Things to do this weekend

Three London based events are catching my eye today:

1. The Craft Guerrilla Summer Fair

More details on the craft guerrilla website.

2. Vintage at Southbank

There's heaps going on but I'll probably just peruse the vintage marketplace.

3. Foodies Festival at Battersea

More details here.

What are you doing this lovely weekend?

Exercise goal: touching base

Image from Tumblr so pretty much untraceable :-(

In my birthday month I set a modest exercise goal that I am pleased to say has so far been met.

I bought a living social deal for 5 fitness slots at No1 Studio Training and If I had the disposable income I would happily subscribe to this gym. The fitness slots are really hard work but at half an hour are achievable in both commitment and stamina. I am sure that 2-3 sessions a week would show results incredibly quickly.

Now that I have completed the deal and am saving up for San Diego, I've started to do yoga before work (hence the cute picture above). A colleague has an audio file on her phone that we practice along to and I'm delighted to be doing yoga again. I'm definitely considering bringing my mat home and including a home session once a week.

Do you have any recommendations for mp3s, DVDs, you tube videos or apps for practicing yoga or exercising at home?

Project Restyle: Fire boards

At work we had in/out boards for the purposes of providing a roll call to the fire marshalls in the event of fire. Sadly, at the last fire drill they were so abysmally updated that they were deemed pointless and were taken down and ordered to be thrown away.

There's something about these boards that appeals to the child in me that was obsessed with role-playing growing up. It always made me smile when I swooped the board to a tick next to my name when I arrived in the morning so I decided to try and save them.

What to do with these grey monsters?

I didn't do much: I simply painted them mint green and laminated pretty paper so that it is wipe clean.

And thus the biggest, not to mention heaviest to do lists were born:

Tape strips via Pugly Pixel

This week

This week I've been doing loads of work on this little blog, but no actual blogging! I hate working without seeing instant results, I guess that's why I find exercise so frustrating.

In more exciting news, I attended a Homemade London Social where we made hand stitched notebooks.

I had an absolute blast. We were treated to Pimms and cupcakes while we crafted and I made this beautiful fabric covered notebook:

The "made with love" sign is hand stitched on paper:

I also added tabs:

I have been getting this out of my bag since I made it and waving it around like a proud parent. In case you didn't already grasp it, I stitched the spine myself:

When I got home from the workshop I added the owl bead I bought a while back to the bookmark:

I'll be attending the book binding workshop in August and I just cannot wait.

This weekend I dyed my hair. I used two dyes, one the same shade as my current but more blonde than red and a blonde two shades lighter.

And my colour now?

Oh yeah, pretty much the same. Why is my hair so stubborn? I think I'm go to nuke it with bleach soon. I definitely want to be blonde in time for our holiday to California in September.

This weekend has also seen a BBQ and failure to attend a Christening.

This Weekend

This weekend was pretty quiet. On Friday evening we were very rock and roll and headed to IKEA for a tv stand and crayfish party tickets (you read that right- there's a party at IKEA and I will officially be there!)

I had heaps of plans for Saturday that were totally scuppered by a power cut. When the power was restored I baked up a storm in the kitchen, including peanut butter cupcakes, gluten free peanut biscuits and rye bread.

We had late night tickets to see the last installment of Harry Potter. And with the film running so late I had my first taste of a London night bus home which was actually pretty tame.

This video of the cast summing up Harry Potter in one word is pretty darn awesome.

Video by Empire.

Also, when did Neville Longbottom become the hottest dude in Harry Potter?!

Photo via Fanpop

Sunday was taken up with climbing (did you know you can sponsor Team Merlin? Merlin are currently responding to the East Africa Food Crisis which is well deserving of a bit of extra help).

Sadly, the boy has headed off to Grenoble (not to be confused with Chernobyl like my colleague did today!) for the next few days with work so I am left to make the bed myself. Sad faces all round.

Did you have a productive weekend?

Project Restyle: Jewellery Frames

A long time ago I hatched a plan to display my jewellery in big black frames.

Firstly I needed frames which was easier said than done. Mum to the rescue. As I have previously mentioned, my mum can get anything and within half an hour I had 3 frames all for a very reasonable £13.

As you can probably tell, there was a bit of damage to some of the frames. I cleaned them up and made some repairs with polyfiller using an icing bag nozzle for precision.

