The Oscars 2015: Red carpet

I think I have the Oscars all wrong. Yes, they’re the pinnacle of awards season, the big ones that finally tell us who is truly the winner of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress et al.

But, if the past couple of years is anything to go by the Oscars are not the climax of the red carpet.

In my imagination as a celebrity I would pick three dresses each one better than the other, a risky but amazing look for the Golden Globes, something outstanding but edgy for the SAGs, then the absolute jaw dropper for the Oscars.

I fear this is not really how it works and obviously the women who are walking the red carpet to attend these events pick the look they feel happy and sexy in for that night. They all look beautiful in their own way and are really dressing for themselves and not for the media to pick them apart.

This was brought up by Reese Witherspoon this year with her social media campaign to #AskHerMore. She felt that actresses were being reduced to just clothes horses in pretty dresses and wanted to be asked questions about what they had achieved in their careers for which they were at the awards for.

For the record, I am totally on board with this. Why should women only get asked about what they are wearing yet men get asked about their craft and how they achieved success?

The thing is, as many pointed out on Twitter when Reese pretty much skipped the interviewers on the red carpet, those dresses they are wearing are given to them for free. In exchange for a dress, sometimes custom-made for that attendee if you’re a big enough star, designers who put in the hard work creating something special and unique expect a credit.

So yes, #AskHerMore but also ask her who the 25 people were that spent 987 hours (that’s 41 solid days!) creating a custom Chanel gown for Julianne Moore.

For this year’s red carpet, I didn’t really feel there was a clear standout. There are only two dresses that I measure my WOW moments on and incidentally they are both red (but I’m not opposed to yellow…)  – Nina Dobrev in her red Donna Karan Atelier dress from the 2011 Emmys and Lupita Nyong’o‘s red-caped Ralph Lauren that she wore to the 2014 Golden Globes.

So, if no dress matches the reaction I had to seeing both these dresses (gasps, slight screams and applause) then I’m not going to award you my top spot.

Oscars best dressed 2

The excitement was palpable on Twitter when Lupita Nyong’o appeared on the red carpet, she was returning as an Oscar winner and she oozed beauty and glamour in her pearl-adorned Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection gown. Some said she was wearing all of her Grandma’s pearls, I think she rocked something unusual, modern and unique.

I hate reading this and also the amount of times it was said on E! etc but Rosamund Pike just had a baby and her body looked amazing. That red lace Givenchy flattered in all the right places, and her beauty game was absolutely on point.

Another woman who has just had not one, but two babies, was the only one of the whole night I actually did go WOW. As much as I am trying to stay away from judging skinny actresses, I personally thought Zoe Saldana was a tad too on the skinny side, so her pregnancy has given her boobs and curves and she still looks as gorgeous and fills out that Atelier Versace to perfection.

Oscars best dressed 3Emma Stone arrived at possibly the last minute. She was the one I wanted to see the most because she has worn so many different styles throughout awards season she was guaranteed to pick something unlike anyone else. It was difficult to work out the colour of her Elie Saab gown at first, some say gold some say green, but there’s a name for that and it is chartreuse. I loved this gown and in all honesty I would never pick this colour, but with her hair it’s a match made in heaven.

I was wondering how many times Jennifer Lopez has been to the Oscars, she even said on the red carpet it was too many times to remember. You can always count on Jenny from the Block to go big and normally its in skintight Zuhair Murad with lots of boobage and leg. But this year she went all princess on us in a blush Elie Saab Couture dress adorned with encrusted jewels and beads, with just a little boobage.

Dakota Johnson has been holding out on us for like, ever. She’s just finished her press tour for Fifty Shades of Grey and throughout that I felt a little bored by her picks, but then she appeared on the Oscars red carpet looking like that! Her Saint Laurent column gown is pretty simple but that one shoulder silver snake-like strap elevated the look to a whole other level. I do still have an issue with that hair though, the fringe is still a little meh.

Oscars best dressed 4I loved how simple Reese Witherspoon’s Tom Ford dress was. The black off-the-shoulder strap and matching black sash against the dove grey colour was chic and glamourous.

Jennifer Aniston didn’t wear black, but she wore her other failsafe colour – nude. I’ll give her the sparkles and the pattern of her Atelier Versace dress of course showcased her yoga-toned body, but it’s what we’ve seen before from JenAn and I like it but I don’t love it.

I don’t think Gwyneth got enough love for this Ralph & Russo creation. The designers who often dress Angelina Jolie are so talented, the creations they have sent down their couture runway are breathtaking. I agree that this isn’t Gwyneth’s best look, and some seem to be put off by the floral applique on the shoulder but I still like it.

Oscars best dressed 1

Anna Faris is another great plus one, often going unnoticed in her dress choices, she looked every inch the princess to her superhero Chris Pratt in Zuhair Murad. This is how you do Zuhair with sparkles and no leg slits and boobage…

Ahem Chrissy Teigen. She’s like the JLo of her time and she can easily get away with doing the double boob and legs on the Osars red carpet. She was plus one to Oscar winner John Legend after all.

