Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Experiments in Hair

Hello there!

While I've been away I've done plenty of experimenting with my hair, and every now and then have even remembered to snap a few photos to share with you! So here are some of my good (and bad) hair days from the last eight months.

One of the last photos from the awful old flat, when I was starting to work on brushing out curls. Not very tidy!

A few experiments with rolls, so far these on the fringe area are the only kind I have any kind of success with, I just can't get victory rolls to work yet! The curls in these aren't brushed well at all :P

The brushing out begins to improve!

And then, recently, I discovered this amazing page, which taught me the most wonderful, easy, quick vintage hairstyle, which I am now reliant upon.

This was my second attempt, the first was when my hair was still wet and it didn't work out so well! I just did a little quiff at the front for simplicity's sake.

While I was on holiday in Devon last week I wore this style nearly every day, usually combined with a little fringe roll. More of Devon to come!

And to bring things up to date, today's hair! This has become my everyday-so-long-as-I-can-be-bothered-to-set-it-the-night-before hair. See above for what I do when I can't!

Phew! I think that's enough for now :)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

I'm Back!

Hello stranger! I have returned! What was supposed to be a few weeks break to move from our cold damp flat to a nice warm house, unfortunately turned into an eight month hiatus as we haven't been able to set up WiFi in the new place. Hopefully that will be remedied soon as hubby is starting an engineering degree and it will soon be essential! I'm very proud. In the meantime, I'm giving my mobile a chance to prove it's worth, and am determined to re-kick-start my little blog!

The new(ish) house is wonderful, it's just a little, reasonably modern, terraced house, but compared to the old flat, which was literally rotting around us, it is a little piece of heaven. And the extra room means I've been able to putour own stamp on the place. Every room has a theme, for example the sitting room is all pin ups, our bedroom is a boudoir, with wicker furniture and red bedlinen. Some themes are more complete than others, but we're adding to them all the time. I will do a post focussing on my favourite vintagey bits and pieces around the house very soon.

But for now, to prove I never forgot about my poor neglected blog, some snaps from the last eight months!

The very first outfit photo in our lovely house! Back in Feb/March time, so it was chilly. Faithful Jaeger skirt and Primarni cashmere mix jumper to the rescue, with my wooly beret and tights. I love wearing stockings, but some days only thermal tights will do! 

From a wonderful visit to Cardiff to visit my BFF. Springtime, so it wasn't that warm, but I was determined to make the most of the sunshine so wore this awesome spotty charity shop dress that always makes me happy. The sunglasses also made me happy as they were only 50p from Primarni :)

Enjoying some real summer weather in our back garden (did I mention we have a garden?!) in a playsuit I found in Birmingham Rag Market, and some wicked Matalan wedges

Ive been experimenting with baking too, presenting custard cream, Crunchie and Malteaser cupcakes!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Valentines delights

Hello there!

I've been meaning to update this for several days as I wore some outfits over the Valentine's season that made me very happy. But I've been visiting my folks with the Mr and their internet is soo slow, and I just haven't had an opportunity. So now to catch up a bit!

On Thursday, Valentine's Day itself, we were a bit skint and couldn't really do anything fancy or buy each other anything. So we stayed in with a bottle of cheap fizz, and watched Valentine, the cheesy slasher flick, followed by Grease (we're a bit lacking in romantic films)

My pink fizz in a sweet vintage glass, one of a set I found in the rag market. Also showing a little bit of stocking top, saucy! And a glimpse of one of the skirts I picked up in Cardiff. This one was kindly conceded to me by my best friend in a charity shop. She found it but allowed me to buy it as I adored it. Full view coming up!

Husband also picked up some fancy popcorn, Butterkist cinema style, to munch while we watched the films. It really does have the taste and texture of cinema popcorn, and was a great treat. I particularly appreciated the retro packaging. I did take a photo but I can't seem to get it off my phone :P

But on to the outfit! Even though we weren't going out I decided to make the best of myself anyhow, I really don't need much of an excuse to dress up! I chose red accessories to suit the day

The skirt was £3.50 from a charity shop in Cardiff. I'm totally in love with it, it's so comfortable and goes with everything, and it's a very wearable length. I suspect I'm going to wear it to death. The blouse is a very old Dorothy Perkins number which I hadn't worn for ages. No idea why, it's lovely! The belt was a Seconds Ahead special which makes my waist tiny, always good for the self esteem :) Necklace and flower I believe were from Claires, they're ancient though so I may be mistaken.

