Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Ich bin ein Berliner

Hi dolls, how are you all on this fine Wednesday?? I am super happy because hubby took the day off work today and we got loads done, I have finally changed my name on our mortgage and my bank accounts so now I will get letters in my married name! We also stopped off at Frankie and Benny's and had a nice lunch, then had a browse around a new garden centre that has opened up where we live. When we arrived home, I set about organising my new stationery for work tomorrow, making sure everything is in order and packed neatly in my work bag. I bought a new diary and notebook the other day in Paperchase, as well as some new pens and a super cute pencil sharpener! I love buying new stationery for the new term, it makes me feel like a kid again! Paperchase has an amazing selection too, I literally spend hours drooling over all the gorgeous stuff and struggling to make up my mind!

My new Paperchase stationery. I bought a spiral bound notebook which is one of my everday work essentials, a new diary, a multi-coloured pen, a new yellow highlighter, 2 new pink marking pens (I only mark in pink!) and a cute bubble and sweet sharpener!

I also purchased a new lanyard from David and Goliath. Not normally a shop I like or purchase from, I do enjoy their tongue-in-cheek lanyards, and the fact it is green (which matches my school community colour).

In other news today, my hubby and I have booked a trip to Berlin this December! As my birthday is in December, hubby has recently been asking me what I want to do so he can get it booked and organised. At first I thought I wanted to go to Paris, but then I felt I should broaden my horizons, as I have been to Paris twice already. Berlin is a place I have wanted to visit for a while, my two best friends visited this year when I was on honeymoon and there is so much history there, I will be in heaven! (Not to mention the Ritter chocolate factory and the Christmas markets that will be on when we visit!) Hubby has booked the flights, so we just need to do a bit more research on hotels before we can book and we will be all set! I am so excited!! : ) xoxo

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I nailed it

With my nail technician away for the summer, I have had to be more inventive with my nails for the past couple of months. I never thought I would say this, but I have really enjoyed painting my nails, trying new colours and styles. Nail art has really exploded again recently and it has been really enjoyable trying different techniques for myself. I now own a great deal more nail polish than ever before, as well as a vast array of nail oils, cuticle creams and scrubs! I will never be fully converted though, as I enjoy the luxury and ease of having a professional take care of my nails, however, its good to know I have back-ups!

One such nail experiment that I have been particularly pleased with is the application of nail foils on my toes. You may remember that I blogged about my minx toe nail foils
here, back in June. I was so impressed with the look of these foils, and the way they stayed put for a good 5 to 6 weeks. I was therefore keen to try the at home version when my friend told me that she had bought some. They are available to buy in Boots and Superdrug, as well as Ebay which is where she purchased hers from. Just like with Minx, they come in many designs, and cost a very reasonable £9.50 for 5 designs.

Step 1 - Clean off any old polish and residues with nail polish remover.

Step 2 - Select the size of foil that fits best for your first toe and blast with a hair-dryer to soften for about 5 seconds. When soft and malleable, lay the foil down on the toe nail.

Step 3 - The foil will be much too long so use a pair of nail scissors to trim off the excess. When this is done, you can file the edge of the foil and nail to neaten and to seal the edge.

Step 4 - Use a cotton bud and roll over the nail to ensure good adhesion and smoothness.

Step 5 - Check the nail, and repeat the steps above until all toes are complete.

Ta-da! Your nails should look something like this when finished! These foils should last at least a month, however, if you wish to remove to change design, they are easily taken off by blasting a hair dryer on each one to soften. They will then simply peel off.

That's everything for today, hope you are all having a nice week : ) Until next time xoxo

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Cocktails and Karaoke

Hello sweeties, hope you are all well and have enjoyed the weekend! We are lucky in the UK as we have a bank holiday tomorrow, hubby is certainly pleased at the extra day off! I have had another fun filled weekend, last night I had a big night out in London with my best girlfriends, to say goodbye to Anna, who is off on her law secondment in Moscow in a week! I am certainly paying for it today though, no headache as such but just that off feeling you get when you have had a heavy night on the tiles! At 25 I should be able to handle it but alas, it seems not!

We started our night in Loungelover, an eclectic bar in Shoreditch filled with giant vases, chandeliers, stags heads on the wall and disco balls! We had booked a table and enjoyed table service, making it easy to sit and chat. The cocktail menu was extensive and delicious, certainly worth the £9.50 a cocktail in my opinion! We also ordered a couple of rounds of spring rolls and my friends tried to educate me in successfully holding a pair of chopsticks... disasterous to say the least, think i'll stick with a fork or fingers in the future!!

