Tuesday, 18 December 2012

'Tis the season to be jolly

I think we're all looking forward to Christmas especially this year. It all starts off early, and I think a lot of us are just really excited for a nice traditional family Christmas. I used to look forward to coming home from university for a bit of luxury food, comfort and constant central heating. I'm now just looking forward a bit of a rest! I haven't given myself enough me time lately. There are so many books I'd like to read, and places I'd like to go for a walk. I'm also excited to begin my new years resolutions. 

Although I may not always say them out loud, I know what I really need to learn to do is be better with finances. I'm to quick to say 'yes' to friends and family - meals out, nights out or shopping etc. Which I do enjoy and is my own decision, but sometimes I feel I need to learn it's alright to say no so I can save that bit of money - especially when I can't resist temptation of buying a new jumper!

I've never been great with money, I never took the advice when I was younger to save for a rainy day. So if that rainy day came to me now I'd be a little stuck in the puddle. I'd like to get things all in order so I can fit in enough to do both the fun stuff and make sure I can afford the boring things like bills.

Time has really creeped up on me - it's quite a scary prospect when people are telling you, you should have a pension pot set up - which I don't. I'd like to do that, but also to afford a nice holiday, or reach my ultimate goal of having a home by next year. So, that's my resolution, I hope I can achieve it. Oh and return to the gym... er hem.

Giving myself a bit of credit, I've done a lot this year. Graduated, new job, promoted after six months and made myself more financially responsible for everything. It's a good feeling!

Now to decide on what to bake or make for Christmas day. I've been experimenting with honeycomb which has been delicious, especially when I don't burn it. Have you got any resolutions?


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Graduating & eating too many waffles

I graduated last week! For three whole years I've watched every year above adorning the Potter-esque gowns in jealousy. How I wanted to be them, and then the time came! Patience is a virtue and all that. To celebrate we visited my much loved cafe Halladays in Bedford Place, then in the evening went out for a luxurious meal at Stovells in Chobham.

'Twas a bit windy.

Accidently visited this pudding place recently called 'Creams' in my local town a handle of times, which is actually too much considering the size of the portions. It's just opened where Pizza Hut used to be and it's very addictive. I mean how can you resist this chocolate sprinkled waffle with strawberries and ice cream? I can't, that's why I'm making a regular appearance.

Staying true to my word, I've been playing on my sewing machine a bit more, making some Christmas cards. Here I was on Sunday, with scraps splattered across the table with my Kitchen Spice Yankee Candle alight. That candle should win an award.

Hoping to do more Christmas shopping this weekend, and to also visit Ripley's Christmas Market, with the switching on of the lights, I've never been before so I am very much looking to it.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Dusting off my sewing machine

It’s been a thrifty few weeks as I've been thinking of many ways to spend as little money as possible – if that actually makes sense.

So I found an actual bargain in my local Oxfam lately, eight pudding bowls and side plates for only £4. They were such good quality and it is rather exciting to know they are selling on eBay at the moment for the same price per item. Even the lovely old man behind the counter couldn’t believe the price! Can’t all things in charity shops come down a little lower in price?

I've also been feeling really guilty lately after watching Kirstie’s Vintage Home on Channel 4, watching her teach home-owners how to use a sewing machine and I thought to myself – when was the last time I actually used my own? The next day I plucked mine out of my wardrobe to find it covered in dust – it was rather filthy to be honest. Quick baby wipe here and there and it was looking back to it’s normal self!

Except I felt like I forgot how to use it, which is ridiculous after years I spent slogging away on it. So, I thought I was start small and use the free machine embroidery foot to create some special birthday cards and here is the result! I'm hoping to make some Christmas cards soon when I've picked up some more scraps of material. 

Also, great news this month – I've passed my probation with a promotion and a pay rise! So, very happy at the moment. 

I also stumbled upon a salvage yard whilst milling around shops in Reigate – what a goldmine! Must remember to come back here when I can make the move! Antique and retro furniture all in one place! We were all like children in a sweetie shop. 