I was very pleased with my hair that day. I used foam bendy rollers which I left in overnight, then brushed it out and sprayed it with lots of hairspray. My growing-out fringe makes for some nice waves on my forehead.

On Saturday we celebrated Valentine's Day properly, having received a paycheck we were able to go out for a meal, although we downloaded a voucher so it was bargainous as well as delicious!

This was the second skirt I bought in Cardiff. You can't really tell from this photo but it's navy blue pinstriped. Unfortunately it's a little too big, so I can't really tuck anything in. I solved that by wearing one of my favourite charity shop cardi's over it, belted to cinch the waist. It's nearly been worn to death, being both blue and black makes it so versatile. It's going to have to get seriously ragged before I give it up though!
I love my shiny blue shoes from New Look, I have had them forever but only worn them a couple of times as I never had anything to wear them with. I'm quite determined to remedy that now!

I had a disaster with my hair that day, I hadn't set my hair to curl the night before like I usually do, so I washed it, pin curled it, left it for 2 hours then blasted it with the hairdryer for about half an hour till it was dry. Apparently my hair was merely amused by this attempt to tame it, and the curls didn't even slightly hold. So, with minutes to spare, I shoved it into a ponytail, attempted to force my fringe into a curl and bunged in a clip to match my jewellery.

Speaking of which, this was the first time I've managed to wear normal earrings since taking out my 10mm plugs. It felt great, except I spent the whole time fretting about them falling through the still quite large holes! I still think stretched ears are fab, it was just time for them to go, and I have so many pretty earrings I can't wait to wear again.

I hope you all had a joyful and romantic Valentine's day!

Cherry x

Monday, 11 February 2013

Foods to keep you cozy...

Hello to you!

After my last post I was thinking about what can keep you cozy, and it came to me that one of the best things is some good comfort food. So here are a couple of my favourite recipes to make when it's cold outside. I don't pretend to be an expert chef but I come from a family of caterers so I hope some of the knowledge has seeped through!

I've tried to give approximate measurements per person as I find it easier to work things out that way myself, and the leeway is for varying appetites. My husband can eat double what I can at mealtimes, I assume many households are similar!

The ultimate comfort food. Thought to have originated in India and been brought over to England during Victorian times, when it was enjoyed at breakfast. I could happily eat it for any meal! There are millions of recipes online, but this is how I do it

50-75g white rice per person
50-75g smoked haddock per person (I prefer undyed but the dyed stuff does give a nice colour)
1-2 eggs per person
1 1/2 tablespoons creme fraiche per person
1 cup milk
1 cup water

Pre heat the oven to 200
Boil the eggs for 10 minutes, then run cold water into the pan for about 5 minutes or as long as possible
Cook the rice according to the pack instructions. I favour the boil in the bag kind as it's easy to drain, but it's up to you.
Place the haddock in an ovenproof dish and pour in the milk and water. This should about half cover the fish, add or remove some mixture according to the dish and fish size. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
With a fork, flake the fish into chunks, removing any bones. Peel the eggs and cut into 6 pieces.
In a big saucepan, over a low heat, combine the cooked, drained rice and creme fraiche. Gently stir in the eggs and fish and warm together. Season to taste with paprika, salt and pepper.
Garnish with parsley and serve!

Delightfully garlicky baked chicken

This is a dish my mother taught me to make. It is so easy it's ridiculous, and I rely on it on days I can't be bothered with too much cooking, as its effort to deliciousness ratio is pretty impressive.

2-3 chicken thighs per person
1 onion per 1-2 people
3-6 new potatoes per person, cut into reasonable chunks
1-5 garlic cloves per person, depending on personal preference and clove size (We adore garlic, and when I cook this I usually have about 6, but I really like it!), with the skin left on
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Rosemary (my mother uses fresh from the garden, but we don't have that luxury so I use dried)

Chop the onion in half and peel. Cut each half into 3, carefully cutting into the rooty end to hold the layers together into segments.
In a roasting dish place the chicken thighs, potato chunks and onion segments. If you like your garlic crispy, pop it in amongst the other bits, if, like me, you like it soft, tuck the cloves under the chicken thighs.
Give the whole lot a good cover of oil, an oil spray is very useful for this, otherwise get your (clean!) hands in and rub it about a bit.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and rosemary.
Bake at 200 for 45 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear when you spear them with a skewer or other pointed device. 
Lovely with a green salad, or steamed broccoli or cabbage.

