Thursday, 28 March 2013

Positive Beans

Being British it is in my nature to moan and to talk about the weather.  I am a seasoned professional in combining both.  It often features in these pages.  It is also in my nature to very much GET ON WITH IT.  This week began like this ….
After my intial grumpiness at the impossibility of a bike ride on such a day.  It was a sneaky excuse to be bundled up inside with a big mug of camomile, apple and cinnamon tea and do some very overdue cutting and sticking.  I buy (AND GATHER) a fair amount of magazines, leaflets, look books and other pictorial paraphernalia.  I look at the pictures, from back to front.  Then i read the magazine, cover to cover, the right way round; folding over any pages which i like something on.  This can be an item of clothing, the colour of something; the composition of a spread/feature. Anything to be honest.  These all get piled up on our litle pouf until i get around to cutting them out and arranging them into some kind of order.  Usually by theme. 
  This is my latest little collage in progress. It is hard to put into words but it is sort of a New Hippy/Bohemia/Wear Now collection of images. It is a way of wearing light printed fabrics together and being warm.  I love the idea of casual hats worn with print at the moment.  This girl is relaxed, ecletic, warm and wholehearted.  Her hair is unwashed and her style thrown together and haphazard.  

With a kind Waterstones voucher i received for xmas, i also treated myself to a mini scrap book for all my little cut outs that get a bit lost in my A3 pad.  I made a start on this pretty little book on Monday afternoon...

 This page is inspired wholly by PARIS which you can probably tell! I have been reading alot of French Fashion blogs of late and i just LOVE the elegance of Parisian street style.  This for me is simple, un-adultered elegance.  Paired back makeup, red lips (OF COURSE), a simple bob, pumps and little flick of eyeliner.  Cliche perhaps and a look i shall probably never pull off for i am too much of a pet elephant!  But super scrap book escapism ...
This very early collection of images is inspired/will be inspired by POSITIVITY.  The quote above right reads:  

'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.  It's about learning how to dance in the rain.'

I am hoping to fill these two pages with pretty quotes, lovely fonts and images that i think personify positivity. 

The rest of this week has whizzed by in a hop, skip and a jump of a blur. After receiving a tweet from a local cumbrian blogger a couple of days ago; my little heart was warmed beyond belief to receive such a pretty parcel in the post today ….

Anna, from the pretty little blog The Dusty Attic, stumbled upon this very old copy of Carlisle Living Magazine at home which i had completely forgot i had been in! It is from 2010! She kindly popped it through my front door with the loveliest little note.  Such a kind thing to do! 

Today has been my day off and so i have been pottering about tidying our little space and trying to be more creative with the whole FLOWERS IN MY HAIR thing.  I think i may debut this for work tomorrow.  If my barnet is Spring-ified, maybe the weather shall follow in time for Easter Sunday. 

Tonight, Vogue is my faithful companion. But i shall also be having a sneaky peek over the top while Master chef is on…

I shall also be mostly conjuring up a way to afford the most heavenly and beautiful dress I have seen in my whole life.  Or tracking down a high street and much more affordable equivalent…

Monday, 25 March 2013

Groovy Kind of Love

As i tip tap away here in my little space, i am listening to the Love Actually soundtrack.  Apart from it being a fabulous example of a soundtrack (and indeed a bloody good film to boot), i feel confused.  It is not Christmas.  It is not Winter.  I am trying to eat avocados and salad and other leafy goodness but mother nature still has me craving sausages, mash and onion gravy and desserts that can only be eaten with custard.  I couldn't even bring myself to eat the chocolate torte kindly provided by the Mr for dessert last night.  What has become of me?! 

Monsoon Towers are awash with the prettiest maxi dresses, bejewelled flip flops and dresses without cardigans to match and that refuse to be paired with boots.  Bare legs are a long way off. As are flip flops.   

