Monday, 28 June 2010

The past week

The past week the following things have been floating my boat:

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  • My little fruit & vegetable garden. I've been growing various things in little plants pots on the patio and it's starting to pay off now. I can't wait to get a few more courgette flowers and then I can try them in some tempura batter, yum! The strawberries are coming along really well, we've had a few off them. They're producing runners now so we're trying to propagate some more plants for next year. 
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  • Leopard print nails, inspired by Gem Fatale. My right hand is far worse, but it slightly resembles leopard print if you look at them from far away and squint a bit! I used Barry M nail varnishes in 119 Baby Pink and 302 Fuchsia. I am not a pink girl at all really but I absolutely love this fuchsia colour. I think my nails are about the only place that I would wear pink though. 
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  • Reading this book. It is written by Diana's husband and I am really enjoying it so far. I love how it's interspersed with pieces of library history and the stories are so funny. I can completely relate to all of the stories about weird library patrons but also the love of the job. I really recommend it to anyone who likes funny little anecdotal stories & loves libraries. 
Honourable mentions also go to: the weather, Hawaiian Luau parties, crocheting (of course), getting excited for my birthday, being told I look like Rachel from Glee and Ginger beer.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Label love

I've recently discovered Trollied Dolly dresses and gosh, I want them all! They are all quite reasonably priced, unique & super cute. I am putting one on my wishlist straight away (it's also my birthday in about 2 weeks and they would make the perfect birthday party dress!)

trollyeddolly

trollieddolly

Aren't they gorgeous? My favourites include the red polka dot party peephole dress and also the tea dress. They're all priced between £45 and £50, but this includes postage too, so they're quite reasonable I think!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Amigurumi!

Amigurumi!

How cute is amigurumi?! Ever since I got my super cute crochet book out of the library, I've been obsessed with it. It is a Japanese craze for cute crocheted dolls. There are lots of patterns and ready made amigurumi available on Etsy, I'm definitely going to give it a go. My favourite one is the cute cupcake, which is by Stripy Blue on Flickr. She also sells her patterns on Etsy, so I may have to purchase one to crochet some cupcakes. Won't they look really cute on a cake stand?! You can honestly find pretty much anything in amigurumi form, from mushrooms to bananas, from submarines to um, rude things. What would you love to see crocheted?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

One dress, 2 ways

20th June 2010

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I bought this dress last week in the Dorothy Perkins sale, only £17! I have been very thrifty lately and resisting spending money as I am hoping to save all my money for a deposit on a house. Still, I allow myself little treats if my bank balance is looking healthy enough. When Scott saw this dress he said 'Haven't you already got something like that?' and yes, I have. I have many floral dresses, but if you know something works, why fix it? I like the colours in this dress because they go with all of the other colours in my wardrobe (except for purple, I only own 1 item of purple clothing, I just don't do purple for some reason). This dress could also be changed completely by wearing a different colour vest underneath (I am too boobalicious to go without a vest! Don't want my boobs jiggling everywhere thank you very much).

Oh I also wanted to recommend my new foundation to you all (especially fellow acne stricken readers). I've always battled with acne, but since working in the library & wearing more make up my outbreaks have been more frequent. I figured maybe this was because of wearing too much make up (even though I always chose oil free foundation). I had seen clinique's anti-blemish make up advertised for a while and thought maybe it would be a good change for my skin. I've been using it for 2 weeks and I haven't had a single break out! I am putting it down to this change in my make up so I want to say thank you clinique! It is my skin saviour.

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Do you have any secret weapons in the constant battle against acne? Or are you more fortunate than me and never get spots? (If yes, I hate you! Haha!)


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Crochet vlog


I made a little video log yesterday when I got home from work, talking about my new love for crochet. I finished my scarf from the first post, and since then I've been making granny squares like nobodies business! I really love how relaxing it is and how proud I feel when I've made one. It's really so satisfying. 

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These are the granny squares I've been making, in red & blue. Eventually I want to join them and make it into a cushion cover. My sister has given me a pattern for some booties that she would like me to make for the baby but I think it looks a bit complicated although it could be a good challenge for me I suppose. Lucy from Attic24 is my main inspiration for hooky goodness, her blankets are so wonderful and colourful. Crochet is rapidly become my new addiction.

Oh and thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post, they really made my day! 

Monday, 14 June 2010

I'm a librarian!!



Yes, that's right, I am now a 100% fully qualified librarian! It feels honestly amazing to have got through it all. Getting my first degree was really rewarding, but there's something about being qualified to do something that makes it feel even more special. Before today, I always referred to myself in work as 'trainee librarian', but it will feel so awesome to walk into work tomorrow and say 'I'm a librarian now!'. (Plus it also means I'll be able to get a pay rise hehe). Seriously though, I am so so thankful that I managed to figure out what I wanted to do and have been able to do it. I really love being a librarian, and I hope that this is just the start of a wonderful career of dispensing and organising information & knowledge for future generations. (Cheesey I know, but true!)



Sunday, 13 June 2010

White chocolate baking extravaganza

On one of my days off last week I took the opportunity to bake. I felt like I hadn't baked anything in a while (a week with no baking is a long time for me!) so I made TWO lovely baked goods! I was having a browse through my most favourite cookbook ever, The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, and I couldn't decide between the blondies and the white chocolate and pecan cookies. Since they both used a lot of the same ingredients (butter, flour, sugars, white chocolate & nuts), I decided to try them both. I'm normally more of a darker chocolate girl and I love love love brownies and double chocolate cookies, but for some reason I was in the mood for terribly sweet white chocolate treats.

