A love note to London 

  

Here I am laying in my room enjoying a cuppa tea (how English of me). Six months ago I arrived in England and I now leave an honorary Londoner (if you’ve been reading my posts lately you might have noticed a bit of a change in my vocabulary). Time has just flown by and strangely enough I have never felt more at home, than well at home.

Walking down the streets during my final days here, I take in the now familiar aroma of your hazy air and reminise on when I first arrived, a fresh-faced American ready to take on a new adventure. I remember how mysterious your gray skies were and how your perpetual clouds never ceased to fill me with hope (hope of a sunny day that is). I welcomed the inevitable rain everyone but I seemed to moan about, that is until I experienced your massive droplets wearing nothing but a jumper, you cheeky London. 

In your little pubs, I found warmth and comfort. Their home cooked food and rustic environment left me craving more every time.
You will never know what you’ve done for me. You have turned me into a complete outsider, drained my wallet with your currency system, tested me with your dry humour but I fell in love with you just the same.
There is beauty everywhere your eyes turn from gorgeous parks, to street markets booming with people and an extensive array of foods. I have fallen in love with all of it! 

So, here’s to the drunken nights with the wonderful new friends I’ve made which funny enough are all Austrailians living in London (Insert Aussie & British joke here). Your underrated pastries in local coffee shops (which I have unashamedly had loads of). Here’s to the beautiful strangers I met the gaze of on the tube. Here’s to the amazing history that took my breath away time and time again. Here’s to you London! 

I will never forget this amazing time we spent together. You helped put a sparkle back in my eyes and I will now return to the big apple with a new sense of pride and accomplishment. I am so lucky to have been able to call you home, if only for a mere six months.

I don’t believe I ever mentioned why I was in London, But I’ve been a nanny to a little girl for the past two and a half years and her family asked me to come over with them to help with the transition period. The biggest thank you goes to them! And to that wonderful cheeky little girl who will always remain in my heart! 

So it is with a massive sigh and images of “look left”, “look right” & “Mind the gap” all fluttering through my mind that I must bid you farewell. London, It’s been brilliant! ❤️  

xx Gwen 

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London Eats 

For this post I thought I’d switch things up a bit and mention a few of my favorite places to eat in and around London. It is now coming down to the wire my friends (1 short day left) such a bitter sweet feeling, but anyways on to the delicious food.

Before arriving lots of people warned me about how “bad” the food is in England but let me inform you that it is not! I mean you can’t go wrong with fish and chips, a Sunday roast because who doesn’t love meat, potatoes & Yorkshire pudding? If you don’t fancy typical English dishes hop on the tube to any of the food markets and you’ll find a huge variety from all over the world! Here are a few of my favorites! 

The Bolingbroke (Clapham) – Sunday Roast  

Granger & Co. (Notting Hill) – Ricotta hotcakes, banana & honey comb butter. 

Borough Market (London) – Beef Curry & Paella (yes I mixed the two because why not?)

Camden Market: (Camden) Gluten free Tacos & Horchata/ Agua de coco   

Kettners (Soho) –  Afternoon tea 

The Regency Cafe (London) Easy Peezy English Breakfast (only thing missing is black pudding but I am not a fan)  

Fish and Chips (Camden Lock)   

Bangers and Mash (prepared by my boss) 

  I also want to mention The Black Swan (Pub located in Surrey) for the best Sunday Roast outside of London! 

I also want to mention that the Indian food in England is the best I’ve ever had, so good that I’ve never had the chance to take a photo of it.  An amazing place to go to is Tayyabs in London as well as Aladin on Brick Lane rd. 

I know this is outside of our normal posts but I could not pass up on sharing some of the wonderful places my mouth has had the pleasure of meeting. Hopefully this didn’t make you all too hungry. Maybe this could be of help for anyone traveling to England in the future. Take care lovelies 

xx, Gwen 

Charlotte Tilbury 

Well, Well, Well guess who finally caved and bought some Charlotte Tilbury products. Yes you guessed it, little old me (Gwen). I have been wanting to try some of her products for about a year now but as you may or may not know they are pretty pricey. I am the kind of girl who will save her pennies for a few months and prance my way into a shop excited to bring some new goodies home.

On to the Brand, or shall I say the woman behind the brand. Charlotte Tilbury has been a makeup artist working in the fashion and beauty industry for over 20 years. She attended the Glauca Rossi school of makeup in London, took all of the tips and tricks she has learned and created her own line of skincare and cosmetics. Her products are loved by many celebrities as she often creates the looks for red carpet events and photo shoots. Well then on to what I purchased right?

