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

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

Thursday, 14 March 2013

When I went to Paris with Chanel...

NOT very frugal, but a girl can dream, can't they?!
Most of you saw on Instagram my pics but thought I'd share a bit about my wonderful day.  It was a very special moment in my career, I was invited to represent Red Magazine in Paris and view a new watch collection from Chanel, after which they gave us a tour of Coco Chanel's apartment. This was a once-in-a-lifetime for me, and mainly because you cannot pay to go in, you have to be invited. Eek! And what an incredible place it was...

I was surprised at how cluttered, dark and gold everything was...not that it wasn't amazing, but just such a contrast to the chic monochrome and beige that the Chanel boutiques stand by
The logo'd floor of the Salon above the Boutique...

The famous mirrored staircase where Coco Chanel used to sit to watch everyone's reactions to the fittings:

Still from the film 'Coco Before Chanel'
The suede sofa - even the cushions are quilted, like her bags...

And of course, we got to see beautiful Paris! J'adore...

Monday, 4 March 2013

Frugal Love: Cushions

Yes, I have got to the age where I am interested in cushions. Last month I joined Vine...and what was the first video I posted? Cushions! 
They make you feel at home, they make you feel cosy, they look cool and they're relatively cheap purchase that make a difference to a room.

From the back: Monochrome: Ikea. Grey: Habitat. Butterfly: Conran at Marks + Spencer
I love the Conran range at Marks + Spencer - it's a much friendlier pricetag with all the style you'd expect:

Pear cushion (with spotty underside), £25, Conran at Marks + Spencer

Framed wall Art, £35, Conran at Marks + Spencer
I've always thought Habitat quite expensive, but I've bought some great items lately, really reasonably:

Cushion, £10, Habitat

Side table, £25, Habitat
Next on my list: Coffee table, £35, Habitat
New 'Scandi' edition cushion, Gudrun Sjoden
I'd quite like a Gudrun Sjoden life:

Images from
Cushion cover, £12.99, H+M Home
Cushion covers, from £7.99, H+M Home (I've bought so much wedding stuff from here)
Best of the rest:

Cushions, £10 each, Ikea
Wool cushion, £40, HowKapow
Cushion, £30, Rockett St George

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Frugal Wedding Dresses

Since being engaged myself, I'm now on the lookout for any bargain bridal treats. Without giving anything away on my own dress, I've been scouring the internet for bridesmaid and wedding dress inspiration and found that there really are some great alternatives on the High Street - and for once, you won't have to worry about anyone wearing the same dress (I hope!):

1) J Crew. Of course, I love J Crew...but it still surprises me how few people know about their Bridal section. They have a really reasonable flat-rate shipping to the UK and dresses costs roughly £600 upwards. I'm most probably going to get my bridesmaid dresses from here. I wore a J Crew dress to my sister's wedding (it was cream - but if Pippa Middleton can do it, so can I!)

My sister in Vera Wang, myself in J Crew and the bridesmaids in Ted Baker grey dresses
Visit the J Crew Wedding Shop

2) The Outnet. So it's a risk, but if you've got time there are some fabulous gems on here - my sister bought THE most beautiful Marchesa dress from here to wear to a wedding once - it's great for brides and for guests!

Chiffon dress, £152.50, Alice + Olivia at The Outnet
3) Monsoon.  Looking for something chic, between £250-£400, Monsoon has a decent selection of dresses, I especially love the Kora embellished dress. Monsoon is obviously great if you're having little Flower girls, too!

Nina dress, £229, Monsoon

Gabriella dress, from £40, Monsoon
4) By Malene Birger. These aren't traditional 'wedding' dresses, just gorgeous dresses which will make you feel special on your day, with a bit more of a fashion twist:

Livisa embellished dress, £499, By Malene Birger

5) Phase Eight. For a bit of a vintage twist, Phase Eight has some beautiful detailed dresses, such as this Evelyn dress:

Evelyn dress, £750, Phase Eight

6) BHS. I wouldn't personally recommend it for Bridal dresses, but for flower girls? They seem to have gone all J Crew on us...

Dresses from £32, BHS
Saving here means you can spend a bit more money on the important things...


Your something blue, £355, Gianvito Rossi at Matches
Earrings, £55, Lulu Frost for Whistles
Why not do leopard on your big day? Clutch, £95, Stella McCartney at Matches
Hair grips, £6, Johnny Loves Rosie
Hello pretties! Louboutins available from Browns Bride

'It's a wrap' crystal hairclip, Chelsea de Luca

And for something that little bit different...what would I give to wear this down the aisle?! Simply stunning:

Osman A/W 13 show (

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