something tasty

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short and sweet

There are a fair few different versions of the stort skirt with elasticated waist and pockets theme on the high street at the moment. I loved the American Apparel skirts but hated their prices so I was very pleased to find similar versions in Zara at bargain prices. These skirts come in a few different colours (navy, black, red, light pink and grey as far as i remember) as well as some floral patterns. They cost only 7.95 so you can’t go too far wrong either.

There is also a lovely floral printed version of this basic pattern in Urban Outfitters at the moment and it’s on sale too so no complaints here.

And that’s the long and the short of it I suppose.

Pretty necklaces and things

I must apologise for leaving it so long without posting but I’ve set up a new photo-a-day blog and that’s been taking up some of my time…

Any how, there are some things that need to be blogged about and so I have returned to share with you! I’ve been very excited by the selection of lovely necklaces and accessories to be found at the moment. Miss Selfridge have a good selection of stuff right now and recently I got myself a lovely owl necklace for only €7. And on the Miss Selfridge website they have some rings with a tea cup or tea pot on them, which look really cool. I haven’t seen these in shops but perhaps they’re on their way in.

There seems to be a bit of a doll house theme going around at the moment. In House of Fraser I got a cool chair pendant from the shop Therapy. Despite the unfortunate name, there are a few nice finds in here both in terms of clothes and jewelery.

I’ve just recently come across the Hannah Zakari website, which I really like. This site is home to a load of creative sorts selling their unusual and quirky creations. There are lots of really nice necklaces and other accessories here. I’m liking this tea pot brooch by artist/designer Brendan Fan who also has some pretty great art on his website too, it’s very funny and accessible, I’d recommend.

Image taken from HannahZakari.co.uk

I’ve also seen some interesting bird cage pendants in Topshop. There are some lovely ones to be found on the internet too, like this one below from the website Folksy. This site is well worth checking out as well, it’s like a flee market on the internet.

Image taken from Folksy.com

And last but not least I feel I should mention the abundance of lovely vintage style, watch pendants floating around. These have been around for a while now and don’t look like they’re going anywhere soon. Urban Outfitters is awash with them, River Island too and for a good bit cheaper (see the picture below). Topshop also have a selection. At this stage Penneys might even have them and I wouldn’t even mind if everyone was wearing one, cos they’re just that nice!

Dunneseys

Dunnes is the new Penneys. Over the past few weeks the amount of quality bargains that myself and my friends have been finding in Dunnes, has been surprisingly impressive. Allow me to demonstrate:

Bargain no. 1: Nine pairs of earrings for €3. For a while now I’ve been really into round studs; I was very happy with this purchase.

Bargain no.2: Canvas runners for €4. I know runners aren’t exactly included the definition of stylish, but I quite liked these. They also are very comfortable.

Bargain no. 3: Navy jacket reduced to €10 from €20. I can’t begin to count the amount of compliments I’ve received since I started wearing this jacket. It’s a great length, and it has a belt which pulls in at the waist to give it a lovely shape. I really like the gold zip and buttons too, as well as the gold buttons at the wrists.

Bargain no. 4: Orange skirt for €15.This is a purchase that Saoirse (from Raindropsonkittens) made. She too has been receiving a substantial amount of compliments over this little number. The vibrant orange is quite unusual and adds a fantastic kick of colour to an outfit.

Looking like something you might pay dearly for elsewhere, this skirt is a fantastic find.

Bargain no. 5: Lovely navy dress for €10. I love the lace detail and drapey little sleeves. Again, this really doesn’t look like something that cost so little.

So there you have it, get yourself down to Dunnes today! To see a list of Dunnes Stores locations click here.

Cath Kidston

I’m always slightly surprised at how much good old-fashioned, natural scenery can change my mood. Whether it’s a good amble in the park, drive in the mountains or even a little sit in the back garden, without fail, I’m left feeling happier and more uplifted than before. And at the moment everything is in bloom and is especially lovely.

It’s no surprise that floral patterns are always so popular. Recently I had the pleasure to venture into Cath Kidston, a shop whose designs transfer the feel good cheerfulness of spring/summer-time flowers into their products and onto their customers.

