What I'm Listening To: "When I'm 64"- The Beatles

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Today would have been my father's 64th birthday, so I'm honoring him by listening to "When I'm 64" by The Beatles. Enjoy!

What's Making Me Laugh: Meet Gavin #AsdaGnome

Saturday, June 28, 2014

This cheeky Asda advert has actually been around since May, but now that summer is in full swing I thought it was perfectly appropriate for me to introduce you to Gavin, the Asda gnome. For those of you not familiar with Asda, it's the British equivalent of Walmart (it's actually a subsidiary of the company). Doesn't it make you want a gnome in a mankini of your very own!?

From Russia With Love

Friday, June 27, 2014
Last week I was feeling a little stir crazy so I decided to book myself a staycation by participating in this month's Virtual Paintout.

The Virtual Paintout is a blog created by artist, Bill Guffey, who in 2008 began traveling virtually through New York City using Google's Street View to find scenes and locations to paint. After his initial painting, he began looking for more Street View locations to paint and contacted Google to make sure it was okay to reference the Street Views in his work. Once he got the green light from Google, Guffy founded The Virtual Paintout blog in 2009 as a way for artists to get together virtually and create art from the same location. The paintout started from humble beginnings with just 6 participants initially, but has grown to average 100 artists per month. Each month highlights a new location around the world and in June 2014 The Virtual Paintout explored Vladivostok, Russia and the Primorsky Krai region.   

I've never been to Vladivostok or Russia before, so to begin my sketch I started exploring the streets of Vladivostok with Google's Street View. I was surprised to see that much of Vladivostok reminded me of the US and Europe: there were cafes, graffiti, billboards, and modern looking buildings. I think Google must have filmed their images around the time that the Olympic Games were taking place in Russia because I noticed an Olympic stadium and there appeared to be a carnival nearby with a Ferris wheel and food vendors nearby. Perhaps the weirdest things that I stumbled upon was a sculpture of Lenin and the Russian script in general (my Western eyes cannot begin to comprehend how read it). 

After a few hours of searching, I finally found my Street View inspiration. Here is my first ever contribution to the virtual paintout and the street view that inspired it:

'Wise Guys'
watercolor and watercolor pencil in a 6 x 6 in. sketchbook


Where to Find New Music

Thursday, June 26, 2014
As a reader of my blog, you already know that I LOVE finding new music and sharing it with my friends through my What I'm Listening To series, so when Promolta! contacted me and asked if I would add their widget to my blog, I was in.

You might have noticed a new box on the right hand side of my blog labeled New Music with a music video underneath. This box is connected to Promolta!, a video promotion platform that shares music videos to help bands, musicians and singers get their music seen and heard. The videos selected are based off of my average reader demographics (i.e. female, 18-32 years old, location) and the music video genre's range from Rock, Hip Hop, Pop, Alternative and Country, so you're sure to find something you'll love. And if you really like one of the new artists, be sure to check out their Facebook Pages, Tweet, and share the YouTube videos and look for the artists on I-tunes.

Here are a few of my favorite Promolta! videos:


  • I will earn 3¢ for each music video viewed.
  • A view is defined as watching the music video for at least 30 seconds.

Music Festival Fashion

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Summer in England means that it's festival season. While I might not be attending Glastonbury this weekend (tickets were expensive PLUS they sold out within minutes) I will be watching clips from the festival on TV for free and saving my pennies in hopes of attending a music festival closer to home. 

Besides the music and celebrity sightings, another highlights of the music festivals are the bohemian fashions. Here's what I would wear if I were attending a music festival this weekend:

Blue Fijifilm Instamax Mini 8 Camera (here)
Carmex Vanilla Lip Balm Stick (here)
Compass Pendant (here)
Ecote Cassidy Maxi Dress (here)
Birkenstock Arizona Birko Leather Sandals (here)
Steel Curve Nose Ring (here)
Deena & Ozzy Suede Tassel Bag (here)

I love the idea of wearing a tie dyed maxi dress with Birkenstocks! I'd pair the look with a fringed bag and a longer length necklace and switch out my nose stud for a more rebellious hoop ( there are also a TON of faux piercing hoops out there for those of you who aren't pierced). I'd want to bring a camera to document my experience, and I'd be sure to pack some lip balm, a portable phone charger, some bottled water and some dry shampoo and a disposable toothbrush if I were staying overnight. And don't forget the sunscreen!

Side note: Urban Outfitters UK is currently having a summer sale with items up to 50% off. So you can score your festival fashions at a discount price (including the maxi dress pictured above).

Are you attending any summer music festivals? Let me know in the comments below.

**This post was NOT sponsored. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.**


World Cup Fever

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest or if you saw my Summer Bucket List, then you're already aware that I have World Cup Fever. One of my favorite ways to spend my evening is to set out some snacks, get a cuppa tea, and knit while watching the game, especially if Team USA or England are playing ( I'm really bummed about England's loss), but I also enjoy watching Germany, Brazil and other teams, too.

