Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Top 5: High street sliders

Recently. I found myself thinking about pool sliders. After dismissing them as a footwear abomination a couple of months ago, I suddenly found myself a little bit obsessed. I couldn't stop thinking about them. The fashion lightbulb finally went off and I realised that they are a stroke of minimalist, low-key genius - if you wear them right. That means less Snoop Dogg/Lion's sock and sandals combo and more Celine's pared back, minimalist elegance.



I prefer sliders with either a short hemline or skinny trousers cropped a few inches above the ankle to balance out the heavy flats but they look equally good with calf-length midis, pretty dresses or slouchy trousers for a more nonchalant look. Whichever way you choose to wear your slides, make sure you go sans socks! Here are my top 5 sliders on the high street: 

Adidas Taedia sliders are for purists, fans of the classic pool sliders and a total bargain at £14. 



Whistles Maddy pool sliders are the perfect marriage between luxury and sportswear. The best thing is they're only £35 in the sale. 



Topshop's £65 Flashy slides prove that this trend is do-able even for the most bling-obsessed fashion magpies. 



These chic snakeskin sliders look deceptively high-end, you'd never think they were only £20 from boohoo.  



Of course Zara have some of the chicest sliders on the high street. My favourite are these metallic crossover sandals, which are only £19.99 in the sale. 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Five rules for detoxing


 
Following on from my previous post – Diary of a Detox – I’ve put together my 5 tips to surviving a detox, from pre-detox preparation to post-detox diet.

1. Prep for your detox.

Generally speaking, the biggest gripe people have when doing a detox is headaches and mood swings. These are actually more to do with caffeine/sugar/alcohol withdrawl rather than the detox itself. As I don’t drink coffee, drink much alcohol and had cut down on sugar, I didn’t really experience any negative effects of the detox. In fact, my colleagues and I kept waiting for the mood swings to kick in! To make your detox a little easier, I’d recommend cutting out or at least cutting back on coffee, alcohol, sugary and processed food for a couple of days before you begin your detox.

 
2. Make sure you time it right.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding when to do my detox. Although it was only 3 days, it was a total change in routine and lifestyle. I knew I wanted to do it while I was at work as it would be easier if I’m sitting for most of the day and I don’t have to lug juices around with me. I timed it around my ballet and yoga classes as I didn’t think I’d have the energy to get through the 90 minute classes! I’d also recommend keeping plans fairly relaxed post-work to allow you to have some early nights.


3. Drink lots of water.

As the name suggests, your body will be getting rid of lots of toxins over the duration of your detox. Are you ready for the science bit? If your body can’t effectively eliminate toxins, it absorbs them and surrounds the toxins with fat cells to protect your body from them. As you go through the detox, your body will be breaking these toxins down which is why most people experience a little weight loss…but the key thing is to flush toxins out of your body so you don’t absorb them. Water is one way to help flush toxins out, I was drinking 3 litres a day. Here’s another science nugget for you, your skin is the last organ to reap the benefits of water, ergo the more water you drink the better your organs function. My skin was glowing on my detox so I’m pretty sure my organs were well hydrated too.

 
4. Plan some light exercise in the morning.

I am not a morning person, by any stretch of the imagination. However, on my detox I was sleeping like a baby and waking up before my alarm. I made the most of this by kick starting my day with yoga, which is normally in my pre-bedtime routine. I figured I should go with how my body felt and it certainly didn’t do me any harm.

 
5. Take it easy post-detox.

After your detox, your body will be a clean, lean machine. Juices are super easy to digest and all the fruits and veggies you’ve been eating have done you the world of good. You can’t go straight from that to having a greasy Big Mac, as much as you may have been craving one. Your system will basically go nuts if you flood it with processed food that’s hard to digest and you’ll get an awful stomach ache – I speak from experience and all I had was a bit of falafel with a big salad! Do yourself a favour and stick to a vegetarian diet and try to eat raw as much as possible while easing back into ‘normal’ eating.

 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Friday, 11 July 2014

Giambattista Valli Couture AW14


IAs much as I love pouring over runway shots, the backstage shots are always a little more revealing and fun. Here's a little sneak peek backstage at the Giambattista Valli Couture autumn/winter 2014 show. 








