Friday, 2 November 2012

To Hoboken and NYC with Love

It's Day 3 post Hurricane Sandy and I have finally just got internet back.  As you know this is a lifestyle blog and I rarely document personal experiences other than "I think this is super cute", but this week has genuinely been one of the most surreal experiences of my life and I have been so moved by not only what I have seen with my own eyes but also the images that I was able to access before my internet went bye bye.

I have a great view of Manhattan from my apartment.  Only this week everything is in darkness from below the Empire State Building.  That in itself is completely unreal and something I will only ever experience once in this lifetime.  One of the most iconic cities in the World has been completely paralysed by Monday night's storm and although the winds didn't feel as frightening as I had imagined them to, the flooding was definitely beyond anything in my wildest dreams.

On Sunday night myself and two others went for a wander along the Hudson from Newport, Jersey City to Hoboken, approximately five minutes.  The water had begun to rise already and Hoboken train tracks were submerged in water.  The wind was blustery, Hoboken was like a ghost town, most of the main strip and especially the waterfront were closed and safely tucked up with bags upon bags of sand but the bars were still buzzing.  There was an odd atmosphere and it was almost reminiscent of Christmas Eve.  Everyone was preparing for their day home from work and there was a sense of festivity.  We were amazed, being out-of-towners we just couldn't comprehend any of this.  For want of a better word, there was definitely an excitement about it all and I mean that with so much respect to those that have been less fortunate than us in this storm.  We were completely ignorant to the potential devastation and were just intrigued at all the different signs on retailers doors and windows referencing the forthcoming storm.  One announcing " Come get your fresh bagels before Sandy does!"

By Monday afternoon the 6pm curfew had been brought forward for us, with immediate effect.  A street just two blocks away from me was already filling up with water and winds had gained speed dramatically.  From 6pm  we sat watching CNN waiting for Sandy's landfall only to realise that our apartments were surrounded by water that was growing by the second.  Newport was flooded for as far as you could see, we were plunged into darkness for a short while but this was soon rectified.  Announcements were made over the apartment's tanoy system that water had entered the building and the elevators would now be shutdown.  The windows rattled, the mayor of Hoboken expressed her shock at how far the water had travelled in her town and we sat speaking to family or loved ones via phone or Facebook until the storm made it impossible.  An eerie silence fell amongst us as CNN announced that there was no no way in or out of New York City.

Just hours later the water had gone but Newport was trashed.  Stores, restaurants, the mall and much more were closed for water damage.  Some have begun work straight away, others sit neglected, even my beloved Starbucks.  Our transit system has been debilitated with little news of when this will be reinstated, one rumour suggesting 7-10 days, another a month.  The Ferry will be our mode of transport for now, but only running from monday-friday means the weekends will see us living very much as we have done this week, marooned in Jersey City.  Unable even to wander along to the wrecked Hoboken, that is unfortunately still flooded.  I have been inundated with messages saying how sad it is to see NYC in it's current state but truth is I have no idea what it's like.  I've been here, looking across at a darkened Manhattan with no internet or tv to inform me of my city's going ons.  Tomorrow shall definitely be eye opening but I'm already pretty certain that some of my favourite places in lower Manhattan will be gone for some time.

If you're a local then I believe, Hoboken especially, are looking for volunteers and as soon as I can get there I plan to.  For further information please see their facebook page here.

Sending my love to Hoboken and NYC and all the other cities, towns and countries that were affected by the storm, some even worse so with little money to rectify.  

Monday, 29 October 2012

Holly at Halloween

For those of you based on the East Coast of the US, you'll probably agree that Halloween is most likely over for us now, courtesy of Mother Nature.  However, if you're anywhere else in the World and still searching for a costume idea, then I thought I'd share my iconic New York costume concept, that I actually stole from fellow blogger Jacqueline of Je Ne Sais Quoi.

Being the unconventional Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's

You Will Need:

A white, oversized, men's shirt.

Zara £29.99
A Breakfast at Tiffany-esque sleep mask.  I purchased the below from Le Petite Coquette for $37 in New York City, but you can also find some fun other versions on etsy.

An old fashioned cigarette holder from any fancy dress store.  I paid a dollar for mine.

You could really do with some blue tassel earrings also, to act as her tassel ear plugs but I was unable to locate any.

Here I am sporting this look on Saturday night.

For further Holly Golightly inspiration take a peek at this great scene...

