sodastream source
My American readers may have no idea what a SodaStream is, but the Brit collective is likely to have seen one on the counter-top of their grandmother’s house.

At least, that’s where I met my first SodaStream.

As a child recently diagnosed with Diabetes, the SodaStream held some special magic in my eyes. While doctors had spent the previous year telling me I would never been allowed to drink a sugary drink again (barring low blood sugars), the SodaStream’s ability to carbonate water – to make water fun – was otherworldly.

Now, over 100 years since SodaStream’s inception (!), I have introduced one into my personal home. Say hello to the SodaStream Source. Designed by Yves BĂ©har, the Source is the most attractive thing on my countertop (and, in fact, one of the most-used devices in the entire house).

From unboxing to use, you simply slide in the C02 canister, fix your SodaStream bottle in place, then press down on the top of the device until your desired ‘fizz’ level (shown by a clear LED display) is reached. As well as turning tap water into sparkling water in seconds, the range’s addition of Diet flavours, ‘My Water’ (a range of unsweetened, all natural flavours), and Stevia products has made it one of my favourite cocktail-making companions, to boot.

To Make Fizzy White Wine Sangria with a SodaStream:
Ingredients:
1 bottle of white wine (cheap works – the joy of Sangria!)
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 pineapple, peeled and cubed
3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1/8 cup minced ginger
1 cup Free Fresh Lemonade SodaStream

Peel and cut all fruit, pour white wine and Sodastream over fruit. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve (with fruit pieces).

To Make a Cranberry Kir Royale (Homemade Liqueur) with a SodaStream :
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
3/4 cup vodka of your choice
4 cups dry prosecco, chilled
1/4 cup Diet Cranberry & Raspberry SodaStream

Heat the agave nectar, cranberry sauce, and SodaStream mix together for 5 minutes over medium heat. Let it cool, pour in the vodka, then let it rest – covered – in the refrigerator.

After four days, strain then mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a small jar, discarding the solids. Spoon two tablespoons of your new liqueur into each flute, then top with your prosecco to serve.

To Make Fresh Cherry Mojitos (Rum) with a SodaStream:
Ingredients:
5 dark, sweet cherries, pitted
10 fresh mint leaves
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 shots of your favourite rum (I love it with Malibu)
SodaStream diet tonic
Crushed ice

Squash cherries and mint to release the juices. Pour wet ingredients over, and top with your tonic. Ad crushed ice to serve.

Happy SodaStream-ing!

sodastream source
sodastream source
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interior design outdoor indoors
Timing is a funny thing. The day The Manfriend and I decided we would be relocating (EXCITING!) was the same day a pile of AirWick goodies arrived on my doorstep. If there was any way to enable my mad OCD interior design and organisational habits, that delivery was it.

Though I’m planning to overhaul and decorate every room in very specific themes (and – for once – invest in a bangin’ kitchen set-up), I’ve surprised myself by building lots of little inspiration boards focusing on the idea of incorporating lots of green and natural components throughout our new home. I blame the Air Wick National Parks collection (specifically, the ‘Yorkshire Dales’ smell of white roses and pink sweet pea).

Inspiration board:
Verbena & Sage Liquid Soap from Eau d’Italie
Yorkshire Dales from AirWick
Herb pot trio from Sagaform
Flower hair garland from River Island
Margot throw from Missoni
Cabriole table from Oka
Watermelon plate from Anthropologie
Hand-painted glass bowls from Due Zeta
Blue coat rack from Present Time

ebay collections

I love eBay. Some of my best material finds (from rare vintage designer pieces to affordable and jazzy phone covers) have come from eBay and, though I have no idea how people manage to run shops from eBay, I am more than happy to support small businesses from around the world by heading to eBay as one of my first ports of call for any purchase.

When eBay asked me to get involved with the launch of eBay Collections in the UK, I jumped at the opportunity. 'Collections' are super simple and incredibly helpful: you put the things you love in the groups/boards of your choice. With the ability to create and share Collections alongside your friends, celebrities and eBay users across the planet, the Collections are also a wonderful way to find special items that you may not know you're even looking for. The inspiration potential is endless!

My eBay Collections (for now…):

Loafer Lady: I am not sure when it happened, but I have gradually been swapping a heaving collection of skyscraper heels for the more practical option: loafers. Thankfully, running around town has since become more enjoyable and…well…CUTER! Loafers are flats with attitude, and I have no issue with that (even at 5ft 2).

Don't Blame It On The Sunshine: I have never been one to stick to a single pair of sunnies (when the sun actually arrives…ah, British life). Instead, I prefer to have a pair for my every mood. Be it Hide-my-face Hangover Specs or something to match a date outfit, sunglass superfluity is key.

