Monday, 6 February 2012

What's Love Got To Do, Got To Do With It?

Hey guys, it's been a while hasn't it? Sadly these days, the time just flies when you have a job and no home. But here I am, 2 weeks in with a new post spreading the consumerism of Valentine’s Day. 

What does love mean to you? 

It is one of those things that are in reality, everywhere. Four simple little letters that are constantly thought about, talked about, sung about. It can make us extreme levels of anger, confusion, happiness and pain. It is one of the most powerful emotions in the world, so powerful it can make the strongest fall and cry “I give up” with it all, but we never really do, do we? It seems everyone is always trying to find this one little thing however burned we might be.

Love means different to everyone. Squinting awkwardly will always follow one thing about someone’s love life. For instance, I’ll never get use to the fact that someone I know sees love as a battlefield and loves every second of it. To her, love isn’t love without a fight. For others, love is being absolutely content with each other and relying on each other. I’m undecided as to what love is, it changes day to day depending on the situation that precedes me, but is always with me.

However, I am not a fan of this particular day. Love is an emotion that is constantly sung about and felt, but in any of these songs does it say buy me something for me to love you? Well, unless it is meant ironically. For me, Valentine’s Day is a consumer holiday that defies what love should be about. Of course it’s nice to buy something nice for that special someone to show how special they are, but why not do it any other day? The fact that people feel the pressurized need to buy something as well as the expectancy of the right gift which is impossible to achieve doesn’t exactly scream love to me. Love shouldn’t be expected or bought. So exactly, what's love got to do with Valentine's Day?

Nevertheless, here are some nice lovely things to spread the Valentine’s Day love for pretty and useless things!

For Her or Rather Yourself

Love Eco CupHeart SweetsT-Shirt GrafittiForget me not; Butterfly Chiffon; Chalk Board; Primrose Bakery Book

For Him

Love Catapult; This is not a Book; Soft Kitty; Uncharted 3; Paper Plane

What does love mean to you?

Happy Pre-Valentine's Day

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Home Is Where The Heart Is

As you may or many not know, I've been "couch surfing" but not on a couch for the past few weeks and will have to continue to do so for a few weeks more. As much as I love the people I'm staying with, it still makes me miss home. 

A rather disappointing thought entered my head quite recently, perhaps brought on by the lack of stability around me - it is quite unlikely that I will own my own home in the next 10 years. Disappointing right? And I so want a little place to call my own whether it be a small flat or a teeny tiny house in some unknown corner of the city. I blame the economy or the government or some shit like that, wouldn't you? I'm not even sure why but if you got a problem, blame the government! You know it's somehow their fault, or will be their fault somewhere down the line. I highly doubt that someone earning as much as me, with as much student loans to pay back, and who doesn't even know what the hell a good credit rating looks like is likely to be granted a mortgage. The only way I'd get my own house between now and the next few years is if they started giving out homes due to the kindness of their hearts...fat chance!

One of the main reasons for me wanting a house is not because I'd like to settle down because its always been a dream of mine, but because I want to deck the hell out of it! I have such a vivid image in my head of what I want my house to look like and it goes something like this...

Starting with this front door...

Then into this weird combination of Living Room-ness...

Oh what's that yummy smell? Well it's coming from this kitchen...but less green

Yawn, sleepytime... better get to this very unrealistic and probably unlivable bedroom

But before that, one must remember to wash in this who wouldn't want to wash in this bathroom... bathroom

And in the morning...I'm making WAFFLES! And we can eat them outside because my outside bit will look like this...

Yea I have a lot outdoor bits

and for those cosy nights, I will clearly make one of these in the woods that will apparently be by my house 

So, a pretty ridiculous house if I say so myself. Could you imagine it? Bits and bobs poking in and out of the building. I'm sure I'll tone it down a little because this is all a bit silly, or what my friend Rhianney Fanny would call - ridonkadonk. But let's start earning some money that I can actually save before all this yea?

Happy Dreaming

[All Photos available via my Pinterest]

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Materialism Making the Most of the Recession

Hey guys! So here we are, in the midst of what we claim is one of the greatest economic disasters in my lifetime so far...although that's not been very long at all - the recession. You hear it everywhere these days, recession this and recession that, prices for everything is up up and away! Money is the new it topic to talk about whether over coffee or on the news and I have yet to feel the full impact of the damage it has done. I have just come out of university - an institute which involves needing very little of which I have managed to get out of before the prices shot up. I have just started earning my own money, and I have never owned my own home, however I'm sure that now that I've integrated into the corporate world, my problems with the dough will also start to show like everyone else...except apparently those who work within the industries of the lavish.

