Sunday 26 September 2010

Outfit Post: Hopped up out of bed...

This time last week I was in Central Park, reading ELLE with a hangover. Swiftly followed by a Shake Shack double cheeseburger, cheese fries and a large lemonade. Because of my sadness at not still being in New York, and because jet lag has decided to smack me sqaure in the face, today I have no energy for anything other than an outfit post. Please excuse my face, curly hair and glasses. I feel pretty grim.

I bought this t-shirt in Madewell in Soho. It's part of the Alexa Chung collection, which is quite ironic as I've never been a big fan of Chungy. I still think she looks like she needs to eat a big fat sandwich but I do love most of the Alexa Chung for Madewell pieces. This tea dress in particular is pretty much to die for. Alas, it was slightly out of my price range. I'd seen this bat t-shirt on the website before we went on holiday and had coveted it but, as it was sold out online, I figured there was no chance of me getting it. In store the only one I could see was on a mannequin. Thank the lord that I was on holiday with a pushy gay who insisted the sales assistant undress the mannequin for me. Hurrah!

I wore these Topshop shorts on our big NYC night out. We went out raving to a couple of gay clubs on the Saturday night and met a fabulous gay hairdresser who, along with his amazing friend (who likes Are You Being Served? - everything)  proceeded to show us the sights and pay for the whole night. It was the most incredible night ever and one I'll never forget.

T-shirt - Alexa Chung for Madewell
Shorts - Topshop
Tights - M&S
Boots - Dr Martens
Cardigan - Zara
Face - Jetlag and a brutal cold

Thursday 23 September 2010

Concrete jungle, where dreams are made of...

1) The view to end all views; 2) A tornado on the Thursday night. The Weather Channel entranced me; 
3) This is my New York face. SHOCK AND AWE; 4) Partly due to the decadent food constantly consumed; 
5) Rockefeller love; 6) Hangover Sunday in Central Park; 7) Boozing; 8) There are no words

I'll be back with more when I a) am not jetlagged b) have convinced myself that it wasn't all a dream and c) am ready to accept being back in England.

I may be some time.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Empire State of Mind

As you read this I'm (hopefully) flying high above the clouds, winging my way to New York. As usual I was full of good intentions for CYH while I was away but, once again, I've failed to schedule any posts (apart from this one). Tut tut. So, if you're so inclined feel free to read back over my adventures in New York last year.

I've only just realise that I never actually finished writing about it. The story cuts off rather abruptly at the end of Part 4. Kind of fitting really, when you think about it.

This was one of my favourite buildings last year. Guess where I'm staying this year? Yup, right here!

Tuesday 14 September 2010

The Week In Pictures #6

Just time for a quick TWIP before I flee these shores for the bright lights of New York City...

1) There's a new Marks & Spencer cafe in my local store. Me and my friend like to sit amongst the old ladies with their toasted teacakes and soak up the ambience
2) Blatant crotch shot. Soz
3) Oh I will, don't you worry
4) So many vegetables. I've been doing a crazy Slimming World extreme diet for the last week. Vegetables galore. Still, I lost another 4 pounds at weigh in tonight. 63.5 in total!
5) Daisy. Most ridiculous dog ever
6) I really do you know. Best city ever
7) I've finally dyed my hair. Begone 2 inch roots!
8) Getting myself in the US mood and celebrating after weigh in tonight. Naughty

Au revoir, loves! See you on the other side! xxx

Monday 13 September 2010


Oh hello, dream shelves - via Apartment Therapy

So, erm, I kind of, might have... bought a house.

I've had an offer accepted anyway. And it's been taken off the market. So, fingers crossed, as long as nothing goes wrong it's mine all mine. Which is highly surreal but utterly incredible.

So expect plenty of these kind of posts as I girlishly squeal about light fittings, shower heads and shelving units. Yes, really. See also lots of posts about things I never even knew I wanted. Like a paperclip holder (so useful!), a mirror in the shape of the Queen's head (so regal!) and odd storage jars (so odd!).

All found at Juno Design Shop, one of my new obsessions

Please cross your fingers and send lots of nice thoughts my way as I really, really want this one. Third time lucky and all that! Now, I need to get back to my packing. That suitcase won't fill itself full of sequins, stupidly high heels and garish jewellery.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Outfit Post: Jungle Jane

I'm still trying to master the art of not looking utterly miserable/confused/like a rabbit in the headlights, obviously. This is what I wore to work on Friday, much to the amusement of my boss who never fails to comment on what I'm wearing. God bless dress down Fridays! Leopard print is scientifically proven to make any day more enjoyable. Oh yes.

I'm currently writing a massive to-do list. It looks something like this:

Read guidebook obsessively
Re-pack again
Sort out travel insurance
Dye hair
Learn all the words to Turn My Swag On, rather than just the two lines I've been singing for the past 4 days
Bask in the knowledge that I've only got two more days in work


Playsuit - H&M
Cardigan - New Look
Belt - Primark
Necklace - Topshop
Tights - ASOS
Boots - Miss KG

Wednesday 8 September 2010

What a difference a day makes

This week has been pretty rotten so far.

Remember the house? Yeah, didn't get it. I duly put my (very reasonable) offer in on the Monday morning. Over two weeks later I finally got word that the vendors have withdrawn it from the market. Word to the wise: never try and buy a house from a couple who've split up. The man got cold feet, then got stubborn and then decided to buy the lady out of the house. To say I was gutted yesterday would be an understatement. Full on sobbing, panda eyes, the works. Strange though, as I think I'd forgotten what it feels like to really cry. Not since me and C went our separate ways have I cried so much. A sign of how happy I've been this year I guess.

