Wednesday, 30 May 2012

T-shirt Trail...

Most of your would've seen my last post with my Luella t-shirt, I bought this a few years ago and it manages to lift an outfit and really give it the designer 'cool' factor. At £10, I was so gutted I only bought the one! Almost every brand are doing t-shirts now, from Alexander Wang to YSL and they have much more palatable entry price-points. And weirdly (as I usually hate logos), the bigger the slogan, the better the tee...

My much-loved Luella tee


A page in Vogue's last High Street supplement

Claudia Schiffer in Chanel

Monday, 28 May 2012

*New Bag Alert*

The sun was shining this weekend in London and I don't think a single person stayed indoors. As I don't have a garden, I took the opportunity to visit the meadow at the end of our Road - I love how overgrown and wild it is: in the Autumn we pick blackberries here. It was the perfect outing for my new Zatchels bag, finishing my outfit with a pop of neon, it is only £55, real leather and such a bargain. I teamed it with my Luella t-shirt (£10 from her last closing down sale), Gap denim skirt (which looks very APC), and a fluro orange pedicure (Model's Own). I personally think it's a fashion sin to match your bag to your shoes, but bag to pedi? Now that's a different matter...




T-shirt, Luella
Denim skirt, Gap (available now)
Bag, Zatchels (available now)
Leopard belt, French Connection
Sunglasses, Asos
Shoes, Office
Watch, Gc

Saturday, 26 May 2012

My World: Bathroom

Our bathroom was the room that probably needed the most work when we moved in...the cabinet had been ripped off the wall, leaving old wallpaper that had been painted round by the previous tenants. The bath was old and pine and, although I couldn't afford a whole new bathroom, it definitely needed a 'spruce'.  
We started by using Dulux's 'Potters Clay 2' as the main colour. It worked really well with the black and white floor which was already there and went for a simple, grey and monochrome palette.
All frames from Ikea, I gave the white one a more 'rough' look with sandpaper. Postcards make great Art in frames. The Berlin card cost less than 50p.
This was a wooden chest of drawers from Argos I have had for years....I repainted, changed the handles and it looks like it was made for the room!
Bath mat, £15, Marks & Spencer
This was a pine mirror I bought from a charity shop for £1, and repainted
For a temporary fix, we painted the pine bathtub white and it made SUCH a difference

I don't believe in scrimping on towels, just wait as they always go on sale. These are from Christie's, 50% off in the sale, from House of Fraser

Bubble bath, Anthropologie

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mexican Food

Mexican food is my weakness. It is so social and I enjoy making fajitas and fresh guacamole whenever I get a chance. It makes such a difference when you serve a lumpy dip with chunks of avocado and chilli (I like mine spicy) rather than the supermarkets' creamy versions.

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANTS:

London
  • Wahaca - Thomasina Miers' chain serving Mexican Street Food. It's cheap, quick and no frills. Perfect. I like meeting people here; it always has a busy atmosphere and the food is consistent. I have the cheese and bean quesadillas and the sweet potato fries. www.wahaca.co.uk

  • El Camion - I came across this reataurant after they catered a Browns Fashion Week party and it is really near my work, so great to pop into with friends after a long day when a margherita is needed! If budget is tight, I order a small bowl of nachos which fill me up (they don't scrimp on guacamole or sour cream - my Mexican pet hate!). www.elcamion.co.uk

  • Crazy Homies - Tom Conran's kitsch restaurant used to be my local when I worked in Notting Hill, small tables laden with brights blankets and hundreds of Day of The Dead skulls dotted around, it's great for groups or even just a churros and chocolate with friends (which I really recommend).

To Try: La Bodega Negro - just opened in London and looks very cool www.labodeganegra.com

NEW YORK:
  • Mole - The size of the spicy guacamole dip is enough to tempt anyone to go. A great part of town and the Steak taco is to die for. 57 Jane Street, www.molenyc.com
  • La Esquina - this has been recommended to me a couple of times and I'm yet to try....maybe next time? www.esquinanyc.com

CALIFORNIA:
  • Malo, LA - I've been to the one in Silver Lake a couple of times but they have one Downtown too...fresh, delicious and ALWAYS busy. www.malorestaurant.com

  • Loteria Grill, LA - try the chicken mole soft tacos. Quick service and great value. http://loteriagrill.com/
  • Gilbert's, Santa Monica - it is in the middle of NOWHERE but you easily save the $10 taxi fare on the food - it is so cheap and you get tons of food. The burritos were the size of my arm, the frozen margharitas were strong and the bill came to less than $30 for 2! It also gets bonus points for the wall collages of photos and tacky/original Mexican tat on the walls. Amazing. 2526 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica.
  • Fred's, Old Town San Diego - a little Touristy, but that's what I need sometimes from a Californina Mexican! On Taco Tuesday, margheritas are half price and tacos are $1 each.
Enjoying a (fairly large) strawberry margherita at Fred's, San Diego over Easter

  • El Camino, San Diego - this is a Mexican I would expect in  New York, not San Diego. Very cool, ink drawings and neon lights, with good, reasonable food. And of course, an open air eating area (if only we could have that in the UK). www.elcaminosd.com

RECIPE: Guacamole
By Thomasina Miers (via www.telegraph.co.uk)
Serves 4-6 people

  • ½ red onion, very finely chopped
  • 1-2 serrano chillies or other fresh green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp Maldon salt
  • 3 ripe Hass avocados
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • A small handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1-2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped (optional)



  1. Put a quarter of the onion and half the chilli and salt in a pestle and mortar and mash to a rough paste.
  2. Cut open the avocados, remove the stones and scoop out the flesh into the pestle (or into a large bowl if your pestle is small). Roughly mash the flesh with a fork, adding half the lime juice as you go.
  3. Stir in the rest of the lime juice and chillies, coriander, red onion and tomato.
  4. Season with plenty of black pepper and more salt if you think it needs it. If it doesn’t taste delicious by this stage, you can add more lime juice or coriander.

