30 April 2015

One Day. A Day In Richmond + Petersham Nursery

Last Saturday I took a trip to one of my favourite areas of London – the picturesque Richmond Upon Thames. This little corner of the city by the water has long been a favourite of mine since I first went for a job interview there on my second day in the UK.

For those who haven’t been to Richmond, let me paint the picture for you. It’s like a quaint village, home to yummy mummy’s who push strollers by the river, young couples with adorable dogs and a rather prominent rowing community. Not to mention it has a great many parks (one of which has live deer!) and a range of waterfront pubs perfect for sunset drinks.

Just past the centre of town you’ll find Petersham Nursery. I’d heard the whisper go round about this place not long after I moved here and I’d been wanting to go ever since. Saturday was the day – along with my friend and her mum (who’s visiting from Australia), we set off with grumbling tummies, ready for a lunch among the flowers.

Leather Jacket by River Island £100, Knit by River Island (sold out), Jeans by Billabong £50, Bag by Bershka £20

Off the main road up a little alley and past some cow paddocks you’ll find the entrance. The nursery of flowers blooms around the border whilst the restaurant and cafĂ© are housed in the centre in rustic-chic barns. I had quiche, salad and a sparkling elderflower (so British!), made extra nice by the fact that I was sitting in a greenhouse.

After lunch we took a stroll around the gardens and found ourselves in a delightful little home wares store, where I could have easily purchased half the shop (provided I had a very generous wage).

Then we headed for the town centre, walking along by the river before stopping for an ice-cream.

On the way, we lay down in a field of daisies and danced amongst the fallen petals of the cherry blossoms.

A cheerful fellow had his boat moored just as we strolled past and we were right on time for the 5.15pm trip – why not!? A short trip down to Teddington finished a wonderful day in this beautiful spot. If you haven’t already been to Richmond, I highly recommend you make it your next weekend trip.

Photos by Krissie.

Petersham Nurseries Cafe on Urbanspoon

27 April 2015

Style It. April Celeb Street Style

It’s the end of April! Can you believe it? I feel like I was celebrating New Year on the rooftops of Piccadilly just last week. With spring in the air, it’s pretty obvious which event has overtaken my celeb style picks for the month: Coachella. A melting pot of enviable street style, celeb sightings and swaying palm trees; Coachella always delivers the fashion goods. I’m sure your Instagram feed has already been inundated but just in case, check out my fav bohemian babes below...

Dress by Abercrombie & Fitch £64 || Boots by Dune £104 || Fringed Bag by Bon Prix £30 || Hat by Dorothy Perkins £11

Year after year, Alessandra Ambrosio is always a standout for me at Coachella. She just seems able to nail that desert-wanderer style effortlessly. Love her creamy lace dress combined with the over-the-knee boots and floppy fedora. A touch a fringing completes the look.

Top by Topshop £22 || Skirt by New Look £15 || Boots by Kurt Geiger £65 || Belt by New Look £7 || Necklace by New Look £13 || Body Harness by River Island £22

Boho goddess of the year? Kendall Jenner. Love this gypsy style on her; it’s very Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Layered jewels, thigh-high splits and ankle boots add a modern edge to this whimsical style.

Shirt by Mango £20 || Skirt by River Island £25 || Bag by Barbara Bui £627 || Sandals by Michael Kors £85

Lovely Kate Bosworth. You may have dropped off the acting radar slightly but you’ve sure made up for it in spades with your fashion appearances. Always a standout at Coachella, she did refined bohemian princess by day and followed it up with this prim, polished look for the after party. All white – all right.

Photos via retailers.

24 April 2015

Plate Up. Burrito Bowl

A sunny spring Saturday had me smiling last weekend. After a hectic few weeks [or should I say few months!], I decided to have a quiet day indulging in a lie-in, plenty of book reading and a mini TV marathon. Then when 4pm rolled around it seemed like the perfect time to take a stroll along the river so I threw on a pair of trainers, plugged in my headphones and set off.

Talk about beautiful sunshine. The air is still quite nippy but there were some spectacular blue skies. Check out the sun shining through those branches…

Fulham is such a beautiful area, it surprises me at every turn. Sure there are some grungy bits but it all adds to the personality. I found a lovely little street with pastel coloured homes and just off it was this striking line of bare trees…

By 6pm the chill was started to outweigh the sunshine so I headed for home with a rather grumbling tummy. After an indulgent dinner the night before with a certain member of the royal family [I’ll save that story for another time…], I thought something healthy and delicious was the way to go. Enter: The Burrito Bowl.

What you’ll need (two servings)
2 boneless chicken thighs (skin on)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon crushed chilli
1 teaspoon cumin
Handful lettuce, chopped
Handful tomatoes, chopped
Handful cheese, grated
3 stalks of spring onion, chopped
1 avocado
1 lemon
A good dollop of Greek yoghurt

What to do
First the chicken. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray. Mix together the soy, honey, oil, paprika, chilli and cumin and coat your chicken well. Place on the tray skin side up so it gets nice and crisp, and bake for approx 40 minutes.

