Saturday, 28 February 2015

Goodbye February, Hello March...... Feb review

how can we be heading into the 3rd month of 2015?....
March for me sees the start of my year, January is always a very busy month filled with financial year end counts and reconciliation. February this year was harder than January with lots of late nights, reporting, year end reviews and objective setting, which left very little time for relaxation. However I did get to have some fun with friends & family in February.... here are my highlights.
Late nights at desk where hampered by many technical issues and a little green bar scuttling across my desktop trying to recover presentations & spreadsheets were a frequent occurrence! Cornflakes were a staple diet during the month ... thankfully Pancake day offered some welcome relief in the diet!



Although February was often frustrating, it still lent itself for me to have some fun..... Much fun had with the movie release of Fifty Shades of Grey... the theme running through most of my February, featuring in a fun night at the Everyman Selfridges cinema hereand my Friday 5 funnies here.
London and work turned pink for Valentines Day with luscious flowers found everywhere.
February saw me start to blog my adventures from my trip to New York in December. Feb's posts featured musical icons, movie moments, fashion and lots of fun in the city that doesn't sleep!

February did see me relax on a few occasions, I spent a fun evening celebrating a friends sons 21st birthday. My gorgeous niece turned 12, which involved Nutella cupcakes and lots of fun with the family.
I also spent some down time baking, making a fun 40th birthday cake and playing with my bargain baking goodies from poundland.



Carrying over from January my staple styling for the month featured Uggs, & Mulberry and cashmere as with cold early morning starts and late nights ...a warm commute was my priority.
smythson fashion planner ot in force for NY/London & Milan fashion weeks... Fifty shades soundtrack was a fab way to walk my way to the station & bus stop.
Looking forward to ditching some of the winter woollies in March with the start of Spring.... pop back later when I share my March plans...

Friday, 27 February 2015

Friday 5 .... funnies from February

Its Friday, its the end of what feels like a very long month and I so need a chocolate break, so grab a cup of tea whilst I share 5 things that have made me chuckle during February....
  1. New York Fashion Week and the Grand Dame of the fashion industry Anna Wintour made me howl with laughter. They say  a look says a 1000 words, especially when AW cannot hide her look of disgust when North West threw a tantrum on the front row of the Wang & Kanye collections..... such a contrast from her reaction to Harper Beckham..... any of you that follow me on Instagram will know my thoughts on this... parenting & manners what a contrast.
  2. Ellen's spoof trailer of 50 shades of Cinderella, a fabulous mix-up of the new Disney Cinderella movie & 50 Shades of Grey!.... loved it.                                                                            
  3. London Fashion week.... this time Anya Hindmarch.... the designer that never fails to amuse with her quirky collections... last year it was supermarket favourites... this A/W we can look forward to hanging a handbag influenced by the M25 off your arm.... the London Gay choir dressed as roadside construction workers is just fabulous....                                                
  4. OPI launched a polish collection in collaboration with the 50 shades franchise ... their PR and social media team did an fabulous job of selling the product to us... so much fun.
  5. Google box returned and I laughed out loud lots, even at one point spitting my tea out!... who gave them Basic Instinct, Wolf Hall & Ukip winning the election! ... Scarlett Moffatt was just fabulous!... here's the full episode...Google box Ep1 season 5.
As you can see its a diverse mixture of things that have made me chuckle this month, many silly but so much fun,  and we all need a little fun in our lives.... what's been making you laugh this month?.... please share.... laters x

Monday, 23 February 2015

New York moments.... XOXO gossip girl style

As we are currently in amidst fashion weeks I thought I would share a couple of my adventures from December that featured in one of fashions favourite TV shows, Gossip Girl.
Of the many locations featured in the series, today I am sharing 2 which featured in the Pilot episode.
The New York Palace Hotel which sits on Madison Avenue and 50th street behind the gorgeous St Patricks Cathedral. Along with Gossip Girl, many of you will recognise the hotel from other movie moments, including 27 Dresses. I love the Palace courtyard and at Christmas time it just becomes magical.
I had lots of fun taking arty shots in the baubles on the Christmas trees as you can see below...
  As beautiful as this hotel looks in the daytime, it comes to life at night and is a must see, perfect to pop in and sample a cheeky cocktail at their old school glamour bar called Tavern 51 which has a cool 'Mad Men' vibe from a New York of yesteryear. The courtyard really is stunning after dark.
My 2nd location that I visited this year for the first time was The Campbell Apartment tucked up in a corner of Grand Central Station.(15 Vanderbilt Avenue) Although never an apartment this very old school NY location was the office of 1920's tycoon John Campbell. Restored to its former glory it is one of the chicest cocktail bars in the city. (Plan ahead if visiting as there is a dress code to enter). The venue is full of antiques, complete with a glorious baby grand piano and oodles of glamour.... this location ticks the box of any Gatsby, Truman Capote or Mad Men fan. (Gossip Girl fans will recognise this bar from where Nat & Serena romped in the pilot episode)
After a short while I was seated at the bar, where I enjoyed a leisurely hour sipping a cocktail, people watching the city folk of NY.
My Cocktail of choice was The Prohibition Punch;
"A refreshing blend of Passion Fruit Juices, Appleton Rum Estate VX. Gran Gala VSOP crowned with Moet & Chandon Champagne" - deliciously decadent but very lethal!...
I had a gorgeous time in The Campbell Apartment, a fabulous find, and one I will be going back to the next time that I visit New York......


If these have wetted your appetite for more GG moments, there are 100's of locations featured in the 6 seasons of Gossip Girl and if a fan I would recommend the GG tour, which features favourite locations and gives you a fun and different view of NY......
.................. xoxox NY gossip girl x

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pancakes from across the Pond....

