The Photoshoot

lela london
As a so-called ‘media figure’, it was a cruel inevitability: in all likelihood, I would end up in a studio photoshoot one day.

Now, I’ve done a handful of ‘shoots’ in the past for magazine features and interviews, but have always taken solace in the fact that they were essentially recreating my own brand of street style photography. Natural light, no looking into a camera, and props/people around me to almost create an illusion of DSLRlessness.

When I worked as a stylist, studio shoots were always the most harsh and revealing, even for the most beautiful model. I swore I’d stay away as long as I could. Yet here I am pretending I’m some sort of Campbell-Delevigne.

How did it happen? The Powers That Be decided it was time to do some promo shots for myself and the blog. Shortly thereafter, Image 1st Studio pitched and the rest is history.

The Studio is located just around the corner from Farringdon station, is completely private, and – as a package – comes with the friendliest, nerve-curing studio staff you could hope for. A week or so before arriving, they sent me very clear tips, information, and genuinely made the whole experience comfortable from the get-go.

On shoot day, Doren (the MD) greeted my moral support and I at the door and took me straight through to be painted and preened by the lovely Emma.

As make-up artists go I am as picky as they come, but Emma understood exactly what I liked (less is more, with an exception for lips) and took me to personal perfection in no time at all.

Grabbing a drink on my way through to meet Luke (the photographer), we went through the outfits I’d put together, decided the shoot order and backgrounds we’d use for each look, hung everything up in said order (hello, OCD), and set straight off to set.

A whirlwind hour of blushing and prancing later, we wrapped up the shoot and I left with a disc of a billion-plus images ready to send to all my boyfriends.

Or use for professional purposes. Whatever.

Not bad, eh?

lela london
lela london
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Throwback Thursday – The Eiffel Tower Penthouse

eiffel tower penthouse
There is a penthouse in the Eiffel Tower. I mean, if any vintage discovery was ever worth a Throwback Thursday…

At the Eiffel Tower’s inception, there were very few photographs taken behind the scaffolding. These rare photos are an incredible find and quite a testament to the magic that Alexandre Gustave Eiffel began designing in 1887.

After two years of work by only 200 men, the now-famous structure was completed with 18,038 pieces of wrought iron and 2.5 million rivets, weighing 10,000 tonnes and reaching a height of 984.25 feet. Complete with 1,710 steps to the top, of course.

For years, rumours have flown around concerning the tower’s initial uses. We know that, in its opening year, French newspaper Le Figaro opened a print office on the second floor alongside a post office which delivered postcards by balloon.

Allegedly, there was even a penthouse and theatre.

Allegedly no more, thanks to the archives of the Neurdein brothers (the official photographers of the Paris World’s Fair in 1889). Say hello to Mr. Eiffel’s 285-meter high penthouse and theatre.

eiffel tower penthouse
eiffel tower penthouse
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How To Stop Wasting Food

stop wasting food
We’ve got to waste less food, babes.

As of last year, food waste became detrimental to much more than our wallets. In fact, food scraps are currently the biggest contributor to landfills and greenhouse gasses.

I’m pretty set on keeping my planet and bank account as healthy as they can be, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite food wastage tips to anyone who feels the same!

1. Shop more frequently. Rather than spending hours meal planning and grocery list making, take a few 10 minute trips throughout the week to stock up on things you’ll need in the next day or two. This way, you buy fresher, healthier, and end up with much less waste when life and sell-bys get in the way of meal plans.

2. That said, make a grocery list. A small one. And don’t shop outside of it.

3. Avoid the inside aisles and corner deals. Most supermarkets put their ‘2 for 1s’, multipacks, and general temptations on the ends of aisles and away from fresh produce. Sticking to the greener parts of the supermarket will save both your waste and waistline.

4. If you stock up, stock up on frozen fruit and veg. Being frozen often means they skip out on preservatives of canned alternatives, and they last for ages.

5. Buy organic, soya, or almond milk. It lasts longer and treats your body better. (I make my own almond milk and never waste a drop!)

6. Know which fruit and vegetables should be kept in the fridge and which will last longer at room temperature. (See photo above!)

7. Store leftovers in a clear glass container. We eat with our eyes and tinfoil does nothing for our tastebuds.

8. Create separate areas for fruit, veg, and meat. The closer they are, the faster they spoil.

9. Keep your fridge clean. Air needs to circulate around food to keep it clean. An overstocked fridge will spoil much faster than an organised fridge, doubling up on food wastage.

10. Remember, one can spoil the bunch. When it comes to apples, berries, potatoes, and onions, check for rottens before storing a bunch and remove them before you lose the rest.

11. Break your bananas. Quite simply, break each banana off from the group at the stem and they’ll last twice as long. (And if any do get brown before being eaten, use them in banana bread!)

12. Put a celery stalk in your bread bag (or basket/bin). It will stay fresh for well over a week.

13. Wrap your cheese in wax paper, then a plastic bag. Fresh as it gets.

14. Turn your vegetable scraps into frittatas or vegetable stock. Easy peasy.

15. Pickle everything. If you don’t know what to do with it but don’t want to waste it, pickle it. It’s the garnish that keeps on giving.

16. Don’t waste wine. If you and a friend can’t get through the bottle, simply pour the rest into an ice tray and use the cubes in any wine-friendly recipes.

17. Don’t trust the sell-by date. Often, it leaves 3-4 days before the food is actually unsafe to consume (1-2 days if left uncooked).

18. Donate what you don’t want! Bought far too much poultry, sauce, and nibbles over the holiday season? Find a food shelter!

19. Make your dog happy. While things like coffee, chocolate, grapes and milk are dangerous for dogs, other perishables like eggs, sweet potatoes, and apples are great for them!

Skiing with Olympians (A casual evening at Snozone)

snozone ski lesson
On Friday evening, Snozone Castleford (you’ll know it for being the UK’s most renowned indoor ski centre) held a Sochi-inspired freestyle competition and invited a few Olympians along to judge the contestants.

As good a time as any to get my first ski lesson in ten years in, right?

After booting up, buckling my helmet and remembering how cumbersome skis feel once clicked in, I embarked on a three hour crash course that took me from ‘baby slope’ to the same slope Olympians Ben Kilner and Katie Summerhayes were judging.

If that’s not the sign of a stellar ski lesson, I don’t know what is.

Zipping through snow plows and stop-and-jumps, I eventually graduated the lesson with a promotion from Level One to Five and a desperate desire to return to the mountains.

For now, though, Snozone and a plethora of blurred and swishtastic shots will do. Even without the Olympians.

snozone ski lesson
snozone ski lesson
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What I Wore: Ski Style

ski blogger
The snow bunny is back.

Though I have yet to secure my long-awaited ski dates, the so-called hauls that I have undergone leading up to said event have kept me slightly sane. Slightly. I still found an excuse to break in my ski style selections before hitting a single slope.

As soon as an inch of snow settled, I covered myself in Trespass and ran around for hours with Gatsby (The Pomeranian). With an endless number of pockets, toggles, cords, and general snow-smart additions, I am more excited than ever to get my ski boots on.

What I Wore:
White ‘Solitude’ ski pants from Trespass (they have detachable braces, a four-way stretch, and are genuinely perfection)
Black ‘Marlena’ ski jacket with faux fur hood from Trespass
Tom Ford sunglasses (similar here)
Hunter wellies (similar here)

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ski blogger
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