Thursday, 26 February 2015

F is for Festivals!

Leeds Festival 2009
So it may be a bit soon to start thinking about festivals for this year, but I've seen some of the line-ups and heard some of the rumours, and it sounds like I'm going to be spoiled for choice this Summer. Here's my pick of this year's festivals with line-ups too good to miss.

Leeds Festival 2009 30 Seconds to Mars
Reading and Leeds
I've attended Reading & Leeds four times now (Reading x1 - Leeds x3)  and I think it's about time I tried something new.
Don't get me wrong, the R&L line-up for this year definitely grabbed my attention, but not because of the headliners. In fact, as far as headliners go R&L's is pretty poor. I can't remember the last time Mumford and Sons were on the radar, and Metallica seem to be recycled year after year in the festival circuit. It should be a surprise to see a band like that on a line-up, not a guarantee. As for the Libertines, well it's pretty typical of R&L to have what I like to call a 'nostalgia band' on the cards, from The Cure back in 2012 to last year's Pearl Jam appearance. It's always risky, as there's a lot of room for disappointment with bands dragged from the history books for our sentimental pleasure, and it's not that often we come away impressed.

What intrigued me about the line-up was how the festival's rock music roots are shrinking, as new artists of the genre are sharing the stage with talent in dance, hip hop and r&b. Who could say they'd ever have expected Metallica and Kendrick Lamar to share a stage? I don't think it's an overall bad thing, but the festival is definitely becoming a mixed bag compared to what it was. 

There are some bands though that I'm over the moon about being on the line-up .Marmozets, Royal Blood, Wolf Alice, Years &Years and Slaves have been obsessions of mine ever since I mentioned them in my Sound of 2015 post, so to see them all in once place would be incredible. A festival like R&L can do wonders for bands like these, so even if I don't get to go, it will be interesting to see how they excel after performing there.

Glastonbury Festival Main Stage
Image from
So only Foo Fighters and Lionel Richie have been confirmed so far. What a pair! It's around now that rumours start circulating, and the strongest one I've heard is Florence & the Machine, which would make sense considering her new album is to be released on the 1st June, giving everyone a good 23 days to listen hard before screaming it back. Betting has been suspended on Coldplay (you can bet on this stuff?) however Blur, Prince, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Kate Bush, Fleetwood Mac, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Depeche Mode, The Who, Rihanna, Elton John, David Bowie, Taylor Swift AND Madonna are just a few of the names being bet on to fill those headlining slots.

I'm already seeing Foo Fighters at Wembley in June, but it would still be incredible to see them in a festival environment. I would be really surprised if Florence & the Machine weren't there, and if you saw her performance back in 2010 (especially her cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'The Chain') you know she'll put on one heck of a show, and have a wardrobe to match.

Other than that, Red Hot Chilli Peppers have announced a 2015 album, whilst either Prince, Fleetwood Mac or Kate Bush would make this gal a happy festival bunny. Can you imagine over 70,000 people singing Wuthering Heights?

Download Festival Main Stage
Image from
I am ecstatic about the Download lineup. It's a festival I've always said I need to do, and I know if I went this year I'd have seen some classics. I know that Slipknot and Muse are epic performers, and KISS and Motley Crue would be so much fun (LOVE GUUUUUUNNN!!)
I've been wanting to see A Day to Remember ever since I was 18, and I'm so happy they're on the main stage too.
As for Slash featuring Miles Kennedy and the Conspirators, I've heard amazing things about their performance and Guns n Roses covers. I saw Guns n Roses (minus Slash) at R&L, and they were god awful. People were leaving the main stage in droves, so it would be awesome to see Slash do the music some justice.
I've seen Enter Shikari 8 times now so I'm not hard pushed to see them, but it is nice to see them at Download, as they're always at R&L. Seeing them once more can't hurt though right?
For me though, the cherry on top is Marilyn Manson. I adore that guy and everything he touches is gold as far as I'm concerned so it would be glorious to see him live. I would probably loose my ability to function.

