THE GIFTS

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

As we all know, Christmas is about family, about food, about the birth of Baby Jesus... But the presents are, obviously, a major perk, and oh me, oh my, once again I have been very spoiled by the Three Fs: Family, Friends, and Father Christmas...

Here they are, in all their glory... (And pssst, if you have major envy, lots of them are now in the sale...)


1. Glamouriser Professional Digital Ultralight Power Hairdryer - because I now (hopefully) have enough hair to actually use me one of these!

2. Racoon Onesie from Topshop.  Because sometimes I need to wash my Kigu and I'll be damned if I'm going to wear actual clothes while it's drying...

3. Lomography LC-A+ Silverlake - I totally fell in love with the LC-A+ when I got to try one out at Loblography in June. My lovely Ma, remembering this, picked up this little beauty for me.

4. X-Vibe Speaker - this is seriously cool. It's a teeny tiny device that you plug in to your phone/iPod, stick onto your window/fridge/table/whatever, and it turns the whole thing into a speaker. Wooow.

5. Lomography Films - so that I can actually take pictures with my pretty camera, instead of just pretending.

6. Russell and Bromley Berkley Lace-Up Ankle Boots - I get a pair of R and B's every Christmas. Which is useful, as I've almost certainly worn the previous year's offering so much by that stage that they're held together with hope and hairspray.

7. ASOS Fur Ears Headband - it's amazing and hilarious and keeps my (actual) ears warm.

8. Lucky Charms - for the sugar-rush.

9. Fluff - ditto.

10. Michael Kors Rose Gold Watch - I have wanted one of these for so, so long, and (seemingly like everyone else on the blogosphere!) have finally gotten my mitts on one. It's huge though, I need to pop into a jewellers and get it resized before I can actually wear it.

11. Lazy Oaf Batman Leotard - Big Brother: "Never, never wear this outside the house." Me: "I'm going to wear it always."

12. Joseph Texture Knit Roll Neck Sweater - It has tassels. And a huge lovely roll neck. And it's made out of alpaca. I'm going to marry it when I grow up.

13. Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay Cologne - to add to my ever-growing collection. A gift from Middle Brother. No one was sure if I was more flabbergasted or delighted.

14. River Island Skirt - absurdly flattering if there are any of my small waist/sizable arse sisters out there!

15. Clinique Anti-Blemish Foaming Cleanser - one of those practical stocking fillers, because I'd run out. I use the three-step solution and I'm pretty sold on it.

16. Chanel Le Vernis Rouge Noir - the most beautiful nail varnish I've ever owned. I will show you just as soon as I get my Shellac off.

17. Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara - I was converted onto this in the Summer. It is so, so great. Hands down the best Mascara I have ever used. Seriously. It's like crack for your eyelashes. 

I know, I know. I am spoiled rotten. I'll be slowly slowly posting about most of the bits in more detail, but if, in the meantime, you see a girl dressed as Batman but wearing wolf ears, running around taking very bad pictures on a very cool camera, come and say hi!

What was your favourite present this year?

Mona.

FIRST DATE

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Hi Cool Cats,

I went on a first date the other night. I met the guy at a party, and he texted and invited me to Winter Wonderland. It was very short notice, and I know that a girl's supposed to play it cool, and all, but I really bloody love Christmas - any invitation that involves fairground rides and mulled wine, and I'm in.

Attention, boys, if there are any of you reading. Winter Wonderland is a very good first date location. Why, you may ask? Well, there's a lot going on there, with rides, games, food, drink, shops, and music, so you're very unlikely to run out of things to talk about and be left with awkward silences. If she's a Christmas loving kinda gal (and I'm sorry, but if she isn't then I'm not really sure why you're trying to date her anyway) she will think it was brilliant, and hold you responsible for an evening of festive fun. It is very nearly a guaranteed 10/10 date.

Unless this happens.

