Tuesday, 31 January 2012

It's time for tea

To catch up fully with the girls when I'm home, I've managed to sort of slip into this routine of baking them a cake and serving them some tea. Normally I would do simple fairy cakes with a lemon icing, but Sunday I fancied doing something that bit different.

As you could probably tell from my Christmas post - I've got a bit of an addiction to serving puddings with pecans in them. This recipe was a very simple one. It's a basic sponge cake recipe, instead I used half the measurement of white caster sugar and half with a dark brown sugar to give it more density and a richer flavour. I then poured all the mixture into a cake tin.

I then simply spread dulce de leche on the top of the baked cake and sprinkled pecans to the gooey caramel mixture. As I served it still warm, it had a comforting moist texture which mixed perfectly with the tea. Not bad for 11am on a Sunday morning!

I've also got to share with you this little gem of a coffee shop I found one afternoon scooting around in the car. I fancied one of those random road trips where you don't know where you'll end up, except this time I arrived in Ripley, which is a village about half an hour from my home.

The idyllic area had this lovely little shabby/vintage shop that also served the most amazing hot drinks. There is room to sit outside if you fancy watching the world go by, or space indoors to slurp your cappuccino and look around the trinkets they have to offer. Definitely a good find - and one I must find again. Remembering the name of it would probably help!

Have you discovered anywhere lately? Let me know!


Sunday, 29 January 2012

Cupcakes and catwalks

Earlier I mentioned how I was going to be attending Fashion Capitals 'The Collection' in Mayfair - and I am here now to share my experience of the night!

My friend and I decided that a quick cocktail was needed in Mahiki for a quick catch-up and gossip before we headed out to the event. Bit gutted to realise we missed a chance encounter with Nicola Roberts and Mark Wright by only a few minutes!

We noticed a lot of people queing for Aura - but were very happy to simply mention our names on the door and were allowed in swiftly - along with a poker token for our free drink. Great start!
Instantly I saw glitter on the floor leading into the room, alongside a TV crew and presenter interviewing the designers of the evening. In case your wondering what I wore, I chose a wine wrap dress and a velvet blazer, along with my black bow heels and 2.55 bag. Quite dressed up to say the least, especially when I saw the creative outfits indoors. Everyone looked the part, donning their sparkles and fur to coincide with the winter themed display.

The designs themselves that showcased were quite simply evening outfits that showed some artistic flair but kept some simplicity - which is synonymous with winter dresses. I have to say my favourite out of the whole collection to my surprise was actually Lauren's Way RTW. Shame I never got to see her that evening but her nicely fitted dresses were a good standard of shades and structure.

I managed to meet some fellow bloggers and rub shoulders with other people in the fashion industry, even handing out a few business cards. I also consumed as many cupcakes as my etiquette would allow - they were decorated with blue icing and edible glitter and were that annoying one bite size, that leaves you questioning how many actually make up a real sized cupcake. The evening was a hub-bub of style and I definitely found myself leaving with that bit more confidence to go out and meet the alike with interests the same as mine.

Now where to go to next?

Images by Nick Reynolds

Monday, 23 January 2012

Abandoned homes

As I set out to my first lecture of the last term, with dressing influences from Jeremy Clarkson, I can't help but notice this abandoned house I pass everyday.

I've got my interest in the past, and I'm so incredibly nosey when it comes to houses that is no wonder that I find abandoned houses especially exciting.

I never really understand why houses are just left - alone. You see, down my road in Southampton there is a house directly opposite me which is stuck so far in the past it sticks out like a sore thumb. For one its green painted wooden windows recall a post war trend. The British green most commonly seen upon the MG cars - was once lavishly coated but is now peeling off and revealing the wood beneath.

The dated net curtains are surprisingly holding up well but just signify damp, old and cold. Which I'm sure was never the original intention. Your probably wondering how I know this house is abandoned. I've seen more auctioneers in and out this place than I have actual residents! Plus once the door is open its like an Aladdin's cave of musty Victorian terrace interior.
If you compare it with the house directly to the left - you can easily see the simply renovations which have brought it forward 50 years or more. It's imperative to renovate as quickly as possible, to attract legitimate residents, rather than squatters. Running water and good heating is not normally necessary for squatters - regardless of what the moral panics in the papers lately have been suggesting.

I hope this place is given a little facelift thinking about it. As its charming colours and historic elements should be restored, rather than forcing the windows out to allow ghastly double glazing in. The house must be listed, but who knows. I think that's what I find so interesting about places like this. Who lived there and loved it, but one day had to leave it to let it's green paint crumble. And what will happen to it next.

This post probably epitomises the exact reason why people think I'm a little strange - but I love it nonetheless.


Friday, 20 January 2012

The collection - winter wonderland

I'm taking some advice from the lectures we had last week, especially with C.V Consultant Mildred Talabi. She stressed the importance of networking in the start up of your career, and I thought it was about time I got out there again and met some fellow fashion faces.

Next friday I'm excited to be attending Fashion Capital's 'The Collection', showcasing the Winter Wonderland theme at Aura, Mayfair. Designers confirmed include:
  • Lauren's Way RTW
  • Christina Adami
  • TCA Men's Couture
  • Belles of London
  • Bad London
It begins with some cocktails and cupcakes, along with the necessary chinwagging with fellow bloggers, models and industry professionals. As Mildred pointed out, in her early career these events is what gave her the first paid position!

