Thursday, 30 May 2013

Book love

Each month I chat about what books I've been reading in my monthly Book Love feature.


Good Morning, Midnight - Jean Rhys 
 I've owned Good Morning, Midnight since I was at university, but have never gotten round to reading it before (even though it was one of my prescribed texts, sorry lecturers!). One lazy Sunday I was looking for a book to accompany me into town for a day of drinking coffee & mooching around second hand shops, and this jumped out at me. Oh, and how I fell in love. It's a haunting tale of a woman living in Paris, who has hit rock-bottom and is tearing herself apart through strange encounters, cheap hotels and too much wine. It's fairly short, but super intense and beautifully written.

Essays In Love - Alain de Botton
This book follows the story of a relationship: from a chance meeting on a plane, to anxiety and heartbreak. Each chapter reads like a philosophy paper, with the smallest moments being pondered over and subjected to intense thought and discussion. It's a bit twee, and I think you probably do have to be either loved up or slightly heartbroken to enjoy it, but I liked it!

Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut - Mike Mullane
I thought I needed to mix things up after my last two books, so I picked up a book that I bought absolutely ages ago (when I was last in Florida!). This is the memoir of an astronaut, Mike Mullane, who talks about his life as an astronaut... and is very, very blunt about what he thinks about NASA. I love a bit of space, and found it absolutely fascinating... you tend not to think about the politics, or office-life that exists behind sending people to the moon!


Patrick Ness - The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask & the Answer and Monsters of Men
I read the Chaos Walking trilogy for the first time late last year, and have already given in and re-read them again. They are just wonderful, amazing, beautiful books, and I love them so.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Outfit: denim & floral shirtdress

Say hello to my new favourite dress! The lovely folk at Debenhams invited me to review one of their dresses, so I decided to step a wee bit out of my comfort zone.


I picked this super sweet denim & floral H! by Henry Holland shirtdress. I normally shy away from things that button all the way up, because as cute as collars (and collar clips, swoon!) can be, I look a bit ridiculous with high-neck outfits. Instead I wore a black vest top under the dress, making it a wee bit more casual, but still cute!


The dress has a lovely floral panel on the shoulders, so I wore my hair up to properly show it off. You can't really see my nails, but they are dark grey with silver scalloping along the tips - they're kind of pretty but grungy, and aren't quite as harsh as jet black nails. 


It buttons all the way down & the skirt is really light and floaty, which is perfect for summery days. Sadly, because I live in Scotland (which is experiencing a NEVER-ENDING WINTER), I haven't had the chance to wear this in nice weather yet, but I can report that it looks good with black tights & stompy boots too.


I've also been wearing my elephant necklace (last seen here) almost non-stop, I love it! Hooray for pretty dresses.

Monday, 27 May 2013

How to: make chocolate, mint & avocado mousse

I like it when an intriguing email finds its way into my inbox.. and the AERO perfect pairing challenge was definitely that! To celebrate the relaunch of AERO Bubbles, I was challenged to think up my own perfect flavour pairing - the weirder the better.

Here's how I got on...


I'm going to admit, I was so quick to say - yes! chocolate! weird things! fun!- that it didn't actually dawn on me that I'd have to try and come up with something strange and, more importantly, eat that strange thing until a big box arrived at my door. 

Luckily, AERO sent out a heap of fun cooking things (thanks guys!) and a very beautiful copy of The Flavour Thesaurus to inspire me.


This is really the most BEAUTIFUL book, if you are into flavours or food at all I highly recommend it! It barely took any time at all before I saw the words "chocolate" (hello) and "avocado" (also, hello), and put strange thoughts such as beef-raspberry-coffee out of my head. 

I wanted to make something that I actually might want to eat, and that would fit on this blog... and a gooey, chocolately mousse sounded perfect.

Here's what I used:
  • one large avocado
  • 30g dark cocoa powder 
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 2 tbsps fresh mint
  • 4 tbsps milk
  • 1 egg white, whipped
  • 1 aero bar, grated


I like to be lazy when I can get away with it, and this is ridiculously easy. You just stick the avocado, cocoa, honey, mint and milk in a bowl, and give it a big whisk, making sure all of the lumps have disappeared! Then whisk your egg white, feel bad about not knowing what to do with the egg yolk, and gently fold the egg white into the mixture. This makes it light and fluffy and mousse-like!


