Monday, 13 December 2010

The Advent Giveaway: Behind Door 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13... an array of beauty products.

I am so frustrated with myself and my lack of Advent Giveaway blog posts last week.  Life has been crazy busy and I have been preoccuppied with a lot of things.  Therefore I am giving 7 products away to one winner to make up for the 7 days missed!  To enter you must a, be a follower of the blog and b, tweet "I've entered the #toelleandback Beauty Giveaway" followed by the link to the post.  International entrants welcome.

The giveaway includes a miniature bottle of Dove moisturising shower creme, Lipstick Queen lipstick in Saint Red, Bath and Body Works antibacterial gel in warm vanilla sugar, Maybelline 18 Hour Wear Super Stay lip colour in Raisin, Mac eyeshadow in Golden Rod, Mac liquidlast liner in a Dusky Pink and a RMK Gel Eyeliner in Shiny Purple!

I am also pleased to announce that the winner of the L'Oreal Collagen Filler is Lolaa!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Advent Giveaway: Behind Door 6... L'Oreal's Wrinkle Decrease Collagen Filler.

I am DAYS behind on the Advent Giveaway, so apologies, I have been so busy.  This is Mondays giveaway which will be open until tomorrow morning (Fri 10th Dec) and I plan to post todays, along with the last two days tonight.
To enter Day 6, just comment below along with ensuring that you are a follower of the blog.  I can also announce that my random winner of the Fake Bake lipgloss from Sundays giveaway is Ray of Who is She? blog.

Planned postage of prizes so far is tomorrow!  I will confirm to all that they have been sent via email.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Advent Giveaway: Behind Door 5... a Fake Bake lipgloss.

The gloss may be called High Maintenance but today is Sunday, otherwise known as the day of rest so there are no entry rules for this giveaway, apart from that you must be a follower via GFC.  The winner shall be picked from random from my follower list on Monday evening. 

I am also pleased to announce that the winner of the Butter nail polish from yesterdays Advent Giveaway is Lolaa!  Please send me your postal address to

Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Advent Giveaway: Behind Door 4... a Butter nail polish.

It's icy out there and this blue is the perfect wintry accompaniment to your nails, or save it until summer and it would look great with a tan!  To enter you must a, be a follower via GFC and b, tweet "I've entered the #toelleandback Advent Giveaway" along with the link. (International entrants welcome and you are allowed to win more than once!)

The winner of Garnier's UltraLiftPro-x Re-plumping and Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream from yesterdays Advent Giveaway is Pink Julep!  Email me at with your address and I will get this sent out early this week.

Friday, 3 December 2010

The Advent Giveaway: Behind Door 3 Garnier's UltraLiftPro-x Re-plumping and Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream.

This post is a little late going up today because I've been trying to shovel my way out of my road, which failed and doing more work for my job because guess where I still am.....?

As you can see the mound outside my door has grown further.

With an icy chill like the one thats been whistling it's way through much of England this week, it's really important to take care of your skin so moisturising is a must!  To enter simply comment below and remember you need to be a follower of the blog by Google Friend Connect  as well (International entrants welcome).

I am also pleased to announce that the winner of the Laura Mercier Chocolate Garnet Mineral Eye Powder of yesterdays Advent Giveaway was Anna of @mymindsownvoice.  Please email with your address so that I can send your prize out when I can leave my road!  Watch out for Something for the Weekend... later, which will most likely document everything I would have done this weekend if I was able to get anywhere.


Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Advent Giveaway: Behind Door 2... Laura Mercier, chocolate garnet mineral eye powder.

With the Big Freeze hitting England, I have been stranded at home for three days now due to our ridiculous public transport.  For me this means a roaring fire by my computer whilst I work from home and hot chocolate late afternoon... the chocolate eyeshadow is quite symbolic of my being "snowed in".

The entering rules shall change from day to day, so make sure you keep an eye out.  To enter for todays Advent Giveaway you need to a, be a follower of the blog and b, tweet "I've entered the #toelleandback Advent Giveaway" along with the link and please leave a comment below with your twitter tag name so that I know who you are!  International entrants are accepted and the winner will be announced in Day 3's post.

