Friday, 28 September 2012

autumnal wish list

lovely autumnal bits and pieces - I want them all.

Fluffy black cardi - Topshop
Heart Dress - A Beautiful Mess for Modcloth
Geo printed leggings - UO
Bison sweatshirt - Ohh Deer
Plaid a little love bag - Modcloth
Lace-up boots - Topshop
Llama Print Pinafore Dress - Topshop
Woven winter shoulder bag - UO
Triangle cage necklace - UO
Pin up girl brooch - Ladybird Likes
Quilted contrast coat - ASOS 
Hooded coat - Lauren Moffatt
Oversized scarf - UO
Johann Earl tartan dress - ASOS

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

a much loved recipe: chocolate brownies

This chocolate brownies recipe is one of my staples. I've been using the same one since I returned from uni (ahem, four years ago). Before we all parted ways at the end of third year I compiled a cookbook featuring all my flat mates' best recipes - this was one of them.

175g (6oz) unsalted butter
125g (4 1/2 oz) plain (or dark) chocolate - broken into pieces for melting
3 large eggs
150g (5oz) golden caster sugar
75g (3oz) ground almonds
75g (3oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) plain chocolate chips (although I used milk chocolate on this occasion)
50g (2oz) white chocolate broken into smallish pieces
icing sugar to dust

What you gotta do:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (that's 350 F).
Cut the butter into pieces and melt, along with the plain (or dark) chocolate, in a saucepan. Keep it on a low-medium heat and keep stirring - don't let the mixture burn or get stuck to the bottom!
Whisk the eggs and sugar together, around 5 mins should do it, until think and fluffy. Combine with the melted chocolate/butter mixed.
Fold in the ground almonds, flour, white chocolate pieces and plain chocolate chips.
Pour the mixture into a lined 20x20cm tin.
Bake for about 30 mins or until well risen and slightly firm at the edges.
Leave to cool in the tin and then turn out and dust with icing sugar. 
Cut into squares and then eat or, if you're feeling generous, share them!
Although I've not tired another brownies recipe it doesn't mean I'm not up for the challenge (I just know this one always turns out well). So, if you know of an excellent brownie recipe please do tell - I am aware that I am a creature of habit, cooking and baking the same (loved) recipes time after time but perhaps it's time for a things for certain, I've got a growing pinterest board boasting all sorts of amazing foods and they aren't going to cook themselves!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tuesday's Tees - Something Nice

So I'm not sure if these count as tees buuut...I make the rules here at Tuesday's Tees so today this is what's going down.

I happened across Robin's blog and subsequently her shop. At first glance I thought these were excellent tees nicely styled with cool skirts. I was wrong. They are in fact tee dresses! (see there is a tee connection) 

Aren't they pretty!? My favourite is the anchor one :)

Monday, 24 September 2012

weekending fun

I was rather taken with this Iguanodon soft toy and the slogan sweets in the natural history museum gift shop
secret screening 
quilt planning and brownies

September's weekends have been particularly awesome this year, and the latest one did not disappoint! Being the last weekend before pay-day, Friday was a quiet one - more new york based movies and a take-away. On Saturday I made use of the glorious sunshine with a walk around the park followed by an early evening visit to the Natural History Museum. If you're worried about the weekend crowds at the museums I'd recommend going at around 4:30 - tourists and families have normally had enough by then and cleared off home, plus you still get an hour and a half to wander around. Mitch then treated me to dinner and a movie. We went to a steak place, the food was so good. I've only had steak twice before and never in a restaurant - it's just not something I'd usually order - but I'm glad I did. After, we watched The Imposter in our own v.private screening. Mitch's company deals with digital projectors and have a mini cinema on site inside their building. With permission we were kindly allowed to watch the film in there (which was pretty cool). Incase you're not familiar with it, The Imposter is a documentary film about a boy who went missing from Texas when he was about 12 years old. Four years later a 'boy' is found in Spain who may or may not be the missing Nicolas Barclay... I don't really want to say anything more because the twists are insane - even more so because it's a true story. It's compelling stuff - I highly recommend it. As for Sunday, the foul weather confined me to the flat so I started working on a new quilt and baked some chocolate brownies. Hope you all had a good weekend too!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

the only stamp in my passport

New York holiday planning continues. We've applied for our short stay visas which got me thinking about my empty passport. Despite owning my current passport for 5 and a half years there's only one solitary stamp inside it. I got it when I travelled by ferry from Italy to Albania. My 5 days in Albania were certainly an eye-opener, not a holiday as such, more of an endurance test. 