Then spoon it into serving dishes of choice (I used tea cups and this recipe made two MASSIVE portions), grate some chocolate around the edge and leave it to sit in the fridge for an hour or two. When serving, add a few fresh mint leaves & you are good to go!

I was a bit nervous about how this would taste, but I was actually really pleasantly surprised! The avocado adds a lovely smooth texture to it, but the taste is alllll chocolate & mint (mine was perhaps a tad too minty, but I got carried away as I'd been growing it in my garden!). If I made it again I'd probably melt some dark chocolate too and add that to the mix, just to make it a wee bit more indulgent. Yum!

Disclaimer: AERO sent me a Perfect Pairing Cookery Kit to take part in this challenge.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Leopard wishlist

I've had the most horrible cold this weekend - it hit me completely out of the blue & has reduced me to a sniffly, moany mope (even when the sun was out, how unfair!). So to cheer myself up, here's some window shopping, blog-style.

I like leopard print, and am on a mission to have enough in my wardrobe so I can go out, head-to-toe in leopard one day (aka hairscarf-to-shoes - be warned pals, this will happen). I also like all of these things. That's about as much effort as you'll get from a sniffly, ill girl today!



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Super cute! Now cross your fingers for me please & hope my summer cold goes away quickly!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Magpie

I am a sucker for nice stationery, so when these notebooks popped up in my instagram feed I fell in love and pretty much immediately ordered some for myself. They are from Magpie - a London studio who design & manufacture all sorts of lovely things, with a British edge.

Their products are really sweet, but not too twee, and everything they make is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. They also donate money to Cats Protection with each order! They are nice guys.


I went for J, fox & anchor notebooks and I LOVE them! They are quite small, but that just means they are perfect for throwing in a bag & having access to brilliant stationery at ALL times.

& look at all the other lovely things they do!


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Monday, 13 May 2013

Illustrated Blogger #4: Ella Masters

Here's the next installment in my newest feature - Illustrated Bloggers. Each month I introduce you to one of my favourite bloggers & tell you why they are brilliant. I love them so hopefully you will too!

Who is she? Ella from Ella Masters

What's her site about? A UK lifestyle & art blog


Why is she brilliant?

  • Ella's an amazing artist and discovering her blog was part of the reason I got back into painting - it made me realise how much I missed it.
  • She's one of those lucky people who has a wild mane of hair that looks awesome not brushed (and was so much fun to paint). 
  • Ella has a series of paintings of beardy tattooed men, which I love! There's loads on sale in her etsy shop - I have this guy & I love him!
  • Her posts are always really honest, which is very refreshing in the often-sugar-coated world of lifestyle blogging.
  • She's always painting or being crafty in some way & it's just SO inspiring! 

Previous illustrated bloggers:

Friday, 10 May 2013

Star Trek nail art

It's been a while since I've posted nail art, I've been bad! I've been wearing slightly more sensible designs on my fingertips since changing jobs (you really have to work out the lay of the land before turning up with panda nails) but in celebration of Star Trek coming out this week, here's some sci-fi nails!

Models Own - Feeling blue | Black magic | Red alert | Lemon meringue | Barry M - Black glitter (np333)

It's probably worth pointing out that this is NOT my hand - it is the much more manly hand of my pal Joshua, who has become my partner in nail polish crime (he had kawaii animals painted on his nails last month, which you can see in April's instagram post).

I grew up watching Star Trek with my dad, who would definitely not call himself a Trekkie, but did sneak into a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas with me (a fun day, sorry security guards!). I love it because I've watched it my whole life, but I'm also a HUGE fan of the new movies... I like that Star Trek is so cool these days!

Anyway, this design is pretty simple. There's a whole world of potential designs out there, but we stuck with the colours of the crew uniforms, a spacey-warp-speed thumb (it glitters) and, obviously, the Starfleet logo. I mainly used Models Own polishes as they are always so lovely and reliable, I highly recommend them! For the finer detail I used an old liquid eyeliner brush dipped in polish - much cheaper than a nail art pen and it won't run out or clog up!

