Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A night of True Gold....

Earlier this month myself & 3 girl friends spent an evening reliving our youth with the Spandau Ballet boys at the O2. It's no secret that I am a huge Spandau Ballet fan, so when the tickets for their highly successful Soul Boys of the Western World tour were released my fingers were poised over the keyboard to grab them as quickly as I could.
Spandau Ballet's True tour was one of my first big concerts that I ever attended back when I was 14 years old, nothing was going to stop me seeing the 5 back on stage 30 years later. It seemed 20,000 other people thought the same as the O2 was filled to the rafters.
Spandau Ballet have always managed to span a wide fan base and this was evident within the audience range that night; 80's Blitz club devotees, new romantics male & female and the middle age women whose idols adorned their bedroom walls in their teens. Rusty Egan warmed the crowd up with a DJ set playlist legendary from his Blitz club years, before Spandau hit the stage with their new track Soul Boy
The boys were back, Tony's baritone belting out across the O2,  the Kemp brothers strumming the base and guitar in rhythmic style flanking Tony on either side of the stage, Johnnie Keeble drumming and the incredibly talented Steve Norman strutting across the set, playing percussion and sax in infinite style.... Spandau were back!
Soul Boy lead into their Parade back catalogue; comprising of
Only When You Leave 
How Many Lies 
Round and Round all with some great clips of yester year

this led nicely into a couple of new tracks, produced with Trevor Horn as part of their Soul boys story.
This Is the Love and Steal before  taking us right back to the year of 1981 and the Blitz years.With a huge glitter ball dropping from the ceiling and a hardcore base and synthesised beat rippling out across the stage it was time to pull on the frilly shirts and party new romantic style.
kicking off with the classic Chant No 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)
To Cut a Long Story Short and Raw followed
the band partied hard and finished with a heart-stopping tribute to Steve Strange, their friend & founder of the Blitz club who they had buried a few days previously. He would have loved to have seen the boys back on stage in such synthesized up style!
Glow (Instrumental played by band) After a fabulous instrumental medley from Martin, John and Steve which showcased their considerable talents as musicians, it was time for Tony & Gary to pop up in the middle of the audience for a small acoustic set of Empty Spaces and a fabulous audience participation of Gold.

  • Empty Spaces (Acoustic)
    Gold  (Acoustic singalong with audience) demonstrating how far these two had become and what talented individuals they are

  • Once More
     I'll Fly for You
    it was time for the huge hits back catalogue to get the crowd back on their feet with the boys launching into some of the crowds favourites....it was evident now that the 5 were having a ball and it really felt that issues that had kept the 5 estranged for so many years and been put aside and the crowd were loving it.
    Instinction
    Communication
    2 hours whizzed past in a flash and it was soon time for the song that launched Spandau Ballet from a North London new romantic band into global superstars, millions of girls fell in love to this song and it still has the ability make me smile, sigh and remember the guy (aside from Tony Hadley) that I fell in love with to this song...
    True
    With 20,000 people on their feet serenading Spandau as loudly as Tony was belting out the bands classic hit, flanked by the Kemp brothers, and Steve Norman taking centre stage with his epic sax solo it really was hard to believe that 30 years had passed since this school disco classic had hit the No.1 slot across the world.
    With feet stamping and shouts and claps of encore ringing around the arena the band took to the stage to finish the night with 2 of their biggest hits and favourites.... in the words of John Kebble it really did feel like the band had a better end.... with movie flash backs showcasing the struggles, friendship and love these 5 have had over the 30 years it really showcased how they had overcome the barricades to deliver True Gold..
    Encore:
    Through the Barricades



  • Gold

  • As with all legendary Spandau Ballet encores, the evening wasn't complete with a few bottles of beer and a jack daniels on stage to toast the evening with gold!
    With a final that had every one on their feet it was time for the band to take an emotional bow and party with their loved ones.... allowing 20,000 people to leave south London with a golden glow in their heart and a smile on their face.
    The Soul Boys tour will take the band across the world throughout 2015 to places that I imagine that they never thought would play again.... I hope that they enjoy those shows as much as I and my friends enjoyed the O2... it really has been a Journey of Glory for these 5 boys from Islington, and they delivered a truly stylish set of nostalgic gold. Having been at the Albert Hall for the movie premiere and the O2 for the 2009 reformation tour ut really does feel like this band has found the thing that made them great in their hey day and as a fan I am happy and thankful to have seen them back on stage together again. The 5 have still got it and flaunted it in style !                                            I shared some of my images on instagram the following day and to my delight it seems that Gary Kemp liked them too....

    Tuesday, 24 March 2015

    March madness...

