Wednesday 28 March 2012

What I Wore Wednesday: Belated UK Mother's Day

This past Saturday we took NBH's Mom out for lunch to The Sisters, an amazing restaurant that if you are in Glasgow you have to try, for a belated Mother's Day lunch with his sister and Blondie Boy. I'm really not sure why but Mother's Day in the UK is in March as opposed to May like in the USA.  Regardless it was a great reason to have a ridiculously amazing lunch with family.

The Sisters is a small and elegant but not overly stuffy so I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and break out a maxi dress I hadn't worn since our trip to Blackpool last summer. I paired it with flip flops so it wouldn't be too formal and a cardigan because while it was nice it was still March in Glasgow.

Multi Coloured Maxi Dress- Barbara Hulanicki for George
Purple Flip Flops-Old Navy
Black Cardigan Old Navy

Friday 23 March 2012

Top Tips

If you've never read magazines in the UK you probably don't know about top tips; basically readers write in with their best tips and tricks--except most of the time they feature maxi pads as slippers and are just hilarious. If you haven't checked out the Tumblr Life! Death! Top Tips! you should-- it is hilarious.

I'm going to share some of my own top tips but hopefully ones that are actually useful. These are all things I actually do and recommend to friends; I think they are common sense but whenever I tell friends they've not heard them before so here it goes:

Rinse your hair with cold water at the end of your shower. Someone once asked if I was trying to trick them with this tip but cold water smooths the cuticle down so your hair is less frizzy and shinier. Trust me it works. I just lean my head as far back as possible to get just my hair freezing but you can always just dunk your head in the sink too. I may or may have not done that at a hotel when the shower wouldn't get cold enough for my liking.

Vaseline is an great make-up remover. It is gentle on your skin, conditions lashes and takes off even the most stubborn liquid eye liner. It can be bog standard Vaseline or I've been known to use the lip therapy before as well. I don't advise using it while your contacts are in but if you are taking off your make-up chances are they are out already. In a pinch Blondie Boy's eczema ointment Epaderm works well, too.

I'm always shocked that there are people who wear mascara but don't own eyelash curlers. To me they are a mandatory part of my make-up bag; they gently curl your lashes which makes apply mascara easier and makes your eyes look larger and lashes longer.  Blondie Boy is particularly fond of using mine to do his "eyesies" (don't worry he just put it up to his eyes he doesn't actually properly use them). If you've never used one before get yourself to the Drugstore and buy one NOW.

If you are like me when you paint your nails just as much polish winds up on your skin as the nails. Give yourself a pedicure about an hour before you take a bath. After the bath any excess polish on your skin around your toes will peel off easily because the skin underneath is softened from the bath. Much quicker and easier than trying to paint them perfectly!

Do you have any tried and tested beauty tips that you swear by? If you have one that involves sanitary products I reserve the right to be totally disgusted :)

Tuesday 20 March 2012

What I Wore Wednesday: Sweden

Hopefully I will get around to doing a Gothenburg post soon; I took a lot of food photos and after yacking the majority of the photos up I haven't been able to look at them again yet. Hopefully a What I Wore Swedish edition will do for now!  First off look what was staring back at me fromthe magazine rack at 7-11:

I don't read Swedish but it obviously says that pink hair is the coolest, chicest thing ever. We only had carry-on luggage so I had to limit my outfit choices. The first night it was really cold and we had to walk far so I went for a more casual look:

Pink top-Anthropologie
Brown Chunky Scarf- H and M
Hat- Tesco (on sale only £2!)
Grey Trench-Zara
Black Bag- "Coach" (It's from Thailand hence quotations)

We didn't end up going out for dinner Saturday night because I felt really sick (I didn't dress up for Burger King at the train station-shocker!) but we went to Marcus Samuelson's (he won Top Chef All Stars) new restaurant, Norda Bar and Grill the next night. I decided to go with a tried tested look. There was a sparkly gold wall outside the main door of the hotel and I couldn't resist posing with it!

Black Sequin Top- Loft Outlet 
Leopard Print Heels- Dune (TK Maxx)

Thursday 15 March 2012

Blog Life Balance-- What is that again?

