Summer Picnic

Where is the sun in England?  I’m very concerned for it’s whereabouts and am seriously considering putting out a missing persons ad!  Well it is still officially summer for the next 2 months so, sun or no sun I intend to enjoy it :)

Is there anything better than a picnic in the summer?  I love being outside, laying on the grass and eating little treats feeling the sun on my skin.  Its so peaceful even in the middle of a very busy city.  Something that always reminds me of the summertime is gingham!  I love how cute and feminine it is and for me as much I may look like I’m wearing a picnic tablecloth (yes- this has been said to me, you know who you are haha), I still love it!
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Denim: Zara (as old as time) Skirt: Primark | Shoes: Bank | Bag: Zara (now on sale)

Healthy Summer

It is summer and fitness is always the hottest topic.  Gyms are packed full of different workout products.  I have never been one for the protein shakes as lets be honest, I like food way too much; but I do understand how a higher protein diet can help you in your battle to beat the bulge this summer!  I do have a regular gym routine, but there are a few products that I have been using this summer to help me in my quest for a better feeling of well being and health!

I’m a serious snacker and that has often been my downfall in an office environment.  I personally love these Chocolate Protein Clusters from MyProtein.  They are a little protein treat covered in chocolate for when you want to be a bit naughty!  They are like mini protein bars that are a great snack to help you when you are working out. 

In the summer when the days are longer and the nights are hotter, our sleep really does take a big hit.  I have always been bad at going to bed early- opting to go to the gym later at night when there are less people there.  I can be such a night owl that I go past the point of sleepiness.  I recently started using MyVitamins Complete Sleep Pills.  These are designed to help you sleep deeper and more soundly.  These have been really helpful and just to test whether they I was just falling into the hype- I decided to not take them for a few days.  Although I still went to sleep as normal, I found it harder to go back to sleep when I did wake up in the night when compared to the nights that I used the pills.

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Breakfast is something I rarely used to have and now I cannot go without it.  Eating regularly and eating for nutrition is more beneficial if you are trying to lose weight than starving yourself.  I have tried the Exantediet Raspberry Porridge. This is a wholesome porridge which can be eaten any time of the day, rich in protein and designed to sustain you.  It can be used as a dietary supplement which is quite handy for those of you on a calorie controlled diet.  Bonus!
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What health and fitness routine do you follow outside of the gym?  I’d love to hear from you!

:: Paris ::

I never knew the charm of spring
I never met it face to face
I never knew my heart could sing
I never missed a warm embrace

Till April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom
Holiday tables under the trees
April in Paris, this is a feeling

That no one can ever reprise
I never knew the charm of spring
I never met it face to face
I never knew my heart could sing
I never missed a warm embrace

Till April in Paris
Whom can I run to
What have you done to my heart

                                                                                                                              – Ella Fitzgerald

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Dress: French Connection | Converse All stars | Bag: Longchamp

One Night in Paris

Over the weekend I was in Paris.  It is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe steeped in history and grand architecture at every corner.  When you have 24 hours in a city (and it was literally 24 hours!), there are  a few things you want to do: See the most important sites; eat some great food and sleep well!

The eating well part, is probably the bit that excites me the most.  Dinner was served at the beautiful Ciel de Paris.

Situated 56 stories above Paris, this gourmet restaurant and Champagne bar is a unique design and was very busy all evening so make sure to make your reservation early on to avoid disappointment.

As much as the food was great, it is typical French service (can be quite abrupt at times), but everything was beautiful.  We were served complimentary nibbles and the cocktail menu is quite extensive!  We decided to opt for the a la carte menu, ordering the Foie Gras starter, a veal T-Bone and a beef fillet for mains and an incredible dessert of Chocolate prepared in 3 ways.  The starter was incredible and probably the best foie gras I have ever had. The veal was beautifully tender and was the beef (although it lacked a little something!).   The intricacy of the dessert makes it an absolute work of art and the gold dusted chocolate balls have the most intense flavour.
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This is definitely the kind of restaurant where you can just get lost in conversation until the sun goes down, at which point the view becomes even more spectacular with the Eiffel Tower covered in lights and the city twinkling away beneath you.
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Fashion wise, I opted for an old fave!  I love this skirt and when paired with a simple white cami and leather jacket, I started to feel like the ultimate Parisian chick!

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Jacket and Top: Zara | Skirt: ASOS | Shoes: JustFab | Bag: Forever 21

July Obsessions

Happy Monday All!

I must say I am in a pretty darn good mood today.  I have just come back from a lovely surprise weekend in Paris and the work life is about to get a whole lot better.  July has been a fantastic month with my birthday, 2 trips and a whole host of exciting things happening!

This month I have had a few serious obsessions.  There a few things that I cannot leave home without. 

My Diary:
My 18 month planner from Mom Agenda keeps my day-to-day life in order and helps me plan far enough ahead so that I always know what’s coming up.  It has so much space to write down ideas for blog posts, gift ideas, bills (booo), trips and so much more.  The funky leopard print design and embossing make this the perfect personalised item.

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My Lipstick:
MAC’S Angel has replaced every other lipstick I normally wear.  The nude pink is just a touch lighter than my natural lip colour and is a really creamy texture- great for a natural looking, yet fuller pout.

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My Snack:
I’m not a cake fan at all but put a brownie in front of me and I completely change my tune.  The Good Brownie Company make a range of fabulous gluten and wheat free brownies.  They come in a cute little box and are thick and gooey and just the right size for a naughty snack.

