Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wondering Wednesday #6

Hello again everyone! It's been a few days since my last post, so I'm going to take the opportunity to give you another life update. If you're following me on twitter or instagram, you may have seen that I got a job! Yay! I won't start until October, but it's definitely been a boost to the ol' confidence! I'd like to thank everyone that wished me luck on twitter, it's so nice to know that people were rootin' for me!

This is my 'I have a job!' face.
I also had another job interview yesterday. I know, I know, I should stop being so greedy with the job market, shouldn't I? I would love to get this job as well, so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed! I'm hoping that I would be able to work both jobs, as one is only Sunday work, so I could easy move my shifts around that.

What else is happening? Oh yes, my mam is travelling down from the North to stay for a few days! She's bringing my little brothers, so I really can't wait for that. I've not seen them since April, however I'm sure they're all going to be more interested in Dylan than me! It also means that we've been working super hard to get the house spotless for their stay, which isn't the easiest thing to do when Dylan decides to chuck breadcrumbs everywhere after we've just hoovered! Joe's nana is also coming down from Stoke tomorrow, so we're hoping we can spend some time with her too. A very busy few days ahead for us.

Another thing I have been doing, is mentally spending my student loan! I know this is quite dangerous, as I don't even have it yet, but I'm trying to work out if I should get a new camera or an iPad mini. I'd love your thoughts on this. Joe thinks I should get an iPad mini as I can do more things on it, but I really want to start doing outfit posts and I think I need a better camera for that! Decisions, decisions... 

So, that's my week so far! I hope you've had a good week, and have a fun weekend ahead! 

Chelsea xo

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Orange, Almond and Yoghurt Loaf

Hello everyone! Firsts things first, I would like to let you know that there's been some changes around here. Inspired by the lovely Lisette, I decided to buy my own URL! This is a huge thing for me and I'm really excited to see how far my little blog can grow. You may have also noticed that I've had a bit of a tidy up, and I've changed colours! I don't do things by half, that's for sure.

On to business then, I thought that seeing as it's Sunday and people just tend to relax, I would post my new favourite recipe. It's so good, and easy, that I've baked it twice in two days! We invited Joe's brother round on Thursday night and he kept coming back for more slices. I don't mind, obviously, so I just baked another one.

Recipe is adapted from Cake Days by the Hummingbird Bakery
For this recipe you will need -
190g (7oz) plain flour 
190g (7oz) butter
190g (7oz) caster sugar
60g (2oz) ground almonds
3 eggs
25g (1oz) yoghurt
1tbsp orange zest
1tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt (not pictured, bit of an idiot sorry!)
1tsp baking powder
10g (1/3oz) flaked almonds

You will also need a loaf tin, two bowls, a skewer and a cooling rack. You could use a knife if you don't have a skewer handy!

I did do step-by-step pictures to go along with this, but it just looked really awful in the bowl. So, I've decided to skip the visuals throughout the process and you can just see the wonder product in all its glory!

No instagram filters on this, baby! Right, on to the recipe...

1. Preheat your oven to 170ºC, then grease your loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.

2. Cream together the butter, orange zest and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. You can use a hand-held electric whisk, but I used a bit of elbow grease and a plastic spatula spoon thing. Add the eggs one by one, ensuring that you've scraped down the sides between each mix.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Tip this into the creamed mixture in two even(ish) batches and mix together until incorporated. Then add the yoghurt and vanilla!

4. Pour the batter into your loaf tin and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until your sponge is firm. I always enter a skewer into the enter to check that no gloopy mixture is lurking in the middle! Remove it from the oven when you're happy, and allow the loaf to cool in its tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Done! Now, you can take some fancy pictures, instagram it, or you could just have a cup of tea and grab a slice!

If you do make this, let me know! I'd love to know what you thought :) 

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Wondering Wednesday #5

First off, I'd like to thank you all for reading my last post on feminism and the response I received from it! I was honestly a bit scared that you all might run for the hills and think I were some looney. Luckily, that wasn't the case, and I'm so glad I plucked up the courage to post about it.

