Friday, September 28, 2012

Thinking Pink

I don't quite know where my obsession with pink comes from.  I suspect it's because my girly side wasn't really indulged when I was little, so maybe I'm making up for it now!  I don't wear a lot of pink - in fact, I don't think I own anything in pink except for a bag; but I do like to see it used as an accent; in a wall, a bag, a throw, pillow, shoes.  That pop of unexpected colour really brings other things into focus, whether it's a room or an outfit.  I even have a board on Pinterest entirely dedicated to all things pink. 

I LOVE all of these!!  I want that pink macaroon compact in my handbag RIGHT now and I can totally see myself with the pink luggage.  I do in fact own a pink watering can, although it's a bit paler than the one shown.  I recently drank some Dom Perignon champagne, if only it had been pink.  I'm also wondering how to get the dyed egg's all perfectly pink, just as it should be.
Wishing you all a beautiful, rosy pink weekend xox
Images via Pinterest

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mulberry Spring 2013

So London Fashion Week brought its usual share of highs and sighs, as the models shimmied down the catwalks in the latest designer creations.  As usual my eye was on the Mulberry show and what they have in store for Spring/Summer next year.  They didn't disappoint.  As ever, the clothes and accessories are stylish, wearable,  a designer edge but with a practical element too.  Of course, I went straight for the bags...
Here's a selection of what they're offering for 2013..boat shapes with envelope pockets and detailing that includes ostrich effect, punch holes and the stylish postman lock.
As I was checking out the Mulberry blog I came across a different kind of bag:
 A Cake bag!!!!
This one was made for the 10th anniversary of Style Magazine (Sunday Times) and I just love it!  My two favourite things in one; a Lana del Rey Mulberry bag made of CHOCOLATE cake.  Genius.
Here's how they did it

 That's one party I'd love to have been at!  What's been your favourite Fashion Week moment?
Images: via here

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just because...

 - I love you
- I can
- I want to
- it fits
- I'm tired
- it feels right
- it makes me happy
What's your because?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Simple Things

Pssst...I'm going to share a little secret with you...there's a new magazine on the block that's seriously eating into my down-time. You may have spotted it  here... It's called The Simple Things and it's tag line is 'Celebrating the things that matter the most'...I'm loving it; it's got some seriously simple design going on that beautifully compliments the subject matter.  Inside are articles on the sort of things we never seem to have time for picking, bee-keeping, knitting, interviews with cheese afficionados and much, much more.  From the moment I picked it up, it felt as if I was slowing down; taking time to indulge in a more simple way of life, even if it was only vicarious.  Go. Now. Buy.  You won't regret it I promise...


Monday, September 24, 2012

The Weekend - by Instagram

Go Ape
Dappled sunlight and tiny cyclamen

Browsing in Bayley&Sage

Stag Lodge

Blackberry heaven
Last minute picnic
The weekend got off to an interesting start with a day out at Go Ape!  Not the first choice for someone with vertigo it has to be said!  I gave it a go though; made it through the first two stages, but not without a great many tears...I then managed to bounce on my back as I came down the zip wire and decided enough was enough....the rest of the weekend was full of laughter with old friends; coffee in the sunshine, last minute picnics and some serious sofa lounging.  Hope yours was full of fun, friends and family too xox

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blackberry Pies



One of my favourite memories is of warm autumnal Sunday afternoon's spent foraging in the hedgerows for blackberries.  There's something special about finding these truffle-black berries, that stain your fingers a beautiful crimson, as you carefully pick them and drop them into your tub. 

 Wild blackberries are an altogether different creature to the purpose-grown nuggets that you find in the supermarket aisle.  Wild blackberries have a sweeter, denser flavour that demands crisp pastry and sweet cream.  Luckily I have just the recipe for you...

Vanilla Cream (this makes a little more than you need for 5 tart shells, just eat the leftovers as a pudding with some won't be sorry!)
  • meat from two young thai coconuts (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (you will get more water from the two coconuts, DO NOT throw it away, drink it and enjoy its amazing benefits!)
  • 2 TBS coconut butter
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 TBS vanilla extract
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean, pod discarded
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend for a few minutes or until very smooth.
Cover and place into the fridge.

Tartlets (makes 5)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of ghee, or oil of your choice
  • 1 TBS water
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine dry ingredients. Add in wet ingredients and form a crumbly dough using a spatula.
Press equal amounts of dough into 5 greased tartlet pans. Place in oven for 15 minutes.
Carefully remove tarts from oven and onto a cooling rack and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (this helps with the removal of the tarts from the pans)
Remove tarts from fridge. Carefully invert a pan in your hand and using a spoon tap the back of pan until the tart pops out into your hand. **THESE TARTS ARE VERY FRAGILE SO BE CAREFUL WHILE WORKING WITH THEM. Repeat with remaining tarts.
Spoon the vanilla filling into each tart shell and top with

AND just because I's a video link about making these tarts, courtesy of Roost.  You MUST watch this, it's such a feel-good vid!

via: 2//3

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mirror, Mirror...

I know most people decide to have a clear-out in the Spring; but the urge is upon me and I've decided to do something about my living room.  Not only is it going to get a tidy-up but a coat of paint too.  It's currently painted a colour called 'hessian' which is a pale taupe/cream colour and it's done it's job of showing off my treasures very well, but time for a change.  I'm thinking white - throughout the living room and dining room and using the colour from paintings and soft furnishings to vary the tones and break it up.  However, that's not my dilemma.  My current obsession is not paint but mirrors.  Yes. Mirrors.  I have a wonderful Edwardian mantlepiece that is the centrepiece of the room and above it stands a nice (but boring) mirror with a plain gold surround.  It's not enough.  It's just not big enough and I'd quite like something with a bit more detail.  Here's the dilemma: gold or silver or white french chic? 

silver gilt?

classic gold?

ornate gold?

or French chic?

