Friday, 31 May 2013

Summer nights.


I know it's Friday and we are already looking forward to the next weekend but wasn't the Bank Holiday glorious? I can't get my head around this freezing little country of ours giving us sunshine exactly when we wanted it. That just doesn't happen! On Sunday, the air was rich with the smell of scorched meat and the sschhhhh of beer cans opening. There's something a little bit glorious about the country uniting in a love of barbeques.

So, yeah, on Sunday I headed off to a barbeque, as it seemed like the thing to do. I filled my belly with burgers, sausages and wine... oh, so much wine. And also, jumped at the chance to dress all summery for once. Legs out and all. I never get why some girls are all like 'Gosh, I couldn't possibly get my legs out, they are so white!' Just embrace being ghostly! I sure do. My legs are incredibly white, yes. But so is the rest of me, and that's fine.

I didn't think of this as a very summery dress when I first got it, but after I wore pretty much this exact outfit to the Pinterest party a couple of weeks ago, I'm a little bit taken with it. These glittery shoes have sat on my shelf ever since I wore them at my birthday party, but now I'm like 'Glittery shoes are not just for birthdays, Sarah!' and so now they are my summer pumps of choice. SPARKLY.

This weekend is going to be quiet. After eating and drinking all the things last weekend, my body is crying out for a detox. It could really do with a weekend off before next weekend's wedding, which looks spectacularly boozy. Spectacularly.

Dress c/o Lovestruck
Belt - Accessorize
Sunglasses - H&M
Ballet Pumps - Oasis
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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Books are Amazing... May Edition!

Welcome welcome to the May edition of Books Are Amazing! This month, Terri Jane from {twoninethree} is my guest blogger and has put forward some great selections. I have such a huge To Read list because of these posts, so it's nice to actually have a post where I've read a few of the books. I can totally vouch for The Night Circus - I flipping loved it.


Hi, I’m Terri Jane and I write {twoninethree}. I read lots of books, between doing a literature degree, running a book club, and being a Hermione-level bookworm.

Choosing favourite books is what I’d imagine it would be like to choose a favourite child. As I was looking at my bookcases, the stacks of books by the side of the bed, the side of the sofa, and on the dining chairs (I know), they were all waving, “pick me, pick me!" Sadly, this is not a list of every book I love, just a top few, so here goes...


One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
This book is the reason I’m learning Spanish. Stunning as it is in translation, if my Spanish is ever good enough to read it in the original, I will die a happy woman.

This book covers (surprise surprise) one hundred years, following seven generations of the Buendía family, (who all have the same names, so it’s ridiculously difficult to keep up with who’s who!) and who live in Macondo, an isolated settlement built in the middle of the jungle. It’s utterly beautiful, and it’s really not as difficult to read as you might imagine. I hate it when book reviews say “you will laugh, you will cry," but it’s really true here.


The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ah, Gatsby. Now that Gatsby fever has hit, everyone is reading it (seriously, go into any book shop and marvel at the wall of Fitzgerald that has suddenly appeared), but I don’t care. Everyone should read it. It’s only about 180 pages long, and it’ll take you an afternoon. Off you go, I’ll wait.

Okay... SEE?! I haven’t seen the film yet, but I very much doubt that it’s going to be able to live up to the beauty of this book. Poor Gatsby.


The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
I loved this. I have been describing it to people as 'almost like an adult Harry Potter world', because that’s the closest thing I can compare it to: the world that we live in being full of magic and magicians, but also full of people who can't, or won't, accept or see it.


The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
I only recently started reading Atwood’s novels (I started with The Handmaid’s Tale, maybe a year ago), and since then I’ve read literally everything I’ve been able to fit in. I’ve chosen The Blind Assassin because it’s one that I did struggle with a little bit. It’s massive (almost 700 pages) and complicated, but it is amazing, and totally worth the sense of “what just happened?" that you’ll get every now and then.

Once the daughter of a rich family, Iris, now old and poor, tells the story of her younger sister, Laura Chase, who died tragically in a car accident. After her death, a book that Laura had written was published, and gained a huge following. The Blind Assassin is about two very different sisters and their lives from childhood, through love, marriage, war, and death.


The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
This is definitely very high on my all-time-favourites list. I love that the time traveling is not magical at all, that it’s approached as fact, an involuntary reaction that really could happen to someone. I love that the characters are so real and engaging, and most of all, I love Henry DeTamble. I’ve bought so many copies of this book that I can’t even remember, because I have to give it to people who haven’t read it.


The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
Another one I recommend to everyone; I cried so much at this book. It’s based on The Iliad, and is the story of Achilles and Patroclus, and the Trojan War. The fact that I already knew the basic story made it even worse, because I loved Patroclus and Achilles, and I knew what was going to happen to them. And then it did, and I sobbed through the last thirty pages. Do not read this book on public transport, or anywhere anyone can see you.

Thank you for letting me be part of Books Are Awesome, Sarah!!

ALL of the books are on my Goodreads, and I love making book-friends, so you can add me on there or tweet me @terrijane if there’s something you think I need to read right.this.second.
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Monday, 27 May 2013

Hell for leather.


