Tuesday, 31 May 2011

An unconventional tourist route

Today we wanted to tell you about Owen Gatley, an artist from the UK who we found out about just recently. Since traveling is one of our passions, it's no surprise that he won us over with the illustrated maps he did for Ling, Vueling's in-flight magazine. They're fun, very colourful and portray some of my favourite cities, such as Athens or Bilbao. Aren't they great?


Friday, 27 May 2011

Same, same but different: the floppy hat

Lately I've been daydreaming a lot about the summer holidays and wearing a big, wide-brimmed hat to protect me from the sun.

I really like the big floppy 70’s style hats that seem to be everywhere at the moment. The three individuals below carry off the look with a lot of pizzazz - especially the man. There’s something unconventional about the way he looks at first but also very stylish because he wears it confidently and looks so original. The lady at the top is Jazmine of Jazzabellesdiary whose style I really admire. She buys the majority of her clothes from charity shops and car boot sales and always manages to put them together so well that they look as if she paid a lot more for them. And Faye Dunaway just looks effortlessly and classically stylish wearing hers when they first became fashionable so that’s why she gets a look-in here.

I’ll be keeping my eyes open for a summery version to avoid a scorching. What about you? Will you be buying one?
Jazzabelles Diary

The Sartorialist

Faye Dunaway


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

DIY: Create your own magnets

A couple of years ago, a few months before Carla moved away from Madrid, we intended to make some magnets inspired by this idea that I saw on Not Martha. It seemed that everyone had the same plan or something because we couldn’t find the glass pebbles anywhere so we had no other option but to keep the idea on the backburner.

The other day, by chance I came across these highly sought after pebbles and, since I had to dish out a few presents, I remembered the magnets. I got stuck into it and here’s how they turned out, let’s see what you think: 


- Flat-sided glass pebbles (in theory they sell them in any decor, gift or flower shop)

- White glue (PVA, or something that dries translucent)

- Circle magnets (or if you can’t find any, use adhesive magnetic tape like I did)

- That big bundle of magazines you've been hanging on to thinking they might come in handy at some point (their time has come)


1. Cut out small images, letters or colours that you like from magazines. I used a coin the size of the glass as a template.

2. Using the PVA, glue the image to the flat side of the glass pebble. Don’t be frightened, once it dries, it will turn transparent and shiny ☺. Leave to dry.

3. Cut a strip of the adhesive magnetic tape and stick it to the image. You can strengthen it using the PVA if you think it hasn’t stuck enough.

Now you’re all set to show off your fridge!

Memories of a trip
Mix up colours and motifs
Glamorous fridge

Friday, 20 May 2011

It’s crunch time

I absolutely love cereal. I like it so much I usually mix together two or three cereals in my morning bowl and top it all off with slices of banana or some blueberries, yummy :). I always go for the muesli/granola/healthy variety and if I feel the need for a wee sugar hit that’s when the mixing technique comes in handy for adding in something like Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. It might sound weird but you can’t beat a good cereal mix!

Today, I made my own granola following a recipe from my Ottolenghi cookbook  which I’ve adapted a bit according to what I had in the cupboard. This one is good because it includes a lot of healthy nuts and seeds that I always think I should eat more of every time I read about how good they are for you. The recipe is also really easy to follow and makes a very tasty granola.

40g walnut halves                                 (for the syrup)
40g cashew nuts                                   ¼ tsp salt
300g whole rolled oats                           3 tbsp water
100g pumpkin seeds                              4 tbsp sunflower oil
60g dessicated coconut                          120ml maple syrup
100g dried apricots, chopped                 120ml honey
60g dried cranberries
60g flame raisins


1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/Gas Mark 1. Roughly chop all the nuts and put them in a large mixing bowl. Add the oats and seeds and set aside.
2. Mix together all the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and stir while you warm the syrup gently. Once it is warm, pour it over the seeds, nuts and oats and stir well with a wooden spoon.
3. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and spread the granola over it evenly. It should form a layer no more than 1cm thick. If it is too thick, consider using 2 trays. Bake for 40 minutes, turning and mixing the granola 2 or 3 times. When ready, it will have taken on a dark, honey-like colour. Don’t worry if it is soft; once cool it will turn crunchy. Remove from the oven. While the granola is still warm but not hot, stir in the dried fruit. Leave to cool on the tray and then transfer to a sealed container. It will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Hope you all have a great weekend! 


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Pick 'n' Mix: In mint condition

My friend Carol, a very observant woman, did very well the other day to spot my recent obsession with the colour mint, so how could May’s Pick ‘n’ Mix be about anything else? Without further delay, here’s our array.

Snapper snapped in this image by Lolas Room.
Wanted - address book from Dingaling.
Roller skates to get you there first, from Urban Outfitters.
An irresistible SMEG fridge (photo: Renovation Planning).
My Zara trousers and, of course, matching H&M bracelets.

What about you – do you go through stages of liking one colour in particular? Let me know, maybe that way I can move on to a different shade.

Have a good week!


Friday, 13 May 2011

Supper clubs

Kerstin Rodgers of Ms Marmite Lover (Source: Condé Nast Traveller)

[Back again now after Blogger's technical hitches!]

I was listening to the radio recently when I heard an interview with Ms Marmite Lover (aka Kerstin Rodgers) talking about her latest idea, which she has aptly entitled a ‘food rave’. It’s a type of underground, after-hours farmers’ market that she hosts in her own home in London. The first underground market took place in San Francisco and its success has now spread over the pond to London. Judging by the photos of the kinds of stalls and items sold, it looks like it would have been a lot of fun.

