Out to the farmers market in my camo jacket

As I write this post I am doing a little celebratory dance in my head (or maybe not just in my head, but then again I am not sure I want to admit to this advanced state of crazy...) to welcome the first day of Autumn... I am so looking forward to days spent lazily strolling around London's parks with their fiery colours and crispy leaves breaking under my feet, the casserole dishes I'll cook up for friends and family, and of course new season fashion (you were waiting for this one, admit it). Last Sunday we got a little preview of Autumn with a slightly colder day than usual, so let's consider this my first outfit post for the new season...

I woke up on Sunday morning with a slight buzz in my head, the effect of an evening well spent with friends the night before, and nothing at all to do with the numerous champagne flutes I'd had, surely... So following my usual routine of gym then breakfast then kids activities was just not going to happen... Instead, I brewed myself a strong pot of coffee, cooked the kiddies a glorious breakfast of waffles, fruit and juices (as documented on my Instagram...), whilst Hubby Dearest went for a workout: clearly he has a stronger composition than me, I swear I couldn't have faced an elyptical machine! After that, there was a strong pull to go back to bed in my PJs with my two little munchkins and turn over to my favourite helper for the direst times: Nanny Disney. But, as you can gladly see from these pics, I pulled through, got dressed and went to the local farmers market to pick up some homegrown goodies!

Though it is tempting to go out in one's PJ's, it doesn't make for very good OOTD material, unless you're an 9 feet tall model-like waif, which evidently I have given up on becoming about twenty years ago when my height plateau'd at 5''1... but more to the point in my case: my mother would be absolutely horrified (I should probably capitalise that) to see how far down I'm letting myself go, and since she is probably one of my two regular readers, the other one being my devoted husband, I couldn't really do that, could I?

Instead, I opted for my most trusted and comfy skinny jeans (these are high-waisted, which is great for days when things aren't as tip-tight as they need to be...), and layered up top with some pretty laid-back but still interesting tops, especially my embroidered sweatshirt and my too cool for school camo jacket. Accessories-wise it was kept very low-key, with my favourite flats of the moment and a super large tote bag Little Sis' gave me a few Christmasses ago... ideal to pack all the organic produce from the market, right?

Outfit details below:
- Camouflage jacket with drawstring waist, Pull & Bear
- Dark wash skinny jeans, Frame Denim
- Embroidered sweat-shirt, Anthropologie
- Canvas and leather Cappuccino bag, Meli Melo
- Leo lace-up ballerina flats, Isabel Marant


Finally nailed my healthy banana bread!

Firstly I am sorry for the relative slowness in my posts lately, between the back to school rush and other tidbits life has been a little hectic... But I am back today to share a little secret: healthy baking (ie without gluten, real butter, refined sugar etc, that is to say all the things that make baked goodies wonderfully delicious by the way) is hard. In my case it's often a story of trial and errror. For instance, last Sunday I took to the kitchen with my favourite mini sous-chef, Little Monsieur, and we tried to make everything-free coconut bread: the result was, well, mixed, and needless to say that recipe will need work before I share it here!

Thankfully though I seem to have finally nailed my healthy banana bread recipe. There are many issues with banana bread, for instance without gluten the flour rises less and the banana weighs it down so it tends to be a pretty flatish affair. On the plus side though there is quite a good amount of natural sugar in the fruit so you don't need to add much but still a little so it's nice and sweet for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Also, whilst I attempted to do this recipe without any dairy quite a few times, I haven't managed to get the same fluffy mushy finish (a scientific attribute, of course) so for this I'm using Greek yoghurt, the full fat kind because I'd rather be a little plump than all wrinkly and dry... and it works! Finally, I know a lot of healthy recipes call for no eggs, but in my experience the result is often a very crumbly and dry texture, which is why I stick (he he) to one egg here.

Anyhow, without further rambling, here it is... Let me know if you do give it a try!

- 3 large bananas
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup Greek yoghurt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1.5 cup flour made of 2/3 gluten free flour and 1/3 coconut flour
- 1/2 cup ground chia seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Mash the bananas into a large bowl, then mix in the egg, yoghurt and oil (in this order). Whisk in the sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and whisk a bit more. 
Gently stir in the flour and chia seeds, being careful not to over-work the dough. The final result is quite compact and lumpy, not liquid. 
(For more deliciousness you can add cocoa nibs or chocolate chips or even blueberries into the dough...)
Scrape the mix into a pre-oiled bread or cake tin (I use coconut oil here as well). Bake for about 50 minutes, checking regularly. If the top looks like it might overcook half-way, just top it off with a little foil paper tent. Check with a little knife, when it comes out dry, your bread is done. 
Pull out, leave to cool in tin for about 10 minutes, then out for another 10 on a cooling rack. This will ensure clean slices. 

