Food & Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Joan's On Third

Today I had lunch at one of the the trendiest places in Los Angeles. Joan's On Third is a marketplace, gourmet deli and café all rolled into one, with great outdoor-seating for people-watching. From the moment you step inside, you are instantly brought into a world of aromas and delectable delights. They have prepared foods to the left, an open kitchen in the middle, a cheese and charcuterie counter up front, a bakery to your right, and a grocery in the far back of the restaurant: a true Disneyland for foodies like myself! 

The place was bustling with an energetic crowd and a trendy atmosphere. In terms of the food, everything on the menu is made from fresh, seasonal, gourmet and high quality ingredients with unique flavour combinations. My favourite section was, of course, the bakery, where everything on offer is flawless in both presentation and taste, with goods such as nutella marble loaf, brown sugar pop-tarts, blueberry coconut muffins, peanut butter cookies and marshmallow-filled chocolate cupcakes. 

Utensils and napkins are in a wooden container at the table to help yourself, which added a very homey feel to the dining experience. The service was quick and efficient and the staff were all extremely friendly. 

The only downside is that most of their items are quite pricey - but then again, what would you expect from a prime spot in LA?
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Eos lipbalm



Eos lipbalms are my new favourite thing to leave my lips looking and feeling smooth and nourished. They are fully natural and 95% organic, containing soothing shea butter and antioxident-rich vitamin E and jojoba oil. It has a wonderfully fruity smell and I love the different flavours and the interestingly shaped packaging. They are available online and at UK stores including Selfridges. The only downside is that they are prices at £6.50, which seems to be rather a lot for a lipbalm!
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Sunday, 30 November 2014

How to overcome winter blues

When I think of winter, I think of shorter days, dark gloomy skies and dreary mornings. My mind is flooded with images of never-ending rain, bitter cold, whistling winds, pale skin, bright blue veins, layered clothing, thick woollen socks, colds and flu, dull faces and early nights.

However, I have realised that perhaps winter isn't so bad after all. Although summer is undoubtedly my favourite season, winter is a good excuse to drink hot chocolate with marshmallows at any time throughout the day, curl up with a hot water bottle, go shopping for cashmere sweaters, admire the Christmas light displays, smell the roasted chestnuts along Oxford Street, go ice-skating, drink from Starbucks' seasonal red cups, visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and indulge in candy canes and gingerbread men!



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Friday, 21 November 2014

Good things about today

It really is the little things in life. A little positivity goes a long way...

woke up
Morning stretches
Green tea
Breakfast with my best friend
Cereal :)
Uni lectures in French, Spanish and Portuguese; constantly learning new things
Fresh kiwi-pineapple-banana smoothie
Spoke to my brother on the phone
Sweated in the gym
Listened to songs that resonate with an aspect of my life
Washed my hair with coconut shampoo
Let it dry naturally
My ASOS order arrived with my first pair of New Balance trainers
Got a load of washing done
Lit my favourite Dyptique scented candle 
Ticked some things off my "to do" list
Painted my nails
Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant
Vanilla ice-cream
Spotted the beautiful moon
Bed
Excited for another day tomorrow!

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Monday, 20 October 2014

My Top 14 Fashion Blogs

Happy Monday!


To kick off this week, I thought I'd share some of the best fashion blogs with you. There are countless bloggers who inspire me but I've selected 14 of my absolute favourites. The links are below for you to check them out:

Rumi Neely: www.fashiontoast.com
Chiara Ferragni: www.theblondesalad.com
Rosie Thomas: www.thelondoner.me
Bryan Boy: www.bryanboy.com
Peony Lim: www.peonylim.com
Scott Schuman: www.thesartorialist.com
Rosie Fortescue: www.atfashionforte.com
Olivia Palermo: www.oliviapalermo.com
Julie Sariñana: www.sincerelyjules.com
Yvan Rodic: www.facehunter.org
Millie Mackintosh: www.millie-mackintosh.com
Aimee Song: www.songofstyle.com


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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Joe and the Juice

This trendy chain of juice bars originated in Denmark and now has six stores in the UK including London's Regent Street and King's Road. It offers blends of organic fresh fruit and vegetables, with healthy choices such as "Joe's Green Kiss" (spinach, apple and ginger). In addition, Joe and the Juice has a variety of mouth-watering salads and sandwiches, from "Tunacado" to "Joe's Club".








