Wednesday, 29 April 2015

3 things I learnt from 'Yes Please' by Amy Poehler

Hi Friends :)

I've always thought Amy Poehler was amazing in Parks and Recreation, but I truly fell in love with her when I read her book 'Yes Please'. With chapter titles such as 'Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend' and 'The Robots Will Kill Us All', how could I not be? Amy's book includes personal stories, important advice and hilarious comments about sex, friendships, parenting, work and everything in between.

So, I have learnt:
1) This woman has some seriously good life advice. Just when you think you're reading about one of her every day stories, it suddenly changes into some great advice. I particularly liked the advice from her parents: 'have male friends', 'girls can do anything boys can do'.

2) Amy is HILARIOUS. After reading an apology she wrote early in the book I was near tears, but besides this moment the book was hilarious. There is a brilliant list of potential divorce books (Divorce: 10 ways not to catch it!) and a haiku about plastic surgery. If you need a chuckle, this book is the one!

3) She has worked really hard to get where she is. There often seems to be a misconception that all celebrities just 'become' famous. Amy's book lists the multiple jobs she's had, how she got to where she is now and how hard she had to work to get there - she has a really admirable work ethic.

Others I'd recommend if you like this one:
Bossypants - Tina Fey
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Mindy Kaling
Not That Kind of Girl - Lena Dunham

Love & hugs

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Happiness is a fresh, seasonal avocado.

It actually is. Avocado is the bomb.
This is superrrrr simple, but I've already explained, I'm no chef - I'm trying to improve, okay?!

Over the easter holidays, a now distant memory, I felt lost as to what to make for lunch! I never make lunch, it's always given to me at work, but I wanted to think of something quick and yummy to make during my days of hard, painful degree work (which I regularly abandoned for friends).

So here it is, the simplest, scrummiest lunch!

Recently my sister's boyfriend taught me how to poach an egg (thanks Laurie!) but you can also use fried or scrambled (I'm a sunny-side up lover). Either way, to poach these eggs, I cut a large square of cling film and put it in one of the gaps in my egg box where my egg would have been. I cracked the egg into the cling film and quickly grabbed the corners to twist them together. Once my cling film egg was secure and my water was slightly simmering, I stirred my water quickly and placed the egg in the middle.

Then I mashed an avocado, spread it on my biona organic rye bread and added a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Once the eggs were cooked, I CAREFULLY (key word: avoid burning) got them out of the water and unwrapped them from the cling film. No egg is finished without a sprinkling of salt (Himalayan Pink Sea Salt preferably...) and pepper.

This lunch is frickin' delicious. I seriously recommend it for anyone who needs to make a quick meal.
NOW! off to celebrate my best friends birthday...

I hope you're all having a jammy saturday!

Love & Hugs

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” -Jorge Luis Borges

Hi friends, 

For the first post under the category 'What I'm Loving Wednesday' I started to look around my flat and straight away found about 30 things I ADORE but wanted to trim down my selection for this post! Out of the top 10 things I'm LOVING there seems to be a lot of books, which wasn't my intention at all! (and I cheated at little bit...) It was really hard to decide what to include but let's get into it!


1) Moroccan Lanterns - oh my. These are so beautiful. The larger one was a birthday present from my sister and the other was purchased by me more recently. They're both form Home Sense (dribble dribble, great home shop!!) and I adore them. I love mixing metal and wood and I think they look really beautiful by my balcony. 


2) The next is succulents... which may seem REALLY boring to you but having plants in the flat has made SUCH a big difference to my mood this month. It brings life to the flat (literally) and it makes my living room feel a lot fresher. A few years ago I never would have thought that one of the main things I'm loving is plants. How time flies. My balcony is COVERED in flowers!


3) Ways of Seeing - John Berger. Okay, I'm not 100% sure ANYONE will care about this one, but this is an art history book which I find REALLY helpful. Most of my textbooks include sentences which take up half a page, they seriously boggle my brain. This book is super relaxed, easy to read and I love the writers style. This was given to me by one of my lovely friends Dani, who also did an Art History degree (thank you Dani!).


4) Topshop Shoes. Just look at them. These shoes make me so happy, I adore the pattern and they're flats so I can wear them comfortably at work when I have to clamber about putting up displays. Well done Topshop, well done *claps excitedly*


5) HOLY MOLY. Chanel Chance just smells so good, I have NO idea what's in it, so I'm looking it up to tell you the notes! 'The unexpected floral fragrance by Chanel, for women who know that in order to be lucky, you have to believe in chance!' good advertising Chanel. The website says that the main notes are Jasmine, Vanilla and Orris, which would make sense because Jasmine and Vanilla are two of my favourite scents. Either way, go and ask for a sample because I adore it! 


