Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The 12 Days of Gifting: Day 4 Bake Boutique Candles

Nothing says Merry Christmas, like Bake Boutique's Cinnamon Gingerbread Man candle, £32.

Or if you're looking for a year round scent then you can choose from Vanilla Cupcake with Sprinkles, Almond Coffee Cake, Red Velvet Slice or Chocolate Honeycomb Brownie.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The 12 Days of Gifting: Day 3 Festive Philosophy Sets

These are such a delectably delicious way to say Merry Christmas to a friend.  I bought a Philosophy set for my sister last year for Christmas and she adored it.  The packaging is cosy and the scents leave you dreaming of sugar plums dancing in your head!

For a manufactured roaring fire and toasty warm feeling then try (from left to right) Marshmallows for Toasting shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath and body lotion, £18, Holly Jolly shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath and Crisp Berry lip shine, £16, Gingerbread Girl shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath and body lotion, £18, Tinsel Town shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath and lip shine, £16 and White Pear, White Peach and White Cranberry shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath, £22.  All available at Selfridges.

*Images taken from www.selfridges.com

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Annie Hall

Shirt: Zara (mens)
Dress: Topshop
Scarf: Camden Market
Tights: Brora
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitter's

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Stove on Sunday: Barefoot Contessa's Truffle Butter Turkey

Thanksgiving always holds a special place in my heart after spending it with friends in Massachusetts, back in 2005, so my mum always tries to create a pseudo Thanksgiving dinner for me.  Our guilty pleasure is American TV chef Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa.  We love her and her recipes as well as finding some of her idiosyncrasies quite irritating.  Her poor husband, Jeffrey, only ever seems to be cooked chicken because it's his favourite and she says "How good is that?" an awful lot.  On the build up to Thanksgiving, the Food Network were running all of her Thanksgiving episodes, including this rather indulgent recipe for truffle butter turkey.  We decided to test run this for a potential new way of cooking our turkey at Christmas, as it's no secret that it's not the most delicious of poultry.

Ina only used the crown of the turkey rather than the full thing, which we never do, as some of the more tasty meat is the dark meat in our eyes and cooking without the bones can make it dry also.  However, we decided for the sake of the test run, we would just use the crown too.  After all, we're not really American and it's not really Thanksgiving to us, so a whole proper turkey seemed a little bit extravagant for a Thursday evening.

You will need:
Turkey Crown (or whole Turkey)
3 oz Truffle Butter
Fresh Thyme
Some Black Garlic (this was our own addition)
Olive Oil

How To:
1. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels
2. Release the skin from the meat carefully, so as not to tear and begin to place the truffle butter underneath.  We actually mixed our truffle oil with standard butter instead.  We also had black garlic recommended to us by a friend, so we also placed a few cloves of this under the skin too.
3.  Press your hands across the turkey skin in order to evenly distribute the butter.
4.  Season with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil across the meat before placing into the oven at 325 degrees F for approximately three hours, remember half way through to cover the turkey with foil so as not to burn the skin.
5.  Serve with your favourite roast vegetables.

On tasting the meat it was a little dry, which we attributed to the fact we were just using the crown but it was quite impressively flavoursome considering it was cooked without the bones and the dark meat.  It had a richer taste than usual but it did not overpower.  Considering we spent somewhere near the region of £70 for our turkey last year and it didn't taste as delicious as this one we figured that we could actually get away with purchasing a much cheaper turkey and instead cook it in this manner to ensure the flavour.  To ELLE and Back brings you another credit buster, in the form of a turkey dinner, of all things!

We also took on board Ina's table decoration ideas...

"How good is that?" *wink*

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The 12 Days of Gifting: Day 2 Coffee Lover's Lip Balm Set

For someone who's even been given a name change, by an old uni friend, to Starbucks, this next gift would be a perfect feature in my stocking *clears throat* "Mother did you read that?!"

Around 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily, so I can't be alone, making this a great stocking filler for any of the caffeine, Starbucks-going addictives out there.  At just £6 from Accessorize (only available in store now) this Coffee Lover's Lip Balm set could also be your antidote to that office Secret Santa  conundrum!

*Image taken from www.priceinspectors.co.uk

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The 12 Days of Gifting: Day 1 The Fashion Foie Gras Tote for Coach

I thought this was such a clever little series title and then lo and behold, I open the Metro this morning to discover my home away from home, Starbucks, have entitled their little gifting promotion this too.  If interested then stop by a Starbucks, buy a festive drink and get a little free gift.  Today was their mince pie.  Anyway, I digress....

  This is going to be a series of twelve short posts featuring items that I either desperately would like but am slightly too financially challenged for, items that will most definitely be featuring on my Christmas list this year (keep an eye out mum) and some cool, fun bits and pieces that would be awesome ideas for others!

The first in the series is this beauty...

Now let's get this straight...I.  Don't.  Get.  Coach.  Americans get them.  All those C's, they love them.  I realise they're not just all about the C's but that's really been the road block between myself and Coach ever having a fashion love affair.  So when I read that Fashion Foie Gras was collaborating with them to create a bag, I really wasn't interested, no matter how much I love her blog.

Then I saw the finished product.  I fell in love.  Never did I expect to fall in love with a Coach bag.  Never.  Firstly I'm enamoured with it's overall attractiveness and secondly I'm convinced that Emily literally jumped into my mind, or my very oversized Marc Jacobs bag, to figure out just where it was all going wrong for me.  It's created with the busy blogger in mind but as she so puts it, really it's for any busy woman out there. "Hello" *Louisa waves her arms frantically*.  So if you're sick of delving for your blackberry and returning with your ballet pump then I would seriously consider making a loved one invest in this stylish bundle of convenience for you.

All the hidden features are a must to check out, so here's the link to Emily's blog post to take a better look.  Unfortunately at $558 (yes I can't find the UK price for something again), this will be staying very firmly on the wish list.

*Image taken from www.redcarpet-fashionawards.com
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