February 2012

The Dolly Mix

Put It Down Dear, You Can Make It (February 2012)

The RE-volution of DIY

As I strolled along in Covent Garden, on the arms of my husband, I suddenly stopped in front of a dress shop eyeing the sparkly display. When he nodded towards the direction of the door of the shop, I let go of his arm, only too happy to start going in to look for any items that had gone into the January sale.

In a corner, which was like a miniature boudoir, there were two racks on sale. I flipped through, and awed at this ¾ sleeve cardigan sweater all decorated with jewels, beading, and crystals. Suddenly, my mother’s voice came to my head, and it said: ‘Put it down dear, I can make that’.

 

As a teenager I often begrudged going clothes shopping with my mother because with what-ever I picked up to try on she would say the same phrase. I would challenge her, and say that she would never find the same fabric, or the same buttons, or that she simply never finds the time to make the items. Of course, over lunch, in the food court, we would mull over the items I had seen. On occasion she would grant me to buy them with my savings- providing that I would promise to get good wear out of them.


I put the sweater back into the rack, and at that moment became my mother, and said to myself: ‘I will make that’. In light of global recession, I believe that many find themselves in this position of being more careful or conservative with their money. As a consequence of the climate, we perhaps, also had veils of marketing removed from everyday items. We also seem to be get back in touch with ourselves and embrace ‘oldy worldy’ concepts or ways, because:

 

a)     a) we know it is a sure thing or that it works; and

b)     b)it provides comfort to us in times of uncertainty or austerity



 The media also seems to take part in this change-over of these attitudes. Programs such as SuperScrimpers on Channel 4, presented by Mrs. Money Penny (of the Financial Times ), and the British public, are sharing tips on not how to be stingy but how to spend your money efficiently. Baking, is another activity that has come back into fashion, and an activity itself that offers feelings of comfort and joy. Joy is the emotion that best encapsulates baking, as it was the original intent of the Romans in 300 B.C. when they invented it for celbrations . It only seems fit that after the five o’clock doom and gloom news hours that the station air a soma-pill to calm our nerves. What better than watching steaming loaves of bread come out of the oven? Perhaps it brings us to a moment of calm, like the way mother used to stop us crying when the baked goods finally came out of the oven on the worst moments of our tantrums of the day. For its practical efforts though, these baking shows, also seem to offer young mother’s ideas on how to stretch their pennies, and make their families appreciate them.

 

Another interesting aspect is that television has then become an open platform or forum due to the showing of such programs. Of course, the flip-side to this is whether we can be bothered to sew the little gems onto the cardigan sweater, or bake our own bread. So far, I have not baked my own bread, but have found myself a £5 cardigan sweater, and gone down to the haberdashery to get all my gems and beads. I have found that it is incredibly time consuming, but view it as my little project that I chip away at each night. I can tell you that the comfort of saving (or having this beautiful sparkly sweater), is only the beginning, because DIY, also gives you a sense of achievement, pride, and skill-set. This perhaps, is what is truly priceless.





May I Suggest....

I suggest my favourite(and BEST) 2 Habbadasheries in London:

 

1. Liberty London:www.liberty.co.uk



For it's Liberty Print fabrics of course!

 

2. V.V. Rouleaux: www.vvrouleaux.com 

2 branches, one is in Sloane Square & the other is in Marylebone.



Snob's Lovely Liberty Print Valentine's Day Card

Snob's not in LOVE! He in love with this nifty Valentine's Day Card that you can make for your loved one. Here's your chance to try doing a little DIY yourself...

 

You will need:

 

-Liberty Print Fabric ( I suggest you buy some end pieces or remanants otherwise, go to any fabric store and pick up end pieces...you can even use an old dress)

-Double sided tape

-Scissors

-ribbon, as thick or thin as you like. (Buy it by the roll, or get them by the half metre. Local shops on the high street should have this as well. Other ribbon you can use, was ribbon perhaps you had left over from Christmas presents!)

-recipe cards, or stiff cardboard that will make the card.( Make sure one side is not lined)

 

What to do:

 

Measure and cut the fabric to the size of the card. Make sure you leave at least 2cm that will be used as the boarders.

 

Stick double sided tape on the edges and attach your fabric to your card.

 

Stick double sided tape to the edges where there is fabric, and on top attach your ribbon to create a posh boarders or just ribbon it, as I have done so in the sample (picture).

 

Write your message to your Valentine...if your message doesn't make them blush, at least you know the card will.

 



Beautys' Secrets

Non-Surgical Face-lifts: A New Age Sensation (February, 2012)

A face-lift in a facial? Is it too good to be true?