Happy Halloween everyone!  And for my East Coast counterparts - keep safe!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Braving Sandy Stylishly with Marc by Marc Jacobs

We have approximately 48 hours in New York City to get Hurricane ready and whilst most are stocking up their cupboards with bottles of water and non-perishable goods, I have one thing on my mind and one thing only.
Wellington Boots.
It has become quite apparent that in a city like NY, where rain may be shortlived but are pelted like bullets, Uggs or suede tassell boots are just not going to cut it.  I'm a big fan of the Wellington anyhow, they are perfect for that random week of snow we always seem to get in the UK and there is always some brand willing to oblige with a rather funky pattern.  But whilst I miss my jack russell print Wellington's (RIP) I realise it's time for me to move on and mature in my practical fashion endeavours.  Cue Marc by Marc Jacobs.
The Marc by Marc Jacob affordable, almost brinking on cheap, diffusion line, has once again delivered a must have that is not only effortlessly stylish but also extremely useful.  These plain black boots are perfect for that front door to office fix.  Not only are they a sturdy boot but with their plain black exterior and their minimal branding, although just enough for people to realise you take pride in your ensemble, they allow for a sleek look that doesn't compromise the rest of your outfit.  Teamed with just a $35 price tag it means they're practically impossible to resist, even for the most financially of challenged people.
Also available in the UK.
*Image courtesy of

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Wake up with Barack Obama...

Inspired by the final debate?  Committed to the Democratic Party?  Or just think Barack Obama's cute?  Whatever your reason for being enthralled with the Presidential campaign, nothing says "Barack's my man" than this super cute coffee mug from one of my favourite NYC stores Fishs Eddy.  Get a taste of the First Lady's life and start your day with this man staring back at you for just $11.95.
If you think he'll be lonely in your cupboard, then fear not, they sell Michelle too, to keep him company...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Izabel London: To ELLE and Back Reader Discount

Living in NYC and on a budget requires me to be stylish but thrifty, which isn't always possible when you're tempted by the swish stores of 5th Ave.  So with the new season approaching, meaning a wardrobe revamp is on the cards, I was thrilled to learn that Izabel London were kind enough to offer me and my readers a 10% discount off of there already affordable line.  Izabel London is offering the discount to all To ELLE and Back readers, up until midnight on November 15th, when you type TEAB10% at the checkout. 
The online retailer has a plethora of choice and whilst not everything is to my taste there are definitely some gems amongst the mix.  
 Here's the To ELLE and Back recommendations...

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Speaking as your Starbucks Connoisseur: The Pumpkin Spice Latte

Raise your hand and say "Aye" if you've been waiting for the Pumpkin Spice Latte to arrive in the UK for as long as I have.  This autumnal flavoured drink emulates a crisp sunny day, with leaves crunching beneath your feet and New England style pumpkin displays on show, in a cup.

I first sampled this cinnamon, spice and all things nice, delight back in 2005 and have yearned for one ever since.  For those that are familiar with the drink, you may even be aware of the Facebook and Twitter campaigns that have dedicated their time to delivering this seasonal beverage to your door.  Of course it finally makes it's debut the year that I happen to be living in the US and can have one whenever I want anyway.

For those of you in the UK seemingly unaware of this new option at your local Starbucks, ensure that it is your order upon your next visit.  If October and Halloween fills you with good spirit and that cosy sensation, then this is the drink for you.  If you hate cinnamon, pumpkins and are slightly deterred by the idea of a somewhat orange coloured coffee, then steer clear.

To ELLE and Back recommends it...ICED.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

NY Room Anthems: We Belong

Last weekend marked a change of the times.  New surroundings, a new room in my apartment and most importantly a new roomie and therefore the end of mine and Molo's NY Room Anthems.  Like Frank Ocean's Thinking Bout You, We Belong by Everly aka Hayley James Scott of One Tree Hill, would be played at least once every morning.  Incorporate it into your morning ritual for an empowering start to the day.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Celebrating Julia Child's 100th Birthday with Sur La Table

This wednesday Julia Child would have been 100 years old and to celebrate, Sur La Table, are holding numerous cooking classes inspired by the national treasure.  They kick started this homage to America's favourite tv chef, last night, with "An Edible and Musical Birthday Celebration".  The night comprised of a fusion of food and opera, which is what enticed me in the first place.  This untraditional cooking class was combining two of my vices, good food and performance.

Upon arrival you were greeted with an array of cheeses and italian breads, along with either lemon infused ice water or espresso/cappuccino from one of Sur La Table's Nespresso machines.  Usually their cooking classes require you to get involved with the cooking too but due to the nature of the performance, an audience area was set up instead, with volunteers brought up on occasion.

