Sunday, 6 December 2015

Exploring Notting Hill Carnival

I know...This post is more than a little late. I’ve been a little busy exploring, and am totally guilty of neglecting the blog this summer. I’ve also had a lot of life changes, all for the good, and have been focusing on forging happinness, proving to myself that it really is a choice.


But enough about that…I wanted to share with you some photos from August’s Notting Hill Carnival, an event I have been going to for years now. It truly is a very unique event that captures one of the many cultural spirits of London.

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Sunday, 13 September 2015

It's all about the legs

Glossy pin lovers Wilkinson Sword asked me to put forward some of my favourite 'leg moments', so I thought I would do this by also showing you my journey through the last few weeks in Italy and Turkey.

To inspire me, they sent me a beautiful little package containing a their HydroSilk Bikini trimmer and shaver (£7.49 at Boots), the Nip + Fab Shimmer Leg Fix, a Topshop voucher and a selfie stick. I have to say I was a little reluctant to use the stick but absolutely loved it at the end of my holiday...they really are brilliant for group photos!



The Nip & Fab leg shimmer was a pleasant surprise too, as it gave a very subtle but lovely glow to my legs and especially once my tan had set in. It was perfect to apply just before going out for dinner.

First stop ...Sicilia!

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Sunday, 12 July 2015

The rebirth of Monster?



Wearing...
Zara T Shirt
Vintage belt

Last week I was invited to a lovely dinner at the Ham Yard Hotel, by the Monster team. I was very excited about this as I already had a pair of headphones that I love, but little did I know that I was about to meet Noel Lee, the innovator himself, and be inspired by the story of Monster, their humble beginnings and honest, passionate business.

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Saturday, 2 May 2015

Krispy Kreme ChocoLATE

Hello there! I've been a little absent of late...if I'm honest, this thing called life got in the way! But I'm BACK and oh look here is ANOTHER food post...what can I say, I eat a lot! I promise there will be lots more dreamy shopping posts and beauty bits up very soon.

For now...let me take you on a special and pretty epic experience I had this week. It was pretty much the best Monday you could have wished for.

Krispy Kreme invited a few of us to the Ham Yard Hotel (if you haven't been there you must go!) for an intimate sit down four course dinner...but with a twist! Yes, as you may have guessed, every course was made up of one of their new limited edition chocomania doughnuts, plus a paired cocktail.



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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Food: Healthy spiralized cinnamon carrot dessert

As mentioned in my last post with two delicious and simple recipes, Tabasco got in touch with me and asked if I would like to be part of their new campaign called #FunWithFlavour, which is all about celebrating Tabasco Pepper Sauce’s ability to transform almost any dish. 

The iconic and natural sauce is made from just three ingredients – chilli peppers, salt and vinegar – and has been enhancing dishes all over the world since 1868. All I had to do was create three dishes infused by Tabasco sauce, including a bit of a challenge which was the dessert! The first thing I thought to myself was 'how the hell do I make a dessert with Tabasco??' but a quick google search made me realise people like spicy desserts more than I thought! You can pretty much spice up any pudding which is pretty clever, sort of like Heston Blumenthal style!

I got a really neat spiralizer from Tabasco so wanted to keep this theme going throughout my entire menu. The spiralizer I used was a little tough to spin at first, but after a few tries it became easier. It spiralizes carrots, cucumber and any other soft fruit or veg quite easily, but potatoes may be a challenge. I'm sure you could do the same thing with a peeler, but this is way more fun and makes food a little bit more interesting. It's really easy to clean, too.



This recipe is free of refined sugar (honey used as sweetener), gluten free and dairy free. You can choose to add Tabasco, or just have it without!

I hope you like this little carrot dessert, as originally made by Twirly Bites. It really surprised me and it was yummy!


SPIRALIZED CINNAMON CARROT DESSERT
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
1 large peeled carrot
2 tablespoons +1/4 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Tabasco Original Red Sauce

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Spiralize your carrot/s and get them ready. Place them in a pan with 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil and sauté for 5 minutes.

2. While the carrots are cooking, put the remaining coconut oil, honey and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in another pot. Place on a low heat and stir constantly until ingredients melt and the sauce has formed (max 5 minutes). Avoid burning, overcooking or boiling the sauce or honey by keeping the heat low and stirring continuously. This is really important as the honey will get a different texture and flavour if it starts ti boil.

3. Remove the ready sauce and add it to the carrots. Keep stirring on medium heat for around 15 minutes, and make sure you serve it warm as the coconut oil will go solid if you leave it out. 

