:-)

:-)

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Halloween





A few ideas from Good Housekeeping - this year we will be cheating and instead of carving out the pumpkin, will use a sharpie pen instead to create a scary face. For obvious reasons we cannot have a naked flame as the curly haired beauty will just stick her finger into the pumpkin. Halloween being on a Saturday night I cannot bear a trip to A&E.


Thing 1 will be dressed as a pumpkin as he is the bigger twin. Thing 2 will be a skeleton as he is skinnier and the curly haired beauty will be Princess Leia. She was given this costume when a babe and only fits into it now! That's American sizing for you.

Creed Selection Verte


As D and I were leaving Selfridges we passed the Creed perfume counter - since Xmas is only like 54 days away (yikes!) I thought I would steer D towards it and see if he would like what I like, so I could get that for him as his present. Now its no secret I love Cary Grant, his films with Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly etc. are my all time faves. In the BB days (before babies) I would love to pop on a video, sit on the sofa and pull the duvet over me and just watch the man in action. Creed created a bespoke cologne for CG called Selection Verte, its very similar to Hermes Eau D'Orange Verte and Miller Harris Tangerine Vert. There is no way my D could ever be like CG but he can at least smell like him!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Food Heaven

I am still recovering from my experience at Pierre Koffmans pop up restaurant on Selfridges roof tops. My tweets were pretty basic as I was totally blown away by the food, completely delicious. I know a lot of foodie bloggers have done brilliant in-depth reviews. D and I were a bit rubbish at remembering what we had ordered so when it arrived we kept eating and asking what is this flavour, is that celeriac, I can taste lemon, why does the onion slice taste like smoked bacon etc. An amusee bouche arrived but no one explained what it was, think it had some sort of smoked ham, herring thing but tasted yummy. I ordered a glass of Mumm champagne to wet my appetite.


For starters I ordered the Pan fried Fois gras - which came presented with a creamy foam, a tart apple 'smear' sauce set on a lattice base of crispy potato . It was so melt in the mouth, light and not at all rich tasting that I could have eaten it over hundred times.  D had the Lobster and avocado in lemon jelly. It was served in a martini glass. He said it was a perfect balance of flavours and textures.


Our mains followed quickly I had pigs trotters, stuffed with sweetbread served with mash. I can see why this is a PK classic - I am not one for eating red meat but I had to give this a try. I don't want to sound like one of the judges from Masterchef and say unctuous but the flavours were unexpected, delicate, not strong, a bit like oxtail. The mash was creamy and to be truthful a bit similar tasting to M&S Ultimate mash. D had the Sea Bream and declared this dish better than the one at The Square. As it was a big bit of fillet over a bed of seasonal mini veg, swimming in a yellow sauce - we have no idea what that was, I thought tarragon, but D thinks it was something else.)

For dessert I had to go for the classic Pistachio souffle. It arrived with much ceremony, a cross was delicately etched on the surface and pistachio ice cream with spooned into the space. We watched it sink slowly in before I tucked into it. The contrast of warm souffle with the cold ice cream was heavenly. A glass of demi-sec Mumm champagne went very nicely with it. The inside of the ramekin had been dusted with cocoa powder so there was a subtle hint of chocolate too. D had a rich chocolate mousse with orange compote and ice cream. We shared a bit of each others but were pretty happy to stick to our choices.




Because service was so prompt there was never really enough time to digest between courses. So I opted for some fresh mint tea to help stop my insides from groaning and to my shame could not finish the petit fours that came with it. I waddled out a very happy lady and would love to go back again to experience the amazing talents of PK.

Tomato Head


This is a great tip from my hair stylist, probably a bit late as the summer holidays are long gone. But if you find your bleached blonde hair goes green after a dip in the swimming pool. Cover your hair in tomato ketchup and your crowning glory will be fully restored. Leave it in for at least a whole day (I know but trust me it does work) and wash out with shampoo and condition as normal.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A genius idea



One of my guilty pleasures is to watch Don't Tell the Bride , where the groom has a week to organise a wedding without any input from his other half. Its a hoot to hear them lie to the vicar/reverend/priest to explain why they want to get married in the church (they all know that's what the bride wants!) Over the weekend I got my hair done and in conversation with my stylist we hit upon a genius idea.



