Friday, November 18, 2011

The beauty secrets of a lazy bum.

The idea of me giving anyone beauty advice makes me giggle because I am such a lazy bum when it comes to getting all gussied up. Nevertheless, I will impart whatever wisdom I have picked up. In no specific order:

  1. I believe that healthy is beautiful. So taking care of your health is the first step towards looking and feeling your best. If I have good skin, I think it has more to do with the fact that I avoid tobacco,  alcohol and caffeine, than with what I put on my skin. Similarly, I think that my hair looks best when I try to keep it healthy by keeping my ends trimmed and not using a lot of heat or products in it. 
  2. Get your eyebrows professionally shaped at least once in your life. I'm a pretty faithful waxer, and like to get mine done about every six weeks. At least, ideally. I feel like it really helps me look more awake, and frames my eyes. Your eyes probably get the most attention of any of your facial features so you may as well make the most of them, right? Even if you are capable of grooming your own eyebrows at home, seeing a professional can help you learn new techniques or gain some new perspectives on how to look your best.
  3. Make the most of your best features - but not all at once. Personally, I like my eyes, my lips and my cheekbones. For every day makeup I like to keep my eyes and lips very simple (lip balm and mascara), but draw a bit more attention to my cheeks with blush. If I'm feeling a bit dressier, I might use a gold eyeshadow to play up my eyes a bit, or I might emphasize my lips with shiny, red lip gloss (yay!). But can you imagine what I'd look like if I did all three at once? Probably a bit like I fell headfirst into the MAC counter. Some people can pull off that look, but for the rest of us mere mortals, there is something to be said for the elegance found in simplicity. 
  4. Keep a secondary beauty stash. Somewhere you'll use it. A lot of women keep makeup for touchups in their purse, I keep a drawer in the downstairs bathroom. That way, when I need to "powder my nose," I can take a few seconds to powder my nose or brush my hair or whatever I need to. For a lazy person like me, not having to schlep all the way up to my own bathroom where I keep the bulk of my girly stuff can make all the difference in trying to look my best. 
  5. Beauty really does start within. Think kind, beautiful, generous thoughts. Give unselfishly. Smile as genuinely and as much as you possibly can. Love, and allow yourself to be loved. Find the beauty in the world and the people around you. Find happiness. There are few things more beautiful than a person who has learned to do these things. 
Personally, I think I am prettiest when I am happy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beauty secrets

Well hello,
This post very nearly slipped my mind as chaos ensued at the Stimpson household this evening (as per) but not quite. Tamsin and I are, clearly, both girls, and so this is something we're both looking forward to reading of each others.
Today, we're revealing our top beauty tips, or whatever, y'know, something to do with lip balm or something.
This is right up my street, as, for example, I keep a make-up bag in my school bag, but, not a pencil case, or, a pen.

No. 1
This is possibly a money saving tip, but, as I'm skint, I thought it was revolutionary, If, like me, your moisturiser cost you an arm and a leg (or like a finger) and it comes in a tube, when you think your out, your probably not out.
I took an empty glass moisturiser tub from my mum's bathroom, washed it and cut my tube of "empty" moisturiser in half, and then again, I was so shocked, I filled the whole tub up with what had just been stuck on the inside of the tube- It lasted me another month and a half!
This applies to anything- primer potions, lip glosses, there will be a whole lot stuck in your packaging you would have just thrown away- the reason I bought my Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream in the tub not the tube.

No. 2
Use hair oil.
If you want to, I have slightly too long for it's thickness hair, that's growing back after chopping about 5 or so inches off in June- and If I had one piece of advice it would be to use a hair oil through the length of your hair, especially if it's got a bit of length to it, I'm currently using a pure(ish) argon oil, and on my Christmas list is Moroccan oil, which I've tried in a sample and Is amazing, they're usually a bit more pricey, but the small size is about £13 here, and I'm sure It'd last for ages.
Often, I put a bit of oil on my face such as Bio-oil, before I put on my moisturiser, and It helps it sink in better as it's so concentrated, so rubbing some hair oil between your hands and just raking it through the ends makes your hair looks much sleeker.

No. 3 
Hair tools people.
I like my hair wavy, sexy, a little bit undone, and it's naturally very straight, so I have every curler going, I particularly like the brand babyliss- but I hear that it's US sister is conair, and If I had one tip for always looking on top of your game, it's to spend 5 minutes putting a few curls in your hair.
One of my pet peeves is when people use a ceramic hair curler to curl their whole hair, they often leave the curls as they are, and don't break them up, leaving them with really edged, sharp ringlets, even if you think you'll ruin it, take your hair brush, and brush your hair through from root to tip, it will still be really curly, but it'll look so much more sophisticated and cute.

No. 4 
Don't rub your concealer in.
I would always do that but you end up wiping most of the product away and especially if it's around your eyes it's bad for your skin, use your ring finger for the least pressure and pat it in.

No. 5
Try not to make things too complicated.
I am a make up junkie, and I've probably already got way too much, but with skin, just use a gentle cleanser (I've been using liz earle cleanse and polish for....ten years, probably longer, I have a vivid memory of my mum showing me how to use it just out of the box in my old house, so I could have been younger) an ALCOHOL FREE toner, otherwise it'll evaporate and dry your skin out, and a moisturiser, try to go organic where you can and don't overcomplicate things with a million products, I know that when I do I break out even more than normal (seventeen remember)

No. 6
I'm skint, always, as a student, so If I can say this, it's true. They always say a make-up artist is only as good as her tools, and recently that's something I've been really concious of, and I've been saving up and putting on my Christmas list a lot of make up brushes, The can be affordable, such as some I'm dying to get hold of,  Real techniques by Samantha Chapman- available here in the uk, and In Ulta in the USA, and Sigma, I'm also saving for some pricier ones from Jemma Kidd and MAC, I think they make such a difference to your application- and If, like me, you hate traditional foundation brushes, try a flat top buffing brush, I LOVE using one for foundation.