(Image taken from Cath Kidston website.)

I was very satisfied browsing through the different sections of the shop, which ranged from home-wares to greeting cards, clothes, bags, purses, jewellery, fabric as well of a little bit of anything else you might think of. And I even managed to find some lovely badges. And for only €1.50!!

I also really liked the selection of postcards and greeting cards, of which I bought two at 50c each – bargain.

Kath Kidston stores can be found in Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin  and Kildare Village, check them out for yourself.

Some Teas Are Cuddlier Than Others

Following on from Sean’s thesis on women I thought that I would say a quick word about tea. Sean rightly said that tea is like a cuddle in a cup, however what Sean didn’t mention is that some teas are a lot cuddlier than others.

Up until last summer the cuddliest tea that I knew was milky sugary black tea. It is what you give people who are sick or in shock. It’s what you want when it’s cold and rainy outside and it is of course a whole hell of a lot cuddlier than black tea all on its own.

Then however I went to India. We may think that we like tea over here but in India people are seriously mental for tea. They drink tea all the time and in various different forms and it turns out that some of these forms are even cuddlier than the traditional Irish cup of tea. Chai means tea in Hindi and the most popular and basic form of chai is made using black tea leaves which are boiled with fresh chopped ginger and green cardamom and then milk and sugar is added and it all boils up together and then the tea is ready. The addition of these two ingredients to our milky sugary favourite makes it somehow amazingly more delicious and also more cuddly, it’s a lot more fragrant too which helps.

There are a lot of things that can be added to this version of chai tea, most commonly cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper but these things do tend to give the tea a slightly spicy aftertaste and this isn’t all that cuddly. These variations on chai tea were available all over Northern India where we were travelling. We were offered chai in shops, from street vendors in the school that we worked and in every home that we went visited.

Then as we travelled further north into the Himalayan mountains and as the climate got colder we found what could possibly be the cuddliest form of tea. This tea is made using very similar ingredients to the chai that I described earlier but instead of boiling water, boiling milk is used. This makes it a lot like a tea version of hot chocolate. A really easy way to make this tea is to use a masala chai tea bag which usually has black tea and a combination of other spices. Really nice fairtrade masala chai tea bags are available in Oxfam. Just boil the milk in a saucepan and then pour the hot milk into a mug and throw in the tea bag. Leave it to brew for a few minutes and then add sugar to taste. And there you go, possibly the most cuddly tea in the world.

There is however a limit to the amount of caffeine that one person can handle in one day. So if you have reached your jitteriest but still want a cup full of cuddle herbal and fruit teas are probably the way to go. Matchabar in the Powerscourt centre do delicious fruit and herbal teas, the shop has a brilliant old pharmacy feel to it with all the different tea containers and the owners are very friendly and helpful. (As an aside they also do lovely tea cups and saucers, as well as tea containers which are great presents for tea and coffee lovers.) Another great herbal source is the brand clement and pekoe. Their fruit tissane tea is great and is a brilliant pink colour to boot. Add a slice of lemon and some honey to a nice cup of fruit tea and it will rival its other leafy counterparts in cuddliness no bother.

So there you have it, a brief guide to getting the most cuddles out of your tea.

Dublin Flea Market

I visited the Dublin Flea Market for the first time this afternoon and had a wonderful time indeed.  I got a t-shirt for €1, a lovely brooch and (my favourite out of the lot) a teapot pendant.

The market runs on the last Sunday of every month and, judging from today’s turn out, is altogether a very popular affair. If you missed out on today’s market and just can’t wait a whole month for the next one to get your hands on this beautiful selection of  ‘Afternoon Tea’ jewelery, you can also purchase online at Etsy.

There was also a great little stand selling a very nice and slightly unusual assortment of badges, hair clips, earrings etc. Here is a picture of the badge I bought.

To check out more stuff by this seller click here. Or check out their blog here.

At the market in general, you can expect to find typical market-ey things such as stalls selling  the likes of second-hand and vintage clothes, art, crafts, furniture as well as delicious food.  For more details check out the Dublin Flea Market blog here.

(Image of pendant obtained from http://www.etsy.com/listing/42839553/afternoon-tea-teapot-necklace)