Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2night I'm gonna party like it's 1999!

Hello Petals, me again!

I read yesterday on timehop that Beyoncé's Single Ladies was #1 six years ago today, can you believe that?! I can't believe it's the last day of 2014, let alone six years since I memorised Queen B's choreography.

It's been an incredible year full of countless adventures whilst city hopping with new and old friends. I'm already eager to see what 2015 has to offer! As soon as I post this, I'm going to pour myself a glass of red, start my NYE playlist, then make my way to my high school friends house party!

Before it gets covered in glitter, I'll share my NYE outfit with you! If you need any last minute inspo, my best advice (and the solution to most problems in life) is to Google Studio 54! (I'm currently eight pages deep, gazing at Bianca Jagger with a balloon in one hand and the reins of a white horse in the other... see I now know exactly what I'm going to wear, magic!)

I've opted for this bold Henry Holland dress, full of the love-birds from True Romance (one hell of a film) and funky scribbles by Hattie Stewart!

Sticking with the Tarantino theme, I'm also wearing Urban Decay's Mia Wallace lipstick from their Pulp Fiction limited edition range - although I think their marketing team missed a great opportunity to name it Ketchup instead! I do love though that Ezekiel 25 17 is embossed on the inner box...

Due to the current Arctic weather here in Manchester, I've also teamed this dress with thick tights and my black fuzzy Topshop coat. I'll also just throw on my yellow chucks... my dancing shoes!

As it's new years eve, I might go a little nuts with one of these... still deciding which to use! Should I dye the tips of my hair blue again? Adorn my eyes with diamantes? Or go full 90's with body glitter? If you want some last minute makeup ideas, check out my 'quirky makeup tricks' blog post!

New Year’s Eve Slumber Grand Central Station 1969

If you're staying in tonight, catch Jools Holland's annual Hootenanny (calling all Paolo Nutini lovers), bake the chocolatiest recipe you can find (I recommend Lily's brookies) & watch classic NYE flicks!

Yesterday, I went fot the double whammy and watched Bridget Jones's Diary and When Harry Met Sally - each for the zillionth time - and felt all fuzzy inside. If, however, your love life is a little south at the moment, do not watch these... stick to the Hootenanny!
(There's a sentence I never thought I'd type.)

I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. - When Harry Met Sally.

As for resolutions, mine is the same as it was two years ago, be more like Stevie Nicks! In fact, I also hope that this year I won't wake up with a wonky haircut (long story including drunk friends, me adamant DIY bobs at 3am are a good idea and lots of vodka).

In the words of Lena Dunham...
Have a very Beyoncé new year!


What are your NY resolutions?

Mele Kalikimaka

Good morning Petals!

I hope you all had the most marvellous and magical Christmas with your loved ones! I spent the day at my grandparents eating my body weight in parsnips and watching classic Christmas movies. The highlight had to be when my, let's say 'merry', mum attempted to mime Power Rangers during charades. I think this Instagram snap summed up the day!

Over the past few days, my guilty pleasure has been reading countless 'What  I got for Christmas' posts. As I love reading them, I thought you folks may be a wee curious as to what I found under the tree. Before I dive in, I thought I'd share the festive films I've been re-watching all December!

1. Christmas simply isn't Christmas until we're all squashed on the couch, eating quality street and singing along to The Muppets Christmas Carol! "Look close and there must be a good man inside... NAH!"

2. Hagrid lugging the Christmas tree into Hogwarts, Ron's iconic 'R' Weasley jumper... Need I say more?

3. I thought I'd throw in a Disney classic for good measure.
4. Love Actually is the ultimate Christmas film, there I said it!
...& basically any film featuring John Candy.

I mostly received skincare products, as during the winter I've amped up my daily routine to battle the harsh weather.

Since Alex Steinherr, Beauty Director at GLAMOUR magazine, recommended Danish brand Ole Henriksen's truth to go wipes about three years ago, I've sworn by them! Not only do they gently take off my make-up, but they're also bursting with vitamin C and all sorts of anti-ageing goodies...
 it's never too early to start!

As much as I used to cringe at the thought of using face wipes, some nights they're too tempting as opposed to going through my twenty minute routine. As Oscar Wilde said, "I can resist anything but temptation"! My mum bought me this 100x pack online on Black Friday for less than £20.
(I usually pay £6 for 10!!!)

