Papa Roti Bun Obsession

15 Jun

Last year, late one evening, as the sun set and the fridge remained empty, my husband and I decided to walk across to our local mall (Sunset, Jumeirah) to visit what looked like a simple little Italian, called Pappa Roti.

Pappa Rotti Sunset Mall Jumeirah 3

Pappa Rotti Sunset Mall Jumeirah 3

 

In our naivety and growing hunger, we had imagined an offering of simple pasta dishes and perhaps a Tiramisu to finish. So we were not pleasantly surprised that the only food the waitress could offer us was a “bun”. A BUN?! We replied incredulously, that’s it? “Yes mam, yes sir”.

We promptly snapped our drinks menus shut and left displaying a very grumpy disposition. We could not understand why this place, that was so often packed with a cool local crowd, was of such interest when it only offered buns.

Roll forward almost a year and I invite a friend for a coffee, we need somewhere local as we don’t have much time, “let’s try that Papa Roti place?” I suggest.

This time, I’m open to the possibility of a bun, so I order a milk ginger tea and a bun combo…

The Father of All Buns

The Father of All Buns

Words cannot describe… but I’ll try: warm, soft, gooey fluffy buttery salty inside, crunchy grainy sweet outside – somewhere between an all butter croissant, soft freshly baked french baguette, and the outer edge of a Victoria Sponge…my god – this bun really is the father of all buns – its indescribably good – unlike anything else and is my new obsession!

If you haven’t tried one yet, you have to give it a go. If you’re like me – the sort of person who can’t say no to sweet treats and warm bread with lightly salted butter… then you are sure to fall in love. The first one I had I practically O’d! 🙂

I daren’t look at the sugar content or count the calories – who cares when a bun tastes this good! (just in moderation… in moderation… I chant this to myself as I drive by the mall…)

K x

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VALENTINES SALE! 20% off Kay Bruce Silk Scarves

13 Feb
Kay Bruce LOVE LONDON Love Letters Silk Scarf - 20% off! 14th - 18th February ONLY

Kay Bruce LOVE LONDON Love Letters Silk Scarf – 20% off! 14th – 18th February ONLY

Hi Style Fans!

As it’s Valentines I’ve decided to give love by way of a hearty discount on my lovely LOVE LONDON silk scarves.

This limited edition collection is very nearly sold out, so to bag a bargain and an original piece for your wardrobe, be sure to visit my online store: http://www.kaybruce.net before 18th February.

Not only am I giving 20% off… I will also cover the delivery costs… generous or mad…? So – there really is no excuse for waiting! 🙂

Happy Valentines – I hope you get a sack load of love letters from the postman tomorrow… as I expect to of course… 😉

Send me a love letter!

Send me a love letter!

K xx

http://www.kaybruce.net

 

 

Lessons in Style – Lesson 6…

12 Feb

Today is the last of the Lessons in Style series. Not that there are only 6 things to know about style, heavens no! But these are the major lessons for me and ones I think can help any lady on her way to confident style.

So – without further ado… I present, Lesson Number 6:

CARE FOR WHAT YOU HAVE.

My husband’s mum holds the world record for oldest, most-well-cared-for…everything! She has a dishwasher that is 38 years old and still runs like brand new – yes, she really is that amazing!

Miele Dishwasher - well cared for 40 years later...

Miele Dishwasher – well cared for 40 years later…

What I’ve learned from her, and her son, is that if you care for something, it lasts – and you value it more.

This lesson is quite simple really, and it’s more of an attitude than anything. Clean your shoes regularly with the right stuff, store your items to protect them when they are not being worn (not crammed into a drawer or stuffed wardrobe), and only launder when necessary.

Now, that latter piece, about only laundering when necessary, may seem an outdated concept, but trust me, even the best fabric technologists haven’t found a way to stop fabric from ageing with every wash.

Only launder when necessary - image courtesy of northern star musings blog

Only launder when necessary – image courtesy of northern star musings blog

You can find a lot can be done with airing and a clothes brush or sticky roller.

I’ve also learned the hard way by ignoring dry clean instructions… it’s true many small designers put Dry Clean on all their pieces as a safe guard, but get to know the best way to treat fibres so you can judge when to follow and when to ignore the label’s advice. Silk, for example, almost always requires a dry clean.

NB: Dry Cleaning uses harsh chemicals, so make sure you air any dry cleaned items thoroughly before wearing and try to avoid dry cleaning items that sit directly on your skin.

As for standard washing. Here are some tips:

1. Don’t over load your machine – give the clothes room so the fibres don’t get crushed.

2. Use the right liquid/powder for your colour/fibre. There are an array of products on the market – special black liquid for blacks, special white liquid for whites, ones for colours, some for wool. Do your homework and make sure you have the tools for the job.

