Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Holiday wishes

This morning me and Steve (well me actually, he was involved by text only as he's working) booked a holiday for us this summer! We're going to a town just outside the capital of Malta in August and I cannot wait. I'm so hyper that I've already made a list of bikinis that I want to buy... Even though I should really restrain myself, I can't imagine having more than two bikinis will ever become useful. And shoes. How I long for wearing shoes that let me flaunt my highly average feet. I ended up making a general holiday wish list instead.

1. A good book is a must for a successful holiday (I believe). I suggest fairly light reading for maximal entertainment. No Dostoyevskeys by the pool, thank you. By Light Alone is on my sci-fi reading list, by Adam Roberts.
2. A cute bikini from French Connection. Seafolly has amazing bikinis if you ignore the price. If you take the price into account... Well, not so much. French Connection is a happy medium.
3. Nude espadrillos from Topshop! I don't own a single pair of espadrillos. They just don't come in handy when it's raining. They will when I'm being bought dinner though (wishful thinking).
4. Hair in a topknot. (From my Pinterest.)
5. Loose t-shirts over bikini. (From my Pinterest.)
6. Flat sandals from Boohoo. For all those walks we'll be taking around the pittoresque villages.
7. Another cute bikini from French Connection, but this one is on sale. What?!
8. Cocktails obviously. (From my Pinterest.)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Recently tried recipes

As a chronic Pinterest-abuser (or maybe just over-user), I mainly pin images that inspire my home, my clothes and once in a while what to eat. To be honest, the majority of my food-pins are chocolate-based heart attacks waiting to happen and it is a good thing that I'm not good enough at cooking to actually try them because I would surely never stop eating. I digress. A smaller amount of my pins are less unhealthy and these are four that I've tried the last month.

Chili cilantro lime chicken was the first meal that I cooked in this kitchen and it came about from me missing my crock pot so much during the months of living with Steve's parents. This recipe is simple and it does taste nice but... When the recipe boasts about the chicken being moist, they're not kidding. It's so moist that neither me nor Steve could deal with the texture. So only make this if you like super-wet food. (And go easy on the coriander maybe.)

Creamy sundried tomato soup was made a night when I was home alone and fancied something vegetarian and also I fancied soup. I always fancy soup. (I've pinned loads of soup recipes because I keep thinking that suddenly Steve's going to start liking vegetables, just like that.) Here's the issue; This is really nice but you need a good blender, the kind that kills everything. Mine wouldn't blend it properly smooth and I think that kind of ruined the experience. If I had a super-blender I think even Steve might eat it.

(I know what you're thinking. "Does she ever actually make anything successfully of Pinterest?!" The answer is yes. I present to you...)

Perfectly soft-boiled eggs. I know, I know. This is strictly speaking not a meal. This is instructions for boiled eggs and I've already raved about them, but these eggs are so good. If you like me, eat an egg every single morning for breakfast (or three if you're feeling crazy), an easy method for soft-cooked eggs is essential. This is how I found out that eggs are better steamed. Yes, you heard me. Steamed. Prepare to get your breakfast rocked.

Slow-baked Mac and Cheese was made for our American-themed Superbowl night and it was nice. We used cheddar rather than the recommended Italian cheese and I'd probably advise people to go with the original recipe as cheddar made it a bit bland. Also, you do well in keeping in mind that this is exactly what it sounds like. It's pasta and cheese. I think it's one of the best combos on earth but other people might be slightly more sophisticated in their food choices. Again, this is a slow-cooker recipe and this is why it suits us very well.

I've been waiting for my coursework instructions all day and they were only just uploaded so I'm going to get started on that right away. For dinner tonight, an old favourite: simple chicken curry.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Bedroom fun

No dirty thoughts here please.

Spoiler, this is the topic of my blog post.

So anyway, I've been moaning about posting pictures of my bedroom for ages now since I thought it is most likely as ready as it's gonna get for a while. (I.e. until we can afford proper nightstands rather than the cheapy IKEA stools that our lamps are currently residing on.) As you might have realised by now, if I say I'm gonna do something far in the future (go to a festival) then it'll never happen.Similarly, if I say that something's happening very soon, then it'll happen in a couple of months. It's a travesty and if I could change it about myself I would. Luckily it's this blog that suffers from my obnoxious traits the most. The blog and cleaning and uni work.