I guess because I'm always covering myself in lotion's and potions, I have really soft hands and feet, but for a super cheap way to have soft feet (and even hands) drown your feet in Vaseline before bed and put some old (clean) socks on, when you wake up, just get a towel and wipe off any excess Vaseline (so you don't slip) and your feet will feel like baby feet.

That's all I can think of for now, because I didn't want to be a hypocrite and tell you things that I don't do myself, However, I will leave you with a list of some of my favourite products at the moment, and obviously, as I'm a teenage girl, if anyone is looking for Christmas presents for a teenage girl, this might be about right.

Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream.
This Stuff is like a super luxurious, more concentrated Vaseline, and has a gel like texture, its sort of brown in colour, smells delicious, and I got a big pot in March, I use it a couple times a day, and it still looks like I haven't touched it, I think it'll take me about three years to get through, and you can use it for absolutely anything, for your lips, dry skin patches, burns... I love it.

Urban Decay naked palette
This is something I don't actually own yet, I've been stalking it in my local department stores and swatching it for MONTHS, it is a really gorgeous neutral eyeshadow palette, and If I'd of thought it through, I'd of got it instead of starting to make my own MAC palette, it comes with a primer potion and an eye-shadow brush, and you could do just about any neutral/smoky eye with it or just a subtle wash of colour, its £35 pounds over here, and sells like hotcakes, and I'm pretty sure every. single. woman reading would get so much use out of it, fail safe Christmas present.

Bourjois deliece de soleil bronzing powder.
Since the waiting list for Soleil tan de chanel is up until January, this is my favourite really inexpensive bronzer, any bronzer really, but the matter the better, is one product I would not be without for washed out days.

Coconut Oil
I don't find the brand matters, but put just about anywhere this stuff is amazing, also for the lengths of your hair- and my current obsession Miranda Kerr ingests four table spoons of the stuff a day? whilst that doesn't appeal to me, I love it for just about anything else, I used to have really bad eczema, and it often flares up in extreme weather, I like to put some on my skin then.

Liz Earle cleanse and polish 
As I mentioned, the gentlest cleanser ever, and it takes off all of my eye make up, it's also quite reasonably priced.

There truly are a million more, but my hands are aching, if you got this far, I really, really, really want to hear any beauty advise or must have products!
Stay tuned for Tamsin later in the week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

How was your Halloween?

Did you have a good Halloween? Did you celebrate? Have you put away your pumpkins and dusted up the cobwebs for another year? Our pumpkins are still sitting somewhat forlornly outside the front door. Best intentions aside, we never got around to carving them, though, so maybe we'll just call them Fall decor for now, until someone has the presence of mind to escort them to the dumpster.

Our Halloween celebration was decidedly low-key this year. As you know, we didn't carve our pumpkins. We didn't go to the Halloween party (excuse me, "Harvest Party") at church. The only thing we bought for Espen's costume was a hat, and the rest we just pulled out of the closet. Our only real decorations were orange and black paper pumpkins and bats that we classily scotch-taped to the window, and I didn't even take pictures of those (what kind of a Mormon Mommy Blogger am I?!?) I didn't even buy candy until the afternoon of Halloween itself. Some might say I was seriously off my game.

Here's the thing, though: it was SO nice. It was just relaxed and fun. No, we didn't have anything to show off to the neighbors so they would know how cute and crafty we are, no, we didn't have the best candy, no, we don't have any photos of Espen in nothing but a diaper, coated with pumpkin guts, and no, Espen's costume probably wouldn't win any prizes. Unless the prize was for least amount of effort, or cutest contestant in a competition anywhere ever. Those would be in the bag!

In spite of all this apparent lameness, I am rating this as one of the best Halloweens ever, and here's why: I was allowed to get a glimpse of it all through Espen's eyes, and it was magical. Where we saw consumerism and cheapy costumes, Espen saw witches and dinosaurs and princesses coming to his house. Where we saw the mild embarrassment of taking our child begging door-to-door, Espen saw doors magically open for smiling friends to come out and give him candy (a recent love of his). Where we might have seen the annoyance of postponing dinner and bedtime, Espen found joy in going for a walk with his Daddy and Mama, while bees, ghosts, pirates and fairies surrounded us.

And it was magical.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

From my camera...

I won't lie.
I'm feeling really delicate this morning. (or afternoon, they're merged)

And so because I'm not feeling too hot, for your amusement, I'll share some pictures of the highlight of my week- Last night's 18th Birthday party, of a really good friend.
In case you think I just like to dress like this- It was fancy dress.
And I went as a beer- never like to take myself too seriously- it was somewhat of a contradiction that, for the most part, I drank cider.

These were taken before the party, because, to sum up my evening, I fell out of the car.
But if we're facebook friends there's already some really embarrassing ones up- the kind where you wonder why you love your friends.
Have a lovely week!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Photos from my week

How was your week? Around here, we are still easing ourselves back into weekly blogging with a few photos from our respective weeks.

Our week here in Spanish Fork had some very good news, some very bad news and a birthday. Either way I keep considering going to town on the leftover birthday cake.

The big occasion of the week was Nick's birthday, and all big news aside, we had a really good time together. We opened presents, went out to dinner as a little family, and took Espen to his very first pumpkin patch.

