Sunday, 30 June 2013

What's in my bag?

by Bex

Here is my post (see Roz's here) just in time for the fantastic Money Supermarket competition to win a Mulberry Bayswater Shoulder Handbag, a Mulberry Continental Purse and a Mulberry Phone Cover!  Obviously I would choose one of the brighter colours, as you will see there is a bit of a colourful theme running through my bag (mostly green of course)!

I admit I have quite a few handbags which I've collected over the years and the majority of them are reasonably priced high street bags from places such as M&S or H&M.  Recently, however, I've been very lucky to invest in and receive a couple of high quality designer bags.  First was my Mulberry clutch for my 30th which my lovely in-laws helped me buy for my birthday and last year, my wonderful husband bought me this gorgeous turquoise Furla bag for my 31st!





The contents of my bag do tend to vary but these are the usual things to be found lurking in my everyday bag.  Obviously this is narrowed down to evening essentials (phone, camera, credit cards, lipstick) in a clutch on a night out.














Usual Contents:
Furla bag -  gift - approx £300
Kindle in case - £140
Biba wallet - (half price in sale) - £49.50
Notebook - £3.50
Canon camera - £350
Spare memory cards - approx £20
Umbrella  - gift (£?)
Tissues - £1
Ipod - gift (approx £150 at the time)
Samsung Smartphone - £25/month for 24 months (£600)
Moo cards for Bexphoto.com and this blog - £18.98
House keys, wedding keyring and honeymoon giraffe - ?
Car keys with Alessi keyring - ?
Pens - freebies
Ibuprofen & Paracetamol - £1
Sunglasses - £4.99
Various receipts
Yelpstick balm - free
MAC lipstick - £10
Pink lipstick - gift
Hairband and slides - £1
TOTAL - £1649.97 eeeek!

Scary to think I am carrying around that amount of stuff every day (imagine if it was in a Bayswater!), I'm glad it's all covered on my home insurance!




If you want to enter:
  1. Entrants will need to create a blog post about what’s in their handbag, and link to this page.
  2. They will also need to email MoneySupermarket at competitions@moneysupermarket.com with ‘What’s In Your Handbag’ in the subject line to register their entry.
  3. Make sure you get your entry in before the deadline of midnight on 1st July 2013.
Check out the hashtag #whatsinyourhandbag on twitter to see what everyone else has in their handbag. It's fascinating, I love having a good nose through what other people carry about!  And don’t forget to share the link to yours as well, we all want to see what is in YOUR handbag.

Please note: this competition is organised by Money Supermarket, please visit their site for full T&C’s.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Fancy a peek in my handbag??

by Roz

When I saw this competition via twitter, which is being run by MoneySupermarket, I knew I wanted to enter due to the Mulberry prizes on offer.  I have loved Mulberry for a number of years but have sadly watched the price of their bags pretty much double since the start of my infatuation.  This is my current dream purchase from Mulberry, if I owned this I think I may wear away the outside as I would stroke it all the time.  The idea is to share a few pictures of what you carry about with you in your handbag and you can win a prize!  The winner receives not only a Mulberry handbag, but a wallet and phone case too.  A fabulous prize worth over £1,000.  After discovering the competition though, I honestly lost myself for over half an hour having a read at other bloggers posts, clearly I do like having a good nose :)





This is one of my favourite handbags, it's a Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody 'Petal to the Metal' in the softest, buttery leather.  It goes with almost everything and I love having a handbag in my wardrobe that I can wear instead of carry!   I bought it for £180 in sales a few years ago and it still smells all wonderful and leathery.  The bag might look small, but I love it as I can fit LOADS in.

So here's what was in it today...


 

Most of these items I would class as essentials and pretty much live in my bag such as;

- Multi-journey subway ticket £22 (when first bought) this one only has one journey left sadly
- Umbrella because I do live in Glasgow!  This is a recent present from Bex and I LOVE it!
- Wallet which is a Billy Bag wallet.  I remember buying this wallet in Schiphol Airport after a particularly horrendous away job with work, almost 7 years ago now(!) it cost me something like £70 and I know I freaked out that I was spending that much on a wallet.  Oh how times have changed ;)
- Headphones as I love my music, but love blocking out people who make random noises on public transport just as well.  What is with serial sniffers?! 
- Book, I will always have a book on me (no kindle for me thanks!), it's how I unwind on my commute.
- Notebook, this one is for work sadly so is full of top secret info!!
- Pen, required for the notebook above!
- Tissues, I would say for obvious reasons but given so many people don't seem to use tissues maybe it's not so obvious?!?
- Work blackberry, I have no idea how much this is worth as work gave it to me.  I am hoping to swap it for a work iPad soon.
- Mulberry make up bag, picture of the contents is below.
- Liz Earle hand cream (you can't see it very well in the picture, it's to the left of my blackberry) this stuff costs £10 and is worth every penny.  It's smells divine, whenever I use it people always ask what that lovely smell is, it reminds me of oranges / citrus fruit and it leaves my hands so soft but without that sticky I can't actually touch anything sensation.
- My iPhone would usually be in there too (well actually thinking about it I'm lying as more often than not my iPhone is in my hand as I tweet, text or email all the time!)