Bon appétit!


Savouring the last days of Summer

Autumn is definitely upon us... there is a chill in the air and yesterday I took Little Monsieur for his first day at the Lycée's primary school. I have written about it before: this is one of my favourite times of the year, because even though I've long been out of school (yes, I know, hard to believe, ahem), I always get a feeling of new beginnings in September, in fact far more than January which will forever be etched in my mind as the month of bleak days and endless (and hopeless...) new year budgeting.

Thankfully though the weather is still mild, and we are making the most of it with playdates at our local parks, much to the delight of Little Monsieur who is delighted to see his friends again after the long Summer holidays.

You know I am not one to wear high heels at the playground, but lately I've been suffering from lower back pain, maybe a function of having worn high heels all the time for so long until now, so flat shoes can be a little uncomfortable if worn for a long time. Instead, I'm loving cushioned sneakers, and I have tried finding some fun ones to wear on my days out with the munchkins. I don't think I've owned Air Max sneakers since the nineties, and yet here I am, going a little ghetto and wearing my new lilac speckled ones with my grey skinnies... The comfort is unbelievable, so much so that I am now looking for the perfect dark grey pair (much to Hubby Dearest's despair, considering how many trainers he insists I own!) Of course there is also the added benefit of making me feel a lot younger than my advanced age, and that, my friends, is worth as much as a pot of Creme de La Mer...

I kept the pastel theme throughout on this outfit, with my super soft pink bucket bag (reminiscent of that other very popular model but much cheaper and without the annoying waiting list...). Bucket bags are a great idea in theory, but in reality you can't pack them with much as they get quite heavy but most importantly the opening at the top means it's a bit unsafe so I don't usually take mine on public transport for instance... Otherwise I love it.

Up top, a sweatshirt I picked up a few months ago in New York, having fallen in love with the open crochet work. It's a great special piece that picks up any casual outfit, and it's exactly the kind of look that I try to go for on my days out: mostly simple but with one unique addition that takes it away from boring and drab...

More outfit details below:
- Grey black skinny jeans, J Brand
- Open work white sweatshirt and shell top underneath, Club Monaco
- Pink bucket bag, Rachael Ruddick at Otte NY
- Trainers, Nike Air Max 90 Plum Fog


TLP foodie notes: Street food galore at Street Feast in Dalston Yard

Let's be honest... My usual week-end meals out usually revolve around some healthy children friendly options, usually not too far from Parsons Green. That's one of the joys of having to juggle a busy family schedule of birthday parties, extra-curricular classes, work-outs, and generally not liking to schlep it across town with the little ones (and assorted paraphernalia) in tow. Sadly though, this often means missing out on a lot of fun foodie events, such as street food markets, which tend to happen a bit further East.

Sometimes though, Hubby Dearest and I get lucky: this week-end the kiddies were still in Brittany with their grandparents, so we took my little Smart over to Hackney, and spent a glorious early evening at Street Feast London, in Dalston Yard.

Street Feast takes place every Summer in London (currently in four different locations, all of them with an E in the post code, so dear Westerners like me, get moving!), and right now there are 5 week-ends left for Dalston Yard, after which it will be closed, and apparently this location won't be re-opened next Summer, which is a shame because it's a truly cool setting.

The place itself is quite fantastic. Think upcycled urban junk-yard cum food truck parking lot. There are little food stalls dotted the yard, where you can buy all sorts of delicious street food: lobster buns, burger sliders, mini naans, sashimi etc. etc. Drinks are offered by 12 different bars, including a wine garden, a rum shack and a pretty cool tequila tree house where we met the sweetest girl from Barcelona, serving Margaritas and Piña Coladas.

All of the portions are relatively small, although they are definitely bigger than finger food. In my mind most were the perfect size to eat with my hands, standing. The only exception was the barbecued pork rib which Hubby Dearest insisted on having as a pre-dessert, that was huuuuge! But then I am not very big on pork so I didn't have this particular installment of our stall tour.