I tried to cycle today - despite the force ten million gales outside.  I forced Lana Del Ray into my ears in the hope of summery inspiration; and wore as many layers as would fit under my little tweed coat.  I lasted one lap and my nose hurt so much i was seriously tempted to dip it into my Costa cappucino.  I decided it against it for fear of the strange looks. 

Bitts Park is awash with a sea of daffodils which sensibly seem to be refusing to bloom as yet (wise).  My outdoor pictures are so few and far between at the moment as it is increasingly hard to operate a camera wearing mittens.  
Evenings i have been getting itchy feet, and not being able to keep still.  No amount of delicious confectionary goodness is helping.  I think my body is tired of the Winter-y hibernation phase we all snuggle into once the nights get darker earlier. I feel sorry for the Mr as i am mostly grumpy and up and down like a yo-yo.  And feel like i am going a little bit stir crazy.  Last nights conversation went a bit like this…

Me:  Do you remember at school when you used to sing the song about the old woman who swallowed a fly, she swallowed the spider to catch the fly perhaps she'll die?

Him:  No.  Well i remember singing something like that but we never added 'perhaps she'll die.' Thats awful.

Me: Oh.  Its just 'cos it rhymes.  Well what did you play at school? Did you ever have stilts? And hula hoops? We did. I was useless.  And we used to play being peacocks with our coats on our head but then somebody ran into a wall and the game was banned.  Or sometimes we pretended to be poor.'

Him:  Poor?! What kind of school did you go to?! No i just remember playing a game where everybody stood in a line and held hands and ran at someone.  You had to break through to win.

In other news i am still bored of my barnet.  I watched Coco Before Chanel for the very first time the night before last and apart from falling head over heels for it; i also loved the quote 'A woman who changes her hair is about to change her life.'  Maybe this is true.  For this reason solely i have been trying to do different things with it and worrying that if i change it too much it wont match with my crazy riotous wardrobe.  A tad OTT really.  

Oh hurry up warmer temperatures.  I am exhausted with Winter now and i want to stop seeing the blue sky through the windows.  I can't wait for ice-cream, sorbet and jelly with pomegranate in.  And for sleeping with the window open and hearing the birds sing away to themselves as i drop off to sleep. And for mojitos outside.  And minty lamb burgers and melted halloumi cheese.  And for freckles.  Especially freckles. 

Loveliest thanks to the Mr for snapping the last couple of pictures.  The post is such titled due to this song and it reminding me of being little and having it play very loud as i helped my mum with the housework (mostly polishing.  I was an expert polisher from a very young age).  I remembered it this week and have had it on loop most evenings. 

Tonight i shall be catching up with some much needed cutting and sticking.  I have a big pile of magazines and other random paraphernalia with my name on it.  Hurrah! And i might curl my hair.  Shall see.  

Friday, 22 March 2013

Rhubarb Day

Did you know there was an actual rhubarpie day? It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise since there is a day dedicated to most other things these days.  Apparently it is sometime in June.  

I have only fell in love with rhubarb recently.  In my quest to 'broaden my culinary palette' (or after watching people do strange and inventive things with an all manner of ingredients on Masterchef and The Great British Menu).  It has always been something i have loved the flavour of, but not so much the squidgy, green, boiled pond weed look when it is cooked.  When i was but a whipper snapper i remember it as always being sour, green and stringy.  Three things that something you eat definitely should not be.  This week we have resolved our childhood differences and it joins avocados, beetroot and chutney up there with my 'things i used to think i hated but have tried again and actually quite love.'  Now i am a grown up.  

 The rest of this week has mostly been about staying warm and being cosy.  And sneezing an awful lot.  Walks to work have been the quick-march type, many layers have been worn and far too much late night tart/cake/biscuit goodness has been consumed.  But when you are under the weather it doesnt count.  And anyway don't you need sugar for insulative purposes?!