I can also confirm that the winner of the Mac lipstick yesterday is Stephanie Cummins!  If you can email me your address to I will attempt to get it sent out to you this weekend but until my front door stops looking like this.... may have to be next week.

*Hot Chocolate image from


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Advent Giveaway: Behind Door 1... a Mac lipstick
Sorry for the poor photo!
The vibrant Mac red in "Lady Danger" will be a great statement to any LBD this Christmas.  To enter to win this lipstick make sure you are a follower of the blog and please comment below.  Anybody that wins this week should email me their details to and I shall send all winning items out at the weekend (the giveaway is open to international readers as well).  The winner of todays giveaway shall be announced in tomorrows giveaway post. 

Launching the Advent Giveaway has never felt more apt when taking into consideration that the 1st of December looks like this...

We now can't open the door without mounds of snow falling in our house....eeek! my house.


Monday, 29 November 2010

Maggie Angus Are Putting The Fun Back Into Monday

Most of you will be dragging your feet with an expression of gloom, not even attempting to battle off the monday morning blues. So here's a little uplift from me...

Anna Hickman Evans, of Maggie Angus jewellery, is holding a 20% off sale today. The line is relatively new but already receiving great press. The quirky pieces are a fun slant on any outfit. With necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings featuring eccentric designs, such as a row of shoes, they're the perfect gift to our friends this Christmas or even, dare I say, ourselves. After all, who doesn't like to document the obsession, Carrie Bradshaw made so famous?

The already affordable line is holding the 20% discount for today only, so kick off your Christmas shopping with these ultimate items...

NOW £27.20
NOW £21.40

NOW £23.20
*all available at


To brighten your day a little further, I wanted to remind you all that Wednesday is the launch of my Advent Giveaway. A product a day to keep the winter blues away. The no.1 rule is that you must be a follower to enter. Some days a winner will be picked at random from my follower list and others I may ask for a physical entry, which again the winner will be picked randomly from. I've already got a bag stacked full of goodies including, Chanel, Bath and Body Works, Mac, amongst others.

So let's kick start this week in style.  Happy Monday Everyone!

*all images from

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Way back when...

As I sit here with my Christmas pudding slice and my cup of tea on this chilly night, I am reminded of the saying on my Starbucks cup today..."Stories are gifts to share..."

I am so lucky to have so many wonderful memories, including much loved friends and family, many jovial laughs, heartwarming moments and overwhelming feelings of contentment.  I have decided to make Way back when... a regular piece that documents moments I keep close to my heart.

Today is Thanksgiving.  In 2005 I was studying at Bridgewater State College, MA and I shared Thanksgiving with my good friend Jen Corey, her family and friends. 

It was a bitter cold night and we had rehearsals for our Lab Theatre Project, the "Theatre on the Edge" Festival, that was to take place the following week.  As we wrapped at 10.30pm, myself, Jen, Jamie, Mike and Alison made our way to the cinema to see Rent the movie.  It had just been released at the cinema and my friends were dying to see it.  I wasn't bothered either way, as had never seen it on stage anyway.  We were the last into the showing and had to take seats at the very front.  It was a late showing, I was exhausted and ten minutes in I fell asleep, only to wake just in time to see the final scene.  We hugged and said our farewells to Jamie and Alison in the car park.  Mike dropped Jen and myself back to her house. 

I had visited Jen's once before but only sat in the car.  We bundled into her home with her massive bag of laundry.  Both her parents were still awake, their Christmas tree was up and their home smelt of freshly baked apple pie.  The cinnamon was intoxicating. They were beyond welcoming and I truly felt as if I was part of their family.   I even remember their distinct candied apple hand soap from Bath and Body Works, perfect for such a holiday. The following morning Jen and I headed out to Mary Lou's for coffee for everyone later and then prepared for the rest of the day.  A multitude of relatives arrived to a feast of turkey, mashed potato, meatballs, amongst other delicious foods. 
As the day drew to a close, numerous friends appeared for dessert.  Some bringing their own but either way Jen's mum had prepared enough for all.  Baklava, pumpkin pie, apple pie, brownies, cookies...the list goes on.  Us college lot headed down to the basment, ate, chatted and generally laughed until late.  Friends for dessert, since 2005, has been a Corey Annual Thanksgiving Event and every year, depsite the large ocean that seperates myself from all of them, I am still invited via Facebook.  Next year, I hope to attend.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Oh the weather outside is frightful but my nails will be so delightful...

