Wednesday, 23 April 2014

[BETTY WEARS] London Retro Sunnies...

London Retro Glasses, UK Style Bloggers

I've had these London Retro specs since the end of last year, and although I've worn them in outfit posts here and there, I haven't really given them the blog time they deserve considering how gorgeous they are. With the weather turning and them being pretty much glued to my head of late, I thought it was about time I rectified that fact and gave them a proper introduction for spring.

I think the reason for my delay is because I always feel a bit daft wearing sunglasses in winter. This is of course completely unmerited as I know only too well the effects sun damage can have on your eyes, thanks to my Mum spending a good year or so working for a pretty well known high street optician. (Apparently it's even worse for us city dwellers as often we can't see or feel the sun due to grey polluted skies yet its rays can still be damaging even through the clouds. Little nugget of info for you all there, you are welcome.)

We really should protect our eyes in any situation that the sun may harm them, regardless of the time of year or colour of the sky (that means even on grey days and in winter). However, apart from occasions like fashion week (where these got their first outing) in which I can get away with it because everyone and their dog (literally) is wearing sunnies, I can't quite bring myself to do it as I know that if I turned up wearing a pair to the pub on a grey Saturday in November, my non fashion friends might just dis-own me.

Anyway now that spring's sunshine is here and the wearing of sunglasses without dis-ownment is once again condoned by both fashion and non fashion friends, I've been getting to know this pair much better.

Top UK Fashion Blogs, Outfit of the Day, Peter Pilotto for TargetTop UK Fashion Blogs, Outfit of the Day, Peter Pilotto for Target
Betty Wears: Sunglasses - c/o London Retro at My Optique, Skirt - Peter Pilotto for Target, T-shirt - H&M, Jacket - Gestuz from Buy my Wardrobe, Trainers - Converse, Bag - ASOS (old), Necklace - c/o Anna Lou of London, rings - Vintage.

Because I'm not a full time glasses wearer, I often compromise quite a bit on sunglasses and just opt for high street styles that suit me rather than worrying about the lenses and the UV protection. When I was introduced to the London Retro brand by the folks at luxury eyewear retailer, My Optique, I at first dismissed the whole thing thinking it was purely for my bespectacled friends. But the great thing about both the My Optique retailer and the London Retro brand is that all of their frames are available in both prescription and non prescription lenses and in both glasses and sunglasses forms, so once you've found a frame that suits you, you can choose how to wear them.

I can imagine this being really useful for glasses wearers as buying off the peg sunglasses isn't really an option and I'm sure it can be difficult to find styles of frames that suit the lens requirements. As I'm not a glasses wearer of course, for me the brand simply offers a chance to get some pretty snazzy sunglasses that will last a lot longer than my high street counterparts and give me the proper UV protection that my eyes have probably been craving all of these years.

Top UK Fashion Blogs, Outfit of the Day, Peter Pilotto for TargetTop UK Fashion Blogs, Outfit of the Day, Peter Pilotto for Target

The London Retro brand, is unsurprisingly inspired by the sartorial flair that the capital is known for and their styles are easy to wear, vintage inspired shapes all named after different areas in London or quintessential British characters. The style I'm wearing is called the Babs and is everything you might expect a Babs to look like; retro with a hint of the avant garde, all curvy lines and bold prints with plenty of gold. The cats eye pair come in either a plain black or tortoiseshell, like I'm wearing, and are said to be a nod to the styles Marilyn Monroe wore which I think it pretty spot on as even on their own they ooze confidence and swagger.

I find they work best with a fairly classic outfit (if Marilyn is the style icon then we know an LBD and a slick or red lippy is surely all we need) but lately I've been throwing them on with just about anything and they always add a little wow to the outfit.

Top UK Fashion Blogs, Outfit of the Day, Peter Pilotto for TargetTop UK Fashion Blogs, Outfit of the Day, Peter Pilotto for TargetTop UK Fashion Blogs, Outfit of the Day, Peter Pilotto for TargetTop UK Fashion Blogs, Outfit of the Day, Peter Pilotto for Target

These particular pictures were taken a couple of Sunday's ago when we spent the day walking around central London to watch the Marathon. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I wanted to wear something casual and comfortable that I could walk in easily but also something that felt a little summery so I called upon the bright prints of my Peter Pilotto for Target skirt and teamed it with casual separates and my old faithful Converse.