Selma actress Carmen Ejogo kept it simple in her Houghton bejwelled dress which I adored. The hair, the dark lip and that necklace make this the perfect modern take on Old Hollywood beauty.

Do you agree with my picks? Do you think I missed anyone off my list? Let me know!

You can see the best of the rest from Awards Season 2015 over on my Pinterest board

Images from Zimbio

Valentine’s Day is *literally* one day of the year. Moving on.

This is the second draft of this post, purely because I bored even myself writing about how annoying I find those loved-up couples that will be humble bragging on social media on Valentine’s Day and yes how I’m single for the umpteenth year in a row.

I keep saying I hate Valentine’s Day but I just hate the fact that for one day a limelight is cast on those who are single and alone (even though not *actually* alone) and couples who should buy all the gifts and show off. Chill.

I mean in total honesty, I moan all the time about being single. But then *lightbulb* when I finally started dating I realised just how much time it takes up (it really does have the potential to be a full-time hobby) and how I like being able to do what I want when I want without having to think about anyone else. Selfish but meh I’ve got ages yet. Right..?

And I know you’re thinking that sounds like the typical single person answer, but when you spend a lot of time on online dating sites, as so many of us out there are doing (currently not as you will see below), you start to see the same old mugs with the same weird approach to what they think is acceptable to say to a woman.

So since I only had my first ever proper date last November and made a complete fool of myself (one glass of wine minimum from now on ahem) I thought it would be fun to share what happens before Valentine’s Day and, well, the whole year round really.

literally gif

Why are you single?

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This is just one of many, many messages I’ve received that says I should have no problem whatsover finding a guy. Why is that? Why do other people think that? Looks don’t mean anything when you find that confidence to actually approach someone you like and start a conversation. It’s hard, so screw you dang_1992.

Copy-and-paste

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I got this the first time, chuckled, looked at the guy, his age and wasn’t interested. Then he sent it again and actually a third time which I don’t have a screengrab of. But surely there are not men out there that are dumb enough to just copy-and-paste pick-up lines. Who am I kidding yes there are.

This also applies to sending me multiple messages saying the same thing in a different way. I can barely understand what you are saying Warrz due to the ridiculous nature of your shortcuts and abbreviations, why is “ure” easier to write than “you’re”?

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So inappropriate I don’t even know where to begin

nude dating blurDo you know what I swiped a guy on Tinder that was good looking in his 30s and liked lift selfies just like me. My first mistake. He asked for my number quite quickly, but who agrees with me with how annoying it is to constantly reply back within apps, so I gave him it. Second mistake.

He started off innocently enough asking how my day was, fair enough. Then without so much as a warning sent me the above. I did NOT ask for this stupidly inappropriate Chris, 31, from Manchester. Thank you for the block feature WhatsApp. I hope he lost my number.

Opening lines

inapprop POF
Ew. Ew. EW. I’m aware that you are entering a realm of guys who feel the need to open with a sex proposition on online dating apps, but these are just wrong and only a very small cross section of what I have received in my POF inbox in the past.

There’s way worse. I’m worried for RossyC_92 though, each to their own, but slugs?

The worst type of human

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Some of you may already have seen this as I posted it last week on my Instagram. As one of my friends said, this is an example of “another of the mummy’s that don’t teach their precious sons about rejection”. I don’t want to place all the blame on parents raising their children right, because somewhere along the way their perfectly nice son or daughter suddenly decided this was ok to say.

It’s hard getting rejected, I have been there so, so many times. But honestly what I don’t understand about this childish behaviour is that he said “no worries if you’re not interested”, I said I wasn’t and still gave him a perfectly valid reason as to why and he childishly responded.

You can see more treats like that if you follow ByeFelipe on Instagram, where there is a collection of responses from guys who turn hostile when rejected.

allergic to jerks

There have been times in this past year that I have cried, my friends have cried and guys have probably cried over my bitchiness too. These people are sent to test us and to make us learn and move on.

I used to really f*cking hate it when people say there are more fish in the sea because what no way there is not at all. Where is this sea you speak of because I really haven’t found it and this was absolutely me last February.

But I am five dates wiser, one year older and have friends who will always be there to tell me I am worth being picky.

text me every 30 seconds

Food: How to make cauliflower pizza

I’m always on the lookout for ways to enjoy my favourite food at a fraction of the calories and it’s not always to do with weight gain it’s more to do with that uncomfortable bloated feeling after having so much dough with pizza, or bread with a burger.

So if there’s a way to have neither I am all for it!

I’ve seen quite a few recipes mentioning cauliflower as a replacement for a pizza base and after my flatmate tried it out successfully I was eager to get a slice of the action (sorry couldn’t resist!).

Both Helmsley+Helmsley and Deliciously Ella have cauliflower pizza recipes which I read over and then found another version online by Brunchtimebaker which had no flour.

