Friday I’m In Love #4

Yeah, okay, it’s been while. Give a girl a break, I’ve been too busy getting employee of the month and watching all of Game Of Thrones. So let me off, okay? Also, when you find out your own mother has a tendency to hawk your blog, it puts you off (I jest, hi Mum, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!). But I figured that since it’s my birthday next week, I’d give my loved ones some ideas of what is going on in my life to tailor their present buying accordingly. Another joke, honest…

TV: As mentioned above, I’m binge watching Game Of Thrones, mainly to catch up with everyone I know. Sadly this plan keeps getting derailed by every other TV show I watch finishing in this vicinity (I’m looking at you Castle and The Mindy Project). But as I write this, I’m up to season 3 of GOT. Nearly there! I’ve also been doing a retro binge watch by starting Buffy all over again. Oh those 90s fashions have got me all in a fizz…

Image

 

 

I’ve also been watching (and doing, I must add) Blogilates to encourage myself to lose the weight that so desperately needs to come off. I’m going to start clean eating come the end of this month too, I will look like Jennifer Lawrence by the time I head to America!

Things to do: Tonight I get to do what I’ve been counting down to for ages, it’s Courtney Love night! I’ve always had a fondness for Miss Love, encouraged in no small part my aforementioned mother dearest, so I’m particularly giddy about this. I still remember when she bought me America’s Sweetheart for my birthday and tried to encourage me to cut up my sister’s Barbie pjs to make a statement top. Bless my mum. I’m also headed to Alton Towers next week, and rounding birthday week off with a trip to London to hang with my dear Natasha and the little Turtle. I’m too excited to take him to SeaLife!

Wants: This can also be affectionately renamed as my Birthday wish list! Since I’m in holiday shopping mode, let’s start there. I’ve just picked up an excellent bag on eBay for next to nothing as my favourite vintage one broke recently and then spied these super cute sandals to match it. This does mean I have to be on the ball pedicure wise though!

Image

 

Who can go on holiday abroad without some denim shorts? Considering I will actually be skinny enough to wear shorts them when I’m over there (I will be, believe me), and these are a pretty damn perfect pair. I’m already picturing them with the above sandals and band tees, or with a pair of Vans and yet more band tees in this countries colder climate. They come in black too, which is pretty damn pleasing.

Image

There are also plenty of additions I would like to go in my ever growing Tatty Devine collection, as its the only jewellery I wear now. Whoops! This LOVE necklace matched the ring that I got recently from the Tatty Devine Lucky Dip swapshop and has been reduced to just £10.50. It’s like they knew it was my birthday!

image1xl

I can’t have a birthday list without some vinyl, and the one I want is pretty special. I’ve long had an obsession with American Football/everything the Kinsellas have ever done, which has been understood by very few people, but I cannot turn down this deluxe edition of their record (it’s streaming on Pitchfork, which you all should listen to, definitely). I’m equally jealous that I’m not in America while they do their reunion shows, and I’ll just have to cope with the fact that I can go see OWLS in September instead. Giddy is not the word.

Image

And finally, I had to include a book, not that I don’t have enough already as I learnt last week. This particular book has been on my radar for a while now, I mean why would Emily not want a book full of pictures of 80s indie boys?! I think this will only worsen my weird crush on Bobby Gillespie. Just look at a young version of him… so yeah, Birthday Fairy I would like A Scene In Between please!

ZUT_WEB_PrimalScream_BobbyGillespie

Music: This is a lot of exactly as you’d imagine.  A lot of Courtney Love, especially this. Yes lot’s of that. Oh and a sneaky lot of The Strokes considering what teases they have been on Twitter all week. I’ve almost re-evaluated Angles I’ve listened to them that much…

Advertisements

Friday I’m In Love #3

Round of applause here, Emily has managed to reach week 3 of a feature! Okay, this may be 4pm in the afternoon but I had a nightshift last night and I haven’t slept yet! So here we go, another quick round up of the current loves of my life!

