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!