Monday, 9 April 2012

I'm moving to New York, cause I've got problems with my sleep

Everything's been crazy for the last month, hence the whole cyber absence (I'm sure everyone really noticed and missed me ;))

In the last month, I've had mocks, random house guests, relative house guests, an exchange, and a week in New York.

New York was brilliant, especially since I hadn't been there ever, so everything was new and exciting and I could be a totally cheesy tourist. Also, my exchange group had a barbie that we took pictures of everywhere. Isn't she awesome?

My exchange, Amrita, also got me hooked on strawberry milk. So I've been drinking that, procrasinating and not revising for my Maths GCSE and end of year exams, and not doing too much crafty fun stuff, so I haven't had much to post of late... The only creative thing I've done lately is sketch. And those are awful and I refuse to share! 

Anyway. All of this to try to prove to myself I haven't abandoned this blog entirely and also to inform you all that I'm currently trying to figure out how to move to NYC.

Thursday, 1 March 2012


Last year, I was at Henley (cause I'm well posh...) in the queue to pay for some lunch. On a table near the cash,  there were loads of wrapped up baked stuff - brownies, cakes and flapjacks.
In front of me where three american girls/women, who were all looking at them:

American Lady 1: Do you want one of these things?
American Lady 2: What's a Flapjack?
American Lady 1: Oh, they have those here everywhere.
American Lady 3: I think it's like a Blondie, these weird British people don't call them that though.
American Lady 1: Oh the British are so weird. Why do they come up with different names for everything, it's just confusing.
(everyone was looking at them a little funny now, cause they were shouting. And also, Henley is full of 'those weird British people.')
American Lady 2: Why do they say they are oat bars then?
American Lady 1: It't the weird British again. They think blondies have oats in them.
American Lady 3: Maybe they don't know what oats are?

Yeah. So it turns out they don't have flapjacks anywhere but here then... If you happen to be American, and have no idea what they are, go off the oat bar description. Not the Blondie one... Although we don't have blondies here for some reason. Hmm someone should do something about that...

Anyway, the recipe I use is from my little sisters Usborne Beginner's Cookbook:

175g Margarine
175g Demerara Sugar
2T Golden Syrup
225g Rolled Oats

1) Grease a tin, preheat the oven to 160 C
2) Melt the margarine, Demerara and Golden Syrup together in a pan, but don't let it boil.
3) Take the pan off the heat, mix in oats.
4) Spread the mixture in the pan, put it the oven, and cook for 25 minutes or until golden brown
5) Take them out and after ten minutes, cut them into pieces, and then leave to cool.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Existentially Fraught Free Throws

I've not been posting much lately, to the point that this is hardly active. I haven't spent as much time looking at other blogs/participating as usual/as I would have liked. Cause I'm in one of those moods. Creative-y stuff is not happening to me at the moment. All my creativity is being sucked into my art coursework (who am I kidding, I haven't done any actual work on my art in ages. Woops) Anyway. I can't explain myself as well as Stephen Chbosky can, so here you go:

So I'm not feeling half as bad as Charlie. But you know, meh. And now some things have become like Gus's existentially fraught free throws. Like, what's the point.

Woah, though. This is coming off way more depressing that intended. It's all good. I'm just a dramatic person (also, I think you should really go read The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, and The Faults In Our Stars, if you haven't already. Cause then a) You would know what I am taking about, and b) they are really really really good books.)

Anyway, I haven't totally entirely disappeared. And since I am great at lists, I'm going to give you a list.

1) I have just finished baking Flapjacks. I shall tell you about these tomorrow (although because it's me, it probably won't go up until the end of the week. Apologies in advanced)

2) Last Sunday I read the aforementioned Faults. In two hours. I then gave it to my friend, and she read it in one sitting. We then gave it to another friend who read it in a few days. In the last week, three people have read my copy, and two other people have gone out and bought it cause I have been raving about it so much (I would like to thing they thought it sounded great. It may just have been cause they realised I wouldn't shut up until they bought it) I'm going to talk about it later ( I would have already, but I couldn't have two book posts in a row. Sadly, I'm not kidding, I do worry about such trivial things) but in the mean time. I would like to urge you for the second time in two hundred words to go read it. Now.