Don't get me wrong, the scenery was beautiful, I ate v.well, met some nice people and I learned a lot - the culture of eastern europe was something of a shock for my naive 21-year-old-self. The problem for me was that I was thrown into something I hadn't been prepared for, under different circumstances it could've been a great holiday... I came back from Albania feeling enlightened but also annoyed. To get rid of all the pent-up anger I wrote 5 pages about my experience, not all of it bad. It wasn't the country's fault that I felt so rubbish about my time there, by any means, but if you read what I wrote you'd never what to go there either. Now, four years on, I see what happened to me as a learning curve about a good number of things, I also realised that I never really looked back over the photos I took, mostly because I didn't want to think about the trip. Like I said though, the Albanian scenery was quite spectacular so, here, as some sort of 'moving on' thing, I'm bringing the pics into the light.

Hills, beaches, even more coast, restaurants over the sea, old houses left to crumble, Tirana, an abandoned factory at the side of the road.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

bits & pieces

Just a couple of things I've been up to lately. Inspired by this from Jesse's blog I decided to put up a changeable photo line using string and mini pegs. As we're renting our flat and the landlady wouldn't be too chuffed with us making lots of holes in the walls, I find that this works perfectly. Last week I doodled on an otherwise rather plain tote bag using a fabric pen. I've also been rummaging through my fabric scraps box to find stuff for a new project.

Quite a few of the blogs I follow are written by great bloggers who freelance or work for themselves, something which I most definitely aspire to. I hugely admire them but I also wonder how, how do they do it? I should think myself lucky as my job does allow me to be creative and has introduced me to many awesome things. On the downside I can't stand being in an office 5 days a week, it suits some but not me, and it's hard to come back from an 8 hour day and feel motivated every evening to get on with my own projects. Some nights are more productive than others but then I guess that's how it is for everyone. Ultimately I would love to make stuff for a living, and maybe one day I will but for now I'm not quite good enough or financially stable enough or, if I'm honest, disciplined enough. So heres to you all you DIY-ers, making your own path – you are cool.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tuesday's Tees - old tee, big cat

This week I've chosen an old, but much loved tee, of mine I bought from Topshop about 3 and half years ago. As you can see it depicts a photograph of a well dressed lady casually walking her cheetah along the street. I'd like to think it's a real photograph as it's a great pic and therefore a great tee. 
I remember buying it because it reminded me of the 1938 movie 'Bringing Up Baby' starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. 'Baby' is actually a leopard rather than a cheetah but still. Mitch hadn't seen the film before so we watched it last weekend. I love it, it's pretty off-the-wall and Hepburn and Grant are hilarious. It starts off with a simple premise, Grant's character needs to make a favourable impression on a certain lawyer in order to secure a large sum of money for his museum but as soon as he meets Hepburn (and her leopard) all chaos breaks loose! The situation escalates and escalates until you wonder how everything will be alright in the end, which of course it will be. The script is punchy and the dynamic between the two leads is simply perfect. I can't recommend it enough (it is probably one of my all time favourite films). Expect lots of mistaken identity jokes, a cappella singing ('I can't give you anything but love'), Grant running around in a v.pretty dressing gown and of course leopards (yep, more than one)!

Monday, 17 September 2012

markets and country shows

This weekend thousands of people made their way to Brockwell Park for this year's Lambeth Country Show, I think it's normally held around June/July but what with the Olympics throughout the summer it was moved to September - not that you'd know, the weather (particularly on the saturday) was glorious!