Saturday, 5 July 2014

Diary of a juice detox



Recently, I've been on somewhat of a health kick. I've been embracing healthy eating and exercise, heading to Florence a couple of months ago for a yoga holiday and a couple of weeks ago I successfully survived my first 3-day juice detox. While I can't recommend the company I used (Nosh Detox, who messed up the delivery AND ended up delivering the wrong detox kit), I highly recommend undertaking a juice detox to give your digestive system a break as well as giving you some food for thought when it comes to, well, food.

During my detox I thought about food a hell of a lot, though I wasn't hungry often. I also realised that I ate due to boredom and habit rather than actually being hungry, which was a bit of a revelation and as a result I've been snacking much less since I came off the detox.

I wanted to share my detox diary with you to give you a glimpse first hand at what it's like to go on a detox.

Day 1
10.45am - No sign of delivery man, no sign of juice. Have emailed Nosh Detox and had some water. Someone at work has bought in Cornish fudge - becoming an increasingly attractive food option as opposed to fresh air and water. 
10.52am - Apparently my detox box is being delivered TONIGHT. Despite emails yesterday saying I will be starting today and letting me know the juices will be delivered in the evening AND another one this morning saying enjoy the programme. 
11.28am - After a not too pleasant phone call (sorry, I get angry when starved), my juice is finally going to be delivered today by the Business Manager. He's going to be an hour but I'm tempted to kiss him when he arrives. 
12.20pm - My juice arrival is imminent. I'm hungry but coping surprisingly well, whizzing through my to do list and even taking part in office banter. This is probably the longest I've gone without eating, ever. 
12.44pm - Ever seen someone down juice like a shot of tequila? My colleagues have. 
2.52pm - Triple fried truffle fries. 
3.58pm - Colleague jogs my memory to drink juice 2, I hadn't even realised. My Eliminator juice tastes really nice and healthy, must be the acai powder. 
5.23pm - Triple fried truffle fries...with ketchup. 
7.21pm - Third juice drank. Still dreaming about chips, which I haven't eaten in forever. I kind of miss chewing. 
7.34pm - Leaving work, skipping a party and going home to snuggle on the sofa with a blanket. I have no energy whatsoever. And I still miss chewing. 
8.52pm - Been lying on the sofa wrapped in a blanket for an hour. Just had my last juice and surprisingly, I don't really feel hungry. Genuinely don't, convinced that 90% of my eating is habit. 
Midnight - Bedtime, zzzz

Day 2
7.30am - Woke up after a very deep sleep feeling pretty good! Not drained or tired but very rested. 
8.52am - Juice time, really enjoy the taste of the Lemon & Ginger Tonic.
10.32am - Two hour meeting. Goes well. Thank goodness for herbal tea. 
12.47pm - Juice one, done. Craving pizza pretty badly but actually not that hungry, just miss food rather than needing it. 
1.44pm - I really want cheese on toast. 
2.34pm - Another juice down. Still want cheese on toast. 
3.29pm - SO TIRED. Just want to sleep. Seriously contemplating crawling under my desk for some shut eye. 
4.56pm - So hungry now. Slight headache. Daydreaming about eating food. Safe to say the detox blues have hit. 
7.18pm - At a picnic surrounded by cheese, crackers, sausage rolls, chicken and fruit. Slightly suicidal, not going to lie. Juice time soon, thank God. 
8.21pm - Juice has curbed any food cravings. Still, turned my back on the picnic! 
10.34pm - Bedtime. Earliest I've gone to bed for a long time. 

Day 3
7.30am - Another blissful deep sleep. Today is supposed to be the worst day as my system will really be detoxing. Cannot wait....
10.53am - Not even hungry. Breezing through with juices and water now. Waiting for the side effects/mood swings to hit. 
2.54pm - Still nada. Honestly, this has been a breeze. Not noticed any drastic changes in my body but I'm finding it easier to concentrate, sleeping much better and I feel a bit more glowy. 
3.07pm - Getting a bit peckish so having water. Daydreaming about Vapiano's pasta. Water tastes the same. Kinda. 
4.32pm - Penultimate juice done. Already planning tomorrow's post-detox meals.
7.04pm - An HOUR to go til my last juice. Already pretty hungry but I haven't experienced any mood swings or, more crucially, regrets. It's been a little tough at times but overall not as terrible as I expected. Roll on the 8pm juice and an early night....and my eggs florentine tomorrow. 
8.23pm - Last juice. A bit emotional. Debating doing another detox in a couple of weeks.

