Friday, 28 November 2014

November: Pick of the Highstreet

Tick-tick-tock it's almost December, and we're now marking time in "weeks 'til Christmas"..! I'm getting my gifting-brain into gear, with the help of a lot of great online content and magazine guides, but can't help but get distracted by my own little wish-list. Great if you have a sister or a friend with similar style only joking. #1 rule on gifting is not to buy anything that is not 100% intended for your recipient! People want to feel considered and appreciated at Christmas, they've been traipsing around a dreary highstreet thinking about others too, and "Can I borrow that when.....?" tends to take the shine off a lovely gift! If you are going to treat yourself or someone else to something wear-able, then black and white and sparkly is a great way to gift some wardrobe updates that will be versatile to make them feel extra-special through the next year.

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Blogging Basics - How Bloggers Connect

Whether you're big in the blogosphere or are finding your voice, there is one common factor to take into consideration. Who are you talking to out there? 

It's easy to overlook your audience when 99% of blog work happens alone behind a computer screen. 

- Elle & co

If you blog for you, well done! The hardest thing I'm told is feeling the pressure to perform and losing your own voice. But wouldn't it be nice to find other people thinking like you, to build a community? You don't have to yell to be heard, there are some great articles on how to put yourself out there, really connect with your current audience, and encourage new readers. I'd love to hear your experiences - do you feel a community on your favourite blogs?

How to encourage new readers:

How to evolve your audience into a community:

And my favourite, a great upbeat post for blogging no matter what - no excuses!:


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Indulge in staying in

It doesn't take much for me to want to stay home for a cosy night in, but is anyone else enjoying the darker evenings? It's a great excuse to wrap up with a good book - the book in the photo above is The Goddess Experience by Gisele Scanlon, a gorgeously-illustrated lifestyle and travel bible, so you can make plans for the days you're not staying in! As it's not quite time to cover up your hands with woolly mittens, I like to go metallic or dark on autumn nails, and these mini's from Nails inc have a good selection of muted and rich metallics.

In saying that, I've had some lovely nights out lately, mostly centred around food as usual, including the most delicious pizza at The Honest Italian in Balham (this is the first weekend in the last month we haven't popped in!), the messiest burgers and "dead hippie fries" at Meat Mission in Shoreditch, dim-sum overload at Ping Pong Southbank and an intimate girly catch-up at Pho Spitalfields, so this weekend is a bit of an eating-out detox!

Do you like the dark nights, or do you wish for forever summer?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Above photo by linda_lomelino of Call Me Cupcake

Non-instagrammers do not get the obsession with photographing your food. Truth be told, I feel odd doing it, but when you see it done right it is quite literally a feast for the eyes. I'm now adding regularly to my 'feed' (ok stopping with the puns now...) with inspiring foodies, and happily getting brainwashed into the "food should be pretty" mentality. Not that I don't love a packet of digestives or a box of fajitas, but I'm gathering ideas for introducing more colourful veg, and feeling bad about my fruit-less, protein-less start to the day. But what about all the cakes and macaroons (holding back from eye-candy puns...)? Even these are starting to make me think twice about a quick chocolate bar. If you're going to be bad, maybe it's worth waiting for something that looks this good..!

All-in-all, I'll be looking to this lot for inspiration -  I wonder how my tastes will change?

Savoury /  "I can totally make this":

Sweet / "Just looking (gimme gimme!)":

Breakfasts / "I need to get up earlier": 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Halloween Links Roundup

Have you noticed Santa on supermarket shelves yet? I love the deep mid-winter, but October is a time to slow down and enjoy the nights in, the changing colours, the extra woolly layers....and remember that little one-night holiday in Autumn.

I may well be staying in with the boy and Buffy (how different to every other Friday night), but I'm still appreciating all the creative effort these guys put into the season:

Free Printables:
Fun with Food:
Pick Your Poison:

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Vintage Hair Inspiration

So excited for the next girly wedding in a few short weeks! My girlfriends back home in Belfast seem to have started a tradition of getting vintage hairdo's for weddings, I think we're a bit addicted now. While my fab friends have even mastered the art of doing it themselves for a night out, my unruly hair looks forward to the professional treatment, and I'm gathering inspiration.

So far I've done the classic bumped french twist, and a half-up "quiff", and I'm torn between going back towards the beehive and an updo with  lots of lovely swirls. Sometimes it's fun to let the stylist loose - maybe I'll let her surprise me!

Pinterest's new search tool is great for narrowing down exactly what you're after, but two salons I really recommend back home in Belfast are Vintage Rocks and Hair by Cherry on Top - I'd trust these ladies to tackle my tresses and show me something new!


Saturday, 11 October 2014

10 Wedding Cake Details You Could DIY

....with time and patience!

Speaking from experience - I had neither when I decided to decorate our wedding cake, and I can totally see why my mum ordered a surprise (back-up??) cake from Ginger Princess Cakes. But all went well and we had two cakes on the day!

It started (as it always does) on Pinterest, I loved the simple or slightly detailed wedding cakes, and was feeling a little uncreative, having switched wedding plans from handmade and rustic to elegant hotel with a view. So obviously I decided to put my creative mark on the one thing that gets destroyed on the day anyway! We also have a massive soft spot for good old M&S, so the idea was borne to order 3 delicious M&S cakes and find the right detail to add - here are ten ideas:

...and for #10, I'm going to slip in our finished wedding cake. Taking inspiration from the ruffled rose, I used fondant with chrysanthemum cutters, rolling the bottom petals thinly and layering up with an indented top petal and edible pearls, and arranged on top of each of the three tiers. Small, simple and sweet? 


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