jeudi 24 décembre 2009

Miss Selfridge code

For free shipping (in the UK only) on the Miss Selfridge website use MACXMAS at checkout.

mercredi 23 décembre 2009

Travelling home and some Christmas In & Outs

I switched on the TV this moring to be told gleefully by the presenters that today will be the busiest day for travelling and will bring nightmare conditions (weather and over-crowding) to all those heading home for the holidays.

Pah, you miserable lot!

I'm heading back home in a couple of hours - suitcase is full to bursting and I'm sure I've forgotten something. I can't wait to see my family - especially at the moment, we're all looking forward to being together. I'm looking forward to being by the fire, cat on my lap, glass of port in my hard. Bliss.

Hope you all have a safe journey home for Christmas if you have any distance to travel.

A few roars and raves (both beauty and otherwise) to finish the year...

1) MSF Natural - this is truly a revalation as it really does smooth the appearance of my skin
2) My new job - a friend recommended the most wonderful temping agency. They're small, delightlfully bonkers and most importantly found my some great assignments including the one I've been doing for six months that has just turned into a 'real' permanent job. I'm so grateful to have a job at all in this climate, let alone one I really like.
3) Presents - I'm feeling quite smug about all the presents I've bought this year - there truly is more pleasure in giving them then receiving them when you know you've bought something that someone will love.
4) The weather - thank you, thank you for all this sunny cold weather. Beats the hell out of the grey skies and rain we have so much of the year here.
5) London - as I blogged before, I am really loving London at the moment. It rocks.

1) Public transport - expensive, crowded...please all cross your fingers that my train home gets there and that it has space for me. Or even - dare I hope - a seat..
2) Retrospeck eyeshadow - I had such high hopes for you, but you've disappointed me deeply
3) So much rubbish on TV. The Christmas schedule seems to be full of cartoons and rubbish - where are the old classics?

That's all folks. Tell me yours


mardi 22 décembre 2009

Review: Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Cream

When I was in Sephora the other day I was given a sample of this, along with a rave review from the sales assistant who gave it to me:

Fresh's Black Tea Age-Delay Cream (with collagen boosting lychee)

I took all this raving with a pinch of salt, but duly gave the cream a go.

A couple of weeks later I've desperately squeezed the last little drops of this from the sample sachet, and I love it.

Fresh say this cream is:

"an advanced skin perfecting moistirizer that combines natural ingredients with cutting edge technology proven to strengthen the skin's structure, firm the complexion and visibly reduce the appearance of lines.

The sophisticated formula contains black tea to refine the complexion and enhance lustre and lychee to promote collagen synthesis, helping to maintain the skin's elasticity and resilience"

Agreed, this sounds like a lot of nonsense, but there's no denying that my skin has really loved this cream. It feels smoother and more even and the smell of lychee is gorgeous so it's really a pleasure to apply morning and night.

My love of it, is only engulfed by horror when I checked online to see how much it costs.....£80-£90 for 30ml/1oz! Ouch. Watch my inner turmoil as I try and justify spending quite so much.

Have you ever shelled out big bucks on a skin cream?

lundi 21 décembre 2009

Love London

I feel it doesn't hurt to big up London once in a while and remind myself what a wonderful city it is to live in. It's been my home for 10 years now - who'd have thought a country mouse like me would be happy in the city? For now, I am.

At this time of year so much of it looks particularly lovely - we've had some snow and some crisp sunny days and relatively little rain

I walk down Bow Lane every day on my way home and the Christmas lights never fail to lift my spirits.

The statue outside Buckingham Palace

Green Park

It's not half bad, London.

A little MAC..

I can't make head nor tail of the MAC foundation numbering system and their 'warm' vs 'cold' colouring etc.

I went through a phase years back when I wore their Select Tint in NW20...I felt this was a little orange and switched on a MUA's advice to NC20 which seemed to even out my skin tone a lot better. But, it didn't offer enough coverage and I switched to something else (a YSL one I think,but that's another story).

