:-)

:-)

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Cover up

Sometimes you have to be dressed practical in order to stay dry against the elements. This Aubin and Wills mac is the answer for February Snow flurries to April showers. Its got the right touch of utility chic and if its good enough for Amanda Harlech its good enough for the likes of us as well!



Saturday, 27 February 2010

Tea time treats

These are perfect afternoon treats by Biscuiteers and make great gifts for someone special. They're too pretty to dunk in your tea!

Friday, 26 February 2010

Where are all the pretty flowers?

Still winter and still miserable - but as soon as Spring has sprung I am going to check out the bluebells at The Manor House in Upton Grey. There is something so cheerful, natural and beautiful about a carpet of bluebells. The gardens here were designed by Gertrude Jekyll in 1908. I would love to spend the whole day dead-heading the flowers. The gardens have been painstakingly restored to their formal glory by the current owners.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Calling all brides to be - VERA WANG SAMPLE SALE!!!!! So sharpen those elbows - pack a sleeping bag and camp out overnight. I have been here many a times with prospective brides. Its part of the whole getting married experience. We all pretend we have unlimited budget, coo over the outfits and then secretly have a fit at the prices. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to wear a big dress and nobody does it so well as Vera Wang. A former 'Fashion Widow' who was married to her Vogue job - she manged to find a husband, start a niche busness and has become a byword for super stylish wedding dresses.



Starting on Friday 26th February and running through to Sunday 28th February you'll have almost 150 dresses to choose from - with up to 75% off the original price. Gown start from as little as £750 and can be found in The Wedding Shop on the Lower Ground Floor.


No appointment is necessary but arrive early to avoid disappointment. Hours are as follows:


Friday 26th February 10am to 7pm


Saturday 27th February 10am to 7pm


Sunday 28th February 11.30am to 5pm


For more information visit selfridges.com.


 

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Jolly Good Egg


Its been snowing in W1 yesterday afternoon – Spring seems so far away but I have seen the crocus’s and daffodils pushing their way up in the garden. Next week is the start of March, a brand new season and a month closer to Easter. Mmmmm Easter, Easter Eggs, yes I associate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ with the sweet brown stuff - I have been dreaming about Hotel Chocolate Ostrich Egg, it weighs approx 1.2 Kg, that's a lot of chocolate  – I got sent their catalogue, those naughty marketing types know how to seduce me…..I would gladly swap the Mother’s Day selection (HINT 14th March) for this whopping chocolate egg. Their eggs have a thicker chocolate shell and there is just something so satisfying about eating chocolate eggs – it just tastes better. Curly Haired Beauty can have a Tiddly pot of chocolate bunnies. Thing 1 and Thing 2 can watch us scoff the lot. I love watching their little faces mimic our chewing (with added drool). I suppose I can cut some whole wheat toast into bunny shapes so they can participate and not feel they are missing out.

Now I can’t concentrate and I am salivating over the pictures…how sad is that.   

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

I need/want





Things I need/want to buy – some are sexy fashiony items for me, others are boring household things as everything is over 8 years old and needs replacing. When I used to work in Fashion (Women’s weekly mags – never could get work for a monthly, oh the hierarchy in the fashion biz). I always used to make 3 key purchases each season – coat, shoes, dress. I still follow this rule but now I add a new bag as well.

Alexa Mulberry bag – don’t ask me why I have to have it, its does look a bit like an over-grown school satchel but I think the ink blue colour way would be perfect this Spring/Summer. I don’t really do ‘IT’ bags anymore I try to get more classical bags that will last a long time. OK small admission I do have the Bayswater bag – but I don’t think of it as an IT bag compared to the Roxy. My original IT bag the Fendi Baguette bag dates back to the late 1990’s, which I still use occasionally when out in the evening. It’s the perfect size for keys, phone, lippie and small change purse. Like I get to go out much! My 7 year old niece has more of a social life compared to me.

