Wednesday 29 February 2012

February instagram

I cannot believe how fast February has gone by! This month has been another chilled one as the new house is getting closer and closer... I'm trying to avoid buying things on a whim by thinking of the comfy sofa my savings will buy (that's the plan, anyway!). It's working pretty well but I do miss doing things at the weekends, although it is giving me loads of time to cook.

Here's a wee instagram recap of the last few weeks...

1. Scones and coffee at a work meeting, one of the definite highlights of my job (I am obsessed with scones!). This was in Spoon, which is an amazing cafe on Nicolson St - brilliant food and cakes, and it's really quirky and fun. I sort of want a map table for my kitchen now.

2. Using my Hogwarts glass (that I got at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) last year. I feel like a child, but I love it!

3. Valentine's date to see Brand New in Glasgow. They were wonderful, I love them! I had such a good night dancing and singing with Craig.

4. Pints with my pal Muzza on a Monday night (what a shock!). We went to the opening of Assams, a new Indian-style tapas restaurant & takeaway, that has just opened up on Leith Walk. The food was amazing, and  the service was really good too - when they found out Craig was a vegetarian the waiters kept coming over with veggie-friendly plates. Aw!

5. Dinner at the Butterfly & the Pig Tearooms was amazing! I really fancy making a mini chicken pie, it was so tasty. I really liked that they served the gravy in a tea cup too, so cute.

6. Cocktails at Monteiths with my pal Rae! This was a lovely night out, although both of us are worryingly looking forward to the Edinburgh Festival already (which is in AUGUST - too far away to think about it now!).

7. Toblerone! Craig is a baddie - I've discovered that toblerones are my nemesis.. I can't say no. Thank goodness they are really expensive normally!

8. I couldn't resist doing strawberry nails again - they are so easy to do (I painted them while watching the Walking Dead), and just make me feel really spring-like.

My instagram name is eversojuliet if you'd like to add me!

Monday 27 February 2012

Museum Lates: Night of the Mummy

On Friday night I went to Night of the Mummy at the National Museum of Scotland. It's the second event in their Lates programme, where the museum stays open on Friday night and is packed with discos, bands, djs, fashion shows & loads more. It's basically just an ace excuse to explore the museum and act like a child!

Silent disco under the Chinese dragon! 
There was absolutely loads to do, we didn't get round everything! At first we went to get our faces painted (like children, ha ha) in an attempt to avoid the queue before it got too big. It turned out that the face painting was next to the animals (!!) which included meerkats (so tiny), a pygmy hedgehog, a massive snake and a few insects (including a massive centipede, eeep!).

We also got a chance to go round some of the Egyptian exhibit, try on pharoah headdresses (ha), handle original artefacts (amazing), play hungry hippos, dance in the silent disco & drink quite a few glasses of wine.

It really is BRILLIANT fun - I'd highly, highly recommend it if you are in Edinburgh! The next Lates is in May, & I imagine tickets will be on sale soon.. they tend to sell out really quickly so you have to be fast.

Oh, and possibly my favourite part of the night - afterwards LOADS of people asked Craig if his "face tattoo" was real. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Friday 24 February 2012

Giveaway winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my recent giveaway (and sorry for the delay in announcing a winner - I've had a pretty manic week!).

I used to pick a winner for the pastel polish set, who I'm pleased to announce is...

New Found Glory are pretty stoked that you've won too.

... Jen from Adventures of a Nerdasaurus! Wooo! I'll be emailing you shortly, so keep an eye out.

Thanks again everyone, and have a lovely weekend! x

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Pancake recipe

Hi everyone - it's pancake day! (or Shrove Tuesday, if you are into that sort of thing). Pancakes are lovely lovely lovely and really easy to make, so steer clear of the batter mixes that are in supermarkets at the moment. Chances are you've already got the ingredients you need in your cupboard.

Source: Bake and Destroy

I use a recipe that I learned ages ago from my mum. You'll need:
  • 110g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk in a jug with 75ml water
  • Pinch of salt

To make the batter just sift the flour and salt into a bowl (keep the sieve up high so you get lots of air into your mixture). Then use a spoon to make a well in the middle of the flour and break the eggs into it. Start whisking the eggs and flour together and then slowly add the milk/water mixture as you stir. Keep whisking until all lumps have disappeared!

Then heat up a pan with a good wedge of butter (the hotter then pan the better the pancake!). Add a ladle of batter, make sure the pan is covered and cook. You'll need to flip the pancake over after a minute or so (or painfully struggle with a spoon/spatula combo to turn it if you are RUBBISH at flipping pancakes like I am). Then when both sides are nice and golden, dish onto a plate and serve! I'm a lemon & sugar girl, Craig likes whipped cream and maple syrup.

