Tuesday, 23 September 2014

London Fashion Week: According to Instagram

Over the years I've heard numerous complaints and debates about the affects of social media, and blogging, on Fashion Week. And although both express valid points, I can't help but find Instagram one of the best ways to keep up to date on the entire event. 

Instagram gives you that bit extra. It personalises the whole fashion week experience, and helps fellow bloggers interact. Most importantly, it makes it accessible to those who aren't lucky enough to get a ticket. 

So, instead of the usual perfectly-polished snaps you're used to seeing, here are some of my favourite off-guard Instagram moments.

Picture credits

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Can't Cook. Will Cook.

Cooking isn't my strong point, but when you make the decision to change your lifestyle for the better, you also make the decision to learn.

For most people the word "healthy" usually conjures up thoughts of tasteless ingredients and minimal portion sizes, but this could not be further from the truth. Healthy food does not have to be boring, and over the past week I have been in the kitchen, experimenting and testing my cooking skills.

Here are some of my guilt-free, healthy, nutritious and easy to make dinner recipes.

Tofu Stir Fry
Ingredients: Tofu, broccoli (part cooked), red pepper, cherry tomatoes, coconut oil, light soy sauce, ginger.

Falafel Wraps
Ingredients: whole meal wraps, lettuce, carrot, cucumber, soya yogurt, fresh lime juice.

Courgette Noodles (Using a mandoline peeler)
Ingredients: 2 x courgettes, chick peas, king prawns, cherry tomatoes, green pesto. 

Egg Muffins x 4 
Ingredients: 2 x eggs, spinach (chopped), mushrooms, almond milk.

Baked Sweet Potato with Parsnip and Carrot Chips
Ingredients: sweet potato, 1 x parsnip, half a carrot, asparagus, red onion, kale, coconut oil, black pepper. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Alexander Wang x H&M

It's official! It's happening! My excitement levels are at an all time high. Pictures! We need pictures!? 

Release date November 6th. Start saving! 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Home Sweet Home

A few months ago I moved into my first flat. Initially I was very excited by the idea of having my own place, but one I thing I didn't count on was how much work it would take to achieve my desired, dream apartment.

It's not that I'm fussy, it's just that I have a unique vision which stops me happily walking into a furniture store and buying the same thing as everyone else. I suppose some would say its a hindrance of having such a creative mind, I however, find it nothing but a positive.

My creativity allows me to think (excuse the clique) "out of the box", and therefore the extra time I spend sourcing unique pieces is, for me, nothing but exciting - I'm able to imagine a 'piece of old junk' as an upcycled thing of beauty, and for this I am very thankful.

Here are some of my interior inspirations.

Pink Bedroom by designer Benjamin Noriega Ortiz 

When it comes to decorating I like to stick to a very neutral palette; and by this I mean white and grey. However, I'm not someone who can live in a completely stark, minimalist environment and so I add colour with bold accessories. 

Magazine rack by Frederik Roije

Kiss Her by Bianca Hall wall art. My latest purchase.

I will be posting the pictures of my own apartment very soon. 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Living the Good Life


Back in January I wrote a post about how I was planning on living a healthier 2014. Well, it's now 2 months on and I can happily say it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

I reached my goal of losing 23lbs and dropping 2 dress sizes in February, and once my diet had ended I was able to maintain my new healthy lifestyle. I cook every meal I eat, I've been learning to bake and I'm excited about my increasing strength and fitness levels in the gym. 

I now want to share what I have learnt. Here's my advice to anyone considering a healthy lifestyle change.

1. Drink 2litres of water a day.

2. Never mistake hunger for thirst, if you're not drinking enough water you will think you're hungry. 

3. Do not cut everything out straight away, do it gradually. If you are looking to lose weight you can start by cutting down your portion sizes and stopping when you are full.

4. Don't drink your calories. I heard about one lady drinking almost 2500 calories in one Saturday night of binge drinking! That's the equivalent of a grown mans daily food intake.

5. Do your research and be aware that during the first week of any new diet you are more than likely to experience headaches and insomnia. (I had both of these) 

6. Drinking water infused with lemon will help protect your immune system, detoxify your body and burn fat. You can also add things like, lime, mint, cucumber and various fruits/frozen fruits. 

7. It won't happen overnight. 

8. You can't out exercise a bad diet. 

9. Do not weigh yourself everyday. And remember, muscle weighs more than fat. 

10. It is a lifestyle choice, not a quick fix. If you're serious about what you want to achieve you will have to change your habits long term.  