A trip to New York is not complete without a breakfast of pancakes.... there are many places that claim to serve the best in NY, but my favourite has to be at Pershing Square. This fabulous little eatery is tucked underneath Park Avenue viaduct and opposite Grand Central Station.
It claims to be the busiest & best breakfast venue in the city, and on all the occasions that I have visited I've never had reason to be disappointed....filled to the rafters with business wear along with tourists, be prepared to queue.
The menu is vast catering for all; from the healthy options of egg white omelettes and fruit & oatmeal to full breakfast and pancake stacks..... as you can see I opted for a healthy option! pancakes, bacon & maple syrup, topped off with freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice and coffee. All absolutely delicious, pancakes melt in the mouth fluffy filled with blueberry's.
This fabulous diner has a real old school feel of  new york of old and with a great sweeping bar its the perfect location to meet up when travelling via the station.
Along with a great breakfast menu, Pershing square offers a great take-out option... great for grabbing coffee & muffin on the go...
Pershing Square is one of my musts when visiting this great city, and I cant recommend it enough, it offers great service, food and a very stylish diner perfect for people watching and sampling a taste of city living NY style... delicious x



Monday, 16 February 2015

A New York movie moment.....

another day and another NY movie moment from my trip in December, Today I am sharing  a couple of favourites from an old school classic "When Harry met Sally"....
One of the most infamous scenes of the movie is staged in Katz Deli. Katz's is located on  East Houston Street and the corner of Ludlow on the Lower East side and is early til late! it maintains all the charm of an old school diner and is extremely busy. You can either choose to be seated and be served by one if the waiting team, or queue along the counter.  When seated you are given an old style ticket which becomes your bill at the end....it was a grey and damp day when I visited but was soon warm and toasty once inside enjoying the wares of Katz's
The menu is vast and I opted for an open sandwich of hot brisket, chips, gravy and a side of macaroni cheese... served with a complimentary dish of pickles, washed down by Katz's lemonade.
It may have not looked much, but it was delicious, the beef was just amazing, melt in the mouth tenderness on a slice of sourdough........ full of flavour.
I loved the old couple sitting at the infamous table, apparently they visit every week and sit at that table! The walls of Katz's is full of photo's showcasing its history and many famous diners including Harry & Sally, one of my favourite pictures was of Sarah-Jessica Park & Matthew Broderick looking very young.
I had a fabulous lunchtime in the deli and thoroughly recommend it for fans of the movie or anyone wants a glimmer of old school New York.
A short walk from the dinner over on the West of Houston is Washington Square park.... those familiar with the film will recognise this location as the drop off point when Harry & Sally arrive in New York.
The park is located at the foot of Fifth Avenue and gives you great views of uptown towards the Empire State Building and downtown towards Freedom Tower, One World Trade Centre. The arch in Washington Square is often used as a meeting place and celebrating cultural activity and non-conformity.  Most of the buildings that now surround the park are part of the NYU campus... so the park is a great coffee stop between lessons.
I had a great time living a couple of movie moments from Harry met Sally.... here's some previous posts from my NY movie moments.

pop back later in the week when I will be sharing more of my adventures in the city.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Valentines Day... Mr Selfridge style...

This weekend saw Valentines Day fall on a Saturday..... fantastic for us singletons who didn't have to put up with the office banter and see endless flowers being delivered to desks near & far.... this year it felt bigger than ever and Selfridges pulled out all the stops for a a red filled heart festooned declaration of love, turning the yellow store pink for the weekend.
I have already shared my valentines adventures at The Everyman cinema but also enjoyed the sights and smells around the store.
From the beautiful selfridges selection roses to the gorgeous pastries from the patisserie, it has been a feast on the senses all week.
5 things i Loved:

  • "You had me at Hello" movie sign,
  • Phillipa Craddock hanger displays -- bring fashion & flowers together.
  • Be Mine Mr Selfridge eclairs.
  • The rose petal carpets showcasing the floral displays
  • 400 Oxford Street in all its pink splendour.
My favourite feature was the Philippa Craddock flower stand outside the store... stunning floral displays gloriously staged... I'm sure Mr Selfridge would have loved seeing his store entrance looking so gorgeous.... fragrant inside and out....more adventures from 400 Oxford Street soon. x

New York moments.... The Plaza

As its the weekend of love I thought I would share some more of my New York Chick flick favourites .... starting with The Hotel of old school glamour & romance... The Plaza.
The Plaza opened its doors in October 1907 on the corner of 5th Avenue and Central Park south, and became the most sought after address to reside at. Originally,The Plaza served as a residence for wealthy New Yorkers. Mr. and Mrs Vanderbilt were the first to sign the register. For guests who chose to rent on a nightly basis at the time, this New York City luxury hotel’s single rooms started at $2.50 per night.... now you could probably add a couple of noughts to that!

The Plaza palm court and The Champagne bar are 2 of the loveliest parts of the hotel to relax in .... whilst visiting this year I had breakfast on my last day in The Plaza which was just gorgeous and the perfect end to my stay. 
Most people will be familiar with The Plaza as it is a regular feature as a backdrop in many classic movies....something that they take pride in promoting in the hotel gift store. Outside of the Holiday period my film favourites include that classic scene from "The Way we Were".... 
replicated in Sex & the City with Big's engagement party to Natasha....
Christmas movie must for any New York fan is Home Alone 2 lost in New York, when Kevin stays in The Plaza.... here he is arriving. For old school glamour then The Great Gatzby is the movie for you in collaboration with this hotel.
The hotel has undergone many changes internally over the years, with the big foyer check-in area seen in Home Alone relocating and now exclusive for guests, however this doesn't mean that the entrance is any less impressive.... here is what greeted me when I stepped into this gorgeous hotel.
a beautiful entrance, with a huge sumptuously decorated tree, complete with Hotel Plaza packages flanked by glorious chandeliers. I couldn't resist the beautiful hand-painted Christmas bauble of the hotel and it came home with me to add to my NY holiday collection. 
The Plaza is a lovely outside as it is in and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring this lovely hotel.... even if you cant afford to stay in this very glamorous address, don't let this put you off visiting... Breakfast or Afternoon Tea in The Plaza court is gorgeous (advisable to book ahead online to secure booking) The Food court in the basement of the Hotel is filled with New York favourites and if visiting during the holiday season then look out for Santa story telling in a secret location!. Along with great movies, The Plaza is featured in many books... one of them being my friend Ali Mcnamaras From Nottinghill with Four Weddings...  a perfect accompaniment when breakfasting at The Plaza...