Then when in the store the other weekend buying something else I got talking to a MUA about needing some new foundation and she sized me up, and gave me two Studio Fix (fluid) samples NW20 and NW15. It turned out the NW20 was waaay to dark and NW15 seems to be spot on! What's with that? I don't know whether my skin colour is changing or whether there's discrepancies between the types of foundation and the colours...has anyone else found this? Anyway, my super sensitive skin seems to be happy with the Studio Fix - I'm hoping a good week's trial is enough time to see if it's going to freak out and break out and so far so good.

I also bought a Mineralise Skinfinish Natural in Light Medium while I was there which has exceeded all my expectations. Studio Fix + MSF Natural = pretty damn near perfection. The MSF evens out my skin and gives it a really beautiful finish despite. I love it.

For anyone not familiar with it, the MSFs are described by MAC as providing low coverage, and a "dimensional yet natural-matte finish". And it does exactly that.

I also bought Retrospeck which I've ogled online for a while, but I'm rather disappointed by it. You work hard for very little colour pay-off. I think perhaps I'm too pale for it to do very much on my skin, but it's a major disappointment. If I could return it, I would.

It actually looks ok on my fingertip but on my eyes it's next to invisible.

Anyone else been disappointed by an eyeshadow recently?

samedi 19 décembre 2009

Back soon

On Thursday we lost my grandmother. She was the grand old age of 93. And they were 93 happy, fulfilling years full and I feel lucky to have known and loved her for 32 of them.

I'm grateful her life was so full and that she never lost her marbles. She slipped away pretty quickly in the grand scheme of things which is something to be thankful for I know as I couldn't have watched her suffer.

So, I've been absent for a bit because of this, but will be back soon.

She was a beautiful person on the inside and out and someone I've learnt a lot as her outlook was always positive, wise and above all she had a sense of humour about everything.

lundi 14 décembre 2009

Here's a treet (!) for you all..

Usually I like to get our tree as soon as they start selling them. You have to buy your tree where you can in London if you don't have a car and you're going to carry it home, and that means exorbitant prices, so I like to get my money's worth. However this year what with being away on holiday it's only just gone up, a little later than usual.

I love the fact that Mr C and I are already growing our collection of tree decorations, and hopefully over the years we'll add to our collection. I love anything simple, sparkly, rustic on the tree - I think that about covers it. So, here she is, in all her glory:

And here are a few of my favourites...

a sparkly cupcake with a golden cherry on top

little rustic wooden hearts with polka dots and antique looking glass baubles

And...what's that on top of the tree? A star? A fairy?

Well there's a garden centre near my folks' place that has an amazing winter wonderland display that goes on through room upon room each Christmas. Last year I went with Mr C and cooed over all the beautiful birds (I love all things bird-y) so I went this year on my own, under strict instructions from him 'no birds!'

So, what could I come back with but a bird? He now sits proudly a-top our tree looking beautiful:

Just because...

Posting this photo just because I like it.

We went ice skating at the weekend at the Natural History museum which after dark is a beautiful twinkling magical place (if you can ignore the heaving crowds...). They've done away with the faux German Christmas market in favour of one stall selling oh so Christmassy pasties and chips. But - they do have this beautiful carousel there now.

The Natural History Museum is one of my favourite places in London (how amazing is it that it's free???) and is beautiful whatever the time of day or year but here's a fuzzy photo that gives you a small idea of how pretty it is at Christmas, with the ice rink

I do love Christmas. Even when it comes with crowds.

Are you skating this year?

dimanche 13 décembre 2009

New York beauty shopping

So as promised earlier on, here's a little more on the few things I bought on holiday.

First up -

Sephora Star Gazer Palette:

It's from their 'Pure' collection, and is free of various chemicals presumably usually present in lots of makeup. The palette itself is made of bamboo.

: much as I love the idea of a bamboo's not actually that great as it feels little brittle, doesn't shut that securely and the inserts don't fit that tightly and I can imagine them coming loose unless I treat this one with kid gloves.

