Nude sandalsLast week I went out searching for the perfect pair of nude flat sandals. Living in the western Algarve, we don’t really have an enormous choice of shops where footwear is concerned – which is crazy considering that some of the best leather shoes are actually made in Portugal!

Nude Sandals 2Anyway, I browsed for what seemed like ages but failed on the first day. The following day I took Michael with me and got lucky with these gorgeous leather gladiator sandals. Not only are they the perfect colour, and didn’t cost the earth (€29.90) but they’re also very comfortable and stylish. I reckon I’ll get a lot of wear out of them this season, because they’ll go with just about anything. I bought them from Mary Paz in Aqua.

Nude Sandals 3

If I’d have failed to find anything suitable, I would have taken my search online (which I often do). It’s just that sometimes, when I want something, I want it there and then! Having said that, many of my shoes do come from the UK via the internet. One of my favourite places to buy from is Schuh, they’ve never let me down, having a wide variety of styles available and at decent prices (and I absolutely LOVE their sales!).

Another favourite is Secret Sales where you can get designer clothes and accessories (and other stuff) at huge discounts. I’ve bought shoes, handbags and jewellery from them in the past. Whenever I receive an email from them, I always take some time to peruse what’s on offer. It’s like Aladdin’s Cave! But you do have to wait until the sale is over before the items are shipped, so it’s a good place to buy if you’re not in a hurry.

But back to nude sandals, the perfect summer shoe that goes with pretty much everything. Why nude, you might be wondering? Well, nude shoes make your legs look longer! Simple, really! And nude heels, well they’re the absolute best if you want your legs to look amazing in dresses or skirts.

Here are some of the best ones I’ve found online so far (I know, technically, a couple of pairs are tan and/or gold but they’re almost as good as tan!):

 

Schuh natural vacation sandals (Reduced from £45 to £29.99) / Schuh natural houston sandal (reduced from £18 to £9.99) / Schuh natural rhodes sandal (reduced from £45 to £14.99) / Blowfish natural glee sandals from Schuh (£45)
Secret Sales NOOS Marit gold sandals (reduced from £35 to £19) Secret Sales Carvela Kurt Geiger Beaut nude glitter sandals (reduced from £99 to £49) Secret Sales Te Roso tan and gold leather flats (reduced from £70 to £29)
Miss Selfridge EVIE leather huarache sandal (£25) Boden gladiator sandal in rose gold (reduced from £79.50 to £59.62) House of Fraser Nine West Jadlin flat sandal (reduced from £69 to £49)
Ted Baker flat leather buckle sandal (£85) UGG Brylee sandals (£60) UGG Savana Metallic Basket sandal (£120)
Shoes International nude FitFlop (£69.95) Shoes International Mephisto Appoline (£104.99) Shoes International Mephisto Izabel (£85.99)

So perhaps I got a little carried away (above) but when I go shopping I always go for it lol! I just LOVE to shop – whether I’m spending money or not! I’m quite impressed by the choice of nude / beige / tan sandals online this summer though. I mean, check out these beauties! They’re all gorgeous! I’m so tempted to splash out on a few more pairs. How about you? Do any of these catch your eye?

Totally changing the subject (but sticking with shoes)… OMG… just after I wrote this, I spotted something SUPER COOL. If you’re a Star Wars fan… do not look away now. Check out these amazing Star Wars Irregular Choice shoes. I’ve never seen anything like them! They’re AWESOME!!! You can get R2D2 heels or Darth Vader heels. They’re just out of this world… quite literally lol!

LINK-UPS

Style Elixir / Two Thirty-Five Designs / Sew Sarah / Rachel the Hat Passion4Fashion / Fashion Should be Fun / Forage Fashion / Happiness at Mid Life / Katherine’s Corner / Jo Lynne Shane

Cheesy Baked Potatoes3

When we either have little in the house to eat or we’re just not very inspired in the kitchen, our go-to meal is always these delicious cheesy baked potatoes. Easy (and also very cheap!) to make, they’re simply the best ever cheesy baked potatoes!

