My perfect festive day in the creative quarter would definitely start with the delicious and healthy protein pancakes and berries from the Body Byrne menu in Balfes. I would then walk to Parfumarija, this is the only place for truly special scents in Dublin. Marija knows everything about the perfect scent and it's fascinating to listen to the origins of the brand she stocks and the customer service is excellent.
Paula Rowan gloves is right beside and I love Paula's quirky details on her super soft leathers especially studded long gloves (definitely great spot for some present shopping). I adore the parkminster candles in Mo Muse in Powerscourt townhouse centre, the mandarin spice is my favourite one as it's brilliant for handy extra gifts to keep at home. The lights and decorations are so lovely at this time of year and you can buy gorgeous Carol Mahon prints in Mo Muse the amazing talent who created our Iris inspired Christmas window.
I would get a take away coffee in my favourite spot Clement and Pekoe and stroll over to Costume Boutique where the Tuckers have the best edit of this seasons designer fashion (it's always good to do little self gifting or drop heavy hints - I have my eye on an divine navy Dice Kayek dress).
I have a lot of foodies in my family so I love Cocoa Atelier for chocolate treats and they do gorgeous syrups to add to drinks nice stocking filler. Appassionata is where I go for all my flowers for my home, gifts and events. Ruth from Appassionata is so creative, I love to just take a look outside the store it reminds me of the entrance to Liberty in London.
To finish off the day I would go to cocktails in the newly opened Wilde restaurant in The Westbury, the interior is to die for. I would either stay for dinner here or head to Coppinger Row, another favourite hot spot of mine sure to get you in the festive Spirit.
The one downside about winter is that the weather can be very harsh on your skin. Read on to find out about how I protect my skin from the winter weather!
Firstly, I have always looked after my skin, it's something my Mom taught me from a young age. I'm definitely not a beauty junkie, I tend to use the same brands of makeup and Noelle Mc Crory does my makeup for shoots and events, but skin care is something I definitely believe in investing in.
If I could tell my younger self something it would be "wear sunscreen all the time." I lived in New York for years and definitely wish I had taken better care of my skin in the really hot summers. One facial I do recommend if you are in NY is the triple oxygen facial in Bliss Soho, you can buy it in an at home pack from Harvey Nichols and it's really good too.
However, after having 2 kids my skin really changed and I got a lot of bad pigmentation and I really didn't know what to do. My good friend Ingrid Hoey recommended the amazing genius that is Peggy Stringer in The Laser Clinic Monkstown and I have been going to her ever since. My Mom also swears by Peggy and she's a total beauty lover. Just take one look at Peggy's amazing skin and you will be in awe!
Peggy put me on a course of the Jan Marini bioglycolic facial cleanser which I use morning and evening after my regular cleanser, which is the foaming one from Liz Earle (I love her products). I now use the night and day Jan Marini creams and have a lot less dryness and break outs which is amazing. I used to get these little white bumps called "Melias" from heavy eye cream so I just use a light Aveeno one.
For a quick home fix I love the Liz Earle deep cleansing face mask. I also swear by Origins spot lotion, it comes in a tiny green bottle and is brilliant for naturally clearing up breakouts. For me, working all day and weekends in the run up to Christmas is tough on your skin as the heating in the shop can makes your skin dry so I drink lots of water. However, life is all about balance so I do still love a glass of bubbles but I never sleep in my makeup, (well almost never!).
The festive season is well under way so today I thought that I would share with you what's on my wishlist this festive season.
The Wave Collection - Loulerie Fine Jewellery
The triple wave diamond earring I designed for this season is my personal favourite from the collection. I wanted a diamond earring that I could wear in the daytime with a grey cashmere sweater and also in the evening for cocktails. When you put these earrings on you instantly feel amazing, what's a better gift to give than making someone feel extra special!
I designed the wave bangle to complement the elegant shape of women's hands and wrists, the soft wave diamond bangle gentle curves around the bend of your wrist and adds subtle sparkle especially in the black diamond style.
Lulu FrostI have fallen in love with Lulu Frost I am delighted to be the exclusive stockist of such an amazing brand. I had the pleasure of welcoming Lisa Salzer, the designer behind Lulu Frost, to Dublin for a trunk show and she is as lovely and stylish as she is talented. Her grandmother worked in an estate jeweller and her Mom is her vintage buyer and she is based in the heart of Manhattan so her collections echo these stunning influences.