What if we could provide a fairy tale looking churchlike building, with a long aisle, organise a choir, have a beautiful rose garden outside for the photos, with space for a marquee reception afterwards; without the hassle of actually lying to the vicar/reverend/priest/god! They have something similar in Japan where you can book a themed wedding and a 'Western one' is a very popular choice as the brides love to wear the big meringue number. Although Hello Kitty is very popular out there too which may be a bit unusual for British tastes!  

Does anyone know of a defunct pretty looking church I could buy?

Monday, 26 October 2009

A very happy birthday girl


I had just the loveliest birthday celebration yesterday. I didn't quite get breakfast in bed, as the clock change took us all by surprise and the twins demanded an early feed. Both were back asleep by 7am, so we enjoyed an uninterrupted breakfast of Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels - using the Bagel Slicer, its completely brilliant and I cannot think why we have been doing without one. Later on D and I took Thing 1 and 2 for lunch at Bibendum my favorite Conran restaurant - its very pram friendly if you have a double buggy like we do. I had half a dozen native oysters and crab mayonnaise. It took me forever to crack all the shell and get the bits out. It was like a scene from 'Splash' I'm not kidding you! Both babies managed to sleep through like angels so I could almost believe I was childless - but D was franticly rocking the pram with one arm and eating with the other.


Afterwards we headed for the V&A as I wanted to see the new ceramics department. Its amazing and well laid out, in a pile them high kind of way. I took several photos of the babies next to some ceramics - future evidence that we tried to start their art education early. The twins got complimented for being the best form of art ever by some passing tourists - they really do get a lot of attention but I never dress them up alike as they are not identical. I spent a lot of my childhood in matching outfits with my sis, so I didn't want that hassle for my two.


This French tea set in the last room caught my eye, I love the pink and gold gliding combination. Looking at all the teapots gave me a bit of a thirst so we headed outside to the garden cafe for a cuppa and a brownie. A perfect day doing all the things I wanted to do - thanks D xxx :-)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Happy Face


Ahhh my little sister (by 3 minutes) got me the most fabulous birthday present. It must be a twin thing that she knew I had run out of my favorite Decleor product and bought me a huge kit which included the lush melt in Aromessence Essential Balm, Neroli oil, Hydrafloral face cream and other goodies. I chop and change my beauty products all the time and although the Philosophy set I got a few weeks ago, is doing its thing. I always turn back to this old faithful to really get my skin glowing. It does take more effort to apply and I think the extra massaging you need to do, helps the blood flow and lymph glands drain.  Pure magic and smells heavenly.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Wishful thinking


This is what I'm hoping for tomorrow - a lie in to 8am (that is a lie in in my household) and breakfast in bed. D has already been out and got 4 types of smoked salmon, bagels etc. Bagel Slicer is all set up and ready to go. But the reality will be more like this.

Image Casting


The time has gone so quick and Thing 1 and  Thing 2 have really got the hang of eating solids/mush. But with all the steaming, mashing, freezing, de-frosting, feeding etc. it hasn't left me much time  to get out and have their little feet/hands cast as a memento of how small they are. Someone who does home visits is Fiona at Image Casting - she created a beautiful framed cast of the Curly haired beauty when she was 6 weeks old. Her youngest client was only 8 hours old! I had better book her in soon before the twins can run away from me.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Smells like Christmas is coming



I had mentioned in a previous post 'Christmas'! Mmmm we haven't had Halloween, Bonfire night or Thanksgiving (I work for Americans - so the New York office shuts down which gives our phones/emails a bit of a break). Liberty have got this voucher offer at their in-store Murdock mens grooming salon. Perfect for D as he could do with some TLC. They use the fabled Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy products which are just heavenly - created by Dominican monks in Florence. They have just the very best hair conditioner ever, even better than Philip Kingsley Elasticizer which Naomi Campbell swears by. My very kind friend R, used to go to Florence for work and would often bring me back jars of the hair conditioner. You can visit the smaller SMN pharmacy in Walton Street, London. But it doesn't have the wonderful ornate ceilings as the original store in Florence.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Diamonds are a girls best friend



After spending many fustrating times trying to slice a bagel in half and losing several fingernails in the process I told D, we will not eat anymore bagels until I get a Bagel Slicer - as seen in The OC. He thought it would be the perfect gift for my birthday, so its on order and is on its way - Mmmm hugely practical and befits my status as a temp housewife but not what I had in mind. Had I not been so hasty and angry with my bagel slicing efforts - I should have steered him towards the Tiffany website as I really want/need DIAMONDS.