This recipe makes very thin pancakes, but they are GORGEOUS. Highly recommended!

Monday 20 February 2012

Half & half leopard print nails

Models Own - Feeling Blue | Barry M - White | Claire's - Gold

I haven't done leopard print nails in ages, so decided to mix it up a little & do half and half nails with blue, white and gold (quite Scottish of me!).

This was pretty simple to do - I painted each half by freehand (I've seen masking tape used to get a really sharp dividing line, but it's too much of a faff for me). Then added the leopard print using liquid eyeliner as my nail art pen has run out (sob). You can see my leopard print how to here - it's really simple.

Also, thanks to everyone who has entered my nail polish giveaway so far! I'll be picking the winner tonight so there's still a little time left if you'd like to enter. I'm giving away a set of Models Own polishes (which includes the blue you can see in this manicure!) - they are by far my favourite nail varnishes & are perfect for Spring!

Friday 17 February 2012

How to: cook roasted stuffed peppers

As I've been teaching myself to cook I've also tried to learn things that Craig (the lovely vegetarian in my life) can eat too. I was struggling to think of something that would suit a veggie Sunday roast (that wasn't nut roast - far too Christmassy!) and saw pictures of stuffed veg online. Mmm.

Stuffed peppers are SUPER easy and tasty and good. Here's the recipe. 

You need:
  • peppers
  • an onion
  • a garlic clove
  • mushrooms
  • white rice
  • vegetable stock
  • mozzarella
(I basically just put this together from stuff that was in my fridge - as long as you've got rice and some veg stock then you can wing it from here, I think!).

First dice the onion and garlic and fry them in a pan. Then add the chopped mushrooms (I added a bit of pepper because I thought it would be fun to stuff a pepper with pepper. I need to get out more). Let this all simmer in olive oil at a low heat for a little while.

Chop the top off your peppers (put the tops to one side) and clean out the seeds. Pop them in the microwave for five minutes - this will get them all soft and nice. 

While the peppers are microwaving make up some vegetable stock and rice, and mix this with the fried onion & mushroom combo. Then stuff the peppers with the rice mix, add a layer of mozzarella on top and pop them in the oven for 15 minutes. I had been roasting potatoes at the same time, so I just put the peppers on the same tray, but otherwise you want your oven heated to 180 degrees.

Serve with the tops (and stalks) on, with roasted vegetables... yum. 

Craig said "they are tremendously tasty". That's good enough for me.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Valentine's outfit

I've had a ridiculously lovely couple of days - on a bit of a whim Craig & I booked a couple of days off work mid-week, so we could go through to Glasgow early before going to Brand New, and have the next day off for lazing. It felt so strange to have a long lie on a weekday today - it's like being a student again! 

Dress - River Island | Shoes - Spartoo | Lipstick - Rockalily

This is what I wore to go for High Tea at the Butterfly and the Pig (wonderful food), watch Brand New (love!) and go for drinks with friends. I think this is the most I've ever dressed up for a gig, but it was Valentine's Day after all! I was paranoid that I would spill something on it (because I am a scruff) but I managed to stay respectable. My hair was up in a beehive too (I'm getting better!).

I had a lovely night out with Craig (and pals) and have spent today watching films, catching up on gossip girl (OMG) and the walking dead, and chilling. Lovely.

I really love this dress - River Island sell it in loads of different colours, and am SERIOUSLY tempted to get another one!

Monday 13 February 2012

Happy thoughts

Hooray for February, holidays this week, boyfriends who go on special trips for chocolate mousse on Sunday nights, two months until new house, rubbish films and all of this.

1. New blog design

This weekend I gave my blog a brand new look to fit in with my AMAZING new header, designed by my pal Lucy. I gave her a really rubbish brief (which basically could be condensed into 'I like pastels') so she's done an amazing job. It's my face! Ha. I was also able to try out a few of the html tricks I've been learning - check out my recent comments box at the very bottom of the blog, it's ace!

Lucy's currently working on opening up an etsy shop that'll be filled with jewellery & prints - I shall post about it when it's up!

2. Valentines Day

Tattoo-style cookies made (by me) in 2010
I'm a sucker for Valentine's Day. I know that it's not to everyone's taste and there's always a bit of moaning about how commercial it is, but I'm a big romantic and love that it's a day about being in love! (plus it's easy and very thoughtful to make presents rather than buy them - have a look at these heart cupcakes for inspiration).