T in the Park Festival Main Stage
Image from
T in the Park 
Yay for Fatboy Slim. His tunes make up a lot of my Summer playlist so it would be the epitome of Summer to see him at a festival.  With Rudimental, Alt-J and Jamie T, this fest is oozing Summer. Considering it's taking place in July too, it's like Summerception. Summer songs creating Summer vibes in Summer. All that's missing is a pitcher of Pimms and some sun burn.

Isle of Wight Festival Main Stage
Image from
Isle of Wight Festival
FLEETWOOD FRICKING MAC! I'm sorry, but I'm quite happy to leave it there with this one. I mean, yeah it would be pretty awesome to see The Prodigy (whose new track is perfection btw) and Pharrell Williams and The Black Keys, but I could quite happily make do with Fleetwood Mac. I grew up with them as a kid and to this day I'm still not sick of their sound. Considering I'm named after Stevie Nicks too, it would only be right for me to see my name buddy (in a non-stalker way). 


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Mathew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands: The Ballet

Mathew Bourne Edward Scissorhands

Mathew Bourne Edward Scissorhands Milton Keynes Theater

Mathew Bourne Edward Scissorhands Tickets

'I am not complete.'

I adore anything that Tim Burton creates, however Edward Scissorhands has a special place in my heart, and I know I'm not alone when I say that. 

For those of you who haven't heard of Mathew Bourne, he is the choreographer and director behind some of the UK's most popular and successful ballet productions, from Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella to Lord of the Flies and The Picture of Dorian Gray. His most successful, Swan Lake, even features in Billy Elliot. 

I have been lucky to see both Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake and was blown away by his adaptations. There's always an underlying darkness to all his productions which sucks me in, and he's a master of detail.

So when I heard he was doing a production of Edward Scissorhands, my inner child cried with glee. She cried even more when I was surprised with tickets for Christmas from my grandparents. 

I will be honest and say that I was skeptical. I didn't really have sentimental ties with Bourne's other productions so was open to new twists, however I was worried my inner child would throw a tantrum because it simply wasn't the same. I also could not picture in my head how on earth he was going to achieve certain parts of the story. Some scenes just didn't seem transferable to the stage. 

BUT (a huge but) I loved it. The trippy quirks typical of Tim Burton's style were present throughout and humour, just like the film , broke up the darkness. 

When it came to the stunning dancing-in-the-snow scene, I'm pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The original score from the film was kept in, and Danny Elfman's 'Ice Dance' piece gets me every time. The dancing was timed so well with the music that it heightened any emotion you were feeling as you watched. 

At the end of the show, the dancer playing Edward received a standing ovation, (which made me cry even more). I'm a regular theater goer and standing ovations are rare to see nowadays, but this one was well and truly deserved. 

I don't want to give any more away, but if Edward Scissorhands was in any way a part of your childhood, for whatever reason, then you need to go and see this. Each of Mathew Bourne's ballets have stayed with me and are memories I'll hold on to. 

There are still dates available, and the tour finishes on the 14th March, so be quick if you want to go. I promise you it will be worth it!

(P.S Sorry for the grainy mobile pics. Didn't think I could get away with my mahoosive DSLR)


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

New York Fashion Week: A Summary.

So fashion week season is well and truly underway, and whilst Somerset House is packed with the UK's fashion finest, I thought I'd briefly review what went on at New York Fashion Week with some of my personal favourites. Saying that 70s style is going to be huge for A/W 2016 is a ridiculous understatement. In this post alone you will see a variety of modern adaptations of the era; from 70s Morocco to 70s punk, just give it a few months and it will be out with the 90s choker and in with those bell bottoms. 
I'm also very happy to announce that an embracing of all things grunge, gothic and macabre is on the cards. I'm hoping the next time winter comes around I won't be alone in the witch-at-a-funeral look. We all know that the key to bringing a stylish edge to any one colour ensemble is texture, and both 3.1 Phillip Lim and Thomas Browne are giving us a textural masterclass with their latest collections. 
For the more colourful minded among us, do not fret. The cutester trend will be given plenty of inspiration from the likes of Karen Walker and Jeremy Scott and their playful Crayola palettes. 
If you're sitting on the fence style wise, do not worry, as there's one trend we can all abide by, and that's embellishment. Anything that can be glued, sown and stitched on is on the table. Think lace, feathers, beads, embroidery, over-sized sequins, pearls, patches etc etc. 
But before I give too much away, here are my favourite collections from New York Fashion Week. 

Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera AW15 New York Fashion Week
Inspired by water, this collection consists of cool blue and grey hues. The fluid hemlines and glistening fabrics emulate water's effortless movement. Graphic prints combined with textural fabrics and layering create a feast for the eyes. 

Karen Walker
Karen Walker AW15 New York Fashion Week
Cliche 70s with a modern twist. Bold prints in retro hues contrast strikingly with shearling coats and clean cut leather, whilst short hemlines are paired with classic knee high boots. 

3.1 Phillip Lim
3.1 Phillip Lim AW15 New York Fashion Week
An edgy collection with grunge yet sophisticated vibes. Distressed jumpers are layered with shirts and jackets and statement coats. 

Alice + Olivia
Alice + Olivia AW15 New York Fashion Week
The swinging Sixties meets 70s Rock 'n' roll chic. Bohemian elements are combined with rich textures consisting of strong embellishment (beading, feathers, lace).  Lace high necks and ball skirts in jewel tones integrate with floral jacquard, whilst chunky knits and over the knee boots create a strikingly feminine silhouette. 

Thomas Browne
Thomas Browne AW15 New York Fashion Week
Nothing like an Edwardian funeral for a fashion show.  Browne's theatrical pieces were all part of a  show staged in a mock 19th century surgical theater. Both the gothic and the macabre were brought to life with precise tailoring with sharp lines and cuts, and modernly inventive embellishment. 

Reem Arca
Reem Arca AW15 New York Fashion Week
 Rock 'n' Roll 70s meets 80s New Romantic. Embellishment was the key focus of this collection, with fur, embroidery, tulle, feathers, lace and beads taking center stage. 

Vivienne Tam
Vivienne Tam AW15 New York Fashion Week
 Mix Victorian inspired silhouettes with Asian prints and you've got something rather decadent. Baroque patterns with Victorian blouses and lace high necks makes for a modern take on a vintage look. 

Libertine AW15 New York Fashion Week
This reminded me so much of the days when I used to hang out in Camden. It's the Cutester trend meets Wednesday Adams and I love it. Deconstructed plaid and whimsical, cartoonish motifs bring a punk element to the collection. 

Tory Burch
Tory Burch AW15 New York Fashion WeekAnother take on the 70s trend but this time with a Moroccon twist. Embellished skirts and printed coats in cool, neutral tones contrast with bursts of claret. 

Badgley Mischka
Badgley Mischka AW15 New York Fashion Week
 Muted metallics and glistening plaid make for a collection that's sophisticated and ornate with subtle, underlying punk themes. Boucle and paisley help to add a vintage feel. 

Vera Wang
Vera Wang AW15 New York Fashion Week
 An understated yet powerful collection with masculine tailoring. Wide-legs and loose fits create straight, urban silhouettes.

Rodarte AW15 New York Fashion Week
Tight leather trousers and textural slip dresses ooze sexiness, whilst Victorian blouses and embellishments of Ostrich feathers, sequins and tassels bring some class along for the ride. 

Jenny Packham
Jenny Packham AW15 New York Fashion Week
An elegant collection which divulges in embellishment and experimental layering. Bold textures such as oversized sequins, crystals and pearls bring something new to each garment. 

Naeem Khan
Naeem Khan AW15 New York Fashion Week
A mixture of intricate beading, ombre dresses and metallics. This collection is full of eye-catching pieces. 

Marc by Marc Jacobs
Marc by Marc Jacobs AW15 New York Fashion Week
I would happily wear this collection now. Neckerchiefs, blazers, punky plaid, tulle-petticoats and Creepers make for a collection that only the disparate youth can pull off.  

Wendy Nicholl
Wendy Nicholl AW15 New York Fashion Week
Like something out of the American Horror Story dressing room, this Puritan-style, witchy collection is sensuous and seductive, with a very present gothic edge. 

