Monday, 8 November 2010

At last, Forever21 launches in the UK!

Calling all Fashionistas! Ever lusted after clothes from an American fashion blog, only to realise you have no chance, unless you take a quick flight across the continents to grab yourself a bargain? (rendering the term 'bargain' slightly non-applicable).

One of the main culprits that crops up A LOT in fashion blogs is Forever21, but fear not, in a high street fashion trade off, we gave them Topshop, now they are giving us Forever21!

With the first UK store launching in Birmingham this Friday on 12th November, and the second in Dublin on 13th November, I for one am hoping they will filter through to all the main cities in the UK over the coming months.

In a side note, I'm hoping to get back to some outfit posting real soon, once I've a) sorted out my winter wardrobe and b) got over this week of allergy testing at my local hospital.

I've had some skin 'issues' for years now and have finally been referred for a week long allergy testing course. For this week at least I'm having to wear a very, VERY tight gym top to hold down the 50 sample patches attractively taped to my back. I am desperate to find out just what it is that I'm allergic to on Friday, although my current mantra is *Please don't let it be alcohol, please don't let it be alcohol... fingers crossed everyone!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Fireworks Food: Classic Chilli Con Carne

I can only think of one thing I want to eat tonight, when I'm out in the pouring rain watching soggy fireworks with my 3 year old, saying 'oooh' and 'aaah' at all the right moments – HOT Chilli Con Carne in a delicious Jacket Potato! You just can't beat it.

Here is Jamie Oliver's Recipe for Chilli Con Carne, just in case you get the same cravings, now I've mentioned it! His ingredients list is rather long, but I usually just knock certain bits out if I a) haven't got them in the cupboard or b) don't actually know what they are.

And if you are out enjoying the festivities tonight or over the weekend, hope you have a fabulous time, and stay safe!


• 2 medium onions
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 2 medium carrots
• 2 sticks of celery
• 2 red peppers
• olive oil
• 1 heaped teaspoon chilli powder
• 1 heaped teaspoon
• ground cumin
• 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
• 1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans
• 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
• 500g good-quality minced beef
• 1 small bunch of fresh coriander
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 400g basmati rice
• 1 x 500g tub of natural yoghurt
• 1 x 230g tub of guacamole
• 1 lime

To make your chilli

• Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery – don’t worry about the technique, just chop away until fine
• Halve the red peppers, remove the stalks and seeds and roughly chop
• Place your largest casserole-type pan on a medium high heat
• Add 2 lugs of olive oil and all your chopped vegetables
• Add the chilli powder, cumin and cinnamon with a good pinch of salt and pepper
• Stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes until softened and lightly coloured
• Add the drained chickpeas, drained kidney beans and the tinned tomatoes
• Add the minced beef, breaking any larger chunks up with a wooden spoon
• Fill one of the empty tomato tins with water and pour this into the pan
• Pick the coriander leaves and place them in the fridge
• Finely chop the washed stalks and stir in
• Add the balsamic vinegar and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper
• Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer with a lid slightly askew for about an hour, stirring every now and again to stop it catching

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Home Style: Easy peasy coffee table

I saw this idea for an ultra easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy coffee table on another blog the other day, so thought I'd give it a try. I've not executed the idea particularly well here, although you get the idea!

It's so simple, just pile up a big stack of your biggest hard-backed books, and voila, one unique coffee table.

Try to use books that you won't want to look at for a while, if I now want to read my Russell Brand book I'll basically have to 'break' my new table to read it.

And the great thing is, you can constantly update your table with different books depending on your mood. Try it out for yourself!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Wise words Sophia...

Says Sophia Loren, with possibly the most beautiful eyes in showbiz history!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

How to: Fall over in a dignified manner...

This isn't me falling over (I'm not friends with Sarah Harding), but I feel for the poor lass, I really do...

One of my very bestest skills (if you can call it a skill) is falling over. I've probably even blogged about it once or twice.

My preferred falling over incidents (and most talked about) are, in order of preference:
  • That time I fell over at my friends summer barbeque, my heel got stuck in the grass and I was DOWN, face first, with mud all over my chin.
  • That time I fell over in the pub (which time I hear you ask? there have been a few), well that time when I landed in a kneeling position at the bar after getting my heel stuck in the doorway, it's one way of getting served soonest.
  • And that time I fell out of my car, again head first, and again after getting my heel stuck, this time in the hem of my trousers.
Can you see the pattern forming?, they all involve 'heels'.

Well, in the first of my 'Tuesday: How To's', I'm addressing this issue with some top tips for falling over in a dignified manner:
  1. Always try to break your fall. Head first falling hurts bad. And you wind up with mud on your face, which makes your already embarrassed state rather much worse.
  2. Feel free to let out a little girly squeal (unless you're a guy), it makes people feel sorry for you, like they would do a small child and they are less inclined to laugh.
  3. Please make sure you are wearing good knickers. It's bad enough to fall over, but if you give everyone a glimpse of your 'I need to do some washing knickers' - the humiliation will last a LOT longer, I promise.
  4. If you are of the falling over variety, try to make sure you are with someone at all times. Falling over on your own is possibly the worst type of fall. With no one to laugh it over with you really do just look like a wally, or a drunk, or a drunk wally.
  5. Always inspect your heels for 'pretend' defects after a fall, if in doubt, blame the shoes but make sure everyone notices you 'blaming the shoes'.
  6. Never admit to being hurt. Once the commotion has died down, feel free to walk round a corner and scweam and scweam and scweam, but not while people are still watching.
  7. Allow people to help you up - even if they are sniggering. If they are not sniggering, be warned, they will snigger when they tell all their friends on facebook what they just saw.
  8. And lastly, whilst difficult, if you happen to be walking along with your beautiful friend, try to compose your facial expression when falling, the lady above has got it all wrong, if you are captured on camera falling, a smile is much more flattering.
Like with most things, falling over with dignity is an art form, it takes some practice. I practice a lot and I'm still not there, so don't worry if it takes you some time to perfect.

What's been your best (or worst, depends on how you look at it) falling over experience?

Monday, 1 November 2010

Fashion: Cheryl vs Dannii

Like many people, X-Factor seems to take up half my weekend these days. But for me, one of the main reasons I watch... is to see what Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue are up to in the style stakes.

The girls are clearly having a full on fashion-fight each week and this week was no different.

Before I get onto the clothes, let's just mention Cheryl's hair. Hmmm, I'm not digging it this year, Dannii is definitely winning the hair contest for me, what she can do with a simple short bob never fails to amaze me.

Cheryl tried this red tinged hair a little while back, and my previous post on it is by far the most searched item on my entire blog, so it seems many people are curious to Cheryl's hair. Well, I'm not sure about it, and I think it's getting her down too, she seems a bit grouchy these days (although I suppose that could be to do with the rubbish year she has had, poor girl).

Anyhow, back to the clothes. The top picture is from Saturday night, for me Dannii wins here in this gorgeous Marchesa dress. The picture below is from Sunday night, Cheryl wins for me here in her Ina Soltani dress (although she does look a teeny bit like she's jumped out of a box of quality street).

So, who are you backing this week? Cheryl or Dannii?