Category Archives: Miranda Loves

Miranda Loves: Elizabeth Arden Skincare

As is probably clear by now, I’m a bit of a skincare junkie, and all through my 20s, I’ve always enjoyed trying out different brands. I rarely stick to one brand for all of my skincare products, but instead pick and choose my favourites from a pretty wide spectrum.

I recently had some Debenham’s gift vouchers to use, and (having been so impressed by the Elizabeth Arden serum I mentioned in this video), I decided to try out the EA cleanser and toner. I definitely find keeping my skin in good condition is most challenging in the winter, as – apart from the cold wind and rain that feels ever present in London – seasonal viruses also tend to wreak havoc on my skin.

This year, however, my skin is holding up better than usual. Although I’ve never been (touch wood!) particularly prone to breakouts, I can suffer from dry and slightly sensitive skin, so I’ve been on the look out for products that hydrate as well as cleanse and are gentle on the skin. The Elizabeth Arden cleanser and toner are beautifully moisturising, and I’ve been very pleased with the results so far.

Do you have any favourite Elizabeth Arden products you’d recommend for me to try?

Please note: this is not a sponsored post; I really do just enjoy sharing what I’m loving at the moment through my Miranda Loves series. 

My Favourite Autumn Beauty Products

favouritebeautyproducts

Another round-up post, but rather than books, today I’m sharing my favourite beauty products that I’ve been using day-after-day throughout the Autumn and that I’ll be continuing to use into the winter.

Click on the photo below to watch my video, featuring the products I use to create the curly hair-style I’ve been loving lately, my favourite face-creams, mascaras and more!

autumnbeautyvideo

Curl in a Bottle / Chop Stick Curler / Nuxe Day Cream / Nuxe Night Cream / Nuxe Multi-Purpose Oil / Elizabeth Arden Serum (have to say I had no idea how expensive this is!! It is lovely, but I’ll definitely be eeking out my sample size a bit longer!) / Apricoderm Lip Balm (I can’t find a link for this; I think it’s only available in Europe)/ Chanel Mascara (sadly 40 seems to have sold out, but there are some other colours available) / Urban Decay Mascara and Lash Primer / Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her perfume

Do you have any beauty recommendations?

Miranda Loves: Baking Books

bakingbooks_1-copy

I feel I have to start this blog post with an apology that it took me SO LONG to do a second video on my favourite cookbooks (in case you missed it, you can see the first here). I find videos generally a little horrifying – the making of them, the watching them back (do I really look like that??) and then the editing. Frankly, the only editing I do is stick on an image at the front and end, add a tiny bit of music and hit the ‘amplify voice’ setting, but somehow I still find it a pain. Despite my grumpiness about it though, a part of me really does enjoy producing videos; they feel more intimate than blog posts, and it’s so nice to be able to properly show you all some of the things I especially love, like my cookbooks (and we all know how much I adore my collection…).

bakingbooks_3

In this video, I’m discussing some of my favourite baking books. In honour of those of you who share my love of baking (and because Thanksgiving is next week), I’ve also created a recipe card for my favourite pumpkin pie, which is a recipe adapted from one of the books I mention in the video, Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, by Kathleen King. If you’re already a part of the Miranda’s Notebook Newsletter, then you’ll have received the link to download the recipe in this morning’s Postcard From London (so check your email!). If you’ve yet to join, then sign up at the bottom of this post, and you’ll receive the link to download.

I do hope you enjoy the video! Click on the image below to watch it on youtube, and scroll down for links to all books mentioned.

favouritebakingbooks

Books mentioned in the video are:

Delia’s Cakes, Delia Smith

Geraldine Holt’s Cake Stall, Geraldine Holt (sadly only available secondhand)

Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, Kathleen King

Honey & Co: The Baking Book, Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer

How To Be A Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson

Homemade Memories, Kate Doran

Gail’s Artisan Bakery Cookbook, Roy Levy and Gail Mejia

Vintage Cakes, Jane Brocket

Fika and Hygge, Bronte Aurell

How to Hygge, Signe Johansen

Please do share what your favourite baking books are with me; I’d love to hear them.