6) Tea...okay. Some of my friends think I may have a problem here, but I'm not so sure *hangs head in shame*. I love tea! (evidently) I think its really soothing and after a long day at work I love taking 5 minutes to sit down with a cup of tea and relax. 


7) Isn't Juno an amazing film? I remember the first time i saw this yearrrrrrrrs ago, when it first came out. Recently I was spring cleaning my art drawers and wanted to watch a film at the same time. I saw this on my shelves and thought I'd watch it because I hadn't seen it in ages. If you didn't see it when it first came out then go and watch it now! Or even if you have seen it, have a relaxing evening watching it again because I think it's witty, fun, and moving. 


8) Who said colouring in was just for children? Another book... this colouring in book is called 'Secret Garden' and has recently become extremely popular! I was given mine for Christmas (I think!) and I adore it. Since then I've seen it everywhere so they should be easy to find in Smiths or Waterstones. Whenever I'm super stressed and need some 'me' time I put on a film and colour in, I'm basically a 5 year old.


9) Nail Varnishes - whenever I'm a little stressed, or things aren't going quite right I have no nail varnish on. I'm not sure how it happens, but it always ends up being the biggest indication that something is wrong with me, my nails will be colourless. However, as soon as I start to get out of my funk the first thing I do is paint my nails which is why I've just started loving polishes again! From my ridiculous collection, I adore all of these shades for summer. I recognise that the end Chanel shade doesn't exactly SCREAM beach walks and ice-cream but I can't exclude it! From left to right we have: Essie Fiji, Essie Sand Tropez, Essie Cute as a Button, OPI Significant Other Colour, Essie Lilacism, Essie Bikini so Teeny, Butter London Fiver and Chanel Rouge Noir.


10) Last but not least... books. Okay this is a MAJOR cheat because it should just be one book but I started pulling out books from my bookcase and then I couldn't choose one! I was going to choose Gone Girl because I ADORE that book, but then I saw Shock of the Fall and thought I couldn't exclude it. THEN I saw 'How to be a Woman' which I'd really REALLY recommend any girl/woman to read, it's amazing... and it went on like this until I had this pile of books! Clearly I can't go into detail with all of them, and this is only looking at the books in my Study, let alone the living room and bedroom, but they're all great, I promise!

So, although only 3/10 were books, this final list was after I had taken out a cook book and a coffee table book which would have made it 5/10! I hope you're all having a lovely Wednesday. I've been back at work today, which I love but it's tiring on top of the degree work. But this evening I'm off to the theatre to see 'Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' which is the best play I have ever seen, so I'm a TAD excited!

Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments on my previous post - I'm really grateful for your kind words :)

Have a great week,
Love & Hugs,

Monday, 13 April 2015

Make Up for Lost Time

Hello friends,

I thought I'd start with the obvious post for this category, what's in my day-to-day make up bag? By no means are these necessities but they are helpful when I end up staying at a friends house unexpectedly or if I go out to dinner straight from work (I don't really wear make up to work, except mascara).  

The first thing is the bag! It's from Paper Planes and I love it. I think the design is super cute and it's small enough to ensure that I don't excessively overpack.

First in the bag is the nail varnish I am currently wearing in case of any major chips or if I get paint or charcoal on them (it happens more often than you'd think). For now this is 'Go Ginza' by Essie - I've been super excited to brush the dust off my spring pastel nail varnishes and start wearing them again!

Face products that I take are:
1) Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua - it's a SUPER lightweight foundation, sometimes I take Nars sheer glow, either one will do!
2) Mac studio finish concealer in the shade NW15 which is also interchangeable with Nars creamy concealer. I think its a good one to carry around because it blends easily into my skin without having to use a brush.
3) Mac mineralize skinfinish natural in the colour 'light' because I'm ghost white and I think the finish is really nice.

Now for the fun bits! Colourful face products:
1) Nars multiple in Luxor which is a really nice highlighter and I don't need a brush to blend it in
2) Mac blush in Mocha, which is just a really pretty matte colour which i think suits my colouring...hopefully!
3) The Body Shop bronzing powder in light matte (basically, the products in the pictures will be the palest shade possible!) I take this because it's very natural and it has a mirror which is helpful when you're out and about!