Have you noticed that despite the three years of financial crisis thrusted upon the economic and political world, the lavish commodity world seems to be untouched, or perhaps even benefiting from it? The past few years have put money in perspective for a lot of people which seems to give everyone a new found feeling of rationality along with a new order of priorities (yes earning more money would be on top). People are working harder, younger and older than ever before and what that leaves is a tired out person lacking the sense of life and meaning. I mean, what is the meaning of life if not to live it? However these days, money is a must if life is to be lived. It seems like capital is the meaning of life nowadays and along with this, people are forgetting what’s important. They are missing out on something that happens once in a lifetime while replacing that loss of meaning with these pretty commodities big brands are pandering to them in exchange for an increased feeling of importance and existence. Due to this, it seems like industries within this sector may actually benefit from our lack of wealth.

Don’t believe me? Well stats show that big brand companies such as Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Prada have all gained as much as 70% profit growth this last year, while other brands such as Gucci and YSL are all continuously expanding. Whoever is buying those ugly LV and Gucci bags, they need to stop that right now. I mean it.

These big branded lavish goods have a legacy for classic core values of fashion and stature which represents class, heritage, extravagance and “savoir faire”. However, in the modern age, these big brands offer something meaningful and extravagant to anyone who feels like they’ve missed out. Who can say that they didn’t spend more this Christmas despite the overpricing of products just because they felt like the recession had deflated the joyous occasion which is epitomised gifts and food? People like to overcompensate what is not freely given just to show that they can and the industry doesn’t feel sorry for us. No they provoke us with excess. Walking into Harrods is somewhat of a sordid affair of excess. No-one needs a pet bakery or a pet gym or even pet clothes! When was it decided that the park wasn’t a good form of exercise, and that standard pet food wasn’t healthy enough or that being a naked animal wasn’t ok? Apparently they need clothes now. And let’s not forget the thoughtful gesture Versace made at the end of last year as she pawned her hideous collection of unwanted failed attempts to H&M. Bad move for the poor consumers who had to be seen in them, great move for her though.

These lavish brands have always stimulated a sense of belonging and existing. Many people believe that their individual fashion sense is part of their identity, and who can put a price on that? The stubborn fashion industry has not bowed to the recession and neither will their consumers. As long as they produce something unusual and of worth, they will stand as an essential set of aspirations to those who trust their commodity to improve and establish their own social stature and meaning in life by association. The fashion world consistently shifts in unpredictable ways to excite and tempt therefore it will always thrive. As the prices of clothes and bags and what-nots rise, so does people’s price range norms and nowadays, they will pay £50 for a jumper and think it reasonable. So if you want to ride out this recession – move into the fashion industry...not that I would really condone that.

Happy Thinking

[Photos via Pinterest]

Monday, 9 January 2012

Your Shot of Espresso in a Cupcake

Hey guys! I'm sure my coffee infused friends will tell you that there is nothing more tempting in the morning than a cup of creamy Joe, and I don't mean "that" Joe you know from the office...I mean coffee. I'm not a big coffee drinker myself because I never understood the caffeine "hype" - for me the shaking should NOT be considered as an inevitable consequence and not only does it not wake me up, it makes me feel ever more groggy and tired. 

However, in spite of this, I decided to make some cupcakes with the taste of "Starbucks" as everyone around me are such coffee enthusiasts, and I must admit that they are delicious (not to blow my own horn or anything). So I thought to myself, I could keep these to myself but where would be the fun in that? If you love your coffee and cake, this is one of the musts.

What you'll need

This recipe serves 12...hopefully

- 60g Butter
- 180g (6oz) Self Raising Flour (of course you can use plain flour, if so then also add about        2 teaspoons of baking powder)
- 180g (6oz) Golden Caster Sugar
- 1 LARGE egg
- 180ml (6 floz) Semi-skimmed Milk
- 2 heaped teaspoons of instant espresso powder
- A pinch of salt

Ok, now that you have that, you'll need to...

- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius
- Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases
- Warm the milk just enough to dissolve the espresso powder into and put aside 
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (for about 3 minutes)
- Sift the flour and salt into the butter mixture and beat well to a crumb consistency
- Lightly beat in the egg
- Little by little add the espresso milk, beating in between until a smooth velvet consistency.
- Pour the mixture into the muffin cases filling it to 3/4 of the way and bake for 25-30 minutes
- Transfer on to wire rack to cool

And now for the buttercream....
- 120g (4oz) butter or vegetable shortening like Trex
- 40ml (1.5floz) Semi-skimmed milk
- 1tspn Instant espresso powder (or more if you prefer a stronger coffee taste)
- 350g (12oz) Confectioners sugar

- Warm the milk just enough for the espresso powder to dissolve
- Beat the butter and gradually add the sugar and milk alternatively until you achieve a smooth, thick and creamy consistency.