4. Add as much Tabasco as you wish, or sprinkle some chia seeds on top, or raisins, bananas, whatever tickles your fancy! This is a very sweet dessert so a small amount of it was sufficient to satisfy a sweet tooth!




Check out more recipe ideas and tips on Tabasco's Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/TabascoUK


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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Food: Healthy spiralized recipes + Tabasco

Tabasco got in touch with me and asked if I would like to be part of their new campaign called #FunWithFlavour, which is all about celebrating Tabasco Pepper Sauce’s ability to transform almost any dish. 

The iconic and natural sauce is made from just three ingredients – chilli peppers, salt and vinegar – and has been enhancing dishes all over the world since 1868. All I had to do was create three dishes infused by Tabasco sauce, so I chose to create a light and super healthy starter, main and pudding with a spiralizer. 

I had lots of fun doing it as I made my recipes really easy and quick, and the main made for a good lunch dish the next day, too! I hope you like them Dessert coming tomorrow!

For the starter, I wanted to keep it light but delicious, and a dish that felt almost like comfort food but without the guilt. I made some really simple sweet potato fries with guacamole dipping sauce.

SKINNY SWEET POTATO FRIES & EASY GUACAMOLE DIP
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 large sweet potato (or however much you want!)
  • Olive oil to line the tray
  • Salt
  • 1 avocado (peeled, stone removed, chopped)
  • 1/2 small red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 ripe tomato (chopped)
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • Tabasco Original Red Sauce


INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Heat the oven to 200C, and spiralize your sweet potato. I used the Lurch product provided by Tabasco and it did the job, but I struggled a little with the sweet potato as it was so hard. The spiralizer was unable to grip the top of it so I just used my hand to get the noodle textures for the skinny fries. There are loads of different spiralizers on Amazon that you can choose from, but Lurch and Hemsley & Hemsley are usually the most recommended.

2. Line a small tray with some olive oil or place a baking sheet on top. Place all the spiralled sweet potato fried on the tray and add salt on top.

3. Leave in the oven for around 15 minutes or until extra crispy. Don't worry about it looking too burnt as the fries taste the best when they are really dry and crispy, rather than wet or unbaked.

4. While the fries are in the oven, finely chop all your guacamole ingredients, add a few drops of Tabasco Original and stir them together, or blend in a blender. Season with salt to taste and serve with the fries when ready.




For the main dish, I wanted to make sure it was healthy and full of vegetables, but also filling and with a type of meat. I chose salmon as it's one of my favourite ingredients to use in any dish, and it never makes me feel bloated. It's super healthy and full of Omega 3, plus it doesn't taste like other fish so it is much more yummy!

VEGGIE NOODLE SALMON SALAD
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 block of feta cheese
  • 1 Tbs of chia seeds
  • Salt and pepper for the salmon
  • Tabasco Original Red Sauce

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat the oven to 170C to make the salmon while you prepare the salad. Line your tray with olive oil and place both salmon fillets on the oiled greaseproof paper. Season with salt and pepper and bake for around 20 minutes. Some people put more sauces on their salmon but I prefer it plain.

2. While your salmon is baking, spiralize the peeled carrot, cucumber and courgette and separate on two plates. I found the cucumber to be a little watery, but it didn't ruin the taste of the salad. If you prefer it to be more dry just remove the cucumber and use more of the other two ingredients.

3. Chop up half an avocado for each plate, then squeeze one lime over the entire salad. Crumble your feta cheese on top and then mix everything up.

4. Take your salmon out of the oven and place it on top of the salad. Sprinkle the chia seeds and Tabasco Original sauce all over, and dig in! There are lots of other Tabasco flavours to choose from, such as Smokey BBQ and Jalapeño...something for everyone.

I found that this dish tasted a lot better when it was fresh and with hot salmon. I had it for lunch the next day and it wasn't quite the same cold!



















Have you ever used Tabasco sauce in your day to day dishes, and have you ever mixed it up and made any adventurous meals?

Check out more recipe ideas and tips on Tabasco's Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/TabascoUK




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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Beauty: Benefit's Roller Lash Pop Up Parlour

Here comes another one of Benefit's awesome pop ups! You may remember they took over a Covent Garden pub last year during the World Cup, which was pretty epic.

This time and during March only, they have opened an adorable little pop up curl and cocktail bar in the heart of London's Soho, on Greek Street. And it's called 'Curl's Best Friend'! 

They opened the vibrant three storey parlour to celebrate the launch of their new revolutionary Roller Lash mascara, and just to create an all-out girly spot to chill, eat cupcakes, shop (yes you can buy products there!) and indulge in a few beauty treatments.