It’s totally up to you what you prefer and for me I think next time I’d like to try adding buckwheat flour, which is a gluten-free, just to dry out the ‘dough’ a bit more.
cauliflower pizza doughFirst off you need to blend the cauliflower, I bought I whole fresh one and stuck it in my Nutribullet but it was a bit of a faff so if you have a food processor I would obviously recommend you blend it in there to get the right flour-like consistency.

Next up Brunchtimebaker says to microwave the cauliflower for four minutes and then leave to cool for five before squeezing out the water. But both H+H and Deliciously Ella just squeeze out the excess water without heating it up.

Now I’ve never squeezed water out of food before, usually avoiding it when I spot it in recipes and it’s probably a sticking point with others who can’t be bothered to do it either! I had some spare new dishcloths that I hadn’t used yet so thought this would be the best, even though all the recipes recommend a tea towel. And there’s a reason for the tea towel because the dishcloth just retained the water and didn’t drain enough water out.

I think it’s important to get the cauliflower as dry as possible which is why as I mentioned earlier that I would like to add flour to the mix next time. After adding the egg, herbs and a touch of parmesan I rolled it out to about just a little more than half a centimetre thick.

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Baked in the oven for roughly 15 minutes as it started to brown on the edges but could definitely have stayed in for five minutes longer. And looking back could probably have done with been rolled thinner to get it more crispy.

I baked it on baking paper as recommended and added the toppings on after, choosing passata with a touch of spice and basil, aubergine slices, onions and cheddar cheese. I also added avocado and jalapenos on after it was finished cooking for extra flavour.

The only one major problem with this pizza is that all of my toppings and the softness of the ‘dough’ meant that it was too heavy to remove from the baking paper without breaking apart! I ended up eating the pizza from the baking paper but it was so delicious I didn’t even care.

I had my pizza with sweet potato wedges of course, sprinkled with paprika, salt and pepper. You could probably serve this with some spinach or kale to be super healthy but in keeping with the pizza and chips theme wedges are the only option!

I would certainly recommend trying this out, it’s a little faffy if you haven’t got the right blender, you could potentially grate the cauliflower but that might not get the right consistency.

Try it out with whatever toppings you fancy there are so many different ways to eat this pizza and when you’re enjoying it after all your hard work you’ll have forgotten you are actually eating cauliflower!

Red carpet: Screen Actors Guild Awards 2015

Awards season is lacking in wow this year. While there has been many, many beautiful dresses I’ve not experienced that feeling I did when I saw Lupita Nyong’o’s red Ralph Lauren at the 2014 Golden Globes or like when I saw Gwyneth Paltrow in the white Tom Ford at the 2012 Oscars.

I measure red carpets by these moments, just because they’re the looks that stick in your mind and that you will be remembering for years to come.

For the Screen Actors Guild Awards 2015, the red carpet had plenty of television talent and not enough major movie stars for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, as we know the trend for movie celebs to gravitate towards television is becoming more popular and the success is just as prevalent – case in point Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Matthew McCoughnahey, Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton just to name a few.

But I need majah moments and the only person who provided me with vaguely that for the SAG Awards was Emma Stone, followed very closely by Camila Alves.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Emma Stone, from her amazing Gucci look that she wore to the 2012 Spiderman premiere to her amazing knack for menswear inspired looks like last week’s Golden Globes Lanvin look. Her Dior tuxedo dress with a sheer skirt was perfect for Emma, glamorous with an edge and of course wearing the French fashion house better than its muse Jennifer Lawrence. In all honesty I would have loved to see JLaw in a look like this rather than sticking to the safer options.

Emma Stone Dior both

Camila Alves must be the best plus one ever. For years she has played the role of Matthew McCoughnahey’s supporting wife with the past year being absolutely stellar for her. She knows how to work the carpet and she always manages to shine especially next to a star that is a bright as her husband. Her jewel purple Donna Karan Atelier is simply beautiful, the structure of the bodice and the way it flows into the dramatic skirt just works in all ways and is the perfect complement to Matthew’s metallic blue Brioni tux jacket.

Camila Alves Donna Karan

Now to my second favourite colour (after yellow) on the red carpet – electric blue. Whenever I see someone in this colour I’m instantly drawn to it and Julianna Marguiles in her Giambattista Valli dress was no exception. The fit and shape of the bodice is so flattering and Julianna has the legs to pull of the unusual voluminous shape of the skirt with ease.

I’m getting slight fatigue at the Julianne Moore and Givenchy red carpet relationship, but I can’t really complain when she looks this amazing. Red hair and jewel green is like one of most perfect colour combinations and the jewels on the dress simply elevate the look, but it is very similar shape and style to her Golden Globes look – I’m hoping she’ll bring something different for the Oscars.

Juliianna and Julianne

It’s the opposite of Emma Stone’s dress in colour, but Laura Carmichael’s all-white dress is just as stunning (one for you Maria Menounos). Her halterneck Vionnet with a zebra inspired striped sheer skirt was the right look to stand out on the SAG Awards red carpet, it’s all about working enough of a balance you don’t want to go too edgy that you will be placed on the worst dressed lists but you want to be unique enough that you don’t blend in. Love the bravos for wearing this and from a Brit too!

