Currently Coveting #7

Michael Kors

I know we’re still in the middle of summer, but the Naomi clutch by Michael Kors is definitely on my wish list for this fall. The zipper detailing adds a tough edge to the sleek leather bag and stops it from looking too dainty. The perfect accessory for both day and night time, it is big enough to hold all your essentials. Find it here.

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If money was no object…

…my dream home would be furnished with these items.

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Furniture Collage

Vivienne Westwood Squiggles rug

Louis Ghost chair by Philippe Starck

Super Elliptical table by Fritz Hansen

Eames rocking chair and Liv tulle lamp by Jonas Bohlin;

 

All pictures from my Pintrest board My Dream Abode

The Fashion Clinic #5: Red Hot Details

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I’ve been slightly obsessed with this picture since I first saw it on the ever-so-stylish Emily Schuman’s blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere (original image from here). I love the idea of using accessories to add a pop of red to an otherwise neutral or monochrome outfit. It’s an easy way for colour-phobics like myself to brighten up their wardrobe.

If money was no object, this would be my pick of the best red hot accessories out there:

Red Collage

Clockwise from top left: Miu Miu leather tote £690; Alexander McQueen scarf £165; Saint Laurent ankle boots £600; Victoria Beckham clutch £450; Repetto ballet flats £190; Alexander McQueen scarf £165. All items available from Net a Porter.

For now though, I’m content to add a splash a red to my toes with Headline Colors nail polish in Catwalk.

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This Week’s Favourites

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Cameron made me a lovely bracelet at school and I was very touched by his thoughtfulness.

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Some summer reading to bring with me when we go on holiday in ten days’ time. I saw The Great Gatsby at the cinema a few weeks ago but have never actually read the book while the other two are easy chick-lit books that you can dip in and out of.

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On Wednesday the boys’ schools finished for the summer and they are definitely ready for some time off. It’s been hard for them going to school in the very hot weather but, of course, now that the summer holiday has started the temperatures have dropped.

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I was a very brave mummy and went out for lunch with all three children who actually surprised me by behaving remarkably well.

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A trip to the cinema to see Monsters University.

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This weekend we headed off to Bristol to visit one of my best friends and her family. We stayed up until almost 2am (not great when you have small kids who like to get up by 6.30…), drinking wine and chatting for hours as you do when you’re with friends who you love dearly but don’t see enough of. Large mugs of strong coffee and fry ups all around this morning, and we were ready to spend a few hours at Bristol Zoo.

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Exhausted after too little sleep and the long drive home, we ordered an Indian takeaway and flopped on the sofa. Home sweet home!

Issa launches High Street version of Duchess dress

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You may not be able to get your hands on the custom-made Jenny Packham dress that Kate Middleton wore to debut Prince George, but another of the Duchess’ headline grabbing outfits is hitting the high street next month.

Issa London is reissuing a new version of Kate’s engagement dress in its forthcoming collaboration with US clothing chain Banana Republic. The British brand has created a daywear version of the blue wrap dress, which sold out after the Duchess wore it at the announcement of her engagement to Prince William in November 2010.

The new version, which has a wrap waist and ruched detailing, is made from jersey and comes in both blue and plum, while another similar style features short sleeves and a deep V-neck. Best of all, you don’t need a Royal budget to snap one up, as prices range from £65 to £75 – far less than Issa’s original price of £565. The 40-piece collection also includes light knits, tops and accessories, with prices starting at a purse-friendly £30. Destined to be a sell-out, the capsule range will launch online and in 700 Banana Republic stores across the globe on August 8.

Elbows at the ready ladies!

There are several versions of the sell out engagement dress in the collection including a £75 sleeveless style (left) and a £65 short plum piece (right)

There are several versions of the sell out engagement dress in the collection including a £75 sleeveless style (left) and a £65 short plum piece (right)

School’s out for Summer!

All images from Pintrest

All images from Pintrest

The boys finished school today and we had a great afternoon in the park together with friends from both their classes. We have two weeks left until we go on holiday and I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this sunny weather continues until then.

