Sunday, 29 January 2017

Delish! Lentil and Spinach soup

If your still going strong on your new year health kick, well done you.  My happy 2017 is going well, and I'm trying very very hard to put myself first, a big thank you to a couple of friends who have reminded me this week!

I've been doing ok too on trying to avoid refined sugar; it was a little tricky yesterday when I had free reign on a three-course buffet, but I stayed strong and kept to the cheese and biscuits for desert - I find avoiding eye-contact with desserts the best way! (LOL)

This week I've been asked by a few about snacking in-between meals; if you are like me where your blood sugar can run low, then you do need to have snacks to keep it stable throughout the day - and this is where you can be tempted to head for sugar.

Here are a few options I use:

  • A hard boiled egg (great for protein)
  • Carrot sticks with hummus
  • A piece of fruit (if you have fruit in your smoothies in the morning avoid this, you are only increasing your sugar levels - opt for veg instead)
  • Almond butter, either on gluten free bread or medjool dates

This morning I was up early to make soup - I basically had some veg that needed using up, and within 30 mins, I made a protein rich, healthy soup.

Image: @Lovedbylizzi

Simply cut up onions, carrots and celery and then add any other veg you need to use up and cook in some olive oil for around 10 mins. Add a thumb size portion of ginger, half to a whole chilli (depending on your own taste requirements), 8-10 cherry tomatoes halved.  1.5 litres of veg stock and 300g of red lentils.  Cook this for about 15 mins or until the lentils have softened.  Add a bag of washed spinach, cook for another minute and then blitz with your hand blender.

It's very filling because of the lentils, so you will only need one slice of bread. 

If you are on Instagram, then you can watch me making it on my Instastories before 8am tomorrow - just like a bowl of soup, once it's gone, it's gone!!


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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Spring '17 Trend: The Trench Coat

They say that fashion goes round and round and it's the slight twists that make the difference from one season to another.  After blogging for many years I do find that I write about the same garments, but highlighting this year's take on them.

I wonder how much of this, is a continuation for the need of the wearer not wanting to give up their favourites rather than the designer wishing to come up with something completely new; I know from my own experience of product developing there's absolutely no point to something unless someone is going to buy it - it's as simple as that.

And so the trench coat very much remains to be a staple for our wardrobe, but this year it's bigger; or should I say longer!  That's right.  Over the last 12 months the long duster coat has been popular in light materials as an alternative to the cardigan (a big hit with the Kardashian sisters) in Spring/Summer'16. From that, extra long cardigans featured throughout Autumn/Winter'16.  And now we are seeing this trend continue into this year's Spring trench coat.  

The right length sits around 2-3 inches below your knee (make sure it sits just above the widest part of your calf!).  A tough trend for petites and the extra tall to adopt - but there is a vast selection in store and online from ASOS, River Island, H&M and so on.

For me now my classic tench needs to be shower-proof - I've invested in quite a few different styles over the years and there is nothing more annoying than a cost that's suppose to protect you from the rain but all that is happening is that you are getting wet!

This year I've invested in this gorgeous Autograph khaki green by M&S that is made with Stormwear™ which should keep me dry with their clever water repellent technology. It's also made from extra luxurious Supima® cotton which gives it this lovely soft and light feel to it.  I love it and whilst it does cost more than others on the high street, I'm investing in both the quality and the practicality of this very classic staple - so for me it's bang on value for money.

M&S Autograph 
Belted Trench Coat with Stormwear™


So what are the do's and don't for this season:

  • Avoid doing it up! This Spring it's all about layers; and layers that you can see, so no need to belt it!
  • If you do want to belt it, you don't have to use the one that comes with it - you can opt for contrasting slim belts to add some extra colour
  • This season go neutral - previously we have seen lots of red and purple in trench coats; but the classic stone, beige or khaki is the way to go
  • Don't just use it for work - this is a great weekender - team it up with double denim and for busy Saturdays don't forget your trainers!
  • Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise - with a classic neutral this gives you the freedom to style it up with belts, hats, large cuffs (very big trend on shirts at the mo) or a colourful cross-body mini bag.  There's lots you can do and every day you can make it look very different.
  • And for the that really important business meeting; button it, belt it and wear the highest stilettos you can!