TV: I’m back to binge-watching My Mad Fat Diary, especially with the excellent 4OD previews they are running, meaning I’m ahead of everyone I know that watches it! The show excellently manages to capture the angst of teen life and imbue it all within a 90s soundtrack (I was the person that pointed out ‘Connection’ by Elastica was playing in Starbucks last night!), and is far more realistic than most teen dramas nowadays. It sadly finishes next week, and even though I’ve already seen the episode, I’ll be tuning in to say a fond goodbye to a truly inspiring character. Tissues at the ready. Thankfully, next Tuesday brings a certain Miss Kaling back on to my screen so I won’t be sad for long. I’m also currently re-watching Despicable Me 2, which is the perfect topper to today really!

Things to do: Besides being currently obsessed with Tinder (hello hot boys with cats, its almost all I swipe right for), I managed to get out and go see Johnny Marr at the Brude this week, combining my love of both things. It reminded me that I really need to go to the Brudenell more often and that Johnny is the guitar god we’ve come to expect, even with a broken hand. Playing hits from his recent solo album “The Messenger”, the expected Smiths classics and spectacularly Electronica’s ‘Getting Away With It’, I really couldn’t have asked for anymore. Using the intimate venue to make plenty of comedic quips regarding his hand and to preview some of his new material, it made for a rather special night. Throw in a cover of ‘I Fought The Law’ and you have a very happy Emily. Not so much when I had to get up at 5am the next morning. Being this close made up for it though:

Untitled

Secondly this week, I’m finally going to get around to starting my get fit regime properly (especially now I’ve finally got my ass registered at the doctors again!), so I’ve downloaded the Nike Training Camp app and added everything on to my calendar to motivate me! Daunting as it may be, I really need to start getting healthier, so goodbye chocolate and junk food! After my first program on the app, I’m going to attempt to start running too! God what has happened to me?! Let’s see if this sticks!

Wants: Some really simple but cute wants this week. Time for a Forever 21 binge I think! First up is this really cute floral dress that works for both day or night. Think teaming it with a denim jacket and jelly shoes during the day or heels and a leather jacket for a night on the town. And with it being from Forever 21, it comes with the affordable price tag of £18.75!

00065246-02

Coupling with my Tinder problem, I’m starting to attempt to act my age and I’m actually considering going on a date! What is this, an alternate universe?! So this super little number is perfect, and there is the added benefit of it being black so I can wear it to work too! Practical and pretty, who’da thunk it?!

00129462-02

Team that little black dress with these bad boy heels and I’m laughing, and excellently this is all so cheap. The LBD is only £16.75 (thrifty) and these ridiculous heels are only £29 in the sale! Who said you had to spend money to look good? (All the more money to spend on make up to hide my face!)

8895781535774

 

One final treat is this thing of loveliness:

aw10sain607000998-nocolour

No more 75p candles that can be picked up whilst attempting to shop for furniture in IKEA, I think its time to splash out on a really nice expensive one that will last. Smelling of roses and blackcurrant, it has the added bonus of not being the overly floral scent that I’m so usually attracted to. Maybe I finally am growing up!

Music: The only things that I can truly say I’ve been listening to on repeat this week are this:

Pure excellence from Royal Blood as I am still obsessed, and this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdcmM9T8vD4

Don’t even ask.

 

Friday I’m In Love #2

Hey look! I’m doing this when I’m supposed to! Check me out for keeping on top of a feature for 2 weeks! I guess the real test will come when I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks. We shall see. But back to the matter in hand, another instalment of all the lustworthy and excellent things that I currently desire in life (and definitely can’t afford because my pay today was the actual worst thing I’ve ever seen).

TV: My love for Mindy Kaling in not so secret, given how I can be often spotted reading her excellent book, or watching one of the many excellent things she’s done. This week was no different, especially after last weeks Office binge, and I duly watched a fair few episodes of The Mindy Project. This is a TV show where I don’t understand why its  it huge. Far more realistic characterisation than New Girl, and essentially the best thing since The Office US, the sheer number of excellent guest stars is surely a testament to how good it is (James Franco, Seth Rogen, Ed Helms, Chloe Sevingy, B.J. Novak to name just a few). Currently on mid season break until April 1st, I’m clawing at my hair while I wait for the conclusion to the current cliff hanger!