I'm starting to regret spending my "new winter coat" money on two L'Oreal advent calendars.  The weather hasn't quite turned yet but there is definitely an icier chill in the air, for my walk home from the station in the evening.  England, apparently, from Thursday onwards is set to look a little like this...

My sister and I Feb 2009
I may freeze to death with the "arctic winds" that are being threatened but whilst doing so I shall have the most perfect frost effect nails to match!

I used two coats of each of these two polishes...

To create this look...

To me, it screams frosted mint, which many a colleague has chuckled at me for.  The sparkle adds a snow globe quality to the metallic green, that is very much reminiscent of that Bath and Body Works snow globe, peppermint lipbalm I blogged about a few days back. 

I may not have a coat but style wise, I am more than ever prepared for the wintry week ahead.  Now if only they were scented too!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Something For The Weekend...

This year I have treated myself to two spa breaks.  Next year I plan to do the same.  I am a true believer in regular facials, however, until I've made my millions, I shall simply only stretch for a professional facial when attending Champneys.

If you follow me on twitter you will be very familiar with my "DIY facial" tweets.  If you do not follow me on twitter, then why the hell not, get yourself on over to here and make it happen!

I have an incredibly hectic schedule at the moment, so as soon as I wrapped teaching yesterday, I decided to just completely chill out.  So, for all those of you planning to do the same, here's my Something for the Weekend post featuring the DIY facial.

You Will Need:
Facial Scrub
Face Mask
Cotton Pads

My personal choice of products are Neals Yard's Orange Flower Water as my cleanser (not quite a cleanser I realise but I swear by it), Dark Angels facial scrub from Lush and Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask, also from Lush.

Firstly I place the cleanser into my fridge to cool.  The face mask, if using one from Lush, should always be kept in the fridge to keep the ingredients fresh, in order for them to perform their best. 

1.  Once the cleanser has cooled, using cotton pads, remove all makeup and any residue from the day.

2.  When confident that the face is completely clean, take a coin size of the Dark Angel scrub and mix with water to form a paste.  Now use the scrub across all of your face, concentrating on your t-zone.  I like to rub vigorously but you will know what is best for your own skin.

3.  Run the flannel under warm tap water to saturate and then squeeze to keep it damp.  Be careful to make sure you remove all the scrub. (Dark Angel contains rhassoul mud and charcoal, is completely black and can get very messy but is well worth it!)

4.  Because this is so messy, I like to cleanse my face again, to make sure every last part of the scrub is removed.

5.  Boil a kettle.  Once this is done take it to your bathroom sink, along with your rosemary.  Fill the sink with the boiled water and empty a large amount of the rosemary into it.  Using a towel, place over your head and sink to steam your face.  Do so for 5-10 minutes. (Also great to ward off any colds now we've reached this icy weather)

6.  Pat dry your face with a clean towel and apply your face mask.  This should have a cooling effect after the harshness of the scrub and the heat.  Leave your face mask on, as long as prescribed.

7.  With the opposite side of the flannel remove the face mask.  Then apply your moisturiser as normal. (This is very important as a facial, although leaves your skin feeling smooth, can actually dry it out also.)

This whole process is so beneficial to me, as after several weeks, my forehead begins to become bumpy from, I assume, a mixture of pollution, oily t-zone and moisturiser.  After my DIY facial, my skin always feels healthier, smoother and generally blemish free, as if by magic!

I plan to do my facial today, whilst partaking in my new obsession, watching Kelly Cutrone's reality show Kell on Earth (she's my hero), on the website Bunny With Fangs.  It's addictive, check it out.