That said, the colours in it are good and pigmentation seems strong:

Blush: Soleil | Eyeshadows (top L-R): Aurora, Galaxy, Polaris (bottom L-R): Heaven, Jupiter, Orion

I've used all of them and find the shades really wearable (though the glitter in the top centre and bottom right shades might restrict how often you use those two!) Aurora is a shimmery silver, Galaxy a dark matte grey with fine silver flecks of glitter, Polaris is a matte charcoal. Heaven is a shimmery very light heather colour, Jupiter a similar tone just darker Orion is a matte deep blue-y purple with pink fine glitter.

NARS Silent Night single eyeshadow
Well this one was an impulse purchase - $9 at the till. They really know how to suck you in don't they? It's a beautiful rich gold colour in the pan:

Thoughts: Once you try using it you find there's some really chunky glitter in it and pigmentation is a little weak. You really have to get stuck in to extract much colour. I've found it works better wet. I actually don't mind the glitter too much - especially at this time of year I'm just about going to get my money's worth from this bad boy, so overall I'm happy. Had I paid full price - I'd be less happy.

Wet 'n' Wild Idol Eyes in Techno and Pixie:
These were something ridiculous like $1.99 each I think. Quite soft and creamy consistency. I like 'em.

Thoughts: As you can see, the colour payoff isn't bad either and for this price, you just can't go wrong.

NARS mini multiples set
This is limited edition available only from Sephora.

Now, these really are mini at only 0.14oz compared to the usual 0.5oz so $ for $ it's not technically great value ($40 for this limited edition set compared to $37 for a full size multiple), but it does offer an affordable way to try out three of the most popular shades.
You have Copacabana, Orgasm and South Beach.

(L-R South Beach, Copacabana, Orgasm)

Thoughts: I've mulled over getting one of these for ages so was excited to finally have three in my possession. They're all very shimmery and the shades are beautiful.

To be honest it's taking some practice applying these. As opposed to using a powder highlighter/bronzer/blush you have to take more care as to where you put them on your face. I'm just not used to using cream blush etc. But - I ike them and can see myself ending up buying one or more full size ones once these run out.

Neosporin Lip Health:
This is something I read about on Belle's wonderful blog before I left for holiday, then spotted in Duane Reade and remembered her rave review:

It's super cheap - a couple of dollars and is an 'overnight renewal therapy'. It claims to reduce/heal dry or chapped lips in 3 days.

well, this stuff got a real road test while we were on holiday - the wind in New York in winter is biting and it's very hard to avoid getting dry or chapped lips. So I duly slathered this on at night and it really worked! By morning they were miraculously restored. So, a big thumbs up from me for this beauty bargain as I'm sure it's one I'll be using throughout winter.

And finally...

Revlon's Silver Screen nail polish

Excuse the sloppy manicure - to be fair to Revlon it's been over a week since I painted my nails..

Now, I don't know if you remember me raving about their Steel Her Heart which is a dark pewter/steel colour, and how I wished they did a pure silver one? Well, it turns out they do! I don't know whether it's not stocked in the UK, or whether it's just that I haven't yet come across it but imagine my squeal of delight when I saw this in the drugstore!

I bought two bottles, just in case. And - British ladies, get this - it's $4.70 in the US...compared to something like £7 over here. Not fair!

Thoughts: I can't get over how good Revlon nail polishes are. And that it's taken my this long to discover them. Even one coat is almost passable if you're in a rush and they seem to have really good lasting power. Love it.

So there you have it. Sorry if the post ended up waffling on too long for your liking!

samedi 12 décembre 2009

Dance with me...

Oh man I love dancing (watching that is....if only I could dance..). Any film with dancing in it is a treat in my book - from 42nd Street to Singin' In The Rain to Take the Lead.

So here's the first of a few of my favourite dancing scenes...

vendredi 11 décembre 2009

Festive Tag!

My little haul post is coming but taking a while as I haven't been able to take photos in daylight since I've come home.

So in the meantime, a fun, vaguely festive survey I found on Look Ma No Patterns! (a lovely craft blog I enjoy reading).