Delpozo AW15 New York Fashion Week
This playful collection brings childhood to the fore. Pinafores, capes and rounded silhouettes are reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel, but with a touch of charm. 

Jeremy Scott
Jeremy Scott AW15 New York Fashion Week
Imagine CBeebies had a high fashion make-over, and it will look something a bit like this. Coloured tights and patchwork dresses are matched with Mary Janes whilst childish cartoon graphics with  multicoloured stripes and zig-zags make your eyes hurt.  

Hugo Boss
Hugo Boss AW15 New York Fashion Week
Sharp lines and structured silhouettes create a stern yet elegant collection with a hint of androgyny. Colour block techniques and sequin panels direct the eyes and creates form. 

Marchesa AW15 New York Fashion Week
Like something out of Downton Abby this collection takes us back to the days of sultry sexiness.  Feminine yes, but fierce and strong also are the women for whom this collection was designed. 

Anna Sui
Anna Sui AW15 New York Fashion Week
Another 70s collection, but this one has hippy written all over it. Cropped flares and dungarees featuring bold prints are loud and striking, but there's a softness in the fabrics that's graceful and earthly. 

All images from


Monday, 23 February 2015

Being Head Happy


So usually my Monday post is a fashion focused one, however this week is going to be a bit of an exception. 

Recently, I haven't been sticking to the structure I'd set myself for certain posts. I'm not sure if this blog is big enough for anyone to notice, but I do worry. 

I mentioned in my recent Me-Time post that I struggle to relax mentally as a result of being a blogger, and not only did a few of you agree with me, but I've seen so many other bloggers say the same. 

London Fashion Week is in full swing, with many major bloggers attending. For bloggers aspiring to reach that established stage, it's a week which brings out both envy and motivation in regards to you and your blog's success. 

But just yesterday on Instagram, I saw one blogger say:
' I'm not feeling great so I'm deciding to put my (mental) health first and go home early and not go to the rest of LFW [...] After all, mental health is just as, if not more important than physical'. 

I fell in love with this blogger for being honest enough to not only speak out about this, but actively remove herself from a situation that was having a negative effect on her mental health. 

We all know that mental health doesn't get enough recognition these days, but my god is it important. 

Even if it's something like not committing to a certain planned post for the time being because you're just not in the right frame of mind, it's important that we take notice of what's going on in our own heads and take necessary steps to prevent increasing negativity. 

So yes, that is why today's post isn't its usual, and it makes me sad that bloggers who are more established who do the same feel the need to apologise to their readers or go forward with something that will make them unhappy. 

Blogging is actually one of the most stressful things I've taken up, and as much as I love it, I'm aware that I need to keep on top of where my head is at in regards to critiquing myself, pushing myself further and of course doubt. 

I'm not claiming to be an expert. Actually quite the opposite. I have no idea how to stem the doubt and the anxiety surrounding trying improve on something I and I alone have created and am responsible for.  

All I'm saying is that I think we should be aware of these thoughts when we have them. Whether it's seeing bloggers on Instagram having a ball at LFW and doubting your ability to get to that stage, or actually being in the midst of a fashion event or post and not feeling yourself mentally, we shouldn't feel guilty for taking steps towards removing ourselves from that negative mentality. 

So here's to making our head happiness a priority!


Friday, 20 February 2015

Burn the Witch: The Fashion of AHS Coven on a Budget

 I have joined the army of American Horror Story fans, finally! As a horror fanatic, it took me a while to come round to the idea of a horror series, expecting it to be tacky and cheesy. I couldn't have been more wrong. The series has been very classy and well executed, and is now high on my list of favourite TV shows. 

The biggest debate surrounding this show is which series is the best. Everyone has their favourite, and mine was most definitely Coven. I love all things macabre, but I'm fascinated with the Salem witch trials and the history of witches in general, so it was fascinating to see the theme brought into the 21st century, whilst still holding onto traditional notions. 