We ended our night at Karaoke Box in Smithfield and had so much fun! We had booked a private booth and spent an hour and a half singing classics with great gusto... may just apply for the X Factor as a result! ; ) Two more cocktails down, nachos, and cheesy garlic bread and it was time for home (2 0 clock is more than late enough for me these days!).

Just a few snaps from our night out! I wore my emerald green Zara skirt (blogged about here) with a plain black vest top from Topshop. I accessorised with simple studs and my H & M statement feather necklace. I wore my black patent Carvela heels which are gorgeous but not amazingly comfy. Still, thank goodness we are working girls and can afford cabs everywhere! ; )

Hope you all had fun weekends too xoxo

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fine dining on a Friday

Hey sweeties, hope you are all well and looking forward to the weekend! I have had a nice lazy week which has been perfect, as i'm trying really hard to relax and enjoy my free time before I go back to work next week! Yesterday was GCSE results day which was nerve-wracking for me, however, my pupils performed beautifully and achieved some amazing results which makes me one very happy teacher! I spent yesterday afternoon setting up an edu-blog for them as they have requested one, so hopefully, that will be a good learning tool for them this coming year.

Today I took my car in for her MOT so fingers crossed she is going to be OK! In the afternoon, hubby text and suggested a meal out to celebrate my successful results: I immediately set about booking a table at a new restaurant in Ashford called Everest Inn. I have visited this highly respected and recommended Nepalese restaurant before, at the Blackheath branch, and was excited to see that a new one had opened up where I live. The food was delicious and we did not hold back: I had poppadoms, Daal soup, chicken biryani and tea to finish. Hubby had a Momo starter which was a type of lamb parcel and the chef's special for his main (another lamb dish). I can't wait to go back and continue to try different dishes off the menu!

I decided to wear a fairly casual outfit for our meal out, so I chose a peg-leg style of trouser from Matalan, a white H & M vest tep with an asymmetric grey/purple vest from River Island layered over the top. I kept my earrings simple with a pair of white gold and diamond studs, and accesorised with my new Forever 21 necklace, and leopard print peep toe flats from H & M. Comfy and stylish! : ) (Did you spy Woody making a cheeky appearance in the last picture... he is such a poser, just like his mama ; )

I am so excited for the weekend, I am hitting London town for a night out tomorrow night with my best girlfriends and am looking forward to a night of fun and gossip! I will take some pictures and share when I am home : )

Until next time my dears xoxo

Monday, 22 August 2011

Lasagne on a Monday

Hello Dolls, hope the start of the week got off to a good start for you all : ) I had a lazy morning followed by a leisurely afternoon of shopping with my sister, niece and nephew. This afternoon, as I flicked through my recipe books, looking for some inspiration for dinner, I landed upon Sally Bee's recipe for lasagne which I have never tried before. I have made lasagne of course, but was keen to try Sally's 'healthiest ever' lasagne. I have to say, the lasagne turned out completely delicious, which was pleasing after all my hard work preparing : )

Step 1) Chop up an array of vegetables into very small pieces. You can use any veg you fancy, I used 3 carrots, 2 celery sticks and 1 courgette. Cut up an onion and peel 2 cloves of garlic.

Step 2) Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the rest of your veg to the pan including the crushed garlic, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Step 3) Turn the heat up slightly and add your mince to the pan, stirring until browned and crumbly (this will take about 5 minutes).

Step 4) Stir in a can of chopped tomatoes, 450ml of beef stock, 4 tablespoons of tomato puree, 1 teaspoon of oregano and 1 teaspoon of parsley. Season with a good shake of black pepper and allow to simmer for 20 minutes until cooked through.

Step 5) Towards the end of the cooking time of the meat mixture, you need to preheat the oven to 200 degrees or gas mark 6, and then make your white sauce. For the white sauce, add 3 tablespoons of corn flour (corn starch) to a small bowl. Measure out 600ml (1 pint) of semi-skimmed milk in a measuring jug and add a little to the cornflour. Stir until the corn flour has dissolved, and then pour into a saucepan. Add the rest of the milk to this and stir continuously over a low heat until thickened to the texture of custard. Add a good pinch of nutmeg to the white sauce and stir.

Step 6) Pour half of the meat mixture into your dish, then layer several pasta sheets over the top. Continue with another layer of meat and another layer of pasta.

Step 7) Pour over your white sauce, and lastly 40g of grated low fat cheese. Put your lasagne in the oven for 4o minutes until the top of the lasagne is nicely golden.

