Saturday, 29 December 2012

Restaurant Review: Giraffe, Kings Cross

I recently went to the Giraffe restaurant in Kings Cross, London for the second time within 2 months and I have to say, I really like it here!! I love the relaxed atmosphere especially as it is located right within Kings Cross station and the service has always been very good, and fast!
My boyfriend and I ordered the exact same thing as we did the first time. He got the Green Chicken Curry which he really likes (sorry can't review this personally but it looks good right?!) and I got the 6" hot dog with sweet mustard onions. This was actually an accidental order, I just wanted normal onions because I hate mustard (think I am slightly allergic to it - can one be slightly allergic to something though? My tongue swells a little?) ...but as I couldn't actually see mustard as how I know it, I tried it anyway! I could feel the slight tingles on my tongue but it was so delicious I couldn't leave it! I would definitely order this again, and again, and again! I think the hot dog was just under £5 which is also very reasonable. 
I'd really recommend this place (if you ever come across it- there aren't many) if you want 'quality fast food' and to have it in a nice setting.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

A New Day Dawns.

I don't usually blog about the Etsy Treasuries I am in, but when I was shown this one, I was completely in awe of the entire composition of it! I loved how it ombre'd from dark to light, and had my newly listed Vintage 1950s yellow net dress! It has been created by Maxwell, a fellow Etsy shop owner. Lovely work!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day.

I was SO close to going out to do some shopping today but with the London Underground going on strike and seeing this photo, I am pretty glad I decided to stay at home, in peace and quiet!
Click here to see some of the photos I took yesterday, including some amazing cakes my brother's girlfriend's parents made! I also wanted to show this Russian Doll carafe my sister got for me, it is the cutest thing! The head acts as a cup. It is from http://fredandfriends.com/ ...where they have tons of other exciting things!! I am definitely buying a few other bits and bobs from them!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Flickr.

Since getting my new phone, I've been using Apps more than ever! There are some great Russian language Apps out there that have helped me remember the language, ready for when my lessons resume in the New Year, eBay and most recently I just had to download the Tetris App!

Anyway, the point of this post is about photos. New phone + amazing camera = lots of photo fun and easy upload!
I recently joined Instagram as I loved their filters and thought that was the best outlet for random photos I would take on my phone. However, after the whole 'Instagram are going to sell our photos' debacle, and before they released a statement confirming that this was a misunderstanding, I had already started looking for alternatives.

Tadaa seemed to be the App that jumped out the most so I installed it and was completely blown away by all the different things I could do to a photo...it totally usurped Instagram! Then I came across the new Flickr App. I've been with Flickr for years but became very inactive on it as I had the free account and was very limited to the amount of photos I could upload with no organizing options. At the time, I also didn't have a camera phone so there weren't that many exciting things to upload. Anything exciting, I would have used my digital camera and published it onto my blog, and that was it.

So, I installed the Flickr App, loved their filters and photo editing options, and decided that this would be my new outlet! Here is a preview of my photostream:


Also, after reading a few things about Flickr and speaking to someone who regularly used it, I also decided to upgrade my account to Pro...so I no longer had limitations! After a few days playing with it, I wish I'd done this years ago! ... and now with the new App, I can now easily upload 'nice but do I really need to blog about them' photos and/or extra photos that I found would be too overwhelming to be on my blog, such as my MCM Expo adventures - I have about triple the amount of photos every time I go there, in comparison to what I post on my blog..so now you can see even more!! This is definitely a case of something I needed being right under my nose!

Friday, 14 December 2012

iPhone 5.

The contract to my iPhone 3GS had expired in November and I was very much looking forward to an upgrade! I had come to hate the 3GS as many people I knew had 4, so I often noticed the huge difference in look and function. My phone felt so heavy in comparison and I didn't like the soft, curved edges of the phone either...and what bugged me the most was that the camera function was awful so I still had to carry my digital camera around with me, as well as having my phone.
Although I um'd and ah'd about it at first, I decided to go straight to upgrading to the iPhone 5, instead of the Samsung Galaxy, which, if the Orange website hadn't crashed when I was checking out, I would have got it...but it gave me more time to think about it. I do a lot of things online and use my phone a lot - whether I'm checking the weather, train/bus times/delays, map/directions, games/music, email...everything! So I was certain that I would get a lot of use out of it.
So, now that I have the phone, I noticed a HUGE difference! The iPhone 3GS felt like a brick and the screen looked like I was looking through another screen, to actually see anything. I was so glad with my upgrade!
I am still learning the new functions as I can't be bothered reading about them, but I'm coming across them all the time! The screen is longer and a much higher quality. I like how the earphones fix into the bottom, rather than top - this had always annoyed me.
I do like to keep new things in good order, so I did keep the plastic covers (although annoying!) on for a week until my Darth Vader case arrived! I love it!
Most importantly, the camera quality is excellent! I have flash!!! It is now actually better than my digital camera which I was going to upgrade, but now I don't need to! See below an example of an unedited photo taken with the phone, I am so impressed!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Erte 2013 Calendar.

