Summer's on the way!

I was lucky enough to be sent some gorgeous accessories by East Clothing, whilst I was in Byron Bay in March. Just as the weather turned to Autumn, literally overnight, my amazing photographer Charlotte Coker, of A Beautiful Weirdo, and I hit the beach in wind lashing weather to do our best. I am thrilled with the results and I hope you like them too.

More importantly, I hope it gives you some great ideas on how to style up your holiday outfits with some very affordable and colourful accessories so you can hit that beach looking a million dollars.

I found this gorgeous two piece 50's style bikini in my favourite retro/vintage shop in Byron, Trash, for just $28. (Actually it only cost me $10 because I had sold some clothes! I love this re-cycling, pre-loved game.)

And how well does it go with the stunning East Karina Print Scarf, worn as a sarong and costing just £25. Double whammy: pack huge scarves, wear them round your neck, as a shawl, round your head or as a sarong & you could almost get away with carry on baggage!
The vintage shirt below is another buy from Trash. It went so well with my old jean shorts from Boden that I just had to have it! But the pink layered beaded necklace, £22 from East, has added that little extra zing that I think really completes the look.

BTW, I  bought that body board I'm sitting on for $5 in a charity shop, or op shop as they're called in Australia and elsewhere.  Never underestimate the bargains you can find by a regular root around!

Vintage shirt, vintage sunglasses, retro two piece & a pink necklace from East to complete the look. I'm ready for the beach!

Vintage shirt, vintage sunglasses, retro two piece & a pink necklace from East to complete the look. I'm ready for the beach!

There's always room for a little clutch bag and I was really happy with this East embroidered pyramid pouch, only £15, and just the ticket for keeping the sand off a smart phone, lippie and bits and pieces for the beach.

My pretty top was another Aussie buy this time from Jaase, a company aimed at a much younger shopper.  It quickly became my very favourite for the entire 4 months because it was the coolest top to wear in that extreme heat, and it covered my arms.  I can't remember how much it cost, but it was a cheapie and a goodie!

Finally, during a Food, Fashion & Fun filled few days in Melbourne, I found yet another perfect swimsuit. Part of the Esther Williams bathers collection, it is designed by Esther Williams' grandson in California. These swimsuits are available all over the world and are the most flattering I have come across in a long time keeping all the bits that stick out, tucked in! They're made for real women.  For those too young to remember, Esther Williams was a movie star legend and invented synchronised swimming. 

But back to the accessories. We've dressed the swimmies up with a gorgeous grey/blue, silk bandhini scarf, £45 and the ombre seed beed necklace, for £22, both from East and really glamming up the whole look. Add some wacky sunglasses & some bangles and you're ready to stylishly fit in at any Californian poolside.
There's always room in your suitcase for sunglasses, necklaces, bangles, scarves and a clutch bag or two so when you're thinking about packing for your summer hols, bear accessories like these in mind to style up your holiday clothes, and you'll need less. It's amazing what a scarf or colourful beads can do to an outfit isn't it? (Thank you East, I loved receiving my colourful delivery the other side of the world. It was like Christmas again! And I've brought them all home to wear this summer!)

Let me know what you think, I love hearing from you, and PLEASE don't forget to tag your social media photos of any fab outfits you're wearing #vintageladyvintagestyle.

See you soon, take care,

Can't wait for summer!

How to enjoy quinoa!

I have always found quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) a bit of a dull grain albeit a highly nutritious and healthy one. But, thanks to the Seasalt Cafe in Clovelly, (my favourite beach) in Sydney recently, I discovered black quinoa which is way more tasty and crunchy than its slightly slimy white cousin! Thank you for the recipe Chef.

Here's my easy, quick recipe for a delicious salad....but first why I call quinoa a super grain........

Ingredients for my current favourite salad: black quinoa, avo, red onion & goats cheese.

Ingredients for my current favourite salad: black quinoa, avo, red onion & goats cheese.

Black quinoa is the rarest of the quinoas and is a brilliant source of vegetable protein, so ideal for vegans and vegetarians.  It's grown high in the Andes and was known as the mother grain of the Incas.  It's very well tolerated by gluten intolerant folk and contains a 100% more protein and 900% more fibre than long grain white rice. It is rich in calcium, magnesium and iron and contains all the essential amino acids needed to make it a complete protein all on its own.  It's  also low in starch, which keeps blood sugar levels nice and even. And this version is delish!

I bought mine from Ocado, it's organic, fair trade & produced by Quinola who have it grown by small hold farmers near Lake Titicaca.  So an all round good grain with a good ethos behind it.

INGREDIENTS

80g of black quinoa per person (a cup should be plenty for 2)

1 red onion

I avocado

Grated goats cheese .....or if you're vegan cooked tofu pieces

Green salad leaves such as rocket

Basically, just add anything you fancy: olives, capers, grilled peppers, artichokes etc. 

 

HOW TO

You'll need nearly 3 times as much water as the quinoa, i.e. for 1 small mug of quinoa you'll need 2 1/2 to 3 cups of water.. Boil for 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on it, as it seems to suck in the water big time!

Meanwhile, finely chop the red onion, avocado and grate the goats cheese. You can substitute the cheese with tofu or put both in if you're extra hungry & not a vegan! 

Make a dressing of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, seasoning & a little mayonnaise (unless you're vegan).  Place the green salad on a plate, then add the quinoa salad, poor over the dressing and that's it, enjoy!

I think this one is going to be my favourite go to salad for the summer its so delicious, nutritious and easy to make.  I'm also going to try it with added cooked chicken or prawns, with olives, cooked peppers or any deli stuff hiding in the cupboard, great for unexpected guests.

Do let me know if you try this recipe or if you're already using black quinoa. As usual, I love hearing from you!

And I did hear from you.......lots of people really interested in trying this super grain and many who already love it.  But big thanks has to go to one of my Instagram followers, Maggie Alexander, who reminded me to always check your teeth after eating black quinoa!  I have been caught out going out the door with bits trapped in my teeth.  You have been warned!

black quinoa gets trapped in your teeth! always check after eating.

black quinoa gets trapped in your teeth! always check after eating.

And while I'm on the subject of Instagram, do join me on there, if you haven't already,  'cause we have such great chats and tips between our ever-growing army of #positiveageing women & I post every single day, just click here: fashion, food & lifestyle.

See you soon, it's good to be back!