Saturday, 24 December 2011

My Christmas Romance

Merry Christmas Everyone, the grand finale of the season! How are you all spending your Christmas? I assume it's joyous affair for all!

This Christmas I will be in Wales spending quality time with "since I was born" family friends. 

Christmas dinner will be an occasion to forget as I slowly slip into my usual Christmas food coma, usually also nursing a food baby in the process. 

Then there's the great Christmas telly - no, not the bloody Eastenders or Coronation Street Specials but good TV. This year I'm excited about the Doctor Who Christmas Special with what seems like a strange combination of Narnia and Star-Trek, how could I resist? I want to see how that bad boy turns out tonight at 7pm on BBC1.

It's a shame that the weather will supposedly be 15 degrees Celsius - not exactly the perfect snowy Christmas morning you want for such an occasion but at least it makes getting out of bed a little easier.

Sounds like a pretty sound Christmas to be honest

BUT a girl can flirt with the idea of a completely romanticised Christmas can't she?

This Christmas I do also wish that I could be here

Doing This

Drinking This

and Wearing This

What about you? 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Baubles by Fairylight

Ok so this is a post literally talking about my tree. It may sound weird but this is happening. As you may or may not know depending on whether or not you follow my blog, my tree recently had a bit of an accident which resulted in a pretty disaster scattered around the entire living room. It was quite a shock when this happens I think, somewhat like the death of a goldfish or accidentally kicking a puppy. The worst part is when you’re left with a significantly smaller number of tree decorations than you had previously. However, I guess a lesson can be learnt here – don’t pile all your decorations on the front of the tree and neglect the back because you think it doesn’t matter... but oh, it matters indeed. It matter A LOT. Without bothering to actually move around the baubles to the back, we’ve actually DIYed a rather handy string attaching the stalk of the tree to the grill of the fireplace which stands behind it. Genius I thought! Who’s falling over now eh?

In spite of my efforts, my tree still doesn’t look or feel the same, and it’s most likely a psychological dysfunction of previous tree envy. So I thought it deserves a nice little remembrance before Christmas ends. I realise that this post is me talking about a tree, not even a real one in fact! But it’s Christmas and things like this matter! Plus, I haven’t even shown it off yet, and never will again...until I get more decorations. 
Now I apologize for the photography. I'm still working on my photography skills so be forgiving about them!

 Happy Holidays

Friday, 16 December 2011

Song of the Week - That Assassin's Creed One

Repinned via Stephanie Schaefer
Hello to all! The weekend again and it will be the first weekend so far where I’ve had no plans but to geek out...well apart from to get the last of the Christmas shopping if it ever stops torrentially pouring down with rain and hail. It doesn’t look hopeful. It’s been a tough week to be outside. The memory of a very hung-over Wednesday comes to mind – the hour long drenched walk from the hospital to Rocotillos did not fare so well, but was very much worth it for the yummy all day breakfast and time well spent with my Feen Beans before she trained off to see her boyfriend. How I envy her so. I wish I could see mine! But alas he is so far away with no hope nor time gap in our calendars to actually visit each other. So we’ve chosen to bite the bullet and ride this holiday out. I still haven’t decided what to get him for Christmas you have any ideas? Please share any ideas at all. The more creative the better! Okay rambling out of the way let’s move onto this week’s song.

This Week’s Song – Iron by Woodkid, otherwise known as that assassins creed song

It’s not a typical song you want to hear before starting a weekend, but no plans comes with a lack of mood set for anything specific. However, being in a mood to geek out, I’ve chosen this one because it's one of my most favourite games and just because it’s AWESOME. I first heard it when watching this trailer of “Assassin’s Creed Revelations” and thought it an amazing use of music. To be honest, I’ve always been impressed with the Assassin’s Creed trailers, mostly because they have all been as epic as this one and always with a feel of grandiose for something so simple. Yes, I am one to get swept up in fictitious grandeur, I mean who doesn’t want to be a lone soldier fighting for a revolution as an assassin? Daydreaming aside, I love this song, the lyrics and it’s beat, it makes me feel ready...


Happy Listening