Work's been mega mega stressful and busy too, which is never great. Plus, I've only got four more days in the office before my New York adventure, so I'm frantically trying to tie up loose ends, get everything done and put plans in place to ensure that things don't turn chaotic in my absence.

Today though, I'm back on form. I bounce back a hell of a lot quicker these days and, thinking about it, there's not really much that can get me down for more than about an hour. The power of positivity envelops me. Rarr!

A pretty package from Upper 5th may have also helped to bring the cheer. I am easily pleased.

I got the Alexa cardigan and the Icicles dress for the bargainous price of £35 for both. I do love a good sale.

Things that are also bringing a smile to my face this week...
  • Fresh plums. My parents' garden continues to produce amazing fruit. Love it.
  • New York. Obviously. Eight days in my favourite city in the whole world (bar Manchester, obvs). Cannot wait. 
  • This photo of me wearing the jeans I wore in New York last year, which barely fitted me then. Woop. 4 stone, 3.5 pounds and counting. 
  • These green glitter Bordello shoes. Want. Need.
  • Lots of plans for lots of Warehouse Project visits. So excited.
  • Topshop Dessert lipstick, my new faux fur leopard print coat (so excited for winter), bright sunshine and crisp mornings, making playlists for New York, finding another house to view (the dream continues!) and... smiling. Smiling makes the world a better place. Fact.

What's making your faces happy this week? Any exciting plans for the weekend?

Sunday 5 September 2010

Introducing... Clear Your Plate

Yes, I made another Tumblr... (I very rarely post in the other one anyway)

I take a lot of photographs of the food that I eat, both at home and when eating out. I have this strange need to record everything  for posterity (digital generation mania) and I thought, rather than clogging up Clear Your Heart with lots of photographs of sandwiches and cups of tea, I'd post them over at Clear Your Plate.

First up, those blackberry crumb bars I mentioned here. To. Die. For.

Go! Follow! Drool!

The Week In Pictures #5

Well, the fortnight in pictures, if we're being pedantic...

1) The Imperial War Museum North. I'm a history geek at heart and I spent most of the day wandering quite happily in this amazing museum. War and the motivations behind it fascinate and horrify me in equal measure.
2) If only they'd made this into one of those Penguin mugs.
3) The gift shop at the museum is also incredible. I may or may not have bought a Navy Captain's hat. And numerous postcards of Winston Churchill and bulldogs. Love.
4) I love melon. I could eat a whole one. My friend says it tastes like cucumber. Mad cow.
5) Over knee socks, Hunter wellies and leopard print. Three of my favourite things.
6) My Creamfields 'staff' wristband. Oh the lolz. I was there for about three hours, on a site tour with Samaritans. I got groped twice and manhandled by security once in that time. Win.
7) The weather was truly grim.
8) Manchester, 9am, Bank Holiday Monday. Shortly after this was taken I got propositioned by a milkman. I had no make up on, had had 5 hours sleep and looked like death. Still got it.
9) Risotto. Be still my beating heart.
10) Sardines. We grilled them up on the barbecue yesterday and they were glorious. Last barbecue of the year though, sad face.

Friday 3 September 2010

Helen Loves... Food Blogs

I love food.

Not unusual, I know. But I REALLY love food. Which is probably how I ended up as big as I was at the start of this year. I love the look of food, the taste of food, the smell of food. I love eating it, baking it, cooking it and reading about it.

These days I follow a fairly strict Slimming World diet, so I can't eat all the things that I used to eat. I can't have butter, or sugar or a bit of that cake. At least, not yet. Because I have a target weight to get to and, quite frankly, that's more important to me now than a burger and chips or an entire Jamaica ginger cake. Only just though, believe me.

So I read a lot of food blogs. A lot.

These are just a few of my favourites...

Spicy Icecream - This was the first food blog that I ever stumbled across and it's also my favourite. Lisa lives in Sydney and posts the most mouthwatering photographs that I've ever seen, along with incredible reviews of restaurants that make me want to move to Australia right away.

Smitten Kitchen - A legendary blog that I'm sure most of you have already heard of. But I couldn't do a round-up of my foodie favourites without including Deb! Some of the most incredible recipes that I've ever seen, including those peanut butter crispy bars at the top of this post. I would sell my first born for those. If I had one. There is going to be a book at some point in the future and I will be first in line for that piece of culinary joy. Oh, and Deb is also the provider of this ridiculously useful cooking conversions page. A-mazing.

Food Stories - A fairly recent addition to my reader, this has quickly become a firm favourite, and not least because the writer has such a fabulous name. I first stumbled across Helen's site when she posted about The Big Peckham Lunch that she'd organised (that photograph of the coffee and walnut cake pretty much made me weak at the knees) and I've been a fan ever since. I'm also determined to go to the next Jerk Cook Out Festival thanks to Helen.

Honourable mentions also go to...

Afeitar - Not purely a food blog, Helen also posts about fashion, her job as a Librarian (which was my dream job when I was little) and numerous other lovely subjects. I think I love her recipe posts the most though as they always make me want to get the mixing bowl out! The girl makes a mean cupcake too.

Much to My Delight - The gorgeous Jenn pretty much lives my dream life. In NYC. With lots of gorgeous food. I would also really like to commision her to throw me a baby shower. I don't have to have a baby to have one of those, right?

Naoyummy, Live to Eat and Snackminded - I've developed a curious obsession with what other people are eating. I think it stems from not eating very exciting food myself any more. I'm living vicariously through the culinary lives of others!

Are there any other food blogs I should be reading? Which are your favourites?