Thursday, October 16, 2014

#lifestylepost - Thinking Inside the Box... Curated Packages

I love surprises.
You love surprises.
We all love surprises.

They're there to say thank you, I love you, congratulations... there's a million reasons for a surprise, however big or small, but the 'no reason' reason is just my favourite.
Thanks to the grow in on-line curated packages we can now treat ourselves and the ones we love to little boxes of goodies for... I suppose... no reason at all.

Now, we've officially approached the hump of October.
Darker nights, shorter days, lazier Sundays.

So if the whole 'no reason at all' idea isn't quite doing it for you then think of it this way... It's getting to that time of year, just before the sparkle of Christmas... as soon as we clock out, we feel ourselves homing towards the sofa a little more often, that cosy, old jumper we had to peel off ourselves last Winter has once again become our new best friend and baking, red wine and some sort of new TV series are our new found hobbies. No? Just me? Ok, well...this is of course inevitable and I do kind of like it but a little parcel to yourself or someone under the same roof every now and then can do no harm and can definitely add a little more excitement to your day, week, month... you choose.

Just have a look at my favourite picks... you might think I'm an easily pleased, crazy lady right now but I'm sure you'll be standing right next to me after a quick scroll.

A little on the expensive side and in high demand due to well known writers, influential bloggers, chefs and even musicians picking themselves as curators. If you choose the right curator for you I do think the price is worth it over 3 months as a personal treat to yourself.
Prices range from $25-$100 every 3 months and you can choose who curates your box, along with a note explaining each item. 
Current curators include Nina Garcia, Pharrell Williams, Rosario Dawson, GQ and Food52.

International shipping and parcels starting at £19.
Tell them your preferences and receive a monthly parcel from independent artists and designers.

The food parcel idea isn't too new but living away from home, it's nice to buy bits and pieces to keep in the cupboard for the days we've had it up to here with paella (that was simply to make a point... that will never happen... long live Paella)
UK based and monthly prices start at £20. Fine foods, delicious snacks and craft beers... which leads me to my next site...

4. Beer52

For £24 a month Beer52 will deliver to your door 8 bottles of craft beer chosen by experts.

And last but not least... Turntable Kitchen. 
Something that I was a little confused with at the start but after a look at what they actually do I think their idea is quite fresh and dare I say it... quite a cute idea.
With their pairings box you receive 1-2 premium recipes, 3 seasonal recipes, tasting notes and yes... a digital mixtape + 7" vinyl to pair new music to your recipes.
Pairing boxes are priced at $25 a month with international shipping available.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#stylepost - Hair play... Flowers and Hoops

It's fair to say that I'm a one hair style kind of girl. 
Maybe on a Monday morning my hair will see a ponytail but not the big, bouncy, volume type... no... It's a lot more like the 'I didn't wash my hair last night' kind... And maybe once every blue moon I'll venture to a plait.

Because of this some might say lazy habit with my hair I'm always on the look out for hair accessories but however much I love the hair scarves, cottons bows etc. number 1 they just don't suit me and number 2 I can't master the hair scarf trick... trust me, I've tried plenty!

So browsing on the internet this week I've found two dream accessories that are wiggling their ways into this seasons trends.

Firstly and least likely for me but oh so dreamy is the hair rose from Dolce and Gabbana at MFW.
It being a tribute to Spain is enough for me to love it as well as the matador inspired outfits and Flamenco polka dots on show giving me flashbacks to Cordoba, feria and sevillanas.
Loosen the buns, downsize the flower and wear with something simple and I think the hair flower could work day-to-day.

Second of all a little less romantic and something I can't wait to try out are the Aeon hair rings by Regal Rose. They're Rodarte SS15 for us tame ones and they're inexpensive... €14 on Asos for international buys and from £8 on REGALROSE.COM. They come in both gold and silver and pack size depends on the hair length you have. For people like me that wear their hair down come rain, snow or sunshine and need a bit of a mix up when it comes to Friday night hair then they look perfect. 

As soon as pay day comes, they'll be in my basket.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

#stylepost - Charlotte Simone '14 Faux-ever Fur

The faux fur trend isn't exactly new right now... it's been hanging around for the past few Winters in silky forms of jackets, hoods, headbands, stoles and scarves and it's never really appealed to me until the British based designer Charlotte Beecham and her brand Charlotte Simone caught my eye this LFW.

Although not exclusively a fur brand, in fact her ultimate focus is to 'reinvent the scarf' from fur to knits to woven fabrics, Charlotte Beecham does do a cracking good faux fur scarf. Unfortunately, a large handful of the scarves are available in real fur but since that's not for me I've drawn up a wish list of the faux friends to those. 

I usually find that when a designer stocks faux it somewhat feels cheaper and cheated and doesn't live up to the quality of what it should be but even Charlotte herself has said '...while I understand that some people choose fake fur rather than real as a lifestyle choice, I really didn't want to offer it just as a cheap alternative. It needed to be as beautiful as real fur - and in some styles it actually looks better." 2013.