One thing that I think brought the characters to life and reflected their witchy personas was the wardrobe choices. I was green with envy as I watched the season, wanting practically every item of clothing. I did a little bit of research and found that a few of the most iconic pieces (Misty Day's red dress, Madison's black maxi dress) were from Free People. Obviously these items are now sold out, and many of the other items featured in the show are out o my price range, so I decided to put together a post about how to achieve the look of each character on a budget. I can't be the only person who wants to be Madison one day, and Misty the next. 


Vintage Black and Gold Dress: Modcloth 
High Neck Sweater: SheInside
Floral Midi Skirt: SheInside
Pearl Necklace: JulesB
Pointed Heels: Asos
Peplum Top:Choies
Sunglasses: Dior

Floppy Hat: Topshop
Slogan Tee: New Look
Bow Shirt:Mango
Distressed Sweater:Zalando
Skull Ring:JulesB
Vintage Sunglasses:Topshop
Buckle Boots:Wallis 

Bow Dress: Romwe
Collar Necklace: Blue Fly
Hair Bow: Black
Frilly Socks: River Island
Brogues: Office

Dr Martens Heeled Boot: Modcloth
Floral Maxi Dress: Romwe
Long Lace Dress: H&M
Boho Earrings: Boticca
Silk Scarf: Overstock
Turquoise Belt: Forever 21
Bowler Hat: Nordstrom
Sequin Cami: Abercrombie
Maxi Skirt: Chicwish
Necklace: Revolve

Cleated Sole Boots: John Lewis 
Pagoda Umbrella: Brollies Galore
Silver Bodycon Dress: New Look
Lace Maxi Dress: Miss Selfridge
Studded Hat: H&M
Velvet Choker: Topshop
Faux Fur Headband: Oliver Bonas
Fluffy Crop Jumper: Boohoo
Sequin Hotpants: John Lewis


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Me-Time Tag

Thank you Emma Inks for tagging me in this. Love a good ol' tag. Think it's a great way to get to know the person behind the blog!Think we could all do with a helping hand on how to make that me-time a little bit more worthwhile!

What do you watch / read during me-time?
Ooh where do I start. I move from series to series really. I'm currently watching American Horror Story (but I'm one episode from the end) The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul. Oh and Broadchurch. I've watched Hannibal and Game of Thrones in the past. Stories with a dark, twisted characters grip me more, so Hannibal and AHS have been my favourites. 

I actually haven't read in a while which makes me sad. I've just been too busy for it. I was half-way through Anna Karenina (not so gripping) last time I read. I've been trying to work my way through all the books I own but have never read. I collect antique books so the pile is ever growing. 

What do you wear during me-time?
Either the comfiest thing I own, or something that makes me feel amazing. It really depends what mood I'm in. Sometimes I just wanna feel like my bed is enveloping me, with hoodies, pyjama bottoms and the thickest pair of socks I own. Other times, even if I'm not doing anything at all, I like to pamper myself, look good and dress up for me! 

What are your me-time beauty products?
Moisturiser. Without a doubt. For me, me-time is also about looking after yourself physically as well as mentally. It's a good opportunity to let your skin breathe and give it a break from make-up. a good face-mask or a thick face cream will do wonders. In my Winter Skincare post I mentioned Nourish's Argan Skin Renew. The tiny pot I received in the Argan Beauty Collection has actually lasted me a good 3 months, and I use it every day. It's hands down my favourite. So dense and thick, but subtle in scent so it doesn't irritate sensitive skin. 

Current favourite nail polish?
Right now it's Barry M's Silk Nail Effects in Forest. I wore it in my Valentins OOTD. It's a dark, slightly iridescent green with a nice matte finish. I struggle to find good green shades in nail polishes so this one is a definite keeper. I want the whole Silk collection!  
What do you eat/ drink during me-time?
TEA! I love all flavours of tea. I find it relaxes me. I recently did the StripTeas 14 Day Detox and it's amazing how a little bag of herbs can invigorate you. However on the other side of the spectrum, I like to use an free me-time I get to bake because I love it and I don't get to do it very often any more, so a lot of cake / biscuit / bread / pie eating goes on during my me-time. 

