Friday, 31 January 2014

Insta-Updates: 2014

New year, new us. January always feels like a bit of a drag but here's how I've been keeping busy while waiting for it to stop raining (while not participating in dry January or attempting to detox):

1. Bill's may be a bit of a blogger favourite but this was my first visit. Skinny burger and salad before...

2. ...Jude Law in Henry V - such a good performance by Jude Law in my first Shakespeare history. Not bad going for the second day of 2014.

3. Waitrose recipe cards for when I host my 39394 course dinner party. You're all invited.

4. Spending time at my parents house with my little birdie, Sonny.

5. Coffee and cake with mes parents courtesy of John Lewis (apply for a My John Lewis card stat if you don't already have one).

6. January detoxing with an Americano and a millionnaire's shortbread. I think that by now, millionaires maybe eat something a little more decadent than chocolate topped least, I hope they do.

7. Favourite ever dinner in Wahahca. While there might be other things on the menu, I will only ever order this because its amazing.

8. Mini dessert and mini spoon.

9. Lunch in The Snug in St Albans after a hard morning's skiing in Hemel Hempstead... as you do. Skiing is stressful (helmet hair, having to wear trousers etc etc), hence the afternoon mojito.

10. Pinterst-worthy meringues in Recipease, Nottinghill.

11. Furniture shopping and wishing I could afford / had the space for this beautiful lamp in the Conran Shop.

12. In love with this retro style desk from Made. I maybe need this more than the bird lamp...

How was your January?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Dry January - Skincare Essentials!

Whether you have given up booze for January or not (I definitely fall into the "not" camp there), your skin is in need of a drink in January regardless. Although not one containing gin or a glass of fizz. This is definitely the time of year where our skin cries out for moisture and a glowing complexion can seem hard to imagine when its dark at 4pm and our skin is subject to gale force winds, freezing rain and dehydrating central heating.

I couldn't wait to try some of Soap & Glory's offerings to help my skin get back on track and try to offset the effects of winter weather.
The line-up: Bright Here, Bright Now, Make Yourself Youthful Super Serum, Glow Job. Just the names are enough to already make you feel a little brighter, no?
Glow Job promises that "weekend away" glow, even in winter. Being a year round pale person, I was worried that this would make me look like I'd been Tango-ed but the cream is actually a creamy beige colour rather than a fake tan bronze so it wasn't at all scary to apply! The Bronzeburst Beads create a super subtle glow and would work for any skintype. The moisturiser itself has a lovely light texture and this would make a great base for make-up on no-foundation days or just when you feel like a bit of a boost while we all wait for the sun to make an appearance again.

Next up is Bright Here, Bright Now. This is my favourite product - it reminds me a bit of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm which is always up there in those lists of celebrity essentials.  This has a slight minty scent and it felt really refreshing on my face. I could really feel this product getting to work and it left my skin feeling soft and looking refreshed. Definitely one for after those late nights which will hopefully be creeping back into my social calendar soon...

Since reaching the grand old age of 26 I've been taking more of an interest in anti-aging products. The packaging of this serum is really cool and definitely makes me feel better about using an anti-aging product! The formula boasts peptides and collagen precursors to battle wrinkles - ingredients often found in far more expensive products. The serum has a fresh scent and absorbs really fast. Anti-aging products can feel thick and heavy but this is so light - perfect if you're trying to protect your skin from aging but still worry about your face turning into an oil slick. A lovely addition to my nighttime skincare routine.

L-R: Bright Here, Bright Now, Make Yourself Youthful, Glow Job
Have you tried any of these products?

