Who can resist a sale? Especially when its at favourite shoe brand, Kurt Geiger. I popped into the South Molton Street branch this week to scope out what treats were to be found in a size 41 (yes I have massive feet, but I am just over 5'7''). I usually opt for a sensible shoe, something not too high, practical to walk in, a classic that won't go out of style too soon. After trying on plenty of 'safe' styles I thought f*@k it! lets have some fun! I tried these on for a laugh initially, not so funny it seems as I fell in love, they are a bit mental for me but will be the cornerstone for my 30th birthday party outfit. Surprisingly easy to walk in for 5.5" platform wedges. 'Siberian Lilly' boots were £295.00 now £149.00 by Kurt Geiger London.
After lugging my heavy laptop through sweaty tourists, early evening commuters and shoppers (tricky in sky high wedges) I finally arrived at the plush Claridge's Hotel Mayfair for the Nicholas Oakwell Couture AW12 show. The 'catwalk' was a route that snaked around carefully positioned black sofas and antique tables dotted with crystal decanters and cocktail glasses. As the show began mellow jazz melted into funky yet romantic 70's classics (think Barry White) and Scottish Model of the year, Tali Lennox, slowly stepped out and perched on the edge of a sofa before working the room. The collection, 'inspired by the lush decadence of 1970's New York', was strictly sexy yet sophisticated with no holding back on expensive cashmeres, hand made lace, heavy tweeds, shaved mink, leather, suede, sequins and glass beading. It was hard to pick favourites but the shaved mink and suede ankle strap heels, a collaboration with Nicholas Kirkwood, stood out for me. This is only Oakwell's third collection yet he has established a strong celebrity and industry following, amongst the show regulars were legendary fashion journalist Hilary Alexander and actress Olivia Grant.
As I browsed through Kurt Geiger's Online Sale looking for some bargains I came across these Converse trainer/ sandal thingys. They look like fish! It would take a long stretch of imagination to envisage anyone wearing these. Strictly for die hard fans only (and I could name a few!) Please send in pictures if you see anyone dare... Converse 'Cutaway Sandal' £30.00. Image from kurtgeiger.com
My schedule was a bit off this morning as I woke up really late. Today I was back on the full menu. The pre breakfast 'Lemonade' followed by the 'Green Smoothie with Chlorella and Spirulina' which I have grown to love and will miss, the ingredients are on the Raw Fairies website so I can recreate this tasty and filling breakfast. I decided to take my boyfriend out to our favourite brunch destination, Kentish Canteen, as there wasn't much in the fridge. He ate a steaming bowl of pea and basil soup with goats cheese crouton whilst I enjoyed a lovely pot of mint tea. I didn't feel odd being in a restaurant not eating, it was a busy lunchtime service with tasty looking dishes around me but I wasn't phased, not like me!
When I got back I drank my mid morning juice, although by now it was nearing mid afternoon and I accidentally drank the 'Carrot, Orange and Ginger Juice' instead of the 'Green Juice'. Late lunch was 'Salad of Red Cabbage, Fennel, Beetroot with Pecans and Pomegranate with Nut Mayo' which reminded me of festive cooked red cabbage with raisins as the pomegranate was so sweet. I skipped the 'Green Juice' as it was getting late in the day and went straight to dinner, 'Courgette Pasta with Walnut Bolognese Sauce' with 'Herb Salad with Capers, Pine Nuts and Balsamic Dressing'. I was impressed by how the courgette had been sliced into thin strands that looked like spaghetti, the bolognese packed a punch with plenty of sun dried tomato, red onion and dried herbs. I loved the salad as by now I was craving strong and salty flavours and this had capers, balsamic and Himalayan pink salt. It was a MASSIVE portion and I only got half way through, my boyfriend polished off the rest.
So, that's the end! I feel a huge sense of achievement and am proud that I didn't cheat or stray. Sounds corny but it literally has been life changing. I've lost about 5lbs and my skin looks great, I look a bit younger and more attractive too! I feel energetic, enthusiastic and proactive, I started the week sitting around the house planning what to do, by the end of the week I was thinking less and doing more, instead of dwelling on things I just got up and did them. I won't be switching to raw full time but will incorporate it into my daily diet. I've learned a lot about myself this week and have picked up good habits that will last a lifetime.
My tummy was ready for food this morning. I rushed through the pre breakfast 'Lemonade' so that I could get to the 'Coco Shake' made from organic banana, organic cashews, organic raw cacao powder and cacao nibs, organic raw tahini and organic dates. This was like a raw version of a chocolate milkshake, luckily I am accustomed to raw cacao and enjoy the flavour as it is very unique. Not being used to eating for so long I was full and waited an hour before part two of breakfast, 'Green Smoothie with Chlorella and Spirulina'. Feeling confident and getting used to the regime I was less strict with my timings today, only eating when hungry and drinking when thirsty.