In search of the perfect pumpkin.  

 Playing in the corn bin with Daddy. 

The birthday boy himself. Oh, I love him! 

It was great to be able to lavish Nick with love, gifts and attention on his birthday, but if I am perfectly honest, it was equally nice to go out as a family and do something fun and special on a Wednesday. More birthdays, please!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Autumn has come overnight it seems,
I'm into zumba these days, and what I'm really noticing is that by the time I'm out of an hour long class at half past seven, it's already pitch black, and the air is icy.
This past week, our Christmas catalogues came, which always makes the autumn/winter period feel more real to me, I love the cooler air.
We missed summer in England, a few days in may, a few in august, and, so it seemed, October, but it came as quickly as it went, and I for one, am really looking forward to getting a new pair of boots.
Largely though, this Autumn should be blighted by parties.
I spoke a little about the year 13 birthday boom here- but basically, I've already been to one eighteenth birthday party- I've a fancy dress one next weekend (dad's getting mugged for my costume tonight) two best friends turn eighteen next week, and since we've been back, I've another five parties coming up.
I love year thirteen.
So, that's what Autumn means to me, life's not just one big party.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Falling for Autumn.

Like so many of you around the world, we've had a bit of an Indian summer. It's October 4th, and today is probably the first time I've felt cold since we got back from our trip to Norway this spring. Utah has very little subtlety as far as summer is concerned, and tends to relentlessly pour it on hot and heavy until you retreat into your air-conditioned home. This summer was a little cooler and a little wetter than people are used to around here, and so nature seems to have felt like making amends by gifting us a very hot September.

We have responded gratefully, and have tried to soak up as much of this extended summer as possible. Trips to the park and playground, walks around the neighborhood, feeding the ducks, picnics on the grass, blowing bubbles in the backyard. We've taken it all in and loved it, all the time knowing that the warm weather could leave at any moment, not to be seen again for months and months. 

This morning we woke to wind, heavy rain and thunder storms. As we looked out of the window at the pond behind out house, Espen pointed outside and said "Trees dancing! Water dancing!" as the wind whipped everything about. I was grateful that we had put him in his fleece footie pajamas the night before. 

It's almost as thought the seasons changed overnight. 

But.... lovely as this prolonged, late summer has been, I am ready for fall. Or autumn, if you prefer (I think I do). I'm ready for crunching yellow leaves under my feet, ready for cardigans, hot chocolate, blankets. Ready for baking, ready for pumpkins, ready for cool, crisp air. Ready for teaching my son to jump in puddles. 

Dear season between summer and winter, welcome. We will enjoy you while you are here. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Remember us?

Goodness, friends, you must all have thought that Maddy was kidnapped and that I died from a lack of gallbladder! Rest assured that we are both still around, and are finally getting back into our poor neglected blog. I guess it's just part of the experience of trying to collaborate across the world and both post every week. It gets tricky! But we have a plan of attack for the rest of the year, so you should be seeing a lot more of us in the weeks and months to come.

Didya miss us? Didya?

PS: Isn't Maddy just gorgeous?

Monday, August 15, 2011

What I bought.

I know it's Monday.
I just got back from a shopping trip- something I don't do often, as I am, always, skint.
That's when I remembered I was supposed to post, and it had completely slipped my mind, It was such super timing.
You see, I went shopping with Oli (my big sister) and her best friend Sally, aka my other sister, and whilst we were browsing Oli kept just really casually saying "I'll buy you something" we were in Topshop, and I glanced a really, really lovely, big leather satchel, just like I had been wanting- I didn't even say a word though.
"how much?" Oli asked me as she bought a dinosaur t-shirt, a lot, in my opinion, but Oli was in an exceptionally good mood, and before we knew it, I had a satchel, and she got us all lunch.
It was super.
Dad had left me some spending money before he went away (which, let me say, is unusual)
And that's how the rest of this jazz turned up.
Since the only shoes I have at the moment bar heels, are winter boots, or Oli's flip flops- I got some new one's, I also bought some make-up brushes, makeup (not pictured) and two long vest tops from H&M- since I'm quite tall (but not as tall as Olivia, it's a tall order to be 5'11) a black and a purple, and everything else is Primark.
So that's that, not as interesting as Tamsin's beautiful print, but, what can I say, I'm a student (who has still forgotten to apply for my student card actually)
Anyone else been shopping recently?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shoppity Shop Shopping

In another thrilling installment of Me Here Her There, this week we are posting about our most recent purchase. OK, our most recent interesting purchase, because I'm pretty sure you're not all that interested in our takeout Thai or what I got my brother for his birthday (psst, it was this).

You know that thing you do, where you start out reading about one thing online, then you follow a link here, and a link there and before you know it, you're so far removed from where you started you're not sure how you got there? It was like that, and before I knew it, I had sent a link of a vintage map to Nick, and then he sent me a link to this:

And we both knew we had to have it. It being an original print from a book published in 1876, depicting a lifeboat landing near St. Michael's mount in Cornwall. We actually went there this summer, but that is another story. Still, I much prefer art that has some personal connection.

The first place we found it had some really great, nicely priced stuff and is really worth a look, but Nick snooped around a bit and found the exact same thing on ebay for a third of the price. Score! The print arrived on Saturday and looks wonderful in person. Now we just need to get it mounted and framed and decide where we're putting it. But isn't it pretty?

Have you bought anything good lately?

In an attempt to spice up the blog a bit, Maddy and I are taking suggestions for things to do and write about in the coming weeks. What would you like to see us do? Do you have any questions about us that you'd like to have answered? Leave us a comment and let us know what you'd like to see!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Look what I made!

