Wednesday, 25 May 2016

All The Small Things // Currently Loving

Visiting: Family back home in England, Nijmegen {spending the day wondering around the awesome fashion concept stores, the beautiful old buildings and enjoying the sunshine reading in the park}, Friesland {yet more exploring of the Netherlands}.

Reading: Historical novel The Book of Fires by Jane BorodaleDutch book on the go right now is Die Again (or Sterf Twee Keer) by Tess Gerritsen.

Consuming: Grapefruit flavoured sparkling water... HEAVEN, copious amounts of Peanut & Chocolate Fridge Bars!

Sewing: Hand stitched fabric flowers for a wee prototype.

Indulging in: Hotel bathtubs! {We don't have a bath in our apartment, just a boring old shower, so anytime we take a road trip or weekend away I crack out my hoarded Lush supply and spend every spare moment floating in the tub!}

Watching: I lost my heart to the beautiful animated movie Song of the Sea, balled my eyes out at the stunning film The Danish Girl, laughed my ass off whilst watching the fantastic Mr Right starring both Sam Rockwell AND Anna Kendrick, and of course I am a dedicated fan of Ru Paul's Drag Race and seriously can't get enough of the drama, the fashion and the shade!

Buying: Half price wool in varying shades of moody blue with a jumper for yours truly in mind.

Enjoying: Bee Lovely Hand Cream from Neal's Yard is such a divine formula that sinks into your skin immediately and the scent is almost edible!

Wishing you a lovely week and hope that if the weather can't perk itself up that you have a great book to dive into!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Something Sweet // Peanut & Chocolate Fridge Bars

Remember when you were a kid and took such pleasure in whipping up a storm in the kitchen, creating delicious yet humble Rice Crispy Cakes? Well my friends, please let me introduce to you it's pimped up, new and improved second cousin twice removed...

These babies are super simple and mega fast to make and whilst tasting like a dream they don't have to be too naughty (just a little bit!)

Something Sweet // Peanut & Chocolate Fridge Bars

A simple fridge set chocolatey treat, filled to the brim with peanuts, it's thanks to the not so secret ingredient dates that this scrummy sweet gets it's chewiness and with the slightest hint of salt these bad boys will disappear before your very eyes! Talking of irresistible desserts be sure to try my epic carrot cake recipe, perhaps even better use the mixture to make cupcakes!

Something Sweet // Peanut & Chocolate Fridge Bars

All you need to do is melt down some chocolate. I brutally deformed a left over Easter Bunny by bashing him into bits, popping it in a large glass bowl on top of a smaller pan a third full with warm water. Don't let the water boil, be patient and let the heat gently melt the good stuff until smooth.

Chop and de seed the dates, these will be delightfully sticky but hang in there, it will be worth the fight! Throw your wee bits of date into the chocolate followed by a barrage of non salted peanuts and mix together, trying not to eat it directly. 

As a final flourish crunch over the mixture a twist of sea salt, mix together once again and add to the vessel of your choosing. I used a shallow oven dish lined with baking paper, if you were a wondrin.

Pop this in the fridge and prepare to be amazed, as within the hour your chocolate treats will be good to go. Slice them into big or small pieces and eat entirely to yourself. I'm kidding, you should at least offer them to your friends and family (ensuring there is a back up tupperwear box full, for your midnight cravings later).

Something Sweet // Peanut & Chocolate Fridge Bars

Great for a little something sweet during your coffee break, ideal to crack out for guests and even better eaten curled up on the sofa enjoying a good book! Give them a try why don'tcha! You could even jazz up the ingredients adding cherries or marshmallows perhaps... white chocolate... peanut butter... hazelnuts... honeycomb pieces...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Pin Up // DIY Bunting

When it comes to celebrating, whether it's a birthday party, a summer BBQ or simply the arrival of a bit of sunshine, why not add a touch of cheer to the festivities with some hand made bunting?

This super simple DIY allows you to flex your creative muscles with minimal skills and materials required, budget friendly and freshens up a room, window or shelf! I created my very own decorations to spruce up our house for my birthday, but loved the look so much that I have left a couple up!

If you want to have a go yourself, then you will need the following:

- Fabric of choice. There really are no rules with bunting, so treat yourself to whatever takes your fancy or upcycle an old bed sheet or t-shirt even! I used super cheap printed cotton which was incredibly easy to work with.

- Cotton thread in either the same colours as your fabric or try a contrasting shade to amp up the volume!

- Ribbon, tape or bias binding. Something upon which to stitch your mini flags to, again go crazy with the material or colours. I used a basic 2.5cm width ribbon from the local hobby shop.

- Sewing machine or needle and thimble. This is easiest and fasted done on a machine but can be hand stitched easily, if you have the time and patience!

- Basic sewing kit; scissors (fabric and paper), bobbin, tailors chalk, pins, iron, ruler, pencil/ pen and card for a template.

First things first, ensure your fabrics are ironed smooth. Boring part of the job, I know, but essential none the less. Next measure out a basic triangle shape on card, to the desired size for your decorations. Keep in mind the location of your bunting, whether you need nice big shapes to string across the room from corner to corner or perhaps dinky petite forms to hang upon your bookshelf.