Live long and paint nails...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Outfit: What I really wore

I've got a bit of a confession for you... I don't know how fashion bloggers do it. Yes I do have nice dresses, and yes I do try and look nice when I'm going out, or going to work, but weekends? They are normally spent looking a lot more like this....

Jeans - New Look
Hoody - Primark
Tshirt - Primark
Daft face - Model's own
It's a different story if I'm going out somewhere nice, but if I'm just getting a coffee or going to the cinema I can't be bothered with much make-up (or to brush my hair). The only reason I have a kind of normal face of make up on here is because I dressed up all fancy to take these outfit photos then changed back into normal clothes to go to watch a movie! Is that cheating?


I had a Primark voucher to spend and couldn't resist this ridiculous RAD tshirt! I know slogan tees are a bit cheesy, but who really cares on a lazy afternoon.

It does feel like - particularly if you are a blogger, or read stylish blogs - that there's a pressure to look lovely & picturesque all the time. But that's just unrealistic! I know this is a really boring outfit post, but I wanted to acknowledge the scruffier, lazier side of my life on here too. I'm scruffy and proud!

Monday, 6 May 2013

JOY dresses

I have a dangerous weak spot for JOY. We all know JOY right? A quirky fashion & homeware shop that sells the most BEAUTIFUL dresses. And skirts. And jumpers with cats on them.

It's lucky that the two Edinburgh stores are a little bit out of my way, otherwise I would be seriously out of pocket (albeit with a very lovely wardrobe). Most JOY dresses sit around the £35 - £60 mark which is very reasonable when you think about the quality & loveliness of what you are getting... but makes it harder to justify when you are a bit skint & just in a "I like new things!" state of mind.

Still, I treated myself this week to the first dress on this wishlist & VERY almost bought the second one, but put it back because it was £49 & I am trying to be good. If you EVER ever see it go on sale you MUST tell me though - it was so perfectly Mad Men I am kicking myself for not getting it!


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Love them! (& obviously love blue at the moment too). 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Book love

Each month I chat about what books I've been reading in my monthly Book Love feature.


Atlantis - David Gibbins
I am a sucker for archaeology-mystery books, so thought this was probably a good shout when I spotted it in a charity shop. It was alright in a sort-of-trying-to-be-Dan Brown way, but the characters were quite wooden, and the villains (scary Russians who ALSO want to find Atlantis, how dare they? etc etc) were a bit boring. The author is an underwater archaeologist so clearly knows what he's talking about, even if it's not the most thrilling of tales.

Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon
I've tried to read a couple of Michael Chabon books but always struggle to get into them... which frustrates me when I know so many people that rave about him! Anyway, the same thing happened with Gentlemen of the Road - I really wanted to like it, but just couldn't engage with it. It's a swashbuckling adventure novel about two travellers who make their way around the Caspian Sea (& get into all sorts of peril!). Sounds awesome, but I wasn't that fussed.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? - Jeanette Winterson
After battling through a few difficult books, I picked up a book by my very favourite author as I knew I would be in safe hands. I'm not usually into autobiographies or memoirs, but this is something else. I LOVE HER. It's the story of her life, and it's powerful and disturbing and lovely and just brilliant. She is a writer who loves language, and almost every line could be a poem.



Written on the Body - Jeanette Winterson
After reading her memoir, I then had to re-read Written on the Body - it's my very favourite book of all time. It's a beautiful book about falling in love (and I promise it's not as sappy as that sounds). Jeanette Winterson doesn't write in a typical narrative structure, it's more like a stream of consciousness (but not in a terrible James Joyce way!). Nothing I can say will do it justice - it's a beautiful, gritty, honest (sometimes heartbreaking) book that just makes so much sense. Read it!

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein
I have slightly mixed feelings about this book. On the whole I really enjoyed it - it's about a man who grows up on Mars & is brought to earth... and despite being quite old-school I found that I really cared about the characters & the peril (there's obviously peril) that they were in. But when reading it you have to remember that it was written in the 60's... some of the characters come out with terrible statements, things can be unintentionally hilarious & things get quite weird towards the end. If you like sci fi then you should definitely read it! If not, the next book is more for you...

