Friday, 28 September 2012

Dress of the Week: Miss Selfridge Navy Embellished Dress

Is it too early to be thinking about Christmas? I know December normally ends up a tad hectic and I never have enough time to go shopping for that perfect party dress. If it isn't too early then this dress is a serious contender.

It's £65 from Miss Selfridge. I actually think my favourite thing about it is the fact it's navy, makes a change from black while still being flexible enough to wear several times.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Cake & Bake Show

On Sunday I visited the much anticipated Cake & Bake show at Earl's Court. As we are now a nation obsessed with baking, the show was very popular, with tickets selling out weeks before the event.

 There were loads of stalls selling every type of baking item you could imagine as well as books and magazines. Peggy Porschen had a whole corner set up, it was so pretty I could probably have stood staring at it all day.

But as I was trying to not spend too much money, I went more for the cake displays and baking demonstrations. These dessert tables looked amazing, my photos really don't do them enough justice.

 These drawers are the same ones we use in our bedroom, unfortunately we have never had this much cake sitting on them.

 There were so many great bakers doing demonstrations around the show. I managed to catch a bit of Eric Lanlard, Mich Turner, Peggy Porschen, and of course the great Mary Berry. The photos are all a bit grainy, I was having to use the zoom on my camera a lot. These guys were all really popular unsurprisingly!

There was also a competition section (with the theme Edible Beach if you couldn't guess), where all the cakes looked amazing. Including some based on a very familiar place...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Renegade Craft Fair

I was super excited when I heard Renegade were making a return visit to these shores. What better way to kick off my holiday week?

 I was too busy browsing/getting over excited/trying not to get my purse out again to take many photos but you can see some of my favourite stalls and displays.
You can just see the Mollie Makes stall in the corner here, where I managed to get my hands on their new Christmas book. And it's beautiful so expect a blog post soon!

I did buy some band poster postcards for our soon to be started art wall. Mostly because one of the bands featured is slightly obscure but probably our all time favourite, so we were pretty happy to see it.  

Just outside Truman Brewery we saw some pretty cool street art. I've since seen on Twitter loads of other little details people spotted on their way to Renegade. Hopefully there will be another Renegade visit so I hunt them all down!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Things I Like Tuesday

I've really been making an effort to read more lately (funny enough, my commutes seems to be going much quicker too...) So today's TiLT is a list of some of my latest reads:

  • Frankenstein - loved it and read it in 3 days. Thought it was pretty similar in style to Dracula which I also loved
  • Beautiful Disaster - fell in love with Abby and Travis within a couple of pages, recommended if you fancy some really easy to read 'chick-lit'. Abby is a way stronger character than certain other female leads recently
  • Madame Bovary - I struggled my way through most of this and have sort of given up. I just couldn't like any of the characters and was pretty much desperate to read something else
  • The Happiness Project - 3/4 of the way through this and really enjoying it. Strangely found I'm already doing loads of her happiness actions which can only be a good thing. 
Any must reads for me? I will literally read anything! 

Monday, 24 September 2012

48 Hours in Plymouth

So thanks to possibly the most random Christmas present I have ever received, the mister and me got to spend a couple of days in Plymouth last week. And here's my rundown of the top things to do in 48 hours.
Start as you mean to go on and have a cream tea. Devonshire way please, so clotted cream first then the jam. 

Walk off those scones with a walk around the Barbican shops. Pretty much all of these were small independent shops, with lots of made in Devon products. And lots of food places if you could possibly still be hungry.

Finish off the afternoon with a tour of the Plymouth Gin Distillery. The tour includes a G&T in the bar, and the more hardcore gin fans can even try mixing their own gin blend.
 Dinner looking out on the water at the Barbican. I went for locally caught fish in an ale brewed just over the county border in Cornwall.
 Next day, have a tour of the Royal Citadel. Parts of the building are still original but it used as a working military base today. The views over Plymouth are amazing, and our guide was full of information about Plymouth history.
By now, you will be need of an icecream, preferably from the coolest ice cream van I have possibly ever seen.

More history now with a visit to the Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrim Fathers left for the new world. There is also a museum just opposite if you want to know more about the Mayflower.
Finish up with a walk across Plymouth Hoe, soak up the views and have a climb up Smeaton's Tower.

Any great places to visit/things to do I missed? This is one of the first trips I didn't endlessly research beforehand so I'm sure I missed something!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

London Fashion Week

Just a quick round up of my favourite SS13 shows from London Fashion Week.

  • Antoni and Alison - lots of silky dresses with crayon scribble prints and metallic detailing
  • sass & bide - mostly white with touches of black, silver and gold, origami folds and geometric shaping
  • Kinder Aggugini - gingham checks and navy florals, lots of dungarees
  • Sophia Webster - presented in giant dolls boxes, mexican inspired colours and designs
  • Mary Katrantzou - postage stamp inspired prints on flowing dresses
  • Temperley London - stripes everywhere, all in navy, coral and white

I find it so tricky to get excited about summer when autumn seems to have arrived. I'm going to stick my head back in all the AW12 collections and come back here again when the sun returns!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Pelham Hotel: Christmas Comes Early

Last week, I was invited to 'Christmas Comes Early' at The Pelham Hotel, to showcase both the hotel and what they could do for Christmas events. It was 'snowing' as I arrived which really set the scene, and Mark Wright singing Christmas songs (and plenty of swing) pretty much made me forget it was September.

