Sunday 31 July 2011

Sunday Samples, Breakfast of Champions

For this Weeks Sunday Samples I am showing you something a little different, Breakfast. This is a great breakfast to have when visitors are over or as a Sunday Brunch as it's a little more filling than a bowl of cereal.
Banana Crumpets with fresh fruit and yogurt. This crumpet method is definitely a family favourite and has been ever since my sisters and I were little. It has since been passed down to the next generation and Amina absolutely loves them.

You Will Need:
8 oz Plain White Flour
2ox Caster Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Tsp of Bread Soda
8 fl oz Milk
2 Eggs
1 oz Butter
1 Banana
Fruit of your choice

Sift all your dry ingredients into a large bowl

Rub in your butter

Make a well in the centre of your dry mixture and add the eggs

Mix in Well and add your milk

Mix the ingredients all together until smooth then add your mashed banana

Heat your pan on a high heat. Once the pan is hot put your mixture in and reduce to a medium heat

When the mixture bubbles flip them over to cook on the other side. They are ready once both sides are lightly browned.

Add whatever you want to these crumpets. They can be eaten with sweet or savoury toppings, it's up to you. Look at my sister's version over at Bluebells and Bunting where she makes the crumpets with blueberries instead of banana and oats instead of flour. Any version is possible. Enjoy

Royal Wedding Number 3

The Third Royal Wedding this year took place yesterday that of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall.

The happy couple were married in Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh in front of friends and family. A much lower key celebration that William and Kate's wedding 3 months ago however 6,000 well wishers still came out to wish the couple well.

The stunning bride wore a full gown of Ivory Duchess Silk and softly ribbed faille made by the Queen's own couturier Stewart Parvin. The fullness and volume was created with acres of stiff lace. The chevron pleated bodice of the gown was corseted and had a dropped waistline emphasizing Zara's fab curves with pleating detail. The added details of the silk tulle straps forming a v-shape at the back of the gown and the bias-cut raw-edged ribbons in silk faille and duchess satin decorating the neckline combined with the empire line seam below the bust all added together to make one truly stunning, simple and flattering dress. Such simple lines and classic design and so beautiful make the perfect quintessential English bride.

Her hair was worn in what looks to me like a low structured and knotted bun with a side parting pinned back. All topped of with a unreal Tiara, The Greek Key Tiara, which was on loan from her Mother Princess Anne, and a simple yet statement Cathedral Length Veil. Accessories included Jimmy Choos and a bouquet of beautiful calla lilies.

Not to be outdone by her bridal party Zara chose simple white dresses for her bridesmaids with full skirts and waists cinched in with pale blue ribbon which formed a large bow and columns of covered buttons running down the back. The maid of honour Dolly Maude also wore a simple high necked dress with capped sleeves and a nipped in waist cut slightly above the knee, all tied together with a simple updo and beautiful hair piece.

The newlyweds were joined for their nuptials by the rest of the Royals including the other fabulous newlyweds Will and Kate, who looked stunning in the second outing for her Chic Embroidered Coat. Everyone was dressed very appropriately for a lovely English Summer wedding in muted tones, pastels and florals. How cute does the Queen look, seriously!

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie both in Angela Kelly looked stylish and sophisticated sans the crazy headpieces the wore to the first Royal Wedding this year. Prince Harry and Zara's brother Peter Phillips both looked very dapper in their Coats and tails.
So what did you think of this wedding? Did you like the bride's dress?

Saturday 30 July 2011

~To Smile ~

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.  ~Mark Twain, Following the Equator

To smile, to light up the face, to look at the world and express the sunshine you feel inside. A few little things that have made me smile over the last few weeks which have been so crazy busy for me. Due to the fact that I don't really do any daily personal posts you don't really get much of an insight into who I am. This feature is about sharing a little bit more of me.

While I was in my hometown last month I stayed with my Dad for a week. These flapjacks are one of his favourite sweet snacks so I whipped up a batch for him. They disappeared within 24 hours. Super yummy and so easy to make so I will do a Sunday Sample on them in a couple of weeks.

I spent alot of time with some really really good friends that I have know since I was a small child. They had a bbq one night and set off some oh so pretty chinese lanterns.

When I got home I was looking after my little cousins for the week, which Amina loved. We made chocolate cupcakes which were devoured.

I love gardening and spending time in my garden. I love making a garden another destination point within a home to spend time with friends and family. I bought these lanterns in Penneys for one euro each, they had been reduced from 4. I couldn't resist. My garden is almost bbq ready and with my birthday coming up soon as well as the Other Royal Wedding, Ms. Kardashian's on the 20th of August a few friends and I will be having a few drinks on her behalf. Any excuse to spend time with friends and enjoy the surroundings. I will post a picture of the lanterns at night with the candles in them soon.

