Friday, 30 March 2012

Scotland wrap up

Hi y'all. 
Phew practically a week has passed. Time sure is going by so fast. As much as I am glad to be done with the 365 I kind of miss the demandingness of posting each day and kind of making sure that I do so. There will be days that I plan on blogging and then I just don't get to it I have about 6 unfinished posts that I really should get to finishing and then posting. I've just been mega busy with preparing for new job and I was away in Edinburgh. 
Here are a few pictures from my trip. 


Yumminess. 







I love out of focus lights like the above along with when a sun is setting or rising and its just at the top of the buildings. 

Probably my favourite street in Edinburgh.

I saw this in a window display. If you don't know why I would be interested in these simple words go back to this post. 



I love street art.

I know it's so cliche but red phone booths just make me smile. I just wish people still used them. I really want to go in one and have like a good chat in one. I wish Doc Brown would come and take me in his delorium to where this was the only way to reach someone if you were out.

AMAZZZZING.

Do you see that little red door. Its a place called Red Door Gallery. It's this amazing store that supports young rising artists and sells their stuff. I literally spent 2 hours in there just looking at everything. It was so amazing. I actually bought one of David's birthday presents in there. A VW van drawing. I couldn't actually buy him a VW so thought a picture would do ;). 




Things I did on my trip:

Picnicked in Princess Gardens. 
Walked everywhere and learned I intact CAN read a map. 
Went out to dinner on my own in a busy restaurant and didn't care that I was on my own.
 Following my dinner date with myself I took myself to see Hunger Games and found going on my own very liberating. 
Although the woman at the Pic N Mix counter totally judged me when I said it was just me.
 I had peanut butter and banana on pancakes in the Elephant House for breakfast. 
You know where JK Rowling wrote most of Harry Potter. 
No big deal. 
The bathroom was so cool, it was signed by all of her massive fans and on one wall their was over 150 something signatures for Dumbledore's Army. 
Another person saying " I will always await my letter." 
You and me both friend. 
I registered for a new passport even though my old one was never in fact reported lost or stolen. 
Us airways are liars. 
I did find out though that it is in fact illegal for someone of dual nationality to fly into America using anything but their American passport. 
Whoops. 
I set the hotel apartment's fire alarms off my first night by leaving the bathroom door opening while showering.
 The following night for my shower dropped my underwear in the toilet when getting ready for shower. Neither of which were alcohol induced.
 What can I say I can be clumsy? 
I feel as if thats probably too much information for blog world but I guess I've just crossed that line.
 Deal with it. 
As much as I loved having covers the whole night and also having lots of room to myself, I was beyond glad to be back to David and Luna. I  missed them. Yes I just brought the cheese. 
All in all it was a very good time. Its such a beautiful city. I was ever so lucky to have such amazing warm weather as well. Last time we went it was so cold we missed so much of everything around us because we were more focused on getting from A to B as soon as possible because B meant warmth. This time I was able to take in literally everything and more. I was so proud of myself for not getting a Taxi anywhere and finding everything without asking. Also just going exploring. I always want to do these things but I am such a stress head when I'm by myself that I usually just don't bother. I made a list of things I wanted to do and I ticked them all off. It was such a liberating trip. 


Monday, 26 March 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Crumbles

Hey gang. How is everyone? I can imagine very well from what I'm seeing on Twitter and Facebook about this lovely weather. In excitement for up coming job I feel I just might not be able to bake just as much or at least photograph them in the best of daylight. 
Also seeing as I am going away for three days I thought I would bake something for husband to have while I am away. Aren't I just a good wife?;)

I'm going to call these Chocolate Chip Banana Crumbles. 
David loves my banana muffins/breads but he also really loves when I make peach cobbler. 
His favourite part of the cobbler is the crumble top that I make on top of it. 
So today I thought why not put the two together and to top it off add some chocolate in their to make it extra special. 
Prehead oven 200C
Ingredients:

1 cup Spelt Flour
1 cup Buckwheat flour
1/4 Light Brown Muscavado Sugar
1/2 cup Greek Vanilla Yogurt
1/3 cup rape seed oil
1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
2 Eggs beaten
2 Bananas
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Small drizzle of honey

For the crumble
75g cold butter 
1 cup flour (any kind will do I used Spelt)
1/4 brown sugar
1/3 cup oats

Mixed the dry ingredients together. In seperate bowl beat the eggs together then add the additional wet ingredients. (Do not add the bananas) Mix together until it gets thick. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and fold into one another. For the bananas I literally just grab it and mash it in my hands but not to mushy. Then add into the mixed batter. Therefore its not a complete solid but still has bits for that moist textured bits. Lastly add in the chocolate chips. 

