The pursuit of...Dating






Saw this great message (above) on Twitter over the weekend...so true! 


Dating....it can be really hard!! Social media has a lot to answer for too I believe.
Like this message I saw on Twitter recently (above), it's all too easy to seek solace and gratification from an online virtual world when things go wrong. It can also put a spanner in the works right from the very beginning of new relationships, with places like Facebook, Instagram and others being a place where you can easily stalk view profiles and see and interpret things incorrectly!

However, dating can also be lots of fun.
Those early days when you meet someone new and you get butterflies in your stomach every time your phone rings, spending the day thinking about the previous date and hoping you'd see them again that evening....It can be really exciting, especially if you feel you've found 'the one!'.

Well, I thought I'd share with you my Top Ten (tongue in cheek) Tips For Dating that I have had the pleasure of experiencing over the years.  I've had my fair share of dating disasters! (...you'd think that it would get easier in your 30's wouldn't you? Errmm...No, is the simple answer to that one!)

So here goes.... Ivy George's Top Ten Dating Tips

1.  If he wants to meet you after 9pm on a first (second, third, fourth etc...) date...then it's a 'booty call'.  He only wants one thing - Move on.

2.   He texts you saying "Call me".  It's likely he does not have enough credit on his phone to call you (...in this day and age...really?!) - Move on.         

3.  Six months after dating, he still is not referring to you as his 'girlfriend' and when you ask where you're relationship is going he says "Lets not put a title on it" - Move on.

4.   He called you 'Mum' by accident...... Move on.

5.  He constantly talks about himself and doesn't show any interest in your life or ask you questions.  On a first date, this could be just nerves, if it continues after this, it is self-absorbed selfishness - Move on 

 6.  He responds to your 5 paragraph text where you pour out your feelings about how glad you are that he's in your life and how happy you are together etc. with "LOL", "Cool :)" or "K" - Keep it moving

7.   His idea of a nice restaurant for a first date is...Nando's... - Sorry, this is not acceptable.

8.   He lists 'playing playstation' as his main hobby -  Sorry, what? 

9.  He thinks it's perfectly normal and OK to use your September issue Vogue magazine as a coaster....Keep it moving hunny ;-)

10.  ....And lastly, simply,  if he's not calling or texting you, making time to see you or returning your calls...Guess what?........He's. just. not. that. in. to. you - MOVE ON!


I wish you all the best of luck with your own 'dating' journeys...let me know if you have any 'tips' of your own!

Thanks for reading!  
Before you go, today is the last day to submit nominations for the Bloglovin awards. The link is here: and I would absolutely love it if you enjoy reading my little blog and felt that it was worthy of a nomination.
I think The Pursuit Of Ivy George, would best sit under the category of Best Newcomer - many thanks in advance everyone!

Till next time,

Love, Ivy George x 

The pursuit of...Bath and Body Works



If you know, you know....
Bath and Body Works...America's best kept little secret and their answer to the UK's The Body Shop.
When I was flying and in and out of the states frequently, I would always make sure I paid a visit to this store, picking up little items for family and friends who always used to request the hand soaps, lotions etc.

Recently, a 'flying' friend picked me up a few of these Bath and Body Works 'PocketBac' anti-bacterial hand gels, which are so great to just have in your bag.
I always use them if I have been out on the London Underground all day, at work, after using the filling pumps at the petrol stations etc.. when my hands feel a little grubby and there's no place to wash them, these hand gels are perfect (however, you cannot beat good old fashioned soap and water!!).


From Left to Right: Caribbean Escape, Dancing Waters, Sweet Pea, Japanese Cherry Blossom and Aqua Blossom

They all contain natural ingredients and powerful germ killers to keep hands fresh and there are lots of different fragrances to choose from.  
Unlike other hand sanitisers/gels which are on the market, that can be very drying due to the high alcohol content, these little gems also contain Tahitian Palm Oil which is surprisingly moisturising.   
They also have small little blue moisturising beads within the gel that I love, which pop and burst as you rub it into your hands.


These hand sanitizers also have a really nice long lasting fragrance.  My all time favourite and the one that I always used to buy back in the day is 'Sweet Pea' - described as a blend of juicy raspberries, pear and soft petals (above, far right).
According to the Bath and Body Works website, America's favourite fragrance, is their very own 'Japanese Cherry Blossom'.  This dark red PocketBac is described as having the scent of seductive blossoms from an exotic japanese garden (above, second from right).

