Flowers are blooming all around us, including in our closets :) Roses, daffodils, daisies and orchids are a big fashion trend for Spring/Summer 2012. Floral prints have been all over the runways by designers from Prada to Dolce & Gabbana to Valentino. The floral trend is feminine and fresh, and a great look to ensure you stand out from the crowd this summer.
You can mix up the colours to suit your mood, whether you feel like wearing bold colours such as red and blue, or more subtle colours, such as white and black. The floral trend is completely versatile, so you can adapt it to suit your personality; so don’t think floral is only for girly girls or grandma’s; it can also be an edgy bold look!
From the runways the floral trend has also hit the high street and I just couldn’t resist picking up this floral print floaty top from ZARA a little while ago. I am not normally one for girly prints but I seem to received lots of lovely comments from people when I wear this top so I am glad I added this cute top to my summer wardrobe. Here a recent outfit of the day:
♥ My arm candy:
Watch by Michael Kors (find online at ASOS here)
Silver lucky clover bracelet (as seen here)
white crocodile bone ball bracelet (my parents bought it for me on their recent holiday to Cuba)
Gold cable bracelet with heart by Regina Pierallini (link)
Heart charm chain bracelet by Tiffany & Go
Turquoise and pink bracelets by H&M
Beige leather pump wedges by Invito (on sale now for €49.99 here)
I honestly can’t enter a ZARA store at the moment without buying something!
These are some other florals items from ZARA that I have my little eye on….
♥ I absolutely ADORE the white floral blazer…….
What do you think of the floral trend; will you be adding some blossom to your wardrobe this summer?
A few weeks ago it was my flatmate’s birthday so we decided to celebrate this special day together the only way we could think possible….over good food!! We are both real foodies so for her actual birthday night I got us a booking at one of London’s top Italian restaurants that had been on our to-go-to list for a while but warrented a special occasion and this was certainly a perfectly good reason to spoil ourselves to a lovely evening out!
The River Café is located along the north bank of the London Thames near Hammersmith and Fulham and was set up by acclaimed British chef and cookery writer Rose Gray (together with Ruth Rogers) in 1987. Since then the restaurant has become a bit of a London institution for its simple, unpretentious but delicious flavours of Italian home cooking with an emphasis on the finest ingredients. The restaurant earned a Michelin star in 1997 and is also known as a breeding ground for a number for successful chefs that have trained in its kitchen; Jamie Oliver, Sam and Sam Clark of Moro and Ed Baines of Randall & Aubin; just to name a few!
The restaurant is a not an easy find, being a bit hidden off the main roads but well worth finding because when you arrive you are bound to love the outdoor garden terrace (which we decided deserves a re-visit for a sunny outdoor weekend lunch sometime this summer!) and the stunning view overlooking the Thames.
Here is the birthday girl overlooking the river by a pretty spring sunset!
I have to say from the moment we walked into the restaurant we were wowed by the customer service of the super friendly and helpful staff. The restaurant has incorporated the bar, dining area and kitchen area into one big space housed in a warehouse. I loved the modern, fresh and light interior and felt the place had a great buzzy atmosphere!
The menus at the River Café change twice daily to respond to the seasons and what is best in the market, with simplicity being key to their food. Signature dishes include the wild mushroom risotto; Dover sole and John Dory smoked in the restaurant’s own wood stove, plus the must have rich Italian desserts including lemon almond cake or the chocolate “Nemesis” cake (but more on that later…)
Now onto the menu for that day…
Each menu is is set out in a traditional Italian way with antipasti, primi, secondi, i formaggi and dolce e gelati. Each dish looked so mouth watering..we definitely took a while to decide what to order on the menu, we wanted to try everything!
But first things first…… a prosecco to toast to the birthday gal :)
Washed down with beautiful home cooked bread and their own to-die-for olive oil!
We decided to share two entrees….
The antipasti with the most amazing mozzarella I’ve ever tasted. It just melted in my mouth!
And char grilled scottish scallops with fresh chilli and rocket and broad bean salad.
