Tuesday, 31 March 2015

PILOTS PODCAST - EPISODE 6 'GIRLS'


This time Anne and I watched and then talked about the pilot of Girls, and who would have guessed it would be the show that divided us more than any other so far?  But then that's the great thing about great TV - the conversations.  Even if the conversations ruin friendships, marriages and even podcasts (our one didn't do any of those things, but can you blame a girl for trying to create some drama?  Speaking of drama, we need to do The Hills).  Anyway, listen to us argue over Adam below.

Friday, 27 March 2015

HILFIGER DREAMS







We have a garden*! (*tiny tiny space, smaller than a tupperware box, that is decked and - I think - outside).  So these photos were taken in our garden*! (*It's so small you need tweezers and a microscope to see it).  I was trying to do an outfit inspired by the looks at the Tommy Hilfiger RTW Spring 2015 collection.  Which I loved.  In short (and there were shorts) it was crochet and leather and suede, and boots and stars.  I can't afford those Hilfiger price tags so this outfit is a vastly cheaper attempt.  The jacket is from Missguided, the crochet top is from Glamorous, the skirt is from Minkpink and the clutch is from ASOS.   I also picked up some (in)famous Rimmel Coffee Shimmer the other day, remember that?!  I needed it for when I tried to dress like Corey Mason, but keep being drawn to it IRL too.  I feel OK about it.  Bit weird, maybe?  No, it's fine.  As long as it's more Brenda from 90210 than...the mom from 90210.  

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

SRETSIS: THE RUNAWAY RUM











A couple of years ago we played a show in Bangkok. We didn't know much about what was going to happen on that trip before we went - we were very green.  When we arrived we were met at the airport by two sisters, Pim and Matina Sukhahuta.  I remember they were very smiley, and very beautiful, and that we had flown in from Hong Kong and I hadn't really slept properly in 24 hours, was smelly, and dressed in weird brown khaki trousers and a faded USA flag vest.  When we arrived at the venue we realised this wasn't a normal show.  There was a team of people building the stage.  I think said stage had grass on it.  There were definitely wooden deer.  And they gave me two outfits to wear.  This was one of them. 


I treasure this jumpsuit.  

Matina also let me wear some of the amazing jewellery she designs onstage.  The show was probably our favourite ever.  The crowd were so friendly, I remember there was a guy with a camera attached to his head - why not? - and we had the best time.  Here's a photo of a song we did in the crowd.  I totally forgot Jeremy's moustache month!


We spent a couple of days in Bangkok with Pim and Matina and the lovely Choltida, who directs Supersweet Live. and basically organised everything.  They took us to temples and incredible restaurants - Jeremy still maintains that the best Mexican food he's ever eaten is the Mexican food in Bangkok.  What we didn't realise before that trip, but realised quickly once we arrived, is that not only are Pim and Matina supremely great human beings, they're also insanely talented designers.  Pim is the creative director of dreamy and surreal clothes label Sretsis (which is "sisters" backwards), and works with Matina and their other sister Kly on the brand.  It's truly a family affair.  Every season Sretsis produces pieces that are both totally whimsical and totally wearable.  I covet every item.  Their SS 2015 collection is no exception.  Wearing this stuff is the closest a person can get to being a real-life Jem or one of The Holograms.  The concept is all focused around Californian misfit rock stars.  You know what?  They say it best:

"Drawing inspiration from the eighties youth rebellion movement, Japanese-Anglo anime ‘Lum Invader’ and ‘Jem and the Holograms’, and synth-pop club kid’s attire made relevant with MTV. This season Sretsis takes you on a West Coast road trip, with “Neon Tropical”, through the streets of Sunset Boulevard complete with fancified street wear, onto downtown L.A. with glam-o-rama cocktail dresses fit for a pop-rock princess."

They have platform boots that look like vintage roller skates, lightning bolts everywhere, pastel pink zebra print and glittery gold biker jackets.  It's my favourite Sretsis collection yet, which is really saying something. 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

IT'S A FRICKIN' SUEDE CO-ORD





I am into ASOS magazine.  It reminds of magazines like Jane and Sassy, especially since a lot of the idea behind print magazines for women is to encourage those women to buy things.  ASOS magazine doesn't hide that, it's wide open about saying, "HEY LOOK AT THIS STUFF YOU MIGHT WANT TO SPEND YOUR PAY CHECK ON", and I appreciate that.  I hate getting a magazine and reading a piece only to have a niggling feeling and then, bam, you realise it's an advertorial.  I feel so duped!  I was suckered into thinking I needing Britney's new perfume!  Even though, of course it's an advertorial!  I'm not reading Proust here.  