Place 2/3 full in muffin tray. Place in oven

Crumble: Mix cubes of the cold butter in a bowl with flour and oats to make tiny breadcrumbs. Add in the sugar. I also put about a tablespoon of milk in it. Take out the muffin tray from oven (shouldn't keep in longer than five minutes if you want them to look proper crumbley) Places breadcrumb type mixture on top of each muffin. Place back in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy :) 





Friday, 23 March 2012

I'm a big girl now.


UPDATE: 

THIS PERSON GOT THE JOB!!!!
So now I can obviously tell you more details. 
It's for UTILITY Design. In the head office. Being a Web Sales Co-ordinator. 
If you have ever been to any of their 3 Liverpool locations, London location or even had an online gander you will know this company is absolutely mesmerising. 
I remember the first time I walked in the store wanting EVERYTHING. 
Never had I dreamed of actually getting a play a part in the Head Office of the ever growing and expanding company. 

It was so cool because it's a very close nit personal family of workers. 
Two of the founders were actually the people who I had my interview with. It was so cool to see as the faces of such beautiful work. When she called me today to offer me the job I literally meeped with excitement. Eeeeek. I'm headed out now to have a little celebratory glass of wine with the hubs and the other two Adens; Paul and Gemma at Leaf. I think it's quite fitting since it's RIGHT across from one of the Utility stores. 

I went for a run when I got home today and it was so beautiful out and it felt like everything is really starting to fall into place. Thanks everyone who had their fingers and toes crossed for me. 

Let the weekend commence. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Mmmmm

Hey y'all. 
So today was an eventful day. 
Had a photoshoot with Poppy Love Vintage for her new Asos line. 
Then I had a very much wanted job interview. 
You guys, I have never wanted a job more than I want this job. I also have never been so nervous before an interview. I think because of my deep desire to be working for this company I was so worried about saying the wrong thing or just my usual anxiety. 
Then the amazing husband that he is David says to me, just be yourself. At the end of the day if they don't like you they don't like you they'll forget about you and it's over with. If you are being yourself you know your being true to yourself and you'll get the job for all the right reasons. It calmed me for about two seconds and then I walked in and a rush of nerves came back over me. As well as more excitement at how amaze balls this office is. Oh I could go on buuuuuuuut I won't because I'll just get uber excited and I don't even have the job. Although I do have a second interview tomorrow. Everyone's fingers crossed please!

So I came home and what did I use all the energy from my excitement to do? Bake of course. I think I might have a minor problem. Or I might just secretly want to be Nigella. Our friends Emma and Kav say she's food porn. Truth. She's like a goddess. Truly beautiful and makes baking sexual in her silk dressing gown. She also has a real woman's body and is probably one of the most beautiful women this day in age. 

Anyways. On to the baking. 
I went to pick up some milk and things from the grocers around the corner and found some Ghanian Dark Chocolate and I instantly thought of a recipe that I wanted to play around with. 

Ingredients
80g Ghanian Dark Chocolate with Ginger and Orange oil from the Co-op. I have also had this version from the Whole Foods store in Liverpool. Green and Blacks do a version as well. (too die for.)
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 cup pure cocoa powder
tbsp cornflour(cornstarch)
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup spelt flour

Whisking the egg whites together then slowly adding the icing sugar (powdered sugar to you Americans) until a marshmallowy texture. Breaking the chocolate into pieces and melting it in a separate bowl and then let sit. Adding the cocoa powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cornflour into the mixture. Then adding the melted chocolate into the mixture. Now add the flour. It will get a bit more rough but will still be a tad bit sticky but not unmanageable. I just use a bigger spoon and spoon half of the spoon and t hen drop into icing sugar. Once in the icing sugar roll into a smaller ball and then place on baking sheet. (By the way the oven should have been pre-heated to about 200C) Put those puppies in the oven for about 8 minutes or until there are cracks in the cookies. Let cool and enjoy. 

