For the love of a jacket

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If my wardrobe could speak (if only the above was my wardrobe!) it would not only say to you that I’ve got plenty of clothes (although still have “I’ve got nothing to wear” moments), it would say that over the last couple of years, the jacket has made a big appearance.

Back in the day (late 90s), reserved fully for complete suit wearing attire on a strictly matching basis for interviews, jackets featured on my person on a few and far between basis. However now, they are a wardrobe staple.

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From classic and smart to casual and colourful, the simple jacket can turn an outfit around for me. Today is a good example (excuse lack of makeup…). Black faded jeans and a grey tshirt with grey boots is transformed with a Zara Boucle jacket finished with Gold Zips… Drab to fab in my eyes.

And that’s what I mean. A jacket can work wonders when you are having a dressing nightmare moment. Come winter or summer, I can throw one on and instantly feel more “done”.

My go-to store for Jackets is Zara, and in recent years I’ve picked up some great bargains during the Sales. Other favourites include Mango (for colours and cut), Next, M&S and H&M. Another favourite place is the Vintage/Charity Shop. My Navy Blue velvet blazer, a St Michael original, was from a Save the Children, and I adore it.

Here’s a selection of the blazers/jackets I’m lusting after right now…

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Zara/Zara/Mango/Mango

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Mango/H&M/M&S/Next

Do you have a favourite jacket store that I’ve perhaps overlooked? Are they a staple in your wardrobes or a non-essential fashion choice? Would love to know.

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Tummy Lovin’

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My friends and family will confirm the fact that I’m the ultimate consumer. A brand owners joy, that’s easily sucked in by marketing hype (ironic since that’s my day-job!)

They will also vouch for the fact that I’m pretty vain. When I first found out I was pregnant, after the initial elation/shock, my thoughts turned towards my body and the changes that would be taking place over the forthcoming months. I’d been told that stretch marks were genetic, that if my Mum had them I would, and as I wasn’t the smallest baby (8lb10) my poor, very petite Mum (5ft2, size 8-10) shows the marks of having me, even now. Cue aversion tactics by me!

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I was fastidious from the start about using an extra layer of oil on my bump to supplement my usual moisturiser routine, these ranging from Bio-Oil in the beginning, through Clarins Tonic Oil (grew to hate the smell) and Burts Bees, settling on Mama Mio from month six. From then until birth, their Tummy Rub Oil and Tummy Rub Butter were a twice daily ritual, leaving Hubby thinking he was sharing a bed with some sort of Orca!

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However, this is not a post about stretch-marks! Mama Mio also have Bootcamp Kits, and after carrying around Master Johnson for 9 months, my Tummy certainly needed their kit prescribed for the purpose. This is where buying into hype comes in, however, I can confirm, it actually does work.

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After three months of use (its just run out and lasted longer than the 30-day plan), and now 7 months post-birth, with Boob Tube thrown in too for good measure, my tummy is *almost* back to its former self. A few more pounds to go, but nine months on, nine months off as they say.

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I’d recommend this kit to anyone as my skin feels firmer, looks smoother and the exercises that come with the pack have become second nature (the Tupler Technique is actually something I used throughout pregnancy to help me with labour). These are products that are definitely made by Mums for Mums.

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I’ll be buying Skin Tight and Boob Tube again separately now its finished. Has anyone else tried anything from the range? What do you think?

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

(This post is in no way sponsored. All products were purchased by me.)

Tuesday Shoes-Day

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Zara Black Studded Heel Ankle Boots

I bought these Ankle boots in November last year as I was on a quest for some boots that I could wear with Skirts as well as trousers to dress them up. Such was the “rage” in AW12, ankle boots were everywhere.

This pair from my beloved Zara were perfect. Not too high, with a sturdy heel for winter, with just the right amount if bling. They are also faux-suede meaning they didn’t cost the earth and I wasn’t forever worrying about getting them wet.

I’ve worn them a lot over the last few months and I like the fact they sit just below the ankle bone. I’ve managed to attack myself a couple of times with the studs though… That make you wine if you knock your ankle! Good weapon though I guess!

Today I’m wearing them with:

Red Angora Jumper – Zara
Black and Red Woven Necklace – Zara
Cream & Neon Chiffon Shirt – Primark
Black coated Skinny trousers – H&M

My nail varnish also inadvertently matches my jumper. I used the new NailsInc topcoat last night and its fantastic. Much cheaper than a Gel-Manicure (probably doesn’t last as long though!)

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Dadulthood: Burger & Lobster

Burger & Lobster

Ok, this is a bit of a departure from my usual posts, and it’s my first attempt at a restraunt review so all comments are welcome.

Burger & Lobster Mayfair has been around for a while and I have eaten there four times – a mixture of work and pleasure. There are a few more locations around London now, but the Mayfair one remains my favourite.

I love the atmosphere… a small cosy bar as you walk in surrounded by high tables and stools. Brass and dark wood furnish the whole space and it feels to me like old town Chicago (too many Hollywood films, and a visit to Shaws Crab House when the Wife and I holidayed there a few years ago).

There is always a queue and a wait, and to me, this is a sign of a good place or the latest media trend. But I enjoy the wait. The wine list is extensive and caters with quality from £30 to stock broker pockets and the beer choices are unique.

The back of restaurant is a little cramped but gives you a great view into the kitchen.

Burger Lobster Menu

The food is a simple concept… 2lb lobster, burger or a lobster roll all at £20 each or 3lb lobster at £30. They also have a lobster board and I can only guess how wonderful these would be I’ve never made it that far. When the Wife and I were there last, a 17lb Lobster was on sale for £214!