My new camera (Which of course I had to get in hot pink), and means I will be uploading alot more personal pictures. I'm absolutely loving having a camera that isn't from the dark ages and that creates really gorgeous pictures. It's not a a top of the range or professional like camera but it suits me down to the ground. I have been taking alot of pictures since I got the camera and I will be sharing some which I will be showing you in other upcoming To Smile Posts.
So what has made you smile recently? 

Friday 29 July 2011


This is a new feature for me where every week I will pick one of my favourite designer pieces that I am seriously lusting after. It's as I like to say A LOVE, WANT, NEED, HAVE TO HAVE situation. I may have noticed the piece while researching for the blog, spotted it on a celeb or saw it staring back at me during some serious window shopping. This weeks pick The Helmut Lang Silk Sweaters, Spotted Recently on Khloe Kardashian, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Kristen Cavallari and Hilary Duff.

I love my Comfortable, Urban Style and with Ireland's Summers not actually typical summer this would be the perfect cover up for those days where you just don't know what to wear. A problem often associated with summers in Ireland. Do you dress for the almost certain rain shower or for the brief moments of the beautiful sun splitting the stones, even if it is only for 3.5 minutes every hour. I love it and want it and need it and so have to have it

i probably will have to find a copy somewhere as Revolve Clothing prices it slightly out of my price range at E219.01. What do you think of this Sweater, lust after? Does anyone already have it?

Thursday 28 July 2011

Airbrush or Natural

So the media has been going crazy since Wednesday over the news that the Advertising Watchdog, the Advertising Standards Industry have banned, in Britain, an advertisement by Lancome featuring Julia Roberts
 and another featuring the very beautiful veteran model Christy Turlington,

 following complaints by MP Joe Swinson. Both ads were for foundations by Maybelline and Lancome, both owned by L'Oreal and it is said that "there is not enough evidence to show the retouched images accurately reflected what the products could achieve." "Excessive airbrushing and digital manipulation techniques have become the norm, but both Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts are naturally beautiful women who don't need retouching to look great," said Swinson. I agree, stunning Women, absolutely gorgeous but not an accurate portrayal of their natural beauty.

I for one am delighted about this. For girls and women both young and old constantly being bombarded with images of "Perfection" by our idols and people that we admire this is a step in the right direction.  A very small percentage of the population actually look like these celebrities used in endorsements and the problems with self esteem and body image with teens and preteens nowadays are getting more severe. With so many of these celebrities and models that are being used to market the products within the beauty industry, being airbrushed to what THEY perceive as perfection, the normal women in the world are striving to look like someone that is nonexistent. Natural bodies have become subjected to such scrutiny within the media that the representation of what is beautiful has become so distorted that self fulfilment is now linked with an unrealistic goal of complete visual flawlessness and embedded so deeply within female psyche from such an early age that doctors have been reporting that children as young as six and seven are being treated for eating disorders, already feeling the pressures to be thin.  Even models themselves don’t look like they do in these advertisements in their normal life, yet these are the pictures that are presented to the world as ideal.

 The beauty industry defines what is beautiful however that may not be everyone’s opinion and standpoint so these steps now being taken not only make women feel better about themselves but also start the process (hopefully) of changing the perception of beauty within the industry.
Aside from celebrity endorsement or models being the face of the brand it is the beauty industry that established the problems in the first place. They label freckles or smile lines as a problem and combined with the media’s coverage of celebrities “caught” with the aforementioned problems or the negative press associated with anything other than what is perceived to be picture perfect, creates the mental complex within women’s minds which can lead to eating disorders, body dysmorphia, harmful over-exercising or depression.
Yes, It was definitely time to take a stand and really do something about the issues associated with blatant false advertising.
I have studied Marketing, Advertising and Pr and the insight into the tricks of the trade can be quite appalling. As much as I love the areas as a consumer I feel the unfair advertising has gotten way out of control and should be monitored way more closely. In my final Marketing Assignment we were asked a question on Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty and what we thought about it. In my in depth study and research for the assignment I came  across some shocking figures, statistics and real life stories on how misleading advertising can effect the consumer.
  Here is another article on the channel 4 website which I found to be quite eye opening during my research.
This is not the first time L'Oreal has been in trouble over "misleading" advertisements. In the ad for Loreal's Elvive Shampoo featuring Cheryl Cole she is wearing hair extensions to enhance her own hair. This is not a result of using that shampoo. False Advertising! It is unfair to show these as real. Expectations can never be achieved. 

