Friday, 30 August 2013

Not Wanting to Wash it Off

It's not the coolest place, or the most hardcore, but my highlight of my recent trip to Ibiza had to be Zoo project. The main reason being, the face paint! I think all the girls look absolutely gorgeous with their different markings.

Rachel had the most intricate face paint, going for a peacock inspired face piece. It was so colourful and intricate.

Hayley was adorned with a colourful and pretty butterfly inspired face paint. The paint looked amazing with her bright blue eyes.

Clare went golden and glittery with a red tone tiger print to match her skater dress. The face paint also really went with Clare's red/purple hair and double braided hair.

Julianne kept monochrome with glittery zebra print to match her black and white outfit. I really love how it looks with the pink lips.

Taking inspiration from my outfit, the orange was picked out from my top and I went with tiger print on my face and arm. I would have kept this on for days if the girls had let me!

Kate was after sequins and glitter, but got more of a gold effect. Her body art was tiger print in black on a gold background topped with some cute Hawaiian flowers for good measure.

The artists at Zoo are great, but for more choice and less queuing I have heard it is better to go into San Antonio earlier in the day. We arrived at zoo for about 6 and it was just starting to get busy. It was ideal as it gave us time to all get painted, but if I did it again I would go to SA first.

The whole evening was totally chilled and really friendly and I'd say that if you're in Ibiza on a Saturday and you want to have some reasonably priced drinks in a relaxed but fun place then Zoo is the place to be. And don't be worried about going out afterwards with face paint on. Everyone does it and no one bats an eyelid.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Not A Bad Word to Say About MASH

I'm not usually as much of a socialite but the last couple of weeks have turned out to be quite busy. Drinks and food have flowed and I've been having way too much fun. I am back on my "not a diet, diet" as of tomorrow.

Thursday night was an absolute delight. The WTF gang and our lovely clients HBO ascended on MASH (Modern American Steak House) in Soho for drinks and more importantly, dinner. MASH is not long opened and is based in the old Titanic Restaurant on Brewer Street. It's luxurious and opulent from the moment you ascend the long spiral staircase. It was fairly quiet at 6pm so we were able to have a couple of drinks in the bar before being seated in our private room.

The drinks list is extensive to put it lightly, with a huge amount of cocktails. We did a good job of trying nearly all of them between us. Some were winners and some left us trying to sniff out any sign of what might be in the glass/tankard/flute. On the other hand Mikey and Neil were kept happy with over 20 types of rum, from various places and various ages.

The room we'd hired was the perfect size for 12 people but could fit up to 16 comfortably. We had a designated server whose manner and knowledge were spot on. He knew all there was to know about the food and was happy to help with any questions we had. We certainly needed some guidance on the wine list, which went on for pages and pages (and pages). My favourite tipple was by far the Malbec we had with our steak.

The group ate from a set menu, which consisted of 4 starters to share, a choice of 3 steaks and a choice of 3 desserts. Every single morsel of food I ate was gorgeous. I went for the American Ribeye 300g which was an absolute beast of a portion. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't finish it. Maybe it was all the wine? I had mine medium, and it was cooked to perfection. Exactly to my taste. If you want steak cooked your way, go to MASH, as every single guest was impressed with what they had and how it was cooked. The sides accompanied the steaks perfectly. Gorgeous mash potato and bacon, creamy spinch, golden fries and salad were available in abundance. No one could have asked for anything more, and by the time dessert arrived (a good break between mains and dessert was much appreciated) we all groaned at the thought of any more food. Saying that, we still managed to tuck into cheesecakes and meringues. I think it's called a second wind. 

The double doors into the room were constantly left open, so whilst we had the pleasure of dining exclusively with our guests, we didn't feel shut out and could still enjoy the buzz of the restaurant. The room is airy and spacious and with a fully mirrored wall at one end feels huge. With a minimum spend of £1500 (for the room) it's not a cheap option, but with a few magnums of wine and champagne you'll soon ramp up the spend.

