:-)

:-)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Grenson -new shoes for me

Sods law the heavens have opened up and the rain in pouring down...I have new shoes on. Delightful Grenson brogues in rose gold leather...although Mr. Fashion (twin 1) declared they are more bronze coloured. My six year old can also identify silk from 10 paces away!! He will go far in the fashion world.

I have been style stalking these shoes for ages and when they came up for sale in The Outnet in my size I just had to click on shopping cart Tuesday and they arrived the next morning at the office. Wonderful service and to think back in the Kays/Littlewoods catalogue days, it used to take 28 days for delivery. I swapped out the paler laces they came with for black ones to tone in better with my Gap khakis and Lulelemon raincoat.

I will be dodging puddles on the way home as I have committed the sin of not having sprayed my new shoes with scotchguard to protect them in my keenness to wear them :-(

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Summer Sunshine

Whats not to love, a warm sunny day, slight breeze in the air, sat under the shade of an old oak tree.... there's a song in there!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Amanda Wakeley London Sample Sale

I might as well move into The Music Room , since they have another sample sale on - its a 3 day event stocking Amanda Wakeley.

Starting from Thursday 30th July 2pm - 9pm
Friday 31st July 10am - 9pm
Saturday 1st August 10am - 2pm

Image from Amanda Wakeley website

If you know you have a special occasion coming up, or want to be super organised and bag something special for the Christmas Party Season, go check it out. All her outfits are what I would term as investment dressing, beautifully made, to be worn time and time again.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Marie-Chantal London Sample Sale

If you happen to be in Notting Hill (and why not) then drop into the Marie-Chantal sample sale to kit out your little darlings...

Image from Marie Chantal website

Starts 23 July to 25th July from 10am - 6pm, 61A Ledbury Road Notting Hill London W11 2AA


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Ted Baker London Sample Sale

On 22 July - 24 July  Ted Baker has a sample sale on; so if you happen to be in the Camden area head onto the Camden Centre , Camden Town Hall, Judd Street WC1H 9JE. Opens from 8am to 7pm. I've heard suits starts from £90, Dresses from £30 plus accessories

Image from their facebook page

Kim Sears is a fan of the brand and you may have spotted her in several ensembles during Wimbledon and other tennis tournaments supporting her husband Andy Murray.

Credit for image from here

Monday, 20 July 2015

Duchamp London Sample Sale


For the men in your life, they get a sample sale too. Head over to the The Music Room, in South Molton Lane W1 (nearest tube NewBond Street) to get some smart menswear by Duchamp.
Tuesday 21st July from 9am - 8pm.

Images from their website

Monday, 13 July 2015

Bag lady - for the OCD in me

I've been doing my bit for the environment, taking reusable bags with me to the shops. I have the string net ones, canvas tote ones, cooler bags - all accumulated over the years. I have a particular favourite bag given to me by my aunt from HK. It's shaped like a strawberry when folded up which you can buy  here - perfect to keep in your daily handbag for lunch time trips to Boots etc.

Ocado still delivers our weekly shop but t'husband still likes to go out and shop for food as he always complain I never order anything exciting to eat. I have to remind him that the Ocado delivery is more for the bulky stuff e.g. loo rolls, cleaning stuff, jars and canned goods. It's a leftover legacy from when I used to have to order a mountain of nappies for the babies and couldn't get out of the house - please don't troll me about why I didn't use terry cloth nappies - first baby came in the wintertime and I had no where to wash and dry them all, second pregnancy I had twins and there was no way I had the energy and time to clean reusable nappies with 3 under 3!

Anyhow back to bags...the OCD inside me hate the fact all the bags are different shapes, colours etc. I mean the string ones are good for carrying fruit (but if you place them on the floor they can't hold their shape so it all spills out), the canvas ones are great for cereal boxes and square sized packages; but nothing matches! Grrrr #firstworldproblems

I've been looking on-line to see what's out there rather than get a hideous branded 'bag for life' one from the supermarket. Isn't the internet a wonder place for shopping *sigh*.

I came across these by Reisenthel who are a Germany company that makes colourful bags for all your shopping needs. Shipping to the UK from Germany is a flat rate of €8.95 and I think these would make great fun house warming gifts or for newlyweds if you filled them up with thoughtful goodies. Maybe you have an older child who is flying the nest and going away to Uni - you can fill a basket with store cupboard essentials and they can re-use their bags when they have to fend for themselves.

