Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Boots: Shoe Embassy

For my last Birthday my parents said they wanted to buy me some new boots as my old sweet hearts were simply dying. I didn't have a single pair of shoes that would keep my feet dry, and when living in London that's a necessity. So I went on an epically long hunt for new black boots. I looked in Topshop, Clarks, Dune, the list goes on. I just couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. In the end I went for the same pair of boots my sister owns, Steve Madden's Troopa. I was happy with my choice, but I found I had to go through about 4 different boots before I found a pair without a flaw, it took me about a month. It was a long process, and now after only a few months they are already starting to fall apart. My heart is slightly broken. So that was the boot situation until I stumbled upon these beauties while at the Greenwich Market one afternoon. I had actually seen these boots before when looking for my new black boots, but they weren't on my radar (as they are brown) and the black version look a bit too combat for my taste!

I saw these boots and fell in love. I am not one for impulse buying, but for these boots I made an exception!

So I could pretty much gush about these boots for hours. I love the heel height, the light wool lining that keeps your feet at the perfect temperature. Another thing about these boots in comparison to my Steve Maddens was that I barely had to break them in, it felt like they were made just for me. I was slightly unsure of my colour choice at first, as they also have this lovely reddish brown that I liked. But after wearing them out once, I knew I had made the right choice! I'll be posting some outfit pictures with them soon!

Just to note these pictures where taken after a few weeks of being worn.

Make sure you check out the Shoe Embassy! They have such a great collection of vintage inspired shoes, boots and heels. I wish I could buy more pairs before going back to Canada!
Let me know what you think!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Paris - Day 3

Our last day in Paris was the busiest by far. It was a day of site seeing, the Louvre Museum, and a lot macaroons. We were very organized with our last day! We had everything planned out (with a bit a of time added for getting lost). We started off at the Palais Garnier. The Opera house came highly recommend from both Nina, and quite a few friends. It's not hard to see why everyone loves this place so much. As soon as you step inside the gold filled rooms, you feel as if you're in a dream.

[ A view of Le Grand Hotel from Palais Garnier ]

Next it was time for macaroons! First we stopped at Ladurée, probably one of the most famous Bake Shops in Paris. Ladurée is actually all over Europe, but I thought it wouldn't be right to leave without trying one or two from the real deal. And I must admit, they were slightly better than the ones I've had in London.

Pierre Hermé was the 2nd shop on our way to the Louvre! And let me tell you, these guys are some of the best I've ever had! Thanks for the reference WishWishWish!

[ Milk Chocolate and Passion Fruit flavoured. ]

[ Jasmine flavoured. ]

The final, and probably my favourite bakery we visited was Angelina. The atmosphere was perfect. There was a sense of tradition, without being touristy or commercial. Angelina was simple and elegant. It was a lovely experience with an intense selection of cakes, macaroons and pastries. By this time we had hit a sugar overload (due to too many macaroons), so we went for the Mont Blanc, recommended by WishWishWish and a croissant to save for later. 

After walking through Jardin du Tuileries, we finally reached the Louvre. We took everyone's advice and did not go through the Pyramid entrance, which saved us a lot of time. Our Louvre experience was amazing! We chose to go through the Sully wing and then hunt down the Mona Lisa and Milo de Venus. Our plan worked perfectly! We spent about 2 1/2 hours wandering about and felt very satisfied with our trip. 

Paris Travel Tip - if you're under 26 and have a UK passport or visa you get into most Museums for free (or at least a discount), best thing ever! 

[ There she is the famous gal, herself. ]

[ Another famous lady, Miss Venus. ]

The last stop on our extremely touristy day was the Notre Dame. I didn't think I was going to be as moved as I was. It was a beautiful experience.

There you have it. A very short summery of our time in Paris. I hope you've enjoyed this little travel segment, there's still a lot of travel shots to come! And if you missed them here is Day 1 and  Day 2 of our Paris trip.

Thanks for tuning in! 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Recipes of the Week: Part 1

Ok, so if you don't know already, I am seriously addicted to Pinterest (I blame my little sister). Other than just decompressing from work, I love searching for new recipes. I thought I would start to share with you my Pinterest finds that are actually worth making! I didn't take any picture this week, but I will start to in the future! And if you aren't already following me, I'm at PrestonC4 on Pinterest!

Photo by Food Doodles 

My Thoughts: 
I really liked this recipe. I was looking for something that didn't have too many ingredients (a lot of other recipes used yogurt or sour cream), so this was perfect. It does take slightly longer to make as you are actually making the mushroom soup from scratch, but its worth it. The soup alone is sooo yummy! 

