Shop: Brass Pineapple

20 May

Yes people, Independent Shop of the Week makes a return… in the form of Brass Pineapple all the way up in Kendal, Cumbria after a lovely weekend spent in The Lake District.

The Urban Dictionary definition… Brass Pineapple: Given name to objects stolen from pubs in retaliation for expensive drinks.

brass pineapple

In actuality it’s a cute little shop just off the High Street, started by two designer friends who met at Carlisle University. They make unique upcycled dresses through combining different prints/fabrics/pieces:

brass pineapple dresses

Inside the shop they also have unusual accessories and homeware such as lego/domino rings and records that have been melted into bowls!

I instantly fell in love with this polka dot and paisley number, and it was a real bargain down from £20 to £10!

polka dot paisley dressI styled it with a Primark black leather and gold metal belt, black tights and Office chunky leather lace up boots. The boyfriend took  me on a cinema date and told me I looked like “Maid Marion biker style”….. boys eh?! To keep warm I added my Zara leather jacket:

car ootd (I wish this was my car!)

zara leather suede bagZara Leather and Suede Bag

office heeled bootsOffice Lace Up Boots

Is my Biker Maid Marion look a hit or a miss?! Let me know in the comments!

I’d love to blog about more Independent Shops so let me know your favourite and I’ll pop down and write a review.

LDNshopaholic xxx

Prêt à Portea: The Berkeley Hotel

3 May

I was lucky enough to go for Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley Hotel this week! I felt absolutely spoiled even though we went for the Tea, Sandwiches and Scones option they gave us each a Prêt à Portea Goodie Bag!

tea pot and pret a porte a

jam

scones

chocolatesIt was absolutely delicious and I’d love to go back for the full Prêt à Portea; cakes inspired by the latest trends:

Image taken from The Berkeley Hotel Website

Image taken from The Berkeley Hotel Website

How amazing are they?! I got the green handbag in my goodie bag which I thought was too good to eat! Haha.

I’m a bit of a sucker for a good afternoon tea as most of you know, so let me know where your favourites and I’d love to try them myself.

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend 🙂

LDNshopaholic xxx

Nails: Dior at Harrods

4 Apr

Hello Shopaholics!

Those of you who read Vogue’s Beauty Page may have noticed their article on The Illustrated Nail. I had to share this as I thought the haute couture designs were clever yet classic (quite unusual when it comes to nail art which is generally cute or clashy!).

Nail Artist, Sophie Harris-Greenslade, who goes by the name of “The Illustrated Nail” has created the designs from Raf Simons’ Dior Spring/Summer 2013 collection.

Dior-Look-02_v_2apr13_b_592x888-1

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Dior-Look-12_v_2apr13_b_592x888

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Dior-Look-35_v_2apr13_b_592x888

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I absolutely love the simplicity of the designs which keeps them chic and stylish yet recognisable.

The cost of the appointment is redeemable against the purchase of two Dior products – so you can get your freshly polished fingers on some Dior goodies whether it’s fashion or beauty!

Appointments with Sophie herself are available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Dior at Harrods until April 14. Call 0207 754 0444 to book.

I’ll be making myself an appointment for this chic manicure:

nails-03_v_2apr13_b_592x888_1Inspired by:

Dior-Look-07_v_2apr13_b_592x888

What’s your favourite nail and outfit combination?

Do let me know if you get yourself an Illustrated Nail manicure by dropping me a comment below, maybe I’ll see you there!

LDNshopaholic xxx

Travels: Zanzibar

1 Apr

Continuing on from my previous travels post, I’ve got a bit to share with you from my trip to Zanzibar. I spent a week on the island, starting with 2 nights at Mbweni Ruins hotel, 2 nights at Chumbe Island Coral Reserve and 2 nights at Warere Town House in Stone Town.

This was my first experience of ‘proper’ Africa (it was very different to Morocco and South Africa with their strong connections to European culture). The prices of the resorts we stayed at were heavily inflated, and Stone Town was the other extreme – we stayed at a backpackers guest house with daily power cuts and no back up generator.

The highs were beautiful sunsets and warm waters, but the lows were tourist-savvy locals, polluted beaches and mediocre resorts at high prices.

Stone Town is a UNESCO world heritage site and did have it’s own cultural beauty, but it isn’t being maintained even with tourism bringing in a large amount of the island’s income. I loved walking around the House of Wonders – a Sultan’s home (the first to have running water and lifts) – now a “museum” in a loose sense of the term; I was the only visitor at the time, nearly all the exhibits were shut and there was a thick layer of dust on the bannister as I walked up the grand, ornately carved, mahogany staircase. The whole experience had some odd charm about it.

I also fell for the handful of Aladdin’s cave style Curio’s – even if I was sneezing every couple of minutes. I am a sucker for a broken 19th century timepiece and empty food/cigarette tins with their lovely vintage typography and imagery.

kilimanjaroFlying from Nairobi to Zanzibar we got an epic view of Mount Kilimanjaro

beach umbrella sunsetBeach Sunset at Mbweni Ruins Hotel

way to chum beOn the way to Chumbe Island

chumbe arrival lighthouse

Arrival to Chumbe Island (it really reminded me of the Lost Island!)