Things to do: I’m still knitting this god damned jumper ready for Record Store Day, but I’ve managed to also get out of the house this week as well as getting a shit load of it knitted. I even have a little schedule that I need to stick to so I actually get it finished in time! (Side note: are we all prepared with our lists for Record Store Day? This must be the first year there are less than 20 things on my list). But yes, I left the house this week to go catch the NME Awards tour, or essentially almost weep with joy at the sight of Interpol. Being the loser that I am, I arrived in time for the legendary opening slot, grabbed a pint and headed for the barrier with no intention of moving all night. Openers Circa Waves were excellent, bringing back the noughts inspired indie rock that I love so much. Their recent single Stuck In My Teeth is one of my favourites so far this year. Royal Blood were a band i didn’t expect to enjoy, but they were fucking amazing. Just bass and drums combing to create so of the most glorious sounds I’ve ever heard. I’ve already told everyone I know about them. Temples brought all the psychedelic goodness of their recent album Sun Structures to life and it was like being back in time. It certainly helps that frontman James Bagshaw looks like Bolan reborn. it might have taken them a while to warm to how the crowd were getting into it, but it was an enjoyable experience none the less. Still perched on the barricade when Interpol took to the stage, I swear I nearly cried. Playing a mix of old classics and some new stuff, it was possibly a dream set list. Highlights included Evil, NARC, The Heinrich Maneuver, new song All The rage Back Home, Obstacle 1, Slow Hands and the encore of Lights and Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down. So yeah essentially the entire set. I fell back in love with Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler (how are that so beautiful and that old?!), oh and this happened: 

Image

I’m never using another photo of myself again…

Wants: In this we cover things that Emily desperately needs, rather than wants for a change. Number one is a new iPod. I have somehow managed to fill up my 80GB one (this happens when you have the entire Rolling Stones and David Bowie discography) so more space is definitely needed. Not only that, but I keeping dropping my current one, so much so that I currently only get sound out of one headphone. Definitely time for an upgrade. Its not long overdue at all…

Want number two is another practical one. Its about time I bought a new pair of jeans, as my trusty black skinnies are marginally less black and less skinny n ow, so time for another upgrade. I’ve had my eye on the American Apparel Easy Jeans for a while now, and having only heard good things about them I guess it’s time to take the plunge when I get my tax back. They’re not cheap but given how often I now wear jeans and my multitude of band tees, I have no room to scrimp on these things. We’ll not discuss how man y other things I want from American Apparel as we could be her all day.

Image

 

Okay maybe one more. Never have I wanted anything as much as this:

Image

 

Music: Having parents that live abroad means i can spread my wings a bit when it comes to festival time. Chicago has not one but two festivals that I could choose to go to, and with the poor showing from Lollapalooza this year (Skrillex, come on?!), I’ve decided that its time I graced Pitchfork festival. With headliners Back, Kendrick Lamar and Neutral Milk Hotel, that’s the $130 ticket price already considered to be daylight robbery on my part, but throw in Wild Beasts and some of the other names on the list and I’m laughing. Plus it will be full of fit hipster boys. How can a girl say no? So in celebration I’m blasting a lot of Beck at the minute, I think everyone at work is already sick of it…

That is getting a hammering, a pleasant thing not so much when I’m dancing round the stockroom to it. Another brief side note here: when I go to Chicago I also get to see Liverpool FC. The small child that begged for a Liverpool shirt with Owen on the back isode of me is a very happy bunny at the minute (and this reminds me I want chocolate, damn me for associating bunny with Easter).