I have been enjoying digging out hats that aren't my furry cossack hat (variety is the very spice of life afterall?!) and also found my stupendous very old Accessorize fairisle mittens on a string.  I am aware i am no longer aged five, but these are the best thing for scatterbrains like me who always lose one mitten.  Am often traumatic experience.  

I have also been trying to use other bags that are not my Cambridge satchel.  I am terrible for falling head over heels for something, buying it and using nothing but it until it falls apart. Then i am devastated as i normally can't get an exact same replacement and then the search for a perfect bag/hat/coat/pair of brogues continues all over again.  The whole thing is rather exhausting.  My little French Connection butterfly satchel, as bashed and falling apart as it is, has been helping me stick to this. 
Behaviour has not been the most constructive this week and the most productive i have been is to recycle and chop up some old candles to make new ones and also use up some of our back log of little glass GU pots.  Cannot stop buying their desserts.  But at least the kitchen is now filled with a delicious smell of old christmas candle-y goodness.  
Sun has mostly been enjoyed inside because it is a crafty piece of work and outside is petrifyingly cold beyond belief.  When i have not been gobbling up rhubarb in the mornings, i have been especially enjoying honey and pecan nut granola with a large helping of vanilla flavoured sunflower seeds. 

I have kindly given the Mr my snotty nose and horrid cold and so tonight (because i can smell and taste again and have no cold and therefore am in good spirits once more) i will be more sympathetic and make sure he is okay. I am planning a hearty tea of macaroni cheese with a side of green beans for extra vitamins.  

Then i think we might catch up with The Fabulous Baker Brothers. Or i might watch the Season Two finale of Girls.  For the third time.  Just to make sure i haven't missed anything…..

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Bless You

There is a cold looming.  I can feel it.  I can feel my little immune system heave ho-ing against it with all its mite.  Pushing with its hands and its feet.  I havent quite got it yet.  It's that awful twinge-y head, tickly throat and hot ears and cold feet feeling. Bleeeurgh.  I am blaming it wholeheartedly on being back at Monsoon Towers after an unbelievably lovely stretch of days to my little self. 

That said i am A-okay.  Raring to go! Full of a lovely cocktail of pomegranate juice, coconut water, various fruits and sweet tea.   Back to a busy week of early morning get ups, installing Springtime windows at work (spending almost four hours making paper pom-poms gets tedious after a while), and enjoying more sunshine despite the intermittent snow blast of Sunday and Monday and walking to work a bit like a penguin.  I hope i find you all well? This week so far has largely been about skies (mostly clouds though if i am honest); cycling Spring style while visiting my favourite hoard of crocuses; feel better munching and being cosy…

Seeing so many pretty colours whilst out and about is the ultimate in cheer up cheesecake feeling - even if i am wearing gloves, hat and scarf.  I have been enjoying Spring-ifying my barnet with my beautiful Accessorize Bee Print Scarf - cannot get enough of our beautiful silk scarves - or any scarves come to think of it.  So very versatile.  There is nothing better than ice cold bubbly strawberry milkshake and sugary goodness to banish cold-shaped blues.   I like to think i evened out the Lovehearts with a few raspberries.  It worked delicious-ly.  
* * *
In other news, we enjoyed our first little jaunt in the Mr's new car on Sunday (well a jaunt that is not Tesco, Asda or Sainsbury's - they don't count).  So strange to be mobile by car now.  I am used to hooking all manner of things on poor Willow and so my legs certainly enjoyed a rest.  We went up to Scotland to see my parents and their lovely new house.  The journey was spendid and i am most proud of the driver.  All went smoothly apart from a minor snow storm/blizzard/hail attack en route home and an altercation with a roundabout that we ended up going around far too many times!  

Tonight i am making spaghetti bolognese and looking forward to some warm bake-well tart with a huge dollop of madagascan vanilla cream. I knew when i woke up this morning that i wanted it.  Then i plan to wash my hair and watch Masterchef.  Exciting times!  


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