Thursday, 28 October 2010
As I write, it's just half an hour until my leaving party from Glamour magazine (chi chi bar! free drinks!). Yes. I'm going. And I'm still in denial (even my Prada-inspired party outfit of a nipped-in print dress, knee-high socks, patent shoes and film noir red lips isn't easing the blow). You see, even though my new job is a great career move (I'm off to be the Assistant Editor and Fashion Director - whoop! - of the Mail's Weekend supplement), I am going to miss my friends and the fabulousness of Glamour so much.
I will miss the outfit scrutinising and admiring. I will miss spending hours debating the saturated fat content of Pret A Manger sandwiches together. I will miss the razzle dazzle of our Women of the Year awards, mingling with the A-list and primping and preening as if we're the stars.
I'll miss my triumvirate of desk buddies - blonde, gloriously evil and hilarious.
No longer will I smugly be able to use the Glamour name to get me inside the hottest parties, onto guest lists, into the sample sales. No longer will I feel a swell of pride whilst sitting beside a girl on the train, who's reading a feature I've written (which happened just last night). New adventures lie ahead - putting my stamp on a new product, dipping my toe into the world of hacks and suits - real journalism, the school of hard knocks - the place from which anything is possible. It's scary, but I have never been the kind of girl to turn down a challenge.
And hopefully, although I'm saying goodbye to Glamour, I'll always be glamorous.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
I stumbled across these rather beautiful cupcakes online. I have a real thing for black where it shouldn't be (like on a pretty little cake). It's such a grounding colour in amongst all the frou frou that tends to happen around cakes - and weddings. Yes, I am still wedding planning away, and adoring every second of it. My fabulous pal Zoe is making our wedding cakes - that do have a few dashes of black - as do our invites, decor, flowers (some anemones hopefully) and perhaps even our wedding outfits (who knows, I haven't bought my dress yet - but I feel like I'm getting closer...). I love blush pink with black, and eau de nil, and navy. I'm not exactly a goth (probably the furthest you can get from it), but sometimes, there's nothing better than going back to black.
but I am a big fan of this french dresser - at least you'd know where all your clothes were... It's by Wary Meyers and in the right bedroom I think it would be super cool. It's the kind of piece of furniture you'd create an entire room around. I see it with candy pink walls behind. I don't have any candy pink walls and I am not sure I'd get something like this past my chap. Plus I have a tendency to veer towards statement anything, because, let's face it, buying basics is boring .
Monday, 25 October 2010
This Autumn is all about ankle boots. I feel like they're the one item that makes slim legged trousers, shorts and skirts all look fresh and completely now. But I am reserving my pennies as I have a pair of these newbies on their way from designer Kat Maconie. She's adorable (we had cappuccinos at Patisserie Valerie a few weeks back) and apart from being super talented, she's also marvelously savvy. Her USP? She puts bespoke rubber cushioning inside all her ankle boots. So they look like something off a catwalk yet feel like your comfiest slippers. Okay, probably not quite, but you can easily go a day in them... My pair will be navy suede. I literally cannot wait for them to enter my world.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
I'm really having a earring moment. Which is annoying, because I don't actually own a lot of earrings, so I'm finding it hard to scratch this itch without making my credit card whimper. Isabel Marant kick-started the trend for danglies again, but what's working for me right now is a cluster, worn with a slightly disheveled up-do - totally inspired (as always) by Mad Men. I also saw a snap of Ashley Olsen, a while back, rocking a pair of ostentatious clusters with a marl grey sweatshirt and I haven't been able to get that high-low combo out of my mind either... Anyway, I'd be happy with any of these from J.Crew. Esp the first ones. Sigh.
NB - I know the second ones are dangly, but I couldn't resist adding them too - how cool?!
We have friends coming for dinner tonight (Newlyweds! Can't wait for a wedding post-analysis - it was classic, traditional and gorgeous - ribs of beef delivered to every table, delicious dessert wine, a hog roast and the bride in a giant meringue confection with a phenomenally wasp-like waist! Bliss!) Anyway, for a change, I'm on main course duty and I'm falling back on a new old-faithful: Nigella's toad in the hole with thyme. It's perfect for the frosty day (first day this year I've been able to see the mist of my breath in the icy air). My chap is whipping up a dessert. Literally. He's decided on chocolate mousse - light but louche. I've just emailed him this recipe for salted caramel chocolate mousse. How good does that sound? I have my fingers crossed that he'll indulge me...
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
It seems like everyone has jumped on the slogan sweater front again. And, well you know, I like type and I always have something to say, oh and I'm always cold too. So this may seem like a no-brainer purchase - especially after I stumbled across this love-struck version at GAP (available in the UK too). But then, everyone shops at GAP, so that pretty much means everyone will have this sweater. Also, it's so Bella Freud-inspired, that it just made me think, well I'd rather have one from Bella Freud. Which of course is £200 as opposed to £20. Which is why I always find myself broke!
