Saturday, 27 September 2014

Things I found and Liked - Recipes

I love trying out new recipes so I thought I'd share a few of my favourites with you. The first three are old classics for me and the last two are ones I've tried out this month. 
A Girl Called Jack is my favourite place to get recipes. Written by a woman in actual poverty to hand out at the food bank these recipes are amazingly cheap as well as amazing. My favourite thing about them is that despite the fact that most of the recipes cost less than 50p a head they don't feel cheap and I have happily served them to friends. This Brie and bacon risotto is freaking delicious and a favourite of mine. 
Another one from A Girl Called Jack - you should totally buy her recipe book. This recipe is one I always plan to take left overs to work with me and then accidentally eat it all.

Chickpea and Chorizo Burgers

Jack Monroe also does recipes on the guardian and these chickpea burgers always go down well. I wrap mine in clog film and freeze them.

5 Ingredient Pasta Salad

This was a new recipe for me this month. I'm always on the look out for recipes that I can take to work with me for lunch - it's so much easier to resist temptation when your packed lunch is yummers. I don't usually like American recipes - they don't measure things properly and use the wrong words for things - in this case blah blah is rocket but I gave this one a stab anyways. And I'm glad I did. It was super easy to make but was really tasty. I didn't have any red peppers in a jar and tbh they seemed silly when I could just roast some red peppers and use those.

Slow Cooked Honey Garlic Chicken

Another new one for me this month. I love recipes that use my slow cooker that aren't a stew because I love my slow cooker but all I ever make is stew! This one was certainly different to that and I can't wait to try the Dr Pepper and Jack Daniel's pork version.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Houndstooth Dress, Pink Duster Jacket

My friend bought me this pink Asos duster jacket for my birthday - because I love hers so much and I'm so happy with it. It's perfect for this inbetween weather that we've been having recently - it's not yet cold enough for a proper coat. And I love the way it looks with a shorter dress. It would probably look even better on someone taller than me, but there you go. Get ready to see a lot more of this jacket!

My houndstooth dress I made ages ago but I think it adds a 60s twist to my look - which I love. And black and white looks so good with pastels.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Granny Squares Class at Tea & Crafting

So number 3 on my 30 before 30 list is to learn to crochet. Basically I just want to be able to make amigurumi but it turns out starting off with that is not the best plan. I've tried teaching myself with books, online tutorials and YouTube but I'm a visual-kinetic learner (awh yeah!) and I learn by best when I have someone sat with me saying - "No! Not like that!" So for quite sometime I've been planning on taking a class. I don't actually know why it took me so long to book a class at Tea & Crafting - it's after work (7pm), it's near where I work (Camden) and it's only £33.50. So because my 30 before 30 list has made me all ambitious I booked myself a lesson. God I was excited - I told everyone at work about it. They actually do amigurumi classes, but they are for intermediate crocheter and I'm definitely a beginner. They recommend taking a beginners class which there are lots of choices in, which I think is really great. I chose granny squares because that one was soonest and because this Asos two piece is bitching. I didn't take many pictures because I was concentrating so hard. 

When I arrived the first thing I was asked is if I'd like a cup of tea - off to a good start. All things needed were provided (no need to worry you've brought the wrong thing) and the room where the class is, is super cute. And filled with all the different things you can make (including a very tempting granny blanket). The classes are quite small so there's no getting missed by the teacher. Our teacher was Holly who's one of those super positive 'you're not rubbish, you've only just learnt!' 'Okay it looks like a mess, but I'll just pull it a bit and look! It looks just like the example' people who really made me feel okay to have to ask to see everything twice. I started off super confident when Holly showed us chain stitch because I could do it straightaway (I guess something stuck from all my previous attempts at learning) but all that was soon over when we moved on to the next step. I was totally the dunce of the class and had to start again when everyone else was doing their second colour (Holly didn't seem to mind and undid my mistake just enough so I didn't have to go right back to the start.) But by the end I totally had a granny square not a big ol' knotted mess! And you can take all your things home to finish. I was worried I wouldn't remember how to change colour or start again, but Holly said I could look at the instructions emailed to me (and the pattern was emailed too) and if I was still stuck I could email them and they'd help me out. I went home and finished my square and then I started my next one! I could remember how to do it! I was really pleased with myself and showed everyone at work that not only had I made one square but I had started a second one. 

And I've had a close inspection - my square looks a lot like the one on the skirt. One down 300 to go!

Thanks so much Holly and Tea & Crafting, I'll see you in October for amigurumi class!

Can you crochet? Do you have any good granny square patterns? I can do chain and double stitch!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Cat Cafe

3 months after booking I finally got to go to the cat cafe. I'd heard a couple of things saying it wasn't all it was cracked up to be or that the service wasn't great. But that wasn't the case at all. I suppose if you are expecting to arrive and have a cat placed on your lap, you'd be disappointed. Cats aren't that obedient and these cats are no exception. 

