27 December 2012

Feline from France

Look who was waiting in the mailbox for me! A huge thank you to Mademoiselle Greedy who sent me this little lovely from France. Sorry about the poor photo - working odd hours means no time to snap during daylight hours.

In case anybody ever thinks to get me a gift, all feline related presents will be accepted with the biggest Cheshire Cat grin as I am a crazy cat lady (and proud). 

26 December 2012

What Santa Gots Me

This year I didn't really ask for much other than things for my first home. Fingers crossed that I will be moved into my very own flat early in the new year so that I can make use of my fabulous gifts. 

Retro Home was bought for me by me good old dad and has already given me loads of interior inspiration. My mum got me, among other things, gift cards for Ikea and M&S which will come in super handy as I really don't have much in the way of furniture. I got the Le Creuset dish and kettle along with the Emma Bridgewater mugs for the boyf but really they were for both of us and our new home.  

I am an avid reader so it was only natural that a few books should feature on my gift list. I started Cheryl's autobiography yesterday and have already finished. I love her; she is my guilty pleasure. Big thank you to my step-mum for getting me Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington. Another hero of mine but for different reasons to Cheryl, Grace only came on my radar after watching The September Issue. Anyone who can stand up to Anna Wintour is a legend in my eyes. 

Boyf did good getting me the special Great Expectations from my stocking wishlist. He also got me Moonrise Kingdom which is such a great film. 

My mum got me a little surprise book, A Street Cat Named Bob. I remember seeing the guy from this book, with Bob, in Soho and thinking 'what the hell would possess a homeless person to get a bloody cat?' I mean I love cats but that seems window-licking mental to me. Now I can find out! 

I got other gifts under the tree but it will be a bit boring for you if I list them all here. Thank you to everybody who got me a little something - I am truly grateful to be thought of. I wish I had got a bit more into the spirit of Christmas this year as I actually much prefer giving presents to receiving them. But alas! I had to save this year and so was a bit of a Scrooge on the giving front. 

Anyhoo. I'm off the watch The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on Channel 4. It's the Swedish version which I love but it does mean I have to stop typing and concentrate on the subtitles. 

Christmas is over. Roll on the new year. 

25 December 2012

Merry Christmas One and All

Obligatory Christmas Tree Shot 

Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you have all had a-mazing Christmas days. I have had a lonely old Christmas but it's been one of my best! Eating and drinking and watching some brilliant crap on TV. Oh yes I had a good old cry at Nanny McPhee this morning - a Bucks Fizz induced cry but totes emosh. I watched Tangled as well which was actually really good - again, this was watched through Bucks Fizz goggles but I'm pretty sure it was great. 

My First Stocking!!!!!

The boyf got me my very first stocking. With actual presents in! I wasn't allowed to open these until he got home from work. It was worth the wait. Prezzie post to follow. 

Standard Orange Juice for Breakfast

Christmas breakfast was amazing. As I was flying solo I woke up properly (I woke up early to watch Aladdin) at 12 and had scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, and Bucks Fizz. 

Christmas Morning in London

Woke up to the rain bucketing down but it had subsided by the time I dragged myself out of bed. Still grey with no hope of a white Christmas but not pissing down. There weren't many people wandering around. Lots of cars but not many people. 

Just a bit of Christmas nail art

Being alone was fun but I did get a little bored halfway through the day. Decided to try my Topshop nail art pen again. Worked quite well. Being light-headed and festive made for some creative patterns.

M&S Christmas socks. Nice.

Did I get dressed up for Christmas day? No. I stayed in pjs all day. I did manage a jumper and the world's cutest socks but pj bottoms stayed put. If not on Christmas day, when?

Best. Present. Ever.

I will do a proper present post in a day or two but I HAD to show you these glasses. Thanks to the boss lady, M-A, for my kitty-cat glasses. They make me feel all secretarial, in a feline kind of way. 

Overall I had a fab Xmas day. The boyf arrived home at about 6 to cook the dinner. Horseradish-crusted salmon with roast veg. It tasted delicious. I did take a pic but it has been banned from here as it wasn't plated properly! That's chefs for you. Ever the perfectionists. 

What did you lovely lot get up to today?

21 December 2012

Out and About this December

Soho Pizzeria
December has been a bit a of a mad rush. Suddenly all the people I have semi-forgotten over the past few months have reappeared in my life and making plans has become crazy. There just aren't enough days. Combined with the craziest few weeks of work I've ever had and the whole buying a house fiasco I haven't had time to think, let alone do Christmas related blogging.   