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Mr Grey will see you now.......


Its been one of the most talked about films over the past year and everyone has an opinion on it, but the 'Fifty' phenomenon reached it climax yesterday with the release of the movie.
It was always going to be a given that I would see the film once the casting of Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey had been announced. I had minimal expectations of the film, but after seeing it, was pleasantly surprised.  Fifty Shades is never going to win critics views, and fans opinions will be mixed depending on who you imagined would play Anna and Christian, however its a great girls movie and will tick lots of boxes.
The film is so much more about the relationship between the characters than the sex, yes there is sex in the movie and Dakota's boobs will bring envy to any women over the age of 30! but there is chemistry between the 2 characters (contrary to previous media reports) and they have nailed the characters to the book.
From the launch of the book it has divided opinions widely.... yes the story is not great, yes it is repetitive, grammatically it made every other author scream & lament about their craft, however it has added a new dimension to reading, books became sexy again. The hopeless romantic in all of us got swept up in the love story of Anna & Christian, the inner goddess in all of us wanted to meet a billionaire with a fast car, helicopter, & a red room that could give us endless hours of pleasure!...this book & movie is a very modern fairy tale.
With tickets booked months ago for The Everyman cinema at Selfridges, it was always going to be a little bit more special than the local cinema in Romford!  Best laid plans and all that meant that it ended up me & a friend from work going, as both friends who were originally coming couldn't make it... this didn't distract enjoyment once we entered the red room of the Everyman. Greeted by waiters we were handed complimentary champagne to sip, the bar and lounge were full so we decided to grab a special cocktail and head into the screening room.
Cocktail options included; Cosmo Tango, Anastasia's Mojito, Hearts & Flowers and BDSM... we opted for Rope, Tapes & Cable Ties - Sweet ripe strawberries, mixed with white rum & a sting of fresh lime.
On arrival in the screening room, a goodie bag was left for the ladies... with some fun things from the Box of Grey lingerie company, & YSL cosmetics. a bag of fun for laters....
along with champagne & cocktails, no trip to the movies is complete without a pick & mix!... Fifty style. I made some sweet bags complete with lips, cable ties, love eggs & hearts....
The film is cleverly shot and the direction of some scenes is cinematicaly gorgeous, the gliding and charlie tango scenes are lovely. There are a some awkward moments, but the these are few and the film moves along in line with the book.  Dakota Johnson is very good as Ana, and captures her innocence, naivety and 'sassyiness ' well. Jamie is gorgeous as Christian, less stern than I imagined but very very delicious in low slung denim!
For anyone who has not read the book, the end will come as a huge surprise but this of course leaves the elevator open for Fifty darker....... this movie will never win awards, but it will grab the heart of many .... for now... Laters baby xx

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Social Media Sunday ~ January

With us nearly being into the 2nd week of February,I thought it was about time that I shared some social media favourites from January. Work has been so busy I haven't had much time for fun, but social media has kept me entertained, Instagram being my favourite for January
Here is what I've been liking this month...
  • Claudia Pranata ~ discovered Claudia's instagram feed when M&S re-grammed her great styled shot of Pretzels complete with a little yellow taxi... so cute.
  • MailModels ~ a very lovely styling feed, filled with colour, & great words of wisdom.. loved this pink ensemble for friendship.
  • Emily Quinton ~ i met Emily last year, when I attended one of her styling photography workshops, I love the simplistic styling of this shot, daffodils being one of my favourite flowers, along with a gorgeous typewriter.
  • GrandCentralNYC ~ this gorgeous instagram site is filled with gorgeous pictures from Grand Central Station ... one of my favourite places to visit in NY city. So many lovely pictures, but this one with the snow, bought back lots of lovely memories from my snowy days in NY a couple of years ago.
  • KLMPink ~ love this picture of my friend Kate's fox terrier Minnie... Minniw features lots in Kates instagram account, along with lovely crafty goodies... her other Instagram site for her craft business The Homemakery is also worth a follow.
  • David Gandy - this gorgeous man has lots of likes on my instagram feed, this gorgeous photo from his home was featured for a Debretts article.... love the map wall & the desk is divine.
  • MPSinthesky ~ the metropolitan police helicopter features often in my favourite social media feeds. Loved this picture of The Shard that was taken to welcome into the new year....
  • Dantvusa ~ Another favourite instagrammer, discovered through my friend Ali Mcnamara the author... Dan's images of New York are breathtaking and you will find it hard not to like them all. This gorgeous picture of The Plaza overlooking a snowy central park is gorgeous.
  • M&S ~ David Gandy in a suit for the Spring Summer collection is delicious!... i do not need to say anymore.
  • and finally this gorgeous happy smiley baby is my god-daughters son... born at the end of October, his happy smiley face is a daily feed in my instagram and it doesn't do anything other than bring a huge smile to my face.... can't wait to meet him when I travel to Scotland soon.
Thankyou to all for brightening up my January..... here's a few images of what I've been IG'ing in January... featuring Flowers, Movie's, New York, and shades of grey!
and previous Social Media Sunday posts...... what have you been favouriting, liking & re-tweeting this month?...