You can probably purchase these in the UK from Amazon or other mail order companies, however, expect to pay far more than they actually retail for in the states.  These PocketBac's are currently 5 for $5 which is a bargain, as each 29ml bottle lasts for a very long time - You only need about a 5p sized amount for each application.

I know the readers of this blog who are across the pond will be perhaps already familiar with these - as Bath and Body Works has expanded into Canada and also recently Kuwait, perhaps we won't have to wait too long in the UK before one pops up on these shores!

Till next time,

Love, Ivy George x




The pursuit of...'Stylist' Magazine


Unless you are a commuter, you may not have come across the brilliant, free weekly magazine that is called Stylist.
I first started reading it last year when a friend who used to get the tube everyday, picked one up for me as they thought I would like it.  They were right...I loved it! 
Created and launched in 2009, Stylist is described as being a magazine for smart, successful and sophisticated women.
It is distributed every Wednesday  in London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham (also French Connection stores, Airport Lounges, City centre offices and gyms).  Granted, yes the pages are not glossy and luxurious (it is free after all!) but it gives you everything - fashion, travel, beauty, politics, people and more -  all the things that you would get (and possibly wouldn't get) with a paid for magazine.

I used to look forward to every Wednesday when my friend would bring me the latest copy.
They always have great looking, enticing front covers and even better content with brilliant, intelligent interviews, great features and thoughtful journalism.
Stylist magazine is a champion of women.  You will always find some type of feature or article that celebrates, informs and motivates you.  Also, on their web edition (www.stylist.co.uk) every friday at 1pm they host a 'Lunchtime Masterclass' where you can have a live Q&A webchat with an inspiring, successful woman - how brilliant is that?!

When my friend stopped getting the tube into work, I suddenly lost my weekly dose of this magazine...suffice to say, I really missed it.
I do not buy the plethora of weekly 'celebrity' magazines that are out there anymore.  I became disillusioned some time ago now, by the same (often fabricated) stories that were being churned out by them and the terrible fixation with diets and women's body image.
Stylist was different in that it still gave me my fashion and beauty fix, but in addition, well written features, interviews and items that were actually really interesting, always made me read the mag from cover to cover and come away feeling upbeat and informed instead of beaten up and 'dumbed down'!

'The style list' shows you 30 treats to get through to payday!

Review on Christian Louboutin's brand new nail colour line....look out for my own review on this very soon!!!

After some investigation, I realised that I could take a subscription out for the magazine which means now that I have to pay for it (as there is no collection point near me in Essex).  At only £1 per edition, I found this very reasonable and now I get the magazine delivered straight to my door - yay!
The great thing about the subscription method is that if this magazine is not delivered in your area and you wish to try it you can choose to order just the one single copy or a subscription of your desired length.

This week, Kerry Washington was on the cover (see title picture and below) and there is a really good interview inside where she talks about her Scandal character (obviously....who doesn't love Olivia Pope?!) but also her work with movements and campaigns that are trying to end violence to women and girls. I didn't realise how much of a philanthropist Kerry is and her activist work really is to be admired.


Stylist magazine has won numerous awards since its launch and last year started distributing a weekly edition in France including style capital, Paris! - Such great news for a free women's weekly magazine and testament to the editor, Lisa Smosarski and the rest of the stylist team that have managed to beat the tough 'throwaway' commuter market and have actually stood the test of time.

I hope it continues its values and doesn't 'sell-out' like I feel 'Grazia' magazine has to some extent, to the cheap, tabloid style fodder way of writing, as I really enjoy reading it.

Roll on next wednesday for the next edition!

Do you collect or subscribe to Stylist magazine?  Get in touch and let me know what you think.

Love, Ivy George x

















The pursuit of...The New 'It' Bag And My New 'It' Girl




If I haven't mentioned it already, just so you know, I have a little problem/addiction.......
I LOVE HANDBAGS!
There is probably some kind of technical/medical name for my little addiction to this fashion accessory, however I am unashamed and proud of my collection!...(which is getting scarily larger and larger!!)
I wanted to share with you all these new season autumn/winter collections that are on my wishlist, starting with the gorgeous red Saint Laurent Monogram bag (above).
I adore red bags and this one in lovely quilted leather with the iconic YSL logo and gold chain strap is fabulous.