    Its hard to believe that March is nearly over and Easter is around the corner.... Life for me over the past couple of weeks has been hectic and full of surprises, some lovely and some shocking.
    I hope to share in more detail my March adventures in the next week, but here is a little sample of what |I've been doing to keep me away from the ipad!
    • Spandau Ballet - had a fabulous evening at the O2 with old friends reliving my teens for a night of True Gold Through the Barricades with the Ballet boys.... a huge post to follow for this. (still editing photo's!)
    • Fun in a Fiat 500!.... the first week of March saw me drive off the forecourt a fun and flirty Fiat 500 ... much fun has been has in this, a lovely replacement for my Florence who was stolen in December.... still deciding on a a name for this little shade of grey!
    • Mr Selfridge turned a lovely shade of green for St Patrick's Day, which glowed in the evening light.  
    • Spent a leisurely afternoon having lunch with my oldest friend, gossiping, laughing and eating lots in the lovely surroundings of One Aldwych hotel in London.
    • The Baking fairy has been busy again, this time for a friends surprise 60th birthday, complete with leopard print cupcakes, shoes & handbag!
    • Mothers Day saw me spend time with my mum, visit the cemetery and enjoy some cuddles with the Kits. Returned to work after the mothers day weekend to the news that a colleague within my team had passed away that day. He had only been unwell in hospital for a couple of weeks and had undiagnosed cancer which took him very quickly. He leaves 2 boys and a mum who has already lost her daughter to cancer, its so sad.                                                               Its been a really difficult couple of weeks and really brings home how short life is... I'm determined to enjoy the little things and times spent with loved ones.
    • I still have some lovely things planned for March, and look forward to sharing them over the next couple of weeks, but for now I'm having a few days of chilling, reflecting and sharing fun memories of a friend & colleague that will be irreplaceable.


    Monday, 9 March 2015

    Book Love ~ February

    This week's blog post theme is Books, I have plans to share some book adventures here and across the pond from my visit to New York. However I am  kicking off with what has been keeping me entertained & offering escapism on my daily commute through the tunnels of the London tube
    • It felt like a Kiss ~ Sarra Manning - Ellie has a lovely life, a family that love her, a fab job in a Mayfair Art gallery, fabulous friends & lots of fun... the only bleak point in her life; is that she is the daughter of a famous rock star, whom fails to acknowledge her existent. Ellies life is turned upside when a bitter ex sells her story to the press, her job, reputation & family life is torn apart.... in walks David Gold her fathers lawyer to help manage the situation & media... here's where the story begins with half truths & perceptions clouding judgement at each chapter. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it has great supporting characters and you warm to Ellie instantly. Her love & loyalty to her family is heartwarming and as her relationship grows with David you really hope that everything works out for her. 
    • Beneath the Moon & Stars ~ Amelia Thorne - this is the first of 2 reads from Amelia this month..Joy moves into the village, a stones throw from her childhood home, which has won the accolade of "the friendliest village in the uk" and finds that actually that is a myth. Joy also finds herself living next to a teenage movie movie star who for some reason has taken a dislike to her. Joy however is desperate to try and put down some roots, something she has been struggling with since her childhood. Befriended by the secret gay in the village, Joy trys to overturn the villagers misconceptions of her. This was a delightful book, with a gorgeous hero and a fun and feisty heroine,a lovely book which will make you laugh, get agitated and swoon and hope that you may get a next door neighbour like Finn move in next to you!
    • Love Lies & Louboutins ~ Katie Oliver - Katie has written a fabulous series of books in her Austen inspired novels and ticks so many of my boxes... this follows on from Gemmas adventures in "And the Bride wore Prada" where she married wayward rockstar Dominic Heath. Her marriage vows are sorely tested when an old flame Jack appears and it looks like her husband has gone AWOL with a teenage pop sensation. Gemma finds herself getting caught up with an investigation Jack is involved in, involving the abduction of his niece Jools. It was great to catch-up with some characters from Katie's previous books and I loved how they all intertwined... can't wait for book 3 Manolo's in Manhattan
    • The Perfect Match ~ Katie Fforde - it was a joy to curl up on the tube with a KF novel, I really enjoyed this book. Bella escapes her life and finds her self living with her godmother. Engaged to her boss Nevil, she is the sweetheart estate agent of the village. Bella is a nice person, moral and sees the good in all, however she starts to question her relationship when things start to unravel at work. Bella's life unravels more when the nephew of an elderly friend turns up and out to be the unrequited married crush that she fled from previously..... with many side stories, along with glorious locations, this book really does offer fabulous escapism and hope for us over 40's that there is someone out there for us all!
    • Love me for me ~ Jenny Hale - Libby looses the perfect job, fiancee and apartment in New York overnight and finds herself back in the Virginia seaside town that she fled 12 years previously. Here she has to face many demons, the biggest in the shape of her 1st love, high school sweetheart and ex Pete. Although predictable, this book deals with many heart wrenching issues, the biggest being senile dementia. Libby frustrated me at times, but I still enjoyed this book and the life in this delightful seaside town on the east coast.
    • Tied up with Love - Amelia Thorne - this book is sheer escapism from start to finish with a very hot hero!.... Izzy finds herself abducted from the street in broad daylight, blindfolded and handcuffed and thrown in the back of a van, all it seems in the name of love and a very big issue of mistaken identity. Tied to a bed and starring at the delicious Ethan Chase, Izzy realises that things cant be all bad and she could turn this to her advantage... recently jobless Izzy blackmails Ethan to give her a job at "Kidnap my Wife" sexual fantasy business. Sparks soon flair and a romp of a read entails.
    • Books that tick my boxes on a commute are those that have the ability to transport me to somewhere other than a cattle truck carriage, where sweaty armpits are a regular feature in my face and a seat is a luxury. Amelia Thorne does that in this book.... having just finished watching The Arrow 2 it wasn't hard to imagine Stephen Amell as the delicious Ethan Hawke from the narrative & description Amelia wrote. How much fun was it to then see this video on twitter from the talented Tay from @Chicksthatread on twitter, of Amelias book Tied up with Love.
      As you can see I've read a an fun mix this month and enjoyed all of them.Here are some previous book posts & literary loves. Pop back this week when I share more Literary loves from across the pond in NY.
      ...what have you been reading? did you love it or did it not live up to expectation?