Pumped Up Kicks: Shoes are to me what honey is to a bee (and I make no apologies for it…but, you know, sorry about the rhyming). With no particular 'style' set for the ends of my legs, I simply enjoy a statement, colour, or small detail that takes something from just a shoe to something special.

This One's For My Homies: Absolutely no-one I know that loves fashion lives in a boring home. Whether it is a small dorm or a sprawling mansion, our living space tends to be an exceptional reflection of ourselves. We might as well coat it in some pretty things, am I right?

A Girl's Best Friend: I'm not exactly sure why Miss Monroe chooned so seductively about DIAMONDS being a girl's best friend. I mean, DIAMONDS? Nothing gets my blood pumping like a gorgeous piece of arm candy. Be it statement or silly (see: unicorn), a good handbag deserves Best Friend status beyond any diamond.

Animalistic: We may not be able to stick LOLcats on our bodies, but we can certainly pay homage to our furry friends by choosing an animalistic item of fashion or two. I mean…cats on your knees and bunnies on your phone? That's a cuteness level I can't compute.

Pretty in Pastel: I am a child at heart. I would, in all honesty, get a My Little Pony tattooed on me if everyone around me didn't already have a bet on it. The safe option? Wear as much pastel as humanly possible (isn't it great when trends bend in your personal favour?)

Pop Ya Collar: Until recently, collars were deemed a little bit too 'kitsch' for adult wear. Cue the age of Jess Day and Mad Men revival action? The world's gone collar crazy. Peter pan collars, bib collars, embroidered, or jewelled – there is an option for every woman's individual style.

Beauty Booty: eBay is, without a doubt, a godsend for beauty buffs and make-up junkies alike. Not only is it the only place I can rely on to find my favourite Korean beauty products (hello, Liole BB cream) but it is also an excellent source for dupes and discounts for some of the world's favourite beauty products.

She's No Wallflower: I know, I know, Emma Watson made us all see the so-called perks of being a wallflower, but hear me out: IT IS FUN TO MAKE SOME VISUAL NOISE. What we wear is an expression of ourselves. Of the beauty and the excitement and the imperfections. It is liberating to be a little bit loud some times.

She Said SWEATSHIRTS!: Though Givenchy and Alexander McQueen have always done sweatshirts a little cooler than anyone else, the jumper/sweatshirt/pullover has experienced a major makeover over the past few years. The more graphic the better (though I have a strict policy against ugly Christmas sweaters).

Just Watch Me: I adore watches. While my go-to is a rather expensive rose gold arm weight, I can't help but dot my collection with more affordable 'fashion' options. As per usual, the quirkier the better. It's whatever-o-clock, babes. Time to rock an arm party.

See them all, here.

Sponsored Post: In partnership with eBay

the apartment aw14
Every fashion week attendee has their favourite little spot of solace between shows and mine hasn’t changed since it launched. The AW14 ‘Apartment – as always – was filled to the brim with amazing clothes, shoes, food, and general good times.

While Fossil had a branded room of their very own (and arm parties to die for), the closets were filled with samples from Next, Wolford, Wishbone, Superga, Russell and Bromley, and Sock Shop – leaving special days aside for an Apartment takeover of both Timberland and Forever 21, respectively.

Breakfasts and afternoon teas were provided by Aubaine, every room was scented with Penhaligons‘ dreamy fragrances, our rides were pimped out Hyundais, Beauty Drink kept us hydrated (and deliciously pretty!), and Oliver Bonas tricked out every empty corner with some of the most gorgeous homeware around.

My favourite part? Blow Ltd‘s beauty takeover. By appointment or walk-in, all Apartment bloggers could have their nails, hair, and make-up done by Blow’s glamour pros at any time of the day. Though I only managed to have the time to sit down on Day One, it took them less than 45 minutes to take me from ‘I just woke up’ to a Sixties bombshell. That is no easy feat.

Is it SS15 yet?

the apartment aw14
the apartment aw14
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smart energy report
Now that 2013 has arrived, I am using this post to draw the curtain on my advocacy for the rather brilliant British Gas Smart Meters campaign. Having visibility over the energy we have all been using – in pounds and pence – has created such a positive response since being first introduced to smart meters and now, with the introduction of the Smart Energy Report (SER), the technology has already come a very long way.

Using SERs, each individual smart meter user is able to see a breakdown of their energy spend (on things like heating, hot water, cooking, lighting and appliances), comparisons with similar households, and much more. It is not a typical end-of-the-month overview, either; you can actually view live statistics on the free online tool and/or set up reports to be delivered to your e-mail when it suits you best.

With all variations of technology to play with, a Smart Meter is – dare I say it – kind of a cool accessory to own, don’t you think?