Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lovebox 2015 Photo Diary

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Oh hey there! As you may or may not remember, a couple of weeks ago me, Leanne and Yanin headed along to Lovebox festival with the lovely Urban Outfitters, so I thought I'd put together a little festival photo diary from our time there. Don't expect to find any festival clich├ęs in there, like plastic cups held in the air, peace signs or photos of wristbands though. No siree, none at all..

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Oh wait, yes, there we have it.. festival cliche number 1. If you fancy getting very, very drunk then take a shot every time you spot one in the following post.

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Catching up with Victoria and Carly (that's two peace signs so another two shots)

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Jackpot. The classic wristband photo.

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The sweetest little cocktail truck which was responsible for a whole lot of dodgy dancing that weekend. Mainly from myself and Leanne.

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Just call us The Sunglasses Squad. No-one?

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Classic cocktail in the air shot means another drink for you (if you're still standing that is).

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Ohh yes. A shot of the stage; I think that definitely counts as another shot.

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And we're back at what was basically our home for the weekend. The good old cocktail van.

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Hanging with Kate and Emma (and, more importantly, Emma's fantastical boobies)

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Food from Kurobuta! Things are a little hazy from this part - ahem - but I can definitely confirm the chilli seabass was incredible. Not your usual festival meal, eh?

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And there we have it! I hope you lot like a photo diary because, as you can tell, I'm fairly fond of putting them together. And thank you so much for all your lovely feedback on my GF guide to Paris, if it helps even one gluten intolerant person from shitting themselves then I've done my job.

Amy

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Gluten Free Guide to Paris

Paris and gluten free seem to go hand in hand. Or should I say, Paris and anti-gluten free. It's often brought up how awful they are at catering to GF-ers - I mean they are the bread and pastry kings so they've got a hard task on their hands - so I was a little nervous that I was going to have to live off of leaves when I was out there last month. Whilst I did find it hard a) because it's one place I couldn't find any online GF guides to and b) because there really is a limited selection available, with most of the waiters being, how do you say.. rude assholes about it when I asked, I sill did manage to find a few hidden gems. So, here they are rounded up together in one big GF guide that'll hopefully help any of you travelling out there in the future. I'm planning another shortly so I should have a few more places to add by the end of summer!

MACAROONS
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Now this one's more of a 'thing' than a place and, as you can see, that 'thing' is Macaroons. Luckily these little guys are completely gluten free, so - as long as these are on the menu - there's no need for your sweet tooth to suffer if you fancy stopping for coffee and a treat. They're pretty readily available throughout Paris, but if you fancy being extra decadent then I'd recommend nipping into Galerie Lafayette to enjoy one with a view of the beautiful interiors of the building like we did above (I cannot take blame if you get drunk on sugar and shop your ass off afterwards).

LA PANFOULIA
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The Marais & Canal St Martin are two good areas for GF eating as they're quite trendy and artsy and all that jazz, so are kind of cottoning on to the whole GF and vegan thing. While this bar doesn't specifically cater to GFers, they were more than happy to accommodate to it and provide us with GF sharing platters and salads. I won't lie, though, I mainly included this one because of the amazing cocktails they do.

La Panfoulia: 7 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie

LE SESAME
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This as the first one we came across that specifically catered to GF-ers; all morning I'd been moaning that I really wanted a chocolate fudge brownie and then we stumbled across this little cafe right on the waterfront in canal St Martin who did gluten free brownies (rich, gooey and amazing) as well as other gluten free traybakes and salads, all clearly marked on the menu. At this point I was 97% sure I'd died and gone to calorie heaven.

Le Sesame: 51 Quai de Valmy, 75010

HELMUT NEWCAKE
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This place is like a holy grail for GF-ers and, more importantly, full blown coeliacs, as every single thing in there is GF. They do everything from cakes, pastries and traybakes - I ordered 5 for, um, market research, and can honestly say each one was amazing - as well as sandwiches, rolls and brunch (BRUNCH - huzzah!). There's apparently one more GF bakery in Paris called Chambelland Boulangerie which I'll definitely be checking out next time.