    Sunday, 8 March 2015

    Social Media Sunday ~ February

    Its that time of the month when I share what I've been 'hearting' on Social Media.... with spring just around the corner my likes have been influenced by the lighter mornings and life in London, along with some icy images from New York.
    Instagram
    Usatoday ~ this photo of the Circle line ferry cutting its way through the icy Hudson river is just fabulous. The weather on the eastern seaboard of the US has been particularly harsh this winter, I hope that they see signs of spring soon.
    Pete ~ Loved the image of the 2 newest high views of the city ~ Sky Garden & the Shard as the sun was setting.
    Ali Mcnamara ~ Ali's snap of New Year celebrations in Chinatown London is glorious, the red against the beautiful blue sky is stunning.
    BreadaheadBoroughMarket  ~ along with sharing what are probably the best doughnuts in the Uk, Bread Ahead also shares some fabulous images of sunrise & sunsets in London. I love this image of dawn sneaking above the skyline.
    DanTVusa ~ this gorgeous christmas card image of a snowy skyline of New York is perfect, and sums up the city  in the snow. Dan is one of my favourite photographers and was thrilled to see him featured recently in the daily mail. congrats Dan .
    westelmlondon 's images around London and their styling of homewares and crafts is just delicious. this homeware store from across the pond is a hidden gem on Tottenham court road. This image of 2 icons of London in glorious red is a perfect image of February in London, when lots of landmarks light red for Valentines and Chinese new year.
    David Gandy Official ~ SMS wouldn't be complete without a gratuitous shot of the delicious David Gandy!... this is one from a set recently shot for GQ Thialand!... phew!!!
    Twitter
    sharing a couple of images from above the London skyline and along the London waterways from 2 of my twitter favourites - MPS Helicopters and Tower RNLI both do a fabulous job of keeping us Londoners safe and sharing some glorious images at the same time.... how beautiful does London look at sunrise & sunset....
    Thankyou to all for brightening up my February..... Here's a few images of what I've been IG'ing in February... featuring Flowers, Cakes, New York, and several shades of grey!
    if you have enjoyed this monthly post her are my previous Social Media Sunday posts...... what have you been favouriting, liking & re-tweeting this month?...

    Friday, 6 March 2015

    T's Tv treats...

