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BLOGGED: Eau de My Gosh… I want you ALL. #TriedAndTested Perfume Sniffing @Selfridges, London and the things on my Christmas List… so far.
This morning, after being *asked for the millionth time “What do you want for Christmas?” I decided to actively go and seek out a few things that I would be delighted to unwrap on Christmas morning.
Anyway, I’m sure I’m not the only one who isn’t a fan of getting bought
crap,not-quite-what-you-were-expecting-or-even-knew-you-wanted, Christmas presents. The things that probably cost at least a tenner, are a little bit gimmicky and that you would not even look at once twice,if you were in a shop buying for yourself. I hate that feeling of cold panic that settles in the pit of your stomach as you start to unwrap a present infront of your boyfriend or in-laws and are thinking “PLEASE. GOD. LET ME LIKE THIS.”
I don’t want to seem ungrateful, oh no. I love giving nice gifts as well as receiving them. Afterall, it’s the thought that counts… Emphasis on THOUGHT there people! But there are only so many pointless, leather murdering gloves, Christmas themed mug-sets and Tarten Baker boy hats that one girl can take!!!
That is why, for the past 4 years, my boyfriend, JMG, and I have written each other little Christmas lists. OF COURSE, we don’t actually expect to receive EVERYTHING we write down (unless one of us has an unexpected, and not to be sniffed, at windfall on the lottery… now that WOULD be nice.) By writing down too many things, there is still a nice element of surprise AND it also gives other people an idea of the kind of things that YOU like.
So, this Christmas, living in my tiny new room in London, I need to be careful what I wish for… so to speak. My bedroom is the size of a box and by that I mean a
shoeboxmatchbox, so really will not take kindly to too much new clutter.
I would like gifts that I’m going to able to use, enjoy, & maybe, even keep forever:
- Scented Candles I am a BIG candle fan. My room may be tiny, but damn doesn’t it smell good when I’ve got one of my bad boy candles burning away and making it all delicious. Scents I like: St Eval’s Scented Tin Candles, around £9, I love their Fig, Tuberose, Apple & Elderflower, Tranquility, Sensuality, Bay & Rosemary, or for something a little bit more luxurious any Jo Malone one will do - Pomegranate Noir, Lime, Basil & Mandarin, Blackberry & Bay (ahem…) just £38 each.
- Lovely Lingerie If in doubt gift vouchers for Selfridges, Fig Leaves, M&S or John Lewis will do. A woman knows what she likes, what suits her shape and what she feels sexy in.
- A New Perfume Something different, a scent I’ve never owned before, something which I’d think “EEK” at splashing out on for myself. A few perfumes on my radar that I tried out this evening in Selfridges are as follows, a lot of them are unisex too.
- Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela,£49 30ml.
- Replica 3 Collection by Maison Martin Margiela
Alien Essence Absolue EDP by Thierry Mugler, £52.50 30ml.
- Miss Dior Cherie by Dior EDT, £51 50ml.
I fell IN LOVE with the Armani/ Prive Collections. My favourite fragrances from Armani were Figuier Eden and Rose Alexandrie, both £82 from the “Les Eaux” range.
- Precious Oud by Van Cleef & Arpels, from £125 75ml
- Private Blend Noir de Noir, by Tom Ford, £195 100ml.
- Pomegranate Noir Cologne by Jo Malone, £76 100ml
- Oud & Bergamot by Jo Malone, £95 100ml
- Blackberry and Bay by Jo Malone, £76 100ml
You can read about my other favourite perfumes here:
- Beauty Products Look at the lovely beauty products you own and know cost an arm and a leg, but which you know you can’t live without. Why don’t you ask for a Gift Voucher for that particular Estee Lauder Doublewear concealor you covet or dread running out of? Or maybe your favourite Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Skincare regime… It’s always nice to have spares!
(Read my Liz Earle Tried and Tested Cleanse and Polish Review here.)
- Sensual Suggestions Origins Calm To Your Senses Lavender and Vanilla Oil for Bath & Body, £22 150ml. A Personal favourite! A lovely gift to or from a loved one.
- I.I.D.T.T meaning If In Doubt Think Topshop vouchers… Topshop is my ‘drug’ of choice. I, like many other of my friends, am ADDICTED to this place. GAH!
- Archival Digital Print of a photo that means something to you. As a Photographer I am guilty of NOT having my photos printed. The VAST majority of my archive sits rather quietly on my LaCie Rugged and may never see the light of day again… BUT!! There are always those photos, those images that make you think: ”I WISH I COULD GET THAT BLOWN UP REALLY REALLY BIG”. For me, these images are a few of the ones that I took on a roadtrip around California with JMG a few years ago. I took my Mamiya C330 TLR medium format camera and my polaroid and we had a wail of a time! The Polaroids are great as they are Instant print, but the Mamiya slide film, which was developed almost as soon as I returned, still sits in a box waiting for prints to be made.
- Anthropologie Dinnerware and delectables… You can’t fail to impress if you buy
themme something from here…
- A Beautiful Print by one of your favorite Artists. In my case, I’ve been hankering after this Joe Wilson - Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet Print for quite sometime…
- Handbags at dawn… A pretty little clutch bag to step-in for your day-to-day work bag for those special evenings when a trusty leather satchel just won’t cut it. I adore this Monsoon Accessorize All Over Pansy and Lace Envelope Clutch, £32.
- A Moroccan Leather Pouffe by Graham and Green, from £139. Another thing I’ve been lusting after FOREVER!
- A Pink Betsy Liberty Print Showercap, £20 because I think it’s gorgeous!!
Please note… this list is not finished! I’ve got a new crush on all things ‘Oud’. :-)
24.05.12 :: Home-made Simple Summer Fishcakes Enjoyed Al Fresco.
This is the BBC Good Food Simple Fish Cake recipe that I used. Click the image for recipe.
Tonight I wanted to make something that was tasty, summery, and could be conjured up using the few ingredients that I already had in the fridge/ cupboard or garden. I didn’t have any fish fillets as the BBC Good Food ‘Simple fish cakes’ recipe suggests, instead I had two frozen battered cod fillets which I carefully peeled the batter off and then placed into a pan of milk with a finely chopped red onion to boil away nicely.
I made my mash potato using the two remaining jacket spuds sat forlornly on my shelf and decided to root some fresh herbs from the garden to add a bit of tasty goodness to this simple dish. I opted for lemon thyme and parsley with some finely chopped red chilli and 5 finely sliced spring onions. I added this herby mix to the mash potato and flaked fish to form the basis for the fish cakes.
They were a little bit sloppy and so I needed to dust them with quite a bit of flour before dunking them in the beaten egg and covering in a dusting of fresh brown bread crumbs. I used 4 slices of toasted brown bread, finely grated, to make my crumbs. I then popped them in the fridge for 30 minutes as instructed to firm up a bit and then set about making Roasted Red & Yellow peppers stuffed with a simple lemon and herb cous cous, then popped them in the over with a drizzling of olive oil for around 25-30 mins.
We then fried the fish cakes on each side for a few minutes until heated through and golden brown on each side.
Finally, to accompany our fish cakes, we both had sliced cucumber and green salad, toasted pitta bread, garlic & red pepper houmous, guacamole and a drizzle of sweet chilli dipping sauce. mmm.
They were delicious! I think they tasted even better eaten in the garden whilst sipping on a glass of brandy and dry ginger.
To see my step-by-step photos of how I made them read on…