Thursday, 28 February 2013

Five Best: Mother's Day Gifts

Mother's Day should be every day...especially with so many sweet gifts to choose from! If you have the budget, afternoon tea or a weekend getaway is always a winner...but if you don't, we all know mums love even the little gestures like cooking dinner or just spending quality time together at home.

I'm definitely going to spoil my mum...but have to keep it a secret for now! To give you a little hint, I've picked my favourite Mother's Day gifts, based on what my own mum would love. She is addicted to chocolate so I have done a special feature on the most delicious and unusual chocolates I tried this week.


1. This Organic Green & Black's Dark Chocolate Selection has officially converted me into a dark chocolate fanatic! Never thought I'd say that but with six different flavours to choose from, everyone can find something to their taste. My favourite flavours are the hazelnut and cherry. Spend all day with mum, take her for a country walk, and this set will then be the sweetest accompaniment to an afternoon coffee and an overdue catch up! £5.49

2. If she is a chocaholic, you can't go wrong with this grand box filled with organic Seed & Bean chocolates. The UK's only 100% ethically accredited chocolate company have this fantastic set filled with goodies made in Northampton and with the finest cocoa from all over the world. This Ultimate Box of Chocolate costs £80 and contains all their daring and unusual flavours which will keep mum sweet for probably a year! They also have cheaper gift sets online

3. If you are buying a selection of presents, Dorset's Fudge's Belgian Dark Chocolate Florentines are the perfect sweet snack for your mum to munch on whilst she opens all her other presents. Award winning, delicately refined, chewy, indulgent and deliciously more-ish, these biscuits are only £3.29 and sold at all supermarkets

4. Say thank you this Mother's Day with a little luxury from the East India Company. These unique and scrumptious Enrobed Strawberries are beautifully packaged and only £7.95. Coated in the finest white chocolate, it's a British classic that's a great gift even just on its own

5. Elizabeth Shaw have just introduced these luxury Connoisseur Bars, and the rich dark chocolate Blackberry & Ginger bar is absolutely delicious. The hints of ginger and blackberry flavours are subtle but divine, and at just £2.29 in Sainsbury's this is a perfect treat to add to some pretty flowers


1. Spoil mum with a brilliant one year subscription to Birchbox - every month she will get a surprise selection of beauty and lifestyle treats including makeup, skincare, haircare and lifestyle extras. £100 + P&P

2. This Crabtree & Evelyn Lovely Hands Gift Set from Amazon is the cutest beauty gift I have seen so far! A wonderful collection of six natural travel size hand therapy moisturizers, this set contains the most popular scents from their range such as the Rosewater scent and the refreshing Citron, honey and coriander scent. The most unusual scent is Avocado. My mum would obsess over these and have one in every handbag! £12.12

3. If you're strapped for cash but want to buy something of great quality and selection, this Cowshed Best of Cowshed Set is only £27 at Brand Alley and contains a Relaxing bath and shower gel, Invigorating soap, Uplifting body lotion, Seduction bath and body oil and two travel candles - a real treat

4. Every mum loves silk, and this gorgeous feather print scarf hand made by designer Claire Armitage from Cornwall will be a lovely accessory to many outfits, from Seek and Adore, £60

5. Make mum a cup of tea, put on a fun film and keep her cozy with a Wool Cellular Blanket from the House of Bath, £69.95

And finally, two great 'alternative' Mother's Day gifts...

Splurge
A robot vacuum cleaner that cleans your entire house for you with the touch of a button? I couldn't believe my eyes but this thing is real! The iRobot Roomba 600 Series has Dirt Detect audible sensors and all sorts of other neat features to keep your home squeaky clean. It will set you back £299 but you'll probably make your mum's dreams come true!