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Musical Moment in Times Square...


Times Square over the 20 years that I have been visiting New York has evolved immensely.... it has gone from being a sleazy junction of electric bill boards to a very busy predominately pedestrianised family location.Crowds gather at multiple locations, early morning to feature in the back drop of Good Morning America, or at the Ticket booth for discount Broadway shows, there is always something happening.
On my first night in New York I was returning to my hotel via Times square, I had earlier in the evening walked up to the Rockefeller and along 5th soaking up the sights and sounds.
On turning into Times square at 48th, I noticed that something was happening in the square and it was extraordinarily loud and lots of red screens.... a friendly NYPD officer who was holding a "Do Not Cross" tape asked if I was going to the 'show' and if so I could sneak in the side entrance!..... I opted to duck in the side, having no idea what was going on, to be greeted by a huge red stage which was hosting U2 for an unannounced gig for World Aids Day.  With Bono incapacitated from a bike accident they were being fronted by Chris Martin in a fab Substi2u T-shirt.
Even though the weather was turning a little damp, I chose to stay for a while and watch 2 music icons perform on stage.....it really was a beautiful day.... closely followed by With or without you
Its not often you get to see one of America's rock legends for free in Times Square, but I did experience that as Bruce Springsteen joined U2 on stage ....... soaking up the moment was magical. 
As I was watching I had a complete klutz moment and ended up tripping over the man next to me, who gallantly helped me up, when I looked up to thank him I came face to face with Bill Clinton!.... the klutz then became a stuttering idiot and just about managed to murmur thank you.... by this stage I though it was best to make a hasty exit before an FBI agent apprehended me!
I couldn't have planned a better first night in New York  if I had tried.... completely unexpected with some fantastic memories that will stay with me into my old age!....heading back to my hotel a little wet & cold but with a big smile and a bucket list moment to talk about.....
What a fantastic start to my 5 days in New York....

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Welcome to New York...

8 weeks ago I landed in the city that doesn't sleep for 5 days of city living New York style... with Christmas & financial year end I haven't had much time to sort my photo's and post any of my adventures... but February's here and I'm determined to share them with you through this month!...
My New York adventure kicked off at Heathrow and this year I flew Delta and was upgraded at the point that I checked in!... with a comfy seat / bed, films & food and drink on tap the 7 hour flight passed in a blink of an eye...Landing at lunchtime in JFK refreshed & relaxed was a lovely and after the regulatory queues through immigration and customs I was soon in arrivals. This year unlike many others I opted to travel into Manhattan via the airtrain and subway. I have always taken the shuttle bus or taxi but after several visits to the city, I was confident that I would be able to get to my hotel via the train without getting lost!....
The air train took me to the Long Island Rail Road where I swapped over to the subway (E) train to Times Square. ... what a breeze, and for the bargain price of $7, instead of a $70 taxi! and only took an hour (traffic dependent this can be considerably longer via taxi/shuttle)
Travelling by train I got to see a different approach to the city and its fabulous landscape, which I snapped from the train
I found the train so straight forward that I decided that if my luggage allowed I would travel back this way, saving $'s both ways.
Arriving into Times Square mid afternoon my hotel was a short walk from the subway on West 45th street. I stayed at a little hotel called Room Mate Grace, which was in a great location, free wifi, a very comfy bed and a very funky swimming pool...
New York room's are small, (unless you book luxury), this hotel ticked lots of boxes for me and although it was basic it was in an ideal location, had a small fridge, flat screen TV, comfy double bed (raised on a platform) and very luxurious bedding and very funky wallpaper!... perfect sleeping zone after busy days in the city.
With bags dumped and unpacked I headed out to explore the city!...... pop back tomorrow  when I share my first night adventures in New York City, featuring rock stars & former presidents!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Goodbye January,Hello February....

wow where did that month go?....
I know where mine went........ it was spent sitting at my desk, getting the year end closed. I did amongst the paperwork have some fun, and caught up with some friends.
For the past couple of years my blogging friend Caroline from Mrs M's Meanderings  visits London with her mum for a few days. We have caught up for drinks and a chat, this year we gossiped for an hour over a bottle of wine on the roof of Selfridges at Le Chalet.... it was so lovely to see them both and gave a welcome break from a pile of paperwork and a huge amount of stress over my car/hire car... thank you for letting off load!.
As previously blogged my little Florence was stolen early December, which resulted in a hire car for 28 days and the hassle of sorting out insurance. I had intermittent warning light problems with the hire car and by the time I returned the car I was concerned that the breaks were failing. I pointed this out at the drop off, one week later the hire car company telephoned me to say that I had damaged the suspension and was required to pay £250... having only driven 200 miles in the vehicle I was quite alarmed. This has been ongoing during January, thankfully after many conversations, the hire company finally dropped all claims for payment on Friday.
With no car, a hike to and from the station is now part of my daily commute. This winter I have discovered the joys and warmth of cashmere, courtesy of my gorgeous Mulberry scarf and gloves.  Uggs have been keeping both my feet and ears warm, which have been perfect for a chilly January morning!... especially as I can link my earmuffs to my ipod!
Other things that have been giving me a warm glow was spending one glorious morning at the roof garden of the newly opened Sky Garden in the city, enjoying breakfast and the fabulous views it has to offer. January also saw London awash with stylish men as London kicked off Mens London collection... it was great fun seeing my stylist friend Joe, out & about with the gorgeous David Gandy! Talking of gorgeous H&M launched David Beckham's spring collection this month, which included gratuitous underwear shots being released to the press...
Downtime this month was spent blog planning and catching up on The Fall series 2 with the delicious serial killer Jamie Dornan.... who in February will become Christian Grey!... Oh My!
I hope that you all had a lovely January filled with warming treats... here's to a very flirty, shades of grey February!...
laters x

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Goodbye February, Hello March...... Feb review

how can we be heading into the 3rd month of 2015?....
March for me sees the start of my year, January is always a very busy month filled with financial year end counts and reconciliation. February this year was harder than January with lots of late nights, reporting, year end reviews and objective setting, which left very little time for relaxation. However I did get to have some fun with friends & family in February.... here are my highlights.
Late nights at desk where hampered by many technical issues and a little green bar scuttling across my desktop trying to recover presentations & spreadsheets were a frequent occurrence! Cornflakes were a staple diet during the month ... thankfully Pancake day offered some welcome relief in the diet!