3. When drying out in the sun, make sure your clothes are inside out so the colour is not bleached.

4. Smooth out thicker fibres (like jeans) before hanging them to dry, this will reduce the need for ironing.

5. Ironing your clothes is worth the while… there are plenty of tips on You Tube for fast and effective ironing.

 

So – that’s it for now. I’ll be sure to share any other tips as life progresses 🙂

The most important thing about style is to feel confident and happy in your choices. To be comfortable and to find yourself appropriately dressed for your lifestyle. It’s also important to feel you have a control over your spending, which when it comes to fashion, is not easy to achieve!

Developing your style is a journey of course, and it’s never too late to start!

K x

Lessons in Style – Lesson 5…

11 Feb

Silk scarves, jewellery, hand bags, shoes…. where would we be without accessories?!

Lesson Number 5 is…

CREATE INDIVIDUAL STYLE WITH ACCESSORIES

Find your base – your “uniform” – your trusted pieces and build on top of them to add flair, nod your head at trends and add a dash of wow!

You could dress 5 ladies in the same black dress and make completely different looks from different accessories.

1 Dress 5 Looks - the power of accessorising

1 Dress 5 Looks – the power of accessorising

Accessories can also take a look from day to night and vice versa (accessories can save you from the walk of shame ladies). Or from a smart office look, to a more casual look.

Think about accessorising like you would interior design: You wouldn’t repaint and re-floor your house every season. You probably wouldn’t change the furniture much either, but you might swap around some pictures, re-cover some cushions and buy some new ornaments to re-fresh the look of your home. Use your fashion accessories to re-fresh your look.

Just be careful to apply the same rules to your accessories as you do to the rest of your wardrobe:

1. Only buy something if you LOVE it.

2. Make sure they fit your style personality, figure/face shape and work with your existing wardrobe.

3. Buy the best you can afford. Investing in a FENDI baguette might cost the same as 100 New Look bags… but you can almost guarantee it’ll look 1,000 times better (not always, use your newly trained discerning eye…)

4. Care for your accessories. Store them properly, clean them regularly (I use baby wipes on shoes and bags).

5. Be prepared to edit out accessories that no longer have the oompf factor.

 

Now – tell me, what is your favourite fashion accessory?

 

K x

 

Lessons in Style – Lesson 4…

10 Feb

“Quality over Quantity” – how many times did you hear that growing up? I heard it a lot, and I didn’t take a jot of notice! Most such adult phrases were just BLA BLA BLA to me… I had my own ideas about life – and it involved… spending! I really used to think (and find myself still thinking) – oh, if I just had this, and if I just bought that… then I’d be happy/stylish/sorted/whatever!

And then… I started to grow up (just a little bit!).

What a cat playing poker has to do with Quality over Quantity is beyond me... but it did make me chuckle!!

What a cat playing poker has to do with Quality over Quantity is beyond me… but it did make me chuckle!!

 

I realised, that when I bought something high quality not only did it last longer and stay looking “fresh” longer, but I just felt so much more fabulous wearing it. PLUS I would only spend on something I really loved (Lesson Number 2 – tick!) and if it was high quality to start with – I felt motivated to care for it and keep it that way (lesson still to come…).

SO – LESSON NUMBER 4:

BUY THE BEST QUALITY YOU CAN AFFORD.

This lesson is about becoming a discerning customer. If someone sent me out to buy bricks… chances are I’d come back with a truck load of low quality expensive bricks… because I know nothing about bricks! My point is, if you want to achieve lesson number 4, you need to be able to judge quality and to judge value for money.

Learning to distinguish between high quality and low quality can take a little time, and no doubt you’ll encounter some errors… so clever are these shifty marketeers, but you’ll soon find you can tell high quality fabric from low quality fabric, strong seams from weak and good cuts from bad.

And if you feel like you haven’t got a clue in this regard. Then there are two books I can recommend: “It’s Vintage Darling!” by Christa Weil, and “Style Clinic” by Paula Reed – both contain useful information on the subject.

It's Vintage Darling! Learn the secrets of quality bargain hunting...

It’s Vintage Darling! Learn the secrets of quality bargain hunting…

Of course, it’s difficult to get passed the feeling of “why buy one item when I can buy ten for the same price?”, but if you don’t take quality into consideration, you’ll find yourself with a wardrobe full of tatty pieces you don’t value and… “NOTHING TO WEAR”!

Other reasons to learn from this lesson:

– High quality purchases, though (not always) more expensive, often turn out to have a low “cost per wear” – think about the value rather than the cost.