Once the polyfiller had dried I sprayed the frames black. This actually took me weeks because I allowed plenty of time in between coats. Also, I think I was putting off the next step!

When the frames were all finished I needed to make a backing and I used cork floor tiles because it was the cheapest cork I could find within a 2 mile radius of my home. It was easy enough to cut to shape. I then put some wadding on top and covered it with grey cotton that I pinned in place at the back. The jewellery was pinned on and the frames mounted and bliss was achieved:

My corner of the bedroom feels like a jewellery store!

Tattoo Jam '11

Tattoo Jam 2011

I made a pledge in my birthday month to go to Tattoo Jam and yesterday I bought my train tickets so I am definitely heading to Tattoo Jam '11 on Saturday 6th August.

I have to admit that I don't quite know what to expect but I sure am looking forward to it!

Will you be going? Have you been before? Please tell me what to expect!

4 Stories: Library

Image from Here Not Lost via Book Lovers Never Go To Bed Alone

Yay yay yay! Leigh-Ann has resurrected 4 Stories!

One. Books instead of Disney

At primary school I spent more time than most of the other kids in the school library. This was mostly because I loved reading. But I was always sent to the library during those end of term classes when we would watch a film instead of doing work. This is because I wasn't allowed to watch Disney films as a child and this rule extended to school too. As a result I am better read and having seen a few films as an adult I realise that so many social values have been Disneyficated. I'm glad now that my view on relationships has not been influenced by these values, even if it feels like I am the only one in the western world!

Two. Child Genius!

When I was 6 I did outrageously well on my sats and an external assessor came to school to assess me beyond the level of the exams. I remember really clearly one of the assessments involved the woman asking me to find her a book in the library about buttercups. I quickly found her a book about flowers and directed her to the relevant chapter covering buttercups. She then asked for a book about butterflies. Again I found her a non-fiction book about butterflies but also a couple of fiction books that I had recently read that featured butterlies. Then she asked me to find a third book. At this point, I theatrically sighed and told her that I would not find her any more books but instead would show her how the catalogue system worked so that she could find her own books. I love how sassy I used to be!

Three. Hallward

I once accrued so many fines at the University of Nottingham's Hallward Library  that my membership was nearly revoked. I recall putting together a highly amusing (to me) defence claiming that any attempt to block my usage of the library would be of such detriment to the university budget that my fines should not be punished but instead I should be held up as an example to other students. Oh how we used to wind up the librarians. In our defence though, they were unnecessarily strict and rude. There would be a continuous stream of announcements in the hour before the library closed at night going on and on about this that and the other. One of my favourite memories is one evening, the boy parodied the announcements with the phrase: "the Hallward Library would like announce it has now annexed Poland" in the exact tone of voice as the announcers.

Four. Passing Notes

I have so many uni memories based in the library. Occasionally there would be turf wars over desks. Sometimes I'd go there just for a nap, and there was the embarrassing time I woke myself up with an outrageously loud snore. There was also the time I went to sleep on a Heat magazine and spent the rest of the day with newsprint on my face without realising. But my favourite memories are the times the boy and I would study together in the Hallward library. We used to write each other cute and silly notes that we would pass over the table. We still have a collection of these notes and whenever I come across one I'm filled with such happy nostalgia. Libraries rock!

Awesome shop: Magma

This weekend we gave the Boy's brother his birthday present and we managed to find some pretty cool stuff for him at Magma.

We got him 2 of the ceramic crushed cups by Rob Brandt. They look like plastic cups but are a beautifully finished ceramic. Not only do they look pretty awesome but they are actually very comfortable to hold.. Can't wait to see them in use.

We also got Josh a very cool paper watch that you can customise yourself. As an artistic kind of chap, we can't wait to see what he comes up with.

We were also able to begin our Christmas shopping so I can definitely recommend Magma for some interesting gift options. 

Where else sells an interesting collection of cool stuff?

This weekend: Finsters Fro Yo

On Sunday we headed down to grab Fro Yo from Finster's in Ealing.

The boy's brother is practically addicted to it, and I'd missed an outing on the Kendo weekend so I was pretty desperate to try the yumminess that is Fro Yo (frozen yoghurt of course!).

