Sunday, 17 August 2014

Restaurant Review: Balgove Larder, St Andrews

A couple of weeks ago, Mummy Daydreamer took Mr Man and I out for dinner to the steak barn at Balgove Larder in St Andrews. Balgove Larder started out as a wee farm shop and, in just a few years, has rapidly grown into a big shop with a butcher counter and now an outdoor steak barn. You know the big trend for all things rustic right now? Those places that are designed to look natural and cool, with lots of money invested to ensure the right look is achieved? Well, Balgove Larder's steak barn is that, but without the styling; it actually is just a barn with an open grill and an oven, a bar and some wooden tables and benches. The walls are constructed of crates, stacked high, and the most decorative items are the trendy light fittings and the herb pots on the tables. It's authetnic but totally hip. (Are the kids still saying hip?).

Anyway, mum has been dying to go all summer so we finally found a free weekend and went along. The setting sun cast a gorgeous light over the barn and, as the car tyres crunched over the dusty gravel, we could smell the steaks cooking as soon as we turned into the car park. Luckily, there was space for us (you can't book a table, you just have to try your luck - but if you do have to wait, you can have drinks outside or browse the shop). 

The staff were great and kept us fully informed: it would be a 30 minute wait for food. Of course, we didn't care and ordered drinks before settling on our food choices. I chose a classic cheeseburger, Mr Man a venison burger, and mum a fillet steak. Once they arrived I wished I'd ordered steak; the burger was deliciously peppery with a good helping of cheese, but man, those steaks! Oh my goodness, they were amazing. Absolutely amazing. Succulent, melt-in-your-mouth, perfectly cooked and oh-so-fresh. I'm already plannning a return trip before summer is over! That's the only downside to the steak barn at Balgove Larder - it's only open from Easter until September, over the summer time. So, if you haven't been already, get down there A-SAP! 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Beauty Busters: Aveda Stress-Fix

Aveda Stress-Fix is one of the most pleasant ways to unwind; a fairly firm, thick cream, it's great for smothering yourself with anytime you feel the need to release tension, which is all too quick to build up throughout the day. We might not realise it but we're all guilty of causing tension in our bodies, from cradling our mobiles on our shoulder to scowling over emails and worrying needlessly about who's going to pick up dinner. All these little worries niggle at our brains and, in turn, our bodies, but Stress-Fix helps to alleviate the tension.

Stress-Fix is, in essence, a body lotion - so, why does it help with stress, and why choose it over any other? Well, not only does it really soften and moisturise the skin, it's absorbed really, really quickly - so it won't stick to your clothes, as long as you leave it a couple minutes after applying. Which is the shizzle, because I particularly like using it before bedtime (read as before PJ time) and I am not a fan of the sticky pyjama. What's more, it has a light lavender fragrance which is known for its calming properties and thus helps you to relax while carrying out the every-day routine of moisturising. 

It's not a miracle cream though - you do need to invest in some quiet time too. That's why I like using it later in the evening; when all the chores are done, I take a shower or bath before applying a thick layer of Stress-Fix from head to toe, massaging my arms and legs before finally sitting down to chill out with a peppermint tea or read my book in bed - it's actually pretty easy to incorporate into your lifestyle as a bonus contribution to your health and wellbeing. You'll feel (and smell) so good that you won't even think about another body moisturiser!

Jenny Packham AW14

Are there any winter brides out there? Any who are Olivia Palermo fans? Then you simply must consider Jenny Packham's AW14 collection, whether as inspiration or exactly as it appeared on the catwalk.
This look is the winter equivalent of Palermo's alternative, yet simply stunning, summer bridal attire. Palermo chose to wear shorts under a tulle skirt, teamed with a cashmere jumper... for winter, Jenny Packham's absolutely beautiful nude, sequined skirt and embellished jumper combo is simply divine, and really is one of the most current alternative bridal looks I've seen - despite this being Packham's ready to wear collection rather than her bridal collection. Everything about this look is dreamy, from the exquisite detail to the feather clutch and the slouchy sleeves. I am in love. Are you?

The rest of Packham's AW14 RTW collection was equally as exciting. Somewhere between luxe Downton Abbey and 40s siren, the relaxed hair and barely-there make up are juxtaposed with the sumptuous fabrics and subtly sexy silhouettes, making the collection very current - and very covetable. I particularly love the feather details and tux jackets thrown nonchalantly over the shoulders.

Budget won't stretch?
Get the look with Jenny Packham's Designers at Debenhams range.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

How to Wear a Statement Necklace Three Ways: Look 3 - The Night Out

This is the last post in the How To series this week, I hope you've enjoyed it! Finally, we reach eveningwear. The Melle Cloche necklace is perfect for dressing up - the  dazzling crystals will reflect that disco ball, blinding your dance-off competitors and leaving them with stars in their eyes! It's also pretty comfortable to wear, so you won't start fiddling with it half way through the night - does anyone else end up with their statement jewellery discarded in a (fabulous) heap by their cocktail glass? The. Worst.

Layer your statement necklace over a simple LBD or keep flesh bare - a silk cami worn with a skirt or jeans always looks great with conversation piece jewellery. Expensive heels add the glamour, while (optional) lace bunny ears and a bold lip bring the after-dark drama.

Which has been your favourite look? One, two or three?

Necklace: Melle Cloche
Dress: ASOS (similar here)
Lace ears: Accessorize (past season but similar here)
Shoes: Jimmy Choo (past season but similar here)
Lipstick: Chanel (Rouge Allure Velvet in no 307 L'Impatiente, past season but similar here)