Rupert Sanderson patent heels – I’m craving a glossy shine on my feet and he has some lovely looking shoes this season. Christian Louboutin has something similar and I love the drama of the red soles but once worn away it doesn’t look as good – how do you maintain them? Would you need to go to a special cobbler to get them re-soled? Or do you polish the soles after each wear? Can you get bright red shoe polish? I know Clarks sell pink shoe polish as Curly Haired Beauty has a tube. I’m probably sounding too practical here but shoes are made to be worn. 

Alice Temperley dress, something summery, light and fluttery which can worn to weddings, premieres, special meals out etc. Which Alice does so well. She has some top sample sales which always comes up at the right time at the 20th Century Studios in Westbourne Grove.

Instead of a coat – I will swap it for a chalky linen pastel jacket by Chloe  or a silk/linen blazer by Tibi
  
Sabatier Knife set – steel forged – mysteriously all our kitchen knives are blunt, even the Global chef knife isn’t doing what its suppose to do. Even cutting toast is a difficult task. I have never got the hang of sharpening knives and normally D would do this but some things are beyond repair.

Samsung light weight vacuum cleaner – I currently use a pink Henrietta, like a Henry but pink! Its so heavy and is no good for taking up the stairs and it has a habit of falling over when I pull it along. It was a thoughtful/thoughtless gift from my mother-in-law. She came once to look after Curly Haired Beauty for a week, I was back at work full-time and my mum who normally looks after her was on holiday. Unknown to me our hoover had packed in – all it probably needed was a new fuse in the plug but she put it outside near the bins and it rained. So I couldn’t get it fixed. She insisted on buying us a new one as she could see I was upset by her actions. I said please can it be pink – not thinking she would be able to find one. But she did and that’s why I have a Henrietta. Yes it does suck up everything but I hate changing the bag. So when I have enough pennies saved I will get a new super light bagless one.

Hungarian goose down pillows – The plumpest softest but supportive pillows ever, like sleeping on a cloud – prices start from 50 quid and I need 4! D thinks I’m mad to spend that much but again the ones we have bought from John Lewis at the start of the marriage are sadly in need of replacing.

I have a friend K and she had the baddest luck ever with all her kitchen white goods breaking down at the same time. She couldn’t work out why that was until I pointed out they were all bought at the same time, used for the same amount of time. Most machines are not built to last more than 10 years as its manufacturer’s evil plot to make you buy new ones! She had to replace everything, cooker, washing machine, fridge, microwave etc. So be warned any couples in a long term relationship – don’t stress over the 7 year itch – but be prepared for all your electrics to be consigned to the landfill/recycled a year later.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Love from....

I was hoping to be able to get down to the Love from Australia sample sale today in my lunch break (South Molton Music Rooms). But the weather was against me. It was raining cats and dogs and I couldn’t risk a good soaking and spend the rest of the afternoon steaming wet as I dried out. My Uggs have still not dried out; thank goodness I had a change of shoes in my desk drawer.
I was looking for some replacement Uggs – current ones are looking a bit tired – all the salty gritted roads during the winter months have spoilt the look of them.
Address
26 South Molton Lane, W1K 5AB
Transport Bond Street
http://www.themusicroom.co.uk/ 

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Trains



Right now Curly Haired Beauty is really into reading Thomas the tank engine.
I have to say ’Once upon a time and then we read out the names of all the engines on the back of the book.
There are a lot of trains; they all have really silly names for trains.
I have accidentally named Thing 1 and Thing 2 after trains!
CHB knows all their names by heart – she can’t really read properly but recognises her name and a few words and all her alphabet. She must have a very good memory for a 3 year old.
D has been coaching her to read with phonetics – we find her chatting to herself sounding out letters and pointing to road signs. Sssssss aaaaaaahhhh ppuuuuuurrrrrrrr.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 love books – but they like to eat them.
I have lots of chewed up books with corners missing.
All of CHB baby books which were in immaculate condition have been destroyed in a matter of weeks by the teething twosome.

I can really see the difference in boy babies compared to girl babies. I am so not prepared for a boy’s world. We are in trouble…

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Tea with Lulu

Lulu Guinness Afternoon Tea
What:
 Lipstick cookies, makeup palette chocolate cake and cupcakes topped with the designer’s trademark lips.Why: Take tea and receive a 15 per cent discount in the Chelsea store.When: To 27 Feb. Mon.-Sat., 3-5:30 p.m.Where: Met Bar, Metropolitan London, Old Park Ln., W1K 1LB (020 7447 4757). 