I'd like to step away from that now, and just get back to basics. This Wednesday, I am wondering about nothing really dramatic, so I thought I would just use this opportunity to tell you all a bit about what is happening in my life at the moment.

I couldn't find any appropriate photos, so have a tiny Dylan thinking about life and stuff while letting a balloon float away. He's pretty deep when he wants to be.

Today we have a man coming to take our useless car away. I am probably more excited about this than I should be, as it means we'll have an extra bit of money to save towards a new(er) car and that is incredible. We've both been quite worried that September will come and we won't have any transport and that would be a huge pain in the bum.

Tomorrow, I have a job interview and I am also having a contact lens consultation. I am both nervous and excited for both of these things, as I would really love the job and I would also love to be able to see without glasses. As much as I love wearing my glasses - I always get complimented on the style, which is nice - I want to be able to not worry about my outfit clashing with the purple and other none serious things like that. Hopefully we will also be going over Joe's parent's house for tea and to have a bit of a catch up with them. They came back from their holiday on Sunday, but they've both had to jump headfirst back into work. So hopefully that will be a nice, fun day!

Next Tuesday, I have another interview (I know, right?) and I am literally going out of my mind trying to find a suitable outfit for it! I already have in mind that I would like to wear a black pencil skirt, but I have no nice tops that seem suitable. The only shirt I have has a black glittery collar, and I'm a bit worried that might be a bit jazzy for an interview!

I am also in half a mind to dye my hair back to dark brown, as I'm unsure with having ombre hair and how employable that makes me. I know it shouldn't matter, but in a time were 70 people apply for one role, I don't want anything to put me in a 'maybe/no' pile.

So, basically that's what I've been wondering today. If you've got any interview tips, or suggestions on what I could wear, I would be hugely greatful! 

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Monday, 19 August 2013

Why being a feminist matters to me.

I know a lot of people might not read this due to the title. A lot of people seem to be afraid of calling themselves a feminist, and also scared of being one. I want to write this to set the record straight over the myths of feminism and hopefully encourage a few people to bring back girl power!

Feminists are all lesbians who hate men
Excuse me? All sorts of people can be feminists - even men, so to say that feminists are solely man-hating lesbians is so silly. I think a lot of people have an image of feminism which probably dates back to the 60s/70s when pretty much everyone wanted 'free love' and peace, dude. I'm sure a lot of women probably did burn their bras - hell, after a long day I feel like doing it too, but it's such a dated misconception about women, let alone feminists.

The lovely Bill Bailey. Taken from here.
Women can't be feminine and feminist at the same time
Says who? The whole idea around feminism is that women have a choice in all aspects of life. If you want to wear make up and skirts, do it. If you want to shave half your hair off and get tattoos, do it. If you don't, then don't. Another thing people think about feminists is that they don't 'maintain' their body hair. Again, this is the choice of the individual. If you feel better free of fluff, then go for it. If you'd rather just wear tights for another day then hack your legs with razors, that's also cool. 

Women are equal now - there is no need for feminism
This is just utter bullshit. I'm sorry, but it's true. As a 21 year old female, I am in no way equal to a 21 year old male. Freshers weeks and other 'organised' student parties all tend to have themes. Pimps and hoes, beach parties - where the boys can wear a Hawaiian shirt yet the girls have to wear bikinis and so many other variations where the girls are asked to dress as slutty schoolgirls/cavewomen/golfers. Another event, a bingo style drinking game, asked for men to get the numbers of as many girls as possible. The female equivalent to this? See how many guys you can get to 'motorboat' your breasts. 
Of course this doesn't go for every uni thing or night out, but that's just the start of it. Can you go to a bar or even walk by those cliche builders without having someone comment on your outfit? In a world where judges would rather call rape victims as 'provocative' dressers rather than properly punish the rapist, then I am sorry but we are not equal. Where women cannot wear trousers in foreign countries without worrying that they might have acid thrown in their face - that ain't equal. 