The brand new ‘Curl’s Best Friend by Benefit’ mobile app enables girls to book in beauty and faux-blow services, reserve bar tables, share photos and browse live newsfeeds at their fingertips. The app is available for free download from the Apple App Store and Android Play Store.

£19.50


As you the world of Roller Lash, head to the bar for a delicious signature cocktail and cupcake, then relax in Benefit’s lush vintage chairs for a gossip with the girls. Guests will also be able to try the new Roller Lash mascara, which after testing myself, I can say is pretty impressive. If you like naturally looking long, dark and curly lashes, this is your mascara!


The organisers literally thought of every little detail...from the pink cocktails to the hair dryer light fittings!





At the Parlour, you can buy several hero products, get a blow dry or brow treatment, or just buy yourself and a friend a cheeky cocktail. Mine was delish!


Head upstairs to the beauty parlour and curl station and receive a make upper or brow wax and tint from Benefit’s make-up and brow experts, or a voluminous, curly faux-blowfrom the resident hair-styling professionals.


My friend Annie's super cute outfit :)


As night falls and the lights dim, the bar will unveil a hidden secret, or as Benefit call it, 'a place for girls to be fun and fearless'. Climb the stairs and you will enter a sexy little black and red Noir Bar, based on Benefit’s best-selling mascara they’re real! Open from 7pm each evening, the Noir Bar serves delicious, sultry cocktails.

Girls outside of London can still try the new Roller Lash mascara with a requisite serving of cupcakes and cocktails, in Benefit’s ‘Curls Best Friend’ tour parlour. From 17th April 2015 Benefit will be going on the road - follow their Twitter page for more details.

Curls Best Friend, 26 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 
27th February – end of March 2015 

Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am-11pm (Noir bar open from 7pm) 
Bookings 020 3620 4747

My fashionista partner in crime and I then headed to a lovely place called Shoryu in Carnaby Street's Kingly Court, where we devoured some peppers, pork gyoza, pork belly buns, green tea, and of course the classic ramen noodle dish!



It was my first time here and I loved it. The service was quick, the presentation gorgeous (Insta heaven!) and the food exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend a visit!






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Monday, 16 March 2015

Beauty: Embracing Spring with Yardley

I wanted to introduce you to a lovely brand that I recently discovered, which you may not have heard of yet. It's called Yardley London, and it is one of Britain's most distinguished heritage perfumeries. Acknowledged as one of England's most iconic beauty brands, it's conception dates all the way back to 1770.

I went to an event to check out their latest range, the exciting Spring launch of the new fragrance collection. As we walked into Kettner's in London's Soho, we were greeted by Yardley's beautiful vintage bottles and boxes which I wanted to keep so badly!! We were talked through their exciting new Spring perfumes from The Classics range, now reformulated and repackaged. 



Yardley London has built on the best sellers, modernising them to have a more contemporary classic fragrance which will appeal to the woman who is sophisticated, elegant, timeless...


Each of the four core fragrances have been brought up-to-date – English Lavender, English Rose, Lily of the Valley and April Violets. Presented in fresh, modern packaging with beautiful floral photography design to reflect its key ingredients, the range consists of Eau de Toilettes, Deodorising Body Fragrances, Luxury Soaps, Perfumed Talcs, Moisturising Body Washes, Moisturising Body Lotions and Nourishing Hand Creams to create a new, modern British classic.




Surprisingly, my favourite fragrance was the English Rose. I have never liked rose as a scent, and so this is the first time that I was actually taken by it. The rose tones were strong enough to smell but still very light and fresh. The perfume did not smell cheap like most rose ones do...and I can definitely see myself wearing it in the summer with a dress or girly outfit.

The great thing is, Yardley products are free from Parabens and Mineral Oils, and contain over 80% naturally derived ingredients.

We also tested a couple of new fragrances from a different collection, called Kiri (for women) and Ink (for men) which smelled incredibly refreshing (I love sweet fragrances) and were inspired by 2015's Eastern/Oriental trends.




PRODUCT RANGE PRICES
  • EDT £14.99 (125ml), £9.99 (50ml)
  • Deodorising Body Fragrance £2.49 (75ml)
  • Luxury Soaps £7.99 (3x 100ml)
  • Perfumed Talc £7.49 (200ml)
  • Moisturising Body Wash £3.99 (200ml) – Contains 80% naturally derived ingredients
  • Moisturising Body Lotion £5.99 (250ml) – Contains 90% naturally derived ingredients
  • Nourishing Hand Cream £4.49 (100ml) – Contains 95% naturally derived ingredients
  • Cologne Stick £4.49 (20ml)





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