A friend who seems to always to lock herself out popped over and I cooked her lunch, Nigella's 'Lone Linguine' made with a rich sauce of jersey cream, parmesan, egg yolk and white truffle oil. I enjoyed cooking for her, the aroma was so strong and delicious I actually felt the satisfaction of eating it?! She ate her bowl of silky pasta and I dined on 'Cos Lettuce, Black Olive and Courgette Walnut Crunch with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing'. Quite fitting as the dressing was reminiscent of pasta sauce. It was loaded with olives, really good quality, potent black ones.
I accidentally got my juices the wrong way round today, having the 'Carrot, Orange and Ginger Juice' this morning and the 'Green Juice' this afternoon. By now I am no longer hating them. Dinner was 'Celeriac Slaw with Avocado dressing'. This was really crunchy with radishes and alfalfa sprouts, the dressing was half way between mayonnaise and guacamole and it had a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds which I find too beefy, I resisted picking them out. I didn't drink my last juice of the day, didn't feel like I needed it and didn't want to force it down, I'm learning to listen to my tummy.
Today was the day of the dreaded 'Juice Fast' (dun dun dun!) I was not looking forward to waking up this morning, you know my feelings toward the juices, I'm not a huge fan. Knowing that this was all I'd be having today was a massive challenge, especially for someone who loves their nosh. The pre breakfast 'Lemonade' was all good as usual. I made the mistake of brushing my teeth before my first meal of the day, 'Toothpaste, Pineapple, Cucumber, Lime, Carrot and Celery Juice'. After finishing these I realised that I'd forgotten to photograph my daily rations for you so had to replicate their appearance by filling the bottles with water, sherry vinegar, peanut butter and french's mustard, whoops! My next task was to devise a schedule for how to spread out the other juices across my day:
I drank the 'Green Juice' to give me energy before popping out to my local garden centre and downed the 'Melon, Mint, Cucumber, Celery and Lime Juice' when I returned after 'exerting' myself. The 'Carrot, Orange and Ginger Juice' eased some strenuous sunbathing in the garden whilst painting my nails. The 'Carrot, Apple, Beetroot, Celery, Lime and Ginger Juice' was my pre dinner snack on the bus on the way to the pub and the 'Celery, Apple, Cucumber and Lemon Juice' was dinner itself in the pub (cheap date eh?)
I didn't feel as hungry as I thought I would, instead I felt awake and energetic. It must have been my first visit to the The Stag without joining in on Cider and Hanger Steak for dinner, instead I sipped on a large wine glass full of iced water and enjoyed some good old sober fun.
This morning I thought there had been a mistake with my delivery, there were extra juices and smoothies, then it dawned on me that I was being weaned off solids in preparation for tomorrows juice fast (eeek!). After the pre breakfast 'Lemonade' I had 2 smoothies to get through. The first was 'Cucumber, Pineapple and Parsley with Avocado and Ground Flax Seed' and was delicious, this was supposed to be swiftly followed by the 'Green Smoothie with Chlorella and Spirulina' but I was actually full from the first smoothie and decided to wait half an hour before drinking it.
Not long after it's time for 'Carrot, Orange and Ginger Juice'. It's only day 2 and I'm already beginning to dread the mid morning and mid afternoon juices, they still send shivers down my spine, the problem is probably with me, they are really healthy and not masked with any flavourings, I'm not used to being so virtuous.
Lunch today was 'Seaweed, Cucumber and Beetroot Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing', I've noticed that since starting the detox I'm becoming more sensitive to raw ginger and am not loving it, the combination of the ginger and the beetroot reminded me of one of the juices so I forced down all the beetroot in one go to avoid mixing the flavours!
Next comes the dreaded 'Green Juice' which I drank as quickly as possible. By the time dinner rolls round I am not gagging to eat as much as last night, this is a great sign as I am naturally a greedy person, maybe I can change! Dinner was 'Raw Stir Fry with Ginger Shoyu Sauce'. I was put off instantly by reading the word 'Ginger' but was pleased when it wasn't so strong, what I could taste was my old friend 'Garlic' who has been missed greatly! The 'Stir Fry' was satisfyingly crunchy with sugar snaps, carrot, red pepper and spring onion. The last solid food to pass my lips until Thursday lunchtime. The evening is rounded off with a late evening 'Celery, Apple, Cucumber and Lemon Juice' whilst watching England V Ukraine, not quite a beer but it will have to do.
I didn't feel the great hunger that I felt yesterday nor did I experience any headaches. I have been more tired though and snappy to my amazingly supportive boyfriend, he has also vowed to not drink alcohol this week, I love him!
