Sunday, 30 September 2012

Weekend #16

This weekend was spent in London so naturally we made the most of it with lots of sight seeing and getting out and about. We had the weather for it and who knows how much longer it will last...

On Saturday we planned to spend most of the day at Portobello Market. Because this would require lots of energy, we filled ourselves up on these. When we got there, we did the whole thing, from right at the top by Notting Hill Gate, all the way down to Kensington. There were sooo many lovely things that I would have loved to have filled not just one, but many houses with but alas, I do not have the room for any of them! Perhaps I'll take a trip back when I have my own place ;)

In the evening, we took ourselves for the early bird menu at Charlotte's Bistro, a really lovely little restaurant in Chiswick. This places boasts a great menu and if you are happy to eat before 7.30, you can get it for their early dinner prices - £26.95 for 3 courses and an aperitif. I would have taken some snaps but it was quite a small place and not too busy that early so felt a bit concious! I had a scrummy partridge salad to start, Cornish gurnard for the main and earl grey and fig crème caramel for dessert. J had venison tartare to start, slow cooked pork belly for main and the cheese selection to follow. After stuffing our faces, we rolled home for some movies and bed time.

Sunday we popped off to J's parents for some lovely home cooked Sunday lunch. A little taste of fresh air and home life, in the midst of London madness is always appreciated. After gorging ourselves again, we headed back to London, chilled out and then it was time for J to head back to Southampton and me to fall swiftly asleep - all that food tired me out!

The song that I have been listening to a lot recently is Ellie Goulding's new one, Anything Could Happen. I really enjoy this song and it is great to have her back making music again after she has been away for a while.

E x

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Weekend #15 with an ooey, gooey, calorific but delicious, breakfast. Let's just say that I have no idea, nor do I want to know, how many calories, saturated fat or other artery clogging factors this stack of wonder has but it sure tasted good - and we all know that calories don't count at the weekend.

Let me introduce to you, bacon cakes...

Smothered in maple syrup, with a sneaky rasher of crispy streaky bacon nestled in the middle, these are to die for. Enjoy best by sprinkling on fresh berries, covering in maple syrups and pouring yourself a glass of cold orange juice.

I wish I could lay claim to this scrummy delight, but all thanks has to go to the culinary genius that is, Rose from The Londoner. Her blog is full of the tastiest dinners and treats that you could ever dream of. The full recipe for bacon cakes can be found here.

Rose's recipe calls for mixed berries but you could always add any sort of fruit you fancy. If you are feeling very glutenous, there is always room for whipped cream. Personally, I think the sharp and juiciness of the berries was the perfect counterbalance for the bacon and syrup.

E x

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Weekend #14

This weekend has been a very quiet one, with a couple of very self indulgent and relaxing lie-ins, lots of yummy food and general chilling out. In between all of the relaxing, it has been one for crossing all the 't's and dotting all the 'i's, catching up on boring life admin, car insurance, backing up files etc. - thrilling!

We also had a couple of housemate birthdays so the house has been filled with lots of cake and laughter which has been nice. We were paid a little visit by my housemate's boyfriend's pooch, Austin (see top right for lots of snaps of him, or Instagram!) who I absolutely fell in love with. Lots of cuddling and tennis ball throwing ensued. 

On the Saturday, my housemate did my nails with Shellac, which was a pampering treat. She has the kit to do it at home, saving on lots of pennies and is actually very easy to do and not to expensive to set yourself up with. I love it so far and can't stop touching it!

Soundtrack to this weekend definitely has to be this song, One Day/Reckoning Song by Asaf Avidan and is the Wankelmut Remix (mouthful of an introduction!). This was another track I heard on the radio when driving around and thought it was super catchy, couldn't stop humming it and had to track it down. I hope anyone who listens to it enjoys it as much as I do, it's a toe tapper!

E x

Thursday, 20 September 2012

All Saints Jacket Love

All Saints is one of those shops that I always glanced at the window but just walked on by. I wasn't too sure what sort of style it really sold and just assumed it was either out of my price range or just not up my street. I think I had connotations of it being a brand for 'lads' with those horrid deep v t shirts and men who take themselves a bit too seriously, with girls who are too skinny on their arms. Since moving offices, I now walk past an All Saints shop every day and thought I would give it the benefit of the doubt and check it out. 

I eat my words, the stuff is lovely, luxury feeling and individually stylish. It is a little on the pricey side and probably nothing that I will be able to afford for a while, but hey, a girl can browse :) It is kinda biker-esque but very feminine at the same time. There is also not much nylon in sight - always a plus, lots of natural wools and cotton fibres.