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Reasons I love this Anntian Scarf from Creatures of Comfort:
1. It's HUGE.
2. Lovely wintery hues - a bit of monochrome, dashed with rose pink for essential cheeriness.
3. The pattern is a bit Aztec, a bit geometric, very striking and immeasurably wearable.
4. It could jazz up a black blazer of sweater and skinny pants .
5. Yet is big enough to wrap around a black dress as a substitute coat (on the night's you can afford a cab!).
Cool pic too!
I'm such a cliche. I love shoes. I sometimes feel annoyed that all girls essentially love shoes and fall hopelessly for a high heel, completely prepared to blow our entire wage packet on something we can barely walk in. I wish I was being a little left-field with my footwear obsession, but I'm blatantly not, as my shoe closets attests. (On a separate note, I think our addiction to shoes comes from the fact that our feet don't really change sizes - unlike our bottoms or hips - so shopping for the perfect pump never carries the same chance of a potential body-hatred thunder cloud that a clothes shopping trip could prompt...) Anyway, the second reason I'm pathetically obvious is that I cherish cupcakes. I'm not a savoury freak (although I'd never say no to a hunk of bread and cheese), but I crave a sugary sweet treat like it's owed to me. And a cupcake? Well it's the pinnacle of charming cakey-ness isn't it? Yesterday afternoon I practically threw a childish strop and insisted to my chap that I was near collapse unless coffee and a cupcake passed my lips. I needed the sugar (but I'm not proud)! Had there been a Violet nearby, I'd definitely have snapped up one of their darling miniature sugar hits (calories before cravings). They're based in east London and have delicious sounding flavours like violet, salted caramel and fragolina grape. There's a new cookbook too... Irresistible.
I'm madly in love with these beautiful bikes. Imagine the wolf whistles and shout-outs you'd get atop these two-wheelers! I don't think they're actually in existence yet, but you can find out more here. My chap has been gunning for me to get a bike for a couple of years now and while nothing brings me more joy than zooming around the French country lanes near my mum's house, Joni Mitchell whimsily warbling on my iPod, the idea of London's nutter drives, smog and soggy streets does not exactly convince me that I'm destined to become a city cyclist.
Thursday, 14 October 2010
So, I have old family friends coming for lunch on Sunday and along with roast lamb, I'm planning a classic pud - with a twist. I quite like attempting to tweak recipes (once I've mastered the traditional version), so this time I'm going to gussy up a bread and butter pudding with cherries and almonds (this cherry bakewell pairing can't-fail, right?). In lieu of raisins (which you sometimes soak in brandy or even Baileys), I'm going to buy dried cherries and leave them to puff up in a slosh of Amaretto. I'll use brioche instead of the usual bread to give my pudding an even more buttery, pillowy texture and I may even sprinkle the top with some flaked almonds right at the end too. I'm planning to follow this Jamie Oliver recipe and customise it with my own flourishes. I'll keep you posted, and, if it's a success, share the recipe!
This afternoon I'm jumping on a plane to Berlin - and tomorrow I'll be home again. I'm off to the set of the new Three Musketeers movie to interview the cast. This is in equal parts fabulous and kind of a schlep. The chance to hang out with a few A-list actors (like Orlando Bloom) and to get a glimpse of a big budget movie being filmed, never ever loses it's appeal, even after 12 years in the business. I still have those "I am SO lucky!" moments when I find myself fraternising with the famous, or getting an inside peek into the glitzy entertainment world or being spoilt rotten because for that millisecond (thanks to my job), I am a V.I.P. But (and I don't mean to be all cry me a river about it), along with the 'jetting to Germany', there is time to kill in different airports (and two flights in less than 24 hours), not a second to spare to actually explore the city, having to be charming, chatty and jazz-handy the entire time, and most importantly, not having anyone to share the experience with. The twangs of the world's smallest violin. I know!
I have just snapped up one of these gorgeous London prints from Bold & Noble. They're a new design for the company and completely charming. Totally up my street (actually my street isn't on here, but my neighbourhood gets a shout out, last name on the bottom right-hand corner - which makes me love it even more!)
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Tipsy shopping is dangerous. Last night my gorgeous work pal Corrie and I went to a press event at Selfridges. We vowed not to drink. It was a Monday after all. We also vowed not to scoff too many canapes. Two and a half glasses of champagne and approx 14 canapes each later and we staggered out of the fancy launch and into the hallowed halls of Selfridges. An hour later we were a few hundred pounds lighter and carrying giant yellow shopping bags, riding on the high of a spontaneous splurge. We both snapped up a winter coat from chi chi French brand Maje. It's a new favourite (along with Sandro), one of those places where you want everything and can almost justify purchasing bits so long as you promise to love them forever. I could have bought everything there. In the end I went classic and splashed out on a beautiful navy pea coat with chunky gold buttons (above). I have a beloved knee-length black Marc Jacobs coast which I've lived in for about six years and will continue to do so, but this is my short snappy alternative. I completely love it. My chap isn't so sure. I'm hoping it will grow on him...