Feminists think men are disposable 
This is another silly myth. I do not know any sane woman who would prefer a life without men. Sure, we wouldn't have to endure so much sport and car insurance would be a bit lower, but every woman - feminist or not - needs a man in her life. Feminists do not want to remove the male role from society, they just want to ensure that women have the same rights and opportunities. So many businesses are dominated by men, in a work force of 80 people, as little as 12 of them could be women. We're a whopping 52% of the population, and yet we're less than 10% of the office? Get real. 

Now, enough of the myth busting for now. I thought I might as well explain myself and why I think I am a feminist. If you know me, you will know that I love baking. I would give my right arm to own a pistachio kitchenaid and I can't wait to have my own house and have a cute country kitchen. You might think that this is going against feminism, but it is my choice. I chose to go to university, but I also chose to have a family. You might have chose not to go to university, and that doesn't make you less of a feminist. You might choose to travel the world, and that is your choice. The fact that women are able to go to university, and travel, and work is all thanks to feminism. If feminism were to be smothered by the current economic and political landscapes, then I would seriously worry.  

I would love to hear from you all and your thoughts on this. Hopefully I've been helpful and not a hinderance to the whole cause of feminism! 

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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Wednesday Wonderings #4

Here we are on the fourth WW. It should be the fifth, but I skipped last week in order to enjoy my anniversary. I'm sure you can all forgive me, and now I'll just hope straight in to it.

You know, I always find these posts quite difficult. I want them to allow me to be more 'lifestyle' in a time where I might not be doing anything fun enough to write about. I want to talk about things I am passionate about, but I also don't want to alienate my readers who might not agree with me. I'd love to write about something political, but there are so many things that make me so angry that I am not able to write coherently.

So, I thought I'd tell you all about one guy in my life who I love very much.

This little fluffball of utter sausageness is Monty. If you've been here since the start, you'll have seen him before. Monty is around six years old, but I've only had him for two and a half years. Since the first day of having him, Monty has definitely been a mummy's boy. He always sits by my side, and although he likes a good pat on the head from Joe, he will always want one from me first. I'd like to say that he leads quite a happy life - well, now that Dylan doesn't have his heart set on pulling his ears off!

Life hasn't always been so kind to Monty. He started his little Dachshund life as a pedigree pup, from a long line of Cruft-winning hunds. He was probably bought for some serious cash, and was destined to a life of studdery and showcasing. Sadly, Monty got ill and had to have his royal jewels removed. If you're destined to a life of studdery, you kind of need those. Whoever had Monty decided that if they couldn't make a profit from the pooch, they didn't want him. This is how I ended up with him.

Monty was such a timid little guy when I rehomed him. You couldn't even clap your hands without him getting scared and wanting to hide. Now he'll happily let us know if a villain is knocking at the door - usually after we've answered it, but he feels proud nonetheless.

Such a hard life, being a dog!
As much as I would love to get Monty a little doggy friend, I'm not entirely sure he would be thankful for it. He loves being in the centre of attention, but we will have to see. Once I eventually leave university and get a full time job (wishful thinking!) I would hate for him to be home alone all day throughout the week. Of course, having two dogs and a crazy toddler to look after would be hard work, but I've always been someone who has had dogs. When I was younger, we had a Great Dane (that's a Scooby Doo dog if you're wondering) called Arnie (my dad named him after his favourite Austrian movie star) and a Boxer dog named Sally. I used to nickname Sally 'Sumo' as she was a big ol' chubster, and I can't even recall the amount of times Arnie would just sit on me. That guy was all legs, let me tell you!

I actually never thought I would have a little dog, I always associated them with old ladies and those 'ankle-bitter' dogs. A part of me would love a Spaniel a I think it would look like a giant version of Monty and that would be endless lols. Another part of me would like another Dachshund, maybe a little short-haired ginger one.

I have grown rather fond of Monty, and I hope you like the look of him too. It's quite hard not to give his little tummy a scratch! 

 photo chelsea_zpsc4e259a9.jpg 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

An Anniversary outfit!