3) I still have loads of fur fabric. I'll be making another teddy bear. Be prepared it will be awesome*

4) I've just watched Easy A and Pretty in Pink in Spanish, and while I can honestly say it was not that enlightening, it was pretty funny. And also, I forget how great those movies are.

5) I really want to make glittery shoes. So that should be happening soon too.

6) I dyed my hair red. It didn't work. This is irrelevant to my blog entirely. I just wanted to share. Also, I wore a skirt and a top without a jacket and I didn't freeze today. This excited me to no end. And then someone pointed out that this was global warming in action and I kind of freaked out a little.

*awesomely badly done. Like I said, be prepared

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

So I felt I should talk about this great book that was sent to me by Haley in her care package that was just way better than the one I sent her. I have a feeling that this is one of those books that if I talk to anyone about though they will just be like 'OH MY GOODNESS, WHY HAVEN'T YOU READ THAT ALREADY' If you feel like that, then sorry. I really have no idea why not. If you haven't read it, then I do have to say 'OH MY GOODNESS, WHY HAVEN'T YOU READ THAT ALREADY.' Go read it.

It's one of those great kids books that is the reason for kids books still existing. You know, like the first few Harry Potters, before they became YA, and the first Anne of Green Gables and Shug and other books like that that make up for the dodgy series like Animal Ark, or what ever it was called, (although I did read and love those. But that's partly cause I read everything when I was little. I was Head Librarian = Not all that cool a child. I don't have any regrets.)

Anyway. The Graveyard Book is a story about Nobody Owens, who's whole family is crazy-murdered when he is only a tiny baby. He manages to escape some how, and crawls to the graveyard, where is is given the Freedom of the Graveyard. Which basically means he gets to grow up with Ghosts, and he has special Ghost powers.

And if that doesn't sell it for you, it has beautiful pictures. I take the same line as Alice from Alice in Wonderland on that one. Books are always better with pictures.

Seriously, this books is something I wish I had read when I was younger, because it is so inspiring, but one of those books that I still got a lot from now. And I love Haley very much for sending it to me.

And on a side note, I just got home from a great week skiing in Switzerland with my Family. I learnt no German sadly (no literally, all I can say in German is 'I am a Donut' and a bit of dodgy stuff about the Nazi's from history class. People don't like me much there...) But I had a great week all the same, and also that is my lame explanation of my absence from the Blogosphere over the past week...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Hmm. I feel like I have been less around here than I should be or would like to be. I would say that life is getting in the way, but I don't have a life so... No it's more like all the reasons that I don't have a life are getting in the way. In the last week I have had a rowing race, in minus three degree weather, and let me tell you I have never been in so much pain. Also, everyone has started setting homework (I was like 'homework? what's that?') and of course there was the three and a bit hour meeting after school on Monday where we planned our trip to Madagascar. Which is great cause I now feel like I am raising money towards something, not just for the sake of it.

Anyway, because of all of this, I haven't really got any big projects on the go (okay, the socks, but I actually haven't touched those since last week, shh.) I have a fair few smaller things on the go though, so I thought I would share those today:

1) My wall, which I am immensely proud of though it's no where near finished:

2) One of the Friendship Bracelets I have been making for (guess what?) Fundrasing:

3) Okay it's not a project, but here's my ticker for Fundraising:

4) I am reading a great book at the moment, which I shall review/talk/gush about in due course (by the end of the week, when I am finished)

5) I have been listening to great music recently and it is making me really happy. Also, my dad and I agreed on the musical theme of our skiing trip next week. It's going to be a fab week of First Aid Kit, Joni Mitchell, Bright Eyes, and Tracey Chapman. (Also the ski trip is a source of great excitement)

(That was a pathetic project list. Most of that was rambling thoughts. Shh)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Mars Bar Squares

So, more baking, more fundraising, more squares. I know, boring, whatever.