But now, for the first time ever possibly, I actually have a good reason for not posting pictures of our bedroom. We have a super cool retro print featuring a bunch of Star Wars related stuff that I want to put over our bed to inject some colour (as it's currently a feast of crispy white and inconspicuous neutral textiles). Unfortunately the current print is smaller than an A3 and so I felt like a second print was needed to balance our big headboard which happens to be an IKEA Malm in black-brown. Ergo; I cannot upload pictures of our bedroom if I'm so close to adding another essential piece.

The issue is how to find a print that goes with a retro black, red and white Star Wars print. Another Star Wars print? Unfortunately, I think there is a limit on how many Star Wars-related objects that should be allowed in your home and that limit is drawn at one. Unless you're an angsty teenager who needs to escape to your sci-fi world where you actually have a girlfriend/boyfriend; then you can have more. Me and Steve are not teenagers. What about anything at all in similar colours? Turns out most artists don't limit themselves to three colours and if they do they never seem to be black, white and red. So when I was browsing Society6 (who happened to have free shipping worldwide last night, not-exactly-a-coincidence) and I happened to find this cool print of a retro rocket, I made a decision.

This may not have been a wise decision, but it was made nevertheless. Is it the right colours? Not really. Is it the right size? Trimming boarders shall take place.Is it yet another piece that probably belongs in a small boy's bedroom? Quite possibly. We shall see what happens with this print. If it arrives and it doesn't work at all it might end up in a different room. Or hidden away forever. I will let you know. Twist!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

'Currently' list

Pictures from my Instagram.

Doing: Writing this blog post, contemplating getting sweets and enjoying actually doing nothing for the first time today. Life as it is right now is just too hectic for regular blogging it seems. Unfortunately I have to prioritise university, then spending time with Steve & friends, and housework, and relaxing and at some far away point after that blogging appears. The sad truth. Until things settle down a bit, I'll simply have to keep posting these updates once a week. (I bet you I'll have time to write something tomorrow for no other reason than to contradict what I just said).

Loving: Remember those rings that I blogged about the week before that? They arrived and they're perfect (see the picture to the right for kind-of-proof). I also love Steve, I guess I should say. He's to the left. (In the last post I mentioned going out for a Valentine's date and the picture of me and Steve is from that night. I wore my man-repeller lipstick, because it was Valentine's Day and I interpret that as Steve having to love me no matter what I wear. Also, that is a terrible picture of us, but it was the only one where Steve smiled ever so slightly and so I sacrificed every other picture even though I look a million times better in them. And I had steak. It was lovely.)

Reading: Currently reading three great books; The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, Life of Pi by Yann Martel and book 3 of IQ84 by Haruki Murakami (I started reading this last one about a year ago and it's just been forgotten about so it doesn't really count). Last night when we were at the cinema there was a trailer for a new movie called The Host. And I was like "I'm pretty sure I found that book when I unpacked my books this week. I just forgot to read it." Most of my books are now in my bookshelf, as they should. The rest are hidden in our ottoman.

Watching: I'm currently watching New Girl, How I Met Your Mother and Girls on my own. With Steve I'm watching Star Trek (sporadically) and True Blood. We also have Fringe and Walking Dead stored and ready to watch, but it'll just have to wait. Last night we went to the cinema and we saw Django Unchained, which was a good film but probably my least favourite out of Tarantino's movies. (And I've seen all but one, I looked it up. I'm pretentious and probably annoying like that.)

Stressing about: People asking me what I'm doing after university... I'm just gonna stop writing now.

Thinking about: What to get for Steve's nephew for his birthday which is in a week's time. What's cool among four-year-olds nowadays? I'm so obsessed with giving gifts to people that I've started planning for Steve's and his isn't for another two months. Last year this particular nephew got a dinosaur book among other things (and he had just become obsessed with dinosaurs) and I think that was the highlight of my year, gift-wise. In other words, the pressure is on so that I don't disappoint myself. Or the children, I guess...

Looking forward to: A lot of things actually. I'm looking forward to getting that bag of sweets that was left over from the cinema trip last night. I'm looking forward to progressing with my thesis this week. To the birthday party on Saturday, plus having Steve's colleagues over in the evening. And on a bigger scale, I'm looking forward to graduating and having my entire family over to visit. The sweets is the most prominent thing I'm looking forward to at the moment, however.

Making me happy: The fact that I'm finally finished with an assignment that was really frustrating today. It means I have a night's break before it all starts again. I feel like almost all the things that I mentioned previously in the post are contributing to making me happy, actually. It's all the little things in life - sweets, birthday parties and good books. To fulfill the cycle, writing this blog post now made me happy (it's basically magic).

