Sunday, 29 April 2012

real matters: hair today, gone tomorrow!

I've always wanted to donate my hair to Locks of Love following a couple of my friends noble lead.  

As cancer has claimed or affected many special people in my life, I wanted to help individuals going through chemo and facing hair loss. Unfortunately, Locks of Love is only an American charity but I did stumble upon a similar charity, Little Princess Trust, that supplies real hair wigs to children suffering from cancer to alopecia and anywhere in between. 

I can only imagine as an adult the pain of losing your hair, but being a little kid and going through the same process has to be extremely traumatic. Wearing a wig that isn't synthetic and itchy, and made from real hair, I hope, will ease that experience.

I've been growing my hair out for a while and decided it was long enough (has to be at least 7 3/4" long to donate) time to take the plunge.  Surprisingly, I was extremely calm about chopping off 10 inches of my hair and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders (literally)! It was so liberating to go through a drastic change (albeit hair style) but to know I would be helping someone that truly needs my hair more than I need it.

I encourage everyone to grow their hair out and donate to a similar cause.  I'm already excited to donate again, but for now I'll enjoy my new summer 'do.  My hair's never been healthier!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

debut: the village haberdashery

I'm so excited to share that my friend Annie's fabulous new shop, The Village Haberdashery, has gone live! 
"The Village Haberdashery provides a delightful selection of popular and hard to find fabric and yarn collections, haberdashery, trimmings, tools and patterns with the modern quilter, knitter and seamstress in mind."
She also stocks fabrics that can be used for interiors - super handy for me having just moved into a new flat.

All of her hard work has definitely paid off and I wish her the best success!  Head over to her blog, The Daily Stitch (how cute is that name?) where she showcases all of her amazing work as well as non-sewing related posts

The best thing about her shop? International shipping - so my American and UK friends can both enjoy!

Friday, 24 February 2012

weekend: lovely & low key

The weather is supposed to be, well, positively gorg in London this weekend. 

I'm looking forward to hanging out with K, catching up and watching The Descendants (GEORGE!) with some of my favorite girls and volunteering for a great cause.

What are your plans?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

product junkie: elizabeth arden eight hour® cream

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a bit of a product junkie. Okay, a HUGE product junkie. I'm an advertiser's dream!  My mission is to sort through my inventory and create a go-to list so I don't waste any more money on products that don't deliver.

I don't know about you, but one of my biggest shopping weaknesses are the duty-free shops at airports.  There's something about traveling that enhances your need to improve yourself inside and out and draws you to make those improvements with PRODUCTS (at least for me)! It's a bit of heaven on earth and at a discount!

On one of my many trips back to the UK from the US, I picked up Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream set.  It included the famous Eight Hour Skin Protectant, Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment and Lip Protectant.  My skin always gets so parched from the stale airplane air that I figured this would be a great fix.  I wasn't (and still not) disappointed. 

My hands always feel the brunt of the cold weather during the winter that I constantly keep the hand treatment in my bag.  A dab goes a long way and glides on velvety smooth.  It dries quickly and is surprisingly non greasy plus smells like you just stepped into your very own spa.  Such a clean scent! I also carry the lip protectant everywhere as well.  It's great alone or over your favorite lipstick and so, so moisturizing. I'm excited to discover it's also available tinted in 3 different shades!

As the proctectant is the heaviest of the three, I tend to use it on larger areas like my knees, feet, and elbows at night to avoid it rubbing off on my daytime clothes.  I always wake up with smooth and nourished skin.

There are so many ways to use the Eight Hour products – so go on, make your skin happy!

The Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour product range are available at Harrods in the UK and Sephora in the US.

All content is strictly my opinion and my experience.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

karneval kraziness

While in Germany over the weekend, K and I stumbled on Karneval Hannover while shopping in the city center.  It was very much like a tamer Mardi Gras minus the beads and exposed flesh and very family friendly. We collected a lot of candy thrown from the floats, being very careful not to get pelted in the eye in the process!  

These kids definitely had the right idea!

And in case the candy didn't tickle your fancy, there was even a float giving away free beer!

Clubs and committees around Germany meet throughout the year to organize parties and parades that occur on the days before the start of Ash Wednesday. Each event has their own Prince and Princess of Karneval and royal court which is a huge honor for those "reigning" that year. Spectators also get into the spirit by dressing up and joining in on the fun.

While I missed the traditional king cake this year, I'm glad that I was able to indulge in a form of Mardi Gras in another part of the world before the beginning of Lent.

Hanover Helau!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

rest & relaxation: hannover

Off to Hannover, Germany for the weekend to visit my boyfriend's family.  His mom's birthday was on Valentine's Day and I'm planning to bring these pretzels for a guest gift/happy birthday gesture. 

Not looking forward to the cold weather but definitely looking forward to relaxing in his sleepy village, practicing my German and consuming way too much red meat for one person!

Friday, 10 February 2012

diy: chocolate dipped pretzels

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I stumbled across a tutorial for chocolate covered pretzels from Make and Takes through one of my favorite DIY blogs, Madigan Made.
I wanted to make something cheap and cheerful for my non-American boyfriend who doesn't fully appreciate the commercial hoopla that revolves around Valentine's Day. The shame!

what you'll need:
bag of pretzels (any shape or size)
chocolate candy melts or almond bark
festive sprinkles
baking paper

I grabbed a couple of bowls and melted the chocolate (strawberry, white and dark chocolate in my case) in the microwave until melted to a thick consistency (directions will vary). I then dipped half of the pretzel into the chocolate, covered it in sprinkles and placed it on the baking paper to cool. 

Once cool (the chocolate should hard and not sticky), I put them in a tuberware container and placed them in the refridgerator to really set the chocolate.  The white chocolate pretzels were still a bit sticky so I placed them on a plate and put them in the fridge as well.  Big mistake! They hardened, stuck to the plate and broke when I tried to move them to the tuberware with the rest of their friends.  Always place on the baking paper to prevent this! On the positive side, I was able to enjoy my creations by eating the "bad ones".  And by "bad ones" I mean half of the batch! Delicious!

Place in a cute container and give to your valentine!

PS - I also found these super cute ideas to make these all year round from Love From The Oven!