Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2011, hello 2012!


Ciaran and I got engaged last month and are getting married in April 2013! I feel really excited and optimistic about the year ahead. There's going to be lots of saving and planning but there's so much to look forward to!

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Eve Party Time

New years eve is a long night so why not dress up some comfy basics with a splash of gold sparkle? This year we're heading up to Primrose Hill with friends to watch the fireworks across London before swiftly retreating back indoors for parlour games and a wine contest so I'll most likely be sporting wellies followed by slippers rather than the shoes above...still I can dream!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Cake Time

On Christmas eve Ciaran answered a knock at the front door and came upstairs carrying a huge Fortnum & Mason hamper (rather than the Amazon delivery I was expecting). It was packed with delicious treats including pink champagne truffles, chocolate and macadamia nut biscuits and a Christmas pudding. The truffles are now sadly rather diminished but the rest of the hamper will help us hang onto Christmas a bit longer and brighten up what will no doubt be a wet and cold January (huge thank you to Ciaran's big bro!).

This idea of carrying through the festivities of Christmas into January was partly the reason I decided to bake a Christmas cake this year. After it had been fed with brandy for a few weeks it felt heavy and plump. On Christmas eve I iced it with Marzipan and gave it a quick blast in the oven - turning it a lovely toasted golden colour. This is my kind of cake - rich and hearty, packed full of dried fruit and spices to remind us of the cozyness and comfort of Christmas well into the new year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Amaretto Sours

Mojitos are dead to me. I have a new favourite cocktail - the Amaretto Sour! If you too a fan of all things almond flavoured then this could be the one for you too. The flavours are strong and simple - the sweet almond taste of amaretto is cut through with fresh lemon juice. The cherry adds a cute pop of colour. Here's how you make it:

For 1 x cocktail you will need:

2 Measures Amaretto
1 1/2 Measure freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Measure sugar syrup
1 Cocktail cherry (compulsory)
1 Twist of lemon (optional)
1 Cocktail Shaker (or jam jar!)

Shake up the amaretto and lemon juice with a few ice cubes. Strain into a short glass over fresh ice and garnish with the cherry and lemon twist.

This drink would be perfect to take to a New Years Eve party since the ingredients and apparatus required are minimal. On the other hand I've found that it's also perfect for drinking whilst sitting on the sofa working ones way through the West Wing box set. This is a special pastime unique to the days in between Christmas and New Years Eve.

Speaking of New, Stone Cold Comfort has a new look. You like? I do.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Felt Hearts DIY Tutorial

A couple of weekends ago I snuggled up on the sofa and made these sweet heart decorations. You can do it to! You'll need some felt, embroidery thread or yarn in a contrasting colour, a tapestry needle and some ribbon. Make a template out of some card and use it to cut out 10 little felt hearts.

Use a blanket stitch to stitch two of the felt hearts together all round the edge.

Have a cup of tea.

Attach a loop of ribbon at the top with a small stitch.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cosy Saturday

I'm listening to THIS lovely carol service on iplayer and enjoying a delicious glass of desert wine (that I thought was red wine when I opened the bottle - woops) and suddenly I feel all Christmassy. When you you put up your Christmas decorations? Ciaran's family traditions dictate that it should be this weekend whilst for me that feels too early - I think next weekend would be better. Now we have a bad cat in the house I'm not sure if we will have a Christmas tree this year. To make up for it I'm going to order some lovely paper garlands and mobiles from this sweet online shop to make up for it - the cat carrying a Christmas pudding is my favourite!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Cake

I've made a Christmas cake myself for the first time this year. I used a Rachel Allen recipe which uses dates, dried apricots and crystallised ginger as well as sultanas, raisins and currants. In fact there's probably as much dried fruit as flour in this cake - it's heavy and satisfying to look at. It also made the flat smell magical for three and a half hours on Sunday whilst it was baking.

Now I have the perfect excuse to buy a biscuit tin as I will need something airtight to keep it in over the next few weeks. Each week I'll lift the lid and feed it brandy spoonful by spoonful. I'll decorate it much nearer to Christmas and finally cut it on Christmas Day. It will keep for weeks and weeks - even after it's cut. I like to have a slice of Christmas cake and a slice of Stilton with a cup of tea on a wet January afternoon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Comfort and Joy

Woolen blankets by Toast

Thick socks by Hirsch - available from The Natural Shoe Store.

Feu De Bois outdoor candle by Diptyque

Lavender Oil by Neals Yard.

Chelsea boots - H by Hudson

Winter's coming.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday - let's roll

Happy Friday! Look at this cute-as-a-button pic of actress Audrey Tatou. (I nicked it from here.) I'm going on a super special fancy night out. It's a secret so I can't tell you any more! Have a lovely weekend Internet.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New knitting project

Work is crazy busy at the moment which hasn't left much time for blogging. Luckily I have found the time to start a new knitting project - knitting on the bus is the best! It means I spend nearly two hours knitting a day and can whip up projects in no time. I'm currently working on this sweet 'his & hers' jumper. This is a vintage knitting pattern and I'm using Rowan British Sheep Breeds DK which is un-dyed. I chose the 'mid brown bluefaced leicester' shade. Apparently we're going to have a heat wave in London next week before the cold weather finally sets in. I would love to get this finished by November so will have to get cracking.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cosmic Ordering

Universe - Please provide!

Glittery Miu Miu's from Net-A-Porter. I wonder if I could achieve this look with sparkly ankle socks?

Love the F/W11 ad campaign featuring child actor Hailee Steinfeld.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Simple Flower Crown DIY Tutorial

Every festival calls for some kind of headgear - maybe a garland of roses, or a Carmen Miranda style hat piled high with fruit. This year I decided to make a flower crown to wear to Shambala. I bought these foam roses online from Carnmeal Cottage - they feel weird and smell like balloons but look quite realistic.

Toby likes to supervise my every move.

The flowers have wire stems so it's easy to twist them together, gradually adding more.

See! Nearly there.