 

This 'Drew' Chloe bag (above) is to die for. I love the gold hardware and in particular the signature bar and chain. This colour is described by the designer as 'Barbour Khaki' and is a classic colour that is timeless and chic.  I really want one of these!


I am queen of oversized tote bags and this beautiful limited edition 'Cabas Capri' bag from Louis Vuitton is right up my street!  Imagine strolling through the South of France in capri pants, Breton stripes, large sunnies and this beauty on your arm....Fabulous dahling!

 

I love this collection of blush pink pastel bags from Nina Ricci.  I am really into pastels this year, they are so ladylike and feminine and matched with muted greys is a beautifully chic look. 
I also love a snakeskin/alligator effect clutch bag and these ones (above) are modern and sophisticated.


 
The Celine Phantom bag was everywhere this year and has been many a fashion editors favourite.
The highly sought after bag is stunning in navy blue python (above) and is definitely a head turner.

 
Olivia Palermo...what can I say...welcome to my new style crush (above and below). 
I love how she puts her outfits together, her style, how she always looks impeccably groomed and in my eyes, she just hasn't put a foot wrong yet.
What I really like aswell about Olivia, is that it seems like she is the kind of woman who just has great style! - no stylist putting her outfits together - Olivia just has it.
As they say....fashion fades, but style is eternal....
Let me know what your fashion wishlists are for the new season.

Till next time,

Love, Ivy George x





The pursuit of...The City of London

London in the summer is a great place to be.  It is buzzing, scenic, cultural and vibrant.
Finding a great place to sit, eat and people-watch is key to soaking up the atmosphere of this great capital.
The abptly named Exhibition Road, in South Kensington is a fantastic place to do all of the above as it is the middle of an arts and culture hot spot.

I was there the other day for some dinner with friends after visiting the V&A museum (See The pursuit of...Wedding dresses V&A Exhibition) and we decided to eat at Casa Brindisa, a Spanish Tapas restaurant.




Exhibition Road, South Kensington


As we arrived at peak time, we were very lucky to snare a table outside, where we could enjoy the glorious sunshine.
I really felt like I was back on my holidays in Seville as we perused the Spanish delicacies on the menu whilst taking in the sights of this bustling pedestrianised square. 


Delicious menu at Casa Brindisa


Our lovely waiter ensured we were comfortable and recommended some tapas for us to share.
As one of my friends is Spanish, we let him choose for us and started with a lovely refreshing 'Tinto de Verano', an authentic Spanish wine cocktail of red wine mixed with a lemon/lime soda, such as sprite or 7-up.  I adored this drink when I was in Seville so I was very pleased to see that they served it here (below).





We ordered a few tapas as follows: 
Patatas Alioli (Fried potatoes with a garlic mayonnaise) It was absolutely divine (below).


Chicken liver pâté with toasted bread, Gambas Al Ajillo (Chilli garlic prawns), Picos (Breadsticks)...all so delicious! (Below).



Torta De Cañarejal (Warmed semi soft cheese with potatoes and caper berries).





......and for dessert, the three of us shared this Galician Tarta De Santiago (Traditional almond cake served with vanilla icecream) - mouth-wateringly yummy!!



Our waiter was very attentive and didn't rush us at all considering it was a very busy evening. We ended up chatting and eating away for a good couple of hours.
I would definitely go back again as there is lots more on the menu I'd love to try and it is in a prime spot on Exhibition Road for soaking up all the atmosphere and surroundings.



Lovely quaint bookstore - South Kensington Books




After dinner, I parted with my friends and decided to have a little wonder around this lovely part of town.
I stumbled upon this little bookstore (above) which was crammed to the rafters with great literature titles.
love a good bookstore, especially an independent one.  I always feel peaceful and stress-free when surrounded by books and could quite easily spend a few hours in one.


Back of The Royal Albert Hall opposite The Royal College of Music

The Royal Albert Hall is very close to Exhibition Road and I took a lovely scenic walk, passing The Natural History and Science Museums on the way.