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Saturday, 13 September 2014

London College of Fashion - Short Course

This summer I completed a Short Course in Fashion PR and Marketing at London College of Fashion located in Hackney, East London. This course was ideal for me given my interest in the business side of fashion. 
I gained experience in the areas of fashion marketing, communications and public relations and learned about various aspects including a history of fashion, the fashion calendar, analysing and creating press releases, the influence of social media, generating editorial coverage and distribution strategies. 
I was also exposed to the industry through undertaking a field visit to Westfield Stratford shopping centre where I carried out a competitor shopping research activity and had to present the results back to the class. 
I would highly recommenced the LCF and UAL (University of the Arts London) short courses to anyone that is interested in fashion, especially considering the wide range of courses available.
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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Neon Trainers

The trend of wearing trainers on a day-to-day basis has exploded onto the fashion scene of Spring 2014 and persisted throughout the summer. This season had me buying two new pairs of neon trainers: Nike free-runs which I bought in Cyprus, and orange Adidas kicks from an outlet mall in New York. These will brighten up any outfit and make you look sporty no matter what you wear them with - not just your gym kit! 


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Thursday, 14 August 2014

Harrod's Shoe Heaven

Harrods' Shoe Heaven consists of 17 boutique with 50 designers such as Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin. Two years in the making, Shoe Heaven has been created by the David Collins Studio and spills across 42,000 square feet (three times the size of Harrods' previous footwear area) on the Fifth Floor of the iconic department store in Knightsbridge. ‘From stilettos to sneakers, Harrods Shoe Heaven will be home to all the best shoes from the world’s leading and need-to-know designers,' comments Helen David, Fashion Director of Womenswear at Harrods.  
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Monday, 14 July 2014

The Ultimate Packing list

As we are in the middle of the summer holidays, I thought it would be useful to compile a checklist of everything that needs to be packed before you go away. Over the years, I have learned the hard way of how easy it is to forget the simple things (from phone chargers to socks), so I have put together the ultimate packing list which I would like to share with you.

The most obvious thing to start with is clothes. Remember to pack T-shirts, smart tops, vests, dresses, skirts, shorts, jeans, cardigans, jackets, underwear, bras, socks, pyjamas and bikinis.

As for accessories, you will probably need a beach-bag, an evening handbag/clutch, jewellery, belts and of course shoes. Consider your choice of footwear carefully; will you be wearing flip-flops, sandals, heels, wedges, pumps, boots, sports trainers or all of the above?!

When it comes to toiletries, don't forget a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliator, deodorant, perfume, make-up, make-up remover, lip-balm, nail file, nail polish, cotton wool pads, insect repellant, tweezers, sun cream and a hairbrush. You may also need glasses, contact lenses and any necessary medictions such as paracetamol, antihistamine and multivitamins. 

Your hand-luggage should hold your passport, flight tickets, wallet, camera + charger, phone + charger, ipod + charger, laptop + charger, adaptor plug, sunglasses, chewing gum and at least two books. I also carry a travel journal with me whenever I go on holiday, which I write in every day and love to read back on old memories.

Packing Tips:

  • Check your destination's weather forecast and pack accordingly.
  • Pack in advance, never the day of the trip. Organisation is key.
  • Pack shoes in shoe bags, not in pairs, and place in luggage with soles facing outwards.
  • Stuff your packed handbags and boots with socks; it saves on space and helps to maintain shape.
  • Lock your luggage, otherwise the contents are probably uninsured.

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Monday, 16 June 2014

BROWNIE RECIPE: Gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free!

These brownies taste like heaven and have that melt-in-your-mouth texture that will satisfy any craving. They are sweet, gooey and rich, plus they're completely free from gluten, dairy and sugar, which makes them (almost) healthy! Scroll down to find out my delicious recipe.
To make 15 brownies, you will need:
175g (6oz) margerine
3 tablespoons of maple syrup or agave nectar
85g (3oz) dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
3 eggs
85g (3oz) gluten-free self-raising flour (I use a blend of rice, potato, maize and buckwheat flour)
50g (2oz) cocoa powder
a 22 x 30 x 2.5cm (9 x 12 x 1in) rectangular tin

Heat your oven to 180°C, 350°F. 
Line the tin with greaseproof paper cover in lightly spread margarine.
Put the margarine into a saucepan and melt it on a low heat. Pour it into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar and vanilla.
Break the eggs into a small bowl and stir them with a fork. Add them to the large bowl and stir well.
Sift the flour through a sieve into the large bowl. 
Add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips and mix everything well.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top a little. 
Bake it in the oven for about 40 minutes.
Chill in the fridge until set and then cut into 15 squares. 