Without the sunnies it would be a fairly ordinary outfit, but thanks to Babs it's back in blog worthy territory.

What about you, do you spend more to get quality UV protection in your sunglasses or are you happy to shop on the high street?

BB
xxx

Photography by Stuart Watt

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

[BETTY SNAPS] Our Easter Saturday, Hour by Hour...

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

I wish I could take full credit for the idea behind this post but, alas, it was borrowed from the wonderful Cider with Rosie, one of my fave lifestyle blogs. Rosie has such a wonderful way of documenting the ordinary and every photo of hers makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. After reading her hour by hour post, and seeing how adorably enchanting she made even the most mundane of tasks look, I thought I'd give it a go too...

So first of all, wasn't the bank holiday weekend wonderful? On Saturday we took a day trip to Brighton and although it could have been a little warmer (that sea air) I was so glad we chose Saturday to go, as the next couple of days ended up being a bit grey and rainy. It had been almost a year since we'd visited the seaside town and I'd forgotten just how quaint and pretty it is. But for once I'm going to let the photos do the talking so without further ado, this was our Saturday...

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

8am: Up early with the sun shining through the window and a cup of tea in bed, surely the best way to start any day. (and no, the irony of my 'party animal' mug is not lost on me)


Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle BlogsEaster Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

9am: Outfit prepping and nail painting. I couldn't resist this pink two piece suit when I saw it in Zara last week and was determined to wear it at the first sunny opportunity. It may not have been traditional beach side attire but I didn't care. Mint coloured nails finished off the look.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

10am: Breakfast cooked by GB, because a long day of sightseeing needs a hearty breakfast.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

11am: Admiring the view from Blackfriars station while waiting to board our train. FYI little tip for you, if you travel to Brighton from Blackfriars instead of Victoria it's muchos cheaper, and in some ways more relaxing too. What a lovely station it is.

12pm: On the train. No photo because well trains do not make blog worthy photos so I'm skipping ahead and giving you two for 1pm instead.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle BlogsEaster Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

1pm: Arrived in Brighton and headed straight to the delights of North Laine, full of antique stalls, flea markets and cute vintage stores.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

1.15pm: Greeted by a seagull, just to remind us we're near the sea once again! Look at the guy on the left's face - priceless.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

1.30pm: Walking through gardens of tulips in the sunshine.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

2pm: Picnic on the beachfront and a relaxing 'aaah' every time the sun came out.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle BlogsEaster Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

2.30pm: (sorry realising this is becoming more minute by minute but had too many nice photos to share) The sun finally comes out while walking along the pier.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

3pm: Windswept. Attempting outfit shots on the beach.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

4pm: Visiting the Brighton and Hove food festival to take in the music, smells and atmosphere.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

5pm: Picking up some homemade fudge for the journey home before the shops shut.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

6pm: Adoring the pretty pastel houses and acting like I lived in one.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

7pm: Enjoying drinks Al Fresco for one of the first times this year with a gin and tonic in the sunshine.

Easter Saturday Hour by Hour, Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

8pm: What else but a massive plate of fish and chips to end our day? If you look closely you may notice it's actually only half a fish as I got a bit carried away by my hunger and completely forgot to take a photo!

By 9pm we were back on the train to London exhausted but happy after a lovely day out. How was your Easter weekend?

BB
xxx




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Monday, 21 April 2014

[BETTY BAKES] What to do With Leftover Easter Chocolate...

Easter Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolate

It's a given that you'll end up with too much chocolate over Easter. Of course with my sweet tooth I'm not at all against eating every last scrap on Sunday evening and not feeling an ounce of guilt. But, should you find yourself with some leftover scraps, too many mini eggs and in need of a fun recipe that can use everything up, then let me introduce you to one of my favourite sweet treats; tiffin!

Today's recipe is adapted slightly from my usual classic tray-bake and made more Easter themed with the addition of mini eggs and individual cases.

I promise it's super easy and very quick to do, and if you have young ones to occupy, lots of fun without being too messy.

Easter Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolate

What you'll need...

