Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spring Strolls | Blossoms in Marylebone

Is Spring overrated? Probably. Does it stop us from taking photos of flowers? O HALE NO (50 points if you get this reference but you probs don't so....). Post-full belly stroll around Marylebone last weekend, after an eclectic Peruvian-fusion brunch – 3pm still counts right - and we stumbled upon Manchester Square just opposite of the Wallace Collection. Pink blush petals screamed my name and here are some happy shots I wanted to share before we jet off to Italy for a week tomorrow...

As always, comfort is key. It wasn't the sunniest so I had to wrap up warm with a thick scarf and my go-to coat. And let's not forget my favourite pink crossbody! It was Sunday, and I wasn't having any of dat fancy footwear feeling so went ahead in my new (it was on s a l e ok) New Balance's in the colour I was searching for for the past year! Score. 

What are your fave clothing to don for Spring? *that* bomber jacket? Some dainty jewelry? 

(Scarf - Monki / Bag - Parfois / Coat - Jack Wills / Skirt - Zara / Shoes - New Balance)

We'll be touring Florence and then taking a train down to Rome - if you have any suggestions re food or sights, drop a comment below or tweet me ;-) have a great week ahead amigos, and let's chat more below as always! 

Fingers crossed that I'll have some cool photos to share once we're back - in the meantime, stay tuned on Instagram or Snapchat (cheriectkoh) to follow me around~  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spring Things: What I Did in April

Time seems to be falling forward, but I suspend and exist between the cracks where moments flicker from one emotion to the next – frustration to anger to relief to joy. That's how I feel about April. That said, it's been a good one (I suppose?) and with spring beckoning, it makes life a bit more alive. While I probably have enough stuff in my life, here are a a few of my favourite 'consumer products' – terminology thanks to the detailed discussion Matt & I had on guaranteed basic income/we are such pc boring people/I mean, Freakonomics is my favourite podcast...

One fine Sunday, I met Michelle after her fanstastical Japan trip, and lunched at the kooky Attendant tucked behind Oxford Street - we talked about how we should be adults but we're not really. Cute things, Ghibli, Pokémon? All ticked. We also had a poke around Kate Spade new(-ish) store on Regent Street and marvelled at the perfect colour coordination they had in store.

I also took the opportunity to pick up some samples from Aesop while Mish did her quick drop in at Liberty - great for traveling next week when we head to Italia!

Some of my favourite colours and things in that colour - Nature Republic's Cherry Blossom hand cream has been on my dry hands non-stop, also a welcoming scent to remind me of sakura showers or a street in Seoul... Matt also brought home a random chocolate bar which I ain't complaining about either. And don't forget my cute Parfois bag (from Madrid) with the best 99p pom!

Most notably, I've been migrating around the office between desks and sitting right below the AC has dealt serious blows to my skin. But as fate has it (they knew) I had the wonderful pleasure of crossing paths with Charla, founder from Dames & Dimes. She so very kindly sent over a tub of unrefined shea body butter: creamy, gunky and smells absolutely lavish... Now, if you're anything of a green beauty junkie, you should be queueing up for this - this puts all the high end natural brands in Liberty to shame. Best used when the skin is slightly damp/after a shower, I've been using it for 4 days but have been enjoying it so much already. I take a pea-size amount and let it melt over my ~non-pale skin~ and it absorbs without feeling icky or oily... I can only see this as a win win. And if you're worried about it smelling too overpowering, it disappears as soon as you can 'wahey'! 

I'll probably be covering it in more detail when I decide to be productive and talk about some of my fave green beauty brands.... 

But seriously dude, as they described it, it truly is "200% awesome": lovingly handmade without any chemical baddies, rosehip oil for natural healing of scars and pigmentation, and even claims to 'pay your taxes' (don't trust me on this last one)... the underrated and self-praising humour adds to the charm of it all, being healthy doesn't mean being serious. Charla, if you're reading this - I'd love to meet you one day and ask you about your journey!

Switching gears drastically, we finally tried Kanada-Ya after watching Eye in the Sky (the international law student in me enjoyed it a lot) at their Panton Street outpost. The thick pork broth and the egg? Yep, approved. All made better not just with matcha ice cream but a mix of matcha and sesame! That'll keep my Japanese food cravings at bay for a while.... until next week.

