Saturday, 18 April 2015

Weekend Away...

Enjoying a well deserved croissant (or so I tell myself) in my Treehouse in Chewton Glen. Dressing gown: Hotel's own. Bracelet: Pandora
You probably saw on Instagram last month my amazing weekend in the country with Pandora. What a treat, and I mean a treat. I have worked with Pandora for many years through my time at Red and this was a little trip to say thank you. And it was a photo opportunity I couldn't resist sharing. I mean, my flat is still underneath 5cm of dust and we are living out of 2 rooms filled with piles of clothes and boxes - who wouldn't want to use the opportunity of crisp white sheets, the New Forest and food to die for?!

Did I mention we were staying in treehouses?

Hunter wellies - a New Forest essential

Our morning Pilates class...

Lunch at The Pig 
Jeans: MiH Jeans. Shoes: Next. Clutch: LK Bennett

Lunching with Bonnie from The Style Traveller

Wearing jumper: Gap. Trousers: H&M. Clutch: LK Bennett. Heels: Topshop
Bracelet and ring, both Pandora

The trip was in aid of the Essence Collection, and it's lovely how all the charms have different meanings - from peace to appreciation. I think it's safe to say, after our wonderful weekend, all of our bracelets mean something a little bit special to each of us. Pandora truly is one of those special companies, and I'm a convert (oh and they have an exciting launch coming soon, which I'm looking forward to telling you about!).

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Your fail-safe High Street buys that *might* pass for Isabel Marant

It's basically everyone's aim in life for their summer wardrobe (even if they don't know it). Easy, effortless, cool - it's definitely what I've been looking for in my current clothing. Here's what you need to achieve the 'Marant' look without the hefty pricetag.

1. A classic, oversized tee never goes amiss. Lace detail top, £12.99, H&M

2. These sandals will transform an outfit. And at £30 it's worth a try. Sandals, £30, Next

3. Wear these with a classic white shirt and jeans for nonchalance chic. Tassel earrings, £5.99, New Look

4. A cape or poncho is a must - it's all about layering for that Marant look...Fringed poncho, £69.99, Mango

5. This is the bikini I'm going to be buying for summer. Detachable straps and a great colour with a tan, and very of the 'Marant' S/S colour palette. Bikini top, £16, bikini bottoms: £14, both Next

6. I'm always after the 'perfect smock dress', and this might just be it. Just add gladiator sandals. Dress, £46, Topshop

7. Wear with your low-cut, almost sheer expensive cotton tee for that French feel. Necklace, £12, Accessorize

8. I have these boots and they are so comfortable, but you can wear them for summer too with your denim shorts. Suede boots, £75, Office

9. The 70s shade with ice cream coloured lenses is where it's at. Sunglasses, £10, River Island

10. Yes, belts are back - and the knotted, looped and plaited variety in particular will serve you well this summer. Leather belt, £7.99, H&M

11. The 'wear anywhere' jacket, this will last and last. Jacket, £49, Monsoon

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

*FRUGAL BUY* Marks & Spencer jewelled flats

Sunglasses: £90, Hook LDN. Top: Zara (sold out but buy similar here). Dungarees: £29.99, H&M. Bag: £250, Sonia Rykiel at Vestiaire Collective. Sandals: £45, Marks + Spencer
 After a long instagram discussion, I'm sorry to say I went with the black versions of these sandals...

A lot of you voted grey but when push came to shove, I knew I would get more wear out of the I already had a black jewelled pair that were on their last legs and needed replacing.

Denim dungarees, £35, Next
Jewelled leather sandals,: £45, Marks + Spencer
And did I mention my new bag...? As a pre birthday treat I got myself a kickass fringed studded bucket bag from Vestiaire Collective - at a great price of £250.

So I think I'm just about ready for summer, which is a good thing as (I may be speaking too soon here) it seems to have sprung upon us pretty quickly!