Friday, 19 February 2010

I have a hairdo and not a hairdont


I am a very happy woman - I thought Snaz by hair stylist of 7 years could not be replaced. But today I braved the high end salon Charles Worthington - and got the perfect cut. I'm going to be selfish and not reveal M's name but he did exactly what I wanted him to do, as directed and really understood my hair. After having 3 kids in 3 years, hormones left right and center, hair falling out in handfuls and a thyroid condition - I am always surprised I had any crowning glory. But he patiently snipped away, shaped it and hardly using any styling products (just a dot of serum) the finished result and a great blow dry gave me swinging super soft hair in the perfect style to suit my face.

I didn't find the salon anyway intimidating - all the staff were friendly. My only gripe was the chairs you sat in to have your hair washed were a little hard on your bum. At my old salon I have been used to massage chairs where you legs can be extended out for more comfort. Also CW charge £2 for refreshments, its unlimited and you can get pink champagne but I thought it was a little too early for booze so I asked for still water (so pretty steep for just water!). But it came with some little fruit kebabs, which was a nice touch. There was a hard sell of shampoo products recommended to buy but I stuck to my guns and said I didn't need anything right now. So all in all a great success. Curly Haired Beauty noticed straight away when I got home today. Said my hair looked like Aunties (my twin sister) hmmmmm I will take that as a compliment!

Feeling fruity



I'm on an eating theme today – your 5 fruit/veg a day – what counts as a serving? I found this on the web – there are a few conflicts on what is a serving for grapes; it’s either 40 (a bunch) or 15-17 grapes depending on their size.  

17 grapes or ½ cup equals one serving of your 5 a day and are an excellent source of Vitamin C
8 whole strawberries equals one serving of your 5 a day are a good source of fibre and Vitamin C
2 medium plums equals one serving of your 5 a day and are an excellent source of Vitamin C
1 medium apple equals one serving of your 5 a day
1 (8” inch) banana equals one serving of your 5 a day a good souce of Vitamin C, fibre and potassium
½ cup of fresh/canned pineapple equals one serving of your 5 a day
½ mango equals one serving of your 5 a day – the most popular fruit eaten in the world and an excellent source of Vitamin C & A
1 cup of raspberries equals one serving of your 5 a day and contains more fibre than an apple
5 prunes equals one serving of your 5 a day and are a good source of fibre
2 medium stems of celery equals one serving of your 5 a day
1 medium sweetcorn cob or ½ cup equals one serving of your 5 a day – an average cob contains 800 kernals
1 cup raw spinach equals one serving of your 5 a day
1 medium potato equals one serving of your 5 a day

Today I ate - ½ slice of fresh pineapple, 1 small plum, 1 apple, 10 grapes, 3 slices of kiwi fruit. I think I am eating rather well since going back to work. Whilst on maternity leave I never found the time to eat lunch and would make some toast around 3pm.

Did you know?

An orange contains more vitamin C but Cantaloupe melon contains more vitamin A. 1 cup of chopped cantaloupe contains 80% of your daily vitamin A and C.
1 medium sweet potato provides over 4 times your daily vitamin A, while one medium carrot provides about 1 ½ times your daily vitamin A.
Broccoli contains 10 times more vitamin C per serving compared to a potato. One stalk of raw broccoli contains 200% your daily vitamin C while a small potato contains just 20% of your daily vitamin C.
Iceberg lettuce contains 96% water compared to a watermelon which is 91% water.

Phew its enough to take up a raw food diet to get all your 5 a day in.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Sonia


I am so fed up of winter layers – give me Spring now! I just want to be able to wear a pretty dress and heels and click clack around town. Curly Haired Beauty has taken to wearing her Snow White dress worn over her sweatshirt and jeans. Layered with a pink spotty padded gilet, plastic toy high heels worn with socks. It’s a real look, especially when she puts on top of that, a pink padded Barbie Coat, Strawberry woolly hat and fluffy mohair scarf (used to be mine but she taken over it as its pink). I guess at 3 you can get away with looking like a marshmallow. Her compromise when we go outside, is to swap the heels for welly boots but these too are pink with butterflies.

