Happy New Year

happy-new-year-2013-hd-wallpaper-7

Happy new year! I hope you all had a restful and fun filled time over the holidays. I certainly did and despite doing nothing overly extravagant for New Year’s Eve I feel like I’ve got this year off on the right foot.

As one year ends and a new one starts it seems that everyone becomes a little reflective on the things that have happened over the last 12 months. To be honest, I don’t think I can help it, it’s nice to think over all the changes that have happened in your life, both good and bad. That’s the only way we learn from these things, right?

Anyway, reflection and a new year pretty much always result in one thing – resolutions!

New Year's Resolutions

Year in, year out, my resolutions usually look something like this list above, only to be broken and tossed to the side after 2 weeks – if I’ve been strict! This year I changed my mind though. I mean, who am I kidding? If I know in my heart of hearts I’m not going to stick to that expensive new gym membership, why start it in the first place? So this year I have decided to write myself some realistic resolutions that I believe I can stick to and, most importantly, that I actually want to.

They may not be resolutions in the strictest sense but more goals I want to achieve this year. Are they the same thing? I’m not entirely sure.

Anyway, here goes…

  1. Take better care of myself. This means both physically and mentally. I’m going to make a conscious effort to get fit, I’m going to start eating less crap, processed food and I’m going to stop letting other people dictate my life and my mood so much.
  2. Try roller derby. This is something I’ve admired from the sidelines for some time now and this year I have decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. I may be awful and not even make it through the fresh meat try outs, but I’ll never know if I don’t try.
  3. Pay more attention to my blog. I really enjoy blogging and I need to make a concerted effort not to push it to the bottom of my to do list. This will also take some organisation and less procrastination from me too!
  4. Take more photographs. I love photographs and although I’m not the greatest photographer I like to capture moments on film. Yes, that’s right – on film. I have 3 different film cameras and rarely use them. I also want a better digital camera too so I’d best get over that embarrassment of whipping one out of my bag when the mood suits me!
  5. Learn a new skill. I love learning new things. I haven’t decided what new skill I’d like to learn this year yet, ideally I’d like to pick up a couple but this how I end up with half finished projects everywhere!
  6. Hone existing skills. As well as learning something new I’d like to get better at the things I already have under my belt. I taught myself to knit last year and definitely need some more practice on that, amongst others.
  7. Live more. I live in one of the most bustling, exciting cities in the world and yet I spend most of my time in work or at home. I moan that I’m too tired to do things during the week and I love lazy days on the sofa with the OH at the weekend. I’m not saying this is a bad thing but I need to get out and live more. There’s so much just passing me by because I’m too content to just be in my little bubble and this needs to change. Not that I don’t love my little bubble, but it’s nice to get out and check out the outside world once in a while!

So there we have it. Seven things I aim to do this year. Things that will make me enjoy my year more and give me more to look back on next year. Here’s hoping I stick to them!

Kisses

Lojo

Going Bananas

I was cleaning the kitchen the other day and realised the bunch of bananas I’d bought had started going black and soft and they were going to end up in the bin because there was no way I could eat 6 bananas in one day! I hate wasting food so I figured I had to do something with them. I had a root through the cupboards and ended up making two, slightly different, loaves of banana bread. One with chopped, mixed nuts and one with dark chocolate chunks.

Laura's Banana Bread

They taste pretty ace and are so simple to make. So here we go.

What you need (for 1 loaf)

Greased loaf tin

3 medium over ripe bananas

250g self raising flour

pinch of salt

150g caster sugar

100g unsalted butter

2 medium eggs

(I also added a small bag of chopped mixed nuts to one of my loaves, I think that’s about 150g and I added half a large bar of plain chocolate I found in the fridge to the other loaf.)

How to make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas 4.
  2. Line the bottom of the loaf tin with baking paper.
  3. Melt the butter and leave to one side to cool down.
  4. Put the flour, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Beat the eggs and add them and the cool, melted butter to the dry ingredients.
  6. Mash the bananas – I prefer them to be a little lumpy and not mashed to a paste – and add them to the mixture.
  7. Add any extra ingredients like chocolate or nuts in to the mixing bowl.
  8. Mix together until completely mixed.
  9. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and make sure it’s spread evenly.
  10. Put in the middle of the oven for about an hour until a knife comes out clean and it is golden brown on top.
  11. Leave in the loaf tin to cool for 5 mins before turning out and leaving to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tasty with a cup of tea and smothered in peanut butter🙂

Kisses

Lojo

Friday Favourites

This week seems to have been the absolute longest in my life yet somehow it feels like last Friday was just yesterday! So here we go again with all my best bits of the week.

