Sometimes it's necessary to be a little silly... it's good for the soul ya know! Happy Easter from the Beales.
image from here
This is how I feel right now... literally, just like chicken little, running around in circles shouting that the sky is falling, the sky is falling... at least it is in my world. Sorry, I'm not meaning to sound all dramatic but this is the best way to describe how I'm feeling. We've gotten some pretty frustrating news from this whole visa process today and let's just say, we might be here (in the UK) longer than we anticipated... and it brakes my heart for many reasons. I don't really want to get into it here... and I think I just need some time to let it all sink in and calmly think about what the next step should be for hubs and I. So please excuse this little outburst as I need to have some sort dramatic outlet somewhere... so as I was saying- "the sky is falling, the sky is falling!"
***Today I am thankful for the cutest illustration that happens to go perfectly with my feelings at the moment... and that's a stretch!"
With endless cold fronts, the temperature dropping, and snow threatening all around, I find the idea of Spring time to be a very far away notion. So as I pile on the layers to go outside... and then quickly scramble out of them once inside because of blazing radiators, it's nice to indulge a little online with thoughts as to what I would like to be wearing if the weather ever permitted... sigh.
One of my favorite stores ever is Madewell and can you can probably see why above. I instantly fall in love with everything they have to offer... season after season... and this one was no exception. For the every day hustle and bustle, I like be comfortable while still feeling stylish and this look has quickly become my go to in outfits... a uniform of sorts! For Spring time, a nice punch of color in the form of a classic button down (one of my all time favorite silhouettes) is perfect. Pair it with some patterned skinnies and flats... because let's face it, who can honestly run around town in heels? Add some no fuss gold accessories, sunnies, and a large carry all tote... and I'm off!
Sharing this as my IFB Project #88: What's your spring uniform? :)
***Today I am thankful for the chance to at least "window shop" online... I can at least pretend that Spring is coming***
1. touching my toes 2. buried treasures 3. someone found their razor! 4. hair styles by tia 5. just spraying some m&m's gold 6. baking and drinking wine! 7. rainbow batter 8. pot of gold rainbow cake 9. editing for the blog 10. roses in the setting light 11. making a rainbow 12. me & my rainbow 13. a flicker of hope 14. just hanging at the gym 15. ice cold bath thanks to crossfit! 16. breakfast of champions 17. how we make up 18. on to the next holiday! 19. doing a little dying 20. that's my name
The way I've been walking (if you could call it that) all week thanks to some hard core cross fit training and some very shocked not to mention annoyed muscles... muscles to me- "oh thanks for thinking of us when you decided to jump start your fitness at the deep end after months of lounging about... thanks!" I look like Bambi or a toddler learning to walk... and not in an adorable or cute way either... When hub's razor stopped working mid beard shave due to the battery dieing... and he insisted on showing everyone his half shaved face... weirdo! Trying to dye brown eggs... because there are NO WHITE EGGS in the whole of Ringwood... possibly England... I know, I know... sounds crazy but it's true... reason no. 729 why I can't wait to get back on home soil... But I didn't let those pesky British brown eggs beat, no I didn't! I took me about seven trials and errors... a lot of researching the internet and tweaking of my formula... but by gosh, I did it! And for a brief moment in time, I felt like an evil scientist <awkward!>
Getting into the gym with hubs, L, and R (trainer extraordinaire!)... well ok, maybe not so awesome at the time when every single cell in my body is aching with pain and my brain is screaming at me to stop... but afterwards, man is it rewarding... well only if you ignore the fact that I can barely move and hurts to laugh, sneeze, or cry... but awesome none the less... How colorful St. Patrick's day festivities have made the house... I know it's March and in some parts of the world Spring is awakening and what not, but here it's still cold, grey, and rainy so these rainbows have really helped lift my spirits... plus they just make me smile... Scented candles... just because... Icy baths that make for intense pain and cold... enough to make your limbs go numb (which they did) and then staying in them for ten minutes... wait did I mean awesome or awkward? Well the ice bath itself, not too awesome... but the results... less muscle soreness and stiffness which equaled to less pain and awkward movements by little old me... well that was just awesome and yes I do think it's worth those ten minutes of suffering...
***Today I am thankful for these pesky British brown eggs... keeping me on my toes!**
image via my instagram
The Liebster Award... I was nominated by the lovely Hannah of Miss Hannah Marie (thank you!) a few weeks back and am finally getting around to posting about it. I did some research on the award itself and found a few contradictions as to the exact number of questions, answers, and followers a blog should have to be in the running for this. So I'm going to rock the boat with this award and make up my own rules! Here goes nothing...