    It's been sometime since I shared some treats that have been keeping me entertained on the TV. With January & February's work schedule being hectic, it doesn't leave me much time to do a great deal, however I have relaxed a little by catching up on some TV favourites and a few movie moments.
    TV treats

    • Broadchurch - a slow burn for me, and one of the few things I watch 'live' to avoid all the spoilers on social media. Series 1 was one of my favourites in 2014, but this didn't excite me as much... great cast, and superb acting but story-line slow & weak in places.... not sure series 3 can go with this.
    •  Gogglebox  - a much welcome return to this 'fly on the wall' have loved both episodes and have laughed out loud lots!... too many good moments to mention, but Wolf Hall, & Basic Instinct proving much fun with viewers.
    •  The Good Wife - fallen back in love with this US show. Back for series 6, its full of legalities, intrigue & politics... perfect for me, along with some gorgeous eye candy in the shape of Steven Pasquale as Johnny Elfmann, Alica's campaign manager for her run as State Attorney.
    • Silent Witness - thoroughly enjoyed the return of this series, all double episodes were gripping and dramatic. Definitely felt like this series was back on top after a couple of weak series. I'm completely hooked on anything forensic, a throw-back to my youth and desire to be a pathologist.
    • Eastenders - its hard to believe that Eastenders is 30 years old, and enjoyed the 'live' week leading to the big reveal of Lucy Beales killer.  Danny Dyer is definitely turning into one of my favourite characters. Good to see EE back and delivering some great storylines.
    • Cucumber - is the 'Queer as Folk' of this generation. It is as shocking as queer as folk was 20 years ago, but often fun, moving and naughty!... I wouldn't expect anything else from Russel T Davies.
    Movie Moments:  february saw me catch-up on some oldies that have been languishing in my 'to watch' pile, and re-visiting a favourite.
    • The Arrow - season 2 - very late to The Arrow party but completely hooked on this series. Sheer escapism from start to finish with some very delicious eye candy in Oliver Queen aka Steven Amall.
    • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - a delightful little film filled with some of the nations favourite and much loved actors / actresses. I really enjoyed this heartwarming movie, featuring 3 of my favourites Judi Dench, Bill Nighy & Maggie Smith...  a joy from start to finish... will be going to cinema to see the sequel.
    • The Sweeney ~ when it was announced that The Sweeney would be re-made with Ray Winstone as Reagan I was intrigued. The Sweeney is an old skool classic, however I enjoyed the remake, it was rough, ready and full of the classic Sweeney moments, with a twist of humour. With supporting cast of Damian Lewis & Plan B... its full of car chases, cops & villains and Ray Winstone at his East End best.
    • The Thomas Crown Affair -  this movie got a dusting off the DVD shelf as not only is it one of my favourites, but in my opinion is the original "Fifty Shades".... this movie is as slick, sexy, cinematic and stylish... featuring a bored billionaire who pulls off a heist from the Metropolitan museum of Art in new York.  Pierce Brosnan  plays Mr Crown who seduces the Insurance investigator (played by the stunning Renee Russo) by flying her off to a Caribbean island where clothes are an option, soaring above the skys in a glider and shagging her senseless across his stunning upper east side townhouse!... can you see the similarities!... this movie without a doubt influenced EL James ... check out the trailer here
    What has been keeping your attention on the TV... or what are you looking forward to this Spring?... would love to hear?... 

    Sunday, 1 March 2015

    Hello March.....

    I am so happy that March is here.... I feel like I can now start living.
    As previously blogged my February was both frustrating and fun .. I am hoping March will be more fun and less frustrations...
    Jan & Feb get written off in my social calendar as I am just too tired to do anything much... however I have birthdays and some very special days planned with friends in March that I am really looking forward along with just spending time with loved ones.
    With the mornings and evenings getting lighter it feels like 2015 can properly begin.
    I have some mini goals:
    • Walk more --- being car less I have had to walk / bus to the station. This hasn't been as much of a chore as I originally thought and have enjoyed my ipod and listening books. I have favourited a few walking articles; Walking yourself to Happiness in Good Housekeeping and 10 walking treats in London from on Around the world in 80 pairs of shoes. I am looking forward to breaking in my new trainers that Santa bought me!.... lovely Liberty print Nikes.
    • Spring Clean --- currently on a plan one bag in and one bag out... I cant bring anything into the house without a correlating bag of rubbish/ stuff exiting!...
    • Friends - catch-up with loved ones and send some quality time together, many of which I haven't seen since Christmas.
    As you can see the blog has had its March make-over....
     plumping this month for one of my favourite colours burgundy / mulberry.. this years colour from Pantone. My header is showcasing some beauty favourites from Charlotte Tibury & Chanel and desk staples from Kate Spade, Henri Bendel, Smythson & Mont Blanc.
    My plans for March feature the following:
    • One Aldwych - lunch with friends
    • An evening of Gold with friends and Spandau Ballet.
    • Fashion & Glamour at the Alexander McQueens Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A
    • 2 friends hit the big 60 in March... with celebrations and fun things planned, March is sure to be fun.
    and finally I will be picking up the following:.......
    my very own Shades of Grey in the guise of a fun and flirty Fiat 500!... so excited!

    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

    Tuesday, 31 March 2015

    A night of True Gold....