Ingredients

Potatoes
Cheese (grated)
Fresh green chilli (finely chopped)
Chilli flakes
Olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

 

Method

Bake the potatoes in the oven until done (at least an hour – but it depends on the size of potatoes), then remove and cut them in half. Scoop out the insides and place into a large mixing bowl before putting the potato skins back into the oven.

Mix the potatoes and a generous amount of olive oil until soft, then add the remaining ingredients, keeping a little cheese for the top.

Cheesy Baked Potatoes7

 

Remove the potato skins from the oven and spoon the potato mixture back into each half. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and place back in the oven. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese on top starts to golden. Remove from the oven and serve with a generous green salad. YUMMY!

 

Do you have a favourite go-to dish? I’d love to hear all about it!

Black Skirt15

The trusty denim jacket. It’s one of my favourite wardrobe staples that I know I can always rely on. It can be worn with so many things and look cool. Long skirts, short skirts, midi skirts, combats, leggings, jeans, girlie dresses, posh dresses and so on. It literally can be worn with just about anything.

Black Skirt2

Yesterday we popped out for a cup of tea (due to health reasons, I’ve drastically reduced my intake of coffee) to one of our favourite places in Portimão, Pastelaria Arade (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen some of their yummy cakes, below).

Mmmmmm traditional cakes at Pastelaria Arade in Portimao, Algarve

A photo posted by Suzy Turner (@suzyturner) on

Nearby, is a lovely little square with a water fountain, benches and some pretty trees. It’s also just in front of the Tempo Theatre. There’s also a little (very basic) open-air cafe which has been there for decades. When we first moved to Portugal (when I was ten years old), we used to go there every once in a while. On one occasion I remember having a drink there before toddling off with my family as we wandered through the streets of Portimão for a morning jaunt. I couldn’t believe it when a good ten minutes later, the waiter had tracked us down – carrying my little red handbag! I’d stupidly left it behind and he’d come running after us. So sweet. That waiter still works there, 30 years later. And I never stupidly left my handbag behind anywhere again. Rolls eyes.

Black Skirt18

Anyway, back to the square. It was the perfect setting to shoot a few photos of me in my favourite denim jacket. A denim jacket I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I bought from Primark.

Black Skirt12

When I was on the hunt for a decent denim jacket a few years ago, I tried on every single one in every clothes store in Aqua (my local shopping centre) but the one I liked the best – for fit and style, just happened to be the cheapest! I actually wear it a lot – you might have recognised it from when I wore it with my animal print scarf recently, or my gorgeous black lace dress.) I also have another denim jacket in a darker colour (also from Primark) that I wore with my combats some weeks ago.
Stupidly I never even thought to look online (Duh!) but I’ve since had a mosey around and found some absolute gorgeous ones, like this white one from Boden. I mean, it’s white and so perfect for the summer, especially for living here in the Algarve. I just might have to treat myself 😉 Since writing that last sentence, I’ve had a ‘wander’ around House of Fraser and found a whole host of goodies! I could quite easily spend a fortune on denim jackets alone. Check this stunning biker denim jacket out. It’s to die for, right?

Black Skirt8

But yesterday I was in the mood for a simple white tee and converse. I also wanted to prove to you that, occasionally, I do get my legs out, so I opted for this black skirt which in the years I’ve owned it, has probably only been worn twice! I love its’ uneven hemline, which certainly gives it a bit of extra something. I really ought to wear it more often. There’s a similar asymmetrical black skirt available at House of Fraser (can you tell I’m now going mad about them now? LOL!)

Denim Jacket

The bag is from Portuguese designer Marta Ponti who I’m a big fan of (I own three of her leather handbags) although I would have preferred a red one with this outfit – but (believe it or not), I don’t actually own a decent red handbag! I really must remedy that situation…..

