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Archive for April, 2011

Remember the days when toast could pass for dinner and you’d eat it for five days in a row without complaint?

(dream toaster which I never actually owned…)

True it’s usually around the same time when you drank a lot of Snakebite and Black and got 10% discount at Topshop with your NUS card. But thanks to Tonia George’s cook book ‘Things on Toast’, toast has moved on from a staple food group for students everywhere, to something that you might actually serve to guests!

With simple and tasty offerings such as chorizo, poached eggs, chilli flakes and thyme (on toast…obviously) this is the recipe book for anyone looking to turn a basic ingredient into something much more exciting. And don’t let the word ‘toast’ lead you to believe that these meals are going to look like an amateur effort either. Simple, well cooked ingredients piled (or artfully arranged!) onto slices of good bread can look as just as enticing as something that took 12 times the amount of time and effort. It’s almost enough to make you want to throw out the Marmite forever!

(nom nom…)

Things on Toast by Tonia George.

Published by Ebury.

£9.99.

***This post was originally written for Cellardoor magazine***

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Because I don’t usually wear earrings (odd ears) it means I’m free to PILE on necklaces, bangles and rings.

A statement ring can add just the right amount of bling to any outfit, and can be a good way to nod to a trend without making too much of a commitment.  Just be careful washing your hands when wearing cheaper rings as they usually turn your fingers green..

Having said that,  I’d happily risk Green Finger for this ring by Oliver Bonas.

Flora, available at Oliver Bonas

£49

Made from sterling silver (so no actual danger of Green Finger!) and available in 3 sizes.

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Nail-art made easy.

Maybe it’s because I’m an ex teenage hand model (it’s true! I modelled plasters once when I was 18!) but I’m a bit of a nail varnish addict. Here‘s the proof.

And despite having an unknown number of bottles and colours, my favourite and most worn colours are red, dark pink or almost black. Occasionally with a matt top coat.  And usually a bit chipped… 

I’ve seen all of those nail art pens on sale, and as fun as they look, I’m not quite sure I’d have the time to mess about with them. I barely escape a bodged manicure on a weekly basis (must actually let nails dry before attempting to start another task…) never mind dooding leopard print designs on each nail as well.

But I do love the look so when I was given a bottle of W7 Crackle Nails polish in black, I thought I’d give it a little bash. Why not? And if I don’t like it, well that’s easily fixed. Much more easily than the time I experimented with a blunt fringe…(WHY?!)

I started with a white base for maximum contrast and visual impact.

Barry M does a great white. It’s streak free, opaque in just 2 coats and has a Goldilocks style consistency. Not too gloopy, not too thin… juuuuuust right.

Once that had dried, I painted one coat of W7 Crackle Nails in Earthquake Black.

Woweee! The coat I painted on looked a bit thin at first, but as it dries it starts to retract and shrink, which causes the crackle effect and intensifies the black colour.  Maybe it’s because I’d had a couple of glasses of wine, but I found it to be compelling viewing!

The effect was a manicure with a zebra-tastic finish! Awesome.

As W7 Crackle nails come in 3 different colours (Black, silver and white) I think Spring is going to see me sporting slightly more than my normal chipped red nails.

Enjoy watching paint dry with W7 Crackle Nails.

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Despite the fact that it’s getting warmer, I accidently managed to buy not one but 2 pairs of boots a couple of weeks ago. BOOTS! Boots I tell you! (pictures of said boots to follow).  A word of warning, never buy 2 pairs of boots right before going to an art gallery. I had to drag both pairs of boots (ok, only one of the pairs… Olly took the other pair, and it was the heavier pair! Such a good egg…) around the Yohji Yamamoto exhibition at the V&A. Having a heavy bag cutting into your hand can mar your enjoyment of art somewhat. It also mars the enjoyment of having hands. Although a glass of wine and some amazing olives & feta does make it better again (Friday Lates at the V&A = awesome).

But boots can only take you so far at this time of year, and we’re hurtling toward summer (hmm, perhaps ‘hurtle’ might be a bit optimistic… I wish we’d hurtle a bit bloody faster…) meaning they’re going to be archived before long, so maybe I should start sprucing up the wardrobe in anticipation of a sun ray or 2?

