Ever changing London weather

April 30th, 2014

Some days, I hate how unpredictable and always changing the weather is in London. Today is not one of those days. Both of these times of day (6:45am and approx 2pm) made me really happy.

Afternoon Tea with a twist

April 15th, 2014

On Saturday, I went out with Krisi, one of my oldest friends. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but we both love food. Last month, we went to have a traditional afternoon tea in a hotel in Kensington. This time, taking advantage of yet another 2-for-1 deal, we opted for a Spanish-style afternoon tea in northern-ish central London. Doesn’t it look just utterly delicious?

And since Saturday was also my name day (it’s a Finnish thing; not sure if other countries have it too?), I did what I do every year to celebrate: I bought myself some music. This time, I bought “Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge” by The Pierces. I discovered them when I started watching Pretty Little Liars. Their song Secret is the theme tune to the show. And after streaming it through Grooveshark for like three weeks on an almost endless loop while at work, I decided that I really should buy the album since I like it so much. All of the songs are quirky and most are really catchy. I’ve even woken up humming or singing the lyrics, because they’ve been stuck in my head. And I foresee myself buying more of their work as soon as I get bored with the current music playing on iPod. I highly recommend giving them a shot.

Timey Tantalate

March 30th, 2014

My latest knitting project: Timey Tantalate. The pattern is from the latest Knitty (Sweet Tantalate) and the yarn is Timey Wimey (EasyKnits). I bought the yarn last year at Woolfest solely because of its name. How could I resist? It’s just a bonus that it’s such a pretty blue that suits me. ;)

All of my other knitting projects are done. The Myrtle cardigan is done except for the buttons, which have been purchased, so I just need to attach them. The Gothic Spire socks are also finally done, just in time for me to put them away into the sock bin for summer.


March 9th, 2014

Just spent a glorious two hours reading in the park. I only came in because the shadows crept up to my spot and it got a bit chilly without the sun. Still, it’s a beautiful day. It was so nice, that I even got up at 8am (on a Sunday) and went for a morning run. Something I haven’t done since we moved to London. And the last time I ran at all? Christmas, back up north. Sunshine makes me happy. I get this urge to soak up all I can, so I get restless if I just sit indoors when I could be sitting outside. Maybe it comes from growing up in Finland where the winters are so dark. The first hint of spring and I’m OUT. I even try to have my lunchbreaks outdoors as often as possible.

I think I’ve figured out why my online presence has been sporadic. The location of my laptop seems to be a major factor. And the fact that now that I actually have stuff to blog about, I’m too busy actually doing the interesting things to sit down. Go figure.
But things that have happened and are coming up involve a lot of socialising with new people, going to the theatre, trying amazing new restaurants, reading lots of books and finally finishing some projects so that I can cast on something new.
My Myrtle cardigan is on the final stretch. Just working on the neckline band and then attaching buttons. Then I can wear it! Well, block it, then wear it, but I’m so close to being done that I’m already thinking of what to work on next. I love this part of knitting. The planning stage is almost as fun as the actual knitting…

Last minute knitting

January 18th, 2014

I would’ve thought that last minute gift knitting would be over in January. Nope. I was wrong.
I just got invited to my cousin’s birthday party. Which’ll be in a week. Which means I have a week to knit her gift. Good thing it’s her first birthday, so I can whip up some mittens. Hoping to get these done by tomorrow night, but if not, I’ll just take them into work and knit during my lunch breaks. Good thing they’re easy. And tiny!

Needles: 2.75mm and 3.00mm dpns
Yarn: Stitches ‘N Rows Happy Soles in Moody and a mystery pink

Blonde(-er) again!

December 14th, 2013

Got my roots dealt with today. And had about six inches chopped off. It’s a bit weird, having such short hair (although it’s still past my shoulders so it’s not too short). Then again, I only get my hair cut once a year. Get my roots done more often, but cut only about once a year.
I love going to the hairdresser’s. I really should do it more often. It’s so relaxing. And the stylist at I had today (I went to a new salon since schlepping all the way to Sheffield is a bit of a pain for just highlights) was great. And yay, no more roots! Sometimes Mother Needs a bit of a helping hand. Especially in the UK where the sun doesn’t do its magic like it does in Florida.

Working backwards

November 30th, 2013

Since I can’t tell you what I’m knitting right now (Christmas present – yes, I know in the previous post I said I’m going to focus on making food gifts this year, but some knitted presents have wormed their way onto the needles), I’ll talk about what I will be knitting for me soon-ish.

