Saturday, 30 March 2013

Day Trip: Dior at Harrods

Until April 14th, Harrods is unveiling an exclusive insight into the world of Dior and all things British. Follow the Dior grey and white British telephone booths up to the fourth floor for something rather different...

Free to go, this mini exhibition is definitely worth a visit - it is, in my opinion, on par with the Alexander McQueen exhibition at The Metropolitan in New York...see dresses exclusively drawn from the Dior Archive and enjoy a little history lesson in everything Dior - from the 'New Look' to the modern day - a must-see for Fashion lovers.

Dress worn by Audrey Hepburn - look at the teeny waist!

Dress worn by Elizabeth Taylor for the 1961 Academy Awards
There are exclusive events going on instore, too. My favourite is the sound of the Fashion Nail Mania in the beauty hall - you pick your favourite Dior 'look' and have it replicated onto your nails - join the queue!

Oh, and did I mention the cafe?!
In my favourite shade, grey, the sweetest corridor has been re-invented into a beautiful narrow cafe with waiter service and delicious food served from a menu from Monsier Dior's very own cook book. They serve afternoon tea here, as well, I would say it's worth a little splurge!

Even the sandwiches have Dior handbag toothpicks!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Recipe: Lorraine Pascale's Chilli Con Carne

Okay so no photo this chilli never looks very appetising in photos but I have made this dish so many times and NOTHING tastes as good as Lorraine's version...I think it's the sugar and the length of simmering - the longer you leave it the better it tastes. 

Yes it does upset me that the book isn't very chic and I do hide it in a cupboard until I actually need to use it

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • Oil for cooking
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp soft light brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped (although I leave out as I hate peppers)
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 small glug of good red wine (optional - often cash dependent!)
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Big glug of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 x 400g tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until it is nice and soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the brown sugar, bay leaf, oregano and paprika, cumin, chilli powder, red pepper, chilli and minced beef.  Keep stirring for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add a glug of wine once the meat has turned brown (if you have any).
  3. Now add the tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, kidney beans and salt and pepper to season. Bring to the boil, the reduce the heat and leave to simmer for an hour or so, stirring from time to time.
  4. Serve with rice or tortilla chips! Delicious. We usually make for dinner then save enough for lunch the following day.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

White Heels

Images from Pinterest and Tommy Ton
White heels, you say? In this weather? Yes, it can be done. Team with denim or black and wear with confidence...
And it's okay not to spend a fortune.

Celine F/W 2012
3.1 Phillip Lim S/S 13
Stockholm Street Style

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Tips From The Pros

Recently, I read an article in Marie-Claire entitled "Get 30% richer by 2014" and it was so inspiring (read the article here) I realised I hadn't done any of my money-saving tips for a while. 
It was a month by month planner and made complete sense -  my favourite tip from the article was sorting out your windows and double-glazing in the summer as it is cheaper and glazers are less busy - common sense really!
Did you also know statistically, it is easier and cheaper to make an offer on a house in January, as there is less competition from people who spent all their wages on presents and food?

My top tip for savings:
I don't have a car, so I have to travel most places by train - I always book ahead with Red Spotted Hanky and have saved loads. I now travel to Birmingham £6 each way by train rather than £20 buying on the day. They even post your tickets first class to you for no extra charge.

And tips from money savvy friends:

Avril Keys, Editor of School Gate Style Blog:
"Never pay full price at the hairdressers for your colour. Phone the best salon in your area and ask if they do training nights (most good salons do). You'll pay a nominal fee of about £10 and it's all fully supervised by senior staff. Another bonus is that it's usually done in the evenings, so no missing work or wasting a day off at the hairdressers!"

Shelley Marks, Chief Sub-Editor at Red Magazine:
"I buy transparent zipper bags from Lakeland to store T-shirts and jumpers.
Large Zipper Bags - £5.99 for 10
Medium Zipper Bags - £6.99 for 25

Not only great for protecting against moths (I add a lavender bag into each), but because they're transparent, you can easily see what's inside. You can fit more than one garment in each, and it's a neat and tidy way of keeping track of what's where.
I colour code the contents, too – black tops together, animal-print tops together etc."
Briony Whitehouse, Editor of A Girl, A Style Blog:

"I love sending gorgeous snail mail (letters to friends afar and handwritten thank you notes), but my favourite Rifle Co. cards get expensive after a while. For a frugal version, I stock up on plain white notecards whenever I see them (Paperchase stock them in the UK), and then either hand draw a picture on the front of folded cards in black ink, or use rubber stamps with fun-coloured ink at the top of a flat notecard. No one will ever frown when they get a handmade card in the post!"
One my my recent hand-made efforts! (Borrowed from WITBlog's Instagram)

Friday, 22 March 2013

Wedding Frenzy

So I don't want to overload you with wedding posts...but thought I'd share a few websites which have inspired me and the planning of mine. Most of you probably know Snippet And Ink, Rock My Wedding and 100 Layer Cake, but I've found a few others on my internet scouring, too. Here are a few of my favourites that have helped me through:

Great DIY ideas, you can even download free Menu and Order of Service templates from here:

Downloadable Save The Date invites
Okay not ground-breaking but the US market have really got the whole wedding scene covered. There have been so many things I've seen on Pinterest which I searched high and low for and ended up finding them here. They also have a really extensive selection of Wedding stationery which is worth a look. My favourite traders are confettigrey and cherishedblessings.