And finally - two of my friends also got married recently. This photo sums it all up for me, an amazing day and night. X

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Must learn: earning before spending

So apparently my entries are becoming once a month. It has to be said, once you are working on computers all day, the last thing you want to do is surrender yourself to it in the evening. Maybe I will share with you what has been keeping me so busy these past few months!

Well, see if you guess where I’ve been here… 

and here…

Going on holiday to Italy for two weeks at the beginning of September was quite a wish come true. I’ve always wanted to go, and now I have I can’t wait for the next time I can return. Although it won’t be for a few years I’d expect, my piggy bank is running low and I really want to feed it with savings now for the next step.

Working in property PR really makes you think about your own living situation a lot more. Not a positive nor negative thing by any means, it just makes you more aware of daily trends on mortgages, interest rates and inflation!

I’ve set myself a bold target. This time next year I’d hope I will have enough money in the piggy to begin looking for somewhere to move. That doesn’t mean to say I’m not looking already, once you start looking at pretty houses and places you’d like to live, it’s incredibly hard to stop! Especially when you literally find ‘the one’ and you have to let it go (apologies if I’ve quoted a terrible song), and you’ve got a bursting stash of bits to start up a home brimming under your bed. I blame this whole mantra on my upbringing with the PC game, The Sims. It taught me to expect the best in homes, and what I’d like it to be in the future when I’m ‘grown up’.

Now technically I am ready to move – what I can afford to move out into is entirely different to the dream. So I’m blaming all those cheats I used on Sims to create these illustrious homes. I should have played the game properly from scratch, and earning before I spent!

Meanwhile.. Halloween is peeking it's head around the corner, and I cannot wait. It's right up there for one of my favourite festivals. Although not dressing up this year - it's a film night in with spooky treats, although we can't decide on what film to watch. All too scared to pick one so it might have to be Hocus Pocus, which is a delight to me as I have a strange hate towards SJP.

Now enough about me, how's your Autumn going?


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Home grown food & fun

Quick post coupled with lots of pictures! Looking back over the month I did quite a bit! I went to the Sussex countryside to visit my Auntie and Uncle, enjoy lots of dog walks and be completely overfed with home made food and sent home with home made jam and chutney. Bliss.

Was also lucky enough to visit the Olympics and watch Usain Bolt compete in the 200m semi finals! Although I was stupid enough not to charge up my phone so this is literally the only picture I captured!

And below you will see an array of other photos showing an insight into my busy month! Celebrated an engagement party by getting the guests to complete a questionnaire about the happy couple, went out for a lovely dinner with the other half, so here I am all glammed up in a peplum top and lilac jeans. Also attended my bosses BBQ so took along some home made cupcake ice cream cones! Complete with a flake! And to round it up, I also got to taste the first harvest of Matt's vegetable patch. The peas were so sweet like candy! Had the runner beans last night for dinner, they were amazing.

Pretty sure the next post will be filled with holiday travels, as I am off to Lake Garda/Venice for two weeks and Devon for one week! Like to think it's my own version of travelling, as I'm not really into that, I like going for little breaks here and there! Looking forward to sharing my pictures and adventures!


Thursday, 2 August 2012

The past couple of months

Hello everyone!

Wow with so much to tell I don't really know where to start. Firstly an apology is probably in order, I've been a bit rubbish and naive about how much free time I would have working, I've hardly been at home, in and out the door catching up with everyone and starting a new chapter. Can you sense the rubbish excuse? I think frankly I've just been enjoying having no deadlines for once outside of work! Hurrah!

But I'm back now and will endeavour to inform you of my whereabouts and whatido's. In the past couple of months a lot of exciting things have happened. Once of my closest friends has got engaged after six years together and we're still all eagerly waiting to have the engagement party! I accidently found out the information before her.. so it was the hardest secret to keep but I did it!! Another only has a few months to go until the actual wedding, and another close friend is expecting her second baby! It's all go here!