And when I say "I", I do of course mean "we". My husband, Nick, and I have spent the last couple of weeks filling our evenings and weekends with lumber, tools and wood sealant in an effort to build a couple of these little beauties:

We decided that we wanted to build some raised flowerbeds when we first bought the house three years ago, and now they are finally in place. Of course I naively thought that we'd have them all ready to show you by Saturday, but of course it has rained and rained and we've been busy and I've been sick, and everything has just taken longer than we thought it would. Oh, about three years longer. Nevertheless, our little white concrete box of a garden now now boasts some pretty new beds, and I am all sorts of excited. Seeing as it's August already, we're not planting much this year, but I am already planning a little crop of vegetables for next year.

Now we just need to get the place cleaned up and free of our builder's debris, and then we can enjoy the late summer in style.

Have you made something lately? Please take this as your cue to show off your brilliance and tell us all about it in the comment section. Links, please!

PS: please note that the pathetic-looking plant in the background is one we transplanted and are hoping will perk up soon. Let's just call it reality-blogging! :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Something I've learned- to share with you.

So, Tamsin's operation is delayed and she'll be blogging later this week! woohoo!- she suggested something we've made lately, and as lately I've done not very much at all, Tamsin suggested a new hairstyle, and I have in fact learned a brilliant trick to curl my hair- absolutely no fuss, with no heat, since I'm trying to grow my hair back healthily after cutting half of it off- which I'm still not over.
So- I did it last night and documented it for you,
Disclaimer- there are way too many pictures of me in this post.

So- someone told me about this trick- I gave it ago and haven't looked back yet-
You will need two things,
And a stretchy headband- if its totally plain it's a lot easier, but because I'm nothing if not over the top, I couldn't find one without a huge flower on it- the plainer the better.
This works for most hair lengths- even bob's because you don't need a lot of hair to wrap around a narrow band.
Basically- as I have tried to illustrate with the GIF above {can everybody see it?}
you just put the band round your head flapper style, and wrap your hair under round it until its all tucked in, it stays in really well- the best way  do it is when your hair is 85% dry and then sleep on it, that's how I do it, it takes about 5 minutes and it makes people thin you spent forever on your hair the next day- I particularly like to do it the night before sixth form, so I have to do no fuss but I look pretty fine for class.
However you can just do this at-whatever-time, for a few hours, and it works just as well.
Needless to say, the tighter you wrap your hair round/through the band the tighter your curls, I like to do it somewhere in between and just comb them through when I'm done.

The basic theory- if it's not clear- maybe I should have just videoed it- is to put a headband round your head running across your forehead- hippie style and pull the hair back up against it in little sections, and then through, so its wrapped through and the rest of the hair comes round against it- eventually (super quickly) it will all be done- the first time I did it it was a bit too full on 70's flicks for me, but from the second time its pretty spiral curls- email/comment if you want to try it but I haven't explained it well enough!

I hope some of you give this a try- it's just so easy and it always works and it means I'm not damaging my hair- and I get an extra half an hour in bed.
Let me know if you try it!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Guest blogger Tana's best present{s} ever.

Hello again!- so with Tamsin out of action for a little while, I decided to take charge {I'm playing grown ups} and bring in one of our mutually favourite ladies, Tana, to fill us all in on her best presents ever.

A touching post about my most favorite material gift might have been about the time my father took me to the music store and picked out the coolest, oddly-shaped guitar for my 18th birthday. But my meaningful dad-gift moments were that we went together—and not really about the gift at all. Those times were special because they were rare and precious. (It was an awesome guitar, though. My daughter has it now.)
I was totally stoked to get this far-out guitar from my dad, man!

And it made me think about all of the lovely gifts and pass-me-downs my mother has given me throughout my life and how unfair it is that my absent father, suave and handsome and easy to love though he was, could swoop in like Errol Flynn and steal the best-gift-ever title away from the one who tried so hard every day.

A bit of the lovely Mediterranean dresser passed down from my mother.

So I won’t write the touching post about the music store—or the time he took me dress shopping when I was eight. (Ah, that man was such a charmer!) And he bought me a velvet hat to go with the dress and the bullies at school teased me and tried to take it away. Okay, wearing a velvet hat to school was probably an engraved invitation for the little hoodlums, but it was a groovy velvet hat that the coolest man in the world had picked out just for me. If I couldn’t sleep in it, I was at least going to wear it to school. No, I’m not going to write about that either. My mother dressed me beautifully every day without a blink of appreciation from my eight-year-old self. So not fair!

 My father on the left in the light-colored jacket, circa 1965.

 My brother once took the time to ship me my very first computer when he was upgrading to newer equipment for his business. I was going to college as a returning student with a house full of children and an injured husband. He did that for me when I'm sure there were easier alternatives. It still makes me tear up.

 This quirky sculptural candelabra is one of my favorite gifts from my husband, Cam. His creative medium of choice is steel. The piece will stump future archaeologists, I’m sure. It will be around forever (if I said, “like our love” would it make you a little nauseous?) It is so unique and the unabashed emotion behind the chosen iconography makes me feel very cherished.

From the heart of my man of steel and velvet.

I was supposed to pick one, wasn’t I? Impossible, for a woman who has been so richly blessed. For me, the thing that makes a favorite gift is always the feeling that accompanies it.
 Hope you get better soon, Tamsin, my dear!
Thank you for the invitation, Maddy!

Tana- thank-you for sharing, being the nosy girl I am, I loved reading- my personal favourite? the Candelabra from Cam, its gorgeous!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Where Tamsin's at.