On my wishlist from Lulu Frost this season are the Proxima earrings and the mesh necklace (as seen in the picture above) we sold out the first time we had them. I like to style them over white or black knitwear and under a shirt also.
Resort 2017 Collection - Oscar de la Renta
This collection has just arrived in store! I was thrilled to launch Oscar de la Renta jewellery this season in Loulerie. Oscar de la Renta is such an iconic designer who counted Jackie Kennedy as one of his clients. His jewellery styles have really stood the test of time and bring instant glamour to any outfit. The earrings are perfect party season wear. I also think you can't beat a stunning cocktail ring for Christmas and this style has the most stunning colour combination.
I hope you're all as excited about this season as I am!
More is more, and less is a bore!
Photo : Pinterest
Today Aoife our Loulerie Visual Merchandiser takes over the Loulerie blog!
Have you seen our new Christmas window? Pastel purples and glimmering gems all under the watchful eyes of the infinitely wise and perennially cool Iris Apfel. If you don’t know who Iris is, google now and I guarantee you will fall instantly in love with her!
We have chosen to pay homage to Iris, her style and her fearless nature when it comes to experimenting with jewellery, fashion and making the most out of life. Iris is a law unto herself. Does anybody else want Iris to be their best friend? I wouldn’t mind taking a peek in her jewellery box, that’s for sure!
Aoife on Iris
This year marks my third and not to mention favourite Christmas window design for Loulerie. I decided to eschew our traditional rustic Nordic display and go for something a little different this year. Something that embodies the Loulerie ethos in being both design-led and fashion-inspired. It turns out that something was a someone, the iconic Iris Apfel.
I first stumbled upon Iris when I watched the brilliant documentary ‘Advanced Style’ by Ari Seth Cohan. Iris was one of the fabulously stylish ladies filmed living in New York and her style has provided inspiration for people that extends beyond clothing. After that I had to know more about Iris. I started working in Loulerie and instantly fell in love with Alexis Bittar's’ collection (I don’t like to play favourites but each season I am left in awe of his fashion forward take on fashion jewellery). And once again Iris and I crossed paths, this time as the face of Alexis Bittar's Spring 2015 collection, and she continues to inspire each of his collections.
Louise on Iris
Moving to New York at 22 I became aware of Iris Apfel as she is the quintessential New Yorker and inspiration for any fashion lover. For me, she is the queen of accessories she sees the fun in fashion and is never afraid to take risks and please herself resulting in such a unique look truly special to her. I think she has really put fashion jewellery on the map and highlighted the importance of jewellery and it's power to transform any outfit.
Photo: Instagram @louleriedublin
Print: Instagram @carolmahonillustrates
Earlier this year I received the lovely gift of the Iris Apfel print by Dublin-based illustrator Carol Mahon, from my dear friend Ingrid Hoey. The photo above hangs pride of place in my sitting room.
When Aoife pitched the idea of focusing our 10th Loulerie Christmas window around Iris' iconic style I instantly knew it would be a perfect fit. After all only Iris Apfel could be placed in a window of handcrafted fashion and fine jewellery and still hold her own.
It was a natural progression to get Carol who had captured Iris’ playful spirit so well on this beautiful hand drawn print. Aoife immediately set to work on bringing our Christmas window to life with the help of Carol.
Carol on Iris
I first saw Iris in a magazine a few years ago. It was just a little picture of her at some event, I don't remember which one but I do remember immediately thinking “who is this amazing lady!?” and so I jotted her name down to look her up. I subsequently googled her and started watching lots of her interviews.
Obviously, I adored her style but what I really loved was her dry wit and pull no punches attitude. She was just so refreshing! I like to draw people who are a little offbeat and have some character to them, not just your typical every-day model or celebrity. So I started to keep a little folder of images of Iris knowing I wanted to draw her.