Copyright: @LovedbyLizzi

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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Let's not lose our fabulous fashion flick

The definition of my fabulous fashion 'flick' is being the art of turning a page on a printed fashion magazine. 

Everyone has a flick, it seems a natural habit we all form; some of us flick from the back, some start from the front and some people (yes this is true) lick their thumb before every flick! We all have our own style.

When I was younger, I always wanted to buy Vogue each month, but what I earned back then and what I was prepared to spend my money on is very different today. However once I got to 15, I started working in a newsagents and was lucky to read any magazines I wished, without buying them. Although you would have thought I would have contributed just to avoid the tedious task each month of 'sale or return'!

About three years ago I was given a Kindle for Christmas; I was dead excited it meant I could carry a million books around with me, all the time, I even invested in stylish cover to make it look fabulous.  Well apart from the one beach holiday I took that year, it never left the house!  

The following year as I was about to head off on yet another beach holiday (your getting the picture now, this was really the only use for this device) it stopped working; I ended up buying the book I was so desperate to read at the airport.  

I did wonder, mad as this sounds, but did it stop working because of the lack of use?!  A fate my replacement Kindle may face too, sadly.  I love printed books, there I've said it.  I do.

So why am I mentioning the flick, well I'm worried this art is going to be lost, yes lost! I've just finished reading a great (hardcopy) book, ideal for anyone who is fascinated with the world of fashion journalism, fashion events and the photo shoots that go with it all. Inside Vogue by Alexandra Shulman is a diary of her year covering the 100th edition

And one of the key messages I took from her book is that she too is worried that in a few years there may not be printed magazines.  Without people investing in print, it may not bring in enough revenue to create the fashion fantasies we've come to know with Vogue. 

I know we all have our own favourite magazines, mine for instance in Hello Fashion - it's a great wind-down and a fun distractor when you just want some chill time. But if you don't invest in them, every month, then they may not be there for the long-term.

But Vogue is iconic; the majority of the fashion events I go to and exhibitions are all linked back to Vogue one way or another, it's part of our British fashion heritage.  And so I've subscribed.  

Subscriptions make a great present too for someone; it's basically the gift that keeps on giving every month for which the recipient will always be thinking of you as they are ripping off the cellophane hoping that this month is the one with the free gift ;)

So let's not lose our fabulous fashion flick! For Vogue it's only £19.99.

Let's not lose our fabulous fashion flick was first posted on Loved by Lizzi.

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Friday, 6 January 2017

Let's chat... Dress down days

Now I'm not talking here about dress-down Friday work days, because lets be honest that just ends up being smart-casual unless you don't care about your career prospects!

I'm talking 'chore days', you know those days where you have a long list of to do's that can't wait any longer that you simply hate giving up any of your golden free time to do it! Those kind of days do not require the navy suit jacket with blue jeans or any high-heel at all!

I'm talking; no washing hair, trainers only, leggings with the biggest, most baggiest jumper you have. And let's just top that off with a weekend jacket, scarf and big bobble hat - you now know where I am at! (ha ha)

I think this, and only this, is what I love about winter days. Layers and warm baggy clothing to cover up any post-Christmas holiday indulgences, giving you a few weeks to get yourself back on track for Spring collection!

Baggy sadly is not best for my body shape, I'm hour-glass and therefore suppose to belt everything in at the waist - but winter dress down to me is 'a la Helena Bonham Carter', love her and I love her street style.

Daily Mail Online

Just recently I've had numerous dress down days, with lots going on to get my house back in order after the renovations we've had at home, plus lots of dog-walking by Bichonpoo, Alfonso; and what I've noticed is how joe-public treats you differently on dress down style compared to when I'm out for lunch or clothes shopping where you done your weekend style (the navy blue suit jacket with jeans or a brown heeled boot). 