THE FRUGAL EDIT - 3 other amazing jewelled sandal finds:

1. Jewelled leather, £35, Accessorize

2. Jewelled suede, £34.99, New Look

3. Jewelled denim, £160, J Crew at Net A Porter

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Mint Velvet #StyleSeekers

Jumper: Bella Freud at Net A Porter. Shorts: £49, Mint Velvet. Shoes: £89, Mint Velvet. Nails: Jessica Nails 'Caviar Dreams' , by Lucy Sharman
Everyday basics, something I've been moving towards recently - a more streamlined wardrobe. This outfit sums it up for me: easy, wearable but stylish.

I'm excited to say that Mint Velvet asked me, alongside other bloggers (favourite Freddie from I Go By Frankie, new style crush Alexis from Style Memos and good friend Anneli from What I Bought Today) to be part of their #MVStyleSeekers collective - my advice and top picks from Mint Velvet can be seen on their blog now. But I can let you know now that the shorts and espadrilles in this shot are the most comfortable pieces I put on all day - I've never owned heeled espadrilles but maybe it's about time I did? Also love the flat ones...

£69, Mint Velvet

And yes, I'm in white skinny jeans! Think oversized shirt and sunnies for airport wear? I'm all in...

Suede jacket: £259.  T-shirt: £49. Jeans: £69. Sandals: £79, all Mint Velvet
Obviously I'm not a model but I think these photos captured me in a more relaxed environment - the photographer was very patient with me! 

Friday, 10 April 2015

9 affordable art prints for your home

Image from Pinterest
I believe that a room doesn't really have a personality until you have pictures or photos up. After pulling down most of our picture frames whilst the builders have been in, I'm rethinking about how and where I put them back...and upgrading a few for some more statement pieces. Here's what I've been thinking about:

'Sindri', by Astrid Harrisson, from £50, Lumitrix

'LOVE YMC' by Patrick Thomas, £100 (signed by the artist), Nelly Duff

'Boats' by Tommy Clarke, £90, Lumitrix
Tokyo print, £35, Magma at Amara
Vintage by Hemingway, £38.50, Habitat

Set of 3 glass hanging frames, £25, Urban Outfitters

Andy Warhol digital download art print, £3.46, Etsy
'Women' by Phaedra Brody, £70, Yellow Korner
'Fall' by Bridget Riley, £20, Tate
And if you want to invest a little bit more, may I suggest Yoox? Yes, the fashion retailer...they actually work really closely with Artists and have a range of limited edition prints such as Peter Blake, Takashi Murakami (one of my faves) and Marc Quinn...

'Under The Ocean' Limited Edition print, £300, Marc Quinn at Yoox

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The long and short of it...

Trench: £75, Oasis. Jumper: & Other Stories. Sunglasses: Asos (buy similar here). Leather skirt: £55, Asos . Bag: Topshop. Trainers: £66.99, Adidas at Office

There's a reason they say opposites attract...a sparkly skirt with a tee, a long coat with a mini skirt - my new Asos mini skirt finally got its first outing this Bank holiday weekend with a longline duster trench. It's a much easier way to go barelegged until it warms up a bit.

This Oasis coat is a great affordable version of my Gestuz duster coat - the khaki looks great with denim, I'll be wearing mine later on in the season with skinny white jeans.

I've got a feeling my new leather mini skirt is going to become my new best friend - it will replace my old H&M leather skater skirt which feels a bit too 'girly' now. A leather mini needn't look slutty - wear it with flats and an oversized knit and it can be everyday (and at £55, it's one of the cheapest real leather ones I've found).

Leather skirt, £55, Asos

Oh, and I wear hoops now. That's just my thing....I intend not to take them off until summer is over.

9ct gold earrings, £49.99, H Samuel

See more of my SS wishlists (and essential packing ideas) on Lyst:

Monday, 6 April 2015

8 of the best healthy restaurants in London right now

It's only recently that I've started to crave a more healthy lifestyle, and perhaps subconsciously it has coincided with an influx of great restaurants offering gluten, dairy free and vegan foods. Whatever it is, it's working and if you're in the capital why not stop at one of these rather than a sandwich on the go? You'll feel a lot better for it.

