Golden Girl

Its July! I am such a summer baby.  I need the heat and the golden sunshine.  I am all about Gold. It’s the perfect metallic!  I don’t care how tacky or how much I resemble Mr T, gold is the best in any way, shape or form.

When I saw these shoes on ASOS I immediately had to get them and what’s even better is they have a small platform- giving me an extra inch in height…result!  

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DENIM SHIRT AND JEANS: ZARA | SHOES: ASOS | BAG: NEW LOOK

Planned to Perfection

It is officially summer in the UK and for once that means temperatures about 25 degrees C and sunshine.  The summer months are always super busy and often we are unable to make it to as many of the events as we would have liked.  The long evening mean more fun evenings out socialising and the great weather inspires us to blog blog blog!

I have often spoken about how hard it can be to stay organised in your blogging schedule; mixing in full time jobs, children, parties the gym and just life in general!  Well I am a sucker for a diary or planner and I often find myself writing everything I possibly can in mine just so that I don’t miss a single moment.

Today I am teaming up with The Bloggers Planner to bring you a great way to sort, list and schedule, not only your blog posts, but your everyday activities!  They have really pretty designs and offer a range of styles and  inspirational quotes to help anyone with Blogger’s Block!  My favourite is:

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be” – Maya Angelou

The generous people at The Bloggers Planner are offering you a fantastic 10% off your order just by entering the code BIANCA10. 

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Caged

I honestly cannot get enough of the amazing, caged, gladiator style sandals everywhere at the moment #shoeaddict these babies are absolutely my summer staple and I am planning to wear them as much as possible whilst the sun is out.

Are you loving this trend as much as I am?

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Jacket: Mango | Dress: Club L at Asos | Bag: Zara (ridiculous sale bargain) | Heels: JustFab 

Swimming Up Stream

Happy Monday! I am off work at the moment, taking a few days annual leave and having a little staycation in the UK. Friday was a lovely day in London and I spent it with a friend having afternoon tea on the River Thames.  You can see pictures from my weekend break on my Instagram page @b_lovefoodlovefashion.

I love to match tones in an outfit.  Different shades of all the same colour palette can be so elegant.  There is no better tone on my skin than a soft pink.  Nudey/salmon tones work really well with most complexions.  After all, for a day spent on the river, being dressed as a salmon seemed quite fitting!

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Dress: Boohoo (mega sale!) | Bag and Heels: H&M | Necklace: Accessorize

Good Shoes

Its not often that you get to wear something as special as these shoes.  Red, heels and a huge flower on the side (?!) I feel a big old Carrie Bradshaw moment coming on. So far I feel like we have had a prolonged spring rather than any summer to speak of so I’m ramping up my summer wardrobe in the hope that I will coax the sun out of hiding.  Florals are always huge for summer, but theres no reason you have to wear florals head to toe, its the little accents that matter.

I would say that a good shoe is exactly like a good wine. These shoes are going to stay and last for a long time.  Christian Louboutin

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Jacket: Zara | T-Shirt: H&M | Culottes: Zara | Bag: DKNY | Shoes: Just Fab

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I have gotten back into cooking.  I do like to make things from scratch and after a Saturday spent watching a ridiculous number of cookery programmes, my Sunday was spent making a favourite of mine.  Gnocchi are soft dough dumplings, a traditional Italian dish.  This recipe is a variation on the traditional using sweet potato. 

You really do not need much and the results are really light flavoursome dumplings.

You will need:

1 large sweet potato
3 tablespoons “00” flour
1 egg
15g grated Parmesan
Salt
Nutmeg

Prick the potato and place in the microwave for 10 minutes. 

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Pass the pulp through a potato ricer or food mill, or mash thoroughly. Don’t use a food processor, it gives them a funny texture.  Add in the flour 1 spoonful at a time. 

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Mix well and then add in all the other ingredients.  The consistency should not be too dense.  Put the mix onto a floured surface and cut the mix into 4.  Roll them out into cylinders.

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Cut the cylinders into pieces about half as long as your thumb.

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Set the gnocchi on a flour-dusted baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment paper, until ready to cook.

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Put a frying pan on the stove ready to use when the water is boiled. Put about 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan and once the water for cooking the gnocchi (see next paragraph) is cooked melt the butter.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the gnocchi. They’ll take about 3 minutes to cook. Take one out, if it’s cooked in the middle, it’s done.

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Toss gnocchi in a pan of still-warm browned butter, add fresh black pepper, and coarsely-grated Parmesan.  I had a pot of sauce ready made and decided to heat some garden peas with the gnocchi to serve.

