OOTD: New job, new trainers..and a lack of inspiration for a post title!

I touched upon it slightly in my last post, but in case you missed that - because I'm still not convinced that anyone, bar my mum, would be interested enough to read my random ramblings! - I just thought I'd mention it here that, I got a new job. Praise the lord, Hallelujah, A-bloody-men!

Christmas/January time, unfortunately is a shocking time for TV work. Not many shows start production during/straight after Christmas and the shows that do carry on through the festive period are of course generally already crewed up. But, after the drought, I finally got a heads up about a job on a certain show last Monday, got an interview on Tuesday, and found out that I got the job less than 24hours later on the Wednesday (TV doesn't wait around does it?) So, as of the beginning of February I will be saying goodbye to Jeremy Kyle (further proof that I am all class!), lie-in's, endless shopping trips, time to actually blog and basically my social life, and a big fat hello to....
For anyone not in the UK, it's a similar set up to Jersey Shore but based in Essex. For anyone whose never heard of both of those before, it's basically a reality show following young 20 something's in and around Essex. A lot of fake tan, a lot of hair and beauty...in other words, 'it's right up my street!' (you know I'm never going to be able to say that phrase without making some kind of reference to Cheryl Cole!)

As a kind of celebration/farewell to my social life/good luck to myself (does that make me sad? 100% sure it does)....I may have gone on a bit of a shopping spree, followed by a massive feast (Cotto if you're wondering - Bread, Spag Bol, Tiramisu, heaven!), followed finally by slobbing out on the sofa, watching shockingly bad TV (Splash - apologies to all my friends working on it - i'm talking about you!)

Here's what I wore. A word of warning, this outfit features my first and only pair of trainers since I was about 12 years old. As much as I love them, I can't help but feel like a bit of a tom boy, a bit 'masculine' in them. In other words...I look and feel like an absolute bloke!
Standard 'hold the hair out of the face, look at something on the floor that isn't even there' pose. Nailed!
Argghh, there are not enough adjectives to describe just how disgusting the photo below is. So, why have you got it on here you absolute twat? Well, it's on here because unfortunately it was the only close up I had of the top, gilet etc. I look like an absolute knob, prick, muppet, twat, poser and believe me I want to punch myself in the face as much as you probably do.
OK I lied. No, let's not say lied, let's say 'didn't quite tell the whole story' when I said I bought a pair of trainers. They are quite clearly the ever so popular (read: completely over done) Hi-Top's that didn't interest me whatsoever at the height of their popularity. But, now that they're not the choice of footwear for everybody walking past you on the street, I am suddenly quite 'fond' of them. It doesn't hurt that Jules rocked them in a few post recently, and what she says, goes, in my opinion!
Now, before you all christen me 'the queen of jumping on bandwagon's 3 years after the ship set sail' I am more than aware that these bad boys have been on the scene for a long time but in all honesty, while I liked them, I never found a pair I loved enough to buy. I contemplated buying a similar pair from Ash, but £140 for what is probably just a 'boy chic' phase of mine is 10 x more than I'd be willing to buy. So I just have to be grateful for the place I have christened my second home, Primark. For £15, it would be rude not to wouldn't it?...Exactly what I thought!
Top: Primark
Gilet: Urban Outfitters
Faux leather trousers which I don't even need to state where they're from because I've featured them a thousand times already (but I will, for the sake of blog!): H&M
Hi-Tops/the closest thing to trainers I'll ever be seen dead in: Primark
Bag that was so expensive it made me feel physically sick to buy and therefore will probably feature in every outfit post I will ever write: You got it, it's the Mulberry

So there you have it. My poor excuse for a pair of 'trainers', and the job that will no doubt take over my life for the next 2 months. I want to know your thoughts, any Towie fans out there? Any Hi-Top fans out there? Or am I - as always - completely on my own?