One thing that massively stood out to me in the shop was their gorgeous range of leather jackets. They were so soft and expensive feeling. I have been considering a leather jacket purchase for ages but always held back. I love the look of them but was unsure if I would be able to pull it off so have loved from afar - until now. When I spied this beauty, it was love, I felt like a long term relationship of lust had begun.

This is my favourite jacket from the collection and something I would LOVE to get my hands on one day.

The Belvedere Leather Jacket and comes in at a not-too-pricey (for leather) £250

For now, I'll keep dreaming. Perhaps I'll put in a few pre-Christmas hints too...muahaha.

E x

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Weekend #13

There isn't much to report about this weekend just gone apart from the fact it was another craaaaazy busy one helping J settle in to his new house, buying lots of storage solutions and poster frames galore.

We spent most of Saturday whizzing around town picking up all sorts of things. We just grabbed enough time to have a hog roast bap in the sunshine which was yummy, lots of apply sauce of course ;). I also treated myself to some new make up brushes as my old ones had started to shed a bit too far and becoming a bit sparse. I justified this as a 'need' purchase, rather than a 'want' so this was ok...yes?

We went out in Bedford Place for a few drinks in the evening but nothing to raucous as J was on call. Home for some late night pizza and we hit the hay - both exhausted from the days efforts.

Sunday, more of the same, housey things for most of the morning and afternoon. We took the evening off to cook some steaks as a treat for all of our hard work. We watched the film "We Need to Talk About Kevin" which I thought was brilliant, but someone had spoiled the ending for J so he was a bit disinterested. Somewhere in this madness, I managed to stir up a batch of the infamous Slutty Brownies so we kicked back with a cup of tea and some of these before it was time for me to hit the motorway, back to London.

This week sees all change in our little London house with some new housemates who I cannot wait to get to know a bit better. Lots of wine and telly I think! Right up my street :)

Found it a bit hard to pick a Sunday Sound this week as we were a bit too busy to stop to even listen to any music! I have my housemate to thank for this current choice as I asked her what she was currently listening to. She told me about this band she liked called 'Tallest Man on Earth'. I've been listening lots this evening and I love it. The perfect soundtrack for a Sunday night chillout. This song is called 'The Dreamer' but they are all good tracks. Definitely one to watch out for...

E x

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Happy Birthday Mummy!

So sadly this is another family birthday that I have missed out on this year due to the ever increasing cost of travel (damn you taxes). Sadly the return trip was just too pricey so I am making up for it at Christmas and taking a big chunk of time off to spend some QT with my favourites and have a big old fam jam.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand - happiest birthday to my dearest mother. I hope you have a lovely day. Here is a cheesy snap from a sunny trip to France a few years back. Oh what I would give for that tan now... hey mumsie!

 Lots of love,

E x

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Weekend #12

In contrast to the last few weekends I have had, chilling out and seeing London, this one was manic! I nipped down to Southampton on Friday night to help J pack up the last of his things as he was moving house. This was accompanied by a fat takeaway and watching The Orphan as it was on telly and we both love a good horror flick.

Saturday it was all systems go. We got up nice and early to fit in a bacon sarnie and a cup of tea, before piling everything in to my trusty little Clio. This beast of a car has moved house with me about 5 times, J once already, and done all manner of trips up and down the country for long uni holidays. Squeaking at the suspension and two trips later, he was in. We were on a bit of a tight schedule as had to be back in London for early evening so everything was quickly unpacked. We took a trip to the cavern of delights that is The Range - an amazing destination for all things 'home' and super cheap. Some storage solutions and a whole load of coat hangers thrown in, we made our way back to make use of them.

After this was complete, we shut the door on his new little home and trekked our way back to London. J was off out with friends but I was in with my housemates as sadly one of them was leaving us to head back to Oz. Cue X factor, chilling, and lots of wine.

Sunday, again we were all up bright and early to wave off our little pal :( she will be missed! For the afternoon we had an indoors/outdoors BBQ. AKA Tescos had run out of disposables so we cooked the meat on the George Foreman and ate it outside in the sunshine. A lazy afternoon and a few films later, J made his way back to Southampton for another week. My housemates and I spent the evening opening gifts that our little traveller had left behind and watching more films (can't get enough!). Early nights all round after an exhausting few days. Mine couldn't have come any sooner as I am feeling very under the weather, looks like I am coming down with a nasty cold, fingers crossed a good nights sleep will do the trick.