Anyway, earlier in the week I made Mars Bar Squares, which I have to say are pretty much the best thing ever, although Lucy disagreed ('Emma, they have chocolate' 'And?' 'And I don't like chocolate' 'YOU WHAT?!?') So that was my shock realisation of the week. I mean, who doesn't like chocolate?

Anyway, these yummy squares are sticking to my ridiculously easy non-baking thing that I have going on. They came out of a book compiled by my grandmother's friends of sandwiches and squares (which has incidently become my favourite cook book. I promise you need nothing else in life. Except tea is nice occasionally)

Okay, for the first bit:
Four chopped Mars Bars
1/2 cup of Butter
3 cup Rice Krispies

Melt butter and Mars Bars on a low heat, mix well with a whisk. Turn off heat and mix in krispies. Press into lined pan. (Also, here's the bit where I tell you that the measurements could actually not matter less. I used about five cups of cereal and five chocolate bars and it was fine.)

And then, heat until melted:
1 cup of chocolate
1/4 cup of butter

And spread over the bottom layer. Then put it in the fridge to set, and cut into squares. And then, you know, eat them.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

WIP Wednesday: Lavender Lace Socks

After finishing my first pair of socks for the year, and being ahead of target for my 6 in 2012 sock challenge, I took a day to rest, and then I started my next pair (Actually, I just needed to go get the wool for the second pair but whatever.) Anyway. The pattern I am using is Carpe Diem and it is probably the nicest sock pattern I have ever seen.

I haven't got far yet (there was a bit of frogging and re-doing and stopping and getting confused at the beginning) but I am really happy with how they look at the moment.

Also, this is the first time I have done Lace stuff before, so that's exciting. And also, this should be my first pair of 4 ply socks finished (I made one sock for my friend last year... I still have to get around to the second pair. It will happen Georgie, I promise)

And other stuff that is happening, I hit 500 pounds for my world challenge, which was a huge deal for me. Not quite as impressive admittedly as Lucy's 1000 pounds but you know... She is just too amazing. Also, I got my Care Package from my friend Haley. Ah. I am still smiling, four hours after opening it. It is the best thing ever, so much better than the one I sent her. She is amazing too. Why do I know so many amazing people? It's kind of intimidating...

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Waffle Socks

So, about a week after I finished the first sock, I have also finished the second sock. Yay!

But also, it was all a bit of a pain. Not because of the amazing pattern, but because I am a lazy numpty. Basically, I a) couldn't be bothered to go out and by more yarn. So I used some from my stash which I knew would be b) impossible to get a pair out of since I only had half a skein of and even then I didn't c) decide to do parts of it in another colour, like a normal person would. So when I d) ran out of wool while doing the foot on the second sock, I didn't e) try and figure out which colour would work best for the rest of it. No instead I f) used so random wool that was floating around in my room, which g) looked rubbish, and h) wasn't even the same weight as the other wool. Eventually I frogged that and i) used some left over grey wool which turned out fine:

They are only for me anyway, and I'll just wear them around the house and under boots, so it won't be a problem... just kind of silly... Oh well.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

So Much Baking

So it has been a while, cause I am kind of lazy and I have realised that I am doing far too much. This last week has been insane (Homework, Tests, Fundraising, Sport Stuff, DofE admin...)

Anyway, this post it sort of related to the craziness. World Challenge fundraising this weekend involved (for a change, not) a lot of baking. I held another football match out side the football game with Sophia, which involved a lot of creepy drunks, and some funny ones:

One guy came up to us and gave us five pounds. He asked what he could get for that.

Us - Well, everything is a pound, so five of whatever you want

Him- Right so how many things can I get?

Us- Five...

Him- If I gave you five pounds, how much can I get?

