This month, I've been...

Monday, 31 January 2011

Reading... Auntie Mame: An Irreverant Escapade by Patrick Dennis. Such a fun book. A young boy goes to live with his lovely & incredibly eccentric Auntie Mame after his father passes away & it follows their relationship. I was immediately hooked. I challenge anyone to not want to be Auntie Mame after reading it.

Watching... 30 Rock, Season 2. How did I not discover this show earlier. Seriously, it is so good.

Wearing... thick, oversized, wollen jumpers, skinnies & my (badly worn) brogues. Yes, I am dressing like a 40 year old man (apart from the lipstick). But in my defence it is freeeezing!

Buying... pretty tumblers & bowls (mine are in a mustard yellow - my obsession with this colour continues) from Anthropologie & some animal print flats from Topshop

Eating... a lot of cake, especially these cupcakes & this Moroccan chicken dish. My Mum made it for us on Christmas Eve & I've been rustling it up on a weekend ever since. The only change to the recipe that I'd recommend is to just add the 1 tsp of cinnoman & 1 tbsp of the honey, otherwise it can be a little bit too sweet.

Listening to... Doncamatic, Gorillaz featuring Daley (what a voice) & rather randomly, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by those Monty Python Boys.

Dreaming... of seeing Arcade Fire in Hyde Park this June (I must buy tickets) & of our trip to Monte Carlo to watch the tennis in April. So much to look forward to!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend - Louise x


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

These photos pretty much sum up how I would love our flat to look after the redecoration. We're going with white walls but we really want nice big splashes of colour. I don't know about you, but I need colour around me - it instantly makes me happy!

My favourite vanilla cupcake recipe

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

I'm a bit of a fuss pot when it comes to cupcakes. I can't stand inches of sickly sweet icing - it's way too overwhelming for me! I want a lot of sponge cake and a nice morish amount of buttercream icing sitting pretty on the top, yum!

So I've been trying a ton of recipes in my search for the perfect vanilla cupcake and this Primrose Bakery recipe has to be my favourite so far*. I saw online that some people have complained that the sponge is a bit too dense & I'd agree that in a Victoria sponge, it would probably be a little too heavy, but for me the slightly denser sponge works a treat with a small cupcake :)

If you give the recipe a go, do let me know what you think!

*Apologies for the Daily Mail link - it was the only place I could find the recipe online. I'm
not a big fan of that paper!

If you ever feel stressed/a little down in the dumps

Friday, 21 January 2011

...then I strongly recommend that you stop whatever you are doing & play the video below. The most hilarious thing I've seen. When things get a bit too stressful in the office, we huddle around a computer, watch this, laugh a lot & instantly feel better.

Thanks for the moves Jagger & Bowie x

A darling Brooklyn apartment

Thursday, 20 January 2011

I recently came across the blog, Darling Dexter. Not quite sure how I didn't find it earlier - especially as I'd been swooning over the bedroom in their old NY apartment for months. I was so excited to see photos of their new apartment in Brooklyn. Just as amazing - as these photos (via Design*Sponge) show...

A little obsessed

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I'm more than a little obsessed with collars at the moment... Shirts with pretty collars, dresses with sweet peter pan collars, collars peaking out of the top of jumpers, etc. etc. (You get the picture!)

I thought it would be nice to share a few items on my wishlist - & a few photos that have been inspiring me lately - enjoy!

I saw this Topshop dress in the store & to be honest wasn't even tempted to try it on. But then I saw this lady in it & am now smitten. Ah the power of the blogosphere!

Cheese & chilli biscuits

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

These were gone within a day. And there was about triple this amount. Yes, they were that good (or maybe we're just piggies when it comes to baked goods, hmm...)

I got this recipe from The Great British Book of Baking. I must say that every recipe I've tried from there so far has been absolutely delicious. The one adjustment I made was to up the amount of chilli in the biscuits as we do like our food hot in this house.

I was hoping the share the recipe here, as I rather naively thought that the recipe would be available publicly - sadly it's not - but the book is a good buy, promise! x

Beautiful bedroom

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Have you seen this lovely bedroom? So many great ideas to try. Read more on I Just Might Explode...

A fun day thrifting

Monday, 10 January 2011

We had such a good weekend - the highlight of which was visiting our local collectors market. Always a wonderful treasure trove of goodies :)

I also made cheese & chilli biscuits - recipe to follow soon! x

A quick & easy DIY idea...

