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Friday, May 31, 2013

Spending the past few weeks in Italy hasn't been great for my diet (or my waistline). I've teamed up with the wonderful Jenna from Foods To Love (here) and grilled her on healthy alternatives for cravings. 

Here Jenna tells SLSStyle the best alternatives for the following cravings:
To my mind, nothing can replace chocolate when you are craving that 'hit' from the cocoa. You'll see people suggest something called carob as an alternative, but it isn't enough of a convincing alternative for me. I also refuse to give up chocolate because it has so many healthful benefits. I'd advise you to opt for healthy versions of chocolate where possible, which does exist - so switch from milk to dark, then dark to raw, and choose the ones that aren't sweetened with sugar.

Sugary sweets…
More and more, there are some great healthy sweets brands available that don't use any E numbers or artificial dyes in their products. There are tons on Amazon too, which strangely is one of the places I shop for healthy foods the most.

Fizzy drinks…
I had a hard time with this one myself. But it's worth making efforts to cut these out of your life as they're one of the worst things for you. All sodas, including diet sodas, are the most acidic foods you can put in your body. I switched to sparkling water with lime and stevia - its not only yummy but also made the transition pretty easy.  

Ice cream…
This is the easiest thing to substitute for, so if this is your weakness you're in luck. Peel and freeze two bananas for at least a couple of hours, then place in a food processor with either some vanilla extract, cocoa powder or a few strawberries. Readers would remember this from an earlier post.

A full English breakfast…
Eggs in moderation aren't so bad for you, so you can absolutely still have your english breakfast! The most important switch I would recommend about the full english is not to start your day with it - it's better for your body to have these kinds of denser foods at night rather than first thing in the morning. I would do poached or boiled eggs with wholegrain toast, sautéed spinach and baked beans - look for the ones in glass jars rather than cans, and versions with no added sugar too. Baked beans are surprisingly one of the most common places that white sugar lurks. 

Kale Chips! They're the new big thing. You can buy them at most health food stores now, or else you can make your own: pre-heat your oven to 175C, tear one bunch of curly kale into tiny bite-size pieces, coat it with desired seasonings (try olive oil and salt, simple white miso paste, or garlic and apple cider vinegar), and bake on a lined tray until crisp (between 6 and 8 minutes)

Hamburger and French fries…
The thing about this kind of craving is that there isn't a realistic enough substitute for a big juicy burger, if you love it. I advise people to allow themselves this kind of blow-out treat once in a while, but when you have it, splurge on a really good one, and fully concentrate on enjoying every bite of this meal. Treat foods like these feed your soul and should be appreciated to the max when consumed. That way, you can fully satisfy your craving and then move on. 
Having said that, for more day-to-day needs I am a big fan of Dragonfly's range of veggie burgers, which I serve with baked sweet potato wedges and a green salad. To make the sweet potato wedges, cut sweet potato into inch-thick strips, coat in a little olive oil, salt and paprika, and bake for about 15 minutes until slightly crispy. To make this even more authentic you can buy a crinkle-cutter to cut your wedges to look more like cheap fries!

A big coffee from Starbucks…
My main issue with Starbucks is that they don't provide good milk options - it's either cow's or sugar-filled soy. If you want to healthify your daily coffee, add 1 shot of espresso, 1 cup (250 ml) almond milk, a handful of ice, a dash of vanilla extract, and a small teaspoon stevia to a blender and whizz until your desired consistency is reached. For an even more authentic Frappuccino, try also adding a pinch of xanthan gum to the mix, which will make it more milkshake-y.

Like with the burger, when you are TRULY craving an authentic italian pizza, nothing else will fix that - but to make a healthy version at home, buy gluten-free tortillas, top with marinara sauce and your toppings of choice, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 175C. If you can avoid using cheese, great, but if you're not there yet and need your dairy fix, opt for unpasteurised goat or sheep cheeses, such as pecorino, feta, or parmesan, which are much easier on your system than cow's dairy.

Fried food…
The reason fried foods are so damaging to our bodies is because when we fry at high temperatures, the nutrients in food break down and free radicals are formed. These are compounds that attack our cells and wreak havoc on our bodily functions. If you have heard of how important it is to consume antioxidants before, it's because antioxidants sweep away these free radicals which are in our system at all times.
There are ways to mimic the taste and mouthfeel of fried snacks with clever cooking treats - I have a whole chapter devoted to this in my cookbook which is out in September.