Photo : Carol Mahon (Instagram: @carolmahonillustrates)
Shortly after, the whole advanced style movement started making waves and the documentary came out and Iris started landing lots of Ad Campaigns. When I saw the Kate Spade Spring Ad Campaign I was like I HAVE to draw this! It was the perfect culmination of her style and playfulness and I loved it! Then the Iris documentary was released and I dragged my sister along with me to the Lighthouse Cinema to watch it. I think I fell completely in love with Iris that day! So when Aoife from Loulerie contacted me about illustrating their Iris Christmas window it was a no-brainer! I got to draw one of my favourite people and lots of gorgeous jewellery – what’s not to love!? As well as collaborate with a brilliant Irish independent business on a project spearheaded by women – amazing!
I am so delighted and flattered that I got to work with Loulerie on what I can only refer to as a total dream job.
Photo : Carol Mahon www.carolmahon.com
Come visit us in store to see our Iris inspired display, I would love to hear your thoughts on Iris Apfel’s one of a kind style that inspired our Christmas window.
P.S. Keep an eye out for some exciting giveaways across our social media over the coming Christmas season. #alouleriechristmas
I first heard about Growing For Growth (GFG) from my good friend and very talented florist Ruth Monahan and I was delighted when I found out I had a place on the 8th cycle. I opened Loulerie in August 2007 and had 6 amazing months before the recession hit and had a devastating effect on our economy and especially on new businesses in retail. I continued to grow Loulerie through those tough years by focusing on bringing exclusive brands to my customers and offering them something really special and unique and I owe everything to their continued support and loyalty.
I am now looking forward to our 10th Christmas open and have an incredible team of 5 staff so this was the perfect time for me to do Going for Growth and focus on where I can take Loulerie next. The opening forum was in The Marker Hotel and was such an inspiring day among such strong successful and passionate women. Paula Fitzsimmons, the founder of GFG, wanted to design a program for women who were serious about growing their business with the belief that entrepreneurs learn best from each other. Paula is an incredible woman and so supportive of female entrepreneurs it was definitely the most rewarding and challenging thing I have done since starting my business 10 years ago.
I was so lucky to have the amazing Louise Phelan VP of PayPal as my lead and we met every month for 6 months with my fantastic group made up of Susannagh Grogan, Caroline Browne, Roisin Lafferty, Gemmarose O'Brien, and Alison Kealy. We had very diverse businesses but all shared the same goals and encountered the same struggles in growing our businesses. Everything discussed at the round tables is confidential and there was a real genuine sense of wanting to help each other and a lovely bond formed which I feel so lucky to have found. We have since done business together, passed on useful contacts and shared information from our own experiences good and bad all which had such a positive affect on me and my business.
I learnt so much from Louise Phelan she is a world expert on Customer Service and dealing with people and building winning teams, she gave us really practical examples we could truly understand and learn from and employ in our own day to day running of our business. To have advice and time with someone as successful and driven as Louise was invaluable to my business growth. Paula always talks about taking the helicopter view of your business and I really felt I achieved that, taking the time out for our meet ups gave me the chance to step away from the day to day running of the business and really look up and focus on our growth strategy and realise things about my business I wasn't aware of before.
If I was to outline one thing over everything I have taken away from this experience it would be confidence, confidence in myself, my own ideas and goals which is so important when you are the driving force behind your own business. I would highly recommend applying for Going for Growth and all information is on www.goingforgrowth.com, applications have closed for the next cycle but will re-open again in the summer.
Today's post is all about glorious coffee. Read on to find out some of my favourite coffee places around Dublin's Creative Quarter.
Clement and Pekoe
Photo: Instagram (@clementandpekoe)
My absolute favourite place for coffee is Clement and Pekoe on South William street. They do the best flat white and have delicious healthy bites, it's so handy when getting an afternoon caffeine fix!
I love to sit outside it is a great spot for people watching. Also, the takeaway cups have gorgeous designs on them.
The Pepper Pot
Photo: Instagram (@thepepperpotcafe)
The coffee here is delicious and I love how they serve the tea in the gorgeous china cups, so it's one of my favourite places to go when I have time to sit down for a few minutes. I love to sit beside the black railings over looking the beautiful interior of Powerscourt Centre. It's especially lovely at Christmas time. The only difficulty here is resisting the delicious home made cakes!