With the holidays gone now many of us might be feeling a bit tired, and may need a lift. It seems that natural face-lift facial treatments can not only lift your well-being but a whole lot more.


Why a face-lift a facial?

Natural face-lift facials are otherwise known as Facial Rejuvenation Massage. It is designed to be gentle and non-invasive and works by freeing up constrictions between muscles and connective tissue of the face. Tension or stress can build up in our facial muscles without us realising it. Over time, muscles can actually “dry up” and contract leaving the face with little freedom of movement. This in turn causes ageing such as loss of muscle tone, wrinkles, and sagging.


All You Need to Know about the Face-Lift Facials

Rima, therapist, from Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, describes her natural face-lift facial to be a long term healing benefit as well as helping you look younger. I use no products, unlike traditional facials with cleansing, toning or masks, says Rima. Products may only be used if the skin is extremely dry or oily. Movements of the facial include brisk, and short to detailed and deep, without it hurting what-so-ever. Most of Rima’s clients would describe the results as such:


-          Muscles in face feel more mobile and relaxed after treatment

-          An instant plumper appearance; A fresh glow!

-          Eyes look relaxed and somehow, bigger

-          After treatment, you mentally feel better, and sleep better in the night

 

Apparently the face-lift facial is proving to be popular among all age groups but most between the ages of 50-65. Neal’s Yard rates it as the top 3 of the most wanted facials of the week’s bookings. Another revelation is that men are going for these facials too. Rima says that men between the ages of 45 to their late 50s have been going to get these treatments due to their stressful jobs or that perhaps a lady in their life has told them they really need it! Generally, most of my clients say that they see and feel the difference of the facial the morning after, says Rima.

 

Aftercare or home maintenance is also given after the treatments. If you have any concerns with any particular areas of the face such as puffy eyes, deep lines in the forehead, or the chin and jaw line, do tell the therapist. It is common that the therapist will advise you on your diet, cosmetics products that would help and facial exercises that you can do at home to keep up the good work!


The Costs of the Facials

The cost of the facials can vary. In London spas, or treatment centres it can cost an average of £55 for an hour’s session. Having said that, there are places to get this treatment for much cheaper, and below, I have listed some suggestions for the savvy lady.

  1. There are a lot of places where you can now find beauty therapists that will do natural face-lift facials. All you have to do is just ask at your local salon. Make sure though you ask where the therapist was trained and that they do have a diploma to do these facials.
  2. Discount sites such as Groupon.com, Wahanda.com, and KGB-Deal.co.uk has on -going offers all over the country. Join for free, and get searching for the natural face-lift facial. Some specials could be a snip at about £20.
  3. Centres where they train therapists on these facials could also be offering facials. One of the original training centres in London, The London Centre of Indian Champissage, offers the treatments for £45/Hr. Also, check their website for their trained therapists as they are all over the country and the world, and you can find one near where you live. (The London Centre of Indian Champissage is at 494 Caledonian Road, London N7 9RP; Tel: +44(0) 20 7609 3590) http://www.champissageinternational.com/ 



The Edit: Reviews and Other Neat Stuff

Beautys' Abi Fabi Edit

Beauty says: Sweeten up your day with Strawberry Nails & KIKO (February 2012)

I was riding the tube, a few weeks ago, on my way home from a day of shopping when I noticed the nails of the girl sitting across from me. She had painted them like strawberries. The nails were painted red, and decorated near the cuticles, like leaves, while the bottom half were dotted white to look like the seeds. I came home and started to surf the internet, looking for the right supplies to try to do this design at home.


When it comes to choosing nail varnish, it is not all about colour. I consider the following:


-          1.The brush. The brush is important as how smoothly the nail polish will go on. Cheaper nail polishes tend to have brushes that streak. This is especially true with opaque colours.

-          2.How chip resistant is it? And how relatively quick it is to dry?

-          3.And finally I consider choice of colours, and price. Nail polish that costs more than £5 is too much to pay.

 

The brand of varnish that checks all my boxes is KIKO (Cosmetics). KIKO is an Italian make that is as big as M.A.C. or Illamasqua in Italy. Their varnishes come with a selection of over 150 colours to choose from. The price range starts at £1.50 (when they are on sale) to 3.90. They opened their first U.K. based store in Westfields, Stratford, in September 2011. At the moment they are only available there or you can order online. Online orders are a minimum of £25, and with this you get free postage.

 

To do the strawberry nails, you will first have to file the nail with a nail file to the desired shape (usually oval or square). Make sure you wash your hands after this and dry them properly so that you have a clean surface to paint on. Then, paint on your base coat to prevent staining of the nails. When the base has dried (give it at least 5 min), paint on the red colour (2 coats), and let it completely dry before you start designing them into strawberries.