NotBlondeHusband and I are back from our trip to Sweden and as you may or may not have noticed I didn't manage to get a What I Wore Wednesday post up. Before we left on our trip Blondie Boy was sick (the kid that never puked couldn't even keep a sip of water down) and it seems I took his bug to Sweden with me.

After an episode of epic puking by myself at 4am before we were due to fly home we decided I'd definitely picked up whatever he had. Flying sick sucks, but I made it home (despite not having my resident visa card with me--thanks for playing with Mommy's wallet BB!) puke free. NBH was great and after a day in bed I was back to normal.

However BB being sick, then our trip and me being sick meant I had to catch up on a lot of work and honestly I just haven't had time to go to the grocery or unload the dishwasher let alone blog. Last night I literally had the choice between getting a big chunk or work done or unloading the dishwasher and I chose work since I could watch Idol at the same time--priorities.

 I know that working from home while hanging out with a potty training toddler poses its own special time restraints but I'm just finding it hard to keep up. How do you find time to blog?

I do want to blog about our trip to Gothenburg especially as I found it really hard to find information from *real* people online before our trip and hopefully it won't take me too long to get around to it. Puking aside it was a great trip and I did enjoy getting to spend time just the two of us exploring a new place. Plus you really learn how much your husband loves you when he's cleaning your puke out of a blocked sink.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Pink is the New Chic

It will no surprise to anyone who knows me that I've done this. I've done it before (okay 10 years ago) and I've been thinking about doing it for a few months now. I was thinking about it again with The Hollywood Housewife popped up in my Instagram stream and I thought well she's my age and she's done it so why can't I?

So what have I done? I've gone and dyed my hair pink--not all of it, just a bit underneath--and I LOVE it. I work for myself so really nothing was holding me back and I'm so glad I've done it. So here I am all pinkified. What do y'all think? It is a sort of hot pink, fuchsia shade now and will eventually fade to a gentler bubble gum sort of pink.

Blonde and Pink Hair

My Mom says I look Eurotrash; since I've wanted to be Eurotrash since I was 14 I will take that to be a huge compliment!

I guess I'll know soon enough as NotBlondeHusband and I are off for a mini-break (toddler free!) to Sweden tomorrow! I'll try and tweet when I get wifi; see you Monday!!

PS: Because I like y'all here is the picture from 10 years ago; don't be too hard on me. I swear two pink chunks framing your face was super cool in Ohio in 2002.

Flame Hat and Pink Pigtails

Wednesday 7 March 2012

What I Wore Wednesday: Dinner Out

NotBlondeHusband, Blondie Boy and I went out for dinner with NBH's Dad and his wife last Saturday to The Grill on the Corner, a really good steakhouse in Glasgow. If you're in the UK you can apply for a membership card that get you 40% off your bill when you book online! Who's going to say no to 40% off steak? Not me that is for sure!

It's a nice restaurant but not super fancy and since I knew I'd be coming home with BB right after I wanted something that wasn't too fussy. I've seen lots of y'all linking up stripes in your posts so I decided to take a note and pull out a striped sweater of mine I hadn't worn in a while.

I thought it was a little monochromatic so I threw on this necklace (which Blondie Boy told me was bootiful) I got in Amsterdam 7 years ago. It is hard to tell from the photo but it is various shades of fuchsia. Would you all like "detail" shots of my look each week or do you not care?

Fuschia Necklace- (small funky shop in Amsterdam I can't remember)
Sparkly Black and Silver Striped Top- H and M
Shoes-J by Jasper Conran

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Lemon Shortbread with Lemon Frosting (Egg Free and Allergy Friendly)

I love to bake but it is tough to find recipes that don't include eggs and since Blondie Boy is allergic to eggs that means he doesn't get to help me bake very often. I decided to try and find a recipe online that was egg free and allergy friendly we could try together. I found a recipe for lemon cookies that used Ener-G egg replacer and decided to give it a go. 