Our favourites of the evening were the Ahi tuna tacos from Bob's Lobster, and the perfectly spiced naan sliders by Rola Wala, though the dessert of fried Vietnamese bun and coconut and pandan ice cream was pretty legendary as well. Basically, reading between the lines, you can guess we sampled about half of the food on offer, and had a perfect little pig-out, as shown by our aching stomachs at the end of the evening, but boy was it worth it.

Drink-wise, I must admit I've had better than what we had here (the Caipirinha at the main bar was quite forgettable), but then Hubby Dearest's Tequila Piña Colada was lovely, if you like iced sweet cocktails, which I do, as long as there is a hot tropical beach in the vicinity. Admittedly we didn't try the wine bar, which advertised fine wines... Maybe another time.

Highlights of the evening, besides the food of course, will have to be the atmosphere, a mix of urban, cool, boho and overall bon-vivant ambiance which is hard to find closer to our SW home... The crowd here was definitely more laid-back, less about showing-off, more about enjoying the moment... we should come here more often, is what I was left thinking.

Like the sound of this? You have until the end of September to try it out, and remember a number of the stalls are under high glass roofs, meaning you don't get wet should you suffer from a little end of Summer rain...

Find out more here:


Good evening Misterrr Bond... My movie villainess look

I love a good spy movie... for all the right reasons of course but also and maybe more so for the fashion. Recently I watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and as always I was in love with the style of all the characters...

Who can forget Sophie Marceau's fabulous wardrobe in The World Is Not Enough? (Admittedly that is far from being the best Bond out there but she looked absolutely sensational in it). I have to say, overall villains are somewhat more interesting characters... they just exist in shades of grey which makes them a bit more real and a lot of them pile the sex-appeal quite high, don't you think?

Out for drinks earlier I thought I'd channel my favourite villainesses by donning this gorgeous maxi dress...  Isn't it absolutely wonderful?

I saw it through the corner of my eagle eye (which is way to sharp considering I'm trying to curb by shopping habit, maybe if I wore darker shades?) walking back from a Pilates class and it was love at first leopard. Rixo London creates silk garments with bespoke hand painted prints... Their dresses are so hot I was lucky to find this beauty just a couple of blocks away from home!

I love the animal print... it's bold and delicate and the cut  of the dress beyond flattering (if I say so myself...). The silk itself is super light, meaning the dress is a dream to wear. Of course every villainess needs an evil pet, and what do you know, Mr Cleverpuss decided to join this shoot as a co-star. Isn't he fluffy and adorable in a constant-scheming kind of way?

Accessories-wise I kept everything simple, plain slip-in wedge mules I found in the Plaka in Athens when we visited last month, and a turquoise snake clutch that was a gift my parents brought me from one of their recent trips. I love a look that is easy and yet packs a little bit of punch, this is really up my street. And so comfy!!!

The aforementioned fluffy co-conspirator was very helpful in deciding what's for drinks (Aperol Spritz of course, not shaken, not stirred, just layered)... not so much in elaborating a master of the universe plan for me, but then again, these days, I'm not sure that's what I'm after...

I'm just happy finding my balance again, preparing for my little vacay with the bambini (in Brittany, must remember to pack cashmeres...) and just enjoying the little beauties in life.

For more details on this outfit, find some details below:
- Dress, Rixo (Also check out http://www.rixo.co.uk/ for the rest of the collection)
- Wedge mules, from a market in Athens, these Jimmy Choo ones are very close
- (Still trying to find a good match for my clutch... watch this space... x)


Denim jumpsuit... effortlessly cool or just a glorified boiler suit?

I have a thing for jumpsuits... Which is odd, seeing as the look, done wrong, can make anyone look like a babygro-ed toddler... For instance, if you try wearing one which is fitted at the ankles with trainers, then you are pretty close to toddler look territory, just saying... Also let's not forget the undeniable awkwardness of going to the bathroom when you are wearing one (my advice: drink little, so as to minimise the need to visit the loo). But, if you are able to look beyond the evident perils of a jumpsuit, then you will see, like me, that it is the perfect hybrid between a dress and trousers.

Like a dress, a jumpsuit takes away the need to think through matching separates, it's a perfect one piece outfit on its own, and can be accessorized up or down depending on the occasion. But, like trousers, a jumpsuit is a little more practical and easy to maneuver than a dress. Obviously if you've been following me a while you also know that I adore culottes, so of course this jumpsuit, with its wide legs and the shorter hemline, was a foregone conclusion. And, by the way, the denim cotton is super light, unlike some other denim jumpsuits and boiler suits I've seen, so it's perfect for warm Summer days.

