Sunday, 20 April 2014

Tips From The Pros...


1. So a rather boring but practical tip from me this month: LED lightbulbs! We know about energy-saving bulbs but LED are the new frugal. Lightweight, much more durable and you can up to 24,000 hours more light from LED compared to regular lightbulbs...I used LED ones for my wedding (see above) and now on my christmas tree and soon upgrading my house ones.

2. Speaking of weddings...I have also recently come across Sell My Wedding - a Marketplace for pre-owned wedding dresses, props, decorations etc. I'm starting to go through my old props now to make some extra cash. You can even use photos from your wedding to show how the props were used etc.

I have loads of carafes, water bottles and table runners to resell
3. Paris is closer than you think. My husband and I have just booked to go Paris for our anniversary in July. And if you book far enough in advance as we did, we managed to get Eurostar tickets for £69 return - bargain. 


4. Mary Norden, Stylist and Art Director, has been telling me about the newest Factory Outlet shopping destination: Hackney. Already home to outlet stores such as Burberry, Pringle and Anya Hindmarch, the East London hip spot is set to be the new Bicester Village. Head to Chatham Place and Morning Lane, E9 to bag yourself a bargain.

5. Forget eBay, it's all about a new online selling marketplace: TicTail. This is where bloggers go to sell their wares, as you can use your blog pictures to sell your product. It's also a great place to buy blogger's clothes at a cheaper price. I've just set mine up, you can view it here. I'm only selling a few items at the moment, but I do need to have a proper wardrobe cleanse - watch this space!



Friday, 18 April 2014

The Frugality x Wallis

Sunglasses, Ray-Ban. Cashmere jumper, Gap (buy similar here). Clutch: Gap. Leather skirt, £76, W Collection at Wallis. Sandals, £49.99, Clarks
Is it summer? I can't let myself get too excited, but it's time to bring out the white! Monochrome is huge this S/S but I chose to pair this Limited Edition Wallis skirt with a classic cashmere jumper and pops of colour in my accessories.

Leather skirt was £95, now £76, W Collection at Wallis

I used to work in Wallis in between college and uni age 16-21, it's so lovely to be working with them once more in such a different capacity! This skirt is leather, so it's a real update from a classic, and it's a cool A-Line shape which is easy to wear. When it gets a bit warmer, I'll wear with with a navy t-shirt or a denim shirt.


 WEAR WITH...


1. Snakeprint espadrilles, £85, KG Kurt Geiger

2. Denim shirt, £19.99, H+M

3. Sunglasses, £16, Topshop

4. Leather two-tone clutch, £32, Asos

5. White leather 'Arizona' Birkenstocks, £48, Selfridges

6. Vintage cotton tee, £29.50, J Crew

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, H+M
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:

 
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