31 January 2015

The Essentials For Your DIY Spa Party At Home


With one of the most miserable of months of the year finally coming to a (much-anticipated) end, it's safe to admit that it's been one heck of an arduous month to get through complete with numerous feet-stomping tantrums & wailing paddies! January is notoriously a month of pure utter misery & anxiety which is why I now refer to it as Janxiety. Quite frankly, in no way whatsoever am I sorry to see it go & quite gallantly wave it adieu for another 365 days! Good riddance to its ugly mug!
So adios Janxiety you regrettably sober, sugar-craving, celery bunny-munching month!

Hola February you long lost friend! Here's to a sprightly month of optimism, spring-bloomings & some extra dollar peeping out of our back pockets to fritter on those new season must-haves! To excitedly welcome & embrace a time of seasonal change & reward yourself for making it through moody miss January, what better way is there to pat yourself on the back with a little bit of indulgent pamper R+R? Your purse needn't shudder & tremble as you begin to reinstate your usual frivolous spending habits (trust us, leave it for the new-season stock ladies) as you can save the pennies & get just as much luxurious TLC with a DIY spa day where leaving the confines of your sofa duvet set-up is entirely unnecessary!


I've rummaged around & unearthed some fabulous at-home treatments, tips & tricks to get you glowing in glory from the top of your swishing mane of pride & glory down to your prettily preened tootsies! So rally round your girls, grab some notoriously tasty nibbles, slip into your fluffy robes & towel-soft slippers, crack open the bubbly whilst you unplug & crank up the booty-shakin' music!
Go on girls, treat yourself to some restorative relaxing fun with our round-up of these at-home rejuvenating makeover essentials...

Allow me to lead you to the relaxation room ladies!

(1). Put together a killer Playlist
Now this is all depends on the type of vibe you want going on! If you're on your tod & fancy a complete haven of zen & serenity then clear out your living room for space & to get that feng shui loving going!  Get some exotic spicy fruit incense crackling & pop some soft & mellow music on for some tinkling background echoes. If a girly gossip party with your best girls is more your calling then turn up the bass on one these top playlists from radio 1! They're the perfect antidote to get your booty's shaking, hips movin' & those toes tip tapping (but bare in mind not to smudge your fresh pedis!).


(2). Refuel with some tasty tipples & nourishing nosh! With you rushed off your feet working hard chillin' out, maxin', relaxin', you've got to be sure to re-fuel your tired muscles with some delicious & nutritious munch. Here's a selection of my favourite picks...

  • Fresh fruit skewers with cinnamon dusted greek yoghurt dips
  • Set up a mini candy-bar : fill up some of your empty glass jars with some old-fashioned favourites like smarties, mini-eggs, fruity dusted bonbons, strawberry jellies, gummy bears & marshmallow drops!
  • Trays of salsa, sour cream yoghurt dips, peri-peri hummus & lightly salted tortilla chips for a Mexican infusion.
  • Finger nibbling sandwich bites filled with Philadelphia cream cheese, cucumber slices, smoked salmon...whatever takes your fancy!
  • Pitchers of ice-cold water with sliced up strawberries, grapes, cucumber, lemon & orange wedges.
  • Pitchers of homemade icy rum mojito with cucumber slices & a sprinkling of fresh mint!
  • A jug of frutti-tutti homemade watermelon martinis (This recipe is rather scrummy!)