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My Tea:
Being a Brit, I do love a good cuppa.  Everyone knows what I’m like when it comes to my tea, I’m very particular and Rosy Lee teabags always give you a good brew!  This premium black tea has a great flavour and gives me my little tea fix when I need it!

My Camera:
This little beauty has come into my life at the perfect time.  I am so pleased to have got the Sony A5000 mirrorless camera.  It takes fantastic DSLR-like photos and is so  lightweight.

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Are there any items you have been obsessed with this month? Happy Monday xx

Join the Club

Hello Everyone I am super excited to say I have finally joined the club and bought a good camera!

The Sony a5000 is an amazing little bit of kit and I have already seen a huge difference to the quality of the images for my posts.  It has an interchangeable lens and is so compact, yet still gives DSLR quality images.  Not to mention, I can send them straight to my phone using the PlayMemories App, which makes for quicker posts!

I picked up this cropped Trench on holiday and have not been able to take it off since.  This has been on my Zara wishlist for ages- but when I came across it in the sale section in Florence, I had to snap it up (yeay for amazing exchange rates!).  So for my first shoot with my new toy, I decided to be as bold as possible!

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Cropped Trench: Zara (super sale bargain!) | Dress: ASOS | Shoes: New Look | Bag: Michael Kors

Business in the Front

I do not normally wear backless clothing.  This is mainly because I have a bigger bust and without a bra I don’t feel safe and secure…bras are effectively my security blanket. But when I saw this gorgeous opened back number from Forever 21 back in April, I immediately clicked Add to Bag.  The long, thin vertical stripes suit me down to a tee and I am quickly coming to the conclusion that I may have been a zebra in a past life (there are far too many striped items in my wardrobe!)  and anyone who has seen my last post knows that I am just a sucker for stripes.

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Playsuit: Forever 21 | Bag: Skinny Dip London | Heels: Forever 21

Stripes

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Dress and Sandals: Zara

I am such a sucker for stripes.  When going through my suitcase on holiday I did notice how much I love certain items.  All of the outfits I packed fell under 3 categories; polka dots, palm tree print or striped.

I don’t know what it is about stripes but in the summer, I tend to abandon all other colour schemes and head straight for the stripes.  Vertical or horizontal, I don’t care. I just love them.   I don’t get worried about horizontal stripes making me look wide as I find that they actually compliment my figure (minus the excess pasta weight I was carrying in there photos!).  When you have a smaller waist with a little junk in the trunk you can carry off stripes like this.  The off-the-shoulder style of this dress is perfect for the summer and is so feminine and gives an aire of glamour to the outfit.   For an everyday look I’d be more likely to wear heels but for an afternoon sight seeing it is flats all the way!

Tomorrow I’ll looking at my second favourite striped look this summer.  Make sure to catch it :)

Florence and Venice in Food

Italy is known for its cuisine and Italian food is definitely one of my favourites. I thought I’d share some of my favourite restaurants and dishes with you all.

In Florence, on Via Tuornabuonni there is a lovely, trendy restaurant called Obíca, which does fantastic food and incredible portions.  Just be aware that in Italy that all pasta dishes are cooked Al denté, so it is perfectly cooked and is actually the best way to eat pasta. We ordered 2 great pasta dishes and a I myself had a salad.  This is possibly the world’s biggest salad ever- no exaggeration.

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Where Obíca is trendy and quite high end, in Venice we went in a completely different direction food wise.  We visited a little Trattoria by the river often visited by the gondoliers.  Trattoria Alla Rivetta had typical Venetian dishes with hilarious waiters and extremely tasty food.  It doesn’t look like much from outside but the food is really worth the visit.

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There is one dish in particular that I love and this is purely due to the simplicity of the dish.  Spaghetti, Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino (Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil and Chili Pepper).  Stay tuned to the blog as I show you how to recreate this simple, traditional dish this summer!

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Happy Eating xx

 

Theatre Review: Memphis the Musical

Last Tuesday I went to see Memphis the Musical.  I am a crazy fan for the theatre and anything from monologues to full on crazy musicals are my thing.  I love how you can just get lost in the storyline and it is a heck of a lot more engaging than the cinema don’cha think?!

Memphis, 2014, Credit: Johan Persson/

Memphis is definitely the latter. Set in 1950’s Memphis, it is a story which provokes thoughts similar to that of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with a tale of 2 forbidden lovers who set out to bring change to social views through music.   With a cast of incredible singers, every moment is intense and fast paced.

Memphis, 2014, Credit: Johan Persson/

X Factor’s Matt Cardle stars as radio DJ ‘Huey Calhoun’, who finds himself in an underground club in the black community of Memphis, Tennessee, as a nobody who just has the soul of the black music of the day coursing through him.  There he meets club singer ‘Felicia Farrell’- played by the wonderful Beverley Knight and I guess the rest is history.

As much as there are powerful songs and upbeat numbers, what I liked most was the honesty of this musical.  The story shows the reality of time and the levels of racism and how brutal it could really be.  There is a particularly brutal scene (without giving anything away!), looking around the audience you can really see the shock on their faces.

Apart from history, this show really tells the story of an individual dealing with the rise and fall of their own fame and as much as the story comes to quite a sad end- it finishes on a great high!

No wonder this is fast becoming the West End’s best loved show!   It is really worth a watch.  You can get your tickets here.

Memphis, 2014, Credit: Johan Persson/Memphis, 2014, Credit: Johan Persson/

Photo credits: Memphis, 2014, Credit: Johan Persson/