Sunday, 30 September 2012

Charity Shop Finds

My mum came home with this little gem from a local charity store yesterday, where she helps out once a week. It looks pretty plain and simple (but it was only £8!) so I wanted to add more attitude to it. Not only do you save a lot of money and recycle but most importantly, I love charity shops just because of the nature behind them. I'm helping someone, somewhere. 

So here's what I did with it. Took me about 30 minutes. You just align the stud, push the prongs through and fold them over. I'm thinking off adding more studs to fill the whole of the pockets, what do you think? A tanned belt just to add more definition to my waist. 

Friday the 5th of October is Jeans for Genes day - 'changing the world for children with genetic disorders'  Put it in your diary and don't forget to go help out!
Erica xo

Saturday, 29 September 2012

DIY Galaxy Top

Galaxy clothes have been around a lot recently in the last year or so. But now they have hit the high street with impact. You can find loads of different types from Topshop, River Island, Asos. You name it they'll probably have a version. But you've probably seen they're pretty pricey. That swimsuit is £35!
If your an avid youtuber, you've seen loads of tutorials. You'll need 2 parts bleach to 1 part water and that's it! Here's mine:

I've seen cross prints and accessories everywhere too, so until pay day this is what I've come up with.
Wash this by hand before you wear it or you'll have some really sore skin. Wear gloves and do it outside unless you fancy a trip. Joking, do it outside!

Until next time xo

*edit* I've just finished washing my shirt, unlike many suggestions online my acrylic paint completely washed off! Your going to need some proper fabric paint. Or if you've got acrylic already you'll just need to add a base, which changes it chemically. So back to the shops tomorrow. pfffhht.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie

If your following me on twitter you'll already know I've been overloading on baking shows. The new series of the Great British bake off is underway and I'm addicted. As nasty as it sounds its really funny when their cakes explode, fall on the floor or collapse but its more amazing when they make ridiculously huge, elaborate cakes. (One guy even air brushed pink icing on this cake! Show off haha)

This is a really cheap and quick recipe for Lemon Meringues!  Instead of making my own lemon filling because I was really lazy, I used 3/4 a jar of lemon curd. Mixed it with 2 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of butter and 2-3 tablespoons of corn flour.

Tip - To help keep the bubbles in your egg whites, add 1 drop of cider vinegar or lemon juice. Add icing sugar 1 spoon at a time! You'll know its ready when it forms stiff peaks and you can hold the bowl over your head. But do you trust yourself enough?!

How did yours turn out?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mario Cupcakes

I made these for my little brothers birthday. He's obsessed with Mario and we all know why! He's so cute and awesome, although I prefer Luigi. I originally wanted to make the figures from scratch out of icing, but I ran out of time. I ordered these little motifs on eBay, they cost £1.98 with free shipping! They're basically made from rice paper and coloured with icing. Theres loads of different designs to choose from so if you need to make something quirky fast, this is a great option! To stick them to your cuppy cakes, cut around the design (as they come as a large sheet of paper) ice your cupcake however you want, but make sure it is wet when your sticking the motif on. Apply slight pressure around the whole picture and TA-DA. Magical mario cupcakes.

Sorry its not very detailed, getting back to uni this week! Then everything will be explained and there'll be more gorgeous clothes and foodies. Until next time xo

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I had to call the police today.

Yesterday, there was a small incident. A confused old lady came to the house asking for her husband. She seemed lost and wasn't responding to my questions. I didn't want to leave her on her own but didn't want to make her feel threatened by following her as she was very frail. I decided I needed help and couldn't find the local police number so rang 999. I'd hate for anyone to be in a position where they didn't know how to help someone or the procedure needed. So here's what you need to say in an emergency. 

Firstly you need to decide if it's an emergency or just needs attention. In case of emergency you obviously will need to call 999. Otherwise you'll need 101. You can call 101 to contact your local police to report less urgent crimes or disorderly behaviour (Wales & England) such as:
  • Stolen car
  • Damaged property
  • Drug use or dealing
  • General enquiry 
  • To give information
This is the number I should have called today, I saw an advert on TV but couldn't remember the number exactly. So put it in your phone so you can't forget. 

If your out at sea.
When you ring 999 you will be asked "Emergency, which service do you require? Fire, Police or Ambulance?" You should try to stay calm and state which service you need. Then give your address, the sooner you state your location the faster help will come. You may be asked to give your number incase the line is lost, emergency services can ring you back. Then you will be asked a series of questions about the problem, patient, their age, if they're breathing and how many people are involved.

