Saturday, 28 January 2012

Film Review: In Time (2011)

'In Time' stars Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake and is set in the future where 'time' is currency as people stop ageing at 25 and have one 'living' year left from that point onwards. To extend their lives, they are to work, for more 'time'. This is the case for the 'poorer' groups of people who are living in the ghetto, and literally working each day to live. However, there is a richer society that have been living for hundreds of years and have lots of 'time' stored away. Justin Timberlake's character Will realises this when he saves a wealthy man from his 'time' being stolen and exposes the truth about the rich. The wealthy man then transfers all his time (116 years) but 5 minutes to Will, as he goes to die. 
There is a scene where his mother dies which I thought was exceptionally good and well filmed. Will then seeks out a way to bring down the system with the help of Amanda Seyfried's character, Sylvia. 
I thought Amanda Seyfried was brilliant and always convincing...although I wasn't sure I was convinced with the chemistry between her character and Justin Timberlake's character. However, this was a small issue as their relationship was not the prime factor.
Overall, a decent Sci-Fi film with good ideas, but could be forgetful.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Film Review: G.I Joe - The Rise of Cobra (2009)

Now, I don't know if it's because I had low expectations of this film (the cast seemed a bit of a weird jumble and I couldn't imagine Sienna Miller doing 'action' at all) but I absolutely LOVED it!!!!
I don't even know where to begin with the storyline as it isn't the most amazing plot and quite frankly, I didn't really care! However, some of the characters were brilliant! My most favourite character-relationships were between 'Snake-Eyes' and 'Storm Shadow'. Their fight scenes were the best, probably because it took more effort (martial arts) rather than just a single gunshot! I loved the black and white contrast - even though Storm Shadow was the 'baddie', but the one dressed in white.
Sienna Miller played 'The Baroness' and although she wouldn't have been my first pick for the role, she didn't do a bad job. I loved her look and hadn't known 'The Baroness' from comic books, although the name did ring a bell.
Again (following on from my previous reviews of films he has been in), Channing Tatum didn't blow me away - am I missing something as he seems to be getting into more and more high profile films?!!?
Marlon Wayans as 'Ripcord' kept me amused throughout the film and really reminded me of a young Eddie Murphy.
Overall, this is a great action film, there was barely a quiet moment! Great for those who know no such thing as action-overkill (i.e me).

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Restaurant Review: SUDA.

It was my mother's birthday and I had intended on taking her to eat at my favourite Italian in London - Kitchen Italia - but she had a last minute recommendation from a friend to check out a new Thai restaurant (and I am always up for trying new places!) so we went there instead!
SUDA is located in St Martins Courtyard in Covent Garden which was a lovely little place that I'd never been to before. I instantly loved the design of the restaurant/bar from the outside, you could see that it was definitely a more modern version of a typical Thai restaurant and inside was even better! The heavy black made it look super slick but offset against the light coloured wood and little pots of greenery made it look really quirky, which I loved!
It was really empty when we arrived as it was more like a late lunch rather than a dinner affair, but I can imagine it getting really busy especially with having two bars!
The drinks menu was really impressive, I'm not fond of alcoholic drinks at all so I always like to see what is available apart from the former and soft drinks. The Juices menu was probably the best I've seen - there were a variety of interesting ingredients in each one and it definitely perked my interest. If I had the stomach for it, I would have ordered them all!
I went for a 'SUDA Smoothie' as I always love 'house' drinks, and this was yummy! It was 'strawberries blended with banana, grenadine and fresh lime juice'.
For a starter, I ordered one of my favourites - Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce! It is so simple yet I seldom get it how I want! I was totally disappointed with Busaba's version of Chicken Satay before I even tasted it (they weren't even on skewers!) but I will leave that for its own review. However, SUDA's chicken satay was so perfect!! The peanut sauce WAS peanut sauce (I am often unconvinced!)! It was crunchy and the perfect taste, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!! I finished them all off and yearned for more!
My mother ordered the below which is 'Som Tum' - a 'classic, spicy salad' and although it's not high on my list of favourite dishes,...she totally approved, and she's a hard one to impress!
 