Getting stuck on a ride. Yes, that actually happened. 
I couldn't find an appropriate image to use, so I thought I'd just draw you a picture of it. But yes, our fairground ride got stuck for a good five or ten minutes, leaving us suspended in mid air, pretty chilly, and with me feeling a tad uncomfortable. It was a bit of a tight squeeze, if you know what I mean, and the enforced "closeness" of the whole thing made my socially awkward monster rear its ugly head.

No matter, though. Nothing a few mulled wines can't handle. I didn't feel nearly as awkward as I did later in the evening. We made our way to quite a fun and noisy pub, and he kept looking at me, and then leaning in. As I said, the bar was quite noisy, so I kept assuming that he was trying to say something into my ear, and kept turning my head as he leaned in. In hindsight, he was more likely trying to kiss me, which would have been why he (a) didn't actually say anything, and (b) kept getting my hair in his mouth. This happened more times than I'd care to mention. I am just a bit slow on the uptake.

Despite my cringe-worthy behaviour, I had a really good time (SEE! What did I tell you! Winter Wonderland goggles cover a whole host of sins). Hopefully we will go for a date two, and I won't make such a noob out of myself.

I like the idea of dating a guy who has matching glasses to me. It's kind of adorkable. 

Hope you're all doing better than me at finding someone to kiss under the mistletoe!

Mona.

OREO CAKE

Thursday, 13 December 2012

One of my best friends is a girl called C. We met as awkward 11 year olds at boarding school and immediately stuck to each other like glue. On weeknights, you'd most likely have found us hiding in my dormitory, gorging on cups of tea, chocolate fudge cakes and Oreos that had been sent to us in the post. Most weekends, my Ma would take us out, either camping, or on jaunts to London for shopping and Chinese food. Every Summer, I'd fly out to visit her in Seville and Soto Grande. 

Twelve years later and C is a stylish, intelligent, poised young woman who always makes me look like a hobo by comparison. She has, however, retained both her wicked sense of humour which drew me to her in the first place, and her love of Oreos.

Inspired by The Londoner's Double Stuffed Oreo Cake, for C's birthday a few days ago, I whipped up this little thing just in time for her surprise party...


Oreo Mascarpone Icing, sandwiched between two chocolate fudge cakes. And decorated like an Oreo, because you go the extra mile with writing icing for friends, don't you? I thought it was the perfect nod to our childhoods!

It was really easy, too. In fact, the cake bit is so easy, the recipe is one that I dubbed Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake. You can find the recipe here.

In addition to that recipe, you will need:
150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
50g mascarpone
400g icing sugar
1 bag of Oreos, smashed (but save one whole for later!)
1 lemon (at room temperature - it makes juicing much easier)
Milk
1 tube of chocolate writing icing

You guessed it. Cream the butter and mascarpone, and then stir in the icing sugar, all of the juice from the lemon, and the milk. You're aiming to get the texture a bit runnier than normal icing, as you're then going to add your smashed up Oreos, and you don't want it too thick to spread on the cake.

Separately ice your two layers of Easy Peasy Chocolate Life, and if you have one use a palette knife to make sure that the icing is really, really smooth, so that it's a perfect canvas for your writing icing artwork. 

Put your base cake on your serving dish, smother it with all of the Oreo Mascarpone Icing, pop the second cake on top, and now the fun begins...

See your teeny, tiny Oreo? Look real close, and try to copy the pattern with the writing icing.

You should be left with something that looks like this.


Now eat your spare Oreo as a reward for good behaviour.

This cake is delicious, quite impressive to those who aren't really bakers (I received two proposals of marriage at the party!), and surprisingly easy. 

And what about C, you may ask? Well, as afore mentioned, she's grown into a stylish, intelligent, poised young woman...


But she's still not above literally sticking her face into a freshly baked Oreo Cake.

And that is why I love her.

Mona.

UGLY CHRISTMAS JUMPERS

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Hi Cool Cats,

So remember how a while ago I mentioned that my Ma and I trawled through Beyond Retro looking for Ugly Christmas Jumpers? And that we wanted to get a cheesy family photo in them? Well this weekend, the whole pack of us descended on North Yorkshire (I've posted about the place we stay in before, here)  for a weekend of country walks in the snow, Christmas shopping, and watching Middle Brother playing rugby. 