Anyone reading - I tag you!

Favourite colour:
Green, silver and gold

Yes. I need to prune though.

Favourite Christmas song?

Christmas Tree - real or fake?
It's got to be real. I LOVE the smell of them too

Hottest Celebrity?
I still have such a soft spot for Mr Big (or should that be Detective Mike Logan)

....and should I confess to a secret crush on 'George Costanza'?

Favourite Restaurant?

I'm going to be pretentious and say a New York one - Marseille on 9th. We had all our special meals there when we were living round the corner. It's beautiful, dimly lit and the food is gorgeous.

Favourite magazine?
Vanity Fair. This was the first issue I bought (I can't think why the cover caught my eye) and I've subscribed ever since. I love it - I read it from cover to cover. And I've saved every copy. I couldn't possibly admit to going through a weird phase where I catalogued the articles..

Favourite holiday drink?
Mulled wine or sloe gin - glass of either one by the fire back home at my folks' place is perfection

Favourite Christmas movie?
No question, White Christmas. Family tradition to watch this on Christmas Eve

mercredi 9 décembre 2009

Back to Blighty

Our New York 5 day fairy tale is now over and we arrived back in London this morning. The rest of the day has been largely spent dozing and doing some very light unpacking and laundry. Oh the glamour.

We had a wonderful time and while we were there New York had its first snow of the year - it was so magical! I'd forgotten how often you get blue skies there...the dreary grey of English skies can feel a bit bleak at times.

Our time was largely spent prowling round our old neighbourhood, checking out old haunts and finding new places. Lots of walking, and eating and drinking. I do love a long cosy wood panelled little bar.

Although I live with my boyfriend, when you both have busy jobs it's surprising how little you see can each other what with working late and heading off to work early, so having 6 whole days to spend together felt like a real treat. And, in my opinion if you're going to mooch around somewhere hand in hand then I can't think of a better city to do it in. Bliss.

I managed to get a fair bit of Christmas shopping done for family, but apart from that, I was restrained on the shopping front, and makeup-wise I came home with the modest haul you see below...

I'll do some thoughts and swatches in another post

mercredi 2 décembre 2009

New York, here we come!

So tomorrow is the long awaited return to New York..and I'm so over-excited about it, I'm realiably informed I'm being a real handful.

All that's left to do, is pack. My packing is always done at the eleventh hour.

Hopefully I'll have a few haul-type posts for you all when I'm back.

Have a lovely weekend

vendredi 27 novembre 2009

5 things making me smile right now

1. Christmas lights!

I wish this crappy photo taken with my blackberry did justice to just how pretty the lights in Sloane Square are. And the lights on my walk home from work are finally switched on - it really does make me smile to see them. Photo coming soon...

2. Guava juice. I love love love it, and could drink it all day.

3. Steel Her Heart nails by Revlon. Finally someone has learnt how to do shiny shiny nail polish. I love this pewter colour (just wish they did a pure silver coloured one that was as thick and glossy)

4. My phone. Went we temporarily moved overseas I went onto a pay as you go mobile phone to keep my number and I've only just got round to going back on a contract, and I love now having endless minutes so I can gab on the phone however long I want, whenever I want. My folks are used to the daily phonecall as I walk home in the evenings.

5. The crisp sunny weather. It should be cold this time of year, and I'm glad it finally is. Dust off the gloves and hats!

Happy weekend everyone

mercredi 25 novembre 2009


No blogging of late, as every spare second I've had recently has been spent trying to finish my 3 year old godson's Christmas present which I need to have finished by this weekend when I'm seeing him.

It's a quilt. My sewing machine packed up on me and so I've had to do the whole thing old hand. I really love sewing by hand, but it does mean you need longer to get things finished if you're not going to let a machine speed things up.

I'll tell you a secret - I already made another one, almost entirely composed of fabric from Mr C's old shirts. And then I looked at it, and I realised way deep down, in a secret place, I wanted to keep it, in case I one day have a son to give it to.
But shhh - that's just between you and me ok? We don't want to go scaring Mr C.