Step 8) Remove from the oven, your lasagne should look something like this!

Step 9) Serve with a nice green salad or extra vegetables (I decided on tenderstem brocolli, sweetcorn and home-grown white cabbage).

Really yum, and super healthy. A good choice for anyone who wants to try a healthy take on an old favourite : )

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sunday Couples Shopping!

Hello Lovelies, how are you all? I am having a lovely weekend : ) Yesterday I shopped and lunched with my best friend, I got some new bits and pieces for my autumn wardrobe which I will be sharing over the next few weeks. In the evening, hubby and I went to see the new Inbetweeners movie which was really funny and completely lived up to my expectations. Today hubby and I had a nice leisurely morning, we slept in late, then got ready for Bluewater shopping centre. I have to say, hubby is not a huge shopping fan, however, we are beginning to think about buying a new TV so with that arsenal, I managed to tempt hubby there. So, we spent a pleasurable few hours looking at TV's, discussing whether a Plasma or LCD would be better, and 40 inches or 43... hubby also announced he wanted a projector screen : 0 ! I was like, hmmmm, great idea, but think we better wait til we move again, as it will be installed in our ceiling!! Lol, boys and their toys ; ) I purchased a few bits for myself too (while hubby was occupied in HMV and Waterstones!) and we ended the day in Ed's dinner, eating burgers, onion rings, coleslaw and chips : )

Ok, so I am trying to slowly introduce new season autumn colour into my wardrobe and wean myself off all the colour block brights of the summer, so today I wore my River Island dark denim jeans, my topshop tassell ballet pumps, my new Forever 21 sheer top and a lovely rust coloured chunky knit cardigan that I bought on my shopping trip yesteday, from Primark. I also wore a chunky new tribal style ring, also bought yesterday from Primark. I really like the co-ordination of colours in this outfit, and it is perfect for transitional dressing!

Lastly, can I ask you to vote for the picture I have entered of me and Woody in a facebook competition.. all you have to do is click on the picture of Woody I have posted at the top of my blog page, follow the link and it should be clear (you need to like the Westfield Stratford City facebook page, and then click on 'vote' on my picture) Thank you xoxoxo

Friday, 19 August 2011

Dans mon sac il ya...

Happy Friday lovely ladies!! Hope you have all had a fabulous week, I have had another nice relaxing week, and on Thursday I picked up my A Level results for my class which were very pleasing so I am a very happy girl : )

Today I decided to do a 'whats in my bag post' as I am always fascinated by other peoples similar posts (guess I am just a bit nosy!!) : )OK so the main items I carry on a daily basis are (from left to right, top to bottom)

1) My D & G sunglasses - I have lots of sunglasses but my favourites are my D & G pair, they are classic tortoishell, oversized and very glamorous.

2) My Vivienne Westwood purse - I bought this for myself as a birthday treat last year and I love the monogrammed style and gorgeous gold Westwood logo on the top.

3) Bottle of water - I always carry water, my favourite is Evian, or sometimes I use my bobble bottle (a water bottle with a filter) although I tend to keep this for exercise.

4) My keys - Hehe obvious one here, I have my own car key, a key for hubby's Audi, a glossy pink 'C' and a diamante 'D' (Now I am married, I need to get a 'B'!)

5) My butterfly notepad and swarovski pen -My notepad is my daily lifesaver and completely essential! I use my notepad for writing daily to do lists, monthly to do lists, ideas for blog posts, ideas for days out, appointments, anything really! It keeps me organised and makes me feel sorted and calm. My pen is pretty and filled with little swarovski crystals : )

6) Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream -Essential! This product has won so many awards, Elizabeth Arden originally designed it to soften her horses hooves, and it is now a must have for softening chapped skin and lips. I use it all the time.

7) Calvin Klein 'Beauty' perfume - I always carry perfume, this is a current favourite, it smells delicious!

8) Lipglosses - Lancome juicy tube, Maybelline color sensational lip pen (blogged about here), Bobbi Brown lipgloss and Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream lip balm. I always carry a good selection of lipglosses and lipbalms as I like to be spoilt for choice! Every bag I own has about 4 lip products in, plus I have lip balms stashed all over my house too... : )

9) Iphone - Another cannot-live-without item! I use my phone for organising myself, facebook, emails, checking the news...

10) Lancome palette - As well as lipglosses, I like to keep an eye palette in my bag too. This one has some really nice neutral colours, and the added bonus of a lip cream tray below the eyeshadows.