Once we were seated the performance began from the fresh performance group, Vital Opera, in which one of the groups singers performed "La Bonne Cuisine".  An entertaining comedic piece which prepared the audience for the rest of the amusement they could expect to be an integral part of.  Resident chef Joel Gamoran then took to the stage to begin his demonstration of some of Julia's much loved recipes. His amusing anecdotes from culinary school set the kitchen alight with laughter, just as the previous performance had done.  The natural banter made for a lighthearted and fun atmosphere and ensured strangers felt at ease to chat freely with one another in the interim.

Highlights of his cooking demonstration included his audience-volunteer-hollandaise-sauce-competition and his salt water Russian Roulette test, which I fell victim to.  Joel wanted to demonstrate how the perfect french mash potatoes should be made, which apparently includes them being boiled in very salty cold water.  So salty it reminisces sea water.  Three guests were asked to volunteer, in which I was one.  A small glass of water were handed to each of us and Joel explained that the person that got the salty water will pull such a disgusted face that the rest of the group will always have that image ingrained on their brain and appreciate how much salt they should be using.  Apparently my face was the perfect demonstration.  I was rewarded for my good humour though with an autographed cook book from Eataly owner Mario Batali, which won't go to waste in my next eight months in NYC and beyond.

After being served our meal of chicken with mushrooms and brandy, french mashed potatoes and asparagus with hollandaise sauce, the final performance began.  Vital Opera created a rendition of one of Julia Child's episodes of her television show, with Ellen Graham as Julia.  Adorned in a Julia-esque outfit, wig and all, she sang her chocolate cake recipe, whilst baking and intermittently spoke with that distinctive Julia voice, when you were least expecting it.

But no birthday party would be complete without a verse of Happy Birthday of course, which rounded off our two hour class nicely, especially when we were given some of Julia's birthday chocolate cake to taste too.

This class was just $40, considerably more affordable than the rest of their classes, although none too expensive with the average price being about $69.  The cost was more than worth it for the fabulous two hours spent at Sur La Table though, that went by far too quickly in my eyes.  The class with a difference provided such fun entertainment, consistent laughter and genuine passion for food, performance and of course the beloved Julia that I definitely plan on trying to attend one of their other classes in the future, even though it will be lacking this unique take on cooking demonstration.

Classes honouring Julia Child at Sur La Table are running for the next week, a full calendar of upcoming classes can be found here.

*Image courtesy of

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Home Alone 6: Macaulay Culkin's ipod

NEW YORK BUCKET LIST ALERT: Party with Mac at Macaulay Culkin's ipod - CHECK
Yo Mac, now I want a picture of us all slapping our faces a la Home Alone...DEAL?!

Only in New York City could a former child star, armed with his ipod, host a random themed evening in a small bar.  So I shouldn't really have been shocked when I discovered that my favourite eight year old, Kevin McAllister, appears once a month, on a thursday, at le poisson rouge on Bleecker street.  His ipod filled with his favourite tunes and a crazy idea, like June's, "Dinosaur Birthday Party" theme, for example.  I have no idea what odd antics took place at that party, perhaps Barney turned up to try and re-ignite his career, after all where is that purple dinosaur these days?  Perhaps in a bar in Chinatown hosting a karaoke session, his rendition of that "I love you, you love me" song he rocked every episode, on repeat.  I digress...

Despite my shock and dismay that Macaulay, sorry Mac as he is now formerly known on the NYC bar scene, is having to host these evenings sans the Wet Bandits and his plan to save Duncan's Toy Chest, I was not letting another month go by without my attending.  So when I discovered that July was his "New Year's Eve Party", I knew I needed to be present.

Upon arriving we were handed NYE paraphernalia, aka a party hat and one of those trumpets.  For FREE.  Did I also mention that entry is FREE?!  I would have paid but ssshhhh don't tell Mac.  We were promised a countdown at every hour and we arrived right before the first one at 11pm.  We'd already been hounded with whatsapp messages from a friend exclaiming "I can see Macaulay Culkin"... "I'm stood in front of Macaulay Culkin" get the idea.  Molo and I had party prepped ourselves with a slightly different playlist than usual.  Gone were Drake, Rhianna and Jay Z, instead the Home Alone soundtrack played loud and clear for all to hear in our apartment.  And there, when we arrived, was Mac, sat on his throne adorned in his party hat.

"Well I guess it must be about to hit midnight in Nova Scotia...10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..."