 Here's a close up of my make-up bag and what's inside it!




The bag itself is from Mulberry and was bought in the sale for £69, I adore the random colourful print and the fact that the lining is a sort of water resistant canvas which means I can give it a wash every now and again;

- Bare Minerals Foundation £21
- Bare Minerals Concealer £19
- Bare Minerals Blush £12
- Bare Minerals Lip Stain £16
- Ruby & Millie Crystal Nail File £12
- No7 Lipstick £8
- Make up brushes £20
- Yelp lip balm free!
- GH mirror was a gift so I don't know the price
- Cocoa Butter Vaseline £1

I literally grabbed my bag after getting home from work and wrote this post and I think there is probably slightly less in my bag than normal...my brush is missing for one thing!  Ermmm with hair this long I tend not to leave the house without a brush, so who knows what I was thinking today.  Is this a lot of stuff to be carrying about?  The only things missing from the photos above are my house keys, because they are now on my hall table, my work pass because I refuse to tell you where I work (or maybe I just refuse to let you see the picture on it!) and a bottle of water which I always have with me.

It's easy to see how the contents of our bags can add up and how stressful it would be to lose your bag!

Check out the hashtag #whatsinyourhandbag on twitter to see what everyone else has in their handbag or to check out the competition and enter yourself :)

Roz xx

Friday, 28 June 2013

Glasgow Mela

by Roz

I was excited about the West End Festival in the weeks leading up to it and even wrote a post on my top picks.  The events I've been along to have lived up to the hype, such as the parade, and last weekend I headed along to Glasgow Mela in Kelvingrove Park.  The festival ran on both Saturday and Sunday, but Saturday was a rather unpredictable day weather wise with a lot of heavy rain showers, so I held off and went on Sunday which was a lovely sunny afternoon.

The Mela weekend is Scotland's largest multi-cultural event with performances across three stages, a Mela Bazaar (a street market set up with an array of tents selling everything from fabrics and gifts to delicious street food) and roaming street performers.  I was really looking forward to exploring the event at my local park.




After arriving in the park and taking in the scale of the event, one of the first things I saw were the street act below, aren't they fabulous?  They are actually on scooters (you can see the handles better in the second shot) but when I first saw them coming towards me in the park it actually did look a bit like they were floating!  I'm not actually sure what they were part of which is a shame but they don't they look awesome scooting about the park?!





Near the food stalls (the park smelt amazing!!), a giant frame was set up with silks, hoops and a trapeze hanging from it.  They were an organisation called Spinal Chord and we stood and watched the performers for a while as they were very good.  We did wonder how you decide that you want to do something quite so niche for a living, but what an interesting job / hobby to tell people about when you first meet them.





You can see from the crowd gathered around their performance area that a lot of people in the park were enjoying the show and there were plenty of oooohs and ahhhhs when the acts pulled off some super flexible moves.



All areas of the park were very busy and it was lovely to see so many people out enjoying the park and the delights of the Mela Festival.  I like have different memories of the park that I use for boot camp, instead of memories of sit ups in the mud or running up the very steep hills!


There were three large stages set up in the park with performances from Samba bands, steel bands, dance troupes, singers.... there really was something for everyone.


The outfits worn by some of the performers and stall holders were simply stunning, I was envious of a number of the beautiful bright coloured fabrics.  And the stall below shows off some of the outfits and fabrics that you were able to purchase.


I really enjoyed wandering around the event and I think it is brilliant for Glasgow and the West End to hold such exciting events in the park.  I hope the Glasgow Mela returns next year as I will definitely head along again.  Well it would be rude not to when the park is on the doorstep of our new house :)



Did any else make it along to the Glasgow Mela?

Roz xx

P.S. Sorry there are no pictures of the amazing food, next year I promise!!

P.P.S. Don't forget to enter our fantastic giveaway to win a £40 Amazon voucher!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Menswear for ladies :)

by Bex

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you might have seen that I have bought a couple of items from the mens section in H&M.  It started when I was en route to the fitting room and spotted a gorgeous olive green linen jacket which I also wrote about here.

En route to Korea
I also wore it again the other night to the Tullie Inn relaunch which you can read all about next Monday.



I wore it with a black T-shirt from Dorothy Perkins, jeans from Next, Shoes from Nine West (via eBay, bought for the BBQ the day before our wedding), olive dragonfly necklace from Lelong Designs at Spitalfields Market, Bracelets - various, watch - Guess, nail polish - Korea.






The next time I was in there, again en route to the fitting room via the menswear, I spotted some olive green trousers in the sale, only £10!  I was dubious as to whether they would fit OK but there is no unsightly spare fabric around the crotch area as you might expect!  (There definitely wouldn't be much room in there for the blokes, maybe that's why they were in the sale!?)