Canal watching


Eating out has featured heavily which has drained all of my moolah. I bloody love going for a good dinner though. Went to John Salt on Upper Street which was amazing. Forgot th'iPhone unfortunately but I may be able to poach some from the boyf for a special post. 
Too many Starbucks! 

Stressful work has meant one too many trips to Starbucks. Just about getting by on caffeine highs even though I blinkin' hate coffee! If only tea gave me the same buzz.

Greasy cafe brekkie. YUM!

I love walking around London with the icy wind on my cheeks. But I HATE the shopping crowds. Why do people walk so s-l-o-w-l-y?? So annoying. But that's my little Grinch moment over. I do love this city.

St Paul's is ready for X-mas, are you? 

Walking around seeing all things festive has made me feel quite Christmassy but I am soooo unprepared. When shops start Christmas in August I get a bit disoriented time-wise. I think I would rather have a mad December rush where everyone only has one month to get everything - it would make it seem more real. It might also mean that shops don't sell out of the best stuff by the end of September. Ahh if I ruled the world!

Shadowing at the Tate Modern
I've been taking in a bit of art this month to keep me inspired. Even dragged the boyf to the Tate Modern to see the Bigger Splash exhibit. Did not get to see the exhibit as the queue was about three hours long - how are there that many people around, on weekdays?? So went to the newly opened up underground oil storage compartments. Interesting. 

More Coffee!

Beautiful St.Pancras - one of my favourite London buildings

I have loved loitering around this month discovering bits of the city and visiting forgotten favourites. I think I've managed to fit everyone in - if I haven't, I'm sorry but we shall meet in the new year and get crunk (so not cool enough to pull of that word). 

9 December 2012

Stocking Fillers

I never used to have a stocking as a child. Any gift was seen as a proper gift, not a 'stocking filler'. Nowadays anything small is classed as a stocking filler. I still don't actually have a stocking but I thought I would create a little wish list for if I did. Hot on my stocking list are the following:

1. Clinique Chubby Stick - Not sure why I'm so drawn to these. Maybe it's because the colours are so pretty and they look like they would be super nourishing. 
2. Biba Leopard Print Belt - I have been looking for a decent leopard print belt for ages. I love the colour of this one and the gold detailing. Gotta have a bit of Xmas leopard!
3. Chanel AW12 Nail Polish Collection - If I had to pick one of the three I would go for Frenzy as it's super classy. 
4. Great Expectations, Penguin Clothbound Classics - I love Great Expectations and really would like a nice version for my bookshelf. This Penguin one is a beauty. 
5. Glow in the Dark Stars - Blast from the past! I used to have these scattered all over my ceiling. Totes want them back!
6. Moleskine Notebooks - Since I started using these earlier in the year I am a little addicted. The paper quality is so good and the hard covers are protective of my little musings. 
7. Foxy Wash Bag, Aubin and Wills - Don't really need another wash bag but this one is super cute. Sorry to my friend J who hates foxes but they just have the cutest faces!
8. Charity Bracelet - Christmas is all about the giving. This bracelet makes you feel like you have done a little bit of good this season. 
9. Moonrise Kingdom DVD - This film is so funny. It is beautifully shot with superb actors. I loved it and can't wait to see it again. 
10. Soap & Glory Gift Set - I LOVE Soap & Glory. The smell of their products, the fun names and the fact that they actually work make them among my top purchases from Boots. 
11. Smashbox Primer - Of all the primers I have used (and that's a lot), Smashbox make the best. Use before make-up to keep your look in place all day. 
12. Mac Lipstick in Ruby Woo - I don't actually buy a lot of Mac products even though they are great. I love this shade, it's the perfect red for all skin tones. Because I really do need another lipstick!

So there you have it. My stocking list. Or as we used to call it in my home - little bits. I love getting little bits over Christmas, there's more to open!

What are you looking forward to you in your stocking? 

8 December 2012

Central London Christmas Lights

I remember when going to see the lights in central London was a big treat. Getting on the bus from Hammersmith I was all a quiver of excitement to see the crowds and the twinkles above, what seemed at the time, the longest street in the world. 

I now question what those lights looked like because for the past few years that I've noticed, the central lights have been crap. They are either the same or they are sponsored by some bizarre film. Narnia lighting up Regent Street? Really? Could not be less interested in Narnia lights. The worst part is they weren't even inventive advertising lights. The lion didn't even have lighty up eyes or a sparkling mane. Disappointed.com. 

Now while I do hate branded Christmas lights I can tolerate these ones as they are fun and festive. It helps that I love Marmite. And that I get eccentric Britishness - I genuinely could not see these lights in any other capital city. 