Auld Lang Syne began to play and Mac launched himself at us for a big festive New Years hug.  He waded into the crowd to pass on his best New Year wishes to all.

Right before midnight he returned again for another countdown, again launching himself into the crowd to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  No one is more aware of how weird this evening was than me.  Trust me.  It was amazingly hilarious though and considering none of my group were drinking alcohol, we had probably one of our greatest nights in NYC yet.  We didn't stay after the second countdown, it was a school night after all but the hour and ten minutes were just enough to have a great time and truly soak in the atmosphere that we were partying with the kid that saved his house and a New York toy store from the same pair of dimwitted thiefs.

Clearly tweeting what fun I'm having.  OBVS!

This months edition of Macaulay Culkin's ipod takes place this Thursday 9th August from 10pm with the theme, "Sluts".

After my foray into Mac's crazy world it begs the question, "Do you give up, or are you thirsty for more?" (shameless Home Alone quote thrown in)

Mac...I am definitely thirsty for more...

And if you still haven't quite understood how you need to book your trip to NYC around this event then check their latest podcast, where Mac will tell you himself...

*Images taken from a friend and 

Monday, 6 August 2012

The Scent of Departure

Bond No.9, if you haven't previously been introduced, is such a funky and quirky scent-sational idea!  They are also sensationally expensive and as much as I personally adore the fact that each perfume is tailored to a different area of New York City there is no way that my intern wage can cover the cost currently.

If you've been a reader for some time you know that I'm a fan of the high-end meets eccentric and Bond No.9 fulfills both categories.  If you've got the funds then I wholeheartedly point you in their direction here

If, like me, you are currently a little financially challenged, read poor, then perhaps just as fun and at just a fraction of the price you should consider The Scent of Departure.  Pay homage to your favourite city, whether it be Tokyo, Dubai, or my personal preferences London or New York.  

The Scent of Departure is a unique slant to your dressing table, an awesome gift idea for someone on their travels and a dedication of commitment to your city.  

I personally prefer the fragrance of New York but my patriotism is forcing my hand in the London direction.

Available at Urban Outfitters for $45 or Harvey Nichols for £35

*Images from and

Friday, 3 August 2012

Make Your Own Havaianas

There's not a Summer that goes by without someone squealing in delight over their latest Havaianas purchase.  Honestly, I don't own any but I always imagined some day I would and I think that day may arrive sooner than expected.

After getting stuck in the E of the LOVE sign on 6th Ave, another story entirely, some friends and I breezed past Bloomingdales to be greeted by their window display informing us we can "Design our own Havaianas" in store.  *insert squeal here*

The interactive shopping experience isn't limited to NYC though.  Turns out you can shop your perfect pair of flip flops online too.  Fancy yourself as the next Diane Von Furstenburg, Sarah Burton, Stella McCartney?  Well here's your chance to put your creative skills to practise.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Here's some we made earlier...

If I was to meander over to "proceed to checkout", these would set me back $45.  More expensive than a $3 Old Navy pair of flip flops but infinitely more fun!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

NY Room Anthems: Frank Ocean

I don't know a lot about music but I do know when I'm in love with a record, yes I do still call them records, they become somewhat of an anthem on my ipod.  I've been obsessed with Beyonce's I Miss You this year, for example, which is constantly on repeat and a favourite morning track of Molo's (that's Mohini and Louisa to those of you less informed, yes we've TomKat'd ourselves) 

The latest morning room anthem is soulful singer Frank Ocean with his track Thinking Bout You.

So it's no surprise he actually penned I Miss You

I still prefer the Beyonce version but this is rising up the Molo NY Anthem charts too...

Monday, 30 July 2012

Christian Marclay's, The Clock: Not to be missed...

I've had an obsession with going to see an art installation in the middle of the night ever since I saw the Russian take Carrie Bradshaw to one at 3am, after dinner at the Russian Tea Rooms.  So last night after dessert at 1am at Max Brenner's Chocolate Restaurant, my sister and I headed to the the David Rubenstein Atrium at the Lincoln Center to stand in line for Christian Marclay's, The Clock.

What Sex and the City didn't tell us is that no way is there ever going to be the chance of just walking in a la Carrie.  Instead we stood for two and a half hours, from 2am to almost 4.30am.  The line itself highlights how worthy this installation is and my desire to see this for the past two weeks was literally the only thing keeping me awake.