Then we have Reese Witherspoon also in white, but radiating that modern Hollywood look that she does so well. This dress shows off her amazing physique without baring anything but a little shoulder and back. Her custom Giorgio Armani one-shoulder column dress has a scoop at the back that blends into the capped sleeve, this is one of my favourite looks from Reese this year by far. Maybe it’s a white dress thing that I love.

Laura Carmichael and Reese Witherspoon

Over to the prints, with Natalie Dormer in Naeem Khan and Rashida Jones in Emmanuel Ungaro. I’m a massive fan of Naeem Khan and as Natalie mentioned on the red carpet, for her coming over from the cold and rainy Blighty wearing something that felt like spring and warmth was what drew her towards the gown. If I was to nitpick I think she could have done something a little better with her hair, but I love the softness of this print so that’s just a minor issue.

Ahhh Rashida, you beautiful tropical fish, I adore this print and that blue trim works so well with the red lipstick. You can’t tell from this picture, but this dress is all sequinned which in my mind elevates this unique look even more. Keeping her hair simple with the trademark bangs I’m looking forward to more from my third favourite Parks and Recreation actress.

Natalie Dormer and Rashida Jones

Other celebs I felt worth a mention for their red carpet choices were Maisie Williams in the cutest red laser cut dress by Self Portrait perfect for her age without making her look too twee; 2014 Queen of the Awards Season Red Carpet Lupita Nyong’o who while i enjoyed her Elie Saab floral graffiti gown I don’t think the colours worked well enough to eclipse her other amazing looks; and Sophie Bush who always has a killer turn on the red carpet in her Vivienne Westwood burnt orange gown, I really liked this as soon as I saw her – the structured bodice and the pinned hair and the coloured jewels are all perfectly to my liking, I just preferred other dresses more!

Last three

Keep up with all my favourite red carpet looks from Awards Season 2015 over on my Pinterest board!

Golden Globes 2015: A very mixed bag

The Golden Globes red carpet this year was a variety of different colours, textures, shapes and lengths. I have to admit I was quite impressed overall because it’s made it considerably harder to pick just one best dressed.

For me I don’t think there was a wow moment this year like there was at last year’s ceremony with Lupita Nyong’o and Emma Watson. But there were plenty of celebrities who certainly brought their A-game like Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Kate Hudson, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Jessica Chastain and Felicity Jones.

Julianne Moore’s custom Givenchy gown had the designer’s trademark feather hem but with a lot of sparkle. This isn’t anything that new from the brand as we’ve seen a lot of their dresses for major events with the feathers, but I love how unique Julianne makes the look, and the high neckline is in keeping with her style.

Julianne Moore Givenchy proper

Julianne Moore in Givenchy at the Golden Globes

Jessica Chastain had an amazing red carpet game last year, her electric blue Atelier Versace dress and lilac Elie Saab gown she wore in Cannes made it into the history books. So while I did like her bronze Versace gown on the Golden Globes red carpet I felt like she’s done something similar before. But her hair looked luscious against the metallic colour and the homage to Marilyn Monroe was a great bombshell moment.

Jessica Chastain Atelier Versace proper

Jessica Chastain in Atelier Versace at the Golden Globes

There always has to be someone that forgoes a dress and this year it was another Emma. The Birdman actress took a night off from performing Cabaret on Broadway to celebrate her nomination in a Lanvin jumpsuit. I’ve always appreciated Emma’s style it’s on the right side of quirky, chic and fashion-forward, and her hair looked absolutely perfect.

Emma Stone Lanvin

Emma Stone in Lanvin at the Golden Globes

Of course Kate Hudson knows how to do sexy, she also wore Versace and much like Jessica Chastain flashed the flesh. What I like about this daring dress is that Kate kept her hair slicked back and simple and a ring, earrings and a delicate bracelet were enough in the way of accessories. Basically the opposite of Jennifer Lopez.

Kate Hudson Atlelier Versace

Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace at the Golden Globes

Speaking of JLo, when I first spotted her I thought she’d revisited the early 2000s with that beehive streaky highlighted hairstyle, but aside from that her Zuhair Murad gown is all kinds of epic.

Jennifer Lopez Zuhair Murad

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhaird Murad at the Golden Globes

I saw Naomi Watts in yellow and cheered a little, I always like an unexpected splash of colour and yellow is far from safe. It’s easy to go with red like Taylor Schilling did, so Naomi’s Gucci column dress with her Bulgari snake necklace was certainly at the top of the list.

Naomi Watts yellow

Naomi Watts in Gucci at the Golden Globes

And then I saw Leslie Mann’s tight-fitting Kaufmanfranco gown and it tipped Naomi off the top spot, both yellow but both so different. Leslie accessorised her dress with a jewel green clutch which just made it for me. And then I spotted Jenna Dewan-Tatum in her lemon yellow Carolina Herrera dress and I was torn again, I’m not sure I could choose between them both at all.