My dad treated me to this Liz Earle gift set as... I've never owned any of her products! *KILL BILL SIRENS* I must be the only beauty blogger in the blogosphere to ever utter those words. The set came with a Cleanse & Polish (100ml pump), an Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer (200ml) and two muslin cloths. I love the brands natural ingredients (rosemary, chamomile and eucalyptus, just to name a few) and how the pretty Tiffany blue packaging looks on my top shelf!

My Aunty Jane (hence my middle name, hence Daisy Blooming Jane) treated me to this Nivea gift set, which includes my favourite almond oil day cream and macadamia nut oil hand cream. Happy bunny!

Last month, whilst I was at the Greek airport, I stocked up on Korres products. Attached to some of the shower gels, were samples of their cult 'Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturising & Brightening Cream'. I recently read in an interview that Vanessa Hudgens always uses a rose day cream, as she believes that the power of the roses seeps into her skin. I happened to mention this to my mum and what did I find under the tree...

For almost a year now, I've been using agave nectar as a substitute for sugar and have definitely noticed that I'm a lot less prone to breakouts. As I'm about to run out again, my Dad has treated me to a new 500ml bottle, which is so huge that I've had to warn the whole family not to mistake it for shampoo!

I think it's fair to say that everyone and their dog received Lena Dunham's 'Not That Kind of Girl' this Christmas and I was no exception! I can't wait to dig into this on my long train journeys back and forth to London and gorge on all her nuggets of wisdom, word by word. I'm also a wee obsessed with this photo Lena posted on Boxing day in this pink get up, brimming with images of Samantha Jones in power suits. Next Christmas I'm asking for that and Lamby!
I don't know about you, but I have a new desktop background!

My mum also bought me Elle (US) December issue with RiRi on the cover.
As this post is already going to be enormous, I think I'll dedicate a 'Brew Break' to this magazine next week. Every single photograph, concept and outfit in Rihanna's editorial deserves a post of its own!

I also listened to Donna and treated myself to this colourful Anthropologie mug, which is the definition of CUTE.

(...fine leather goods.)

My mum also treated me to three new a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e baubles! (Although I've been asked more than once why we have a Blackpool tower bauble...)

My brother Billy and his girlfriend Beth bought me these bath goodies from the Manchester Christmas markets, they know me so well! In the box, there's a mix of bath bombs and hippie soaps, which smell obscenely good. My brother told me they spent a good half hour sniffing a multitude of scents, to pinpoint which one's I'd love, which was so so thoughtful! 

There was a business card inside, so I did a little digging online to find out each potions elements. I can't wait to use the bright yellow 'lemongrass and tea tree' soap and the 'soap filled sponge', which according to the lady at the market "lasts two months... or two years if you're a student!"

The family run business is called 'Pure Indulgence Soaps', if anyone from the North-West is interested! :-)

My brother, being a goldsmith like my father, always treats me to a new pair of earrings every Christmas... he really does spoil me! This year I received these dainty cross earrings, which have been glued to my ears all week!

Talking Writing of jewellery, my mum picked me up this sweet handmade turquoise ring when she recently went to a friends jewellery night... 

As one of my mum's presents, I actually bought us matching mugs! As we're often apart and spend hours on the phone drinking copious cups of tea, I thought these monogrammed Anthropologie mugs were too cute to not pick up!

Last, but certainly not least, every year my mum buys me a fancy set of thank you cards... it's all about the gratitude attitude!
(Do I sound like a Spice Girl?)

Here's a photo I recently stumbled across of my brother, my mother and I at the Manchester Christmas markets last winter. At this point, I had mulled wine running through my veins!
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

P.S: For those wondering, Mele Kalikimaka isn't Greek... it's actually a Hawaiian Christmas song that my mum and I hum incessantly!

Friday, 26 December 2014

New Year Same Bitch

As the new year is upon us and the avalanche of new year new me captions await their moment of glory, I thought it'd be apt to share Mary Berry's scrumptious reflection cake recipe. 

The addition of gelatin to the icing sugar gives the cake an impressive shine. After all now is the time to reflect ~ one slice or two?

Ingredients for the sponge: 50g cocoa powder / 90ml boiling water / 3 eggs / 175g self-raising flour / 1 tsp baking powder / 100g baking spread / 250g caster sugar Ingredients for the icing: 7 sheets of leaf gelatin / 225g caster sugar / 75g cocoa powder / 75ml double cream / 50g dark chocolate / 2 tbsp apricot jam for brushing To fill and decorate: 300ml double cream, softly whipped / 10 strawberries with their green tops. You will need two 20cm round, loose-bottomed cake tins with deep sides.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, then grease the tins with baking spread and line the bases with baking paper

2. Sift the cocoa powder into a large bowl. Pour in the boiling water and stir into a smooth paste. Add the remaining ingredients and beat together using an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Spoon into the prepared tins and level the tops.