Blondie Boy had a lot of fun being my helper and best of all no eggs meant he got to lick the spoon! Who doesn't like the lick the spoon? Now I have no idea if they turned out as intended since the recipe had no reviews or photos but we liked them. 

Cute Toddler Licking the Spoon

I tweaked the recipe a little so below is my version of Allergy Friendly Egg Free Lemon cookies with Lemon Frosting. They have a consistency similar to shortbread and the lemon frosting gives them a tangy taste which would make them perfect to have with a cup of tea.

Lemon Shortbread Lemon Icing

3⁄4cupsoftened butter (about 6oz)
1⁄4cupsugar (plus 1tbsp)
2 1⁄2tspLemon Juice
(1/2 a lemon)
1tspgrated Lemon Peel
(zest of 1 lemon)
1 3/4cupall purpose flour
1tspEner-G Egg Replacer
1⁄8tspGround Cloves

1⁄4cupsoftened butter (about 2oz)
2 1⁄2tspLemon Juice
(1/2 a lemon)
cuppowdered sugar (icing sugar UK)

In mixing bowl, beat butter for 2 minutes on medium speed. Turn speed down to slow and gradually add in the sugar. Mix for another 3 minutes on medium-high speed and scrape down sides as needed. 
Zest the lemon before you juice it or it will be really hard to zest after. Pour in the juice, peel and vanilla. 
In a separate bowl, blend together the flour, Ener-G Egg Replacer, and cloves. Slowly add dry mix with butter mixture. Mix on slow for a few seconds and then on medium until incorporated; repeat until all the flour is mixed in. Place dough on flat surface, roll into a log shape, cover, and refrigerate for an hour. 
After the hour, preheat oven to 360 degrees F (180C). Replace chilled dough back onto surface and cut into 1/4" circles. Set cookies on a non-greased tray so they are not touching (cookies will not rise so you don't need mush space)
Turn oven down to 350 degrees F (175 C) and bake for 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned.
Let cool for 10 minutes before apply Lemon Icing (recipe below).
In a medium bowl, beat ¼ cup soft butter (I used Lurpak spreadable because I was out of butter) for 3 minutes. 
Scrape sides and add in 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 ½ tsp lemon juice (the other half of the lemon) and ¼ tsp vanilla. Blend on slow for 8 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed for 4 minutes, scraping sides as needed. Frosting will be thin but not watery. Add more icing sugar until desired consistency is achieved.

Saturday 3 March 2012

No Heat Curls- Tried and Tested

You may or may not have heard of the no heat curls where you wrap your hair around a headband and sleep in it overnight to create curls. If you have you are probably thinking why the hell is she blogging about this that was ages ago and well you are partially right.  I've tried the no heat curls last year and failed on various levels ranging from minor to epic.

Then I saw Morgan from The 818 post about how much she was loving the no heat curls and I thought maybe I should give them a try again and well um yea fail again. I like to hear about other people's triumphs and failures when trying out these things so I give you my no heat curl fails.

#1 First Attempt Mini Fail (June 2011)

Slighty Curly Long Hair

This was actually my best attempt but I say fail because I had to put a bunch of scrunching mousse in to get it to look like this. Yes I'm serious- it took both the headband and products to achieve these less than impressive waves.

#2 Second Attempt EPIC Fail (June 2011)

SUPER curly hair

I can't believe I'm actually posting this because it was such a hot mess and I have no make-up on in the first two pictures and therefore am a hot mess myself. After reading around on the internet some more I tried spraying my hair with salt water as recommended for better results. I ended up with a pyramid of crazy clown curls--not a good look. We had to meet NBH's Grandma so after finger combing with wet hands and pinning some back I ended up with the look on the right.

#3 Third Attempt Straight Up Fail (March 2012)

Straight Blonde hair

Okay not the best picture but less curly that the first mini-fail and I've got no explanation other than I straightened my hair the day before so maybe that had some effect?

So what do you think? Do I give the not heat curls a fourth (okay actually fifth because on the attempt prior to that last one I wrapped my hair the wrong way but that doesn't count) try or just give up? Have y'all tried it with any success?