Now I have also done some work experience with Fashion Capital (about 3 years ago eek!) and they were such fun to be with - and also encouraging with the elements of the job I wanted to try out. This is where I got to attend my first press event and publish trend features.

Moving forward to 2012 - Jemima Daisy says "The Collection is such a great event. Fashion Capital loves organising the shows and helping the designers get their collections on the catwalk to an audience of acclaimed press and buyers. The result is electrifying for anyone watching and I get such a kick out of seeing all the hard work made into reality!"

Quite exciting to say I'm on the press guestlist - and I'll definitely be blogging about the event soon after! If you are reading this and also attending, I look forward to meeting you there!

Now what to wear...

See the event on Facebook here. Paid entry available.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Meet Elsie

Could not believe my luck at the weekend. Just casually looking around the January sales, aimlessly following Mother around House of Fraser when I got sidetracked by the beaming beauty of this Chloe bag. But wait what is that tag hanging off of it? It had a big fat 'HALF PRICE' sign all over it!

As I came closer, the lovely saturday-working girl gushed about how pretty it was and the low price. And I blame her entirely for convincing me this would be a good purchase. The 'Elsie' style was £700 down to £250. How could I possibly say no?

So after a lot of twiddling with my student bank card - I decided any designer bag is an investment and nodded. I now am completely in love and can't wait to start wearing it properly and teaming it with the many work outfits I come to arrange together in a few months time.

I can't resist a bargain, and especially a designer one at that.


Monday, 9 January 2012

Saying goodbye

I'm only a few months away from finishing university - forever. In those three years I have gone from being 19 and clueless to (nearly) 22 and eager. My course has even been altered half way through and changed to suit the rapidly growing market of social commerce and networking.

Charlie Burgess was our guest speaker today. I like to call him the 'Top Dog'. He seems to know almost everything about the media from working as a managing editor at the Independent. He now calls himself -quite interestingly - a 'recovering journalist'.

He explained how 'newspapers are dying - yet journalism is not'. This form of news will inevitably vanish, as it fails to create profit and interest thanks to the vast upgrade in technology in which we can all access our desired news. He also noted how 'more people are reading newspapers than ever, just not on paper.' This is especially interesting, as due to access on mobiles, tablets and laptops, we can seek the easiest form of information without physically holding that product.

Although I agree with him in the sense that holding the paper for tactile enjoyment as well as content surprises is limited with online news. I've definitely become accustomed to choosing what information I read online by clicking on my interests, although magazines and newspapers provide that serendipity.

So, as we are waving away to a past media outlet, I also have to say goodbye to somewhere I worked that has recently gone into administration. (Excuse me if I go a bit soppy)

Working for La Senza for the best part of three years was amazing. The girl power pact was something I've never experienced before - or I will probably be able to again. The tears I had when I left aged 19 were genuine, that's why today it's sad to see my Woking branch close down.

It will never be the same! I even worked at their head office for work experience in PR. But as we've seen, things move with the economic times. I guess there is something from them I will always take with me, and that is the magical power of guessing women's bra sizes (correctly) from a single glance. Superman hasn't got anything on me...


Friday, 6 January 2012

South Wales

This year, or should I say last year, my friends and I decided that we could not be bothered with the pressure of doing something amazing for New Year, so thought about the plan of just getting away to a log cabin. A whole weekend devoted to eating, drinking and celebrating was a pure delight and rest.

This is in the town of Tenby, near Carmenthen where we stayed. The shops next to this cliff edge looked idyllic - as they were all painted soft pastel colours, neatly built down cobbled streets. I did my fair share of window shopping and copious repetitive impressions of Gavin & Stacey.
Of course, if you listened to the news at all you would of heard that South Wales was quite a badly hit place in the New Year storms - although it didn't actually feel like it was that bad. Especially after seeing this rainbow pop up after a shower of rain.

When we were walking along Carmenthen beach to a rock pool area, one of my friends saw this little seal pup plodding around the stones and we couldn't believe our luck. A wild baby seal! What a treat! After a while he played up to the cameras by rolling around in the sand, using his flippers to be all coy.

It was a sweet little getaway that helped me relax - but also brought out my competitive side! We played a lot of board games, one of which was 'the Logo game'. For those of you who don't know what it is. You NEED it. It's on-par with the success of Articulate.

I was surprised by how much information I have stored about brands in my mind, even stuff I thought I didn't care about. The fact I managed to guess how much peanut butter is eaten every day (300 million) remains a mystery. I felt like Rachel and Monica in that episode when they answer Ross's questions, which they famously betted their flat on against Chandler and Joey. " He's a... TRANSPONSTER"... ''That's not even a word!" - Like them I just kept shouting random things!

But now it's a New Year, I've decided to conjure up some new goals that I hope to achieve:
  • Get a job. A real one.
  • Graduate. Obviously.
  • Save money. Properly.
  • Purchase a new work-wardrobe. Sell the huge amount of unwanted stuff.
  • Force myself to enjoy some sort of exercise.
  • Finally get rid of my useless Blackberry. Hello iPhone.
  • Go on holiday!
I think that's about it?