11) Nail products - As I blogged about here, I have been trying to improve my nails after wearing acrylics for many years. I therefore use the award winning Leighton Denny crystal nail file which is really kind on nails and lasts a lifetime. I also carry a hand cream and another award winning product, CND Solar Oil, which come in a nail polish type bottom, but is an oil that is painted onto cuticles to soften and strengthen them.

My bag is a Jasper Conran slouch bag that is very roomy so perfect for my day to day life!

Before I go, can I just ask for you to vote for me in a facebook competition? I have entered a 'family portrait' picture (me and my bunny!) and I would love you to vote for me! To make this easier I have added the picture at the top of my blog, if you click on it it will take you to the facebook page where you can vote. I think you may have to 'like' the Westfield stratford city page first, and then you can vote for my picture! Thank you so much xoxo

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Hello lovely ladies and first off a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all my amazing followers - I have now reached over 100 followers and I am so pleased! It makes me so unbelievably happy to think that there are so many lovely people out there who want to read my daily ramblings! I really enjoy reading all of your lovely comments, makes my day : ) xoxo

Well today was a nice lazy day for me, I felt a bit out of sorts so I just took it easy, did a bit of school work and a little food shopping. I still managed to try some new recipes though (I am thinking of re-naming my blog 'chef in style' hahaha) and I want to share my lunch time recipe with you because it was delish and super healthy! I made Sally Bee's roasted tomato soup recipe.

Step 1 - Wash a 1kg bag of tomatoes, cut them in half and arrange them on a roasting tray.

Step 2 - Sprinkle over 3 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of dried mixed herbs, ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Step 3- Roast the tomatoes for about 1 hour until they are started to brown at the edges.

Step 4 - Remove the tomatoes from the oven and wait about 10 minutes for them to cool a little. Put them straight into a blender, removing the skins as you go (This should be very easy at this stage although it is not necessary so leave them on if you prefer).

Step 5 - Add 600ml of hot vegetable stock and 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar to the tomatoes and blend.

Step 6- Serve the soup in a bowl, adding a good shake of dried basil and mixing through, and then arranging some fresh basil on top. Delish.

* I sieve the mixture before I serve it to remove the seeds as hubby does not like them (and he says I'm a fussy eater!) but again, this is not necessary and they can be left in.

Hope you are all having a lovely week, until next time xoxo

Monday, 15 August 2011

Sunny Monday in London

Hello dolls, hope your Monday was just fine and the weather is nice where you are! Today was pretty warm here in the UK, and I spent the day in London with 3 of my closest friends, for a delicious lunch at one of my favourite restaurants Cafe Rouge (I had my favourite, french onion soup to start, baguette poulet for my main and tranche au chocolat for dessert). Later, my friend Clare and I took a little trip to Oxford Street where we spent a good hour in a shop new to the UK, that I have been desperate to visit... yes ladies, I finally made it to Forever 21!

My first impressions of Forever 21 was that it was huge, very girly (decorated in pastel pink and white), with fairly good merchandising, and clear 'zones' so you knew where to go for what. The changing rooms were a good size with proper doors (I personally dislike curtains) and the lighting in the changing rooms was pretty good. The queue at the till was long, but the staff were numerous, and therefore waiting time was minimal. The range of clothing was very good, with a style for everyone. Oh and the prices were amazing! I knew it was a cheap shop but I was particularly impressed with the quality and fit of the items, especially considering the low prices.

My new purchases! I bought 2 sheer tops (love that style as so easy to dress up and down), one in a print and one classic cream colour. I also bought a kind of slouchy long sleeved jersey top in a dark orange that I think will be great with jeans. Lastly, I bought the gorgeous shimmery cuff and horn necklace. All in, 3 tops and 2 pieces of jewellery cost only £48 so I was very impressed. I will definitely return to Forever 21 when I am in London as the styles are great and the prices even better!

I got home at about 7 0 clock tonight and was surprisingly hungry (after my huge lunch!) but pretty tired, so I wanted to try another recipe that was both healthy and quick. I decided on super healthy sausages and beans (another recipe from my Sally Bee recipe book)

Step 1 - Cut your sausages up into smaller pieces (each sausage into 3 to 4 pieces is perfect). Put to one side.

Step 2 - Chop up your chosen veg (pretty much anything goes, today I used carrots, celery, green beans, peas and courgette). Chop up one onion and peel 2 cloves of garlic.

Step 3 - Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and then add the sausage pieces. Cook on a medium heat for 7 minutes until the sausages are browned on all sides.