It also looks quite neat underneath an aran jumper, so I am sure you will see it here when the cold returns to London, which can't be too long now... we've had two weeks of uninterrupted good weather after all and as you know I love Autumn so I for one can't wait!

The simplicity of a jumpsuit means you only need shoes and a bag and you're ready to go... I have confessed to my obsession with block heel sandals recently, so practical for my new life of running around everywhere (in this particular occasion, to lunch with a friend, it's my new kind of busy, for this month at least). I love these, they are super light despite the block heel, and the ghillie detail is very now...

I finished it all off with my cream baby Marcie, a bag I usually reserve for outings with Little Monsieur and Little Madame (I love the hands free approach when I'm with them) but they are currently on vacation with my in-laws so it was just little old me for lunch... but still this bag looked good on the blue of the jumpsuit. And I tried wearing it on the shoulder rather than across the body, for a little change...

So, what do you think: denim jumpsuit? Yay or nay?

Before I go, here are the details for today's outfit:
- Denim belted jumpsuit, Club Monaco
- Cross-body mini Marcie bag, Chloé 
- Tan suede sandals with ghillie lacing detail, Dune 
- Tortoiseshell style sunglasses, Céline


TLP fashion edit: Military jackets, my top five

I know what you're thinking... What am I thinking writing about jackets on one of  the sunniest week-ends of the last few months. Of course I know most of you are basking in the sunshine in your sleeveless blouses and dresses (and, if you're a true Brit, your bikinis, right there on the park!), but hear me out: soon enough September will be upon us with its breezes and altogether chillier days, and it's always good to have a transitional jacket to drape on one's shoulders, right?

I have always loved military shaped jackets, but until this year I never really saw the appeal of camouflage print jackets. Well things have changed! I think they are all the rage!

I like the versatility of the print... You can wear it with a variety of colours and even, should you feel a bit adventurous, try mixing with other prints (proceed with caution here... start small)! I personally prefer the shorter versions, which hit just at the hip, and usually prefer when they have a drawstring to pull the waist in should I want to, but I can see how taller fashionistas would like the longer parka shapes. I am currently looking for little pins to embellish mine... in the meanwhile, here are my top five in the shops as I write.

From top left, clockwise:
- Vintage wash distressed shacket, Topshop
- Eyelet detail jacket with concealed buttons, River Island
- Hooded parka, Valentino
- Hooded festival jacket, boohoo.com
- Sleeveless gilet, New Look


Purple reign... An outing to Mayfield Lavender Farm

Lately, I've been trying to explore more things around London, to make the most of the Summer days and ensure my little ones are entertained between their different holidays. In recent days we've been to Tate Britain, London Zoo, the numerous parks around our house, and, something new for us: Mayfield Lavender Farm.

We had woken up to a beautiful sunny day and I had heard that the lavender flowers are in full bloom this time of the year, so we packed our little monkeys into the car and down to the Surrey hills we went, to find 25 acres of beautiful lavender, with the most amazing colours and smell. I am very much in need of zen lately, and just walking around the aromatically filled rows of flowers left me in a much calmer place.

Both Little Monsieur and Little Madame had a great time, with our youngest intent on catching one of the bees we encountered at the farm, it was so cute! She was literally running around the flowers! Little Monsieur was determined to buy some local lavender honey ("to taste the lavender flowers perfume") but sadly the shop had sold out... Maybe next time.

I took the opportunity to shoot some new pictures of the children... after all it's not every day that we find ourselves in such a picture-perfect place. Luckily we got there quite early, as by 11:30 the rows of lavender were filled with similarly excited families, and it would have been impossible to take the pictures we did without sharing the portraits of other lavender aficionados in the process...

Outfit-wise I tried to keep it quite simple, to let the vibrant colours of the fields speak. Both Little Madame and I wore white, which looks great in contrasting with the rows of lavender. I accessorized with a very buccolic basket (which I've owned for almost a decade!) and some gold lace-up flat sandals...

By the time we finished our pictures and little walk-about, Little Monsieur had built up quite an appetite, and we enjoyed the little barbecue on offer at the cafe. It was quite nice, although I wish they offered a few veggie salads as sides instead of the ubiquitous crisps... The atmosphere was laid-back and friendly, and the crowd a reflection of the diversity of London that I love.