Leslie Mann Kimberley Mcdonald

Leslie Mann in Kaufmanfranco at the Golden Globes

Jenna Dewan Tatum Carolina Herrara

Jenna Dewan Tatum in Carolina Herrera at the Golden Globes

Here are the best of the rest; from Kate Beckinsale who always does Hollywood glamour to perfection, Felicity Jones looking very regal in Dior, loving Lorde’s masculine Narciso Rodriguez tux, Kerry Washington was the marmite of the night in Mary Katrantzou but I loved the colours and the risk she took, Helen Mirren working it and even beating her younger peers in Dolce & Gabbana, and so many more.

You can see all my favourite red carpet looks from Awards Season 2015 over on my Pinterest board

Sources: RCFA, Zimbio

Food: Nutribullet Five Day 180 Cleanse

Of course the first week in January means detox time and while there are plenty of diets, regimes and plans to follow I decided to make use of my Nutribullet and do the 5-day 180 cleanse they posted on their blog.

I bought a Nutribullet last summer after a friend’s recommendation and went juicing mad for a few weeks then admittedly got a little bored of my new toy so it was good to get in the habit of using it again.

For something like a cleanse the most important thing you need to do is absolutely plan ahead. It’s pretty hard to just breeze along without juicing and meal-planning so you will be thankful in the long run when you prep your ingredients ahead of time and don’t get disheartened half way through.

Before you start prepping a big food shop is necessary, be prepared to spend more than you expect. I buy a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables anyway but found the extra ingredients required for the juices bumped up the cost.

food shopping
Next up I wrote down my juices and meals for the week, the cleanse requires you to replace your breakfast with a Nutriblast drink and then choose a clean meal for lunch and then a choice of different levels for your dinner.

I went for a mix of level one and two for my dinner which consisted of meals of protein and vegetables and stews or soups. Level three is the most hardcore replacing your evening meals with another Nutriblast.

For me this cleanse was about getting into the mindset of healthy eating and planning rather than a diet, so choosing a Nutriblast for dinner was far from an option for me but if you want a big kick to losing weight I would imagine this might be the way to go.

Before your Nutriblast in the morning you are recommended to drink a cup of hot water and lemon, which is a nice habit to get into and means less tea drinking for me!

My meal plan for the week looked like this, recipes with a * can be found here:

Day One

  • Nuts Seeds and Green Blast*
  • Roasted aubergine bowl with rice
  • Moroccan Chickpea Stew*
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Nuts Seeds and Green Blast: Broccoli, spinach, blueberries, banana, pumpkins seeds and chia seeds

Day Two

  • Winter Warrior Blast*
  • Roasted aubergine bowl with quinoa
  • Moroccan Chickpea Stew*
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Winter Warrior: Cooked sweet potato, spinach, apple, avocado, banana, chia seeds and lime juice

Day Three

  • Berry Beet Blast*
  • Sweet potato, broccoli, avocado and quinoa salad
  • Salmon and veg kebabs with cous cous*
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Berry Beet Blast: Spinach, beetroot, mixed berries, chia seeds and lime juice

Day Four

  • Berry Beet Blast*
  • Avocado, grated carrot, spinach and broccoli salad
  • Salmon and veg kebabs with cous cous*
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Dinner: Salmon, mushrooms, peppers, onions, courgettes, aubergine with paprika and lemon juice

Day Five

  • Berry Beet Blast*
  • Roasted aubergine, roasted sweet potato, broccoli, cous cous salad
  • Slimming World Sticky 5-spice pork stir fry (see recipe below)
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Dinner: Slimming World Sticky 5-spice pork stir fry

I prefer to make my juices fresh in the morning but I found time was getting a bit tight, so from the third day I started to prepare them in the evening along with my lunches because I faff a lot in the morning.

It was handy to take my juices to drink at work, but I’m a very slow drinker and they were quite thick so the first couple of juices took me around three hours to drink.

The Nuts, Seeds and Green Blast and the Berry Beet Blast are both highly recommended. Each had combinations of veg and fruit that I hadn’t tried before, such as beetroot, and were definitely refreshing and filling to keep me going until lunch.

I definitely do not recommend the Winter Warrior. If I were ever to make that juice again I would probably steam/boil the sweet potato rather than roast it, there were no specific instructions apart from that it be cooked and I think this made it too savoury when combined with the avocado and apple. I struggled to drink it and in fact don’t think I finished it in time for lunch.

Lunches were the easiest part for me as the recipes I used are pretty much what I eat anyway. A salad for me barely ever contains lettuce leaves, so I never understand people who reduce themselves to boring the so-called ‘rabbit food’ with barely any flavour when they are trying to diet.

Cooked veg is certainly the way to go to add some excitement, things like sweet potatoes, aubergines, chick peas, mushrooms, and butternut squash alongside chicken and salmon are all ways to keep you full until the evening.

