Oh how time flies! It’s crazy, huh? It’s funny (funny interesting, not funny haha) how this time 12 weeks ago I pushed out me and my husband’s bundle of joy( pain rating 100/10- no exaggeration!!)

It still really hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m a mummy. All I know is that I wouldn’t swap the early morning feeds, or gazillion nappy changes for anything else.

Me at 36 weeks...Photography by Catherine Doherty

I’ve seen him grow so incredibly fast and he’s a lot more responsive now (as he should be by this stage). Not just a little ‘pooper- eater- sleeper’ anymore but a ‘hi-fiver-smiler-hugger’ too. I love being a mum. It’s such a rewarding feeling!

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Who : Meeting a close female friend;

What: Cherry skinny jeans (New Look — £16.99), Orange top (Primark — £6); Tan mid-length boots (Barrats — £35); Tailor fit blazer/Jacket (New Look — £29.99); Silk scarf (New Look — £7.99); Fan Hinge Cuff Bracelet (Peacocks –£4); Tan across the body bag (Next — £22)

Where: Lunch date at TGI Friday’s;

When: Thursday 13th October 2011;

Why: I chose this look because I was going on a casual lunch date and we hadn’t picked a fancy restaurant.

I felt like wearing some ‘on trend’ autumnal colours, keep the look quite casual but still go for that smart look, which the tailor-fit blazer adds. I wore a black belt to add a little colour balance to the outfit so that the blazer didn’t look like it was just randomly chosen.

I used my silk scarf as a hair accessory rather than tying it around my neck, for example. It gave a sort of bohemian look to the outfit, which I wasn’t really going for but thought looked nice anyway. Teamed with my chunky gold earings the look was giving off a slight 90s hip-hop vibe.

The boots are actually 3 years old but still in really good condition and fashionable. The shade of brown matched well with the other colours and the buckle detail added to the casual feel.

Lately I’ve been into long necklaces and the rosary that I wore (blessed, just in case you’re wondering, and given a gift) complemented the look well and the bracelet added a touch of glamour and femininity, I thought.

So, in the end it was a hippy-hip-hoppy-smart-casual-urban kind of look (gosh! Try saying that when you’re tipsy!)…Lunch was great, by the way. Thanks for asking.  🙂

Joey Essex (Photo taken from neonmanagement.com)

On this Wednesday’s episode of The Only Way Is Essex a.k.a. TOWIE (which I  just finished watching in ITV Player ’cause I missed it) , in a conversation with Kirk, Joey Essex asked:

“Asparagus? Is that broccoli?”

Erm, no Joey. Asparagus is asparagus. Just like broccoli is broccoli. He clearly hasn’t got a clue about his fruit and veg. Too busy being, looking and smelling “reem”,  I suppose. Now, if he had asked if asparagus was LIKE broccoli then he wouldn’t have come across so dopey. That one simple word ‘like’, which is so over used in Essex (though usually as an unnecessary additional word in the middle or at the end of a sentence), would have made such a difference. Nonetheless, you’ve got to love him for being him.

Oh, and don’t even get me started with Arg’s “How can he call us dumb and dumber? I’ve got 8 GCSEs!!”. Oh Lord!

In preparation for autumn, I had been looking for a short brown jacket and was delighted when I came across this in Bershka earlier today.

It’s part of Bershka’s Bsk collection and for £29.99 it’s an absolute steal. Oh how they do spoil us! We have a choice of getting it in either orange, blue, green, brown, camel, or black. As you can see, I chose camel.

I like the fact that the fur collar is detachable, even though I’m more than likely to wear it with it on because it adds character and a nice autumn/winter feel to it. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have the option.

It has a floral patterned lining on the inside is thick enough to keep me warm until the harsh winter weather decides to show face.

For a stylish autumn casual look, this would team well with a knitted top/cardigan/jumper, some skinny jeans tucked into boots (knee high or ankle boots accessorised with leg warmers).

Colour matching:

  • Reds: cherry/wine/ burgundy
  • Browns: dark brown/ light brown/tanned orange
  • Cream

I bought a size larger than I normally wear, simply because when going over thick knitwear it’s good to leave extra room so my armpits and arms don’t feel pinched. It fits nicely and hugs my body from the waist upwards.

Have you got your autumn/winter outerwear yet?

I came, I saw, I bought this lovely short autumn jacket and I am a very happy lady!

The ‘Maggi – So Juicyadvert seemed to be popping up on TV enough times for me to take serious notice so I decided to purchase a pack to see what all the fuss was about. I bought the ‘paprika for chicken‘ sachet from Tesco for 65p.

I did exactly as instructed in the ad (well, the back of the packet): Take the bag > Add in some chicken (cleaned and skinned beforehand– I can’t stand meat with skin on) > Pour in the recipe mix > tie it up > pop it in the dish > and bake it in the oven.