If you follow me on twitter, you'll know it was my first anniversary on Wednesday. I honestly cannot believe that it's been a year already and what a year it has been! Joe and I have had so much to deal with in this past year. I hope that all our quota for woe has been used up, and that in future years we have a much simpler, easier life. It's so funny, we both sort of say, "wow, this year has been pants!" so I can't imagine what it would have been like without the main men in my life.

I'm trying not to make everyone pull out the sick bags, so that's enough of that. The whole point of this post is to show you the wonderful outfit I wore for our meal out. The meal out was such a blessing, we're both so poor at the moment and thought that we wouldn't be able to celebrate this landmark and then we received a Tesco Clubcard email. Yay for restaurant vouchers! Back to the outfit...

I wore this beautiful dress that I bought from Dorothy Perkins in the Boxing Day sales whilst visiting my daddy 'up North'. I can't believe it has taken me nearly eight months to find a nice enough occasion to wear this to! I wore some shoes that I also bought at the same time, and they're looking a bit worse for wear, I'm afraid. They've already been superglued together once! How shoddy is that?

Excuse the face.
Okay, so this is probably the worst picture of me ever, so you can thank Joe for taking it. The dress pattern is so pretty, it's sort of like a crazy flower Rorschach inkblot test. Wow, I'm really selling this dress, aren't I? Anyways, I felt really pretty wearing this dress so I thought I'd be a vain moo and do a post about it! Hope you like my feeble attempt at an outfit post.

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Friday, 9 August 2013

Back to Uni Wishlist

I am throwing out wish lists left, right and centre! I hope you're not getting too bored of them yet... I thought I might as well do a wish list for going back to uni as well, I don't actually think I've bought myself anything new since I left in June. Sadtimes. But fear not, as when my student loan comes in, I'm sure I'll make a little time to spend here and there. Without further ado, here we go!

Okay, so you might notice that some of these things (all of these things) are not exactly essential for university. I really, really want a nice watch and I keep finding myself drawn to the Vivienne Westwood watches. I've picked this one out simply because I cannot have them all. It's probably more than I've ever paid for a watch, but a girl can dream. Next up, I picked this delightful H&M cape. I've wanted a cape since 2010 and I think now is definitely the time to have one. I've no idea why I haven't bought a cape before now, such a silly girl.

Finally, some uni related things! This LYDC satchel is so pretty. I love the polka dots, and the colours really compliment this Paperchase organiser. It's an 18 month one, so that's more than enough for me. I really need to be more organised, it is the bane of my life though. If you have any tips for me, do let me know! The plain notepad is also from paperchase, I'm hoping it will be helpful for my visual design classes. 

The two perfumes chosen are the Marc Jacobs Honey and Taylor Swift's new one, which she has imaginatively named Taylor. She must lay awake at night thinking of the titles for these things... I've only tested the Marc Jacobs Honey, and it seems so wonderful that I want it to become my signature scent. I picked out the Taylor one as The Sunday Girl's review of it makes it seems like a must have scent. 

Another jacket, why yes. I think you must have guessed by now that about 90% of my wardrobe is H&M and this jacket is another gem. The jacquard-weave jacket looks a bit like, well, granny cushions (please tell me you understand) but I think it will go quite nicely with the upcoming A/W trends. And lastly, I thought I would put on some skincare things because y'know, I'd like to not scare people with a hideous face. I've not tried any Origins products, and I feel like I must be the only blogger who hasn't. How shameful of me! I really want to try the Mega Mushroom Face Cleansers and the Out Of Trouble Face mask. Ah, troublesome combination skin, don't you just love it?

So that's my rather mishmash wish list, I guess it all kind of falls under uni essentials, at least that's what I'll tell myself on the big pay day! 
Any items you think I've missed off? Let me know in the comments :)

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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Sunday Sitdown.

As I try this, Dylan is upstairs listening to a youtube video of the minions singing the Banana song in reverse. He's been doing so for at least, hmm, 15 minutes? A part of me thinks he might be calling the devil or something, but I digress. If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen that I've had a bit of bad luck recently (I'm sure I've started another post like this, so forgive me if this is Dé Javu) so I thought I might take some time to appreciate the nicer things in life. I know there's a Thankful Thursday slot for this, but why wait until then? 

