So, my sister's a genius.

Yuh huh. She's definitely been getting her creativity on recently and managed to channel her adoration [and I mean bow-down, shrine-worthy adoration] of Cath Kidston into something useful and pretty.


Okay. It's just a tea-cup. But after having a hankering to buy something from the Kidston wonderland in Selfridges, she settled for a cup and saucer which was cute, but not practical - she's a hot drink hater [yeah erm, not so genius]. So, Cath Kidston quota fulfilled for the day she decided it simply wasn't worthy of back-of-the-shelf status and so turned it into a jewellery stand. I love it. And will proceed to copy her idea asap. [sisters are allowed to do this, right?! And readers of said sisters blog of course ;)] Plus, the tea-cup and saucer is only £6 which, by Cath Kidston standards is practically pennies. WIN!!!

Does anyone else have an unusual jewellery holder? I'd love a wall of vintage hooks just to hang my necklaces etc from. Now just to find a wall big enough for all my junk... a cake.

Ok guys. This right here is a slice of heaven. A small, lonely slice but a slice nonetheless. Much to my annoyance, this last piece belongs to my sister as I've heartily wolfed down my fair share; I can tell you it was a quick and overwhelmingly tempting photo shoot [photo shoot?! Perhaps not...more of a 'point-and-click-and-hope-for-the-best session if you will]

That crumb right there? Didn't get brushed on the floor. Oh no. It got lovingly gobbled up... I saw it as payment for, y'know, sharing the chocolately love and all. I mean, this slice is being stared at by you lovely readers right now huh? A crumb is a measly price for fame.

This is what this recipe does to you [thanks Rachel Allen]. Full blown, talking to inanimate objects, seeing chocolate and hazelnuts everywhere insanity. Yup. And boy is it gooood. I'm going to dedicate this recipe to all the readers who've had exam results recently; hopefully you've achieved what you wanted, but even if you didn't quiiite get it just remember...chocolate is your friend. I'm gonna move on before I feel the sheer weight of teenage tooth decay on my shoulders.

So here's a sticky, chocolate filled, nutty congratulations to everyone who got through exams this year. Go on, have a slice [or five] you deserve it :)

Chocolatey hazelnut heaven with knobs on. [too far? Thought so.]

For the chocolate base
200g/7oz butter
50g/2oz cocoa powder
300g/11oz caster sugar
2 free range eggs, beaten
225g/8oz plain flour
For the hazelnut caramel layer
125g/4½oz butter
1 x 397g/14oz tin condensed milk
2 tbsp golden syrup
75g/3oz caster sugar
125g/4½oz toasted and halved hazelnuts
For the chocolate topping
200g/7oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3 and line the base of or grease, a small Swiss roll tin measuring 20x30cm/8x12in.
2. In a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat, heat the butter for the chocolate base, stir in the cocoa powder and then the sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs until mixed and then the plain flour.
4. Spread the chocolate base over the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until firm on top.
5. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the hazelnut caramel layer.
6. In a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter and then add the condensed milk, golden syrup and sugar. Turn the heat to low and stir continuously for 12-15 minutes until the mixture is dark caramel in colour (do not let it burn).
7. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. Spread evenly over the chocolate base and allow to cool.
8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water. When it is melted, stir in the oil and then pour over the caramel layer and smooth out, leaving to cool and set.
9. To serve, cut into squares. These will keep for a week in an airtight container, if you are insane!

recipe courtesy of Val's Kitchen

Mallorca, at last.

I'm afraid this post has been a little waylaid due to the random busyness of this week but finally, being festival and childcare free I can tell you all about my treat of a holiday in Mallorca. I have to admit that I arrived with so many preconceptions; I really thought it was going to be full of 18-30 crowds, swigging their yard glasses of beer and sleeping til three [not exactly my cuppa tea]...I couldn't have been more wrong! Looking back I don't know how I ever imagined such a beautiful place in such a distorted way. We stayed on the North Coast [if the beer swigging is for you then head South!], in a little harbour called Port de Soller which was a wonderful place; bustling but quaintly understated and full of character. The weather was gorgeous, the hotel was welcoming and the people overwhelmingly friendly and, frankly, I'm quite depressed to be home again. Or rather, I wish that was my home! I've always reckoned I belong somewhere warm, already I'm beginning to go into hibernation mode and so living somewhere like Mallorca would quickly whisk away my winter woes. 

Anyway, back to reality and back to the holiday itself, we had a good few lazy days by the pool as well as going off to explore some of the Islands towns and cities- the public transport was great; always bang on time and so easy. What struck me was that no matter where you were; be it in the midst of Palma's stark, high rise buildings, or sitting on the edge of a sparkling harbour, there was always something beautiful to look at. I honestly don't think I stopped taking photos. At all. My lovely new camera case was made just swung emptily from my wrist most days!

But the best thing about the entire holiday?  Finding these...
Yup, that's a Nutella dipper...or at least it was.

God Bless Mallorca.

 P.s. Did anyone else find the holiday of their dreams this year?

Yummy Hair

As you know, Danni and I went to Vintage at Goodwood with the Aussie girls, Lil and Jenny to do one thing...find some yummy hair! Originally we were going to try and stick to a specific theme but there was so much choice that that idea went straight out of the window! Have a look to see which of these is your favourite...

 This girl was our first style snap- I think she was a bit scared by how we swooped on her but she was really lovely and had a beautiful twisted hairdo!

