30 September 2011

Things that make you go Oooooo (September 2011)

by Anna Ådén
September has come to an end in what seems like just a blink of an eye, I can't believe in just a few short months we'll be going into a new year! Time to make the most of the days ahead and start taking action on those plans I've been making so here's a few things to inspire and amuse...

Practical Beauty Tips - Some great tips from Jane of Sea of Shoes and yes I'm one of those people who only washes their hair once or twice a week and grimace all you want but I find the less I wash it the better its condition!

Wardrobe Emergency Kit: 10 Essentials Every Girl Should Have

Superhero Manicures - I absolutely love these, those Harley Quinn nails put my attempts to shame!

David Bowie Inspired Children's Book - This is such a super idea and you have to read it while you're listening to Space Oddity!

Two Sweet Sons Growing Up in Japan

The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're Going To Miss Almost Everything - Interesting thoughts here, as much as we all want to experience everything there's only so much we can do in our lifetimes.

D.I.Y. Accessories Rack - If you're not much of a cook and have an excess of utensils this is such a fun thing to do to display your jewellery.

Why I Find Strength in Britney Spears

How To Survive When Everything Sucks - I love these tips some are such simple little things but give you maximum joy.

Blogging Your Way To The Front Row - An interview with blogger extraordinaire Gala Darling about her life as a blogger and the great opportunities it has allowed her to have.

Five Reasons Why You Should Keep Blogging

Top Ten Tips For New Bloggers - Whether you've been blogging for a while or new to the world these are some great tips.

Scissorhands 20th - Edward Scissorhands has to be one of the best of Burton's movies, check out the tribute art people have created for the film's 20th anniversary.

On Beauty and Bullying + Paint Your Love

Elderly Animals - I love this picture series proof that animals only get cuter with age!

What Would Buffy Do? - I recently got the complete Buffy DVD collection and have been watching it every night, I love Buffy not only is it an awesome show but it totally helped me to be strong and overcome my problems.

The Ultimate Guide To Making Your Period Suck Less!

Patrick Bateman’s New York: What Happened To The World of American Psycho - Always wanted to make a reservation at Dorsia? Well here's your guide to all of Patrick Bateman's New York hangouts and where they are now.

Who You Spend Time With Is Who You Become - I'm a great believer if you surround yourself with great people that their greatness will rub off on you.

D.I.Y. Sheer Skirt

100 greatest non-fiction books - Looking to expand your knowledge and library well I got you covered there's some great picks here which I will definitely be checking out.

Love & Sparkly Hugs

26 September 2011

Rhubarb & Apple Crumb Cake

Harvest season is here and our kitchen has started to resemble a greengrocers with all the fruits and vegetables we've been given by friends and family, not to mention the fruits harvested from our own trees! With all this delicious fresh produce around us it would be a shame to let it all go to waste so I decided to experiment with a few different recipes and this crumb cake was one of them.

I've made crumble in the past but this time I wanted to try something slightly different and I thought crumb cake was the perfect way to have both your cake and crumble and eat it!

For the filling
  • 400g Rhubarb
  • 400g Apples
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water

Wash all the fruit thoroughly, cut the rhubarb into 2" pieces and peel and cut the apples into small slices.

Add the fruit, sugar and water to a saucepan and simmer on a low heat until the fruit is soft and resembles a sauce.

Once fruit is cooked remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool.

For the sponge
  • 1 1/2 Cups Self-raising Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of rice milk
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter or margarine and set to the side.
Add all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth, airy and lump free.

Pour the batter into the greased ovenproof dish making sure that there is an even layer covering the bottom.

For the crumble
  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond flakes
  • 75g of cold butter or margarine cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients apart from the almond flakes together until it resembles breadcrumbs, you can do this by hand or using a food blender by using short pulses after you have done this you can mix in the almond flakes.

Now you have your three layers for the crumb cake done you can start to put it together by simply spooning the cooled fruit mixture onto the batter making sure you get an even layer and then adding the crumble mixture on top.

Place the crumb cake into a preheated over of 180°c for 30 - 40 minutes until the sponge is cooked and the crumble is golden brown.

Serve warm or cool alone or with custard, cream or ice cream.

Eat & Stay Healthy

21 September 2011

Winter Is Coming...

There's a slight chill in the air which makes me think that the colder weather is on its way and so its time for me to pack away those skimpy summer clothes and to start pondering over my winter wardrobe and what's going to be keeping me warm and looking chic during these icy months.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who hears the Game of Thrones theme tune when somebody says  "winter is coming" and I have to admit it's my obsession with the show (and the books) which has most influenced my winter look. I love the styling of this show and especially love the costumes of the "Men of the Night's Watch" the harsh black wool, mixed with leather and soft fur is not only designed for warmth and protection but to give a look of dark malevolence.