Although February was often frustrating, it still lent itself for me to have some fun..... Much fun had with the movie release of Fifty Shades of Grey... the theme running through most of my February, featuring in a fun night at the Everyman Selfridges cinema hereand my Friday 5 funnies here.
London and work turned pink for Valentines Day with luscious flowers found everywhere.
February saw me start to blog my adventures from my trip to New York in December. Feb's posts featured musical icons, movie moments, fashion and lots of fun in the city that doesn't sleep!

February did see me relax on a few occasions, I spent a fun evening celebrating a friends sons 21st birthday. My gorgeous niece turned 12, which involved Nutella cupcakes and lots of fun with the family.
I also spent some down time baking, making a fun 40th birthday cake and playing with my bargain baking goodies from poundland.



Carrying over from January my staple styling for the month featured Uggs, & Mulberry and cashmere as with cold early morning starts and late nights ...a warm commute was my priority.
smythson fashion planner ot in force for NY/London & Milan fashion weeks... Fifty shades soundtrack was a fab way to walk my way to the station & bus stop.
Looking forward to ditching some of the winter woollies in March with the start of Spring.... pop back later when I share my March plans...

Friday, 27 February 2015

Friday 5 .... funnies from February

Its Friday, its the end of what feels like a very long month and I so need a chocolate break, so grab a cup of tea whilst I share 5 things that have made me chuckle during February....
  1. New York Fashion Week and the Grand Dame of the fashion industry Anna Wintour made me howl with laughter. They say  a look says a 1000 words, especially when AW cannot hide her look of disgust when North West threw a tantrum on the front row of the Wang & Kanye collections..... such a contrast from her reaction to Harper Beckham..... any of you that follow me on Instagram will know my thoughts on this... parenting & manners what a contrast.
  2. Ellen's spoof trailer of 50 shades of Cinderella, a fabulous mix-up of the new Disney Cinderella movie & 50 Shades of Grey!.... loved it.                                                                            
  3. London Fashion week.... this time Anya Hindmarch.... the designer that never fails to amuse with her quirky collections... last year it was supermarket favourites... this A/W we can look forward to hanging a handbag influenced by the M25 off your arm.... the London Gay choir dressed as roadside construction workers is just fabulous....                                                
  4. OPI launched a polish collection in collaboration with the 50 shades franchise ... their PR and social media team did an fabulous job of selling the product to us... so much fun.
  5. Google box returned and I laughed out loud lots, even at one point spitting my tea out!... who gave them Basic Instinct, Wolf Hall & Ukip winning the election! ... Scarlett Moffatt was just fabulous!... here's the full episode...Google box Ep1 season 5.
As you can see its a diverse mixture of things that have made me chuckle this month, many silly but so much fun,  and we all need a little fun in our lives.... what's been making you laugh this month?.... please share.... laters x

Monday, 23 February 2015

New York moments.... XOXO gossip girl style

As we are currently in amidst fashion weeks I thought I would share a couple of my adventures from December that featured in one of fashions favourite TV shows, Gossip Girl.
Of the many locations featured in the series, today I am sharing 2 which featured in the Pilot episode.
The New York Palace Hotel which sits on Madison Avenue and 50th street behind the gorgeous St Patricks Cathedral. Along with Gossip Girl, many of you will recognise the hotel from other movie moments, including 27 Dresses. I love the Palace courtyard and at Christmas time it just becomes magical.
I had lots of fun taking arty shots in the baubles on the Christmas trees as you can see below...
  As beautiful as this hotel looks in the daytime, it comes to life at night and is a must see, perfect to pop in and sample a cheeky cocktail at their old school glamour bar called Tavern 51 which has a cool 'Mad Men' vibe from a New York of yesteryear. The courtyard really is stunning after dark.
My 2nd location that I visited this year for the first time was The Campbell Apartment tucked up in a corner of Grand Central Station.(15 Vanderbilt Avenue) Although never an apartment this very old school NY location was the office of 1920's tycoon John Campbell. Restored to its former glory it is one of the chicest cocktail bars in the city. (Plan ahead if visiting as there is a dress code to enter). The venue is full of antiques, complete with a glorious baby grand piano and oodles of glamour.... this location ticks the box of any Gatsby, Truman Capote or Mad Men fan. (Gossip Girl fans will recognise this bar from where Nat & Serena romped in the pilot episode)
After a short while I was seated at the bar, where I enjoyed a leisurely hour sipping a cocktail, people watching the city folk of NY.
My Cocktail of choice was The Prohibition Punch;
"A refreshing blend of Passion Fruit Juices, Appleton Rum Estate VX. Gran Gala VSOP crowned with Moet & Chandon Champagne" - deliciously decadent but very lethal!...
I had a gorgeous time in The Campbell Apartment, a fabulous find, and one I will be going back to the next time that I visit New York......


If these have wetted your appetite for more GG moments, there are 100's of locations featured in the 6 seasons of Gossip Girl and if a fan I would recommend the GG tour, which features favourite locations and gives you a fun and different view of NY......
.................. xoxox NY gossip girl x

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pancakes from across the Pond....

