Vegetarian Dinner Party Idea: Italian

APPETIZER / L’ANTIPASTO

Broad Bean and Rocket Bruschetta
– Lucas Hollweg
Fava beans and arugula on crusty ciabatta bread is the perfect way to begin an Italian feast. The ingredients are simple but the taste is fresh, healthy and scrumptious.

MAIN MEAL / IL SECONDO
Linguine with Tomatoes and Capers
– Andy Harris (image by Sam Stowell)
I made this a few weeks ago without the parmesan and it was lovely. So easy to make and even easier to devour! I loved the use of capers and lemon zest.

DESSERT / IL DOLCE

Panna Cotta with Apricot Compote


– BBC Good Food
A vegan version of panna cotta? Si! Just use some agar agar and soya milk and proceed happily into the heavenly world of Italian desserts.
View recipe at BBC Good Food

Orange and Basil Sorbet
– BBC Good Food
Dessert Option Two delivers the famed Italian flavours of basil. Your dinner guests will surely appreciate trying this unique sorbet (which only needs three ingredients). It will be a real treat for the taste buds!
View recipe at BBC Good Food

DRINKS / BEVANDE

Sparkling Honey Lemonade in Citrus Salt Rimmed Glasses

Sparkling Honey Lemonade in Citrus Salt Rimmed Glasses
– Whole Foods Market
All the fun and flavour of a cocktail but without the alcohol! This zingy drink is a refreshing option for dinner guests and the lemons will surely taste like a little bit of Sicily!
View recipe at Whole Foods Market

Chardonnay del Veneto Cantine Volpi
Vinceremos have a variety of organic Italian wines on offer such as this chardonnay which is also vegan.
Purchase at Vinceremos for £5.99

Eco Kitchen Trinkets

Vintage 1950s Seltzer Bottle – Grasshopper 510 ($80)
You could use these Argentinian seltzer bottles to hold liquid hand soap, moisturizers, oils or homemade dishwashing liquid.

Ice Cream Cone – Virginia Sin


These adorable porcelain cones would make me want to eat ice cream every day! They are sold individually ($18) and are handmade in Brooklyn using a non-toxic and lead free glaze.

Vintage Snail Planter – Hindsvik (Etsy) $45


Maybe you could store your favourite herb in this snail or perhaps a stash of garlic?

Laksha Drinking Glass – Ecocentric – £5.05
Such pretty, embossed glasses! They are made from 100% recycled glass by a small co-operative in Northern India (certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation).

Vintage Teapot Napkin Holders


– Down Vintage Lane (Etsy) $14.95
These have Alice in Wonderland / Mad Hatter’s Tea Party written all over them!

Vintage Chalkboard – From Gray to Gold (Etsy) $28


Chalkboards always look cute in the kitchen, especially vintage ones. Perfect for jotting down your shopping lists, dinner menu or favorite quotes and affirmations.

It’s a French Thing

Reusable French Lunch Tote
– Paris Chic Boutique
Pack your lunch baguette or vegan macaroons (see end of post for recipe) into one of these cute, reusable lunch bags made in New York with organic cotton.


Vintage Sculptural Black and White Dress


– Avantanthologue
A one-of-a-kind dress in classic black and white.

Black Vintage Evening Gown, Falling Leaves


– Venust
Understated elegance with French touches of lace and trademark all black.
Purchase at Etsy (Venust) $98

Vintage Black Wool Beret


– Dores Vintage
We all need a cute beret during winter to achieve that Sorbonne student look and to disguise bad hair days!

Etsy Seller – La Pomme


I was left enchanted by the inspiring range of goodies made by La Pomme in the south of France. I was particularly taken with the lavender sachets made from vintage bed sheets and filled with organic French lavender. How cute would they look placed in your closet or draw, wafting lavender loveliness among your clothes? I also adore the lavender shoe fresheners. Items are prettily packaged with recycled fabric.