In the fitting room.

I turned them up and they're so comfy and look great with my stripy vest :)  I wore some of the same accessories from the day before (at Tullie Inn) as I still had my sparkly green nails and it all went so well together.




Also seen here on my day out with Anna.

Following these successes, I thought I'd have a closer look next time and spotted some fab patterned shorts in the sale.  All the shorts I've recently seen that I like have been way too short for me.  My thighs are definitely my worst feature.  These mens ones were a great length and again, only £10 and fitted brilliantly.  I'm sure I probably shouldn't be so chuffed about fitting mens clothes but if it works and I like the clothes, I really don't care!  And it seems I'm not the only one.



On my way back to the till, I also found these teal shorts which are just so soft and lovely and both pairs of shorts go very nicely with this oversized (for me, not the blokes) linen shirt which makes the perfect lightweight cover-up for a holiday.




The shorts are going to be perfect for Malaysia as it will be super hot but humid and rainy so maxi skirts might not be practical.

P.S. Don't forget to enter our fantastic giveaway to win a £40 Amazon voucher!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Pin It Do It - Mozzarella Making!

by Bex



I recently had a fantastic evening making mozzarella with D from adizzygirl.  We'd both pinned recipes for this project on Pinterest and decided to get together and actually make it happen.  It's supposedly the easiest cheese to make and I suspect it is (if you understand the instructions correctly - see later!) although I've never made any other kind of cheese.



We used the above recipe but having both also pinned the one below, wish we used this one in retrospect.



The top recipe had quantities and an easy layout and explanation.  The bottom one when I went back to read it after, actually explains things a bit clearer, especially the final stages.  I'll definitely be trying this again to try to get a better result but we still ended up with a delicious cheese at the end of it :)

Initially we did it completely wrong!  The instructions were American and we didn't realise that when it said 90 degrees, it meant farenheit which is 32°C.  Oops.  So after waiting ages and getting quite bored waiting for our first 8 pints of milk to get hot enough without burning, eventually going nice and frothy and smelling like lovely hot milk you'd drink before bed, it left us wondering why it wasn't separating and going hard when we added the rennet.  Nik explained that we were numpties and it was supposed to be Farenheit.  D'oh!  Thank goodness he was there!


Cue us going to the local shop for more milk, and thank goodness we hadn't used the Buffalo milk we considered (until noticing that it would cost £12 as opposed to £3 for normal cow's milk!) as it would have been such a waste!  Anyway, once we had the temperature correct, it all went pretty well and even though it wasn't perfect, we did end up with edible and quite delicious Mozzarella by the end!

Ingredients:
1 Gallon whole milk (about 8 pints)
1 tsp citric acid (found in my local halal shop)
1/4 rennet tablet (found in Wholefoods - we had liquid rather than tablets and figured out we needed to add ten drops per pint of milk)
2 tsp cheese salt (also found in Wholefoods - this is basically just salt without iodine in it, such as Kosher salt)

I've included pictures of every step so you'll know if it's going the way it should!

1 gallon fresh whole milk

Sprinkle over 1 tsp of citric acid

Stir occasionally and heat to 32°C (90°F)

Remove from heat, add rennet, stir and leave for 8-10 minutes.

Milk should now be solid like jelly - slice into a grid pattern.

Stir gently for 20-30 seconds


Remove the curds with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much of the whey as possible.
(We found my sieve spoon and little sieves much easier and quicker.)

Place curds into a microwaveable bowl.



Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and drain off any more liquid.


Heat for 35-45 seconds more, stir and pour off any further liquid.


The cheese should start to stick together and look more stringy, if not you can heat for another 35-45 seconds.
I think this is where we went wrong, we thought it was starting to look stringy but in retrospect and after seeing the pictures on the other blog, I don't think we had the cheese hot enough.

Once the curds are sticking together and you have removed most of the whey, add the cheese salt in increments, kneading as you go to incorporate it.  At this point the cheese starts to become more stringy and sticks together better.


After the salt is incorporated, heat the cheese for another 35-45 seconds until it is stretchy like taffy.  Again, I don't think we heated it enough as I'm not sure it was stretchy enough at this stage.  It should be really hot so you'll probably need gloves to work with it.

Which meant as we pulled and stretched it, instead of going smooth, we got this when we tried to shape it into a log on the worktop.

We heated it again and managed to smooth it a bit.

Add cheese to a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes to firm up.

Our finished product - it definitely looks homemade!  ;)

We served it with fresh sourdough bread, tomatoes, basil and olive oil. 

Delish!

It looked like mozzarella on the inside!  :)

Nik decided to try it on bruschetta



It was a bit more like Halloumi when grilled.

We decided to store it in the whey as it looks like the stuff mozzarella usually comes in when you buy it?!

Lots of whey left over, Nik said he found some recipes you can use it in,
such as certain types of bread but we ended up throwing it out.

P.S. Don't forget to enter our fantastic giveaway to win a £40 Amazon voucher!

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