First experience of the Henley Regatta with Debenhams

It is not your average day when you open up your daily inbox to find a shiny email with an invite to the Henley Regatta. As if this wasn’t cool enough to begin with, it was in fact made better by being sent from the lovely team at Debenhams. I had exactly one month to prepare and plan my outfit down to the last detail, and for those who know me, this was just about enough time! Read on to find out all about my first experience of the Henley Regatta with Debenhams and what I wore…

The day was just glorious, puffs of white clouds scattered over the stretch of blue sky, a wonderful buzz of excitement from our girl gang as the day was about to commence. I chose to wear a traditional fascinator for the event and went with a colour palette inspired by the scenery. My floating dress from Debenhams was effortless to wear and I matched some of the yellow in my dress with mustard accessories…

Ariella London Green ‘Arden’ strapless stripe high low dress

Yellow patent ‘Jessica’ high block heel ankle strap sandals

Quiz Black Loop Jewel Fascinator

The races were underway in no time at all, in one and a half glasses of rosé to be exact!

Our riverside enclosure was situated at the very start of the race so we could watch everything get going, many spectators were crowded round the riverbank to cheer on the teams.

Lunch was served shortly after, and we were treated to a three-course meal which catered perfectly to my gluten free needs.

Oh yes, we brought Alice along for some fun as well. I managed to sneak her into the enclosure just long enough for the Debenhams teams’ hearts to melt, then she went back to having fun with dada.

Here we are at the end of the day, ready for an air-conditioned ride home!

My first experience of the Henley Regatta with Debenhams and these amazing influencers will go down as one of the highlights of my blogging journey so far. Such a diverse range of talent and charm, and I cannot thank the Debenhams team enough for hosting us.

Cheers!

Saharasplash x

Have you ever been to the Henley Regatta? Let me know in the comments below or if you’re dying to go after this blog post 🙂

Are you caught up with my previous post on the SEBC meet at Jump Street Chelmsford??

 

London Fashion Week Day Five

Woohoo we made it to day five! Or rather I did haha! I think I saved my best look till last as a lot of thought went into this outfit inspired by Harley Quinn. For those of you who have experienced fashion week you will know when I say how much hard work it is. I mean I’m still covering it and we are now in October! It’s not just about the shows, it’s about you, your friends, making new contacts and above all having a good time. So that’s why it is so important to not overdo it, to not try and go to absolutely everything because it’s just not possible. Choose smart and whatever happens, wear flats on the last day! Here is London Fashion Week Day Five for you…

My Outfit

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My outfit number five consists of a custom made Harley Quinn jacket (because I just had to!) and I ‘m wearing ripped denim shorts and a dark red bralette/choker set from Boohoo. My bag as ever is by the fantastic brand Today I’m Me. I want to thank Today I’m Me for helping make each outfit look so great and it’s always a pleasure working with my favourite bag boutique!

Little Extras

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These stunning earrings are by Roz Buehrlen, a British designer who is based in Kent. These are Gold Swallow earrings which also come in silver too. I think this adds something a little extra to the look but still manages to maintain its concept.

Catwalk Highlights

Fun Affair

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Fun Affair was such a great show. We had lots of variety and I got the best views from the front row. I would definitely use the caption ‘woke up like this’ to describe this show. It was effortless dishelvement as clothes were put on backwards with bralette on top of a crisp white shirt- I’ve actually seen this out and about recently so very on trend! It was mix and match but done very stylishly and I could see that a lot of thought had gone into each look.

David Ferreira

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These last ones came out a little dark so apologies for that. Lighting isn’t always something that can be counted on for a fashion show especially as the music and light work together to reflect the mood of the designs. David Ferreira was absolutely worth the wait and I didn’t care that I didn’t have a seat either. For me this season reminded me of the inspirational Lady Gaga so much. The powerful message to ‘break free from your stereotype’ along with some exquisite garments really stuck wth me and I think that Gaga would definitely rock any one of these looks.

Saharasplash x

Thank you so much for reading my five part fashion series, to catch up on the previous posts just click here

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My October Wishlist

Guess what October means? It’s my birthday!!! Yes I’m still in the mid-twenty range of being excited every time my birthday comes around. I do wonder though that as my twenties begin to fade around me whether I will have the same enthusiasm- but for now, I’m still cool with celebrating another year older and hopefully wiser in just 7 days time.
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It won’t be a big celebration this year, mainly down to the fact that all the money we have will be going towards the wedding in November, but I’d like to think that my birthday this year will be spent surrounded by the ones I care about the most. This includes the French dip gluten free burger from TGIs- if you haven’t tried it, you are missing out! I thought that I would do an October wishlist to mark the occasion. Here are just a few things that I’m crushing over right now, I’d love to know if you are lusting over any of these too!