Not to say that this is a really expensive restaurant, it's just the way we decided to do it. I would love to visit again with friends or Al and see another side to it and give the rest of the menu a try. I wonder if they do a burger?! And I've also got to find out the name of the Malbec we had.

This is another hit in the heart of Soho. One I am happy to recommend. As ever, if you decide to give it a try, let me know. 

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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Not at Carnival. Dont care.

After Ibiza and a few heavy work related night outs, my body still doesn't feel 100%. So sitting at my desk on Monday morning I decided there was only one thing for it. A trip down to see my folks (and Poppy) at their gorgeous home in Freshwater, Isle Of Wight.

I don't know whether its the sea air, the ridiculously comfy beds or just the fact that I feel totally at ease here but I am always able to completely relax. Walking, talking and eating are always on the agenda, and I just love it. Today we popped in to see my Auntie at her sea front beach shack down at Gurnard. I say shack, but it couldn't be further from an accurate description - you can see it for yourself here.

After coffee and a catch up with Antonia, we took a long, leisurely stroll into Cowes where we made an inevitable pit-stop for some icecream. It was all my mums idea, I swear. I felt good for having walked a good few miles, after completely chilling out yesterday.

I'm now currently sat on the most enormous sofa, and the house is filled with the aroma of Jackies infamous Lasagne. I can't tell you how excited I am to chow down on what is my absolute favourite meal of all time. I'll most likely have at least two portions, unashamedly putting myself into a severe self-induced food coma. I'm not even embarrassed to say it. 

I'm heading back to London tomorrow, but will enjoy a casual brunch with my Auntie, cousin and Nanny Fletcher before I go. Another session of over indulgence I'm sure, but as they say "when in Rome".

By Tuesday I'll be fed, watered and relaxed. As good as new.

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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Not In The Mood

When the sun is shining and the pool is calling your name, (or you're so hungover you can't even talk) no one wants to spend hours in front of the mirror doing their hair. So here are my suggestions for holiday hair that's quick, easy, cool and most importantly cute on the beach.

1. Upside Down Braid into Bun

This style is perfect for keeping hair off the back of your neck without a heap of grips and clips that can get really hot in the sun. It's a nice twist on a plain and simple bun, so ideal for day and evening. It works best on day old hair, as anything too silky may slip out. You can finish the braid with a simple bun, a donut or a braided bun. All depending on thickness of hair or your preference.

2. Braided Fringe

Anyone with long hair or a fringe will know that perspiration (because ladies don't sweat) can cause havoc. So for an evening or beach club situation when you want your hair down but not a fringe its simple and effective to braid it to one side. You can french plait, reverse french plait, 1 side french braid (as seen in the photo) or even rope braid it. I'll be doing a post on braided fringes so look out for that.

4. Top Knot

My favorite and the most simple. I just twist my ponytail round itself to form a high top knot on the top of my head. You can backcomb your hair beforehand for a fuller top knot, or just keep it small.  Either way, it's a stylish way to wear hair up without spending more than 5 minutes in front of the mirror.

5. Donut Bun

I am the proud owner of 3 different sizes of donut. Small, medium and large, funnily enough. For a big impact I love the large donut, it's great for nights out on holiday as you really don't have to spend time prepping the hair. For a daytime jaunt I'd be more likely to keep to a smaller size. Wouldn't want to block any ones sun!! If you're new to donuts, start small and work your way up as you get more used to how they look/feel.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Not Quite What I Had Expected

After a couple of episodes of re-colouring my hair the same purple tone I had done at Bleach, I thought it was time to mix it up a bit and try a new colour.

I still want to keep within a certain spectrum so I decided pink was a good next step. The choice was between another pastel shade, or something a little more hard hitting.

I went for Pinkissimo (Crazy Colour). The hard hitting option.

