this week #03

:: by Lizzie
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The sun is out at last and I’m happily sitting on the balcony pulling together highlights from the past week. Some of these favourites were too good not to mention, so, in case you’re interested, here’s the low down on what I’ve been up to. As usual it’s a combo of great food, design, an activity here or there and what I’ve been enjoying getting dressed into and putting on my face of a morning.

 

Along with the sunshine I’m pleased to say, comes an abundance of beautiful flowers and plants. Bloomon are smashing it as usual and over the past week have delivered some of my favourite bouquets so far. If you don’t know about Bloomon, they deliver seasonal and super fresh cut flowers to your door that are oh so Pinterest-worthy. If you’re interested in trialing out their service then make sure you use my offer code SMUGVASE at checkout to get a free vase with your first delivery. I’ve found that their stunning flowers arriving every week in different colour-pallets really brighten up the shop and my home and puts a smile on my face every time I look at them. If like me you’re plant mad then check out my  P L A N T  P O T  blog post all about our exhibition for LDF upstairs at SMUG. And keep your eyes peeled for a Balcony Tour post coming very soon on The Smuggler. If you’d rather not wait then follow me right now on Snapchat at ifeelsmug. I’m often on the balcony and snapchat most days so you’ll see the most up-to-date goings-on there.

 

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A rather tasty highlight this week and a patisserie which is totally new to me is Maitre Choux. Every day with a rigorous precision, Joakim Prat, the three Michelin star winning chef, bakes the most perfect eclairs, choux and chouquettes at their South Kensington location. Expect delightful attention to detail and explosions of creamy flavour. Thanks to Ben and Knomes for serving them for pud last week!

 

Also on the pretty train this week, are our SMUG X MATT PUGH owls. Manolya and I get together at SMUG once a month for an in-store photoshoot and most recently we focussed on spending some time snapping all of our SMUG exclusive colour-way Matt Pugh owls. They featured in our recent newsletter as a bit of a GIF and it’s such a nice little thing I wanted to share it here too. Thanks Manolya for your GIF making skills :)

 

 

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There are lots of new and exciting things coming in at SMUG very soon and this week I’ve had the pleasure of choosing our Bonne Maison sock and Rifle Paper Co stationery edits for the season. Socks and sandals for a picnic in the park anyone!? Faves include the Hunting Socks and Tapestry Notebook Trio both coming soon.

 

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As you know, I love food, and I’m lucky enough to have several friends who cook me delicious meals and take me out to fabulous places. Case in point – Morito Hackney Road and Gemma Bell. The newly opened Morito Hackney Road is a sister restaurant to the world famous Moro and Morito both on Exmouth Market and created by husband and wife team Sam and Samantha Clark. Morito Hackney Road has Marianna Love (previously head chef of Moro) at the helm serving up tapas, mezze and larger sharing plates all with the signature Moro style but with her own Cretian flair. Get the labneh with caramelised chillis and the kid. Both were out of this world!

 

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My Lisbon Must Dos blog post has been getting a lot of love this week – thanks so much to those of you who have read it. Seems like lots of people are off to Lisbon this summer so hopefully my suggestions have been helpful. Danny was in Utrecht last week opening the new Urban Outfitters store which looks amazing! While there for ten days, Dan fell in love with Holland and we’re now thinking of doing an Amsterdam, Utrecht and maybe Rotterdam mini tour in September/October. Any suggestions? I know Amsterdam a little already but do let me know in the comments below anything you’d recommend doing/seeing/eating in any of these three Dutch cities please.

 

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W E E K L Y  F A V O U R I T E S  :

Most Loved Beauty Product This WeekNYX Soft Matt Lip Cream in Stockholm Perfect ‘your lips but better’ shade and amazing creamy lip stain formula that lasts well and fades subtly.

Most Worn Item of ClothingTopshop High Waisted Indigo Jamie Jeans Been living in these. So comfy. Great colour that goes with everything. Nice high waist and flattering pockets on the bum. My new go-to jeans.

‘Sporting Activity’ of the Week – Turns out Beer Pong rocks! I kid you not. We went to Sink near Old Street and had a wail of a time.

Recipe of the Week – Dhal with Crispy Sweet Potato from Anna Jones’s ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ Cookbook. This meal is utterly delicious and tastes far more complex and time consuming to make than it actually is. I’m making it again tonight!

