Thank you Isabel Marant for making the ultimate racing ballerinas!

Doing the school run more regularly is quite new for me, seeing as I just spent the last five years missing 99% of school related activities for my eldest, but with everything going on in my life at the moment I still find myself racing everywhere: work-outs, meetings, doctor appointments, workshops, lunches, kids activities, playdates... phew! I get particularly pressed for time around the school run... and especially in the afternoon where I am usually racing back to West London from the City or Mayfair... do you have the same problem?

For the morning run it's a bit easier, as usually Little Monsieur's bag is prepared the night before, and I just jump into some leggings (or fight my way into them, depending on whether we're talking about a fat day and some pretty strong compression or not) and I'm ready... I know, no major make-up production, shock horror! But then my approach is why put on make-up if I'm going to sweat it all over my Sweaty Betty top less than an hour later? By the by, in my book waterproof mascara doesn't qualify as make-up... it's filed under the "proofs that you are alive and awake" category together with black coffee, and gets applied religiously before a foot is stepped outside, every single day.

Sorry, as often happens I am digressing. Back to topic: aka how I style my afternoon school run. As much as I love my activewear, you will never find me in my leggings past 2PM, unless I'm stuck by my laptop working or it's a two work-out day (Thursday, I have my eye on you). I tend to change out of my sweaty gear at the first opportunity, but instead of  jumping into sky-high heels, lately I'm mostly drawn to block heels and flats. A sign of old age, I hear you say... Maybe... but the truth is it's just  more comfortable when you're trying to juggle everything at the same time and not end up on your behind as you're trying to run towards the school gates.

This is why I'm loving my Leo / Leoni ballerinas so much... I know you'be seen them before but let me point out: 1) they are fabulous and 2) these are a different colour. I have them in black leather, camel suede and these, a sort of charcoal blue-ey grey. And, when Isabel Marant decides to make another colour (I don't know... maybe a burgundy? Hint hint!) I will go and buy that one as well. The addiction is real. Did I mention the grey ones have a shearling lining? It's like the cool boho version of the Uggs boots! And of course, I can run in them. So here it is, once again: Isabel, thank you for being such a fashion genius.

I guess by now you've realised this is yet another one of my outfits where I've dressed from the feet up. I seem to do that a lot. I went for tonal blues and greys throughout, to keep it all relatively muted. I love that I get to wear this Iro jacket more than in previous seasons, it's such a cool piece, not timeless per se but a modern classic which works with a lot of pieces in my closet. The bag is my current favourite navy handbag (after my Saint Laurent Sac de Jour which I'm now looking to sell as it's too small for my needs) and is, evidently, by Céline.

I'm guessing by now you've read enough of my ramblings, here are some further outfit details:
- Biker style jacket in charcoal knit with leather details, Iro
- Dark blue high waist Maria skinny jeans, J Brand
- Silk blouse in navy, Calypso St Barth
- Leoni suede eyelet ballerinas with lace-up detail, Isabel Marant
- Cashmere and silk shawl, Hermès
- Mock croc Cabas Belt bag, Céline
- Black frame sunglasses, Baby Marta by Céline
- Bolt necklace in multi-coloured gemstones, Missoma


TLP foodie notes: My doughnut class at Bread Ahead

Before we begin... I blame it all on Instagram. My feed keeps popping up with beautiful pictures: Ukrainian style peasant blouses, layered chia seed topped smoothies, gorgeous smooth suede over-the-knee boots, and of course these delicious looking sugar bombs... The filled doughnuts by notorious Borough Market bakery Bread Ahead. Lately I've been spending more time discovering things to do and try in my adopted city, and so obviously I planned to go down to the market to try these, which are evidently totally outside my recommended macros etc etc, but girls like contradictions right?

Originally I just wanted to go spend a morning grocery shopping, and do a pit stop for coffee and a doughnut, as I love the produce that I can find there and it makes for a great couple of hours wandering, but I soon found out that Bread Ahead is also a baking school... I clicked on to the website in less time that it takes to gobble down one of their delicious treats and booked a spot in the next doughnut workshop... This is how I found myself walking through the baking school doors one glorious Autumn afternoon a couple of weeks ago.

The workshop was taught by super patient Aidan, who kept smiling and dispensing baking knowledge tidbits through the 3-hour class as we learned about yeast, proving, and kneading. Around the table were twelve of us, all doughnut novices who wanted to have fun learning to make something seriously scrumptious. We were handed a recipe leaflet to take home, which included the recipe for the doughnuts as well as for the honeycomb and different creme patissiere fillings, and then the fun began...