The Clock, is actually a working time piece.  Relax on a sofa after your excruciatingly long wait and take in cinema history with each clip depicting the time it is at that very minute, whether it be through a clock, watch or character vocalising the time.  It ranges from the serious to the hilarious and is quite frankly phenomenal.  Each minute shows numerous moments from film and television summised in a video collage that is not only genius but so time consuming that I can't even begin to imagine how Marclay began to compile this.

No midnight dashes left, I'm afraid, as The Clock is closed today and finishes tomorrow, running from 8am-10pm only.  Be prepared for around a two hour wait but stay as long as you want.

NY Bucket List: Visit an art installation in the middle of the night - CHECK

Sunday, 22 July 2012

New York Bucket List

Whilst I'm living in New York City for just a year and as a very financially challenged intern, there are certain iconic moments that need to be taken in and by extension some I may need your help with.  So scroll down, take a look and either follow me along for this ride or pipe up if you know how I can make some of the more impossible happen.  As the year continues I'm sure I'll be adding to my New York Bucket List.

In no particular order the list is as follows...
  • Party with Mack at Macauley Culkin's iPod - CHECK, more to come on this...
  • Play chess in Union Square
  • Learn how to play chess so I can fulfil the above activity
  • Play music on the BIG Piano in FAO Schwarz from the movie BIG - CHECK
  • Walk in Central Park in the snow
  • Drag a Christmas tree home like they do in the movies
  • Eat lunch in Katz's Diner, where Sally fakes an orgasm in When Harry Met Sally
  • Get a photo with Macauley Culkin, with all of us, including him slapping our faces as in Home Alone
  • Interview Patricia Field for the blog
  • Date in New York City - to be continued...
  • Visit an art exhibition in the middle of the night
  • Go for coffee in a diner at 3am
  • Work a Fashion Show - CHECK
  • Attend a show at New York Fashion Week
  • Go to the top of the Empire State Building on Valentines Day night
  • Visit the Hamptons for the weekend - who has a house and wants to put me up????
  • Go to the Barefoot Contessa deli in the Hamptons
  • Cook in Ina's kitchen - Ina, how good would that be? *winky face*...if you think it would be great then make it happen!
  • Drink coffee out of those little blue greek-esque paper cups they always drink coffee out of in movies and tv shows - watching Carrie Bradshaw do it right now!
  • See the ball drop on NYE in Times Square
  • Perform in a play
  • See the Wooster Group perform (I co-wrote and performed in a play with one of their former performers whilst at University)
  • Perform in a Wooster Group performance - Yo Wooster Group, where you at?  Help me out - you won't regret!!!
  • Eat in Chinatown at 4am - CHECK
  • Eat Pizza at Mystic Pizza in Mystic, just like I'm in the movie Mystic Pizza - technically this is not NY but sssshhhhh!
  • Take part in an Improv Everywhere 'performance'
  • Stay for one night in a suite at The Plaza just like Kevin McAllister/Mack in Home Alone: Lost in New York, I've been obsessed with the cookies etc in the mini bar from that film since FOREVER - ps this I DEFINITELY need help/your charity for
  • Go vintage store shopping with the Olsen Twins - yep you guessed it....HELP PLEASE
  • Be in a Woody Allen Movie - Woody I'm not even going to be picky I'm happy to be just an extra but yes I am a Diane Keaton if you happened to be looking for the next one...
  • Visit as many outdoor markets as possible - working on it!
  • Carriage ride through Central Park in the snow
  • Kick leaves in the Fall in Central Park
  • Date a Celebrity - just the one date will suffice...just because...
  • Have breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Visit the Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller Center
  • Do yoga in Bryant Park with the hundred other women doing 'downward dog' on a thursday evening
  • Walk in a parade - CHECK
  • Do something with Sarah-Jessica Parker...ANYTHING...SJP did you hear that ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, no matter how inconsequential

USA bucket list...for those things that NYC just can't provide for me...
  • Martha's Vineyard
  • Eat nectarines in Nantucket...just because the names sound kind of similar
  • Eat a lobster dinner in Maine at a seaside restaurant
  • Sail on a boat on Cape Cod...all you boat owners don't rush at once...
  • Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  • Make snow angels and throw ball in the snow at Harvard just like Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neill do in Love Story
  • Send me someone awesome to do the above with
  • Go to Wilmington, North Carolina...Why? Because that's where Joey and Pacey fell in love - duh!!!
  • Visit Yale so I can see where Rory Gilmore went to lame
  • Visit Hartford CT so I can be even more Gilmore Girl-esque
  • Drink coffee in Seattle
  • Visit Salem, MA at Halloween
  • See the Home Alone house in Chicago
  • Do the celebrity houses tour in LA
  • Go to watch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park

Thank you for reading and thanks in advance for helping me out.....RIGHT????!!!!!