All three brothers were horrified when they saw the jumpers. But that's okay. That was expected. It would have been much more worrying if they'd actually liked them.

Anyway a few of you said that you'd like to see the picture, so here it is...

All Jumpers - Beyond Retro
This is the one my Ma likes, anyway. I think that she wants to frame it. To be fair, it's quite unusual for her to get a picture where we're all smiling. You see, my brothers and I are all photo-ruiners. We can't help but to pull a bit of a weird face, if we see a lens pointing our way. Sometimes, there is perfect serendipity and we all ruin the same photo. And it is glorious.

Which is why we all think that this is the best Christmas photo.


We really want to send this one out to everyone, but my Ma thinks it's taking the joke a bit too far, and we'll all get sectioned. 

Baloo hates both the pictures, because he's dressed as Rudolph and he just didn't find the outfit becoming. He's more of a traditional dressing dog, if you know what I mean...


A weekend of snow frolicking more than compensated for ten minutes in a Rudolph suit, though. 

Family time is great. I'm feeling very fat and happy, and my tummy muscles hurt a little from laughing so much all weekend.

Anyway, time for a huge lunch and a little snooze, I think.

Hope you're having an amazing weekend!

Mona.

MONA'S EASY APPLE STRUDEL

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

[WARNING: I TEMPORARILY COMPLETELY FORGOT HOW TO TAKE PICTURES. BASICALLY ALL OF THEM ARE SUPER OUT-OF-FOCUS. THIS MAY MAKE YOUR EYES BLEED. I'M REALLY SORRY.]

Hi Coolcats,

My name is Mona and I am a strudel fiend.

A strudel binge last Christmas. I'm so attractive.
So far in life, my favourite strudel spot is in the Manchester Christmas Market (but arrive late at your peril, they always always sell out of apple really fast).

Last week, however, I was staying in the countryside far, far from a shop, let alone a Christmas Market,  so I put my cooking cap on and managed to whip up a pretty passable version without too much trouble. This is a bit of an ad-hoc recipe as I didn't actually measure anything, but it should do the trick! 


Ingredients:

10 apples, peeled, cored, and finely sliced (I used a mixture of cooking apples and regular apples)
A handful of raisins and pine nuts
A splash of apple juice
A dollop of honey
A sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
A box of pre-made puff pastry
Some honey and water, mixed together
One egg white - if you don't know how to separate your eggs, check out this guy from the French Culinary Institute. If, like me you were addicted to that 'Cooking Academy' game way back when on the iPod touch a while back, you'll have this one in the bag already.

Let's take a second to discuss the pastry. Traditionally, strudels call for filo pastry, but it's really difficult to use, and this is an easy recipe, so not only am I using puff, it's store-bought. If you want a proper strudel recipe, click here. Mine's much easier though. And still yummy. Just saying.

Method:

(1) Peel, core, and finely slice your apples. Throw in your cinnamon, nutmeg, apple juice, honey, pine nuts and raisins. Simmer on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened.
(2) Once it looks like this, remove it from the heat and allow to cool. While it's cooling...
(3) Use a basting brush to cover your pastry in the honey and water mixture that you made earlier. It's a more important step when using filo pastry, but it still makes your strudel very tasty and is a healthy alternative to butter.
(4) Spread your apple mixture onto your pastry, leaving a little bit of space around the edges for rolling, and then start to roll! Fold in the two short edges, and then start rolling (long-ways) so that it looks like a giant spring-roll.
(5) Make sure all the edges are tucked in and sealed, and then brush your strudel with the egg-white so that it will crisp up nicely. Put your remaining honey and water on a baking tray, add your strudel, and pop it in the oven (180 for a normal oven for 30 mins - I was using an Aga, so 10 mins in the top right, and then 20 in the bottom). 
(6) Set your alarm a few minutes early, so that you have time to heat up some fresh vanilla custard and mull some wine. Cut up BIG slices, smother them in custard, and preferably eat in front of a roaring fire. It's probably for the best if you're wearing Christmas jumpers, too.
There you have it! Sorry again for the photo quality, but I hope that you'll find that the recipe makes up for it! And just keep remembering that with apples and raisins, it's two of your five a day!