The Moroccan Chickpeas Stew was super nice, and I made enough to still have a portion for another time after putting loads in the freezer. I also made the salmon and veg kebabs in advance and froze them, you just need to remember in the morning to get your dinner out of the freezer to defrost either through the night or during the day!

Snacks

Of course those going on a cleanse/detox/diet will need snacks. It’s hard especially in an office job not to reach for things easy and within reach so once again preparing ahead is vital.

I tend to always have a stash of raisins in my bag, they’re a simple way to ease any sweet cravings. Greek yoghurt is another good thing to have in your fridge, pop some honey in and even a tablespoon of chia seeds to make a refreshing dessert.

For savoury I love houmous it’s so good, but it can be a drain on the purse strings to keep buying it so make your own!

The easiest houmous recipe ever (thanks Slimming World)

  • 400g can of chickpeas drained
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 1 juice and zest of lemon
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of coriander
  • A dash (or more) of cayenne pepper or paprika
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons of water (if needed add a tblsp at a time, you can’t take water away remember!)

This is a zillion times easier if you have a Nutribullet as you can put all these ingredients in all at once and blend (if you don’t a normal food blender will do!). At least three minute blending time to get rid of the chickpea chunks scoop out and you’re done. Make sure to cut up some crudites to dip in such as cucumber, peppers, carrots, celery or you can get some ryvitas to eat it with instead.

I continued the cleanse for an extra two days just because I had so much veg and stuff left over and just keeps me in the mindset. To make sure this cleanse was most effective I did cut out any sugar, including chocolate, cakes, sweets, and cheese. In the evening to curb any sweet feelings I just had a cup of tea with a sweetener in.

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Slimming World Sticky 5-Spice Pork Stir Fry

  • 2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
  • Pork/gammon/tuna steak
  • Red pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Baby sweetcorn
  • 1 tsbp chilli flakes (or fresh chilli)
  • 1/2 juice and zest of an orange
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 100ml chicken/veg stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Egg noodles to serve

Cover your selected meat in the 5-spice powder then fry in a bit of oil of Fry-light spray. Set aside.

Mix your sauce in a jug – veg/chicken stock, chilli flakes, soy sauce and orange juice and zest.

I like to add mushrooms, peppers and baby sweetcorn just to make it a bit more exciting and filling. Fry these for a few minutes until they begin to soften.

Add your sauce to the veg and then when in the pan add the honey. Cook for about seven minutes then add in the meat you cooked earlier. Whilst this is all going on whack on your noodles, I usually buy dried egg noodles that take about three minutes.

The timing usually works out that they both are done at the same time! And serve.

My Best Dressed Celebrities: 2014

Last year I had the foresight to create a Pinterest board, starting in January to keep track of all the amazing looks that would hit the red carpets throughout awards season, Cannes, the MET Gala and the numerous film premieres and press tours and make my life easier when it came to my compile my annual list.

It’s my favourite part of the year because it’s a treat to be reminded of all those epic dresses that were debuted and some of them I had forgotten about. It was clear early on who would definitely earn themselves a spot high on my list (*ahem Lupita*) but also those looks that still deserve a mention despite not making it on to my list.

Jessica Chastain’s stunning electric blue Atelier Versace and lilac Elie Saab gowns, Amal Alamuddin Clooney’s whole wedding weekend, Lily Collins’ Elie Saab at the Rome Film Festival and Emily Blunt’s vivid red Prada at her New York film premiere for Edge of Tomorrow and Elizabeth Banks’ breathtaking Elie Saab confection from the London premiere of Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Also who could possibly forget Kim Kardashian West’s Givenchy wedding dress and Angelina Jolie’s unique Atelier Versace wedding dress.

10. Diane Kruger

Always one to push the envelope with different silhouettes, hair, accessories, colour and beauty, Diane Kruger is a rare celebrity in that she can never look bad.

I’ve been a massive fan of the actress for years now, and of course being one half of a beautiful couple always does favours. She has the best accessory around in her long-term partner Josh Jackson and is always radiant on the red carpet.

My favourite look from Diane this year was her black and floral embellished Elie Saab gown that she wore to the Critics’ Choice Television Awards in June. I had this on my wish list for the red carpet when I saw it float down the runway and I was more than happy to see my favourite style icon wear it. Other fabulous looks include her Valentino Couture dress from the Vanity Fair Oscars party and a beautiful velvet Preen ball gown she wore to Sean Penn’s Help for Haiti annual ‘do.

Diane Kruger collage 1 Diane Kruger collage 2

9. Taylor Swift

I have had a strange love affair with Taylor Swift this year. It wasn’t long ago I was professing my absolute hatred at how annoying the starlet was, but then the songstress gave herself a total makeover and I fell a little bit in love.

A couple of things happened to Taylor this year, she chopped off her hair released a brand new album and a major style turning point came in April when she wore that black and white J.Mendel gown to the American Country Music Awards instead of her usuall glittery sequined outfits. The haircut is still a little twee, but it has a hint of BFF supermodel Karlie Kloss about it and was a nice refresh. I cannot tell you how jealous I am of her gravity-defying side-swept fringe, if only.