Regent Street went for a better theme this year but I don't think it was executed as well as it could've been. 'The twelve days of Christmas' is a perfect Christmas subject but I wanted to see it in lights for real - five sparkling gold rings, a twinkling partridge in a flashing pear tree and all that jazz. Still, they are a much needed improvement on previous years. 

The Carnaby Street lights have been my favourite for a couple of years now. They are actually bonkers. Last year there were some planets that looked like they were made from paper mache. This year we have the Stones. A bit bizarre but I love it! 

Where are your favourite Christmas lights?

6 December 2012

DIY: RE-Found Charm Bracelets

I recently posted about my love for RE. Whilst shopping in their department at Liberty I picked up three cute charms for 50p each (bargain!). I went for a dagger pierced heart, a kneeling Mary and a tiny dancer. All of my other supplies were purchased in John Lewis' haberdashery for about £5 altogether. 

First up was tiny dancer. I went for a simple red bracelet which worked quite well. I used black cotton for this. It wasn't the best thread to use but it was all I had in stock. 

This was my favourite charm. It reminded me of Baz Lurhman's Romeo and Juliet when I saw it (not sure why exactly - I think it was on a poster I had as a teen). The beads are simple but the colour is great, I love electric blue!

This bracelet was my favourite. The charm was actually my least favourite and I didn't think the multi-coloured beads would work but I think they look really interesting. My tattoo looks horrific in this pic; I need to get it redone with a crisper outline. 

This DIY project is so easy. It took me about an hour to complete two bracelets. They will make great little gifts this Christmas if, like me, you are on a tight budget. 

3 December 2012

Hollywood Costume at the V&A

I recently went to the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A and I feel it's my duty to recommend it to all of you. It was actually much better than I thought as there was so much more than just the costumes to keep you engaged. After seeing the show I swiftly ordered the accompanying book from Amazon so that I could relive it from the comfort of my sofa. 

The exhibition had a lot of the original illustrations for the outfits which fascinated me. I loved seeing how somebody's idea translates into real-life costumes. This dress worn by Vivien Leigh in 'Gone with the Wind' captured my eye in particular. I don't particularly like the dress but I love the film and I love how closely the actual costume follows the designer's vision. 

I did a little illustrating of my own when I got home. I remember the days where I used to take a sketch book to the gallery and sit on the floor while I drew. There was literally no chance of doing this at Hollywood Costume. I loved the show but it was tedious snaking around behind slow readers. My friend and I jumped the queue quite a lot and we probably didn't take in as much as we would have had it been a bit quieter. Saying that, we still loved it. 

Nicole Kidman's Moulin Rouge outfit was great in the flesh. A real sparkwing diamond! Keira's Atonement gown was one that I had been looking forward to seeing as it is just so beautiful. Up close it looked extremely delicate and highlighted just how tiny Keira is. One of my favourite activities whilst wandering around the clothes was seeing how big (or little) actors are. Marilyn Monroe's Seven Year Itch dress was ridunculous! The boobs were HUGE and the waist was TINY. I literally had no idea her waist was that tiny. 

Natalie Portman's Black Swan dress is one which shocked me by how small it was. I know she lost a lot of weight in preparation for the film but the dress looked like a child's play dress. Seriously tiny. It was beautiful though. So intricate, it must have taken ages to make.  

There was a bit too much space taken up by Indiana Jones for my liking. I'm not that enthralled with his outfit, I think it's a bit dull. However, I had to show you the illustration for the outfit as it made me laugh so much. Seriously! 

One aspect of costume design that I found really interesting was the challenges designing for black & white film. In order to give the characters an identity it was important to use intricate detailing and texture on their clothes. Sequins, jewels, velvets and silks helped to create depth and interest to costumes.  

I probably spent the most time reading about the outfits in Brokeback Mountain. The attention to detail in that film is amazing. The two boys have different hats because they come from different cowboy backgrounds. Certain cowboys only wear Levi's and not Wrangler and vice versa. I kind of wish I had written down the details as it was so interesting and I can't remember them all in detail.

So excited to see Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman outfit. I wish it hadn't been up quite so high as I could barley see it properly. It was so hidden actually that I nearly missed it. I would have been super annoyed had I not spotted it perched on it's ledge. 

OK they aren't the real deal but they are an exact replica. The real ones were on show in the exhibition but, as you weren't allowed photies, I can't show you them. They were very faded but there was something magical about them. Actually more magical than these sparkly numbers. 

I seriously recommend this show to everyone. It was so interesting. There are bout 130 costumes to look at and there is bound to be one that will make you smile. I had several big smile moments. I think my favourite were the Marilyn dresses (Some Like It Hot and The Seven Year Itch). They bought her to life for me.