So we were all eagerly expecting a post all about Tamsin's best present ever this past couple days, However I just got an email from Tamsin en route to the hospital where, I hope she doesn't mind me sharing, that she may/may not need to get her gallbladder out in the next few days, so needless to say, I think I'll let her off posting until she's feeling fully recovered!
Now, being honest, I had to google gallbladders, and whilst I was slightly concerned that it is described as a small organ, was reassured by the statistics, they don't teach us kids about gallbladders these days {at least not the days I went to biology}

Don't worry, I'll try and man the blog for a while, but I'll hope you'll join me in sending good thoughts and if your the praying type- prayers, over to Tamsin and her family in Spanish fork, that whatever happens goes as smoothly as possible and she'll be back on her feet in no time!

Get well soon Tamsin!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Best {material} present ever.

Hello lovelies!
This week Tamsin and I are back as promised, and in keeping with the theme of Tamsin's birthday yesterday we are sharing our best ever presents we received- I knew instantly what mine would be.

My dad sells and deals in a lot of antiques and collectibles, he loves them {though its not his day job} a few years ago, I accompanied him to an auction at quite a famous auction house nearby, as he's passed the bug onto me, I absolutely love antiques.
Before the viewing I saw a really beautiful dressing table, it looked french to me, though I am ignorant of the style, my dad could probably fill me in, but he'd only talk about the era for twenty minutes, and no one wants that- I thought- and still do, that it looked like a princess' dressing table, I really wanted it, My dad called my mum and got the go- ahead to go for it, however it was on sale with a very old, Italian armchair, that when it came to bidding- and my Dad's an old hand at bidding, was why all the professional dealers wanted it, not for my pretty dressing table.

I pretended I wasn't sad after we lost the bid, but I really was, I loved the pretty table.
A month or so later, I was walking home from the train station after school when I met my Dad coming down the road to go to the post office, I turned around and went with him, when we were on our way back, walking into our drive he said "there's a surprise for you in the hall"
In our hall was my dressing table, pretty and big.
My Dad told me he had contacted the person who had won the bid, a dealer who had only really been after the armchair it came with, and bought the dressing table off him.
It was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me, and I have never been so surprised, my dad, bless him, isn't really well known for spontaneous gestures, and this one goes down as my best present ever.
I've seen a few of these tables in the years since, I think it was a reproduction, but I still love it, and it fills my big bay window so well- better than it's counterpart, a pine dresser that has now been refurbished as a console table in our hall.
Even though it's quite worn in now, and could probably do with some TLC, I still absolutely love it.

I found it exactly on google images, since my camera's out of battery, the only difference is mine didn't come with a stool.

Stay tuned and tell us all about your best present ever.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I admit, I cheated, I couldn't wait until the 19th, I meant to abuse the fact I have your address and send you a card in the post, because who doesn't love post on their birthdays?!
But time ran away from me, so here you have it, my way of a birthday card, don't mind me using our blog as a postal service, have a fantastic day, and eat lots of cake, you should be so proud, you have so much to show for just your 31 years,
Lots of love,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The nitty gritty.

Hello lovelies,
So, Tamsin and I have been AWOL, and I don't even know what that means, so it's appropriate, we've been busy guys, right now for example, I should be finishing an a4 sketch of my face, up close and personal like, for art tomorrow, but I'm not, so you understand.
When Tamsin and I were talking about what's gone wrong these past couple weeks, Tamsin claimed laziness, which is normally my excuse, I claimed busy-ness.
So basically, what I think is, we're both a bit busy, and quite a bit lazy, so what we've decided to do is take a break, and be back and shiner than ever on the 19th July, after I'm done with school, and Tamsin's done unpacking, because if you remember, she's been busy as a bee.
To apologise, I baked you a cake this afternoon,
Lemon poppy seed, I hope it's your favourite,
p.s- It's Tamsin's birthday on the 18th, if you or I forget, we'll all end up crying, so let's everyone remember okay.
see ya on the 19th!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Something new 2.

Because it is now dark outside and I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I am going to delay this week's post until tomorrow. OK, OK, next week. Consider this a bit of a placeholder until tomorrow, when I will conduct a decidedly awkward photo shoot all by myself, just so I can show off my new dress to you. Problem is, I have two new dresses.

So... black and white or blue and white? Any requests?

Something new.

I'll admit, I forgot to take new pictures for this post, but this week, Tamsin and I are posting about our something news.
So, if you recall this picture,
my hair is pretty long, like, way down to the bottom of my back, my hairdresser referred to it as "tramp stamp hair" and, whilst I loved the hippie-ish length, it was a real pain and in terrible condition,
so I went for the chop.

This is the only picture I got, from my prom a couple days back, I got my hair cut the day before prom, and it definitely wasn't drastic, but the hair at my ends was a good ten years old, and I'm only seventeen, so I let my hairdresser cut a good five inches off, and give me a fringe style thingy, I know to a normal been this is long hair, but mumma stimpson and I are quite emotional when it comes to hair and it was a teeny bit sad, I also didn't know I would go to prom so maybe I would have waited.
Which brings me to my other something new, the dress pictured above, Blondie and I, decided to go to the prom when late night shopping later that day, the day before prom, and bought everything there, my whole outfit ended up working out at £22, including a hair clasp not pictured, and I know its not the longest dress ever, but this prom was for dancing, and I sure danced,
So, those are my something news for this week, I get that I still have hair, but I do miss the length, I am going to grow it back but take much better care of it, and get it trimmed at least every three months, as opposed to once or twice a year.
Anyone else get anything new this week?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meeting Maddy

An almost identical photo taken with my camera.
The only thing that has moved is Espen.