I just love the 'Diamond by the Yard' range at Tiffany's. Something so simple, pretty and wearable for everyday. I am torn between the 3 diamond necklace (to represent the 3 babies I had) or get the aquarmarine version and see if Tiffany can customise the middle stone for a pink sapphire (1 girl and 2 boys). I will have to make a special trip to Bond Street to try them out and see if its possible. D set the bar really high last year when I got the most beautiful platinum and diamond Etoile style ring - a combined 'Birthday/Yes I'm really happy you are pregnant' gift. It was totally unexpected, he spotted it at an auction and just knew I would love it and it fitted perfectly. Of course by Christmas when we found out I was expecting twins he thought we should pawn it and use the money for the double trouble childcare costs.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Ugg Time



It really does feel autumnal now and its about time I dig out my trusty old Ugg boots. I bought them from Stella B  a week before I gave birth to the Curly haired beauty and have certainly stood the test of time. Back then in my total hormonal state I had really wanted a pair of high heels but nothing fitted my puffy swollen hooves - so the very patient Basi and Karen suggested maybe I should try on a pair of Crocs. Now I hate Crocs! I even joined the Facebook group 'I hate Crocs they are so Ugly'. And I told them as much. I really wanted to buy something that fitted right away.

They had just had a delivery of the latest Uggs and had not unpacked and put them out on display. So I snatched the size 5's, paid for them and waddled out. I was a little ashamed of my behavior. I have since been back and despite being a tiny shop, have a great stock of shoes by Rapetto, Pretty Ballerina, Superga etc. Currently they have on sale a pair of Jackson Twins knee high boots for #50, down from #234

Food Coaching



Eating should always be a pleasure but sometimes you need a little helping hand and some guidance. Someone who has always been very informative about diets and the best supplements to help support your body and immune system is Asun Del Valle - at Food Coaching. She has a great holistic track record as a nutrition therapist and is also a trained massage therapist. Its an added bonus after doing a course to have clearer skin, experience some weight loss and be full of energy. Vital in the coming months when the lurgies await you at every turn and to look your best for those Christmas snaps - gasp! did I just mention yule-tide season already???

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Bag Lady







I must remember to send the other birthday girl her present - hopefully if I order this right now from Net-a-Porter it will arrive in time and it will not look like I have forgotten her! We're both fans of Anya Hindmarch but even during the sales, her bags are still pretty expensive. Also they do weigh quite a bit, so once you've loaded it up with all your essentials, you can get serious arm and shoulder strain. These canvas totes are a happy compromise.  I've put in the gift card 'Many happy returns from one old bag to another!'

Balance



When I hit 30 I  went on a bit of a health kick, I had a total detox and gave up eating wheat and diary for a month. It was fashionable at the time so I had Colonic Hydrotherapy (against my sisters advice - she is a nurse). For the squeamish it wasn't a bad experience, no embarrassing leaking afterwards etc. and I did feel very light on my feet and my stomach was super flat. Of course I undid all the good work afterwards by celebrating my birthday in Florence; stuffing my face with truffled pasta and wonderful Italian ice cream.


As I am nearing my birthday I am dreading another digit to add to my age (going to be 38). So I'm thinking of going back to The Balance Clinic and giving their one day mini-cleanse a try out. Weirdly I am looking to becoming 40 as I have planned a massive shopping trip to New York sans enfants.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Never again



