Monday, 28 May 2012

mojito cheesecake cocktails

I had friends for dinner and fancied something a little funky. I thought I'd try to recreate my favourite cocktail as a dessert. I love mojitos, and the mint in the garden had grown just enough. I found this recipe for mojito and pina colada cheesecake cocktails and you can see the results. Mind you, trying to get two sparklers to light without getting third degree burns, was a bit of a challenge!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

evening flair

I wore this outfit for an evening stroll. Both the skirt and jumper are newbies from Zara, which is filling my wish list right now. Although not an obvious combination, I think the jumper and skirt work really well together.All the material in the skirt makes it really floaty when I walk.

 I think the ribbon on the back of the jumper is an unusual touch, although my long hair does tend to hide it.

I still can't get used to having my photo taken, especially in public.
I am wearing:
Skirt and jumper - Zara
Bag, bracelet, ring, necklace, hair accessory - H&M
Sandals - Topshop
Watch - River Island

Friday, 25 May 2012

red shoes

What is it about red shoes; they are just so irresistible. If I wear a simple black or grey outfit, it is transformed when I put on red shoes. They immediately become a focal point you can't fail to notice. Oddly, the effect is lessened if I use any red accessories so I always keep them plain silver or gold and let the shoes do the talking. If I am having an off day, wearing these always makes me feel more upbeat.
How do you wear yours?
I got these beauties from Ebay again; another match made in heaven. They were such a bargain too. What's a girl to do...?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

what I wore for work

Yey! Sun at last. Time to work the wardrobe and bring out the summer dresses for work. They have been waiting in the wardrobe for too long. I was drawn to the eye-catching lace detail around the waist of this dress. I just had to have it.

What I really want, to finish off this look and other outfits, is a pair of coral shoes. Any ideas?

I am wearing:
Dress, leggings, bag, ring - Topshop
Cardigan and earrings - Primark
Shoes - New Look
Necklace - Republic
Watch - Urban Outfitters
Ring, bracelet and sunglasses - H&M

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

flea market finds

After I finish work I love to head off to one of the biggest open air flea markets in the area. Once a week  I enjoy digging around for trinkets and treasures. 
I am wearing:
Dress - Topshop
Cardigan, necklace, sunglasses and shoes -Primark
Watch - Urban Outfitters
Ring - H&M
Bag - TK Maxx

Today I found these dinky little Aynsley china tea cups and saucers. I also bought these two Poolele plates because I adored the design. A bargain at five pounds. I don't worry about everything being the same. I love to have an eclectic assortment of things that make me smile.

Monday, 21 May 2012

bang on trend

You know how much I like lace dresses, well here is one that is right on the money at the moment. The soft, lemon sorbet lace collar pairs beautifully with the colour and texture of the wedges. All it needs then is a a plain clutch and a simple bracelet to finish the look off. Lovely for a summer's eve.

Dress: Topshop
Wedges: Topshop
Clutch: Zara
Italic charm bracelet: Asos

Sunday, 20 May 2012

how to make a decoupage tray

I've had this wooden tray for years but the varnish had worn through. It was beginning to be the worse for wear as I use it every day. Recently I found some cute wrapping paper which I thought would be lovely for decoration and so I thought I would try decoupage. As it was my first attempt I wanted to give it my best shot and do everything by the book. You could I suppose miss out the primer, if the tray isn't in too bad condition, and I guess one or two coats fewer of varnish wouldn't hurt. That way you could possibly finish it in one afternoon, with the aid of a hairdryer.
If you want to have a go at decorating a flea market find, this is how you do it.

You will need:

  • MDF or wood tray
  • pictures cut out of paper
  • water-based primer (optional but may produce better results)
  • paint (I used Farrow & Ball vert de terre)
  • water based satin varnish 
  • raw umber powder pigment or raw umber artist's acrylic paint
  • paper towel 
  • sandpaper (wet and dry causes fewer bits)
  • soft cloth

What you do:

  1. Wash off any grease from the tray.
  2. Sand all the tray to smooth it and to provide a key for the paint. 
  3. Apply two coats of white water based primer paint, very lightly sanding after each one.
  4. Apply two coats of  paint in the colour of your choice (I used some left over from painting my dining room).
  5. Cut out, arrange and glue you pictures onto the tray, taking care to make sure there are no air bubbles.They can overlap.  At this stage, after they have dried, you can spray the pictures with fixative to prevent the cut-outs from bubbling - I didn't.
  6. If you wish to give it an antique look, mix three parts raw umber pigment with one part white primer paint mixed with eight parts water. Brush this onto the tray and quickly wipe it off with paper towel, before it dries, leaving the paint in the crevices and brush marks.
  7. Brush on at least four coats, I used seven, of water-based satin varnish, brushing in different directions each coat, sanding lightly between each to remove bumps.
  8. After wiping to remove dust, finish with two coats of polyurethane matt varnish to seal the tray.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

working the wardrobe

I'm so glad pastel tones are still being worn as I have got a few things in my wardrobe that I didn't get to wear last year (thanks to the weather).
One of my resolutions this year was to be more of a tourist in my local area. It's amazing what you can find on your doorstep that you barely knew existed. 

As you can see, it was a really windy day!

We ate lunch in this really quiet and quaint village that is over a thousand years old. Can you believe, the ruins of Thorpe Salvin Old Hall are practically in someone's back garden! 

I am wearing:
Jacket and bag - Primark
Jeans - Republic
Shoes - Next
Scarf and watch - River Island.
Bracelet - H&M

Thursday, 17 May 2012

ebay find

A few months ago I was window shopping in my favourite shoe shop, Schuh. When I spotted these beauties it was love at first sight. When I tried them on I knew we were meant to be together. If only I hadn't bought all those Christmas presents we could have been happy. Parting was such a wrench and barely a day went by when I didn't think of my lost love. Then, like a knight on a white charger, Ebay came to my rescue. Not only did my shoes appear but our union would cost less than half the price. And they were new! Now I can hardly bare to take my Red Or Dead darlings off. They are so comfy. And they all lived.......

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

floral fancy

I'm loving the pastel and neutral tones in Zara right now, they really are gorgeous. But when I saw this bright, floral dress in French Connection, I thought it would be perfect for a friend's wedding. I feel really girly in it.

I'm a bit scared of wearing white as I feel it makes me look a bit pale. I'll make an exception for this dress so fingers crossed for some sun.

I am wearing:
Gwendoline Flower Dress - French Connection
Cardigan - Warehouse (wardrobe)
Earrings - Accessorize
Bag - Primark (wardobe)
Shoes and ring - H&M
Watch - River Island

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

raspberry blondie

After tasting the homemade raspberry blondie, I had to have a go myself. I used this recipe. Mmmmmmm!

Monday, 14 May 2012

small sighs

Collard Manson has so many goodies, it is a wish list in four walls! I hadn't seen it before but now I have found it is on the web ........ It served gorgeous coffee, and the homemade raspberry blondie was heavenly. I'm going to have a go at making that myself sometime soon. 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

what...... lace again???

Having my photo taken is taking some getting used to. Up to now I have run a mile when a camera has appeared. So, if it looks like the cat has died........ (see above).

Dress- Sly boutique
Boots and necklace - Topshop
Ring -H&M
Earrings, tights and bracelet - Primark
Bag - antique shop

Friday, 11 May 2012

a greek supper

Last weekend, when we visited Saltaire, S and I stopped for a bite to eat. When I've been before this place, Don't Tell Titus, has always been busy. So when we saw an empty table we grabbed it. We ordered Greek salad, hummus and pitta, and stuffed peppers. We enjoyed it so much I made it for supper ..... washed down with ouzo, of course.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

an evening of burlesque

The pictures are all sourced from the Easytheatres website here.

For a long time now I have been a fan of all things Dita Von Teese (I even have a picture of her on my computer mouse mat). So when I heard a burlesque show was coming to town, I jumped at the chance to see it. I wasn't disappointed! It was very glamorous and being sat near the front meant I got a really good look at the beautiful corsets. Well worth going to see.

trampling through a field in topshop

 So there we were, on our way to a friends, when just around the corner we saw this field on a little lane. I couldn't resist the colour contrast with my blue dress, so I nipped through a gap in the hedge. You can't see here, but it was really squelchy after all the rain. People walking their dogs must have wondered what I was doing!

I can't resist these lacy dresses when I see them. I'm getting quite a collection in different colours.

I am wearing:
Dress, shoes and blue bracelet - Topshop
Rings - wardrobe find
Watch - River Island
Bag - Primark
Silver charm bracelet - a gift.