For the longest time I have wanted a leather biker jacket, and for the longest time I have tried them on and felt like I look terrible in them and put them back with sadness. You know how some trends just seem out of your reach? Like skinny jeans - they're just not made for my my hips. Or baseball caps. Well, that's no great loss.

I just couldn't come to terms with not suiting these jackets, because I kept seeing adorable ladies in little dresses teamed with biker jackets, and they looked brilliant. And in this annoying Winter/Spring hybrid we're dealing with at the moment, I was just thinking more and more 'You know what would look great with this outfit? A leather jacket. But they do not suit me. WHY DOES THE WORLD HATE ME?'

I've been persevering, but every time I tried one on, I just felt like I was wearing someone else's clothes. They just didn't seem to fit me right - they were either too long, too boxy, didn't have a hope in hell at doing up... ugh. It turns out though, that I hadn't found the RIGHT jacket for me. I found this in H&M and for the first time, actually felt like this could be MY jacket. And, as it is faux leather, it wasn't a scary investment, so I just bought it, even though I was kind of scared that I was trying to wear something that totally wasn't me (thank goodness for the Instagram test). And you know what? I love it.


This is my theory - the jacket looks okay because it's cut nicely for short, curvy ladies. It's actually slightly cropped so is a good length for my shortness, is boob friendy and the sleeves roll up nicely (I think secretly I'd like 3/4 length sleeves, but it's good to have the option, right?). And it was only £30, so, I'm a happy little sausage. And, to be honest, anything you want is YOU, as long as you wear it and it makes you feel happy. I'm all for being stubborn.

Now I've found the merits of a lovely leather jacket, I find myself coveting a REAL one. Kristabel's latest post has given me serious jacket envy.

Leather jacket from H&M
Dress - Prodigy Red
Boots - New Look
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Friday, 24 May 2013

If I stay here, trouble will find me.



Dress - Prodigy Red
Katana Satchel c/o Spartoo
Boots - New Look

I love you, May. All the bank holidays! The occasional moments where you don't have to wear thermal tights! You awesome month, you. My bank holiday weekend is perfectly crafted for optimum socialising and sleeping time. Socialising on Friday, vegging on Saturday. BBQ on Sunday, vegging on Monday. OPTIMUM. I'm going to have so many lie ins. SO MANY.

I stopped wearing this dress for the longest time because I feared it was too short, but when I put it on again recently I realised that I was talking crazy. I mean, it's not the most demure dress I own, but it's totally fine, right? And it's a good in-betweeny-weather dress because it's warm enough for cold days but kind of suitable for the warmer days too. With tights, though. I'm still not quite ready to lose my tights.

This little satchel from Spartoo is my new favourite. I talked myself out of buying a brown satchel in the Zatchels sale which I instantly regretted but this is doing the job nicely. It's the perfect size and because it's not the biggest, I can't overstuff it, which is a bad habit of mine (and the cause of my permanently sore shoulders).

Anyway, right now I can't stop thinking about the tub of Ben & Jerry's that's in my freezer, so I might go and investigate that. What are you up to?
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Pin It Forward!


I bloomin' love Pinterest. It is one of my favourite time wasting websites - everything is so pretty, and I quite often spend a weekend morning in bed browsing the app and pinning away. There is SO much on there, and every time I log on, there's something new to admire.

Gradually I'm getting more and more of my friends into it - my friend Rachel is starting up her own wedding hair and makeup business, and I keep emailing her Pins of awesome hair styles and pretty makeup techniques - I think she's a convert. Weddings and parties are a great use for Pinterest because it's somewhere to put all your inspiration and ideas - I used it a lot for my big birthday party last year and I know a couple of brides-to-be with bulging Pinterest boards.

If I'm going to be totally honest though, the thing I spend the most time browsing on Pinterest is FOOD. One of my first boards was entitled 'Get in my Belly' and it's still my favourite one to go through, especially when I'm on a diet like I am now. I'm basically living vicariously through all of these beautiful pictures - it's pretty much food porn. And dieting isn't so bad when you have a collection of amazing recipes stored away to use when you fancy a treat - because even if you are being very, very healthy, the occasional treat is super important or you will go insane.

If you like cheese, peanut butter and caramel, you'll probably like this post.

one | two | three | four | five | six

To celebrate officially launching in the UK, Pinterest had a party a few weeks ago (I am still dreaming about those cake pops) and also kicked off their Pin It Forward campaign. Selected Pinterest-addicts are talking about their favourite boards, and then introducing another fab Pinner. Pinning It Forward, you see what they did there? If you aren't part of Pinterest you can sign up here - and you totally should.

I'm introducing Jeska from Lobster and Swan. Her blog is full of beautiful photography and her Pinterest continues that dreaminess - her Live Beautifully board is stunning and I adore her Fashion Theatre one too. Sigh.

I would love more people to follow on Pinterest - are you on there? What are your favourite boards? Hit me up!

Pin It Forward UK 2013
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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Help me make a wedding cake?


Image Source


My Evening Dress


Vivien of Holloway

This post is not actually about dresses, but it seemed wrong not to include at least a COUPLE. How adorable would that VoH dress look with my Melissa heart shoes? Or maybe a pair of red skyscraper court shoes?