A Designer/High Street collaboration I am really looking forward to is the Sonia Rykiel for H&M  which drops into the stores this Saturday. I am gutted I won’t be the first in the queue – why can’t they do it on a week day when I am actually working in W1 and can get to the head store? CHB could have the super cute knitted doll.

I missed out on the Viktor & Rolf, Karl Lagerfield, Jimmy Choo collections. It’s just so unfair. When are H&M going to get their act together so I can make all these purchases on-line? I have money to burn; I need a cheerful stripy knit in my life. I may just have to order the real deal from My Wardrobe/Net-a-porter/Stylebop/My Theresa - to get my fix.

Pie and Mash


When a flaccid lunchtime sandwich isn’t hitting the spot – I have been turning to Eat and chomping down their pie and mash. They are a little bit skimpy with the gravy but its just the right amount of stodginess to see me through the day. Another comfort food is the noodle and dumplings – a little mean with the noodles but I guess you don’t want to over-stretch your guts when sat at a desk.

These are things I could possible make and warm up in the microwave in the staff kitchen. My excuse is finding the time to do it. Since working part-time and having 3 tots to attend to when home, I have enough on my plate. It’s such a huge effort to make a home cooked meal each evening for D and me. I managed a few weeks ago, try out Martha Stewart healthy Shepherds pie recipe; using turkey mince and adding natural yoghurt to the mash instead of butter. It was surprisingly tasty – the recipe said it made enough for 8. So I halved the quantities and put the extras in foil trays and consigned to the freezer. I have yet to take one out to re-heat. My freezer is full of good intentions, homemade meatballs (I got excited when Curly Haired Beauty once ate one – I made my own, only for her to say she didn’t like it – was it too much oregano?), Fish goujons (a home made alternative to Birds Eye fish fingers – that CHB refuses to eat as its not the right shape or colour – I used Japanese panko breadcrumbs). There was no fooling her, what’s a mother to do? I even tried to duplicate my own version of tinned pasta (ghastly invention but they do know how to market it to kids with Bob the Builder, Disney Princess, Tweenies etc on the tin. I added mascarpone cheese to a tomato sauce base to get that orangey colour and Annabel Karmel Alphabet dried pasta shapes. She did not go for it. Didn’t even taste it before refusing point blank.

Please don’t let Thing 1 and Thing 2 be as fussy – once we can all sit round the table together (twins are currently fed in the kitchen) I am going to be strict and we shall all eat the same thing. No separate menus – I have heard such horror stories from my friend F who starts cooking from 4pm, 4 different types of meals to accommodate her husband, son and daughter. She microwaves the grown up meals once the kids have gone to bed. That’s not living that’s being a slave to your family. Although saying that I am way too lenient with CHB eating habits since the twins arrival. I have indulged her marmite sandwiches at lunchtime for too long. But the new childminder has made a break through recently with a ham sandwich – OK it doesn’t sound like much but really it’s been over a year of eating the same thing, every day….

On another note, I once out of curiosity looked up the Heinz website 57 varieties – there was a recipe for Spaghetti meatballs, it all sounded lovely until you got to the bottom and it said add a can of tinned spaghetti! Now how hard is it to cook your own spaghetti? Why go through all that effort to make your own from scratch only to dump a can of orange over-cooked sloppy pasta on top? That’s shocking. Although what’s even more shocking was hearing Iceland stock frozen sandwiches. Why would you buy that and not make your own? D nearly made a faux-paux at a party once. He and the hostess (wife of uni mate) both from the same area Oop North were talking about the terrible brown party foods you can get in Iceland. The adverts dominated the commercial breaks during X-factor. She said her mother used to freeze her sandwiches for her school lunch. I guess slummy mummy’s existed back in the 70’s and are not a 00’s invention.             

