Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cheap Eats: Pie and Mash

Pie, mash, liquor at Harrington's, Tooting

This is what I love about London. Two of us can eat a huge lunch such as this, with drink (and my partner had a significantly bigger portion than this) for £8. Pie, mash and liquor (a clear gravy made from parsley - or sometimes eels!)is a London tradition that I love to keep alive. My grandmother's sister went out with one of the Harrington's shopowner's sons back in the 1940s!

Best served with lots of vinegar and pepper. And if you really want to fit in, you eat with a fork and spoon instead of knife and fork (that's what the locals told me, anyway).

Blink and you'll miss it. Harrington's, Selkirk Road, Tooting, SW17
Best of the Rest:
Cockney's, 314 Portobello Road, W11
I used to come here for lunch with my friend Sid, when I worked in expensive boutique: Matches!
M Manze, 74 Chapel Market, Islington, N1

See Time Out's Guide to the best London Pie and Mash shops here.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

This Month I'm...

Opening a new credit card....
Yes. I am. sorry.
What with the wedding and A LOT of thirtieths this year, I felt I needed one. But I made a pact with myself. The card I opened has interest free purchases for ONE YEAR. That is how long I have to pay off my bill. And I promise I will stick to it (I'll even twitpic a picture of the closed statement!)....

Trying new restaurants...
It's winter. No more barbecues. It's all about the comfort food. 
Recently tried: Harrington's pie and mash shop in Tooting.
On my 'To Try' list: Meat People and Chicken Shop.

Meat People, Islington
Selling my wares on eBay...
Part of my wedding budget/get rich quick scheme. I haven't always been frugal, you know...I have a few pairs of designer shoes hidden in my cupboard which I neither need or use. So I'm selling. These Dolce shoes are next to go:

Wearing a new watch...
I've worn my GC watch for over 4 years now and feel it's time for a change. I love the feel of this Emporio Armani enamel watch on my skin. And I love that it's my favourite colour: GREY!
Ceramic watch, £335, Emporio Armani at Ernest Jones

On the Press Day rounds...

It may only just be cooling down outside, but I'm already visiting showrooms to see what is in for next S/S. A lot of brights, primary colours and stripes. And thank goodness neon is still a hit!

Listening to audiobooks...
Last year I saw a Bibliotherapist and explained I'm always on the move and find it really hard to get through books, even though I enjoy them. She suggested audiobooks, as you can put them on whenever, and I love them. I listen to them now at every oportunity - walking between appointments for work, whilst I'm cooking etc. I've got three books done this month already where I'd usually find it hard to get through one! I've just finished Bram Stoker's 'Daracula' in time for Halloween...

Available to purchase through iTunes

Friday, 26 October 2012

Outfit Post: Accessorize Bag

Suit: The Kooples, T-shirt: Cos, Bag: Accessorize, Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Faux leather bag, £18, Accessorize

I've never worn a suit before....but my friends at the Kooples convinced me I could do it - and I love it! Great for Fashion Week with a bright coloured shirt or casual days with a Breton top and trainers. Blazers on their own are always a good investment, they smarten up jeans or work as a cover-up for an evening dress (when a coat is just too heavy):

Dinner jacket, £350, The Kooples

Accessorize bags are so great, this season! Here's my edit (but feel free to have a browse, yourself, too!):

1) This embellished clutch looks so much more expensive than £32
2) A dead ringer for my Zara clutch I take EVERYWHERE, £28
3) Yes, this bag comes in other colours! £32
4) The Mari Tote is a work staple, £38
5) How very Dolce, molto chic! £35

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

DIY: Pinboard

I've wanted a pinboard/scrapboard for ages and now our study is almost finished, I decided it was the right time. At the moment, it's quite neat but hopefully in time I'll add to it and it can become a memory wall...

Stretched canvas, £9.99, Rymans. I painted it with Farrow & Ball's 'Manor House Grey' which I had left from my front door

Sifting through my inspirations/memories
Co-ordinating your pins keeps it simple and chic, £6.99, Rymans


Monday, 22 October 2012

Website of the month: Girlmeetsdress.com

Attending five weddings and hens last year really took its toll on my wardrobe. Which is why Girl Meets Dress appeals to me as such a fab concept. Hire a designer dress for 2 nights at a snip of the price and then send it back without it cluttering your wardrobe space: Genius!
The website has really evolved over the last few years to housing over 150 designer brands with dresses added weekly, to offering bags, hats and soon to launch jewellery.

All prices based on a 2 night hire (some dresses they have a few different sizes in - so you have to browse!). You can also try on 3 dresses before deciding which one to borrow - what's not to love?!

£69, Carven
So nice to still be able to get your hands on Luella! £109
£19, YSL

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Outfit Post: Colour-Block Accessories

Bag: Coach, Jumper: Topshop, Skirt: River Island, Boots: Office
Watch, Guess Watches
I usually carry a big bag to work every day, so I take the opportunities at weekends to use as small a bag as possible! This colour-block bag from Coach is not only small, it's practical too, with plenty of compartments for cards and change.  The tri-colour style means it will go with pretty much everything I own, too!

Other colour-block accessories:

£38, Accessorize

£179, Ash Footwear
£149, Reiss

£50, Asos
£97, Zatchels

£36, Warehouse

Jewelled earrings, £12, Asos
£65, River Island

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Budget Early for Christmas...

I know it's boring but if you want to get everyone decent presents this christmas, you need to start thinking about it now!
I'm lucky, as I go to Christmas Press Days in July, so I know what will be in stores and have already had a chance to do the browsing before the christmas rush comes upon us.

The trick is to keep a list in the back of your diary/notebook. Every time you see something a friend/family member would like or they mention they'd like -WRITE IT DOWN! Then, from October, buy a few things a month and keep them in a box under the bed. Come 24th December, you'll have done all your shopping without feeling bankrupt or exhausted.

With websites like Amazon, it is so easy to just click from your desk without the anxiety of Westfield or parking. Here are a few great/useful christmas presents I'm thinking of buying people this year (friends and family, look away, now!):

A good 'guy' cookbook. I saw in Anthropologie for £20, then looked online and found for £13.50, Amazon
Who doesn't like receiving perfume? This is my new wishlist fragrance, available at Boots. And so I need to mention Advantage points?!
Okay, call me old, but I'd love to get some pie dishes  -all stacked inside each other! £4.29 each,  Lakeland
Mini candles  - perfect for colleagues, dinner hosts, yourself...£10, Miller Harris
MARC by Marc Jacobs iPhone case, £30, Selfridges
I love everything Donna Wilson, this 'mog' plate is so cute! £22, Donna Wilson
Cute bobble hat, £45, Red Direct

And if you want to give something BACK (I like to give to The Salvation Army at Christmas), then check out this great initiative being run by John Lewis until 6th December, where you can buy a gift (from as little as £2.99) off their giftlist which will automatically go to women and children in Refuge suffering from Domestic Violence. Visit https://www.johnlewisgiftlist.com/ and use the gift list number 522953.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

D.I.Y Chalkboard

The inspiration:

Paint, £14.99, Homebase (however, after 2 coats, the magnetic field doesn't seem to be working!)
Before the masking tape was removed
Chair, £69.99, Dennis + McGregor

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