Another winterwear post from me today – some Christmassy gear to keep you stylish and warm over the festive period.
First in are these tidy brogue boots from Asos. The brogue has been huge this year, and a good pair is a staple of any guy’s wardrobe. These boots are a refreshing twist, and ideal for damp winter days. Available at Asos
This scarf from Paul Smith is sharp and sure to be super soft. Red and burgundy tones are festive as hell, and add a splash of colour to darker winter looks, which are often filled with blacks and greys. Available at the Paul Smith shop
Rockwell by Parra have got this beanie bang on, ideal for hitting the slopes on a board or just rocking at the Christmas Markets with a glass of Gluhwein. This one is from Urban Industry
Finally, what look would be complete without a Christmas jumper? This one is not one to bring out in front of grandma, but I love it. For Queens of the Stone Age to bring out a Christmas Jumper is, in my opinion, a stroke of genius. This one is bad ass and near the top of my gift list (just below the limited edition black on black vinyl of …Like Clockwork). Available from Rekords Rekords
Hope you like my Christmas choices, let me know what you think!
The temperatures are diving, and it looks like winter has set in good and proper. If your winter wardrobe needs a bit of an update, then take a look at the winterwear I’m lusting after.
I love a pair of Converse. I avoided them for years, but @msdriftedsw persuaded me, and I’ve not looked back since!
These shearling lined leather high-tops are sturdier and warmer than the traditional canvas, but still carry the timeless style of the Chuck Taylor.
These are available in Next but most Converse dealers have them. Linky
Uniqlo’s extra fine merino is perfect for layering over shirt and tie, and provides warmth and softness without bulk. This V-neck is typical of the sort of stuff I’ll be rocking in the office over the winter months. Linky
The peacoat is versatile and never goes out of style, this number from Asos being just the job. Linky
I’ve never been much of a hat person, but have all of a sudden taken to wearing a beanie – I’ve got a couple of these from Topman, at £8, they are a handy accessory to have in the winter, particularly if you live in Manchester, home of drizzle! Linky
I’ve got plenty of other ideas and things i’m lusting after, and with a LOT of holiday this month, I’ve got a load of wardrobe changes to make; so keep your eyes peeled.
Hello! The day of the dead approaches, and purveyors of Mexican wonderment Wahaca are always guaranteed to do something awesome. As part of it, they’ve challenged bloggers to come up with a dish using the Wahaca sauces to celebrate – here’s my effort. I’ve gone for chipotle pork tacos – They tasted amazing – here’s a sneak peek before the recipe.
Juice of 2 limes, zest of one
4 Tablespoons Wahaca chipotle sauce
2 tsp smoked paprika
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 large green chilli, finely chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely diced
Salt and pepper generously
Kilo of pork shoulder.
~300ml Chicken Stock
Pico De Gallo
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped roughly
1 small onion chopped finely
1 medium green chilli chopped finely
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Generous squeeze of lime juice
Radish, finely sliced
Spring onions, cut in a suitably pretentious manner
Grated Cheese – Queso Oaxaca torn into ribbons would be ideal, I used grated cheddar, though Lancashire would be good too.
Wahaca Habanero sauce
This recipe is somewhere between that of Carnitas and of Cochinta Pibil. (I couldn’t find any Achiote paste so decided to go for a bit of a hybrid.) I decided to go for the sweet, smoky Chipotle sauce as the marinade base, and then give the option of the other two to top the whole thing off.
Remove the skin from the pork, but don’t take off all the fat with it – it’s needed. Chop into rough cubes and put into a large bowl. Mix together the marinade ingredients, then add to the pork and mix so everything is coated. Leave to marinade overnight – 12 hours minimum is recommended. I gave it around 15 hours total (I’m not 100% as the clocks went back so my perception of time is off)
You may be asking, where did the lemon in the photo go? Well, you can’t cook without something to drink……
After a long rest and a marinade (both me and the pork) you get a much darker pork, as the rich marinade has soaked in, and the lime juice starts to cook the pork. You then bang the whole lot into a wok/pan/casserole with enough chicken stock to just cover it, and let it bubble for 2-3 hours. As the liquid evaporates and the fat renders down, you’ll end up almost confit-ing the pork as it pokes through the surface. Here it is about 30mins before completion.
After about 2 hours you can make the Pico de Gallo (throw it all in a bowl) and prep the toppings for the tacos. If I was just cooking for friends I’d put it all out in bowls and let everyone dig in. Aside from the habanero sauce and Salsa, the rest is up to you. You could put in sour cream, jalapenos, any of the usual suspects, though my preference is for finely sliced chicory leaves, which add a lovely edge of bitterness to cut through the fatty sweetness of the pork. The addition of rice, black beans and some onions would turn this into a kick ass burrito, too.
Remove a portion of the pork from the wok, draining off some of the reduced juices, and discard any large chunks of fat. Chop it up roughly and with abandon, and then we can start the fun.
Build – I used the soft corn tortillas available at my local supermarket so did 2 per person as they’re a bit large, but if you can get the smaller ones, three per person looks better. It goes a little something like this:
Tortilla – Pork – Pico – Habanero (teaspoon of, more if you like some heat) – cheese – radish – spring onion – Bit of torn coriander
And you’re done. If you like you can top it off with a spoon of the cooking liquor, but if you’ve not skimmed it earlier, it will be quite fatty.
No homage to Mexico would be complete without a scratching – so take the skin you took off before, rub a bit of salt and paprika on it, and either deep fry or pop it in an oven at 200 until crispy and golden. Hack into bits and pop it on the table.
Chuck it all down with an ice cold Chelada and nibble on the scratchings!
I hope you like this one – I’m pretty proud of this one and how it turned out, so I’d love your feedback.