The Passage - Justin Cronin
Ahhh, it's so scary! This is an epic apocalyptic thriller, where experiments go horribly wrong & vampires are actually scary (and definitely don't glitter in sunshine). I absolutely flew through this book, it's the type that once you start reading you definitely don't want to stop! It's also being made into a film so you should read it now before the movie comes out.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

April sponsors!

Here's a little round up of the lovely folk who have been sponsoring Ever So Juliet this month! If you are looking for a new read or a nice place to shop, then this should hopefully provide some inspiration....


Children with Cancer UK Bake Club 
This month Children with Cancer UK are launching Bake Club - a fun and simple way to raise money and save young lives. Help the fight against childhood cancer by making some tasty treats and fundraise at home, at work, or in your community. On the Bake Club website you can download a fundraising pack full of tasty tips, recipes from Jane Asher & James Martin, as well as posters and decorations. Cakes and a good cause - what's better than that? 




Sylvia Gets Hungry
Sylvia is a new food blogger that has started her site to document her eating experiences, recipes & more! If you are a fan of food (er, who isn't?) and amazing photos that will make you drool then take a look at her blog! 




Win a festival trip in Scotland 
Want to win tickets to a festival of your choice in Scotland? Plus accommodation? AND train tickets? Well here's your chance - The List & Visit Scotland are running a competition... and if you win you can choose which festival you go to. Brilliant! 

If you would like to sponsor Ever So Juliet then you can do so here! This site reaches just over 11,000 unique users per month, so it's an ace & very affordable way to show off what you do. Adverts start at only $5 (which is £3!) for a month on site & a spot in my monthly sponsor feature.

Alternatively, if you would like to swap buttons, or if you are a charity looking for some free advertising then please get in touch! My email is thisisjuliet @ gmail.com, or comment below. Thanks!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

April instagram

It's May! Hooray! I really like this time of year - it's almost summer so the days are long and bright, and the world is full of bbqs, sunshine and fun things. If I can have as much fun in the next four weeks as I did in the last lot, then I'll be a very happy person. 

Here's what I got up to in April...

Instagram username: @eversojuliet

1. Yet again the lovely cafes nearby my work are tempting me daily with amazing looking treats like this. I have managed to resist so far.. but one day I will crack & give in (aargh!).

2. One Friday afternoon at work we had a break to decorate sugar skulls from the Mini Maker Faire (as most of us were working & didn't get a chance to play). Here's my one - it looks a bit like a dinosaur, but I like it! 

3. I painted a new illustrated header from my blog & am pretty pleased with it. I think I'm finally getting the hang of painting hair... it's faaar from perfect, but I can see a big improvement from when I first started painting in January.

4. My pal Joshua & I have started a nail art club, and it is ACE getting to paint daft things on someone else for a change! We went for kawaii-esque animals and it took forever, but was fuelled by lots of cake, tea & sitting in sunshine in Lovecrumbs (who were quite bemused by the whole thing). 

5. The sun came out (hip hip hooray) so Craig & I headed to the beach... to shiver in the wind as it was so breezy! Still looked pretty though.

6. Riley was adorable as usual. 

7. I spring-cleaned the house (finally!) and got a bit obsessed with putting flowers everywhere. Here are some in jars on my mantlepiece...

8. ... and some beautiful daffodils! 

9. I was at my parents' house & found this mega cheery photo of me when I was wee. I used to have natural ringlets (if only I still did!), as well as a hipster-approved outfit. Dungarees with matching suspenders, oh yeah.

10. Waiting on a plane to Laaaandaaan! I thought it was a genius plan to fly down on Friday night with enough time to get the tube over to my pal's house, but the plane was delayed & sat on the runway for over an hour, meaning by the time we arrived the underground was shut & we had to taxi it across town (costing £s!). SO annoying!

11. With my very wonderful girl Steph in the Camden Barfly. I saw on twitter that Zoe (aka the London Lipgloss) was djing at a bubblegum pop night, so we went over & had SO MUCH FUN. Well done Zoe! It was exactly the type of terrible-but-awesome 90s pop night we were after, and I was knackered the next day from dancing so much!

12. Monday margaritas in Wahaca before going to see Beyonce at the O2. Such a fun day - Queen B was on FORM, and her backing dancers were just incredible!

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