My Modifications:
- I didn't add the extra stalk of celery to the mixture 
- I forgot to buy peas, but it was great without them
- I only used 1 can of tuna, as I thought 2 would be overpowering
- I only had a 1/2 lb of mushrooms
+ I added some cheese on top, because why not 
+ I added bread crumbs*

* What if you don't have bread crumbs? Toast a piece of bread till it's nice and crunchy and then mince it!

Photo by Dashing Dish

My Thoughts:
Wow. So this is amazing. When I saw this picture, the first thing I thought was is it going to taste as good as it looks. My verdict - ok, maybe not 100% as good as it looks, but like 90%! It's really yummy! I just ate a little bit as my late-night desert! 

My Modifications: 
+ I used semi-skimmed milk
+ Plain greek yogurt, instead of low fat
- I didn't use protein powder 
+ I used honey, instead of stevia 

Photo by Mama Bake

My Thoughts:
This recipe definitely surprised me. I was the most unsure if this was going to be a success, but let me tell you. It's absolutely delicious and really filling. Big thumbs up!

My Modifications:
+ I used green lentils 
+ I used shallots, instead of onions simply because I needed to get rid of them 
+ Instead of a bottle of tomato passata, I used 4 fresh organic tomatoes, chopped
+ I used fresh basil, instead of dried. 

There you go! Definitely give these recipes a try, they are all keepers in my books! I'll definitely be making them again!

Which recipe are you going to try first? And if you'd like to follow me on Pinterest, you can do so here


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Paris - Day 2

 [ my favourite teacup ]

Paris day two got off to a slow, but lovely start. Nina made us breakfast and had it all ready on a tray for us to take into our room. There is something so special about breakfast in bed (especially when no one had to sneak out to make it). Although we had a lazy morning, our day was extremely productive. We saw the Arc du Triomphe, the Eiffel tower and we went to the Musée D'Orsay

 [ The entrance to Nina's flat. Very leafy ]

 The Arc Du Triomphe was so beautiful. This may seem silly, but it's a lot bigger than I expected. It's huge. One thing I couldn't help but notice about Paris is that everything is grand and extravagant. Even though I've been living in one of the 'greatest' cities in the world, Paris definitely takes the cake for fancy buildings and monuments.

[ The Eiffel Tower ] 

[ the view from the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower ]

 That's right folks I climbed all the way to the 2nd Floor (with a lot of encouragement from Remi), that's 704 steps. My wee calves were shaking once we got back down to ground level. But he was right, it was worth it!

 [ Someone was a little excited. Looking like a loris ]

 As we walked over to the Musée D'Orsay we stumbled on a photo shoot. It was a pretty amazing thing to find. The images were out of this world.

 One major thing that I learnt about travelling is that I need to eat... A LOT. I know that sounds really obvious, but when you're in a cool place like Paris, it's easy to get carried away with site seeing. Next time I'm going to take my father's advice and stick a baguette and some cheese in my bag so I never find myself hungry. Those french really know what they're doing.

 [ We had lunch at the museum, and by lunch I mean cake ]

 [ This tiny book contained everything. All addresses, and directions. I love my tiny notebooks ]

Another thing I learnt while on this trip was to have a plan. When you only have two or three days having a specific plan is extremely necessary. This includes researching restaurants that you are excited to try out. I did this, but only about half way. I know it may seem a bit strict, but I think it saves a lot of stress. I wish we had more time to wonder and explore, but with such a short trip we really needed to be organized. This leads me to dinner. We wandered around for about an hour and half trying to decide on where to eat. Paris, like London, isn't short of restaurants. Knowing which one is amazing and which is a dive is hard to do just from looking at exteriors. Eventually we ended up walking back to a restaurant we passed earlier in the evening, Le Fumoir. It was a lovely place, a bit more posh than we were dressed for, but the food was glorious. Everything was executed very well. Even the bread was to die for. We went all out once again getting the full three courses, we so fancy. 

[ Starters. Probably my favourite dish of the night. I had lamb ribs with a delicious homemade BBQ sauce. Remi had the scallops ]
We finished our night off by walking through the Louvre to the Eiffel tower for the hourly light show. It was an amazing finish to our crazy day. How very lucky we are. I am so thankful. 

I hope you aren't getting sick of travel pictures!!! There's a lot more to come from out amazing week! Thanks for reading!