If your call isn't urgent you will be transferred to a Nurse advisor who may give you steps to stabilise the patient. This ranges from assessing the situation, recommending seeing a GP or sending an ambulance. In the case that you need an ambulance the nurse will give you guidance until they arrive.

To help staff get to you as quickly as possible have someone waiting to meet the ambulance and show them the way. If there aren't enough people around shine a torch, turn car lights on or wave your arms.

A great tip for students new to an area or just anybody. Save a nominated person, your parents or other half's phone number and contact details in your phone but rename it ICE. This is a quick way for someone to check your phone and send for help if they didn't know you or if you've got nicknames in your phone book. It stands for In Case of Emergency.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Using £50 Wisely, on more clothes.

Have you heard of BooHoo? I love this website! Its gorgeous, up to date and affordable! I've got the opportunity to win a £50 voucher, for finding my favourite outfit. It all has to cost £50 or less and from Boohoo. The competition is being hosted by  Fashion Vouchers. I hadn't heard of them until recently but now they're on my saved websites. The keep you in touch with the latest deals, offers and sales. So here is my outfit entry:

I struggled to keep to the £50 budget because theres so much I want to share, but here are my top picks. Bright colours with a subtle shoe. Even if I don't win this competition I'm going back for this outfit. I may have cheated slightly using sale items, but every time I log on to them there always gorgeous things in the sale section. So go have a look!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Cheap, healthy snacks on a budget

A big expense of weekly shopping are the snacks. Crisps although don't seem very expensive are pretty bad, your mainly paying for packaging and air. They'll also make you pretty fat if your eating a lot. Some quick, cheap and healthy snack ideas for everyone on a budget:

1. Beetroot chips - Usually vacuum packed beets are cheaper than fresh, but its up to you which you use. Slice into thin crisps, its easier to use a peeler than a knife to make thinner slices. Lay onto a paper towel to remove excess moisture, then toss with olive oil in a bowl. Single layer and oven roast on the lowest shelf for 20 mins on a low setting. This also works nicely with parsnips, courgette, potato and sweet potato.
2. Greek yoghurt - Adding toppings makes the snack. So the traditional Greek yoghurt and honey or tinned tropical fruit mix, you could also use jam if your really skint. Chocolate chips and crushed nuts. Dried fruit is also good, but slightly expensive. Total is a really nice brand but store brands are still good.

3. Tomato and mozzarella stacks - Just simply slices of tomato with mozzarella drizzled in olive oil. Or spreading cheese topped with chives.

4. Chocolate popcorn -  Pop and add a bag of chocolate chips. Sesame - Toss 4 cups of plain popped popcorn with 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds. Or you could use plain popcorn topped with butter. Its usually cheaper to buy plain popcorn.

5. Celery sticks and dip - Hummus is delicious or you can pick up any chip dip like cheese and chive, garlic and  3 cheese. Stuff the curve with chopped chorizo or red peppers and grated cheese.

6. Chocolate and nut clumps - Melt 1 bar of cheap supermarket chocolate. To do this you can either microwave at 15 sec intervals. This method burns quickly. Alternatively snap the chocolate into a bowl and place over a boiling pan of hot water. Don't let the water touch the bowl, just let the steam work. Add in the nuts, mix and drop into small bowls on tin foil and refrigerate.

7. Sweet potato chips - Peel, slice into french fry shapes and fry in shallow olive oil. Or you could just slice across and make circle shapes, this is so much easier. Season with a pinch of salt and vinegar.

8. Peanut crackers - Spread peanut butter and lay sliced bananas over crackers. You could also use Nutella, but unless you have a £land near you its going to be pretty expensive.

9. Caramel dipping apples - Melt 50g of butter with 200g of brown sugar or caster. Stir over a low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix 125ml of cream until combined. Slice apple chunks and dip.

10. Fruit leather - You'll need some fresh fruit. Peel and core depending on what fruit you've chosen then chop. Now boil them in a saucepan, you'll need 1/2 cup of water for 4 cups of chopped fruit. Simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash the fruit in the saucepan. Taste and see how sweet you'd like your leather and add sugar accordingly. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon, this makes the fruit taste stronger. Add spices if desired, cinnamon, nutmeg. puree in a blender and pour into a baking tray. Cook at 140 degrees for 8 hours. Its a long time but its worth it if your just in the house for the day to keep an eye on it. Slice and eat.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Furry leg warmers, Bikini spiders...Hairy Ladies.