1. Dyson hairdryer

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This is something that I’ve been wanting to try out for ages. The advert even came on as I was sat in the cinema waiting for the new Bridget Jones movie to start. Everywhere I turn I keep getting glimpses of this marvellous device and I am just itching to give this a whirl through my hair!

2. L’Occitane shampoo

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L’Occitane is a brand I keep coming back to. This time I’m daydreaming about their fabulous shampoo L´Occitane. I’d love to lather up with their body and strength or the citrus verbena shampoo as they both look divine.

3. Magic Mike Live tickets

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 So I can’t get this out of my head ever since I found out that Magic Mike was being turned into a live show in Vegas. I signed up to the alerts newsletter (obviously) and recently Cosmo’s snapchat has been giving us some amazing backstage peeks of the pecks! So naturally tickets to this show (starting March time next year) is on my October wishlist.

4. Some new lingerie

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Ever since getting Now TV, I have been re-watching some of my favourite shows in my spare time (not that there is much of that!) I’ve been watching Sex and the City, and this really has awakened a newfound desire to get some good lingerie. The 4 New York fashionistas really do get to wear the most stunning undergarments and as each episode passes I hear La Perla calling out to me, though I am trying to ignore it as best I can!

5. Celicioso cupcakes

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This last one is something a little bit more personal. For those of you who aren’t gluten free and haven’t lived/ been to Madrid you probably won’t know about the most fantastic gluten free bakery called Celicioso. I discovered Celicioso while on my year abroad there and it’s a bakery 100% devoted to gluten free delicacies. I went there practically every week and now 3 years on I miss their cupcakes so much!

 

So there you have it- my October wishlist. Obviously some more attainable than others, but hey, it’s just a wishlist right? Why not dream big? I know that whatever happens my October will be the best yet regardless of what I get, as October officially marks the month of my hen party, and what’s more exciting than that?!

 

Saharasplash X

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Liked my October wishlist? Then check out this post too!

Marinade Masterclass with Heinz

Things started off pretty well this week for Yasmine and I as we made our way to the ever trendy East London for something very special. I made a bad decision to walk from Bethnal Green to Shoreditch High St in the midday heat to catch the overground but we made it on time, if not a bit hot and sticky! We were in for a real treat as we rocked up to the Berber & Q Bar and Grill for a marinade masterclass with Heinz.

We had the Berber & Q to ourselves for the duration of the afternoon, it was such a great place for the type of food we were cooking- homey but incredibly saucy which really reflected our surroundings.

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We got settled in and met our masterchef Josh Katz as well as the Heinz team, the Golin team and some great guys from Unilad too. We got our very own Heinz aprons to wear as we went through everything from kitchen safety to the ingredients which looked so good!

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Heinz Peri Peri & Honey Glazed Smoked Chicken Wings

For the rub- preferable to rub and marinade the day before

1tsp Smoked Paprika

1tsp Cayenne

½ tsp Cumin, ground

1tsp Black Pepper, coarse

 

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For the marinade

60ml Heinz Peri-Peri Sauce

1tbsp Lemon Juice

10ml Maple Syrup

 

For the glaze- combine all together and heat on med/high before using on the wings

150ml Heinz Peri-Peri Sauce

90ml Clear Honey

30ml Lemon Juice

½ tsp Black Pepper, coarse

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The Kitchen had its very own smoker so as soon as we had glazed the chicken all over, in they went! If you don’t have a smoker, here’s where the BBQ comes in. We grilled the lemons and added chopped parsley to finish this dish.

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BBQ Whole Head of Broccoli, Harissa & Charred Spring Onion Aioli

The next part we got a little hotter as we went over to the grill with some fabulous veg. I learnt how to blanche and flame grill a broccoli too!

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For the Charred Spring Onion Aioli

80ml Heinz Salad Cream

50g Crème Fraiche

2 Spring Onions, blackened on the grill & finely chopped

1 Garlic Clove, minced or finely chopped

15ml Olive Oil

15ml Lemon Juice

 

After blanching the broccoli we put them on the grill to make them lovely and crispy. To garnish we used 2 tbsp harissa and roasted hazelnuts to go with the Aioli, I cannot believe how intense and flavoursome this dish was!

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We also did a duck recipe too but I couldn’t have it due to the soy sauce involved. But luckily, Josh was kind enough to create my very own duck and seasoned with a little Heinz Peri Peri, salt and pepper! All the sauces we used in the recipes from Heinz were gluten free and I think you should definitely try using some for a marinade or glaze the next time you fire up that BBQ! Thank you so much to Berber & Q, Josh, Heinz and Golin for such a wonderful marinade masterclass with Heinz, we are now fully stocked up on all the essentials for a while!

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Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading my marinade masterclass with Heinz, why not check out some more great gluten free food, this time from Sainsburys!