(3). The Basic essentials for an at-home spa haven experience...
  • A plate of cucumber slices to pop on your tired eyes, sit back & relish the chilled out ambience. 
  • Tootsie treatments like a silky nourishing foot oil
  • DIY foot soaks! A couple of plastic bowls/ washing up bowls filled with aromatherapy bubble froth & nourishing salts will give you a seriously luxurious foot bath! If you really want to go all out then why not chuck in your pet goldfish for an all-out nibbly treat & plop in a few of his pebbles from the tank to really massage those tired soles of yours!
  • The mandatory pedicure & manicure stations! Find inspiration for some new season colours & designs by flicking through magazines & finding inspiration online at Pinterest!
  • A tumbling tack of the new-month magazines to get your nose stuck into whilst your tootsie treatments glisten & dry. 
  • Treating your face base with a selection of face mask packs you can pick that can easily be picked up from boots or why not try getting creative by whipping up some fruity n' flowery concoctions yourself! Pinterest is a great place to look for some homemade inspiration!
  • Hair masques, oils & supermarket plastic sandwich bags to wrap around your heads for DIY hair caps are a great way of really kicking back & getting your head (& hair) into the ultimate spa experience!
  • A range of scented candles to burn & flicker...just remember to keep them well away from the foot baths! Some cheeky tipples, water & fire do not remedy a recipe for a care-free relaxing spa experience - though the arrival of some hunky firefighters to save the day wouldn't go amiss! 
  • Arrange & set out a pamper station complete with lots of fluffy hand towels, cotton-wool balls, nail files, nail scissors, nail polishes, lotions and potions! If you ask your girls to each bring a couple of polishes & clippers, you'll soon find yourselves with a great selection to pick n' choose from.

A great little tip that I'll definitely be doing at my next girly catchup is to place a bag just in the entrance of your doorway so that as each guest arrives, they can "unplug" themselves from any form of social media. By dropping all iPhones, iPads & variety of devices & scurrying it away to avoid any temptation will lighten up the entire day - trust us! Not only will it show you that there is a life without the internet, it gives you a technology detox & a peaceful day entirely dedicated to yourself & reconnecting with your friends the old-fashioned way - Puuurfect!


[Also available to read at Couture Stories]
[Photo Source Inspiration: Pinterest]
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30 January 2015

Colour Combinations To Make You Bloom This Spring



As we tumble into the new fashion season getting our hungry hands clapping excitedly at the goodies waltzing down the runways of the eagerly awaited fashion shows, I've put together a little something for you all as a delightful lil' pre-treat! I've cast my beady eye upon the 2015 pre-season collections and rummaged together a little selection of the most alluring colour forecasts you need to get hanging in your wardrobes! 

Prepare to find these gorgeous tones & patterns cropping up all over the shops & in your wardrobes fit to make you bloom this spring!

Without further adieu I present to you, the colourful Spring hues to watch blossom & flourish...  

Mellow Yellow
[Get Inspired: Michael Kors, Rosie Assoulin, Ralph Lauren]

Before you titter tutter, we assure you that there's a shade of the sunshine for every girl out there. From grown-up mustard sophistication, little miss happy canary street to sprightly fresh marigold, there's a spectrum of this smile-inducing colour palette that'll not only leave you in the fashion lookbooks but will leave you with a spring in your step as opposed to feeling like big bird's twin sister. To offset & soften the bold shade & stop it looking too brash, pair these tones with pillowy rose pinks and subtle roasted almond browns.

Checkmate
[Get Inspired: Diane Von Furstenberg, Thakoon, DKNY]

The timeless combination of black & white will never walk off the fast-paced runway & it's rearing its' head yet again this Springtime. Whilst this colour pair is not revolutionary to our fashion wardrobes, what sets this twosome ahead of the game this season are the fantastically alluring & refreshingly original play upon textures, prints & patterns that's going to do fabulous things in streamlining & highlighting our silhouettes ladies.



White out
[Get Inspired: Zuhair Murad, John Rocha, Oscar de la Renta] 

Forget about being Oh Miss Cautious & planning the perfect day, perfect weather, perfect occasion & perfect dining to take your pristine white skinnies for an outing & go all out in all-white styling(embrace that mozzarella crusted tomato-basil pomodora dish madam!) White was awash the runways this season & is a simple way of keeping even the most basic of ensembles sleek, fresh & structured. To keep this look from falling into boring be sure to inject some understated attention through playful styling upon texture mixes, layering & spectrum shade combinations from coffee stained creams to the dazzling shines of detergent-white brights. 