A Mother's gift

If you both really want to give back this Mother's Day, you can help some wonderful charities such as Railway Children to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable kids in East Africa, India and the UK. These are truly gifts that keep on giving - from farming tools for a family (£20), food supplies (£12) and a school uniforms (£15) to first aid medical equipment (£50), there are lots of ways to help. If you want your gift to go even further, by giving £80 to the charity you will pay for a child to stay in a shelter for two weeks in India receiving protection and safety from the dangers on the streets.  




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Monday, 25 February 2013

London Food: Tommi's Burger Joint

There is a small but legendary burger joint by the Reykjavik harbor in Iceland called Tommi's...it's in every tourist guide book, in foreign food review blogs, and every local takes their new friends there. Guess what? There is one in London now!

Tommi's is one of my favourite hang out spots in Iceland, but you won't find a table in it's new London branch as easily as you would there, oh no...This little American style/indie burger joint has come a long way since recently opening in Marylebone and everyone's talking about it.


Opened in Iceland by Tomas ‘Tommi’ Tómasson, the London branch boasts the same kind of decor as the Reykjavik branch, the burgers are cooked to perfection, the fries make you water at the mouth and the 'cocktail' fries sauce is the best thing you will ever taste...why aren't you there already!?








58 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2NX


Monday – Saturday: 11:30 – 21:30




First image from We Love Food
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London: The 1954 Casino Royale weekend

This weekend was filled with the usual hang outs with friends, cinema, and of course a party! My friend Samantha had a house warming party on Saturday in Notting Hill, where the theme was 1954 Casino Royale. I was having a bit of trouble at first thinking of what to wear, but figured it out in the end with a Twenty8Twelve emerald green dress, the amazing Nars matte lip pencil in Damned, some vintage heels and a vintage pearl hair clip.

Wild at heart flower shop on Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill

One of the Lindt Big Egg Hunt eggs in Covent Garden, bid to buy one on their website in support of Action For Children

Casino Royale themed party



I paid only £10 for these vintage sandals at Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair

A little sunday brownie at Boulangerie Bon Matin in Crouch Hill. After this we went to the cinema to see Django Unchained - epic movie! I'm a big fan of Tarantino's work, but can never watch the gory scenes!!

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New Finds: Leopard kitten heels

I've been wanting these little Zara kittens since October...why did it take me this long to buy them?! I found them on Ebay and fell in love all over again. As much as I was completely opposed to a kitten heel I've succombed to this pair! I love the strong leopard print mixed with the black heel and red straps...now pair that with some skinny or boyfriend jeans plus a cool coat and beanie and you got yourself the new trend kitten heel look! Still can't believe I'll be wearing these...





I'll be wearing mine just like blogger Adelina Alexander

This pair is sold out as it's AW12, and I would do a list of similar shoes to buy but there just aren't any...these are too beautiful and unique!




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Friday, 22 February 2013

London: Car boot sales

I LOVE car boot sales. I'm one of those people who will get up extra early to be there first, and one of those people that doesn't bother bartering because when I see something I want, I just have to have it right there and then, no messing about! Car boot sales are the place to find those vintage gems, home decor pieces and great bargains. For example you could find an entire tea set for £5 whereas on Portobello Road a single tea cup and saucer would set you back £45! Don't get me wrong, I also love Portobello Road, but unless you want something specific and are ready to splash the cash...you need to look elsewhere.

I was recently interviewed by a journalist about car boot sales and appeared in the financial section of the Mail on Sunday. The article mainly focused on how one can save money going to these, and where it is best to go, etc. and I spent the day shooting for it which was fun.

See a list of my favourite car boot sales and some images below, by photographer Russell Sach.






BATTERSEA CAR BOOT SALE (Sundays 12pm-5pm)
You can find anything here from make up, toys and books to antique furniture and home decor inspiration. Perhaps the best thing about this sale is that not that many people venture out to Battersea for it so it's never too crowded in the morning, plus every time I go there are some big designer clothes bargains to be found! It's best to go around 11 for the 12pm opening if you can, and it costs just £3 to enter.