 

Anna Jones’ Dhal with Crispy Sweet Potatoes (serves 4)

For the sweet potatoes: 2 sweet potatoes, skins on, washed and roughly chopped into 1.5cm cubes, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, olive oil.

For the dhal: 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped, a thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped, 1 green chili, chopped, 1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 200g red lentils, 400ml coconut milk, 400ml vegetable stock, 2 large handfuls of spinach, a bunch of coriander, with stalks, roughly chopped, juice of 1 lemon.

 

Preheat the oven to 220C. Put the sweet potatoes into a roasting tray add a good pinch of salt and pepper, the cumin and fennel seeds and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until soft and sweet on the inside and crispy brown on the outside.

In a large saucepan, sizzle the garlic, ginger, chilli and red onion in a little oil for about ten minutes, until soft and sweet. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar then add o the pan with the other spices and cook for a few minutes to toast and release the oils. Add the lentils, coconut milk and stock to the pan and bring to a simmer then turn the heat down and bubble away for about 25-30 minutes.

To finish your dhal, take it off the heat then stir in the spinach and allow it to wilt a little, stirring in half the chopped coriander and the lemon juice. Pile into bowls and top with the crispy sweet potatoes, spoonfuls of mango chutney and the remaining coriander.

 

this week #02

:: by Lizzie
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This week I’ve been spending my spare time (although there’s not been much of it) sorting out my wardrobe. I’ve needed to switch out my spring summer pieces for more autumn winter appropriate staples for a while now and blogger Jess Lively gave me the kick up the bum I needed in the form of a podcast with capsule wardrobe specialist Caroline Rector of Unfancy. Caroline talks on the podcast all about how she has built her seasonal 37 piece capsule wardrobe and gives tips for people interested in creating their own wardrobe framework. She also focuses on how to go about simplifying your current wardrobe as well as tackling difficult shopping issues and establishing your own personal style. It’s an interesting listen if you’re feeling like a switch up and if you’re really brave you could even follow Caroline’s advice and build your own 37 piece capsule wardrobe for winter.

 

A rather nice highlight this week at work was the London Terrariums Workshop #upstairsatsmug. Tom and Emma do such a good job of explaining how the self-contained ecosystem of a terrarium flourishes over time. They select the perfect glass vessels, specifically slow growing plants, such as Fittonia and Sempervivum, so the terrarium isn’t outgrown too quickly and they provide everything else you could possibly need in order to learn to build your very own terrarium. Tom and Emma will be back at SMUG in the new year for another workshop so click here for tickets if you’d like to take part or fancy buying a friend a ticket as a Christmas present. I have an apple-shaped empty glass terrarium at home just asking to be filled with beautiful leafy and mossy goodness so I’ll be attending for sure.

 

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S T R A W B E R R Y  K E F I R  R E C I P E :

My new breakfast drink of choice is Kefir. It’s a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains. It’s full of nutrients, probiotics, calcium, protein and B vitamins and it’s really good for digestion. I first heard about kefir a few months ago as a substitute for buttermilk in baking and came across it again more recently in a delicious looking Strawberry Kefir Recipe on the DryBy blog. DryBy is a central London based blow dry and nail art bar set up by two sisters – but more about that, plus a review of their treatments, coming soon. I adapted their recipe slightly by leaving out the apple juice and reducing the quantities to make it just the right amount for one glass. Here’s what I do – Add around 8 strawberries, a cup of kefir (I got mine here from from Sainsbury’s), a squeeze of runny honey and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or the seeds of a vanilla pod) to a Nutribullet or small blender. Blend for around 20 seconds, pour into a glass and enjoy.

 

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There have been lots of new things arriving at SMUG for The SMUG Christmas SHOP so that’s made up a pretty big part of my social media sharing this week. Here’s the lowdown on my top picks I’ve been sharing on Instagram that are now in store – APPNTD Notebooks £8.75 – £18 // Marbled Enamelware, £4 – £22 // Darling Clementine Washbags, £16 (and Ceramics, £13 pictured below). We’ve also been getting some nice press recently including the above snap of our Lenneke Wispelwey ceramics in The Sunday Times Home section.

