Wednesday, 28 December 2011

An Almost Grown-Up Christmas

As a child Christmas is very me, me, me but I am now 23 and, as my mother keeps telling me, this means I don't get the same amount of surprises as the little ones. Now I'm not bothered about amounts, I'm a quality over quantity kind of girl, but sadly Christmas usually means useless presents so this year I took charge and kindly requested a whole host of gifts from her. I was very clear, all I really wanted was some pyjama's, anything else would be a bonus, but I had listed a variety so that I wouldn't know what was coming. I thought this was a cunning plan and somehow, magically, even those who didn't have access to the gift gave me wonderfully thoughtful presents.

Some of my favourite presents, including a beautiful long chained gold bird necklace, a hand knitted headband 
and an Apple Magic Mouse to stop me getting RSI with my incessant trackpad use.

I loved spending time with my friends on our traditional Christmas Eve pub crawl, plus my family and my boyfriend. This is his first year out of university (he did Dentistry which is a 5 year course) and he didn't love his short 4 day break (that's very short when you're used to 2/3 weeks) but we crammed in seeing both of our families and the constant moving around felt very adult. Suddenly we weren't just sat in front of the television eating chocolate, we were in the car moving around and he was entertaining my five year old brother playing Halo on the XBox and competing over the noise of my family all talking at once. Seriously impressive if you take into account the fact my boyfriend is an only child who is not used to having lots of children around and my brother argues with everyone he plays with and even shoots those on his team.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Good Natured: Video Voyeur

At the beginning of this month The Good Natured released their latest video for the song Video Voyeur. I discovered the band about a year ago through Get it Loud in Libraries and interviewed singer Sarah McIntosh for Cellardoor Magazine. They class their music as "pop noir" and I'm not even going to pretend I know what that means but I love it and I love this song.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Mikko Lagerstedt's Winter

I'm not much of a winter person. I tend to go into hibernation, don't fancy walking around and cuddle under blankets with lots of books and lots of snacks. In fact, I'm trying really hard not to dash to the kitchen right now and bake some chocolate chip cookies...because I will just eat them all.

I'm not a fan of the cold, the fact it gets dark before it's even 5pm or the slushy snow and treacherous ice. I can however appreciate how gorgeous the changing seasons can be. In fact, I love crunching in the autumn leaves and will sit for hours watching it snow... happy so long as you don't make me try to walk on it when it's turned all slippery. If you do I will provide you with a very good Bambi on ice impersonation.

I'm trying my best to get into the spirit. The Christmas tree is up, the presents are brought and wrapped (except for my boyfriends - I'd be grateful for your ideas) and I've invested in some cable knit cardigans and a new coat so that I can venture out into the cold now and again.

I came across Finnish photographer Mikko Lagerstedt's work today and it's reminded me that even though there are so many things I don't like about winter it is an incredibly beautiful season and as I slip around on the ice I promise to try to enjoy it because spring is only around the corner.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Graduation Day

So after a full year of major stress, none stop work and a little bit of fun for good measure today was my MA graduation. I am now officially a Master of Arts in Fashion and Lifestyle Promotion, which is essentially creative marketing. What did I wear? A swooshy skirted midi dress from ASOS, a gorgeous necklace from Summer and Silver in the Jewellery Quarter,  star tights from New Look and block heeled shoes from Kurt Geiger.

My gorgeous friend Sarah went for quirky rather than formal a stripy shirt and leather shorts. (You probably can't see any of this in the pictures as I was rather flustered and didn't spend enough time on the pictures. Plus, my dads camera decided to make most of them blurry. Always good.)

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A DIY Christmas

It is December 1st, which means that even if you are a bit bah-humbug like me it's probably time to think about Christmas. This year I'm trying to save a bit and really think about what I'm spending my money on...and I'm sure I'm not the only one. My 7-year-old sister asked me for a Designafriend outfit yesterday and got a firm no. I refuse to spend over £10 on clothes for a dolly. Sorry little sis but it is not happening. In fact, even the presents I've agreed to will be sourced at the lowest prices.

What's more, where possible I will be doing it myself. I always end up buying lots of chocolates and treats for people and this year they will be getting a (probably slightly special looking) hand decorated box of handmade goodies. I'm thinking shortbread, peanut butter fudge, treacle toffee and maybe some handmade crackers. After all, what better time for crackers and cheese than Christmas? There are a whole host of recipe ideas on the BBC and Good Food, which is great as baking is something I can actually do.

My first attempt at shortbread using this recipe and sprinkled with caster sugar when still warm.
The rather rustic look is due to the fact they were cut with a glass due to the absence of a cutter.