Monday, 30 September 2013

My Record Cabinet

Other alternative titles included 'Am I doing this right?'; 'What the hell was I thinking?'; 'This is taking too long, why isn't it finished?'; and finally 'Thank god it's done, now I can get on with my life.'

If you haven't figured it out by now, this was basically my first ever DIY project.

I mentioned a few month ago that I wanted a record player, and I was given one for my birthday last month. However, I didn't really have anywhere to put it, and storing all of my newly bought records was a bit of a problem too.
This of course meant I had to return to eBay.
And here is what I found:
record cabinet before photo 3fefbbe5-f2a7-4010-a41e-b05be79a764b.jpg
However, as perfect as it was for what I needed, it wouldn't go with the rest of my furniture in my room. Therefore, I painted it myself.
record cabinet 2 photo eaa6b3a1-3f9f-4af9-92f0-a6fa277ab3c3.jpg
It was a long and laborious process, involving a lot of sanding, priming, painting and varnishing, and I think it took me over a week to do. I admit, it would have taken me less time if I didn't have to do chores in between, but you don't realise how long it takes when there are multiple coats of primer and paint that have to be left to dry for a few hours at a time.
record cabinet 3 photo b7565f7f-6c57-437e-89b4-8ac42c6cef40.jpg
As you can see, I painted the outside white, but for the inside, I took some inspiration from A Beautiful Mess, and painted the inside a deep purple, which is actually the same colour as what I have on my walls.
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Now this cabinet is sitting up in my bedroom, storing my admittedly small collection of records, and displaying my gorgeous record player. I'm so happy with the result, and it goes perfectly with all of my other furniture.
records photo 56cf628f-1c8c-413c-9e31-7c980aae1ff0.jpg
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to listen to some records, and just be one of those annoying hipsters...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Iced Coffee

Summer is definitely over.
It's cold, the sun has decided to hide away for most of the day, and the rain has come back.
And I'm back to wearing tights.

My mum is very much in denial. So much so that she shouts at the TV when the weather girl talks about it getting cold. And she won't let us put the heating on until the end of this month, at the earliest. She hasn't given up on summer just yet, and hasn't got her coat out of the wardrobe... unlike me.
Like I said, denial. Or maybe I'm too eager for autumn?

The one thing I'm not yet willing to give up is iced coffee. It's my new found love of the summer, I've had quite a lot of it over the past couple of months. So much so that I figured out it would be a lot more cheaper, and possibly more satisfying, if I just made it myself. 

Which, obviously, I did.
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I found iced coffee to be much more refreshing than water or juice, and it obviously gave me a much needed kick to get through a busy and tiring day. It is the perfect energy drink (for me anyway).

I cold brewed the coffee by mixing about 1 cup of ground coffee with almost a litre of cold water. I had an empty water bottle which I used for storing the coffee concoction in the fridge, but you can do it in the cafetiére, I just thought it would be easier storing a plastic bottle. I left the bottle in the fridge for 24 hours, and then filtered the coffee to get rid of the coffee bits.
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I then made my own coffee cubes, thank god for whichever person came up with that idea. It's such a clever trick. I just brewed up some coffee, and poured it into our ice tray, and left it to freeze.
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I also made up some more coffee syrup. However, I was a bit more adventurous this time. I found some lavender extract in the supermarket a week or so ago, which I probably got a bit too excited about. Previously whenever I've wanted to use lavender in my cooking, I've had to go out into the garden to get some lavender buds, but the problem is that it's not always in season. However, now I have this extract, I don't have to worry about any of that, and a little part of my cooking has been made easier.
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To serve, just pour the coffee over the coffee cubes, add a splash of milk and syrup, and drink, preferably outside in the warm sunshine. Or just inside your house while it's cold outside.

Monday, 2 September 2013

London Take II

It was my 21st birthday last Monday... wait, hold up a second... I'm now 21... Whaaaaaat?!
Anyway, for my 21st, I went to London with my mum for a couple of days, and basically did the things we wanted to do the last time we were in London.
My mum actually surprised me on my birthday by taking me to Afternoon Tea at The Ritz. Talk about EXCITING!! It was one of the things on my bucket list, so it was amazing to actually be there, I didn't think I'd be there quite so soon. And it really did live up to all my expectations, the food was delicious, and even the tea was perfect. And the room itself was extravagant, you couldn't help but look at all the decorations.
And if that wasn't enough, half way through the meal, the man on the piano started to play Happy Birthday. Immediately I was suspicious, and when I turned around, I saw people coming out with cakes. Which I thought was cool enough, until one of them dropped off a cake right next to me.  I think it's safe to say I was speechless for a few minutes, which doesn't happen often.
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The next day, we went to The British Museum for the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibit. Sounds boring and old? Probably. But I did study Latin GCSE, and I learnt all about Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii, so it was very interesting to see some of the relics, especially the casts. You see pictures of them, and you don't think much on it; but seeing the casts in person, it really hits you that these casts were people that lived a long time ago.
Afterwards, we went to St. Paul's Cathedral, and we climbed all 528 steps (talk about exhausting), but we were rewarded with some wonderful views of London.
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Finally, on our last day, we went to Buckingham Palace, which was holding an exhibition on The Queen's Coronation, which included a tour of the State Rooms. It was all so lavish, and it was amazing to see the dresses that the Queen wore on the day, as well as the clothing worn by other members of the Royal Family. Even the little outfits worn by Prince Charles and Princess Anne, which I had to admit were adorable. And of course we had to stop off at the Cafe in the garden, and eat some yummy cakes.
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If there's one thing this trip taught me, it's that the tube is not as scary as I originally thought. Oh and that London is still a lot of fun, and I would still love to live there.