My Liebster Award Rules
- Tell us five random facts about yourself... the more interesting and random, the better...
- Answer the taggers five questions as truthfully and witty as possible...
- Come up with a set of five new questions... think beyond the obvious...
- Pass them along to five bloggers of your choosing... big or small, it don't matter!
My Five Random Facts
- I can never get my eyebrows exactly the same and it pains me so! I once had them threaded to near perfection... but t must have been a fluke because I swear it's never happened again...
- At the ripe old age of almost 28 (yep were feeling confident about this again guys!) I'm happy to report that I am still pretty flexible, can touch my toes, do a split on BOTH SIDES, and touch my tongue to my nose... yes, even my tongue is flexible!
- I used to call hubs "buttons" as a nick name back in our summer camp days when we first met... for about the first three months of our relationship to be exact (cringe!)... but in my defense, so did everyone else at camp so yea...
- Hubs taught me how to wink with both eyes (I could only do the right eye prior to his teachings) and now I can switch wink back and forth with ease like nobody's business...
- I have been known to compulsively tidy up... my mess or others... and without even realizing it too! I simply can't help myself and before I know it, your spices have been consolidated and rearranged by type...
Five Of Hannah's Questions
- What is your dream job? My dream job would be creating pretty things to make people happy in all mediums imaginable... so if you know of the job, I'm looking!
- Favorite movie or TV show? Let's go with TV show... and if you know me, you know it's F.R.I.E.N.D.S! I love that show to death and back, use it as reference with life's daily hiccups, and own the entire box set!
- What did you want to be when you grew up? I was never that girl with a set job in mind... I remember always changing my mind and even today, I still don't really know what I want to be when I eventually grow up...
- If you could have lunch with anybody, who would it be and why? Well right now since I see hubs all the time, it would definitely be my sister (little k) because I miss her to pieces!
- Favorite food? That's such a tough one! Once upon a time my (honest) answer would have been french fries but now there are just too many options... sushi, curry, crab, pizza, cereal, chinese, all the cheeses, bread... you get the picture!
My Five Questions For You!
- What's the weirdest dream you have ever had and what do you think it meant?
- If the zombies attacked, what would be your game plan?
- What is the lamest joke you know?
- Who would play you in your life movie?
- What random talent are you secretly (or not so secretly) proud of?
And My Nominations Are:
- Anna @ In Honor Of Design
- Natalie @ Nat The Fat Rat
- Mara @ M Loves M
- Vicki @ The Magpie Girl
- Megan @ Across The Pond
***Today I am thankful for the lovely pink roses that are currently brightening up my desk... they smell like Spring***
A post of the musically inclined might make it's appearance... you know, just trying to keep you on your toes!
But enough of the rambling... moving on to another easy DIY project using my endless supply of twine (check out my heart bunting!) and some lovely streamers. You may have guessed based on yesterday's post, my love for rainbows may have also influenced this one. I think it might have also been influenced by the fact that the weather here has been absolutely grey and horrible and so I felt that a little color was desperately needed. It's amazing how a few strands of colored streamers can literally brighten up a room... along with my spirits. I have a feeling this garland will be lingering in the kitchen well into April.
- purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red crepe paper streamers
- Cut 24" strips of streamer in each color, as many times as you need for your space. I did three streamers per color, 18 streamers total.
- Arrange them in the order you want to tape them down in. I opted for the traditional (from left to right) purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, but feel free to play around with the order.
- Place the twine going across the evenly spaced out strips of streamer, one inch from the top, and tape them down.
- Fold the top of each streamer over the exposed twine and tape down again. This will help make sure the streamers are attached firmly and stay in place.
- Tape the ends of the twine to a wall of your choosing and ta-da... it's that easy!