Current favourite candle? 
I'm not actually a candle person. I probably will be when I move out, and my place will be full of them (and pointless cushions). I'm more of an incense stick / oils kinda person. I prefer that musky, natural smell. Oh and I like to collect the little holders and burners and pretty little oil bottles. It's hard to have a favorite incense smell because I think they all end up smelling sort of the same, but Nag Champa is a classic. You can never go wrong with that. 

Do you ever have outdoor me-time?
I try to. I think it is important to not shut yourself away. I hate cabin-fever so if I can get out, even if it's just to walk to the local shop, I do. I'm very lucky to have some gorgeous countryside surrounding me so I do like going for walks if the weather permits. Most of my outdoor ventures happen when I do my OOTD posts.It's a good excuse to go exploring and find somewhere a bit different for a good photo setting. 

Would you ever go see a movie alone?
It's something I've always wanted to do, especially if I want to see a film that no one else is interested in. It's not that I think there's anything wrong with seeing a movie alone, in fact I admire people that do it, but I actually enjoy sharing the experience with someone. I like the conversation after the movie has ended. Even when I watch a film at home by myself, I have to talk to someone about it. In a way I feel I'd only get half the experience if I went by myself. 

Favourite online store?
Oh lord I don't think I could possible pick one. I've just discovered Free People which is actually where a few of the costumes from American Horror Story: Coven were from. Since then I've been obsessed. It's like Misty's wardrobe!  I also love Drop Dead Clothing and Killstar but I've been finding some amazing sale gems on Asos, Boohoo and H&M recently. 

Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time?
I think it's really important for us all to take me-time. Our lives are so busy and/or stressful and it's easy to let the days blur into one another and not have anything to show for it. I find it so hard to sit and indulge in a movie or baking or just general relaxation without guilt weighing down on me that I should be doing something productive. I can never shut my mind off. Even when I am doing those things, my mind is constantly on overdrive, coming up with new blog posts or work or money or personal stuff. I'm slowly learning to shut off and enjoy the moment. I try do something that I'll be glad I've done, simply because for that time I was content or peaceful. 

I am going to tag: 
Claire from ClaireLouise
Stephi from Stephi Lareine


Monday, 16 February 2015

We Mermaid For Each Other - Valentines OOTD

Grunge style with metallic skirt and bardot top.

Grunge style with metallic skirt and bardot top.

Grunge style with metallic skirt and bardot top.

Grunge style with metallic skirt and bardot top.

Grunge style with metallic skirt and bardot top.

Grunge style with metallic skirt and bardot top.

Grunge style with metallic skirt and bardot top.

Valentines Day is a brilliant day to dress up in your finest, whether your celebrating with your other half, your family or your friends
Choker - Regal Rose
Ankle Boots - Asos

I spent Valentines Day at the boyfriend's in Essex, and we had a lovely, relaxed day that consisted of going to the cinema (no we did not go and see 50 Shades of Grey, I'd rather bathe in my own vomit) and then out for a lovely meal at The Rose in Brentwood where Kurtis had booked a table.
It was very chilled but very romantic and it was lovely to spend some quality time togethe.

For a Valentines Day such as this, I didn't want to be too overdressed, but still wanted to look like I'd made an effort, so this combo was perfect.

I've has the bardot top since Summer, and even though it's nothing special on its own, it can add a formal, elegant twist to an outfit. There's something about having the decolletage on show that I think is actually quite sexy. I obviously had to grunge things up a bit with my Regal Rose choker.

Where to begin with the skirt! I was lazily scanning the H&M sale one evening when this gem showed up. It was the only thing in the sale worth a second glance and it had to be mine. The word 'mermaid' has been thrown around on a few occasions in reference to my hair, so I thought it was apt that I owned this skirt, reminiscent of a mermaid's tail. There's more colour in this skirt than all the 'colourful' things I own put together.

After finding the holy grail of sale items, I'd caught the bug and was on the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes to go with it. My lucky streak was not yet over, because I soon came across these beastly boots. The subtle crocodile skin texture contrasts brilliantly with the skirt, whilst continuing the reptilian theme.

