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Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sunday Sundries

i.e. my belated entry into Yumeko's Weekly Photo Challenge #11: Hey, How Was Your Week?

1. Something you ate this week
I am a stress-baker. And -eater. Awesome combo as you can imagine, usually leading to my leaving ranty sugarhigh 400-words-a-minute PSA's on people's answerphones at 3 am about how I Am Now Self-Sufficiency Woman Hear Me Roar/Burp. If I have your phone number I will apologise now, because this will happen to you eventually. 
As there's been no shortage of stress lately...

Tiny green tea sables with demerara sugar crust for extra maltiness (from the bits that melt) and crunch (from the bits that don't)
I put too much matcha powder in. This happens every time because it ensures that everyone finds them too bitterly caffeinated and they end up mine all mine.

Flowery Earl Grey tea biscuits -- check out my poncy Harrods loose-leaf, what. (Srsly though, use the most fragrant tea you have or chuck in some oils / dried flowers -- it makes a huge diff.)
It's sweltering in London so no proper tea to go with -- but hey, a glass of elderflower cordial for English twee counts, surely?
As if you couldn't tell, I cut round a real teaspoon for these... then decided even heroic procrastination couldn't justify this utter pointlessness and fetched a mug to stamp out the rest of the dough. Most hostesses have more mostestness than I do, so do feel free to steal this cutesy idea (which I nicked from a Japanese cake book.)

In case of precipitous drop in blood sugar levels while stranded far from oven:
How glad am I that bubble teas have hit the UK Azn Mnstrm? Tearfully, vowelessly glad. Left: brown sugar milk tea and right: matcha milk tea (I love matcha okay), both with delicious chewy tapioca 'pearls'. From Candy Cafe in Chinatown.


2. Something you bought this week
Dolce&Gabbana Sole blush (the big ball of hotness in the sky, not the fish / shoe component) -- eight of twelve, if anyone's still counting.

And 'no pics without tea,' I hear you cry? MOAR TEA it is then:
From the always delightful Postcard Teas, a refill of Big Smoke [gutsy Indian black mix smoked over cinnamon wood mixed with delicate Darjeeling] and two caddies of Green Mulberry [dried young Thai mulberry leaves] and Tea Flower Tea [Sri Lankan black, with the flowers of the plant] to try. Cannot recommend this shop highly enough -- you can probably tell how deadly tempting it is from the packaging alone -- note, their China teas are just okay (well, I'm spoiled by biannual Hong Kong trips) but the rest are gold.


3. Something you wore this week
I finally made something from the vinage pattern book I got for Christmas with that greenyblue silk/merino yarn from May -- which, after halving the blousoniness of the sleeves (man those 1940s ladies were built), I am frankly besotted with:
sorry this pic is fuzzy -- wanted to show the clever 'darts' underneath both boobs and at the elbow (there's one at the centre back too)? So stealing this construction for my modern knits.
I will never not-love a good puff sleeve.

I'm not big on accessories but the iridescence of this supremely simple COS ring caught my eye while stocking up on shirts and knickers, and it's been garnering compliments ever since:


 My HK sale steal, Tsumori Chisato sunnies. ^_^
RBR liquid bronzer looking supernaturally glowy // Essence Candybar gloss 

4. Something you read this week
Beauty books: Ugly Beauty by Ruth Brandon (a loose, journalistic skim through the stories of Helena Rubinstein and, especially, Eugene Schueller and his Vichy collaboration-or-not) and Beauty Imagined by Geoffrey Jones (much meatier, but less cultural analysis and more bizniz stats and numbers than is to my taste).
September issues: So-En, Voce, and Biteki.

A friend recently challenged me to give this year's crop of literary fiction (hiss, spit) a fair chance [in return he gets to gambol through the list of 'Shiny, Shiny Stories from the Last Three Millenia' I put together] so I'm starting with the obvious Booker/Orange/Pulitzer prize nominees but any recommendations would be welcome! Especially if they are properly enjoyable like Jane Harris' Gillespie and I, Stella Tillyard's Tides of War, Emma Donoghue's The Sealed Letter [uh, is it obvious that I beelined for the hist-fic crossovers on the lists?], Michael Frayn's Skios or Esi Edugyan's Half-Blood Blues [not pictured, still feel ridiculous photographing kindle screen] -- when did litfic get so good?