For those able to help the impossible become possible for this British Girl's year in New York City, email 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Bridesmaids: A Year On...

I don't often do personal posts on the blog but I couldn't help but.  

Tonight I went to see Bridesmaids in Hoboken, NJ, as part of their "Movies Under the Stars" Series.  I saw this movie for the first time a year ago, almost literally to the day, which got me thinking a lot about the past year, life, where I am now and where I'm headed.

A year ago I had just finished working QVC's Beauty Bash on a Friday, for one of the skincare product lines I had been working in the head office for.  It was a bittersweet job, working in an industry I truly felt I had a passion for but the job situation was less than desirable.  My confidence had been knocked, I spent every day feeling as if I had just survived a skate off on "Celebrity's Dancing on Ice" and everybody around me was moving towards their goals, desires and dreams at such a rapid pace.  I felt like things were at a stand still for me, I was left behind.  I saw the film with one of my many friends that are on the express train to marital bliss and there I was, still living with my parents, no partner, no savings, career progression impossible in my current role and generally just feeling sorry for myself.

Seeing Bridesmaids really touched a nerve at the time.  My situtation was totally relateable to Annie's.  Whilst everyone was laughing, I secretly cried a little.  I thought it was really sad.  The position she was in made me feel more sorry for myself.  Then I cried at the end when everyone told her it was her own fault.  To forget blaming the World and get up and change it.  That too made me sad because I realised that I was just letting things happen to me, feeling distressed about it but then not doing anything to change it.

Tonight sat under the stars, looking across at the Manhattan skyline, Empire State Building staring back at me and Bridesmaids projected on a big screen on the Hudson, it felt incredibly poignant.  This time last year seems like such a long time ago.  A lifetime ago even.  So much has happened and even more has changed for me.  The obvious being that I am living and working in New York City.  An incredible opportunity that until now I haven't truly appreciated or grabbed with both hands.  I'm nowhere near where I had hoped to be at 27 and I don't know when I'll ever get there but I do know that every struggle I faced last year has been totally worth it to end up sitting in the warm breeze, surrounded by laughter and a beautiful view.

Where will I be this time next year?  I have no clue but I hope I'm as grateful as I am today.

Hoboken's Movies Under the Stars Series will run throughout July and August, full screening details available here

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Audrey Hepburn and I

I had to post this because I'm just totally taken aback by it.  I referenced an Audrey Hepburn quote yesterday regarding the difficulty with taking life in when you're in the moment, to which a friend said that I reminded her of Audrey.  I'm not sure I feel that way but grateful for such a lovely compliment.  And then I saw the below quote on pinterest.  I literally said this to someone last weekend. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Cynthia Rowley: Style-Aid

Now that I'm living in New York it's important that I prepare for every eventuality.  So when a cool New Yorker friend asks me to walk in a Fashion Show and this happens...

The people of Johnson & Johnson have ensured that I needn't worry about the aftermath with their Cynthia Rowley plasters or "band-aids" as their more formerly known in the States.

The pack contains an assortment of 20 with designs including, sequins, crystals, gold chains, lace, bows and catwalk images. 

I can't remember the last time I even needed to use a plaster but these stylish numbers are giving me good enough reason to throw myself infront of a cab or two. 

Available for $2.75 at all US drug stores and Target.

Nora Ephron

To the woman that brought us these two and many more ...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Maple Bacon Cupcake

I've seen these feature on various food blogs so I was ecstatic to stumble across some mini versions at the Williamsburg Flea Market this weekend.  The perfect combination of sweet and salty, neither too overpowering.  The butter cream was a great contrast to the rasher and I was surprised to detect a hint of cinnamon in the sponge base.  At $2 they were the most expensive to sample from this particular stall but if you're a fan of a pancake, bacon and maple syrup breakfast then this should be right up your street!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Blink and Go Mascara

My eyelashes are my most valued feature and the one I receive the most comments and compliments on.  Therefore, it's no wonder that over time I have become somewhat of a mascara maven.

Diorshow has been a staple in my makeup bag for many years now.  On occassions I will opt for a cheaper alternative but as soon as I return to my trusty fave I truly appreciate how horrifically horrid that whole mascara incident was.  Despite my deep rooted love affair with this beauty product it's not actually frequented my dressing table for some time and just before Christmas another obstacle prevented me from re-purchasing.

