Tuesday, 30 July 2013

It's been 7 weeks...

Yes, 7 weeks since I curled my hair, but yesterday I did!

And I was once again reminded why the last time was so long ago.
In short: it was a pain in the...
Uhh it was horrible.

Almost every girl or woman in my life is jealous of my hair... Little do they know!
It may look healthy and shiny when in a braid or after I just washed it, but it's *hell* on a hot sweaty day and especially when I want to do something special (that is '30s/'40s) like curl it or create an updo.
Oh actually I can't do anything simple with it either.
It is just too thick!
It isn't really that long (any more) so I should be able to handle it. Nope.

Despite all this horror I did try to give it a shot again yesterday.
I used 28 bendy foam rollers and 8 other foam rollers (the kind that you sort of 'close')...
Yeah, that's a lot - a lot more than the average girl who curls her hair I think!
It took me about 2 hours to get it all in (that includes a lot of frustration and 'why did I choose this lifestyle again argh?'-moments).
At around 17:30 I was finished, every single hair was finally rolled up.
This morning at around, say 08:30 I rolled my hair out of the rollers...

Quite satisfying! (obviously this is only a quarter of my hair, the rest is safely at the back)
A bit of brushing and lots of hair grips later...

Sorry, it was kind of rainy (not fatal, thankfully) so the selfie quality isn't too good, and of course my hair is really dark but there are some victory rolls on top of that.

Then I hit the town!
First I went to our local market and picked up some basic buttons for a mini sewing project, nothing special. Well, special enough for me, but.
Then I rode my bike to the near city, Amersfoort, and got on the train to Utrecht!
Utrecht is my favourite city in this country. I like it better than Amsterdam, a little less focused on the tourists but still pretty international, great shopping possibilities, cool museums and not to forget: an awesome University. This won't be the last time you will hear me about that uni!
Anyway I'm getting distracted.
I went to Utrecht, and it was quite lovely out! Not too cold, no rain, but... windy. It was very, very windy! Ok, the wind in my hair does give me a bit of a diva-appearance, but apart of that it's rather disastrous.

Back home.... I am not looking too enthusiastic, bet you can understand why..!
I didn't exercise much or something, just strolling was what I did, and when cycling I had my hair tied up in a bun. Yet, there is no sign of this morning's tight curls! 

Victory rolls and everything out.
I am obviously having fun. :)
No, a lack of volume is never my problem!
Yet, this is not what I had in mind when rolling my hair in foam things yesterday.
(photo took with webcam on a rainy evening and I had my desk lamp already switched on so sorry for the pixelation).

Re-did my hair a bit, I think it's pretty cute!
But in a few minutes, it has nothing to do with the 1940's any more. :(

(By the way do you guys like my new dress? I know I do! €2,50 at the thrift store, it has cute smocking in the waist, yeahh)

So far my complaints on curling my hair!
I better go practice some new classic hair styles that don't need curling before London, because either my hair has to change dramatically (ie get thinner) or it will not be curled for long.

Special thanks to me, for taking the selfies.

Uhm when reading through this post before publishing it, I sound a bit depressed and nagging.
Not the case! In fact, I'm having a great week, it's just my hair that doesn't always do what I want.
No big deal. :)

xx Jessica

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Big Smoke

Yeaaaaah, I'm going there!

London women having fun :)
Soon, I'll take the train, dive underneath The Channel and hop off in the city I can't stop talking about:

And oohh I'm excited!
The last few months, I've 'collected' websites and Tumblr pages with information and of course suggestions on what to visit.
I am going to do that 30 times more thoroughly the following weeks,
and I humbly ask your help!
I know that most of my readers don't live in London but somewhere totally different, but I bet at least a few of you have been in Britain's capital.

(I visited the city myself before, in 2008, but back then I was 12, not into vintage AT ALL, and we were there for such a short time that we could only see a few highlights.)

We already have these hotspots on our schedule:
Churchill War Rooms
Transport Museum
All important and less important churches
Museum of Brands (probably)
Maybe a Jack the Ripper tour...
Possibly the Ragged School Museum

And loads of other places-to-be.
Oh, and the markets! Of course the markets. Don't forget the markets.