I love Autumn I fell in love with this time of year living in New York where the changing of the seasons is such a gorgeous time of year. I also adore Winter clothes especially coats and boots. I tend to dress quite simply day to day and then wear a lovely warm coat to dress up. I am definitely trying to invest in my clothing more. I have one soft camel coloured Diane Von Furstenburg coat since I lived in New York. It's well over 10 years old and still looks great. I definitely think true quality lasts and stands the test of time.
Anine Bing Boots
I first became aware of Danish designer Anine Bing on the gorgeous Instagram account of @damoyantwerp. It's a visual feast for the monochrome obsessed! I saw the studded flat charlie boots and I am not going to lie I became a little obsessed. I really wanted to try them on though as I do find shoe buying hard online as I am a half size 39 1/2. I google mapped myself to the brand new Anine Bing store in Le Marias district of Paris in between appointments on my buying trip.
The store itself is stunning all concrete and marble minimalism. I tried the boots on and adored them I know I will wear them with everything as any buyer knows 12 hours on your feet means you need stylish but comfortable flats. I feel like a real grown up as I had an extra protective sole added (totally suggested to me by my Mom) as many shoes are not actually designed for our very wet climate. (I apologise in advance for the multi-appearance of the boots in my Insta this season).
I adore cashmere sweaters I think it's a really easy way to dress up for work and be cosy on the weekends. I am in love with the Cosy sweater by Irish Designer Lucy Nagle and am wearing it with jeans and cargo pants at the weekend. I also love her v neck grey sweater as it has a lovely pleat at the back and is quite long so I wear it over skirts, skinny leather pants and dresses.It's so easy to dress up a cashmere sweater with delicate gold layers for day time or an amazing pair of Oscar de la Renta earrings for evenings.
Photo: Instagram (@styletraces)
I really am trying to remove excess sugar from my food so the yoghurt topped with pomegranate, coconut, almonds and cinnamon granola in Sprout is a really tasty option. I want to love porridge I really do but I find it so boring in the morning.
Photo: Instagram (@janmariniskinresearch)
I am a total convert to these products introduced to me by the amazing Peggy in Monkstown Laser, my skin feels and looks a lot healthier since using them. I am not a massive makeup product fan but skincare I do invest in and will not be without the cleanser, it's so good and leaves your skin feeling really clean.
Our Marketing Intern Tara is taking over our blog today! Read on for her Quinoa Krispie Squares recipe.
This recipe is a healthy twist on one of my favourite childhood treats – Rice Krispie squares.
Instead of Rice Krispies I have used quinoa pops, which is essentially roasted quinoa. Quinoa pops have an unusual yet delicious nutty taste and you can buy them in bulk on Amazon or make your own (I bought mine on Amazon).
Quinoa, in general, is a superfood which offers numerous health benefits, such as helping to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and it is also a great source of protein.
This recipe is vegan-friendly and so simple to make.
1 1/2 cups of Medjool dates (around 270g), pitted
2 tbsps of Coconut Oil, melted
2 tbsps of Coconut milk, solid part only
2 tbsps Cashew Butter
4 tbsps Ground Almonds
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
4 tbsps of water
Blitz all of the ingredients in a blender until they are combined.
Set the caramel aside while you melt 100-110g of coconut oil in a large saucepan. When the coconut oil is melted gradually add in 112g of quinoa pops and your caramel until the pops are covered in the caramel and oil.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and then pour the mixture in, making sure to fill every corner of the tray with the mixture and using a glass to flatten the mixture.
Put in the freezer for 30 mins.
160g of dark chocolate (70%+ tend to be vegan-friendly – I usedVivani
92% dark chocolate)
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on the hob, whichever you prefer, while the quinoa pop mixture is in the freezer.
After 30 mins, take the quinoa mixture out of the freezer and pour the melted chocolate on top – making sure every inch of the mixture is covered in chocolate.
Put back in the freezer for at least an hour or overnight.
Our Store Manager Emma is taking over the Loulerie blog today! Read for a few of Emma's favourite wine bars in Dublin.
Socialising in Dublin, for me, typically involves sitting in a wine bar sharing a bottle of wine and some tasty nibbles (usually those nibbles turn into a full blown meal!) I am a bit of a food snob, so a glass of wine with a good meal is a must for me.
