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

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Lush Products from Lush

Head to toe in glitter and smudged paint adorning both my clothes and face, I dragged my tired feet through London Victoria Station, excited at the thought of eventually being able to crash and burn on my sofa.  I tried to shake off the judgemental looks and convince myself that I didn't look as though I hadn't seen a shower for a week but I just couldn't obtain the energy to do so.  Four long days of being on my feet handing out premixed alcoholic drinks in Paddington Station and battling with fidgety children whilst attempting to create an artistic masterpiece on their face, had somewhat taken it's toll.  Then, as if a sign from God, as I breezed from platform 15, beauty chain Lush appeared before me.  It's pungent smell and cheery disposition was beckoning my name in a rather seductive tone and with a mind of their own my feet guided me to it's mothership.  My brain was running a mantra "You are just looking.  You are just looking.  You are just looking." But my face paint ridden fingernails, weary feet and lacklustre skin were singing a slightly different tune.

For those of you that are not familiar with Lush, it is important to note that it is of rather an acquired taste.  We have a marmite case on our hands, as you either love them or hate them due to their overwhelming aroma, which has been known to create headaches for some.  If I'm honest, I'm not a regular Lush consumer.  But who's a loyal consumer to anybody in these current times?  I did however discover why I enjoy indulging in their products from time to time and a lovely spin that I'm sure their marketing department have already addressed but figured I'd bring it to their attention anyway.  These products are perfect impulse purchases that serve an immediate purpose and most definitely get the job done.  With the majority of the brand offering indiviual bath bombs or face masks that last a mere few applications, longevity is not the key here. Instead of this being a downfall this works completely in their advantage, much like a unique selling point.  Much better than purchasing a glorious bubble bath that you grow tired of weeks and weeks down the line, Lush can address your current issue and mood, match a product and zap it away!  This is the exact process that I followed earlier in the week when purchasing ......
Catastrophe Cosmetic, French Kiss, Stepping Stone and Dorothy

Catastrophe Cosmetic: Face Mask

I've tried their Cupcake Face Mask (mmmm!) and their BB Seaweed Face Mask (yuck! Makes me feel like I've got Cornish rock pools on my face!)  So upon entering the store I made it very clear that I was looking for something new to take care of my recently troubled skin, most notably my oily T-Zone and a mask that wasn't going to mean I would have to hold my breath for 10 mins.  Catastrophe Cosmetic was the answer to my prayers, apparently, due to it being rich in antioxidants thanks to it being packed with blueberries and easy on the sinuses.

The texture was of a creamy nature, which I loved and the smell, although fragrant was subtle.  The pieces of, what I can only imagine were blueberries, that dotted their way across my face, made me feel even more excited about the product, as how could something not work with real blueberries squidged all over your skin!  I left the mask on far past the recommended application time but either which way I was thoroughly pleased with the results.  My problem area was immediately attended to, my skin tone was miraculously even and I managed to look younger, when considering I'm still only 25, is a feat!

This really was an impulse purchase as I had already picked out a product for my much needed bath.  This was chosen for little more than it's tender smell of sunscreen. Once I picked this up I couldn't put it back, constantly sniffing as I meandered about the rest of the store, to the point that I'm certain I left with a blue nose.

The Bubble Bar isn't your usual Lush Bath Bomb.  With this you break off some of the bar and place under the powerful tap which dissolves the product and creates a superb amount of bubbles.

Initially it did look like it wouldn't dissolve, as she had demonstrated in store, as there were lots of chunky pieces at the bottom of the bath and for a while I did frantically try to crush them but soon gave up and upon entering it they had disappeared. I resurfaced feeling incredibly clean and my skin was the kind of soft that is virtually impossible to achieve without moisturiser.  It is important to note you can get two uses out of this, I wouldn't recommend trying to stretch it out any further as that would just compromise the indulgence of your bath.

I fail to believe that anybody could resist this gorgeous looking Bubble Bar.  With the mixture of purple and white teamed with a sprig of lavender sprouting from the top it's difficult not to feel the need to purchase them just to decorate your bathroom!  This was chosen for a multitude of reasons, it's indulgent look, it's luxurious smell of lavender, again fragrant but not overwhelming and I had been having trouble sleeping so was certain this would do the trick.

It works in exactly the same way as the Dorothy  with the added excitement of turning your bath water a lavender colour also.  It left my skin smelling perfectly like the product and I became incredibly lethargic once removing myself from the bath which was exactly the sensation I was requiring.  The only downfall would be that it didn't leave my skin feeling silky smooth as per the Dorothy but I suppose that wasn't the necessity with the French Kiss so maybe I'll just let that go.

My feet were tired and achey so what better way to re-energise them than with this darling foot shaped scrub.  It had a punchy smell that you associate with most foot scrubs and the girl insisted that it was a wonderful product.  She explained to me how to use it, although if I'm honest by the time I actually got around to use it I could barely recall what she said.

After trying to remember how to use the product (do you wet your feet or the scrub?) the product application got off to a fairly messy start.  As soon as water made contact with it, there was an almighty fizz all across my bathroom.  Green splodges were dropping on white bath mats, towels, in the sink and eventually after a quick dash, into the bath.  My feet did feel softer but I wanted them to feel re-invigorated and that wasn't really the case.  I only used half, as per the instruction from the girl (I remembered that bit) so I'm leaving the jury out on this product until I get to try it again

You can purchase Lush products in the UK from here
Or from the USA here

My basket total came to £14.35, which considering the amount I took home with me, is more than reasonable.

Lush products I'm coveting since my trip...

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