I picked up the setting powder, blusher, concealer and lipstick. Below you’ll find further description of each product and my final thoughts. Also isn’t the packaging to die for? Such a sucker for anything rose gold!   The Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder is described as a breathable micro-fine powder with soft focus made to blur away lines and imperfections. It also has rose wax and almond oil which keep the skin hydrated. I have been testing this powder out for about two weeks now and I love the velvety texture of it. I also love how it is very lightweight and does not give that sort of caked on powdered look.

The Cheek to Chic swish and pop blusher is meant to provide a youthful flush of color on your cheeks. It has a creamy and buildable formula along with a light flex technology made to provide a luminous finish. I chose the shade Ecstacy and I feel it is a great peachy pink color, especially on sun kissed skin. It it suggested that your swirl your brush around the outer part of the blush blending it towards the temples of your cheek bones, you then pop the middle shade onto the apples of your cheeks (hence the name swish and pop).


The Retoucher Concealer is described to have ultra covering, and color correcting texture with a hydrating complex of black tea which provides moisture to the under eye area. It is also made with a lipo-siliconic compound made to create a natural veil of color blending seamlessly into the skin diminishing the look of lines and pores. I personally think it does a great job at illuminating the under eye area (if you like that Kim Kardashian sort of look as I do) but I have not noticed any of the other claims.

Matte Revolution lipstick is the last item I purchased in the shade “Red Carpet Red“. What’s really unique about this lipstick is the square shaped tip making it a bit easier for application as it mimics a lip brush. It is also infused with lipstick tree and orchard extract which keep your lips hydrated. It was also created with 3D glowing pigments which create the illusion of fuller and wider lips. As a self proclaimed lipstick lover I truly love the formulation of this lipstick. It wears well (for a good 5 hours with mild eating) it does not feel drying and the shade I chose is the perfect red!

Hope you all enjoyed this haul/review of my new found loves. If I had to choose two products out of the four as total must haves they would be the Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder and the Matte Revolution Lipstick. The Blusher and Concealer are products you could find from other inexpensive brands.

These along with her other products are available on her website Charlotte Tilbury . Although I  purchased my items at Selfridges in London because you are able to book an appointment and have a makeup artist apply the products before making your final purchase.

Till my next post,

xx, Gwen

Diced Pineapples 

 Pineapples are currently all the rage! They can be found on clothing, home decor items, shoes, accessories and of course your local supermarket. I love how every so often a new trendy “iconic piece” pops up into the scene, for a while it was foxes, cats, owls and now we are moving on to fruits! For whatever reason I am totally loving anything pineapple these days. Here are a few products I have recently picked up.

Whilst browsing at Topshop (it all begins with just a casual browse, next thing you know you find an item you just can’t bare to continue living without). I came across this pineapple phone case by Skinny Dip (£12). I saw it, grabbed it immediately, bought it, love it and that is all! Funny enough I sent a photo of it to my sister and she was totally jealous because she too has been wanting this case.

 “Joy the store” is a shop I have literally walked by a million times and never seemed to notice them until I went over to Greenwich one weekend. This glistening rose gold pineapple from the window display was calling my name. I just went in to see if they were selling it and to no surprise I am now a proud owner of a gorgeous rose gold pineapple money bank. Is this a total necessity? No but, what is life if you can’t indulge in all of its pleasures am I right? (This was discounted because it has a minor chip on the stem, I paid £15) 

And lastly I don’t even have to tell you guys that I was once again in Primark (I just can’t stop) and spotted this pineapple tote. I am a huge sucker for totes they are just the easiest way to carry extra stuff around. At only £1.50 you can never have too many! (This will be gifted to Ari, yay now you’ll own something pineapple-y as well!). 

Here are some other cool pineapple themed items/clothing.

pineapple

Are you guys into this trend as well? Let me know down below if this is a hit or miss for you. 

(The title of this post was inspired by Rick Ross’s “Diced Pineapples” in case you were wondering)

Same or similar items can be found Here Here Here

xx Gwen

Primark Treasures

While in London I wanted to take advantage of the fact that we were in the city and were able to find time to shop around in Primark! For those that don’t know, Primark is sort of like a fast fashion trendy store similar I would say to Forever 21 but with elements inspired by higher end brands. The prices are comparable as well and I had a blast picking out some staple items for the summer. This black basic dress is a dream! It has ribbed detailing and its body con style sucks me in and makes me feel sexy without showing much (except legs of course). The olive anorak jacket is another must have. Its light weight and unlike my beloved utility vest I’ve featured before, this one has clean lines and can be worn in a more dressed up manner. With a draw string waist it adds absolutely no bulk, I just threw it on and I was out the door. I wore this outfit for an Orlando Blogger meet up event (shout out to Dash Orlando) and paired it with my Aldo lace up booties and gold cat eye sunnies (also purchased in London) for a more relaxed vibe. Links to items below!