Just before I put it in the oven, my mind triggered back to the advert. It’s apparently “so juicy that you don’t even have to add oil”. I poured a little inside just to be safe. Dry meat doesn’t go down my throat. I also added some extra seasoning of my own just in case the  paprika didn’t live up to my expectations. “Thyme and all purpose seasoning should do the job”, I thought to myself.

It took about an hour to cook properly, during which time I regularly brought it out to give it a good shake, making sure every one of those drumsticks was getting its fair share of juice.

So juicy, eh? I’ll be the judge of that. As it so happens, it actually was. I had it with roast potatoes and mixed vegetables.

Now, as tasty the chicken was, all the product is, in essence, is some seasoning in a packet that comes with a heat- resisitant plastic bag. Therefore, I need not buy the other flavours in the range. I can simply use my own seasoning, put it in a heat-proof bag and voila! I’d have the same results. Glad I tried it though. Satisfied my curiosity.

Have you tried anything culinary advertised on TV recently? Did it live up to your expectations or not?

Yay! The long-awaited Westfield, Stratford City finally opened on Tuesday this week. Located adjacent to the Olympic Park, it boasts three floors of utter retail (and leisure) bliss covering 1.9million square feet and is the largest urban shopping center in the whole of Europe . The £1.4 billion development houses over 300 shops, 50 bars and restaurants (including quite a few of my favourites…Joy!) and a 17 screen, all digital, 3-D state-of-the-art Vue cinema. It has also created 10,000 new job. That’s probably solved a lot of the unemployment crisis in London.

Anyway, I took a trip (a day after it opened because I value my toes and didn’t want to get trampled on by the hoards of crowds on opening day) to see what all the fuss was about and toushé, point made. I totally get the hype and I’m not surprised why the call it “a city within a city”. Quite frankly, it’s enormous.

Everything is so pristine. As you enter, you’re greeted by a massive M&S to your left. Walk a short distance further and there are scores of glass-fronted stores to your, left, right, above and below you and some fancy-looking stalls, restaurants and bars in the centre of the aisles. Nice modern, swanky sofas and chairs- which I predict won’t stay as fresh for long- are placed around the centre for shoppers to rest their weary, all shopped-out feet. I was in sheer awe.

Transport links to get there are fantastic and if you drive in, theres no need to fret about parking- there are 5,000 car parking spaces available with very reasonable charges (first 2 hours are free!). There’s no wonder it brings in consumers from all over London (I’m guessing mainly to window shop though because we all know money’s to tight to mention).

Gone are the days when I’d have to travel into the West End of London to have a shopping frenzie. For me, his is so much more convenient than going to Oxford Street/Regent Street for so many reasons. The main ones being:

  • You’re indoors so the weather won’t ruin your shopping experience;
  • It’s a lot closer to where I live so I can make a quick journey there and back home;
  • It has public toilets. Unlike when I’m pressed while shopping in the West End and feel obliged to buy something at McDonalds just to use their loo, here, here, I don’t have to worry about wetting myself;
  • You can shop later here most days of the week because the majority of the stores close after 8pm.

To some extent, it kind of reminds me of American malls, where a lot of young girls and guys get dressed up and hang out there for a huge portion of their day to window shop, and not purely for clothes or shoes but for talent (#ifyouknowwhatimean).

In terms of supermarkets, I was quite surprised there isn’t a Sainsbury or Tesco (especially as Tesco seem to be opening branches everywhere) in there. After all there’s M&S Food and Waitrose.

Quite worryingly, the escalator stopped suddenly while I was on it, which is a major health and safety risk that management need to look into pronto. Funnily enough, 5 minutes before I went on the escalator I overheard a girl telling her friend about having the same experience but I thought that it was probably a one-off incident. Clearly not.

I feel sorry for  the small Stratford Shopping Centre and the stores and stall holders there that will inevitably lose some customers. It was quieter than usual when I passed through it on my way back home. I’ll still shop there but only at the places not offered in Stratford City like the market stalls or the butchers. I mean, why go to the small New Look store when there’s a larger one in Westfield provide a wider range of options, right?

I was going to have some lunch at Westfield but when I saw the length of some of the queues, I quickly lost my appetite. Fear not, I certainly won’t loose my appetite for shopping there. I’ll definitely be having many-a-day of retail therapy euphoria.

Take a look at the website for more information: www.westfield.com/StratfordCity.

Yesterday (14th September) was my birthday. Yep, that time of year where you look back at the last 365 days of your life and think to yourself: “Wow, I’m not getting any younger”. When your Earthstrong comes round every year it’s a good time to sit and think about what you’ve  achieved in the last 12 months and where you hope to be (figuratively and literally) this time next year.

An interesting fact that I learned -which I’m quite surprised I didn’t know up until yesterday- is that I share the same birthday with the late, ultra talented singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. Here’s my favourite track of hers- ‘Rehab‘. May her soul rest in perfect peace.