Tuesday, 24 February 2015

ROME PHOTO DIARY


Last week I went on a fairly spontaneous city break to Rome, I love Italy - I've been three or four times before so I was really excited to go back to the country which is world famous for three of my favourite foods: pizza, pasta and ice cream!
We were only there for two nights, here are some of my favourite photos from the trip!
Of course I matched my nail polish to my passport...

Wandering round the streets of Rome at 1am trying to find a hotel after not being allowed the keys for the apartment we had rented as it was too late, absolute nightmare

I wish I could understand Italian so that I could read some of these magazines
Metro time! I really do love taking public transport in different cities after doing a photography project highly based around public transport. I think it's the best for people watching, and there's something oddly satisfying about speeding along underground alongside the locals 

I love how in Rome you can be wandering around and you will literally just stumble upon an amazing buildings and piazzas such as this one


The shades of yellow, terracotta and orange that are used for the majority of the buildings are so beautiful and totally look like something from a movie set
The Colosseum. We didn't go in as the queues were huge and as we were only there for a couple of days we didn't want to waste half of it stood in line! It's just as impressive from the outside though!
Why do I suddenly look so much like my sister


So, Dad decided to buy a selfie stick...




























We stumbled upon the most amazing designer vintage shop - their range of shoes was just amazing, and this was just a small selection of their Burberry trench coats!



You know you're living life right when you're sat in the Italian sun drinking Peroni and eating fresh pizza for lunch


Coffee stop to do some more route planning 
The Vatican City - we visited the night before but my photos were pretty dodgy due to it being so dark! It was weird being here after seeing it on the TV so many times before!

Before I went I found out about a chain of ice cream shops called Blue Ice which sell a range of soya ice creams - being lactose intolerant I felt I had died and gone to heaven! If you're ever in Rome and can't eat dairy, definitely look out for them! (the shop decor is totally horrendous with a blue and yellow colour scheme but the ice cream is delicious!) This was a cappuccino flavour, but I'd had the pistachio one the day before - both were amazing!













Amazing sunset whilst in the taxi en-route back to the airport








Flying over Paris - if you look closely you can make out the Eiffel tower on the top left. It's weird and slightly magical seeing it from a plane and thinking that I was there only a few weeks ago

Thursday, 12 February 2015

DANIEL WELLINGTON CLASSIC YORK


Daniel Wellington were kind enough to send me their Classic York Lady watch to feature in a blog post. I first heard of Daniel Wellington a while ago and have loved their classic style ever since, they're so chic and easy to wear that this has quickly become one of those things that you wear every day without having to think about whether it will match your outfit! The timeless (I'm so 'punny') design of them means that you will definitely be able to wear it for years to come as this sort of style won't date! 

I chose the brown croc style leather strap with the rose gold hardwear, I didn't even realise they sold one with a croc strap but as it is my absolute favourite I obviously couldn't resist!

It comes in a lovely box, which you can see in the photos below - making it the perfect present for someone (or yourself, it you're feeling generous!). 


The Classic York Lady retails for £169 but you can save 15% with the discount code islaay which is valid until the 28th of February.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS





Dress - Topshop via Vinted
Heels - Stuart Weitzman
Lipstick - Chanel 'La Desiree'
Earrings - ASOS

Vinted were kind enough to let me pick something off their website to feature in a blog post and I chose this lovely Topshop black dress with patterned flocked details. If you haven't heard of Vinted yet, it's sort of like eBay but just for clothes, shoes and accessories - it makes buying and selling really easy and fun and it is very easy to use! It takes a while to hunt through everything but when you find something that you love for an amazing price it makes it all worth it, think of it like an online vintage shop! 

Of course I'm wearing this dress with my favourite Stuart Weitzman 'Plunge' heels, they are my go-to black heels as they're the perfect height, surprisingly comfortable, they go with absolutely everything and are such a classic style that they'll never date!

Vinted were also kind enough to send these personalised marshmallows from Boomf which I think are so funny - who doesn't want to eat something sugary sweet with your face on it!




Thursday, 5 February 2015

HEALTHY DATE POWER BALL RECIPE


I'm back with another recipe post (it's been stupidly long since my last one - sorry!) and this time I'm going to show you how to make these yummy date and nut truffle balls. They are pretty addictive to make - I've made three batches in the past four days, and they're perfect to curve any chocolate cravings without any chocolate in sight! They're still quite high in sugar and fat, but it's natural and slow releasing, so a lot better for you than eating actual truffles. I first saw this idea on Pinterest probably a year ago, and I wish I had started making them sooner! They're quite similar to the Bounce Balls which you can buy in supermarkets for £1.50-£2 each (absolute rip off) so I recommend making a batch of these and taking them with you to snack on throughout the day!
Firstly gather your ingredients. I used ground almonds, flaxseeds, cashew butter, chia seeds, cashew nuts, desiccated coconut, honey, dates and bircher but what you use it totally up to you. Cranberries, almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts are all really nice in these too!

I'd say there's five main ingredient groups you can use, and just mix and match with anything you like -

Dates these add the sweetness
Some sort of nut butter and honey these help to bind it all together and make them nice and sticky - cashew butter can be swapped for almond butter or peanut butter and honey can be swapped for agave 
Nuts and seeds of your choice 
Something to roll on the outside such as coconut or crushed nuts
Optional extras such as oats, cinnamon and cocoa powder

Firstly remove the stones from the dates (unless you're clever enough to buy the ones with the stones already removed!)

Combine your selection of nuts, oats and seeds (remember to leave out the coconut/crushed nuts which you will be rolling on the outside

Add the honey and the nut butter
 Now the fun part, use your blender to blitz everything up!
When it gets to this stage, keep going and it will eventually form a paste

When it gets to this stage it is done
Roll into your truffle shaped balls, as a rough rule it will make aprox. two times the amount of dates that you used, e.g. I used 8 dates and I made 15 truffles
Roll in the coconut/crushed nuts and then leave to cool in the fridge for half an hour (or in the freezer for five minutes, or if you're super impatient like me - just eat them how they are!)

I would love to see your creations - if you make them please send me a photo on Twitter/Instagram as I absolutely love it when you do!! (@islaay)