This week I’ve also been obsessively listening to Courtney Love. Is it the 90s again or something? She’s stopping in Leeds on her next tour, on me Mam’s birthday (sorry Mam) and I’m off to see her with one of my favourite people in the world. She may be remembered for being a little bit mental and Kurt’s missus,  but she has some cracking songs no just from her Hole days. Granted they were the best, but her solo album America’s Sweetheart is a cracker, especially But Julien I’m A Little Older Than You (written about a certain Casablancas, allegedly). I mean how can you not love her…

Another of my favourite lyrics; ‘Where were you at 2 am, Triple XXX, Time that me and you had lots of meaningless sex’. Sometimes I just wish I could channel badass Courtney…

Friday I’m In Love #1

In an effort to actually write a bit more on this here blog (especially since my hours have been cut at work and I need something to do) here is what I hope is going to become a more regular feature, essentially me writing about various things that I love and writing on a Friday so I can shamelessly use The Cure’s lyrics. So here goes:

TV: With my extra day gained this week, I’ve watched things I’ve been meaning to watch for a while i.e. binge watching The Office US and my long waited rewatch of The Mighty Boosh. The latter I’ve not watched for nearly 2 years at least and watching it all again from the beginning is bringing back some excellent memories. Should I also worry that I know most of the episodes by heart? As for The Office US, I’ve long loved the series and felt a watch was long over due, I missed Jim and Pam. Do I need to say anything more? It also goes hand in hand with my next talking point.

Things to do: My TV watching is coupled hand in hand with my attempts to cut down on my jumper knitting time. So far I’ve managed a sleeve in just over a week, but when I want it finished by Record Store Day I have to get moving! Especially as I somehow managed to get the day off work (now just to decide between Jumbo and Crash for the day!).Definitely not helping myself by currently working on 3 projects! I’m also attempting to get a little bit healthy as I really do need to lose weight by now so I’ve been attempting to do Yoga every night this week. It’s actually been really helpful in calming me down and getting me to sleep easier, something I thought would never happen given how terribly I sleep.

jumper copy(The aforementioned jumper. I’ve ditched the patterns on the sleeves though.)

Wants: Attempting to save at the minute is really painful as there is so much I want and it all costs a ridiculous amount! Number one on my wish list is this dreamy Fred Perry bag, which matches the purse I bought myself recently! Its a decent enough size to fit my laptop in, just incase I ever want to venture out with it, and plenty of other things too. I do love a big bag!

Number two on the wish list is this dreamy coat from Urban Outfitters. Damn ever leaving there and not getting my employee discount anymore! Coats are a big part of my life (we live in England and it’s always cold!) and this one is pretty spot on. Combining my love of a good herringbone, a nice neutral colour and the perfect shape. What more could a girl ask for?! It looks ideal for mid season dressing, as well and layering up in winter with plenty of jumpers! Putting my skills together yet again!

In things that I have crossed off my wish list, I’ve finally found a really nice navy nail varnish! Considering a large percentage of my wardrobe is a) Navy and b) Paisley, this is something that I’ve needed for a while. The one I went for was the Barry M Gelly one in Balckberry (available here), a varnish that I’ve found doesn’t chip as much as the rest of my collection does! I’m also trailing a new eyeliner, possibly my 4th of the year so far, so we’ll see how that goes and I’ll update!

Music: Next week sees me head out to see the NME Awards tour for the first time in a couple of years, and mainly because of these guys here:

The days might be getting longer and lighter, but its still cold enough out there for me to enjoy one of my beloved winter bands, Interpol. Having never seen them before I’m far too excited and to stick them on a tour with the amazing Temples, Royal Blood and my new favourites Circa Waves, NME have really hit this one out of the park! (I also just got far too excited at almost completing this week’s NME crossword). Since money’s tight at the minute it’s sad that my gig going has to be reduced (I mean how else am I going to run off with a boy in a band?) but when theres line ups like this I at least feel like I’m getting my money’s worth!

My other music obsession this week is the lovely Elbow. It’s album release week for them and it’s a bloody excellent album. Elbow are a bone of contention between me and my Dad’s comparative music tastes, since he is stupidly averse to them (sorry Dad, it’s one of your only flaws) and though he may say its yet more Elbow by numbers, its actually mostly a dream. Occasionally you are wrong Dad!