Similar

Converse: Schuh Blue Denim Jacket: House of Fraser White Denim Jacket: Boden Black Skirt: House of Fraser Black handbag: House of Fraser

LINK-UPS

Not Dressed as Lamb / Elegantly Dressed and Stylish / Not Dead Yet Style / Beauty 101 by Lisa / Garay Treasures / Stylelixir / Walking in Memphis in High Heels

Colour Blocking3

I LOVE mixing and matching colours and think it can really make an outfit come alive. Especially when those colours might be a little unexpected. Don’t be afraid of colour blocking. Red and peach, for example or even red and pink (which used to be a real no-no). Adding a couple of other colours for added effect can also make you look more confident and I love that.

I think so many women are afraid to wear colour these days (especially colour blocking), many of them opting for muted blacks, browns and other less exciting shades, because they think dark equals a slimmer silhouette. Yes, sure it can, but so can colour! And colour blocking is so much more exciting, don’t you think?

Colour Blocking8

Some of my favourite style bloggers, such as Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb and Debbie from Fashion Fairy Dust are just two women who embrace colour – mixing and matching some wonderful combinations. I LOVE seeing what outfits they put together because they never fail to look less than gorgeous, every, single time. And it’s often the colours they’ve combined that really wow me.

This outfit, which I wore to dinner with friends, is almost entirely new (even the H&M knickers but you don’t want to see those!). I couldn’t resist this cardigan because it was the bright, fun colour that drew me to it in the first place and it just happens to be a colour that suits me. (Actually, I’m quite lucky in that I can wear almost any colour – the only one that’s a no-no is that pale fleshy pink colour which really washes me out). The cardigan came from H&M in case you’re wondering, and it cost less than 10 euros. Bargain! Here’s an alternative from House of Fraser that’s just as gorgeous.

Colour Blocking 2

The sleeveless blouse, which I totally forgot to take a photo of me wearing without the cardigan (!), came from Bershka and cost just €14.99. A similar one, from L.K. Bennett is available here.

I fell in love with the feel of these lightweight denim chinos as soon as I caught sight of them in Promod. They’re so light, they hang wonderfully, and when I put them on, I knew I should buy them. Talk about comfortable! AND they just happened to be in the sale, reduced from 35 to 25 euros. YES! I’ve looked online for something similar and found these denim joggers from Linea Weekend which are probably even more perfect for lounging about in.

The shoes are the most gorgeous pair I bought from Schuh when I was in England in January. I’d seen them online and knew I had to have them, BUT there was a slight issue with the sizing because it said they might come up a little small. I didn’t want to risk getting the wrong size so I waited until I was in the UK to try them. I needn’t have, size 6 was a-ok. A tiny bit snug but not a problem. I’ve just looked for them on the site and they’re no longer available in red, unfortunately. They do have them in black though – they’re really pretty, almost 40s in style. However if you’re after red shoes, they do have another pair which I was drooling over at the same time which you might like. Check them out at Schuh.

Colour Blocking4

The cute mustard yellow handbag came from a market stall in Lagos a few weeks ago, and my gorgeous ‘gold’ ear-rings came from one of my favourite cheap and chic jewellery shops, Bijou Brigitte.

All in all, I think the colour blocking really worked in this outfit. A different colour shoe would have also looked fab, purple perhaps? Although I didn’t opt for a different colour this time because I really wanted to wear my red shoes 😉

But don’t be afraid of colour, people! It can make you stand out in a crowd for all the right reasons, it can make your eyes pop or the colour of your hair look amazing. Or even your skin look incredible. Don’t be frightened to use colour to show off your best assets. It’ll also make you feel awesome and who doesn’t want to feel awesome, right?

