Saturday, November 30, 2013

#interiorpost - Pattern Makes Perfect

As a 20-something year old living abroad, the prospect of owning my own house isn't something that will be cropping up on my agenda any time soon. Not that I wouldn't want it to happen but right now, for me, renting a place within a stones throw from most places in the city centre and being able to nip out for that Mexican I've been craving all week is too good to throw away just yet.

That doesn't mean however, that I cannot dream and Brooklyn-based design company Flat Vernacular has been helping me do this.

My usual swoon comes in the shape of loft conversions and town houses which usually involve a lot of simple lines, hardwood and A-frame windows and all is well with sticking to the minimalist trend in your home but nothing beats a pop of colour... and this is where Flat Vernacular comes in. They've created contemporary, hand drawn and hand printed wallpapers with a mission to 'blur the line between art and design'.

Flat Vernacular Sticker Wallpaper

Peacock & CMY Chaos wallpaper

Dandelion Creatures - Out of the Jungle
Folded Beach Towel
Fruit Doves
Nimbo Noctilucant

All information regarding Flat Vernacular and other styles and products can be found on their site

Sunday, November 24, 2013

#beautypost - Eat your greens

As Winter settles in and the glitz and glam of Christmas is on the horizon, there's always an odd few weeks in-between. Not quite Autumn, with the excitement of Halloween and Bonfire night, and a good few weeks until we can even consider getting into the Christmas spirit, these subdued November nights (weekday or not) are left feeling a little empty.

Sitting in front of the TV (surprise, surprise) on a Friday night, I realised that these few weeks shouldn't be wished away. In 3 weeks time, women all over (I being one of them) will be stressing over their NYE dress dilemma, spending a fortune on make up to cover up their tired, Winter skin and swearing they should never of had that last pack of mince pies.

So why don't we use these few weeks to prepare for the party season? Within the month we could brighten dull skin, give our hair a lift and bring back our natural youth. It doesn't matter how beautiful that Maje dress is... if you're bloated from Christmas choc and your skins lost it's glow then it'll never be worth the hard earned pennies (or time contemplating) that you spent on it. So grab your purse, get to the supermarket and buy the fruit and veg your body deserves before you're let loose on the shortbreads, chocolates and mince pies.

The list of health benefits from fruit and veg is endless. Each one has greater benefits than the last... so I've chosen 3 fruit and vegetables to try this week whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. My mission... to choose 3 new ingredients each week until Christmas. That way, my conscious will be clear when the biscuit tins are opened and wine bottles popped.

Pomegranates. Not only do they prevent breast cancer cells from growing, promote blood circulation and reduce inflammation, pomegranates are filled with antioxidants (even more than the sometimes not so tasty Green Tea.). Because of this, they slow down the ageing process of our skin, in turn, helping with our dry, Winter skin and producing a healthy glow. Not forgetting their natural properties that give extra energy for those dark mornings and cleanse your body, which can help with weight loss. So next time you're about to grab for those honey roasted nuts, cut open a pomegranate and munch on that instead.

Carrots. Get beautiful skin on the inside and out. The vitamin A and antioxidants found in carrots not only protect your skin from sun damage but they also protect your hair, skin and nails from drying, blemishes, acne and wrinkling. They cleanse your body of toxins, clean your teeth and gums (they really do) and if that's not enough...  they prevent heart disease, breast cancer and anti-ageing.

If you want faster results for a quick fix, try using carrots and honey as a face mask.
Mix carrots - antiseptic and regeneration of skin cells
honey - antiseptic and reduces swelling
olive oil - nourishes and cleans the skin
lemon juice (optional) - keeps in moisture, keeps out germs
Leave for 5 minutes and jump in the shower

Avocados. Great with a salad as an easy meal or fresh guacamole; avocados are bursting with Omega-9 fats which help reduce redness and skin irritation... a problem prone to the Winter months. They're also ridiculously high in vitamin E & C, helping us with wrinkles and creating collagen to help with our skin's firmness and elasticity. It should be noted that avocados are high in fat and calories so should be eaten within reason but despite this... the mono saturated fatty acids within avocados are more likely to be used as slow burning energy rather than body fat. This energy keeps your body happier, for longer throughout the day without feeling the need to snack on high sugar, fatty snacks and reducing your hunger and appetite. So.... one good meal with an avocado might hold the same calories as other meals but your body will be energised for much longer, therefore cutting down on other snacks during your day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

#musicpost - Bob Dylan 'Like a Rolling Stone' Interactive Video

Almost 50 years after the song was originally recorded, Bob Dylan has decided to target the interactive generation with his first official video for 'Like a Rolling Stone'.

It's been claimed a strange, somewhat odd, attempt at trying to get the digital age on board with music that reaches back half a century but in my eyes it's a bit of fun for a cracking song. Have a toggle between the 16 channels, sit back and enjoy.

Long live Dylan.

Watch the full video at

Bob Dylan 'Like a Rolling Stone' Manchester Free Trade Hall 1966

Thursday, November 21, 2013

#stylepost - Winter simple

Don't get me wrong... I like my fair share of statement jewellery; from Zara's jewelled necklace collections to YSL's iconic Arty rings and the rise of Michael Kors and his wrist watches. So far this year it's been all about the bling.