So, this is round two - patchwork of a little Cath Kidston, some scraps (again from old shirts) and some new cotton on one side, and gingham on the back. It has a very loose western/cowboy theme (or that was the intention at least)

I'm nearly thereI only have 3 more evenings to finish it - panic!

mercredi 18 novembre 2009

The Countdown begins..

It's over a year now since we moved back to London following what's officialy known as "The Best 6 Months Of My Life" living in New York. Now I would hate to think there's not better to come, and I really am very happy with my life right now, but it was an amazing time. And also, we realised in retrospect, a real test of our relationship - just the two of us moving to a country where we didn't know anyone.

Anyway, it's now only 2 weeks until we go back for a little visit!

After spending ages wondering whether yo try staying somewhere different, we thought 'what the hell', we're going back to 'our' old neighbourhood, so have rented a little studio just a few blocks up from our luxurious (corporate, I hasten to add) apartment we lived in last year.

I cannot wait!

And so begins the shopping list...MAC - I'm talking to YOU! Not to forget all the drugstore delights. Jokes aside, I'm going to try not to go overboard with the shopping, but any suggestions for things I should be buying that I can't get in Boots of Superdrug gratefully received.

Good old Sleek

A quick dive into Superdrug on the way home is very hard to resist on a gloomy evening after a hard day at work.....the result? Some Sleek treats:

I've read a lot of people talking about these relatively new Pout Polishes - they're around the £4 mark I think and come in 4 colours. I got Electro Peach

Though it looks very orangey in the pot, it just comes out pretty red. It's a lot more pigmented than you might think, so I'd advise applying it carefully (if you slap it on like a lip balm without using a mirror, you risk looking like a kid who's eaten too many strawberries!). It has a slightly grainy texture to it but it's not unpleasant. It smells just like creme caramel - a mixture of vanilla and caramel.

Though the shallow wide pot is quite attractive I find it not the most hygienic way of having lipgloss as whenever you take the lid off, you have this huge sticky expanse of lipgloss just waiting for dust/fluff/dirt to land on it.

As I was saying to Anna after her brilliant post on all things concealer, I've been looking for a new one, and I thought why not give the Sleek one a go - again, it's nice and cheap - I think around the £2-4 mark (I must keep note!)

Anyway, I like it. Seems to do a good job evening out redness and also concealing shadows. I'll report back if my opinion changes after more extended use!

samedi 14 novembre 2009

Hurray for discount codes..

I didn't manage to find anything nice in my brief shopping trip today so hit up ASOS when I got home instead and put a little order in.

In case you fancy doing the same, don't forget to use the code CHRISTMASCRACKER2 from now until Tuesday 17th November and get 15% off!

Butternut squash and cannellini bean soup

Ok ladies, as requested here's the recipe for the soup. It's a real mainstay of my winter cooking repertoire as it's cheap to make, filling and has to be pretty damn healthy, right?

So, you will need..

- a butternut squash
- some stock
- a tin of cannellini beans
- curry powder (optional)

...and that's it!

> Peel and dice the squash into 1-2cm cubes, then put in a pan with some stock and bring to the boil. I'm a bit haphazard with quantities, but I tend to err on the side of caution as you can always add more liquid, but having too much is trickier to fix. So I put enough stock to cover the squash.

> Keep checking it and when it's soft (again - you start to see the scatty cooking style here, but I imagine it's about 20 minutes) remove from the heat.

> Drain and rinse the beans and add half to the soup

> Whizz in a blender until it's smooth. I have a cheapo hand blender that likes to try and spatter the walls so I find it easier to use a potato masher to mash everything first then use the blender.

> Add curry powder to your taste - depends on how spicey you like it, and the remainder of the beans and put it back on the hob. At this point you want to add more liquid to thin it down a bit - taste it, if it's pretty concentrated just add some boiling water, otherwise add some more stock until it's at a consistency that you like.