Using your template, draw round and cut out your flags until you have an efficient amount to dress your desired room. I'm a pro guesser and generally wing it... Besides, using this tutorial you can quite easily add to your bunting until you have the correct length!

If using a machine, choose a nice wide zig zag stitch and along the two longer edges of your flagging, fold the edge over about 1cm, press lightly with the iron if necessary, and proceed to stitching a line of zig zag along each edge. This is partly functional, to secure the folded back edge, but also decorative, so feel free to choose a complimenting coloured thread for this. If you're kicking it old school and hand stitching the edge, follow the instructions and create a zig zag stitch, keeping the stitch nice and wide will do the trick and speed up the process.

Starting a good 5cm's in, begin attaching your flags inside your ribbon by folding the ribbon edge over and sandwiching your bunting flag inside. A handy trick is to ensure the bottom layer of ribbon is a fraction longer than the front edge that lies on top of the flags. This will help when stitching in place. Again, choose your preferred thread and get your machine ready with a simple straight stitch and begin to stitch your flags in place, leaving a couple of cm's between each flag. Feel free to pin each flag into place, if your fabric allows, this may help to keep things nice and secure as you go along, just remember to remove them as you go!

Snip off any threads, tidy away your sewing supplies, borrow a tall friend and get decorating!

Play around with patterns and colours, try mini bunting or vary the size of your flags or ribbon. You can have a lot of fun with this project and develop your idea as you go. Perhaps you could applique someones name, letter by letter, upon each flag, or spell out C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S... Get creative and bring the cheer for any occasion! 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Fist Full of Glitter // Met Gala 2016

Hurray for Hollywood! I love this time of year, not just because the daylight lasts a little longer and the trees are blossom and blooming but my most treasured fashion event is held in all it's show stopping grandeur- that's right darlings, it's time for the Met Gala Ball!

As is tradition, I'm flinging out a speedy post in honour of my favourite looks from the evening, however hard it is to narrow that list down, oh to rummage through those wardrobes! The dedicated theme to this years shindig was in celebration of the grand opening of the Costume Institutes exhibition: Manus x Machina- Fashion in an Age of Technology at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which features jaw dropping work by the likes of Dior, Chanel and Vuitton, as did the red carpet event itself!

250,000 silk roses and 325 bottles of champagne later, as the glitter settles, let's take a closer look at the gowns that graced the gala.

Nicole Kidman shimmered and sparkled in this spectacular dress and cape from Alexander McQueen, wearing jewellery by Fred Leighton. Honouring all things couture, hitting the right trends (cut outs and milk maid braids), whilst retaining that timeless Kidman grace, this was my favourite look of the night!

The show stopper, was most definitely the glow in the dark Zac Posen dress Claire Danes chose, topped with jewellery by Eva Fehren, for the ultimate Cinderella moment! Besides the incredible light show, just the fine details of the gown itself show true craftsmanship and the soft blue shade was true elegance.

In a striking white Atelier Versace dress, Kate Hudson stands out from the crowd. The silhouette of this dress along with the bold cut out shapes, work perfectly with Hudson's cool and chic persona. Dripping in jewels was the breath taking Poppy Delevingne dressed in the most intricate gown by Marchesa. Such a beautiful array of stones and sequins, following the gentle curves of the gorgeous lady herself, this dress really fits the Manus x Machina aesthetic.

Dolce & Gabbana doing what they do best, make Zoey Deutch a floral princess. The sheer skirt, the dusky colours, teamed with her on point hair, really work together to complete the look. Golden goddess Sienna Miller never disappoints, and certainly in this Gucci number she really makes the grade. I love that she has kept her hair and make up minimal and let her metallic frock do the talking.

Tag teaming on the evening, you have the ever beautiful Emily Blunt and bump working a sparkly blue Michael Kors floor sweeper and The Olsen Twins draped in sumptuous fabrics giving effortless drama and true costume glory.

Striking a pose like a pro Hailey Baldwin works the red carpet in a thigh split Tommy Hilfier dress, cut to perfection with a deliciously dark take on glitz. While Riley Keough dared to bare in Diane von Furstenberg. Simple in form yet the glimmering gown spoke volumes as each shimmer caught the light.

In a Burberry, patterned gown, Naomie Harris looked truly gorgeous. The long sleeves gave elegance, the fitted to fluted skirt offered red carpet drama and her hair and make up just complemented the over all look. Giving regal realness Sofia Sanchez de Betak wore the heck out of this ultimately luxurious Dolce & Gabbana ensemble.

My offerings to you are but the tip of the iceberg, be sure to dive deeper and check out all the sparkle from the Mets most glamorous evening. Before I go, honourable mentions from the Gala go to Blake Lively and her Burberry lovelinessdrool worthy Idris Elba rocking a suit by Tom Ford no less and the cheeky trio Jenna Lyons, Jennifer Konner and Lena Dunham all in stylish J Crew tux with matching specs appeal.

I'd love to hear which red carpet looks were your favourites, what you thought of this years theme and whether you too thought there was enough silver to sink a ship!!