As promised, here’s the Pumpkin Pie recipe card. Simply fill in your details to download the pdf file!

Miranda Loves | Hygge Essentials

Miranda Loves | Hygge Essentials

I’m really not surprised that everyone is jumping on board the current hygge craze, embodying as it does cosy happiness blended with Scandi cool. I went into one of my favourite Scandi design shops, Skandium, the other day and as usual swooned over everything they had in stock. The plethora of pretty cushions, throws and candles inspired me to put together my Top Ten list of Hygge Essentials.

1/ I am such a big fan Signe Johansen and pre-ordered this latest book of hers months ago. It’s being released tomorrow, and I can’t wait for it to arrive.

2/ I’m increasingly drawn to metallics, which I think are especially lovely for autumn and winter, and the glimmering gold of this candle holder is so pretty.

3/ Whenever I get home after work, the first thing I rush to do is to change into something warm and comfy (if it’s been a particularly bad day, then I head straight for my pjs). This Marc Jacobs jumper is the ultimate blend of cosy, yet sophisticated.

4/ I love snoods, indoors and out, and I’d love to wear this one to ward off chills as I work in my office at home, or when I get inspired by the Scandi-style deep appreciation for nature and go for a brisk walk on Hampstead Heath.

5/ I think this Marimekko cushion is perfect for the run up to Christmas. I’m also keen on the all grey version.

6/ Lighting candles, making a warming drink and writing in my gratitude journal are parts of my evening routine that help me to unwind the most and are all very hygge.

7/ Apparently this highly appropriately named scent diffuser has echoes of brewed tea and baked strawberry cake, rose petals and wild mint. Want! 

8/ Some of my throws are starting to look a little careworn, and I’ve got my eye on this Scandi-designed blanket.

9/ I adore chai tea, but rarely make it at home. I think it’s time I started, and I love T2’s range of Chai mixes. The ‘chill out‘ one sounds the most hygge, but I’d like to try the others too.

10/ Catherine Tough is the queen of adorable knitwear, and these lambswool socks are as sweet as they are cosy.

Are you embracing the art of hygge this autumn too? What are your favourites from the list?

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The Miranda’s Notebook Newsletter!

Miranda's Notebook Newsletter Launch

I’m so excited to announce the launch of the Miranda’s Notebook Weekly Newsletter!

I’ve been working hard this week designing the type of content I’ll provide Miranda’s Notebook newsletter subscribers. I want to give original, exclusive content that I hope will be a pleasure to have landing in your inboxes on a weekly basis. Subscribers to the newsletter will receive:

++ A weekly ‘could-do’ list, filled with my suggestions of what to See, Read, Eat, Watch and Shop each week. Through these letters, I’m looking forward to sharing recommendations that I don’t always get to write about on the blog, from TV series I’m hooked on, to a brilliant novel I’ve just put down and my latest fashion find (like the dress I recently bought for my 30th Birthday celebrations in London).

++ Postcards from London (and beyond). Whenever I go somewhere especially nice or interesting, but don’t always feel I have quite enough material for a full blog post, I’ll be sending out some virtual postcards, rather like the one below, to keep you updated with my latest recommendations.

Postcards from London | Miranda's Notebook Newsletter

++ Downloadable resources. Subscribers to my newsletter will have access to free resources I’m currently creating, such as my favourite places to have Afternoon Tea in London and a collection of my Best Loved Recipes.

++ Latest announcements. Get on the list to be the first to know about my latest launches and events. You’ll get the inside scoop about when Tea & Tattle is going live, as well as further news about the Online Book Club I’ll be launching later in the winter.

++ And more! You know I love to plan new things for this online space all the time, and I can promise I’ll be working hard to think of ways I can make the newsletter more engaging.

The first ‘could-do’ list will be sent out tomorrow (Saturday, 15th October), so make sure to sign up quickly!

Fill in your details to sign up below:

Thank you so much for your support, as always!