A trip to New York is not complete without a breakfast of pancakes.... there are many places that claim to serve the best in NY, but my favourite has to be at Pershing Square. This fabulous little eatery is tucked underneath Park Avenue viaduct and opposite Grand Central Station.
It claims to be the busiest & best breakfast venue in the city, and on all the occasions that I have visited I've never had reason to be disappointed....filled to the rafters with business wear along with tourists, be prepared to queue.
The menu is vast catering for all; from the healthy options of egg white omelettes and fruit & oatmeal to full breakfast and pancake stacks..... as you can see I opted for a healthy option! pancakes, bacon & maple syrup, topped off with freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice and coffee. All absolutely delicious, pancakes melt in the mouth fluffy filled with blueberry's.
This fabulous diner has a real old school feel of  new york of old and with a great sweeping bar its the perfect location to meet up when travelling via the station.
Along with a great breakfast menu, Pershing square offers a great take-out option... great for grabbing coffee & muffin on the go...
Pershing Square is one of my musts when visiting this great city, and I cant recommend it enough, it offers great service, food and a very stylish diner perfect for people watching and sampling a taste of city living NY style... delicious x



Monday, 16 February 2015

A New York movie moment.....

another day and another NY movie moment from my trip in December, Today I am sharing  a couple of favourites from an old school classic "When Harry met Sally"....
One of the most infamous scenes of the movie is staged in Katz Deli. Katz's is located on  East Houston Street and the corner of Ludlow on the Lower East side and is early til late! it maintains all the charm of an old school diner and is extremely busy. You can either choose to be seated and be served by one if the waiting team, or queue along the counter.  When seated you are given an old style ticket which becomes your bill at the end....it was a grey and damp day when I visited but was soon warm and toasty once inside enjoying the wares of Katz's
The menu is vast and I opted for an open sandwich of hot brisket, chips, gravy and a side of macaroni cheese... served with a complimentary dish of pickles, washed down by Katz's lemonade.
It may have not looked much, but it was delicious, the beef was just amazing, melt in the mouth tenderness on a slice of sourdough........ full of flavour.
I loved the old couple sitting at the infamous table, apparently they visit every week and sit at that table! The walls of Katz's is full of photo's showcasing its history and many famous diners including Harry & Sally, one of my favourite pictures was of Sarah-Jessica Park & Matthew Broderick looking very young.
I had a fabulous lunchtime in the deli and thoroughly recommend it for fans of the movie or anyone wants a glimmer of old school New York.
A short walk from the dinner over on the West of Houston is Washington Square park.... those familiar with the film will recognise this location as the drop off point when Harry & Sally arrive in New York.
The park is located at the foot of Fifth Avenue and gives you great views of uptown towards the Empire State Building and downtown towards Freedom Tower, One World Trade Centre. The arch in Washington Square is often used as a meeting place and celebrating cultural activity and non-conformity.  Most of the buildings that now surround the park are part of the NYU campus... so the park is a great coffee stop between lessons.
I had a great time living a couple of movie moments from Harry met Sally.... here's some previous posts from my NY movie moments.

pop back later in the week when I will be sharing more of my adventures in the city.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Valentines Day... Mr Selfridge style...

This weekend saw Valentines Day fall on a Saturday..... fantastic for us singletons who didn't have to put up with the office banter and see endless flowers being delivered to desks near & far.... this year it felt bigger than ever and Selfridges pulled out all the stops for a a red filled heart festooned declaration of love, turning the yellow store pink for the weekend.
I have already shared my valentines adventures at The Everyman cinema but also enjoyed the sights and smells around the store.
From the beautiful selfridges selection roses to the gorgeous pastries from the patisserie, it has been a feast on the senses all week.
5 things i Loved:

  • "You had me at Hello" movie sign,
  • Phillipa Craddock hanger displays -- bring fashion & flowers together.
  • Be Mine Mr Selfridge eclairs.
  • The rose petal carpets showcasing the floral displays
  • 400 Oxford Street in all its pink splendour.
My favourite feature was the Philippa Craddock flower stand outside the store... stunning floral displays gloriously staged... I'm sure Mr Selfridge would have loved seeing his store entrance looking so gorgeous.... fragrant inside and out....more adventures from 400 Oxford Street soon. x

New York moments.... The Plaza

As its the weekend of love I thought I would share some more of my New York Chick flick favourites .... starting with The Hotel of old school glamour & romance... The Plaza.
The Plaza opened its doors in October 1907 on the corner of 5th Avenue and Central Park south, and became the most sought after address to reside at. Originally,The Plaza served as a residence for wealthy New Yorkers. Mr. and Mrs Vanderbilt were the first to sign the register. For guests who chose to rent on a nightly basis at the time, this New York City luxury hotel’s single rooms started at $2.50 per night.... now you could probably add a couple of noughts to that!

The Plaza palm court and The Champagne bar are 2 of the loveliest parts of the hotel to relax in .... whilst visiting this year I had breakfast on my last day in The Plaza which was just gorgeous and the perfect end to my stay. 
Most people will be familiar with The Plaza as it is a regular feature as a backdrop in many classic movies....something that they take pride in promoting in the hotel gift store. Outside of the Holiday period my film favourites include that classic scene from "The Way we Were".... 
replicated in Sex & the City with Big's engagement party to Natasha....
Christmas movie must for any New York fan is Home Alone 2 lost in New York, when Kevin stays in The Plaza.... here he is arriving. For old school glamour then The Great Gatzby is the movie for you in collaboration with this hotel.
The hotel has undergone many changes internally over the years, with the big foyer check-in area seen in Home Alone relocating and now exclusive for guests, however this doesn't mean that the entrance is any less impressive.... here is what greeted me when I stepped into this gorgeous hotel.
a beautiful entrance, with a huge sumptuously decorated tree, complete with Hotel Plaza packages flanked by glorious chandeliers. I couldn't resist the beautiful hand-painted Christmas bauble of the hotel and it came home with me to add to my NY holiday collection. 
The Plaza is a lovely outside as it is in and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring this lovely hotel.... even if you cant afford to stay in this very glamorous address, don't let this put you off visiting... Breakfast or Afternoon Tea in The Plaza court is gorgeous (advisable to book ahead online to secure booking) The Food court in the basement of the Hotel is filled with New York favourites and if visiting during the holiday season then look out for Santa story telling in a secret location!. Along with great movies, The Plaza is featured in many books... one of them being my friend Ali Mcnamaras From Nottinghill with Four Weddings...  a perfect accompaniment when breakfasting at The Plaza...