Us- Um, five?

Him- You have had too much to drink

Us- Haha, no.

Him- Yes, you are. You keep changing your mind about what I can get.

Us- ...

Finally he picked up five things. Then he turned around and walked straight into a pole.

Anyway. All in all, the game was a huge success, and we did even better than last time!

I am also really proud of the cupcakes I made:

The next day, I had a far less successful bake sale at my brother's rugby club. It was still nice though, and my muffins were fab.

I'll put up the recipe tomorrow, I am really lazy and don't want to get the cookbook now. It is from Nigella's Feast though, and they are banana and butterscotch, but I used chocolate chips instead.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

A Lightening Scar

So the final thing for my friend's care package:

It is just a super simple headband I made watching TV, but I think it's quite cute all the same, even if a little useless. It's the second one I have made like it, although the first one didn't have a scar on it.

Right so, I am going to tell you how I made it, even if you don't care, cause other wise this post will be sure short and not at all useful/have a point. Which wouldn't be a change but whatever.

Alright, so I used size five needles, and some red heart wool that claims to be DK but is totally not, and way more like 10/12 ply. I cast on 12 stitches, and just knit it like this:

First row: knit 
Second row: k2, p8, k2

And repeat, so you end up with a garter stitch border and stockinette stitch otherwise. And then I made myself a chart for the scar:

Which is super lamely coloured in, cause Paint was being stupid, and also I was too lazy to do it properly. Oh well.

Now I can't wait to mail this package! (Ugh, why is everything closed on Sunday, my only day off!)

In other news, John Green's new book came out, and I am trying to figure out how long it will take to get here from the US...

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Treats and Crackers

This past week I have been being a very good child and actually botherd to try to raise some of the 3645 quid that I have to get for a year and a half's time from now. I think I made sixty pounds this week, which is what I am supposed to be doing but... yeah. That's not happening. Anyway.

Part of what I have been doing is selling baked stuff at school, which means that I have been, well, baking.

The two things I have been making are Rice Krispie Treats, and Chocolate Caramel Crack, or Toffee
Crackers, or something of that variation. My family tends to just eat them and not bother with a  name.

Anyway. They are both basically the easiest thing in this entire universe to make, so if you are ever short of time, I would seriously recommend them. That, and you know, they are super yummy.

The Treats are literally the easiest thing. They have all of three ingredients:

6 Cups of Rice Krispies (I bet you never saw that one coming!)
A bag of Marshmellows, which I know is the least helpful measurement ever. I use about 300g.
40g of butter.

Okay, the method is really difficult. Listen close:

1) Over a low heat melt the butter.
2) Chuck in the marshmellows and melt those too

3) Mix in the Rice Krispies and take it off the heat
4) Chuck the whole gloopy mixture into a lined tray with sides thing that definitely has a better name...

5) Take a large strip of waxed paper and with the waxed bit down, press on the gloppy stuff and it will magically even out.
Okay, done. Couldn't be easier.

(That may not be easy to understand. The recipe is also on the Rice Krispie website...)

And then there are the Chocolate Carmel things. Which I still haven't decided what to call.

These are slightly more difficult, but still take about ten minutes.

Okay, Ingredients:
200g Soft Brown Sugar
225g Unsalted Butter
200-300g of Good Quality Chocolate
Enough Saltine Crackers to cover the base of your tray.

1) Pre-heat the oven to 200 C

2) Cover your tray in crackers

3) Over a low heat, melt the butter and sugar, until it starts to boil. Mix with a wooden spoon while it boils for three minutes. now pour over the crackers.
4) Put the tray in the over for 5-6 minutes.

5) Chuck the chocolate pieces on top, and leave it to melt/cool down a bit. Then spread the chocolate and put the whole thing (once it has cooled down) in the fridge overnight. Then just break it up.

Wasn't that easy :)

(Also, my friend Lucy has also been baking for this, but her stuff is ten times more impressive. You should go check it out)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

WIP Wednesday: Blueberry Waffle Sock

So, Work In Progress Wednesday people.

