Sunday, November 23, 2014


I'm a very visual person and often turn to photographs to inspire and motivate me.  That's why I love Pinterest so much.  I can grab images easily, store them and turn to them whenever I need a creative boost.  Here's some of what's been inspiring me lately...


{all images TIG}





Where do you go for your inspiration?

all images: Pinterest

Monday, November 03, 2014

Fall Favourites

There's something so reassuring about autumnal dressing.  The oversized jumpers, jeans and boots, maxi-skirts and draped necklines and of course the myriad of scarves, hats and bags that accompany the change of seasons.  I can spend many happy hours editing my wardrobe, planning outfits and sourcing just the right pair of boots; but there are also days when I'm just too tired or uninspired and when that hits I head straight for my Pinterest board for some fresh ideas.  The Pinterest community is a constant source of inspiration for me and having my own bank of style ideas has been a godsend on many a day.  These are some of my favourite go-to looks at the moment.

{I love the paired down look of the draped top with skinny jeans.  The knee high
boot lengthens the leg and the leather bracelet echoes the tones in the boots and bag}

{Browns are a good alternative to black}

{Simple yet elegant.  A few key accessories lift the outfit}

{Taupes and pale pinks with greys and pearls. A chic throw-on outfit for
running city errands}

{I love this look for work.  It easily transitions to early
evening drinks}

{I'm rediscovering russets and reds this autumn}

{I've just been given a red tote by Jimmy Choo and it works with pretty
much every outfit I pair it with}

{Ahhhh...the shorts and tights look.  So comfortable and easily dressed up or down
with either boots or a heel)
 What are your go-to looks this autumn?

Images:  My Style/Pinterest

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Welcome November

The first of November.  How can that be? The trees are turning but the days are unseasonably warm for the month that usually sees the first frost (about a week before my birthday historically and that's only two weeks away - can't see it myself!).  It's one of my favourite months - I have a birthday and this year it's a big one (more on that another post, another day), it's also host to one of my favourite days of the whole year - Bonfire Night.  The nights are drawing in and it's still a novelty to come home in the dark and snuggle up on the sofa; the days are usually crisp and sunny - it's a month that celebrates the turning of the seasons and I love it.  So, here are some ideas to while away November days...

US by David Nicholls.  How have I missed this?  Author of 'One Day' - need I say more. Other suggestions include We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler...a friend read this on holiday in France and drove us silly by dropping little nuggets to tempt us. My other suggestion is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey which will set you up for winter and is best read in front of the fire.  I reviewed it here.

November calls for one-pot meals that can be left for hours whilst you walk in the sunshine.  They should be flavoursome and comforting, rich and satisfying and I love this particular recipe that comes from Nigella - slow cooked lamb with pasta.  It's unctuous and delicious and the feta adds a salty creaminess that finishes the whole dish off to perfection.

I've never managed to do Hyde Park's 'Winter Wonderland' yet so it's got to be high on my priority list this year.  I'm also planning a trip to the Natural History Museum Ice Rink - a brave move as last time I went skating at Hampton Court one of our party broke his wrist!  Also, a trip to the cinema to see Gone Girl.  I loved the book, but must be the only person yet to see the film!

A Christmas cake.  My granny always used to make ours - one for each branch of the family AND one for me to take back to Uni after the celebrations were over. She was cake queen.  So where else would I go for a cake recipe but to that other culinary queen, Delia.  This recipe is traditional and classic, both of which I know my granny would approve of.  Also planning a few home-grown details for Christmas present wrapping...
What are your 'Musts' for November?
Images: Cox&Cox

Friday, October 17, 2014

Twice Baked Potatoes

There is nothing that is quite as versatile as the humble potato.  Boiled, sauted, mashed, crisped, chopped and of course baked.  A  baked potato really hits the spot when you're cold and tired and in need of the ultimate comfort food; it should be crispy on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside; lather it in butter,add some cheese and it's nothing short of nirvana.  In fact, the only thing better is a TWICE baked potato which is then stuffed with delicious things.  This 'recipe' (if you can call it that!) is a total winner in our house.  I serve it with a crisp green salad.


one large potato per person (or more if you're very hungry or want leftovers)
diced pancetta
mature cheddar cheese
sour cream

How to:
  • I always start by microwaving the potatoes for a short time to shorten the time in the oven - usually five minutes if I have 4 potatoes in there
  • Place each potato on a metal skewer and place in the oven for approximately an hour.  They are done when you squeeze the skins and they give pleasingly
  • Fry the pancetta until crispy and when the potatoes are ready...
  • Half the potatoes and scoop out the soft flesh and place into a bowl.
  • Add a good dollop of butter, salt and pepper and mix together until smooth
  • Add as much cheese as you like for taste
  • Add the pancetta and spoon the mixture back into the cases and place on a baking tray
  • sprinkle a little extra cheese on the top and a smidgin of smoked paprika
  • Place back in the oven (or under a hot grill if you can't wait any longer) for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted and golden brown
  • Serve with sour cream and chopped chives

Image: Peonylim

Monday, October 13, 2014

Autumnal Pleasures

I love the month of October.  Autumn is officially here and its ok to put on tights, get out the jumpers and snuggle on the sofa under a blanket.  This past weekend has been a total get-away from it all; a few days in the South Downs and it's been a  showcase for Autumn's finest.  Glorious sunshine, berry hues, copper and burnished ochres as well as a spectacular thunderstorm and torrential rain.  There has been a trip to the coast and a blustery walk along the pebble beach, breathing in the salty seaweed smell and watching the sun play hide and seek with the storm clouds.  There's been a log fire, fizz and warming pies;  picking the last of the raspberries from the canes and country pubs with scrubbed wooden tables, roaring fires and sunday roasts.  In every little shop I passed there were reminders that Autumn is upon us - the scarves, the corduroy, the pumpkins and fairy lights. Embrace it all I say, before the colours fade and the darkness of winter begins to nudge its way forward...

image: 1