 

To do the leaves you will have to use a tiny nail brush. Look them up, and get one under tools in the nail section on the KIKO website. Dip it in the green varnish, and paint down from the cuticles to make two semi-triangular shapes. When you have finished crafting the leaves, clean the brush in nail polish remover, and start doting them to make them look like the seeds of the berries. I suggest that you do not use white, but a beige colour as it stands out more, and makes the nail look more like strawberries.

 

Kiko Cosmetics is available in store at Westfields, Stratford, London or online at:

www.kikocosmetics.com





Sweet Success! The NEW LUSH-ous for SS'12

Snob's Yum Yum Edit

The HOT new KIMCHEE @Holborn (February 2012)

This relatively new HOT chillie joint, near Holborn station, will send your tastebuds soaring. Opened in April 2011, KIMCHEE, has already won R200's 2011 Best New Scalable Concept for Restaurants.

 

I stumbled upon this venue, when Mr. Snob, found it surfing on the internet trying to find something yummy to eat on a dull Sunday afternoon. The attraction to taste testing it, was an offer of 50% off the entire bill for the entire month of January. (Apologies that the promotion has already passed.)

 

According to their website, their owner, Mr. Kim, wanted to bring Korean food to London at a reasonable price, and hence the establishment. Kimchee is best known to be one of the most famous national dishes of Korea. It is a pickled  napa cabbage dish made from garlic, and other ingredients such as onions, ginger and chillies. Kimchee is considered to be a sidedish, and not the only thing this restaurant serves up.

 

If you like barbeques then you'll love all their barbeque dishes. Choose from: pork ribs, thinly sliced beef steak or pork, salmon, and seafood. They come served with a side of lettuce, to cool your palate, and a mini chillie dip for those who want to turn up the heat. Smacking his lips, Mr. Snob says: 'I would describe the barbeque to be a taste sensation. You can slightly taste the aroma of the charcoal, while the meat remains juicy and full of flavour from the spicy marinade.'

 

Don't forget to order all the little side dishes to go with your barbeque, such as the sprouts in sesame oil or stir-fried glass noodles that they call jap chae. If you're cold and fancy soup dishes, they do hot pot soup-like stew dishes too! All dishes are at reasonable prices ranging from £2.80-£8.00.

 

The decor is upscale, with big lantern-like structures, and sturdy hard wooden tables and chairs, that make you feel like you're sitting somewhere in Seoul. The dishes are all rustic clay. (Check out the cute little pot the rice came in from the photos!) Proving to be popular, there may be queuing for more than an hour. I was impressed with the service, as when we stood outside bracing the wind, a waitress came out to offer us cups of hot korean tea, says Mr. Snob.

 

KIMCHEE is at 71 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6EA. Check out their website, and look at their newsletters, for thier specials at:www.kimchee.uk.com

 

The verdict? Snob says: We rate it a 10/10 for it's impeccable service, it's tasty food, wide selection, value, and esquisite decor. KIMCHEE will make you go YIPPPEEE! May this little gem be your new winter warmer!



A Snobby Recipe: Snob's Homemade Classy, Sassy, Glassy Noodles

Wow! Snob enjoyed the Chap-Chai at Kimchee so much, he's gone and made his own version of the glass noodles dish. See how's he's made his version vegetarian friendly too! Snob says: Makes a great light luncheon, or an appealing appetitiser for a dinner party.

 

How to make: Snob's Classy, Sassy, Glassy Noodles

 

To make for 4

 

You will need:

 

3x small packets of Chinese Glass Noodles or Vermiceilli noodles made from beans

2x cloves of garlic, chopped/minced

1x hot chillie pepper (that's if you can take the heat!

Chopped ginger, add as much or little as you like

3x sprigs of spring onion, chopped

1x Aubergeine (or chinese egg plant) cut into strips as fine or thicker if you like.

6x shitake mushrooms, chopped

3x tablespoons of oyster sauce

3x teaspoon seasame seed oil

 

Follow these steps:

 

1. In a wok or frying pan, fry the garlic, ginger, chillie in some oil. Add spring onions, and shitake mushrooms. Fry for 2 min.

2. Add Aubergeines and a splash of water. Add the oyster sauce.

3. To season, add a bit of salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons of sugar.

4. Cook until Aubergeines are soft, but not mushy.

5. Add the glass noodles. (Soften them up in a bit of warm water, can be from the tap, before you put them into the dish) Stir until it absorbs some of the sauce.

6. Toss in seasame seed oil before serving.

 

Eat this dish hot or cold, it is just as nice. Snob says: It's a quick Yum! Yum! that anyone can do. Try it today!



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