Cookfest 2012

These past few days I've been on a bit of a cookfest:

1. Honeycomb
[Recipe - Lorraine Pascale]

2. Piselli carbonara on garlic ciabatta, minus the cheese for me and I used pepperoni instead of streaky bacon
[Recipe - Gino D'Acampo]

3. Chicken katsu curry
[Recipe - Gizzi Erskine]

4. Prawn linguine with chorizo, cabernet tomato sauce
[Recipe - Lorraine Pascale]

Delicious. {^_^} Anyone have a recipe they want to share that I should try out? x

Latest Loves: 24.8.12

This week I watched the awesome 2011 documentary Being Elmo. It's all about Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo and it's especially worth a watch if you were a fan of Sesame Street growing up! I also spotted his book on Kindle so I will have to buy that at some point but I'm trying to wean myself off Kindle purchases at the moment as it's frightfully too easy to buy books on there. It's a bad and expensive habit to have got in to - damn you Kindle!

I also caught Fast, Fresh and Easy Food for the first time this week , which is Lorraine Pascale's cooking show. I have to say, after investigating her recipes, I knew I'd be a big fan ... but after cooking her honeycomb and prawn linguine recipes yesterday, I know I definitely am a fan! Our tummies are in for some treats, that's for sure!

I've no idea where I've been but it's the first time I've ever heard of the iTunes Festival. In case you've been living under a rock like I have, it's 30 nights of free music in London and, guess who have been announced to play? A-huh, The Killers! I've applied for tickets and entered competitions, so fingers crossed I get tickets as I really want Olly to see The Killers since he didn't come to V Festival and get to experience their awesomeness. Oh, and it'd be awesome to see some of the other artists, too.

Finally, it's the return of No Doubt, who I have always absolutely adored. Also, I hope I look as HAWT (and young) as Gwen Stefani when I'm 42! What are your loves this week? Oh, and have a great bank holiday weekend! {^_^} x

V Festival 2012

Yesterday, for the first time ever in my 20-something year old existence, I went to Essex. Having managed to avoid Essex for the past 20-something years, there had to be a very good reason for this unprecedented visit*. That reason? The Killers.

About three weeks ago I spotted that The Killers were playing in my (more-or-less) home city of Leeds. Having just been North to visit my new nephew, I poked around further and saw they were playing at V Fest. Dilemma. I am not a festival fan. At all.

After the horrific disaster that was Reading (never blogged about it, that bad) last year and Leeds the year before, the last thing I wanted to do was see them at a festival. But, I had heard that as far as festivals go, Leeds/Reading are at the top end of the extreme festivals and that V Fest is much nicer. It was. (And the music was much more my cup of tea, too.)

Before The Killers, we saw a little bit of Tulisa on the way in as we were walking over to see The Feeling at a different stage, but mainly stuck to the main stage to see Olly Murs, Madness, Tom Jones, Tinie Tempah and Snow Patrol play. I'd seen a bit of Snow Patrol at my uni's Fresher's Week, but that was before they struck the big time, aka before Chasing Cars

The Feeling were good - obviously didn't like their new stuff as didn't know the words - and I only knew one Olly Murs song to sing along with (until he covered The Jam and Supergrass, that is). I was at V Fest with (my) Olly's sister who did though, and she rightly pointed out that both Ollys dance the same. Make of that what you will. He seemed a bouncy enough likeable chap though and could sing, which is always a bonus. (Major disappointment last year with 30 Seconds to Mars.)

Next up were Madness who I was excited about but then you sort of remember that Suggs comes across as a bit up himself, to put it politely, and that you feel sorry for Carl because he gets maybe 1% of the attention that Suggs gets - he's the other singer - but, my goodness, how does Lee Thompson manage to play the sax like that without passing out! Tom Jones followed - no Sexbomb - but bloody good, nevertheless, despite the horrors of seeing pikey full-frontal nudity as some of the audience decided to take You Can Leave Your Hat On seriously ... *shudders*

Tinie Tempah wowed the crows, and, yes!! He did Miami to Ibiza - hurrah! - and then it was time for Snow Patrol and The Killers. Both brilliant, but The Killers more so, even though they had wrapped up by 22.30 and then their encore was wrapped up by 22.45. Brandon Flowers is an utter delight though, even if he did deprive me of fifteen minutes. Very happy that they did play For Reasons Unknown, which is probably my favourite song of theirs, if I *had* to pick one ... and why would I do that when I can have them all? Cue evil laughter. Coughs.

There were other bands that I'd like to have seen that were playing V Fest but couldn't because of clashes, but it was definitely worth going and I may not hate festivals as much any more. Well, I don't hate V Fest. Are you a festival fan? x 

* I am joking, of course. Am certain that Essex is lovely, despite the TV show. I mean, Chelsea is ... Also, I've never been to Cornwall,which just proves that there are some very nice counties in this country that I've just not managed to visit yet, OK? {^_^}

Hair chalking

I struck lucky and my soft pastels were delivered today... so I decided to give chalking my hair a go!