Anyway, I've been seeing a lot of really cool fashions inspired by the World Cup and it's a great excuse to show your country pride. Here are a few of my favorites:

TEXTILE Elizabeth and James Dean tank- Shopbop
TEXTILE Elizabeth and James wide stripe tee- Shopbop
Sincerely Jules Heart USA Tank- Shopbop
Chaser USA Muscle Tank- Bloomingdale's
World Cup panties- Naja
USA snap-back hat- Forever 21

Chaser England distressed tee- Lulu's
Union Jack tee- LF Stores
England flip-flops- Havaianas

 Other Countries
Classic World Cup slip-on- Toms at Nordstom
Chaser France tee- Revolve Clothing
'Sol Angels' Brazil tee- Nordstrom
'MCM' World Cup leather pouch- Nordstom
 Are you watching the FIFA World Cup games? Who are you cheering for?

The Strawberry Fair

Monday, June 23, 2014

I first read about the Strawberry Fair in a past issue (of the now defunct) Crafty Magazine and made a point to check it out this year. The Strawberry Fair is an incredibly popular free, entirely volunteer run music, and arts fair in Cambridge and this year it celebrated its 40th anniversary with a Ruby Masquerade theme.

The fair is held on the first Saturday in June, but kicks off the Friday before with comedy and a film festival and a parade held Saturday morning.

I skipped the Friday festivities because I had to work and I missed the parade due to the rain, but luckily the rain cleared out and I was able to check out the fair on Saturday afternoon.

Highlights included:

  • Music- There were several stages with over 100 bands playing all genres of music from country, blues, rock to techno. Plus there was a dance tent. 
  • Cambridge Community Circus performers.
  • Belly dancers
  • Bohemian vendors- There were flower crowns everywhere and people selling flags, t-shirts, caftans, feather headdresses, you name it!
  • Food- There were burgers, fish and chips, Jamaican, Chinese, donuts, pub food, anything you want. Of course, my visit wouldn't have been complete without a cup of strawberries, marshmallows and chocolate.


What's Making Me Laugh: The Inbetweeners 2 Movie Trailer

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Are you familiar with the hilarious British TV show, The Inbetweeners (and follow up movie)? Well, this week the full length trailer for the movie, The Inbetweeners 2 was released and I am so stoked! The second Inbetweeners movie follows the guys as they take a trip to Australia.

The movie will be released in the UK on August 6  (it'll be in Australia on November 14) so there's still plenty of time to catch up if you've missed out. Past episodes are available on Netflix, Hulu, and 4oD (in the UK)

What I'm Listening To: Lana del Rey- "Once Upon a Dream (from Disney's Maleficent)"

Saturday, June 21, 2014
This week I watched Disney's Maleficent in 3D and it was visually stunning. The movie put a whole new spin on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale with an added touch of girl power! It's a great movie to see with your lady friends.

Anyways, Lana del Rey dropped a new album called Ultraviolence this week (June 16 in the UK, June 17 in the US) and she has a haunting take on the classic song, "Once Upon a Dream",  featured in the film. It's definitely worth a listen.


Wool Fair!

Friday, June 20, 2014

It's no secret that I like to knit. So, I was super excited when I discovered that Ickworth was having a Wool Fair and I had to check it out.

Ickworth is a really beautiful and unique National Trust site near Bury St. Edmunds. The house itself was once owned by the Hervey family and features a domed rotunda, as well as an interactive 1930's servants quarters that'll make you feel like you're on Downton Abbey, and a vast collection of art and artifacts collected by the family. Surrounding the home are the Italianate Gardens and Victorian stumpery (which is my favorite. They took tree stumps and flipped them over so the roots are exposed) and a vast array of walking paths, walled gardens, and farmland. Plus there's a tea shop, a used book shop, a plant shop, and a playground for the kids.

The Wool Fair took place on a beautiful warm day (temperatures were near 20 C/ 68 F). Entry to the fair gave you access to both the house and the fair, but the festivities took place just beyond the Italianate Gardens behind the house.

Highlights included:

  • Sheep shearing
  • The Sheep Show- This was hosted by a hilarious Australian who made the sheep dance at the end of the show.
  • Alpacas
  • Green Dragon Morris dancers- They're the folks with the green face paint.
  • Sheepdogs- The sheepdogs shepherded a group of ducks from pin to pin. 
  • Food and crafts- I picked up a locally caught venison burger, fresh lemonade, and some chocolate/peanut butter pancakes a la mode as well as a few skeins of yarn.

Since I'd recently visited Ickworth House, I skipped the house and decided to explore Ickworth Church and the surrounding gardens and walking paths as the fair wound down. I ended up following one walking path for 2.5 hours through the woods (it turned out to be about 4 miles not including my walk from the front gate back up to the house). During my muddy walk, I saw lots of birds and grey squirrels and a giant stumpery tree stump. But the most special part of my visit was when 2 fully grown deer ran right past me during my walk. 