Pubs and clubs are great but there comes a certain stage where you want to be able to hear and partake in the conversation. Wine bars provide that relaxed and easy going atmosphere that is sometimes lacking in other social outings.
1. Fallon & Byrne
There is the wine bar in the basement of Fallon & Byrne on Exchequer Street. What I love about this wine bar is that it is a five minute walk from work and it is a great place to meet up for chats and after work drinks with friends.
This place is generally busy in the evening and in the later part of the week you would be better off reserving a table to guarantee yourself a spot (you can make reservations here.) The food offerings consist of sharing boards, light platters to main dishes. I have not had anything there that I did not like!
If you are not sure about what wine you want the waiters are great at helping you choose and they will even offer you a taster to decide. Another good point is that they offer €1 corkage on Mondays excluding December. This wine cellar is a must visit if you are a wine lover.
La Cave, South Anne's Street
The atmosphere here is so cosy and chilled and the decor is typical of wine bars that you may see in Paris, so much so that sometimes I do feel like I am in Paris! Again there is a great selection of wines and champagne.
It's good for intimate gatherings or alternative after work drinks. I suggested the Loulerie team go there one evening and it was highly approved by all. You can choose from a sharing platter or a main dish. I would highly recommend the food, it is top quality, even my partner approved and he is from Paris and a complete food snob!
Olesya's O Wine Bar
A recent wine bar that I went to, also on Exchequer Street and across from Fallon and Byrne, is Olesya's O wine bar. I went in there for a pre-drink last weekend and they had a great selection of wine. I am looking forward to returning to try the food.
The wine was great, the bar had a chilled and relaxed atmosphere. Which is always appreciated when you work on a Saturday. It is the perfect way to wind down.
Summers with Roksanda
Roksanda Ilincic LFW SS17
The September London fashion week will always bring back fond memories of the summer I spent running around London interning, (has it already been six years?!) a rite of passage for all NCAD fashion design students, with womenswear designer Roksanda Ilincic in the lead up to her LFW presentation. During the three months; I did everything from visiting manufacturers, pattern cutting, hand-sewing to pressing the finished garments ready for their catwalk debut. It is because of this I will always feel a connection to seeing Roksanda’s collection on the catwalk and still remember the excitement and sense of achievement on seeing the finished lineup.
For me this collection, like previous, shows how Roksanda remains true to her love of bold colours and strong feminine silhouettes which first drew me to the internship.
This Spring/summer 17 collection was inspired by Roksanda’s personal take on summer, think pebbles on a beach, sun and cornflowers. Roksanda’s summer embodies thoughtful color-blocking and relaxed light layering, with a touch of 30s bias cutting to the satin dresses. The femininity and modernity of this collection is captured in the whimsical feathered embroidery, abstract patterns and signature use of colour; orange, mustard, cranberry, black and indigo all put together in a way only Roksanda knows how.
Photos courtesy of Vogue
Another reason to love Roksanda’s SS17 offering (if the above wasn’t reason enough), is how she has tapped into this seasons single earring trend. Roksanda, Peter Pilotto, and Mary Katrantzou all sent models out accessorised with single, oversized earrings, while others designers opted for mismatched sets. Finally, a fashion moment for all those single earrings, (once pairs) at the bottom of your jewellery box.
Photo: Instagram (@gillvadgama)
New York will always hold a special place in my heart. It is where I lived and worked for many years and it is where the idea of Loulerie began to blossom. Here are some of my favourite looks from New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 17.
Photo: Instagram (@ullajohnson)
I have always loved Ulla Johnson's designs I am still lamenting a dress I saw and didn't buy which then sold out! That will teach me, if you like it buy it.
I am a big fan of her custom prints (hence the red printed long dress I'm still lamenting over). She was born and raised in Manhattan so these pretty prints are always styled to perfection with suede fringed shoes and simple un-fussy hair. This pink dress is my favourite look and would work so well for a Summer wedding next year.
Photo: Instagram (@sylvanitas)
Photo: Instagram (@sarahruston)
I love this unusual combination, it's a modern twist on a classic look. One thing that I particularly loved about living in New York is that New Yorkers are groomed to perfection and they wear clean classic pieces while adding a modern, minimal edge.
