Sunday, 30 March 2014

Insta-Updates: March

Spring is in the air (sort of). Here at Lipstick towers the winter clothes have been packed away regardless. Here's what March has involved:

1. Celebrating the one year anniversary of my Louboutins. Sad that the red soles are less red but shoes are for made for walking in (even if they don't always feel like they are).

2. Breakfast of Kings. Americans get the best flavours although my arteries are probably glad that cinnamon brown sugar "flavor" isn't available readily in the UK.

3. Book club - since having a Kindle I've barely bought any "real" books so its been a nice change to have a paper read although maybe more awkward when people see what you are giggling away to on the tube. If you enjoyed the film, you'll probably like this (and vice versa).

4. Party time at Bodo Schloss - go just for the amazing alpine smell.

5. Street food at One New Change - my standard weekend (window) shopping haunt, it's always so quiet!

6. Indoor picnic with the girls in my flat.

7. Love the retro packaging of these.

8. Dinner at Bill's - amareto sour cocktail while being indecisive with the menu.

9. Opted for all the sides - halloumi salad and sweet potato fries.

10. St Patrick's Day Parade - witnessing the attack of the very hungry caterpillar.

11. Lunch at The Wolseley - I have given up bread for Lent but couldn't resist this (it's posh bread, and it was a Sunday). Favourite destination for relaxed lunches, the atmosphere and service are always spot on.

12. Dinner at Itsu.

13. Grand Budapest Hotel at the Barbican cinema. A beautiful Instagram-alike film in my favourite cinema.

14. Warehouse's Fashion Shooters event - Instagram themed food and juices in film canisters, such a cute idea.

15. Wah nails at Fashion Shooters - in awe of the steady hands of my manicurist and love how fresh white nails look.

What did your March look like?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Polka Dots and Giant Buttons

Visiting the Classic Car Boot made me want to wear something vintage, or just vintage inspired.I wish I had the commitment to dress full on vintage every day but in real life I work in an office and don't have the energy to backcomb a beehive every morning. I am so envious of those who do live out the vintage dream on a daily basis. Trends are so transient and having an era to dress for must make life easier in some aspects, hair styling time aside. Although I am a fickle girl and love dabbling in seasonal trends too much to only dress from one decade. If I had to pick a decade to dress from I'd be torn between the 1950s and the 1980s - I love the femininity of the former decade and the power dressing brashness of the latter. This outfit takes a bit from both (as well as combining true vintage and vintage-inspired).

Emily and Finn Dress, Vintage Jacket and Earrings, Accurist Watch, Gilda's Tryst Bag, Duo Brogues, Primark Ankle Socks
Thank you to Sophie for taking the pictures.

Which era is your favourite for fashion?


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Insta-Outfits - Spring Fling

This time of year is the hardest to dress for. I'm bored of my winter clothes and yet despite seeing some sunlight (hello, vitamin D!) it's no way warm enough for summer clothes and unlike autumn I don't have a hint of a tan to make me want to go bare-legged just yet.

Whistles Cardigan, Zara Tshirt, Boden Skirt
For: Casual Friday at work
Oasis Tshirt, Forever 21 Skirt
For: Seeing feminist production Blurred Lines at the National Theatre Shed
Yumi Dress, Whistles Cardi, John Lewis faux fur collar
For: Alice In Wonderland Afternoon Tea at The Sanderson
New Look teen range shirt, Topshop Dress, Missoni Scarf
For: Brunch at Bill's
ASOS Top, M&S Skirt, Topshop Tights, Office Brogues
For: Poetry writing and dancing at the Barbican Centre
Zara Tshirt, Forever 21 Skirt
For: An indoor picnic with the Dream Team
Vintage Blazer, Forever 21 Dress
For: St Patrick's Day Parade and lunch at The Wolseley
Sundried "Blog This" Tshirt, H&M Skirt
Sundried are a new lifestyle brand - tshirts are made in Peru and hand-printing in the UK, they do custom-print tshirts and everything is made ethically. They also have a range of sunglasses - I love these yellow aviators!
For: Lazy Sunday blogging
Link me your Instagrams in the comments below!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Classic Car Boot

Last weekend, Sophie and I headed to the Southbank for a day of vintage delights at the Classic Car Boot. The weather was absolutely beautiful and it made me fall in love with the Southbank all over again.The vintage style boot sale was packed with clothes, accessories and homeware but as I have given up shopping for Lent I was on a strict window-shopping only order. Browsing the clothes and beautiful classic cars was more than enough on such a sunny day and we also took advantage of the amazing street food on offer too (the dumplings from Rainbo were delish!).

Here's to a summer of sunny days on the Southbank!

I'd love to visit a few more boot sales this summer, give me some London-area recommendations please!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Lady Dinah's - Afternoon Tea at London's First Cat Cafe!

My friend L is getting married soon so a hen party was in order. Our first stop for festivities was London's first "cat cafe". Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium has just opened on Bethnal Green Road in Shoreditch. The cafe is decorated in a lovely vintage style and is home to eleven cats - every corner and every seat is occupied by a sleeping cat! It felt like being in a crazy cat lady's living room than being in a cafe, the furniture is mixed up with objects for the cats to climb on and the squish sofas and arm chairs are purrfect for curling up with a cat and a cuppa.