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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

How To make Fruit Parfait

My new favourite way to start the day is fast, easy, light and incredibly satisfying. Fruit parfait is a highly nutritious breakfast and versatile treat -  you can make it however you choose, mixing up a range of ingredients with different fruit and decorating it with a variety of tasty toppings. 





Ingredients:
Yoghurt (your choice of flavour), granola, muesli, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, banana, tangerine, kiwi, chia seeds, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sultanas, ground cinnamon, honey/agave nectar/maple syrup.

Instructions:
1. Alternatively layer the granola, yoghurt, fruit and seeds. 
2. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients. 
3. Serve fresh in a tall glass.

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Barre Core

Barre class is a full-body workout, combining pilates, ballet and yoga in one intense hour. It consists of interval training at the barre and lifting light weights and resistance exercises on the mat that use small, controlled movements and your own body weight to lengthen and strengthen your muscles as you are burning fat. Celebrities that swear by it include Natalie Portman, Madonna, Drew Barrymore, Zooey Deschanel, Amanda Bynes and Dakota Fanning.

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Sunday, 25 May 2014

Make-up: my favourite products

Today I will share with you a few of the essential products that complete my make-up bag. I start off by applying Laura Mercier concealer which covers any blemishes and under-eye bags. I put MAC bronzer all over my face for a naturally sun-kissed look and then apply Bobbi Brown blusher to my cheekbones for a pinch of extra colour. For eye-shadow my favourite brand is Nars and I tend to go for neutral shades such as pale pink, nude and golden brown. I love Lancôme eye-liner and of course the volumising, lengthening and thickening mascara of Clinique. MAC lipstick offers an enormous choice of different shades and Clinique lipgloss completes any look.

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Friday, 23 May 2014

Roots & Bulbs

Located in the heart of Marylebone, Roots & Bulbs is London’s first standalone, cold-pressed, juice bar. Their juice menu encompasses six different combinations of vegetables, such as beetroot, carrot, cucumber and spinach, as well as small amounts of fresh fruit to sweeten the taste. In addition, they offer a selection of nutritious smoothies made from ingredients such as banana, dates and avocado, takeaway super-food salads and organic coconut water and almond milk. 







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Sunday, 18 May 2014

How To Have a Healthier Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Scientific research has proven that people who eat breakfast are generally slimmer and healthier, as it revs up your metabolism, makes you feel energised and helps to reduce cravings throughout the day.

Cereal - Aim for cereals that are high in fiber and avoid those that are loaded with sugar. I love RudeHealth muesli and Nutribrex with almond milk, and I always add fruit, typically chopped banana and fresh berries.

Porridge - This is oatmeal that has been boiled and prepared slowly until a thick consistency is reached. Health benefits of porridge include appetite regulation, higher energy levels, oxygen transport, muscle recovery, strong bones and boosted immunity. I like to add a drop of Manuka honey or agave syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few walnuts which are high in fibre, protein and essential fats.

Eggs - There are so many different types - poached, scrambled, fried, boiled, omelettes… The egg-white are rich in protein, vitamin B, vitamin D and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper, whilst egg yolks are a source of cholesterol, calcium, vitamins A, D, E and K.


Smoothie - Fruit smoothies can be an easy way to nourish your body with essential nutrients. All you need is a blender, fruit and a base (water/milk/yoghurt). I don't use recipes when making smoothies; instead I just blend together a few of my favourite ingredients. I usually put one banana, a handful of blueberries and strawberries, a spoonful of chia powder and flaxseeds, a squirt of natural honey and 250ml of either almond milk or soya milk. 


Pancakes - Who said pancakes can't be healthy? A simple way to make them healthy is by adding mashed, grated or chopped fruits or vegetables to your pancake batter, enriching it with vitamins and minerals as well as flavour. Try mixing in banana, pumpkin, zucchini, pineapple, cranberries or sweet potatoes. Another trick is to swap regular wheat flour for quinoa, oats, flaxseed, rice or corn flour, which are suitable for celiacs or people following a gluten-free diet like myself! My favourite toppings include maple syrup and lemon juice, or melted dark chocolate with berries.







