Doggy Halloween London-Style

Tuesday, October 31, 2017






Happy Halloween, everyone! What are you up to tonight?

A couple of days ago, Londoners and their furry friends attended the annual All Dogs Matter Halloween Dog Walk in Hampstead Park - and it was a huge hit! So this morning, after spotting all these adorably spooky costumes, I wish Jenny could have taken part too. Just have a look at those four-legged pumpkins or the scarily cute spiders! Ah, so cute!

P.S: And this.
P.P.S: Plus, that.

(Photos by/via Paul Brown, DailyMail)

Beauty Warriors


Facial tattoo measurement tool
Anti-double chin bandage
Gold face mask

Face slimmer

Nose straightener
Eyelid trainer
Eyebrow stencil
Face massager
Nose shaper

This is hilarious! Have you ever tried those super weird beauty gadgets that promise to make you look better if you just stick with them? I bet we all played with that idea, haven’t we? :)

Well, as part of her Uni coursework, Ebija, created a little photo series of all those funky-looking Chinese-made gadgets she found on Ebay. The entire selection promises an instant cure without surgical intervention, and they all swear by being effective while very affordable - yet they look, well, bizarre, to say the least! Anyway, just to prove how peculiar they really look, Ebija asked a few of her friends to model those beauty-saving inventions and here are the totally amusing results.

Fun fact: now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure, I've seen one of those face massagers in my mom's bathroom, before:)

P.S: Drake on cake.
P.P.S: Camera shy.

(via Bored Panda)

Weekend Jollies

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cheers to the weekend, dearies! What are you up to? By now, Jenny has settled in completely, which means calmer mornings. So as a treat, tomorrow we are taking Jenny for a long hike and ourselves for a good coffee afterwards. Besides that Balazs promised to make soup tonight and since our friend has just treated us to a huge box of seasonal apples, I'm thinking about making an apple tart. Any great recipes? Wishing everyone a beautiful autumn weekend. I'll see you back here on Tuesday - as I'm taking Monday off to run a few errands out of the city - but before you go, don't miss out on these jazzy links below.

Ha! How to get rid of 500 possessions in a month.

Colourful Notting Hill:)

'It's not just you - fall anxiety is definitely a thing.'

Ella's tips are always spot on!

'Swimming is like I’ve arrived to a beautiful, sunny beach, where I can relax...it gives me relief, not physically, but emotionally.'

Wow!

'10 healthy lessons I learned from growing up in Norway.'

Gregory Berns knows what your dog is thinking:)

The surprising truth about refrigerating eggs.

Meet Ginger:)

Hmm...

Have you ever eaten a Khachapuri? I so want to!

Heartbreaking...

An everyday way to boost your emotional well-being.

Why cooking has become a lost art.

'The way I think of it is, there are so many downsides to working for yourself...so I really try to be aware of what’s good about freelancing as well. One of the nice things about working for yourself is being able to set your own schedule, so I really try to do that.'

Beet and ginger cake, yes please!

And fancy a blast from the past?
- Seven years ago today.
- Six years ago today.
- Five years ago yesterday.
- Four years ago tomorrow.
- Three years ago today.
- Two years ago today.
- One year ago today.


P.S: How about a bit of chit-chat? Join me on InstagramFacebookTwitter and even Pinterest.

P.P.S: Sign up for your daily dose of exPress-o in your mailbox! (In the right side column).

(Photo by Jeanne Map)

This Week's Gems


This v-neck is the best...

Can't get over how amazing this frame is...

Make a wish - so special!...

Festive...

Beautiful basket for your fall treasures...

How dandy is this dot ring?...

Here is something special for coffee lovers out there...

Pizza earrings are a must for a girl like me...

The gem that San Francisco is...

Pretty...

I know someone who would totally adore this awesome owl necklace...

Lovely cushion cover, right here:)...

Salt monster, anyone?...

Let's Fika, shall we?...

This solid shampoo and conditioner duo will make your hair smell like musk and sophisticated spice...

What a pretty tea cosy...

On my wish list...

Dearies, what caught your eye this week? Any great finds or buys?

P.S: Fancy more gems?