Okay. I am OBSESSED with the new Roller Lash mascara by Benefit. OBSESSED. I couldn't even number these ones because I got too excited to say how insanely good this mascara is. I think it's the best one I've ever tried (big statement). The other eye products are the Soap and Glory Smoulder Kohl and the Supercat eyeliner. The smoulder kohl is great because there's a built in sharpener in the top of it which has been more useful when I'm out for drawing pencils than for the eyeliner, whoops.

I take these two lipsticks:
1) Tom Ford Blush Nude is always in my bag because it's wearable and an easy every day, neutral colour.
2) Right now I'm wearing the YSL rouge volupte in Peach Passion (number 13). Its a very summery colour and I'm trying to stop wearing my winter shades. The smell of YSL lipsticks is delicious but I've never been able to pinpoint what it smells like. Even if you're not fussed on the colours or consistency (which I am) go and smell one!


Lastly, is a rollerball perfume which is Elizabeth and James in Nirvana White which I ADORE! The notes are Muguet, peony and musk (eh?) I find it really hard to imagine scents but I really recommend that you go and get a whiff of this thing because its so good. The Olsen twins? Good job! *claps* 

I hope you're all having a lovely monday
Love & hugs

Friday, 10 April 2015

Fiddling on Photoshop...

Hi Friends :)

This is the first scary art post (Ahh!) but I want these ones to be much more visual than 'wordy'. This is a technique I was taught recently by a friend on photoshop. Initially I tried it with some of my photographs of London, but I think it works much better with photographs of nature. 

I hope you're all having a lovely friday evening,

Love & Hugs

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Welcome to New York, it's been waiting for you!

Hello friends!

For my first Travel Tuesday post I want to chat about the quick trip I just had to the big apple! The purpose of the holiday was to visit a city I love and, FAR more importantly, to see my sister. So, if you are disgusted by art, food or shopping then please close this tab now! The beginning of my trip reminded me of how important it is to be nice to people, even when I feel tired and moody! I was in line at Heathrow airport, queueing with crying babies and angry businessmen. When it's my turn to board the plane I bounded over to the man, handing him my passport with a big smile and a joyful 'Hello!' The man explained to me that the airline had overbooked the passengers and that I would be upgraded...  DONT MIND IF I DO! I watched an amazing film called 'The Imitation Game' which I would highly recommend, but that's for another time!

So, the highlights of the trip. It was all about the art! The Guggenheim museum held a stunning collection called 'infinite possibility' by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (bit of a mouthful!). The collection was of a series of mirror sculptures based on the concept of 'geometric families', exploring shapes from triangles to decagons.

More importantly, why don't I own one? I'm well aware that art doesn't have to be considered 'beautiful' to be great, and that it doesn't have to be something you'd 'hang in your livingroom' but these sculptures certainly fit that criteria. They were mesmerising to look at.

The next day I visited the Brooklyn museum to two galleries which were incredible. Firstly, Kehinde Wiley presents paintings of African-American men and women incorporated into traditional portraits, sculptures and stained glass. 'Painting is about the world we live in. Black people live in the world. My choice is to include them. This is my way of saying yes to us.' My favourite of these works is of a young man from a wanted poster. Wiley describes that instead of seeing him as a criminal, he saw a cherub, and that if people had seen the innocence in him that Wiley saw, he may not be on that poster.

The final exhibition I want to mention (missing out on the Tenement museum and the Museum of Modern Art!) is Judy Chicago's 'The Dinner Party'. This piece of feminist art celebrates the achievements of 1,038 female figures, most of whom were historically neglected. It is set as a banquet, with 39 place settings. Each setting has an individually designed embroidered runner and China plate, appropriately styled to the woman honoured. The remaining 999 women's names are written on the floor below. It was incredible to witness and what strikes me most was that the piece could be recreated again and again, selecting 39 different women from a variety of cultures with equal importance to our history. I began to imagine my own list of 39 women who I believe have been influential in my life, Beyonce, J. K. Rowling and Anne Frank would definitely make the cut! 

Now, enough with my art ramblings - food and shopping! My sister has developed an incredible gift of finding the best places to eat wherever she goes - New York is no exception! There's one cafe that I HAVE to mention, Two Hands. Now... my friends are tired of hearing this, but if you are ever in New York I would highly recommend going out of your way to have brunch there. The atmosphere, music, food, staff, decor... you name it, it was perfect. I felt so relaxed and soothed. My brunch (on both days!) consisted of an acai bowl: a beautiful blend of frozen bananas, berries, acai and almond milk, topped with granola, chia seeds, hemp, coconut and cacao nibs - DELICIOUS! As that was far too healthy it had to be supplemented by a slice of banana bread and a jasmin green tea. With the sounds of Ed Sheeran and Bon Iver in the background I felt truly at home.