The most common advice for hair chalking is:

1. Choose the piece of hair you wish to cool and twist hair
2. If you're blonde or a red head, don't wet your hair; do wet your hair if you're brunette
3. Colour in hair with pastel
4. Seal with heat - either straighteners or curling tongs.

First up, I didn't use the darker blue pastel, just the turquoise, magenta and violet pastels (bottom three), and I *did* wet my hair. Other than the magenta pastel my hair didn't seem to want to absorb the other colours when it was dry but did when I wet it/the pastel.

The reason they say not to wet blonde hair is that it will take longer for the colour to wash out if you do but that's the risk I've taken! I found it easier as well to rest my twisted hair on a hard surface and colour in (underneath some paper), rather than try to mid air colour.

Whether you do small, random strands or want to colour the tips of all your hair is up to you - I opted for the tips of my hair and the end result is sort of My Little Pony! It's a bit hard to see, but I used turquoise underneath, violet at the side and magenta at the front.

Until I see how this washes out though, I'm on the fence about hair chalking. With my hair it seems wetting it is the key to getting a vivid colour but if doing that has repercussions for when it's time for the colour to go, it may not be worth it. My hair also feels quite yucky where the colour is so a deep condition will be needed and I won't be doing this all the time as I imagine it will wreck your hair quite quickly if you become a frequent chalker.

Fingers crossed that it washes out fine! If it does, I'll be experimenting with hair chalk again, maybe just trying random pieces. It's definitely be a great (and cheap) way to brighten up an occasion with a pop of colour though, that's for sure! Have you tried hair chalking? x

Latest Loves: 15.8.12

First up, it's hair chalking... Yes, I'm probably several years behind on this but I'll survive! I ordered my wax pastels online from Jackson's, but they have a shop in Dalston if you're in London (yes, I was too lazy to go to the shop) and, of course, there are arts and craft shops EVERYWHERE.

I ordered Rembrandt soft pastels in blue, turquoise, pink and purple shades, which cost £1.30 each. My pastels arrive on Friday so look out for updates on Twitter, pictures on Instagram and a blog post about how I fared... y'know, if it turns out awesomely, that is.

Next up, it's River Island's Instatee competition which is a great use of Instagram. Short version is, Instagram a picture that represents your perfect Saturday afternoon and the winner gets their tee sold in stores, their tee, and £200 to spend in store. Now, what photo to enter!

I absolutely adore my tan DKNY boots but know that they sadly won't last another season - booooo! It's a good job then that I've found these Hunter Balmoral Westerley boots. I can't wait to have these on my feet!

Finally, Hart of Dixie is my latest love TV show, even though I still keep thinking of Rachel Bilson as Summer from The O.C. I guess though that the more episodes that I watch, well, this thought should disappear.

What are your latest loves? Have you tried hair chalking? Will you be entering the Instatee competition and have you started thinking about your Autumn/Winter wardrobe? Let me know! x

A Weekend of WIN!

The weekend started out well with dinner at Zaika on Friday night, one of the first Indian restaurants in London to obtain a Michelin star, though it lost it a few years ago, followed by seeing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in Kensington Gardens.

The food and atmosphere at Zaika is lovely and we'll definitely be returning - as we had to get to the show wecouldn't linger over our courses. As for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, it was much better than we were expecting, had awesome puppetry, and I really enjoyed the use of the space. It's a temporary theatre space set in what can only be described as a big white circus top - how they used the set to tell the story was quite wonderful.

On Saturday a little bit of retail therapy happened. First up, some American sweets were picked up from Cybercandy, including Milka Oreo. Hel-lo! I picked up some new Ray-Bans, as well as some beauty treats from Boots. I love Stila's One Step Correct packaging! And finally, as the sun was shining, icecream from The Icecreamists had to be done. Their Ferrero Rocher flavour is spot on!

On Sunday we had a reunion for our trip to Goa. It was six months since we went to India, but it was also the last day of the Olympic games. I'm thrilled that Team GB came 3rd with 29 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze medal, and I can't wait to see how we do at the Paralympics in a few weeks time.

All-in-all, it was a pretty fabulous weekend. How was yours? x

London 2012 Olympics: Beach Volleyball

On Day 6 of the Olympic Games, we went along to the Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards Parade. I have to confess, before we got really close to the start of the Games, I was anti-Olympics and hadn't even applied for any tickets. We actually won these tickets. Thanks, National Lottery!

I'm very glad that we won these tickets though so I could see something, and I can't wait to visit the Olympic Stadium to see the Athletics (Paralympics) in September.

The atmosphere at the Horse Guards Parade was utterly incredible and even though we didn't get to see Team GB play - which, let's face it, would have been awesome - it was brilliant rooting for the teams playing and getting into the Beach Volleyball spirit.

We watched Netherlands v. Latvia (men's), Brazil v. Italy (men's), Netherlands v. Argentina (women's) and Italy v. Canada (women's). My favourite team of the session was Brazil, who just so happen to be the number one team in the world. (Obviously.)

The atmosphere is incredible in London right now and Team GB fever is gripping the nation. We're currently third in the table with an amazing 16 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals - here's to many more medals over the next days, although we sadly won't be winning any medals in the Beach Volleyball! x


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