For the mains I had the grilled Sea Bass and my flatmate the perfectly cooked lamb.
All the food was delicious and let’s say those plates left our table sparkling clean hehe. It just proves how very simple ingredients can make the most amazing meals.
Then even though we were pretty stuffed after all that food, we just HAD to make room for dessert:
1) it was her birthday
2) their signature dish the ‘Chocolate Nemesis’ sounded too good to resist and
3) we are both huge dessert lovers and we are often heard saying ‘there is always room in that seperate compartment of your stomach, reserved just for dessert’ ;)
I had told the restaurant it was her birthday so they were very sweet and brought the dessert out with a candle and Happy Birthday written on the plate! ♥
This was truly a spectacular cake! It is part flour-less chocolate cake and part melt in your mouth chocolate mousse..nommmmmmm. It’s light, fluffy and incredibly moist but definitely very chocolately and filling at the same time. I am glad we shared this dessert because we couldn’t have had a whole piece of this indulgent cake after our dinner. I loved this dessert so much that I tracked down the recipe to try to re-create this epic cake for a dinner party some time to wow my guests socks of with!
Here is the recipe if you want to give it a whirl yourself and please do let me know how you get on :)
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bain marie. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line a 27cm springform cake tin with foil.
Beat together the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for five minutes until they’ve quadrupled in volume. Fold the chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs and sugar and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Place the cake in a large roasting tin in the oven, then pour enough boiling water into the tin to rise 3/4 up the side of the cake. Cook in the preheated oven for over an hour, then turn the oven off and allow to cool completely before removing. Serve with crème fraiche.
Make a wish birthday girl :)
We had an amazing evening and it’s definitely one of those restaurants that makes you want to get a 150-hours-a-week job as an investment banker, just so you can afford to eat here every day!
If you are a fan of Clinique’s Chubby Sticks you will be happy to learn that from the 1st of June they are adding eight new shades to the range! Clinique Chubby Sticks are very popular, even winning an ELLE Beauty Award, because their multi-tasking, nourishing balms are packed with nutritious ingredients to keep lips soft, while also providing a sheer hint of colour.
I’d never had the pleasure of owning one of these, so as you can imagine I was very excited to see if its reputation lived up to its hype when Clinique sent me of their new colours ‘Mighty Mimosa’ to try.
The Chubby Sticks is basically a moisturizing lip colour balm that gives your lips a nice wash of sheer colour. It comes in a pencil style applicator that rolls up for ease of use.
Mightly Mimosa is a gentle natural pink which feels super soft on your lips because their award winning formula is packed with Shea Butter, Mango Seed Butter and Jojoba Seed Oil.
Clinique Mighty Mimosa
Top: swatched on hand
Mid: natural light
Bottom: with flash
FOTD makeup used:
Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Serum Foundation (review here)
MAC Warm Soul as highlighter on my cheekbones (review here)
Urban Decay Sin (applied all over lid)
Urban Decay Naked & Buck (applied to crease and along lower lashline)
MAC Espresso eye shadow (lightly in outer V)
L’Oreal Super Thin Liquid Liner
17 Va-Va Voom Mascara
Conclusion? I have been wearing this lip balm quite a lot recently and think the Chubby Sticks live up to their reputation; a lip balm in a pencil shape that keeps your lips from drying out whilst providing them with sheer long lasting colour! Perfect :)
The other new shades in the collection include; Heaping Hazelnut, Bountiful Blush, Two Ton Tomato, Oversized Orange, Curvy Candy, Pudgy Peony and Voluptuous Violet.
Have you tried one the Chubby Sticks before?
Priced at £16 each, the new shades are available at Clinique counters nationwide from 1st June, 2012 or visit www.clinique.co.uk for more information.
For a while now I have been lusting after some RayBan Wayfarer sunglasses and with summer coming up I wanted to bite the bullet and splurge on some new sunnies. I found my perfect pair online at SmartBuy Glasses.