Ending the longest post ever: shopping. Oh how I wish my home town had Victoria's Secret, Sephora, J Crew, Madewell, Papyrus and many many more. I've come away with a sad bank account and bags of new clothes, jewellery, makeup, sportswear and gifts... I am now poor. I hope you enjoyed reading about these little treasures, without even mentioning Central Park, the Brooklyn bridge, The Empire State Building or Nobu restaurant. The city is so fun to walk around, everyone is either thrilled to see you, gossiping loudly about how terrible their boss is or singing happy birthday to themselves (a lot of crazy people in New York!) The city that never sleeps is full of adventure and I LOVED it.

For now, thanks for reading!

Love & Hugs 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

A Delicious Berry Breakfast...

Hi Friends :) 
Sizzling Saturday is a bit of a misleading category, it just means FOOD! Some mornings I end up lying in bed just a TAD too long to sit down and have a 'proper' breakfast (the most important meal of the day... Whoops?!) and when I say 'some' mornings, I mean most mornings! Those days I always make a smoothie because they're healthy, quick and will stop me snacking in the office. This is especially important for me because somehow our office is always full of chocolate! 

A smoothie recipe I use is a blend of blueberries, strawberries and bananas. Now, by NO MEANS am I a health expert, my friends know I love my unhealthy food too, but this is just my version of a smoothie breakfast. Firstly I use a Breville blender because they're affordable and super easy to use! You can buy one on amazon for £25, it's worth it. My aunt bought me mine as a house warming gift when I moved into my flat (thanks auntie Ann!). 

The ingredients: 
One banana 
3 large strawberries 
A handful of Frozen blueberries (this is to make it cold, alternatively add ice and unfrozen berries)
1 tablespoon Cacao nibs 
1 tablespoon Chia seeds 
1 teaspoon Flaxseed 
A dash of Almond milk (you can use regular milk) 

First I broke up the banana and cut up the strawberries into smaller chunks and threw it in the bottle with the blueberries. Blueberries are one of my favourite superfoods, high in vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and other antioxidants... basically, they're great and really yummy!

I measured out the different seeds and cacao nibs and poured them in. My chia seed bag tells me they are full of omega 3, fibre, protein and antioxidants. Flaxseed is a good source of iron, zinc, magnesium... I feel like I'm just listing the periodic table, all you have to know is it's good! Once they're all added I attached the blade onto the bottle and blend away!


Now, if you're running out the door (as I usually am) then you can take the bottle off the blender, attach a drinking lid and go, but today I'm in the flat (spring cleaning!) so I poured mine into a glass.


There you go! A yummy sweet breakfast smoothie to start the day with all natural ingredients. Blend, pour, slurp, enjoy! 

Love & hugs,

Thursday, 2 April 2015

For the first time in forever...

Hi Friends :)

I've never been good at writing. How I wriggled my way into top set English class is still a mystery, I had intelligent friends and I think the teacher felt sorry for me. Despite this, blogging has been an interest of mine since 2009! I've always been told by university tutors that I MUST have an art blog because  every art student has one (...really? EVERY art student?). Either way, after the glamorous Danii began 'The Danii Diaries' (she was in top set English for the right reasons!) I thought I should take the terrifying plunge into creating my own blog. However, when it came to imagining the first post I thought of little me back in 2009, looking up a review of a new mascara or good books to read and I decided that I didn't want a blog just for art. Although posting my own art work is by far the scariest part, I'd like to ease the pain with banana bread recipes, films I adore or nail polishes I find 'essential'. By no stretch of the imagination am I an expert in any of these areas, in fact, in some I am quite the amateur (I'm a terrible baker!) but everyone has to start somewhere. I'd like to try posting on make up, travel, thing I love, art, food and home decor... Aka the stereotypical girlie blog. 

This first post is purely an introduction: my name is Lucy and I study art history online. I work full time as an art technician and carer, which can be a lot to juggle. I live in a little flat by myself which I adore. One day I hope to teach art, own an unacceptable number of pets, travel the world and maybe even find a boy to enjoy it all with, but that's all a long way off. For now, this is all new to me and, even if no one is reading it, at least I'm facing my fears, one of my New Year's resolutions. 

Love & Hugs