Wednesday, 19 November 2014

It's all about Winter Coat Lusting

I'm really not a huge fan of winter... at all! Shorter days, darker nights and freezing temperatures what's to like? Having to wrap yourself in layers to leave your front door is also a pain but I do love a good winter coat. For an entire season your coat is your staple piece so I've decided it should so be my statement piece this winter.
In the past, I've tended to go safe with coats because I wanted to make sure they matched my entire wardrobe and had longevity. Now I really feel like having one with a bit more personality whether its bright, colorful, draped, textured or just has an interesting shape. I'm on the lookout at the moment but have included some immediate favourites from my recent online spree. Which one do you like? 

Monday, 10 November 2014

It's all about the Halloween costume

" I want to Kill Bill" 

One of the things I love about LA is Halloween in LA. People go to town with costumes and parties, and everyone makes an effort properly getting into the Halloween spirit. When Fancy Dress Queen got in touch for me to review one of their costumes, it couldn't have come at a better time. I decided to go for something a little unexpected and went as B (or the Bride) from Kill Bill.I realise B is played by 6ft tall blonde Amazonian Uma Thurman but hey...Halloween is all about putting your own twist to your favourite characters. 
I actually got some great responses from the West Hollywood crowd and it seems that people who love a movie or character are just excited when they see anyone playing homage to it. The only thing I'd say about wearing an all in one PVC catsuit is that be prepared to die of heat!  I must have lost quite a few pounds that evening in my very own walking sauna. The things we do for Halloween!

Kill Bill Halloween costume

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Hotel Review: Petit Ermitage Los Angeles

Petit Ermitage Hotel Poolside
As I settle back into my reality of work and grey skies, I am still on a high after some much needed vitamin D and time out in LA. Being my home away from home after living there for 2 years, I always love going back to visit friends but also because there isn't a place like it.
During this trip, my friend and I decided to stay at the Petit Ermitage, an eccentric hidden boutique hotel in West Hollywood. The thing about LA hotels is that though they offer can utter luxury and glamour, they can also be impersonal, busy and full of the wrong crowd.
As many of the popular hotels are tourist attractions in their own right, I love the fact that Petit Ermitage has a different flair with its classy yet whimsical gypsy theme.

The rooms
Petit Ermitage  los angeles bedroom suite
Our room was a lovely suite which included a king sized bed with Egyptian cotton, pretty kitchenette, fire place, private bathroom and shower and of course free WiFi! The amenities and essentials were great but I also loved the room’s vintage inspired theme with its Venetian plaster walls and original art.

Petit Ermitage hotel poolside
One of the main reasons I went on this holiday was to relax and recharge my batteries. LA hotels have some of the best pool sides, but what I loved most about this one was that it was quiet and felt very exclusive. The salt water pool was also a huge thumbs up as I didn't get the chlorine fear of my swimwear changing colour. I also loved the cabana where you could lounge around and look at the city views. I spent a huge amount of time at this pool during my stay and loved it.
Petit Ermitage hotel pool cabana

Petit Ermitage hotel Cabana

Dining- Breakfast
Petit Ermitage butterfly bar

LA has some of the best restaurants in the world in my opinion so we tended to eat out more than dine at the hotel. However, we made it a daily routine to have our breakfast  every morning in the outdoor restaurant. The staff were always friendly and helpful and we would happily sit outside in our robes and enjoy fresh fruit,  juice, bread and muffins. You could either choose to have a continental buffet breakfast or swerve to the odd American temptation consisting of waffles and maple syrup, crispy bacon and butter cream oatmeal. Yes I now have to go on a serious diet.


The service at this hotel was wonderful especially with the management team (thanks Alex). Whether you needed a taxi, restaurant reservations, printing out a document or decaf coffee ( yes in America) they were only happy to oblige.  Part of the reason I enjoyed my stay was the way the staff were so friendly and accommodating.
Petite Ermitage sign

Overall, I really enjoyed my time and I would definitely stay at this hotel again. The only thing I would change is maybe having a shower room or hotel room checked out guests can use.  We had an evening flight so I would have loved to have freshened up and changed in a private room than a toilet. Apart from that I would highly recommend this quirky, unique luxurious and fun boutique hotel. Five stars from me!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Sunday Selfie: Trusted Zara Jumpsuit

Black Zara jumpsuit
I love it when you have a staple piece you can pull out season after season, year after year.This jumpsuit from Zara is one of them and I definitely made a good purchase here. I've just had my birthday weekend and wore this outfit for a Sunday lunch with one of my good friends. I had been in heels and a restrictive dress the night before, so wanted to wear something a little more casual that would allow me to.. erm eat a hearty lunch. My Zara jumpsuit never fails as it's comfortable and loose fitting but still smart. I went for an all black ensemble despite the sunshine to mark the inevitable Autumn Winter change. I accessorised with my my gold sparkly Espadrilles , 3 quarter length leather jacket (which I've also had for years) and trusted bad hair day hat, both from H&M . What's your Sunday look all about? 
Black Zara jumpsuit