1. Tanya's Cafe, Chelsea

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the best lunches I've had in London, healthy or not. Everything is raw, plant-based and free from refined sugar and gluten. The juice list is insane and I had the nachos (£17.50) which they were worth every penny.

Tanya's Cafe

2. Wild Food Cafe, Covent Garden

Serving raw and vegan food, it's really central and they claim to have the best raw veggie burger in town (£12.80). It's one of Deliciously Ella's favourites and it's next on my list.

Wild Food Cafe

3. Grain Store, King's Cross

Amazing atmosphere and even more amazing food - just make sure you book ahead! They do a mean Bloody Mary with chilli infused vodka and the sprouting seeds and beans starter with miso aubergine, crispy citrus chicken skin and potato wafer is possibly the tastiest thing I've ever eaten. It changed me! The menus is vast and has a great key highlighting all the dairy, gluten, vegan options etc. Roughly £30 a head.

4.  Little H, Parson's Green

The sister restaurant of Hally's, Little H is inspired by Californian sunshine and clean living. It's small, so a great place to grab a juice (the Green Dream, £3.90, is a winner) or takeaway one of the chia seed and almond milk pots.

5. The Good Life Eatery, Chelsea

You know it's good when people queue round the block to get in on the action. But it's worth the wait. From superfood salads to avocado chilli on gluten-free toast £5.50, the only thing that'll disappoint you would be if you don't get a table.

6. The Detox Kitchen, Soho

Based on the concept of healthy packages delivered to your door, and already loved by celebs like Elle Macpherson and Gwyneth Paltrow, The Detox Kitchen also have great delis across London - with one just off Carnaby Street and a 'grab and go' range launched in Selfridges. With seasonal salads, the menu changes but it's always delicious, with everything wheat, dairy and sugar free. The Detox Kitchen Bible cookbook is launching May 7th - join me in the pre-order!

Image from Instagram/TheDetoxKitchen

7. Roots & Bulbs, Marylebone

Sarah Cadji, finding herself exhausted and ill after 10 years working in finance (sound familiar?), started researching food and was especially drawn to cold-pressed juices. Now famous for their cleansing and detox 'Juice Plans', this cafe also serves up great baked goods (banana bread to die for) and wholesome food.

Sarah Cadji's 'Pure: Juicing For Life' book by Quadrille Publishing is available on Amazon here
8. Mildred's, Soho 

One of my favourite places to meet friends after work - mainly because the food is delicious and you are guaranteed a good atmosphere. It's a vegetarian restaurant with a lot of vegan options, too - the halloumi burger and sweet potato fries are worth the queue when it gets a bit busy!

Other ways I am (trying to be!) healthy:

  • Trying WelleCo's Super Elixir - it's basically all your vitamins in one - add two teaspoons to a drink or smoothie to help fight fatigue and leave your skin glowing. It's expensive but price per drink is cheaper than a coffee! And if it's good enough for Elle Macpherson...
  • Being enticed by Bonapeti - freshly prepared plant-based dishes delivered direct to your door. Main courses are around £9.50, you don't have to sign up to a subscription, and there is no minimum charge.
Carrot salad with pumpkin seed dukkah, £4.95, Bonapeti
  • Switching to The Skinny Tea Co teas, using Matcha and anti-oxidant-rich oolong which means it's super energising and speeds up the metabolism (without using laxatives) - they also come in delicious flavour such as 'Ice Cream'. The-Frugality readers can get 20% using the code FRUGALITY20.
Skinny Tea Co
  • Buying gluten free ready meals via Amy's Kitchen. Stocked in most large supermarkets, family-run business Amy's kitchen specialises in organic ingredients and gluten free quick meals. If you simply don't have time to whip up a home-made supper, these are great alternatives (gluten and dairy free rice macaroni cheese sounds right up my street).
  • Logging onto my friend Anneli's new health website Sustain The Glow - with recipes, fitness regimes and everything you need to know to glow from the inside out - add it to your Bookmarks now! (and not only because our company Lucky No 13 filmed their launch video!)
Sustain the Glow
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