However, as the trees start to shed their leaves and the frosty mornings start to creep up I can't help but want (need) to dress with more simplicity. The chilly mornings mean I no longer spring from my bed and I definitely don't have all the time in the world to choose my outfit, set my hair and slap on some make up. So with my chunky jumper, messy hair and bare-face I just don't think it's that easy to pull off a bold necklace or eye catching set of rings with my minimal (lazy) look. Instead, I've started to keep it simple... stacking slim, band rings, a pendant necklace and nude nails. I have also never been more grateful for the low pony look that seems to be catching on since Summer has disappeared... it's just asking for us to have that extra 10 minutes in bed.

Turn your half-asleep, dishevelled look into a 'I'm meant to look like this' and throw on a soft knit jumper, chunky scarf and a thick leather.

Note of caution: It might soften the sleepy look but, sadly, will not help with those under eye shadows.

H&M Mixed Set of Band Rings  (£3.99)
Available in silver & gold

Monica Vinader Hammered Ring 18ct Gold Plated (£50)
Monica Vinader Siren Wide Band Ring in Lapiz 18ct Gold Plated (£140)

&OtherStories Brass Ring Set (£12.99)
Michael Kors Tortoise-Inset Ring (£46) Neiman Marcus

Liu Wen sporting a low pony @ CFDA

Pulled-apart ponytail Calvin Klein

Sunday, November 17, 2013

#stylepost - Long Live the Bomber

Come Winter, I can never be more excited to throw on a chunky coat, a thick knit jumper and drown myself in an oversized scarf.
Although, I do admit that Cordoba is getting colder and colder, day by day, it's still nothing compared to the Manchester temperatures that I'm used to. A leather jacket is perfect for the sunny days but when night-time falls my teeth begin chattering. That said, it's impossible to get by with my favourite thick knit, navy coat, especially on my daily cycles to work.
This is why the return of the bomber jacket has been my lifeline so far this Winter. Light and stylish enough for the days and padded enough to throw on after a few vinos down at our local bar.

The best thing is, you can bag yourself a bomber no matter what your budget... from Zara's TRF collection to Mango, H&M to Emma Cook... they're all at it.


Mango Metallic Jacquard Bomber Jacket (£59.99)

Jacket: Mango
T-Shirt: H&M
Jeans: Topshop
Boots: Carvela

Floral bomber (£59.00)
Sequin bomber (£69.99)
Paisley bomber (£39.00)

Embroidered bomber (£69.99)
Checked bomber (£29.99)

Emma Cook Printed Bomber (£400)

Isabel Marant pour H&M Reversible Bomber Jacket (£79.99) Sold out

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

#beautypost - Bee-eautiful Winter Lips

Anyone will know that a spoonful of honey (or in my case 2 or 3) over your morning muesli, your brunch-time teacake, a side full of fried aubergines at dinner or a late night Greek yoghurt makes for a perfect eat.
I found this out during my student years when I realised pouring honey over my yoghurt made for a much cheaper treat than my old friend Haagen Dazs and it didn't hate my hips and thighs so much either.

However, this week I've found a completely new reason as to why honey is my savour thanks to the Winter weather that's slowly creeping in Cordoba's direction.
Now that November is here, with the breezy 20 degree days come the brisk bike rides home every night and I really don't think this change in temperature is doing my skin or lips any good. My skin's holding up for now but my lips have taken the brunt of it having become dry and cracked within a matter of days. After having tried multiple lip balms, I'd almost given up and told myself once February comes they'll be back to their normal selves once again... until I remembered my old friend honey!

So.. I did a bit of research and it's true. The antibacterial and antiseptic qualities prevent infection, rejuvenate skin and  prevent discolouration, giving your lips a natural, rosy tint.
All you need to do is apply a drop of honey to your bottom lip, smack and spread it around like you would with regular lip balm and then the trickiest part... wait patiently (that means no licking) until the honey has dried, creating a moisture barrier around your lips and there you go! Try it 2 or 3 times a day for a day or so and your lips will be soft and plump like never before.

Now that I've realised just how good honey is for your lips Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm (£3.69) has never looked so good!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

#foodpost - Courgette fritters

When the clock strikes midday on a lazy Sunday afternoon my eyes have a bad habit of going straight to the kitchen cupboards. If it's not to feast on the delights inside, then it's to whip up something of my own.

Sadly, I don't have the nifty fingers and patience to make an oh so pretty cake so I tend to go for the savoury options in which I can overuse the word 'rustic'... tasty but not so easy on the eyes.

So here you have it... my 'rustic' courgette fritters teamed with a rocket salad, cherry tomatoes and fresh boquerones (anchovies in vinegar). The recipe (below) is simple and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish..

50ml plain flour
2 eggs
50ml milk
1 courgette
1/4 white onion 
1 tbsp oil to cook

To start on your fritters grab a mixing bowl and add your flour. Once in, make a small well in the centre for your eggs.
Add the eggs and mix together well.
Then, add the milk and salt and pepper for seasoning.
Once, everything's mixed together add your vegetables. I used courgette and onions but adding sweetcorn, peppers or spinach would be good too.

When your mixture's ready heat the oil in the pan and add spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan for 3 minutes on each side. When your fritters are golden... voila!

This recipe makes about 10 fritters so feel free to half the measurements.

Eat with a salad at lunch or with some crusty bread for supper.