Hit the Ground

Monday Monday Monday…why do you come around so soon? I hope everyone has had a great weekend and is ready for the week ahead.  Is it bad that I am already wishing for Friday?!  I love the weekends but they are always too short.  Never mind…yeay Monday!

I have been seeing these floor length trenches everywhere lately and I had to give them ago.  There is something so elegant about them and I just love how they fit.  Being a teeny tiny lady, I do have to be careful as some of these trenches are cut for women of a standard height, so they can drape on the floor like a dress.  I have really fallen out of love with anything maxi styled in recent months so the length of this is a stand out piece in my wardrobe.  Speaking of things I don’t have love anymore – I am having a bit of a clear out of certain pieces in time for the summer, so do make sure to check out my ebay/instagram page.  There are some crazy bargains up for grabs.

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Trench: Missguided | Top: Zara | Skirt: ASOS | Bag: Zara | Heels: Matalan

Taking Advantage

I live in the London and its not particularly hot most of the time.  So for me, that 20 minute slot of sunshine we get that is called “summer” I tend to be the first one to whip off my coat and get into something floaty and colourful.

Considering that it hasn’t really been the greatest weather here lately, I have been planning a good few posts and summery outfits to share with you all, but have not had the opportunity to shoot them.  Now what I am about to say may seem a bit controversial, but I feel it needs to be said.  Bloggers do not always wear the outfits they shoot all day!  Most of the time I can be honest and say I do wear them, but on the off chance I have a chance to shoot a look I love, I will change faster than Superman and take some pictures.

We have to take advantage of the sunshine when it shows itself!

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Blouse: Warehouse | Skirt and Heels: Zara | Bag; ASOS  Sunglasses: A J Morgan (via ASOS)

Lavender Scones

I haven’t posted a recipe for MONTHS! Apologies for this everyone as I know I should focus on it more.  Bad Bianca!

I thought I would start off with a fantastic recipe including one of my favourite ingredients- Lavender.  Many of you will remember an old post I did including lavender and these turned out really well! I love Scones and actually did a post on these too!  You could be smart and just combine the lavender into that post or you could be like me and look for a slightly different scone recipe, seen below.

Please do give these a go because they come out really well:

  • 250g all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 stick or 60g sweet, unsalted butter
  • 50g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lavender or 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender, coarsely chopped
  • 150 ml milk, plus extra for glaze
Preheat the oven to 220ºC degrees.
Grease and then sprinkle flour on a large baking sheet.

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Sift flour and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.

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Mix in the butter until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs.  Stir in the sugar and lavender.  Add a sufficient amount of milk to make a soft and sticky dough consistency.

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Place the dough on a floured surface. Cut the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick rounds with a cookie cutter.
Place the scones onto the greased and floured baking sheet.

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Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until it is a golden brown colour.

I like to serve these in a really plain way and just BUTTER THEM UP!

Balance Me: Super Moisturising Body Oil

I recently did a review of some Balance Me products.  I have really enjoyed using their products and have wanted to share more of their fantastic range with you all.  This time, it the turn of the great Super Moisturising Body Oil.

I am a huge fan of oil based products as I feel that they work better and that I actually end up using less as they go so far! This oil is no exception to the rule.  This nourishing oil is made from fantastic ingredients including: neroli, rosehip, jojoba, wheat germ, borage and calendula.  These products together help to rejuvenate and heal your skin.
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I tried this out in 2 ways just to be able to give a good review!

Firstly: On dry skin…

I massaged a small amount onto the skin before getting dressed.  The oil was immediately absorbed into my skin and  was able to get dressed really quickly without leaving greasy marks on my clothes.  My only gripe is that the bottle is not exactly huge and so I feel I could end up working my way through in no time at all.  A little trick I have discovered, is to mix a 10p amount of oil into a blob of my usual moisturiser, mix it up and then cream all over for moisturise really deeply.

Secondly: Post shower…

This is my absolute favourite way to use this product.  As soon as I shower, I use a damp flannel to remove the majority of the excess water on my skin or lightly pat myself dry with a towel then immediately rub the oil into my skin.  This way allowed me to use less of the product and still have the same level of hydration.  I generally get quite dry skin so this way left me feeling soft and smooth the whole day.

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I have also been advised to use this product as an after sun.  I cannot wait for the sun to come out in the UK so I can test this out. I love this product. It really does make a difference to your skin and even though it is an oil, you can put your clothes on almost instantly.