#     Saturday was mostly spent either talking to the police or waiting for them to get back to me after I had my purse and iPad stolen on Friday night but the lovely, lovely policewoman I spoke to eventually was so nice and didn’t at all make me feel like the absolute dick I am for leaving my bag unattended, albeit under a massive pile of coats, in the pub.

#     Saturday night was brightened up though by a visit to my friend Kat’s for fajitas, X Factor, Dr Who and Sherlock geeking and plenty of catching up with her, Stef and Bella.

#     Sunday was spent being spoiled by my in laws. I got to open my birthday presents early then I was taken out for lunch and I even won a game of bowling! (This has never happened in my life, ever!)

#     Monday was my birthday and I’ve already told you all about my tea party and marvellous new shoes!

#     The rest of the week hasn’t been nearly as exciting as the start but I did work from home yesterday and make some banana bread that I am very pleased with. The recipe for which I’ll share with you tomorrow.

#     I’ve finally finished my Christmas decoration too. My front door has a Merry Christmas sign and a jingle bell wreath, my tree has a topper and there are more lights up. Yay.

#     Finally, my mum is en route to London as I type these very words and I am very excited about this fact. Even if we are travelling out of London and up to Birmingham tomorrow morning for The Clothes Show.

#     Finally,  I have a new favourite super cute You Tube video to share with you.

Kisses

Lojo

Happy Birthday To ME!

So, Monday was my birthday and I have been contemplating things. I realised that this is the first year where I haven’t been particularly unhappy in some aspect of my life and haven’t been actively trying to change something. Last year was my job, the year before was a handful of things, as where the years before them. I wasn’t particularly keen on celebrating this year though and that was before my purse and iPad got stolen out of my handbag on Friday night, but that’s a whole other story. I never even bothered taking the day off work as I usually do.

However, when I got home from work my very lovely OH and taken half a day off work without my knowledge. He baked me a cake and made me a kids party tea with birthday banners and balloons, the full works. It certainly cheered me up about my non-event of a birthday.

That’s not the entire point of this post though. The point of this post is to tell you all about my new favourite shoes that I received as a birthday present.

Let me introduce you to the Iron Fist Lolita Love Platfoom Booties.

Lolita Love BootiesAren’t they pretty? They combine three of my favourite things in the whole wide world – polka dots, leopard print and shoes! They are absolutely killer heels and I’m about 6 foot 4 when I wear them but they are surprisingly comfortable! I think it’s because of the platform so the heel doesn’t feel as big when you have them on.

I am a huge fan of Iron Fist. They have a Lounge Leopard coat and a Bit Me dress that I am particularly coveting at the moment. Also, there’s a purse that matches my new shoes perfectly that I’d really like too. I can’t buy that one for myself though as I’m superstitious when it comes to purses and you aren’t supposed to buy your own.

Kisses

Lojo

Friday Favourites

Here we go, it’s that time again. My favourite things from this week are…

#     The OH and I cleaned the flat from top to bottom and cleared out every box, cupboard and bag that has been lurking since we moved in back in March. Not only is it now sparkly clean everything has somewhere to live. It’s amazing!

#     We also put our Christmas tree up on Sunday. It’s not finished because we forgot to buy a topper for it but that will all change tomorrow. Here it is for now though.

My Christmas Tree

#     I’ve also got plans to catch up with my friends before Christmas now too. Proper plans! I’m not good at doing real plans so this is pretty big news.

#     I’ve almost finished my Christmas shopping and writing my Christmas cards too. Yes, I’m fully aware December doesn’t start until tomorrow but I’m feeling pretty smug about all this.

#     My best friend Hannah has invented an awesome new Christmas game where she can link any Christmas film back to Friends using the actors. It’s like 6 degrees of separation but with Christmas films and Friends. She’s pretty amazing at it!

#     I made ginger biscuits that made the flat smell lovely and Christmassy. They are also pretty good dunked in tea.

#     I’ve watched Elf and Fred Claus this week.

#     I’m also kind of excited that it’s my birthday on Monday too. This one has creeped up on me (the feeling I mean not the birthday,) because I was not looking forward to it at all until today really.

That’s about it, wish me luck Christmas shopping tomorrow morning on a hangover!

Kisses

Lojo

Topshop’s Winter Wonderland

The marvellous Emma Cook has sprinkled Topshop with some special Christmas magic and their Wonderland is looking pretty awesome.  I don’t think there’s anything in here that I don’t want, but as usual, I’ve cherry picked my favourites to share with you.

Everything is so cute, all your Christmas Shopping for your friends can be complete in one little trip to Topshop!