    Earlier this month myself & 3 girl friends spent an evening reliving our youth with the Spandau Ballet boys at the O2. It's no secret that I am a huge Spandau Ballet fan, so when the tickets for their highly successful Soul Boys of the Western World tour were released my fingers were poised over the keyboard to grab them as quickly as I could.
    Spandau Ballet's True tour was one of my first big concerts that I ever attended back when I was 14 years old, nothing was going to stop me seeing the 5 back on stage 30 years later. It seemed 20,000 other people thought the same as the O2 was filled to the rafters.
    Spandau Ballet have always managed to span a wide fan base and this was evident within the audience range that night; 80's Blitz club devotees, new romantics male & female and the middle age women whose idols adorned their bedroom walls in their teens. Rusty Egan warmed the crowd up with a DJ set playlist legendary from his Blitz club years, before Spandau hit the stage with their new track Soul Boy
    The boys were back, Tony's baritone belting out across the O2,  the Kemp brothers strumming the base and guitar in rhythmic style flanking Tony on either side of the stage, Johnnie Keeble drumming and the incredibly talented Steve Norman strutting across the set, playing percussion and sax in infinite style.... Spandau were back!
    Soul Boy lead into their Parade back catalogue; comprising of
    Only When You Leave 
    How Many Lies 
    Round and Round all with some great clips of yester year

    this led nicely into a couple of new tracks, produced with Trevor Horn as part of their Soul boys story.
    This Is the Love and Steal before  taking us right back to the year of 1981 and the Blitz years.With a huge glitter ball dropping from the ceiling and a hardcore base and synthesised beat rippling out across the stage it was time to pull on the frilly shirts and party new romantic style.
    kicking off with the classic Chant No 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)
    To Cut a Long Story Short and Raw followed
    the band partied hard and finished with a heart-stopping tribute to Steve Strange, their friend & founder of the Blitz club who they had buried a few days previously. He would have loved to have seen the boys back on stage in such synthesized up style!
    Glow (Instrumental played by band) After a fabulous instrumental medley from Martin, John and Steve which showcased their considerable talents as musicians, it was time for Tony & Gary to pop up in the middle of the audience for a small acoustic set of Empty Spaces and a fabulous audience participation of Gold.

  • Empty Spaces (Acoustic)
    Gold  (Acoustic singalong with audience) demonstrating how far these two had become and what talented individuals they are

  • Once More
     I'll Fly for You
    it was time for the huge hits back catalogue to get the crowd back on their feet with the boys launching into some of the crowds favourites....it was evident now that the 5 were having a ball and it really felt that issues that had kept the 5 estranged for so many years and been put aside and the crowd were loving it.
    Instinction
    Communication
    2 hours whizzed past in a flash and it was soon time for the song that launched Spandau Ballet from a North London new romantic band into global superstars, millions of girls fell in love to this song and it still has the ability make me smile, sigh and remember the guy (aside from Tony Hadley) that I fell in love with to this song...
    True
    With 20,000 people on their feet serenading Spandau as loudly as Tony was belting out the bands classic hit, flanked by the Kemp brothers, and Steve Norman taking centre stage with his epic sax solo it really was hard to believe that 30 years had passed since this school disco classic had hit the No.1 slot across the world.
    With feet stamping and shouts and claps of encore ringing around the arena the band took to the stage to finish the night with 2 of their biggest hits and favourites.... in the words of John Kebble it really did feel like the band had a better end.... with movie flash backs showcasing the struggles, friendship and love these 5 have had over the 30 years it really showcased how they had overcome the barricades to deliver True Gold..
    Encore:
    Through the Barricades



  • Gold

  • As with all legendary Spandau Ballet encores, the evening wasn't complete with a few bottles of beer and a jack daniels on stage to toast the evening with gold!
    With a final that had every one on their feet it was time for the band to take an emotional bow and party with their loved ones.... allowing 20,000 people to leave south London with a golden glow in their heart and a smile on their face.
    The Soul Boys tour will take the band across the world throughout 2015 to places that I imagine that they never thought would play again.... I hope that they enjoy those shows as much as I and my friends enjoyed the O2... it really has been a Journey of Glory for these 5 boys from Islington, and they delivered a truly stylish set of nostalgic gold. Having been at the Albert Hall for the movie premiere and the O2 for the 2009 reformation tour ut really does feel like this band has found the thing that made them great in their hey day and as a fan I am happy and thankful to have seen them back on stage together again. The 5 have still got it and flaunted it in style !                                            I shared some of my images on instagram the following day and to my delight it seems that Gary Kemp liked them too....