Blink and Go mascara appeared in my Glossybox and from first impressions I wasn't impressed. The packaging didn't fall under luxury or quirky, it actually screamed "teen makeup brand" in my eyes. However, the product has continued to surprise me.

There are three super important requirements for my must-have mascara...
  • Must volumise
  • Must lengthen
  • Must stay put
I'm sure you're all the same.

There are definite pros and cons to this particular brand but overall it's a quality mascara that does all of the above and should definitely be given a shot at a starring role in your makeup bag.

What I love about Blink and Go...
  • It seriously thickens those lashes, giving them a stand out quality
  • The length they give my already extraordinarily long eyelashes is phenomenal so for those of you that aren't too enamoured with the length of yours, this is sure to do the trick
  • This stuff ain't budging!
  • The packaging is sturdy and thick, I have no idea (without delving into my suitcase on this Amtrak train) if it contains more product or not but my guess is yes as it's still going strong 4 months down the line
  • My biggest and perhaps only complaint about this mascara, is that just like the packaging the formula is sturdy.  When removing of an evening it's stripped off as a solid product rather than liquid which does make me flinch now and again that I may be taking some of my prized possessions with it.

    Blink and Go is available from
    *Image taken from

    Monday, 19 March 2012

    Gilmore Girl

    Band Stand, Stowe, VT

    Sunday Brunch

    Eggs Benedict and a Bloody Mary at the Green Mountain Inn, Stowe, VT

    Saturday, 17 March 2012

    Happy St Patrick's Day from Stowe, Vermont

    The White Maple Martini

    When in Vermont, do as the Vermonters do and what could be more Vermont than a White Maple Martini?

    I sampled this at a relatively new restaurant, Harrisons.  Probably better as an after dinner cocktail as it's a little creamy rather than through dinner, as I ordered but nonetheless it was the perfect concoction to ease me back into my home away from home, Stowe.

    Compiled of Green Mountain Vodka (very apt), Maple Liquer, Frangelico and Godiva White Chocolate Liquer-YUM!

    You could try your hand at mixing the above ingredients to your taste or if you need a little more structure, you could use the below recipe, a little different but I'm sure the outcome will be just as delightful.

    How To..
    1.5 oz Vodka
    1 Tbsp Vermont Maple Syrup
    1 oz Soda

    Mix all ingredients together and pour into a prepared Martini glass.


    Thursday, 16 February 2012

    ASOS Fashion Finder and I

    I attended TOWIB at the weekend and later found myself featured as a "Top Look" on ASOS Fashion Finder.  I'd never heard of the site before but from what I've gathered it's very similar to the likes of Chictopia etc.  It recently featured a takeover with one of my favourite blogging ladies as well, Audrey Leighton of Frassy, which boosted the sites credibility x1000 in my eyes.  If you're not a reader of her blog, scoot over their NOW.  You will fall in love.

    ASOS Fashion Finder seems not to be just your standard look of the day site though, they even set out some similar items in order for those that liked my outfit to style steal and not just from their own shopping channel either.  If you're interested in recreating my look above then check out some of their suggestions here.

    Not the most flattering of images but thanks for featuring me ASOS!

    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    A Valentine's message from Carrie Bradshaw

    Put the chocolate down, step away and take a few moments to hear this special Valentine's message from the ever stylish Carrie Bradshaw.

    Sunday, 12 February 2012

    Whitney Houston

    I remember sitting up to watch and record the below performance from Whitney Houston at the MTV Europe Music Awards.  A powerful woman with a powerful voice and a powerful sense of style.  I was already in love with Whitney and had been for many years but had I not been, this performance would have nailed it for me.  I have been singing her songs in the shower, on the way to work (yes that can get embarrassing when you're caught), in auditions and on the stage since I was little.  She is my go to artist.

    I played this video over and over until the tape wore out and I wanted nothing more than to be sporting that awesome cropped hair cut with that indulgent purple shirt and that deep dark lipstick.  Whitney....sing mummy...

    Tuesday, 7 February 2012

    Sunday Snow...

    Just wanted to share this picture of me taken by my sister, on Sunday, whilst wandering to the shops in the recent UK snow we've had.  Love the 70's quality this has to it.

    Stay warm! x

    Tuesday, 31 January 2012

    TOWIB February 11th

    I think the below says it all.  Who else is venturing along?  

