Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Statement Red Bag

A few weeks ago I was wandering past Debenhams when a beautiful bright red bag caught my eye. I stopped and looked for a moment and then talked myself out of buying it. What would I wear it with, I don't need another bag. So I walked on, but the next day I went back to have another look and still loved it as much. I went inside to have a proper look and really wanted it, but walked away once more to think.

red handbag, jasper conran

Later that day I gave in, and purchased the bag and I'm very happy I did. It's a beautiful bag and although it's a bright post box red I have realised I could wear it with so much.

My only problem with this bag is the size. I'm used to small bags, I don't tend to carry around a lot of junk so I seem to lose things to the bottom of this suitcase! Many a minute has been spent outside my apartment whilst I search for my keys!

red bag
I love the red and gold combination, and think the bag adds a gorgeous pop of colour to an all black outfit. This bag should still be available in Debenhams if you fancy one yourself.

red bag

Monday, 24 March 2014

My Week In Pictures

my week in photos, Michelle Louise Love
Afternoon Tea | Chicken in White wine | Veg Risotto | Beautiful Beach View | Me & My Best Mate | Champagne Jelly | Salmon Starter | Freak Hail Storm | Silly Faces

Wow what an amazing week! I have had a fabulous few days enjoying a pre wedding pamper day with my best friend at a beautiful hotel and then being her bridesmaid as she married the man of her dreams. I honestly have some of the most precious memories from the past few days, and spent some quality time with two of my favourite people, my stunning best friend and my lovely boyfriend!

Congratulations to Kristina, her wedding was gorgeous, I'm so happy to have been part of it!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Warm Oil Manicure

My cuticles and skin are really dry at the moment, they look a bit of a state. I wanted to be able to inject some moisture into my hands fast as hand cream wasn't quite cutting it really. So I decided to give myself a warm oil manicure, soaking your fingers into tepid oil really helps to soften any rough skin and gives your nails a real boost.
warm oil manicure, michelle louise love

I used olive oil because it was all I had at home, it would be better to use something like sweet almond oil because it smells a whole lot nicer, but generally any natural nut or olive oil will do the trick.

warm oil manicure, Michelle Louise Love

I popped a towel down to protect my table from any spills, got all my nail tools together and slopped a bit of olive oil in a little dish and microwaved it for 20 seconds until it was warm, then all you have to do is stick your fingers in and sit back for 5-10 mins and let your skin absorb the oil. Make sure you have some kitchen roll on hand to wipe of the excess oil when you take your fingers out, because the oil is warm it will soften up your cuticles so you can easily push them back. I massaged a little extra oil into my cuticles, wiped my hands again and then tried not to touch anything for a while or I would have left greasy hand prints. 

warm oil manicure

As annoying as it is, don't wash your hands after wiping them or you will just wash out all your hard work. Try and let as much of the oil sink into your skin as you can, so you're left with soft little digits!

Quick and easy, the perfect little at home nail treat!
Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Trying Something New | Kale

I have got to this grand old age without ever having tried kale, now it's not because I have an aversion to vegetables, quite the contrary. Somehow it has just never been in anything I've ordered at a restaurant, and my mum never cooked with it when I was growing up.

There was a special offer on a giant bag of the stuff in the supermarket the other day and I went out on a whim and bought it. I had to look up how to cook it in order to get some inspiration, I settled on cooking some onion and garlic in a pan and tossing the kale through for a few seconds at the end and then mixing it with some cous cous in an attempt to make myself a quick and healthy dinner.

Kale salad, Michelle Louise Love

Whilst waiting for the onions to cook I was nibbling the kale from the bag raw, it has quite a distinct flavour, not too dissimilar to cabbage in my opinion, not at all unpleasant and I will continue to look for good recipes for this leafy green veg, if you have any good tips for cooking with kale feel free to comment below and let me know, just one word to the wise, I'm not really keen on making kale juice though. Just in case you thought that would be a good suggestion for me, for some reason every time I have seen someone on TV drink it, they have not been impressed. That puts me off!

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Pesto Burgers

Just a quick post today, I wanted to share this with you because they were so darn tasty!! They are also super quick to put together as I cheated and bought the burgers.

I love pesto, I mean really love pesto. I am happy to eat it on or in pretty much anything, I mix it into hot pasta, dip bread sticks into it, mix it through cous cous, salad, porridge..... JOKE I'm not that strange.

One of my fave burgers at GBK is the pestaralla burger, so I decided to do it my way. I mixed lovely pesto with some super tasty french mayo that has dijon mustard in it, I love mayo, I love pesto, together they taste divine!

I slathered said "mesto" (get it, pesto/mayo?) on the bottom of the bun and then filled it with fresh salad and a burger patty with a melted cheese slice, and scoffed it down rather quickly. Why not try something a little bit different next time you cook a burger?

pesto burger, Michelle Louise Love

Monday, 10 March 2014

A Summery Manicure

The mornings are looking a little more summery now, and my mind is jumping ahead to dresses, sandals and barbeque's! Alas it's not quite warm enough for any of those yet but any time is time for bright sunny nails!

Acid green is everywhere at the moment, which makes me very happy. As a early teen I was obsessed with lime green, I had clothes and shoes in the colour and even painted my bedroom an eye watering shade of neon lime and I loved it (still do actually, and could be easily convinced to paint a room that colour again haha!) I know it's a bit of a marmite colour, love it or hate it, you can find it in all the shops!