All 11 cats are just hanging out in the cafe doing their cat thing (including one who wouldn't come out of the toilet when I wanted to go) and you can play with them or pet them - if they feel like it. One wouldn't get out of his hammock all eve, another refused to come out of the toilets. 

The waitresses are really good too - telling you things about the cats 'this one sits here when he wants attention, you should pet him' 'this ones a rescue cat and is afraid of people's hands - she loves to be brushed though, here's a brush' as well as actual waitressing; I had gone upstairs whist all my friends ordered and the waitress came looking for me to take my order too. 

There's also lots of board games to play, books to read and colouring in. I recommend the colouring in - children under 8 aren't allowed and tbh I can't imagine many kids going so the felt tips aren't all mucked up! Basically -despite the fact I have a cat at home - I had a great time and will totally be going again. 

I wore a cat themed outfit because I love a good themed outfit (Kate Gabrielle is best at this) and thought I might look a bit mad. But no a lot of other people there felt it was only proper to wear a cat print to the cat cafe. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

30 before 30

When I was writing my 27 before 27 list I kept thinking of longer term plans of things I'd like to do but I really need more than a year to do. I'm realistic, me! Even more realism - I'd love to go to India and japan, but I won't be able to afford to go on so many holidays in the next 4 years!

1. Pay off all debts - I'm one of those girls you read about in the papers; racked up a bunch of debts super easily on clothes and going out and is now stuck. I won't say how much it is but it's a lot and I don't want to be stuck with them forever. I've made a good start on this - by the end of the month I will have paid a credit card off in full!

2. Go to New York - I've only been once and that was on a college trip. I'd like to do the big apple properly. 

3. Learn to crochet - I can knit and I can sew but I can't crochet and I really want to be able to make amigurumi. My mum tried to teach me once but it didn't really help much. I'm a visual kinetic learner so ideally I need someone to sit and teach me. I'm actually on my way with this one too - I've booked a lesson at tea and craft. 

4. Use up fabric stash - I have a huge stash of fabric (I did used to work in a fabric shop) and I never use any of it. Some because when I'm looking for a bit of fabric to use it's ear marked for some vague plan I have. I need to either actually make the vague plans a reality or use the fabric for something else. 

5. Move house - I like my flat but I don't love it. I should move somewhere I love. 

6. Eat a Michelin star- I've just always really wanted to eat a michelin starred restaurant. 

7. Go to Amsterdam - living in the uk makes us so lucky, we can just hop across to Europe and experience a totally different county. I don't think I make the most of this.

8. Go to Glastonbury - I just think this is something everyone should do in their life

9. Go to bestival - bestival just seems like my kind of festival. I don't know why I've never been. 

10. Enter an eating contest. - I just really want to have one time eaten a massive steak or 15 hotdogs in two minutes or something. Just like man v food. 

11. Treasure hunt - I really like the idea of either taking part in or organising a big treasure/scavenger hunt across London. 

12. Go to Disney world. Florida - I went to Disney world when I was 7 and I really want to go again. Up until recently I was pretty convinced I'd need to take a child with me (I'd take my bf's brother) but seeing a lot of blogs with people's trips to Disney has convinced me otherwise. Sorry kid, I'll be going on my own. 

13. Do a craft fair - this would really help with the using up of fabric too, as well as maybe making a bit if cash to put towards one of the trips on this list. I just really enjoy making things for other people because I think about them and that they will like what I'm making - or I'm making something for myself and I think about how much I will like what I'm making. But I've tried making stuff to sell before and honestly I get bored. I think the key is not to make 50 make up bags but 5 of each thing. 

14. Write a 27 before 27 list each year and do all the things on it - I don't want to spend this year doing lots of stuff and then spend the next 3 focusing on the before 30 list - little steps will make up to the big ones. 

15. Have 400 followers on bloglovin' - or whatever platform we use in the future! 100 per year. Seems do-able

16. Save up and buy a designer handbag  - probably one from mulberry, but something classic that will last forever. 

17. Learn to ride a bike - I can actually ride a bike as in I can pedal (?) the pedals and go along. That's about it. I also spend most of my time on the bike living in fear of falling off, of crashing into something, of getting tangled up in the bike, of going flying. I'd like to be the sort of person who can ride their bike to places instead of getting the bus not the sort of person who screams if a crisp packet blows too close to me. 

