Category Archives: Miranda Loves

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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Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

Christmas Gift Guide For Her

My latest Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts For Her. I always think Christmas is the perfect time to give luxurious versions of classic basics, as well as fun books to read on the day and some extra special beauty buys.

1/ Love Style Life by Garance Dore.

2/ A gorgeous candle that gives promise of warmer days to come.

3/ My most favourite of perfumes.

4/ A pretty kit for a perfect red lip (always a favourite beauty look of mine in the winter).

5/ I absolutely loved this film, and it makes great easy viewing whilst you’re relaxing on holiday.

6/ Who wouldn’t want some cocktail inspiration?

7/ A classic black t-shirt is a wardrobe staple, and my favourites are always Helmut Lang.

8/ This nail polish collection is so chic!

9/ An infinite rose lasts a year and makes the most beautiful desk accessory.

10/ I love pomegranates, so of course I’ve fallen for this Alex Monroe necklace.

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Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts For Bookworms

Christmas Gift Guide For Bookworms | Miranda's Notebook

Instead of my usual Miranda Loves posts on Wednesday, in the lead-up to Christmas I shall instead be sharing a weekly Gift Guide. This first one is full of ideas for all the book lovers in your life!

1/ Quiet London by Siobhan Wall is perfect for helping dedicated readers hunt down the best places in London to curl up with a book (there’s also Quiet ParisQuiet New York and Quiet Amsterdam).

2/ This Christmas tea is a lovely accompaniment to armchair reading.

3/ A Spineless Classics poster of a favourite novel is sure to be a hit.

4/ This Casino Royale book clutch is definitely a splurge, but is rather gorgeous!

5/ I love this ‘favourite things’ pencil collection, which includes ‘old book smell.’

6/ You can even smell like old books (or hopefully a little nicer) by spritzing on this unisex perfume, which is said to evoke ‘the feeling of sitting in an old library chair paging through yellowed copies of Hemingway, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Poe, and more.’

7/ A Penguin Classic mug would make a great stocking filler.

8/ Look no further than Folio Books for beautiful editions of classic novels. This sumptuously illustrated version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is fabulous.

9/ Slightly Foxed is an intelligent, always enjoyable quarterly magazine featuring essays on all things book-related. Ensure your loved one has a year of good reading ahead of them by buying a subscription in their name.

10/  The Idler is a wonderful Notting Hill institution. Membership costs only £35 a year and would make a super gift for the bibliophile, allowing them access to the online Library and Common Room, as well as discounts on courses and invitations to book launches.

11/ Make it easy to explore London’s literary side with this fabulous Herb Lester map.

12/ This Kate Spade Journal would be great for recording thoughts on books read throughout the year.

++ See my 2014 Christmas Gift Guide ++

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Miranda Loves: Current Favourite Music Albums

Miranda Loves: Current Favourite Music Albums

Before I completely give myself over to Christmas Carols, I thought I’d share some of the albums I’ve been listening to all the time over the past few weeks. I love music and almost always have a selection of tunes playing in the background (and I’m very serious about my workout playlist), so it’s a delight every time I discover a new artist I like. Here are my top 4 album picks:

Know-It-All / Alessia Cara

I discovered Alessia Cara through her hit single Here, but I absolutely love the entire album. Alessia has a terrific voice, and it’s clear to see why her first album is already such a hit.

When to Play It: I like to listen to this album all the time, but it’s great for working out, as well as background music for a laid-back dinner party.

Favourite songs: Here, My Song, Scars To Your Beautiful

Get a taste:

25 / Adele

A pretty obvious choice, I know, but who can’t love the latest Adele album?

When to Play It: in the evenings, when you want to unwind and you’re pouring a glass of wine.

Favourite songs: Hello, When We Were Young, Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

Get a taste:

Revival / Selena Gomez

Ok, so I do feel far too old to be putting a Selena Gomez album on my list, but I do really love her latest album. I haven’t listened to a lot of her previous music, but this album seems more mature and sounds as though she is truly coming into her own as an artist.

When to Play It: whilst working out, or having a girl’s night with pizza and ice-cream.

Favourite songs:  Same Old Love; Me & My Girls; Kill Em With Kindness

Get a taste:

Same Trailer Different Park / Kacey Musgraves

My Dad introduced me to Kacey Musgraves, and I’m glad he did! I love her mix of humour and realism and the way she pokes fun at country cliches and life in the South. Although I love the song Biscuits from her newest album, overall I feel Same Trailer Different Park is much stronger, and it’s the one I’m playing the most at moment.

When to Play It: great to get you up and going in the mornings.

Favourite songs: Stupid, Merry Go ‘Round, Blowin’ Smoke, Follow Your Arrow

Get a taste:

What tunes are you currently playing on a loop?

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November Must Haves 2015

November Must Haves

Another month, another ‘Must Haves’ list. I’ve been on a bit of health kick this November – I think as a reaction to the awful rain and also in some attempt to balance out all the extravagance the party season tends to bring. Here are some of the things I’ve been loving (or lusting after) this month.

1/ Royal Academy Friend Membership. There are some brilliant exhibitions on at the Royal Academy at the moment, so I’m really making the most of my membership. I loved the Ai Weiwei exhibition, as well as the Jean-Etienne Leotard and the Edmund de Waal. I’m excited to see the Painting the Modern Garden: From Monet to Matisse exhibition too in January.

2/ There’s nothing that cheers up a grey day more than flowers, and I am becoming increasingly obsessed with Only Roses blooms that last incredibly well (about 2 weeks!!).

3/ I love Lewis Howes’ podcast, in which he interviews an interesting mix of successful entrepreneurs. His new book The School of Greatness has just been published, and so far I’m loving it!

4/ I’ve started scattering chia seeds over my morning porridge  – I’m determined to fight off winter germs if I possibly can!