Hope you enjoyed this post everyone, thanks so much for reading!

xx

OOTD: Snowy days and Gluten-free treats

I have been one of those rare people that have somehow avoided tweeting, instagramming (I haven't even got instagram - I am so behind the times - but I'm sure I'll jump on that bandwagon in 2015!) facebooking and blogging about the snow. But, like the snowmen you all excitedly built, I caved in! Jesus, that sounded a little bit evil didn't it? #CruellaDeville

If you follow my blog you will not be surprised that I - somebody who hates Halloween, doesn't really do birthdays and refrains from getting excited about Christmas in October like the rest of the population - was less than impressed with the snow. I'm not just being a massive kill joy, yes it looks pretty...for all of 10minutes. Then it turns to slush, then it turns to ice....and then people with the co-ordination of Bambi i.e me, go arse over tit and make complete prats of themselves. Which believe it or not, I do an absolutely fine job of that as it is!

Ranting over, the point I was actually trying to get to - which of course takes two paragraphs of waffling to get past first, this is me after all - is that due to the snow, I had to cancel quite a few plans. However, with the weather thankfully getting warmer, that shitty pesky little snow is slowly starting to melt away and plans are firmly back on, resulting in the onesie coming off (don't judge me, onesies are totally legal when it's -10 outside) and slightly more acceptable outfits are back on. Which leads me nicely onto the 'outfit of the day' How's that for a link? You'd almost think I worked in TV..
Obviously going for a bit of a 'peacock' look today!
I think it's fair to say I have quite a penchant for hairy, furry, animal resembling jumpers. Clearly decided to not change the habit of a life time with this bad boy!
Jumper resembling a peacock: River Island
Skirt: Primark
Boots: Ebay
Cross ring that is purely 'for show' and not in anyway religious: Aldo
Completely unseasonal pastel yellow nails: Model's Own Mellow Yellow
Goose bumps, lack of pictures and exceptionally grumpy face: Courtesy of my least favourite thing at the moment, UK weather!

On a side note - because I am an absolute pig seem to be unable to see a gluten-free item of food and not try it....Starbucks now have a GF Tuna Niscoise roll (roll by Genius, which I have to say is by far the best 'bready' item that I've tried from a coffee shop/supermarket. Which basically translates into 'it didn't fall apart before I got a chance to put in my mouth'

On another side note (last one, I promise!) my mum met a friend for lunch yesterday at one of - if not, my all time - favourite restaurants, Cotto, which I posted about here. I mentioned in my post how amazing the manager, Lino, is there. In case you're like me and can't be arsed are too lazy to go and have a read, in short, Lino has Coeliac disease himself and is one of the most knowledgeable and loveliest people I have ever met. Anyway, after a hectic/crazy day, I came home to this....
....my absolute favourite dessert from Cotto, the Tiramisu! I have it every time I go without fail, so Lino gave this to my Mum to pass on for me. What an absolute sweetheart! Great timing too as I got a new job yesterday, nothing like your favourite dessert to celebrate (as if I needed an excuse anyway) Last time I got a job I was really excited about I bought a Mulberry bag. This time I've got some tiramisu....I've changed! Ha!

Hope you enjoyed this post, thank you so much for reading. UK readers, I hope you enjoyed the snow while it lasted. Non UK readers, I hope you enjoyed how terrible we are at dealing with it!

xx

Gluten free living - Honest Burgers

There are times, and I'd bet good money that everyone with Coeliac disease/anyone that eats a gluten-free diet will agree with me, that eating outlet's lack of awareness could quite literally make you scream with frustration, and on particularly clueless occasions - "oh sorry you can't eat this, it's got milk in"...what?!?! - cry of despair!

Don't get me wrong, awareness of the disease is a million times better than it was a few years ago. I'd say that there is at least one option in 90% of the popular coffee shops/cafes on the high street these days but if I'm honest, they're generally quite disappointing. Anyway, I didn't just start this post to have a good moan and a groan about lack of awareness and variety out there for us - but if your reading Costa, Caffe Nero etc. I'm not impressed! - the point of this post is actually to tell you about an amazing restaurant I've found, which now joins my list of 'places to go when you feel like no-on understands what gluten even is!'