Enjoy.

Mona.

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE...

Monday, 3 December 2012

CHRISTMAS! Hello, December. It's been about eleven months, and I've missed you dearly. The first glass of mulled wine reminded me just how worth the wait you were. Nice to have you back with us. You may in fact be my favourite month, as it's the only time of the year where I'm allowed, nay, encouraged to eat a Lindt every morning for breakfast. And because you look like this.

We got lots of these bubble-like baubles this year, mainly because they remind me of Harry Potter's first Christmas at Hogwarts. In case you haven't been paying attention, making life that little bit more like Harry Potter is my main aim in life.

To get into the festive spirit, my Ma and I spent Friday doing some Christmas shopping, after grabbing some fortifying pancakes at the Breakfast Club in Soho. I pretty much never stray from my order when I'm there; pancakes with bacon and maple syrup (the best crispy bacon in London?  Certainly up there), a glass of fresh orange juice, and a side of berries, so that I can pretend I'm being healthy.

Resistance is futile.

After a quick scoot around Partridges to scout out some festive edibles, we headed to Liberty. As always, we started in the hat department...


... And finished next to the giant reindeer. Who I want to adopt. But he wouldn't fit in my bedroom, and I don't think that my room-mate would be that enamoured by the idea. Maybe Santa will leave him in my stocking. Fingers crossed.

Headscarf - Vintage; Trench Coat - Dolce & Gabanna; Dress - May Costume

We then went and picked up some more presents around Carnaby Street, and it's cool little sister Newburgh Street, which is fast becoming one of my favourite spots in London. You can drool over this camera there, there is a chocolate shop called Choccywoccydoodah, which is just brilliant, there are loads of ace shops for boy's gifts, if you're short of an idea or two, and it's right round the corner from my new favourite haunt, Speakeasy Espresso Bar.** Flat Whites and Portuguese custard tarts were the perfect pick-me-up after what was actually a fairly strenuous day (my Ma shops a lot, and has a slight aversion to carrying bags).

Saturday was Blogger's Christmas Lunch, organised by the wonderful Julie and Safira. This was probably the most fun of all the blogging events I've attended so far, and I will tell you all about it just as soon as someone else does, so that I can steal their pictures. 

Yesterday, I took a trip down to Berkshire as my family are having a countryside Christmas this year, and we needed to test-drive the oven and put up the tree. The dog ended up covered in glitter and tangled up in ribbons. I decided that the wreath would make quite a fetching garland. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.


My big brother managed to swing by for a couple of hours, which was an unexpected delight as he slaves away in a hospital Up North, so we don't see nearly as much of each other as I'd like. I can't wait for Middle and Little to break up from school, so that family time can properly commence. December is definitely a time best spent with loved ones, after all. 

December is also good because most of my male acquaintances desist from the awful facial hair that is wrought upon us by Movember. It's great that you're doing your bit for charity, boys, but just because you can, doesn't mean that you should. 

Please forgive my dog's demon eyes in the above shot. He's not really a minion of the Dark Lord, I promise. 

Oh December, I'm so excited for all that you have in stall for us. Bring on the mince pies, the get-togethers with my nearest and dearest, and being smug in front of a fire when it's snowy outside. 

It's going to be a good month. I can feel it. 

Mona.

* December is also good because most of my male acquaintances desist from the awful facial hair that is wrought upon us by Movember. It's great that you're doing your bit for charity, boys, but just because you can, doesn't mean that you should. 


**If you click on but one link today, make it Speakeasy Espresso Bar. They make the perfect flat white, it's surprisingly affordable, and the man John is really, really nice. And no, this isn't a sponsored post. I'm just a fan-girl.

