I haven't blogged in a while.... I won't bore you with reasons why not.... but in the meantime, I thought I'd give you a little insight into what's making me happ[ier] these days...
A lot of small things in life make me a bit happier. This often revolves around whatever season it is.... in the spring, I enjoy buying fresh flowers on the weekend, the latest in fashion magazines, enjoying a long brisk walk around London or Borough Market if I fancy a free lunch :-) before coming home and trying to fill up my room with some kind of small, subtle fragrance, usually coming from an incense burner, my scented candles, or the smell of baking.... [well, sort of...If I could bake, I'm sure my house would be filled with the smells of apple crumbles or cherry and plum crumble.
In Autumn, for me, it's all about layering. I love falling in love with fall. For me, on the weekends, especially if it's a rainy or dreary day, my favourite thing to do is to curl up with some hot chocolate and people watch at all the people getting horribly caught out in the rain. Then after about five minutes of sheer entertainment, I cuddle up with a teddy, the smells of essential oils, cashmere throws, and a good fantasy film of some sort. This is where Harry Potter comes into play.
If it's winter, then it's all about Christmas. I'm not huge on Christmas, I'm not even big on it. I can take it or leave it if I'm honest, but once it gets past a certain point, everybody becomes so infectiously festive that you can't help but join in. So when it gets to that point, I leave my inner semi grinch behind me and start to get in the spirit of things. For me this means glittery baubles for the Christmas Tree, or Christmas Twigs as our household likes to have..... but most importantly Starbucks Red Cups. There's no greater satisfaction than returning home [relatively early] in the evening from a busy day at Oxford Street and stopping in for a Starbucks on the way home whilst regaling your bestie with the funniest tale of the day. And, who can resist an egg nog or gingerbread toffee latte? Not many people, that's who.
Anyway, moving along... here are some things in general that are managing to make me smile.... or whatever.
1. Diptyque Candles
Diptyque candles are one of my favourite type of candle. Those or Jo Malone. I still can't pick between the two. I only use these for special occasions, and generally, vanilla scented candles are my favourite. I'm a huge fan of really thick candles that you can just leave on a kitchen worktop, on a coffee table, or in your bedroom where they can just burn for hours, leaving a rustic, waxy, haunting effect afterwards.
Usually best for chilling or an after party mood with something soothing like Mandy Moore's 'Gardenia' or the sounds of Goldfrapp's 'Seventh Tree' album. 2. Cashmere Throws
Cashmere is, I think, one of the epitomes of luxury. It's just one of those soft, comforting pieces of material that is as nostalgic as the way your mum smells or Johnson's Baby Lotion.... it's a smell or a sense of touch that you always remember, and Cashmere is something you can wrap around you and forget about the world in, and be perfectly justified in doing so.
3. Harry Potter....
Harry Potter. Sometimes nothing else will do. Now truth be told, I haven't really kept up with the movies and probably skipped out on seeing the last two, as I think the Twilight bug might have caught me, and I'm still in no mood to give up the ghost as it were.
But, that said, I did really enjoy ALL of the books, especially the last one, although I think JK Rowling could have ended the last one with a bit of a bloody better phrase than 'All was Well.' Oh what, you mean you can finally say that now that Voldemort's dunzo? All those battles, Fred and George [the two best ginger twins ever!] dead, and all we get at the end is 'All was Well.' Now I've been hearing rave reviews about the last of the Harry Potter saga, not least because the last book, like Breaking Dawn will be, is going to be split into two, so we get to see all the little bits in the book being played out on screen.... as it damn well should be. Now I can get off my soap box, and say that I am really looking forward to the film. And Yes, the only time I brought a Harry Potter film which was Year Four [Goblet of Fire] was because I remembered Rob Pattinson was in it as Cedric Diggory. Well of course he was. And then brutally murdered. Idiots. At least he can't die in The Twilight Saga. Phew!!!!!!!
4. Girl Crush!
One of my favourite things to do, I guess you could call it a guilty pleasure :-) is to watch videos from NYLON TV. NYLON TV is of course, related to the American magazine 'Nylon' which features little TV spots and tidbits of their cover stars each month which takes you behind the scenes. As you'd imagine, they've covered and shot everyone possible, naturally, but my favourites include Kristen Stewart, Mary Kate Olsen, Blake Lively, and more recently, Evan Rachel Wood. I've been a HUGE fan of Evan's ever since she and one of my other absolute favourite and also devastatingly beautiful actresses, Nikki Reed, appeared in Thirteen together and haven't looked back since in terms of their acting careers skyrocketing. Evan's acted alongside Edward Norton, Holly Hunter, Mickey Rourke, Woody Allen, Robert Redford and Sandra Bullock, not to mention dating the likes of Jamie Bell and Marilyn Manson. Opposite ends of the scale, surely? Yes, but that's one of the things I love about Evan - she changes and grows through every single role she takes on board. I love the fact people give her enough of a chance to let her do the gritty, real, acting instead of the cliche, commercial stuff.