I went to Henley Royal Regatta again this year with Matt and our families. It was really lovely to actually sit in the sun, eat cupcakes, drink Pimms and watch the rowing. Definitely don't take the sunshine for granted now I work in an office. I always try to have a walk at lunchtime and explore, but somehow always end up at the park watching about a hundred ducks in the lake!

I've also found out final results from my university degree. A 2:1 whoopee! I was surprised with a pearl necklace from Ma & Pa on the morning, and was taken out for a late night picnic with wine from Matt. Didn't really expect it all and I can't quite believe that part of my life is over. Conversations with the girls recently always go back to this scary thought that, all your life you've been brought up to achieve and do the next step, like college, work and uni and whatever, but then it suddenly stops and your left with the notion that you can actually do what you want now. It's totally up to you! So I'm still getting my head round the fact that someday soon the prospect of moving out with Matt will actually be a reality, not an escapism dream kinda thing.

Also, now I've calmed down enjoying the extra free time at home, I'm starting to re-discover sketching. It's always been a big part of my life, when I was little I used to love just sitting on the sofa with a sketchpad. I used to draw a lot of outfits on ladies, cartoon strips, ideas of future homes and gardens or animals. I prefer sketching still life now as I don't feel as creative to pluck something out the sky and draw it. But who knows, practise will get me there!

In a few weeks time I'm off to Italy with Matt and a couple of friends, Lake Garda to be exact and I will be sure to update you with my time away and all the sights. I'm still not totally sure what I really want to do out there - think I want it to be more of a surprise and see what happens! Also got tickets to the Olympics next week. Will actually see Usain Bolt compete which is so cool!

How's things with you?


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Leaving university and starting work

What a busy month it has been! The past month has been a bit of a blur - a blur of tears as I finally finished university. Reality hit when Natwest kindly posted me a letter informing me my student account was changing to a graduate account.. eek!

As you will see from above, this is my actual dissertation all printed and bound, awaiting my final grade. I produced 8,000 words worth of features for a retrospective supplement for Good Housekeeping. I uncovered original 1920s features and brought them to a modern perspective to contrast and compare. With the trend of the Twenties and British heritage strong this year - it was a perfect accompaniment that I really enjoyed producing. Although once you've stared at and edited something for nine months, I began to look at it quite negatively and was happy to see it all finished.

Here is also a new publication created by me, Emma Hursey and Emily Tsontilis. It sells the vintage tea drinking lifestyle 'Polly' enjoys, inspired by the nursery rhyme about putting the kettle on. We are in the process of putting it online for you to read, but for now here's a sneaky peak of the final printed copy. She is so soft and was the best feeling to hold! Only a few weeks back did we all think of a magazine idea, and to finally see it all in it's 52 page glory is great!

I also have a little secret to tell - I got a job! Last Friday I attended an interview and was given the best phone call that evening. I'm starting this Monday and I'm going to be working for a property PR agency called Oracle PR. I've been getting a bit over-excited, buying new shoes and blouses to replace my jumpers and jeans. Now my official name will be BA (Hons) Harriet Edgar, Account Executive... or something like that...

My how the past three years has flown by as I leave education behind and step into the world of work! Of course I'm going to miss it, but I'm always one to embrace change and look at the glass half full. How has your past month been? If you've finished university too, how does it feel?


Monday, 16 April 2012

Teacup candle

Easter is over, and I'm still struggling to eat the remainder of my chocolate eggs. Either I've got older, or the eggs have got bigger. It's just too much!

I've been trying my best to get all my work done, one of which was creating a teacup candle for Polly Magazine. It's a publication created with my two significant others, Emily and Emma. We like to dream a lot, and live a lifestyle that takes us away. It's cheesy as hell - but we love it. Think of it as a magazine selling a lifestyle which encompasses all things tea and antiques. So as you'll see above, I had a go at making my first teacup candle, which is surprisingly easy and only a few pennies to make. My little tip is instead of purchasing the wax in a ready made bag, just get all destructive and pull apart old candles you already have, such as tealights, that are perfect for the job. Only the wicks need to be purchased! If you'd like to know how I made them, let me know and I will happily create a recipe post!