Very minor differences but different nonetheless - I'm talking no door being held open for me, no smiling faces or "good mornings" to me.  Traffic doesn't slow down to let me cross the road or I hear mothers say to their children "mind that woman" and not 'lady' as I'm often referred to when I am dressed up, which by the way makes me feel really old! When that happens I always do "I'm not a lady!" using David Walliams Little Britian's voice in my head (well hopefully not out loud).

So all I'm saying ladies is; feel free to join me on my 'Helena Bonham Carter' street style this January - it's time to have some time off!  

And when you see someone walking fast-paced trying to dodge prams, kids on bikes or the old biddy who walks far too slow; that's wearing nothing that matches or looks anything but not 'in fashion'  Don't judge that chick! ... She's probably full-time employed with a daily commute, a wife, dog-owner, part-time blogger and when she gets the luxury of free time just wants to play with her friends. 

If you fancy investing in this look, here are a couple of things you'll need!

Big and baggy only allowed:
Fat Face
Hutton Textured Coatigan

Basic leggings
Start from as little as £4!

And not forgetting the bobble hat!
River Island

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Monday, 2 January 2017

Hello 2017!

Happy New Year to all my fabulous readers!

I'm personally feeling very positive about 2017, last year was such an awful 12 months I am pleased to see the back of it altogether.  I've started writing this post on the eve of returning to work, I've not been there since the 22nd December and all day long I've felt like I've not "done my homework" kind of feeling as if I'm returning to school, my husband laughed when I said it but followed it up with a "I know what you mean".

I've chosen not to do New Year resolutions this year, I'm starting to think they are pointless. New Year I think is a great way of drawing a line under things and moving on, and so this year I've chosen to go with a word - WELLBEING.  Yes 2017 is all about ME.  I've never had a year like that before and I'm thinking now is the right time.  So everything I do, I'm going to check that it is right for my own wellbeing, and if it's not then I shall challenge depending on the context.

Now for those of you who have already given up on your New Year resolutions, congratulations! Everyone is going to get to this point sooner or later, and so let's look at it as if you are first across the line.  

It's been a while since I blogged so I thought I would give you an insight into what's going on at the moment and some fashion events that are coming up early side of this year that you might want to get into your diary!

What I am reading...

Well I got a couple of books for Christmas that have been lingering on my Amazon wish list, and so I was super pleased that they headed my way.

First up is Inside Vogue: A Diary Of My 100th Year by Alexandra Shulman (Editor-In-Chief of British Vogue)

Last year I wrote about Vogue celebrating 100 years, remember the lady called Bo?  Well Alexandra has wrote a diary that details her daily events in planning the numerous events leading up to this; alongside her attending fashion week in New York, London, Paris and Milan - for fashion fans and those who want to get a glimpse of the behind the scenes of the the most iconic magazine for women, it's just fabulous. I've struggled to put it down, in fact I've got a bit grumpy when I've had to, to be social over the festive week!

The other isn't really a "reading" book - it's more of a collection of images of Victoria Beckham's clothing range since becoming a designer.  Victoria Beckham: Style Power by David Foy is a great coffee table style book for that flicking through kind of thing, I have to confess I thought there would have been more content around it all.  As much as I love VB, I really can't recommend it.

Upcoming Fashion Events...

Well let's start with Diana!!  Kensington Palace are pulling together HER FASHION STORY and it starts 24th February, no end date that I can see and admission is included in the price of the normal ticket.

Check out more details here.

From 25th March to 22nd October it seems Vogue is teaming up with Chatsworth House to bring five centuries of fashion - the exhibition called House Style primarily sponsored by Gucci.  It looks very exciting and again the exhibition is included in the price of the standard ticket - read more about it here.

No details yet available on the V&A website, however from May there will be an exhibition called Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion - this exhibition will mark 80 years since the Spanish fashion designer, Cristóbal Balenciaga, opened his store in Paris and will feature over 100 of his most glamorous and innovative couture pieces.  So look out for that on the V&A website.

The Glamour Beauty Festival 2017for those of you who are more into beauty rather than fashion, then Glamour magazine are holding a beauty festival 11th and 12th March at the Saatchi Gallery on King's Road, tickets seem to vary in price but they start around £42, more details here.   

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