ASOS AW15 Coat and Boot Must-Haves

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Fashion / Jazmin

This in-betweeny weather is making me long for Autumn/Winter to well and truly settle in – I hate the days when it’s not quite warm enough to have bare legs, but not cold enough to wear a full on coat and/or chunky knit. I do love Winter dressing, so decided to have a peruse of ASOS for this year’s boots and coat options, preparing myself for pay day. Here are my current top picks:

BootsASOS AW15 boots round up

 Knee High Boots – £60

Well, aren’t these just perfection?! I’m dreaming of wearing them with dresses, or oversized knits.

Rust Ankle Boots – £85

I have a thing for ankle boots – they go with absolutely everything and this pair are no exception. Plus, they fit in perfectly with the season’s 70s trend.

Gold Ankle Boots – £100

Not quite as versatile as the other pairs I’ve listed, but perfect for Christmas!

Red Suede Ankle Boots – £45

I bought these boots in the leopard print (which is now sold out) and am in love – the shape of the toe, the height of the heel, the comfort, everything. These would be a wise AW15 addition. They also come in electric blue, just to tempt you some more.

ASOS AW15 boots round up

Black Pointed Toe Ankle Boots – £34.99

Yes, I did only include these as they are alarmingly similar to this pair that I seem to wear almost daily. But that means I can tell you with certainty that they will transform your wardrobe – they’re the ideal every day boot.

Cream Pointed Toe Ankle Boots – £42

Similar to the black pair but for when you’re going for a lighter colour palette. An essential, I think you’ll find.

Embellished Snake Print Ankle Boots – £55

I’m not usually one for embellishment, but the clear jewels on these are a great addition! Perfect for dressing up or down.

Black Patent Fringed Ankle Boots – £35

A great style for a more androgynous look – or to toughen up a girly outfit.

CoatsASOS AW15 coats edit

Blue Faux Fur Coat – £95

This dark blue hue is a great alternative to black, for when you want something a bit less harsh. Will look great with rose gold accessories!

Pink Faux Fur Coat – £65

A similar jacket to this was on the AW14 catwalks, which H&M then copied and let me fall in love with, before stocking it for what felt like 30 seconds in just one store. I tried and tried to track one down but failed, so you can imagine my delight when I spotted this on ASOS. Must buy, stat.

Brown Faux Fur Coat – £70

Well this just makes me want snow, leather trousers and biker boots, immediately.

Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat – £80

A leopard faux fur coat is another that I have been trying to track down for a while but never quite got around to buying. I probably wouldn’t spend £80 on something that’s quite so statement, but it’s definitely a coat to take inspiration from.

ASOS AW15 coats edit

Khaki Coat – £75

I love khaki anything, but pair it with clean lines and a super strokeable (so a word) material and we have a winner.

Burgundy (Faux) Leather Jacket – £48

Not one for when the snow hits (in fact, probably not one for much longer, it’s getting that cold!) but one that will transcend the seasons and become a wardrobe classic.

Tan Suede Jacket – £99.99

I’m a sucker for suede at the moment and this jacket is probably my ultimate piece – I have visions of wearing it with my denim flares and a thin polo neck jumper for a bit of a retro look.

Greige Coat – £75

Another wardrobe classic, this coat will last for years and go with literally everything. I love nothing more than classic, clean cut, minimalist pieces and this is definitely one of them.

Seems I have some decisions to make when it comes to which boots and coat I’ll be going for this season and I would love to see your suggestions, too – leave links in the comments, or hit us up on Twitter and let me know what you’ll be buying!

– Jazmin

A Weekend Snapshot: Jazmin

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Food / Jazmin / Lifestyle

Well hi everybody! We’ve been a bit quiet recently as we’ve just been so very busy, but I just wanted to pop up a quick post about what was a lovely weekend, which absolutely flew by in a blur of friends, prosecco, wine and food – heaven, really! Here’s a snapshot of what I got up to:

The Monochromes at El Rincon de Rafa, Manchester

The Monochromes at El Rincon de Rafa, Manchester

On Friday night, we all met up for dinner and drinks at El Rincón de Rafa – a Spanish restaurant in Manchester city centre. Now, I’m not going to go on and review it, as it’s actually owned by my dad so I may come across a bit biased, but needless to say, we all love it there (at least that’s what the other girls say to my face, anyway!)

Prosecco at El Rincon de Rafa, Manchester

We decided on bubbles to celebrate mine and Ellen’s company, Avant PR, being shortlisted for two industry awards and four bottles later, we made our way home suitably inebriated. I saw Ellen and Kelli in the gym the next day and Laura on Sunday (more on that shortly) and everybody agreed that it was one of those nights where you don’t realise quite how tipsy you are until you get outside.