WILL POWER VS 20% DISCOUNT

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Oh stop it, Urban Outfitters, you little minx. Stop it, I said. No more. It's just not fair. Stop sending me these emails. You know my self-restraint in these matters is about as strong as a soggy piece of cake.


Oh, go on then. After all, I've been looking at this for a while. And I want to wear it EVERYWHERE. ALL THE TIME.

Sparkle & Fade Velvet Crop Top - £22.40
While I've got you, I'll pick up a couple of Christmas presents for the gang. It seems like the thing to do, doesn't it?

For my Snap-Happiest Pal...

Dreamer Diana F+ Camera - £40

For the avid baker...

Home-Made Cookie Stamp - £9.60

And for my brother's girlfriend (I think it's time she's officially welcomed to the family...)

Bunny Kigu - £40

Because in my family, you don't really count if you're dressed... Well... humanly. 


See what I mean? 

Oh my, I am starting to get too much manic, pent-up festive energy. It's because I'm trying (and failing) to keep it all pent up until December. But all I really want to do is play "All I Want For Christmas" on repeat, snuggle up in front of Home Alone (One and Two), and play some carols on my ukulele.

As it is, there's an Apple Strudel in the oven (recipe tomorrow if it pans out well!) and some wine mulling in a pot on the stove.

So, not entirely, well... Unfestive.

Are you in the Christmas Spirit yet?

Mona.

HERMIT (NEARLY)

Lately, Kittens, I've been dreaming of running away to live in a cabin for a little while. I have a completely ridiculous and romanticised idea about it being just me and my dog, with my iPod and a typewriter for a little while. Fresh air, country walks, that sort of thing. 

My friends think I'm mad. They remind me that my dream retreat sounds a lot like the beginning of a horror movie. Apart from one friend, that is.

He introduced me to Cabin Porn, a wonderful little Tumblr full of inspiration for my future hideaway (one day I will have one of my own!).

It's my new obsession.

Here are my top five cabins (so far - still browsing!).





All images gratefully pinched from Cabin Porn 

If you are in possession of one of these cabins, or a similar such cabin, please let me live there? I can pay you in wonky haircuts and quite nice cakes! My dog's super-friendly, too. Basically we'd be pretty ideal houseguests.


In the meantime, the friend responsible for newfound obsession with Cabin Porn has very kindly let me come to stay with him in the countryside. It's pretty great. Wholesome food, excellent wine, a thatched cottage, and strolls by the river. It's no cabin, but it'll have to do for now...

... Unless he has a shed in the garden I can sleep in? Right, I'd better pop off and ask him...

Mona.

MONA BUYS LIPSTICK

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hello Creatures,

I walked into Boots the other day with the best of intentions. "Just popping in to pick up a lipstick for my Ma (she has worn the same shade ever since I can remember). Put on the blinkers. Look straight ahead. Don't be distracted by the pretty objects..."

"Oh hi, there, Chanel counter. You're looking pretty good today, aren't you?"

And so it began. 

It took about 4.76 seconds for my will-power to melt into a puddle, and before I knew it the Rouge Allure Velvet in 307 - L'Impatiente - was being swatched onto my hand, and I was being buttered up by the lovely sales assistant. "You're right, it does look amazing with my skin-tone!"

Lovely Sales Assistant then hits me with the magic words. "It's a limited edition, you know." 

This little phrase always seems to tip me over the edge, into the firey pit of consumerism. Because the only thing worse than Buyer's Remorse? Not Buyer's Remorse.

£25 later (but it's ok though, I probably got like a trazillion Boots Points) and I had my new favourite lipstick. I may or may not have applied it before I left the shop. 

