Archive | October, 2011

Onesies!

30 Oct

So I thought I should fill you in on some of what M’s been up to – just so you don’t think I’ve forgotten him! He’s been busy studying maths and mechanics for upcoming exams but, to put your minds at ease, he’s still finding time for a laugh. Check out the picture he sent me just now – three of his fellow students. And they say uni is all hard work…

Who said onesies were just for girls?

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Coffee in Chelmsford

29 Oct

Popped through to Chelmsford today. I used to live there and every time I go back I always wish I still did. It’s such a lovely town and the research has shown the people living there are some of the happiest in the country. It’ got everything you need in one place and is great shopping. I was through to see a couple of friends. First up was M, who runs Wicked Waxing (wickedwaxing.com) and second up was N, an old work colleague. We met up for coffee and cake at the Cherry On Top cafe. Had always wanted to try it when I was living in Chelmsford but somehow never found the time. Can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on. The slices of cake are HUGE – a good thing! – and taste amazing. N and I were overwhelmed by the choice but I settled for coffee and walnut and N went for a lemony concoction. Yum. Will definitely be going back there and will take pics next time to share. Watch this space!

London Jewellery School

25 Oct

Just back from a jewellery-making course with my work colleague L. It was a taster session held at the London Jewellery School in XX (londonjewelleryschool.co.uk). We headed over straight from work and spent three hours being shown the basics of making beaded jewellery. There were about 10 of us there and we had so much fun sitting around a table covered in beads, making bracelets and rings, and eating cupcakes! Our teacher was the lovely and patient Chu-mei (graceandfirefly.co.uk), but there were also other jewellery designers on hand to help out. We got talking to Sima Vaziry, who makes the most beautiful pieces out of metal clay (simavaziry.com). That’s our next course! L and I went home wearing our creations, feeling relaxed and like we’d had a productive evening. Jewellery making was easier than we’d thought. What do you think of our wares?

Blaze hair and make-up course, Brentwood

23 Oct

Just back from my old stomping ground, Brentwood. Yes, the home of TOWIE and the Sugar Hut, although for some reason I never made it there while I was living there!

Anyway I was back through for a make-up masterclass. I’m embarrassed to admit that when it comes to make-up I’m totally hopeless. So when I saw a deal on Groupon for a one-day masterclass I had to sign up. It was organised by Blaze (blazema.com) and Lauren, who was running it, was fantastic. When I arrived I was so nervous! I was one of the first there but by the time the class started the room was packed – I think about 40 people had turned up!

Lauren started off demonstrating a basic day look with neutral tones, a bit of blusher, and subtle lips then showed how to update it for the evening with a smokey eye, false lashes, bronzer, and bright red lips. She also showed us how to do the perfect quiff and fishtail plait. Finally we were split into pairs to practise ourselves. I was terrified – what if I made my partner look awful? I needn’t have worried though. I think my attempt was pretty good (sorry no pics so you’ll have to trust me on this one) whereas the girl doing my make-up, bless her, was a little heavy handed with the bronzer, which for someone as pale as I am, wasn’t a good look! I’m sorry to say that whereas everyone else went home with their make-up on, I slipped into the toilet before getting back on the train to wipe it off. Picked up lots of great tips though and now can’t wait to be able to put them into practice – when I next see M he won’t recognise me!

Vintage Pin-up Hair & Make-up at Drink, Shop, Do

14 Oct

Drink, Shop, Do (drinkshopdo.com) is one of those places you’d wished you known about sooner. I only came to hear about it a few weeks ago through a chance conversation with friends over dinner. Somehow I’ve been living in a bubble and hadn’t been party to the amazingness that is this quirky vintage cafe next door to King’s Cross. Part cafe, part craft shop, part activity centre, it’s everything you need for a fun time out in one setting. It was also the destination for my first proper night out with my new house mates –  perfect bonding sess!

I’d seen Drink, Shop, Do ran courses, my favourites being Musical Bingo and the Vintage in-up Hair & Make-up night, a must try. So last night J, K and I turned up after work, not knowing quite what to expect. The basis of the night is you go along, get your hair and make-up done all retro style, then pay what you think it’s worth. Sounds too good to be true but it really is as simple as that, but SO much better than you could ever imagine.

We popped our name on the waiting list then chilled with cocktails (the Front Garden, a mix of gin, elderflower, basil and lime is to die for), a Scotch egg (the menu is like stepping back in time), and a hefty wedge of orangge and almond cake. When it was our turn, Dolly and Rhonda, two stylist wizards, performed what can only be described as a complete transformation on us. Check out the waves! The eye flicks! The red lippy! I left feeling like a total starlet and it’s confirmed…I was born into the wrong era!

Dolly and Rhonda work their magic

Mushroom foray on Wimbledon Common

9 Oct

Autumn’s here and today my friend B and I did our first ever mushroom foray on Wimbledon Common. It was actually the first time I’d ever been mushrooming at all – the fear of picking a poisonous toadstool is excuse enough to direct me to the aisles of my local grocer! But fortunately we’d signed up for an expert-led foray with, wait for it, A Fungi To Be With (fungitobewith.org)! For £22, mushroomer Andy, led us to the mushroom hotspots of the Common. Unfortunately for us we’re having one of the driest and warmest October’s on record so not the best conditions for mushroom growth (best to go out a few days after rain). To my great excitement though, our four-hour foray did reap some rewards and I did find a handful of mushrooms – not enough for the hearty risotto I’d had planned but mushrooms nonetheless. I cooked them up with a little butter when I got home. Yum! So now, equipped with an identification guide, I’ll be back out there when the weather turns.

A Fungi To Be With

My mushrooms!

Rihanna at the O2

5 Oct

Oh my gosh! Just back from seeing Rihanna live at the O2! It was a spur of the momentt night out – there was a ticket going spare – and it was so much fun! She really does know how to put on a show. Highly recommend it if you get the chance!

Putney Open Artists’ House

2 Oct

This weekend was Open Artists’ House (putneyartists.org) in Putney and, because I’m desperately trying to expand my collection of original artwork, I had to go. I’d not realised it was on until I saw all the orange and purple balloons outside random houses and people walking around looking at maps. I’m so pleased I realised what was going on!

First stop was the house of artist Fleur Tookey (fleurtookey.co.uk), who makes the most amazing glasswork. She does stunning wall-mounted pieces with blown glass. They were out of my price range so instead I bought a little glass ornament with a sailing boat to go on my window sill.

Now Mike’s in the Merchant Navy, it’s all about the marine collectables!

I also popped to Jane Theophilus’ house. She’s a potter and I picked up this beautiful salt pig:

I’ve needed one for ages so it was a perfect find. Wish I could do pottery myself – a course to try, perhaps…