After waking up a little late I skipped the cup of hot water and lemon I was supposed to start the day with and went straight to the spritely pre breakfast 'Lemonade'. I was surprised by how pleasant and refreshing it tasted, a good start. Breakfast was a 'Green Smoothie with Chlorella and Spirulina'. From the package that I received this morning this was the part that I was least looking forward to, it was a thick, dark green sludge. I decided to not smell it and knock it back only to be pleasantly surprised that it tasted of the banana and kiwi that it also contained. The rest of the day consisted of two more juices, a salad for lunch, a 'pizza' and salad for dinner plus supplements.
My mid morning snack was the dubiously named 'Green Juice', I struggled with the strong and raw flavours of cucumber, broccoli, apple, celery, courgette, lime and spinach. It was potent with a spicy tang, every mouthful sent shivers down my spine. Lunch was a generously portioned salad of 'Parsnip Cous Cous and Mustard Dressing' (tiny pieces of chopped parsnip that replicate cous cous), loaded with salad leaves and sprouting bean shoots, the mustard dressing was thick and creamy. I pimped it with a handful of chopped parsley (put parsley on anything and I will tear through it).
A long stretch of 3 hours followed until my next snack of 'Carrot, Orange and Ginger Juice'. By this time I had a mild headache and felt a bit chilly, on went my Ugg's and the central heating (in June!) The juice was sweet but I wish I'd taken it out of the fridge sooner as it was really cold. I drank it slowly and distracted myself with work. About half an hour later my headache melted away and I felt awake (must have been the sugar). I stupidly started watching 'Man V Food' on TV and found myself craving the double cheese and bacon burger with Krispy Kreme Doughnut for a bun that the host was devouring, I quickly changed the channel.
By 19.20 I was more than ready for dinner, I started plating up at 19.25 so that I could eat at 19.30 on the dot. My last meal of the day was 'Italian Pizza on 2 Seed Onion Crust' with a large side salad. The smell was promising and it actually tasted as close to pizza as raw veg, nuts and seeds can get, tasty and very filling. I ate it slowly and chewed each mouthful more than I normally would to make it last longer. I ended the evening with a minor headache but do actually feel lighter and guilt free, a good start to the detox!
A few years ago I was 2 stone overweight, after months of moping I bit the bullet and joined Weight Watchers, within 6 months I was the thinnest I had ever been. Over the past few years the weight has crept back on (plus half a stone more) and now, weeks before my 30th birthday, I want to shed at least some of those pounds, but, not through fad dieting. I need a kick start to change my lifestyle and eating habits, so, after a lot of research I turned to Raw Fairies. Why? Eating raw preserves the enzymes, vitamins and nutrients that are lost during cooking, these essential vitamins and minerals are anti-aging, promote weight-loss, give you more energy, make you glow and can improve mental and emotional health. I had read great reviews about their 'Mini B Cleanse', many fashionistas turn to this popular 5 day detox to get 'front row ready' for the gruelling month that is fashion week, inspired by this I decided to give it a go and signed up. For the next 5 days I will wake up to my daily rations delivered to my door. Plus for 2 days leading up to and 2 days after I must not consume alcohol, caffeine and be strictly vegan, sounds easy? Come back to see how it goes! The 'Mini B Cleanse' costs £295.00 from www.rawfairies.com. Images taken from the website.
Cheryl Cole is back! She was pretty much off the radar in 2011 and has returned of late (brought to my attention by my good friend Anna who is always on Cheryl watch) with both guns blazin'. Since stepping out in Cannes in May she's upped the style stakes, her wardrobe heating up in perfect timing to the release of her single, 'Call My Name', which came out this week and is already the fastest selling single of the year. The clothes are definitely causing a buzz in the press, this lady is EVERYWHERE at the mo. I'm especially loving her current obsession with Charlotte Olympia shoes, so far this week she's been spotted in at least 4 or 5 pairs (close ups of the shoes from the top three images are below). I'm looking forward to seeing what's to come, especially around the week of her album launch, 'A Million Lights', later this month. Images Getty and Splash News.
Get them before they sell out! Shoes from charlotteolympia.com.
I am fanatic about organic and natural products so when I discovered Urtekram at my local natural foods store, Earth, I was overjoyed. Sounds a tad dramatic, but, since watching the BBC3 series 'How Dirty Can I Get?' back in 2007 I've been near obsessed with avoiding products that contain harmful chemicals and artificial nasties. Back in the day natural products were hard to come by and very expensive, in the past few years consumer demand has driven production of more natural and organic products, dramatically bringing down the price and making them more widely available. I used to spend up to 30 quid on a bottle of shampoo, since trying Urtekram's Rose Shampoo my hair has felt healthier, stronger and I'm guilt free about washing the residue down the drain as it only contains aloe vera, coconut and corn sugar soap, vegetable glycerine, levulinic acid, anisic acid, rose flower extract, citric acid and essential oil. At only 4 quid a bottle I'm converted. Images from urtekram.com.