So, after my latest 'banging my head against a brick wall' encounter with a restaurant manager who told me I couldn't have bubble and squeak because it contained potato, but recommended a whole host of food which were based around flour, I took myself off to a place that was recommended on a GF website I subscribe to as somewhere that just gets gluten-free. That place? Honest Burgers...
Now, I hate slagging off (how articulate) places, but bearing in mind that overall this is an extremely positive review - and the pro's by far outway the cons, which kind of makes writing them redundant...but I'm gonna do it anyway - I'll get the negatives out the way first. The (Soho) restaurant is absolutely tiny, which meant that we were told - without even managing to enter the restaurant for the queue in front of us - that there was at least a 30 minute wait. Due to the size of Honest Burgers there is nowhere you can wait inside which meant we were then wandering around Soho waiting for a call to say there was a table available. When we finally did get a call, we walked in and headed over to a table, only to be shown to a two-seater with two menu's placed behind what is really only one seat (there were three of us). Now, I'm not a big girl, but even I felt pretty cramped. Put it this way, it was the first time in my life that I was grateful for not having a 'Kim Kardashian arse!' Now negatives aside, onto the good stuff, and god is there a lot of it. Cue massive food porn...
I'll let you into a little secret, I am quite well known for my love of a McDonald's Quarter Pounder (with cheese, without the bun) and chips! I know, I know, my classiness never ceases to amaze me either, but it's just not the same as having a big, thick, juicy burger - what I would call 'a proper burger' - with an actual bun, and a bun that doesn't crumble, disintegrate and generally taste of sawdust at that! This is where Honest Burger comes in, sweeps me off my feet and sends me to Burger heaven....(seeing as we're talking burgers, a massive slice of cheesiness is absolutely allowed in this post right?) 

The food came up only about 15 minutes after we ordered which I was pretty impressed with bearing in mind how long it took to actually get into the restaurant. I went for the Beef burger which already comes with a red onion relish, the gluten-free bun and added Mature Cheddar. Here's the pictures of how the same burger came up, with the gluten-free bun, and with the normal not gluten-free (duh) bun.
Gluten-free bun above, non gluten-free or normal (hate using that term because that technically makes me 'abnormal'...don't say a word) bun below.
As you can see, the normal bun is a lot more 'burger bun-esque' (now there's a phrase I never thought I'd write) with the glazed, round top. Although the gluten-free bun wasn't your typical burger bun (if I'm honest I'm not sure that's even possible, if you've had one like it though, please let me know!) it was much better than any I've tasted before. As I previously said, moist, slightly chewy not dry in the slightest and the best thing? it actually stayed together. No crumbling, disintegrating and falling apart in sight!

Next up, the chips. One word - wow! Seasoned with rosemary salt, without sounding repetitive, they really were some of the best chips I've ever had. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside (check me out, whipping the poncey food critic phrases out the bag) and most importantly, a good sized portion too. 

Finally, and in my humble (and probably not worth taking after my McDonald's confession) opinion, the best part of the meal was the actual burger itself. My instinct is to say 'there are no words to describe this' but that would make for a pretty shit crap review, so I'll give it my best shot. The meat was cooked medium/pink - but you can request for it to be well done - and was just so tender, (god I feel like such a knob saying that) so tasty, thick and juicy, I actually tied my hair back so my messy mane didn't fall into the juices when I quite literally dived in!! Jumping on the 'a picture speaks a thousand words' phrase, I'll leave you with a picture because there's absolutely no doubt that it will do a lot more justice than my words ever could...
I just wished I'd taken a picture of the inside but if I'm completely honest, it probably wasn't around for the long enough! I'll start to wrap this up now because my rambling and waffling is pretty impressive at the best of times but bring burgers into the situation...and I'll be at it all day. (You lot have such dirty minds)

In all seriousness - I can do serious, believe it or not - if you you're gluten-free and haven't been able to eat a burger in a long time or more to the point just love a 'proper burger' you need to get yourself down to Honest Burgers. By far the best I've ever tried, and this includes before I was diagnosed. Bold statement, but true!

