Category Archives: Miranda Loves

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

stockingstuffersguide

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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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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