****The wind was not cooperating with ya girl!

primark, ootd, anorak, aldo, booties

primark, ootd, anorak, aldo, booties

primark, ootd, anorak, aldo, booties

primark, ootd, anorak, aldo, booties

Aldo Lace Up Booties

Nasty Gal Double Breasted Anorak

Nasty Gal “Incognito” Olive Anorak

Missguided Black Bodycon Dress

TOP SHOP Bodycon Ribbed Dress

Love, Ari

Jo Malone

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This past weekend I was very much in the Valentine’s Day spirit and decided to splurge a bit on myself. I rode the train over to Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush, I was highly impressed to say the least!

On to my purchase: I originally went in looking for an outfit for an upcoming fashion show… Had no luck with that. So I thought I would swing by Jo Malone London to get a whiff of some scents I’ve been dying to try. Upon walking in you realize this store is just pure luxury! from being greeted with a glass of champagne (super fancy right? or posh as the Brits say) to getting a hand massage, I mean I wanted to hang out in there all day long. I began browsing and to no surprise fell head over heals in love with a few scents (I knew this would happen which is why I’ve avoided going to this store for over a year). I left a proud (but painfully broke) owner of a candle and cologne.

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“The essence of autumn. The sensuous freshness of just-ripe pears is wrapped in a bouquet of white freesias, and mellowed by amber, patchouli and woods. Luscious and golden. To uplift, to wind down, or simply to add an air of luxury. Transform the atmosphere with luxury and opulence”- English Pear and Freesia candle

“The essence of charm. Peonies in voluptuous bloom, exquisitely fragile. Flirtatious with the juicy bite of red apple and the opulence of jasmine, rose and gillyflower. Mingling with the sensuality of soft, blush suede. Luxurious and seductive”- Peony and blush suede cologne

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I love how both scents are described as “Luxurious” couldn’t of said it better myself! I am totally obsessed with my purchase! I mean don’t we all deserve a gorgeous gift that makes us feel special from time to time? (this is how I validate my sometimes over the top purchases to myself).

Purchasing in the U.S? Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth avenue & Jo Malone store

Jo Malone London

Until next time my lovelies, – Gwen

Camden Town

This past weekend my adventures took me a bit north to Camden Town, famously known for its markets, live music and home to the late Amy Winehouse. I walked in and out of the markets browsing, taking all of the energy in and of course stopping to eat some local food. Here’s a look at my day…

Tube Station

Tube Station

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Found the food!

Found the food!

Quotes & Sayings

Quotes & Sayings

Love me some Elephants

Love me some Elephants

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Who goes to a market without doing a bit of shopping? I was really interested in picking up some original pieces such as artwork or jewelry. Here’s a closer look at what I found…

The Photographs in the middle were taken by photographer: Antonio Duran
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These rings were designed and made by an Italian woman.
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Paying my respects to Amy:

“You left for London when you were nineteen
Had to pawn all your nice clothes, just living on dreams
A man in the bright lights took all that you own
Now he’s taken your freedom for a taste unknown”- Hey little rich girl

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I leave you all with a selfie, which I shamelessly took with my new favorite device, yes you guessed it, a selfie stick. No judgement please. Also I never want to take off this scarf!

See you soon dolls!

Thanks to Themayfairy for the great suggestion!

-Gwen

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Tourist in London

Hiya Everyone! (I’ve learned this is how Londoners say Hello). I’ve had such an amazing weekend getting to know a bit of this wonderful city and wanted to share some of it with you all. Here goes…

Classic phone booth shot

Classic phone booth shot

Ready for the Big Bus Tour!

Ready for the Big Bus Tour!

St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Tower of London

Tower of London

London Eye

London Eye

Big Ben

Big Ben

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Proper Fish and Chips is a must!

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Could not walk past Primark and Boots
without picking up a few things!

Sneak Peek at my new items

Sneak Peek at my new items

What a great weekend right? I am absolutely delighted with this city and all that I’ve seen so far. Keep those suggestions coming if you reside here or have ever been. Thanks loves!

Until next time,
-Gwen

Just touched down in London Town!

Yes you’ve read correctly half of itsapplesandoranges has moved to London, England temporarily. I (Gwen) couldn’t be more excited to be in this new amazing city! Please bare with me while this jet lag wears off, but soon after I will be posting all about my adventures here. I am hoping to score some new beauty finds, fashion inspiration and of course take in all of the rich history this city has to offer.

Until then my friends!

P.S if any of our followers happen to live in the SW London area (or you have traveled to London) I would love to hear your suggestions on things to do, places to see, where to eat etc. Leaving a comment down below will be greatly appreciated!

-Gwen

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