DSC09609Inside our Eco-bungalow

bungalowsEco-Bungalows

forodhani sunsetSunset from Forodhani Gardens, Stone Town

turtlesSeriously cute turtles at Jozeni Turtle Reserve

jozeni monkeyAnd cute monkeys at Jozeni Forest

stone townStreets of Stone Town – beautiful carvings

zanzibar doorOne of Stone Towns ornately carved doors – and me in my Traveller gear!

Curio StonetownAn amazing old till (and old divers helmet to the right of it!) in one of Stone Town’s Curio’s.

I’d definitely recommend a short visit to Zanzibar alongside a safari, but don’t go out of your way to get there.

Have you been to Zanzibar? Do you agree with my overall perception? Let me know in the comments section.

LDNshopaholic xxx

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Nails: Easter Chick

30 Mar

Happy Easter Everyone!

What have you all got planned for your weekend?

I thought I’d get in to the spirit of it all with some Easter theme nails:

easter nails

How cute is little Mr. Chick?

I followed this YouTube tutorial by Totally Cool Nails:

Have a great Easter and stay tuned for my Zanzibar post (coming on Monday!).

LDNshopaholic xxx

Travels: South Africa

24 Mar

Yes people, I’ve been away on my jollies for the last few weeks. I had the pleasure of visiting Johannesburg, South Africa and Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Here’s a little photobomb of what I got up to in Joburg:

intercontinental sandton poolThe Lush Rooftop Pool at the Intercontinental Hotel, Sandton

casalinga weddingMy cousin’s beautiful red and white wedding at Casalinga Joburg

wedding outfitShameless selfie of What I Wore to the Wedding (taken in the Venue’s ladies room!):

Topshop White Blazer

American Apparel Coral Lace and Chiffon Dress

Gold Topshop Sandal Heels

Pearls (from a charity shop)

cub

Hanging out with a little Lion at the Lion Park.

scarface lionwhite lion

Do these two remind anyone else of Mufasa and Scar from the Lion King?!

giraffe

Also discovered how large a giraffe actually is!

My Lion Park outfit consisted of:

Neutral t-shirt: Monki

Khaki shorts: River Island

Little tan bag: Primark

Tan ballet pumps: Dune

Beige Cardigan: H&M

Ombre Tortoiseshell Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters

It was a very short trip to South Africa (just the weekend – sad face) and I’d love to go back and visit Cape Town as I’ve heard it’s absolutely spectacular. My family and I jetted to Zanzibar next and you’ll be finding out all about that in my next post so stay tuned!

Have you ever been up close with big cats? I was pretty petrified! Haha.

Has anyone had any memorable trips to Africa? It’s pretty different to our very own LDN to say the least.

LDNshopaholic xxx

Shop: Cryptofloricon

13 Feb

Valentine’s Day is on our doorstep, and to be honest with you I’m not a huge fan of this commercial ‘holiday’ – you could call me a Valentine’s grinch!

However, when a colleague told me about a weekend pop up shop near Brick Lane with an unusual and quirky idea – my heart warmed a little bit!

Cryptofloricon is:

Inspired by traditional Victorian floriography, writer and artist Edward Saperia developed a series of over 200 “flower codes”, allowing you to express anything from a simple romantic gesture (“I adore you”) to a loaded question (“Someone else?”) or even an insult (“Creep!”) using nothing but a few common flowers.

On the beautifully designed website you can select your message… I chose “Let’s Pretend that never happened”(!)

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 4.27.48 PM

That then selects the correct flowers to convey the message. At Cryptofloricon the florist then encodes the message and hoists the encrypted bouquet to the customer:

flower shop quirky

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541485_414647908623011_1760982164_nWhen receiving such a bouquet you can return to the Cryptofloricon website and input the selection to reveal the message:

decode cryptofloriconDecoded: “By way of introduction”… Congratulations, Receiver, the Bearer of By way of introduction has been admiring you from afar, and wishes for the chance to become better acquainted. For Bearers, By way of introduction is an excellent method of approaching a Receiver hitherto unintroduced who has caught one’s attention; or of inviting a casual associate to further intimacy. Those wishing to convey enthusiastic assent can use a courteous Nice to meet youAbout time or Drink?. Strictly platonic intent can be signalled with Let’s be friends, whereas those intent on romance can use Kiss me, you fool! or How you doin’? to indicate the desire to take things further. Receivers unwilling to further acquaintance with the Bearer can repel their advances with a curt Creep or Big mistake , a firm You’re not my type or Never, a cutting You dent my calmGet over it or You should be so lucky, or a tactful It’s not you, it’s meThanks, but no thanks or Let’s pretend that never happened.

Being a bit of  language and literature buff, I absolutely love the use of language and humour in the descriptions.

The pop up shop on the weekend was a success, however the inventor of the concept is still on the lookout for the right florist to continue the project.