It’s been a while since we all managed to get together for dinner and we had so much fun – we did not stop laughing!

The Monochromes at El Rincon de Rafa, Manchester

Saturday was spent at yoga, getting the car cleaned and then having a couple of old friends over for cheese and wine. Another fantastic night (that I didn’t manage to get any pictures of!)

West Fest, Didsbury, Manchester

West Fest, Didsbury, Manchester

WestFest

On Sunday, Liam and I decided to check out WestFest – a celebration of local businesses in West Didsbury, which basically involved a lot of street food, drinks and music. The weather was glorious so we settled outside with prosecco and Columbian food, before bumping in to Laura and her boyfriend Miles and heading to the nearest beer garden for more drinks.

West Fest, Didsbury, Manchester

West Fest, Didsbury, Manchester

WestFest is such a great event – it’s currently on annually, but I’d definitely be an advocate for it being a more regular thing, not only is it a great opportunity to try out new places, but it also generates more money for the local economy. Win win.

How did you spend your weekend?

– Jazmin

My Week in Photos

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Food / Laura / Lifestyle

This week has been a great one, so I thought I’d round it up with a few photos I’ve taken over the last few days. My iPhone camera roll is like a memory bank so it’s great to actually get the chance to share some!

Sky

This gorgeous view of the sky from my flat appeared one evening when I had the balcony doors open and was just chilling out, I had to get a photo. It’s coming to the end of Summer yet it’s still warm enough to have all the windows open, I love this time of year.

Volta Didsbury

Volta on Burton Road in West Didsbury, Manchester, is my favourite bar at the moment and their food is to die for. Everything is available as small plates that you order lots of for everyone at the table to pick at – literally my idea of food heaven. The gnocchi with cheese was my favourite, just look at it.

Invitation

The invitation to my friend’s wedding arrived and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s going to be one of the best days this year, I can feel it!

Burger and Lobster

Burger and Lobster has opened in Manchester so my boyfriend Miles and I arranged a date night. We ordered both and split them – both dishes were delicious but next time I’d just order the lobster as the burger is a little pricey at £20.

White Cat

My sister sends me photos of the cats at home and I really loved this one of Alice, she looks so cute and poised. I’d love to have a pet in Manchester, but it’s just not possible with rented accommodation and long work hours. One day!

What have you been up to this week?

– Laura

Recipe: An Easy Sunday Roast

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Food / Jazmin

A Sunday roast is pretty much a prerequisite for any weekend, whether you make it or are so hungover that you just make your way to the nearest pub. I’m ashamed to say that it’s usually the latter for Liam and I, but last week we thought it the perfect time to embark upon a challenge and make our first ever roast.

After a week of overindulgence, we didn’t want to go all out crazy with the calories and wanted to get some nutrients involved, so picked up our copy of Hemsley Hemsley‘s ‘The Art of Eating Well‘ and fashioned a meal out of the incredible recipes inside. We made a leg of lamb, dauphinoise potatoes, green beans and a kale salad and it was all incredible. Here’s how we did it:

Lamb

The idea of putting anchovies with lamb seemed a little out there, but we rolled with it and it was definitely a good decision. If you don’t like it, you can always pick them out.

Sunday roast lamb

You will need:

– A leg of lamb (the book recommends a shoulder but we couldn’t find one – the leg was great though!)

– Two tbsp of ghee/duck fat/lard

– Eight garlic cloves, peeled and halved

– Around ten anchovies

– One tbsp dried thyme

– A large glass of red wine (drink the rest with dinner!)

– Two dried bay leaves

– Salt and pepper, for seasoning

Begin by pre-heating your oven at the highest temperature it will go to, whilst you do the rest of the steps.

Pop the lamb in a large ovenproof dish or roasting pan and rub with the ghee/duck fat/lard (we used lard) and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over it (remember, anchovies are salty, so don’t go overboard!)

Then, make ten cuts in to the lamb, about four centimetres deep and fill with the garlic, anchovies and thyme. Once you’ve done that, pour the wine over the lamb and place the bay leaves on top. Cover with a lid or tin foil and place in the oven.

Turn the heat on the oven down to 170 degrees and cook for as long as directed on the packaging for your lamb – ours took about an hour and a half. You want it so that the meat falls off the bone really easily.

It’s as easy as that!