5. Quintessentially British There's a lot of things I love about being British. I love the accent, I love the fact that you can get staples here such as fish and chips, cheese and pickle sandwiches, and especially the fact that EVERY Londoner knows the true value of finding a good cafe that serves an excellent hangover fried, greasy breakfast on a sunday morning, with all the extras and the trimmings thrown in, such as Bloody Marys, Sunday Papers, easy music and Scrabble. The last time I brought something at Comme Des Garcons was from their last collection from their high street collaboration with H&M. But I saw a Tartan purse and thought it was oh so incredibly cute. Now even though Tartan has its roots in Scotland, and isn't exactly British, it's close enough, and since I'm a quarter Scottish myself [not that you can bloody see it AT ALL!] why not bend the rules? Secondly, the latest issue of VOGUE features the lovely Emma Watson. Now when she first cut her hair off, I was a bit on the fence and thought she may have a Sienna-esque situation on her hands, which means, just because you're gorgeous and make the rest of us nomads look like we've been beaten with ugly sticks, it doesn't mean if you cut all your hair off in some crazy style, you're still going to look awesome. When Sienna cut all her hair off for Factory Girl in 2006, I wasn't convinced, but unlike Sienna, Emma manages to pull off her even shorter hairstyle and make it look damn good. Either that, or it's the classic SATC line from the film in which Carrie's Vogue Editor says: 'Vogue Couture. Vogue Photographers. Vogue Airbrushing. Nod your head. Yes." We'll never know.
I've been thinking about getting a tattoo for a long, long, long, loooooooooooooooooooong time. But everytime I do, I'm never quite sure about what kind of design I want, or what kind of picture, and when I get one in my head, I always then deliberate if I want this on my skin for the rest of my life... even when I'm old and wrinkly and an old Grandma. And if this wasn't bad enough, when I've decided I'm going to do it regardless, I always see some punk rocker come along or walk right past me with piercings galore and tattoos absolutely everywhere, with no skin spared, and thus, this immediately puts me off. And so we begin the circle all over again, my friends. What's a girl to do? Well, until I decide to do better, Chanel may have the answer I've been waiting for. Yes, you heard that right, incredibly classy and ooh la la french label Chanel, and the word Tattoo. In the same sentence. It's almost taboo. Thank goodness they're temporary. Anyway, they look pretty damn awesome, and since lots of models rocked them on the catwalk, celebrities such as Leighton Meester, Emma Roberts and Rachel Bilson have been rushing to get their hands on some... fast. Well, hello, this is Chanel after all. If they were selling bin liners as tops, there would probably be a queue that would circle around the corner and back.
Anyhoo, I'm looking into it in case I chicken out and don't do the actual real thing... eeeeeek! Golly Goops!
And now for the Real Inspirations...
7. Blake Lively's Maltipoo Penny.
Blake Lively makes me smile. Although it's more in a twisted kind of I-hate the fact that you're stunning and have incredible fashion style and get to work on gossip girl yet still be so charming and endearing in real life with your hot boyfriend and his ever so cool name. But Blake and her maltipoo, Penny, together, are just TOO CUTE for words. A maltipoo is a maltese poodle and quite frankly, in my eyes, is a cross between a small dog and a teddy bear. I'm sorry, but you simply couldn't ask for a better combination for a dog. Plus your dog could fit in your handbag if you wanted it to. And you would look even cuter if you had one. So a maltipoo is BIG on my wishlist....
8. Mulled Wine, Pre-Christmas Food, Whittard Cinnamon Hot Chocolate and Christmas Movies like Miracle on 34th Street...
Whatever happened to Mara Wilson? You know, the cute little girl that was Matilda in ummm, well, Matilda, and the cute little girl [yet again] in Miracle on 34th Street with the legend that is Richard Attenborough. I was shocked to discover one day that she's actually the same age as me, but as it seems as if she's dropped off the face of the earth, it's hard to tell what she looks like as an adult. But oh well. Miracle on 34th Street is one of my fave Christmas movies after Home Alone. Always a classic. Actually, watching pretty much any soppy romantic christmassy children's movie on Christmas Day once you're settled on the sofa and can hardly move from too much stuffing is fine with me. And even if it's not, usually I can't be bothered to reach for the remote anyway.
9. Issa London
Issa London is a fashion label that has always floated just underneath the radar. Just underneath the radar until a couple of days ago, when Queen to be Kate Middleton decided to announce her engagement to William wearing a blue wrap Issa London dress. Sales of the dress itself sold out within hours, and as always, copies and duplicates were made and sold on the high street within 48 hours of the breaking news. Issa London has always managed to create incredibly elegant, a line dresses which flatter in all the right places, which is part of what makes the label such a hit. I have high hopes for this upcoming English label, and with Issa at the front of the line to possibly even design Kate's wedding dress, who knows what the future will hold?
You can buy Issa from Issa London at Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Browns, and Matches.
Other stuff I'm doing this month...
Reading... Conversations With God, Anna Karenina, The Lorax
Favourite Quote [which I may get tattooed:] "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing will get better. It's not. It's a faraway place, a faraway thought, a thought about something that somebody ought."