Prices are also extremely reasonable in my opinion too. I won't list it all but prices, addresses of restaurants, and all that information which I am far too lazy to write out are all on their website here 

So, have you been to Honest Burgers? If you have, I'd love to know what you think. Also, any restaurant/cafe/food shop recommendations are so more than welcome, I can assure you I'll try every single one. All in the name of research obviously!

Hope this post was useful for you guys, thanks so much for reading!

xx

Harvey Nics, Winter coat and the bargain of the century

In case you hadn't already figured from previous posts, I am a massive fan of the high street! In fact, one of the only designer items I have right now is my Mulberry bag, which took a long time for me to strap on a pair of balls - figuratively speaking - and buy! I'd reviewed it on countless websites, compared just about every bag to make sure it was 'the one' and it was only when I got a job (on Young Apprentice if your interested...you're probably not) that I finally thought I deserved a bit of a treat. I'm not joking - believe me I wish I was - when I say that it was almost a tug of war between me and the shop assistant, with my credit card in the middle. It hurt handing over that amount of money, a lot, but in my defence it was a one off, and a reward/incentive for the future. Have I justified myself yet?...

Anyway, the point that I'm getting at is if it was a choice between the high street or designer, I'm going high street every time BUT, sometimes it's just nice to have a bit of a browse at the higher end, even if it results in a massive wish list that will never materialize! Which, is exactly what happened today, as I headed off to Harvey Nichols.

Also, I've been intending to do an OOTD recently but considering London has been practically freezing, when I haven't been living in my onesie (which nobody wants/needs to see) I've been living in my new winter coat which doesn't exactly qualify as an 'outfit'. So today's post is a mash up of both of the above...oh I do love a good mash up!

Harvey Nics, my winter coat and my forever growing wish list....
Harvey Nic's and Wagamama's. Well you know what they say, kill two birds with one stone!
Despite the moody, frost bitten face, inside I was actually screaming with happiness after reading that sign!
Spot the freaky dolls head with the wispy, frizzy hair? No not me you cheeky sods, second from bottom row. Scary!
Only Harvey Nichols would sell 'healthy chocolate' I mean, I'd be lying if I said I didn't try a sample...or two. But in all honesty, give me a Cadbury's Crunchie any day of the week!
Onto a few of my favourite items. Dark, blurry pictures courtesy of me. Trying to take photo's on the sly to avoid an ear bashing from extremely unimpressed shop assistants is surprisingly hard!
Recognise these? Well, you should do, because nearly every single shop in the highstreet/online has their own version of the Chloe 'susanna' boots. Long live cheap knock offs!
I don't actually own a pair of trainers - which probably explains why I can't even run for a bus without keeling over - but I am so tempted by these Jimmy Choo bad boys!
The coveted Acne aviator and Balenciaga jacket's. Now where's that spare £3000 I was looking for, or the rich husband, or the London rioters from 2011. JOKE!
McQueen. That is all!

Now, is it just me or is it absolutely necessary to buy a new coat every year, regardless of how may you've already got in your wardrobe? It's just one of those items - especially living in London - that you're going to get a ton of use out of, so more or less pays for itself. (Here goes the poor attempt at some justification again!) 

A little while ago the black Zara trench/military style jacket become extremely popular. It was one of the coats that every other person on the street was wearing, every blogger had gone and bought it, and whilst I did really love the style at the time, it just wasn't enough to put up with wearing the same coat as every tom, dick and harry....