    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    Philosophy's Marshmallows for Toasting Lipgloss

    Does anybody else go weak at the knees with just one sultry sniff of maple syrup?  Well I'm carrying the next best thing around with me in my handbag.  Philosophy's Marshmallow's for Toasting lipgloss.  Doesn't smell or taste *clears throat* I mean just smell, anything like toasted marshmallows.  Instead it's an enticing poem of pancakes on a sunday morning, drowned in syrup.  Super way to start your day and far less calorific.

    On a serious note, well a MORE serious note as I actually am genuinely serious above, it's a lovely subtle neutral shade for when you're wanting to rock the au naturelle look.  Or you could wear it the To Elle and Back way, over Dior Addict 763 Pink Lust, for a candy floss-esque spin on the gloss.

    Part of a Marshmallows for Toasting Christmas gift set you will most likely have to act fast to get your hands on one.   Stockists of Philosophy include Boots and Selfridges.

    ps-It is so good I will cry when I run out, which FYI, I am well on the way to doing.

    *Image taken from

    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    My Commuting Song

    I'm already obsessed with James Vincent McMorrow's We Don't Eat, since I discovered the year in New York video that is so evocative.  It's now my commuting song.  Especially atmospheric whilst listening to it, either as your train appears, or as you are entering the London Underground/Subway/Metro, dependent on your country location.  I appreciate I sound odd but I'm a very visual person, which probably roots from my acting training and I use music to determine my moods and to summon emotions and memories.

    I stumbled across Gabrielle Aplin's version of the song.  No need to say any more, just listen. 

    Monday, 16 January 2012

    Movie Monday: The Descendants

    Golden Globe Best Picture Drama winner The Descendants is released January 27th, in the UK.  I saw the trailer yesterday for the first time and was immediately moved by it.  If this movie hasn't caught your eye yet, then check it out below.  I can imagine it may very well be adorning your "must watch" list too.

    Sunday, 15 January 2012

    One Night in Jail: Dinner at Barbutis

    Here's my mug shot!
    Gravesend, Kent is by far a grey cloud of ugliness and sadness.  FYI I'm allowed to say that because I was born there and still live just a stones throw away.  It's not always been this way though and there are, on occasions a glimpse of sophistication and rejuvenation once more.  Mostly along the heritage walk, aka the old high street.  One of these glimpses can now be found in oddly placed restaurant Barbutis.  A locally sourced, a la carte restaurant, positioned within the entrance of a now pitifully pointless market (I'm hoping Mary Portas might be able to sort that one out for us!)

    We were first introduced to the restaurant via a review in a National newspaper and almost couldn't believe our eyes.  A high end restaurant in Gravesend???  I've not seen any other marketing for it, so assume it must all be from word of mouth and I'm desperate for little establishments like this to survive, not only in the current economic climate but also in places near me that are left to fall into disrepair.  So here's me doing my bit.  

    Situated in the the old police station, Barbutis has an extra quirky factor to it and you know I love quirky! Although most of the tables are within the main dining area there are the odd few that have their very own cells. My sister and mother once visited for a sneak peek during the day, when it first opened, and they were quick to tell me it was rather eerie in those cells.  You'll be pleased to read that with the warm welcome of the lighting and friendly staff in the evening it wasn't anywhere near spooky, although I did get a chill whilst visiting the bathrooms. 

    I'm a sucker for history, so the images of the old police officers all through the decades placed around the rooms was a nice little touch.  We were in Cell 1 for my sisters birthday and although not surrounded by lots of other tables and guests the cell still managed to accommodate it's own little atmosphere.

    You can look to spend around £40 per person, without drink, so it doesn't come cheap (although it's not heinously expensive either), which is why it's even more surprising it's residence is Gravesend.

    We began with complimentary tomato and basil soup which I have to admit I didn't love and would have been disappointed if I'd ordered, however the presentation was cute.

    I began with chicken liver parfait with truffle butter, a red onion marmalade and brioche.  The sweetness against the savoury was sublime and I'm obsessed with truffles at the moment so this definitely hit the spot.

    One of my sister's and I followed that with the Roast "Aylesbury" Duck, served with a confit leg croquette, braised red cabbage, wilted baby gem, in a red wine jus.

    Despite loving that, I wish I'd ordered this...

    Venison in a dark chocolate jus with parsnip crisps and a summer fruits pudding.  Divine!

    We followed up with desserts, in which I tried the sticky toffee pudding which was satisfactory.

    The meal was definitely worth the money but the mains were the most outstanding of the three courses we all tried.  If you're based near Gravesend in Kent I hope you may show your support and venture here for some good food in an unusual setting.

    Barbutis is open Thursdays through to Sundays.
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