Family


When I've got a bit more energy I'm going to make one of these family heirloom ideas featured in Martha Stewart living magazine. The twins are now really big bonny babies and I must capture the moment before they up sticks, go to the pub and leave home forever.
There is also this idea for a family tree - a neat and simple way of mapping out your family - clip art is available to download and print out. Although I am not sure what the etiquette is when someone gets married, has a kid, divorces, has a kid with another man, then re-marries but to another man. Its a little bit complicated on D's side of the family. Do I keep the names of the ex's or just include the current husband?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Mirror Mirror



For nearly two years I have been standing on my bed to get a full length view of myself in the mornings when getting dressed. It’s the only way I can see what I look like, top to toe, reflected in my dressing table mirror. Curly Haired Beauty normally joins me and has a bounce around the bed. I really miss my old mirror which is still carefully wrapped up and stored away. It’s a huge beast of a looking glass, antique Venetian with lots of glass scrolls, ornate pink and clear flowers. It has patina with the silver slightly eroded and hazy around the edges but this does not detract from its beauty or use as a mirror. It actually makes you look good, framed in such a pretty setting. In our last home we had to drill the hugest hole and fix two super strong bolt hooks to keep it up. I used to worry it would fall and shatter into a million pieces as it’s so heavy.

It was a present from D, to cheer me up after I heard I was going to be made redundant from my then TV Production job. He had spotted it in Bermondsey Market and knew I would love it – we had been to Venice and I fell in love with all the palazzos and their over the top interiors. Looking back over the years we’ve been together I have gotten some amazing gifts from him. I’m trying to think what wonderful presents I had got him in return but I can’t think of any – apart from the children! I guess in his line of work he has the opportunity to find unique objects. Where as I, tend to give more practical/functional gifts to him. New socks, shirts, sweaters - just not as fun. I would love to get him a made-to-measure shirt or handmade shoes, something a little bit special and unique. But he would only complain I am trying to smarten him up. .

It sometimes amazes me how I ended up married to a man who really does not give much thought to how he looks or dresses. Whereas I will agonise what to wear and make a real deal if I had a bad hair day. Opposites attract as they say! I once convinced him to buy a smart jacket - which he has only worn once. Said it was too crunchy and made him look square shaped….I ask you, what can I do? He has the most horrible pair of trainers that he wears for work. I call them the ugly plastic shoes. For a man his age (turning 40 in the summer) shouldn’t he have something a bit more sophisticated?  Maybe some designer trainers by Helmet Lang or Lanvin trainers if he still insists on wearing something sporty. 


Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

It was my Australian friend F who told me how she survived the British winter weather, wear thermals! She did the whole thing, long johns, thermal vest, thermal long sleeve tops, leg warmers. You name it she wore it. 10 years on she is still in this country and not missing Summer Bay (she is from where they film the soap show). Now I used to poo poo the idea - but with the cold snap it just makes a lot of sense. Of course if you tried to go buy any on the high st right now - M&S have only got Spring stuff in and Damart (the old ladies favorite) no longer have a retail presence in Regent St. Thank goodness Uniqlo still have the sense to stock their HeatTech designs in stores. A handy bonus is its all on sale for 2.99-4.99. Its in a lovely silky fabric with not a hint of fluff, holey pattern or lace trim so can  be worn under everything without adding baulk.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Where's my mug?

When D and I were dating years ago - he used to buy me funny little presents from his travels. One time he stopped off at Cadburys World and got me a chocolate mug. It was a really sweet gesture as it wasn't really on his way but I had previously mentioned I had always wanted one - this was before the days of internet shopping where now you can buy anything over the web.

I wonder now with all the hoo ha over the Cadburys buy out by Kraft, if Cadburys World will exist for much longer? Not that I think I would get much on ebay if I flogged the mug. I can't even think where it is now after the multiple house moves we've had. In 2008 we moved house twice in 4 weeks and I had started a new job. The stress was enormous and we said we'll never do that again. Of course this was before we found out later in the year I was expecting twins - that was doubly stressful! Roll on 2009 April and well the twins arriving nine weeks early just took the biscuit. I cried non-stop for 2 months.

