Has the massive Monki advertising hoarding above H&M on Queens Rd Central caught anyone else’s eye? At first glance, I thought that it was a cheeky bit of advertising for a rival fashion brand, but it turns out that Monki is indeed part of the H&M group. After being turned away from a recent COS press event (also part of the H&M group) I almost had second thoughts about blogging about Monki, but hey you can’t judge someone by their siblings or indeed their PR agency… yep no-one turns the Instant Goddess away without expecting some sort of acknowledgement; honestly the cheek of it! So Goddesses FORGET COS, it’s all about Monki this week!
So, off I went to Langham Place, Mongkok to find my Monki, and although I wouldn’t go out of my way to venture back, if I happened to be in the area again then it’s definitely worth a look. The prices are keen but as with all of these cheaper labels you need to choose your fabrics wisely as some can look a bit on the cheap side which reminds me of one of my favourite sayings: if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. But once you’ve had a good rummage there are pieces that you can certainly get away with and what’s more the sizing is generous…these are my picks:
Gabby Dress $500 with open back detailing and if you’re worried about what bra to wear our friends at Sheer, Flaunt or Avec Amour will be able to assist, I’m sure.
Pleats can be difficult to carry off but this little number drapes nicely: Lindie Pleat Dress $400, and Beryl Tunic $400
Great run about town to beach / swimming pool option: Maria dress $250 available in orange and black
Have a lace moment but with great pops of colour Hannah dress in Egyptian Blue $400 and Lucia dress in Torch Song Red.
Poppy & Jules
If you’re after more of a luxe feel then local home grown label Poppy & Jules have gorgeous prints and designs in luxurious silks at affordable prices. Their strapline is from “beach to bar” which is of course perfect for any Instant Goddess moment!
Hannette Otten and Julia Groenewegen are the creative duo behind Poppy & Jules. They say of their collection that the pieces are designed for beach wear but by simply exchanging your flats for a pair of high heels, you easily can carry on to the bar and still look elegant… definitely Instant Goddess material! They started off making clothes for themselves but soon ended up making clothes for family, friends and friends of friends and the rest is history: Poppy & Jules was born. The prices are good as well… luxurious and affordable, now that ticks all the right Instant Goddess boxes!
Here are my picks from the current collection..oh and what’s more you can buy online from the comfort of your armchair you don’t even have to leave the house..we love a little bit of internet shoppa shop.
Sophie jersey shorts (approx $680) teamed with Isabella top (approx $440)
Dianne chiffon dress (approx $1020)
Valentine silk tunic (approx $1070)
Sophie trousers (approx $1020)
Ella silk tunic (approx $1065)
Jacky contrast dress (approx $920)
Hannette dress (approx $970)
It’s Sale Time!
Shopping bags and elbows at the ready Goddesses… the summer sales are just about to kick off in earnest. I actually hate sales unless they are quiet and neatly merchandised which rarely happens in my experience! But I do love a bargain and Gap is on sale at the moment… you can also buy online click very right bottom for “English beta test”.
Blue stripe vest dress 40% off at $314, and blue & white chevron strip maxi $349 also available in a striking orange and pink combo
I’m loving the ikat print in these designs blue ikat print dress $314 and green ikat print top $279 (40% off)
Culottes $314..yep you heard me right, culottes! Red stripe tank $149 (not on sale, new in, but still a bargain!).
So our lovely Jaime Smith of Smudge Make-Up Artistry is now officially on maternity leave. She has had her second child (a baby boy) and I’m happy to report that both mama and baba are doing well, but this means there will be no beauty tips for a while… instead it’s going to be all about HAIR! So with no further ado, let me introduce, Andrea Clarke, Creative Director, at the Mandarin Oriental Salon who will be sharing some of her top hair care and styling tips with us.
As we know too well, with age comes that grey hair, I remember a friend once saying that she was going to grow old gracefully i.e not do anything about her grey hair… I thought to myself how ridiculous! Call me vain, but a new hair colour cannot only transform your face and lift your spirits, but knock a good number of years off as well while it’s at it.
But as we also know, constantly colouring your hair takes a toll, so I am always on the look-out for natural alternatives to chemical hair colour. Andrea is an expert in the field of hair colour and she is a fan of Organic Colour Systems which she discovered a couple of years ago on a trip to Herb UK in London and was so impressed with the results that she undertook two training courses learning all about their products and introduced them pronto to the Mandarin Salon’s colour menu. So over to Andrea to tell you more about this wonder product:
Organic Colour Systems is a high performance range of long-lasting, permanent hair colours containing certified organic extracts and natural ingredients. You can create infinite natural tones and exciting fashion colours. This 100% ammonia-free hair colour maintains the hair’s essential moisture and protein levels, so the hair is not damaged by the colouring process. It has the lowest possible quantities of PPD (a substance in hair colour linked to allergic reactions) minimising the risk of reaction. These products are not only safer and kinder to your hair, but offer colours that don’t fade; colours with unrivalled coverage even on resistant grey hair; and colours with natural shine and gloss.
Ahhh, natural shine and gloss makes the Instant Goddess very happy.
Midweek meal inspiration
This week , I give you: Speedy Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes. Now, I have to admit when I first saw this I thought BORING, but it’s so delicious! Happy campers all around when this was served up.
175g (6oz) short-grained brown rice
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
4 x 125g (4oz) chicken breasts, skinless and cut into 2.5cm (1in) chunks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp of green pesto
12 sun-dried tomatoes, halved
20 cherry tomatoes
400ml (13 fl oz) half-fat crème fraiche
Small handful basil leaves
- Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet. Drain the rice and stir through 1tbsp of the olive oil and the lemon juice.
- Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a large, non stick frying pan and add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is beginning to turn golden. Next, add the garlic, onion, pesto and both types of tomatoes, then cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes start to soften.
- Check the chicken is cooked through, then stir through the crème fraiche. Check the seasoning and garnish with the basil leaves. Serve the chicken immediately with the cooked rice.
Tip – I actually didn’t bother with step one and just added some lemon juice to the sauce to taste and served with plain brown rice instead.
Yogi tea saying of the week: “Smile, nothing you wear will look as good”.
Instant Goddess saying of the week: “I’m smiling but not at the COS people this week; show me some love and I might change my mind.”
Until next week Goddesses and remember you are always, always worth it XX