I hadn’t heard of Ms Marmite Lover until recently and while listening to the interview, I found out that she was also the woman responsible for starting one of the UK’s first supper clubs, ‘The Underground Restaurant’. For those of you that don’t know, this involves creating a restaurant in your own living room. Guests buy tickets online and are later informed of the address of the ‘restaurant’ where they will most likely enjoy a set menu surrounded by people they have never met before. Some of the nights are themed with e.g. Moroccan food or comedy and music nights, and Ms Marmite Lover has even hosted some film club nights which look particularly cosy.

I think it’s a really innovative idea and a great way to bring people together to enjoy a nice meal. It makes going out for dinner a bit different and special and to some extent slightly more relaxed since you’re in someone’s home. I think this would make for a really nice atmosphere and I certainly wouldn’t mind trying to go along to one some day.

You can find a list of other supper club locations (including some in Spain) here on Kerstin’s blog (she has recently published the ultimate guide to the supper club scene Supper Club: recipes and notes from The Underground Restaurant (Collins) if you're interested in finding out more).

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Getting wrapped up in masking tape (II)

A promise is a promise. Here’s part two of our ideas for decorating with Japanese masking tape, let your imagination run wild!
Picture frame featuring a personalised message that you can change depending on your mood by Smile and Wave.
Fancy changing one of your walls without the need for paint or wallpaper, and all in just 5 minutes? Here’s the solution from Pearl Street Interiors
For a rainy day, indoor hopscotch from Giber’s log.
Creativity extends even to the windows with this idea from Design Fixation.
I like this idea for giving jugs a new look from To be charmed.
Redesigned picture frames that make a striking impact from a blog we recommend, Los viajes de Lucas.
Another idea for picture frames from Decor8 using masking tape that matches your picture to create an excellent result.
If you’re bored of the same old fans, join in on this project from In my own style.
Multicoloured bunting from Paperklip.

And if that’s not enough, look at this amazing workshop organised by Hello Sandwich.

Here’s a list of some of the shops where you can buy the tape.
1.    Pretty Tape
2.    Kawaii Tape
3.    Happy Tape

Have you been bitten by the masking tape bug? Enjoy!


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Getting wrapped up in masking tape (I)

Washi tape is the name given to Japanese masking tape. It’s made of rice paper and is easy to stick and remove. For those who haven’t seen it, it provides millions of decorating and creative possibilities as it is sold in a whole range of designs and colours. If you want to find out more about its interesting history, you can read up on it here.

For some time now, I’ve been putting together the best ideas I found on the internet and when I started to prepare the post, I realised that it seems to be a widespread addiction since I had tons of material :-). So as not to overwhelm you, I’m going to divide this post into two parts.

Today, I’ll leave you with small objects and packaging that has been brought to life with masking tape. And tomorrow, part two will include original ideas for the home using the magic roll and places where you can buy it.
Glass candleholder centrepieces matching the tablecloth that can be adapted to suit the occasion by Martha Stewart.


Gift wrap borders using masking tape and a pair of scissors by Creature Comforts and Hello, Friend.

Amazing personalised birthday cards by Perfectly Precocious.

I really liked this stick because of the combination of the colours and the wood although I don’t know what it can be used for :).

Decorated pegs for chic file organisation by Lilacmoon Studio. As you can see, you can write on the tape.

Another great solution to keep everything in order with a lovely selection of coloured masking tapes stuck onto a basic set of drawers by I go by Katie via Pinterest.

It can be used to decorate jars and create lovely effects by layering and crossing over the tapes, like they’ve done at Origamisan. Or instead of the jars, you could decorate the lids!

Tealights decorated with tape from Cute Tape.

Shop Ruche
Can you guess what our favourite design is? It had to be the polka dot one ;-)

Which one is your favourite out of all of today’s suggestions?


Friday, 6 May 2011

How does your garden grow?

All of the nice weather we’ve been having in the UK has been encouraging me to go out into the garden and get planting. Last year was the first year I gave gardening a shot, helped by this book which I got from a friend.

It really helped me get an idea of the basics and has lots of hints and tips. I managed to grow some nice herbs and even some tomatoes, leeks and green beans too. I tried growing garlic as well but I think the squirrels might have liked them because they’ve still not appeared a year on. I like watching the squirrels play around outside though so I won’t hold it against them.

This year, I bought some more tomato plants in different varieties.These three are Jamie Oliver plants – green zebra tomatoes, citrina tomatoes, and tomatoberries. I can’t wait to try them once they grow.

I’ve also potted some parsley, basil, sage, oregano and sweet peas. They still have a wee bit to go but I’ll keep you posted on their progress. Here’s what they look like so far:

I’d also like to plant some Chinese lanterns so that I can dry them and keep them for ages afterwards. For some reason, the ones I tried growing last year never surfaced...perhaps another favourite of the squirrels.

To brighten up the fence, I made this bunting. I wanted to get a mixture of different patterns but in the end I went for the same colour. I bought this tablecloth material at my local market and cut out triangle shapes that I then sewed onto a piece of string and nailed to the fence.

How have you brightened up your gardens/balconies/window boxes? 

All tips and ideas welcome!

Soon we'll show you the Mediterranean version of the PolkaDotLighthouse kitchen garden.


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