– The more discerning you become about your fashion purchases, the less mismatched items you’ll have, thus helping you achieve what you learned in Lesson 3… aiming to look fabulous every day, not different every day. Who cares if you wear your gorgeous cashmere sweater every day!?

– If you buy high quality, and for whatever reason, you decide you don’t like the item and don’t want it anymore… it’s more likely to achieve a decent sale price on eBay or at a consignment store than and H&M piece might…

– Environment. Don’t you wonder where all those plastic-y smelling clothes from low-priced high street chains (H&M, Zara, New Look, River Island…) go when no one buys them? Or when they fall apart after 2 washes? What happens to the waste? This thought troubles me. Yes, choice is good, but the rampant production of cheap clothes… if it faded out… would not upset me too much.

– Wouldn’t we all be happier if we valued and cared for what we had even if it meant having less than we have now?

Tell me what you think? Quality or Quantity?

K x

Lessons in Style – Lesson 3…

9 Feb

I spent most of my 20s on the fast fashion hamster wheel. Buying a new party dress every weekend and a new work wardrobe practically every month. And I was never happy. And I was often broke!

Fast Fashion is Like the Eternal Hamster Wheel. Can you really keep up?

Fast Fashion is Like the Eternal Hamster Wheel. Can you really keep up?

 

You see, we are conditioned by the media to think that in order to look fantastic and be stylish, we have to look different every day. A new outfit – paparazzi ready!

Well, firstly, 99.9999% of us will never be “papped” and, secondly, isn’t it just wasteful and exhausting to try to look different all the time? Not to mention, a little schizophrenic?!

One of the many pleasing attributes of Kate Middleton is her insistence on wearing the same item on more than one occasion (do I hear gasps of shock?!). But who could accuse her of not looking stylish – ever?

Kate Middleton knows how to work a capsule wardrobe

Kate Middleton knows how to work a capsule wardrobe

A year or so ago, I had a friend come to stay for 5 days and noted that she wore pretty much the same look the whole time, day and night. She mixed and matched a few pieces and looked her tidy, smart and stylish self the whole time, with just a few subtle changes to the looks. And although at first I found it a bit odd, in the end I admired her for it, how wonderful to travel and pack so simply, and to be so sure of your look as to wear it daily with ease?

SO, LESSON 3 IS:

AIM TO LOOK STYLISH EVERY DAY, NOT DIFFERENT EVERY DAY.

And don’t hesitate to repeat looks regularly or to work your own “uniform”. This doesn’t mean you have to look boring or that your look can never change, just that you have a fixed set of basics that you know work for you, for every occasion.

For adding personality to your look, tune in to Lesson 5…

K x

Lessons in Style – Lesson 2…

8 Feb

I recently read a cool little book called Lessons from Madame Chic. It’s written by an American girl called Jennifer Scott, who went to study in Paris for her degree. She was placed with a well-to-do Parisian family and wrote this book about everything she learned from her experience. I can recommend it!

Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott

Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott

So, lesson number 2 is from the ever-formal Madame Chic:

IF YOU DON”T LOVE IT, DON”T BUY/BORROW/OWN/WEAR IT.

How many times have you accepted an item of clothing or accessories from a friend and wore it even though you didn’t really like it, just so not to offend them?

Or bought items that you didn’t really like, but felt would “do the job” in a moment of panic?

I’m not suggesting you start throwing your birthday and Christmas gifts back in the face of the generous giver, but rather that if you genuinely don’t like something, don’t wear it out of obligation. And if you have the chance to be honest and tell the person that you don’t like it without offending them, be brave!

And if you don’t truly LOVE an item, don’t spend your precious money on it, even if it means you have to wear your old faithful LBD to the party instead of following the host’s request for “something gold”-  wear a gold accessory instead. Better to offend your host and look fabulous than to please your host and look offensive!

Imagine how amazing it would feel to love everything in your wardrobe….home/life?! Then, every day you would feel that happy feeling you get when you are wearing something you love.

Michelle Dockery Loved the Burberry Owl Tee...

Michelle Dockery Loved the Burberry Owl Tee…

If you’re worried that you only love a few things you own and need the rest to give your look variety… then tune in for tomorrow’s lesson…

K x

Lessons in Style – Lesson 1…

7 Feb

I like to read books about style and image, especially in relation to psychology. I used to think that concern for how we present ourselves was a frivolous pastime for bored housewives and the eternally vain (who? moi?!), but over the years I’ve come to realise that personal image, style, fashion… whatever you want to call it, is a fundamental part of self-development and integral to self-confidence.

Vanity the preserve of bored housewives?

Vanity the preserve of bored housewives?