Colour Blocking

Similar
Red Shoes: Schuh Denim Joggers: House of Fraser Red blouse: House of Fraser Cardigan: House of Fraser Handbag: House of Fraser

 

LINK-UPS
Fashion Should be Fun / Two Thirty-Five Designs

I don’t often talk about my books and writing but whenever I have a new one out, I will! So this week I launched my latest, it’s the final book in The Morgan Sisters series – one which my readers have been eagerly awaiting for over a year now. It’s called We Stand Against Evil.
In case you are curious, The Morgan Sisters is a five-book YA (young adult) series set around London, about two sisters who discover they’re actually very different from regular people, in fact they have very special powers. They are invited to join the Praxos Academy where they learn how to hone their skills and basically fight evil. If you love books like Harry Potter, then this is probably right up your street 😉

We Stand Against Evil small version

This book cover was created by the very talented Emma Michaels, also an author and book cover designer.

We Stand Against Evil

The Morgan sisters must use their unique skills and special powers to locate Eleanor Hayden-Jones before it’s too late.
Kidnapped by the cruel and twisted Madge Sophokles, the girls, along with just a few of their Mentors, have little to go on, other than a vague idea that she might be in Canada.
Get your copy of We Stand Against Evil now, and find out what happens to the sisters – and Praxos – in this thrilling final book in The Morgan Sisters series.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

If I’ve piqued your curiosity (or if you have young kids), you can download Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, a Morgan Sisters novella, for FREE, then the first full length novel (The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw) is just $0.99! Bargain, right? Oh, I should also mention that you can also buy all five novels in one ebook at a reduced rate too.

The Morgan Sisters Box Set small

If you’re really not into young adult books, then check out my Books page where you can see some great Chick Lit novels too 😉

Roasted cauliflower5Last weekend we tried a new recipe: spicy roasted cauliflower. It’s not something we’ve even seen before but when I spotted it on the PureWow website, I couldn’t resist giving it a try. However, there are certainly some things I would change. For a start, the recipe called for 2 tablespoons of chilli powder – it nearly blew my mouth off! And it also said to roast the cauliflower in the oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit (about 200 celsius). Well, the outside started to burn and the cauliflower was practically raw on the inside so I’d say it needs to roast for longer in a cooler oven!

Slightly burned due to the overly high temperature!

Slightly burned due to the overly high temperature!

But… the flavour was pretty yummy and it looks like a showstopper so I’d definitely do it again (my way) when we have guests over for dinner. Perhaps as a side dish to a nice curry?

Roasted cauliflower4

Anyway, here’s my amended version. Find the original recipe on PureWow, it’s a fabulous lifestyle website well worth checking out.

Ingredients

1 large cauliflower (remove the leaves and most of the woody stalk)
4 small pots of plain yoghurt (I used lactose free)
1 tablespoon chilli powder
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 150 (celsius). Lightly grease a baking dish (I used a small quiche dish) and place the whole cauliflower in the middle. Mix the remainder of the ingredients in a bowl and then smother the cauliflower in it – it’s easier (and really messy!) to use your hands. Roast in the oven until it’s dry and lightly browned. Probably around 40 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes before cutting into quarters. Et voila! Let me know if you do give this a try. I’d love to know how it turns out for you! 😀
NB. Keep the leftover marinade – it’s absolutely delicious on chicken thighs. We marinaded them overnight and cooked them in the oven a couple of days after having the cauliflower and they were absolutely delicious!!

 

Dress with jeansI was reading a blog post the other day about signature style that got me thinking about what mine is. The first thing that popped into my head was jeans. I wear jeans, like, ALL THE TIME. Even when I decide I’m going to be more girly and wear more dresses, it lasts about two days and the third day I’m back in my jeans again. I just can’t help it. So I started thinking about dresses with jeans: in one outfit. It was like a light bulb moment… Ding Ding that went off in my head (I can be a bit slow sometimes). I have worn dresses with jeans on the odd occasion before but why not try and make that my signature style? Not a bad idea…

Anyway, the first evening out after this light bulb moment, I opted for my favourite pair of skinny Levi’s with this cute little black crochet number. The dress is perfect because it’s a little loose around the waist, allowing for the jeans to sit comfortably without the button poking through the top (one of my pet hates – well, that and really obvious VPLs). It’s an old dress I bought from C&A many moons ago (in the sale, naturally) which I’ve probably worn about four times in total. Now though, seeing how great it looks with jeans, I’ll be wearing it a lot more often. I might even try it with a pair of trousers! Shock horror! 😉 It’s not that I dislike my legs or anything, I just feel more comfortable with them covered up. Weird, really.