> When everything is nice and hot, including the beans, remove and serve!

mercredi 11 novembre 2009

5 things making me smile right now

1. Barry M toffee lipgloss - it's official, I'm in love. I've even grown to love the smell.

2. My Longchamp le pliage - my friends bought me this one for my birthday and it hasn't been off the crook of my arm since. Sorry other bags - I still love you dearly, but I'm in the midst of a steamy affair here.

3. The City - I used to work in the distant reaches of south London, and now I work in the City and I love it. Love the buildings, love the lack of tourists, love the busy atmosphere and love the little side streets you stumble across with proper old fashioned pubs - it feels all Dickensian. I'll take and post a photo soon of my favourite little street

4. My sweet potato and cannellini bean soup - quite delicious if I say so myself, and great for taking into work for lunch. Makes me feel smug on two fronts - not spending money on buying lunch and the minimal calorie count and healthy nature of it!

5. The This Amerian Life podcast - how great is this? Does anyone else know it? It's a freebie stumbled across it on iTunes and is a collection of stories and thoughts on a different topic each week. It's fascinating.

Link me to your 5 favourites things, folks!

dimanche 8 novembre 2009

youtube magic

Wish I could remember where I read about this... anyway - enjoy!

vendredi 6 novembre 2009

What a revelation!

Confession - I sneered at skinny jeans when they first arrived on the scene. I just thought they made your legs look stumpy, they weren't elegant and I did not get it. (I am a self-confessed fashion fuddy duddy).

I finally realised I was the last girl in town clinging onto bootlegs (or so it felt) and I trotted to good old New Look to try on some black skinnies.

What do you know? They are SO flattering, it's insane. I hold my hands up and freely admit - I was wrong! Skinny jeans - I love you deeply - you make me look so tall and slim, and I don't know why I ignored you for so long!

I've always found New Look's shoes to be great - a surprising number of them are leather, or at least leather lined, and the prices are very reasonable. Let's face it - flats aren't going anywhere and New Look always has an amazing selection, from quilted to sequined to pleated to be-jewelled.....
Picked up this cute little quilted pair with patent toes and trim

And I'm deeply in love. They're also sturdy enough to stand up to a bit of bog standard english rain (I don't think they'd survive a proper downpour, but on a miserable evening like this, they did just fine).

Have you found any good bargains recently?

mercredi 4 novembre 2009

Vitamin E = glowing complexion...

I do my best to drink the prescribed buckets loads of water a day - the fact I sit close to the water filter at work no doubt helps me out with this, but like most girls I always feel my skin isn't quite good enough.

The other day I visited a friend I hadn't seen a while, and she was positively glowing.
Pregnant? No.
Amazing new foundation? No, no make up at all actually.

So why was she looking so gorgeous? She told me she'd been taking Vitamin E tablets for a while - no other change to her diet or to her skincare routine and she put it down to this.

So - I followed suit. And, do you know what - I really feel like it's doing my skin some good.

Sifting through the internet to try and find out more on the benefits and dangers of taking vitamin E, brings back all sorts of encouraging (and scary results) but as far as I can tell so long as you don't take more than the recommended dose and are healthy then it's ok.

Anyone else take it? Heard anything about it?

lundi 2 novembre 2009

Beauty Raves and Roars

RAVES (Yay!)

1. Maybelline Full n Soft mascara - had this one knocking round in my collection for ages, but I've come to reaslise that after Lancome, it's probably my favourite. It gives me thick lashes.

2. Barry M lipgloss in no.2. I know, I know - I'm a lipgloss hater, but yet again I decided to try another...and this might be the one that sucks me in. Gorgeous natural colour.

3. Aveda Replenishing body lotion. Bought this last year and I thought I had a mild reaction to it so put it to one side, but recently I've given it another go, and I kind of like it. It's doing a good job until I buy more Nuxe. Which leads me on to...

4. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. Best dry oil ever. I've used this for years and years and I love it - it has a very distinctive smell which lingers which I think you either love or hate but I love it. Moisturises my skin beautifully. They say it can be used on the face and hair too, but I've never dared.