***Today I am thankful for my mini indoors rainbow... together we will fight the winter blues!***
Happy (belated) St. Patrick's Day guys! Hope everyone celebrated in their own special way... Irish or not. I'm not of Irish decent (that I know of) but it's another one of my favorite holidays to celebrate... along with Xmas, Valentines, Halloween, Fourth of July... ok I like to celebrate all of them really. Anytime there's a need to get festive and spirited of any sort, count me in! I had been amazed at all the rainbow cakes I had seen floating around Pinterest and blogs but always felt intimidated by them. So why I decided to take it one step further by filling the middle with "gold" (not real gold, but actually just crunchy m&m's) is beyond me. But I did and I'm really glad too. I knew I wanted to try something a bit different for this holiday. Green and shamrocks, while really cute, seemed to be everywhere. So I thought I'd take the rainbow route... you know, with Leprechauns comes rainbows... and therefore gold treasure... get it?!? So this did end up being a tricky one and I'm still not sure if it was the cake recipe or perhaps just my execution (maybe I can't drink wine and bake?) but it wasn't smooth sailing that's for sure! At this point I'd like to say a special thanks to mum-in-law P for suggesting to place the baked cakes back in the oven after they had uncooked themselves (I mean really?) while in the fridge... thanks to dad-in-law R for aiding in the scraping of cakes off plates with minimal damage to them... and thanks to hubs who helped me frost this cake turned cookie (from baking twice) back together again. You guys rock! Oh and in case you were wondering, the cookie-cake still turned out really delicious and yes, the compulsive need to re-do this cake and get it 100% right is there... I just may need a little bit of time to gather some strength.
for pot of gold
- m&m's (I used the ones with crunch)
- edible gold spray
- 2 sticks butter, room temp.
- 2 1/3 cup sugar
- 5 egg whites, room temp. (save those yolks for an omelet!)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cup milk, warmed up for 30 seconds in the microwave
- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple gel food coloring
- edible green glitter
- 6 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups vanilla sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
for pot of gold
- Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and spread the m&m's out evenly.
- Shake the edible gold spray can before using, then spray an even coat over them.
- Let dry for 10 minutes and spray another coat, repeating as many times as necessary to get the covering you want (mine still have a hint of coloring showing through with a gold sheen).
- Flip the m&m's over and repeat the previous step. I did five coats on each side.
- Grease six 9" cake tins with butter and line the bottoms with non stick paper, making sure to grease the top again. I only have two so I just reused them. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, cream the sugar and butter together, then add the egg whites in, one at a time. Add in the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.
- Divide the batter between six small bowls, using a measuring cup to make sure they are all equal.
- Whisk the gel food coloring into each bowl, I used the whole tube for an extra vibrant look!
- Pour batters into the ready pans and bake at 350 degrees for 15- 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool down in their tins on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before taking them out. The recipe suggests refrigerating to cool quickly but I found it made the cakes still to the plates and I had to rebake mine to get them off. This altered the texture to more of a cookie cake than a spongy cake... but hey, that's ok with me!
- I decided to make my rainbow cake even more festive by including a "pot of gold" in it. To do this, simply cut a hole in the two middle cake layers (green and yellow) using a cookie cutter or in my case, a glass and a knife. I stacked mine in the following order from bottom to top: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red with frosting in between each layer.
- Top with edible green glitter and extra gold m&m's... enjoy!
- In a medium size pan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth.
- Place the pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes thick and starts to bubble, about 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and place grease proof paper directly on the mixture. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Using an electric mixer on medium, beat the butter fro three minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add in the sugar, beating for another three minutes until fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Add in the cooled milk mixture and continue to beat on medium to high speed for five minutes or until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color.
- Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes exactly... the recipe stresses this as very important so I timed it!
- Use immediately for best result. Spread a thick layer in between each cake and then use the rest to cover the sides and top.
"Today I am thankful for such a colorful holiday... thanks St. Patrick!***
image via my instagram
Guys, it's been two years in London now! Well technically it was two years yesterday... and we're not really in London anymore but I thought Happy Two Years Mostly In London And Occasionally In Ringwood sounded a bit lengthy. So just go with it k?
I have been thinking about this post in particular for a while... what I hoped to be writing come two years... what I hoped would be different from year one... and now that it's here, I'm still not sure what to say or how I feel. I can honestly say that year two was better, but not necessarily any easier. I think I got smarter or wiser about the way a dealt with things. Perhaps I also just got used to certain facts... like the fact that finding a job was next to impossible and I made peace with doing free lance projects for little to no pay just to be involved. I learned that at the end of the day, doing what I love made me happy regardless of pay and that working just for the money wasn't for me (I called hubs crying during my lunch break on day one of a temp telemarketing job... DAY ONE!) so now I know that I suppose. I learned that taking the time to get out of my head and really see the world around me makes me really happy... so I did just that and got lost in the city for hours documenting every minute in every form imaginable and feel like I really lived this city you know? And what's even better, other people have said they feel like they too know the city just through my pictures... my view of what London has to offer and that's just great. I learned that reaching out to people wasn't so scary, but that it's also ok retreat to my duvet when I feel the need. That some days being happy would come easily and that some days they would be nearly impossible... and that's ok too.
