Saturday, 23 August 2014

OOTD | Maybe I'm the sinner

001. Black Jamie jeans - Topshop
002. Sheer panel floral top - Forever 21
003. Black gladiator heeled sandals - Head Over Heels by Dune
004. Leather jacket - Miss Selfridge
005. Suede metal chain bag - Zara (try eBay)
006. Chelsey Watch - Fossil

So this isn't exactly an Outfit Of The Day but more of an Outfit Of Yesterday (OOYD?). It was one of those awkward 'what the hell can I wear?!' mornings as team Gogglebox were going out for drinks after work. Those type of occasions always throw me but after finding these bargain day to night heels, I think I made a good outfit choice (even if I do say so myself)!

Note to self: stay away from the wine! I'm currently suffering and refuse to move from my bed for a few hours or so. For some bizarre reason, I thought it was a great idea to torture myself this morning with a trip to bootcamp. Which just so happened to be an Insanity session. NEVER AGAIN.

I'm so glad to be blogging again! I've just had a quick look back at my older posts and can't believe how much has changed. My hair for one! It was so long - how did I ever cope? I'm so lazy with hair and makeup at the moment, as you can see. By the way, how is it the summer bank holiday already?! I'm going to take it easy this weekend with a girly evening at the cinema tonight and then a day at Notting Hill Carnival tomorrow. I feel like it's mandatory to go this year seeing as though I've just moved to London - so let's see what all the hype is about!

Speaking of which, I should probably stop procrastinating and attempt to make myself presentable. I might even do my hair - lucky you B!

What are you up to this bank holiday?
L x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Evolution | Three

Three. The number of months since my last post, the placement I am currently in and the number of times I have moved this year. In true nomad style, I have now uprooted to London!

I'm now in my third of four placements - they said these 15 months would go quick but boy did I underestimate that definition - and it's safe to say that since leaving home in June (for what I assumed was a one week stay in London) life has been a little crazy. From having nowhere to live and vigorously searching for a home, to willingly putting my hands in a box of rats; it's difficult to give you a summary that will do it justice. So I won't.

Instead, here are three (anyone noticing a theme here?) things that I've learnt...

ONE |  I have a really strong Yorkshire accent. And people love to remind me. The more I try to avoid it, the stronger it gets. What is that about? But dinner is now formally known as lunch and tea is now dinner. Whilst I'm still northern in many ways, the south has got to me - I'm now that person in the tube station with zero tolerance for slow walkers or those that stand on the left side of the escalator because let's face it, that is just not ok.

TWO |  Who my friends are. My best friends are my rock and despite being miles apart, they can still brighten my day by being themselves - the biggest weirdos (in the greatest possible way) you could ever meet. Whether we're talking about Briony's latest 'I was really drunk...' story, having a rant or discussing the days dilemmas; I don't think any of them quite realise that even on a terrible day, they keep me going and help me stay motivated, even forcing me to blog. I don't say it enough but I mean this with all my heart, thank you girls!

THREE |  Having a routine is a luxury. Until this very day, I haven't had even a sense of routine in the past few months. I'm a little (ok, a lot) nerdy when it comes to organisation and planning so the change can only be compared to a fish out of water. However, doing what I do best, I've adapted and finally feel like I've got my head screwed on and my feet firmly on the ground having finally found the balance between working, having a social life, exercising and making the most of London. With a new home, the greatest housemates and an entire city to explore; I can't wait for what the rest of the year holds.

In the words of Blind Melon - "Three is a magic number"

L x

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Style | DIY Ripped Denim Jeans

Hello! The wanderer has returned! I have no real justification for not blogging except for having no inspiration, which I'm going to blame on being in my 'home comforts' zone - poor  excuse I know.
Anyway, I have updates and news but I'll save that for my next post when I have all the details; watch this space.