Hello from Blackfriars! I’m in London at the moment, doing some training for work. I don’t get down here as often as I would like, so am sometimes at a loose end for what to do. Thus, I tweeted a broadcast to see if anything cool was going on. Fortunately, an angel in the form of Anna from @storypr invited me to an amazing event on Tuesday, over in Shoreditch. This is of course a VERY cool, indie, happening etc place, so painfully hip that the Guardian have a coffee shop there.
What is also over there, are three wonderful places – The Painted Lady, Murdock, and Dishoom. They have teamed up together to offer an amazing package for the festive season. For £70, you get a Vintage up-do and manicure at The Painted Lady (for the girls) or if you’re a guy, you can choose from a wet shave or haircut by the lovely chaps at Murdock. I’m also sure guys can get a manicure and girls can have a shave, no gender stereotypes here.
After that, you also get a glass of Prosecco and a ‘festive feast’ at Dishoom, a lovely restaurant nearby with a Bombay café feel. I went and took this package for a spin, so here are some clumsy phone photos.
I was really pleased with Josh’s work on my hair, as well as the products used, both the matt mud and the vetiver cologne. The scenery was great as well, with the cut taking place in The Painted Lady’s place, which is very cool and quirky (try and spot the fox!).
We then headed over to Dishoom for some awesome food and drink. Pro-tip, don’t assume you’ll just have the Prosecco and maybe a glass of water. You will have a cocktail, and you will then probably have another one. Or four. The juleps, sours and viceroy’s old fashioned were all terrific.
For someone like myself, this is the perfect thing, merging grooming, food and drink into one experience. The twin forces of Murdock and The Painted Lady means there is something for most people on offer, so groups can get involved as well – ideal for couples, a work Christmas experience, or just for a few mates. If you’re interested, email email@example.com to book. If you want to book me on it to do it again, that’s jolly kind of you, first week December works best for me. Just CC me into the email you send over. Ta!
P.S. Huge shout out to Anna and Rose from Story, the guys from Murdock, everyone at The Painted Lady (Particularly Belinda who is wonderful and has some seriously good ink), everyone at Dishoom and all the lovely people I met, many of whom were from proper publications and everything.
It’s Tuesday, so you’ve done a bit of work for the week – best to throttle off a little or you’ll burn out. Check this out for a perfect 10 minute time waste, or to your boss ‘stress relieving break from work in line with HSE guidelines and ermm.. science?’
Google streetview is AWESOME. While Google is frequently engaged in being bloody evil, their maps project has changed mapping, and given us awesome things like Hadoop, Half a cat, and an enterprising young lady earning some pin money, a short walk from where I work (seriously)
One new thing I found recently is a website called www.geoguessr.com , a little game where you get dropped off on a street somewhere in the world and have to work out where you are.
I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty much addicted to this site. You get five places in each round, and points are awarded for how close your guess is to the actual place. With good observation and a bit of googling, you can usually get pretty close to the destination. But if you fancy a real challenge, try not moving on the map and taking a stab based on what you can see first off.
If you like a quick challenge in a spare five minutes, and like a bit of an explore, give it a go. Let me know what your high scores are, too! I’m on 27166, as shown below.
Apologies for my absence. It’s been a hectic few months both personally and professionally, and so the blog had to take a major backseat for a long while. Now, although I’m busier than ever, I’ve decided to get back into it. So what’s been happening in my life over the last few months? (Firstly, a shot of what I look like right now, hastily taken in a lift (apologies for the flash!)
There is much more besides, but rest assured I’ll get round to updating you on this soon. Also, as an apology for the absence, I will be giving away a pair of very special beauty boxes, the competition going live next week, when I can take photos of the stuff.
P.S – I’m properly on Bloglovin’ now, so follow me on there maybe?
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For those of you who don’t know, I am a huge Queens of the Stone Age fan. They’re my favourite band, and the one that I come back to again and again. Their last album was Era Vulgaris, all the way back in 2007, so an album has been long overdue.
…Like Clockwork is a raw, emotional record of change. QOTSA left the company of Lady Gaga, Madonna and U2 at Interscope Records for Indie label Matador, sacked drummer Joey Castillo halfway through, and brought in a host of guests, some old and some new. Frontman and driving force Josh Homme has had kids, produced ‘Humbug’ for Arctic Monkeys, and formed supergroup Them Crooked Vultures.
Homme’s slick lyrics take a darker turn right from the start, with the opening track repeating “And I know you will never believe, I play it as though I’m alright, if life is but a dream, Wake me!” This theme persists, indicative of the depression Homme fell into after an extended hospital stay.
A stellar guest list adds verve and diversity, with Dave Grohl providing much of the drumming, and Alex Turner, Trent Reznor and Mark Lanegan once again collaborating with QOTSA. ‘Fairweather Friends’ brings Sir Elton John to the fray providing piano and backing vocals, who petitioned Josh for a guest spot on the basis that they needed ‘a real queen’. In spite of the big names, it remains the J.Ho show, with the supporting cast being pulled together and providing a foundation from which the lyrics can rise.
The overall feel fires the hard rock of the 1970s through a prism of desert rock to create an album that channels Bowie, Iggy, Led Zep and others via its 15-strong cast of contributors. Precise and forceful but with ominous danger, darkness and precise depth.
The album accelerates as you progress through the 10 tracks, with a proclamation of pomp on the polished ‘Smooth Sailing’ stating “I blow my load over the status quo”. Then the switch flicks again as the album closes with the title track, guitars wail and Homme’s falsetto reveals a most un-Queens sounding track, more Bond theme than stoner rock. The album may end with the line “it’s all downhill from here”, but in …Like Clockwork, QOTSA have created a dark, dirty, sexy record that is unmistakably theirs, but somehow moreso than what came before.