    Tuesday, 24 March 2015

    March madness...

    Its hard to believe that March is nearly over and Easter is around the corner.... Life for me over the past couple of weeks has been hectic and full of surprises, some lovely and some shocking.
    I hope to share in more detail my March adventures in the next week, but here is a little sample of what |I've been doing to keep me away from the ipad!
    • Spandau Ballet - had a fabulous evening at the O2 with old friends reliving my teens for a night of True Gold Through the Barricades with the Ballet boys.... a huge post to follow for this. (still editing photo's!)
    • Fun in a Fiat 500!.... the first week of March saw me drive off the forecourt a fun and flirty Fiat 500 ... much fun has been has in this, a lovely replacement for my Florence who was stolen in December.... still deciding on a a name for this little shade of grey!
    • Mr Selfridge turned a lovely shade of green for St Patrick's Day, which glowed in the evening light.  
    • Spent a leisurely afternoon having lunch with my oldest friend, gossiping, laughing and eating lots in the lovely surroundings of One Aldwych hotel in London.
    • The Baking fairy has been busy again, this time for a friends surprise 60th birthday, complete with leopard print cupcakes, shoes & handbag!
    • Mothers Day saw me spend time with my mum, visit the cemetery and enjoy some cuddles with the Kits. Returned to work after the mothers day weekend to the news that a colleague within my team had passed away that day. He had only been unwell in hospital for a couple of weeks and had undiagnosed cancer which took him very quickly. He leaves 2 boys and a mum who has already lost her daughter to cancer, its so sad.                                                               Its been a really difficult couple of weeks and really brings home how short life is... I'm determined to enjoy the little things and times spent with loved ones.
    • I still have some lovely things planned for March, and look forward to sharing them over the next couple of weeks, but for now I'm having a few days of chilling, reflecting and sharing fun memories of a friend & colleague that will be irreplaceable.


    Monday, 9 March 2015

    Book Love ~ February

    This week's blog post theme is Books, I have plans to share some book adventures here and across the pond from my visit to New York. However I am  kicking off with what has been keeping me entertained & offering escapism on my daily commute through the tunnels of the London tube
    • It felt like a Kiss ~ Sarra Manning - Ellie has a lovely life, a family that love her, a fab job in a Mayfair Art gallery, fabulous friends & lots of fun... the only bleak point in her life; is that she is the daughter of a famous rock star, whom fails to acknowledge her existent. Ellies life is turned upside when a bitter ex sells her story to the press, her job, reputation & family life is torn apart.... in walks David Gold her fathers lawyer to help manage the situation & media... here's where the story begins with half truths & perceptions clouding judgement at each chapter. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it has great supporting characters and you warm to Ellie instantly. Her love & loyalty to her family is heartwarming and as her relationship grows with David you really hope that everything works out for her. 
    • Beneath the Moon & Stars ~ Amelia Thorne - this is the first of 2 reads from Amelia this month..Joy moves into the village, a stones throw from her childhood home, which has won the accolade of "the friendliest village in the uk" and finds that actually that is a myth. Joy also finds herself living next to a teenage movie movie star who for some reason has taken a dislike to her. Joy however is desperate to try and put down some roots, something she has been struggling with since her childhood. Befriended by the secret gay in the village, Joy trys to overturn the villagers misconceptions of her. This was a delightful book, with a gorgeous hero and a fun and feisty heroine,a lovely book which will make you laugh, get agitated and swoon and hope that you may get a next door neighbour like Finn move in next to you!
    • Love Lies & Louboutins ~ Katie Oliver - Katie has written a fabulous series of books in her Austen inspired novels and ticks so many of my boxes... this follows on from Gemmas adventures in "And the Bride wore Prada" where she married wayward rockstar Dominic Heath. Her marriage vows are sorely tested when an old flame Jack appears and it looks like her husband has gone AWOL with a teenage pop sensation. Gemma finds herself getting caught up with an investigation Jack is involved in, involving the abduction of his niece Jools. It was great to catch-up with some characters from Katie's previous books and I loved how they all intertwined... can't wait for book 3 Manolo's in Manhattan
    • The Perfect Match ~ Katie Fforde - it was a joy to curl up on the tube with a KF novel, I really enjoyed this book. Bella escapes her life and finds her self living with her godmother. Engaged to her boss Nevil, she is the sweetheart estate agent of the village. Bella is a nice person, moral and sees the good in all, however she starts to question her relationship when things start to unravel at work. Bella's life unravels more when the nephew of an elderly friend turns up and out to be the unrequited married crush that she fled from previously..... with many side stories, along with glorious locations, this book really does offer fabulous escapism and hope for us over 40's that there is someone out there for us all!
    • Love me for me ~ Jenny Hale - Libby looses the perfect job, fiancee and apartment in New York overnight and finds herself back in the Virginia seaside town that she fled 12 years previously. Here she has to face many demons, the biggest in the shape of her 1st love, high school sweetheart and ex Pete. Although predictable, this book deals with many heart wrenching issues, the biggest being senile dementia. Libby frustrated me at times, but I still enjoyed this book and the life in this delightful seaside town on the east coast.
    • Tied up with Love - Amelia Thorne - this book is sheer escapism from start to finish with a very hot hero!.... Izzy finds herself abducted from the street in broad daylight, blindfolded and handcuffed and thrown in the back of a van, all it seems in the name of love and a very big issue of mistaken identity. Tied to a bed and starring at the delicious Ethan Chase, Izzy realises that things cant be all bad and she could turn this to her advantage... recently jobless Izzy blackmails Ethan to give her a job at "Kidnap my Wife" sexual fantasy business. Sparks soon flair and a romp of a read entails.
    • Books that tick my boxes on a commute are those that have the ability to transport me to somewhere other than a cattle truck carriage, where sweaty armpits are a regular feature in my face and a seat is a luxury. Amelia Thorne does that in this book.... having just finished watching The Arrow 2 it wasn't hard to imagine Stephen Amell as the delicious Ethan Hawke from the narrative & description Amelia wrote. How much fun was it to then see this video on twitter from the talented Tay from @Chicksthatread on twitter, of Amelias book Tied up with Love.
      As you can see I've read a an fun mix this month and enjoyed all of them.Here are some previous book posts & literary loves. Pop back this week when I share more Literary loves from across the pond in NY.
      ...what have you been reading? did you love it or did it not live up to expectation?