I confess, I had two self-doubt moments... When came time to knead the dough into an "elastic texture", that was a total-fail moment for me, as I looked at my dough coated fingers with a puzzled air which made the whole table erupt in laughter: I suddenly had webbed fingers. And when instructed to make a little cage around my doughnut dumpling to shape it into a perfect little ball, well then my right eyebrow just lifted up in that "Seriously" look of mine, which said that my hands were clearly too small for this. That's when Aidan came round  to reassure me that, yes my hands were big enough and yes my face expressions were so comical I was providing entertainment for all my class mates. In short, I had tremendous fun.

After proving the dough you get to fry your not-so-little-anymore doughnuts and fill them with an assortment of fillings that we were also taught all about. My favourite remains the simple vanilla creme, although I must say my favourite doughnut to taste was the plain one straight out of the fryer into the sugar... Bread Ahead's recipe calls for lemon zest to be added to the dough when you are mixing it, which really comes out in a zingy taste when you eat the doughnuts still warm (there is something  I wouldn't have known had I just walked up to the stall and bought a cold doughnut...)

The piping of cream into the doughnuts was another tricky moment, but looking at the picture of my six babies (bottom right, unfilled at the top and filled at the bottom) I managed to do just fine. Overall, I came out of the class feeling confident I could make these at home, and even made small ones for the children at our brunch the following Sunday, it was a roaring success withe little ones and their parents alike!

I'm not sharing the recipe for Bread Ahead's doughnuts here, because it is not mine to share... but also because you can find it on the book by their head baker, Justin Gellatly: "Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding", which is available on Amazon. I'm also hoping that I've inspired you to join a workshop soon (it is after all GBBO season, and who doesn't want to learn to bake something from scratch?)... who knows, we might bump into eachother at another workshop soon?

Check out their website for more details:


TLP beauty essential: Make-up in berry, roseblood, and dusty rose tones

Do you change your make-up with the seasons? Like many, I always use a more transparent lighter foundation during the Summer, but I also tend to switch my colours around depending on the season... For me, Autumn means storing (or throwing away, depending on the shelf life) the corals, bright pinks and other summery tones in favour of a mix of deeper shades of berries and nudes... I also never use bronzer between September and May, unless I am away on holiday, I find it makes me look at best like a Karadashian, at worse like an advert for Tango Orange...

Another thing I switch over... nail polish. September is the time for me to reach for deep, dark reds and purples. I think I read somewhere that Chanel Rouge Noir was the perfect year-round nail varnish, and of course I am a major fan, but I disagree: for me that's a colour for the cold, it doesn't work well for the warmer days. That said, I got my first berry manicure of the season a couple of weeks ago and it made me super cheerful (as you might have noticed if you follow my IG, sorry, I am the type of person who gets excited by manis and seasons!), because it means the new season is fully here. Yehhey!

Anyhoo, enough digression... here are my top picks to rock the berry shades make-up trend this season... Remember darker tones look amazing on nails and lips, but unless you're going out it's best to keep the eyes a little lighter; although a dark wine liner looks fabulous especially if your eyes are green or hazel.

From left to right:
- Nail lacquer in Dark Like Me, Smith & Cult
- Lip crayon in Dolce Plum, By Terry
- Special edition lip stain and gloss in Energy Noir, Tarte
- Lip2Cheek cream in Spell, RMS Beauty
- Blendable Colour Chameleon eye shadow pencil in Amethyst, Charlotte Tilbury
- Eye palette in Nude Blush 12, Burberry at Fabled.com

How about you? Any new season beauty musts?


My top five tips for a healthy lifestyle

A few months ago, having just recovered from quite a complicated pregnancy which had me crippled by diabetes and other conditions, all the while working and travelling full time, and continuing to do so whilst supposedly on maternity leave, I felt totally depleted of energy and totally out of shape. I decided it was time to take charge of my health and turn things around... Whereas I would have relished a quick fix solution, the reality is that when you combine a stressful life with health issues, there is no easy way to get better.

Thankfully though, I didn't know that at the time... Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can tell you one thing: getting back into shape when you are on the wrong side of thirty, have had a couple of c-sections and have the working hours of a slave in the gallows takes some serious commitment, but, dear friends, believe me, it is worth it... I am now two sizes smaller than a year ago, and a full size smaller than before my babies, but most importantly I feel fit and strong and don't flinch at the idea of taking the stairs instead of the lift anywhere! Let me tell you: if I managed, so can pretty much anyone.

So, what are my top five tips to get fit and stay healthy?

1. Find a work-out that challenges you
The first step to getting back into a healthy lifestyle is to challenge yourself. The thing is, I probably did work out a bit before this massive overhaul, after all I went to reformer pilates a couple of times a week and rarely missed a barre class. That said, the fact was, I had been banned from pretty much any exercise bar yoga and swimming during my last pregnancy, thanks to some pretty scary complications, and by the time Little Madame arrived I was seriously in need of a work-out regime overhaul. Enter The Pilates PT team and the Model Method (click here for more information), a method combining HIIT and Reformer work to deliver a fantastically effective body transforming work-out. I started going twice a week and met with the most incredible PT there, Nadine, who got me to think about my next lifestyle hack: it's not enough to push yourself with a couple of grueling sessions a week, exercise must become part of your life, as much as taking the kiddies to their Saturday afternoon birthday parties or making that morning meeting religiously day after day.