I've also got some exciting news to share. I managed to secure a Freelance position with Housetohome, where I helped out in February. Now I get to upload and edit online features about beautiful houses and get kindly paid for it - what's not to love?

Whilst in conversation with the lovely people at Cox & Cox - they reminded me about some pretty little items they have on their website and I couldn't resist showing you. Everyone, including myself has gone a little cupcake mad lately - but these sweet treat bags are a good alternative as a gift rather than a cupcake box. Filling with all yours or your friends favourite treats would be so nice to receive! I like to send my friends little bags of sweets when times are tough, such as exams. Sugar cures all worry!

I also adore their candle lanterns. As we approach the festival season, it's a cute way of incorporating some personality into your garden. Both scattered around the lawn and around the garden table is a soft and gentle light perfect for late night BBQ's. I would pray for the sun to come back - but I do enjoy just as much throwing on lots of jumpers for this type of occasion.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Easter tea party in the garden

It's Easter and I'm home from university, although I've brought all work with me too! But I was looking forward to a much planned tea party, especially as my friends are such good bakers. I'm always surprised what delicious recipes they quickly create! Yesterday we had carrot cake, meringue and strawberries, rocky road and my own strawberry cupcakes taken from a new recipe book, Marian Keyes - Saved by Cakes. Tea parties are such a good excuse to sample some delicious desserts and nibbles, with the accompanying tea to wash it all down with!

I really enjoyed setting up the table in the garden for this occasion, which meant using all Cath Kidston bowls and teapots, whilst uncovering pastel tablecloths and napkins. I also managed to use these new placemats I purchased whilst working in London. They are really fab A3 paper sheets with a vintage design of a bowl and cutlery printed on it.

Other great ideas is using doilies for placemats, or using a cupcake stand as the centerpiece for your creative output. If you don't have a cupcake stand, balancing small plates on bigger dinner plates with a sherry glass as a support will look great! I decorated mine with cupcake cases filled with mini eggs with little craft chicks on it! Mixing different cutlery and crockery together will add to the vintage tea party look.

I also had a furry guest who came over for the tea party, so I decided to make her own special cupcake which involved a lot less sugar and more peas!

But it is important to provide guests with savoury options as all the cake can fill them up quickly! So we enjoyed some chicken satay sticks and scotch eggs with iced tea to break it up a little. Tea parties are a great way of making the most of the sun, especially if you prefer a sweet treat to a BBQ.

I'm looking forward to a friends birthday in a few weeks time as last year the heat wave brought us to Virginia Waters to celebrate by the huge lake with a picnic and outdoor games. Fingers crossed this beautiful sunny weather stays for the rest of Easter!


#cupcakes #tea party #cake recipes #tea #party supplies #party ideas #cake decorating #dog cupcakes

Friday, 9 March 2012

One hundred!

And Happy Birthday to Sugarlips! This is officially my 100th post! You may begin to applaud...

Blogging may seem like an easy task, but on top on everything else going on in my life, I'm often posting late at night, on lunch breaks or during evenings with friends - and for that I'm pretty impressed with myself! One hundred posts about fashion, lifestyle, travel, food and thought provoking posts, I hope you've been enjoying my ramblings as much as I've enjoyed battling with Photoshop to create them.

So as it seems Sugarlips has reached adulthood - I've decided to make some changes. Firstly, it's no longer the main portal for my career, I'm currently in the process of creating a web domain for my professional side. If you would still like to see my portfolio of published work, then keep your little eyes open for my next post to re-direct you there!

Sugarlips is still going to continue to be my source of outburst and expression, through pastimes I enjoy such as fashion, food or tea rooms. See it is the brand to my world, and I'll be sure to share my stories.

In only a few months I'll be working (fingers crossed) and this blog will be ever more so an outlet for me to express and be creative, although expect them weekly. A busy bee I shall be!

I hope you can take the time to have a little wonder around my past posts and let me know what your favourite may be? Remember I've got a Facebook page just for you!