When society “progressed” from the social rules that used to dictate attire, we gave ourselves freedom of expression and the liberation to eschew the importance of image. Yet, what we lost, was perhaps the sense that how we dress says a lot about us; who we are, what we care about, how much we respect ourselves… and those around us.

Long gone are the days of Dressing for Dinner!

Long gone are the days of Dressing for Dinner!

Living in the Middle East reminds me of the obligation to dress for the comfort of others, and whilst I don’t wish to conform against my will, I do see value in putting in time, effort and careful consideration into what we wear.

For the next 6 days I will share the lessons I have learned (and am yet to fully put into practise!):

LESSON 1

IF YOU’RE BORED OF STYLE, YOU’RE BORED OF LIFE!

We’ve all been there, myself regularly in fact: when putting in the effort to look good every day just seems somehow so exhausting. Shouldn’t people see passed how you look and enjoy what you have to offer beyond the exterior?

days when the effort doesn't seem worth it

Britney: days when the effort doesn’t seem worth it

 

The truth is, how someone presents themself on the outside is a reflection of what’s going on inside, and we all read one another from the way we look; it’s human nature, so why try to deny it?

Remember, there’s no such thing as looking good “effortlessly”, even though we are led to believe it. I used to live with a friend who looked put together and stylish every single day. Before I lived with her, I assumed she just had that gift for throwing things on and looking fabulous, but once I saw behind the scenes I realised how much effort and time was spent in order to achieve daily perfection.

Looking as good as Olivia takes effort!

Looking as good as Olivia takes effort!

So – lesson number 1; if you want to look stylish, you’ve got to make the effort. Build a wardrobe of pieces that make you look fantastic, compliment your figure and colouring and work well together to give you variety and options for different occasions. And chuck out the stuff you know you shouldn’t wear, so in a moment of weakness, you have no choice but to look fantastic!

OK, I’m not saying it’s easy and this is not something that can be achieved over night. Nor is it something that once accomplished will last forever, it’s an ongoing process of development and refinement. But if you’re not in the game… you can’t hope to win it.

And if you can’t find the motivation for it, maybe there is something inside you that needs to be dealt with first. Try reading: You Are What You Wear: What your clothes reveal about you. And uncover those un-stylish skeletons in your subconscious closet…

Follow me to receive the next 6 days’ lessons direct to you inbox!

K x

Trapeze Totes – slow trend?

28 Jan

Hello Style Lovers!

If, like me, you are subscribed to the usual fashion suspects (Net a Porter, Savoir Flair, My Wardrobe, Vogue…etc…) then you will surely have been urged to ride the “new” trend for Trapeze Totes…

Louboutin Trapeze Tote

Louboutin Trapeze Tote

They are out in force this season, with options from most of the top designers… I smell a fashion rat… why now? Why all at once? Is the fashion industry really so commercially trend-led, even at this level?

It’s just, it seems a little late coming. The YSL Downtown bag, which I wanted so so bad (in ostrich), was touted around town by the likes of Mossy back in 2008 already…

YSL Downtown Tote Ostrich Hide

YSL Downtown Tote Ostrich Hide

 

Kate Moss with YSL trapeze tote "Downtown"

Kate Moss with YSL trapeze tote “Downtown”

So why did it take so long for the trend to be picked up by other designers?

For me, trapeze totes are gorgeous – the style is so cool it’s hot! But I’m wondering what went on here and why YSL was so far ahead of the curve?

The mysteries of modern living.

Here’s my pick of the new trapeze totes… including my FAVOURITE by Ellie Saab:

DVF Trapeze Tote

DVF Trapeze Tote

 

Celine Trapeze Tote

Celine Trapeze Tote

 

Ellie Saab Satchel - trapeze style

Ellie Saab Satchel – trapeze style

 

Valentino RockStud Trapeze Bag

Valentino RockStud Trapeze Bag

Generous donations of the Ellie Saab satchel would be gratefully received 😉

 

K x

 

Sienna Miller Golden Globes – Hit or Miss?

23 Jan
Sienna Miller Golden Globes 2013

Sienna Miller Golden Globes 2013

Now, I’ve been thinking this over for a few days already… so I know there is already a lot of coverage out there on Sienna’s choice of attire for this year’s Golden Globes… but as I can see, I’m one of the few who finds her choice perplexing…

She is beautiful. So wearing a bin liner with her head covered in vomit, this girl would still look fabulous, but for me, this outfit choice… was a miss.

I find it shapeless and frumpy on her. It would look wonderful on a more mature woman or even on someone of supermodel height, but for her, I find it takes away from her youthful glow and zesty style image.

Just because you became a mum, doesn’t mean you have you to dress Mumsy – Sienna. Why not get your sis to knock you up something fabulous next time?!

K x