5/ I love this notebook that adds a bit of sparkle to a rather gloomy month.

6/ We all need a good pie recipe in time for Thanksgiving! Sweet potato pie is a favourite of mine and makes a nice alternative to pumpkin.

7/ My skin gets terribly dry in the winter so slathering on my favourite oil at the moment.

8/ A black bag is a staple for winter, and I’m lusting after this gorgeous Ralph Lauren one.

9/ I’m barely parted from my pot of ginger tea at the moment – I love my Branksome China pot, which is the best pourer.

10/ I got the Simple Green Smoothies book this month, and I love the philosophy behind the blog and book. There are all sorts of great tips on how to prepare smoothies in advance, which I find especially helpful. I’ve signed up to take the Simple Green Smoothie challenge in January – I’m looking forward to it already!

What are your Top Ten Must Haves for this month?

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Miranda Loves: Alice Stevenson Christmas Cards

Alice Stevenson Christmas Cards

You know how much I love Alice Stevenson’s beautiful illustrations, so I was thrilled to see her latest collection of Christmas cards. Apologies for mentioning the ‘C’ word before December, but as I like to get my Christmas cards out on the 1st of the month if possible, I thought it only fair to share some of my favourites in advance. I love of all of Alice’s lovely designs, which perfectly capture the season of goodwill and merriment.

Alice Stevenson Christmas Cards Alice Stevenson Christmas Cards Alice Stevenson Christmas Cards Alice Stevenson Christmas Cards

Which is your favourite card? I find it impossible to choose!

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Miranda Loves: Gemma Orkin Ceramics

Gemma Orkin Ceramics

I recently discovered Gemma Orkin‘s gorgeous ceramics, having been unable to resist the above poodle plate which I spotted for sale at Skittle Alley Coffee & Pantry. Gemma’s handmade ceramics feature her quirky designs and reflect a love of flowers, animals and domesticity. I’ve selected a few of my favourites below (you can see more here):

Gemma Orkin Ceramics Gemma Orkin CeramicsGemma Orkin Ceramics

Which are your favourite Gemma Orkin designs? Do you have as big a weakness for pretty tableware as I do?!

++ Every Wednesday I share something I love. View more Miranda Loves posts here. ++

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Miranda Loves: Only Roses

Miranda Loves: Only Roses

On Sunday, I found myself in Earl’s Court with some time to spare, after attending an event at the Hotel Indigo, so  I decided to  have a mooch around the area. I happened to walk by the florist Only Roses and was instantly mesmerised by the spectacular window display and gorgeous interior. I couldn’t resist popping in and picking up a little posy of peachy-pink roses with frilly petals.

As you can guess, Only Roses sells…only roses, and the most gorgeous ones at that. All the flowers are grown in Ecuador and shipped to their shops around the world. The Earl’s Court branch is really a thing of beauty, and I loved the displays of stunning bouquets and their infinite roses, which are dyed different colours and last up to a year (they would make a very special wedding or baby shower gift).

onlyroses_4 onlyroses_2 onlyroses_3rose2

Have you ever been to Only Roses? Which are your favourite florists in London?

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Miranda Loves: Hobbs Winter Collection

Miranda Loves: Hobbs Winter CollectionShirt | Tartan Dress | Blazer | Coat | Cape | Leopard Print Dress

I have to admit, in the past I haven’t been a fan of Hobbs and have generally classed their clothing as a little dull and best left for office-appropriate wear. The other day, though, I had some time to kill in Covent Garden and wandered into the nearest Hobbs branch. I was completely blown away by their winter range and found so much I loved (my Christmas list has grown considerably now…). I’ve shared some of my very favourite pieces above. Hobbs’ use of Liberty prints in the Heritage collection is inspired, and their coats and capes are fun and stylish. Also, I’m seriously tempted by the leopard print dress as an easy-to-wear instant outfit for all the holiday parties and events that are beginning to kick off.

Are you a fan of Hobbs? What do you think of their latest collection?

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Miranda Loves: Tracy Anderson Live Streaming

Tracy Anderson Live Streaming

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Tracy Anderson Method. Over the past few months, my exercise routine has become completely revitalised by joining the Tracy Anderson live streaming classes. It’s a dream of mine that one day I’ll get to do one of Tracy’s classes in person (I would love to see her Hamptons studio), but until then the live streaming classes are definitely the next best thing.

One of Tracy’s master classes is live-streamed every week and posted every Wednesday onto the membership area of the TA website. There is also a new beginners’ video posted each week, and new cardio classes posted every few months. Initially, the difficulty level of the videos seemed to vary rather widely – the beginner ones were sometimes more difficult than the master classes! – but they are much more consistent now, with those for beginners often shorter (1/2 hr) and offering simpler routines. I’ve worked my way up to generally choosing the masterclass over the beginner one, and they are just so much fun! Tracy always has the best soundtrack, and it’s easy to get moving along with her, even if your muscles are crying out in agony (which, trust me, they probably will be)!

I hate going to the gym, so I’m always a fan of at-home workouts, but sometimes it’s harder to work up motivation when it’s only you in your living room. Watching a live-streamed class gives the illusion of being in the studio along with everyone else, and it’s motivating when you see all the great women in the class sweating along with you.

If you’re new to Tracy Anderson, I would recommend watching some of her videos on youtube (there’s a great selection available) to get a feel for her style of exercise, as it’s likely pretty different from anything else you’ve tried. None of her classes are easy, but they certainly give you results quickly, and the dance-based routines are pretty addictive. If you’re already a fan of TA, then you will LOVE the live classes. Her arm routines at the beginning of each class are just something else!

What’s your favourite workout programme? Do you like to exercise at home or the gym?

++ View more Miranda Loves posts ++

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