Fruit importer and his apple-shaped cabin, 1928
So, in short:
I ask you for tips on where to visit,
- vintage or antique shops and markets naturally... (leave the 'vintage' 70's stuff to someone else)
- thrift stores, second hand shops, you know
- museums or other cultural 'institutions'... Yes please! Oh and leave the modern art; classic and history are keywords for both me and my Mum.
-other interesting things going on in London, such as cute bookshops, oh well you know
-and FOOD. Even in London we will have to eat from time to time. I'm into Arabic and Turkish food especially but of course I can't go back home without having tasted English cuisine.

As for most of 17 year old bloggers, the budget isn't too big. :)

I am not only asking your help when you've been to the Big Smoke yourself, but also when you've read a great post on someone else's blog or stumbled upon a useful website.
Or do you know someone, a blogging person, who lives in the City, please please tell me.

HUGE thanks in advance! 

Don't hesitate to comment, it's never ridiculous recommending some place, maybe I'll go there and love it so much that I'll thank you for ever. Do feel welcome to write something below! :)

Cheapside, 1890/1900
The pictures above are from @ClassicPics on Twitter, do follow this account!
Much more historical London photos, and of all other places in the world.

LOL (Lots of Love ;) )


Friday, 26 July 2013

Today - and the last few days

This was such a weird week.
I was planning to do so much - but nah, too hot!
But today it wouldn't be over 25 degrees Celsius, as the weather forecaster said.
Stupid me thought that automatically it wouldn't be that disgustingly hot anymore!
How naive. It hasn't been this humid and muggy in ages...
Anyway I actually was to go shopping in Amersfoort city, but then the sky opened and it was raining like never before...
Plan B!
Going to the thrift shop with Mum and her car.
And so we did!

I scored a few little cute things, not much special:

A sunny scarf, I get all beach-y when I look at it. €1,50

A make-up mirror, it enlarges your reflection(?). Don't know how to say that in English but you know, a mirror where all your flaws and acne (and wrinkles but those haven't hit me yet) are frighteningly big.
I like the dirty green colour. €0,50

A cute little box. Didn't really need it, but when the day will come that I have my own antique vanity table, this green thing-y will look adorable on it. (also applies for the green mirror)

I now put some pins in it:

-- Nothing special, I know.

I have wanted a decent classic desk chair for a long time.
Now I have one! €5, that is a decent price as well.

(Yeah it needed to be cleaned that's why it's outside on papers)

Not very special either, but practical and comfortable.
And nice wood carvings.

Oh btw, the desk chair I used to have (ok I still have it I'm sitting on it right now) is a cheap basic IKEA one. Nothing wrong with it of course, but it didn't really complement my un-modern room.

In the title '..and the last few days' I was referring to the fact that this week, it's been so hot that actually only a few outfits were okay, and this one below is the week's favourite.
Yes, again the yellow shirt..
I don't have many other shirts or blouses cool enough for now, or they can't be knotted up like this.

It's not terribly 1940's or something, but with my crocheted bag, 1930's sunglasses and pastel ballerinas the whole look is not too modern.

Have a lovely weekend
Jessica xx

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Malory Towers

Have you read them?

First Term at Malory Towers
Second Form at Malory Towers
Third Year at Malory Towers
Upper Fourth at Malory Towers
In the Fifth at Malory Towers
Last Term at Malory Towers


I have!

And not only once, I must say.

I already spoke about the series earlier, not realising that in the original language the girls' names weren't Pitty, Eline, Alice and Wim, as they are in Dutch, but Darrell, Gwendoline, Alicia and Bill.
Now if this hasn't rung a bell yet, it's not going to happen anymore either.

Darrell (Pitty) Rivers! My BFF.

My Mum and her four sisters used to read the books, so that's how the series, written by Enid Blyton, came into my life.

For those who don't know this brilliant series, it's about an English girl going to boarding school in the 1940's, and together with her friends and frenemies she has all kinds of (innocent) adventures. She sometimes has to choose between right and wrong (and wrong is often going to the cinema or having a mid-night snack) and about developing talents.
The stories are totally predictable but yet re-readable (at least for me).

When starting on writing this article, I realised I had lent the first book of the series, Pitty naar kostschool (Pitty to boarding school - First Term at Malory Towers) to my cousin. Oops! Ah well, it isn't very different from the others, especially the state in which the book is in - poor, very poor.

5 girls and their daughters reading and re-reading the books - it takes its toll..!

I'll now show you some pictures and let you observe and think.

