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GLASGOW, In

Burns night dinner

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Last Saturday I hosted a Burns night dinner at my house. This is a very traditional and exciting day for the Scots where they celebrate Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland. I had planned the decorations and dinner for at least a month so I was so excited when Saturday came and I dressed the table and cooked the beautiful food. I am guilty to say that I didn’t manage to take any photos of the food as I was running about like crazy to cook and serve that I didn’t take the time to take a photo of each dish regretfully.

I am very excited though to have used a photo filter given by Zanita in the first photo of the table – it creates such a dreamy effect! (and it is the same filter that she used for these photos of Nicole at Gary Pepper Girl, what a massive honour!). Thank you Zanita, you are a cool girl!

For the table I chose a tartan runner and flowers in white and purple with thistles. I am always so happy to use my crystal glasses, a bit like Meryl Streep in the movie “Out of Africa” where she transferred all her crystal from Europe to her new house in Africa. I made red name tags with rafia bows and tree sticks. The “party bags” I gave to my guests had a small bottle of single malt whisky, shortbread (traditional Scottish biscuit) and tablet (traditional Scottish sweetie)!

Dinner was served with cullen skink for starter, traditional and vegetarian haggis (I always eat the veggie option, the other is too much for a greek girl like me!) with clapshot and a whiskey sauce for main, and a cranaghan with juicy rasberries for dessert. You can find it all in the inspiring “Celebrate” book below. And then there was lots of live music and singing. Colin and I have turned our dining room into a music room too. There is a piano, an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, a base guitar, a couple of microphones and speakers and a cajon. Together with a mix of very talented musician we had for dinner, you can imagine it was some party!

To be honest I had turned my nose up when I saw that Pippa Middleton had published a book. I was intrigued enough though to flick through it. Right from the introduction, Pippa won me over with her honesty and the quality of the book and wonderful ideas have made it one of my favourites. It is possibly the first book I will go to when I want to organise a traditionally British event at home especially when you want a twist of glamour to it. So definitely recommended!

Have you ever been to a Burns’ night? Have you ever tried Scottish food?

In

Gifts inspired by Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city of the future, especially when it comes to technology. While we were there, I observed all the gadgets that people used in their everyday life. Some useful, others a bit much and others outrageous or silly still I have been advised that Hong Kong is at least a year ahead of Europe and that these things are waiting to hit the market soon. Some of them could be a gift to yourself or a loved-one depending on your needs:

1. The Telescopic / Extendable Selfie stick

Everyone had this thing in their hands. This is quite extensive and people should watch it when they use it as you can easily cause harm around you…but people in Hong Kong went crazy for them. It seems that taking a proper good selfie takes over any sense of seriousness.

2. Massive mobile phones eg Apple iPhone 6 Plus

These things were as big as an IPad mini. But everyone was engrossed in their screen either playing games or using social networks. It was easy to observe when I was in the busy MTR (the Hong Kong underground).

3. Childrens’ instant cameras e.g. CAIUL Decor Sticker For Fujifilm Instax

These little cuties cost around £5 only and produce a photo sticker with just a click. Children totally adore them. My 3 year old daughter is already pulling my camera from my hands and wants to take more photos herself so it is a perfect and well-priced present event for the super little ones.

4. The nitrate tester tool e.g. Ecotester Soeks by SOEKS

This little but a bit pricy baby can test the amount of nitrates in your food and fresh products (like your fruit) and check that the levels are within healthy limits. It has recently hit the stores in Hong Kong marketed for the health-aware population.

5. Smart Dynamo Activity Band

Last but definitely not least, the band that will make you healthier every step at a time. It measures everything, i.e. calories you spend while you walk, eat, talk, sleep and even the quality of your sleep! At the end of the day connect it to your smartphone or laptop to see it all happening! It is coming in different colours to match your personality too and it is very affordable for what it does. One of my personal choices for gifts this Christmas.

What are your favourite gifts for Christmas?

In

New season new hair

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I have finally done it! I thought the ombre hair is starting to become old-fashioned plus everybody now wears it so it was time for a change. This is a new season…I have come back from a summer full of friends, family, sunny sandy times near turquoise waters and sun glowing skin to starting my French classes again (I have been learning french for 3 years now!), taking ballet classes with pink pointe shoes and thinking of starting my piano lessons after 15 years of finger idleness. So many things to look forward too and I needed a new look to brave it all. I have never had my hair so short before. It was lovingly done by my fabulous hairdresser Courtney from the Twisted Sister hair salon in Glasgow Merchant City, previously featured in this well-read post of mine.

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What is the wildest thing you have done with your look?

FOOD, In

The only summer tart recipe you will want to try!

Imagine yourself in a warm summer evening. You have had a lovely evening meal and you are relaxing to some jazz with a glass of sweet wine. If only you could enjoy a dessert made especially for the occasion…a cool summer peach and rasberry creamy tart you my domestic goddess have freshly made this morning. Ahhh life cannot get much better than the satisfaction the little things bring!

So this is one of my favourite summer tart recipes. It is from one of the cookbooks that should not be missing from any decent kitchen. It is called Cake Days by the inspiring Hummingbird Bakery.

This is a truly delightful recipe, as the rest of the recipes in this book, and therefore you should without any hesitation buy the book if you want to make it yourself as I will not list the amount of ingredients here. So please do not get disappointed, we are all looking after people who have worked hard things that the rest of us can then enjoy, things that can make life an inchy pinchy special :-)

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Make the lovely pastry for the base by mixing your butter, flour, sugar and egg.

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You should end up with something as lovely and cuddly as this that you then put in the fridge for a wee rest.

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Then you roll it all out, prick it with a fork and blind bake it in the oven until nice and golden.

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Then you make the delicious custard cream. You boil the milk with vanilla essence.

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In the mixer you beat some eggs with flour, cornflour and sugar.

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Combine together and you get your lovely custard cream. Yes you can lick the bowl once you pour it in your tart base. But first it needs to cool down and put some cling film on top of it so it does not create a crust.

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Then you whip the double cream and fold it in your cooled custard.

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Enjoy in a summer day with fresh peaches, rasberries and leaves of mint. Do not forget to invite your friends to show what a domestic goddess you are!

Which is your favourite summer dessert? Are you a fruit or chocolate dessert type of person?

In

Birds of the Paradise

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This is my favourite corner in the new house. I love chilling there listening to music and looking out to the garden which is flowering beautifully these days. One of my exciting moments this week was finding Birds of the Paradise, one of my most favourite flowers of all time. So exotic, so wild, so perfectly coloured. Can I please have a dress in these colours?

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 These are Oliver Bonas cushions bought by my mum as a Christmas gift. What a find!

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The living room furniture are Natuzzi in the colour of Sand.

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Our dining room…

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 Our house is a work in progress. I love the process and the progress we are making.

Have you recently made any house changes? What are your favourite decoration ideas? And of course, what are your favourite flowers?

In, Mirror

Cold winter nights

It has been so cold and wet the last few days that going out did not appeal to me as much as usual. Colin cooked some nice meals in the house (check out the photos below for Burns night dinner) and we took the opportunity to show Scarlett more than the regular attention.

I am not a vegetarian (a Greek rarely is ;-) ) however I can only eat the vegetarian haggis. The proper own is too strong for me. We had it with one of my favourite red wines, Amarone (j’adore!).

Of course Scarlett had to have her chance on the wall of fame.

Time to go but I will be back soon, I promise :-)

P.S. Does anybody care what I was wearing?

Top from FatFace
Bracelet from Oliver Bonas
Leggings from Model’s closet
Boots from Pied a Terre