Retro looking popcorn bags, Cherishedblessings at Etsy

We have decided to cut down on expenses by making a lot of our stationery - the RSVPs, direction cards and menus etc. We have found this website great when trying to make them look as less DIY as possible!

The new Not On The High Street, I suppose. And I saw these hanging bottles for 3 times the price at Cox & Cox!

Set of 4 hanging jam jar tea light holders, £7.95, Dotcomgiftshop
iDiY: 'I Do' It Yourself

Website too pretty for words with tons of inspiration and do it yourself projects, check out these stencilled bottles:

Buy Our Honeymoon

So many couples live together before getting married nowadays that crockery and a posh dinner set just doesn't fit their lives this is a different option - you invent the gift ("a bottle of wine at dinner £30" or "Day Trip to the local island £100") and your guests can choose which option they wish to contribute to(they can also suggest something with a different amount). There are a few websites out there but we have found this one came highly recommended and has been really easy and helpful.

Bespoke Bride

Downloadable photobooth prop template!

Wedding Site

I don't know about everyone else but I didn't know where to start with wedding budgets! It really helps to know how much things generally cost first (funnily enough, I've never booked a live band or canapes for 100 before!). This site is free to register and you can do everything from work out your table plan to track your invites.

Doris Loves

Buy and hire these neat signs - battery powered so no unsightly plugs!

Light-up sign, £65 to buy, Doris loves

'Love' light-up sign, Doris Loves

Other websites of note:

Budget Savvy Bride - does what it says!

Vowed and Amazed - hire big neon letters and theatrical props (have you seen how much money a neon sign actually costs?! Hire one instead)
Before The Big Day - a bit of visual stimulation:


Other things I have found useful:

Blackboard paint, £5.99, Wilkinson

Did you know you can turn almost any hard surface into a chalkboard?! This has come in very handy in our DIY skills...old shelves, boards and tables are all being painted with a few coats of this - and it's the cheapest tin around.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Label Love: Charlotte Olympia

I'm so excited there is a different shoe brand to lust after! I love the quirkyness of Charlotte Olympia's designs, they have a hint of nostalgia whilst remaining modern and contemporary. And above all, fun.

I also love all the names:

The Pre-Fall collection is based on Hollywood stars and features shoes with celluloid-style straps - divine!

It was at the Pre-Fall press day where I realised they do Bridal...I spied these precious ones:

Talk about fun wedding shoes - something leopard and something blue:

'Desiree', £600, Charlotte Olympia
Charlotte Olympia heels on my page in this month's Red Magazine, April issue (the page comes to life with the special Aurasma App, too!)
If you're a little strapped for cash this month...why not try:

Neon box clutches, £19.99, Zara

"Ooh La La" heels, £65, Office

Monday, 18 March 2013

Urban Outfitters Home...who knew?

Well, some of you knew, clearly. I first spied a rug on stylist friend Lynda Bell's Instagram and have since been seeing their fab pieces all over the web. Cool, quirky and most importantly: affordable!

Rug, £12, Urban Outfitters
Rug, £35, Urban Outfitters
I have my eye on this one for my study, £35, Urban Outfitters
Also loving:

Rug, £55, Ikea
As seen in another stylist friend's home, MusingsFromALondonMum:

Rug, £66.50, Cafe Press
Rug, £99.99, Zara Home

Chevron just feels very modern at the moment, it's what I call the "Jonathan Adler" effect, which for me, currently, is the dream!

Alpaca wool throw, £295, Jonathan Adler can make your own through this DIY Tutorial via The Elli Blog

See the tutorial here

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Tricky Trend: Coloured Metallics

Coat: Zara. Shirt: Marks + Spencer. Jeans: MiH Jeans. Shoes: Roksanda for Christian Louboutin
So I was going to wear this shirt for London Fashion Week but I didn't have the guts! It's definitely a tricky trend, but if Marks and Spencer are doing it, you'll bet it'll be in your wardrobes soon!

Burberry S/S 13 Collection (
A sample sale purchase from last year - cannot wait to wear them!

£550, Nicholas Kirkwood at Net A Porter
While we're waiting to save up:
£140, Ted Baker at Asos

£45, Asos

£49.99, Zara

Bracelets, £14.90 each, Lola + Grace

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