Hello Officer Green
[Get Inspired: Marc Jacobs, Marissa Webb, Jason Wu]

Military action was all a-flurry on the marching runway so stand up, buck up & pay attention to the fashion instructions comrades! Keep your fashion foot inline & follow suit with belts, pocket emblazoned boxy tops & khaki loose-fitting silk trousers. The army life is in your fashion vernacular now so keep it relaxed, luxe & softened with feminine silhouettes to stop yourself looking too utilitarian. Mix n'match with softer tones like rose pink as let's face it, no one wants to wind up looking like an olive starter at Zizzis!



Red Blush
[Get Inspired: Monique Lhuillier, Giambattista Valli, Valentino]

This is the secret sizzler colour combination that is guaranteed to place your style credentials into instant laid-back perfection. Chuck away the outdated fashion bible that prohibits the pairing of opposing colours and work these two statement tones for a transitional look that flirts with modern beauty & nails the glitz & ease of old-school glamour.



Ice Blossom
[Get Inspired: Joseph, Dolce & Gabbana, Dries Van Noten]

This bizarre but refreshing pairing is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Plumy burgundy tones paired with brilliant classic blues work a fearless bold statement in the fashion world. The key to nailing this colour nesting is to keep the rest of your outfit simple, structured & unobtrusive. The magic is revealed through the colours alone so pick a statement piece like a coat, skirt or dress & keep the shape figure hugging to offset the clash or loose & flowy to throw off a bohemian laid-back vibe. Striking yet unexpectedly harmonious.  



[Also available to read at Couture Stories]
[Photo Source Inspiration: fashiongonerogue, thefidmnblog, vogue, cozystylishchic, savoirflair, afmu.net, gastrochic, pinterest]
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27 January 2015

Globe-trotting Instagrams To Run Your Wanderlust Into Lift Off


Nothing delivers the thrill of heart-pumping ecstasy like the whir of the runway & the icy blast of airplane air-conditioning. The pure unadulterated excitement in leaving behind the rough-tough jumble of life to live a holiday journey of fancy hedonism in the exotic realms of the unknown is undoubtedly worth the 365 days a year spent yearning for such adventures.

I've had quite enough of my daily routines already & so to soothe my wanderlust pining, ignore my important responsibilities & turn up my travel jealousy dials to the max, I've been unashamedly scouring the feeds of these incredibly lust-worthy instagram accounts.



Fully-fledged in serenity, bursting with colour, inspiration & dripping in pure desire, take a peep at the travelling instagramers like you need to satisfy that itching travel bug of yours and soothe your gloomy weather blues...
































Life is more than the four walls around you so grab your passport, pack a nifty suitcase & get your head & your heart lost out there in the unforgettable world! 



Live. Love. Learn. Taste. Experience. Release. Explore. Dream. Relish.


[Also available to read at Couture Stories]
[Photo Source Inspiration: Instagram, Pinterest, rumsbeach.tumblr]
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22 January 2015

Walk The Walk On Point



Chic, sleek, a fabulously simple way to up the style stakes of any outfit & sharpen up your shoe game. These shoe marvels waltz with an air of understated ease & demure that help keep any outfit triumph (or disaster) stylistically revenant & spring pretty.



The point has been sneaking around in the backdrop for what seems like a lifetime since Aubrey Hepburn's brought them into style heaven amongst the 1950s but finally this little style maven has decided to stop skulking on the sidelines & has stuck her sharp beak well & truly into the fashion forefront. Well with a snozzle as refined & unavoidable as hers, it was about time she embraced her natural & attention grabbing limelight in the fashion world!




Evoking an air of feminine elegance when paired with vintage levi shorts, dark-wash skinnies, boho flawy maxis, throwback a-line minis to midi pencil dresses & skirts, these iconic It shoes strike playful sophistication down to a point.

Fall into step & allow me to point you in the right direction with a selection of lust-worthy footwork fancy flats...








[Also available to read at Couture Stories]
[Photo Source Inspiration: Pinterst, tuulavintage]
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21 January 2015

Cook-Off! Battle of the Health Hampers


Work, eat, sleep, repeat. Sound familiar?