Yesterday, I was making Rosie's Lemon Drizzle Cake and while I was happily slicing lemons, I ended up slicing through my finger. That's not much to be happy about, but I'm happy that I didn't actually slice the end of my finger off (it's a really sharp knife) but I didn't get any lemon juice in to the cut, which would have hurt like a mojo jojo, and I didn't get any blood on the lemon. Come to think of it, I didn't actually slice much of the lemon, but nonetheless it was bloodfree (I gave it a quick rinse as well) and everyone said my cake was super yummy. It didn't even last an hour! 

Another thing that has kept me happy, is that I finally sold my camera! I'm actually quite devastated about this, but times are hard and really, I shouldn't have bought it to begin with. To treat myself for selling it, I managed to talk Joe round in to letting me buy a Disney edition of Monopoly! They don't make it anymore, and it's a 'proper' Disney one, none of this Hannah Montana hoohah. 

A slightly superficial thing to feel happy about, but I am loving the Ciate Glossip paint pot shade. It is such a perfect coral, and it's just so shiny on my nails. I just love the little bow on the bottle as well, it's the little touches that make it seem so luxe. I got this shade in a Glossybox so I'm not sure if the name is a nod to that, or what. It's pretty, I like it.

Sorry about the instagram pics!
Lastly, the one thing that always makes me happy - family! Before the thunder started to roll in, we'd had a nice few sunny days and it was so nice to have a walk out and let the boys kick a football. Monty stayed by my side, and we made sure we weren't a sitting target! And today, we played Monopoly! Our version is really, really old, (I think it'd older than me?) and I just love it. Without hurting its feelings, it makes me so excited to play on the Disney one! I'm so cool it hurts.

Hope you've all had a nice week so far, and plenty to be happy about! I'd love to know what's really stood out for you :)
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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Liebster Award!

I didn't have the Liebster Award picture, so thought you might like to see me as Lady Gaga.
I've already filled in a Liebster Award before, but the wonder of these tags is that the questions are never the same! Okay, you might get one or two overlapping questions, but I haven't found that to be the case. The lovely ladies over at She & Hem sent me a tweet to let me know they'd tagged me and without further ado, here are the questions...

Q1. When did you start your blog?
I started my blog aboooout six months ago, however I seem to go through patches of lulls and writers block. I'm hoping being free from uni will allow me to screw my head back on and allow me to dive head first into blogging!

Q2. How do you feel posing for photos for blog posts?
I still find it hilarious, so many awkward poses! This is probably why I don't really do many outfit posts, as I don't have a tripod or a camera remote *sadface*

Q3. If you could have anyone's wardrobe, who would it be and why?
Good question! I would love Jennifer Lawrence's wardrobe, I mean who doesn't want to be the face of Dior? She seems so lovely as well, but to be honest I pretty much want to be her anyways...

Q4. How do you find time to work on your blog?
To be honest, I don't really. I need to start being more organised, as I really waste so much time!

Q5. What has been your favourite ever blog post you have written?
Ohh, that's a good question! Having just had a quick flick back, I think it would be the Friends post I did for the Blog Every Day in May thing. It may have recieved no comments (thanks, guys!) but it made me really thankful for my chums.

Q6. Have you ever met anybody famous?
Mostly musicians, really. I met a lovely little Swedish man who is The Tallest Man On Earth, who you must check out if you think Mumford & Sons are 'folk' because, they really aren't. (Sorry if anyone likes M&S, I think they're a bit fake...*mass unfollow ahead*) and I've met Darwin Deez, and Wild Beasts who are a lovely band from the Lake District. No songs about Peter Rabbit though, sadly. I'm sure I've met more famous people, but once you've seen one you've seen them all!

I miss being blonde so much!
Q7. Where is your favourite place to buy dresses?
Well, geographically, it would be Bath. So many lovely shops hidden down the cobbled streets. But most of my everyday dresses are H&M so I guess there, really. I'm so classy.

Q8. What has been your biggest sale bargain?
Oh my goodness, my new shoes! I bought some lovely studded black shoes by Kurt Geiger for £30! Down from £110! So good. 