I've been shunning the recent trend for ridiculously coloured nails, yellow? gross, blue? silly... I am not an extra in Star Trek. My default polish is any bright shade of red ranging from 80's glamour puss, nigh on orange, to deep classic clarets. Recently, however, I've been wanting to try out something a little more spring like and have been on the quest for the perfect pink. I am really fussy and have failed to find the right shade so far, Mavala and Essie have come very close to finding that sickly, sweet candied hue reminiscent of Barbie pink plastic accessories, so I decided to create my own. This hybrid lacquer is the love child of Leighton Denny and two shades of Mavala, I am very happy and cannot stop looking at my hands, its a little Essex but I love it (I am a chav at heart). Leighton Denny in Plush Pink, £11.00. Mavala in Wichita (97) and Riga (56), £4.10.
It turns out that you can have your cake and eat it. Many of us find our careers restricted by convention and society, feeling that we must pick one path and stick to it, well that's not me and I'm always enthused when I find other like minded people. I came across Freelance Journalist, Stylist and PR Consultant Katie Antoniou today via my brilliant local community website, The Kentish Towner. After scouring Katie's creative and exciting website KatieAntoniou.com and blog, The London Plinth, I fell in love with her work and was full of admiration for her dedication to all things vintage. Starting out as an intern at Marie Claire for the online team she turned her back on mainstream fashion, from there she headed to luxe vintage e-tailer, Atelier Mayer to create copy for their website, I guess the rest is history (excuse the vintage pun). The vintage scene is booming and will continue to do so, trends may come and go, but, true classics are forever. Our fascination with the past will never cease to inspire us. If you are a massive vintage fan be sure to check out her sites.
Being freelance I often find myself in new work locations, I'm never concerned about how to get there (I'm a travel nerd), what I need to wear or hong long my day is, the question on my lips is always "where's good to go for lunch?!". Unlike many girls in fashion I'm not sample size, but my chance of getting there is greatly increased by eating lunch and breakfast at POD. Apart from being naturally low in fat, carbs and calories POD prides itself on being natural, nutritious and delicious whilst using foods that are fair-trade, have low food miles, are sustainable and organic where possible. On top of that everything is packaged in compostable, sustainable and recycled materials! This aside, the food is really tasty and filling. My favourites are the 'Slow Burner Salad' loaded with seeds, nuts, lentils, barley and veg topped off with feta, peas and mint followed by the 'Cacao and Pistachio Pot', a gorgeous combination of greek style yoghurt sitting on agave nectar, sprinkled with raw cacao nibs and pistachios. If you are a calorie counting obsessive you will be pleased to know that calories and saturated fat are clearly printed everywhere. For now POD only has branches in central London but are slowly branching out, check out their website to find one near you www.podfood.co.uk.
In a last minute decision on Friday morning, merely hours before I was due to catch a train to a friends wedding, I decided that I needed to polish my wedding outfit with a few finishing touches. Previously I had prided myself on the fact that I'd managed to purchase everything online for this weekend's celebrations, but in a last minute rush to Oxford Street to get a belt for my boyfriend's suit I was led astray... When time is short one must head to John Lewis, I know I can get near enough everything under one roof (including a bite of sushi from the Food Hall). On the list was jewellery, a hair accessory and a neutral clutch, good old JL managed to score 2 out of 3...
I don't usually go in for 'matchy matchy' but as I was wearing an un-matching two-piece (top and skirt) instead of a dress, I deemed it acceptable whilst also making my life easier. After scouring the John Lewis Jewellery department I drifted toward the lower price point jewellery, sometimes you gotta keep to a budget! These reasonably priced pieces are from Swimwear designer Melissa Odabash, you can go for gold, rose gold or silver in this gorgeous Lotus flower design. Gold Lotus Cuff Ring £49.00, Lotus Studs £29.00 and Lotus Bracelet £49.00, all triple dipped in 18k gold with crystal detailing.
Fitting in with the 'matchy' theme I selected this hair corsage, which also doubles up as a brooch, to go with my hot pink skinny belt and shoes. Hot Pink Silk Flower Corsage £20.00 from John Lewis.
To mix it up a little I added this dusky pink leather clutch from Etui Bags available in the bags concession section in Topshop's Flagship Oxford Street Store (sadly I can find no info online). They have a great selection in every shade imaginable and have an optional long brass chain strap to make it a chic little day bag. Etui clutch £45.00.