So, what do you think?
Especially keeping in mind the books were written and published in the years 1946-1951..?
Yes, my Mum and her sisters grew up in the '60s and '70s...
And that was when they started reading the books.
The drawings! I don't think anyone has pictured Darrell (or Pitty) in her mind with sexy cat-eye makeup.
Also: where is the school uniform?
Because I'm preeeetty sure the uniform wasn't a pink-yellow dress with matching tights.
Ah well, who cares. They're great books anyway.

As for the stories and characters, though!
The literary aspect... Well isn't there actually.
It is so poorly written, when I read somewhere on Wikipedia that one book was written in 3 days, it sounded sarcastic but actually I wouldn't be surprised if it were true...

There were way too many girls saying to each other 'hey, have you seen Mam'zelle Dupont, the French teacher?' Come on! School girls would never say 'the French teacher' when they all know very well who Dupont is.
Giving information in quotes is never a good idea.

Shame on you, Enid!

We don't have such a boarding school tradition here in the Netherlands, but still the mean girl-to-girl 'friendships' are very recognisable.

Oh by the way, after the shocking 60's book covers, here are some original first prints:


Bye bye losers!

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Joy of Parenting pt. 4

I don't feel like blogging extensively these days, there is sort of a heat wave here in Western Europe!

So I decided to blog part 4 of the Joy of Parenting series, and I was sorting out photos when my breaking news app sent me a push message: Baby Boy!

Of course, the parenting series are always about family life but I found especially this magazine cover very fitting for today's happy news!

That is a lot of exclamation marks in a row!

Okay, here we go;

Okay, maybe William didn't have to do groceries or drive to the hospital himself,
and didn't have other children back at home, but heyyy.
Babies are cute, anytime, anywhere.

- The Saturday Evening Post
May 12, 1956
15 cents -

In case you're interested:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
of the series

Congrats to Kate and William!

And good luck everyone with the heat. :)


Friday, 19 July 2013

Afternoon Tea

Yesterday my grandpa, grandma, her sister and her sister's husband came over and I hosted an afternoon tea!

I've only been into cooking and baking since a few months, and this was kind of my first big project.
(I do cook dinner very often, but since I only live with my Mum that isn't very special or hard work.)

And oh had I fun preparing it!

- Beware, lots of photos -

I kind of forgot to take a photo when everything was set up, including the tea etc.
Anyway I think you have an idea how it all looked. 

Cherry pastries and a Dutch interpretation of scones

Home made strawberry jam and cream to go with the scones - I did 'lemonize' the cream though: it was flaming hot yesterday (and the whole week and next week as well) so everyone could do with a bit more freshness!

Chocolate - not home made, hehe.
I'm getting more and more into dark chocolate lately!

Berries, they were surprisingly sweet! Normally they're rather sour, not my cup of tea really.

We have a thing like 'egg cake' here in the Netherlands, it is normally eaten plain or with jam, but I sprinkled sugar and lemon juice on top, and....

I also made this jar of lemon curd but didn't know what to eat it with, turns out it's great with Dutch egg cake!

Not all food at an afternoon tea table is sugar sweet. Salmon rolls and leek-curry quiche!
Quiche made by my Mum.

Carrot cake plus lime frosting!
Also I am convinced that two or three mini cake pieces are way better tasting than one big chunk.

Banana-pecan cake and brownies: this plate was all empty in no time!
Look at that dark crunchy crust! Kinda proud :)

Not-so-home-made fudge. Not less delicious, though!

Sandwiches. Brie and lettuce and fine meat

At first I was so smart not to put anything heavy on top of the napkins, so they were all over the garden. :/

Pretty dinnerware

There was lemonade as well! Stupid me didn't take a good photo of that but you can imagine: freshly squeezed lemons and limes and mint ice cubes. :)

It may not look like it but this tasted like mango fool!

I'm a sucker for details. Cake server! 

 I had a great day, even though it was so hot that even in our usually cool kitchen I was sweating and sweating. My grandparents and sort of other grandparents let me know a thousand times they were so impressed and proud!
I hope soon I'll be getting the opportunity to re-do this, I really liked all the grocery shopping, searching for the perfect lemonade straws (found them!) and of course eating it all.

Special thanks to my Albert Heijn app, with more than 12000 great recipes.
I couldn't have managed it without you.

Happy weekend for those of you who don't have vacation,
personally I keep forgetting what day or even what month it is, no rhythm at all for me.
And I love it!

xo Jessica