They literally melt in your mouth. I told you back a few months ago in this post about a recipe I found. That recipe inspired today's recipe. So I definitely can't take all the credit for this concoction but my I sure do love it. So soft and gooey. Mmmmm 




Tuesday, 20 March 2012

I'm a blonde and I hate toddlers and tiaras

So this kind of happened today. It was just what I needed to be honest. The minute the towel was removed from my head and I saw that blonde goodness I instantly felt a sparkle of joy. 
I like the no hassle low maintenance darkness. For about a minute. Then I immediately miss blonde. 
What's the saying blonde's have more fun? No I actually think anyone can have it's just what your most comfortable in. I've been dancing around the house all day with excitement. 


video

I also got it trimmed in the back so I no longer look like I have a mullet. As much as I love Arkansas that is ONE trend I really don't want to be sporting. 


Speaking of Arkansas. I was watching LA INK and then left the room and came into the computer room (which is literally a mere few feet away). None other than Toddlers and Tiaras comes on after this program. Where are the moms from today? Oh Arkansas of course. It's bad enough people look at me with sheer confusion after asking me where I'm from. "I'm sorry but where is that" the ones who do know where is it know it because a. Bill Clinton. B. Johnny Cash c. Little Rock. I once actually had a man tell ME that Little Rock was the state and Arkansas was a town inside Little rock. He seriously was trying to argue with me that he was right. Whatevs. Moving on. I might possibly go on a rant here about Toddlers and Tiaras because once I get started I kind of can't stop. This is also coming from a girl who once DID beauty pageants. I will say though that my mother NEVER forced me nor did she spend loads of money she handmade my outfits. I did not look like a 7 year old stripper nor did I dance like I belonged in a Lil Wayne music video. I remember all the other girls at the pageants with all the who ha and works and I just showed up in my pink froo froo dress that my mom pretty much decorated her self and I slept in a few braids the night before for some curls. Next subject.
Who else sees the wrong in this program? I mean it's definitely not teaching little girls that being beautiful means loads of make up, false teeth, eye lashes and fake tans. Especially at say, age 7? No not at all. The fact that a mother will introduce her daughter at the beginning of a program and then once the pageant day is here say see she looks prettier now. The fact that another girl is screaming and kicking because she DOESNOTWANTTODOTHIS isn't a sign that she might grow up hating you because you forced her to do something she didn't want to do and she will never feel beautiful in your eyes. I think growing up in our day in age is hard enough as it is with the magazines, television and internet telling us what we should look like let alone having a mother fixing your looks to look prettier. Spending 800 dollars on a custom bathing suit? Where the hell are you getting this kind of money and why aren't you saving it for your child's future education then wasting it on diamontes and neon green sparkle pants. She does NOT look seven. I actually think some of it should be illegal to be shown on television. You're putting your innocent daughter out there for disgusting creepos to look at in a way she should NOTbe looked at. This is also part of the people who are obsessed with what Kim Kardashian is doing and OHmyGOSH she was just seen at Starbucks talking to the guy behind the counter. Who is she and why is she famous? Can someone please explain this to me? Where did she even come from? Is she really Pocahontas? Great now that's solved can she just get on John Smith's ship and get off my television screen please? I couldn't believe that when I was stateside last month she was on CNN. Spotted Kimmy K. Sorry I am just really confused. Rant over. For now. 







Happiness hit her like a train on the track



As some of you may know I went to watch Florence last Thursday with two of my friends Clare and Alex. It amazes me how inspiring being an artist must be. I mean her voice brought millions together that night. Everyone swaying dancing screaming You've got the love. Her voice is so empowering. Yet when she speaks it's so dainty and delicate. I find she's beautiful in an unusual way that I can't quite pinpoint. She was wearing like a leotard pant type thing underneath this like cloak that she was flowing around on stage in. As she does. I almost walked out of a 22 student Biology class because I was that nervous to get up and say my name. I can't even imagine being in front of that many people. Oh the intimidation. 
I still can't actually believe I was there. Listening as she screams "Run fast for your mother; run fast for...." in my ears as my feet are pounding against the treadmill. There she was prancing around on stage singing it right into my soul. I understand she might not be everyones cup of tea but damn girl has got a voice. 

I just adore her fashion as well. Those floral pant suits?I totally wish I could wear them. Her flowy numbers. Oh get in my closet now. She just has this essence about her. Her bright red hair. Red lips.Inspires you to be bold. It also makes me want to channel my inner hippie that is screaming to come back out again. Summer time please hurry so I can make this happen. 