What do you think of this idea? I love how such conceptual shops pop up around our lovely city when they probably wouldn’t work elsewhere.

What have you got planned for Valentine’s day?

xxx

Photo credits to Marcus Tucker (taken from Cryptofloricon’s Facebook page)

OOTN: New Years Eve

6 Jan

Slightly belated but…. Happy New Year everyone!!

What did you do for New Years Eve? I’m always in two minds about it, as on one hand it feels like lots of pressure to have a great time (thus an anticlimax) but on the other hand it’s a great to catch up with friends and family.

This year I went to The Durell Arms in Fulham as a friend’s band were playing a gig there. It’s a pretty nice pub so check it out if you’re in the area.

They were having an End of the World themed night and I went with the concept of being an Alien taking over the planet…. and this was my OOTN:

Alien fancy dressMetallic sleeveless top: H&M

Sequin Cardigan: Topshop

Necklace: Topshop

Earrings: Warehouse

Necklace worn as headband: Market stall (had to hold it in place for the photo as it didn’t want to stay up by itself for it!)

I also wore black American Apparel disco pants and maroon doc martens but I took my photos in a rush on my way out of the house and the rest are a bit blurry.

What made this outfit was the make up… I felt kind of weird stepping on the train but as I got closer to Fulham (and people got more merry) I got more compliments from random strangers haha. I followed this tutorial: 

I’ve also announced the winner to the Beauty Box giveaway here (near the bottom of the post) so check it out if you entered!

Are you excited for 2013? I still keep typing 2012 everywhere! What would be your idea of a good end of the world outfit?

LDNshopaholic xxx

 

 

Xmas Giveaway: JolieBox and BirchBox

25 Dec

Merry Christmas everyone!!! I’ve got something exciting for you all! You may have heard on the beauty scene, of a rumour about a merger between a certain European beauty box, and the original American beauty box….. Here’s a sneak peek at my first Birchbox encounter and I’m giving away both a JolieBox (this one is the November edition) and the Birchbox too!

Here’s our lovely JolieBox which I’ve been a regular subscriber of for around 6 months now:
jolie box box

And inside the goodies are:jolie box nov

Dead Sea Spa Magik Gentle Cleansing Facial Wash

Sparkling Body Milk by Topic Cream

Marvis Toothpaste – Liquorice flavour Italian

Yardley Perfume – Royal Diamond

VAV Manucure Absolute Hand Cream

Jane Iredale BB Cream Sachet SPF 25

beauty box comparison

Little bit of a comparison between the boxes, JolieBox is a more elegant, classic style whereas Birchbox is distinctly more girly and has a Barbie pink sleeve.

beauty box comparison 2

Drumroll please… for the hot pink Birchbox!

birch box 2

Inside the Birchbox is:

birch box

Brightening Cleaser by DDF

Moisturising Lipgloss in Wind by Jouer

Viva La Juicy La Fleur

LIQWD Professional Volumizing Catalyst

Lara Bar Uber Apple Turnover

To enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter and opt in for as many chances as you like. The giveaway ends on Jan 2nd when I will get in contact with the winner via e-mail. Good luck everyone!

(Post competition edit): The winner is….. Helen @MummytotheMax! I’ve sent you an e-mail so let me know your address so I can get your prize out to you!!!

Hope you are having a wonderful festive time!

LDNshopaholic xx

How to: Make a Cheesecake

12 Dec

I recently made my very first cheesecake and as it was such a success I felt the need to share it with you all. It’s from the book Cake Magic by Kate Shirazi and I purchased this from TK Maxx – I highly recommend you checking out their recipe book section as there are some serious bargains to be had (this was £5.99! RRP £14.99).

You’ll need:

100g unsalted butter (melted)

100g chocolate digestives crushed

100g ginger biscuits crushed

900g cream cheese

175g caster sugar

4 large free range eggs (beaten)

150g raspberries (frozen or fresh)

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin and wrap it in kitchen foil.

Pour the melted butter over the biscuit crumbs and stir to make a sandy mixture. Tip into the tin, press down with the back of a spoon and pop the tin in the fridge to firm it up.

Beat the cream cheese and caster sugar then add the eggs (I did this gradually). Distribute the mistureon top of the biscuit base, then pop the raspberries on top and push them down slightly until you feel they are equally distributed throughout the cake.

Put the tin in a roasting tin (or another dish – I used a glass one) and pour enough water to come halfway up the cake tin. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the cheesecake has set but still has a good wobble in the middle ( 1-2 hours in my oven!).

Take the tin out of the bain marie and leave to cool. (I left mine to cool outside for couple of hours but would recommend cooling it overnight).

TA DA! All done. It does seem quite complicated but it was really very simple to make (and cost effective too!). And boy was it scrummy, even if it still was a little warm in the middle!

What’s your favourite cake recipe? I do love a bit of baking and would love to try some new recipes.

Let me know your thoughts on my inclusion of lifestyle posts, as you may be seeing more of them in the future.

LDNshopaholic xxx