Slightly Obsessed with Constance Guisset’s Vertigo Pendant

April 21, 2015

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The lighting situation in my living (my whole house, really) is BOR-ING. I’ve had one eye open for some interesting lighting solutions, but nothing has really sucked me in. At least, nothing affordable! A few months back, I came across this pendant by Constance Guisset in a photo and I loved it right away. It reminds me of a big, floppy sun hat! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to track down the source/name of the light when I first saw it and decided to forget about it. I’ve since seen this light many times and am happy to report that I found it!

As I said, the light was designed by Constance Guisset and it’s called the Vertigo pendant. I’ve been able to find it in black, white, copper, and green. The only hiccup is that it costs about £600 (eek!!!). That’s just not realistic for my budget, I’m afraid. I wanted to share it with you anyway because I love the design and it’s can maybe serve as a little inspiration for you if you’re lighting shopping.

I also have to remember that I have a big brass lighting/art piece on the wall behind my sofa, so a light of this size and style might be too busy for my living room. You have to be careful about cramming a bunch of eye-catching pieces in one little space.

The hunt continues!

Where I’ve Been + New Blogger/Brand Services

April 14, 2015

I want to start this post off with a huge apology for my absence. I’ve been gone for a month and a half and that’s far too long. There are quite a few factors involved– one of which is that the company I was working with decided to shut down the project, so I’ve been wrapping my head around that! Another is that I spent a lovely week in Rome/Florence with my husband, my cousin, and her hubby. There are a couple of other reasons as well, but I can’t tell you everything at once, can I?!

One thing that I’ve been able to do in this time is think about what I want to do with myself. There are lots of things, which is why I’ve always got my hand in some project or another. My three main dreams are to grow this blog, own a soul food restaurant/general store, and to run a digital consultancy to help small businesses and bloggers. My mind has been darting between these three passions for some time, but I’m happy to say that I’m taking a first step towards the latter goal.

I am now offering my digital and design skills to bloggers and small businesses that are looking to develop their brand and online presence. I have so much experience in this area, and it will be a joy to share what I know with others! I have a nifty little menu on my new services page, and you can feel free to email me with any questions you have.

I pledge to you to do far better with posting in the future. I’ve missed you!

Posh Beans on Toast Recipe

March 1, 2015

posh beans on toast recipeI’ve been living in England for 5 1/2 years now and there have been more cultural differences than I think I was originally prepared for. One thing that I prepared myself for before moving here was bad food, and I was relieved to find that the food in London is diverse, plentiful and yummy. There are food combinations that have taken some getting used to like scotch eggs, black pudding, and what I’m featuring today, baked beans on toast.

Beans. On. Toast. What was even more odd is that beans on toast is a breakfast food! My British readers are probably saying, “yeah? And?” It’s just odd because in the States you’d have baked beans at a barbecue, not for breakfast.

Anyway, lately (after 5 years of avoiding) I’ve been coming around to the traditional English breakfast and have recently become a fan of beans on toast. Now being me, I don’t eat any old beans out of any old can– I like mine the posh way! So today I give you my recipe for Posh Beans on Toast (slightly adapted from here).

Ingredients

(3-4 servings)
1 can cannelloni or butter beans
1 can chopped tomatoes
200ml vegetable stock
1 red onion chopped in thin slices
1 pack of lardons or 1/2 pack of bacon, chopped
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp thyme
sourdough bread slices
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Directions

Put around a teaspoon of oil in a pot and fry your bacon and onions until they go soft– around 5 minutes. Then add your chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, brown sugar, thyme and salt/pepper. Bring to a low boil and let simmer for around 5 minutes, then add your beans. Once your pot comes back to a low boil, let this simmer anywhere from 10-15 minutes to cook off excess water and thicken your beans.

Once your beans are ready, heat up a frying pan. Instead of putting oil in the pan, lightly drizzle/brush olive oil on both sides of your toast and then lay in your hot pan, flipping and toasting on each side.

This goes very well with a fried egg, and I loved the recipe so much that I just made a giant batch that I’ll be carrying to work to have for breakfast this week! Very yum.

What to put over my desk…

February 11, 2015

Originally I was planning on putting pegboard above the workspace in my office, but after being honest with myself, I’m not sure I’d actually use it to stay organised the way I do in my decorating fantasies. Sometimes it’s hard to be honest about these things when you fall in love with an idea, but I’m pretty sure that would be a waste of money for me.

Our office is narrow with a small window, so not much light gets in the room. It occurred to me that maybe it would be a good idea to hang a large mirror above the desk to help bounce some light around. Finding a good mirror is trickier than it seems, and it’s hard to know if I should go for an ornate or a simple frame. I’ve found this one, which is simple and fairly affordable, so I’m thinking of going for it. I’m just wondering if this is a boring idea? I feel like our office needs more oomph. I know I’m not showing a picture of the office, so that’s not much help. This is one of the last few things we need to get for the house, and I’m ready to be done with it already!

What do you think of these example rooms? I couldn’t find many examples of mirrors hung above desks, but I quite like these. Decisions, decisions.

Via 1 and 2

DIY Valentine’s Heart Piñata

February 9, 2015

how to make a heart pinataI’ve been wracking my brain trying to decide what I wanted to feature for Valentine’s Day and, having wanted to make a glamorous piñata for some time, I’ve decided to share a DIY for a heart piñata as inspiration for you to give your sweetie. The thing I love about this idea is that it works as a fun way to give treats to a group of people as well. If you want to bring treats to work or if you’re hanging out with friends for Valentine’s, you could have a blast bashing one of these open!

This DIY is very forgiving. No need to worry too much about measuring if you don’t want to, which is exactly my style.

You’ll need:
a flattened box
a gluestick
something to write with
scissors
a pack of tissue paper
masking tape
string
a bowl (or a heart template or your eyes)

I used a bowl to start off my heart outline. In a fairly freehand way, I overlapped two circles and connected it at the bottom to complete the heart shape. You can do this however you like! Once you cut your first heart, you can use it as a template to cut out a second heart so they match. You’ll need to cut a flap in one of your boxes which will allow you to fill your piñata with treats after it’s built.

Next, cut a long strip that will go around the edge of your box. My strip is about three fingers wide. Don’t worry about making it the perfect length– cut a long strip and you can cut off the excess later. If it’s too short, you can add another strip and tape over the seam.

My strip had a few folds in it, so I placed one of those in the dip of my heart as a starting point. To start, sit one side of your heart on the table and tape the strip around the edges in what will be the inside of the box. Sit the other heart on top and then tape everything in place to form your heart box. Don’t forget to tape your string on for hanging at this point, as well!

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Now to the glamorous part… Cut your tissue paper into long strips about two fingers wide. Cut slits along the length of the tissue paper strips and then glue them onto your heart, starting from the bottom (the point) and work your way up (to the humps). Finally, add tissue strips to the sides.

Et voilà!

diy heart pinata

Take your leftover tissue paper and cut it into confetti to add to your candy filling– it adds a little drama to when you bust your piñata open! To elevate your piñata even more, I suggest filling it with nicer chocolates like Ferrero Roche, which I’m obsessed with.

This took me a couple of hours to make, so I reckon this is a great project to do while watching a good movie and drinking a glass of wine.

Happy crafting!