What to do? 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Retro treats

A few days ago a friend offered me a sweet - I pulled out of the bag a 'Black Jack'.  I hadn't seen one of those, or tasted one for that matter, for many years.  When I was in middle school I walked home everyday with a group of friends and on the way we had to pass a newsagents called 'Blacks'.  Now 'Blacks' was one of those shops that sold the old-fashioned type of sweets; you could buy a chew, a Black Jack, a Fruit Salad for 1p; it was one of those shops that you went into and said "can I have a quarter of..." I usually had Pear Drops...Anyway, this Black Jack got me thinking about all those treats that I ate as a child; some you can still get and others seem to have disappeared into oblivion.  These are my top picks...
Battenburg - always a slice at my Granny's

Tunnock's Marshmallow Teacake - again always at my Granny's

Wagon Wheels - do they still make these?

Nestle's Mint Cracknel

the Yorkie Bar
 Who remembers the advert for the Yorkie bar - I still remember the slogan "not for girls"!!!!
If you want a trip down memory lane have a look at this:

What were your favourite treats that haven't stood the test of time?

Monday, September 17, 2012

The weekend - briefly


Summer is hanging on by its tendrils and this weekend I was happy to cling along!  I had booked a trip with the Thames Rib Experience and it didn't disappoint...seeing London from the river, accompanied by an amusing and informative narrative would have been enough in itself; add to that, a 50mph rib that sweeps and dives at 45 degrees plus, on it's side, as you try to hear the James Bond theme tune above the screams (that was me by the way!) and you have yourself an outing to remember!  I recommend it - go get yourself a booking - just don't eat before hand!  If I had my way, I think a lot of my pics of weekends would include food...and this one was no exception.  I used the last of the figs to re-create one of my fav Cote d'Azur go-tos - split, fill with blue cheese and bake (if you have pancetta wrap that around it too, but I was all out owing to delicious pancetta bagels on sat am!!!!).  Finally,  a trip to the Real Food Market, on the South Bank.  Everything is great quality and ethically and sustainably sourced.  The crowds had thinned somewhat by the time I happened by at around 5pm on Saturday and I had a pleasurable half-hour tasting some amazing Comte cheese and cooing over the tiny bottles of fizz...

Hope you all had a fabulous few days enjoying the last of the summer sun...and if there was no sun, it was relaxing anyway!


Friday, September 14, 2012

It's the weekend!

The weekend's nearly here.  It's time to entertain, walk by a lake, eat popcorn and watch Strictly.  Lounge in your pj's, eat pancakes and waffles, kiss your lover and dream of moving to another city...

What are your plans?

image source: pinterest

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Late Summer Entertaining

I know that summer is fading fast; here in London we're lucky enough to be having a bit of an Indian summer and I'm wondering if this gorgous sunshine is going to last until the weekend.  If so, there has to be some last minute summer entertaining .... eeking out the alfresco experience whilst we can.  Think blousy hydrangea, storm lanterns and candles, fading pastel petals, ombre effect napkins and of course, soft throws for when it gets chilly...

vintage cutlery and pretty pastel tumblers (similar from here)

raid the garden for the last of the summer blooms
layer cloths for a less formal look

sprinkle petals for romance

think strings of fairy lights, deserted beaches

 and send your guests home with a bouquet of poenies, a sweet reminder of summer

 image sources: 1//2/6//pinterest

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Let them eat cake!

There is something about baking first thing in the morning - pancakes are always a firm favourite but these little 'Financier' cakes make the day seem luxurious from the start, and let's face it, who doesn't want to eat cake for breakfast?!

Taken from The Simple Things magazine, these delicious little buns are made with hazelnuts, amaranth flour, vanilla bean, lemon zest and Asian pears.

You'll need:
140g unsalted butter; 100g natural cane sugar; 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest; 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped; 4 medium egg whites; 60g ground hazelnuts; 65g amaranth flour (or plain flour); 1/2 tsp salt; small Asian pear, peeled, cored and diced; 1tsp lemon juice.

1. Preheat your oven to 180/350 degrees. Grease or line individual muffin tins.
2. In small pan, heat butter until it starts to brown then pour into a bowl to cool.
3. Mix sugar, zest and vanilla seeds.  Rub the ingredients together until you can smell the lemon oil.  Stir in the butter and then add the egg whites, beating until slightly frothy.
4.  Add the hazelnuts, flour and salt.  Whisk to combine and then scoop the batter into the molds about 3/4 full.  Toss the pears in lemon juice and press them into the batter.
5. Bake for 25/30 minutes.  Let them cool before turning out.


Image Source: Kate Spade

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Glimpses of the Weekend

 enjoying 'The Simple Things' with a coffee on Richmond Green//sweet little candy tin from favourite Italian deli//bubbles by candlelight in the garden
vapour trails over the house as dusk sets in...

 beautiful pastels: hydrangea//gelati //
 the beautiful newly 'refurbed' Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens//
piles of pillowy merangues//slabs of Eton Mess cake//Kensington Gardens boat lake//

I know! I should have posted this yesterday, but a truly stressful past week and difficult start to this one has meant I'm lagging behind in the posts!  Last week saw me return to school after the summer break whilst also dealing with some serious family illnesses, so, by the time the weekend came about I was more than ready for some down-time.  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!