If year 1 was about struggling to pin point and identify what the problems were... year two then was most certainly about trying to fix them and learning to live with the ones I couldn't. What's even more ironic (I think, hubs always says I use the word incorrectly) is that after all the turmoil of the past two years, I wasn't even supposed to be here for this anniversary... I should already be in L.A. and that's a different source of grief for me so we won't get into it.
So the day has come and gone and I feel a bit indifferent to be honest. Part of me wanted to celebrate while part of me kept thinking "I shouldn't even be here" and so the inner battle continues on... or at least until we leave the country (I hope). I wish I could say that year two was sufficient enough to cancel out year one, but it wasn't. I wish I could say that thanks to year two I'll be leaving with a completely undamaged opinion for London, but I can't. I think when I look back and reflect on my time here, I'll always remember the struggles and how it's been (so far) one of the hardest parts of my life... but I also hope to remember the beauty and the good times that came along with London because there were many... and for that I know I am stronger now.
***Today I am thankful for this blog... for better or worse, it documents my time in the UK and that's cool***
I have a little secret... I sometimes (often) day dream about having very pale pastel pink hair. I don't know why... or what it is that attracts me to the color, but I just love it! There's just one teensy weensy little problem, I have very dark brown hair. That means that in order to achieve the really light shade that I'm after, I'd have to bleach my hair... more than a few times before I could even attempt the pink. I'm afraid that all the bleaching would end up leaving my hair feeling like straw aka not sexy! Not to mention extremely high maintenance, which I'm just not about. But in my little dream world (humor me here), my idea of perfect hair would effortless and pink... oh and frizz free!
Sharing this as my IFB Project #86: What's your hair inspiration? :)
In collaboration with Fekkai
***Today I am thankful for my imagination... and maybe photoshop, together I'll finally get to see myself with pale pink hair***
1. sporting my new running jacket 2. cheeky run with hubs & mum in-law 3. hiding... 4. rain drops & showers 5. ringwood brewery tour 6. a few malts 7. fermenting nicely 8. in storage 9. me & all the beers! 10. my true calling in life 11. beales night out 12. beer flavored ice cream 13. little dare devil 14. coffee for two 15. poor hubs 16. winter with a hint of spring
The fact that it's Friday... again! Anyone else feel like the weeks are just flying by and we're almost at mid March and still have no signs of a visa?!? Maybe it's just me with that latter part but still, hello Spring break?! Which would mean that Spring would have to actually arrive in this country and weather forecast says for a dip in temperature... help me I'm a wilting tropical flower... next subject... That I have to cross my eyes and loose focus (sort of) to see the very fine rain that's falling today... at a mere glance it looks like no rain... but then simply do my trick (or look at a puddle) and its actually coming down quite steadily... Being called "girl" at the end of the Ringwood brewery tour by the older gentleman as I served pints... but I went with it seeing as I was the only "girl" behind the bar... that and that I really loved pulling pints! Trying to explain to L (the niece) what germs are... it gets really tricky trying to explain even the simplest of things to kids sometimes... to which she replied in a slightly horrified voice "I ate germs?!?" umm well yea but not exactly... oh boy, here we go again... It's ok now, we cleared that one up and now she just goes around saying "naughty germs!"... haha kids! Can't wait till I can utterly confuse my own some day ;)
Coffee... a bit of a random one but non the truer... it makes the world go round and me a very happy girl... When friends ask for my expert design eye on projects very near and dear to them... I always feel so thankful when I can contribute and be a part of something special... Runs with the mum in-law... it may sound strange but I feel like we always have the best chats during those runs... aside from the panting and gasps of air in between my words... but the content you know, somehow comes out a lot more pure and less filtered than at any other time... could be the fact that I literally have no time but for real answers and breathing... Officially being a contributor on the Bubble and Speak blog... so many ideas already overflowing... can.not.wait! Working behind the bar... I absolutely loved pulling pints for my fellow tour peers... they loved me... I loved them... and I got to top myself up as often as I liked so that was most definitely a work perk! Influencing the girls accents and vocabulary... I will make them American just you wait and see... I now have them asking for cookies and saying coffee with a Boston accent... just for fun you know. When hubs hears our wedding song come on my I tunes shuffle and insists we slow dance to it... well more like slow stand and hold each other while whispering mushy things because he's still not feeling to hot... but I'd kiss those germs any old day!