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Mr Grey will see you now.......


Its been one of the most talked about films over the past year and everyone has an opinion on it, but the 'Fifty' phenomenon reached it climax yesterday with the release of the movie.
It was always going to be a given that I would see the film once the casting of Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey had been announced. I had minimal expectations of the film, but after seeing it, was pleasantly surprised.  Fifty Shades is never going to win critics views, and fans opinions will be mixed depending on who you imagined would play Anna and Christian, however its a great girls movie and will tick lots of boxes.
The film is so much more about the relationship between the characters than the sex, yes there is sex in the movie and Dakota's boobs will bring envy to any women over the age of 30! but there is chemistry between the 2 characters (contrary to previous media reports) and they have nailed the characters to the book.
From the launch of the book it has divided opinions widely.... yes the story is not great, yes it is repetitive, grammatically it made every other author scream & lament about their craft, however it has added a new dimension to reading, books became sexy again. The hopeless romantic in all of us got swept up in the love story of Anna & Christian, the inner goddess in all of us wanted to meet a billionaire with a fast car, helicopter, & a red room that could give us endless hours of pleasure!...this book & movie is a very modern fairy tale.
With tickets booked months ago for The Everyman cinema at Selfridges, it was always going to be a little bit more special than the local cinema in Romford!  Best laid plans and all that meant that it ended up me & a friend from work going, as both friends who were originally coming couldn't make it... this didn't distract enjoyment once we entered the red room of the Everyman. Greeted by waiters we were handed complimentary champagne to sip, the bar and lounge were full so we decided to grab a special cocktail and head into the screening room.
Cocktail options included; Cosmo Tango, Anastasia's Mojito, Hearts & Flowers and BDSM... we opted for Rope, Tapes & Cable Ties - Sweet ripe strawberries, mixed with white rum & a sting of fresh lime.
On arrival in the screening room, a goodie bag was left for the ladies... with some fun things from the Box of Grey lingerie company, & YSL cosmetics. a bag of fun for laters....
along with champagne & cocktails, no trip to the movies is complete without a pick & mix!... Fifty style. I made some sweet bags complete with lips, cable ties, love eggs & hearts....
The film is cleverly shot and the direction of some scenes is cinematicaly gorgeous, the gliding and charlie tango scenes are lovely. There are a some awkward moments, but the these are few and the film moves along in line with the book.  Dakota Johnson is very good as Ana, and captures her innocence, naivety and 'sassyiness ' well. Jamie is gorgeous as Christian, less stern than I imagined but very very delicious in low slung denim!
For anyone who has not read the book, the end will come as a huge surprise but this of course leaves the elevator open for Fifty darker....... this movie will never win awards, but it will grab the heart of many .... for now... Laters baby xx

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Social Media Sunday ~ January

With us nearly being into the 2nd week of February,I thought it was about time that I shared some social media favourites from January. Work has been so busy I haven't had much time for fun, but social media has kept me entertained, Instagram being my favourite for January
Here is what I've been liking this month...
  • Claudia Pranata ~ discovered Claudia's instagram feed when M&S re-grammed her great styled shot of Pretzels complete with a little yellow taxi... so cute.
  • MailModels ~ a very lovely styling feed, filled with colour, & great words of wisdom.. loved this pink ensemble for friendship.
  • Emily Quinton ~ i met Emily last year, when I attended one of her styling photography workshops, I love the simplistic styling of this shot, daffodils being one of my favourite flowers, along with a gorgeous typewriter.
  • GrandCentralNYC ~ this gorgeous instagram site is filled with gorgeous pictures from Grand Central Station ... one of my favourite places to visit in NY city. So many lovely pictures, but this one with the snow, bought back lots of lovely memories from my snowy days in NY a couple of years ago.
  • KLMPink ~ love this picture of my friend Kate's fox terrier Minnie... Minniw features lots in Kates instagram account, along with lovely crafty goodies... her other Instagram site for her craft business The Homemakery is also worth a follow.
  • David Gandy - this gorgeous man has lots of likes on my instagram feed, this gorgeous photo from his home was featured for a Debretts article.... love the map wall & the desk is divine.
  • MPSinthesky ~ the metropolitan police helicopter features often in my favourite social media feeds. Loved this picture of The Shard that was taken to welcome into the new year....
  • Dantvusa ~ Another favourite instagrammer, discovered through my friend Ali Mcnamara the author... Dan's images of New York are breathtaking and you will find it hard not to like them all. This gorgeous picture of The Plaza overlooking a snowy central park is gorgeous.
  • M&S ~ David Gandy in a suit for the Spring Summer collection is delicious!... i do not need to say anymore.
  • and finally this gorgeous happy smiley baby is my god-daughters son... born at the end of October, his happy smiley face is a daily feed in my instagram and it doesn't do anything other than bring a huge smile to my face.... can't wait to meet him when I travel to Scotland soon.
Thankyou to all for brightening up my January..... here's a few images of what I've been IG'ing in January... featuring Flowers, Movie's, New York, and shades of grey!
and previous Social Media Sunday posts...... what have you been favouriting, liking & re-tweeting this month?...