The rather imposing and grand Royal Albert Hall


The Albert Memorial - Kensington Gardens
I then finally took a pew on the steps of Kensington Gardens looking out at the front of the Royal Albert Hall.  What a view!....I had the magnificient ornate monument behind me (above) and a great view of the front of the Albert Hall.  There were lots of people just sitting, taking pictures, working and just generally enjoying the warm summer evening.




BBC Proms is currently on at the Royal Albert Hall

The world-famous BBC proms is currently showing at the moment at the hall until the 13th September.
I may try and get tickets for one of the performances to experience it all this year.  I am gutted as their was a special Late Night Prom with Paloma Faith that would have been right up my street as I love her retro, jazz voice....it's currently sold out for this performance but I can just imagine seeing her live with a 42-piece jazz orchestra - that would have been amazing.
The hugely sought after tickets for Last Night Of The Proms is being allocated by ballot this year due to the large numbers of people who want to attend.  This is definitely something I would like to go to one year.




London has something for everyone.  I am always surprised by the little hidden corners and gems that I stumble across just by taking a leisurely stroll through the city.  Even better would be to hire a 'Boris Bike' where you can really experience and see London for all it has......if you're brave!!
Let me know where your favourite place is this summer in London...

Till next time,

Love, Ivy George x















The pursuit of...Wedding dresses (V&A Exhibition)

Dita Von Teese's showstopping wedding dress graces the top of the staircase at the V&A exhibition
(*V&A press picture)

Yesterday I went to the V&A Museum in London where they are showcasing the brilliant Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 exhibition.  
The exhibition charters the journey of the traditional white wedding dress and shows how fashions have transformed and developed through the decades.
Now, you don't have to be getting married or planning a wedding to see or be interested in this show, it is more about how fashion and designers have played a part in this particular item of clothing over the centuries and although it is quite small, it was really interesting.

Tickets are sold in time slots, which is brilliant as it means that crowds are staggered, so there was no lengthy queues or waiting around.
The V&A have amazing curators and their exhibitions are always showcased beautifully.  As you are not able to take photo's inside the exhibition (due to copyright with some of the loaned dresses) I have included some of the press images in this post, given courtesy of the V&A to show you below. 

Unfortunately they didn't have a picture of my absolute favourite dress in the exhibition which is a stunning embellished Temperley dress - The 'Jean' dress - it is so beautiful! (see it here on Temperley's website).

My second favourite is the wedding dress worn by Kate Moss on her wedding day to Jamie Hince.  I remember seeing pictures of this at the time and didn't think it looked anything special, but seeing it up close and personal  at the exhibition, the intricate detail and embellishment on the train really comes to life (below):



John Galliano designed the wedding dress for Kate Moss



Gwen Stefani's wedding dress was also one of the dresses loaned for the exhibition.  Designed by Dior, it is an extravagant dip-dyed silk faille gown that might not be to everyones taste.....but is definitely befitting of the extrovert personality of the singer (below):




There was also Dita Von Teese's amazing purple wedding dress that she wore to marry Marilyn Manson (top of the page) which was accessorized with beautiful purple Christian Louboutin shoes.  It was great to read all the snippets of the stories behind some of these dresses and especially the vintage ones where tradition and culture meant that the dresses had to look a certain way.

What dresses were missing from this exhibition for me?...Ultimately, it was Grace Kelly's iconic wedding dress that she wore when she became Princess Grace of Monaco, Princess Diana's, the Duchess of Cambridge, the dress worn by Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie Bradshaw when she finally married Mr Big in the Sex and The City movie....all of these would have made it that extra bit special for me.

The V&A always have great exhibitions, some of these you have to pay for, like this one, but the museum itself is free (like all london museums) and it's a great way to while away a few hours during the summer.

Taken by me at the underground entrance to the V&A

My outfit yesterday was a fresh white and blue look.  See pictures below for details:

White silk top-River Island, Blue Pencil Skirt-ASOS, Handbag-H&M


It's was all about the details yesterday with the on-trend white varnish mani/pedi and overload of bracelets for some 'arm-candy'. (Above and below).



Lastly, again, I would like to thank my readers for their continued support with this blog.  I am a new blogger - The Pursuit of Ivy George was only born a couple of months ago and I am really enjoying this new experience.
If you enjoy reading this blog and my little journey, I would really appreciate it if you could support me further by nominating me in the 'best newcomer' category in the Bloglovin awards (link here).