Miranda Loves | Autumnal Homeware

Miranda Loves | Autumnal Homeware

Whereas for me Summer is the season for socialising outdoors, meeting friends for picnics in parks, BBQs and drinks on a pretty terrace, Autumn marks the start of cosy evenings at home. As the nights get colder and longer, I like nothing better than lighting some candles and inviting a good friend over for a chat as I stir some warming risotto on the stove and open a bottle of wine. Increasing my time at home means I look at my living space with a more critical eye, and in the list below I’ve selected some pieces that I feel would add comfort and style to my everyday living.

1/ I’m looking for a chair to go in my office, and Cox & Cox have a great selection. Of course, I’m particularly drawn towards the ones inspired by Scandinavian design. This one is a favourite and looks straight out of Pinterest. Add a pretty cushion and a cosy throw, and I could see myself happily in this chair for hours as I write and research blog posts.

2/ I use my Wonki Ware plates all the time (they offer the perfect plain background for food shots when I publish recipe posts, but I also use them everyday anyway), and I’ll add a couple more to my collection this season.

3/ If you’re also an admirer of Scandi fashion and home decor, then the Gudrun Sjödén shop in Seven Dials, Covent Garden is a must visit. I popped in the other day and instantly fell for these apple tumblers, which I think would be perfect for serving warm apple cider or mulled wine.

4/ Although more often than not, I’m eating meals at my desk with my laptop open, I do try to make the majority of our suppers proper sit-down meals, when I can have a chat with my Mum about the day. To set a cosy mood, I like to have candles on the table, and Heal’s has the most wonderful range of colours.

5/ I’m yearning after pretty much everything on the Cloudberry website, but I’m especially taken with their new range of art photography posters. They’re seriously gorgeous, and this ballerina poster is a real favourite of mine. It’s a simple image that inspires me to aim high and jump for my goals, but also serves as a reminder that even things that look elegant and easy generally require a huge amount of strength, stamina and determination.

6/ With the mornings getting darker, a cheery mug is just what I need for my first cup of tea.

7/ I have a plain grey sofa in the living room, and I’ve been looking for some attractive cushions to add a pop of colour. I love this Boeme cushion, which has such pretty autumnal tones, and yet would go well with the pastel accents I’ve used throughout the flat.

8/ Apparently green is all the rage this autumn, and I like this plant pot in a frosty mint shade for my herbs.

9/ As I live in a tiny flat, finding floor lamps that don’t take up a lot of surface area is a must. I’ve got my eye on this floor lamp, which has a simple, pleasing design and wouldn’t take up a lot of room.

How do you like to prepare your home for Autumn? Which items are your favourites from this list?

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Miranda Loves | Fall Fashion Essentials

Miranda Loves | Fall Fashion Favourites

I’ve missed posting my ‘Miranda Loves‘ posts regularly, as I do find it’s a great way to share some of my favourite finds, so I’ve decided to post a ‘Miranda Loves‘ feature on Wednesdays. Today, I’ve gathered a selection of Fall Fashion Essentials. A new season often inspires me to sort through my wardrobe and add a few items I feel are missing, or that will revitalise old favourites.

1/ With the return of back to work (and back to school), this Coast blouse is a great item to add to your professional wardrobe. A smart white blouse is always classic, and I like the pretty details of the long cuffs and ruffled neckline. It’s just the sort of top I would wear – paired with smart trousers – for Parents’ Evening at my school.

2/ For me, autumn marks the return of theatre season, and I’m always eager to find out the new ballet programme at the Royal Opera House. This Kate Spade bag would be such a delightful addition to my theatre-going outfit (I also love this one).

3/ As you know, I swear by a solid-coloured lace dress as a standby for formal occasions, and this Ted Baker dress exactly fits the bill. The colour is beautiful for Fall, and it would look lovely paired with a black blazer and high-heeled ankle boots.

4/ This shimmery green Chanel nail polish makes an interesting change from the usual berry tones and metallics that I pull out in the colder months.