Monday, 27 January 2014

One More Cup of Coffee

Coffee comes pretty high on my list of "favourite things" so when Iconemesis got in touch about their iPhone cases, I just had to pick this coffee-adorned one. For it's first outing I paired it with an ASOS sale purchase while still had the tag on it (new years' resolution should be to wear new things within a week of purchase) and took it out for, well, coffee (and brunch):

Top: ASOS Petite, Skirt: Topshop, Tights: Topshop, Watch: Watch Warehouse, iPhone case: c/o Iconemesis
For my friend S's birthday we brunched at Caravan on Exmouth Market. Having visited the Kings Cross branch back in the summer I knew we were in for a treat:
Menu perusing with phone and fur stole.
A "long black" with soya milk on the side. Love the cute mini milk bottle!
One of my friends played blogger for the day and took some photos for me - thanks, S! This is the coconut bread with lemon cream cheese and rhubarb, the Welsh rarebit with poached egg and a side of chili beans
Welsh rarebit
Coconut bread close-up. I had this on my last visit and it was so good.
Five of my friends ordered the chili beans with goats cheese. Bad for blog post food variety but it did look good. Here with a side of chorizo.
French toast with bacon.
Chili beans in close-up.
Brunch table.
In blogger mode.
I had the baked eggs for one with a slice of grain toast. This was delicious - I'd never had baked eggs before and have definitely been missing out.
Caravan is one of my favourite brunch destinations - I definitely need to re-visit to work through more of the menu. We had a good 2 and a half hours at our table to chat and catch-up and my food was a little late in arriving so our waiter gave me a second coffee on the house, great service especially as the upstairs of the restaurant was absolutely packed.

What does your phone wear? And where should I add to my "to brunch" list?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

A "weekend" in the City - winter edition

Back in August, I had a rather enjoyable fake weekend. Five months later and it was time for another. Although in winter the activities on offer are rather different and even the seeing the photo of flip-flopped feat makes me shiver.

This "weekend" I was accompanied by Mummy Lipstick who had just celebrated her birthday so some celebratory fun was definitely on the cards. London is so, so much nicer when everyone else is at work! Here's what we got up to:

First stop was The Conran Shop as I am on the hunt for some new furniture. Sadly most of the shop was a bit beyond my budget and once I'd seen this beautiful lamp I couldn't concentrate on regular furniture anyway.
Furniture shopping is hungry work so we stopped at The Natural Kitchen on Marylebone High Street for lunch. I had teriyaki salmon and two of the daily salads. Mummy Lipstick had dill and lemon salmon with the same salads. Washed down with coconut water (me) and homemade lemonade (Mummy Lipstick).

Next stop was Skin Health Spa in Marylebone Village for facials and a bit more furniture shopping along the way. I chose some paint in Farrow and Ball and spent the rest of the day laughing at my own joke that there are actually "50 shades of grey" available. Cool.

Evening birthday cocktails at Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden. Mostly picked due to the cocktail menu - I had a palomita and mummy lipstick had a pomegranite margarita.
Novelty of having someone else to take photos of me.
We shared chicken tempura tacos, jalepeno poppers and a mango and brie quesedilla and felt like we were on our favourite Food Network show, Diners Drive-ins and Dives (albeit with slightly smaller portion sixes).

We then hopped along to Soho to see The Wolf of Wall Street at the Curzon. The cinema was packed as it was opening night and the film (although long) was brilliant - Mummy Lipstick and I had tears of laughter running down our faces during one particular scene and both agreed that Leonardo DiCaprio is a very fine actor indeed. Maybe not one to see with your mother if she is not cool with swearing, mind (or copious nudity and drug use).
The following morning we headed to Knightsbridge and had brunch in Richoux - a cute old-style cafe opposite Harrods. I had eggs florentine and jasmine tea.
OOTD - Topshop blouse, vintage skirt. Told a bemused Mummy Lipstick that polka dots are a "blogger thing".
After a wander around Harrods and Harvey Nicholls (sadly without The Wolf of Wall Street's bank balance) we stopped for coffee and a slice of cake. After a wander through Hyde Park I waved Mummy Lipstick off and headed to Honest Kings Cross...
This was my first visit to Honest. It was 5pm so time for a G&T in a jar while waiting at the bar (ha). The meal was for Sophie's birthday - arriving at 5pm was a good shout as there's no booking and the restaurant is tiny but we got a table pretty quickly and weren't made to feel at all rushed as we chatted and caught up with the gossip. 
I had the standard beef burger, cooked medium rare with a side salad instead of chips (potato hater!). The burger was pretty good - perfectly cooked in a soft brioche bun.
Close up.
How would you spend your perfect London weekend?