So. I love a challenge, but I always get to the point a little bit before when I’m like ‘Ohhhh dear. What have I let myself in for again?’ My birthday, last year, I was all like ‘I AM GOING TO MAKE A MILLION CUPCAKES’ and then it was 6pm and I was still icing cakes and everyone was due to be arriving at 7.30 and I hadn’t even got to the venue yet... it may have been a mistake. They were awesome cupcakes, though!

My latest challenge is also cake related, and it’s not an eating challenge, although as I type that I find myself thinking that I should seek one out. I think I’d be awesome at it.


Image Source

Nope, my challenge is actually to make a tiered wedding cake for a wedding in September. I’m pretty excited about doing it but it’s slowly dawning on me that this is actually quite a… well, a challenge. I think I’ve written challenge about eighty times in this post. Making a wedding cake isn’t as simple as making a birthday cake because being slightly messy and charming is fine for a birthday, and as a rule for life (slightly messy and charming is how I like to describe myself on dating profiles) but everyone knows – EVERYONE – that messiness has no place at a wedding. Weddings HAVE to be perfect.

No pressure, then.

Here’s the plan: a three tier round cake. The bottom tier will be 12 inches across and lemon flavoured. The middle will be 10 inches across and almond flavoured. And the top will be 8 inches across and chocolate flavoured.

I’ve been googling and Pinning like crazy for inspiration and I’ve found some really good tips on assembling cakes and ensuring they’re well supported, cool icing options and even how many they serve.


Image Source

However, what I have yet to find is the perfect sponge recipe for each of these sizes. My standard 8 inch sponge recipe is going to need some tweaking to stretch to a 12 inch and honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to tweaking recipes. So I’m appealing to you. That’s right, YOU. I’ve seen you all out there with your beautiful cake making skills, and sure, you were really nice about those deformed penguin cupcakes I made a while back but now I am begging for your advice because deformed penguin cupcakes aren’t going to cut it this time.

So, help – I need a sponge recipe with quantities, cooking temperature, cooking times etc that will be suitable for a 12 inch cake and a 10 inch cake (8 inch cake, I’ve got you covered). HELP ME. Because otherwise this is going to happen.


Image Source
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Sunday, 19 May 2013

GIVEAWAY: Cake decorating cookbook!


I have a cheeky giveaway for you today! A while ago on Where Are My Knees, I took part in a Baking Mad campaign to make some low fat brownies - they're pretty awesome, you should make them.

Anyway, the Baking Mad team have given me this cookbook to give away to one of you. I've had a flick through and there's some awesome cakes in here - how amazing does that polka dot cake look? I have a big baking challenge coming up soon (more on that in a couple of days) and so can use all the inspiration I can get.

Don't forget to check out the Baking Mad site too, there are lots of recipes and tips on there such as for the perfect (low calorie!) Victoria Sponge, how to make cupcakes and also lots of recipes for kids

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post with the following details:
1. Your email address, twitter handle, blog name... basically a way that I can contact you easily.
2. Follow me on Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin and let me know which in your comment
3. To be entered you must do both of the above but for extra entries you can Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter
4. You can also tweet something along the lines of Don't miss out on @essbeevee's giveaway at http://bit.ly/10O4s2S - you could win an awesome cookbook!
5. Do all or some of the above before 7pm 26th May 2013. Any entries after this point won't be counted!

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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Space oddity.


I was going to start this post with something like 'Nerdy confession alert' - but you guys KNOW I'm a total nerd, right? It's not really a secret. But even with that widely known fact, when I admit I kind of love Doctor Who, people are sometimes a little surprised. I guess it is pretty nerdy, and to be honest it's often pretty awful, yet I have to watch it every week. If only to feel ultimately irritated by it. Also, I miss Tennant.

Amy Pond was a terrible companion but goodness, I wanted her hair. Not being born a redhead will forever remain a huge unfairness of my life. Clara is, so far, a little more likeable, and although her hair is very lovely and bouncy, it's her insistence on wearing short dresses and opaque tights that has me penning this post. Because, gosh darnit, I just want every item of her wardrobe.


Sidenote - is it HER wardrobe, or does she raid the Tardis wardrobe every time? If so I find it kind of creepy that all these companions are prancing around in these old clothes. Who did they belong to? Most of these people are probably dead! And surely no one, but no one, would want to wear anything from Rose's era. PunkyFish needs to stay in the early 2000s, no?

Image Source

ANYWAY. The internet has jumped on Clara and her awesome wardrobe and has done a pretty good job of tracking down exact matches to some of her clothes. But most of them are sold out or incredibly expensive so instead I'm just going to show you how to mimic it, a little. This is basically a thinly disguised wishlist because I WANT ALL THESE THINGS.

  
Dresses: River IslandTopshopNew Look
 
Leather Jacket: H&MASOS

Satchel: Zatchels (real leather) or eBay (faux leather)


Boots: Topshop

To be honest, I think if Clara raided my wardrobe for tonight's season finale, no one would blink an eye. All the reds! All the black accessories! It's not so much about stealing her style, I think she's stealing MY style...
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