At the moment I am only working on one thing, and it's part of my new years resolutions list (yay for pretending that that may get done :)) I am knitting (rather slowly, cause I can't do them fast yet) some really pretty socks. 

I'm just turning the heel at the moment, a point I had hoped to get past before posting this, cause if you have never knit a sock before it probably just looks like a deformed potato at the moment to you. And I am really proud of it, so I was hoping it would be more sock-like when I came to posting it. But it's Wednesday, alas the only day that starts with W to alliterate with WIP, and even though I know there is nothing from stopping me from doing a WIP Thursday say, I am afraid I am just not indie enough for that. And tomorrow it would probably still look like a deformed potato...

Okay, end of non-interesting rant. The point was, there is a sock that is yet to look like a sock that I promise will one day look like a sock :(

Monday, 9 January 2012

Mixtape Making

Okay, so maybe not mixtapes, cause I don't even know where I would buy a cassette from anymore, or how I would record something to it, or who (except me,) actually has a cassette player.

So, Mix Cd's, but that is less catchy. Mix CD's are what I spent this evening doing.

Inspired by RookieMags post a few months ago, my friend Haley, who lives in Florida and I are sending each other care packages. Which include music (yay!) and other things, like posters and books and stupid little badges and other normal stuff like that.

Anyway. It took me an embarrassingly long time to get the playlist from the computer to the CD's I bought on the way home from school today (so I may have wasted like three CD's in the process...) and cause I was feeling cheap, I didn't buy any CD cases, so I had to make one of those as well.

So I am rather proud of that. The cover says 'Music You May Hate' cause she is super picky about music, and also I put some Taylor Swift in there to annoy her... And then I just cut up an old NME and stuck in on my makeshift CD jacket.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Delirium - Lauren Oliver

So, if you read my post about my new year's resolutions, you would have seen that I wanted to read 50 books this year, which comes out to a little under a book a week. Totally do able. I think? Maybe... 

Anyway, Delirium was book number 2, after The Lovely Bones which I don't really know what to make of. Disturbing, and very well written, but kind of like, ew, why am I reading about this? 

I picked them both up at a charity store on the way back from my local library. I always forget how rubbish that library is, and it's actually really sad. It would be great, it's really near my house, and seems to have lots of books, but somehow I never find anything I want to read in there. It even has a YA section, but that has nothing but really really shudder inducing 'OMG, that boi over there totes fancis me yeah?' kind of books. And I am like, OMGNO. HE DOESN'T. GO GET SOME REAL ISSUES ALREADY.

Back to the point, I had read Lauren Oliver's first novel, Before I Fall last year, and had loved it. It was beautifully written and really interesting.  It was a concept novel that was still written well, with interesting characters and a really good message. 

I was a little weary of Delirium though, as it was described on the back as a 'Margaret Atwood meets Twilight novel' by Grazia. I am not a fan of Twilight. Twilight too makes me shudder (Dude, it is not cute in the slightest that there is an 150 year old vampire watching you sleep, while trying to resist killing you. Okay? Okay.)

Having read the book though, I can see why they linked the books. It's a forbidden love story, but not because the guy is about to murder you. Also, there is none of this, 'Hi, what's your name?' and then about ten minutes later 'I would die for you I love you so much,' which also seems to happen a lot for some unknown reason in stories. 

I also really liked the other main aspect of the book, where Lena begins to question her whole world. The book is set in a dystopian future of the US, where they have found the cure for love, as they have decided it is the cause of all evil. Without love, they are taught, it is possible to be happy. She is a few weeks away from getting cured when she meets Alex, who doesn't believe in the cure. And as she falls in love with him, she too starts seeing things differently.

I thought it was done really well, the whole story, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are going to read it though, you may want to wait until just before the second book comes out. Cause there is a major cliffhanger at the end, and I don't know how I am going to wait till it comes out...