Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Bank Holiday: Part Deux


 


Three ways to cure a Bank Holiday hangover:


1) Lots of blue sky and breakfast outside. Life savers include: cold water, babybels and green tea
2) Lots of fresh berries and yoghurt
3) Lots of sitting on the sofa and watching old episodes of friends


This weekend went by so fast I barely had time to blink. I honestly don't understand where the time went. Sitting at my desk at work this morning was utterly devastating. And I'm only half joking when I say that.

However, this weekend I wore over knee socks for the first time. So at least I achieved something. Again, only half joking when I say that. Getting my thighs out is still relatively new for me but I think over-stuffed-sausage-itis was avoided.


What did you get upto, my lovelies?


Friday, 27 August 2010

Outfit Post: Where's Robin?


Posing wit' ma wheelie bin. Glamourrrr

'"Where's Robin?"

I must have heard that, oh, seven bazillion times on my lunch hour today. Hilarious. Really. This jumper was one of the items in the bag I left on the train. It's Primark. From the men's section. And I'm pretty much in love with it. Watching early episodes of the Batman TV series are some of my earliest memories and I might have to make some signs saying 'KAPOW!' and 'CRASH!' and carry them around with me, to up the geek factor.


I took a little bit of inspiration from Lily for this outfit, as the rosary necklace is quite similar to her red one. Mine's from ASOS though and I think it must have been in the sale as I can't find it on the website anymore. I'm not a big fan of the heart in the middle of it as it makes it a little bit too cutesy, but it's not that noticeable unless you stare at it.


I will never tire of these shoes. NEVER. The sequinned jazz pumps are guaranteed to make any day better. They certainly bring a bit of sparkle to a Friday in the office anyway. Please excuse my wrinkled tights, they're a size too big and I end up like Nora Batty.


Jumper & shoes - Primark
Skirt - H&M
Tights & sunglasses - Topshop
Necklace - ASOS
Roots - A lack of hair dye. Oops.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Clear Your Plate: Orange & Dark Chocolate Cookies




These are my all time favourite cookies. Bar none. 


They're moist, chewy and pretty much irresistible. I've made numerous variations of these... raspberry & chocolate; chocolate & pecan; ginger, walnut & chocolate. The possibilities are endless. These orange & dark chocolate ones are something special though. Recipe adapted from here.


Ingredients:

125g butter, softened
100g light brown soft sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1tsp orange extract
225g self raising flour
100g dark chocolate chips
100g Lindt Orange Intense dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Makes 24-28 cookies


Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180c and line a baking tray with ungreased baking paper.
2. Cream the butter and two types of sugar together.
3. Add the egg and orange extract and stir.
4. Sift in the flour and add the chocolate.
5. Roll the mixture into walnut sized balls and place on the baking tray.
6. Bake for 7 or 8 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to set.
7.Take them out of the oven and leave to harden for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.


8. Eat them all and experience feelings of remorse and guilt.


Or, if like me you're on a diet, eat one and then pack the rest up, take them to work and make all your work colleagues worship you. Seriously, these cookies are that good.


Return of the... bag?




Remember bag-gate?


Well, guess what finally found its way home? MY SHOPPING!! Eleven days after I left my Primark shopping bag on the train bound for Glasgow, it popped through my letterbox! I honestly thought it was gone for good. I rang Glasgow Central train station first thing last Monday morning. The lady took my details but I could tell from the tone of her voice that she didn't think I had much hope of getting my stuff back.

The days went by and there was no word. I gave up on my lost goodies and resolved to shelling out the money all over again. All £65 worth. Then on Saturday I got a call. Six days after I left it on the train it had turned up in lost property. And so began the most convoluted process ever, involving cheques (who uses cheques any more, seriously!), stamped addressed envelopes and trips to the post office (and we all know how much I love the post office).


But right now I'm ridiculously happy. And my faith in humanity is completely restored. Reunited with Gossip Girl, my Topshop make up, my Batman jumper and other assorted Primark joy. So good.

I love it when nice things happen :D


I have, however, been left with a brand new copy of GG Series Two. I rebought it as couldn't bear to parted from it. Haha. If anyone would like to buy it off me, (£15) let me know!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Objects of Desire: Payday Wishlist


All Topshop apart from New Look velvet blazer


Yes, it's finally that elusive, much awaited day of the month! (well, it will be in three and a half hours anyway)

Floral, velvet, leather, shearling, chiffon. I want all these in my life. Now. Plus clogs, tassels, animal hats, leopard print, buckles and those delicious blue brogues from Office. See also the lumberjack brooch from my beloved Tatty Devine. Want. Need.

Bags, purse, belt - Topshop; Hats - River Island; Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell & Office


Alas, as I'm off to New York in 22 days (hold me), most of these items will have to remain firmly in the realms of wishing. Forever 21 is calling my name and I'm seriously considering taking a half empty case with me in order to do the shopping justice. And to bring back my body weight in Reese's Pieces obviously.

What items are you lusting after for the new season?


Monday, 23 August 2010

Helen Loves... Keep Calm Gallery



Oh boy, do I love Keep Calm Gallery!