It did seem to me that the food on offer for afternoon tea might have been a little more interesting, with lavender flavoured cakes and scones, but I'm not sure I'd been very happy with the huge crowds had we come for tea: by the time we left around 1pm, we drove past long queues of cars and people waiting to gain entrance, meaning a very busy afternoon at the farm!

Find out more about Mayfield:


Khaki in Chelsea

Even at the week-end, I love working out early... it gets it out of the way to leave the day free for lots of fun afterwards but also it means that there are less people around the class or gym, and that's always a good thing. On Saturday, I went to Psycle's first class with the lovely Danni, and then made my way with plenty of time for breakfast at The Good Life Eatery in Chelsea with a dear friend. All before 11:00, result!

I know the fashion is for people to stay in their "athleisure" gear after class, and sometimes I do the same (in fact I'm sitting in my kitchen right now writing this post in the same clothes I did my Pilates class in this morning), but I get so sweaty after Psycle that I prefer to shower and change completeley before leaving the studio.

As some of you who've been reading me for a while, I love khakis and camels... So this outfit is exactly the type of outfit I gravitate towards during summer.

As someone who has always been challenged in the height department (except maybe my first year as according to my parents I was "very big"... let's hope that's meant as a good thing), I adore heels of course, but I think lately I'm liking wedges a little more.

They are just far easier to navigate the endless shuttling duties to and from the club, the mummy coffees and the park outings I have been dedicating most of my days to these last few weeks. I know what you're thinking: this used to be about stiletto style, soon enough this will be filled with pictures of me traipsing West London in some SW Cocos by Russell Bromley (google them, you'll get my drift)... And whilst we can never say never, let me tell you that is a prospect that makes me shudder inside. Don't worry. For now, I'll still aim to dress my age, not my grandmother's!

The rest continues along the same theme of cool comfort, perfect for a muggy day out. I love the light tan suede jacket, a find from last year but a piece that Massimo Dutti repeats every season, with a few variations. It's ultra light, meaning it's the ultimate Summer cover up, and it looks far more expensive than it really was...

Underneath I'm wearing my khaki broderie anglaise top by Isabel Marant, again from last year, but it's one of my favourites for Summer, which is a good thing as this is exactly the type of piece where you need high number of wears to lower the cost-per-wear... ahem...

The rest you've seen me wear before: my beloved Etoupe Lindy, with the Tyger Tyger shawl draped over...

More details on this outfit:
- Ankle grazing khaki trousers, Theory,
- Suede draped jacket, Massimo Dutti, check out this Mango one for a close look
- Khaki top with ruffle and eyelet details, Isabel Marant
- Espadrille wedge sandals, Sante Shoes
- Lindy handbag and Tyger Tyger cashmere and silk shawl, Hermès


TLP foodie notes: Pure healthy indulgence at Farmacy

I'm sure you've heard it all before: eating healthy is boring, it doesn't taste good, and it often means ordering a RIP wreath for your social life as you can't go out anywhere for drinks and meals... Sure, that's all true, if you have not only decided to give a health boost to your lifestyle, but you have also taken a time machine back to the early noughties...

This is 2016 everyone, and there are so many options for healthy foodies in London these days that you'd be forgiven for thinking you've just moved to L.A.'s hippest neighbourhood! In fact this lunchtime I was lucky to be taken to Farmacy by my friend Pooja, who will soon be an adopted Angeleña herself, and boy did we have a feast!

First,the location... this is very conveniently located on Westbourne Grove, just a stones throw from some of my favourite Notting Hill hang-outs (although thankfully for my wallet there was no time on the meter to pop by Aimé for a little post lunch shopping!)

From the outside you'll expect a lab style clinical setting, after all the name and the store-front can look a bit misleading...  but once inside things are totally different. The restaurant is all wood, marble, and brass details, with a resolutely modern take but nothing clinical here. It's absolutely beautiful and there are plants everywhere.

Farmacy offers a menu which is vegan, dairy free, free from refined sugars and chemicals. Ok, you'll say, so do a bunch of bunny food joints...

Yes, but here the fare is absolutely delicious. After sharing a plate of guilt-free nachos (delicious guacamole, hello!), I had the Middle Eastern super bowl and Pooja ordered the burger. As good girls who were not brought up in the West, we shared our plates and I have to confess this is the first vegan burger I tried which didn't remind me of cardboard... it  was quite scrumptious! I adored my health bowl, and that spirulina hummus is the stuff my food dreams are made of...