With all this wooshing around, the soundtrack to the weekend had to be a chilled one. I absolutely love this song. I have heard rumours that because of its name, that it will be on the soundtrack of the 50 shades film, when it comes out. Although, this is rather early to be releasing a song for a film not even made yes? I could definitely see it being a good film soundtrack but who knows! Anyway, it is by the very hot right now artist, Delilah, from her album "From the Roots Up" and is a great tune for winding down and reflecting after being so busy - just what I needed. Enjoy!

E x

Friday, 7 September 2012

My Pick of the Best Winter Kicks

Like many girls, every winter, I like to find myself a good pair of winter boots. That one pair that will be your go to for everyday warmth (and grip!) when the weather takes its usual downturn. Last winter I picked up a pair from Topshop that were suede with little buckles up the side. They were only £40 and so unsurprisingly, after wearing them to death, they are now a little holey. I lived in these through the snow and rain as they had a great tread on them (I'm sounding a bit middle aged now). The time has come to replace these well loved loved little treasures.

I have been keeping my eyes peeled for my next purchase since September arrived and our hot spell ended. The shops seems to be waaayy ahead of me already and have had their winter woolies on sale since mi-august, I'm sure. Not really that helpful when it's 30 degrees outside now, is it. This didn't stop me having a browse though.

The above is a little pick of my favourites so far. As you can see, I can never decide whether I want to go for a brown pair, or a black pair. Historically, I usually go for brown but perhaps this year could see a change - how exciting.

From the top, left to right:

The 'Strappy Ankle Boot' by Zara - These first caught my eye as they are very reminiscent of the Vivienne Westwood boots that were EVERYWHERE a few years ago. Obviously the Zara pair are a severe cut in price compared to Vivienne's ones, retailing at £49.99. When on, these slouch up nicely and would go with most outfits.

The 'Action Buckle Side Ankle Boots' by Topshop, for £65.00. I love these, but not quite sure if they are bordering a bit more on the mumsy side of things. Hmm.

The 'Biker Ankle Boot' again by Zara. I think these are my fave of the bunch. I actually tried them on yesterday but managed to resist. They feel really quality and I love the look of them, they are the perfect height. At a mere £59.99 I think they are great value for money - I was expecting the price to be nearer £100. I promised myself that if they are still around by next pay day then I may take the plunge. Budgeting at its best ;) This kind of challenge is always a gamble as the product turnover in Zara is huge, stuff never sticks around for long!

The 'RIFF Gold Buckle Trim Leather Biker Boot' by Dune. These are my second favourite, I saw these in the window when I was walking past and just had to go in and admire. They cost £120 and sadly, I have to doubt whether they are worth quite that much. They have those weird fake buckles on them and the zip feels a bit cheap. There are lovely, and the leather is very soft but they don't feel anywhere near as quality as say the Zara boots above. The sole doesn't feel like it would last all that long either. I'm sorry Dune, but they just looked so good in the window, a bit too good to be true. Bring the price to a respectable £40/£50 and you would hear no complaints, but for £120, I would just expect a bit more.

The 'H by Hudson Rosse Exclusive Ankle Boots' at ASOS, initially introduced to me by my good friend Kelly in her latest post, I absolutely adore these boots. If it weren't for the price tag (£150), I think I would have bought them right there and then. These might take a little more persuasion before leaping in! They do look like you would wear them forever though. They do have a black leather counterpart but they are a bit too 'cowboy' for me, I would love them even more if they were in black suede. 

And finally, the 'Mighty Black Leather Zip Boots', also by Topshop. There is not much to say about these boots, every year Topshop does the same sort of style, last year it was the Ambush boots, this year it is the Mighty boots. They are all a big take on the Acne Pistol boots, but lovely all the same. These are only £45 which I think is a bargain. The only downside is that when I had a look in store, the heel is a bit plastic-ey looking and reduces the look of the boot overall. For that price though, this can be overlooked, they could be a good winter staple for one season, at least.

I am pretty taken by the Zara Biker boots and think that I will probably head for these, as I said, if they are still around next month! I can see them going really nicely with either jeans tucked in, or with a skirt/dress and tights with a big wooly knit. If I could find the same style, but in black, it would be a definite! Perhaps I should extend my search to shops further afield from where I work! I'll keep a look out...

E x

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Christmas in A Cup

So there isn't too much to say about this one. It is a drink, that literally tastes like Christmas morning, in a cup. Okay, so it is a bit early, but I have always been a fan of Starbucks' Chai Tea Latte in all seasons. Now I can have it at home! Anything with cinnamon in makes its way straight to my heart, so my love for this drink goes without saying...