COAT UPDATE: After saying my new purchase was "just another navy coat", my chap seems to have relented and has since watched me sashay down the street in it and texted to say it looked fab and was a keeper. Corrie's husband said her chic minimalist black number with leather trim made her look like Trigger from Only Fools & Horses. Suffice it to say she's still undecided. But, seriously, what does he know?!!
Sometimes I miss living in New York. Usually it's my incredible friends that I crave and the colour and clatter of the streets: the trio who seemed to get on my subway carriage at least once at week and sing 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight', the coconut and lemon layer cake at Dean & Deluca, the grandeur of those few blocks of Fifth Avenue between Central Park South and 57th Street, the cobbled backstreets and lust-worthy brownstones of the West Village, the buzz of feeling like you were in centre of everything - and anything was possible. Today I am just sad that this amazing coffee table from Oly, which I spied on Design Sponge, isn't available to buy in the UK.
Monday, 11 October 2010
How cool is this wallpaper from designer Tracy Kendall? Apparently she creates bespoke designs as well as working with fonts, 3D and household objects (from a pile of old worn paperbacks to a fancy set of cutlery). I'd like to use the giant cutlery in my kitchen or dining room and the tower of books in my library (obv I don't have a library, but this is a minor glitch in my master decor plan!!)
Friday, 8 October 2010
It's a momentous day for us, because after almost two years of dating, and four months of being engaged, our mothers are finally meeting. I completely adore my mama - a brilliant, spirited, beautiful woman, who I could happily (and do often) while away hours with over a bottle of wine or a pot of tea. I know my chap feels the same about his ma. Tonight, they will both stay at our house and together we will whip up a celebratory feast for them. After a glass of bubbly, we'll dine on Jamie Oliver's fig, mozzarella and parma ham salad, followed by a pea risotto with scallops (which my chap stole from a friend and has been recreating faithfully ever since) and to finish, Skye Gyngell's walnut tart (using the sackload of nuts my mum harvested from her French walnut tree) with homemade coffee ice cream (it's my second attempt - first time around I made it by infusing milk with fresh coffee, but the end result was weirdly powdery, so I made a second batch with instant coffee. Sounds declasse, but at least this time around you don't feel like you're slurping on the remnants of a cafetiere!). I'm hoping the conversation will flow and they'll be as smitten with each other as we are. I'm hoping for tipsy indulgent exclamations about how proud they are of us/how fabulous the nuptials will be/how well they'll co-ordinate their mothers-of-the-newly-weds outfits. But we may get handbags at dawn instead - we'll see...!
Thursday, 7 October 2010
This is my do of the moment - a Prada-inspired bun. It's simply a ponytail, backcombed to within an inch of it's life, curled into a bun and pinned on the top of head. It's prim and a little retro, but slightly eccentric too due to the size of the bun (bigger is better). Great tied with a head scarf - or if you're Doutzen Kroes a cable knit headband.
Today, Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP was all about her favourite food bloggers. Of course I was fascinated to read her picks. Ever since discovering she has a brick pizza oven in her back garden and makes her own stock I've loved her with new eyes (and that blonde/frosty/ice queen/Grace Kelly thing had already made me a loyal devotee). One of her top choices was the simply divine Cannelle et Vanille. It's practically food porn. Her images are so elegant they make you salivate with longing. I think I'll work my way through her blog, recipe by recipe...
Just spied these rather lovely Beatrix Ong flats on the Outnet, and just as I was debating whether I could justify them/how I'd explain their spot on the shoe rack to my chap/what they'd go with/whether I am more a flats girl or a heels girls... my size disappeared!! If you love them too, don't wait a second longer!!
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
... Again. But this book is top of my must-read-when-I-finish-Jilly-Cooper-and-this-month's-British-Vogue list. Sloane Crosley is supposedly a mix of Dorothy Parker and David Sedaris and enough people have told me that her essays are a fresh and witty perspective on the same stuff that we all dwell upon, to make me hit up Amazon for a copy...
Monday, 4 October 2010
And here I am in my rose and gold finery, complete with a powdered decolletage, towering wig (in which I affixed an assortment of bows and a tiny pink bird), beauty spot, oh and a pair of gold Jimmy Choos (I think Marie Antoinette would have approved). My chap did a dashing turn as D'Artagnan. A few guests commented that we should just walk down the aisle in these get-ups. Well if the wedding dress shopping doesn't pan out... The party was a riot with more Breton and berets than the banks of the Seine. I also whipped up a vanilla cake with blue berries and raspberries to represent the French tricolor flag, which went down a storm too (it was from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook - decidedly moreish!). Vive le France!