Have a fabulous rest of the weekend guys!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The "To Elle and Back Advent Calendar": Otherwise known as, my first giveaway!

Whoever still doubts Social Media, take note, although anybody that does, is most likely not reading my blog.

Yesterday I purchased two items from Selfridges that were recommended by the lovely, British Beauty Blogger.  One was a Christmas present, that shall remain a mystery until further notice, as the person in question is one of a few family and friends that will most likely read this and the second is the most magical treat I could ever ask for...

The L'Oreal advent calendar has been blogged about repetitively, due to it's unique concept, exclusivity and hefty price tag (£60), considering we're talking about a Christmas countdown.  I first read about this on the blog mentioned above and then numerous entries appeared all over the net, which meant I just had to have it.  I know it's extravagant and I know I don't need it.  So of course, I bought two!

Only joking, ones for my mum, I treated her too.  Synchronise "Ahhhh!" 

The calendar includes 24 days of beauty goodies ranging from creams to perfumes, from Kiehls to Stella McCartney.  Quite frankly, I can't possibly wait until the 1st of December, it needs to hurry up!

Since bragging about my calendar on twitter last night, the lovely Pink Julep expressed her sensible restraint from purchasing it, despite her overwhelming desire to do so.  I decided this could be the perfect opportunity to run a giveaway on the blog.  I've been itching to do one for a while (although I do only have 12 followers)!  Before anybody gets ahead of themselves, I am not parting with my beast of a calendar, nor am I purchasing another one for a reader.  I do however plan to implement the, To Elle And Back Advent Calendar.  This will run for 24 days, as of the 1st of December and will include beauty products, most of the luxe nature (yes I am talking CHANEL) and the odd extra fun Christmas inspired gift, if something of the non beauty nature catches my eye.  I'm not entirely sure of all the logistics yet but I am willing to ship anywhere in the World.

This brings me to my next point quite naturally.  I am literally moving on from one festivity to the next.  My last blog post (here) featured Halloween and now I feel it is of the utmost importance that I declare To Elle And Back a Christmas zone.  Not only will my advent calendar giveaway begin in a few weeks but I will be blogging about festive events, cosy treats, must have party pieces, tasteful (and tacky) Christmas lights in my local area and I might even dabble in a bit of wintry themed nail art.  You heard it here first peeps!  I am also, very much in the market for Christmas lipbalms.  I have still never quite gotten over the snow globe lipbalm I bought from the ONLY Bath and Body Works in the UK, about 10 years ago (which proceeded to close down very quickly) and so would be grateful for any input as to any you may be aware of. Oh and FYI can I just express how excited I am over the Metro believing we shall be the recipients of snow as of Sunday.  If my house doesn't look like this....

I shall be inconsolable.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Some Hocus Pocus!

There are certain seasonal events which make me wish I lived in the States.  They really seem to go to town with their decorations and festive attitude.  Halloween is a prime example. I love it.  Ever since my mum bought home some Halloween decorations from a trip to the US, back when I was about 12/13, Halloween has been a major deal in my house.  Every year I buy a few extra decorations, replenish the black and orange candles and cook an autumnal themed meal.  This year was no different...

I hollowed out three pumpkins and looked for inspiration from Martha Stewart.  My favourite is the one in the middle, which is Martha's "haunted graveyard" jack o'lantern.  Instead of cutting into the skin like the other two, I drew the outline of the picture and then scraped at the skin, so that when a candle is placed inside it looks like this...
I also further decorated the inside of our house, although I focus mainly on our dining room, which you'll understand why just shortly...
For the autumnal feast, I made spiced pumpkin soup with toasted garlic pumpkin seeds, using the insides of two of my pumpkins, a sausage casserole and then these ghoulish treats...

These were Devils Food Cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook iced with vanilla buttercream, which I dyed with green food colouring.  The haunting cupcake toppers were purchased from Waitrose.  We finished the night with a showing of none other than our favourite Halloween themed film Hocus Pocus, which is made all the more apt by the fact that we have our very own black cat.