Mini Maxi Basket €29.95



reisenthel® bottlebag kiwi green
 € 9.95 Bottle Bag (if you read the reviews - there is a hysterical one: perfect for carrying wines onto your yacht) 

9,95 €


bottlebag ruby dots9,95 €
reisenthel® easyshoppingbag red red
Easy Shopping bag €16.95, this one clips onto your shopping trolley when you open up the top


reisenthel® coolerbag dots black
Cooler bag €29.95 double insulated inside perfect for chilled goods and picnics 
Happy Shopping
twosp x

Friday, 10 July 2015

Perfect Heels

If you've been suffering from cracked dry heels from wearing clogs (like I have), flip flops and other summer footwear. Then treat your plate of meats to This Works Perfect Heels Rescue Balm


Image from This Works website

It's the only foot cream I have ever used that has given instant results that literally transforms your sore cracked dry scaly hard skin (sorry for giving you that mental image!).  Rub in liberally to the heels and any other dry spots like around the big toe. Even t'husband has been impressed in how his feet had softened up. I have caught the curly haired beauty helping herself to the balm...not that she has any problems but wanted to get in on the act I suppose?

Currently on sale on the website £12 down from £16 - a tube I had lasted a year but I will be ordering another.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Eating out - Crystal Palace

If you ever find yourself South of the River in London and need to stop to refuel, you can do no better than at The Crystal Palace Market. It's a restaurant with a fishmongers and butchers attached, using locally sourced ingredients. The staff are warm and friendly and you can see into the open plan kitchen and the chefs at work. Tap water in carafes are brought to the table and the service was speedy.

I had the Crayfish roll and side salad (came with crispy skinny fries just out of shot)
t'husband ordered the Dover Sole , which was grilled to perfection, on par with the ones served at English's in Brighton (my fave seaside seafood place). 

If you're not into seafood, there is an extensive burger menu. I think we'll be heading back to check out the breakfast menu 

A Bonus - proper Air con inside - what joy to escape the heatwave.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Essential Denim and shoe sample sale

MiH Jeans and Penelope Chilvers have teamed up for a one-day sample sale where you can shop at up to 75% off.
On 8 July 2015 (8am-8pm) at MiH Jeans, The Studios, 186 Shepherds Bush Road, London, W6 7NL.
Entry: £2 for charity The Haven.
Time to make some fashion investments for the next season ahead - is anyone else over 'Summer' yet? This heat has been sapping all my energy! I know I shouldn't complain but public transport is not cut out for heatwaves. 
Image from their website

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Cheeky Nandos

A little late into the MEME but this week I had to pop out at lunchtime for a Cheeky Nandos! - yeah I was so keen to start on my chicken, I took a few bites before I remembered to take a snap shot!


I normally take a packed lunch into work but sometimes you can't beat a bit of grilled chicken in a Portuguese roll served with fries. Gotta have fries to make it cheeky!



Monday, 6 July 2015

Browns Bridal Sample Sale

Planning a wedding? Sharpen those elbows and head to the Browns bridal sample sale , where you can find dresses from Valentino, Alberta Ferretti, Delphine Manivet, Johanna Johnson and more.
6-7 July 2015 (11am-6pm) at 12 Hinde Street, London, W1U 3BE.
Note: no appointment necessary.
If I could have my wedding again - I would love something lacey like this chic Monica LHullier dress. 

Image from website 
My guilty viewing pleasure is watching 'Don't Tell the Bride'  pure car crash TV where the groom is in charge of arranging the wedding and spending the budget...

Sunday, 5 July 2015

What's inside my fridge

Inside my fridge - yep we love our diary products in this home...

It's looking particularly well stocked as Ocado have been. But what you can't see as it's out of shot is the beauty bits I keep inside the door. Something that has helped cool down my complexion that I have been spritzing liberally during the heatwave was is the Essential Face Water by L'Occitane. It contains Immortelle flower water and organically derived hyaluronic acid which keeps your face hydrated and not let it dry out. It's safe enough to use on the kids skin and they don't seem to object my spritzing them with it to help cool them down! The website is currently having a sale so if you wanted to try out the range the Skincare Discovery Kit  is now £16 instead of £26.50

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Another Sample Sale in Soho W1


I won't be able to make this sale as I have the kids School Fair and will be manning the Pimms stall (how times have changed!). But if you happen to be in Soho, bring cash and drop on by to snap up bargains by Auria LondonKitty JosephCléo Ferin Mercury

What are you doing this weekend?

