Monday, 12 October 2015

Life: Packing for Long Haul

R gets packing for her long awaited trip to New York City.

We've been dreaming for 4 years, saving for 2 and planning for a few weeks now and finally it's time for me and my Favourite to escape to NYC for two weeks. Before I get too excited it's time to make sure I have everything ready for the flight over. I have never been a great flyer, take-off makes me nervous, plane food makes me sick and I can never, ever (not matter how long the flight is) sleep. Despite all of this I've found a few tips and tricks to make long flights enjoyable. 

First things first; you have to have the right hand luggage. I always take one that's small enough to fit under the seat, I hate being separated from my bag so the overhead locker isn't an option. No matter how prepared you are, you never look your best just after flying so I like to carry a smart looking bag to give my look a little lift. 

My Russell & Bromley Holly tote is big enough to carry everything you need, understated enough to not look flashy and small enough to slide under the seat. 

Next up you need the right beauty and skin care products on board so you can look after your skin on the dehydrating flight. 

After take off I do my best to mimic my normal night time regime, just with slightly different products! I wipe off my make up and then apply a hydrating spray. After brushing my teeth I apply a rich moisturiser and do my best to rest. The combination of super hydrating products means my skin looks almost normal on landing and only takes a dab of concealer and a dusting of powder to look semi-human again. 

Now that skincare is sorted it's time to address your in-flight entertainment and snacking. While the films are usually great I like to have some magazines and books to hand so I'm just staring at a screen for ten hours. I also pack my noise cancelling headphones to mute the general bustle of flying - not forgetting huge amounts of water to stay hydrated and some healthy snacks. 

With skincare sorted and a stack of books you're all set for an enjoyable flight. Make sure you've worn your comfiest, most pyjama-like outfit and brought a silky scarf to use instead of the scratchy airline blankets. 

R x

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Life: E's Bake Off

E gets her Great British Bake on.

Come this week we, like the rest of the country I'm sure, were glued to our TV sets for the finale of the Great British Bake Off, and what a finale it was! R and I with our lovely London friends, had a little bake-off of our own. During the final of GBBO we presented and ate each others bakes! 

I chose this pomegranate and pistachio cake from Rachel Khoo's lovely recipe. It was supposed to look pretty in pink, decorated with pomegranates, with a yoghurt pistachio cake inside. Unfortunately I couldn't get the pomegranates to stick to the side like this, so I scattered them around the edge and top. 

These are the bakes we all bravely attempted. Admittedly, none of them looked much like the pictures, but they all tasted rather good, and that's what counts, no? Especially this mojito inspired cake, which was rather delightful!

R made a lovely meringue with blueberry jam at the centre and decorated with fondant seals and a killer whale! (Our theme was tropical vs Arctic). You can rely on Nigella for a good meringue recipe.

Let me know what bakes the GBBO has inspired you to make, maybe I'll even give them a go...

E x

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Style: Paris Fashion Week SS16

Just a taste of the show-stopping collections at Paris Fashion Week.

I can only beg forgiveness for the various and flagrant sins against fashion I'm committing by narrowing Paris Fashion Week down to only five shows. Paris is always magnificent, a giant among fashion cities, so steeped in heritage and so important to each coming season, but here are five little shows that really delighted me this week.


If you don't know, The Row is the oh-so-stylish creation of those ever-young Olsen sisters. If you do, then you'll already be lusting after the effortlessly stylish and drool-worthy incarnations seen on the SS16 catwalk. Billowing shirts and capes, mannish, pleated trousers and the most glamorous flats you ever saw all pulled together and made the collection absolutely dreamy.

Key piece: start with the basics with a pair of roomy, pleated trousers to ensure louche elegance wherever you go.

I am just in awe of how Karl Lagerfeld keeps reinventing this classic label. With each new season of Chanel, I expect repeats, or staid tropes, but no, everything is fresh, every season. Spring summer's clean, chic lines and clear, crisp colours are no less than lovely, and come next season, everyone from exec to hipster will be sporting these looks.

Key piece: I'm tempted to go with the cap, perfect for styling a bad hair day, end of day hair, or indeed any kind of hair. Will go one of two ways.

A calm, optimistic sporty elegance pervaded the Stella McCartney show this season. From snug sporty separates, to Issey Miyake-esque pleated everything, through oversize draped shirts and airtex-ish dresses, it was all lovely. Colourful, interesting, lovely, and utterly wearable.  

Key piece: definitely a pleated tank. A wonderfully stylish piece that will outlast seasons.

Shiatzy Chen was a delight. Bringing together completely unexpected prints and patterns with colours and fabrics, made this collection fresh and exciting, while the cuts and styling kept it all very accessible. Who'd have thought we'd be considering apple green satin trousers for spring summer?

Key piece: anything you like as long as it's floral and bright - it's spring, remember!

Dries van Noten once again served up a smorgasbord of texture, colour, and print. The master of the unexpected combo is an unending source of inspiration, not only for new season shopping, but for wonderful new ways to wear your existing wardrobe. 

Key piece: see your wardrobe in a fresh light, with some spring summer inspiration from Dries.

A x

Monday, 5 October 2015

Style: Silver Shoes

R thinks it's time to put on your dancing shoes.

Clarks Bizzy Beat// Isabella Carla// Clarks Empress Lo// Gucci // Nike QuickStrike AirForce1

The change of season brings with it a necessary change of coat, footwear and beauty regime. But I think it needs to go a step further, I think autumn's arrival announces a need for a pair of dancing shoes. Now, whether they're for dancing or just the daily commute the need for a pair of indulgently joyful shoes remains the same. 

For me, anything shiny and sparkly counts as a dancing shoe and while I might not buy them all, the above are all on my wish list. 

R x