Kawaii Friday: Meiji Gravevine


Kawaii Friday is a new weekly feature on my blog, celebrating all the super cute things I own and buy! The first set of this series will centre around the super sweet order I made from Tofu Cute for lots of yummy japanese goodies.

One of the first things I tried out the box was the Gravevine Gummy. I've had Japanese biscuits and chocolate before but gummies was a new one for me. The flavours are supposedly 'muscat, grape soda & purple grape' but it was actually a lot more of a bland fruit taste you get with usual gummy sweets from a brand like Haribo, a little bit of a disappointment! The packaging is amazing however, I love the woodland with bears, bunnies and.. monkeys? maybe not particularly conventional but still adorable. One gummy set me back £1.50 and though I probably wouldn't buy again in the UK I'd definitely grab a few if I ever go to Japan.

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The Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

As you may have established from my somewhat hit-and-miss 100 day spending challenge, 2015 will be all about being a bit more careful with my money, and a lot more frugal in general. One of my biggest weaknesses is buying pretty new clothes, so when Bonprix challenged me to their Capsule Wardrobe Challenge, I was in. Time to practice my minimalistic style skills.


jeans / jumper / shoes / bag

This outfit would be perfect for a day out in town shopping, a casual workplace or a trip to the cinema (I don't know about you, but my local Vue is kept to approximate temperature of a giant freezer and a jumper is a must have!). I picked this jumper as my capsule piece as it's a gorgeous pastel colour and plain enough it can be combined with all kinds of patterns and colours. The multi tone bag and shiny dolly shoes make it a bit less casual than converse-and-superdry-bag.


skirt / shoes / jumper / belt / necklace / bag

An altogether more sophisticated outfit, by tucking the jumper into a formal midi skirt you can transform knitwear from casual to something a bit more formal. In combination with nude heels, bag and belt - to maintain a pastel neutrality - the black skirt and pop of black in the key necklace really stand out. I love this look for a more formal workplace or an evening meal out in winter. Personally I'd roll up the sleeves of the jumper above my elbows to change it up a bit more.



     

#dearsally

Can you believe it's less than a month 'til Christmas? I'm feeling particularly festive this year and excited to celebrate, and as such when I was challenged with Long Tall Sally's new #dearsally campaign* I just had to join in. LTS has definitely stepped up their game this year style-wise, with a lot more current trends in their latest collections and I couldn't resist a good browse. There's so many things I would wear it's ridiculous!


I've actually managed to finish nearly all my Christmas shopping this year already, but usually I'd be tooling myself up and hopping on the train to Bristol to brave the crowds. Considering the cold snap that came on just the other day I went for something on the cosy-and-practical side. I'm on a little bit of a fox print kick at the moment, so this jumper is perfect to fulfil my fashion whims. I loved these checked jeans when I spotted them and though the brown-and-red combo is a little outlandish I think it'd work pretty well.


top / boots / jacket / jeans

I'm not one for partying, but if I were right now I'm living in jeans and that may as well be extended to my going-out wardrobe. The sparkly top is sweet and girly but combined with a biker jacket, ripped jeans and these cute zipped heeled boots it becomes a lot more punk-rock edgy. I'd probably add some chunky grey socks to go with the boots as I'm liking that look at the moment. 


I'm really not one for dressing up on Christmas day! It's all about lying around on various sofas, watching Doctor Who and eating nice food. The boyfriend and I will be having our own little festivities but will then go around my parent's in the evening, making warm boots and a cosy jumper a necessity for even walking to the car at the end of December. Super stretchy jersey jeans are always a plus for lounging around in.


As previously mentioned, I'm at the start of a mini fox obsession and I absolutely love these PJs. I could wear them to death honestly. I love ballerina type girly slippers but boots are much warmer and quicker to warm up cold feet. Finally, I think the scarf-jacket combo would make a great gift, perfect to cover up for winter walks.


     

Sunrise Crème Brûlée

Outside of cakes and biscuits, I'm not exactly an expert on the more fancy desserts, so when I was challenged to do a recipe from the Sunrise site* I was drawn to the sweet side of the selection. Sunrise Senior Living specialise in assisted living in Cardiff and other locations and as such a simple-to-eat recipe like this seemed ideal. I borrowed a blowtorch from work and grabbed some pretty Le Creuset ramekins from TK Maxx for my first attempt and other than a little sinking I think it worked out pretty well.

You will need;
200ml double cream
3 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
Few drops of vanilla essence
30g golden brown sugar

one. Preheat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas mark 2.
two. Place the cream in a saucepan and bring to boiling point, then reduce the heat slightly.
three. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl until pale.
four. Gradually whisk the egg mix in the warm cream until thickened. Add in the vanilla essence.
five. Pour the mixture into the ramekins.
six. Place the ramekins in a roasting tray. Pour warm waster 1cm deep outside of the ramekins.
seven. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the brûlée mix is just about set.
eight. Remove the ramekins from the water and set aside to cool, then chill.
nine. To serve, sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top, and caramelise using a blow torch.



     

The 100 Day Spending Challenge / Update #2

A bit late on the update here, but blogging has been taking a bit of a back burner lately; not out of any real reason more general it's-nearly-winter hibernation/laziness. Wow, I've got a lot to talk about this time around though.

Let's just say... these last few weeks have not gone well. I'm pretty disappointed in myself because I wanted so badly to do well in this challenge but I suppose it's all a learning curve! But in light of how terribly I've done I think maybe a do-over is in order? Starting the clock out fresh at 100 days. What do you guys think?

So since last month I've splurged on..

£30+ on figures and comics at Forbidden Planet Nottingham
£20 on new frying pans
£100+ on various clothes/bags/etc.
£130 on a dehumidifer

I winced writing that. Yep, it's not gone great. I got my 'holiday pay' from my job transition and spent nearly all of it which considering I was really driven to save it and use it wisely that isn't the best. The only thing on that list I genuinely 100% needed was the dehumidifier because my flat was beginning to get damp/mould on the walls - the windows were sopping every morning when I woke up - and I really can't live like that. The fact it fills up within 36 hours shows just how damp the flat is! but yes, as I said definitely a disappointing update. Fingers crossed next time I can come back to you with something more positive.

If you're taking part in the challenge or anything similar, please let me know as I'd love to read about it.