Helmut Newcake: 36 Rue Bichat, 75010 | 28 Rue Vignon, 75009 (take-away only)

BREIZH CAFE
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This picture isn't the best because I was absolutely starving by the time we got there so it was a bit of a 'snap quickly and shove in my mouth' situation, but I really couldn't recommend it more. All the galettes are made with buckwheat so are entirely gluten free and they've got around 20 different toppings on offer. If you're feeling like something a little sweeter then you can ask for the crepes to be made with buckwheat too (and that's when you go crazy and throw on Nutella, ice cream... the whole lot). I think they also did GF beer here but don't quote me on it (I was too busy stuffing my face to properly take notice of anything going on around me).

Breizh Cafe: 111 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003


LA COUR BLEUE, BHV
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Now this I was 90% sure was a mirage. We'd been wandering around BHV for around an hour or so when we decided a sugary pick-me-up was needed and were told to head across the street to the cafe at the men's dept for a GF treat. Here lay this amazing, quirky little spot with 5 or so foodstalls, one of which sold GF gaufres. Sometimes gluten free cakes/waffles etc can be a little, well, obviously gluten free, but you'd have no idea with this one. We got on with caramel, one with nutella and then a fruit pot to balance it all out (that's how it works, yes?).

BHV: 36 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004

LE BON MARCHE
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Regardless of whether or not you're GF, you NEED to check this place it because it has absolutely everything on offer... including around a hundred different types of water as you can see. They've got a little GF section with pasta, bread, cakes, all the usuals, so it's perfect if you're looking for either snacks or for ingredients to cook with back at your apartment. We also nipped up to the Rose Bakery where they had some gluten free sweet loafs (chocolate & orange, raspberry & vanilla etc) on offer, but - for once - I opted for the savoury haddock salad.

Le Bon Marche: 24 Rue de Sevres, 75007

BIO SPHERE CAFE
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This was another entirely GF and organic joint (again, for you ma coeliac peeps) which had a double sided - yes, double-sided, oh the rarity, menu of GF food on offer; from crepes to sandwiches to traybakes to brunch to pizza to pasta to GF beer to... Need I go on?

Bio Sphere Cafe: 47 Rue de Laborde, 75008

BAFFO
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Unfortunately I didn't do too well with photos of our meal as it's very, very dark - I mean, atmospheric - in here, but you can rest assured it was incredible. One of my favourite meals of the trip actually! Everything on the menu is marked as either GF or 'can be made GF by the chef' so you don't need to go through the whole rigmarole of asking what does and doesn't have gluten in it. I opted for an incredibly tasty salad because I was keeping space in my tummy box for dessert, but they do offer gluten free pasta dishes which is an absolute rarity in Paris.

Baffo: 12 Rue Pecquay, 75004

EXKI
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Now these don't look like much, but that little brownie on the left is one of the best GF cakes I've ever had; crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.. oh mamma. They also offer a 'build your own salad or smoothie' option as well as lots of ready made meals that are clearly marked with allergen labels. Oh, the was we went to was right across from Galeries Lafayette and so if you need a little mid-shop-pick-me-up then it's in an ideal location! They also offer lactose free options too I should probably mention.

Exki: 82 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 59 Rue Montorgueil, 8 Rue Danielle Casanova

EAT IN/FOOD MARKETS
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Simple but effective. Check around to see what markets are on and when in our area and you can pick up some fresh produce to make a meal at home with that you know exactly what's gone in it. Alternatively you can just pick up a batch of goodies at the supermarket to do the same with! We did this a few nights to both save on money and make sure we had a completely GF meal on our hands.


So there we go! I really hope that helps some of you travelling there in the future and, like I say, by the end of summer I'll hopefully be able to double the length of this guide for you!