Just add three teaspoons and fill with hot water, et voila! You have yourself a hot cup of deliciousness. I have been feeling a little under the weather this week, another superbug picked up from the tube - lush! I have been a big fan of curling  up on the sofa in my pjs and making myself a cup of this just before bed.

The best thing about it is, it is only £1.99, I got mine from Sainsbury's but I have seen it elsewhere for about the same price. That is still less than the price of one Starbucks takeaway, bargain.

E x

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Many Faces of Tiger Balm

First things first, this is not a glamorous beauty related post as such, but more of a practical/useful one - I hope it will come in handy for you! So it is no secret that this turbulent weather has made a paradise for all thing insect-y. The warm, wet, then dry weather has meant that they have come out in full force. Now, usually when on holiday, I am not a target for them. I may get the odd one or two, but on the whole they just don't seem to really go for me (famous last words).

This all changed when a few weeks ago, my housemate and I gave our house a real top to bottom clean and threw open all of the windows. Later in the evening, we lit a scented candle and watched the telly, still with the windows open. I'm not sure whether it was the candle, or the light that did it, but the little buggers came in and nipped me all over the tops of my legs and ankles. I was doing well not to itch them during the day (this was SO hard) but at night, when asleep, it seems I couldn't help myself.

I thought after slathering on the Germolene for a few days, they would go down. Long story short - three weeks later, they were still itching like hell. I had tried all the usual tricks, making a cross with your fingernail etc., but to no avail. One night last week, I was chatting with a friend of mine. Now, she is a nurse, and also an Aussie (lots of mosquito experience!) and she told me that the best thing to use was Tiger Balm. I was a little dubious as I thought this was reserved for aches and pains in your muscles and joints. Nevertheless, I was keen to try anything that would stop the itching, and out I popped to Boots to pick myself some up.

I purchased the Red Ointment as it was all my local Boots had to offer. Although it does the job perfectly, I know there are other types on offer for more specific ailments. It contains: Natural Camphor, Menthol, Clove Oil, Cajuput Oil, Cinnamon Oil and finally Dementholised Mint Oil, all whipped up in to a balm formula.

I can thoroughly recommend that anyone should have this as a staple in their first aid kit, especially if you are travelling somewhere where mozzies are likely to be prevalent - it could be a lifesaver. It heats up the bite and then cools the skin, creating a tingling sensation that takes the itch right out of the bite - just what I needed!

E x

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Weekend #11

Well another whirlwind weekend has gone past in a flash! It all began on Friday night when J met me after work now he is back from his holiday work trip, and we went for some Thai food for dinner. We then whizzed home quickly as we were off out for a big night as too of my housemates are moving out over the next two weeks. We partied the night away in a bar called Wax Jambu near Angel and it was great, amazing drinks, even better music and the best company.

We were all feeling a little delicate the next morning but managed to hold some more housemate viewings and finally found 'the one', to our relief. After a quick nap and lots of food, J and I headed down to Southampton as he is also on the house hunt and I played chauffeur for the afternoon. We rewarded our hungover states with a mountain of fish and chips and got an early night - we were still exhausted from being out all night, reminding us that our student days are long since over!

Today, we popped in to Southampton for the morning, I dropped J off at HMV and took myself over to the beauty counters of John Lewis (more to come on that!). After poking around there, I went over to Boots. To my surprise (and delight) the Southampton Boots has had a massive overhaul and there were lots of new counters that I was shocked (and pleased) to see. There is now a Bare Minerals (also more on that) an Ojon, Smashbox, Philosophy and lots more. It is nice to be able to look around these brands without the usual shoving of Oxford Street/Westfield.

Back home we went to cook ourselves up a whopping Sunday roast, delicious. After lots more house hunting online we watched some of the Paralympics - inspirational stuff. I then winded my way back to London for a cuppa and a quick catch up with everyone before getting myself some well deserved rest!

This weekend, a song that popped up a lot and has been getting lots of Radio One exposure is 'Little Talks' by Of Monsters and Men. This is a tune that you can't help yourself bopping along too or tapping your foot. It's also mega catchy and you will catch yourself humming it for the rest of the day. I haven't checked out much more of their stuff but I know Fearne Cotton has been playing them loads and they were big at Reading/Leeds - a good sign of things to come! Most people have probably heard it by now, but if not - you're welcome ;) You should also watch the video, it has a great little animation. I keep hitting refresh!

I can hardly keep my eyes open any longer! Off to sleep for me :)

E x