I realise this isn't the sort of post I really write about but I hope you guys still like it - a more human look into what I actually get up to. Let me know what you think and if I should stop babbling about and focus on more outfit/fashion/travel posts?

Happy week ahead, my friends! Let's chat below, let me know how you are and what you did over the weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

My £5 Spring Outfit

We all know I love a good deal - from food to fashion to fun. So this is precisely that - my newfound favourite store in Spain, lefties, had some great bargains on this outfit which totalled to less than £5... I'm so proud of it I decided to parade it in your face/wore it out a while ago when London decided to behave and the weather was alright.

FYI I know y'all gon' be like, dude you didn't iron your trousers/culottes (???) but hey I gotta channel that effortless chic look, and if this requires a lack of ironing, so be it. Embrace it.

I suppose Spring is all about that 'pop of colour' - the death phrase that's been leveraged to death, and I have the perfect bucket bag for that. An all-rounder for an outfit and one of my favourite in my meagre collection, I love that coral which gives the blue hues a bit of ~life~. I paired them with some pastel yellow (ugh I'm so Spring it hurts) heels as well. 

Life update: I genuinely wish I had more exciting this to bring to this space but nothing extra special has popped up yet... I do have some exciting collaborations coming up with some awesome peeps so that's something to look forward to!

I can't wait for Casual Friday at work - be gone structured shirts/skirts and hello colour!

Houndstooth coat c/o Newchic / Floral top - lefties / Jean Culottes - lefties / Heels - Clarks 

What are some of your favourite (affordable?) Spring outfits? Share your stories and let's converse! Are there any Spring-related activities I should be aware of? Happy mid-week all!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring eats: Granger & Co. Clerkenwell

granger & co london

Spring blooms and blossoms with April showers, and so do our meals – vibrant, spicy and exciting, that's what I thought Granger & Co was doing anyway... welcome to another mini review of a food establishment. I'm usually not up to par on food reviews but I'll give it a go. 

I even used Rose Quartz for the circle colour guys, if this isn't dedication I don't know what is. 

I met up with some peeps from uni at their Clerkenwell branch for lunch to celebrate a birthday and I was delightfully surprised by the airy and bright spot of this place. That said, I got lost three times so it was a welcome scenery. I've only been to the Notting Hill one which in comparison, isn't as large as this one and I thought it had more space to move around and breathe. 

Word of warning: I'm a natural skeptic when it comes to fancier restaurants (i.e. nice interiors/'blog goals' worthy places l o l soz guys) because it'll always be food > design for me. I mean, great if you're Chiltern Firehouse for example but many places put too much emphasis on their aesthetic than tummy sustenance. Anyone with me? 

granger & co london

Our lunch was for noon on the dot, and there were already eager diners and a small queue waiting at the bar for a table... I already knew Granger & Co. for their famed ricotta hotcakes but their spring menu boasted loads of 'spring-appropriate' ingredients: brown rice, edamame and even kimchi. FYI this place has so many asian flavoured dishes I was like ???? gochujang, korean fried chicken and even spicy pork belly was served. Not as good as the real deal, but still, not bad. 

But hot damn there were loads of people, crowds built up and tables left and went but it was always super busy. But did I think it was worth the trip/money? YOU SHALL FIND OUT. 

Also, because this was situated right smack in the thoroughfares of design companies in Clerkenwell, everyone was dressed really 'nice'. Cue me: entering with some corduroy jeans and my comfiest worn-in striped top. Heheheheh. 

granger & co london
granger & co london

Word of caution: unless you're willing to spend £9+ (the bloody mary pictured above) upwards for a cocktail or at least £4 for a 'cold pressed' smoothie (which I will never do) then save your pockets for their actual food. I went for korean fried chicken for starters (though a bit pricey for £8.50 sobs) and the tuna and avo poke bowl which is like, literally the it thing in the superhealth circles right now I think. 

Some of us got the soft shell crab kimchi fried rice, a humongous salad with chicken and kale on the side. Save the chicken, I'd say I felt pretty full and satisfied. The average of a main is £10-20 depending on whether you add meat or not but it's definitely a fancier ~brunch establishment~ where bloggers/lifestylin' people come and hang out for the #aethestic. 

granger & co london
granger & co london
granger & co london

The high windows and wooden panelling is like any other mature hipster foodie place you'll find, and what bloggahs would call heaven. Their bathrooms were painted pastel pink and had Aesop hand wash too. I mean, good stuff but I've also been to places with £1 hand wash with food just as great, if not better. 

