Saturday, 12 February 2011

Happy St Valentine's Day for the 14th

Celebrate St Valentine's Day by making something for the one you love. If you don't have anyone special in mind - then bake these for your friends! I bought a heart-shaped cookie cutter, found a simple recipe on the Internet and then had fun with the icing. A top tip is to recut the heart shape again when the biscuits come out of the oven. Do it straight away before they set hard. That way, if your dough has expanded during the baking process, you'll be able to present perfect hearts. Pack in tissue paper in a cardboard cake box (just ask for one at your local bakery and offer them 50p if they're not happy with giving away a freebie).  You could always decorate the box too if you're feeling creative.  If you'd like more cute and pocket-friendly Valentine gift ideas - check out my article on Ask Jeeves.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Inside fashion track

My friend Carol Morley who did the gorgeous hair and make-up for my book, is also a very talented illustrator. She's just launched her new website - I swear it's one of the CUTEST opening pages I have ever seen! Do have a look by clicking here. And check out her blog too for an insider's view of that glamorous fashion world - and live vicariously!

What can't go out must go up

For those of you who are tight on space (and if you're on a shoestring budget like me you most certainly will be) here's a great idea. Sandra, my resourceful green-fingered friend (and erstwhile BBC Royal correspondent) has written all about vertical gardening on her excellent blog. Take a look and be inspired. 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Wedding dress refashion

I was really pleased to hear back this week from the Sense charity - I featured it in my recent piece for BBC breakfast news on the £10 wedding dress. Apparently - the day the film went out, the profits in the branch I featured "significantly" increased, meaning a bit more money in the bank for those people who really need help. It's brilliant to think that the piece had a positive effect. Not only that, but I had some lovely e-mails from people telling me about their own shoestring weddings. One story which particularly caught my eye was that of Melissa Fehr. She taught herself to sew using a vintage machine and old sewing manuals, and when it came to getting married, she decided to create her own wedding dress using her Grandma's original gown from 1949. With lots of effort and ingenuity she managed to come up with the beautiful outfit below. Seeing her dress refashioned and worn by her Grandaughter must have  meant a great deal to her Granny. What a thoughtful and special thing to do. In the picture here you can see the original dress and the one Melissa made. A real labour of love!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

2011 - my friend's style resolutions

Yesterday my Portuguese friend Catarina Feria-Walsh sent me her style Bible for 2011. She reminded me that when we both lived in France a few years ago, I decided one day that I'd wear only camel and go classic. The experiment didn't last very long, and I was soon back to my bohemian ways. In her new Telegraph column, Hannah Betts advises that one should be able to sum-up one's style in three words, and that once the words are chosen, one should be able to sort one's wardrobe and one's look accordingly. I've been giving alot of thought to my perfect threesome - I'll let you know when I've found the right combination. In the meantime, here are my friend's 10 style resolutions for 2011, taking particular inspiration from her elegant and modish Grandmother. Send me your style resolutions and I'll add them to the blog.

1. Stop wearing black until next Winter or perhaps even forever!
2. Wear fun dresses ….fun not frumpy is my new motto.
3. Stop thinking I should wear my hair in a bob or sensible medium length hair because I am "mature", but go with crazy long hair, just brush it more often and style it (like my Granny would have approved of!)
4. Make-do and mend more, making fashion accessories and customising stuff.
5. Wear make-up almost everyday -  at least my pink Estee Lauder lipstick. My Granny wore lipstick every single day, even at 90, even in hospital.
6. Avoid the Mummy trap with frumpy, sports or just practical clothes covered in vomit and food that has been thrown at me.
7. Overdress more than underdress.
8. Wear old stuff that is forgotten in the wardrobe but is still stylish.
9. Say no to buying things I don't need.
10. Wear a piece of jewellery everyday to "air" it and brighten up an outfit.