We still haven't fully unpacked and the DVD player is still in bubble wrap so Curly Haired Beauty will never know the delights of Baby Einstein. Most of my clothes are stuffed in holdalls stacked against the bed; with only the work wear hanging up in the wardrobe. I probably only wear 20% of what I own as the other 80% are not readily accessible. I had thought it was a clever idea to clear some space and store out of season clothes in the attic. Only for my brother to borrow back his ladder and now we cannot get up there.....

Monday, 15 February 2010

Sweet Life




Over the weekend I got given some really lovely chocolates No 1 Artison du Chocolate sea salted caramels. They are wickedly indulgent treats - lightly dusted with cocoa, a hard shell and filled with the most intense caramel liquid center that simple fills your mouth with a taste explosion when you bite into them. They are seriously a strong contender to replace my all time favorite chocolate Pink marc de champagne truffles.

Now this is where D and I differ - when given a box of chocs, he will happily tuck into the whole lot and nothing would be left in a couple of hours/days. I on the other hand like to just treat myself to one or two in the day. Savor the flavour, let it melt and that would be enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. I can truly make chocolates last and before you worry they don't really go out of date and get spoiled. I have a box of Malteasers in my desk drawer - kiddies leftovers from Christmas. I have a nibble every now and then, there is still half a box left and its already half way through the month of Feb!

D thinks I have strong will power to not give into temptation.Maybe but maybe I learnt my lesson when I was a teenager. I used to help run the school tuckshop - as payment in return for my voluntary services you could eat as much as chocolates/crisps. I think I only did it for one term - but the impression it has left me, has been life long. Eating too much chocolate is a BAD thing. Seriously I ate maybe 5-8 bars in one sitting at break/lunch time. Wispa, Double Decker, Kit Kat, Flakes, Marathon (now known as Snickers), Opal Fruits (Starburst - OK not a chocolate but you know still a sweet treat). Its amazing I never did get any fillings from all that sugar abuse and I wasn't twenty stones in weight! OK so what I used to eat were nasty cheap chocolates that every schoolkid has to have. Now of course my tastes are a lot more sophisticated, the chocolate is richer with a higher cocoa level and lovingly crafted by skilled artisans. Plus it costs a pretty penny too!

When I was a Fashion student, one of my fellow students had a summer job for Caburys - he told me they used to make the Easter Egg in the summer time and they were just kept in storage to 'mature' before hitting the shops for the following year for the Easter market. I guess all that sugar is a natural preservative. They too were allowed to eat as much of the chocs during their working time but not allowed to smuggle any out - of course that would be theft!

Curly haired beauty used to be bribed with chocolate buttons when we started potty training her last year so she has now developed a taste for the sweet stuff - I used to give her just one small circle of chocolate and she would take her time eating it in tiny little bites marvelling how something so small could taste so good. Now aged three she has progressed onto fizzy pigs from Marks and Spencers (why oh why do they persist in putting temptations by the tills!). I am hoping she too will have my strong resolve and not go too crazy as an adult. But a recent attention from Grandma (in-law) where she was totally filled up with sugar all afternoon and not wanting her dinner, then waking up the next day early because she was hungry - makes me think she takes after her father.......    

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentines Day/Anniversary/Chinese New Year



Busy day today celebrating a triple whammy, Valentines Day, 8th Wedding Anniversary and its Chinese New Year - the year of the Tiger. But today I won't be stuffing my face full of my mum's great home cooked traditional Chinese food. Instead I will be home alone attending to 3 under 3 whilst D has to go to work. Boo hoo that means I will have to do all the cooking  here. Curly Haired Beauty will have a million and one things offered to her but she will probably only eat a fromage frais or a rice cake. Thing 1 and Thing 2 will have to make do with something by Ella's Kitchen. I will probably scrounge something not too out of date from the fridge.

Whatever we end up eating it won't be as good as the meal D and I had yesterday at High Road House in Chiswick. I had lined up 3 babysitters to look after each tot, no mean feat but thank goodness for relatives.Thing 2 went to my brother - he picked the easier twin to care for, Thing 1 was with my mum as he is still teething and grizzly and CHB went to D's 17 year old niece to be a princess for the day. With all that set - it was a novelty going out sans enfant and being able to eat a meal undisturbed by wailing infants.