I was absolutely devastated that I discovered these gorgeous looking scrubs and creams, from Haus of Gloi too late to order in time for Halloween but still intend to give them a whirl soon.  For a full review check out The Gloss Goss which is where I initially found out about them!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

I'm one of those...

This is a panic post.  I repeat.  This is a panic post.

I really didn't want to have to be one of those people that abandon their blog and then the only posts they manage to make are ones apologising that they haven't posted in ages, every couple of months.  But alas, I am officially one of those bloggers. 

So....sorry I haven't posted in sometime.  I've been here.....

And working REALLY hard!

Until next time.....whenever that may be....

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Hot 100

The other week I attended the Jewellers Hot 100 in association with Swarovski at Kensington Roof Gardens.  I have been dying to visit this venue for years, ever since an ex boy band member told me they had flamingo's there.  Alas there was not one pink feathered bird in sight.  Another guest claimed the flamingo's had been removed due to people trying to throw them over the roof-can somebody please confirm this?!

Despite my flamingo dreams being shattered I did adore the venue with its secret garden like outer areas, although I seemed to not venture far enough once viewing the pictures the following morning.

As you can see the peach tulle dream dress I blogged about here made a further appearance, therefore must be locked away until 2011 now!  I teamed it with a grey multi chain necklace which I received numerous fabulous coments about as per usual, with the little glint in my eye knowing I purchased it for 20p at a Sugar Magazine Fashion and Beauty sale at my old job.

I also ended up staying at my friend Jess's (the girl with the red hair in the photo above) hotel room which left me returning home a tad overdressed the following morning, only to be stared at and pretty much judged by every member on the tube and train.  Yes I had been a stop out but of the purest kind.  I promise.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Something for the Weekend

For those of you lucky enough to be in New York right now I have a couple of things I am dying for you to do this weekend, even if it's just for my sake.  Please go, take pictures and tell me how FABULOUS Fashion Week is.  For the rest of us mere mortals that are doing things like teaching drama classes to 7 yr olds this weekend, I have also included a few delightful treats you can enjoy in  the comfort of your own abode.

New Yorker Weekend

I have never once heard anybody say they do not like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, they are style guru's, especially MK and if there's any way I can emulate their courageous looks, I will.  My wish list still includes owning a piece from The Row but short of shoplifting from Harvey Nicks that wish won't be coming true any time soon.  Enter Elizabeth and James, their sister line named after....their sister and brother.  The pieces are still classic and understated with a luxe twist and yet the price tag is semi affordable in comparison to their original label.  I don't think of these as your normal celeb lines, where you're buying into the stars name rather than the actual pieces.  These are carefully thought out fashion labels from two famous actresses that happen to have a designer eye.  In fact I don't even really think of them as actresses any more.  If someone were to ask me their profession, the first word that would appear in my mind would be "designers".

So this is the first mission I am entrusting you with.  Elizabeth and James, in honour of New York Fashion Week have opened a pop up store in the West Village (address below) and they have some outrageous events being held within store that I dare you to not be tempted by.

The events are running right up until Wednesday night and you can find all details on their facebook page.

In Elizabeth and James' own words here's a brief insight into the events over this coming weekend, including your chance to have your purchases rung up at the tills by none other than MK and Ashley Olsen!

September 10th – Fashion’s Night Out
Store hours: 12pm-11pm
Event hours: 6pm-11pm
Elizabeth and James hosts a carnival with henna tattoos, tarot card readings and music by DJ Cassie Coane. Refuel by munching on a bag of popcorn as you wait to be rung up by Elizabeth and James creators Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen.

September 11th – BYOB
Store hours: 11am-8pm
Event hours: ALL DAY
Wrangle Boyfriends, Brothers & BFFs. It’s “Bring Your Own Boy” all day event at Elizabeth and James Pop Up. Bring a boy and shop TEXTILE Elizabeth and James Men’s to receive an exclusive gift with purchase.