Following on from my post yesterday about the house of dreams (tm), I thought I'd do one of my 'Helen Loves...' posts about my favourite place to buy prints online. Keep Calm Gallery was started in 2007 by Lucas Lepola and Hayley Thwaites and I discovered it a couple of years ago. Everyone is bound to recognise the iconic print above and the 'Keep Calm' print was the first one I actually bought from the site. They do it in no less than ten different colourways (although I have it in white and burgundy, which they no longer do) so there's one to suit every decor scheme!


Keep Calm sell dozens of utterly gorgeous prints (and teatowels and mugs too), with a focus on incredible typography and British heritage. The 'Make Your Own Path' print by Douglas Wilson is next on my list. Each one is hand letterpressed onto the artist's collection of vintage maps, meaning that each one is totally unique. The 'Get Lost' print is by the same artist and has been on my wishlist for months now. The sentiments of both are kind of representative of how I'm trying to live my life these days. I'm trying to find my own way and I'm not afraid of getting lost and making mistakes. Sometimes, getting lost is the the best way to find yourself. I think they'd look perfect in my (hopefully!) new living room.


I could pretty much find a place for every single print they carry but the geek in me has a total soft spot for the 'Colon Ending Parenthesis' one. Who doesn't love a good emoticon! Although 'Semicolon Ending Parenthesis' would fill me with even more joy. Winky face!!


Sigh. I think I need to stop spending so much money on shoes if I'm ever going to decorate a house in the way I want!


Which are your favourite prints from the site? Where would you hang them?


Sunday, 22 August 2010

Home sweet home?

 
I didn't quite make it to Liverpool today. Yesterday ended up being quite tiring so all I could be bothered to do today was go to the gym (second time in three days, YES!), cook some piperonata and catch up on some sitting down. I love me a bit of sitting down.


I'm not sure whether to post this here or not as things are still very much unconfirmed and uncertain but... the house I saw yesterday. Oh the house. It's perfect. Well actually it's far from perfect. But it's perfect in its imperfections, if you know what I mean. The house I saw a while ago actually was perfect. It didn't need anything doing to it. But it didn't fill me with excitement like I thought it would. It didn't make me think "if I don't get this house I WILL DIE" (which is what I need if I'm going to take on such a massive financial commitment). The house I saw yesterday does all these things.

All being well I'm going to put an offer in tomorrow.

Terrifying.


I'm trying not to get too excited but, me being me, I'm actually squealing inside and mentally picturing how I'll decorate it. What plates I'll buy. Where I'll hang the photo collage my friends made for me when I was 18. Where I'll put the numerous pictures I've bought off Etsy and Keep Calm over the last couple of years, that have been just waiting for me to get off my bum and actually move somewhere.


Now, please excuse me while I work myself into a frenzy over colour coordinated books, floral duvet sets, storage systems and the terrifying thought of having a mortgage.


All interiors photos found at Design Sponge

Friday, 20 August 2010

Hello, weekend!


001: Say hello to the new loves of my life. Turquoise moccasins. Be still my beating heart.

002: I've finally made my triumphant return to the gym! It's been two months since my last visit but tonight after work I finally bit the bullet and dragged myself there. And you know what? I loved every minute. Sick. I've missed the aching muscles and the adrenaline. So glad to be back.

003: This weekend is going to be the weekend I finally catch up on some sleep. I get, at best, five hours of sleep a night normally. I'm shattered and work shows no signs of getting any less stressful. Muchos sleep is required to get me through it.

004: I'm skint. And really really really need to save some money for New York. Ergo, I hereby dub this weekend 'the weekend of doing free things.' I'm viewing a house tomorrow morning (terrifying, I'm actually an adult) and then am taking a trip to the Imperial War Museum North afterwards. I love museums. I love free museums even more. Plus it's number 32 on my list. Then on Sunday I'm going to go and spend a bit of time in Liverpool. The Tate will get a visit from me. American Pizza Slice and MAC will not. I swear. Maybe.

005: The blackberry bush is finally fruiting. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for these babies. So good.


Tell me your weekend plans! Entertain me on this rainy Friday night! xx


The Week In Pictures #4


Apologies for the picture (and word!) heavy post this week. These were meant to be short little snapshots of my week. Must learn to shut up more!

1) Rain rain go away. Because it wouldn't be a TWIP post without a picture of some weather. I am British after all
2) Waiting for my train to London
3) First Class, baby! Gin and slimling tonic in a proper glass and a tasty ham and red pesto focaccia. I love free food
4) Vrooooom! It took 1 hour and 40 minutes from Warrington to London. That is some serious speed.
5) The Tube! Next time will someone please remind me how warm it is down there. Jeans, boots, t-shirt, jumper, leather jacket and scarf. I nearly died
6) Me! All dressed up with somewhere to go. I have the face of a child
7) Illicit late night takeaway. Neither me or Sammy have any recollection of this. Worrying
8) Homeward bound! Pre bag-gate.
9) I need these pyjamas. They match my Twitter name!
10) I had two eggs. Both had double yolks. What are the chances! You cannot beat eggs fresh from the farm
11) I won Woman of the Year at my Slimming World group on Tuesday. My prize? This amazingly tacky pen with star stand. It says 'Because you're amazing' on it. Love. It's got pride of place on my desk at work and I'm making everyone address me as Woman of the Year. Oh the hilarity