I had finished my smoothie pretty quickly which is weird as I can usually make one drink last a whole evening if I am having a meal! So, my next option was 'Thai Iced Tea'. It didn't taste like a normal 'iced tea' at all, but it was delicious! It took a little getting used to but it was really lovely!!
I was really indecisive when it came to ordering my main meal, everything sounded so nice! However, as I don't really cook much seafood for myself (even though I love it!), I decided to go for a seafood dish! 'Talay Phad Chaa' is 'mixed seafood sautéed with chilli and wild ginger' which I had with Jasmine Rice. At first I thought the portion was quite small but my eyes were clearly too big for my belly at the time as I struggled to finish it! The dish was very, very nice indeed!!! 
For dessert, I had 'Bua Loy Puek' which are 'taro balls in coconut cream'...again, this dish was incredible! By the time I was having this, I couldn't believe how nice everything was as there is ALWAYS one disappointment when I eat out...but not here!
My sister had 'Gluay Hom Tod' which were simply banana fritters with ice cream but I had forgotten to taste it as I was devouring my own dessert! However, it looked so yummy, it is definitely on my 'to taste' list when I go there again!
I could go on and on about how brilliant the food was here, and although I love meat, the vegetarian options seemed pretty good too! I highly recommend SUDA and I have actually already planned in my next visit!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Hide Away.

I had been eyeing the ASOS Hide Away wedges since they came out a few months ago but could not decide which ones to get as I loved them all! They were a great height (i.e. wearable) and wedges in general are always much more comfortable to wear! So, when they recently went into SALE, I did go a bit crazy and got them all! I thought I'd return a few of them but they were as comfortable as I imagined them to be and getting all four pairs (plain black, embellished black, ox-blood velvet and leopard) for under £100 was a bargain!
My favourite pair are the ones with an embellished crown motif, they are so cute!! My sister looked at me with confusion when she spotted the plain black version but I got them as I wanted to embellish them myself...I haven't got round to doing this yet as I am still pondering what to do!
This is a pure example of how I can get a little obsessed with things I love and wanting them in all the ways possible...I have also just spotted a green version of these wedges on the site and not sure if I can hold back...

Friday, 20 January 2012

Sale Shopping.

Just wanted to share some beautiful hooks I bought from Laura Ashley in the January Sale! Not sure what exactly I'm going to use them for yet, but I will let you know!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Amazon Kindle.

When I had first heard of the Kindle, I thought it was a little silly and that I would never get one as I loved having physical books to read...however, a few months ago, I spotted someone using one and that it actually looked like pages and it was so small and slimline, and they were clicking through the pages with such ease! This is always something difficult for myself to do with a normal book if I'm holding bags and a tea...which is most of the time!
However, as I didn't see it as 'essential', I didn't rush to buy one...but after getting some money for Christmas, the Kindle was first on my mind!

I was over-the-moon when it arrived, it was so light! I couldn't believe I'd waited so long to get one and I would definitely say it is an essential item for readers to have, especially if you are often on the move! I am also a very fast reader so if I am away from home for long periods of time, at least I can keep downloading books as and when I need them, which is unbelievably quick and easy to do! The Amazon Kindle is a definite must-have!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

"...Spiderman is having me for dinner tonight.."

I've heard this song on and off but never knew who it was by or what it was called until recently! Absolutely love it and absolutely over-playing it now!!
The Cure - Lullaby (1989)  ...yet another 80s song I am obsessed with, I was totally born in the wrong decade!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Film Review: Splice (2009).

I wanted to watch this film when it came out but like many other films, completely missed it at the cinema!
Upon reading the synopsis, it reminded a little of 'Species', which is one of my favourite films and I was probably too young when I watched it, but I guess it was the whole 'female kicking-ass' idea of it that I liked....even though she was perceived as the baddie! ...there are two sides to everything!
'Splice' stars Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as genetic engineers and having successfully 'spliced' the DNA of a range of animals to create a hybrid... are then curious to see the results of adding human DNA into the mix! It is actually Sarah's character Elsa who is the most eager to do this and proceeds with the experiment.
Obviously, the experiment works and you see the entire life span of the human/animal hybrid. From it's limb-less, almost worm-like stage (quite disturbing!) to it developing human features and what I found most disturbing of all were that the feet, were like hands! There was much more that was disturbing, but that just really touched a nerve!