Friday, 24 January 2014

#SherlockLives - Sherlock's London

Like everyone else on the planet I have loved (and at times been utterly exasperated by) the return of the BBC's Sherlock. Cumberbatch aside, the other beautiful star of the show is definitely London so I thought I'd drag myself away from the TV and my duvet (ultimate January friends) and explore some of Sherlock's London.

The first stop had to be the roof of St Bartholemew's Hospital in the City of London - arguably now London's most famous rooftop. At the site of Sherlock's "death" the telephone box is covered with Sherlock-related grafitti so I definitely knew I was in the right place!

The four stories somehow seem a lot higher in the TV show but looking up from ground level...its a big drop.

Day two of Sherlock-ing and here's my sleuthing outfit (not quite a deer-stalker I'm afraid):
Dress: ASOS Petite, Ring: YSL, Collar: John Lewis (v old)
Stop two featured in the final episode of the last series. I had heard about the facade houses in Leinster Gardens but had never actually seen them. First, though, a tube journey to Queensway (Central Line, if you're wondering):

If you don't know that the houses are fake then you could walk straight past without even realising - its all in the details, lack of numbers and letter boxes on the doors, windows painted the same shade of grey as London's sky 90% of the time... The houses mask the railway line behind as back when it was built it was thought of as uncouth to see the line in such a well-to-do area of the city:

Comparing the fake houses with the ones next door it is actually quite obvious when you stop to look!

The final stop on my Sherlock-ing tour of London? Well, where else?

 Did you watch the last series of Sherlock?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Saving the Pennies = Hello, Mulberry!

Remember how my friend P bought me a little piggy bank for my 25th birthday? You're forgiven if you don't, it was almost a year and a half ago...and I thought 25 was old back then. Well, since then, my advancing age didn't allow me to forget my pledge to put all my £1 coins in the little piggy at the end of every week. Last week, I went to put a pound in the slot and it wouldn't go in - meaning that my piggy bank was full! Without bothering to count the money, I acted like a responsible saver and hot-footed it to Mulberry on New Bond Street to reward myself for over a year of diligent saving.

I had loved the pineapple keyring since it first came into stock (#bloggerswearpineapples, don't you know?) but it was originally a little pricey for something that I maybe do not really need in my life. Hannah let me know when it had gone into the sale but I was slightly put off my Mulberry's postal charges for online purchases and still felt like it was maybe a little excessive. However, after seeing Hannah's well-dressed keys and realising that I am now a diligent saver I decided to treat myself!
A Mulberry carrier bag. A guaranteed way to brighten up a dreary London day. Swing happily from your arm and watch as all Mayfair shop assistants are suddenly nice to you because, hello, you can afford that shit (or at least act like you can).
The goods and the cash. It might be a good idea to not actually pay with £1 coins in the store of your choice.

Keys, you're going to be looking good.
And the best part of this tale of money-saving? When I took the coins into Metro Bank to be counted, I didn't have £42 - I had £67. Mulberry and some money left over. That's a good day. Even if if rained.

What should I save for next?

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Dancing On Ice

As a summer girl, winter's in London are long and dreary. Thank goodness for Netflix. But, when my friends suggested ice-skating I jumped at the chance to do something that while screaming "winter!" sounded like it could be fun. Taking advantage of a lack of pre-Christmas crowds, we headed to the Canary Wharf ice-rink. I don't work in the wharf so found skating between giant buildings and fairy-let trees quite beautiful although it may be a different story if you're stuck on the 30th floor of one of the office buildings and have to watch people skating all day long...

Skating OOTD: Coat - Zara (old old), Dress: Closet via Dorothy Perkins, Socks: c/o Farlows
And the best bit (besides gracefully gliding across the ice)? Warming up afterwards with a chicken chilli men in Wagamama.

Have you been skating this year?
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