I did.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet - 307 - L'Impatiente
*Image Source*

Now if you've been hanging around for a while, then you'll probably have noticed that when it comes to make-up, I'm a total noob. So I'm not going to try and talk to you about how pigmented it is, or about formula or anything, because I still don't really know what that is. This is a good review if you want to know about that kind of thing. All I will say is:

I really like the colour. It's easy to apply, the packaging is cool and fancy, and it doesn't come off on wine-glasses or mugs nearly as much as my other lipsticks. It also seems to last for quite a long time. It looks a little bit scary and vampy before you apply it, but when on, it perfectly toes the line of making me look quite a lot cooler and edgier than I actually am* without throwing me into goth/vamp/pop-culture-sparkley-vampire territory. For which I am eternally grateful.

Also, I think it jazzes up my hobo-beanie quite nicely.

This picture makes me quite concerned that my latest cutting-my-own-hair adventure went nowhere near as well as originally thought. Maybe it's a bad angle. Can hair have bad angles?
If you'd like to buy some of this lipstick (and why wouldn't you, after such a brilliant, professional, well-written review?) then there is still some available here. Go on, and then we can be lip twins!

I hope that you all had ace weekends. 

Mona.

*Quite a feat, considering I'm about as edgy as a PERCT SPHERE

MISS SCARLET. IN THE LIBRARY. WITH A CANDLE STICK.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Not really. Although I do really love Cluedo. And Scrabble. And Monopoly. And The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game*. 

No, no, this is a post about a coat. 

I've been umming and aahing about a new coat for a while. Because baby, it's cold outside. The three main contenders? This little beauty from ASOS, a Paddington Bear-esque number from Topshop, or a Granny-Chic staple from Urban Outfitters.  

Then, at the Weekend, I was browsing through Beyond Retro with my Ma (we were looking for offensively kitsch Christmas jumpers - we have the same terrible sense of humour, and have decided to do one of those All-American-90s-Christmas-Family-Photos this year - I will be sure to show you the results). And the perfect coat caught my eye. 

If Little Red Riding Hood was Cruella DeVille's daughter, then this would have been her coat.

Bow - Vintage from Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair; Coat - Vintage from Beyond Retro; Jeans - 7 for All Mankind; Boots - Urban Outfitters
It was love at first sight. It is bordering on Offensively Loud. But I'm okay with that. As my Ma put it;

"Well, at least there's no danger of losing you, I suppose."

Every girl needs a coat that makes them this happy. I am now EMBRACING going outside into the chill and gloom of London ("No, don't be silly, I'll nip down to the shop for some milk!"), and I wear it around the house quite a lot as well. Because I'm weird.

What do you think? Nice? Or have I finally lost the plot, taste-wise?

Hope you're all keeping warm, Cool Cats.

Mona.

*If this isn't in your board game cupboard (WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T HAVE A BOARD GAME CUPBOARD?!) then put it on your Christmas list, kids. It's the best. I promise.

WINTER WARMERS

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Hey Cool Cats,

On a recent trip to Liberty, I was extremely well-behaved and only bought one thing (despite being extremely tempted by this dress*) - 10 More Simple, Cosy Projects by Sarah Hatton. If you're not familiar, Sarah Hatton is a freelance knitwear designer who makes patterns of really sweet, quite easy to make garments. 

I basically want to knit everything in the book, but I started with these wristwarmers to keep my hands roasty-toasty. Because as much as I love me a good old pair of gloves, they're just not iPhone friendly. 


With the leftover wool, I fashioned myself a little pom-pom, which I sewed on to my new beret from Beyond Retro. I have a huge love for berets, but I'm also rather partial to the odd Breton stripe - a pom-pom seems to suitably de-ouiouimonsieur the whole look.


I managed to pick up a really brilliant skirt in Beyond Retro too. A bargain at £25, it's a butter-soft suede high-waisted pencil skirt. I am wearing it a lot at the moment. (I'm not one of those girls who buys things and then hoards them in her wardrobe forever. I'm quite prone to wearing things out of the shop. I like to think that my mad over-enthusiasm for clothes is charmingly eccentric, but it's probably just a sign that I am horribly materialistic.)