5. Something that made you smile this week
In material terms,
a. This freebie ad / fan handed out by a poor dude from Yamamoto Removals melting outside the Japan Centre was like an instant imaginary ticket to Tokyo (no tissues to be had, sadly).

b. A proper souvenir this time, from my dad's recent E. Asia trip: a DesignComplicity umbrella/parasol printed with a leaf canopy, perfect for napping under with a book post-picnic or running under after the suddenbutinevitable thunderstorm.

c. Nicked from my mum after Sunday dinner last week: softly squidgy bee-charmed flats by Pilcro & The Letterpress. They are cut very wide so wear more like flipflops on me and can be kicked off in an instant -- perfect for the park, especially with their stripy trim peeking out. It's going to feel like the end of summer when I return these to her tomorrow.


I especially enjoyed taking part this particular photo challenge and reading Lost In Omo's and Rouge Deluxe's entries -- please drop me a comment and a link if you decide to join in too.

28 comments:

  1. oh ma gawd, Sole blush has been on my wishlist FOREVER...swatch it so i can live vicariously through you!!! mmmm cookies <3

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    1. Nonni, it is my current favourite red blush! (been 2 weeks and counting, you know how fickle I am.... )

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  2. your life looks lovely. that is all.

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  3. Love your readings. I have to go and pick up Voce now! I just went to Japan and picked up a lot of goodies in the department stores...hehe

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  4. this post = so full of awesome! your lovely creation makes me want to learn how to knit!

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    1. I would LOVE to see and be inspired by your avant-garde knitty creations! Please learn

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  5. Some lovely things, I love the D&G blush you got, xoxo.

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  6. Beautiful! I *love* your knit top!

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  7. I WANT THAT UMBRELLA SO BADLY!!

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  8. *dies* How many times have I told you I would like to live your life? At least for one day, ok? I didn't know you were such a big tea drinker. I will check that shop out as I suffer from the lack of proper tea! You HAVE to give me recipes for the sables and spoon biscuits, they look awesome. And since I tried Earl Grey tea chocolate, I have wanted to make Earl Grey muffins or cookies of some sort. Oh, I admire your spoon shaping skills too:) I might create a similar book challenge for myself, BTW.

    *steals everything*

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    1. Dood. I felt like I was channeling you through this post :)

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  9. I love this post so much! And I'm coming over for tea and biscuits!
    So impressed with your knitting skills- so profesh. Can't wait for your review of Sole- I really like the D&G blushes. Also, I was wearing Essence Candy Bar as I opened this post...um, yeah.

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    1. oh Julia, I LOVE Sole! Bring your D&G blushes when you come over for tea! Why didn't you tell me about these earlier? :D

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  10. that is one beautiful jumper. I'll have to give that tea shop a go, I love jasmine green tea. http://anteaques.co.uk/summary and http://www.pekoetea.co.uk/ both in Edinburgh do lovely teas, not that you'll be stuck in London of course :)

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    1. That's fab actually :D Tea is probably my favourite kind of souvenir so I will be sure to check those out.

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  11. This post literally had me smiling throughout at one treasure after another... how do you always come up with the most fabulous ideas and stuff?! I recently had bubble tea too in London Chinatown after an eight month drought and it was just heavenly. The Tsumori Chisato sunnies and umbrella are gorgeous!

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    1. <3 We like the same kind of fancy crap, that's all ;D

      Bubble tea never quite tastes the same when you make it from scratch (I've tried in desperation!) it really is quintessential street food, apparently....

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  12. I wish I was 1/20 as entertaining ad you are. Love the adorable spoon cookie things :) & I have never had Bubble Tea... This needs to happen soon. I NEED te parasol and flats!!! U r my hero <3

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    1. LJ you have to try and track some B tea down! :O So fun to drink, as well as damn tasty.

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  13. I had no idea you were so very multi-talented! That knit top is impressive-- beautifully crafted and fits like a dream. Your mom has good taste, those bee shoes are fabulous and now I am craving a pair along with green tea cookies and bubble tea and and...

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    1. Thank you so much :) This top was actually a wonderful glimpse into '40s knitting culture -- construction aside, the pieces are portable, the pattern easily memorised and it really made the most of a frugal amount of yarn -- quite a cold shower compared to the consumerist-fun-focused knitting hobby of today.

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  14. i love matcha too! :D they can never go wrong. and i love the brolly! so summery! imagine what fun to use during the cold rainy months!

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    1. ...which are here already! lol It was the perfect gift for a Londoner

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  15. I do believe that I have been beguiled by your brolly! What wonderful thing it is!

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  16. I love tea! I could eat matcha cookies every day or drink matcha latte every day, haha. I also got Voce and Biteki ;) (well, like every month, lol ... I think I should invest in some Vivi and maybe With as well, since I am into fashion like never). You are so talented Kate, I never could knit something beautiful. I really like the Komorebi parasol, such a great idea! <3

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    1. Matcha muffins? :D Or are you past that phase?

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    2. haha, no, I still love them :D

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