3. Bake the cakes in the oven for 20-25 minutes (ideally on the same shelf, so that they cook at the same rate) until well risen and coming away from the sides of the tins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the baking paper and leave to cool down completely.

4. To make the icing, soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes until soft. Measure the sugar, cocoa powder and cream into a saucepan and pour in 125ml of water. Stir the mixture over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and continue to stir until smooth.

5. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces to the hot liquid, allowing them to melt. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Remove the gelatin leaves from the bowl of water and squeeze out any liquid before adding to the pan. Stir the warm chocolate mixture until the gelatin has dissolved, then pour through a sieve into a bowl. Place in the fridge to cool down for about an hour and thicken to the consistency of thick mayonnaise.

6. Slice each sponge in half horizontally. Spread a third of the whipped cream over one layer of sponge, followed by another layer of cream and sponge, and continue to assemble the cake until you have four layers of sponge and three of cream. Press the sponges down between each layer so the cream comes right to the edges and the sponges are level at the sides. Take a palette knife and smooth around the edges so the excess cream very lightly covers the sides and gives a smooth edge.

7. Warm the apricot ham in a small saucepan and then pour through a sieve to remove any lumps. Brush the warmed jam over the top of the cake, then chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

8. Pour 50ml of the icing into a bow, then dip the top half of each strawberry into the melted icing and set aside on baking paper to set. 

9. Pour or spoon the remaining icing over the top of the cake, smoothing it over the top and sides with a palette knife. Be very careful doing this - you want a smooth shiny icing. Leave for an hour or so to set.

10. Arrange the chocolate-iced strawberries around the bottom edge of the cake to serve. Cooking time: 25-30 minutes, plus cooling.

11. GORGE!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Cake Break #1

Today is a very special day for three reasons...
Not only is it Festivus (if you're not already glued to Seinfeld, make it a NY resolution. Trust me!), as well as - in the words of Pheebs - "Christmas Eve Eve", but it's also two years since I wrote my first ever blog post!

 The past two years have whizzed by and been chock-a-block with passing my A-levels, backpacking through Europe on a shoestring, starting university and permanently moving to London. I've really enjoyed sharing my journey (somewhere in a NY office, Anna Wintour is cringing) with you and have high hopes for 2015! 

...any excuse for a Victoria sponge!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Brew Break #11 Anthropologie Candles

Whenever I'm pottering around Oxford Street, which is more often than I care to admit, I always nip into Anthropologie and lose myself in their candle jars. They hands down have the best selection of affordable candles with the most incredible mixtures.

During Black Friday, Anthropologie had 20% everything online and in store... yes, EVERYTHING! Needless to say, anyone receiving a Christmas present from me can expect one of their zodiac candles. (I've actually gone as far as banning a few people from reading my blog this month!) I also couldn't help but stock up on a bunch of candles for myself, as I'm now back home in Manchester for five weeks.

I was also inspired by Gemsmaquillage recently, when she spoke about her love of saving pretty candle pots for when she makes DIY candles. Whenever I'm in between lectures, I pop into Greenwich market and have always wanted my own stall. I think in the new year I'll be using these cute jars to kick-start my NY resolution!

Now bare with me on the left one, I know the staple 'blogger' candle is currently Yankee's Candy Cane Lane, but not mine. I can't rest unless my entire house smells of guacamole!

The right candle caters to my borderline obsession with figs. If a product has even a teaspoon of fig, it's in the basket. My only niggle with this one is that as it's in an opaque jar, I can't see the flame flickering which I find really soothing. Besides that, the smell is so sophisticated & heavenly! Another favourite of mine from their Boulangerie set is Angel Food... words don't do justice!

When I saw the zodiac range of candles with iddy biddy constellations engraved on them, I HAD to buy a bunch... how adorable are they?! I'm also going to put this out there: these are THE best candles I've ever smelt. I even get wafts of the exotic scent when they're not even lit!

I picked this last one up on a bit of a whim. The smell is described as 'volcano'... I find it hilarious when candles are named "party time" or "midnight moon", as if we're supposed to go "ahh I love the smell of party time!" I actually bought this as it was called Mercury. When I was little my dad used to own a jewellery shop in Greece called 'Mercury Design'. Whenever I light this candle, I can't help but smile.