So there you have it. A few wobbles and hungry times but I got through the detox in one piece....and already planning the next! Although I felt tired at times and had a couple of early nights, I actually slept like a baby and woke up with more energy in the mornings. Keep your eyes peeled for my next post where I'll be sharing my top tips for getting through a detox in one piece!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

ASOS autumn/winter 2014

 
I know we've barely had our summer but I'm kind of looking forward to snuggling up for Autumn already. Please tell me it's not just me? In my defence, I think it's more to do with the new fashions rather than the dipping temperatures and dark nights. Actually, if I'm honest, I'm pretty sure it all started when I spied the ASOS AW14 lookbook. The pretty, embroidered dresses from ASOS Premium, punky tartan separates, chic knee length pleated skirts and the super covetable and playful clutches and iPad covers, can I just have it all please?
 









Sunday, 29 June 2014

Top Five: Ear Cuffs

It’s funny how you can be fiercely loyal to something, yet fickle at the same time.  I’m a certified jewellery devotee; however the type of jewellery which gets my heart racing is constantly changing. Years ago, I used to stack rings like I was Karl Lagerfeld but recently I’ve taken to wearing a single, statement door knocker necklace. Of course there was the bracelet and bangle phase too and the good old belly chain if you want to go all the way back to the 90s! The one piece of jewellery that I have never really been enamoured with is earrings. Despite having five lobe piercings (as well as my tragus and rook), I prefer simple studs rather than anything overly fussy adorning my ears. This hasn’t strictly changed but I have come around to a little ear embellishment in the form of ear cuffs.
 
Ear cuffs aren’t a new trend by all means but it has taken a while for the super luxe jewellery pieces to filter down to the high street. Ear cuffs were last year’s punk-themed Met Ball, with the likes of Sienna Miller and Nicole Ritchie sporting some very ornate and lavish jewels on their ears. I love these over the top embellishment like Cara Delavigne as well as a more subtle take on the trend a la Emma Watson.


 
Here are my favourite ear cuff looks as well as my top picks from the high street:



Adoring Ava crystal ear cuff - £8



Red Herring crystal ear cuff - £3



Maria Francesca Pepe Swarovski ear cuff - £135



Maria Black cresent ear cuff - £78.05



Patrizia Pepe gold crystal ear cuff - £53.90

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Brunch at Balthazar, London


The original Balthazar in New York is somewhat of an institution. Located in the heart of Soho, it was opened in 1997 by Keith McNally offering a French brasserie inspired menu in resplendent surroundings. Still going strong and a firm foodie favourite, I was overjoyed when I heard news that a London outpost was to open in 2013.
 
In a city which enjoys a raft of new restaurant openings each week, you know a new restaurant is going to be a hit when staff at all of the top restaurants are clamouring to work there. Indeed, Balthazar had its pick from chefs to front-of-house and a waiting list before they'd even opened their doors.

In the last year, I've enjoyed plenty of dinners and drinks at Balthazar but I have to say my favourite is brunch. Consistently delicious with great service, it's a staple in my London brunch roster – and I’m a picky bruncher. Last week, I took my cousin for her first Balthazar brunch.

 

I had my usual, which is the Hazelnut Waffles with warm berries, crème fraîche and maple syrup on the side. As delicious as they sound, if not moreso. The waffles are soft enough to slice through with ease (I hate hard overcooked waffles) and the berries are always in season and juicy, yum. I opted for a Balthazar Bloody Mary rather than tea and was rewarded with one of the best I've had in London, packing the perfect amount of spice and punch. My cousin opted for a classic Eggs Benedict and some brunch bubbles which went down very well.
 


Consistent, reliable and a firm favourite for long, lazy brunches, with the added benefit of being an utter sanctuary from the weekend chaos in Covent Garden. I prefer Balthazar for brunch rather than dinner, when it can get a bit hot and rushed as it’s still super popular. Brunch is perfection though; this is the perfect place in London to enjoy an unhurried weekend catch up/gossip session.

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