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First up, white chocolate & pecan cookies. These involve making up the dough, stirring in chopped up white chocolate and pecans, then moulding the dough into log shapes in clingfilm and freezing for an hour or so. Then you slice the cookies and put them straight onto a baking tray into the oven. I really liked this method because it meant that all of the cookies were the same shape and size (okay, except for the odd one...). They were really delicious and easy to make, I might try using the same dough recipe but adding dark chocolate and hazelnuts. Yum.

Blondies

Then, I made the blondies. These are made in the same way as brownies, in that you melt the chocolate & butter together then add the other ingredients to the wet mix. The thing with white chocolate though is that it doesn't melt in the same way as milk or dark chocolate, because it doesn't contain any cocoa solids, just cocoa butter. Because of this it can split easily and look really oily with the melted butter. I mixed it in with the eggs anyway and it turned out okay. I'm a bit unsure about these really. The white chocolate didn't add too much to the taste of the blondie other than make it super sweet. I think that Rachel Allen's peanut butter & white chocolate blondies were nicer (perhaps because I love peanut butter so much!).

I would love to share these recipes with you, but I think I've shared enough recipes from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and I don't want to get done for copyright or anything! Plus I would like to encourage you all to buy it because it such a GREAT cookbook, I really don't think I could live without it now (and no, I'm not being paid by them or anything hah).

So, I'm not sure I would make the blondies again but definitely the cookies, because the dough is a good base for any other mixtures. I think I'll stick with my dark chocolate brownies thanks. Do you prefer dark or white chocolate? I do like white chocolate, don't get me wrong, but it seemed a bit flavourless and oversweet in these recipes. And it's not real chocolate is it?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Layering up

Tuesday's outfit

Tuesday's outfit

Tuesday's outfit
Shoes - Clarks
Skirt - New Look
T-shirt - Asos
Cardigan - Dorothy Perkins
Coat - Topshop


This unreliable weather has been quite irritating clothes wise. Is it too chilly to go without a coat? Could I just wear a coat and no cardi? I opted for cardigan AND coat, but then it was too humid and I felt too hot. Going for just a coat would probably have been best. I hate this weather though, raining one minute, then glorious the next. What more can I expect from the great British summertime though?


Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Workwear

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Lately I have been working lots, which I have been enjoying. I really do love my job. This week I have a few days off but then for the next 2 weeks I will be working full time at the library, which will be good experience for me. However, it also conjures up the work wear conundrum. The only rule in our library is that we can't wear jeans, but as I'm training to be a librarian and always want to make a good impression, I try to dress a bit smarter than what I could get away with really. Working a few days a week gives me the chance to catch up on washing my essentials, but I think I may have to invest in another blouse and another black skirt. However, I am so fussy when it comes to work skirts! It has to be not too tight, not too long, good quality and go with everything else in my wardrobe. This skirt is from Next and is slightly too big for me, but is my work wear staple. Then I wear different blouses, colourful cardigans and different tights, in order to jazz up the basics. In the first outfit, my blouse is from h&m and I really like it. It's slightly see through, but the pretty bow on it makes up for it. Do you like my polka dot cardigan in the 2nd outfit? you might remember it from my polka dots post, and I managed to score it for £15 in the sale from Dorothy Perkins! It's really good quality and makes a plain boring work outfit a bit more exciting.

What do you all wear for work? Personally, I love dressing smart, although it is difficult to find things that aren't too boring. I am thankful we don't have a uniform though!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Crochet


I've always kind of fancied myself as the creative type, but have always been to scared to try knitting, sewing or crochet. But, on Sunday night, Scott's Mum was giving his sisters a crochet lesson and asked if I wanted to learn too. I jumped at the chance! I was a bit rubbish at first to be honest - it is weird to get used to holding your hands in a certain way.

However, I picked it up really quickly and now have about half of a scarf.

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I also checked this book out of the library, which is quite good at explaining other stitches and it also includes patterns for beginners to more advanced. There is a really cute dog coat that I would quite like to make for Nina, it has frills all around the edges!



I think crochet is easier than knitting, so it's a good place to start. I think once I master more complex stitches I might ask my Nana to show me how to knit. My Nana always knitted lots of things for us when we were little, so it would be nice to learn from her so that I can help knit cute little things for when my sister has her baby in August. After I finish my scarf, I want to do some granny squares and crochet a big blanket like this. Isn't it beautiful?

One inspiration for crochet is my flickr contact, Jen. Her craft set is absolutely beautiful. The crochet snowflakes for christmas decorations are a favourite of mine, but everything is beautiful. I really hope that one day I can master the art of crochet as well as she has. The new scarf she is working on also puts my scarf to shame a bit...

Katie of What Katie Does is also a great chick with sticks, she knits some amazing things. She showcases them all on her special knitting blog and it really leaves me in awe. I hope that from starting with basic crochet, I can hopefully progress onto more complex stitches and even knitting.

Do any of you have a secret knitting talent? Or perhaps just a burning desire to learn? You really should learn, it is easier than it looks! There are lots of books available in the library (or on Amazon, but ssssh) and also youtube tutorials. I found this user has particularly good tutorials. So get a hook and yarn and get crocheting! (If I can do it with my terrible hand/eye co-ordination, then you definitely can)

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