I love how Tibi is minimal yet very feminine. When I'm designing my 'Wave' collection I always have this woman in my head.
Today, our marketing intern Tara is taking over our blog! Tara is a huge fan of creating healthy desserts - check out her Instagram @neutralsandnutrition.
I absolutely adore anything with caramel and I was on a mission to make a healthier version of Cadbury’s caramel bar when I came across a chocolate rose mould in Stock on King Street in Dublin. These little roses are the perfect size because you don’t feel heavy or bloated (even if you eat them all at once) but you still get that amazing crunch and sweetness.
First, you need a chocolate rose mould like the one in the picture below. Like I said, I got this mould in Stock for about but you can try TK Maxx or even online stores like Amazon to see if you can get a better deal.
Second, melt about 3 squares of dark chocolate (I used Viviani’s 90% dark chocolate) and then pour it into the moulds until the chocolate covers about 3/4 of the mould. Put in the freezer for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the caramel:
- 1 1/2 cups of Medjool Dates – pitted (around 14-16 dates depending on the size)
- 2 tbsps of Coconut Oil – melted
- 2 tbsps of Coconut Milk – solid part only
- 2 tbsps of Cashew Butter
- 1 tbsp of Chia Seeds
- 4 tbsps of Water
- 4 tbsps of Ground Almonds
If you don’t want extra caramel I would cut the above recipe in half, but this caramel is honestly insanely delicious so it’s always good to have a little extra lying around!
After the hour is up, take the mould out of the fridge and spread the caramel on top of the chocolate so that it covers the entire mould. After this, melt another 3-4 squares of dark chocolate and pour it over the caramel – be generous and don’t be afraid of overflowing, you will need to do so in order to ensure that your roses will come out with perfect layers. Put in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight – the longer you keep them in the fridge the better the crunch of the chocolate is.
And there you have it, a perfect combination of crisp chocolate and gooey caramel.
New York is a big part of daily life here in Loulerie with many of our designers being based there and its where I lived and worked for many years. Our amazing new Marketing intern Tara spent some time recently there and shares my love of healthy food so she is taking over the blog today to post her recent finds straight from Manhattan. Lou x
THE EGG SHOPAbsolutely delicious and perfect for brunch. The Egg Shop has a really laidback vibe and the service was pretty fast. Definitely worth trying out if you’re in the city.
Location: 151 Elizabeth St. (Soho)
THE COMMONS CHELSEA
Do not be put off by how tiny it is! It is the ‘real New York’ and always full of locals. Their salmon and guacamole are always so fresh. It is close to The Chelsea Market and a few blocks down from Carrie Bradshaw’s brownstone and where Sarah Jessica Parker lives!
Location: On the corner of W 18th St & 7th Avenue
THE BUTCHER’S DAUGHTER
Photo: The Butcher's Daughter Instagram (@thebutchersdaughter_official)
Another famous brunch spot that is super popular with Instagrammers. Your plate will be packed with vibrant, nutritious, and filling foods. I recommend the ‘Smashed Avocado Toast Benedict.’ They also have a separate juice bar with a lot of different choices (the picture below is the green juice). It had just a friendly and laidback Soho attitude to it.
Location: 19 Kenmare St. (Soho)
This place is the real deal. There is a wide selection of healthy food available, all free from gluten, soy, canola oil, refined sugars and preservatives. There are also some healthy alternative treats available. What I love is that they’ve taken ordinary meals and put a healthy twist on it (chicken nuggets coated with ground almonds anyone?). The curried sweet potatoes are delicious and bursting with different flavours.
Location: 78 5th Avenue (in between W13th St & W14th St)
Bare Burger is great for family dining or if you are dining with a larger group of people. It is a burger restaurant but a much healthier alternative to other burger chains in Manhattan. Their ingredients are organic, pesticide free, and fair trade. I honestly could not get enough of it!
Location: There is a few around the city. There is one close to Times Square on W46th St between 8th and 9th Avenue.
Food porn, Instagram, and vegan heaven all under one roof. You should check it out, even if you’re just passing by.