RayBan Tortoise (RB4105) Folding Wayfarers (link)
Denim Jacket by Bershka
Gold scarf by LK Bennett
Earrings by Regina Pierallini (link)
I just love them!! I have always been a fan of the Wayfarers shape but I found that the RayBans original frames have quite a predominant slant to them which doesn’t really suit my face shape. That’s why I am so happy I discovered the folding Wayfarer style because they are a very similar shape to the originals but without the heavy slant. The soft tortoise design is also a nice change from the standard black I think.
The lenses are also polarized which means they reduce glare reflected at some angles off shiny non-metallic surfaces such as water, aka perfect for my upcoming sailing holiday in Croatia this summer :)
These sunnies are really light weight and you might be wondering ‘folding’ sunglasses, what does that mean? Well it means they fold down so you can store them easily in your back pocket or handbag – very convenient for travel I think!
Do you like my new glasses and are you eyeing up any new sunnies this summer?
As much as exercising has always been a part of my life, I have never been much of a runner. Growing up I was into team sports with field hockey being my sport of choice. Only a couple of years ago (when I needed to lose a few kilos) I started working out at the gym but I would mainly go to classes, do weight & core exercises or work out on the cross trainer. Running was just something I wasn’t good at and couldn’t motivate myself to get into.
However, since moving to London I found so many of my friends were into running and it is such a great, healthy and outdoorsy way to work out I decided to get over my running ‘fear’ and set myself a challenge! One of my new years resolutions for for 2012 was to take part in a 10km run and once winter was over I found myself entering the London BUPA 10km run to motivate me to reach my goal. So this meant getting out there and train, train, train! However as much as I thought I was pretty fit and healthy I was really struggling to run for more than 10 minutes without being completely puffed and exhausted. So I decided to look for help….and I found it in a couple of nifty little iPhone apps!
Neon Coral iPhone4 Cover by H&M
These apps have really helped me train and I recommend you trying them if you want to get off the couch and get running :)
♥ Get Running App (Couch to 5K) – £1.99 (link)
This is the first app I got to get myself ready from huffing and puffing after 10 minutes to be able to run for 30 minutes in one go! It claims that “With three enjoyable workouts a week, in nine weeks you will be running continuously for half an hour, even if getting off the couch is a struggle today! Get Running breaks through the “beginning barrier” with its popular Couch to 5k running plan. In week one’s workouts you’ll alternate one minute of running with 90 seconds of walking. With each new week, Get Running’s human voice coach gradually builds up your pace, until you’re running for a whole half-hour!”
I absolutely loved this app because it coached me like a personal trainer would with lots of recorded progress and encouragement prompts like ‘well done, you have run for 20 minutes now – only 10 more minutes to go!’
♥ Map my Run – FREE (link)
Run, record and track your workouts. It works with the GPS on your iPhone and tracks your route on a live map, records your distance and pace and time. You can set it to give you voice prompts every five minutes so let you know how long you’ve run and how many km’s you have done which for me is a great motivator when I set myself a time/distance goal for that day!
♥ Bridge to 10K App – £1.99 (link)
“Specifically designed for 5K app graduates. Pick up where the 5K app leaves off and get to running a 10K (6.2 mile) race in just 6 weeks.”
With all of the above iPhone apps you can keep your iTunes music playing at the same time. I find playing upbeat music really helps me keep energised and pumped to complete my runs :) You know how people say running becomes like a drug, well I always thought people were a little nuts when they said that….but maybe I am starting to believe it. The feeling when you’ve completed a good run is amazing…exhausting but so satisfying! I am happy to say that I can now run around 8-9km and this weekend brings my big challenge for the London 10km BUPA run
I decided to run this race for charity and I just want to say THANK YOU to all my generous friends and colleagues that have donated so far. I am running for the ‘Beating Bowl Cancer‘ charity because several members of my family have unfortunately been personally affected by this horrible illness and I think the work this charity does to raise awareness is fantastic.
My Just Giving Charity Page (link) if you want to support this worthy cause!
Happy Hump day everyone and wish me luck for Sunday!! ;) xoxo