NORTH LONDON VINTAGE MARKET (Usually every first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm)
This market is located near my flat in Crouch Hill so it's just a 5 minute bus ride away. It's very small and takes place inside a church hall. Entry is only £1 and the market mainly has stalls filled with home ware items from the 1900's to the 1980's. They have furniture, jewelry, clothes, cookware, frames and anything you can think of. Again this is a great place for a bargain, I never return home without a cute vintage piece and last time I bought a farmer's milk jug which I use as a vase.

SHEPPERTON CAR BOOT SALE (Saturdays 7:30am-6pm)
This is one of the most genuine and worthwhile car boot sales...hence the location outdoors in a massive field in Surrey! It's ages away but is the best one nearest to London where you can literally find ANYTHING...and for cheap! The only equivalent I found is in Manchester or way out of London. I've only been once and have not stopped thinking about it since, really need to go back when they open again on April 6th!

NAG'S HEAD CAR BOOT SALE (Daily from 7am-3:30pm)
Another one near where I live and with free entry, the sale has some great finds such as antique books, CDs, instruments, art, vinyl and of course vintage items.



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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Home Proud: Get cozy

Who doesn't dream of having a little piece of India, Zanzibar, Egypt, Turkey or Thailand in their home? When I visited those places (and more than once for a reason!) one of the things I always remember are the cozy shisha cafes, big bean bags on the beaches and comfy restaurants that make you feel like you could stay there all night.

I would love to one day transform a room or a balcony into a sanctuary that reminds me of these places and the fun times, so I have a collection of inspirational images to help me get there one day! We already have a tall shisha pipe and big Egyptian rugs...now where to put them...













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Monday, 18 February 2013

London: Weekend of celebration

Last week was my boyfriend's 27th birthday...so we celebrated all weekend! On Friday we went to a restaurant/bar called Camino in King's Cross and loved it so much we went again on Saturday and took a bunch of friends along for dinner! We had delicious tapas, wine and chocolate pudding.

This place is by far one of the best I have been to in London for group fun...they have a restaurant on one side and a bar on the other which pretty much turns into a club with Spanish music every night. The food is amazing, the drinks reasonably priced, and it's really easy to get to for everyone as it's right next to the station. here's a little Instagram diary of the weekend...including my home made heart shaped birthday cake ;)

Mira making Mojitos in Camino

Chocolate pudding in Camino


Home made chocolate and strawberry cake

Red Nose Day charity pen...home made necklace from NYC and a Karen Walker ring
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Desire: Lula shoes by Sophia Webster

I spotted these gorgeous shoes in last week's Stylist...perfect for summer with some skinny jeans or leather trousers and a white t shirt! Statement shoe or what?




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Five Best: Spring nail polishes

I'm pretty much in denial that we are still in winter, so to cheer myself up I'm off to buy some Spring nail polishes. My go-to colour for summer is Illamasqua's neon pink nail polish, but their brand new limited edition range looks amazing! I'll be buying the Scarce shade this week in Selfridge's.

Illamasqua's I'm Perfection collection

See below for my round up of top five spring nail polishes... Now go buy them ASAP and pretend it's warm outside!

1. OPI Euro Centrale Can't Find My Czech Book, £11.50
2. Eye Candy Green With Envy, £8 
3. Chanel Dragon red (Classic!), £24.16
4. Butter London Cake-Hole, £13
5. Illamasqua I'm Perfection Scarce, £14.50



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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Home Proud: Creative walls

Since I moved in with my boyfriend last year, I've been decorating (well, maybe more re-decorating) the entire place. I've always wanted to have a home of my own and be able to put all the shabby chic things that I find into it.

Our latest project was our master bedroom wall. We wanted to keep it simple but creative so we have been collecting vintage and new frames to mix up and hang on the wall. Due to hectic work schedules and lazy weekends, this still isn't completed but I thought I would share some inspirational images and a great book...

Geraldine James is the buyer for the Selfridge's home department...you can definitely see her style in this creative book. £12.79 on Amazon











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