Beret - Beyond Retro; Necklace - Katrina Phillips; Top - H&M; Suede Pencil Skirt - Beyond Retro; Shoes - Russell & Bromley 

What with the evenings getting darker, there is nothing I'm enjoying more at the moment than a cup of tea, Downton Abbey, and a good knit. Only 9 More Simple, Cosy Projects to go! Good Lord, I'm such a granny.

Are you a fellow knitter?

Mona.

*Hey Marc Jacobs! It's nearly my birthday, y'know! Just sayin'...

GROWN UP

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Sometimes, I think that I'm making progress at the whole "being a grown-up, adult, responsible, real person" thing. Seriously. I have a job, I'm registered with the GP, I (sometimes) get my 8 hours sleep. Heck, sometimes I even eat vegetables. True story, Ma. 

Then things happen. Things that knock me into reality, and make me realise just how far I have to come before I can call myself a grown-up. Sometimes they're big things, like last month, when my ceiling sprung a leak, and my flat flooded. I realised, at that moment, that I had no idea what to do. Emergency plumber? Forget it, I wouldn't know the first thing about where to find one, and anyway, I'd rather spend my money on shoes. Instead, I rustled up a couple of buckets (practicality, thy name is Mona) and called my Mother. Because mothers are superheroes, and a big hole in the ceiling and a huge puddle of water on the carpet won't phase them, will it?

Sometimes they're silly things, like the other day, when I went to get my weekly shop. Food, to feed me for a week. The cupboards were bare. It was time. 

I was a bit spaced out, totally forgot about healthy eating, and just kind of wandered around Sainsbury's, grabbing whatever took my fancy. The result? 


To feed myself for a week, I purchased milk, bread, peanut butter, yoghurt, cookies, ice cream, and Vogue. 

Brilliant, Mona. Nice work. Really.

Idiot.

When I was sixteen, I truly thought that by twenty two (twenty three next month! Eek!) I'd have life figured out, and be really grown-up. Whoops. Error.

I'm sort of in two minds as to whether this is a problem. In one respect, I do acknowledge the need to take control of life a bit more, and take care of myself. Do practical things. Get an emergency plumber's number. Buy actual food when I go shopping. Maybe even some exercise?* But then I think about it, and I can do other, less practical, but much more fun things. I can now play Zooey Deschanel's Hey Girl on the ukulele. I make a pretty mean carrot cake, I can lick my own elbow, and I hold my own against almost all boys at Tekken, Fifa, and COD. And actually, twenty two isn't that old, is it? Lots of time to develop practical life skills. So I may as well focus on the fun stuff, for now. 

I'm sure that by the time I'm twenty five, I'll have life all figured out, and be really grown up.

I'm also pretty sure that when I'm twenty five, I will regret the above statement.

Mona.

*Calm down Mo, let's not go too wild here!

LOVE

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sorry for my prolonged absence, kids, I've been horribly unwell. I'm all better now, but I'm just one of those useless people, who will always get whatever's going around, and suffer quite horribly with it. Poor me, eh?

Anyway, I have some news for you.

I am in love. 

I think it's going to be a glorious partnership. We met last week, and we spend all of our time together. When I'm not with him, I find myself thinking about him quite a lot. What we're going to do together later, that sort of thing. 

There is the possibility that I may start annoying my friends soon, because I'm either with him or talking about him all the time, but I don't care.

This is him.


He doesn't have a name yet. He's just my ukulele. 

It started out with Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Then yesterday, I had my very own Holly Golightly moment, sitting out on my fire escape playing Moon River. Today, we went for a wander to the park, where I strummed away to On the Street Where You Live. It was pretty dreamy. 


Music is becoming quite a big part of my life again, which I'm really enjoying. I have a few little projects in the pipelines, which I'll keep you informed about. But they will doubtfully be as dear to my heart as my ukulele. He's pretty, surprisingly easy to sound okay on, and he's travel sized for my convenience! 

He does, however, need a good name. If you're struck by any inspiration, please send your answer on a postcard leave me a suggestion in the comments section. 

