Sunday, 29 April 2012

Redesign

So I have to move out of my house pretty soon. I'm quite sad because out of all the places I've lived in over the past few years, this has been my favourite- but I can no longer afford to live here once my contract runs out in July, so I have to look for something cheaper. I'm also sad because I HATE PACKING. Last time I moved out of my old flat I put off packing & lived in a cardbox box fort in my living room for three days instead- which did not help.

The ONLY good thing about moving into somewhere new is redecorating- and luckily I am a bit obsessed with it. I also seem to have accumulated a lot of stuff throughout the years, and I think with this move I will get rid of a lot of it & take most to a charity shop because I have grown out of love with a lot of my stuff. For now though all I can do is go to endless flat viewings & trawl the Internet for design ideas like these to give me some inspiration & make me feel less blue about the whole thing.



1, 2, 3, 4.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Recent Reads

I've read a few things I've really enjoyed recently & wanted to write about them, incase there are a few of you looking for inspiration on your next read.

 
Oskar is a 9-year-old boy who finds a strange key amongst his deceased father's belongings and he tries to find out where the key came from & if can shed any light on his father's final moments in the World Trade Center as it collapsed. I finished reading this on the bus a few days ago & it embarrassingly had me fighting back tears on a bus full of people. The reviews for this book were mixed, but I really enjoyed it. For me, it was mostly about the connections that make a family & I thought this was explored really well through the tragedies that befell Oskar's entire family through the generations & the links that brought them back together again.

Grace is a housemaid at Riverton during the 1920s when a famous poet takes his life at a glittering society party. She is now 98 years old & a film-maker approaches her for her account of the tragedy- her memories are stirred up & she decides to finally share her secret about what happened that night by making a tape for her grandson. I LOVED this book- it was like a cross between Downton Abbey & Poirot- two of my favourite shows. The detail & description of the 1920s setting is what made this such an enjoyable book for me, and I definitely think it would make a great summer read as it's not too taxing either.


Louis is 9 years old and always getting into terrible, life-threatening accidents. On his 9th birthday Louis falls off a cliff and ends up in a coma and ends up in the care of Dr. Pascal Dannachet, a coma specialist who tries to help uncover the truth of Louis' terrible accidents & get to the heart of the family secret that begins to unravel. I finished this book in two sittings because I just couldn't stop reading. I love odd little novels like this- it reads like a murder mystery with a hint of supernatural & some black comedy thrown in for good measure. The ending completely shocked me too- such a twist!


Rose is a girl with a very strange talent- she can taste people's emotions through the food they cook. From the moment she discovers this by tasting her mother's sadness in her homemade chocolate & lemon birthday cake, her life is never the same again. I read this a while ago now but I still wanted to write about it here because it is the best thing I have read in ages. I had heard virtually nothing about it but I liked the look of the cover so I just bought it on a whim because it sounded interesting. It's another odd little read- Rose is not the only member of her family with a strange secret, and it is this slow burning realisation that there is more to her brother than we first thought, slowly woven into the background of the story about Rose's life & trouble coming to terms with her gift, that made me stay up until 4am two nights in a row just to get it finished.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Fashion Playhouse

Recently, one of my sister's friends organised a charity fashion show evening, and we went along to check it out. It turned out to be a rad evening & was a ton of fun. Leanne, who organised the event, is a talented makeup artist and worked closely with the fashion & hair stylists, as well as working on & overseeing all the makeup looks, and her dedication really paid off as the evening was fantastic.

Before the show, there was a drinks reception with yummy food, and local band Dry Humour, played an acoustic set on stage. They were one of the highlights for me- both of the vocalists have wonderful voices & they did a really cool mix of modern music with classic soul that set the mood for the whole evening.



 

The fashion show itself was really fun & relaxed- the focus was on some of the key summer trends, from colour pops to ice cream pastels; folksy festival looks to urban sport vibes- all the major, popular summer trends were covered.





One of the only downsides was that the venue was quite dark so it was hard to get a good photo of some of the looks I really liked- but it suited the 'Fashion Night Out' feel of the evening so it's not a major complaint. The venue itself was great; I thought the choice of the Portrush Playhouse was perfect for the event, as it's an old converted cinema & the theatric element was ideal for the fashion show.

The whole evening was amazing & I, and everyone I spoke to had a really brilliant night. Thanks to Leanne's hard work over £1,500 was raised for Charis Cancer Care so she should be immensely proud!


And that's the last photo I managed to get as we all headed down to the afterparty where I drank far too many bottles of Peroni- oops. I was slightly delicate on the train home the next day but it was worth it for such a fun night.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Sunshine Music

I'm excited that the Easter weekend is here because I'm off home for a few days to see my family & friends. I hope the weather brightens up at least a little because my parents live on the coast & it's always so lovely in the sunshine- if not though, I'll be listening to these songs on repeat to help give me that sunshine feeling.










Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Spring Fashion Daydreaming

How rubbish is the weather? It's been so horrid here- grey wet & sleety as well as absolutely bloody freezing. It's so much more depressing than usual because last week was SO gorgeous that I fooled myself into thinking that the weather might be nice for the Easter break. Rookie mistake, obvs.

So to cheer myself up I have been thinking about all the nice Spring clothes I would love to buy myself but can't afford. Actually you know, on second thoughts, I don't think I'm doing this right.


For outfit one I've put together a slouchy, sand tee with a mint green dip back skirt. I like that the skirt is slightly dramatic but can definitely be worn casual because the t shirt is so unstructured. The tennis shoes add an urban sport vibe, plus will be comfortable & practical enough to give you the edge at the easter egg hunt. The studded peter pan collar keeps the whole look from being overly plain.

Outfit number two started with the sheer floral shirt- I love sheer fabrics, and I really liked the way the sugary sweet floral print on this shirt is toughened a bit by the contrasting black collar. I think this would look great with just a really nice black bra underneath but a black tank top would be fine if you don't have the courage. The striped jeans go perfect with it- floral & stripe is one of my fave pattern combinations, much like the contrasting collar I think it keeps the florals from being too sugary- that's not really my thing. The Betsey Johnson heels have been on my lust list since I first laid eyes on them- I'm a bit of a sucker for a chunky stacked heel and you can never really go wrong with a nude shoe. Because the patterns are so clashy & are really the main focus here I don't think you need to add to all that with a crazy shoe.

The third outfit is pretty simple- just a cute yellow day dress- perfect for spring because it's the colour of baby chicks & daffodils duh. I love the preppy, white pointy collar too- it just makes me think of G&Ts at the tennis club bar. The wedge shoes are the real stars here- lip print & pastels & cutouts, plus a wedge is easy to walk in when all that gin has gone to your head.

Any of these looks would be perfect with some pretty peach lipstick & lovely lilac polish, plus a cute straw basket tote to carry home all your chocolate eggs in.

For extra kitschy festiveness add bunny ears: and even better these ones can be made at home yourself with some lace, pipe cleaners & a hairband. Pipe cleaners! It's like Blue Peter for grownups.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Reachlainn or Reachra

Confession: my mum is way better at the Internet than I am. Her Google-fu is unrivalled, she has eBay bargains down to a fine art & she is a Groupon master. Groupon is one thing that I have never really gotten to grips with. They send me too many emails that I always delete & I can never really find something that seems particularly interesting to me personally. My mum is Queen of the Weekend Getaway though & she always manages to find really great deals online. Around this time last year she managed to get a super cheap deal on a family cottage on Rathlin Island & so mum, dad, my sister & I all went on a family mini-vacation. You may think being 20-something & still going on family holidays is a bit uncool but then you have obviously never met my family- we are super awesome to be honest.

Another confession: a weekend on an island off the north coast of Ireland isn't exactly my dream holiday (I'd rather be somewhere that served cocktails & had a pool and some cool museums), but it did turn out to be rather lovely & it was so nice to just get away from everything for a few days & walk & read & relax.

Well this year mum managed to come across the same deal, so we'll all be heading off again at the end of August, (hopefully to some better weather- it was a touch blustery last time- ie gale force winds), but this time we will also have the latest addition to the family with us, my dad's amazing puppy, Nevis. I'm not really one for nature walks along the coast, except when you have a puppy with you because then it's 100% more fun so now I'm really looking forward to it. I can't wait to take him out and see his reaction to all this.

 



Rathlin is pretty famous for being home to a bajillion or so seabirds so I'm sure he will have a blast. Seabirds are pretty cool, but I have to admit, I'll mostly be looking forward to the evenings after all the fresh air and nature walks so I can have my well earned reward.


Sunday, 1 April 2012

When life gives you lemons

I bought some really nice martini glasses ages ago, but have never really had the chance to use them. Liquor is expensive & I'm pretty much always broke, so my home bar usually just consists of gin & a couple bottles of cheap rosé wine.

So when I stumbled across a recipe for a lemon drop cocktail with only 3 ingredients, all of which I ALWAYS have on hand I got quite excited.



To make a lemon drop you need:

- 1 1/2 oz gin (or vodka)
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar syrup
- sugar (for the glass rim)

Sugar the rim of your glass first by dampening it (I swirled a lemon slice around the rim) and upending it in a plate full of sugar.

Pour the gin, lemon juice & sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake it up & strain into your glass. Super easy.

If you don't like the sourness of lemons you could probably subsitute the lemon juice for some fresh squeezed orange juice or I guess even lime. Oh, and if you don't have sugar syrup on hand it's SUPER easy to make, it's just 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water (use a teacup if you don't have a measuring cup) heat them both together in a saucepan over a high heat until all the sugar is dissolved et voila. I always keep some on hand for iced coffee. Also, I know it looks like I used fresh sqeezed lemon juice but those were just for the photo. I use lemon juice out of a bottle for EVERYTHING, way easier & cheaper.

Oh, and confession, I also didn't use Bombay for this either. That's Tesco own brand gin in that bottle- it just looks prettier on my counter!