Just had to share what my gal pal Natasha wore that day too. Not only is she the uber fashionista (keep telling her to do her own blog), our unplanned outfits seemed to match perfectly. Anyone would think we are in a girl band ;-) 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

It's all about Double Denim

How to wear double denim

It took me a while to come around to the idea that I could pull off the popular double denim trend. I loved seeing it on other people but wasn't quite sure how I could make it work for my style and shape, so I experimented. My denim shirt believe it or not, is from Primark! I never invest or spend too much money on a look I'm unsure about until I give it a trial run(and at £10 the shirt was a no brainer purchase). I have to say that though it won't last me long, I really love the cut and colour of this shirt, not to mention the pocket detail. Not only will it work with all my jeans and denim shorts, it will also go with  things like pencil skirts, black trousers or leather pants, and layered up casually with leggings and a plain t-shirt.
How to wear double denim
How to wear double denim
The look is kind of cowgirl inspired with a more street, urban twist. My jeans are from the River Island denim range but I've already ripped a hole in them as I've worn them all summer, so will  need to invest in some good quality ones.  Jbrands or Paige jeans, seem to be the only brands that suit my body shape and can last me  a while. My trusted accessories include my H&M hat, Ray-ban sunnies and Michael Kors Watch.

How to wear double denim

How to wear double denim

These lovely photos were taken by the talented Brighton based photographer Emma Gutteridge. I really wanted to work with a professional (no offence to my usual iPhone snapper and friend Tom) who knew how to work with dark skin. A lot of photographers get it wrong with black women because they are either too harsh with lighting or frankly don't provide enough! We took these in the summer a few weeks ago (which is why my hair is different) and we were also actually blessed with a sunny day. Many thanks to Emma for making me look oh so profesh.

Outakes - ( I call this my Britney face) 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

It's all about the Peplum Bodycon

With my birthday coming up in a couple of weeks, I'm on the hunt for the perfect outfit so when Lavish Alice  got in touch for me to review one of their gorgeous new collections, I jumped at the chance. I decided to go for the powder blue bodycon dress, as I loved the colour and peplum detail. I was hoping to shoot it on a sunny day (Indian summer my ....) but the grey clouds didn't get to show how nicely the tone compliments my skin.

Though I have my fair share of bodycon dresses, I feel this one is more wearable for occasions like weddings or evening parties as the peplum bodice flatters your shape and the spagetti straps give it a sophisticated feminine silhouette. I also love the fact that they go perfectly with my newly purchased Jimmy Choos, which are already proving to be an amazing investment. 

Many thanks to my friend and photographer Tom for taking these shots

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Out and about: The Chiltern Firehouse

The Chiltern Firehouse restaurant and bar Marylebone

Last weekend, my close girlfriend and I had drinks at one of the most talked about London hotspots of  the year,The Chiltern Firehouse. Living in Brighton for so long has meant that I'm completely out of the loop on the new London openings, and  missed the hype around the Chiltern opening earlier this year. My friend had been to dinner a few weeks before and had nothing but rave reviews so I was intrigued to see what it was all about.
As soon as we arrived, I felt like I had been taken back in time to  when I was living in LA many years ago, and stayed at the  gorgeous  Chateau Marmont  hotel. Because I was probably hiding under a rock at the time (seriously, I can't believe I missed this), I didn't realise that  The Chiltern is in fact owned by Andre Balazs, the same man behind the Mercer in New York,  The Standard hotels in the US, and of course Chateau Marmont.  

I can't tell you how beautifully layed out this former fire station in Marylebone is. As his first ever property outside the US, I instantly felt the Balazs's stamp, and excited that London finally has its very own Chateau Marmont replica. The cool, glamorous ambiance still resonates but the fire station theme gives it more of an English/London feel, which I loved. 
On this occasion, we went for Sunday drinks and snacks on the outside terrace, to make the most of the final summer days. I had the signature crab stuffed doughnuts as a snack, but based on the way those tasted, I'd like to go back and order everything on the menu! 

I wish I had taken photos but I remember that Chateau had a strict no photographs policy so didn't want to get in trouble or worse kicked out! ( though I have seen lots of reviews with photos online since) 
I definitely want to explore the menu over a lunch or dinner and do a review though by the looks of it I'll  have to wait as its already fully booked till December!
I also have to point out that The Chiltern has the friendliest most helpful service team. As per usual, I had iPhone charge issues and the hosts were only happy to charge it for me at reception when I asked.  Being the calamity Jane that I am, I was then late for my next meet-up, so one of the guys kindly hailed me a cab from the main road, got in it and got the driver to stop just outside so I wouldn't have to walk. Excellent service goes a long way, and it has made me even more eager to go again. 
The Chiltern gets five stars from me :-) 

What I wore