Amy

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Shooting with my favourite munchkin

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Well heyyyyy. Tonight's post is more than a quick update more than anything else to let you know that a) I'm currently finishing off my gluten free guide to Paris (it'll be live tomorrow - we're on high scrumptious food alert so get your napkins at the ready for a Grade-A mouth-watering situation) and b) that I got to shoot some more images with my favourite lady when I was down in London A.K.A the one, the only, Amber Rooooooose. So, yes, there'll be plenty more outfit posts coming your way soon!

Over and out,
Amy

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7 Tips for Holiday Dressing

Holiday dressing is something I'm asked about a lot and, whilst most of the time I can be found wearing a sweaty bikini and an uncomfortable grimace, I do have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve that should make life in the sun a little easier. Without further ado...

1) THE TRUSTY TURBAN
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As you may already have noticed, headbands are my ultimate holiday(/life) saviour. They add instant sass to an outfit that otherwise says 'I'm sweaty and I can't be arsed with life' and craftily cover up the unavoidable post-sunscreen greasy hairline.

2) JEWELZ, JEWELZ, JEWELZ
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I'm a fan of layering up jewellery all year round, but I think when you're abroad you can really go to town with it; tanned fingers and stacked rings are as pleasing a combo as peanut butter and jam. And while we're at it, jazz up those fingernails! Between that and the jewels, you'll have a constant sum' sum' going on without even having to give any thought to it. These stripy nails were a mere £1 from Primark and lasted me for almost a whole week in Greece.

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3) COMFY SHOES
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A massive must. Invest in some gaddam comfortable shoes. I like to split my time between exploring and relaxing on holiday (we're talking a 20:80 split here) and have made the mistake in the past of picking up some pretty sandals without trying them on only to be left convinced by the end of the first day that I'll never walk again. Comfy. Shoes. People.

4) INVEST IN SOME SUNNIES
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I'm not talking invest as in money (be my guest, though), but invest as in time. Take a while finding a pair that makes your heart go boom because those badboys are going to be your most worn purchase the whole time you're away.

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5) FIND YOUR LAZY DAYTIME GO-TO
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So, the last thing you want to waste time doing on holiday is worrying about what you're going to wear each day, yes? But equally you don't want to come home filled with regret that you spend the entire week in an old sarong. The solution is simple: find an every day basic that you feel comfortable but nice in and - most importantly - can layer to make different outfits each time. For me it's dungarees; I'll throw them on over bikinis and vests during the day and often at night as well with a little crop top (although only at the beginning of the holiday because by the end, y'know... sweat).

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6) B-B-BIKINI
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Aside from the previously mentioned sunglasses, your bikini's going to be up there with your most-worn purchase of the week. Shop around, find which shape suits you best and - remember - there's no such thing as too crazy a print. A prize-winning tip for you: bring a bikini in your hand luggage just in case - GAD FORBID - the airline lose your bags. My Mum told me this when I was younger and it's stayed with me ever since!

7) COVER-UP
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I feel bad for even mentioning this but - whispered voices - sun is never 100% guaranteed on your holiday. Gasp shock horror, I know. It's easy to get carried away packing lots of itty bitty shorts and crops, but make sure and pack - or at least fly in - something that you can throw on in the face of severe chilliness or rain. My favourite for this is a kimono; nice and easy to roll up, leaving you plenty more space for your 5000 bikinis.

And there we have it, my top holiday dressing tips! If you've got any crackers of your own then please do share.

Amy

(I've just had someone ask why there are pebbles on my kimono in the last photo and I can't stop laughing - the kimono's split at the back which has resulted in one of man's greatest optical illusions. Well, one of man's optical illusions)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The 3 minute make-up challenge | The Little Magpie

                                     

Bonjour and happy Shunnnnday! No new post from me today as I'm just back from a Londontown so I'm going to spend the afternoon baking with Rob (peanut butter brownies if anyone's asking) and nursing a very baby hangover. I do have a new video though (finally, heh) so thought I'd share that with you in case you're in need of a four minute long tea break. Who am I kidding, if you're doing Sunday right then it should just be one day-long teabreak.

Ok, I go now.

Amy