To say that you should opt for a soda water with lime when you want an alcoholic drink is just unrealistic. However there are ways to minimise the effects of alcohol on your body and more specifically to give your liver an easier time of processing the alcohol. The most important switch you can make is to stick to the same kind of drink all night. Also, watch what you are combining the alcohol with. It's better to have things neat than to mix them with artificially-sweetened or sugary mixers. Another trick to give your body a slightly lighter toxin load when ordering wine is to opt for New World wines from places like America, South America, Australia and New Zealand, because they have tighter regulations on sulfites and other additives that are allowed into the wines. Often, if you get headaches or hangovers from wine it will be because of the additives rather than the pure alcohol itself.

Lots and lots of dairy…
This is perhaps the easiest thing to substitute for - there have never been more amazing options for non-dairy products than today. I love Ecomil and Almond Dream for milks, Vitaquell for non-dairy butter, and Booja Booja for great ice creams. I have to say the one product I'm not a big fan of in the dairy category are fake cheeses - they are either made with soy protein isolates mixed with MSG, or there are raw versions made with cashews. The former is a load of processed junk and the latter can be very heavy on the stomach. As I mentioned earlier in this post, if you are trying to wean yourself off cheese, switch to raw and unpasteurised goat and sheep cheeses. A little of these is absolutely fine, especially when you are transitioning from a standard diet.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm not a big accessories person. I always said that I wish I never got my ears pierced (my belly button is a whole different story). I don't mind the odd vintage St Christopher charm or my stolen heap of vintage Bulgari that my mother thinks is locked up in the safe. I've never either been a pearls kind of girl. They alway reminded me of horsey mothers who wore oversized plastic pearl studs and wore stained cashmere and ate partridges but alas, Chanel have since changed that notion.

Chanel's 2013 spring/summer collection featured some fairly forgettable pieces for the most part (yes I'm talking about you hula hoop bag) however their uncomfortably big, I-could-look-good-on-a-Christmas-tree pearl necklace caught my eye.

Deciding to play it safe and not spend $9,000 on a necklace I'd most likely want to hawk on eBay next year I spotted this beauty on my recent pilgrimage to Zara. Whilst she may not be as bulky, fully and bulbous as the Chanel necklace it certainly has the same effect. I'm looking forward to debuting her tomorrow with a beaten up tank top, oversized jeans and a pair of pink Manolo's fit for a princess.

Get yours from Zara here and here.

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Earlier this month I posted a restrained review on Virgo's Lounge and their lack of customer service (here). I wanted to update you on my progress so far. After my review was posted I was contacted by Virgo's Lounge who wanted to amend their actions of ignoring my return requests and not refunding me. As well as finally refunding me (I am yet to double check this with my bank) they also offered to send me any piece from their website as a gesture of goodwill. 

I went away last week and hadn't heard back from them so was starting to think that I had been left in the dark once again. However, today when I returned to see my unopened treasure trove of boxes (I have a serious online shopping addiction) I came across a package from VL. I had requested the Oceana maxi dress (here). 

Although their customer service has put me off from ordering from their online store again (I'd rather go to Topshop where they sell VL) I am happy with the lengths they went to in order to take the sting out of my shopping experience. I'm looking forward to wearing my new dress on my upcoming girls trip to Capri with a pair of handmade sandals and Persol's.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Last night in Paris
Blouse: The Kooples (here)
Jeans: Goldsign
Clutch: Givenchy Antigona (similar here)
Pumps: Jimmy Choo (here)

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I love everything about these Repossi advertisements. The hair, the makeup and quite obviously the jewellery.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Rosie beating Cannes into shape in a beautiful Dior dress and Louboutin pumps.

Not a sequin or platform in sight.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blonde Rosie.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

These Manolo Blahnik daisy boots are a little bit Mary Quant and a lot bit fabulous. Pair them with your favourite pair of jeans and a slouchy tank or t-shirt for an instantly chic spring time look which may leave you in the running for best bloom at the Chelsea Flower Show.

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Channelling Sophia Loren beauty (always with a straw hat) for summer.