A few years ago for my sister, my only one and my (identical) twin to boot - I agreed to make her wedding cake - a stack of cupcakes in silver foil cases, iced in white with a pink sugar rose. This experience put me off baking for nearly a year! Now I love cupcakes, I love the whole naughty but nice, not sharing experience of sinking your teeth into something so pretty. Like a fool I didn't realise she would turn into Bridezilla and want it perfect. Every weekend I would slave away working out the perfect cupcake recipe and take the rejected cakes into the office to giveaway and make room for the next batch. Plus there was only one place that sold THE pink sugar roses (in deepest Tooting, Sugarart). I finally chanced upon Nigella Lawson's cupcake recipe. I had to increase the ingredients as I was baking 200 of them. I had cakes in my fridge, my mum's fridge and D's fridge (this is before we got hitched). On the day of the actual wedding I had such a stressful time getting to the venue  it was not fun going up the winding streets of Richmond Hill with a load of tuppaware boxes squashed into D's MR2. In the end it all worked out well, there are lots of photos of me with a very shiny face looking manic hoping I had not poisoned anyone.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Perfect Retreat



I don't do camping, the outdoor life does not suit me and I find the whole idea of fresh, fresh air really appalling! To be honest I have never really tried it, the closest I came to sleeping out in the elements was at a friends Pine Finnish Chalet which was kitted out with a shower and other mod cons overlooking the waters edge. But if I was forced to stay on a campsite then I would probably choose an Airstream trailer and there are many to choose from at Vintage Vacations based on the Isle of Wight. Now D is looking for a retreat away from the 3 under 3. We don't have a shed for him to hide in. But I love this neat idea that Marie had for her husband. She imported an Airstream trailer and renovated it to become an office at the end of the garden.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

City Shorts


Right I am now back on track after chanting 'work, work, work only!' before I start surfing. From The Outnet, a pair of Chloe tailored shorts. I can wear with opaque tights and patent knee high boots and when the weather warms up, do as the mannequin, bare legs and sandals. But in the back of my mind I can't help thinking how boring it is and all I want is gold sequins.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Wedding Belles


This is a plug for a very talented friend of mine Louise Richardson who designs bespoke wedding invitations. She's made several celebrity clients very happy but since she's signed a non-disclosure contract, is not allowed to mention names. Needless to  say they have featured in 'Hello' etc.

Her own wedding was in the most beautiful setting in the Italian hills. If I had my time again maybe I would have chosen to have our nuptials abroad. But I remember picking the date, Valentines Day, and not being able to book a single venue! We had a quickie ceremony at Chelsea Old Town Hall and then hopped into a waiting white cab heading straight for the Eurostar and was in Paris for lunch. Now that's romantic :-)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Stella


Potion/Lotion



Back in the old day's before babies, I used to have the longest beauty routine ever. A typical day would be cleanse with Clarins lotion and wipe off with a damp muslin cloth, sprizt with Dr Hauschka Facial Toner, apply 3 drops of Decleor Neroli oil, massage into the face, apply No 7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum, followed by PX Prescriptives Super Line Preventor on any wrinkle that dared to make an appearance. Then moisturise with Clarins Multi-active Day Lotion. If I had a late night, next day I would slater on Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. Twice a week I would give myself a facial using Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel to exfoliate the skin, then apply a mask depending how spotty I was (still getting hormonal outbreaks in late 30's) Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair mask or Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising mask if my combination skin was feeling a little dried out. For actual outbreaks, redness or irritated skin I would rub in Elemis SOS Emergency Cream onto the affected area.

For my hands I had several heavy duty creams on the go, to keep the dryness and age spots at bay - but nothing beats good old Atrixo.  Extra stuff for cuticles and OPI Nail Envy for nails. OMG for my body I had products galore for each limb etc. And don't get me started on my hair care. It makes me blush how I found the time to hold down a full-time job and keep a husband....D could never get into the bathroom. To the extent we actually moved to a house which had a downstairs loo, so I could spend hours uninterrupted in the upstairs bathroom. Because of this I was always running a bit late to catch the train into work. I was terrible guilty being one of those women who put on their make-up sat in the train. It's actually quite a skill to have. I relied on Supernatural Philosophy Airbrush Canvas its a neat foundation/powder combo that doesn't spill or makes a mess and pretty fool proof to apply on a moving train. 


Then when the babies came, if I was lucky enough to have the time, I would swipe clean my face with a baby wipe and slap on one potion/lotion :-( Some days I wouldn't be able to brush my teeth/ hair and generally feel lousy all day from the neglect I showed myself. But now things have settled down, my old routine is starting to creep back in and feel like I've been able to regain the 'old me' again. Curly haired beauty is just like her mummy and she now has her own set of lotions/potions (OK I tell her its fancy stuff but its really E45 cream). I guess you can never start too young, to look after your skin.