If anyone reading has any good recipes to warm us up, please do share!

Cherry x

Keeeping cozy...

Hello hello!

So I've been useless again, but I've been busy visiting my best friend in Cardiff. I didn't manage to get any photos of my outfits while there but I did pick up some lovely pencil skirts, a gorgeous pearl necklace and a little tea strainer for £1! I am officially in love with Cardiff, it has so many fabulous vintage shops and flea markets and little arcades with pretty things. I will attempt to show you these delights tomorrow when I can get the Mr to photograph them.

But first, proof that I own more than one skirt!

This one is a beautiful tweedy thing from Topshop, and so old it's practically vintage. Probably 2000-2001ish. Weirdly it's now too big and needs to be cinched with my trusty black elastic belt, a couple of quid from eBay years ago. Top is a very old Dorothy Perkins number that I adore, it goes with everything. The cardi was knitted for me by the mother of a truly awful ex-boyfriend, but his mother was sweet so I try to ignore the connections. The new shoes featured in the last post made their first appearance here too. I adore them, but will try to avoid wearing them everyday as they are so lovely I want to keep them intact!

Closer view of my lovely top and delightful hand knitted cardi. Rather wish I had some kind of editing skills to remove the crazy hair on the left but sadly I skived IT Skills so my computer abilities are limited!

It is currently snowing so It's possible my next post will be focused on pretty much anything rather than outfits as I imagine I'll be in as many layers as possible, and that may be hard to coordinate in any way that people need to see!

I hope you are all keeping warm and cozy in this chilly weather! I'll see if I can come up with some posts to warm your cockles :)

Cherry x

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Colour, shoes and lovely books!

Hello hello!

I hope you're in as good a mood as I am, we finally have decent bin bags (it's important to appreciate the small pleasures in life). Other small pleasures I am enjoying currently include a Harry Potter film and a dirty martini!

Yesterday I finally got out of my brown and black rut and got some bright red on! (with black, I'm not great at going full-on with colour)

My jacket, hat and skirt are recurring items that I don't appear to be able to dress myself without, but they're warm! Very important at the moment. I am however wearing a different skirt today, so look out for that tomorrow!

My hair was beautifully curled, but I got caught in the rain so it flopped. This is also why my lovely bright red shoes look maroon! They were £5 from the wonderful Seconds Ahead. Cardi was £6 from Primarni with a belt borrowed from a dress.

While sheltering from the rain I also picked up some very cute shoes for £5 from the rag market

More brown, but I do love it! It's the colour of chocolate, which is, surprisingly, one of my favourite things. I always get a couple of boxes of cherry liqueur chocolates at Christmas, people know me so well!

I also picked up some inspiration for my new housewifely role, in the form of the classic Mrs Beeton's Household Management

It was only £3.99 in Waterstone's, which considering the size of the thing is an absolute bargain! It has the approximate dimensions of a housebrick and is chock full of recipes and fascinating insights into Victorian life. I can't wait to try out some of the recipes, although I think I'll give the sheep's privates a miss! I have an absolute weakness for books, I love to read. Fiction is usually my thing but I can't resist an insight into the way people lived in days past.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Vive la Resistance!

Hello again!

So, in a big rush to catch up, here's yesterday's outfit. I was in a bit of a French resistance mood:

The pencil skirt I don't appear to have taken off for a couple of weeks, cream and black leopard cardi, £3 and slightly kinky buckley belt £1.50, Seconds Ahead, brown Mary-Janes, £3, charity shop, silk & fur scarf, £1, Cow Vintage in Birmingham, brown beret £4, Birmingham indoor market.

I'm rather conscious of how monochrome my outfits have been so far, I do like colour a lot! It's just that I have a lot of brown and black accessories and it's easy to put them together. The next outfit to appear on here will feature bright colour, I promise!