 When it comes to the ads now banned, when looking for a foundation you want to genuinely see what it can do to real people. real skin, real faces.. Not a china doll like complexion of an ageing supermodel or completely ridiculous wrinkle free face of a woman, who happens to be an actress, with kids in her 40s. Celeb or not she does not look like this while wearing this foundation...

So what do you think? Should this issue be addressed further. Are there other ads that make you want to scream, THAT IS NOT REAL!!!  Here are some more Ads I feel should be addressed, the Mascara ads which promise amazing False Lash effects or Millionizing!! Yeah, If you add false lashes!

See the Independent for the full story

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Florals Finale

Following my Everything's Rosy Post this is the finale for the Floral Trend. I've covered the Runways in Trend of the Week, Who's Wearing It, Highstreet Style, Accessories, The gorgeous girls from The Saturdays in Steal Her Style and ONE X5. I've rocked the Floral Trend and will continue to do so over the course of the Summer and even into Autumn Winter 2011 as Winter Florals have graced the catwalks and are set to be a strong trend for the coming seasons. Stay tuned once I'm done with the Spring Summer Trends and I will focus on Autumn Winter with a few little stops in between for anything that I feel might be of interest.

I've rocked Florals in a Boho Look, A fab Paisley Printed River Island Jacket with cute little ditsy print flowers. Have you rocked Florals yet?

Everything's Rosy

As part of my Florals Trend I have really wanted to share these pictures from Cosmo Uk. The Floral Fantasy pictorial "Everything's Rosy" was in the March 2011 issue of Cosmopolitain Uk Magazine and from the moment I laid eyes on it way back in FebruaryI was sure that I wanted to feature it here as a Blog post for those of you who may not have seen the mag or the pictures. There is something very Ethereal and just so stunningly beautiful, girly and innocent about the photos taken by Margaretha Olschewski. I am completely in awe of the genius behind the camera and of the gorgeous fashion by Sairey Stemp, the fashion editor of Cosmo Uk, which makes these models and the dresses they are wearing completely in tune with the surroundings. I am so inspired by this pictorial, everything from the sheer natural beauty of the models, Erin and Charlbi,  to the makeup and styling. With clothes from D&G (some more shown here), Monsoon, Jigsaw, Mulberry, River Island, Asos Salon, Guess by Marciano, H&M, Littlewoods and Paul & Joe and accessories from Cornelia James, Johnny loves Rosie and Johnathon Aston. I now want to go out and buy floral clothes, plant flowers in my garden and wear flowers in my hair. For your enjoyment....

Did anyone else see this Pictorial and find inspiration? Is there other Pictorials that have inspired you? I would love to know if there was something that stood out for you and remained in your mind as something special. What is your inspiration?

Monday 25 July 2011

Celebrate Collaborations

Fashionista Twins Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are the ladies behind this weeks second Collaboration to be celebrated and excited about.

The lovely ladies with their Fashion Child The Row have joined forces with TOMS, the One for One charitable shoe brand, who match every one pair of shoes purchased with another pair of shoes given to a child in need. Such a fab idea, especially considering The Row is a luxury apparel and accessories brand and may be unaffordable to many. The capsule collection of TOMS signature espadrilles have had Mary Kate and Ashley's style spin these basic shoes, with a good cause, into something special and sooo fashion forward, with a good cause. The espadrilles are made using Italian-sourced wool, cashmere and leather and feature a mix of plaid and herringbone so are definitely more lust worthy and Seasonal for Autumn Winter than the cotton, linen espadrilles that we have seen thus far. And sticking with the ethos of the TOMS brand, for every one sold, one will be given. "We feel it's really important to spread awareness of the TOMS One for One mission," says Ashley Olsen. Together, Toms and The Row customers will have the ability to give back and create change with a single purchase." One step, that's all it really takes. Change in this world is possible if every person just does their bit, takes the step that they can take and little by little change can be created. Making the difference to one person in their life. One little child who is given a pair of shoes will create change in their life beyond anything that any of us can comprehend. I believe that to change the thought process of one child can enable that child to grow and prosper. Positivity and encouragement and just a little help creates the chance to change the world, one little person at a time.
"The giving is so immediate and transparent," explains Mary-Kate Olsen. "Having the opportunity to be a part of something so meaningful has made the collaboration with Toms so special to everyone at The Row.

This is possibly the greatest excuse EVER for expanding my shoe collection, any excuse possible is generally the way but now I can actually be helping someone and be guilt free. I may have to purchase more than one pair...all in the name of a good cause.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Celebrate Collaborations

I'm a sucker for any type of designer highstreet/affordable collaborations so I was Uber excited to see the latest news in the fashion world where collaborations are concerned. Doing my usual fashion news rounds I came across this headline. Karl Lagerfeld for Macy's!