Dress with jeans14

But what is it about jeans that I’m so obsessed about? I think it must be the comfort factor – I’m all about comfort. I can’t stand being uncomfortable in clothes and if the need arises, I like to be able to jump, run, do yoga (!) and not have to sit with my legs firmly closed (!!). Jeans allow me to do that. Dresses do not. Combine dresses with jeans, and you’ve got the perfect outfit! Yay! So this weekend I popped out to the shops and bought two more dresses that will look fabulous with jeans – both of which you’ll see on the blog soon, I’m sure.

Dress with jeans12

But back to signature style. Do you have one? If so, what is it? I really think it’s a tough question to answer, really, because (apart from the jeans), my style is pretty eclectic. I love wearing the rock chick look, but then the next day I might be in the mood for floaty hippy chick or maybe even a preppy look. At least now though, I can try and combine all of these looks with dresses AND jeans. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

But for now, tell me about your signature style. How did you develop yours? Or are you still trying to work it out? If it’s something you wish you had, try and think about what your favourite style is, or even your favourite wardrobe staple and see how you can incorporate it into your everyday style. Perhaps you’re a real rock chick at heart and want that to be your signature. Then, every time you get dressed, just keep that woman in mind and bring something into your outfit that says ‘rock chick’. Whether it’s a large chain around your neck or a killer black vamp handbag, try and add a little rock chick every time. It makes getting dressed even more fun (and challenging at times!).
Maybe you’re mad about florals. Then make florals your signature style. Even if it’s simply a flower in your hair, try and incorporate it into every look. It could be heels (if it is, I’m impressed, heels are so hard to wear all the time!), pastels, bright colours, Marilyn Monroe dresses or even grunge (were you a child of the 90s?). Have fun with your signature style and if you want to change it, then go ahead and change it. Madonna’s had hundreds of signature styles over the years and we still love her for it!

Similar
Jeans House of Fraser Dress: Boden Shoes: House of Fraser or Schuh Clutch House of Fraser Scarf: House of Fraser

LINK-UPS
Not Dressed as Lamb / Living on Cloud Nine

Denim jacket, black trousers and animal print9

I LOVE wearing animal print. I’m not talking all over animal print, mind you. No, that would be breaking all the style rules, right? Well, two fingers to style rules. Who needs ’em anyway? But I’m digressing, I like to add just a hint of it here and there. Like here, I decided to wear my Massimo Dutti leopard print moccasins and because it was a bit chilly (in mid-May, it’s insane!), I also added an animal print scarf for the heck of it. I just happen to love this scarf. It was only a cheap one from Primark but it’s gorgeous and soft and just puuuurfect (see what I did there?).

Denim jacket, black trousers and animal print11
But back to animal print. I was going to make this post about how to wear animal print after 40, but wait a minute. Who says what we should or shouldn’t be wearing, anyway? So maybe I shouldn’t spoil the fun. If you want to wear animal print from head to toe then that’s your prerogative! Who am I to judge?

Denim jacket, black trousers and animal print10

Having said that, if I did see you in the street wearing all over animal print from head to toe, I probably will judge… just a little bit. Heck, we all do it! But secretly, I’ll be going, ‘You go girl!’.