I feel like ASOS magazine is more like the company explaining a bit more about their newest collection, while at the same time showing you how they would style it, which always gives me ideas.  But then there are also interviews with cool women doing cool stuff and I like reading about that.  Anyway, they featured this co-ord in the last issue and I have been checking on the site regularly waiting for it to show up - why can't you search by product number, ASOS?  Or is there a way you can do that but I just don't know how to?  Someone help me!  I forgot about it for a while then remembered the other day, and there it was!  Guys, it's just as wonderful as I dreamed it.  I'm wearing the skirt in particular loads, with bare legs even though it's cold and I fell over the other day and got a really bad cut on my knee.  

Styling wise I felt like I had to be kind of careful not to make it too Coachella #festivalfashion.  I love that Festival Fashion is now an actual style.  The other day on Who What Wear they had a piece about how not to dress too Festival Fashion, including suggestions of Festival Fashion outfits that weren't overly Festival Fashion.  Amazing.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

PILOTS PODCAST - EPISODE 5 'DAWSON'S CREEK'


Anne and I had a LOT to say about Dawson's Creek.  Namely how beige Dawson's outfits are.  And how they all use a lot of long words which nobody in real life ever uses unless they're reading their dissertation aloud to their mum.  In other news, how photoshopped is this press photo (below) of the gang?!  And why is Jen/Michelle Williams wearing a bandage on her foot?

These thoughts and more in the podcast which you can download or stream below.

TEENAGE BEDROOMS ON SCREEN









I always think it would be so fun to be the art director for a teen film.  When we decorated our new place I wanted our bedroom to feel like it could be the set from one of my favourite movies.  A Kat Stratford haven, or somewhere Corey Mason would have called home.  So this Tumblr by Luke Goodsell is a vital resource.  Teen bedrooms will always be extrodinary as their decoration is often the first time that individual is able to express their...individuality.  They're nearly always cluttered with knick knacks and strange objects that hold immense significance to the owner.  And a fair share of dirty plates.  My bedroom as a teenager had floral wallpaper which I knew my mum wanted to get rid of at some point.  So I encouraged my friends to write and draw all over it.  It looked really weird and messy, and there were a lot of illustrations of willies.  Of course.  But I loved it.  I don't think any real life teenager could have a bedroom as cool as the teen bedrooms from these films - ironically it takes a certain amount of distance and adulthood in order to create a teen bedroom that's this perfect.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

INSPIRED BY: EMPIRE RECORDS






HAPPY REX MANNING DAY!

Ok it's not actually Rex Manning Day until April the 8th, but I can't wait that long!  This outfit is inspired by Corey Mason, the speed freak with the mis-matching underwear and desperate love for that bouffant himbo, Rex Manning.  She was also the girl I longed to be, and I adore her as much now as I did as a 12 year old.  The colours of this outfit aren't right - it should be a blue jumper and a yellow and blue skirt, but I wanted to make it my own, and also make it a bit less halloween-costume.

The lipstick is Rimmel Coffee Shimmer - they still make it! - and it's 100% authentic.  Jumper is from River Island.  I've had it for ages but you can get a similar here, skirt is from Noisy May, and the boots are my Vagabonds.  Laces undone, of course.

I wrote a big piece about the music and style of Empire Records a while back, it's available for reading over here.

Friday, 6 March 2015

PILOTS PODCAST - EPISODE FOUR 'BROOKLYN NINE NINE'


Here is the fourth episode of my podcast with the amazing Anne T. Donahue in which we watch a pilot separately, then talk about it together.  This time it was the turn of the brilliant Andy Samberg vehicle Brooklyn Nine Nine.  Seriously guys, if you're not watching this, you're missing out, and other TV cliches.  We also discussed Harry Potter in quite a lot of detail, far more than you would consider appropriate for a podcast about a TV show set in New York.



Thursday, 5 March 2015

CHOCOLATE, COFFEE AND SALTED CARAMEL RIDICULOUS CAKE



This cake is a joke.  It's bonkers, it's outrageous, it's audacious, it's a Bruce Bogtrotter cake.  It's also pretty yummy and easier than it looks.  So if you want to make a cake that could beat up every other cake with one little iced finger, read on.

INGREDIENTS
For chocolate sponge:
125g self-raising flour, replace 2 tablespoons of the flour with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
125g caster sugar
125g butter
2 eggs
1tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk

For the coffee sponge:
125g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
125g butter
2 eggs
1tsp baking powder
50ml strong fresh brewed coffee

For salted caramel sponge:
125g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
125g butter
2 eggs
1tsp baking powder
2tbsp milk
some of the salted caramel sauce

For salted caramel sauce:
200g brown sugar
50g butter
150 ml double cream
sea salt

For chocolate icing:
100g butter
300g icing sugar
40g cocoa powder
40ml milk

For coffee icing:
100g butter
300g icing sugar
30ml strong fresh brewed coffee

For salted caramel icing:
600g icing sugar
200g butter
150mls salted caramel sauce

No but I promise it's really easy!  Don't look at me like that.  (Also to make life easier maybe have three 20cm round baking dishes).  