Did anyone see 'Cherry Healey: How to get a life' Its a series of programmes on BBC about beauty and how it effects your life. She met up with a few feminist YouTubers (ThosePeskyDames) and they challenged her to not shave for a month. That includes the hairy taco, the armpits and the legs. Strangely enough she even shaved her forearms? They vlog about how women are seen as manly, dirty or unclean if they haven't shaved. Even though they smell and look clean?
I love the idea of community, but I hate 'society.' I hate how everything has to be a certain way or your an outcast. I generally just hate 'society life' as a whole, the magazine bibles and model idols but I love the idea of community. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with models, but take a look at model vs barbie. How 'real' women should look? How many girls would kill for a body like Barbie and co, but its just unrealistic. 

Cherry asked randomers on the street what they would rather. Broken leg or hairy muffin monster? 100% of the men, women and teens she asked would rather break a limb than be hairy or sleep with a hairy woman. 

"In a society so governed by superficiality, by appearances and petty economics, dreams are more real than anything in the 'real' world. Refuse normality. Beauty is everywhere, love is endless, and joy bleeds from our everyday existence. Embrace it. Everybody contains a univese of potential; exhaust it. Live and love so immensely that when death comes, there is nothing left for him to take." - Dominic Owen Mallary.

And by this quote I don't mean stay hairy be hairy. Its up to you. Personally I couldn't hack that everyday, but what I do mean is not to be so superficial. Live within your means and don't get into debt trying to fit in with societies idea of successful. If your happy, your successful.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Gypsy Warrior

I joined instagram recently. I was really reluctant because I thought it just another social network bragging game and adding filters. But it's actually pretty good. You can connect with people around the world and it's not about what they have and are doing as such. Its more about just sharing pictures. Its nice I like it, anyway. I found that when you post a picture and hash tag it a lot businesses will like it or if you search a certain print or item it shows loads of unknown businesses out there!
This is PERFECT for when you need something not on the high street, something different. I've found so many, but my favourite so far ? Gypsy Warrior. If you haven't heard of them go check it out. They're a gorgeous fashion statement from New Jersey. Their stuff really stands out, its edgy and has a lot of attitude. I'm reluctant to share this on here because I want to keep this little gem all to myself, but mum taught me to share. Damn.
Here's my top picks!

It's really unlikely you'll get the awkward same outfit situation that I always talk about!
If anyones stuck on what they want to get me for Christmas, there's a list ^^.
Happy shopping people! x

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Burger Cupcakes

Seems everyone loves cupcakes now, wether your an icing licker or a cake muncher. I've even seen cupcake vans now! Being a fan of artsy things, I looked up funny cup cakes online and decided to make these:


To make these cupcakes, you'll need:
1. Sesame seeds
2. Strawberry jelly
3. Yellow and orange starburst
4. Green icing or gummy sweets
5. Chocolate roll up cake
6. Cupcakes

After making cupcakes just to a standard recipe, let them cool. Once at room temperate cut all the cupcakes in half. Taking slices of the chocolate cake and make the first layer on the bottoms of the cupcakes. This will be the beef patty. Roll out the starburst and lay, this is the cheese. The strawberry jelly should be added just before serving otherwise the cupcake soaks it up. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Then Shove a whole one in your mouth and wait for the taste of Mcdonalds. Sort of.

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Jewellery organisers - DIY!

I've been on YouTube every single day over summer and I need to make something! I went a bit DIY crazy today, but got it out of my system... kind of. I've made 3 small units to organise my jewls and shinies. Obviously you'll notice there's no where for the necklaces! I'm buying some screw hooks to attach to the bottom of  the ear rings holder and then hang the unit on the wall. Okay so I forgot to take photos as I went along because I got really carried away. So I'll explain roughly and just leave a comment where you don't understand.

Lost half my earring collection, definitely a reason to go shopping!
So to make this, you'll need a cheap frame from ikea or a charity shop. Remove the back and glass, then turn it over and stick pins in the sides. When the pin is half way into the wood, measure your string across the frame, cut and tie a knot on the needle of the pin. Add some glue to secure and hammer in. Continue all the way down.
Going to make some rings to soon, need to fill this baby up.
For your ring holder, you need any old box you can find. An old chocolate box or a sturdier fancy box. Its up to you. I just used an old Lindt box from Easter. Yea for some reason it took me until now to eat them? Anyway some old material, super glue or a hot glue gun and a pair of scissors. Measure the width of your box and then cut length around 40-50cm. You'll need to test the length to see how high the roll will be, this will all depend on your box. Then after cutting and rolling the strips. Seal them and glue into the box. You'll need more than fits naturally as they have to squish up to secure the rings. DONT glue between each roll, that's where the rings go. Just underneath and the sides. Done.

Here's a bigger pic.

I got so into it at this point I completely forgot to take pictures altogether!

But here's the video I got the idea from, so you can make one yourself!