This year Craig & I are going through to see Glasgow to see the loves of my life, Brand New. I'm so excited! It's funny, I've listened to Brand New since I was sixteen (mental) and I still love them. That's ten years! Woah. Anyway, I'm looking forward to dancing and singing and cocktails. Lovely.

3. Pinterest

If you've not started using Pinterest yet, prepare to be addicted! I joined a wee while ago, then had weird login-issues, but I'm back and making up for lost time! It's absolutely perfect for future-house planning, as well as keeping track of things I'd like to make and buy. Everything you pin is linked to the original source (so helpful) so I've started keeping a board of prints I'd like to buy from etsy (easier than trying to sort through loads of favourites).

My pinterest name is eversojuliet - if you'd like an invite to the site then please comment with your email address and I'll see what I can do!

Lovely stuff.

p.s. there's one more week to enter my Models Own giveaway!

Friday 10 February 2012

Valentines cupcakes with Just Bake

As you may have guessed, I am a really big fan of cake. I used to run a cupcake company for several years, and developed quite a ridiculous obsession with sprinkles and cupcake cases. So it was quite exciting when  Just Bake  got in touch - I am a sucker for a baking supply shop!

It also provided an ace excuse to bake some cupcakes that would be perfect as a Valentine's Day gift. Home-made presents are brilliant because they are really thoughtful, cheap and tasty! 

Red double sugar heart decorations from Just Bake
I made vanilla cupcakes (using this very easy recipe) and coloured the sponge pink (using this trick). This is a really simple cupcake to make, but it looks really striking - especially if you pipe on bright white piping, which really shows off the bright sponge.

I then decorated the cupcakes with mega cute double hearts gifted from Just Bake, and smaller sprinkle hearts that I already owned. I added a tiny bit of edible glitter, and here you have it - perfect wee Valentine's cakes.

I've also picked out a few favourite items from Just Bake's website...

 1. Liv cupcake cases - ridiculously lovely. Imagine raspberry cupcakes with white frosting in these!

 2. Reuseable cupcake cases - this is the first time I've seen cupcake cases that you can reuse! Lovely and retro looking.

3. Gold dragees - everyone needs gold dragees (unless, random fact, you live in California where they are illegal).

4. Union Jack cupcake stand - I would like to use this at a tea party with flags please.

5. Red heart cupcake wrappers- almost too pretty to put food in. Perfect for a special occasion!

6. Marbled chocolate curls - yes! Chocolate curls are such an easy way to decorate. Put them on top of a chocolate mousse cake and you'll have the most decadent cake ever (a good thing).

Phew! If that has inspired you to bake then I have good news -  Just Bake are offering a 10% discount if you spend £20 or more. Just use the voucher code 'JULIET' when paying (this expires on 10th March 2012).

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Rockalily lipstick

I don't normally wear lipstick... I never think it particularly suits me, although I have always been very envious of my glamorous friends & colleagues who swan around, all red-lipped and lovely looking. So, when Rockalily came to my attention (thanks to it being on about a million twitter feeds in the run up to the #ZOMG bloggers bash), I thought I'd give it a go. 

Bonnie packaging. 

I went for Rockette Red, which describes itself as "a creamy and luxurious matte lipstick. A classic blue-based shade, which is perfect for paler skins. It is also fab for making your teeth appear whiter!". Alright, sweet. Let's try it out.

Red lips! Woah. Time for an extreme close up? Okay.

Well, this is an odd thing to put on the internet.

The lipsticks are animal-friendly (no bunny testing here), and are paraben free. They contain vitamin E so are really soft and moisturising, and they smell really lovely! It went on really easily (which is helpful to a lipstick novice) and seems to have amazing staying power. I'm really impressed!

What I'm not impressed with is my ridiculous inability to take a normal looking photo - how do beauty bloggers do this on a regular basis? I also realise now that I probably should have brushed my hair. Ha. Forever scruffy.

Anyway - I love love love Rockalily! I think I'm hooked already. I definitely recommend having a look and seeing if there is a shade for you. Each lipstick costs £14 and can be bought here. (Plus  you get to feel smug for supporting a cool, indie brand!).

Sunday 5 February 2012

Models Own giveaway

I originally planned to do this giveaway to mark reaching one hundred followers (hiya!), but got a bit distracted by New Year! But better late than never, right? So as a big thank you to everyone who reads this blog  I've got this amazing pastel polish set from Models Own to give away. 