Happy Belated Father's Day

Thursday, June 19, 2014
anchor dad and roses dad tattoos- peperink 

Father's Day is kind of a sad day for me since my father passed away suddenly a year and a half ago. There are still days that I want to call him up or send him an e-mail and tell him about something I saw or ask him a question and then I remember that I can't. But I know that I was lucky to have a really great dad.

I'm lucky to have a nice father-in-law and I'm also reaching an age where many of my friends and family members are starting to become parents themselves.

So this year for Father's Day I picked up these temporary tattoos by pepperink on Etsy to honor my memories of my dad and to celebrate all of the other great dads in my life.

My Summer Bucket List 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014
School is finally out for summer, which means I don't have to go to work for 2 whole months!!! With so much extra time on my hands, I thought it would be fun to make a Summer Bucket List of things that I want to do over the summer.

  1. Go to the Wool Fair- I went to the Wool Fair at Ickworth house on June 1st and it was lovely! 
  2. Go to the Strawberry Fair- The Strawberry Fair was in Cambridge on June 7 and there were lots of people, live music, food, and circus performances. And of course my visit wasn't complete without eating some strawberries.
  3. Go to the beach- I've been to the North Sea a few times, but it has always been too cold or rainy to fully enjoy it. I'd like to hit up a beach on a nice day.
  4. Keep up with Book Club Reading- This will be tough. I'm still working on May's book club read, The Goldfinch, since it's over 700 pages long!
  5. Plan more blog posts- I've got tons of ideas.
  6. Plan mom's visit to England- My mom is coming to visit me for 10 days in July!
  7. Practice my ukulele
  8. Visit a local farm and paint the animals
  9. Bring my sketchbook to a National Trust site
  10. Get the car fixed- Chores aren't fun, but I think I can manage this.
  11. See Tom Jones!- He's going on tour this summer!
  12. Go to the horse races- I live pretty close to a horse track and their used to be one in my hometown but I've never been.
  13. Start an England scrapbook- The hard part is gathering materials.
  14. Finish 3 knitting projects- I'm well on my way with this one. Blog posts coming soon.
  15. Sew an outfit- I'm trying to participate in the Outfit Along 2014 from Untangling Knots and Lladybird for which you are supposed to knit a cardigan and sew a dress. So far my sweater is coming along nicely, but I haven't decided on a dress. 
  16. Become a World Cup fanatic- I'm in the habit of watching World Cup games while I knit. GGGOOOAAALLL!!!
I know I'll be adding to my summer bucket list as the season goes along. Do you have a summer bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.


What's Making Me Laugh: Man Recreates "All By Myself" Music Video in Las Vegas Airport

Sunday, June 15, 2014
This week I stumbled upon a Gawker article about a man who took an overnight flight to Las Vegas' McCarran  Airport and decided to film his own music video for Celine Dion's 1996 version of "All by Myself" on his iPhone rather than hit the strip.The results are hilarious! You can view the video below and/or click the link below to also read the article. It literally made me snort with laughter.


SSENSE up to 70% off Sale

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Summer weather is upon us and it's time to assess what clothing items I need to make it through the summer. This year I'm focusing on quality over quantity and I'm in need of a summer bathing suit that I'm not embarrassed to be seen in, some summer shoes, cut-offs and a few summer accessories.

SSENSE is having a sale with items up to 70% off.

I've been wanting a pair of Dr. Martens for ages! Black floral print Dr. Martens- $91
I love cat-eyes! Opening Ceremony black floral cat eye glasses- $82
I love anything related to Faye Dunaway (especially in reference to her performance in Bonnie and Clyde). Rag & Bone black wool Dunaway hat- $122
Current/ Elliot blue cut-off boyfriend shorts- $88
 Jeffery Campbell black washed leather and silver carina flats- $98
Sophia Webster purple and green colorblocked Violeta sandal- $112
J Brand deep blue atmosphere Maria high-rise jeans- $112
These are super cute! Marc by Marc Jacobs Rue the Cat Critters loafers- $161
So 90's! Kenzo black clubmaster sunglasses- $122
You can't go wrong with shiny oxfords. Studio Pollini silver cracked leather oxfords - $178
We Are Handsome coral the landing one piece swimsuit- $88


What's Making Me Laugh: Tabby is the New Cat

Sunday, June 8, 2014
It's finally here! The Netflix show we've all been waiting for, Orange is the New Black, is back on Netflix with season 2, and if you're anything like me you totally stayed-in for part of your weekend to binge watch every episode in your pajamas. 

Anyways, immediately after finishing season 2 I stumbled onto this adorable Orange is the New Black parody called Tabby is the New Cat. If you're a fan of Orange is the New Black or cats in general, you're going to love it.


Recent purchases: May 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014
This month I tried to take into consideration some of the things I learned from completing Coletterie's Wardrobe Architect series before making any purchases. I found that completing the series helped deter some impulse purchases because I had to consider if an item filled a missing gap in my wardrobe, fit into my chosen silhouettes, was in my color palette and was versatile.

I also purchased the Old Navy 5" shorts in classic black.
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