Whilst that’s cooking away, prepare your bowl ingredients. Grab two nice large bowls (one for you and one for your friend/partner/mum/you for later) and add in the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and spring onion. Then make you guacamole by mashing up the avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice and a good season of salt and pepper.

Then it’s the final assembly! When your chicken is done, slice it up and add it into the bowl. Top with the guac and greek yoghurt. Ta da! It all sounds a little fiddly but honest it isn’t. Once you get going it’s a quick and easy meal to whip up. And trust me, the taste is totally worth the effort.

Photos by Krissie.

20 April 2015

Must Have. Perfect Spring Pastels

This week there’s been a shift in London. Endless dreary days seem to have perked up a little and the temperature is on the rise! All week I’ve woken up to blue skies outside my window and we even had one day that reached 22 degrees – talk about a heat wave; the people went crazy!

I’m particularly happy to lose the winter layers and wear something more spring-like; I’ve always preferred warm weather dressing… And what could say spring more than some colour! The perfect spring recipe is undoubtedly a dollop of soft pastel shades and a dash of sunshine. From baby blue to sorbet pink, spring’s prettiest palette is irresistible.

No more noire…

Lemon // Heels by Zara £60 || Jacquard Crop Top by Whistles £85 || Embellished Dress by Diambattista Valli £1,765

Tangerine // Crop Top by Opening Ceremony £300 || Dress by Miss Selfridge £30 || Bag by Saint Laurent £1,110

Pink // Bag by Balenciaga £1,545 || Trainers by Michael Kors £130 || Mini Skirt by Miu Miu £480

Lilac // Bandeau Bikini by Proenza Schouler £285 || Tuelle Skirt by Bailey £116 || Bag by Kate Spade £230

Blue // Floral Top by Miss Selfridge £35 || Shoulder Bag by Gucci £605 || Studded Flats by Valentino £470

Mint // Shoulder Bag by Fendi £660 || Wide Leg Pants by Phillip Lim £390 || Bra Crop Top by Alexander Wang £315

Photos via retailers.

17 April 2015

One Day. Big Little [Fashion] Lies

We’re all guilty of throwing a little white lie in there occasionally, but when it comes to fashion I think there are three big whoppers we’ve all used a little too often…

 “I can’t remember where I got it actually…”
Of course you can, you were swinging that [insert brand name] bag all the way home. It’s your most prized recent purchase. The fact is you just don’t want anyone to know where you bought it because if you tell them they’re likely to turn up to Saturday’s party wearing the same thing. After all, in the fashion world no one likes a copy cat. It’s all about individual style darling.

“I didn’t have time to change…”
Lie. Of course you did. Don’t believe anyone who says they didn’t try. They are like those people from school who said “I haven’t studied”. Of course they did, everyone studies. But to avoid seeming like we’ve tried too hard we like to labour under the pretence that we are ‘oh so very busy’ and important dashing about town whilst still looking fabulous. “Coming straight from the office” means they snuck into the bathroom five minutes before work ended to reapply make-up and spritz more perfume. Gotcha.

“Thanks, it’s vintage…”
Vintage. Code for any random item you own that isn’t a high street or designer brand; it could be from your mum’s closet, a cheapo market, a sample sale or eBay. In other words it’s a shameful fashion secret that you dress up with a fancy, socially-acceptable name. You know, because everyone LOVES vintage fashion ATM.

Games up ladies. I know your secrets…

Photos via Pinterest.

13 April 2015

Plate Up. Spaghetti Bolognaise

I feel I have committed a cardinal sin. But I only just realised this week. I have never shared my spaghetti bolognaise recipe with you! My recipe is very simple but I guarantee it’s good.

In three years how this escaped a post I’ll never know because it’s probably my favourite meal to cook. But not to worry. All is right with the world again because here it is…

What you’ll need
200g spaghetti
500g beef mince
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tin crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¾ cup red wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Handful basil leaves, chopped

What to do
Heat a large fry pan and brown off your mince. No need to add any extra oil as there is plenty of fat in the meat. Once it is well browned and broken up add the onion, paprika, chilli and garlic. Then add in the crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, red wine and brown sugar. Stir well and season with salt and pepper then leave to simmer until reduced (approx. 30-40mins).

In a large saucepan boil the water and cook your spaghetti. Drain.

At the last moment toss your basil leaves into the sauce and stir together. Dish it up and serve with some grated parmesan if you so fancy.

Photos by Krissie.

10 April 2015

One Day. A Quick Home Visit

I’m backkk – on English turf that is, for you virtual readers I never left you. But, IRL I just had a whirlwind trip back home to Australia. For a week. Yes a week. It was hectic but it was so worth it with family and friends waiting at the other end, not to mention being somewhere that I could wear a sleeveless dress without having to put on three coats.

Sadly I’m not a very good flyer, turbulence makes me nervous, I hate plane food and I can’t sleep in a chair. Seriously. I’ve tried so so hard but it’s just impossible. On the bright side I’m well up to date with all the latest movies. Paddington (the bear) had me crying with laughter. I tried to do it silently which only made me look like a crazy person. If you haven’t seen it already I recommend you go and watch!