I’m kicking things off with that Christmas present staple – the pyjamas!

DEER PYJAMAS BY EMMA COOK FOR TOPSHOP. £38

These deer print pyjamas are the only thing I want to be seen on Christmas Night. After I’ve stuffed myself silly and I’m draining the last drops of gin out of the bottle in front of the TV. It may not be a pretty sight but at least I’ll feel totally glamourous!

EMMA COOK FAIRYLIGHTS DRESS. £120

Hopefully, this is what I’ll be changing out of on Christmas Day. I’ve spoken about my love of fairy lights before so as well as having them strung all around the house I can have them printed across my body too! Plus, I don’t even have to stray into Thelma Madine territory to get the look!

REINDEER NAMES JUMPER BY EMMA COOK FOR TOPSHOP. £60.

Emma Cook has made quite a few items with the reindeer’s names on and I really struggled to pick my favourite because the scarf is also really cute. However, I’m planning on rocking this bad boy down the pub on Christmas Eve. Even though it is resplendent with the names of all Santa’s reindeer I can’t see me hiding this away in the cupboard till next year. After all, a reindeer is for life, not just for Christmas folks!

Are you loving Emma Cook’s Wonderland?

Kisses

Lojo

It’s Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Christmas

After spending the weekend getting the flat Christmas ready I’ve been feeling really festive and I lit my mulled wine flavoured candle last night. Apart from looking quite pretty it did nothing to add to the festive feeling in the flat and smelt of not very much at all. Boo.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands and had a root around in the cupboard. Half an hour later the flat smelt all sweet, gingery and Christmassy and I was onto a winner!

Ginger biscuits

I made 24 of these big boys

What you need

  • 350g self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 (ish) tbsp golden syrup
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg (beaten)
  • 3 pieces of stem ginger (finely chopped)

How to make them

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4 and grease 3 baking trays
  2. Sift the flour, ground ginger, bicarb and sugar into a large bowl
  3. Melt the golden syrup and the butter together and leave until cool (you’re going to stick your hands in the mixture so you don’t want to put in molten syrup!)
  4. Pour the syrup and butter into the dry mix and add the rest of the ingredients
  5. Stir until it’s all combined
  6. Roll your mixture into ping pong ball sized balls and put them on the trays
  7. Bake for about 15 mins or until they’re brown.
  8. They will be soft to touch when they come out of the oven, don’t worry. They’ll crisp as they cool leaving the centre nice and chewy.

This makes about 24 biscuits. All that’s left to do is make a brew and get dunking!

Kisses

Lojo

Friday Favourites

With it being Thanksgiving yesterday for all our lovely American friends, it feels like everyone has been thinking about all the things they’re thankful for this week. I’m no different so here we go…

#     I spent last weekend in Hemel Hempstead with the OH’s family which was really nice. Got all my washing done and it was lovely and warm (most of the time). I also got fed up like a big fatty. Roast dinners are ace aren’t they?

#     I also went Christmas decoration shopping so we now have things to hang on the tree. We did forget to buy something to go on the top though, so looks like we’ll have to go again. Oh dear!

#     My heating and washing machine got fixed on Monday. Yaaaaaay! It’s been awful without them for this last week. My washing machine now also lives up to it’s super silent name too.

#     After being obsessed with kitten cam last week I have now moved on to panda cam. That I discovered over at Hello Giggles.

#     Beyond Retro just tweeted this picture of a Christmas jacket. It’s so hideous but that kind of makes me want it more. Just knowing there are items like this in the world make me happy!

Christmas Jacket from Beyond Retro

#     It is now officially cold enough for me to give this Nutella Hot chocolate recipe a go🙂

#     Finally, I have lots to look forward to. It’s almost payday, it’s nearly my birthday, I’m seeing friends and my mummy is coming to visit soon too.

I’m a happy girl this week, how about you? What are you thankful for, not just this week but in general?

Kisses

Lojo

xxx

It’s Christmas!

love Christmas and this year I’ve been wrapped up in it even more than usual. Maybe it’s because it’s the first time I’ve had my own home to decorate, maybe I’m just feeling the festive cheer more than usual, either way I’ve been pretty insufferable so far. I dragged the OH out Christmas decoration shopping last Sunday and our Christmas tree arrived on Monday so this weekend I’ll be cleaning the flat from top to bottom ready for the new decorations to go up!

xmas_messageAs well as decorating the tree I’m a fan of decorating myself for Christmas too and those wonderful bods over at Punky Pins are generously giving you a way to do both! When you spend £15 or more on their website they will give you a free personalised Christmas tree decoration. It’s so shiny and pretty.