Shades in the set: Feeling Blue, Lemon Meringue, Pastel Pink, Lilac Dream, Top Turquoise and Fuzzy Peach!
I use these polishes all the time (if you scroll through the nail art tag you'll see what they are like on). Models Own is such a lovely brand - the colours go on really smoothly and stay on well too.

Here's how to enter:

1. Be a follower through google friend connect.
2. Comment on this entry with your email address.
3. For extra entries: 
  • follow @julietblog on twitter
  • like eversojuliet on facebook
  • tweet "Win a set of models own polishes from @julietblog:"
  • & tell me about these in a comment (1 extra entry for each of the above).
This giveaway will close on Monday 20th February.

Good luck! x

Friday 3 February 2012

How to: cook veggie spaghetti bolognese

When I said I couldn't cook before this year, I really meant it. Which meant even the SIMPLEST things that most people know (like spaghetti) seemed a bit scary to me. It's embarrassing. And had to change.

So here we go! Here's spaghetti bolognese for vegetarians (and people who like vegetarian food. And healthy people. And people who just fancy a change from mince. And anyone else I've not mentioned - honestly, it's nice & is worth a go. Have I covered enough groups? Phew).

  • packet of Quorn mince
  • an onion (diced)
  • a clove (or two) of garlic (diced)
  • mushrooms (chopped)
  • can of chopped tomatoes
  • jar of tomato pasta sauce (the last two are cheating. You can easily make these yourself but we were lazy)
  • spaghetti

Start by frying the onion and garlic in a wee bit of olive oil in a pan. I've only cooked with garlic once before and am impressed - it smells so nice! Then add the mushrooms and let these all fry for a couple of minutes. Once everything has browned a little, add the veggie mince, chopped tomatoes and pasta sauce. Turn it to a lowish heat, and leave to simmer, just stirring occasionally. Mmm.

Now stick the spaghetti on to cook (as per packet instructions). This will take about 15 minutes, during which your bolognese will be gently bubbling and looking lovely.

Dish out onto a plate, add the bolognese and a wee sprinkling of cheese if you fancy. I used too much in cheese-grating excitement.

This massive pot of bolognese was enough for six main meals! Cheap, easy and dead good.

Thursday 2 February 2012

Two toned hair

I've had the same sort of hair cut for ages - long and with a fringe (which has gradually been getting shorter and blunter), but I knew I wanted something else... I just couldn't work out exactly what.

My inspiration (which now looks like ridiculous copy-cating, sorry) came from a couple of lovely bloggers - being little and little blog of horrors - who both had panels of colour in their hair. I did a wee bit of terrifying googling to try and find photos of ginger hair (or any colour of red that wasn't bright bright bright!) with blonde panels underneath, but just unearthed hundreds of emo looking photos. Oh dear.

But, hey. It's the start of the year. If you are going to do something a little radge you might as well do it in the gloomy early months.

So this is it! It's really white blonde and is a layer underneath so I can look relatively normal (left photo) or like a mental badger (right photo). I really love it though!

Wednesday 1 February 2012

The Infamous Brothers Davenport

Last week I was lucky enough to go to the opening night of The Infamous Brothers Davenport  - a collaboration between the Lyceum theatre and Vox Motus. I didn't know much about the show other than it was promising "startling manifestations, amazing revelations, dark secrets and a spectacular stage séance". Goodness.

Production photo from the Lyceum's flickr

The play focuses on two brothers - Willie and Ira Davenport - who toured America as magicians in the 19th century. Their most famous illusion was the 'box illusion', a massive wooden box (clue is in the name) that had musical instruments in it. The brothers would be tied up in the box, the doors closed, and then the sound of music would come out (played by the spirits they had just summoned). Ooooh.

Original Bros. Good moustaches.

We headed into the theatre a little early (about ten minutes before it started) and were greeted by one of the characters from the stage, who invited us to go up and inspect all of the objects on stage. Whilst he was up looking Craig then got asked (by one of the leads who never broke character!) if he would be a "witness" to the magic taking place that night. Which lead to this.

Hi magic Craig!

Look at his lovely Victorian garb! 

I don't want to say too much (or anything really) in fear that I will spoil it... but I really loved the show. It had fun, scary moments (an audience member screamed at one point), and dark, disturbing parts (Willie Davenport was panting and bleeding just metres from my seat at one point... I was in the front row though!). It was creepy, intense and quite shocking in places, but also funny and very magical. And my boyfriend was in it!

The show is on until February 11th and tickets can be bought here.