The hybrid, who is called Dren, becomes smarter and develops a range of skills, clearly adopted from the mix of animals in its DNA. This is when it gets a little bit more interesting! Although Adrien and Sarah's performances were really good and believable!
I think the interpretation of the human/animal hybrid was visually good although maybe a little predictable....I actually felt that it was too attractive (apart from the hands-as-feet!)...but then is my thought of it being 'ugly', a predictable idea also? Anyway, Dren starts to yearn for human things which is when it starts getting really strange and actually quite amusing - although I am sure it isn't supposed to! ....but maybe if I watched Species now, I would possibly find that amusing too!
There is then a little turn of events which if you're sharp (and a film-fan!), you would have caught on to before it happens! This definitely gave the film an extra star and made it more of a 'horror'...the ending was also good and left it open for a sequel which I think could be better than the first...if there was one.
I would definitely recommend this film for all Sci-Fi/Horror fans...it's not mind-blowing, but good entertainment and good actors!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Kitchen Italia.

My sister and I had lunch at Kitchen Italia in Covent Garden (London) a few months ago and although I struggled to find the time to blog about it at the time, I still really wanted to mention it on my blog nevertheless!

We both thought it was quite mysterious as you can't see what it actually looks like by standing at the entrance apart from seeing a poster of it (which you can never take as the whole truth!) and you can't see if it's busy either.
However, it was around 3pm so 'lunchtime' was over and it was too early for dinner, so we popped down the stairs and hoped for the best!

We were in for a bit of a shock as it was REALLY busy with about 20 children - clearly, a birthday party! It took a while for us to get noticed as it didn't seem like there was much staff on the floor and when there were some, they were scrabbling around trying to clear up as food was being finished. A few minutes later we were told that we would need to wait about 5 minutes to get a seat, which we didn't mind.
The design was quite pleasant and homey, something I didn't really expect for an Italian restaurant in central London...and even with the fact that you could be sitting very close to someone else! ...a reason why I often avoid places like Wagamama because it's just TOO close! At least at Kitchen Italia, I felt that staff made a conscious effort to miss a seat between groups of people, if there was space.
 We ordered some Garlic Foccacia Bread with Cheese as a starter which although had hardly any taste of garlic, was still quite nice...but have it while it's hot! 
As a main, I went for the most typical Italian dish, lasagne! I love lasagne and all lasagne's taste differently which is why I will continue to order it over and over again...the same goes for Spaghetti Bolognese!
I was quite surprised at the size of it when it came, it was smaller then what I was used to, which was great as I never can finish a 'normal' lasagne (I'm a 'have to eat small portions but often' kind-of girl!)...and I couldn't believe how delicious it was! I instantly noticed how less salty it was in comparison to other lasagne's I've had, which actually made me really appreciate every other ingredient! I think I can say it is one of the best lasagne's I've ever had and did not feel the slightest bit bloated! The small portion was perfect for me and I loved how it came straight in a pan and still sizzling! I don't think my photo does it justice but I promise it looked much better, especially when you can smell it too!
I forgot to take a photo of our drinks, but I particularly liked the menu...I felt it was different to other places and 'easy'. I had 'Lemon and Limeade' which was yummy, and my sister had 'Citrus Iced Tea' which was also yummy!
Then comes the final part, dessert! Now, when tiramisu is available, then I will be getting it. It's definitely one of my most favourite desserts and like lasagne, it always tastes different so I always get it!
My sister and I decided to share one together as we were pretty filled up with our main, so we were surprised at the perfect sized portion for two!
Again, my photo doesn't do it justice but believe me, it was INCREDIBLE! Best tiramisu ever! ....I wonder though, if I am being so blown away by the food here, then how am I going to be if I was to have it in Italy itself!
I was so impressed with everything and I think it's now my favourite Italian restaurant in London. It's my mother's birthday soon and with Tiramisu also being her favourite dessert, I think I will have to bring her to Kitchen Italia! I would absolutely recommend this place!!!!!! ...but if anyone has any recommendations for another Italian in London that I should try, please let me know!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Building my Wall.

A few years ago, I had said that I didn't like putting Art on my walls as I worried that I could tire from seeing them everyday...therefore I had made a special book to keep them all in. However, I am now obsessed with filling my walls up with Art...oh how things change!
This is how one of my bedroom walls looked like a few months ago....
...and this is how it currently looks like now! I've added in pieces I have purchased over the years but also new things like the illustration I had done of myself by Celine Choo when I was at MCMExpo in London...other bits I also got there is the beautiful monochrome piece in the left corner by Yuri Kore. The empty frame (which looks like it is a mirror) was from Urban Outfitters and I've just put it up so I don't forget about it and I'm still waiting for the perfect piece of art to put inside it!
One of my favourite artists - Patricia Anders - was so lovely to send me a Christmas card with one of her pieces mounted on top (below, top left)...so I just had to frame it alongside some of her other pieces and the spooky, bald dolls are by Jessica Rosario. My wall will continue to grow so I will update you all again in a few months!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Vintage Signage.