September 12th - FabSugar Day
Store hours: 12pm-7pm
Event hours: 2pm-4pm
Fabsugar and Elizabeth and James team up for a day of Super Sweet Fun. Fab’s editors are hosting a “Fab” Soiree from 2-4pm jam packed with makeovers provided by Bobbi Brown cosmetics, fall fashion and beauty tips, cotton candy, a live DJ, a “Fabsugar” inspired candy bar, Essie nail polish, giveaways and a little bubbly. Visit for complete details.

Elizabeth and James Pop-Up Store
632 Hudson St. between Horatio and Jane

I am most excited about the concept of meeting these icons as well as there being forune tellers, what fun!

Then totally Fashion Week unrelated I wold love it if you would visit my favourite restaurant Serendipity 3 and indulge in a Frozen Hot Chocolate on my behalf.....or even better a Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate....mmmm!

Me and the Best Bitch with our Frozen Hot Chocolates in August 2008

I fell in love with this place back when it was featured in Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney flick One Fine Day followed by John Cusack's and Kate Beckinsale's namesake movie Serendipity.  I've visited it on numerous trips to the Big Apple and the queue never deters me from entering this precious wonderland and sampling their heavenly delights!

The Non-New Yorker Weekend

For the rest of you that don't live in or can't feasibly get to NYC this weekend ie ME, here's a few treats I think you'll enjoy that mean you don't even have to leave your house!

I sampled the most extraordinary pizza back in June whilst staying in the South of France, goats cheese and honey.  I adore the mix of sweet and savoury, so this was right up my street.  Just recently I tried cooking this myself and although it didn't turn out perfect (I needed way more honey than I ended up putting on) it was still scrumptious and a recipe I wanted to share with you all including my little twist!

I took the base recipe from Gino D'Acampo's cookbook The Italian Diet but added some rosemary to the mixture to give it that extra wow factor.

The recipe feeds two so perfect for you and that special someone.  Or if you are as romantically challenged as me, then a friend.

Goat Cheese and Honey Pizza

pinch of salt
1 teaspoon dried yeast
140ml warm water
180g strong plain white flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
jar of Passata
goats cheese
two teaspoons of rosemary

1.  Mix the salt and yeast into the warm water and add the rosemary.  Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.  Pour the yeast water into the centre and mix with a spoon to create a wet dough.

2.  Put the dough on a surface well dusted with flour and work it with your hands for about 5 minutes.  Then place in a well greased bowl with a tea towel covering the dough and leave for an hour for it to double in size.

3.  Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface again and divide into two.  Spread the dough out from the centre with your hands.  Place the bases on well oiled baking trays.

4.  Spread the passata on top until well covered.  In five places across the pizzas place a large spoonful of honey.  Slice the goat cheese and place five pieces on top of each spoonful of honey.

5.  Place in the oven at 220 C

Teamed with some Champagne...

...and Julie and Julia on DVD, it's pure bliss.  I saw this movie last weekend and although not groundbreaking it did have a certain comfort to it and what better DVD to relax in front of after you yourself have just been a domestic goddess in the kitchen.

Happy Friday Everyone!  Have a FABULOUS weekend!

*Pictures from or property of myself

Thursday, 9 September 2010


ELLE and I have two very close ties.

1.  I used to work in their Advertising Department.
2.  This year we have both turned 25.

If you didn't know that the October edition is their big Birthday special then I can only assume you have been hibernating somewhere, as even the London tube is running an ad campaign for the Kate Hudson adorned cover.  I can proudly say we own two issues of ELLE October in my household, which almost turned into three.  What can I say, once I work for a brand I work hard for it, even after I've left.

An ex colleague informed me before release that the October cover was AMAZING but if I'm completely honest I don't think it's one of their best, although it is visually beautiful.  I love this publication with all my heart but I have a very distinct image of Elle, I don't do well with change and I still feel that for me the perfect covers are the ones similar to the Chloe Sevigny and Mary Kate Olsen's, I featured here.  However, Kate is just the main newsstand, there are actually five covers in total that can be purchased from ELLEUK .   Or if you are particularly observant and feeling extremely lucky you may want to enter their competition running on their contents page to win all of them.  This is why I adore this mag, their designer covers are always coveted in the office and the Boris Johnson cover was just plain genius!  Once again they are offering an array of interesting takes on their issues and I'm not embarrassed to say that I most definitely want all five, with my personal favourite being the very British John Galliano artwork.