Perfect inspiration for my upcoming trip to Capri with the girls.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

A little black & white inspiration.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Embroidery. Check.
Ruching. Check
Ruffles. Check
Paisley Print. Check

This Isabel Marant one piece just couldn't get much better (and I still want the shoes).

Get a smiliar bikini or one piece here.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Queen Kate.

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So I'm certainly a sucker for any kind of new beauty product. Space NK can smell me a mile off and somehow the sales assistant manage to sell me just about anything.

I am fairly loyal to a product that I believe has what it takes. I have recently been failing trying to cut down on buying bags upon bags of high-end makeup and skincare and am trying to 'shop' my current collection (other than window shopping this really is the worst kind of shopping there is).

For days I need a quick fix, I've been heading over to the drug store (or ordering my favourite products online which aren't available in the UK).

Here are some of my drugstore favourites which will always have a place in my heart and my bathroom.

1. Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
I buy this in bulk every time I'm in America and it never fails. It dries out everything on your face and leaves your skin feeling facial-fresh.

(For those of you based in Europe, eBay has them for around 3GBP).

2. Bioderma

What drugstore list would be complete without this?

A bottle of Bioderma comes everywhere with me. I have jumbo sized, travel sized, middle-of-the-road sized. I just love it. Perfect to freshen up your face on the plane, remove heavy makeup at 4am when you're dying to get into bed or use to touch up a too-thick liquid liner.

3. Milani Eye Tech Liquid Eye Liner
Speaking of eye liner, this one surpasses everything I've tried; Tom Ford, Mac, Armani, Nars, Chanel, you name it. This little bad boy costs about $3.50 and can be found in drugstores throughout the US. It practically lines your eyes for you and comes in the blackest black because it's never fun to go over your good work.

4. Tangle Teezer
I always have a Tangle Teezer on hand. I'm one of those people who like to brush my hair when it's wet and go (regardless if this rips your hair out). This is the most gentle way of brushing matted, knotted, wet or fed-up hair. It cuts down on brushing time, fits in your handbag and won't break the bank; take note Mason & Pearson.

5. Ardell Demi Wispies Lashes
These are by far the best false lashes I've ever used. Not a drag queen in sight. They will give you length and volume without looking like an extra from TOWIE.

I still can't apply them for the life of me but I'm sure when I master the technique I'll be throwing these on night after night.

6 & 7 - Nivea Touch of Sparkle and Olay Ribbons Body Wash
These body washes are fantastic. When I'm kicking myself for buying too much Laura Mercier body wash I reach for these. Both are deliciously creamy and smell divine (and not too chemically). Sadly Nivea doesn't make me sparkle much but my skin really does drink it up.

8. L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray
This is an institution in itself. Although I very rarely use hairspray when I do this is what it is. Once upon a time when my head was loaded with extensions and hot rollers I used the Diamond Hold however now I prefer something that doesn't feel crunchy or sticky so I stick to the lightest hold.

9. Ribbon Elastics
I am OBSESSED with these.I buy these in bulk in rainbow colours (I've now discovered them in tie-dye and glitter). These won't snag your hair and because of the width of the band they create less pressure which leads to less breakage and damage.

They also look pretty cute on your wrist too.

10. Yes to Cucumber Soothing Face Wipes
These are fantastic; I generally find face wipes a big no-no since they're loaded up with product and generally leave my skin feeling that it is more clogged up than it was to start with.

These are gentle, light and refreshing and are a great way to take off your makeup before you cleanse.

11. L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara
This is one of the best mascaras I've ever used. I still haven't found my holy grail mascara but this is definitely up there. This is a true black and makes your lashes appear fuller, longer and adds a nice curl to them.

 It knocks the socks off of Armani's Eyes to Kill.

12. Virgin Coconut Oil
I am currently sitting in my bed with my hair slathered in coconut oil. Coconut oil is one of my beauty must haves for absolutely anyone. It can be used to remove makeup, as a moisturiser, body oil, hair mask and even to nourish your eyebrows and eyelashes.

13. Smith's Rosebud Salve
This has been a holy grail product for me since I was 13 and I still never leave home without one. Apart from being a total bother to open this is probably one of the best treatments for your lips (see my previous post on my favourite lip balms).

I would love to hear any of your budget beauty favourites for me to try out next time I'm rummaging through Boots.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Terry Richardson for Valentino.

What a pair, what a purse, what a pump.

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