So that’s number one of this little feature here done! Eventually I will get really good at this again and I might even manage to make this weekly! Anything you want to see with comment, find me on Twitter (@EmilySolan) or drop me an email, which can be found on my about page! Now time for me to put my thinking cap on for another feature that you may well see next week!

I’m Breaking My Own Rules…

So yeah, I’m still rubbish at writing on this little thing. I guess its what comes with being an adult and having to work all the damn time. I mean this is only being written because I’m in bed ill, totally not what I had planned for today (I was planning on re-watching all of the Wes Anderson films ready to go watch The Grand Budapest Hotel after work on Wednesday, instead I’ve been feeling sorry for myself watching The Office US all day and napping). But, in somewhat shocking news I have actually been doing things this week. Like actually in the outside world. Having a social life. So not me! (I promise the world is not going to come to an end). 

So Friday night, the best friend and I took a trip to see the ballet as my Christmas present off her. She knows me far too well as this is pretty much a dream present for me. I’ve managed to do this for her too as we’re off to see Wicked for her present! The ballet in question was Swan Lake, and even better it was the Matthew Bourne version, so it was an enjoyable night all round. The brilliant thing about Bourne’s ballets is that he takes these fabulous traditional ballets and finds the best possible ways to invert them. In this case, the typically delicate female dances of the swans were instead danced by male dancers, with modern steps added in to keep the interest. Somehow it also managed to make out a pretty comical event at the same time, surely a reason for more people to go to the ballet

Couple that excursion with last night’s (and possibly the reason why I’m ill, because in a room with so many people is no good!) and I’ve had a pretty damn fine weekend. The treat in question was We Are Scientists at Stylus, a rare trip out for a band that I adore so much. With the band themselves saying that it had been four years since they had played Leeds, it really wan an excellent night all round. Playing hit after hit peppered with the excellent comedic banter that we’ve all come to expect from them, it really was something special. There’s a soft spot in my heart for “After Hours” from ‘Brain Thrust Mastery’ and of course the oldies from ‘With Love And Squalor’ but the newer tracks from their latest effort ‘TV En Francais’ more then matched up. Side note: that is quite possibly my favourite album title ever. Also leaving with a setlist more than makes up for the illness I’m suffering from today, I really did become my teenaged fan girl self again. One other thing to note is that this gig was quite possibly one of the only ones where I enjoyed both of the support acts, The Heartbreaks and Superfood. Second thing to note here is that The Heartbreaks have become the only band where I fancy the drummer more than the lead singer (this is pretty earth shattering news in Emily’s world). As I even wrote in a text yesterday, I’ve broken my own golden rule!

Image

 

Oh they’re all so beautiful! Anyway all this moping in bed is getting me nowhere with my knitting (I’ve started my Record Store Day jumper now that I definitely have it off! I promise I’m not sad!) and I’m definitely so far behind on my New Year’s Resolution to read at least one book a week, even if I’m cheating slightly and reading all the Sweet Valley High books! Now back to the Office US and my knitting…

Whenever She’s Feeling Insecure…

I may be shocking at keeping up with this regular post writing thing, but we’ve hit my least favourite week of the year. Not only that, but its managed to be combined with stock take. I’m really enjoying my life right now, as I’m sure you can imagine (hello 11pm finish and 7am start, send me to sleep stat). But to the topic in hand, my hatred of Valentines Day. Its not even for the reasons that people expect, aka I’m bitter and lonely. I’m not, I’m actually pretty much fine now I’ve finally come to the conclusion that no one wants me. I mean look at me: I’m currently sat in bed having eaten fish and chips and I’m listening to the football in football pjs. Just what every guy wants to wake up next to. 

I’m not one to bang on about how miserable my love life is, because well we haven’t got time for that really. It’s a very long story that just involves a fair few dickheads, a fair amount of objectification, some really really horrid moments and quite a few times where I’ve been made to feel (and to be honest, I’ve been) ignored and feel completely unwanted and inadequate and quite frankly like nobody will ever want me. It’s a good job that I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. It’s hard to feel optimistic about this week when there’s a barrage of advertising reminding you that yep, you’re alone, and images like this that make you fell like you’re the smallest, most unwanted thing in the world (or is that just me?)