Upon purchasing my copy I did release a little squeal of excitement as it felt as though it was oozing out of its cover bag, screaming "Read me! Read me!"  I'm still currently working my way through it but so far it doesn't disappoint.  

Monday night also paid homage to the mag with Hachette Filipacchi hosting a 25th Birthday Bash at Whitechapel Gallery in assoication with Swarovski.  I am sick with envy that I couldn't be meandering about the party, especially after seeing that Vivienne Westwood was speaking at the event.  Editor Lorraine Candy described her as a personal hero and one of the best British designers of all time that really exudes the Elle brand ethos and therefore the perfect person to be their guest of honour.  You can watch some footage of the night, including interviews with both Lorraine and Vivienne on Elle TV here. have featured the outfits worn by several editorial staff at the party on Monday and after perusing through them all their were two very clear front runners for me. 

Lorraine Candy in Vivienne Westwood
Kelly Skerrit (PA to ELLE Excecutive Fashion Editor) in a mixture of High Street

Kelly flaunting some FABULOUS accessories
I adored both these looks, most notably Kelly's.  I thought hers was glamorous, fresh, funky and completely affordable with her mixing and matching the top and skirt from Topshop and River Island.   You couldn't get a better poster girl for "personal style" and "wearing it your way", ELLE's most important message.  There should also be an honourable mention to Kelly's boss Stacey Duguid and her most delicious shoes. 

Shoes from YSL

To see more editorial ensembles see here.

But the festivities don't stop there, get your butt over to this page on for some more thrilling twenty-fifth birthday treats which includes six personalised ELLE beauty products.  One in particular is tres exclusive as there have been 25 perfumes made by Francis Kurkdijan, inspired by the ELLE girl, that can only be won via  My other must have item from the range is Bobbi Brown's eye couture set, which comes with a limited edition magazine cover sleeve but at a whopping £175 I fear this one may stay on my wish list for some time.


*All images from

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

And so I rant....or 10 things they don't tell you about the jobs you have to do whilst trying to break into the performance industry

Firstly, please let me apologise for the collective whingeing that is about to take place within this post.  There shall be no homage to the latest outfit I'm coveting or the sumptuous bubble bath I've been indulging in, nor will I be regaling you with stories of prestigious events I have been attending.  This blog post is purely an outlet for my artistic frustration and overall dissatisfaction with my latest promo escapade and the general public that I am unfortunate enough to meet along the way.  Please note upon saying "you" I do not mean literally you that are reading my blog, so please do not take this attack personally, unless of course you are one of the ten mentioned below.

1.  I haven't had an audition for what feels like months....oh has been months and I'm parading around in a gold prom dress handing out free tissues making a fool out of myself, so when you exclaim "so you're a (insert brand here) model" and I respond with "representative, I'm not a model" and then you go on to say "do you feel like you've reached the top of your game?"  I'd just like to let you know that comment was NOT COOL.

2.  Nor is it cool that when I'm handing out free alcohol samples that are restricted to one per person for health and safety reasons, you come and grab another one.  After politely telling you that the sampling is one per person, I don't find it particularly cool either that you speak to me as if I don't have two brain cells to rub together and say something along these lines "Don't worry your pretty little head about it.  I'm just trying to go to work, just like you are.  Chill out.  Just smile, it's not worth worrying about.  I'm going to take this drink and you're just going to get over it because lifes too short for you to be worrying about this."  I find it even more uncool that I was so shocked at the tone at which you spoke to me (I should know better) that I spent the best part of an hour thinking of how I should have responded.  FYI  if you're reading this, rude woman from Waterloo my favourite come back to date is "I'm assuming the job you're on your way to doesn't require people skills."

3.  Are you seriously going to make me explain to you what a tissue is and the concept behind this marvellous invention?  Oh and ps that whole 20 minute decision crisis over whether you should take my free sample or not  was just a little ridunkulous....not to mention the fact that when you finally did take it you then had immediate free sample remorse and handed it back, what I'd like to know is how long did your husband have to wait for a response after he proposed?!

