Monday, March 31, 2014

Tales of a Naughty Kitten #2 :: family breakfast with JING tea

Bonjour, good day and hello to you all. You may recognise me from many a post, but if introductions are necessary, I am Cosmo - AKA the naughtiest kit in the world. Absolute pleasure to meet you. My mother (well, one of them...I have three) is a big fan of tea as I'm sure you already know. But you see this bag here? That's mine

Yes, that's right ladies and gents, although Bee was sent some Earl Grey and Peppermint tea bags from the kind people at JING, I feel like there was a little error in that Peppermint is MY flavour. Sure, Bee might act as though she is mint tea's number one fan, but take a look at my face - how could I lick my lips with such glee if I was not mesmerised more than anyone else by the smell alone?

I recognise that my Grandmother was being treated on this particular morning, and that I wasn't meant to take a bite out of the brioche before any of my family got to it, nor was I really supposed to knock the tea bags out of Mum's hand before any could reach the tea pot, but what can I say? I truly am a naughty kitten.

I should probably add that nobody was protecting the said mint tea bags and that their silky cases were really too much for a kitten of such good taste to ignore. My family all seemed to be too busy preparing other bits and pieces with hot machines. 

I overheard my Mums discussing a new obsession of theirs - Lotus biscuit spread, Nutella and waffles. I'll stick to my mint tea and brioche thanks, but they seem to be pretty keen and it's probably best that you try it for yourselves. 

Oh and before you think I'm toooooooo naughty, let me reassure you that I saved my family the Earl Grey. Grandfather used the hot machine which makes terrifying noises that make me cower under tables to make an excellent pot and my family drank it, each from an Iranian estekan. (Yup, I'm bilingual)

Anyhow, I'm off to have my seventeenth nap of the afternoon. Until next time!

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

52 Lists // Thirteen

How is March practically over? (Answer :: time, I know, but still...)

I have had a wonderful week playing in London with all multitude of friends. M and I finally tried Patty & Bun on Tuesday and not a single photograph was taken of the food, despite it definitely being the best burger I have tasted after searching high and low. It makes either no sense at all or complete sense, depending on which way you look at it, that I took photos of burgers that weren't up to scratch and didn't when it came to the winner. Just get yourselves down to Patty & Bun and pick an odd hour on a weekday (but not Mondays) so that you minimise queuing time.

The rest of spring will see more of the above, given that it is the Easter holidays in less than a week. Spring you've been a delight so far. In honour of that wonderfulness, you'll all be treated to some long overdue Paris posts next week...I hope you're excited!


This is list #13 in the 52 Lists project, run by Emma over at Made in Hunters. Link me up if you're also taking part.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The dilemma of emotion

We condition ourselves to fear any emotion which does not give us joy. We try to reject sadness and hurt like they are poison to our existence. We can't bear to feel anything other than default neutrality or lucky happiness. When given a situation that churns up our insides we seek to fix that turmoil, extinguish the rage, and replace it as soon as possible. We are scared to feel how we truly feel in those dark moments and attempt suppression of natural human emotions. We don't want to feel sad, we don't want to feel guilt, we don't want to feel upset, we don't want to be hurt. Yet despite all this non-wanting, something inside us needs to engage in those feelings or else where do they come from? Something erupts from our hearts out of necessity, and has to flow through our veins to tantalise the body, make us feel numb or upset or angry. The same thing which brings joy or elation and our ability to latch onto those positive threads, applies to riding out the unhappy. But the fear? Why do we have a fear of it? We try to combat the very feelings which add to our being, which balance our soul and smooth our edges, give us the gift of perspective and adapt our attitude and resolve.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Chocolate Making Class

Aren't creative afternoons the best? I've had a little more time for arts and crafts since the end of exams and really it would be good if I could learn to make time for it during the exam period in future given how relaxing it can be. I was very kindly treated to a Sunday of chocolate-making a few weeks back and as you can imagine, it was ever so fun. Was it messy? Yes. Did my camera appreciate the specks of chocolate it is still dusted in? Probably not. Was it the perfect way to unwind and catch up with a friend? 100%. Oh and that little kitten creature (the last chocolate button) was award-winning, I'll have you know. Probably the first time I've ever won something outside of school. The other major thing that sticks out is having the best Isle of Wight project in Year 6, for which I won a keyring. This time my prize was chocolate. I'm pretty sure you can guess which I am more proud of...