Silk Scarf - Vintage; Shirt - Cooperative; Jumper - Topshop; Jeans - 7 for all Mankind; Boots - Topshop

If you're a ukulele player yourself, and you know of any good online resources for learning, please let me know! Same thing if there's a song that you think I should learn!

Mona.

OUTFIT

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Hey Y'All.

Autumn is here! I can say this with certainty, because this morning I selected my biggest and snuggliest jumper from my warfloordrobe, I feel totally justified once more in wearing a giant knitted hat, and because I find myself favouring plummy coloured lipstick at the moment. Please note how much progress towards becoming a Real Girl has been made - I've actually started wearing lipstick. Well, sometimes, anyway. 


Whenever I take pictures for the blog, most of them come out looking something like this for some reason. I think it's what my face actually looks like most of the time. Anyway, I thought it was high time I shared one with you.

I have massive love for Autumn and Winter dressing to be honest. Although I think that there's a lot more fun to be had experimenting with looks in the Summer, I constantly find myself panicking that I'm showing too much skin off. I'm definitely more one of the "big jumper please, and actually, pass me another slice of apple pie, I need the extra weight to keep me warm" gang than I am the "I look bitchin' in a crop top and disco shorts because  I have self discipline" type. It's sad but it's true. 

Anyway, look at me, going off topic. Here's what I wore today...

Hat - Oxfam; Necklace - Links of London; Handbag - Vida Vida; Jumper - Liberty (vintage); Skirt - American Apparel; Boots - Topshop.
I will basically be wearing this, or some variation of this, for the next few months. Except soon I'll have to pop a coat on over the top, and the tights will become wooly. Goodness me, I love lazy fashion.

Right, that's all for today, folks. I've suddenly realised that Winter is coming (cheeky Game of Thrones reference, because everyone loves a girl geek), and I need to make some Apple Streusel cake and locate my missing glove. I know I've got a bit of time, but I like to be prepared.

Are you a Summer or Winter girl, dress-wise?

Mona.

P.S. While you're here, why not enter my Pebble London giveaway?

GIVEAWAY

Monday, 17 September 2012

Hi Kids,

The lovely folks over at Pebble London and I figured that you deserved a treat. I have been very generously given this leather daisy bracelet and ring set, to hand over to one of you lot. 

Pretty, no? 


I love this set so, so much. So much, in fact, that I'm a bit jealous that one of you gets to take it home! They're so pretty, the craftsmanship is impeccable, and they're really adjustable, which means that you can use them for all sorts of things... 


Well, you know me, and my total fixation with hair ornaments. As far as I was concerned, there was only one thing to be done with this bracelet.


A little bending, a couple of kirby grips, and wham, bam, thank you, Ma'am, you've got yourself an adorable pseudo-Alice band. The ring also makes an adorable hair-tie. Or hair clip. It also looks good wrapped around the strap of a handbag. You get the idea. There is nothing that cannot be done with them!


Today I accessorised with these, and it was a bit sad taking them off, but I just keep having to remind myself that they're not for me - they are for you (yes, I'm a tad jealous). Here's what I wore them with...

Jewellery - Pebble London; Jacket - Topshop; Dress - Joseph (via Oxfam); Boots - Topshop 
The outfit feels a tad naked without the daisies, to be honest... I'm about to pop out for lunch, I think I'm going to have to revert back to the old Crown and Glory go-to. That always cheers up my tresses. 

If you'd like to enter the Giveaway, there are a few Ts and Cs...
  1. You must follow my blog via GFC
  2. You must follow Pebble London on Twitter
  3. You must leave a comment, and let me know where you come from as this time, I'm going international, baby...
If you'd like an extra entry, then you could...
  1. Like Pebble London on Facebook
  2. Tweet about the giveaway, with a link (and mentioning both @monablogs and @PebbleLDN so that we know)
Now hurry up and enter, before I change my mind! Entry closes on the 24th September.

I really must try and be more gracious about these things, mustn't I?

Mona. 
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