That sense of regalia and mixture of harsh and soft textures is also echoed in the McQueen collection for this winter. I love the use of belts and harnesses against those soft feminine textures it's almost warrior like and gives me visions of riding though snowy fields on a dark black steed braving the elements longing for the warmth of a hot fire (I mentioned my obsession with Game of Thrones right?) and I think after the past few really cold harsh winter's I've had I'm ready to go back to basics using those natural fibres the nomadic tribes do for warmth and protection.

That polished look is gone instead a more rugged natural look is taking its place! My straighteners and hair-dryer can take a vacation as I'm going to be going au-natural and letting my hair go wild and yes I'm waving bye bye to my gorgeous pink and blue streaks as my hair goes back to black for the winter. As my clothes will be heavy I want to keep my make-up quite light and icy although I will be breaking out the black eye-liner and dark lipstick for a more dramatic evening look.

The actual clothing items I have in mind are quite plain and simple, designed primarily for keeping me warm so what makes this look are the accessories, wide buckled leather belts, gloves, harnesses and boots are key as well as soft fluffy fur collars, big scarves, capes, warm hats and cold industrial metal jewellery.

I honestly can't wait to start piecing this look together and hunting out new items to add to my wardrobe so much so it's making me excited for the cold weather which I have to admit is a first! So tell me what will you guys be wearing this winter and are you prepared for the cold weather ahead?

Love & Warm Hugs

15 September 2011

Inspirational Quotes #18

I think everyone should go to bed like they have a date at the door. - Karl Lagerfeld

10 September 2011

Eat, Drink & Be Merry: Liverpool Food Festival

Last weekend saw the start of Liverpool's food and drink festival so being the food addicts we are my mother and I ventured up to Liverpool for the day to sample some treats and boy where there some treats to be had!

There where so many different stalls there offering food from many different restaurants and countries you could chose from sushi, su mai, jerk chicken, BBQ, noodles, hot dogs, sandwiches, pies, burgers, rice, curry, cupcakes, chocolate, cookies... the list goes on and for the brave of stomach there were also some more "unusual" treats such as frog legs and snails!

In addition to all the yummy food there were lots of cocktails, wines, exotic beers and ciders to wash down all that delicious food. I'm very fussy about my booze in that I don't like it to taste too much like booze but the minty smell of mojitos pulled me in and after sipping on a few of those and downing a sparkling cup of pink cider I must admit I got a bit tiddly!

I'm sure I've mentioned before my love for the Food Network and that I watch an endless amount of cooking programs which is an addiction my mother shares to no doubt due to the fact we both are cooks by trade. I had heard that "Mr. Nasty" Marco Pierre White was lurking about but when I found him I was too scared to ask for a photo with him so took a creepy stalker photo of him instead meanwhile my mother randomly ran into another celebrity chef Simon Rimmer and managed to get a photo with him.

Liverpool food festival is probably one of the better food festivals I've been to I had such a fun time, the food was good, the booze was good, the prices were cheap and we brought home several bags chock full of food which I'm still working my way through now not to mention the huge pile of vouchers I have for various Liverpool based eateries which if my happily full belly is anything to go by I will have to take advantage of soon!

Eat & Be Merry

05 September 2011

A Day at the Museum

Wandering around art galleries and museums is one of my favourite pastimes, I could spent hours, days, weeks even trawling the endless corridors learning about civilisations past or just admiring the beauty surrounding me. Whilst I was in London I managed to escape the crowds of comic-con for the afternoon to pay a visit to one of the most loved museums in the country The Natural History Museum.

I haven't visited The Natural History Museum since I was a little kid but it still gave me that buzz of excitement it did nearly 15 years ago. I've always been obsessed with dinosaurs and seeing all the bones and fossils found from around different parts of the country is so amazing and makes me want to grab my fossil hunting kit and go exploring!

I get my love of dinosaurs and space from my dad, he would spend hours when I was a kid showing me his fossil collection and telling me what they are and how they are formed. We also spent many nights in our back garden with the telescope out searching for planets and constellations in the sky, it was always one of my favourite pastimes and ways to spend time with him.

Whilst I was there I unfortunately lost my beloved T-rex ring (a fitting home for him though!) but I did manage to get a replacement from the museum gift shop as well as a Triceratops ring and a big plushie Diplodocus, I did mention I loved dinosaurs didn't I?

There are just so many things to do and see at The Natural History Museum that I was a little sad I couldn't spend more time there. I would have loved the chance to see some of the special exhibits they currently have and been able to explore the gardens but I guess that gives me a reason to go back and visit there again soon.

Love & Dino Hugs