After shampooing, I took the time to make sure every strand was covered. Previously I was a little slap dash which meant my ends were quite hit and miss. It looks quite nice in a way but I was being more careful on this occasion. I did each side of my head in two halves, top and bottom.

For maximum effect I left the semi-perm colour on for 30 minutes before rinsing. I knew even as I rinsed that this colour was going to be BRIGHT! Part of me was willing more colour to come out as I rinsed but no, it was hanging on for dear life.

After a quick blow dry I could see that Pinkissmo really meant big time pink colour. Initial thoughts weren't great. I felt like a goth with a bad dye job. Not cool.

However, a sleep and a straighten later and the final product is not as bad as I thought. It'd grown on me and I'm thinking that in 2/3 washes, I'm going to have a gorgeous pastel pink. I'm quite looking forward to it!

Will let you know how the fade looks.

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Saturday, 17 August 2013

Not just a couple of drinks

It was a happy accident that I ended up at The Blind Pig on Thursday night. What I thought was to be a couple of cheeky drinks after work with some clients and colleagues, turned into a rather lovely yet messy night out. I'm extremely lucky that in my line of work I get to grace establishments such as these, and spend my evenings with some superb company.

I just wanted to give The Blind Pig the recognition it deserves and highlight a few of the details I loved about it that make me think I definitely want to go back.

They have a gorgeous cocktail list, with such an array of interesting tipples it took all of us a good 10 minutes to choose. The coffee bean treat you can see above is known as a "Mochachocafrapacino" or something to that affect. It had a lot of rum in it, a lot of port in it, and a lot of taste to it. It was like dessert in a drink and everyone who tried it loved it. The cocktails come in all shapes and sizes and that's half the fun of this place. You could work your way through the whole list and never know what was going to turn up at your table. I saw fruit, wooden cricket bats (!) and glass milk cartons appear from the bar.

The staff were super attentive, and well presented. The ladies all matched in a cute floral dress I had my eye on from Zara last season. A nice touch I thought, a change from the usual black shirt and trousers combo you so often see. The gents were smartly dressed, with one possessing a beard to rival even 1t (Mr Etta Din).

I have to mention my excitement over the food in this place. I only tried their chips (with curry mayo) and olives but I have already requested a date night there with Al. Fleshy, juicy, salty olives were what kept me going through the copious amounts of wine. I think I told everyone there about 8 times how tasty the olives were. Whoops.

Whilst this place is really quite luxurious, you're not taken for a ride with the prices. Cocktails are neither cheap nor expensive, ranging from £7-9.50 ish. However, we stuck with red wine after the first round of cocktails which was really lovely and reasonable at £17 for the bottle. Beers in chilled tankards came in at about £4.50 I believe.

You'll notice I took a snap of the toilets, which may not be important to some but it just outlines how much attention to detail has been paid here. I honestly cannot fault a thing.

If you have plans to go to the Blind Pig or give it a try based on this review, please do let me know how it goes. I'd love to hear. Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, 16 August 2013

Not In A "I'm so Miserable" Kind of Way

I'm sure I'm not the only one but I'm just never happy. Not in a "I'm so miserable" kind of way. I just always want more. Whether its money, social activities or clothes, as soon as I get one sorted I'm keen to get the next.

On this occasion I'm craving trainers. I just bagged myself the gorgeous Nike Hyperfuse as seen here, but already I've got a wish list of my next potential pair.

First up, and likely to cause a divide in opinion are these Reebok beauties. An absolute Classic (!) I've already heard them described as very "Croydon" but I think, worn with the right outfit they could be a really nice spring, girlie outfit finisher. Pastels are going to be everywhere next season and this for me is a great way to work them in to my wardrobe. A bargain pair too at only £60.00

Next up are my favourites on the list. They're the Nike Airmax 90 Hyperfuse Independence Day special edition. Already sold out pretty much everywhere they are just a pipe dream. The range consisted of a gorgeous blue pair and deep red, but I just think crisp white are the best. At £103.00 they're not cheap but I'd say worth every penny. If only I had the budget, the money and the access!! Dammit.