I'm sure there are lots of these types of classes around but ours was MyChocolate in London and lasted around 2.5 hours. It isn't the cheapest activity but you do learn a lot and get to make plenty of chocolate to take home with you (especially if you're an award-winning button maker).

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

b & w #4

I - Covent Garden on a wintry evening
II - Westminster Abbey
III - Making space for the sun


You can find the rest of my b&w series here.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

52 Lists // Twelve

Simple things very often cause realisations. This simple list, a product of having a small bedroom and a compulsion to fill every millimetre, probably highlights that I have too much by my bed. No wonder my dreams are cluttered and vivid.


This is list #12 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters. Link me up if you're also taking part.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Today is Iranian New Year

Happy Iranian New Year! Do you like the eggs I painted? 
If you're wondering what on earth is going on, please have a peek at my post here
I'm off to celebrate with my family and eat the best food in the world for the next few days so I'll catch you on the flip side!
In the meantime, tell me about your favourite time of year :)
Norooz Mobarak!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

B and M's Kitchen Party // Two // featuring guests and Indian theme

There are some weekends where all you need is good food and company and allow yourself the space and time to forget about whatever else you've got going on. How perfect - I can hear you shout - those are the ideal conditions for a Kitchen Party!

Why yes, clever reader, you are correct. A Kitchen Party was just what the doctor ordered and in times of trouble, she emphasised, that the Kitchen Party ought not to just be any old Kitchen Party; it needs to be bigger and bolder than before.

Enter B and M's Kitchen Party featuring FRIENDS and a THEME. In Come Dine with Me style, I paired up with my good friend, G, to prepare a three course meal for M and J. (Not MJ. But imagine if it was...that'd be weird).

Anyhow, we tootled off from the rules slightly and eliminated the guessing ingredients part of the Kitchen Party guidance notes, and instead all three courses were a surprise. The only thing the boys knew was that the night would be Indian themed.

After hours of slaving away in the kitchen, the boys arrived and were greeted with a few bubbles and a *ehem* beautifully assembled lotus flower poppadum tower. Oh and our Indian outfits!

I must admit, I had to google how to put on a sari and even then it still took us about 20 minutes to figure it out but looooook at how lovely they are. G had picked them up in Tooting for a previous Indian event and I was thrilled to be able to wear one. The detail on them is so pretty and I hadn't realised that I could actually wear pink and not explode so hooray! It also gave me a chance to wear the sari top my sister brought me back from Sri Lanka last summer so all in all I was happy with the dress code.

The first course was chilli and lime chicken skewers and poppadums with an onion and cucumber salad, mango chutney and yoghurt seasoned with dried mint and shallots. (That last bit was a bit Iranian instead but yoghurt is my favourite)

The main course was a lamb balti which was cooked in a slow cooker for a few hours to make the meat extra tender and really bring out the flavours of all the spices we added. Oh and a little side portion of saag aloo.

The dessert was where the real creativity began to flow. A couple of months back, G and I went to a chocolate-making class where we learnt about tempering chocolate, playing with ganache and making truffles. We decided to put our knowledge to the test and make a chocolate creation like no other for dessert. 

Ladies and gents, I present to you orange flavoured chocolate sprinkled with crushed candy canes and served with vanilla ice-cream and marshmallows. Mmmm mmm MMMMMM.

M went so far as to say that it was the best dessert he had EVER had. The boy is enthusiastic by nature, sure, but we'll take that as a fair representation of our efforts. 

Wonderful! In case you're wondering, by way of entertainment, we provided an upbeat playlist, games of pool and animal onesies. Sure we veered off the Indian theme slightly but this is a Kitchen Party where rules are always broken (see previous post).