How gorgeous is this girl?! I love everything about her from her very cool plait to her chic side swept fringe. Her top is amazing too, but must weigh a TONNE with all those sequins! 

This guy was so damned cool... don't you think he looks like Kenickie from Grease?

Unfortunately it was impossible to find a good photo showing Kenickie :(

His friend was also fab- dontcha think he looks a LOT like Mark Ronson? 

This lady was really lovely- her hat was incredible... I was looking for a hat but I think my head is too big for them! Haha

I love the range of styles here, the girl on the far left was dressed in what looked like some kind of dance dress, it had THE coolest tassles on! Her friend looked the epitome of classic chic too, very Audrey Hepburn. Again my fascination with hats and shiny bouncy girls is apparent! :S

This girl was so cool! I loved the juxtaposition of her vintage style hair with her tattoos...AMAZING! 

These lovely ladies were from French Kiss Vintage and were really really lovely! They have written about the day with some fab photos including yours truly! Danni and I were snapped, and since tracking the photo down, I am amazed at how pale I look! 

I managed to snap some hairdos alongside Maria and we got some  shots of amazing coloured hair...
 This girl was rocking the pixie cut which I love, and of course bonus points for that wonderful colour!
Taking candy coloured hair to a new level, this girl puts GaGa to shame.

My favourite though, by far was this guy....
... okay okay, I don't think Aussie have brought out a wig care range [yet] but he just exuded 70s funk, and had a retro camper van to go with it. 10/10  :)

Thanks again to the wonderful ladies at Aussie who looked after us, and to the organisers of Goodwood who, honestly are too cool to be true. We hope to see you again next year!


Whoever said Vintage was overrated...

...clearly hadn't been to Goodwood's vintage festival. Me and Maria were lucky enough to be invited along to this celebration of all things retro by the lovely ladies at Aussie and I have to say it only increased my love of vintage fashion, music and attitude. Maybe such a vast amount of vintageness isn't to everyone's taste, but I think I can speak for all of the group in saying we were all truly inspired by some of the wonderful outfits, hair, and confidence that went with them!

We were given a taste of the day to come when we hopped aboard a vintage [let's count how many times this word pops up in this post shall we?!] bus and made a delightfully rickety journey to the festival itself...

Hehee, bless the conductor in his dapper uniform! After getting a little over-excited about our super-cool wristbands [hologramic vintage watches dontchya know] we made our way through a fairy-lit forest to the entrance where, already having been set a task of spotting some fabulous hairstyles, we realised we'd have little problem finding some very glamorous hair-do's and outfits; there were afro's and bell-bottoms everywhere! See if you can spot the guy in matching red flares and jacket below... amazing!

This festival was great as it encompassed fashion, cars, music, food and whilst one minute you'd be rushing past an enviably stylish 8 year old, you'd quickly stumble upon a group of older ladies nattering away in their finest outfits- twas a truly eclectic mix.

After having a quick wander down the high street our stomachs decided it was lunch, and what better way to spend an hour than with Pimms, pasties and pictures! It was lovely to catch up with the Aussie girls, and have a good old chinwag with our fellow bloggers Lil and Jenny - check out their blogs for more on the day!
The sun even decided to show its face for a little while, and soon we were itching to get on with our hair-spotting task. There were literally tonnes of different hairstyles, from the classic to the downright wacky, but i'll keep those pics for a bumper hair post later on. Being the multi-taskers that we are [well, when it comes to shopping anyway] we managed to carry on hair-spotting whilst we had a mooch round the wonderful stalls and we both ended up buying a little something...oops! I grabbed this skirt and decided I was buying it whether it fit or not- the patterns just too nice! Lucky thing it did really :P
 Aaand it has pockets... for some reason, to me, this is an added bonus in skirts/dresses. Not that I use pockets...ever. But knowing they're there is somewhat reassuring; weird. Maria bought a beautiful pink coat which I'm sure she'll be posting about soon enough - they were both bargains! Sadly, we had to rush off after this to get our trains home, and we missed a visit to the torch club which was apparently fantastic - I vow to visit this place again next year and get the full experience.

I'm off for a BBQ now, and then it's childminding again tomorrow but i promise I'll be posting some yummy hair pictures up sometime this week; from the sleek and classy to weird and wacky so keep a look out!


 I just couldn't resist the cheesy pun! :D Last week, a maze was erected in Trafalgar Square to promote London's West End. The best part of it was though was that the hedges were provided by (I kid you not!) Rent-a-hedge - WOW. A couple of us went from work in our lunch break and although there was a bit of a queue, it moved quite quickly and we were soon inside... I love exploring and a mini maze was the perfect opportunity- how could I pass that up?! 

It was filled with blue signs with interesting facts about the areas and copies of the street signs at every turn

Can you spot the spelling mistake?

Michael Caine is definitely much catchier than Maurice Micklewhite!

There were also photos from the Swinging Sixties- I have complete fringe envy!

Danni and I loved Carnaby Street when we visited and I definitely want to go again! 

How chic do these women look? I am really craving short hair at the moment as people on twitter will know- I keep spamming people with hair envy pictures! I think this would be my ideal style...

...if only I had the cheekbones to match! 


Luckily trimming my fringe seems to have fulfilled my need for change, for the time being at least!

What have you guys been up to? Have you made any changes recently?