Friday, 3 July 2015

Preen Sample Sale Today

Preen sample sale today - hooray
Shop Preen, Preen Line and Preen Mini at greatly reduced prices at this 1-day sample sale! Past sales I've been to had a £10 rail, so do search that out for a true bargain. 
On 3 July 2015 (12pm-8pm) at 24 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9HQ

Queues can be long so I am hoping the hot weather is putting off most of the fashionistas! 
Image from their website 


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Summer's looking Rosé

The Heatwave has finally struck and we are all gasping and looking for something to quench our thirst. I love nothing better than a chilled glass (or two) of Rosé wine.

If only my fridge could be this well stocked with those blush tinted bottles! But t'husband might think I had a drink problem...

Photo image from manrepeller

But mine is mostly full of semi-skimmed milk, lacto-free milk, Coconut milk, Koko milk and chocolate milk....and the day before Ocado comes, we always seem to run out of milk! #firstworldproblems 

Currently my favourite wine is on offer with Ocado, £5.99 Coquille d'Orc Rosé 

For wine buffs here is some more info from the website

Brand

Domaine de Sainte Rose

Storage

Store in a cool, dry place.

ABV (%)

13

Tasting Notes

This rosé has a pleasing pale strawberry colour; aromas of grapefruit and pear drops; and luscious summer fruit flavours.

Serving Suggestions

Drink it chilled at any time of year!

Producer

Domaine Sainte Rose

Winemaker

Charles & Ruth Simpsons

History

Domaine de Sainte Rose is an exclusive viticultural estate situated in the Languedoc region of southern France. The Domaine was acquired in June 2002 by Charles and Ruth Simpson, a young couple who left their respective international careers to pursue a mutual dream to establish a boutique vineyard and winery of their own. The Simpsons have a very specific quality-orientated strategy. The goal at Domaine de Sainte Rose is to create authentic, affordable, family made, quality wines in limited quantities

Regional Information

Made with love and care in the Languedoc region of S. France

Current Vintage

2014

Vinification Details

All three red varieties were harvested at night to protect the juice. The juice was treated as if it were white wine and taken off its skins immediately to ensure the palest pink colour possible. The juice was protected all the way to the tank where it was cold stabilized prior to fermentation. Fermentation: Primary fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.

Another very quaffable wine is by Mirabeau Provence Rosé , which has got a thumbs up by Victoria Moore at the Telegraph

Brand

Mirabeau

ABV (%)

13

Grape Variety

RedGrapeBlend, Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache

Tasting Notes

A vibrant pink, classic pale Provence rose¿ whose generous fruit provides a heady mixture of wild strawberry, red cherry and raspberry aromatics. Elegant and balanced on the palate with a delicious fresh acidity creating a sumptuous lingering finish.

Serving Suggestions

It works beautifully as an aperitif, yet is versatile enough to go with a wide variety of cuisines

Producer

Mirabeau en Provence

Agent

Stephen Cronk

Winemaker

Jo Ahearne MW

History

Mirabeau was set up in 2010 by British couple Stephen and Jeany Cronk who decided to swap their lives in south-west London for new lives as winemakers in Provence in the south of France. Jo Ahearne MW leads the winemaking team and our wines are developing a reputation for outstanding quality with consistently high scores from some of the toughest and highly regarded wine critics in the world (e.g. Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson MW).

Regional Information

Mirabeau Pure is an AOP Cotes de Provence Rosé made from vines high in the hills of Mont Aurelien, southeast of Aix-en-Provence. The limestone/clay vineyards are some of the highest in the region at 300-400m above sea level and this, combined with the north facing aspect, means the fruit benefits from longer ripening periods which add to its complexity and fresh acidity.

Current Vintage

2014

Vinification Details

We harvest at night and cool the grapes before they go into the maceration tanks. We macerate for between 4-12 hours, depending on the varieties and then we press and pump into fermentation tanks. Once fermentation is complete we rack the wine and use a tangential filter to extract flavour from the bourbes. We are very careful about preserving the primary aromas and freshness of the wine and so we use CO2 and nitrogen to protect the wine, right through to and including on the bottling line.

What's your Summer tipple?