 Source : here

Have you been to a gig lately? Who? Why do you listen to who you listen to? Do you rate the song on the lyrics or just the catchiness? 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Banana Cupcakes



Carrots, Sweet Potato and Banana? You're probably thinking I'm bonkers. Trust me on this one though. The moistness from the banana and sweet potato and sweetness from the carrot. YUM. 

So I peeled and cut the s. potato into cubes and steamed until soft. I shredded the carrot pieces with a peeler and then cut them to even smaller pieces. I mashed the banana. 

I put the B. Flour with all the other dry ingredients and then in a separate bowl whisked the egg white with the wet ingredients. It will become thick and that's when you know to combine the wet and dry ingredients. 

I pre-heated the oven to 170 C and filled the cupcake tray 2/3 full. I also made some mini ones in my mini cupcake tray. Keep an eye on them until they brown. When you pull them out you might think they aren't done because they are super soft but it's just the moistness from banana and s.potatoe. Let cool. 

While cooling I made the same icing as from this post. The taste of the coffee with everything just was the perfect combination. After David tasted it and thought they were so delicious he couldn't believe what was in it. Vegetables in your cupcakes. Now I know that I really try to bake without sugar but I don't know if there are many things better than icing like this. I just love it. Plus since I didn't really use actual sugar for the main course I thought we could cheat a little right? Well I did anyway if you know of any icing recipes that are just as good please let me know. 

Seriously. Try them. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Featuring: AquaBloom

Hey gang. I've been seeing Keslyn's pictures when she uploads them on her facebook for her store Aquabloom. I asked her if she would be interested in a tutorial for the blog. That is exactly what she did. Stay tuned for a giveaway coming up later this month :) Enjoy!Thanks again Keslyn. (also you can visit her store by clicking the button on the right side bar)

An AquaBloom Tutorial Favorite: Bloom Bands

Supplies:

Any favorite elastic/semi-elastic band of sorts

Felt square

Hot glue gun

Contrasting Thread/Needle

Pinch of creativity






To make this particular Bloom Band, I used this simple flexi-lace that I found at my local Wal-Mart (or any possible crafting/sewing section of your local store). It doesn't stretch too much, but just enough to adjust.




Measure approximately 21-23 1/2 inches (this is just the average circumference of an adult woman's head). For this band, I measured 22 inches and cut. 




Fold it in half, wrong side out, and sew shut. Just depending on how much you sew, you can use a fancier stitch with zig zag to be sure it won't unravel. Again, depending on what kind of fabric you're using. You can also do this step by hand, anyone can make these!




Taking your felt fabric (in whatever color you want) cut approximately a 2 inch square. Depending on how many blooms you want on a band, you can continue cutting more and stack them. I'm making one with three blooms, so I have made them gradually smaller. The next bloom measures approximately 1 1/2 inches, and the smallest 1/2 inch.



Round the edges. This doesn't have to be perfect!!


Cut twice inward, and remove the fabric sliver. Do this four times, somewhat straight across from each other.


Find a coordinating thread. I decided upon a hunter green. (This picture also illustrates how you'll lay them when gluing them together)


For each bloom, sew an "X" across the middle. Then hand stitch around the edges to really make the flower look pop.


Get your glue gun hot, then glue the flowers on top of each other any way you desire. Measure about 1/3 of the way from the seam, so that the bloom will sit tilted to the side of your band, like so. 


Cut a fabric band any shape you wish, and glue it to the back to act as a comfort barrier against your head, and it will stay secured. I cut a piece as big as the band, but small enough to stay hidden when wearing. You can also cut two small pieces and lay them vertically, or lay your bloom down and use it as a pattern to cut. Consider using a nice contrasting color if you choose the last option! :)




And that's it! Congratulations, you've just made a Bloom Band!! If you're really crafty and want variation, you can add some pearl accents, or a nice big rhinestone for sparkle. This is really as much or as little as you desire, and this is a basic tutorial. This Bloom Band and Flower Bobbies are up for a giveaway by Tanja, stay tuned to find out how to win this set shipped to you!! My thanks to Tanja for inviting me to share this tutorial!! To find other custom items available, you can click on my etsy shop button and check out so much more about Aqua Bloom!!

-Keslyn (owner)









absence





I do apologize for my being a bit absent. I did say that this blog wasn't going to get too personal as my previous blog but I think every now and again it's okay. 