Anyhow, we were awarded 9.5/10 as there was too little entertainment between serving the poppadums and the chicken starters so apologies for slaving away in the kitchen to deliver a WARM first course. Goodness me! 

Next time, it's the boys' turn. Will they beat our incredible score? Stay tuned!

Are you having a Kitchen Party any time soon? See here for the "rules" :)

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Baking with Beeta // No bake edition // Rocky Road

This recipe is one of my favourite types - it involves minimal possibility of burning anything. Oh and it tastes pretty incredible and is the perfect thing to take to a friend's when you pop over for food, especially when last time you took them over-baked fairy cakes. (That's obviously a story about somebody else...uh hurrr hurr hurr) 

So today, followers, I give to you Rocky Roads ft. zero fruit and loads of sweets. Sure, they aren't the most handsome of desserts out there, but trust me on this one - they taste ridiculously good. And go pretty well with vanilla ice-cream too. Or a cup of tea. Or both if you fancy a mixed temperature experience.

To make a box of these, you will need:

- 300g dark chocolate (Bourneville is yummiest), broken up into squares
- 100g butter, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 140g rich tea biscuits, roughly crushed
- any many marshmallows as you fancy
- a couple of chocolate bars e.g. Twix, Mars, Turkish Delight, Malteasers variations


1. Line a cake-tin/tray with greaseproof paper or foil to avoid too much mess.
2. Melt butter, golden syrup and chocolate together in a pan, on a low heat. Stir lots of avoid the chocolate going crazy.
3. Once smooth, leave the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Stir the biscuits and sweets into the pan until well mixed.
5. Pour into the tin and spread the mixture to roughly level it.
6. Chill until hard, then cut into pieces.

Original recipe found here.

I'm pretty sure you could put whatever you wanted to in yours. Let me know if you come up with any exciting variations.


This post ties in quite nicely with this fortnight's #2014BloggerChallenge which was the topic of Food, so consider this Challenge Number Six.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

A reading list for you

Croatian kit enjoying the sunshine last summer
Today I'm spending the day blogging. M keeps promising me that after x more minutes of rugby we'll go for a run outside but until then....if that magical time ever be able to set time aside for this and not feel bad about it is a luxury, I'm sure you'll agree. It feels wonderful not to have to worry that I should be reading a textbook instead and although I will be getting back to all of that soon, today is not a day for ANY of that. So I though I would share a little selection of blogs, articles et al that I have enjoyed recently and hope you will like too.

The Philosophers' Mail is a daily vitamin to counterbalance all the rubbish we feed our brains. I like this article.

Thank goodness these photos were dreamed up and created.

Jo put together this piece on ways to be a little kinder to yourself.

Tori wrote this wonderful piece for the Creative Quarter.

The next time I feel extra creative (and patient) I will attempt this.

Kathy's writing always makes me laugh. Including this piece on things she's not amazing at...

Bella's blog has been making me smile so much recently. This post really tickled me!

I spent a whole evening read through Helena's photography blog. Isn't it wonderful?

Sally demonstrates why her blog is just a forever glorious space.

This plaque installed by Tony Benn in the Houses of Parliament is excellent.

Book-wise, I am still reading "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith and I'll tell you what, it is awesome. It is eye-opening and hilarious all at once. 

What are you reading these days?

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Friday, March 14, 2014

52 Lists // Eleven

Good evening! I am back from Paris and have over 700 photos to work my way through. I can't wait! For now, here's this week's list. There are many more things that I must have forgotten to add since my Pinterest boards are always full of inspiration for arts and crafts, but these are the ones at the forefront of my mind. Are you planning to do any making of any kind this weekend? I'm celebrating a friend's birthday in Covent Garden tonight. Also, I brought back lots of cheese from France so Mum and I are going to have baked Camembert on Sunday. Apologies if you were in my carriage on the Eurostar on Tuesday evening - I was the tourist with the shopping bag full of French groceries. Whoops. 