Nitch

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fancy a little Thursday distraction? Check out Nitch! It's a feed entirely dedicated to memorable quotes said by some amazing people. Go on, dive in and here a few of my recent favourites...

(Above), Jerry Seinfeld: "Keep your head up in failure, and your head down in success."

Michelle Obama: "There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it’s unclear. There is a little tension with that. I’m very wary of politics. I think he’s too much of a good guy for the kind of brutality, the skepticism. When you are involved in politics, your life is an open book...I’m pretty private, and like to surround myself with people that I trust and love... There is a possibility that our futures will go that way, even though I want to have kids and travel, spend time with family...it’ll be interesting to see what life has to offer. In many ways, we are here for the ride, just sort of seeing what opportunities open themselves up... If I had stayed in a law firm and made partner, my life would be completely different... Barack has helped me loosen up and feel comfortable with taking risks, not doing things the traditional way and sort of testing it out, because that is how he grew up. I’m more traditional; he’s the one in the couple that, I think, is the less traditional individual. You can probably tell from the photographs—he’s just more out there, more flamboyant. I’m more, like, 'Well, let’s wait and see.'"
Joni Mitchell: "Everybody has a superficial side and a deep side, but this culture doesn’t place much value on depth...depth isn’t encouraged or understood. Surrounded by this shallow, glossy society we develop a shallow side...and we become attracted to fluff... But along with developing my superficial side, I always nurtured a deeper longing, so even when I was falling into the trap of that other kind of love, I was hip to what I was doing."

Katharine Hepburn: "I have no romantic feelings about age. Either you are interesting at any age or you are not. There is nothing particularly interesting about being old...or being young for that matter."

Saul Steinberg: "I think it is very important for people to run away...from home, from the mainstream, from their family, from the culture, from the society that produced them...because the moment I have to learn something new, like new habits, new languages, I myself have something like a rebirth. I reduce myself to the lowest denominator and this is very healthy for an artist. To start all over again."

Simone de Beauvoir: "I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and unselfish."

Tilda Swinton: "Loneliness is the deal. Loneliness is the last great taboo. If we don't accept loneliness, then capitalism wins...because capitalism is all about trying to convince people that you can distract yourself, that you can make it better. And it ain't true."

Simone de Beauvoir: “No one is more arrogant toward women, more aggressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility.”

P.S: The anti-worry mantra.
P.P.S: What did you do at 25?

(All photos via Nitch)

Vintage Red for Fall



Earlier this month, I stumbled upon one of Camilla's posts about her go-to red nail polish. It served as a great little reminder that I  already have that colour stashed away in one of the drawers. The same day I dug it out and painted my nails. Not to mention, I've been sporting the Bordeaux hue on-and-off for most of the last two weeks. I'm in love, again:) Don't you just love re-discovering old classics?

P.S: Speaking of fall...
P.P.S: And a bit of this.

(Photos by Camilla Pihl and Vanillebrause)

Yay! It's Wednesday Cake!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Happy cake day, are you ready to treat yourself today?

If you’re a New Yorker or you’ve been to the city a couple of times, you're probably familiar with the phenomenal Union Square Breads Bakery, aren’t you? This place is what bread dreams are made of. Not to mention this is the ‘it’ spot to get the best babka in New York! Yes, the best of the best, really - ask New York Magazine if you don't believe me!

So, for those who can’t walk to the bakery to pick one up themselves, here is the recipe, so you can enjoy a bit of New York in your own home, just like that…

The recipe is by Uri Scheft from his Breaking Breads cookbook. If you happen to own it, you probably know how amazing it is, if you don’t, get it, your life will change forever! Although this babka requires a big chunk of your time, but when it's finished, it lasts for days, making your midday coffee breaks so incredibly satisfying. Totally worth it!

The Famous Chocolate Babka
(Recipe by Uri Scheft via Food52. Makes two babkas in two standard 9-by-5-inch loaf pans)

Dough:

- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120 grams (1/2 cup) whole milk (at room temperature)
- 20 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) fresh yeast or 6 grams (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 280 grams (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting and kneading
- 220 grams (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) pastry or cake flour
-  2 large eggs
- 75 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- Large pinch fine salt
- 80 grams (5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) unsalted butter (at room temperature)

Filling and Simple Syrup 

Filling:
- 420 grams (1 1/2 cups) Nutella
- 150 grams (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

Syrup:
- 160 grams (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- 120 grams (1/2 cup) water

Make the dough: Whisk the vanilla into the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Use a fork or your fingers to lightly mix the yeast into the milk. Then, in this order, add the flours, eggs, sugar, salt, and finally the butter in small pinches.