There were a couple of stages for the live music, numerous places to get all sorts of grub, a fair with carnival-type rides, stalls selling craft and art, there was even a jousting tournament, featuring armoured knights on horseback, taking place at the top of the hill (pictured) which Mitch and I caught the end of. It was pretty fun but our favourite section of the show was the farm zone. Are you surprised? There was a petting zoo, an owlery and plenty of opportunities to meet and speak to local growers and find out about their community growing schemes. We enjoyed some very nice herb tea whilst talking to a lady who, along with 40 other Lambeth locals had just brewed (thanks to a v.local brewer) their first pale ale, all made from hops grown in and around Brixton! Needless to say, Mitch and I felt hugely inspired and signed up to (hopefully) grow and contribute some hops too!

The highlight of the day was watching the sheep shearing show (also in the farm zone). Billy, a sheep shearing veteran who once sheared over 420 sheep in 7 hours (that's about 33 secs per sheep), dispensed his knowledge about the history of shearing before giving a demonstration on a v.chilled and well behaved sheep. It was really interesting and made me think a lot about sheep - they give us milk, meat, wool AND (I only found out this weekend) provide an integral ingredient to make hand and face creams! Sheep. are. cool.

Also over the weekend Mitch and I took a stroll down Brixton's market where I spied this glorious hand-opperated sewing machine. It was only £15 quid but looked in need of repair so I let it be. Mitch, however, found a working 8mm camera for a fiver - now all we need is some film!

I felt regretful about walking away from the beautiful machine but my practical side took over - "where would we keep it?" There's barely room in the flat for my current machine! Thankfully my harsh but realistic decision was rewarded shortly afterward when we came across Auntie Aviator's stall. 
She had an amazing collection of vintage and modern frames - some of which had never been worn! 
To cut a long story short, I got myself a pair, and even better yet, she's going to put my prescription lenses in them! If you too fancy some unique face furniture you can find Auntie Aviator at Greenwich Market every Friday, sometimes at Spitalfields and once a month in Brixton!
Here are the frames I'm getting - cannot wait to collect them!
To top off this super weekend here is a beard update -
<3 this man

Sunday, 16 September 2012

moda in september

Warning: this is purely an unbashful fabric swoon post (and by no means sponsored, I just reeeally love them).
Having successfully managed to make a dress my thoughts have turned to making another, but this time using more autumnal/wintery colours. Whilst happily clicking away on the wonderfully wide web I happened across the Moda fabrics website - they have many pretty collections on there, especially the ones below taken from the September selection! As this beautiful fabric is from the USA, all I've got to figure out is how to get my hands on some of it...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

a photo an hour (ish)

I've been meaning to do one of these for a while and decided today should be the day (spontaneous eh?).
9am - I was running rather late this morning. Ah, mirror photo - this is me in my much loved parrot tee.

 10am - still running late. Walk from the station across the green to work. It really was a beautiful morning.

11am - my desk. It looks messy but I did in fact tidy it recently (you don't want to know what it looked like before). You'll note on the screen that I'm trying to get the work/pinterest balance just right.

12 midday - spiral staircase to my office. Went outside to get some air, it's quite a nice spot to stand and ponder.

1pm - highroad. On the walk, via a bridge and underpass, into town to buy some lunch I met this funny little cat

2pm - lunch. No, I didn't eat the magazines.

3pm - gates. Took a little stroll outside and snapped a pic of the gates of where I work.

4pm - late afternoon sustenance 

5pm - calculations and doodling

6pm - to the pub

7pm - vino, 2nd glass

8pm - tube home

9pm - cheese on toast (turns out i'm a little pissed...)

I've seen quite a few other bloggers do these, most of them seem to have rather interesting hour-to-hour goings-on. I, however, possibly did not pick a great day, perhaps it might be better on a weekend... This has been the first week in aaages that I've been solely based in the office - and let me tell you, it aint no circus. The result is what you can see above - a fairly standard day at the office with a cat thrown in for good measure. I hope I haven't bored you all too much. I'm going to leave it there as the wine seems to have gone to my head a little - whoops! Bedtime methinks.

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