31 October 2010

Tunic Dress


Dress - Zara (similar style in black from A-Wear here)
Shoes - Zara (similar style in black and gold by Steve Madden here)
Tights - ASOS
Earrings - Talullah Tu

I'm kind of behind on posting this, but anyway it's Halloween-themed so I think it's okay :)  Last Friday we were joined by my mom and two sisters as well as my future mother-in-law, who stayed with us for one night.  She lives in Dublin and this was her first visit to our new house!  Jonathan cooked a delicious Shepherd's Pie, I made a salad (it took all of 3 minutes) and the mamas brought dessert.  Check out the Halloween cake Jonathan's mom brought us!  How cute is that?!  I love the ghost with one tooth...haha!




And this was our table set-up...that's my birthday present from Jonathan's mom in the bag, she gave me a beautiful handmade pink scarf.  The cute pumpkin napkins are from my mom!

Hope you all had/are having a great Halloween!

Stay Stylish!

xoxo



Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!!  From me and my little bug!  Ha ha ha!  We picked up this costume from PetStop for €6.  We still can't figure out whether it's supposed to be a lady bird or a bumble bee...we'll just call it a bug.  I don't really have a costume...I'm just wearing my witchy earrings and am going to bake some (proper) Halloween cupcakes, then give them to our trick-or-treaters.  We're also going to take Albi out this evening and show off his little costume to all the kids!  Maybe he'll score some treats too, you never know!

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween and enjoy the day...what are you dressing up as?  Do you celebrate the holiday?

xoxo


28 October 2010

Conchiglioni Ripieni and White Chocolate Mousse Recipes


Conchiglioni Ripieni
Stuffed Pasta Shells

Ingredients:


150g Conchiglioni pasta (5 shells per person)
250g Minced pork (or beef or lamb, if you prefer...I used pork)


400g tinned chopped tomatoes
250g Béchamel sauce (you can use ready-made)
I used white sauce, it's the same thing.


3 tablespoon Olive Oil
½ onion (finely chopped)


50g freshly grated parmesan cheese



8 basil leaves
(I took some from my basil plant which is decorated with Halloween bats and pumpkins!)



Salt & pepper to taste


Preparation:
Parboil the pasta in salted boiling water for approx. 5 minutes. Drain and place on a cloth to cool down.


In a large frying pan fry the onion in 2 tablespoon of olive oil until golden brown. Add in the pork mince and mix well allowing the meat to crumble. Cook stirring frequently for 15 minutes until the meat has browned. Once ready leave to cool.



Once the pork has cooled down pour half of the cold béchamel sauce in the pan and mix with the minced pork.



Pour the chopped tomatoes in a small saucepan and heat through. When bubbling, add the remaining olive oil, the basil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for no longer than 3 minutes.



Place the tomato sauce in the bottom of a ceramic dish, this will prevent the conchiglioni shells from sticking.



Using a tablespoon, fill the conghiglioni shells with the pork mixture and gently place in the ceramic dish, making sure each shell isn’t too close together. Do this until the tray is full. 



Drizzle the remaining béchamel over each filled shell.



Cover with silver foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180º for approx. 20 minutes. Take the foil off, sprinkle with the parmesan and continue to cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has turned golden.



Serve immediately by spooning some of the tomato sauce in the centre of a serving plate and arranging the pasta shells on top.

(serves 2 - I tripled it!)





Mousse di Cioccolato Bianco e Pepe Nero
White Chocolate Mousse with Black Pepper and Mint


Ingredients:

280g white chocolate (broken into pieces)

1 tablespoon of freshly grounded black pepper
300ml double cream
12 leaves of fresh mint (6 finely sliced, and 6 for decoration)

Preparation:
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water until melts. Once ready, stand the bowl on a cold surface to cool down slightly.


Pour the cream in a large bowl and whisk until soft peak forms.



Place 2 tablespoons of cream in the chocolate and gently fold together, then fold the chocolate mixture into the cream. At the end gently fold in the black pepper and the fresh mint.



Divide the mixture between six tall champagne glasses with a capacity of approx 70ml each. (I used little glass pots instead.)



Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes, decorate with a mint leaf and serve.

(serves 6)



Here are the two recipes from the two dishes I prepared for my family last Friday!  Both were taken from the Gino D'Acampo book, Buonissimo!  

Buon Appetito!
xoxo


Hidden Gems


I love my leopard print faux fur gilet.  I can wear it inside and don't have to turn the heating on, as well as outside without a coat.  Yay!  I bought this in the most unlikely of shops, I believe it's called CC and is kind of an "old lady shop"...I had never been in there before but my mom was visiting me when I was in college in the UK and we both went in because they were having a sale and, well...Dr. Quinn the Medicine Woman's face was on the front window, haha!  I used to love her :) 

This was in May and I spotted this gilet which had been reduced from £150 to something like £40.  I had to have it!  It just goes to show, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover!  Just because you think it looks like an old lady shop, doesn't mean you won't find a hidden gem!  Here's what I'm wearing today:

Gilet - CC (similar style by Love Label here)
Jeans - French Connection (similar style by La Redoute here)
Boots - (get them with straps here)
Top - (same style in different colours by La Redoute here)
Earrings - Accessorize (similar style by Evans here)
Bag - ASOS

I am also wearing a new lip-gloss from The Body Shop, Love Gloss in Twinkling Pink #19, which they sent to me as part of their new Winter 2010 collection.  I'm absolutely in love with it and have been wearing it since I received it.  Not only does it smell deliciously fruity but it also gives the perfect pink sparkle to my lips!  I don't normally like to wear lip-gloss but this one has forced me to put down the Summer Angel...for now...hahaha :)

Let me know what you think of this look!

Stay Stylish!
xoxo


26 October 2010

Brigitte Bardot Inspired...