As we all knuckle back down into working our frilly socks off to replenish the sorry state we like to call a bank account not to mention the feeble attempts in sticking to our twice weekly gym seshs, slaving over a hot stove is enough to set our stress buttons into combusting overdrive. Cooking up a nutritionally delicious storm in the kitchen enough to make light bulb Ramsey swear like a trooper in pure ecstatic disbelief seems as appealing as the two page to-do list tactfully being concealed by your new bonsai desk tree. In your defence, it's feng shui darling!

So in line with keeping things a lil' more zen, chilled & stripped back to basics, I've caught on to a trend that'll not only keep the flavours movin' & shakin' in your kitchen & tastebuds but will take next to no time to have pipin' away in culinary glory on the dinner table!

It's all about down-right scrumptious nosh without all the gourmet faff!



So say hello to my coveted secret of health hamper boxes that spring onto your doorstep at the click of a button! What could be better than a pack stuffed with a variety selection of the freshest ingredients, bespoke menu recipes & clear-cut instructions delivered straight to your door? It's like being sent your own personal sous-chef on demand! It's the perfect solution to cut down on your precious time as let's face it, why would you want to spend hours trailing round a supermarket when you're a girl in demand for cocktail dates?

But shhh...keep this as our little secret! We don't want everyone catching on to our fabulous working-girl solution & frazzling out our trusty Mr. Postman!



Gousto
Peruse the site like a kid in a candy shop & select from an extensive range of succulently gourmet food recipes that not only excel in flavour but are notoriously healthy & nourishing at the same time. You'll be sent a hamper with a bundle of fresh ingredients all measured tailored to the colour-illustrated recipe cards tucked inside. In no time at all you'll be cooking up dishes to rival the Italian bombshell Nigella!

Best-selling recipe dish: Show-stopping asian salmon fillet atop a bed of shredded beetroot in a garlic-ginger soy sauce to an Emperor's almond, rosemary & pepper lamb ragu served with atop a fresh bed of linguine pasta.



Hello Fresh
Juicy, fresh, crisp & decadent without all the fuss! These meal boxes provide you with all you need to whip up some tasty morsels with every prep-step illustrated on a photo step-by-step recipe card guaranteed to have you munching on a toe-tingling dish within 30 minutes you excitedly opened the box lid! Convenient, fantastic food without the all the bore & hassle. Say hello to one very satisfied happy tummy!

Best-selling recipe dish: The Classic Box with recipes such as wild mushroom & decadent truffle risotto to cheeky chicken chow mien with oyster sauce & water chestnuts.



Graze
Something a little different to the fresh food boxes but a tasty little menu option all by itself! If you struggle to pack yourself nourishing & energy buzzing snacks to keep you motivated & working hard throughout the day then why not sign yourself up for a weekly graze box delivery. With it's extensive range of snacks, treats & confectionaries, this handy little hamper can cater to your every whim & need without any hindrance in the flavour department! What's more, Graze have just launched a breakfast selection range boasting fruity infused multi-grain flaked cereals, granolas & wheats to heart-warming, nut-slivered creamy porridge picks all jam-packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals & all the good stuff in-between! Dive in & get ready to pick'n'mix!



The Original Supper Box Company
Packed full of mouth-watering flavour, choice & gourmet delight, these little supper boxes are guaranteed to be nothing but memorable - for all the right reasons! Simple-to follow recipes will have you laughing at the ease of being a true master chef as you chill out & slurp at your icy glass of wine whilst the oven does all the rough-tough work! Simply straightforward but deliciously scrumptious. You order, they deliver, you cook & your tummy giggles in yummy satisfaction!



Riverford Recipe Boxes
An organic farm shop online market showcasing a range of fresh & seasonal recipe boxes over-flowing with culinary inspiration for tasty, heart-warming meals. You select a box that takes your fancy (or makes that belly of yours rumble like a lion) & before you know it, a delightful box will arrive at your doorstep with three nourishing recipe card kits alongside the freshest of organic ingredients to get crack-a-lackin' in the kitchen! Oh so simple yet oh so tasty!




Go grab your piny & get your creative fingers stuck into some scrummy dishes...you'll be the new Delia Smith sizzling on the block!


[Also available to read at Couture Stories]
[Photo Source Inspiration: Pinterest]
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