This is list #11 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters. Link me up if you're also taking part.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Colour Stimulus // Blue

Stage One:

Stage Two:
10-step word association with "blue":
1. bluest light
2. Bloc Party
3. Reading Festival
4. youth
5. parks
6. ice-cream
7. beach
8. waves
9. Geography lessons
10. projects

Stage Three:
My favourite blue thing:
The deep blue that the sky sometimes turns at night or first thing in the morning, when it's almost black but it's just like the sky decided it wanted to be royal for an evening, or it wanted to complement the stars a little more.

All photos found via Pinterest.

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Monday, March 10, 2014


...this photo happened when I couldn't see a thing on my phone and was trying to sort out the brightness. And it turned out to capture the essence of those bizarrely beautiful moments that morning perfectly.

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Saturday, March 08, 2014

52 Lists // Ten

We all know what it is which we need to do in order to live more peacefully with ourselves, or to quieten the destructive thoughts of the mind. It is easy to make a list like this because we all recognise what we are lacking and are critical of our endeavours. Putting the above into practice is a challenge when we are accustomed to the norm. But putting such attempts at the forefront of your mind is probably a good place to start.


This is list #10 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters
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Thursday, March 06, 2014

I'm going to Paris!

My exams finished today. HOORAY! As soon as I am done celebrating with friends, I am hopping on the Eurostar to visit my friend, A, in Paris! I am so excited! The only other time I have been to the French capital is around a decade ago on a holiday with my family. It was beautiful but ever so hot, and we dipped ourselves into every fountain on our way. This time, I'll be catching the end of winter and spying the signs of spring. What's your experience of Paris? And do you have any must-see/do recommendations for me?

All photos from here.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Taking Stock #6

So this is my cat caught mid-yawn. Don't tell me I don't capture my subjects' most flattering angles! 

T A K I N G // S T O C K

Making: my folders colourful with sticky tabs
Cooking: halloumi (does that count as cooking??)
Drinking: a gazillion cups of tea a day
Reading: textbooks
Wanting: exams to be DONE
Looking: exhausted
Playing: with mr meowers
Deciding: to make plans
Wishing: I had more energy
Enjoying: the trees, flowers and sky on a nice day on campus
Waiting: for celebrations
Liking: how quiet the early early train is
Wondering: who what when where how
Loving: listening to old albums
Pondering: law stuff
Considering: summer plans
Watching: silly things like Dragons' Den and Tangled, but also Tough Young Teachers
Hoping: my exams have gone better than they feel like they have

Marvelling: 6.30am skies
Needing: a break and some love
Smelling: the incredible creation that is Original Source chocolate and mint shower gel
Wearing: revision clothes
Following: The Philosopher's Mail
Noticing: little flowers
Knowing: more, but not enough
Thinking: all the time
Feeling: drained
Admiring: M
Sorting: out folders, books, piles of paper 
Buying: train tickets, dinner
Getting: excited for plans that don't involve textbooks!
Bookmarking: articles I need to read, DIYs I need to attempt, HTML instructions, photography blogs
Disliking: not earning
Opening: a new pack of highlighters. So smooth
Giggling: at Percy the penguin
Feeling: like I can't be honest about how I'm feeling
Snacking: on the hour
Coveting: a pair of trainers which will go with anything for normal everyday use (any ideas?)
Helping: barely.
Hearing: silence.


You can find previous editions here. And originally found here. Are you taking part?

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge // Five

Topic: Nails

via Pinterest

I was never going to do a review of nail varnish or a nail art tutorial. I toyed with the idea of giving you a list of facts about nails (akin to the skin one) but I'm not sure I'm the writer for that, nor you the audience. Instead, in as brief as possible a post can be, here are the two occasions on which I have ever had my nails done in a salon.

1 // for May Ball at the end of sixth form, with my Mum.

2 // for my 21st birthday party (joint with M), with my best friend.

Oh and if, on the off chance, you needed a little pick-me-up, may I direct you to this all-time classic. You're welcome.


This post is part of the #2014bloggerchallenge hosted here. This fortnight's post has caught me a bit off-guard in among exams and revision so this isn't as abstract a post as I would have liked to attempt for a topic that is not really very me or my blog. Anyhow, you can find my take on the other topics of this series here. Enjoy!

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