And then those wonderful little boxing day sales happened. I'm not a huge sale shopper and you definitely won't see me queueing at 3am, but when I saw just one coat, almost identical to the one mentioned above but in navy (which I always prefer), all on it's own, in my bloody size, well...I would have quite happily wrestled an old lady to the ground for it...
...Sorry guys, I couldn't help myself! I actually never wrestled anyone to the floor before anybody calls the police to report me for GBH, but after seeing it was in the sale for £30 reduced from £60, I did make quite an embarrassing jump for joy (which admittedly I probably did deserve to be arrested for!) Enough waffling, here's the coat...
Apologies for the vile 'picture in the mirror' pose - I have a bit of an issue with them - but, it was the only way I could get a picture of the coat undone. Trust me, I want to punch myself in the face for this more than you do! 

Oh, and while we're talking coats, sales and vile pictures, here's my 'bargain of the century' H&M coat below...
Guess how much? No guess, just try, oh go on then. 10 bloody pounds! A tenner, 1000 pennies...in the words of Charlie Sheen, Winning!!

So I think that's about it *cue gospel choir singing "praise the lord"* As I've said before, if you got to this point in the post then thank you very much (and well done) for bearing with me and not falling asleep.

Hope you enjoyed this post guys, thanks so much for reading!

xx

If it's good enough for Beyonce....

I know I shouldn't - and I really hope this doesn't offend anyone - but I can't help but feel that for me, doing a NOTD (nail of the day for anyone who just thinks that I've got terrible spelling) is a little bit of a cop out. It's just really easy to wack on a picture of your nails isn't it? But - aha, the obligatory but - in a big fat U-turn and contradiction of myself, that's exactly what I'm doing today.

There's  two reasons why I'm going back on my laurels with this one: -

Number 1 - I read somewhere recently (pretty sure it was Company or Glamour...feel free to correct me) that the colour blue makes you happy. With the Christmas period well and truly over, the cold weather kicking in and just January generally being a it of a shitty dry month in general, I'm all for trying this latest gimmick!

Number 2 - The nail varnish I'm talking about today is practically a dupe of Nails Inc. Baker street aka, the 'Beyonce nail varnish!' Anyone that knows me, will know that I'm a little bit obsessed with Beyonce, pretty much just want to be her and...have become that person forever on the quest for a Beyonce arse. (#SkinnyGirlProblems) For my 'street cred' - not that I'd have any left for using that phrase in the first place - I probably shouldn't have admitted that but, what can I say? I just can't help but love the woman!

And the nail polish in question? Bourjois Bleu Fabuleux
Next to my recycling bin (which conveniently is identical in colour) don't say I'm not a glamorous, classy girl!
And finally, here I am wearing it out...
...suits me doesn't it?
3 Words (quoting Chezza C) - IN MY DREAMS!

I typically forgot to take a picture of Nails Inc. Baker street, but I would go as far to say they are pretty much identical. Nails Inc. polishes are priced at £11.00 and the Bourjois range (which you can find in Boots and Superdrug) retails for £5.99, which of course, the tight arse, cheap skate, pikey, bargain hunter in me, absolutely loves!

Have you tried this polish? Would you agree it was a dupe for Baker St? Whatever the answers to those questions may be, I'd love to know what you think!
Thanks so much for reading everyone, hope you enjoyed this post!
xx

OOTD - Shopping and gossiping, count me in!

Considering that it's been a few days since I last posted - and one of my main New year's resolutions was to blog more frequently - I suppose you could say I've already failed that one. But hey, it's not the 1st/2nd January, which is when I normally bail out on these things so that's an improvement in itself. Every little helps...(*disclaimer - I am not sponsored by Tesco's)

One resolution that I have kept to is making more time to catch up with friends. I know what you're thinking 'come off it love, you're meeting up with friends, what do you want a blue peter badge?' Well, the likelihood is you're probably not thinking that, but if you are, I would quite like one actually, yeah! Anyway before I bore the life out of you, ramble in 2014 and subsequently fail another resolution (yes I made one not to ramble, if you read my blog, you'll know why!) I'll cut to the chase!