A few weeks ago, O & I went up to Sheffield for a long weekend to visit his parents. On Friday, I managed to find a few hours to just sit in a park in between meeting and catching up with friends. It really struck me how much space there was. And how quiet it was. I know it was in the middle of a work day so of course it’d be quieter then, but it still really stood out. It was actually a bit unsettling not seeing many people around. I guess I’ve really become accustomed to London and the masses of people here in the six months that we’ve been here now.

Then on Saturday, we (O&I and his parents) all went up to York for a day trip. I happened to find these buttons in a market stall. They’re half penny coins shaped to curve up a bit at the edges. I like supporting indies, so I bought them. Didn’t have any idea what I’d use them on, but I liked them and knew I’d use them eventually.

Turns out, that eventually has happened sooner than I thought. I’ve been itching to cast on another sweater or cardigan, so I’ve been looking at my queue. I finally decided on a pattern last night (Myrtle by Snowden Becker) and today I bought the yarn for it. My cardi’ll be a dark wine-red. So hopefully I’ll have it by Wednesday next week and can cast on!

The reason why I say that I’m working backwards is that I usually pick the yarn first. And then the pattern. Occasionally the pattern first, then the yarn. And buttons almost always come last. Not this time though. I’m going out of my comfort zone and making the project work around the buttons. I like living on the wild side…

Prepping for Christmas

November 10th, 2013

Yes, I’ve said it. I’m already prepping for Christmas.
I’ve decided that this year, instead of knitting gifts, I’ll be giving the majority of recipients edibles. It’s nice to change things up a bit.
And since a lot of my plans involve making things I’ve never made before, I need to start testing recipes! Today is orangettes from The Skinny French Kitchen by Harry Eastwood. (I love this cookbook so much.)
So, what you see above, is the orange peel getting a nice syrup bath. The recipe says not to let the mixture burn, so I kind of obsessively hovered over it. And in the process gave myself an orange-scented steam facial.
The peel bits are now drying out before I dip them in sugar. If they taste as nice as they smell, they’ll definitely be a gift option.

Searching for the perfect tart

October 27th, 2013

So, Krisi and I have decided that now that we both live in London, we should try to meet up more often than once every 2-3 months. Which is still more than what it used to be (once every six years or so!). With that in mind, she is also on a mission to find the best raspberry tart. We’ve agreed to meet up once a month to try new patisseries. It’s a win-win; I get to see one of my longest known friends and I get to eat cake. We also think that eating cake more than once month, while tasty, won’t be thanked by our waistlines and we seem to have fairly busy social calendars (how did that happen?! I’m a homebody, I’m used to staying in all the time…), so once a month is perfect.

The above raspberry tart and cheesecake were consumed at Le Pain Quotidien in Covent Garden. That latte? Massive. It kept me up really late, so it’s a good thing it happened to be on a Friday night. The same night we went to see Top Hat actually. As the waiter brought it over, he said: “And here is your soup…” XD
The baked cheesecake was nice. Nothing special, but nice. Not heavy, had a hint of citrus in it.
The tart, according to Krisi, was decent. She liked having fresh raspberries on top, but the crust was a bit dry and hard. She was also sensible and got a small mochaccino. No sleeping issues for her!

And these two tarts were from the Patisserie Valerie on Old Compton St. Really big, so you felt like you were getting your money’s worth. And this time I made sure to have a decaf latte since I had to be up early the next morning!
I liked the strawberry tart I had, but it got to be really sweet fairly quickly. I think it probably would’ve been better without the glaze on top. Krisi felt the same about her raspberry tart. Crust was decent, filling was okay. A mix of the two tarts so far would be ideal.

So we’re still on the lookout for the perfect raspberry tart…

Let’s face the music…

October 20th, 2013

And dance! Which I did on my walk home on Friday night.

I love going to the theatre. And now that I live in London? I actually get to go!

My friend Krisi and I went to see Top Hat to celebrate her birthday. She’d found a deal through (I think that’s what she said) where we could get a 2 course meal and a ticket to Top Hat for just £24.

Sure, our seats were up in the nosebleed section because come on, at that price, we weren’t going to get great seats. But that didn’t stop us from thoroughly enjoying the show. The dancing, the songs, the actual story… all of it was fabulous.

I highly recommend seeing it if you ever get the chance. The show is leaving London to go on tour in 2014-2015, so you’ve got until this Saturday to go see it if you want to see at Aldwych Theatre.

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