2. Diversify your work-outs
I already had pilates and barre, but Nadine got me thinking about things that I didn't necessarily think I would enjoy. The idea was to up my game in the cardio and high intensity areas, so she sent me to check out Kobox, which I loved immediately, no surprises there (not so much love anymore thanks to a slightly sub-par customer service...) and then she coaxed me into going to Psycle. If you follow my Instagram, you know that Psycle has become a lot more for me than just a work-out, I have met some incredible people there but also I've discovered a work-out where I can really let go of all my worries and stresses. And the burn is in-cre-di-ble. Fast forward a few months, and my exercise week looks like this at the moment: Monday Psycle / Tuesday Heartcore Pilates / Wednesday Jump / Thursday Barre or Yoga / Friday Dance / Saturday Psycle / Sunday Heartcore Pilates. Thats' right, no rest day... just an alternating schedule between toning and high intensity exercises, to keep my body pushing hard and my mind engaged.

3. Fix your diet
Although I had been working out like a devil at the weirdest times of the day (6AM, 8PM, lunchtime, Sunday before 8AM... whenever I had time basically), after a couple of months on the routine my weight loss plateau-ed, something that Nadine reminded was due to my being a little lax on my diet. After all, abs are made as much in the kitchen as they are in the gym... So, we got down to downloading MyFitnessPal on to my phone, and adjusting the macros... More protein, and much much less carbs, much to the despair of the bread-loving Moroccan that I will be for life! It was hard at first, because I followed my diet to the core, at least until I had lost the fat I wanted and gained muscle instead, and felt comfortable enough to let go of the app and just trust myself to make the right choices. These days, I just follow a simple rule of 5 days of virtuous eating, and 2 days when I indulge in my favourite treats. Rest assured my diet is pretty simple: just plain common sense approach to food, healthy choices, food preferrably prepared by myself  from scratch and absolutely no silly fads (alka-what?!!)... But remember: no healthy diet, no healthy body!

4. Make being healthy a priority
This brings me onto the most important lesson I learned in these last fourteen months: if you don't make your health a priority, well... who will? What I am trying to say is, when you want to be at your desk before 7:30 in the morning, and see your children before bedtime, and still have time for some social life, a little sleep etc... well you can't add exercise in your super busy schedule unless it is a priority. How I do it is quite simple: I schedule my work-outs first thing in the morning, this way nothing gets in the way, and I can't make up any excuses as the day gets worse (ie... I had a horrible meeting just now I'll just skip spinning and go home and snuggle next to my babies to feel warm and happy again... yes, I've done that). Yes, it means sleeping a little less in the morning, but I read somewhere that all the skin renewing happens before 2AM anyways so just go to bed earlier, you'll look fresher in the morning and the flush from the exercise will make you look dewier at your early meeting or school drop-off! Same goes for the diet bit: prioritising your health means preferring the nicoise salad (dressing on the side) to the pizza, but in truth it becomes quite easy with time to make the right food choices...

5. Don't beat yourself up
The last thing I'll leave you with is this: we all have strong goals and the best intentions, but often life gets in the way. That delicious Pouilly left from Saturday's dinner tastes amazing with Monday night's salmon and greens, sharing a plate of scrumptious doughnuts with your girlfriend on her birthday is a fabulous treat, and there are Sundays when it just feels so lovely to snuggle up in bed with Hubby, the babies, the cats, for a glorious lie-in. I say just do the things that make you happy, eat what tastes fantastic, and don't begrudge yourself for letting go from time to time, pleasure is a massive component of happiness and being happy is key to being healthy... Remember it's all about the balance!

As you read this post, remember I am no wellness guru... Just a busy mamma of two who decided to steer her life around from a sluggish mess of stress overload onto a healthier, happier, stronger turn... I may not look like a top model anytime soon (I would need to grow at least a foot for that and let's not even talk about the plastic surgery I'd need!!!) but I feel strong, healthy and fit, and that is quite an achievement for me and I hope some of my lessons might be useful to other women who may be struggling to keep a healthy lifestyle.

PS: I am ever so thankful to Nadine, my fantatic PT, for being such a fantastic taskmasker and helping me achieve this transformation in my life, always with the sweetest prompts and the most positive attitude one could wish for, even at 6AM on less than five hours of sleep! Nadine has now set up her own studios, as well as being the master trainer at London's Studio Lagree. You can find out more on her website: http://www.arabesquelondon.com.


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
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