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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Baker & Spice



What better way to spend a rainy Sunday morning than enjoying a delicious brunch at Baker & Spice? Upon entering the café on Elizabeth Street, I was overcome by the inviting aroma of cinnamon buns, Danish pastries, flaky croissants and hand-crafted sourdough breads, all of which were freshly baked on the premises today. They offer a wide variety of sweet treats, such as cookies, tarts, toasted almond biscuits, shortbread brownies, decadent chocolate fudge cake and blueberry muffins. The all-day brunch ranges from French toast with caramelised apple slices and a drizzle of honey to home-made pancakes dusted with icing sugar and served with crème fraîche, fruit compote and honey, or for those searching for a healthier option, smoked Scottish salmon with scrambled eggs. The lunch menu is simple and Mediterranean-inspired, flavoured with spices and herbs. Most of the ingredients are seasonal, locally sourced, organic and Fairtrade. The three locations are Belgravia, Chelsea and Maida Vale, in addition to Selfridges Food Hall on Oxford Street.




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DKNY Be Delicious



I received this perfume as a birthday present two years ago, and its beautifully fresh fragrance is exactly what I love to wear during the warmer months. This perfume has a floral base with a hint of citrus.

I love how this scent is very light-hearted and feminine. I adore the cute packaging of the perfume and the way in which it is shaped like an apple.

I also love the matching body lotion I received in the pack. The body lotion smells just like the perfume and is a nice creamy formula which is easily absorbed into the skin. The scent of the body lotion lasts several hours and works well with the perfume in making the scent last longer.

Do you have a signature scent?
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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

New Kicks

We all know that thrill when a parcel arrives in the post. Today I was lucky enough to experience that excitement as I opened my the vibrant orange box to reveal my new Nike Free Runs which are bright blue with a lime green tick. 
These lightweight trainers have deep slices throughout the sole and reverse flex grooves running both horizontally and vertically which makes them completely flexible and comfortable, so they will not inhibit your movement in any way. Nike Free shoes merge the natural, healthy motion of a bare foot with the protection of traditional footwear. Below are a few images of other styles and colours that I love!
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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Gluten-Free Muesli


This morning I am enjoying my delicious gluten-free muesli, containing wholegrain oats, barley flakes, sultanas, apples, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dates and cinnamon), topped with fresh blueberries, strawberries, goji berries, dried cranberries, flaxseeds and soya milk. Yum!







Health benefits of a breakfast like this include: 
* Oats may lower your blood pressure because they are high in potassium and low in sodium
* Oats help with iron deficiency 
* Oats help to lower cholesterol as they are a soluble fibre which lowers bad LDL cholesterol levels in your blood.
* Nuts and seeds offer heart healthy fats, such as omega-3s and vitamins. 
* Berries contain powerful antioxidants which can help improve your health, protect your skin and hair, and prevent certain diseases.
* Berries contain Vitamin C which boosts the immune system and is responsible for the health of collagen, which helps maintain cartilage stores and aids in joint flexibility, reducing the risk of arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
* Berries contain folate which may protect against cardiovascular disease and age-related memory loss, and since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may also help ward off depression and improve your mood. 
* Flaxseeds are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid omega-3. Flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.





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Monday, 21 April 2014

Wish List

Today I thought I would share with you 5 items which I love at the moment. Scroll down to view my wish list!
1. Stella McCartney - Falabella backpack in baby pink
2. Kenzo - silver bracelet
3. Olivia Von Halle - silk pyjamas
4. Balenciaga - studded wallet in grey
5. All Saints - leather biker jacket






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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Good Life Eatery

There is no doubt that the Good Life Eatery is London's new "it" place for those seeking delicious and nutritious food and drink. Situated on Sloane Avenue, it serves an array of super-food salads such as kale and quinoa, as well as cold-pressed juices and protein shakes - try the Choc Norris, made from almond milk, banana, raw cacao, hemp protein, maca powder and raw cashew cacao nibsI also recommend the Clean and Lean bowl and the Skinny Eggs Benedict. 


For those with a sweet tooth like myself, we can finally indulge in cupcakes, muffins, croissants, brownies and chocolate-chip cookies without feeling too guilty, as they are all gluten, dairy and sugar free!






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