Let’s Celebrate World Photography Day

I don’t know if you know but today is World Photography Day! August 19th this year sees us welcome 177 years of taking photos- how incredible is that?! Photography is something that is close to all blogger’s hearts as without it I doubt social media would be the same, and our blogs would definitely take a hit without the beautiful imagery that defines our stories. We all spend every day looking at other people’s photos and videos so I think that it’s really important we all take a few minutes to appreciate what I’m talking about in this post- Let’s Celebrate World Photography Day!

The way we feel about photo taking

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Our views and perceptions of photo taking has really spiralled outwards and literally taken over the world this past decade. Pretty much everyone you meet will have some sort of photo taking equipment, be it their phone, tablet or the DSLR camera strapped to their necks. We have taken photographing to such a place where I can’t think of a single day where I haven’t taken a photo, the evidence is right here in my iPhone camera roll! To put it another way, we are simply obsessed with capturing the image of the world around us. I think we have started to realise that life is so short and we must steal every second, every memory for later in our lives and for future generations too (who no doubt will get hours of happiness scrolling through all our selfies!).

The way we store photos

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The way we store photos has also taken many turns. I don’t think we will be able to accept a photograph being stored in simply one place ever again. Gone are the days of having CD ROMS and USB sticks filled with photos- why bother when technology makes it so much easier for us with lovely clouds these days? My photo storage doesn’t stop there though; I store my photos on my phone, computer hard drive, my Google Drive, and then every 6 months I do a complete back up on my external hard drive too. I know there’s plenty of people out there who take photo storage as serious as I do- photos are precious right? I’d be devastated if a single album went missing and I think a lot of people feel the same way.

The way we share photos

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So sharing photos. This can be anything these days from sending the ugliest selfie to your sister to sending your favourite photo with your nan to her on a birthday card. We have infinite possibilities when it comes to sharing photos with whoever we want, and sometimes with those we don’t want too if we’re not careful! Privacy of photos is a blurry subject, with copyrights being infringed probably every second of the day. This is a very sensitive subject for bloggers and photographers who make a living out of sharing their photos so do spare a few seconds to really appreciate each and every photo you look at today and understand that there is always a person behind that image.

Finding that perfect shot

Let's Celebrate World Photography Day

I just wanted to say a little about finding the perfect shot. I think that the main reason behind taking so many photos is that we want each one to be better than the last. We want to somehow constantly improve on and be proud of every snap we take. Instagram really has set the bar for aesthetically pleasing imagery over the past 5 years and it’s made us look at photographs in a completely different way. We analyse, compare, edit with such ferocity that it is sometimes exhausting trying to strive for the level of perfection we see in other images. Don’t get me wrong, I love using Instagram, but make sure you are happy with your images before the filters are added!
Now to show you a wonderful innovation in taking snapshots from social media and making something new out of them, I’m going to hand you over to this short video which will explain everything:

Let’s celebrate World Photography Day today and remember to make each one count! Here’s one I took which really captures the moment!

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Saharasplash X

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Also this week I am celebreating National Afternoon Tea Week! Check my post on having a free from afternoon tea here

Free From Afternoon Tea

This is a really big post which I am so excited about! Not only do I get to eat loads of yummy snacks, I can tick off one pretty big thing from my 2016 goals list, and that is to do a collaboration with Sainsbury’s! Sainsbury’s are without a doubt my favourite UK supermarket and I was so surprised to find this particular package waiting on my doorstep last week. The package in question sent to me was a massive bag filled with all the necessary equipment to have a fabulously free from afternoon tea in celebration of National Afternoon Tea Week.

For those living a gluten free lifestyle for whatever reason, I’m sure you have noticed the staggering changes in the free from market over the past 5 years. It is getting bigger and better with every launch, and Sainsbury’s have very recently revamped their entire range of free from products. I’ve tried pretty much everything out as I’m the type of coeliac who sees a new product and instantly feels like it’s my duty to buy it, eat it, and if it’s good then tell all my gluten free friends and family about it! I even went and bought the new Sainsbury’s birthday cake even though it’s not my birthday for months, no shame in admitting that one! So, onto the free from afternoon tea…

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I set everything up in my mum’s back garden as it was a beautiful and sunny day.

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My favourite from the range is defintiely the chocolate brownie! Before too long, the afternoon tea had a gate crasher…

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As pretty as my pooch is, he wasn’t getting any of it! It didn’t stop him having a sniff and licking his lips though!

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Thanks to Evie for the necklace loan for this shoot!

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These fantastic new treats are just waiting for you to try at your local Sainsbury’s and are all free from wheat, gluten and milk:

Rich Fruit Cake Slices

Fruity Granola Slices

Cherry & Almond Slices

Chocolate Brownies

Mini Bakewell Tarts

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What are you doing to celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week? Whether you have a food allergy or not, everyone should get to have some fun with a lovely afternoon tea this week!

Saharasplash x

 

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