This crazy bright shade will always have a special place in my heart and it makes me think of summer, holidays, cocktails and BBQ food which all make me very happy indeed.

The day I spotted "who the shrek are you" by OPI, I knew I had to have it, even if other people would question my fashion sense wearing such a garish colour on my nails, I knew I wanted it and no one was going to tell me otherwise.

who the shrek are you OPI

Aren't I happy I got it now, it's the height of fashion at the moment and I can wear until my hearts content.

And girls you need to jump on the acid green bandwagon asap because it's not a colour that be on trend for long, as much as it saddens me to say. This colour is hot right now but it's not classic at all and will be gone in a flash, just as fast as it arrived on the scene. So make the most of it while you can, and go get your shrek on!!

who the shrek are you, Michelle Louise Love

Doesn't it evoke thoughts of margarita's and fresh lime wedges to squeeze over grilled seafood! I can almost taste the summer just by looking at this polish.

who the shrek are you, Michelle Louise Love

Sunday, 2 March 2014

What Weekends Are For

What are the weekends for? Time with family? Time with friends? Time for a little fun? All of the above, yes indeed. It's Sunday afternoon, it's now looking a little bleak outside after a burst of sunshine and blue skies this morning. I didn't even need gloves or a scarf when I left for a little walk before breakfast, now that is progress!

I haven't had the best of weeks really, work has pretty much sucked and made me feel really low at points, but Saturday evening my boyfriend came to the rescue and suggested we go for dinner and cocktails at Chiquito's and let off some steam. This deal was sweetened by the serious lack of journey to the restaurant, as our new apartment is right next to it, so we stroll downstairs and are there being seated within about 2 minutes!

Chiquito's was just what I needed, our local one is really spacious and they all have cosy rustic decor in deep, rich colours of terracotta and mustard yellow with dim lighting and flickering candles and the intoxicating sound of latin music playing that breathes life into your soul!
We were seated straight away on a round mosaic topped table and we didn't hang around in ordering a pitcher of frozen mango margaritas. As I took my first sweet sip of Hispanic goodness I sighed with relief, the weekend is finally here for me and I couldn't help smiling.

frozen mango margarita
My boyfriend had beaten me to the post on taking his first sip as I fumbled around in the darkness trying to photograph my drink using the candle light to capture the ambiance (bloggers will understand this, other will stare and think to themselves I am a little strange). "it's quite strong" he exclaimed, good I thought, I need to drown my weeks sorrows, fill my glass to the brim!!

Margarita's make me happy, and it's not all down to the alcohol content, I love how after you have taken a sip of heaven you get little sugar crystals stuck to your lips that are necessary to lick off. I don't know if it's the latin spirit entwined into the food, drink and music that make your feet tap under the table and your body shake to the beat of the music, or maybe it's the spice in every delicious mouthful of food that makes you feel this way? But you would have to be a complete grump with an aversion to fun to not get sucked in by the feel good factor of south american style cuisine and fiesta!
We had a sharing platter of tostada's to start filled with tasty goodness like feta cheese and squash, and pulled pork and sweetcorn. They are messy and you have to get in there and eat them with your hands whilst the sauce oozes out and down your fingers and you have to quickly lick it up before it ends up down your wrists! But that's half the fun of it, it is not fine dining, it is good weekend dining, diving in and sharing the delicious little morsels between swigs of margarita and taking a moment to take in the buzzy atmosphere. For me, the starter was the best bit, I really enjoyed tucking into the tostadas and wrapping them up and taking a massive bite knowing the filling was all going to fall out of the other end, they were really flavoursome.

mexican food

I ordered Mango baked baked cod which came on a sizzling fajita pan with lots of onions and bell peppers and was smouldering hot and producing some serious smoke that shot down the back of my throat and made me cough, but again that's half the thrill of mexican or south american dining, it adds a little something to the meal. I had a portion of sweet potato fries on the side and they were something else I'm telling you! They had a perfect crispy coating that gave a satisfying crunch when you bit into them and was complimented perfectly by a creamy dip with a spicy little kick.
I enjoyed it so much there, it was an awesome Saturday night spent with my favourite person. We decided to finish off our meal back in our apartment with coffee and an episode of Game of Thrones whilst snuggled up on the sofa with the world passing by outside our windows.
After a little bit of a lie in Sunday morning, I relaxed whilst my boyfriend cooked breakfast. These little moments are honestly some of my best memories, sitting on the rug on the floor with my back leaning against the sofa, sipping a coffee and chatting to him as the sun poured through the window, it sounds so simple but it will probably be burned into my memory for years to come, simplified perfection! Taking the time to breathe in the moment and enjoy it, life can't always be about the big events, you need to remember to enjoy the small things as well.
All of these moments are as precious as the holidays and big parties, you will look back and fondly remember little breakfasts, and car journey traditions just as much, so make sure you take the time to suck it all in.

It seems despite the rather large breakfast of english muffin, eggs, bacon and hash brown I have still been on an expedition to the bottom of a tub of Ben & Jerrys peanut butter cup ice cream! Using my spoon like a trowel delving in the dirt for treasure (a peanut butter cup could be classed as treasure in my opinion) I have stuffed ice cream to the point of sugar coma, but I think it was worth it! We will think about the calories tomorrow.....
My living room is filled by candle light and the sound of the lumineers playing and I'm thinking about the remaining ice cream left in that tub wondering if it would be really naughty of me to go back for some more?
Ben and jerrys peanut butter cup

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!
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