Taylor Swift is one hellishly busy lady so it was near impossible to include every look she’s ever worn just this year alone because she treats the pavement like her catwalk too and dishes out plenty of high end designers amongst high street brands like ASOS and Topshop.

One of my favourite looks from Taylor came at the American Music Awards where she wore a custom turquoise Michael Kors column dress tied definitely with her super-sexy Zuhair Murad look for the Victoria’s Secret after party.

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8. Kate Hudson

Kate is always a feature in my lists, she doesn’t hit every red carpet going but when she’s on one you definitely know it because she will be easily the best dressed there.

The actress hit a home run early on in 2014 at The Oscars where she turned up in a jaw-dropping Atelier Versace gown that topped my looks of the evening. She then didn’t stop there but arrived at the Vanity Fair Oscars after party in a black Zuhair Murad gown that was equally as beautiful.

My favourite look from Kate, apart from her Oscars gown of course, was her purple Stella McCartney dress that she wore to the Baby2Baby Gala in November. Showcasing her bangin’ body is Kate’s go-to and this cutout look is perfect for the Californian beauty.

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7. Ashley Madekwe

British-born Ashley is one of those celebrities that is not recognised enough as a style powerhouse, yet you look back at every single red carpet she’s appeared on and you would never find a bad look. Ever.

A massive style and beauty crush of mine (I owe the discovery of MAC’s Ruby Woo to her), she has worked a lot of red carpets this year in designers from Dior to Elie Saab to Burberry.

I struggled to pick one look as a standout because I was massively torn between her burnt orange Wes Gordon slip dress she wore to the amFar Gala in Milan, her white hot Banana Republic suit at the recent BFAs, or her super chic Burberry look at London Fashion Week. Pick for me?

Ashley Madekwe collage 1 Ashley Madekwe collage 2 redone

6. Rihanna

Could I ever really do a best dressed list in 2014 and not include Rihanna? This woman marches to the beat of her own drum and doesn’t not give one shiny f**k what anyone thinks.

By no means has every look that Rihanna wore this year been commended, I mean her Givenchy black lace green-lipped look at the iHeartRadio Music Awards was scary, not to mention the times she stepped out looking like Smurfette, but the rest of the time she will be the major star on the red carpet pulling something off that absolutely no one else could even dream of (yes I’m talking about you Rita Ora).

My favourite looks come courtesy of Rihanna’s stunning red Zac Posen gown she wore to her inaugural Diamond Ball for her Clara Lionel Foundation, that super chic pink tweed Altuzarra suit, her white Ulyana Sergeenko nightie she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards and that super fun Stella Jean bodycon dress that she wore when visiting the White House larking around pretending to be Olivia Pope.

I can’t include Rihanna without mentioning that naked Adam Selman dress she wore, because yes her areolas were on display and so was her bare arse, but the make up, the matching Swarovski-adorned bandana and jewels was one of those moments you will always list when talking about the pop star. And she looked hot, and if you hadn’t figured already she’s Rihanna she can do what she wants.

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5. Emma Stone

Emma knows what works for her and that’s her red hair. She had a brief dalliance back to her natural blonde colour not so long ago for her part in Birdman (which FYI is brilliant go and see it immediately), but her red roots make her looks really pop.

So from wearing a vivid yellow Atelier Versace to her Spider-Man London premiere or a forest green Valentino at the Birdman premiere at the Rome Film Festival she will always top the best dressed in my eyes.

Emma has worked several different silhouettes this year, with a particular stand out being the Saint Laurent check suit she wore doing press at the BBC Radio One studios and that adorable red sixties-inspired Valentino dress she wore for an appearance at the Empire State Building.

My favourite look from Emma Stone this year was the beautiful white Prada dress she wore for the New York Spider-Man premiere. I’m always surprised when I see a particularly spectacular red carpet look from Prada because Anne Hathaway’s 2013 Oscars dress is still burned in my mind.

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4. Blake Lively

The Queen of Cannes Film Festival this year, Blake Lively was on a high right at the beginning of 2014. Basically every time the blonde appeared jaws dropped to the floor.

Her beauty is absolutely her best accessory not to mention those long luscious L’Oreal preened locks of hers. When she strutted out as part of her ambassador role for the cosmetics powerhouse we expected nothing short of magnificent, and we were not disappointed.

Not only did Blake work the Cannes carpet to astonishing effect, but she also still managed to pull out yet another epic Gucci Premiere gown for the MET Gala with her perfect plus one hubby Ryan Reynolds. Then she announced her pregnancy and looked even more blooming lovely, can this woman ever fail?

Wearing one of my favourite looks of the whole year number one comes in the guise of Blake’s black and white tuxedo-inspired Gucci gown from the Cannes premiere of Ryan’s film Captives.

Blake Lively collage one Blake Lively collage 2

3. Lupita Nyong’o

A major player early in the game, Lupita Nyong’o absolutely nailed red carpet dressing this year. A newcomer to the awards circuit, she was nominated at every major awards for her role in 12 Years A Slave which culminated in picking up the Best Supporting Actress gong at The Oscars.