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Lee Broom Sample Sale

It's sample sale time and Lee Broom a talented British Designer has one on this month
You may has seen his designs inside Selfridges. His unique looking light fittings casts a lovely glow.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Red, pink, purple wash - avoiding laundry woes

I used to own for many years a pair of red pyjamas by Toast made from soft Indian cotton. I loved them and I have a treasured photo of myself holding new born Curly Haired Beauty wearing them, clashing nicely with the bright orange pillows (you had to bring your own pillows to the labour ward and was tipped off to bring non-white ones so you don't forget to take home!). But the hazards of owning such an item was the fall out if you accidentally washed it with white items - whoops. I turned too many items into a cheerful pink - luckily the baby was a girl and didn't mind so much. Less so for t'husband...
Image from Jamie Oliver website

Now in a form of revenge he has a beloved Ralph Lauren red hoody - same one, as worn by Jamie in his TV show. Which literally bleeds out the dye in every wash.


It has to be washed on its own - as the dye turns the water red, LOOK above at the evidence

But a genius product which has saved me many a laundry issue is the  Dylon colour Run Remover. I keep a stash of this next to the washing machine if ever I have a wash accident.

NB Product brought with my own money and all my opinions are my own.


Monday, 29 June 2015

Breaking eggs

To make a change from the avocado and toast I have been eating on an almost daily basis. A quick and easy breakfast/lunch/supper or anytime meal idea is an omelette.


If you have 3 eggs, I love these blue ones by Clarence Court , any veggies you have in the fridge (in this example 3 spears asparagus, 3 chestnut mushrooms, coriander. 


Chop the veggies and fry in a very hot non-stick frying pan with a little olive oil. In a bowl beat the eggs and add a pinch Himalayan pink salt Himalayan Pink Salt and smoked paprika.

When the veggies have softened, turn down the heat to low and add in the egg mixture. Move the eggs so they coat the veggies and leave a few minutes for the eggs to cook and solidify.

When the egg has almost set and there are only a few wobbly bits on the surface, carefully tip out the omelette onto a plate and flip in half. The Omelette carries on cooking with the residual heat. Scatter on the coriander and eat immediately.

Bon appetite

twosp x

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Hands up

So I have a teeny tiny addiction - nothing serious at all but amongst my possessions, in and around the home - upstairs/downstairs, in all my handbags I have a tube or two of hand lotion/cream/balm/oil.
This is just a quick snap shot of what I am currently using - there are probably more lurking in the multiple bags I own but I couldn't be bothered to dig them all out. 

I suffer from very dry skin on my hands-  see that stack of copier paper at the office? I only need to look at them before getting an instant paper cut on my dry hands. Up until earlier this month I was still wearing leather gloves on my commute to work to protect my hands from the cold weather. I hate nothing more than the feeling of sore, dry, rough skin and cannot wait to smother a healing moisturising lotion to calm and soothe my skin. 

As a consequence I suffer from hangnails too and always get caught out when they snag so I find myself unladylike trying to nibble them off... A great product that helps sort out my cuticles is by OPI Avoplex Nail and Cuticle Replenishing Oil. Brush onto the cuticles before bedtime - the next day the pesky hangnails and dryness are banished. 

NB: All products were bought with my own money and my opinions are my own.




Saturday, 27 June 2015

Breakfast with the Bennet's

I apologise for the poor quality photo - taken off the telly with my mobile. It's from the BBC series Pride and Prejudice, the one with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle from 1995 (yikes that long ago!)

It's the Bennet's gathered around having breakfast and I have been searching high and low for a similar fine porcelain set for my own table. It's a typical Georgian Green  with gold gilt edge and a simple floral pattern. Not hard to find you would think at the weekly antique fairs D goes too. But still allusive.

I once spotted something very near to this but it was more of a bluish hue at Wimbledon Stadium Car Boot. I wish I had bought it but at the time I was heavily pregnant and tired and ended up buying an Ercol chair  just so I could sit down and rest.

We still have that chair and it's in the kitchen (perfect for standing on to change lightbulbs!). I'm constantly surprised how much Mid Century furniture has come up in price.  Margaret Howell  stock reissues of the Original Ercol designs in her store.


Friday, 26 June 2015

Scrub a dub dub

If you are fortunate to work in Central London, and have someone super organised to arrange for Kiehls to come into your office - they can set up an in-house pop up store. I was lucky to have this arranged last month - you can test all the products, speak with the skincare experts (who normally work in the stores) and buy the products with a 20% discount. What's not to love?

You place your order and can pay by card and the next day - they will deliver your items to your office; in their retro brown paper bags and include some generous sample sachets.

I bought a selection of body products from the Creme de Corps range (plus a few other bits!). I have always loved the super rich body lotion but tend to find it hard to dispense from the bottle as its so thick. For the Summer they have the whipped body butter  in Lavender. It comes in a hefty sized tub and this has really rehydrated my parched skin, especially on my shins. But of course there is no point moisturising if you don't get rid of the old rough skin cells. So I also bought the Soy Milk and Honey Body polish. This thick exfoliator is a joy to use. You don't need to work it in too hard on the skin and I tend to focus on my drier areas like the shins, knees, elbows etc.