When it became apparent that 1) We were going to England this year, and 2) Maddy lives a mere 20 minutes from where we were staying (Thank you, Pat and uncle David!), I knew that a meeting would be in order. And fortunately Maddy agreed! So we agreed on a place and a time

On our way into Costa Coffee in the high street in Ruislip, I noticed a teenage girl and a young boy that just looked familiar. Then I realized that they were Maddy's brother and sister, Alex and Oli and I felt like I had just had a celebrity sighting! I loudly hissed to Nick who they were, and think I seriously skeeved Oli out. Who was this random woman grinning at them in the street?

Then we headed into Costa Coffee (No, Maddy, we don't drink coffee either:) ) and the first person I saw was Maddy.

My first impulse was to give her a big hug, but then I think shyness got the better of both of us. I was suddenly acutely aware of being an old married lady with a husband and a baby, hanging out with a teenager. But fortunately we had Espen with us, who always acts as a great social ice breaker and go-to topic of conversation, so we had something to talk about while we bought our lunch and got settled around a table. Then Nick laughed at us for both being a bit on the quiet side, and we were off. Eventually Espen noticed that the little boy at the next table had a little toy Thomas train, and his desperate pleas of "Ohmas! Ohmas!" became too much to bear, so we took him to the park to play.

Once there we kind of split into boys and girls so Maddy and I got a chance to chat while Nick played with Espen. Espen's big passion right now is walking, so we all lapped the entire park a few times. In true Hollywood homes-of-the-stars fashion, Maddy pointed out the roof of her house through the trees, and I peered intently like any fan girl should.

Before very long it just felt like spending time with a good friend. It's a bit weird meeting someone for the first time while both knowing so much about each other, but really, that just gave us a chance to breeze past the initial "getting to know you" stuff and just move on to chatting as friends.

I especially enjoyed getting to see a bit of Ruislip (I like to think of it as rice-lip), so when I read Maddy's blog I can imagine her in her proper environment. And there were ducklings, which was, of course, instantly endearing.

Maddy herself was more or less just as I imagined her to be. Except, goodness! If you think her hair is long and pretty in photos, you should see it in person. Wowee zowee! I loved Maddy's style in person too: pretty and feminine, but always with a little edge and individuality.

She is very sweet, fun to talk to, considerate and (like me) perhaps a little shy at first. While it didn't really come out too much while taking a 1-year old to the park, I'm pretty confident that there is a Wild One hiding inside there too.

And yes-yes-yes, Maddy, come and visit! Our guest room is always open for you :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The meeting in retrospect

Hello!- its been a while, admittedly, though I'm sure you've all heard my brilliant (and yet so true) excuse for not posting- to rectify that I am back at school tomorrow after over a month off- you can imagine how excited I am.
So- two weeks ago now- Tamsin and I- plus her Nick and Espen met up!
I was really excited- and nervous, Tamsin was someone I get on so well with virtually, and I wasn't about to make a bad impression (intentionally anyways)
To make things easier for me, since I'm a cheap student and can't drive, they came to my stomping ground of Ruislip-
I was really nervous, but then I thought about when I had met a friend's new boyfriend for the first time a few months back, I obviously wanted to make a good first impression, and now we're all really good friends, so I had to remind myself I had the ability to talk to people I'd never met before- which helped.

When I saw them all coming into the coffee shop we were meeting in (though I don't think any of us drink coffee- I can vouch for Espen and I anyway) I was actually really excited, Tamsin and her family were even cuter in the flesh, and I don't throw that word around lightly- Espen's eye's were like chocolate buttons.
It was definitely awkward for like the first couple minutes, we were both shy- I think Nick and Espen were excellent ice breakers actually, but from my perspective anyway, after that things got a lot less weird and I had a genuinely good time, it wasn't hard to talk to Tamsin at all.

Things got fun, in fact, after only about an hour of having met when we headed round the corner to the park right behind my house, we took espen on the playground, walked round just us girls, people watched, and went on the round-a-bout.
we got carried away on the round-a-bout actually, Nick kept having to remind us to stop going around for our picture.
We went to the duck pond, the farmers market, and spotted peek-a-boo's of my house behind the trees in my garden backing onto the park.

Overall, Tamsin was everything I had expected throughout our blogging friendship, funny, friendly, open, and really easy to talk to, and meeting her was actually just a whole heap of fun, and I was quite sad to say goodbye, it was just a huge bonus to get to meet her husband Nick and little Espen, who, were equally as charming.
And if I ever happen to be round the corner from Tamsin again- whether it be on my side of the Atlantic (right ocean?) or hers, I would jump at the chance to meet up again.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Well, it finally happened, and we missed a week. My brilliant excuse is that my little family and I found ourselves in three different countries that week, and barely knew which way was up.

Maddy's excuse is that she's out of school and can't remember what day it is.

Clearly, we're both really suffering under the hardships of life. Too much international travel and time off can be such a burden. But, in the spirit of summertime, we will ask your forgiveness and promise to get back in the saddle with a new post for this week - soon.

Have the lazy days of summer reached you yet?

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Posted in the nick of time (I am literally typing this from the edge of my bed before I fall asleep), here is a quick vlog for the week. It's not very long, because I am still busy traveling, but I think you might like it anyway.

Have a good week!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Favorite films

Naughtiness! I should have posted this last week, but I've been off traveling again. Forgive me?

We watch a lot of films at our house, especially since Espen joined us and ensured that we now spend a lot of nights in. Netflix, we salute you!

