Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How To: Eton Mess-A Classic British Dessert

It seems very fitting, during Wimbledon week in the UK, to post my favorite (and easiest British dessert), Eton Mess.  I fell in love with it at the Short family's house (along with some of my other favorite things like cheese feast and game night).  My "recipe" does not do the original any justice, but when I can't get the original, this has to be the next best thing.  

I first had Eton Mess on the Isle of Wight before I was a teenager and I remember it was enough to scare me off for years, too sweet, rotten berries, yuck.  My first taste of Louise's was like a rich and creamy cloud and I was hooked.  See below for my variation made at my Dad's and with Christopher's help!

 The ingredients are: strawberries (the riper the better), heavy cream (or in England "double cream"), sugar, and meringues (either one large or about 10 small ones). 
 1. Wash and hull the strawberries.
2. Macerate the strawberries for as long as possible.  Preferably an hour or so to allow the berries to soften and incorporate the sugar. 

 3. Get ready for the fun part! Breaking up the meringues! You can be as messy as possible. 
Tip: The larger meringues are nice because they have a gooey center which tastes almost like a marshmellow. 
 4. Beat the heavy cream for about 2 minutes, or until it forms stiff peaks. 
5. Layer the finished ingredients in single serving bowls; alternating between strawberries, meringue pieces, and cream. 
 6. Finish until you are out of ingredients and either refrigerate to chill or serve immediately. 
I hope that you can make this dessert to share with your family and friends this summer!

Laura x

Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Stretch Your Wardrobe: Dress as a Skirt

Shirt: Ann Taylor; Dress (as skirt) Anthropologie; Belt and Bracelet: J Crew; Shoes: Nine West; Earrings: Vivienne Westwood
I find blogging to be a fun and creative escape, but unfortunately it comes last on my list of work, family, friends, professional activities etc.  I am looking forward to blogging more regularly as the summer continues. 

This outfit is an example of how summer office dressing can be so challenging.  I swear everything in the stores now looks beach ready! This skirt is really a dress which is too low-cut for work which I modified with a tucked under black t-shirt and my favorite belt.  I really need a thicker leopard one and a zebra version! Knowing how to layer the clothes you have is a great way to maximize what you already have.

I love cage-style shoes because of their stability and added texture and design.  These were a recent buy which I think I will be wearing a lot. 
Laura x

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Jacket: Caslon; T-Shirt and Boots: J Crew; Necklace: House of Harlow; Leggings: Nordstroms' Junior Department
One of the most magical places I went on my trip was to Avebury.  It is hard to describe the small village in the middle of the English countryside, but it has a very unique feeling.  The main attraction are giant stone circles (like Stonehenge).  Why this place was chosen and what these giant stones mean is still a mystery.  What is clear is that this place was very important to other humans thousands of years ago and still holds a sway over people today. 

 The manor house is surrounded by beautiful gardens.  These dogs were waiting to get in too!

The sheep were so beautiful and peaceful. 
 Oh, and there was an American biker gang at the pub and a bus of aghast locals. 

Laura x

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Black and White Dress Rehersal for the Races

Fascinator: Edina Ronay London; Dress: H and M; Belt: J Crew; Watch: Nike; Heels: Zara
One item that I wanted to track down on my trip was a hat or fascinator to wear to the Family House Polo Match in September.  I would love it if Americans wore hats to weddings like the Brits.  I found this black and white fascinator at TK Maxx (British version of TJ Maxx). 

I wore it with a black and white stripped dress from H & M and my Zara heels that I bought in Liverpool (thanks B!). 

Laura x

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Haul from London's Oxford Circus

I spent my first day in London hitting the shops of Oxford Circus, London's main high street.  I found a couple basics with an edge which I hope will easily lend themselves to things that I already have. 

Shirt: Topshop
This is my favorite find and something I should have bought in multiple colors.  The shirt's light cotton drapes and folds to add some visual interest to what could be a very boring shirt.  

All Saints Spitafields
I couldn't pass up this shirt: leopard print and a grey hoodie = my two favorite things.  It is All Saints Spitafields which I purchased at Selfridges.

This shell is white faux leather with mesh details on the sides and back.  I think I will wear it quite a bit with jeans and a blazer.  With a tan, it will be a softer way to wear "leather" in the summer. 
 I also purchased some cool cosmetics. 

I am excited to try each of these nail polishes.  The red one is a leather effect polish, I have the black version (  The other is designed to look like feathers. 
I have needed to stock-up on my Chanel pressed powder which they don't seem to stock in the States. 
I bought this poster from the Transport Museum.  I thought that the muted colors were beautiful.  I can't wait to have it framed.  

 Macaroons from Lauderee Paris and their packaging were too beautiful to pass up. 
Finally, I got a wicker hamper from the veritable Fortum and Mason (photos of the store to come).   I think that I will use it to decorate in my kitchen and pretend that I take picnics to the park. 

 Laura x