Mix on the lowest speed, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, and to pull the dough off the hook as it accumulates there and break it apart so it mixes evenly, until the dough is well combined, about 2 minutes. If the dough is very dry, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time; if the dough looks wet, add more all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix until the dough is smooth and has good elasticity, 4 minutes.

Stretch and fold the dough: Lightly dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out on top; lightly dust the top of the dough and the interior of a large bowl with flour. Grab the top portion of the dough and stretch it away from you, tearing the dough. Then fold it on top of the middle of the dough. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the stretch, tear, and fold. Continue to do this until you can stretch a small piece of dough very thin without it tearing, about 5 minutes. Then use your hands to push and pull the dough against the work surface and in a circular motion to create a nice round of dough. Set the ball in the floured bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Chill the dough: Set the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and press it into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before proceeding.

Lightly coat 2 standard loaf pans with room-temperature unsalted butter.

Roll the chilled dough: Unwrap the cold babka dough and set it on a lightly floured work surface (or on a long dining table - you need at least 4 feet of work space). Roll the dough into a 9-by-24-inch rectangle (it should be just a little shy of 1/4-inch thick) with a long side facing you. Pull and shape the corners into a rectangle shape.

Fill and roll the dough: Spread the Nutella in an even layer over the dough, all the way to the edges. Then sprinkle the chocolate chips in an even layer over the Nutella, across the entire surface of the dough. Working from the top edge, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. As you roll it, push and pull the cylinder a little to make it even tighter. Then, holding the cylinder at the ends, lift and stretch it slightly to make it even tighter and longer.

Twist the strips into a babka: Use a bread knife to slice the cylinder in half lengthwise so you have 2 long pieces, and set them with the chocolate layers exposed. Divide the pieces crosswise in half, creating 4 equal-length strips. Overlap one strip on top of another to make an X, making sure the exposed chocolate part of the dough faces up; then twist the ends together like the threads on a screw so you have at least 2 twists on each side of the X. Repeat with the other two pieces. Place each shaped babka into a prepared loaf pan, exposed chocolate–side up. The dough should fill the pan by two-thirds and fit the length perfectly. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and repeat with the other pieces of dough.

Let the dough rise: Set the loaf pans aside in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough rises 1 to 2 inches above the rim of the pan and is very soft and jiggly to the touch, 2 to 3 hours, depending on how warm your room is.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Bake the babkas: Place the babkas in the oven and bake until they are dark brown and baked through, about 40 minutes; check them after 25 minutes, and if they are getting too dark, tent them loosely with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, make the simple syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and set aside the syrup to cool.

Brush with simple syrup: Remove the babkas from the oven, and while they are still hot, brush the surface generously with the cooled sugar syrup (the syrup makes the top of the babkas shiny and beautiful and also locks in the moisture so the cake doesn’t dry out). Use a paring knife to separate the babkas from the pan edges, and turn them out from the pan. Slice and serve warm, or cool completely in the pans before unmolding and slicing. Ta-dah!

P.S: Naked cake glory.
P.P.S: Love pears? Try this!

(Photos by exPress-o)

Jacket on Jacket








Although it's still unusually warm for this time of the year, I am already thinking about my layering game for when the weather properly turns for worse, and believe me, it will, sooner than you think:) And since wearing layers is my go-to cold weather solution, I can hardly wait to try out Madewell's tip aka the jacket on jacket look.

It's all about sporting your favourite denim jacket underneath a heavier coat on top. This little tweak will not only make you look effortlessly stylish, but it will also keep you snug during those early morning commutes or late night walks with the dog.

Would you try it?

P.S: That.
P.P.S: And, this.

(Photos by/via Fashion Me NowMademoiselle RobotPolienneMadewellCollage Vintage, LexiCoco KelleyLe Fashion and Natascha Elizabeth)
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