As it happens, I'm not very good at picking favorites. Too much commitment! But here are a few films that I really, really like.

  • Il Postino. It's in Italian, set on Capri in the 1950s, so it's gorgeous, and has some quite romantic moments too. Mostly it's a film about friendship. I saw it when I was a teenager and loved it.
  • Kitchen Stories is a weird little Norwegian film about an old bachelor who agrees to have a Swedish scientist come and observe him in order to design the perfect bachelor kitchen. Very sweet, and features my grandmother as an extra!
  • OK, if I'm going to be completely honest, I have to admit my deep and abiding love for 1980s dance movies. I cannot resist either Footloose or Dirty Dancing. They just make me giggle every single time.
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was also a fantastic film. Not exactly a bucket of fun, but one that will really stay with you and maybe even change your perspective a little bit.
Any films you especially like?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Favourite films

Hello!- This week was supposed to be baby photos, trust me, your missing out, I was cute, but Tamsin's off globetrotting with her gorgeous family, so it didn't work out, instead, your getting our favourite films, as many or few as pop into my head as of now.
(the first two are fairly predictable)

1. Harry potter
I always say I prefer the film that is newest out, because by that time I've usually worn out the other films, but if I had to pick I'd say Harry potter and the Order of the phoenix.

2. Lord of the rings
It has to be The two towers, but it's a very, very close call, I absolutely love them, and I am so excited for The Hobbit to be released, and in two parts!

3. Fairytale; a true story
We still have this on video- when I was a little girl, I watched it over and over again, and then forgot all about it, recently, whilst researching the cottingley fairies for my art exam where I recreated the photographs, I discovered the film and fell in love all over again, if your familiar with it, I wanted everything about Frances' room!

I am a sucker for a good documentary, and this one, about a Maori family in New Zealand, is the most amazing one I've ever seen, It amazes me that there are people who live this way, and deal with adversity in such a way too- I've watched it over and over, it's so incredible.

5. The Hangover
I'm dying to see the second one already, Its just hugely funny, and very much light hearted- I watched it just last week on a morning that brought it's namesake, and it cheered me up no end.

6. Elizabeth- the golden age
I am obsessed with this time in history, it didn't hurt that the little girl who plays the Spanish infanta, was our families friend, and we all got tickets to a special screening, or that Clive Owen is in it.

Honestly, I know as soon as I post this I will think of a million more, these are just some films I do really enjoy- but It's hard to think on the spot, what I wear, eat and watch depend entirely on my mood, today, I've been watching some feel good hallmark films, but other times It'll be historical (such as the other Boleyn girl) or comedy- I do love films about way back when, particularly western ones.

What are some of your favourites?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Youtube: Make me smile

I've posted this video on my other blog before, but I'm posting it again because it just always makes me grin. Don't you wish this kind of stuff really-really happened?

See you next week!

My favourite youtube video.

So- here goes, less than two hours left of the week and I'm actually posting!
we're keeping this simple, by posting our favourite youtube videos here, I have a million and one, but this one, for it's classic- hilariarit-ee has to be my favourite,

Stay tuned for Tamsin's!
Have a lovely week!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Desert Island hitlist.

So- this week our posts are late, but we have exams, and family, and parties and we just want you to know it doesn't mean we love you any less.
This idea is a bit of a last minute lightning strike of inspiration, that's how I'd describe it.
So we've all heard the term what are your three desert island must haves, and no one ever picks three, because you're packing for the long term here.
Instead Tamsin and I are aiming for anywhere from 5 to 10 things, beauty products, furniture, food, you name it, we can pick it {except Espen Tamsin, in my scenario, we'd all have our families for company- though I fear if we were all there together, Alex would corrupt him}
 So, here goes my list that I'm making up as I go along.

*I refuse to include suncream but let's just assume that luckily there is a suncream tree on the island, and because I'm not ever practical, I'm including more things to keep me entertained, than my essentials*

1.- Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream- which if you haven't used it, is more like a gel, it is amazing, and rumor has it its excellent on burns, and we might need it when we accidentally trip over our SOS fire.

2.- I want to say my laptop, because I can't be without it, but realistically, unless number 3 is a generator, I'd only get about 3 hours of it, so I'll say a whole lot of lined paper, and several Biro pens- where better to write that book somewhere you've got nothing but time?

3.- Fizzy water, or sparkling if your politically correct- On this one we'll imagine there's a fridge, It's stupid, but I won't be without it and I'm not drinking salt water. Ono.

4.- Bouncy balls. you know, the ones you buy at the pound shop in a packet of 10 for a pound or so, and you loose four on the way home bouncing them down the street- if I could get the glittery ones or one's with toys floating in them even better, 10 of these would keep me entertained for a good 2 years solid, depending on how long before we get rescued.- I'm not a grown up yet.

5.- Salsa and Doritos, that's the truth, If I'm on an island, and I'm not a fan of coconuts, even though I think they look awfully fun, I'm bringing my holy grail food- I'll swim off the calories.

6.- Aussie leave in conditioner, it smells like heaven, and with hair as long as mine if I just let the salt water get to it, it'll fall off and be woven into a blanket in no time.

7.- Flip flops- if I lived somewhere hot I would own no other shoes, even if I wasn't on an island, they're fun, they make a cool sound which I could substitute for music, and they'd be good to wear in the sea to stave off sand fish.

8.- Harry potter {all 7 books} and Lord of the rings and the hobbit.- I've got nothing but time if I'm on a desert Island, and I don't want my brain to go to sleep.