    Sunday, 8 March 2015

    Social Media Sunday ~ February

    Its that time of the month when I share what I've been 'hearting' on Social Media.... with spring just around the corner my likes have been influenced by the lighter mornings and life in London, along with some icy images from New York.
    Instagram
    Usatoday ~ this photo of the Circle line ferry cutting its way through the icy Hudson river is just fabulous. The weather on the eastern seaboard of the US has been particularly harsh this winter, I hope that they see signs of spring soon.
    Pete ~ Loved the image of the 2 newest high views of the city ~ Sky Garden & the Shard as the sun was setting.
    Ali Mcnamara ~ Ali's snap of New Year celebrations in Chinatown London is glorious, the red against the beautiful blue sky is stunning.
    BreadaheadBoroughMarket  ~ along with sharing what are probably the best doughnuts in the Uk, Bread Ahead also shares some fabulous images of sunrise & sunsets in London. I love this image of dawn sneaking above the skyline.
    DanTVusa ~ this gorgeous christmas card image of a snowy skyline of New York is perfect, and sums up the city  in the snow. Dan is one of my favourite photographers and was thrilled to see him featured recently in the daily mail. congrats Dan .
    westelmlondon 's images around London and their styling of homewares and crafts is just delicious. this homeware store from across the pond is a hidden gem on Tottenham court road. This image of 2 icons of London in glorious red is a perfect image of February in London, when lots of landmarks light red for Valentines and Chinese new year.
    David Gandy Official ~ SMS wouldn't be complete without a gratuitous shot of the delicious David Gandy!... this is one from a set recently shot for GQ Thialand!... phew!!!
    Twitter
    sharing a couple of images from above the London skyline and along the London waterways from 2 of my twitter favourites - MPS Helicopters and Tower RNLI both do a fabulous job of keeping us Londoners safe and sharing some glorious images at the same time.... how beautiful does London look at sunrise & sunset....
    Thankyou to all for brightening up my February..... Here's a few images of what I've been IG'ing in February... featuring Flowers, Cakes, New York, and several shades of grey!
    if you have enjoyed this monthly post her are my previous Social Media Sunday posts...... what have you been favouriting, liking & re-tweeting this month?...

    Friday, 6 March 2015

    T's Tv treats...