Everything on the menu looked great. I went for scallops on a bed of potato puree with sapphire, followed by organic trout with fennel and almonds. Dessert was Cherry and dark chocolate trifle. D had Whitebait, then a massive Rib eye steak with chips and managed to squeeze in a Spotted Dick pudding. All accompanied by Mumm Rose champagne - so I got a little pink cheeked. The service was pretty swift and although the whole place was rammed, it was a lovely atmosphere inside.

Now I have this tradition that I dig out my wedding dress and wear it every year - cuts out having to think 'what shall I wear'. Its a very simple bias cut white Ghost slip dress -  and it has certainly stood the test of time. 8 years on, the design has not dated and its so very easy to adapt the dress - without looking a bit Miss Haversham. As it was a freezing winters day, I wore an Ivory satin quilted cropped jacket also by Ghost , my Warehouse bargain black leather studded belt and black ankle boots. A brown crochet shawl by Toast was layered over the top and my vintage full length brown fur coat. This was an after thought and I'm glad I brought it as it did snow a bit in the early afternoon.

I don't think I will ever tire of this dress, it is one of my most treasured possessions and I hope to pass it onto the Curly Haired Beauty in the future. Its a bonus that its also machine washable at 40 degrees and takes up no space in a drawer.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Coiffure


I need a haircut, its been nearly 8 weeks since I last got my hair done. I was suppose to get it cut last Saturday but a call from the salon - which I have been going to for the last 7 years told me the sad news Snaz, my stylist, is no longer with them. I am heartbroken :-( She first knew me as a newlywed in my honeymoon period, good job, bad job, in-between job etc. She always gave me the exact cut I wanted and made me a happy women when I exited the salon. In all that time I moved house 4 times and had 3 kids but always went back to her in East Dulwich. She gave Curly Haired Beauty her first ever haircut, laminated the bits and put it on a certificate for being brave. I was looking forward to carrying on the tradition so Thing 1 and Thing 2 could have their first haircut with her, they turn one in April, but that is now sadly not to be.

Whenever times got tough being a mum, and I wanted out of the house. I always knew I had a trip to the salon every 7 weeks to go see Snaz. It was the pact I made with D that I would never give up this part of my lifestyle when we became parents. A few hours away was the perfect tonic to reclaim the old me again. I shall miss her ever so much.

The annoying thing about Snaz is I share the same doctor as her, I live in the same area as her, I know her dad is a fireman, her boyfriends name, her star sign but I don't know her bloody real name! I have been in this situation before, where I built a trusted relationship with a hairdresser, only to have them move on and have no way of tracking them down. Sob what shall I do? Well my tresses need attention so I did what any insane hormonal, sleep deprived, getting over winter flu woman would do. I booked an appointment with a stylist at Charles Worthington, who has a salon near my office. I am hoping a reputable salon with such a big name would be a pair of trusted hands and leave my crowning glory looking good. Appointment is next Friday (just in time for payday) and I shall report back how everything went. I am little nervous but maybe its time I started going to a more grown-up salon.

RIP

I'm still reeling from the shock that Lee 'Alexander McQueen' has died. He was so very talented and due to show at New York Fashion week today. He graduated a few years ahead of me at art school, I never met him but was inspired by his work. At that time we were emerging from grunge and you felt you were part of a powerful surge of Brit Fashioness. His fashion shows were always shocking and provocative and may have sometimes distracted from the actual clothes. But upon closer examination, you couldn't fault the technique, cut and cloth - a real test for any fashion designer. RIP Lee I hope your soul meets up with with Isabella Blow. xxx

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Feeling sick

I've been sick on and off since the weekend hence no blogging, tweets etc. Just the occasional facebook update on my health for those who are concerned. This winter vomiting bug is brutal. Germ monster/curly haired beauty is the guilty culprit for passing it onto me.  Thing 1 keeps crying on and off in his sleep due to his teeth coming through. Thing 2 is not far behind - thank goodness for Calpol. 6.30pm is meds time in our household.