Service is good, the staff are attentive but not overly so, and you can always catch someone’s eye when you need too.

As I said I have been several times and sampled the four main meals.

Burger

The burger is juicy and well cooked however for a £20 burger I want something spectacular, and this is not that. It is a good solid burger it won’t make a top ten burger in London list but accept the price and you will be satisfied.

That said the other three dishes are fantastic. The lobster roll served cool is delicious… a real blend of beautiful lobster and Marie Rose sauce.

Lobster

The two lobster mains are fantastic. I had mine finished on the grill with drawn butter. The meat was succulent not over cooked and was set of with a super tasty salad and chips.

Dessert, if you have room, is a mousse affair. I had white chocolate that was nice if a bit rich, but a definite must have just share one.

All in all a great place, my only criticism is the no booking policy as it means its not suitable when timings are a factor.

I would say a solid 7/10.

Have you been yet? What do you think of it? A good edition to the London eating scene?

Dadulthood

(Menu and Lobster images courtesy of LizzieEatsLondon and PeanutButtered)

The Marathon Diaries: Week 11

Week 11 Marathon Diaries

 

63 days to go

9 weeks to go?! How the hell did that happen?

The fact it’s March in 12 days is SCARY! I’m there or thereabouts with my training, but what has buoyed me has been my progress today. The training plan said 14 miles or 3.5 hours, whichever was less, and I managed 3 hours and 15 miles. I had planned on running 16 miles, but the lure of my house on a road where I could have squeezed in the last two miles, or gone home, was too much. I turned left and went home. Still pleased though.

My mind is in two places. Sometimes I really think about not doing it, but then, I’ve got this far, and the fact is, I can walk and run it and still finish it. The other part of me wants to really try and get to my goal of finishing in less than 5 hours, but this just stresses me out. Today was a good example. I started out at just under 10 minute miles, slowing it down a bit from previous runs to make sure I got the time under my belt, but ended my run at a 12 minute mile. It’s not bad, but I had hoped for a bit more, and that made me cross with myself. I guess the main thing was that I kept running. The last couple of long runs I’ve been on I’ve had to stop and walk for various reasons, but then I find it so hard to start again. I’d much rather run slowly than stop.

My knees are hurting tonight, but I’ve got my feet firmly up for some Sunday night TV. Some stretches before bed should help.  Hopefully, going into week 12 will be OK.

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Small Snifter…?

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I think I’m ageing before my own eyes. Honestly, Radio 2 is on most devices in our house now, the the soft tones of Vanessa Feltz followed by Chris Evans, interspersed with a bit of Moira Stewart now wake us in the morning. But this… This is worrying.

It all started at Christmas.

Whilst wrapping the gifts on Christmas Eve I really fancied a little sip of something… A small snifter as one of my friends would say. Too early for wine, and too lazy for Mulled anything (which is good any time of day right?) my head went to the bottle of Sherry we have in the cupboard, kindly given to us by my Nana the year before.

Yes, cliched as it is, it was a bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream. This drink reminds me so much of my childhood, of sitting by the open fire on a Sunday night, hair drying, some Cheese and Biscuits on the go, watching Don’t Wait Up and later Monarch of the Glen when it used to be good. I used to have sips of my Mum’s Sherry, from an ornate tiny glass, and wrapping those presents on Christmas Eve transported me right back there. I’m not ashamed to say I enjoyed it then, and still do now.

Emerald Street today though got me excited! Yes, it might be seen as a Nan drink, but Sherry is becoming in-vogue!

I have some of the pale, dry Manzanilla in the cupboard, reserved exclusively in my case for cooking, but I’d love to try some others. The thought of some lovely Tapas with a glass, or three, of Sherry is so appealing. If its good enough for London…

Coming back then to my first thought about ageing… Am I, or is Sherry coming to meet the masses? I think its the latter, and its exciting!

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Alphabet Dating G: German Beer Hall

Alphabet Dating G

The letter G was in fact picked by Richard first, but as I said on our M-date post, it was circumstance that made me go first. When he picked G I was full of thoughts of Urban Golf (no thanks!) or perhaps Kew Gardens (nice, but not in February perhaps) but at no point did I think we would do what we did!

The whole point of Alphabet Dating I guess is to leave your comfort zone and try things you wouldn’t normally try, plus to spend time as a couple. This date was certainly that. A Thursday night in London, and we arrived at the Bavarian Beerhouse (German Beer-Hall!).

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It was a really fun evening and actually the food was quite good too. Bratwurst, Schnitzel and Sauerkraut, all really yummy. The beer was great, but I guess that goes without saying! It’s ironic that I took German up to A-level, and then even continued it for a while at University for one of my modules, but have never actually been there. The idea of Oktober-fest does appeal, but more than that, I’d just like to go and experience the place. Berlin is on our “cities to see before we die” list (unless there are better recommendations out there!)

Beer

I can imagine that coming to a Bavarian Beerhouse with a big group of friends is really fun too – in fact when we were in this one, there was a big group of pre-Meds celebrating a birthday. Long gone are those student days for us, but they were certainly having fun. The music helped. A good mix of German tunes, along with the cheesy classics. Love it.

Definately recommended for a night out, and at least to try once anyway. A good choice by the boy. I had to decline the Jagermesiter that Rich was trying to get me to have (school night and all that) but there was certainly enough of that around if that’s your thing (and it IS Hubby’s thing!)

Richard’s turn next too – can’t wait to find out what B has to offer!

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X