4.  Telling a colleague that we need said tissues we're sampling to "wipe our vagina's with"....not cool on multiple levels.

5.  Spitting in all of the drinks we've just poured as well as all over me and then laughing about it is disgusting behaviour and not something that you should be proud of. EVER.

6.  Asking me "Can none of you go out and get proper jobs instead of just handing out free stuff?" will result in me crying the whole way home.  Thank you.

7.  Calling me a stupid girl when I try to stamp your hand (I did ask nicely first) so we can monitor you've taken one of the alcohol samples (again because its one per person for health and safety reasons) is not just rude but completely demoralising.  If I were stupid I wouldn't have got good G.C.S.E's, A Levels, a really good Degree, a place at an Acting school in New York, an Irene Ryan Award nomination by the American College Theatre Festival, a job at the World's biggest publishing house Hachette Filipacchi and respectively the Worlds biggest selling fashion magazine, Elle.  So forgive me but no wonder I secretly smiled when you spilt your drink down your suit after leaping away from me whilst berating me as "stupid!"

8.  Nor is the stamping a tagging device for the Government, you are now the 10th person to joke/ask me that today.

9.  Blowing your nose into one of our free tissues and then throwing it in one of the tissue bins we were sampling from for me to find later and yes I did know you did it on purpose, is gross, you're older than me, I expect this kind of childishness from a child but an adult, that's just plain wrong.

10.  And finally, basically insinuating that you'd like me to stamp your penis, is a, beyond me b, not funny and c, kind of sexual harrassment.  Just saying.

Monday, 6 September 2010

How to throw a FABULOUS Party, McNally style, for under £200: Part Two

As expressed in an earlier post, my mum and I love throwing a soiree or two and this year we've managed three already and we were super impressed with both the results and the compliments we received!  Each event has been incredibly different and priced around £200, basically cost effective sophistication and so I wanted to document all of them via pictures and with a little "How to...." vibe to them.  By no means are either of us the next Martha Stewart but we sure as hell gave it a try!  There were too many pictures to document in just one blog post, so I have seperated them into their three respective categories.  Part one was "How to throw a Sex and the City themed Cocktail Party", so if you haven't checked it out yet, you can do so here!  Part two is a little more season specific and would be fairly impossible to re-create in England any time soon due to our British Summer time ending back in early August.  So without further ado here's Part two....

We donned our summer dresses for a tres chic Garden Party........

My Godfather's 60th Birthday was fast approaching and being that they had attended my Grandfathers Garden Party organised by us five years back, my Godmother decided she wanted us to throw a surprise one for him. This was subject to many lies due to the fact they were staying with us at the time. Therefore the sheer concept that we managed to pull this off as a success along with keeping it a secret was pure genius, even if I do say so myself!

Tables were dotted around the garden with miss matching shabby chic tablecloths and a jar of sweet peas from the local country shop decorating them. Canapes were served upon arrival teamed with a glass of Champagne.

This was my favourite table

My mother and I have been collecting shells from random canapes we've been purchasing over the months from Marks and Spencers. We used these then to fill them half with smoked salmon and half with prawn cocktail, to be eaten with a mini fork. We also served tartines which are chunks of dried baked ciabatta topped with something of your choice. We chose parma ham, cherry tomatoes and basil.

The Ice Bowl
My mothers Ice Bowl! Fill a largish bowl with water and place in sliced lemons, juniper berries, basil, flowers or any other decoration of your choice and then place a smaller bowl in the middle. Place in the freezer to set and then fill with prawns or another ice cold delicasy.

My Magnolia Bakery cupcakes graced this partys presence also, although this time they were Charlton Football Club themed for my Godfather, unforutnately the red dye ended up being hot pink, which was slightly dissapointing.

We finished the day off with afternoon tea, which included homemade millionaire shortbread, birthday cake and the themed cupcakes.

Truly Scrumptious Cardboard Cake Stand £11 John Lewis

Related Posts with Thumbnails