Taken from @charlottesimone_ Instagram 

So from a freshman in Paris to her time at NYU to September's LFW these scarves have soared. Big on my wishlist are the most obvious.. The Popsicle... the stripey + khaki style is my favourite. Although for a more affordable style and a little less sought after I am a fan of the slimmer looking (not too sure if it actually is slimmer) Candycane... the blue style teamed with the H&M black maxi coat would be dreamy with Autumn.

Warning: Look at your own risk... with Harvey Nichols current 15% off promo code AW14SHOW you will want to buy one


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#travelpost - First thoughts on Valencia, Spain

My posts are starting to become few and far between but after a loonnngg July/August of summer school, home to Manchester and a move to my new city I think I'm back on track.

We've been in Valencia for a little over two weeks now and I'm not missing home just yet.
From the chilly, old, Castille town of Aranda de Duero two years ago and flower-pot filled Cordoba with it's winding Andalucian streets.. Valencia feels the closest to home out of all of our moves so far.

It's home to rows and rows of 6-7-8 floor art deco apartment buildings in the centre of town, nested above supermarkets, health food shops and I'm sure if not more four Zara stores... all within walking distance from each other. On top of this, there are some smaller, more independent shops in the area to the right of Plaza Ayuntamiento and some bigger names in the area around Mercado de Colon... Maje, Sandro, COS, Hoss.
Shopper's paradise.

Money hasn't really allowed me to do any shopping so far so I've been sticking to the coffee bar hangouts in the bohemian labyrinth of El Carmen, 'hip' Ruzafa and a couple of rough and ready cafĂ© filled spots in between.. It's a bustling, energetic, working city... with a beach 20 minutes away.

I still haven't had bags of time (or money) to test out all of the bars and restaurants that I've found just yet and will add some posts accordingly when I get round to them. 

For a quick low down of Ruzafa visit GUIA RUSSAFA



Sunday, June 15, 2014

#foodpost - Illustrated Guide to Spanish Coffee

It's currently 40 degrees in Cordoba, a siesta is about to kick in and my milky, English skin is slowly but surely becoming a little darker.

You'd think the last thing that I needed to be writing about right now is coffee and you would be right... 4pm in the heart of June is not the time for coffee but it's hard to go for too long in a Spanish city without it.

Today my parents left back to Manchester and my sister is still here, about to spend her mornings in the windy streets, her afternoons lay under the air conditioning and her evenings doing some extensive people watching. 

Now, I'm no coffee expert but I know there are certain times of the day when a good coffee is necessary and a coffee too strong or weak for your taste can ruin your afternoon laze-about. So, to prepare for my family visit and to fill a slow hour on the balcony, I spent my Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago drawing a little drinks guide to help them with their Spanish. It contains only the basics but there's a drink for every mood.

Looking through my old photos, a quick mention to a favourite coffee spot in Manchester 'North Tea Power' in the Northern Quarter... On a sunny day, try their Affogato!! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

#musicpost - Brooklyn Based Band 'Wet'

A quick post for a lazy Sunday.

It's 2pm and I'm still lay on my bed (atleast not in my pyjamas) and whilst a fraction of my mind is on my Pinterest feed, another slice is on the chattering of people outside my front door and then there's the part trying to find the perfect Sunday afternoon playlist. 
And then I remember coming across 'Wet', a trio based in Brooklyn, and their unreleased song 'Weak' a few weeks ago and thinking why didn't I look them up sooner?

Two guys and a girl playing melancholic music, a hint of soul and R&B and yes, it can sound a little girl-groupy.. in the best. way. ever.

So, here you have it, a few songs and singles alike from 'Wet'.

If you find the lead female as memorising as I do then look her up.
Kelly Zutrau... She sure knows how to pull off the baggy tee/jeans and messy hair thing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#foodpost - Escabeche de Cebolla Morada Recipe? Let's Taco 'Bout It

(Please mind the pun)

A quick easy to do recipe for Mexican style pickled red onions.
Throw them on top of a corn tortilla (still haven't mastered) topped with seasoned, spicy pork, crunchy guacamole, white beans, a hot hot salsa and a squeeze of lime.

Ok, first off you need a handful of ingredients and a small bowl or cup.

Half a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 red onion

With a pan of boiling water, pop your thinly sliced onion in for 20-30 seconds to soften.
Have everything else in a cup, mixed well until the sugar's dissolved and once softened, add your onions (still warm if possible).
Cover or add the lid if you've got one and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

They're super easy and look incredible!!
(No one will care how secretly simple they were to make once they see how bright and tasty they look on the table)

I will leave you with some taco photos sent from the heavens that I'm currently drooling over on Pinterest. I'm sure they'll give you some ideas for topping!

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