the right side of fashionable without being on the wrong side of trendy. Already they have become my ‘go-to’ trousers because they go with just about anything (blouses, sweaters, t-shirts) and are smart enough even for the office.
I couldn’t resist pairing them with a breton style t-shirt for this semi-impromptu shoot, just to make the whole thing uber Cornish….um, whilst standing in one of Charlton House‘s many grand rooms. The bag was sheer coincidence. I had used it to pack my costumes for the short film we are currently shooting, so thought I’d throw it in for good measure. And the scarf? Well, it’s just perfect, how could I not?!
This is exactly the kind of outfit I would wear when I lived in Penzance but is a super City look too. I think stripes and jeans are just a classic ensemble wherever you are. I am so delighted with these trousers, I can’t thank Seasalt enough for kindly sending me a pair – as they say in Liverpool, ‘i’m made up’.
Well, that’s it folks, another season done and dusted, and to be perfectly frank I’m exhausted. Call me a light weight but I really can’t handle the pace and I’m rather looking forward to getting back to my usual routine….what a bore, eh?
Today was a strange mix of work, dashing to a show nearby (Nasir Mazhar….it was, erm, interesting), a little more work and then onto Somerset House for the final two shows of the day and indeed week.
With that in mind, I thought it only too appropriate and wise to don a pair of jeans – it really was one of those days. This whole week has been a great exercise in dressing with work in mind when you’re not actually working, if you get my drift. It’s a fine balance you see. I have to look professional, fashionable (but not too ‘trendy’), not overly or under done. Not as easy as it sounds let me tell you.
I think this might have been my favourite look of the last five days for no other reason than I felt good in it. It was a nice way to finish the week and enjoy the last of the shows including a tidy monochrome selection from Aminka Wilmont and some striking architectural offerings from Haizhen Wang. Like I mentioned previously, I will be doing a little round up after I get a chance to sort through my photos and make sense of everything.
So that’s it for another season here in London but it’s onto Milan Fashion Week tomorrow, which I’m certain will be just as thrilling – that fashion wheel just keeps on turning!