Finster's Fro Yo serves a frozen yoghurt that is fat free and really tasty. They have a variety of toppings that include fresh fruit, granolas, chocolate buttons, oreo cookies and syrups like agave nectar and rosewater. The people that own the place are obviously pretty cool as there is some interesting art work up and a quick gander at their twitter shows that they write various quotes on the doorstep in chalk:

I added strawberries, some Japanese gelatinous snack made of rice and agave nectar to my fro yo and it was delicious:

If you're in Ealing, definitely hot foot it over to Finster's at 71 St Mary's Road, W5 5RG.

This Weekend - Dishoom and Maltby Street Market

On Saturday, the boy and I had a date day and kept with our plan to become breakfast people.

We headed to Dishoom in Covent Garden for the Bombay Breakfast Club. Oh my, it was awesome!

I started with a Brun Maska which is a hot buttered bun dipped in chai then headed onto the bombay Breakfast Bake:

The boy had a bacon naan roll followed by a fruit roomali:

The food was all delicious and I would heartily recommend breakfast at Dishoom. The only thing I would warn against is getting there as soon as they open at 10, they take a while to get ready for service.

We decided to check out the Maltby Street Market as recommended by Katie of What Katie Does.

Monmouth Coffee had a really cool, laid back feel with loads of people drinking outside:

There was a really lovely selection of shops in the railway arches selling virtuously grown fruits and vegetables, meats, cheese, wine and beers.

We bought some delicious sourdough bread from St John on 72 Druid Street which we later devoured with a baked Camembert:

We also stumbled across Lassco which had some very interesting reclaimed and salvaged items. 

We loved the radiator graveyard:

The cinema seats:

And hatched a plan to create a showstopping breakfast bar in our one-day-when-we-can-afford-a-house kitchen with pommel horse bench!

We finished our afternoon with a climb at The Arch which was a brilliant end to the day. 

Sweet Disposition - The way the cookie crumbles

Oh yes, it was me that came up with that corker of a title for this episode of sweet disposition and I feel pretty proud.

Listen to our review of the Galaxy Cookie Crumble Chocolate bar here:

Sweet Disposition - The way the cookie crumbles... (mp3)

You can listen to the whole Sweet Disposition back catalogue here

This weekend - Beverley Races

meant to blog this weekend last night but I ended up watching CSI with my housemate and ogling pictures on Pinterest.

This weekend was another trip up north, this time to see the work crew known as gamblers anonymous. In keeping with our addiction we headed off to Beverley Races for a lovely day in the sun. This was my first trip to the horses and I had a thoroughly good time, although if I'm honest, I did not actually see very much in the way of a horse!

We got a mini bus from Huddersfield, and our driver, Joe, was awesome! He didn't bat an eyelid at our raucous ways and let us drink in the back. At Beverley, we had a meal at Pizza Express, which is home to the hottest waiter in all of England. Sadly, we did not get a picture of him. But we did get a picture of the gang:

The weather was beautiful and I just loved sitting out in the sun with one of my favourite groups of people.

When arrived at the racecourse I heard someone calling my name and when I looked around, there was one of my former housemates. I seem to have bumping into these all over the shop recently and it's a lovely surprise.

At one point I thought it might be a good idea to take a picture of the horses, you know, to prove I saw some! Overall, I didn't really win any money, but I did have an exciting moment when my horse was withdrawn for being unruly at the start and I got my bet returned.

There were some pretty offensive efforts at Car-aoke in the bus on the way back, although fun was had by the instigators I'm sure.

The night, sadly ended up in A & E with a broken wrist for a friend, who I hope will quickly adapt to caring for a 9-month old with a cast, but on the whole we all had a fab day. Sunday was spent in the garden with my mum and the dogs, and watching the Wimbledon final. 

Speaking of Wimbledon, how neat is this video doing the rounds of the internet by Bryan Ku recreating the 2008 final between Federer and Nadal using a book:

WIM•BLE•DON from BRYANKU on Vimeo.

Sadly, all the sitting out in the sun with sunglasses on has left me with some pretty interesting tan marks on my face. Remember sunscreen everybody!

July 4 - a special day for many

Happy 4 July to anyone who celebrates this day, particularly to Josh and Laurie!

This picture is from the beautiful Rockstar Diaries who makes all aspects of life look stunning.