What a way to start the year for this amazing woman, not only picking up awards but a fashion campaign with Miu Miu, a beauty campaign with Lancome and a coveted Vogue cover in July, Lupita is a major voice in the rights for black women should be given in the entertainment industry. She gave a particularly amazing and inspirational speech at the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards that is well worth a listen.

Lupita’s favourite look for me this year has to be the red haute caped Ralph Lauren dress that she wore to the Golden Globes. It literally won award season for me, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. But let’s not forget the stunning turquoise Gucci dress she wore to the SAG Awards that popped against her skin and that custom white Calvin Klein she wore to the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. I wasn’t as in love with the star’s pale blue Prada Oscar dress but can appreciate how beautiful it made Lupita look, and her jewel green Dior dress she wore to the BAFTAs.

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2. Emma Watson

Emma made my year when she turned up to the Golden Globe Awards in vintage Dior Couture. Not only was in a unique look but she was in trousers and still made it to the top of every best dressed list out there. Trousers are not a brand new thing that nobody has done before – it was just all in Emma’s execution. I’ve never understood why celebrities have to do that looking-over-the-shoulder-arse shot but if it were not for that then we would have never seen the beauty of Emma’s look.

From this moment on Emma has been seen in several more Dior looks, which lead me to championing the Harry Potter actress to take over as the new face for the brand over Jennifer Lawrence. It always amazes me at how hit-and-miss Jennifer is when appearing on the red carpet in Dior, yet those who are not loyal to the brand can put the Hunger Games starlet in the shade. Maybe 2015 will be the year for Emma to land her own fashion campaign, if not for Dior then Ralph Lauren at least.

Emma has been slowly shedding that sugar coated Hermione look for a few years now, after drastically cutting her hair into a pixie crop to going sexy minis. She seems to have found her signature style this past year that suits her, not overtly sexy but so sleek, chic and oozing old Hollywood glamour.

I loved her style during fashion week with the Valentino FROW look a particular fave, and it seems that Emma has a thing for trousers sporting no less than six more red carpet masculine-inspired looks throughout 2014.

Emma also launched the movement for gender equality campaign HeForShe, in which she gave an impassioned speech on how men are also welcomed into the fight for equality between gender which you can listen to here. She wore possibly the most perfect Dior frock coat that I just can’t get enough of proving once again just how well she is suited to the French design house.

My favourite look of Emma’s this year is tied between the red Dior look and her white Ralph Lauren gown she wore to the London premiere of Noah.

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1. Solange Knowles

To the winner. Hands down. Without a shadow of a doubt. Solange Knowles killed it in 2014. Her wedding to Alan Johnson in New Orleans may have had something to do with her taking my number on best dressed celebrity of this year in her custom Kenzo wedding gown, but just take a look back at her rainbow-tastic wardrobe and you’ll soon agree she never misses a beat.

Solange Knowles collage 2 wedding

The more stylish Knowles sister (sorry Bey) never shies away from a bright colour palette favouring mostly yellows, oranges and blues and when you see Solange in black it’s always a treat because it very rarely happens.

Solange is the queen when it comes to dressing in just one colour. From jewel red in Paper London, to head-to-toe orange MaxMara and then yellow Paper London at Coachella, a hot pink Gucci suit is a favourite, to more yellow in Christopher Kane and Christian Siriano.

One look to really test the senses was her Milly FROW look – a bold electric blue coat by the brand, paired with a vivid orange hued look topped off with Barbie pink stilettos. I mean no one else could even think about this without looking like some sort of Sesame Street character.

Other beautiful moments came via her Calvin Klein embellished dress she wore to the CFDAs harking back to the classic Diana Ross vibe with her amazing ‘fro and the yellow Cedric Charlier strapless dress she wore for her mother’s birthday.

But of course the crowning moment for Solange comes at her wedding in November. The bride wasn’t happy to go with just the usual one look, instead choosing three Stephane Rolland jumpsuits to complement her custom Kenzo gown. She rocked up to the church on a bike strewn with flowers working a low-cut backless caped off-white jumpsuit with her husband-to-be in a matching tux. Then there was that beautiful gown adorned with simple gold cuffs which was followed by a one-legged ruffled jumpsuit then to top off the trifecta of trousered looks a jumpsuit that worked elements of both in with a deep cleavage and caped ruffles.

Solange Knowles was the best dressed bride this year, I mean she was competing with Kim Kardashian West, Amal Alamuddin Clooney and Angelina Jolie and in my eyes she easily came out on top. Well done Sol, keep on rocking in 2015.

Solange Knowles collage 3Solange Knowles collage 1

Do you agree with who I picked for my best dressed of 2014 list?

Who would you have placed in the top spot, check out my Best Dressed of the Year 2014 Pinterest board and let me know in the comments below or tweet me @nlcorner with your top choices!

Sources: RCFA, Zimbio, JustJared