8oz crushed digestives (around 20 biscuits)
4oz dried fruit (any raisins, sultanas etc you have kicking around in the cupboard will do but feel free to exchange for cherries or dates if you're feeling especially extravagant)
8oz chocolate (to make it slightly healthier, only very slightly of course considering the rest of the ingredients, use a dark high cocoa count chocolate, otherwise just melt down all of your Easter egg scraps)
2 packs of mini eggs (these aren't essential but make a nice Easter addition)
4oz margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons syrup
1 oz cocoa

Easter Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolate

How it's done...

1. First of all crush your digestives using a wooden spoon or place the biscuits in a sealed food bag and throw then around a little.
2. Use one pack of mini eggs for the mixture and keep the other aside for decorating. Crush the first bag into smaller broken pieces.
3. Place the digestives in a bowl with the cocoa, crushed mini eggs and fruit and mix to distribute evenly.
4. Weigh out the margarine and cut into small cubes. Place in a heatproof bowl along with the sugar and syrup and heat in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water until the marg has melted into a gooey mix.
5. Add the melted ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix into a wet gooey mix. 
Top Tip - If the mixture looks too dry or isn't holding together, simply add a little more melted margarine.
6. Place a spoonful or two of mixture into baking cases and flatten down. If you prefer to make a classic tray-bake rather than individual cakes then just flatten all of the mix down into a baking tray.
7. Place in the fridge for around 20 mins to cool and harden.

Easter Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolate

8. Melt your chocolate and pour a spoonful over each hardened biscuit, spreading out across the top.
9. Use your second bag of mini eggs to decorate the tops (it doesn't have to be mini eggs, you can use any decorations you may have)
10. Place back in the fridge to harden and serve straight from the fridge for a crunchy bite.

Easter Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolateEaster Baking Ideas, What to do with leftover Easter chocolate

That's it! Told you it was easy, and I promise if you need a little something sweet with a cup of tea, one of these is just the ticket!

If you do give them a go, I'd love it if you could use the hashtag #bettybakes when sharing on Twitter or Instagram so I can see how you got on!

Happy Easter Monday!

BB
xxx



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Sunday, 20 April 2014

[FELLOW BETTY'S] Weekend Reading #008 - The Easter Edition!

Top UK Lifestyle Blogs

Happy Easter folks! Hope you are all having a great long weekend full of good food, chocolate and whatever other indulgences you may have given up for lent. We took a little trip to Brighton yesterday which was lovely but with the weather being so miserable in London today, I'm happy to stay indoors baking Easter  treats and catching up on blogging while GB cooks up an Easter roast... it smells goooood!

If you too are having a lazy Easter Sunday then here's a few Easter related posts I've enjoyed this week that will make great reads to pass the time before dinner.

1. Carrie's post full of pastel goodies had me hankering for a floral bunny ear headband like never before, not to mention how cute those bow shoes are...

2. Manicures on the mind? Zoe gives an awesome Easter themed speckled nail tutorial which isn't too difficult to follow for even the most amateur of nail artists like me.

3. Fancy a spot of baking? You can't much more Easter than classic hot cross buns, try this easy recipe from The Greedy Girls. P.S stay tuned for a chocolatey Easter treat from me later too!

4. And because you can never have enough of the sweet stuff, I also love Olivia's chocolate nests and chick macarons!

5. But of you do need something a little healthier, then marvel at these raw chocolate Easter eggs inside real egg shells!! Probably quite fiddly but a great surprise for guests if you're having an Easter get together, thanks Honestly Healthy!

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

[BETTY SNAPS] A Lazy Girls Guide to Blogging - Feb and March 2014

Top Uk Lifestyle Blogs

It's been a little while since I posted an Instagram round up. Have you noticed how hardly any bloggers do them anymore? Isn't it funny how things come in and out of fashion in the blogging community?

Anyway after a few overly wordy posts this week (I really need to learn to be more concise with my copy) I thought I'd keep things simple today and play catch up a little on some of my favourite posts from the last couple of months via my instagram account.

To follow the adventures in real time, catch me on Instagram @bumpkinbetty

Valentines Day

 A lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogs


Fashion Week Fun

A lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogs


Outfits

A lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogs


Shoe-aholic

A lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogs


Beauty Bytes

A lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogs


Good enough to Eat

A lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogs

When Mac Met Cheese...

The Adventures

A lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogs

Behind the Scenes with Stephen Einhorn...

Snapshots

A lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogsA lazy Girls Guide to Blogging, top uk fashion and lifestyle blogs


BB
xxx

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