Distressed and ripped denim is everywhere at the moment. They look equally great teamed with a t-shirt and leopard print slip-on's as they do dressed up with heels and a classic blazer. I love anything grungy and effortless looking so was dying to get my hands on the perfect pair. However, after trying on endless versions and always leaving the changing rooms disappointed, I came to the conclusion that they just weren't ripped in the right place for me. You're thinking 'what the hell is this girl talking about' aren't you? I'll explain.

I'm short (as I like to remind everyone at every chance I get) and so finding clothes that suit and fit perfectly isn't an easy task, but it's a challenge I have to take on. Often rips in jeans that are meant to fall on the knee actually end up around my calves, leaving me looking like a clumsy five year old girl who just took a tumble that will scar her (or more importantly, her jeans) for life. Not exactly the look I was going for.

So, on finally managing to take a day off, I decided it was time to brutally hack my jeans (and my finger apparently *cue sympathy*) to create my own.

What you'll need:
001. A pair of old (or new if you dare) denim jeans
002. Scissors
003. Felt / biro pen
004. Hard object that fits inside jean leg (I used a the lid of a plastic tub)
005. Whatever you can get your hands on e.g. tweezers / sandpaper / scourer / foot scrub (?)

Firstly, take your jeans and decide where you want to place your rips. Find inspiration online, try them on; whatever works for you. I did both. Whilst you have the jeans on, draw lines and markings of where you’d like the rips and distressed areas to be.

To make big splits (i.e. across the knee area) mark one long line. Holding the front side of the jean (you don’t want to chop through both sides!) make a cut with the scissors and then continue along the marking. The style you are going for will determine how big you would like the spit to be. I found it best to start smaller and try the jeans on in between. That way you can get a really good idea of what they look like before you make any major boobs and completely ruin them!

To make smaller distressed areas (similar to the top of mine), scour the jeans with some household tools. Experimenting is the best way forward here!
I thought I was clever and went against every rule I was ever taught as a child about using scissors, and consequently cut myself. But if you’re not a total clutz like me, then you’ll be fine!

Place something hard that fits in the leg of your jeans to avoid going through both sides of the material. Scour them with sandpaper, a brush, foot scrub or anything you can get your hands on. Also, using scissors is a really good way to score the material to achieve the ladder effect.

TOP TIP: take time and care and approach it like you're creating a piece of art.

Keep going until you get the look you’re after. Here's how mine have turned out - not bad for a first attempt... even if I do say so myself!

It’s such an easy DIY that’s actually quite fun to do! So give it a go and share your results with me on Twitter and Instagram @lailaMLK 

I look forward to seeing your results! It feels good to be back...
L x

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Recipe | Falafel pittas

Delicious, healthy and cheap? Sounds too good to be true, but I promise it's not.

What you will need:
(Serves 4)

400g can of chickpeas
1 small onion (red works well too)
1 garlic clove
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander (ground)
1/2 tsp of harissa paste (or chilli powder)
2 tbsp plain flour
4 pitta breads
Oil of your choice - I used coconut oil

To serve:
Salsa / natural yoghurt

Preheat your oven to 200C/390F

Drain the chickpeas and then remove excess water with kitchen towel.

Chop the onion and garlic and place into a blender along with the chickpeas, cumin, coriander, flour, harissa / chilli powder and parsley. I use harissa paste as it's a staple in my household, however, it isn't the cheapest ingredient and chilli powder would work just as well.

Blend until smooth (ish)

Split the mixture to create four round burger-like patties then place in the over for 5 minutes, making sure to flip them half-way through. Meanwhile heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan.

Remove the patties from the oven and place in the frying pan - this completes the crispy outside of the falafel, giving them a slight crunch. Leave them in the pan, making sure to flip them, until they are a golden brown.

Serve in a pitta with salad and your choice of salsa or natural yoghurt. I also served mine with some sweet potato fries as I'm a carb-o-holic and pretty much obsessed with them at the moment. They are way better than your average potato chips!

Photograph credit - BBC

 I got extremely carried away with the delicious smell of these and ate them without even thinking about photographing the final product *hangs head in shame*. Shame on me for being so greedy.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
L x