    It's been sometime since I shared some treats that have been keeping me entertained on the TV. With January & February's work schedule being hectic, it doesn't leave me much time to do a great deal, however I have relaxed a little by catching up on some TV favourites and a few movie moments.
    TV treats

    • Broadchurch - a slow burn for me, and one of the few things I watch 'live' to avoid all the spoilers on social media. Series 1 was one of my favourites in 2014, but this didn't excite me as much... great cast, and superb acting but story-line slow & weak in places.... not sure series 3 can go with this.
    •  Gogglebox  - a much welcome return to this 'fly on the wall' have loved both episodes and have laughed out loud lots!... too many good moments to mention, but Wolf Hall, & Basic Instinct proving much fun with viewers.
    •  The Good Wife - fallen back in love with this US show. Back for series 6, its full of legalities, intrigue & politics... perfect for me, along with some gorgeous eye candy in the shape of Steven Pasquale as Johnny Elfmann, Alica's campaign manager for her run as State Attorney.
    • Silent Witness - thoroughly enjoyed the return of this series, all double episodes were gripping and dramatic. Definitely felt like this series was back on top after a couple of weak series. I'm completely hooked on anything forensic, a throw-back to my youth and desire to be a pathologist.
    • Eastenders - its hard to believe that Eastenders is 30 years old, and enjoyed the 'live' week leading to the big reveal of Lucy Beales killer.  Danny Dyer is definitely turning into one of my favourite characters. Good to see EE back and delivering some great storylines.
    • Cucumber - is the 'Queer as Folk' of this generation. It is as shocking as queer as folk was 20 years ago, but often fun, moving and naughty!... I wouldn't expect anything else from Russel T Davies.
    Movie Moments:  february saw me catch-up on some oldies that have been languishing in my 'to watch' pile, and re-visiting a favourite.
    • The Arrow - season 2 - very late to The Arrow party but completely hooked on this series. Sheer escapism from start to finish with some very delicious eye candy in Oliver Queen aka Steven Amall.
    • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - a delightful little film filled with some of the nations favourite and much loved actors / actresses. I really enjoyed this heartwarming movie, featuring 3 of my favourites Judi Dench, Bill Nighy & Maggie Smith...  a joy from start to finish... will be going to cinema to see the sequel.
    • The Sweeney ~ when it was announced that The Sweeney would be re-made with Ray Winstone as Reagan I was intrigued. The Sweeney is an old skool classic, however I enjoyed the remake, it was rough, ready and full of the classic Sweeney moments, with a twist of humour. With supporting cast of Damian Lewis & Plan B... its full of car chases, cops & villains and Ray Winstone at his East End best.
    • The Thomas Crown Affair -  this movie got a dusting off the DVD shelf as not only is it one of my favourites, but in my opinion is the original "Fifty Shades".... this movie is as slick, sexy, cinematic and stylish... featuring a bored billionaire who pulls off a heist from the Metropolitan museum of Art in new York.  Pierce Brosnan  plays Mr Crown who seduces the Insurance investigator (played by the stunning Renee Russo) by flying her off to a Caribbean island where clothes are an option, soaring above the skys in a glider and shagging her senseless across his stunning upper east side townhouse!... can you see the similarities!... this movie without a doubt influenced EL James ... check out the trailer here
    What has been keeping your attention on the TV... or what are you looking forward to this Spring?... would love to hear?... 

    Sunday, 1 March 2015

    Hello March.....

    I am so happy that March is here.... I feel like I can now start living.
    As previously blogged my February was both frustrating and fun .. I am hoping March will be more fun and less frustrations...
    Jan & Feb get written off in my social calendar as I am just too tired to do anything much... however I have birthdays and some very special days planned with friends in March that I am really looking forward along with just spending time with loved ones.
    With the mornings and evenings getting lighter it feels like 2015 can properly begin.
    I have some mini goals:
    • Walk more --- being car less I have had to walk / bus to the station. This hasn't been as much of a chore as I originally thought and have enjoyed my ipod and listening books. I have favourited a few walking articles; Walking yourself to Happiness in Good Housekeeping and 10 walking treats in London from on Around the world in 80 pairs of shoes. I am looking forward to breaking in my new trainers that Santa bought me!.... lovely Liberty print Nikes.
    • Spring Clean --- currently on a plan one bag in and one bag out... I cant bring anything into the house without a correlating bag of rubbish/ stuff exiting!...
    • Friends - catch-up with loved ones and send some quality time together, many of which I haven't seen since Christmas.
    As you can see the blog has had its March make-over....
     plumping this month for one of my favourite colours burgundy / mulberry.. this years colour from Pantone. My header is showcasing some beauty favourites from Charlotte Tibury & Chanel and desk staples from Kate Spade, Henri Bendel, Smythson & Mont Blanc.
    My plans for March feature the following:
    • One Aldwych - lunch with friends
    • An evening of Gold with friends and Spandau Ballet.
    • Fashion & Glamour at the Alexander McQueens Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A
    • 2 friends hit the big 60 in March... with celebrations and fun things planned, March is sure to be fun.
    and finally I will be picking up the following:.......
    my very own Shades of Grey in the guise of a fun and flirty Fiat 500!... so excited!

    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