Magnolia Halterneck Bra – Luva Huva
Pretty underwear is essential. This lovely piece is handmade in the UK from end of line fabrics.
Purchase at Luva Huva – £27

Organic Poodle T Shirt


– Monkey C Baby
If I were five again, I would have so wanted to wear this playful, pink poodle top. Made in Arizona with organic cotton and non-toxic azo-free dyes (available in sizes for 2, 4 and 6 year olds).
Purchase at Etsy (Monkey C Baby) $25

Vintage 1950s Jolles Junior Beaded Poodle Purse
– Jackie Haltom
More poodle emblazoned fashion! I think you’re lucky the whole post didn’t feature all things poodle-licious today. I’ve really had to restrain myself by only featuring two pooch pieces.

Raw, Vegan Macaroons – Ani Phyo
France is filled with gorgeous macaroons but here is a much healthier option. The easy part is making the macaroons as only five ingredients are needed and the hard part is deciding which flavor will be your favorite; chocolate, strawberry or pineapple!
View recipe at Ani Phyo

Umbrella Policy

For Some Reason I can’t walk out of the house with a boring umbella. I tried it once, a $5 black one from Walgreens. But it made me self concious. I used to have a Liberty print umbrella for years. It finally disinigrated. Now I have one from H&M. It’s cool, but It may not last the season.

These are ones I would think about getting: Pear Print Umbrella for £38.00. Which should be around $80 nowadays. It’s nice!

Also I found pare*umbrella which has beautiful umbrellas, that look well made…

The lace, lace lace! umbrella… is so girly. It would make me feel as if I was carrying a parasol, waiting for a gentleman to put his cloak over a puddle so my feet dont’ get wet.

Black & white

This week, I’ve been noticing a lot of black and white… simple and bold. Having lots of black and white patterns in your wardrobe leaves lots of room to play and experiment with other colors. Here’s some bits from my wardrobe…

Cape is a gift from Angel… she got it at American Rag. Thanks love!

 

Jacket: H&M black and white tweed… brooch from Grandma… my first style inspiration!

 

Shoe D’Jour: My Yellow Cons

Yesterday could not have been as fun as it was without my yellow cons. I got these in Covent Garden, London, when I was in college and obsessed with yellow. I took these with me on my trip to Dublin, which was a blur, and I think I had some Irish people sign my cons, but the ink washed off.

I always have at least two (wearable) pairs because there are days when you just want to take it easy, and I just love them.

9 Eco Sleeveless Summer Tops

Madelaine Top – Kate
Made in Northern California
Organic Cotton Voile

This sweetly tiered top is so elegant and would look cute paired with either black or vintage denim shorts or skirts. Aside from helping the environment by using organic cotton, Kate also plants a tree for every garment sold (through Trees for the Future). The Madelaine top is available in cloud, lilac or summer night colors.

Strapless Puffball Top – Round London
Made in UK
Reclaimed fabrics

You can order this ‘summer music festival ready’ puffball top above or have something similar made with your own fabrics. Just send a garment you already own and wish to alter to Round London and it could be transformed into a dainty summer top like the two featured in today’s post.

Amate Top – Zelaya
Handmade in San Salvador
Organic Cotton Knit

When you wear this gorgeous top out and about you better make the streets your catwalk because this top deserves 360 degree pirouettes, swivels and poses that involve facing your back to whoever you are with and peering coyly over the shoulder (not practical, I know but essential when wearing a top like this). The fabulous and intricate leafy detail has been made from the remnant fabric from the top. So special!

Centre Pleat Top – People Tree
Made in India (IFAT)
Organic cotton

Another great loose billowy top perfect for pairing with shorts, skirts or jeans. Available in red or slate blue.

Tory Top – Toggery by Kate D’Arcy
Made in the USA
Organic Supima Cotton

This top has Miami written all over it! The racer back design gives it a casual yet glam look and makes it very wearable for either day or evening.
Available in sun, hot, violet, storm, cocoa or white.

Second Hand Silk Floral Print Top – Diane Von Furstenburg
If you want to slip into a little designer number this summer, why not try this second hand floral DVF? It’s a Size 6, is in ‘very good condition’, likes long walks on the beach and summer holidays in Capri!

Second Hand Black Frill Top – Zara
Please forgive this pantless pick! Hopefully you can overlook the shameless mannequin and focus on the prettiness (and price) of this lightweight black Zara top.