I've been promising you guys this tutorial for SO long, and it's finally here.  I'm having some serious computer difficulties at the moment so I'm sorry for the delay in getting this tutorial up.  *EDIT* It's now live, click here to watch!  Here are a few shots from the video and a blog post on how I achieved this Brigitte Bardot inspired look!


Here are all the tools I used for hair and make-up!  As you can see, you really don't need a lot of products/materials and this is actually very easy to do.


Hair: You will need some bobby pins (not pictured because I was wearing them!), a round brush and some hairspray.  I used L'Oreal Elnett.  I did a half-up, half-down style with a lot of volume at the top.  I had straightened my hair using my GHD the day before, and backcombed the top part just at my crown, using hairspray as I went to achieve a volumised look.  I styled this and pinned it at the back using four bobby pins.  I also backcombed my fringe for added volume and set the whole look with lots of hairspray.


Make-Up: You first need a matte foundation base.  I didn't include this in my tutorial as it's the same foundation routine as I did in my Autumn Makeup Look video.  I used Bare Minerals foundation, concealer, Mineral Veil and Warmth bronzer for a matte, natural base.  For the eyes, I used Impala Waterproof kohl eye pencil in black as a base and in the lower waterline.  I used Bourjois Noir Precieux eye-shadow all over the lid and along the lower lashline, Maybelline Line Definer liquid liner in black along the top lash line and CoverGirl LashBlast mascara.  I used my Bare Minerals concealer to tidy everything up.  For lips I used Davis accent lip pencil in a neutral pink and Rimmel Airy Fairy lipstick.  On my cheeks, I used Maybelline's ExpertWear blush in Rose.  Again, I kept both lips and cheeks a matte neutral pink colour.


Fashion: Brigitte Bardot's style was very classic and Parisian chic.  She wore a lot of 50's style dresses that are particularly flattering for girls with curves...with a very cinched waist and an A-line skirt.  This dress is from TK Maxx and has a high-neck which gives it a late 1950's/early 1960's feel.  She also wore a lot of kitten heels and mid-heels rather than platforms or killer heels.  The black shoes I'm wearing are from ASOS.  She wore minimal jewellery and kept the main focus on her big hair and smokey eye make-up.  I'm wearing simple silver studs from Accessorize.  

Alternatively, for a casual Brigitte Bardot inspired look, I would opt for skinny jeans or cigarette pants, ballet flats and (if you wanted to be really French!) a nautical blue and white striped top.

So, I hope this post will inspire you not just this Halloween but also for any other reason you might like to channel Brigitte in either your hair, make-up or outfits...and as always, let me know what you think! 

Stay Stylish!

xoxo



23 October 2010

Cooking for the Family


Yesterday was our first night entertaining at our new home.  It was a house-warming party of sorts, except the only people invited were my family...ha ha ha!  Okay, not really...it was actually more of a fun night off from cooking for my mom, as since we've moved to Cork we've been totally taking advantage of her home-cooked meals and decided to turn the tables and repay her for all the yummy food she's made!

I'm no culinary goddess, as many of you already know...so I took on the challenge of preparing a two course meal (dinner and dessert, because who needs starters!) and I cooked everything from scratch.  Here's what I came up with!


More cute Halloween decorations!

Witchy garland and candy corn candle: TK Maxx
Felt bats, pumpkins and ghosts: Lidl
Honeycomb pumpkin and cobweb: Hanley's Holiday Shop
Autumn flowers: Aldi



Candles in the living room


Preparing the main course...





Main course: Conchiglioni Ripieni (Stuffed Pasta)



Dessert: White Chocolate Mousse with Black Pepper and Mint

And the verdict??  Everyone absolutely loved it all!  The house didn't burn down, nothing blew up, no-one got food poisoning (so far!) and the night was a great success :)  I actually enjoyed cooking for everyone and it ended up being a lovely, cosy, Halloween-y evening!  I think we'll make a tradition out of this and I can't wait for next week, when I get to do it all again!

So tell me, what do you think of my menu?  What is your favourite thing to cook for your family?

Stay Stylish!
xoxo



21 October 2010

New Hair!


AHH!  I chopped all my hair off!  Not really...just a little bit!

I've been wanting to cut my hair for a few weeks now, ever since I posted those pictures of me with short hair.  I love long hair as much as the next girl, but it's SO difficult to manage and I think it had been something like a year (eek!) since my last proper haircut, and my split ends were looking pretty ragged so I decided to go for the chop.  I got a mid-length cut, layers and my side fringe cut again.  I also got the thinning scissors through it, as my hair is super thick and heavy.  Now it feels SO light, manageable and healthy - I love it!  I feel like when it was so long I wasn't even styling it anymore...just washing, blowdrying and that's it.  Whereas I like to have fun with my hair and wear it a few different ways, which is why I decided to get it cut this length...not too long, not too short.  

The funniest thing about my hair is that when it was long it was wavy-ish but leaning more towards the straight side.  When it was super short (like in those photos I posted before) it was extremely curly naturally with no product or styling at all.  I didn't know if my hair would go back to its natural curly/wavy self or whether it was too "trained" to go straight but when my hair stylist was blow-drying my hair, I noticed the parts she hadn't dried yet were big ringlet curls!  My poor hair's inner curl had been suppressed for months under all that length!  It's weird how hair works...but I've always been naturally curly/wavy, so I suppose we'll see what style it decides to when I wash it myself!

Let me know what you guys think!  Oh, and I got my hair cut at Peter Mark!  

And on a side-note...the absolutely beautiful gold leaf earrings I'm wearing were a lovely gift from one of my very generous blog readers/subscribers, Tammi.  You can check out her wonderful blog here.  Thank you so much, Tammi! 

Stay Stylish!
xoxo