Our group had a lovely afternoon tea and enjoyed the company of the kitties for a few hours before heading off part two - dancing at Bodo Schloss so a few hours spent with the cats and lots of yummy cake was a perfect start to the hen do festivities. We had afternoon tea - the popcorn tea is a must try - which included macaroons, red velvet cake, carrot cake, banana cake and cheesecake. The cakes were all delicious and our teas were kept topped up to fuel our chatter and hen party games. There are also savories and individual cakes available as well as gluten free options.

I'd definitely recommend a visit. If you're a cat lover you'll be in feline heaven and if you're not its worth a visit just for the sheer novelty (oh, and for the elderflower cheesecake which is amazing). I'm actually a little scared of animals but the cats were so friendly and used to people, and, being cats, will not particularly bother you if you aren't keen! You'll need to make a reservation which you can do here.

Are you intrigued by the cat cafe?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The No Bake Bake-Off

Being a rather undomestic goddess, I don't actually have an oven in my flat. My kitchen is in a cupboard so there isn't really room for one anyway.

When other members of the Dream Team offered to bake for my indoor picnic, I thought that I should probably participate in the bake off action too so here are some no-bake-bake ideas for others who are oven-less or just want something quick and easy to make that doesn't requite any cooking.

1. Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites (inspired by Laura's recipe)

I love salt and sweet combinations so knew that this would be a winner. And it only needs three ingredients, all of which can be picked up in a small London supermarket. The cooking chocolate was so hard to break up but after smashing it into pieces I melted it in the microwave in a big Tuppawear bowl. I then stirred in the peanut butter and gave it another blast in the microwave. I used about a third of the pretzels and crumbled them into the melted chocolate mixture before spooning the mix into paper cases. A whole pretzel on the top of each one makes a nice finishing touch!

These could be made with digestive biscuits rather than pretzels for more of a rocky road type no-bake-bake or you could add in dried fruits, marshmallows, sweets etc. 

 2. Chocolate-chocolate peanut butter crispies

Rice crispie cakes are the obvious no-bake-bake but I wanted to make ones which were a bit different. Using Coco Pops makes them a bit chocolate-y-er and dark chocolate gives them a more grown up look and taste, although this is more because I just don't like milk chocolate as crispie cakes are hardly the peak of grown up eating! Some recipes call for golden syrup or marshmallows but I thought this sounded potentially sickly and, even worse, messy so decided to use keep the peanut butter theme:

These are so, so easy. Simply melt all the chocolate, stir in the peanut butter and then keep adding the Coco Pops until no more can be mixed in. Divide into cake cakes and leave to harden. Lick bowl and feel like a slightly more domestic goddess than you were before.

What are your favourite no-bake recipes?

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Biscuiteers Boutique - Mr Men and Little Miss

I'd heard a lot about Biscuiteers on the London food scene but, let's face it, no one wants to hear about biscuits. You want to eat them. Biscuits are nothing new in this world of cronuts, crookies, duffins etc etc but Biscuiteers are not your average custard you will see.

Walking down Kensington Park Road on a Wednesday evening, I bumped into this fellow:

Keen to be out of reach of those long, long arms I popped inside the Biscuiteers boutique where the Mr Men and Little Miss range of biscuits has just been launched:
I'm a 26 year old "proper adult" (or so I try to convince myself on a daily basis) but I have to admit that I did practically squeal with delight at this table - it's just too cute!

Some fizz and a cupcake were required to get into the spirit of things:

The cupcake is almost too pretty to eat! Having already seen Elodie, Michelle, Sarah and Tanya's attempts at biscuit decorating on Instagram, I had to give it a go too, just in case I had an undiscovered talent at steady-handed icing:

Evidently not it seems! Best stick to the day job. Having admired the rest of the range, including my favourite - the fashionista biscuits (obviously) we headed off for dinner but not before a quick tickle:
I had a smile on my face for the rest of the evening - the characters are so nostalgic and iconic. The lovely bag of goodies only added to my excitement - I have to say that this popcorn might just be the best I have ever tasted:

Which Mr Men / Little Miss are you? I was Little Miss Tiny as a child (I've always been short) but now that I'm a grown up I've become quite bossy too so now I'm Little Miss Tiny-Bossy (I've always wanted a double barreled last name).


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Whistle While You Work

In an effort to not have any clothes still with the tags on in my wardrobe it was time to finally wear this Whistles dress that I picked up in the January sales for £35 - bargain! Whistles always seem to get it spot in with work wear. I am guilty of "saving" my new purchases but I really wanted to wear this on a day when I had something more exciting to do after work than a yoga class. I had a drinks party last week so finally this dress had the labels cut out. It did me proud and didn't look sad and creased after a day of sitting at my desk. For evening I pulled out my work ponytail, swiped on some lipstick while waiting to cross the road (an essential city girl life skill there!) and was good to go:

Dress: Whistles, Shoes: Louboutins, Nails: Barry M Raspberry
Are you guilty of "saving" clothes?
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