Oh and also I send you a big fat kiss for reading and posting such lovely comments. Most people don't enjoy this - the red tends to stain - so enjoy!


#100th post #birthday #blogger #sugarlips #birthdaycake #millies cookie

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Waterloo walks to work

Here is a round up of my week in three photos. It’s been pretty busy, going to work in London and coming home to complete more work. But I definitely enjoyed it. I really hope to go back to IPC in the near future. But for now, it’s time to take that experience and continue on applying for more jobs. Although I feel I’m getting the balance wrong as I spend more time looking for jobs than I actually do completing uni work.

Although I had one of those moments looking through my final project, as I realised I’ve actually done a bit more than I first thought. Massive sigh of relief.

I can’t wait to share my final project with you – but for now it stays fully under wraps! If you want a hint, it involves looking at magazines from over 90 years ago.

I’m only 10 weeks away from the big hand in here. It’s quite daunting but altogether exciting at the same time. I already feel bad for the neglect Sugarlips might have in these few last weeks, but then I’m going to make a radical change to it so it’s worth looking out for.

As Sugarlips has been the forefront blog of an aspiring journalist, it’s only fair that the blog receives the same upheaval as my own life, as I finally step onto the career ladder. Will keep you informed… obviously!


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Busy bee & lazy tea

How'd you like that image for a productive five minutes? My housemate and I decided it was far to unnecessary and cold to tiptoe downstairs for a tea so decide our tea making facilities needed to be within 3ft of our bedrooms. So this is now our new tea station. Lazy or genius? I don't mind. My house my rules don't they say?

I've also got some exciting news to share about my next couple of weeks. It corresponds to the delicious shabby image above from www.housetohome.co.uk. I really do enjoy looking at house magazines and decorating ideas, even partaking in a few decorating hobbies at home, but little did I think one of the magazines I've enjoyed reading lately would be my next destination for work experience! House to home is the place for all their home consumer titles. I convinced myself that my last placement would be - my last placement - but I cannot resist such a great opportunity, especially since it's at IPC Media which I haven't been to before.

I bloody hope the weather sorts itself out by then though - walking around London with a numb nose can't be a good look for my first day. But I'm quite excited to help out and get the ball rolling more with my university work also, since I'll be at living at home with hopefully less distractions.

Oh and this last image has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I purely want to brag about the length of my hair lately. (Cue the girly clap and jumping up and down)

I've always been obsessive about the length, wishing it would be waist length but never convinced it could grow far past my shoulders. Although a regular trim and using Redken's Extreme Anti-Snap leave it treatment seems to be paying off!


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Jack and Sarah

If ever there was a film to take you right back to your childhood then this would definitely have to be one of them. Not because I could relate to Richard E Grant's characters high flying city job - but because of the texture and ambiance of London back in 1995.

Coming to terms with the 90's becoming an era within itself has been a subject on my mind recently. Seeing something so familiar and attached to me in film is going to take some time to get used to. It's easy to point out the strange - the different - when looking at images from the 50's for example, mainly because I never was there - but it's feels different to really look back at things that you can actually remember. I suppose this is rather ignorant of me, because I'm sure my parents for example feel the same way looking at back at all things related to their childhood. However as this is my first experience, I enjoyed becoming immersed in this film that included all the angluir and mis-matched patterns that the 90's so joyfully portrayed.

One of the easiest ways to recognise this era is to look at their wardrobe. Most outfits worn in the film are ones that I remember adults wearing when I was little. Dungarees, oversized jumpers, leggings, shoulder pads and bomber jackets all made an appearance. The small things I could relate to having was what the baby in the film adorned. Even silly things like the pram made me daydream and remember my early years. Probably quite apt then, that I have just won this beauty of a jumper from eBay. Definitely looks like it came straight out the film - 90's grunge at its best.

These reasons alone I think I enjoyed this film more than I thought I would. And anyway, the relationship of the Father and Daughter is far too endearing to make this film a flop. It might be over 15 years old now - but to me it feels just like yesterday.