ROARS (Boo hiss!)

1. L'Oreal Telescopic - big disappointment for me. I know I'm probably on my own here, but I hated what it did to my lashes - big spider-y clumps, which isn't a look I like.

2. That nasty nasty 2True Plumptious Lipgloss I bought - you very much get what you pay for - nasty gunky sticky colourless.

3. Sure Crystal deodorant ok, this isn't beauty, but seriously, if your USP is that it doesn't leave white marks....then make sure it doesn't!

samedi 31 octobre 2009

Barry M lip loving

There's a lovely big Superdrug near work so I popped in at lunchtime yesterday and picked up these two. They were £4.19 each so pretty affordable and despite being cheap, the packaging is great (Rimmel, No 17 - take note!)

Lipstick no. 146 - Dolly Pink, and lip gloss in no. 2 - Toffee

They're the first Barry M lip products I've tried, and overall I'm impressed. The consistency of the lipstick is lovely - I have the say the colour is BRIGHT..I'm not entirely sure how often I'll find myself reaching for this one, but nevertheless it's a fun addition.

You may already have noted my deep hatred for lip gloss but I'm determined to find one I like. This one falls very much into that 'my lips but better' category - and the effect is pretty. It's not as sticky as some, which I like. The overpowering toffee smell is a little off putting as I'm not sure I like feeling as though I'm smearing toffee sauce on my lips!

So, I'm going to try some more soon I think - which Barry M lip paints and glosses do you have? And do you like them?

mercredi 28 octobre 2009

ubi ibi libris....

Reading this great post from the wonderful Amanda made me think how much I'm enjoying the book I'm currently reading - to the point of letting my friends go off to lunch without me so I can spend a blissful solitary lunchtime reading instead of being sociable. I've read quite a few of Paul Auster's books, and loved them and now it turns out I love his wife's writing too, or certainly this book...

It's What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt

I wish I was clever enough to write a review that would enthrall you, and tell you how much I love it and make you want to read it too. Instead I'll quote from the Guardian's review:

"Siri Hustvedt has written a novel of ideas, in which she tackles questions of how much of what we perceive is personal, how much shared, how much is fixed for all time and how much is liable to shift."

To be honest, I'm loathe to read to the end of the review in case it reveals the ending.

It's set in the 70s and onwards and is the story of an art writer, his family, his friendship with an artist and his family, and how things change over the course of time. I love the snapshots of a New York from another time and I just love the way she writes - she has just such a beautiful, spot on way of phrasing things.

Give it a go.

p.s. the title of this post...I studied classics, and my dad is a classics teacher - and this quote is close to my heart - "ubi ibi libris, ibi libertas" where there are books, there is freedom. Great words.

dimanche 25 octobre 2009

Sunday afternoon chores

Spent the afternoon doing the unenviable task of sorting through all my clothes and shoes deciding what to keep, what to charity shop and what to bin. Dull but essential, and it seems a good time of year to get the job out of the way.

Obviously this job can't be done without something interesting on TV - so I had a retro moment with one of my favourites....who remembers St Elmo's Fire?

I can't tell you how much I was in love with Rob Lowe when I first saw this film. Has he aged at all?

Anyone else love the brat pack films?

samedi 24 octobre 2009

More Inglot treats

We ploughed our way through the crowds at a heaving Westfield today so I could go coat shopping. The effort was worth it, and I now have a lovely new winter jacket -and a purple one at that!

I made a quick stop at Inglot to pick up a couple more eyeshadows. They're a wonderful alternative to MAC - cheaper at £11 for 3 eyeshadows and as far as I can tell so far the pigmentation is almost if not as good as MAC. And they fit into the Pro palettes.

From left to right we have:
a matte neutral shade (390)
a pearl finish pink-y mauve (445) (a little like MAC's Trax crossed with Satellite Dreams?)
a pearl finish deep red-ish purple 452 (similarish to MAC's Cranberry?)

swatched without any primer:

Love them! What do you reckon?