Saturday, 8 January 2011

I fell head over heels in love with this dress the minute I saw this photo on Lookbook, but sadly they no longer stock it. But it did give me an idea that it might make a fun DIY project! Hunt down a plain dress/sweater dress (I have a cotton H&M navy/grey one that would be perfect for this - it fits like a dream but is very plain, so it tends not to get a lot of wear), source a pretty white lace/crochet collar (there are some lovely ones here, here & here). You can then just attach the collar with a few hand stitches. Ta da, an affordable & personalised pretty dress - Louise x

A lovely surprise!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Oh wow, the lovely Kat from the blog From Limbo And Beyond gave me this lovely award - thank you so much Kat!
So, the rules are:

Share 7 things about yourself:
1. My ultimate dream is to open a little bakery with one of my closest friends

2. It took me a while to find a corner of London in which I felt at home. I was pretty close to giving up. But then I visted Crystal Palace & knew it was the place for me - come visit!
3. I love red lipstick (Ruby Woo by Mac is pretty perfect)
4. I hate having manicures! I want to enjoy the whole pampering process but I get so bored - & then usually chip them an hour later
I have younger twin sisters who are pretty amazing. They can make me laugh so much!
6. My favourite band at the moment is She & Him. Their songs make me so happy.
7. I could happily eat Thai food every day

Pass the award along to blogs you've recently discovered & enjoy:

I'm going to copy Kat and limit myself to just 3, otherwise I could go on and on...
The Teapot Explodes
Ray Makes Do
A Rowan Tree

1. Why did you create this blog? I'd always loved scrapbooking all the inspirational things I'd find & one day, after helping a friend set up a blog, I got nosey & started exploring the blogosphere. I found soooo many beautifully crafted blogs & realised that I could save a lot of time printing things out & scrapbooking them by starting my own blog!

2. What kind of blog do you follow?
Any blog that inspires me - so that could be fashion, food, interiors, etc. But I do have a real soft spot for lifestyle blogs where you learn more about the blogger her/himself. I find it so interesting to learn what inspires creative people, their tips & their passions.

3. Favourite make-up brand?
Mac. Always Mac!

4. Favourite clothing brand?
I love Zara's clothes - affordable but still beautiful designs. And if money was no object, then Anthropologie for sure! I go in there all the time just to dream

5. Your indispenable make-up product?
Eyebrow pencil - I dye my hair dark brown (it's naturally mousey blonde) so my eyebrows tend to get a bit lost unless I give them some help ;)

6. Your favourite colour?

7. Your favourite perfume?
Nude by Stella McCartney

8. Your favourite film? Office Space. Funniest. Film. Ever.

9. What country would you like to visit & why?
I would love to visit Greece & explore the Acropolis. That would be a dream. In terms of cities, Berlin & Stockholm are on my wish list for 2011!

10. Are you a cat or dog person?
More of a dog person

British Etsians

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

I love buying from Etsy, but I also love buying, and think it's important to buy locally, so I wanted to share a few of my favourite UK-based Etsy sellers. Hope you enjoy the list!

1. Dolly Knits - Knitwear designer, Joanna, designs the most beautifully hand-knitted accessories. I'm in love with her pom pom hats!

2. Gooseberry Moon - Their stationery is designed and made in North Wales. They have a great range of cards, notebooks, gift tags, etc. I'll be buying that butterfly confetti for the next wedding I go to :)

3. Emma Lamb - I have loved her crochet for years! I intend to treat myself to one of her cushion covers one of these days... As a treat for ticking off one of my goals perhaps?!

4. Belle & Boo - This was set up by 2 friends - Mandy & Kate. Together they sell the most beautifully illustrated books, cards, prints, mugs (I could go on...) - and now some darling children's clothes that I intend to buy for my BF's new little lady ♥

Do you have any favourite UK-based Etsy sellers?

12 things to do in 2011

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy 2011! I have a feeling that 2011 is going to be a good year ♥

This year, I've decided to ignore my usual New Year's resolutons & instead make a list of 12 things I want to accomplish in 2011. When a goal is ticked off, I'll blog about it - & give myself a little reward!

What are your plans/goals/dreams for 2011? - Louise x