If you have any questions let me know and I'll update you when I get these screw hooks!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Nandos for £4.90

The catch? You have to cook it yourself! Yeah. 

I don't even need to introduce nandos. You all know and love it! Chicken, chicken, sweet corn, peri chips, chicken, macho peas, chicken, frozen yoghurt, salad, olives yum. 
It's always been so cheap! £10 would get you a nice sized meal and a bottomless soft drink. Awesome. I went there loads last September when my student loan went through. Hence I spent a shit load of money, mainly on service and atmosphere. Nandos have a huge DIY range, I thought they'd never bottle and sell the actual secret recipe so I never bought it. James got some for the cupboard so I thought I'd see for myself. 

Verdict? Fucking delicious. 
We've been eating alot of carbs recently so if you wanted it with chips just oven some frozen ones.

Chicken portions
Nandos marinade 
Olive oil

Okay so, rub in about 1/4 of the marinade bottle onto 5 portions of chicken. (this is rough so you'll just need to make sure the chicken is nicely covered) with the diced onion and garlic. You'll need about half  a small onion and 1 clove of garlic. Leave this overnight or minimum 15 minutes. 
Fry in a little olive oil. Cooking the chicken on a low heat with the lid on for roughly 10 minutes. Then turn and cover for further 7 minutes. Poke a knife into the meat near the bone or centre to check for oozing blood. If its still kicking cook for a bit longer. 
To get a char coaled effect like how they serve in Nando's, when your chicken is just about ready pour into the pan and on the chicken more marinade or the sauce if you bought that too. Stir just to get the sauce onto chicken. Whack up the heat and the sauce should burn black. This doesn't taste horrible and burnt. It tastes like sweet, spicy goodness. Bit if your squeamish you can leave that step.

For the cooked salad, you need to half the Aubergine, cut a border and using a spoon scoop out the inside guts. Lightly olive oil the skin and stick under the grill for 3-4 minutes, until wrinkly and slightly browned. Then chop up all the fleshy part into small cubes. Quarter the tomatoes and chop up the cucumber. 
Back to the Aubergine, you'll need to turn it over and brush a little olive oil and pepper, then back in for 3 minutes. 
Cook the spinach slightly just by simmering in hot water, strain and fry with diced garlic and onion in the oil from the chicken. (added flavour ;))  add all the veg and simmer on high heat until water is reduced. Then season with salt, pepper and oregano. Plate up using the hollowed Aubergine as a veg bowl. Yumm!! Omg, we've had home made nandos chicken for about nearly 2 weeks straight (excluding breakfast) its so good!

Pricing is by portions of ingredients used not by whole cost of ingredients.

Here's a quick carb fix If you've only got a bit of pasta instead of cooking the veg alone throw in some pasta and fry together add a little oyster, BBQ or more nandos sauce!  

Monday, 17 September 2012

DIY peter pan collar - Guest Blog!

Hello everyone! I feel so honored to be featured on Erica's wonderful blog! 
My name is Amanda and I am currently a student at the University of Minnesota in the U.S. I am applying to medical schools for next fall and it has been a very stressful process but it's taught me to make the most of my free time. One of my favorite things to do is find inexpensive ways to make the latest styles and lately the trend involves a lot of collar action! I've noticed that people are starting to wear sleeveless chiffon shirts with Peter Pan-esque collars and it reminds me a lot of the late 80's, early 90's. Kind of cool but kind of strange that my mom probably wore something like this. 

Since I'm not ready to splurge on a handful of shirts since my medical school applications are killing the bank, I've decided to go the collar necklace route. What is that you say? It's a necklace that mimics a collar that you can attach to any shirt (preferably boat-neck)!
All you really need is:
  • stiff felt (white or black is best for matching any outfit)
  • glitter, rhinestones, sequins, embellishments, etc.
  • felt or tacky glue
  • toothpicks
  • ribbon
  • hand-drawn collar template or printed template

1. With a sheet of paper, hand draw a template and place it around your neck for fit (I suggest wearing a round neck shirt to help guide you). Other possibilities are these templates I found online:

2. Measure out a 2 long lengths of ribbon (about 11 inches) and attach one to the upper part of each necklace with glue.

3. Lay out your desired pattern and start gluing the rhinestones, sequins, etc. 

4. Allow to dry for a couple of hours. Then find a shirt or dress with a round neck and tada! You have a collar that you can wear with anything!

I couldn't find the right ribbon during this day so the pictures above are only the collar parts. They really take a lot of intricate work but so worth it!

Thank you so much Erica for letting me guest blog, it has been fun and I hope that you guys enjoyed this tutorial.

Much love, Amanda