Anyway, did I like it? I liked it alright. I definitely like the meal itself but it's a place I would only want to come if I'm feeling financially generous (hardly ever). The portions aren't too bad, but I have other places I can think of if I want a more filling meal. The clientele is a bit too sophisticated for my liking and the the drinks are definitely overpriced. That said, I did enjoy the zangy spring taste in my meal and I enjoyed my dining experience... ffs their tap water came in a conical flask shaped glass... thing. DANG SON. Ain't no more middle class than this, my friends. 

Granger & Co. Clerkenwell 
50 Seckforde Street 

granger & co london

Have any of y'all been here/share your thoughts or if you're planning to come here? Else, where have you been spring dining? Let's chat about life and catch up you guys ^__^

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dyeing my hair: cruelty free and natural ingredients under £10

Happy spring my friends,  and to celebrate, I have some red tresses once again! And you can have it too, all for less than £10! LEGIT.

Here are some photos of me smiling and being happy with it so you know I'm not one to fake it... People have, over the years, asked me how I get my hair to be the way it is and whenever I tell them I use a box dye at home and DIY it up they seemed pretty impressed.

Not gonna lie, I'm pleased with myself too *pat pats* I'm a true disbeliever of spending £100+ to get my hair professionally done or whatever, because 1) chemicals 2) price = the combination of both just gets me upset because if I can do it myself, I'll do it. And I would never bleach my hair because damn that sounds scary... Another FYI: my haircuts are less than £20 because... I usually go in and say 'trim and make the ends straight' so no way yo girl here is paying £50 for something like that.

I usually use the Garnier or L'Oreal box dyes (without ammonia) and it usually does the job pretty well in all sorts of situation but I stumbled upon Naturigin when I was itching for a redye to fix dem roots and regrowth... et voila!


I was lucky to try this little gem out, thanks to Naturigin (basically: me seeing the brand > writing to them asking to try it out because it's 10/10 down my alley) and what I really love about them is their naturally derived ingredients (98.7%, that's like, pretty dope) – and dayum son, ain't nobody want no parabens and SLS in this day and age of eco-green-hipster-conscious environment, right?! They're also cruelty free, another big selling point for y'all...

I WAS SOLD. Jk, but honestly the ingredients list fares so much better than any other hair dyes I've ever tried. And this is coming from someone who's been doing it for the last 10 years (yes I sneakily dyed my hair when I was 14 and in school heheheh #breakingasianrules). It also has natural oils to strengthen your hair and lock in all that colour goodness. And whilst the colour didn't turn out as vibrant than my usual Garnier one, I'm a happy gal - the colour definitely comes out overnight and I now have a deep coppery-brown look goin' on ;-)

And believe me when I say I genuinely like something because you know I ain't an easy consumer - no one takes away my $$$ that easy...

It works like any other box dye, you mix the activator and the colour and go wild with mushing it in your hair and wash it out with the shampoo included.

Some noteworthy things: my hair doesn't smell like a freakin' chemical plant, nor does it itch while you leave it to rest during the 20 minutes it's on. And that's a big deal for me! You wash it out, give it a dry and enjoy your new hair... Another joy is that it doesn't dry your hair out, because it's jam-packed with natural oils to retain all the moisture post-wash. And I can vouch for this, comparing to other brands which make my hair slightly brittle and dry immediately after washing it out.

The biggest bonus is that it retails for £7.99 which is like any other in the pharmacy but much, much better for your scalp and body so why not eh? Conclusion: golden star from me!

Naturigin is definitely going to be on my radar from now on - the easy application, post-wash soft hair feeling is something I loved, on top of the natural ingredients! Hair success, you guys!

I've been pretty tired from working and cooking meals in advance so this space has been slightly abandoned. Nonetheless, this weekend was a nice respite and walking around town to have pie... hoping you all have a great week ahead. I made some sushi to bring tomorrow so it should brighten up an otherwise dull Monday afternoon.

Let me know if you've tried Naturigin before and we can fangirl together, or any other brands I should be on the lookout for? And of course, any other friendly banter is welcomed as always! I'm also thinking of doing a post about affordable Green Beauty brands so lemme know if this would be something we could get excited about too!
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