Yum yums


Its come round so quick second/third time around - time to get the blender out and start churning out baby mush. Today I made a load of parsnip and pear puree for Thing 1 and 2. I learnt my lesson first time round when I started out with carrots and was amazed how staining it was on everything it came into contact with.

The thing is, with the curly haired beauty I slavishly followed Annabel Karmel; before she hit one she had a rich and varied diet of the most tasty and interesting food. Then toddlerdom hit and all she wanted was ham, cheese, brioche. It took ages to try and convince her to eat something different but with her approaching 3 she has developed a taste for marmite sandwiches, spaghetti hoops, frankfurters and fish fingers. I recently made homemade fishcakes and tried to convince her they were round fish fingers but she was having none of that!

Temptation


I truly admit I have failed miserably in assembling my capsule working wardrobe - this Manoush Cloush top is on sale at My Wardrobe at 50% off and I sooo want it! Yes it is a bit glizty glam for the office but there is only one left in stock and I must have it.....

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Shoe Envy



As a fan of the SATC TV show and of the movie I cannot wait for the next film in 2010. Here are some serious sparkly gold high heeled CL as worn by SJP :-)
From all the pap photos circulating around the web, Carrie is going to be wearing a lot of Halston.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

More cake?



Its my birthday in a few weeks time and although we have planned an indulgent lunch at Pierre Koffmann pop up restuarant - I would still like a celebratory cake. I think this one from The Cake Store would be perfect. Failing that, a stack of cupcakes from Lola's Kitchen would fit the bill nicely. Mmmm delish ...D, take the hint and get ordering now - I'm worth it.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Sample sale time again

Courtesy of Daily Candy - more sales coming up 
What: BroraWhy: Up to 70 per cent off clothing and accessories.
When: 15-17 Oct. Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: The 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Gr., W11 2QA (020 7229 4179).
What: On the QTWhy: Up to 80 per cent off clothing and accessories by See by Chloé, Nudie jeans, Prada and more.
When: 15-18 Oct. Thurs.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. 
Where: Shop 14, Elys Yard, Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QL.
What: Graham & GreenWhy: Up to 70 per cent off furniture, home accessories and gifts.
When: 22-25 Oct. Thurs., noon-8 p.m.; Fri.-Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Units 3 & 4, Capital Interchange Way, Chiswick, TW8 0EX (020 8987 3700).
What: London Accessory SaleWhy: Up to 80 per cent off designers including D&G, Francesco Biasia, Jimmy Choo and more.
When: 23 Oct. Fri., 1-9 p.m.
Where: Music Rooms, 26 S. Molton Ln., W1K 5AB (07900 432661).
What: Designer Warehouse SalesWhy: Up to 80 per cent off labels including Vivienne Westwood, Roberto Cavalli, Nicole Farhi and more.
When: 23-25 Oct. Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 5/6 Islington Studios, Thane Works, Thane Villas, N7 7NU (020 7697 9888).

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Looking rested


As tired as you can be with 3 under 3 I have always relied on a few things to keep my skin looking perky. For the sleepless nights I turn to Guerlain Midnight Secret, which really is sleep in a bottle. I give this to all new mums as a post-birth present. But now all the babes sleep through I need a new beauty regime to give me a less harassed  look! So I thank my sister for introducing me to QVC shopping, who do great beauty deals and I got this during their birthday week. Without sounding like an advert for them, you have 30 days to try out the products and if you are not happy can send it back for a full refund. So far I think it is working, that and a lot of sleep :-)

Saturday, 10 October 2009

I'll keep dreaming



If I had the funds and won the lotto then I would be getting these outfits by Chloe and Celine for my working wardrobe. But then again if I did win the lotto I wouldn't be heading back to work!

Feeling Flirty



I have been dithering about what to get for my back-to-work capsule wardrobe. I may now need to head back into the W1 office sooner rather than later. I keep getting side tracked by lots of lovely things like these lovely flirty mini skirts in Topshop. Both are machine washable so on a practical maintenance level I could get them?!?!? But would they go with anything?