Q9. What do your friends think of your blog?
I don't really think many of my friends know about my blog, apart from my blogging friends, obviously. My sister-in-law likes it though :) 

Q10. Jelly shoes. Yay or nay?
I've got to say nay. Sticky feet are probably my biggest grudge in life.

Q11. What is your biggest blogging tip?
Ooh, this is a tip I need to follow myself - become more organised! Have a few posts saved for a 'rainy day' when you just feel up against a brick wall.

So, hopefully you got to the bottom of that and aren't bored yet as now I have 11 questions for you! I've decided to just let anyone do this, as I know some people who have been nominated once are quite reluctant to do it again so instead of me annoying people, just let me know if you've done it!

Q1. Why did you start blogging?
Q2. What is the best book you've ever read?
Q3. Favourite song/band/artist?
Q4. You're trapped on a desert island, what three things do you bring?
Q5. There's a fire at your house, what is the one thing you save? (Family/pets not included as I'm nice like that)
Q6. What film do you watch when you're having a 'sit around the house eating ice cream' day?
Q7. What fashion trend do you wish never made a comeback?
Q8. You've been given £1000, where do you spend it?
Q9. Who is your blogging inspiration, if you have one?
Q10. Who would be your ideal dinner party guests? (You can have up to three)
Q11. What was your favourite magazine when you were growing up?

Please let me know in the comments if you have decided to give it a go! :) 

 photo chelsea_zpsc4e259a9.jpg 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Lakeland Wishlist

I have a sneaky feeling that we might be moving in September. What tells me this? Well, in September Dylan will be two. Where we live now doesn't have a bath, so currently, we bath Dylan in an underbed storage box which he is quickly getting too long to sit in. I mean, I've been harping on for months about my burning desire for a bath - I haven't stepped foot in Lush since last August as there is simply no point if I can't buy a fizzer or bomb. With moving on my mind, I thought I would show a few pieces I would love to buy if money were no object, and if I were allowed to spend it on such things.

All items are from Lakeland
Currently, we have a little pyrex jug, which does the job, but it's a bit, boring. I quite like the pistachio  colour of the Vintage Enamel Small Jug and feel it would go well in a country-style kitchen. A girl can dream. Now, I've been looking for some Chocolate Teacake Moulds since I saw them on Great British Bake Off last year, and they just didn't exist in the UK which seemed really odd. Why have them on the show, Mary Berry, if I can't replicate my own disastrous teacakes at home?

Lakeland have recently brought in a whole load of icing moulds, which are perfect for filling with icing as the name suggests, or chocolate. I thought I should probably only include one mould on here, so I went for the Happy Birthday Icing Mould. As a mother, I've got at least 20 more birthday cakes to make for Dylan, and then a good few for Joe as well. It might be a bit girly for my macho men, but I'm a girl and I like it.

The I Can Cook Spatula and I Can Cook Apron are sadly not for me, but for Dylan. There is a huge range of colours, and other things such as spoons, baking trays etc, but I thought these two things would be a good start. While I was making buns yesterday, I let Dylan sit with a bowl of flour and he had such fun wriggling his fingers in it and taking a spoon to count out how many spoonfuls there were. He tends to go "1...2...3....1....2...3...." over and over again, but it's a start at least.

I find using icing pens really fiddly, so I thought the Alphabet Cutter Set would be quite useful. They're all in capital letters though, so I could get my Kanye on and be all like "IMMA LET YOU FINISH, BUT THIS IS THE BEST CAKE OF ALL TIME" *ahem*. Lastly, I want the Fairground Carousel Mould because who doesn't want to make a chocolate carousel?! The base is actually a cake, so I could even use that bit to make a huge donut cake or something. Multi-use for the win!

To only have seven things on this list, I feel like such a trouper. I could quite easily buy so many things from Lakeland, and I'm sure they'd let me. I must be the only person in history who wants to spend their student loan on icing moulds and a jug!

Did any of these things whet your baking appetite? 

 photo chelsea_zpsc4e259a9.jpg 
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