METHOD

Make the sponges, I recommend making separate mixtures to stop your brain from frying.  I did chocolate first.  

Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade, or 150 if you're using a fan oven.  Beat together the butter and sugar till very creamy, then add the eggs one by one.  Add a tablespoon of the flour/cocoa mixture as well to stop the eggs from curdling.  Sift in the remaining flour/cocoa and add the baking powder, then add the milk.  Stir it all together gently with a metal spoon or spatula in a figure eight.  Grease and line a 20cm round baking dish and pour the mixture into it, then smooth it so it's flat.  Bake in the oven for at least 25 minutes, until the sponge jumps back when you press a finger onto it.  Mine took almost 50 minutes because it was my first time with this oven and also I have a fear of under baking sponges - forget food poisoning, they collapse!

Do the same method for the coffee and salted caramel sponges, only using no cocoa powder, and coffee instead of milk for the coffee sponge.  Keep your wits about you when it comes to the timing of the bakes.  I made the coffee and chocolate mixtures and baked them together, then put the salted caramel mixture into the oven halfway through. 

Make the salted caramel sauce.  

Melt the butter in a heavy bottom pan over a moderate heat, add the sugar and cook until the sugar starts boiling and bubbling up like honeycomb.  Take it off the heat and add the cream bit by bit, whisking constantly to avoid crystals and lumps.  Season with as much sea salt as tastes right to you.  In my case, a lot.  

When the sponges are all cooked, remove from oven.  I then made small holes in the top of the salted caramel cake and poured some of the sauce over it.  Yeah. 

Make the icing. 

Again, I made them separately.  Just beat the butter and icing sugar or icing/cocoa powder mix together with the coffee or salted caramel sauce or milk until it's completely combined. 

Then when the sponges are cooled it's time to assemble the cake.  You want the sponges to be as flat as possible to stop them wobbling, so I sliced a bit off the top before icing them.  Ice each sponge with it's coinciding flavour, and build up the layers.  I then covered the entire cake with a thin layer of salted caramel icing (hence why you make double of this) so there would be something for the other icing flavours to stick to when I was piping.  This was my first time piping and I was NAT good, but I'm going to keep trying until I pipe the Mona frickin' Lisa on a gingernut.  Things I've learned about piping so far: 

1. Be at the same level as your cake.  I had mine on the kitchen counter while I sat on a chair.  Very comfortable. 
2.  Get the consistency of the icing right.  Too runny is actually better than too stiff when it comes to squeezing.  That sounds weird.  
3. Practice on a bit of greaseproof paper first.  
4. Fill in gaps with squirts of excess icing. 
5.  Tell everyone you meant to do weird curly shells, and close the YouTube tutorial on "How To Pipe Roses" as soon as possible.

So you pipe the chocolate icing first, then the coffee, then the salted caramel.  It's easy.  

That's it!  I also made some dark chocolate shapes for the top because I'm an overgrown woman child.  




Saturday, 28 February 2015

CHER HOROWITZ'S WARDROBE ORGANISER IS REAL (KIND OF)


OK so I don't ever like writing that something changed my life, especially not an app, but as I started unpacking my clothes into our new place and realised I didn't have room for all of them in my wardrobe, and didn't want to just shove them in the attic and forget about them....Well that's when the Stylebook Closet App stepped in and totally changed my life guys!

It's also as close as you can get to Cher Horowitz's wardrobe computer program without travelling back in time to a fictional universe created by Amy Heckerling.


There are a couple of apps that do similar things (My Dressing and Metail for example) but I found Stylebook the easiest to use.  It works like this - you take a photo of the item of your clothing you want logged, or grab one from the internet (I just did all the summer stuff I don't need out at the moment, but you could do EVERYTHING), you put the image in the right folder, and then you can make notes on where it is.  For example, my yellow tartan Cher Horowitz skirt is currently in Summer Box No. 1 in my attic.  Oh god I get such a shiver of organising joy to know that.  You can also plan outfits using the app, Cher style, or decide what dress you're going to give to charity because you haven't worn it in two years.  It's also a great way to keep track of potential duplicates.  I have so many white vests because I forget I have all those white vests, so when I walk past the white vest shop I always think, "Hmm, I should get a white vest, I don't have a white vest". #whitevest

Anyway, it's a life changer.