Drinks were pretty amazing, and we did even brave the Fire Starter syringe shot... Flaming hot but oh so good for you, or so I told myself as I swallowed the slightly fiery mixture! We weren't sure we wanted dessert, but then the most amazing sundae appeared on the table, and I have to say, what a highlight that was! Almond milk, nice cream, amazing brownie bites, and the coolest brittle I've tasted in years...

As I am writing this post hours after my lunch, I'm still sallivating after most of what we had... I'll be coming back for more very soon, is all I can say...

Find out more:
74 Westbourne Grove
London W2
0 207 225 0705


Baking flapjacks, no gluten, refined sugar or dairy required

I never liked over-ripe bananas... in fact I don't even like ripe bananas, I tend to like them quite green. But lately I'm discovering a great number of uses for over-ripe bananas. All in the form of gluten free dairy free baking recipes, which means I can indulge in them as part of my new healthy lifestyle. And the best bonus? My children love them! Today Little Monsieur and I made some super easy flapjacks, and I really mean super-easy: 10 minutes prep, 20 minutes baking, done.

For about 20 portions, you'll need:
- 2 over ripe bananas
- 2 tbsp agave syrup (or maple syrup, or honey)
- 4 tbsp almond butter
- 3 tbsp coconut oil (plus a little bit more for greasing)
- 1.5 cup oats
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- a sprinkling of dessicated coconut

By the way, you can add a scoop of protein powder to the mix to make these super charged for after your workout sessions, I didn't for these because I wanted to be able to serve them to my children.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Then literally it's so easy my five-year old can do most of it...

Mash the bananas to a puree. Mix with all the other ingredients into a saucepan, except the oats. Simmer for about five minutes, until everything melts together (I know, the colour and consistency is a bit odd... but stick with it, the result is worth it). Add the oats towards the end, just to allow them to soak in the puree. After a few minutes spread on to a flat-ish greased tin, and on to the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Leave the tin to rest and cool for 10-15 minutes whilst you melt some dark chocolate (or cocoa nibs if you're avoiding all things dairy!), then just drizzle liberally over the cold cake. Let it cool, and finally portion out the flapjacks and serve with your favourite drink!

Bon appétit!


TLP fashion edit: Beachwear essentials for a sartorially perfect vacay

We have all been there... you wait through June and July to wave good bye to the city and take that long awaited holiday, only to find that, of course, you have nothing to wear... It doesn't matter that your wardrobe is full of clothes, including so many that qualify as beachwear one would think you live in Hawaii, the fact is, it's nice to go on a little shopping spree to buy just one new swimsuit isn't it?

The issue is, you get to V (for vacation) day minus 5 and as you browse the shops you get hit by sales sickness (aka the feeling you get when contemplating endless racks of disorganized mis-sized garments... or am I the only one who gets that?). You turn left and there's the new collection, all cashmere coats and beautiful leathers... That's great, but not really what you're in the mood for, right?

Thankfully, that is just one occasion when shopping online comes in handy! I love it. You can browse online by colour, size etc. but also there is a Summer shop section in most shopping websites these days, making it really easy to find your new favourite beachwear essentials. Here are a few I found today...

Clockwise, starting top left:
- Pompom raffia bag, Muzungu Sisters
- Cut-out print swimsuit with laced back, Mara Hoffman
- Emerald green cover-up dress, Heidi Klein
- Probably the best SPF in the market, Strong Sun Body Lotion by Institut Esthederm
- Pink flip flops, classic, Havaianas
- Acetate sunglasses, Diane Von Furstenberg


In love with Vyshyvanka... like everyone else?

I love boho...and lately, with no pressure to dress "professionally" at all, I'm making the best of my relaxed days to enjoy this style even more. Granted, I am spending quite a large amount of time clad in all sorts of lycra (the correlate of almost living in a gym or studio in recent days, but come on friends I need the endorphin boost!) but at least once a day I peel the leggings off and wear some proper clothes. This is what I wore a couple of days ago to go out for lunch with a friend. 

By now the whole world and their mother is getting on the Vyshyvanka bandwagon, but I'm happy to say I've loved folk blouses since I was a child, and I remember this one trip age four, when the intricate embroidered pattern on the traditional dresses of the ladies of Viana Do Castelo absolutely fascinated me. I love peasant blouses, and have accumulated quite a collection over the years, but this one is a relatively recent acquisition. I love the almost "ton sur ton" embroidery, and as you know by now if you've read my little blog a while I'm a sucker for light colours, especially in Summer.