I still like to use a traditional calendar each year (instead of my phone) and have opted for yet again, Erte!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Tiramisu.

Tiramisu is one of my most favourite desserts, if I'm not having it in a restaurant, then I have bought some from a supermarket to have at home. It is also my mother's favourite dessert, so we can never really have enough of it in our household! So, I decided to try and make some instead of constantly buying it! I loosely followed a recipe from BBC.co.uk so pop over and have a look, but here is how I made it!
 I've never separated the (6) egg yolk from the white before but it was so much easier than i thought! This was the first step. I then added the (200g) sugar - however, this was supposed to be caster sugar but I only had granulated - after having tasted the final thing, I don't think this affected it - but if any cooks out there want to enlighten me, please do! I then added the 250g of mascarpone.
I then had to whip the 250ml of double cream, however, I couldn't find the whisk, so ended up having to do it with a fork which was very laborious! This was also the case with having to whip the egg whites, I felt like it took forever to change consistency! Once the double cream had a thicker consistency, it was added to the mixture, folded in, then the now-frothy-egg-whites was added.
I then got a container and used up a third of the mixture to line the bottom. Sponge finger biscuits were then dipped in a decaffeinated coffee and Marsala wine mixture (I was supposed to use espresso but didn't have any, so used what I found!) and laid them on top of the mixture. This was repeated a second time with the last third of the mixture on the top. It was then left in the fridge for 24 hours.
I then covered the top with cocoa powder and a heavy layer of grated dark chocolate! My sister and I then had a serving each and it was yummy! However, after my second serving (a few hours later), I have made a mental note to make a few adjustments the next time I make it. I noticed that it was a tad too slimy, and I am thinking that I should use less double cream, or make sure it is properly whipped. Also, I originally wanted to add some vanilla essence but had forgotten, so this would be included next time! To help with making it less slimy - I would use many more of the sponge fingers, and pack them in very tightly. And lastly, even though the sponge fingers were dipped in the wine mixture, I would leave them in for a much shorter time! It's a little too strong for me as I got a headache a while after eating it!...and I'm so sure it's from the wine!!
Anyway, I'm so glad I tried making Tiramisu as it is incredibly easy and would save me a lot of money!!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Earworms.

I hate the name as it reminds me of a Sci-Fi film I watched as a child, where an alien puts a deadly worm into their enemy's ear, which kills them. I don't remember what film it was but I do remember that they looked a bit like Klingons, but I'm sure it wasn't a Star Trek film?...anyway, it gave me nightmares for months and has embedded itself into my memories!
However, the point of this post is to talk about Earworms, the language trainer. I recently had my last Russian lesson and suddenly had this fear of forgetting everything I'd learnt as I am currently unsure if they will continue after the New Year! I mean, I already forgot 90% of it after a week if I don't read through any of the literature! So, after speaking to a friend about it, she recommended Earworms, which is what she had used to teach herself Spanish.
I was definitely up for it and felt convinced at the fact that it taught you through music...music attaches itself to me very easily (does that make sense?) so this method seemed like the only other way I could remember a new language, as well as being taught in a classroom.
I decided to go for the App version (£6.99) of it as I am always using my phone, and thought it would be great to listen to on the way to work, therefore I would be using it every day!
I've been using it for a week now, and although I could not suppress my giggles at the start in regards to the very corny music and being told to 'sit back & relax', I am SO impressed with it!! It has totally worked and I have also been doing about 5-10 minutes worth in the evenings because it is so easy to switch on and off...no hassle whatsoever. My little sister has also been doing it with me for fun and even she has picked up a few phrases.
The phrases are split into themes (which is also how I was taught) and talks you through the generic words. This has helped with pronunciation and the thing I struggle with the most, reading Russian. I can do it, but I am extremely slow. Earworms is definitely helping me become conditioned to the fact that the Russian letter that looks like an english'n' is actually a 'p' sound...or the Russian letter that looks like a reverse 'n' is an 'l' sound...so this leads me onto a very small point about the App, I wish it had the alphabet on it! ...it would almost be perfect for beginners if it had this!
Nevertheless, this is a damn good program, and I am so tempted to get all of the other languages to play with!!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Advent.

One of my Advent Calendar Pouch buyers recently sent me her display of them! It was so nice to see them in use and I loved how she did it! I am so over the traditional Christmas tree now! 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Glitter.

Made these new glitter notebooks a while ago but still haven't had the time to list them in my Etsy shop yet! Here is a sneak preview of the emerald via Instagram which really helps bring out the glitter!