Next up, ANOTHER pair of Air Max 90's, this time the comfort range. These are a more Autumn type trainer for me, but the bright coral still makes them an eye catcher. Not sure I'll ever go for an all black trainer, these are a girly alternative for darker months. As will all Air Max, they've got the comfort factor and even give you an extra inch in height. Why do you think so many boys love them! £104.95 ish for these beauties. At what point is it acceptable to buy yourself an early Christmas present?

Lastly, and by no means least are a standard white Van. I've never owned a pair of Vans, having stuck with Converse and more recently Superga for my less sporty footwear, but I think the time has come. Bang some Crep Protect and these will keep me going through the rest of August, Sept and maybe even October. I'll be laughing in the face of rain. They go with everything, from dresses to leggings on a fat day, so they're a no brainer. The cheapest pair on the list as well at just £45.00, what's not to love?

Picture credits: Well Gosh, Drop Date, Foot Locker + Crooked Tongues

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Not Me, The Other Al

My best friend is also my house mate, and my go-to man for everything. He's Al and he is my better half. Yes, together we are "al and al".

Al is pretty much the nicest guy you'll meet. And that's not being biased, a recent survey of everyone who's ever met him said the same (I lied). The reason he might appear on my blog now and again is likely to be because we hang out a lot together, naturally, but also because he has a sense of style that should be shared.

He's cool. To the bone. He never looses his rag, he's calm at every moment and he is a good balance for my firework-like nature. But it doesn't end there, he has an ability to make the most simple outfit look smart and perfect. Chinos and a white shirt are all it takes. He's preppy and I like that. Never a hair out of place as the saying goes.

The thing I love the most is that he looks so good, he makes me look good. Result.
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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Not Sure on An Outfit?

It's safe to say I come from a female orientated environment. 9 aunties, 2 sisters and of course Mum.

So when it comes to fashion, hair, style or in fact anything in life, there is never a shortage of opinions. Fantastic, when you want it. When you don't, well that's another blog post. 

My two sisters and I, have become heavily reliant on "outfit whatsapps". Even my mum has got involved in recent months. Almost weekly I am called upon to judge one sister or anthers outfit choices for the next wedding/night out/party. And of course, I also call on them to help me out with a second and third opinion when I can't quite decide if I'm in love with an outfit.

If you don't already do it, you need to get involved. It's instant feedback when you most need it.

In the changing rooms, when you 'need'  an outfit and you 'think' it's the one but just need some reassurance. If they reply with a "hmmmm" it's back to the drawing board. If its an "I like" then you finally let go of the breath you've been holding and rush to the checkout.

If you're not lucky enough to have two fashion forward siblings, ask your friends, ask your mum, ask whoever it is you know will tell you the truth. As that's what we all need. Some good clean honesty.

Not to say I don't ever return items or disagree with a sister or two, but it definitely helps shorten the process a little.

You can download Whatsapp here 

Please excuse the not smiling in pics.... Never knew I'd be blogging them! 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Not Fresh to Super Fresh

I'm fairly low maintenance overall, but there is one thing I cannot let go. My brows.

Some of you might think it ridiculous, obsessive or unnecessary to get your eyebrows threaded every week, but once you've done it once, you'll never stop. I blame Connie (middle sister) for the weekly habit, she too is an eyebrow obsessive, known to visit every 5 days at her worst. I used to be a happy bi-weekly regular at Adorn Beauty, but ever since I made the visit just 7 days after my previous I haven't stopped. At £4 a go its a luxury I can actually afford. Even better is the fact that every sixth visit is free with a loyalty card (at Adorn).