Zara undoubtedly have some luscious pieces but I’m not tempted to start purchasing from the high street again just yet. No, I intend to scour Oxfam’s website instead to find some second hand Zara deposits! I had a peek in the Zara store in Brussels yesterday (I was accompanying my mum and wasn’t in there for myself – honest) and was quite fashion inspired! I got a lot of new fashion ideas (colour combos, outfit ideas and trends) just by browsing and not buying!

Strapless Bandeau Top – Round London
Made in UK
Reclaimed fabrics

Bandeau tops always look boho chic during summer and this Round London design is no exception. If you’re not looking to buy a bandeau top at the moment though, why not try getting creative with some skirts you already own? Just pull them up to wear as a long top or dress and if it looks too baggy, wear a belt for a little waist definition.

Caoba Top – Zelaya
Handmade in San Salvador
Organic Cotton Knit

Another sumptuous design from Zelaya that can be worn with leaves to the front or back.

Sugarcubes

Bjork has recently come out with some new music… along with a new look, which is always beyond the reaches of common aesthetics, even for performers. It got me thinking about how much of an effect Bjork had on my own personal aesthetic. Which over the course of my life is really quite profound, I really don’t know what I would be like if it weren’t for the Sugarcubes.

I would still be me, of course, but videos like ‘Birthday’ inspired my personal style throughout my teenage years, the years when you’re still trying to figure out where you fit. And I really liked the fact that she didn’t fit, and it was ok. I had never seen someone who was so unique and completely unapologetic for it. It was so refreshing living in a world of cookie cut houses that you could be just who you were. That’s why I loved Bjork’s style so much, and I’m guessing that’s why we all love her so much.


Upon watching the video on YouTube, I haven’t seen in years, it occur ed to me that I still really love what she’s wearing there, and I could probably find something like that quite easily… This dress from Free People, is a lot like the dress she’s wearing in the video. You can pair it with a long sleeve tee, which you can find just about anywhere…. but this dress, is simple and super cute! : )

The Benefits of Make-Up

I love make-up. We all love make-up. It took a lot of mistakes and trial and error to get the make-up thing down, but now even with the natural look there are three steps to looking fresh and radiant: 1. conceal 2. illuminate and 3. bronze. If you master these three techniques, you’ll light up a room. I swear, it works. I have a very dull personality, and it works for me! ; )

This past weekend, my friend Kezia, who is obsessed with beauty products, let me rifle through her make-up bag. I pulled out Dallas by Benefit. It’s a cross between bronzer and blush, so you don’t have to decide which one to use! I love the flat brush, and of course the classic Benefit packaging made it fun to apply. And that’s really the point of make-up, to make you feel good. I ran out and bought it the next day, and when I say day, I mean, the very next morning. I’ve gotten so many compliments since I’ve started using it. God bless bronzer.

And since I was at the Benefit shoppe, I had to get another tube of Maybe Baby Body Lotion. The shimmer is really subtle, it gives you more of a glow rather than a sparkle, and the fragrance, well, I’ve been wearing it for years, I love it, it’s very feminine. I actually like the whole line of Maybe Baby/Bathina products. The Bathina Body So Fine, is great for the summer in making your legs really smooth and shiny.

Vintage Finds

I’ve been lucky with vintage lately… here are some recent purchases:

A pair of deadstock vintage sunglasses from American Rag, and a clutch from Painted Bird


I really don’t know what possessed me to buy this jumper from Painted Bird, but I just really liked the pattern and the fact that it’s a one piece. Part of me really loves this, and I have some ideas milling about in my head as to what to wear it with… maybe a zebra print scruchie?


When I saw this aloha print dress, it made me think of happy times in Hawaii. I try to make it there as often as possible, and it really is paradise. So why not wear a dress that reminds you of happy things?


I guess this officially means I’m shopping for summer. I think I’m going to have to take a break from H&M, only because it’s cheap, but every time I step in the shoppe, I drop a small fortune. So it’s better to for me to go to places like Mascara Vintage, or Painted Bird.