A trip to Westfield is complete without a) a trip to Inglot and b) a cupcake from Buttercup (I ate it far too fast for a photo!)

vendredi 23 octobre 2009

5 Loves, 5 Hates


1. My Diptyque John Galliano candle. One of my birthday presents - it reminds me of home as my folks always have one on the go. It smells of incense and wood and is a lovely cosy winter-y smell.

2. What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt. It's been on my reading list for years now, and I stumbled across a copy in my local charity shop last week - joy! I'm so engrossed.

3. Corn on the cob. I never ate corn actually on the cob until we lived in NYC and I bought some at one of the street fairs that seem to spring up every month. And, wow, how much do I love it. I could eat it every day.

4. ELF Studio Warm Bronzer. Thankfully it turns out I'm not dangerously allergic to this and I love it. Great product at a great price.

5. Tunnocks Tea Cakes. These are THE BOMB


1. Capers - urgh. Root of all evil. It almost creeps me out too much to post a picture

2. 2True Plumptuous Lip Gloss. Yes, granted it's cheap lip gloss to probably not the finest quality, but it reminded me of why I HATE lip gloss and stopped wearing it. Sickly smell and too sticky. Yuck.

3. Temping....I've been at the same company 6 months now - hopefully soon to be made permanent but until then it's temp wage, no holiday allowance.

....Do you know what? It's a good week - I'm stopping at 3!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

mercredi 21 octobre 2009

Do you want to see something beautiful?

I couldn't love Strictly Come Dancing any more if I tried

I sometimes think dancing doesn't get any better than watching Vincent and Flavia.

On a more banal note, had a random little spot (or "blemish" in euphemistic beauty speak) or two pop up in the past week - I couldn't find any of the usual zappers - Body Shop Tea Tree, Mario Badescu or Liz Earle so I just applied...nothing.

And do you know what? They've never cleared up so quickly.

Any er - beauty secrets you've stumbled across?!

vendredi 16 octobre 2009

Christmas hols!

It's a year since we moved back to London, from New York, and though London's great, I still miss New York an awful lot.

But, we've just booked a little trip back to visit in a couple of months time, and I can't wait to revisit old haunts.

This was the view from our apartment

..though I do love living in Pimlico now, nothing beats being able to see Central Park from your window (yes, can see it - just to the right of the Hearst building!)

Roll on Forever 21, Sephora, a Duane Reade raid and lots of delicious food!

Are you off on hols anywhere interesting before the end of the year?

mercredi 14 octobre 2009

Rose & Co Apothecary

We took a trip to see Mr C's folks the other weekend, who live "oop north" and while we were there, we went to visit Haworth - famous for being the home of the Brontes and now also home to Rose & Co Apothecary and a more gorgeous old fashioned chemists, you've never seen. I don't know whether time has stood still, or whether it's all contrived to look very old but either way the effect is charming.

How lovely is this?

I left with a bag of rose (natch!) bath salts - I find it hard to find nice bath salts, and I HATE bubbles in my bath! Does anyone else agree?

Where have I been?

It's been so long. Too long.

The holiday was bliss. Absolute bliss

Need I say more? Lots of Milo, nasi lemak, tiger beer, sunshine, tropical fish, monkeys and cats. And by the end of two weeks even I had got a tan.

The inevitable catching up at work after a holiday has kept me very busy.

Had my first ELF order the other day. I suspect it would have arrived quickly if all the postmen in England weren't striking (don't get me started...)

So, Pink Ice custom eyeshadow, eyeliner brush from the Studio line, and Warm Bronzer, also from the Studio line.

Had a scary allergic reaction where my face puffed up and I had to go to A+E, and the doctor floated the idea it was a reaction to any new makeup I had..argh - was it the bronzer? Well, I can report a few days later I used it again, totally forgetting what the doctor had said, and I am fine. So phew - I'm not allergic.

So yes, the bronzer is lovely. Give it a go if you haven't already.

Hope you're all well. I'm off to take a tour around all my favourite ladies blogs now!