I've just really started to miss home a little bit. It's crazy to me that I haven't been to Arkansas in a year. I'm secretly missing the nature and how beautiful Arkansas can be this time of the year leading up to Summer. Missing home didn't help when my mom went to get a mole removed and the told her it was pretty serious. She has Melanoma a form of skin cancer. Oh that c word cuts you like a knife. There I was facing the computer screen across from my mother as she's fighting the tears to try and say the words. All I really want to do is jump through that screen and hug her and tell her it will be ok. I know most of you are thinking skin cancer is one of the most treatable and so many people have it and survive it every single day, but let me tell you those statistics and facts about everyone else don't really mean anything when your looking at your mother through a computer screen 4 thousand odd miles away and she says these words to you. Then the fact that I can't physically actually fly to see her because of my passport at the moment I feel a great big wave of anxiety that makes me feel very uncomfortable that if heaven fore bid it wasn't going to be okay. There is nothing I could do. It was always going to be okay though. She underwent her surgery and they took out some lymph nodes. She was bed ritten for a week and now is slowly but surely walking again. She's gone back to work and all though she feels uncomfortable she's alright. It seems so simple now. You understand what people were saying all though you felt the world was against your worries. 


On top of that I've been skyping with my best friend from home Kaitlyn each week. Boy did I forget how much I missed that girl. Idont really think I forgot I just tried not to think about it. Typical. Hide things and it's like it's not there. When in fact it doesn't go away. I miss our relationship and just how simple things were with her. I forgot how much I laugh when we were together. Thank goodness you can still laugh on skype. 


I've been reavaluating my life and I kind of let myself go for a minute there. Not in the sense where you eat a whole jar of peanut butter and make cookies just so you can eat the dough kind of let yourself go. Or maybe I did. It's so easy to see the negative side of things and just dwell on what could be. Nothing deserved comes easy though my friends so I put the spoon down. Put my trainers on and have started going back to the gym. I have been working on some stuff that I can't quite share with you just yet but as soon as things are in full swing I will fill you in on that exciting little piece of hope that has picked me off the couch. Also Pam, Gemma and I have been spending lots of time together. Maybe this little filled secret has something to do with the three of us? Or maybe not. I've really enjoyed spending time with the both of them and really glad that Gemma and I have gotten to know each other even more. Over time you realise that sometimes what you've been looking for is right in front of you.
 You want certain friendships to work and wished all friendships were like How I Met Your Mother. Or at least I do. I miss simplistic friendships from home and have wondered why I haven't found that many here. It's probably because I was looking so hard that I over passed someone that was not only family but also a really great friend. I think with our different schedules and lifestyles kind of made us over look it. Don't get me wrong I've always known we had a special bond. Especially if she still stuck around with me after a drunken night of me telling my whole life story on my hen do in Amsterdam. Literally whole life story. Snooze.  I selfishly have taken advantage of the fact she lives literally only down the road and she is such a genuine friend. A number of events have led us to hang out more often lately and it's been fantastic. I always wanted brothers or sisters when I was a kid because I didn't want my children to go without a blood related aunt or uncle. I never thought it would be the same. My opinions have changed now. 




I think that I often think that things are supposed to just happen without hard work. Ignorance maybe? See I thought by the time I was 24 I'd have some big important job, married and probably even kids? Now that I'm married I felt almost that I am unsuccessful and I've let not only myself down but my husband. (before going any further I would like to note that the kids thing is not something we are wanting now or even next year but when your say 16, 24 seems like such an adult age.) I thought that once married things would just fall into place. It's hard trying to discover yourself when you don't know what direction to look. When you find love young you look at others and look how successful their lives are. I forget though that the people that I look up to on the same level of something that I would like to be doing are no where near my age and they are just beginning to become succesful. Those that are near my age have had more of a financial resource than we have and I need to take all these things into account. Also you can't judge your life compared to others.  Instead of wondering why things aren't happening. Bloody go out and do them. Rest assured that it's much harder said than done but it must be done. Must. 


On the friend note I would like to say Dear Emma H if you are reading this. I wish you also lived closer. Poop on you. :) 


Without further ado let's get back to blogging. Possibly no more of this boring novel ramblings but more inspirational, crafty, delicious stuff. 


Hope everyone is well and thanks for sticking with me.