I’m looking forward to six weeks of no school run, homework or after school activities!

Recipe: Salmon with butter and chive sauce

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I love salmon (tasty, easy to cook and boosts your brain power – what’s not to like?) and this is hands down my favourite recipe. You have to try it, the sauce is out of this world but beware, it tastes good enough to eat straight out of the saucepan!

This dish tastes great with rice or any kind of potatoes – last night we ate it with boiled new potatoes and green beans, simple but yummy. I squeezed some lemon over the salmon fillets and seasoned them with sea salt with garlic and chilli from The Garlic Farm, before cooking in the oven at 180 degrees for around 15-20 minutes.

Here’s how to make the sauce:

Serves 4

2 finely chopped shallots
1 tbsp olive oil
150 ml white wine
1 fish stock cube
300 ml double cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
75 butter, cubed
3-4 tbsp finely chopped chives
50 ml crème fraiche

Saute the shallots in the oil for approximately 2 minutes. Add the wine, fish stock and double cream and simmer uncovered for around 20 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and pour it back into a clean saucepan. Stir in the lemon juice and gradually add the butter cubes, whisking the sauce while the butter melts. Finally, add the chives and  crème fraiche.

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Currently Coveting #6

Despite often seeing its trend-led pieces on the fashion pages of various magazines, River Island is not a store that I normally frequent. When I shop on the high street (which I have to admit is not that often, I much prefer the ‘click to buy’ approach from the comfort of my sofa) I tend to stick to department stores where all the brands are in close proximity to each other. But on a trip into town today I ventured all the way down to Primark and on the way back I decided on a whim to pop into River Island.

Like most other stores it was at the tail-end of the summer Sale and not necessarily looking its best, but at the back of the shop I managed to locate some real gems including these jackets. While it may be too hot to wear them at the moment, I think any of them would look great teamed with a simple T-shirt and skinny jeans on the cooler days that are no doubt coming our way soon.

 

River Island Collage

Clockwise from top left: Pink and orange tweed jacket, £60; Cream marl contrast trim biker jacket, £45; Orange embossed peplum jacket, £35; Beige structured cropped jacket, £50.

This week’s favourites

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The sun is still with us so I got the water table out and Clemmie had a fun time splashing around and pouring water everywhere (including the sand pit which I was not too happy about!)

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Clemmie finished playgroup this week and while she was at her last session I headed to a local cafe for a latte and a quick browse through the latest issue of Living Etc magazine. I had a to-do list as long as my arm, but it was my last child-free hour until she starts preschool in September so I wanted to make the most of it!

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While I was in the village I also bought some yummy chocolates to give to the lovely ladies who have been looking after her at playgroup.

Sports Day

Sports Day in the sweltering heat! The kids all did well and kept smiling despite the sun beating down while they were doing their running and egg-and-spoon races.

Peonies

Buying peonies on a Friday has become a rather nice habit. Sometimes my husband has even been known to buy them for me!

Bracelet

I went to a charity dinner on Friday night organised by my good friend Vicky to raise money for Street League and won this beautiful bracelet in the raffle.

Powerwalk

My eldest son and I kicked off Sunday morning with a power walk around the village and a nice chat about school, Minecraft and football.

Clemmie sleeping

After a full day of cycling, barbecuing, swimming and eating tons of strawberries, one member of the household simply could not keep their eyes open any longer!

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It’s been a full-on weekend so I’m tempted to do the same after finishing my glass of wine and a couple of squares of Lindt’s Blueberry Intense dark chocolate.

Keep Cool and Look Chic: Top Knot Tutorial

If you have long hair like me, you’re probably pulling it up into a ponytail or top knot to keep it off your neck and stay cool in this hot weather. Summer is the perfect time to rock a sexy casual updo but if you’re struggling to create a look that’s chic rather than just-came-out-of-the-gym messy, the lovely people over at Refinery 29 have put together a step-by-step tutorial to take your top knot to new heights.  

Click here to see the slideshows

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