Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Recipe: Spaghetti with walnut and pecorino pesto


Last week, I made this. And completely surprised myself. It's quite garlic-heavy and rich (I probably shouldn't have used my smoothie maker to blend the ingredients!) so use it sparingly on the pasta but it was absolutely delicious. It was from one of my first cookbooks: Ainsley Harriott's 'Just 5 Ingredients' - which is not exactly chic, but definitely frugal!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 50g shelled walnut
  • 25g flat-leaf parsley (plus extra to garnish)
  • 50g grated pecorino cheese (grana padano or parmesan works too) - plus extra to garnish
  • 350g spaghetti
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • seasalt, pepper and 120ml extra virgin olive oil
Method: 

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Roast the walnuts on a baking tray for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool.

2) Put the parsley in a blender with 1 teaspoon of salt and the garlic and blend until minced. Add the walnuts and the cheese and blitz again. Then add the oil until the pesto is thick and emulsified. Seasn to taste.

3) Boil the spaghetti, drain, then add the pasta with the pesto on the heat until heated through. Serve with a sprinkling of cheese and parsley.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Outfit Post: Little Black Day Dress

Sunglasses: Toms. Coat: Topshop (buy similar here). Dress: Selected at Asos. Bag: Anya Hindmarch (buy similar here). Sandals: Clarks
I'd be happy if it never gets warmer this summer, but just stays like this continuously. I love summer clothes, I love not thinking about layers and stepping out in an easy dress and sandals. With my new lifestyle, a Little Black Day Dress (the LBDD: catchy, isn't it?!) is a new essential. With meetings in town, I need to look chic but effortless (and I don't want to think too hard about it). This dress is quilted jersey, and looks relaxed with flats in the day. I am wearing a size M (I am usually a size 10).






The bag is the Mini Gracie from Anya Hindmarch, my ultimate weekend/city break bag, and I've spied the all-black version on The Outnet at 50% off...

Gracie bag, £225, Anya Hindmarch at The Outnet
Black is big news this S/S, so make your accessories count:

Jewelled sandals, £49.99, Clarks
Espadrilles, £14.99, Clarks
Black glitter sunglasses, £13, River Island
Slip-on trainers, £20, Topshop
Dress, £60, Selected at Asos

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Triumph and the Makers

'The Makers' from left: Thea Green (Nails Inc), Lizzie McQuade (milliner and last year's bursary winner), Roksanda Ilincic, Georgina Coulter (Fenwick womenswear and lingerie buyer) and Sophia Webster
Sounds like a band, doesn't it?! They actually look like a band, don't they? This is because Triumph has gone all cool on us and made some GREAT decisions, of late.
Collaborating with Helena Christensen to design a range of amazing lingerie last year? Inspiring.

Helena, looking incredible in Triumph for September 13 Red, photographed by Max Abadian
Bringing in top names in British Fashion for their 'Makers Collective' campaign? Genius.


Until June 2014, Triumph have a Pop-up store, 'Maison Triumph', in Covent Garden (Seven Dials) and I dropped by the store last week to try a few pieces on.

 
The store is quirky and fun, but they really know what they're doing. It definitely made me think about wearing more colour, I need this lilac set in my life...
 
The Helena Christensen styles I fell in love with...

The collaborators are also getting involved, Thea Green will be launching an exclusive Nails Inc colour for the store as a free gift and Roksanda Ilincic will be customising lingerie, sold instore.

And it doesn't stop there, here's the best bit: Triumph have set up a 'Supporting Women In The Making' project this month whereby they offer a £10,000 bursary fund to help one woman per season make her business dreams a reality, and be mentored by The Makers. Sound good? Go to Triumph.com/womeninmaking

Friday, 11 April 2014

Pointy Flats

Great news: flats are here to stay. But what kind of flat are you? Today I am focusing on the pointy flat. 

LK Bennett flats, £165
The ultimate smart girl shoe, and the answer to looking chic at the office without the pain, they are also the perfect alternative 'wedding guest shoe'. 

I still get a lot of wear out of my Sophia Webster wedding shoes.
My advice? Invest in a statement coloured pair to lift your outfit - metallics and pastels will work with any look (including black) and there are tons to choose from, whatever your budget.


1. Snakeskin is a huge trend at the moment and these will look 
   great with stonewashed distressed jeans, £180, Kurt Geiger London

2. I love the metallic pink, the perfect shoe to wear to a wedding
   (or just to work!), £165, LK Bennett

3. The white alligator effect flats look more Balenciaga than Ted 
   Baker, £100, Ted Baker at Asos

4. I can't believe how good value these are. NEED. £26, Next

5. I know they're pricey but they would make an amazing wedding day 
   shoe. And spruce up your skinny jeans, £395, Jimmy Choo at Net A 

6If you have a size 6 shoe (39) then now is your moment as these 
  Kirkwood beauties are 55% off, £222.75, Nicholas  Kirkwood at 
  The Outnet

Thursday, 10 April 2014

H&M Conscious collection

Last year, I bought one of my most useful ocasionwear dresses from the H&M Conscious Collection (see the post here), so I am thrilled it's back. The collection, made from sustainable fabrics and organic materials, will span across both daywear and eveningwear. 

Jacket made from salvaged denim
It will also be a limited collection, sold instores and online from today, 10th April 2014, so get it while you can! Shop the collection here.




If I were getting married again, I wouldn't hesitate to snap up this dress, at £299:

 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Outfit Post: Black denim and Gazelles

Coat: Topshop. Jumper: £45, And other Stories. Jeans: £39.99, Zara. Bag: Anya Hindmarch. Trainers: £65, Adidas
Today's outfit post has turned out a bit grungey. Maybe it's because I'm growing my hair colour out, maybe it's because I'm facing away from camera (one of those days), maybe it's the ripped jeans or is the Adidas Gazelles? Whatever it is, I'm feeling the 90s vibe. 


I was about 14 when I bought my first pair of Adidas Gazelles, and then I replaced them for Sambas - they were navy blue and I lived in them. It was a time of Nirvana tees, Oasis, My So Called Life and Smashing Pumpkins gigs - and my parents despaired. Now, much older and wiser, I am back in them and far from reliving my youth, I am excited about where I am in my life and can look back with a smile (knowing I'll never have to go through my teenage years again!).

Adidas Gazelles, £65
Giles S/S 14 Show (style.com)
Pheobe Philo at Celine - wearing Adidas Stan Smiths
I am also loving And Other Stories at the moment, this season is really a strong one for them. I bought this jumper last week (as well as a gypsy-style white smock dress, which I'm sure will have to only come out on holidays):

Jumper, £45, And Other Stories


Monday, 7 April 2014

Liberty x Nike Collaboration

My Nike x Liberty trainers from last year
Good news for all trainer lovers: possibly my favourite combination of all time, the Libery x Nike range is back with another collaboration, launching today. Everyone's ultimate British department store has once again mixed its cool archive prints with Nike's iconic trainer styles. And I think I'm in love...


The trainers start from £75 and a good investment, seeing as the trainer trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast. This new style seems prettier, softer and I love the laces.

Trainers, £75, Liberty



Clothing starts at £50 for the shorts - I'd quite like to jog around Tooting in these..!


Shorts, £50, Liberty

Sportswear is back in a big way...so many brands are upping their game lately, and it's now so much easier to look chic for less in your sports kit. If you're looking something a bit more low-key, I'd also check out H&M or Gap for a fab range of Fitness wear.
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