Jackson, French Connection

£13o

Now, like every other girl under 5ft 6 (I’m 5ft 5 1/2.. arg so close!) I love a platform.  It’s the only way to gain a few extra inches without losing the feeling in your legs.  These sandal from French Connection boast a 1 inch sole as well as an added 2 inches on the heel (5ft 8!!!).  And these simple caramel leather straps can’t fail to suit everyone.

Swedish Hasbeens

£145

Now I don’t remember falling and hitting my head anywhere, but I must have, because for some strange reason I have a faddy crush on these. The staple detail might be one step too far in the faux ‘simplicity’ stakes, but the 2 inch heel and the really plain but clunky upper make them appear very wearable.  I might even be able to walk in them!

Lucy, Ash

£160

The last pair of platforms that I’m currently eyeing up are these wedges from Ash. The combination of studs together with thick leather straps make them look like they could be both sturdy and comfortable… although I’m sure the 5 inch heel would prove otherwise.

And unfortunately for me, all of the above pairs are all over £100 which means I might have to wait a bit longer before I have another splurge.  Maybe I should save some money by cutting back on olives?!

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As is probably very obvious from my most recent birthday party, I’m a bit of a fan of Jurassic Park.  It’s because I’m a repressed 15 year old, although check this out and tell me that you don’t love it (**It’s one of my favourite scenes**).

If I was as rich as John Hammond, I’d be tempted to try to bring back dinosaurs too (obviously not learning a thing about the effects of tampering with nature…).

Luckily for the entire World, I’m not as rich so I’m not currently trying.

Anneka Moore, the designer behind Spanner & Wingnut is though… although with far less gory, popping-out-of-bushes, consequences.  Clever girl…

£140

A graduate from Central St Martins, Anneka managed to mix a sense of fun together with precious metals  to create a playful and unique capsule collection.

Her adorable dinosaur pendant is made from solid sterling silver plated in 9ct gold.  The 26 inch chain features a beautifully delicate toggle clasp, making the whole package look all the more unique.

Spanner & Wingnut products are currently stocked at a selected number of boutiques, including Of Cabbages & Kings in Stoke Newington (which is, dangerously, only a lazy 10 minute walk from Three Small Apples HQ…).

I might have to pay a little visit this weekend. But maybe I’ll brush up on my knowledge of the UNIX system first, just in case.

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Reincarnation is one of the many things that spook me out a bit.

Other things include:

*Houses that are very obviously haunted (I know of a good one in France)

*Grandfather Clocks that have stopped working (it’s going to start up again one day… when you’re by yourself. At night… )

*Alien Hand Syndrome

So imagine my joy when I found out that Olly is apparently a reincarnated soldier from WW2, who was killed in a tank accident… whoopee(!).  That’s just the kind of thing you want to be told about while staying in a very secluded Spanish villa late at night. But apart from a normal level of interest in Call of Duty, it doesn’t seem to have affected him too much. And his hands haven’t tried to strangle me yet either..

Now I don’t have any proof or memories of any of my past lives, but I’m pretty sure that one of them must have been as a magpie judging by my unhealthy attraction to all thing sparkly. I just can’t help it! But I know I’m technically too old for of that malarkey (this theory also applies to my Hello Kitty obsession and my love for Gossip Girl) so I am trying to fight back.

One of my hardest and most recent battles is with these:

image

“Hoshiko” from KG by Kurt Geiger

£160

Holy moly!!

Burgundy red suede, sitting on top of 5 inches of glitter covered wedge, with a pointed toe.  Kurt Geiger is trying to sabotage my 12 step programme at Sparkle Addicts Anonymous.

imageCould you describe the champagne satin, with silver glitter as the more ‘classic’ looking option? Maybe not, but they are just as spectacular.

The only fly in the ointment is that the cut of the shoe is so narrow at the front, which combined with the height of the wedge, made them quite an awkward fit.  But not to be put off by such insignificant details such as comfort and practicality, I squeezed them on anyway and tottered around the shop swooning and trying to figure out how I could possibly justify them…

It turns out that I couldn’t.  So back on the shelf they went and a teary and lingering goodbye was made.

So long dream shoes. I’ll remember you fondly…

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Tea-riffic

Tea with fellow Stokey blogger and sewing chum Sarah Betty at The Tea Rooms on Stoke Newington Church Street… how incredibly civilised!

image

Of course I had to try the Three Flower Tea… the perfect tea choice for Threesmallapples!

And unlike a lot of herbal or floral teas, this tea tasted as good as it smelled… Result!

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