Thursday, 14 February 2013

10 reasons to smile 10.0

Image from my Pinterest.

one - It's Valentine's Day and me and Steve are going out for a late dinner. I love having dinner out. I love trying new restaurants. If steak is offered, I'm going to order the rarest piece of meat possible and then barely be able to move due to steak-related coma.

two - On Monday morning I passed my driving test which was a huge deal for me. I am officially deemed reasonably safe on the roads. (I'm not saying that I'm actually good at driving. I have no idea how I'm supposed to handle driving on my own.) This was my second driving test however, because I nearly crashed into a car and obviously failed the first one I took. That's a different story.

three - Last night me and Steve went to a local bar to watch football and then stay for the pub quiz and I drove us there and back. Steve's car is so different from my driving instructor's car that it feels like the first few driving lessons all over again. By the time I was turning into our drive I felt amazing (and so powerful) however, so it's definitely a reason to smile.

four - I made a perfect cup of espresso and I'm eating cookies with it. (Non-happiness related note; when I opened our cupboard there was three cookies left. That means Steve somehow ate like ten of them within the last few days without me noticing. I feel betrayed.)

five - During the before-mentioned pub quiz I was crap as always but I also answered two questions correctly that no one else knew, both related to movies made during the first half of the 20th century. Maybe this is my area of expertise. Thank you parents, for teaching me the importance of watching Gone with the wind and The Wizard of Oz at a young age.

six - Our living room is slowly coming together. I haven't gotten the prints up on the walls as I'm typing this but me and Steve did buy a brown leather ottoman for next to nothing at TK Maxx. Perfect for extra storage, extra seating and yet it doesn't take up a huge amount of room like an extra couch would've. (Not that we can afford an extra couch anyway.) I'm hoping to be able to post pictures soon.

seven - Tegan and Sara's latest album, Heartthrob, is the height of awesomeness. Because I had only started listening to them around 2005, The Con was the first album that I genuinely spent months longing for and subsequently I loved it. When they released Sainthood I thought it was a good album, but it didn't feel the same way as The Con felt and so I never really took it to heart. But now... Now is the time to rediscover my love for T&S, and rediscover it I did. Long story short; maybe I have finally accepted that all bands change and appreciate their transformation rather than resent it. Development is good, right?

eight - Tomorrow is Friday. Do I need to say more? Okay, weekend is upon us and tomorrow I'm looking forward to a half-day in class and then I have two whole days of potting about in our house and watching movies with Steve. (The last two weekends we've been re-watching The Lord of The Rings-trilogy. One to go.) Also possibly going out on Saturday.

nine - I made up a new budget and so far I'm sticking to it. The pride is unbearable. It's been three days. I'll get back to you on this in a month or so.

ten - I made another crazy house-related decision (the first one being painting the hallway blue) - I bought loads of pink towels for our bathroom. Do I even like pink? Not sure. Either way, I felt like the bathroom in all white (and with orange floor tiles) needed something to keep it from looking so bare. So I bought a mat and a bunch of towels, all in a dark, raspberry pink type of colour and I think it works. Against all odds, Steve with his weird ideas on decorating (his latest being "I don't like single arm chairs. They exclude people") doesn't mind his bathroom being invaded by a colour regarded as feminine by many. For being relatively easy to deal with in this one instance, I applaud him. As I said, I'm not even sure I like pink, so we'll see how this goes.

P.S. Ikea has released a couple of new bedside tables. I want this. Or this. This desire does not work well with happiness-reason no 9. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Etsy wishlist

I was going to post a picture or two of my bedroom... But they didn't turn out well at all. Worse than yesterday's photos. There's definitely something wrong with my camera.

So here's things I found at Etsy today and desperately want.

1. This cool tray. To eat breakfasts, or to keep on a counter and ban Steve from ever using because it's too pretty. 
2. These arrow rings. (Spoiler; I bought the silver one. It was too good and then I accidentally bought another ring from the same shop. Oops.)
3. This retro photo print to hang somewhere in my house. 
4. The Valentine's Day card with a buffalo on it. I don't need anything else in life.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


I took a few pictures with my camera this morning and it turns out THESE look pretty terrible as well! I have a distinct memory of being able to take better pictures. Maybe it's not my digital equipment that has gotten worse, maybe my eyes have gotten better. It's a miracle.

Originally this kitchen was entirely painted in yellow that I hated. We tiled all around the the cupboards and painted all of the walls white, apart from one feature wall that we painted a green. In these pictures it looks a lot more gray (and when I tried to raise the contrast so that it'd look more like it does in reality it just made the chairs and table look weird) but it's really like a minty slash leafy green. You know what I mean, I'm sure. The green wall is empty at the moment but we're probably putting up our TV. It may not be my first choice aesthetically... But we have an extra TV and I do look forward to having the TV on while cooking. Enjoy seeing parts of my kitchen! It's currently my favourite room. (By the way, that coriander plant next to my stove is basically dead now. I want to get a bunch of cacti, or something else that'll survive longer than a few days with me.)