Step 4 - Add your vegetables (including the garlic which can be crushed right in) and let cook for another 5 minutes until the onion is beginning to soften. While this is cooking prepare 400ml of chicken or vegetable stock, and drain and rinse one tin of mixed beans and one tin of lentils.

Step 5 - Add your beans and lentils to the pan and pour on your stock. Add a good couple of sloshes of worcestershire sauce too. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes (by this time the carrots will have softened and your dinner will be ready). Around the same time, begin to cook your rice (or whatever you plan to serve the stew with).

Step 6 - Add 1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard to the stew to taste and a generous sprinkling of black pepper and parsley. Serve with the rice and enjoy!

* Sausages often get a bad reputation but as long as you buy minimum 90% meat content they are actually healthy - I usually buy mine from a butcher to be sure.


Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sunday Inspirations

Hello lovely followers, hope you are all good and have had fabulous weekends! I have had a lovely weekend, yesterday was a very productive and rewarding day (see what I got up to here) and today was a lot slower paced. Hubby and I went into town as he was itching to spend his HMV voucher he received for his birthday, and I couldn't say no to a bit more shopping! Later, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law visited with their son which was really nice. Late afternoon I went for a run which felt great, although the heat made it harder than usual. Still, I do love to run, so I didn't mind too much : ) When I returned, I set about making dinner, trying a new recipe from my Sally Bee recipe book (which I blogged about here)

This experimentation was more than just a bit of fun: I am becoming acutely aware that the summer holidays are drawing to a close, and with this in mind, I am starting to think about our new routine. Being a housewife this summer has been brilliant, and I have truly enjoyed experimenting with different healthy dishes. I am all too aware though that upon return to work, I will no longer have the time or energy to devote to time consuming meals of an evening. I will probably arrive home around 6 0' clock and will need to plan my evenings to fit in cooking, exercise, TV, reading and marking. I am too health conscious to just accept my fate of quick, less than healthy dishes, and believe that it will simply require a little strategic planning to stay on the straight and narrow! With this in mind, I tried out todays dinner, and am pleased to say it ticked all the boxes: healthy, quick to prepare and filling.

Step 1 - Chop up your vegetables (pretty much anything goes, I used grated carrot, courgette and cherry tomatoes) and an onion. Put all the veg in a big bowl and add to this 1 cup of rice (I used wild rice), 400ml chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, a splash of worcestershire sauce and olive oil and lastly a good shake of oregano, thyme, garlic powder and black pepper. Mix this together with a spoon.

Step 2 - Make your 'parcel' by folding a large piece of foil in half. Add your mixture to the middle of the foil and then fold the sides up to resemble a bowl. Add one chicken breast to the top of the mixture and use a spoon to cover the chicken with some of the mixture. Step 3 - Fold the foil so that the parcel is fully covered and put in the oven for 45 minutes.

Step 3 - Fold the foil so that the parcel is fully covered and put in the oven for 45 minutes.

Step 4- Remove from the oven and eat! This recipe worked really well for me and the end result was delicious. It was quick and easy to make, but still very healthy (which is my main priority) and I think it will be a great recipe that can easily be chucked together in the morning before work ready for the oven on arrival home!

As well as cooking, I have also been trying new nail designs today and I love the result! I recently bought the beige NYC shade in Oh SoHo sweet and today I spotted the blue glitter NYC shade in Lights-Camera-Glitter. I painted the beige shade as a base coat and then applied 2 coats of the blue glitter over the top. I have to say, I was a little wary of the glitter as I have not worn glitter nail polish since I was about 13, but with the explosion of nail art recently, (and with my nail lady still away on holiday!) I have been more willing to experiment. I really like the larger blue glitter pieces and the subtle silver sparkle all over (which is not that visible in the picture).

Lastly: lipglosses! I tend to buy a lot of lip products and have many favoutites including Lancome juicy tubes, MAC lipglass and Bobbi Brown lip gloss. I also like cheaper brands as, lets face it, lipgloss is lipgloss and is never going to be that long lasting, so why pay more than necessary??! Today I tried 2 new 'matt' lip gloss type products. The Maybelline color sensational lip stain smells gorgeous and leaves a lovely pink tint behind that is long lasting and natural looking. The Collection 2000 Cream Puff is another 'matt' product and again leaves behind a nice tint that is not too strong, and lasts a fair while. I really like both of the products and they make a nice change from the usual lipgloss look I favour.

Well thats it for today, until next time dolls xoxo