Dauphinoise Potatoes

The recipe for this is actually pretty simple and please do not despair if you’re not an onion fan – I’m not either but you really don’t notice them once they’re cooked.

Potatoes dauphinoise recipe

Potato Dauphinoise recipe

You will need (to feed four, or just two of you if you’re as greedy as us…):

– Butter/oil/ghee, for greasing

– Two medium onions, sliced (we used red onions)

– Thyme (around two tsp)

– 110ml of stock (we used bouillon powder, Hemsley Hemsley recommend bone broth)

– Around 250ml of crème fraîche

– Two garlic cloves

– 800g potatoes (HH recommends kohlrabi but we just used general baking spuds), peeled and thinly sliced

First of all, preheat your oven to around 180 degrees and grease a baking tray with butter. Then, heat some more butter/oil/ghee in a pan and lightly fry the onion and thyme for about five minutes.

Next, add the stock, reduce the heat to a medium level and add the crème fraîche along with some salt and pepper (we used Himalayan pink salt). Simmer for a few mins.

Whilst that’s simmering, line the baking tray with potato, overlapping each slice slightly, before covering it with the sauce.

Then, cover with tin foil and pop in the oven. After an hour, remove the tin foil and pop back in for another half an hour or so. It’s done when the potato is cooked through and browning on top.

Green Beans

These were a lovely little addition to the meal, though in retrospect, we probably would have made a few more as we ate them all verrrry quickly!

You will need:

– 240g green beans

– One tbsp ghee or butter

– Zest and juice of half a lemon

– Salt and pepper, for seasoning

Start by steaming or boiling the green beans until just tender. Whilst they’re cooking, heat the ghee/butter in a different pan, over a low heat. Add the garlic and stir for one minute, before adding the lemon zest and juice.

Once cooked, drain the green beans then toss them through the garlic and lemon mixture and season to taste.

Kale Salad

I’m not usually the biggest fan of kale unless it’s blended in to oblivion and mixed in to a smoothie, but this salad actually changed my perception of it – I think leaving it to marinate for a few hours was key here, as it really softened it up.

Kale salad recipe

You will need:

– 600g of kale leaves, finely sliced

– One leek, finely sliced

– Three tbsp fresh mint, finely sliced

– Six tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– Three tbsp lemon juice

Begin by putting the kale, mint and leek in a large bowl and using your hands, massage the leaves with the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. After about a minute of leaf massaging, set the salad aside and leave for at least an hour, before serving up with the rest of the meal.

Easy lamb Sunday roast recipe

Easy lamb Sunday roast recipe

We served the roast with a jug of gravy (just Bisto, nothing too fancy!) a bottle of white wine (I don’t like red) and followed it up with ice cream for pudding. Overall, a very good go at a relatively healthy roast – and it was super easy, too!

As an extra note, we got all of our ingredients from Aldi – not only is it cheap, but we find the quality of everything (especially the meat) to be really great. That means that not only was it an easy, tasty roast, but it was also quite cheap, too. Definitely worth a trip if you don’t already shop there (I promise this isn’t sponsored – they’re all my own thoughts!)

Let me know if you give the recipe a go, or if you have any links to others we can try – I foresee many more in our cooking future!

– Jazmin

12 Times The Great British Bake Off Related To Your Life

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Food / Kelli / Lifestyle

The Great British Bake Off is everything – Mary Berry is literally my spirit animal, Mel and Sue need to be my aunties, and don’t get me started on Paul. It’s such a relatable show at times; I mean I can barely bake myself on a sunbed without burning, so the actual cookery part goes over my head, but there’s no denying we can all relate to the emotions of the contestants and hosts alike. Here are 12 times GBBO has related to my life (and hopefully yours too).

1. How your brain feels when someone says they don’t drink.

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2. When a guy asks ‘why is a girl like you on Tinder?’

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3. THIS. LOL!

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4. Trying to wake ‘that guy’ up from last night.

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5. How ‘cheat day’ looks.

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6. Rolling home after going for ‘one drink’ after work and trying to decide what to make for dinner.

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7. When someone asks why you are single.

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8. When you see a girl wearing the same dress as you on a night out.

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(NO, BITCH!)

9. When a guy says he ‘loves the outdoors’.

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10. When you think your food is coming but it goes to the table next to you (who came in after you as well. Fume).

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11. When the guy you’ve been flirting with for all of ten seconds tells you he has a GF.

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12. How you feel when checking your phone after a tequila filled night out with the girls

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Are you a fan of GBBO? Tweet me and let me know your thoughts on this post (@TheMonochromes_)

-Kelli