Locations: 185 Bleeker Street
60 West 22nd Street
I'm soooo excited to share this recipe with you! I have been wanting to make a healthy alternative to mars bars for ages and I'm so happy that this recipe worked out after only one attempt. I hope you enjoy making and eating them as much as I did.
Makes around 14 squares
Storage: Up to 1 week in the fridge.
Step 1: The Nougat Layer
1 cup of Cashew Butter
4 tbsps of 100% Maple Syrup
2 tbsps of Ground Almonds
Blend all of the above ingredients together either using an electric whisk or a blender until it forms a sticky paste. Spread the paste onto a square baking tin lined with parchment paper (make sure the paste covers the entire inside of the baking tin). Put into the freezer whilst you make the caramel layer.
Step 2: The Caramel Layer
1 1/2 cups of Medjool Dates - pitted (around 14-16 dates depending on the size)
2 tbsps of Coconut Oil - melted
2 tbsps of Coconut Milk - solid part only
2 tbsps of Cashew Butter
1 tbsp of Chia Seeds
4 tbsps of Water
4 tbsps of Ground Almonds
Blend all of the ingredients in a high power blender e.g. a Nutribullet until it forms a caramel consistency. Take the nougat layer out of the freezer and spread the caramel on top. Again, make sure the caramel covers all of the nougat layer. Put in the freezer for 30 minutes.
*You will have some caramel left over but it's so delicious so no harm!
Step 3: The Chocolate Layer
240g of Dark Chocolate - I used 92% but you can use anything from 70% or more
Melt 120g of the dark chocolate and pour onto the top layer of the nougat/caramel layer, ensuring the area is covered with chocolate. Place in the freezer for 20-25 minutes.
Then, when the 20-25 minutes are up, melt another 120g of dark chocolate, take the mix out of the freezer and the tray, flip the mix over so that the bottom layer is facing you and pour the chocolate over. Again, place in the freezer for 20-25 minutes.
Then, chop the mix into squares and serve.
Et voilà, enjoy!
Check out Tara's Instagram page.
Oscar de la Renta needs no introduction as his iconic designs are as revered today as they were when he began designing in the 1960’s a favourite of Jacqueline Kennedy. I have long admired the jewellery collection as it emanates the same timeless beauty and decadence as his fashion designs.
Photo: Oscar de la Renta Instagram (@oscardelarenta)
Photo: Oscar de la Renta Instagram (@oscardelarenta)
We live in a world of fast fashion, everything is instant and sometimes true design tends to get lost in this process. I truly believe the styles from Oscar’s jewellery line will look just as beautiful now as they will when we wear them in 20 years time that’s the beauty of classic style. Just being at the stunning showroom in Paris when I was selecting the jewellery for Loulerie I felt like I had stepped back in time. I was surrounded by stunning models dressed in gorgeous dresses made of the most luxurious fabrics and the lace shoes stole my heart it was a wonderful way to select jewellery for the store when I could get a true insight into the entire design house.
I guarantee you will feel amazing in them I recently wore the Tear drop earrings to a wedding and the minute I put them on I just felt instantly black-tie ready. The tassel earrings are definitely one of my favourite styles as they are an iconic Oscar design and highlight a very elegant part of any woman’s body her neck and décolletage. I love the tassel earrings worn with swept back hair for an elegant look.
The detail is perfection on the designs we have in store so definitely call in and try them on and let us help you style your winter wardrobe. I am already excited to see the Resort Collection arrive in store in October we have all fallen head over heels for this designer.
I broke with tradition this year and tried somewhere new for my family holiday, I'm such a creature of habit. I have been going to Spain since I was a child which I have always loved but this year was time for a new adventure. All thanks to my best friend Laura who did all the research and found the gorgeous area of Lapad Dubrovnik where we stayed. With 4 kids under 6 we had to keep everyone happy and Croatia did not disappoint.
Lapad is a short distance from Dubrovnik old town and has some gorgeous sea side restaurants it feels so old world and very unspoiled which is so rare to find these days. They even picked fresh figs straight from the tree one morning for us they were amazing. We always had the fresh fish of the day and all the restaurants were great at accommodating families, they all supplied WiFi codes so handy when you need some peace at meal times.
We explored Dubrovnik old town we should have gone in the evening as it was very hot but walking that wall with its panoramic views was incredible. The ocean is the most stunning colour from high on those ancient stone walls.