Thank you for reading and please subscribe or follow on bloglovin so you don't miss any updates...

I'm going back to my little kitchen office now to start creating a new post for you all!....



Till next time,

Love, Ivy George x





The pursuit of...Moroccan Argan Oil


A while ago in my post The pursuit of...Strong, healthy hair I talked about a new range of hair products that I bought from Avon that contained Moroccan Argan Oil.  It was all from their Advance Techniques 360 nourishment range and it has done wonders for my hair.
Apart from how silky, soft, strong and healthy my hair looks, it has really improved my scalp condition.  I used to suffer from a really dry, flaky scalp which no matter what products I used (prescription or over-counter) would always be persistent. I have noticed that since I have been using this whole range (below) it has improved dramatically.



So,when I saw that Avon had added a Mask and Gloss Spray to the collection, I was eager to see what it was like.


Again, both products are so reasonable in price which is even more of an attraction.  
It is so nice to actually find hair care products that produce brilliant results without having to fork out a fortune.


Avon Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Lightweight Gloss Spray

So...for those of us who like the polished look, this lightweight gloss spray is perfect (above).  I have used gloss sprays and oil sheen sprays before in the past, as the way I often wear my hair requires a need to maintain a sleek and smooth look (perfect for those side-parting ponytails!).
Quite often though, with these types of products you can get a greasy look or product build-up.  Not so with this one from Avon.  It comes out as a very fine mist - very similar to a hair holding spray - and leaves hair feeling soft and glossy without weighing it down.  It really gives a beautiful shine finish and does not leave the hair sticky at all.  It does have some alcohol content which you can smell briefly once sprayed (it does smell like hair-spray), however it is not drying at all, which you often associate with products that have alcohol content....I love this product and it's nearly finished already! - sad times...


Avon Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Mask

My hair has really responded well to the shampoo/conditioner and hot oil treatments from this range as mentioned already.  This mask (above) is just an added bonus really and is especially beneficial during these hot summer days where your hair is exposed to extreme conditions.  I have used it just the once so far and it made my hair super soft.  It is also brilliant at detangling.  Although it says to leave for 5 minutes, I got a more intensive treatment out of it by putting mine on during one hot summer day and then sitting in the garden for a couple of hours with a plastic cap on my head covering it!....It smells gorgeous too!

These products I believe can be ordered online or via your local Avon representative.

Love, Ivy George x 









The pursuit of...Home baking (Part II)


I was in the kitchen again this weekend doing some baking and as you seemed to like my Ginger Cake recipe that I posted just over a week ago adapted from Delia Smith (The pursuit of...Home baking), I thought I would share with you these homemade delicious rustic English scones that I made yesterday too.
So delicious served warm with butter and strawberry jam...or if you're really treating yourself, traditional clotted cream and jam....scrumptious!

Like I said before, once you have the basic equipment/utensils and store cupboard ingredients, you can whip up anything you like without having to make special trips to the supermarket.
I found a recipe by Rachel Cotterill using plain flour as I didn't have any self-raising and adapted it to include glace cherries as well as sultanas.


What you will need:

Scales
Mixing bowl
Baking tray
Wooden Spoon
Teaspoon
Measuring jug

Ingredients:
(Makes 8 medium scones)

200g Plain flour
4tsp Baking powder
25g Sugar
50g Butter
125g of dried fruit (I used 100g of sultanas and 25g of chopped glace cherries)
125ml of milk

Method:

  • Preheat oven to gas mark 8 (220c fan oven) and lightly oil baking sheet.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and sugar.
  • Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in the dried fruit.
  • Add milk a little at a time, stirring until there are no dry patches of flour left.
  • Then either roll out the mixture onto a floured surface and use a cutter to make your scones or just divide the mixture into eight balls for a more rustic look (I did the latter!).
  • Arrange on a baking tray (remember they may spread a little so leave space between each one) and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, but serve warm as they are mouth-wateringly delicious this way!














Voila! Eat and enjoy this summer time treat in the garden!

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
I may have a go at baking my first chocolate cake next time so look out for that one soon - oooh exciting!

Till next time,

Love, Ivy George x

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