My Day of The Dead neon skull I brought back from San Diego


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Studs and snake print....

Just a sneak peek into my weekend outfit....The weather wasn't as good as I had anticipated so I chose to wear my snake print trousers from H&M with my favourite Zara bag and Gc watch to my friend's BBQ on Saturday. I often get asked if my bag is from Valentino, which I take as a huge compliment!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

NYC: A Concise Guide


I love New York. It is, quite possibly, the one place I can imagine myself living other than England. I love that it has proper seasons, the shops in Soho, the relaxed bars and fantastic food. I always get asked by friends and family on my tips for the city, so I've decided to do a mini guide in this blog of great, reasonable things to see, eat and do! I've broken it up into sections so the first one, obviously, is my top tips for shopping:

SHOPS
As I am often in New York for work, I don't get much time to get to the shops. So I have to make a list of my top places to nip into after shoots. I generally make a rule only to visit shops we don't have over here, this is my list:
  • J Crew - so I know we can all buy from Net A Porter now but nothing beats going into the store. Here you'll find all their gorgeous cashmere is every colour under the sun, the entire range of fabulous costume jewellery, as well as Crew Cuts (the kids department). We usually head to the Soho branch on Prince Street.

  • Old Navy - I don't really shop here on a personal level, but it is great for menswear (I look for cargo shorts and classic tees for my partner, and baby clothes for friends)
  • Kate's Paperie (435 Broome Street) - you all know about my love of stationery. This shop has definitely enhanced it! I found it a few years ago by chance and have been back every time since. I bought my sister's thank you cards for her wedding here (Vera Wang) and I always stock up on cute, never seen in the UK cards...




  • Bleecker Street – this is a great street for wandering down, it has great record stores, second-hand book stores, the world famous Magnolia Bakery and of course, the MARC by Marc Jacobs shop and Surplus store. When the exchange rate is good, you can get a good deal on accessories at the MARC store. I love going in the Surplus store, where they sell necklaces, wallets, flipflops, umbrellas etc for as little as $10. I love bringing back presents for friends here. 
Last time I spent too much money in the MARC by Marc Jacobs store! I'm much more restrained now...
  • Fishs Eddy (889 Broadway at 19th Street) - this is what I call a 'Nester's Paradise' - a store filled to the brim with crockery! Mugs, plates, coasters, bowls - all with a New York twist (FYI, if you can't make it to New York, they are stocking a selected range in Liberty's in London).

  • ABC Carpets (888 and 881 Broadway at East 19th St) - I don't spend any money here, but as a stylist, I love being inspired by new products and visually stimulating stores. If you love interiors and design, you need to pay a visit.


Next week I will be doing a 'where to eat in New York' post. 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Recipe


Banana Bread
(via Ainsley Harriott)

Ingredients:
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 150c. Peel the bananas and roughly chop them up. Place them in a food processor and add the flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Blitz until the ingredients are evenly combined.
  2. Spoon the mixture into a non-stick loaf tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to rest for 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

DIY

Styled by Mary Norden for Red, June Issue

How much I do I love this image from this month's Red? Spray-painted chairs bought from a carboot sale. It made me think a) how can I integrate neons into my mainly monochrome flat and b) what can I spray-paint?!

I have really been inspired by Pinterest lately and been repinning lots of interiors ideas, including these 'pop of colour' images.

These are definitely on my To-Do list (spray-painted recycled cans):
Image from Pinterest via knackstudios.blogspot.co.uk
Here is my first spray-paint project: I've had this necklace from House of Fraser for years and haven't worn it recently. Using a can of Montana spray paint (under £5 from London Graphics Centre)I mmodernised it - looks great with a white t-shirt.


My inspiration as ever, apair-andaspare.blogspot.com
OR you could just buy this fab neon necklace from H&M (for only £10!):



Monday, 14 May 2012

Best Watches Under £250...


I style watch and jewellery pages as part of my job, which means I spend a lot of time looking at watches.

And believe it or not, the ones all the fashion insiders wear are often not the most expensive:

The number one watch, seen on most fashionistas on shoots and at the shows, is a Michael Kors watch. I was first introduced to these watches through Deborah Brett, contributing Senior Fashion Editor at Red, who teams her Michael Kors watch with layered Dana Levy and Carolina Bucci bracelets plus her Celine bag....tres chic!



Michael Kors rose gold watch, £199, My-Wardrobe


Bracelets, www.danalevy.co.uk
Michael Kors watch, £219, Red Direct

Although I work with watches for thousands of pounds, my personal watch of choice is from Guess. I love the masculine shapes (this is actually a man's watch - don't let that put you off) and their use of different textures and colours:

£64.50, Guess at H Samuel
£69.50, Guess at H Samuel
Best Of The Rest...

£193.23, MARC By Marc Jacobs at Shopbop
£120, Nixon at Net A Porter

£109, DKNY at Ernest Jones

£168, ToyWatch



Ice Watch, £61.75 at The Watch Hut


£108, Swatch at The Watch Hut

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