The highlight of the trip was when we rented our own boat for the day. Lucky to have an avid sailor in our group we had a great captain for the day but they do have skippers to take you out if you want. We explored the caves and the stunning hidden beach of Lopud island and off course had a dip in the ocean. Look on trip advisor as we got a great deal and were really able to explore the coastline from the boat.
I would love to go back to Croatia and definitely want to visit near by Montenegro. I feel totally recharged after this holiday and ready for the exciting busy season ahead in Loulerie. I definitely have the travel bug again and am thinking I need some sun on my face very soon it's amazing what it can do for you.
Paris Fashion Week in March is always such an exciting time. Hopping on a plane when it’s all cold and weather is grim but arriving in sunny Paris to view brand new collections and see what next season has to offer is such a boost to the system. First stop was Lulu Frost as always this New York based brand did not disappoint. I first met Lisa the designer a few years back and I was immediately struck by her innovative design and authentic use for Art Deco something I had been searching for years to bring to Loulerie but never quite find the perfect collection, until now. Her AW16 collection will land in Loulerie in August and I cannot wait for you to see the pieces, one hint is Victorian star designs to die for. Here is my favourite piece from this season’s collection in store now. I style it with crisp white shirt, soft grey cashmere or do as Lisa does and style it with a t shirt and leather jacket for a New York street style look.
Next stop was Deepa Gurnani another New York based designer with a special place in my heart as I worked with Jay in New York and seeing the collection is also a time to catch up with him and his stunning wife Deepa the designer behind the collection. I arrived in New York aged 22 so green in more ways than one and started work in a huge New York Fine Jewellery Design House. Jay luckily worked there too and took myself and Jen another intern under his wing, I will love him forever for it he showed me the ropes as being an intern in NY is not for the faint hearted. He and Deepa are from India and have the most wonderful artisans working on their collection. I picked out some really stunning pieces which will be perfect for summer holidays and are super light weight to wear as they use light felts to hand set the crystals. If you have a trip to Ibiza or St Tropez booked then you need a pair of these earrings I also think they are a great option to take you from beach lounging to sunset cocktails as earrings always make me feel more dressed up.
I always stay in St Germain it’s just my favourite part of the city and after the madness of the shows I think it’s nice to take a break and relax amongst the streets here. The shopping is also magnificent. My best friend Laura flew in to join me and we had the most wonderful dinner at Le Hibou chicken paillard, Rose (Cotes de Provences) and green beans. It’s always packed and we got a fabulous table outside looking at all the people, its like sitting front row at a fashion show the street style is so good.
Saturday was filled with back to back appointments one which I am sworn to secrecy over but am elated to launch next season in Loulerie, it truly is one of the most stunning Design Houses known all over the world for its red carpet presence, shhhh more to come on this.
A trip to Bon Marche was a must to see the amazing Irish Apfel instillation, I have been in awe of Iris for many years as a long time muse of one of our designers Alexis Bittar there really isn’t anyone quite like her for style and accessories.
A trip to Paris isn’t complete without dinner in L’avenue the food is great, champagne (Billecart Salmon) divine but the people and style are unrivaled. I spent most of my time staring at the amazing jewellery Parisian women wear, although once I sat beside a table where a French Bull Dog which had his own plate, only in Paris. It’s going to be a very exciting AW season in Loulerie as always offering you exclusive designers not available anywhere else in Ireland.
Hello! I’m Suzy, I am excited to join the Loulerie team as Head of Fine Jewellery. As I’m a Gemologist, I will be on hand for private appointments at the new design studio to launch our bespoke, custom made jewellery service. As it’s the weekend of the launch of Loulerie’s diamond engagement rings, I thought I’d show you what stopped us in our tracks this week.
Hello to this beautiful emerald cut diamond cluster ring. I’m already married, but it will still do nicely! The emerald cut (along with the oval and marquise) are great for elongating the finger and giving a very elegant look (I aspire to this, one day!) I look for very good clarity in an emerald cut as the effect is like a window into the stone, showing every inclusion if they are not selected carefully.
If you would like to contact Suzy regarding a bespoke commission, please email, email@example.com