Punky Pins Christmas Decoration

As usual I have a few suggestions as to what you can spend your pennies on to claim this awesome offer and they’re all straight out of their Christmas selection too!

CHRISTMAS SLEIGH RIDE NECKLACE

Christmas Sleigh Ride Necklace. £14

Could it get any more Christmassy than the silhouette of Santa and his reindeer flying across the sky on Christmas Eve? Now you can get that magical Christmas Eve feeling any night of the festive season with this fabulous necklace. It would look amazing contrasting against a little white dress.

FAIRY LIGHTS CHARM NECKLACE

Fairy Lights Charm Necklace. £13

Now personally, I don’t think fairy lights should be limited to over Christmas, I’m a big fan of them all year round so this necklace is perfect for me! The five multicoloured fairy lights are cut from mirror acrylic so they will actually shine and sparkle around your neck. How cute? I’ll be brightening up a black t-shirt and skinny jeans with this bad boy.

CHRISTMAS JUNK BRACELET

Christmas Junk Bracelet. £22

I thought I’d step away from the necklaces with my final choice and highlight this awesome chunky bracelet. Each one is handmade so no 2 are the same as the charms are picked at random as it’s being made. The gorgeous little letter to Santa or the red sparkly Ho Ho Ho are my favourites I think. Although I also like the snowflake and the green Merry Christmas too. Oh it’s too difficult to pick. Good job I’m not the one making them!

So how cute are these little Christmassy gems? Will you be getting some? What Christmas themed accessories or clothes do you like?

Kisses

Lojo

Live Review: Vans Warped Tour, Alexandra Palace, London

My university days and beyond have mostly been filled with pop-punk and ska music. Proper feel good, summery tunes. So when I heard that the Vans Warped Tour was heading to London with a handful of my favourite bands on board I started counting down the days!

Vans Warped Tour

The Warped Tour triumphantly trundled into London’s Alexandra Palace to 10,000 hyped rock fans attempting to devour everything on offer from 28 bands across 4 stages. Hyped is pretty much an understatement for how I was feeling on the (what felt like) long trip across London. The line-up encompassed the soundtrack of my youth and to get them all under one roof was like all my Christmases coming at once.

I’m going to throw it out there straight away and get my one grievance over and done with early. The venue left a fair amount to be desired. The people traffic was unbearable at times and some rooms were shut off because of over capacity. Although health and safety is all well and good it kind of stuttered the flow around between the stages a little. Anyway, enough of that.

Wandering into the West Hall everything fell into place. We were greeted with the bright orange Jagermeister stage snuggled next to a huge vert ramp were some of the UK’s best skateboarders and BMXers strutted their stuff to the amazed crowd. There was also an extra special guest appearance from skate god Steve Caballero!

3OH!3

3OH!3 kick started my day and my word did they do a good job. They’re normally band I can take or leave but what a start to the day they provided. The crowd was bouncing and they really started the day on a high. That’s it I was in a good mood, I’d warmed up with a little dance and I was ready to be blown away by some of my favourite acts.

New Found Glory

© Carl Fleischer 2012

New Found Glory took to the stage looking like some sort of punk rock boy band in their matching basketball jerseys. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad performance from these boys, but they are my favourite band so I’m a bit biased, and this was no different. Every word was shouted back at them as they dedicated Dressed To Kill to Kevin Lyman, the founder of Warped Tour. They even through “the song you hate to know the words to,” Kiss Me, into their set. I could have gone home happy at this point but there was more to come.

Less Than Jake

Those Floridian ska-punkers, Less Than Jake, got my heart-rate up and wore me out as I bounced higher and higher to their awesome set. Needless to say Gainsville Rock City and All My Best Friends Are Metalheads blew the roof of and the crowd went wild. Whether it is because they’re awesome or if their stage time really was “the perfect time to go on because everyone’s got a nice buzz on and should take their shirts off, even the girls” as they announced or a combination of the two. Either way my chosen headliner had a tough act to follow.

Bowling For Soup

 But follow they did. If any one band epitomised Warped Tour and all its sensibilities it has to be Bowling For Soup. Their ethos is the same; have fun, drink beer, make friends! And what more could you want? Bowling For Soup rounded my day off perfectly in a way no other band could. My afternoon of reminiscence was wound up by Girl All The Bad Guys want and I practically floated out of the Ally Pally.

This was Warped’s first show in the UK since 1999 and if the banner on exit was anything to go by, we won’t be waiting that long for it to return. The weekend is already marked in my diary for next year!

Where you there? Who did you see? What did you think?

Kisses

Lojo

*This review was first posted on Glasswerk