 

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The last recently Instagrammed picture to mention relates to some special news – our friends at The Pattern Guild are working away on producing a SMUG exclusive colab which will arrive in store just before Christmas we hope. I’ll keep you updated with pictures of the collection when I have them.

 

Now for my weekly favourites:

Most Loved Beauty Product This Week – Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain in Rendezvous

Favourite YouTube Video This Week – 48 Hour Digital Detox Estee Lalonde

Best Meal This Week – Patty & Bun with Danny, Birdie and Power Nap. Oh the chicken wings!

Have a lovely weekend peeps and see you another Friday for This Week #3

 

this week #01

:: by Lizzie
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I’ve decided to try out a new kind of blog post and I’m hoping it will become a regular feature. The plan with ‘This Week’ is to, every Friday, give a little bit of a run down of my week with the use of Instagram and to highlight particular products, meals, blog posts, design objects, I’ve been particularly enjoying that week. I’m a big fan of Instagram and love using it to communicate with SMUG customers, like – minded designers and bigger brands I love, as well as with friends and family. Obviously the visual element is the most important and enjoyable when it comes in to Insta but sometimes it’s nice to be able to tell a little bit more of the story – I hope to do that here.

 

A highlight this last week was Stylist Live, an event which happened to be located in the Business Design Centre, just over the road from SMUG. And, which happened to be hosting a Q&A with my two makeup and beauty gurus – Vivianna Does Makeup and Lily Pebbles. I went along, I plucked up the courage to ask a question and Anna even asked me what I was wearing on my lips! It was of course a recommendation of hers that I picked up in New York – Cherry Picking by Wet n Wild. I had the chance to meet Anna and Lily after the Q&A and they were both lovely and really encouraging. On that note and the NYC note too, I think it’s about time I share with you my US beauty haul, which I think will be coming in the form of a video. My first video ever. You Tube here I come!

 

There have been lots of new things arriving at SMUG, as well as some hype around products in the pipeline that are due to arrive very soon for The SMUG Christmas SHOP. Here’s the lowdown on my top picks I’ve been sharing on Instagram – Quilted Cushions, Ferm Living, £78 and £82 // Gia Leather Handbag in Tan, M.Hulot, £170 // Cactus Brooch, Macon et Lesquoy, £14 // Makers of East London Coffee Table Book, Hoxton Mini Press, £30 // Black Marbled Enamelware, Crow Canyon, £4 – £22.

 

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I also used Instagram to share some images from my most recent blog post ‘A London Girl’s Birthday Treat Day’ which you can read here.

 

Most Loved Beauty Product This Week – L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation. Earlier this week I popped into Boots to pick up a bottle as both Lily and Anna (as mentioned above) have been raving about it. The formulation has been changed, making it more blendable and light weight on the skin but with that same good, buildable coverage. It’s also more moisturising which I really like. As you’d hope, they have a colour that is a really good match for my skin tone too. This foundation is well up there with its high end counterparts but with a drugstore price tag.

 

Favourite Blog Post This Week – This week I stumbled upon the effortlessly chic blog The Chriselle Factor and I’m loving it. Isn’t she gorgeous? Check out her recent post ’11 Tips To Look Expensive’. I’m just lapping this stuff up at the moment. Obviously it’s to be taken with a pinch of salt. We can’t all manage to maintain such a polished and perfect lifestyle and appearance but she’s great and encourages me to make a bit more effort when getting ready in the mornings.

 

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Best Meal This Week – Lunch at NOPI in Soho. Because SMUG gets pretty full on (and full-time) in the lead up to Christmas, Mum and I try to get as much of our Christmas shopping done on Mondays in October as poss. Last Monday was our first West End shopping day so we booked lunch at one of our favourite restaurants ever, NOPI. New on the menu and particularly special was the Roast Aubergine with Black Garlic, Broad Beans and Basil. We were also very happy to enjoy our old favourites – Courgette and Manouri Fritters with Cardamon Yogurt, Twice Cooked Baby Chicken with Lemon Myrtle Salt and Chilli Sauce and NOPI’s infamous Valdeon Cheesecake with Picked Beetroot, Almonds and Thyme Honey. It’s fair to say it was all delicious and set us up for a very productive day of shopping. You’ll be hearing more about that soon I’m sure. See you next Friday for ‘This Week #2’!

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