My sister has recently been spending a lot of time making her room look pretty and I have been helping when I can. So, I decided to get her name cut out of wood and painted her favourite colour as a Christmas present. After some help finding someone in the UK (via the British Sellers on Etsy forum), Vintage Signage which is run by Fraser, was ready for the job!
Fraser was so helpful and enjoyable to work with and the price I paid was very competitive! I even decided to get 'nuvonova' cut out into huge individual letters (they're about 5" high each) and painted my favourite shade of blue. I'm not sure what I'm going to use them for, but I always wanted huge wooden letters!...maybe placed in the background of some of my photos for my Etsy shop?
I've got another commission lined up for Fraser so check back in a couple of weeks to see what it is!...and if you need anything cut out of wood, I would absolutely recommend him!!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Plainjane13.

During my last visit at Things British which you can read here, I spotted this amazing book by PlainJane13 and had to get it! I had never really been that interested in Kawaii themed product, well, I always found it super cute, but I predominantly preferred a vintage or fantasy-esque aesthetic when it came to actually buying something for myself to use. 
However, I couldn't resist and bought it! PlainJane13's Etsy shop has so many other brilliant things such as an Oreo Pocket Mirror, amazing iPhone cases and more! It is definitely going to be my go-to place for gift shopping!

Friday, 6 January 2012

New Book Display.

Some of you may know that I have been selling a few of my handmade bits at Things British, located in London's Carnaby Street. I had constantly been researching ways to improve my display - and as I mentioned in an earlier post about my shelf which you can read here, I found a whole new appreciation for Visual Merchandising!
Anyway, I had struggled with merchandising my books - you couldn't really see them if they were shown flat or side-by-side so my sister suggested getting a traditional card display stand which I managed to find and buy from eBay about a month ago!
It worked perfectly in my shelf at Things British and was also quite spacious, I could have easily fit in 4-5 books in each row!
However, having said all of that, today was my last day at Things British! I decided not to renew my rental period due to also working full-time and not being able to dedicate the time needed to sell at Things British. It is a great little shop in a wonderful location and I will definitely be back there later on this year while I build up more stock!
In the meantime, if you are ever around there, do visit the shop as everytime I go in, there is always something new and exciting to see!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

How to make a Necklace Display.

This is a tutorial to show how you can make a necklace display with little cost!
I bought an 8"x6" white frame (you can get this anywhere!) and added a piece of blue card to tie in with my branding. You can obviously put whatever you like in here, whether it's your logo, an image, description of product...anything!
I then bought a pack of small nails (again, you can buy this anywhere!) and as my necklace display was purposely for my sterling silver initial necklaces, I ensured that there was an even gap between each nail to hold all 26 necklaces. It was very easy to hammer in all the nails and only took a few minutes. Of course, this method can be applied to all types of frames depending what sort of thing you want displayed!
If I had more time, I would have sprayed the nails white, but this is still something I can do at a later date!
Below is how I have used my new necklace display which I had on my shelf at Things British!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Film Review: Limitless (2011).

When I first read about 'Limitless' - a story about a guy who takes a pill that allows him to 'access 100% of his brain, rather than the normal 20%', I thought it sounded a little ridiculous! Then I watched the trailer and thought it could actually be quite amusing to watch, and so I did!
Bradley Cooper plays Eddie, the guy who takes the pill. He starts off as a broke writer, unable to write anything and living in a dirty flat until he comes across his ex brother-in-law who offers him the aforementioned pill. Eddie does not believe it to work but as he has nothing to lose, decides to take the pill anyway. He then starts experiencing things in a different, much clearer way and believes that the pill is his way to success. 
Many more things happen in between this time, such as getting his girlfriend to take one to save her life and accessing a memory of watching a Bruce Lee film which enables him to fight his way out of a situation (I thought this was hilarious!) and so, the film has definitely been executed in a very clever way, but it isn't the greatest film, nor the worst.

Monday, 2 January 2012

New Year, New Shop.

I was invited to join Luulla.com many months ago which is another handmade shopping site..and although I have turned down many invites from other sites before (either because it is too similar to what I already sell on or I didn't feel like they were established enough for me to spend time listing product), there was something about Luulla that I really liked!
I haven't made any sales yet but I have certainly found some great things on there to buy! Here is a screenshot of how lovely the homepage looks and also one of my shop!