Recently however, I broke my habit. In order to ensure the best brows possible for my holiday I have let them grow out for 18 days (!!!). It has been a struggle, and I have to confess I have plucked the odd couple that were impairing my vision (slight exaggeration), but they are seriously overgrown. They've lost their shape and former beauty. Take a look for yourself.
The upside of this is that I have been able to step into the salon a mess and step out with a newly framed face! The way your eyebrows can change your face is incredible. Look at the difference! 

I would implore anyone to give threading a go if you haven't already. It's virtually pain free once you've done it a few times, it's cheap and it's readily available these days on most high streets and shopping centers. I can recommend Adorn and Zara at Hi-Lites in Ruislip Manor. Just be sure to explain clearly what you want. My usual line is "I want to keep them thick, same shape, just tidied up". 

However, if you're going for a totally new shape, it's worth splashing out a little and visiting somewhere like Blink. You can talk through your face shape and what would suit you so they get it just right. Once you have your new eyebrow shape you can just get a tidy up locally at a fraction of the cost. 

Another tip from me and my sister would be to kindly decline the "lotion" or "cream" you are offered after threading. Meant to cool your skin from the pain, it can actually clog your pores and cause spots around the forehead/temple area. So I always say no thank you. 

Lastly, if you want to see how much difference eyebrows really can make, check out this link.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Not sporting dry ends

So whilst bleaching my hair might look amazing (in my humble opinion), it has it's downsides. Having only ever gone as far as bleaching my hair an orangey hue with my DIY dip-dye last year, I've never truly known the feeling of straw-like, knotty, dry hair until now. Once the salon blow dry had expired and it came time for me to have a go I noticed just how much my hair has changed. The texture is almost unrecognisable. It's an obvious outcome, but still a shock for a true brunette. I knew I had to take action.

Luckily for me I'd been recommended hair oil by Brad at Bleach London (bradbaker) for combatting the dryness associated with bleaching. He actually used Bumble and Bumble Hair Oil on my locks before my blow dry, but at £25.50 I wasn't quite prepared to splash out when I knew there must be alternatives. Cue some serious hair oil research. I checked out top ten recommendations from Elle UK, Cosmo, several Beauty and Hair Bloggers and each list was different. There was, however, one product that kept making an appearance. The "cult" Organix Morrocon Argan Oil. At £6.99 it had to be worth a try, so I popped to Superdrug on my lunch break and found it there for just £4.99 (£2 off offer! result!).

The instructions say to apply a small amount to towel dried hair. My blob was no bigger than a pea and was plenty enough, another bit of good news as it means it will last for months. I can't recommend this product enough for anyone who is suffering from the effects of too much sun, bleaching or just some split ends. It's practically a miracle, and at the price there's really no wonder it has such a dedicated fan base.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Not a Garland Wearer

Glasto, Wireless, Ocean Beach Club, Bora Bora. What do all these places have in common in 2013? The flower garland.

They used to be seen on whimsy girls with full maxi skirts and hairy armpits but not now. Ibiza's finest party girls have adopted this trend, bought it to the mainstream and they are everywhere. You can't move in a beer tent at a festival this summer without an artificial flower tickling your nostril. But I've surprised myself and I have to admit, I love them!

I've borrowed my good friend Rachel for this post. In a past life I'm sure Rachel was a hippy so she was the natural choice. Long, thick, gorgeous auburn hair is a bonus. I've given Rachel some boho curls and persuaded her to try a few different garlands for my very own styling pleasure.

Now I really am not your typical flower garland wearer, as I think it takes some balls and a "I don't care if you stare" attitude but I'm thinking that I one of these beauties might make it into my suitcase for Ibiza. Whether I wear it or not is a different story!
 The Studded One - H&M - £3.99

The Natural One - H&M - £3.99

The Angelic One - H&M - £6.99

The Girly One - Forever21 - £4.90

You can pick up flower garlands on Ebay for pennies, a lot of them ship from overseas so can take a while to come but prices start at £1.65 and include shipping!  

If you've tried a garland send me a pic!