***Toady I am thankful for bright pop of color on my ring finger... if nothing else, it's a reminder that somewhere out there, people are enjoying Spring and it's coming***
On those few and rare days that it's sunny, nothing is more breathtaking than the morning light that shyly creeps through the cracks of the blinds. As a blogger and freelancer, my workspace is constantly changing and these days I find myself calling a retro 70's fold out table my desk. How amazing is that yellow ziggity-zag pattern... and yes, it's all over the table top! I usually try to surround myself with pretty things... inspiring things... things that I am happy to look at for hours on end as the work hours stretch out in front of me.
Since most of my stuff is neatly packed up in a shipping crate somewhere, ready to be shipped over seas, I'm down to the bare basics over here. Decorating my desk these days you will see bunches of flowers... whatever is in bloom at the moment. Standing delicately next them you might find my Chanel perfume... a classic scent given to me by my mom, I find beauty in the memories as well as the timeless elegance of the bottle. A few other random items that could be found sprinkled on my desk top are whatever jewelery I had been wearing the day before... some studs, the odd necklace, even my engagement rings from time to time. The same goes for makeup... it could be my favorite shade of lipstick, a few brushes, or the next shade of nail polish I intend to use.
The key is to make me want to get out of bed and come do some work surrounded by my treasures. On the odd sunny day like this one, seeing the early morning light bounce off of the various objects scattered across the desk top fill me with such inspiration... inspiration that I try to capture in photographs and that I carry with me into my projects. Call me a simple girl, but I truly believe you can find inspiration in anything if you simply look hard enough. I'm thinking about adding a scented candle to the mix... vanilla (it's my favorite scent!)... there's something so soothing about flickering light as well.
Sharing this as my IFB Project #85: Where do you blog? :)
***Today I am thankful for my make shift desk... lacking beauty it is not***
1. milk hearts, not just for v-day! 2. knocked out 3. dabbling in some editorial stuff 4. cake in a mug 5. out & about in ringwood 6. vintage treasures 7. shh we're hiding 8. longest 2 miles ever! 9. after dinner milk 10. the sweetest thanks 11. it's all furs & hoods 12. shadows of a pair of lovers 13. chilly nights call for hot chocolate 14. double date 15. his & hers pink hats 16. portfolio stuff 17. shopping finds18. friday things 19. sneak peek of a future style post! 20. a reluctant photographer
Me flying through the air at what felt like lightening speed before rolling on my back and finally coming to a halt against a building... oh did I mention I was sprinting with R and tripped over mine/his legs and so there you go... airborne all the way! But what was really awkward was how it felt like it was happening in slow motion while it was actually happening in the blink of an eye and no one witnessed it... Although it did hurt and I got my first skinned knee in like over a decade, I kind of wish I could have seen it happen from an out of body perspective... I bet it was a good one! Obviously the fact that hubs and I are still in London... a whole month after we had expected to be States side... but I'd rather not talk about it... Trying to do some style shoots in the absolute most frigid of temperatures... I'm talk bone chilling, teeth clattering, involuntary body shaking cold! So if I look slightly awkward or like I'm uncomfortable in some of the pictures... it's probably because I am...
Hubs insisting on going into a charity shop we had just only been in the day before... and finding the rarest of the Hornsea pottery I've been collecting... the egg cups AND their wooden holder... a slight pause for your oooohs and ahhhhs... I know! Let's just say a certain someone may have gotten a lot of extra points for that gem of a find... Charity shopping in this little town in general... let's just say that ringwoods trash is literally my treasure... that I will be happily taking with me to L.A. Running on the treadmill for the first time in years (that's not it, wait for it) and NOT falling off of it like I have in the past... for serious guys, treadmills scare me like no other... it was a good day in my book! Having the perfect double date and some much needed love from K... man I'm gonna miss that girl... Receiving the sweetest (literally) thank you in the mail... in the form of cookies (biscuits) that spelled it out... snail mail and cookies... need I say more? The amazing finds, not to mention deals that I found while shopping with hubs! Oh and then there are the pants... the most perfect pair of shiny black skinnies that hug me in all the right places and feel like butter... that are normally priced around £100 and I had found for £70 and fell in love with but had to let go because they were still out of our budget... only to be reunited with them again and this time in the clearance for a measly £34!!! I nearly fainted when I saw them... the last pair... and in my size! It was jean fate...
***Today I am thankful for the amazing shopping luck I seem to have had lately... I hope it stays for awhile!***