Book your ticket now

2 December 2012

Top 5 Christmas Wish List

1. Marc by Marc Jacobs iPhone Cases
I LOVE these iPhone cases. They are too cute. But which one to go for? The sad dog with hearts in his eyes? Or the sleepy bunny with the heart nose? Oh decisions, decisions. Which one would you choose? 

2. Anya Hindmarch 'Joss' Studded Wallet
I need a new purse. Badly. This Anya Hindmarch one is really cute. I love a bit of studding and the hearts that adorn this purse make it pretty but edgy. I would opt for the black version of this as it will go with anything. 

3. YSL 'Arty' Ring
I love the YSL Arty rings. I found this blue stoned one somewhere online. I can't find the link any more so if anyone spots it while they're out and about, please let me know. One thing I've heard about these rings - from multiple sources - is that they turn your finger the brightest of green. I know the ring is a costume piece but for nearly £200 I would expect a little bit of quality. Will this put me off? Probably not. 

4. Diptyque 'Feu de Bois' Candle
Diptyque have the best smelling candles. This scent is a little bit masculine but I love it. It is so smoky and sensual; it creates an amazing atmosphere. I just love the look of these candles too - very simple but feminine. Great for relaxing in the tub. 

5. Jean Paul Gaultier "Classique"
This perfume reminds me of my last winter at uni. It's a strong fragrance which I always get complimented on. It's sexy but pretty and it gives me that tingle up my nose when I apply it which always makes me think it will last a long time (not sure if this is scientifically proven but it works for me). 

Coming up with a Christmas wish list has been really difficult this year. I don't actually need anything at the moment and  there is nothing that I really, really want. I will be content with a bottle of Champagne and a box of Charbonnel & Walker Pink Champagne Truffles. Oh and Home Alone. You can't have Christmas without Home Alone. One and two. Oh! And Elf. 

30 November 2012

Bye Bye Movember.

November has been a bit of a gruelling month. Trudging from shite house to shite house in an attempt to find my perfect first home has taken its toll. However, looking at all the lovely mos in London town has put a bit of perspective on my problems. Yes Movember seemed bigger than ever this year and while I am not a huge fan of facial hair, I was happy to see so many people taking part. The bf did not partake as he can't have facial hair for work but we supported the cause in other ways. 

One way I failed to support the cause was by wearing some cool mo-inspired Nail Rock wraps. I don't know if any of you have successfully stuck these wraps to your nails but I ended up with a horrific mess. Maybe I'm not patient enough for this sort of thing. I kind of whacked the thing on and tried to iron out the kinks. So didn't work. 

I had to put another picture of these on just to show how crap they were. The jagged edge is particularly comical as I spent about ten minutes trying to file it into shape. My nails would've looked so good if they had worked out :(

My mo worked out quite well! 

So it's bye bye Movember, hello December. The cold weather has already started and I am preparing for crazy shopping crowds, long work hours and plenty of hot chocolate to see me through. 

Donate to the Movember cause here.

29 November 2012

Dorset Dreaming

When I moved to Manchester for uni my mum packed up her life in London for the clean air of Dorset. Now I'm a London gal through and through but there is something refreshing about a brisk Autumnal walk in the country. 

After a cosy pub lunch with my mum and dad in the New Forest we headed to the coast to see how far we could see. Standing on the cliff tops we could see the Isle of Wight as clear as day. I have fond memories of that little island. Most notably my year six trip where we collected coloured sand (which I have since found out is not really coloured - worse than learning Santa's little secret), blocked b&b toilets, smuggled in a year's worth of Wotsits (including BBQ beef and prawn cocktail flavour), fell in love, surfed  attempted to surf, sang some Spice Girls, and visited the now half dead Black Gang Chine. Ahhh to be 10 again. 

Worst memory of the Isle of Wight is my dad making me cycle around the whole thing on a bike that was won with a can of 7Up. This isn't even a joke; it had the 7Up logo and everything. Since this experience I have barely sat on a bike. It got so bad that at one point I was walking the thing downhill as well as up. I think I even tried to hitch a ride. Thankfully there was a McDonald's at the end of it all - the strawberry milkshake helped the lactic acid that had built up in my little legs. 

No nightmare trips this time around. The little walk on the cliffs was perfect. When I say walk, we literally got out of the car and walked to the edge of the cliff. It was certainly not a strenuous trip. But I do like looking out at the world and wondering how I fit in (I don't recommend this, you will feel insignificant). 

Look! Mushrooms! Actual mushrooms! Growing in the ground. Well I never. Seriously, you can take the girl out of London....