NME Awards 2014

nme awards
Having worked with Windows Phone and NME on a few mini-projects leading up to the 2014 NME Awards, I was incredibly lucky to be invited along to the ceremony itself.

You guys know I’m a music nerd. Being close enough to propose to all of Haim, Lily Allen, Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Damon Albarn, and Kate Moss? That was just unreal for me.*

The night turned into a pleasant and Patron-induced blur only a few hours in, but the trusty camera of my Nokia Lumia 1020 (and the 10+ blurry photos of Kate Moss eating Domino’s pizza) will keep the evening fresh for always.

*Sadly, no wedding plans have been set…yet.

nme awards
nme awards
Continue reading

Recipe: Shrimp Feast (for Dudes and Dudettes)

shrimp feast
Once upon a lazy weekend, The Manfriend and I were really in the mood for a shrimp feast.

Or, ‘prawn feast’, as he will have just corrected me when reading this.

I wanted a gluten-free wrap. He would rather eat toilet paper than eat a gluten-free wrap. Swapping his feast’s carrier for a carby, starchy dude roll, we were both able to enjoy this simple, healthy (and surprisingly spicy!) recipe in personalised bliss.

8-10 shrimp (cooked or raw, just make sure they’re peeled and cleaned if raw)
The gluten-free rolls/wraps of your choice
¼ cup sliced or diced onion (your preference)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon red grapefruit zest
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon celery salt

For the remoulade:
1 onion, sliced
2 tablespoons red grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon red grapefruit zest
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon mayo (I used low-fat)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish
½ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat the butter in a large pan at medium/high. Cook the onions until they begin to soften (likely

2. Stir in the garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, salt, black pepper and celery salt.

3. If your shrimp are raw, add them and cook until they become opaque (this will take roughly 3 to 4 minutes). If they are pre-cooked, simply add them.

4. Stir in your grapefruit zest and remove the pan from heat.

5. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayo, mustard, grapefruit juice, horseradish, zest, and paprika. Follow with your onions and parsley.

6. To serve, throw some cabbage onto your bun/wrap, top with your shrimp and onion concoction, then add a few tablespoons of the remoulade, to taste.


shrimp feast
shrimp feast
Continue reading

Bomb Cosmetics

bomb cosmetics
To get the obvious comparison out of the way from the get-go, Bomb Cosmetics is very, very similar to Lush. While both companies create ‘handmade and natural’ bath products and refuse to test on animals, Bomb Cosmetics are a little bit more kitschy and – delightfully – more affordable.

Each of their products are scent-sational. Ugh, puns…but it’s true. The moment my little box of products entered the house, the smell made me smile. There is something very warm and sweet about each of these bad boys:

First, the Berrylicious Soap Cake Slice. Though I never use ‘normal’ soap (it dries my skin out faster than the summer sun), the ingredients from Bomb’s slices are happy skin approved. There is nothing too revolutionary about the product itself (it cleans), but it’s smell is delicious; like a caramel-tinged Ribena, the Berrylicious smell is all blackcurrants and strawberries and vanilla.

The product I tested next was the Strawberry Daiquiri Intense Lip Treatment. Again, the scent was a dream but I didn’t find myself blown away by the product. ‘Intense’ is a definite stretch. The consistency is no way near as buttery as the taste. Though I am happy to keep it in my bag for a sweet little pick-me-up, I would never think to use it as an aide for dry or chapped lips.

Thankfully, my brand love was reinstated with the use of the Crazy Chic Bath Mallow. The little cupcake-shaped ‘Mallows’ are not only a genius gift, but they are super moisturising, as well. Unlike both bath ‘bombs’ or ‘drops’, the ‘Mallows’ release quite slowly – over five to ten minutes – and create beautifully silky bath water. The Crazy Chic is a blend of a lot of different components (I picked up a lot of ginger blossom, vanilla, lavender, and tangerine) but it balances just perfectly.

I think it might be time to restock my bath cupboards.

Throwback Thursday – Vintage 747 Lounges

Airplane Piano Bar
There are some absolute gems in the Boeing archives and – though I have always loved flying – I would trade any of my in-air memories for a shot at experiencing a 747 flight in the 1970s.

While the 1930s Boeing Clipper had everything from a powder room to a dining room (pictured in black and white, below), things got phenomenally jazzy in the Seventies. In the vintage American Airlines 747 Coach Lounge Commercial below, NBC’s Chet Huntley pimps out the airline’s Wurlitzer piano bar while The Fonz offers a fellow traveller a light…

It’s all very smooth…and very Don Draper.

For First Class, the Boeing 747′s small upper deck was turned into a cocktail bar in the sky; all Martinis, steaks, and ultra-modern swivel chairs. On Continental Airlines, there was even a pub.

Please take a moment to listen to Waltz of The Flowers while you receive a tour of the Boeing 747 100 Series’ First Class deck…

Continue reading

The John Rylands Library, Manchester

john rylands library
This is The John Rylands Library in Manchester.

A library. (I KNOW, RIGHT?)

Stumbling across it by happy chance, The Manfriend and I spent a good hour exploring every nook and cranny of the Deansgate-situated neo-Gothic establishment.

Though a collaboration with Manc’s biggest university means it is now named The ‘John Rylands University Library of Manchester’, the initial opening in 1900 was an extravagant memoriam dedication – to John Rylands – from his widow, Enriqueta Augustina Rylands.

The space is magical and the collections that it features are sans pareil. We’re talking medieval illuminated manuscripts, a Gutenberg Bible, personal papers of John Dalton, French Revolution Broadsides and more; The John Rylands Library a treasure trove.

john rylands library 8
john rylands library 23
Continue reading