Monday, 4 February 2013

First February weekend

Soo... The original plan was that once I had gotten my Paris-pictures underway I would show a few pictures of the rooms that are at least half-way there. According to this plan I snapped a few photos with my iPhone of my kitchen (and shared a few of them on Instagram) but there's just one little issue. Everyone says that once you have an iPhone you don't need a camera. That's not true. As much as I like the grainy, intimate pictures on Instagram or even when flicking through the pictures on the device itself, it just won't do on the blog. It bothers me. I don't have a very fancy camera anyway, but I do believe I'll have to bring out the big guns (my gifted compact Olympus, that is) if I'm gonna show you guys pictures of my home.

So no pictures today, in other words.

This weekend was mainly spent doing university work (for a class today that has been postponed for two weeks anyway) but I also managed to squeeze in watching Les Mis with Steve's sisters. It was great. I do love a good old musical. Plus daytime popcorn and fizzy drinks. Both Saturday and Sunday me and Steve had the longest of breakfasts. Now that we have a table in the kitchen we have become real adults and eat our meals there and actually have conversations (rather than watching TV). We'll see how long that lasts. Steve's family's cat suddenly got very ill and she didn't make it past Sunday, which was really sad. I feel especially sorry for Steve's mom because she was home alone when it happened. On Sunday night me and Steve decided to eat as American as possible, and so we had mac n' cheese, pizza, cookies and cheese cake. And then we watched Super Bowl (while barely being able to breath after all the food). This was my favourite Super Bowl game out of the ones I can remember, because it was so exciting that I for the first time ever didn't fall asleep during the fourth quarter. Yes!

P.S. I am so happy that January is over. February is basically spring, right? (I'm desperately trying to ignore the fact that snow is falling outside our window.)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Paris part II

Part two of our Paris trip. This post starts where we left in the last post, after about 24 hours in Paris.

We celebrated my mom's birthday by visiting a restaurant that was closed and we had to go to the one next doors instead. It was good and I had a massive creme brulee.

Walking home through Paris.

The next morning we devoured the hotel breakfast (I dream about it) and then we took the metro to Montemartre. Mom bought a dress in a thrift shop for 5 euros. 

The cutest little place.

We walked up to Sacre coeur and enjoyed the view.

It was a really terribly rainy day - no flattering pictures of me, sorry.

We strolled towards Les Deux Moulins - the cafe where Amelie in the movie worked! I had read that it was such a tourist trap nowadays... But it was lovely, with tasty food and really nice people. Maybe it's packed of tourists during the weekends.

Cafe creme and croque madame. 

We took the metro to La Marais and found the most adorable little shop that sold prints. I bought a small umbrella print and a star banner to hang in my house. 

We walked home and I found the bridge where couples hang lockers with their names written on. Mom said "Wow, they must really cycle a lot here". 

We had our second dinner in Paris and then we walked from there to the Eiffel tower. I was expecting to be a little underwhelmed by it but it really was amazing. And then at nine it went mad, and blinked lots. I wasn't aware it usually does that so it was a nice surprise. Like it went mental just for us as we arrived. 

The rest of the trip consisted of me and mom eating macarons and window shopping. And eating more of the hotel breakfasts. So no need to upload photos of that. 

P.S. I saw Les Miserables yesterday afternoon with Steve's sisters. I cried SIX times.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Paris part I

I know. I said I'd blog, and then I didn't. Sorry about that. Pictures of my house will arrive at some, undefined, point. Until then, Paris pictures in abundance! 

Visited Notre Dame that was just a few minutes away from our hotel. Magical. (And I'm sorry, but the Disney movie somehow just made this experience better.) Also, I'm so squinty here.

Visited a few interior design shops on our way through the city and I fell in love with this amazing little Mr Plumber lamp. (Which was way above my budget in case anyone wonders why I didn't buy this instantly). Did someone just place that carousel in the middle of Paris just to make my heart break?

Visited Le Louvre (yes, I'm French now) and enjoyed seeing some of my favourite sculptures and a few paintings too. Plus Mona Lisa. I get the big deal now. I know her secret.

Strolled along Champs Elysses and then we walked back to our hotel to get ready for dinner. Sorry for the photo-bombing but this is seriously stuff that I enjoy.