Granted the pattern is barely visible unless you are quite close, but the work on this Ukrainian inspired blouse is nonetheless precious, and the sleeves in particular are fabulous, billowing and covered with embroidered patterns.

For me, the ideal companion to a folk blouse is a pair of dark jeans (skinny or flared, ideally...  but I insist on the dark wash) in the city, and a pair of cutoffs anywhere else, and particularly by the sea... Anything else just doesn't work as well, sorry. Unless it's Winter and then you could think of matching a dark Vyshyvanka blouse with black leather skinnies or a pair of va-va-voom velvet bell-bottoms...  In fact I'm looking for a perfect Winter version of this blouse, maybe a red one, or navy? Any ideas, please email me!

With such major sleeves I kept the accessories minimal and light. I am loving this suede hobo lately, it's from this season and very much fitting in my slightly more modern take on style... It's very simple, with just a couple of gold accents around the handle, and perfect for that muted look I'm going for... And so light!

The shoes are another obsession of mine: block heeled sandals. I have bought three pairs this season and I can't get enough of the look! First it's comfy, but also I love that it's a bit more sturdy than my usual stilettos, as I've been walking a fair amount lately so it's good to know I can rely on some sturdy heels to carry me all day!

Outfit details below:
- Dark wash skinny jeans with a high waist, J Brand
- Vyshyvanka blouse in cream puff colours, Geo Moriarty
- Suede hobo bag, Maison Margiela
- Sandals, from last season at Forever New, these Sam Edelman ones are very close


Taking the stuffy out of corporate chic

Look what the cat dragged in... I was looking through my camera memory card earlier and I found these pictures which I had planned for a work outfit post a few weeks ago, but then I completely forgot about them (life has been very busy lately!). I thought it would be a great opportunity to post these now, despite the fact that I am currently taking a well-needed breather from all things corporate... this outfit exemplifies perfectly what corporate chic means to me.

See, for me, corporate chic doesn't necessarily mean grabbing a pinstripe suit and donning some female form of the male office uniform, matched with a pair of boring mid-heel court shoes and a snooze-worthy innocuously black bag... This is 2016 people, we can all do better in the office (and not just style-wise, but that's a conversation for a post in a few months, it would appear). Fashion and attire expectations have evolved since Gordon Gekko's days, thankfully. There are a lot of ways to be stylish and corporate, like a plain sheath dress, or a beautiful asymetric skirt suit, and I tend to navigate towards separates a lot lately, although I think of myself more as a dress person usually.

One trend I am loving this year is stripes... with everything. From ripped white jeans for a Sunday brunch to cigarette pants in the office, I'm always wearing them lately. I know I am not alone, but I like how all the shapes we've seen this season mean it's easy to do a new take on the classic look. This shirt is incredibly easy to wear, it's super forgiving in shape and it comes in a super light material which is perfect for the odd sweltering day in London (a handful of occasions this year already, which could well be a record!).

Add some cigarette trousers, a little peplum jacket from last year (I've used this well, in fact so much that it ended in the charity pile a couple of weeks ago when I started my workwear purge), and that's the basis of the outfit found. Now for accessories... This is usually where I have fun, and this outfit is a perfect example, with the gorgeous lace-up sandals in a bright fuchsia pink from the Bionda Castana collection for L.K. Bennett. Aren't they darling?

To finish, I grabbed my blue double bag, which is the perfect size for a full day of work, as I can fit all my day essentials, a few presentations, a laptop etc. I picked the colour because it is a good year-round tone, but also because it's quite different from the ubiquitous light pink and black that we usually see this bag in. The colour name is Aviator Blue... One last note, if you're contemplating which Prada work bag to get: I had the double zip bag before this, and in my view this one is better, first because the longer straps mean it's a shoulder bag if you want, but also because it looks more elegant with the clean line stripped off the zips. Just my two cents.

Before I take a bow, here are some links for the different pieces:
- Stripe shirt, Kate Spade
- Cigarette trousers, J.Crew
- Peplum jacket in cotton tweed, from the SS2015 collection at J.Crew
- Lace-up sandals in pink suede, Bionda Castana for L.K. Bennett
- Saffiano double bag in Aviator Blue, Prada
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