(Yeah, I’m never going to look like that…)

That’s the problem with Valentines. Expectations. This is severely not helped by working in a lingerie store where its expected that you’ll spend your night looking stunning in flimsy pieces of lace and having the time of your life. It’s total fun to paste a smile on my face and ask people their plans and tell them how amazing it all sounds. Just what I’ve always wanted to do with my days. This isn’t  y idea of fun. I’m not pretty, I’m not skinny and lord I don’t do sexy, you’ll instead get a super serving of awkwardness with a dash of uncomfortableness just for good measure. God knows I’ve tried to change, but when every moment pretty mush seems to end up with rejection you just kind of give up. I’ve faced the fact that I’m not the pretty one, my sister is stunning (a great confidence boost right there) and I’m never going to be skinny as a) food is excellent and b) I can bake cakes. Who needs anything else in life?

At the minute I’m plagued with questions of what my plans are for that dreaded night. Bed and Ben & Jerry’s is the only possible plan and I’m fine with that. Those two are the only two I need in my life right now with the excessive stress of work and I’m going to have an excellent time switching off after another stupid shift to watch a film (please suggest some to me at @Emily_Solan). And how else to celebrate? Well when payday arrives next week, I get to do some shopping and treat myself to excellent treats for me and my room, such as this: http://www.wearedorothy.com/shop/song-map-original-open-edition/ (so perfect). I might even force someone to come to the fair with me. Oh and the LEGO movie is out (dream Valentine’s date right there, LEGO geek for life!)

At least I have a long list of gigs to distract myself with, including Johnny Marr at the Brude (oh how I love that place), The Manics, Franz Ferdinand, the excellent NME tour, Temples, The Orwells, We Are Scientists and Warpaint next week. Who needs anything else when there are boys with guitars to stare at?! Let’s just not discuss the fact that Queens Of The Stone age have announced a date in Chicago at my favourite venue and I’m not going. Harrumph…

(You never know, I might change my mind and post a soppy ridiculous post this weekend, you shall have to see)

Sweet Like Chocolate

What’s this? Two posts in one week. Wonders will never cease. Well this little post here is in honour of my dying my hair. I’ve forsaken by beloved ombre (to the relief of my entire family, I mean my Grandma has only just said it looked stupid) and I’ve gone over to the dark side with a beautiful chocolate brown shade. Pure Chocolate to be exact. And what better way to celebrate this than to post my Chocolate Brownie recipe, a rather splendid one if I do say so myself. This recipe is actually being copied from the time I had to text it to my boss. It is that good.

Makes quite a lot (or not if you make them for the staff of Victoria’s Secret like I do, they don’t last an hour)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Melt 300g of dark chocolate in a pan with 300g of unsalted butter until they are only just melted. Leave to cool.
  3. In a bowl beat together 5 eggs (yes you read that correctly 5 eggs) with 450g of caster sugar until they are light and frothy.
  4. In another bowl (enjoy washing up!) combine 200g of plain sugar and a teaspoon of salt.
  5. When the chocolate has cooled slightly add it to the egg mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Sift the flour in gradually.
  7. Now for the fun bit, add whatever you want. In the past I’ve used a combination of white chocolate and cherries, and even pushed to boat out to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Just go crazy, but make sure its mixed in evenly.
  8. Pour into a lined baking tray and bake for about 40 mins (basically until a skewer come out clean).
  9. Cool for 10 mins, chop up and enjoy!

There you have it, widely renowned as the best brownie recipe ever. There is a reason I’m called the Brownie Queen at work!

In other news I’m watching far too many romantic comedies and getting bitter about Valentines Day, I do it every bloody year. Couple that with me and my sisters fight about girls watching football and you have a very happy Emily. No worries, I get to go to IKEA on Friday and I’m actually venturing out to see people too. What a social butterfly.

And to end, the song that is completely stuck in my head (not helped by the fact that I carry round one of their bags everyday and I’m currently devouring a book about them!)