5/ I received the new Zadig & Voltaire ‘This is Her’ perfume when I went to its launch party, and I’ve worn it so many times since (and am complimented on it whenever I do!). It has a lovely mix of jasmine and pink peppercorn to give it a fresh, floral scent, but the added notes of chestnut and vanilla give this fragrance a richness and depth that makes it the perfect choice for autumn. I always find it fun to change up my perfume with a new season, and This is Her has definitely become my go-to choice for autumn (alongside my old favourite, L’Air de Rien).

6/ I’ve written before about how much I dislike dressing up for Halloween, so to my eyes, this adorable hoodie makes the perfect, low-key outfit (and who’s to say you should only wear it for Halloween?!).

7/ Unfailingly, a chic beret is a must-have accessory for autumn, and Agnes B does the classics so well, with an added touch of Parisian je ne sais quoi. 

8/ I wore my old boots to death last winter, and I now have my eye on these very reasonable over-the-knee boots. I think these would look great paired with a knit dress, and I like the chunkiness of their heels, which I always find a lot more comfortable than stilettos!

9/ I’ve fallen head-over-heels for these blackberry earrings (the simple studs are great too). Les Nereides is Parisian jewellery company that I just discovered recently (they have a charming shop in Covent Garden), and I adore everything they do!

10/ Leopard seems to be the pattern this fall, and rather than going for a full blown leopard print dress, I like the idea of adding subtle touches of the print to my outfit. These loafers look so stylish and are also great to pop into your handbag to change into when your heels are killing you. Apparently, Butterfly Twist shoes have thin, flexible soles that allow you to fold up the shoes, making them easily portable.

What are your favourite items from this list? Do you have any particular Fall Fashion Essentials?

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Miranda Loves {Video}: My Favourite Cookbooks

My Favourite Cookbooks

M Y    C O O K B O O K    C O L L E C T I O N

As was made abundantly clear by this instagram photo, I adore cookbooks and have a rather sizeable collection! My first priority, as soon as I moved into my new flat, was to get all my books on the shelves, and one of my favourite things to do is to spend time browsing through my collection, pulling out books and getting inspiration. It’s like having my own personal little library! Some people, including the lovely Melanie, asked if I could share some of my favourite cookbooks with you all, so I thought it would be fun to take you on a tour of my shelves with a little video (click here or scroll to bottom to watch it). I could honestly talk for hours about my books, but I only had time to give you the very briefest of highlights (I may do another one, though, if you’re keen!). If you don’t have time to watch the video (or prefer to read a post), then I’ve summarised it below.

My Favourite Cookbooks + Video

M Y    C O O K B O O K    C R I T E R I A

Although it may not seem like it, I am in fact very particular about which cookbooks I buy, and in general I select a cookbook based on 4 main criteria:

1/ The recipes have to be fantastic. That goes without saying, but I also tend to prefer cookbooks that focus on simple, often seasonal, ingredients with incredible flavour.

2/ The books must be visually pleasing. I’m fascinated by lifestyle and food photography, and a lot of my inspiration comes from the cookbooks I buy. For instance, I love Donna Hay’s books, not only for their recipes, but because I think the photography is always exceptionally good.

3/ Well-written, please! I find reading cookbooks one of the most soothing things I can do. If I’m having a bad day, then I find reaching for a well-loved cookery book often calms me down (currently, I’m enthralled by Seven Spoons; Tara O’Brady is one of the best food writers I’ve ever come across, and now I realise she has a blog too – yay! – I’m devouring every word of that as well.).

4/ A great personality. This is linked to the writing quality, as when I read a cookbook I like to get a real sense of who the author is and whether I think we could get along. I enjoy making recipes from people I feel share a philosophy on life and food that is similar to my own.