If you're ever in Anthro, head to their candle range and treat yourself... they're good for the soul!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Bibbidi-Bobbidi Bits & Bobs #4

Good evening Petals!

I think it's fair to say that the highlight of everyone's week was last Monday night's Victoria's Secret fashion show here in London! I think Karlie Kloss stole the show in this insane Gothic cape ensemble...

The BFA'S was also pretty spectacular this year. Here are some of my favourite looks from the night. My top two have to be Suki in Burberry & Rihanna in velvet Stella McCartney. 

This week I've also binge watched (again) all of Vogue's 73 Questions series. My favourite has to be the first one featuring SJP, talk about starting with a bang! There's something so endearing about her eccentric mannerisms and stunning lived in home. I'm hoping they'll pay Miranda Kerr a visit one day.

What's your favourite constellation?
SJP: Cassiopeia.

If you could have coffee with someone from the past, who would it be?
Amy Adams: Janis Joplin, but it probably wouldn't be coffee.

Which Sex and the City character do you identify with most?
Blake Lively: Mostly the men.

What's your favourite bakery?
BL: My home, my husband has coined it The Blakery!

Since it's Wednesday, I thought I'd add a mini Wednesday wishlist again as there's so many gorgeous A/W staples with a twist floating round that I'm finding (very) hard to resist...
I'VE FOUND THE MOTHER OF ALL CHRISTMAS JUMPERS. This Asos jumper has a velcro section and is sent with a range of felt numbers which you change day-to-day. I also love this hooded snood from Topshop, I kind of love the off-beat Padmé Amidala vibes. I feel like everyone needs more fringe in their wardrobes and this Zara gem is a great place to start.

If this beauty wasn't £200, it would be somewhere between London and Manchester in a polka dot parcel right now. I've always had a thing for Indian shisha embroidery and love how the pattern of the beads surrounding them look like they were designed by Keith Haring. 

Besides, who doesn't want to look like a disco ball on NYE?!

I've had Uptown Funk on repeat all week and am obsessed with the groovy Prince vibes! Naturally, I fell in love with the videos of Kate Hudson and Cara Delevingne that popped up on my Insta feed of them prancing around to it. Also absolutely love that it's Goldie counting them in.

Can I come along next Thanksgiving?!

I've got a pretty big deadline on Sunday, which means I'll probably be blogging all week and alphabetising my bookshelf. I'm also hoping to wake up to a blanket of snow this weekend so my train journey back up north for Christmas is even prettier than usual.

I hope you're all having a super duper week and just think... 
15 days till Christmas!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Be Good For Goodness Sake

The countdown begins...

Annual Father Christmas pup crawl 2013. Meeting point: Euston station , London.

Monday, 1 December 2014

White Rabbit White Rabbit White Rabbit

How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? - Dr.Seuss

December is all about pyjamas, three sizes too big for you jumpers and candles burning in all corners of the house. In the next few weeks, I have an abundance of deadlines and so picked up a few bits in Primark over the weekend to make 5,000 word counts a little more bearable. 

When it comes to lounge wear, Primark wins every time. It seems every blogger and their cat owned a pair of their ADORABLE Bambi, Thumper and Dumbo slippers last winter. Here are the pyjamas I couldn't resist...
So far this year, I haven't hunted down the perfect Christmas jumper so for now am starting a new trend... Christmas leggings! Even though £10 for Primark is a little pricey, the quality is fantastic.

They've done it again. How cute are these Paul Frank slippers?!
(Do excuse my teeny tiny feet)

I HAD to get these yellow pyjamas brimming with my role model since '94...
 Vanilla & coconut £2 Blackcurrant & Orchid  £3

Whenever I'm in Primark, I always pick up a bunch of the latest candles my mum's been burning back home in Manchester. As she goes through candles as much as milk, she's begun to stock up on more affordable brands such as Primark and Lily Flame... cheap and cheerful! If you're on a budget this Christmas, these are sweet little gifts that won't break the bank.

There are certain rituals I follow to get into the writing mood and lighting candles is one of them. A glass of red is another, as Hemingway said: write drunk, edit sober.

Finally, as I was queueing up I grabbed some last minute essentials. I appeased my inner eight year old with some Disney princess wrapping paper and bought 60 hair bobbles for a £1. That almost screams student more than this time I was at a flat party where empty pot noodle pots were used as cups... I think that was the same night I used a towel as a quilt. 

I'm going to go light a candle and thank a higher power that
I'm no longer a fresher!

What's your favourite part of December?