My skin is so super smooth afterwards - the results speak for themselves! Mr. Fashion (Twin 1) loves to rub his cheeks along my bare arms sniffing the fragrance and telling me how soft and lovely I am...I should delight more in his childish joy but get paranoid he is also wiping his nose on my arm and leaving a snail trail. Something he does a lot of unfortunately!

I've even used the whipped body butter on the kids post-swimming. Kiehls UK stores used to do a baby range but it's no longer available here which is a shame as I loved using it on my brood. I try and encourage my kids to look after their skin by letting them choose which body moisturiser to use after a bath. The French (Decleor), The American (Kiehls) or Cousin J (Johnson's Baby Lotion).

My cousin really was named after the baby product , he was my Aunt's second child and she must have run out of ideas or been hormonal...! I can empathise with that as I had a terrible time deciding on the twins names. They should have been girls called April, May or Summer (possibly June) depending which month they turned up in. I wasn't prepared for picking boys names and can still remember the shock of being told there were two boys inside!




Thursday, 25 June 2015

Berry nice

This year I haven't tried to grow any produce, not for want of trying but peas never seem to grow beyond a few tendrils before the slugs get them, tomatoes never ripen...the only thing that seems to grow in my garden is mint!

But I had a few strawberry plants  bought at a church fair a few years ago and for some reason they have actually fruited really well this season. I haven't done anything different this year but maybe the combo of slugs/snails have kept away and we did have a few bright hot sunny days earlier in the month.

Not quite a punnets worth or enough to make jam with but still highly satisfying to eat home grown fruit - they were planted in last years used tomato grow bags.

What have you grown in your garden this year?
twosp x

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Happy Un-Birthday

Today was the due date for the twin boys - born 9 weeks early and turned up in April which shocked us to the core with their very urgent and rapid arrival.

This year was the first year I didn't feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed out with their healths - they say time is a real healer and it has taken these long six years to come to terms with everything and know they will be all right. I am very blessed to have them here with me - each day is unpredictable with their funny little sayings and determined little ideas.

Both are doing so well in mainstream school - something I thought would never be achieved after reading all the bumpf in the Special Care Baby Unit where they spent their first five weeks. It was torturous feeling so helpless whilst they learnt to breath on their own and later had to be taught to suckle and take their feed from a bottle - rather than from a nasal gastric tube (Twin 2 was good at pulling that out all the time). Looking back at their premature baby photos I no longer feel depressed and can celebrate their childhood rather than mourn for the loss of their babyhood.

A super charity that helps babies and parents called BLISS are always looking for more funds and help.

twosp x


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Red House - National Trust visit

The other weekend D and I had a few rare child free hours and we DID NOT KNOW what to do with ourselves...seriously 3 + whole hours with no children on a Sunny weekend! I have often dreamed about when this moment would come. It has been that hard to find anyone willing to take all three kids off our hands. They are good kids, well behaved but the idea of twin boys puts a lot of people off. Most folks will take the older girl out but that still leaves us with the twins :-(

Anyhow my brother and his wife were good enough to entertain our kids for the afternoon so after a quick internet search 'what to visit less than 20 mins drive from us' - we headed to the  Red House
The beautiful red brick home now looked after by the National Trust - surprisingly plonked in the middle of 1930's semis s'burbs.

Garden features a wishing well - every Victorian had to have this.
We came too soon before the roses were out otherwise this would have been a scented delight to walk through
Herb garden near the kitchens (now a cafe that serves a good afternoon cream tea).
You can't see but cunningly hidden is the recycle bins behind here - *sign* why can't my flower beds look this good?
Large entrance hall, perfect for those ladies in full crinoline skirts - but the lady of the house used to wear robes without corsets underneath #scandalous 
Mural detail on the wall next to the Minstrel gallery

Imagine perched up there with your lute players - the first floor living room
Wood block used to make the now classic William Morris wallpaper. There were thick sample books of the original wallpaper designs to flick through. Amazing how luxurious the colours and textures were and still relevant today.   


Hand painted ceilings
Lot's of William Morris details everywhere
I took loads of pictures for inspirations but edited out the ones of me doing a lot of pointing...
I'll leave you with this quote from William Morris -  'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful , or believe to be beautiful'.