My Favourite Cookbooks + Video

A    F E W    O F    M Y    F A V O U R I T E S

My cookbook gurus: these are the authors I turn to time and again, and who never fail to disappoint. The Barefoot Contessa (aka Ina Garten) is one of my absolute favourites. Her recipes really are foolproof, and I appreciate her laid-back philosophy to entertaining. I rely on The Pioneer Woman (aka Ree Drummond) whenever I’m throwing a big party, as her recipes are delicious, easy to double (or quadruple!) and are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Giada de Laurentiis is my go-to for lighter, Californian-meets-Italian style cooking, and Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver are my weeknight heros.

As good as they look: for fantastic photography (and holiday planning / dreaming!), I turn to Tessa Kiros‘ books (mentioned in the video are Limoncello & Linen Water and Venezia). I also love the cookbooks Sugared Orange and Rose Petal Jam for their stunning imagery, as well as their classic Polish recipes.

Wonderfully written: My absolute favourite food memoir is Molly Wizenburg’s A Homemade Life (it also has some great recipes!).

Scandi style: I adore Scandinavian food, especially when it comes to baking! Fika is a sweet book, full of traditional recipes, and personal favourites of mine are Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious and Scandilicious Baking (the Banana Spice Cake mentioned in the video is in fact in Scandilicious Baking).

Lesser known: A cookbook I believe deserves to be much better known is French & Grace’s Kitchen & Co, which has a terrific selection of easy recipes that burst with flavour (one of my favourites is their Barley Risotto with Blue Cheese and Spinach).

For more about my favourite cookbooks, watch the video below!

What are your favourite cookbooks? Please do share your recommendations – I’d love to hear them, and let me know if you’d like a Part 2 to this video, covering a few more recommendations. Be sure to share it with a friend who loves cooking too!

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Stocking Stuffers Under £10

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Although my official Christmas Gift Guides are over (you can view them here), I couldn’t resist bringing together a list of stocking stuffers for under £10, in case you’ve got a bit of last minute Christmas shopping left.

1/ I love this Accessorize purse that would double nicely as a little clutch, making it a cute accessory for winter parties.

2/ In case you’re hosting any of those parties, this book is a must.

3/ These animal cookie cutters from Ikea are perfect for holiday baking.

4/ This bowl is perfect for warming porridge – always a winter favourite.

5/ Tasty honey to spread on toast over leisurely breakfasts before back-to-work routine starts again.

6/ A very pretty soap always goes down well.

7/ These Moomin plywood postcards are rather adorable.

8/ This Rococo chocolate heart is adorable and delicious.

9/ This citrus Burt’s Bees gift set is great for the colder months.

10/ How fun is this penguin decoration?!

What would you like to find in your stocking on Christmas Day?

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Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts For Him

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts For Him

The final instalment of my Christmas Gift Guides – Gifts for Him! Here are my suggestions that are bound to make the men in your life happy on Christmas Day:

1/ Who doesn’t know a guy who doesn’t think of himself as a bit of an evil genius? This notebook is perfect for collecting all his thoughts on world domination.

2/ Buy a voucher (or two, if you want to go together!) for a cocktail masterclass at a stylish bar and guarantee a fun night out in 2016.

3/ Any bike-enthusiast would love  this collection of cycling routes, destinations and sights in Europe’s most bike-friendly cities.

4/ For the foodie guy, a great hamper with locally sourced food is bound to be a hit. I love the sound of these Hackney Hampers, which feature products made by food artisans local to East London. The Dalston is the ultimate hamper, including delights such as: Butler’s Lemongrass & Cardonmon Gin, Eat Chic Peanut Butter Cups and Dalston Chillis Chipotle Ketchup.

5/ A handy set of great Aesop toiletries would be welcomed by the frequent traveller.

6/ Fortnum & Mason’s English Spirit Pairing Box – the kind of thing your Uncle would love!

7/ A Christmas jumper that manages to be ultra stylish.

8/ A gift voucher to a great restaurant is always a welcome gift. Brasserie Zedel in London is a great option, as there’s a bar, cafe and restaurant that all offer fantastic ways to spend a voucher.

9/ Drink London: a guide for the man who always likes to know where the closest great bar is.

10/ A tie by Cressida Bell is a tasteful, timeless classic.

Which gift is your favourite?

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