Working in TV = long, irregular hours which therefore means meeting other friends in TV is pretty hard, but yesterday I finally managed to catch up with a friend of mine who I worked on The X-Factor/Britain's Got Talent with. This excited me for two reasons; number 1, we met at Westfields which means I may have been dragged by some incredible force of nature into a lot of shops. Number 2, my friend now works on Big Brother - which I have to hold my hands up and admit is my guilty pleasure - so there's always some kind of gossip to swap. Shopping and gossipping? I'm in!

In typical fashion I forgot to take pictures before I left. So here I am at the end of the day, completely worse for wear, worn out, pulled from pillow to post, basically looking like a walking corpse. In other words, no different to usual....

Just a quick one, 'sheep chic' is in these days isn't? Ah, thank god for that. I think it's fair to say I've got this trend nailed girls!
Casual Christmas tree in the background...sure!
*NO SHEEPS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS JUMPER!*
The love affair with the pleather/faux leather trousers continues. I wasn't joking when I said I had them in every colour...
Faux leather trousers: H&M
Jumper: sheered off a sheep at the local farm. (New Look
Boots: Linzi (still struggling to type that without cringing)
Nails that can't even be seen but I'm going to wack the name of them in here anyway: Essie Aruba Blue (obsessed with this bad boy!)

Now, I'm pretty sure somebody spiked my nando's because when I got home I found another essie nail varnish, a new pair of boots and practically half of Primark in my bag....and I can't for the life of me imagine/remember how it got there?!...strange ;)

Hope you enjoyed this post guys, thanks so much for reading!

xx

OOTD: Lazy Sunday at the market

If there's one thing I love about London - apart from the fresh air, clean streets, polite inhabitants and cheery banter on the tube - it's the markets. Perfect at any time of the year, even better on a lazy Sunday!

If it's quirky jewellery, vintage fashion, arts and crafts and just a general variety you're after, Camden Market is a good'un.

If you love antiques and David Dickinson is your dream dinner date (if such a person actually exists, please let me know...or re-evaluate your life, or get yourself some help, ASAP!) then Caledonian Market, Bermondsey square is your best bet.

If you're a bit of a cheese connoisseur - which I'm definitely not, give me a cheese string any day of the week! - are looking for great quality produce, and somewhere which is also amazing at Christmas time, (think mulled wine and apple cider, turkey's galore, roasted chestnuts) Borough Market is your best pick.

But for me, the biggest all rounder and one that's conveniently on my doorstep...is Greenwich Market. Packed with stalls full of antiques, clothes, jewellery, arts and crafts...and most importantly amazing food! (a lot of gluten-free options too which obviously scored major points with me. Mini pancakes, crepes, a whole GF stall full - Ruby Tuesday - of cupcakes, cookies, loafs...now that's what I'm talking about!) I love the Greenwich area in general and could quite easily spend hours walking around the market, park, little boutiques etc....which is exactly what I did yesterday.

Here's what I wore, don't get too excited, I'm sure you won't...
Switching to my most attractive side, i.e any side in which my face is no longer visible. Ta dah! Much better...
 Just popping in for a chat with David Cameron. Can you imagine? Prime minister meets random girl, tottering about taking photo's on the street, like a major tit!
Top: New Look
Gilet: Urban Outfitters
Skirt: Primark (practically impossible for me to wear an outfit which doesn't include a primark item)
Boots: Linzi (arrghh the snob in me is cringing to death writing that but hey, £20 in the sale, you can't go wrong!)
Bag: Mulberry
Ridiculously uncoordinated girl who always looks about 2 seconds away from face planting the ground: that, of course, would be me!

 If you have any favourite London markets, I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.
Hope you enjoyed this post guys, thanks so much for reading!
xx
© the Elle next door

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