9. A camera, I don't suspect that being stranded on a desert Island would be a regular occurrence, and I want some awesome pictures for my walls and something to show the grand kids one day.

I feel like there should be a ten, but there isn't!
I apologise,- I really want to know what everyone else would take- so leave a comment!
Have a lovely evening!

Desert island Essentials

It has been a busy week for both of us, but we're squeezing in a last minute post before a new week is upon us. What can't you live without? We' ll be answering the age-old question of what would you bring to a desert island:

My first thought was of course that I'd have to bring my family. If there's anything I wouldn't want to live without it's my little family! But then again, if I was going to be on a desert island, would I really want to make them be there with me, instead of safe and comfy at home? So at home they stay.

So... Leaving my boys at home, and assuming I'd have basic survival stuff covered, I would bring:

1. Plenty of cold, clean water. I hate being thirsty, and when I'm really, really thirsty, water is the only thing that does the job.

2. Clean clothes, especially clean underwear. Don't you think a clean change of clothes would make you feel better if you were Losting it up on a beach?

3. Sunscreen and moisturizer. I burn pretty easily and am blessed with lovely dry, flaky skin, so if I was going to make it for more than two hours, I'd have to lotion up!

4. Something to read. Of course, assuming this was an island with a power generator on it, I'd bring my iPad and load it with books, movies and lots of Angry Birds. If not, I'd bring Les Miserables and finally get that under my belt.

5. My toothbrush. Because, ew.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My favourite picture.

As soon as I started looking for a favourite picture of myself, I wished this week had been a favourite picture I had taken, that would have been this.
But, eventually, I deemed that whilst I have quite a few pictures of myself where I think I look quite nice, I don't think any of them are my favourite picture of me, but I think this one might be;

This is me and one of my bestest, and oldest friends, Trish, we went to nursery together, and to this day, we rarely do anything, particularly anything new, together, joined at the hip, if you will, we see each other most days.
This was taken on Bournemouth beach, one of my favourite places in the world, almost two years ago, we were just back from Paris, and the summer holiday's were just beginning, we spent a week in Bournemouth staying with my grandparents and our friend Katie,
I never feel as good as when I'm on the beach, and when I look at this picture, I am instantly reminded of all the funny things that happened that day, when we were newly fifteen, and so this has to be my favourite picture.

p.s- in case you hadn't heard, Tamsin and family are safely home in Norway, and, by the sounds of it, having a lovely time.
see you next week!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A favourite photo of me.

Did I mention here on MHHT that I am about to skip the country? No? Well, as of tomorrow, my husband and I are taking our little boy to Norway (and a few other places) for almost six weeks. Don't worry, we haven't lost our minds, we're just taking Espen to see his grandparents who live there. Anyway, seeing as we are leaving tomorrow (aaack!), Maddy agreed to doing something short, sweet and simple this week. So....

A favorite photo of me

This is one of our engagement photos, and six years later, it still takes my breath away. I love it because you can just see how happy and in love we are, even with a (genius) photographer capturing our every move.

And because picking just one was impossible:

I love this one of me and Espen (look how little he was!). It's relaxed, informal and a great reminder of a really wonderful time of our life. I hope he'll still like having fun with his mama when he grows up.

Do you have any photos of yourself that you love?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Friday, Friday

After a beautiful week of wedding posts, being the only Brit {unless Tamsin- do you consider yourself British? I get so confused}, and only poster unmarried this week, I get to report on how we celebrated {but I won't tell you about the whole bottle of champagne Mutti and I accidentally drank, oh no.} it was union jack paraphernalia all the way.


{a word of warning, I've got my British pride on- I just recently found it, on Friday, it fits nicely}
Who watched the wedding?
I cried my eyes out, so did my mum, I never realised we were so keen on the royals, I guess we are.
Well, I have to say it, I have never been so proud to be British, and I don't really know why, it was a wedding, a beautiful wedding indeed, but It united each and every neighbourhood, there were, in Ruislip alone, parties, and street parties, and pub trips galore- I could hear chanting out my window all afternoon- sadly my own street didn't get it's permit in in time.

I also particularly liked the bank holiday idea, no school on Friday suited me down to the ground.

We really debated going up to London to line the mall, and wave to our Prince and his new Wife, but whilst the atmosphere looked good enough to be bottled, my dad was away for the weekend and I didn't fancy pulling Alex round London any more than my Mum did!
So we were up at 8:30am, to catch every second of pre-wedding, wedding, and recap footage we could.

{Eve does not agree with mornings}
We are British, and Royalists, so we were camped out, I wore as much red white and blue as I could find, and we had all the British paraphernalia as we could find- sadly though, after visiting no less than 6 shops, there was no British bunting to be found to decorate our house, those who were having street parties must have got in quick, it was an obligatory addition.

{A breakfast of kings}
I didn't take my camera {rookie mistake} for the town's celebrations at 'The duckpond' and great barn in our town, just down the road from me, but they had big screens up, a wedding breakfast and a hog roast- not so good for this vegetarian mind- and we found out who bought up all the bunting.

Wandering through the main high-street in the two hour gap of wedding footage in early afternoon, of all the window displays, this, in a local coffee shop, was my favourite,
We weren't sure if our poodle, panda, would live to see the wedding, so we let her get absolutely sloshed.
{this is a lie}
I thought Catherine- the new duchess of Cambridge looked beautiful, like a real princess- but I don't think it's as fun to be called a duchess as it would to be called a princess.
I guess she's Will's princess after all.
Really, I suspect the majority of the country celebrated in the pub, which is a British institution in itself, or it looked that way when I passed.
What did you think of the wedding?
My favourite part was this,

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