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Musical Moment in Times Square...


Times Square over the 20 years that I have been visiting New York has evolved immensely.... it has gone from being a sleazy junction of electric bill boards to a very busy predominately pedestrianised family location.Crowds gather at multiple locations, early morning to feature in the back drop of Good Morning America, or at the Ticket booth for discount Broadway shows, there is always something happening.
On my first night in New York I was returning to my hotel via Times square, I had earlier in the evening walked up to the Rockefeller and along 5th soaking up the sights and sounds.
On turning into Times square at 48th, I noticed that something was happening in the square and it was extraordinarily loud and lots of red screens.... a friendly NYPD officer who was holding a "Do Not Cross" tape asked if I was going to the 'show' and if so I could sneak in the side entrance!..... I opted to duck in the side, having no idea what was going on, to be greeted by a huge red stage which was hosting U2 for an unannounced gig for World Aids Day.  With Bono incapacitated from a bike accident they were being fronted by Chris Martin in a fab Substi2u T-shirt.
Even though the weather was turning a little damp, I chose to stay for a while and watch 2 music icons perform on stage.....it really was a beautiful day.... closely followed by With or without you
Its not often you get to see one of America's rock legends for free in Times Square, but I did experience that as Bruce Springsteen joined U2 on stage ....... soaking up the moment was magical. 
As I was watching I had a complete klutz moment and ended up tripping over the man next to me, who gallantly helped me up, when I looked up to thank him I came face to face with Bill Clinton!.... the klutz then became a stuttering idiot and just about managed to murmur thank you.... by this stage I though it was best to make a hasty exit before an FBI agent apprehended me!
I couldn't have planned a better first night in New York  if I had tried.... completely unexpected with some fantastic memories that will stay with me into my old age!....heading back to my hotel a little wet & cold but with a big smile and a bucket list moment to talk about.....
What a fantastic start to my 5 days in New York....

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Welcome to New York...

8 weeks ago I landed in the city that doesn't sleep for 5 days of city living New York style... with Christmas & financial year end I haven't had much time to sort my photo's and post any of my adventures... but February's here and I'm determined to share them with you through this month!...
My New York adventure kicked off at Heathrow and this year I flew Delta and was upgraded at the point that I checked in!... with a comfy seat / bed, films & food and drink on tap the 7 hour flight passed in a blink of an eye...Landing at lunchtime in JFK refreshed & relaxed was a lovely and after the regulatory queues through immigration and customs I was soon in arrivals. This year unlike many others I opted to travel into Manhattan via the airtrain and subway. I have always taken the shuttle bus or taxi but after several visits to the city, I was confident that I would be able to get to my hotel via the train without getting lost!....
The air train took me to the Long Island Rail Road where I swapped over to the subway (E) train to Times Square. ... what a breeze, and for the bargain price of $7, instead of a $70 taxi! and only took an hour (traffic dependent this can be considerably longer via taxi/shuttle)
Travelling by train I got to see a different approach to the city and its fabulous landscape, which I snapped from the train
I found the train so straight forward that I decided that if my luggage allowed I would travel back this way, saving $'s both ways.
Arriving into Times Square mid afternoon my hotel was a short walk from the subway on West 45th street. I stayed at a little hotel called Room Mate Grace, which was in a great location, free wifi, a very comfy bed and a very funky swimming pool...
New York room's are small, (unless you book luxury), this hotel ticked lots of boxes for me and although it was basic it was in an ideal location, had a small fridge, flat screen TV, comfy double bed (raised on a platform) and very luxurious bedding and very funky wallpaper!... perfect sleeping zone after busy days in the city.
With bags dumped and unpacked I headed out to explore the city!...... pop back tomorrow  when I share my first night adventures in New York City, featuring rock stars & former presidents!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Goodbye January,Hello February....

wow where did that month go?....
I know where mine went........ it was spent sitting at my desk, getting the year end closed. I did amongst the paperwork have some fun, and caught up with some friends.
For the past couple of years my blogging friend Caroline from Mrs M's Meanderings  visits London with her mum for a few days. We have caught up for drinks and a chat, this year we gossiped for an hour over a bottle of wine on the roof of Selfridges at Le Chalet.... it was so lovely to see them both and gave a welcome break from a pile of paperwork and a huge amount of stress over my car/hire car... thank you for letting off load!.
As previously blogged my little Florence was stolen early December, which resulted in a hire car for 28 days and the hassle of sorting out insurance. I had intermittent warning light problems with the hire car and by the time I returned the car I was concerned that the breaks were failing. I pointed this out at the drop off, one week later the hire car company telephoned me to say that I had damaged the suspension and was required to pay £250... having only driven 200 miles in the vehicle I was quite alarmed. This has been ongoing during January, thankfully after many conversations, the hire company finally dropped all claims for payment on Friday.
With no car, a hike to and from the station is now part of my daily commute. This winter I have discovered the joys and warmth of cashmere, courtesy of my gorgeous Mulberry scarf and gloves.  Uggs have been keeping both my feet and ears warm, which have been perfect for a chilly January morning!... especially as I can link my earmuffs to my ipod!
Other things that have been giving me a warm glow was spending one glorious morning at the roof garden of the newly opened Sky Garden in the city, enjoying breakfast and the fabulous views it has to offer. January also saw London awash with stylish men as London kicked off Mens London collection... it was great fun seeing my stylist friend Joe, out & about with the gorgeous David Gandy! Talking of gorgeous H&M launched David Beckham's spring collection this month, which included gratuitous underwear shots being released to the press...
Downtime this month was spent blog planning and catching up on The Fall series 2 with the delicious serial killer Jamie Dornan.... who in February will become Christian Grey!... Oh My!
I hope that you all had a lovely January filled with warming treats... here's to a very flirty, shades of grey February!...
laters x