Anyway back to my trip, I arrived home to the waiting arms of my mummy, after a long embrace at the airport it was home to the GC for a couple of days where I squeezed in seeing every beautiful friend I could, and also got my hair done [duh, priorities!].

Denim Dress by Miss Selfridge £39

Next it was off to Noosa for a couple of days. This has long been a favourite of mine. Mum and I have been holidaying here together since I was 3. We alternated between splashing around in the pool when a moment of sunshine came, and going back to drink tea and take photos in the garden when the rain started. [Really I just wanted an opportunity to wear my new jumpsuit!]

Jumpsuit by Zara TRF £30 SOLD OUT (similar here) 

We went for strolls on the beach, shopping on Hastings Street, drank wine and shared stories. It was just a real shame it rained most of the time. So much for getting a tan [Australia how could you do it to me? I thought we were friends].

Then it was back to the GC to see more friends and indulge in more delicious dinners. Throughout the week I had divine Japanese, elegant Italian, scrumptious seafood and a punchy pizza. Dad also popped up for a visit from Melbourne so there was plenty of father-daughter bonding.

Thankfully the sun decided to shine for my last couple of days so I managed to have a couple of dips in the ocean. I can’t really complain... the temperature the whole week was approx. 28 degrees. Way warmer than London’s constant chill.

Then after what felt like a blink it was back to the airport and back onto the plane. Australia it was beautiful to see you but London it’s great to be back [and to a waiting 17 degree day – you shouldn’t have!].

Photos by Krissie.

6 April 2015

One Day. 10 Things To Do In London This Summer

I’m not sure exactly when the change occurred but sometime in the last month my mindset switched. I went from happily bopping along with thoughts about work, play, weekend, weekday…


Summer is coming, omg summer is coming, I have to plan out my entire life for the 3 months of warmth that London will have. Every minute counts! Where can I travel, what can I do…

It’s making me rather nervous. It’s been so cold, grey and rainy for so long that I think I’m suffering from a warm weather complex. Mantra: I must make use of summer. When it only lasts for two-three months, every little ray of [mildly] warm sunshine counts.

Here’s what’s on my list of things to do in London this summer…

Brunch at Kensington Rooftop Gardens. Quite possibly London’s premier summer event, this one is an absolute must for delicious food, bottomless cocktails and breathtaking views.

Boat ride down the Thames. The majority of London’s most stunning sites sit by the water: The Eye, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, The Shard. So what better way to take in the sights than by boat?

Wimbledon. It’s shameful to say but I’ve never been to the Australian Open, so I feel it’s essential that I get to Wimbledon because I’m a serious tennis fan.

Sunset drinks at Madison’s by St Paul’s. This rooftop bar features one of the best views the city has to offer, looking right at St Paul’s Cathedral. Their cocktails are pretty darn good too.

Picnic at Primrose Hill, in Hyde Park, at Greenwich, by the river at Richmond or all of the above. Can you tell I like a picnic? I’m pretty excited to pack a scrumptious lunch, bottle of wine and rug for all of these locations. You know where to find me…

Ascot Races. Fabulous fashion, dapper men, majestic horses and a chance to spot the Queen? What else do I need to tell you?

Walk/ride along the Thames. I’m lucky enough to live right by the river so as soon as it’s warm and sunny I can’t wait to take Sunday strolls and bike rides [and stop at all the riverside pubs along the way…].

Head to the beach at Camden [yep, it’s true!]. Who wudda thunk it? A beach at Camden. Well almost, there’s no water but there’s plenty of sand, deck chairs and a Tiki Bar. Happy days.

Roof club at Shoreditch House. You’re going to need to befriend a member for this one. Tricky but where there’s a will there’s a way. This private members house has a pool, bar, kitchen and lounge all open to the sunshine. It’s my new life's mission to go.

Play croquet in the park. Something I’ve never done before but it’s an inherently British activity I feel I must do as a rite of passage.

Three months and counting…

Photos via Pinterest.

2 April 2015

Style It. How To Dress Like A Disney Princess

Anyone else super excited for the release of the new Cinderella movie? Not to mention there's going to be a new Beauty And The Beast - my two favs of all time let's be honest (I'm such a kid at heart).

Growing up I was always in awe of Disney princesses - I wanted their hair, their bird-like singing voices and, most importantly, their wardrobes.

For those of you who have prom coming up and for the others who just love to dress up, here's my guide to dressing like a Disney princess...

When it comes to the dress, sparkling embellishments and a swishy skirt are the two non-negotiables. Everything else is up to you! You can shop my favourites here.

For your hair think big blow-out waves, pretty plaits or a perfectly coiffed chignon. Disney princesses' hair is enviably voluminous and never has a strand out of place.

When it comes to make-up a soft pink lip and anything to accentuate large eyes should do the trick. Don't forget rosy cheeks of course!

No they're not made of glass [how uncomfortable!] but you've gotta admit these shoes look a lot like Cinderella's slippers!

And of course, the final touch: a prince.

Now jump in your carriage and away you go! The ball awaits...

Photos via ASOS, Miss Guided and Pinterest.