So another evening on the sofa watching mindnumbing ITV2 - for some reason the telly is always tuned into this channel when I'm sick. American Idol with Ellen?? WTF?? Romcoms with Sandra Bullock - check!
One saviour to stop the brain rot is reading the Valentines edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine. The wholesome do goodyness of it - make your own, decorate it, cook it, organise it etc. I should feel worn out reading all the ideas but its perky is the tonic I need to cheer me up. Not that I would have the energy to make or do anything this weekend - triple whammy, Valentines Day, Anniversary, Chinese New Year.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Its a boy

I bought a hyacinth plant in Berwick St Market last week, it didn't look much, a stumpy bulb with a few green bits. I asked what colour the flower would be and the woman hesitated and said blue. Well it kept me guessing but it has finally bloomed and its a boy! The scent is wonderful and it has really filled the office with the joy of Spring. It so nice to smell something real - unlike the nasty air freshener in the loos. Its on a timer so if you have the mis-fortune to be under it when it goes off, you hair reeks of fake peach. Not nice! 

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Angels calling

I really wish I could go to the Angels Sale that's happening on Saturday. I love a good rummage and to pass the opportunity to delve into this one is making me weep. Its too far away and the early start plus queuing time is a big no no for me :-(

Have fun to those of you who can make it and let me know the goodies you get! In my BB (Before Babies) days I would be up there at the crack of dawn, jostling, with sharpened elbows. Its the unknown that I love - the grabbing and thrusting and general argy bargyness of it all.

A truly memorable sale was when the Royal Opera House had a costume sale in Covent Garden - Rows upon rows of amazing costumes from past productions. Actual Armani suits for one opera too. I bought a real tutu as worn by one of the members of the ballet corp - the dancer was teeny tiny and I struggled to get into it but I had to have it, as it was so pretty. D bought a naked body suit of a Reinmaiden. He made it into The Independent arts page, as it was quite a sight having a decapitated body slung over your shoulder casually. What do you do with it? Well its been loaned out to a traveling theatre group and not been seen since.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

That time of the month


Courtesy of Daily Candy 
Smooth Sale-ingFebruary Sample Sales
london sample sales!
Because you’re worth it.
What: The Ultimate Sample SaleWhy: Up to 80 per cent off brands including Missoma, Crumpet and Issa.When: 4-6 Feb. Thurs., 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.Where: Lotus London, 11 Pont St., SW1X 9EH (020 7235 3550). Map It
What: Designer Warehouse Sale Why: Up to 80 per cent off Vivienne Westwood, By Malene Birger, Velvet and others.When: 5-7 Feb. 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). Map It
What: Me & Em Why: Luxury loungewear, cashmere and accessories from £10.When: 9-13 Feb. Tues., Wed. & Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.Where: 21 Connaught St., W2 2AY (08456 800975). Map It
What: Britt Lintner
Why: Up to 60 per cent off dresses.When: 15-21 Feb. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m-4 p.m.Where: 3 Hansard Mews, W14 8BJ (020 7610 4070). Map It
What: Anita’s Vintage Fashion FairWhy: Designers like Vivienne Westwood, Harris Tweed and Biba from £5. When: 21 Feb. Sun., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.Where: Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN (07768 346999). Map It
What: Love from Australia Why: Up to 70 per cent off sheepskin boots.When: 22 Feb. Mon., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.Where: The Music Room, 26 S. Molton Ln., W1K 5AB (020 7629 8199). Map It
What: British Designers Sale Why: Discounted clothing and accessories from labels including Marithé + François Girbaud, Jenny Packham, 120% Linen and Edina Ronay.When: 26 Feb. Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.Where: Chelsea Town Hall, King’s Road, SW3 5EE (020 7627 2777). Map It
What: Lingerie Sample SaleWhy: Underthings from Coco de Mer, Stella McCartney, La Perla, Damaris and more at up to 90 per cent off.When: 26 & 27 Feb. Fri., noon-7 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.Where: Coco de Mer, 108 Draycott Ave., SW3 3AE (020 7584 7615). Map It
What: London Accessory Sale
Why: Up to 80 per cent off designers such as Francesco Biasia, Coccinelle and Patrick Cox.When: 26 & 27 Feb. Fri., 1-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.Where: The Music Room, 26 S. Molton Ln., W1K 5LF (07900 432661). Map It