Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Tartan Wife's Style Guide #1 Stylish Traveller

I love to travel, and I am grateful that I have the resources to do so, but if possible, would do so every day for the rest of my life....but unfortunately, like most, I have to work hard for my pennies, so can only travel during my meagre annual leave.

To make the most of my vacation time, I love it to start from the moment I pack my luggage. The Tartan Wife loves to be organised and to travel in style in order to have the most luxurious travel experience possible, whether she is taking a weekend "staycation" or a month long global journey.

The Tartan Wife's Luxurious Travel Checklist 

Organisation - before packing, compose a checklist of what you require (passport/tickets/cash, as well as cosmetics and beauty products, clothing and accessories) whittle it down to the essentials - you will not have a luxurious experience if you feel like a carthorse - trust me! Remember to put all of your hand luggage liquids (below 100ml) into a clear, sealable bag for air travel.
Beautiful Luggage - it is no secret that I have an obsession with beautiful handbags. Oversized to miniature, lambskin to PVC, clutch to hobo. I am besotted. Therefore, I also had to get myself some luxury luggage. The Mulberry clipper (front) is pretty old now - it has the lovely vintage tartan lining and has held up amazingly. I have used it hundreds of times and it never fails to generate compliments - both ladies and gentlemen alike swoon at this. The Piccadilly is gorgeous too, but weighs a tonne and still needs worn in so that it develops a lovely patina (it is much darker in real life than in the photographs though!).

In-Flight - The Tartan Wife takes a book or two for on-board entertainment. Magazines can be great, but save them for the poolside as they take up far more space in your luggage than a book or two.

As for cosmetics - a full face of make-up is a big no-no. I pop on some oil-free sunblock, Liz Earle Skin Repair Light (one of my favourite brands - I will do a dedicated post at a later date), a touch of mascara and a little dust of blush and I am good to go. Just before we land, I give my face a quick wipe with a Dermalogica Purifying Wipe and apply more Skin Repair and blush.

Food - I try to steer clean of in-flight food. It is usually packed full of additives and salt which you need to steer clear of to keep that pesky water retention at bay and to feel amazing when you arrive at your destination. I pack some Nakd raw food bars, bananas and stock up on water just before I board.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Tartan Wife's Grooming Basics #1 Self Tanning & Sun Care

The Tartan Wife love to take care of her skin, wearing oil free sunblock at all times, as the majority of premature aging is due to sun damage, so doing a cost/benefit analysis, for myself even a little bit of tanning is not worth the damage it can cause. Self tanning from time to time in order to achieve a lovely glow (read sunkissed, not orange) is my number one pick me up.

I have used many over the years; St Tropez Lotion (I used nothing else for 2 years straight!), St Tropez Mousse, St Tropez everyday, Clarins Face/Neck, Fake Bake Lotion, Vita Liberatta, Sun Labs (again, another I used for a prolonged period). I had been a product snob, and would not use anything but high end, after viewing disasterous results on others. However, when picking up some cleaning cloths at my local store I noticed a bottle which looked very similar to my beloved St. Tropez for next to no pennies - I am so glad that I did.

It was groundbreaking. In early 2009, the lady who had purchased soley luxury beauty products for her teenage and (thusfar, pretty short) adult life did not just like, but had found her latest holy grail self tanner, St Moriz (the typo enhances the cheap and cheerful experience) - this was before all of the blogger/online hype.

It applies smoothly and evenly with a tanning mitt, dries quickly and leaves a gorgeous glow. I, The Tartan Wife, who has a natural pinky/blue skintone, have even been referred to as olive or dark skinned more than a dozen times whilst wearing this. It seems to suit my colouring perfectly. I have repurchased both the original and dark mousse dozens of times, and the lotion many times too.

St Moriz Dark Mousse and Lotion (in front of my Poche Toilette 26 - another great staple of The Tartan Wife)
St Moriz has also changed the way that I look at beauty products, and even though many of my day to day beauty products are high end, I have managed to find some low price products which exceed the performance of high end items, and have even entered my daily cosmetic bag.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Accessorising in the Workplace

True style takes many years to cultivate, and I believe that in her early years of adulthood that it makes best style sense for a lady to invest in timeless pieces instead of frittering away her money on trendy items which will be worn once or twice.

I always think that a lady should be discrete and classic in the workplace if she wants to be taken seriously, that is unless you are fortunate enough to work in the fashion world.

Classic, good quality staples will see you well for many years to come.

My Workhorse

I have two of my essentials at work with me today. My black Mulberry Bayswater is my workhorse and is bulging at the seams today (note that I cannot even fasten the turnlock today!). I can fit my cosmetics, lunch, a pair of flat shoes and papers in this. I would recommend this timeless piece to any working lady and it would make a great graduation gift for anyone entering the corporate world.

Discrete Wrist Candy
This is my lovely timeless tank watch which I think is pretty discrete, yet receives many compliments and will be able to move with me as my style develops.

The Tartan Wife's Recipes #1 - Pulled Pork

Finger Lickin', Lip Smackingly Tasty Recipe

For me, one of life's greatest pleasures is eating tasty food, whether it be at home or at a restaurant. I strive to eat a diet which is as "clean" as possible, especially when eating at home, in order to maintain my health and energy levels. So as not to feel deprived, I also ensure that this food is as tasty and luxurious as possibles. This also allows me to be able to eat whatever I want when I eat out. 

This recipe is a slightly naughty, but still pretty healthy meal which I enjoy occasionally (but could live on for the rest of my life!)

This recipe makes two servings of the pulled pork. You will have left over barbeque sauce, which can be refrigerated, or stored in the freezer for a month (ensure that you defrost thoroughly)

For the clean eating barbeque sauce you will need:

500g carton of passata
142g tin of tomato paste
1 tsp. soy sauce (I use Gluten Free, but you could also use low salt)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
4 tbsp. molasses (you can get a huge jar of this from Holland and Barrett for not many pennies!)
3 tbsp. honey (I use raw organic, but you can use any honey)
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
OPTIONAL - When making ribs, I love a little bit of a kick, so add some chilli to taste. I like to use SIMPLYaddCHILLI Wild, and I add about two has lots of other fresh ingredients so adds an amazing flavor. If adding fresh or dried chilli, definitely add to taste. Remember, you can always add more if you want more of a kick!
To make the barbeque sauce:
Pop all of the delicious ingredients into a mixing bowl, give it a good, thorough stir and then let it sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

For the pulled pork, you will need:

600g of a cheap cut of Organic pork (I used a trimmed, boneless shoulder - you can use ribs or another type of boned joint, but adjust weight upwards to account for the bones you will be removing).
One cup of water

To make the pulled pork:

Put the pork into your slow cooker (if you do not have one, I would highly recommend that you invest in one. It provides you with lovely hot meals when you come in from work, without having to slave over the stove).
Cover with the one cup of water.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, until the pork is tender and easily falls apart (can vary due to slow cooker). In the mean time, prepare your clean eating barbeque sauce.

Drain the liquid from the pork and shred your pork with two forks.

Add in a dolop of barbeque sauce at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Serve on a bed of salad and enjoy!


Monday, 9 July 2012

Welcome to my Blog

Following the everyday life of a girl who strives to achieve the optimal work/life balance, run a happy home, as well as taste life's little luxuries.