11. Do not attempt to exercise without the correct footwear. You may think it's ok to begin with but running in the wrong trainers could cause you a whole bunch of long term knee and back problems. Trust me, I've seen it happen. 

12. If you hate exercise don't panic, it only takes 21 days to become addicted. (Proven fact)

13. Make sure you are eating at least 3 meals a day (I eat 6!) Do not on any circumstances attempt to starve yourself or deprive yourself of food.

14. Always eat breakfast! 

15. Exercise will make you happy and more energetic. (yet again, another proven fact)

16. Know that there is an end in sight, and usually one containing a brighter, fitter, healthier and stronger version of yourself who is in need of an entire new wardrobe. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

A New Direction

My blog posts have been few and far between of late, and for this I apologise. Since I decided to revamp, A Girl Playing Dress Up, last year, I have found myself at a bit of a loss as to which direction to take my blog; now that I'm 28, and my interests and life since I began blogging have somewhat changed.

I first started this blog in January 2010 as a party loving, single, first year fashion student. I now live a completely tee-total life by the seaside and spend my Saturday nights in front of the TV with my boyfriend, drinking tea and riffling through interior design magazines. 

You see, as I've grown older I've learnt what really makes me tick and how I want to live my life - and I want to share this with you in the most honest way possible, but I can only do this by being true to myself and the person I am today. So as of right now, A Girl Playing Dress Up, will no longer just be a fashion blog, it will be a lifestyle blog and feature everything I am passionate about; from interiors, to fitness, to beauty, and yes, my wonderful boyfriend.

To get started here are a few of my most recent Instagram snaps.

New make up haul. My favourite pieces from the high street. I'd been trying to get my hands on the MUA 'Reckless' lip stain for a while and finally found it last week. I will be reviewing these on the blog soon. 

A superfoods delivery from Holland & Barrett. I've learnt a lot about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle these past few months and cannot wait to try these.

In February I was in and out of hospital with viral meningitis. I spent a total of 16 days flat in a bed wishing I was outside enjoying the sun. I now know how important it is to appreciate the little things.

I discovered a health food shop in my local town called, Grape Vine, a few days ago and was over the moon to find this Raw Virgin Coconut Oil at an affordable price. It usually retails at £17 but I got it on offer for £8. It's multi purpose, for hair, face, body and cooking. I will be sharing my verdict on the blog soon. 

One of my simple healthy dinners. This was all pre prepared as I am still recovering and dealing with extreme tiredness. I want to remain healthy so I am making sure I feed myself all the things I need.

This gift from my boyfriend arrived this morning. I return to the gym next week after what will be 6 weeks out. I'm looking forward to getting my fitness back on track with these perfect pink Nikes.

Friday, 7 February 2014

New York Fashion Week: Rebecca Minkoff

I usually wait until the end of Fashion Week to bring you my round up of all the best shows. But as I sit here alone in my bedroom scrolling through the many instagram updates of Autumn/Winter 2014, I can't but help find myself engrossed in all the beautiful clothes warming up an ice cold, New York City. 

Here's the latest from Rebecca Minkoff. 

See more here.

Friday, 31 January 2014

My Beauty Secrets: Lasting Perfection Concealer

Back in November I decided it was time to overhaul my make up bag and thought the best way to do this was to research all the best products on the market, used by beauty bloggers. I could've easily just walked into MAC and purchased everything I needed, but I wanted to find out what really works.

The first product I discovered was this Lasting Perfection concealer from Collection.

Initially I was hesitant to believe a product costing just £4.19 would fix the under eye bag issue I inherited from my parents, however, after running out of my usual concealer I thought I'd give it ago. The results were fantastic! It really works, and I urge anyone to give it a try.

Get yours here.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

A Healthy 2014

During my final year of uni I gained a lot of weight, and although I wasn't necessarily big for my height (I'm 5'10) I was very unhealthy, and the majority of the time living on processed foods, leaving me, tired, weak and bloated.

Over the past few weeks I have been frequently questioned about how I achieved my 20lb weight loss as if I took some sort of wonder drug - I wish. The truth is there is no easy solution and, extreme fad diets never work. You simply have to eat right, exercise and drink a lot of water.

I lost weight by shire determination and a complete overhauled diet. I won't lie to you, at times it has been physically and mentally draining but if you want it enough it is 100% possible.

Below are some healthy, unscary, diet friendly meal options.  

Fig & banana breakfast bowl

Green Burgers

Sweet Potato Wedges

Mushroom soup

To find out more about these recipes and more healthy food options check out my Pinterest here.