And thats as many as I can think of. I think thats plenty to keep me going for the next 4 years.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

27 before 27

I wasn't so sure about making a 27 before 27 list but so many weekends pass me by and I just don't do anything. A lot of things on this list are from a list I wrote in third year of Uni when I was crazy busy doing my final collection and had no time for fun. I thought it was going to be the best summer ever! 2 years on and I still haven't done some of the things on that list so I thought I'd set myself a time limit. Most of the list is places I'd like to visit I've written a list of bigger things for a 30 before 30 list. It was actually a bit of a struggle to get to 27 as a lot of things I just think 'oh I'd like to do that' then completely forget about it.I will try to post an update once a month a la Becky Bedbug or The Laughing Medusa

2. Go to Kew Gardens. 
3. Go see the Lion King
4. Go to Brighton
5. Not miss exhibitions;

  • Sonia Delaunay at the Tate 15 April – 9 August 2015 
  • Alexander McQueen - Savage Beauty at the V&A 14 March – 19 July 2015 
  • Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at the V&A 13 June 2015 – 31 January 2016 
  • Bejewelled Treasures: the Al Thani Collection at the V&A 21 November 2015 – 28 March 2016 
  • Women Fashion Power at the Design Museum 29 October 2014 – 26 April 2015 
  • KNITWEAR Chanel to Westwood at The Fashion & Textile Museum 19 September 2014 – 18 January 2015 
  • How to Draw Vintage Fashion at The Fashion & Textile Museum 19 September 2014 – 18 January 2015 

6. Go to Prince Charles Cinema
7. Tea at the Dorchester and Tea at the Ritz
8. Go to Drink Shop Do
9. Go for a weekend away in the UK
10. Walk from St James park through Hyde Park to Kensington Palace Gardens. 
11. Go to the Bank of England Museum
12. Go to the Neasden Temple
13. Go to Monument
14. Go to a lido
15. Write my planned blog posts;
  • Fun in London with just an Oyster
  • Cheap as free things to do in London
  • Charity Shop Guide to; Camden, Wimbledon, Dalston
16. Make jam, soap and lip balm for for Christmas presents and post about it. 
17. Get 100 followers on bloglovin'
18. Buy less crap. 
19. Go to The Ivy
22. Go to Brixton Market more often
23. Volunteer for charity
24. Make fish slippers 
26. Make my own Christmas Cards
27. Make at least 10 things from my Pinterest board 'things to make' 

Do you have a list of ambitions? What do you want to do? Or have you done any of the things on my list?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Bleach London Hairdyes

I have been meaning to post about Bleach London hairdyes since November. But everytime I dye my hair with them I forget to take a photo of it freshly dyed. I've used 4 different colours since November and they are deffinately the best pastel hairdyes I have used. They last well; my longest is 6 weeks before it was too faded which beats L'Oreal's 3 washes, they are a good price at £5 a bottle, the bottle has lots of dye in; I use a lot of stargazer dye and on my long, thick hair I usually use at least 2, if not 3 bottles of stargazer - I use 1 Bleach London and the colours take well; unlike Smart Beauty which didn't even show on my hair.

I can't imagine they work too well on anything but blonde hair, but on my bleached locks they are amazing. And they are conditioner based so they leave my hair feeling soft and nourished. I've tried to cobble together photos from where I can so excuse the awful photos. 

Sea Punk (green)

This is the first colour I used and because I'm used to colours needing to be on my hair for ages for the colour to take I left it on for ages (like an hour) and it came out a really bright green. It eventually faded out to a pastel green. 
The first time I used this pink I wanted a really pastel shade so I only left it on for 20 mins. The next time I left it on a lot longer and the colour was more intense. 
I used this orange colour with the pink putting pink at the tips of my hair and it worked out really well. It's a really lovely colour. I just put the pink at the bottom, really roughly and left it on while I did the rest orange. I didn't worry too much about any overlaps.

Sea Punk and Rose

And this is what my hair looks like now - my favourite colour combination pink and mint. It was super easy to do; I just put my hair in a centre parting and was very careful when doing the edges. I put the pink on first as the green comes out super green so I didn't want to leave it on too long. It still came out really green so when I was rinsing out the dye I did a couple of washes with Head and Shoulders (want a colour to fade fast? - Use Head and Shoulders) which got the green to the right shade but faded the pink more than I would have liked.

2 washes later the pink was completely faded out but the green was still going strong so I just topped up the pink half (and left it on for the hour and a half I usually do)

This is the craziest thing I've ever done to my hair and at first I was really unsure and thought I might just bleach it all out, but I didn't. And I really love how it looks plaited!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Summer Days

Another super summery outfit from when I was in France. I've had these high waisted shorts and gingham crop to for ages but it never really felt appropriate to wear them in the UK. So it was quite nice to get the chance whist away on holiday. 

Everyone always talks about how they just bum about the house in jammies and their hair in a top knot but it's actually really difficult to do one in my hair. Anyone else have this?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Pink Top, Mint Shorts

This time last month I was enjoying the sunshine in the south of France and being impressed with myself for actually managing to post on holiday. Then I came home, had to catch up at work and blogging completely fell to the wayside. So here's a super summer outfit of my favourite colour combination, pink and mint. Shorts are from Select, Top is from Primark (£3 in the sale!), Socks from Urban and Jellies from River Island.

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