The hotel itself is beautiful, and although it has 51 rooms it seems much more intimate due to its winding staircases and corridors. The bathrooms feature his and her sinks, and most of the rooms have antiques for you to view and enjoy. I was lucky enough to see the King Suite, and could happily have stayed there all night.

The hotel has smaller rooms for more intimate gatherings such as afternoon tea. All cakes are made on the premises and were delicious. This proves particularly popular for hen parties and baby showers, and I can see why. Downstairs there is also an honesty bar, the hotel has made a huge effort to make people feel at home during their stay.

The main event took place in the bistro. The room is usually a restaurant for the hotel but provided a great space for cocktails and canapes. I can definitely recommend all the tasters of the Christmas menu I was lucky enough to try! The cocktails were all AquaRiva tequila based, but the Christmas theme wasn't forgotten with the other ingredients including chestnuts and ginger ale. I can recommend even higher their cocktail menu!

Visit The Pelham Hotel for more information on the hotel and their Christmas offerings.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Dress of the Week: Lowie Grey Tea Dress

Lowie is a great brand that makes beautiful clothes as ethically as possible. Everything is made using the most eco-friendly materials possible, and the makers themselves are given fair wages and better working conditions.Many of the items are knitwear based and I fell in love with this grey tea dress.

The dress is £235 from Lowie.

It might be more expensive than most dresses I feature but I think the way it has been made definitely justifies the price. I'm dreaming of thousands of ways to wear it, I just need to save up those pennies. Even if this dress isn't your thing, I would seriously recommend a good browse. Keep your eyes peeled for the anchor crochet collar, it looks as good as it sounds!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Organising my Fabric Stash

I seem to have acquired an extraordinary amount of fabric over the past couple of years. It sits tucked away in a chest that also doubles up as our coffee table. So I wanted a way I could keep track of what I had without constantly unpacking (and repacking) the chest.

And so the fabric folder was created. It's just a very basic A5 folder, with sheets of paper detailing the fabric type, colour and size available.

On a few I have written myself a note about previous uses for the fabric.

I considered stapling or glueing the fabric in, but went with paperclips instead. This way I could potentially use the fabric (for very tiny projects) or more usefully, I can take the clipping with me when shopping for the same project.

 I really need to start using some of this lovely fabric now, I fell in love with a lot of it all over again while putting the folder together!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Moving Update

So we have been in the new house almost a month, and unpacking is now maybe 90% complete. And we have a shed/outhouse to put the boxes we don't want to unpack yet...

But there are a few simple things I am so excited/grateful to have in our new home:

  • A front door that locks
  • An oven that doesn't need hours of preheating
  • My own wardrobe
  • Space to actually move
  • A little bit of outside space
I'm sure I will probably think of a few more in the next couple of weeks. Basically I'm really happy to be in a nicer place with far fewer annoying quirks and issues! Now to make it look more homely with a few handmade touches...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Things I Like Tuesday

  • Cream teas and Devonshire air
  • Buying the first pieces for my budget art wall
  • First bakes and first makes for the new flat
  • Picking the yarn for my very first crochet blanket
  • Lie ins and lazy days 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Chocolate Cookies: A Baking Breakthrough

I'm pretty sure I'm breaking some unwritten rule of blogging by posting slightly dodgy photos of a bake that didn't turn out perfectly. But I'm sort of proud of these cookies so wanted to show them off anyway.They are my very first bake in my new kitchen and also the first time I have attempted cookies. In hindsight I should probably have attempted something I had made before to figure out the new oven but never mind.

I made chocolate chip and double chocolate cookies, which despite looking slightly mutated, tasted pretty yummy.

And I learnt that my new oven actually gets hot pretty quickly. I no longer need to turn it on hours (like 4 hours) before I want to bake anything. It also potentially gets to the same temperature in the entire oven, never again will I discover a half burnt, half raw Victoria sponge...

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Paralympics: Athletics at the Olympic Stadium

My adventure continued with athletics on Thursday. And I don't think I could have chosen a better night to be there...

Hannah Cockcroft kicked it all off with an amazing gold in her 200m

Then David Weir got his 3rd gold of the Games in his 800m

And Jonnie Peacock rounded it all off, beating Oscar Pistorious, Oliveira and co, in his 100m

The atmosphere in the stadium was electric, and the crowd went wild whenever a Brit went near the track or field.

We got to see several other British medals, including Dan Greaves get a silver and a couple of bronzes. As well as a few world records again!
You can read the other parts of my adventures here and here.
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