The Designer superstar is creating a capsule collection which will be available from August 31 and can be purchased for as little as $50, which works out about E35. Considering Chanel and Karl's regular creations are pretty much completely unaffordable for most, this is a delight to see. This is not the first collaboration for Mr. Lagerfeld who has already teamed up with the highstreet favourite with designers H&M, Hogan, Diesel, Magnum and recently the Karl Lagerfeld Coca Cola bottles. Karl said to Vogue, "The collaboration is a kind of test how to do this kind of clothes in that price range. As you know, I love occasional co-branding."  "Macy's is the perfect department store in the US, where everybody can find what they're looking for without ruining their budget."

According to Vogue the line will be made up of 45 limited edition pieces. Tweed, Printed t-shirts and some of what Karl Lagerfeld does best, the Statement Jacket, will all play a part in the collection as well as various styles of dresses such as "the soft and feminine to the more sculpted and tuxedo-based".
"There's a contemporary spin on his signature aesthetic, with versatile, easy-to-wear pieces with a modern twist," said Macy's group vice president and fashion director, Nicole Fischelis. "His passion and creative genius are deeply reflected in this collection, highlighting his ever evolving perspective to the fashion customer."

I don't know about the above sketch, to me it looks a little like a school uniform crossed with your bank manager's work suit but one person's inspiration doesn't always translate through paper to others. I am incredibly excited to see what he comes up with and to see the capsule collection in it's entirety. Whether I will be looking to possibly purchase or not, is yet to be seen. Curiosity will definitely be causing anticipation for me. Tomorrow The Olsen twins and The Row collaborate with TOMS...

Saturday 23 July 2011


For my ONE X 5 for the Floral trend it took me a couple of days to actually decide which piece to work with. There are so many fabulous pieces out there that I really couldn't make up my mind. Should I go floral dress, playsuit or jumpsuit, a pair of palazzo pants or a jacket. I have after much deliberation decided to go with this gorgeous Pixie Lott for Lipsy playsuit. The outfits may seem like alot of the same but at the end of the day it is a playsuit so it is slightly harder to mix up. However I think that I have shown the range of outfits and looks that can be achieved with this fab little piece. When it comes to clothes you have to get your money worth and I think that if you can get those 5 separate looks out of the one piece, then your purchase would have been worth it.

So here are my outfits.

Bikini Victoria Secret, Sandals Aldo, Bag Juicy Couture at Asos,Sunglasses
River Island, Bracelet Miss Selfridge, Mac Lip Conditioner,Clarins SPF,
Maybelline Falsies Waterproof Mascara, Towel Calypso St. Barth

Kimono Asos, Sandals River Island,
Bag Topshop,
Jewellery House of Harlow 1960

Jacket and Bag Topshop,
Shoes and Ring Asos,
Necklace Belle Noel

For this outfit I wanted to change it up slightly. As a fashionista you have to think outside the box at times and not take everything so literally. I have seen one of my favourite bloggers Fashionnerdic chop and change outfits for so long from wearing dresses as tops and tops as dresses and everything in between so this outfit was slightly inspired by her. There is no reason why this fab little playsuit can't be altered slightly in it's purpose and worn as a top under a flowing pleated skirt. The playsuit is small enough to not create too much additional bunching on the tummy area and with the skirt being so lovely and flowy it will skim right over any volume created by the playsuit. From occasion you do need to power blazer it and this outfit can do just that for the perfect Power Blazer Brunch.
Blazer and Skirt Asos, Shoes Aldo,
Clutch Zara, Sunglasses River Island,
Watch Michael Kors, Ring House of Harlow

Jacket Miss Selfridge, Boots, Sunglasses and Ring Asos,
House of Harlow 1960,
Perfume Reb'l Fleur by Rihanna

Everything I use for my ONE X 5 are pretty accessible to everyone. As you can probably tell House of Harlow 1960 is one of my favourite jewellery lines and can be bought from quite a few different online sources such as Asos, Revolve, Charm and chain and the Trend boutique to name but a few. For those of you from Ireland it is now available from the Design Centre in the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin. I haven't been in to see their selection as I am in fear of how much the price will be increased just to be sold in Ireland. I will be doing a Obcessed feature very soon which will talk a little about my favourite designers, design houses and fashion lines of different varieties. And I will most definitely be foucusing on House of Harlow 1960 for one of the posts. I hope you like my outfits.