Denim jacket, black trousers and animal print7

But seriously though, if you do want to add some animal print to your wardrobe but don’t want to end up looking like Bette Lynch (showing my age now), then read on:

  1. Avoid head to toe animal print.
  2. Just add hints, like a handbag or a blouse. Even a smart pair of animal print trousers. Well, why not?
  3. Avoid mish-mashing too many animal prints in one outfit (some people can get away with it but they’re usually six foot tall and look like Giselle)
  4. One really gorgeous accessory in animal print really sets off a plain back dress – heels / handbag / scarf (but avoid wearing them all at once)
  5. Avoid animal print AND anything too sparkly in one outfit, unless you’re 13.
  6. A sexy animal print dress can really knock em dead (and I mean that in a good way), but only if you keep the accessories as simple as possible.
  7. A classic trench coat in an animal print can look absolutely amazing, but make sure the garments underneath don’t clash (in other words, nothing too loud).
  8. Avoid showing too much skin at the same time as wearing animal print, unless you want to attract the wrong sort of attention.
  9. One of the coolest ways to wear animal print is to pair it with denim. No reason, it’s just looks good 😉
  10. And lastly, wear what makes YOU feel good. That’s all that really matters. I broke the so-called rules in this post anyway – wearing two different patterns on shoes and scarf but I don’t care! Having said that, I had some issues with the photography (and focus) and most of the photos don’t actually show the full outfit lol! You could say I was cheating, but I did leave the house like this 😉 Here’s proof I was actually wearing them…!Denim jacket, black trousers and animal print

    If you’re wondering about the long sleeved t-shirt, I bought it from Promod because 1975 was such a good year for me (yes it was when I was born).
    So how about you? How do you like incorporating animal print into your wardrobe? Go on, be honest! 🙂

    LINK-UPS
    Two Thirty-Five Designs
    Fashion Should be Fun
    Sheelagh Writes

Pea and broad beans 4

One of my favourite spring time recipes is undoubtedly fresh peas and broad beans on toast: heaven on a plate. It’s incredibly easy to make and is packed full of goodness.

Ingredients

Handful of raw peas
Handful of raw broad beans
Bunch fresh mint
Mozzarella
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Fresh garlic
Spelt bread (lightly toasted), can be any bread but spelt is much more delicious!

Method
Lightly crush the beans and peas in a pestle and mortar along with the mint. Add olive oil, salt and pepper. Meanwhile, toast the bread and then drizzle with olive oil, before rubbing the raw garlic onto the toast. Then simply spoon the bean and pea mixture onto the toast, topped with torn up pieces of mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil and dig in! Yumminess on a plate!

Pea and broad beans 3

Pea and broad beans 2

 

Pasteis de Belem11Pastéis de Belém are famous throughout the globe, known for being possibly the tastiest custard tarts in the world. I know. I had the pleasure of sitting down in the well known eatery and sampling them recently. And yes, I did only have one… honest 😉

Michael and Doug, however, had a couple each 😀 Doug certainly enjoyed his…

There’s not an awful lot to write about these little cups of deliciousness so I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

Pasteis de Belem10

Pasteis de Belem 5

The bakery, located right next door to one of my favourite places in Lisbon, The Jeronimos Monastery, is a must-visit if you’re ever in the area. It’s where they make hundreds of custard cakes (as well as a few other delicacies) every day. There’s a large window where you can see them coming out of the ovens (above) which makes you drool every time lol!

There’s also a fabulous eatery (which seems to go on forever) where you can enjoy food and drinks. It’s a bit of a maze when you walk through it but just goes to show how many clients they receive, daily. There’s usually quite a queue outside – although many of those people are waiting to buy the cakes to take away.

We opted to sit in and have a nice cup of tea with our Pastéis de Belém. Actually, we sat in an ‘outdoor’ covered terrace, which really was lovely considering the warm weather we enjoyed at the time (a couple of weeks ago – before all this rain!).

I can’t wait to return because those cakes are seriously unlike anything I’ve ever tasted… especially hot out of the oven!