These two items only came to £33, which is an absolute bargain when you consider I've got a whole new outfit out of them. I can't wait to play around with this skirt some more. I'm thinking some fishnet tights next.

To finish the whole look off, I found this Barry M nail varnish that matched the skirt brilliantly. You can't tell in the pictures, but it's actually quite iridescent, even though it does have a matte finish. This is from Barry M's Silk Nail Effects collection in Forest. 


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Valentines Brownies


I believe Valentines Day should be embraced by everyone, yes singletons I'm looking at you. Valentine's is the celebration of love, so why not extend that to your love of your family, friends ORRRRR food! 

Now I haven't baked in a while, so when I do get the chance I go a little bit crazy on the naughty scale and make the filthiest, most delicious concoctions to satisfy my cravings, and these devilish treats will bring warm belly love to absolutely anyone. 

Any avid baker will have their own personal brownie recipe that gets them their desired results. Every time I've made brownies, they've never turned out quite right and I've constantly been on the hunt for the perfect recipe. Well I found it. 

This recipe makes the gooiest, densest, richest brownies I've ever had, and it's so bloody simple! 

However, because of my baking lapse, I had to go one step further. Dense rich goo wasn't enough for me. 

If you read my What I Got For Christmas post you'll have seen that the boyfriend spoiled me with two jars of delectable spread. One is the spread form of those delicious caramel-flavoured Lotus biscuits. and the other is from Tesco's range of spreads in genius flavours. I've only tried the cookie spread and the Bourbon spread (which does actually taste like the biscuit). There's also a Custard Cream spread, a chocolate orange spread and a dark chocolate peanut butter spread. 

I want to collect them all, however for now I thought the Lotus and Cookie spreads would work perfectly dolloped in the center of my brownies. 

Boy did they. You can never have enough goo when it comes to brownies, and the burst of caramel or creamy cookie flavours work so well. This batch made about 15, and in my house they didn't last longer than two days. 

So if you and your other half are having a night in with a movie and pizza, or you're at home with the family or having a girly night with plenty of wine, spread the love with these bad boys! 


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Blood & Tears Murder Tour - London

So word is spreading among family and friends that I have a morbid curiosity; to the point that my Aunty bought me tickets to a serial killer walking tour around London. I was actually thrilled. I love this kind of thing, and there's so much about the history of London that isn't widely known, so I was more than up for a bit of a macabre stroll in the dark around London on a Friday night. 

After a quick but oh so filling bite to eat at The Diner, Soho, we rushed over to Barbican to meet our tour guide. The name of the tour was actually The Blood & Tears Walk London and was bought from . 

There were only four of us on the tour, me, the boyfriend and another couple, which I was worried would make things a bit awkward but actually worked in our favour as we got one-on-one time with the guide and weren't having to poke our heads above a massive crowd to hear what was being said. Obviously the tour isn't very popular at this time of year because of the unpredictable weather, but with the tour starting at 7, I find doing the tour in the dark had an influence on the thrill factor of the tour. 

Now I'm not going to divulge too many details of the tour because I don't want to spoil it, but this is more than just your average reading-from-a-guide-book-with-loads-of-facts tour. It's more interactive and actually engages you in discussion about certain serial killers and gets you to consider the psychology behind their acts. 

The tour guide himself Declan McHugh specialises in these evil beings and what makes them tick - he even wrote a book called Bloody London, so not only are you in good, knowledgeable hands, but your guide is someone who is passionate about this subject, and you'll pick up on that straight away. 

From Jack the Ripper and Dennis Nilsen to grave robbers and London pubs frequented by serial killers to pounce on their victims, this tour gives you a real insight into the mental workings of some of London's most calculated serial killers. Declan encourages you to piece together the stories yourself and psychologically profile these people so as to get a real understanding of their motives. You may even solve the unsolvable: Who is Jack the Ripper? 

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour and think it makes a great evening out. Some of the information is quite grim, but if you're of a morbid disposition like me, you wont bat an eyelid. As well as learning about the evil of London, you also learn about its history and walk through areas of London you probably never knew existed.